Winter 2015-2016 Obsession: LuLaRoe

I have been remiss in my blogging, readers. I certainly hope you can forgive me, as a new grade level and new school district are certainly eating up a large chunk of my time. Luckily the blog bug is biting and I’ve got a new obsession to share with you.  Enter LuLaRoe. 

LuLaRoe is a MLM (I know…) company that sells leggings and other comfy clothes through a “consultant.”  While MLM is definitely not my thing, I love me some Scentsy and Mary Kay. Add to that my newfound addiction and I’m more than happy to sink my shopping money into a “pop up” boutique.  

While LuLaRoe sells more than just leggings, I have found that the other items could probably be purchased elsewhere for much cheaper. (No way am I paying $35 for an oversized t-shirt or tunic). The leggings, however, are worth every bit of $25 that most consultants charge. 

Think about the worst part of leggings. Having to constantly pull them up all day long?  Not with LLR!  Ass hanging out in see-through fabric?  Nope. Itchy and fabric that makes you sweaty?  Uh-uh. Leggings that lose their shape throughout the day?  Forget about it!  

If you want more patterns and information, definitely check out Instagram. Read the reviews. Venture out to a consultants pop up boutique and see for yourself. You certainly won’t be disappointed. 

My current patterns:   

     
    
  
Have you tried LLR?  What are your favorite patterns?  Stay tuned for more posts on how I style my LuLaRoe for work and play!

   

Pop a Print 

Spring may have finally sprung and it’s time to put away all those boring grays and blacks. One of the best ways to transition a wardrobe to a new season is to add a small pop of print, whether it be leopard, floral, or plaid. You can brighten up and rejuvenate a wardrobe without breaking the bank on a whole new closet of clothing.  (more…)

Pink Blazer

I recently purchased a pink blazer through the Jane website. At less than $20, I wasn’t too concerned when the product was a cheap polyester material with a large single silver button, but I was slightly annoyed at the fact that, as it’s made with such a cheap fabric, I wouldn’t be able to make this piece work for the classroom. I figured a Pinterest search would offer up some good suggestions for how to make this inexpensive blazer more work-friendly. Luckily Pinterest didn’t disappoint!

Pink blazer with stripes:

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Pink blazer with polka dots:

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Pink blazer dressed up:

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Pink blazer dressed down:

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Interested in getting a bright pink blazer of your own to rock this spring? Check out the following inexpensive options!

Fancy Frills Boutique (often featured on Jane)

Mila and Mara (often featured on Groopdealz)

I chose to style my new pink blazer with a warm J. Crew Factory striped sweater, Rockstar black skinny jeans, and over-the-knee black boots.

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Do you own a pink blazer? Are you thinking about buying one now?

Winter Faves

I have been neglecting my blog something fierce lately. I am so sorry, my friends! If you are teachers (or any type of full-time working mom), you know how stressful the months of November, December, and January can be. But I’m still here. And I hope you are, too.

I’ve stored some of my winter favorites to share with you, and most are completely focused on print-mixing. Stripes and polka dots, leopard and herringbone, any prints can easily be mixed and look downright stylish.

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I found this polka dot chiffon top at The Limited and decided to pair it with my thrifted navy striped J. Crew Factory skirt. Both prints include navy, are not too overwhelming, and are fairly neutral.
I love this skirt by J. Crew Factory and it is made in a ton of styles and colors. It’s perfect for tucking in without leaving an unflattering paunch. The skirt has a bubble effect so a shirt that’s a bit more form-fitting balances the look.

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I found this vest on GroopDealz and, after waiting over a month for it to arrive, was pleasantly surprised at how closely it resembles the much more expensive versions. At a fraction of the cost it’s just perfect for my budget. You can still find these knockoffs on Jane.com and GroopDealz, but if you’d rather own an original, eBay and Instagram has plenty of sellers. Just search for herringbone vest.
I paired the leopard with the herringbone mainly because I was participating in two style challenges on that day. One was animal print and the other was vests. I’m not a huge animal print owner and this vest is one of two that I own as well, so my options were limited. But, because the color schemes are similar and I kept everything fairly neutral, the prints matched.

Stay tuned for more of my winter favorites and please share your print-mixing successes with me, too!

Classroom Novels

I recently submitted a Donors Choose project for a class set of the novel Wonder by RJ Palacio. To be honest I hadn’t read it, but the reviews were outstanding and I needed a new novel to begin in January. Luckily my project was funded within 24 hours, thanks to the Kia and Disney match promotional codes. Now I await the arrival.

I went ahead and read the story this weekend, as I was curious, obviously. To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed. I mean, it has a great message and is totally relevant to my students’ lives, but I wasn’t left feeling “wowed” like I had after reading some of my faves as a kid.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, The Giver, and Island of the Blue Dolphins will always be my favorites. Wonder doesn’t even begin to compare. There’s no real climax and everything feels kind of too perfect at the end. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I know my students will love it and I’ll use it for a few years, but I just don’t see it becoming a classic like the others.

So what are your all-time favorite young adult novels? Am I totally wrong about Wonder? Is there something more contemporary that I should be reading in order to share with my students? Enlighten me!

In the meantime, here’s how I’ve been keeping up with the winter weather and bipolar temps in Indiana.

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A great thrifted find on Instagram from @nyc_closetz

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A classic look, thanks to J. Crew Factory

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The amazing herringbone vest I mentioned in the previous post.

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Another thrifted Instagram find from the retail J. Crew. It’s actually 100% cashmere and oh-so-soft.

The Five Things I’m Into This Month

Happy October! I am having a hard time believing that my fall break has already arrived. Our first quarter is behind us and we are 1/4 of the way to middle school.

As we transition into fall there are several things I’m currently digging. I’ll share here and, as always, feel free to let me know what you’re into this month!

1. Thrifted clothes
Yes, you read correctly. I am obsessed with thrifting. But this isn’t the old-school thrifting of wandering through Goodwill or Salvation Army. The newest trend is online thrifting.

I currently thrift via Instagram. I follow several IGers’ “closets,” meaning that these gals have separate accounts dedicated to selling their used clothes. Some are even “professional personal shoppers” who live in big cities and thrift clothes to resell online. Most are name brand, including tons of J Crew, Anthropologie, Banana Republic, and so on. Many of the items are considered “EUC” (excellent used condition) or “NWT” (new with tags). My husband is getting pretty sour about the amount of packages I’ve been getting on a weekly basis, but a good deal is a good deal.

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Thrifted dress

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Thrifted sweater top and skinny red pants

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Thrifted top

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Thrifted sweater

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Thrifted skirt

2. Jamberry nails
In case you’ve ever paid close attention to my pics, you would have noticed that my finger nails were never painted. The reason is because I can’t stand the look of chipped polish. This means that, when I do paint my nails, it’s a one day adventure that is shortly removed or picked off. No fun and a waste of time.

Intro: Jamberry nails.

These amazing nail decal stickers are the latest in nail art. $15 gets you a package of stickers that can give you four mani/pedis. The designs are amazing and last up to two weeks or longer!

Applying the “jams” is super easy, too. I recommend watching some YouTube videos to watch the pros showing the application process. Oh, and don’t worry about buying an expensive mini heater. A blow dryer works just fine!

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3. Postcrossing
My class’s theme this year is all about traveling the world. From mini airplanes to license plate name tags, I’ve decked out my room. My absolute favorite decoration this year is the interactive postcard wall map. I found the map at a local teacher store. I then came across the website Postcrossing, which is a postcard exchange site.

When you sign up for PXing, you’ll be sent up to five international addresses. Once the post cards arrive at those locations, your address will be pulled by a random PXer and you’ll receive your own card(s) from around the world. So far we’ve gotten cards from South Africa, China, Poland, and a few other Eastern European countries. Not only do my students love getting the cards, but so do I!

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4. Dr. Jart BB creme
I recently received a sample of the Dr. Jart water-fused BB creme from Sephora. I then received a pore minimizing sample through my Birchbox. Based on these two product samples, I can safely say I was really impressed with the brand.

The Dr. Jart pore minimizer smells amazingly and left my skin feeling airbrushed without that nasty tightness. The water-fused BB creme felt like I was merely applying a cotton ball soaked in water. I was left with a slight tinted coverage and could’ve easily worn it alone with a little mascara and lip gloss. The next time you’re in Sephora, ask for a Dr. Jart sample so you can feel what I’m feeling!

5. My new ‘do
You probably could tell from the above pictures that I chopped off my hair. Nothing too drastic, but I’d definitely classify the new look as a bob. I added in some bangs for versatility and, all this week, happened to pin them back. But it’s nice to have other options.

Bobs and “lobs” (long bobs) are really stylish and practical. My hair is so much easier to style and can be worn dirty without it being obvious. I just add in a few waves with my iron, spritz some hairspray, and add a few pins. Done in no time! What hair are you wearing this fall?

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Fashion Catch-Up

I haven’t posted in a few weeks and I’m very sorry. As the school year really gets moving, I find that I have less time to donate to my hobbies. My free time is taken up by family and friends. Plus, as the work load piles up, it’s difficult to set aside time to think and write about teaching. As it stands, everything is politics and giving educators more crap to do that is not actually teaching. Very hard to stay positive about a profession where the word of the day has suddenly become “requirement.”

So, I imagine this blog will lean more toward fashion and less about teaching for a bit.

I’ve stock-piled some of my favorite outfits from the past few weeks in hopes of sharing. All of my recent outfits have been bought on super sale or found through thrifting!

Top: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: Michael’s craft store
Bottom: black ponte skinny pants

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Top: pink tee from The Loft outlet
Cardi: simple cotton open cardi from The Limited
Purse: Target

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Top: Gap outlet chambray button up
Pants: thrifted but from Rue 21
Bracelets: some made by me, some simple beaded inexpensive bracelets

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This outfit was worn for a professional development (no students) day.
Top and shorts: JCrew Factory
Necklace: Ameera Noor jewelry

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Top: Target (Merona)
Vest: NY and Co
Bracelets: teal one from JCrew Factory; spike one made by me

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Top: JCrew Factory navy sweater
Pants: LC by Lauren Conrad for Kohls

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Cardi: button up from Francesca’s
Strapless dress: Old Navy

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White on White: An Advanced Class on Fashion

I’ve been following a few style challenges on Instagram this month. Today’s theme, “white out,” is one that I’m not quite familiar with just yet. The idea is, obviously, white pants and a white top with accents of accessories, usually not in any crazy colors.

Pinterest, of course, has some great examples for us working ladies who don’t look like supermodels on a daily basis. There are also fabulous examples of what not to do.

Yes:

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No:

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Yes:

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No:

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Most definitely no:

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I busted out my older white pants earlier this week and spilled Starbucks before I’d even arrived to school. I was able to run a load of whites to bleach that evening, so the stain is now gone. Luckily I recently found this pair of white pants from The Limited on sale. Apparently I’m the type of girl who needs a back-up pair of white pants.

After perusing Pinterest I determined that my own style leans more toward white pants with either a lace or structured top. A sweater is out of the question in this muggy 90-degree weather.

Top: thrifted find
Bottoms: The Limited
Belt: Betsy Johnson from Nordstrom Rack

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Transparency

I always make a point to let my fifth graders know that I am transparent. Then I have to actually explain that, no, I am not see-through, but rather I am always open and honest with them about the reality of their situations.

By the time they’re in fifth grade, kids know who’s in the smart math class and who’s in the “not so smart” math class. Isn’t it better to be open and honest about it? And, for the record, we do not use those labels for the actual names of the math classes. Should we tell students in the lower math class that they can work really hard and get into the high math class? I don’t think so.

I believe we need to look at each child’s abilities. If it’s not realistic that the child will be in the high math class, then why encourage him to shoot for such a impossible goal? Why not encourage him to get an A in his current math class? Why not celebrate the realistic goals instead of keeping kids on an equal playing field?

Life isn’t equal. We all know that. Some of us are book smart and some of us are street smart. Some of us are born academics and some of us prefer technical, hands-on activities. It’s the way of life. Denying it is denying our true selves.

My husband and I went and saw Carlos Mencia this past weekend and his material is all about honesty. Should we tell every kid that he can grow up to e president? Are we really helping that kid achieve and celebrate his own goals if we aren’t honest? By all means, encourage your child to be whatever he or she wants to be, but by the time a child is in middle school, we adults kind of know the path said child is taking.

If you can’t read then you probably aren’t going to be president. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful and well-adjusted adult with a family, meaningful and fulfilling career, and have lots of money.

We need to start being real with kids. Yes, be kind about it. Don’t tell the child he’s in the stupid math class. But be honest. Kids need to hear the truth. We try so hard to hide it from them that it’s not doing any of us any good. Instead we are left with children who feel like failures and adults who can’t understand why our society feels so entitled.

Seriously… Go see Carlos Mencia. He nails it.

Top: The Limited (last weekend so it’s still in stores)
Pants: The Limited skinny denim (on clearance rack)
Accessories: arm party mix by Groopdealz and my own creations

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TMI!

And so it begins… Not the misbehaviors or sass, but rather the TMI, cringe-worthy information that parents love to share with teachers. ::shudder::

I’ve heard it all. I’ve heard about little girl’s menstrual cycles, boys’ exposing themselves, and even parent personal issues (that really should only be shared with a doctor). Today, though, I got an eyeful via email about how one of my students has been having “accidents” since returning to school last Thursday.

Um… Didn’t need to know that about a middle school aged boy. But let’s face it, boys are disgusting. I have one and I’m married to another. They’re gross and they don’t necessarily take care of everything down there! So I’m finding it hard to believe that the student (who has remained in my class close to my desk as these “accidents” occurred) experienced legitimate número two fiascos. Just saying… My classroom Scentsy ain’t gonna mask that kind of stank!

So, on top of being a teacher, counselor, psychologist, parent, and disciplinarian to these students, I am now a nurse practitioner, eager to hear all of your child’s symptoms and bodily concerns. Share away because it’s not awkward at all to know such things about your child!

Lucky for me I at least had a decent wardrobe day, student issues and all!

Dress: Old Navy ponte fit and flare (loving this style as it is similar to last week’s pink J. Crew dress. So flattering on all body types).
Necklace: LC by Lauren Conrad for Kohls
Bracelets: made by yours truly
Belt: Francesca’s

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