Thursday, April 9, 2015

When You Have a Free Day

I don't get many free days. Between work and school I manage to stay pretty busy during the week, but I've had the past few Thursdays off while the elementary schools were on spring break. Miraculously enough, my best friend also had the day off so we just had to take advantage of that! Cue the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. This museum is basically my happy place, and is one of the best children's museums in the world! If you're ever in Indiana, I would recommend going. Not only are the permanent exhibits awesome, they usually have awesome travelling exhibits as well.

One of the first things you see when entering the museum is the giant water clock. Seeing it change hours was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. And in the middle of the museum is Fireworks, a Chihuly glass installation. Hella rad.



One of the traveling exhibits right now is the Transformers exhibit, and it was so cool. The entrance an exit were the Decepticon and Optimus Prime heads, and inside the exhibit was one of the Optimus Prime's they used in the movies. I turned around and walked up and he was literally staring right into my soul. I literally stood there transfixed for several minutes until my best friend dragged me away.



There's this hall of mirrors on the top floor and there's a room where you feel like you're in a kaleidoscope and it's pretty much the coolest thing in the world. Oh! And I found Peyton Manning. I love that man so much. #IndyMissesYou



One of the highlights of the museum is definitely the Dinosphere. Full casts of dinosaurs, digging for bones, and there's an area with dinosaur eggs. It's basically every young kids dream, mine included.

And just because, here's a picture of the two of us being dinosaurs. Because I'm always 5 years old at heart.




Thursday, April 2, 2015

Reads of 2015 | The First Three Months

How is it already a week into April? I'm seriously in denial, but we're 25% done with the year. Reading is something I absolutely love to do, but unfortunately I don't always have as much time to read during the school year as I would like. I made a goal on Goodreads to read 50 books this year, the same as last year. I didn't quite reach my goal in 2014, but I'm determined to get there this year. I'm slightly behind at the moment, having only read 5 books and currently working on my sixth. 

So far I've read Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, London's Hidden Secrets by Graeme Chesters, and The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart.



I love the Divergent series, and I was so excited when I heard that Veronica Roth was writing a companion book to Divergent from Four's perspective. Although we all already knew Four liked Tris, seeing his perspective throughout the first book was so cool and exciting, making me love his character even more. It's separated into short little novellas, and can easily be read in a night.


I am a hugehugehuge fan of the movie Stardust, based off of this book. Truthfully, I think that made the book harder for me to read and finish. While I loved it, there are some definite differences, so if you've seen the movie be prepared for those. But even with the changes, this book is an absolute gem. If' you're a fan of fairytales and magical fiction, I would definitely recommend it.


This is technically four books, and I read the last three. I've read The Giver several times and it's one of my favorite books, but I hadn't had a chance to read the last 3 in the series. Each subsequent book takes place within the same universe but with different characters, eventually all linking up together. If you liked The Giver you'll probably like all of the books, but I would definitely encourage you to read them in this format, because as soon as I finished one I had to start the next right away. 



I realize this is a travel book and that I'm not actually heading to England for thirteen months, but my planning is beginning now. This book was awesome for finding cheap (!!) and usually free things to do in London that are off the beaten path a little bit. There are so many museums and things to do just in London, I don't know how I'm going to choose what to do. Also, there are a lot of medical museums across the pond with some kinda freaky collections. If you're planning a trip to England, I'd definitely recommend this book. It even divides London into the different districts -- super helpful!


This is more of a middle grades book, but as I'm trying to build my teacher library I'm making an effort to make sure that I've read all of the books I have for my students. Even though The Honest Truth is geared for younger teens, I think everyone should read it. The book deals with death in a way that I've never seen in a book for people of this age. It was a quick read, but incredibly powerful.

Overall, I've enjoyed all the books I've read this year, including the book I'm working on right now, Lies We Tell Ourselves.

What have you read this year? Have any good suggestions?


Monday, March 30, 2015

8 Lessons Learned from 8 Months in Retail

8 things I've learned working in retail for 8 months"Everyone should work a retail or fast food job" -- My mother, and probably someone you know too. It's almost a right of passage to work in a retail or fast food job, especially in your teens and early twenties. While I had successfully avoided fast food thus far, over the summer I took a job at a major retailer, and it has been a wild eight months. Not only was I part of the largest grossing back to school weekend in our company, I've been there on every holiday including black friday, the rush before christmas, and the mad house it can turn into right before spring break. (perks of living in a college town).



Working in retail definitely lends itself to having crazy stories to tell, and it teaches a lot of life lessons. I have seen some of the best and worst in people, and sometimes myself. There have been days where I want to cry, and times where I can't keep the smile off my face. I work with the most amazing team members I could have asked for, especially when trying to juggle a job and full schedule at school. Nonetheless, the past eight months have been some of the craziest in my life, full of lessons learned.

1. The customer is not always right.

Before you start shouting, OF COURSE THEY ARE, talk to someone who has worked retail before. The customer is not always right. Honestly, there are days where the customer is rarely right. As a customer myself I have not always been right. It's okay, we've all been there. We can't be right all the time. If you believe that we sell ice skates but I calmly explain to you that we don't have any and that we never have, I'm being honest. I swear to you.

2. I get by with a little help from my friends.

Sometimes you just can't do it all by yourself. You walk up to the shoe department and it looks like a tornado went through and one hour to make it look perfect again. Not even the Flash has those powers. So what is one to do? Call up all your friends in the store and have them help when they've finished. Seriously, your co-workers are your best friends when you're in the store. Sometimes outside as well. Everyone there has your back, and they'll help in any way, even if that's just through moral support.

3. One person can change your whole mood.

Storytime! On black friday I was working in the fitting room, and it was busy. Like, crazy busy. Not enough rooms and a line of people waiting to get in. It was stressful, I was tired, and there were a lot of people. Apparently I missed a woman standing further back from the room, I probably thought she was waiting on a granddaughter if I saw her. So instead of coming up to the desk and asking for a room, she throws the pair of pants she was holding into my face and storms off in a huff. Let me tell you, didn't exactly make my day any better or easier. But another day I had an older gentleman thank me profusely for helping him find the medicine he needed, and then even mentioned my name when checking out to thank me again. Such an amazing mood booster. It's amazing how we feed off of each others energy.

4. Middle-schoolers are easier to intimidate then you think.

Honestly, all it takes is a firm "teacher voice" (aka the one I use on my students when they aren't doing the right thing) and you're in control. No matter what shenanigans they may be getting up to, you can get them to stop. Most won't fight back, and are actually very polite.

5. People expect you to have everything all the time.

Surprise, we don't sell flipflops in November. We don't normally carry green tights. These things happen.

6. People can be slobs.

It's true. It's a harsh reality, but it is true of me as well. They will leave their clothes in the fitting room when I am standing right there, leave things throughout the store, throw clothes on the ground and then just walk over them. There are the gracious people that put things back, and I honestly usually assume they've worked retail before. You can usually tell who has versus who hasn't.

7. Always check sizes.

I cannot guarantee you that the size of the hanger is the same as the clothing on it. I try really hard, but sometimes things get overlooked. It happens. Shoes get placed in wrong boxes all the time, and it's impossible to go through each box every night to make sure they are all properly placed. We try, but make mistakes. They are bound to happen.

8. Complaining won't really get you anywhere.

Ironic, right? But honestly, the more you complain, the more frustrated everyone gets. We're all here for a common goal, and we can help each other reach it. No reason to make things more difficult than they need to be.

Have you ever worked retail? Have any crazy stories or learned any lessons? Let me know, I love hearing other people's retail stories!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Boyhood | A Movie Review

Boyhood | A nostalgia movie you should see

Boyhood (2014) is a movie directed by Richard Linklater, starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Lorelei Linklater. This movie definitely doesn't stray far from the title, truly feeling like you are watching a documentary of young Mason's life, from the time he's 5 through his first few days of college at age 18. As many already know, the movie was filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 (!!!) years. This in itself is an amazing feat. I mean, how many actors would sign a contract for a twelve year movie? Not many. Technically, I believe they only signed on for 8 years, because the contract couldn't be any longer. And what if something had happened to any of them? Making this movie was a huge gamble on everyone's parts. So many things could have gone wrong, but instead the movie turned out so right.

While the run time is at almost 3 hours, it didn't feel that long to me. Some have said they found the movie boring and dull, but I think that is what was so captivating to me about it. I didn't feel like I was watching a movie. I really felt like I got to see this kid grow up into an awesome young man. I was rooting for Mason, cheering him on the whole time. Plus, high school me would have totally been crushing on high school Mason, no lie.

Boyhood | A Movie Review


For me, the movie was like a giant throwback to my childhood. While Mason is technically a few years younger than me, so many of the stages he went through were stages that I did growing up. At one point some of the kids go to a Harry Potter premiere all dressed up. I have definitely done that. Mason's younger sister starts out the movie singing Britney Spears. Are there any of us who can say we didn't do that? And while I may have laughed at some of the outfits worn by all the characters, I know I was wearing the same thing back in the mid-2000s.
Mason is an introspective kid who isn't afraid to challenge authority when he needs to. While only seeing snippets of his life you come to understand who Mason is, watching him grow and mature into someone who is dealing with many of the same questions most of us are. What do I want with life? Where am I going? How can I do everything I want to do? It really hit home with me.

And don't get me started on the cast. Ellar Coltrane as Mason was amazing to watch. So understated and wonderful, especially because he started so young and hasn't done much work outside of the movie. I hope to see him in more movies in the future! And obviously Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were incredible, as evidenced by their mutual Golden Globes noms and a win for Patricia. Patricia even went on to sweep the awards show season with her stellar performance. Also, A+ to the casting department, because Ellar and Ethan look like they could be father and son. It's almost a bit creepy, but made the movie all the more believable.

Boyhood | A Movie Review


But overall I would absolutely recommend you see this movie. You'll laugh, cry, and take a walk down memory lane. While this movie may not be for everyone, seeing it once is well worth it. This movie is incredible. The only reason I'm giving it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 is because I won't give anything a perfect score.

BOYHOOD:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Goodbye Glee

Saying Goodbye to Glee after Six Years of Tears, Laughter, and Songs || Oddly Olivia

I'm currently in denial a bit about Glee officially ending tonight. It's been six seasons, six years since this show came on the air. There have been good seasons and some not so good seasons, but it's always been there. I can honestly say that Glee has changed my life. Sure, it's just a tv show, but to me it's always been more than a tv show. Glee has inspired me; I've laughed, cried, and sang these six years thanks to the little show that could. I've grown to love not only the characters but the cast as well. I can't imagine a life without Glee.

Saying Goodbye to Glee After Six Years || Oddly Olivia

I thought about writing about my favorite songs, episode, or something along those lines but I truly don't know how I can choose. There are moments that I will always have strong memories of. I'll remember the first character I fell in love with, Sam Evans (I started in season 2 and then spent a week catching up!). I'll remember the exact moment I found out that Cory Monteith had passed away. I'll remember all of the duets and crazy mash-ups that have occurred. Who can forget that amazing Adele mash-up in season 3?!? I'll remember the tears streaming down my face during the Cough Syrup montage. How giddy I got seeing all of my favorite couples getting together on the screen. How epic the Bohemian Rhapsody sequence was. The rawness of the episode where there was a school shooting. I'll always remember how much I cheered for this little band of misfits who at times only had the Glee Club in common.

Saying Goodbye to Glee after Six Years || Oddly Olivia

This is one of those shows that is always going to stay with me. It taught me to never give up on my dreams, and to get back up when I get knocked down. That my size doesn't determine my self-worth. That even being in the background is an integral part of any group. That someone you initially hate may end up being your greatest ally. Take chances. Be free. Go your own way. That my differences make me special and valuable. That my self-worth is not dictated by others but by myself. To not be afraid of who I truly am.

Saying Goodbye to Glee after Six Years | Oddly Olivia

So thank you, Glee. Thank you for six wonderful years. May the memories never fade, and don't stop believing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

England On My Mind | pt. 1

England on my Mind pt. 1 | Music photo credit: London - London phone box via photopin (license)



Next spring I will be student teaching to finish out my degree, and through my university I have the amazing opportunity to spend 10 weeks teaching in ENGLAND. AHHHHHH. I literally cannot contain my excitement. I've known about this since November, but each month as it gets closer it is the only thing on my mind. And honestly, going to England is my main source of motivation at the moment. But, in honor of this impending trip (only a year away), I wanted to share some of my favorite songs from British musicians!

I might also share a few other England faves throughout the upcoming months. There may also even be a part two to this list because seriously, so many amazing British musicians.

Ed Sheeran | Lego House

Not only does the video have Rupert Grint in it (hello to my two favorite gingers) but its a killer song.


Oasis | Wonderwall 

Anyways, here's Wonderwall. All jokes aside, I know it's over-mentioned and played but I seriously can't get enough of this song. Also, checkout Champagne Supernova.


Coldplay | Clocks

I could honestly choose any Coldplay song to put here because they have so many great ones.


Amy Winehouse | Valerie

Such an amazingly talented woman who gave us some amazing music while she was here. Forever jamming to any and all versions of this song. 


Cat Stevens | Lady D'Arbanville

I grew up listening to Cat Stevens, and I'm pretty sure we own all of his albums multiple times at home. I don't think he's made a bad record. But this has always been one of my favorites, especially growing up. And I was forever convinced as a child that her name was pronounced Darbandi.


I've made the executive decision, there will definitely be a part two (and maybe three) to this because seriously, so many great musicians from this country! 

Who are some of your favorite musicians from England? Any songs by these artists that you love? Let me know!




Monday, March 2, 2015

I'm ALIVE


Hello again blogging world! I've been gone for awhile, just staying on the background. For a small period of time I honestly wasn't even checking bloglovin and let me tell you, I got behind really quickly with reading everyone's amazing content. But, I am back and ready to go. Life got in the way in all aspects, and while I'm not perfect I'm definitely doing much better than I was for a few months.