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Friday, August 31, 2012

Frugalista Friday Copy Cat Edition

If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know that I love CopyCats with Sarah.
I'm also addicted to Pinterest.
I go to bed with the intention of reading a book and acquiring some knowledge
or at least exercising my brain with the surprisingly well written YA books out these days,
and I end up wasting hours pinning
pictures of babies and nurseries (no, I'm not prego),
images of my fantasy closet (no, I'm not rich),
and delectable looking food (that I won't allow myself to eat).

I found this picture and thought it was perfect for CopyCat Friday and
Frugalista Friday.
I'm totally digging the polka dot trend right now.
I love how she paired them with a bright color making them feel summer-y.

Not to mention, I had just found this great polka dot top at the local thrift in my town for
 *drumroll please*
It was a little boxy so I refashioned (tutorial to come) it so that it was more slim-fitting and paired it with my salmon capris to give it that summery feel like the inspiration photo.

Top: thrifted, Capris: Gap outlet, Shoes: Madden Girl (old), Necklace: eBay

If you like bubble necklaces, check out this shop and enter bubble50 for 50% off.

Necklace: eBay, Bracelet: asos
Feel free to link up for Frugalista Friday!  Just grab the button on my sidebar and mention the link up in your post.
Share your favorite deal, steal, or sale of the week!
FrillsforThrills CopyCats
Frugalista Friday Link-Up

Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Gotta Live a Little

Via Pinterest
Last weekend I went to a birthday party for my friend, Laura's, 2 year old daughter.
When we arrived to the party, there was a swing set in the back of the church.

I couldn't resist...

I used to be very aware...overtly aware of what other people were thinking and saying about me.
I would not act like myself because I didn't want to come off "weird."

Last weekend I got one of the best compliments (in my "weird" opinion):
"You have the personality of Zooey Deschanel."
Ummm.....have I told you of my obsession with the New Girl?!
I want to be her best friend and neighbor.  In fact, if I lived in CA, I'd probably be a stalker.  Thank God He landed me in NC.  I think she's safe.
A while back I genuinely stopped caring what people thought of me and what they had to say.
It was like Jesus just came into my heart, coated it with a layer of camo, and made it all okay.
So now...
via Pinterest
 I live my life like a musical and I'm the star of the show.
If people don't like it, they can buzz off and tune out.
The ones that love me, love my "weird."

Do you struggle with concern about what others think?  Are you your own version of weird?
**Tomorrow is the first Frugalista Friday Link-Up so grab the button on my sidebar and write a post about your deal, steal, or sale of the week!
Frugalista Friday gives us the opportunity to share great deals with one another while maintaining our own individual styles.**
I am hosting with the beautiful, Marissa.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WHAT WORKS FOR ME: workout gear

I love all the cute workout gear that I see in the gyms and on the sidewalks while I'm out running.
Until recently, I always just wore an old college tee-shirt, a pair of shorts, and some sneakers.
I just wore what I had and what was expected of me while on the field in college.

Let's be honest ladies, cute workout gear increases the probability of us actually getting off our lazy bums and going out and doing something.
So, I've purchased moisture wicking tanks, shorts, and capris.
You know the frugalista in me isn't going to pay $70 for a pair of Nike capris
so I did my research and I've found several pair that are just as nice for a much smaller price tag.
These capris are from Target and only cost $24.99.  I purchased a pair online and they fit pretty true to size.  I'm typically a small and that is what I ordered.  I have been very pleased with them.

I also purchased a pair from Walmart.  They were about $10 cheaper than Target, but they are not as high quality.  I like them for less intense exercise such as walking the dogs and plyometrics.

Tax free weekend I was at the Tanger Outlets in Mebane getting my shop on and had gone with the intent to purchase new workout gear and cross trainers.  I was really disturbed to see the prices in the Nike outlet and the Reebok outlet.  As stated before, I don't really care about branding; as long as something serves its purpose, is durable, and lasts, I'm okay with it being generic.
A moisture-wicking tank in Nike was $34.99, in Reebok it was $39.99!
Needing more than one, there was just no way I could afford that so I went into the Hanes oulet and found several Champion tank tops and shorts that were all $9.99 each and work great.

**What you are about to read is purely my opinion**
I am not a fan of Nike sneakers.  At least not for running or any intensive type of workout.
From my experience, Nike sneakers are not durable and wear out much quicker than other brands.  I do not think that you get what you pay for when purchasing Nike.  They tend to be rather expensive.

I prefer Mizuno or Aasics running shoes.
They are specifically designed for running and hold up much longer than their Nike counterpart.
I average about 100-125 miles on a pair of Mizunos/Aasics before they are worn out and I need a new pair.  Never has one of my toes gone through the end, my sole come apart, or my stitching rip.
This is my current pair.  I have about 90 miles on them so far and I am loving them.
Unfortunately, running shoes are very expensive and if you are an avid runner (10-15 miles per week) you will need to buy a new pair every 3-4 months.
It adds up.

I love Dick's Sporting Goods because if you have a rewards card, you receive $10 gift certificates in the mail all the time.  I also get countless coupons and save them to use with the gift certificates, but when I found these shoes they wanted $125 for them.  I just can't justify that knowing that in a few months I will have to drop more money on another pair.
So I decided to hold off since, even with coupons, they would cost me $100.
I looked around online (Frugalista moment) and discovered a great running website where I was able to purchase the shoes for just $84.99; much better!  Not to mention, shipping was free.

When purchasing workout gear, it is important to remember:
  • Purchase things in the appropriate size that fits you comfortably.  Don't focus on the size you want to be; focus on how it feels on your person.  If it isn't comfortable, it will rub you raw and cause blisters leading to injury/discomfort.
  • Make sure that your shoes are designed to suit your needs.  Take the time to get fitted.  Find out if you require stability or cushioning and whether your stride is neutral or not.  It doesn't cost anything; most athletic stores offer it complimentary with/without purchase.
  • Do NOT workout in worn out sneakers.  You are just asking for injury when you do that.
  • Be prepared for all types of weather.  If you run/workout in varying temperatures/climates, purchase heat gear and cold gear.  It is worth every cent.  Also purchase the appropriate head gear, gloves, and socks.  They will make a big difference when outside in colder climates or wet weather.
  • Brand means nothing unless you have a personal preference.  I will admit, Nike puts out some adorable clothes, but I can get the same thing in a plain pattern so much cheaper.  I can't see paying $35 for a pair of running shorts when I can get them for $9.99.  After all, my goal isn't to leave the gym looking good - it's to leave it with my hair matted to my red, glistening face.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Again, I feel as though I need to give a disclaimer:
I love exercise.  I love sports.  I love sweating. I love reaching a goal.
So exercise is not something that I dread as some people do.

However, I do think there is something out there for everyone and I do encourage everyone to try various forms of exercise until they find what is right for them.
It should be enjoyable and challenging so that you can see the results you are looking for.

This is what my typical week looks like:
Sunday: Off
Monday: Cardio (something that gets my heart going - aerobics, water aerobics, zumba, etc.)
Tuesday: A slow, short run (approx. 3-4 miles)
Wednesday: Cardio (I teach an aerobic class on these nights at my church)
Thursday: Off
Friday: A slow, short run (3-4 miles)
Saturday: A long run (6-10 miles)

My routine is not perfect.  You may notice that at no point do I do any real strength training.  I need to include that.  Particularly core work.  It is important to do core work (planks, sit-ups, etc.) because it strengthens your back and improves posture.
I also want to point out that I take 2 whole days off a week.  It's hard for me to do this because I'm somewhat addicted to working out (in a healthy way), but it is essential that you give your body a day of rest.  Consider it a Sabbath from working out.  It gives your muscles a chance to relax, grow, transform, etc.  It also provides your joints time to restore and heal.

Some advice with those of you struggling to get up and go:
  • Schedule your workout.  Don't let it be an optional thing each day.  I keep a calendar on my refrigerator (conveniently right where I go for a snack) so that I can mark each day that I complete my workout.  It gives me a visual support encouraging me to get up and go and it gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the week/month when I can see how much I've done.
  • Find a motivating friend.  They say there is always one person in your group of friends that is the motivator as far as health is concerned.  For my groups of friends, that person is me.  I love it.  I check in with them on a regular basis asking what they've done, how their run went, informing them of where I am in my work out.  It is encouraging.
  • Find a way to hold yourself accountable.  Or find someone who will lovingly hold you accountable.  For me, I post every run I complete on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.  I know that if I don't post one for a while my mom or pastor or someone is going to ask why.  Last weekend someone also told me that when they see my post, they feel encouraged to go run themselves.  
  • Get with a group of people that enjoy the same activity you do.  Whether it be kayaking, tennis, running, basketball, or whatever, find other people that have similar interests.  They will keep you going.  Schedule a time each week to get together and partake in this activity together.  Sign up for races/tournaments together.  The best partner would be your spouse/significant other.  The couple that sweats together, stays together.
I use nike+running on my iPhone to track my runs.  It calculates my pace, distance, and compares my run to other runs I've completed.  I can post it directly to Facebook and Twitter to hold myself accountable.

Last Saturday, I ran a 5k with a group of friends from church.   
There are so many benefits to exercise; not just the typical physical appearance/cardiovascular health.
I feel so much better about myself when I work out.  My confidence is higher, my self-esteem is stronger and my overall outlook on life more positive.  I sleep so much better when I have exercised and I tend to have more energy.

Exercise balances my life.
Not to mention, when you take care of your health (physically, spiritually, and mentally) you are a great role model for your friends, parents, and children.  If a child sees you exercising as opposed to standing on a scale, think of the impact you are making on them and their future.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Recently I've been asked by several people what I do to stay in shape, maintain my health, make good choices, etc. so I decided to do a series of posts sharing what works for me.

I want to go right ahead and throw this out there first:
I am not a dieter.
I am not trying to be a size 2.
And I am not trying to lose weight.
I am trying to maintain my health physically, spiritually, and mentally.

First and foremost, we do not eat prepackaged meals in our house.  At least, not often...at all.
I attempt to eat "clean" for the most part.  Some people argue that doing so takes too much time, organization, money, and planning, but it's really not that hard.  I'm a busy person and I manage to have a decent meal on table the better half of seven nights a week.

Here is what I do:
1. Plan a menu Sunday evening and ensure I have all necessary ingredients for the meals I want to make.  If not, I go ahead and find a substitution I have on hand or run to the store.  This cuts down on a need to rush to the store midweek.
2.  Purchase bulk items (chicken breast, etc.) and bag them individually to freeze.  This way, I just have to reach into the freezer and take out what I need for the next evening.
3.  Keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand at all times.  As soon as I get home from the store, all fruit and veggies get washed, cut, prepped however they need to be for easy snacking.  This makes them just as convenient as a cookie/bag of chips midweek.

Honestly, a breast of chicken takes 5 minutes to grill and a frozen pizza takes about 10.
Think about it that way.

As stated before, I'm not trying to lose weight; I'm not fixated on being a certain size.  I'm more concerned with feeling good and keeping my insides healthy.
I don't deny myself many things and I definitely don't withhold food, but I do try to put healthier choices at reach so that most days I avoid the sugars and sweets.
Everything is okay in moderation.
So on occasion, I have a donut or a piece of pie.  I just make sure not to have it every day.

Treats should be just that...treats.
We aren't dogs.  We don't have to reward ourselves with food.

Some items I purchase as healthier choices:
  • fresh fruit/veggies
  • whole wheat pastas, breads,wraps
  • deli meats and cheeses
  • Riceworks chips
Here is an example of what a typical lunch looks like for me and my schedule:
Being a teacher, my schedule is a little crazy.  I have to be at work at 7:30, my lunch period is at 10:30, and my first break from students is at 11:35.

So this is what I typically eat:
7:00 Breakfast: banana, coffee
10:30 Mid-morning snack: greek yogurt/V8/fruit
11:35 Lunch: Wrap&chips/Leftovers/etc.

I try to eat a snack at 10:30 because going from 7:00-11:35 is too long without food.  It really is best to eat 6 small meals a day.  Eating my lunch at 11:35 as opposed to 10:30, means I can wait until 5:00 or so for dinner because that is when my husband gets home.

All in all, I really try to make healthier choices.
I avoid soda altogether, even diet.
All of my starches are whole wheat.
I avoid adding excess mayonnaise, butter, etc. to my food.
I eat fresh/frozen veggies and fruit when snacking.
I start my morning with healthy carbs as opposed to bowls of cereal.

When I do have cravings, I simply watch the portion size of my snack.
Portions are defined on the outside of a box and really should be followed.

Here is a great rule of thumb:

What Goes Out (Exercise) > What Goes In (Food) = Loss/Maintenance
What Goes Out (Exercise) < What Goes In (Food) = Gain

If you have any questions or want specifics, please leave a comment/question below and I will respond!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Frugalista Friday && Giveaway Winner

Today is the first Frugalista Friday ever.  I love fashion and I'm a teacher so I'm on a budget.  There are so many ways that I save money while maintaining my style and I get so excited when I come home with a good find, a sale item, or a coupon code.  My husband says it's like I'm a hunter coming home from a hunt with a big buck. 
A little like the lady in this video...or not so much.

Some ways I save money while shopping:
  • coupons
  • online codes
  • store rewards
  • refashioning
  • thrifting
  • consigning
  • eBay/Groupon
Over the summer, I created many items that I was wanting to purchase.  Below are some of my favorite items that I was able to create on my own and their more expensive counterparts:
I bought this fabric for $1 (3yds) at a thrift store. The skirt cost me about 25 cents to make.

I bought this lace shirt and dyed it for 50 cents at a thrift.

This is my favorite: I bought this orange blouse for 50 cents at a thrift and just had to take it in.
 I know what some of you are thinking:
"Oh well, that's great, you know how to sew."  Fact of the matter is, you can find some of these great trendy pieces at a thrift store and little to no altering may be necessary.  So be willing to go on that hunt and look at a non-traditional place for those items you are coveting.  Especially items that may not be in style from season to season or are just fads/trends.

 Now, to announce the winner of My First Giveaway!!
Congrats, Kasey Young!!
I have sent you an email.  Be sure to respond so that I can send you your gift!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What Works for Me

Recently I've had a lot of people ask me about health, fitness, exercise, healthy eating, etc. and what works for me.  I've had so many questions that I decided I would do a series of posts on what works for me as far as health and fitness goes (something I am very passionate about).

So, my question to you is:
What do you want to know?

Please, leave comments/questions below in the comments area and I will be sure to address them throughout the week next week as I write the series, "What Works for Me."

If you like, follow me on Instagram (coachgaines13) for motivational pics throughout the week.

I'm looking forward to your questions!

By the way:
Today is the last day of the GIVEAWAY so make sure you  stop over and sign up!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LuLu's MiMi

LuLu's MiMi is named after my grandmother.
Growing up, Mimi was (and still is) one of my favorite people to hang out with.
I would spend nights at her house and we would have tea parties on the front porch, sleep out on the screened in porch, walk to the library, and use her special china for a simple meal, etc.
Mimi has always been one of my best friends.  I love our conversations, meals, times together.

Over the years, Mimi made me many outfits; she even made my prom dress when I was in 7th grade!
It only seemed fitting that since she was the one to instill a love of sewing and teach me how to sew, that I call my little business venture: LuLu's MiMi.

Recently, I've been overwhelmed with blessings.
I was asked to make the gift bags for our first TriFABB meeting last week and was very excited.
I shared a picture of the bags on my facebook page for people to see and a lady from our town contacted me.  She owns a local gallery called The Liberty Artisan and Craft Gallery and wanted to put my stuff in there!
So, I started the process of designing business cards and my wonderful friend, Laura, of Somethin' Blue volunteered to design them for me.
Since, signing a contract with the gallery, creating my business cards, and putting them in each gift bag at the TriFABB event, I have been contacted by several people requesting orders for burp cloths, pillows, and cheer leading bags.

I am so excited about this little business venture and keeping my Mimi's legacy going.
Sewing is a dying craft and it is something that I love doing.
It is exciting to share the things I'm sewing with my Mimi and my family; we get to share ideas and techniques.
One of the best feelings is having someone come up to you and ask where you bought something and being able to respond with,
"I made it!"
If you like what you see, you need to go sign up for my first
It is a very trendy item that I made for LuLu's MiMi.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I've already scheduled a post for today.
However, I can't help but share this heavy heart with you.
So, today, there will be two posts; one happy and one heavy hearted.
My apologies ahead of time.

"For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to run away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I don't find it a coincidence that as I lay awake this morning thinking about time and how we spend/share/embrace/waste/live/utilize/cherish/enjoy/remember it, 
that Facebook imposed Timeline upon me.  It's as though God is sending me the message: 
Be aware of how you spend your time; cherish it.  It is not dispensable.

I write all this because yesterday, a young girl that I once babysat (early 20's), was removed from life support.  Teal suffered two massive heart attacks last week and her parents and brother had to make the decision to stop forcing her to stay here when her soul was ready to be elsewhere.

I knew Teal as a young girl; beautiful in talent, spirit, and physicality.
I remember her as extremely talented musically and theatrically, gorgeous and captivating eyes, and an intelligence and wisdom beyond her years.  A girl I enjoyed babysitting spending time with.
Life separated us, but from what I can gather from the outpouring of love and kindness on her Facebook page, she never stopped touching peoples' lives.
So many people sharing memories, performances, and cherished thoughts.
Twenty-two years is a short time to be on this earth, but she made the most of those years.
And, the people on her Facebook page may be grieving, but they are also rejoicing.
They are grateful and thankful for the time they had with her.  The time God provided by placing Teal in the lives and hearts of many.  
In period of grief, her family and friends are thankful for the time they had.

So, today, I contemplate, my time here.
What will people remember about me when God calls me to eternal life?
How can I best utilize my time here to glorify Him?
I am forever grateful that I've been given the time I have and I intend to cherish every moment.
Today, I think of Teal and her family and pray for them in what can only be described as a desperate time.  A time when they must try not to understand, but to embrace what is divine destiny.

RIP Teal Barns.
You are greatly loved
& already missed.

Amateur at Best

Okay, so I get really excited about things.  Like so excited that I can hardly contain myself and sometimes it's like Christmas in the middle of August!
That's exactly the way I acted the week leading up to the first TriFABB event.

I was super excited and nervous for the event.  I knew I would be meeting some amazing women that all had something in common with me and at the same time I felt like Domesticated Working Woman might not match up to their work.

When asked why I started blogging, I can't help but to go to the old cliche: creative outlet.
But, this is!  I love writing and sewing and crafting and fashion and and and
This is the perfect platform for me to do all that and not have people look at me like I'm a crazy person, born in the wrong century, focusing on materialistic things as opposed to what's important.
Because if you know me, you know that only a few of those characteristics are really true...
still trying to shake the crazy label.

Anyway, every single woman I met blessed me in one way or another.  Whether it was their smile, their interest in what I was doing, their compliment on my shoes, etc.  I was truly blessed by attending the event and I am already looking forward to all of the great ideas Molly has for our group.
I did realize that I am still an amateur in many ways (in case you couldn't tell), but that this is an opportunity for me to learn and grow from these amazing gals!
Together, we raised toiletries and cleaning supplies for a local ministry, Transforming Hope.  Its goal is to get young females off the streets and out of negative situations. 

So, just in case your Monday sucked and you needed a little pick-me-up this morning after that yucky day, I decided to share with you some of the extremely fashionable and model-esque outfit shots Molly took of me before the event.  Just to make you smile.
Chambray: Target, Belt: Forever 21, Skirt: Thrifted, Shoes: Target

Hahahaha, very sexy!

One of my many talents: flaring my nostrils

I literally bought these shoes 30 minutes before the event began from the Clearance section at Target for $8.98!!  Got sooo many compliments on them = score!
So, Happy Tuesday!  Now that you have laughed out loud in front of all of your office-mates, make sure to sign up for my giveaway!

If you're interested, check out what some of the other ladies from TriFABB had to say about the event:
Molly: Still Being Molly
Mia Maree:  Ms Mia Maree
Brooke: Monika Brooke
Marissa: Shabby, Chic, and Cheap
Angela: Head to Toe Chic
Ashley: Fashion is my Day Job
Kate: The Small Things
Lauren: From My Grey Desk
Carrie: Chasing Big Dreams
Kathleen: The Nut Kase
Ashley: The North Carolina Cowgirl
Lindsay: Poppy Magazine
Susie: Sea and Swank
Vanessa: 7 Jaded
Katie: Willow House
Abbie: Transforming Hope Ministries

Monday, August 20, 2012

My First Giveaway!!

Today is a special day:
the day my first giveaway begins!

This giveaway is a special one because it is a homemade item from my small business venture
LuLu's MiMi.

I will share more about LuLu's Mimi at another time,
Now for the MAIN EVENT (cue the Rocky music)

 The clutch is handmade by moi with a zipper closure.  It is intended to be zipped and folded down as you see here in the picture.  It is a good size clutch; perfect for a night out or when just the necessities need to be toted around.
I would normally charge $20 for a clutch this size, but if you follow these simple steps, you have the opportunity to win one for free!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm linking up with some other wonderful ladies on #YOLOMondays!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

And all the waitresses came...

Last night we celebrated my father inlaw's 77th birthday with all of my husband's siblings/families.
We toasted him with homemade chocolate pie and some good southern cooking.
Topped with hugs, kisses, and of course The Birthday Song.

Once we were done singing, my father in law insisted that the waitresses all come in and sing to him!
If you only knew him...

Here is what I wore to the dinner/musical.
Tank: Old Navy (old), Necklace: Bannana Republic Outlet, Skirt: me, Shoes: Jack Rogers

I'm in love with these shoes...partly because of the story behind them.
**By the way, can we just talk about how fast I got ready for this dinner?
I literally got home, walked my dogs, finished my book, ran 4 miles,
and then got cleaned up for din din.  That's what I like to call natural beauty.**

Friday, August 17, 2012

My lunch packed up, my shoes tied tight...

And....we're back.

I'm actually really excited for this school year.
Can't you tell?!

Okay, I'm going to get to work,
but be sure to come back Monday for my first

And to hear about my awesome evening with the ladies of TriFABB.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

OOTD & Excited Fingers

I am super excited for the first meeting of TriFABB tonight!
This is what I decided to wear.
Shirt: Target, Belt: Forever 21, Skirt: Thrifted, Shoes: Wilsons Leather (old)

Can't wait to tell you all about my fabulous evening making new friends!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coffee I Scream!

It is a huge tradition in the south to make homemade ice cream.  And it's not just for special occasions; it's practically all the time.  I have to admit, it's not hard to make and it's kinda delish so I like the tradition.

 Here is my new favorite recipe for coffee ice cream!
International Delight Iced Coffee
Half and half
Sugar (or Truvia)

Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream Salt

  1. Set up ice cream maker as directed.  (We registered for an Aroma that has an electronic crank as well as a handle - it's awesome.)
  2. Pour entire carton of ice coffee into cylinder.
  3. Pout about 2 cups half and half into cylinder.
  4. Add roughly 2 cups of sugar.
  5.  Put lid on as described in manual; add ice and salt along edges (We also put a little cold water just to help it turn easier.)
  6. In about 40-45 minutes you will have homemade coffee ice cream!

(**I came up with this recipe through trial and error so certain ingredients may not be entirely necessary - but when put together they taste yummy!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Organized Chic

As most of you know, I'm a teacher and teachers have very limited budgets.
I also happen to love pretty, chic things.
So, with my limited budget and craftiness I have come up with a way to make clipboards (which I use for absolutely everything in my classroom) look so much prettier and fun to use!

I'm linking up at Craft and Tell if you are interested in other fun, craft ideas.
Materials Needed:
  • modge podge
  • paint brush
  • scrapbook paper of choice
  • clipboard
 I originally made these clipboards with a group of female teachers (Alpha Pi) earlier this year while school was in session.  We made them for the new teachers in our county.  It was a great way to fellowship and conduct a small service project at the same time.

To make the clipboards...
  1. Lightly paint modge podge onto the clipboard.
  2. Lay the background design/color of scrapbook paper down on top of it smoothing any bumps or air bubbles while you do so.
  3. Lightly (its important not to put too much modge podge or it will cause the paper to wrinkle) coat the scrapbook paper with modge podge.  Stick down any stickers, designs, pictures, etc. that you want on your clipboard and paint another coat over those things.
  4. Let dry for 10-20 minutes.
  5. Put another coat over finished clipboard (for good measure)
  6. You can do both sides of clipboard; remember what is on the back of the clipboard will be seen when you are carrying it around.
Here are some of the clipboards I will be using in my classroom this year:
This was the first time I tried using magazine clippings; they didn't do so well.

I think this is my favorite!

My school's colors are purple & gold.

 If you decide to make one, please comment below with the link.
I would love to see what you come up with!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Friendship is one of the most valuable gifts.
Since moving to NC and being a "Yankee" there have been many times I've cried to my extremely understanding and loving hubby about how I "don't have any good friends here."
Which is not entirely true and a little selfish of me to say.
I do have some select friends here that are absolutely wonderful to me.
They don't mind the fact that I talk different or grew up with different stories/experiences/traditions.
So, for all the times I've said the above, I am truly sorry to those friends that are amazing.

I've always been the type of person to have a small group of GREAT friends as opposed to a large group of good friends/acquaintances.
My heart is big and there is room for lots of people, but if you hurt it, you get evicted effective immediately.
I am one of the most loyal people you will meet.  Loyal meaning if you hurt my friend I will rip your head off and feed it to the lions.
For reals.

This past weekend I got to see some of the best friends I could have ever made.
I went to college 9 hours from home.  I feel pretty certain divine intervention is what caused me to make that decision because, quite frankly, I can't imagine my life without these people.
We are all so different yet we compliment each other so well.
When we get together its as though we were never separated.
Our love is unconditional; we have seen each other at our absolute worst, we have cried together, we have sweat together, we have hurt each other and forgiven each other.
We've even showered together (we played soccer at JC!)
These are the people I will raise my children with, they are the people that I am willing to drive 8 hours to see just for a weekend, people that I can call after going 6 mos without seeing each other just to talk or listen.
People that God placed in my life to make me a better person and to teach me what true friendship really is and why its so important.

This here picture is us doing what we call the "Focus Face"
Let me tell you a little about these girls: (from left to right)
Evan: I have grown closer to Evan since graduating JC and she is the most darling person.  She is absolutely beautiful if you can't tell, but even more beautiful on the inside if you can imagine.  She is going to be a great doctor and she is very understanding, loving, and rooted in her faith.
Me: The red head.  I'm just grateful these girls allowed me in.  I have a big heart and I think they like that.  They love me for me and accept my insecurities and flaws.  I love them so much.
Alicia: Lish is the first friend I made at JC and my best friend.  She is so fun to be around - literally pee your pants funny.  She is also so understanding and trustworthy.  I call her and cry, vent, etc. and she always listens, gives occasional advice, and never tells a soul.  She is extremely supportive and wants what is best for me - no matter what.
Kelly: Kelly is one of the most intelligent people I've ever known.  She is the most supportive, encouraging person.  She will be your biggest fan.  She, too, is unconditionally loving and will crack you up with her jokes.  I love her personality and her smile.  She was a leader on the soccer field and she is a leader in life.  I am proud to say I am her friend.
Kristen: Kristen is the sweetest person ever.  She has a huge heart and loves animals, people, etc.  I adore the fact that she is so true to herself.  She is very loving and will be the first to swoop in with a hug, a hand-squeeze, or an understanding glance.  She is an extremely loyal friend; I've never heard her say a negative thing about anyone.
Russo: Her real name is Lisa, but no one really knows that.  She was the goal keeper on our soccer team and in many ways, that role has carried over into real life/friendship.  Russ is real; she doesn't sugar coat things or beat around the bush.  To know Russo is to know her heart because she puts everything out there.  She is one of the most dedicated, hard working women I know.  She is the originator of the "Focus Face" because she would be so focused in a soccer game that she constantly had this expression.  In college, if she wasn't on the soccer field or in the gym, you would find her in the lab.

I am very blessed to know these women and to have them in my life.  I thank God regularly for their friendship, love, counsel, and laughter.
I know they think I'm the mushy one (and I am), but I really don't know what I would do without them.
I love you girls.

 That's what I did this weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

#WIDN && Outfit

Okay, so I think WIDN means what I'm doing now...but in my case it means What I'm Digging Now!

There are so many things that I am currently diggin' like...

the little lady across the street; she asked if I was competing in the Olympics this year since she sees me leave for my runs each day.

the fact that Kohl's carries mineral makeup, that not only is amazing, but also made in America! 

CVS Cash rewards.  Need I say more?

maxi skirts, they are so much more comfortable than shorts in this heat.

Gabby Douglas and her faith.  No wonder she got gold.

this amazing lip stain made by Mabelline!  I never wear lipgloss/stick, but recently decided to try it.  Love this because it doesn't feel like you have anything on and lasts all day!

my husband who supports me and gets excited with me when the time is right.

I have lunch with a girlfriend today and I was excited to have a reason to get out of my workout clothes and throw on some makeup.
Here's what I'm wearing...
Skirt: thrifted, Tanks: Old Navy, Necklace: BR Outlet
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!

You two are a wonderful example of marriage.
I love the way you still make each other laugh, hold hands,
tuck each other in at night,
go on vacations together, and cook dinner.

I love the way you show your love
and put each other first.
I love how you never found it necessary to bring others
into your relationship, your business, or your marriage.

I love how you have supported each other
over the years
and how that support for each other grew while you were raising
your children; flexing work schedules, driving many miles, and volunteering hours.

I love how you have made life a journey,
traveling together,
and experiencing life's joys and sorrows.
I love the unit you two create.

After all these years of growing up,
watching your love never wane,
I am blessed to know what true love really is
and what a healthy marriage looks like.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being amazing parents, but most importantly,
amazing spouses to one another.


Big doors swing on little hinges.
~Clement Stone~
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy Anniversary & a tutorial

My parents' anniversary is coming up and I wanted to make them something special.
Unfortunately, both, my brother and I moved away from home upon college graduation.
So I decided to recreate something I had seen on Pinterest as a gift for mom and dad.

I wanted to make my parents a frame with the city we each live in documented on a map for display in their house.

Here are the materials you need:
  • frame (whatever size you want)
  • scrapbook paper
  • maps cut into hearts (I printed mine offline.)
  • glue stick
This CD frame from Hobby Lobby was perfect in size.
 To make the frame:
1. Cut your scrapbook paper to fit snugly into frame.  Use the insert as a stencil.
2. Align your heart maps on the scrap paper the way you want them. (*Make sure you account for the overlap of the frame in front.)
3. Glue the heart maps down.
4. If you wish, write the names of the cities directly under the map onto the scrapbook paper.
5. Insert everything back into frame.

There you have it, folks!

Don't tell mom and dad, but this whole project only cost $5.