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Friday, November 30, 2012

Frugalista Friday Christmas Gifts

This time of year you end up with more people on your gift list than you realize and money is sometimes tight.  Here are some gifts that are sure to woo your friends/family, but not break the bank.

Frugalista Friday Link-Up

Some inexpensive Christmas gifts for those on your list:

ladies christmas gift ideas

Gents christmas ideas

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November CARA Box

Cara Box

I came across this CARA box idea when I was reading a post from Wifessionals.
The whole concept is so neat that I decided to jump on board for November:
You get linked up to another blogger/participant (a few don't have blogs) and you interact with them through email, twitter, etc. to get to know them.
Every month there is a theme and this month's theme was childhood.

So, Tiara and I got to work getting to know each other through our childhood experiences.
I shared with her that I grew up in upstate New York skiing and enjoying the winters and moved to North Carolina.  The fun part: she grew up at the beach and now lives in the mountains!

Let me just say, she did an awesome job with my box.  I love everything she sent me!

The first thing I pulled out was some amazing Candy Cane hot cocoa that we have already broken into and enjoyed!

I also got some all natural chap stick and nail polish in fall colors.

The best part: she knitted me a handmade beanie!  Not just that, it's in my favorite color!  I absolutely love it, put it on my head as soon as I pulled it out and wore it the rest of the night - in the house no less.

Thank you so much, Tiara!

I loved participating in the CARA Box.  I'm a total gift-giver.  I love getting to know people and sending them special little treats catered to their heart's desire.

I'm featured over at Merrick's Art for my striped pencil skirt today.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you definitely should.  I draw so much inspiration from her and just love reading about her growing family.  She is delightful.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

80s Clutch

My husband teases me because I came home from the thrift store several weeks ago with two of these clutches.  One grey and one brown.  He says they look 80s.

I was born in the 80s so I'm okay with it.  And, personally, I just thought they rocked and didn't really consider what decade they started rocking in.  So I scooped up both of them for $1 a piece!

I paired it with a cozy sweater, a thrifted pair of jeans, and some comfy flats for a brunch date with girlfriends.  I hadn't intended to be so thrifty in attire, but voila!
Scarf: Gap (old), Sweater: Burke's Oulet, Jeans: AG via Goodwill, Clutch: Thrift

I love weekends that allow for outfits like this because they are so comfy and cozy.  Don't get me wrong, I love dressing up each day and I love days where I can lounge in sweats, but the days when I can wear this kind of outfit are my favorite.

What are your favorite days?

pleated poppy

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



Lately, I've not led a balanced life.
I've exercised less and eaten more.
I've stayed inside >> I've breathed fresh air.
I've baked way more than I've cooked.


Reality hurts.
I needed a good dose of it.

I worked my butt off this summer to get in shape and lose some extra weight I was carrying around.  And I did!  Only to allow the winter months roll in and gain it all back.  It's not like I'm going into hibernation soon...I don't need this layer of warmth.  No excuses is a good excuse.

So, I'm asking all of you to help me.  Perhaps, we can help each other.  I've always been the "motivational friend."  You know what I mean...we all have the "fun friend" we like to go out with, the "confidante friend" we can talk to about anything, the "spiritual friend" we can go to for advice and faith, etc.  Well, the "motivational friend" is the one who inspires those around her to do new things, try new things, go places, take care of themselves.

I'm still that person, but I've realized that I'm inspiring all these other people and not doing it myself!  I'm talking the talk, but I'm not walking the walk.  I need a "motivational friend" myself.

I'm just going to keep it real and say some of the best friends I've made are through Blogland.  Is that sad or creepy to say?  I hope I'm not the only one.

Seriously, I love reading Laura's blog about her baby boy, circuit training, and her love for her husband.  She motivates me with her healthy recipes and recaps of her daily workouts.  I love reading Sarah's blog about growing spiritually and loving your husband.  Molly inspires me to be true to myself and outwardly loving.  Grace provides me a dose of humor each day reminding me that even in the "bad" times, we can find reason to chuckle.  Merrick and LeAnn are phenomenal mothers who excite me for the season when it comes my way.

So, let's motivate each other.  Let's encourage one another via comments, emails, tweets, etc. to work hard and take care of our temples.  Let's co-spire.

Co-spire is a word I just made up.  It means working together to inspire one another spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  What do you say?  Are you in?

If so, each Sunday when we are about to embark on the week, let's take a moment to reflect on what our goals are and what we have accomplished.  I'm not just talking a list of things to check off, but sharing feelings and frustrations and amusements and joys.  I don't get to do that with girlfriends on a regular basis.  I know there are Motivational Monday link-ups at Living in the Moment.  Perhaps, we could link up there and spread the love with others.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I Mustache for a Bandaid

Tales from the Teachers' Lounge

If you follow me on Twitter (@missgarvey) then you have probably seen this picture, but I couldn't help but post it on le blog.

This student had a boo boo on his upper lip and asked me if he could put a bandaid on it.  I made the comment that it would look like a mustache.

Then I got really excited and decided we should draw a mustache on the bandaid...

Try not to smile...dare you.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black (Frugalista) Friday Deal

Link up your best Black Friday purchase by grabbing the Frugalista Friday button on my sidebar and adding it in your post.  Paste the link for your post in my comments area below.  Next Friday, I will feature some of the best deals of the day.
Frugalista Friday Link-Up

I'm that girl that is waiting in line outside Belk when it opens at midnight to be one of the first 250 to receive a gift card.  Said gift card could possibly be anywhere from $5 to $1000!
Guess what mine was worth?
I'm not bitter.

After leaving Belk (and the madness that consumed over 50% off Sperrys), we headed to Old Navy.
Every year I stock up on some essentials at Old Navy.  This year was no different; leggings for $5, tank tops for $5, and a tunic for $15.  Yes, it was all for me, but they were necessary basics.

So, the best part of my night (cue the music) was when I left my Old Navy purchase and some cash with my girlfriends that went with me and went to Home Depot.

You see, my hubby and I have been contemplating purchasing a fake Christmas tree for a few years now.  With my family still in NY and his family here in NC, we alternate spending the holiday in either state.  The years that we are in NY, we always come home to our real tree's sheddings and a mess to clean up.  So, last year we had the bright idea to buy a fake tree after the holiday, but we got there late.
Home Depot

So, as I was scouring the Black Friday ads and mapping out my game plan, I noticed several places had good deals on Christmas trees.  I'm picky though - I want that thing to look legit.  As I came across the Home Depot ad, I saw a Martha Stewart pre-lit tree marked down from $179 to $59!

You know I was there at 4:30 a.m. to get in line for that thing!
I won't even tell you about the lovely couple that decided to come up and skip everyone after sitting in their warm car and screaming at the employees that they had been there all morning.
Nope, won't tell you about that at all.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank You

It never gets old.
Seeing a new reader pop up on my sidebar.
I'm so grateful for each of my readers - thank you for inspiring me,
and motivating me.  I am truly honored to have you in my life.
I do this when I get really excited.  We call them "excited fingers"
Don't judge.

Also, just a friendly reminder (as if you could forget)
Tomorrow is Black Friday!!

It is also Frugalista Friday, so be ready to share your best Black Friday purchases and link them up using the button on my sidebar.  I want to hear all about the best sales, deals, and steals out there!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Necessary Randomness

I'm linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

So, I'm a teacher which I'm sure most of you know if you've been around for a while and can I just say I needed this day of randomness!!  Serious, it was a necessity.

To celebrate our Thanksgiving break, last night a girlfriend and I hosted a Stella and Dot Party with the fabulous Brooke of What 2 Wear.
For the party, I decided to make a pumpkin roll...from scratch...for the first time.  Props to all the ladies out there that do this regularly!  It's labor-intensive!  But it was very tasty and went over well.

A few other randoms from the week:
Finally beat my husband at Words with Friends!  Boom!!

I can't even put into words the way this made me feel.  I am not trying to brag, but I have to document this moment on the blog because I know there are going to be days where I feel like a failure or like giving up and notes like this will remind me of what is most important in life.  This girl is a youth at our church whom I just adore and it was such a blessing to have her say this about me.

Had a rough weekend.  I blame growing pains and stress and red wine.  I needed to refocus my heart and (literally) get a breath of fresh air.  Today was the perfect day to get that.  I can't think of much better than running in the leaves to the new Kari Jobe album.

Sat down today and mapped out my Black Friday game plan.  And yes, I do mean game plan.

Today, I'm going to see the new Twilight movie with girlfriends.  Super stoked.  I feel like a pedophile saying this but, I am SO Team Jacob.

In case you are interested our Stella&Dot party is still open and you are welcome to make purchases under our party for the next 3 weeks so if you want to get some Christmas shopping done or couldn't make it to our party, just click here, and order away!

It felt good to get some Christmas shopping done last night during our party and I'm looking forward to getting most if not all of it done Friday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I try not to jump on the bandwagon each November when people do the 30 days of thanks because I try to focus on being thankful every day.  That is not to disregard those that do, I think its fantastic.  I just really try to acknowledge my blessings each day.

However, as we get closer and closer to Thanksgiving, I find myself really thinking about the things I'm  thankful for.  The little things and the big things.

I'm especially thankful for my husband and the marriage that we share.  When I hear other women say that they don't enjoy vacationing with their husband or that they like to do things with other couples vs. themselves it kills me.  I'm so thankful that I love hanging out with my man.

I'm thankful for my pups; they love me unconditionally.

I'm thankful for my amazing family.  My parents and my brother are my very best friends.  I am so lucky to be loved the way they love me.

I'm thankful for my husband's family.  They have completely embraced me and accepted me for the Yankee that I am.

I'm particularly thankful that I got to meet this amazing woman and spend a few years with her before she went to be an angel in Heaven.  Mamaw (my husband's grandmother) is the epitome of what every woman should aspire to be.

I'm so excited to be spending a special version of Thanksgiving with my Mimi and her husband, Harry.  Each year they stop at our house for a few nights on their way to Florida for the winter.  It warms my heart to make memories with them and my Mimi is one of my absolute favorite people ever.  She is so kind and loving and smart and creative.  I love when people say I look like her.

I am thankful for the ability and love for cooking that I have.  I'm thankful for the colors of fall and the smell of roast cooking in the oven.  I'm thankful for the cherished memories and momentos our family has passed down from generation to generation.

I'm thankful for a job, even on the tough days.  I'm thankful for loving friends.  I am thankful for the Master's Cohort my school is paying for me to take part in.

I'm thankful for flavored coffee creamer, laundry and dish washers, running shoes, sports bras, gas logs, my Keurig, puppy kisses, heated seats, and smartphones.  I'm thankful for the people I've met through blogging and particularly TriFABB.

I'm thankful for Nutella and greek yogurt.  I'm thankful for froyo joints and Christmas music.  I'm thankful for sun kisses, the smell of babies, and vacation days.

There are so many things I'm thankful for!  This doesn't even begin to describe them all,
but, above all else, I'm so thankful for this beautiful life I've been given.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Watch out for Wet Cement

Tales from the Teacher's Lounge

Our principal is like the Michelle Obama of principals when it comes to getting our kids moving.  Since coming to our school, she has started various programs for the employees as well as the students to keep us all active and healthy.

Every four to six weeks our district has a half day where students leave at 11:30 and teachers stay on for staff development.  On those half days, our school conducts clubs.  The club that I partake in is running club.  It's pretty self explanatory, but just in case, we run for 45 minutes to an hour each club day on the mile trail that we received a grant for two years ago.

A few Wednesdays ago, we were preparing to go outside for running club and our principal announced, "There are men putting down a new sidewalk outside so please avoid the wet cement."  Not only did we get this warning, there were also men outside working as well as ropes tying off the wet area.

Sure enough, not five minutes later, one of my students is standing ankle deep in wet cement after not stepping in it once, but running through it and leaving 5 gaping foot prints.  Yup, he's all mine.

The poor men who had worked on the sidewalk all day were all just standing there with mouths open.  All we could do is apologize and all the student was concerned with were his new shoes.

A classic case of sleeping with your eyes open?  Or perhaps his mouth was open and his ears were closed?  No comprende.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Not rich, but sweet

I am typically not a huge fan of dessert because it is sometimes just too rich for me.  The other night I was craving something sweet and decided to throw together some of the things I already had around the house and the heaven here on earth that resulted rocked our world.

Nutella Cresecents

cresecent rolls
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out crescents as directed on package.
Put a spoonful of nutella in each crescent (at the wide end).
Roll up and bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 11-13 minutes.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Frugalista Black Friday

**Be ready to link your post with the Frugalista Friday button and share your best Black Friday deal next week!!**

This video has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but its hilarious

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving Day is sitting around the dining room table after the food has been cleared, the pants button popped, and the slobber wiped from my face and looking through the Black Friday ads and creating a "game plan."

Let's be honest, it is exactly a "game plan."  Black Friday shopping is serious bidnass.  You've got to prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally for this event.  Don't laugh, I'm for reals!

Now, I have to admit I never go out there dying to get something and come home angry if I can't find it.  Although I don't have kids yet so that could very possibly will definitely change.  I mean, if my kid wants the Tickle Me Elmo, you can bet I'll be the cray cray mom holding down fort all hours of the night and climbing to the top of the toy pile to get it.

I've never been one to do some scoping out of Black Friday deal prior to Thanksgiving Day ads, but now that I have a smartphone and all its almost irresistible.  I downloaded the app, BFAds, and I've been scoping out some of the exciting sales that are coming this year.  If you don't have a smartphone you can always check out The Black Friday.com.
There are a few places that I'm super excited about.  Almost every year Target has something on my list for a lesser price or a gift card with purchase.  Old Navy always has great deals on staple items.  KMart and Kohls usually have something I need.  I also love going to the outlets each year.  My first stop is usually Ralph Lauren because they run a deal: an extra 30% off your purchase for the first 2 hours they are open Thanksgiving night.

This year I don't have my heart set on anything in particular yet because I'm having a hard time making my Christmas list.  Hubby isn't really sure what he wants and I'm waiting to scope out the ads to see if the item I want to get my parents is a special deal anywhere.

I will definitely hit up the Tanger Outlets in Mebane again.  I will stop and stock up on leggings and basics at Old Navy (for me of course).  After that, I'm really not sure.  Rest assured, after looking at the fliers at the dinner table, there will surely be a list of things that I "need" to add to my list.

What are you searching for this Black Friday?  Are there any special deals or sales that you are tackling like a boss?

Frugalista Friday Link-Up

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cozy Workwear

Guys, this morning I woke up and I almost abandoned my outfit for the day.  The first thing I thought of was comfort and warmth.  It's supposed to be rainy and cold today and I'm a little sore from my workout yesterday.

Then I realized that professional attire doesn't get much more comfortable than this...

Seriously, if you don't own a knit pencil skirt, add it to your Christmas list.  You can thank me later and you're welcome in advance.  I got this one from a thrift store and made this striped one and this pink one soon after.  

I love finding outfits like this to wear on rainy, cold days that still look stylish, but cozy at the same time.  Not to mention these booties are perfect.  I'm so glad I jumped on that bandwagon.

Sweater: Old Navy old (similar), Blouse: Stitchfix, Skirt: Thrift, Tights: Walmart, Booties: UrbanOg

I love that a knit pencil skirt still has that professional, flattering shape, but it feels like I'm wearing sweats all day!  Not to mention, it stretches if I'm having one of "those days."  Don't act like you don't have them!  You know exactly what I'm talking about.

I'm linking up with Work Clothes, I Suppose for the Third Thursday Threads Party: Cozy Knits

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Silver Coin DIY

You will get a kick out of this.  I was driving by one of the thrift stores in my town (on my way to a wedding no less) when I spotted this dress on the rack out front.  I literally turned my car around, parallel parked, grabbed that sucker off the rack and went in stating I wanted it.

Typically the rack out front is the $1 rack, but this day, it was the 25Cent rack!!  Holla!

I brought this bad boy home, washed it up nice and clean and got to work...

I rolled the hem up twice to make it above the knee and stitched that in place.  I then took in each side about half an inch to make it slightly more form fitting, but I wanted to keep it loose so that I could belt it tunic style.  I didn't touch the sleeves because I liked that they have a dolman-style feel to them being a little big for me.

Cardigan: Target, Dress: Thrift, Belt: Belk (old), Leggings: Old Navy, Boots: Madden Girl

This dress is handmade with a zipper in the back.  Quality stuff.  Someone really put some TLC into making it.  I'm grateful for them.

My apologies for the poor lighting of the photos.  If you see me today, you will see me wearing this and it was just too darn cold to ask my hubby to go outside this morning for pictures.

Linking up for:

Wardrobe Wednesday