My Book Outlet Experience

My Book Outlet Experience

GOING ON.pngHello and happy Wednesday. Let me tell you a little story that makes me hate the fact that I don’t live in the US or Canada or even the UK, are you ready?

If you follow me on Instagram , you know I’m obsessed with buying books, and only until recently I’ve started buying more physical books online. This is a pain sometimes because of the additional cost of international shipping and also with the amount of time I have to wait to get the books. Thankfully in Colombia, where I live, the supply of YA books in English has increased, and so I tend to buy locally. It still costs me a lot, but the satisfaction is immediate.

A while ago I was watching a video of A Dash of Ash and she did a haul on books she’d gotten via Book Outlet. Of course, I went to their site and saw this super low prices for books I’d been wanting to buy for the longest time. Of February I placed an order to Colombia. I bought three books and Stacks, the teddy bear that’s like their mascot.

I know shipping takes a while because is international, which is why I wasn’t worried, until one day when I decided to track the order in the DHL page and got this message that basically said there was no information about my package, and it might have gotten lost. Still, I waited because maybe the lack of information meant nothing and I was still going to get my stuff, you know? I just had to be patient.

As time passed by, though, I lost my patience. I’d had a similar experience with a package from Book Depository I’d sent my best friend when she was living in France, and what I had to do after she never got it was get in touch and ask for my order to be cancelled. See, the thing is back then I ended up buying the books on Amazon, but this time I really wanted to get them from BookOutlet.

I wrote a message asking for information on my order’s shipping status or for the possibility to cancel the order. I got a reply within minutes saying that because the order was international it was not possible to get information about it, but that they could cancel it and would give me a refund.

Now when I’m upset I get super radical and make decisions almost without thinking, so my idea was to buy the books as soon as I got the refund, but getting them from another store, probably Amazon. As I write this, though, and considering that the prices of the books are so amazingly low, what I’m going to do is buy them on Book Outlet but set them shipped to my P.O box. It will mean that I’ll still have to pay for shipping, but not directly to the store, and hopefully I’ll get my things sooner than I’d expected. When I get them, I’ll do a haul, so stay tuned for that.

What has your experience with international online shopping been like?

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

My Journey to Healthy Living: 1 Month Update

My Journey to Healthy Living: 1 Month Update

Hello aAnnouncement.pngnd happy Sunday. It is almost the fourth month of the year already, and besides having to get my best friend a birthday present and getting ready for a spring break by the beach, that means that I have already accomplished three of my resolutions for this year.

I’m a firm believer in resolutions and working towards your goals, and though I think that any time is good to change your life for the better, I always think there’s something about the New Year that really gives us all the opportunity to improve ourselves. 2016 was the year of the badass, and now 2017 is the year of making stuff happen. That means that this year I decided to write a resolution I would accomplish every month of the year. I wrote very concrete and tangible stuff.

My January resolution was to get laser hair removal, so by clicking here and here you can find out how that’s been working out for me. My February resolution was a bit scarier: going to a nutritionist. It was scary for me because my eating habits were crap and I knew I was going to have to make radical changes. But I was ready, you know? I got to a point where eating and living healthy wasn’t a matter of wanting but a need I had.

I’m a vegetarian and have been for eight years, so I looked for a nutritionist that could help me without forcing me to eat animals. I found one online, and besides having great reviews, she had her office pretty close to my house, so I called and set an appointment. The first appointment cost me about $30, and from then on the check-ups cost $22. That’s not cheap at all, but it’s an amount I only have to pay once a month, so it’s not that bad. Besides, having to pay that money is a motivation for me to do well.

The day of the appointment came and the first thing the doctor did was ask me why I’d come. I told her the truth, that even if losing weight was going to be a side effect of the whole process, I’d gone to see her because I wanted to learn how to eat properly. I’m 23 years old and I work with children every day, but that doesn’t mean that I can eat like one.

I got weighed and surprisingly for me I’d maintained my weight for the past year and a half. I thank Zumba for that, because it hasn’t let me gain any more weight. Of course, I hadn’t lost any either because of my eating habits. She calculated by body fat, she measured my height and then we sat down and she broke everything down for me.

Basically, my metabolism was crap, and I had the metabolic age of a 57 year-old. According to my weight I was overweight, but according to the amount of fat in my body I was obese. My water levels were average to low, and all in all I was in worse conditions than I’d originally thought.

What I loved about this doctor, though, was that she was assertive. She didn’t focus on what was wrong but rather on ways to make it better, to make my life better. Then she asked me what I’d eaten that day in every meal, and as I answered I realized just how messed up my eating habits were. She told me she would send me a meal plan, and then she explained me what I should start including in my diet and what I should eliminate immediately. And let me tell you, while she talked, I started feeling motivated because I was being provided with alternatives.

Besides the meal plan and Zumba, I had to start doing 10-minute HIIT workouts once a week. During the first days I was sad and honestly, I was totally confused because I had no idea what to eat. It has been a learning process but now I’ve adapted the meal plan and I feel confident following it. I’m also taking dietary supplements, but I’ll talk more in depth about that later on.

During this first month I lost 3 kg. (6.6 pounds) and I gained muscle mass, which means I’m toning my body, and that’s always great. I don’t have to change anything in my diet, but I did have to increase my workouts to twice a week, 15 minutes per session. It was hard, but I loved it. I’m beginning to notice that some or my clothes are loose and that I have way more energy than I did before, and that keeps me motivated to continue this journey. What were your New Year’s resolutions and what are you doing to accomplish them?

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

The Age of Miracles Novel Study and Review

The Age of Miracles Novel Study and Review

Hello and happy Saturday. If you’re my friends on Goodreads, you probably know it took me the longest time to read The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, a book I found at a Dollar Tree during my latest trip to the U.S in July 2016.

It is a good book, and I think I really started loving it during the last hundred pages, the thing is it took me so long to finish reading it because I was simultaneously coming up with a novel study to sell on my TPT store.

Now, here’s where having one blog for everything becomes really fun and useful for me, because I can talk about my bookish things and my teaching things in the same space.

For those of you who don’t know, TPT stands for Teachers Pay Teachers, a website in which teachers post their products (which can be free or have a price) so that other teachers can get them. It is an absolutely fantastic idea, and I can’t tell you how many times a product on TPT has helped my lessons. A few months ago I decided to create my own store and sell my resources, and actually this very morning I updated it and made some changes to the product listing, and also to my profile picture to match the one I use in this blog and in other social media.

I decided to make a novel study for this book because I think it’s got one of those stories that is very relevant for our time, and it has the reader thinking the whole time and asking themselves questions that can spark very interesting discussions. This book is told by eleven-year-old Julia, and it starts around the time when everybody starts realizing that the Earth is slowing down, which causes the days and nights to be longer. Julia’s narrative alternates between all the changes the world undergoes due to the slowing, but it also focuses on her own life, her family, her relationships with friends, and even what happens with her crush, Seth Moreno.

The reason why it took me so long to read, and also the reason why I think this book would be great for middle school or even underclassmen is because it constantly made me stop and reflect upon what I just read. Though I did come up with a novel study that has a space to write one’s answers after each question, I think it’s a book that can easily be worked on by discussing it in class. I believe it is controversial enough to serve as the starter for debates, and that it is so close to what we’re living with climate change that amazing research papers can come from ideas present in this book.

If you’re interested in the novel study, click here to check it out. I also put together a preview, which are the questions for one of the longest chapters. You can download those and then see if you’d like to pay for the whole novel study, including pre and post reading questions. Please let me know if there are other books you’d like me to see and make novel studies for, and I’ll be sure to check them out!

Happy Saturday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

A Review + Free Reads = Best Post Ever

A Review + Free Reads = Best Post Ever

Hello and happy Wednesday. I just finished my 15-minute HIIT workout and I’m feeling equal parts hyped and also like I want to lie down on the floor for a while. I will instead write this post. I get super excited whenever I come across with sites and ideas that will, in a way, help my book-loving readers. This is not a new idea, but it’s one I have decided to give another try. I’m talking about Riveted, which is the site for Simon & Schuster YA reads.

It can interest you because you can get free reads, either full books or extended excerpts. And I’m talking about the greatest YA books. Jenny Han’s books have been available, as well as Morgan Matson’s and Shaun David Hutchinson’s, so even if you’re just curious, you should totally check out this site. What you get is a link, meaning you need to have Internet connection to read the books because you can’t download them. For my latest read, I decided to go ahead and use my old tablet (old as in I’ve owned it for the longest time but it still works perfectly fine). I read the whole book in it and it was great.

Now, I sort of feel like I started from the end, because I’m talking about where and how I got a book but I haven’t talked about said book. I read Me + You = Us (previously titled Galgorithm) by Aaron Karo. I knew from the start that I was really going to like that book because Shane, our main character, is super chill and friendly but also believable. I loved that the whole story was told from his perspective. I enjoyed all of the characters and it was very cool to see a high school that was sort of mainstream and average. I mean, it didn’t have the missing prom queen, or the geek girl who’s suddenly Internet famous because she accidentally posted her journal online or anything like that. There was a bit of drama (understandable, we’re talking about teenagers here), but it was managed in a very rational, close-to-reality way, you know?

This book had been in my wish list for the longest time, and I was super happy to find it and get to read it for free. I posted a picture on Instagram and Aaron Karo, the author was very sweet and commented some heart-face emojis. I really appreciate that, by the way, authors that take time and give love to their readers, even if it is with a smiley face or whatever.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

My Everyday Makeup Before vs. Now

My Everyday Makeup Before vs. Now

Hello and happy Sunday. The other day, as I was doing my makeup, I came up with this idea of comparing how I used to do it four years ago, when I started with how I do it now. I sort of got the inspiration from a video Tati posted recently where she
did the do’s and don’ts, and originally I wanted to do it like she did, half my face with my old makeup techniques and the other half with the makeup the way I do it nowadays. I then decided that it would be more fun to do my whole face one day and then the other, so that’s what I did.

The picture on the left (where I’m wearing a blue and white striped shirt) is the one that shows how I did my makeup at age 19, and the one on the right is how I currently do it. I think regardless of which look is better, the differences are obvious, even though the look idea was the same.

Let me give you a little context here. Ever since I started with makeup, I began to fill a notebook with ideas of looks I got from Youtube. From 2014 to 2015 I wrote tons of looks because I was still sort of growing comfortable with playing around with makeup. Now that I create my own looks and don’t really sit down and copy them. What I did for this experiment was take the first look I wrote down. For the picture on the left, I followed each step as it was, and then the next day I had the idea and incorporated the steps and techniques I use for my everyday looks.

What I’m going to do is list each step I had originally written down and comment on how I changed or added to get my current routine.

Beige + Plum Everyday Makeup

  1. Foundation. Did you notice I missed something? Now my first step is priming. The day I didn’t, my skin felt tight and dry and I feel like I had to spend a lot of time blending. This was probably because now I use a beauty sponge whereas four years ago I was the biggest fan of brushes.
  2. Concealer. Nowadays I apply my concealer before putting on my foundation. I think it gives my face a more natural look. After concealer and foundation I now do my eyebrows. I guess I didn’t think that step was necessary before because I’ve always had thick, full eyebrows, but it currently is a must in my makeup routine.
  3. Powder. You can see that the picture on the left looks darker, and that might be because of the lighting, but I also think it’s because I used to apply powder after getting my foundation and concealer. If you look at the picture closely, you can see that my skin is cakey, whereas nowadays I go for a natural look on weekdays.
  4. Blush. Okay, first of all, I now do my eyes first. I think it’s better if there’s any fallout. Also, before I apply blush, I’ll use some medium powder foundation as a bronzer. Bronzer is what makes me look like a healthy person and not like a zombie or someone who hasn’t seen daylight in years.
  5. Beige (eyelid). I don’t know why I used to do my eyelids and then put on eyeshadow on my crease, but that’s definitely not the way I do it now. I decided to take the beige and plum look, and make it a little smokey, but still super soft. I used a lighter beige for that and then used the darker one I’d used for the eyelid the previous day as my crease and lower lash line color.
  6. Plum (crease). I took the plum I’d originally used for my crease and used it on my outer corner, and then I added a darker shade to give the eyes more depth.
  7. Black line. When I started doing makeup, I didn’t have any liquid eyeliner, I only had one black pencil eyeliner. That’s why most of my looks included a “black line”. I think it made the look too harsh, so the next day I softened it by adding a matte beige to my lower lash line and tightlining with brown pencil eyeliner. It still gives definition to my eyes, but in a subtle, friendlier way.
  8. Mascara. When I started wearing makeup, I fell in love with the Maybelline Falsies mascara, which is still one of my favorites, so in that area I don’t have much to say. Now I own many great mascaras, but that one is great.
  9. Tinted lip balm. Currently I don’t wear tinted lip balm unless I’m going for a natural/no-makeup look. I was pretty happy, though, with how it looked. The next day, however, I went with the soft look again and wore this new pink lipstick I got. I love that shade because I think it’s totally fool-proof and goes well with virtually any eye look you want to go for.

That’s it for my little experiment. Let me know if you want me to try it with other types of looks, like weekend or nighttime.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget: Task Cards

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget: Task Cards

Hello and happy Saturday. Today I’ll continue talking about how I created my magic box for math centers without spending any money. Let’s begin by incorporating something I talked about on my previous post, that is, snap cubes. I got the gorgeous task cards from One Beautiful Home, printed them black-and-white, and then colored them with markers. I glued them to colored paper so that they were sturdier and that was it. I didn’t laminate them because I didn’t feel like it. I’m rarely in the mood for laminating, but that forces my students to be extra careful with the materials I give them.

For building shapes, I have two sets of task cards. There are ones in which students have to make shapes using popsicle sticks and they have the model drawn for them. I got those from The STEM Laboratory, which is a great source of activities and printables. I did laminate these cards. See? It’s a matter of mood.

We then have these, more complex cards, which challenge students to build shapes out of other shapes. I got them from Susan Jones Teaching. Now, here I cheated a tiny bit because what I plan on using with these cards is  a set of plastic shapes that I found in storage.I didn’t buy them, so technically I’m still following the “no spending money” rule. As an alternative, though, id you don’t want to spend money on plastic shapes, you can make paper ones. I glued these to origami paper.

Let me know what you use in your classes and whether you have any strategies to save money while having great resources.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

My February Book Drop

My February Book Drop

Hello and happy Wednesday. Sometimes I feel like I buy more books than the ones I read, like I’m accumulating them but doing nothing with them other than sharing pictures on Instagram. I mean, it’s no secret that I adore shopping, but in the past few months I’ve developed an obsession towards subscription boxes. You’ll be able to learn more about it as I keep posting, but today I want to talk to you specifically about The Book Drop and why you should get it.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it in this blog, but I live in Colombia. This makes online shopping, particularly the shipping part, kind of tricky. I have a P.O Box but have limited the use of it because it was still very expensive, so now I try to only buy things that can be shipped directly to Colombia.

In my quest for a subscription box that was both affordable and shipped straight to my house, I found The Book Drop by Bethany Beach Books . Each month you get an indie read for $13, and I’m almost sure I wasn’t charged for shipping, but I don’t know if that applies for all countries. I was almost sure the box only contained the book, and was happy about that, but then I saw it had some goodies. So, when I saw I’d gotten that beautiful chocolate-bar-shaped eraser from Oriental Trading and a couple of bookmarks (I collect both erasers and bookmarks so yay me!) I got extra excited.

The book I got is X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon, and it is a novel about Malcom X’s life before becoming the legend he now is. I’m excited to read it because it’s completely different to what I’m used to, and I think it’s necessary to read something non-YA every once in a while. Of course, once I read it, I’ll review it here.

Let me clarify something, and it’s the fact that, yes, this was my February box (I’m still waiting for the January one to arrive). That is probably tho only downside to these boxes that ship everywhere, and it’s having to wait a month, sometimes even longer than that to get them, but it’s totally worth it.

If you know of any nice boxes I should try, please send me a link so I can check them out.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

P.S: You can click here to go to the Crate Joy site and search for great subscription boxes.

First Session of Laser Hair Removal (Lower Abdomen and Bikini)

First Session of Laser Hair Removal (Lower Abdomen and Bikini)

Hello and happy Sunday. Last Friday I had my first laser hair removal session on my lower abdomen and bikini area. As the day of the appointment approached, I started havingLaser Hair Removal.png these mixed feelings; on one hand, I’d already had a session on my armpits and my legs, which was just fine, but on the other hand I’d been told by not one but two people that the bikini area hurt like hell.

I’m not self-conscious about having to take off my underwear in front of a professional, I mean, I know it’s her job and I’m not the only person she’s seen naked for the first time, but I understand that if it makes you uncomfortable, then your experience might not be like mine was.

Like last time, I had to wear this goggles for protection, so I couldn’t see anything. That helped me detach a bit from the whole experience. The lady began with my lower abdomen area, which is basically that line that goes from the bellybutton to the beginning of the pubic area. The pain was mostly like it’d been the last time (barely even, more like heat rather than pain), except for this stripe where the pubic area begins. It wasn’t even the whole area what hurt, but rather a spot close to my right ovary. I felt a sting, and it did hurt. For a moment I was scared that I’d have to tell the lady to stop, but after that the pain went back to what I was used to.

The bikini area hurt just like the others did. It was more than tolerable, really, and it was super quick. I’d get laser a thousand times before having my bikini waxed again. I didn’t get any weird sensation afterwards, I didn’t get any redness or itching or anything like that, and what I’ve seen so far is that it takes way longer for the hair to grow back.

Next session is in April, and then I’ll get all four areas (armpits, legs, bikini, and lower abdomen) treated, so from then on it’s just going to be one post instead of two per session. I also have a checkup appointment soon, so I’ll be sure to let you know what I’m told and what are the next steps.

Happy Sunday!

Love, Miss Camila

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget

Hello and happy Saturday. A long while ago I posted a picture on Instagram showing one of the various methods I use to arrange materials when working on math centers. I then had the idea of writing and sharing with you what I’ve done with my centers without having to spend any money. Today I finally took the pictures of my materials and am ready to post. I’ll dedicate another entry to task cards because I don’t want to make this super long and boring.

Let me start by clarifying this: in Colombia, centers or small-group activities or whatever are not common. Most classrooms are not equipped for this kinds of class dynamics, and teachers aren’t always in charge of the majority of the subjects, as it happens in the U.S. What it means is that teachers like myself have to carry the materials and resources we use to the classrooms, so we have to look for ways to make this practical.

I’m a very eco-friendly teacher, and I’m also obsessed with online shopping, so I always have a box or two, which I use for storing my teaching stuff at home (remind me of posting about my supplies closet one day) or at school. I like that the boxes are open at the top because that makes it easy for me to grab what I need. They are also a great size because all of my math centers stuff fits but it’s not big or uncomfortable to carry.

Now let’s look at the inside of the box. I know I said I got everything for free, but I sort of cheated with the snap cubes because they were already in the storage closet when I started working at school. In the post on task cards I’ll talk in depth about what I do with these cubes. You can click here  to buy them at Amazon.

There’s also this cup filled with paper shapes. I colored and laminated some triangles I used for a STEAM activity in the past, the other paper shapes are blank and haven’t been laminated. I’m keeping those for a day when I don’t like what I planned, to have students color them and them make a drawing out of them. We also used these shapes in the past to make a shapes pizza. Let’s go back to the cup, though. On my birthday my best friend gave it to me. It was filled with candy, which I ate immediately. I kept this cup because it had a lid, which meant I knew I could use it to store something. And  I did!

Finally we have this cute counting activity I did when I was introducing numbers from 1 to 10. This is a freebie I got from Totschooling.net , which I adore because we got to do a lesson around If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I laminated the jars and the cookies to make the materials reusable. The idea is for students to cover the cookies with golden stickers (“chips”) according to the number of dots, and then to match the cookie to the number in the jar. I made two sets so that each student can get at least one cookie.

There you go, these are some of my resources for math centers, which I got for free. As you can see, I’m more of a hands-on teacher, and I like to make things rather than buy them. I think by doing so, I’m doing the earth and my pocket a favor.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

First Audiobook of the Year

First Audiobook of the Year

Hello and happy Wednesday.

It’s crazy to think that during the first two months of 2017 I didn’t listen to any audiobooks, but I guess that’s because I only had like one or two to read. Recently, I restocked on them, so that I can go back to my routine of listening to them while I get ready in the mornings.

I’m still adjusting to this new blog, but I’ve been loving everything about it so far, and I think it’s a cool idea for you to read about other things I’m passionate about, not just books. As part of that change, I’ve decided that I’m not going to continue with the themes for each month I’d had since last year. That’s a fun way to discover new reads, but I feel that my TBR is growing larger everyday and that having such specific options to read is not helping me advance. I’d rather just read without a theme and review, like I’d done on previous years.

Now, after the longest introduction ever, let me talk to you about the Audible version of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ll start by shamelessly admitting that I watched the movie before reading the book, and I actually found out there was a book after I’d watched the movie. Yes, I haven’t read every single piece of literature written in the 20th century or before that; I didn’t study literature and I’ve always hated reading fiction for academic purposes.

That being said, I’ve come across with a few of Fitzgerald’s pieces and I’ve liked them. The language he uses is simple, and the plots of his stories are rather superficial, so I enjoy them. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is super short, so in a matter of two mornings I was done with the audiobook. The narrator talked like he’d lived in the time when the story took place, and overall I was entertained.

Now, I’m not a literature snob, at least not when it comes to 20th century authors (maybe I’m a YA snob), so I can’t really understand why some people didn’t like this story. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that it seems sort of incomplete when compared to the movie, or maybe it’s just that it’s so short, it doesn’t really explore any situations in-depth.

In my case, I wasn’t bothered by the fact that the story was so different to the book, I think the main idea of the book was taken and exploited, especially Benjamin’s love life. I wouldn’t say that the movie was better, I’d just say it was different.

Happy Wednesday.

Love, Miss Camila