Before and After: Office Refresh!

When I started my new job last year, I had been placed in a shared office attached to a busy classroom. But it’s hard to do something as sensitive and confidential as counseling in a busy, public area, so as soon as an office became available, I elbowed my way in there asap!

It had been considered an ugly, tiny, closet of an office, but I saw a lot of potential. Plus! The left wall had already been painted in “my” color. Serendipity!

IMG_445382121First things first, I shoved that desk to the wall. I can’t stand putting a desk between myself and my students. I may as well just stand over them with my arms crossed.

IMG_445472089Then I got rid of any unneeded (or unliked) furniture, replaced it with furniture that better suited my tastes and needs, and jazzed it up with some wall decor. (There’s a lot of wall in this office.)

IMG_465252354 (1)Got the chairs on sale at Target this fall. The rug had been rolled up in my basement for years. The map poster is from allposters.com.

IMG_465248022I got this cute mid-century-style bookshelf off of craigslist, and the chalkboard is from Home Goods (my heaven).

IMG_465247952I love it. Some co-workers are surprised when they see that I put so much time, energy, and money into designing my office, but I’ve always done this anywhere I’ve worked. I figure if you’re going to spend most of your waking life in one place, you might as well love the way it makes you feel. It’s worth it!

Office Before and After

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Chocolate Chip Cookies and a New Job

As I’ve mentioned, I like to bake people things when I feel bad about something I’ve done/will do to them. It’s my way of pathetically begging them not to hate me.

This time around, I have to have that terrifying “I’m leaving” conversation with my boss. There’s nothing wrong with my current job, but I just accepted a position in a school (!) as a Work Experience Coordinator, so I have to move on. For those that don’t know, I earned a Master’s and License in School Counseling last year, and since then, I have been searching doggedly for a job (counseling, ideally, but really anything in a school). So this is a very good, very hard-won opportunity for me. I am excited and terrified.

SO. My boss is very nice, so I’m sure he will be supportive, but I’m the kind of person who just fears making any kind of waves, so I wanted to have something that would ease us into the conversation.

So………………….COOKIES!

I love me some cookies, and I am on a constant search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. I like my CCCs crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. And when I say chewy, I mean chewy. A bakery near my house (Rustica) makes the perfect CCC, so if I could just steal their recipe, I would. But I don’t know it. So I just keep trying.

Here’s the recipe I used tonight. It’s not The One, so the search continues. But it’s okay.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Throw your white and brown sugar and butter into a bowl and mix until smooth.

Photo (48)

Then add the egg, and if you were a normal, intelligent person, you would also add your vanilla at this point. Unfortunately, I’m me, and I cleaned out my spice rack when I re-did my kitchen, and forgot that I never bought more vanilla. So…there’s that. Mix your egg AND YOUR STUPID VANILLA in.

Photo (49)Now the dry stuff. Mix in your flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Photo (50)Then the chocolate chips.

Photo (55)Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Give them some good distance in between because they will spread a bit.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, rotating halfway through.

Photo (51)Let sit on the sheets for a couple of minutes afterward, then transfer to cooling racks.

Photo (52)Put them in a nice tin for your boss/co-workers.

Photo (53)And of course save some for the roomies.

Photo (54)

 

 

Name Animals

I made these for some young ladies that I worked with at my internship site. My internship there just ended, so I wanted to give them something as a parting gift. I had already asked them if they were an animal, what animal they would be. So then I just drew those and inserted their names into the drawings. On the backs of the drawings, I also wrote a little note of appreciation and best wishes for the future.

They didn’t all turn out exactly how I wanted, as some of the animals they chose were really hard to fit letters into. :/ But they seemed to like them. There are more, but these are the better ones.

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Name Animal #2

Name Animal #3

Name Animal #4