Posts Tagged ‘Etsy’

At home I’m extremely organized. Everything has a place, and I do my best to make sure it all stays where it should. I pride myself on keeping a neat, clean home. I can’t stand clutter, and I never leave “junk” lying around. The only problem areas are my closets, and even those get some TLC every so often.

But my classroom at school? Not so much. Not to give you the wrong impression – my desk is fairly organized, and I start off each day with clean tables and countertops. But then students, teenagers no less(!!!), come storming through the door, and suddenly, my nice neat space is taken over by people who give less thought to neatness than Sofi does. Seriously, have you looked under a teenager’s bed? On second thought, save yourself. It’s gross, for so many reasons, I’m sure.

So this year, I’m making more of a concerted effort to do what I can to keep things orderly. I’m hoping that when the kids see how I’m trying, they’ll follow suit. Modeling at its finest.

First, I bought two great lunch bags made by Sachi that help me bring everything I need for lunch (and if I’m running late, breakfast, too). These totes came as part of a two-part set that I found on Kitchen Wine and Home.  I love using the larger tote bags for picnics, food far ballgames, farmers market shopping, etc.


You might ask why I need two lunch bags, and the rational answer would be that using just one might make it get too worn out too quickly. While that’s true, my real reason is so that I can better match whatever I’m wearing that day. (It’s a sickness, I know).  The thing is, I have a mini fridge at school in my closet, so I only really use this insulated back to bring the food to school and  then to carry it from the fridge to my desk (or wherever I eat).  Which brings up a good point – this year I’m really trying to get out of my classroom at lunch so that I can “commune” with my colleagues.  Otherwise, I can get too much in my own head, if you know what I mean.

I’m really excited about this next one. While I teach some pretty amazing students, I also work at a school with teenagers, some of whom are apt to steal. Especially if a teacher is dumb enough to leave her purse out lying around in plain sight. So I would avoid the problem altogether by only bringing my wallet, and stowing that in my trunk. The problem with that was that I like carrying a purse, and it would never fail that after school I’d find myself somewhere where I needed to bring my keys, wallet, iPhone, etc., and shoving everything in pockets (if I even had pockets with that outfit) wasn’t a good look, because it made everything bulky. So, I decided to get a bit more civilized and use my “Kleenex closet” to it’s full potential by purchasing this cool hanger system from Target for less than $10.


Eventually this will hold my coat and scarf, as well as my purse.

A teacher’s keys are the stuff of legends.  We’re getting emails constantly about teachers’ keys found in the bathroom, lounge, etc.  I myself have locked my room with the keys inside a number of times (thank God for the substitute keys in the office).  Some teachers put their keys on a lanyard and wear them around their necks, but the lanyard I have is really bulky and ugly, and just doesn’t work well with the professional look I’m trying to project with my outfits.  So I decided to turn to Etsy and see what those home artisans might have for me.  Etsy didn’t disappoint!  I found two lanyards at LanyardLand that will take me through all of my outfits.  I bought one for days when black is the main coordinating color and another one that goes more with browns and earth tones.  I love them both, and can’t wait till they arrive.


I love the lampwork beads and the other details.  These lanyards are more like jewelry than anything else, which means that I’ll happily wear my keys.  If you know a female teacher, I highly recommend giving her a lanyard like this, because she’ll definitely appreciate its functionality as well as the fashion it brings.

I decided that part of having a good experience inside the classroom started with the way that it smells as you walk into it.  As I mentioned, I teach teens, some of whom could use another lesson or two in basic hygiene.  So to keep my room from smelling like the Boys’ Locker Room, I invest in Glade Plugins scented oils, and believe me, it’s money WELL spent.  I love the Clean Linen scent, because it’s not cloying, but I also bought the Autumn Harvest to use as October/November gets underway. I’ve already had quite a few students (male and female) comment on how lovely the room smells.  I really do think that a nice scent in the air sets a tone of a pleasant place to be.

I bring a Naglene water bottle with my everyday so that I can get in at least 32 oz of water, but some days I go through that quickly, and I’m left with drinking water straight from the tap (yuck) or buying bottled water (that adds up, plus the plastic is wasteful). So, I went to Target and found this Bobble water filtration pitcher.  Isn’t it a cute shape?  It was only $20, which was perfect for the classroom.  (BTW, when did Britas get to be so expensive?  $40 for a water filter pitcher?  I’ve had the one that sits in my fridge at home a LONG time, apparently, because I was shocked at the prices). I want to encourage my students to bring in reusable bottles, so having the pitcher out where they can see it makes that easier.


If you look behind the pitcher, you can see my black mesh desk organizer trays that I bought two years ago.

These are just a few things to get me started.  I’d love to hear other ideas from those of you who are teachers/know teachers/have high school-age kids.  What keeps a high school classroom running efficiently is much different than  what works in an elementary room, but I do think that my K-8 compadres could help me get some great ideas.


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Goal Style. Each week I use Polyvore to put together looks that I hope to wear when I get to goal. They serve as inspiration and motivation, and they help me develop my own sense of style along the way. I enjoying working with thematic groupings, so if you have ideas of style themes for future fashion Friday posts, please put them in the comments.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo this Saturday, I thought I’d come up with a fun outfit, suitable for a day of bar hopping and enjoying life. I adore the hand-painted Tom’s I found on Etsy! The colorful bangles pick up the flavor of frivolity and merriment. I’ve heard amazing things about Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (great for those of us with curves!), so I thought the red cropped version would add some spice to the outfit. And how can I create a set dedicated to a Mexican celebration without including my favorite Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo?! Ole!

Cinco de Mayo

Frock Frill embroidered shirt
£30 – bankfashion.co.uk

NYDJ slim fit jeans
$84 – lordandtaylor.com

Madewell indian bangle
$12 – madewell.com

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These are exactly like the roller skates that I had when I was young.

I remember being in 1st grade and going to the roller rink on a field trip. I didn’t know how to skate, and I hugged the edge the entire time while watching classmates skate around and have fun. I was determined to learn how to skate. I went home and asked my parents for skates, which they got me. My dad taught me how to balance and soon enough I was practicing in our long driveway, falling but never stopping. Then I “graduated” to the sidewalk, and got so good that I could skate backwards. When my class went back to the rink in May, I was out there having a great time. I remember how proud I was of myself. It’s my first memory of feeling that kind of accomplishment, and since then I’ve gone after every single goal with the same determination.

I’ve done lots of great things in my life since then – experienced first love, graduated college with a BA, been engaged, survived devastating heartbreak, received a teaching credential, worked at a startup (now a major Internet company), taught for 13 years, earned Masters degree, travelled a bit, etc. Lots to be proud of. Yet the main goal that has eluded me since my mid-20s is weight loss. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight (no longer being obese or even overweight) is the penultimate challenge that I’m long overdue to put a check mark next to.

After remembering how much fun I used to have roller skating I started thinking about the fact that I should buy myself a pair of skates so that I can start it up again. One of my ultimate “that would be awesome” fantasies is to join a roller derby league. Of course, I’m getting older and I’m not sure I could Whip It like those ladies do, but it’s fun to dream. Plus, I don’t get any broken bones or bloody noses in Dreamland (on the rink things might be different).

Since roller skating symbolizes such pride and accomplishment for me, I decided to buy a little something to remind myself of how that little first grader felt. I went on Etsy and found a cute little roller skate charm bracelet that will be here soon. I’ll wear it as a reminder of my first major fitness accomplishment to encourage myself to continue on with this one.

My 6-year-old self is tickled pink!


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I love Etsy, don’t you? I find so many unique and interesting items there – collars for Sofi, decorative artwork for the house, and now daily inspiration.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Artsyville. I found this print and knew that I had to have it.

And then I knew that I wanted to find a really special frame to put it in. Enter PoppyDreamz, my newest Etsy obsession. It’s an orange frame, and the “blooms” all around the frame are made from magazines – how cool is that?

And I knew just where I wanted to put them – on my dresser in my bedroom, so each morning as I get ready I can see the message and be reminded of all of my goals for the year. I love how the two pieces look together. The orange frame matches my duvet and the room decor perfectly.  And I like how the colors in the artwork are picked up throughout the frame.



Another reason I chose this frame is that it picked up the swirls of the corset piece perfectly. Love!!

I’m all set to reach my goals, with this daily dose of inspiration.

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Last Wednesday I decided that I wasn’t going to make the trip down to LA, and I was disappointed, but there was a bright side. I now had some extra money to “play” with. I put most of it away for Christmas presents, but I decided to take just a bit of it and order something I’d been wanting for quite some time.

I can’t even remember how I first came across the artwork of Aimee Dolich, but as soon as I did, I was drawn to it.  I even made her “Moxie” saying my email signature.  And I more recently used her art on a blog post (with her copyright intact).  I loved her whole esthetic – the loops, the colors, the motivational words.  I knew that I was going to have to find out more about her and her wonderful artwork.  I was thrilled to find that Aimee had an Etsy Shop, and had her “doodle art” prints for sale.

I chose three prints that had the most meaning to me:


This is the one that started it all. The Moxie!


I find so much motivation from this one - the sentiment is so true for my weight loss journey.


This one helps to remind me that I am SO CLOSE!

I knew that I wanted to put these beautiful prints in my living room and display them properly, so I set out on a hunt for the perfect frame.  Something that would hold all three prints in one.  I finally found it at Kohls, and I love the swirls and bronzed metal of the frame.  (On a side note, I really love Kohls entire home department – they have amazing prices on some very interesting and unique items.  I’ve found lots of my fall and holiday decorations there).

I was so happy with the prints arrived in the mail yesterday.  So fast!  I immediately put them in the frame so that I could display them on my side table.  (This also meant that I “had” to rearrange and organize all of the other photo frames I have in the living room.  I love the way they all turned out, and it made me feel really good to give my mantle an update).


The frame with artwork in the kitchen (better lighting).


On the side table. (Bonus: cameos from Minnie (background) and Sofi (foreground).


This photo shows how well they go with the other decor I have in the room.


I love the way this looks!


Sofi approves of the new artwork, too.

Sometimes it just take a little spark to change an entire mood – of a person or of a room, or both.  I can say that these 3 prints really gave me an added pep in my step yesterday, which made my Saturday all the better.  A huge thank you to Aimee for her amazing artwork, her professionalism, and her speedy delivery.  I will definitely shop Artsyville again, and I hope you guys check it out, too.

What small change have you made recently that has lifted your spirits?  Have you given yourself a little treat that really made a big impact?  If nothing comes to mind, maybe it’s time to do something nice for yourself today.


This pic was just too cute not to share.

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Yesterday I was in the mood to shop.  I’d just woken up from 8 1/2 glorious hours of sleep, after working two 11-hour days in a row, with a cold, mind you.  I was so glad to be off for the day (and to know that I have all of next week off for Spring Break) that I was in the mood to celebrate.

And what better way to celebrate spring than to do a little shopping?  My thought exactly!

I’d just received a  great offer from Avenue in my inbox that morning, so I figured I’d check out what they had to offer.  It turns out, they had quite a bit.  And all for really, really great prices even before the discounts were applied.  Here’s what I got (all prices are the cost before the discount was applied):

Now, I know this Ribbed Cascade Cardigan ($24.99)doesn’t scream spring, but we’ve been having weird weather around here lately, and we may get a few more rainy/cold days before we’re done.  Plus, I like that it will cover my hips.  I ordered it one size smaller than I normally wear just so that it would last a bit longer.

I loved the print on this Floral Tie-Front Dress ($39.99) and I’ve heard that coral is “the” color for spring, so I figured it would work nicely into my wardrobe.  I bought this dress one size smaller than usual, too, because it seems like it will be forgiving.  Look at how cute those shoes she has on are.  They go so well with the dress, but they’d look great with jeans or cropped pants, as well, don’t you think?

My thoughts exactly!  I loved these Shaunte Snake Emboss Wedge Sandals ($34.90), and loved them even more when I realized that they came in wide widths.  As far as I can tell, the “snake” pattern looks more like a croco embossing, which should be really cute.  The only downside I can think of is that they’d leave a hideous tan line on your feet.

Who can buy just one pair of shoes?  Not me.  So when I saw these adorable Kayley Thong Sandals ($14.90), I knew they were going in my cart.  They’re just flat flip-flops, but I like that they’re a bit fancier with the double-band and the patent leather.  I could see these paired with a cute pair of capri pants.  And they’re probably not the best walking shoes, but they’d be great for meeting a friend for coffee or a movie or something.

I got this dark brown Crochet Shrug ($29.99) because I’m not a fan of my upper arms, and unless it’s really hot outside, I like to keep them covered.  Plus, the shrugs sometimes help an outfit look more put together.  I have several brown-patterned dresses and skirts, and I’ve been really needing a brown shrug, so I was glad to finally find one.

I already have two other black shrugs, but I really liked this Crochet Edge Sweater ($19.99), so I got it too.  I have SO much that it will go with, so I know that it was money well spent.

This Retro Floral Sundress ($24.90) was the pièce de résistance for me.  I love anything retro anyway, but I think  this will look really good on me.  I have the most perfect shoes to wear with it, too.

I loved the ruffle on this Ruffle & Bow Tunic ($14.90), and I thought that it was incredibly versatile.  I could see myself wearing it with a straight skirt and a belt as easily as with a pair of cropped jeans.  I’ve found that most tops at Avenue are short and boxy, which isn’t a flattering look on me (or most people, right?), so I always make sure to get tunics from them because I know they’ll be long enough.

Not a bad morning of shopping yesterday, huh? And after my discounts, I got everything – two dresses, two shrugs, two pairs of shoes and top – for less than $175.


I have one more item that I purchased, but it goes along with some great news that I wanted to share with all of you.

I found the most amazing breeder to get my new puppy from!  They’re called Lilly Bits, and they are absolutely the type of place that you’d hope to find your new puppy from.  I happened upon their almost by accident.  I’d been searching online to see what type of puppy I might want to get this time.  I loved the bichon part of Lulu and I loved her coloring.  Everyone used to say she was like a little “teddy bear,” but I also didn’t want to try to replicate her (not that I could) and get another of her exact mix (yorkie bichon), so I found out that the true “teddy bear” breed is called Shichon (shih tzu and bichon).  And then somehow I came across the Lilly Bits site.

They’re amazing people who live near Seattle and Heather is one of the nicest people I’ve ever talked to.  She doesn’t treat it like a business, but rather like this is her calling.  She and her family are the absolute sweetest people ever.  They spoil every one of their dogs, whether or not they’re going to become their pets.  Just look around at that website, if you have some time.  You’ll see the plethora of tips and information she puts on it.  When I complimented her on how clean and straightforward it was, she said that she just wanted to include the type of information that she would want to find on a site if she were looking to buy a puppy.  That’s exactly their approach – they treat the puppies and their clients exactly as they would want to be treated.  And it shows in everything they do.

I’ve put a deposit down and I get pick 4 (out of 6) of Lilly’s puppies.  New photos were just posted moments ago, and I am going nuts over here oooohing and ahhhhhing over them.  I have a favorite, although I  think they’re all precious. Please keep a good thought (or a prayer, if you’re so inclined) that I’m able to get “Winnie” because she’s a doll.

The puppies are only two weeks old, and as fate or karma or coincidence would have it, they were born on March 26th, exactly one week after Lulu’s accident.  To the day.  I take that as a huge sign that this is the place that I am supposed to get my next puppy from.

I’ve even figured out a name, after great deliberation.  I loved the name Lola, but my mom and my older niece hated it.  Then I thought of Lucy, but that’s so close to Lulu and my friend has a puppy named Lucy, so that might get confusing (although she lives in DC and I live in California).  Other names that I liked were Gigi and Stella (Streetcar Named Desire!).  But then it came to me –


Inspired by Sophia Loren and all of those other great film mavens of the past.  It’s sassy and a bit spunky.  Plus, it rolls easily off the tongue.  And I just think it’s adorable.

In honor of choosing the name, my other purchase yesterday was from an Etsy store called Coley’s Collars.  Heather (from Lilly Bits) highly recommended the store, and once I saw their collars, I could see why.  I got this one for Sofi:

It will go with the red leash and harness that I already have, and it’s so summery and sweet.  And since I’m going to get Sofi (whoever she ends up being) the day after school gets out, on June 11th, she’s definitely going to be a summer puppy.

Even though I’m not exactly sure which puppy is coming home to me on June 11th, the thought that one of these adorable puppies is going to be mine has really lifted my spirits.

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Lately I haven’t been making a ton of progress on my weight loss goals, and as such, my rewards have sort of fallen to the way side.  Couple that with the fact that I haven’t had a ton of extra money, and well… there we are.

That is, until I saw this bracelet:

il_fullxfull66466466 I love the fun colors, the fact that it’s called “Color Chaos,” and that it has a charm at the end that says “Live.”  What an amazing daily reminder it would be for me to live my best life, right?

The bracelet description can be found here.  It’s the creation of My Charmed Designs, and can be found on Etsy.  The bracelet is rather expensive at $70, but when I look at those colors and think about the craftsmanship that went into making it, I realize that it’s worth it.  Plus, if I love it and wear it almost every day, the “cost per wear” makes it more reasonable.

None of the colors in this bracelet are ones that I normally wear, except for red, but somehow I was drawn to it above all of the other beautiful bracelets in My Charmed Designs’ gallery.  I think it’s the combination of carnival-like colors that makes it seem so right to me.  Plus, the colors don’t go with any particular season of the year, but are, to me, more universal.  I am usually in some form of black (or other jewel-toned colors) more often than not, so this bracelet will show off nicely with my wardrobe.

I get paid in a week and a half, and if the bracelet is still available, then I’m going to buy it for myself as a pre-reward.  Something that I can look down at on my wrist and be reminded of my weight loss journey.  It will be a great momento for me and I know that I will see it and take stock of how I’m doing with my weight loss goals for the day.

The name “Color Chaos” fits perfectly because it is everything that I hope my life is – bold, sassy, colorful, busy, hectic, happy, and fun.

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