Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope you all are having a fabulous week. I have a few new items in my closet that I was able to wear out this weekend. First, I have been coveting a gorgeous statement necklace from J.Crew for quite some time. It is simply gorgeous but I have this rule about statement necklaces - I try to only purchase statement pieces that are under $50 since they are purely costume jewelry. So no J. Crew coral rosette necklace for me (it was ringing in at $148) or so I thought. Enter GroopDealz. A couple weeks ago they posted a knockoff in one of their flash boutiques and I was all over that before it sold out.

I was pretty proud of my thrifty-ness so I purchased another bow back top to wear with it. This time I chose white and found it on sale. I broke out my new Target Marguerite wedges that I had to search 6 different Targets to find in my size and wore this look to a party on Saturday:

I'd gotten a manicure on Friday with a gift card one of my sweet kiddos gave me for Christmas so I decided to wear coral accessories all weekend. This shade is California Coral by Essie, I believe.

On Friday night we did a happy hour and dinner with a few friends. It was so warm during the day that I planned to wear this short sleeve Lilly top. Then, I took Riley out before I left and realized it had gotten really cold really quickly so I ended up wearing a long sleeve version of this top. The statement necklace is from Red Dress Boutique. 
I only documented one work outfit this week. The pants are from Express, the wrap top has a really cute polka dot pattern on it and is from Banana Republic. I wore my TB Sophie wedges that Corey gave me for my birthday. 

So Kerri and I have been chatting about the linkup and we really want YOUR opinion. What do you think so far? Is this something you like seeing weekly or do you think you'd prefer if we posted WIWW less often? How can we motivate you to join in?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Home is Where Your Husband Is

I happened upon this pin on Ms. Mia Maree's blog about a year ago and its something that's been on my mind ever since. I really like being here this time of year when the weather is starting to be nicer. There are sidewalk tables set up on all the restaurant patios and street festivals to wander through in Manhattan.  I like living minutes from Manhattan for all the entertainment and delicious food it has to offer. But it is not home.

We're in this place where we know we'll be moving this summer but we don't know all the specifics yet. We could move out to the suburbs and have a lot more space. Corey could be transferred with his job. We could be sent a lot closer to home - or a lot further away.

Family is so important to me so I feel like I often struggle being far away from my parents, especially because I am an only child. I feel guilt for not being able to see them on every holiday and for missing birthdays and Mother's Days and Father's Days.

When I feel bummed or lost, I find myself thinking about the road that led me to where I am. When I started this blog, I'd already accepted that I was moving to New Jersey and that I was leaving my home, my friends, my school behind.  When Corey was offered his current job in New Jersey he asked for my input and selfishly I wanted to throw a temper tantrum and tell him he shouldn't take it. But, I knew it was good for his career, so I said I supported him 110%. (Ok, maybe I said I supported him 90%).

I helped him pack up his house and booked some plane tickets in advance so I could come visit. Then, in the following months I went to my grad classes, went to work every day, and was sick missing him. I tried to have as many father-daughter lunch dates as possible, as many wine nights with my mom as I could, and lots of shopping and dinner dates with my friends. Then, the day after I completed my master's coursework, I headed here to New Jersey and got settled into our new home.  Its been a lot of fun living here but there have definitely been many, many times where I was in tears feeling homesick for all the people back home-home that I love and miss. No matter what, though, I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Its difficult to be patient and content at times, but I never feel more homesick than I do when I'm away from my sweet husband.  I know that my home, truly is, wherever he is (and Riley, too, of course).

So now, as things fall together for our future, I try to remind myself to be patient over the coming month. It will all work out and when it does, I'll never have an Empire State Building view from my living room or be able to be eating dinner in a sidewalk cafe in the West Village in under 30 minutes ever again, so I might as well enjoy every second of it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Currently Loving

Happy Monday, pretty girls! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. We had a great time with lots of socializing. Even Riley had a social engagement with his Cavalier friends. Friday was pretty warm in the town where I work but was considerably colder in Hoboken. I made the mistake of running some errands yesterday morning without my jacket and was freezing! Where oh where is spring?

Since the spring weather isn't here yet, I've been doing lots of online window shopping for cute spring pieces. Here are my current favorites.
Ahh...I love this bag. I love the combo of the coral leather with the fabric. So perfect for summer! 

Aren't these so fun? I am loving everything coral. It is most definitely one of my favorite spring/summer hues. 

Aren't these to die for? I really wish I had an excuse to buy them. Such a sassy shoe. 

Isn't this seersucker dress from J.Crew precious? I wish the neckline was a smidge higher so I could wear it to work and would have an excuse to buy another seersucker dress. I adore the ruffles!

Essie Madison Ave-Hue polish. I purchased this shade about a month ago when the spring 2013 collection was first released and I just love it. It is fun and bright but has a hint of sparkle which makes it perfectly girly. Have you tried this shade or any of the other spring colors?

What are you loving right now! xo

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday, lovelies! Somehow I survived this crazy, hectic week. Hopefully you did too and are looking ahead to a fun weekend. I'm kicking my weekend off with a few confessions.

I confess...that I have had about 14 cups of coffee since Monday. Caffeine overload.

I confess...I haven't been going to the gym everyday and I am disappointed in myself for getting out of my routine. Maybe I'll get back on track over the weekend?

I confess...that the security situation in the NYC area right now is making me really nervous. I'm considering staying in my apartment until further notice.

I confess...that I ate a Bojangles biscuit on my quick trip on Wednesday and it was delicious. I miss the South.

I confess...that I am about to cry if we don't get some warm, spring weather this week. Brr!!!

I confess...that I'm having a hard time being patient right now - at a time when a lot of patience is required of me.

What do you confess? Join in on Leslie's blog!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, friends! I hope everyone is having a good week so far. It is pretty crazy over here this week. Not only is my work schedule insane this week but I'm actually traveling today. I'm flying out early this morning and will be coming right back. So things are hectic! But...I should have some time in the airport to read your blogs and catch up. :)

By some miracle, I put together a cohesive post today. As I was organizing my things last night for my trip, I was a little concerned that this would go live with just the button and linky and no actual outfits. I haven't taken a single outfit photo this week, though, so that might actually happen next week.
New Jersey graced us with a single 70 degree day last week. I pulled out this Lilly shirtdress and my jacks. I just love the combo of the stripes with polka dotted belt. 

It got colder right away again, unfortunately. These are my beloved BR sloan skinnies and the peplum top is from Loft. That monogram necklace hails from Petal boutique in Charlotte. 

I shared a similar outfit to this on my one jacket three ways post. The blazer and pants are from Loft. I prefer skinnies with blazers but my khaki skinnies were at the cleaners. The wedges are Tory Burch's Caroline wedge and I adore them.

I have to say that any variation of this outfit for work is my favorite. So simple and comfy. Navy BR skinnies and a striped tee also from Banana Republic. And Tory Revas - the most comfortable flat on the planet. I even fixed my hair for work this morning, which is highly unusual lately. 

Ok ladies - give me something to read at the airport. Link up your favorite OOTD's below. Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Weekend Recap

Happy Tuesday, y'all! This is one of those crazy busy weeks where I'm feeling a little frazzled. Do y'all ever have weeks like that? 

Corey and I had a really fun weekend this weekend. We headed to Yankee Stadium on Friday night for a game. I didn't take one single picture because it was FREEZING (ok, maybe not freezing but only like 40 degrees) so my hands stayed firmly in my coat pockets all night. Will spring ever arrive in NYC??

We had a few drinks with friends afterwards and were home by midnight because I had to wake up bright and early to take the Praxis PLT on Saturday because I am up for recertification in South Carolina (wow, three years went by quickly!). I don't want to let it lapse even though we don't live there just in case I'm ever able to convince my husband to move home. ;)

Corey went golfing while I took my test. Then, we made a delicious dinner at home. Corey made steak and we had bean salad, baked potatoes, and strawberry short cake. And pinot noir, of course. It was a great, relaxing night in.

On Sunday, we headed to the lower east side to Pizza a Casa, a pizza school. Now, Corey and I can make delicious pizza at home. Which will be great if we ever move because I am now a major pizza snob after living so close to the city for two years. We even made the dough and sauce from scratch.
Our cute pizza stations

Official pizza chef

One of my creations. Yum!

Corey and one of his pizzas

This was so much fun and I would definitely recommend it for tourists, too, if you're planning to visit the city this summer. 

Then we came home and prepared for the work week and loved on this guy. Doesn't that face make your heart melt?

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday's Letters


Happy Friday friends! I hope you all have had a fabulous week. Its hard to believe Friday is here already but I am so glad. Corey and I along with some friends are headed to a Yankee's game tonight, which I'm really looking forward to. The weather is a little warmer (mid 50's) and I just love baseball. I'm trying something a little different today and linking up for Friday's Letters over on Ashley's blog.

Dear Traffic, We are not friends. I really wish we didn't have to encounter each other EVERY day. Maybe consider taking a vacation?? (Btw I firmly believe anyone who wears a I heart NY shirt has never driven here.)

Dear Lilly Pulitzer, Thank you for making a dishwasher safe coffee to-go cup. This makes my life much easier. And the cute pattern really cheers me up when sitting in traffic. (See above.) 

Dear Skinnytaste, You make me incredibly happy. More so, you make my husband incredibly happy. I made spaghetti squash for him for the first time and he was very impressed that there's a vegetable that looks and tastes almost like a carb. 

Dear period, You really know how to put a dark, dreary cloud on an otherwise good week. You also know how to make me sick enough to lose 2 pounds. Luckily, I brought in the appropriate reinforcements. (I should also note that I recently changed bc so this is my first one in over 2 years - making it a doozy for sure.)
Dear Target Marguerite Wedge, Welcome to my closet. I hope you know you are very much loved and wanted. In fact, I searched 6 different Targets in order to find you in my size as you were sold out online. I should say find a pair of you in my size - because I actually found a right wedge in my size at my local Target but no left shoe was to be found there. I even recruited the help of two different sales associates before expanding my search to practically every Target in the state. I just know we will be good friends this spring and summer. 

Happy Friday lovelies! Hope your weekend is fabulous! xo

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday lovelies! I hope everyone's week has been going well. I have been so super busy. I've taken up tutoring after school one or two days a week (depending on the week) and it has taken away some of my free time.

The weather was so nice and warm yesterday that I finally was able to wear a spring outfit for work.
Pants: Loft  Blouse: Loft (it has the prettiest button detail down the back  Flats: Cole Haan  Bracelets: (L - R) David Yurman, Dear Hannah boutique, Glam Grab

My bow back top arrived last week so I wore it out on Friday. It was still cool (not freezing cold) but I refused to wear a jacket because the back of this blouse was so cute.
 Blouse: random, boutique-y designer. Find it here.  Denim: J. Crew Necklace: J. Crew Factory Flats: Tory Burch

I wore this outfit for our casual Saturday evening. I was dying to be totally comfortable but not look like I was totally bumming out.
Tunic: Francesca's   Flats: Target

I am just loving the swimsuit I chose for this year from Miss Vicky S.
Because I am just dying to wear it in a month or two, I've also been wearing a lot of these type outfits lately.
 Tops and pants: Target's C9 collection. The blue top reminds me of my Lululemon tops but at a fraction of the price and that pullover is so comfy for long walks.

What are you wearing? Join Kerri and I and link up below!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Misc. on Monday

Happy Monday, girls! I hope everyone had a great weekend. We sure did! On Friday, we headed to happy hour, dinner, and then out with friends. It was lots of fun and I wore my new bow-back blouse and was feeling a little sassy. ;) 

On Saturday morning, we took Riley for a four mile walk. He got absolutely filthy and needed a bath immediately after but had such a good time. And it was even a little nice outside. Usually, I get a major ear ache from the cold and wind off the river but the weather is finally starting to improve here. 

Its even going to get into the 70's this week. See.... (and then promptly back into the 50's. ugh.)

Corey's mom has been in town visiting with his grandmother while she had surgery. We went out to dinner with her on Saturday and then dropped her off at the airport to head back to sunny Florida. I am jealous. 

I then insisted that we get my favorite treat on the way home. Fro-yo.

I ran errands and tried to get my life in order on Sunday. I got a good workout in and lathered up with some Tan Towels so I feel very refreshed (and bronze) for the week ahead. Hehe. 

I made all the meals on my meal plan last week. I was very impressed with myself. So was Corey. I was also very impressed with the recipes I tried - thank goodness for Pinterest, which allows me to constantly wow my husband with new recipes. I'll have to post them here soon.

I've been super creative lately and have been adding to my TpT store left and right so if you're a teacher (especially if you're a Daily 5 lover like me) head on over immediately. 

I was, as I'm sure many of you were as well, heartbroken to hear Lilly Pulitzer passed away yesterday. 

"The Lilly girl is always full of surprises.
She lives everyday like its a celebration.
Never has a dull moment,
And makes every hour a happy hour."

Linking up with Sami today for the first time. Head on over to her blog to link up your own weekend recap.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

If you are a teacher, mom, student, or writer then you are going to love the product I'm about to share with you. I was gifted a new pencil sharpener from Troy at Classroom Friendly Supplies to review for you. I was beyond excited to review this sharpener because pencil sharpening in my classroom was about to drive me completely crazy.

A pencil sharpener may not seem like a big deal to those of you who don't teach, but if you are a classroom teacher then I just know you understand where I'm coming from. Pencil sharpeners are loud and the sound resembles a dentist's drill so every morning as we start our morning routine, I hear fifteen minutes of grinding as everyone prepares their pencils for the day. Then, despite having a set time/routine for sharpening pencils, there will undoubtedly be a "pencil emergency" in the middle of a whole group time, which will distract everyone. Not to mention social sharpening - I have girls who will chit chat as they're sharpening their pencils until only a teeny tiny nub of a pencil remains. And to put the cherry on top the electric sharpeners that cause all these problems range from $40 - $60 and I'm lucky if they last more than a year.

Enter the Classroom Pencil Sharpener. You guys - this thing is awesome! It is cute with a fun, retro look and I chose blue to match my classroom. This sharpener is manual, not electric like what I've always had, which had me skeptical at first. It was really easy to use, though. You just pinch the black clamps together and pull out the metal plate in the front. Then, insert your pencil and wind the arm. When the pencils are perfectly sharp, the pencil sharpener stops working. Goodbye social sharpening!

Another thing I love about this sharpener is that it is really quiet. Its not silent but it is much, much less disruptive than other sharpeners I've used. This is music to my ears - I am over the dentist drill like sound of most sharpeners.

My sharpener arrived over spring break so I sharpened every single pencil in my entire apartment. They all came out perfectly. When I got back to school, I introduced it to my kids, who all thought it was cute and were dying to try it out. I showed them how to use it and we watched this video together. It took a day or two for them to get the hang of it but so far so good!

The only thing I didn't like was the clamp that comes with the sharpener. It slides into a hole on the bottom and is intended to anchor the sharpener to a bookshelf or table and hold it in place. While it does keep it sort of steady, you still need to hold the top while you crank. I'm going to use sticky command tape (like what goes on the back of a command hook) to attach it to the bookshelf in my room and we'll be all set.

I definitely recommend this sharpener to other teachers, moms, students, or really anyone who writes. It comes in four cute colors (blue, green, red, and black) to match any room.

The very best thing about this sharpener is the price tag. It is only $24.99, making it half as expensive as most classroom sharpeners! Hurry on over to Classroom Friendly Supplies and get one for yourself.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Skinny(er) Chicken Enchiladas

Photo updated November 2015

Happy Thursday ladies! I have to tell you about a recipe I made not too long ago that my husband just raved about. We love Mexican food but cooking it at home can be so labor intensive. I made some delicious tomatillo enchiladas for Cinco de Mayo once but it took the better part of an afternoon. No one has time for that after work!

This recipe was inspired by Skinnytaste's chicken enchiladas and I just tweaked it to make it my own. I also used canned enchilada sauce but there is a great recipe for homemade on Gina's website. To be honest, when I cook after working all day and going to the gym after, I just like something that's semi-healthy, delicious, and can be ready in under an hour.
I made this recipe with whole wheat fajita sized tortillas and used a 2 qt. baking dish to make smaller portions. This recipe calls for 2 cooked, shredded chicken breasts. I put mine in the crockpot before I left for work (covered with water and a little broth) and they were ready and so tender when I got home. You could also use a rotisserie chicken or bake two breasts and shred after.

You will need:

  • 2 cooked, shredded chicken breasts 
  • 1 small can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced (I usually just use the canned stuff)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Hot sauce to taste (I like Topatio or Frank's)
  • About 1 cup of low-fat Mexican/fiesta blend cheese
  • 6 fajita sized whole-wheat tortillas
  • Non-stick spray, such as Pam
  • Green onions for topping

Preheat the oven to 400.
Using a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic on low for about 2 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and hot sauce. If you don't love spice, you can leave this step out. Mix well then stir in chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes so everything is heated through. Then, remove from heat.

Spray a 2 qt. baking dish (this is the size smaller than a 9 x 13 but you could also use one of those if its all you have) with non-stick spray. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture and roll it. Place, seam side down, into the baking dish.

Top with sauce. You probably will not use the entire can. Just use as much as needed so that the enchiladas are covered with a little sauce dripping down to the bottom. Then, top with cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil and top with scallions. Yum!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

Happy Wednesday friends! I'm still dragging a little getting back into the swing of things after spring break. And feeling a little grumpy when I have to put on closed toe shoes every day instead of sandals. Where is spring?? Hopefully you're enjoying some warmer weather where you are.

I tried to document a couple of my outfits while I was in Florida. I didn't have a full length mirror so I had to get a little creative. Here is goes.
I wore this outfit on my first day in Florida when I went shopping with my mother and sister in law.
Top: Lilly Pulitzer  Denim: Citizens for Humanity  Monogram necklace: Petal Charlotte Sandals: Jack Rogers

On a side note, those jean capris are the most comfortable jeans ever. The denim isn't too thick and is so, so soft which makes them perfect for spring. I purchased them on clearance at Nordstrom a couple years ago.
Tee: Lilly lanette  Shorts: J. Crew Factory  Sandals: Lilly's McKim  Necklace: J. Crew factory

Tee: Loft  Shorts: Lilly's buttercup  Sandals: JR

I wore this outfit back in New Jersey when I was running some quick errands. Super easy outfit with a pop of color.
Tee: Gap  Denim: J. Crew  Necklace:  J. Crew factory  Flats: Tory Burch 

What are you wearing? Link up below!