Friday, February 27, 2015

Fashion Friday: Teacher Wardrobe

I teach in a school where dress code is casual (and I mean casual). Most teachers wear jeans every day--sometimes even yoga or track pants. When I first started at this school last fall, it was a hard adjustment fashion-wise, as I had come from a very fashion-forward staff at my previous teaching job in NYC. Most teachers seriously looked like they stepped out of a J.Crew or Ann Taylor catalog (teachers get discounts at these stores, BTW):

Ann Taylor/J.Crew

I love both these looks, and often tried my hardest to emulate them back in NYC, but at my current school, they are just not practical! My school is on a 10-acre campus next to a horse farm, so needless to say it gets muddy and slushy! I am also teaching a younger grade, so I'm spending a lot more time sitting on the floor (so skirts and dresses are pretty much not happening!) Nowadays, my typical "school uniform" for winter consists of comfy jeans and worn in Uggs or Bean boots. I also tend to layer a lot with tanks/tees underneath cozy sweaters. 

I love J.Crew Factory for layering pieces:

Although they are on the more expensive side, I love AG Jeans . The quality is amazing and they last a loooooong time! Plus, a lot of the jeans come in a stretch-blend, so they are easy and comfortable to move around in!

Corduroy Stilt/The Middi/The Prima 

What are your favorite go-to pieces for work? If you work in a casual environment like me, what are your picks? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day typically isn't a holiday I get super excited about (although I do get excited by the fact that most stores are stocking extra chocolatey goodies this time of year). Here are some Valentines-y things I've been loving:

This wallpaper from
These perfect little sprinkley shortbread cookies from Trader Joe's
These DIY glitter pencil Valentines I made for the kids in my class. Similar instructions here. (How funny is it that my and my assistant teacher's initials are H&M?)

This year for V-Day, my husband and I are planning to stay in and cook a lovely dinner together. For dessert, we will indulge in these brownies, a childhood favorite of my husband's, topped with ice cream.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mission: Impossible?

Ever since I was a kid and read Harriet the Spy, I have been fascinated by the undercover spy/detective life. I actually thought I was going to be a spy for a brief stint in the fifth grade. I had a "spy kit" (aka my dad's old leather briefcase) filled with useful tools-- a magnifying glass taken from a rarely-used science kit I received as a gift for some birthday, binoculars, sunglasses (you never know when you need to be incognito), a hand mirror for subtly checking out things going on behind you and around corners, and of course, a notebook. It would have been awesome if I had the trench coat, too.

Here are some "Spy Chic" items I would recommend for any budding investigator--or anyone who wants to look cute-- and slightly suspicious!

From left to right: Calvin Klein / Banana Republic/ Burberry

From left to right: Design Darling / Kate Spade / Ashley Brooke Designs

From left to right: Ray-Ban/ ModCloth/ Toms

There were many places where I did my "detective work". Usually, it was spying on my older sister and her friends. Sometimes, I would go to the playground by my house and observe the kids in my neighborhood. My favorite spying was done at my dad's office building. I would stealthily move around the corridors, hold my hand mirror behind doors, and "spy" on unsuspecting lawyers-- who were usually just on the phone talking about something work-related that I didn't understand or typing on computers. 

Recently, I have become frustrated with how my class has been handling our transitions. Maybe it's just a middle of the year slump kind of thing, but I still believe that anything can be improved! I decided that I needed to get them jazzed about wanting to make smooth, quick transitions. My first instinct has proven to be a winner!

I framed it by asking the kids what they think a "mission" is. A lot of them said it was something that a spy needs to accomplish to save someone or find something. I asked the class what they think we need to accomplish during a transition. They all said that to accomplish a transition, they need to be quick, quiet, and get to where they need to be in a good amount of time. With that in mind, I introduced...


When we need to do a quick transition, such as from the rug to table spots, or going from table spots to lining up for a special, I ding our little chime and put on theme music (right now it is obviously the Mission: Impossible theme, but I am assuming that we will get sick of that quickly, so I also have The Pink Panther theme and the James Bond theme in mind). They have the entirety of the song, which is a little over a minute, to get to where they need to be. They love it! They take it SUPER seriously!

If they complete a "Transition Mission", they get a marble in this "Mission: Accomplished" jar. Once the jar is filled, we get a party! The kids have already decided that they want their first party to be a "Spy Party", so I am definitely looking forward to planning some kind of fun detective scavenger hunt!

Enjoy your weekend!

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