Is it Thanksgiving yet?

Having summers off is one of the greatest things in life, but it sometimes gets frustrating that there’s no flexibility to take vacation days during the year. Luckily, next Monday is a holiday!!!!! I’m so pumped, but I gotta get through this week first. And tomorrow is an exciting day! I still have to work, but I’m planning to watch election day coverage all night. I still feel like I’m new to voting:)
Tonight, I channeled my inner autumn with chili. I really only channeled it though, because Matt actually made it!


I used Gina’s sweet potato black bean chili recipe, which I’ve enjoyed in the past, and Matt assembled the ingredients in the crockpot this morning. We had all the fixin’s – white cheddar, plain yogurt, and the last of the cheddar garlic bread.


Despite the warm dinner, I’m quite chilly. Good thing I’m gonna warm up this weekend [hint – girls weekend!]. It seems Sandy not only brought destruction, but she also brought winter. I’ve been resistant, but I think tonight is the night to turn on the heat and get out the down blanket that lives on the couch all winter. I’m also making a promise to myself that I’ll drink more hot tea this year! It’s a perfect way to warm up and it tastes good too.

Any good recommendations for tea out there?

  • Marie
    November 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Trader Joe’s seasonal Pumpkin Spice Rooibos is heavenly (and caffeine free, good for the evenings). 🙂 Costco also has a great brand of Matcha Green. And last but certainly not least, Teavana has a salted caramel herbal blend – I haven’t tried it yet, but how could it be bad?

    • Laura
      November 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks! I’ve got to find that salted caramel!!!

  • Mom
    November 6, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Lipton. Sounds boring, but it’s the Queen to me of regular delicious black teas.

  • Mary @ Little Orphan Annie
    November 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I like the Yogi brand “Breathe Deep” variety. Good stuff. Always like to add a spoonful of local honey to sweeten it up 🙂

    • Laura
      November 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Sounds nice for bedtime:)

  • Mary
    November 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

    If you like cinnamon, Good Earth original sweet & spicy is delicious!

    • Laura
      November 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Thanks! Is it at most grocery stores?

  • Kris
    November 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Amazes me that you can complain about not having days off come November when you had the whole summer off. Most professionals I know get a couple weeks off all year. That’s the real world…

    • Laura
      November 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      That’s why I said “Having summers off is one of the greatest things in life” directly before that statement! Sorry you’re in the real world and not in education:)

      • Kris
        November 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        Preempting a complaint with a statement about appreciating a summer off does not negate your sense of entitlement to live a life of leisure. It’s obvious that you still have a long way to go before overcoming your quarter-life crisis. No doubt it’s hard to grow up, even when working in education.

        • Laura
          November 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

          Preempting my complaint with that statement acknowledges that I am thankful for what I have. And if we are being completely honest here, the reason for my venting last night was a suicide intervention yesterday that left me emotionally drained and upset – wanting to take a personal day once in a ten month work period doesn’t mean someone has a sense of entitlement to live a life of leisure.

          • Stephanie C
            November 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm

            I don’t think many people are aware of the demands of a school psychologist. It’s incredibly draining and taxing. Self care is a big thing in this field because of the high burn out…hence the need for vacations, eating out, massages, etc.

          • Laura
            November 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

            Especially eating out:)

          • Lisa
            November 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

            I admit that I rolled my eyes at your comment about needing a personal day after mentioning your summer vacation, but I think that your post and the comment above raises an interesting discussion about women in their 20’s and beyond. I am 27 as well, and as I am starting my career as a lawyer (working 60-80 hours a week), I find myself critical of other women and their “easier” life and career choices, even though I myself chose a notoriously demanding profession. A stay-at-home mom may envy a working woman, and vice versa. A doctor working 80 hours a week might look at a teacher and their summer vacations and feel bitterness. I find it interesting that instead of supporting fellow females and their life choices, we often express negative feelings towards them…I would be interested to read your thoughts and discussion on the topic.

            On to a lighter topic, tea, have you tried PG Tips?

          • Laura
            November 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

            Yeah – it is an interesting topic! I can’t say I’ve ever felt any bitterness towards women who work more or less than I do though. I’m sure you work much much harder than me in terms of hours at the office, but I’m guessing you probably make triple the salary that I do! I wouldn’t say I’ve chosen an ‘easy life,’ but I did choose a challenging job with less demanding hours partially so that I could live a certain lifestyle – I guess I’d rather have time than money! I may have summers off, but I’ll never make six figures:) Some people are not fortunate enough to be able to choose their careers, but it sounds like you and I were…So, I totally agree – we made these life choices, we should support each other!

            Caitlin wrote a post that sort-of discusses this topic – it’s about the mommy wars.

            Thanks for the friendly discussion and for the tea rec.! I haven’t heard of PG Tips…

            Edited to add: I don’t mean to sound like I only chose the job for the hours – I’m clearly passionate about psychology and working with kids, and the hours are just one thing that pulled me away from a PhD and towards school psychology:)

          • Kris
            November 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm

            I don’t see it as a male/female issue, or stemming from bitterness. It’s a matter of hearing people WANT for more and more when they have so much to be thankful for already. When we have such high unemployment and people dealing with being wiped out in the north east, complaints about not having a day off after having more than most ppl is hard to stomach.

          • Laura
            November 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

            Point taken. But I will say that just because someone wants a day off or needs extra rest does not mean that they are not thankful and don’t care about others.

  • Stephanie C
    November 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Art of Tea’s White Coconut Creme Tea is amazing. Haven’t gotten around to trying their others but they DO have a butterscotch tea!

    • Sharon
      November 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      I am a teacher and know exactly bow you feel. Try Harney and sons hot cinnamon spice. It is the best tea I have ever had. I have given tins of the tea sachets to many people and they all love it. They also have a great pineapple green tea ( I prefer this one iced), and a great ginger, vanilla, and coconut green tea. One last favorite is a blend called Paris that is also Harney and sons. I buy the tea at the cafe in Barnes and Nobles or online.

      • Laura
        November 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm

        Wow – so many teas to try and they all sound great! Thanks:)

  • Isabel
    November 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Hi Laura,

    I’m thinking about going back to grad school to become a Speech Language Pathologist. I know you mentioned that one of the cons of working on a school calendar is not being able to take vacation days whenever you want. Would you say having summers off outweighs the lack of flexible vacation time during the school year?

    • Laura
      November 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Yes! I think it does outweigh the lack of flexible days during the year. It’s not a big deal at this point in my life, but I could see it being a problem when you have kids or family/life demands. Once you have been in the district for a couple of years though, I think you earn like 3 to 5 personal days that you can take. Of course, if you had a major event, you could also ask for un-paid time off, but I think it’s frowned upon to use that for a vacation. I hear private schools are much more flexible, and even allow teachers to take vacation…