April Wrap-Up//May TBR

April Wrap-Up

Well my April reading didn’t quite go as planned…

I anticipated reading three books last month: finishing Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick, The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey, and Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade. I started off GREAT! I finished Scrappy Little Nobody which was AMAZINGGGGG (more on that below) and began The Girl With All the Gifts. But then I had to stop at the campus library to a meeting and decided to look at the new book shelf (when will I learn?). I ended up checking out Little Deaths by Emma Flint and put my other book on hold. Well it took the rest of the month to read that book, which I finished on May 1st.

Here’s what I thought of the two books I read this month:

Scrappy Little Nobody-Anna Kendrick: This book was 5 star material in my opinion. I received this book at Christmas and had to control myself not to read it super quickly. Anna Kendrick is funny and charming and her stories are priceless! I would love to meet her one day although I feel I already have by reading her memoir. If you need a funny beach read this summer, pick up this.

Little Deaths-Emma Flint: IMG_7706

This book was a two star book. Although I’m happy I read it and it did keep me interested, I wouldn’t pick it up again. The ending seemed like a cheap way out even though I was a twist I didn’t see coming until a few pages before.  This read like a true crime novel and I felt like I was reading an episode of Law & Order.

May TBR: 

So this month started out with me posting on my bookstagram @ms.m_reads about how I was just going to finish Little Deaths and keep working on last month’s book list. IMG_7704

Well then I went to the library.

I happened to check out SEVEN books.

So my new TBR post looks a little like this…


I have two weeks to read these, and I’m almost finished with the first one.

  1. Good Time Coming-C.S Harris
  2. I Liked My Life-Abby Fabiaschi
  3. The Trophy Child-Paula Daly
  4. Reconstructing Amelia-Kimberly McCreight
  5. Where They Found Her-Kimberly McCreight
  6. What Was Mine-Helen Klein Ross
  7. The Program-Suzanne Young

As I finish each of these I’ll begin writing next month’s wrap up post.

I also found the OverDrive App too which may become dangerous to my reading addiction as I can borrow and download books from ANYWHERE!

As for an update on #52Books2017 I am currently reading book #9 Good Time Coming-C.S. Harris and #10 Grey-E.L. James (Yesss the 50 Shades novel…but I had to test out this ebook app!).

Let me know what you’re reading this month in the comments below!




March Wrap Up/April TBR

Oh wow! We are over a week into April and I am very late with this post!

In March, I read 2 books:

I finished The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor & I also read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.

I started to read Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick and I finished that last night (April 8).

The Girl Who Came Home was about the sinking of the Titanic. It is told in flashbacks to the disaster and what is considered present day in the novel. This was the second time I read this book and I enjoyed every part of it even more this second time around.

Small Great Things is such a relevant read to right now. When an African American nurse is told she can’t touch a newborn baby but then is the only one around when this baby is in distress, what is she to do? This is a compelling novel that makes you think about everything.

For my April TBR:


Finish Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. So even though I finished this book before this post I will about it my next Wrap Up/TBR post. But if you can’t wait, check out @ms.m_reads on Instagram for a bit of an update!


Read The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. I have no clue what this is about. I think maybe zombies? So a bit out there for me, but the back was just so intriguing: “Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don;t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.” So this seems like it’ll be a fun read.

Finally, read Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade. In this novel a young girl is separated from her family during WW II and sent to an orphanage were she undergoes experimental treatments. Years later she encounters the man who performed these experiments on her. This time she is in the dominant position. What does she do?

I am hoping that for May I’ll be able to have more than three books on my TBR list and I’ll actually get this #52Books2017 challenge rolling!

What are you reading this month? Comment below!



I’ve been doing a lot of reflection lately.

There are people who say that the friends you make in high school will last you the rest of your life. Then there are those who have the same sentiments about college friends. Or those you make post-grad.

Who is right?

Sure there are some people I keep in touch with from high school. But there are others who just keep popping up when you don’t want them to, who keep you tied to the silliest memories and things you just want to forget.

I’ve meet so many amazing people in college. Some of my best friendships were formed here at Penn State. But with my track record, how many of these friendships are going to last once we walk across the stage in a month? All of them I hope but that is wishful thinking.

Something that’s been on my mind lately is forming a bridal party. I’ve heard so many stories of people who had a major falling out during the wedding planning process or afterwards. Who is important enough to be considered a part of this momentous day? How do you choose? Who comes first, family, high school friends, college friends? It’s crazy times and I just can’t fathom picking.

Frankly, I wish being friends was easy…and it is to some extent, but maintaining friendships is hard. It’s something I struggle with. I get caught up in my life and my world and sometimes forget about others. So to my friends, I’m sorry if I’ve been a bad one. But I appreciate each and every one of you. ❤

Do any of you struggle with this idea of friendship and how quickly they change? Comment below if you’d like to share.

Lots of love always.


Bucket List

There are so many things that I wish to do as I “grow up” and live my life. There are places I want to travel and things I want to experience. So here is my bucket list…items that are bolded I’ve already completed!


*Go to a Rose Bowl Game 

*Graduate College

*Gain my teaching license

*Survive my first year teaching

*Adopt a kitten

*Run a 5K

*Learn a new instrument

*Own a house

*Buy a car

*Pay off my school loans

*Get my masters

*Get my PHD

*Get married

*Buy PSU football season tickets

*Participate in an Alumni Blue Band event

*Have a baby (or 2 or 3)

*Travel to all B1G Football Stadiums (I have been to two so far!)

*Attend a Presidential Inauguration

*NYC Christmas Tree Lighting

*Attend a Broadway show

*Ride in a hot air balloon

*See a waterfall in person

*Visit Ireland

*Vist Scotland

*Visit Italy

*Visit England

*Visit Niagara Falls

*Visit Canada

*Visit New Orleans

*Caribbean Cruise

*Alaskan Cruise

*Go to all the Triple Crown Races (Kentucky Derby, Belmont, Preakness)

*Go to Disney

*Swim with Manatees

*New Year’s in Times Square

*Write a children’s book


Of course this list is going to change throughout the years, but I hope to keep up with it!

What’s on your Bucket List? Are there any items you think I should add to mine?






All About: Science!

Happy Saturday!

Today I’m going to take a bit of time to discuss science teaching that I have been doing. I am now entering my third month of full time student teaching. I am finishing out my time in the science/math fourth grade class before transitioning back to ELA.

For our teacher prep program we are expected to create and teach a unit–no big deal right? Well most of my cohort is teaching social studies. In our placement district, social studies can only be taught at the end of the third marking period and fourth marking period, so they have a bit more time to plan and carry out their units. I however, am in the midst of finishing up my science unit! I spent a good portion of my winter break planning and prepping this unit and boy, is it a relief to be almost finished.

My unit is on weather and climate and my students are rocking this unit! I started out the unit with a pre-test to gain some baseline data about what they did or did not know about weather. I will give the same test–with a few added questions–at the end of the unit (aka THIS FIRDAY!).

Topics we have covered include:

  • What is the difference between weather and climate?
  • What do climatologists and meteorologists do?
  • Where are different storms (tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, and blizzards) found, what are the dangers, and how are they formed?
  • Land vs Sea Breezes
  • Fronts
  • Convection Tube Investigations
  • Water Cycle
  • Clouds
  • Hurricane Katrina

All we have left is a guest visit from a local meteorologist, our mini lesson on Hurricane Katrina, a review day, and the final assessment!

*PAUSE for a hot second*

My students were not alive for Hurricane Katrina. This is insane to me. The were all born a year later.


I am so impressed with my students. This unit had a great deal of group work with our investigations and my students were able to work well with their assigned science groups and with randomized groups. I think that they enjoyed some of the things we worked on, especially the punk stick inquiries where we were able to view the convection process happening, playing catch with the world to show the ratio of water to land that covers Earth, creating a weather forecast and presenting to the class, and finally making clouds out of cotton balls. When we finished our cotton ball cloud activity I had two students who normally don’t participate in class or stay engaged for even half a lesson come up to me and say thank you for planning such a fun activity. I took a look at their clouds after school, and it was some of their best work!

I really hope that when I gain a permanent teaching position I am able to teach a weather unit!

Do you have a favorite unit to teach? It doesn’t have to be science related. Comment below! Sorry this post was basically me rambling…but I hope you enjoyed!




Feb Wrap Up/March 2017 TBR

Greetings! It’s the end of another month. I am regretful in saying that I did not finish all the books I set out to read this month for my #52Books2017 challenge. I do not doubt that I’ll finish this challenge as I’ll blow through books this summer, but this semester it’s slow going.

I finished one book and I’m half-way through a second, with hopes of finishing that in the early days of March.

  1. I finished Me Before You by JoJo Moyes earlier this month. I had started and restarted this book many times and finally got through it. I enjoyed it a lot. I understand what all the fuss is about. I’m not sure I’ll reread it, but I do want to see the movie now and cry my heart out. I also would like to read After You as well.
  2. I started and am exactly halfway through The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor this is a re-read for me, but I am loving it even more than the first time I read it. Since this year marks the 20th anniversary of the film coming out (and that’s my favorite movie) I decided to re-read it!

Now for the March TBR:


I’ve decided to read four books this month instead of three. Maybe this will be a more manageable goal.

  1. The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor–my transition novel.
  2. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult–my favorite author’s newest book. It came out in the fall and my mom bought it for her book club’s read that month. Thank you for letting me borrow it!
  3. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick–this as been on my to read list since Christmas. Maybe I’ll finally be ready to read it this month!

What’s on your “To Read” list this month?

Happy Reading!


Conversation St(hearts)ers

Happy Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day or Single Awareness Day whichever you are celebrating this year! Today while scrolling through Facebook I saw a blog post written by my friend Kelly (check out her blog here). Kelly came up with a list of 14 questions and she and her husband, Nathan, each answered them about each other. I asked her if it would be okay if I took her idea and used it on my blog with J…so here goes!!

What is the first memory you have of me, or anything to do with us

O-I remember meeting you at district band. I was nervous…but I think that was mainly because I was at district band and one of the youngest from Township that year. 

J-Meeting you at district band and thinking you were a nerd. 

What is your favorite physical attribute of mine?

O-Your hair…except not when it’s short lol. Your eyes…when you smile. 

J-Your eyes–because they’re pretty.
Is there any area in which you wish you could be more like me?

O-You are so much more musical than I am and you seem fearless sometimes and I wish I could be like that.

J-Your organizational skills are better than mine, but nothing else because you’re weird.
What is the funniest memory you have about me/us?

O-Oh gosh…there are a bunch. You trying to teach me to parallel park–that was a laugh. Forgetting the “pretzel” and that joke definitely lives on!

J-When you tried to spell Flyers with a ph and were confused why it didn’t match with the spelling of Philadelphia. 
What is your favorite thing to do with me?

O-Getting food (WEGMANS) and watch movies or TV. I like being able to do nothing but still have it be fun and a great time.

J-Cuddles and getting food and eating–it’s a hobby.
Do you have a favorite date that we’ve gone on?

O-Taylor Swift concert hands down, but recently, seeing Home Alone at the Kimmel Center 

J-Going to Philadelphia for the Flyers game. 
What three adjectives best describe me?

O-Kind, Nurturing, Dedicated/Stubborn  

J-Kind, Honest, Loving
What is the best way to cheer me up?

O-Giving you a food you like and doing or saying something stupid. 

J-By making a cute joke. 
Where would you most like to go/be with me?

O-Disney is on that list for sure, but Europe. I want you to show me your favorite places.

What is my love language?

O-Physical Touch for sure but I think Quality Time is probably a close second. 

J-Quality Time 
What is your favorite quirk/annoying thing about me?

O-Your snoring…even though I complain about it sometimes lol

J-Your worrying 
What aspect of our relationship are you most proud of?

O-We’ve almost made it through the distance and I’m proud of us for being there for each other,  making this work, and sticking through it all. 

J-Our understanding of each other. 
Where do you see us 10 Valentine’s Days from now?

O-Reluctently celebrating it like we do now…maybe as a family? 

J-Having a family date. 
What celebrity would they want to spend Valentine’s Day with?

O-Taylor Swift, Mila Kunis, Anna Kendrick

J-Taylor Swift 

Thanks, Kelly for this awesome idea and letting me use it as well. I hope every one has a happy day regardless of how you’re celebrating! Let me know down below what your favorite tradition is or if you and you significant other participated in this as well!


We’re both dorks, but I love you J. Thanks for being my Valentine always.

❤ -O