My new(ish) job and random junk from my brain.

23 Jul

In my last post, I told you that I’ve changed jobs. Well, I feel like I’ve been thrown into a new world. I’ve been either owning or managing a coffee shop for so long, that I didn’t realize what else I was capable of. Last year, I just had this feeling like I needed more. I didn’t quite understand what it was that I was looking for, only that I was so completely restless and had no idea why. I did know that I needed more of a steady income than the coffee shop was providing, especially with my oldest starting college and my son getting braces. So this started my job search.

Let me just tell you something about looking for a job…..for most of us it sucks! It is probably one of the most humbling, nerve-wracking things I’ve done. It basically makes you confront your insecurities while realizing that the ability to drink a whole pot of coffee in an hour is not really a transferable job skill. Whatever.

Anyway, fast forward to January of this year when I started my new job as a librarian at my local city school system. Actually my job title when I started is LRC tech and now it is something else, but at the heart of it I’m a librarian who will be integrating technology into our lessons. I know a lot of people think that because children are introduced to smart phones and tablets that they have computer skills and know how to properly use technology. Nope. I was actually surprised at how many times I had to show kids where the back button was. My kiddos are 3rd – 5th grade and most of them know enough to navigate the computer to play games but when it came to typing, research, knowing which information is accurate, which sites are safe or even the right way to shut down a computer I realized we have a lot of work to do. Fortunately for me, I love technology as much as I love reading so this is a good fit for me.

I came into this job in the middle of the school year after taking over for a substitute. The first few weeks for me were completely frantic and I was like a deer caught in the headlights but I kind of fell into some sort of rhythm with help from all my new coworkers❤❤❤

I will say that much of my challenge is classroom management, but I just need to keep working at it. I’m so against the library being completely quiet and regimented….I want kids to learn, but I don’t see why we can’t have some fun too. I realize in order to do that, the kids need to have routine and structure so they know what to expect every time they come in. I’m looking into setting up centers so they are broken up into groups and not all expected to focus on the same thing. This could either be one of my best ideas, or total disaster. Half the fun is finding out….right?

Somewhere over the last month or so of the school year, I came down with mono. Which to me is crazy but I guess working around so many kids and picking up every germ possible weakened my immune system. This was kind of a bummer way to start out my summer break, but it has kind of forced me to take it easy and rest….two things I don’t do very well. During all my down time, Pinterest became a valuable resource for me….I’ve had so many ideas swirling around in my brain and I was able to organize them and come back to them later.

Also, my awesome sis in law, who is a teacher, introduced me to a site called Teachers Pay Teachers .I’ve only just begun to explore it, but there are lots of free resources and great ideas! I just downloaded this free printable and can’t wait to print, laminate and hang them up.

I’m hoping to at least write on here once a week….I find that I’m more productive and focused when I sit down and write some of whats in my head. That way some of the junk can spill out and make room for other junk.🙂 Feel free to join me and make suggestions or post any helpful tips. I can use all the help I can get!

 

Stitch Fix (Fail!)

20 Jul

Ok so I know I haven’t written anything in over 2 years, but we will just gloss right over that.

There have been a few changes in my life – the biggest is my change in jobs. I still have my coffee shop, but my dad is running it. Just this past January, I became an elementary school librarian. I will be writing about this in detail later, but today my main focus will be my experience with Stitch Fix.

For those of you who are not familiar, Stitch Fix is a personal styling service online. You go to their website, put in your information about your sizes, styles, budget, etc and they send you out a box with 5 pieces that are based on the info you provided. You can even link your Pinterest to them so they can go through and get a sense of what your style is.  Sounds good right? Yes, in theory. At least for me.

With my new job, I’ve had to add to my wardrobe. Most of the clothes I had were jeans and t-shirts that I wore to the coffee shop and dresses that I accumulated to wear to special events. Neither were appropriate for the business casual dress code I need to adhere to. So before I started work, I frantically flew through some of our local stores and tried to put some outfits together. I mostly picked casual dresses and skirts that I could wear with tights and boots because a. It was winter and b. That was the easiest thing for me to throw together with limited time. I did pretty ok on my own and ended up getting a few pieces that I liked and wore often.

Fast forward to now. I have 3 weeks until I have to go back to work, it is summer and I don’t have a lot of clothes that will work for the warmer months. I kept seeing and hearing people talk about Stitch Fix and I was curious. I went on to their website, filled out their style & size questionnaires and then put in my price point. Which by the way is CHEAP! I don’t like to pay a lot for clothes, especially on my salary. So I clicked the “as cheap as possible” option. This service costs $20 per “fix” and if you keep any of the items, they will apply that $20 to it. I figured I would keep at least one item so the risk was minimal. You keep and pay for what you want and you send whatever you don’t want within 3 days.

After I was done, they told me my box would be there about a week later. To me, that was a pretty good time frame and I was excited to see what they would send. Also, there is a place to put a note to your stylist so you can tell them what you are looking for specifically and give them a better sense of what you need. I filled my note out and told the stylist what my job was and that I was looking for dresses with pockets (my obsession) that would be work appropriate and that I needed a pair of mint green jeans in my life. I linked my Pinterest board named “My Style” with outfits and pieces that I was either looking for or just really liked. I was confident that my stylist would get a sense of what I wanted and my box would be filled with things I would love.

Wrong. I was so wrong. When the box came, I opened it right away and the first thing I saw was mint green jeans. I was excited! Thats where it ended. I then pulled out 2 tank tops, 1 dress and a necklace. I guess I should’ve been more specific about the fact that I didn’t really want accessories.  Anyway, the 2 tank tops they sent were $44 a piece!!! They were ok in style, but definitely something I could pick up at my local TJMaxx or Marshalls. Or even JCPenney for a fraction of that cost. So then came the dress. It was ok and it fit pretty good, but it wasn’t appropriate for work! It was a long maxi dress that had short sleeves and a surplice neckline that was lower. If I put a tank top under I guess it would have been ok, but not for $78!! So my only hope left was the jeans. I tried them on. They fit and by fit I mean that they went over my hips and buttoned. But they were super skinny jeans with a lot of stretch & thinner material so again, not appropriate for work!! Oh and did I mention that they were $88? I’m not even going to add the exclamation point….I believe its implied.

Now, they do tell you that if you love everything in your box and want to keep it all, they will give you a 25% discount. My box totaled $282 so that means if I kept it, the cost would be about $211. For 5 items. That I can’t wear to work. Which was the purpose of trying them out in the first place. So basically I just wasted $20 and about an hour of my time. I considered keeping at least one item so I could put my $20 toward it and I would at least come out of it with something, but I didn’t like any of it enough to spend any more money.

So I sent everything back and did what I’ve always done…..shopped for myself. I went to ModCloth, ThredUp, The Limited & NewYork and Company and was able to find:

5 Shirts, 3 Skirts, 5 Dresses, 9 Pairs of Pants, 2 purses, 2 pairs of boots, 1 belt and 1 pair of shorts for less than what the 5 pieces of clothing from Stitch Fix originally cost. Now, I will preface this by saying that I got some fantastic deals, used promo codes and shopped the clearance racks online. None of the stuff has arrived yet so I can’t comment on the fit or quality but I will do a follow up post. I’m sure some of the stuff will have to be returned or exchanged, but to me it is worth it if I come out of it with almost a full wardrobe I can wear to work and on the weekends. I wish I would have taken pictures of my Stitch Fix so I could give a visual reference, but I wasn’t thinking before I sent it back. But I will take pictures of my “haul” just in case anyone wants to give advice on different pieces that would go together or suggestions of other pieces that might work.

I’m also linking my Pinterest “My Style” page in case anyone wants to take a look. I will be getting ready to go back to work so my next posts will be about library centers, organization, etc. Or pretty much anything I want to yap about at the time. My Style Pinterest Board

 

Porch Before and Afters

13 Jun

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Omg the before is so so bad! And of course the kids had to work their way into the after.🙂

All I did was put a coat of paint on, add some flowers and moved a shelf because I thought it would look pretty good outside. All together the total cost was about $100. 

I’m pretty sure I’ve killed half those flowers already, but thats for another post. Next project: Paint the deck red!

 

 

Its porch painting day! Aren’t you excited?

1 Jun

Ok, I know I haven’t been on here forever but we are going to move past that because its time to paint! Yes, again. This time I’m taking it outside to my front porch. Now, lately I’ve been bitching up a storm about my house….its not in the neighborhood I want, too many things to fix, blah blah blah. I’ve decided to put my big girl panties on, suck it up and make some improvements. 

First up: the front porch! The front of my house has bothered me for as long as I can remember. Does that mean I’ve done anything about it? No. No it does not. But that changes today. It not only needs a new coat of paint, but a new color. The color on the steps and porch now is kind of a hunter green and although that color is ok, I’m so sick of it. It is also the color of every exterior door we have as well as the color of the back deck.

The two colors I’ve been seriously debating for the porch and steps are a dark brick red or a charcoal gray. If I did the charcoal gray, I would paint the door red. It would be nicer if the door faced the street instead of being off to the side, but oh well. I was all set with the red, but then realized that there is a lot of brick around the steps and the brick red with the reddish brick is throwing me off. So I guess dark gray it is! The siding is tan so pretty much anything goes. I’m planning on adding some flowers and signs to make up for the lack of color.

I know what you are going to say….before and after pics! Yes, you know I will post them. I almost included a before pic with this post but I’m kind of too lazy right now to go snap a pic. 

I’ll be back with pictures…I promise!

No sugar …30 days….join me won’t you?

9 Feb

Come on guys….misery loves company! I’m eliminating added sugar for the next 30 days and I’m actually on my way to the store to stock up on some healthier stuff to eat. If anyone wants to join me feel free to share your own experiences or I would welcome any good recipes. I will be posting different dinners, snacks, desserts, etc on here that don’t contain any added sugars. Sugar from fruit, milk, veggies are ok but anything that has the word sugar or any form of sugar in the ingredients is a no no. Oh and no artificial sweeteners (equal, Splenda, etc) or honey. Fun stuff guys…fun stuff.

I am horribly addicted to sugar and I’m hoping to break that in the next month and learn some healthier ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. 

 

Here is a link to the challenge so you can join in too! 

 

 

Aside 18 Dec

So it has been a really ridiculous amount of time since I’ve written anything on here and I don’t even have an excuse! I can’t say its because I don’t have any time because I found time to make my own tree skirt. Yes, I said make my own tree skirt. Never in a million years would I have thought those words would come out of my mouth, but here we are. I’ve also been crazy at the coffee shop getting ready for Christmas and making up lots of baskets and goodies to sell. Of course I will be providing pictures of all of this madness soon.

I need to finish wrapping christmas presents, bake and decorate cookies for teachers gifts, clean house from top to bottom, make up 20 more baskets for work, make a cake for my daughter’s 16th birthday(Christmas Eve), have a birthday party and I’m sure other stuff. I’m just now realizing I may need more than 5 or 6 days to get this all done. But hey, that’s what coffee is for right?

I will be back, hopefully very soon, with some pictures and maybe a tutorial on the tree skirt. 

 

From blonde to red…..

20 Oct

I get bored….and not the “I don’t’ have anything to do” bored, but a restless and stuck in a rut bored. It usually happens around Sept – Oct when the summer is over and fall hits. Don’t get me wrong – fall is my favorite season, but it usually means I’m ready for a change. Sometimes I paint a room, or buy new clothes but more often than not I change my hair color. This is often met with a great big sigh from my husband. Not because he doesn’t like the new hair, but because he knows that I’m never really happy with what I end up with and then there are hours of recoloring, desperately washing with dish soap and maybe a few tears….mostly mine.  This time I was determined to avoid this. 

I decided to just go for it this time and go completely red. I thought about reddish with highlights but since I’m doing it myself I wanted to keep it simple. Well, as simple as dying blonde hair red can be. I went to Sally Beauty with some pictures and asked one of the girls that worked there for help. She looked with me and helped me pick out a color and developer, gave me some advice and then I went on my way. I came home, followed the directions and after a little while the color looked almost exactly the way I wanted it. When the time was up, I rinsed it out and dried it. I was VERY disappointed! It was the lightest strawberry blonde, but not in a good way. It had a pinkish tinge with lots of blonde still in it. I could have just lived with it until it came out or dyed blonde, but I was determined to have red.

I was thinking of going back to Sally’s but honestly I haven’t had great luck there the last couple times so I took my chances at the store. There weren’t very many choices for the red I was trying to achieve but I saw one that really caught my eye – Feria Deep Copper. Its hard to describe the exact color but its very drastic!  I put the color on and within a minute or two I knew it was going to be red!! When it was time, I washed it out and dried it and I believe my exact words were “holy shit!”  I was joking last night about looking like Ronald McDonald….ok its not THAT bright, but still.

It is taking me some time to get used to not being blonde. While the color isn’t where I want it to be right now, it definitely is a change! I washed it this morning and it faded a bit. I’m going to try to find a good shampoo for red hair and see how the color settles in the next week or two. I have a feeling I’m going to have to put another color on (closer to the color I had in mind) in the next couple of weeks. 

Ok enough chatter, here are the pictures:

The first is the before, the second is right after I dyed it and the third is this morning after I washed it. It also looks different depending on the lighting. I’m trying to find more of a gingery copper than a red if that makes any sense.

 

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