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Shopping for a New Wallet

November 26, 2014
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, hello...it 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.

Why We Need To Have a Break

November 24, 2014
Whew...I have been putting in 60+ hour weeks, so this Thanksgiving break that I'm on now is one that I had been counting down the days to have.  

Why We Need To Have a Break

* We need time to recuperate.  The first two days of my break were spent nursing myself back to health.  I had a horrible case of the flu that actually started last Wednesday and got progressively worse.  (The students got me sick...inevitable, right?)  I felt too guilty to ask for a sub on Friday because my Chinese teacher was already out, but I pushed myself too much and I think it took a toll on me and made me worse.  I'm also talking about recuperating mentally, though.  Jobs can be stressful, so to wake up not having a care in the world is a welcome reprieve.

* We need chances to see our loved ones.  So many of us don't live that close to all of our relatives, so extended breaks sure give us opportunities to make some trips or to host some guests.  I'll be spending most of my Thanksgiving break in New Bern with my sister.  I want to get in some time with her before my niece Sophia is born and things get harder to plan.

* It's an opportunity to get stuff done.  Since a lot of us work first shift Monday-Friday, it's hard to do things like go to the bank or post office when they are open.  It's also hard to schedule dentist's and doctor's appointments without having to miss a day of work.  Something that I've had to put off is going to the Georgia Department of Driver's Services.  I stupidly lost my Georgia driver's license, and since Georgia DDS has limited hours of operation, I haven't had a chance to go.  Thank goodness I can get that taken care of tomorrow!

* It give us a chance to get ahead of the game.  This one ties in with the last one, but this break not only can I get stuff I've been putting off done, but I also plan on doing stuff that will help me out in the future.  Do I plan on stocking up on a ton of groceries?  Yep.  What about pre-writing my lessons for next week and possibly the week after that?  Yes, again.  Even though I don't really want to spend my break doing things that feel like work, I know that it will help me out in the long run.  Do I plan on starting my Christmas shopping during this break?  You betcha. (Okay, so maybe I'm not really "ahead of the game" on that one...)  

* Extra time for leisure=always a plus!  Do you see how I'm actually writing a blog post today?  Exactly. It's always great to have some extra time to partake in our hobbies.  I also picked up a Game of Thrones yesterday and started reading it again for the first time in a long time.  (Yes, I've been reading that book since July with some other books in between.)

* What better time to cross some things off of your bucket list than on an extended break?  I know that I plan on doing something that's on my Savannah Bucket List, which is to go to Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room for some special Southern cooking!  I've been dying to go, but it's only open from 11-2 Monday-Friday.  My date Ev has also never gone, which is pretty nuts considering he grew up in a city just outside of Savannah and he has lived here for the majority of his life.  

* A longer break offers time for reflection.  During the week I feel so rushed and am too busy to stop and think.  This break I'm going to consider ideas like, "What could make my classroom better?" "How can I start traveling again?"  "Do I like my school enough to re-sign a contract for next year or should I think of some other options?"  

* Finally, there is more time so that we can pamper/treat ourselves!  I can put my feet up and give myself a mani pedi while binge-watching Season 3 of New Girl on Netflix and not feel bad about it because I have papers to grade.  (Yes, I have to grade 1st grade writing with a pretty extensive rubric...) 

What do you think is the best thing about having a break?

Reflecting About my Place in Georgia

November 13, 2014
After having relocated to Georgia from Ohio, I moved into a duplex with my best friend Everett and pal Jared.  I've blogged a couple of times about having roommates, so I'm leaving that aspect out of this post and am only focusing on the housing itself.


**It's nice only having neighbors on one side of us.  I've lived in apartments before where I've had people on both sides and also above and below me.  For me, living directly under other people isn't really ideal.  In college, a girl that lived right above me would work out very early in the AM in her room.  More power to her, but it woke my other roommate and I up, and at some points I feared for my life because the ceiling seriously looked like it was going to cave in.  Since I know what it was like to live under people, when I lived above people I was always paranoid about walking around too much and bothering them/vacuuming.

** It has a backyard.  This is a luxury I haven't always had.  Also, Ev's mom took care of all the mowing for us.  She says she enjoys staying active, so none of us had any problem with that!

** The rent is pretty cheap.  Since we split everything three ways, I ended up saving a lot of money.

** It's located in a safe neighborhood.  The duplex is in a small town outside of Savannah and the crime rate there is very low.  I only felt scared one night when Claude kept barking and growling at the window when Ev & Jared weren't home.  I never felt worried going for walks by myself and almost always felt pretty secure.

** It's quiet.  Our place is located in a residential neighborhood, and the main highway is far enough away that we weren't disturbed by traffic.  Sometimes I could hear a train go by and we could hear dogs barking occasionally, but that's about it.  Most of the neighbors were very considerate.

** The landlord left us alone.  I've been in places before where the landlord comes in to check up on his/her property.  Also, in college it was kind of awful because they kept having to show our place again and again until they had someone on the lease for next year.  The landlord has never once been in  our place since I've been there, and I appreciate that!

** There's no driveway.  You would think this would be a negative, but I love not having a driveway.  If we had one, we would constantly be blocking each other and would have to rearrange our cars or else someone would have to park on the street.  All we do is pull through the backyard and park in the grass.  (Is this a Southern thing?  I'm not sure, but it works for me!)


** There IS someone living on the other side of us.  Yes, I know I just said that I liked having people on just one side of us, but I'd prefer to live in a house and not in a duplex.  I'd rather not have any people on any sides, haha.

** There is only one bathroom.  This is my BIGGEST dislike of all.  Having to share one bathroom with two guys is not my dream situation.  We make the best of it and try to ask each other ahead of time if anyone needs to go to the bathroom before we take showers, but getting ready in the morning can turn into a hassle if all three of us have to leave at the same time (which is often the case.)

** The washing machine is inside and the dryer is outside.  I guess I'd just prefer for both the washer and dryer to be inside because sometimes if I heard the neighbors out there and I didn't feel like talking to them, I'd just leave my clothes in the dryer until I heard them go in.  Also, more bugs got in because the door would constantly be opening and shutting.

** It's a bit out of the way... In terms of driving to the historic district of Savannah, it was about a half-hour away.  It was also about 20 minutes from I-95 which is the highway I need to take to get to work.

** There isn't a dishwasher.  The three of us go through a lot of dishes.  Jared loves to cook so a dishwasher could really be useful and save us time.

What do you love about the place you live in?  Is there anything you wish you could change?

Humpday Confessions

November 12, 2014
Ah, how I've missed blogging!!  The lesson plans can wait--I've been dying to post a confessions post for some time now.

*When you blog about a topic, do you constantly "introduce" that person on your blog?  I never know what to do. For example, I blog about my sister Denise a lot, but is it necessary to keep introducing her as my sister?  I want my new readers (if I even have any since my last post was 50 million years ago in blog-time) to know whom I'm talking about, yet I feel like people who have been following me for awhile are like, "I get it already."  :)  

* I'm surprised at what my students fight over.  All of our pencils are just the boring, typical yellow #2 pencils.  When I saw that I was relieved because in some classes that I've subbed in, kids fight over who gets the red/blue/yellow pencil. Hahaha, but I was wrong to think that there would be no problems with the pencils because my students ARE actually arguing over whether or not their pencil's ferrule (the metal band that holds up the eraser) is silver or gold.  They all want to write with the "golden" pencils, and there aren't enough golden pencils for every kid to have one.  

* I truly wish that teachers' salaries were higher in North Carolina, and I'm sure that those who actually teach in NC are with me on this! I've been contemplating moving closer to Denise so that I will be able to see my niece grow up, but this pay scale is pretty dismal.  At least now teachers actually can get raises every 5 years.  During the recession there was a pay freeze meaning NO raises.  

*  Truthfully, I've also been thinking a lot about teaching internationally again.  My fantastic experiences in Korea as an English as a 2nd language teacher are what made me go into teaching in the first place.

* There is a Dunkin' Donuts 2 minutes away from where I'm living now and I'm not sure if that's good or bad.  It might be a little TOO convenient.

*I finally signed up for Influenster after hearing about it *exactly* 39483904839 times.  ;)  I just got the Moda Vox Box in the mail and must say that I cannot wait to try out the Hair Food mask because I'll try anything to help with all the tangles I get.  Plus, I've been meaning to check out a new hair mask for awhile.  Is this even really a confession?  Whatever, I'm going with it.

* Teachers at my school are permitted to wear a school t-shirt and jeans on Friday if they buy a school t-shirt and pay a fee of $25.  I spent the $39 and am dying for my shirt to arrive so I don't have to dress up on Fridays.  This is some of the best money I've ever spent!

* I've heard the stereotype, "Military kids have good behavior" a lot and I'm finding it to be true (which is, of course, awesome!)

* In Ohio, most of my friends were younger than me because I worked at a movie theater and those typically are full of a lot of college students/teenage workers.  Also, most college students I studied education with were traditional students, so they were also younger than me.  At the school I work at now, I think I'm one of the youngest teachers and so the people that I talk to the most (still feel that it's early on to say "friend", haha) are all in their late 40's or in their 50's.    There's nothing wrong with that, but it's just funny that I went from hanging out with almost all 20-somethings to 40 and 50-somethings.  I must say that it's kinda nice to keep getting referred to as "a young person," especially considering I was one of the oldest ones at the movie theater!

* I'm trying really hard to be a cheapskate.  Currently I'm trying to build up my savings account since I had to use up so much of it while I was without a job.  After that, my next goal is to pay off all of one of my student loans that currently has a balance of $6,037.68.    I'm hoping to be able to pay it off in six months, but that might be wishful thinking.

Are you an Influester?  Are most of your friends older, younger, or the same age as you?