Bloggers Don’t Just Get Stuff For Free!

    This past week, I read a colleague's Facebook thread where someone commented that bloggers are really lucky and that they just get stuff for free.  They went on to say that all of the reviews that we write are doctored up just to get free items and that they are not honest and authentic.  Short of having my head blow up and confetti come out of it when I read this, it's safe to say that it really struck a nerve.     Let me begin by saying that yes, bloggers are in a unique situation where brands seek them out to try out their products.  However, this arrangement is not without its strings attached.  If only we could be so lucky that companies just jump at the chance to throw rose petals at our feet... There is a reason why they want us to review their products, because we have an audience.  So, when brands send products for review, the hope is that bloggers will share their experiences around the products with their readers.  You see, there is an exchange of services.     As far … [Read more...]

7 Years Bad Luck?

    I have been extremely superstitious since I was a little girl.  It all stems back to my childhood in Spain being raised by my Grandmother.  She would always tell me stories about the region of Spain we were from called Galicia and how it was known for being the land of witches and incantations.     Fast forward a few years to my maternal grandmother who was very superstitious and warned us about the bad luck that would befall us if we put our shoes on the table, opened an umbrella in the house, or walked past a black cat.  I never fully understood why doing these things was considered bad but I definitely sensed the foreboding and fear in her eyes as she warned us against doing any of them.     Now, don't go thinking that I'm a witch or anything because there is always that random reader who reads too much into posts and will go on a rant in the comments below about how they are unsubscribing because I have "wandered into the dark side."  Rest assured that this is not the case … [Read more...]

Let The Girls Shoot!

    As many of you know, my older son is very athletic and his favorite sport to play is basketball.  Currently, he is playing on an intramural team since his regular season for the school Bantam team has finished.  Today, as I was sitting in the bleachers watching the game, I noticed that whenever one of the girls on either of the teams had possession of the ball, the coaches would call out to the male players, "Let her shoot!"     Now, I'm all for being a gentleman and chivalry but, am I the only one who thinks that this is sending the wrong message out to all the kids about gender equality.  By telling the boys to back away and allow the girls to shoot the ball they are saying, in essence, that the girls are not as skilled at basketball as they boys are and that a special set of rules applies to them.     I wonder if professional female basketball players would be offended if they were playing on the same team or against their male counterparts and this took place.  It sends the … [Read more...]

Judge My Character, Not My Tattoos!

    Today I had an interesting conversation on social media about the correlation between tattoos and piercings and a lack of professionalism in the workplace, specifically in the education field.  Let me begin by saying that I have both tattoos and piercings and have been an educator for the past thirteen years.  Of those years, I have always been regarded as an exemplary teacher by my supervisors as well as my colleagues.  The way that I choose to express myself has never been an issue nor has it impeded me from being a true professional.     Frankly, I take offense to statements that suggest that people with tattoos or piercings are inappropriate or unprofessional.  My excellence as a teacher should not depend on how I look or what I'm wearing.  As a matter of fact, some of the least qualified or unprepared educators that I have encountered throughout my career had neither tattoos or piercings so what does that say?  The way that I choose to express myself or my individuality does … [Read more...]

Am I The Only One Crazy Stuff Happens To?

    Yesterday afternoon, the most bizarre thing happened to me and I promised my husband that I would tell you guys about it because it really was the craziest thing.  Sometimes I'm glad that I am able to blog about my experiences because ridiculous stuff happens to me all the time.  This experience was no exception...     I had a doctor's appointment yesterday around 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  My husband dropped me off and I was in the doctor's office a little over an hour.  When I came outside, my husband was not parked out front waiting for me because he had taken the kids to get something to eat.  I called him to tell him I was done and he told me that he was on his way back to pick me up.     As I was standing in front of the doctor's office a man came up to me and asked me if I worked there.  I told him I did not and then he asked me if I was a patient there.  My response to that was that it was none of his business as that was my personal information and I did not know him … [Read more...]

You Said What About My Kids?!?!

    Today I took my sons to the park with my husband.  This was just like any other ordinary trip to the park with the family except for one specific incident...     It was a beautiful day and the park was full of happy children and their parents.  I immediately found a bench to sit on which allowed me to supervise my boys from all angles of the park.  My husband and I sat down and proceeded to laugh and talk as the boys climbed on the Jungle Gym and made friends with the other kids.     After awhile, my husband ran into another parent from my sons' school who has coached intramural basketball with him in the past.  The two men stood and talked a good distance from me as they watched the kids organizing a game of baseball, my boys included.     As they were talking, another man sat a few benches away from me with his son.  I only noticed them when they came in so I wasn't paying much attention to the conversation he was having with his son.  Eventually, his son walked over to the … [Read more...]

To Be Or Not To Be…

    Ever since as far back as I could remember I've had a big mouth.  Yes, I said it, a big one.  Not the kind of big mouth that tells everyone all of your secrets.  That's reserved for other definitions of big mouths.  My problem, or blessing depending on which way you look at it, has always been that I always say exactly how I feel out loud.     I realize that some of you might not see this as an issue at all because you like to surround yourself with "straight-shooters' like myself.  Believe me when I tell you, though, that opening my mouth and saying how I felt has gotten me into my share of problems over the years.  Sometimes people don't want to hear what you have to say and they just want you to listen.  I get that...     What I have never understood is society's level of hypocrisy.  It's almost as if most people would prefer to wander through life being phony to one another.  I can't tell you how many times I have stood in awe as supposed friends and family members have … [Read more...]

Entitled To What?

    Lately, there has been a common thread in most of my discussions with others about the state of education and the attitudes of young people these days.  Everyone agrees that today's young people have this warped sense of entitlement as if the world owes them something.  Gone are the days of setting goals and working hard to attain those goals.  In its place is a whole generation of slackers that walk around with their hand out.     As an educator, it is evident to me in the behaviors that I witness from students year after year.  Day after day, I find myself supplying children with things like pencils and paper because they regularly come to school unprepared.  I often make the comparison between their not being ready for class and a doctor going into the operating room without a scalpel.     One might argue that they seek supplies because they are economically disadvantaged, however, time after time I meet with parents who assure me that they have purchased the necessary school … [Read more...]

Baby Blues

        It seems like every single time I turn around I learn that one of my old students just had a baby.  Now, of course we all know that the birth of a baby is a joyous event that should be celebrated.  However, I can't help thinking that these young girls have no idea what they are getting into.  Most of these girls are in their late teens or early twenties and I doubt that they are fully aware of how a woman's life changes after she becomes a mother.     I had my oldest son when I was 26 and I really thought that this was a perfect age to have a child and that I was fully prepared to be a parent both emotionally and financially.  Boy was I wrong!  A close friend of mine made a great point when she stated that nobody is ever really completely ready to have a child and that each person learns how to parent through trial and error.  This statement totally makes sense to me now as I reflect upon everything I have learned about motherhood.     It also makes me sad that these … [Read more...]

72 Days…

        I hate to give any additional attention to the topic of Kim Kardashian's divorce, however, I just couldn't help myself.  Besides being disgusted at all of the media attention that this whole issue is getting, I can't help but to be stuck on one point in this whole thing.  News reports indicate that comments have been made to the effect of that they tried to keep the marriage together for all of 72 days since the wedding.  As someone who has been married for 12 years next week, the first thought that comes to my mind is, "Are you freaking kidding me?"     Anyone who has ever been married can tell you that marriages are a lot of work.  Let me correct that, they are a hell of a lot of work.  I've often compared them to plants when discussing the whole issue with my friends and family.  You have to water, nurture, and care for a marriage much like you do for the plants in your home.  If you don't, they will just wither away and die.  Feelings will die, weeds will grow, soil … [Read more...]