Workwear Week of 2/13/17

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IT’S SPIRIT WEEK! As a Freshman teacher I take spirit week very seriously. Students need role models and if we want them to buy into our school community we have to show them that WE buy in too. Of course, that means my outfits were a bit wacky and include an outfit I refuse to share (Don’t “sweat” the small stuff, I’ll leave it at that). I also learned that there are a few more maternity pieces I need to put away into deep storage because not only do they not fit my not-pregnant body they were also completely unflattering.

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Sunday we went out for my brother in law’s birthday dinner and had amazing burgers. I wore this simple ready in 10 minutes boots-jeans-tank-colored cardigan combo because it’s effortless and can withstand my crazy kids. You’ll see this outfit combination with each of my cardigans eventually because it’s a template I return to often.

Monday (not pictured). Sorry not sorry I am sparing you this one.

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Tuesday was Valentine’s Day so the theme was pink and purple. I originally had a hot pink shirt with my hot pink pants but the newborn puked all over and I had to go with a backup. I did not realize how bad this maternity top looked on me and I will not be wearing it again…

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Wednesday was SuperHero day so I took the opportunity to bust out one of my nerdy math shirts. Spirit week always includes some very unprofessional outfits. This one wasn’t so awful though.

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Thursday was Tie Dye to signal diversity (different colors coming together) but I own ZERO tie dye so I skipped and wore a standard work outfit. My kids were disappointed which tells me I need to invest in at least one tie dye shirt for future spirit weeks. I wore this StitchFix patterned blouse on date night a few posts back and wanted to see if I could remix it for work and still have it look “different” enough. I think the plum cardigan was a great layer although the silky sleeves felt a little weird underneath the cardigan sleeves.

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Friday I was off campus so I decided to debut my newest purchase from my Window Shopping: Patterns post. I LOVE this blouse! It has a cute cutout in the back that’s not so large that I can’t wear a normal bra and a really flattering neckline. I paired it with my white StitchFix maternity jeans (they still fit kind of so I’m not ready to let go) and I was channeling Spring vibes. The blouse was light and breezy and totally wrong for the cold windy overcast day we had after three days of sunshine- whoops! I was indoors all day so it didn’t matter that much but still funny.

There you have it! Another week of teacher fashion with some weird Spirit Week looks mixed in.

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Window Shopping: Patterns

By no means do I have a minimalist wardrobe, but when I make clothing purchases I really try to find pieces that I can remix and incorporate with what I already own. Someday, I’d love a perfectly matched wardrobe of mix-able pieces (like a jumbo sized capsule wardrobe or a few really well put together separate capsule wardrobes) but I’ve never been the best shopper and it’s hard for me to “see” things that work without a lot of time to plan and visualize myself wearing and re wearing a particular item.

Add to my subpar shopping skills the fact that my size/body has been constantly changing for the past three years and it’s safe to say my wardrobe is a mess. Other than my quarterly StitchFix I don’t do any shopping at all, but now that I’ve lost all of the most recent baby weight (plus a little more) I’m feeling like it might be time to start rebuilding and buying a few good things.

With that all out of the way let me get to the point. I’ve been window shopping (browsing on my phone) and there are some trends I really want to try! I mostly own solids, stripes, and polka dots, but right now plaid and floral seem to be trending and I’m digging it. Here are some of the things I eyeballed:

I think I’ll pull the trigger and buy one or two of these items in the next few days once I’ve had enough time to mull them over and decide which ones will get repeated use. What would you wear? Any? None? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What We Ate 3

This post has been in my drafts forever (almost a week) because I need to sit down at a desktop and insert all of the links to the recipes but I haven’t done that. I refuse to wait any longer so the links will just be added later!

1: chicken basil meatballs with sweet potato fries and Brussels. This was an important freezer-Friday for me because I was so close to getting fast food when I remembered I had these meatballs and fries ready to go in my freezer. Being prepared saved me some regret and some money.

2. I think this was going to be Chicken pad Thai? But it ended up being a tossed together chicken, butternut noodle, Ming bean, broccoli, carrot and sunbutter sauce bowl-thing. And it was delicious.

3. My husband’s hands-down favorite meal this week. Sweet potatoes, Brussels and a ranch pork chop all roasted on one sheet pan plus cauliflower mash reheated in the microwave.

4. (Not pictured) Chili! We had about a dozen people over (aka my husbands mother and siblings) so we made a double batch of chipotle chili and I whipped up some cornbread muffins and white rice since they aren’t grain free although we usually are.

5. Can The Husband have two favorites? Tacos are on repeat at our house but this was my first time making fish tacos. I topped these babies with mango salsa and chipotle mayo slaw and did multiple happy dances the flavor was so good. Plus I got to use the leftover slaw and salsa on some shredded chicken later this week for an easy snack.

6. Another roasting night and it’s really ugly (Husband cooked, plates, and pictured this one for me because the baby was being particularly fussy). This is a paprika garlic drumstick, with leftover roasted sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels.

7. BEST FOOD EVER! Oh my goodness tapioca starch has fixed all of my crispy Chinese food needs for life. Crispy orange beef with broccoli, green beans, and roasted cauliflower rice. This recipe was so amazing my mom made it for her family the next day.

Workwear Week of 2/6/17

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Last week had a bonus outfit and this week has one less-whoops! We had a district half-day training and while I originally put together a cute black jeans/blouse outfit my beautiful 2 month old decided to projectile vomit 5 minutes before it was time to leave so I had to quickly rinse and change. I ended up in jeans and a college tee (Wednesday is college rep day normally at my school but I skip it) which is fine because that’s life but I just didn’t feeling like snapping a pic since it was boring.

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Monday I wear bright colors. This is now a thing I think. So I paired my newest StitchFix blouse with white ankle pants (that look terrible in this picture- yikes) and a chunky gold necklace. This top is so loose , flowy and comfortable. It’s my new favorite and I’m going to have to find more ways to play it off so I can keep it in rotation.

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Tuesday I kept it simple with a sleeveless maroon blouse, black cardigan, and put the fun in my polka dotted maternity ankle pants. The waist on these no longer fit but I’m not ready to give them up since I don’t have a patterned replacement pair yet.

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Thursday was a lot of fun for me! I stopped wearing this flannel because the cut looks terrible on my new hips, but lo and behold if you tuck it in it blouses in the best way possible and becomes a super cute top again. Go me! I like flannel but this is my only plaid piece and I’m not sure if I love plaid yet? Or really how to wear it in a professional setting…

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Casual Friday put me back in jeans but this time I wore them with a black tank, green cardigan, black boots, and gold accessories including my StitchFix layered necklace from the Fix where I kept it all!

 

 

 

Workwear Week of 1/30/17

 

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Oh man this week dragged. I’m not sure why, but I struggled with my emotions and leaving my babies every. single. day. It was so bad that I missed my first period class on  Tuesday and had to ask another teacher to sub for me. On the flip side, I’ve been marinating on a new business idea that I’m really hopeful about, looking into the opportunities having my Masters will bring (like community college adjunct positions) as well as planning some big changes to my curriculum and classroom style for next year to make Algebra 1 even better.

Also, did I mention I lost almost 11lbs of baby weight? Even my pre baby pants are starting to get loose and saggy. Having two babies in two years really does a number on a gal so I’ve got a lot more progress to make…

Anyway, let’s bring on the outfits!

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It’s been 11 weeks since I’ve been on a date (newborn calendar) so it was great this past Saturday to meet up with friends for Happy Hour to celebrate the end of our fantasy football league (I placed 8/10 the husband placed 5/10 so we pretty much sucked). But wings, beer, and bedazzled winner bibs make everything better. This is a StitchFix top I had not planned on keeping but my toddler hid it so it didn’t get sent back. Might as well make it work right? Black jeans, black boots, and turquoise accessories (plus black eyeliner- say what?!) made me feel great this night.

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I was not a fan of how my white cardigan look last week went, but I was sure I could make it better this week. A bright orange wrap blouse from StitchFix and a chunky gold necklace saved the day! I was much happier with this outfit.

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Rock bottom day needed more color and a lot of comfort. I stayed home with my babies an extra two hours because even the thought of leaving made me break down into tears. I decided to wear one of my favorite sweaters and my polka-dot maternity pixie pants. I swear there’s polka dots down there! These are my only patterned pants and I’m tempted to try more…

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Have I mentioned how much I love StitchFix? This another StitchFix top and I love both the brightness and the pattern which is weird since I don’t normally like florals. Paired with some neutrals (grey skirt and navy cardigan) and I was ready for after school meetings. Can’t help but think a nice pair of navy shoes would’ve worked better in this look.

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Polka dots! This is a maternity shirt but it’s so float and great I think it works both ways- right? Mustard and navy is one of my favorite combinations so the mustard cardigan was a no brainer to keep warm. This is also the day I really started to notice the lost weight because I had to tie my pants with string to keep them up. It’s gonna  be belts every day from now on.

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Not much to say here… except I still love my Seahawks! This is casual Friday (jeans) meets school spirit Footballs Friday (support your team). Plus I love the banter and connections talking football brings to my classroom.

That’s all for this week, but I’ll be back at it again on Monday.

 

CSA Pickup and Meal Prep 1/27/17

It’s another beautiful week and my last basket of January. I’m so excited for next month because the seasonal produce will be shifting to include asparagus! Not that this month wasn’t great, but who doesn’t love asparagus?

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This week we got cauliflower, 2lbs of apples, spinach, cilantro, 1lb broccoli, tomatoes on the vine, three jalapeños, three limes, 3 avocados, 1lb of Brussels sprouts and a butternut squash.

I’m calling this week’s bag the “salsa pack” because it included almost everything my husband uses to make his favorite green-but-not-green salsa. He gets the tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime plus one of the jumbo onions from last week. The trick to his salsa is so much cilantro that it looks more green than red and blending it until super smooth.

What are my plans for the rest? Glad you asked! That cauliflower gets to be a cauli mash side dish, the broccoli is going in crispy orange beef, the butternut will be both noodles and a butternut Lasagna for the toddlers, the Brussels will get roasted and served as a side, the avocados go in my lunch and possible with some tacos if they make it that far and last but not least the spinach and some of the apples go in my salad.

Here’s what prep looked like this weekend:

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I’ve got Spanish rice and sliced grapes for the toddlers in the bottom left. Diced mangos, sliced Brussels sprouts, cauliflower mash and butternut noodles for dinners in the bottom middle. Along the right side is a chicken teriyaki bowl (sauce separate) for the Husband. In the middle are my jar salads, chorizo egg muffins, and plain egg muffins as well as the orange sauce for dinner later in the week. Top is a huge butternut Lasagna for the toddlers (and probably the husband) to devour this week.

Heres a close up of my salad. This week I’ve got an orange vinaigrette, apples, tomatoes, bacon, chicken and spinach and I’ll be topping the whole thing with half an avocado.

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Meal prep makes me so happy! I would do it all the time if I could…

 

Workwear Week of 1/23/17

I survived a full workweek… sort of. Friday I wasn’t in the classroom because of an all-day meeting at the district office. What I’m realizing as I get back into the swing of things is that my kids got really lazy. Some of them actually did NOTHING for the sub and have dug themselves some pretty deep holes. My teaching philosophy centers around learning as a continuous process and so I run my classroom through formative assessments. This allows students to recover their grades so long as they learn the material. I could get into this deeper, but this post is about what I wore so let’s get to the fun stuff!

Monday … the day where bright color is needed the most. To battle the Mondays I opted for some hot pink ankle pants from Old Navy and then to battle the hot pink ankle pants I tried to stick to black and white. I’m not sure I like how the white cardigan looks with the blouse (too late now right?) so I’m going to have to play around with other potential combinations.

Tuesday I went all black with my favorite plum cardigan and a bright green chunky necklace from StitchFix. Keeping it simple and comfy.

Wednesday I had a lot of fun with my favorite ModCloth blouse! Since my sweater was red I opted for a bright red lip stain too which was a ton of fun since I almost always stick to a natural neutral pink color. Can I just bring up the fact that this skirt was a mis-take? Our weather dropped 15 degrees overnight and my car was completely icy. Bad day to have my legs exposed- whoops!

After the blustery windy cold weather of Wednesday I knew I needed to finish the week with cozy sweaters so Thursday I paired my favorite nursing purchase from Motherhood Maternity with a plum tank (repeat on that color), blank ankle pants, my favorite two-tiered necklace from StitchFix and gold flats because you can’t wear your black flats every day amiright? I need to look into expanding my footwear options…

Casual Friday! PLUS I had an all day district meeting so was out of my classroom learning about the expansion and direction our computer programming /STEM program will be going. I’ve been teaching Java at my school for the past five years and built the AP Computer Science A track up from nearly nothing. Now it looks like we’ve got some big changes in our future as we make computer programming a fully fleshed four-year career path for our students and add the complete software development picture plus real world internship opportunities for our high school students. Now if only I could get more than 15 kids to sign up… Anyway I opted for another sweater (very old, probably from Target) a warm coat my husband bought me for Christmas a few years back (also from Target) black riding boots and jeans. P.S. these are actually maternity jeans (zipper-less with side panels) and I’m a little bummed I can’t wear them any more because after an hour or two of movement they started to sag in weird places without my huge preggo belly holding them up.

That’s about it for this week in old-lady-teacher-fashion land!

CSA Pickup and Meal Prep Week of 1/20/17

This is my first basket pickup since returning to work and it was significantly more difficult to fit in. Pickup is Friday night and thanks to my meal prep from the previous weekend dinner was just a reheat from frozen in the oven (Burger Balls and Fries). But then my oven failed and dinner took longer than expected like 90 minutes instead of 20 since we had to fiddle and wiggle with the stupid wire boxes… That’s a story for another post. The point is, my CSA pickup is so close to my home that I’ve always packed up the boys and walked. It’s a routine I love so much that I wasn’t going to let a wonky oven and late dinner steal from me! It didn’t. I made the end of the window with 10 minutes to spare and was rewarded with another beautiful basket of produce.

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I made a couple adjustments with this basket and added on a few items as well. We got purple potatoes, butternut squash, yams, orange bell peppers, garlic, romaine, spinach, green onion, Brussels sprouts, mini sweet peppers, and pears.

We also ran to our local grocer and picked up cauliflower to replenish our frozen cauli rice stash, cabbage for slaw, and fruit (cuties, grapes, apples, bananas) for snacking. I wanted to try something new this week so Meal Prep was super intensive. Plus at this point our oven was 100% dead and I had to travel to borrow someone else’s oven. Such a mess!

regardless, I pulled through and managed to make 3 dozen eggs worth of adult sized and mini sized spinach-ham-egg muffins for myself, my husband and my toddler. I skipped breakfast TWICE my first week back at work and knew I didn’t want to do it again. I always come home in a binge-y mood if I don’t eat enough during the day. We also riced and froze three heads of cauliflower, shredded the cabbage, and spiralized the zucchini. I made a pound of mini chicken teriyaki meatballs and white rice for the toddler’s lunches, plus Thai meatballs and chicken basil meatballs for dinners this week. I halved and roasted our Brussels sprouts (before the oven died) and washed and sliced all the grapes.

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My salads this week were quick and easy. 8 diced ALL the orange bell peppers and layered them with ranch, avocado, and rotisserie chicken that I drenched in Frank’a Redhot. Thanks to the bell peppers my jars were so full I had to bag the lettuce separately for the first time ever.

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And for the first time my husband asked me to pack him lunches instead of just leftovers… except he HATES salad. I had to get creative and we decided that a “noodle” jar (like the noodle bowls we’ve been having for dinner) would work well. So I whipped up a Teriyaki sauce, grilled some chicken, grated some carrots and topped it with a generous handful of zucchini noodles and two scoops of white rice. We’ll see if they’re successful…

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What did you prep this week? Next time I’d like to time my meal prepping so I can work on efficiency and time value.

What We Ate 2

This post took me forever to complete. Most of these dinners split across two weeks because of family birthday dinners, weekly family dinner with my mother-in-law, and back to work madness delaying me finding the time to write it all up. I’m pretty sure I already have Week 3 ready to go… whoops!

1. Cracklin’ Chicken is a favorite in our house and I always go back to it again and again. Nothing beats that extra crispy skin with the super juicy chicken underneath. We paired this protein with her garlic mashed cauliflower, buttery smashed sweet potatoes, and a zucchini gratin from ibreatheimhungry

2. (Not pictured) Maple salmon and smoked salmon are the husband’s two favorite salmon preparations (he only tolerates my other attempts). This salmon recipe from lexiscleankitchen was super simple and delicious although I left out the coconut sugar because that’s not something I have in my pantry. Served it with more garlic mashed potatoes and lemon butter green beans.

3. Whole30/Paleo Sloppy Joe’s. This is probably my all-time favorite comfort food. It hits all my sweet spots of salty and still sweet (from sweet potatoes underneath) with tomato-y notes and a savory goodness that makes me want to lick the bowl. Jaysbakingmecrazy has the best recipes and I turn to that website time and time again when I’m looking for something that warms my heart. I served on top of spiralized butternut squash noodles (from my meal prep) and roasted sweet potatoes.

4. Salmon Cake Eggs Benedict. This was an on-the-fly breakfast but I wanted to include it with What We Ate since we ate it! I mixed up my very first homemade hollandaise from StupidEasyPaleo, poached my very first eggs, and stacked it all on top of wilted spinach and salmon patties (recipe from empowered sustenance) using my leftover salmon and leftover sweet potatoes.

5. Very delicious but boring leftover dinner with the green beans and sloppy joe’s warmed up in the microwave…

6. Thai chicken stir fry from Kalyn’s Kitchen served on top of roasted cauliflower rice with sesame spiralized butternut squash noodles and a big heap of Mel Joulwan’s sunshine sauce. My son is obsessed with those noodles + that sauce and could probably eat 2-3 cups worth if it didn’t run out. Anything that gets him enjoying vegetables is a win in my book!

7. Over the weekend I marinated Juli Bauer’s Cuban Pork and will probably make a few meals of it. This night was pork tacos topped with pico, avocado, cilantro lime slaw, pickled red onions, and fresh avocado and served with a side of salty fried plantains. Definitely going to be a repeat dinner in the future!

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Workwear Week of 1/16/17

This week marked my first day back from an 8-week maternity leave. I was fortunate enough to 1) come back on a 4-day school week and 2) to fit into my pre-second-pregnancy clothes thanks to maintaining my healthy pregnancy eating habits even after delivery. That means I was able to bring down my work-clothes tub and have my pick of the litter! Plus I got to add my newest StitchFix goodies into my rotation (see my StitchFix review here). Without further ado, here’s what I wore and how my first days back as an Algebra teacher went:

Tuesday I wanted bright colors to brighten my mood as I said goodbye to my babies for the first time in 2 months. My toddler wasn’t even awake when I left so no goodbye kisses for mommy. This mustard cardigan and corral necklace (yay I can wear jewelry again!) did the trick. Not sure if I’m allowed to mix those two colors but I did and it made me happy. Coming into work I knew where we were in the calendar scope/sequence but had no idea what I’d be teaching or what materials I’d be using since normally the curriculum is something I create. I survived on adrenaline, anxiety and “you look so good!” compliments without breaking down and missing my babies too too much.

Wednesday I debuted my blouse from the latest StitchFix box and I LOVED it. The sleeves are a great length and the blouse doesn’t pull wide open at the buttons. Plus it was super convenient to have the buttons because they allowed me to nurse my newborn without having to undress and redress before work.

Thursday was cold and rainy so I went with all black and white, but added a pop of color through dark lipstick and made my unwashed hair work by putting it in a side braid.

Casual Fridays means us teachers get to wear jeans. Since the temp is actually below 50 I thought today was the perfect day for my new striped StitchFix sweater with blue jeans and my black riding style boots. I also paired this with my grandma necklace which was a keepsake my mother made for us when she passed away 10 years ago. The hormones had me feeling sentimental and emotional and having her memory with me gave me the strength to go to work.

I really do love being back to work, having a good reason to style myself, and even taking my storage room selfies before I pump. I’m already looking forward to what I’ll wear next week. See you then!