Snowboarding 101 at Devil’s Head Resort (Wisconsin)

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Hello friend,

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted. I’m happy to be in the new year and be given the opportunity to start a new hobby! My husband has always had a knack for very random things (like billiards, tennis, and guitar), and snowboarding happens to be one of them. He has had his own board and gear for a while, so we decided to make the investment for me because apparently, it pays for itself within ten or so snowboarding trips… and I plan on going a lot!

We first visited Dick’s for some snowpants, and in the end, bought a snowboard. I really liked having my own stuff from the onset, a sort of emotional attachment, the idea that I’m growing with Delilah, my snowboard. I’m looking forward to many more trips with Witness and Delilah. Perhaps we’ll even get to visit a real mountain one day… one day!

For equipment, here’s what we bought:
Burton Genie Board – $170 at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Geneva, IL
Burton Citizen Bindings – $90 at Dick’s
Burton Mint Snowboots – $150 at Dick’s
Columbia Women’s Snowpants – $70 at Dick’s
Dakine Women’s Camino Mitts – $21 at 20% at Wildside in Wisconsin ( THEY HAVE AMAZING SERVICE!)
Missing Channel Inserts – $30 installation at Wildside

The missing channel inserts were due to Dick’s Sporting Goods not having the inserts attached to the new board. It’s usually in a 3-inch by 2-inch plastic bag attached with a sticky adhesive to the back of the board. Apparently, this is a common occurrence amongst Dick’s Sporting Goods and their boards, so make sure you ask the store manager about it or order through Burton (for free) in advance. We paid $30 for the inserts and installation because we were going snowboarding the following day.

In total, we spent around $531 on my snowboarding gear that’ll be used for years to come. It wasn’t a bad deal!

The Resort
We went to Devil’s Head Resort in Merrimac, WI. It was about a three hour drive from the Northwestern suburbs of Illinois. The lift ticket was about $50 for 8 hours, $108 for the both of us… I kind of wished we hadn’t spent the $54 for me, since I spent half the day on the bunny hill. There was also a sale going on Liftopia for 2 days at Devil’s Head for $60. We only went on Saturday though.

Witness was my teacher for the day, and he was an amazingly patient one as I slowly realized that learning something new is difficult, frustrating, and incredibly painful. I think my greatest injuries were from getting up from my knees and falling (very hard) on my bum. Two days later, I’m still sore from four hours of snowboarding. I spent two hours on the bunny hill which consisted of two moving walkways and 2 semi-steep hills. Many children and novice snowboarders/skiers stayed in this area. We even saw a little child with a pacifier and her mother. Devil’s Head staff were also giving some lessons for $30/1.5hr. I liked this area because I could easily see the end of the hill, and it felt like something I would be able to complete on my own.

Through all the falling, I learned that I’m better on my toes than on my heels, so somehow I learned the opposite way than what most begin with. Overall, it was a frustrating, rewarding, and exciting experience. I’m looking forward to our next trip sometime in February to learn the other half of snowboarding, haha. Two more purchases we’ll make are some butt padding and knee pads. I look forward to the day I’ll be able to go down a black diamond on my own!

I hope this was an entertaining and informative read for you. Share with me your first snowboarding or skiing experiences! Let’s learn together 🙂




10 Things to Do Before and After Your Wedding (Part 2)


Proposal Photo by

Hello there,

Thanks for joining me on Part 2 of “10 Things to Do Before and After Your Wedding.” Here are the other ten!

  1. Book your vendors and volunteers (Months 1-5)
    • Officiant: Often times, if you’re getting married at a church, there will be an official officiant for that particular church. It’s best to get married at your local church that you’re a member of so that you get pre-marital from people who know and love you.
    • Photography: Call and ask several photographers for quotes. If you’re a local to Chicago, I highly recommend Christina Cee Lee. She’s a grad from SAIC and has an amazing eye for detail, scenery, and angles. Love her!
    • Videography: Call and ask around for videos. Two vendors that I’d suggest are Henry Wu and Gravity Weddings. They have a way of making that day memorable and unforgettable.
    • Photobooth: I used Henry Wu for this one as well. My guests LOVED his booth! It was really neat and cute. Open air, and simple to use!
    • Hair/Makeup/Nails: I didn’t have that great of a hair and makeup experience, but if you’re local, check out Bliss Nail Spa in Elmhurst, IL. Maybe you’ll see me too 🙂
    • Musicians: We had some family members and local musicians do our ceremony. They did a great job! Shout out to John and AeRim!
    • DJ/Band: We hired Remix Entertainment, and they were pretty epic party starters. You want to make sure your emcees are going to create party-conducive vibes for the rest of the night!
    • Transportation: Look on Groupon for possible discounts on party buses or rentals for transport to and fro. We used M&M Limo, and they were amazing!
    • Hotel Rooms: Book a row of rooms for guests traveling from abroad, and make sure they’re comfortable while they’re here.
  2. Buy Your Wedding Bands
    • Check online, at the mall, and smaller boutiques. There are usually sales all around at different sites. We bought my engagement ring at Ritani. We also got our wedding bands off of Tiffany’s and Amazon.
    • Decide which metals look best for your skin tone and lifestyle. If you tend to work a lot with your hands (like a doctor), you may even consider getting a “wedding necklace.”
    • Bands are circular to represent the eternal love between the two, so do what’s right for you!
  3. Create a schedule and outline for the wedding day (Months 5-6)
    • There are several templates online for you to check on Google. Let me know if you’re having some questions about the day.
    • Create a contact list for all the people in the wedding and the vendors as well. This is a helpful list to grab when you need information about your contact for vendors.
    • Make sure you add song cues and when everyone walks in and out. The more details, the better!
  4. Plan the Honeymoon (Months 5-7)
    • This is another adventure in it of itself. You’ll want to check and compare different sites from Expedia to Southwest to United Airlines and hotel sites. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book things separately than a package deal.
    • We ended up booking our flights on Southwest and booking the hotel reservations through a family connection. All in all, our 6-day, all-inclusive stay and flight ended up being less than $2,500 to Cancun.
    • Also, don’t forget to pack!
  5. Send out the Invitations (Month 6)
    • At this point, your guest list should be finalized. You should also invite in rounds. List A will have to RSVP three months before the wedding. List B will have to RSVP at least two months before the wedding, and so on.
    • Decide if you’re allowing everyone a plus one. Perhaps you won’t want to celebrate with your old friend’s three-week boyfriend. It’s your wedding, you decide who comes.
    • Make sure to include your names, the date, time, ceremony address, venue address, RSVP card with food choices (unless it’s a buffet), and a date where they need to send the RSVP back. Whew, that’s a mouthful!
  6. Create a Seating Chart (Months 7)
    • Ask the event coordinator of the venue for the floor plan for the room, or create your own if it’s a DIY wedding.
    • You’ll start to create this list of guests as you get a good round of RSVPs. Make sure you’re not seating enemies with exes unless discord is your goal. Let’s make sure we have a happy wedding!
    • During the process of seating, it may also be useful to write how many of each entree the guests have ordered. This was helpful for our venue and catering at Harry Caray’s when they asked for the guest list. Here are some tips for planning the guest list.
  7. Make and Print Your Programs (Month 8)
    • There are great outlines on Etsy where you can print them out yourself. The cost of our 300 programs was around $50, for paper and the template!
  8. Follow up on all your vendors (Wedding Week)
    • Make sure you tell your wedding coordinator to follow up on all those vendors. Sometimes they get mixed up with times and dates and locations. Double check to ensure there won’t be any mishaps on your big day!
  9. Leave reviews for your vendors (Week After Wedding)
    • This one is pretty self explanatory. Let the future brides and grooms know how you thought they did. Help a sister out; write a review!
    • Be detailed if possible. If you have positive things to say, state them. Talk about the service, cleanliness, and speed. If they are negative reviews, be detailed. Tell them what they did wrong and how they can improve to better serve their future clients.
  10. Thank You Notes (During Month After Wedding)
    • This is where your signed guestbook is going to come in handy. Make sure you have the gift attendants to remind your guests to write with legibility. Have your attendants label who gave what according to numbers, linking gifts to names so you can write them proper thank yous.
    • Make sure you thank your volunteers and make sure you’re up to date on all payments for your vendors. Feel free to give tip if they were extra helpful.
    • Buy a stamp from Groupon or Etsy so that you don’t have to write your address out all your cards.
    • Hire a calligrapher to write them for you.
    • I finished all my notes within a month! I was so happy after I got them done.

Thanks for joining me onpagetwo! Let me know what you thought about the steps and how I can expand on any of the given points!

With Love,


10 Things to Do Before and After Your Wedding (Part 1)


E-Session photo by

Hello there,

I recently received my gorgeous wedding photos from one of my favorite photographers, and it’s resulted in me thinking about the wedding. We got married about three months ago, so I figured I’d reflect about the process that took up my emotional, mental, and physical life for the 9 months after he magically proposed.

To tell you a little bit about my wedding… We got engaged on December 13th, 2014 and married on September 19th, 2015. We decided to plan it ourselves, and boy, was it a fun (and bumpy) ride!  We also received a good amount of help from our parents. My fiance at the time had already purchased a home on his own (he’s AMAZING!), so all we really worried about was getting married and furnishing the home.

Here are some things my husband and I learned along the way in planning our own wedding. I’ve complied this information from our own experience, that which I’ve heard from others, and a plethora of internet sites/blogs/articles:

  1. Small or Large Wedding? (Month 1)
    • If your parents are helping fund the wedding, chances are they may want to invite their friends and families too. Ask them for their opinion, and give them boundaries so that you two don’t get overwhelmed!
    • Choose one: Have you always imagined yourself surrounded by friends, family members, the extended family of family, the roommate’s brother’s dog walker’s cousin, and the rest of the town? Or do you want a smaller, intimate 50-100 of your closest friends and family type of wedding?
    • Choosing a number of people will help you decide what venue, what sort of decorations, and how much DIY you’ll be doing.
    • This will also allow you to choose a destination wedding or narrow down the people you actually want celebrating with you. Ladies and gentleman, it’s okay to say no and truly invite those you want walking with you for the rest of your lives.
  2. Do you want a Bridal Party? Tell them! (Months 1-2)
    • The Symmetric girl/guy: For those who are obsessed with clean lines and everything being even, consider choosing an even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen (each) so that you two will be in the middle with an even amount of people surrounding you. This is mainly done so that the pictures come out with even symmetry. I had 4 bridesmaids, and the groom had 4 groomsmen. It worked out pretty well for us!
    • The Boisterous friend: If you are miss or mister popular and have a whole crew, then just invite the whole bunch. I’ve seen plenty of weddings with more bridesmaids than groomsmen and vice versa. It’s your first (and hopefully only) wedding! Make sure you have the people who mean the most to you standing right beside you at the altar! The more the merrier!
  3. Budget, budget, budget. Did I mention budget? (Month 1)
    • Choose a budget.  Here’s a website that’ll help you calculate your budget: Just plug your zip code in, and it’ll give you an rough estimate of what you’ll set aside for the wedding.
    • Stick to your budget. As easy and simple as it sounds,  it’s not. Remember, if you don’t want to start your married life in debt, learn to make compromises early. This is a great learning experience with your future spouse! Choose what is absolutely necessary and take out the frivolous items. Focus on the details that are going to allow you to marry your best friend!
  4. Choose a Date (Month 1)
    • Are you feeling spring, summer, fall, or winter? Often times, choosing a certain season will allow for discounted vendor prices. For example, the months of October to February often have discounts (in Chicago) as the cold weather may bring about less appealing circumstances.
    • Choose the time of day: Lunch or brunch wedding receptions can often be cheaper than the night and dinner reception with dancing. Consider these things in choosing the budget, and more importantly, focusing on marrying your significant other.
    • Friday and Sunday weddings can also be less expensive than Saturday weddings. Ask the venue if they have discounted prices based on date and time.
    • Holiday weekends are great for extended parties and celebrations but also tend to be very busy for the wedding industry.  If you’re choosing a holiday like Labor Day or the 4th of July, be timely about calling and visiting venues to book your date!
  5. Book the Venue, Sooner than Later (Month 1-3)
    • The venue can typically be about 40-60% of your budget. It usually includes the room for the celebration and catering (plus tip), where you can choose from a list of suggested vendors.
    • Based on your location and #6 (the next point), book a venue. Bigger hotels often have ball rooms where they can fit anywhere from 150- 1,500! Check out hotels, restaurants, museums, banquet halls, and backyards to find the look and size you need for your guests and budget. Call them and ask for their wedding/event coordinator and ask away!
    • Room size: Look for venues based on how many they can fit comfortably into the room. Don’t choose a huge ballroom that fits 1,000, and don’t don’t do the other extreme and force 300 people in a room for 100. Be reasonable in your choice, and make room for 10-20 extra wedding crashers.
    • Visit the location. My fiance at the time had to search and visit 3-5 venues per weekend since I was working on weekends. He knew my goals for the venue, and he did a wonderful job finding the absolute perfect venue for us – Harry Caray’s!
  6. Choose a theme (Months 1-3)
    • Color: It’s usually easier to choose a theme after you’ve chosen the season. And based on the weather, pick 2-4 colors that you want as the theme of your wedding. Summer weddings might be bright and colorful whereas for a winter themed wedding, one might go for browns, reds, and metallic colors.
    • Whimsical? Romantic? Classic? Simple? Rustic? Glamorous?: Choose three words that you dream your wedding to be, and make decorative decisions based on those three words. Mine were clean, romantic, and simple, so I made sure the decorative choices followed those words. Check out the photos from my wonderful photographer at
  7. Create a Wedding Website 
    • The Knot has great templates for making a wedding website. You may want to check them out for a simple design to your story and info.
    • AVOID the RSVP option on the Knot. (Until they update the kinks). We tried using it for our wedding in 2015, and the app would sporadically delete our RSVPed guests. It was quite uncomfortable, but fortunately, our Excel guestbook-keeping system was more thorough.
  8. Send out Save the Dates! (Months 1-3)
    • Write out the guest list. Ask your groom and families to write out their own as well (if you want them to come, that is).
    • Now that you’ve settled how many and who, send out the save the dates! Witness and I used Paperless post, but feel free to go a more traditional route by sending out snail mail! Some hire calligraphers or print out E-Session (engagement session) photos, and send them as a preview for what’s the come. Here are some adorable ideas on Pinterest.
    • Also, check out Paperless Post as they have the awesome option of seeing if people read the card and a mini RSVP of what’s to come.
  9. Do you have a Pinterest account? (Months 1-3)
    • If not, please DO SIGN UP! Some of your makeup and hair vendors will end up asking you for photos of what you want. You’ll need to have thought about it beforehand, and Pinterest is a great way to get all your ideas onto one forum!
    • Once you sign up and get one, start pinning about your dream wedding! There are so many creatives and romantics on Pinterest, that you’ll be able to organize and plan for all facets of the wedding in a one stop, colorful, and easy-access avenue.
      • Pin about these topics:
        • Dress: From A-line, to mermaids, and tulle fabric, there are so many beautiful and budget-friendly brands/designers out there! Pin as many different styles and colors, and if you’re indecisive like me, you’ll begin to a notice a pattern of what you actually want for yourself.
        • Bridesmaids: Dresses, shoes, colors, gifts, accessories, nails, and hair styles (if you’re choosing for them)
        • Your Makeup, Hair, and Nails: Different styles for what you’re expecting for on the wedding day. Make sure you take the weather/temperature into consideration. If it’s hot outside, you may not want your hair down.
        • Accessories and Shoes: Decide on if you want something more glamorous or simple. If you normally don’t wear fully studded tiaras and diamonds galore, you may not feel comfortable doing that on your wedding day.
        • Photos: Save examples for certain poses and what photos of people you need the photographer to take to help you capture that day.
        • Food and Cake: Choose examples of what you’re wanting to eat. Make sure to ask the caterer about gluten-free and vegetarian options for the specified-diet.
        • Invitations and Programs: Choose examples of different stationery. Check out Pinterest, Etsy, The Knot, and Paperless Post for ideas!
  10. Buy the dress, suit, and/or tux! (Months 2-4)
    • Based on your theme and pins, you can decide what sort of dress and suit your man will be wearing!
    • Make sure to take a trusted friend/family member when shopping for these expensive items. You’ll need other opinions, aside from the salesman’s.
    • Make sure your bridesmaids/groomsmen get theirs as well.
    • All of you will need to get your fittings done a least a month before the wedding, and then again a two weeks before the wedding.

Thanks for joining me onpagetwo! Let me know what you thought about the steps and how I can expand on any of the given points!

With Love,


“Singing Christmas: What Child Is This?” at Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin Campus)

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Yesterday, Witness and I attended the 11 am service at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC). It was the first of the HBC Advent services. The worship team added about seven drummer boys from Harvest Christian Academy (the church’s school), so the steady beat of the drums made me excited to usher in the spirit of Christ’s birth. I was happy to see generations of faith playing on stage together. It was relevant and cool, not just the separate children’s choir or orchestra that performs at every special church occasion.  I was so inspired by the worship. From traveling and visiting many different churches, it was such a blessing to see old songs become fresh and new. Meredith Andrews sang “Not For a Moment” with lyrics focused on Christmas. Instead of the normal lyrics of repentance and human emotions, we were suddenly transported to the backdrop of Middle Eastern shepherds, flocks, and angels singing over the birth of Christ. Whoever changed the lyrics did an absolutely brilliant job. It was effortless and truly amazing! I didn’t realize that such a simple change could make such a huge and refreshing impact. Loved it.

This particular service was the intro to the “Singing Christmas” series. James Macdonald hit it spot on with his first sermon. He first warned us to caution, stating that he’d be preaching off of Christmas carols… and before the naysayers could moan about the “Biblelessness” of certain churches, he assured us that the songs he’d be focusing on would be biblical and truth. As I’ve stated before in my Step 1 post, I like that Macdonald lectures as if he’s a classroom teacher, probably because that’s how I teach too. He’ll use relevant topics, like Christmas carols, Elf on the Shelf, video testimonies, and even his own grandson to illustrate the majesty of Christ coming to earth. He concluded with the conclusion of all conclusions, the worship and adoration of our Gracious and Majestic King. It was a Christmas message within the relevance of the 21st century, and one that I won’t easily forget. “What Child Is This?” by William Chatterton Dix will continually be a Gospel reminder for Christian families and holiday shoppers to come.

When the service ended, Witness and I checked out the Harvest Christian Academy (HCA) corner where we were able to meet Marc Abbatacola, the executive director of HCA. He was so very kind, friendly, and down to earth. I’m hoping to get connected to the right people so that I can join the sub list.

That was our fourth Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel… and I think it’s beginning to grow on me. Once we join small groups come January, I think we’ll be able to tell whether or not we’re going to fully commit to growing with this awesome church. Thanks for joining us onpagetwo! Let us know what you thought of the post!

With Love,



Tommy Emmanuel Classics + Christmas Tour at Chicago’s Park West

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On Friday night, Witness and I attended the Tommy Emmanuel Classics + Christmas Tour at Chicago’s Park West. It was a lovely night away from the hustle and bustle of normal life. Park West felt homey for the crowd of about 700. Tommy and the Spirit of Christmas sold out the space, as some people stood and decked the w(h)alls. I’m glad we got there at least thirty minutes before the show. We probably should’ve gotten there earlier, as parking in the city was quite a bother.

The makeup of the audience was mostly aged forty plus, but there were a few youngsters here and there in the crowd. Witness had overheard two seventy-year-old men banter in the bathroom. They were both delighted by Tommy’s magnificent runs played by his extraordinarily dexterous fingers.  We ran into a small niche of college friends who are also avid beautiful music listeners. Overall, it was a comfortable space stocked with five bars. I was happy with my large yet overpriced coke.

Tommy Emmanuel is mesmerizing. And get this, he just turned sixty this year! Every time he plays, an angel gets his wings… but seriously, it’s pure and genuine music to one’s ears. He’s incredibly passionate, and he plays with his guitar as well as his whole body. Tommy Emmanuel’s rhythms are seamless and awe-inspiring to the ordinary twenty-five year old. He’s a truly amazing artist. We look forward to seeing him again next year and hopefully bringing some more Tommy fans to watch this legend in his never-ending prime.

Thanks for joining me onpagetwo! Let me know what you thought of this post!

With Love,



6 Steps to Being a Successful Paraeducator

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Hello there,

For the past few days, I subbed as a paraeducator… I didn’t actually know I’d be serving in that capacity until I got to school the first day… but I’m always down for new experiences. I went to the same school for three straight days, so it was beneficial getting to know the people in the building. I got a job at the same school for next week! It pays to be present.

Here are three tips for future paraeducators:

  1. Know Your Role
    • According to Google,

      “A Paraeducator is defined as a school employee who works under the supervision of teachers or other professional practitioners. Their jobs are instructional in nature and they provide other direct services to children and youth and their families.”

    • A certificate or license can be obtained for this position, but it is not often required.
    • Know that you are support to the classroom teacher’s main objectives. You are an extension of the classroom teacher or administrator’s hands and feet.
  2. Introduce Yourself
    • Introduce yourself to the secretary, classroom teachers, and principal. Use a firm but friendly handshake. Let them know you aren’t a stranger in their classroom. If you do a good job and like the school/staff, leave a calling card in case they may need future subs.
  3. Be Willing, Present, and Ask Questions
    • From taking the job, to escorting a student to the office, be willing and available.
    • Ask the secretary and the classroom teacher about the particular students that you should be focusing on. There are usually 3-5 students that may have IEPs (Individualized Education Program) or need some more attention in addition to the main classroom teacher’s instructions. The school won’t expect you to know everything, but do your best. It’s always nice having an extra adult in the room to maintain an environment conducive to learning.
  4. Walk Around the Classroom
    • Even if he/she isn’t “your” student to focus on, do your best to help them if they seem lost. Thirty kids to one teacher can be tough ratio at times.
    • There were a couple instances when more than just “my” students needed help. In those cases, I just walked around the whole room and picked out those key students (students who have a tendency to cause distractions). I then focused on getting them to work. If the alpha male of the pack is working, the other students may also follow in turn.
  5. Be Patient and Compassionate
    • There are students who may be autistic or have issues focusing. If that’s the case, be patient and walk them through the steps. Think back to times when adult figures helped you through your problems, and pay it forward to the next generation.
    • If you don’t find yourself to be a patient or compassionate person, then I highly recommend that you reconsider your career choice. You may not belong in education, and that’s okay. There’s a place for all of us, just take some time to find yours.
  6. Follow Up With the Secretary
    • The secretary is usually the gatekeeper to the ins and outs of the school. Let him/her know how the day went and if you enjoyed it, that you’d like to return again. They may even give you another job, so make sure you make friends in high places!

Thanks again for reading and joining me onpagetwo! Let me know what you think of the list and what you’d like to add!

With Love,




Step 1 at Harvest Bible Chapel (Elgin Campus)

Hello there,

Yesterday, Witness and I attended the 9:00 am service at Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin. Well, we were technically late, so it was more like the 9:20 service (since Cashew was taking his sweet, sweet time). The sermon was a little hard to follow, probably because we hadn’t been attending for the whole series.

It was the last of Macdonald’s series and a decent one too. He focused on forgiveness, and how God’s sacrifice through His Son Jesus covers our past, present, and future sin. It was nice how Macdonald showed his humanity in sharing about how he too sins and allows his past regrets to fester at times. But ultimately, since the Father has already let it go, we also should repent again, and let it go too. We’ve been forgiven and will continue to be forgiven; it’s been resolved. God’s got it. How great that we’re covered by the blood of the Lamb!

I feel that James Macdonald’s style is kind of like a lecture. He doesn’t really tell stories like John Piper or create contextual pictures like John MacArthur for the congregation. His style is more like, here’s truth, then some more truth, and if you’re feeling it, here it is again. It’s good for those who are stubborn and hard-hearted like myself.

After the service, we went to STEP 1, which is the introduction to becoming a Harvest Bible Chapel member. It was hosted in a small room on the left side of the sanctuary filled with curious newcomers and men with green lanyards on. We grabbed some coffee, filled out a card, and received more information about Harvest Bible Chapel. Overall, a pretty smooth process. Initially, I had thought that we’d be able to meet the pastors, but I think we might’ve gone a little later than expected. We’re thinking of joining small groups soon. I’ll post on that once we get started.

As always, thanks for reading, and thank you for joining us onpagetwo!

With Love,




Introducing… CASHEW the Morkie!

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Cashew, resting his little head on my cold toes, all tuckered out.

Witness and I got Cashew on November 27th. He was our sole Black Friday purchase. This furry ball of sunshine and kisses has been quite a lovely and boisterous addition to the family. Cashew was born August 7th, 2015. He is a 4-month-old Morkie, which is a crossbreed between a Maltese and a Yorkshire Terrier. His hair is tan and white, and he’s hypoallergenic, which means no shedding (Hallelujah!). Cashew’s breeder assured me he had traveled to different states to pick up each Morkie parent to ensure the best personality and genes, and I’m certainly glad he did… because I absolutely adore our little puppy.

Right now, Cashew is potty-training. We’ve decided to go with the crate-training method. He does pretty well, as long as we keep our eyes on him. He hasn’t had any accidents in his crate, so that’s a really good sign. Now we just have to make sure to keep watch when he’s playing around the house.

And… that’s all for this post 🙂

5 Tips for New Substitute Teachers


Hello there,

Just for some background, I received my Bachelor’s in English Secondary Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I completed this degree in the Spring of 2012. I took some time off to pursue dreams in singing, song-writing, and performing. I did exactly that for the next three years whilst managing restaurants, salons, and tutoring on the side. I believe those three years of separation from teaching made me grow tougher skin.

Yesterday, I subbed for the first time, and I wanted to share that experience with you and to my future self. It was a 7th grade English classroom in a population demographic that is 65.9% White/Caucasian, 43.6% Hispanic/Latino, 7.4% African American, and about 5.4% Asian American.  I taught and supervised 7 periods: 3 regular, 2 gifted, and 2 supervisory hours. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as nervous and worked up about teaching as I had been when I student taught. I was happy to see the progress.

Here is a compilation of tips (from subbing workshops, teaching experience, and reading up on the internet) that future subs should keep in mind to have a successful day of substitute teaching:

  1. Get the Job
    • Stay up late or wake up early – check Aesop or be ready to receive the 5:30am wake up call to save those kids from a dreary day without their beloved teacher.
    • Once you get to the school and you like what you see, ask to see if they have a preferred sub list. It can be as easy as asking a question.
  2. Be on Time, and Be Open to Help
    • Get to the school at least 15 minutes before the written or stated time. 1st period usually begins after the start time stated on Aesop, so you’ll have additional time to explore and review the lesson plans if you’re early.
    • I was technically done after 7th period, but I went to the Main Office and let them know I’d be down for anything else they needed me to do. Schools need all the help they can get.
  3. Be Present and Fully Engaged
    • Learn the secretary’s name, as he/she is often the gateway to more jobs, positive recommendations, and knowing the ins and outs of the school.
    • Eat in the teacher’s lounge to get to know the other teachers, especially if you like the school.
    • Ultimately, making connections with the employees can possibly get you more jobs at that school.
  4. Manage the Classroom
    • Take attendance, and do it extraordinarily well. How can they learn if they are not present? It may be difficult remembering names or faces in a short period of time, but make your best effort. Often times, teachers will add “student helpers” or “star students” that will aid you in that quest.
    • Students need guidance and guidelines. They need to know your standards. Since you’re the adult, you make the rules.
    • If the teacher doesn’t state anything about group work or partnering up in the lesson plan, make sure it’s absolutely quiet in the room. It’ll make your life easier.
    • DON’T SIT IN ONE POSITION THE WHOLE TIME. Walk around; let the kids know you’re being serious about your guidelines.
    • If some banter breaks out in a corner of the room, nip it in the bud. Take out the seating chart, and call their names out. Let them know you see them and that you’re keeping them accountable to the standards.
    • Don’t just sit, read the paper, and play Candy Crush. You’re being paid to work and supervise the future of America. Don’t be selfish; invest in the next generation.
  5. Write a Letter to the Teacher
    • Let the teacher know how his/her students were. I listed each teaching period and detailed bullet points, both positive and negative, about the students of each period. They’ll want to know how the students were, especially if they were outstanding.
    • This letter will allow the teacher to see you were serious about following her directions and meeting the learning objectives.
    • Leave a business card with updated information so that they could personally contact you to get things done.

I hope that was helpful to you, either as a substitute teacher or classroom teacher. Let me know what you think about the list and if you’d like to add anything. Thanks for joining me onpagetwo.

With Love,



5 Signs that You’re a Grown Up Growing Up

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Hello there,

My name is Tabitha. I’m a twenty-five year old Korean-American girl who wants to accomplish a lot of things. I’m also a perfectionist – driven by fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of not being my best, and fear of uselessness. To say the least, it’s a crippling foundation to live by. 

It’s a constant trend of steady self-conversation, “I need to know more. You need to know more, Tab. Be curious.” And it drives me nuts! It’s almost to the point where I’d have to pick up three more degrees to fully be “qualified” to do the things I want. So many things to do, and so little time on this earth. Where to start first?

Here are some things that I’ve noticed about others who live thriving and inspiring lives. And rather than being a “grown up,” I’m focusing more on those who’ve been owning the process of growing “up”:

  1. You Reflect:
    • Think: The smartest and most inspiring people think. You’d assume that’s obvious, but unfortunately, not many embark on the journey of this natural and easily accessible task. Think about what you want to accomplish for the day. Think about what you want for the month. Think about where you want to be in five years. Think about the problems in the world. Think about how you can be a solution to that problem. It’s bound to make you a more compassionate and well-rounded human being.
    • Write: Anything. Anytime. Anywhere. Write about the things you just thought about. Carrying around a journal or typing  it into EverNote or Notes on your Apple iPhone can be the best way to get back to those brilliant musings you had over coffee. Maybe you’re a poet, and you don’t yet know it – until you start writing.
    • Meditate/Pray: Spiritual, religious, or non-religious, doesn’t matter. Everyone worships or loves something. Think about something positive. Send your family thoughts and good vibes. Meditation and prayer can lead you to a place of gratefulness, a place where true joy can consistently take root and thrive.
  2. You’re a Life-Long Learner:
    • Reading the News: Know what’s going on in the world around you. Download BBC or CNN onto your phone or tablet. Check out New York Times. Subscribe to some magazines. Don’t let your only source of news be Facebook or Twitter. Do some real research, albeit biased; however, if you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, you’ll be able to tell right from wrong.
    • Read in General: TV, movie, and Netflix-binges of the latest “Jessica Jones” or “Master of None” can be entertaining at times, but don’t let the tube suck your soul dry. Read texts that have been around for centuries. Read biographies, fiction, nonfiction, and mystery thrillers. The library is your oyster of information and knowledge! Get a library card, or turn to the dark side and invest in an e-reader. Either way, reading is an investment in you, and Lord knows, you’re worth it.
  3. You Listen and then Share:
    • Listen: My mother always told me I had two ears to listen and one mouth to share. (Probably because I’d say ridiculous things most of the time). Use mother’s ratio well. Oftentimes, people have a plethora of information and incredible anecdotes that’ll help you through life’s struggles. And sometimes, people just need someone to listen. If you can be that bearer of burdens, please consider doing it. It’s rewarding to walk together in community towards growing up. You might even end up saving someone’s emotional, mental, or physical life.
    • Share: Don’t be greedy. There’s enough love to go around. Share the wealth of knowledge, resources, and most importantly, time with those who care about. Also, be very careful about what tone you use. Everyone is different, so sharing bluntly with one man is not going to work the same with a five-year-old girl. Research also shows that once you can teach it to someone else, you’ve truly gotten it for yourself. So go, share, and teach!
  4. You Know When to Relax
    • Rest: God created 7 days in a week. We have weekends for a reason. Take some time off for church/communities, yourself, and your loved ones. You can’t be a whole person unless you allow for fill ups along the way. Life can be defeating, and when you’ve run dry, make sure to take time to breathe. If you happen to work on weekends, make sure to build in time to rest. You’re not a machine.
  5. You Repeat the Process
    • Repeat the process of reflection, learning, conversing and sharing with others, and relaxing.

I hope that the observations and steps were simple and easy to follow. Thanks for joining me onpagetwo.

With Love,