Friday, May 30, 2014

High Five for Friday 5.29

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! 
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My first four exciting things that happened this week are all from my fantastic Memorial Day weekend (official start of summer - even though we still have another week of school. boo!) And, while I am the first to admit that I am NOT an outdoors/camping person, I got a lot of sun and fresh air and loved it!

1. Friday night Kasey and I went on a date night to watch the Burlington Bees get a big win against Peoria. The weather was beautiful!

2. We have almost lived a whole month in our new house. And we spent quite a bit of the weekend doing house chores - mowing, weeding, cleaning, and yard work at the old lot. Unfortunately, now that we've started it seems like new weeks pop up every few minutes!

3. On Saturday night we joined friends on a Cedar River sandbar. Their family was camping on the sandbar (tent and everything) for the weekend. It was so relaxing - and their young girls were having a blast running in and out of the water. 

4. We had extra family time at the cabin on Sunday. Lots of good food. And lots and lots of bug spray!

5. My coworkers and I threw a bridal shower for a teammate who is getting married this summer. The theme was adorable -- and I can't wait to share details with you next week!

I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Workout Tank Refashion

This is my first ever tutorial. Bear with me...

I have one Target tank that I absolutely love - and probably should have bought in every single color when it was available a few years ago. But I didn't. And the one that I do own will be worn over and over and over in the summer. I've seen several tutorials for workout tank refashions on Pinterest -- but really never had the urge to follow any of them.

But, I now have a garden to weed and a workout schedule to follow. So I am looking for a tank I can wear outside that will give me just enough sun without being too immodest. I decided to step out of my comfort zone a little and make refashion my own!

I started with a tshirt that I only kind-of liked -- I didn't want to experiment on any of my favorites just yet! 

You will need:
Tshirt to refashion
Your-absolutely-favorite-Target tank

1. I turned both the tshirt and Target tank inside out and put one inside the other so I could use the Target tank as a guide. I carefully (and as lightly as possible) drew a dotted guideline for myself on the tshirt. I only traced the neck line (front and back) and the places for the arms. The tshirt ended up being longer than my favorite tank, but I liked it that way and didn't plan to trim any off.

I tried to be a precise as possible -- but was doing it inside out, so I had a little wiggle-room for mistakes!

2. Next, I put the Target tank aside (it has already done it's job) and carefully cut along my markings. This turned out to be the most challenging part. I'm not used to cutting material -- so I had to remind myself more than once to go slowly so I didn't end up with a choppy, ragged edge!

3. Once I finished cutting (and then went back and smoothed out some of my edges) I turned the new workout tank right side out and examined my work! My shoulder straps (the distance between the neckline and arms) turned out a little uneven, so I trimmed one up a bit free-hand. 

4. After trying it on, I did decide to trim the bottom hemline off -- not because I wanted it any shorter -- but because I had already removed all the other hemlines and I thought it looked a little random to keep only one. I'm still rethinking this decision!

5. Lastly, I used half of the removed bottom hemline to tie up the back razorback. This was a step that I saw in the online tutorials, but that I wasn't sure about. In the end, having the tie really helped to keep the refashioned tank in place while I was moving around. 

I just wrapped the hemline around the back and tied it -- then slid it to the right spot once I had the workout tank on. I'm not sure how well this wrap-job will hold up in the wash, and might take another step out of my comfort zone and sew it in place on future refashions!

Overall, it works great!! I wore it while doing a workout video last week. I don't plan on wearing it out and about (at least not this one!) but I think it's going to be perfect for chores around the house. It covers enough to be comfortable, but also allows a lot of breathing room for the summer heat! (Especially when I stretched it a little!)

Linking up with Molly & Carly (a day late) for Funday Monday!


Friday, May 23, 2014

High Five For Friday! 5.23

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday! 
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1. I love the end of the year - mostly because it celebrates all the awesome things that students and staff have done all year long. So far, we have had some great celebrations including a field trip to the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week with cake!

2. Contrary to the cake and Mountain Dew in this post (whoops!) I have been succeeding in my goal to be healthier! I already have two workouts done of the week and have a third one one planned for tomorrow. Baby steps, people!

3. I am so excited about everything spring-related right now! Especially fashion - I have started going through all the clothes that were in storage over the winter (and bought a few new springy pieces - like this maxi skirt from Target. Love!).

4. The end of the school year has also meant lots and lots of work! I have been finishing grades, doing my last lesson planning, and cleaning my classroom (this is my fourth move -- I'm a pro!). And I have been fueling it all with Mountain Dew and graduation-party cake. 

5. I am so looking forward to another weekend -- and this one has three days! I am looking forward to spending some quality time relaxing with my family and husband -- only 8 days left of school (although my homeroom has had a paper chain counting down since 40!)

I have also been rocking my 10 Goals for May -- check it out! I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

10 Goals for May

I really, really, really like lists. I make lists for myself everyday and most of the time my emails and notes to students are also in list form. It keeps things (mostly me) organized.

So, I'm going to really try and transfer my list-making into a lot of productivity. Thanks to Back to Her Roots for the great ideas for goals - and for being a great inspiration! Hopefully setting goals helps focus my month. 

Here's a list of my goals -- and what I've been able to accomplish in the first 15 days.

Home Goals
1. Purchase and Set-up New Furniture. We are all moved and all our 'old' furniture has a home, but moving also included shopping! We have already made one trip to IKEA and have that furniture assembled, but we are still waiting on our new couch and arm chair to be delivered.

2. Organize the Office. Our new office quickly became the dumping ground for boxes and things that were moved, but didn't have another home. Cleaning and organizing this room is the final step in the big move!

3. Take a trip to Goodwill. I think I've finally realized that we have too many things - something my husband has been saying all along. This month I would like to make one - of hopefully many - trips to Goodwill and/or Stuff etc. to minimize our life. 

Work Goals
4. Clean & Organize my Classroom. Along with cleaning, organizing, and moving our home, I will also be moving my classroom for the fall. With the help of my students, I will hopefully declutter my work things and get them all packed up in a few boxes before June 5th!

5. Stay Current on Grades. I've talked many times about how busy the spring semester is at school. To help enjoy all the planning and celebrating, I need to not let the papers stack up!

6. Visit the Teacher Librarians at my New Job. It is still overwhelming to think about all the changes that will happen after this school year, but to help make the transition smoother, I would like to take a day (or two) to visit Muscatine High School and see the current library and staff in action. I've already visited once - and it was as informative as it was overwhelming - but I hope to visit again before this school year is out.

Personal Goals
7. Work Out. This one doesn't need much explanation - I have let everything else come before exercise lately. Especially with the weather changing for the better, woking out and going for walks needs to be a priority. 

8. Finish and Submit my Thesis Proposal. Done and done! This was a great one to cross off the list on May 5th. Although I have more to do this summer and even more to do this fall, I am taking a break from graduate school work for the rest of May!

9. Buy a Car. This one is also done! After a lot of discussion - this was the first 'big' purchase of our married life -  Kasey and I decided on a 2013 Ford Escape. Her name is Ruby.

10. Find and Commit to Two Blog Link-ups. This one is going to be the hardest for me. Like working out - I haven't made blogging a priority lately. I enjoy doing it very much, but it often gets bumped to the bottom of my list. I am going to try and commit to two link-ups a week for the last 2 weeks in May.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Liebster Award

While I was on my hiatus (that sounds a lot better than I-was-so-overwhelmed-with-life-that-I-lost-all-motivation-to-do-anything-for-about-a-month), Becky at bybmg nominated me for a Liebster Award... I am new to the blogger world -- so I don't know much about this, but was excited to learn that it was an easy challenge and a great opportunity to learn share a little it more about myself!

Here are my answers to her fun questions...

1. If you were a color, what would you be and why?
Purple. It seems like such a versatile color -- I love that it can be royal and luxurious and also light and springy. 

2. What's something that you've made that you're proud of?
While I am not the craftiest or most creative person ever, I am really proud of how the decorations turned out for our wedding. They took a lot of help - my grandma sewed all 60+ table runners and my sister hot glued 30+ flower centerpieces - but I made all of the decisions and did most of the planning. It was a simple style (which I loved) and included gray and blue (which my husband loved). 

3. If you could have a shopping spree of $500 in one store, which store would you pick? What would you buy?
Target. And all the things. Seriously though, this is the one store where I need to be watched. I loose all track of time and money and logic.

4. What's the last book you read?
The graphic novel of The Red Pyramid by Rick Roirdan

5. What is one invention you think the world is missing?
A teleportation device... I am a commuter!

6. What's in your purse?
I am a full purse kind of person - but some of the staples in my purse are: my Gap wallet, a Vera Bradley gift-card and coupon holder, my Weight Watchers keychain, a pouch made from a TOMS flag that holds all my 'extras', a Target reusable shopping bag, my sunglasses, my iPhone and charger, Damsel in Defense pepper-spray, and my keys. 
Sometimes there are random snacks floating around the bottom of the bag -- but I've been trying to keep things pretty organized lately.

7. What is one beauty product you can't live without?
Mascara. I will not and can not leave the house without mascara on -- I don't think I'm too obsessive (I don't re-apply during the day and I'm very mindful of clumps) but it is a necessity in my life. It's a little thing that makes me feel a whole lot better about myself!

8.  When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A ballerina.

9. What was your first car?
My first car was a red, two-door Ford Aspire (google it for a good laugh). My favorite part was that it was a manual transmission -- I have always been proud of my ability to drive a stick and my current car is also one (which saves us a little money on gas!). 

10. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
This was a hard question... and I'm worried that my answer is too limited - it doesn't seem like a very global change, but it's something that I see impact my life and my students.
I would change the fact that we (as a society) are constantly labeling each other. It feels like there is so much pressure to fit different labels: athlete, nature-lover, fashionista, crafter -- even my students feel pressured to fit into a specific label given to them by friends or family. I want kids (and adults) to feel free to experience and enjoy aspects of many different labels. You don't have to be a certain kind of woman or a certain kind of blogger -- we can all choose to do the things that make us feel comfortable and happy.

11. If you had a day to yourself, what would you do?
I would spend the day catching up on my dvd and Netflix lists. I am ridiculously into reality shows lately -- but it isn't something that my husband and I watch together. Having a day alone to enjoy watching TV and get some extra work done around the house doesn't sound glamorous -- but it's something I don't get to do very often.