Thursday, August 10, 2017

Playing Pokemon Go in Arizona (Part 1)

It's unfortunate, but it seems like Pokemon Go releases their coolest updates in the summertime. Great for all the snowy areas, but not so great for Arizona. (For those of you who don't live here, our high in Phoenix this week was 120 degrees Fahrenheit!)

This post, part 1, is going to go over some tips and tricks if you decide you want to Pokemon Go outside in the summer heat. The next post, part 2, will go over ways to play Pokemon Go without having to brave the triple-digit temperatures.

  • Plan your route so that you are able to stop into a cooler place every once in a while. Downtowns and universities are great choices for this. (Even if you don't need to stop and cool off, your phone likely does. Last time I went Pokemon-Going outside in the summer, two out of three of our phones shut off due to overheating.)
  • Dress appropriately. Light clothes with short sleeves are usually best.
  • Prepare for the sun. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, etc.
  • Choose a good day to go. Sometimes, it's just not worth it. Check for heat advisories or warnings.
  • Bring water!
  • Bring a portable charger, if you have one.
What other tips do you have? Keep an eye out for my second post, so you can avoid the heat entirely.

Monday, August 7, 2017

9 Band Teacher-isms

If you don't know me (first of all, welcome!) I'm a band geek. I still play in a community band over the summer even though I'm not in school any more. Below are eight phrases/words of wisdom I learned from my band teachers throughout the years. Some of them are applicable to everybody, and some will only apply to those in music arts. Regardless, I hope you enjoy them!

  1. Don't be stupid
    This one is pretty self explanatory. It's an important piece of advice for junior high and high school students. :)
  2. Don't miss the bus
    This is a music specific one. If you were trying to catch a moving bus or train, you'd start to jog along side it before you leapt for the door. Similarly, if you're coming into a musical phrase after a rest, you better mentally be at the same tempo as the rest of the band.
  3. Don't drop the baby
    Another music specific one. Often in a piece of music a phrase is passed from one instrument or section to another. And just like a baby passed from one relative to another, you want to make sure that nothing is dropped!
  4. Long notes and repeated phrases...
    "Go somewhere!" Our band teacher would say the beginning part of the phrase, we would say the rest. For anyone in music, this is HUGE. If you want to take a song from robotic to musical, take long notes and repeated phrases somewhere with their dynamics.
  5. Who loves band?
    "I love band!" This is another call and response. It was often used to boost our energy after a long marching practice or to get us pumped right before a big competition. And this phrase really resonated with me... after all, I'm still in band!
  6. Don't say sorry, fix it!
    This one sounds harsh, but it emphasized that action means more than words.
  7. Don't go riding any llamas
    This stemmed from what was either an actual story or maybe just an urban legend among the band. Apparently on the day before a big competition, one of the soloists decided it would be a great idea to ride a llama - and subsequently broke his arm. Needless to say, it's pretty difficult to play an instrument with a broken arm. So this cautionary phrase was given to us before any big band trip.
  8. Crescendo means...Start softer. Which is a lot harder than it sounds, apparently. :P
  9. Potential is like fertilizer...
    It's capable of growing beautiful plants and flowers, but until you do something with it, it just sits there and stinks.
So what do you think? Did your band teacher (or orchestra teacher, or anyone really) have any sayings?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Have a Book Blog!

I decided that I like writing about books so much that I wanted to have an entire blog dedicated to it! From here on forward you can find my book reviews (and so much more) at my new site,

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sippin' Saturday - Nestle Lemon Splash

This is a lemon flavored water that was actually much better than I expected. It's quite sweet, which surprised me. It tastes like I would imagine a lemonade flavored Propel would.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Reading Wednesday - Mistaken Kiss by Kathleen Baldwin

This is book two in the Regency Trilogy. While I found the premise sort of interesting, the book itself was sort of bland. The book follows Willa, who is incredibly nearsighted. When someone sort of boring proposes to her, she creates a plan to kiss him to find out if their marriage could ever work... but she ends up kissing the wrong guy. A series of events follow which involve a duel, a near-drowning, and possibly more proposals.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Learning Spanish

Spanish is the first foreign language that I've learned. I know it a lot better than a lot of the other ones I've dabbled with. I want to share with you some ways that I reinforce what I know.


I already shared this app with you in my post Learning French, but I wanted to mention it again, because it's awesome! While I learned most of the Spanish I know through school, this app is great for keeping me in practice. It now has bots, where you can "chat" with different characters. I love this because it gives you practice speaking conversationally, and not just in an informational way.

Watching Movies/TV Shows in Spanish

This is a great way to learn new vocabulary, and to practice listening to Spanish - which I find more difficult than reading. I tend to choose to watch children's movies/shows that I have seen before, so I'll understand the story even if I get a little lost with the Spanish. :) Netflix has Spanish language options for different Disney and Dreamworks movies. I like watching Home, Barbie's Life in the Dreamhouse, and The Emperor's New Groove. I watch without subtitles, otherwise I find I'm just reading the whole time.

Pop Music
There is a lot of great Spanish music out there! Some of my favorite songs include:

* Quien Le Va a Decir by Luis Fonsi
* Danza Kuduro by Don Omar
* Wavin' Flag by K'Naan
* A Dios Le Pido by Juanes
* La Gozadera by Gente de Zona
* Bailando by Enrique Iglesias
* Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Telo
* La Copa de Vida by Ricky Martin
* La Vide Es Bella by Ana Isabelle
* Moviendo Caderas by Yandel
* Vivir Mi Vida (Version Pop) by Marc Anthony


I also practice my Spanish by reading different books. I find that picture books are (surprisingly) harder for me to understand than early reader/chapter books, just because they lack surrounding/supporting text for words I don't know. I've found that the Magic Treehouse series and Scooby-Doo novels in Spanish are about at my level. ;)

💗 Annette

1 year ago: Learning French

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sippin' Saturday - Caramel Cappuchino from Mike and Rhonda's The Place

There is a wonderful breakfast restaurant up in Flagstaff, Arizona called "The Place". I recently went there while on a road trip and it was definitely a good choice! The food was amazing (and filling, and reasonably priced, and did I mention delicious?). I also got a caramel cappuccino there (I believe that's what it was...) and it was delicious. It had a stronger coffee taste than something you'd get from Starbucks, but after adding a tad of sugar it was a great drink! It fueled me for the hike (and drive back to Phoenix) we had planned for the day.

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