May 31, 2016

Project Happiness: June // Creativity

I’m still working on my Project Happiness and this month is focusing on creative goals. School ends in the middle of June which gives me a good chunk of time to focus on other side projects and hobbies that I might not have time for during the school year. April went so well while I was working on my career related goals, so I’m excited to see how this month turns out. Before we get into the newest goals I decided to take a look at my progress from April;

May 19, 2016

#OOTW: What I Wore to Work This Week

When I started teaching I swore on my life that I would wear heels every single day. After about 6 months of full time teaching I ditched my heels and bought some really comfy, but also stylish, flats. I try to mix up my outfits and create interesting looks, while also staying comfortable at work. I'm walking around a LOT - so having something I can move in is a must, but I'm also a fashion snob, so I need to be the best dressed out there. 

I decided to snap some photos of what I wear during the week in hopes of creating some inspiration for the newly graduated or new teachers out there! 

Monday: I dressed in a ton of brown tones this day - the shift dress wasn't too tight, but didn't have sleeves so I paired it with one of my favorite cardigans from Charlotte Russe. The dress is from my GG-Little and I absolutely love it. The statement necklace gave it a small pop of burgundy color, and the boots are a staple in my closet. I've worn them so much that they have holes in the heels. 

May 4, 2016

What I've Learned Through Teaching Special Education For a Month

If you aren’t familiar with the type of children that I teach, they’re in a class called “EC Reading Resource”, which translates to not quite inclusion, but not severely handicapped either. They’re the kids who need love, support, and those extra small classes to help them succeed. Their ‘least restrictive environment’ is out of the regular-ed classroom, and in a separate setting with less students and a specially trained SPED teacher.

When I took this position people responded with wide eyes and silent mouths. Their congratulatory statements were sprinkled with doubt… well, not doubt, but sympathy. I could tell they felt for me. I’ve said this in previous posts, I hated those reactions. When I accepted this Special Education position I was overflowing with joy and excitement. I love working with the kids who need special attention. In a regular education classroom I don’t get the opportunity to reach the struggling students because I have 25+ other bodies to attend to, while also juggling PLC meetings, parent-teacher conferences, AIG material, professional development, etc etc.

April 10, 2016

How to keep your super fine hair HEALTHY!

I can assume that next to having perfectly shaped eyebrows, the average twenty-something wants long, luscious, healthy hair. I know I do, and I've been working towards it for years. If I ever quit teaching, I'm taking my color-treated locks to beauty school and learning how to be a hairdresser. As a teenager, I was fascinated with the fact that changing your hair could change your entire look. I had very long brown hair as a child, but I spent most of my pre-teen and teen years with hair right around my collarbone, or shorter. I think I just crave that change, and can't stand to keep my hair a certain way for too long. 

I also experimented with color. I've had brown, black, orange, blonde, red, pink, and purple hair. When I was fifteen, I dyed the bottom half of my hair bright pink, and the top half black (it was a rough time in my life). A few years later, I chopped my hair off right below my chin and dyed it blonde. Periodically I experimented with extensions, only to realize that glue in extensions tore your hair tf up. Who even invented that debauchery?

Right now, my hair is healthy, and naturally wavy. I do not have a lot of frizz, I'm comfortable wearing it natural, and I can feel the volume and strength in my strands. I've tried so many different types of products, and finally feel comfortable with the ones I'm mentioning below. With that + the tips I'm going to share with you, I feel like my hair has never looked better. Be aware, this isn't a post on how to grow your hair over night, or how to reverse years and years of damage without cutting split ends, it's simply things that have worked for me, but have taken some time. To put it into perspective, I have not cut my hair since July 8th, 2015, and I started seeing results from that + tips + products around November.

Update: After writing this, I had my hair cut into a long asymmetrical bob. My hair is still healthy and strong, just a bit shorter!

1// John Freda Frizz Ease
2// Infusium 23 or Organix Argon Oil
3// Organix Biotin & Collogen Shampoo / Soapbox Coconut + Shea Butter Shampoo
4// Soapbox Coconut + Shea Butter Conditioner 

1// Eat and drink: your diet is a huge part of healthy hair. This is something I did not know until I was in college. I had no idea that the McDonald's I was stuffing my face with had an effect on my hair, skin, and mental state. Your hair needs healthy protein and lots of water to grow strong. Making sure you have enough water in your body, and a healthy balanced does wonders for hair growth. Some super food for hair include eggs, peanuts, almonds, wheat bran, salmon, avocados, and low-fat cheese. These foods include biotin, which I'm sure you've heard of before. That's the main vitamin that promotes healthy hair, skin and nails!

2// Speaking of biotin... I'm sure you've seen supplements of biotin being advertised in stores. Maybe you've even bought some for yourself (like me). If you're going to take a biotin supplement, be aware of the side effects and do your research. Although I am not a doctor, I've scoured the internet to find factual information about biotin pro's and con's. If you're biotin deficient, you might experience hair loss and dull skin, as well as lack of energy. Taking the correct dosage of biotin (start with 1000 mcg) can improve these things, but may also cause breakouts and acne. I personally have not experienced this side effect, but I know other people have.It's also important to take this with water and a hearty meal, because biotin is a water saluable vitamin. Plus, that water will help your hair as well! It is also recommended that you only take these vitamins for up to three months, and then continue with a balanced diet and exercise.

2// Avoid hair ties: Those skinny little black hair ties that you keep around your wrist? They rip through your hair. Instead of throwing your hair up in a messy bun, try a loose braid, or investing in some big clips to hold your hair up. I decided to buy a huge white clip for those days that I just cant be bothered with my hair - and some smaller clips for the days I just want to pull back a little bit. If you absolutely must buy hair ties, get small scrunchies - they're much more gentle on your hair.

3// Limit heat-to-head: This is a no-brainer. Straightening your hair is killing your locks. When I was in high school I straightened or curled my hair every day, which gave my natural waves a TON of frizz. If you can push through the first few weeks of getting your hair healthy again, I would recommend it. I completely stopped blow drying and straightening my hair over the summer, and with some good shampoo and a healthy diet, I saw frizz calm down and my loose waves didn't look like an afro. Now, I'll put heat to my head once every week or two, and I rarely use a hair dryer. If you do need to use heat on your head, make sure you invest in a protecting spray.

4// Silk sheets: I don't actually follow this rule, because I haven't purchased the sheets yet, but I've heard a good bit about how your sheets protect your hair. Especially if you are going to bed with wet hair (the most fragile state your hair can be in), you want something smooth and gentle to lay your head on. Getting a good set of pillowcases or sheets can help keep your hair healthy, because it prevents breakage.

© Peace & Blessings
Maira Gall