Sunday, January 31, 2016

Goal Setting, Revisited

Here we are, 31/366 days into 2016.  How are you doing on your personal goals for the year?

I was recently asked about my goals and vision for 2016, so I decided to get crafty because I'm a visual (messy) person. 

So here goes:

1) Grow my small businesses ({TpT}, {Jamberry}, and {Younique}).  However, I want to do so in a way that feels authentic and genuine, and that means not morphing into one of those super naggy people.  (Unless you're a student with an overdue form...then I shall nag away.  Daily.)  I just get really excited about things and want others to be excited with me.

2) Get married without spending all my money on Etsy, being a bridezilla, and scaring B with the copious amounts of glitter.  I did hide my Joann's bag from him because I don't want him to see all the wedding decor...and glitter.  That poor man.

3)  Strive for this work-life-nap balance.

4) Continue having adventures with B, the fur babies, friends, and family.

5) Find joy in the classroom.  Every day.  Even when they are hormonal, puberty-stricken, hot messes.  I love them. I just don't like each one of them at every given moment.

6) Continue to cultivate loving, healthy friendships where we inspire and support one another.

What are your goals for 2016?


Permission granted

This is a lesson I continue to struggle with.

We had a busy it should be.


In a constant struggle of me vs my allergies, they won.  There was a ton of dust and pollution in the air on Friday, which wrecked havoc on my sinuses.  So while he went out to softball, I graded all that I could, worked on school work, did laundry, and tidied up the house.


The morning started with a walk for Waffles and trying our new yoga work out DVD.  I like it so far! We picked out his groomsmen attire, had a relatively healthy lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, and went to the craft store and Target. I did a little more work before headed out to a dear friend's daughter's sixth birthday party.  There were copious amounts of sugar involved.  Afterwards, me and B met up with some family members to see the Spazmatics, which are an 80s cover band.  It was a fun show with super cheap drinks, but I wasn't used to being up til 2 am.  


Without much sleep, we got up and took Waffles up to the snow.  We met up with some friends at the Mt. Charleston lodge and drove up from there.  We had only one minor skid issue, but found a nice chunk of unaltered snow to play in.  Once Waffles discovered she could eat the snow, she was in heaven.  It started gently snowing while we were up there, which was nice and relaxing.  

We stopped by his parents' house to return their tupperware (from Thanksgiving...sorry Mike and Kathy!).  We picked up lunch on the way home and spent the afternoon half-heartedly working and watching Netflix.  Tomorrow is the 100th day of school and while we don't do much in fifth grade, I wanted to set up a selfie station with props in the teachers lounge, which required a gathering of random supplies from my house.  I completed one state in the next region (slated to start this week?), but then a nap occurred...and then the dilemma hit.

Do I plow through and conquer another state?  Or do I enjoy my evening?

I chose the later.  I put forth a good five hours of work between school ending Friday and now.  That's enough.  That's more than enough.

Am I 100% ready for tomorrow? No.  I know what I'm teaching, but I have copies to make and lesson plans to copy & paste into the online server.  

However, instead of stressing, I'm going to take Waffles for a walk with B, paint my toes, and swap out my nails for a new Valentine's themed jammicure.  I'll pack my lunch for the morning, toss my water bottle in the freezer, and get lots of beauty rest.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Slowly but surely

Slowly but surely, I'm checking items off the wedding list.

The Photo Booth

I've been communicating with the coordinator for our photo booth about the logos we'd like at the bottom of the photo strips.  I'm strongly leaning towards this one:

but wanted to see how it would look in our colors, with our names, and in different color combinations.  There were two other ones that I like as well, but progress!

I'm also going to pick up our wedding photobooth scrapbook album early because I'm customizing it.  This may be my inner bridezilla coming out, but I just don't trust what their idea of "decorating" the album is.  I've been watching the sales at Joanns and using coupons, so most of my album stuff was less than full price.

But yes, I'm going to be type A and trace out where I'd like the photo strips glued.  I'm having one of my bridesmaids do my bridal shower scrapbook (that took a bit of trust, but I know my mom is supervising), so I want to still do something.


I ordered these gorgeous earrings from {etsy} for my bridesmaids:

They have navy (marine) dresses, so this will go really well.  They all picked dresses with fancy necklines, so that eliminated the need for necklaces.  I also ordered myself a pair to wear to the bridal shower & rehearsal dinner, so I can feel close to my ladies.

Thank you gifts

I'm not quite sure if it's customary to get my mom and MIL a gift on the wedding day...but I did! They are gorgeous and I'm sure will be tear-inducing (sorry mom).  I just wanted to show them both my (our) appreciation for their support over the years.

Thank you cards

I haven't technically bought them yet, but I've got my eyes on some custom thank you cards from this {etsy} shop.  The seller has been super easy to work with, so that gives me hope!  I ordered something else from this seller, so depending on the quality, I'll hopefully be back for more!  I wanted thank you from the future Mrs. S cards and thank yous from the new Mr. and Mrs. cards.  I think it's a bit cheesy to send out thank you cards with our faces on them, so I'd rather do more traditional thank you cards.  Our wedding will fall close to Christmas, so we'll be sending out holiday cards with our wedding pictures on them anyway.  And...let's be real, the thank you cards won't get out by the holidays.  Three months is standard, right?

Address stamp

Okay, I haven't technically bought this one either.  I'm waiting for my paycheck from {TpT} to order a {stamp} with my new last name.  I ordered one for our invitations (bridal shower, engagement shower, wedding invitations, save the dates) and it's already worth it.   Plus I have a 10% off coupon for being a repeat customer, so that's super convenient! 


Um...there's a few I like on zappos.  I'm having difficulty narrowing down my like list...

Flower girl basket

I asked our flower girl's mom if it'd be okay, but we haven't formally asked our flower girl yet.  I did, however, find an adorable dress and already have a craft vision!

I want this:

Without paying the etsy price. Armed with wine, coupons, and a hot glue gun, I'm sure I can make this for half the cost.  

Cake topper

The last initial ones are cute.  But we're leaning towards a custom one incorporating Batman.  Our wedding should feel like us.  He gave me the full go ahead on this purchase.  It's the same price as the generic craft store ones, but personalized.  Our wedding should reflect us.

Next up?

Scheduling engagement pictures.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Conquering the Wedding, one task at a time!

For one, I am absolutely loving having a long engagement.  There's no pressure on things!

Last weekend I found THE DRESS and even though it won't arrive for months, there's still plenty of time for alterations (which means plenty of time to tone my arms and back!).  

We decided on favors and I was able to find part of it for super cheap on Etsy.  By super cheap, I mean half of what it would cost at Michael's (and I didn't have to get dressed).  We don't have our favor idea 100% finalized, but I have months to play with it.  I'm not worried.  Once I finalize the design, I anticipate a wine and craft night with my girls.

I've got a solid idea on what to do for favors, found some gorgeous thank you cards, and am enjoying getting to savor planning.

Up next?

I'll be painting our guest book.

Yes, painting.  I picked up two large S wood signs to serve as the guest book (and one in photos).  We'll be using it in our engagement and wedding photos, so we need one to serve as the guestbook as well. 

It will be gold with a bronze edge (to make it look vintage).  Guests will be signing with black sharpies.  It will hang as a focal piece in our gallery wall.

Second task?

Photobooth scrapbook.

We are doing a photobooth and they print and assemble the scrapbook.  However, I didn't necessarily trust their ideas of customization, so I awkwardly asked for my scrapbook early to decorate the background pages, then will give it back to them before the wedding.

Amazingly, they said yes and reassured me I wasn't the first bride to want to do this.  It will be a white album with gold and black embellishments (a timeless look).  I'll be doing background ideas, then adding more embellishments after the pictures are glued in.  I'll possibility meet with the photobooth attendants before the wedding and just make sure we are on the same page in terms of my scrapbook hopes.



Currently in January

Sigh...January seems to be kicking my caboose.

Reading... Yes Please! I love her shows and her quotes on feminism, so this was a natural purchase.

Playing... the which {Jamberry wraps} shall I wear next game.  There are too many cute ones!

I think love letters is my favorite!

Watching... well, listening to New Girl reruns on Netflix.

Trying... to be positive.  This continues to be a struggle at time.

Being a grown up really stinks sometimes.

Cooking... nothing.  We had left overs for lunch and need to make a grocery list and meal plan for the week.

Eating... nothing. I'm hungry, but that could also be task avoidance (because I'm supposed to be doing laundry and working on a states powerpoint).

Drinking..water.  Lots and lots of water.

Calling... no one. I just got off the phone with my mom a little while ago and am seeing B's family later.

Texting...about dinner plans.

Pinning... teaching ideas, always.

Going... to be insanely productive for an hour, then take a nap. I love naps.

Loving...Etsy.  I found my {bridesmaid earrings}:

The seller was amazingly prompt at answering my questions, gave me a discount because I was ordering more than six, and I love that I'm supporting small businesses (because I love when others support mine).
I also treated myself to an adorable new make up bag, tulle for our favors, and a few other wedding surprises.  We also found some thank yous that we love and our cake topper.  I just need to spread out my wedding expenses. 

Hating... the uncertainty game.  Will my masters +32 be honored with a pay raise? Will the classes be released so I can take the last one at UNLV by May? Will I have to jump through hoops? Will I have to appeal the process? Will I have to join the union to have a better chance at it being approved? Is that even legal?

Discovering... Etsy's wedding section. Oh vey. It's amazing.

Thinking... about the lesson plans I should put into curriculum engine.  We have to post our lesson plans...and it's the last thing I want to do.

Feeling... like I can never catch up. 

Hoping (for)...a drama free dinner.

Listening (to)...Neflix...and Waffles snoring.

Celebrating... progress on wedding planning.  Oh, and that the Cardinals play the Panthers tomorrow.  Regardless of the outcome, they've had an amazing season.

Smelling... nothing. Thank you allergies.

Thanking... B for being so patient and picking up dinner.

Considering... trying to find a job that lets me craft things, read books, plan weddings, and drink mimosas while wearing pajamas and/or yoga pants.  Where is that job?

Starting... to realize I have to make wedding decisions, for real, soon.  More immediately though, thinking of ideas to turn our pod into Africa for multicultural week... (#elementaryproblems)

Finishing... Virginia, then West Virginia, then a test, then starting the next (FINAL) region.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Oh, we're having a sale (?)

I try to log into my TpT {store} every few days to review feedback and check my sales.

When I logged in this morning, I saw that the site was having a back to school year sale on January 20th and 21st...ya know, tomorrow.  Good thing I checked!

So I jumped on board and my whole store is 20% off for the TpT flash sale.  Happy shopping!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Back to Reality

This past week was a blur at work.  I had a surprise IEP meeting due to a date mix up, duty, a counseling lesson, Battle of the Books, a staff meeting, report cards, and teaching.  I rushed to get everything done by Thursday because my mom was coming in for the weekend!

Let's recap:


 She had a late flight (after nine pm), so I took a nap after work.  We picked her up, chatted for a few once we got home, and crashed.  I had work the next day and need a full night's rest when dealing with teaching three dozen ten year olds long division with decimals, without the algorithm.  


Friday morning we walked Waffles, I put dinner in the crockpot, and we headed to work.  A colleague was super chatty that morning, so I wasn't as productive as I would have liked.  It was also my off prep day, but that made for a quick afternoon.  We were able to Skype with my bestie at Yale.  We'd just learned about Connecticut, so it was academically appropriate.  She gave the students a walking tour of Yale and answered their inquisitive questions.  I also gave my students question time to ask my mom what they wanted (I was sure to set a timer!).  We had a pretty standard day with no ridiculous student behavior.  

We headed home and B brought home Redbox movies.  We enjoyed dinner, watching Minions and the newest Mission Impossible movie, looked at bridal magazines, wedding planned, and enjoyed bonding time.


Once again, our day started with a walk with Waffles.  Isn't she precious?  (She's 10 months, so she may get a little bigger.  She's from ARP (Adopt a Rescue Pet), so we aren't entirely sure of her breed.  We think collie-shepherd mix, but who knows.  More importantly, who cares?)

She still isn't aware that dogs go to the bathroom while on walks, but wasn't scared by passing vehicles, so progress!

From there, we headed to {Babystacks} and it was amazing.  If you're ever in Vegas, go here.  Plain and simple.  Since it was a cheat day, I devoured an omelet, seasoned potatoes, and two of the most wonderful pancakes I've ever encountered.  They were German chocolate with peppermint and white chocolate chips.  I could have died happy on the spot.  As a silly twist of fate, we were right next to my coworker Mrs. O, her hubby, and their precious two year old, so that was fun to chat over pancakes.  

We headed to Alfred Angelo for our noon dress appointment.  I went in with eight styles picked out from their website, but ended up falling for a brand new one on the mannequin.  

(Read the full dress shopping saga {here}).

We were 99% sure that was the one, but had a 4 pm appointment at another store just to be sure.  The consultants totally understood and wished us luck!

From there, my mom and I parted ways with my future MIL and one of our maids until later.  We picked up some items at Target, hit up a local craft store for ideas, then stopped by the Cannery and Sam's Town so she could get a feel for the locations and report back to my aunts.  We had a little bit of time to kill, so I showed her the super awesome dog park where we take Waffles and she got to admire little dogs in sweaters for a few.

We went to the second appointment and it was simply alright.  I really only liked one dress out of six and it was quite similar to the other one at Alfred Angelo, except more expensive and with a super awkward seam in the middle of the dress.  The store was also filled with lots of teenagers buying their prom dresses and if I have a group with me, sitting in chairs, because I have an appointment, I kind of get first dibs at the podium and the big mirrors.  I shouldn't have to stand to the side, in a wedding dress, waiting for hopeful prom queens to move from my spot.

(Seriously girls, move. Wedding trumps prom.)

It also irked me that another bridal party was offered champagne and we weren't.  The sales woman did her best and I left my contact information, but I won't be back.  Going to the second store that day really solidified that the other dress was it.

As soon as we left that appointment, I said the other dress was it.  All of my bridesmaids agreed and well, it's quite the feat if ten women all agree on something!

We headed to my favorite {pizza and pasta joint} for dinner where we met up with B and a few more friends.  Dinner was delicious and afterward, my mom and I headed back to Alfred Angelo to officially say yes to the dress.

I posted on social media that I'd said yes to the dress and I'm floored by how many people are genuinely excited about it.  I have such an amazing tribe. Thanks friends! 

Of course, we also watched the Cardinals defeat the Packers and I had a lot of loud words about that amazing ending.  


Because it's Vegas, we started our day with brunch at {Crepe Expectations}, which is another family owned shop and is amazing. My mom, B, and I each got our own savory crepe and shared a sweet one for dessert.  Because it's brunch, a white peach mimosa was also involved:

We then went to {Popped}, a gourmet specialty popcorn store that's conveniently right next to breakfast.  I've gone there for popcorn for baby showers and other events.  Thank goodness for their loyalty program!

We then headed to Green Valley Ranch for Bingo.  We'd never done it before, it was more expensive than I expected, and we won nothing.  I'd do it again, but not on a weekly basis.  We were the youngest in the room by decades and the woman next to us was loudly praying to the Holy Spirit that her husband would win.  That got old quite quickly.

Afterwards, we headed to Target to complete our wedding registry, then headed to {Cream}, a specialty ice cream parlor where you make your own ice cream sandwiches.  Or in B's case, ice cream taco!

Alas, after enjoying fine foods and wedding gowns, it was time to take my mom back to the airport.  I talk to her almost daily and we'll see her in March when we're down for a close friend's wedding, so the goodbyes aren't that hard when I know it's seven weeks until I see her again.

When we got home, I napped on the couch while B enjoyed his team (the Broncos) defeating the Steelers.  We both play next week and if both teams win, the Super Bowl will be incredibly awkward.  We already decided if it's a Broncos-Cardinals match up, we're watching separately, for the sake of our relationship.

The rest of Sunday was devoted to grading (I set a timer), laundry, and watching a movie.  Today we have off to celebrate Dr. King and my day will be spent grading and working on work stuff.  My bridal glow is dimming, thanks in part to reality.

Naturally, I have helpers for grading essays:

So I'll be heading to Panera soon since I'm clearly not going to be productive at home.