Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Captain America and Ellen Help Me During Interviews

Happy Tuesday!

Today I had my last observation for student teaching (woot woot...8 days left baby!)!  This was an event in and of itself.  So as we're driving home from VA Sunday, my advisor emails me and asks if she can push up my last observation from next Thursday to...TUESDAY!  



So I obviously kept this all to myself and replied with a "Sure!  Sounds great!  We can't wait to see you!"  *My advisor told me I could turn in a short lesson plan on Tuesday and the 9 pager later this week.  Later this week means Sunday at 9 pm, correct?*

So anyway, the observation went great and she told me that I have grown so much since her first observation.  The Fail Whale Lesson you can find a link to here  ---------->  Fail Whale

Okay, cut to yesterday.  I had an interview in a town near TCNJ for a 3rd grade general ed position!  


I love 3rd grade!  It was my favorite grade in school and my 3rd grade teacher was my everything!  She was one of the main reasons why I went into education.  She was a flawless teacher!  I'm hoping to hear back about a possible demo lesson by Friday.  Fingers crossed and prayers!

So on my way to my interview I realized I have some weird Pre-Interview Rituals.  Instead of keeping them to myself and keeping up the facade that I'm not a total weirdo, I'm going to share them with you and the information super highway!

  1. Pre-Interview Playlist!  Feel free to copy this playlist because it is a rocking good time!  This a time for pump up jams!

  • Can't Hold Us- Mackelmore
  • Settlin'- Sugarland
  • Eye of the Tiger-Survivor (Don't judge!  You know that is the universal pump up jam of the human race!)
  • Don't Wake Me Up-Avicci
  • Pompei-Bastille
  • Jesus and Gravity- Dolly Parton (Any time you can involve Jesus on an interview day is a good thing)
  • Man I Feel Like A Woman-Shania Twain
  • Live Your Life-T.I. feat. Rihanna
  • Stronger- Kanye West (yes Kanye is a jerk, but that song pumps. you. up)
  • Jock Jams-Any and all Jock Jams songs work to pump you up!
  • I'll Make A Man Out of You-Mulan

----Also, they only work if you sing loudly and off key-----

2.  When I get to my interview (20 minutes early...to show commitment my hatred of being late), I touch my make up up and fix my dress and head in.  Also, I say a prayer that I don't forget how to speak and to make sure that no curse words slip out. All the while, I listen to my inner Captain America, Chris Evans and his words of wisdom.  I was watching an interview with him a few weeks ago and he said that if he could give his younger self advice it would be to say "SHHHHHHH" to his inner voice.  SHHHHH to all the doubt, the inner running dialogue, the inner everything, and just...be.  To watch the full interview ------->  SHHHHH

It's really good advice.  And who better to dispense life advice than Captain America?  Captain America has zero super powers--he's just a solid, patriotic, formerly short and skinny, good guy.  The kinda guy you wanna take home to mom.  Does it strike anyone strange that Captain America NEVER gets the girl?!  Like...ever!  He's visually appealing and fabulous!  He even wears a uniform!  The casting directors and Stan Lee can't write him a girlfriend?!  The things that keep me up at night!  Also, if Stan Lee is reading this, please send my contract via the email address located in the upper right hand corner.  

Anyway, it's great advice.  Often times I have 19952353523 ideas, thoughts, things I want to remember, junk, running through my mind.  If you need a visual, just think of Captain America running around Monument Park in D.C.  Just random, boisterous, nervous thoughts!  No bueno por favor!  

So now, I just tell my inner goober to SHHHHHHHH!  

3.  I want to thank the random little girl at the school who sat down next to me and chatted me up about her Vegetable Play!  Yes, a little child sat next to a very nervous (but trying to play it cool) me and began talking about her Vegetable Play.  She was chatty, personable, and calmed my nerves.  We talked about her play, the veggie songs and dances she did, and how she was a french fry!  Can we pause and talk about how adorable that is? When the principal came out to bring me back, I bid her adieu and good luck with her future acting in produce themed plays.  Fingers crossed she gets that role as a tomato!  

4.  Okay, so this might seem stupid and a horrible idea but aren't great ideas just one step away from being horrible?!  Yes!  So....drum roll please....drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...When I am getting ready for an interview, I pretend that I'm a guest on the Ellen show.  Some might think this is dumb but hear me out!  

Guests on Ellen are all super relaxed and comfortable (except for Chelsea Handler...does anyone else remember that interview?  AWWWWWKWWWAAARD!), funny, and personable.  No one goes on Ellen tense.  No one is a robot.  Everyone is genuinely themselves but perkier!  That is what I pretend to be when I'm in an interview.  I just pretend that my good friend Ellen is interviewing me.  Don't we all consider Ellen our friend?

Think about it, these people have interviewed dozens of people for the same position...probably for the past couple of hours or days on end.  They are bored.  They don't want to hear the same canned answers over and over and over again, no they want to be entertained.  You need to make them smile and REMEMBER you!  You want to stand out as being someone who is smart, qualified, and personable.  This is especially important in the field of education.  In education, you are constantly dealing with people.  There is NEVER a time when you are alone (seriously, even in the lav someone will inevitably knock on the door.).  The principal and other interviewers want to know that you can interact with people.  If you can make friends with people you just met (your interviewers) then you can probably be trusted to interact with colleagues, students, support staff, and parents.  

5.  Pray!  I pray all day everyday but after an interview I pray super duper hard!

6.  Write thank you notes!  Jennifer Aniston wrote Ellen a thank you for having her on her show.  If Jen and Ellen are thank you note kinda ladies, YOU are a thank you note kinda lady.  Handwritten of course, on pink paper.  Thank you notes are just good taste.  These people took the time to interview you and picked you to come to their school.  That is YUUUUGE!  

So I hope you enjoyed some of the weird things I do during an interview!  Do you have any weird interview pump up rituals?  



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hoppy Easter

Hey All!

I'm currently typing this on an iPad so forgive me. Also know how much I love y'all that I would type on an iPad just to get a post out. It's because I love y'all not because I'm bored out of my mind on a 5 hour car ride home from Harrisonburg Virginia or anything.

This is for one night...I need help...4 bags

Since Dylan has attended JMU we've made the 5 hour trek to visit him for Easter weekend.  Don't get me wrong, I love my brother and I love to travel, but this girl's idea of travel is Southwest Airlines with a bag of mini pretzels. Not a 10 hour road trip in 36 hours. I love Virginia once we're down there, it's the driving part I loathe.

Beautiful Scenery!

Our trip started Saturday at 12.  I had to tutor and the fam had errands to run so we left a little later than desired but it doesn't really matter because we have no plans when we got to Va.  I amused myself with 3 back issues of Glamour (aka how you know I've been a busy bee- I haven't been able to read my fave tome. However, only 2 weeks left until I'm done student teaching and will be able to catch up on all of my reading material. Also I just subscribed to Cosmo, so that will be a great poolside read.) and season 7 of my beloved Friends. Also I talked for most of the trip (Deb and dad you are welcome ;)).

We saw this super cool dog at the gas station in NJ

When we finally arrived, we headed straight to the hotel to change for dinner.  Harrisonburg is not a truly happening place (it's gorgeous but kinda boring...not like Ewing the cultural hubbub of Central Jersey) so there is about 3 Easter appropriate places for dinner.  This year, like last year we are at Union Station (if you haven't noticed, my dad has a train obsession and we tend to stay at and eat at train themed places. I.e our Nashville trip where we stayed at the Union Station Hotel.  I highly recommend it for a Nashville stay). The food is always amazing and the drinks are to die for!  I got a virgin drink because we brought our own wine for a little hotel party. I got a blackberry meringue. Daaalish!  I love when restaurants offer a bunch of mocktails. I also devoured the black bread and my BBQ chicken panini.  After dinner, we went to Kline's ice cream stand. It's the best ice cream, it's all homemade on premises. I ordered a children's sized chocolate peanut butter cup. Freaking fantastic!  I highly recommend that stand.

Forced Pic

Aren't they cute?

Blackberry Meringue.  To.  Die.
Ironically, Kline's is located across from the church we attended last year. I was a 4 hour bilingual vigil.  And not to be outdone, it was also their RCIA programs sacrament ceremony. It was beautiful but after being in a car for 5 hours it was not something we wanted to do.  So this year, we wished those attending the mass good luck from behind our ice cream.

View from Kline's

After dessert, we made our way to Target to outfit Dylan with supplies for his last 3 weeks of school. I can't believe he'll be done his sophomore year of college in 3 weeks!  I'm getting old!  I digress. Targets in the south sell wine!  Wine!  In NJ this is forbidden. They also sell it at gas stations. Caaaraaaayyyzyyyy. At Target we found some things we NEEDED but deb said no even though they were in sale. Not cool.

Don't you think I need this?
Our hotel had a cute little gym so Dylan and I headed down for a sweat sesh. Also, our room was located on the first floor (usually I'd say no way Jose, but I get progressively less prissy after a long car ride. Who knew?) and we had the brilliant idea to jump out and scare people walking by.  This idea was quickly poo pooed though. Oh we'll, there's always next time. After the gym we drank our wine and fell asleep to the sound of Friends playing in the background. Good nights y'all.

We got up super early (8:30...hey it's early if you aren't a morning person) and grabbed breakfast. Welp, usually our hotel has biscuits and turkey sausage (when you go to the south you expect this kind of exotic fare) but today they had cardboard sponge, or what they call French toast sticks. So I had cereal.  The texture reminded me of the time I had to cut apart sponges for a cheerleading car wash because we ran short. Gross!

The Easter Bunny delivered!
Mass was nice!  It always amazes me how different JMU is from TCNJ. JMU held mass in a ballroom, let's just say TCNJ doesn't hold many balls. (Except for the statues of balls we have in our quad.). We had a you know you're from nj moment at mass. Before mass, the priest asked the congregation to stand up and greet the people around you. Well guess which four people didn't stand up?  These people. Nj for the win!  Eventually peer pressure forced us to stand up- however we didn't interact with our neighbors. If you're wondering, this mass was 1.25 hours long. ;)

Next, we went to Dylan's room to pack up some of his things so move out day won't be so bad. He showed us all his crap that he has accrued over the past year, a Breakfast Club poster, a hunting knife?  And then we headed to the arboretum. Dylan's psychology honor society cleans up the arboretum for philanthropy purposes and it was nice to see it.

On the Arboretum Bridge

The boy who cleaned the Arboretum

How cute is this duck!

Where did we have Easter dinner?  A nice classy place?  Yeah no.  My fave restaurant, Texas Roadhouse!  I love this place!  We stuffed our faces and drank margaritas and ate ways too many rolls and peanuts. Can you blame us though, that cinnamon sugar butter is to die for.

Anyway, we're about an hour form nj now and my spring break is officially over. I'm prepping for another interview tomorrow afternoon so wish me luck!  I hope you all had a nice Easter and remember what the day is for. Not just pastel candy and preppy dresses, but for Jesus.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Things I'm Loving Friday

Happy Good Friday Loves!!

Happy Weekend!  Happy Easter Weekend!  Happy Almost Done Student Teaching and School for my SPED girls!  (We're so close we can feel that tassel hitting us in the face at graduation!  Fingers crossed for The Git's reused speech! WECANONLYHOPE!)

I'm doing a link up today with one of my fave bloggers Amanda about my Friday Faves!  I have a lotta faves!  I'm a fan of stuff and the more stuff I can find to love the happier I am.

1.  Subbing.  I subbed during my student teaching district's spring break and I loved it!  I love subbing more than any other job I ever had (except babysitting...hello free apple juice!) Subbing is great because you are not responsible for grading work, planning the lesson, or really doing anything besides making sure the kiddos are safe.  Seriously, remember when you were a kid and if you didn't do your homework when your teacher was absent you could totally do it that night and be like, "Oh, she didn't collect mine."  Or, "I had a really bad experience before when I handed homework to the sub and she lost it.  I just wanted to hold onto it so I would be sure you would get it."  Also, if you didn't do something you as a class could say, "Oh we didn't get to that yet."  And you're set!  As the sub, no one expects you to actually do anything.  They leave you their plans but the closing line of most sub plans says, "If you don't get to something it's not a big deal."  I'm super anal and crazy Type A so I always follow the plan to a T but some subs don't listen at all.  Crazy!

2. Victoria Secret's PINK Yoga Pants.  Yesterday they were on sale for $30!  Happy Easter Erin!

How cute JERSEY are these?
3. Barefoot Refresh White Wines!  These mean summer in the Kitley household!  Every summer BBQ involves grilled asparagus, garlic parmesan corn, chicken burgers, and these beautiful loves.  They're light, fruity, and...refreshing?!  

My favorite wine!

4. The Mediterranean Cous Cous (They didn't add the second cous til 1979...Sigh, I miss FRIENDS) Shrimp Salad from Panera.  This has been my Fridays in Lent staple!  (P.S. if you want to bring me one, NO OLIVES!)  I loathe boring salads and this is anything but boring!  

Look.  At.  Those.  Shrimp!

5.  PopChips Katy's Kettle Corn-HOLYGUACOMOLE are these fantabulous!  Serindipity brought us together last Monday.  I was in TCNJ's bookstore (or most overpriced place to buy anything) picking up my cap and gown (more on that later) and I realized I was hungry.  I knew I wanted a healthy afternoon pick me up, so I wandered over to the organic/gluten free section (could we BE MORE pretentious?  JK I heart TCNJ.  We're pretentious and we know it/like it) and I found them!  I lerve kettle corn and I decided I wanted something salty/sweet.  These were perfect and mostly healthy (yes the only healthy snack is carrot stix and water pops but you know what?  No one actually craves them...so there's that) and I bought a bag for Easter. Also, the fact that it's popcorn shaped like a chip is a novelty that has not worn thin on me!

Sweet Serindipity!

6.  Freeze Dried Apple Cinnamon Slices-NOTE I have yet to actually try these, but I have eaten and loved the freeze dried mango slices (they have a TON of sugar in them though so be careful).  But anything from Target+organic+fruit+cinnamon=most likely a gem in my book.

They look good right?

7.  L'Oreal Smoothintense frizz serum is a Godsend! In NJ, humidity is our king and we're just his loyal forced subjects.  I, as I'm sure all girls, am constantly searching for products that are going to smooth my frizzball hair.  Without serum, my hair is kinda blah.  It just hangs out.  It's not really frizzy but it's surely not smooth.  I've tried all of the $$$$ brands to no avail, but this gem is $5.99!  It works!


8.  Matt Nathanson's  Kinks Shirt is on the radio!!  I heard it once yesterday and a preview for it again today!  Cara introduced me to the sweet symphonic sound of Matt frosh year and I've been hooked since!  I've seen him 4 times since frosh year and he gets better each time!  He's rarely on the radio though (the radio's loss by the way) so when he is I always text Cara and we celebrate his little victories!  Here is a link to the song.  Go.  Jam.  Be Free.  When we went to his concert last fall, Cara and I were dying when he told us a story about this song.  He said that he and his buddies would go to the diner by the studio for lunch everyday and one of the waitresses wore a Kinks shirt everyday and he said she was super hot, all tatted up, and looked like she could kill you.  (P.S. Matt's hilarious and his concert is part comedy show part concert)  So he wrote a song about her but didn't tell her, nor did he expect she'd every find out.  So one day, he gets a Twitpic from a fan who is posing with this girl!  The fan told the waitress about the song!  Haaaalarious!    Kinks Shirt

9.  The girl's name Tiegan pronounced (TEE-GEN).  When I was subbing, a girl at the school was named Tiegan and I thought it was so cute.  My kids are going to get teased on the playground aren't they?

10.  Craig Campbell's Keep Them Kisses Coming.  I have been jamming nonstop to this song!  Don't we all want this kinda love?  I do!  Everyone wants that we're not doing anything all day but hanging out kinda love.  Here's a link!  Craig Campbell has been around for a long time and I'm glad he's gaining popularity.  Keep Them Kisses Coming

Hoppy Easter Weekend!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Want To Live in Crate & Barrel

Happy Hump Day! 

This weekend Jess and I went on a fun grown up shoppingventure.  We went shopping for our friends’ bridal shower!  EEK!  So exciting!  The whole time we were shopping we kept saying, are we old enough for this?  Apparently we are!  Plus, who doesn't love shopping for weddings?  I mean come on!  That's a great time!  (Also, we're from NJ and we don't need an excuse to shop...)  

Shopping for wedding showers/baby showers/random presents is something I love to do more than 80% of the things in the world.  I love buying presents, thinking of a theme, buying the wrapping paper, wrapping them, seeing the look on my friends/family's faces when I give them the perfect gift!  Ahhh, love! 

While we were shopping we both realized that we want to live in Crate and Barrel.  I wanted to run home, pack my jammies, and big sweatshirt and move in!  Here are pictures of us pretending we live in Crate & Barrel…

We're Dorks and We Know It!

Isn't this cute bedding though?  Wouldn't it be fun to live here?

I compiled a list of all the reasons why I want to live in Crate & Barrel! 

-It’s beautiful there.  Everything has colors!  Everything is bright!  Everything is clean with modern edges!

-They have colorful sheets hanging from the ceilings! 

-There’s an abundance of Tupperware...a container for everything!  Did you know there was a difference between a veggie container and a fruit container?  You can get an entire lunch organizer?!  Like an old school elementary school lunch tray with a lid!  

-They have thought of everything.  Literally an answer for everything! They have solved life problems I didn’t know I had!  I’m so greatful for that.

-They encouraged me to get my EdD.  How?  It’s a store, Erin.  Yes, but the prices told me that I can’t afford this on my salary, so I need to keep working and achieve that EdD so I can one day afford a $5,000 bright primary colored umbrella stand!  Something I learned today that I desperately needed!  

-It is made of glass aka I feel like I live in Jen Aniston’s koy pond filled LA manse.  For who is that not the dream?!

-It's great for people watching!  You can watch all kinds of engaged couples talking seriously about which pepper grinder to buy.  They are IN-TENSE!  Apparently picking the wrong pepper grinder can induce tears!  Good.  To.  Know!  

I just love Crate & Barrel!  Even if the clerk was aghast when I told her that I was planning to wrap the "beautiful, structured black and white boxes".  I'm gonna wrap it lady, because it's tacky town not to wrap a gift!  

So if you haven't been, get yourself to C&B ASAP!  



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Moorestown SpEAC conference 2014 and Another Reason My Deb is Awesome

Happy Sunday Nite!!!

I hope your weekend was as busy and fun as mine!  Today was beautiful!  The car said 83 and this girl was thrilled!  After the winter we had, NJ deserves all the sun.  All of it!

This weekend was jam packed with school work (even though it's technically spring break for me--woot woot!) and Deb's conference!

Deb is a speech therapist and was asked to present at the annual SpEAC conference in her district.  Naturally, I wanted to attend the conference and cheer her on!  SpEAC is a support group for parents of students with disabilities.  I loved all parts of the conference--except the 8:30 start time.


Anyway, my feelings about the morning aside, it was a great event!  It started with a bagel and pastry filled breakfast buffet (as any unGodly hour should) and we were greeted by the chairwoman.  I felt like the coolest non-teacher, non-employee, non-parent, non-vendor there because Deb's friends came over to me and invited me to sit with them.   Seriously a relief!  I always feel awkward (not that awkwardness has ever impeding me from going somewhere and being "vertly" social.  Vert means not an extrovert but not an introvert...just vert.)  Deb later joined us...she was too cool to sit with us at the beginning of breakfast because she had to set up for her presentation.

After I got to feel like one of the cool kids, Jed Baker (a rockstar in the special ed world) gave the morning keynote address.  He has been to TCNJ before and I've heard/studied his theories all throughout college.  It was awesome to see him speak live.  If any of you get the chance to hear him--TAKE IT!  He's funny, honest, compassionate, and a wealth of knowledge.  He talked about behavior management, taking control, and most importantly hope.  Sometimes when you work with students with behavior problems you can think it is hopeless.  You think the tantrum, the unkind words, the hitting, and the other negative behavior will never stop.  Baker told us that you have to have hope, you have to have tolerance, and you have to control your own behavior if you want to modify the child's.  I really enjoyed his address.  

Next was Deb's session.  Let me give you some background.  Deb hates to speak in public.  It's seems like an oxymoron that a speech therapist hates to speak in public.  She really does, though.  It's her least favorite activity.  It even ranks lower than listening to me complain about grad school.  Deb and her colleagues started their session with an introduction and Deb even made a funny!  She said, "We all hate speaking in front of people so we picked speech because we would have a legal maximum group, or audience, of 5!"  Snaps for Deb!  It was a hit!  Deb's session focused on how parents can engage their students in joint attention activities and foster communication in everyday settings.  Great topic and great presentation.  Inevitably people told Deb and I that we looked alike.  We don't see it, but we both take it as a compliment.  I just want to be half as talented at my job as Deb is at hers.  Deb's a rockstar speech therapist and I love listening to her talk about her job.  She's so passionate and so dedicated that it makes me smile to hear her discuss and present her work.  A+ for Deb and her colleagues.

After Deb's session, there was a delicious lunch from M Bacio.  Lunch was for mingling and networking.  (Or drinking copious amounts of lemonade...take your pick.)

Right after lunch we had Jeff Yalden from MTV's Made give us an inspiring speech.  I laughed (a lot), cried (even more) and left feeling motivated and more connected to the world.  I'm pretty sure the fellow attendees that I did not know thought I was an emotional wreck.  (Not an untrue assessment at all) If you ever get to hear him speak, TAKE IT!  He's fantastic!  He talked to us about love, family, friends, instilling a sense of courage in our students, and how important it is to know your students and their lives.  

After his speech, Deb, some of her friends, and I went to her colleagues' session on Crisis Management.  It was incredibly informative.  As a new teacher, I feel like behaviors are something that I am going to struggle with, simply for the reason that I have not had that much experience with them.  After a few many years,  I will be more adept to handling them.  As we say in the biz, we will have more strategies in our bag of tricks.  The presentation was fantastic.  

Sometimes it can be hard to be a teacher.  You get bogged down by the negative publicity, the negative attitudes from peers or outsiders, students refusing to work to their potential, and the administration.  It's refreshing and necessary to attend events such as SpEAC where you get a break from the negative and get to rediscover your passion for teaching.  Events like these remind you why you wanted to be a teacher in the first place:  to make students' lives better.  

Here's a pic of Deb rocking her presentation! 

Doesn't she look cute?

Enjoy the fun and the sun!!



Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Happy Hump Day!

Today was bueno, only 2 days left until Spring Break!  Woot woot party in the house party in the house!

Today I'm doing a link up about my confessions.

*Insert Usher jam here*

I'm gonna be un-Erin like and leave out a long irrelevant intro and just dive in.

  • I have to be everywhere 15 minutes early.  I sit in my car for 15 minutes before I'm supposed to be anywhere/everywhere.  I just hate being late.  
  • I have a weird fear about not getting a job and therefore being homeless and living with a dog on the street like Oliver Twist--the Disney version.  I know my parents are not going to kick me out and make me be homeless but I still freak out about it.
  • I can't paint my nails.  0 skill.  Usually I swipe the polish across my nails laterally and then peel it off the rest of my hands after it dries.
  • I 100% believe in ghosts.  I believe that ghosts are always around us.  I like to think that everyone we love never leaves us, they stay around us as angels and help us whenever we need them.  
  • I can't keep my room clean.  I have tried.  My room is a hot mess in a dress.  I try to keep my room clean but it won't stay clean.  Someone should really look into that...One day I'll post a pic so that I can show how nice and clean it is!  That day will also be the day that will be known as the day that pigs fly.
  • I have to do every work out rep in even numbers.  If a trainer stops on an odd number, I have to do one more to make it even.
  • I have to eat mints in pairs.  
  • I have to wake up facing the sun.  I like rising with the sun (well, hours after the sun...I'm not a try-hard)
  • I need to have my nightstand on my left.  I just like it being that way.  Probably because I have to sleep on my left side, facing the door, all curled up...okay maybe my weird sleeping pattern will be its own post.
  • I have a real life addiction to Us Weekly and Glamour.
  • I wear my blue juicy size XL sweat pants and Notre Dame size XL sweatshirt every chance I get.  I love them so much.  They are what smiles, sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns feel like.  
  • When my co-operating teachers leave the room I scrape the rest of the peanut butter I brought for lunch (to eat with my apple) out of the container with my fingers.  
  • I get shkeeved out by man feet.  Men need to keep their talons in shoes/socks AT. ALL. TIMES.  NO FLIP FLOPS FOR YOU, ONE YEAR!  Pedicures don't make you less of a man, just saying!  I have relented on my no man feet at the beach because my friends were right, "Er, what do you want them to wear at the beach?"  Ok, I'd prefer Sperry's but I'll allow you to wear your mandals to the beach if you promise to keep your feet in the sand.  COVERED BY SAND!  Why are man big toes so hairy?  Ick!  Gross.  Blah.
  • I dance in my car, in stores, around my room.   Every time music is on you can bet I'm probably dancing.  My cardance concerts are epic and have inspired many a red light stare-a-thon.  
  • I absolutely, hands down, love riding on airplanes!  It's so much fun!  The little bag of pretzels makes my whole day/week/month/year!   I also find planes to be so romantic!  Who doesn't have an airport fairy tale dream?  I know it's stupid but I just always think there is something sweet about being on a plane with 100+ strangers.  Also, planes=travel and I lerve to travel.
  • When I'm in Boot Camp class I have a running inner (potty mouth) monologue about how much I should have stayed home.
  • If my priest's homily is too long I start day dreaming/planning my wedding and how my church will look
  • I wear my jean jacket too much.  Like three times a week too much.
  • I own all the season's of The Newlyweds and have watched them in the past year.  I'm gonna put this out there--I miss Nick, Jess, & the Simpson clan.

Anyway, these are my confessions!  

Enjoy your night!!!  Pray that the Phils start playing better!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Second Interviews

Hey Friends!

 How are you?  I've been crazy!  It's been a busy 24 hours.

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers!  I really love all the support you have given me while I venture out to be a grown up girl.

Today I had my second interview at a school I would love to work at!  I have my fingers crossed for a demo lesson!  I will find out in a few weeks!  LONGEST.WEEKS.OF.MY.LIFE.

So today as I was driving to my interview a few random thoughts went through my head.  Nothing rational like I'll forget the guided reading process, close reading, guided math, etc.  Nothing like I will curse up a storm or call everyone by their first name and be disrespectful.  No, nothing rational.  Here are my actual fears while driving to the interview:

  • I will forget how to speak.  Yep, suddenly 22 years of speaking will just be gone.  I'll remember none of it.  I will lose the voluntary act of moving my vocal chords and be just like Ariel...voiceless.
  • I'll forget how to read my GPS and get lost.  Again, it's reading--something I have done for 19 years.  (Hands in the air for learning to read in pre-k)  Also, Ava Grace (my GPS' name) speaks to me in her own rude little way ensuring that I stay on course.  
  • I will fall down in my heels.  I trip often...only in sneakers though.  Never heels.  
  • In said fall my dress will fly up over my head.  This has never happened...knock on wood...and I don't know why I fear this.  My dress is stiff enough to not do this.
  • A cat will appear.  Yup a cat will just appear inside the cinderblock walls that are an administrator's office.  Rational Er, real rational.  I fear cats more than anything and everything and if one showed up at my interview I would die.  Curl up into a ball/fetal position and die.  
  • A booger will fly out of my nose and hit my interviewer.  I always have this fear when I'm talking to someone close.  I've never been a booger projector but this has happened to me.  Hi, my name's Erin and I've been boogered.  (Hi, Erin)
  • My breath will smell like garlic.  I don't really eat garlic in the morning.  
  • What if I have to pee?  I have a bladder the size of a pea.  Pun intended.  I calculate my water intake meticulously to make sure that this won't happen.  Hi, my name is Erin and I'm Type-A.  (Hi, Erin)

These are the things I fear.  Are they rational?  Absolutely not!  You'll be happy to know that I didn't booger anyone today!  Snaps for Erin.  

My tips for interviewing are this:

  • Wear what you feel comfortable in.  I do not feel comfortable in a suit.  I feel stuffy and blah.  I don't wanna be blah.  I do my best when surrounded by jewel tones! (If you didn't get the FRIENDS reference, go watch The One With Rachel's Baby Shower ASAP!) when I feel confident in my outfit.  
  • No one will read your portfolio.  I slave over my portfolio.  I update it, I add pictures, I rearrange it, but NO ONE CARES!  Nobody checks it!  
  • Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself...come on Mikey's making snow angels!  Just Friends.  They can see through your "persona".  They called you because they liked your black and white piece of paper, so why wouldn't they love you in all your true human colors?!  
  • It's okay to be nervous!  I was a ball of nerves today because I knew this interview had a lot more riding on it.  When I first met this district I was so green!  I was too green to be worried.  This time I knew the interview would be more in depth and would go beyond the basic, generic questions.  
  • Research your booty off!  Know everything about the district.  Know demographics, NJ State school report card, principals/administrators/superintendent(s), SES, curriculum, etc.  Know it all!  
  • Fake it 'til you make it.  This may seem flip floppy since I just said to be yourself, but sometimes you don't feel super confident.  You need to fake it.  Channel your inner Beyonce and rock the house!
  • Run questions to yourself the week before your interview.  Ask yourself questions you think they will ask you.  Talk to yourself and try out different answers.  Practice speaking so you sound eloquent.
  • Pretend that you are on Ellen.   I'm dead serious.  I pretend that I am being interviewed by my life idol Ellen DeGeneres.  She's funny, charismatic, and wants you to feel comfortable.  I try to channel my inner  Ellen guest.  I use humor, quotes, emotion, connections, and I act like a human.
  • Bring your humanside with you.  No one wants a robot to teach their students.  There's a reason robots are for engineers...not children.  Be funny, be self-depricating, admit if you don't know something.
  • Don't be an expert on something you are not.  Today one of the interviewers asked what I knew about a specific reading program.  She said, "Just tell me what you know.  I don't expect you to be an expert."  That felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest.  They don't expect you to know everything about everything.  You're new!  Cut yourself some slack!  Say what you know and then feel free to ask questions about it.  
  • Ask questions!  Districts love to talk about themselves.  Ask them about their curriculum, ask what their ideal reading block would look like, ask what type of professional development they do, ask anything relevant.  It shows interest.  One interviewer said, "Do you have any questions for us?"  I said no and he said,  "You asked us good questions last time, I remember."  They remembered my questions!
  • Be honest!  I was asked if I am interviewing in other districts and I said yes.  They want to know that other schools want you.  Don't be rude about it, but be honest.  
  • Compliment the district.  I felt super comfortable around these people and I told them that.  I told them that I loved how comfortable they made me feel.  I got a great vibe from them, one I did not feel from other school districts.  This was something I shared with them and they seemed to really appreciate it.

My Interview Outfit
Dress: LOFT
Shoes: Nine West
Sweater: LOFT

P.S. I didn't get caught taking a selfie in the lav with Jaclyn though.   Speaking of Jaclyn...Happy 23rd Love! 

Good luck to all my friends who are interviewing!  We got this!




Sunday, April 6, 2014


Hey Friends,

Happy Sunday Night!  Are we loving the ACM's?  Any excuse to watch Lukey do anything is reason enough for me to spend 3 hours glued to my television.  Also, and most importantly, does Faith Hill age?  The answer is no.  Loving the Lady A + Stevie Nicks lovefest we have extended from Crossroad's to the ACM's.

I had a lervely day today.  I went to KOP to do a little guilty pleasure shopping with Kate and then we had a very guilty dinner at Cheesecake Factory.  Yummmmmmmzzzzzz!  We had chats about boys, work, summer, and life plans.  The things Girls' Nites are built for.

I got to go to Lilly  Pulitzer (always a win), LOFT (new sweater for interview #2), and we obviously went to Tiffany's.  We didn't buy anything (sad panda) but a salesman in a different store asked us how our shopping day was going and we told him we went to Tiff's and he goes, "Tiffany's isn't what it used to be.  It used to be a much more respected jeweler, but now it's an online store that sells silver bracelets to teenaged girls."  We both laughed sheepishly and hid our left wrists behind our backs to disguise our T&Co silver bracelets that we wear religiously.  Anyway, it was a good laugh.

My new Lilly P starfish earrings.  If it's not summer yet, at least my ears will be summery!

So this past Friday night I played in my district's Volley For Support Game.  In my district this is a huge deal and has been since its origin 10 years ago.  All of the money goes towards charities chosen by the district.  The district sells t-shirts, food, raffle tickets, etc.  It's, as Donald Trump would say, YUUUUGE!  I got to play this year and I was pretty pumped.

I consider my self a vert.  Not an extrovert, not an introvert, just a vert.  I like people but I don't jump out of my skin if I have to spend time alone.  Hence the vert-ness.

Anyway, on Friday afternoon, they had all the teachers at my school play against each other in a pep rally game.  Well, this former cheerleader never met a pep rally she didn't love.  So my students cheered for me and welp, I ended up hitting myself in the face!  Yes!  I bumped the ball and it backfired off a pole and hit me square in the face.  Sometimes I even impress myself!  I lived and realized that my athletic abilities bar had reached a new low...aka my favorite place because the only way to go is up! So I recovered and had some good hits.  (Also because I'm such an intelligent being, I forgot my jacket at home so the para in my room loaned me her sweater.  Everyone at that school is so nice!)  I started playing better and even scored a few points.

After the game one of my students came up to me and said, "Miss Kitley, at first you didn't do so well.  But then, you warmed up and you were actually pretty good!"  I was like, "Thanks, Bud!  I think that was a pretty fair assessment of how I played!" Gotta love 4th grade honesty!

Anyway, that night I drove to the event and met up with the fellow teachers.  I have to tell you that all of the teachers are so nice to me.  As a student teacher you really don't have a place.

Yes, student teachers are the Tobies of the district.  In my experience student teaching is what you make it.  You should get involved because you want to know all the dynamics of the school and meet as many people as possible.  It's good networking.  Also, the principal will see that you enjoy getting involved and being a team player.  Am I the most athletic person on the planet?  Heck no.  Do I care?  No.  Did I have fun and get myself out of my comfort zone?  Absolutely.  Was it worth it?  100%!  All of the teachers have welcomed me to the school and even though I'm not superduper athletic they still let me play.  They all say hi to me in the hallway and include me in lunchroom conversations.  You might be thinking big deal they're being humans.  Well, yes, on one hand yes they are, but on the other hand, sometimes schools can be cliquey places.  This school is not like that at all.  Since I'm a vert, I appreciate this.  

Anyway, at the game I actually played pretty well.  I had 3 goals:

1.) Do not cause injury to anyone on your team
2.) Do not cause injury to yourself
3.) Do not lose the game for your team

I didn't do any of the other above.  I hit the ball well, I didn't hurt anyone, nor did I eat the ball.  All improvements.  I heard my students cheering for me, too.  That was super cool!  I love my kiddos. 

We ended up losing in the first round to a fellow elementary school 15-14.  Tough loss.  We all played hard and it was all for a good cause!  Everybody is a winner in that light!

It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I participated.  My Deb and Dad showed up to cheer for me which was super fun and nice and meant a lot to me.  I love how supportive my parents are.  I know that I will be there for all of my future children's events because they showed me such a great example of how important it is to be involved and support your kids.  (Even your grown up kids who play in charity volleyball games:))

Here is actual photographic evidence of my athletic endeavors.

Go Bulldogs!

Got My Game Face On!

Look At That Skill LOLZ  My Gym Teachers Must Be So Proud!

I hope you are all having a fabulous Sunday!  Wish me luck tomorrow, I have a job interview for a job I reeeeeaaaalllly want!  Fingers crossed!!

Love and Happiness,



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed To Go To Yoga

Hi.  Happy Tuesday.  

I'd like to give a big shout out to my Phils!  #1 in the NL East Baby!  Can we just end the season now as champs?

Wearing your Phils jersey over dress pants= business casual, right?  RIGHT!
This was a staged pic for a school project...I'm not photographing any kids here

8 Days 'til Spring Break!!  

Spring Break (n) a time when most people have off but I will be subbing because I like to shop and buy things more than I like sleeping 'til noon.

I'm lucky to have Spring Break here in the old N-J.  Winter came and ruined our lives for three months causing most of my friends and family to lose their Spring Breaks.  However, this girl, still has hers.  

Anyway, last week my usual Pilates instructor had to go somewhere (I guess it's okay for her to have a life outside of us...lol Love You Lisa!) and we had a sub.  Let me tell you, I live/breathe/die/only shave my legs for Pilates class!  Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I sit and watch the ticking clock (Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time video style) until I can run out of school and go to Pilates.  I love it!  I love it for many reasons, but mostly because it is my home.  I just feel so great after Pilates.  It's hands down my favorite workout.  

So last Thursday, we had a sub.  We did not have Pilates...we had yoga.  I was disappointed because we all thought it was going to be Pilates, not yoga. For all y'all that don't know, Pilates is NOT the same as yoga.  Pilates people and yoga people are not the same people.  

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates to rehab injured ballerinas.  

No one knows where the zen creatures aka yoginis came from.  I'm sure someone knows but I don't.  I think they came from their own planet full of sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns.  They are so freakin' zen!  All.  The.  Time.  They're like Corinthians 13:4-8

Yogis are patient.
Yogis are kind.
Yogis do not envy, do not boast, are not proud.
They do not dishonor others,
they are not self-seeking.
They are not easily angered,
do not keep records of wrongs.
Yogis do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth.
Yogis always protect, always trust, always hope, always perseveres.  

I am rarely any of the above.  Not centered, not zen, not calm, no namaste here.  That's why I lerve Pilates.  Pilates is like yoga for people who can't be calm.  All our muscles have to be moving constantly or we might actually die and wilt into the ground that we are not one with.  

It's not that I dislike yoga.  I think it's fine.  I just prefer Pilates.  One of the ladies in my class described it perfectly, "It's like when you order coke and they bring you root beer.  It's not that you don't like root beer, you just wanted coke."  The instructor was a great yoga instructor, just not my cup of decaffeinated all organic, green tea.  

What happened in yoga...a running internal monologue

-Ok, this is not so bad.  Maybe it'll be a serindipity and you'll end up loving yoga.
-You used to do yoga.
-You liked it.
-Yogis are vegans...you are not a vegan.
-Yogis probably use natural deodorant and laundry detergent.
-Certain things need chemicals...like deodorant and laundry detergent.
-Ra likes yoga.
-Remember that time you did yoga at Ra's house?
-This is kinda like it.
-No it's not.
-Now you're laughing.
-There is no laughing in yoga.  More reason why I can't be a yogini...I need to laugh.  We laugh 100 times a Pilates class.  
-Laughing in yoga is like laughing in church...once you start you just can't stop.
-Yoginis throw shade if you're laughing.
-So much shade from such a zen woman.
-Don't sit next to your friend in yoga.  Once the laughing starts it just won't stop.
-You will look like you are giving birth more than once.
-You will also have gyno flashbacks.  These will cause you to laugh and repeat all your laughin related problems.  
-The music is strange.  It's even more out there than Pilates jams.
-Pilates jams are zen but the yoga singers sound like they are in pain.
-You will wonder if you are high on yoga.
-You will decide you have a yoga high.
-Yup yup, burned 1 calorie.
-That's not gonna stop me from eating all those pretzels later tonight!
-You and me Pretzel Goldfish...til death do us part.
-Jenna Marbles is funny.
-Crane pose rocks.
-What does Namaste mean?
-You will open one eye really wide during the opening breath series just to make sure that your yoga high has not transported you magically to an hour past the end of class and you're just sitting there in your zen state...alone...in the dark. 
-You won't be that high on yoga.
-Don't open one eye because everyone will laugh because everyone else is peeking, too.
-Your yogini instructor will cause your brain to drift to the episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel are coming up with names for their baby and Rachel suggests Rain.  Ross says, "Hi, I'm Rain.  I have my own kiln and my dress is made of wheat."  You will wonder if your yogi has her own kiln and a dress made of wheat.
-You decide she does.
-You decide you need a kiln.
-Just because kiln is a fun word.
-You miss Lisa
-Unagi...ahhh salmon skin roll
-Ah, Friends, such a good show
-No one is being sassy.  Why no sass?
-Because you don't sass a yogini.
-They are sensative beings who are connected to the world.
-Sass a yogini and God help us all!  Nature might getcha
-Was that an intentional innuendo?  Not sure.  Don't laugh though, in case it's not.
-That'd be super duper awkward.
-Eye contact with a fellow Pilates Famsquader confirms that she felt this was an innuendo, toooooo!
-That's why I do Pilates...the jokes
-This feels weird.
-It's a good thing I did ballet all those years, I'd be in paaaayyyaaaain if I hadn't.
-I want Chinese food.
-I want to marry Chris Evans.
-Captain America is super hot.
-La la la Captain America.
-That's coming out soon! 
-I'm gonna go with Daddy.
-That'll be fun.
-But I can't eat chocolate at the movie theater...sad panda.
-I am not "one with the Earth"
-Oh, it's over?  
-I'll never be this zen ever again.
-Like, ever.

So that's the story of me and yoga.  We're not going to be regular friends.  Maybe acquaintances...if Pilates and I can't meet up on the reg.

Anyway, if you are a yogi, I salute you namaste you and your zenness.