Trendy Teacher in the Summer

I always struggle with my summer-wear…. It is summertime, yes. HOWEVER – I am always in “teacher mode”. Living somewhat close to where my school is located, means that the chances of me running into a student, well, ANYWHERE, is 100%. Just the other night, Matt and I went to dinner and a movie, and sure enough, walking out of the movie I hear “Hey Ms. K!” SO, how do I dress trendy during the summer and still conservatively enough that I feel comfortable if the inevitable run-in with a student happens?

Some don’t care. I, on the other hand, tend to dress more toward the conservative regardless. I don’t like super short shorts (although they are growing on me… yikes!), I don’t like showing a lot of cleavage, and I am not typically drawn to “scandalous” clothing. So where do I shop? That is a question I hear often, during the school year and in our off months. I love the following (and they offer teacher discounts!):

  1. Ann Taylor LOFT (www.loft.com) is my absolute FAVORITE place in the world. They have a “LOFT Loves Teachers” program, which gives you 15% off anytime you shop. Amazeballs!
  2. J.Crew (www.jcrew.com) – I try to hit up the outlet as often as possible. But I am still a sucker for anything J.Crew! Most stores will offer in-store discounts if you show your teacher ID, so don’t go shopping without it! But their clothes are extremely trendy, and also very conservative. I try to go for the 5″ length shorts, and I always feel like I’m covered enough to feel comfortable seeing students outside of school.
  3. Steve Madden (www.stevemadden.com) – where I buy almost 85% of my shoes. The other 15% are heels reserved for fancy outings, and not shoes that I’d wear to work ๐Ÿ™‚ But again – teacher discount! Show your Teacher ID! I don’t leave home without it.

I will post some of my summer outfits throughout the summer… do not fear!! But checkout those 3 sites, or go in to the stores, and pretty much anything you choose will make you feel happy, and quite the trendy teacher ๐Ÿ™‚

LOFT … LOVE!

Skirts that Work

So I am truly NOT a skirt fan… I wish I was, but my short stature and squatty figure typically don’t lend themselves to a flattering appearance in a skirt. If I find one I like, it almost never fits correctly. But that is the usual with most clothing items! Me and my tailor are BFF’s. However… sometimes at work, I just gotta wear a skirt!

Now because I am such a huge fan of extremely bright colors, I try to stick with that trend regardless of what I am wearing. (I even wear colored jeans on “casual Friday’s”!!) So here are just a couple of pictures of recent “skirt outfits” that I have worn to work. I try to keep the skirt length long but functional, and always make the full outfit something fun to look at. Hey – us drama geeks can get away with crazy outfits and generally no one questions what we’re wearing … comes with the territory, I s’pose! ๐Ÿ™‚

Top: J.Crew
Skirt: Express (several years old)
Wedges: Bakers
Belt: Forever21 (came on a different skirt)
Necklace: Nordstrom

Skirt: Forever21
Belt: H&M
T-shirt: J.Crew
Cardigan: Target
Necklace: ModCloth
Shoes: Steve Madden

YIPEE! BRIGHT PANTS!

I truly LOATHE when someone hears that I am a middle school theatre teacher, and immediately puts me into a “category” without ever having met me. And then when they do meet me it’s, “Oh, wait … YOU’RE a middle school theatre teacher?” … YES SIREE BOB! I am a fan of breaking the mold! Been doing it all my life, so why stop now?!

I am a huge fan of BRIGHT PANTS. I love pants, and even better when they come in super bright attention getting colors!! So here are some of my recent outfits that I wear to work (to teach children…. the art of acting and designing for the THEATRE) that include my wide array of colorful pants. They have kind of become my trademark ๐Ÿ™‚

And please excuse the iPhone pictures in my classroom full-length mirrors… when you’re at school/around 11-14 yr olds for upwards of 13 hours per day; sometimes that’s all you can come up with!!

Pants: LOFT
Tank: Nordstrom
Belt: H&M
Shoes: Steve Madden
Necklace: Nordstrom

Pants: LOFT
Top: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Target
Shoes: Steve Madden

Pants: Express
White Tank: Nordstrom
Necklace: Nordstrom
Cardigan: Forever21
Shoes: DV Dolce Vita

Pants: J.Crew
Top: Old Navy
Necklace: Nordstrom
Shoes: Sole Society (my fave!)
Belt: Target

Ever-Changing…

Along with my life, my blog ideas are ever-changing!

I think that I got off track before, because I was very scattered… I had too many ideas, and couldn’t exactly find the best way to “center” all of my ideas. It wasn’t until recently when I discovered what I was really passionate about!

My entire life I have helped my younger sister… whether she wanted it or not. Helped do her hair, makeup, and pick out her outfits. We always joked that when I moved away and went to college that her fashion level fell way below zero! (hehe, love you Er Bear!) When she started her teaching job, she was always conflicted about what to wear. See… we have the “I look like I am 12 even though I’m in my 20’s” syndrom! So imagine teaching middle school (me) or high school (my sister) when you look like your students! Finding outfits to wear that are professional, but still make you feel like you’re “stylish” and not “frumpy” is not an easy task… you can very easily go from “cute professional teacher” to “13 year old tramp” if you aren’t careful! (please excuse the analogy, but uhm, I think teaching for 4 years now warrants me SOME sort of leniency!)

So I have decided to make some CHANGES … and start to center my super fun blog around the outfits I wear, to keep me looking professional, while still remaining the FASHION DIVA OF THE SCHOOL. Even though I am a teacher, and a theatre teacher at that (let the stereotypes roll!!!) I REFUSE to let that inhibit my attire. I wear what I want!

I hope that this can be an inspiration to whomever decides to pay attention…. I love putting together fun outfits. I actually get sad when people other than my kiddos don’t get to see how cute I look ๐Ÿ™‚ And the EXTREMELY TRUTHFUL stereotype of a drama queen: I LOVE the spotlight!!

Firsts: Spring Cleaning

Something that I dread (and not just in the spring time) is cleaning… To say that I am neat and tidy is a complete understatement!! When I was little, I would get punished because of my “cleaning strategies”. I liked to make piles, and put everything in nice neat piles around my room. I referred to it as “Organized Chaos” – I always knew where everything was!

But now that I am older, and a *coughcough* adult, I had to take a serious approach to dun dun dunnnn SPRING CLEANING.ย I was actually very excited, and now that my closet has space and extra hangars, and my patio is cute and adorable, I am so thankful that I did this!!

I decided that in order to make my spring cleaning goals realistic and attainable, I would just shoot for 3 things: my closet, my dresser, and my patio. And I’m happy to say – it’s done, it only took 2 days, and it’s CLEAN!!

When it comes to clothes, shoes, and accessories: I am a pack rat. I love my clothes, and I hold on to things FOR.EV.ER. I had items in my closet that haven’t been worn in 6+ years, and I didn’t even know were still in there! Sad.

So here are my tips for purging your closet:

  1. If you haven’t worn it in over a year – you probably won’t wear it again. Get rid of it!
  2. If it doesn’t fit, don’t hold out that you’ll lose or gain the weight and keep it for those occasions. Get rid of it!
  3. If they went out of style, it will probably be a long time until they’re back in style. Unless you’re not scared of making a big crazy statement – Get rid of it!
  4. If you bought it, but never wore it, and it’s still hanging in there with the tags on it… Get rid of it!
  5. If it will look better on someone else (mom, sister, friend) give it to them. and Get rid of it!

I did this. I invited my sister over, and she took 4 big bags FULL of clothes and shoes for herself, her roommate, and the girl she babysits. Awesome! I also had her help me go through all of my stuff and pull “brand name” items that are still somewhat in style, so that I can attempt to sell them at Plato’s Closet. Everything else is going to Goodwill. I get a receipt for a tax write off, and I also have a functional closet again! It’s huge! I forgot how much I loved my big walk-in until everything unnecessary was out and I can see the floor ๐Ÿ™‚ So wonderful!

 

If at first you don’t succeed, do spring cleaning like Jenna!

Firsts: Innovative Outfits!

As part of my new years resolutions, creating Innovative Outfits fits into about 3 of my goals…

With the wonderful popularity of sites like Pinterest and Polyvore, there is never an excuse for wearing adorable and stylish outfits. However, I promised myself that this year would be the year of my financial success, which has to include cutting back on spending in order to save. And what is the most obvious place to start cutting back? Well, unfortunately for a self-proclaimed fashionista like myself, that place is clothes… and shoes… and sweaters… and SADDNESS!! Right?

WRONG! After spending a sad Sunday flipping through adorable outfits on my Pinterest boards, I started realizing that I have almost every piece of clothing that I saw in some of my favorite outfits! It may not be exactly the same, but close enough to make the outfits work, and to look up-to-date, modern, and fashion forward just by pairing things together that are in my closet, that I never would have thought to. BINGO!!

So in my attempts to make a weekly blog post, I will now be including my outfit inspirations, and the result from my wardrobe. And I challenge everyone who reads this post to do the same! Go through your closet. Toss (or donate!) things you know you’ll never wear again, and then start looking closer at what pieces you have. You’d be amazed at what you can put together to make the most fantastic outfits!

So stay tuned!! Starting this week – I will post my outfits, my inspirations, and where to purchase posted items. I know, I know, I said don’t spend… but sometimes purchasing those classic pieces in the perfect style and fit, means an addition that will last for years! Just don’t go out and purchase that SWEET hot pink feather dress. I promise you will regret it. And sooner than you think… eeek!!

If at first you don’t succeed, make FASHION finance-friendly, like Jenna!

Firsts: A New Year!

So yes, January is almost over… and I have been seriously lackadaisical about my blog posting responsibilities. But never fear! A new year means a new me! Every year is a chance to start over, right? Right! So along with the 14 other items on my list of things to accomplish in 2012, I will add weekly blog post to that list! So for your viewing pleasure, here are my 2012 Goals in List form! (because I love making lists, duh…)

  1. Stop unnecessary spending
  2. Be innovative in my outfit making
  3. Open a savings account (finally!!)
  4. Run a 5k (registered for one in March!!)
  5. Run a 1/2 Marathon (by the end of the year…)
  6. Start a business (S&J Events – look us up!!)
  7. Book at least 3 weddings for S&J Events this year
  8. Buy a new car
  9. Find a fitness plan that I like & stick to it
  10. STOP cutting my hair! (I want to donate to Locks of Love!)
  11. Go on at least 2 adventures to new places
  12. Add a puppy to our brood….
  13. Make a better effort to stay connected with college friends
  14. Attack my list of DIY projects!
  15. … MAKE AT LEAST A WEEKLY BLOG POST!

So there’s my list! I am going to make huge attempts at achieving every item on that list by the end of this year. I love setting goals that are actually reachable, versus goals that I know are impossible to accomplish in the time that I want to. I think this is a good list ๐Ÿ™‚ 2012 is looking BRIGHT! (and I’m not talking about my new FABULOUS red pants!)

And 29 days late…. but better late than never! Happy New Year!!

Firsts: An ANTHROPOLOGICAL Discovery!

I will NOT apologize for my ANTHROPOLOGIE obsession. However, the few times I have splurged, I have apologized to my bank account…

NEVER FEAR! RUCHE IS HERE!! I almost don’t want to share, but it’s too good to be true! You have to check this out: Ruche

I am also a huge ModCloth fan. Always will be. They appeal to my love of all things vintage-y. But new finds are fun and exciting ๐Ÿ™‚ And this site just gives me goosebumps thinking of all the fun places I want to wear these clothes! You must see it to believe it!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this outfit!!

Firsts: Mod Podge Misconceptions.

So I attempted a Mod Podge crafting project today… and while I am fairly pleased with how it turned out, it wasย deceivinglyย difficult to use! If you are a first time Mod Podg-er, I would definitely watch a tutorial first!

Here’s one I just looked up real quick, in case you’re in the crafting market for some mod podge action…

Mod Podge: How-To Video

I attempted scrapbook paper on canvas. I do like the outcome of my project, but it wasn’t easy. I had to do several coats, and the air bubbles were not easy to get out. I definitely needed another tool to help with this. I ended up only doing 2 of my 4 canvases, because I got so frustrated… but that’s just my momentary lack of patience! Needless to say, I will absolutely try using Mod Podge again. But, if you’re thinking of doing a Mod Podge craft project, don’t enter blindly!

My finished project.

 

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, live & learn like Jenna.

Firsts: T-Shirt Scarves!

So I’ve wanted to try this… and wanted to find the EASIEST possible way to make a t-shirt scarf, without any sewing. And here is what I found! Follow along as I make my FIRST t-shirt scarf! *Special shout-out to Matt who was either taking pictures, or holding the scarf steady for me… :)*

STEP ONE: Pick a shirt! I have TONS of t-shirts I never wear, so I figured it was a good project to tackle!

Domino loves crafting, too!

STEP TWO: Cut the shirt from armpit-to-armpit.

STEP THREE: Cut the bottom seam off of the shirt.

STEP FOUR: Start cutting 1″ strips in the shirt, leaving about 1″ at the top. I’ll explain why later!

STEP FIVE: When you’ve cut strips all the way across, you will start pulling the strips to make the longer!

*What I learned here: Don't cut the strips too thin - or they will break during this step!*

STEP SIX: Then you will bunch it all together, using the extra 1″ that you left at the end…

STEP SEVEN: I cut off the sleeve of another shirt, and used it to tie this together. I found a color that I liked with lime green (teal!) so that the overall scarf would be something I’d actually wear…. duh.

STEP EIGHT: You are done! I added a braid in with some of the strands…

And you’ve just made a t-shirt scarf! 3 cheers!! I have lots of shirts left… this literally took me about 10 minutes when I finally figured out what I was doing ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy scarf-making!

 

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, check out Jenna’s scarf-making tutorials!