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

Return from Hiatus

Good evening followers, friends, and family. If you follow us on Facebook, you saw that we took a brief hiatus in light of the recent Notre Dame tragedy. Our, and specifically my, heart was in Paris. And in Paris it has stayed for the past few days… where it has relived beautiful memories and mourned the history and heritage destroyed by the flames.

When I was sixteen, I had the good fortune and parental push to become a People to People student ambassador. This journey took me from the Netherlands, through Belgium, on to France, and finally England.

We began in Amsterdam, then Belgium. From Belgium we went to France. I fell in love with the harbor town of Honfleur, France. The sailboats passing by combined with the narrow cobbled streets of the town center to sweep me off my feet. I long for Honfleur, even now. I fondly recall the breeze in my hair as I sat along the water, laughing and flirting with my peers. Those people are still my friends (Josie and Sam, in particular). But even before I walked along those cobbled streets, I walked through the streets of Paris until my feet hurt and my legs were sore. Yet I wanted to keep walking. There was so much to see. I recall the way it felt to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to walk under the Arc de Triomphe, and to see, with utter disappointment, the true size of the Mona Lisa within the Louvre.

Let me prepare you if you go: The real Mona Lisa is only 30 inches tall and just under 21 inches wide. And under glass, and roped off so you can’t get close. HUGE LET DOWN.

But one thing I remember vividly about Paris is the Notre Dame Cathedral. I remember the way you can see it from the streets below and how desperately I wanted to be there. I remember staring at the stained glass windows and the spire, so beautiful and intricate, in wonder. Then I walked inside. And while there is so much to see within Notre Dame, I was in awe of the energy of the space. You see, I’ve always found myself particularly reverent of places of worship that have seen many generations pass through their doors. Prayer seems to leave it’s mark on a place, and in this place, I prayed several prayers of my own.

Photo of Monday’s fire, NBC News.

This past Monday, that beautiful spire and that reverent space burned. Reporters said it was like a giant torch, the way the flames leapt from it’s ceiling before the eventual collapse. And when I heard the news, sitting in my bed after staying home sick all day… I wept. I sobbed for the loss of Notre Dame, listening as reporters described the scene. I sobbed as videos of the flames began showing up online and a part of my heart fell with that spire. And when the crowd began singing Ave Maria as she burned, with men and women falling to their knees praying and weeping, I joined them, sobbing and praying from over 4,000 miles away. Even now, I write these words to you in tears.

Nearly 1000 years of history, gone in an instant. Did you know that every beam of that roof was carved from a different tree, by hand? Did you know that the cornerstone of Notre Dame was laid in 1163? Medieval trees in that ceiling, the stories they could tell if we’d just listened. Gone. My mother was born in Paris, on an American Army Base, in 1962. My grandmother didn’t get to to go the top of the Eiffel Tower, because she was pregnant. But she did go to Notre Dame. And I have stood beneath those same beams as several hundred generations before me. But my mother will not. Her grandchildren will not. And for that loss, dear readers, words cannot truly convey my grief. Even though millions have been promised for the reconstruction effort it will take years, and it will never, ever, be the same. I don’t know if my mother and I will even get to visit the bandaged Notre Dame when we go, and we will go, because reconstruction will take so long.

My heart is broken. My tears are still flowing.

Praying for Paris, once again.

On my lips: Burt’s Bees Original Beeswax Lip Balm

In my cup: Water

The Perfect Millennial Weekend

Hello coffee drinkers and tea toleraters. Just kidding. Even I’m drinking tea tonight! *cue shocked gasps and utterances of “blasphemy!”* I don’t know how many of our readers are millennials, but I’m hoping that it is quite a bit. And, that you’re into the same things I am, because if you are: THIS IS THE PERFECT MILLENNIAL WEEKEND!!!

Let me explain:

A long time ago, in a galaxy called the Milky Way, there was this little planet called Earth. On that planet, these strange animals called humans (homo sapiens sapiens) liked to pretend to catch creatures called Pokemon in these tiny portable video consoles called Gameboys. Specifically, young humans enjoyed this. However, as newer consoles and handheld gaming devices replaced Gameboys, these young humans were no longer able to truly enjoy the thrill of “catching them all.” So, naturally, when these humans grew up, they created a game on their smartphones that allowed them to walk around the planet pretending to catch these creatures. Thus, Pokemon Go was born.

The best part of Pokemon Go is Community Day, a day each month where a specific Pokemon spawns at a high rate for a period of three hours. This weekend featured Bagon, a dragon type Pokemon. If you evolve the Community Day Pokemon within those three hours (or the evolution extension afterward), you get a special move that is exclusive to Community Day. Naturally, you want that move. I’m happy to report that we caught and evolved several.

More importantly, I FINALLY CAUGHT MORE SHINY POKEMON THAN MY BOYFRIEND!! No, the shiny Pokemon aren’t more powerful, but they are differently colored and rare. Guys, my boyfriend has consistently caught more shiny Pokemon than I have since we started dating last year. Not even just on Community Day, either! Literally, I swear, he walks and shiny Pokemon show up. UGHHHHHH!!!!!

The most relatable Disney Villain of them all.

But that’s fine, because today the score was settled.

That’s enough about Pokemon. The real highlight of this weekend is the return of Game of Thrones. If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, trust me. I get it. There’s no such thing as plot armor and everyone you love dies as soon as you get invested. However, if you’ve held on this long, you’re dying to see what happens this season, as it is the final season… and we are officially ahead of the events in the books (yo, George R.R. Martin, we’d appreciate that last book anytime now). We are flying blind, without a literary script that allows us to predict anything that’s going to happen. I can’t tell you much more without spoilers, if you’re not caught up, but OMG do we have some things to sort OUT this season.

Like I said, perfect millennial weekend.

That’s all for tonight. I hope you’re thoroughly enjoying your weekend, millennial or not. As always, thank you for your support. We love seeing new viewers showing up from different countries. A special shout out to our newest viewer in Romania: Welcome! Here’s hoping Romania is much less vampire-infested than legend would make it seem. (If not, let us know if garlic really works.) We are so excited you are here!

On my lips: nothing, I’m just climbing into bed

In my cup: Teavana Craft Iced Tea, Pinapple Berry Blue Herbal Tea (it’s part hibiscus tea, my favorite!)

Flu:1, Kristen: 0

Good evening my caffeinated darlings. I’m back today, after being down and out with the flu yesterday. Praise God, I survived.

Speaking of God, my religion is an important part of my life. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time inside the Word. Earlier this week, I was having a conversation with a close friend who was struggling, and on my inspiration area near my desk in my classroom I have a ton of empowering quotes. More important than all of the 20 or so other quotes, I have Matthew 6:33 (NIV) posted: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” In sharing that verse and praying with my friend, it occurred to me that I have a few mostly non-negotiable requirements in a future spouse, including that he shares my faith. It’s not something I take lightly. After abusive relationships, a divorce, and some other difficult times in my life I looked up and found myself very far from God in my late teens and early 20’s. However, God was never very far from me. When I finally learned to recognize His voice in my life, it was impossible to ignore. I want a husband, someday, who can share that joy with me and who can pray with me and for me… a man who knows God and can pray for our future as a couple. Lord knows, I’ll have days where I’m simply not strong enough to find the words.

Mathew 18:20 (NIV) “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Well, my darlings, that’s all for tonight. I wish you all the best as this flu season is wrapping up with a vengeance. Stay safe out there, ya’ll.

On my lips: Burt’s Bees Original Beeswax Lip Balm

In my cup: Fruit Punch Gatorade, because my boyfriend has an INCREDIBLE older sister who runs errands and brings us thing when we are sick.

Anniversary and Flu

Hey Coffee Sippers. Today is going to be a relatively short post. My household has the flu, so we are sleeping more. And I’m being “bullied” into drinking more fluids by all of the people who care about me (Oh, you say they’re doing the right thing? Yeah? Well, tell them to knock it off. I just want to sleep, watch Facebook videos about animal rescues, and be a pampered little honey bun…). Y’all, I’m not a good sick person. This is a well-known fact. Rachel and I were texting earlier when the other human in my house was diagnosed. She asked if I got the flu shot (I did, so hopefully I’ll have it easier than he does).

This was her first response when I said yes: “Okay, just making sure. Cause you’ll go down hard with the flu.”

Rachel won’t see this post until tomorrow morning. Why? Because my gorgeous best friend and endlessly awesome partner is out tonight celebrating her first wedding anniversary! Guys, as of tomorrow, this beauty has been married to her high school sweetheart for a whole freaking year!! I tell you this because I need all of you to join me in telling these two happy anniversary! (If we are really lucky, Rach will even share a wedding photo with us… no pressure.)

*cue girlishly high pitched screeches of happiness* I cannot stand it. They are too cute, and I am too excited for them. True love isn’t easy, but here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee, we don’t care about easy. We care about what’s worth it. And let me tell you, these two definitely are, and I am so grateful to have gotten to see them figure that out.

Today, I decided to share a poem with you. As you all know, I’m a teacher. Even the inspiration from this blog came to me in my most natural habitat: my classroom. This poem came from that same space, because yet again a student came to me about issues at home. I will not go into detail with you on these things, ever. Those stories are not mine to tell and our first priority here is respect. However, I can tell you that sometimes it is so hard to stay neutral and encouraging. And after two IEP meetings, multiple student conversations, and everything else this week… I had to vent. That’s where this poem originated.

A Teacher’s Heart

I will never understand you.
Nor how you can so commonly and consistently
Invalidate, intimidate, and destroy.
Crushing young men and women
Before they even get old enough to be such.
You are their parent, for the love of God!
You are supposed to protect and love them.
So why is that so hard for you?

Yet no matter how disgusting I find you,
I won’t blame it all on you alone.
Not when society helps you every single day
By validating hate and vitriol.
Take care not to ignore those of us here in the trenches,
For we are still fighting.
Fighting to save the same child you just reprimanded
for writing, for singing, for eating.
Hell, if you could reprimand for breathing…
I think you just might.

Just remember that we know.
We see the pain you inflict.
And we see the young men and women:
The ones you’re destroying your relationship with
While we fight so damn hard to build one.
I guess that’s the difference between you and us:
We value the humanity inside them enough to want that.

Just remember that we know.
We see the pain you inflict.
And we see the young men and women:
The ones you’re destroying your relationship with
While we fight so damn hard to build one.
I guess that’s the difference between you and us:
We value the humanity inside them enough to want that.

For once stop focusing on yourself
Or how this child might impact your image.
They do not, and have never, existed to validate you
But you have only ever existed to validate them.

That’s why you get to be the parent.
And I’m stuck here with a teacher’s heart.

This poem came from a place of frustrated understanding. So many of my students are going through things at home or within themselves. Being a teenager is hard. Yet sometimes, I can’t help thinking that teens are also hard to be around. Between hormones and peer-to-peer drama, we teachers can never get a firm handle on what is walking into our classroom. Today alone, two different class periods were entirely rewired, reconstructed, and will have to be redone because of high emotions and higher tempers… BETWEEN my meetings. That’s okay though. We roll with it, and I make sure to never hold anything against my students. We all go through difficult emotions, and teenagers are trying to get to know themselves; often, for the very first time.

To all of my fellow teachers out there, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to the teachers who encouraged and supported us while we were growing up. Thank you to each and every one of you for your sacrifice and bravery walking into those classrooms to be a point of stability and love in the lives of these young men and women. When I was working on my first Master’s degree, we learned the phrase “In loco parentis.” It is a Latin phrase that translates to “in the place of a parent.” Sometimes, you, as a teacher, are the only real source of stability and support a child may have. Parents can’t always be there, and some parents aren’t able to connect with their children the ways I’m sure they want to. Thank you, teachers, for being there. For giving these young men and women a safe place.

You are so appreciated. You touch lives in ways that carry impact for years to come.


On my lips: sass, because I’m sick and makeup isn’t happening.

In my cup: water, because I’m being forced to drink more non-coffee fluids.

Espresso yourself.

Lipstick Stain… and Coffee

Occasionally, I’m struck by a moment of genius: a tiny piece of stardust lodges itself in my brain in just the right way at just the right time and “VIOLA!” an idea is born. The morning prep time of May 8th of 2017 was such a moment. As I settled into my classroom, I took a sip out of my brand new bright yellow RTIC tumbler (a early birthday gift from one of my favorite humans) and looked down to see a perfect, colorful lipstick stain. I snapped a picture, sent it to that particular human, and posted it to my Instagram with the caption “Lipstick stains and coffee. That about sums up my whole life.”

And so it was that Lipstick Stains and Coffee was born.

When all else fails, make a silly face and get on with your day.
The photo you see above was taken approximately 30 seconds after the one at the top of the post. That awesome lipstick? Yeah, it was on my cup. That facial expression made my favorite human laugh, which is all that really matters.

Hi, I’m Kristen, the founder of Lipstick Stains and Coffee. I run this site with my best friend: a gorgeous, inspiring, and sometimes infuriating Aries with the mouth of a sailor who always shares her opinions. Her name is Rachel. You’ll get to know her soon enough.

I’m the girl you’ll find hiding away with Netflix and a predictable cop drama (right now, it’s Blue Bloods). They’re the best kind of shows to follow while scrolling on your phone and offer the promise of the good guys winning. We could all use a little more of that. I model my napping habits after my cat, a sassy Ragdoll named Rosie. She naps with me so long as I promise to pretend her dog siblings (teacup chihuahua named Pavlov and a black lab named Harvey) don’t exist.

Here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee we believe in constantly challenging ourselves. On some days, that can be as simple as getting out of bed and adulting (though admittedly, I often find myself wishing I had an “adultier” adult around to help me wing it a little better…). Other days, that can mean completing a third Master’s degree. We’re…. crazy gluttons for punishment tenacious like that. We’ve agreed that some of the best moments of our lives happen just outside our comfort zones.

Have that second, or fifth, cup of coffee.

We’ll even join you.

Welcome to our experiment in beating Murphy’s law.

As will be the tradition here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee, each author, guest or staff, will tell you what’s on their lips and in their cup.

On my lips: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

In my cup: Starbuck’s Iced White Chocolate Mocha with almond milk, 4 pumps of caramel sauce, 4 pumps of mocha sauce, and extra mocha drizzle.