one shirt – two ways

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Blouse The Gap, Skirt Anthropologie 

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Same blouse, Shorts Anthropologie, T The Loft, Studded Shoes H&M, Earrings H&M

So you take one shirt from the Gap, and then you play.  I love this sheer shirt but have struggled with how to wear it, lo and behold, here are two ways.  The tights are oll and pretty much kept me warm at school even when the temperature dropped below freezing today.  This was my first time wearing shorts in winter and I have to say I really loved the casualness of the look.

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when you want to thank a teacher – gift ideas for the teacher in your life

Every holiday season without fail I pick up a well renowned women’s magazine and find gift suggestion for teachers.  And every year I am surprised that magazines continue to perpetuate the myth that teachers like apples.  I am not sure what the history behind this supposed infatuation is, but I am here to say it is not true.  I like apples, don’t get me wrong, but I do not like apple-shaped things, no matter how expensive they are.  So upon some pushing from my husband and friends, I present to you some gift ideas for the teacher in your life.

 

First a note; this does not mean you need to buy teachers gift, I am not advocating that, this is merely a guide for those who do choose to give teachers presents.

First the don’ts:

  • Stay away from the apples.  Some teachers do find apple shaped things cute, most don’t.  I am amazed at the sheer market of apple shaped things that are out there, who would have known that you could get a crystal encrusted hard perfume shaped like an apple for a mere $80.  No thank you.

  • Be aware of scented things.  Some people are allergic to certain scents while others just have incredibly delicate noses, I fall in the latter category.  One year I witnessed a colleague receive an incredible gift set of lotions, candles, and home fragrance stuff, and while she was indeed incredibly grateful, the scent made her sneeze violently so much so that she ended up giving it away.  

  • Say no to the lotion – unless you know the brand that they use.  I have been  to a fellow teacher’s house who had an entire cabinet of various lotions, so much lotion that she would never be able to use it all in her lifetime.  I like lotion but I am very picky with the one I use, back to the whole scent point, so these crazy gift-sets with all the body goodness?  Maybe not the best idea.

  • Be wary of jewelry.  I know a lot of teacher with nickel allergy, myself included, which means that pretty much any jewelry that is not sterling silver or 14k yellow gold will give us a nasty allergic reaction (because of the nickel mixed in the metal to make it look like silver).  Therefore, jewelry is often not a great idea because we want to wear it to show our appreciation.  I have had friends that have gotten such bad rashes from their gratitude that they had to go to the doctor.

A note on handmade.  I like handmade things, if they are useful.  I once received a pair of hand-knitted socks and I use them every night for sleeping.  These socks remind me of the student and the care that they took to have their grandmother knit them for me.  I love those socks.  Handmade, however, should be something that can be used and not as a decoration.  I have a very sparse home and I feel incredibly guilty when I do not display things that have been made for me, however, I would never be able to relax in my own house if I did.  

So then the do’s:

  • Do write a note.  Often this is the best present we can get.  If a teacher has shaped your life somehow or if you like what they are doing – tell them. This present beats all of the other presents hands downs every year.  I have half of a drawer filled with the notes I have received and I pull them out on days when I need a pick me up. .  They are treasured and so is the child or parent who wrote them.

  • Giftcards.  I know this seems greedy and cold, but the gift-cards I get I most often use for things for the classroom.  Barnes & Noble means more books for the kids, Target means bins, pillows, and other things to make our room more useful.  Starbucks – yeah that’s to keep me awake and energetic.  And it doesn’t have to be anything big – again, teachers do not expect presents.  

  • A Charitable Donation – Times are tough and budgets are slashed everywhere, so how about making a charitable donation in the teacher’s name?  You can pick the charity and just let them know.

  • An Event.  I was once given a free babysitting of my daughter pass so that my husband and I could go on a date – that was incredibly thoughtful.  I have also seen teacher’s receive restaurant gift-cards or massage passes, trust me, those are appreciated so much.

  • Something personal.  I know a teacher that loves Shakespeare so whenever her students’ are able to surprise her with something new for her collection she just beams.  Not all teachers have collections; I love scarves and have received beautiful scarves in the past, as well as other swoon-worthy things where I couldn’t believe that the parents and child knew so much about me.    

Finally, to repeat; teachers do not expect gifts.  Ever.  Some people choose to give gifts and it is for those people this post is written.  I know that my friends often call me to ask what they should get a special teacher in their lives and for them I wrote this post.  Keep it simple, keep it small, and keep it meaningful.  

 

Oh, and Brandon if you see this, this goes for you as well.

Some Black Friday Madness

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No we didn’t go stand in line or riot, we were happy getting up whenever we wanted to and then heading to the stores.  The first store we hit was Anthropolgie which had 50% off their sale items until 11 AM.  These two new lovelies found a new home with me, not 100% on the shirt, have to try it with some outfits.  I also snagged a blue pencil skirt that was warm and wonderful.

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Banana Republic was next where I longingly eyed this plaid shirt – how fun will this be with a blue pencil skirt?  And yet, $70 for a buttonwdown, yikes Banana, so I am keeping an eye out on it and waiting for it to go on sale.

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Our final stop was Ann Taylor Loft which for me can be a little hit or miss, and this is coming from someone who worked there for several years.  Either way I fell in love with this red pencil skirt and top.  The skirt I had to order but I do love the pop of color.

So all in all, not a bad Black Friday.  The stores had decent sales, nothing crazy, and we picked places that weren’t too crowded.  We did also go to J Crew but their deal was pathetic so I will keep an eye out for a better sale.

 

i wish i wish

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If you haven’t tasted the goodness that is Christine’s Caramels with Sea Salt you haven’t lived.  This Madison based candy maker is my go to indulgence since I found out I was allergic to chocolate.  In fact, this has become one of my favorite presents to give to people as well.  Apparently I am not the only one that is in love with these treats as they are about to go national.  So for Christmas, I wish for Santa to bring me some more for my stocking.

when you give thanks

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Blazer Forever 21/ Tank Banana Republic/ Jeans Only/ Heels BCBG

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays since it is just about being with family so this features my ever stylish sister as well.  I loved the funky take on stripes in shirt/dress.  I wanted to be comfortable and have some fun and got this super cool sequin blazer at F21 for a steal, I will be wearing this to school as well.  Only downside is that your hair snags in it, ouch.

Whatever you ended up doing, I hope you did it well.  Stay tuned for some Black Friday shopping in action pictures.

 

i wish i wish

Leopard

I love pencil skirts and do like a good leopard if it is done tastefully.  I love this skirt from JCrew, in fact, they have been rocking my world for a while even though I cannot afford their clothes.  Soinstead I hope Santa brings this my way so I can pair it with a navy blazer and some fun shoes.

get out of your seats

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Blazer H&M, Top Anthropolgie, Jeans Only, Boots (not shown) BCBG, Necklace Vintage

Tuesday and the kids are not ready to stay seated.  Who can blame them with Thanksgiving two days away?  So when I rolled out of bed this morning with my hair all curly due to my braids the day before, I was just going to roll with it.  I love this silk top but have a hard time wearing it, and yet this just felt right.  Two pastels together and they popped.  My jeans are actually pleated at the top – my husband thinks they are the most ugly pants I own and that says a lot – but they are pretty funky.  I rolled and cuffed them and wore them with my suede wedge boots.  Whatever it was, this outfit is one of my new favorites, who would have thought.

So this won’t post until after Thanksgiving so have a merry one if you celebrate…I can’t wait to show you what I wore to my dual dinners.

i wish it were a normal monday

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Sweater H&M, Dress Target, Belt The Loft, Pearls My mother’s vintage, Scarf H&M, Earrings Pilgrim

I am officially disallowing myself from being photographed wearing this sweater for a while, I will just hide how much I live in it.  As a teacher, my room goes fom hot to freezing in one day so I have to layyer up and it is just perfect for it, plus it has pockets which means I can throw my markers and doo dads in it too.  But enough is enough.

I wish this outfit was because of something fun but instead I had to go to a funeral right after school to support two very close friend’s in their loss.  Worn with my wedge boots I amanged to make it through a 15 hour day and still look somewhat decent.  And oh I love navy and black together, this dress is actually not as bright as it looks here.

 

i wish i wish

Kindle

I am addicted to books and the feeling of reading them but when I heard I can borrow books from Amazon for free on the Kindle (due to my prime membership) I had to rethink it.  So this Christmas I wish for the cheap Kindle, I already have an iPad so I don’t need anything but a book reader.  And with that, of course, comes a super fun cover…

Owl

I love the idea of the owl and I love felt so this handmade pouch from the Etsy store Ohmycake makes perfect sense for me.  A little whimsy for my purse.