Monday, December 15, 2014

Pushing Through til my Holiday Break

Recently, I talked to my sister Denise about how I am feeling overworked and am counting down the days until Christmas break.  She gave me a good idea and encouraged me to do a "raffle" with myself.  The gist of it is that I write down ten small ways to treat myself on folded up pieces of paper and then each working day, I can draw from the pile.  I tend to just focus a lot on work and by the time I get home and have dinner I'm too tired to do much of anything.  I think throwing an extra activity in my schedule is a great motivator to help me get through a long work week.

Here are the ten ideas that I came up with:

1) Do an at home manicure and pedicure.  Yes, I paint my nails a lot, but I don't always do all the extra steps like shape my nails, push back cuticles and use both a top and base coat.  This time I'm going to do it all!  Goodness knows my feet deserve a good soak.  :)

2) Go to Dunkin Donuts and get a peppermint mocha and holiday donut.  I hardly ever have coffee during the week anymore because there is only one time when I can leave my students and go to the bathroom.  I never have coffee when I get off work because I'm scared the caffeine will keep me up and I try to go to bed early so that I can get up and go in early to prepare before my students arrive, but I'm going to make an exception this week.

3) Make crepes.  Denise suggested this, and I like that it's an idea that won't break the bank!  If I make them for dinner after school, I can always make extra and have a tasty breakfast waiting for me the next day.

4) Aesthetic reading for one full hour.  I read a little throughout the week, but just for a 15 minutes here and there.  Setting aside a bigger block of time just for reading is something out of the ordinary on a school night, so it really will be special.

5) Come up with travel plans for a future trip.  Rachael and I have discussed going to Iceland in July.  I'd like to come up with a list of places to visit and look into some options for accommodation.  You can bet I'll be using Kaelene's blog as a resource!

6) Make Christmas cookies.  I could share them with my students and my Secret Santa at work.  It's always ideal to kill two birds with one stone.

7) Write a blog post. It's hard to get motivated to write during the week just because I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer doing lessons, but usually once I sit down and start blogging, I never regret it!  

8) Have a Netflix movie night complete with popcorn and seasoning salt to go with it.  I watch a lot of shows on Netflix (just finished The Originals--sooo good!!), but it has been awhile since I watched an actual movie. 

9) Go window shopping downtown and just take in all the Christmas decorations.  It's pretty amazing being in the South and not having to freeze all winter.  I should take advantage of that and get outside more.

10)  Cook myself dinner, as in actually cook myself something delicious and healthy instead of just heating up a Healthy Choice meal.  (The pumpkin ravioli has been my go to meal lately.)  As an added bonus, I will be able to have leftovers so that I can have a decent lunch...Even my students noticed that when I pack it's almost always PB&J.

What little things do you do for yourself so that it makes it easier to get through a challenging week at work?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Truth Behind my Instagram Pics

Over the summer I started an Instagram account and also came across this post called What I Instagrammed Vs. What Was Really Happening,  The post cracked me up because it's funny the lengths some of us go to just to get that perfect picture.  Inspired by her post, I chose five of my own Instagram pics and would like to tell you the truth behind them.

Picture #1

From the looks of this pic, it would appear that I'm going to enjoy a tasty cup of froyo.  The truth of the matter is that the Savannah heat got to my friends Ev, Jared, and I.  We weren't even that hungry, but we just wanted to take a break from being outside in smoldering hot weather and be air conditioning.  We were also dying of thirst. While the froyo was good, I was sitting there irritated because when I asked for the cashier for a cup of water she told me no.  Ev was also appalled by her attitude and wanted to go say something to her, but instead we just sat there feeling dehydrated.  Later we saw that they had some bottled water for sale, but I just wanted to get out of there.

Picture #2

One of my students gave me this as a gift.  He was so proud of this pumpkin, which is so sweet, right?  I told him I loved it and displayed it on my desk.  After a couple of days, another student came and ripped the stem off of it, and the next day it was missing!! I still have no idea where it went, but can only assume that another student took it home which is disappointing.  I mean, where else would it have gone?  The case of the missing pumpkin remains unsolved.

Picture #3

I had been wanting to try out a particular French cafe in Savannah for awhile.  Finally, Ev and I went, and we were initially pleased about the atmosphere and were expecting a good meal because the two of us were starving.  When the food arrived, it was seriously disgusting, and we could tell that it was not fresh. Also, about 10 minutes after I took this picture, a couple of families with a bunch of unsupervised kids came in. While the parents were ordering macarons, the kids were running around the restaurant, screaming loudly, knocking the vases over on the table (I thought for sure they would eventually knock them on the floor and break them), and erasing the chalk art with the daily specials on it.  At least I got a good Instagram picture??? Hahaha.

Picture #4

Fresh hummus with pita bread is a weakness of mine, and it's not that this food wasn't delicious because it totally was...It just got awkward because at the restaurant, my friend realized his ex worked there!  The ex very obviously flirted with my friend saying things like, "I've been after this one for years."  He kept coming by our table and even left my friend with his number.  We both felt so uncomfortable because my pal is in a committed relationship with his partner!!  

Picture #5

Oh, tra la la, it looks as though I was just feeling festive and showing off my first holiday Starbucks drink of the season.  Well, there is a reason why I had this drink in my car and did not stay inside of Starbucks to have it.  It's not because I went through the drive-thru, either.  There were no seats left inside of Starbucks besides one by this man who hadn't purchased a drink and who looked...uh, overly um excited to be there if you catch my drift. There was no way I was sitting by him.

Do you have any stories behind your Instagram pics?  Sometimes life isn't as perfect as we portray it to be on social media, that's for sure!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shopping for a New Wallet

I've needed a new wallet for some time now, so I'm taking the time today to do a little browsing in order to find the perfect one.

Right now I'm carrying a large black handbag, and the flap on top is made of soft, leopard print material.  My apartment in Seoul was actually right across from a locally owned store that sold a lot of adorable accessories, and every day I had to walk by the window and be tempted by dozens of cute purses.  Torture, right?  ;) Needless to say, when I lived in Seoul I went a little purse-crazy and bought way more than I needed so that I'm STILL using them (on and off) even now!
While most of this purse has held up nicely, the leopard print flap is getting a bit worn, so I'm not sure how much longer I'll be using it before I get rid of it.  I do have to say that as a teacher it is very practical since it's so roomy.  I'm always tossing rather large items into it like my water bottle, a whole bag of cough drops, students' papers, etc.  So that you can see what I'm talking about, the purse made an appearance in the picture below. 

The other purse that I brought with me on my move is this pink Kate Spade one.  I'm telling y'all this because I kind of want my wallet to go with the purse I carry.

I used Shop Style to help me in my quest for the perfect wallet and it was easy to find some options since I was able to search by brand/price/color.  Since the purses I've been carrying are pink and black, most of my selections represent that.  

My picks (starting at the top left and then going from left-right) are:

1) Pearl Kiss-Lock Wallet from Charlotte Russe  Since it's black it would go with either purse and pretty much any other future purse I buy.  At only $10.99, the price is right and currently it's an additional 25% off.  It's a checkbook wallet which I like because there ARE still a few rare occasions in which I'll have to write a check and not have any with me.  I think that the clear window for IDs is a nice touch.  It's ideal for me to have a special spot for my ID and not to have to sift through a bunch of credit and gift cards just to find my driver's license.  A negative about this wallet is that compared with the rest of my picks, it's cheaply made.  I want a wallet that's durable and last awhile!

2) Helena Travel Wallet by Liebeskind When searching for wallets, I knew I'd have to take a look at what is currently being sold at Anthropologie.  That's when this beauty caught my eye.  It looks like it made of high quality materials and the coolest thing is that it's designed with travelers in mind! The wallet has dividers inside so that your passport, tickets, and other items can stay organized. While I find this really neat, unfortunately I haven't exactly been traveling to other countries as much as I used to.  I don't know if it would be the best wallet for daily use, and at $148 it certainly doesn't come cheap.

3) Betsey Johnson Zip Around Wallet  Okay, this wallet would match my pink Kate Spade purse well and a zip around closure is always nice for someone who is paranoid about losing stuff like I am. I think the wallet is cute, but it does strike me as a little too "young."  

4) Adventure Capitalist Wallet So, this wallet doesn't meet the criteria I was looking for, but it reminded me of my blog and my blog design!!  I mean, look at the colors...and it has the word "adventure" in it.  It had to at least go on the list. :)

5) Black Patent Tory Burch Wallet  I feel like I would use a wallet like this for awhile.  When I'm in doubt, I usually go with something black because those items are "safe" and timeless.  This wallet was pre-owned, so there are some minor scratches, but it is on sale at the discounted rate of $75.  

6) Betsey Johnson Flocked Bows Crossbody Wallet  Another Betsey Johnson wallet...What can I say, I like the bow design!  This wallet doesn't match either purse, but I could wear this wallet AS a purse because it comes with a removable chain.  This wallet does have a lot of storage space which is good for me since I tend to carry a lot of reward cards around.

7) Rebecca Minkoff Mason Wallet  I'm drawn to the envelope shape of this classic wallet.  It also has two lined bill pockets which comes in handy when carrying multiple currencies around...or, lately, I use one as some emergency cash.  I just used cash from there yesterday because I didn't realize that Mrs. Wilkes was a cash/check-only restaurant!  One of the reasons I'm shying away from picking this one is because I feel like I've already owned something very similar to this in the past.

8)  Kate Spade New York Cherry Lane Louie Wristlet Wallet  So, I'm tempted by this wallet because it also doubles as a wristlet, it doesn't always have to stay hidden inside a bigger purse.  Also, matches the Kate Spade purse I already own perfectly since it's the same brand!  I feel like I need to search for deals and coupon codes in order to lower the $128.00 cost and that would make me more inclined to buy it!

9) Jet Set Travel Slim Saffiano Leather Wallet by Michael Kors  Hmmm...I selected this wallet as a cheaper alternative to the pink Kate Spade wristlet.  The price listed on Shop Style is $51.45, but when I clicked the link it wasn't on sale at all and was selling for $98.00.  I liked that this wallet doubles as a clutch, but I really do prefer a wristlet over a clutch so that I can have a free hand if I need to.  Since this item isn't actually on sale like I thought, it's not really in the running anymore.

Which one do you think I should get?  Which one (if any) do you like the most?  What do you look for when buying a new wallet?

* There are some affiliate links in this post for which I will receive a small amount of compensation, but all opinions are my own and I am genuinely considering buying one of these wallets with my own money.