Strength in Numbers...

Strength in Numbers...

A week or so ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a teacher friend of mine who just so happens to do exactly what I do- teach four English classes to a variety of ages. And let me tell you, it was so encouraging and refreshing to have a conversation with someone who truly understands, like no one else, just how I am feeling about a variety of head-scratching frustrations issues unique to teachers. =)

So, imagine an opportunity for dozens of conversations just like that one... a chance to connect with hundreds of like-minded educators, learn from the best, and spend time with my colleagues (and, let's be honest... a few days off school.) These are several of the reasons that I've looked forward to our North Carolina Christian School Association annual convention ever since I started attending as a (clueless) college junior. It's easy, as a teacher, to occasionally feel as if you're on an island... no one understands my frustrations with the curriculum... no one understands this parent issue... no one understands my discipline struggles... no one understands my total dependence on caffeine! (Right?) So when we are able to get away for a couple of days to "regroup," if you will, with our "own kind," it makes a huge difference! Talk about life-giving moments! Simply having the chance to talk to other English teachers about what we have in common to deal with on a daily basis is incredibly uplifting.

Not to mention, this year's sessions were some of the best I've ever attended. Because you care, here are the workshops I chose:

"Catching Fish or Cutting Bait?"- this session on attention-grabbers (and keepers!) by Cathy Dotson was fantastic. A lot of her ideas were geared more for the younger grades, but let's keep it real... teenagers are just overgrown kids. They love silly songs and rhymes just like the little kids do. 

"Dealing with the Needs of Difficult Students"- If I thought that this session title "spoke" to me, I was certainly not alone since the room was packed! Travis Moots did an excellent job outlining different types of challenging behavior (unmotivated, socially awkward, defiant, etc.) and how to deal with it without (completely) losing it. =)

"Teamwork in the Classroom"- great ideas for group projects and using them to teach shared responsibility while promoting personal contributions. Also, Travis Moots (again) talked about teamwork between parents and the teacher... always a necessary topic. Awesome material.

"Nip It!"- Cathy Dotson is the bomb, for real. Her session on conflict resolution and the elephant in today's classroom- bullying- was so helpful and spot-on. I plan on going back over these notes often. 

"The Well-Prepared Teacher"- okay, I was basically a Travis Moots groupie, but all three of his workshops were very needed, at least for me! This one offered lots of helpful tips on lesson planning, time management, and goals and objectives. (As a perpetual procrastinator, I knew I needed to implement this stuff ASAP.)

Russ Moots, the great and powerful. 

"Developing Student Accountability and Responsibility"- Nothing makes me feel like a kid like going to a session taught by a college professor, but Mr. (Russ) Moots was so relevant and practical, as always. Most kids today really have no concept of personal responsibility, so... it falls to us to teach them! He gave lots of great ways to incorporate that into the classroom. Of course, it totally took me back to college; I kind of expected a quiz at the end. =) Takeaway quote: "Know the difference between viewing teaching as a job and viewing teaching as a ministry."

Also, the general sessions were just awesome... all three speakers were incredible and there is just something about being in a room with several hundred teachers, singing and praising and laughing at jokes that only teachers truly appreciate. It's awesome, I tell you! Awesome!


And since we can't have all work and no play... =)

Late night Krispy Kreme trip? Check! (I'll say it again... it is a TRAVESTY that KK has not made its way to New Bern.)

One of my favorite things about the convention is seeing friends that live far away. My BFF Sara teaches first grade so this has become our annual, "Yay! We get to see each other!" time. And since no time together would be complete without it, of course we went shopping.

And speaking of shopping... and clothes, one of the things that I (shocker) always stress out about is what to wear to this thing. I have these odd little opinions about certain events and outfits, and (I told you, I'm a weirdo) I have some outfits that look "teacher-ish" to me. (Whatever... I know it's dumb.) So, I want to look professional but be comfortable for walking around for hours all day and hustling from session to session (and making laps around the mall.) 

This dress turned out to be just right... it's got fall colors, matched my orange cardigan, and even added to my slightly insane collection of tie-front garments. Win, win, win.

Dress: c/o eShakti
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: old (Cato?)
I ditched the belt after a while because, well... a girl's gotta breathe. =)

I do love ordering from cool online stores so that a) I know everyone won't be in the exact same outfit, and b) I can customize the dress (thanks to this cool feature!) My only complaint about these dresses is that they seem to run SO small through the waist... but maybe I should just let that be a motivation to lay off the Krispy Kremes? =) 


I so recommend a convention like this. I got tons of great ideas and feel more motivated than I have in a while to be more productive and proactive in my work. My advice, then, is to get yourself around someone who has the same job you do, share every little concern with each other, solve the world's problems, then go home and realize that hey, maybe you still have to deal with the same stuff, but at least you're not the only one. =) There's strength in numbers, friends. Solidarity! Power to the people! I have a dream! Okay... fine, I just want another donut. Let's share one.


When This Boy Meets World...

When This Boy Meets World...

It's hard to believe, but Boy Meets World premiered twenty years ago today. This makes me feel very old (probably not as old as it makes the cast feel) and simultaneously nostalgic, not only for this, probably my favorite 90's show, but also for the departure from wholesome, hilarious teenage television in general. (Yes, I'm recalling the good old days at age twenty-four.)

When I informed some of my students of this momentous occasion today, some responded with the proper amount of enthusiasm and a few (poor, unfortunate souls) gave me the deer-in-headlights look that could only mean they had no idea what I was talking about. What? You don't know Cory, Topanga, Eric, Shawn, and Mr. Feeny? Alan and Amy? Morgan? Minkus? Jack and Rachel and Angela? Mr. Turner? My feeble mind simply can't fathom this. I was tempted to send the children home with the homework assignment of "educate yourselves in quality television" but I refrained.

We all have a favorite character or relationship. I love Cory and Shawn's bromance, but of course Eric is arguably the most hysterical and lovable goofball on TV. And of course Cory and Topanga's relationship, from sworn childhood enemies to husband and wife, is now considered one of the great love stories of all time (you know, as sitcom love stories go.) Now that I'm a teacher, Mr. Feeny may be my favorite character of all... If I could ever be the fountain of wisdom (and sarcasm) that he is, I'd be a legend. 

"Come on, Mr. Feeny. You haven't talked to another student in three years."

One of these days I'll write a post dedicated entirely to George Feeny and his perfect one-liners (and speeches that make me cry. "Go. Dream. Do good.") Although, I have no desire to live next door to a student, I do wish I had the ability to deliver one of his awesome lectures then sternly announce, "For once, I choose to walk out on you," followed by a good door-slamming. Perhaps one day I'll have the boldness...

...or maybe I'll be the coolest teacher ever when I ride a death-defying roller coaster with one of my students. 

I try to pass on some of Mr. Feeny's wisdom (and the wisdom of some of the others, come to think of it) One of my favorites is, "Life's tough... get a helmet!" (said Eric to Cory... I say this is as often as possible at school.) And with the unforgettable quotes came some unforgettable moments... like Cory and Eric's cross-country road trip, or Eric's dream about being a crime-fighter ("when a crime breaks out, all the cute girls shout, get the good-lookin' guy") or Cory and Topanga's wedding or the heart-wrenching moments when Shawn loses his dad or when Shawn tries to teach Cory to be poor. Of course there are more, but these are a few of my favorites. 

And you know what I love most? I can recommend this show to my students knowing that not only will be they NOT be filling their heads with filth but they might actually learn a little something.

Think about it... Boy Meets World, while being laugh-out-loud funny and not near the same cheesiness level of other 90's shows (looking at you, Full House!) actually taught positive life lessons- lessons about friendship, and love, and hard work, and character, and honesty, and family. Even when teaching these lessons, it wasn't preachy. And although it certainly wasn't an overly religious show, the characters discussed prayer and church respectfully, not with contempt. It ran for seven seasons and had (and still has, thanks to reruns) a huge and loyal following. It did this without swearing, without sex-centered plots, without lame-o song-and-dance routines or pervy humor of today's sitcoms. And it certainly did deal with real-life teen issues but they were handled tastefully.  

Anyway, I could easily go on and preach a sermon about the evils of today's television and long for the days that shows geared to kids weren't centered wholly on teen pregnancy and promiscuity. And I won't, but I will say this... the junk on TV these days didn't bother me nearly as much until I started teaching teenagers and seeing firsthand the effects of these shows on them. I know kids are going to be exposed to "bad stuff" but it can certainly be portrayed in a way that shows its consequences. So many shows today normalize and even glamorize things that should not be normal and are certainly not glamorous. And I take personal offense to this deceit, because it is teaching my students not only that these serious decisions are perfectly okay but that they're "cool." That's just not true! (Oops... looks like I preached a sermon. Sorry.)

So, happy birthday to Boy Meets World, a show that restores my faith in the goodness of the entertainment industry while making me snort-laugh at regular intervals. Oh, and had me in an ugly cry during the last episode. That's good television right there. 

Now... class dismissed. (*sobbing*)


Amanda is 30...

Amanda is 30...

If you know my oldest sister Amanda, you know love her. That's just how it is... everyone who knows her loves her. And if they don't love her... well, they must not know her. =) Today, she turns 30. And since she has spent the past three decades being a wonderful person, I thought it would be fun to round up thirty things that people love about her- some are memories shared with her, some are things we admire, and some are just nice things about the nicest person you'll probably ever meet. 

1. She and Steven came and met me halfway on the interstate when Dad died. She got in the driver's seat of my car and drove me home.... helped me so much! She's the best! -Sara

2. Here are a few reasons why I love Amanda: she is funny, she is a positive person, she encourages me when I need it, and her walk with the Lord inspires me to be a better Christian. I could go on and on... =) -Laura

3. There are so many reasons I love that girl! First of all, Amanda is always in a good mood!  In 30 years of friendship we've only ever had 2 fights! One over me using the word "butt" in her presence! [Editor's note: I found this too hysterical not to include!] But seriously, she is always so sweet and loving mixed with a whole lot of goofiness! I am so thankful that our parents kept is close when we were young because there is nothing like the amazing bond we all have as cousins. Most people don't understand but we are more like sisters than cousins. Amanda, 30 is so much better than the 20's in my opinion. Your just more comfortable  and settled in this stage of life. Welcome to the other side! I love you with all my heart and so thankful that God have us each other. Happy 30th Birthday!


4. Her beautiful smile and warm regard for others, no matter who they are. -Aunt Lisa

5. I'm so thankful God blessed me with a friend who has always stood by me and not been afraid to speak truth into my life. Love our many deep philosophical, political and theological discussions we have everyday as we solve the worlds problems! Baines/Azzarello 2016!  Love you!! -Rachel A.

6. I always thought it was pretty amazing that Amanda headed up the bus ministry at such a young age. I also love that she is very even tempered and has grace on her tongue it seems all the time...oh, most amazing pianist EVER! It was a joy watching her blossom into such a wonderful Christian lady and now wife and mother. I feel like a proud mama sometimes. Love you, honey!!! -Mrs. Temple

7. Ahh, this is so hard. There are many reasons why I love her, but one has to be that she is always so positive and encouraging. I love how she is a mother hen to you, Amy, and April. She teases a little, but really knows how to balance out your personalities. -Kailyn

8. When I think of Amanda I think of her love and commitment to those she loves, her sweet loving personality, and her humble spirit! Love her! -Aunt Peggy

9. I love her melodic spirit. Her attitude about life, circumstances, and others is on the upbeat! She can take the negative tunes of life and turn them into a beautiful song! -Mom 

(who else?)

10. What I love about Amanda is her sweet spirit and beautiful smile and how she is always so concerned about how everyone is doing. -Uncle Jay

11. I love Amanda's positive focus. Her optimism is refreshing and contagious. -Matt

12. Amanda, you're such an amazing person! You've always been an encouragement to me and a great role model. I've always aspired to be as great a pianist as you are.But unfortunately, none of us have lived up to the standard you've set! =) I love you so much Amanda and I'm so thankful for you! I'ts amazing to me that we can be 11 years apart, and I would consider you one of my best friends! Lots of love from your favorite cousin. =) -Anna

13. I love her walking on her tiptoes! When I think of her I always remember that. =) 

-Aunt Nancy

14. She is the greatest pianist since Ludwig van Beethoven. -Andrew [Editor's Note: I will most definitely share the rest of Andrew's message in the near future, but it deserves more of a spotlight than to be one of this long list. He did not disappoint.]

15. I love a lot of things... I love her because she is a wonderful person. I took care of her for the first three weeks of her life... I guess that's why I love her so much; I was her Mama for three weeks! -Mamaw

16. I cannot help but think of her love of music. She is a beautiful soul with a sweet spirit! -Aunt Annette

17. She is never too busy to give you a hug and ask how you're doing. -Claire

18. I love going out with Amanda on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to "get a drink," which also means "solve the world's problems and listen to Disney music." And of course, singing

along loudly. I love that she can make me feel better about anything. I love how genuinely
nice, funny, and talented she is. I couldn't ask for a oldest sister that is a better role model! -Amy

19. Happy 30th birthday... you will always be Daddy's little girl! I love you so much! -Dad

20. Amanda, I remember the day I met you at GSBC. I remember thinking how talented you were and felt so special meeting you! I never would have thought that one day I'd marry your favorite cousin =) and get to know you better! You are truly an amazing lady and an inspiration to me. I'm thankful for you! -Kaylah

21. She is ridiculously talented. -Jonathan

22. Amanda has been so influential in my life; she has such a kind and loving spirit. SHE IS THE GREAT MASTER! [Editor's note: I haven't the faintest idea what she is the master of.] -Michelle

23. What I love about Amanda is her ability to sing and play the piano, her love for her family, and her Barbara Walters impersonation. -Charity

24. Amanda has always been the model big sister. We've had our fair share of squabbles, mainly over clothing =)... but she has always been a great example of what a Christian should be- faithful and striving to please God above anyone else. She is the most gifted and talented person I know, while also being the most humble person I know. She is a great sister and friend and I would be in a sad state without her advice, her listening ear, and her friendship. Happy 30th birthday to my first best friend, my big sister! Love you! -April

25. What I love about Amanda is that she lights up a room with her warm smile! She brings happiness with her wherever she goes. -Hannah 

26. My favorite memory is singing Disney songs around the piano. I love Amanda because she is so compassionate! -Carrie 

27. I love her sweet spirit and her ability to play the piano, both like Mawmaw Baines! -Aunt Debbi

28. She is a wonderful friend to those around her, and her genuine love of people is something that I have always admired! -Bobbie

29. I love the fact that she really seeks the Lord every day of her life, she prays, she is big on family, she is the bond of love in our family, she is truly kind, and if you look at I Corinthians 13 she has more characteristics of love than anyone I know. -Steven

30. (It's me now... I get to go last because it's my blog and I make the rules. =) I love Amanda for so many reasons... her influence on me (positively) growing up, the example she set for us, her kindness to me in my awkward teenage years whether it was being the coolest camp counselor ever or just listening to all my pathetic boy drama, her commitment to living right that was always strong but never overbearing, her endearing clumsiness, her less-than-endearing paranoia concerning our whereabouts (which she came by honestly, after April and I hid Amy from her for quite a while during one of her babysitting adventures), her musical talent that never ceases to amaze me, and her transformation from rather reserved, even insecure teenager to a lady who is a beautiful and dedicated wife, a fantastic mommy, and a person who is truly passionate about serving God, discipling others, and kindly but assertively speaking truth on a daily basis. 

She is the most loyal friend you will ever have... sticking when others would have let long ago moved on. She is funny and positive, yes, but deeply serious when it comes to ministering to those around her, bringing up her children to love God, and caring for others. When we were little, she was the one going around to all the old people at the nursing home and hugging them (when I was too scared to venture past my dad's side.) She reached hundreds of kids on her bus route in high school and college and still corresponds with them today. Her piano students adore her. The teenagers in the youth group think she hung the moon. Why? Because she cares and it shows. For her, ministry is not part of life, it is her life.

She is a big part of the glue of our family... the only cousin to have attended every wedding so far, the one makes the music happen (literally!) when we're together. She is the mediator, the encourager, the life-giver (a cringe-worthy sappy term, but true.) She is also the one to call and leave long voicemails singing whatever Disney song happens to be playing at the moment. She is a Fox News junkie, surprised us all by being a great cook, and, course, she is our favorite pianist in the whole world.

Happy birthday, Amanda Panda! In case you didn't know, you are very much admired, very much appreciated, and very much LOVED. Thirty never looked so good. =)


New Favorite Color...

New Favorite Color...

If you know me or my wardrobe, you know that I love fall colors. Mustard has been my #1 for a while now, along with olive green (to match my eyes, because I'm a little vain, maybe?) But over the last month I've fallen head-over-heels for burgundy. (Some call it maroon; some call it oxblood, which I refuse to do because a beautiful color doesn't deserve to be named after bovine guts.) It goes with the other fall colors (my favorite pairing so far is olive green) and I also love it with a leopard print. Anyway, burgundy is my new favorite color and I may or may not be shopping for it almost exclusively lately. 

1. I have become a big fan of loafers lately. They remind me of Laura Petrie, Mary Tyler Moore's character on the Dick Van Dyke show. (And they kind of make me want to host dinner parties and sing and dance around my living room, but I squelch the urge.) First up, I ordered this pair at Merrick's suggestion and they are so, so pretty and I am still saving them (for what, I don't know) but I can't wait to wear them!

2. I am the world's biggest fan of cardigans and I am all about adding one in burgundy to my collection soon. Old Navy's cardigans have held up well for me and I like the reddish tone of this one.

3. Since I have a lot of reds in my home decor, burgundy would fit right in and this knit side chair is so beautiful. I love cable knits and this just looks so cozy! I know it's more of a purple here but it still has a burgundy-ish color (it's much more burgundy in person.)

4. I'm a total wreck at painting my own nails, but if I had any talent for it I'd totally buy this Essie color. How perfect is it for fall?

Excuse my messy porch... I told you I'd be wearing this skirt a lot! And what better top to wear with it than my favorite burgundy blouse? Back in the winter/spring( on MAJOR clearance), I bought this shirt in three colors and burgundy just happened to be one of them. How great, right? It's like I knew it would be my new favorite color and I was giving my future self a present. Or, you know... just that I can't resist a clearance rack and a tie-front shirt. Maybe that. 

What's your favorite fall color? I'm all ears. =) (I'm also all ears if you've found a good burgundy scarf... I'm on the hunt and so far they are all eluding me! Help a girl out!)


P.S. Linked up here and here!

A New Classroom (Finally!) and Fall Decorations...

A New Classroom (Finally!) and Fall Decorations...

I've whined about mentioned this a time or two but at the start of this school year, our new renovation was not yet complete, so for the first few weeks of school, we met in makeshift classrooms. (By makeshift, I mean we were in every free space short of the bathroom, and even then... Okay. I kid.) This obviously means that I did not have a classroom to decorate and I also did not have a desk/office from which to operate. It ALSO means that I was pushing my curriculum/pens/tests and quizzes/Dr. Pepper around on a cart, stewardess style. Beverages? Peanuts? Anyone?

SO, when we finally got the occupancy permit on Friday, the heavens rejoiced and I spent around 15 hours throughout the course of the weekend getting my room ready. I had a really cool theme for the beginning of the but, alas... I wasn't about to put all that up and turn right around and change it in October, so I just started with fall. And I have to say... I love it. I love being in a new (huge!!!) room, I love having a closet (!!!!) and I gotta say I love my new boards. =)

I love this paper (Target dollar section!) and every time I see Snoopy dressed for Halloween I just die of the cuteness.

I love this background paper! It's actually paper placemats from Hobby Lobby! And I certainly did not make the pumpkin... it's from Walmart. =)

While I await the arrival of my new bulletin board, this banner is hanging out in the middle of the wall. I made it for my house last year but it's reeeally long and a little too "loving-hands-at-home" (a Beverly Cleary phrase, thanks =) for my living room. Perfect, on the other hand, for school and filling up a big empty space.

A rather cliche caption, but I still like it =) 

Exciting? Not really (unless you're me) but necessary.

These dry/wet erase boards were such a nice investment. (You know, since I invested all of $3 each in them.)

Haha... my poor misshapen, scribbly candy corn. Oh well. And my tone of voice when I make this statement depends entirely on the type of day I'm having. =)

Again, nothing terribly fascinating for most people but still helpful.

This might be the busiest board I've ever done but I needed to cram a lot into a little space! I do love how it turned out!

Each little Peanuts character has a positive phrase beneath it. =)

Hands down... favorite board. I have little to no talent in making my own pieces but I thought Charlie Brown and Lucy turned out pretty well (other than the fact that their skin still looks completely white. Oops.) And that Peanuts strip border? So fun. 

My desk. Woohoo.

Again... woohoo!

I really can't say this enough, but I am so, so happy to finally have a classroom again, to be able to decorate it (you know I'm crazy and I love doing bulletin boards), to have a place to store my school stuff other than my guest room, and to have a desk to work from. And to not be living from a cart. Mostly that. 

Happy fall!


Happy Things...

Happy Things...

Since I came home from school in an extremely grumpy mood for no particular reason (please, no judgment... love me through it!) I decided to talk about some things that are making me HAPPY lately. Because reverse psychology works, even if I'm using it on myself. Right? Sure.

My husband ran an errand the other day and brought me this. He knows the way to my heart. Also, is it just me or are seasonal Reese's better than regular? I love that there's no hard crust and it's all soft... mmmm. I need another one, asap.

Not the best picture ever, and I couldn't find it online, but with a coupon I bought this shirt for lesson than $4 on Saturday. Thank you, Old Navy. This almost made up for the fact that they ran the 50% off any item promo and the only thing I really want in life (this vest) is sold online only. Boo.

One of my sweet school parents was given the wrong drink at Starbucks and she generously turned her trial into a blessing for me and asked if I wanted it. A venti peppermint frappucino, on a Friday afternoon? My favorite Starbucks drink? Yes, please. 

It's really not anywhere close to being cool enough to layer yet (stupid humidity) but I decided to anyway. Thankfully, this scarf is super-duper thin. Also, these loafers? Good thing they're pink suede; otherwise I'm fairly certain the tassels would put them straight into old-man category. I'm familiar with grandpa cardigans, but grandpa loafers? Not sure I'm on that bandwagon. 

Also making me happy lately? Peppermint mocha creamer, a (finally) decorated classroom (post coming soon!), a clean house, encouraging words from a school parent, a dinner with good friends, a little time with Mamaw, and this soup, with enough leftovers to last for days. I'm hoping to add "organized desk" to the list tomorrow, but we shall see.

Happy Monday! (Now there's an oxymoron, no?)


I had this post drafted before I had really watched the news... but I am so heartbroken over yet another shooting. Join me in praying for the loved ones of these victims and for justice to be served however possible. 

Old Reliable...

Old Reliable...

Sometimes I buy clothes and wear them a time or two (or even many times) but a year or two later as I'm organizing my closet, they somehow fall into the "what was I thinking" category. Most of the stuff is still cute and I don't hate it, but I just don't want it anymore. (And then my sisters get a bag of clothes and rejoice at my generosity.)

Then there are items that make me feel like a real winner as I pull them out year after year and think, "You savvy shopper, you." This dress is one of those things that boosts my shopping ego big-time. I remember seeing it at Belk a few years ago and begging asking Jonathan for it, waxing eloquent about its versatility and usefulness and you know... all the things I'm good at talking about. Anyway, it finally went on clearance and it fit perfectly and I brought it home and I can't tell you how many times I have worn it since. It's comfortable, doesn't need anything over or under it, and can be worn with nearly any color accessory. It's my go-to dress when I don't know what to wear (or when I don't feel like ironing... so, all the time.)

Dress: Belk
Shoes: Target

Jewelry: Target

This dress has it all... it's comfortable and stretchy and doesn't wrinkle. These red accessories were pretty summery but I can't wait to wear it with a denim jacket (when it isn't so oppressively warm) or a burgundy cardigan or a scarf. 

So, since no post of mine would be complete without a Disney reference... the post title reminds me of Lady and the Tramp when Trusty keeps saying, "As my grandpappy Ol' Reliable used to say... I don't recollect if I ever told you about Ol' Reliable...." Don't you love that movie? (End totally unrelated anecdote.)

Do you have an "Old Reliable" in your closet? Do tell!


Linked up here and here!

Fall at My House...

Fall at My House...

You know how much I love fall... and even though the weather isn't cooperating yet, we're well into September and last week I got the urge to get my fall stuff out. (A trip to Hobby Lobby certainly didn't hurt!) There's just something so cozy about all the orange, red and yellow touches throughout my house and it really makes me happy (and it also motivates me to keep everything clean... hey, whatever works!) It also reminds me of my childhood... my mom always decorated for fall and I loved coming home from school the day she got the fall decorations out. The house would look different and there would be candles burning AND there would be pumpkin candy in the pumpkin dish (the best part, obviously.) So now that I have my own house, I feel it is my duty as a Baines child to carry on this tradition. (Also, I really like pumpkin candy.)

Labor Day at Hobby Lobby... buy ALL the things!!!

I just love this shelf... best $14 at Ikea ever. 

Please check out this caricature of me and Jonathan (by our future brother-in-law a few years ago in college!) 

I made this wreath last year and was thrilled to discover when I pulled it out that I still really like it. =)

I'm pretty sure this is all from Target except the M (from Michael's and decorated by me) and the owl, from TJ Maxx.

Yep... Tarjay. Except the canvas painted by my very talented friend Brook.

I bought the Harvest sign at Hobby Lobby (I think it was about four dollars on sale), the scarecrow is from Target, and I made the wreath on Sunday night (and bought the materials at Michael's.)

How appropriate that football should be playing on the tv. Again, all Target. (Leaves from Michael's)

This runner is from TJ Maxx (I think) and the lantern was a gift from a student who apparently wanted to help prepare us for the apocalypse because it came fully equipped with oil and everything. After three years it's finally serving a purpose. =) The little table I stole from Mamaw and it's waiting to be painted, but I loooove that little tray and it was $2 from Michael's. 

And this really has nothing to do with fall but I love these letters and ampersand from TJ Maxx. 

So, is your house decorated for fall? Is it a tradition with you or are you just in it for the candy corn and pumpkin candy? (No shame there.) Happy fall!