Tuesday, October 21, 2014

All Hallows Read + a Giveaway

All Hallows Read Giveaway
Ah, Halloween. The time of year where kids dress up like Ninja Turtles, parents eat the reject candy that nobody likes, and Christmas decorations are already firmly lining the shelves in the stores.

I used to love Halloween, but then it became an overlooked gateway to the winter holidays and just doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves. Nevertheless, I still try to make the most of the season, even though it's well past acceptable for me to don a costume and go trick-or-treating (which is rubbish, because who doesn't like getting dressed up and going around to gather candy?). I've since swapped the neighborhood trick-or-treating for Halloween parties with friends, and scouting out the best block for candy gathering has turned into buying Halloween candy on clearance the day after and hunkering down with a bag of Twix and Captain America. I'm not really complaining.

But in the past couple of years I've begun a new tradition: All Hallows Read. I'm all for reading, and if one of my favorite holidays can help promote reading, literacy, discovery of new books, and just plain ol' kindness, I'm on board. (It may come as no surprise that this is a movement headed by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman, but even if it weren't, I'd still be all over this idea.)

The premise is simple: Give someone a scary book on Halloween.

I'll let Neil elaborate...
So this Halloween, I urge you to spread the love and give someone a spooky story!

And in the spirit, I've got a book to give one of you!

The lovely folks over at Oxford University Press have been sharing a scary story all month in installments on their blog. The story itself is from Darryl Jones' latest compilation of classic horror tales, largely from the Victorian era. Featuring some of my favorite authors like Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Bram Stoker, and Arthur Conan Doyle (just to name a few), this book is a such a lovely (lovely? Creepy? Terror-inducing?) collection of tales perfect for Halloween.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What scary story are you planning on giving this All Hallows Read and to whom?

Monday, October 20, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.126


ailurophile n. [ī-ˈlr-ə-ˌfīl]: a cat lover (via)

As an owner of so many pieces of cat-printed clothing, it's not hard to believe that I am an ailurophile.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

link love

♥ English majors rejoice! Steve Strauss explains why he hires English majors (and boy, doesn't this make me feel just giddy!)
♥ I love when my worlds collide: Using Gaming Principles to Engage Students (or anyone, really)
The Art of the Villain Backstory (and why Dracula Untold fails). I love me some Dracula, but have been apprehensive about the movie. I feel like this sums up my pre-feelings.
Build your creative confidence!
♥ Some people build amazingly intricate worlds on Minecraft (I can only be jealous!) and this Final Fantasy VII Minecraft recreation is a thing of glory
♥ A classic Halloween horror story from the OUP's new collection, just in time to freak you out for the holidays!
What Books Do For the Human Soul: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature
♥ The 10 Best Literary TED Talks of the Year
You learn by finishing things...A NovelTea member shared this the other day, as the wisdom of Neil Gaiman is always pertinent and wonderful, and I thought you might enjoy it as well, Gaiman fan or not!
♥ More wisdom from Neil Gaiman, who wants nothing to do with your "Fake Geek" nonsense
Yinzer Goosebumps — a Pittsburgher's worst nightmare(s)
♥ An all-important guide for grownups this Halloween: Which wine pairs well with my Halloween candy?
7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose

She's such a dork and I love her and think we'd be best friends

Oh, Pittsburgh(ese)...

What links are you loving this week?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kix'ies: Thigh Highs that STAY UP — Genius!

A story for you: I used to be the child who refused socks, abhorred shoes, and just generally ran about in the middle of winter barefoot. The one pair of slippers I owned were owned because they had ducks on them, but otherwise had been worn a whole whopping total of once. Fast forward to last week, where the temperatures here were chilly, but not so cold that you needed to break out your winter coat, and I was walking around for most of the week feeling as if my toes had fallen off (or at the very least gone numb).

Apparently, with age, I have lost my incredible superpower of perpetually warm feet.

And so I've been in dire need of socks. Because I have none (okay, so I have one thick pair for when I go ice skating, but those aren't exactly acceptable for wearing to work).

Enter Kix'ies.
An embarrassingly long time ago, Sara spoke of the brand Kix'ies, who she had the chance to see at New York Fashion Week. They were kind enough to send me a pair of their Dana Lynn thigh highs to try out, but at the time summer was in full swing and not only was I not at work everyday, but it was a tad too warm to even dream of wearing anything on your feet.

Once the temperature cooled down, however, I couldn't wait to try out my pair. I worried that I'd be constantly tugging them up all day, since most thigh highs I've worn have a tendency of sliding down, but was pleasantly surprised: they stayed up. All. Day. I much prefer thigh highs as opposed to stockings or tights, but it was never worth the hassle of having to hike them back up every ten minutes. Now, I no longer have that as an excuse.
Despite a few lines that may show up on your leg from having elastic around it all day, Kix'ies are ridiculously comfortable and no more difficult to put on than any other pair of tights/stockings/thigh highs (sometimes just getting them on requires you to do an intricate dance). I think I've just found the solution to my "keeping my feet warm" and "staying comfortable yet classy at work" dilemma!

I received a pair of Kix'ies to review, but all opinions are my own. If they weren't so awesome, you could right well bet I wouldn't be writing about them!

Are thigh highs (and/or cold feet) the bane of your work-existence too? How'd you fix it!?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

It's been a relatively calm week, which I guess is nice, since next week will be a whirlwind! I'm leaving for a conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday, and it'll be quite the adventure! Now I'm in need of some good books for my down time there, and a fun road-trip playlist...

♥ After leaving my Filofax relatively unused for the past year, I've started reassembling my pages and prepping them for 2015. I've had a little help and inspiration from the Studio Calico Agenda class, but it's sure paying off! I'm more pumped than ever to customize my planner and make it my hub for the new year! I'm planning on doing a post/video soon and I want to know: what planner/Filofax related questions do you have?

♥ A friend of mine is back from California, I'm sure I've mentioned, but we had an official and combination Housewarming/Halloween party last weekend for them. I love Halloween decorations, and it was a blast to just chat, play some Cards Against Humanity, and catch up. Plus, I threw together a Felicity Smoak costume at the last second and am quite digging the fact that I can wear it out on not-Halloween too!

♥ Being a day-to-day sub means that I don't always have a chance to make a lasting impact in a classroom. Luckily, being in the same district day after day makes this a bit easier, but it can be hard to motivate students and see them reach their potential when they often see a sub as a "substitute? Oh, so we just have a worksheet for one period and it's just busywork because you're just a sub"-type of person/scenario. This week, however, I received the simplest, hugest compliment from a student, just for helping the class understand their work. Day made.

little loves
days off! ♥ apple cider ♥ Nathan Fillion's voice making guest appearances ♥ Felicity Smoak and the new season of Arrow ♥ Taylor Swift and her abundance of cats ♥ sing alongs in the car ♥ a student gave me a whole list of cheesy cow-related jokes that I absolutely love. What's a cow's favorite school subject? Cowculus! Bwahaha! ♥ 

What are you loving this week?