Fascinator fascination

My friend Julie is getting married next week and instead of a regular cocktail hour before the reception, she’s having a garden party. It was decided that we all needed hats! This is very exciting, because I love hats, but rarely have the occasion to wear them. I decided to channel my inner Kate Middleton and go with a fascinator. I’ve always wanted one and this is my chance to wear one!

Julie and I went shopping this morning and found fascinator heaven. A fascinator, for those who aren’t in the know, is not really a hat. It’s a headpiece, sometimes with stuff sticking up, like flowers or feathers. Awesome.

We tried many on, and took lots of pictures. I don’t want to post pictures of the ones we actually bought, because I don’t want anyone to see them before the wedding. You’ll have to wait until next week to see them. Believe me, it’s worth the wait!



We also tried on some really pretty, but really uncomfortable shoes. I love wearing heels, but I could not wear these for more than 5 minutes!


All in all, it was a great day and a wonderful way to start my summer holidays!


As of today, I am free until August 27th! No work, no meetings, no lunches to pack, freedom!

The last week has been hectic, what with trying to get everything done and put away for the summer. Add to that cleaning my classroom, a friend’s bridal shower and many dinners and drinks, and you have one exhausted me! It’s ok, because now I have all summer to sleep in and do as much yoga as I want to.

Yesterday, to celebrate our freedom as a team, my fellow teachers and I went to play mini-golf. If you’ve never done this (and really, who hasn’t?) or you haven’t since you were a kid, go! It’s fun and it doesn’t matter how bad you are at it. Well, unless you’re uber-competitive.

My team was awesome. I have no clue what team won, but  that was besides the point anyways. I also got stung by a bee, which was not so great. To be honest, it wasn’t the bee’s fault. It was tiny and I put my finger on it. She didn’t even really sting me, it just pinched a little. Really, I’m just complaining to  get some sympathy here.

These are my awesome team members and me! There was another girl in our team, but I don’t have a picture of her. I was so sure I got everyone. I think the bee incident threw me a little. Also, it was really hot. Like, hot-yoga hot.



I was looking for shade everywhere we went. I like this picture because right next to me was a sign that said “no climbing”. I don’t think sitting-to-avoid-passing-out-from-the-heat equals climbing, but I don’t think I was supposed to be there anyways. I took my chances and it was great.

After our round of golf, we hit up a restaurant for some much needed food and drinks. It’s amazing how fast a strawberry daquiri will go down when you’re hot and tired. It was a really fun time and even though I was beyond icky and exhausted when I got home, I now have all summer to recover. Enjoy your summer!

I can’t do this, but I’m doing it anyways

Today is a holiday in Québec. Good thing, too, because I have to go back to work for three whole days before I’m off for the summer. I really needed a long weekend. Haha, ok, enough with the being funny. As you can tell, I’m pretty happy to be almost free!

I haven’t been to a yoga class in two weeks, what with the heat, the dressing up as Cleopatra and the end of the school year. I was aiming for the 9:30 class this morning, but that turned into the 12 o’clock class. Much better.

First of all, I forgot my mat, due to the fact that my brain has started to replace the yoga info section with the many ways to keep calm and not throw your students out the window on the last day of school info. Hopefully, my brain and I can go back to the yoga zone soon, as I will not see my lovely students untill September.

When I walked in to the hot room, it had that hot-yoga smell. And no, it’s not a yucky, icky, sweat smell. It’s more of an “ahhhhh, I get to spend an hour on myself” smell. Ok, there is a bit of sweaty mat smell in there, but only a little! I felt like I did the first time I walked into that room. Two weeks sure can feel like a long time when it’s two weeks without yoga.

The class was powerflow with Jen, and it was hard! But, “good hard” as Jen puts it. The first part was the most difficult. Going through the vinyasas and holding plank pose, I felt like I was starting over from the begining.

The second part was just as hard, but also lots of fun. We did crow pose and I’m happy to report that I held it for the longest time ever, in my whole life. I really have no clue how long it was, because there was no way I was going to try counting on top of all the balancing and the avoiding of the falling on my face. I just know that, not only did I get both feet up, I found some stillness and balance. Woohoo!

Then, Jen said that if we were comfortable in our crow pose, which I was (how amazing is that?!) we could try jumping back into chaturanga. Well, why not? I tried, and ended with the most amazing face plant of my life. Really, it was quite spectacular. Then Jen suggested that I try only one leg, to see if that helped. I guess face-planting doesn’t have a sanskrit name. I tried again, with one leg, and was rewarded with a spectacular belly-flop. I mean really, it was quite the accomplishment. No one else can belly-flop quite like me. Not today anyways. To be fair to myself and my attemps at all this crazy jumping stuff, not many people tried, so I was pretty proud that I gave it a shot, even if the results were less than perfect.

After this wonderful display of my falling abilities, Jen got us (well, again, not many people tried) to do flying crow pose. I’ve tried this before, and it’s not pretty. But I figured I was on a roll, so why not go all out. Well. In between the falling, the slipping and the slow-motion tipping to one side, I did it. Kind of. I still had my back toes touching the floor, but I kind of got my other leg up on my arm and held it for maybe half a second. Success!

Jen said that once I get the feel for it, I’ll be able to do it. I actually believe her, because she got me into my first wheel, and now I can do that pretty easily.

Last time I tried to get a picture of Jen and I, they got stuck inside my phone forever, so this time, I used my camera!

I cannot wait untill my holidays, when I can do yoga every day, sleep in and go to the beach. Bliss!

Fringe Festival

I had a great weekend with my mom. She came to the city for her high school reunion and she stayed with me. I love it when she does that! Friday night we went out for dinner on a patio. Can you say “smells like summer”? Last night, she and my dad went to the party, and today, we went to see a show at the Fringe Festival.

What is the Fringe Festival, you ask? Good question. I’m not sure.

It’s a festival that travels to different cities. I believe there is music, and other kinds of shows. The show I saw was called “Vernus says Surprise”. It’s a one-man show.

My mom wanted to go because the guy who wrote and acts in the show grew up next door to her and she hadn’t seen him since they were kids. I was happy to go to spend time with my mom. My aunt and uncle came too. What I wasn’t expecting was that it would be so funny!

It’s about an 89 year old man who tries his best to do ordinary things like answer the phone while battling voice-mail, taking the bus and buying a gift for his granddaughter’s birthday. It’s very entertaining and so funny! He plays an old man very well. It’s also kind of sad and touching at times, when he struggles with teenagers who are impatient and when he gets lost.

Ken, the actor, is bald. My uncle, who came with us, does not have much hair. I think my favourite part was after the show, when a little kid came up to my uncle and said “Hi Ken!”

The only video I could find is a promo for the festival, but watch it if you need a laugh! Also, check to see if the festival is coming to your city, because Vernus is a hoot!

High Five for Friday

As I was reading Sam’s blog, Fit for my Fork, I saw this really great idea, It’s called High Five for Friday and it’s a weekly link-up party hosted by Lauren where you blog about the best 5 moments of your week. I love this because, even if you’ve had a bad week, you can surely find five great things that happened. Not that I had a bad week!

Since this was the last week of school, most of my moments had to do with work, because I was too hot and exhausted to do anything else! It sure was a great week though!

1. Dressing up as Cleopratra.

I blogged about this on Monday, but really, it was so awesome, it deserve to be mentioned again. And it also deserves another picture.

2. Going out for lunch with my friend Caroline. She’s a teacher at a different school and we try to meet up once a month for lunch. Sometimes we go a couple of months without having lunch together and other times we have lunch 3 times a month. It’s not an exact science, but it’s fun!

3. Students vs. teachers.

Every year, the gym teacher has the “Montessori Cup” challenge and this year, the winning team got to play a game of some kind of dodgeball with goals against the teachers. I thought it was a little unfair for the teachers, because we didn’t know the rules. We started off gently, because we were playing against children, but the kids held nothing back, so we had to up our game. And we won! The kids were sure they would win, so they were kind of confused!

4. Flowers

I get spoiled by my students and their parents at the end of the year. They are always very generous. One of my favourite gifts this year was a bouquet of flowers. I’ve had this little girl in my class for three years, and before that, I had her sister for three years, so I’ve known the family for a long time. It makes me a little sad that they won’t be a part of my class anymore.

5. Sweet words

I got this message from one of my first graders. I’ve had to translate it from French, so it’s lost some of it’s adorableness, but it’s still cute!

Madame Manon, I love you very much. You are the best teacher in the whole school. I love you very much and also a lot. I like being in the hedgehog class. A very big thank you Madame Manon for this wonderful hedgehog class. I love you.

I would like to add a number six to this list.

6. Last day of school!!! Woohoo!

How was your week?

Top 10 reasons teachers need summers off

Dear everyone who’s not a teacher,

I am a teacher. When I meet someone and they ask me what I do, their reaction invariably falls into one of 2 categories. This first is “Wow! That’s awesome! I don’t think I could do that.” The second is “Must be nice. I should be a teacher, then I’d have summers off too.” To all you people in the first group, thank you. Everybody else, please read carefully.

I love, love, love my job. I could list all the wonderful reasons that keep me going and, to be honest, that list would be longer than a top 10.

And yes, I have summers off.

Would you believe there comes a point where I just can’t be a teacher anymore? It’s like I have a battery and by June, it’s dead. Here’s why.

1. I can’t pee in peace. They knock on the door and wait for me in packs. Sometimes they talk through the door.

2.I am a nurse. Paper cuts, skinned knees and bloody noses are the most common injuries. Every now and then, there’s a fainter.

3. Vomit. Enough said.

4. I am a hairdresser. Ponytails, braids, you name it, I do it. It’s super fun when there’s lice at school.

5. Criers. There’s one every year and she always seems to be in my class.

6. That kid who bullies? The one who gets bullied? The kid with the learning disability? Thinking about them keeps me awake at night.

7. When I have a headache, or a sore stomach, or I’m tired, or anything else that can happen to anyone on a regular basis, I don’t get to “take a minute”. I’m “on” all the time.

8. I grade papers like nobody’s business, usually on weeknights and weekends. Woohoo, party!

9. Kids can be mean to each other. I stand in the middle. Like a human buffer between meanness.

10. Parents. They’re more demanding than the kids. Yes, your child is pure delight, all the time. You need 30 minutes to discuss why your kid’s grade went from a 96 to a 92? No problem, I don’t have anything else to do! You want an immediate response to your e-mail because you are sitting at your desk and you imagine I am too? What do you think I do? If I’m writing e-mails, who’s teaching your kid that Paris is a city, not a country? I don’t even have a desk.

Now, if you’re thinking “Parents do most of this every day and they don’t get summers off.” I agree, you’re right.

However, between the vomit, the lice, the meanness and the band-aids, I teach kids to read, write, spell, add, subtract, multiply, divide, count, and tell the difference between a vertebrate and an invertabrate. I tell stories to get them interested in grammar and geometry. I try to convince each and every one of those kids that they are special. I teach them how to respect each other, respect themselves and respect the planet. I teach them how to be kind, how to be fair and how to stand up for themselves. I teach them to tell time, tell the truth and tell stories.

Are you tired yet?

I am.


The teacher who’s teaching tomorrow’s doctors, lawyers and inventors how to read.

I’m curious and maybe one of you can help me out… my blog stats tell me that a large number of people are finding this post through facebook. I would love to know what page shared it, so I can check it out! Enjoy your summer vacation, you’ve earned it! (I figure most of you reading this are teachers like me!)

Walk like an Egyptian

Today was the first day of the last week of the school year. Every year, my collegues and I, who teach the 6 to 9 year olds, end the year with a big theme. Last year it was pirates. The year before that, the Incas. This year, it’s Ancient Egypt.

Today was our last big hurrah. We had different “Egyptian” activities. I liked it because I got to dress up as Cleopatra.

There is a pile of boxes beside me (it’s not garbage) because one activity was building a pyramid out of boxes.

The kids also had to mummify each other with toilet paper, cross the Nile without getting eaten by crocodiles, play a game where they were the game pieces and fill buckets with water using a plate.

They also got to hunt a hippopotomus with a bow and arrow.

Admit it, don’t you wish your day had a hippo in it?

This is my awesome team of Egyptian-for-the-day collegues.

I didn’t have “dress up as Cleopatra” on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, but if you write a list, I suggest you add it. It really made my day!

I have the best dad in the world!

You might think your dad is awesome, but you haven’t met mine. His name is Pop. Or Steve. But I prefer Pop. There are so many reasons I love my dad. I can’t list them all, because the list would never end, but here are a few.

– I got a dress for my high school graduation, then I decided I didn’t like it anymore and I wanted another dress I had seen. My dad went to the store to look for it so I would be happy. The dress wasn’t there anymore, but it didn’t matter.

– He took me fishing even though it was supposed to be ‘quiet time’ and I talked constantly.

– He said he was going to get me a new house key and I said I wanted it to be pink. He got me pink with palm trees.

– He’s funny.

– No one will ever be as strong or as brave to me as my dad is.

– He will spend an hour texting me to explain, yet again, how to download music.

– He is my computer technician, my mechanic, my hero.

– When I was little, I read a lot. He told me I would surely write a book one day, because I had read so many I would know how when the time came. I still believe I will write a book, because my dad believes I can.

– The first time I cooked a turkey, I called him four times. He had all the answers.

– I cheer for the Boston Bruins, because that’s my dad’s team and my dad knows best.

– I remember wanting to be an artist. My dad built me an easel so I could paint outside. I still can’t draw a stick figure, but I loved that easel.

– He also built me bunk beds for my dolls. No one else had that.
– He thaught me how to listen, how to work hard and how to enjoy the small things.
– He worked so hard to give me everything I ever needed.
– He came get me when the check engine light in my car went on, so I wouldn’t miss my sister’s birthday party. Then he drove me home, for a total of six hours on his part, all so we could be together as a family for dinner.
– If I have a flat tire, I call my dad.
– If I see a mouse, I call my dad.
– If I need anything at all, I call my dad.
So you see, although your dad might be pretty cool, I can’t imagine a dad as awesome as mine!
Je t’aime Pop! Joyeuse fête des pères! xxx

Beach day

I went to the beach with my sister today. I lay in the sun, reading my book. I went swimming for the first time this summer and the water was actually warmer that I thought it would be. My biggest decision of the day was Do I want a cookie or a cracker? Sophie, my sister, and I eventually got over the traumatizing event of wearing a swimsuit out in public for the first time, and we had a fabulous day.

Sophie and her fabulous hat.

Reading my very funny book.

A synchronized foot-flip pose.

I love everything about the beach. The smell of sunblock, the sand between my toes, the picnics, the first contact of the water on my feet, the drive home with the windows open, just as the light is going soft.  I love how everything gets sandy and my hair smells like sunshine.

Today was like a preview of what’s to come. I love my job as a teacher very much, but I need the break. I feel like I have nothing left to give. In two weeks, I will be off for the whole summer. I can have as many beach days as I want, preferably with my sister or other wonderful people. I can smell the summer holidays and I love it!

Aerial adventures

Today was the last field trip of the school year with my students. We went to an “aerial adventutre park”. There were zip lines, ladders, ropes, wires and all kinds of looks-like-fun-but-also-really-scary-stuff.

We were the last class to go up, so first we went on a nature walk. I was so happy to get these city kids out into the woods, because this is what they were saying:

I think I have poison ivy.

Do you think we’ll get attacked by a beaver?

The mud is all dirty.

I think that’s a bear. Oh no, it’s a rock.

They should really clean it up here. There are rocks and leaves everywhere.

What’s the green stuff on the rocks?

Are we there yet? (We weren’t going anywhere. It was a nature walk.)

But then we got to a place with frogs and tadpoles, so they were amazed and stopped asking why the path was muddy.

After lunch, we played soccer, volleyball and practiced our handstands.

Finally, it was our turn to go up. I have never been zip lining or any of that crazy stuff up in trees. Don’t get me wrong, I like climbing trees, but this involved a harness, those clip things and heights. Since it was the kids park, it wasn’t super high, but I’d say it was at least 8 or 9 feet up, sometimes higher. I told myself that if 6 to 9 year olds were doing this, then so could I!

Once I got used to clipping myself to trees and got over the fact that I was up in the air, I had a great time! It was all kid-size, so sometimes I had to crouch and this tube thing was a little tight.

Yes, that’s my butt hanging out between the tubes. I wasn’t stuck. I was resting.

I loved all of it until I got to the ziplines. Then, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to do it. I actually considered climbing back down. Actually, I could have jumped off the platform, that’s how close to the ground I was. I figured I might as well suck it up and do it, otherwise my students might tease me.

I love how they’re following my progress. They were cheering too.

It was a great day. I’m exhausted. One little girl fell asleep on the bus on the way back to school.

I think I am now ready for the “grown-up” aerial park. I can’t wait until summer!