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 🙂 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. 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 🙂 So wonderful!


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

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 🙂 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: Mod Podge Misconceptions.

So I attempted a Mod Podge crafting project today… and while I am fairly pleased with how it turned out, it was deceivingly 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: Being Thankful

I have much to be thankful for this year. I may complain (probably daily) about silly little things, but in the BIG PICTURE I am one lucky girl! So as I get ready to sit down and feast on Mama K’s delightful turkey feast (similar to my own a few days prior, wonder where I get my recipes…), I will think about everything that I am thankful for:

  • I am thankful for my health! Lots of crazy things go on with the health of my family members… we are a doctors best dream. Random hearing loss, diverticulitus, broken ankles, Mexican stomach parasites, swollen parotid glands… and that was just a few of THIS YEAR’S health ailments! So I am thankful for my health!
  • I am thankful for my family. We have been through a lot recently, and I think that we have a very special family bond, and I don’t know what I’d do without any of them. Even if Tyler doesn’t want to leave Austin until 9 PM the night before Thanksgiving to drive up to McKinney… yeah Ty – I called you out in my blog post! WHAT!
  • My lovely sister went out and celebrated Thanksgiving with me!

  • I am thankful for my job. I go back and forth on my love/hate relationship with my occupation… but when I realize how many people are still without employment, I am very thankful that I even have a job! I enjoy what I do, I love the end process of working on a play for 9 weeks and seeing the heart and soul that my kids pour in to everything… I get a lot out of it. Not many people can say that!
  • I am thankful for my animal babies. Bear (my 3-yr old golden retriever), Domino (my 1-yr old great dane), and Duck (my 1-yr old crazy cat-dog)… They are each so unique, they are hilarious, they are loving, and they are the sweetest animal babies I could ask for. I love them like they were my kids, because for now – they are!
  • And lastly… but DEFINITELYnot least, I am thankful for Matt. He doesn’t know this (and he’s anti all things socially internet related, so I doubt he’ll read this unless I push my laptop in his face), but he came in to my life at a really weird time. And despite the weird timing, it was also the best timing. He showed me that there was someone good out there who would love me for me. He’s stuck by me through some pretty tough stuff, and I think that the reactions of people when things aren’t going as planned is when you see their true colors. He’s shown me to be supportive, caring, loving, thoughtful, and all around the best man I have ever known. I love you, Matt, and I am so thankful to have you in my life!

    he loves me for me!

So in the spirit of giving thanks… I found this lovely little photo to give you some THANKFUL inspiration:

Now, that's how you stock the fridge!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, think of what you’re thankful for, like Jenna.

Mama K’s Words of Widsom

This just happened, so obviously I had to write a post about it… 🙂

Phone rings…. “Hello?” — it’s my mom

Mama K. “Have you seen all of the pictures that *Vanessa has been posting on facebook recently?”
Me. “Yes….”
Mama K. “Is she back with that boy? Isn’t that the one that hit her?”
Me. “Yeah, I think so…”
Mama K. “Don’t. Ever. Do. That.”

And that was the entire phone conversation… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Mama K!!


*names changed for the safety of those involved.

Firsts: Poll Time – Running Gear

I’ve been getting back in to running lately. I splurged on an awesome pair of running shoes, and now that the weather is changing, I’m needing to get some new running attire… I can’t keep running in yoga pants and cotton shirts! Leave and comment, and suggest the best places to shop for inexpensive running gear. Brand name doesn’t matter to me, as long as I am not sweating profusely after 30 mins of running!

Firsts: Romantic Realizations

So this one is tricky. I am not sure that I feel 100% qualified to be giving any sort of advice on love, relationships, or a combination of the two. However, my many failures and one recent success may be all of the qualification that I need!

Starting out in our 20s, if you are not leaving college with a serious boyfriend and the hopeful promise of an engagement, therefore solidifying your place in a family in the near future, then you are scared sh*t-less of what is going to happen to you. It’s not a bad thing, we are female – we can’t help but insanely freak out about the future; myself included! In fact, I freaked out so much that I actually got engaged my senior year of college, to a person that I loved, but not a person that I was in love with. I just would rather have had that immediate comfort than think of the possibility of being alone. And not realizing that being alone is COMPLETELY OKAY!

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.
(Hamlet, 1.2.123-6)

It’s no coincidence that the above quote about LOVE comes from quite possibly the greatest tragedy of all time. I am not a non-believer of love, trust me, I am currently very much in love. But now looking at things from a different perspective, I realize that I went about it all wrong. And that many girls do before they come to the very same realization that I have. Even now, after having been in another serious relationship for a year 1/2, I am constantly fighting the internal war of marriage that goes on inside my crazy brain. I am in love, I want to be with you forever, so why wait? Well, I’ll tell you why. And here’s another shout out to dear old Mom

You have to be 100% happy with yourself, before you can be 100% happy with someone else. In my previous relationship, I was completely miserable. I hated my life. I tried to fake like things were okay, I made commitments that I thought I should be making because it was supposed to make things better, but it never did. I had to do a lot of soul searching to remember why I loved ME so much. And now, I love me, and I love Matt. And it makes our relationship so much better. Some people are lucky enough to have this confidence early on. But now, teaching girls in middle school, I see more and more of the serious lack of confidence and self-love that is absolutely necessary to make a relationship work.

Don’t rush. Don’t think that just because EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you get on facebook and see 90 more of your friends who are getting engaged or married or having babies, that this has to be you, too. I whole heartedly feel like there is a person out there for everyone. I had to go through hell to find mine, but I ended up in the happiest place I could be.

When you stop looking, that’s when you’ll find it…

just a couple of goofballs.

I felt like this was an important post to end my first day. Starting this blog is my way of saying “take what I’ve learned and run with it!” and this is one of the biggest lessons that I have learned, so far!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, love yourself before anyone else, like Jenna.

Firsts: Thanksgiving Feast!

So this comes with a stipulation… I have made a full Thanksgiving dinner on my own before. But it was last Thanksgiving, and it was just for me and my boyfriend. Needless to say, he’s my guinea pig for almost every homemade meal. I wanted it to be fantastic, but I knew that he’d say it was good no matter what. For that particular feast, my time management was much better. Matt does not usually get home from work until after 8 P.M. so I literally had ALL DAY to prepare. Even if he would have been home early, he would have waited.

So this year I decided to very last minute tackle a Thanksgiving Feast …. for 8 people. Sometimes I get carried away, and I don’t realize until I’ve already invited everyone in my phone book that I converse with on at least a weekly basis, OH CRAP – IT’S 11:30 AM – I WILL HAVE GUESTS OVER IN T-MINUS 7 HOURS AND I HAVE NOT BOUGHT ANYTHING TO PREPARE THIS MEAL.

That’s right. I waited until the morning of to purchase all food expenses. Including the turkey. EPIC FAIL… do not try this at home.

Fortunately, my mother is the most amazing cook I know, and she has passed on several of her abilities to me. I can toss in some spices without accurate measurements, and somehow it still turns out okay. Watching her cook homemade meals every night of the week was a big treasure that not a lot get to find. I feel very lucky! So shout out – thanks, Mom!

Quick break down of how the day went:

11:30 A.M. Go to Kroger, buy all necessary ingredients that I don’t already have.
12:30 P.M. Go to Matt’s apartment, and very quickly run all groceries up 3 flights of stairs, unload, and pull out EVERY pot and pan in his kitchen.
1:00 P.M. I had gotten my pumpkin pie mix all made, and threw that in the oven first (I do this one first, because you usually have to let this refridgerate over night. I was working with 6 hours – so sue me.)
3:oo P.M. Finally got the turkey in the oven. A 16 lb. bird. This equates to at least 5 1/2 hours of cook time. Not okay!

So do the math… my bird was not ready until almost 9 P.M. I luckily have some pretty amazing friends who were content to converse and drink while I frantically got everything prepared. It all turned out AMAZING, despite my serious lack of time management in this scenario.

SO… LESSON LEARNED: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT under prepare your Thanksgiving prep-time! I will forever start my meal making the night before!

Only pre-feasting picture I got! Dericious Cherry Pie.