Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Love Clothes

By no means do I consider myself a fashion blogger.  I have done the occasional outfit post or talked about things I love, and I'm good with that.

Not long ago, Chantal from Scattered Seashells, posted about Stitch Fix.  As soon as I was done reading her post, I immediately went over to the Stitch Fix website to fill out my style profile!

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In case you don't know (because I didn't), this is how Stitch Fix works.  You fill out your style profile that includes information about your body (height, weight, sizes) and style preferences.  You can also link up a Pinterest board that reflects your style.  Each month, you pay $20, and your personal stylist selects 5 pieces to be sent to you.  You try everything on, and buy whatever you want.  If you buy all 5 pieces, you get a 25% discount.  Whatever you don't want, you toss in the pre-paid shipping bag, and put it in the mail.  The $20 you've already paid is deducted from the cost of any of the items you purchase.

You can select to have your Fixes shipped as often as every 2-3 weeks, once a month, or every other month.  As much as I would love to have a new box every month, I didn't want to go over board, so I've opted for bi-monthly.

My fix came with an envelope that contained directions for the process, a note from my stylist, a list of all the pieces with the prices for each one (and the total for choosing them all), and styling cards for each of the pieces included in the Fix.


This the blouse I ended up choosing.  The styling card has great suggestions for how to dress it up or dress it down.


Here's how I wore it for a day of outlet shopping with my friend Kim.  It is a tad low in the front, which I would wear for a night on the town, but for day, it needed a tank underneath.  I wore black flip flops, and my new bracelet from Ashley Bridget.


I really did like almost all of the pieces in my first fix.  The only thing I didn't like was a faux pearl bracelet.  (Pearls are just not my thing.)  There was a sheath dress that would have been perfect if not for the horizontal stripes.  The other dress bloused on top and didn't look quite right on me, and I really loved the other top that they selected for me, too.  It was a white, casual, light-weight, 3/4 sleeve sweater, but I could get something similar for much less in price.

My next Fix is scheduled to ship on September 5th, and I'm so excited!

Do you want to get in on the action??  You can!  And you can help me get credit toward clothes when you get your first fix.  Just click here to use my referral link!

Anyone else out there tried Stitch Fix already?  What did you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why I failed the #100happydays challenge...

I know many of you have done (or seen) the Instagram challenge "100 Happy Days."  Back in March, I decided to give this a go myself, and posted the challenge picture.


For starters, I would like to clarify that I didn't fail this challenge because I couldn't find things to be happy about.  I'm not a depressing person, and I try not to harp on the negative parts of life.  I started out ok.

This was the first day of the challenge. My cousin's daughter, Vivien, woke up from taking a nap during church, and she let me cuddle with her for a bit.

I posted every day for the first 7 days.  

Then I forgot.

I picked up where I left off, and posted for a few more days in a row.

Then I forgot again.

Actually, looking back just now, I didn't do too badly at first.  I'd forget for a day or two in a row, and then I'd remember the next several days in a row.  Sometimes, I know I didn't just forget, but rather, I wasn't sure how to take a picture of something happy.

THAT became the real failure.  I think Instagram is great.  I just honestly don't post on there very often.  

Something that drives me crazy is technological clutter.  I hate it when the DVR is getting full with shows we haven't watched yet.  I try to keep my e-mail inbox as clear as possible--saving only necessary e-mails, and deleting them as soon as they are no longer needed.  I try to get pictures off of my phone if they're not essential, if I don't feel the need to have them on there, and/or if they've already been uploaded to the computer AND printed out.  So taking pictures of random things like 

or 


kind of drives me insane.

And there are some kinds of happiness that you just can't take a picture of: being grateful to be alive, surviving another work day, the peacefulness of resting, etc.

So basically, I must say, I admire those of you who were able to take this challenge, and make it work for you.  I did learn that I don't need to post a picture on Instagram to prove I was happy each day....furthermore, I KNOW that there were some days I didn't post because I just wasn't feeling the happy.  That's ok, too.  We're allowed to have bad days!  I may have found some glimmer of happy each day, but it might not have been picture-worthy or even picture take-able!

And that, my friends, is why I failed the #100happydays challenge.

Did anyone else try and fail??  How about success stories??


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Blog Sale!!

Ok friends, I have a lot of stuff.  I just spent yesterday shopping with a friend, and I found more stuff.  This led me to clean out my closet a bit in order to make room for new things.  I've seen many bloggers out there try their hand at listing items for sale on their blogs, and so I'm going to give it a go, as well!

Here's how it will work:
1. Sale will run through Thursday, July 24, 2014.
2. Items will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.
3. If you would like to purchase an item, please leave a blog comment with the item(s) you would like.
4. I will calculate shipping, and send you an e-mail with the total price.
5. Payment transactions will be completed via PayPal.
6. I will ship all items via USPS after payment has been made.

If you are local, we can arrange a meet up for you to pay and pick up your item(s).

So let's get the fun started, shall we??


Item #1 H&M Dress



Item #2 T-Shirt

Item # 3 purple shirt, Item #4 cardigan

Item #5 skirt suit, Item #6 pants suit

Item #7 camo shorts, Item #8 blue shorts, Item #9 middle pic, Item #10 Jean shorts, 
Item #11 white shorts

Item #12 AE skirt, Item #13 Rue 21 skirt, Item #14 Express skirt

Item #15 Pink booties

Item #16 Travel Organizer

Item #17 Thirty-One Skirt Purse, Wallet, & Key fob

Item #18- Thirty-One Skirt


There you have it, friends!  Start shopping!  :)  And if you could please share this post via your social media sites, I'd really appreciate it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dear Pappy

Dear Pappy,

I can't believe that it's been a year since you went to Heaven.  Time has certainly passed by so quickly, and it is still strange that we're all here without you.  You and Nana raised such a wonderful family that I am so proud to be a part of.

Not much has changed with us.  We've continued to get together for every holiday to enjoy each other's company and to eat, of course.  We sure do have some good cooks in this family!

We were all so blessed when they honored you at the Veteran's Day parade in November.  It was definitely one of the hardest parades I've participated in so far.  Until they decide they don't want me to, I will continue to sing at the Veteran's Day and Memorial Day parades to honor your memory.  One of my fondest memories is getting to ride with you and Nana in the car during the first Memorial Day parade I sang in.  I loved how proud you were of me, and when you gave me a kiss after I was done you told the audience that, "It's ok.  I can do that.  She's my granddaughter."  I was in that moment and still am so proud to be your granddaughter.

I miss you, Pappy, and I love you.





Sunday, July 13, 2014

Favorite Finn Moments

A year ago today, Cory Monteith passed away.  Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Cory played the beloved character, Finn Hudson, on Fox Network's Glee.

It seems to have become a summer ritual for me to login to Netflix and watch Glee from the very beginning.  This summer, they've added Season 4 to their instant streaming.  Watching season 4 is torturous for a few reasons: 1) Season 4 pretty much sucked. 2) Seeing it now knowing that it's Cory's last season is really weird.  There are certain things that Finn says and does that hit you in a whole new way knowing that he won't be back for the next season.

Anyway, I don't know why Cory's death has had such an impact on me.  Perhaps, it's because we were both born in the same year.  It may be borderline obsessive, but no matter what, it still gets to me.  In honor of Cory, I decided to compile some of my favorite Finn moments from the show (in no particular order).

"Furt" Season 2

I LOVE this episode, also known as Burt and Carol's wedding. As Kurt's stepbrother, Finn and the Glee Club sing "Just the Way You Are" for Kurt.  Finn and Kurt even share a dance after having some difficulty at school while Kurt was trying to teach Finn and his dad how to dance at the wedding.



"The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" Season 2

Sue Sylvester, coach of the McKinley High Cheerios, wants to shoot Brittany out of a cannon to up the excitement of her cheer leading performance.  Meanwhile, the football team is forced to join the Glee Club as a way to bring peace between the two.  They will be doing their own half-time show with a mash-up of "Thriller/Heads Will Roll".  Realizing they really need Brittany, Santana, and Quinn to perform with them.  Finn runs off to stop them from going to compete with the Cheerios. (Excuse the video quality, but it gets my point across.)


"New York" Season 2

The Glee Club goes to Nationals in New York City.  Rachel and Finn have been broken up, and he's been trying to get her back. At the end of the performance of "Pretending," they share an amazing kiss...which may or may not have lost them the Nationals competition.  But who cares?  I always vote for true love! :)


"Yes/No" Season 3

Ok, I know people got their panties in a knot over this one because Finn proposes to Rachel.  Yes, I know they're in high school.  Yes, it's unrealistic, but it's TV FOR GOODNESS SAKE!  Didn't these people ever watch Saved by the Bell?  Anyway, it's another of my favorite moments, and so I'm sharing it anyway.  :-p

"Prom-asaurus" Season 3

Rachel (who was not on the ballot) wins prom queen along side prom king, Finn.  I love every word he says to her after she wins....


"Good-Bye" Season 3

Rachel thinks that she and Finn are heading off to their wedding after their big win at Nationals.  Devastatingly to her (and me! lol), Finn breaks up with her instead.  HOWEVER, it's what he says that I love.  I honestly sob through most of this episode...especially after Cory's passing.  Knowing that Finn and Rachel can never be together again is too much to handle....so yeah, if you're a fan, watch at your own risk.
(Oh yeah, and I know this video quality also sucks, but I couldn't watch it anyway so.....)


"Feud" Season 4

Ok, yes, the Finchel relationship is somewhat complicated, and at this point, they are not together.  BUT Santana discovers that Rachel's current boyfriend, Brody, is a male escort.  She sets up an appointment, and Finn is there to solve the problem.  If you don't watch the video, the part that makes me swoon...and sob...is when Finn tells Brody to "stay away from my future wife."  (Sorry about the captions in the video.) 


Also from this episode, Finn and Will along with some of the other boys of New Directions perform a mash-up of "Bye, Bye, Bye" by N*sync and "I Want it That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.  Umm...this teen of the 90s says, "YESSSS!!!"  Unfortunately, Finn and Will are in a bit of a feud because Finn kind of kissed Emma when she was hysterical.  But whatever.


Those are just some of my favorite Finn moments.  I had a few more noted, and I would love to share more.  I'll be honest, though, it wasn't as easy to find them as I thought it would be.  Obviously, any song he sings with Rachel is at the top of my list, and "Don't Stop Believing" is also another high ranking contender.  BUT I have done plenty of posts about some of those before, and chose not to bombard you all with them again.  I do leave you with this one last thing.

"The Quarterback" Season 5 

Also known as the tribute to Finn/Cory.  I downloaded a few of the songs, and the entire episode because part of the money was donated to a foundation that helps people with addiction.  I watch this episode when I need a good cry.  Seriously, I don't think I'll ever be able to watch it without crying.  The emotion from the cast is so genuine.  You can actually tell it's not just the characters mourning Finn, it's the real actors mourning Cory.  While it's not a moment directly involving Finn, it's Rachel's tribute to him.



RIP Cory Monteith 5/11/82-7/13/13


Friday, July 11, 2014

Life Without a Purpose

Ok...that title is a little dramatic sounding.

First of all, don't worry, everything's fine here in my world.  I've just been thinking and feeling this lately, and I'd like to tell you a little bit about what it's really like for this teacher during the summer.

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Now, before I get some backlash about how lucky I am to have my summers off, or how teachers don't deserve summers off, let me clarify that I am NOT complaining.  This is just the type of conflict I go through every year.

For starters, I spend January on counting down the days until summer vacation.  Sure, there's a lot of work left to do and a lot left to teach, but January-March (and often April) in Pennsylvania is COLD.  It's after the Christmas high that I realize I need warmth and sunshine to function as a normal human being again.  Once it does warm up in May, that's it.  No one (teachers or students) wants to be in school any more.  Then summer comes, and as the above ecard states, I have no idea what day it is.

Apparently, it's Friday.  And as I'm writing this it's 9:40 PM.  Now, during the school year, I like to stay up late on Fridays, but often, I'm falling asleep on the couch at this time.

I'm. Wide. Awake.

And I'm hungry.

Again.

I digress.

Allow me to share with you the pros and cons of summer vacation for me:

Pros:
1. I can obviously take a nice long vacation, as you have spent the last couple of weeks reading.
2. I can go to bed when I want.
3. I can wake up when I want.
4. My house is clean....ish.
5. Laundry is always done.
6. I have time to blog.
7. I get to read!!!
8. I actually like going to the gym (probably because there's nothing else to do).
9. I can do what I want when I want.
10. Lots of time to work and prepare for the upcoming school year!

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Cons:
1. I actually do not function well without a schedule.  Do I hate getting up at 5:45 AM?  YES!  If school started at noon, I would be in much better shape.  :-p  My point is that without something that I have to do, I find myself all over the place.
2. I'm tired all day, but wide awake at night.
3. I have no idea what day (or date) it is 85% of the time.
4.
via
5. By the time I wake up and get moving, the day is almost done.  

Scott's swing shift work schedule doesn't help me at all.  I find myself operating closer to his schedule, which totally messes up my sleeping patterns, too.  For example, he slept almost all day one time last week.  He had to go to work the next MORNING.  We went to the gym at almost midnight because he couldn't go back to sleep, and I was wide awake.

I will never complain about my summers off.  I LOVE it.  I just wish I could find a way to force myself into a routine!

Any fellow teachers (or stay at home wives) have suggestions?? 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Vacation: Mississippi

So after our adventures in Nashville, we headed to our ultimate destination, Biloxi, Mississippi, to visit Scott's high school friend and his family.

On our first night, they arranged for us to stay at the Golden Nugget Casino.  For the remainder of our trip, we stayed in their home.  We actually did very well at the casino, and thanks to video poker, we won enough money that this leg of our trip was completely free!

On our second night, David and his wife, Lisa, welcomed us by having a BBQ with their friends.  We had a great time, and I really only got one candid shot from the whole night.  BUT they did have a karaoke system set up in their house...so naturally, I had to "do my thing," as Scott put it.

Excuse the photo quality from Scott's phone.  Also, I happy faced the people in the background because I don't know them well enough to feel comfortable posting them to my blog! :)
As it turns out, we were not far from New Orleans, so the next night, David, Lisa, Scott, and I took a trip over to Louisiana to experience Bourbon Street.  It was definitely....something else.  lol  I probably would have had a better time if I wasn't feeling like death warmed over, but all in all, I'm glad that I can say that I've been there.
We didn't end up having any authentic New Orleans food.  We stopped in at a Sports Bar called Walk-Ons to get something to drink and use the restroom.  We decided to stay.  (Smiley face guy is some random dude at the bar...)
We have arrived!

Naturally, we found a karaoke bar so that I could sing.  We waited FOREVER, but eventually, I got to rock the place with "Last Name" by Carrie Underwood.

Scott & I with our friends David and Lisa on the balcony of the karaoke bar Cat's Meow
On our last day of vacation, David and Lisa took Scott and I (and their daughters) to a beach on the gulf near Mobile, Alabama.  On the way, we stopped to eat at this awesome restaurant called Lamberts.  The food was delicious, and included with your meal you get the "pass-alongs".  Basically, servers come around with pots full of different sides.  I had the potatoes and onions = AMAZING!  They'd also come out with hot rolls, but they don't just hand those to you.  If you want one, they throw it to you.  Don't worry if you drop it, though, they'll throw you another one!  There's butter at your table, but they also come around with warm apple butter = AMAZING again!

Eating at Lambert's Cafe

Scott and I in the Gulf of Mexico!
We had such an amazing vacation!  From Ocean City to Nashville, to Mississippi, and all the wonderful things we did while we were there, I could not have asked for a better time!

Thanks for sticking with me for my vacation recaps! :)

 
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