Working It!

I am SO excited to be returning back to school. I am blessed that I get to be back in the school I worked at for my student teaching internship! I cant believe the 3rd graders that I once helped are now in 5th, where I will be!

The other night I was up late with my anxiety and just being a night-owl/Pitta type and decided to prep my wardrobe for the upcoming first week.

Then I kept going, and I have a months worth of outfits, enough to wear something different everyday…and then some! It makes me blush that I have that much clothing, but I’m happy that I am prepared for any weather or turn of events!

It’s January and January has always felt light blue and silver to me. Anyone else give colors to the months and seasons? For example: I love wearing lots of browns, blacks, oranges, and greens in October and November moving into maroon by the end of November and then blacks and gem tones in December… the on to teals and blues in January… No? Just me! Haha.

Well I have many teals and blues to wear this months as well as blacks and light-browns.

Before we go further a HUGE apology for photographing at night. I was VERy busy today running and was stuck in town, then when I got home I HAD to clean before blogging. So the clothes will not look the greatest or true to color, and I’m in a hurry. But it was a goal to get this post out there, so here it is!

This first top is a thick sweater with 3/4 sleeves, which was an instant dream-team for me. I’m a sleeve-pusher. I’m paring it with this great iridescent-ish necklace that really captures blues. I think it give the out fit something feminine. Paired with black slacks and light brown flats makes this outfit a move away from bland for me. I think the brown flats pick up the warmth from the necklace that the slacks and top cool down, as the stones are set in gold. This sweater would be great to wear with a button up underneath, sleeves rolled.

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Next, I am very excited about this. I was having a hard time wearing this white cardigan and this grey shell. For what ever reason the sweater just didn’t seem right with the outfits I was pairing it with and the grey was almost purple, but this gorgeous amazonite mala necklace picks up the greys and whites and adds a pop of teal and orange. Paired with black slacks and brown flats.

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Here we have the pretty necklace again, this time with a more polished sweater in teal. Again, I photographed at night and these photos just don’t give the color it’s justice. Definitely more green in person. (Check out instagram for any full outfit photos!!! @ashleyontherun) This sweater has buttons up the back. So cute! paired with black slacks and flats.

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4th day… I. LOVE. THIS. TOP. There is something so great about an oversized-sweater! This sweater feels casual, but does not look it! Paired with a pretty gold flower necklace, black slacks and brown flats.

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And for my Friday outfit! As a student teacher, I am suggested by the college to not conform to the “jeans on Friday” rule of the school I am in while student teaching. So in order for me to feel a little bit more comfortable while remaining professional as well as part of the team I decided on a simple, casual striped knit top with a black open cardigan, black slacks, and black flats. This top feels like a t-shirt compared to the rest of the week, so that is why it feels casual to me! Nothing too frilly! Stay posted to my ig to see if I share the full outfit.

So that’s my first week! I had so much fun gathering like pieces and making a theme or colorstory for each week. You can tell my first week was cool blues with pops of gold/brown. I’m dying to get Valentines week prepared! It is still a little bit early yet. I have red and pink slacks so that takes care on Monday and Tuesday’s bottoms! I’m keeping an eye out for a sweater with a big heart on it! And hoping to make a cute heart necklace. The rest of the week may be slightly less decked-out, but black and white with pops of red or pink.

Tops are all from Loft, and I do believe they are all still available as of this post. The gem and flower necklace are Loft. The amazonite mala is from True Nature jewelry on Etsy. Pants are low rise ankle pants from Express. Flats are Born.

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A Note on Life and Procrastination

Can I write a personal post, for a change and an update? Well, of course I can. I have been  busy with my classes this semester (big surprise right?), and it’s only just the beginning for me. On the plus side being busy keeps me from thinking that something is missing in my life. On the down side it has taken me over a month to adjust to the new schedule and teachers.

Michael started his new job and the shop, where I work, closes an hour earlier now, so both of us are off at 5! I also have a come-to-Jesus with my Educational Psychology homework. We were not doing well together. I realized that I needed to be motivated, whether I felt like it or not. So far it seems to have made a great difference. I will truly know when I get my grade back on an upcoming project.

As far as farmhouse items go, I have been busy decorating and perfecting for Autumn, when I can be. I am almost ready to take some photographs. I think I will go ahead and do this Sunday or Monday, my days off. The weekend after next I will get to decorate the front “porch”. I’m so much further behind everyone else, but I have homework that is tons more important and a new house that deserves so much more than many of my dinky apartment decorations. If you follow my Instagram you can see a few sneak peeks.

In the way of fitness. I dropped off just before September. I am making an effort to regroup very soon. I miss running. and now that schedules are syncing and flowing I think I will be able to get back with it. Especially with food planning. I get very mental about things you see and it causes me to withdraw. I call it being lazy. I am lazy. But it’s more likely often a result of my anxiety. I throw lots of pity parties for myself, mentally.

As for other things in my life… it’s always quite interesting! I have been Happy Planning away, I decorated for and witnessed a wedding at the Harley Shop, I have been to Colorado on the motorcycle (hope to share pictures with you soon as well!), went shopping with my mom for all things great, I have been in an amazing classroom for my internship and taught some lessons, and I continue to find ways to improve after being in a slump!

Some of the changes I have made, which really are just adulting:

  1. Buying groceries with a plan. I haven’t really been doing this. I have been relying on Michael to come up with ideas for dinner and grill. So I was quite proud when I bought myself some breakfast foods, some snacks for both of us and dinner for two meals this week. I didn’t even break the bank! When Michael came home from work, the chicken and dumplings were ready to eat! It was a perfect Monday. I hope to keep this going.
  2. Syncing schedules has helped a ton. I have so far been able to convince Michael to help me clean up after dinner, and we have been eating at the table. He helps wash some of the dishes which is better than nothing and I super appreciate it. I’m able to put leftovers away and dry them and then finish the rest. He also takes out the trash the majority of the time.
  3. Doing my homework with a plan in mind. When I started visiting a friend regularly, sort-of, I felt the need to get certain homework items out of the way earlier than my normal procrastinating self does. And somehow I stuck with it. Now I get the discussion boards done a day early, and after my problems with Ed Psych I’m reading that text book through out the week rather than the couple of days before things are due. I tell you it feels great at the end of the evening when it’s 9:30-10:00 and I’m able to stop and relax and read a fun book or watch a show with out any stress. Often I can even not do any homework Friday or Saturday because I am far enough ahead! It’s really rewarding.
  4. And a simple change in setting for homework has done wonders. I began reading my Ed Psych text at the table to give me a greater sense of importance. I was not giving it enough attention on the couch. I began reading and highlighting and making note-cards for vocabulary and even rereading for summarize the major chucks of concepts they want us to be able to explain. It’s been fantastic. So yes, I do my homework in three different places at home!
  5. Of course having my Happy Planner has helped me. I keep track of my homework using the side bar. Other important dates, to-do’s, or what homework I feel like concentrating on that night get written in the regular daily part.

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All in all, I’m sad that it has taken me so long to realize how great it feels to not be a procrastinator, but I know in my heart I will always be fighting this! Thankfully I know what needs to be done to get on track, up so speed, and ahead of the deadlines! And maybe this information makes me seem really ridiculous, oblivious, or even naive and child like. I’m ok with that. We all fight our own battles. My life has been relatively easy, especially working at a Harley shop, but being in school gives me more responsibility, and it’s only going to increase. I just wanted to share some things that I have found help me function at home and with homework a little bit better.

So this busy bee will try to keep some future updates in mind!

-Colorado

-Fall Decor

-New Work Wardrobe (Oh, YES. LOFT LOVE!)

-Possibly Happy Planner and craft room/office related

-&…?

Thanks everyone!

Love,

Ashley

 

LOFT Love=True Love

I have FINALLY found a store that speaks to my needs. LOFT. While they have appeared to me in the past to be the “Christopher & Banks” of a younger age group…I find myself addicted. (There are some rather amusing articles about the epiphany that is Ann Inc. and Loft) I’m growing up folks! They have great blouses for teachers: higher necklines and forgiving fabrics. They have fun colors and patterns. LOFT creates a boutique look with many of their items and, because we don’t have one in my hometown, I will be one of few that is rocking these amazing pieces. What REALLY sealed the deal, however, are the petite sizes. Folks… I don’t have to worry about my small chest and narrow shoulders anymore!!! Do you have ANY idea how amazing it feels trying on pieces of clothing, one after another, that actually fit?! I mean they really, truly fit me! Yes, I’m small, but I am not a junior anymore!!! I have been forced to shop the Junior section for too long now. Junior styles are way to young. Too many crop tops, low necklines, sheer, just no… it’s too youthful now. As a “young” professional (I’m 27 now, so I’m actually a woman…right?) I need to be able to command respect and LOFT will help me accomplish that!

So here are the pieces I have purchased so far!

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There are a few more that I have my eye on! And a few that have already disappeared… sad face.

I’m not in love with their online return system; they charge $8.00 for shipping. And I’m not sure that their sizing is SUPER reliable so I have to be careful with long sleeves. I personally think the quality is adequate to good, even great in some cases. The fabrics and details are nice. Some prices do not match the quality, as in the case of the green dress above. This dress is fully lined, but made out of t-shirt-type knit. It was originally almost $80.00, going for $74.88 currently. I think it could have went for a little less. Now they DO have amazing sales if you can catch the item you want at the right time, perhaps they have a system that i can figure out, but in the case of this dress I really should have waited to see if I could pay 60 or even 50. I see it pilling in the future and possibly even getting faded. Thankfully I’m the type that doesn’t dry most of my clothes (socks and lounge stuff makes the exception) and I don’t wear dresses too often. The construction won me over, though!

If you are a young professional that has never given LOFT a try, do so. It is worth your time, even if you think you might not like them or if you still end up not liking them. Loft can be a whole lifestyle going from work to casual to play to relax time. I love how easy this store makes things!

 

Getting Ready for College

It’s that time again! We are forced to buy some more school supplies… We’re talking books, a new printer, some clothes if necessary… those things that make you cringe to buy at first… At one point I desperately needed new work pants.

This semester I don’t have to buy a single textbook!!! HELLO open educational resources! I decided to spoil myself with a fancy planner!

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Look, it was even on clearance!

In the teacher world everyone is head over heels for Erin Condren’s teacher planners. With Hobby Lobby offering  The Happy Planner I had to grab it. It is similar in style, as in it is fun and offers super customization, but slightly more affordable… maybe?! I suppose you can spend as much as you like on them. What sold it for me is that it’s right in front of me! I don’t have to buy it online, I know what I’m getting. I can see if I like it before buying Erin Condren someday…

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I started out with the extra pocket folder add-ons, sticky notes, and two packs of stickers.

After going through it last night I can already tell I’m going to struggle with it. I was always that kid that had stickers, but never used them for a couple of reasons: 1. Once you used them they are gone and 2. Whatever you stick them on is also a commitment, you have to go with the look you are creating.

This will be a huge exercise for me in opening up my creativity. Most of you don’t know me, a few do, but I consider myself to be very creative, but I always have had biases, mental blocks, and other reasons for not stretching my skills. This will be a fun creative activity to start that will also help me keep on track with day-to-day tasks. Exercise my ability to let go and be creative!

There are some AMAZING examples on me & my BIG ideas website/blog!

Here are some of my first creations.

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A few things I have learned after sitting down with my planner:

  1. I think I will like having homework due for the week listed in the notes to the side. I haven’t yet decided how I will handle grocery lists and budget lists. I may utilize the pockets for these or use a strip of washi to tape it to the inside cover as I could go through a ton of shopping lists in a month. We will see! The pockets are proving useful for toting around extra stickers, but I’d like them to be a little more useful than that, even.
  2. Don’t get too carried away with yourself! There are endless colors of washi and stickers… If you are stuck in a rut, slow down and take time to appreciate the current month and week.
  3. BUT do plan ahead. Eventually you won’t have time to sit down and decorate every evening. You will want to do other hobbies! So do plan ahead with the decorating!

Teenage Ashley would be in HEAVEN right now if she found out that someday she was gifted a super cool planner! I had SO much fun using pink as a theme for February. I cant wait for other holidays. I will definitely be watching Hobby Lobby scrap-booking sales before diving any deeper with this. My pages are pretty blank right now, but as school starts and my work responsibilities increase I’m sure my planning will too. I was hesitant to put any of the quote stickers in for fear of covering up a time I might need, but i think i have chosen days where there will be little activity to note. Sundays are my days off, Monday will be for observations and other school things, so I think I have enough room on those days to “pencil it in” if I need to.

The excessive scrap-booking will probably eventually have to stop. I see myself being too busy as a teacher, but you never know! You just have to love the process.

What activities do you do to engage yourself creatively? Coloring books? Scrap-booking? Painting?

I’ve got BIG ideas of my own for his year… remember my resolutions? There’s something I’ve been dying to do for so long that I am FINALLY dipping my toes in! Time to rip-off that band-aid and DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY! 😀

I will be blogging as soon as they arrive. Hurry UP FEDEX!