FriYAY feels!

FRIYAY!

Yesterday was our last school day of the week and I accidentally wore my Friyay shirt because I was that excited for the weekend. I didn’t even realize it until someone told me at school.

Is anyone else completely obsessed with the new Hearth & Hand with Magnolia collection? Target picked it up this week and I am   l  o  v  i  n  g   it. I’m dreaming of plaid placemats, chargers with ceramic plates, and allllll the holiday gift wrapping. So far I have exercised a smidgen of self control and have only bought a holiday scented candle. Here’s hoping!

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.

Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

FriYAY feels!

source

I am so glad it’s the weekend because that means I am THAT much closer to my trip to Arizona next week with my mom!

This week was happy but went by quickly, especially since I missed work on Monday for my 30th! My week at school was full of paperwork and to-do items that really had to be accomplished, so it felt good to knock some of those out and get them checked off of my constant, ongoing to-do list!

I am so obsessed lately with everything this color.

I scooped up this little number yesterday afternoon and it looked so good on. I always try things on with an attitude of, “It probably won’t fit right, but it doesn’t hurt to try!” But this dress looked so flattering. I love the colors and the gold button detailing on the back. The length is great for work or play, too! And I love anything that covers my arms, because that’s one of the areas I’m least comfortable with on myself. I’m dreaming of wearing it in the fall with booties or heels, in the classroom or out to dinners or weekend events!

For my trip to AZ, I picked up some travel items. I love to buy travel-sized items for trips. Of course the miniature sized items are cute, but I think what I really enjoy is the idea of feeling like I’m jetting off somewhere that I need a few smaller items to save space in my luggage! And I also think I like the fact that I can try new things without committing to an expensive item. For this trip, I got travel sizes of this shampoo and conditioner, this cleansing water that I’m really excited to try, and this body wash. I also picked up some travel size face cleansing wipes for my mom and me to use. I’ll take my all-time favorite face wash in its sample size container. I know I’m not looking for anything new in that department! Temperatures are going to be over 100 degrees while we’re there, and we’re doing a lot of hiking, so I am just going to pack light:  Workout clothes (including my favorite leggings ever), a couple of fun outfits for dinners out, and a few athleisure outfits for beboppin’ around town with my mom. I got this backpack for hiking. It rolls up into itself and will hold water, snacks, and sunscreen.

Have a happy FriYAY! Andrew and I are off to another date night tonight. We’re so hip.

Four days until I’m in the desert!!!

FriYAY feels!

weekend vibes & my newest reading

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!

 

FriYAY feels + intro part 2!

old shot by whitney from back when i was using my passion planner 🙂

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!

FriYAY feels + a little about me!

Photo by Whitney at J Parker Photography, tank is old from target

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!

 

FriYAY feels!

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.

national lipstick day

-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.

focaccia bread
italy salad
the best pasta

(We also re-created our favorite glamour shot with Lauryn and Whitney’s miniature weenie Daphne!)

lauryn daphne then now
2013 vs. 2016

-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.

jules andrew

-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.

Everyone enjoy your weekend!