Posted in Life

In search of the perfect pen

Utterly mesmerizing

I enjoy writing. Yes, I realize this is something I share with every teenage girl across the world, but I mean actually writing. I tend to write myself little notes so that I can remember details that I would otherwise forget, and I recently started writing letters with friends. Remember writing letters? And remember passing notes in school? As a teacher, I see how that is totally gone. Texts and pictures are all the rage, which makes me sad, but that’s a whole different story. 


His skills with a pen have always impressed me

My handwriting looks nice in pencil, but the second I pick up a pen, my hand is switched with an exact copy from another dimension that has terrible handwriting. I truly cannot think of another explanation for the dramatic difference there is when I write in pen versus pencil. In all honesty, it’s probably a psychological/OCD thing (I feel as if I can’t erase, it’s going to look bad and my psyche is probably committing subterfuge to show that I should just stick to pencil). I’m really big on everyone having erasers (I give one to each of my students; nearly all of them have given their erasers names) and take mortal offense if they use pencil erasers instead. Let’s not even get into crossing something out instead of erasing….do that in my class and you’re as good as disowned.

Remember how gel pens were super popular? When I was in middle school and high school, I remember actually spending money on black paper so the ink would show up clearly and bright neon. I even wrote a diary entry (on the white paper..) in lime green neon ink. It is so blindingly bright on the paper that to this day I have no idea what it says.

Where did they all come from?!

Anyway, a perfect pen can’t be fully defined because it varies per person. I don’t like when the ink clumps together at the tip of a ballpoint pen and leaves that random smudge that smears on paper, and I don’t like the looseness of ink pens. I hope to one day find the perfect pen, but until then, I will leave you with an image of the one pen fully loaded with swag that is still guaranteed to make you the envy of all your peers. You’re welcome 😉

Posted in Life

Just give me the chocolate

As I nearly inhaled my mug of hot chocolate earlier while shivering due to the cold, I came to a realization: I love chocolate. 

See this? When I was younger I could have eaten this entire thing with no problem.

So I’m a chocolate lover. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a chocoholic (not while lemon desserts exist in this world), but I’ve yet to turn down a Hershey’s kiss. I do prefer yellow/vanilla cake to chocolate cake, but we all know that fudgey brownies take the cake (pahahahaha I’m so punny). 

I’ve written before of how I’m not much of a coffee drinker (check out the post Reflections of a High School Sub) but I do drink hot chocolate and tea (See post Tea for two, and two for tea). Over the years, after an incredible amount of research and dedication, I’ve determined which gas station has the best hot chocolate (Flash Foods for the win by a landslide!) and have perfected the most delicious gas station hot chocolate. Being the lovely person that I am, I’ve decided to share with you this little secret. What you do with it is on you, but remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Use this knowledge well. 


I’m a big believer that hot chocolate, to get the best taste, must be made with milk instead of water. Water is wonderful but it lacks the complimentary taste to chocolate. Since most places only make hot chocolate with water, there are ways to enhance the flavor. So now when you pop into a gas station for something hot, this is what to do. Get the size you want, and fill it about a quarter of the way with cream they provide for coffee. You may use milk instead, but it won’t give that rich flavor. If you’d like to use the vanilla cream, go ahead, but I prefer plain cream. After you’ve added your dairy, fill your cup nearly to the brim with hot chocolate, moving your cup away towards the end so you don’t get that watery part that comes out once you stop pressing the button. Stir just a little bit and you’re set! The stirring will get rid of that crumbly taste towards the end of the drink and keeps everything smooth and delicious. And yet, despite all of this, just remember that the best hot chocolate is the kind made at home using real chocolate. You’re welome.

Tl;dr, when making hot chocolate know that real melted chocolate > hot chocolate powder > chocolate syrup, and cream > cream+milk > milk > water.


Now go make your own!


Posted in Life

Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink

We’ve all heard a million times over how we’re supposed to drink around 64oz (8 8oz glasses) of water a day. Do any of us really do it? I somehow doubt it. Up until a few years ago, I was not a water person at all; water was something for pools or for making lemonade. But when I went to China last year (read all about my China Trip here!) I got more into the habit of drinking water. So what, you may think? Well what makes it interesting is that I got used to drinking hot water… not ice water.

Now when I go to restaurants it’s kind of weird to ask to be brought hot water, so I’m not at a weird level yet. But when I’m at home, I find it difficult to end my day if I don’t have a cup of water freshly boiled in the microwave. Another funny thing is that when I make tea, if it’s not boiled on the stove, it doesn’t taste right. But now, when I want my hot water, anything from the stove and not the microwave just tastes wrong! I’m sure it’s 100% psychological… Freud would have a field day with my psyche. 

So now as I consume my hot water, I wish you all the best in your beverage choices. Try to cut down on soda and juices and add in some healthier options. Who knows; maybe hot water will work for you 😉

Posted in Life

I dare you to move

I’ve always considered myself to be an athletic person. I enjoy sports- nay: I revel in them. I was on the track and tennis teams in high school and part of a mixed lacrosse league for a few months before they split by gender. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough girls to continue with a team, but I was allowed to practice with the boys because according to the coach, I gave them a run for their money because I was faster and quicker than most of them, and not at all what they expected.

I love volleyball and basketball, and have apparently encouraged my buddy Shuyan in China to take up playing with a group of girls in Shanghai (remember when I played basketball over there? Check out the post Basketball at last). I can’t even begin to tell you how monumental this is, as girls over there don’t really play any kind of sport. 

And yet, despite my majestic abilities and prowess, I’ve never really been fond of working out or going to the gym. It’s too monotonous for me and lacks any considerable amount of adrenaline. I mostly know my limits (or lack thereof) and will walk on the treadmill or use an elliptical from time to time just to do some kind of exercise, but it’s not enough. I once jogged on the treadmill for 2.5 hours and only stopped because I was afraid to go longer. I’ve realized that while I have really good cardio endurance, I really lack upper body strength, which only gives me about an 85% chance of surviving the zombie apocalypse. Something must be done!

With that thought in my mind, I was walking one day and saw a girl doing pull ups/chin ups like a boss. I’ve decided that my new goal in life, considering I have probably a 2.5% chance of learning how to do a backflip, is to be able to do 15 pull ups/chin ups in a row as per Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. And now, after one day of practice, I’m beginning to think that it may take me longer than initially expected… 2 weeks was probably a bit too unrealistic 😉

Wish me luck!

Posted in Life

Go ahead and try it

I stumbled upon this riddle the other day, and being a sucker for brainteasers and riddles (remember my Super Sudoku post?) just had to try it. It did take me a bit to solve (maybe 10-15 minutes?) so do try to solve it in less! Even if you take longer, the feeling of triumph I had at the end I’m sure will pass on to you. Best of luck!




I would pay for a whole book of these… any suggestions?