Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Budgeting Bloggers ~ August

Hey everyone!  It's time for Budgeting Bloggers!  Sorry I've been MIA most of this month...  School starting and a(nother not my fault) car accident have been a huge time suck.  I've still been working part-time on the weekends on top of that all, so I've had very little down time to blog.  That said, I'm super happy to be back, though, and share this month's purchases.  I feel like I got a little bit of everything this month, but I've already gotten some good use out of a lot of my purchases!  I apologize for not having as many links / pics as usual...  I just didn't have the time and wanted to go on and get my post up!

J.Crew Factory Tiny Dot Tee - $16
Factory tiny dot tee
One thing I love about the J.Crew Factory store is that they bring back patterns that have previously been in their retail stores.  Does anyone remember the sweater and scarf in this last year?  I was super excited to find it in a tee and even more super excited when they ran a half price tee sale!

Groop Dealz Rosette Necklace - $8

These necklaces have definitely been growing on me, so when Groop Dealz ran a special for $7.99 I decided I needed to just go for it and get one.  I also bought a turquoise one for my mom, which I plan to steal borrow.  

Target Sandals - $8

The brown version of these have been all over the blogs and Instagram this summer and I've been wearing mine a ton.  My other (non-Nike) black sandals have seen better days, so these were a great addition to my summer sandal wardrobe!

Abercrombie Tee - $13

Sometimes a girl just needs some casual clothes...  And gets sucked in by promos.  Even though this was kind of an impulse buy (I went in for the baseball cap and to look for stuff for the 'lil bro), I do really like this tee for those days when I want to be dressed down, but not wear a schlumpy t-shirt.

Abercrombie Baseball Caps - $10 & $5

I've found myself wearing baseball caps a lot on weekends and to the gym and decided that I wanted another cute baseball cap that *gasp* wasn't a K-State hat.  With the coupons and promos that Abercrombie was running a few weeks back I decided this was a good opportunity to grab a few cute ones!

Gap Shirt Dress - $20
Image via Gap
After staying out of Gap during July in anticipation for their Friends & Family sale, I'd had my eye on a few items.  You might remember that I bought a bright pink version of this dress back in the Spring.  This was my first day of school dress and I felt very cute and teacher-y in it!

Gap Scarf - $13
Image via Gao
I have a serious scarf hoarding problem.  I will probably need rehab soon.  I may need to make a goal not to buy scarves for a month.

Gap Skirt - $26

I really enjoy wearing dresses and skirts to school when the weather is warm enough.  Remember how I posted about how I don't do pencil skirts? I was super happy to find this skirt, but then crushed (and surprised) when it was too short for work.  I went up a size, but to be honest, it's too big in the waist (perfect length, though) and I may take it back.  It's so darn cute, so I may explore some options in getting it altered to actually fit.

Monogram Necklace - $10

I've been really wanting to jump onto the monogram bandwagon lately, but most that I saw online were a little more than I wanted to pay.  I found some initial necklaces at our awesome accessory store, Versona, and thought this would be a cheap and easy way to see if I like this trend and if a more expensive version might be worth it someday.

Old Navy Diva Skinny Ankle Pants - $35

I very very VERY rarely pay full price for anything at Old Navy, but when I found these super dark "denim" trouser skinnies I decided they weren't worth the risk waiting for a sale.  I have a really hard time finding pants for work, so I was super happy that these fit and are a nice alternative to black pants.  I'm tempted to go back for some more colors!

Total = $164

Not too bad!  The dress pants were kind of a last minute purchase, but still fit within my budget for the most part.  While I did get some items that are more on the casual side, I also managed to get some good items for school.

September Budget Plan

I have my 10 year (!) high school reunion and a wedding on the same day this month, so I decided that would probably be a good reason to buy a new dress.  I've had some extra income recently and am thinking I will allow myself a splurge or two during the Labor Day weekend sales.  I tend to be an emotional shopper and also a person that rewards myself through shopping.  Other than that, I am going to try to save a good chunk of this month's budget for a trip out of town with my mom that I am planning on in early October.  I hope to hit some outlets (J.Crew, Banana, Gap, Michael Kors maybe?) as well as a few other stores (J.Crew & Loft) that we don't have here.  Speaking of Loft, we're getting one here in October!  I'm so happy that I'll have that store 5 minutes away and not 2 1/2 hours away!  Loft can be hit or miss for me, but having one nearby excites me a lot because I know that they can have some amazing in-store sales!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To Do Tuesday

Has anyone else started feeling super duper busy with the beginning of school coming up?  I somehow ended up skipping last week's post, so I won't really go over my previous goals.  I spent much of last week working on my classroom and was scheduled for A LOT of hours at my part-time job.  

School starts exactly a week from today.  I'm going in for a meeting and to work on my classroom today, but I "officially" go back tomorrow.  My classroom is 90% done, but what's left to do now is the less visible stuff...  Labeling my new storage tubs, reorganizing my classroom library, and trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to make room for 6 more desks!  (This will be my biggest class ever!)

  • Tackle my school to do list.  This list is literally 3 pages long!  It's a lot of little things that I need to get done by next Tuesday when school starts.  This will be the biggest time suck in the next week,
  • Complete 10 miles in my workouts.  I set another 50 mile goal for August and as of right now I am only 5 miles in.  It's going to be more of a challenge this month with school starting, but once school actually starts next week and I get on a regular schedule, it should be easier to get in the rest of my miles.
I'll leave you today with some random You Tube goodness.  Two wonderful videos I've recently fallen in love with.

"Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots

"Hopeless Wanderer" by Mumford & Sons
(Watch for my celeb crush!)

What's on your back to school to do list?


Saturday, August 3, 2013

9 Desk Essentials

As I prepare for the upcoming school year, one thing on my to do list is to make sure that I have my own personal desk essentials in order.  Now, we're not talking staples and markers here...  I like to have a couple small bags of necessities for everyday needs or when I pull a long night with conferences or whatever!  

9 Desk Essentials

  1. Lip Balm / Lip Color - This is probably my most used essential.  I like to keep something moisturizing, but with a little bit of neutral color on hand to use throughout the day.  
  2. Powder - My skin tends to get kind of gross and oily especially on hot school days.  I've found keeping an extra powder at school is great for easy touch-ups to keep me from looking completely disgusting.
  3. Deodorant - This is just a good one to have on hand. 'Nuff said.
  4. Body Spray - There are times when I just feel gross after being outside or whatever and a few spritzes of body spray are just what I need to not feel quite so stinky!
  5. Hand Lotion - This one is especially necessary during winter!  I also recommend getting the anti-bac lotion from Bath & Body Works to help you fight germs and stay moisturized.
  6. Toothbrush & Toothpaste - Sometimes I just feel the need to take a moment to brush my teeth...  This is a total essential during conference week when I wolf down a quick dinner and then have to sit down and talk to parents afterwards!
  7. Mascara - Mascara is one makeup item (other than foundation) that I feel like I have to have to look awake and like "me."  I always end up with tons of minis, so these are perfect for stashing away on those days I'm running late or need a little makeup pick-me-up.
  8. Nail File - ...Because sometimes you have a nail emergency.
  9. Feminine Products - I think this one is pretty obvious, but having a stash on hand has saved me when I forget to refill what I normally try to keep in my purse.  (I keep these in a separate bag in case I need to make a trip to the restroom...  That way I don't have to take everything with me!)
I seem to have an abundance of cosmetic bags around (mostly freebies), but if you're looking for cute bags I recommend checking out Thirty-One or Target for great buys!

What are your desk essentials?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fashion Friday: First Week

School starts in less than 2 weeks! I really have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that my summer vacation is pretty much over.  Wednesday starts 3 straight days of meetings, which is probably one of my least favorite parts of going back to school.  *sigh*

First Week of School

I've been trying to come up with some outfit ideas for the beginning of the year.  Outfit planning really speeds up the getting ready process, so I try to lay out my clothes or have a close idea for what I am going to wear ready the night before.  When I feel stuck in a style rut, I turn to my Pinterest boards or Polyvore and look for ideas on how to combine items I already have in my closet.

Our first week of school is only 4 days and Friday is a jeans and t-shirt day.  Monday night is Open House, though, so I need to have a nicer outfit ready that I can change into at school since I don't want to drive home in between.  

I came up with these outfits almost all of which are items I own (or dupes of what I own).  Comfy is pretty much the trend here since I'll be pretty active and will have to be outside for recess and busy duties.  I don't know if I'll actually wear these exact outfits, but they're a starting point!  (The striped dress is one that I tried on last weekend at Target, but didn't purchase...  I'm thinking I'll go back for it, though, because it's perfect for school!)

What will you be wearing back to school?  
Do you style and plan outfits ahead of time?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

3 things to get excited about in the month of August...

A new month is upon us! 

August is always an interesting month filled with lots of activity.  It's that month were I go from my lazy summer days back to regularly scheduled teaching.  

I may have squealed when I saw this!
  1. College Football - There's a reason this is #1 on my list!  I love love LOVE college football season!  I love watching my wonderful K-State Wildcats play (and kick butt), but I also just love turning on ESPN on Saturdays and having it on all day long.  Even if I'm not watching the games, I just love hearing that as background noise.  It's probably my favorite sign that fall is on the way!  Let's get another BIG XII Championship, Wildcats!
  2. Back to School Shopping - Sometimes I wonder if I part of the reason I became a teacher was so that I could further justify back to school shopping into my adult life.  I got seriously excited when I saw Target's school supply department a few weeks ago.  And, of course, I have to have a new outfit (or 10) for the first day(s) of school.  
  3. Meeting My New Students - Don't get me wrong, I loved my kiddos from last year, but I have been reassured that this new group of students coming up into 3rd grade will be a much easier bunch.  I know that my class will be a bit larger this year, but I've been told by the 2nd grade teachers that they're a nice group of kids.  I'm excited to meet them and start new adventures with them!
What are you excited about this month?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Seven Year Itch

I have to admit, I think I'm going through a "seven year itch" thing with my job right now...  I've been in the same classroom, teaching the same grade level going on seven years now!  I really don't think that if you'd asked me back in August of 2007 if I'd still be here in August of 2013 I would have said yes.  My school is on the complete opposite side of town from where I live and as a youngster fresh out of college I was eager to just get offered a job, let alone a job in my ideal grade level.  I told myself I'd give it a year or 2 and then maybe look for something closer.  Then, I told myself I'd wait until my principal retired and give it another year...  And now I'm on year 3 with our "new" principal (who is a former 3rd grade teacher colleague) and I'm still around.  

Part of me is starting to feel a bit restless...  I blame this on the fact that several close teacher friends are making school and grade level moves this year and are all excited about these new opportunities.  New schools, new grade levels, new people...  There's part of me that loves the idea of new adventures and opportunities, but another (stronger) part of me that loves consistency and the comfort of what's familiar.  I do truly love the people I work with and the families at my school and the sense of familiarity that comes with being a part of our school "family."  

One of my favorite parts of my job is that even if I am in the same grade level and the same classroom, I do get a fresh start each year.  I get to meet and teach a brand new group of students and I have the freedom to change things from year to year.  I don't have the same boring ongoing job each day and I'm not obligated to do everything exactly the same as I've done in the past.  

So, will this itch go away?  We'll see...  I'm not saying I'm ready for a big change, but I'm ready for some new, little changes along the way this school year.  Who knows what the future will bring?!?  I guess I'll just have to wait and see! :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Budgeting Bloggers ~ July

Gap Essential Star Tee - $11
How stinkin' cute is this tee!?!  My friend and I popped into Gap after lunch one day and both loved these tees.  I found myself thinking about it over the next few days.  For me, that's a sign that something is probably worth buying.  Of course this tee was perfect for the 4th, but it's just a fun tee for anytime and will of course come in handy for some of those patriotic dress up days at school.

J.Crew Factory Textured Charley Sweater - $27
Image via J.Crew Factory
I really like my other 2 sweaters like this and so I took advantage of the awesome 50% off sale to pick up this minty one.  It's sold out now, so I'm glad I grabbed it when I did.  It's more neon in person, but of course, that's totally fine with this girl!

J.Crew Vintage Cotton Tank - $12
Vintage cotton tank
Image via J.Crew
I haven't ordered from the regular J.Crew site in a while, but when they marked down their "Final Sale" section an extra 40% off I thought it was worth a look.  I bought one of these tanks last year and really liked the fit, especially for layering, so I decided to get a hot pink one!

J.Crew Linen V-Neck Pocket Tee - $16
Linen V-neck pocket tee
Image via J.Crew
I'd seen a few bloggers post about linen tees and then saw Fran post about her adorable striped tee...  That was it.  I had to try one for myself.  I contemplated getting a fun color, but decided to stick with this better than basic gray tee for a little added versatility.  How awesome is it that I got both shirts, plus tax and shipping for less than the original price of this tee!?!

Target Infinity Scarf - $3

I'm always excited when Target puts out new items in their bargain bins.  It used to be everything was $1, but now they add in some $3 as well.  I spotted this lone infinity scarf chillin' on the bottom rack and decided it needed to be mine!  It's super cute and a super bargain!

Express Necklace - $20

I used to shop at Express all the time, but I rarely go in there these days.  I spotted this necklace a while back and it stayed on my mind for several weeks.  At that point I decided to find a coupon and make it mine!  The silver and mint is so glam, but still works with a lot of outfits.  (PS--  Never shop at Express without a coupon...  They always have ones posted on FB or their website!)

Coach Poppy "Perri" Hippie Bag - $159 (before gift card)
Image via Coach / Dillards
I'd seen this bag in passing at Dillards and Von Maur and really liked it, but wasn't sure if I could justify purchasing a $228 bag right now.  I had time to kill before working one afternoon and happened to see that the ones at Dillards had been marked down to $159.  I've got a few black Coach bags, but I love the size of my other Hippie bag from Coach and I've also been on the hunt for a good cross-body for quite a while.  The next day I decided to go for it...  I had a $100 Visa gift card from when I switched cable companies and I bargained with my aunt to buy one of my older Coach purses for $40.  So, out of my pocket this baby only cost me about 20 bucks!

Vans "Authentic Skate Shoe" - $45
Vans Authentic Skate Shoe
Image via Journeys
A few months ago I stumbled upon some pins of these shoes on Pinterest and instantly fell in love.  I think I checked 1 or 2 stores and didn't have any success, so I kinda gave up the hunt.  After going through my pins again, I decided to give it another go and found them immediately at Journeys!  I haven't been this excited about shoes in a long time!

Total = $293
Minus $140 in gift cards and sold items.


I have to say that I'm quite proud of everything I purchased this month for the amount of money I actually spent... 4 shirts, a scarf, a necklace, a pair of shoes, and a leather Coach purse all for $153?!?  I think July was a definite win for the budget!  I made an effort to stay away from Gap this month and even popped in during their extra 40% off sale and walked out empty handed.  (My star tee was actually purchased in June, but after my last budget post.)

August Budget Plan

Back to school sales are in full force right now, so this time of year it gets to be difficult to resist some of the good deals out there.  I need to make an effort to find some good work pants for the school year and I will probably treat myself to a new first day of school and / or open house outfit.  I think Gap should be having a Friends & Family sale sometime soon (last year it was the week before school started), so I am excited to check that out since I've tried to stay out of there recently.

How did you do with your budget this month?  Check out Fran and the other Budgeting Bloggers to see how they did this month!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Back to the... Classroom!

My summer break is officially seeing it's ending and this past week I decided I needed to make a trip to school and get a little work done in my classroom.  I'm totally the type that goes in super early and then takes the last few days before I go back for relaxation and fitting in appointments.  

I made a point this year to take some "before" pictures of my classroom.  I'm allowed to keep a decent number of things up on my walls, so that helps in some ways.

The first thing my brother and I noticed when we walked in?  Yup, this saw!  It was just laying on the table in the middle of my classroom.  #thatsnotsupposedtobethere

The other thing I noticed?  This gaping hole in my ceiling!  I'm guessing they're working on replacing the ceiling tiles that got wet last year and the job just didn't quite get completed.

This is the view from the door.  Nothing spectacular...  Just a lot of work ahead staring back at me!

This area is what was my classroom library.  It's been my library corner for 6 years, but I've decided to change things up!  I'm hoping my new ideas will work out the way I want them to.

And my corner of the classroom...  What a mess!  

Stay tuned for the "after" photos!  I assure you they'll be much better than these!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fashion Friday: Shopping Habits

I feel like I've been doing a lot of shopping this past month or so, but in doing so, I've realized how my shopping habits have changed a lot in the past few years.  I thought I'd share some tips on how I've become a more savvy shopper.

Stick to a budget.  

Then:  I would buy whatever I sort of liked if it was cheap and as long as there was money in the bank.
Now:  I (try) to stick to a budget and focus my shopping efforts on things I actually really like and that fit well.

Setting a budget should be a no brainer, but you should actually have an actual budget and not just a "whatever is in the bank" budget.  Having a set budget helps me focus on what I actually want to spend my money on.  It's also good to have some rules with your budget.  For example, I decided that my extra income from my part-time job doesn't add to my shopping budget, but if I sell items at resale shop I will count that towards my extra shopping money.  

Figure out what an item is worth to you.

Then:  I'd go for whatever was cheap and not so much focus on fit or quality.
Now:  I determine which items are worth a little extra splurge and which ones aren't.

Best case scenario, you find an awesome fitting, good quality item for a fabulous price...  Right!?!  In a perfect world, that's the way things would go.  A while back I decided I wanted to get another denim jacket since I wear my other one so much.  It's an item that I knew would get a lot of wear, so I decided to take the time to look for the right wash, fit, and price.  In the end, I ended up with one that I really love.  I love purses and for a long time was buying on average 1 new purse a month.  Sure, they were only $30 or so each, but I wasn't getting anything of good quality and was getting tired of them really fast.  I've found, though, that I'm more content spending $150 or $200 on a nice more classic purse once a year.  

Try not to give into impulse buys.

Then:  I used to buy things just because they were cheap.
Now:  I do my research before buying items...  I look up outfit ideas, compare prices, and look for coupons before making most purchases.

One thing I've learned about from shopping often is sale patterns.  I think in a lot of ways this has helped me be a better and more careful shopper.  There are certain stores that I will not pay full-price at because I know there's almost always a promo or coupon that will be going on.  With other stores, I know that if I really want something, I may need to snatch it up sooner than later because it may disappear quickly.  If you do give into an impulse buy, check the return policy...  There are times I do buy something on impulse because it's a good find, but I want to try it with items I already have before I decide to keep it.  If something is a FINAL SALE item, you'd better be committed!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday Confessions

I'm a little late in the day posting this, but better late than never!

Funny Workplace Ecard: No one has strong work ethics? This generation grew up watching Full House where only one of three adults worked.
Image via
  • I've watched a ridiculous amount of "Full House" and "Melrose Place" in the past week.  ABC Family brought back their mid-day 2 hour block of "Full House" reruns this week and so, of course, I have to watch it.  I'm about a season and a half into "Melrose Place" on Netflix and I am totally addicted!  My DVR has actually been a bit neglected in the past week as a result.
  • I feel like I dress like a 12 year old at times...  And I'm okay with that.  Last week I bought hot pink Vans shoes.  I'd seen them on Pinterest and thought they were adorable, so I snatched them up when I actually found them in store.  The next day, I saw a girl (early middle school age) wearing those shoes!  And then, I posted a pic to Instagram and got comments from a 14 year old on how cool they are!  Hey, at least I'm one of the cool kids.
  • I get in a very (verbally) foul mood whenever I go into Wal-Mart.  I avoid going to Wal-Mart at all costs...  Particularly the one by my house.  It's actually in a nice area, but it seems to attract everyone that belongs on People Of Wal-Mart.  I know, it sounds horrible of me to say that.  I instantly get in a bad mood the minute I step in that place and suddenly have no filter to what comes out of my mouth regarding how much I hate that place. 
Funny Somewhat Topical Ecard: Why yes, Wal-Mart, I'd love to wait in line for 30 minutes behind a pajama-clad person who lacks deodorant and a bra. It's so nice of you to have 2 whole registers open.
Image via

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

To Do Tuesday

Let's start with last week's goals...

  • Complete at least 15 miles in my workouts.  15.7 miles this week!  I barely met this goal, but I'm within less than 1 mile of my goal of 50 miles for the month of July!  
  • Make food at home (on the nights I'm home).  We'll call this a success, but in reality I was gone a lot this week.  I tried to make healthy decisions on the go, but I could have done better.
  • Tackle my pile of lamination that needs to be cutout.  This one is a complete fail.  The pile is still staring at me untouched.
  • Complete at least 3 blog posts.  Barely...  Busyness got the best of me, but I did get a few posts up last week.
  • Keep my apartment clean.  We'll call this a 3/4 success...  My kitchen and living room are clean (and freshly vacuumed), but my bedroom has a pile of clothing that needs to be put away.  To my credit, one of my rods in my closet broke and so storage in there is kind of a mess.  
And now onto this week's goals...

  • Complete at least 15 miles in my workouts.  If I manage to reach this goal, that will get me to 65 miles in one month!  After a few weeks of being busy and not eating very well, I need those workouts to get me back on track!
  • Tackle that lamination!  Time is ticking before I'm actually going to need it for school!
  • Complete at least 3 blog posts.  My blogging has kinda slacked from last summer, so I'm working on increasing my posts!
  • Stay away from shopping temptation.  I'll have a Budgeting Bloggers post up before the end of the month, but I've done quite a bit of shopping this month.  Amazingly, my budget isn't completely busted, but I probably need to put the brakes on the spending.
I officially go back to work 2 weeks from tomorrow.  I'm kind of freaking out over how fast this summer has passed by.  I have a whole list of school to do's that I need to get accomplished in the next few weeks.  I've got a good head start on having copies prepped and stuff for the coming year, but there's still so much that goes into getting ready for school to start!  I've got 2 weeks of downtime to try to chip away at it all!

What's on your to do list this week?
Are you starting to prepare for back to school season?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Life Lately and School Shopping

The past couple weeks have been super busy, so blogging hasn't happened as much as I would have liked.  The past 2 weeks consisted of the second year of a Common Core math workshop that I'm participating in at a local university.  Sitting in class from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. isn't exactly my idea of a fun time, but I got a lot of good ideas (plus free credit hours and stipend money).  

Super not fun math...
The next 2 weeks are pretty much the end of my summer vacation...  This summer seems to have totally flown by!  I can't believe that we'll be back to school in less than a month now!  My to do list for school is growing everyday, so I'll be busy getting those things checked off in the weeks to come.  

Target's school supply section!
Remember my post a while back about my $100 school budget for this year?  Our local teacher store did their annual 20% off everything sale this weekend, so I stopped in to get a few essentials.  I'm really trying to stick to my budget and not go overboard with school spending this year.  Up to this point, I'd spent $13 of my $100 budget.  I hit the sale with my budget in mind and tried to stick to only purchasing things that I knew I needed.  

I spent a total of $30 on these items, so I feel like I'm still doing pretty well with my budget.   If you can't tell, I really like the Poppin' Patterns collection from CTP!

My new classroom loot!
I also spent $10 on a HUGE packet of organization materials and forms on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It's got a lot of great forms took the place to needing to purchase a separate gradebook.  There are so many awesome options on TpT, so if you're needing that kind of stuff I highly recommend doing a search on there!

Current Total:  $53

Remaining Budget:  $47

I've been looking at classroom door decor ideas and have a trip to Hobby Lobby on the agenda for the near future.  I'm also thinking I may purchase new fabric for my classroom bulletin boards.  I've had the same dark denim on my boards since my first year of teaching, so I figure after 6 years it might be time for some change.  Any remaining money will probably go towards little things like goodie bags for open house and other classroom treats.

Have you been doing any back to school shopping yet?  
What have you purchased for yourself or your classroom?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Social

It's time for Sunday Social over at A Complete Waste of Makeup!

Sunday Social

This week is all about TV shows...  You KNOW I'm all about that topic! :)

What was your favorite TV show as a kid?

I was and still am a HUGE fan of "Full House."  I've seen every episode numerous times, but still love watching reruns everyday.  Did you guys catch the Jesse and the Rippers reunion on Jimmy Fallon the other night?  It was a "Full House" fan's dream come true.

What is your current favorite TV show?

I have quite a few shows that I'm addicted to, so I'll categorize them for you...  My favorite drama is definitely "Parenthood."  If you haven't watched this show, you need to find it online and watch it from the beginning.  For comedy, I love "Cougar Town" and love TBS for giving it new life again.  "Real Housewives of OC," "Dance Moms," and "Teen Mom" are my favorite reality shows.  So dysfunctional and so wonderful all at the same time...

What reality show would you never do?

Anything involving physical pain, living outdoors for prolonged periods of time, or eating things not meant for human consumption...  LOL

What reality show would you love to do?

If I really had the design skill and know-how, I would love to be on "Design Star" on HGTV.  I've always said if I hadn't gone into teaching I'd probably have gone into interior design.  A couple guy friends and I joked a few years ago that we could make design team and would have a hilariously awesome show on HGTV.

What is the TV personality / character that is most like you?

I honestly can't come up with anyone off the top of my head...  *sigh*

Which TV character would you want to date?

Okay, so I've recently started watching old episodes of the original "Melrose Place" on Netflix.  (My mom loved this show back in the day, so I figured I'd give it a chance!)  I'm almost to the end of season 1, but I love the character Billy on there!  He's so cute and sweet!  

If I want to get all old school, I'd also choose Mike Seaver from "Growing Pains."  I love that show and his character was an adorable schemer!  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday Confessions

It's that time again...  How about some Thursday confessions?!?

  • I hate cheesecake.  I find it to be one of the nastiest things on this earth.  I love cream cheese.  I love cake.  I don't love them together.  I do love the Cheesecake Factory, but I get the giant layered chocolate cake or carrot cake when I go there.
  • I was a HUGE Hanson fan back in middle school.  "MMMBop" came out towards the end of my 6th grade year and I was instantly a fan.  Their Middle of Nowhere CD was pretty much the only thing I listened to for the next year and half.  I kept a video in the VCR so that I could record them whenever they were on TV, but unfortunately one day it got taped over.  Thank God for You Tube now!  
  • I can't see most of my closet floor.  Although I have a pretty good sized walk-in closet, shelving and rod situation isn't a good use of space.  I had a rolling rack that housed the majority of my cold weather tops and apparently it wasn't meant to have 1,000 lbs. of clothing on it and it broke.  The result is a GIANT pile on the floor.  It's one of my goals before school starts again to get that situation under control because I'm very OCD about my closet organization.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

To Do Tuesday

So we'll start with last week's goals...

  • Get up and get moving in the morning.  Last week was the first of my 2 week math workshop.  I have to be there by 8:30 a.m., which really isn't bad at all, but a stretch for my lazy summer schedule.  I'd say this was a success since I made it there on time each day and wasn't too super rushed getting there!
  • Complete at least 10 miles during my workouts.  Does 18 miles sound like I met my goal?  I ended up making it to the gym more than I anticipated, so this was an easy one!
  • Complete at least 3 blog posts.  Check!
  • Resist the urge to shop.  About this one...  I'll explain more in my Budgeting Bloggers post later this month, but let's just say that burning extra time at the mall isn't necessarily a good thing.  On the bright side, I used gift card money and other extra money to get an AMAZING deal on something I really love!
So my goals for this week...

  • Complete at least 15 miles during my workouts.  I'm pretty close to reaching my goal of 50 miles in the month of July, but I'm not going to let myself slack off just because I'm already a little bit ahead!  
  • Make food at home (on the nights I'm home).  I have 2 nights in which my schedule will not really allow me time to go home between class and work, so those will be my exceptions.  I'm trying to get in better habits of making food at home, so I've stocked my fridge with healthy options to keep me on track!
  • Tackle my pile of lamination that needs to be cut out.  I have A LOT that needs to be cut out!  It's the perfect thing to keep me busy while I'm watching stuff on TV or Netflix!
  • Complete at least 3 blog posts.   I'll have an update on my school shopping this week sometime this week!
  • Keep my apartment clean.  I did some pretty hard-core cleaning this past weekend, so I plan on keeping it tidy.  It's not like it was a pit in here or anything, but it was a little messier than I prefer!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

I'm a little late in posting, but I wanted to join in on this week's Sunday Social over at A Complete Waste of Makeup!  It's all about music this week, so enjoy!

What is your all-time favorite song?  
I really can't pinpoint one single favorite song for all-time...  If I had to pick an 80's song, it would probably be "If This Is It" by Huey Lewis & The News.  It's such a good, catchy song and it's one that I can listen to over and over again.  Picking a favorite 90's song is much easier and it would be "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals.  It's another one that I can listen to on repeat and still love it!  I can't think of any more modern songs that stand out to me as being favorites...

What song reminds you of your childhood?
Okay, once again, I can't pin it down to one song so we're going to separate it out into different eras.  

Early early years:  "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes was my first favorite song.  I was only 2 or so when that song came out, but I remember listening to it on the radio and "writing" the words to it.  I also remember seeing the video on MTV or VH1 one day and then trying to see it on TV at that same time of day after that.  I never even saw the movie "Dirty Dancing" until probably high school, but I've always loved that song!

Early Elementary:  MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" will forever remind me of learning to skate at school skating parties and my 7th birthday party.  And yes, I do know all of the words.

Late Elementary:  "Waterfalls" by TLC is probably my favorite song from the mid-90's.  It was on the radio all the time and just seemed so cool.  

What song puts you in a good mood?
Okay, this one is totally random...  "Let's Go" by Wang Chung.  It's the perfect 80's song to blast in your car and sing along with.  

What is your music to rock out to in your car?
I'm a total sucker for just about anything from the 80's and 90's.  My new car has XM and I've been loving the 80's and 90's stations on there!

What is the most embarrassing album or song you own?
I own a lot of random stuff, but the only one that comes to me as being a little embarrassing is Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA."  For some reason I really liked that song when it first came out and downloaded it.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fashion Friday: I Don't Do Pencil Skirts

I Don't Do Pencil Skirts

I Don't Do Pencil Skirts 

I follow a few fashion bloggers who are fellow teachers.  All of these girls have wonderful style that I love (I wouldn't follow them otherwise), but a common item I see in many outfits is pencil skirts.

I don't do pencil skirts.

My body was not made for pencil skirts.  These hips and this waist just don't fit that silhouette.  I've given them multiple tries at multiple stores and, not matter what, I can never find one that fits me the right way.  Too big in one place and too small in another...  Welcome to my life shopping for pencil skirts.

In all honesty, I don't think I'd really fit in at my school wearing one anyway.  We've got very fashionable teachers, but I can't actually think of one time I've seen a pencil skirt in our hallways.  Out staff dresses nice, but not super dressy or formal.  My style as a teacher is dressy, but cute and comfortable.  I need to be able to sit on the floor with the kids, walk around, and be outside without having to fuss with my outfit.

Here are my wardrobe essentials:

Comfy tees for layering - Tees don't have just be casual wear.  I wear colorful tees all the time and layer the with other items or dress them up with accessories.  Never underestimate a good tee!

Lightweight sweaters - I'm obsessed with J.Crew's Tippi and Charley sweaters and we all know that I'm a cardigan addict.  Not only can these polish up a look, but they're also essential when you have very little control over the temperature of your classroom!

Comfy, go-with-anything skirts - Skirts are a great alternative to pants, especially when it's still 100 degrees and you're outside for recess duty!  To keep it school appropriate, go for skirts that fall at the knee or below.  (This is where being short has some definite advantages!)

Flat shoes - When you're on your feet all day and walking all over carpet and tile floors, comfortable flat shoes are a must!  Simple black flats are a must and TOMS can be a super comfortable and cute way to add some fun to an outfit.

Black skinnies - I've found myself wearing my skinnies a lot more than my wider-legged black pants.  They're more slimming and just as comfortable.  Once again, make sure they're not skin tight or if they are on the tight side, pair them with a longer top (or a too short dress).

Denim jacket / vest - I wear a denim jacket at least once a week on average...  It's just an easy outfit topper and it's also perfect for those days when you're not feeling so hot and want to be a little more covered up.  I recently invested in a denim vest and a light wash denim jacket to give me a little more variety.

Colorful pants - This is a trend I'm working on getting into more.  Colored khakis (and even colored denim) are a fun way to break away from the usual black, khaki, or gray pants.

Fun accessories - Accessories can totally make an outfit! I have plenty of super plain outfits that take on a completely different look when I top it off with some cute accessories.  I've been loving statement necklaces and they're the perfect way to dress up some basics.

I hope that gives some of you some ideas for things that you can pick up for your own teacher (or whatever) wardrobe during the back to school sales!

What are your work wardrobe essentials?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Confessions

How 'bout we do some confessions around here!?!  Sounds like a fun way to start a Thursday!

  • I don't think I was actually on time to school more than 5 or 10 times second semester of this past school year.  My brother transferred to my school at that time so picking him up and changing my driving route added about 15 minutes to my commute.  But, most of the time I only made it out the door 7 or 8 minutes earlier than normal.  You do the math.  Thankfully I have my morning routine once I get to school down to about 1 minute and I'm ready for the kids to come in.  I'm really not one of those people that's super late to everything, but getting across town with a 5th grader in tow just wasn't working in my favor.  I resolve to be better about getting there on time this coming school year, which should be easy because I'll be back to my regular morning routine and commute.
  • I'm totally "that girl" who puts on makeup and does my hair to go to the gym.  Let me clarify that we're not talking a full done up face, but believe me, you don't want to see me just roll outta bed and go to the gym.  Plus, everyone and their mom's dog goes to my gym and without fail I see someone I know.  I'd rather be "that girl who wears makeup to the gym" than "that girl who looks so terrifying that people run away screaming."
  • I estimate I've seen "Back to the Future" at least 200 times.  It's been my favorite movie since I was in kindergarten.  I actually went through a period of time where I watched it everyday before I went to school in the afternoon.  If we say, on average, I watch it (on TV, VHS, DVD, BluRay...) once every month and a half for 23 years that adds up to just over 200.  Fact:  I never saw any of the 3 movies in the theater...  I was only 5 months old when the first one was released in theaters.

I found this video on You Tube a while back...  They're called "Rejected Pitches" and they're super funny!  This one is for Back to the Future!

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

To Do Tuesday

Let's take a look at last week's goals...

  • Tackle my junk pile.  Epic fail...  While the junk pile has lost some heft, it's attracted new junk taking of residence.  
  • Complete at least 15 miles during my workouts.  Yay!  I actually made it to 18 miles and that was even skipping several days because of my busy schedule.  
  • Fix the majority of my meals at home.  We'll call this one a success...  A friend from out of town called me to go to dinner on Friday night and picked up Jimmy John's last night (I was gone all day from 7:45 a.m. to about 10 p.m.), but other than that all of my meals were from what I had at home.  
  • Complete at least 3 blog posts.  Another success!  
  • Finish reading at least 1 book.  Eh.  I was about halfway through a book on my Kindle, but cancelled my Amazon Prime membership and forgot that in doing so I would lose the book I had "rented."  Oops!
And now onto this week's goals...

  • Get up and get moving in the morning.  I'm taking a math course which requires me to be up and moving fairly early.  I'm not a morning person, but I'd like to try to get myself back into good habits before school starts up again.
  • Complete at least 10 miles during my workouts.  I have a super busy week with my math course and working part time, so I'm setting the bar a bit lower.  Completing 10 or more miles this week should still keep me on track to completing my 50 this month.
  • Complete at least 3 blog posts.  Need I explain?
  • Resist the urge to shop!  I did some online shopping during some sales last week, so I am going to try to be good this week.  I will be staying plenty busy, so shopping out of boredom will not be a good excuse this week!
What's on your to do list this week?  Have you been productive this summer or  have you slacked off?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Social!

Sunday Social

I haven't done a Sunday Social post in quite a while, so I thought I'd try to get back int he habit of linking up over at A Complete Waste of Makeup.  These are such fun posts and it's always entertaining to read what other ladies have to share!

This week's topic is travel, so I was all about ranting about that!

Me in Seattle during my recent trip to Washington!
  1. What is the best trip you've ever been on?  Oh, that's a hard one!  I think it might be a tie between my trip to New York during spring break a few years ago and my recent trip to Washington.  Being a KS girl, it's super fun to get to see other parts of the US that are different than my neck of the woods.  NY was so much fun and it helped that I was traveling with 2 girls who had previously lived there.  I would have totally been lost without their expertise!  There's so much I got to see and so much more that I didn't that I'd love to make it back there someday.  Washington was absolutely beautiful and was my first time traveling anywhere west of Colorado.  I'm not the most outdoorsy type, but I totally was up for outdoor adventure on that trip!  It's another place I'm hoping to make it back to.
  2. What is your best idea for a girls weekend trip?  My favorite girls weekends have been ones where we don't travel super far (3 hours or so) and just shop and relax.  I think weekend trips are too stressful when you try to jam in too many activities.  Shop all day, eat a yummy dinner, and spend the night in wearing PJs and watching movies is totally my kinda day.
  3. What is your best idea for a couples trip?  I think the best couples trips are the kinds that allow both people to enjoy their own personal interests together.  I think having some relaxing downtime to just chill is also a good thing for a couple to do when they travel together.  Traveling can be a stressful event, so just enjoying some time together without worrying about being on a schedule is always a good idea.
  4. What is the best vacation on the cheap?  I've been on several trips where we rented a cabin or condo for the trip, which allowed us to be able to buy groceries and cook most of our meals right there.  If you've got a group of 4 or 5 people and split those costs, it's much cheaper than going out to eat for every meal.  I'm not super big into doing really "touristy" things and paying for stuff like that, but rather just explore the sites on my own.  
  5. What is the place you most want to visit?  I've never been outside of the US and that is my ultimate goal someday...  To go to another country.  I think at the top of my list would be Europe.  I'd love to see England, France, and Germany and get to experience the culture in those places.  A little closer to home, I'd like to visit Canada and some of the big cities up there.  
The gorgeous sunset at Pacific Beach.
The Alamo!

I loved Times Square!  It was so filled with life at all times of the day and night!

Literally chillin' with friends on a mountain in Colorado!

Yes, that's the sign pointing to South Park, Colorado!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fashion Friday: Summer Showers Style

If you're anywhere between your mid-twenties and your mid-thirties like me you probably stay somewhat busy in the spring and summer with wedding and baby showers.  While this summer isn't my busiest, I am staying busy with my fair share.  (I had one summer a few years ago where I literally had a shower, bachelorette party, or wedding every weekend for 2 straight months and many of them overlapped!  I'm glad to not be in that situation again!)

My "shower style" could be described as dressy, but still casual.  For the most part, none of my friends are super fancy and therefore don't have super fancy showers. So, that makes wearing a cute and casual dress perfectly acceptable attire for these types of events.  I also seem to find myself running from one event to another, so I like to keep my looks comfortable and functional for other happenings I might have the same day.  

I decided to have a little fun on Polyvore and create a few looks for you using some items that I have in my closet!

Wedding & Baby Shower Style

Wedding & Baby Shower Style 

  1. Talk about an easy outfit...  Skirt + Bright Top + Statement Necklace = Cute & Easy Style  I rocked this outfit a few weeks back when I also had a picnic to attend later on in the evening.  
  2. I think knit dresses are one of the best inventions ever.  I wore this outfit for a sushi lunch with my mom, a baby shower, and then church.  A comfy pair of wedges is also a wardrobe essential when you want to look a little dressed up, but still want to be able to walk by the end of the day.
  3. There's something about a comfy maxi dress that just says chic and effortless.  I bought this one last year at Target and it's been great for those times when I don't want to put a lot of fuss into my outfit.  
What do you typically wear to a wedding or baby shower?  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th!  

I hope your day is filled with fun and celebration with family and friends!  My plans today are pretty chill and just consist relaxing, dinner with family, and watching the 'lil bro set off fireworks.  

I've made these adorable and delicious strawberries the last 2 years, but passed on making them this year.  After looking at this photo, though, I may have to make some just for myself sometime soon!

This is a cake I baked last year...  If you know me, you know I'm not much of a cook, but I can pull of a pleasant surprise every now and then.  This is just a plain white cake, but the frosting and fruit is what made it extra special.  The frosting is a combo of regular cream cheese frosting blended with marshmallow fluff.


How cute is this star tee from Gap?!?  I popped in there last week with one of my besties and we both loved these.  I found myself thinking about this tee a few days later and went back while it was on a 50% off promo.  Guess what I'm wearing today!?!

The weather here in Kansas has been usually pleasant this week and will be perfect for spending some time outside tonight.  I've been taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and have been walking outside in the evenings.  I snapped this pic the other night...  I wish the weather would stay like this all summer long!

I wish you all a fun, safe, and happy 4th of July!  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

If I had a million dollars...

Okay, let's talk clothes.  I know it's not Friday (when I usually try to do my fashion posts), but I have had some major struggle this week resisting the J.Crew Factory 50% sale.  

Yup, 50% everything!

Unfortunately for me, the nearest stores are both about 2 1/1 hours north and south of me, so I don't make it there very often.  They've run a few 50% off sales in the past few months, but most have been in store only, which has been a total bummer.  

This sale has been running for a few days and in stalking their website I've seen a lot of items sell out.  :( 

Let's just pretend I could buy everything I loved and it all fit me perfectly...  Here's what I would buy.

Factory textured Charley sweater
Image via J.Crew Factory
Let's start with the one item I did purchase...  I love my neon Charley sweaters so much that I decided a mint one would be a worthy addition as well.  These don't so much feel like a sweater, so they're actually not too bad for warmer weather.  

Factory polka-dot pullover
Image via J.Crew Factory
Who doesn't love polka dots!?!  I was really tempted by this one, but wasn't sure about how versatile it would be in my work wardrobe.  Plus, even at half price it's still $37 which, in my opinion, is kind of a lot for something that may not get a ton of wear.  Maybe if the polka dots hadn't been orange...

Factory Clare cardigan in paisley
Image via J.Crew Factory
Do you see a pattern here with the sweaters?  I feel like this cardigan is one that I'd need to see in real life in order to decide if I like it or not.  I haven't tried their Clare sweaters yet, but hope to do some next time I make it to a store.

Factory layering v-neck tee in stripe
Image via J.Crew Factory
I was very tempted by this cute tee.  I love the stripes and think it would be perfect to pair with a cute skirt and denim jacket.

Factory scattered stars tank
Image via J.Crew Factory
Maybe it's just my 4th of July spirit, but how stinking adorable is this tank!?!  It's sold out now, but I'm pretty sure if it was still available and I hadn't already bought this star tee at Gap I would have given in and bought this tank.  I've always had a thing for stars!

Factory stripe button-back sundress
Image via J.Crew Factory
I have the solid green version of this dress and have wanted the striped one since it came out last year.  The fit is a little "off" for me, though, and I don't think getting a different size would help the situation.  It's so cute, though, and perfect for so many situations.

Factory linen-cotton mini
Image via J.Crew Factory
This skirt seems to be all over the blog world, and for good reason!  Most sizes are sold out now, but I'm still tempted by the similar one that Target is currently carrying.

Factory pencil skirt in embroidered floral
Image via J.Crew Factory
Remember how I said we're pretending?  Well, let's pretend that my hips and waist actually worked in pencil skirts.  I love this pattern!  It's so chic, but not stuffy and boring.  

Factory stripe racerback cami
Image via J.Crew Factory
This top screams classic to me.  It's one of those that would totally go from workday to weekend in the toss of a cardigan and a change into some jeans.  I have a similar top from Loft, which kept me from snagging this one.  Unfortunately, it's another one that's now sold out online.

Factory two-tone tote bag
Image via J.Crew Factory
Let's be real...  I need more totes like I need another hole in my head.  In a perfect world, though, money would grow on trees, I'd have a giant closet, and there would be no limit on how many bags I would need.

Factory dangling shapes necklace
Image via J.Crew Factory
This was another very tempting piece for me.  I'm not typically drawn to blue things, but this necklace is gorgeous!  It's on back order right now and I'm just not patient enough to wait a month and a half for it to ship.


So, there you have it...  I'm pretty proud of myself for only getting one item and for that one item being one that I know will fit and get a lot of good wear.  The sale runs through the 7th, but the extra 10% off "VIP" code expires tonight.  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they started a free shipping promo tomorrow, but my extra 10% off almost evened things out and I didn't want my sweater to end up on the dreaded sold out list.

Have you been sucked in by this (or any other) holiday sale?!?  
What have you purchased lately?