Thursday, November 27, 2014

A grateful heart

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!  Spending Thanksgiving on the beach in the Outer Banks! It hasn't been the best week weather-wise, but I've had time to relax, read and spend quality time with family.

Being here for thanksgiving is very different for my family and we are not ALL together, but I'm still of course, giving thanks for all that I have.

A roof over my head, food in my belly, and people who love me!!  Really don't need more than that!!
(Even though I am feeling sad I lost out on buying that 50 inch TV this morning for $199!! HAHAHAHAHA...just kidding!!)

Some things I've seen floating around today that I wanted to share!!  From the heartfelt to the funny...

Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout!

and my favorite from this year.... LOL

On a serious note, I'd like to wish all my family, friends, followers, and blog readers a very Happy and blessed Thanksgiving.  I hope you too, are enjoying the day with good food , good wine and most of all lots of laughs!!  Have a great day!!  Gobble til' you wobble...and shop 'til your drop tomorrow!

Be on the lookout for a vacation wrap-up on the blog next week!!

With a grateful heart,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Vacation Read...

This week I am spending the Thanksgiving week on vacation at the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  For the first time, my family is away for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It is quite different from the many summers we have spent here.  We arrived on Saturday to bright beautiful sun but it was quite chilly.  Sunday was pretty cloudy with some rain and after a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree morning and afternoon yesterday, it has been raining ever since.  All this rain, however has allowed me to spend lots of time reading!  I LOVE reading but am not often able to get through a book during the school year!!  I brought three books with me this week.  The first one I received, as part of the Blogging for Books program. I signed up for Blogging for Books after finding out about it online.  I signed up, was able to pick a book that interested me, and received my book in three days.  I believe it was the day the book hit the shelves of book stores.  That was back in October...I have finally sat down to read it.  And plowed through it in a matter of hours.  It was that good.

The 13th Gift tells the true story of a grieving family at Christmas.  The author Joanne Huist Smith is also the narrator.  The family has had an understandably rough time, after the death of their husband and father in October.  They are broken and disconnected and facing their first Christmas without him.  Then 12 days before Christmas, the family starts receiving mysterious gifts on their doorstep. Each with a little in the Christmas carol.

Without giving too much away, I will say that I really enjoyed this book's mix of mystery and heart. I was rooting for this family and am happy that in such heartache they found a glimmer of hope.  It also shows that there ARE good people in the world.  And a little kindness can go a long way.   I was happy with the way the story wrapped up and was sorry to see it end.  I know the book was autobiographical, but I do hope the author continues to write. I highly recommend this book...a great read for this time of year!!  And I think it'd make an awesome stocking stuffer! :)

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to continuing Blogging for Books!  Until next time!!

Have a happy Thanksgiving...enjoy family, good food and lots of laughs!!


*FTC Disclaimer- I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions are my own.*

And in case you missed it...don't forget to enter the Style Me Bloggers giveaway for some Christmas Cash {HERE}!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's another Style Me Blogger Buddies Link-up!

YAY!!  It's another Style Me Bloggers Link up!  On tap for today is our favorite winter on for all the fun and a surprise at the end!!!

If there was ever a time to be writing about my favorite winter hat, this is it!!  This week we have hit record breaking lows here where I live and are in a deep FREEZE!!   I just keep thinking that this is way toooooo early for the torture that is winter to begin again!!  I have yet to buy a new winter coat for this year....and I haven't even gotten to wear all the cute vests I bought for the fall!!!  LOL

With that being said, I've been bundling up and sporting my most favorite winter hat all week! This is me when I last wore the hat! In the midddle of APRIL....when we had five inches of snow!!   I don't remember why I took a selfie of myself like this OR why I look so happy here!!

This is me on Tuesday...the first day wearing it!  Notice how excited I am for this weather!  I conciously took this selfie for today's post!  HA!!

The winter season is just too long people!! It used to be that December, January and February were the winter months.  These days winter starts at the beginning of November and ends at the end of April!!!   I really need to move to Mexico wear I can still teach, but be tan, happy, and warm ALL THE TIME.  I hate the winter but will admit to the fact that I do enjoy bundling up in some cold weather accessories!  In fact, I'm surprised I don't have more pics of me in winter hats!!  :)

I have a bunch of cute hats, ones that I only wear with certain coats, as a matter of fact.  But this adidas one is my daily go-to!  This will be my sixth winter with it!  I bought it for myself off amazon.  I think it's considered a newsboy/snowboard hat.  Not once in my life have I ever attempted to snowboard!  Or ski!  If anyone invited me snowboarding or skiing, I'd totally go though!  I'd just be the one inside the lobby by the cozy fire reading a book and sippin' on some hot whiskey!!

Here's a close up of the hat itself.  You can tell it's getting old!
I've worn this hat everyday this week and will continue to wear it until I just can't anymore!!  I love it that much!

GET's GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our first giveaway!!  Some of us have gotten together to offer you some cash, just in time for the holiday season!!  Treat yourself or get a jumpstart on your list for family and friends!!  Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And after you enter the giveaway, go check out some more winter hats and link up some of your own!!

An InLinkz Link-up

Have a great weekend!!  Stay warm!!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friday Faves!

Here are some of my favorite things from the week that was!!

/ONE/  My Friendsgiving post from Sunday was one of the most viewed in a long time!!  That makes me so happy!!  It was just the BEST time!!  If you missed it, check it out {here}!

/TWO/  Friendsgiving was at my place, where my friend Mel cooked!  I did pretty good and had most of the things she needed.  What I didn't have she brought.  Mainly her pots!!  I have exactly 1 pot.  So I took it as a serious sign, when on Tuesday morning I got an email from Amazon with the Deal of the Day....POTS!!  I scored this $300 8 piece set for $90!  I thought that was a pretty good deal!! When I texted Mel to tell her about it, she was not impressed!  She asked me what I needed that for? I don't even cook!!My one measly pot was sufficient!  LOL...Well when I host Christmas Eve Dinner here and my sister cooks, she'll need them!!  HA!

/THREE/ I'm headed out of town for Thanksgiving in  one of my favorite places...the Outer Banks North Carolina!! It won't be the beach vacations we're used to having there, but it's a chance to get away and something different for us!!  Hopefully I can blog a bit from there! I have never been so unprepared for anything in my life though...I have yet to pack anything!  And I am on my third load of laundry!!  Oh well...what I don't bring I can always get there!

/FOUR/ I know it's super early but since I'm going away, I decided to put up some of my Christmas decorations already!  I have everything up but the nativity (which I had hoped to get done Thursday, but never got to) and the tree.  I figure I can do both of those the Sunday I get back!!  I just love the way the house looks and smells at Christmas...

/FIVE/ Linking up with my Style Me Blogger Buddies today to share my favorite winter hat! It's an oldie but goodie!!   What a great week for this one!!  It is freezing here!!  Is it as cold where you live? Please check out our posts, link up with us to share your favorite hats and enter our GIVEAWAY for some Christmas cash!!  Check it out {here}

Have a great weekend and a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up today with:
ErikaAndrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites 
Lauren Elizabeth for High Five on Friday
September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday!
Lauren at Style Elixir and her co-hosts
April and the girls for Five on Friday
Jennie for Friday Favorites

Sunday, November 16, 2014


This weekend was the inaugural Friendsgiving with my very best friends in the whole world. Actually my friends are more like family to me.  My oldest, and dearest friend Melanie and I have been friends since we were three.  When we were in high school (and I ended up going to "her" school for high school), we became best friends with Kerri. Not long after we started college, Mel and I sort of lost touch with Kerri. But as our ten year high school reunion approached in 2008, Kerri and I were recruited to plan it. So we reconnected one day over the phone to discuss the reunion.  That phone conversation lasted 4 straight hours and it was as if no time had passed. We picked up right where we left off.  Kerri and I got together shortly after that with Mel and ever since then the three of us have been inseparable once again.  We were there when Kerri was married in 2009, and Melanie and I are are Aunt Mel and Aunt Katie to Kerri's two daughters Addison and Brinleigh.  Oh and I forgot...Kerri's husband, Chris, is basically our husband too!  He probably didn't realize when he married Kerri, we came with the deal!!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Chris and Kerri were married in June 2009.

In September, when the four of us got together for a Halfway to St. Patty's Day bash, Kerri brought up the idea of having Friendsgiving.  So after planning for a few weeks, Saturday, November 15th was the first annual Friendsgiving at my place.

Melanie was basically the cook of the group.  She loves to cook and was super excited to attempt her first turkey!  She also made mashed potatoes and cranberries from scratch, green bean casserole, a beet salad, and pumpkin pie for dessert.  She arrived by 10 a.m. to start preparing the bird.
She  brought her Grandma's China from the 40's for us to eat on....I LOVED the table!!

Once the turkey was in and the table was set, we were able to relax and cheers to that being done with some drinks.  But that was short-lived because then we had to peel three pounds of potatoes. :)

Kerri arrived later on in the afternoon and brought with her her famous dip and made a killer batch of sweet potatoes!  We were only a group of 6...but we had enough food for 16!!

My contribution was the booze!  HA!!  I also made an Apple Dip app and a Pumpkin Dessert Dip I got from Jill at Doused in Pink!  (Thanks was a hit!!)  And I had a bunch of fun games and crafts for the kids....basically just Addie, who's three!  I bought a few things from Oriental Trading and found a Turkey Hunt online at Bloom Designs Online, which I have to say was a HUGE HIT with her!!  After she found all twelve turkeys she got a prize!! I'm not gonna lie...I may have forgotten where I hid the last turkey...but Addie did not give up until she found it!! We also did a paper turkey craft, scratch leaves, and sticker pictures for EVERYONE!!

The dinner was fantastic and like after any Thanksgiving meal, we were all STUFFED!!  Chris played with the girls for a while, while Kerri did the dishes, Mel dried and I put away and divided up the leftovers for everyone to take home.  I bought containers and  found these super cute leftover tags from Bloom Designs online to put on them!

Here's a few more fun pics from the day!
 Photo Booth Props from The Dating Divas

According to Addie, this was this BEST. DAY. EVER!  We agree!!!  Can't wait to do it all again next year!!
An end of the night family photo!  

Without question, at the end of everyday there's only one thing I can be.....
for my family, my friends, my life, and whatever the future holds!!  I wish you all the same!


Linking up today for Manic Monday with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express &
Weekending with Biana and Meghan.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The best day of the week...

Back again with another Friday five to share !  It was a pretty good week!  Any week with a day off in the middle is alright in my book!!

World Diabetes Day is TODAY! I'm wearing blue to support someone I should too!!

Sunday Brunch: Sunday I had Brunch at my place for my mom and sisters for my sister's birthday!  I love now I have a house that I can entertain at and that everyone enjoys coming to.  It was lots of fun!  It was brunch/lunch and all that good stuff...with birthday cake thrown in!!  And I love how after brunch you basically don't have to eat for the rest of the day.  I also neglected the laundry....

#MandaStrong: I was super excited to get my #MandaStrong t-shirt in the mail on Monday.  You may remember I posted about Manda in a Friday Five a few weeks ago.  I bought this shirt as a way to support Manda and her family during these trying times.  It's so comfy and I love the message.  You might think I have an obsession with t-shirts....and I totally DO!

Veteran's Day: Loved that I had a day off on Tuesday!  But I find it hard to believe that not everyone gets to enjoy this holiday.  No one works harder or sacrifices more than those in the U.S. Military and their families.  I also love this holiday, as a teacher.  Every year in Library  I read my students the best book!! Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops.  LOVE his book!!  It was written by Vice President, Joe Biden's wife, Jill  about their granddaughter and family.  The kids enjoy this book so much!  They really "get" the sacrifices made and the feelings of the families after reading this!  We wrote letters to the soldiers as well.

ICYMI:  A day off called for a random Tuesday blog post!  I blogged about what's in my bag!! Check it out {here}!!

Have a great weekend!

Linking up today with:
ErikaAndrea, and Narci for Friday Favorites 
Lauren Elizabeth for High Five on Friday
September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday!
Lauren at Style Elixir and her co-hosts
April and the girls for Five on Friday
Jennie for Friday Favorites

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What I Wore: Pink Fridays Edition

During the month of October as a way to show my support and spread awareness for breast cancer, I decided I was going to make October Fridays, Pink Fridays!!  I know it's a simple and small way to show support, but it's supporting nonetheless.  So today I'm featuring the outfits I put together each week.  Some you may have seen before on the blog!

Friday, October 3rd
Wearing the boot, I pretty much wore leggings everyday!  This longer tank tunic was perfect with them.  I threw on a pink cardi and pink jeweled drop necklace to complete the look.

Friday, October 10th
This polka dot button down is one of my faves!!{similar}  I loved it paired with the hot pink crew neck and leggings (don't worry...the crotchal area was covered by a long black tank)!

Friday, October 17th
 This look was one of the many in the Fall Style Me Challenge.  I just switched up the color of the shirt to pink!  And loved how it matched my scarf pretty perfectly!

Friday, October 24th
This outfit was more understated with the light pink gingham button down under the light grey sweater but I've always loved grey and pink together.  I wore this with black pants for work then switched to jeans for the night.

Bonus Day!  School Dress Down Day Fundraiser to raise money for breast cancer!  I featured this outfit in this month's Pin-spired post {here}

Friday, October 31st
This top I wore it on Halloween.  Not very Halloween-y I know, but I went to a conference that day with about  1000 other teachers and knew it was going to be hot and stuffy, so I opted for short sleeves! This top I featured in a What I Wore Wednesday post last Spring.  It's definitely more of a spring top and looks cute with cropped pants!
I really liked the concept of Pink Fridays!  Who knew I had so much pink in my wardrobe?!?

Have a great week...have fun and look fabulous!!

Linking up today with:
Alison at Get Your Pretty On
Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy
Sarah at Tucker up

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Currently carrying....

I thought it be fun to do a little What's in...."my bag" post!  I recently came across Rue La La's Handbag Style Guide online and found it so interesting!  It showed each type of bag we ladies carry these days and even had a timeline of popular bags.  As well as lots of swoon-worthy bags!

I  am not one to spend a crazy amount on my purses, just because I like to switch them up so often.  And the more expensive ones I do have are of the wristlet variety!  I'm really loving my new fall bag I got recently.  This cognac hobo from BP is the perfect carry-all for fall when I'm out an about on the weekends and shopping!

But today, I'm going to focus on my trusty work bag!  Now that I teach Library and Technology, I don't really need a dedicated "work bag" (YAY!)  but I wanted a bag that was big enough to transport any of the things I did bring home at night if need be!  According to Rue La La's Handbag Style Guide, my bag would be considered more of a satchel.  When I bought it, it came with a strap to make it a crossbody bag, but I never use it. When I have it stuffed to the gills, it's way too short to be a crossbody! I am an arm carrier anyway. I also liked this as my daily bag because it zips, which I need for walking to and from work (I live THAT close! HA!)

I get a new bag to use for work every year, but always end up going back to this one.  I bought this about two or three years ago at The Limited, and it's a fave.  I'll have it forever!

Here's a peek in my bag!

Everything is pretty big and easily accessible in the bag.  Sometimes I just throw my keys in and have to dig to the bottom to find them, but there are two side pockets that I usually put them in!

Inside I have my glasses cases, a small makeup case, a small brush, my planner (and yes, that's pretty much a student planner!!) and my old school iPod, iPad, and keys and work ID.

Most mornings before work, I'm also throwing in a water, yogurt, little bags of something for lunch, etc.  Just yesterday, it also housed a bottle of wine, my friend gave me! LOL!!  It all fits great in here! Folders fit snuggly  too!

My wallet is actually a clutch, and I kinda love that I use it as a wallet.  I got it as a gift a few years ago from my mom for my birthday.  I know some people love clutches, but I need something to hold my phone, so using this as a wallet worked best for me.  And if I run into a store for two minutes, I can just bring this and leave the rest!
Sorry I didn't photograph the inside!!

 I really liked scoping out Rue La La's Handbag Style Guide , which at the end featured a timeline of purses. It's so funny that these days, woman need the bigger bags because we now carry around lots more "stuff"!!  Which is pretty funny, because you'd think in such "techy" times, we'd have less!  Check it out's an awesome resource!!

What purses and bags to you love??  Share them with me in the comments below!

Have a great day!  Happy Veterans Day to all who have and are currently serving in our military!

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Style Me Bloggers Link Up...YAY!

Happy Friday!!
Taking a break from the usual Friday Five this week. I'm super excited to begin the Style Me Bloggers Link-up Series with fellow challengers and bloggers I "met" during the Style Me Pretty Challenges. The challenge is over now but for the next few weeks we will be linking up, every other Friday, sharing a bit more about ourselves and homes! Today, I'm sharing my closet with you!! I might be a little crazy!!!

In a perfect world, behind this door straight ahead would be a huge, glorious, walk-in closet!  No such luck!  Behind this door is the master bathroom!  Instead, my two closets are on the left and the right.

The one on the left, is my main closet.  The one on the right, I like to call the "pants" closet!  Because that's all that's hanging in there!!

No matter where I've lived, I've only always had the sliding door closets.  It's not my fave, because I think, it's really hard to access the clothes in the middle.  But I make it work! 

 This is sort of like the space I feel like I miss in my closet!  HA!

In this closet I have tops and cardigans, and a few blazers.  Across the rod I have tops grouped by style.  All the button downs, plaids, chambray, tunics, etc.  To save space I put tops with a coordinating cardigan, on the same hanger. Cardigans are all next to one another.  Lots of tops that can go with black cardigans are by them as well.  I don't really do seasonal swaps with my clothes in here.  I can throw cardis on with lots of my shirts and trouser pants for work, regardless of the season.
I highly recommend the velvet hangers if you are short on space!


Admittedly, the bottom of the closet is not the most organized.  All the shoes, not in boxes, are pretty much just thrown in!  Flats are easy to just pile on top of one another.  Some shoes are in boxes on the bottom but most of the shoes in boxes are on top!  In the pink bag to the right are all my summer flip flops, sandals and open-toe flat shoes that I won't be wearing for quite some time.  Keeping them in the bag gets them outta the way for now!  That laundry basket is just for my dry cleaning...which I don't send out too often.

I'm lucky enough to have nine foot ceilings in my house so I have lots of dead space above the closet.  Perfect for piling up shoe boxes and storing a few things.  I swap them out during winter/summer.  Right now I've put all my sandals on the top, and all my boots, booties, and winter wedges are on the bottom.
This is my "pants" closet!  There are not as many shoes/shoe boxes on the bottom of this closet so my pants are able to hang down.  More shoes, some storage and games are on the top of this closet.  You can't really see it here, but I have an over the door hook on this door.   On Sunday nights I try to pull a few things from both closets to wear for the week and place them on the hooks!  Sometimes I don't end up wearing what I pull, but lots of time I do.  It just cuts down on my time standing in front of the closet in the morning trying to figure out what to wear!  (When I'm not in a challenge of course!)

I also have an armoire.  In here I have my sweaters, jeans and other pants that don't need to be hang up.  In the cubbies I have spring scarves (just being stored right now! My "wear now" scarves are in a big metal tin in a corner of my room) and leggings. As well as baskets and bins.  In the wicker basket I have tights.  One plastic bin on the bottom is belts and the other is a bin of sunglasses, in heavy rotation during the summer.  The two drawers on the bottom are filled with t-shirts, that I'll throw on after work, or on weekend mornings when I'm just hanging before I get ready for the day, with leggings or lounge pants.  The bins on the top are bags!  I have a ridiculous amount of bags!!
You  might be wondering if I have any skirts and dresses.  I do!  They are all in my guest room closet. The upside of a solitary life...a bonus closet!  I actually like it better than my own!  It doesn't have sliding doors, but instead has french doors that open completely.  I'll spare you a picture of that one though because it's not only filled with skirts and dresses, but that's also where I keep my Christmas decorations! And that's a post for another day...December 17th to be exact!

Hope you enjoyed a peek in my closets!  Go take a look in these girls closets! You'll like what you see!!
Have a great weekend!!

Link up with us!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The FALL Challenge has come to an end!

The FALL Challenge with Alison at Get Your Pretty On has come to an end!
Even though I always seem to lose steam toward the end of each challenge, (as far as the outfits are concerned) I always get a lil sad as the final days approach.  No emails to look forward to anymore, undoubtedly, the challenge group's page posts will begin to dwindle, and its back to figuring out what I'm gonna wear on my own!  During the last few days, I only styled three of the outfits!  The others you'll see in the near future!  I know I've said this before, but I really enjoyed this challenge and thought it was the easiest to style.  So these outfits will definitely continue to be in rotation!

Day 17 I kinda loved!!  So super easy!  
 boyfriend cardigan/solid tee/black leggings/leopard scarf/neutral flats

The styled outfit in the email had the leather leggings styled.  I didn't buy those, but I had these skinny moto pants, that I mentioned in my Pinspired post Monday!

Even though day 18 called for a puffer vest, I opted out!  I'm going to save it!  Maybe I'll wear it this weekend!

Day 19 was admittedly, not my fave!  Not because I didn't like the pieces, just because I didn't like the sweater paired with it! I had forgotten about this sweater.  I like it, but I guess it doesn't need anything under it!!  I feel like I look odd and large!  ugh!! 
neutral sweater/plaid button down/black skinnies/leopard flats

Day 20 could not have been any easier!
dressy sweatshirt/dark skinnies/ riding boots
When I was wearing this, I felt that I had already worn this outfit during the challenge!  Turns out I did wear a version of this, but it wasn't during the challenge!  It was the week before while I was wearing THE BOOT!!
Super similar...go me!! 
Another challenge in the books!!  I always have so much fun during the challenges!  I love the looks and enjoy interacting and linking up with fellow bloggers and challengers!  Please go take a look at how these beautiful ladies styled the looks during the last few days!!

Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Mary | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

We've all had a such great time linking up together, we don't want the fun to end!! The Style Me Bloggers Link Up Series will begin this Friday!  We are linking up to share our closets and organizational tips!!  SO FUN!!  Please join us...come on back here Friday and link up!

You can find links to all available clothing I mentioned above {here}.  And see how I've styled all the looks during previous challenges {here}.

Have a great week...have FUN and LOOK FABULOUS!!
Linking up today with:
Alison at Get Your Pretty On
Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy
Sarah at Tucker up