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Thursday, May 30, 2013

How To Make Your Man Drool

There are a few things we wives know bring our men to the yard.
For my hubby, it's my roast.

For the longest time I avoided making roast because it intimidated me.
It was something my MIL made on Sunday afternoons and we all know the general rule about a wife's cooking vs. a mother's cooking so I steered clear of this one.

After attempting it once, I realized how easy and not-so-scary it is so I do it about once every other week and any time we have company coming over for dinner.
I think many women stray from roasts because they are time-consuming, but if I get home at 4:00 on a weeknight, my roast is done by 7:00 that evening.  It's later than our normal dinner time, but worth the wait.  And did I mention easy?

Here is what you need:
3lb roast (This gives us dinner and a leftovers)
Montreal Steak seasoning (even Food Lion brand is good)
Salt and Pepper
3/4 c. water

Here is what you do:
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (to make clean-up easier).
Coat all sides of roast with salt, pepper, and seasoning to taste.
Lay in pan and pour in about 3/4 c. water.
Cover with foil.
Cook for 1 hour per pound at 300 degrees.  (approx. 3 hours) 

Your man will think you slaved away in the kitchen all day 
and you'll be wondering what took you so long to try this!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Black, White, & Not so Dreary

Blouse: Stitchfix, Skirt: JCrew Factory, Bracelet & Earrings: beach boutique,  Shoes: Bass Outlet

Life is good here lately.  It's slowing down a little bit with the school year coming to a close, National Boards submitted, and summer class wrapping up.  There is much to smile about.  Even the rain can't bring me down - after all, we need it.

Rain is kind of like those lazy days.  You know the Saturdays when you just lounge around without showering until 4:00 in the afternoon.  You think back to what you were so busy doing all day and you realize you accomplished absolutely nothing?  And you smile because you're okay with it.

We need days like that and we need the rain to show us that things aren't really all that dreary.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Because Shanna Said So

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Modest is Hottest: Dresses

I am a firm believer in less is more.  By less I don't mean less clothing.
I mean less revealing.  It is so hard these days to go shopping for clothing that is not super revealing!
Shorts have a 1 inch inseam, skirts are minis, and even dresses have wide open backs.
In my world, modest is hottest, simple is elegant, and classic is timeless.

So, I've accumulated a list of items that I have or want to add in my closet that would be hot, elegant, and timeless.  I've done my research and put together some pieces at different price points in case any of you are running into the same problem as me.

Today's Pick: Dresses
If you've been around a while, you know I looooove to wear dresses!
When I'm picking dresses I'm typically concerned with neckline and hem length.
Being a teacher, I can't have things popping out that don't need to pop out and if we're being honest, that's not attractive in any environment.  Since I typically buy pieces I can wear for work and play most of my dresses fit the same criteria with a few minor exceptions.

A few things before I share some of my favorites:
1.  I'm in no way knocking any of the cute styles that are currently out there.  I just know what I'm comfortable in and what works for me so I'm sharing it with all of you.
2.  I don't think sleeveless equates im-modest (is that a word?) so some of my choices may not have sleeves.  If I choose to wear those dresses to work, I cover up with a cardigan or sweater.
3.  If and when a dress is see-through, wear a slip.  (Sad, but needs saying)
4.  Bra straps quickly turn anything inappropriate.  Truth, no exceptions.

modest dresses

Forever 21: The only issue I have with Forever 21 is that most of the clothing is junior sizing.  I always order a size up and have the top taken in if necessary when buying a dress.  If not, it's way too short!  Since the prices are so low, a little alteration doesn't break the bank.

eShakti: I LOVE eShakti.  Seriously, if you haven't checked it out you must!  Especially if you are one of those girls that can never find something that fits perfectly because you don't have a one-size-fits-most body.  This site has extremely affordable dresses for all occasions and it lets you pick your own hemline, neckline, sleeves, measurements, etc.  It's like you get to design your own dress and they create it and it arrives on your front stoop!

JCrew: I love classics.  I love pieces that are in my closet for months or years without going out of style.  Everything I have ever purchased from JCrew fits that description.  Their clothing is more expensive, but it is higher quality and always fashionable.

Old Navy: I love that Old Navy sells basic dresses you can style in different ways.  They are always inexpensive and they always have a variety each season.  I especially love that Old Navy has dresses for all occasions including formal and informal.  One of my favorite outfits is a jersey knit ON dress with a denim jacket.

Target: You knew this one would be here!  Almost all of their dresses are <$35 and they are adorable.  I love that Target gives me an affordable way to wear current trends.  Not to mention the clothing always lasts despite the inexpensive price point.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cha Cha Cha Chia!

In an effort to maintain health and wellness, I've done some research on chia seeds and flax.  I decided they were easy, affordable ways to incorporate more fiber and nutrition into my diet.  In case you aren't aware of the health benefits of chia seeds, they include:
  • Helping with weight loss - they reduce food cravings
  • Extend the substance of foods - adding chia seeds to a smoothie will make it last longer in your system so that you feel full longer and don't get hungry as quickly
  • Hydration - the gel chia seeds form is a great way to hydrate your body (especially for athletes)
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Omega-3 - fights heart disease
  • Controls blood sugar (great for diabetic patients)
  • Easier to digest than flax seeds (and easier to consume - no need to grind them)
Honestly, you can't taste chia seeds when adding them to yogurt or smoothies.  They give a little texture to the food and all the benefits are well worth it.  

I tried a new workout this week, too.  I have taken kickboxing before, but this was on a totally different level.  This class is in a building where boxers/fighters train.  The man that leads the class trains boxers, karate students, fighters, etc.  Not to mention he had an abundance of knowledge on exercise and strength training that he shared throughout the class.  I have to admit, I was super sore for 2 days after!  However, the class is well worth the 30 minute drive and $5 price tag.  I will definitely go again.

Here is how my week looked:
Monday: 2 mile walk with dogs, 3 miles run
Tuesday: 1 hour kickboxing class
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 2 mile walk with dogs
Friday: 2 mile walk with dogs, 3 miles run

I have a total of 34/52 miles in May so I've already accomplished Nikki's 30in30 and I'm going to keep going!  I love when you set a goal and then go above and beyond!

Link up your health and fitness goal from this week below!

Honor Courage Commitment

Honor Courage Commitment

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Unexpected.

I don't deal well with change or unplanned events.  There is something about the unknown that makes me feel extremely vulnerable.  I struggle with fear and wanting to be in control of everything.

Events like the tornadoes in Oklahoma tear at my heart.  I empathize so strongly with other people that I feel the pain, sadness, fear, and turmoil they are going through as if it is my own.  My heart weighs heavy with the burdens of the world and sometimes I truly struggle with coping with it all.

The fact is, we aren't in control of most things in our lives.  And even the things we are in control of can be affected by outside elements that are uncontrollable.  The unexpected should always be expected because it is always inevitable.  That is hard for me.

For many reasons, I have difficulty understanding what has happened in Oklahoma.  The pictures are devastating and the images of parents searching for children, teachers protecting students, and families huddling for safety are too much to bear.  I put myself in the shoes of parents being held back from the fallen school while their children are slowly, one by one, pulled out of the wreckage.  The horror, fear, and then overwhelming sense of urgency they must have felt...

I'm praying for Oklahoma.  I'm praying for America.  I know bad things happen and I understand that to some degree, there is purpose in them, but it seems like our country has been taking a lot of hits lately.  It is a long road to rebuilding and recover, and I hope that we band together during this time.

God bless the USA.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Classics with a Statement

Tee: GAP, Jeans: GAP Outlet (similar), Bracelet: JCrew, Necklace: eBay, Shoes: Target (sold out online)

Fridays are dress down days at work, but I still try to look reasonable.  I've never been a t-shirt girl; one to wear just a graphic tee and jeans.  Many of my students are bigger than me and wear more make up than I do so its important to me that I still look the role of teacher even on a Friday.

Last Thursday, I was sitting in the recliner after my run and my husband threw an envelope on my lap.  I was so excited because I had been anxiously checking the mailbox each day to find my necklace I had ordered from eBay!  Silly husband, he had been driving around with it in his car for a few days!

I knew I had to wear it Friday because, I mean, look at it.  It rocks.  So I decided to pair it with some American classics: a white tee and boyfriend jeans.  To me, the necklace makes all the statement necessary.  What do you think?

Linking up with Shanna & ThePleatedPoppy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Modest is Hottest: Shorts

I am a firm believer in less is more.  By less I don't mean less clothing.
I mean less revealing.  It is so hard these days to go shopping for clothing that is not super revealing!
Shorts have a 1 inch inseam, skirts are minis, and even dresses have wide open backs.
In my world, modest is hottest, simple is elegant, and classic is timeless.

So, I've accumulated a list of items that I have or want to add in my closet that would be hot, elegant, and timeless.  I've done my research and put together some pieces at different price points in case any of you are running into the same problem as me.

First up: SHORTS
I have to admit that until this year, I owned one pair of nice shorts!  One!!  I have a soccer body and runner's legs.  Shorts just don't look good on me or at least the wrong ones don't look good on me.
After searching and shopping around and coming to peace with the fact that its okay to spend money on shorts if I'm actually going to wear them, I have found some favorites and added them to my closet!

Disclaimer: You will not see bermuda shorts in my post.  I think they look adorable on some people, but they definitely don't work for me or my body type.  I find that they are only truly flattering on very select body types so I chose not to include them.  However, they would definitely fit the code.

modest shorts

1. JCrew: These shorts are going to cost a little more, but they are worth every penny!  Trust me, I was skeptical, but they are definitely worth it.  If you wait until the store does one of its 50% off campaigns, its not so bad.  They are made of quality fabric, fit well, and last.  Not to mention there are tons of cute colors and patterns.  Another plus: you can decide how long you want the inseam to be ranging from 3"-5"! (I bought the 3" and since they hang on my hip they are definitely modest and appropriate without bunching.  You can see how I styled them here.)

2.  JCrew Factory: These are high quality just like the regular store, but slightly different fabric.  They fit about the same and you still have the option of what length you want the inseam to be.    Because they are factory the price point is a bit lower, but they are not lacking in how long they will last in your wardrobe.  The nice thing about both styles is they are classics!

3.  Old Navy: In years past, Old Navy shorts have been notoriously too short on me.  This year they have come out with a few versions ranging in style from 3"-5" as well.  I love that they came out with classic prints this year, too, as opposed to just plaids and colors.

4.  Ann Taylor Loft: I bought my pair from the outlet, but I know that the store will be just as great if not better in quality.  Loft has super cute prints this year and their inseam is anywhere between 3"- 4 1/2" which is a good length for booty coverage.

5.  Old Navy: I included 2 pair of ON shorts because they are so affordable.  At under $35 a pair (and all the crazy sales that are always happening), anyone can get their hands on these.  Not to mention, ON stepped up their game this year and really came out with some nice shorts.

Which are you loving?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Crazy Dog Lady

I'm the crazy cat lady of the dog world.  I own it.  I've embraced it.  I understand that I talk about my dogs as if they are children (and in my head it's not "as if they were children," they are actually children) and I'm sure I infuriate mothers everywhere when discussing the equality of love for them with babies and my celebration of Mother's Day for all crazy reasons.

The truth is, these two dogs have my heart.  They are so unconditionally loving.  The way Football's tail wags and Irie groans to be petted just make my heart melt each morning, noon, and night!

They are so quirky.  Which is probably why they both fit exactly into our home and family.  See, we rescued both (one on purpose, one on accident) and I guess there is a reason why we found them they found us.  We were meant for each other! (cue crazy cat lady music now)

We adopted Irie (big black dog) shortly after getting married.  I wanted a running companion and hubby wanted a big dog so we settled on her.  We were told she is a black lab, great dane mix.  However, she is smaller than most black labs.  That worked out to our advantage though because just a few short months after bringing Irie home, my husband found Football stuck in the drain pipe in front of our house.  A few fire trucks, policemen, and belly crawls later, we had another addition to our family!  We named him Football as a joke really...thinking all along that we would find him a home and send him on his way because truly we only had room in our hearts and home for one dog.  Long story short, after 6 weeks, 1 bad night of worms, several baths, and 2 attached companions, we found him a home and I couldn't let him go.  He was one of us.  So, his name is still Football, he no longer has worms, and he and Irie (and I) are inseparable.

It's not shocking that I eat with one on each side of me.  I have plans for their future as big brother and big sister whenever a little human baby joins the fam.  The fun things are their little quirks:

  • Irie carries a blanket around the house like Linus from Peanuts.  She just drags it by the corner and the rest of it trails out of her mouth and behind her.  
  • Football can't stand an empty bowl.  If its empty, he continuously goes to it and knocks it all around the kitchen until someone finally fills it up - he doesn't eat what we put in it, just looks at us with gratefulness in his eyes for finally making it not-empty.
  • Irie has 3 different barks: 1. I will eat your face off if you come one step closer, 2. Mommy, please, pay attention to me, and 3. Hey I'm over here in case you didn't notice!
  • Football likes to sit on your chest.  He also enjoys putting his face right in yours, making eye contact and holding it for minutes on end.
  • Irie stands guard at the bathroom door whenever I'm in there.
  • Football saves the world one squirrel at a time each day when we go for our walk.

miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Friday, May 17, 2013

Running >>>>

I have been sick this week and it has be so hard to not run.  Does that make sense?  Yesterday, I still wasn't feeling very well, but decided there was just no way I could sit there and go one more day not running.  People who aren't runners might think that's crazy, but

When you get into a routine, its really hard to break it.  
Just like when you break it, it's really hard to get back in it.

Here is what I got for the week:
Sunday: Hiked 2 miles with the dogs and hubby
Monday: Walked the dogs 1 miles
Tuesday: Nothing (Felt miserable)
Wednesday: Nothing (Had company)
Thursday: Walked 2 miles with the dogs, Ran 2 miles

Total: 5 miles or a total of 25 for the month!

Also, I saw this picture on Instagram this morning and literally laughed out loud.
Thought I would share it.

What have you done on your fitness journey this week?
Link up below!

Honor Courage Commitment

Honor Courage Commitment

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Coffee Date

If we were to sit down for a cup of coffee right now to catch up on life...

I would probably be drinking tea since I made the switch while doing Whole 30.

I would tap my mug against yours in celebration of the fact that I've completed my National Boards.  And I would thank you for your words of encouragement, understanding ear, and support through the whole process.  I would ask you to pray for me on May 31st because I test that day.

I would talk about my desires for this blog.  My idea for a monthly link-up and the fact that I'm so nervous to even share it with anyone because I'm afraid it won't fly in Blogland.  So nervous, in fact, that I can't even imagine who to share it with first to help me launch/host it!

I would get excited when you ask how many days are left of school.  Something about being home all day with my pups and having the freedom to sew, work out, and take care of my man excites me.

I would ask you what's on your mind and if you've cleared your head lately?

I would talk about my dogs and the beautiful park we visited on Mother's Day.  I would tell you about the trails and the water fall and invite you to come with us some time.

I would ask for advice on what to wear to my 10 year reunion this summer.

I would probably pick your mind about the JawboneUP, the Polar FT4, and any DSLR you've ever experienced.  I want one of each, but can't figure out which one is top priority.

I would share my ridiculous amount of excitement over the fact that finally Jess and Nick are together on New Girl.  And then I would probably confess that I wish I could be her friend in real life.

I would realize that when I am surrounded by people I love, I tend to overshare.  I would take a deep breath, smile at you, and genuinely ask...
How are you doing?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The color that does me no justice.

Tee: JCrew, Skirt: Goodwill ($3.99, option), Shoes: BassOutlet (option),
Necklace: Boutique (similar), Bag: Coach (option)

Bracelet: local shop, Bangle: Kate Spade

When I was in high school, I was a total tomboy.  If I showed you a picture from then, you would seriously laugh at me.  I had no idea how to work a blow dryer leaving my hair to dry however which way it liked and that turned into my hair "style" each day.  I experimented with makeup, but my mom didn't wear it so I had no clue what I was doing.  She didn't need it (and if we're being honest no highschooler does either) so I would go to school with maroon lipstick or foundation with no powder.  Terrible.  One day I would wear wind pants the color of snow and the next I would wear jeans and a button up.  My favorite color was yellow.  I wore it all. the. time.

And it looked and still looks terrible on me!  Yellow washes me out.  Strawberry blonde hair and pale skin do not look good against any shade of yellow.  Trust me.  I've tried them all.  My love for yellow has never faded so I've found other ways to wear it that are more flattering and less "washy outty."

It's important to remember when shopping that even though a particular color might not look good on you, you can incorporate it into your wardrobe by accessorizing.  For example, this yellow handbag.  It gives me that pop of color I'm wanting in a way that is flattering to me and my outfit.  I'm so glad that I 1. figured out yellow wasn't my color and 2. figured out ways to continue rocking it since I love it so much!  It's tragic to think you can't wear your favorite color.

Some ways I'm looking to incorporate more sunshiney goodness into my wardrobe:


Linking up with Shanna, Marion, and ThePleatedPoppy