Back on Track

Right, where were we?  Ah, right before my birthday with a pre-birthday Goodwill haul.  B is so good at planning birthday dates, and that one was an excellent one to be sure.  My actual birthday was a bit chilly, and, dare I say, a bit less fun.  Thanks to hormones and some untimely not-so-kind words, I was upset, and nothing seemed to go right.  People were too cold at the baseball game.  The restaurant I picked didn’t suit everyone.  I ended up crying in front of everyone and feeling stupid.  It was not the best birthday.  There were, however, some excellent highlights, like seeing these people:

and getting my new baby, a sewing machine!  B and my parents had pooled their birthday funds and purchased an AWESOME sewing machine for me!  I need to take a class to get myself started, but I cannot wait to start creating!

I also made a stop by Goodwill to use my birthday 25% discount with my Goodwill card.  I only ended up picking up a few necklaces because we were in a time crunch to get to the baseball game, but it was kind of fun to tell the cashier it was my birthday.  Yes, I am one of those people who loves to tell others that it’s her birthday.  I have a countdown starting April 1.  B is well aware of when my birthday is, and there is little opportunity for him to forget when my birthday is because I refuse to stop reminding him.  I wouldn’t say I nag, per se, I just like to get excited about events.  I had a day-by-day countdown for our wedding.  I keep countdowns for trips or when people come to visit (and I also post them on those people’s Facebook walls for good measure).  I just like getting enthusiastic!  All of you Debbie Downers can exit here.

But fear not!  Even with my blah birthday, I am bound and determined to make year 26 pretty darn great.  And you know what?  So far, it hasn’t treated me too badly.  I have, after all, done a bit of traveling…

But those are all stories for another day!

Have a wonderful (hopefully less humid) week, everyone!

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Wow… What Was That?

Holy.  Cats.  Did I even just have a weekend?  I don’t think so.

This past weekend, I took my drama llamas to our regional One Act Drama Festival, and while we didn’t win, all of my kids seemed to have a lot of fun meeting other drama kids of other schools.  The two schools who did win deserved it, hands down, but it did hurt a little not to hear our school’s name called for the awards. I am so proud of my kids and the great job they did in the play.  They were funny, they were polite to other schools, and they represented all of us well.

Another part I am very proud of is the costuming.  The judges were very positive about our costuming, and since the majority of it was made by yours truly, I felt honored.  And you know where I got most of the clothing?  Go on, take a guess…

That’s right!  Who says you can’t get theater costumes on the cheap?  The most expensive outfit was Sleeping Beauty’s blue prom dress, which ran about $9.99.  It was in great shape, and all I had to do was hem it for our actress.  I hand-sewed beads (also from Goodwill in the craft section) into Cinderella’s dress, made three no-sew petticoats, and painted five of my students brown or green.  I plan on taking pictures to show you all of the costumes when my kids perform next week for our school so you can see all of our hard work for costuming!

Now it’s time to catch up on correcting and… oh yeah… sleep.  We got home at 1:00 AM each night, and then Saturday night was daylight savings time.  Who came up with that?  It really needs to stop.  Or change weekends.  Really.

Have you checked out Goodwill for costuming?  Give it a try for your next play or for Halloween!

Salivating Over Salvation Army Finds

Once my goal of only spending $10 a month on clothing was over, I kind of went a little nuts at Salvation Army.  I mean, when the typical person thinks of going nuts while shopping, he or she might think about spending hundreds of dollars.  I think of spending $20.  Yeah… there is a little bit of a difference…

I ended up finding some great pieces for my wardrobe and a couple of pieces to try some Pinterest clothing projects I had tagged for some DIY posts.

Brown faux-snake skin belt:  PRICE ON TAG: $0.99 / PAID: $0.50 / RETAIL: ~$15

Liz Claiborne navy linen button-up:  PRICE ON TAG: $3.99 / PAID: $2 / RETAIL: $74.25

Banana Republic plum button-up: PRICE ON TAG: $4.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $59.50

Faded Glory gray and blue polo for Pinterest project: PRICE ON TAG: $1.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $8.87

Vintage San Moire pink pleated skirt: PRICE ON TAG: $3.49 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: ~$30.00

Old Navy men’s red t-shirt for t-shirt scarf necklace for my cousin Jess:  PRICE ON TAG: $1.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $9.94

Jos A. Bank red with blue pinstripes silk tie for B:  PRICE ON TAG: $0.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: $69.50

OTHER COOL ITEMS FROM THE SALVATION ARMY

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot for my classroom library: PAID: $0.50 / RETAIL: $13.85

Imitation cut glass vase (not heavy enough to be real):  PRICE ON TAG: $3.99 / PAID: $0.99 / RETAIL: ~$20.00

TOTAL:  PRICE ON TAG:  $22.92 / PAID: $8.94 / RETAIL:  $300.91

Savings?  $291.97 without taxes on anything.  You know what?  I’ll take it!  Most of these items have already been worn and loved quite a few times!

Forty Days and Forty Nights

Start the clocks and mark your calendars.  If you happen to be a Christian who observes Lent, you may be giving something up right now.  If you aren’t, that’s okay.  Maybe you don’t know what Lent is.  Simply put, Lent is a period of 40 days and 40 nights where one gives something up to show commitment to God and Jesus.  It begins the day after Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday.  It’s super common in the Catholic church- they even have stricter rules like you can’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent – but we Protestants can observe it as well.  I grew up giving up different things here and there, sometimes chocolate or soda three years in a row (now I can’t drink it at all because the bubbles hurt too much).  Most of the time, it was something like junk food that I shouldn’t eat a lot of anyway.

This year, though, I am giving up something of a different variety.  Lent officially started on February 22, and I hemmed and hawed over what I should do this year.  Chocolate?  No, I’m not that crazy this year.  Junk food?  I don’t eat that much of it to begin with, so that’s kind of cheating.  And then it hit me.  This year, I am giving up shopping for clothing.

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Now, I know what you are probably thinking.  Yeah, you say you can get through 40 days without clothing shopping now… You couldn’t even stick to $10 a month!  Fair.  Totally fair.  However, there is a difference:  Lent has a much shorter time span, whereas a year is too long for an unclear goal.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I also hold myself to my short term goals much more strictly than I do for long term ones (who knows why).  Also, I take Lent pretty seriously.

So what does that mean?  Well, you won’t be seeing tons of hauls on here for now.  Oh, you will see a couple of hauls on things I have picked up from Goodwill and Salvation Army before Lent started, but I won’t be buying anything else until after April 8.  I have plenty of ideas and clothing to work with to keep my blogging somewhat interesting for all of you.  It means shopping from my closet, using creativity and limited resources to create great looks for no money.  New clothing isn’t required to make me look good; creating new outfits with what I have and not spending money for it makes me look good.  Oh, and you can do plenty of projects to revamp clothing without buying anything new!

35.  The number of days I have left.  Not so bad.  So here is to celebrating what you think you need to do.  If you celebrate Lent, keep up your strength.  Let’s be creative together!

What are you giving up?

Pinspiration: I Am The Mockingjay (Or At Least My Shirt Is)

Remember way back when when I wrote a post about how I was PUMPED for “The Hunger Games” coming out in March?  Well, I’m still super pumped, and now I have a way to show it!

This was my t-shirt inspiration from Pinterest:

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I had planned on making my own shirt like this, but since this tutorial calls for a specific print machine, I decided to do it the super cheap way.  I ran to Walmart, got a dark purple (because I wanted to rock something better than basic black), and some gold glitter paint.  I printed out an outline of the mockingjay shape and cut it out.  I traced around the shape with a dark marker, outlined it in the paint, covered in the middle, and bing, bang, boom!  I have completed a pretty awesome shirt!

Tah-dah!Not too shabby for some paint, a print out, and a steady hand, huh?  I plan on wearing this baby to school this week on Nerd Day for winter carnival spirit week.  And of course I’ll be wearing it in March…

What’s Up Wife? Wednesdays: Getting to Know You

Some of you who read this blog may have followed me over from my other blogs (Here Comes the Blog {our wedding blog} and Living in Holy Blogimony {my newlywed blog}), but that may not be many of you.  And like I tell my kiddos in the classroom, you are much more likely to like an author if you get to know him/her and his/her work.  Sooo… why not start some posts so you get to know me?  Thanks to Recipe for a Beautiful Life, I found these great prompts for a “Listable Life” from Moments that Define Life.  I know I missed the first few weeks, but you’ll forgive me, right?

10 Things I Would Rather Do Besides Chores (Besides Hang Out with B, My Family, and My Friends)

1. Thrift shop –Well, yeah, you should have seen this one coming.  I love love love thrift shopping, even if I am only stuck with two stores in my area.  I love the hunt.  It’s such a thrill when I find something that looks almost brand new in a name brand label that fits well.  I also love finding pieces that are unique but wearable, pieces that will make me stand out in a good way when I walk around at school or when we go out.  Isn’t feeling special the point of putting together outfits?

2. Read – I am a total bookworm, which is great because I can get away with reading a lot with my job.  I go through books like water, and B and I are serious when we say that our future house has to have a library.  We don’t have anymore room in our apartment for more bookcases!  Reading has always been my escape from life.  I teach a class specifically on Literacy for high school freshmen, and part of our curriculum is reading silently for 30 minutes.  When I don’t have a stack of papers to correct for other classes, I get to enjoy 30 minutes of personal reading.  Score!  My favorite genres are mystery, young adult, and realistic fiction.  I got a ton of books from B for Christmas, and I am working my way through those.  Right now I’m on The Help, which will be followed by The Geeks will Inherit the Earth, Ship Breaker, and Ash

3. Watch YouTube videos – This has been a development over the past year, and I have quite a few people I love watching on YouTube.  I’m a big fan of putting on YouTube videos as I paint my nails, do the dishes, cook, etc.  Sometimes I just play them to listen, not even watch.  Some of my favorite YouTubers are Aleexandraaxo, PhillyDiva19145 (great haul videos!), MsPinkFabulous (she does some amazing thrifting), j1mmyb0bba (great for style tips and great accent!), and Panacea81 (Lauren does fantastic makeup tutorials, and she is hilarious!).

4. Workout – Sometimes it takes a lot of motivation, but I really do like working out.  Feeling good about myself, the endorphins, and just getting a good sweat going make my day.  I tend to do at least three days of elliptical/Stairmaster workouts at school each week and the rest are either “Ripped in 30,” “30 Day Shred,” or “Six Week Six Pack.”  Every once in a while I’ll let myself wimp out and do a Windsor Pilates DVD.  Oh, and I run races in the summer.5. Hike – B and I love hiking in the summer.  We will take off on weekends (or days when B is off) and go hike some of the local mountains around us.  If we move away from Maine, I hope there are still mountains and trails around us that we can enjoy. 6. Play with my cats – True story: My students think I have 19 cats that I come home and snuggle with all in a XXXXL t-shirt.  Apparently we all like to watch “16 and Pregnant” together.  How cozy!  While I don’t have 19 cats, I do love the two I have.  Unfortunately, they live with my parents and I miss them like crazy.  My cat’s name is Italics, and my sister’s cat’s name is Abercrombie.  She really wanted me to name my cat Fitch, but I thought I would say it wrong too many time for the cat’s self esteem.  Plus, their names fit.  I’m a writer and she’s a shopper.  Both of them were adopted from a local animal shelter as kittens.  I didn’t pick Italics; he picked me.  He fell asleep in my arms when I held him in the shelter, and it was love from then on.  Italics likes to harass B for my attention.  Abbers loves to be pampered and loves loves loves to be brushed.  You would never guess he was a feral kitty.  I love my cats!7. Plan vacations – Planning our engagement trip (which was the only spring break we ended up taking) to Williamsburg, Virginia, was my first taste of planning vacations, and I loved it.  Planning our honeymoon to Italy and Ireland was a bit more stressful since I didn’t know that it’s not called “roundtrip” in Europe.  Huh.  Okay.  Right now, I am lusting over our future trip to Paris, the possibility of traveling around the U.S., and visiting Bestie Al again on the west coast.  So much fun!8. Photography – With my photography business, it should be pretty clear that photography is a passion of mine.  I could wander around and take pictures all day and be one happy camper.  It is so much fun to look at the world through the lens of a camera.  9. Craft – I have been known to craft for days upon days when I get going on a project.  I craft when I’m happy, I craft when I am excited, I craft when I am inspired, and I craft when I’m sad.  When I lost one of my students, I crafted for the rest of the weekend.  It’s cathartic.  It’s inspiring.  It’s creative.  Projects keep coming in, and I keep coming up with new ideas.10. Ski – My parents taught me to ski when I was five.  I was blessed enough to grow up in an area with a small-ish ski mountain that was relatively affordable (at the time).  Not only has it taught me how to be active in the winter, but it gave me a hobby to keep me busy and happy during the colder months.  I tried teaching one of my friends last month, and it only reminded me how lucky I was to grow up being able to practice when my muscles and brain could get it a lot faster.  I cannot wait to go again in March!

I really like being able to describe myself in a list form, so look for more of these lists on Wednesdays!  Link up to share more about you!