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:

Pink blazer8 Pink blazer11 Pink blazer13

Pink blazer with polka dots:

Pink blazer7 Pink blazer3 Pink blazer2

Pink blazer dressed up:

Pink blazer6 Pink blazer5 Pink blazer4

Pink blazer dressed down:

Pink blazer14 Pink blazer12 Pink blazer10 Pink blazer9 Pink blazer1

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.

20150224-190843.jpg

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

Advertisements

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.

20150218-051412.jpg
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.

20150218-051842.jpg
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!

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

20140808-065142.jpg

20140808-065155.jpg

20140808-065220.jpg

20140808-065210.jpg

What the Hell, Starbucks?!

Today I awoke with a pep in my step. It was my first Monday with my new class and I was super eager to begin working on actual school work, rather than just completing “getting to know you” activities. I had pre-ironed and laid out my clothes the night before. I didn’t hit snooze even once. Today was going to be great!

As I rolled up to the local Starbucks, I noticed a sign stating “ATM open during construction.” There were zero cars in the lot, but I figured that maybe a new layer of asphalt was being laid down and that the cars were parked in the back. Wrong. Starbucks was closed!

I know something so trivial seems silly, but whenever we are out of our schedule, things can be crazy and anxieties rise. Lucky for me a coworker brought me a cupcake, and I later snacked on my granola bar and Babybel cheese. I survived.

Basically the moral of my story is this: don’t let the trivial things ruin your day. Whether you argue with a spouse or get stuck in traffic, it’s all trivial. Put it all into perspective and think about how lucky you are today.

Top: Jcrew Factory anchor top
Skirt: Jcrew Factory swing
Necklace: Purple Peridot clear crystal

20140804-193331.jpg

20140804-193341.jpg

20140804-193358.jpg

Have you ever had a rough start to the week? How did you handle it?

Practice practice practice

The most important thing about the first 6 weeks of school is the procedures. As teachers we have to ensure that our students are following our own set of expectations from the get-go. A teacher can always lighten up, but it’s impossible to become more strict.

“Don’t let them see you smile until Christmas,” is a phrase many veteran teachers tell the new educators. While we don’t need to be that extreme, it is imperative to practice all procedures until they are up to par. As a seventh year teacher, I often forget to cover all of the little things, so I’ve found that using a procedures checklist is best. Again, it’s better to be more thorough. Check out this checklist (it’s free from TpT!).

In the meantime, don’t forget to take care to set up your own procedures. I’ve started setting out my clothes the night before so my morning runs smoothly. I was really excited to wear this new pink dress from JCrew. I scored it through Instagram and a #shopmycloset sale for a mere $30!

The pearl strand is also via JCrew Factory while the Love bangle is via Mindy Mae’s Market.

20140801-230333.jpg

20140801-230354.jpg

20140801-230423.jpg

20140801-230442.jpg

20140801-230457.jpg

What procedures are you always certain to cover? Which do you often forget?

Comfort During Standardized Testing: Surviving Teacher Fashion Dilemmas

This week has been our state standardized testing, otherwise known as the ISTEP. Much like other states, it’s rigorous for the students and teachers alike. In our state we must circulate the room for the entire testing time. That means a lot of standing and pacing, which can be difficult in heels or regular “work” shoes.

My room is actually tiled, so I will often either bring more comfortable shoes or wear my “most-worn-in” pair. Today I went with some pretty sandals.

It’s also important to be comfortable and, as usual, wear layers. Teachers never know what the building temperature will be! I chose a loose cotton sundress and a cardigan. I purposefully don’t wear any jewelry that will “clink” or “clang.” Clearly, after six long years, I’m a pro at this. (Haha)

Today’s outfit:

Dress- Old Navy cotton halter (old)
Cardigan- Old Navy (old)
Bracelet- Target

20140508-103000.jpg

20140508-103031.jpg

20140508-103016.jpg

Yesterday’s outfit:

Top- American Eagle tee
Skirt- Nordstrom Rack
Belt- Croft and Barrow for Kohls

20140508-105246.jpg

20140508-105303.jpg

20140508-105319.jpg

How do you stay comfy at work?

Spring Trend Alert: Shift Dresses

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet and interview Jen from JenDaisy Boutique. While there I picked up this gorgeous shift dress.

20140422-194935.jpg
I got so many compliments on it that I had to share and discuss the look.

Shift dresses can be tricky. If you’re like me and a little bigger, a shift dress can leave you looking like a potato. That is never okay. So, in order to give your curves some attention, cinch your wait (above your navel) with a pretty belt. Allow the belt some give. If it’s too tight it will draw attention to a “food baby” gut. You can also add a jean jacket, cardigan, blazer, or other covering over your arms to break up the “roundness.”

In conclusion, just because you don’t look like this…

20140422-200216.jpg

20140422-200222.jpg

20140422-200226.jpg

… doesn’t mean you can’t wear this!

20140422-200250.jpg

20140422-200254.jpg

20140422-200259.jpg

20140422-200302.jpg

20140422-200307.jpg

Are you brave enough to show off your curves in a belted shift dress?

Classy Girls Wear Pearls

Before getting into my outfit post of the day I thought I’d share a story semi-related to pearls. If you’re only here for the outfit posts, feel free to scroll down. If you like a little lifestyle built into your daily outfit posting, continue reading…

When I was younger my parents divorced and my mom dated. A lot. My brother and I met a few of these gents, but most were cut before getting to the “meet the kids” round. In late elementary school (4th grade) my mom began dating a man named Brian. After a while he moved in with us and life seemed good.

I really liked this man and, as he became part of our little family, I actually contemplated calling him “dad.” I didn’t, and in hindsight I’m very glad. But, at the time I didn’t know much, being all of ten.

One day he gave me a little pearl bracelet. The pearls weren’t real, but the bracelet had belonged to his mom and it made me feel very special, like I was “daughter-worthy.” I cherished that little bracelet.

Like all of my mom’s prior relationships, this one too wasn’t meant to last and, eventually, they broke up. Brian swore that my brother and I would still be a part of his life, but that too fell by the wayside. When he moved out I began wearing the little pearl bracelet and continued to every day for over a year.

Eventually the fake pearl coating came off one pearl. Then another. Finally the string broke and I was forced to put the piece aside. It was only years later, as I was cleaning out my mom’s house after she had passed away, that I came across the broken pearl bracelet. It was stuffed in the drawer that was just below where she placed her purse each night.

A part of me will always remember that old broken bracelet every time I wear pearls, and I don’t think I’ll ever own a real set. I don’t know that I’d want to own a real set anyway. It’s funny how an old cheap piece of plastic jewelry can hold so many memories, much more than a real set ever would.

Top: TJ Maxx
Bottoms: Lauren Conrad for Kohls
Necklace: J Crew Factory Multi-Strand

20140416-063911.jpg

20140416-063922.jpg

20140416-063935.jpg

What I Wore to Work: A Teacher’s Wednesday Outfit

Creating my own April style challenge has been fun. But there have been two days this week where I honestly did not feel like participating in my own challenge. Is that a complete failure or what?! Today I really was not feeling the cardigan look, so I snapped a few pics with it and then promptly took it off and threw on my ever-faithful jean jacket.

The top is from TJ Maxx. I love that place. Unfortunately we don’t have a Marshal’s in my area. Which do you like better, those of you that have both? Which has the better deals and steals?

In changing my cardi I also swapped out jewelry. The short necklace is from Nordstrom Rack (by far my fav store) and the longer one is from Forever 21.

You’ll also notice that I actually curled my hair today. I need to find a product that doesn’t leave it stiff or pull the curl out. Regular Suave hairspray just is not doing it for me. Any ideas or recommendations?

Top: TJ Maxx Max Studio
Cardi: Banana Republic outlet/Eddie Bauer jean jacket
Necklace: Free People for Nordstrom Rack/Forever 21
Pants: Candies brand for Kohls

20140409-105442.jpg

20140409-105519.jpg

20140409-105506.jpg

20140409-105635.jpg

20140409-105652.jpg

Bow-You-Tiful Day: Accessorizing with Bows

Day 7 of the #classyinclasschallenge is all about bows! I’ve mentioned that bows are trending like crazy this season. From earrings to t-shirts, you can easily add a bow to your outfit.

I found this bow-you-tiful top at Old Navy outlet while on spring break. It was $5! The bracelets, while not bows, easily fit the outfit and add some mixing to the accessories (and tie into the pearl statement).

Don’t be afraid to throw in all kinds of trends: bows, glam bracelets, roses, pearls, etc. Mix up your prints, patterns, colors, and so forth. The biggest piece of fashion advice for this season is don’t be afraid to mix it up!

Top: Old Navy outlet
Pants: NY and Co (basically sweats) “work” pants
Necklace: J Crew Factory
Bracelets: Very Jane daily deal website

20140407-195053.jpg

20140407-195103.jpg

20140407-195112.jpg

20140407-195122.jpg