About Me

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I am a happily married new mom who loves exploring, creating new adventures and loving on my sweet daughter. I am a K-2 teacher who is now staying at home with my little one! Welcome as I explore all things a part of my sweet city love!
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My love affair with a PB&J

I have been a classroom teacher for the last five years.  Of those five years, I have eaten a peanut butter & jelly sandwich every.single.day (minus the ever indulgent teacher workdays or rockstar leftovers) for lunch.  I guess  this could be described as one of my eccentric habits...doesn't everyone have at least one!?

I do not, however, think of myself as being one of those crazies who has a habit that they can't bear to break.  I go with the flow pretty easily and can adapt to a lot of new things.  Over these past five years, I've spent 60 days backpacking in Europe, 3 months living in New York City and have worked in 3 different schools.  I can be flexible.

One thing that has remained a constant weekday after weekday - my lunch.  I look forward to my triangle cut pb&j, my helping of Pirate's Booty, a banana and organic applesauce.  It's my thing.  The peanut butter lasts so long - the protein, the stick to your insides goodness, the perfect accompaniment of strawberry jam.  A lunch for the stars.  It makes this teacher very happy and keeps me from snacking too heavily mid-afternoon once the kiddos leave.  Perfect? I think so.

While it may seem hard to believe, I'm not one of those die-hard peanut butter lovers.  You know the type - the ones who happily lick spoonfuls of peanut butter and believe everything is better with a scoop of crunchy (my favorite).  I do like the taste but I like even better than I'm getting full on something that I feel good about putting into my body.  No preservatives, no hydrogenated oils - all natural goodness inside my lunchbox.

Imagine my smile when I stumbled upon the Peanut Butter & Co. in the West Village on our most recent New York visit.  

C was interviewing one day, so I wandered in to have the most delicious lunch.  Just me, a pb&j and my kindle.  I ordered The Elvis - grilled wheat bread with crunchy pb, bananas and honey.  Holy peanut butter! It was delicious.  Match it with a bottled coke and an on-the-house slice of peanut butter pie, I was in school-lunch heaven.  

Tomorrow is the first day back to school after a much needed and much loved week long spring break.  I'm not sure what my day will have in store, but I do know one thing for certain - my lunch will be fantastic.


The Buff Smoothie!

For the last two years, my weekday breakfast has been one of champions! My weekends...another story ;). My husband has been blending up a smoothie rich in antioxidants every morning to help us both get a vitamin boost. Because I'm not yet a coffee drinker (only fancy lattes for now!), I love my morning smoothie because it energizes my mind, fuels my body and lasts until lunchtime. Alton Brown calls it the "buff smoothie." ohhh, love it! Don't you just feel powerful already??

4 ounces plain
 low-fat soy milk 
4 ounces acai, grape, or pomegranate juice 
4 ounces frozen banana 
4 ounces frozen strawberries
 4 ounces frozen blueberries 
4 ounces frozen peaches

Combine the soy milk, juice, banana, strawberries, blueberries, and the peaches in the carafe of a blender. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 8 hours. In the morning, or when the fruit is partially thawed, put the carafe on the base of the blender, start at the lowest speed and slowly accelerate to medium, until you achieve a vortex. Blend on medium for 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and blend for an additional minute. Serve immediately. 

 Enjoy your morning boost! You will love this berry fueled start to your day :)

**Why is creating a post on the iPad so difficult?! The formatting was so thrown off.  Sometimes, you just need an old fashioned computer, I guess :)


New York photo spread!

Another wonderful weekend spent in NYC! Flying into LaGuardia sets a gorgeous stage (especially when your flight is landing early, just in time for lunch)! It offers the perfect sweeping view of Manhattan.  We loved visiting my sister and touring around one of our favorite cities.

A few highlights:
Joe's Pizza
The Comedy Cellar (hillllarious!)
Oatmeal Raisin cookies at Levain
Easter brunch and the homemade donuts
The fountains at the 9/11 Memorial
Cocunut cake at Commerce - cue mouth watering
The Mulberry Project and the best sparkling/fruity/tequila drink e.v.e.r

Until next time New York!  

I'll leave you with a beautiful quote I read on the subway:

He told us, with the years, you will come to love the world.
And we sat there with our souls in our laps, and comforted them.
-Dorothea Tanning


No room for a bully!

I need someplace to vent and then forget.  And today, my story will be on my blog (sorry, SCL!).  I have absolutely no tolerance for the type of rudeness and blatant disrespect that I experienced today at school.  As a teacher, I have to make hundreds of little decisions every day.  Some are better than others, just by the pure nature of life, but I always without a doubt have the best interest of my little ones at heart. 
While I've never been a parent, I can imagine the way you protect your sweet children and want the best for them at all times.  Imagine your judgement being called into question and attacked.  It stings - badly.  Today, I had a parent become verbally abusive and aggressive with me on the phone.  She called into question my role as her daughter's protector during the day and began to chastise me for not taking better care of her daughter.  My jaw hit the ground and I remained silent.  Her attacks were unjust, without merit and were never allowed to be explained.  She believes her daughter was seriously injured at school and was irate that she was not contacted.  She would not listen long enough to understand that her daughter never, not even one little whisper, complained that she was hurt.  In a world of 5 year olds that cry buckets over a paper cut (I mean really, who wouldn't - they hurt!), she never even said "ow."  I was deeply sorry to hear her daughter expressed that she was hurt when she got home - words of compassion that were mimicked and dismissed.
She judged me for being careless, screamed, yelled and resorted to mocking me like a child.  Teachers are not miracle workers.  We are not perfect.  But we are human and we care for your children tremendously.  We work day after day, hour after hour to plan creative and engaging lessons, to teach each and every child to read, write and love school.  We teach them about peer interactions and how to be kind.  
What is this mother teaching her child? Is the work I so tirelessly try to teach her child going to waste? Her daughter, my student, was listening as her mother berated me and tore me down.  What lesson is this teaching? That teachers are worthless and can be treated like dirt.
Teach your children respect.  Teach them that life is more than screaming and that life involves modeling.  Show your 5 year-old that problems aren’t solved by becoming abusive.  Problems are solved by listening and understanding.  When you are angry, walk away.  As we say every single day in school, if you are feeling angry take a deep breath and count to ten.  All of the work we do is torn down in the instant a parent shows the contrary.  This little girl sees her mom, her role model, being disrespectful and confrontational. Now, why should I think this student will grow up to be anything different? That is a sad, but honest reality.
Her words stung.  Her anger was sharp.  She had absolutely no right to talk to me with such aggression.  I made it very clear on the phone, while speaking calmly, that I would not tolerate her verbal aggression.  She was so angry - she hung up.
Teaching is so very different than many people think.  It’s tough, it’s hard and it can be an emotional struggle.  We try our hardest every single day to provide a safe and rich learning environment.  Please recognize this and respect my position in the classroom.  I am not your chew toy and not your property.  
Tomorrow is a new day.  I’m not sure what I will hear from this parent again.  The principal fully supports me, which I really value.  I will not let this parent into my classroom without an administrator. She crossed a line that will not be repaired.  She abused me, she judged me and she attacked me. I know I can handle anything that comes my way.  I know this will make me stronger.  I know how I want to and how I do not want raise my own children.  Respect, kindness and understanding will be values I teach my own and I deeply believe they will be learning the same from their caring and loving teacher.