The most wonderful time of the year

It's that time of year again. The time when I set out to find the perfect Christmas gifts, and end up finding twice as much for myself.

I love all things that have glitter, shine, and sparkle so I'm in heaven now that it's in style!
I also love blazers. They make me feel put together, even when I'm wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
One word. Shoes.
Other pretty things.
This is a perfect sized cosmetic bag to keep in my purse.

images from: J.Crew and Nordstrom


A Little Rant, Sorry :)

I'm SO happy it's Friday and I get all next week off for Thanksgiving break. 

I've only done it for four weeks, but I really, really hate subbing. I have a very Type A personality. I like routines, schedules, structure... basically everything substituting is not. I hate being thrown into a completely unknown situation every single day. I hate not knowing every night before I go to bed where I will be going the next day. I hate not knowing the kids, the staff, the schedule, the routines. I hate how a majority of teachers talk down to me, or just simply don't even acknowledge me, when I went to school just as long, if not longer, than them to be a teacher (I worked with one teacher for an ENTIRE day, and when I saw her in the hall a week later I smiled, waved, and said hi. Her response was to give me a blank stare and keep walking. I've seen her a few times since then and she just avoids eye contact. WTF?). I hate not having any co-workers. I hate when people get annoyed and angry if I accidentally brought the class to lunch TWO minutes early. Anytime the kids are going somewhere I have to find a kid who seems trustworthy to tell me where the cafeteria is, or where they go to recess, or P.E. Sometimes you get kids who think it's funny to tell you the wrong way or lie and say they can do things they can't, so you have to double check everything with the other kids to make sure they are telling you the truth... I hate that too.

Every teacher has a completely different way of doing every single thing. They line up differently, they go to the bathroom differently, they turn their papers in differently... Kids, especially the young ones, are very used to routines so even something as simple as not lining up in the right order completely throws things off and you have spend time getting the class back. This creates a very stressful and absolutely exhausting day.

So if you see me, please don't ask me how I like subbing because the answer will be I. hate. it.

But, on much happier note, I officially got word today that I start my job as a reading intervention teacher on Monday, December 6th! I'll finally have a real job that actually requires all of the hard work I put into my certification and degree. I am still going to sub once, maybe twice a week in order to keep my name out there and continue to meet new teachers and principals, but it's a lot more manageable than doing it as my only job.

Sorry for the rant, but this has been a particularly stressful week! :)


First Paycheck!

I got my very first grown-up paycheck today! I haven't been paid by anyone since December 2009, so this was pretty fantastic. I quit my job in December to do my student teaching until May, and then didn't get to start subbing until October which is why 11 months later... I am just now getting my first check out of college. Too bad it's pretty much all going to my very first student loan payment. Booo. I am going to buy myself a little treat though... I've been wanting these pillows from Target for quite some time, and I'm going to get them this weekend.
They are meant to be bed pillows, but I'm going to be a rebel and use them on our couch like this:
Since my horrible, no good, student loans are now starting to become due Charlie and I are following Dave Ramsey's plan. We've listened to him on the radio for years, but we're just now getting serious about saving and paying off all of our debt. Basically, you only spend cash, use envelopes to budget the cash, and pay off everything like crazy from smallest to largest. If all goes as planned we'll have both our credit cards and one of our cars paid off in the next few months, and the other car and all of my loans paid off in the next 3 years. Three years seems like a long time now, but we're cutting 8 years off the amount of time most people take to pay them. So far using cash has worked really well. When the envelope is empty you simply stop spending money in that category. Easy, huh? 

I'm in charge of the grocery buying and set our budget to $50 a week. I used to spend over $100 a week on just myself, so this has been quite a challenge. But I'm happy to report that I'm buying double what I used to and using more name brands than I ever have before AND still staying at $50 a week. How? I plan ahead what I'm going to buy and stick to the list. I also use two amazing websites that I highly recommend if you want to save money at the grocery store: 

These easily save me 50% just by using them and matching the coupons with the sales. We also have a Kroger down here which makes everything SO much cheaper. Just today I bought $134.70 in groceries for $50.57, saving $84.13! 

It takes some getting used to and you have to be patient, but it really works. I hated it at first and wasn't very good at it, but now it's like a game and I try to beat my percentage that I saved each time I go... which I just realized makes me sound like an old lady. Oh well.


Guest Bedroom

We finally got a bed in our guest bedroom, so now I get to decorate! I stumbled on this picture from House of Hargrove and I'm in love!
Isn't the frame above the bed such a great idea?! Now I'm on a mission to find such a massive frame without spending a massive price. Any ideas?

She also had this idea:
I HATE our huge bathroom mirrors, and this is such a quick and easy fix!

My friend, Erin always has such great decorating ideas. She found this linen duvet that I'm dying to have. We already have the sheets and bed skirt, so it wouldn't be a major purchase. I'd put this one in our bedroom and use the comforter that we currently have in the master bedroom in our guest bedroom!


And One More Thing...

I finally got my Texas teaching certificate! No more explaining my crazy situation to everyone, because I CAN LEGALLY TEACH IN TEXAS!!!

I've been trying to get it since July, but they had lost my paperwork and then misfiled my fingerprint information causing a mess. I've sent many faxes and been on countless calls with the TEA to get it straightened out, so this is a huge relief.

Wedding Dress

My wedding dress arrived from J Crew on Friday! I really love it, and it has Charlie's approval too. I'm not letting him see me in it until the wedding day, but I definitely want to make sure I get something that he likes too. It looks exactly like I imagined, and the best part is, it has pockets. LOVE!

I'm still not positive it's THE one, but we'll find out soon when I do some major shopping in Chicago!

My New Friend

Charlie's parents came to visit us for the first time this weekend, and we had a lot of fun. We  ate and shop, shop, shopped! I also got my way cool birthday gift from them. A LABEL MAKER! If you know how completely OCD I am about organization, then you can understand how great I think this is.

Here is what I've accomplished today:
When we moved I unpacked and put everything in a place, and Charlie always got frustrated when he couldn't find something, so this is great for him also.

And for some more good news...

This past week I didn't have time to go to the gym, so I only got in 45 min walks with the doggie, and since we had company, I ate my heart out. I'm talking veggie burgers (not the healthy kind), cheese fries, chocolate chip cookies, chips, pizza, spaghetti... you name it, it probably went into my face this weekend. I only weigh myself once a week, and I had already had a huge breakfast, so needless to say I was terrified to do it today and lose all the progress I had been making. This was my lucky week though, because I actually lost weight! Woo hoo!


New Job!

I'm so excited!!! I just got offered a job as a part-time reading intervention teacher at an elementary school where I've been subbing! The lady that I spoke with told me that it is where a lot of teachers start out until they get hired full-time, so hopefully this will lead into a position with my own classroom!