Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder

My best friend and I decided to read this one together. We both had hear great things about it online. In all honesty though, neither of us are big sci-fi fans. I was surprised by how much we both liked it! I finished it in 3 days, and she read it really fast as well. When I first heard about this series I was kind of put off by all of the “cyborg” and “android” technology aspects of it. I’m not really into robots and I assumed that would be the biggest aspect of the story. It’s not though! Meyer did a great job of putting a spin on the Cinderella story while also molding it into her own tale. I loved all of the characters. Kai, Cinder, and Peony are my favorites! This story also had some twists and turns the readers weren’t expecting. Some good, and some tragic. There was a part or two where I wanted to throw the book across the room and cry. I became very attached to the characters in this story. I was so excited to start the next one but then I found out it’s a new story based on new characters!!! I think Scarlet is based more off of Little Red Riding Hood. So what happens in the end with the Lunars and the rest of the world!? What about Cinder and Kai??? Hopefully, they show up again, or maybe all of the stories will be tied together at some point. I have to know!

I also was very interested in knowing more about the author when I was finished with Cinder. I hadn’t heard of her until I read this book and she sounds like a pretty interesting person! I would love to meet her one day. I love how she just had a fascination with fairytales and decided to add a spin to them. I feel like it can be tricky when it comes to rewriting or adding to a previous tale, especially one as known as Cinderella. It’s basically fan fiction, some people will be openminded to it, some won’t. You also have to make it interesting to the reader without making it hodge-podge or random. I thought Meyer did an excellent job at this. I think this is one of the best fairytale spins I have ever read. I can’t believe she got me to fall in love with such a sci-fi based world! *claps* I cannot wait to read the next one and I think this would be a great book to film adaption. Someone should jump on that.

Happy Readings and Happy Holidays 🙂

The Real World Tomorrow

I am suppose to go meet all of the kiddos I am going to have in my class come January. This week I am going to go observe the classes they are in now so that I can make the transition into my class as smooth as possible. It was all excitement the past few weeks but now I am getting really nervous. I think it’s mostly because I have’t received my test results back from last Wednesday. I still have to take my ESL certification test this Friday too. I need to get as much studying down today as I can since I’ll be observing and putting my classroom together this week. I am suppose to have my classroom done by Thursday at 1pm so that the parents can come see the room their children are being added too and so they can put a face with my name. I am so anxious! I haven’t had to do parent conferences or anything like that yet. But I guess the best way to learn is to just jump right in! That’s how it went with my student teaching and I feel much more prepared for the teaching world. My mom said she would take off a day this week to come help me set my classroom up, I really hope she can since she’s been teaching for 19 years. I have no idea what I should even be buying because I don’t know if the school is going to provide anything like shelves, binders, markers, etc. If any teachers out there have any advice I would love to hear it!

31 Day Blog Challenge: A Difficult Time in My Life

I have mixed feelings about my most difficult time in my life. For one, it took me years to get over. It wasn’t just a difficult few months or year. I was constantly falling apart and trying (unsuccessfully) to figure out who I was as a person. I wouldn’t normally talk about this to people that I don’t know but there’s some safety in the blogging community. The whole point of writing, for me at least, is to talk about the things you can’t say out loud or the things you don’t have the chance to talk about out loud.

On the other hand, I know that I would definitely not be the person that I am today if I had not gone through that difficult time. I think I am a self-sufficient and independent human being because of what I made it through.

I found out when I was 12 years old that someone close to me in my life had a substance abuse problem. The first time I discovered this was once when I was home by myself and I went to shower and this clear, glass thing fell out of the towels that had burn marks all over it. I didn’t think much about it. I guess being 12 I had the “ignorance is bliss” thing going for me. Until one day another family member confronted me about it. I broke down crying because deep down I knew what was happening, I just never wanted to admit it. How can a family member, your caretaker, be capable of something like that? To chose a substance, a thing, over you? I think that’s the biggest thing I struggled with from the time I was 12-19. It sounds like a long time, but those years were full of ups and downs.

I covered for my family member until I was 16. I lived with them until one day they didn’t want to get out of bed to take me to school. If you don’t already know this about me, I am a rule follower. I was never late to class and I never skipped. By the time I called another family member to come take me to school, they were already on their way to my house because our neighbor had called them and told them what was going on at our house. For one, there were always strange people coming in and out, or my guardian was never there, I was by myself all night, and my family member was on the outs with most of our neighbors because it became increasingly harder for them to avoid questions and to act normal. By the time my family member arrived, I was bawling trying to get them out of bed, and trying to think of a really good lie to cover up what was happening.

I remember confronting the person. I told them about the stuff I had found. And they straight-faced lied to me at the time. Telling me what I saw was something entirely different than it was. And you know what’s crazy? I believed them. It was like arguing with someone about what year it is and them telling you it is 100 years in the future and you believing them. If that makes sense.

I felt responsible for this person. Even though they were suppose to be taking care of me, the child in the situation. I felt like it would be my fault if our life changed or God forbid, they got caught. That was the day I moved, I was 15 and was almost halfway done with my sophomore year of high school. I moved from my childhood home that had been there since birth, away from my friends I had grown up with, the boy I had been dating for a few years, and from my family member, whom I felt responsible for. I felt like an awful person. It was during this time I started reading a lot of Ellen Hopkins books like Crank and Impulse. I felt like I finally found people who understood my life, even if they were fictional.

I graduated high school (a different one) a year after I moved. It was really hard. For one, my home was gone. Right after my 16th birthday my childhood home had been raided and destroyed in the process. I went back once the same night that this happened. I walked into my room, the room I use to have dragonfly sheets on over the bed and glow in the dark butterflies on all of the walls. My bed frame and mattress were destroyed as if the cops were trying desperately to find paraphernalia underneath it. That’s not where they found it. It had been hidden under the carpet of my bedroom floor and I had never known about it. Seeing my home torn up was the most gut wrenching feeling I have ever felt. I remember not taking anything from the house. Pathetically, I went and sat in the tiny closet of my bedroom and stared. Just stared until I realized I was crying. I STILL felt guilty. I felt like if I had just done something different, maybe everything wouldn’t have ended that way.

After years of mentally tearing myself a new one, I realized that I had been desensitized to the situation. In the beginning when I was pretending nothing was happening, it was because I started to think it was normal. That may sound crazy, and if I had never been in that situation I would think that was complete bullshit if someone had ever claimed to be desensitized to something like that but it’s true. It’s easy to pretend everything is okay when your entire world is at stake.

Thankfully, I finally moved on in college. It took that person getting caught and doing time and rehab for them to finally own up and apologize and for me to finally be honest with them and myself. I laid it all out on the table and coaxed some honesty out of them, after years of trying. We’re finally good today. I no longer look at them and see a shell of what they use to be. I see them again. I see them trying and I am surprised that I want to try as well. I want things to be like they were when I was a kid. I know they will never be exactly the same but it’s nice to know that after all this time they’re choosing to try for me as well as for themselves.

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall

WOW! This book was crazy. Crazy good. I was a little leery of starting this one because I could never actually find it in bookstores. I had to order it online. I wound up buying it because I saw so many bookstagramers and booktubers praising it. They would talk about how fast paced it was and how awesome the story was. I must say I agree. It took me 3 days to read this one, and I stayed up until 2am to finish it because it was so amazing. I really love the main character Penryn and Raffe. Penryn kind of reminded me of Cassie from The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. She’s really stubborn, but has a huge heart while also being a hot mess. Susan Ee made this novel a wonderful mixture of fantasy, sci-fi, teen “kind-of” romance, teen awkwardness, and darkness. Her writing style is so witty! I loved it. I was sitting on the edge of my seat through all of the action and quietly giggling to myself the rest of the time because it had a lot of really funny dry humor.

I will say though, this book is not for the faint of heart. This book takes a quick swerve to dark and gore at the end. And at some points it could get downright disturbing. I’m not really sure where they are going with the angels in this story but it was so awesome and horrible at the same time that I could not put it down. I ordered World After right before I finished Angelfall and I cannot wait to see where Ee is going to take us next in this story. There are so many twisted aspects of this story that it’s crazy how good it is. There’s the “evil” angels in their Zoot Suits that come out of nowhere and take over sending the world spiraling into an apocalyptic mess. There’s strange little beings running around eating people and no one knows what they are for most of the book. There’s Penryn and her family, her mom and sister. Her sister is wheelchair bound because of something their clinically disturbed mother did when she was a child, and her mother swears demons are always out to get her. Strangely though, she tries as hard as Penryn to save her youngest daughter Paige from the angels. Then on top of all of this, there’s a Walking Dead-like resistance camping out in the woods plotting to overthrow the angels. And guess what! They’re actually kind of hardcore like that. This novel was so fast paced and easy to get into. I thought the whole angel corruption would deter me from finishing the story but you realize that there’s more to the story, the reader just doesn’t find that out until the end!

This is a great book to read if you’re looking for something dark and a little different. I was pleasantly surprised… and maybe a little afraid to sleep with my lights off.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Pet Peeves

I have several of these unfortunately. The first one being when people do not replace the toilet paper roll after they use all of it! This may seem small but after living with a male for 2 years that has never mastered this taxing common courtesy, it becomes a big deal. If there’s no stinking toilet paper just get out a new roll under the sink and put on the roller! 5 second task tops! But no… I have gotten to where I check the roller before I even sit down to do my business.

My second pet peeve is when people leave dishes out around the house… like with food still caked in them. Gross! Take your dirty dish to the sink and rinse it out at least! That’s how people get bugs in their house. I probably sound like a clean freak but I’m really not. I try to keep things tidy but I hate deep cleaning anything like the bathroom or the floors. Loose hairs all over the ground gross me out more than anything and that’s what you come across most in the bathroom and when sweeping the floors! Especially when you are a girl with long hair, or if you live with one.

My next pet peeve is when people do not give you the courtesy wave after you let them over in front of you. I know this isn’t a big deal but it’s seriously pushes my buttons the wrong way. It’s like when you hold the door open for someone and they don’t have the decency to say “Thank you” or to even look in your direction.

Those are the only 3 pet peeves I can come up with. (4 if you count the not saying “Thank you”) Manners are important! 31 day blog challenge

Preparing for My Big Girl Job

I feel so thankful right now. This is all of the teaching materials one of the teachers gave me who I worked with during my student teaching. I had just been talking to another teacher about how expensive it can get just putting your classroom together. And you know what she told me? She told me that buying the books and fabric for your classroom are the most expensive parts! I definitely have the book part covered and the fabric she gave me is definitely going to help.

Look at all these boxes!

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Hopefully my classroom will come with some bookshelves! All I’ve been doing today is looking up 2nd grade curriculum, activities, and classroom set ups and classroom management. I only have until January 5th to prepare!!!

Our entire bedroom is stockpiled with teaching materials and wedding supplies. We’re running out of room! Now if only I could get my catering and cake settled. I still have no idea what I’m doing in that area.

Other than that, my best friend and I have been finishing up our last class and watching Vlogmas videos on YouTube and drinking wine all night 🙂 I made dinner, went grocery shopping, and squeezed some Modern Family in there as well. She got me hooked on the show last weekend! Manny and Clare are my favorite characters. I want a cute, nerdy, sweet kid just like Manny! (Minus the aftershave and the 90s shirts.)

After watching all of the Vlogmas videos today, all I want to do is go out and buy presents and buy Girl Online by Zoe Sugg for myself. I love watching her and Tanya Burr and I bet her book is amazing. This is just our typical girls night in 🙂 on a Saturday… Yeah, we’re cool.

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Falling Into Place

Today was so bittersweet. It was my last day of student teaching. It was such a fun day. The kids had their spelling bee and they had extra recess after school so me and another teacher ran around with them and played tag. All of the kids made me uber sweet cards, my mentor teacher got me a really nice gift and I learned so much from her throughout my whole internship, and I found out…*drumroll* that I have a job for the spring semester! It’s a long term substituting job but I couldn’t be more excited. It’s going to be for a second grade classroom, which scared me a little at first since I only have experience with 4th graders. But the more I think about the more excited I get. The only things that may have an effect on this job are my certification tests. I take my PPR on Wednesday and my ESL certification the week after. I HAVE to pass these tests. Luckily I have been studying for several weeks. I plan on cramming this weekend as well.

I finally feel as if things are falling into place. The end of 2013 to the end of July kind of sucked, but I feel like I finally have a plan and I can see the end of the tunnel. It will feel nice to get started on my career and to get some experience under my belt. I was really lucky today because one of our 4th grade team members taught 2nd grade for 8 years and had a TON (and I mean a TON) of 2nd grade teaching materials she no longer needed so she gave them to me! My car is loaded down with TE’s, books, book sets, fabric, flash cards, and all kinds of 2nd grade teacher necessities!

I found this job because the school needed to add another 2nd grade teacher to the team due to the influx of students coming in. So I have about 3 1/2 to get my future classroom together. Thankfully, my mom is going to take off a day that week and help me get my classroom set up. I hope all of my students and their parents transition well, having a new teacher midway through the year. I know it would make me a little uncomfortable to know that my child was going to have to adjust and learn to trust a new teacher. I want them to be comfortable with me and know that I am there for their child! I just want everything to go well! And hopefully if there is this many students in their 1st grade then they will keep me for the next year!

If anyone has any tips or advice on running or setting up a 2nd grade classroom I would love to hear it!

31 Day Blog Challenge: 10 Favorite Songs

31 day blog challenge

There are so many! How do I pick just 10!?

1. Neon Moon by Brooks & Dunn. Call me cheesy but this is one of my favorite country music songs. I can’t help but sing it every time I hear it.

2. The Promise by When in Rome. Well I guess most of my favorite songs are cheesy… I love the music in this one. And it reminds me of both of my parents. It was their “song” when they were together in high school back in the 80s.

3. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls and I love the cover Sleeping With Sirens does. I think we’re going to have their cover be our first dance at our wedding in May.

4. Animal by Def Leppard because I love Def Leppard in general and this one is probably my favorite.

5.Guinevere by Eli Young Band. It’s just so pretty! I love the lyrics.

6. I Melt by Rascal Flatts. Yep I l still love it. And all of their music!

7. To The Moon For All I Care by Search the City. This whole album is AMAZING. The Rescue is definitely a close second favorite on this album.

8. Never Let Me Go by Florence + The Machine

9. This Woman and This Man by Clay Walker. His voice is soooooo dreamy. Love me some Clay Walker.

10. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks. You HAVE to sing when it comes on. I love all of Garth’s music and I hear he is going on tour Fall 2015 🙂

I could name a bunch more but this post only calls for 10. For whatever reason, I have always loved Cher. There are several songs of hers I could put on this list. Don’t make fun of me!

31 Day Blog Challenge: Something I Miss

This may sound crazy to some people but I really miss college. Or at least my undergrad. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about completing my student teaching this week and potentially getting a teaching job one day soon. There was just something about being broke, living off of meal plans, only having to worry about going to class and working at your rinky-dink part time job as a frozen yogurt bar cashier (or yogurt wench as my fiance use to call me) 3-4 days a week. Yep, those were the good ol’ days.

And I thought writing papers everyday for my major classes were hard. Ha! I didn’t even have class until 9:30 am most days. What I really miss about college, and I think it has a lot to do with the season, is going to the library late at night with my best friend and stopping my Starbucks to get some study fuel to last us through the evening. We would go up there and stay for hours studying for finals. The campus is beautiful at Texas State and the library is at the very top of the mini-mountain it’s on and overlooks San Marcos. I haven’t even been back to San Marcos since I graduated in August 2013. I’ve been to Austin once for the Texas Teen Book Festival but that’s it. Now I’m feeling all nostalgic :/

31 day blog challenge