On Tuesday, Andrew and I went on a hot date to celebrate our 2 year anniversary of meeting each other! My best friend Lindsay lives in Nashville and is kind of the epitome of cool. She works in the music industry and manages bands, so she put us on the list to see The War and Treaty and it was the most fun we have had in so long. Their show was EPIC and their talent and energy is amazing.
Last weekend, I got some serious half off deals from Old Navy and ordered a few things the rest of my new clothes until 2018. (I don’t know if you know this about me, but Old Navy texts me when they have deals because I am very important to them…) I also needed a new pair of jeans and have had the Madewell Roadtripper jeans on my list for months and months now. I finally pulled the trigger and I’ll keep it simple: They. Are. Everything.
Ev. Ry. Thing. Just read the reviews and when you’re ready to splurge, thank yourself in advance and click “Place Order.”
I’m working on a holiday gift guide to post next week (don’t quote me on that if it doesn’t happen). I’ve mentioned before that I love giving gifts, and Christmas has always just been such an exciting time for me. I try not to take it for granted or let it pass me by as I get older.
The last two days were super chilly and gray/drizzly in the Raleigh area, and last night I made my first chili of the season. I really loosely followed this recipe. So good! It was the perfect “Friday” fall night. Andrew and I stayed in, invited another teacher friend over for dinner, ate chili, watched a movie, and hung out with the dogs.
Last, but not least, Happy Veteran’s Day! We have today off from school, and while it’s always so nice to have a day off, it definitely does not go without notice. I’d think today was important anyway because we should always honor those who fight to protect our country, but my granddaddy fought in WWII and I miss him every single day. He was a true human treasure; he was the wisest man I’ve ever met and someone who was the backbone of my family. He never talked much about the war, understandably, but I know that anyone who serves our country in that way deserves huge respect and recognition.
This week went by so fast for me. We had a teacher work day on Halloween, which is always much needed and also never enough time to get all my boxes checked on my to do list! For Halloween, Andrew and I went to Whitney and her fiancé Romain’s house to have delicious tacos, pass out candy to kids in their neighborhood, and have a fire pit with s’mores. You mayyy or may not have seen mine and Andrew’s punny costumes – he went as “construction” paper and I was “legal” paper. I was so pleased (but drawing lines on fabric with sharpie and a ruler is not ideal – just an FYI).
This weekend, I have a full couple of days! Tonight, I think Andrew and I are going to our school’s football game – still undecided. I’ve got a new school spirit long-sleeved tee so I’ll probably be rocking that and feeling pretttttty cool.
Saturday, I’m helping throw a baby shower for one of my best friends Kelly! We have been friends since high school and our other friend Maggie, Kelly’s mom, and Kelly’s mother-in-law have been planning this shower for a couple of months…and it is finally here!!! I think it’s going to be such a fun time with lovely decorations, good food, fun activities, and showering Kelly with love for her baby girl! I can’t wait. After the baby shower, I’m going straight to a birthday party for the coolest (almost) 12 year old I know. 🙂
In other news, Andrew and I have been watching the new season of Stranger Things and we killed the last episode last night – so epic. I am so sad there were only 9 episodes. I love that show. That and Big Little Lies have been my latest two obsessions, and now I have to wait for the next seasons again 🙁 How will I ever make it?! I don’t even watch TV typically! What other series should I get hooked on in the meantime?! I don’t have cable, but Andrew and I like to watch a new show here and there between a rolling favorite like The Office or Parks and Rec on Netflix. Recommendations are welcome!
This week was so exhausting! I’m teaching about prenatal development in class right now, and the kids are so interested, but it’s a LOT for them to learn. So I’ve created a ton of assignments/games/study guides for them to work with and try to remember all of the tiny details of every month of pregnancy. It’s my favorite unit to teach, but it takes a lot out of me!
Highlights of the week:
Last weekend, I catered another wedding brunch for a bridal party of one of my assistant principals! My friend Kelly helped me and we made so much food and set everything up on Saturday morning. It was a long weekend, but it’s so nice to be involved, and I love putting things together. Feeding people is just one of the things that brings me a lot of joy!
I got a gift card for my birthday to Amazon (I’ve become quite the online shopper), and I needed a pair of knee-high tan boots. I have knee-high black slouchy boots that I love and have worn season after season (like…this is my fourth year with these boots, I think). And then I have two pairs of tan booties. So I needed a pair of tan, taller boots for the fall. These came in clutch and I am loving them! Easy and comfortable for teaching, but can transition to my normal life, too. Don’t worry, I also balanced it out by ordering a pair of flat black booties since I only have tan…but now I’m REALLY done for this year!
I l o v e a good mani/pedi, especially since I work on my feet all day and then walk miles at the pub on Wednesday nights. Last night was my night to treat yoself, so I went to Urban Chic. I’ve been going there on and off for a couple of years now, but now it’s so close to where I live that it’s my new regular spot! It’s always so relaxing, and they offer a lot of different services and color options. The staff is always so friendly, too! My nails are so good – the color is “Oxblood.”
I also got some new makeup this week: I was looking to replace my forever favorite powder, and I stumbled across this foundation powder that my friend Kelly has. I’ve heard such great things about IT Cosmetics and have used their Bye Bye Undereye concealer. This is only my third day wearing the foundation powder, but I am really happy with how it looks, the coverage, and the illuminating look! My blush and bronzer sit really well on top of it, too. When I get a few extra dollars, I’ll still go get a new POREfection powder, but I’m really enjoying this for a more full-face look without having to use liquid foundation. A girl needs her options!
Finally, the students in my FCCLA club at school are selling bracelets for their big fundraiser this year through The Apparent Project. It’s so fun to see them get excited about a good cause. Each bracelet tells a story, and each sale sends money back to a mother or father in Haiti who is trying to provide for their family in some way. People say to me a lot that they don’t understand how I can “stand” to teach teenagers, but the truth is I love it! They are learning what’s really important to them in life, and they are finding bits and pieces of who they will become as adults. It is so rewarding to me. I have already bought a few of these bracelets for myself and for Christmas gifts this year!
Speaking of Christmas gifts, I’m getting secretly excited about starting my holiday shopping! (Or as the kids are saying these days, I’m “low key” excited. But I guess if I’m sharing it with you and the internet world then it can’t really be that low key, can it?). I love the satisfaction of planning for gifts, making my lists, and checking them off as they’re acquired (ahem…delivered to my door). Then I take a day and wrap everything up with the same wrapping theme, and it’s just so fun to give people I love things that I hope they will love! Who else are my gift givers out there?!
This weekend, I’m off to Charlotte for my sister’s second NPC Bikini Competition. She has been killllling it and I can’t wait to watch her rock it out!
What’s everyone doing for Halloween? Andrew and I are going to Whitney + Romain’s house for a little dinner party and s’mores by the fire pit!
Friyayyy! This week felt long. By Tuesday I was asking myself, is this week ever going to end?! But here we are, fam! We made it.
I have actually had a lot of really wonderful little things happen to me this week! Tuesday, I got to attend a Superintendent’s breakfast to celebrate our School-to-Career initiative. It was fancy and fun! They had two student speakers and they were both very impressive. It’s always so amazing to get to see what kids are doing in our schools and how our community provides incredible opportunities for them.
Wednesday, I won a $20 gift card to Paintbase Nail Bar! They were doing a giveaway on their Instagram account, so I entered on a whim – I never win things. And I won!!! Then, in the same day, I had a surprise birthday gift come in from one of my sister’s best friends (and a long-time friend of mine, too!). It was such a nice surprise and she has snuck up on me like that before with little gifts in my email for teacher appreciation week or just because. It really made my whole day and was so above and beyond! Then, again in the same day, I had my Wednesday shift at the pub and it was a great night at work. I received a random amazing tip with the sweetest note thanking me for being a teacher. I love reminders that there are good human beings everywhere, and that there are quiet acts of kindness that happen every single day. It’s also nice to know that people do value education and don’t just think it’s “cute” that people teach the future of our country. So thank you, so very much, to the lovely couple at table 15 on the patio, wherever you are!
Thursday was a Teacher Work Day, and I always celebrate those! I got to get a lot of work done, planned lessons for the next little while, and graded some papers that were piling up! I also got to eat lunch with my main squeeze, which was really nice because I feel like I haven’t really seen him all week!
Thursday night, my sister surprised me with a girls night out cooking class at Sur la table! My best friends Whitney and Kelly were there holding a 30 balloon! I couldn’t believe it! More to come on that later 🙂 I was so overcome with good emotions and it was such a special time.
This weekend, I am celebrating turning the big 3-0! My birthday is on Monday, but I always love to stretch out celebrations. Then, in another week or two, I’m heading to Arizona with my mom for our big trip for my 30th!
I have so many things to be thankful for, and life is good! Sometimes we just need a little reminder or two of that. What is everyone else thankful for this week? I hope it has been a good one!
I’ll be back next week, cheeky as ever. 30 isn’t getting me down!
Oh! And it’s the first day of Fall?! My favorite time of year! HAPPY FALL, Y’ALL!
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!