271 Pages and Still I Needed More…

 

Have you ever read a book and not been 100% sure what was going on but you still wanted more? That was how I felt while reading Lucky You by Erika Carter.

I know that you’re probably thinking “umm if you don’t like it then why did you continue to read it?” Well, I can tell you that Carter’s writing was a huge part of what kept me reading. Her writing kept me glued and sucked in, so for that I loved it. But I also wanted so much more, and that was the worst part.

When I chose this book as my January selection for Book of the Month Club, I chose it because I felt that a book about twenty-somethings trying to find themselves would be right up my alley. I mean I am a twenty-something, granted I’m not trying to find myself but I felt like I might be able to relate a little bit. But I was wrong.

Before I get into my full review on the book I want to say this…

If you’re looking for a book about life, just something different from your own then this book might be of interest to you. There’s no big plot twist or anything that is going to completely blow your mind away, so if that’s what you’re looking for then look elsewhere.

I do feel that reading this book, a book that follows a group of people who make a choice to go off the grid for a year, especially in a world where we are so focused on technology and social media could be a good thing for everyone to experience. I mean haven’t you ever just wanted to unplug for just a day?!? I know I have! Sometimes the things I see on social media just drive me insane!

I challenge you to head to the library and check this book out. Give it a fair chance despite the other reviews that have been written online.

Now on to the review….

Part of me felt completely lost while I read this book. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. I found that I couldn’t relate to any of them on a personal level. I kept waiting and wishing that something would happen to give them a different path. Something that would allow them to grow, to mature, something to change the path of the story..

As I continued to read I kept holding onto this false sense of hope that I would be able to connect with just one of the characters in this book. I desperately wanted to connect with even just one character, even if it was just for a moment. But the more I read…the more I realized that probably wasn’t going to happen. Making a small connection to any of the characters, finding something that would help me to like them probably would’ve helped me to like this book a little more…but….nothing. Not having that…made this book difficult to read.

I felt that Ellie, Chloe and Rachel were unpleasant people. The background stories of each character were unclear and lacking in detail. Maybe I couldn’t connect with any of these women because I have not experienced anything that they had went through in this book. I loved the whole idea of the book, I just wish I could’ve connected with them more.

Now I don’t want to go too much into detail about why they are where they are just in case you want to read this book. So I will end my review there.

How do you feel about reading a book that you can’t connect to? How do you feel about reading a book that you don’t particularly care for? I’m the type of person that when I start a book I have to finish it, no matter what! Tell me in the comments below if you feel the same. Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Back To School Countdown Begins!

Does someone want to tell me where the time went?? I feel like it should still be June…or at least July! But here we are already in August and the countdown to going back to school has officially begun!

We officially start school in 17 days…..17 days!!! I am in complete shock but I am also ready for a steady schedule again. But I am also not even close to ready…

My room is not ready for the kiddos to be in it, my lesson plans are not done yet and there are so many other things that I need to do that I haven’t had a chance to start yet. Am I a little stressed out?? Yes, definitely! But I’m trying my hardest not to be, I mean after all I still have 17 days to get my act together right?!?!

Though I may not be fully prepared (which to my defense is not fully my fault…I am waiting on tables that I ordered which will be here soon…YAY!!), there are some things that I made sure to have prepared!

  1. Classroom management plan: If you come in to the first day of school with no classroom management plan, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. I am trying something new this year (I have a separate blog post where I will talk about that more coming soon!!) Once you decide what your classroom management plan is going to be, stick with it! You can always back down, but you can’t get more strict, I can promise you that it will not work!
  2. Early Finisher Options: After last year I did some research because I did not have these in place, I mean right now I teach computer so I didn’t think I would need them. But it turns out that just giving kids free reigns on the computers was a little bit of a headache! So I’ve come up with a few “early finisher” options (specific websites) that they are allowed to go on once they have completed their tasks for the day. My hope is that it will make the computer lab a little less crazy!!
  3. Lesson Plans: Yes I know earlier I said that my lesson plans weren’t completed, and they’re not. I have all of my plans done up through Christmas break. I know you’re probably thinking “why are you worried if you planned that far ahead already?!?” Well I only teach computer one day a week, and I teach it to preschool – 8th grade and time goes by a little more quickly that you think. I would feel better knowing I have something planned rather than having nothing planned at all.

Would I like to have more things done than I do? Yes of course! But am I going to stress out about not having things done? Nope! It will all get done in due time!

To all my fellow teacher friends out there, what do you make sure that you have ready before school starts?? Does anyone else feel like summer went by way too fast?? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Xo’s Shelby

Kids Notice EVERYTHING!

Anyone who has ever been around kids has probably realized that they notice everything and they are also very honest with you!

I work with kids every single day so this is no surprise to me. However, sometimes I am still shocked by the things that my kiddos say to me. To be completely honest sometimes the younger the kid, the more interesting the things that they say are and I love all of it!

So about two weeks ago, I was at work, and it was lunch time. So we took the kiddos to lunch and I’m standing there eating my lunch, drinking my water and keeping an eye on the kids, just kind of minding my own business. Then the next thing I know one of our preschoolers is at my feet, and the conversation goes something like this…

Preschooler: Miss Shelby!
Me: Yeah?
Preschooler: Why do you have such big water??
***Side note, I had one of the large 50+ oz bottles of SmartWater with me that day***
Me: Well….I really like water, and it’s good for me and makes me feel good!
Preschooler: Oh…okay….well then I am gonna like more water too!

Conversation over…and she walks away with a huge smile on her face. This goes to show that kids are watching everything we are doing. We as adults need to lead by example. It was honestly the cutest thing. Her face was so serious when she asked me why I had so much water. Of course she’s at that age where she asks “why” to everything but it was still adorable!

Do you have a funny kid story to share?? Leave it in the comments below, I would love to read them!

Xo’s Shelby

 

 

4 Stars for The Trespasser

 

The Trespasser, a novel by the New York Times best selling author, Tana French is book number six in her Dublin Murder Squad Series.

The Trespasser was the first book of French’s that I have ever read, and I will say that I was not disappointed one bit!

The Trespasser follows Detective Antoinette Conway and her partner Stephen Moran. Conway is learning quickly that being part of the Murder squad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact she’s convinced that the whole squad (aside from her partner), hates having her around. Her work life is nothing but pranks, harassment and pointless cases, but she tries to remain tough.

Conway and Moran land a new case that looks like another by-the-books lovers’ quarrel gone wrong. Aislinn Murray, a pretty, blond young woman, found dead in her perfect living room next to a romantic table-for-two dinner. What seems like an open and shut case, until Conway realizes that she’s seen this girl somewhere before.

Conway and Moran are doing everything that they can to solve this case, but in her gut Conway knows something isn’t right. Meanwhile, the other detectives on the squad are doing everything in their power to push them to make an arrest on Aislinn’s boyfriend, and they want it done fast. As if that isn’t suspicious enough, Aislinn’s friend continues to hint at the detectives that she knew Aislinn was in some kind of danger. As this case continues to unravel, Conway and Moran begin to think that Aislinn wasn’t exactly who they thought she was.

The constant harassment and pranks at work have gotten Conway a little more than paranoid with her every day life, and since taking this new case things have gotten worse. She’s spotted a shadowy figure at the end of her road, and she is starting to become unsure how far the squad would go to get her to leave. This case has her wondering, if it is just another step in their campaign to get rid of her, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface??

If you want to know what happened, because let me tell you, the ending will shock you, pick this book up! I highly recommend it and I will be reading more of her books in the near future!

Have you read any of Tana French’s other books? If so please leave it in a comment below! I would love recommendations!

Xo’s Shelby

 

The #1 Reason I Became A Teacher

 

I could sit here and list a lot more than just one reason as to why I became a teacher. But then we would be here all day and nobody wants that!

One of my favorite quotes can sum it all up…

“To teach is to touch a life forever”

I haven’t had that many years of experience, but I can tell you that I have worked with a large number of kiddos that have helped me to realize that I was meant to be a teacher and that working with kiddos is my passion.

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be a teacher. I used to put my stuffed animals around a table, give them homework and then grade it. Yes…I just said I gave my stuffed animals homework and graded it! Hey I had to practice on someone right??

To be honest, I enjoy helping people in general but there is something so much more fulfilling about helping a child. The look on their face when they understand a concept or when they get a good grade…the look of pure joy…that is everything. All my fellow teacher friends out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. To all of my readers who are parents, I’m sure you’ve seen this look on your child’s face as well and you know how amazing it is to see them succeed.

Am I trying to tell you that teaching is all rainbows and unicorns? No way! Have there been rough days? Yes, of course. There have been days where I went in the bathroom and cried during my break. In fact there was one point in my first year out of college that I thought to myself…”What am I doing??” and wondered if I had made the right decision. Then one of my kiddos come up to me and give me a big hug and tell me how much they loved having me as a teacher. With each hug one of my kiddos gives me I am reminded why I love what I do and why I chose teaching as my profession. In my eyes the good times will always outweigh the bad times.

To all the first year teachers out there or to all of the college students working towards an education degree, keep going. If this is what makes you happy and this is your passion, don’t let anyone, and I mean anyone, take that away from you.

Xo’s Shelby

 

The Time I Started A Blog…

 

Where do I even begin??

Well I am so excited to be launching my blog! This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now but I was afraid that no one would read it or no one would care about the things that I wanted to write about. But guess what, this girl is tired of not doing things because she’s afraid of what people will think!

Think about it, if we all decided that we weren’t going to do something because we were afraid of what other people would think, how many things would you have missed out on in life?? If I thought that way every single time that I wanted to do something, I wouldn’t have gone to college and changed my major 3 times. I wouldn’t have become a fitness instructor. The opportunities that I would’ve missed out on are endless, but I made the choice to take the leap, and now I’m doing the same with this blog.

We’ve established why I’m here…let’s talk about how I got here and let me help you to know me a little better.

For those of you that don’t already know, my name is Shelby. I’m 25 years young. I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!), where I still currently live. I grew up going to private Catholic schools my whole life and I loved every minute of it. The memories that were made those 13 years of my life were definitely some of the best.

After graduating high school I attended Ohio Dominican University (Go Panthers!!). When I got accepted into ODU I knew it was the perfect fit for me, it was a small campus that had that feeling of “home” and “family” which reminded me a lot of my high school. I went in as a pre-nursing major, after seeing many family members ill and seeing how some nurses and doctors treat their patients (bedside manner is important guys…), I felt that it was my duty to become a nurse and change the way patients were being treated. Well let me just tell you that didn’t last long. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the work load, trust me I love science. I am the type of person that cannot physically, mentally or emotionally separate herself from her work. I get attached to people easily and letting go is never easy for me. Being part of the pre-nursing program we had to have a certain number of volunteer hours at the nursing home on campus. I greatly enjoyed going and visiting with the sisters and brothers; hearing their stories and just chatting. But when you get particularly attached to one sister, as I did, and she passes away…I couldn’t handle it. Cue the first change of my major! I knew that I still wanted to do something in the science field so that was a start. My next option was to work with animals, not a vet or anything like that; I considered working in a zoo. But after about a year I began to realize that this wasn’t my passion. Although working with animals seemed like so much fun, it wasn’t something I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. After several meetings with my guidance counselor and academic advisor (who by the way was a rock star for putting up with me for 5 years…shout out to you Dr. T, I know I was a pain sometimes!), I came to the conclusion that I should’ve come to my first year at ODU. I wanted to be a teacher! A science teacher to be exact. So I changed my major for the third and final time, adding one more year to my time at ODU, which stressed me out a little bit. I wanted to be graduating with the rest of my class. But I took a deep breath and realized that if I wanted to be happy with my career, this was how I had to do it. Adding this extra year gave me the opportunity to not only pursue a degree in a career that I love, but it gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

When people tell you that high school is the best and worst 4 years of your life….they’re not wrong…but they’re also not 100% accurate. Don’t get me wrong high school was both amazing and horrible at the same time, but nothing compares to college. The ups and downs that you go through…there’s no preparing for that. The number of all-nighters that I pulled writing a paper or studying for an exam, the number of tears shed when projects didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, or machines were down when we had to do our Organic Chemistry Unknowns….I still have nightmares about that! I’m kidding, I don’t actually have nightmares about Organic Chemistry but I remember that night and that lab like it happened just yesterday. But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Why? Because it got me to where I am today, and I can honestly say that I love where I’m standing.

There is so much more that I could tell you in this post about how college changed me…but I’ll save that for another day!

Xo’s Shelby