This is becoming a trend…

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This is clearly turning into something with another belt bag sighting via Vogue. The thing is, I still can’t get the Gucci gg marmont matelassé leather belt bag to work into my rotation. Even if the strap were longer, it’s just a touch too tiny even for my minimalist daily essentials. Ironically, buying the bag has led me to appreciate my latest purchase, the Louis Vuitton six key holder, which I hadn’t been impressed with initially and my LV Eva clutch (out of my rotation for roughly a year). 

After being forced to keep my keys on a simple ring again, I concluded that I really did prefer the key holder. And it fits easily into that Eva clutch. I’m still using the key cles in place of my Chanel O case because of going to the beach, etc. but that darn belt bag. 

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Finally Got Around to…

fashion

Finally got around to posting the Gucci Belt Bag Review video. Again, not the greatest video but it gets the job done. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even end up using the bag for the rest of that day. I went to the gym and then transferred my things into a Louis Vuitton Eva clutch. There’s a bit of irony there since I hadn’t been using my Eva on account that I’d felt it was too small, but it’s a lot larger than the belt bag. I’m even getting use out of the six key ring holder I’d been regretting. Turns out I like the key holder better than I like having the keys loose on a ring in a bag after all…thanks Gucci belt bag. If it hadn’t been for the belt bag I would still have the Eva in my closet and be less enthused about the six key holder. Of course I’m back to the LV mini Palm Springs backpack. I just love that bag. It is absolutely perfect for my needs. 

The Gucci Marmont Belt Bag

fashion

It’s a fanny pack. I didn’t exactly want a fanny pack…oh, I’m sorry “belt bag”, but I did want another hands free bag and I THOUGHT I had the perfect solution with the Gucci Marmont belt bag. Side note: I plan on doing a YouTube video on this bag sometime within the week when it’s more convenient. Because the plan was to wear the bag crossbody style. My mistake (huge mistake) was ordering the bag in the smallest size. I should have called the 800 number and asked for assistance in sizing, but I’m so accustom to being small. I made the assumption that the small size would fit crossbody on a small person, no such luck. For reference: I’m 5’2″ tall, weigh 98 (ok, technically 97.6) pounds, with a natural waist of 22.5″ (I’m guessing around 24 or 25″ in the sweatshirt). Crossbody is not really an option unless wearing the bag at this height becomes a “thing”. It’s not really uncomfortable, it just looks weird. 

And the bag is small! I mean really small. I can barely fit the iPhone 7 Plus in there. When looking at the measurements, it appeared to be comparable to a Chanel mini but now that I have the bag in my hands it feels smaller. What the bag can actually hold is:

The iPhone 7 Plus in a very slim case, RayBan aviator sunglasses, my keys (no keychains), an eyeliner, one lip product, a Bobbi Brown corrector, and an LV key cles. That’s it. It’s stuffed. 
How I plan on using this bag this week: for the most part I plan on using it as a bag within a bag for the next four days. In the gym bag in for the morning then take it out and use it alone on walks with my daughter. In my Speedy or Neverfull along with all my computer stuff for two days of work and then again take it out for trips around town with my baby girl. After that…I’m not really sure. I’m not sure this bag will make it into my regular rotation or end up being sold like my WOC. I guess I could try to return it for the larger size strap…but I’m not really much of a returner. I’ll have to think it over. I just hope my experience helps someone else. It makes a nice pouch or clutch without the belt if that’s helpful. If you have any styling suggestions, please let me know. Until then, wish me luck. Looks like I’ll be sporting a fanny pack. 

Skinny for Summer 

fashion, Technology

Summer is a time to downsize, which is ironic since I’m a small bag girl in general. Even my large bags have very few embellishments. Downsizing for me is moving from a small Chanel 0 case to a Louis Vuitton key cles. Most of my personal bags are minis. Even my ultimate toddler mom bag (which I’ll be reviewing this week) is technically in the mini category. I’m not a crazy small bag person, my Chanel WOC is being sold on consignment as I write this, but I’m clearly in camp mini. And as my bags migrate into the summer months, so does my iPhone case, making Twelve South’s Relaxed Leather case with pockets my mommy mini bag travel companion. Personally, I think the term “with pockets” is a bit of an overstatement, with slots is a bit more realistic, as very literary there are two slits in the back of the case for credit cards. Calling this a “wallet case” is also a misnomer since it won’t replace your wallet (hence the LV key cles). What this handy item will do is: provide easy access to one or two cards you are currently using when out and about maintaining a slim profile. The design of the case is pretty basic. Really, I think it’s just a plastic case with a leather cover which retails for $50.00 (steep)but it’s a trusted brand and the leather is of good quality. I also like the fact that the case comes up over the sides of the phone, it makes me feel as though if I were to drop my device, it has a fighting chance at survival. 

Because this case isn’t a full wallet, I do believe it is often overlooked. At the same time, it is a niche market that will find this case useful, as in ladies with small bags. I could see this case being a liability for someone who carries their phone in their pocket as the cards could become loose and dislodge (they’re in there pretty good, but it could happen). So, if you’re jumping on the mini bag trend, give this case a try. 

It’s About Time

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Wow, it’s been awhile. And, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. Not to mention, it’s hard to find time to get back into the swing of things. There’s so much I want to write about it’s overwhelming which is exactly what has prevented me from posting anything at all. Do I even remember how to post? I’m not sure. I have apps I’m in love with (finally found a workflow solution), cases (do you know I own ALL of 12 South’s wallet cases? I can explain), I’ve found the perfect designer toddler mom bag…maybe two which brings me to my first unboxing video for YouTube which I’ll post as soon as I, you know, get the box. There’s so much banging and crashing along inside of my brain that in order to post anything I had to post *something*. My plans for the week: 
* Review of 12 South’s Relaxed Leather iPhone 7 Plus case. 

* What’s in my bag? And why I’m totally obsessed with my bag. 

* Finally the perfect calendar app…sorry Apple, I needed something more. 

* Overrated! Two high fashion accessories unworthy of all the hype. 
As you can see, I’m a list maker. So stick around. This blog is back. 

Quick Update & a Rant

Fitness

Just a quick little check in. I’ve been eating the same number of calories (1400-1600) which I ate when I weighed 93-96 lbs previously. High protein. Walking 3-4 miles a day and light weight lifting for 30 minutes. And…I’ve gained weight every day. Didn’t see that one coming. I went from 103 to 105 BUT I do look tighter. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I’m going to keep going and see what happens. I’m not going to cut calories because despite what people (and companies like myfitnesspal) think a tiny person looking to get back to where they were before pregnancy, admittedly tinier, is not anorexic. Sometimes that is just the way God made ‘ya. All that “you’re more than just a number on the scale” thing seems only to apply if that number is large. I am not encouraging starvation! I’m a small person who maintained a low weight for 15 years, 16 actually. I weighed 96 on my wedding day. In 1999. My cholesterol was close to 300!!!! My body fat stayed consistent between 23 (training for a marathon) & 26%. I never looked frail. This is just the way I’m made. And maybe things have changed. Hey, I’ll weigh 200 if it means I’m healthy, I have lots of energy, and my old jeans fit. Regardless of the numbers I’m just an average mom trying to lose the pregnancy weight which makes me realize that maybe that’s ALL I should have written. Just the facts and not the exact numbers because listen, it’s about how you feel (and right now, I feel sluggish and sad my clothes don’t fit) and not the number on the scale. No one cares what you weigh. Your doctor. Your doctor probably cares what you weigh. Other than that, no one follows you around with a scale. Which brings me to another point, when you read an article such as the one on Kim K “losing” 7 lbs in two weeks…no one is following HER around with a scale. She may have gained 7lbs. but because she’s working out and eating better, she’s giving the appearance of weight loss. It’s an interesting theory. And it reiterates the fact that the important thing is eating well and moving. I’m sure even Pokemon Go counts. Never starve yourself. Ever. Period. And it really upset me that myfitnesspal would…anyway, longer post on that later because I wrote the company and I’d like to hear their response. 

I’m happy I’m back to lifting weights again. Nothing crazy. The 10lb free weights are the “heavy” ones now. I can leg lift 104lbs, which I find impressive. Lifting weights makes me feel more confident and I didn’t realize how much I missed it. If you’ve never tried weight lifting you may want to give it a try. Start with some light weights and find an app if you aren’t sure what to do with them. I’ll post some recommendations tomorrow for anyone who is interested. I just wanted to do a quick check in, maybe some advice: ditch the scale. 

I’m Back…

Fitness, Technology


Wow! Where have I been? I realize I’ve neglected this blog, but at the same time, I have a pretty valid excuse: I finished my master’s degree and had a baby. Not just any baby, mind you, I had Tabitha. Tabitha the “I’m coming 3 weeks early and you can’t stop me” baby. The baby who wouldn’t eat so we had to wake up every two hours to feed her, the baby who wouldn’t sleep, the baby who everyone has admitted is a “sibling killer”. Aka: Tabitha the only child. Tabitha who I love more than anything and wouldn’t trade for the world. Add in a little postpartum depression at the fact I didn’t have a 22″ waist two weeks after birth and my epic return to work…longer story involving cheerleaders. I have a plethora of apps to review. A whole bunch of stories. My mind is working all the time and I have no outlet for my musings. So I’ve decided that it’s important I return to writing. And it’s ok that my writing isn’t just tied to one topic. I’m making peace with that. I’ve read so many articles about blogging and building an audience, branding yourself, and sticking to only one subject and I respect that. I understand the logic to that but that mindset has also caused me to stop writing for almost a year. So, I’m back, but my blog is changing. It’s no longer just about teaching with technology it’s about how technology assists in all aspects of your life: work (for multiple careers), fitness, parenthood, & relationships. The first thing I’m going to tackle is getting my body back in shape. The baby is almost a year old! I believe it is time. Right? I recently came across an article on how Kim K lost 7 lbs (not a fan, personally) in two weeks. Perfect. 7lbs. would put me back at 95. I think my ideal weight is between 98 & 100 so if you take into account that I may mess up a few days…

My tools are my Apple Watch, my iPhone 6, and the Myfitnesspal app (user name Tabbycat00 feel free to add me). I’m starting this Friday July 8th with my goal finishing date being July 22nd. I can’t do bikini before and after pictures, not because I’m ashamed of how I look in a bikini, but because my school district will not allow me to post them on social media. Trust me on this one. But I can post photos in tank tops and shorts. My goal is to prove that everyday women can have “Hollywood” results. You don’t need a personal trainer or cook…remember I could be wrong. I’ll blog my food intake and exercise for each day and sometimes I’ll post videos of my workouts so that you can follow along at home. Here is my lovely “before” photo in my messy bedroom. 

I’ve Got My Eye on You: Cameras in the Classroom 

Education, Technology

Iowa school district asks principals to wear body cams
It’s no secret I’m a fan of technology in the classroom. I’ve even told my students that I’d love to have a camera filming my awesome and unique teaching style. I could be headed for stardom, society has made all the Kardashians celebrities, why not me? Not to mention, this would be a great way for kids who are absent to catch up on what they’ve missed, parents to become informed and involved in their child’s learning and a great excuse for me to expand my (already vast) wardrobe. But I have a problem with what Burlington, Iowa is proposing. 
The implications here are clear: We want to monitor you because we believe you will do harm simply because of the position you hold in society. You (teacher, principal, vice principal) are a bad person by default because there have been some bad people in your position before. Look at the example given, a police officer who beat a suspect. Again, is that indicative of all cops? Absolutely not. It used to be that if you wanted to be a hero you became a police officer, a fire fighter, a doctor, or a teacher. Now in order to achieve hero statis you have to change your gender. Civil servants are no longer respected but appraised with suspicion and scorn. Something is seriously wrong here. 
I’ve been on the losing side of this argument twice now. Growing up in the 80s and early 90s there was no teacher blame. If I wasn’t doing well in school it was my fault, not the teacher. 
My 5th grade teacher would have been considered abusive by today’s standards: she allowed other students to pick on me (sometimes using racial slurs), she called me stupid in front of the entire class, she really did not like me, and do you know what my parents said about the situation? “She’s the teacher”. That was the end of the discussion. My father worked at the school as a part time music teacher, he knew the woman, he’d visited the class, it didn’t matter. She’s the teacher. End of story. Same situation today and we’d have lawsuits and news coverage. Two out of three times when I encounter a parent in a parent meeting I’m there to defend myself because our culture says that the student is always right. Giving a student until the end of the semester to make up late work for full credit isn’t enough I also need to shorten and simplify the assignments, drop the lowest test score, and stay after school until it’s convenient for the child to come in because their child is “busy”. That’s the pervasive parent position. Our culture is changing. iPads failed those poor LAUSD students they deserve their money back, guns kill people not the psychopath pulling the trigger…
Go read Harrison Bergeron, Brave New World, and 1984 (think of Big Brother as political correctness). Tell me you don’t see life imitating art. 
Put a camera in my room, not on my body. Put a camera in my room because I’m awesome (most days) and you are genuinely interested in seeing the way my classroom works. Put a camera in my classroom because it could benefit student learning if they had the opportunity to hear the same lesson twice. But don’t put a camera on me because you assume I’m going to do something harmful to your child. It’s not action I have issues with it is the approach. 

I Need to Explain Everything to my Dad

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My dad is a really smart guy. He’s a musician and an author. He can pick up any musical instrument and play basic songs by ear, he’s composed several piano arrangements, he can even tell you the exact key your car horn honks in (not that you need to know that information but he’ll tell you anyway). What he can’t do is use his cell phone. Part of the problem is that he has a phone with technology circa 2004…ok, maybe 2006. He assures me that, according to the AARP, his phone is the latest and greatest in mobile technology and therefore should be able to do all of the latest and greatest things that modern day technology can do. Unfortunately his latest and greatest is a flip phone with a 2 megapixel camera and what he wants to do with it is take photos and print them out (yes, print them) to share with all of his friends.
We talk about educational technology and the ways that new apps and programs can benefit our students in the classroom but what about the potential students who aren’t in our classrooms? My father actually said  “I guess there will be no more photo albums anymore.” because taking photos was just “too hard”. Too hard? Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and yet for the senior subsect of our society technology is a hinderance preventing them from enjoying the quality of life they once knew. All my dad wants is to take photos of his granddaughter when she’s born. It isn’t asking a lot.
The good news is, I can help my dad and help my students this summer by creating some simple how-to videos using an app called Explain Everything. How does this help my father? My father benefits because he’ll have a little library of tutorials he can watch whenever he needs a refresher on how to use my mother’s iPhone to take photos, print photos, edit photos (yeah, he’s probably never going to do that). Although the phone is my mother’s she can only use it to make phone calls and send texts. I can use Explain Everything to teach my mother how to scan documents and print them on her Bluetooth printer for her Bible study, add reminders, create a grocery list, and use GPS. Explain Everything allows me to use a combination of videos, photographs, documents, and natural writing to, you guessed it, Explain Everything. I can take screen shots directly from my parents’ phone, record voice overs, and draw on the screen to direct their attention or provide links to webpages. How will this benefit my students? Two words: Flipped. Classroom. I’ve tried the flipped classroom trend a few times throughout the year and I’m eager to experiment with it further. Explain Everything is the perfect app for creating flipped classroom videos, but there is a learning curve. I can experiment on my parents and hone my skills so that I’m ready when the school year begins because the app does have a learning curve and who wants to deal with that come September?
So don’t forget potential students who aren’t in your classroom. Think of the world as your classroom. As teachers you have a talent, the talent to disseminate information and make it understandable. If you’re a tech savvy teacher there is a whole population out there who needs you.