Back to School Teacher Favorites

(All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any additional outside sources.)

Hey friends! Sorry that I haven’t posted in a few months. I’ve had that blogging itch and all summer long I have wanted to post articles, but while starting a new job in May on top of still working two part time jobs from time to time, there are many nights that I’ve been completely exhausted and too tired to write. As the summer school program that I taught is coming to an end, I decided that a great way to get back on track would be to write a new blog post, so why not share some of my favorite items for going back to school if you are a teacher!

It’s that time again…Summer was here and flew by and now it’s time to get ready for “Back to School!” One of my favorite places to shop for items for the classroom would have to be at Target in their “Bullseye Playground” section. Fun classroom items that are sold at such a great price! You will see some of the ones that I chose below.

One of my favorite subjects to teach is reading, along with children’s literacy. I love introducting new books and authors to my students. Kohls has an awesome program called “Kohls Cares.” When you purchase one of the select items from “Kohls Cares,” 100% of the net profit is donated to charitable organizations. Each item is only $5.00. Some of the items this year are Pete the Cat, Biscuit, Batman, Pinkalicious, as well as others. I also love how there are stuffed animals that go along with the books.

Here are a few of my favorite purchases to start off the school year!

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My Favorite Gingham Picks

My Favorite Gingham Picks

You can never go wrong with a black and white print.  I’m loving anything that is gingham print lately!  Whether you are going to a farmer’s market, having a picnic, or meeting up for brunch, this pattern is a perfect pick!

Here are some of my favorite gingham picks for spring.

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How do you feel about gingham?  What are some of your favorite gingham printed items?

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my favorite plants and scents would have to be lavender. Last year, my lavender bush tripled in size and I harvested a ton of lavender from it. I really enjoying cooking with lavender. It’s not a super common herb used in cooking, but I love the unique flavor that it can add to any recipe.

If you love the taste of lavender like myself, these cupcakes need to be put on your “To Do List” to make! They were delicious! Here is the recipe for Lemon Lavender Cupcakes. (It’s actually quite simple and easy to make!)

Lemon Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes approximately: 24 Cupcakes                                                        Time: 30-40 Minutes

  • 1 box of Pillsbury “Lemon” Cake Mix

  • 3 Eggs

  • 1 Cup of Water

  • ½ Cup of Vegetable Oil

  • Dried Lavender (1-2 tablespoons, depending on how strong you want the lavender flavor to be.)

  • Pillsbury Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Muffin Tin

  • Cupcake Liners

  • (Pre-made Cream Cheese Frosting) or substitute with your favorite frosting

  1. Set your oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is preheating, line your muffin tin with cupcake liners.

  2. In a large bowl, add your lemon cake mix, eggs, water, and vegetable oil. Beat and mix well.

  3. Add your lavender and gently stir into the mixture.

  4. Pour batter into your cupcake liners until about half full in your muffin tin.

  5. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 19-23 minutes.

  6. You will want to allow your cupcakes to cool for about 10-15 minutes so the icing will not melt on them.

  7. Finally, ice your cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or a frosting of your liking.

  8. Enjoy your Lemon Lavender Cupcakes!

Spring Must Haves

Spring Must Haves

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but I’m pushing myself to get out of this slump! I’m here to share some brighter, happier, and prettier things to make your day a little less gloomy (since that has been a daily occurrence here in PA.)

This weather plays a major role in my personality and mood. I’m such a happier and more motivated person when the sun is shining! This cold, rainy, snowy weather needs to go away until next year!

On these dark grey days I’ve found some items that are bright, cheerful, and colorful. Turn that dull day around by wearing, using, smelling, or reading some of these items!

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Here are a few of my favorite items…

Spring Candles-If you can’t get outside yet, bring the spring smells indoors! I have picked some of my favorite scents from Bath and Body Works.

  • White Gardenia

  • Lavender Marshmallow

  • Fresh Cut Lilacs

These candles are normally $24.50. Buy them when they are running their 3 Wick Sale!

Rose Garden Acrylic Tumbler and Wine Glass-I love Pier 1! You can find these pretty glassware pieces there. You can take them outside and enjoy a nice cold beverage without worrying about breaking the glass because they are acrylic. The tumbler is $6.95 and the wine glass is $7.95. These are great sets to add to your Spring/Summer Outdoor Living selection.

Spring Read-Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Book. Although, I haven’t had time to begin reading this book, I was thrilled that it arrived at my door on the 1st day of Spring! The Floret website is one of my favorite sites to view on the web! I just love the entire site! Erin is living my dream, haha. Check out her website for pure flower enjoyment! https://www.floretflowers.com/

Sleepwear and Intimates-I love these grey floral sleep shorts! They are the perfect addition to my spring/summer sleepwear collection. The wireless bra and underwear also have a very springy vibe! All sleepwear and intimates are from Target.

Flower Farmer Tee-I believe flowers make the world a brighter and happier place. From growing seeds, planting flowers, watching them grow, floral prints, I love it all! If you purchase this tee off of the Magnolia Roots Co. website, it comes in both cream and blush and part of the proceeds go to the Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund.   The tee was made to raise awareness for the slow flower movement and to support local flower farmers.

Garden Shoes and Rain Boots-These shoes that I tried on made by Sloggers are surprisingly comfortable. The rain boots have such a pretty floral print and would be perfect for all of the snowy/rainy days that we have been having in PA. They are made by the brand Chooka and can be found at Nordstrom.  Both of these items are on my wish list!

What are some of your favorite Spring Must Haves? I would love for you to share!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s day is approaching us in less than a week… Whether you love or hate this holiday, I’ve shared some of my favorite items that will make anyone’s Valentine’s Day a little bit better!

Here are the items, prices, and websites listed below.

(All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any additional outside sources.)

Bring Me Wine Socks-$8.00-www.charmingcharlie.com

Cup of Love Happy Mug-$17.00-www.naturallife.com

Frankie Ruffle Heel-$29.00-www.charmingcharlie.com

Let’s Fall in Love Heart Fleece Blanket-$79.00-www.kirklands.com

Let’s Fall in Love Heart Pillow-$29.99-www.kirklands.com

Morning Sexy Hand Stamped Vintage Spoon-$17.00-https://shopjessicandesigns.com/

Nothing but Love Pullover-$25.00-www.charmingcharlie.com

Pretty Velvet Bow Peep Toe-$29.99-www.charmingcharlie.com

So Loved Canvas Pouch-$15.00-www.naturallife.com

Sparkling Rose Gummies-$6.00-www.davidstea.com

Stud Muffin and Hot Stuff Mug, Set of 2-$14.99-www.kirklands.com

Sweet Tart Valentine’s Day Tea Tin-$19.00-www.davidstea.com

Pantagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover Review-A Case of the Blues…

Pantagonia Re-Tool Snap-T Pullover Review-A Case of the Blues…

(All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any additional outside sources.)

The cold weather and snow are still sticking around, so I’m sharing one of my recent favorite fleece pullovers to wear this winter. This was the first item that I have purchased from Pantagonia and I must say that I highly recommend it!

This pullover comes in many colors and is quite soft and retains warmth. I love that it’s not bulky and the front pocket is great for storing your keys, chapstick, or phone if you are out running errands. I prefer throwing on a fleece over wearing a jacket on any given day.

This light blue color can brighten up any gloomy gray, snowy day. Sometimes the cold weather has a way of bringing me down. I’ve paired my polish here to match my outfit. The nail color that I’m wearing is by Sally Hansen-Miracle Gel-649-Flash-ionista!

What warm weather outerwear do you recommend to stay warm on these cold days?

Phipps Conservatory

Phipps Conservatory

Pittsburgh, PA

(All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by any additional outside sources.)

December was a bit of a blur, January hit me hard and did not start out as planned, so I apologize for the lack of posts the past two months. Early on in the month, since I ran out of free days in December, I made plans with my mom to visit Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA.

Although I’ve been to Phipps a few times before, it’s a new experience each time as their exhibits change. Currently, snow is on the ground…I love looking at beautiful green exotic plants and colorful flowers on any given day, but when the weather is gray, gloomy, and snowy, the pop of color makes things feel positive and better in my world! I could honestly spend hours here a day looking at and taking in all of the varieties and beauty of these plants and flowers.

One of my favorite areas to visit is the room with the orchids! They are stunning! Delicate flowers with sharp designs and colors with extraordinary shapes. They showcase such elegance. Another eye catcher while walking through the gardens are the blown glass pieces that are displayed throughout the plants and flowers.

The desert and tropical plants make you feel like you are on vacation somewhere else far away from the city. The size of these plants along with their shapes or spikes show off such character. Warm, humid air hits you as you walk along the palms and banana trees while they tower over you.

I went while the Christmas decorations were still up. Phipps is also a wonderful place to visit during the spring and summer as well. Instead of Christmas lights and décor, you may walk outside through the Japanese garden. Last year they also had plant sales which I am looking forward to attending this year, since I did not make it to any last year.

After a peaceful day, my mom and I enjoyed sitting down in their cafe/restaurant and I sipped on an Americano while she enjoyed a cold pineapple seltzer drink. Make sure while you are there, you stroll through the gift shop near the entrance. I wanted to buy every gardening book that was on their shelves and the small section of jewelry was gorgeous and would make great gifts for others or yourself!

Here are a few of the many pictures that I took while visiting. What are some of your favorite botanical gardens to visit?

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Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Gift Ideas for Gardeners

Christmas is only a few days away! This month has flown by faster than the rest this year. Cold weather and snow have arrived. I’m a not a fan of the cold weather, so I’m already looking ahead to warmer months and greener things! I have found some fun and fabulous gift ideas for those that love to garden!

These gifts can be found at: www.gardeners.com. These ideas and opinions are my own. What gardening gift ideas do you recommend?

butterfly biome 24.99

Butterfly Biome-$24.99

cascadino stack or hang self watering herb planter

Cascadino Stack or Hang Self Watering Herb Planter-$24.99

classic mini magnet succulent gardens set of 34.95

Classic Mini Magnetic Mini Succulent Garden Set of 3-$34.99

daisy stepping stone 9,95

Daisy Stepping Stone-$9.99

dirty little digger 24.95

Dirty Little Digger-$24.99

mini copper succulents set of 3 29.95

Mini Copper Succulent Set of 3-$29.95

mosaic solar light drops set of 34.99

Mosaic Solar Light Drops Set of 3-$34.99

surreal woodlandsbirch horizontal planter 11 inch 17.95

Surreal Woodlands Birch Horizontal Planter-$17.95

teardrop tabletop terrarium 31.89

Teardrop Tabletop Terrarium-$34.99

Balancing in Heels: Book Review

Balancing in Heels

By: Kristin Cavallari

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Years ago, I loved tuning in and watching the hit shows on MTV, “Laguna Beach” and “The Hills.” I enjoyed them so much I even have them on DVD! Most reality TV stars in today’s society come out with their own business line or book eventually. Many times, these people are often judged as the person you see on TV.

Kristin Cavallari, was known on both shows to be the independent, flirty, mouthy, boyfriend stealing girl. Not your average nice girl. Sorry, Kristin. I would say most girls would find her as the one to stay away from and as the enemy, whereas, the guys on the other hand would find her as a challenge to date. I will admit, I was hesitant on purchasing her book, “Balancing in Heels” at first, due to how she was portrayed from the shows.

After reading this book, you will see Kristin in a different light. She explains what it was like growing up in reality TV, what things matter most to her in life, and how she became the successful woman and mother that she is today! Bottom line, how she keeps it all together by being herself, as well as how and why it works.

I enjoyed how she wrote about her relationship and how she knew that this was the man she wanted to marry. Their break up was not something that she wanted, but she knew that if there was compromise on both sides, they could find ways to make their relationship work! She is truly happy and it is apparent by the glow that she gives off through her writing and in the photos in the book. Just a sheer look of natural happiness!

She also provides some wonderful, healthy recipes! I need to try some of the smoothie recipes for sure! It was inspiring to read how two famous people are true to themselves, yet have family time, and still make time for each other, despite their busy schedules. Anything can work if two people want it to happen!

Her shoe and jewelry lines which are expanding are amazing! I love her shoe designs! Another case in point, which a lot of times many people lose track of is how important it is to keep yourself healthy and well in the process of life. Many times, we put others first and throw what we need for ourselves under the bus.

I highly recommend reading this book! You aren’t just reading about someone else’s life or story. You will be able take away some of what she talks about and apply it to your life as well. In addition, you will have new, healthy food and drink recipes to try!

Have any of you read, “Balancing in Heels?” What are your thoughts on the book? Have you tried any of her recipes? I’d love to hear what you think!