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Old Navy Women’s Best Tees!

April 1, 2013

As part of of my participation on Crowdtap (which you should totally join because hey, free stuff!), I got to sample Old Navy’s tees for women. And by sample, I mean take home two for free, and give two to a friend! My post-baby belly is decidedly… rounder and lumpier than my pre-baby belly, so I was in desperate need of some tops to fit my new shape. I fell in LOVE with their vintage tees – soft, heathered, in current colors (I got grey and lavender stripes, Sarah bought coral and grey), with just enough room to be forgiving and comfy. I will be wearing these with everything this summer.

Shirts for us! Cause we're stylish. And pretty.

Shirts for us! Cause we’re stylish. And pretty, even when we (I) do weird things with our (my) neck.

I think Old Navy was the winner here though, because between the two of us, we may have come for free tees, but we left with the whole store. I love their skinny boyfriend khakis. We aren’t allowed to wear jeans to teach (BOO), but these are a perfect balance – they come in all the fun colors that denim is in right now, the silhouette is skinny and on-trend, but they still qualify as work pants. And I can wear them all summer too (40 school days left!)

This shopping is in addition to buying everything they have online in size 9-12 and 12-18 months for my daughter to wear this summer. I am OBSESSED with rompers for babies. Old Navy, just take my whole bank account, hmmm?

The Simple Things

July 22, 2011

The Simple Things

I love Jesslyn’s encouragement to appreciate the simple things each week. Since it’s my birthday today, I’ve had an extra special lot to be grateful for.

  • My new kitten, Emily, and the sweet husband who adopted her with me.
  • Susan, who took me out for lemon curd crepes, mimosas, and thrift store shopping today.
  • My momma, who helped us upgrade to the couch of our dreams (delivered today, how perfect!)
  • Sarah, who helped me take Emily to the vet for her first checkup, got my butt to the gym, and made these sailors knot bracelets with me!


  • All my friends, family and former students who took time to send me some love today. What more could a girl ask for?

Meet Emily

July 22, 2011


This sweet girl came home from the shelter with us on Tuesday! Can you believe another family adopted and returned this bundle of cuddle? She hadn’t been back at the shelter for more than an hour when we arrived. We originally had wanted a tiny kitten, but she was so warm and friendly, we knew she was the one for us. I have had and known plenty of kitties in my life, and she is the snuggliest I’ve ever known. The first night we had her, we were lying down watching a movie, and she pushed herself under my blanket and slept curled against my chest.


She loves Matt, and this is huge for him. He wasn’t raised with cats because his mom hates them, and the cat I had when we started dating was terrified of him because he’s so big. He’s never met a cat that liked him right away, but Emily can’t get enough of him! He’s pretty sweet with her.


We were a little worried at first – we fell for her before we knew she was returned by her last family for not using the litter box. I think they must have had lots of other cats that she didn’t get along with, but she has been perfect since we brought her home. As we got ready for bed the first night, Matt turned to me and said, “I still don’t like cats. I just like our cat. And there’s no other woman in the world that I would have adopted one for.” Love him, love my Emily, and love especially that the adore each other.

Fill in the Blank Friday

July 15, 2011

Link up with Lauren!

1. I am a (morning, evening, middle of the day person) evening by choice, morning by habit. During the summer, I sleep late, stay up late, and get the most done after 8pm, but during the school year I’m in bed early, and get the most done by waking up crazy early – I have been known to grade papers at 4 in the morning.

2. My favorite Pandora stations are The Head & The Heart, RENT… everything else is a mash up of lots of songs/artists.

3. 3 of my “must-have” songs for a road trip playlist are

4. My favorite pattern is  tattersall , but polka dots are a close second.

5. My favorite perfume is Shenandoah by Terri Michele, and VS Sexy Little Things Noir

6. Rules are so so so hard for me to break. I have always been a rule follower, through and through. In middle school, all my friends jaywalked across a busy street to get to a donut shop. I stalked down a block to the crosswalk, by myself, full of tears and righteous indignation.

7. My most overused phrase or punctuation is “lovely”… and ellipses.

wee bit wednesday

July 13, 2011

{one} what’s the #1 most played song on your iPod (or whatever you use)?
If I actually sort by Most Played – Black and Yellow by Wiz Khalifa. It’s a GREAT gym song, and I’ve been working out this summer!

{two} what’s your favorite type of exercise?
Dance – but if you’re out of school and not dancing at a professional level, classes in LA are really intimidating! So I haven’t done that in forever. I like cycling too.

{three} what’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
It doesn’t even exist anymore, but the Skyway that used to take you across Disneyland is probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I was about 10, and there were teenage boys jumping in the one next to us (my mom yelled at them because she’s my heroine.) I thought I was going to die. I know that’s a stretch for a mode of transportation, but I like pretty much everything else I’ve tried.

{four} if you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what would it be?
I’ll steal Leigh Ashley’s answer and say, “Now. I like being 28.” But I really hope my answer to this is always “now”, it means I’m enjoying my life!

{five} when you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you use it to do?
During the school year? Nap! During the summer, read anything I can get my hands on.

{six} what do you miss the most about being a kid?How open the future seemed. I love my life, my marriage, and my career, but part of the fun of being a kid was imagining that your future could hold anything. Now it feels like life is too short to do everything I’d want to do!

{seven} when was the last time you were nervous?
A few weeks ago, going to a party with a bunch of people I don’t know. Matt is totally energized by that kind of thing, but I am a twisted ball of nerves until we arrive – and it’s worse if we’re running late (which we were, of course!)

{eight} what was the first thing you bought with your own money when you were young?I raised the most money in our school’s bike-a-thon when I was 6, and the prize was $100. I bought an original Nintendo, and played lots of Tetris.

{nine} what is your favorite month of the year?
July! Our anniversary, my birthday, no school/work ever, days by the pool, 4th of July… doesn’t get much better for me.

{ten} what are 3 songs from the soundtrack of your life?
High school – Kiss Me, Sixpence None the Richer
College – The Warmth, Incubus
Adulthood – I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

Go link up and share your answers!

First official Monday of summer!

July 12, 2011

Oh, what a lovely day yesterday was. Because of how summer school fell, this is my first full week with no work, and having a Monday off with no work in site felt ssoooooo good. A day like that needs documentation (mostly for myself when it’s mid-November and I’m wondering when I’ll ever have a day with no papers to grade!)

  • Wore my new TOMS outside for the first time.
TOMS Navy Bimini Women's Stitchouts

SO glad I ordered these when I did - got the last seven and a half!

  • Neighborhood Starbucks handled the most annoying order ever (grande decaf soy caramel light frappuccino) with ease. Seriously, I was kind of embarrassed to order it.
  • My friend S picked me up, and we went to her awesome stylist for haircuts. Best part: the stylist actually believed me when I told her my hair is naturally spiral curly, and gave me a cut that will work both curly and straight. Second best part: Someone else blowdrying my hair for me. Ah, the luxury. If I were ever to come into a ridiculous sum of money, I would pay someone to wash and dry my hair for me every day.

    My eyes look like they're looking different places - I didn't even know I could do that!

  • Spent an hour or so making my kitchen sparkly clean, then messed it all up making my favorite vegetarian meal to date. I could eat Mongolian BBQ for every meal, and this tasted just like it. It took maybe 20 minutes, and that’s just because I’m a slow carrot peeler. I tried to take a picture for this post, but it was too ugly and I would rather eat dinner than style it.
    Soba Noodles with Vegetables PDF
    Soba Noodles with Vegetables EVERNOTE
  • Worked out with S, channeling myself 20 years ago by wearing leggings and scrunch socks because that’s what was clean. I looked pretty awesome.
Today, my very best friend from high school is in town; I’m having lunch and a beach day with her, her husband, and their two adorable kids. I’ve never even met her daughter who is around 18 months – definitely overdue for a visit!
Brittany Michelle Senior Year Fall Rally 1

Me and Brittany, September 1999

Summer = …

July 11, 2011

… eating outside with good friends.

At Ladyface Ale Companie, so called because it's fabulous patio overlooks Ladyface Mountain. GO, if you're local, and order one of everything. Especially the french onion soup, and the mac and cheese and... everything.

Our Sixth Anniversary

July 8, 2011

Yes, you just read about our 7th. Whoops. I meant to blog about this all last summer, and it just didn’t happen. But it was so special and memorable and happy, I just can’t leave it in the past!

Matt works in business-to-business sales, providing pretty much the best customer experience you can imagine. Because he’s so awesome, one of his customers last year, as a thank you, offered to get us in to Club 33 at Disneyland. My momma and I are SUCH Disney-philes, it’s hard to find something at Disneyland we haven’t done… unless it’s a secret restaurant where you have to be a member to get a reservation. There is really nothing like being given the VIP treatment at the Happiest Place on Earth.

We borrowed his dad’s convertible T-bird (thanks dad!), and pulled up to valet at the Grand Californian, which is the beautiful craftsman-style hotel at California Adventure. We were met by the special guests coordinator, who gave us our park-hopper tickets, itinerary, and World of Color passes in a fancy envelope. Normally you have to get a fast pass for World of Color, but she assured us that we could walk right up and have the best seats in the house. I am not a person who desires fame and fortune, but if this is how celebrities get treated at Disneyland, I’ll take it.

Our reservation wasn’t until 7, so we did a few of our favorite things in the parks. Soarin’ Over California is pretty much my favorite ride of all time. While we were in line, we realized we’d spent anniversaries at lots of the places you glide over during the ride! So now our goal is to spend an anniversary at every one. For year 8, I’m rooting for canoeing down Redwood Creek, or a hot air balloon ride in Napa.

We went back to the hotel and changed – even though we live within driving distance of Anaheim, not having to drive is a nice little luxury.

Ready for dinner

Matt pointed out that this outfit was very Belle in her blue dress, aka my very favorite princess. I swear I didn't plan it!

Back to the park, went on the Haunted Mansion because it’s Matt’s favorite. On our way, he captured this picture:

I am a nerd.

The look on my face? Is because I had just realized that we were going to Club 33 for our 6th anniversary, and 3+3=6. I love those kinds of numerical coincidences (our wedding was 7/3/04, 3+4=7, we were both 21 when we got married, 7×3=21, there are 21 diamonds in my wedding set… I could go on forever.)

After the ride, we proceeded to the restaurant and rang the secret doorbell for our reservation. If you’ve never seen it, Club 33 is in New Orleans Square, right next to the entrance for the Blue Bayou (the restaurant you float through on Pirates of the Caribbean.) You’d never notice it unless you were looking for it; it’s a green door with a small sign that says 33. I’d walked past it a million times before I knew it was there. You ring the intercom, they ask for your reservation name, and then you are whisked in the door (while other people wonder where in the world you are going!) Seriously, look for people who are oddly dressed-up in New Orleans Square, it’s likely they have a reservation.

We took the french lift up – it’s a fancy little elevator that Disney had specially commissioned. The whole restaurant is filled with interesting Disney artifacts – Matt took pictures of lots of little details, but there are better ones all over the internet that weren’t taken with a camera phone!

Club 33

The view from our table - beautiful.

Dinner was lovely – amazing food, although a year later I can’t remember what we ate! The service was outstanding – they make you feel SO special, and I think they appreciated that we respected the dress code and didn’t wear shorts and flip flops. :] Fantasmic happened just before we ate dessert, so we went out on the balcony and had a perfect view, above the crowds who didn’t ever realize we were there!

Club 33 Anniversary Dessert


After dessert, we realized we needed to BOOK IT to make the World of Color show, all the way over in California Adventure. We were practically running in my very unpractical shoes, and I never would have made it except that we stopped and bought me flip flops near Indiana Jones, begging random strangers to let us cut in line for our anniversary and giggling like teenagers.

If you go to Disneyland any time soon, DO NOT MISS the World of Color. It’s like the fountains in front of the Bellagio, times a million, plus Disney. Breathtaking. I think we described it best here. :]

7 Years Strong

July 8, 2011

7th anniversary at Stone BreweryFor anyone who is engaged and trying to set a date, may I recommend getting married on a holiday weekend? Our anniversary is July 3rd, and I love love love that it’s tied with the 4th of July. Even if Matt has to work, we can always do something great because the next day is a guaranteed holiday. Some years we’ve planned a lot, gone on trips, done fancy romantic dinners, etc., but this anniversary was laid back and relaxing, and we spent it with friends. It works, this year. Anniversaries have a lot to do with your stage in marriage – when you’re newlyweds, everything feels extra special and exciting… and sort of private, right? After 7 years (wow!), we are comfortable in our own skins; we cherish each other, love time alone together, but a weekend with friends in a place we love sounded just perfect.

Saturday we went to a beautiful little wedding on the beach – nothing like watching other people get married to make you nostalgic about your own wedding. Then we packed up the car and headed down to San Diego; my friend Sarah grew up there, and her parents have an adorable house with a guest cottage, surrounded by fruit trees. Idyllic. We met up with Sarah, Jenessa and their husbands for dinner at Coronado Brewing Co. (awesome for vegetarians! Get the hummus and the veggie burger, both were super tasty.)

Sunday we slept in (whoops, no church!), and when we went in to the main house, Sarah’s mom had made breakfast, including orange-grapefruit juice and pomegranate syrup, from their own trees! We basically got spoiled rotten. :] We bought tons of food and spend the afternoon grilling, eating guacamole (25 tiny avocados for $5!! from a stand by their house), and lying around in the shade. Everything about their house and this day reminded me of my grandpa’s house, and the 4ths of my childhood – yay for nostalgia.

Sarah’s husband is a total beer geek (and is quickly turning Matt into one!), so for dinner on the 3rd we went to the restaurant at Stone Brewing Co. I WISH I hadn’t eaten so much at lunch – by the time we had appetizers, no one was hungry, but they had some vegetarian options that looked amazing (Wild Mushrooms over Penne, anyone?) We sat and drank and laughed and enjoyed each other and the perfect weather for four hours, and I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary this year.

at Stone

Married for 7 years + 8 hours!

He was supposed to be kissing me

This picture = us. He was supposed to be kissing my cheek. I am clearly horrified.

Monday we were treated to another amazing breakfast, and Sarah’s mom let us pick fresh fruit of their trees to bring home! Then everyone else headed back to LA while Matt and I met up with his little sister, her boyfriend, and some of their friends. Oh gosh, I am so drastically not in college anymore, but it was still fun despite the fact that we were the only people at Pacific Beach over 25. Case in point – music at the shore club includes the opening guitar chord from the 90210 theme song. Matt and I both get excited, and then realize we are THE ONLY ONES who recognize it. At least we’re in this getting older thing together. :]

We ended the day at the beach in La Jolla. The three of them had a little adventure involving rocks and a riptide and had to be rescued! I am much more cautious. :] Post-beach, we went back to their hotel which overlooked the water and had a great rooftop balcony. Perfect spot for fireworks!

la jolla

These people CAMPED OUT for spots. We were luckier.

My favorite part of the Fourth of July by the beach is getting into warm clothes and snuggling up for fireworks. This was the best display I’ve ever seen, with the best man I’ve ever known. I am so so blessed to be living this life.


7 years, 1 day, 10 hours later, and he's still my favorite.

Fill in the Blank Friday

July 8, 2011

I’ve been having such a lovely summer, it turns out these are my most frequent posts! I’ll update about our anniversary and 4th of July soon, but for now…

Fill in the blank Friday, hosted by the little things we do.

1.   My plans this summer include       teaching summer school (ONE MORE DAY!), meeting my best friend from high school and her adorable family at the beach, turning 29 (eeek!), a week-long math education/technology workshop at Pepperdine, re-creating ALL my lesson plans for my new SMARTboard, designing pretty posters for my classroom, lots of time in a pool cabana with a good book or seven.

2.  The best summer I ever had was    …strangely enough, the one where we were both unemployed! We had to be really creative with our money, and it was kind of fun. Lots of time outdoors.
3.  Summer is     …farmer’s market fruit, iced tea, flip-flop tans, not blowdrying my hair, birthday and anniversary celebrations, time with my nieces, new-school-year dreaming and planning
4.  My favorite summer food is   …corn on the cob, with lime juice and cayenne pepper. Or watermelon, with a dash of sea salt. Or raspberries, or white nectarines, or…
5.  The best way to quench a summer thirst is with     …water with cucumber and mint.
6.  My summer uniform consists of       …light, breezy dresses, flip-flops,  shorts and espadrille wedges, monogrammed canvas tote bags, lots of stripes, leather bracelets.
7.  The best thing about summer is       … new years resolutions, part two. Because I’m a teacher, summer is when I both have time to make changes to my habits and diet, and also when I plan for the following school year. I love the feeling of starting out fresh, again! Spending my birthday by the pool isn’t bad either. (: