Saturday, August 5, 2017

We Moved!





Let me just tell you, these last 6-7 months have been a roller coaster. So many big, life-decisions have been made. So much stress and worry and anticipation. But we made it through, and now we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  So many things have happened since I last blogged that I'm getting a little overwhelmed with how to share it all. I think I will start with the biggest life-change - we moved!

After three years in Alabama, we decided it was time to move back to California (my home-state). Our jobs had transitioned to positions that we weren't excited about. We both had epiphanies about where we see our careers heading, so we decided to take some risks and hope they work out. And so far, they have! I was offered a full-time music-teacher position at a private, all girls high school. And I'm really looking forward to it! I enjoyed learning about theater and finding my way as a drama teacher these past three years, but I'm looking forward to being back in my element and expertise.  Peter decided to branch out and do web-design as a freelancer, and he already has clients! So far, so good. I also have big plans for my music blog, so look for updates regarding that!

So now we're back in California.  We had a long, long, long cross-country drive to get here. Our poor dog was confused and a little stressed, but overall he did great.  Alabama has a much lower cost of living, so we had to downsize from a 3-bedroom house in Alabama to a small, 2-bedroom apartment in California.  We had to move sight-unseen, which posed a huge problem when we got here. The apartment we had reserved smelled like a cheap motel - cigarette smoke-infested the walls, cupboards, carpet, everything. We requested to transfer to a different apartment, and luckily they allowed it! But that just delayed us from settling in, and now we're still sorting and unpacking... and work starts on Monday! But now we're here and that's what matters most!

We plan to explore California (there is so much that Peter hasn't seen yet! We need to go to the Redwoods, Yosemite, Big Bear, Lake Tahoe, the Northern Coast, Napa, and so much more!).  I plan on continuing to post on here, whether or not people actually read it. I've been back and forth about whether or not to even keep my blog, but in the end Peter convinced me to keep it. We are going to treat it more as a scrapbook of our lives, so we can look back at our memories.  I have a lot more to share from this summer - we spent two weeks in Ukraine! I have so many stories to share from that trip (for example, did you know that Ukrainians are obsessed with dill? They put it on/in EVERYTHING...)!

Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you need a web or graphic designer, contact Peter! He is an expert on design, layout, and user experience. (He designed and built this entire site from scratch: www.houstonacademy.com). If you or anyone you know is in need of a web or graphic designer (front-end developer), contact Peter Arthur at peterdarthur (at) gmail (dot) com!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Exciting News!



This is what I posted on Facebook: "The last 3 years in Alabama have been good to us! We've enjoyed our jobs, made some wonderful friends, AND we got Little Bit (what more could we want?!). However, we have missed family and friends (and the weather) back home. So we are happy to announce that, when we get back from Ukraine this summer, we will be moving back to California! Julie was offered a job at a school in San Jose, and Peter is excited to move to a location that has plentiful options for his career."

But you guys know the truth. 

The last 3 years have been HARD. I've had ups and downs with my job. We've missed family. We've stressed about weather (TORNADOES ARE THE WORST). Overall, it wasn't quite what we were expecting. But that's ok. We've also learned a lot. We've grown as a couple. We've actually made some really incredible friendships. And, of course, we got our fur-baby. So it's a bittersweet time.

We are super excited to move closer to friends, and I'm thrilled about my new job. I think I'm going to love it! (More job-details to come soon... Don't worry, I'm still teaching music!) We think Peter will have some great opportunities for his career in Silicon Valley. We are a little stressed about the crazy cost of living in San Jose, but overall we're looking forward to returning to a city we already know and love. (And also looking forward to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's!).


Monday, May 1, 2017

Current Favorite Pens || April Favorites

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I had started doing a monthly-favorites post series, but as you probably know, we are currently raising money for our trip to Ukraine this summer. So we put ourself on a spending freeze. Which means I didn't have any new products to share with you last month! But we recently purchased some much-needed office supplies, and I fell in love with these pens. So I thought this post could double as a monthly favorites post!


I, like many people in this world, am addicted to office supplies. And more specifically, pens. I'm always on the hunt for The World's Greatest Pen. I have built up quite a stash, yet there a few I keep coming back to. So I thought I'd share with you my current favorite pens!

My husband recently bought a pack of the Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Ink pens, and I might have stolen one from him! They write super smoothly. I love that they are completely opaque and that the ink dries quickly. It is a unique hybrid of gel and ink, with a tiny needle-point tip that I find very easy to use.

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The Sharpee Pen has also been a long-time fave of mine, but recently they came out with a stainless steel body that you can refill. It has a heavier weight than the regular Sharpee Pens, and it looks so much cooler!

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The Faber Castell pens are widely used by artists. I'm not an artist, but I do dabble sometimes. I got the XS pen, and I love it. It is great for when you need to write something very small or fill in tiny details!

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The Uniball Jetstream has always been a long-time favorite of mine ever since undergrad, which has been over 10 years ago (eek,  I'm getting old!)... It writes smoothly and is great for taking quick notes. Note: I took ALL of my notes in college by hand using the Uniball Jetstream pens. I needed something that could write FAST to keep up with my professors' lectures!

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So, what's your current favorite pen? Have you found The World's Greatest Pen, yet? If so, please tell me! Have any other pens or office supplies you'd like me to review? Leave a comment below!

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