A Sneek Peak of Our Wedding

I cannot wait to officially join lives to become a family with my Doug on top of Sharp Top Mountain. 

My mom, sister, and I went to go scope out everything and we had a great weekend together. It was so nice to spend Mother’s Day with my favorite mothers! It was full of running around with wedding errands, avoiding Donald Trump, everything associated with the Liberty University graduation and eating lots of food. We stayed in Roanoke downtown at the Hampton Inn and ate downtown both Friday and Saturday for dinner. I hadn’t spent much time in Roanoke, but it was nice! 

We cannot wait until 07.07.17!

On Saturday, we went to the jewelry store, sampled the cake, went to lunch, rode up the mountain and reached the summit! It was harder to reach the top than we had originally thought, but look at these gorgeous pictures! This view is definitely worth it. 

13 Reasons Why Not

These past couple of weeks, I have watched a new series by Netflix called 13 Reasons Why. I had been hearing that I needed to see it from some of the 6th grade students I had been substituting teaching and wondered what was all the fuss about. I had also heard that some school boards were sending letters home about it, and wanted to throw my opinionated hat in the ring. 

Your teenagers should not be watching this show. 

Here is why:

  1. It not only glamourizes suicide, but implies that revenge can be sought after death. The main character, Hannah, left behind 13 reasons why she decided to end her life. Each tape, and reason, was dedicated to a person who helped contributed to her suicide. 
  2. During the last episode, you actually see the main character commit suicide by cutting her wrists in the bathtub. It was easily the most graphic cinematic moment I have ever seen (aside from Saving Private Ryan’s opening scene). 
  3. The characters depicted are stereotypes, shallow and poorly developed. I could not identify with any of them, and I was a fairly well-adjusted teenager. 
  4. The how glazes over the impact of bullying via social networking or ‘online bullying’. Because, isn’t that where most of it happens now? That is where the entirety of bullying experience I have in 8 years of teaching comes from now. It is all done online because it is so easy to have a pseudonym…HELLO trolls!?
  5. The nuance that is in the telling of the original story is lost in the stereotypical characters. Like almost every film, the book is better even though it was told by a middle-age white male who more-than-likely has not experienced sexual assault. 
  6. Suicide is not revenge or peaceful, which the show depicts it as. It is the ending of a life that could have been filled with so much goodness brought to the world. 
  7. The acting was terrible. Period. 
  8. The show does not give a productive conclusion for men and women who have been victims of sexual assault. This theme recurred throughout the show, and there was absolutely no closure for the characters who experienced it. Nothing happened to the rapist who raped both Hannah and Jessica Davis. 

The only upside I personally see to this show is that it makes you realize how important kindness is… but we all knew that didn’t we? 

Don’t waste your time. 

Franklin Park Conservatory

Doug and I took our Friday off to visit my family in Ohio through the weekend. We got to see these two amazing humans, which we certainly do not do enough of… I know that I am really hoping for a Morgantown relocation!🙋🏼🤞🏼

We love guacamole! Duh! 

Right before the Friday night live music, and the drama that went along with it. I don’t think Andrew liked the musician’s hat or something. But as  soon as he started playing, Andrew started boohooing.

Saturday, the girls went to the Franklin Park Conservatory to see the butterflies 🦋 in the exhibit that they release every year. It was beautiful, and always really great to see my Aunt Betsy. A fairy garden in the Palm House as part of the Fairy Garden exhibit. This one in an open book was my favorite. The desert room has to be my favorite room.

An orchid wall in the HimlayasThese two are always all laughs. 

Jules perfecting the ‘head tilt’.These beautiful, blushing Hydrangeas were everywhere! Chihuly glass was throughout the rooms in the Conservatory. This installation was arranged in a pattern much like a sunroof. This installment in particular has been there every since I can remember. I seem to take a photo of it every time I come to Franklin Park. Blooms cascading in the Himalayan RoomChrysali 

More butterflies. These guys were hard to take photos of! My favorite species that were flying around the butterfly exhibit were the Peleides Morpho Butterfly. They are native to Mexico and Central America and are this beautiful iridescent blue. 

The girls and Andrew, looking like a little lump. 🙂

Doug spent the day helping my grandparents and running around with Tim Shull.  He is such a keeper…

Just Good

Today, I had the privilege to be a music teacher for the day at my substituting position. It ended a 4 days of subbing that have left me very fulfilled. Not that I look for affirmation in children; but when a girl not 10 years old brought me a flower this morning in the hallway, it put a smile on my face that I haven’t felt since I left Hargrave. Pictured above was my name on the wipe off board on Tuesday. 2 fifth graders and a sixth grader left me small notes beside my name. Makes me smile still. These tiny humans are restoring my love for learning too. 

Substitute Planning Goodness

Today, I thought I would share a few of the ways that I use my Erin Condren Teacher Planner to help me when I substitute on a day-to-day basis in different districts and schools each day.

I love the clutches made especially for the Erin Condren products. They are super helpful to just throw them in a bag & go. That way nothing will dog-ear pages or spill on your important plans!  And now that I am hopefully adding Greensburg-Salem School District to my substituting calendar in the very near future, it is going to be so important to stay organized when as a sub, one is expected to execute another instructor’s plans.

How I am currently using the Erin Condren Teacher Planner:

  1. Month View: day-to-day assignments, whether they are full day or half day, which    days of work I will be choosing to put on each paycheck. Highlight if I have input this day into Aesop.
  2. Day Plans: My daily takeaways and reflections go in this spot. I also detail any great student helpers in each classroom, any tips for next time I am in that teacher’s classroom, and details about anyone I had to leave a negative note about.
  3. Page Protectors: I use these so frequently! But only the most important documents get placed inside these. When you customize your teacher planner, you can choose fewer or more of these. I love having 6. I have had an EC Teacher Planner for the past 3 years & have found I really use them!
  4. Social Events: I place these throughout so that I can put in non-work days for these days I cannot fulfill any substituting jobs.
  5. Bullet Journal: I used to use a separate notebook for bullet journaling, but it has gotten too tedious to switch back and forth. I use the pages following the monthly plan view for longer to do lists.

Some of my favorite go-to products that I use daily with my planner are:

  • Heidi Swapp at JoAnn Fabrics
  • American Craft at JoAnn’s
  • Mrs. Grossman brand stickers
  • Highlighters
  • Post-its 
  • Sharpie Brush Tip Markers
  • Staedtler Fine Tip Pens

Workshop PGH

My lovely Emily girl came to visit a few weekends ago. She and I met in college, pledging the same sorority and living together in our freshman year dorm. It seems crazy that we have have been friends since 2005. It was a welcome break from a hectic first few weeks subbing.  

She jokes that she has a black thumb, but I don’t believe it. Her yard in Clintonville is just as quaint and beautiful as she is. I just love this picture I took of her… so natural and pretty! 

So when a “local”, meaning downtown Pittsburgh, (which is still an hour away) craft workshop offered a living wall class with one of the owners of a local greenhouse, I texted her an she was on board to see the new place and have some much needed girl time. Below are the results of this BOMB class. 

The class took almost 3 hours, we built the frame and planted everything in it. Here are the steps that I remember of the process:

  • Build the frame…
  • Line the frame with burlap
  • Staple down the burlap to the inside of the frame using a staple gun
  • Place the mixture of 1:1 perlite and succulent soil so that there is only .5″ of frame showing at the top on all sides. Be sure to place an adequate amount of soil into the corners of the frame.
  • Place reindeer moss and living sheet moss over the soil. This is a great water holder and will also provide support to your succulents while they take root.
  • Cut a piece of chicken wire the size of the frame opening. Fold the sharp corners inward and tuck it into the soil and moss. Attempt to get your chicken wire as flush as you can with the soil/moss.
  • Staple gun the chicken wire to the frame to hold it in place. This was the most difficult part of he process. There are lots of staples not holding anything stuck in my frame that you can’t see buried in there!
  • Take a pencil and create a pencil depth hole in the moss, soil and chicken wire. Just lunch through it all! 
  • Carefully Take your succulents cuttings/potted succulents out of their containers and break apart the roots from the excess soil.
  • Place the succulents into the small holes you just made root first. 
  • You can manipulate the reindeer moss to support the succulents so they stand up. You can also try and hug the roots of the succulents with the sheet moss and soil. Make sure that the succulents have been planted deeper than the moss level, so that they can take root in the soil and not die. 
  • Leave your wall flat, spraying each succulent with about 10 sprays in the spray bottle a few times a week for about a month. Make sure that wall has as close to full sun as possible. 

Below are photos of both of our living walls the day after the class. 

 If you ever get the opportunity to take a course by Natasha of Shadyside Nursery, DO IT! She is just wonderful and has these great life experiences, from teaching art, to working on a construction crew like “one of the guys”, to opening this awesome nursery with her man. I know that Em would agree when I say that I have kind of a girl crush. 

These shots were done with my 50mm lens I received for my birthday. Any excuse to take some practice shots! Here is my wall a few weeks later. 

Honestly, I cannot say enough great things about Workshop PGH. The teacher of the class was awesome. The space was great and inspiring in itself. And we met a few other ladies who were an absolute hoot!


I had the opportunity to visit my mom today as a surprise in Columbus. We spent the day together and spent the whole day hanging, just us, which happens very infrequently. I am so lucky to have a mom who is genuinely my best friend.