Happy FriYAY! This week has been so packed – not with anything bad, just with a lot. I am really looking forward to the weekend!
Yesterday was Andrew’s mom’s birthday, so we are heading out of town tonight to take her out to dinner and celebrate! It’s only a couple of hours away, so it will be nice to take the short trip together and see her!
Saturday is the Apex Music Fest in downtown Apex, so I’ll be working an extra shift at the pub to help out – then it’s off to one of my best friend’s 30th birthday parties!!! Speaking of which, this is month of birthdays for me! I have a lot of friends/family members with birthdays in September, not to mention I’LL BE 30 THIS MONTH. I’m not too worried about turning 30, to be honest. I have always been the young one in my friend group, so by the time my birthday rolls around, I feel like I’ve already been that age for a while. Plus, I think 30 is going to be great. Thirty, flirty, and thriving! #namethatmovie
I’m taking a big trip for my 30th birthday with my mom! We are heading to Arizona about a week after my actual birthday. We are going to do some hiking, shopping, relaxing, and we’ll visit the spa for massages! We are also going to hit the Grand Canyon, which I am SO excited about!! I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of these for the trip – my absolute favorite leggings of all time. I discovered them when my sister and brother bought me a pair for my birthday two years ago. I had just started my yoga teacher training! They are literally like a second skin, and don’t grab you anywhere you don’t want them to. I also love these stylish chaco sandals for walking around town all day! I already got my new Fitbit, and I’m loving it! So I’ll be interested to see what kind of step count I’ll get on the trip. I seriously need to start my packing list!
Well, I fell asleep writing this so I guess that is mother nature telling me to slip off to dreamland. Everyone have a great weekend!
The first week of school is DONE!!! I am so pooped from 5 days back in the classroom, learning names, getting technology to work, and standing on my feet all day! My to-do lists keep getting longer and longer, but I’m starting to see my students’ personalities and figure out the vibes of my three different class periods and that’s always the fun part. Thank goodness we have a day off next week for Labor Day!
I’ve been a long-time follower of Kate and her sister Lauren, and I’ve linked jewelry items I’ve purchased from Lauren’s shop Elisabeth Ashlie before. She took a summer break and I have been dying for Elisabeth Ashlie to re-open and TODAY IS THE DAY! Perfect for jewelry, gift items, and pretty little things.
Teachers got our first paycheck since MAY 31ST this week, so I feel like I can finally breathe a little! (And buy groceries!) I have to get a few necessities like, you know, dog food and new flea/tick medicine for Bruno & Oliver, but I also have had my eye on a few goodies that I might scoop up (this, these, & this!).
I had a lot of people respond to my last Friyay introduction, so here are a few more little things about me to finish out my Friyay introduction mini-series(for now!):
-Mascara: Probably the number one beauty topic I get asked about is my eyelashes. People ask if my eyelashes are real, and then they always ask what mascara I use. I’ve covered this topic before, but in case you didn’t know – yes, they’re real! And these are my favorite mascaras in life: Covergirl full lash bloom, and if I’m splurging I love this and this!
-When I was little I really had a lot of dreams and aspirations. I wanted to be a teacher, singer, actress, writer, waitress, but I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be a news anchor. I love to read, and I just always liked words. (And, if I’m being honest here, when I was a kid I loved being in front of the camera. My family jokes that I got all my practice for the blog back then!) I used to record myself on my Walkman giving news reports and reading from my children’s Bible. My old Walkman is still in my old closet at home in Asheville, with me reading about Cain and Abel and giving a child’s interpretation of a news story about the O.J. Simpson trial! Kids are so weird.
-Now that I’m an adult, I still have a lot of dreams and aspirations! I truly love teaching, but there are so many other things I’d love to do – own a cute little coffee shop, write a novel, have a boutique, start up a yoga studio…and winning the lottery wouldn’t be so bad, either.
-Speaking of winning the lottery, one of my favorite games is deciding what I’d do with all my winnings if I ever actually did win the lottery. No matter how much the lottery is for, I always have basically the same plan, but I still like to play the game and ask Andrew and other friends and family what they’d do if they won. Would you keep your job? Would you move or stay where you are? Would you give money to good causes? Have several homes? Travel? It’s just something I started back in college with Whitney. But then again, you have to play to win, right? I CANNOT believe some woman in NC just won like $355 million in take home winnings. Could have been me!
-My family and I are kind of obsessed with 90s classic movies. Heavyweights, The Mighty Ducks series, 3 Ninjas series, Surf Ninjas, Big Business, etc. They never get old. My brother sends random movies to us in the mail from time to time, and it’s always such a fun throw back. I’ve probably seen Heavyweights about a hundred times and can quote it word for word really obnoxiously (but I try not to while watching it, duh).
-I’ve never broken a bone, but I am incredibly clumsy. I hurt myself all the time – trip over things, run into things, knock my knee into a corner. I am perpetually bruised and scratched.
– I always keep my nails painted and you’re not likely to ever see me without color on them. Toenails, too. I just can’t stand it on myself and love a fun pop of color. I can’t remember the last time I had bare nails.
-I can touch my tongue to my nose and can keep one eye crossed while the other stays straight! But I can’t whistle. I have never been able to and have tried countless times to be taught. I just straight up can not do it. It’s a reality I’ve had to face in my (almost) 30 years.
Let me know if you have more questions!
I’ll try to be back next week with a normal Tuesday/Thursday/sometimes Friday schedule. The first week of school hit me hard! I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend! Andrew and I are going to a cookout, I’m having coffee with an old student, and I have a ton of cleaning to do around the apartment!
Happy Friyay! I’m off to the beach for a whole week with my family, and Andrew’s coming for the weekend! I am tickled pink. I have worked all summer and haven’t really done anything out of the ordinary, so this vacation has been so exciting to look forward to! I plan to lounge around, do yoga on the beach, walk for miles, read, and work on the blog! Plus I’m sure I’ll get a killer tan pink skin and freckles while I’m there. I asked for some good book recommendations on Facebook and got a few great responses! Now I have a wonderful list of books to download to my Kindle.
I thought I’d use today as a Friday introduction! Most of you know I’m a high school teacher and that I adore my dogs, but maybe you don’t know that I have three tattoos, or that I used to grind my teeth back and forth to the syllables people spoke when I was a kid (weird habit). I love learning unique and quirky things about people that make them who they are, so I’m laying it all out on the table for you today. I mean we’re all weird, right? It’s fine? I’m fine?
Here we go!
-This one’s not so weird, but I love to read. Not just books. If there are words, I’m excited about them. Directions, research papers, cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, news articles, magazines, road signs. I can’t help myself. I used to be the annoying kid in class who raised her hand every time the teacher wanted someone to read.
-I mentioned grinding my teeth as child. It was the weirdest habit. When people spoke, or if I was watching TV, I would grind my teeth back and forth to every syllable. If my top teeth landed “forward” on someone’s last word, I’d hope to end up “backward” on the next last word. And the game continued until everything felt “even.” Am I weird? I’m weird. I dropped the habit at some point, but still.
-I have a strange thing with balance and things being “even.” I’m not sure if it’s a Libra thing or just a me thing. If one window is rolled down, the other needs to be the same height, if I walk over a crack in the sidewalk with my left foot, I like to walk over the next with my right, etc. This used to cause me a lot of grief as a kid but I’ve learned to live in this crazy world somehow. 😉
-I cannot stand to be poked. I flip out involuntarily – flailing my arms, smacking someone, etc. This goes back to the even thing – it has to be happening on both sides of my body evenly or it just isn’t right. When someone jiggles their leg on one side of me it’s the same thing.
-Tattoos: I have three of them and they all have longer stories, but here’s the short version. I got my first when I was 18 with my best friend Whitney. It’s a sunshine we always used to doodle and we drew it on our feet with sharpies for weeks before committing. Mine is on my left foot; she has the same one on her other foot. My second one I got with my other best friend since childhood, Lindsay. She got an arrow down her arm, I got a Libra constellation behind my ear. It looks like a kite and I think it’s inaccurate, so there’s that. Third and final is a tattoo on my wrist that you’ve probably seen in a lot of my pictures. My sister has the same one on her other wrist, and it is in memory of our grandparents who passed away. They were so special to our family and they were truly lovebirds till the end, and a great example of what a marriage should be. Every time I see my tattoo I think of them!
-I really love making things with raw ground beef, like meatloaf. I just like the look and texture of it and I like browning it or mixing it in the bowl with my hands to go into the oven. (I’m starting to feel really weird now; TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE).
-Obsessed with lists and planners. I could really go into detail here, but let’s leave it at that.
-I love being busy and don’t usually take a ton of time to myself to relax, so I have to remind myself to do that or “plan” me time/downtime. It’s not that I don’t like relaxing – DUH – but I just love feeling productive and getting things accomplished.
-I can’t watch awkward moments on TV/in movies. I have to cover my eyes and look away like a kid! It pains me for them or something…the actors getting paid millions.
-Absolutely in love with every single dog, not just my own. I love cats and all animals in general, but I can’t imagine a world without dogs. Whenever I see one, I feel like the world becomes a brighter place. I’m the person that follows a zillion dog Instagram accounts.
-I am super intimidated by social media. There is so much of it, so many apps, so many ways to connect. And for blogging, I’m trying really hard to get “good” at all of them, and it is so overwhelming! I’m trying, though. I’m tweeting and Facebooking and Instagram story-ing and Snapchatting and trying to post all the things without being annoying. It is tough out there!
-I won’t set alarms for “regular” times. It has to be a number that feels right. My favorites are :32, :47, :03, :17, and :54.
-Finally, I’m very intrigued by the tiny home movement. I love small spaces and organized living and I think in a tiny house the ways to organize space are so clever. Sometimes I think of donating all my things and living in a tiny house with a big fenced in yard for the dogs and just making it my own. If you haven’t, google it and look at some YouTube videos of tiny houses. There are some incredible ones out there!
I think that’s enough about me for now…let me know if you have any other questions! Thanks to all of you who read my blog. You have no idea how much it means to me!
This week flew by. I was off Monday and Tuesday, and on Monday I worked for hours agonizing over my budget and how I can save and plan better next school year so I won’t need to have a summer job. Reality check. I also made a goal to really focus on being active this week, and I stuck to it! Small victories.
I mentioned my Fourth of July plans earlier this week, but it was such a great time! The food came out perfectly and it was so nice to just relax and kick back a little bit. We didn’t end up going to the baseball game, but it was nice just to stay home and be near the dogs and take it easy!
filet mignon, honey lime ginger grilled scallops (adapted from here), garlic rosemary sweet potatoes, and grilled balsamic brussel sprouts (andrew had brats and burgers like a true american)
I got my hair done last Saturday and I am loving it! It’s always nice to get a little refresher from Jamie at the Parlor. (I’ve been going to her for like 10 years, no joke).
My family is going on a beach vacation in August, which I am so excited about! I am looking at these and these. Also loving this coverup and this coverup that could also double as a cute summer dress!
Finally, I mentioned my best friend’s wedding in this post, and a couple of weeks ago we ordered our bridesmaid skirts and tops for the big day! I absolutely can’t wait to see how everything comes together. When I put on my outfit and imagined everything on the big day, it suddenly became really real to me that this is happening! I’ll be crying like a baby when Whitney walks down the aisle (what else is new?).
It’s finally, o f f i c i a l l y summer! If you’re in the south like me, it has already felt like summer since April, but now we can finally be correct when we say it.
My sister and I planned on doing a free community event Wednesday morning for the summer solstice and international yoga day, but it got rained out and rescheduled. Since we were already up at the butt crack of dawn and dressed, I led us through a yoga class on our balcony while the sun came up. It felt so good; I have totally fallen out of a routine with my yoga and I always notice a difference when I get back into it.
For summer, I’m focusing on some goals, like I said. Doing more yoga is one of them. Being more active in general, actually.
I’m also trying to make time to read for fun, which I love to do. I started summer off by devouring The Girl on the Train. I know I’m way late to that game, but I finally got around to it. I’m about to start reading All the Missing Girls. I know I’ll be done with that one in a few days, so any book recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I also just got set up for Audible with my Amazon Prime membership, so I can listen to books while I’m driving or at the pool, too.
Speaking of listening to books, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and listened to the S-Town podcasts. I went to see my dad for Father’s Day in Charlotte this past weekend, so I had time to do some listening. I tend to doze off at the wheel if no one is in the car with me, so I needed something to keep my attention. It was so good. It was one of those stories that really leaves you thinking about it for days. When it was finished, I just sat there for a minute, brain whirring and heart stirring (see what I did there? But really). I wish there were more chapters.
Finally, since I’m limiting alcohol due to 1. trying to be healthier and 2. not having money in the summer, I’m fixating on a couple of guilty pleasure libations right now. (As in, literally drank both of these while writing this blog post). I said I never would, but I find myself loving La Croix now. My sister and I found a new flavor that we can’t get enough of: Blackberry cucumber. So refreshing. We have only been able to find that flavor at Target near us. My other summer must-have is iced coffee. I drink it year-round, but in the summer it’s a given. Of course I can make my own, and sometimes do, but Emily (my sister) and I have been loving the Starbucks Dark Roast Iced Coffee. When I’m not paying a reasonable amount way too much for pre-packaged coffee, I use my french press to brew strong coffee and stick it in the fridge overnight. Yes, I realize I also just wrote a blog post about our new coffee bar. It’s a drug, people, I’m telling you.
i have way too many pictures of food & drinks on my phone
That’s all that’s really new with me! I’m waiting for some sunshine so I can have a pool day and work on my golden tan getting more pink and freckly. It has been rainy and stormy on and off here for a few days now, so I haven’t had a chance.
Enjoy the weekend, and let me hear those book and podcast recommendations!
It’s my final FriYAY of the school year! Today is the last official day of school!!! Next week we have teacher workdays and graduation, and I’ll start my summer job. It always feels weird wrapping up another school year and saying goodbye to students you’ve really come to love…but I know in August I’ll get a whole new set of kids to drive me crazy and get to know all over again!
While I’m out of school, I have a few fun events this summer and I am on the hunt for more summer dresses (because I literally have two at the moment). I love Loft, but seriously can’t afford it…even sale prices can be steep for me, but usually what I buy lasts a long time. I am loving a lot of these right now!
Speaking of summer fashion, I think I’m feeling bold enough to rock a pair of these! I’m also loving the look of these for a friendlier price tag. ***UPDATE*** My friend Kelly just sent me a link to these for a way happier price tag and they are currently on their way to me!
I’m throwing a wedding day brunch tomorrow, and I’m really excited about it. It’s nothing huge, but I hope everything goes smoothly and the bride is pleased! In another life, I’d be an event planner.
I got the iPhone 7 Plus and I am so excited I can’t stand it. The camera on this thing is the main reason I upgraded, but the size is actually something I’m thrilled about! I’m loving it and feeling super fancy. Bad and boujee, even. (If that wasn’t a song with the word boujee already spelled out, I would have spelled it differently. Just sayin’.)
F i n a l l y , next Sunday is Father’s Day – does anyone else have thehardesttime finding a gift for their dad?! My dad is super tough to shop for and all of the cliche gifts seem cheesy or don’t seem like him at all. He builds beautiful guitars and works with his hands, but he’s retired and he pretty much gets what he needs or wants for himself. I always start at Etsy to brainstorm ideas for gifts. I love being able to buy personalized or custom made items and helping out an individual or small business! They also have some cute cards for the pet dads in your life 🙂 Pets are family, too!
That’s it for me this week. Andrew and I started a new meal plan and I’m feeling good about it! I am excited about making changes and seeing some results. Everyone enjoy the weekend!
FRIYAY!!! We made it another week. I know I haven’t written in forever…I’ve just been busy and sometimes feeling blah from all of this gross weather changing. Speaking of which, can it PLEASE be spring already? We got to enjoy such beautiful weather for so long…and then the dreary cold came creeping back in to laugh in our faces. I’m so ready for sunshine and warm weather…but the humid summer can definitely take its time getting here! This post brought to you while dreaming of higher temperatures.
I am loving this skirt from J.Crew Factory! I am always excited about an elastic waist, and this still looks chic and comfortable. This top from Old Navy…they just get me. I love silky tanks that can easily transition from work to play, or from warm to cool weather with the addition of a cardigan. This top is perfection, too – and would be great tucked into that J. Crew skirt with a long delicate necklace like this! When the warm weather finally shows its face again, these shorts will be my go-tos. They are similar to the ones I basically lived in last summer from Target. Cozy and lightweight for the sweltering heat we get in NC.
I can’t do a platform, and I just haven’t gotten into the chunky heel trend…but these little wedges look right up my alley! I love all three colors, but if you know anything about me, you know I’ll probably get black if I buy a pair.
I’m so curious about this crazy charcoal peel off mask everyone is talking about (and recording themselves using!). Curious…but also scared enough not to have bought it yet!
Speaking of skin care, I’m going to be 30 in September, and I’m starting to notice smile lines and a worry wrinkle between my eyes that has been slowly creeping up for a couple of years. I like to tell my students it’s because of them…and it probably is! I’m in the market for some anti-aging skin care that will keep my skin healthy and not break the bank – I’m reading great things about this eye cream and this moisturizer (I have used an Olay daily moisturizer for years already). I might even get brave and buy a face oil like this one or make a DIY one – they’re all over Pinterest!
Here’s hoping that next week and the first day of spring brings sunshine, balmy breezes, and soft t-shirts that can be tucked into elastic waist skirts. Happy Friday!
It has been a while since I’ve written a Friday update! I have been covered up, but here I am. Things are getting a little more balanced around here.
-This week has been focused on prioritizing. I am teaching a unit on time management in one of my classes, and it always makes me take a look at my own life. I’ve been making plans (as you can see, I am no longer using my Passion Planner because it ran out – but I am trying this floral, $9.99 Target planner for this school year.) I’m trying to be better about looking at my weeks and being very deliberate about my priorities and when I can fit things in…as well as when I need to say no to things to take care of my own values.
-I was so excited this week to look at my progress on my six week shred! It really lifted my spirits and I know it’s only three and a half weeks, but it feels good to have stuck to something. My clothes fit better, I feel more energized and excited about picking out what to wear, and it has been a really nice way for my mom and sister and I to stay connected.
-I have picked up a new Monday afternoon class at Hot Asana where I teach yoga, and that has helped get me back in a groove with my own yoga practice. Lately I had felt like I was kind of in a yoga rut…using the same playlists, having trouble making it to take classes, not feeling inspired to write brand new classes. But with my new class time, more consistent practice on my own mat, and holding yoga club meetings for the students at the high school, I feel revamped. My new S’well bottle that is beautiful, bright, and keeps everything freezing cold doesn’t hurt, either!
-After buying a sample of it at Ulta, I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Living Proof dry shampoo (this one comes with a free gift!). It actually makes your hair feel and look clean, not to mention the a m a z i n g smell that stays in your hair all day. I still love my Dove dry shampoo the best all-around, but if I constantly had $22 to blow on dry shampoo, this would be the one.
But…most importantly…back to speaking of planners…I do have my eye on the pre-order 2017 Passion Planner in Blush. I just can’t help myself. I am who I am.
Happy Friday! Enjoy the weekend and stay out of the rain!
It’s the last week of summer, and today is my first teacher work day. I’m excited to get back to school, teach a brand new class, get new students, and to be a mentor teacher this year, but of course I wish that the summer break could linger just a little bit longer.
A few fun things from this week:
-When I got home from Aruba, I had a beautiful little stash of jewels waiting for me! I ordered them from www.elisabethashlie.com right before I left for my trip. I love everything about these pieces, and love that they are unique and dainty, but still make a statement. Not to mention, everything is affordable and great quality! These are my picks:
-I got to have some great QT with a few really special people this week! I finally got to spend a pool day with my roomie, had lunch with someone very near and dear to me, I got a sushi fix with my BFF Whitney and we got to celebrate some big news for her…and I also got to see my main squeeze! I had a super sweaty walk with one of my best friends Abbie, and we can always pick back up where we left off. As cheesy as it sounds, I also got to spend some time just with myself, and I’m working on finding more time to do that so I can take better care of myself.
-Teaching Fellows sent my final letter saying that I am DEBT FREE and no longer owe any money or service in NC public schools to pay back my college scholarships. That is an AMAZING feeling! I will of course still teach, but it’s nice to know my debt is covered.
-I went to take one of my dear friend Sam’s yoga classes this week. I always love supporting her! We did yoga teacher training together and we’re teaching a specialty class together next month, so stay tuned! She is such a light, a sweet soul, and incredibly talented in so many ways.
-This week = extreme snuggle mode with Bruno and Oliver. Andrew took such good care of them while I was gone, but we have all been extra snuggly this week now that we’re reunited! Even Bruno, who is usually way too cool for that kind of stuff.
-Finally, two quotes that have been sticking with me lately, because sometimes we need those seemingly obvious reminders:
Another week down! I can’t believe summer is close to an end and soon school will be starting up again. I’m so ready for this nasty humid NC weather to be out and for the sweet breeze of fall to start rolling in. This week went by incredibly fast (like the rest), but here’s a quick snapshot of what I’ve been up to!
-National Lipstick Day was actually last Friday, but if you don’t already know it about me, I love lipstick. So I’m squeezing it in on this week’s FriYAY feels.
-On Tuesday, I went to my best friend Whitney’s house with our two other BFFs, Lauryn (my roomie!) and Kelly. We went to Italy together when we were young babes in college for a study abroad program, and we have remained thick as thieves over the last 8 years. Life is so busy, but when we get together, it’s always like we never missed a beat. Whitney’s boyfriend Romain is an a m a z i n g chef, and he cooked us the most delicious meal: pasta carbonara with seared scallops on top with homemade focaccia bread. Whitney re-created our favorite salad we had in Italy (we stayed in a deconsecrated convent with former nuns who made two of our meals every day!). It was just a really happy time, and the food (& company) could not be beat! Unfortunately, Whitney was off duty from J Parker Photography, so you get my iPhone pictures.
(We also re-created our favorite glamour shot with Lauryn and Whitney’s miniature weenie Daphne!)
-I got to pack for my trip to Aruba! Now that it’s finally here, I’m allowing myself to believe it is happening and now I have time to breathe and be really excited about it! But I will miss my doggies. Bruno & Oliver will stay with Andrew for the week, which puts my mind at ease, and I know they’ll love playing with his dog Nala! Bruno and Oliver loved helping me pack gave me a guilt trip while I packed.
-I got to see Andrew before leaving for Aruba! It is hard being an hour and a half away, but we do a good job of making time for each other. We tried to make breakfast for dinner (should be simple, right?), but we ended up with a mess on our hands, a waffle maker that stopped working, and a lot of burned bacon. Still, we were able to laugh about it and make “waffcakes” or “panffles” – we haven’t decided which we like better yet – and it ended up being a fun night even with the chaos! Sometimes life reminds you that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
-This year at school, I’m going to be a mentor teacher to a beginning teacher! I attended a mentor teacher training this week, which wasn’t necessarily fun, but now I’ll get to help a new teacher! That is something I really have wanted to do even since I began teaching.
-Last, but not least, family stuff: 1) My cousin graduates today! He’s the baby of my cousins, thoughtful, funny, and I remember holding him on a pillow when he was just a tiny newborn baby with white blonde hair. Congratulations, Michael! 2) I am heading home to Asheville today with my sister to see our brother and mom, and we are all going to watch a movie like old times, but this time in my brother’s new home! My sister and I haven’t seen it yet, so I’m pretty excited and proud of my big brother! 3) Tomorrow, my siblings and I are having breakfast with my dad and nana (his mom). It has been a long time since I’ve seen either of them and I am glad we’ll get to squeeze it in! Then it’s a week in Aruba with my mom, sister, and aunt! There is a lot to be thankful for.