Monday = Me day

Hello!

I’ve decided that I’m going to make Monday a “me” post day. By that I don’t mean I’m going to be posting all about me… but it’s not necessarily going to be a bookish day: it might be about school, about my life, about my MH: it’ll be something personal, not necessarily bookish. It MIGHT be bookish, but it won’t be a review. I always love when I get to learn more about a blogger and writing my post last week (see here) was such a great thing for me to do that I thought I’d love a space on this blog for me, the person, not just me the book blogger! I hope you guys stick around and read my Monday posts, but if they’re not your jam, that’s OK. There’ll still be plenty of bookish content the rest of the days! 

I’m going to kick off Me Day Mondays with a “happy post“. These are some of my favourite posts to write and to read. I stole the idea from my gorgeous friend Grace Latter (who is a proper babe and you should all be following her on all of the social medias if you’re not already) and I’ve well and truly taken it under my belt! 

Breakfasts with my friends. Spending time with my mam. Drinking wine on a Saturday afternoon like a fancy lady. Going back to work. New challenges. New friends. Getting so much joy out of teaching. Knowing that I’m working really hard and it’s having an impact. Reading books because I want to. Spending my birthday reading, having cake and talking about books. When people remember small things about me. Starbucks Fridays. Birthday videos from the twiglets. Getting lovely emails. Having people back in my life who’ve been gone a while. Seeing the look of joy in my kids faces when they’re enthusiastic about something. Reading Letters From The Lighthouse with the kids and them having so much enthusiasm about it. Laughing at my pal-o. Booking train tickets for London in Feb. Chocolate hob nobs and a cup of tea. Looking after myself. Buying tights that fit. Pyjamas. Clearing out my wardrobe. A new diary. Ticking off things on my to do list. Making time for meditating. Falling back to sleep on a weekend. Listening to Disney playlists as I’m marking. Being productive. Books. Always books. 

In light of ‘Monday Me Day’, I’d like to pass the torch on to you to find out what you’d like to know about me as a person? Have you got anything you’d like me to talk about? Is there anything you’d like to know about me? What do you want to see more of around here that isn’t books? 

S x 

A decade in the life of me…

The start of a new decade is a funny thing.

We all know I’m a proper sentamentalist and I’m an emotional person. Seeing everyone’s posts about 2010 vs 2020 made me think about all of the things that happened to me from 2010-2019. I went into it thinking “I’ve not really achieved/done a lot in 10 years”, but looking over it, I have. So this post is probably more for me than for anyone else, but if you’re interested, here’s a decade in the life of me (in no real order, except the order my brain thought of it). There’ll be things I’ve forgotten – this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. 

Fell in love a few times. Had my heart broken a few times. Imagined I’d marry one of them. Was crushed when that didn’t happen. Made some tragic love life decisions, but learned from them. 
Visited Paris. Had an absolute blast. Learned a lot about myself. Stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower with a glass of champage.
Became a blogger. It changed my life. Won an award. Met some incredible people. Made some life-long friends. Chaired events with some of my favourite authors in the land. Began to call some of my favourite authors my friends. Realised that needing an escape isn’t a weakness. Realised that people care about what I have to say and that they will read what I have to say.
Read a lot of books. Some which changed my life. Kept most of them either in my bedroom, my classroom or my school library. Kept some of them in my heart.
Started working in a school. Worked my arse off for a few years. Realised that you can chase your dreams and they can come true.
Went to university. It changed my life. Worked really fucking hard. Wrote a dissertation. Graduated. Got my teaching qualification. Started to think about getting a Masters. 
Became a teacher. It changed my life. Got my first class. Passed my NQT year. Cried a lot. Doubted myself a lot. Had to have many pep talks. Realised teaching definitely is the thing for me. Wrote for a teaching magazine. Helped a lot of people and needed a lot of help.
Became a godmother. It changed my life.
Visited my brother in Sweden. It didn’t change my life, but it made me miss him an awful lot.
Visited New York. It made me speechless. Made friends on the other side of the pond who changed my life.
Lost a lot of weight (6 stone) and probably put it all back on. Realised my weight doesn’t define me.
Stood up for myself and what I want time after time.
Turned 30. Realised that age genuinely is just a number.
Learned a lot about myself. Learned a lot about other people.

Cried a lot. Laughed a lot.
Ate lots of breakfasts. Realised that going out for breakfast was one of the things that made me happy.
Visited the seaside a lot.
Made friends with people I never imagined I would make friends with. Lost friends. Tried to surround myself with people who are good for me. 

S x 

Half term happy post

Having time to myself. Spending time with my favourite people. In jokes. Knowing that I can switch off and switch back on. Seeing my Welsh pal for the first time in forever. Train travels. Reading. Spending quiet time with people. Naps. Laughing a lot. Excellent food. Breakfast. Lots of breakfast. Lie ins. Hot water bottles. Getting up knowing I’ll see my favourite people. Cuddles. Cakes. Lovely texts. Knowing the people I love are safe. Plenty of cups of tea. Quilliams. Looking after myself. Reading lots of brilliant books. Meeting doggos. Pick and mix. Takeaway YA does half term. Having people around me who I am comfortable being silent with. People trusting my opinion. Doing something productive. Being thanked. Book post. Unwinding. Relaxing. Not thinking about work for a minute. Switching off. Walks along the coast. Being by the sea. The comfort of home. The excitement of travels. Watching my friends together. Listening to conversations. Having a good catch up. Running up to Christmas. Buying Christmas presents. Reading that book you’ve waited months for. Being comfortable around people. Not worrying. Reading. Always reading. 

Start each day with a grateful heart

Colour coordinating my timetable. Rainbows. The sunshine. Raining so heavily that there is nothing to do but stay in and read. Getting things ready for my classroom. Cutting and laminating. Sorting and getting rid of things that are not necessary. Getting loads of books ready for September. HAVING A SCHOOL LIBRARY IN A ROOM. Clearing out my inbox. Working really bloody hard on something. Talking to favourite authors. Waterstones. My Book Bitchez. Thinking about the future. Looking forward to starting a new school year. Laughing with my mam. My brother looking out for me even though he’s hundreds of miles away. Being surrounded by people who are wonderful. Listening to music while I work. Reading books that I never thought I would. Finally reading that book a friend has been telling me to read for ages and LOVING it. Seeing another friend adoring Mel books. Taking a minute to breathe and be thankful for everything. Book post. Talking to friends with ease. Seeing friends I’ve not seen for years. Having a lie in. Getting up early(ish) and being productive. Choosing how to look after myself best. Looking after myself. Quilliams dates. Having time to just mooch about in the shops. Knowing I’m going away next weekend. Reading sprints with my witches. My twiglets. Baby Joey. The ordinary things in life. Routine. Terrel videos. The pleasure of cutting out. Wandering around Ikea. Taking a day to myself after a few busy days. Having honest conversations about the future. Being driven. Hearing lovely things about me from people I love the most in the world. Having dreams. Chasing your dreams. Knowing that I’ve worked hard and that it’s going to matter. Reading books like it’s going out of fashion. Reading. Always. 

“Be happy: it drives people crazy”

Things that have made me smile recently

Books. My family. Meeting Baby Joey. Spending time with my friends. Quilliams. Tea. Breakfast. Going for walks just for time to think. Witchy Trio texts. The sunshine. Waking up to a light morning. Spending time by myself. Doing a job I know I want to do for the rest of the time, even when it’s SO BLOODY HARD sometimes. Knowing that it is almost the Summer holidays. Transition day. Meeting my new class. Overhearing people complimenting the work I’ve done this year. Looking back and seeing how far I’ve come. Allowing myself time to breathe. Texts from lovely people. Finishing two books in one day after not being able to read for ages. Lovely notes from people. Vincint. BookBitchez. Thirsty conversations. ALL OF THE GAY. Some exciting book events coming up. The thought of seeing my Welsh love in a few weeks. YALC excitement. Laughing at stupid jokes. Terrell. Dear Evan Hansen. Ed Sheeran. The Matilda soundtrack. SimplyNailogical videos. Watching tennis. Roger Federer. Wimbledon being everywhere. Watching Wimbledon with my kids and them asking 700 questions. Reflecting on the year I’ve had. Looking forward to the future. Reading amazing picture books. Reading books with the kids. Books. Always books. 

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…

*clap clap*

Todrick Hall songs. Talking about old TV shows. Spending the day on the beach with my kids. The sunshine. Old photographs. Cringing at some memories. Starbucks Sundays. Making plans with friends. Making plans with myself. Being ok by myself. Texting new people. Texting old faves. Witchy Trio laughs. Being so proud of friends. Knowing I have the most considerate best friends in the world. The excitement about having a new member of the family soon. Half term. Taking time to look after myself. Reading books. Buying new books. Drag Race. Miss Vanjie. Tidying. Finally finding something in the supermarket I’ve been looking for for weeks. Twitter teacher friends. Time. Space. Exciting plans. Going to London to celebrate excellent books. Knowing there’s only 6 weeks of being an NQT life. The things that are coming in the future. Being slightly terrified, but knowing it’s all good. My goddaughters. Having a cry. The seaside. Supportive friends. Picking up whatever books I want and reading them. My kids EMBRACING our ‘Mystery book’. My kids loving books in all of their guises. Excitement for YALC. Basically, all of the bookish things. Always books. 

 

Half term happy post

Happy Monday! Despite the fact I’m back to work today (we only had one week for Easter holidays), I thought I’d post one of my favourite posts: a happy post! I’m going to list all of my happy things from half term! 

Reading every single day. Sleeping in until I wanted to wake up. Having an alarm set for a good reason. Seeing my twiglets. Doing some tidying. Running. Wagamamas with my fave. Finally getting my ass back to the gym. Going to see people that I love most. Bullet journaling. Cute Snapchat filters. My book bitchez. Quilliams for me. Quilliams with my friends. Just having time to breathe. Looking forward to going back to work. Relaxing and not needing to worry. That feeling of waking up and being able to go back to sleep. Accidental naps. Exciting opportunities with teachers I properly admire. Sunshine and walks. Spending time just wandering because I have time. Texts from friends. Texts from colleagues. Texts from teacher friends. Book post. Laughing. Laughing so much you cry. Not feeling pressured to write blog posts. Starbucks and reading. Banana bread. Light mornings. Light nights. New trainers. New lipstick. Picking up books and devouring them in a matter of hours. Falling in love with characters and worlds. That feeling of tiredness before you crawl into bed. Bookish events with my faves. A bottle of Rekorderlig. Hugs from the twiglets. Texts from my brother. Books. Always books. 

What are your half term wins?
How do you enjoy spending your half term holidays? 

Talk to me! 

S x 

Let’s get real for a minute…

Last week was a tough one. I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t BAD particularly. I was just exhausted. I’ve been on the go for a while now with no weekends off in the middle. It was a long work week too. I’m super grateful that I get all these amazing opportunities, but they take their toll eventually… and this week was evidently when they started to take their toll.

I knew that it was going to be a tiring week, so what I decided to do was to write a blog post, little by little, day by day, thinking about the things that make me smile, make me feel better or make me feel calm. What came of it is this blog post. It gave me something to think about at night when I was just exhausted. Some of the days I wrote a lot of words, some of the days I wrote two or three and that was OK. Some days I wrote words on a morning, some days I wrote at lunchtime as I sat at the table in the staff room, some days I wrote at the computer or in bed. But every day I managed to find something that was positive.

 The things that make me happiest:

  • Texts from friends;
  • Drag Race – in particular the Snatch Game episodes;
  • Laughing with my children;
  • Reading blog posts;
  • Listening to the same songs 100s of times;
  • Being in bed early;
  • My brother;
  • Reading books – whether it’s 10 pages or 50;
  • My mam;
  • Knowing I’m doing something I want to do for the rest of forever;
  • Parents Evening – might be exhausting, but so lush to talk to parents and the kids;
  • Knowing other people are equally exhausted;
  • Looking forward to the holidays;
  • People saying lovely things about me;
  • My kids not being scared to be honest with me;
  • Oreos;
  • Waking up after a great night’s sleep;
  • Just ignoring texts occasionally;
  • Having friends who understand that you’re not really ignoring you, but you just need space;
  • Watching SimplyNailogical videos on Youtube;
  • Pictures of cats;
  • Making time to just look after myself;
  • Allowing myself to have a cry;
  • Putting on my pyjamas;
  • Book post;
  • Post from friends;
  • Quilliams for breakfast;
  • Sunshine!!!!

I think it’s so important that we find time to look after ourselves. I’m not always great at it. Do you have any tips for how to get better, especially when I’m grumpy and exhausted? What are your favourite self care things to do?

S x

WOOOOOOAH WE’RE HALF WAY THERE…

The title for this blog has LITERALLY just come to me as I start to type. It is ironic in that it is both true and one of the things I’m going to be mentioning in this blog post.

So… we’re HALF WAY THROUGH THE ACADEMIC YEAR. 

Ahem. Yeah, that’s a thing. I’m half way done being an NQT. What a half a year it has been. I’ve laughed a lot. I’ve cried a bit. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve loved every second. I thought I’d share a happy post kind of thing about all of the things that have happened in my first half of my NQT year. Don’t get me wrong there have been some tough moments, but I’m all about celebrating the good.

So here goes, happy memories of my first half of the year:

Being poorly and my kids listening. Working with my brilliant colleagues. Every time we receive a letter from an author and seeing their joy. Singing Livin’ on a Prayer at the school disco. Watching my kids at the Christmas play, having worked their arses off for 3 weeks of rehearsals. Pictures and poems “for you Miss”. “Miss, can I show you this I did last night?”. Watching them go home at night with smiles on their faces. Delivering two whole school collective worships and them just being brilliant humans. Seeing them start to share their opinions. Watching them grow in confidence and comfort. The amount of progress they’ve made in half a year. Working on Greek myths with them. The confidence with which they use mathematical vocabulary. Putting up my first Christmas tree. The sheer dogged determined-ness of some of them. Their brilliant attitudes. Asking them what my 3 most used phrases are and laughing at their responses. “I love being in your class Miss, you’re dead funny… sometimes”. How quickly they embrace change. Learning Mandarin together. Having an opinion that is not only listened to but encourages. Making mistakes and learning together. Building our very own Nowhere Emporium. Watching them create their own dance routines and seeing some of them just shine. Seeing their enthusiasm for EVERYTHING. Encouraing them to question everything and watching them get to grips with it. Their incredible resilience. Their love of singing. Listening to the radio. Every time they catch me out. Saying good morning every single morning. Every time we have laughed together. Having 200 children sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. Seeing them take on some BIG questions and embrace it. Looking to the future. Talking about books and them devouring everything. Meeting Lisa Thompson and my kids’ faces just lighting up. Challenging myself. Challenging the children. Positive feedback about my books. Struggling. Knowing I work with some of the most brilliant people. Growing as a person and a teacher. Laughing about dating advice. Laughing in the staff room. My terror every time I’m observed. Constantly learning and striving to be the best teacher I can possibly be. Listening to new artists with them. Story time. Hearing lovely things about their progress. Seeing their progress with my own eyes. Knowing that every day I get to go into work and work with them. Challenging their thinking about themselves and others. Allowing them space to be who they are, without judgement. Being the teacher I am, without them judging me! Listening and being heard. Allowing reading and writing for pleasure to be a thing, and for them to ASK for it. Going in every day and smiling.

I am grateful EVERY SINGLE DAY that I get to do the one thing I know I was meant to do for the rest of my life. Bring on the second half of this year – whatever challenges you have to throw at me, I will embrace them. Year 5 and I will get through them together. 

When life throws you lemons…

find the things you’re most grateful for. 

My little Christmas tree in my classroom. My kids loving doing the Advent calendar. My kids making me smile EVERY DAY. Laughing at the Christmas play (despite the fact I’ve seen it a fair amount of times). Being able to brush myself off. My cousins. My goddaughters. Books. Hot chocolate. Good news. A free slice of banana bread. Having tea with one of my favourite people. Quilliams. Being a Geordie. My brother and his sheer ridiculousness. Nachos, cake and tea. My family. Watching my best friend be brilliant and brave. Book post. Cats. People of twitter being lovely. Blogging. Finding that one song that you need to make you feel better. Little Mix. Cosy scarves. Hilarious Christmas presents. Looking forward to the future. Leaving work after a tiring day, knowing that I’m doing the thing I want to do forever. Being told I’m doing a good job. Overhearing my kids say how much they love coming to school. Singing the songs for the school play in the classroom. Walking into my classroom every single day. The sun. Reading to my kids. Seeing my class and their excitement when I bring in the book they won’t shut up about. Being proud of my kids. Working with some of the best, most supportive people in the world. Reading that book you’ve been waiting months for. New pillows. Books. Always books.