Tuesday, January 27, 2015

One Little Word 2015 :: Embrace

Photo credit: @randomolive on Instagram

I decided to participate in Ali Edward's "One Little Word" this year. I've seen it on blogs and IG for several years now, but I think I was finally ready for it this year. 

I had a hard time narrowing it down into exactly what I wanted. If it were up to me, it would probably be all convoluted and be like your "top 5 words" or something. I'm glad it's "ONE Little Word" because I do need to FOCUS this year. 

I played with cherish, shine, content, grace... but it was EMBRACE that finally encapsulated what I wanted for 2015. 

Being the word nerd that I am, I knew I had to pick a word that had a definition that I liked and when I looked up, "embrace." It was perfect. 

To accept willingly

Those that know me in real life, know that I am very adverse to change. I don't like the unknown. Didn't like it as a kid and have grown to despise and fear it as an adult. I'm glad my faith helps me with this, but I really want to stress less this year about things that are out of control. I was things to brush off me easier and not stick to me long after the fact. I want mean words, cruel actions, and bad feelings to just roll off me easier instead of festering and find root in my heart. 

On the same token, I also want to be more content with God's blessings. Sometimes I feel guilty almost for being happy, especially when people are hurting around me, but I don't think that's why God blesses you. I think you're supposed to have open hands and whatever God gives you, you should take with a thankful heart. So, in that sense, I'm hoping to also accept willingly

Lastly, I saw something on IG that someone posted because they also chose "embrace" as their OLW. I want to work on accepting myself for who I am, weaknesses, faults, flaws, and all. This is a part of wanting to be who I am and not worry about what other people think or what I think other people think I should be. Also, I want to accept my children for who they are and not who I want them to be. 

To hold in one's arms

I am hugger. I love hugs. I think I give pretty good hugs too. ;) I like the warmth in this definition that it brings to the word. My husband and I are super affectionate and cuddly people, especially with each other and our girls. So, I'm hoping that my OLW will help me to remember to embrace my children even amongst the really stressful days. To be more present and patient with them. To spend more time holding them and enjoying the everyday moments today.

So there you have it, my One Little Word for 2015. I've been meditating on it several times already, especially after returning to work. :)

What's your One Little Word?

Check out more with the hashtags: #onelittleword #OLW.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What's in My Bookbag? :: 2

I'm back today with another post for #WhatsInMyBookbag.

I think what makes the library somewhat challenging for my little one to find books that she wants to read is that we're so used to the fact that at bookstores, the covers face out, whereas at a library, the spines face out. I appreciate that the baby/board book section features book covers that face out, but I wonder if this would help little ones find books that they like. (I realize that it would take up much more space, but a small area with featured books might be nice.)

We found some Disney books and some early-readers. Lily is actually starting to read now and these early-reader books are PERFECT for her.

(The Lego Friends one is definitely too hard for her right now, but she loves Legos and we could read it together.)

What's in your bookbag this week?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Workspace Wednesday :: 13

I finally found a working vintage typerwriter. My photographer friend had a yard sale and I'm so happy she put one aside for me. 

I am really excited to use this to journal on my Project Life cards and I just love the way it looks and sounds. 


If you would like to participate in the Workspace Wednesday posts, follow the #workspacewednesday hashtag on Instagram. 

Marcy Penner is also leading a group of crafty WW posts at #hfworkspacewednesday.

You can follow me on Instagram at @jasminemarie

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 Nerdlutions

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions because I usually set myself up for disappointment. However, I am not against goal-setting, especially since I encourage it in my students all the time. So in the spirit of a clean slate and a new beginning, I thought I'd make a few Nerdlutions. 

What's a Nerdlution? I found this on Colby Sharp's blog:

Last year a bunch of Nerdy Book Club friends started #Nerdlution. A nerdlution is basically just a resolution. I think the “nerd” in front shows our desire to become nerdy about our goal. We can be super nerdy about our books, about teaching,  about our families, etc. I think of a nerdlution as a chance to take something that is missing from your life and make it something that you kick butt at. It might be a fitness goal or it could be a writing goal. I’m sure that you have an idea of what you want to work on.

Sounds easy enough. So here goes my Nerdlutions for 2015:

Read more books

I do a ton of reading, but actually most of the reading that I do is online (blogs, articles). I haven't been reading physical books as often as I would like. I've gotten into a bad habit of doing EVERYTHING on my phone because as a nursing mom, for a while, all I could do was whatever was on my phone. I haven't be able to break that habit, but that leads to me to my 2nd Nerdlution...

Unplug from social media on regular basis

I am addicted to my phone. There, I said it. Out loud. *phew*

I have been trying to put my phone down more and engage with the real world more the past couple of days. It's been nice, especially to try to be more present with my family. I know I won't be perfect with this on a daily basis, but I think if I make a conscious effort to unplug on regular basis, it will help to break this addiction of mine. Plus, it'll force me to be more strategic with the time I spend online if it's more limited.

Grow as a writing teacher

One of my professional goals this year has been to improve in my writing instruction. Teaching writing has always been my weakest subject and this year, I decided that I was going to devote time and energy to learning more about teaching writing. My co-worker (work wifey) Jenny, and I have been reading Lucy Calkins' work and we're using the Units of Study for the first time this year. I am enjoying this process even though it means that I'm stepping out of my comfort zone. Jenny and I are hoping to attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Summer Institute at Columbia University in June. SO excited! (More on that later.)

Make it to the 100 Club at Pure Barre

I joined Pure Barre last February and I thought that I would have made it to 100 by the end of the year, but the holidays just hit me hard and I haven't been able to get back in a routine. I just finished my 80th class, so hopefully I will meet this goal by February. Plus, anyone else need to work off all the extra calories they've eaten this past month? I think I'll be okay if I don't eat another holiday cookie for a long, long time (and I love me some cookies). 

Blog. Just blog.

I've been blogging for about 15+ years now. I started journaling online back in freshman year of college and I've gone through phases with various blogs. I am such an "all-or-nothing" person, but let's see if I can try to get into a rhythm and routine with blogging. Also, a side-nerdlution to this one is to not beat myself up over not blogging too. 

Follow along as we track our progress with the hashtag #Nerdlution15.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What's in My Bookbag? :: 1

I've seen several posts on Instagram and Twitter where people post "What's in my bag?" Apparently, people post videos on YouTube as well. 

So, let's start a BOOKISH version with:

My family and I have been visiting the local library about 1.5 times a month. The first time I told Lily she could take a book home to borrow it, her eyes lit up and she just looked so happy! We visit the bookstore often, but we don't always buy books (because, you know, we need food and clothes and other essentials). The first book she borrowed from the library was this superhero book. My girl LOVES princesses, but she also likes superheroes too. 

On this trip, I was also stoked to find these Andrea Chang books in the new area of the Children's Section.

What's in your bookbag this week? 

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Reading Resolutions

I didn't start 2014 with a reading plan. I just kind of fell back into reading again after coming out of the fog of having a second child and readjusting into being a family of four. I found myself craving it after being out of it for most of 2013. 

This year, I have decided to take a different approach and make some reading resolutions. 

Last year, I set my Goodreads Challenge at 25 books and ended up reading 44+. This year, I plan on setting my Goodreads Challenge back to 50 books like in 2012 and 2011.

I also saw another reading challenge floating around the blogosphere that caught my eye. POPSUGAR has their own reading challenge (that also just happens to be a 50 book challenge too). 

Looks friendly enough and maybe, just like how I challenge my students to try out different genres and topics in their own reading, I should try it too. 

What are your reading resolutions this year? 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Book Survey 2014

2014 End Of Year Book Survey
I was looking for a way to wrap up my bookish year and found this here! Yay!
Number Of Books You Read: I read 44+ books this year. (I added a "+" because I know I didn't record every picture book I read this year. I'll try harder, next year.)

Number of Re-Reads: 0 re-reads this year (which is really unusual for me, but with limited time to read, I wanted to read new things!)

Genre You Read The Most From: Picture books, actually!
1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
Overall: My favorite would have to be Quiet: The Power of Introverts in the World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It was absolutely life-changing and empowering.
YA: The Fault in Our Stars. I finally read it to find out what all the fuss was all about and it was so worth it.

Graphic Novel: In Real Life was something I picked up randomly and I loved it!
Picture book: Flora and the Penguin. It was so interactive, yet simple and fun to read.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
A Wrinkle in Time (graphic novel).  I just couldn't get into it, even in picture form.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
I knew that I would like Quiet and The Fault in Our Stars, but I didn't know how much I'd LOVE them. They definitely surprised me in a good way.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?
Quiet. It changed this introvert's life and I had to shout about it from the rooftops, especially to my fellow introvert friends.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
I didn't really read any series other than The Year of _____ books by Andrea Chang. I read two 2nd books in a series though.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?
I know everyone else has loved him for a long time, but I'd go with John Green.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
In Real Life. I really got into read graphic novels this year and loved this one.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Fault in Our Stars

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
No plans to re-read any of my 2014 books.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
The Meaning of Maggie

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Hazel Grace in The Fault in Our Stars.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
The Fault in Our Stars

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read?
Quiet and The Fault in Our Stars (Notice a theme, here?)

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

Shortest: Numerous picture books. Not sure which one was exactly the shortest.

Longest: I didn't read any really long ones this year, but I think it would be When I Fall in Love.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Flora and the Penguin. I saw it all over the blogosphere and couldn't get the hype, but loved it when I finally read it. So simple, yet so fun and interactive. Sweet story too!

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)
Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Maggie's relationship with her dad in The Meaning of Maggie.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (whom I adore!)

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
The Meaning of Maggie and I'm glad I did!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Tanner Burkhardt from Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Quest was beautiful!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Year of the Fortune Cookie

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
The Fault in Our Stars

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
In Real Life

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
Beloved (because I had such a hard time understanding it)

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?
I need to finish I Am Malala for my book club. I keep putting it off to read other things, but I'm hoping to finish it this week.

2. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?
I just hope to blog more. No pressure, just blog. :)

Happy New Year! Wishing you a blessed 2015!

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