Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday!!!

Lakeshore is having a Cyber Monday sale where you can get 30% off any non-sale item. They've also got a lot of good items on sale that might be worth checking out as well. The checkout code is CYBER and is only good today!

My other favorite school store, Mardel, is offering free shipping on all orders today with the code CYBER MONDAY.

Unfortunately for me, I put myself on a major school spending diet after multiple shopping sprees last summer. (I've been really good sticking to it, too!) I don't think I'm going to take advantage of these deals today, but if I remember correctly they sometimes have good sales the later winter and spring and I may give in at that time.

I did make a purchase for myself online from J.Crew and bought a sweater I have been eyeing for a while. On sale, extra 25% off, and free shipping? Yes, please! I'm praying that it fits and was worth the wait! Isn't that color delightful? I love it!

Tippi sweater

I've never really done much (okay, any) shopping on Cyber Monday, but my mom has hit some good deals in the past. (She got my favorite Guess purse on an amazing sale a few years ago from Macy's.)My e-mail inbox was filled with discounts from all of my favorite stores this morning and of course I had to check them out.

Do you shop Cyber Monday sales (or any other online sales)?

What deals have you found today?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday Lowdown

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was actually going to be working on Black Friday. The girls at my local Aerie store are always super nice when I come in so I talk to them a lot and during one of my recent visits the manager asked if I'd be interested in coming in to work for the day. I'd never worked retail before, but I certainly have plenty of experience shopping, so I decided to go for it and do something different for the day. With the exception of an office job I had for a year in college, all of my other employment has been related to teaching and / or working with kids. I must say that I had a really good day working. I found it really fun to help people pick out gifts and just do something different for a change. I was completely exhausted when my shift was over, but I had a lot of fun while I was there. (I was functioning on about 3 hours of sleep and did some shopping before my 6:45 a.m. shift started! Soooooo totally not typical of me!)

I really didn't do much Black Friday shopping this year. I'm really not one to go out early anyway. I value my sleep very much and nothing that I see in the ads is usually worth giving that up. Check out this pic I took when I drove by Best Buy on Wednesday night... The store was still open and there were already people camping out! Insane, if you ask me!

Anyway, I had my list of gifts for my family planned out and was able to pick up a few of those items on sale this weekend. While I was out, I found a few goodies for myself as well. I really tried not to spend a lot of money since I had a big shopping trip planned for next weekend. My goal was to save as much of my shopping budget as possible for the stores that we don't have here in town. Some of the sales this weekend were too good to pass up, though!

The rest of my days off have been pretty chill. I probably should have been working on some school projects on my to do list, but I've really been enjoying just relaxing. I got to see some family that was in town, hang out with my brother, and do a little shopping with my mom. There's no harm in just taking some time to chill and lay low, right?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Student Teaching

One of the things I'm very excited about in the coming months is that I will be welcoming a student teacher into my classroom for the spring semester. She came in and did some lessons with my class last spring and we got along so well that she changed her student teaching placement to come out our school! (My school always gets really good test scores and has very successful students in all grade levels and so we typically get a lot of college students that want to come out and see what we do.) I had a wonderful experience with my own cooperating teacher and I've actually hoped that I would someday be able to (hopefully) provide the same experience for someone else. Well, that time has come!

I had a talk with my class about our ST and how things will be a little different next semester. I think some of the kids aren't quite sure about this idea yet, but I explained to them that having two teachers in the classroom opens up some new opportunities for us. In my experience I did the traditional block where I was in charge, but my CT and I also took on a "divide and conquer" attitude and worked with the kids in smaller groups. I'm hoping to do the same thing as we prepare for state assessments.

I was also offered the opportunity to take a mentoring workshop since I'll be hosting a student teacher and was able to talk with a lot of other CT's about their experiences. I think the biggest thing that works to my benefit in this is that I was in that same position exactly 5 years ago. (My ST is actually a few years older than me! LOL) I feel like I'm still fresh enough in the game to relate to being new, but I'm also seasoned enough to know how it goes. I hope that all of those things help me to be a good mentor for her. I'm excited to share my own wisdom and experiences as well as get new ideas and someone else's perspective on teaching. I think my class this year will provide her with a great variety of learners (I have gifted, Autistic, LD, and some with ADHD in my class). They're a great group of kids to work with and I think she's going to be a wonderful personality match for them as well.

If you've welcomed a student teacher into your classroom, I'd love your feedback and advice. I got a lot of great insight at my mentoring workshop, but I know there's so much more to know and share! Please give me your feedback!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Ramblings...

Today would probably qualify as one of the longest school days ever. It started yesterday with me staying at school until 7 p.m. preparing for our literacy walk-throughs today. I got into a very motivated mindset and just kept working on stuff and cleaning my classroom from top to bottom. They ended up not even coming to my room today, but I had a meeting during my plan time and had to leave my room midway through reading work stations to go see a model lesson in another classroom. Then this afternoon we had our big fund raiser party, followed by recess duty, bus duty, and then an hour of after-school tutoring. Add that onto the emotional worry of one coworker having surgery today and news that another was in a bad car accident on the way to work this morning, I can safely say it was a draining day. (Thankfully both are okay!)

Do you ever have those days that just don't seem to end?

This was definitely one of those days.

On a happier note, tomorrow is Friday and I have a weekend of relaxing ahead of me. Next week is going to be a breeze compared to the last few and I am hoping that I'll be able to get "caught up" on some blog posts that I've wanted to do. I've also snagged a very small part-time job for Thanksgiving weekend to bring in a few extra bucks for Christmas and some sweet discounts. Yes, I'm going to work on one of my days off. Crazy, huh? I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be worn out (I'm planning on hitting up some sales before going in to work at 6:45 a.m.), but I think it's gonna be fun to do something different for a change!

Speaking of working... I do plan on working on blogging!

Here are a few topics I'm thinking about blogging about in the (hopefully near) future... What do you want to hear about from me?
  • Literacy work stations
  • Math centers
  • Classroom organization
  • Whole group reading block
  • Assessment prep
  • ???

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Recovery

I feel like school has been a marathon of various activities in the past few weeks and continues to follow this pattern... Only 7 days until Thanksgiving break! Between now and then we have a music program, Literacy First walk-throughs, a fund raiser party, Thanksgiving staff luncheon, a presentation to the school board, and I supposed in the midst of that I'm going to teach my students a thing or two as well. I've really been cherishing my weekends since my weeks have been jam-packed with school events.

I'd been really feeling bad for myself and wasn't enjoying weekends just a few weeks ago. In the past year five close friends have moved out of state. These were pretty much all of those friends that I'd spend my weekends with, call up to go shopping with, grab dinner and a movie with, etc. A lot of my other friends that live nearby are married and / or have kids so that changes things as well... They're not quite as spur-of-the-moment as the others were. I've been throwing a lot of pity parties lately... I'll even admit that I was dreading a few weekends because I knew I had nothing to do. The work week at least kept me busy and occupied so that I forgot about my lack of friends nearby.

Then, school got really crazy (again) and I realized that maybe my lack of things to do on the weekends was a blessing in disguise. First off, I've spent wayyy less money on entertainment and going out to eat. (I'm telling myself that this saved money counts toward my travel fund to go see my friends.) Second, I've enjoyed the time of rest and relaxation. Yesterday I cleaned my house, cleaned out my car, worked out, went to church, made some yummy pizza rolls I found on Pinterest, watched some K-State football, talked to a close friend on the phone, shopped a teensy bit, and then watched "Back to the Future 2" with my little brother. All in all, it was a splendid day and I didn't really feel bad for myself at any point in the day.

I'm not saying that my pity parties are over or that I don't miss my friends, but I'm going to try my best to not spend my quiet weekends alone feeling sorry for myself. I'm going to (try to) think of them as a blessing and a reward for work I do during the week. Weekends are my "me time" right now... Time for wearing sweats, watching movies, painting my nails, phone calls with friends across the time zones, and online "shopping dates." Eventually, I hope to get out a meet new people and spend my weekends being a bit more social, but for now I am going focus on keeping my head above water at school during the week and taking time to recover during those two lovely days off.

What is your weekend recovery?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fashion Week Day 7: 7 Fabulous Fall Finds

I wasn't planning on dragging Fashion Week into this week, but I ended up being so busy being gone to my conference and meetings last week that this fell on my priority list. I wanted to wrap up this little series on fashion for teachers by sharing a few great items that I've picked up this fall. (Actually I've cut back on my shopping this fall so some of this was purchased during my last big shopping event when I was on vacation at the end of the summer. I'm planning on another big shopping trip out of town sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas!)

Here's a few items for work (and play) that could be great for any teacher's wardrobe!

J. Crew V-Neck Sweater - The one I purchased is no longer online, but I must admit I have an addiction to v-neck sweaters. I think they're the most flattering style on me and they're great for layering! I bought a lovely rich turquoise sweater.

Banana Republic V-Neck Sweater - I bought this one in dark charcoal and have been wearing it quite a bit. It's definitely a great go with anything, wear to anything sweater. I'd like to pick up the fuchsia one once it goes on sale or when I have another coupon.

Banana Republic Timeless Crewneck Tee - I've really needed some good layering tees to go under my sweaters, but my collection was really old and gross. I bought these in black and white and have been wearing them a lot ever since. It's a good quality tee that's great for layering.

Banana Republic Sweater Blazer - This was probably my biggest splurge (even though I hit a great sale and had a coupon on top of that) and the item that was most unlike anything else. Okay, gray sweaters aren't unique for me, but the blazer part is. I've been wearing it a lot and I think it's gonna get some good wear as we near the holidays.

AE Slouchy Popover - This sweatshirt is amazingly comfy. It's like a cross between terry cloth and fleece. It's been getting a lot of weekend wear and come winter on those "this should be a snow day but it's not" days I may pair it with khakis and a collared shirt for work!

Gap Super Lightweight Long and Lean Jeans - To say these are jeans is a bit misleading because they're more like dress pants in the cut of jeans. These were the one pair of dress pants I picked up before school started this year. Remember how I said dress pants are the hardest thing for me to find? More should be like this.

Gap Strapless Print Maxi Dress - This is a prime example of taking something and making it work appropriate. I found this dress on MAJOR clearance a few weeks ago ($7.48!) and had to have it. It was too chilly by that point to wear it alone so I've paired it with both a cardigan and a denim jacket to make it appropriate for work and the cooler temps. This is also a prime example of how deals in store are typically way better than online... It's still $48.99 online!

Have you found an fab items for fall? What are your cold weather staples? Please share! I'd love to hear your comments and feedback!


Well, there you go! I hope everyone enjoyed Fashion Week. I had a lot of fun sharing these things with everyone and I'm thinking I'll do this again in the spring!

In the meantime, check back soon for some school related posts. I've got some neat Pinterest-related finds to share and I'm also planning on sharing some things on how I run reading work stations! See you soon!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fashion Week Day 6: Strengths and Weaknesses

We all have strengths and weaknesses in pretty much every area of our lives. I feel like I'm really good at some things in my career and suck at other aspects of it. Fashion can be the same way. I'm not a fashion blogger for a reason... I'm pretty sure people would get sick of me after a couple weeks because I have some major flaws in my work wardrobe. At least I acknowledge this fact and I will hopefully continue to work on them.

Here are a few of my weak areas:
  1. I'm a slave to black pants. Dress pants suck. They never seem to fit me the right way or fit my price range. I pretty much only wear black pants because that's what usually looks best on me. I have other colors of dress pants, but I really don't wear them all that often. My legs are not best feature and dress pants seem to usually highlight that fact. I know I need to try a little harder to branch out, but sometimes it's really really hard.
  2. I forget there are a lot of great stores other than the ones I usually shop at. Sometimes we just get into habits of going to the same places. I'm totally a creature of habit as you may have figured out on Day 1. I neglect a lot of great stores a lot of times. I feel like I'm in an awkward spot as far as my age and style. Juniors isn't really my fit or style anymore, but I'm not ready for "mom jeans" or cheesy light-up sweaters in the misses department. (No offense to any moms out there... I know plenty of you are stylish ladies.) I think a lot of department stores in particular neglect to have sections for those of us in the middle that are also on a budget. I know if I spent more time looking, though, I'd find I'm missing out on a lot of good stuff.
  3. I buy things I don't really need. Okay, I don't need hardly any clothing to get by, but that fact aside I will admit that sometimes I make purchases just because something is such a great deal. For example, I love dresses, but I don't really wear them all that often. I have a ton, though! I have some I've never worn because I've never had the right occasion for them, but they were super cheap so I bought them anyway. I'm trying to be more budget conscious and remind myself that just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a good deal for me. Those little purchases add up and I could be spending that money on a higher priced item I really want versus a bunch of small cheap things I'm just getting for the heck of it.
  4. Shoes aren't a high priority for me. I have a lot of shoes, but I really don't think I could be considered a "shoe girl." Other than athletic shoes (which I talked about on my Lust List), I really don't care about brands. The majority of my shoes are from Target and cost less than $20. Every year I tell myself I'll break down and get nice work shoes, but I can never seem to find the perfect combination of style and price so I sacrifice one or the other.
Now onto my strengths:
  1. I'm usually open to trying new things. I wouldn't say I'm on the cutting edge of fashion, but I am usually willing to embrace new trends and at least try them. I'll try on pretty much anything I see in the store that seems like it could be a possibility. I have my trends that I'm more fond of, but I'll usually give just about anything at least a try. I've been pleasantly surprised that some new trends are more flattering than I'd expect. It's just a matter of giving it a try!
  2. I'm committed to getting good deals whenever possible. It's also kind of a weakness, but as I've said before I pretty much never pay full price for anything. I have to really need something or be at a store that I can't visit frequently for me to pay full price. And even then, I still might ask about teacher discounts or coupons or something that I might be able to use.
  3. I'm getting more adventurous! I'm definitely trying to be more creative with how I mix and match my clothing. I have a lot to work with, so there's no reason I shouldn't be able to have a little fun with it! Pinterest, blogs, and Polyvore are inspiring me to get more creative in putting together great outfits!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fashion Week Day 5: Polyvore

I promised you the other day that I'd tell more about Polyvore. I discovered Polyvore through Pinterest over the summer and let me tell you, it's so much fun! I love the fact that sites like these replace the old practice of cutting out pics from magazine and that you can have all sorts of inspiration online right at your fingertips!

First, let me explain how Polyvore works. Basically you create a "set" by searching for items that your would like to put on an idea page together. I've only done outfit sets, but you can also do set of home decor items. I usually keep mine pretty simple, but if you get onto the site and explore you can see that some people do quite a bit on their sets.

First, let me introduce you to my Polyvore page. One there you can see all of the sets that I've created.

One fun thing about Polyvore is that you can create outfits of items from pretty much anywhere. I think it's fun creating sets out of items that I own or that are close to what I own. It's also fun to create sets of things of things that I'd never actually wear or be able to afford. It's just fun to put a whole look together and see what unique combinations you come up with. If you find others on there that have sets you like you can choose to follow them (kind of like Pinterest).

I like Polyvore for it's inspiration. Like I said, I discovered it through Pinterest because a lot of people pin sets. There are so many more awesome outfit ideas on the site itself. There have been quite a few times I search for an item I own and then create a set based on that item. You can also explore sets other people have created with the same items. Bought a new shirt and aren't quite sure how to wear it? Search for it on Polyvore and see what others have come up with!

Here's an example of a top that I picked up at J. Crew earlier in the year. I searched for it on Polyvore and got all sorts of outfit ideas.

This lace tank from AE was another great find, but something I wasn't totally sure how I'd style. Polyvore to the rescue! (Ironically, most of the pics pair it with a plaid AE shirt I picked up on a separate shopping trip... I would have never thought to pair the two!)

Get the idea?

I've shared a few of my Polyvore creations based on my real outfits with you already this week, but I wanted to leave you with another creation today. I made this one over the summer when I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of fall. It's based on a few items I actually own. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fashion Week Day 4: Put Your Best Face Forward

I'm can very easily say that I am a makeup girl. I'm rarely seen without at least some (5 a.m. trips to the gym are usually one of my exceptions). As part of fashion week I wanted to share my makeup collection, where I shop, and how to look polished when you're crunched for time.

The first picture features my eye makeup. Yes, there's a lot of it. I actually need to weed it out. Eye shadow is my favorite and I love playing around with different colors and combos. My favorite spots to buy eye makeup are Ulta and Clinique. I love Ulta's store brand cosmetics because they're great quality for a great price. I think their eye shadows have the same if not better lasting power than most high-end brands. I have so many from Clinique because I hit them up for their free gifts, but occasionally I do buy some at full price. This fall's makeup splurge was Clinique's Black Honey quad.

I'm not a morning person AT ALL. Getting up and getting out of the door on time is a daily struggle for me. It's usually about 30 minutes from bed to out the door in the morning. My makeup routine on school mornings is usually 5 minutes or so. I wash my face in the shower and follow up with toner and moisturizer when I get out. I do the rest of my getting ready and leave makeup for the very end. Here's the rundown of what I use:

  1. Foundation - Clinique's Even Better is probably my #1 favorite, but I'm currently giving Ulta's mineral liquid foundation as a more budget-friendly option. (I didn't find it on Ulta's website to share.)
  2. Concealer - I'm on a constant quest for good concealers for eyes and blemishes. Right now my skin is behaving nicely so I'm only it under my eyes. I use either Cover Girl or Clinique.
  3. Powder - I dust powder over my whole face to cut down on shine later in the day. My favorite is Physician's Formula Mineral Face Powder, but once again I'm trying Ulta's Fabulous Face
  4. Pressed Powder because I had a coupon and it was on sale with the foundation. (Can you tell I like a bargain?!?)
  5. Blush - Blush is something I'll use in pretty much any brand. (I think Maybelline is the only brand I've
    tried that I don't really like.) I have a couple that were free from Clinique and one from Ulta that's pretty nice too. I've heard a lot of great reviews on Nars Orgasm blush and I think that will be my next beauty splurge. (And yes, that's actually the name of the color.) It's supposed to be one of the most universally flattering shades of blush out there.
  6. Bronzer - I use a big loose brush to lightly dust some bronzer over my face. I feel like it helps to blend my blush a bit and give me a healthy glow. I usually stick with a lighter toned bronzer so that I don't look like I'm trying to be super tan. This isn't the exact one I'm using right now, but it's also Physician's Formula, which is what I prefer.
  7. Eye Shadow - This is when I start to gauge how much time I have left to get ready. I have several "safe" colors that I dust on when I'm short on time and they'll go with pretty much anything. If I have more time I usually mix colors and have more fun.
  8. Eye Liner - I prefer the way I look with eyeliner, but it's a step I skip if I'm strapped for time. (I always keep a spare in my purse anyway.) I like retractable eyeliners so I don't have to sharpen them... I'm not a fan of liquid. I'm not really attached to any brand of eyeliner, but I am starting to branch away from my super cheap ones from Walgreens just because I don't feel like they have the best staying power. I'm currently using freebies from Clinique and Ulta.
  9. Mascara - Mascara is a necessity for me because I have the world's shortest eyelashes. I'm also not really attached to any brands in particular. I use a lot of Clinique just because they came in my free gift and I recently finished off this one from Ulta. (I think it was also a freebie.) Aerie had a nice one last year that I became quite fond of which was supposedly made by MAC, but they discontinued their cosmetics line after winter. I can't bring myself to actually spend more than $10 on mascara (since it's usually free) so I haven't visited the MAC counter to test any out.
  10. Lips - This usually happens at a stoplight in the car or in the school parking lot. I'm not much of a lipstick girl (my collection consists of Clinique freebies), but I'm a lip gloss addict. I have sooooo many, especially since many were free to me. Bath & Body Works has some great ones!
So, there you go. 5 minutes most days gets me looking fresh and put together without being over the top glam. My best suggestion when buying makeup is to be willing to try new things. I'm pretty much willing to try any brand once, but I love a good bargain! Some things are worth a little extra cost and others really aren't!

For more beauty inspiration, check out my Stuff That Makes You Pretty board on Pinterest!

What I'm Wearing Today:
Not Your Sunshine Yellow

It's Day 3 of my conference. I will admit that I'm not dressing up as much as a lot of the people there, but I'm also not walking around feeling underdressed by any means either. (I don't understand these people in suits all day!) I have to give a shout out to my wonderful dark AE Hipster jeans that I picked up at the end of the summer. They're super stretchy and soooooo comfortable! I'm very happy that flares have made a comeback this season! I've picked up the dark wash and a medium wash of the Hipsters at AE and they're getting a lot of good use!

Now, onto my cardigan... I professed my love for cardigans in yesterday's post and this one is totally an example of me staying in my comfort zone all the while breaking outside the box. This color is totally not sometime I'd typically be drawn to. I visited some outlets in Colorado last July and found this cardigan at the J.Crew Factory store on MAJOR sale. (Actually mine is a v-neck and slightly longer, but the color is spot on.) It was the only one left. I tried it with a few items in the store, but couldn't come up with a combo I really liked. The color was just soooooo different from what I normally style. I just couldn't bring myself to leave it though since it was a great deal (less than $10), a flattering fit, and a color that was not represented in my closet. I'm blessed to have a skin tone that looks good in most colors so when I can I try to take advantage of that. Once I got it home and started playing around with it, I found it looks really good with off white and grays. We're supposed to have dramatically cooler weather today so I wanted to wear something layered for my day at the conference.

Two questions today:

What are your makeup tips and tricks that help you put your best face forward?

Do you ever feel the urge to make a crazy color purchase for your wardrobe?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fashion Week Bonus: Lust List

I recently got some potentially good news recently and I am thinking that I am going to treat myself to a few "to me from me" Christmas gifts. (Understand, I probably won't be receiving that much from others this year just because of circumstances... I'll probably be doing a lot more giving than receiving anyway. It's really not as selfish as it sounds.)

I've really been trying to cut back on unnecessary spending over the past couple months and have resisted a few urges, but there are a few items that I just keep going back to and thinking, "If I had some extra money..." Well, I'm thinking pretty soon it's gonna be time to get a few special things for myself.

Now, I'm not in a position to buy EVERYTHING on my list list, but these are some items (or maybe cheaper look-a-likes) that I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

And so, here's my LUST LIST:

Eden cardigan
J. Crew Eden Cardigan - I love this color. I've really been drawn to things in the turquoise family this fall and this color is so rich and beautiful. I can think of so many ways to wear it!

Cashmere V-neck sweater
J. Crew Cashmere V-Neck - This color is called "neon azalea." I love the idea of wearing a bright color like this hot pink shade in the middle of winter. I had another bright pink sweater in college and it was such a pick-me-up to wear it on a blah cold winter day. I'd love to get something that is so bright, cheerful, warm, and cozy!

Drapey sequin tank
J. Crew Drapey Sequin Tank - Does anyone else get the urge to wear sparkly things around Christmas? I sure do! I usually go for a sparkly sweater, but this year I'm really wanting to get my hands on a cute tank like this one to put under items I already own. This one could go with countless sweaters and jackets and add some glad to normally casual outfits.

Blouson dress in royal paisley
J. Crew Blouson Dress in Royal Paisley - I'm not always a fan of paisley, but when I spotted this dress in the J. Crew catalog I fell in love. It's got so many colors in it that you could pair it with numerous items and have a different look every time. The style says warm weather, but the colors say cool weather and honestly I think it could go both ways. It's all in how you style it!

Coach Poppy Tartan Glam Tote - I couldn't get the image to post, but this is one of those purses I'd never carry anytime other than in the winter. It would be my date to all of my Christmas parties. Coach had a few tartan plaid purses like this a few years ago and they were really the first purses from Coach that I really loved. In all honesty, I really didn't like Coach at all for the longest time, but now I've constantly got my eye on one (or ten) of their purses.

Coach Kristin Leather Hobo - The style of this purse that I really want isn't online anymore, but this is the same collection and color I want. I'm technically not supposed to buy any new purses this year, so maybe I'll save some of my "me" budget for after January 1. (As my purse taste gets more expensive I'm having to put limits on how much and how many I buy. I haven't purchased a new purse since early June and that's pretty much forever for me!) I'm hoping the shape I want comes back with the spring collection.

Fossil Stella Tortoise Watch - This is one of the items I'm 90% sure I'm going to purchase. I love this watch. It's one of those items that will go with anything. I've seen a few cheap versions and usually I'm totally cool with getting a look-alike, but none compare to the beauty of the real thing. I've gone Dillards to try it on and it's amazing. I've been into watches a lot in the last year and most of mine were under $15, but this one is totally worth the cost!

Loft Sequin Trim V-Neck Cardigan - More sparkle for the holidays! I love that this cardigan is dressy and classy, yet still very appropriate for everyday wear. It would go with anything from a dress to jeans to black pants plus I could pair it with a simple tee or a dressy tank. I'm really hoping I can get my hands on this beauty before it's too late!

Loft Shirred Seamed V-Neck Sweater - I want this red. There's something about bright red that is totally Christmas to me. I used to wear red ALL the time (my high school colors were red and black) and then once I got to college I started branching away from so much red. It's hardly represented in my wardrobe now. This is another very versatile item, but I love the shirred detail on the back that sets it apart from most v-neck sweaters.

Loft Pleated Front Metallic Stripe Blouse - This top is so me, yet like nothing that's actually in my closet. It's definitely one of those shirts I'd have to try on in the store, which is unfortunate because the nearest Loft is at least 2 1/2 hours away.

Nike Shox Conundrum SI - Long story short, I was emotionally scarred in 6th grade when my mom bought me Richard Simmons brand running shoes for volleyball. After that I vowed that no matter what I would have nice athletic shoes. I'm really not a shoe snob like a lot of girls. The majority of my shoe collection comes from Target and I really prefer not to spend more than $30 or 40 on a pair of shoes. I'm pretty cheap in that area. Athletic shoes are a totally different story for me, though. I love a beautiful pair of Nike Shox and after a long life in the gym my last pair met its fate when I was spelunking in Oklahoma. (Yes, spelunking as is climbing through dark, muddy caves. LOL) I'd totally consider the purchase of these shoes to be an investment in my heath and wellness.

Other random items:
  • A fabulous and yet versatile statement necklace.
  • Brown knee-high boots (about the same color as that Coach purse, not too orangy).
  • Something involving polka dots.
  • Cute headbands or other hair accessories.
  • OPI's Muppet nail polish collection.
  • A new pair of VS Pink sweats (perfect for opening gifts Christmas morning)
  • Brown leather Fossil purse (my Coach fallback)
  • More fun colored cardigans.
  • Stacking bracelets.

Fashion Week Day 3: Ode to Cardigans

Cardigans... I love them. I have way too many of them yet keep buying more. I am naturally drawn to them when I walk into a store. I buy them in different colors, shapes, styles, and sizes. I wear them with jeans, dress, pants, skirts, and dresses. They complete my wardrobe.

This is my cardigan collection. It's not even the full collection... This is just the fall / winter selection of them! It's seriously (and ridiculously) a huge collection. Here are a few reasons why I love them so much and how I wear them.

  1. They're so freakin' versatile! I can pretty much take any top, bottom, or dress in my wardrobe and match it with a cardigan to make an outfit. I can wear a cardigan for pretty much any occasion. Halloween party at school? Orange cardi with a black tee underneath! Cheering on my Wildcats and watching football with friends? K-State tee and a gray cardi! Teaching my third graders in my sometimes too hot sometimes too cold classroom? Cardigan and a short sleeve tee layered for comfort! (These are all examples of how I've worn them in the last 5 days!)
  2. I'm particularly fond of the v-neck style... I find it to
    be the most flattering on my body type and also very good for layering. It tends to look good with both higher and lower neckline shirts. They also create a great frame to show off a stylish necklace!
  3. There are so many different lengths and they can all work in one way or another. I'm on the shorter side (about 5'4") and I rock pretty much all lengths of cardigan. I think it all depends on how you pair it with the other items. I tend to go with shorter styles with dresses and longer ones with pants.
  4. They're an essential layering piece. I don't know about your classrooms, but mine tends to be super cold in the summer and toasty hot in the winter. The hallways are always the opposite. I dress in layers the majority of the school year because of the varying temps around the building.
  5. They can turn the immodest into modest. I know some schools have a strict dress code for teachers, but mine doesn't. It's just pretty much the understanding that we will dress professionally. I have a lot of items in my wardrobe that would not be considered school appropriate on their own, but paired with a nice cardi are perfectly professional. They can stretch out a wardrobe sooooooo much!
What I'm wearing today: I'm at the second day of my assessment conference. I'll be up and around a bit more than yesterday (thank God!), but still wanted to rock a style that was both polished and comfortable. I picked up a great sweater blazer at Banana Republic about a month ago when they were having a store-wide sale and they let me use a coupon on top of it all. The one in this pic is as close as I could find on Polyvore. I'm really not a blazer person at all (I think I'm too short and curvy for many styles and I don't like how expensive they can be), but I really liked this sweater version. I'm hoping to pick up some sparkly tops to pair it with for Christmas parties and such. The only items I really have in this pic are the jeans and the perfume, but as with yesterday, the rest is pretty a pretty darn close replica.