Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to School Style Part 2 {giveaway}

Comfort is my number one criteria when picking out my clothes!  As teachers we are up, down, and all around when working with our students.  Plus, glue, markers, and paint are constantly coming at us.  Due to these factors, I choose stylish comfort when choosing my outfits for the week.  Yet, I believe that the easiest way to jazz up any outfit is with the perfect accessory.
My go-to accessory has always been handbags.  I would say, I have a bit of an obsession with bags.  It wasn't until I discovered LineaPelle handbags that my world changed.  Instead of buying inexpensive purses that would fall apart after 5 uses, I started saving and splurging on bags that would last a life time.
Just a few of my LP bags!
My favorite accessories though have to be my statement pieces from Paizlee.  They have the classiest necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and let's not forget their garments!  I know that when I want to dress up a simple tee I throw on a statement necklace or gorgeous pair of earrings from my favorite girls!

I am teaming up with Paizlee for this fabulous Teacher Style Giveaway.  Just head over to my Instagram account for all of the details.

What is your go-to accessory?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy Teacher

I am a huge advocate for self health.  I believe that we must take the time to care of ourselves if we want to be productive human beings.  Teacher burnout is a crisis in our career and I feel like it takes a toll on each and everyone of us, no matter how long we have been teaching.  Finding small joys and achieving BIG accomplishments are what we strive for, but getting there can be tough.
I am very grateful for fellow teacher bloggers, like Sheila Jane.  She has taken teacher happiness to a new level.  Sheila Jane Teaching provides a community of "happy teachers" supporting one another.  I personally love being a Happy Teacher Member!

What makes you a Happy Teacher?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School Style Part 1

I know that many of you are already back to school, but for those of us on the west coast we still have a bit more time.  With the first day quickly approaching it is time to put my yoga pants and jogging shorts to the side and pick out my First Day of School outfit.
As teachers, I feel that we are always looking for the following from our clothing:

  • comfort - We are up, down, and all around the place.
  • durability - I need to know that my pants aren't going to fall apart on me as I bend down to work with a student.
  • can be easily cleaned - No one wants to make a trip to the dry cleaners to get out the paint from Friday's art project.
  • stylish - We all want to look FABULOUS!
I have put together some of my favorite Back to School outfit choices to provide some inspiration.
[Linen Pants - Old Navy; Tunic - Paizlee; Long necklace - handmade]
[Pixi Pant - Old Navy; Top - Paizlee; Necklace - ?]
[Pixi Pants - Old Navy; Top - Paizlee; Long necklace - handmade] 
[Black Pants and Tank - Old Navy; Kimono - Paizlee]
[Dress and Jean Jacket - Old Navy; Necklace - Paizlee]

What do you think?  

Be sure to check back for part 2!  I have teamed up with my favorite online boutique Paizlee to bring you some more teacher style ideas and a giveaway!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Life of a New Mama - Let's Get Something Straight!

So I had every intention of breastfeeding once my son was born.  I took a class, I read several books, I talked to friends and colleagues; plus I figured it is natural it will be fine.  HAHA!  Who was I kidding?  For me, it has been nothing close to fine.  Breastfeeding quickly became more difficult than the 51 hours of labor and c-section that I went through.

Here are some things that no one told me that I really wish I would have known:

  • you are encouraged to nurse nonstop (on demand) in the hospital and the first several weeks of your child's life 
  • it can take days, even up to a week, for your milk to come in
  • if you have a bigger baby (my guy was 9lb 9oz) keeping up with demand is even harder
  • you have to drink water like you never have before, but good luck peeing because you will constantly have a little one attached to you
  • your boobs will hurt and I don't mean they will be sore, I mean they will HURT!
  • your nipples will take on a shape you have never seen before
  • modesty will go out the window
  • you may never make enough milk to support your child's needs
I know that not everyone experiences these hardships, but for those that do know that you are not alone.  It wasn't until I started talking about how difficult of a time my little guy and I were having that I learned almost everyone I knew struggled with breastfeeding to some degree.
The most vital piece of information I have learned from talking with others is that there is NOTHING wrong with giving your child formula.  I had the hardest time accepting this, but your child's health and weight gain are the number one priority, along with your emotional and physical health.  If you have to supplement no biggie.  You are doing what you need to do for your child!
To date, I am breastfeeding on demand and supplementing with 2-4 ounces of formula a day.  It took my son almost 3 weeks to get back to birth weight and continue to gain weight at speed that made the doctors, lactation specialist, and this mama happy.  

Did you struggle with this or have a friend that did?  What has worked for you?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Time Travel

If you could go back in time and give your first-year teacher self some advice what would it be?

In the last 10 years, I have learned a lot about my self as a teacher, the world of education, and the needs of children.  I would love to go back and give my first year teacher self some advice.

1. Everyone is doing the best they can!  Often times, I would get frustrated with parents and even coworkers thinking that they were not giving their children and students their all.  Oh how becoming a parent has quickly changed that mentality.  Everyone is doing the best they can.  Life can be really hard, but if we support each other instead of looking down on others we would ALL be better off.

2. Take a breather!  I am a workaholic there is no denying it, but it is okay to stop and smell the roses.  Too often I would commit to one more thing because I was always in fear of missing out.  Guess what...that is perfectly fine.  You don't have to be a know-it-all, what you need is enough energy to do everything with passion and to truly love what you are doing.

I bet there are a million other things that would have helped me my first year, but as long as I continue to learn and love what I am doing that is what matters right?!?

What would you tell your first year self?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Five for Friday - August 21, 2015

It has been way too long since I have linked up with Doodle Bugs for a Five for Friday.  I am so excited to be back!
This week was filled with baby time and well more baby time.  I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around being on maternity leave.  It has become confusing seeing everyone get ready for the school year while I know that I am going to be at home with little man for awhile.
Here are 5 highlights from my week:

Little man is starting to smile and recognize so much.  It is so incredible to watch his development happen before my eyes.

I picked up some new goodies from my favorite online boutique, Paizlee.  Be sure to follow along the next few weeks; I have a fabulous giveaway with them coming up.

I have been on the hunt for these Mr. Sketch markers.  I have a crazy love for smelly markers and these are a must for my classroom.  I keep seeing that people have found them at Target, but no such luck here.

Another search has been for these mini InkJoy pens.  I don't know what the deal is with these pens, but they are inexpensive and write perfectly.  These minis would be perfect to throw in my purse/diaper bag.  Has anyone found them?

I spend a lot of time hanging out on the couch nursing.  I have been searching for a great show to get hooked on and I think I found it.  Have you watched Suits?  It is addicting and very well written.  Donna is the best!  I am always looking for a great show to binge watch, any suggestions?

How was your week?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Making Time

With the hustle and bustle of back to school, we very quickly forget to make our selves a priority.  We love what we do and we emerge into what we love.  Yet, too often that mentality backfires on us.  There is a reason teachers have a summer break, and instead of keeping it going we yearn for the next break.  Instead, I challenge each of you, my self included, to remember to stop and make time for your health just as you did during your vacation.
Yoga has always been my go-to for stress relief and me time.  With a busy teaching schedule, I made it my GOAL to get to a minimum of one class a week.  If I did this I would reward myself with a coffee treat at the end of the week.  I can't wait to get back into yoga, after I am cleared at my 8 week postpartum check up, but once I go back to work I have no idea if this will remain my goal.
To all you working parents, how do you do it?  What is your one thing that you do for YOU?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New Series - Life of a New Mama

As I mentioned, I plan on adding some different content to the blog as my "search for balance" has been rocked with this new addition to our family.  Enter...Life of a New Mama!

One of the first things that crossed my mind, once we were home from the hospital, was "How in the world am I going to maintain supper time?"  Cooking and eating healthy are two very important components in my life.  Cooking has always been a way for me to decompress, and being gluten free requires a lot more eating at home.  How in the world do you do that with a newborn that wants to nurse at all hours of the day?  Well, between Pinterest and my Slow Cooker we have had dinner every night.
Here are some of my favorite new recipes:

French Dip Sammies

Easy Peasy Pulled Pork

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Each of these recipes were easy to tweak to make gluten free.  I just had to use tamari instead of soy sauce, gf rolls for the sammies, and double check things like the bbq sauce to make sure there were no sneaky ingredients.

What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Long Time...No Post

I am seriously embarrassed that it has been such a long time since I posted.  I have a good reason though...I had my first child.  Last school year, I decided to focus on my pregnancy health, while still teaching full time.  Let me tell you...growing a human while teaching small humans is no joke!  It was crazy exhausting and stressful!  I am here to say that it can be done.  Plus, this year's challenge will be teaching small humans while being a new mom.  Yikes!!!  I am nervous just thinking about it.  
I won't be heading back to work for a few months, but during that time I plan to post more regularly; I promise they won't be all baby posts.  I do plan on changing the content of the blog a bit to accommodate this big change in my life.  I am excited to be back and look forward to connecting with you all again!!!
If only he slept like this all the time!

Any advice for a new mama?