Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anonymous commenting

Just as a heads up, I turned off anonymous commenting. The only ones I was getting were spam and I am getting tired of babysitting the comments. If anyone has any questions or doesn't have an OpenID to comment, feel free to email me a milkinmymartiniglass at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

iPhone must-haves, part 2

I'm back with another list of apps I have on my iPhone, but don't use as often as those found in part 1.  Again, all the apps I download are free, or I chose the lite versions.

Banking apps-I use my banking apps often.  I love being able to deposit checks quickly, check balances, etc.  It's so very convenient.

 T.V.- We don't have cable, but we do have a Netflix and Hulu Plus subscription, so I have the apps on my phone.  I don't watch things on my phone often, generally on the TV or my iPad.  The only times I watch on my phone are when I'm away from home and wireless.

 Pandora and I have a love-hate relationship.  Sometimes she is on point and plays all the good stuff, other times I've used all my skip allotment in the first 15 minutes.   I use this app several times a week.
Flip-I am starting to love this app.  You can choose different channels and "flip" through the stories.  The ones you want to read, you just tap on and open it. I especially use this to read People and US Weekly.  I have read some amazing photography articles through Flip and get some great gift ideas!  I used to read through this every once and awhile, but it's starting to become more routine.
 Pink Pad-this I use to monitor my lady-stuff.  I have tried a few different apps and this one I like the best.  I like all the options I have under the free version and it's the only app that hasn't crashed on me and lost all my data.  This has been especially helpful in doctors appointments.  I generally only use this one monthly.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Job search

As you all know, I am a teacher and currently applying for jobs.

It's awful.  I send out dozens upon dozens of applications, hand out my resume, but no one calls.  And those who do call, also are looking at hundreds (or thousands) of other applicants.  -__- It feels worse, because I'm in a specialized, high demand field, so it takes a tole on your conficence when you hear, "Oh, you teach special education? You'll have no problem finding a job!"

I did get a call though, and even got an interview with the principal.  I found out that out of hundreds applicants, she only interviewed a handful.  I am in the top 5% of the applicant pool!

I felt great about the interview. I was calm, excited, not nervous at all.  But once it was over, I felt that overwhelming feeling of dread.  Now I have to wait for 2 weeks to find out if I got the job or not.  I want so, so, SO badly to have this job.  Not only do I want a job for my family, but I miss teaching.  I miss the classroom, I miss making a difference in children's lives.

So, now I pray.  And wait.  And hope that in 2 weeks I get a call welcoming me to the team.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Paint a Washer and Dryer--a Follow up

A few weeks ago I did a tutorial on How to Paint Your Washer and Dryer and it's a pretty popular post (thanks!). I wanted to do a follow-up to let you know how things have been going.

First, I'm so very glad I sealed in the paint.  Because I had used flat paint (off the reject paint shelf), I wanted to be able to wipe down any gunk that built up.  It has been a great blessing! I love being able to take a paper towel and some cleaner and wash down the lids and such.  We also recently switched to Tide Pods for our laundry soap and that has also helped to keep soap from spilling everywhere and caking on it.

Second, the paint looks exactly as it did back in May.  No chips, so scratches, nothing!  Granted, the machines haven't moved at all, so there hasn't been much opportunity, but bumps and attacks from laundry baskets are just fine.

Last, I still love the paint job.  I was afraid after all that work, I'd hate the pattern and want to redo everything.  I do have a new stencil idea in mind, but I have no desire to bust out the drop cloth and paints again anytime soon.

I do get compliments on it, but most people who see it, think it's pretty dumb.  Most wonder why I wasted my time painting them, but everyone agrees it's cheaper than buying a schmancy new set for a couple of grand.

Did anyone else paint an appliance?  How did it go?  Does anyone else think you've lost your marbles?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

iPhone app must-haves

Most people today have smart phones, so I'm always asking people what their favorite apps are.  I've discovered some sweet apps this way!

I have an iPhone 4S, Siri and I are BFF.  I found that our first month was pretty rocky together, we almost broke up a few times, but once she got used to my voice, we were golden.  Voice texting?  Oh, greatest invention ever.  

So, here are some of my favorite apps and how often I use them.  I should note that I always download the free version.  I have yet to pay for an app and have been very happy this way.  I start with the free app to see if I even like it before paying to upgrade and have yet to feel the need to do that.  I will note one or two apps that I am considering this though.

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram- typical iPhone user.  I'm on these all the time.  Waiting in line? Let's check Facebook.  See something hilarious?  Report it to Twitter.  Most of my Instagram is food, haha, I'm trying to get away from that!

FeedlerRSS-I just downloaded this a few weeks ago and I have no idea why I waited so long.  I can read almost all the blogs I follow on it and its quick!  The only downside is sometimes it acts up and the only way I can fix it is to restart my phone.  It's not bad enough or often enough to really annoy me though. I use this daily.
Grocery IQ-this app is awesome!  You can create lists for multiple stores, download coupons, it saves your products which makes creating lists faster, and you can link with another Grocery IQ user and share your lists.  This has been great for my husband and I.  I'm able to put down specific items (brand, size, amount, flavor, etc.) and it pops up on his phone.  I'm on this app everyday, adding things as we run out around the house, but only grocery shop once a week (ish).
 I especially love this for Instagram!  I take a ton of photos everyday, and until recently, I took all of them on my phone, so organizing them into one photo and uploading just that instead of 5 or 6 images.  You can export a Pic Stitch image directly to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or you can choose to save it to your photo album.  I use this almost daily.
 Relaxing Melodies-oh how I love this app.  I use this nearly every night!  You can mix your own melody, choosing not only the sounds you want (and there are a wide variety), but you can set the individual sound level. So, for example, my Oceans soundtrack has waves all the way up, water drops down low, and rain in the middle.  You can save soundtracks to your favorites, you can even set an alarm!  The drawback to the lite version is it doesn't run in the background, hence me only using it at night.  This is an app I am strongly considering upgrading to the full version (only $2.99)
 Ringtone designer-this app was introduced to me by a friend and I can't believe I never had it.  You can use this to make free ringtones/text tones using your iTunes library!  When you open the app, it reaches into your music library and asks you to choose a song, asks you whether you want to make a ringtone or a text tone, then lets you clip the right part and save it.  You do have to go on your computer to complete the saving process and download it to your phone, but there is a YouTube video that takes you through the process and it is very clear.  Love this one!  I used the mess out of this in the beginning, but don't need any new ringtones right now, so it's been awhile.

WhatsApp-this app was another one introduced by a friend and is pretty awesome.  Its basically a text program, but it doesn't count against your texting plan.  Also, you can create chatrooms (all members must have WhatsApp).  I love how quickly the messages send, that you can use the EmojiFree keyboard (all those smilie faces and pics), and it's used on your data plan/wireless.  My husband and I use this when he's at work, since his wireless is spotty.  I always know we can keep in touch.  We use this app several days a week.

 HeyTell-oh, this is sweet.  This is basically a walky-talky for smart phones.  You can record a quick message and it will send to your contact (they must have this app too).  If HeyTell is open, it will automatically play, otherwise it alerts you and you just have to hit play.  This is great when your hands are full and you can't type a text and don't want to voice-text.  I only have one friend who has this app, but we use it often.
Pair-this app I found by reading an article.  This is for you and your honey, especially if you guys spend lots of time apart (or your honey is working on his PhD and it *feels* like you spend forever apart).  You can chat, draw each other pictures, send a "thinking of you" message, send a photo or video, draw pictures together (if both of you have the program open together), or (my favorite part) thumbkiss.  This is totally cheesy, but I love it.  Both of you open up thumbkiss, and when you push on the screen, a thumbprint image pops up on your honey's.  They push the same spot and the screen turns red and your device vibrates. I love it, Honey loves that I love it, and when I was travelling a lot this past year, I loved the thumbkisses.  I don't use this one too often, because Honey has this downloaded on his tablet and he hasn't been using the tablet as often lately.

This is another app I found from reading an article.  The California Academy of Sciences has a 24/7 live feed of their penguins and OMG THEY ARE ADORABLE!!!!  They have feeding times at 10am and 3pm (California time) and you can hear the audio feed of the keepers talking to the crowds.  I use this app several times a week, something about watching penguins waddle around is so very relaxing lately.  People make fun of me for this app, but the ones who make fun the loudest, generally are the ones who steal glances at it the most.  My dad laughed really hard when I showed it to him, but carried my phone around his house for a while watching "his penguins play" and protested loudly when I asked for my phone back.

These are the apps I use most often, I will be doing another post soon on apps I use less frequently, I just didn't want to make it too long!  What apps do you use?  What apps should I add?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kitchen organization-pasta containers

We live in a tiny apartment.  By tiny, I really mean, tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny.  It works, but we live on top of one another and we're all just sick of it.  We don't have a lot of stuff, but it feels like we do because of the small space.
Case in point, the kitchen.  There are 3 1/2 drawers, 4 "normal sized" cabinets, 2 half cabinets, and the under-the-sink cabinet (which we use extensively, because we have to).  Now, keep in mind, these drawers are half as shallow as normal drawers and baaaarely as big, the cabinets are a joke.  Everything is stacked, we are constantly juggling things, and don't even get me started on the fact that there is zero counter space.  Zero.  As in, when I want to cook, I have to either use the table or juggle it all in my hands.
Enter Pinterest.  I drool daily over those giant, cavernous kitchens with the islands that are bigger than my bedroom, I get excited about organized pantry's, heck, I get excited over the concept of a pantry! I keep holding off on a lot of the major organization ideas because I don't want to overhaul our kitchen if we're moving soon (I've been telling myself this for 2 years.  The reality is I can't stand this kitchen and spend as little time as possible in there).  I did steal one idea though and it only took a few minutes to do.
Do you hate how you go to pull a box of pasta out of the cabinet, only to find out it was the open box and now there's raw pasta all over the floor?  I do.  With a passion.  So I bought a few cans of Pringles and forced the family to eat them. (Who am I kidding, the chips were gone in hours)  A quick wash of the can and a date with the hot glue gun and some scrapbook paper, and done.  I'm not sure why I felt the urge to write the word pasta on the can....but I did.  Oh, and I eat low-carb pasta, so one can has my name written on it.

The finished product

The supplies.  I had to cut off about 2 inches off the paper to make it the right length.

Bear wondering what I was doing.  I always get excited  to get a sharp photo of him, usually they turn out like this...

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg FOOD!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Time's a-wastin'

I'm blogging so much lately because I have so much I should be doing, but am choosing not to.

One of those things is 4 online HQT courses for my teaching license.  I need to print some stuff off, but don't feel like fighting with our printer (how much ink does one printer need?).  I should write up some more sample lesson plans for an interview I will be having on Wednesday (omg I have an interview for a jooooooooob)

{Side note} My husband is reading over my shoulder as I blog and said "huh, somebody's excited about their interview. Look at the 14 O's in 'job'. "  Also, apparently he wasn't "reading over my shoulder" rather "looking and saw lots of O's in job."  Take that for what you will. ;)

I was whining to my BFF yesterday how I had no idea what to blog about lately and she told me to blog about my job search.  So come with me down my rabbit hole.....

This job search really started a year ago when my charter school got shut down overnight.  Of course no one was hiring in September, so I chose to focus on my license.  When I moved, my license didn't transfer very easily, despite many promises that both states have reciprocity.  My new home-state made me retake my Praxis II exams, retake a few college classes, and go through a mentorship program again.  Total cost so far is around $5,000, entirely out of my pocket.  Then, when I went on an interview about a month ago, I noticed all of my Highly Qualified Status (HQT) from my old state were gone.  GONE.  This is a HUGE deal in the teaching world.  Schools want to be able to say "all of our teachers are HQT certified!", districts want to be able to say that.  Honestly, they're more worried about HQT than they are about a Master's degree.  In fact, many school districts aren't hiring teachers who have a Masters because they have to pay those teachers more. This is good news for me, because I haven't started a masters program yet.

Anyway, as soon as the school year ended, I got online and filled out every application to every school district within a 60 min drive of my house.  I shied away from charter schools (can you really blame me? I kinda got burned) and am open to Christian schools, but really, really wanted a position in a public school system.  I talked to some people, but everybody was saying the same thing, "school just ended, we hire from within first, and then we look externally."  This is a normal process, so I wasn't worried.  Once July hit, I started to get nervous, I hadn't been hearing from anyone!

I did get an interview with the inner city school system downtown, but it was awful.  It turned out to be a mass interview and once they saw I didn't have any HQT on my license (yet!) NO ONE WOULD TALK TO ME.  Seriously??? I'm a moderate/severe teacher, it's not even required!  But, they wanted to be able to say all teachers, so, yeah.

I signed up for 4 online HQT courses, to be completed in 6 weeks, so all 4 core subject areas will be done.  *whew* Another $400, but at this point, I just want it to be DONE.

I got a Facebook message from a dear friend who mentioned a friend of hers told her that a local school district that I has somehow overlooked was hiring teachers in my field.  I started the application, but set it aside for a few days, then one night was like, "whatever, I'll finish it." and the very next morning got an email from a principal in that district asking for an interview. SCORE!!  It's scheduled for the next few days, I'm so psyched.  And nervous.  And terrified.

I wrote up some new lesson plans to bring as samples.  One in math that you use an iPod and a QR reader app to solve (state standards + technology in one lesson?? #winning).  The other will be a writing lesson plan that involves more technology and individual/whole class interaction.

I'm so excited.  I can't wait to show myself at what I do best.  :-D  I just hope this interview ends in a contract!