Let's Chat// Vol 2

FEELING// I am both exited and bummed that this is my last "do-nothing" weekend until after the wedding. Things are getting real real up in here!!! 

THINKING ABOUT// What an amazing time I had at Texas Style Council. All the amazingness is still marinating up in my brain (not to mention work has been cray to the z) so a recap post is on its way. Scouts honor. 

LISTENING TO// PODCASTS! Currently I am all about Breakfast for Dinner-- a super diverse and relevant topic show hosted by Texas Style Council Royalty Nicole and her BF. I' also super into Gilmore Guys--a show about guys watching Gilmore Girls. They are both da bomb. 

READING// The same test prep articles 1000x a day. My kids (students? I call them kids... weird?) are getting ready to take their BIG state test this week. I know they'll kill it. 

WATCHING// Its been a crazy week so the ol' Netflix machine has still be cranking out One Tree Hill in the background, but I am looking forward to starting the next Nextflix OG show Bloodline. Kyle Chandler can do no wrong in my eyes. Clear eyes full hearts, can't lose (<-- I'm always looking for a place to weave in FNL. Nailed it.) 

EATING// THIS!!! MAKE THIS!!! Chicken with MuhummaraIt is super easy AND tasty AND has a fancy name. All things I l look for in recipes. Aarti Sequeira made it on the Today show yesterday! DO IT! 

THANKFUL FOR// My job. Man I just love the kids I get to spend my day with. It was easy at TxSC to be really jealous of the women I met who have awesome creative jobs. I got back to school and looked out upon the 110 faces I see everyday and was really overwhelmed that I get to hang out and impact teenagers lives. It's pretty cool. 

LOVING// These sandals,  Fancy Ashley and the outfit pictures we took this week, This Buzzfeed article that made me bummed i cleaned out my closet in the 00's, and TAGSPIRE it is gonna be the new thing! 


I Wish I Was a Gilmore Girl


Where my Gillies at!? (<-- is that what the Princeton Review was talking about with bad grammar in pop songs?)

 When Arsenic and Lace came out with their spring line I knew that this shirt needed added to my closet immediately. I also knew that I needed to rock it at TxSC last weekend. I was right. Many a conversation started with a shared connection over Gilmore Girls (ahem Julie and Jen).

The reality is that I kinda am a Gilmore Girl...
Obsessive need for coffee... check.
Biting wit... check.
Love of pop culture.... check.
I own this sweatshirt and 100% agree with it's assertion... check!

That is all you need to be a Gilmore Girl. The other stuff isn't important. Although I would take a Luke if you are handing them out.

Check out the whole spring line at Arsenic and Lace (Gilmore Girls + other gems!)

I'll be the Lorilei to your Rory!

This tee was a generous gift from Meg at Arsenic and Lace, while it was a gift, the opinions of Gilmore Girls and all Gilmore Girls related apparel are my own! 


Rethinking the Business Card: Lavender Shortbread

I have never felt more professional than a year and a half ago when I cracked open my brand new box of business cards right before Texas Style Council in 2013. Like let's pop bottles, this girl is fancy.

After the conference, I used the remaining cards sparingly-- stuck a few in each bag I owned, used them in my make up routine (ya, know the normal stuff), but for the most part they stayed stuffed in a  drawer. In preparation for 2015 TxSC, I pulled out the remaining cards and found a little surprise... everyone else's card that had been given to me during the conference. Cool Meg, that was NOT what people wanted done with their cards... the least you could have done was go all Working Girl and use a rolodex or something.

Anyway the great business card find of 2015 got me thinking about the purpose of a business card, and how the 20 cards I had left weren't serving as the connection I wanted to make with people. So I remixed the idea of a traditional business card for TxSC 2015. I made cookies.

I each connection I made with someone to be met with a small act of service and a treat. After reading Shauna Niequist's post to "burn the candles". I wanted to give people the opportunity to enjoy something right there in the moment and these AMAZING Lavender Shortbread cookies fit the bill.

I packaged each cookie in a simple white paper bag with a kool-aid dip dyed card on the front, my social media handle scrawled on the front, and closed each card and bag with washi tape ('cause #pinterest).

I was so much cooler with cookies. I mean I am/was still super awkward, but I like actually approached people (especially ones I would normaly just admire from a far-- Jen, Caroline, Julie, Jess, Carli) and shared my treat with people and made a small connection. I'm not saying that I will go to all networking events with a tray of cookies (although I really am thinking it should be my thing), but I will say I think I found something that works for this introvert living an extraverted life. Also you should make these cookies for your self because they are really delish.
Original recipe from Mountain Mama Cooks via Buzz Feed

1/2 cup powdered sugar 
2 teaspoons dired lavender 
zest of 1 lemon 
1 cup of softened butter 
2 1/4 cup flour 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
course sugar to top

In a food processor or blender combine sugar, lavender and lemon zest. Add softened butter and sugar mixture to a mixing bowl and combine. Slowly add flour and salt until combined. The dough will be slightly crumbly. Using parchment paper, roll the dough into a 8 inch log and chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably over night. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After thoroughly chilled, slice into 1/4 inch sections and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Top with course sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.


Let's Chat//Vol 1

FEELING// Super pumped/kinda nervous about CAMPing with TxSC. The amount of coolness concentrated at a Girl Scout Camp in Austin should be illegal. IM NOT COOL ENOUGH FOR THIS!

THINKING ABOUT// ALL THE CRAP I HAVE TO DO. There are 92 days until the wedding and although I have the wedding pretty much locked down everything else is a little up in the air... like moving. MOVING (insert panic attack)! 

LISTENING TO//READING// I talked about my love of Audible/Hoopla the other day and I just finished The Girl on the Train and although it started off kind of slow IT WAS AMAZING in the end. I am normally a "saw-that-twist-coming" kind of girl but not this one! Highly recommend... as if that 18573 posts on instagram I have seen didn't convince you.

WATCHING// One Tree Hill. I needed a mindless while-I-was-doing-other-things show to throw on netflix. I forgot how much I loved this show... plus the music is killer, plus NATHAN AND HAILEY FOREVER. Also Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, if you are not watching SHAME ON YOU. 

EATING// Lavender Shortbread... well they are baking now I'm making them as edible business cards for TxSC. More on that later.

THANKFUL FOR//Spring break and the fact IT'S FINALLY SPRING... technically! I wore shorts this week and despite almost blinding passers by I was LOVING IT. Now for a tan. 

LOVING// This candle, these shorts, my impending road trip with Whitney, meeting new friends at CAMP (follow along with the adventures on social media with the hashtag #TxSC15)

Happy FriYAY friends!

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5 Things that WILL happen at Camp

Ozark Mountains 2009, the year I got chacos and became a "real" crunchy aggie

This weekend I am headed to the Austin-ish area to go to the very last (tear) TXSC. This year we are camping... both literally, staying in cabins, and figuratively Creating A Meaningful Presence (CAMP). I have done my fair share of camping-- girl scout, church camp, family camping, working at a summer camp. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt (no literally I have a tub FULL of camp t-shirts). Amongst all my camping experience a few things ring true time and time again...

1. You WILL come home with stories: 
On one particular family camping trip my mom left some food wrapped in foil on top of a cooler to cool down and we were woken up in the middle of the night by wild hogs tearing through it like... well? wild hogs. She's never lived it down. 

2. You WILL come home with new friends and connections. 
There is something about being in a semi secluded state that makes people bond. Bonding changes peoples lives, changing peoples lives makes you friends. Its a pretty cool cycle. I still have inside jokes with friends from our camp days... they all revolve around boy bands and camp food.

3. You WILL feel like a better you. 
Getting away from it all with like minded people in the beauty of creation hits some hidden reset button in the brain and makes everything just a little bit better. Pinky Promise. 

4. Something WILL go wrong.
It's nature something will happen. One year on a Girl Scout camp out a tornado hit. Like a legit "Toto we're not in Kansas any more" (which is an ironic statement to make because we actually were in Kansas) kind of tornado. It was fun (not really it was freaking terrifying) and we all lived to tell the tale. The year I worked at summer camp I caught the Swine Flu and almost died also a anecdote for the memoir. 

5. It WILL be awesome. 

Lets camp. 

TXSC '13 Posts (here) (here) (here)


Audible and Hoopla: Pros of Audiobooks

Audiobooks. I like em. I like 'em a lot.

2 points:

1. I drive a lot. Like way more than I would like to. Also 99.9% of that driving is alone. Don't get me wrong, I love a good road trip but REAL road trips require other people and NSYNC music and junk food from gas stations. I don't go on REAL road trips. I go on driving missions. Driving missions require focus, no extraneous stopping and something more intellectually simulating than poppy 2000's music. Enter Audiobooks.

2. Confession Despite being a teacher and a advocate for reading I am not always a fan of traditional reading because it takes me along time to read a book. I' wait a moment so you can throw rotten tomatoes at me.

 I use two services to listen to them, Audible and Hoopla. With Audible I pay for a monthly subscription and Hoopla works like and in conjunction with a library.

Why I love Audible:

1. Variety
There are almost 180,000 books to chose from. Fiction, non-fiction, quite literally everything is available. Sometimes I am in the mood for a crime thriller and sometimes I want to read an angsty teenage love story. Easy they are all there,

2. Community
My credits (and/or money) is precious. I don't want to get a book I end up really hating. I can easily read other peoples thoughts and ratings online or on the app.

3. App
The app is easy to use, has a clean interface and although you can not make an in app purchase you can easily add an book to your Wishlist to purchase when you are on a "real" computer.

4. Price
Audiobooks can be expensivvveee, but enrolling in audible's membership program there is a major discount! Even if you do not have a membership there are a variety of free or major reduced books each month.

Why I love Hoopla:

1. FREE! 
Hoopla services are free with a library card! Let me repeat FREE.

2. Books and MUSIC and MOVIES 
Not only does Hoopla offer free books but it also allows users to download albums and movies for a 21 day rental period!

3. App 
Hoopla just did a major overhaul of their app! There app was good before but now it is GREAT. Clean easy to navigate (insert other techie buzz words here).

Both of these services allow the user to download the books so you are not using cellular data when you are not connected to wifi! WIN!

PS. Audible and Hoopla have no idea who I am I just really like these services and want you to read (Teacher moment).

PPS. Kaitlyn introduced me to Hoopla and you should go bug her to keep posting on her blog. She's great. 


THRIVE Presentation: Fashion Photography: Pinnable Pictures

It has been a few weeks since Thrive, the amazing blog conference put on by my brilliant friends Whitney and Bree. When they asked me to speak I knew the line up they had already gathered and I was all "NO!". I am not worthy to be on the same internet as Ashley from the Shine Project or Caroline from House of Harper let alone the same podium as Fancy Ashely or Kristyn from Little Luna. Little old me y'all.. not just no but HELL NO... and then Whitney buttered me up with some encouraging words and alcohol at our weekly trivia night and apparently I said yes between answering trivia questions.

I am not afraid of speaking to a room of people... I'm really not, however is it 1000x easier to speak to a group of people who are legally required to have butts in my chairs. When I started working on my presentation I realized that I could go a couple of different ways... technical or informational...or funny. Clearly I chose funny with a splash of informational.

I'm not really a "power point" kind of teacher but I did make a fun little presentation to keep my talking point on point...I may have a bit of a "she get off track really easily" reputation among the youths. You can see the whole presentation here or see  a general break down below!

1. Embrace what comes natural.  

This is my "go-to" face. I've been rocking it since the 1990's. If it ain't broke don't fix it. The only way to have pictures that show how much you love the clothes you are in is to do what comes natural.

2. Embrace Trends (but keep to the classics too!) 

Trends are why we are doing this! Trends are what are going to make our children roll their eyes and ask "what are you wearrrringgg" in disgust. You bet I felt super fancy rocking the Blossom hat and jean vest, sure I wouldn't be caught dead in it now, but at the time I was killing it and you can tell!
(side bar: Reese DID NOT believe this was me... How can you not? LOOK AT THAT SASS!) 

3. Have a Story to Tell 

Stay tuned for a great story about this little shot! 

Pictures are why people come, stories are why people stay, good stories are why people come back. My "red shoe" post and my "Gilmore Girls" post are too of my most popular posts and yes, the clothes are awesome and I look cute, but they are popular because of the story I had to tell!

4. Capture Everyday Life

At the end of the day your blog is for you. It is a unique and compelling way to chronicle your life and even with fashion posts you should capture everyday life! This post was showing off my obsession with Pixie Pants and was sponsored by luxe link (the bag holder on my shelf) but even thought that was the intended purpose I look and will continue to look at this picture and remember my classroom and all the sweet memories made in that room. That part is for me, the fashion stuff is for you.

5. Its OK to KNOW you Look HOTT (double T necessary) 

I repeat: IT IS OK TO THINK YOU LOOK GOOD... just don't let it go to your head. In order to blog successfully having confidence and building yourself up is necessary. Sure there are always things that you wish you could change about yourself... and you can sometimes, but in the mean time embrace them! Love who you are at that moment flaws and all. 

(I then passed out this flow chart)


On the State of Wedding Planning

It is inevitable. Every time I walk into the copy room at work I get asked "how's wedding planning going?".  My preferred response is "I can't really see the forest through the sequin covered trees doing jazz hands" (aka what wedding? We have a dance competition in 5 days!). Now that dance is over its time to face the music... literally, ceremony music, any one have any suggestions on that stuff?

It might be the timing or the fact that I am not surrounded by family (sorry family-- love you) but wedding planning has been relatively easy (says the girl who is knocking on wood, while spinning around in circles throwing salt over her left should while avoiding all black cats on earth.) I did actively do some things that helped making the process SO FAR (I repeat SO FAR) smooth.

1. I didn't but a "Wedding Planning Book". Sure they look really pretty and can totally serve their purpose for some people but even flipping through one gave me hives. I opted to buy a cute little lined  May Book and just keep a running to-do list in that! Besides crossing things off to-do lists is my love language.

2. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses has helped a ton. Strength, designing stationary and other paper products. Weakness, flowers. Watch this: Design and print stationary stuff myself; pay someone to do flowers. Stress gone! IT'S MAGIC.

3. I channeled my inner Elsa and LET IT GO. There was one decision in particular that Reese really wanted input on so much so that I just let him run with it and decided it on his own. I am 90% ok with what he chose. I realized that even though that I am 10% unsure it WILL NOT ruin our day and in the grand scheme WILL NOT matter. So I took a deep breath and let it go... the band didn't bother me any way:)

Now I am off to speak my love language and get SEVERAL things crossed off my to-do list!



Big shout out to Ruthie and Rose for the amazing decor!

Full disclosure I am full on obsessed with the founders (Whit and Bree) of Thrive Blog Conference and a few of the ideas or the conference came over beers and geeky trivia questions, so I am super bias on the whole conference, but you should still listen to me because it was whole event was dabomb.com.

Friday night started with a Passport Party on Market Street in the Woodlands --Think progressive dinner but with shopping, desserts and drinks, all the good stuff! When all the shopping and stamping was done we headed up to the Hyatt Market Street Hotel bar to drink beers out of fancy glasses... just how I like my beer!

Special Thanks to Market Street Passport Party Sponsors: Langford Market, Madewell, Tommy Bahamas, COS Bar, Trina Turk, Bath and Body Works, Kendra Scott, LUSH, Elaine Turner, and the Hyatt Market Street.

Saturday was the main event and blew me out of the preverbal water with the amazing speakers that delivered such a necessary inspirational and cohesive message.
Ashley from The Shine Project spoke on making your dreams reality.
Audra from the successful Kurtz Korner Youtube channel spoke on expanding your YouTube presence.
Caroline from House of Harper gave incredibly helpful tips on building a brand.
Megan from Greeting from Texas and Sarah from Pretty Providence were on a panel about making dolla dolla bills (yall) from your little space on the inter webz.
Ashley from Fancy Ashley spoke on creating compelling content (like that is hard with the two cutest kids on the planet shhesh!)
Rachel from Southern Fairy Tale apparently spoke on product photography... I was speaking at the same time she was so the jury still out on wether that actually was her topic... it could have been a in depth discussion on how insanely awesome she is...i'll never know.
Kristyn from Lil Luna discussed all things blogging and wonderful and super useful to our hobby/profession.

I was also allowed the intense pleasure of being the official Thrive Photographer to see all the fun you can check out all of the pictures HERE. I also spoke... which will be another post for another day.

Yall I am so proud of my friend