The Art of the Perfect Selfie

I survived the first THREE days of school!!

So far my classes are pretty good.  I can already see the different personalities of each my classes.  For example 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th are all pretty talkative and lively.  Whereas 2nd period and 7th period are my quite groups.  Seriously it’s been like pulling teeth trying to get my 2nd period class to talk to me.  I’m gonna have to figure out what will make them open up and fast.  
But overall I’m happy with how everything has gone.  Granted it is only the first week of school, so I’m sure their true personalities good and bad will come shining through fairly soon! 🙂
I’m really excited to see how the rest of the year pans out…..only 177 days till summer! 🙂
After the first day of school on Monday my roommate Jenny and I had a celebratory dinner of tasty sushi.  And while I was waiting for her I realized that I hadn’t taken a “First day of school picture” nor had I taken a “first day of school outfit picture.”  And since I was waiting in my car, I figured that was the perfect time for a “first day of school” selfie.

So I took one and hated it.  Then I took another. And another. And another. And another. AND Another….finally I was happy with it.  Until I got it into Instagram and realized you could see every single little blemish, red spot, and my teeth looked terrible, and my face looked chunky.  (This is all what is going through my head mind you.)

How many did I take before I settled on one? A LOT!  I swear I took like 20 (ok it was less than that but felt like way more)  Here were a few that didn’t make the cut.

Thought upon seeing picture: Awkward angle, my nose looks big, what the heck am I doing with my thumb in the air?

 Thought upon seeing picture:  Why am I shrugging my shoulders?  Angle is ok but I can do better.

Thought upon seeing picture:  EW.  No just no… nose looks huge.

Thought upon seeing picture:  Meh… arms look huge, face not terrible but I can do better.

Finally I took this picture:

Thoughts upon seeing the picture:  Yep…perfect selfie material.  Now to post it.

Then the fiddling with the saturation, warmth, sharpness, contrast, and finally the filter came into play.  I didn’t like any of the color filters so this was my final product.  From the above photo to this:

Much better.  Good hair, no visible blemish or red spots and I’ve cropped it quite nicely.

It was when I hit “share” that I realized just how vain I was being.  Who cares if there is a blemish or two and a little redness.  Well turns out I DO…A LOT.  And I can’t help it.  We want the world to see the best versions of ourselves.  And while that may seem terrible and you may be thinking “be yourself”….the truth is…I just happen to know which side is the most flattering and which filter looks the best with my skin tone.  And I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Now if I were going in and completely changing my face shape and making it look absolutely nothing like me…then I would be singing a different tune.  But I see nothing wrong at all with fiddling with a picture until it makes you more confident with your looks!

So here’s to the 20 pictures we all have to take until we find the 1 we’re happy with.

And to Instagram for helping us prefect the art of the selfie! 🙂

First Day of School! First Day of School!

Well it’s Monday! The first official day of school for pretty much all the kids in Texas.  I for one am very excited!  I’ve got my first day of school outfit all picked out (which you can see via Instagram!), my classroom is ready, and so am I.  
The weekend was uneventful, which is exactly what I wanted.  I wanted to just relax and refuel for the coming week.  I’m so glad I took the time to do that, because I’m planning to throw myself into this school year.  
Now I’d like to take you on a little tour of my classroom!  I am so excited with the way it turned out.  It’s super inviting and has a real homey feel to it.  I wanted to create a space that is fun to look at, where kids feel safe and welcome, and is a place where they want to come and learn.  Plus I threw in a few things that show the kids my personality!  
So without further ado……. 
I’m big on color themes in a classroom.  And I love for everything to match.
This year I went with a cheetah print, bright turquoise and splash of pink for my room.  I think it came together VERY nicely, if I do say so myself.
This is the view as you first walk into my class.  
I’m a little leery of having tables as opposed to desks.  Because you know how kids love to chit chat, but they’ll be good for group work and stuff. It will be interesting when it comes time to take a test though.  

Wall directly to the left when kids walk in.  
This is where the kids will find important dates and birthdays (I plan to put the students birthdays on the calendar), they’ll turn in work, and the folders on the walls will be where they can find the work they missed if absent.
You can also find my Word Wall here, all the important vocabulary the kids need to know for the STAAR test will be found here. 

View of the back wall of the class.  
This is from last year, the map of the world and the posters were given to me by a fellow teacher from ERHS.
The pictures are from calendars.  There of important landmarks from around the world.  
I love this wall! 🙂

Those crates are where students will keep their ISNs or Interactive Student Notebooks.
This will be my first time using ISNs, I’m excited and nervous about using them.  They take a lot of work and you have to be very meticulous about them so your students don’t get too confused.  
I plan to have them leave them in class everyday so they don’t get lost!

My desk and 1 of 2 white boards in my room. 

Here’s the front of the room.
I have my Classroom Rules and Consequences of breaking the rules posted at the front of the room so students can always see them.  
Also where the students can see the objective, agenda, and homework for the day.

Here is my personal little space!
I had planned on doing what I did to my desk last year, which was wrap it in wrapping paper.  But my wonderful roommate suggested fabric that she would sew to make a curtain for around the desk.
So a few yards of cheetah print fabric later, some turquoise and gold ribbon and a glue gun later….WAH-LA! 
Our mascot is the Owls so I went and found that cute grey owl cookie jar at World Market and the little orange one at Ross.  Y’all owls are EVERYWHERE!  It’s taken all I’ve got to not buy every single one I see.

Here’s a look at the top of my desk itself.

I covered my file cabinet with pink wrapping paper and bought some cheetah print letters that I used in various spots around the room.
I’ve ordered some of my Instagram pictures and will putting them on the wall behind my desk to add a little more me to my little space.  I put my college grad cap back there and a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio from The Great Gatsby.  
He’s there so that if I’m having a bad day I can look at him and feel better! 🙂
Plus, last year it served as a good conversation start with my students! lol

And finally here is the view from my desk of the rest of the room. 

 Well there ya have it.

What do y’all think?  Would you want to learn in a classroom like this?  Hopefully the answer is yes!

Now I’m off to my first day of school! Here’s to a great year!

Confessional Friday!

It’s Friday! Which means students are back to school Monday and BOOM the 2014-2015 school year has begun.  It also means its time for Confessional Friday with the lovely Leslie!

I confess I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and donated to the cause.  I know some people think its bandwagon Facebook thing and is stupid.  But the fact is its fun and ALS has seen record donations since the challenge started.  

Hopefully this video works….but just in case it doesn’t here is a picture of the event.

I confess I’m very happy with the way my classroom has turned out this year.  It is super fun and functional all at the sometime.  I’ll be sharing it here on Monday!  

I confess I am loving being back in Texas.  It is finally starting to feel like I actually live here and it’s been fantastic.  

I confess I’m 100% obsessed with my best friend baby.  Seriously she is the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.  I can’t wait to have my own but for now I love having friends babies to spoil and love on and get my baby fix.  Look at that face! 

I confess my body is mega sore from the week.  I’ve been bending and extending my body in positions I haven’t been in for a while.  Clue number 598 that I need to start working out more than just my mouth.  (That sounds dirty.)  By working out my mouth I mean putting food in it constantly. lol 

I confess I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA.  It is a pain in the ass to have to build everything, but once I do I feel like a badass who can do anything.  I built 4 different pieces of furniture last weekend.  

I confess my room no longer looks like I’m on crack/heroin.  BUT I have a few things to do before I officially debut it on le blog.  But it’s looking good y’all! Real good!

Alrighty that’s all I’ve got for now.  

Have a great weekend friends! 🙂

PS. Sorry for the small font, no idea why it suddenly shrunk to Thumbalina sized font.  (10 points to you if you get that reference.)

PPS. Today is my Momma’s birthday!! SO if you’re still reading my blog Mom, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH! 

The New Kid

Well it’s Wednesday, which means I totally failed on my whole, ” I’m gonna blog on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays” statement from Friday.  But y’all I have been like the freaking Energizer Bunny since I got to Houston last Sunday.  It’s seriously been go go go go GO.

When I wasn’t at work I was driving all over the city with my new roomie looking for furniture to put in our super strangely shaped new house AND for my bedroom.  
PLUS….my computer is acting like a total weirdo and I’m NOT happy about it.  One minute the screen is zooming in and out, the next my mouse won’t let me move it where I want it to move, then the mouse freezes and starts giving me definitions of the word that its hovering over at the moment it decides to freeze.  
All of these things combined have made it pretty difficult to sit down and write.  But I’m powering through to give you a few of my thoughts on being “the new kid.”
I’ve been the “new kid” three times in my entire life.  The first was when I first moved to Florida to work for Disney.  As one of the interns we were the new “babies” of Guest Relations.  Then last year I was the one the new teachers at East River.  And now I’m once again one of the new teachers at my new school.  

For some reason I’m more aware of being the “new kid”  this year than I ever have been before.  And here are the reasons why:
1. Even though this is my second year teaching I feel like I’m starting my first year.  Mostly this is because that is the way my new fellow teachers are treating me.  I appreciate all their advice but this isn’t my first rodeo kids.  Yes I’m still learning and I may not know my way around this new school yet, but I do know my way around classroom management and that I need to start off strict and ease up as the year progresses.  
2. I constantly find myself saying “Well in Florida…..they do it like this.”  I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing it but come on people its all I know.  
3. When I’ve made suggestion I don’t think my team is really listening.  That’s not to say I don’t absolutely adore my new team members because I do. It’s just that they have been teaching together for the last 3 years so they are pretty in sync with each other.  I don’t get a lot of their inside jokes and things like that.  This will go away with time…but the feelings are still there.
4. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m overwhelmed yet.  I mean yes a tad if only because I’m at a new school….but I’m not at all overwhelmed with the whole teaching thing.  I may only have 1 year of experience but I learned a lot last year and I did a really good job.  I’m not at all worried about that part.

5. I keep getting told to take it easy and just focus on teaching this year.  Fact is I was the JV cheer coach during my first year and yeah it was a little tough because I had to be out till midnight on Thursdays and up at 5 the next morning. But I LOVED doing something other than teaching and I will be fine if I decide to coach cheer, or sponsor a club, or whatever else I may want to do to get involved.

The point is while I may be the “new kid” at my new school, I’m not a new teacher.  Even if you only have 1 year of experience, it’s still 1 year of experience.  And that means something.

This post wasn’t meant to be so poor pitiful me.  I promise, I’m beyond excited to be starting a brand new school year.  I especially can’t wait to show off my completed classroom with you.  I love how it has turned out.  But that is for another post!  

Confessional Friday: Back to School

Monday saw me back to school.  And I say school because I had to attend a full week of professional development.  And in celebration of the beginning of a new school year I’m dedicating this weeks “Confessional Friday”  with the lovely Caroline to the end of summer and the beginning of a brand me year!

So here we go!

I confess that the summer went by way too fast but I’m glad it’s over.  It’s seriously like I blinked and I was back at school. Today is the first time I’ll be seeing my classroom, which is pretty exciting!  I can’t wait to share it with y’all!  But this was a very transitional summer and I’m excited to get everything in order here in Houston.

I confess my room looks like I am a heroin/crack addict.  I have zero furniture in my room.  Everything is still in bags/boxes and I’m currently sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor with shark sheets.

I confess I’ve kinda sucked at this whole blogging thing since I got to Houston.  I’ve been at work from around 7am till 5pm everyday and then we’ve been running around trying to get the house together.  So I’ve work out a schedule that I think will work.  I’ve decided to post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

I confess teachers make the worst students.  My new district is big on professional development which is fantastic when it’s brand new information, but not so much when I’ve heard the information about 20 times already.

I confess I went to a teacher supply store did some damage.  I would done more, but I haven’t had a paycheck in two months.  thank god that changes at the end of the month.

I confess I’m excited to meet my new 8th graders and get this party started.  By party I mean all the great lessons my new team shared with me during our planning day on Tuesday.

I confess I’m pretty stinkin happy with the way this new chapter in the book called “Life” has started. Lets just hope the rest of the chapters are just as good.

(Yes I realize I’m taking a selfie and driving in this picture but I just really like it! Totally don’t do this often. Promise! 🙂 )

Hope y’all had a great week and even better weekend!

It’s furniture shopping for me this weekend! 🙂 Quick note…..I cannot WAIT to show y’all my room and the rest of the house when its all done!

True Life: I’m a Published Photographer Thanks to Cosmo

At the beginning of July my Mom and I drove from Florida to Texas.  We broke the drive up into 3 parts.  First we drove from Orlando to Destin, then Destin to Houston, and finally Houston to El Paso. 
Now obviously being the car for that long requires multiple diversions.  Because you can only look at the scenery for so long.  I have a Nook HD which is super convenient because it holds all of my books, magazines, I can get on the internet with a WiFi connection, I can watch movies, etc.  Basically its a mini-tablet.  And I love it.  
One of the best parts is the magazines.  I’m a Cosmo reader and Nook offers a fantastic option as far as a Cosmo subscription goes.  I pay $1.99 a month and the magazine automatically downloads to my Nook.  It’s pretty awesome.  
So as we were on our last part of the drive from Houston to El Paso my Nook had downloaded the August issue of the magazine.  And I thought PERFECT!  Gives me something to do as we drive through the Texas desert.
As I was flipping through the magazine I came up on the section that showcases Instagram pictures of places and ways that Cosmo readers read the magazine.  You just have to tag @Cosmopolitan and #MyCosmo in your picture and then they choose 4 pictures to appear in the next issue.  So I thought hey I’m driving across Texas AND reading the magazine via a tablet..obviously they’ll pick my picture….I’m gonna go for it! 
It took me a few shots to get the picture just right because the lighting in the car at that point SUCKED but I finally manipulated it enough (thank you Instagram) to where I was happy with it.  This was the end result.
The caption on the picture was:
Thank you @Cosmopolitan for keeping me entertained as we drive across Texas, I don’t know what I would do without you. #MyCosmo #kathleencrosscountry #8hourdrive
Picture posted, I moved on and basically forgot I had posted the picture…….until yesterday!  
I glanced at my phone and saw I had a new comment on one of my pictures….opened up Instagram and saw the comment was on my Cosmo picture.  
Sorry for yelling but I am beyond excited!  An editorial assistant with Cosmo let me know.  AND I’m going to get $50 because they’re using my picture!  It’s seriously one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me!

Thanks Cosmo for picking my picture!! 🙂  
And be sure to pick up the September issue of Cosmo and you can say you read the blog of a published photographer!! 🙂

The Week of Grown Up Activities

Last week was a whirl-wind of what I like to call “Grown Up” activities.  I may be 26 and have a legitimate job and have benefits and all that jazz but I still don’t feel really “grown up”.

(And NO I’m not talking about THOSE kind of grown up activities people!  Get your minds out of the gutter…’s Monday!)

I think the best example of what I mean by this is when I was in Lubbock a few weeks ago since my grandmother was in the hospital and the doctor came in while my parents were out running an errand.  He started talking all medically (not a word but whatever…it is now) and my eyes kinda glazed over and I had to ask him to tell me all that information again so I could pass it on to the “real grown ups.” He chuckled at that and nodded and said “Oh right”.

Anyway, point is, I don’t always feel like a real grown up.  I sometimes feel like I’m just pretending and that at any moment I’m gonna snap out of it and like be living at home or something.

So what were some of “Grown Up” actives from the week you ask?

1. Drove across the state of Texas solo.  Now I did this several times in college.  But it’s been 3 years since college, so its been awhile.  And before the summer is over I’ll have done it 4 times.  Two of which were on my own.  You’re probably thinking “drive across Texas….big deal!” But y’all, I don;t know if you know this, but Texas is HUGE! It took me 10-11 hours to drive.  It was NOT fantastic.

Take right before I started my first 11 hour trek across the great state of Texas.  No idea why I’m smiling at that prospect!

2. Signed my contract for my new school in Houston.  I finally was able to announce to all my friends and family that I got a job in Houston.  I wanted to wait till I had officially signed everything and it was officially official before I told anyone other than immediate family and friends.  I also signed up for all my benefits so come September 1st I’m fully insured once again.  If that’s not grown up I don’t know what else is!

3. Moved into my new house.  This experience seriously deserves a post all its own because it was a nightmare! A few things went wrong in terms of moving into the house but I think I’ll save that for later in the week.

This is also the reason I wasn’t able to post anything last week because we are without internet and cable until August 9th.  Luckily I’m not officially heading back till the 10th. So thankfully I’ll miss that. #firstworldproblems  But all in all I LOVE the house and am super excited to show it to y’all when we get it all fixed up.

4. Hung out with my best friend from college and her family.  Now why would this be considered a grown up activity?  Well because my best friend, Monica, is probably the most grown up person I know.  She has a kick ass job, owns her home, and has a loving husband and ADORABLE new baby girl.  Who I am totally obsessed with.  Monica is my first friend to have a baby and I love her to pieces.  Her name is Charley and she is one of the prettiest babies you will ever see.  Now I may be just the tiniest bit bias because she is my first niece by she’s just gorgeous!  I am so glad I will be there to watch her grow up!

Look at those rolls.  I just love this little girl! 

See what I mean by Grown Up activities?  Fun and stressful and wonderful.  I guess that’s what being a grown up is though.  A big mix of fun and stress all tossed together to hopefully make something thats wonderful!!  🙂

And in a totally unrelated note to this post.  Sadie, my fur-baby, has been staying at my parents house while I’ve been getting things ready in Houston.  She’s only a year and half old and loves to play.  My parents cats on the other hand are old ladies!  Especially Rosie, she’s 18!  Anyway on Saturday I watched as Sadie tried to get Rosie to play with her.  It was the cutest thing.  Poor Sadie, Rosie was totally uninterested.

I fully intended to post the video but I can’t figure out how.  I tried…and failed…womp womp.  But if you follow me on Instagram you can see it there! 🙂

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Have a great Monday! 🙂