Birthday Bartender

Hey coffee fiends. It has been forever since we talked! Rachel has been doing an excellent job of manning the ship while I’ve been away figuring out some life stuff. In case you’re behind, her last few posts are pretty incredible! Click any of these links to get caught up on the happenings here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee:

How to Move in Three Days

Today, My Favorite Holiday!

Today, however, I wanted to touch back to her previous article from this past Tuesday. Tuesday was my birthday!! I turned 27! (Have no fear, my students took care to remind me that I’m only a few years away from 30 years old.) My birthday has been being celebrated all week, starting this past Sunday.

Sunday, my boyfriend took me to my favorite Mexican street food place: Tijuana Flats. Mexican food is my favorite, which is a cruel twist of fate, considering I’m allergic to peppers (specifically, the capsaicin oil they produce) AND cilantro. Do you know what two ingredients are most common in all types of Mexican food??? Do you??? Yeah, you see my pain. Tijuana Flats gives me the ability to enjoy my favorite flavors without all of that. Plus, their queso is to die for.

Here me now, peeps: QUESO IS LIFE! End of story.

Monday night, I was gifted with the best gifts. I received the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One-Phase Three, a gorgeous black and white tapestry (with a perfect red accent), and A TORTILLA BLANKET. Guys!!!!! I get to be an actual human burrito. My life is so cozy and wonderful. My boyfriend absolutely killed it.

Tuesday, my actual birthday, my boyfriend killed it again by bringing me Chick-Fil-A for lunch with lemonade. One of my students brought me chocolates while another brought me candy bars– a theme that has continued all week, with me receiving candy from students every day so far. To my absolute surprise, my parents, who had already given me wonderful gifts, sent me half a dozen long-stemmed red roses with 7 balloons to celebrate that I turned 27! This was accompanied by a box of Turtle chocolates (my favorite). The roses are blooming beautifully on my kitchen counter.

This week also marked the beginning of one journey and the end of another…

First, the ending. For the past three weeks, I’ve been waiting to hear back on a job. After an interesting series of phone calls and emails, I’ve accepted a position at a local public school here in Indianapolis. I will be teaching Earth-Space Science to Juniors and Seniors, with a hopeful return next year to teaching Biology. That said, I will not be returning to the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired next fall.

My time at ISBVI was a chapter in my life I will always cherish. My students and their quirks taught me so much about teaching and about myself– as an instructor, as a woman, and as a human being. While I am leaving my position as the high school science teacher, I am not severing ties with the school or the community surrounding it. The friendships I have made will persevere, I will still volunteer and be involved, and I will continue to go to graduation until all of the students I have had in class graduate.

My life, currently.

My newest journey began on Monday: BARTENDING SCHOOL! I’ve been attending night classes for bartending every day this week. It’s been a wild ride, with a quiz every night. The midterm would be tonight, but this is Race weekend and we are all too busy. Honestly, I’m having so much fun I don’t even care that I’m exhausted. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be working the bar at the Indy 500. Fingers crossed!

I’m really excited about bartending. It’s going to be so much fun. I’ve been taking classes with a close friend, a fellow teacher that I did my student teaching alongside. She’s amazing and as of yesterday, plans to be my future occasional wine tasting partner! I’ll convert her yet!!

Birthday week is ending with a bang: the end of Game of Thrones is this Sunday. Tune in to see who survives.

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes I’ve received over the past week. You’re amazing.

On my lips: Cherry Chapstick

In my cup: Vanilla Coca-Cola

Today, My Favorite Holiday!

You may be wondering what holiday is today. It is none other than my best friend’s birthday! My co-writer, Kristen, turns 27 today. Now you may think it is odd that I call someone else’s birthday my favorite holiday. I LOVE celebrating other people. I love finding THE perfect gift, making them something special, planning something for them, really whatever I can do.

Birthdays are always a big deal in my family. We celebrate, we have a meal, we do presents. But we don’t do cake. Most of my family members, including me, are not dessert eaters, but especially not cake eaters. This is a shame because I make spectacular cakes. Ask Kristen. 7 years ago (WOW HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG) she was driving to stay with me for the summer on her birthday, and I posted on Facebook this cupcake cake I had made for her. It was one of my first attempts, as decorating is my weakness. Go ahead and judge me.

It says Happy 20 Birthday Kristen in a weird spiral. I posted it on Facebook while she was driving. She was still surprised cause she doesn’t Facebook and drive.

But this isn’t about me or my cake decorating skills. This post is all about Kristen. So to celebrate her I’m going to tell you more about her. When I met Kristen, I immediately began calling her our college campus’ “Resident Gorgeous”. Now, pro tip, flattery only gets you so far with Kristen. From there, we became fast friends bonding over so many things. She’s my Bambi and I’m her Thumper. I’ll let her tell you that story though. Kristen has been through HELL with me and I’ve been through hell with her. I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

I’m going to keep this post short, sweet, and to this point. Kristen is one of my favorite people on this whole planet. She will tell you like it is and be there for you when it falls apart. She will hold you through anything. She never says I told you so (unless it’s about a good thing). She is smart, talented, caring, AND beautiful. She’s the whole package and I love her so much. Kristen, I love you so much. Anyone would be lucky to have her as a friend…or an author for your favorite blog.

Proof of not only how beautiful she is, but how perfect we are as a team. I used to go with her to model and adjust her pose and surroundings to allow her to bring out her killer personality.

Leave Kristen birthday wishes below. Also, give me tips on how to send her belated birthday bakes via mail, because she lives too far away.

On my lips: the taste of whiskey- it’s been that kind of day.

In my cup: Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Small Batch

How to Move in 3 days

Good afternoon my fellow caffeine addicts! I’m here today to explain to you how for the…third time in my life I’ve moved in 3-4 days. Before I do, you need a little context. I moved a lot as a kid. I do mean a lot. We were always moving on to a new house, a new school district, a new job. I never stayed at one school for more than 3 years. I have moved at least 17 times in my life not including moving in and out of college dorms. That averages to moving about one and a half times every year.

Because I moved so much as a kid, I don’t have a lot of stuff. You can ask Kristen or my husband, or really anyone who ever lived with me. I actually recommend you ask my mother, because she’ll take credit for it. So let me skip on to my practical advice for people who aren’t as…minimalist as me.

What my husband looked like on Saturday, after my part of the moving was done.

1. Logistics, logistics, logistics.

In a quick move the hardest part is figuring out the logistics. If you can afford it, hire professional packers and/or movers. Either way, keep reading.

  • How are you going to move? Find a friend with a truck and a trailer, or rent a u-haul immediately.
  • Who is going to move you? If you only pay for one thing, I recommend you pay for movers. Otherwise, call all your friends, post on social media, be that annoying person asking for help moving. I recommend you at least buy them food and supply water.
  • What are you forgetting? Get your utilities turned on, schedule a move in appointment, get moving supplies, figure out a plan for your animals.
Listing your things for sale online when you’re a minimalist.

2. List everything for sale that you don’t need or want to take with you ASAP.

How do I decide what to sell?

  • Look at what you KNOW you don’t need. I was moving from a 3 bed 2 bath home to a 2 bed 2 bath apartment. The washer and dyer were provided where I was going. So I took a few photos, looked around Facebook Marketplace, and put them slightly below market average. They sold the same day.
  • Look at what you haven’t used in however long since you last moved. I purged a lot of clothes. With clothes you can try selling them online, with several apps that have developed like Poshmark, or take them to a consignment store and try your best there. I recommend everyone do this. Use the money to buy clothes you will actually wear.
  • Look at the things that are still in boxes. Almost all of us have a storage room or a closet or a back room with boxes we never unpacked. Either make a plan to use or display them, or sell them. This is how I decided to sell my porcelain dolls that I collected with my grandmother as a child.

3. The Cliche Organization Method…but it’s all trash.

  • Before you do anything else, go through your entire house with trash bags. Throw all the obvious trash that piles up away.
  • Go through all the stacks of paper. If it is important, put it in a folder or binder with a label. If it isn’t, it’s trash.
  • If something has missing parts, pieces, or is broken (try not to lie to yourself about fixing it) it is trash.
  • For the cliche part, grab boxes AND trash bags. Put trash in the trash bag, put items you no longer want that aren’t trash in a donate bag or box. Drive your donations somewhere so you aren’t moving them. Pack the rest.
  • As you are going through everything and moving furniture you will find more trash….THROW IT AWAY.
  • If you haven’t seen it in months and your heart doesn’t immediately leap when you find it, it’s trash.

Your instinct may be to hold on to things, but packing is easier if you accept your trash. Say it with me, THROW. IT. AWAY! Let me add, I encourage donating and recycling as much as you can. I’m just encouraging you to reconsider what you keep.

A realistic depiction of my trash and donate pile

4. How to ACTUALLY Pack Everything Quickly

  • Pack by category then by room. Start with bookcases, shelves, and closets. Categories that pack easily. Pack the rooms you don’t use as often like spare bedrooms, garage, or office. I save the kitchen and the bedroom for the last day. The only things you should be packing on the last day are bathroom necessities, medications, and bedding.
  • Label EVERY box with the contents and the room you want it placed in on moving day. Write in big if it is heavy or fragile on the top and at least one side.
  • Put all heavier items in smaller boxes and lighter items in big boxes so you don’t hurt yourself or your moving help.
  • Take breaks, but then get back to packing. You don’t want to burn yourself out, but at the same time, moving quickly requires you to maintain a consistent pace. Take breaks only to breathe, sit for a bit, eat, go to the bathroom, and sleep. I recommend taking showers and bathing to help with the pain and relax for a bit.
  • Stage your place as you go. This means moving all your furniture and boxes into a centralized location. This allows you to know more clearly what is left to pack and…drumroll please…throw away!
A photo of the box wall I made before moving on Saturday. This is almost all of the boxes used for our house. Ask me how many boxes we couldn’t unpack because we didn’t have space?

Moving can be stressful, but hopefully this helps. Honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where I prefer to move in about a week. any longer, and I stress out more. Maybe, you can do this too.

For our regular readers, for the first time ever, I did complete NaPoWriMo. Even with all this moving and changing jobs I managed to complete 30 poems in thirty days. I want to give y’all and Kristen the credit for my continued dedication and motivation. While there won’t be more poems, we have plenty planned for you this month.

On my lips: Twisted Kiss

In my Batman Mug: Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Black Tea