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?

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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You Don’t Have to Try So Hard

Have you seen the amazing “Try” video by Colbie Caillat? I have had this song stuck in my head all morning as I pondered what to write. I finally realized that I needed to make a deep and dark confession.

I dieted over the summer. Scratch that. I attempted a diet over the summer.

Hubby and I decided, after a recommendation from a friend, to go on Ideal Protein. I won’t bore you with the specifics, but suffice to say that this was the first real diet I had ever done. Shocking since I’m a 30 year old female, right? But dieting is not my thing, nor has it ever been.

Working with a bunch of women I see daily the newest fad diets. Whole 30. Shakes. Protein powders. Cleanses. Everything. Up until this summer I had managed to steer clear. But something prompted me to attempt this Ideal Protein diet. Something sinister.

Hubby and I signed up (fail #1) by paying a crazy amount of money and receiving a few complimentary pre-packaged foods to try. Did they taste good? Some. Did this diet work? Yes. I lost 6 pounds within days. So why did I stop?

Never in my life had I been so unhappy. Each day I awoke only to instantly start thinking about food. What would I have for breakfast? How long until I could have lunch? Did I want my allotted snack in the morning or after dinner? I was absolutely miserable. At the end of the week I finally told hubby that I would prefer fat to sad.

So why did I jump on the fad diet bandwagon? I suppose, after seeing certain coworkers always attempting these diets, I wanted to give it a try. Deep down, though, I know that I love to eat whatever I want. I just need to balance that with moderation and exercise.

As I listened to Colbie Caillat’s song I again began questioning myself. Why did I try so hard? Why am I so afraid of being myself? I like who I am, and while I would prefer to lose some weight, it does not define me as a person. I should work out because, ultimately, I feel better emotionally. My anxiety is lowered and I have a happier outlook. If I lose some poundage, great. If I don’t, that’s okay too. I don’t have to try so hard.

What do you try so hard? Does it make you happy? What are you going to accept about yourself today?

Top: LC by Lauren Conrad for Kohls (old)
Bottoms: emerald skinny pants from The Limited (very recent and these were 40% off too)
Bracelet: J Crew Factory

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Thank Gosh for my Hubby

Growing up with a single parent who worked two jobs, I often took for granted how much my mom put into the basics: lunches, dinner, laundry, homework, etc. Now, with a kid of my own, I can’t imagine doing it all without my husband to help.

This week was my first true experience as a single parent. Hubby went to Michigan for a conference. He left Sunday night and came back yesterday. Thank goodness.

Because of his job, hubs is the one who drops off L at preschool each morning. Thus, I’m afforded the luxury of taking my time and having a stress free morning. I now know how important this is to me. Not having to deal with a screaming angry toddler because he’s sleepy… Not having to change my outfit because milk was spilled on it… Not dragging a screaming toddler into school only to turn away from the shrieks of “Mommy come back!”

Two out of the three days went really well, but it’s that one day where all of the above happened that kills your spirit. I’ve never felt 100% great about being a working mom and having your son sob because he wants to stay with you at home and snuggle is awful. Walking away from that? Heart wrenching.

I truly don’t think the working mother guilt ever goes away. It’s even worse for me, I believe, because I spend all day with other people’s children while someone spends all day with mine. #assbackwardsmuch?

Now that hubby is home and programming has returned to it’s normal schedule, it’s easier for me to deal with being a working mom. As I leave I see L sleeping peacefully. Who would want to wake him? When I pick him up I get to see his excitement and hear all about his great day. So much easier than the morning routine!

What do you think? Do you have working mom guilt?

Top: JCrew Factory “photo floral” pattern
Pants: Rock’n Republic for Kohls, white denim
Jewels: Bangles by me, emerald-shaped bracelet by Mindy Mae’s Market (via Jane.com)

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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 nĂºmero 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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Getting on a Schedule

Boy, am I ready to get back into a real schedule, both in and out of work. My fifth graders are eagerly beginning to show their real personalities and I can’t wait to start getting them into a consistent and rigorous schedule. The more distracted with legitimate learning, the less behavior distractions and disruptions.

As I look to next week and getting real lessons and academics going, I’m also going to be dealing with running things at home as a single parent for a few days. Hubby will be in Michigan for a training and L and I will have to figure out a way to survive with preschool drop-off, dinner time, and so on. Stay tuned!

Top and pants: New York and Co
(Pants are a new purchase. NY and Co has a buy one, get one free on pants!)
Bracelet: Banana Republic (old, it was an option for my wedding jewelry)

In case you wish to follow along with my August outfits or join in yourself, check out #trendyruffleprepstyle on Instagram!

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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.

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

A Chaotic Week in the Life of a Teacher

My apologies for the blog being so quiet the past few days. I was laid up with strep and some kind of stomach issue too. I’m still not 100%, but I’m getting there.

Fellow teachers, do you ever notice how the month of May is always crazy chaotic? There’s standardized testing, field trips, performances and ceremonies, and tons of other activities. It’s exhausting. While I look forward to this time of year, being the end of the quarter and summer break, the craziness drives me bonkers.

So, because I’ve been back logged with real life, I’ve got a few outfit posts to share. Enjoy!

Top: tank and cardi both from JCPenney a.n.a brand
Cropped pants: NY and Co
Necklace: Kohls apt. 9 brand

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Top: local boutique
Necklaces: JCrew and Nordstrom Rack

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Top: Old Navy
Bracelet: http://www.jane.com

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Top: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: http://www.purpleperidot.com

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Top: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: http://www.jane.com

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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

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