I've been a bad blogger, I know. Winter is just so cold and dreary! Photos of myself watching episodes of Gossip Girl back to back don't make for very interesting reads, and since that's pretty much all I've been doing lately I've just sort of taken a break.  B told me I needed to post something upbeat and positive to get my "Winter Blues" entry off the top page though, so here we go! These are some things that are helping me to stay positive through long, cold, wet, dark winter days...

Valentine's Day.  I've never been a huge Valentine's Day fan.  In elementary school it was fun to go out and buy a box of cards to give to all of your classmates.  Mom and Dad always had a little something for my brother and I growing up as well (and by growing up I mean to this very day).  In high school that was when the Student Government Association did their flower sales.  I can remember sitting in class the day they delivered the flowers always crossing my fingers I wouldn't be the only person not to get a carnation!  Luckily I had good friends who always kept me covered. During undergrad at Randolph-Macon College Valentine's Day was SUPER depressing.  Everyone made a point to avoid the campus center where the mail room was because that was where all the big, ostentatious bouquets were waiting to be claimed (there was never one for me).  In grad school at Florida State my good friend Ruth and I declared February the 14th as "Social Justice Day".  We drank fair trade tea and gave each other books we had gotten from a used book store.  In Japan Valentine's Day is the day that girls give boys chocolate...even my 5 year old students know this, so I grew not to expect anything.  This past February the 14th was a pleasant surprise.  While I was making my dinner, my doorbell rang and a lovely pink basket of flowers was handed over to me!  Thanks, B!  They definitely brightened my day! (They are also the second set of flowers I've ever had sent to me - the first were from my grandmother when I had my wisdom teeth removed.)

24!!!  That's how many more days of work I have before my early retirement!  There is light at the end of the tunnel, and although I will miss the ten 5 year olds I spend every day with, I am so excited for a bit of a breather.  It's going to be really nice to have some (much deserved and needed) "me" time.  I have so many recipes I want to try (and a full-sized, fully functioning oven!) blog posts I want to plan, sunshine I want to soak up...It's going to be good.

YouTube.  Over the weekend I stumbled across some vlogs on YouTube...I've become slightly obsessed...I mean, it's like reading a blog entry, but even more lazy!  I don't have to actually read anything, just sit back and listen.  No scrolling, no going back to make sure I read that right.  The epitome of laziness.  I must have spent the majority of Saturday watching vlog after vlog...is that sad? I don't think so.

Uggs.  They are literally keeping me from freezing to death this winter.  I have this pair of boots and this pair of slippers.  Basically, unless I am sleeping or showering, I am wearing a pair of Uggs.  They are incredibly warm and comfortable, and I have to say that my feet are the only warm part of my body.  Go get yourself a pair of Uggs.  They are worth every penny and you will not be sorry!! (Infact, I think I want a pair of these...I think they would be good UAE "winter" shoes.)

Tomorrow is my "early" day at work.  I get off at 2:30 and I am planning on stopping by Lush on my way home.  It's definitely bath weather, and baths require bubbles and colors and yummy smells.  I'll be sure to let you know all about it!

I hope you're having a good week and that it's a bit warmer where you are!!  Please send some sunshine this way if it is!

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