Monday, August 26, 2013

Before and After

Lots of  "big" bloggers write about the pressure to be perfect. This is how I know I'm not a "big blogger" because I never feel like I need to lie or deceive or make things pretty for you. So I guess I owe anyone reading this a big "Thank you!" I'm glad I don't have to pretend to be glamorous or have it all together. Most days I've barely got it together, but I figure you already know that ;)

Dress- C/O Kiyonna Bloggers Brigade
Heels- Forever 21 (Similar)
Jewelry- Dreamsicle from Premier Designs

I had a jewelry show this weekend and finally had the opportunity to wear this beautiful Winona Hi-Lo dress from Kiyonna. Even though school is officially in swing, it's still super hot down here, so this bright coral number was perfect for the weekend. In the spirit of "keeping it real", you can also see how super pale I am since my shoes literally blend into my legs. That elongates the legs, right?!

Lots of times, my photos are just NOT GOOD. Eyes closed. Dumb expression. Belly poking out. I usually spare you those, but again, I'm so happy to be honest that I thought I'd show you some of my outtakes. Below is a series I've entitled "The Procession". I had taken a serious, pensive photo and then cracked up because Curtis was making fun of me (the other two photos). When I get to laughing really hard, I totally snort!

I also stumble, lose my balance, and fall down A LOT- hence the photos below, which I have cleverly titled "Before and After." I also usually finish blog posts with coherent thoughts, but right now I am too sick with my back-to-school sinus infection to even get out of the bed. Sorry! ;)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

In Mint Condition

We did it! Sean and I both survived the first day of school! I didn't think I would be able to handle sending him off into the real world, so my mom took him for me. I was so nervous the whole day to see how things went for him. After school he told me that it was "the best day ever" and that the lunchroom served ALL his favorite foods. Then he asked if he could spend the night with my mom again. Oh, they grow up so fast!

As for me, I am just thrilled to be back at work and have a reason to dress up and look cute again after a summer of tanks and cut-offs. It's nice to start settling into a schedule again. Wake up. Get ready. Teach. I need the structure in my life.And let's face it- I really love getting new back to school clothes, even after all these years!

INC ZigZag Faux Wrap Dress c/o Gwynnie Bee

I find myself gravitating more and more towards prints and patterns. I am very self-conscious about my stomach because that where I carry almost all of my extra weight, and I feel like a nice print conceals that sore spot with me. This dress was perfect for making me feel good and look good ;) I threw a sweater over it for the chilly lunchroom and paired it with all of my favorite mint accessories!

I'm looking forward to this new school year and all the fun (and fashion) that is headed my way! Hope that you and yours had a great first day back too!
Mint Condition Two-Strand Necklace
Indulgence Long Gold-Plated necklace (used as  my ID lanyard)
Arabesque and Illusion bracelets- All Premier Designs
Mint Wedges- Urban Outfitters (similar from ModCloth)
Note: I do receive a commission on all who sign up for Gwynnie Bee and stay with them past the 30-day trial.  However, I write about them so much because I truly believe in this company and what they offer to plus size and cusp-sized women.  Anything I write I write from my heart with full honesty.

Monday, August 12, 2013


This is what a FAMILY vacation is all about! Look at that smile. Could he be any cuter? 

I am still trying to recover from spending the past week being a total beach bum, AND school started back this morning (for teachers- Sean still has another week), so I am equal parts exhausted, stressed, excited, and depressed. However, going through these photos and creating collages really has brightened my mood. We decided to spend our final week of summer break down on the shore of Sunnyside, Florida. This was Sean's first trip to the beach, and I was convinced he was going to hate it. However, he was seriously a FISH.

Early in the week we went on a Snorkel-Dolphin Cruise. The cruise was 3 1/2 hours long, and we got to see wild dolphins and snorkel in the ocean. Sean didn't want to get out of the water!
Snorkeling in the Gulf

Hathaway Bridge, Sean ready to hunt for some shells, and more snorkeling

Pier Park and sting rays
I didn't have much occasion for dressing up. It was so hot and laid-back down there that I spent most of my time in swimsuits and cover-ups, but one afternoon we did head out for lunch and some old-fashioned amusement park rides at Miracle Strip at Pier Park. If you grew up going down to PCB for family vacations in the 1980s and 90s, then you are familiar with Miracle Strip. If not, you sure missed out! Sean loved the rides, and I loved the funnel cake and snow cones. What can I say? I'm a pig at heart!

However, I did bring this precious Cherry Velvet dress with me, so I decided to put it on and grab a few quick pictures before I wilted like a summer flower ;)  I've mentioned before how much I love dresses with cute cut-outs, and this one was no exception.  It held up pretty well to the nearly 100 degree weather, but it sure felt nice to get in the pool when we got back to the condo.

Dress- Cherry Velvet c/o Gwynnie Bee
Shoes- Crocs
Sunglasses- Old Navy

Sean, on the other hand, seemed totally unaffected by the heat and the sun. Sorry for the photo overload, but he was so stinkin' cute, I just couldn't pick one photo!

Sean on the Carousel
Was I the only one who "raced" horses and whichever horse e
nded up the highest in the air when the ride stopped was the winner

By far Sean's favorite!

These Red Baron Bi-Planes were from 1958. So cool!
While I am tired, I am also happy. This was the first "Sean-centered" long  vacation we've had, and it's definitely an adjustment. I managed to sneak in naps on most days, but I was constantly "on" and entertaining him. It will almost be a break to be back at school! I can't wait to get back into a schedule and back to regular blogging. I've got a ton of work to do in my classroom this week, and I am in desperate need of a haircut, so I'm going to be busy, but I've got some great back-to-school outfits to share and the bittersweet realization that my baby is starting kindergarten next week! Things are about to get crazy around here!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Wide Calf Boots Under $100

I've had several emails in the past few weeks asking about my beloved brown boots and where to find them. Since I bought them from Old Navy back in 2011, they are no longer available, so I decided to hunt down some alternatives. My prerequisites were that they needed to be brown, wide/extended calf, feature buckles, and be under $100. I would love  to be able to afford a $300 or $400 pair of super-luxurious boots, but that just isn't going to happen on this teacher's budget. I know some people may disagree with me and tell me that they have worn their Frye boots for 10 years and so on, but I'd just can't commit to that right now in my life.  Here are some of my favorites!

#1 Lassen $67.60
# 2 Lifestride $99.99
#3 Lifestride $99.99

#4 Fitzwell $76.99
#5 Fitzwell $46.99
#6 Nine West $63.60

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