Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Budgeting Bloggers ~ August

As August draws to a close it's time to look back at this month's purchases and link up with Franishh for Budgeting Bloggers.  I feel like I've been shopping a lot lately, but I realized some of my new items were covered in my July post.  

Gap and American Eagle saw the most action from me this month...  Gap ran their Friends & Family promo and then followed it up with another 40% off promo the next week.  I really didn't do as much damage there as I'd intended and feel like I got some basics that transition easily from summer to fall.  I'd budgeted about $100 for the Gap sales (I thought I'd go crazy in there) and only ended up spending a little over $60.  

American Eagle has been a long time favorite of mine, but I really haven't bought much there at all since the beginning of the year.  Their spring and summer stuff just wasn't doing it for me, but I guess that's probably a good thing.  Their fall stuff is really great, though, and I'm having to show some major self control with that place.  They usually run a nice sale during the Labor Day weekend, so I'm holding out to see if that happens and may get a couple more items.

My big splurge of the month was on this navy blazer from AE.  I have the black version from last year and had been contemplating the navy one when it popped up a month or so ago.  When I received a $15 off coupon I decided this was the time to snag it.  I got it for about $55, which is a lot for me to spend on one item, but I know it's a worthy investment.  The lace shirt is something a little unexpected for me, but I loved it when I tried it on.  The tan color is very pretty for fall and will look great with a lot of existing items.  The teal sweatshirt is probably my biggest impulse buy and the item I didn't need, but I loved the color and the fact that it doesn't have a logo.  I'm itching to wear it with a cute scarf during the lovely fall days.

AE & Aerie Fall Finds

My only other purchase of the month was the oh-so-famous Old Navy Polka-Dot Chambray Shirt.  I'm sure you've seen it all over the blogs lately.  I spotted this one early, tried it on, and loved it, but didn't purchase it.  I never have luck with button down shirts, but this one fits me perfectly!  I decided to hold out for a coupon or deal and snagged it for 25% off.  I believe that brought it down to $18 or $19...  Much better than the J.Crew version that is going for $88.

I stuck to my no makeup and no nail polish thing pretty well this month.  My only makeup purchase was some powder (an essential) and this $10 Smashbox eyeshadow quad that I bought in order to finally get my 500 point Sephora perk (a Tarte mascara and liner kit).  I've really cut this part of my spending and plan to continue to do so for another few months while I use up some of my current items.  I've actually been having a lot of fun playing around with the makeup I already have!
Smashbox - Master Class Eyeshadow Quad

I'm not entirely sure about my exact total for this month (is that bad?), but I wasn't too worried  about keeping super careful track since I still had some "fun money" lingering in my summer budget since I didn't go on a trip like I'd originally planned.  

I'm going out of town next weekend for a wedding and will be doing some outlet shopping while I'm away. I'll be hitting up J.Crew Factory, Loft Outlet, Gap Outlet, and Banana Republic Factory while I'm there. I still have about $150 in "fun money" that I had been saving for summer travel and plan to use that during my shopping trip.  After that trip in September I plan to really buckle down for a month or two in preparation for the holiday season.  We have a lot of birthdays in my family in the fall, so I plan to use the bulk of my shopping budget on gifts for others and try to stash away some extra money for Christmas shopping and additional savings for my travel fund. 

I don't know about any of the rest of you teachers, but I get paid in a lump sum at the end of the school year and then don't get another paycheck until September 11th.  I've had some extra income opportunities this summer that have helped to offset the cost of moving and a few other out of the ordinary expenses.  I'm proud to say that I'm ending the summer with more money in savings than I started the summer with!  Despite my success, though, I am soooo ready to have another paycheck in the bank!  3 months is too long!

How did your August budget turn out?  Link up with Franishh and let us know what you bought and how your budget fared this month!

It's Back... To Do Tuesday!

I haven't done a To Do Tuesday for quite sometime, so I decided now that the new school year is rolling this would be a good way to hold myself accountable to some of the things I want to get done in the next week.  I'm going to try to make this one pretty short and sweet!

  1. Finish cleaning my apartment - I tackled the clutter and laundry that had accumulated since the craziness of school began again.  (It kind of looked like Pinterest had exploded in here!)  Now I need to get the actual cleaning finished...  Vacuum, dust, mop, etc.  
  2. Finalize my spelling groups for this semester - I won't go into everything that goes into the way we have to do spelling, but I will say it's a pain and I'm looking at having about 4 spelling lists in my classroom.  (*grumbles*)  
  3. Grade my AIMS assessments - If you also do AIMS math tests, you know how (not) fun this is.  I've been putting this off since the online testing window doesn't open until the 1st, so I think this will be what I do on Saturday while I'm enjoying some college football!
  4. Clean out my closet - I cleared out a lot of stuff when I moved a few months ago, but my closet is getting quite tight again and I need to go through it once more and decide if there are some items I can part with.  I have to make way for some new things!
  5. Get my sub stuff ready - I found out last week I'll be missing 4 days of school in September due to various meetings and trainings.  I really hate being gone, but I know that's just what comes with some of the roles I've taken on at school.  Since my favorite regular sub is doing a maternity leave right now and I've got slightly more high maintenance group of kiddos I need to be sure to have my stuff together for my subs!  
What's on your to do list this week?  Anything special you're looking to accomplish?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Empty Project

If you've been reading my blog for a while you've probably picked up on the fact that I like beauty and makeup items. In fact, makeup is probably one of my weaknesses right now.  I've seen a few other bloggers and You Tubers post about finishing off products in their collection.  I decided this would be a great plan for me for the next few months.  I'm also going to keep track of which products are worth repurchasing and which ones I could do without.

There are a couple items I really want, but I just can't justify making those purchases without downsizing my current collection and sticking to my budget.  So, from now through November (at least) I'm going to work on finishing off and using up some of the beauty products in my collection.  

Here are some of the items I want to work my way through:

  • Eye shadow - I have wayyyy too many of these and of course that's what I want more of.  I'm focusing my use on some of my old faves that don't get as much love as they once did.
  • Lotions - I've already made a huge dent in this collection.  (They previously didn't fit into their single basket and now they do!)  My problem is that I always seem to get new body lotions with those Bath & Body Works coupons for a free Signature item.  I use these everyday, so it's just a matter of working through what I already have without adding a lot more.
  • Mascara - I've got several full-size and quite a few minis in rotation right now.  I have 3 minis I've been rotating and trying to use up before busting into any new ones.  There's no need for me to buy any of these for a while.
  • Eyeliner - I have a lot of random cheap-o eyeliners, yet always reach for my basic black or dark brown.  I'm going to try to experiment with a few of my other varieties more often.  
  • Blush - This is another item I have a lot of freebies of...  I'm close to finishing off a few and noticing that I don't really have any cooler weather colors anymore.  
  • Lip products - This is one my most ridiculous collections...  I'm working on my almost empties by putting those in my purse where they'll see the most action.  The ones in my bathroom drawer just don't get as much love.  
My goal is to work through at least 15 (hopefully more!) products by Thanksgiving and not make (m)any unnecessary additions to my makeup and beauty collection.  I'm pretty well stocked and the only thing I foresee needing to purchase are my everyday hair and face products, foundation, and powder.

I plan to let you know how this goes at least once a month...

For now, here are my August empties... (Or ones that will be by the time August is over at the end of the week.)

(Forgive the fact that I didn't snap pics this month!)

Flirt! Glamourazzi Extreme Lip Lacquer (from Kohl's)
Repurchase?  Possibly.
This one was my go-to for a super long time and then it was retired from my purse to my bathroom drawer.  It's a great formula and pretty long lasting.  I can't remember what color I had (the label was worn off), but it was a nice natural and neutral.  If I didn't have so many other lip products around right now, this would be a good candidate for repurchase, especially since I always seem to have $10 Kohl's coupons.  I have a few Flirt! brand cosmetics from Kohl's and it's actually a pretty decent little brand.

Sephora Collection Full Action Extreme Effect Mascara
Repurchase?  Nope.
I had a mini of this and just wasn't that impressed.  I wanted to blame the fact that it was just a sample and maybe not quite up to par to the full-size, but even after looking at the full-size in store I just don't think I'd spend the money on this.  I ended up laying it with other mascaras because I just didn't get a lot of results from this one alone.  I have pretty skimpy lashes and this one just didn't do it for me.

Bath and Body Works Cherry Vanilla Body Lotion
Repurchase?  Yes, if it pops up during the semi-annual...
I really fell in love with the Signature Vanillas a year or two ago at B&BW.  They don't carry them anymore, but they do pop back during the semi-annual sales.  I love this scent because it's lasting, not overpowering, and is good to pair with other body sprays.

Clinique Blushwear Cream Stick in Rosy Blush
Repurchase?  Color, yes.  Cream blush, no.
This was a free gift and I loved the color of this, but I just don't have the tools, skills, or patience to make cream blush look good on me.  It's just not something I'm good at working with.  I'll admit this one technically isn't an empty, but I did give it to my mom when she mentioned she needed some new blush.  I love Clinique blushes, so I'm going to see if I can try to find a matching color in a compact form.

I'll leave you with a couple pinspirations I've pinned to my makeup and beauty board!  I've been really into ideas for beautiful and striking, yet still everyday eye makeup.  I've been trying to recreate some of these looks with my current makeup.

Be sure to visit the pin and the original website for more info!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Week Down

I think the past week has been one of the most exhausting weeks ever.  Ever.  I really enjoy my new class, but they are definitely a high maintenance group.  I know the beginning of the year is full of establishing routines and procedures, but I feel like it's taking a little more effort with these kids.  They're so excited about everything we do that listening and following directions isn't their first instinct.  It's kind of wearing me out, but the fact that the really do mean well and are excited about learning somehow makes it a little less annoying.  I really can't blame them for being eager about learning...  That's what we want, right?  :)

I decided today that I needed to make a point to make some "me time" today.  

Here's what my last few weeknights have looked like:
  1. Work on random stuff at school until 5:30 or 6.  Get home around 6 or later.
  2. "Cook" dinner.  And by that I mean eat some Special K bars or pop a bag of veggie steamers in the microwave.  
  3. Turn on some old reruns I've DVR'ed.
  4. Eat.
  5. Nap for an hour or so.
  6. Wake up and catch up on Google Reader.
  7. Get ready for bed.
  8. Go back to sleep.
I managed to make it out of school before 5 p.m., swing by the grocery store, and was home before 5:30!  I made myself a real meal for dinner, watched "Dance Moms" (total guilty pleasure), took a short nap, and then went for an hour-long workout.  I think my lack of exercise has been part of the reason I've been so tired, so I'm hoping to get that back on my priority list.  

Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed and exhausted right now?  I  know this is the way the beginning of school can be, but I'm sooooo over it.  I'm ready to get into our routines and have things rolling smoothly.  Anyway, I'd love to hear how some of the rest of you make time for yourself in the craziness of the beginning of the school year.  

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sneak Peek Into My Classroom

I haven't take a full tour's worth of pics of my classroom yet, but I did manage to snap a pic before our open house last week!  This is the view from the door as you're walking into the room.  I really like the way my classroom turned out this year and this picture doesn't even show my favorite parts!  Anyway, hopefully one of these days I'll actually remember to take real pictures so that I can do a full blog post "tour."  Until then, this will just have to be your teaser!

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Birchbox

My August Birchbox arrived a week or two ago (I can't keep track), but with the start of school and being completely busy and exhausted I barely even looked at it until the other day!  
This's month's theme was Back to School and 15% of this month's purchases on Birchbox go toward Pencils of Promise.  Pretty cool, huh?  
I was once again pretty impressed with this month's box.  It had a couple full-size products and some good sample sizes this month, so for $10 I'm very pleased!   

Here's what my "Supply Kit" included:

  • Beauty Fixation Makeup Remover
  • Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur
  • Miss Jessie's Original Quick Curls
  • Pixi Beauty Lid Last Shadow Pen
  • Schick Hydro Silk Razor
To be honest, I haven't tried many of these products yet.  I love the original Viva la Juicy and this new one smells just as amazing.  I haven't worn it yet, but I have a feeling the full size may get added to my Christmas list.  I've tested out the Pixi shadow, which is a full-size and will hopefully remember to wear it sometime this week.  Finally, I was super excited to get a product that is specifically for curly hair!  I feel like this is one of those times they actually paid attention to the beauty profile thing I filled out when I signed up for Birchbox.

I've reached $30 in the Birchnbox store and I'm debating making a purchase.  I'm trying to work through some of my current makeup stash, so I'm not sure I want to buy anymore makeup.  Any suggestions?  I may hold out and accumulate more points and go for something nicer like a perfume (La Fleur?) in another couple months.  We shall see...


I thought I'd leave you with a super simple tip for storing all of those little perfume sample bottles.  I found this idea on Pinterest or a blog and decided I needed to copy it for my own perfumes.  Little votive holders are the perfect size for those little sample bottles!  I had a few unused candle holders from Target, so I pulled one out.  I'd started to accumulate quite a collection and so this is a cute way for me to keep them handy and actually give them some use!  

What was in your August Birchbox?

Do you had any simple, cute, or handy storage tips for your beauty loot?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sunday Social: Kickin' It Old School

This week's Sunday Social over at A Complete Waste of Makeup was a fun one, so I decided to participate again!  

Sunday Social

What were you like in middle school / high school?

I was always a really good kid in school.  I was a good student and overall a rule follower.  I never got in trouble, never had a detention in my life, and only skipped class one afternoon at the very end of my senior year.  (I even had the same teacher first and last hour that year...  When he asked me where I was last hour I told him I wasn't feeling well and all he said was that he hoped I felt better!)  

My 16th birthday surprise party!  My friends totally got me!
My middle school years were my least favorite.  I went to a small, private school and really hated it.  The school itself and the teachers weren't bad, but the students were not very nice to me and I had very few friends at school.  The case was the opposite at church...  I was Miss Popularity there and would totally rub that in the faces of the people at school.  My church friends were way "better" than all of them anyway!  LOL  
In high school I had a solid group of friends.  I wouldn't necessarily say I was in the "in crowd," but I definitely had a group group of friends and was also friends with a lot of the super popular kids in my school.  We all took honors and AP classes together, but in my school it seemed like all of the most popular kids were also the smartest ones as well.  

What were your favorite past times?

Late night hike on a youth group retreat.  Somehow we got
away with this!  
All of my really close friends and I went to church together, so I pretty much never missed a youth group event.  I went on sooooo many retreats and to camp pretty much every opportunity between 7th grade and my senior year in high school.  I was also a huge fan of football in high school.  I don't think I missed any games (home or away) my sophomore or junior year in high school.  My friends and loved doing all of the other typical teenager things like going to the mall, seeing movies, going bowling, and just plain hanging out at each other's houses.  We were a group of good kids that still liked to have fun and be a teensy bit rebellious at times! ; )

What songs were you obsessed with?

Most of my middle school years were spend obsessing over Hanson.  I was totally in love with them and their "Middle of Nowhere" CD had a permanent place in my CD player.  Of course I loved "MmmBop" and my other fave from that album was "Where's the Love?"  

Remember taping songs off of the radio, pre-Napster?  I found one of my tapes recently and of course had to play it just for kicks...  Here's a list of some of the songs:

To the Moon and Back - Savage Garden
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
Wannabe & Say You'll Be There - Spice Girls (I hated them, but I loved their songs!)
Quit Playing Games With My Heart - Backsteet Boys

One of my all-time favorite songs is this one from New Radicals...  This is still one of my favorite songs and it totally reminds me of my 14th birthday party sleepover.  

What fashion statement do you look back on and cringe?

Oh geez...  There's too many!

I owned wayyyyyy too many types of overalls back in the day...  Denim, khaki, shorts, plaid, velour...  If it was in the overall family, I probably owned it!  This unfortunately went on from about 6th grade until about my freshman year of college.  Ridiculous, huh?  

I was also a child of the 90's so I grew up thinking that baggy clothing was completely acceptable.  For some reason I thought I wore an XL for the longest time.  I also though it was completely cool to shop in the men's section at Old Navy.  What better way to attract boys than to wear their clothes, right?  It finally dawned on me that I was actually a M and that it was actually okay to show off that my body had some shape to it.   Enter Abercrombie obsession. 

My hair is super curly, but for a good chunk of middle school and high school I straightened (and slightly curled) my bangs.  Bangs were such a pain and never looked good on me.  Thankfully, I realized this before I ended high school and they were gone by the time I started college!

via Google Images
via Google images
Who was your celebrity crush?  

My first real celebrity crush was Zac Hanson.  I thought he was so freakin' cute!  He was totally on my bedroom walls and I may have also had a 3-ring binder full of Hanson pics!  

My other fave was (and kinda still is) Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray.  He's seriously one of the most gorgeous men ever.  He's still super good looking!  

What were your favorite TV shows / movies?

I've always been a fan of shows from the 80's.  I grew up watching reruns during the summer when I was off school.  I remember really being into old reruns on the Game Show Network one summer, but we only had that channel on the TV in my mom's bedroom so I was always trying to hang out up there.  Once I started driving, I went to the gym at 11 a.m. everyday to workout and watch reruns of "Growing Pains."  

I watched a ton of MTV and VH1 from the time I was in elementary school on.  I still watch a lot of MTV, but not quite as much VH1.  (Is that weird?)  My BFF and I were pretty addicted to "The Tom Green Show" back during our freshman year of high school.  Remember "The Bum Bum Song" from that show?  Weird!  Another MTV fave was "2Ge+her."  I'd loved reruns of "The Monkees" when I was little, so it was right up my alley.  

Does anyone remember the show "Popular"?  I'm pretty sure it was on WB.  Anyway, it was only on for 2 seasons, but I absolutely loved that show!  I was super sad when it ended, but a lot of the cast has gone on to do other shows in the years since.

"Back to the Future" has been my favorite movie since kindergarten, but during middle school I discovered a lot of other wonderful 80's movies.  I fell in love with "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Sixteen Candles".  And of course "The Wedding Singer" is largely to blame for my obsession with 80's music!  I listened to that soundtrack a ton!


Head over to A Complete Waste of Makeup to check out the other posts.  It's a total blast from the past!  (Speaking of, remember the movie "Blast From the Past"?  Now there's another old school fave!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day of School!

I survived the first day of school!  

Prepping for school has made life absolutely insane the last few days, so blogging has taken a temporary backseat since my "downtime" is focused on doing more school stuff or taking a nap!

Overall, my first day went really well.  My class consists of 12 boys and only 5 girls!  It's going to be quite an adventure, but I seem to have a lot of really neat kids in there.  They're definitely full of energy and a lot of enthusiasm!  

I'm hoping to get more blogging done this weekend...  I have my new Birchbox to review and new classroom pictures to share!  I'm super pleased with the way my room turned out this year, so I'm eager to share the pictures with you!

Have any of the rest of you started school yet?  How's the school year going?!?

Happy Wednesday (almost Thursday!)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How Much Does Your Face Cost?

I feel like I've been doing a lot of non-school related posts lately, but that's just kinda been the type of posts I've been interested in writing lately.  Maybe it's because I've been so busy getting ready for school to start that when I sit down to blog, I don't really want to think about school anymore.

Anyway, I've seen a few of these "How Much Does Your Face Cost?" posts and I got me wondering how this would end up if I evaluated my own makeup.  I have a lot of makeup and I'm trying to get through some products before I buy new ones.  I decided to take out everything that I wore yesterday and evaluate the total cost.  I don't wear these items everyday, but I'd say this is a pretty average day of makeup for me.  

  1. Clinique Stay Matte Foundation - $23.00
  2. Clinique Chubby Stick - Free (It was in a free gift and my roommate gave me this color since she didn't like it.)
  3. Buxom Lash Mascara Mini - $12 (Sampler pack included the mascara and a lip balm)
  4. Benefit POREfessional Primer, Girl Meets Pearl Highlighter, & Erase Paste Concealer - $31 (These came together in a pack.)
  5. See 4
  6. See 4
  7. Maybelline Dream Matte Powder - $6(ish)
  8. ELF Mineral Eye Shadow Primer - Free (It costs $1, but this was given to me by a friend.)
  9. Philosophy Eye Shadow Quad - $3 (Big Lots find!  I think these originally retailed for close to $30!)
  10. NYC Eyeliner - $2(ish)
  11. ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzer - $3
  12. Hard Candy Fox in a Box Blush - $6
  13. L'Oreal False Fiber Lashes Mascara - $7.50
TOTAL:  $88.50

As you can see, I use a mix of high end and drugstore products.  My biggest splurges for my face are foundation and primer.  I have a lot of freebies and I'm a total bargain shopper, so that cuts a lot of my costs.  I'm pretty surprised my total was less than $100 since a lot of the other posts I was reading were about $150 and up (some even near $300!).  

Let me know if you've done a similar post!  I'd love to see some more posts like this!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Teacher's Fashion Linky!

This linky came across my Google reader today and it was totally up my alley!  

If you're a follower of my blog, you know that fashion is a large chunk of what I post about on here.  I've covered a lot of these answers before, but I still wanted to share with everyone!

Here goes!

  1. What is your favorite store(s) to get your "teacher's fashion"?  I'd say that majority of my work clothes are from stores like Gap, Banana Republic (and the outlet), Target, and American Eagle.  I try to buy items that can translate from work to play pretty easily.  I also really love Loft and J.Crew, but we don't have them in town so I don't buy as much from there as I would otherwise.  
  2. What are some of your favorite accessories?  I wear jewelry pretty much everyday.  I love dressing up basics with a cute statement necklace.  I'm also a huge fan of scarves and have accumulated a pretty nice collection.  I love scarves because they can be relatively inexpensive and can really change the look of an outfit.  Outside of school, I'm a total purse girl.  If I could afford a whole closet of purses I'd totally have one!
  3. What type of shoes do you teach in?  For the most part, I wear flats.  I have quite a collection (especially from Target).  During the warmer months I wear some of my dressier sandals.  In the winter I also really like my clogs.  I keep telling myself I'll splurge on some nice work shoes each year, but that has yet to happen.  I'm just not one of spend a lot of money on shoes unless they're for working out.
  4. Do you have a "go-to" item in your closet?  I wear black pants wayyyyy too much.  I have issues finding dress pants that look good on me, so I always default to one of my pairs of black pants.  I also wear my denim jacket at least once a week.  It works with so many items in my closet!  I also have a ridiculous cardigan collection, but I have a lot of variety with those.
  5. Have you ever had a fashion "uh-oh" at school?  I had an incident with a highlighter and some khakis a few years ago...  It was one of those slow motion moments where I just couldn't stop it from rolling off my desk and onto my pants.  I also had a pair of jeans rip, but thankfully it was on an inservice / work day, so I was able to disappear for a bit to remedy the situation.  

As a side note, Gap's Friends & Family Sale started today.  I went by after work, but really didn't have as much success as I was hoping.  (That's probably a good thing, though.)  Their selection of work pants was pretty limited to black (remember what I said above?) and that was one thing I was hoping to at least try to find.  I walked away with a tee and a(nother) cardigan.  I was in a hurry to get home, but I will probably swing back by sometime before the sale ends on Sunday.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Just Checking In...

Do you ever have one of those days when you just suddenly find yourself in a bad mood, but don't have one single reason for it?  It's just a few little things that have bugged you?  

Yeah, me too.  Today was one of those days.

Okay bear with me...

It was my first day back to "work" and by that I mean I sat in a training of sorts all day.  I really try to keep a positive attitude about things like this, but I really feel as thought I got nothing out of it.  I felt like it was Common Sense Teaching 101.  I'd have preferred this time to be in my building working on my classroom preparations or in a more relevant building inservice, but that just wasn't that case.  And now I face two more days of the same thing...  *sigh*

Then I went back to school to work on things for a bit and was faced with some minor drama.  Nothing horrible, but rather just having to hear about other people's petty grievances.  I'll just leave it at that.  Once again, I try not to let that stuff get to me, but for some reason today it did.  *sighs again*

My nonfiction books didn't fit onto my shelf like I'd hoped.  Back to the drawing board.  *groans*

It was also a low self-esteem day for me...  I'm not really sure why.  Maybe it was coming back from summer and not having anything exciting to share.  I feel like with the exception of about 1 week of my summer, it was really quite dull.  *blah*

You still with me?

Like I said, nothing particularly bad happened today, just nothing particularly good either.  

Ironically, I was able to have a text venting session with another teacher friend who lives a few hours away.  It was actually quite therapeutic to chat with her about not wanting to be in inservices and just wanting the school year to get started or for summer to be a little bit longer!  LOL

Anyway, tomorrow is a new day and I hope that it's better than today.  I'm going try to get some good sleep and start my day with a positive attitude.  (Plus, Gap's Friends & Family sale starts tomorrow and I've saved a special budget for that, so that's bound to cheer me up!)

So, to those of you starting back to work this week, I feel your pain.  Keep a positive attitude, drink some caffeine, and plug through!  I'm here with ya!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Home Stretch

It's To Do Tuesday Monday!  

Part of me really cannot believe that just today and tomorrow separate me from summer freedom and back to school!  This summer has really flown by!

My last two days are going to be devoted to me getting stuff done before going back to work on Wednesday.  I wish I could say I have some exciting activities planned, but that's not quite the case...

Here's what's on my to do list for the next two days:

  1. Get all caught up on laundry.
  2. Really clean my apartment.
  3. Get my windshield replaced. (*Ugh*  I've had a mysterious growing crack since January that I've finally decided needs to go!)
  4. Really clean out my car.
  5. Try to fit in an oil change.
  6. Work on a couple blog posts.
  7. Work finish editing my classroom handbook.
  8. Create my new lesson plan template (pending the schedule gets finalized soon).
  9. Finish reading the book I've been working on way. too. loooooong.
I feel like that's plenty for me to try to get accomplished between today and tomorrow.  I mostly want to have my home in order.  I'm 97% settled and unpacked after moving, but there are just a few things that need to find a home or go into storage.  


The end is near.

What are you trying to get done before going back to school?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Social Linkup

I stumbled upon this post through A Brunette Duet, which is a new blog I just discovered a couple days ago.    From there I wandered over to A Complete Waste of Makeup and decided to needed to post link up with this one as well because it's all about my favorite season...  FALL!

Sunday Social


Here are this week's questions:

What is your favorite fall activity?

Hmmm...  I must say I love college football, so it's probably watching football.  I try to make it to K-State to see one game a year, but otherwise I'm pretty much glued to my TV watching games all day Saturday.  I just love the sound of college football on my TV on a Saturday, even if I'm not all that interested in the teams playing!

My other favorite activity is hitting up arts and crafts fairs.  There's one that I try to go to each September in a really small town about 45 minutes away.  It's crazy busy there, but I always seem to find some cute new K-State items or fall decor!

Do you follow a football team?  If so, which one and why?

That's pretty obvious...  K-STATE WILDCATS!!!  

I think I've become an even more hardcore fan since graduating from there.  I had season tickets one year and only went to a game and a half!  My older self hates my younger self for wasting such a treasure!  

I don't really follow the NFL, but I do try to stay somewhat educated on how the KC Chiefs are doing since they are the closest pro team.  My second favorite college team is the OU Sooners...  I'm not sure why, but I've just always liked OU and I'll cheer for them as long as they're not playing my Wildcats!

What is something fun about fall in your area?

The weather here in October is usually pretty awesome.  I love sweater weather where I don't have to pile on a huge coat.  Like I said before, I also like hitting up craft fairs, going to the corn maize, or an outdoor market in the fall.  Our state fair is at the beginning of September and can still be pretty hot, but last year it was perfectly cool and lovely!  Any excuse to be outside and enjoy the weather is great with me!  

Favorite fall outfit staples?

I'm actually working on a whole blog post on this for the coming week or so, so stay tuned.  

My fall wardrobe is by far my favorite...  I love cardigans, comfy sweaters, jeans, cute hoodies, fun scarves,  and clogs are probably my most worn items.

Here are some of my favorite fall outfit pins from Pinterest...

I only wish I could look this chic everyday of fall!

What are you looking forward to most about this coming fall season?

I really don't have anything exciting planned for this fall, so I think it would just have to be all of the little things coming up that I've already mentioned...  The cooler weather, the outdoor activities, college football, and giving my sweater collection some time to shine!  

Favorite fall holiday?

I'd have to say Thanksgiving.  I love teaching about thankfulness to my third graders and making them realize how truly blessed they are to be surrounded by those who care about them.  I also love the food the comes along with Thanksgiving.  My grandpa makes a stellar turkey and my mom spends about 3 days "whipping up" some amazing sides.  I've learned not to load up at our actual sit-down meal in the afternoon, but rather to just pace myself throughout the day!  Ha ha!  And of course, I love what comes after Thanksgiving...  Black Friday!


Now it's your turn to hop over to A Complete Waste of Makeup and read what all of the other bloggers have to say...  Seriously, there's over 100 submissions already, so I'm totally bound to discover some new blogs to follow!  

Fall Wish List

Last winter / spring I posted about my spring wish list and a few items that I wanted to purchase.  It wasn't a long list, but the items were on the pricier side.  Looking back at that list, I only ended up getting one thing from that list and it was a set of beautiful bedding from Pottery Barn that I am now enjoying in my new place.  The other items either didn't work out, I could never find, or never went on enough sale for me to purchase.  Such is life...

My fall wish list is also pretty short.  I'm trying to save money and want to take a couple vacations, so I'm trying to motivate myself not to buy much that I'm not in love with.  Plus, some of the items I want are on the pricier side.  I've made a lot of progress in this area in the past year or so, but I still could cut back more.

Fall Wish List

Clockwise from the top:

  1. I really want another bubble necklace (of the eBay variety, of course), but I'm not totally set on my next color.  I already have the yellow, so I'm debating on whether I want another bright one like that gorgeous pink, or something more neutral like black, white, or gray.  Decisions, decisions...  I also have to add that I feel like these necklaces are becoming super trendy in the blog world and that they're not very original like they used to be...  Then I realized I've never seen anyone else in person wearing one, so I can still be original!  :)
  2. My nail polish collection is pretty healthy, but I do lack colors for fall and winter that aren't super dark.  I'd like to get one or two nice neutral nail polishes (not too bright) and maybe a fun rose gold-y glitter.  Essie and Sephora by OPI both seem to have some nice colors and glitters that would be nice for the new season.
  3. I'd had a pair of Sperry Top-Siders on my wish list for spring and never got any.  All of the ones I like were either too expensive or the colors were ones that I didn't think I'd get a lot of wear out of.  I like these leopard ones and feel like they fun, yet neutral enough I'd get some good wear out of them.  I feel like getting something like this or a metallic would be more year-round than the bright colors I was looking at last spring.
  4. Until recently, I wasn't that interested in the Naked palette's from Urban Decay.  They looked nice, but nothing that great.  I'd seen a few You Tube videos that sparked my interest though, so I took a closer look at Naked 2 at Ulta the other day.  I really liked it!  I don't need any eye shadows right now, so this is something I'll allow myself to buy if I hold off on buying unnecessary makeup for the next few months.  I know Ulta and Sephora usually run customer appreciation deals sometime before Christmas, so I'm hoping to snag it during an event like that.  Hopefully between now and then I can whittle down my current eye shadow collection a bit.
  5. I've really been wanting a cute gold watch for the past few months.  I love Michael Kors and Fossil, but I've had my eye on Marc Jacobs watches.  Even better, TJ Maxx has been getting some!  They've been running about $100, which is pretty good considering they're usually $200 - 250 or more and they're a pretty classic piece!  It would be a splurge for sure, so this one might be my Christmas gift to myself.  
  6. Okay, I made this wish list and then discovered J.Crew was running and extra 30% off sale items, so I actually have another Tippi sweater on its way to me!  It's very similar to the brown one in the pic, but is a slightly lighter shade that I think will be a perfect neutral.  I'd also love to try one of the Tippi cardigans that they recently came out with, but that'll just have to wait for another sale.
Okay, now it's your turn...  In the comments I'd love for you to leave one of your own wish list items for fall.  What is something you're really like to have and why?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Randomness

Happy Saturday!

I've been quite lazy over the past few days and trying to enjoy my last few days of my summer break.  The kids don't start back until the 15th, but I have to go back on Wednesday.  *sigh*  Another summer has come and gone all too quickly...

This is going to be a very random post, so bear with me...

Tippi sweater
I know I totally said just last weekend that I was going to cool it with the shopping for this month and then of course I turn around a buy a few new items.  I'm actually quite happy with my purchases and don't consider any of them to be anything all that extravagant.  Plus I've spent less than $70 on three items and the original price of one item was $79.50.  Not too shabby.

My first purchase was another J.Crew Tippi that was on clearance with an extra 30% off.  I wanted a more neutral Tippi for fall and winter, so when I saw it was marked down so much and that they still had my size I knew I had to jump on it.  

Vintage cotton tee
My other J.Crew purchase was this tee in Neon Rose.  I bought the tank version of it and it's super bright, but I totally fell in love with this color.  I decided the tee version would be a litter more versatile and modest.  I've seen a few bloggers pair this color with neutrals like gray and dark denim and it totally works.  I feel like regardless of whether or not the neon trend stays super popular, I've had enough investments in the brights since the spring that I'm going to personally keep this trend afloat a while longer.

I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing there's no J.Crew near me...  I probably spend less than I would otherwise, but I also had that their shipping is $8.95!  C'mon, J.Crew, get competitive with your shipping costs and lower your "flat rate" cost!  

Finally, I hit up Old Navy for their $15 jeans sale for men and women (kids are $10).  My little brother needed new jeans for school and I decided for $15 I'd try on a few pairs for myself.  I did just buy new jeans at AE last week, but between the two pairs I've spent less than $40, so I feel like I've done quite well in that regard.  I ended up getting the Diva cut in a super super dark wash.  I mean these are about as dark as jeans get, but I like that because I think I can get away with wearing them to work.  I'll add as a side note that the 3 boot-cut styles they offer for $15 are very similar.  Honestly, I couldn't tell much difference between them.  The Divas were my favorite, which is ironic because they're described to have a "slim thigh" and my thighs are anything but slim.  They're very stretchy and flattering, though without being obscenely tight.  I haven't had luck buying Old Navy jeans since early high school, so I was shocked to like these as much as I did.  To be honest, I would have paid $30+ for these.  I highly recommend hitting up Old Navy's jeans sale if you're looking for cute and cheap jeans for the fall.  

I'm planning on hitting Gap's Friends & Family 40% off event next week for work pants (and maybe a few other basics for fall), but that's pretty much going to be my shopping for the month.  I may go to some outlets when I go out of town for a wedding next month, so I need to keep some shopping budget left for that.  I passed on going to both Ulta and Sephora today, so yay for me and resisting the urge to buy makeup I don't need!

Curtains for the Classroom
For some reason I found it necessary to take on multiple craft projects this week.  I can't talk about one of them yet because it's a gift and I don't want to risk spoiling it in case the recipients read this blog, but let's just say it was (of course) Pinterest-inspired.  

My other project was to make new curtains for my classroom.  I love my K-State curtains (in the pic), but I was ready for something new!  I don't have any pics yet, and of course I forgot to take them to school on Wednesday, but I'm pretty sure they're going to look pretty cute on my front window in my classroom.  I found an exact match polka dot fabric at Hobby Lobby to the fabric I used for my shelf curtains 5 years ago.  (The original fabric was from Wal-Mart, but all of my stores have since eliminated their fabric departments.)  What's even better is that I did this all without sewing!  I picked up some heat bond fabric stuff (I threw away the package so you'll just have to deal with that name) and just did my "sewing" with that and my iron.  I did two little cafe-type curtains with the top one having a little polka dot ribbon on the edge.  I'm excited to get them up and see how they look!

My New Favorite Salad
I'm not a fan of cooking big meals for just myself.  It's a weakness I struggle with.  I've been into salads lately and they're perfect for making a single serving meal.  

Here's my new fave combo:
1 pouch of Starkist Garlic & Herb Tuna or Zesty Lemon Tuna
Organic Fresh Leaf Spinach
Marinated Artichoke Hearts 
Kraft Mayo w/ Olive Oil
Mozzarella & Parmesan Shredded Cheese (Market Pantry)

I mix everything but the spinach in the bowl and then add in the spinach.  I tend to have to add more spinach in as I eat the salad.  It's really quite tasty and relatively healthy.  It's very satisfying without being super filling.  I don't seem to buy a lot of meat, but I pretty much always have tuna on hand.  I'm thinking this one is going to be my lunch quite often once school starts.  


Okay, was that random enough for you?  Clothes, curtains, and salads?  If you're still with me then you deserve a pat on the back!  Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy your weekend downtime!

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's that time again... August Currently!

August is here and the beginning of the month means it's time to link up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for Currently!  Don't you love her mustache theme going on here?!?  

I'm down to my last couple days before inservices.  I've been making a few last minute appointments and finishing up back to school shopping today!  I don't really have any plans for the weekend, so it'll be nice to have some time to relax.  I'm feeling pretty good about everything I've accomplished right now and aren't too terribly stressed out about starting school quite yet.  I feel pretty ahead of the game, so my focus right now is to catch up on things at home and work on little school tasks as they come.  


Fashion Friday: Sensational Six

Happy Friday! 

I shared on Monday about my basic makeup routine, so I thought I'd follow up with a list of six of my current favorite products in the makeup / beauty category.  I'm overall pretty budget conscious, but I am willing to spend a little more money on quality items.  This are the items I always have around and have decided are totally worth repurchasing!

  1. Garnier Pure Clean 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner - This is my new fave 2-in-1 (it saves time in the shower and I use a leave-in conditioner anyway).  It smells absolutely amazing, really gets my hair clean, and is free of all of harsh chemicals.  Plus, a big bottle is only about $5 and it lasts a super long time!
  2. Revlon Lip Butters - Yes, again with the Lip Butters.  I'm up to 5 right now, but I'm going to cool it for a while.  These are a great go-to.  I've had fun getting brights and neutrals in these.
  3. Clinique Even Better foundation  - This has been a really nice foundation for me over the past few years.  It's the first high-end foundation I've used, but is totally worth the money because one bottle lasts me so much longer and works better on my skin.  (I'm currently using the Stay Matte, which is okay, but hard to blend and I don't think it's all that much better in combating shine than Even Better.)
  4. Bath & Body Works shower gel - I use this in the shower for shaving particularly and love the formula!  It's been a long time favorite of mine (like back in the 90s long time).  A single bottle lasts quite me quite a while, so I usually stock up on different scents during the semi-annual twice a year.  
  5. Ulta eye shadow in Lustre - This is my total go-to color.  I don't think I've ever had another eye shadow I loved enough to buy the exact same one as a replacement.  It's a gorgeous shimmery tan-ish neutral that is great by itself or as a highlight shade.  I love the quality of the Ulta brand eye shadows and you really can't beat the price.  (Plus they're almost always running some sort of sale!)
  6. Clinique Acne Solutions bar soap - I have to give Clinique a great rating for having products that are long-lasting.  One bar of this soap lasts me 3 - 4 months and I use it at least once a day.  I keep mine in the shower and use it not only on my face, but also on my body after workouts.  It really helps to deep clean my back and chest after a sweaty workout. 

Beauty Faves

Now it's your turn to share your must have beauty products!  I'd love to hear what you can't live without and get recommendations for new things to try!

Goals for the New School Year

There are several things that I've been contemplating setting as some "goals" as I begin the new school year.  It's kind of like having a New Year's resolution, but for the school year.  I think it's good to set some goals and motivate myself in several ways.  

These goals have to do with a little bit of everything, both inside and outside of the classroom.  I guess I have a wide range of things I want to work on.

  1. Get up earlier.  I'm sooooo not a morning person and I'm on an awful sleep schedule right now.  I've totally mastered the bed, shower, door in less than 30 minutes routine.  I love taking time to do my hair and makeup, though, and would like to get away from doing just the bare minimum (or finishing at stoplights along the way).  I also live a teensy bit further from school now, so I'd like to try to get up about 15 or 20 minutes earlier so that I'm not so rushed getting to school in the mornings.
  2. Be more creative with what I wear AND plan my outfits ahead.  I'd say I started on this goal last year and made some progress.  I get into a rut of wearing the same things over and over.  (Black pants everyday I'm not wearing jeans?  Guilty!)  I'm definitely in the market for some more work pants that aren't black!  
  3. Enter grades online each week.  I'm supposed to do this, but I'm totally guilty of not sticking to it.  Once the year gets rolling I want to designate one day / plan period a week that I will consistently update grades online.  I keep up on grading papers just fine, but for some reason getting them into the computer isn't my strong point.
  4. Blog more during the school year.  I really slumped off of blogging last fall, but I've been so into it this spring and summer I hope to keep up momentum!
  5. Eat healthier.  I love summer for the fact that I have more time to prep my meals.  My school is pretty much in the middle of nowhere (sort of), so thankfully, I'm not all that tempted to go swing through a drive-thru during lunch since that would take up most of my break.  I'd like to break away from my Lean Cuisines and frozen meals a bit more and whip up more salads or make dinners that will provide me with leftovers.  
  6. Consistently send out my classroom newsletter.  Some years I'm super consistent with my newsletter and other years (like last year), I'm a little more relaxed with my timing.  My goal is to send one home each week.  We have so many short weeks that I skipped a lot last year or forgot to write it until the day I wanted to send it home.  I also want to go back to e-mailing it out to parents since I got great feedback when I did that a few years back.  It's a little more effort, but I think it's totally worth it and super convenient for parents.
  7. Workout right after school.  I go through phases with my workouts and when I like to go during the school year.  The Y by my house is super packed from about 5 to 8 p.m., so I sometimes prefer to go later and dodge the crowd.  But, that usually doesn't put me getting home and showered until at least 9:30 or 10 p.m.  Plus, parking at my new apartment isn't the best, so getting home earlier and staying in would be a plus.  I don't see this goal being much of a problem right now, but once after school tutoring starts it's going to be a real struggle since that adds an extra hour to my school day.
  8. Integrate technology more in my classroom.  I use technology everyday, but I want to do more to get the kids using it on a daily basis as well.  I'm hoping for a new Mimio strip this fall and that will definitely motivate me to get more interactive!
  9. Go to bed at a decent time.  It's the middle of the night and I'm writing this post...  Geez.  During the school year I shoot to be in bed between 10 and 11 p.m.  The problem is that I then get on my iPod or laptop in bed, plus watch TV.  I'm going to try to limit the computer time and be off by 10 p.m.  This is honestly probably going to be one of the hardest goals for me to stick to, but getting to bed earlier will help me get up earlier.
  10. Praise my students more.  I feel like I'm a pretty positive teacher on an average day.  I try not to let the kids see me get stressed or upset, but I do feel like I need to be more consistent with celebrating with them at times.  I think this year may come with its challenges, so keeping a positive attitude and building my students up is going to be something I consciously work on.
What are your goals for the upcoming school year?  
Do you have any tips for me to help me achieve my goals?