Monday, January 23, 2017

Style on a Teacher's Budget?

It's tricky to feel like you're keeping up with fashion when your style budget is $35 per month. There are several style bloggers that make budget style easier.

Allij created the popular Polyvore series "Teacher Outfits on a Teacher's Budget." She hasn't posted in a few months, but her outfits are cute and super affordable. She sources from shops like 


But then, she also includes clearance items from shops like

Though some of Alli's picks don't last two seasons, I love her sense of style and sense of humor.

J's Everyday


I love those tassel earrings! J, a former marketing pro, posts a new outfit every day and archives old outfits. She posts sources, prices, and variations on her themes--which she often grabs from runway style or celebrities. The "How To" section of her site includes lots of great tips like how to layer necklaces and how to dress for a wedding.

I love her pics with her sweet, fluffy pups! It's fun to see  how she styles them, too! Cate posts from California. I love her breezy style and coaching tone. Yes, I *will* invest in a few pairs of boots! :) Thanks for all the tips.

Now, to grade some papers.

Love. Boots. Fashion.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

What's for Dinner?

This week, I'm working the Crock Pot overtime.

M: Crock Pot orange chicken
T: Cilantro lime chicken tacos
W: Leftovers
R: Salisbury steak meatballs with mashed potatoes and gravy
F: Breakfast burritos

For the breakfast burritos, I just throw scrambled eggs, cooked and crumbled sausage, salsa, and cheese in tortillas and toast it in a little oil.

Grocery List

ALREADY HAVE
jar of barbecue sauce
rice
plenty of frozen veggies for sides
beef stock
Worcestershire

MEAT
pre-made meatballs (so busy this week)
big pack of chicken breasts
breakfast sausage

DAIRY
choice cheeses

CONDIMENTS
soy sauce

CAN AISLE
black beans
tortillas
salsa

PRODUCE
limes
cilantro
bag potatoes

RANDOM
orange marmalade
taco seasoning pack (or make your own)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cloud Photos | Inspiration

I was digging through my Dropbox the other day and noticed I have a huge collection of cloud photos.

Why??

It's the light that backlights a fluffy, cottony cumulus collections. Especially at sunset, it's so beautiful. Maybe it's the way the whiteness of the clouds gives your eye a break so that when you look at the sky again, you appreciate it more (like coffee beans in Bath & Body Works). Maybe it's the contrast of the pudgy, slow moving, crowded clouds to the stunning, unapproachable light. Whatever it is, I love them-- or at least I have a million pictures of them. Here are a few.

Officer, traffic was definitely stopped in Atlanta when I took out my phone to grab this shot.

Auntie Em? So Smoky ... but they're clouds.

Windswept gray-blue parking lot sunset

That time my niece and I took "Flat Nana" on our adventure with us, so Nana could be a part of the fun.

Is there a better pairing anywhere than hammocks and clouds?

Washington D.C. summer clouds

Hello, pretty, mingling clouds.


Batting and feathers

I guess cloudy days aren't so bad. Time for some better PR, clouds. 

Perspective. Stratosphere. Atmosphere. 



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Guest Hosts Grabbing Attention | Podcasts

Football is speeding toward the big showdown, and in Atlanta, the lovers and haters banter about the evolution of the Falcons, including the impact of Dan Quinn and his pro relationship with Matt Ryan. And what happened to Mike Smith, anyway?

No one can deny the power of a sabbatical. Rest is biologically, emotionally, and spiritually restorative.

The impact of pros taking time off, by choice or not, is that we get to enjoy guest hosts!

Unfortunately, I'm a football-watcher-in-training, and sometimes (ehem...every time), I'll sneak away from a game to see what's happening on my podcasts. I'm a podcast nerd.

Here are a few guest hosting moments that have caught my attention.

Tom Hanks for Peter Sagal on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me

The other comedians on the episode call Hanks "America's Sweetheart," and I think this description hits the mark. More so than perhaps any actor or actress, "Hanx" has navigated the personal and professional media over decades to maintain his position as an actor many would love to be friends with. Hanks has so much energy in this episode and brings a fresh angle to the commentary.

Guest Host Paul Gilmartin on Pop Rocket Episode 45

Usually a pop culture quartet then including Guy Branum and panelists Wynter Mitchell, Oliver Wang, and journalist Margaret Wappler, in this episode, Gilmartin comes in for Wang and gives bright insight about "Gimme Shelter," the Rolling Stones hit. Just listen. If you're a Stones fan, you'll be glad you did.

Shannon Carson on Glynn Washington's Snap Judgment

Telling an engaging story isn't easy, but Glynn Washington always manages to take the minutia of everyday life as well as the sensational stories of individuals across the globe and turn them into a collection of edge-of-your-seat tales. At first, when I hit "play" on this episode, I was skeptical because I like the usual Snap Judgment so much. Shannon Carson, in a confiding tone, delivers. If you're looking for a new podcast to try or you just need something to chill you out as you navigate city traffic somewhere, don't miss Snap Judgment.

Taking a break can keep everything fresh! I hope you find time to take a break today.

10-min. Substitute. Sabbatical. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Goodwill Finds and Kroger WINS

I love the gamble of walking in a Goodwill. You walk in with a $15 budget, and you might walk out with real treasure. Sunday, the "color" changes, so it's the best day to go.

 For those of you uninitiated in Goodwillery, each item is tagged with a color according to when it arrives in the store. Each week, you can find a sign at the front of the store that identifies which color of item is HALF OFF. Sometimes, Goodwill doesn't offer real deals--a Target t-shirt that was originally on clearance for $5 is now $5.45?? BUT, if you play it right, you can find deals.

 My favorite steals this week are from Kroger's holiday clearance and Goodwill.

quilting supplies: quilting rulers originally $36 = $5.96
vintage patterns now about $20 full price: $1.01
self-healing cutting mat: $2.95

























PB midcentury tree topper: $1.01

























Kroger's bag WITH tissue paper: $.15 each. I am SO ready for next Christmas!
























I hope you're finding great deals out there! Dig. Deal. Discount.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What's for Dinner?

One of the best habits I've started over the last two years is meal planning. How many of you buy a regular "pantry" of ingredients and then pick each night from whatever happens to be in the pantry? That's the way I used to do it--with several trips to the grocery store during the week as special meal inspirations hit me.

Why??

The Crock Pot and lists like this have changed my life. Maybe this new method or shopping list will help someone else out there!

 We make lunches and have simple turkey sandwiches and generally use a bag of frozen veggies as a side for each evening. Let me know if you try this plan!

 Meals this week include comfort favorites: lasagna, breakfast for dinner, and a version of Mom's chicken and dumplings with the fluffy, homemade dumplings, not the flat, can-of-biscuits variety. Here's a printable grocery shopping list.

Love. Prep. Preparedness. Prepping. Mise en Place.