Me

Past Ten Days

by Koko on July 10, 2014 · 1 comment

in Me, Travel, Uncategorized

WOW I can’t believe it has been over a week since I last blogged, whoops!

Here’s the last two weeks in a nutshell: Q returned home from training in Arizona (finally have him back for a good chunk of time); we watched fireworks together and celebrated the Fourth early on post; we painted three huge rooms in our house; then traveled to California for a wedding of our two great friends; came home; Q started a new position at work; and this weekend we are having a BBQ to celebrate his birthday; PHEW. And here are pictures to prove it all:

 Fireworks at Fort Benning

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Reunited at last

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Proof that painting changes a room.
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A vacation in paradise.

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 And back home to this guy.

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Tomorrow I am tackling all things tomatoes up on the blog including some recipe ideas and how our garden keeps producing. Glad to be back!

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This & That

by Koko on June 24, 2014 · 2 comments

in Fashion, Garden, Me, Uncategorized

1. Yesterday, I finally received my California teaching credential! This is a huge step in the right direction because now I can actually get hired (on post and in California). I am still working on getting my Georgia credential, which is a whole different process, but at least I am half way there. It’s been so nerve wrecking these past few weeks waiting to get this paperwork done. I need it in order to finish up applications for jobs I have been looking into. Feeling extremely relieved and happy!

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2. Our tomatoes are out of control this year. We planted early and in our favorite grow boxes and I have pounds of tomatoes each week. Caprese anyone?

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3. Speaking of garden, remember how I planted a ton of random seeds last month? Well now I have snap peas, and lots of them! I break them off and eat them each night and think “wait, I can’t believe I grew this!”

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4. I don’t think I shared with you yet that this summer I am teaching swimming lessons at the local pool. You guys know how much I love to swim, so when I saw the advertisement for summer swim instructors, I was sold. I am the oldest teacher by about 10 years (most of the kids are about to go into college), but I happily accept my “old” status and have a great time. It’s been a lot of fun teaching kids how to swim, although my hair and skin don’t love the 4 hours of chlorine a day.

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5. This beer&food calendar that I put up on my instagram is making my kitchen a happy place… and giving me tons of new ideas for pairings.

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6. We also recently got this fun print on Etsy. I got a frame from Michael’s during one of those buy one, get one free plus $10 sales and then ordered a mat from Amazon. Sometimes the simplest artwork just needs the right frame to make it look fancy. Still looking for a good home to hang this guy on.

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7. Arugula might be my new favorite thing. I put it on literally everything: summer salad, eggs, mushroom toast, rice and veggie bowl. Yup.

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8. We had a Ranger wife event at a local rock climbing place and damn, that is a lot harder than it looks! We all did three or four climbs and were done! Such a fun event!

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9. These shoes. $20. You are welcome.

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10. This guy, my love, has been fabulous at keeping me company this past month while Q has been away.

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Happy Tuesday y’all. My mom arrives today to help keep me company my last week before Q finally arrives home for good.

 

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18 months. 5 semesters. Hundreds of hours of classes. 20 weeks in student teaching. And I am finally finished with my Masters.

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It all started when I moved to Alaska to be with Q. Before moving, I had two personal assistant jobs and a publicity job. My life was all Hollywood and entertainment. I knew that moving would bring about many life changes including a new career path. I had always loved being in school and playing teacher when I was younger. I remember lining my dolls up in a row and assigning homework and grading fake papers. As I made the transition to life in Alaska, I thought I would substitute teach to see if my love of teaching was still in me and if I wanted to pursue it as a new career. And substituting did just that. I loved being in the classroom and being around kids again.

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So the next step was figuring out how to get certified. It turned out that getting my certification was almost as much work as getting my  Masters would be- it only required a few more classes. So I started looking into programs. Q and I both went to USC (University of Southern California) for undergrad and I had an amazing experience. Luckily for me, they had an online/ long distance learning program where I would go to class on the computer at set times each week. With our future moves and unsure PCS (Army move), this was the best option for me since it allowed me to do it from anywhere!  So that is what I decided to go with.

What it looks like in my online classes:

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And now, I am here: a USC graduate yet again. I’m currently waiting for my final grades in order to complete my Georgia credential to then apply for jobs in the fall. It’s scary, the not-knowing part of it and having to apply for jobs again. It’s also SO exciting to think that I could have my very own classroom this fall.

And I can’t believe I did it with all that was going on in our lives: planning a wedding, a move across country, moving into two new houses, being without Q. But I did!

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Online learning has its pros and cons.

Pros: I got to meet students from all over the world and we got to discuss learning and students from everywhere you can imagine. Amazing professors. Small class sizes (15 max), which forced us to raise our hands and be involved (not a problem for me!). I got to be a part of the USC family again. I could attend class anywhere (including pit stops on our cross country road trip and anytime I visited home). Interesting and varied classes.

Cons: It’s still a fairly new program (5 years) and they haven’t quite figured out how to manage us (i.e. I had 6 different advisors throughout my 16 months). Unlike some online learning programs, you had to attend class at a certain time each week and were penalized if you missed it. Distance learning is hard – you have to balance your life and your classwork on your own. Your advisors and all of your professors are thousands of miles away and sometimes hard to get a hold of. Applying for a credential in a state other than California takes some serious work and help from your advisors.

And obviously, please reach out if you have more questions about my program or going to school online- I’m happy to help!

 

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60 Hours in LA

by Koko on May 16, 2014 · 2 comments

in Family, Home, Me

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I am 24 hours in to the quickest trip ever in LA for my graduation from my Masters program. I can hardly believe it is HERE, this big day that I have been working for the past 18 months. 

On the plane over, I made a list of all that I wanted to accomplish during this quick trip and instead of just keeping it in my notes, I thought it would be fun to share with you.

-Dinner at Gjelina (the BEST food in LA)

-Take a class at my beloved Sweat Garage (favorite workout)

-Walk Runyon Canyon with the dogs

-Get a Chinese Chicken Salad at Joan’s on Third (always my first stop after the airport)

-New addition: Figure out how to get my 2 sizes too small cap to fit my head for graduation

-Graduate (WHAT!?!?)

-Stop in at J. Crew, just to browse (and maybe buy myself something special)…

-Go for a swim in the pool in the 100 degree weather

-Eat as many avocados as possible, and pack some fresh ones to take home

-Spend as much humanly time as possible with my girlfriends, since I don’t see them nearly enough

-Drink good coffee (miss that)

-Buy a green juice (miss that too)

-Relax, try and sleep in, enjoy the peace and quiet that is my parents’ home

-Miss Carl, and get excited because he is in for a BIG surprise on Sunday when I pick him up…

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