Saturday, December 27, 2014

Packing for a Cold-Weather Trip

Packing always excites/terrifies me. It excites me because usually it means I am going on a fun trip, but terrifies me because I know I am going to agonize over what I want to pack versus what I actually need (and should) pack.

I find it EXTREMELY difficult to pack for cold weather. Everything is so bulky! This year, my family and I are spending New Years in North Carolina at the Outer Banks (where we spend a couple of weeks every summer).

Throwback to OBX summer '14: 

I have been compulsively checking the weather to see what clothes to pack. We have been to the beach during this time of year in the past. Some years, it is gorgeous, with sunny weather in the upper 50's. Other years, it has been freezing cold! This year it appears that it will be in the low-mid 50's, and mostly rainy :( If it were summer, I would be terribly upset by the rain, but since there's no beach-lounging in late-December/early-January, I am perfectly happy to relax in the house and read, bake, cook, play games, and go to or watch movies.

That being said, I think I have a handle of what I need to pack, keeping in mind that there will be tons of lounging around. There is also a washer/dryer at the house, so of course, I can wear something more than once (a crazy idea, I know!)

Surprisingly, all of this stuff (minus the boots) fit inside my duffel (similar style here)! 

My main focus in packing for the trip was making sure I had plenty of items I can mix and match together. Plus, the beach is such a casual place, so there's really no need to bring any fancy dresses or high heels. Any of our favorite restaurants down there are totally cool with jeans!

My parents are spending the weekend in NYC, so they're going to be nice and pick up me and my husband in Philly on their way back to DC on Sunday. On Monday, we're on the road again for OBX. The car ride from DC to OBX can last anywhere from 4.5-8+ hours (eek!) I typically have a hard time sleeping in the car, so I stuff my tote with lots of things to keep me occupied! Everyone has been talking about the podcast Serial, which I have yet to listen to, so that is definitely my first form of entertainment for the ride. I've also downloaded the audiobook version of Z: A Novel, which is a fictionalized story about Zelda Fitzgerald. I loved the novel Gatsby's Girl, which I read a few years ago, and am curious to see how the stories differ! 

I can't wait for a quiet, food-filled week with my loved ones! What are y'all doing for NYE?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Holidays!

It's officially WINTER BREAK! Hooray!

Today we had our winter assembly, where my class performed a wonderful skit retelling the Indian legend of the Six Blind Men. I love this story, because it shows that everyone has different experiences and perspectives, and often each experience and perspective is valid and correct. A great lesson for everyone at this time of year!

This year, I really enjoyed sharing read aloud picture books to my group about different holidays and holiday traditions. Some of my favorites for this time of year include:


What I like about all of these stories is that they all speak to the importance of love, magic, friends and family. The kids in my class all enjoyed hearing the stories and talking about our different holiday and family traditions. 

Speaking of holiday traditions, my husband and I are celebrating our first Chanukah as a married couple! I really wanted to make it special for us, so I decided to get a little festive! I've been seeing a lot of cute DIY Chanukah decorations on Pinterest. I really like the mix of metallics and blues, especially on hanging banners. Being a teacher, I fortunately have access to lots of arts and crafts materials, so I got to work and made one of my own:
You will need:
- sturdy tag board
- paint (silver, gold, blue--or holiday colors of your liking!)
- glitter
- glue
- hole punch
- string

First, I cut out circles of tag-board and painted them silver, gold and blue.

Then, I decorated each circle with either a glittery design or one of the letters that spell out "Happy Chanukah", using plain old school glue. After the paint and glitter dried, I punched a couple of holes in each circle to thread the string through.

Begin threading the circles through the string (making sure that the string goes on the back of the circle). I did two banners, one for "Happy" and another for "Chanukah".

After you have strung your circles through, use hooks to hang up your beautiful banner! We put ours up behind our kitchen table, which is where we light our beautiful Menorah (given to us as a wedding gift) each night.

Of course, I also made Latkes (I used the boxed mix this time--hey, it was a school night! I don't have time to peel and grate all those potatoes!) Now that I am on break, I might just go ahead and try one of these recipes!

I hope everyone gets a chance to relax a little bit this holiday season! Peace and Love!
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