Friday, February 15, 2013

Fashion Friday: Pinterest Style

There's no doubt that Pinterest has had an influence on my style in the past couple years.  I feel like I've always been a somewhat stylish person, but I typically stuck with looks that felt very "safe."  I used to be the queen of matching everything and I've definitely broken out of that shell.

Today I'm sharing 3 tips on how to use Pinterest to spice up your wardrobe.  Pinterest has helped me become a little more stylish, a lot more adventurous, and a more discerning shopper.


Pin anything and everything you love...  Even if you wouldn't wear it in real life.

In my mass of outfit pins, I have plenty that are things I wouldn't actually wear in real life.  Neon pink shorts? Not on these legs!  But, I do love this pin for the great color combo and accessories.  Take inspiration from color schemes, accessories, and other pairings.  

Use Pinterest to help you be a better shopper.  

I can be a pretty indecisive shopper at times, so I love looking up items on Pinterest to see how others have styled it.  If I'm contemplating a purchase this really helps me see how it could work with items already in my closet.  I also like seeing how items look on real people and not just on a website or a model.  Seeing how things are styled in real life has helped make or break a potential purchase.  (I've found this especially helpful when I'm looking at buying something online and I don't get to see it in person first.)

Can I be creative in styling this item in multiple ways?  Do I already have multiple pieces that this will go with?  Are these ideas practical for my lifestyle?  If you can say yes, then it's probably not going to be a bad purchase.

Source: on Pinterest

I wore this shirt with a similar gold necklace earlier this week...  I walked in and my boss asked my other coworker if she liked my "Mr. T" necklace.  I explained that my outfit was Pinterest-inspired and that I look things up when I buy them to get ideas.  Great...  Now I just gave the boss one more thing to make fun of me for.  (Don't worry, it's all in good fun!)

Get inspired to style old items in new ways.

I have a lot of older items in my closet that are nice, but I'm just tired of wearing them in the same way.  I turn to Pinterest to look for similar items and ideas on new ways to style them.  There have been a few pieces that could have been easily forgotten (and thrown out) had I not looked for new ideas on how to style them.

Here's a perfect example...  I searched for "polka dot shirt" and ended up finding this pin of the exact shirt I've neglected in my closet! It was great to see how it was paired with cooler weather clothes and that it doesn't just have to be a summer shirt.

How does Pinterest inspire or influence your style?  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The light at the end of the tunnel...

I've been pretty overwhelmed with school and family stuff recently so blogging has once again taken a back seat...  It's conference week, so I had 2 nights in a row making for 12+ hour work days.  Plus meetings and actually trying to do my job and get my students ready for state assessments on top of that?!?  This girl is beat!  

Thankfully, things are all settling down (hopefully!) and I have a 4 1/2 day weekend!  Yay!  I've also had this evening off from doing tutoring and conferences, which has been a totally needed break!  It's amazing how different my home looks in the daylight! Ha ha!

Anyway, I just wanted to pop by and say hello and that I promise I'll be back to the world of blogging shortly.  Until then, I shall survive with Diet Mountain Dew and 80's music.  

This song came on the radio and then on my iPod this morning, so I knew things were looking up!  This was my first favorite song ever...  I remember being super little (probably 3 or under) and "writing" the words out.  I may have also sneaked into the family room and turned on VH1 and waited for this video to be played.  Yes, I was that preschooler.  

I may have to watch some "Dirty Dancing" over my long weekend.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

To Do Tuesday

Here's a review of last week's goals...

  • Prep for conferences.  Check!  The copies have been sent off, the schedule is made, and things should be ready for next week!
  • Cook a real meal at least once.  I lived off leftovers and free birthday meals most of last week, but I did cook again over the weekend.  We'll call it a success.
  • Workout at least 3 times.  Fail.  I ended up getting an allergy cold on Monday and the weather dropped from a gorgeous 70 degrees back down to the 20s, so walking outside at work was out as well.  *sigh*
  • Clean and decorate at home.  This is what made me sick.  Darn dust allergies! 
  • Clean my crap pile behind my desk at work.  Mission accomplished.  The crap pile has officially been dismantled.
And now for this week's goals...

  • Finish prepping for conferences.  I have forms to fill out and such, so I want to have all of that done by the time my first conferences begin on Monday.
  • Cook a real meal at least once.  It'd be even better if I could do this on a weeknight, but we'll just have to see about that.
  • Workout at least 2 times.  I'm on the tail end of my cold, but I don't want to push it.  
  • Call at least one friend I haven't talked to in while.  Or meet up with one that lives in town!
  • Clean and organize my hoodie / jacket closet.  It's kind of a mess...  And by that I mean a complete disaster.
What's on your to do list this week or month?
What have you accomplished recently?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February Currently and 1 More Follower 'Til a GIVEAWAY!

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for Currently!

I think I skipped last month's, so it's good to be back linking up with everyone!

I promised that when I reached 300 followers I'd do a giveaway...  Well, as I'm writing this I'm sitting at 299.  Who's going to be #300?  

So, if you're not a follower start following me and then leave a comment telling me what YOU would like to see me give away.  Gift card?  Jewelry?  Teaching supplies?  Nail polish?  Random goodness?!?  

Let me know!  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Assessment Folders

We've embarked on what is probably my least favorite part of the school year...  Assessment season!

When we return from Christmas break we pretty much hit the ground running when it comes to preparing for state assessments.  January was pretty much a whirlwind of test prep and getting my third graders acclimated with the testing program on the computer.  We've got another whole month before assessments, but we've still got a lot of ground to cover between now and then.

My school is known for getting really good scores, so the pressure is always on.  One thing I really like about our test preparation, though, is that we get the students involved in their learning and get them excited about their achievements.  

Our assessment folder are something that I started doing a few years ago to keep things organized and help the students track their progress.  We have a lot of really great formative assessments available online to help our students with test preparation.  We take at least 2 or 3 formatives each week, most of which give the students valuable experience with our online testing program.

I have my students track their progress on some graphs that I created in Excel.  They have one graph for reading and one for math.  I labeled the graphs with each of the online formatives so that they can keep track of their progress.  (Sorry I didn't have any graphs to show!)  These graphs are great data to share with parents at conferences.

We do most of our practice tests in one of the computer labs, so these folders are a great way to keep everything together when we're traveling back and forth.  It's obviously nothing fancy, but just a little something to make our test prep a little easier and a little more organized for my students and me!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fashion Friday: How To Be Cheap {And Not Look Like It}

Bargain hunting is in my blood.  I learned how to be a thrifty shopper from a very early age.  I learned from the beginning that coupons were a necessity when shopping.  In fact, when I was 2 1/2 and I wanted a play golf set I cut out a picture from the Service Merchandise catalog and gave it to my grandpa telling him I had a coupon.  Yes, I wasn't even 3 and I was already clipping "coupons" and trying to save a few bucks!

I shop a lot (compared to some people), but in doing so I've learned a lot of ways to save money and get what I want.  I thought I'd share a few of my best tips to save money and get the things you want!  My biggest rule in shopping is that I don't pay full price!

  1. Shop often.  This sounds counterproductive, but shopping often gets you out there more to find the best deals.  I've learned the sale patterns and what items sell fastest by popping into my favorite stores often.  Once you learn these patterns you can figure out what's worth waiting for and what you may want to jump on purchasing before it's gone.  It's also good to pop into stores during the week, when the selection is sometimes best.  Many stores run mid-week specials that can be better than deals you may find on weekends.
  2. Be friendly and talk to the sales associates.  I think this one comes naturally to be, but I chat with the sales associates at my favorite stores.  Building this relationship is not only fun, but can be really helpful if you need help locating an item of being in the know with discounts.  (This is how I scored my part-time job!  I also got to chatting with one of the girls at Gap about teaching and found that she was looking for a teaching job...  I was able to help get her an interview and she now teaches at my school!)  
  3. Consider store cards (but proceed with caution).  I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about opening store credit cards.  I don't recommend getting many, but check into the perks that come along with the cards at your favorite stores.  My Gap card has great rewards (and can be used at Gap, BR, and ON), free shipping online, and a lot of additional discounts.  If you can exercise self-control, some cards can be really rewarding.  (Don't apply for too many, though, as just applying for lots of cards can hurt your credit.)
  4. Shop in store, when possible.  It's not much of a secret that prices in stores many times go lower than those online.  I hate paying shipping, so I try to shop in store whenever I can.  Many stores also offer free shipping if you place an order there at the store.  
  5. Look for deals online.  (I know, I just told you to shop in store...  Hear me out.)  For shopping online I love using Ebates because I can search for promo codes and get cash back.  (Click here for my referral link.)  I typically only shop online from stores that I don't have locally, but on some occasions the online promos can be better than in store.  (Hello, Cyber Monday!)  A lot of stores also carry online exclusive styles that can be great finds as well.
  6. Subscribe to your favorite stores on e-mail and Facebook.  I have an e-mail account that is pretty much just for the types of e-mails.  I get a lot each day, but automatically delete them unless it's a store I know I'm interested in getting something from.  That way I'm less tempted by random sales, but still stay in the know.  Facebook is another great way to learn about deals and get in on Facebook fan exclusive deals.  (Banana Republic did a one day 50% sale for their Facebook fans!)
What are your best tips to looking great and saving money?  
I'd love to hear your tips, tricks, and hints!