11/30/2011

Tis the season!

This is only a quick post as the hubby and I are out Christmas shopping in the City Centre, but I wanted to take a moment to share my Starbucks love with all of you. Honestly, few things beat a piping hot Gingerbread Latte in a Starbucks Christmas cup on a cold winters day :)

In addition to this delicious festive drink, I saw the Coca-Cola "Holidays are coming " commercial for the first time this year the other day and I danced around the house singing along with it. Drinking this latte, walking around the shops all decorated with Christmas lights playing Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" has made it very real that Christmas is getting closer and closer. I'm grinning from ear to ear as I write this. The festive joy is in full swing and I'm turning into a 5 year old again. Whoopie!

So, for your viewing/listening pleasure I've attached the WORLDS MOST AWESOME Christmas commercial to help get you in the festive spirit too ;) (go on, dance around the house...you know you wanna!)


I just LOVE this time of year :) I can't believe it's only 24 days left until the big day! Time flies when you're having fun :)

My wedding and engagement rings are one

My mother (since as far back as I can remember) has always had her engagement and wedding rings soldered together. Seeing my Mom's rings together as one cemented in my mind from an early age that I would have mine like that someday too.  I just love the idea of having the two most important rings you'll ever wear, as one. It's very symbolic. 

Ever since the hubby and I were married back in July I've been chomping at the bit to get my rings soldered, but various reasons (time, money etc) prevented me from getting it done right away. Over the past few months whenever I received compliments about my rings I would always explain that my intention was to have them soldered, and it never failed, there would be someone whose response was: "Why would you want to do that?! It de-values the rings!" Comments like that just aggravated me to no avail and I was always dying to say "What an insensitive and negative comment!" but I guess I'm too polite (so I've decided to vent about it here instead haha). To me, the re-sale value of your wedding and engagement rings shouldn't ever be a consideration or thought in your mind. Marriage is something that's meant to have been given a considerable amount of careful thought, and last forever. So why would something like the re-sale value of a wedding/engagement ring be the first thing to pop into your mind? It isn't for me, it never has been, and I intend to wear these beautiful rings which are a symbol of  love and unity forever. So, my view is if I'd like MY rings to be soldered together, to suit MY personal taste, I'll damn well do it regardless of if it effects the re-sale value. 

Rant over....
whew, I feel better!

Anywho, regardless of the critical comments, this past Wednesday I was finally able to get it done! HOORAY! And I'm absolutely tickled pink with the results. I think the jewellers did a BEAUTIFUL job! What do you think?
When we have our American wedding in October 2013 (the big one where I'll be surrounded by all of my Vermont friends and family, my Sister will be my maid of honor, I'll wear my dream wedding dress and finally share a first dance with hubby) Carl will be placing a different (yet the same style as the one I have now) wedding ring on my finger.This ring will also be soldered onto the other two, just above my engagement ring, so that together my English and American wedding rings encircle my engagement ring. They'll represent the two places we were married, the two places Carl and I call home, and come together as one to represent our relationship - which has, against all odds - the thousands of miles apart and tough times - still remained strong :) 

11/26/2011

Cheers to the fricken' Weekend



This song sums up PERFECTLY how I feel now that it's finally the weekend. This past week has been hectic, emotionally draining, hard work and it drove me a little insane... so here's to the fricken' weekend. I drink to that, yeah-yeah! 

CHEERS! Enjoy yourselves!



11/24/2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!





Sadly, this will be the 4th Thanksgiving that I'm spending in England; away from home, away from my beautiful friends and family, and turkey-less.

 I woke up this morning at 6, got dressed, put mousse in my hair, painted on my face and walked into the kitchen to collect my pack lunch before I headed to school for a day full of teaching. The chaos that has been my week (mixed with the lack of Thanksgiving festivities in England) has kept me preoccupied and it wasn't until I logged onto Facebook this morning that it dawned on me that today is Thanksgiving. (Where has time gone?!) As I scrolled down my homepage, the first status update on my news feed was my Mom's from the night before. It read: 
"Chocolate pie done, Apple pie done and Pumpkin pie shell done. Supper done and....Betty DONE! Goodnight FB!" 
The sadness (which I've worked so hard at hiding and forcing somewhere in the back of my mind) that I'd be absent for another Thanksgiving hit me and the tears started. I pictured in my mind my cosy house with steamed up windows and snow outside. I pictured my cat curled up on the couch and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV. I pictured Mom's autumn leave garland around the house. I pictured the breakfast bar in our kitchen with yummy pies cooling on racks. I pictured my Mom, Dad, Sister and her boyfriend, Grandma, Uncle and cousins crowded around the table. I imagined how delicious all of the home-made food would taste. I imagined how happy and complete I'd feel if I were there. 

I felt sad. I felt left out. I was scared I'd be forgotten.

Then I took a moment and remembered that today is not a day of sadness and a day to whine and complain  about what you don't have, but instead, a day to be thankful for what you do have.

So, I've composed a list of some of the things that I'm thankful for.

 Today I am especially thankful for technology and the fact that regardless of the distance I was able to spend time with my entire family. A two hour Skype chat enabled us to catch up, share laughs, say I love you and blow kisses. I'm thankful for a Thanksgiving Day that I was, in some way, a part of. 

I'm thankful that I have such a wonderful and special home which I look forward to going back to next year. I'm thankful that next Thanksgiving I will be back in Vermont and every day that goes by is another day closer. It makes me happy to know that when I move back I'll bring with me my husband and my family will grow just a little bit bigger. I'm thankful that next year I'll be inside my parents cosy house with steamed up windows and snow outside. I know that I'll pet my cat as she's curled up on my lap while I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'll help Mom roll the pie dough for her yummy pies and I'll smell them as they cool on the racks. I'll hug and kiss my Mom, Dad, Sister and her boyfriend, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle and cousins as we all come together on this day of thanks. I'll taste all of the delicious home-made food set out before us. I'll feel happy and complete. I'll appreciate more than ever how precious life is and how lucky I am to be able to spend the day surrounded by the people who mean the most to me. 

I'm thankful for all of the people in my life and I feel truly blessed to have such beautiful friends and family back home who love me. I'm thankful for my little Sister who is my very best buddy in the whole world. I'm thankful for my Mother who is always encouraging me to smile and follow my dreams. I'm thankful for my Daddy-o who has shown me what hard work can achieve and always pushes me to be the best that I can be. I'm thankful for my Grandma who is so supportive and proud of the person that I've become. I'm thankful for my awesome husband who is my rock and makes me laugh every day. I'm thankful for the wonderful friends I've made in England, and my amazing in-laws who I know I'd be lost without. I'm thankful for my health, my positivity and my determination to succeed. I'm thankful for life :)

And finally, I'm thankful that I'm able to host a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday for my in-laws and hubby where we can come together and make special memories.

Sending all of my love to all on this special day and hoping you're spending it in a house full of love surrounded by family and friends.

11/20/2011

SO EXCITED I COULD PEE MY PANTS!

So, as you'll know from my previous posts, I was devastated when Adele had to cancel our gig (my graduation present from hubby) because of throat complications/surgery. I cried and felt terribly sorry for myself, cursing my bad luck, as I'd looked forward to that gig for nearly a year. But in an attempt to make me smile again the hubby promised that with the refunded money we'd go see my beloved Coldplay again instead (he took me for my 21st birthday a couple of years ago) once they announced new tour dates after releasing their new album Mylo Xyloto.

Well a couple of days ago I got an email (yes, I'm that obsessed I'm on their emailing list) saying that they'd finally listed 2012 UK tour dates. As I'd got the email on my phone and on my lunch break (which wasn't really a lunch break as I was marking the kids Math booklets) I didn't have time to click the link and view the locations/prices etc and just planned to have a peak once I got home.

Later that night at home I sat down to the computer hastily tapping my fingers as the webpage loaded with the UK tour dates of my boys. Once the page had finally become clear I noticed two horrible, ugly, disgusting words and fought back tears, convinced my bad luck had struck again. The words SOLD OUT mocked me as they arrogantly stood next to all of the UK tour dates. I was miserable. I'd waited YEARS for Coldplay to release a new album and go on tour again only to find I was too late, I'd missed the boat. The rest of the night poor Carl hugging me as my womanly emotions (lack of sleep and stress) took over and the crocodile tears streamed down my face. I was convinced I'd never get to see Coldplay before we move back to Vermont (a place where Coldplay will NEVER come) and that my dreams of seeing them anytime in the near future had been shot down.

That was until tonight...

HOORAY! HALLELUJAH! PRAISE THE LORD! WHOOPY-FRICKEN-DO!

I finally got an email letting me know that our Adele ticket money was refunded. After which I happily announced "I'm keeping my eye on the Coldplay website and the next tour date added or announced, I'm swooping in like a hawk and buying two of those bad boys!" To which the hubby smirked, grabbed his laptop and started clicking and typing away. It seemed odd to me, but he's always on his laptop so I thought nothing of it, smirked and continued my plotting. The next thing I knew Carl swung his laptop around, held it to my face and simply said 'read.' 
And this is what I saw...


PLEASE READ CAREFULLY


If you are using a web based email client please click here http://www.seetickets.com/pah/emails.htm


You have booked to attend COLDPLAY at Etihad Stadium, Manchester on Sunday 10/06/12 Gates 5pm, Show Time TBC    

I screamed. I jumped on him. I hugged and kissed him. I cried.
I have the best husband in the world. One who goes out of his way to make me happy and put a smile on my face. I'm truly spoiled rotten and so, SO thankful to have found someone so giving. 

Because of him, I'm going to see COLDPLAY BABY!



I'm only going to get 7 hours sleep tonight because I was so excited I insisted on  blogging this fantabulous news right away...but what the hell! Tired or not, I'm as happy as a clam.

11/18/2011

'Breaking Dawn, Part I' rocks my socks!


Ever since I first read the books around 4 years ago, (all 4 of them within 5 days...I barely slept, ate or went pee because I was that absorbed in them) I've looked most forward to seeing Breaking Dawn in the Twilight Saga. Being my favorite book of the series, I've read it 3 times and all of them nearly died of excitement at the thought of seeing it played out on the big screen rather than just in my mind.

Well folks, I just got back from the cinema and I can confirm that it was just as AMAZING as I'd always hoped...maybe even better! In fact, I'm seriously contemplating going to see it again.

Although I personally think the books are and always will be far superior to the films,  I found the presentation of the movie was brilliantly done, as were the special effects. I'm a big wedding girl and watching Bella and Edwards special day was beautiful (not gonna lie, totally shed a tear). As usual, I fell in love with Edward all over again... Go team Edward! (And Jacob!)...yes, I'm greedy and love/fantasize/drool over them both. Although Kristen Stewart isn't my favorite actress, I think she's done her best acting in this film and portrayed Bella's birth/death scene astonishingly well. I won't give anything away, but as you can imagine the ending is irritating (which I fully expected but foolishly hoped wouldn't happen) and the fact that I've got to wait ANOTHER friggin year to see part 2 is infuriating.

Ah well, I've devised a clever plan to start reading Part 2 for the 4th time in a last ditch attempt to crave my Twilight hunger and make the wait a little less painful.

So, if you haven't been out to the theater to see it yet...get your butt in gear! In my humble opinion it's well worth your pennies...and if all else fails you'll have a nice Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson perving session. Yummmy!

Thats all for me,
Take good care, guys!

11/17/2011

Reflecting on a week full of bad days

Thanksgiving is in a week, so today I am taking a moment to pause from my incredibly tiring, overwhelming and hectic schedule in order to reflect on the weeks events and the special people in my life.


I'm now at the end of my 3rd week of placement and teaching 60% of the time. And while I LOVE the teaching aspect, it's unbelievably overwhelming trying to write up a detailed plan for every single lesson and make/find resources - like PowerPoint presentations about Charlie the Crocodile who only eats the biggest numbers he can see, in order to teach children about the Greater Than ( > ) and Less Than ( < ) symbols. Or, spend an hour pulling out about 80 catalogue pages with different electrical appliances on them so that during their Science lesson children can cut out the pictures and group them according to light energy, heat energy, sound energy and movement energy. On top of that I've got MOUNTAINS of daily University lesson evaluation/observation/target setting forms, a grand daily total of 1 hour 45 mins travel time, and my 3rd nasty cold in 4 weeks. I'm constantly squirting sanitizer on my hands to no avail, I'm so busy I barely have time to eat lunch. Most days I don't put something down the hatch til around 2:30pm, and even then it's 12 grapes and a glug of water before I'm off again. (At least this teaching thing is going to make dieting 8 million times easier!) I love teaching and I know it's a necessity that I complete this 9 month HIGHLY intensive Masters-level PGCE course, but it's this close to sending my 100% batty. I'm overtired. I'm cranky. I'm worn down. I'm ill and coughing my lungs up. I feel like I'm always treading water.


I think last night was the night that all of the stress of my placement/course and being ill combined with financial issues (involving Royal Mail LOSING a very important tuition fee check - which was sent using Track and Trace) hit me.  The anxiety and lack of sleep mounted up, I finally lost my marbles and I had a very, very, long cry. My eyes were swollen and I had a headache afterwards, but emotionally I felt better. To be honest, sometimes a huge cry is exactly what you need - it's like a release valve. 


While the big cry helped, I also know that if it weren't for the wonderful people in my life who support me, I would be lost. My uncontrollable coughing meant that I got hardly any sleep last night and today wasn't able to go into school. I'm hoping this day of rest, cold medicine, juice and cough drops has helped boot this illness out of my body, but it also gave me the opportunity to reflect on what/who I'm thankful for.


I'm so thankful for my friend Sarah who is also on placement in the same Primary school as I am. She brightens each of my days with her smile, and has been so supportive and encouraging on days like yesterday where I feel beaten down and fed up. I'm going to miss seeing her every day at the end of this placement and I really want to keep in touch with her afterwards. She's one of the sweetest and most genuine people I know. I'm lucky to have her as a friend. 


I'm thankful for my hubby who, bless his soul, has had to put up with my miserable stressed-out ass throughout the past 3 weeks and still remains so supportive. This past week I came home to find that he'd ironed the pile of clean laundry which has sat on the ironing board for a week, done the dishes and tidied up. What a good boy. I look forward to his hugs most each day and I'd honestly be lost if it weren't for him. He's the peanutbutter to my jelly and I love him to the moon and back. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful hubby.


I'm thankful for my family - both back home in Vermont as well as here in England. My baby Sheester, Mom and Dad take time out of their busy schedules to regularly chat with me on Skype or stay connected via Facebook. I'm so so appreciative of technology as I wouldn't be able to keep in touch as well as we do without it. I miss my family more than words can say while I'm here and speaking to them keeps me grounded and sane. My mother-in-law sends me such wonderful, encouraging texts almost daily and I always look forward to hearing from her. I'm excited to see her next weekend for our 'English' Thanksgiving dinner. I'm lucky to have such wonderful family members.


And finally, I'm thankful for the children in my class, who remind me daily with their smiling faces why I am putting myself through this hell and why it all matters. I've grown to love them to pieces and I'm dreading the last day of placement because I know I'll cry. They're my first 'class' that I've been fortunate enough to actually teach. They've taught me so much about myself and cemented my dreams of being a great teacher. I'm lucky to have been given the opportunity to spend time with them and I'll never forget this experience.


Well, I'm up early to catch the train and head to school so that's all for today.
I just need to remember that this too shall pass, to stay positive and focused. I'm doing my best and achieving my goal. Everything will be okay.


Thanks for reading, guys!
Take good care,




Amanda





11/13/2011

Scrumptious cupcakes, hot tea and fairy lights

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I'm a girl with a sweet tooth...and not just any sweet tooth, one bigger than the average persons head. I love not only eating cakes, cookies, pastries and pies but baking them as well. And in addition to the sweet things, I love bread.  No, I don't mean that craptastic, stodgy tasteless stuff filled with chemicals you get wrapped up in yellow plastic at the grocery store. I mean homemade, fresh baked bread...the kind you find cooling on the wire wrack in your kitchen or the kind you buy in an amazing bakery. 
Back home in Vermont my two favorite bakeries are 5 minutes from my house and located on Main and North Streets in Bristol. The Bristol Bakery and Cafe makes the very BEST bagels in the entire world and the creamiest hot chocolate (made with Vermont's own Monument Farms chocolate milk) and the Almost Home Market makes my favorite raspberry bars and blackberry scones. While I've been in England there have been many a time I've drooled profusely as I imagined what it would be like to eat a toasted salt and pepper bagel with chive cream cheese, or a warm and fluffy blackberry scone again. 
Oh God, I'm drooling now. Excuse me while I get a tissue...

But one of the great things about living in a large city is that there's always a wide variety of fantabulous food just around the corner. Having lived in Liverpool for nearly 4 years I've definitely got my list of favorite restaurants and pubs, but for ages I was empty handed in terms of a magnificent bakery to tame my Vermont cravings. I'd fallen in love with The Hummingbird Bakery in Portobello Market way down in London (honestly, if you're ever in London you MUST visit that bakery. They make the most delicious cupcakes EVER!) but London is a good 5-6 hour drive from Liverpool so I don't get those unless I make them myself with my Hummingbird Bakery cookbook (highly recommend investing in it!). And let's be honest, no matter how much you love baking, you'll always have those days where you just don't feel like doing it yourself. So there I was, craving cakes from all other parts of the world and bakery-less in Liverpool... that was until my friend Jacqui raved about this cake she'd eaten in a local place and introduced me to Cuthbert's Bakehouse


HALLELUJAH! My prayers were answered!  There is a Sugar God!

The first time Carl and I visited Cuthbert's was a couple of months ago, and since then it's become my favorite place to sit, sip hot tea and slowly saver a piece of freshly baked, scrumptious cake. Even Carl is a big fan, always ordering their hot chocolate fudge cake while my favorite is the red velvet. Today for a treat, and as an attempt to improve my spirits after a tiring week filled with 31 seven-year-olds, Carl brought me to Cuthbert's and got me a piece of that delicious red velvet cake. While I was there I couldn't help but notice how this bakery is so me. As I sat there sipping my tea admiring the cushions that don't match, the twinkling fairy lights and the Cath Kidston inspired bunting, I thought about how if I were ever to open a bakery it would be exactly like this. Small, petite and very vintage. Even the music they play is the kind I love: The Cranberry's - Zombie, The Police - Message in a Bottle, Adele - Chasing Pavement. It's absolutely perfect! Liverpool's little piece of cake-inspired heaven. 
It's my new home away from home bakery and I look forward to visiting it as often as possible. (Thanks Jac, I owe ya big time doll!) The only problem with falling in love with this place is that when I move back to Vermont I'll again find myself drooling profusely as I imagine what it would be like to eat a piece of that fantastic red velvet cake. Damnit! Perhaps I can convince them to ship abroad...













So, if you're in Liverpool and like me, have an unnaturally large sweet tooth, please take a minute to stop in Cuthbert's Bakehouse. I promise you won't be disappointed :)

That's all for me, folks! Happy Saturday!

11/11/2011

Fireworks, Sparklers and Hot Chocolate

So my English friends and family will all know that this past Saturday was Bonfire Night.  Now, for those of you who aren't from the U.K. and are sitting there scratching your head trying to work out what the hell Bonfire Night is (as I was when I first moved over here) I'll offer a bit of info.
 Every year on the 5th of November bonfire and fireworks displays light the skies of the U.K. celebrating the capture of a man named Guy Fawkes who, back in 1605, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. It all boils down to religion, and basically Guy Fawkes and 12 other Catholic men plotted how they could blow up a King who demanded all Catholics be taxed, killed, or made to leave England. They dug a tunnel under the Houses or Parliaments, to the cellar, and stashed 36 barrels of gunpowder ready to be set off on the 5th of November when they were positive the King would be present. Long story short, an anonymous letter was sent to a man named Lord Monteagle informing him of the Gunpowder Plot, he spilled the beans, and Guy Fawkes was captured by guards. The plotters were executed and King James I ordered that the people of England have a great bonfire to celebrate his survival.  Nowadays an effigy of Guy Fawkes is placed atop the bonfires and fireworks have been added to the tradition. 
Phew!

Well, there you are folks. Your very own History lesson. And if you're wondering why this American knows so much about Bonfire Night, it's because I've had to spend the past 2 weeks learning/teaching the kids in my class all about it. If you're interested in reading a bit more than my unnecessarily large explanation, you can click here and have a mosey around the site.

This year Carl and I celebrated Bonfire Night with his parents. I always love going to stay with his Mom and Dad, who I affectionately refer to as Mama Lynne and Papa Garry. I've heard bazillions of horror stories about in-laws from hell (you know, the kind of Mother-in-laws like Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond) but I can honestly say that I must be one of the lucky ones as I've got the best one in the world. I wholeheartedly view Mama Lynne and Papa Garry as my adopted parents while I'm away from Vermont, and I'm so appreciative to have them in my life. I love them to bits and I know that if it weren't for them (and Carl) I wouldn't have survived being so far away from home for as long as I have. And it's the little family outings, like Bonfire Night, that make me feel at home and a part of something. 

This year Carl and I got a couple of boxes of ginormous 18 inch sparklers (I missed the 4th of July this year as Carl and I stayed in England so it was a must for me that we buy the boxes of giant sparklers to make up for neglecting them on the 4th). We'd also decided that we'd all head to Southport to watch the bonfire night fireworks display. It was good fun, I got a few 'ooh' and 'aaaahs' in and even managed to get some good pictures. The only downside was that because Southport is on the coast of England it was fricken freezing. My nose was like a facet, I didn't have gloves so my fingers were like icicles. And to make matters worse my ass was numb, damp and dirty as I'd sat on the grass without a blanket/towel (like a lemon) to watch them. I know I sound like a total whimp as I'm a Vermonter and we're used to 3 feet of snow and -20 F during the winter. And I know most of my complaining could have been prevented had I planned properly... but it's my party and I'll cry if I want to. Sometimes women just need a good groan. Anywho, regardless of the cold, I had lots of fun and the experience was well worth the numb fingers and damp butt. Once we got back from the fireworks, Mama Lynne made us all a lovley cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream (for some reason she always makes the best hot chocolate) to keep us toasty as we swung sparklers around in the back garden like a bunch of 5 year olds. 










It wasn't extravagant. It wasn't expensive. It was simple and with family. It was my favorite Bonfire Night yet.


Thanks for reading, guys!
Take good care,



Amanda 





11/05/2011

Personality Test

While reading up on some of my favorite blogs, I found this Personality Test a friend had previously posted and thought I'd give it a go. Amazingly, I think the results are pretty accurate! Which is astounding, as almost all of these 'personality tests' I've done in the past have been full of crapola. Then again, maybe I'm in agreement with this one because it's quite flattering...Either way, I laughed aloud when I saw the list of careers it says would be appropriate for me according to my personality type. Teacher was the very first one! Ha! Thank the Lord! At least I've got some confirmation that I've made a good career choice ;)

Below are my results, but if you click here you can take the test for yourself and see how flattering (or not) your results are.

Your personality type: "Engaged Idealist"
Popular and sensitive, with outstanding people skills. Externally focused, with real concern for how others think and feel. Usually dislike being alone. They see everything from the human angle and dislike impersonal analysis. Very effective at managing people issues and leading group discussions. Interested in serving others and probably place the needs of others over their own needs.
Careers that could fit you include:
Teachers, consultants, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, clergy, sales representatives, human resources, managers, events coordinators, politicians, diplomats, writers, actors, designers, homemakers, musicians, religious workers.








Tip: Place the mouse cursor over the bars for explanations of the terms.
Renowned persons with similar personality types:
  • Barack Obama, American president
  • Ben Affleck, actor
  • Ben Stiller, actor and comedian
  • Martin Luther King Jr., minister and civil rights activist
  • Fran├žois Mitterrand, French president
  • Johnny Depp, actor
  • Matthew McConaughey, actor
  • Mikhail Gorbachev, last leader of Soviet Union
  • Petros "Pete" Sampras, tennis champion
  • Tommy Lee Jones, actor

11/04/2011

Kids and Coldplay

Hello friends and family - This is just a small blog to let you all know that you need not worry...I'm not dead!


This past Monday I officially started my first placement for my PGCE course and I'm LOVING every minute of it. I'm finding every day a new and exciting adventure - well, of course its bound to be when you're working with smelly giggling 6 & 7 year old's. (Oh, and kids definitely say the funniest things. At some point I'm planning on composing a blog full of the weird and wonderful things I've heard/seen while at school so keep your eyes peeled) And while teaching is incredibly rewarding/enjoyable, I've come to realize it's something which is beginning to completely consume my life. Hell, after just a week I've managed to develop a routine that is entirely school centered. I wake up well before the sun does (after having dreamed about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the number bonds to 10, or how to effectively model writing a 'g' with correct letter formation), I take a shower and get dressed, have breakfast, get the train, spend the entire day in school with the kids (sometimes until 5:30 at night) get the train home, make supper, do any lesson planning for the next day/rest of the week, pick out clothes for the following day and go to sleep and dream about school again. Oh, and I've left out the laying in bed for 20 minutes before falling asleep just thinking about all of the things I forgot to do that day and all of the things I've still got to do tomorrow... I've done this same routine for the past 5 days and I'm becoming increasingly aware that this will continue to be my routine until all 3 of my placements have finished. The only thing that will change is the intensity as everything gets considerably more hectic when I'm expected to teach higher percentages of the time. Oh, and once I've graduated and got my very own class...this will be a routine I'll adopt for many years to come. Lord help me. No wonder most of the 'old' teachers have gone batty...


 Ah well. I'm not a big fan of cheese and whine, and I know that nothing comes easily in life. Let's be honest, you've got to work your butt off in order to be successful in anything. And I'll be totally truthful and admit that I have had a few days throughout this course where I've thought "Seriously, what the HELL have I got myself into?"(This happens mostly at 6:00 am when I'm struggling to peel myself off of my warm, fluffy mattress to go catch a smelly train in the pouring rain and howling wind of England) ...but I keep reciting in my mind "This too shall pass" and I'm determined to stay positive. I absolutely love teaching, I love smelly giggling children and I know this will all be worth it in the end.


Anyway, enough of that boring pensive bologna...every morning and evening on my train journey to/from school I listen to the new album from Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto. And as many of you will know (after reading my previous posts) I'm one of Coldplay's BIGGEST fans. No, seriously.  I am. So, it could be argued that this next comment is entirely bias - but I'm in love with their new album. It's wonderfully 'Coldplay' but got an entirely new sound. I really love track 10 - "Princess of China" which is a collaboration with Rihanna (weird combination, I know - but it totally works!) I also love track 2 - "Hurts Like Heaven"  and another one of my favorite songs is the new single 'Paradise.' (which you've probably already heard, but I've so kindly put below for your viewing/listening pleasure. How thoughtful of me.) No matter how craptastic, tired, warn down, fed up and overwhelmed I may be feeling, these songs never fail to put me at ease and make me smile. 


So, if like me you're ever having one of those "Seriously, what the HELL have I got myself into?" days, I suggest you pop onto iTunes and invest in some of these feel-good tunes. As I say to the kids when they're standing there with crocodile tears streaming down their cheeks and snot dribbling out of their noses - "Don't ruin that pretty face, show me how to turn that frown upside down."
Oh, and I know what you're probably thinking... and the answer is no, I'm not some kind of undercover publicist for Coldplay... just offering some advice in terms of music that will make you smile and feel good :)


I'll be in touch again soon , but for now I'm in desperate need of an overflowing handful of extra hours sleep. Aaaaah, I love Saturdays.

Thanks for reading, guys!
Take good care,




Amanda