Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Land of Sand and Camels - Morocco.. where I'm headed in March! A beautiful, exotic and mysterious country that (according to google images) looks a little something like this..

and this..

and this..

I imagine the country to look a little like a real-life version of Disney's "Aladdin" - even though I know that was Saudi Arabia.

These plans have been in the works for a few months, but I didn't want to say anything about it until things were actually booked. I'm both excited beyond belief and a little nervous to be going to Africa. I bought a guide book and have been furiously researching and page-marking everything that I want to see. I've also (already) started my packing list. I'm a list person by nature and always create numerous lists before I go away, but this trip is especially list-worthy.

Morocoo is 99% Muslim, which means that as a tourist, there are certain un-written rules one should follow out of respect. For women, this means covered shoulders and knees at all times. Clothing should not be too tight or revealing and one should carry a shawl in their bag just in case.

 Now, I'm not saying I generally dress like a floozy or anything, but I've never really been to place where I really couldn't wear certain things. Having these restrictions (which are completely okay with me) just means that I need to pack very carefully and create outfit options in advance. Luckily the average temperature in March is around 22C/70F so it won't be unbearably hot and I can manage in t-shirts and capris.

I got a really cute journal for my birthday (thank you S!) which I will be using as a travel-journal while I'm away. You can bet there will be tons of pictures and diary entries posted when I return. There will probably also be pre-trip updates as the date gets closer.

Hope you are all enjoying your sunday across the blogosphere! I have a busy day ahead of me, full of housework, homework and a phone-date with a good friend of mine later on!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Check me out over at Kelly's Blog!

I'm guest blogging over at Kelly's Avenue today! Go check it out! I'll post the cupcake recipe that I'm talking about over there in a few days.

Have a good day!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Special Delivery - Share Your Love 2011

I stumbled across this concept on Al's blog and I think it's completely fantastic!

Valentine's Day is coming up soon, and with it comes an opportunity to extend some love and kindness. The idea is to create Valentine's Day cards that will be delivered to senior citizens in New York City along with a hot meal. Etsy is working hand-in-hand with Citymeals-on-Wheels to provide eldery New Yorker's with a nutritionally balanced meal, companionship and a hand-made card on Valentine's Day.

All you have to do is create a card (or many) and send it off before February 9, 2011.


Attn: Adam Brown
55 Washington St.
Suite 512
Brooklyn, NY 11201

I'm already planning out my card idea in my head, and I'll be sure to take pictures of my card (or cards) before I send them out!

Head over to Etsy to find out more information and how you too can participate!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to School - Winter 2011 style!

For any of you that live in warm climates (or climates that currently have summer) I envy you! Today I aw bright sunshine and blue skies with not a cloud in sight. You're probably thinking, "ooh pretty, must be nice outside" ....I wish.With the windchill the exact temperature in my area is currently -17 degrees Celsius.Thanks to Online Conversion that works out to 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, pretty freaking cold. My feet were cold even in my Uggs. That should tell you something.

To go right along with the weather, I had my first "Methods of Social Science" class today. This class is supposed to teach me how to teach Social Science. The teacher seems to be pretty awesome, except for one small thing. Today (see above paragraph for temperature) he decides that we need to get to know the area around the school - so he spilt us up into 2 groups, and sent us out to explore for 20 minutes. Outside.


It was brutal.

That's been the highlight of my school week so far. The first day of a new class is pretty much the same across the board. Talk about course expectations. Do pointless self-introductions. Review syllabus. And go walking through a sub-division in sub-zero arctic temperatures. Apparantly.

On a very different (and positive!) note, Kelly over at Kelly's Avenue is looking for guest bloggers for next week! You can write about anything, and she would be very apprechiative. Go check out her blog and e-mail her if you're interested!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

[upcoming] Teachable Moments continued

I finally managed to settle my second teaching placement this morning. The problem is, I opted to do my placement in the Social Science department since that is my second teachable. I studied Humanities in University, which means I have a background in the "social" aspect of social science. Meaning, sociology, psychology and anthropology.

The problem is, it seems that within the new high school curriculum all social science teachers are automatically put into the family studies department. In other words - cooking, sewing and parenting. NONE of which I can do. The only meal I can make by myself that does not involve packaged food or a microwave is spaghetti, I cannot sew to save my life and I have zero experience dealing with children. Add in the worries of a first-year teacher and you have a very panicked Ella.

I start my placement on tuesday, and I have to be honest and admit that I'm scared. Very scared. I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of a room full of teenagers.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

List of 4's

I saw this over at Confessions of a Grad School Bride and thought this was a good choice for a random post on a random saturday night. I just spent 40 minutes clearing snow and ice off of 2 cars, so naturally I'm now freezing and exhausted.

4 Shows I Watch:

* Big Bang Theory
* Grey's Anatomy
* Criminal Minds

4 Things I'm Passionate About:

* my family
* my friends
* school

* teaching

4 Things I've Learned From the Past:

* always trust your gut instinct
* good things fall apart so better things can fall together
* what defines us is how we rise after we fall
* what doesn't kill you actually does make you stronger

4 Places I'd Like to Go:

* Morocco
* Argentina and Brazil

* Siberia via the Trans-Siberian Railway
* Scandinavia

4 Things I Did Yesterday:

* celebrated a great birthday with great friends
* got wonderful presents :)
* played pictionary man and taboo
* laughed

4 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

* spring break and possible travel plans
* getting my teaching career started
* the bestest's wedding, a year and a half from now

* traveling

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy (belated) birthday to me!

Does that sound totally self-absorbed? I apologize if it does. Yesterday was my birthday, and I generally don't like my birthday for a few different reasons. Being born at the beginning of the year means that I'm generally the oldest among my group of friends. This was especially true during the school-years, and quite honestly I hated it. Also, being born at the end of the holiday season means that by the time January 4th rolls around most people are either tired, sick, broke or a combination thereof. Me included!

This year I was not in the mood to celebrate at all. I'm still not quite okay with the age that I turned, and for now will only refer to myself as "twenty-something" - but in the end I did have a very nice day. I'm having a small get-together with some friends this coming weekend, so yesterday was just my mom and I. We went out to a mall downtown, had lunch, walked around and just had some bonding time.

One very nice perk of having a birthday - Sephora and their birthday gift! All you have to do is sign up for a "beauty insiders card" (free) and then when it's your birthday they give you Philosophy's "Vanilla Birthday Cake" shower gel for free. No purchase necessary. It was seriously cool, and it smells amazing!

On the way home last night I stopped at my local Walmart to look at board games. I'm a total nerd and love board games. Love them. I seem to accumulate a new game around my birthday every year. I've been looking for Pictionary for a while, but it seemed to be hard to find (no idea why). WELL - last night I found something even better.

It's a new version of Pictionary, with a little man and props to draw on instead. I've been playing around with it since last night, and it seems like it will be fun.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year

It's been ages since I've last blogged, and frankly I didn't know if I'd be returning at all. I've been going through some stuff and I find I've been turning to my actual journal instead of my laptop. With the start of the new year I'm trying to get back into my blogging routine.

I had a good conversation about the future with my oldest-standing friend yesterday. We went to kindergarten together, and although our lives have taken each of us in very different directions (both geographically and metaphorically) we've always remained friends and see each other about once a year. I don't know what the year ahead holds for me, but I do know that it's up to me to make it happen. I don't believe in resolutions, partly because I never keep them, but mostly because my goals are more emotional.

For example, my goal for 2011 is to be happy. Happy with myself. Happy with my surroundings. Happy with my family. Happy with my friends. Happy with life.

I hope the year ahead is all that you want it to be for each and every one of you.