Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Favorites: a dress, a necklace, some leggings and a tunic

Hey there Friday!
It always so good to see you!
Today I'm sharing my Friday Favorites Recent Clothing Edition!
There have been so many items that have been catching my eye lately, that I decided to dedicate today's post to new items that I'm adding or want to be adding to my closet!
As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.

This tie-sleeve shift dress caught my eye a couple of weeks ago, but I thought I could get it cheaper, so I waited. 
Ironically enough the next week it was 50% and I used some of my Banana Rewards, so I basically got it for free. 

It comes in black and this royal blue. 
I chose the royal blue and plan to wear it Christmas Eve. 

After finding the royal blue dress I've been looking for a gold statement necklace. 
I've seen some that looked okay but weren't exactly what I was looking for until I saw this...

It was sold out and then back in stock right before I went to bed earlier in the week. 
I thought I could wait until morning, but nope it was gone!
This is exactly the type of necklace that I'd like to find, so if you see anything similar please share it my way!

Everyone has been posting about this twist front top.
It comes in 14 different colors and is a unique "twist" on a regular plain top. 

I haven't been able to pull the trigger yet on checking out with it in my cart because I'd really wish it would go on sale, but it is so cute!

These high-waisted leggings are calling my name. 
I've been looking for tunics to wear with leggings because I feel a lot of them are baggy and oversized and that just doesn't look good on me, but in my search for tunics I found these leggings. 

They're currently on sale, and I don't even have a pair of black leggings that aren't workout leggings, so they may be mine by the end of the day!

Speaking of tunics, I found this basic yet cute side-slit tee. 

It comes in six different colors, and I think I could wear it with leggings and make it a go.
I really like the striped ones of these (black and white and white and gray), but I basically have the same thing in a regular long sleeve tee, so I'm not sure which one will make it into my cart.
I don't have a gray basic tee, so I'm veering towards this one.

There are so many cute things in the Nordstrom sale that each time I sit down I find even more things that I like.
For that reason I haven't checked out yet...
keep adding and adding to my bag and hopefully by the end of tonight I will narrow my choices and checkout!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Black Bean Salsa

 This is a great dip! 
It's quick and easy!
You make it in the blink of an eye and take it to a weekend football party!

All you need are these items below and some Scoops. 

Drain the black beans.

I like to drain the diced tomatoes and chilies. 
You can get hot ones if you like your food more hot.

Drain the shoepeg corn.

Add each item to a dish.
Here you can see the corn, beans and tomatoes/chilies.

Add 1/2 - full bottle of italian dressing. 
Mix it all up and enjoy with some Fritos Scoops!

This is one of Alex's favorite snacks. 
I think he ate it all before I could even get a picture of it all mixed up. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Workin' It: Planning for the Holidays

Hey ladies!
It's a Workin' It Wednesday today with Erika and Shay

The second Wednesday of each month these ladies share a new topic. 
If you're interested in the topics so far this year or ones to comes, check out the graphic below.

This month we're sharing: 

Planning for the holidays!

I try to make Christmas as stress-free as I can, so I plan all throughout the year. 
It's sounds crazy, but I'm that weird person thinking about Christmas in every single month that leads up to it. 
With that being said, there are a few things that I like to do to help be organized and ready to go come December. 

Christmas Club

 There's a Christmas Club at one of our local banks, so I save money all throughout the year, and then I get a check at the end of October to buy Christmas presents. 
My mom started this for my brother and I way back when we were young. 
We had to save like $2 a week and then got $100 to spend on family for Christmas. 
It really taught me a lot about money, saving and buying for others. 
I truly enjoy buying and watching my family members open their gifts more than I enjoy opening gifts myself. 
There was always so much planning involved in getting just the right gift that I still feel that way to this day. 

The Christmas Club account helps me not feel like I'm stressed for money come December, and it allows me to stick to a budget. 
I only buy as much as I have available in the check I receive from my Christmas Club. 
My gifts are meaningful and not over the top. 
If I want to spend more $ here, then I spend less $ over here.

 Christmas List

I keep a Christmas List with gift ideas for everyone on my phone all throughout the year. 
That way when I hear something that someone likes I jot it down and have the idea ready to buy come October/November/December. 

Keeping a Christmas List all year helps me be better prepared to buy a meaningful gift. 
I'm not quick on my toes, so I need lots of time to think and plan and that running Christmas list allows me just that. 

 Menu Planning

Along with my running Christmas List on my phone throughout the year, I also keep a menu for our Christmas dinner. 
Last year was our first year to host Christmas dinner. 
It was an enjoyable time with family but also a ton of work, especially since we went to two places on Christmas Day before coming home and trying to prepare a meal for 18 people. 

I started way back in June with planning out our menu for this year. 
I cut out some things because we just don't need as much food as we had, and I was intentional on the menu items that I added. 
Some items will be quick that we can make the day of, and others will be made ahead of time. 
I love a home cooked meal, but I need to make something that's do-able come Christmas Day. 
I don't want to be hosting a meal when I dread all of the preparation. 

To this day I'm still fine tuning the menu, but for the most part it is set, and I'm already mentally preparing for when I will make the dishes that I need to make ahead of time. 

Christmas Cards

I tried to get some pictures of Alex and I throughout the year to use on our Christmas cards. 
Last year we used wedding pictures, so that made it super easy, but this year I wanted to use pictures from various vacations. 
I've put my request in for our cards to be made and am just awaiting a reply. 
I like to send cards out during the first week of December to get them done and out of the way. 

Christmas Games

I'm still in need of some help with a fun gift card game to play on Christmas evening. 
In the past I started a little tradition of buying various gift cards, covering up the $ amount with a sticker and then wrapping them up. 

So a person would choose a wrapped gift card, unwrap it and then it would move on to the next person.
 I did it where each person chose a card, and after the first person chose their card, anyone could steal a card that was previously taken or unwrap a new one. 
We waited until everyone went and then they got to uncover the sticker covering the amount of the card. 

This game was fun, but this year I've decided to discontinue that and instead am including a little blurb on our Christmas dinner invitation about bringing a gift card of your choice if you want to be included in the gift card game. 
Any ideas on a neat game to play with gift cards?

I'm all about organization and planning, so when it comes to planning and being organized for the holidays, I'm even more about it. 
I can't wait to read everyone else's fun tips!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Favorites: Live with Kelly, D.C., Hallmark Christmas Movies, Amazon Scarves

It's Friday, Friday!
So glad to see Fri-Yay!
Last week I spent three days with 100+ kids in D.C. so a whole week back in the classroom has me needing a Friday!
As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.

Washington D.C.

Like I mentioned above, last week we had our 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.
My students look forward to this trip with so much anticipation!
I teach in an extremely rural area, so some of these kids have never been outside of the state, let alone to a city!

It is so neat to see a new city through their eyes.
They were beyond enthused to be riding a charter bus not a school bus and to get to stay in a hotel.
One new addition we randomly added in this time was the Capitol.
So fun seeing the high officials go in and out as we stood outside.

I always love our night tour!
This is my favorite view of the Washington Monument!

We eat dinner at Medieval Times one night. 
Here I am with some of my favorite co-workers!


Earlier in the week I shared two posts about our recent trip to the Big Apple!
We ate breakfast at an entertaining dinner and had free humongous desserts!
To see more about our trip, click here

Then, on a Monday, specifically October 2, Kelly Ripa's birthday, we visited the Live with Kelly and Ryan show!
It was fantastic.
Waiting in line for 3 hours was totally worth it!
See all of my fun pictures here.

I cannot write this post without thinking about those friends and families of the people whose lives were innocently taken in Manhattan earlier in the week.
Alex and I strolled on that exact bike path a month ago.
I even told him if we had to live in NYC that that area is where I would want to live.
It was so clean, unlike many other spots in the city.
People were blowing leaves off the sidewalk, kids were playing soccer, so many people were running and nearby families were playing at a park.
We walked and sat for hours in that exact area.
I was shocked to find out that was the exact spot where the terrorist took so many lives.
This life is so short, and I hope we all cherish every moment we are given!

Hallmark Christmas Movies

It was a coldy and rainy weekend, so I spent time watching CHRISTMAS movies!
Yes! Christmas movies!
One of Alex's friends came over and said "Are you really watching Christmas movies?"
Why yes, yes I am!

My new favorite Hallmark movie is Marry Me at Christmas!

Amazon Scarves

These awesome scarves come in 19 different colors and are only $12. 
I haven't decided which colors are my favorite, but there are so many great color combinations!

Lots of favorites for the week!
I'm hoping to get a lot of cleaning done, along with finish a current book this weekend.
I hope to even add in a few more Hallmark Christmas movies!
Enjoy your weekend!
How many more days until Christmas?!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

NYC 2017-Live with Kelly!

I love me some Kelly Ripa!
She just makes me laugh. 
I loved Regis, was a huge fan of Michael Strahan, and now have grown to enjoy Ryan Seacrest as well!

This has been a Bucket List item of mine for some time, and this summer I made it a priority to watch for tickets, so that I could request them during the right time to hopefully make it on the show during our Fall Break. 

Luckily enough I was sitting in my travel agency classes when I pulled up the ticket schedule and saw that the date during Fall Break was current accepting ticket requests!
I immediately requested them, and within an hour they had been confirmed!!
Woot! Woot!

We stayed in Staten Island, so it was a bit of a trek for us to make it clear up to the upper west side by 6 am. 

We made it nonetheless!
Here we are waiting in line. 
We were #5 and 6. 

It wasn't too chilly outside, so we enjoyed watching people walk/run by and kept our eyes glued inside. 
The balloon man showed up. 
We came to find out that this day was Kelly's Birthday!
They couldn't even fit all of the balloons in the elevator, so they had to take them a different route on the stairs.

Around 8 we went inside, and from there we waited until 8:30 to go into the studio.
I was expecting the studio to be small, but it seemed a lot smaller than I really expected. 
We were fortunate enough to get to sit down front; however, I expected that the first in line would get the best seats and that wasn't the case. 
Our seats were good, but there were people we came in after us who got to sit in front of us. 

Checking out the wheel before the big spin during trivia time!

All of the above photos were before the show started. 
They shared with us when to clap and when not and what to expect during the show. 

This morning was the morning after the Las Vegas shooting. 
The show started our extremely somber. 
I can't even imagine having to host a show on Live TV when 58 people were just innocently killed at a concert. 
The hosts did a great job, and at the end of the show Ryan left the studio running because he had to broadcast some interviews of people at the concert on the radio.

Kelly seemed like the same person in person as on TV. 

Like I said it was her birthday and lots of people brought her gifts. 
If only I had known, I would have brought her something, and then I'm pretty sure I would have been able to give it to her and get a picture taken with her. 
Most of the people who brought a little gift gave them to her and took pictures with her during commercial breaks. 

Ironically enough, the trivia caller for that day was from Morrow, Ohio. 
When Kelly announced the trivia caller was from Morrow, Ohio I yell "Wooo!!" 
I sat nearly directly in eye contact with Kelly. 
She heard me yell, and looked right at me and said "Are you from Morrow, Ohio?"
Of which I was star struck and didn't say anything, and then said "No, just Ohio!"

My parents were watching the show at home and my dad actually texted me to see if I was the one who yelled. 
And it sure was!!

After the regular show they taped another segment and then recorded Kelly. 

Kelly said goodbye and that was a wrap. 
The show went crazy fast!
Kelly and Ryan talked to people during the commercials. 
I was even more surprised at how fast the commercials went. 
They would start counting down, so that Kelly and Ryan knew when to make it back to their seats, and I swear Kelly made it back to her seat every time just when they were saying 3-2-1.

I'm so glad Alex and I had the opportunity to go, and I would definitely go back again!

We headed back to Central Park for a final stroll and then to Carmine's for lunch before heading home. 
Stuffed mushrooms!

Have a great Tuesday!
I hope it is as great as my Monday at Live with Kelly!