Many More Travels to Come!

I have traveling on the brain!

I got my passport book on Wednesday! This is a huge step for Team ShulLoudon here in little ol’ Lynchburg, Virginia. I can hardly wait to receive my ID card and all my documentation back. Now, THIS TIME, if I lose my driver’s license, I have this wonderful form on identification. Knocking on wood here…

Some places that I would really like to frequent are

Gilli Lankanfushi Island, Maldives

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Syndney, Australia

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Positano, Italy

Positano, Italy

Clinque Terre, Italy

Clinque Terre, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora

Paris, France

Paris

Provence, France

Provence, France

Monaco, Nice, and Cannes, France

Monaco, France

 

I’ve got to satisfy this case of wanderlust somehow. For now, pictures will suffice. sigh.

 

 

 

Nags Head Island: Our Trip to OBX

We made a trip to the Outer Banks, North Carolina last week for our 2016 summer vacation.

I know, I am behind on my posts!

We stayed for 6 nights at the Hilton Garden Inn at Kitty Hawk right next to the pier. We had absolutely beautiful weather and really had a chance to enjoy our time together. We basically ate and went to the beach every day. It was glorious.

 

Looking for some grub. I am pretty sure this afternoon we ended up at the Rundown Cafe.

 

 

Hurry up, we’ve got to get there before the sun sets!

For everyone who knows Doug, you know a picture with this chops needs no caption (pun entirely intended). Just going to leave this here…

Whitecaps and the Kitty Hawk Pier. We saw a sea turtle off the pier on Sunday afternoon.

Our last dinner was at I got your Crabs Oyster and Shellfish Bar & Market. We ate our weight in raw oysters. I’ll take mine with lots of horseradish and lemon!

 

We would really like to rent a house on the beach next summer and invite our parents to meet and combine our vacation with some meeting time with Katrina, Stan & Tim & Jules. We are hoping to make this happen and finally get our families together to meet before we get married. This is important to the both of us. Here are some of our favorite restaurants that we had the fortune of visiting while we were staying:

 

 

 

We Are Engaged!

Shull, what jewelry are you wearing tonight?

Doug popped the question 5 days ago! We are so excited to start a new(ish) chapter together. We have already been hearing the What-are-you-doings and the When’s-the-dates! It is slightly incredible. I have established that I don’t really want a traditional wedding, or maybe not even one at all, and he does not either.

He hates that I wanted to put it on Facebook/other social media sites; but I was just so excited to shout from the rooftops that I am officially HIS. We will have been a couple for 3 years coming up on June 15th.

I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

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He proposed in my bedroom that I lived in growing up until high school when we went to Ohio for a brief jaunt on Wednesday, June 1st immediately prior to going to The Avenue Steak Tavern in Grandview. I highly recommend the steaks by the way. We wanted to drop Pistol Pete off so that he is not stressed out and left at home during our summer travels. He asked me which piece of jewelry I was going to wear while I was picking it out of my Chloe + Isabel travel case and the next thing I know he is on his knee and opening the Bowen box with the ring inside. It was perfect and intimate and a moment that is only ours. And I will cherish it forever.

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We are so excited! Doug ALMOST smiled with teeth!

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At Pigskin Brewery revealing our surprise to some friends. 

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Mom and Dad at The Avenue

Wednesday’s dinner (pictured above) was followed by a cookout on Thursday accompanied by some relatives and Friday was spent out at the Pigskin Brewery and Local Cantina in Gahanna. We finished the whirlwind of a trip with a spin class with Dennis on Saturday and powered back home. Exhausted still!

I am happy to be home in Virginia for a few days, and a first meeting with my principal at Staunton River Middle School about my upcoming professional adventures (more about that later!) Next up: a vacation at Nags Head, North Carolina.

 

 

 

Vintage Lynchburg Spring Market 2016

The end of the school year is always crazy, but this weekend was wonderful to be able to take a break with my mom and sister when they came to visit Lynchburg, Virginia! We love the Vintage Lynchburg‘s biannual event, the Spring and Fall Markets. My mother and I attended 2015’s Spring market, and my sister and I attended the 2016 Fall market together, but this was the first market that all 3 of us were able to be together to attend. It is always a huge event, so we purchased Early Bird Tickets and braved the misty morning to be one of the first 100 people to peruse the artisans’ collections and curations.

Here are some pictures form the weekend. 20160430_09113120160430_09110820160430_09104520160430_090921 (1)

My Newest Challenge

A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.

-Coco Chanel, the Legend

This Friday, I have decided to take a chance on myself. I am unsure whether it will be a fruitful endeavor, but I am not making friends in Lynchburg and it seems that each day passes and I am not seizing the moment to be my own boss, to help make women everywhere feel beautiful.

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I have decided to take this into my own hands and start to be my own boss! I am still fulfilling my full-time job as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, but I have always wanted to branch off a bit!

Announcement_SharingAsset_6So I have decided to become a jewelry merchandiser through a great company called Chloe + Isabel. I have another page dedicated to this endeavor at the top of this blog. Here is the link to shop my boutique. All of the jewelry is 100% guaranteed, nickle-free, and gorgeous. I can do pop-up shops and parties and hopefully meet more people in the greater Lynchburg area. If you are interested in “hosting” a pop-up shop online or hosting a pop-up party in your house, email me at michele@teachtechgrl.com anytime! You can earn free jewelry or discounts. And I think I’m a wicked-awesome friend too, if you are asking me!

 

IFTTT: If This Then That

When I teach students about if statements in CS (Computer science), many times I use example form cause and effect relationships as my jumping-off point. When something occurs, an action happens, like your hand placed on a hot stove. This is an if statement or a switch in code.

There is a great website and service called IFTTT, pronounced “ift”, and it’s a way to automate and connect almost all of your services that do not necessarily play well together by using connected apps called Do and If.

It uses triggers, either automatic triggers in the Do Recipes or using If Recipes which depend on another action to run. This automates the services you sign up for online, as well as various devices in your connected home, your smartphones, even potentially your car! Of course that would mean you’re not driving a 2005 Honda Civic with part of the bumper chewed off like mine.

For those of you reading this that think I’m speaking another language, and I kind of am. Here is an example of an If Recipe that I have personally enabled on my personal devices to save me time. If Recipes are automatic r connected services, depending on you, and Do Recipes are triggered by an app, or another trigger that you dictate. I usually use my smartwatch to trigger my Do Recipes.

Here are some examples If Recipes that I have personally enabled on my personal devices to save me time.

Here are two examples Do Recipes that I have personally enabled on my personal devices to save me time.

You can also create your own recipes that work for you. So anytime, you wake up in the morning, you can receive an alert at a specific time if there is a forecast for rain. It is awesome and nerdy and amazing!

Central Virginia Artisan Spotlight: Meanwhile Back on the Farm

Vintage Lynchburg Spring Market is a mere 3 weeks away! My sister and my mom are coming from Ohio and West Virginia to be a part of the best craft show I have ever been to! It’s like a festival for Etsy Shops. Check out my Instagram for pictures from the past 2 market events (Fall 2015 and Spring 2015) @teachtechgirl . At the last market, I met the most wonderful family who makes this jalapeño mustard and grabbed a jar. Ever since, I have been trying to get my hands on another jar. We love it on sandwiches and with pretzels! It has the perfect amount of heat and tang. It’s perfect. And I am not a huuuuge mustard fan. 

  
Heather and Bobby Harris the owners of Meanwhile Back on the Farm, make quality leather goods. I’m talking handmade and beautiful leather goods. My favorite is the canvas and leather waxed tote bags, each made individually by them and lined with Liberty of London fabric. Such care and finesse goes into each one. I am currently lusting after this one below! She also makes needlepoint key fobs and has recently added the hat I purchased in various colors and some tees in their shop. My package came on Saturday and I just had to share with you all my love for this small local company. Check them out here
 

Java Genius

Can we please talk about genius that is the Ninja Coffee Bar*?

My love for coffee began during the summer days somewhere between 2003 and 2005 in Gahanna, Ohio at a coffee shop called Java’s Cyber Espresso Bar. Sadly, it no longer is open. They made a sweet delectable treat called the Mocha Freeze. It was bliss. It was also my first experience with espresso and a correctly-pulled shot. Death_to_stock_photography_Wake_Up_7

I have been on the Kuerig train for a while. K-cups are just easier than dealing with grinding beans and measuring. Until Doug bought me my first espresso machine, I did not commit the time to truly experience coffee for any pleasurable experience other than to mechanically wake me up to entertain and educate young folks all day. Because, really who has time for that in the morning when you haven’t HAD your first cup of Joe yet? Having that espresso machine (Breville and wonderful!) has reminded me of how much I truly enjoy espresso. I worked in college at a coffee shop in Westerville, Ohio called Heavenly Cup Espresso. I enjoyed learning and becoming a coffee connoisseur. This working experience, and the gift of the espresso machine made my Kuerig, and most lately my Hamilton Beach FlexBrew coffee machine depressing because the coffee was not delicious. The pin bent that punctures the single serving coffee pod and it was causing the machine to be a pain to operate without the pod exploding mid-brew. The way the pin got bent is beside the point. Yummy grounds would appear in your cup. Very disappointing.

Grounds in my mouth, I decided that I should purchase a new coffee maker, the research was overwhelming. The factors that affected the decision I made for Doug and myself, were:

  1. Programmable ahead of time
  2. Has a large water reservoir
  3. Brews hot and cold drinks
  4. Not wasteful

The Ninja Coffee Bar was what I decided on. It has been awesome! I love the brew-over iced coffee component. I have had the system 2 days and have consumed way more coffee than I thought I should or could consume.

*In no way have I been sponsored by anyone in this post, or anyone in general. These are my opinions.