Mama K’s Words of Widsom

This just happened, so obviously I had to write a post about it… ๐Ÿ™‚

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: Finding Boots That Fit

Boots. It’s a current fashion trend. It’s a trend that I LOVE. However, I have had the most ridiculously difficult time finding boots that fit… See, I have a problem. It’s called Gigantic Calfitis… It’s true. I have big calves. My entire life I have been, shall we say, a “stocky” girl. I’m an athlete, and my muscles don’t disappear! I am short, I am by no means fat, but I am not skinny minnie – which is who these boots are made for. Unless you have calves that are not a comparable size to your equally gigantic thighs – it will be nearly impossible to find boots that fit. And forget tucking your boots into your jeans! It’s just not happening… So I did some research. I have now found 2 pairs of boots that I LOVE, and can wear without suffocating my calves and giving myself muffin top of the knees! That’s not cute on anyone.

Steve Madden: Intyce (retails at $149.95)

When I bought these boots at the Steve Madden store, they were able to add another notch into the buckle. This helped MILLIONS. Did you know that they would do that? Next time you find boots you love with a buckle, but they are just a bit too snug at the top, ask for another notch!

Motorcycle Boots (Frye $218.00 at Belk)

These are not the exact boots that I have, but they are so close it’s scary! Motorcycle boots are rough & tough, and usually made with a wider opening at the top. When you ride a motorcycle, you need to be able to tuck your pants legs into your boots (practicality and style – what more could you ask for?!). And you’ll look like a chick who can kick some ass in these bad boys!

Steve Madden: Prepie (retails at $79.95)

ย I’m hoping to get these boots in the VERY near future!

Why I think these will work: they have a wider opening in the top, and a buckle. I can add a notch to the buckle to make the boots a little bit more loose if necessary. I am going to wear my skinny jeans to purchase these, just to make sure I don’t waste money on boots that won’t fit!

My tips for buying boots if you have big calves like me:

  1. Look for a boot with a wider opening in the top. Some come with a cut in the back that also helps make them fit better.
  2. Find a boot with a buckle – and ask to add an extra notch!
  3. Don’t try to cram your lovely legs in to something that you know won’t work. You can follow the trend without looking like you have sausage legs!
  4. Wear the jeans that you will wear with your boots when you go shopping. Then you’ll know FOR SURE if they will work!

I hope that this helps someone! Sometimes you just have to OWN your legs – and realize that they won’t fit into every pair of boots that you want … but just like boys, the right boot is out there!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, keep up the boot search, like Jenna.

Firsts: Make a List and Check It Twice!

As I said in an earlier post… I LOVE MAKING LISTS. I find that this really helps me to stay organized, and attempt to stay productive and on task ๐Ÿ™‚ I make a list for everything… I make a To-Do list everyday, I have a grocery list, I make packing lists for vacations, I have a gift giving list, you name the task – I will make a list for it.

So here are some examples of the lists that I use… feel free to copy & modify if you are a list making junkie like me! If not, then you should definitely become one!

TO DO LIST

Grocery Shopping List

Monthly Budget

Camping Packing Listย — this comes from MANY years of camping (my entire life!)

The Universal Packing Listย — this is the most amazing site for packing lists! I use this for every trip!

Gift Giving List

…. you can make a list for everything. Organization is vital to staying sane and successful. Don’t let this become you:

Happy List Making!!

If at FIRST you don’t succeed, make a list like Jenna.

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.ย 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: Budgets Schmudgets

I hate budgeting. No, hate is not a strong enough word. I LOATHE budgeting. But, fight as I may against my finance major mother, it is 100% necessary in order to be financially secure. Notice I did not say STABLE. You can live paycheck-to-paycheck and be stable. But what happens when you have a flat tire, and it’s the end of the pay month so your funds are, shall we say, shallow, and you don’t have the money to purchase a new tire? So now you have no car, and can’t get to work? My, my…

Here is what I do:

Every month, I make a list (I am a big fan of lists, it’s how I survive).

*pictures of my To-Do lists will be added soon!*

I start with the total amount that I am paid each month. Then I add up all necessary bills. To me, these include:

  1. Rent
  2. Electric Bill
  3. TV/Internet Bill
  4. Cell Phone
  5. Car Insurance
  6. Washer/Dryer Rental (yes, I rent my W/D…)
  7. Groceries (I try to give myself a set spending limit on this every month)
  8. Pets (I have 2 dogs and a cat)
  9. Palm Beach Tan (one of my many vices…)
  10. LA Fitness
  11. Toll Tag Fees
  12. Renters Insurance
Now. I can obviously scrimp on some of these things, by not tanning and by not going to the gym. But these are ME things that I have worked for. I only have them now, because I have worked for them. But guess what, after paying all of the “necessary” bills – there really isn’t much left over!
I do not add in spending for entertainment, outings with friends, etc. Because, really to me, I can never live up to that expectation. I will always go over. However, I do manage that spending …ย I have the CHASE BANK app on my iPhone. I log in to this DAILY, sometimes more than once a day, just to check on myself and see what I’ve been spending. If I notice I’m spending too much in one area, then I stop.
I also try to set aside a tiny bit of money every month for savings. $6.50 per week, to be exact. Does not sound like a lot, and it doesn’t have to be. But at the end of the year, when I’ve got a couple hundred bucks saved up, and then next year it’s a couple hundred more, I will be thanking myself ๐Ÿ™‚
If at FIRST you don’t succeed – make a list like Jenna.

Business Casual … Or Night at The Roxbury?

Recently, my mom has been “trying on” different jobs. The latest was working in a doctor’s office at the front desk. Immediately she felt out of place, as the Office Manager was no older than my younger sister (who is 23), and had zero college education. There was one other woman who was close to my mom’s age, but the other girls were all in their early – mid 20s.

Among other things, what my mom and I discussed most about this experience, was the unimaginable lack of knowledge on how to DRESS PROFESSIONALLY. I consider myself lucky (yes I said it – LUCKY) to have been in a sorority in college. We had to dress a certain way based on the occasion, and we learned very quickly what was and what was not appropriate to wear. I am completely blown away at how young woman dress in the work place.

Being a teacher, I can get away with much more casual business attire. But if you work in an office, you MUST learn to present yourself in a professional way. If you don’t look professional, people will not treat you professional. FACT OF LIFE. I’m not here to judge, but to help… so here are a few outfits that I think are completely business attire appropriate, while still maintaining a youthful mid-20s fashionista flair:

This comes from http://www.LOFT.com - this is my absolute favorite GO-TO site for incredibly cute work attire.

This comes from http://www.JCREW.com ... Now we can't all afford to shop at J.Crew, even though we want to, but you can find amazing knock offs at places like Target and Marshalls.

http://www.modcloth.com -- absolute favorite website in the world! This is trendy, adorable, and still appropriate for the workplace!

I hope that these ideas inspire you to reassess your work place wardrobe… Something I always tell my students: “There is a time and a place, and this is neither the time nor place.” Keep the workplace conservative (yet cute!) and save the spike heels and mini skirts for the weekends.

If at FIRST you don’t succeed – get ideas from Jenna ๐Ÿ™‚