My nighttime routine

As smoothly as my mornings go, I try to keep my evenings the same. However, depending on my level of exhaustion at the end of the long school day, it makes a HUGE difference in how my evening will play out. Unlike my mornings, I don’t have set times for everything I do. Some nights I eat dinner at 4:30pm [yes I’m 85 years old] and other days I don’t eat until 8:00. It really depends on the day, what work I have, afterschool activities, etc.

Despite these time differences day to day, I do however try to do the exact same things every evening at some point no matter what time they get accomplished. For example, I get home from school and the first thing I do is hang my coat and put my bag in its place. I take my laptop out of my bag and I plug it in because most days I use at least 1/2 of the battery and I always need to come to school with it fully charged. I spend 30-45 minutes relaxing. I lay on my couch, sometimes have a little snack, watch Netflix, play on my phone, etc. Being gone for 9 hours really takes it out of you and I deserve a little time to myself just to do absolutely nothing of importance.

Every night I cook dinner, obviously [I wish I could do the same thing at home]. I aim to eat around 5:30 or 6:00 but as I said, it depends on the day. While I’m cooking, I check my planner to see what schoolwork I have to get done this evening and make a list of it or start the work while I eat.

After dinner, I do all my dishes from the day. I clean the coffee pot and get it ready for the next morning, my breakfast dishes, lunch box, dinner dishes, etc. It’s always nice to begin and end a day with a cupboard full of clean dishes and an empty sink.

Once my dishes are done I tidy up my apartment. Random shirts and pairs of shoes that I tried on that morning and didn’t want to wear are put back in their place and random tissues and pieces of plastic are thrown away.

After that, I have a nice-looking apartment that is ready for work. I sit either on my couch or at my table [or balcony when it’s not too cold]  and do whatever work I have to do. Some nights I have nothing and other nights I have a bit more. On nights that I have nothing, I get to enjoy a little more Netflix, take a walk outside, or progress on my edTPA. I love walking around my city because I always find something new [and remember some sort of food that I don’t have at home and need to pick up] to see or do and it’s nice to be able to call this city my home.

At 8:30 usually, I begin getting ready for bed. I brush my teeth, take my makeup off, do my skincare routine, some nights I do a face mask, etc. I put my clean dishes away, put pajamas on, and lay in bed. I watch a bit more TV, listen to music, read, write, etc. before ideally being asleep by 9:30 so that I’m ready to wake up the next morning.

With my morning routine as well as this one, my days go a lot more smoothly. Who would have thought it would have taken me 22 years to be able to come up with something as easy as this to get me through the days?

❤ Alicia

 

My morning routine

I’ve been in Greece for 5 weeks now and the biggest thing I told myself I had to do was create a daily routine. I’m exhausted every morning before I drink my pot [yes…pot] of coffee so creating and maintaining a morning routine for my groggy half-awake self is of dire importance. I’ve got the hang of my routine and can get ready for school each day quicker and quicker and I wanted to share my routine with all of you struggling with your own routines.


5:30: My first alarm goes off. I set roughly four alarms each day [5:30, 5:40, 5:50, and 6:00] in hopes that I wake up to one of the first two and then lie awake until the 3rd one and on some days [Tuesdays and Thursdays for some reason I’m even more tired than usual] I lie in bed until 6:00.

The first thing I do after getting out of bed is turn on my coffee pot. I’ve started getting it ready the night before so that I just have to hit the power button in the morning.

Once I hear coffee dripping, I hop into the shower and get nice and warm. My apartment and Greece as a whole make no sense when it comes to temperature. I keep my apartment at 19.0 degrees [Celsius] when I sleep and 20.0 degrees when I’m awake and moving around. At night, this temperature is fine. However, in the morning, I am an icicle without warm pants, long sleeves, and socks. So, I run into that shower and enjoy a nice seven or so minutes of warmth before having to reenter the cold that is my apartment.

When I’m done showering I do my skincare routine, brush my hair, etc. so that it’s out of the way. I put clean sweatpants on [I don’t put my teaching clothes on until later in case I spill coffee and because I just want to be comfortable as I lounge around].

At around 6:30/6:40 I eat breakfast and enjoy my first cup of coffee. I turn the TV on to give me a bit of company and open the door to my balcony so I can see the sun begin rising.

7:00 Once I’ve finished breakfast as well as cup number two of coffee I prepare my lunch. My typical lunch consists of a banana, a sandwich, some crackers, and an extra piece of fruit // veggie that I eat during a break if I’m hungry. I also fill a water bottle and throw them both into my bag,

By the time 7:10 rolls around I’m usually done or almost done with my 3rd/4th cup of coffee so now it’s time to brush my teeth, put some makeup on [my eyebrows and a bit of concealer on days when my skin hates me], turn the TV off, double and triple-check that I have everything and then finally, I’m out the door and on my way to the bus stop by 7:20 to be picked up at 7:25.

What does you morning routine consist of?

❤ Alicia

Apartment tour

Something I did way back when [2 and a half years ago] before the apartment life was a dorm tour! I loved getting to share my little home with everyone! Dorm, apartment, house, etc. tours on blogs and YouTube are my absolute favorite because I love seeing where people live and what they do with the space they have. I didn’t do an apartment tour with my last apartment [I might be able to if I still have the pictures I took of it] but I wanted to share my space in Greece.

I live in a studio apartment in a suburb of Thessaloniki known as Kalamaria. My apartment is on the top floor of a five-story apartment building with two apartments per floor. I am the only one currently living on my floor but people have been in and out of the other one for the past few days so I have to assume I will be getting a neighbor at some point shortly.

After unlocking the front door of the building, there is a small lobby area with mail slots, one apartment, a set of stairs, and a sketchy elevator. I take the elevator of course because I’m not trying to walk up five flights of stairs after a long day at school or with two arms full of groceries. If the elevator could hold my two 45-pound suitcases, my backpack, me, and another woman, I’m sure I’ll be fine.

When I get off the elevator, my apartment is on the left side of the platform.

The first thing you see when you walk into my apartment is everything. It’s a studio apartment so it’s very very tiny but it has everything I need. To the left of my door is my mudroom or mud area because obviously in a studio apartment we only have one room and then the bathroom. In this mud area, I keep all my shoes, my two coats, my teaching bag, hats, scarves, gloves, my umbrella as well as purses. There’s also a really nice mirror that I make sure to look in every morning before I leave so that I’m not going out looking a mess.

Right next to the mud area that is my bathroom. The bathroom is also pretty tiny, but it also has everything I need. There’s a toilet, a sink, a shower, and a laundry basket. My favorite part of the bathroom is the little counter underneath the mirror where I keep all the stuff that I use each morning and night like my skincare items, toothbrush, toothpaste, my sinus rinse, etc.

Something I love in homes are kitchens. I love cooking, eating, the homey atmosphere that kitchens bring so having this kitchen is a little bit of a challenge for me because it is so small but like everything else, the apartment is only for three months and it has what I need so I’m making it work. In my kitchen, I have a tiny microwave oven, three stovetop burners, a sink, a mini-fridge with a freezer built in and then a bunch of storage space as well. In the weeks I’ve been here I’ve only eaten out TWICE which means this kitchen is getting a TON of use.

One of my favorite parts of this apartment is my little coffeemaker area. I have a 10-cup coffee pot, a water heater, a toaster, as well as another toaster//Panini maker type thing. It’s rested on this cute little table and under the coffee pot I have coffee, sugar, tea bags, etc. Then underneath there’s a little storage area that I keep extra snacks in as well as my first aid kits.

I sort of have a dining room. In my dining area, I have a very small table with two stools that I really don’t ever use to eat. This table is more of my hub for keeping random stuff so when I go grocery shopping I put my groceries on there, after school, I put my laptop on it to charge, etc. It is still a nice little addition to the apartment and there are some days that I use it to eat dinner or breakfast which makes it nice to have.

Next, we have my closet. On top of my closet are my suitcases. Inside of my closet, I have a top-shelf which is where I keep underwear, bras, socks, and pajamas. I also have a shelf on the bottom and underneath that shelf, I have a vacuum cleaner and a couple sweatshirts that I brought. In the middle of the closet, I have a rack to hang things. When I got the apartment it only had a couple of hangers, so I do have to fold a lot of the clothes I brought and put them on the bottom shelf. I could go out and buy more hangers or ask my Airbnb host for some, but I’ll live with only hanging the necessities.

The next thing is my bed. My bed here is a sofa bed so during the day you can have it as a couch and then at night turn it into a bed however I prefer sleeping on the couch, so I usually just keep it as the sofa.

The balcony is by far my favorite part of the Airbnb because it is so big it’s really great to just sit and watch the sunset and sometimes I can watch the sunrise. I could literally sit out there all day. I work out on the balcony, do homework, lesson plan, etc. it is by far my favorite place and view in all of Greece.

What’s your favorite part of your home?
❤ Alicia

How I set up my planner

There’s absolutely nothing like the feel of a new planner. Having the opportunity to highlight, draw, scribble, sticker, and more to the hundred or so pages of a planner is unlike anything else. Before heading to Greece, I bought a new planner which was unlike all of my old planners. After seeing my schedule for the semester and realizing that it was different every single day, I decided to get a Day Designer from Target, which is a weekly hour by hour planner with additional room for to-do lists and other things to keep in mind. This planner is by far my favorite planner I’ve had and I’m using the HELL out of it. I still haven’t mastered my schedule so when I’m in five different classrooms in one day, this planner comes in handy. I wanted to share with everyone the layout of my planner to hopefully give some inspiration to those of you who have written three things for the whole year in your planer… in black ink.

Monthly view

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My old planners are scary compared to this one. Before this semester I had 334923957382 things on my plate each month, so the month view had white-out, scribbles, and 7 different colors of marker to sort my life out. This semester, while I feel a lot busier, I have a hell of a lot less to do. I have four obligations: school, lesson planning, blogging, and my trips. Really that’s it, besides the hell of the edTPA which will be over soon. Each of these things has color in my planner and that’s that. School is blue. Blogging is red and trips are pink. I also add birthdays and holidays which I keep in black so that I don’t overload my senses. I also decided to finally use the stickers that they gave me in this planner [as well as my last planner too] to spice it up. Who doesn’t love a good sticker… or 20???

Weekly view

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This looks like an absolute cluster, but I can tell you it’s organized. Day to day I have a lot going on and the only way I could keep it nice and organized was by highlighting, highlighting and more highlighting! My breaks are written in pink [just like trips because it’s a nice time to relax for me]. ESL is orange. Spanish is blue and Planning is yellow. Then, everything else from the monthly view transfers over to the weekly as well so that I know what I’m doing and what’s happening and when. I use the same colors for monthly and weekly so I can write fewer words and still know what I’m talking about i.e. I can put “None” in blue and know I’m talking about school because of the color.


All in all, I love this planner. If you have the same schedule day to day this planner isn’t all that necessary. However, for those of you who do have a lot going on day to day, BUY THIS. It comes in a bigger size which I didn’t buy solely because I wanted it to be smaller for travel purposes. Out of the 5 or so different planners that I’ve used, this takes the cake as being my favorite. I’m not sure if it’s better or because I’m actually using it every day, but this planner gets an A+ in my book.

What is your favorite planner? And why?

❤ Alicia