Happy Easter...

Happy Easter...

Easter is such a great holiday... it's powerful, uplifting, offers the best candy (Cadbury mini eggs, of  course!) and, if you are a senior citizen, is the official start date for wearing white shoes. (I kid.) Oh, and obviously, and most importantly, it is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty incredible!

We had such great Easter services this morning, starting with the sunrise service at 6:30 (that's right, AM, people. In other news, I am officially NOT a morning person, evidenced by the fact that I went right back home and crawled in bed.) But by our regular service I was feeling semi-human again (with the help of great quantities of coffee) and was able to enjoy the singing and the preaching and CELEBRATING of the resurrection. It was a great Sunday!

And now to the frivolous part of the post, my Easter outfit. Indulge my materialistic side briefly, if you will. Grace and Co. have hosted another holiday linkup and you know I'm a sucker for those. (Then again, if Grace hosted a link-up for just about anything I'd be willing to contribute.) 

I found my dress actually at random a few weeks ago, and it was 70% off (!) so of course I snatched it up. I would have preferred to wear it without a sweater but since a) it was chilly and drizzly this morning and b) my arms, while never workout-ad worthy, were looking especially pale and flabby today so for the good of mankind I put on a sweater. 

Ignore the psycho red bump/bite that sprouted up the moment we started taking pictures. Perfect timing.

A gift from my sis-in-law from Caroline G.

Dress- Banana Republic Outlet
Cardigan- Target
Wedges- Target
Stumpy Legs- c/o husband's photog skills.

Happy Easter, peeps! (That means people, not sugar-coma-inducing marshmallows in various animal shapes. Bleh.) He's Alive! 


Please Mr. Postman....

Please Mr. Postman....

I have always been super excited about getting anything in the mail- birthday cards, presents, anything with my name on it, really! (Until I grew up and started getting credit card offers... not so fun.) So, when my BFF Sara told me earlier in the week to look for some mail from her, I was stoked, expected a funny card or something.

Then I got home from school today and found this:


Haha.... dork.

It's like Christmas!

Her notes cracked me up...

Even a present for Jonathan =)

I'm blushing... =)

This purse is so me!!!! (And it's reversible!)

Look what was in the pouch... I am in love with all of this! 

Check all this out! I am so spoiled!!!

So, do I have the best best friend or what? I can't believe all this stuff... well, I can, because Sara is the BOMB... my best friend since age 15, constant shopping companion, listener to all my problems, and probably the most faithful reader of this blog other than my mother. =) So, be jealous of my awesome friend and her awesome gifts. I will be eating Easter candy while wearing my new earrings and carrying my awesome new purse. (Muwahaha)


P.S. Sahara, you are the best!! Thank you, dearest!

All Dressed Up (In My Favorites)...

All Dressed Up (In My Favorites)...

Other than Sundays for church, I don't feel like I'm dress UP a whole lot. I do try to look nice for school every day, and usually fall more on the dressy side of casual, but as far as a dressy dress, fancy necklace, and heels go, you usually won't find me in all three at once. If I wear a dressy outfit at school, I am wearing flats nine times out of ten, or if I'm wearing a statement necklace it's with a casual shirt. SO last Saturday when a college friend of mine got married I was actually excited about the chance to get dressed up, even just for an afternoon. 

This is my FAVORITE dress. Everyone thinks it's a skirt and blouse but it's all one piece- hooray! Last year I got in on clearance at Loft... marked down to $19.99 from $99. I was thrilled to be paying only twenty bucks for it when I got it up to the register and found out it was $10! Best day ever.

What better way to accessorize my favorite dress than with my favorite necklace? Last year I drooled over this necklace from Target for months before Jonathan surprised me with it for my birthday, and I've worn it countless times since. 

And I love these nude pumps- bought them last year at Target (where else?) and they have held up great. It's rare to find a heel that doesn't make my feet weep and moan after a few hours but these are actually comfortable. 

Also, let's be honest... I can never get my hair to do this wavy/curl thing so when- miracle of miracles- it decided to cooperate, I felt like the occasion was worth documenting.

One of my favorite things about going to weddings of college friends is seeing other college friends. My dear friend Katelyn and her husband sang at the wedding and she even stayed at my house for the night before, so we had lots of time to catch up. (Aren't college friends the best friends? This girl has seen me at my worst, if you define worst by studying for biology at 2 am. Then yes, definitely.)

Do you have a favorite dressy outfit, or one that is your go-to for a fancy event? Stacy and Clinton always say that you should definitely have one dress that makes you feel great, and this is mine. And to think confidence and happiness can be purchased from Ann Taylor Loft for a mere ten dollars. Nice to know. =)


P.S. Linked up with Lindsey for WIWW.

What Not To Wear Wisdom...

What Not To Wear Wisdom...

Tonight I sat on the couch and watched What Not to Wear... smugly laughing at the hideously dressed contestant and scoffing at her outfit choices. "Those sweats are so wrong!" "I wouldn't be caught dead in that shirt!" "Has your hair ever seen the light of day outside of that ponytail?" Come on, you know you do the same when you watch it. 

I also laughed at the comments that the contestant was making, mostly because nearly every woman who goes on the show says something to this effect...

"I like my clothes!" No one else does, sweetie. THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE.

"I would never have picked that out for myself." Precisely- THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE. 

"It's not that bad." But it's not GOOD either- THAT'S WHY YOU'RE HERE.

And, like always (especially after the hair and makeup), the light bulb comes on and after all the intense inner struggle and emotional parting from years of pilled Old Navy sweaters and teen-store tshirts, the woman comes out looking and feeling like a million bucks. Only a handful of times have I NOT seen the final product and thought, "Wow, she's really pretty!" (BTW, I have a ton of Old Navy sweaters.)

Over the last ten years, the thousands of contestants have all pretty much heard the same "rules"- dark wash jeans are more flattering, a structured jacket will take you places, sweats are not okay for public consumption, defining a waist is always flattering, every woman should have a dress that makes her feel fabulous, and flip flops are NOT appropriate for the office- do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Honestly, even a casual watcher of the show has heard these principles enough to be able to understand them. So, why is it then that Stacy and Clinton are still able to find women to transform (and why I see women DAILY that need to be nominated)? 

Where is the disconnect between seeing how much better a woman looks and feels after spending even just a few days on the show making herself look presentable and deciding "that's not for me"? This nation has spent a decade in the WNTW era, but the typical style errors (either horrifically under-dressing in nothing but shapeless loungewear OR skanky "putting it all out there" that is so grossly inappropriate, or somewhere in between on the no-no spectrum) are still happening allll the time. WHY? 

Why leggings as pants?

Why Uggs with short shorts?

Why short shorts?

Why total lack of effort? (Not money, effort. You can find cute clothes at any price.)

Why plunging necklines (like, down to China...ewwww)? 

Why muffin tops?

Why the clothing as a second-skin/stuffed sausage trend? (Thank you, Kardashians... we'll attribute this to a chlorine spill in your family's gene pool.)

Why, America? Why????

We have magazines. We have Stacy and Clinton. We have Pinterest. We have MIRRORS! I'm not talking about any particular style, because I know everyone's taste is different. I'm not talking about looking like a model or an actress, because goodness knows I don't. I'm not talking about spending a lot on clothes (hello, I wear $3 dresses from Walmart!) I'm just talking about taking some very basic principles of looking nice, presentable, and not like you just rolled off the crazy train, and applying them to your life so that you represent yourself well. 

It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "I can't afford to dress cute." YES YOU CAN! I find things on clearance all. the. time. that are cheaper than even Goodwill prices, so there's no excuse. Now, I do have a supernatural gift for finding good deals, but come on. You can do it... you just have to look.

I'm not one to get all psychoanalytical about clothing, but it's like we've heard before- it's not about the clothes, it's about looking and feeling and being the best version of yourself. And I'm not saying I stand with Stacy and Clinton or TLC personally (just wanted to throw that out there, fact-checkers! =) but their philosophy about this is spot-on. If you look junky, you feel junky, and the vicious cycle continues until one day you wake up and your closest friends and family have gathered on national television to tell you you are a mess and they are ashamed of your collection of Christmas sweaters. 

So, I'm not necessarily trying to inspire anyone to dress better (although, if you're inspired I will be more than happy to take credit. :) I was just watching the show and suddenly got riled up about it (and a little nostalgic, since this is the last season.) So take two seconds and put together a cute outfit... I bet you will have a better day knowing you look nice!

P.S. Did I mention I was watching/writing this post while wearing flannel pj's and my husband's hoodie? Yes, it's ironic... but don't worry... I won't be "running to the store" in this any time soon. Or ever. My inner Stacy London would never allow it.


Signs I'm Ready for Spring Break...

Signs I'm Ready for Spring Break...

Teachers do have a few perks, and spring break is one of them. After surviving the return from Christmas with kids who are stuffed full of candy and haven't slept in 14 days, to enduring the slump of the winter months (seriously, January-March is killer!), and braving the frigid elements by bundling up like an Eskimo for recess every day (okay, I don't do recess anymore, but still...), we have earned a few days off by the time the sun decides to shine again.

So, this year I am more ready than ever for spring break, and it's beginning to show...

- I am soooo very tired all the time. Pretty much by early afternoon every day I am fighting to keep my eyes open and my teaching is punctuated by jaw-cracking yawns. And naps are no longer optional; I am barely able to make it past supper without one.

- I'm pretty much out of it. In fact, the other night I was walking up the stairs to my room, on my phone, (oh, don't judge me) and failed to notice that my door was closed tight. I ran STRAIGHT into it, managing to hit my nose, smash my knuckles, and bang my shoulder all at the same time. I'd say I'm losing my mind, and I'd be right.

- I am completely out of any type of creativity whatsoever. Blog post ideas, Christmas play ideas, classroom ideas... I am coming up dry here, folks. I need a week without adjectives clauses and preliminary outlines to get the juices flowing again.

- My closet and drawers are out of control... seriously, I cannot look at them without wanting to scream. But I have been avoiding the two baskets of clean clothes that need to be put away since most of it is winter stuff that, stubbornly cold weather or not, I will not be wearing again this season. So, I need spring break to get here before I become suffocated by a mountain of turtlenecks and scarves.

- Speaking of the weather, seriously, I need some sunshine! What in the world is happening here... global warming, my foot. It is so COLD and I have no way of knowing that spring break will suddenly usher in warmer temperatures but it just has to, right? I was depressed when it was in the 70's in December but now I'm super depressed that it's supposed to be SPRING and I'm shivering all the time.

- This is the most obvious reason, but I need a break from school. Not my students or teaching as much as the schedule and the getting up early and the forming coherent thoughts before 9 am. None of those things will happen during spring break, I can assure you.

- I'm so out of it that I've got a second story to tell about being out of it... just this morning I reached for the coffee pot to pour myself a cup of coffee and failed to notice that the coffee was still brewing, so while I leisurely filled my cup, hot coffee was cascading all over the counter. Yeah, good thing our friend Stephen was standing there to casually alert me that I was making a gigantic mess. 

- My patience, while never overflowing, is stretched preeetty thin. As in, it's practically gone. Not much more to say about that... other than tread carefully around me until Friday at noon. =) Just keeping it real here, folks!

- I never thought the day would come, but I am sick to death of layering. I have talked many times about my undying love for cardigans, but I'd give my last Mountain Dew to be able to throw on a short-sleeved top and run out the door in reckless abandon, free from the fear of frostbite. (The fact that my idea of a wildly free time is wearing short sleeves with no layers indicates the excitement scale by which I live my very exciting life.)

- I'm laughing hysterically at things like this and sending them to my sister. Clearly I'm near my breaking point. 

- I took the time to write this post. Refer back to my point about lack of post ideas... instead of entertaining, I decide to subject all you nice people to my whining relatively pointless ramblings. 

Feel sorry for me yet? Ha... probably not... more like pity for my husband and students! But now you know how desperately ready I am for Friday to get here! I am fully anticipating a week of sleeping, reading, shopping, and being fed by my mother and grandmother. (I haven't informed them of that privilege yet, but I know they'll be just thrilled to have the job.) 

Are you ready for spring break? How can you tell (other than weeping and gnashing of teeth and complaining on the internet)? I'd love to know! =)


Black and White and Red All Over...

Black and White and Red All Over...

Sometimes, Pinterest is good for inspiration. Sometimes, it's good for straight-up copying when you are too lazy to make the outfit "your own" or whatever nonsense is supposedly the right thing. This week, it was the latter. I've worn an outfit similar to this but when I saw this pin I knew I had all the pieces to make it happen and, well, why not? 

Top/Skirt: Loft
Shoes: Target

It's pretty simple, but I just feel like I can't go wrong with a red skirt and stripes. I mean, I guess you could, but let's assume it's a cute skirt and top and it fits... blah blah blah. Nuances. 

Keeping it short and sweet today... especially after the book I wrote last night. Here's to outfit plagiarism... Happy Wednesday! 


P.S. Oh, and for any cranky-pants out there, I do think you should give credit when credit is due... I am an English teacher, after all. All in good fun, my dears. =)

P.S. Linked up for WIWW with The Pleated Poppy!

Word of the Year...

Word of the Year...

Back in January, when goal-setting and resolution-making were running rampant on the streets of Everywhere, I saw several posts, on blogs and Facebook/Twitter, about choosing a "word of the year." I saw several, from "peace" to "determination" to "inspired." I didn't do a whole lot of looking into it, so I'm not sure how the word was chosen. Maybe it was like a computer-generated thing where you take a quiz and it gives you the word. (Ha... I'd love to see what method would give me. "Cookies," probably.) Or perhaps it was like a bingo chart and you had to place game pieces on certain squares and it would spit out something inspirational.

Again, I'm not super familiar with the whole process. But even though I didn't jump on the WOTY (see what I did there?) bandwagon back in January, one did spring to my mind back then when I was catching other's words. Immediately, I thought of contentment. Now, I know that that doesn't sound terribly exciting, but, news flash: I'm not a terribly exciting person. (Case in point- I walked in the door from school today and took a three hour nap. Top that, boring people!) Anyway, this past year I've experienced a whole new world (a new fantastic point of view... not even going to apologize for going there) with moving, teaching middle school, and taking on some pretty big challenges personally (like writing a play). So, when I say contentment, I guess I mean being okay with life, as it happens.

That doesn't mean that I'm approaching life all Doris-Day style (Que Sera, Sera!) but the longer I serve in ministry... really, the longer I live, I realize that there is a fairly large portion of life that I can't control. I can't control what other people do, say, or think... and I need to stop trying. I don't want to be a reactive person, but just comfortable enough in myself and what I believe to be content to let other people be who they are. I told my third-graders all the time last year, "You're only in charge of yourself." (Funny how the rules we give kids are usually just as applicable, if not more so, to us as adults.) Anyway, I want to be content in the fact that everyone isn't just like me, I'm certainly not just like anyone else, and somehow that's okay in the grand scheme of things.

Also, I want to be content with where I am (and I don't mean geographically.) Everyone says that you always wish to be in the next stage of life, starting when you're just a kid. You know- the fifth grader wants to be in junior high (why I'll never know!), the 8th grader is longing for high school, the high school senior longs for college, and the college student is probably napping and doesn't know what he wants. Dating couples want to be engaged, engaged couples want to be married, and married couples want kids (maybe... maybe not.) Couples with kids want them to leave the nest, and couples with an empty nest want grandkids. (This is the normal progression of life, is it not? Close, anyway.)

So, I'm talking about being content with where I am right now. Do I have plans for the future? Yes, I want to have kids. Yes, I'm teaching now (which I love) but someday hope to be writing quite a bit more. And, like everyone in the world, I have things I'm not 100% "okay" with (duh...) but I want to be content with my life as it is. Things will never be just like they are right now, and in a few years when I'm juggling screaming kids, or (!!!) maybe do have the opportunity to write more and am staring a deadline in the face, I'll look back to my quiet little evenings as a teacher and probably have to remind myself to be content THEN.

But why should I be content? I mean, sure... I should be content because I have it really good, and because lots of people would kill it have a life as full and wonderful as mine. I'm not even talking about just counting my blessings- that's a completely different topic. (Sorry this is like book-length, but I'm almost done.) But ultimately, I have problems just like everyone else and it's easy to wish my life away. So, why do what I do and stay content despite difficulties or even little frustrations?

The other night we went to a service at a nearby church where one of my favorite preachers/people was speaking.  (By the way, the pastor of the church, turns out, is a fan of the blog and that cracks me up... makes me feel good too, since he's one of the funniest people I know.) But, Heath preached about how everything we do should bring glory to God. If we do it for people or recognition, it will get old really quickly. Why? Well, people can be difficult. (I am one of those people!) People let you down. Recognition is certainly not guaranteed nor should it even be expected often. But if we live and work and serve for God, we can't be disappointed. Why? Because He doesn't let us down, His rewards are always better than anything we could imagine, and we can never out-give or out-serve Him when reminded of all He's done for us. Others may not understand that, but it's the best way to be.

So, my word is contentment. I want to be content with my life- eager to embrace new things and improve myself, but content with what I know the Lord has for me to do and be. Although, I could certainly see myself extending this in some dangerous ways... The house is dirty! "Contentment!" I haven't started dinner! "Nah, I'm content!" Okay, just kidding... I'll confine myself to applying only in good ways, promise. And I'm aware that I'm choosing my word of the year in March. I bet the people who picked their words in January have already forgotten them, so really I'm just ahead of the game. Yes, that's an excuse... And I'm content with that. =)


P.S. Do you have a word for the year? I'd love to hear about it (especially if you're just now choosing one, like me!)

Three Bucks, Three Ways...

Three Bucks, Three Ways...

The other night, Jonathan and I were at Walmart to get whatever groceries we cheapened out of buying at Harris Teeter (you know, like chickened out but because we're cheap? anyway...). I did a little sweep of the clothing section just for kicks, and lo and behold I found some really cute, really cheap stuff. I can usually scan their clothes with my peripheral vision without seeing anything great, but I was pleasantly surprised. I discovered a really cute, simple red dress and couldn't find the reduced price. When I scanned it... $3! What? I'll take that in black too, please. (Which I did!) So, $6, two really versatile, comfortable dresses. I'd say thetrip to buy milk and bread that was well worth the time! 

Anyway, as soon as I got home I started playing around with the red dress, mixing it up with things in my closet. Before long, I had three outfits that I really liked. (Sorry about the first two selfies... I was going to get all fixed up and take real pictures but then I laughed and returned to my nap. Kidding, sort of.)

Cardigan- TJ Maxx
Belt- Target
Shoes- Target

I would like to think I'd wear this somewhere charming like breakfast on a Saturday morning or walking downtown at the farmers' market, but, as usual, I'd probably be wearing it at school. (Also, my legs are NOT that skinny... it's the mirror, bless its heart. It does me what little favors it can.)

Chambray- Target
Belt- idk (stolen from a dress)
Boots- Nine West from Macy's

Again, probably something I'd wear at school. I love chambray and red, and I figure I won't be able to wear my boots much longer this season. 

I think this is my favorite one... I pulled out the top (you know, the one I love enough to buy in three colors?) and tried it on. I actually really loved it because it reminds me of Angela Lansbury in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Google it, you uncultured swine! JK, it's one of the more obscure Disney movies of the '60s... so, I can forgive your ignorance.) I almost didn't wear this on Sunday thinking that it was a little much and people might stare at my bright red torso and polka-dot arms but I bit the bullet and I really like the whole retro-mod look of it. 

I really do love this dress and I still can't believe I got it for $3 at Walmart of all places! Woohoo! I love that I can wear it in all seasons and that it's a nice, comfortable cotton and it doesn't wrinkle and, well, it was $3! Hello! It would be worth the price even if weren't so versatile but it is! Win!

Find any good steals lately? Tell me about it... you know I'll give you a good, proper giddy reaction. =)


Linked up with Lindsey for WIWW!

Wins and Losses...

Wins and Losses...

Remember when I vowed to make use of my Pinterest boards? Thanks this little challenge, I've actually been more aware of trying to do that, at least when it comes to the six things I chose to complete. Anyway, I've finally gotten around to a couple of them (still can't track down that blasted chalkboard paint!) and I thought I'd give a little update, since I'm sure you're dying to know what kind of progress I've made on a project of this great magnitude.

The first pin that I attempted to recreate was this "skinny" chicken alfredo. Maybe I shouldn't have been silly enough to think that something as rich as alfredo would taste exactly the same when made with "diet" ingredients but I am and I was. So, while my enthusiasm was infectious at first- "It's healthy, babe! I'm chopping up fresh garlic here, so fancy! I should be on Emeril!" (Not really, I find him overbearing, but that's neither here nor there)- it starting waning when the sauce "should begin to thicken" and it didn't and tapered way off at the first bite. It wasn't awful, and I didn't ruin it or anything, but it just wasn't what I was expecting. Instead of a creamy, thick sauce, it was more like chicken broth/runny pudding with a heavy garlic taste. 

Yeah, not a real winner in our house. Jonathan, the bottomless pit, didn't even finish his serving which is pretty much like a raccoon turning up his nose at fresh garbage. Therefore, I am left with only the satisfaction of having made a Pinterest recipe and an unsightly amount of leftover pasta. 


The next pin, mixing stripes and florals, is one that I've been itching to try for quite a while but it's been so! very! cold! around these parts lately (and I never did get my hands on a floral scarf... bitter) that I couldn't bring myself to wear the outfit I had in mind with tights or leggings. However, we finally got a little peek of spring weather early this week and I had my chance. 

Striped shirt: Lucky Brand from Sam's Club
Skirt: Belk (gift from Mamaw =)
Flats: Target
Jacket: Old Navy

Do you hate me for doing this pose? Cause I hate myself... Also, don't be jealous of the random spray-painted cardboard on my porch. We are the classiest of the classy New Bern residents.

I have to say that this outfit turned out much better than the chicken alfredo... maybe because its ingredients included yellow, coral, green, and pattern mixing rather than Greek yogurt and disappointment. Hmm.... you win some, you lose some, I guess. 

So, ever been disappointed by a Pinterest recipe? (or any recipe?) Or even tried to recreate an outfit that you pinned that just didn't work? Come on- tell me I'm not alone here! 


P.S. Linked up with Lindsey for WIWW!

Words (or YouTube Links) of Encouragement...

Words (or YouTube Links) of Encouragement...

The other day I had a really rough day at school. Sometimes you really feel like you've got it together as a teacher... papers are all graded, students are all fully understanding what you're teaching, parents are all happy... okay, so maybe those days are nonexistent. But still, some days are better than others, and I was having one of those days... frustrated with my students because they just weren't getting it and frustrated with myself because I didn't know why.

So, the day was nearly over and I was just feeling really grumpy and snappy... ill as we say in the South. Everyone knows that teenagers are a brutally honest bunch, and while I was trying not to bite anyone's head off, I am a little too transparent at times and I think they may have caught on that I wasn't too happy. (Imagine that.)

In fact, by the time my last class was finished, I had just about had it. Then, one of my students quietly walked up, slipped me a folded piece of paper, and left.

Wow... I got notes like this every day last year, but any secondary teacher will tell you that these are few and far between with teens.

Here I am, having a pity party over the frustrations of my day, and one of my students, who probably didn't even realize it, was just wanting to be an encouragement to me. Oh, and the note also said "you're the best English teacher ever" and "you've made a change in my life" and other nice things that I probably didn't deserve. More than just a sweet note from a sweet girl, it was a reminder that a) God loves me and b) I need to be watching for opportunities to encourage someone because I have no idea how badly someone needs it. 

I am so grateful to this student, who told me later, "Mrs. McNeese, I just felt like I needed to write you that note yesterday." Not only did it totally turn my day around, but it forced me to get outside my pity party and see that there are some redeeming qualities in my profession =). Since that day, I have encountered several people who are really having a hard time- far more than my "bad" day. I've talked about this before, but it really does help to put things in perspective if you look around for others having a hard time... you'll always find them. I'm not saying you need to constantly minimize your own problems, because goodness knows we all have legitimately bad days and difficult circumstances. However, it doesn't take long to realize when you're down on yourself or your situation to look around and find someone hurting even worse than you are. That being said, you don't have to dismiss your problems in comparison to others', but rather be mindful of others and their need to be encouraged. Nothing prompts me to encourage others like being encouraged myself.

Speaking of people who are having a worse day than you... 

There's this girl...

I'm probably the last person on the internet to have watched this but I was crying tears of sympathy/uncontrollable laughter. 

Oh, Scarlet... I found this gem in college and have laughed heartily at it since. Poor girl.

And, finally... my favorite. 

This never gets old.

So, if you're down, remember someone (Tori? Scarlett? Duckies?) has it worse than you. If you know someone who's discouraged, find a way to let them know you care. Perhaps you could send them a sadistic video mocking helpless waterfowl? I'll let you make that call.

Happy Monday, dears. 


Five Things...

Five Things...

Younger, thinner days.

So, I was casually reading Grace's latest post (and by casually, I mean snort-laughing throughout, as always) and noticed at the very end that she had tagged a few more bloggers to keep the whole "five things" thing going. And one of them was ME! Whaaat? I immediately texted my sister and said "Look at the bottom of Grace's post!" Because I'm a big fan of the Camp, I was flattered (obviously) and more than willing to be tagged.

So, I'm it. Five things about me that you may or may not (probably already) know.

1. I am third of four girls in my family. When I was growing up I always wanted a brother but now that I live with a male all the time (my husband, for those of you who weren't sure) I'm not that unhappy about not having a brother. My cousin Andrew lived next door and he was the closest thing I got, which was fine. =) My oldest sister Amanda is 29 (ancient!), married to Steven, and has two adorable kids that love me deeply. She is the world's best pianist and answers the phone when I call multiple times a day. April is 27, married to Jake, and has two adorable children also... Leslie loves me... Landon is too young to realize how wonderful I am yet. =) She can make me laugh harder than almost anyone else and is oh so pretty. Amy is 20 (how this is possible, I do not know) and is married to her job. She has no children unless you count the two yappy cocker spaniels that live at my parents' home, which I don't. She can sing like Karen Carpenter and enjoys making truly hideous faces when we FaceTime.  

2. I was an English major and mentally correct other people's grammar all. the. time. Of course, it doesn't help that I am now an English teacher and teach the rules every day, so I'm constantly reminded of them. Still, though... it's kind of a problem. Also, I mentally rewrite signs, advertisements, stories, articles, and pretty much everything I read on a regular basis. 

3. I tried not to copy Grace entirely, but oh well... I, too, am shy. I'm not as terribly shy about walking up and introducing myself to people (I don't love it, but two choir tours and a summer with the ensemble kind of forced me to get over that) but anything like asking a waiter to fix my order, returning something at a store, etc. makes me queasy. Oh, and I've talked about it before, but I get physically ill if I am asked to do any kind of public speaking. You might find that fact hard to believe considering what I do for a living (you know, talking in front of kids all day) but for some reason I don't get nervous about teaching at all. However, ask me to make a speech (of any kind) and I am a wreck. 

4. I married my high school/college sweetheart who also happened to be my first real boyfriend. (Not that any previous boyfriends were imaginary... just nonexistent.) I don't talk about him a whole lot here just because I don't like to nauseate people but he really is awesome and far, far better than I deserve (ask anyone, especially my mother. They'll confirm.)

5. This is probably the most random item, but I really hate shower/party games. No, I do not want to collect the safety pins when someone says "baby" or be the first to diaper a doll or act out something or make a wedding dress out of toilet paper. I know some people love this stuff, but I just am not one of those people. I will willingly keep score, but other than that I'd just as soon sit it out. (Party pooper, right here.)

There you go, Grace! If I think of someone to tag, I'll alert you fine folks as soon as possible. Now you know five more things about me... consider yourself well-informed.


After All This Time...

After All This Time...

Yesterday was a reeeeeaaaaally long day at school. I taught all day like normal, and started around 1:30, when my last English class finished, with my classroom decorations. I worked until 5:30, went grocery shopping (ugh!) and came back around 6:30 and finished up at 9:00. I don't tell you all this to make you feel sorry for me (although you should know that sympathy is never unwelcome around here) but to let you know that I had a little help making it through the day.

Meet my very favorite sweatshirt in the world. My mom bought it for me at Loft when I was home and I really really love it. With a scarf, a jean skirt, and my Nine West boots, I was super comfortable all day, despite the hard labor I endured (hey, bulletin boards are no joke!).

Finishing off the night with an almost-finished classroom.


Sweatshirt: Loft
Scarf: Target
Boots: Nine West from Macy's
Held up after 14 hours... pretty good!

So, the point is that if an outfit is comfortable for an extremely long day and I don't hate it by the end of working in my room then it's a win in my book.

What do you consider a successful outfit? What pieces do you go to for a long day?


P.S. Linked up with Lindsey for WIWW!

Welcome to the Fifties...

Welcome to the Fifties...

Do you ever feel as if you were born in the wrong decade? I have always loved everything about the 1950's...  the music (Frank! Dean! Bing!), the movies (too many from this era to list), and most of all, the clothes. The flared skirts, pleats, cute little dresses, pearls, kitten heels... I definitely consider June Cleaver a style icon. What I really love about clothing from that time period (and on into the sixties, a la Mary Tyler Moore) is that it was simple. Not a ton of embellishment, not that many crazy patterns or colors (at least most of the time).... just a simple sweater and skirt could be a pretty outfit.

I guess I like it because it's simple and especially classy... which, in our Kardashian-obsessed world, is a rare thing. I even named my site address "Urban Hepburn" because I love the idea of modernizing the classic look of ladies like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. I don't have any desire to dress in vintage clothes, really, or to look like I just stepped out of a magazine from 60 years ago. However, I do love clothes that "speak to" or are inspired by that time.

So, all that to say this- I was super excited when I got the opportunity to order something from eShakti. I'd seen pieces from this site on several blogs and had heard great things about them, so I was really interested in checking it out. eShakti is an online shop with the unique feature of letting you, the customer, truly customize your order. Whether it's sleeve length, skirt length, pockets or no pockets (pockets- duh!) or neckline, you pick the design and then customize all those features. Cool, huh?

I had a reeeeaaalllly hard time choosing a dress, especially since they have about a million "fifties-style" dresses available (as well as many other styles). I finally settled on a pleated, striped sundress (shocker!) and waited anxiously for its arrival.

I was totally in love with the color, but wish I would have sized up (bummer) just because the waist in this dress is teeny-tiny. (My waist is not teeny-tiny, obvs.) And the hem was longer than I'd prefer, too, but getting it hemmed is no big deal. I'll be wearing the dress with heels anyway, so I didn't mind that as much. Just be aware that you might want to go a little shorter to end up with the length you want. Mine ended up being closer to tea length.

Early morning fake grins and silly poses. What is the world coming to?

I've had the dress for about a month now but have been waiting to wear it until it warmed up (it's sleeveless), but, alas... the weather is against me and it's still freezing around these parts so I pulled it out this week with a cardigan. It ended up looking more like a skirt, which is also fine by me since they had the same print available in a skirt and I loved that too.

Also, a touch of irony... when I ordered this dress I had no a-line striped dresses. All of a sudden, I have three. I don't know how it happened... they just jump in my closet!
Yeah, Jonathan doesn't buy that either. Oh, well. I do love the fifties, at least for the clothes. Then I remember that they didn't have internet, or cell phones, or computers, or most of the other conveniences I am accustomed to... and I find myself quite okay with 2013.

What about you? Any particular fashion era that you're fond of? Hippy, 70's? Flapper, 20's? Grunge, 90's? (I hope not!) I'd love to hear about it!


P.S. Linked up with Lindsey.