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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Blueberry Crumb Cake

by Koko on June 20, 2014 · 0 comments

in Baking, Recipe, Uncategorized

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Our neighbors have three HUGE blueberry trees and every week give me bowls full of fresh blueberries. For Father’s Day on Sunday, I decided to make them a delicious dessert using their own homegrown berries and this crumb cake was made.

Crumb cake is always delicious in my opinion. I mean, don’t you eat the whole cake just so you can have the crumb part? This cake has a LOT of crumb, which is a plus! It is an easy dessert to put together for a dinner or even for breakfast.

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I always am amazed how much stuff I fit in one small carry on. I am that person on the plane who is lifting a 50-pound bag into the overhead hoping the person behind me lends a hand. What did I stuff in my suitcase , you ask? Well let me share! I always pack one or two pairs of jeans (those jeans that you wear ALL the time). For this trip I had one regular skinny pair and white. I add simple tanks and tops, a couple fancier night-out tops and a great blazer (or two). I keep it simple with shoes and purses and some long necklaces. And voila!

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Blazer: H&M (similar $25)

Shirt: J. Crew $88

Jeans: 7 for All Mankind $190

Sandals: Gap $40

Clutch: C. Wonder (similar)

Necklace: Jessica Simpson (similar)

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Button Down: J. Crew (similar)

Tank: J. Crew $18

Jeans: 7 for All Mankind $190

Sandals: Gap $40

Purse: J. Crew $148

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Top: J. Crew $78

Shorts: J. Crew $80

Shoes: Loeffler Randall $150

Clutch: C. Wonder (similar)

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Top: J. Crew $118

Jeans: 7 for All Mankind $190

Sandals: Steve Madden $60

Purse: Vintage Fendi (thank you 16-year-old self)

Phone Case: J. Crew (similar)

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Cardigan: Gap (similar $25)

Tank: J. Crew $25

Pants: J. Crew $75

Purse: J. Crew $148

Sandals:  Havaianas $26

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Blazer: J. Crew $300

Shirt: J. Crew $88

Jeans: 7 for All Mankind $190

Purse: J. Crew $148

Sandals:  Havaianas $26

Wedges: Target (similar)

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Sweater: J. Crew $85

Jeans: J. Crew $115

Sandals: Steve Madden $60

Purse: J. Crew $148

Necklace: Vintage

Voila!

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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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