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.

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.

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 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.

A great thrifted find on Instagram from @nyc_closetz

A classic look, thanks to J. Crew Factory

The amazing herringbone vest I mentioned in the previous post.

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

The Best of Pinterest and Fall Fashion

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted in quite some time. Unfortunately, you can’t get rid of me that easily. I’m back with a brand new laptop/tablet and lots of fun fall fashion advice. Get ready, my pre-winter fashionistas….

The Zara-inspired blanket scarf

I found this gorgeous Zara scarf dupe on GroopDealz, one of the many flash sale websites. The scarf itself is sold by Brina Box for $29.99. This scarf goes with everything, as you can see from these popular pins via Pinterest.

Zara scarf 2Zara scarf 3Zara scarf

The J. Crew-inspired herringbone vest

I just got this gem in the mail on Wednesday, but wore it to Thaup, statement necklace, and skinny jeans paired with black combat boots. I felt very stylish yet unbelievably comfortable. I, again, found this great deal on GroopDealz back in October. The actual seller is Hemline Mom. While it took forever (about 30 days) for the vest to arrive, it was well worth the wait, especially for under $30. Both the J. Crew original and the many dupes have been inundating Pinterest, too.

Jkempf herringbone vestHerringbone vest

The J. Crew versatile skirt

I purchased this amazingly versatile skirt through the J. Crew Factory website during a huge 50% off sale. It’s perfect for the holiday season and, as you can tell from my Instagram pic, goes with all types of prints and sweaters.

The skirt comes in many styles and colors and you can see how this Pinterest goddess accessorized with a vest and flannel popover.

Jcrew skirt 2 Jcrew skirt

Jamberry nails… again!

I’m loving the new Jamberry wraps and, after multiple attempts at applying and always getting wrinkles, I found the best tutorial video here. Using her suggestions, I immediately went to the local CVS and bought a spoon cuticle pusher. My Jams have never looked better! I can’t wait to use the spoon to apply all my new Jamberry wraps!

So what are you all loving this holiday season?