It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown...

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown...

I know it's cliche but I really do love fall. The warm colors and crunching leaves and seasonal food (and the anticipation of Christmas around the corner!) all combine to make me one happy Ash. 

Behold, some of my favorite fall (and various other) moments from this week:

On Saturday, I ran out for a little waste hours at Target "me" time and somehow a caramel apple spice just fell into my possession. It was my first one of the season and no homemade concoction can replace this for me. Sooo yummy. (Excuse my chipped nail polish. Regular manicures are clearly not my forte.)

Moving on two awesome fall treat #2- caramel apples! I just bought the lazy easy kit that just wraps the caramel around the apple and they were heavenly. Like, I attacked mine like a ravenous caveman, juice on the chin and sticky hands and all.

This has little to do with fall, but I cannot get over this picture of this fat man! I made this picture the background on my phone and I just want to squeeze his face through the screen. I love my Landon!

Have you ever had Cookout? If you don't live in North Carolina, then probably not, but it's a sweet little burger joint that happens to have the best milkshakes ever. Aaaand we finally got one in New Bern this week! (We may have gone a time or four since then.)

Remember my post about What Not to Wear? (Of course you do; it was like three days ago.) Anyway, I greedily seeking celebrity interaction shared it on Twitter and yeah, no biggie... STACY LONDON READ IT and shared it and replied so graciously. And I may or may not have totally fuh-lipped out and sent the screen shot to everyone I know and shared it on various social media platforms because I am nothing if not a giddy fan. 

Congratulations: you get a free look at the world's cutest Tinkerbell, Supergirl, and pirate. Don't be jealous they're not your nieces and nephews (that fat guy up there is a nephew too, of course.)

Because I really love dressing up for meaningless holidays: meet the Halloween outfit. (A word on pattern mixing: a boy at the store tonight looked at me like I was wearing an actual costume. Clearly the concept of stripes and polka dots has not trickled down to the masses.)

I've never been a big fan of Halloween, honestly. I like the candy and some costumes but I'm not so big on the "everyone dress slutty and it's under the blood tonight" theme that has become prevalent. However, I do enjoy any excuse to throw a party at school celebrating festive events with my students so I ventured into the very dangerous costume section of Walmart in search of my mask (who knew a simple black mask would be SO hard to find?) and stayed up faaar too late making pumpkin sugar cookies (which one sweet ignorant student thought were made from scratch. Bahaha) and brought candy and apple juice and every class was exposed to the classic It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, because I have nothing but the highest academic integrity at all times. 

What's your favorite part of fall? Halloween? Candy? A caramel binge? ("Hot and cold?" I just rewatched my favorite episode of Psych- In Plain Fright, which was appropriate for the holiday and it's always going to be #1 in my heart because it was the first episode I ever watched.) And now excuse me to finish off my bag of Nerds and Sweettarts. I do love a good sugar rush.


PJ's in Disguise...

PJ's in Disguise...

Some days, I really enjoy getting "dressed up" for school... something "authoritative" like a blazer, a statement necklace, maybe even some heels if I'm feeling stupid frisky. But more often than not some days, I really just feel like staying in my sweatpants and hoodie and not dressing up in the least. Now, thanks to my inner Stacy, that's not going to happen. However, I'm certainly in favor of anything that gives me the feeling of pajamas or "loungewear" (some stores' fancy term for them) while being appropriate and- dare I say- professional enough for the classroom.

Enter this sweatshirt. I found it at Ross this summer for a whopping $3.99 and knew it had to be mine. I have a few sweatershirts like this and they are awesome for those days that getting ready is just a chore (many, am I lazy or what?) and I want to be cozy but not sloppy. 

Sweatshirt: Ross
Button-down: Loft
Skirt: Target
Flats: Target

I actually didn't wear the oxford that day but about thirty minutes after I got to school it occurred to me that I should have layered it underneath. I did correct this oversight for church that night. Since the sweatshirt is on the short side (not really cropped, but definitely shorter than what I normally wear) it worked better with a layer (I just wore a long tanktop under it for school but I prefer this look.)

The obligatory looking-down, artsy pose. Not really pulling it off...

So, a sweatshirt? Totally acceptable with a sprinkling of sequins, a nice button-down, pencil skirt, and some shiny flats. It still felt good but I didn't look as if I had just rolled out of bed. (Well, not my outfit, anyway. I have no excuses for the incoherent sentences I form before 8 A.M. or coffee, whichever comes first.)


P.S. Linking up with LindseyLauren, and Alison! AND in case you missed it, check out my farewell to our beloved What Not to Wear!

Farewell, What Not to Wear...

Farewell, What Not to Wear...

Several days ago, What Not to Wear aired its series finale, ending what had become one of TLC's most beloved shows and a pioneer in the realm of reality television (remember my play-by-play?) And while my mourning period is still active (I've been dressing in black and watching reruns... I kid), I thought I'd share some of the lessons that What Not to Wear has taught me and the other viewers who were fortunate enough to get in on a decade of free style advice. We've heard it all a million times... dark wash denim is more flattering, accentuate your waist, white after Labor Day is acceptable, every outfit needs a completer piece, and, of course, COLOR, PATTERN, TEXTURE, SHINE. But, to me, the best of the wisdom I've taken away from the show is more psychological than sartorial in nature. (I've talked about some of the more practical advice before.)

I remember a web post from a few years ago that listed reality shows that were actually beneficial for kids and teens to watch in terms of the values they taught. I was a little surprised to see that WNTW had made the list, but looking back it makes perfect sense. If you've really watched and listened for long, you know that some really positive things were encouraged on every episode, especially the longer the series went on. Actually, the most valuable lessons from this show, at least to me, have very little to do with fashion or style at all. As Stacy and Clinton said countless times, "It's really not about the clothes." The overarching purpose of their 350+ makeovers (and there were some doozies, am I right?) was to make women feel better about themselves and prepare them to become better people, not just better-dressed people. (For some of the wackier contributors, that was a lost cause, but still.) 

1. You're not doing yourself any favors by putting off dressing well. How many times did Stacy or Clinton (or both) tell a contributor (sometimes nearly shaking them in frustration!), "Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have!" OR "Dress the body you have, not the body you want." Opposite statements that really say the same thing... you can't wait for a job or a dress size to start dressing well. Just do it and see what opportunities come your way in the meantime! Fashion isn't just for skinny-minnies, and a professional wardrobe isn't just for someone with their dream career. Focus on where you are now and what size you are now. You deserve (and owe it to yourself) to look good now and later. Your confidence may just push you over to the motivation you need to lose that extra weight, and looking good at your so-called "day job" may lead to an opportunity for the one you've been waiting for. Who knows?

2. It's okay to take time (and money!) to make yourself look and feel good. It's harder when you have a crazy schedule, kids to take care of, and a number of other responsibilities, but those things will take a hit when you look bad and consequently feel bad about yourself. (This is so true- every time I neglect the time I really need to take to get ready, I just feel grumpy all day. On the other hand, when I am put-together, I feel put-together and that's really nice, especially if it's one of those days when the only thing I can control is my outfit.) Yes, we're all busy- but as we've heard from S and C so often, it takes the same amount of time to dress well as it does to NOT dress well. SO, take the extra time. It's not silly or shallow in moderation. And while you certainly don't need $5,000 to buy some great wardrobe builders, you do need some money, and it's okay. It's worth it. 

3. Like it or not, people judge you based on your clothes. You may be a fantastic mom, a great housewife, the best at your job, or someone who really "has it all together," but if you dress like a mess, you're conveying that you ARE a mess, whether it's true or not! Bummer, right? But it's the truth, and people form all kinds of opinions, positive and negative, based on your appearance. Why not confirm that you're awesome and dress like it? It may be unfair, but it's reality, so deal with it and use it to your advantage. Want to come across in control, organized, artsy, etc.? Let your clothes portray exactly what you want to say to others before ever speaking a word. They can do as much good as they do bad when it comes to first impressions. 

4. There is a happy medium between skank and frump. Let's all find it! Dressing like a frump can be just as unflattering and (to me) immodest as dressing provocatively, but neither one is okay! You can be appropriate and pretty without looking like you are trying to relive your glory days by shopping in the juniors department OR aging yourself with the dreaded "mom jeans" or shapeless, baggy sweats. One is slutty, one is sloppy, but both are inappropriate and you can do better. Find the balance and stick to it. (This isn't a post about modesty, but there are plenty of good ones out there.) 

5. You deserve the way dressing well makes you look and feel. So many women feel like they're on the back burner after their families, jobs, or whatever when it comes to looking nice. You owe it to those around you to dress yourself decently, sure, whether that means covering up or loosening up, but what I love about Stacy and Clinton's makeovers (and what contributor after contributor has told them) is that regardless of the clothes they end up in (or trash!), they feel really awesome about themselves post-makeover. And, like I said, that has far less to do with the actual clothes or shopping or style advice than it does the fact that many women's entire perception of themselves changes. An inward change accompanies the outward change and they are able to see that just because they are busy, overworked, heavier than they'd like to be, or even financially limited, they deserve to look the best they can look. That may mean different things to different people, but Stacy and Clinton have helped hundreds of women (and men, remember?) figure out the style that speaks to them and represents the best version of themselves. And, to me, that's pretty awesome.

So, while I wish desperately that the show wasn't over yet (look around, S and C! Clearly your work is not done!), I am thankful for the style principles it's helped to make a little more mainstream over the past ten years. And even though we'll all picture that dreaded 360-degree mirror when we're shopping or getting dressed, I hope it's the lessons of self-worth and, yes- appropriateness- that we take away as much as the fashion tips and witty banter of our beloved co-hosts.

Because, again... it's really not about the clothes. It's because you're worth it. (If this were a heart-warming Oprah special, I'd drop balloons and give you all a car right now. It's not, but consider it done in spirit.) Now, let's all remember "the rules" and show Stacy and Clinton that the last ten years were not in vain!


The Copycat Queen...

The Copycat Queen...

I don't see the need to add to the canon of posts out there that proclaim the wonder of Pinterest, but it really is helpful, especially when one is feeling lazy rather uninspired and needs an outfit idea ASAP (act swiftly, awesome pachyderm!). SO last night when I was lacking creativity (and rocking you to sleep with this gem) it was hi-ho, hi-ho, off to Pinterest I go (or, went.) 

I am obviously a big fan of chambray and striped and boots and my new green vest and originality soooo...


I decided to combined these two lovely pins into one outfit that led one of my dear students to say, "You look like you should be on the cover of a magazine... or like you're going on a safari." Just what I like in an outfit.

One of these days I will be smart and take pictures in the morning before the day leaves me looking like I slept in my clothes. Oh well.

In case you care: 
Shirt: Gap
Skirt: Cato
Vest: Kohl's 
Boots: Macy's (Nine West)

Have you been pinspired lately? (Yes, only the cheesiest of verbage here. You're welcome.)


P.S. Linked up herehere, and here!

A Day in the Life...

A Day in the Life...

One of the struggles of blogging (or any form of writing) is the accompanying worry that "no one cares about this!" as I write it. Some topics lend themselves more to that than others (hello, outfit/shopping posts) but my typical response to this question (who cares?) is to ask myself if I would enjoy reading it. If the answer is yes, then I proceed. (There's a point to all this that I'm getting to... patience, Iago. Patience.)

So, everyone knows that Janssen is one of my favorite bloggers and she has written/talked about posts called "A Day in the Life." Not to insult your intelligence, but it's basically what it sounds like- you document most of the moments of your day and then blog about it. So.... if you don't care, feel free to click away to bigger and better things, since there's nothing glamorous about this day OR my life. But, if you're a little curious, press onward.

6:15- alarm goes off. HA! Hit the snooze.

6:45- alarm goes off. Accidentally turn it off and fall back asleep.

7:08- YIKES! Run around, White Rabbit style, and get ready very quickly. (Also, skip breakfast.)

7:45- arrive at school. Put armloads of stuff in my classroom and head over for a (very necessary) cup of coffee.

7:50- feel grateful that someone left lemon pound cake in the kitchen. Breakfast is served.

7:52- drink coffee and hobknob with my fellow teachers.

8:05- head over to homeroom. Stop to grab computer from car.

8:15- homeroom begins after all my chairs are returned from an event Saturday night. Only time for prayer requests and prayer today.

8:30- 9th grade English. A literature quiz, new grammar lesson, new spelling list, and general feeling of frivolity that could only stem from the fact that I was in rare form. Must have been the coffee.

9:25- 6th grade English. Nine-weeks test Wednesday so major review including a quiz.

10:20- BREAK TIME. I head over for more coffee, a chat in the office, and start to work on making a study guide only to have my computer die. Play Candy Crush while lamenting my lack of productivity.

11:15- 8th Grade English. New spelling list, literature review, and a grammar quiz. Forgot to make some copies. Oops.

12:05- LUNCH. Walk to cafeteria. Jonathan is free before lunch so he's supposed to heat up our leftovers (but he didn't.) Sit and eat garlic bread and wait for my food to be delivered (because I'm a queen. Not.) Discuss the important issues of life with other teachers.

12:35- Send boys who are playing (NOT cleaning the cafeteria) back to class. Follow them for quality control purposes.

12:40- 10th grade English. Review and give literature quiz. Introduce new spelling list. Teach grammar lesson. Stress the importance of knowing helping verbs (which cannot be emphasized enough, in my opinion.)

1:30- study hall. Call sixth graders up individually to discuss quiz grades. Offered (somewhat stern) encouragement when needed. Kept everyone relatively quiet. Played Christmas music to stimulate learning (and because I wanted to.)

2:15- Planning hour. In this case, grading poetry quizzes, checking grades as the quarter ends this week, and organizing a December field trip (in October.... it's just one of those.)

3:15- Car duty. Make sure the children are picked up safely and in the right vehicles. Distribute cell phones. Mini student-teacher conference. Head back inside to work on more field trip stuff.

3:30- cousin arrives with Dr. Pepper. He is crowned King of the Cousins. Also, I was going to go home early but Jonathan had a meeting. Field trip planning it is.

3:35- talk to principal about field trip arrangements. Send (yet another) email to the nice people at the theatre where we will be seeing A Christmas Carol. (Yay!)

3:40- grade more stuff. Wait for Candy Crush lives to renew. "More grading. More doing. That's the power of my English classroom."

4:00- start this post. Wait for Jonathan to finish. Read (and retweet) this post from Jon Acuff.

4:30- round up my multitude of stuff and head home.

5:00- straighten up the living room, fix dinner. Eat it while reading my newest issue of InStyle. Watch last week's Duck Dynasty. Laugh my head off (I was a late bloomer when it comes to the bearded Robertsons but now I'm a fan despite my best intentions.)

6:00- clean a little more. Start to vacuum. Don't.

6:15- call with one sister gets interrupted with a call from a cousin. Talk for a while and he is so sweet as always and interested in my writing (as so many are. Ha.) Clean a little more while on the phone, including a half-hearted wipe-down of my ever-smudged glass coffee table.

6:52- leave for drama practice.

7:00- wait on cast to arrive. Play the piano in the meantime.

7:08- hear cast approaching. Scurry away from the piano.

7:10- drama practice for the Christmas play I'm directing at church. A rollicking good time, as always. Also, I grow increasingly more stressed about it as each day passes and the day approaches. Fortunately I am working with some super-talented peeps.

8:00- get home. Plop down and mournfully watch the second to last episode of What Not to Wear. I will certainly be dedicating an entire post to the series finale soon.

8:30- cookie break.

8:58- time for the very very last episode. Jonathan asked, "Are you ready for this, honey?" And I emphatically say, "NO!"

9:42- still watching WNTW. I forgot it's two hours long. I'll probably regret this in the morning. Sooo tired.

9:45- trying to use my time wisely, so taking the old polish off my toenails. Also, wanting to kill this nasty final contributor. It bothers me when they pick someone who doesn't even deserve $5,000. Ah, well.

9:55- checking blogs during commercials.

10:11- still watching. SO sad watching them cry during the goodbye party. Also, the commercials on TLC are tripping me out. Alaskan Women Looking for Love? This should not be.

10:24- finally over. Sheesh. And the dream ending was funny, I admit. I'm thinking I should have divided the episode in half.

10:30- shower and time to pick out tomorrow's outfit (otherwise I can't sleep.)

11:00- Bed time. Over and out.

My wild-eyed delirious look indicates it's past my bedtime.

And now you know. Are you SO envious? (Nope, just super bored, I know.)


Maybe I can start tomorrow's "Day in the Life" with "7:00- delight in overwhelming response to this fascinating insight into my terribly exciting life." I'll anticipate the comments that start pouring in. =)



So, my friend Ragan has done some posts she calls "awkward/awesome" but rather than straight-up copy her (and because I feel like I have plenty of awful to share =) I thought I'd do a similar post of my own. Also, this seems like an efficient way to talk about several life happenings all in one place, and I am nothing if not efficient. (Hardly true.)


...spilling nail polish remover on my dresser and staining it with several hideous little spots that taunt me cruelly every time I walk by. 

...confrontation, in any form. I haaaate it. Especially when it keeps me awake at night. 

...the pipe leak that has been sneakily draining our water and causing our bill to go WAY up. At least we found the source, but seriously. I cut back on using my dishwasher for a whole month for nothing? I wish dishes by HAND when I didn't have to? Lame. (I know, first world problems.)

...trying to cut out soda (bad) and exercise (ugly). Not working out for me this week. Maybe next week? We shall see.

...What Not to Wear is ending... FOREVER... this Friday night. I am already in mourning for one of my favorite shows. Stacy and Clinton's work is not done! (Don't worry, I'm sure I'll dedicate a whole post to this post-finale.) out-of-control split ends. (Hey, I never said the awful stuff was earth-shattering. I guess some of it could be classified as simply "annoying" and not "awful" but, then again, have you seen my hair lately?) 


...this little pumpkin. Well, he's not so little, is he? How adorable is that fat face?

...this amazing apple pie and ice cream creation. One of the perks of having family in town is having an aunt who can whip up heavenly desserts like this and then generously share. =)

...Chicken on a Stick at the Mumfest this weekend. Yummo.

...a Rudy's hot dog. These never, ever get old (and should I be concerned that half this list is about food?)

...a beautiful baby! My friend Lauren had her sweet boy Carter last week and I finally got to meet him today! What a doll (and did nothing for my baby fever, let me tell ya.)

...Boy Meets World reunion? I couldn't love this picture more (unless maybe Alan had not decided to go this very unfortunate direction with his hairstyle.) Other than that, love, love, love it (as you know.) nights with this guy. Pretty much my favorite. (And I am typically not a fan of referring to one's husband/boyfriend as "this guy" but I figure you all know his name, so...)

That's all, folks. I guess nothing is really too awful and at least the awesome list was longer, right? I do so love to look on the bright side of things. 


Faking It...

Faking It...

I'm all about stretching your wardrobe and thinking outside the box (closet?) but I bought this top at Loft a while back that I've had the hardest time wearing simply because of its odd colors. The brownish tan isn't really brown or tan, so it looks wrong with khaki or brown. And the blue isn't really navy but it's not cobalt either, so cobalt looks dumb and denim doesn't work. (Am I really writing this much about the color of a sweater? Can we say "first world problems"?)

Anyway, after mostly ignoring the top (even though I really like it... it has an exposed zipper, after all!) or wearing it with things that left me dissatisfied, I had it out to wear on Sunday and suddenly had a brilliant realization that while no skirt in my closet was working, I did have a DRESS that might work and was, indeed, the very color I needed. I whipped it out, threw the top on over and... BAM. Fake skirt.

Top: Loft
Skirt (really a dress!): Banana Republic Outlet
Shoes: Target

Necklace: Loft Outlet (old)

And because no outfit is legit until it's filtered and 'grammed (with a selfie thrown in for good measure)...

The colors in this are unusual and not terribly exciting, but I am thrilled to have finally found something to wear with this top that actually matches! And speaking of the top, I really love the thickness and structure of it (I love high quality on clearance!) and with the ponte texture of the dress and suede shoes, I felt a little more interesting. Also, this necklace may have been the most random addition ever but every now and then I find a necklace hanging in my tangled assortment that hasn't seen the outside in a long time and I feel sorry for it so I wear it. (What, you don't personify your accessories? Okay then.) 

My only regret is that I'm not wearing heels but until my ship holding the precious cargo of new heels comes in I'll be sticking to my old man loafers, thank you very much. 

So have you ever faked an outfit before? Tell me and we can be sneaky together. =)


Linked up herehere, and here.

Sequels...Good or Bad?

Sequels...Good or Bad?

Believe it or not, I've been considering this post for quite a while, as if it is of any real value at all. I know it's not, but I do so love to talk about movies. Humor me.

Every so often in the entertainment industry, someone will look at a perfectly good movie and think, "Gee, this was a great film. Let's make a sequel!" (Or you know, it was a book and already HAD a sequel, but that's neither here nor there.) The point is, some movies get sequels made, and sometimes sequels are GREAT. And sometimes, they make you hate the sequel AND the original, even if the original wasn't so bad. So let's visit a few sequels, shall we?

1. We'll start with a good sequel. Father of the Bride II  is the sequel of... you guessed it... Father of the Bride. And as hilariously awesome as Father of the Bride was, Father of the Bride II is all that and MORE. Seriously, it's so, so funny while being sweet and poignant in places and holds a prestigious place in the Baines Family Film Canon as one of our most-often quoted movies. Because Martin Short as Franc? There is no character in any movie that is more fun to imitate (and I do, frequently.) So, good move, movie people. This sequel was a winner.

2. Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies. The story and songs are great, Eddie Murphy as Mushu is hysterical, and it's another one that I quote almost subconsciously now. So, as a kid, when I found out that a sequel could be found in Mulan II, I was super excited. NO! No, no, no, no, no! All I can remember clearly about this unfortunate sequel is the terribly cheesy line, "In an ideal world, everyone would marry for love" and a decided lack of the charm of the first movie. Bad idea, Disney... Dishonor! Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow!

3. Sometimes I actually like a sequel better than the first movie, and such is the case with The Santa Clause 2. While Charlie is kind of a whiny brat in the first movie, the sequel is so good, especially the jokes between Tim Allen's Scott Calvin and his ex's new husband, Neil. Also, Spencer Breslin is great (he was still cute back then.) However, one good sequel doesn't guarantee another, which leads me to...

4. The Santa Clause 3 is another sequel that should not have been made, in my opinion. I just didn't like it. And while Martin Short can obviously be hilarious (see #1) this movie has just always fallen flat to me (so flat, in fact, that I'm pretty sure I only made it through the whole thing once or twice.) I don't have any particular grievance with it, other than the fact that it just seemed significantly less funny than the other two. No bueno.

5. One of the funniest movies I've ever seen is Home Alone, and, if you can believe this, I hadn't seen it until a few years ago. So after I cackled my way through it, imagine my delight in watching the very excellent sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Equally funny, equally spotlighting the talent of Macaulay Culkin (who is really weird now, I think), and equally sweet ending. Winner!

6. But all good things must come to an end, which brings me to the next couple of mistakes: Home Alone 3 (a lukewarm microwaved version of the same plot with a way less cute kid) and Home Alone 4 (epitomizing what is wrong with sequels... just plain stupid. Made-for-TV, indeed.)

7. I vividly remember watching Toy Story for the first time and being so enamored by the "computer animation" (I was seven, okay?) so when Toy Story 2 came out I was super excited but not sure it would live up to the awesomeness of the first movie. OF COURSE it did... new but lovable new characters (although, even though my niece would kill me, I have to say Jessie wasn't my fave) and a strong plot, hilarious toy store sequences (the Tour Guide Barbie still cracks me up) and the coolest airport scene (seriously, I've always wondered what the secret baggage portals look like!). And....

8. If a good sequel is rare, than a third one is even more so... but when I sat in an IMAX theater as a 21-year-old married woman, eagerly anticipating Toy Story 3, it entirely lived up to the hype and I was reduced to a nostalgic, snotty puddle of tears by the end. (This scene? Chokes me with emotion.) The entire trilogy is a masterpiece. Bravo, Pixar. Bravo.

9. So, if you know me very well, you probably know that I really love Aladdin; it's one of my very, very favorites. And while it pains me to include The Return of Jafar (the second in what would become a trilogy) as a bad idea... well, I'm not sure. I know that the songs are horrifically cheesy and the animation, for whatever reason, is a little off. My biggest complaint is that some sort of show biz politics kept Robin Williams from voicing the Genie in this film and that kinda kills it. BUT I do love Iago in it and the cheesy music is still sweet. 

10...And the third movie, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, totally redeems the franchise with the return of Robin Williams and some great (still cheesy) songs. I love this movie; I can't deny it. 

11. Obviously, one of the most famous Disney princesses is Cinderella. Knowing this, and considering the fact that the movie was made in 1950, should have warned moviemakers that revisiting a beloved classic might not be a terrific idea, especially in 2002. But, with Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, revisit they did, while the dear old men who created the original rolled over in their graves over the pop music that replaced the gorgeous symphonic score of the first movie and the "modern teen lingo" that was suddenly (and jarringly) coming from Cinderella's mouth. Why? WHY? More like dreams are crushed and broken. (Okay, that's a little much, but really. This was a terrible idea.)

Other terrible sequels include, but are not limited to, the Air Bud series (a dog playing basketball? Cute. A dog playing baseball, soccer, volleyball, and football? Make it stop!), the Land Before series (yes, all the way through number XXIX or however high they went...I feel like the dinosaurs would have been extinct by the time the movies ended), the Rocky movies (I know, I know, but really... what's next? Rocky- the Retirement Home Years?), The Little Mermaid II, Return to Neverland, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure, Bambi II (seriously, let's just leave the classics in the vault where they belong!), Cars 2 didn't really do much for me, Pocahontas 2 (why stray from the historical inaccuracies of the original?).... am I picky or what? No, I just think that some sequels, especially those of classics, are a mistake...

...especially if what began as a cute story of a dog who could make a basket turns into a decade-long collection of sports-playing puppies OR takes a beautiful princess and turns her into a pop diva. I mean, really. But, I digress. What are your least favorite (or favorite- I'm open to positivity here) sequels?


That's So Ashley...

That's So Ashley...

Didn't you love That's So Raven? When I was in junior high I thought it would be wildly awesome to be able to freeze, and as a psychedelic swirl thingie zoomed into my eye, have a "vision" that would allow me to see into the future. (Also, I really just liked saying, "Yah nasty!" as often as possible. Come on, you know that was a funny show.) 

Well, I've never been psychic (unlike my other hero) but sometimes, you (or in this case, I) have a shopping moment that is just fortuitous... without even being aware of the greatness of a purchase, I find something that goes on to be super versatile, a color I am in love with, or just a favorite piece of mine. It's almost like looking into my style future, right? Such was the case with this scarf that I grabbed, pretty much on a whim, during a super-quick mall run during a road trip this summer.  (And, it was in Charlotte Russe of all places... not a store I frequent since a) I'm neither a teenager nor the size of one and b) my husband won't even step foot in one because the music gives him a headache, so he says.)

Anyway, of course it's been waay too hot for a fluffy infinity scarf but the temperature (thankfully, miraculously) dipped around here today I pulled this little gem out. And wouldn't you know it? It's just as for perfect for fall as I (in my infinite wisdom) pictured when I bought it back in the summer, and it even has my favorite fall color in it. So I was thrilled to be able to pull it out and wear it (you know, without sweating to death by mid-afternoon or justify wearing a scarf by keeping my classroom like the Arctic, which I'm sure my students just love.)

Cardigan: Old Navy
Loafers: Target
Scarf: Charlotte Russe

I just love all these colors and the print!

And, in the spirit of full disclosure...

...this is what my feet actually looked like for the majority of the day. Hey, teachers' feet hurt, you know? I'm certainly not above wearing my Dearfoams when I can get away with it. =)

My present self is thanking my prescient past self for having the foresight to buy this scarf. So, thank you, Self. You're a pretty smart cookie. (And you have the ability to sing the theme song of That's So Raven in its entirety, which is no small feat.)

Do you have a great buy that ended up being one of your favorites? Tell me all about it.


P.S. Linked up here and here!

A Simpler Time...

A Simpler Time...

As I am up to my near-sighted little eyeballs in tests to grade, papers to correct, Christmas play practices to coordinate, "my wife to murder, and Gilder to frame for it," (HA! Name that movie) I just thought I'd take a break in the action to share a picture that represents a much simpler time in my life. This is me almost exactly six years ago... freshman in college, Saturday with absolutely nothing pressing to accomplish, and a beautiful fall day that, apparently, needed to be spent jumping in a pile of leaves (all while wearing an outfit that I wouldn't be caught dead in now. Ah, the follies of youth.) 

Even though my life right now is far from carefree (and I know all you moms are poised and ready with rotten tomatoes to virtually throw at me), it's nice to be reminded of a day that I was young, not stressed, thin(ner)... and, judging from this picture, quite happy with life. Thinking back to that day, I would imagine that my main priorities were making sure my cruddy flip phone would stay charged long enough to call Jonathan and that I would have enough money after doing laundry to buy Mountain Dew for a couple more days. You know, big stuff.

SO... I will get back into the swing of things (whatever that looks like) soon- promise. But in the meantime, it's nice to know that my naive 18-year-old self was having a wonderful October. =)

Here's to simpler times... happy Monday!