small goals: november, 2017

November 5, 2017


November is here. I found that October took me by surprise, and I never found time to write down my goals. I got sick. I got tired. But, I also refined my routines, and pulled through. I am feeling organized, and like I can take on the rest of the fall. I completed 4/5 of my September goals. Here's an update on how they went:

1. Stick to a quarterly budget. // Nope. I really struggled to even determine an amount to spend. I did however manage to continue only buying secondhand clothing. I am enjoying thrift shopping more, and feeling the anxiety of looking online at items I can't afford dissipating.

2. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes. // It took me until the middle of the quarter, but I have drafted a calendar for my AP and ninth grade classes. At this point, that's about as good as it gets.

3. Attend barre class at least once a week. // Hooray! I accomplished this. I feel like my Sundays have been refined, and are really working for me. I wake up and grade at a coffee shop from about 8:30-11:30, and then I go to barre from 12:00-1:00. I feel so much more productive and healthy. It's been really nice.

4. Use my bullet journal daily. // Although I did not do this every day, I feel that I can cross it off because I used my bullet journal most days. I map out my week, and make to-do lists. I could get better at checking it daily right when I get home from work, but it is working for me right now.

5. Prep my lunch, outfit, and my work bag every night. // Again, although I have not managed to do this everyday, I have managed to do it most days. Packing my lunch has been especially valuable as a time saver, and as a healthy habit.

My hopes for November include finally tackling my budgeting habits, and focusing in on my routines related to work during the week, not just on Sundays.

1. Email parents of students who have lower grades every week, instead of sporadically. // I am thinking that I could do this on Thursdays when I have caught up with my grading, and before the weekend so that parents can motivate their students over the weekends.

2. Plan for Quarter 2. // I learned from trying to plan for Quarter 1 that I can't try to plan a full quarter down to the day at the start of the quarter. Weeks are too flexible, and I found it daunting to know what to do for my AP Language class, which I am teaching for the first time this year. However, I want to have all my unit summative assessments planned and ready for each of my preps. Yep, that's the goal.

3. Establish a grading day midweek. // I have found great satisfaction in grading outside of my house on Sundays, and I think that adding a day to grade during the week will be beneficial. I would like to grade outside my house one day a week, and I am thinking Tuesdays should work. Now the question is, where? Possibly a library. Possibly a coffee shop.

4. Stick to an envelope budget. // Although I had hoped to set a budget, I failed miserably. I am going to set an envelope budget for myself for the end of October, and all of November. Here we go. Hopefully it works out.

5. Read at least two books before the end of November. // I am almost all of the way through Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and can rustle up another by by the end of November.


What are your goals for this month? 


small goals: september 2017

September 3, 2017


August
was an intense month. I went on vacation and then went back to work preparing for the school year. I am actually pretty proud of what I got done, and did more than I thought I had. Plus, the goals that aren't done can carry into September. If you want to join a link up and share your goals with others, you can check out Writes Like a Girl. So, here's how I did with my August goals:

1. Only purchase clothes and accessories that are secondhand or vintage.   //  Yes! I found all of the fall additions for my wardrobe from local thrift stores. It felt great to locate things I was planning to pay full price for earlier in the summer. 

2. Stick to a quarterly budget.   //  Nope. The start of the school year is not the time to be trying to stick to a generalized budget. I bought a Keurig for my classroom, among a ton of other actual class supplies. I think that because I am so set up, though, budgeting will be easier from here on out. 

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   //  Yes! I started a campaign, and got it funded! It was a set of YA novels that represent diverse backgrounds and experiences. I felt so proud when it got funded, and I should get the books by the second week of school. 

4. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes.   // This is the one thing I avoided. I have two weeks ready for all my sections, but need to knuckle down and have these calendars ready. 

5. Complete at least one DIY project.   // Yes! I completed the evil eye pillow. Also, I did so much watercoloring on vacation. I am a downright artsy person. 

Okay, September, here we go. I love the fall, and the excitement of the start of school. Summer is great, but I find that I have too much time to get into my own head. September never leaves me time for that. Here are my goals for September:

1. Stick to a quarterly budget.   //  I am looking to limit my spending in September, as I've got basically everything I need for the fall. I am going to evaluate what I am spending money on, and cut out some extra expenses that are unnecessary

2. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes.   // I am working on these right now. Again, they don't need to be perfect, they just need to be done. 

3. Attend barre class at least once a week.  // I've started going to barre classes, and I really love them. The combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates is right up my alley. If I can manage one class a week, I am going to feel great. 

4. Use my bullet journal daily.   //  I really like using the bullet journal format, and I want to integrate it more into my everyday routines. The plan is to check my lists everyday when I get home from work at the very minimum, with checking in the mornings on weekends. We'll see how it goes. 

5. Prep my lunch, outfit, and my work bag every night.   //   It's kind of simple, but strangely difficult to do. I am committed to making sure that all of my stuff is prepped everyday for going into work. It's going to save me time in the mornings, and help me to feel ready for each day. 

What are your goals for September?

three favorites: august 20, 2016

August 20, 2017

My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Coty's Vanilla Musk. This is a dead ringer for Atelier Cologne's Vanille Insensee. It has a whiff of citrus, but is mostly a hit of vanilla and musk. It doesn't last super long on skin, but lasts well sprayed on fabrics. I have been putting this on before going to sleep, and this scent was especially nice in the heat of Bonaire during my two week vacation.

2. Speaking of vacations, it's pretty basic, but getting away from home, trying new restaurants, and poking my head in another country's drugstores are great for my soul. I spent two weeks in Bonaire, which is a municipality of the Netherlands that lies north of Venezuela. The trip was not perfect, but being in the ocean scuba diving, and getting to explore the downtown were really fun. If you are ever there, check out Mezze, La Cantina Cerveceria, and Cactus Blue for food, and definitely pick up a Golden Rose matte lip pencil from the drugstore across from the main pier (they are dupes for the NARS velvet matte lip pencils and are five dollars each). 

3. The game Splendor. I don't have the patience to count points too hard, but I love to play this game, which has the players act as jewel merchants during the Renaissance who are trying to garner the favor of a noble. There is a really tactile aspect to it, as players must collect jewel chips to affords mines which allow them to gain points. It plays two to four people at a time. I would highly recommend it. Just don't play my husband. He always wins. 

three favorites: august 13, 2017

August 13, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

Well, I find myself sitting in the humid air of Bonaire and one week into a two week scuba vacation. It's good to get away. Although, I have started having back to school nightmares. Yes, teachers have them, too. I am going to soak up the sun and ocean breeze while I can. Here are some of the things I am loving this week.

1. The JCrew Signet bag. I bought this on eBay after looking for about a month for this bag in "festival red" without much luck. It popped up, and I was compelled to snag it. I am so glad that I did. The red is a welcome addition to my vacation outfits, and is roomy enough for my wallet, extra lipstick, sunscreen, sunglasses, phone, and my husband's phone and wallet. It's great for traveling, as it has a zipper that can even be locked.

2. As the eclipse approaches, I thought about Annie Dillard's essay, Total Eclipse, which describes the horror of watching the sun disappear. It's a great read. "We had, it seems, loved the planet and loved our lives, but could no longer remember the way of them. We got the light wrong. In he sky was something that should not be there. In the black sky was a ring of light. It was a thin ring, an old, thin silver wedding band, an old, worn ring. It was an old wedding band in the sky, or a morsel of bone. There were stars. It was all over." -Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk


3. Watercolor paints. I have started a couple small postcard sized water color paper and I am pretty content with how they are turning out. Painting what I see while scuba diving using watery pigment feels correct, and it's fun see something close to what I experience underwater bloom on the paper. I got my set from IKEA, and love that the paints sit on top of a storage space for paper and brushes. 

small goals: august 2017

August 1, 2017


Well, July has come and gone, and I was kind of productive. Kind of. But, I am feeling okay, and also I am feeling like I am developing some good productivity habits for the school year. If you want to join a link up and share your goals with others, you can check out Writes Like a Girl. So, here's how I did with my July goals:

1. No new clothes or makeup for the month.   // Success! It got a little dicey towards the end as I was realllllly close to buying a lipstick, especially after all the hype from national lipstick day. But, I made it! I think that by getting back into sewing, I was able to soothe my need for new clothes by creating something. More on that in a second. 

2. Run at least once a week.   // Not really. I ran once, missed a week, then ran again. I think that if I plan to run in the morning on Saturdays, and actually have a day chosen, this may be more successful.

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   // Nope. I have been putting this off for a year, so I shouldn't be too shocked that this proved to be difficult to initiate. I had trouble restarting my profile, and got hung up on needing a profile picture, which as of now is still blank because the website won't allow me to upload a photo. I am going to get this up and running, though. So, I will move this goal into August.

4. Read at least two books about teaching.   // Yes! I finished "It Won't Be Easy" and "Whistling Vivaldi" and both were great. 

5. Finish two DIY projects.   // Success! I made a DIY linen spray using this tutorial. My clothes now smell like vanilla and cedar, and this is especially great for clothes only worn once for a light work out that I don't want to wash just yet.  I also finished my nerdy "valar morghulis" cross stitch, which is framed in yellow roses. I am going to say that this cross stitch is in honor of Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones, the Queen of Thornes. 

August is going to be a time full of relaxing, and busy with preparation. I am looking forward to it, but it has the urgency of the ending of summer, and the beginning of a new school year. Hopefully I can manage to prepare enough that I can relax. Here are my August goals:

1. Only purchase clothes and accessories that are secondhand or vintage.   // I am really excited for this goal! After successfully slowing my buying habits, I want to intentionally seek out secondhand pieces to start offsetting my fast fashion purchases, and educate myself more about sustainable fashion. 

2. Stick to a quarterly budget.   // I would like to set a quarterly budget for myself and then stick to it. I need to do a bit more thinking about what that amount will be, but I would like to limit my personal purchases to a seasonal budget that allows me to be more intentional about when, and what, I buy. 

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   // Here is my migrated goal from July. I emailed Donors Choose about where I got stuck in the process, and hopefully they can help me out so that I can move forward. I would love to get this done as soon as possible. 

4. Complete draft calendars for the first quarter of my classes.   // I have a start for both ninth and eleventh grade. I just need to complete these calendars so that I can breathe easier. Plus, I am telling myself that if they are drafts they do not need to be perfect. I repeat, they do not need to be perfect. They just need to be done. 

5. Complete at least one DIY project.   // I think I can finish more than one project, but I want to be realistic with how much time I functionally have in August. So, one project. Things that could be finished: an embroidered evil eye pillow or an off the shoulder shirt sewn from scratch that I have all the materials for. Crafting has been such a lovely opportunity for me to sort through old materials, and get excited about being creative!


What are your goals for August?

three favorites: july 23, 2017

July 23, 2017


1. Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach. I really like the texture of this under eye correcter. The formula is pigmented, and manages to help my under eye concealer stick, without being cakey. If I need a pick me up for tired eyes, this is it.

2. Dirty Chais. I discovered that two of my favorite things- coffee and chai tea- can be combined to create a dirty chai. Usually it's made with espresso, but I am trying to save some money, honey. So, I am mixing some strong dark coffee, iced chai tea, and whole milk in equal parts. It's great.

3. Watching my dog sleep during the day. My Siberian Husky, Arya, likes to rotate around the living room and nap. Moving from the couch to the rug to the hardwood floor to the tiles in the entry way, she breathes deeply and occasionally has the heart rending dog dreams that make her paws twitch. Watching her gives me those little heart flutters.

reading: the bat and cockroaches

July 21, 2017 Minnesota, USA


Okay. My husband once said that I am an expert in murder. That's not true. However, there is something that draws me to murder mysteries of any kind. Miss Marple? I'm there. My Favorite Murder? Great. Criminal Minds? Sure, but I'll be paranoid for a week.

This week, I finished the second Harry Hole novel by Jo Nesbo called Cockroaches. I am of two minds about the first two novels in the series that feature a damaged Norwegian Detective. My first feeling is that I was bored. My second feeling is that I finished the books, and was surprised by both endings.

I'll be honest, I don't take in murder mysteries to try to solve the mysteries before the on screen or on page detectives. These stories appeal to me because they are truthful about the potential for humans to be both truly terrible and truly heroic. Harry Hole doesn't really fall into either of these two categories. He stumbles into his cases, and their solutions, often putting those around him in danger.

The Bat, the first novel, is set in Australia, and Cockroaches, the second novel, is set in Thailand. Harry Hole so far has left a wake of dead romantic interests and wounded partners in his wake. Those I am not all that interested in. However, I have heard that the series gets good after the first two books, so I will give the third book a chance.

I did, however, really enjoy the book, Blood on Snow, by Jo Nesbo. You can read my review here.

styling: gold mini dress

July 19, 2017

Atmosphere glasses from EyeBuyDirect / thrifted bandana, gold mini dress, and shoes / Target hoop earrings (similar) / Banana Republic military jacket / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition


Oh man, this jacket was such a good purchase. It serves me well through summer, fall, and spring. Here, I have styled it with a gold mini dress that I found at Goodwill. This look is pretty indicative of what I have been wearing this summer: bandanas, dresses, and hoop earrings.

small goals: july, 2017

July 17, 2017

I was inspired to start posting monthly goals by Nicole from Writes Like a Girl, who is a continuous source of lovely ideas, honesty, and outfits for me. I'll be posting five goals at the beginning of each month, and then assessing how I did in achieving my goals as I start a new set. If you want to join the link up, you can refer to Nicole's post about her July goals here.

July has been a muddled time for me. I feel the need to really dig in and get work done, but I also still feel the need to recover from my year of teaching and rushing around. Hopefully, some of these small goals will help to give me some direction and structure for the rest of my summer, and help me to feel less stressed about what needs to be done. Here are my July goals:

1. No new clothes or makeup for the month.   // I feel like I am consistently siphoning money away from my savings and into collecting more things. Finally, I think I am ready to pump the brakes on that and use what I have. This may become a longer goal or capsule situation if I have the will power. 

2. Run at least once a week.   // I hate running. But, I need to get some cardiovascular exercise into my routine. I am hoping that this will be sustainable as it is only once a week and something that I could carry into the school year. 

3. Start a Donors Choose campaign for my classroom.   // One of my colleagues this year filled her room with a lovely collection of books that could excite readers. I want to get better at offering books, and having options for resistant readers that go up to our school's library and come back empty handed. Donors Choose could be a great way to create a list of some good books that represent a variety of races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities. 

4. Read at least two books about teaching.   // I am almost done with "It Wont Be Easy" which has been an encouraging and candid account of teaching from a teacher in my area, Tom Rademacher. I also would love to read "Whistling Vivaldi" which deals with stereotypes, and will be discussed for a book club that I am interested in joining at the end of July. 

5. Finish two DIY projects.   // I have a Game of Thrones cross-stitch that I am almost finished with, and would also like to sew an off the shoulder top. Lately, I have been missing the crafting that I did when I was in high school; after sorting through and clearing out many of the supplies I had held onto, I want to take advantage of my newly organized supplies, and get back into the process of creating

three favorites: july 16, 2017

July 16, 2017

My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. These red heels from Aldo. I bought these for my birthday. My mind was telling me that I needed them. Of course, I did not. However, these heels fit just right, and are a lovely pop of color to add to my wardrobe. Now, I just need to orchestrate a date to wear them on...

2. Dusting my baseboards with socks. Slowly but surely, I am systematically cleaning my house so that I can wait another year before deep cleaning it again. Part of my crusade against grime and dust this summer has been to dust my baseboards with a sock. It's magical. The sock grabs the dust in each crevice along the wood, and can be washed like wasn't tasked with picking up dust that has accumulated for probably five years. I am loving the way the tackled rooms feel so much more crisp.

3. That summer glow that is half highlighter and half sweat. You know the one. That shine that develops on your face because it is summer and it is hot. I am loving that right now and not even fighting my face's oily state. I am totally embracing it and combining it with highlighter, because I'll be wishing for skin this lush in the winter.

styling: short skirt and shorter hair

July 15, 2017


Penelope sunglasses from EyeBuyDirect / SugarFix bow choker from Target / GAP chambray camisole (similar, but darker) / Urban Outfitters a-line skirt (older, similar, similar, similar) / Target sandals / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition



Well, my hair is growing out, which is exciting. It's fun to watch my hair become fuzzy, and develop and lose cowlicks. Here's to summery outfits and summery hair. May they keep us cool.


three favorites: july 9, 2017

July 9, 2017

My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Burberry Earthy Blush.  This has grown on me. Honestly, a forty dollar blush shouldn't have to do that. However, this one has. Yes, it is fragranced. Yes, it is ridiculously priced. But it is a great color that sits somewhere in between a blush, bronzer, and contour shade. It somehow does it all. When I want to quickly get ready in these summer mornings, this is what I dust on my cheeks. It makes me feel both subtle and glamorous.

2. Bandanas. I can't help it. All I want to wear is a bandana tied jauntily around my neck. Maybe it's because I buzzed off all my  hair. Maybe it's just because it feels right. If you aren't feeling like tying your neck scarf around your neck, Man Repeller has some advice for you.

3. Lake Weekends. Sigh. It's so good to get away. Even when I am on summer break. I bring my books, I bring my sunscreen, and we get away for the weekend. I think last summer we spent most weekends away from home. For the teacher in me that has to spend Sundays at home during the school year, I love to get away for a whole weekend during the summer.

three favorites: june 18, 2017

June 18, 2017

My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Essie Nail Polish in Master Plan. I love this color of nail polish. It never clashes with anything that I am wearing, and looks modern. I love the Essie formula, too.

2. Curriculum design work. Yet again, I worked for my district to design curriculum and edit what we have already created. It's great to get together with other teachers, and really dig into curriculum. I find that I have a better sense of priorities for my teaching next year if I do this kind of work over the summer. Some things that are one my mind: streamlining my feedback on writing, intentionally grouping students for feedback or remediation or giving them an extra challenge, including more choice reading into my curriculum, and including more resources for my ELL students.

3. This recipe for chilled cream of basil soup from with food + love. I made this for some friends this week, and it is a great vegan option for the summer! It uses cashews, basil, and garlic for a soup base that is flavorful and creamy, and then has a tart corn and cucumber salad that goes on top. The flavors blended really well.

three favorites: june 11, 2017

June 11, 2017


1. This eye shadow stick from No. 7. I grabbed this from Target a while ago, and it is really coming in handy now that the weather is hot and humid in Minnesota. This eye shadow stays put all day, and comes in a variety of shades- my favorites are Cool Mink and Velvet Truffle.

2. The Baz Luhrman Romeo + Juliet. My freshmen always finish up the year by watching this movie I never get tired of hearing them freak out about the slight changes to the end of the story. I also love the detailed world and vision of Verona Beach. It was a good way to end this school year. I have my students analyze how changes in setting and props can affect the themes emphasized by the original and the remake.

3. The newest Wonder Woman movie. I went to go and see Wonder Woman with friends this weekend, and it was really enjoyable. Although some of it let me down (like the constant objectification of Diana), it was one of the better super hero movies I have ever seen. The movie also had me wondering about the origins of the comic, which were much more interesting than I expected. This article from the Smithsonian talks about the secrets of Wonder Woman's creator, his connections to Margaret Sanger, and his dubious beliefs about women, bondage, and power.

styling: the last day of school

 Ellie glasses from EyeBuyDirect / SugarFix star drop earrings / school spirit tee / thrifted JCrew pencil skirt / older GAP metallic flats / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition


I officially gave up on pants the last week of school after Tuesday. This was my outfit to end my fifth year of teaching. It was nice to feel polished, but have some school spirit mixed in. Happy Summer!

three favorites: june 7, 2015

June 7, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Sonia Kashuk hair brush. I bought this about a month ago, and I love it. This brush feels great against my scalp, and can really brush down any cowlicks I have developed while sleeping. It also looks quite chic sitting among my lotions and beauty products on my vanity.

2. This article about Geminis from the Nylon website. I found this article through Joy the Baker, who not only produces delicious recipes and lists of great web findings every Sunday, but is also a fellow Gemini. This article is a loving tribute to "Gemini, the low-key psychopath of the zodiac." I loved the way the author used voice, and the kick butt metaphors they used to describe a Gemini's personality. They also really delved into the fact that Donald Trump is a Gemini, a fact that I didn't know. I found this article to be a reminder to write about myself creatively, to control the impulse to fly too close to the sun, and to use my Gemini skills to fight for those around me.

3. Graduation ceremonies. Our seniors graduated last night, and it was really lovely to see them in that space between an end an beginning. I am so proud of the graduates. I have known many of the students since they were freshmen, and have really enjoyed watching them grow up and grow into who they are. It's hard to explain the pride I felt for all those different stories and experiences coming together to celebrate a universal milestone in their diverse experiences. I want all the best things this world has to offer for these young adults as they head into their futures.


three favorites: may 15, 2017

May 15, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to view every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Sunscreen. I love this spray on sunscreen from Neutrogena. It's colorless and doesn't leave my skin feeling super greasy. It's really nice to be able to throw it in my bag and go.I typically use 30 SPF on my body. 

2. Looking through old family photos. It's shocking to me that family memories can be so easily lost. I know a decent amount about my grandparents' parents, but feel that the generation before them were largely a mystery to me for a long time. This Mother's Day, I looked through my grandmother's records of my relatives that immigrated to the U. S. in the 1860's. It was a reminder of all the lessons on immigration that have been swirling around me lately: that many have forgotten that their families traveled to North America to settle land that was taken from Native Americans, that many of my students are experiencing moving to a new culture, and that many of my students' ancestors were forced to come to America. I want to stay humble, and remember that my culture is not normative. 

3. Pulling weeds. Now that my husband and I purchased our house, we were pulling weeds in the front yard. The creeping charlie was working really hard to sneak to the middle of the yard from both sides, and it was really gratifying to yank stalk after stalk of the bitter green and purple plants out of the soil. To be outside and get some dirt under my nails was really grounding. 

three favorites: may 5, 2017

May 8, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to see every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. ROC Retinol Correction Eye Cream. This eye cream is light is moisturizing. I have had some issues with eye creams making my eyes burn, or leaving my eyes red in the morning, but this one just leaves my eye area plumber, and hydrated. 

2. This recipe for mole spiced chickpea tacos from Snixy Kitchen is magical. All the components come together really well, and they were a hit with company I had over at my house this weekend. 

3. Plants. I ran out this weekend, and picked up some tiny potted herbs, and a little baby succulent plant. I am hopeful that I can keep them alive. I've never owned plants before. 


styling: victoria beckham for target

May 4, 2017

 Ellie glasses from EyeBuyDirect / Victoria Beckham for Target floral dress / Swedish Hasbeens Lotta clogs Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition


Oh my, once I saw this dress at Target, I knew that my plans to stop buying clothes, newly started, were already foiled. The dress is a mildly stiff cotton, with a lining, and darling scallop details. I love the length and the loose silhouette. The buttons in the back are murder, though they are cute, because they hook with tiny elastic loops that are quite stubborn. Overall, this will be in my rotation for classroom or date nights, and because of the lining can be paired with tights for cooler weather as well as spring and summer.


three favorites: april 30, 2017

April 30, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to see every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 


1. Neutrogena Moisturesmooth Color Stick. I love these. They smell like mango. They keep my lips moisturized through a day of teaching. It's awesome. 

2. Striped tee shirts. I am obsessed with them. They are my sitting at home/weekend uniform. I know that many people feel this way, but if you haven't gotten on the black and white striped shirt bandwagon, you should.

3. Checking things off my adulting list. This week, my husband and I bought the house we had been renting. I'm excited to settle in a little more into putting down some roots, and it helps me to feel like our decisions tell a comprehensive story. Now I can be immature, and everything will average out. That's how these things work, right?

What have you been loving this week? 

styling: cool spring layers

Ellie glasses from EyeBuyDirect / thrifted coat / vintage Coach purse /Target black turtleneck / thrifted GAP skirt / Forever21 platform oxfords / Apple Watch 38mm Sport Edition


It's been cold and dreary in Minnesota. Despite my best efforts to get outside, I tend to stay in with a cup of tea. (Who am I kidding, I do that when it's sunny out, too.) But I went out for lunch recently, and bundled up, combining some springy items with some of my winter stuff.

three favorites: april 24, 2017

April 24, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to see every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Seche Vite top coat nail polish. This is the best top coat that I have ever used. It is shiny, dries in a snap, and doesn't trap bubbles like so many other top coats that I have tried.

2. This amazing recipe for a quinoa bowl from Parsnips and Pastries was a highlight for me. I loved the dressing, and the way the spring vegetables blend together. It also pairs really well with this recipe for a curried ramen from Vegetarian Ventures. A lot of the leftover vegetables from one recipe can be transferred to the other.

3. I was listening to music with one of my classes of freshmen, and I was reminded of a song that I first heard my freshmen year of high school. Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John sounds like spring to me.

three favorites: march 17, 2017

March 27, 2017


My mother always used to ask us what our 'three favorites' were on our way home from a holiday or vacation. I'm trying to see every week of my life with gratitude, so I am using my mother's question to guide my weekly reflection. Here are my three favorites from my week, big or small. 

1. Green tea, especially the Harney and Sons one with coconut and lemongrass. I love the change from winter to spring. It's so optimistic to be able to switch from winter coats to spring coats, and from dark coffee to light teas and milky cold brews. This tea comes in such a beautiful tin, and has a hint of something tropical. It's great.

2. Henna. For a fundraiser, my school's Muslim Student Association was giving henna tattoos after school, and I got a flower that snaked across my forearm and the back of my hand. I am thankful for my thoughtful, brave students who share their culture with others, even during times of uncertainty and fear.

3. A clean house. We are getting our house appraised, and the feeling of going through things that hadn't been touched in years was worth the hassle of scrubbing and sorting.

What are you loving this week?


styling: pop of red from Arc's Value Village

March 26, 2017

Here is a collection of my three typical looks, styled with pieces from Arc's Value Village. I've got a little date night, a little casual weekend, and a little classroom outfit action coming your way.


D A T E    N I G H T :   French Connection dress (10.99) and red purse (3.49) from Arc's Value Village / vintage brooches from my grandmothers / SUGARFIX by Bauble Bar earrings / ankle strap flats from Gap


C A S U A L :   bandana (1.09), Land's End striped shirt (7.99) and Gap jeans (6.99) from Arc's Value Village / sneakers from Target

C L A S S R O O M :   vintage blazer / Gap dress (6.99) from Arc's Value Village / clogs from Swedish Hasbeens

What are your favorite items to find at the thrift store?

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