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.

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