Friday, January 30, 2015

Dance Friday- Teamwork

Side note...go Hawks!
Me supporting my hometown team a looong time ago!
I love, love, love choreographed hip hop dances.  And many times before on a Dance Friday or Wake Up and Boogie Saturday I have posted the incredible talents of ChoreoCookies, known now as Cookies.  Well, I am here posting again.  Although, I must have missed this, but it seems my other faves, Keone and Mari, are a part of the Cookies!  I mean, it just make sense.

A few days ago, the Cookies won another award for their dances.  Their choreography, timing, intensity, all comes together like a well-oiled machine.  I recently finished the book Setting the Table by Danny Meyers (NOT a kids book and more on that later) which is about the restaurant industry.  One thing he describes when he talks about hiring people is the observation that often times, folks who have played team sports are good hires because they know it takes every person to make the team work.  I bet Mr. Meyers would be willing to hire one of these dancers.

This year, the theme of the dance/song is in support of a cause, World Vision Mobile, which supports children in need.

Teamwork, dance, social justice, man that is one heck of a way to start the weekend.  Dance and dream folks, dance and dream.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Very Snowy Caterpillar

Ahhh, here I sit, 3rd snow day in a row, feeling like my February vacation has had a little sneak preview.  Life ain't bad folks.

My snow day creation.  Full guide below. 

Three days ago we got walloped with a pretty big storm, dumping about two feet of snow on my fair city of Boston. I spent that first day inside, catching up on rest and cheesy movies.  When the second day, yesterday, was called, I decided I should probably take advantage and catch up on some work.  I finished that and then headed downtown to wander through my favorite city and see how things were shaping up.

Boston Public Library

George, holding things down

Boston Public Garden

Make Way!

Three years ago you wouldn't have caught this LA girl outside in that stuff, it was all about staying inside and reading.  But when I moved back I sold my car (shoveling be damned!), moved into an apartment that hires folks to shovel our sidewalks, and bought the warmest gear possible.  This year my dad upped my snow gear by giving me some Sorrell snow boots for Christmas and those suckers have been just the trick to getting me out and about this winter.  I hate to admit this but...gulp...I am actually enjoying the winter this year! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Feburary Events

Catching up on some posting for you all on this snow day.  It is pretty miserable out there but being from Western New York, I have to say it ain't that bad.
I missed January events but mostly because there wasn't a whole lot going on.  Here is what you can look forward to in February.

February 1
George O'Conner presents his latest graphic novel in the Olympian series, Ares: Bringer of War, at Brookline Booksmith, 2 pm 

February 15
Marsha Lowe, author of The Courage of Cat Campbell, presents her book at Brookline Booksmith, 2 pm

February 17
Author MarcyKate Connoly presents her book book Monstrous at Porter Square Books, 7 pm 

February 20
Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) reads from his new book We are Pirates: A Novel at a ticketd event ($5) at Harvard Square Books, 7 pm.  Tickets here

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Linked In

Image from Boston Globe article linked
to the left.
Some of you may or may not know, but Alice, Ever After is also on Twitter and Facebook.  The benefit of these other two platforms is I can quickly post interesting articles.  It takes a whole lot more effort than writing a blog post.  Swing on over to the Facebook page or check me out @Alice_EverAfter on Twitter!

Here are some of the links for articles and things I have posted recently.

Curious George should have been more curious

Say goodbye moon to Goodnight Moon with these 20 new classics.

Know a "reluctant" or dyslexic reader?  These books might catch their attention.

Not everybody is convinced by the sweetness of Knuffle Bunny.

This website will fulfill all your Alice and Wonderland needs. (Shout out to my friend B for the link!)

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wake Up and Boogie, Grandma Style

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is my 93 year old Grandma.  She's the leader of a family full of loud, dancing fools.  When I graduated from grad school 8 years ago, she came to Boston and was the first person on the dance floor with me at the Irish pub.

Gram is on the right

My stunning grandparents

Recently, she has been "trying" an assisted living situation and quite frankly she is not happy.  I don't blame her, she has a beautiful home she wants to spend her days in and she is in pretty amazing health considering her age.  She calls my dad on the regular to say, "Come and get me out of here!"  We're trying to let her get used to the change but often joke about a runaway Grandma.

Gram and me at Christmas

I saw this video this morning and it made me giggle to imagine Gram picking up, heading to Havana, and dancing in the streets for the rest of her days.

Happy Saturday, wake up and boogie!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Double-O Milne!

Today is the birthday of Alan Alexander Milne, or as he is better known, AA Milne, the author of the beloved Winnie the Pooh series.  But did you know that Mr. Milne also worked for the British Intelligence Agency M1 7b?

According to this article, while it was well known that Milne participated in WWI, it has only been recently discovered that he was a part of a secret propaganda unit armed with the task of keeping people interested in supporting the war as the death toll increased.  While he was doing the task, his feelings about the war did not jibe with his true feelings.  One of the artifacts recently discovered is a book written by many of the same propragandists after the disbanding of M1 7b. The book was a satire and included poems by Milne targeting his real feelings on the war.

Milne was known for being a pacifist and eventually went on to write the stories of the now famous honey-loving bear.  Another fun fact, Milne named him Winnie after a Canadian black bear used as a mascot in WWI.

Here are some of my favorite quotes, found from the good ol' interwebs, from Winnie the Pooh.  If you have only seen the bright Disney versions, I encourage you to pick up the original books and give them a read.  It is a much different experience, and one you will appreciate whether you are 3, 33...or 93.

Also, want to see the toys that inspired the stories?  They live permanently at the New York Public Library.  Check out more info here.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Friday!!

Dance Friday, and boy do I have a great dance video for you!


Have you seen Mad Hot Ballroom?  Those kids in NYC start a dance program and amazing things happen?  Well, that program came to my school and they worked with our 5th grade, the students who happened to be my students last year.  I watched today with tears in my eyes as these loving, thick-skinned darlings did the merengue, fox trot, and tango.  Dance, people, it overcomes everything.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dance T-Dot, Dance!

Heading to Toronto in a few minutes with the roomies.  My cousin Matt and his girlfriend Emer, who currently reside in Toronto, are being amazing and bought one way tickets to India with a big ol' ? as to when they will return.  I couldn't be more thrilled for them!  Tomorrow is the going away party so we are hopping over to the T-Dot (a little nickname for the city) in just a couple of hours.

Matt and I as wee tikes at Grandma Howe's place

Slightly older, joined by my brother in the middle

Of course, that is if we make it.  We fly into Buffalo and Buffalo is, of course, in the midst of a snowstorm.  I'm not scared of anything in the world...except traveling in snowstorms.

To psych myself up, I am looking up dance videos for your first Dance Friday video of 2015.  I might couple it with a glass of wine (or tequila...or both) at the airport.

Cheers everyone!  Happy Dance Friday!

All the Canadian Dance Moves

Also, it wouldn't be complete without the shining star of Toronto, Rob Ford.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Found this fabulous picture of my grandparents partying on NYE.
They are the cuties sitting next to the front most couple on the left.
Grandpa has a curly thing shadowing his face.

Happy 2015 folks!  New Year's Eve is by far one of my favorite days of the year.  I certainly don't belong to the camp of people who think resolutions are all bunk and it is just another day.  I love the feeling of getting a fresh start and 12 brand new months of opportunity.  I sorta feel like this on my birthday too.  So usually I get some resolutions in January and again in April.

Last year was the first year I did not ever meet my resolution.  Even though I am slightly disappointed I think that is a pretty good track record.  But I'm ready to get back to it with 2015.  It's funny, I've never made a book related resolution despite my world being surrounded by books.  I guess this year's resolution could involve books.

I strongly believe that a good resolution, or any goal for that matter, has to be motivating while also achievable.  (This would be a big reason why I failed last year.)  I cringe when I hear people say they are going to give up everything, learn a new language, lose 45 pounds, and write a best-selling novel...all in one year.  There is no point in making a goal that you can't work on.  To feel successful you need to be a little reasonable.  Could someone achieve all those things?  Yep. But not this girl. I know what I can do.  I try to push myself just a little beyond comfort to make the success feel good but never too much to guarantee failure.  (Side note: In education we call this the "zone of proximal development."  It makes so much sense.)

My resolution?  To do things better.  I am sort of copying this from my school.  I work in a school that is constantly trying new programs and new ways of teaching.  However, at the beginning of this year we decided not to try any new initiatives, just to get better at the ones we already have.  A few years ago I resolved to do 60 new thingsI've moved a whole, whole bunch.  This year, I want to take what I already have started in my life and just do it better.  This is open-ended enough to get a lot of things done or just a few, either way I will be successful! I also think this will help my mindset for the year.  One of my favorite side effects of the 60 new things was that when I was presented with an option to try something new I just did it.  I became more open to doing more things.  I am hoping that this resolution has a similar effect.  That even if it isn't on the list below, when I do something I try and do it better than I would have before.