Friday, May 29

13 Going on 30

Guess what, y'all?

Why yes, I am having a milestone birthday today. 30 seems to freak a lot of women out and if the media is worth believing I should probably be stocking up on wrinkle creams and Metamucil right now. I'm not having any kind of midlife crisis - my life is, absolutely, better than it's ever been. In addition to being the year of my birth, 1985 was the year of "We Are The World," Care Bears, Super Mario Bros., Carmen Sandiego, New Coke, Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club. All I wanted for my birthday this year was an 80's themed party with my tribe, and that is exactly what I'm getting from my own personal John Hughes and Molly Ringwald, Mr. Q and Breeze. I can't wait for tonight - I decided to go full geek on my friends and make gift bags full of 80's nostalgia. I'm calling it 13 Going on 30, because a.) I love Jennifer Garner and b.) That's a pretty good summary of my life considering I spend my days roaming the hallways of a junior high school.

13 Going on 30
1. Jelly bracelets - Pretty much the first thing I think of when I think of the 80's - I used to love the ones with the water and glitter in them, but they always broke and made a mess. The rubber ones are super cheap in the kid's jewelry section at Wal-Mart.

2. Crown and Ivy top - The Crown and Ivy line at Belk is full of adorable pieces that will appeal to Lilly Pulitzer fans and actually includes petites! I fell in love with this neon tee with a crochet overlay in the front.

3. Pixy Stix - The Breakfast Club is my favorite 80's movie, so this is my little tribute to Allison's weird, weird sandwich.

4. Rubik's Cube - Oriental Trading seems to have run out of the mini puzzle cubes that I am using as party favors, but they are available from a few other sources.

5. H&M striped skirt - Nothing complements neon like graphic black and white!

6. Party City Buttons - It was the "I Wear My ⌐■-■ at Night" button that got me.

7. Razzles - "First it's a candy, then it's a gum. Little round Razzles are so much fun!" I don't think I ever actually ate these as a kid, but they remind me of 13 Going on 30 so they are a must!

8. 80's music - My little side project this week has been building the most amazing 80's station ever on Pandora. For me, that means movie soundtracks and lots of Hall and Oates. It is literally impossible for me to hear "You Make My Dreams" and not smile.

Monday, May 25

clicks of note: don't you dare look back...

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • I hope that you're all enjoying whatever Memorial Day finds you doing. What a busy weekend we've had - I chaperoned a school dance on Friday (Karaoke room duty was way more fun than I expected), Breeze's youngest sister graduated from high school on Saturday, her middle sister's bridal shower was yesterday, and our little tribe is having a cookout today. This week, I've got eighth grade Field Day, the last day of classes on Wednesday, a retirement/going away party for two co-workers, two teacher workdays to pack up my classroom, and my 30th birthday on Friday. I'm getting tired just thinking about all of it.

  • It may not officially be summer yet, but Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance" is my official Summer Jam. I'm linking up with Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos.





Thursday, May 21

my spring in instagram.

So, I haven't posted an Instagram round-up since November. Lifestyle blogger fail. Just believe me when I say winter wasn't so bad this year, and spring has been pretty awesome.

School snaps: my kids have a sense of humor, but they can
also be deep thinkers when it's poetry analysis time.


New fitness routine: I have started a walking club that is a
spin-off of Mr. Q's cycling club - purple shoes and beautiful
countryside paths help me stay motivated.

More teaching life - a neon wall of homophone posters in 
my classroom and my sweet girls on our D.C. field trip.

Day trip to Raleigh - we picked up B's new bike and visited
the Flying Saucer's downtown location.

Easter at Elevation Roanoke with my sweet sister-in-law,
then picking up some new flowers for my container garden.

My sister-in-law's new ink and Paint Nite with my BFF, Breeze.

Mr. Q's relay team won the Smith Mountian Lake Triathlon
this year! It's a lot of fun to watch the swimmers, bikers,
and runners while hanging out at the State Park all day.

Breeze and I had a much-needed bestie weekend that included
seeing Ashley Monroe from the Pistol Annies perform in
a brand-new venue and a tasting at a local winery.

What are you up to this spring? Follow me on Instagram here.

Wednesday, May 20

Favorite Pins: Memorial Day Inspiration

Is it just me, or has Memorial Day snuck up on us this year? For some reason I could not wrap my brain around the unofficial start of summer being a week earlier than usual. I'm definitely looking forward to the long weekend. Here's some plans that have me hoping and wishing for a laid-back lake weekend sometime very soon.

What are your Memorial Day plans?

Tuesday, May 19

style: my third stitch fix [may 2015]

I took a little break from Stitch Fix in March and April, partially because I was spending my money in other areas and partially because it was that weird between-season time when I'm looking for wardrobe completers rather than staples and accent pieces. Since my first two Fixes were so awesome, though, I was ready to try again in May. This time around, I adjusted my style profile again to reflect what I learned from my second shipment, and overhauled my Stitch Fix Pinterest board to focus on fewer, more specific pieces rather than every single thing I think it cute on the Internet. 

I requested Heather as my stylist again since I felt like she did a good job with my style on my second Fix, and also gave her a short wish list with my order (and mentioned my upcoming birthday - it couldn't hurt, right?). As soon as I saw my stack of items this month, I thought, "Oh my goodness, Stitch Fix totally gets me!" The prints, colors, and textures were perfect, and I was really happy to see jeans. However, while the style was perfectly on point this month, the actual fit of my items was less than perfect. I'm going to organize my review a little bit differently this time - I wanted to share the items from my Pinterest I think stylist Heather may have based some of her choices on.

My wish list included stripes, a utility vest, chambray, gray jeans, boyfriend jeans, peplum, neutral statement jewelry a lace top, florals, a jewel tones. Here are some lace tops I had pinned:

Anthropologie (similar) | Ruche 

Stitch Fix sent me the Pixley Carlie Mixed Lace Short Sleeve Shirt. It's cut like a t-shirt, but instead of being lined like the blouses I'd pinned it was completely made of stretchy, completely see-through lace, in multiple patterns sewn together in a curvy seam.

Cute out of the box, not so cute on my actual body. The stretchy lace was very clingy and the shape of the seam was not flattering. From other bloggers' reviews, I found out that apparently Stitch Fix used to include a camisole with this top, but that's obviously no longer the case. I think I might have liked the top without the multiple patterns - if it had been the striped lace all over, maybe. Status: Returned.

I'd also pinned several pairs of boyfriend jeans:

Stitch Fix's answer to my request were the Mavi Sonja Boyfriend Jeans, seen above and below. Since I'm petite, I have some trouble finding jeans, and these were a really good pick - definitely my style (I think I specifically said no holes), potentially work appropriate on a casual Friday, and they had the cute cuffs like the jeans I'd pinned. The fit was fairly tight - more like a skinny jeans than what I thought a boyfriend jean would feel like. The fabric (a cotton/polyester/elastane blend) was a little scratchy, and the jeans were too low-cut to pass the "teacher test" (can I squat down beside a kid's desk? Not in these jeans!). Status: Returned.

I had several jewel-toned cardigans pinned, including this one which I feel like stylist Heather was able to perfectly duplicate!

The 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan is so soft and warm while being fairly lightweight. I absolutely adore the fuchsia color, and had high hopes for this cardigan since the striped skirt I kept in February and the blouse I kept from my first Fix were also from 41Hawthorn. Unfortunately, the sleeves were too long and wouldn't look good rolled up, nor do I feel like a good enough seamstress to hem them!

You can see in this photo that the Pixley lace top looks much cuter on me when the mixed lace and seams aren't visible. I'm still going to look for a lace blouse or tank to wear as a layering piece.

I think my final apparel item was definitely inspired by all of the floral tops on my Pinterest board...

I received the Collective Concepts Lydia Floral Print Key-Hole Blouse. The fabric this blouse is made of is absolutely gorgeous - a deep cobalt with a fuchsia and teal floral and bird print that looks a little bit Asian inspired. It also has fun contrasting straps and black piping.

The part of this top I couldn't love was the keyhole neckline, or as I called it, the boob window. It doesn't look bad in this photo, and probably didn't look so bad in real life, but I knew I would be self-conscious every time I wore this top and it wouldn't work for school. Maria from Kinder Craze and Ashley from Spoonful of Flavor both loved it and look great in it, so check out their reviews if you're thinking of adding this top to your wish list! Status: Returned.

Finally, my accessory from this shipment met the general criteria from my wishlist: a neutral statement necklace. To see why I was a little disappointed in it, let me show you the pieces I'd pinned:

Maurice's (similar) | J. Crew Factory (similar)

Stitch Fix sent me the Romolo Torrin Scratched Metal Fan Necklace. It's shiny, geometric, and statement making, but wasn't quite what I had in mind when I pinned long, bphemian pendants.

Here's how Stitch Fix works, in case you're wondering: when you sign up, you pay a $20 styling fee. That fee can be applied toward any items you decide to keep from your shipment. Everything you don't keep goes back to Stitch Fix in a prepaid Priority Mail envelope. 

Even though I didn't keep any items from this shipment, it really proved to me that the stylists at Stitch Fix put a lot of effort into getting to know clients' personal styles, take notes seriously, and look at Pinterest boards. I've already requested my June Fix!

Want to try Stitch Fix? If you follow this referral link to sign up, I'll receive credit toward my account when you receive your first shipment!

Monday, May 18

clicks of note: quick-thinking and kind of sly...

get your week off to a colorful start...
  • An interviewer from Cosmopolitan noticed that Scarlett Johansson seems to get stuck with the same sexist questions in most of her interviews for her role as Black Widow, so she decided to flip those questions around. Mark Ruffalo gets asked about his go-to photo poses and whether he felt pressured to loose weight for his role, and Scarlett gets to talk about her stunts and her favorite thing about playing Natasha. Brilliant.




Monday, May 11

clicks of note: if you truly wish to be...

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • I don't care how stressed out I am, the Muppets will always make me smile. This video has me wishing the powers that be had chosen Josh Groban to play Willy Wonka instead of creepy Johnny Depp. Linking up with Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos.





Sunday, May 10

sunday simplicity.

“A woman who is self-reliant, positive, 
optimistic, and undertakes her work 
with the assurance of success magnetizes 
her condition. She draws to herself 
the creative powers of the universe.”

― Orison Swett Marden

Monday, May 4

16 weird ways to celebrate star wars day

Star Wars Day is my favorite made up holiday, and whoever figured out that adding "be with you" to "May the Fourth" made it awesome gets my everlasting thanks. I've been a Star Wars nerd since the summer after fifth grade when my dad finally convinced me to give it a try, and I will be one for life (barring any complete atrocities committed by J.J. Abrams). Here are some offbeat ways I've come up with to celebrate this geeky occasion.

1.  Go pick up some power converters from Toshi Station.  Or some batteries from Radio Shack.  They're probably on sale there, it's basically the same thing, and you'll be living a dream Luke Skywalker himself never got to fulfill.

2.  Use your binoculars - see any Sand People roaming your neighborhood?   No?  I hear bird watching can be fun.

3.  Visit the weirdest bar in town.  Bonus points if someone starts singing in a language you don't understand.  Don't take anyone's seat, and if someone pulls a weapon on you, you better shoot first.

4.  Learn to be persuasive - try these five tips from Lifehack.

5. Try some fancy braided hairstyles, just like everyone's favorite sassy princess.

6. Brush up on your interrogation techniques.

7.  Wear a disguise.  Or maybe just break out of a personal style rut by trying something that's out of your comfort zone - these tips from Already Pretty might be helpful, or try one of Lauren's Instagram challenge prompts.

8.  Clean out your garbage disposal.  A New Hope teaches us that a messy trash compactor can have some very dire consequences.  There's a tutorial for cleaning your disposal using just ice cubes, vinegar, lemons, and baking soda over at Clean and Scentsible.

9.  Learn some survival skills in case you are ever stranded on an ice planet.  This list from Lifehacker, featuring videos, is a good place to start.

Two capes in one shot!

10.  Wear a cape.  If The Empire Strikes Back is any indication, they were all the rage on Bespin.  A simple Pinterest search yields tons of fashionable cape inspiration.

11.  Fix something that seems completely broken.  Running toilet?  Slow draining sink?  Cracked walls?  Apartment Therapy is always my go-to for the little "uh-ohs" that affect me as a renter.

12.  Freeze some stuff.  If you don't have access to Han Solo and carbonite, popsicles are pretty fun, and very appropriate for the beginning of May.  I've rounded up some of my favorite chilly recipes on a Pinterest board for you.

13. Bargain for something.  There are some useful tips for haggling in a real store over at Yes and Yes, but Craigslist or Ebay might be more approachable places to start.

14. Discover some long-lost relatives.  While many ancestry websites charge a fee, the U.S. National Archives has a wealth of information from census records and other sources available for free.

15. Set a trap.  I'm thinking something along the lines of offering your friends pizza for helping you move.

16. Throw a party.  Bongo drums and djembes highly recommended.