Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stitch Fix 1

I got my first Stitch Fix box in the mail yesterday when I got home from the 100th day of school!!! I ripped my gray wig off, threw my granny outfit on the floor, and hopped into these bad boys.
Just you wait.
It was as amazing as I was expecting.
Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to take pictures of myself using my phone camera in a full length mirror.
I only have one full length mirror in the house and it hangs in an awkward alcove in my bedroom. The light from the hall doesn't get reach it, the light from the bathroom doesn't make it out the door, and the light from the bedroom only goes far enough to let me use the mirror to make sure I don't have toilet paper sticking to the bottom of my shoe, but not enough to show detail on outfits.

In case you are not familiar with Stitch Fix:

How Our Fix™ Service Works

A clipboard representing an online style profile.
Create Your Style Profile.
A box of five-hand picked items.
Get Five Hand-picked Items.
If you don't like your hand-picked clothes, send back the items you don't like.
Keep What You Like.
Send Back the Rest. 

Online Women's Personal Styling

Our professional stylists will pick out items they think you’ll love —sometimes a little out of your comfort zone, but that’s part of the fun.
The house to which we send five hand-picked items.

Try It on at Home

Try it on in the privacy of your own home, with your own wardrobe.
We send you styling tips to ensure your hand-picked clothing is perfect!

Styling Tips

Each item comes with styling tips on how to dress it up or down.
Simply drop your returns in a USPS mailbox.

Free & Easy Returns

Drop off returns in our prepaid envelope at any USPS mailbox.
The more information you share with our professional stylists, the better they can style you!

Better Over Time

The more feedback you give your stylist, the better they are at finding clothes you'll love.

How Much Does It Cost?

$20 Styling Fee

The styling fee is $20, which you can use towards your final order.

Get 25% Off

If you keep all five items, we’ll give you 25% off your entire order.

Priced Just for You

We’ll send you items within your price range, but items are $55 on average.

It's amazing.
The box is pretty.

So is the packaging:

 1st up is the Jarred Lace Detail Cap-Sleeve Blouse:

 I love the higher neckline so I can still bend over to help the little kids at their tables, but the lace detail adds interest.
 The back is AMAZING! I call this a mullet shirt. Business in front, party in back!
 The fabric is wonderful, it has a long cut and I love it. It is a keeper!

Next up is the Stellan Draped Cardigan:

Who doesn't love a good cardigan. This one is ridiculously soft. the stripe is cute and adds interest to solid colored tops.

 Next, The Estrella Skinny Jean:
 I wore these jeans in all the photos. I wasn't too sure if they were too tight or not. They are skinny jeans, so they are supposed to be tight. But how tight is too tight? That is where my colleagues came into play today! Thanks guys! They assured me that these fit perfectly.

My favorite, Tiller Sailboat Sweater:
 I wore this one to school today with khaki pants and sperrys. I got more compliments on my top than I have ever gotten on one top in my life. The fit is perfect, the boat is awesome, and I will be wearing this as my new uniform. Be prepared to see this sweater a lot.

Last, Freida Regular Length Skinny Jean:

Unfortunately, these pants didn't fit. I am still marveling over the fact that these people who have never seen me before were able to send me a pair of JEANS in the mail and they fit me perfectly. So the fact that this pair of pants didn't fit didn't make me too upset. The only bummer was, if these had fit I would have saved 25% on my entire order since I loved everything!!

 Here is the note I got from my Personal Stylist. I am fancy.

 Alyssa W., you rocked it.

 If you would like to try stitch fix (and you should), access the site from my link so I can get a referral credit. 
I saved up to pay for this fix, but I won't be able to purchase this many items in the future unless you help me out! :o)

Let me know what you think of the items I got!

100th Day of School

 Happy 100th Day of School! This means there are only 80 days to go and my little cherubs will be 1st graders, yikes! Actually, other than the 5 who have been identified (by me) as needing extra help and who are receiving an additional hour of small group instruction each day... nearly all of my students are ready. They are hard workers!
Normally for the 100th day of school I have students bring in a collection of 100 items. But then I would make them count their items again when they got to school and they would get really irritated with me.
Also, at least 6 kids each year didn't do it at home and I had to help them throw a project together before I took attendance.
While the rest of the class ran around in circles screaming.
No thank you.

So this year I decided we would dress up as though we were 100 years old! We could then collect 100 item in the classroom. Much better! I didn't have a single child complain about counting to 100 about 100 times.
And they were adorable.
Almost as adorable as me. I'm the one on the left with the walker.
 I decided to go for "classy granny" instead of what I would actually look like when I am 100. I didn't want to be offensive to anyone, but really when I am 100 (if I am still alive) I don't plan on getting out of my pajamas. What would be the point?

Had I been a really smart person I would have taken pictures of the kids as they came in, but all I could think about was how I only really wanted pictures of the kids who participated. I didn't want to hurt the feelings of the other kids who didn't dress up either because they are boring or their parents didn't let them.
Thinking clearly, now that I am no longer elderly, I see that I could have taken a picture of EACH child and just deleted the boring people. Duh. The gray went to my head.
As it was, I forgot to really take pictures until after lunch so many of the boys who had silver hair lost their hair color at recess and many beards and mustaches were smeared off. :o(

Yes, I know my bulletin board is blank. And there are candy canes still hanging up in January. In my defense, my mom does my display case and put up the candy canes for December and forgot to take them down. I am just too lazy to do it myself. Well.... really, I am just afraid i will take them down and forget where I put them. I know where they are now. :o)
As for not having student work up... they don't like it. They want to take EVERYTHING home IMMEDIATELY. I have to really prepare for something to go in the hall or they cry. Seriously. I can't make that up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Future Posts

After that last post about Monster Trucks, I have been fielding phone calls from major publishers. They all want me to write an expose on Monster Trucks.
Clearly, that was a joke. Although, several people did tell me they learned a lot more about Monster Trucks than they ever knew (or wanted to know).... so who knows. ;o)
Anyway, I really just wanted to post today because I got an email from Stitch Fix to let me know my box has shipped!!!!! I believe it should be here tomorrow! I cannot wait. I will take plenty of pictures and share everything on here, because I love it so much already.

But guess what?!!
If I convince anyone else to try Stitch Fix I can get a referral credit!!!
So, all you have to do is click on the link below if you decide to give it a whirl. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but I get a little kick back. I am all about kick backs. After all, I am just a poor public school kindergarten teacher. We all know I don't make much. And kindergartners are messy little beings so I go though a lot of clothes.
So please click the link below and try your own Stitch Fix today! (Pretend that was said with the voice from the guy from the Oxy Clean commercials.)

I do actually have plans on several more posts:

Sparky, Wyatt and I met up with Wyatt's birth family this past weekend. That is kinda a big a deal. I have photos and plenty to say about that. Wyatt's birth mom is amazing and I love her. She gave me the best gift in the world.

Tomorrow is the 100th day of school! This year I actually remembered before the 100th day that I wanted the kids to dress up like they think they will look when they are 100. Think of something cuter than a bunch of 5 year-olds dressed like they are 100.
You can't.
Because, this is going to be the ultimate of cuteness.
I have already prepped the building so they will have their cameras ready. Also, all of the kids have their photo permission slip signed so I can post all of their cuteness to facebook and the blog.
Let me just say, my walker is in the car, my glasses and gray wig are on the counter, and my old lady skirt and blazer and waiting for me upstairs.
I am so excited. I hope I can sleep tonight!

I learned tonight that red wine stains white cabinets. I also learned Wyatt can lie like a dog. He repeatedly tried to convince me that he already ate his chicken nuggets sitting on his plate. The problem was that they were still sitting on his plate. So I didn't believe him. This made him mad. So he threw the bag at me (did I mention these were from Chick-fil-a, only the best chicken nuggets in the world). The bag missed me, but hit my glass of wine. Which is how I learned about the wine staining the cabinets.
I also learned that Wyatt doesn't understand timeout and the idea that if he tells me he doesn't like me, timeout lasts longer. It also lasts longer when he gets up. And when he gets toys.

Well, it is time to get a grumpy little boy to bed. Even though he doesn't like me. ;o) Just kidding. He likes me again once I told him he had to sleep in his own bed if he doesn't like me. Because who wants to share a bed with someone they don't like?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's Tuesday

I said I would write another post on Tuesday. Guess what. I forgot to write it in the planner...but I am here anyway!
And I made dinner tonight.
I know. It is amazing I had enough strength left over to type this post.
I also have already given Wyatt his bath. He met me at the door when I came home and insisted that he have a bath in my bathtub immediately... with his monster trucks. And bubbles. But I suppose the bubble part doesn't even really need to be stated because what child takes a bath without bubbles?
However, this provided a nice segway into my post today because guess why Wyatt needed to take a bath with his monster trucks.

Go ahead guess.

Because his monster trucks were dirty. Obviously.
But the reason they are dirty is what I planned on typing about today.
This past weekend we drove down to Louisville, KY to attend Monster Jam. We met my brother-in-law and nephew down there so the boys could watch the monster trucks. Both boys really like Grave Digger. This isn't really much surprize though because it is the most advertised car out of the bunch. If you go to any toy store you will see about two versions of each kind of monster truck but 85,000 versions of Grave Digger. Considering they are all owned by the same company I am guessing this is some kind of advertising ploy. And it is working because he is the clear favorite.

We also got "Pit Passes." Please don't think this was actually anything too cool. It really should have been called "Getting Un-Famous Driver's Autographs."

You see, back in the day when Bigfoot was awesome... the truck, not the sasquach.... monster trucks were owned and operated by the driver. Each driver had his own truck and was responsible for their own advertising, building, maintenance, etc.

Then some people (I am guessing it was more than one person, but it could have just been one rich guy) decided he wanted them all. I don't know why. I have never thought, "Hmmm. If only I owned all of the monster trucks, I could die a happy person." Anyway, this person or people started buying all of the monster trucks in the land. The driver would get paid to drive the truck but the organization would own the name, advertising rights, scheduling and everything else.

A lot of drivers sold out. It is expensive to maintain a monster truck, after all. I mean, just imagine how expensive each tire must cost! I don't even like paying for the tires on my own car.
A few drivers held out. Which is why you don't see Bigfoot anymore. His driver/owner didn't sell out to Monster Jam, so his truck isn't involved. However, all the other trucks are so there isn't anyone to race against him... so he just disappeared got overshadowed by the trucks with the incredible advertising power of Monster Jam. 

The organization discovered if they had more of the exact same truck, they could sell to more venues. At any given time there are at least two Monster Jams running. Each with the same trucks. Or at least they all have Grave Digger (see advertising). They cannot possibly have the original driver because we have yet to approve human cloning. Even for monster truck driving purposes.
So we got to see the "good" trucks, but we had never heard of any of the drivers. Meaning, we certainly didn't want their autographs.

Ok, well I just googled and apparently Bigfoot is still racing. and it is still owned by the driver, Bob Chandler. So any of you out there concerned about the Original Monster Truck, never you fear, you can check him out here.

Wow. I know too much about monster trucks.

Back to my story. We got "Pit Passes" and arrived super early. This wasn't the best choice because you couldn't actually get too close to the trucks. Half of them were perched on top of the hills they would later jump. Only a few trucks were on the dirt and even they were roped off so you could just stand near them to get pictures.
You can see here how we were no where close to the Scooby Doo truck or Blue Thunder (which is just a ridiculous name, thunder is a sound...thus it doesn't have a color).
We could get closer to this one, but Wyatt was scared of its "sharpie teeth." Understandable. I guess.
This one looks like a large helmet. I don't really get it either. 

To help me make it though this event, I bought myself a classy glass of wine. It came in its own plastic wine glass with a lid. But Sparky said that was unacceptable and I needed to at least pour it into a cup so the Monster truck crowd didn't beat me up.
He really shouldn't have worried about it though. The name of the wine alone should have given it away... "Red Blend." I am pretty sure the makers took the bits left in the winery and stuck it all in a vat and called it a "Red Blend." It tasted and smelled like lacquer thinner.

Of course I had to drink it all though, I paid good money for that lacquer thinner. I am pretty sure if anyone got rowdy at my sophisticated wine drinking I could have tossed the remaining wine in their face and their skin would have been eaten away.

All Wyatt wanted to do was play with his toy monster trucks in the dirt. By the time the "Pit Passes" were finished and it was time to go to our seat Wyatt was asking if it was time to go home. Of course. All that time and money and all the kid wanted was a pile of dirt.
So I have decided for next year we are going to dig up the grass behind our house and let him play in the dirt to his heart's content. Best part? Free.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Due to popular demand...

After 10 months of a break I guess I am going to try to make another shot of this thing. Apparently, according to facebook, I am highly desired. ;o)
I am not sure why I am feeling compelled to try to resurrect this decrepit dying blog, but I am. Just call me Dr. Frankenstein. Yes, I had to look that up. I had no idea that Frankenstein's doctor's name was Dr. Frankenstein. I thought perhaps he was a bit more clever and named his monster Frankenstein because he liked the name Frank. And beer steins. Or something like that. 
Anyway, I figured I would give the people what they want. Who am I to deny them? 

Also, I just ordered my first Stitch Fix box so I am super excited to get that and post what I got in my box. In case you don't know what Stitch Fix is, I will copy the answer from the Stitch Fix website because I am original like that:
What is Stitch Fix?
Stitch Fix is the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you. Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest!
How does it work?
1. Fill out your Style Profile
Begin by filling out the Style Profile. This helps us understand your size, style, shape, budget and lifestyle. Completing your profile should only take about 10 minutes.
2. Pick the date you’d like to receive your shipment
We’ll send you a selection of five clothing items and accessories handpicked by personal stylists on the date you choose. At the time your stylist selects your items, you will be charged a $20 styling fee. That $20 will be applied toward anything you keep from your shipment.
3. Try everything on in the comfort of your home
We encourage you to try on everything our personal stylists have picked for you because you just never know what will look great on! Create new outfits by pairing what’s in your shipment with the items that are already in your closet.
4. Buy what you like and return the rest
a. Take three days to decide what you’ll purchase and what you’d like to send back. You’re only charged for these items when you tell us what you’re keeping and returning.
b. Check out by logging in to your account to pay for those items you want to keep. The $20 styling fee will be applied toward any items you purchase. If you buy all five items, we’ll give you 25% off the entire purchase!
c. Simply return the items you don't want in our prepaid mailing bag and drop it at any USPS mailbox. Stitch Fix clients enjoy free shipping both ways as a benefit of using our service!
5. Tell us what you think!
Don't forget to give us specific feedback on each of the items you receive. Our personal stylists are able to send you better selections when we know what did and didn’t work for you, and why. Our blogoffers a number of tips on the best ways to communicate with your personal stylist.
If you choose to receive regularly scheduled shipments, we will automatically schedule the delivery date for your next shipment. You can always choose an alternative date that better suits your needs or opt out of regularly scheduled shipments entirely.
Stitch Fix does not require a membership fee or a monthly subscription.
How much does it cost?
Our average price point is $55 per item, but we carry a wide variety of price points. When you fill out the Style Profile, you tell us how much you are comfortable paying. We do our best to pick items that reflect those preferences. If you choose to buy all 5 pieces, you get a 25% discount off of your entire purchase!
What types of items might you send me?
Because our clients’ tastes are varied we carry a wide range of items. We currently offer pants, skirts, dresses, sweaters, shirts, outerwear, scarves, jewelry and bags. We’re growing and evolving quickly and you can expect to see us add more and more new categories and brands.
 I searched all of Pinterest to see what items I like and I created a new pinterest board to show my new personal stylist what I am interested in. I think that may have been what inspired me to pick this back up. I can receive clothes in the mail and take pictures of myself in them. Perhaps I will even inspire someone to try the service for themselves and get a credit for their purchase. Or maybe not. Who knows. I will go in with zero expectations and hopefully I will be surprised.
My goal for this week is to make a new post on here every other day. I will save my weekend highlights for my next post to keep you all on your toes. And that will give me something to post on Tuesday. Speaking of which, I better go write that in my planner so I remember to do it! :o)
Cheers to another shot at this thing!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Balanced Challenge: Day 4

What have you been called by God to do? Take a few minutes away from work and family to sit with your Bible and talk to God. Believe that God placed your dreams and passions in your heart. Find a verse that speaks to you about this, and post it today on your blog.

This one was tough for me. For the longest time I think I was misguided as to what I was called by God to do. Instead of really listening, I pushed what I 'thought' I wanted...or what the world told me I wanted.
I thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Focusing my time and energy on my child(ren). But that really isn't my only job. Yes, that is certainly part of my calling. But God has bigger plans for me than that.
"A person may think up plans. But the Lord decides what he will do." Proverbs 16:9
If you are new to my blog you don't know I have infertility. Despite divine intervention, I will never conceive or carry biological children. During my struggle with infertility, decision to adopt, and long wait for a match I wrote my feelings and the process here on my blog.
To date, my most influential and widely read post was written the day my sister told me she was pregnant. I had replies from people I had never heard of. People were copying the text of my message and sending it to their family and friends to try to explain how it feels to struggle with infertility and hear someone close to you has (seemingly) effortlessly conceived and concealed the entire process. I have talked to many people who have struggled with infertility and many more who are seeking adoption to build their families. In many ways I feel that God is going to use this part of my life so I can help other people in this same trench. However, now is not that time. I feel like he is going to use me for that later. I don't know how and I am not sure when, but I think that part of my story is still developing.
I will continue to help people as they come along and I love talking about infertility and adoption. But I also know God will use this later.
"There is a right time for everything. Everything on earth has its special season." Ecclesiastes 3:1
Right now I believe God wants me to be in a kindergarten classroom. I joke that I got the grade kindergarten ...and infertility...and chose adoption...because I made the mistake of asking God to teach me patience. Ha! Well I certainly have an abundance of patience now!!!
Be very careful what you pray for!
As I was reading to Wyatt tonight I came across this verse:
"Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest. But the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest." 2 Corinthians 9:6
This really hits on my current calling. I want to impact little lives. I want to teach children to live lives like Jesus. By teaching in a public school I am able to reach people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear about God, other than the casual cultural references to things such as the santa-ized version of Christmas and the easter-bunny version of Easter. I can encourage my students to attend Good News Club. I am actually given a lot more freedom to talk about God and Jesus than many people think I am, given I teach in a public school.
As long as I don't put down any other religion, or tell students what they have to believe, I am allowed to share the good news of Jesus. Of course I also have to share about other religions, but so far I haven't had any children interested in them. They have questions, and I feel that I am really good at answering in a non-judgmental, purely factual way. Instead I have students bringing in their Bibles to read with their friends.

 What is interesting to me is when I was in college I didn't even start my major in education. I started in Interior Design. I was talking about how impersonal and lonely the job was proving to be and my dad pointed out a picture of me with a family friend. He mentioned how when I was with children my eyes just lit up. It was very clear to him all along that I needed to be doing something with children. :o)

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!
Get Balanced!
Tricia Goyer Balanced

Balanced Challenge: Day 3

Yes, I am posting more than one day today. I confess, I already read most of the book before deciding to join the challenge so really...who cares.
Today's challenge is Get the Kids Involved
How can you get your kids involved in what you’re working on? How can they experience what your job is like and contribute to it? For me, that meant allowing my kids to come with me on research trips or to meet people I was interviewing. Write a blog post about different ways you can involve your kids in your job, then stop by others’ blogs to see if you can use their ideas with this task!

Well. That is actually quite easy. Wyatt helps me with teaching every day. I experiment on him a lot. ;o) When I see a good way to have the kids in my class work on the alphabet I try it out on Wyatt first. If he can do it (at two years of age) then certainly the kids in my class will be able to. One would hope.

I also love going to the book store to check out great books to use in my classroom. Of course I try them out with Wyatt first. As well as nearly every other book in the book store. And a stop at the train table.

Wyatt also comes to school with me for after school functions. He comes to family game night, craft night, science night. Our school is really good at creating activities for all ages to participate in. We recognize the little brothers and sisters at the events will be future students and we want them to be involved, too! Wyatt benefits from me working at the school and being able to be involved with these activities.

I also find a ton of great ides while searching for teaching ideas that just wouldn't be feasible with 25 five and six year olds, but are perfect to do with one!

Teaching kindergarten has also helped me see how durable kids are. I know Wyatt won't break if he goes down the slide by himself. I know he will want to jump off of tall things. I know nearly everything washes off and can be cleaned up later. I know he needs to get messy and explore the world and play is much more important than keeping his white shirts looking good.
Although Wyatt is technically my first child, it is more like he is a second or third because I have been around children so much. I don't have many of the first child fears. I think this will be beneficial to him in the long run.
Also, one of the huge benefits Wyatt will receive from me being a teacher was actually pointed out to me by my school's fabulous (and godly) music teacher. The students our children will interact with in school are the same people they will be interacting with in the real world. By being there with them when they are young to see how they are interacting with and treating people of various socioeconomic and culturally diverse backgrounds I will actually be able to have conversations with Wyatt about his actions and how to treat people as a Christian. The music teacher at my school has already had several opportunities to correct and shape her daughter's actions and behaviors. Seeing this firsthand has really opened my eyes to the importance of taking an active role in my child(ren)'s social interactions.
My school also has our state's largest Good News Club each week. Nearly half of the students in my school attend this Christian organization once a week. Students bring their Bibles to school and see their teachers teaching lessons from the Bible.
Every teacher in my building is a Christian. I have yet to meet a student who is not a Christian (at my current school). By seeing who goes to Good News Club I know who I can talk to in class about Jesus. It is pretty much as close to a Christian School as we can get in a public school setting. Not too shabby if you ask me.