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Teacher Gifts Simplified!

Let's talk teacher gifts.  What do they REALLY want?? As a former teacher let me break this down for you plain and simple:  WE DON'T WANT CANDY.  Ok, maybe a little candy, but seriously a huge mug full of Hershey Kisses is a sweet gesture that also makes me sigh in disappointment as I think about the health shake that is likely also sitting on my desk.  So just make sure you know your teacher before you go that route.  If you want to go the route thats sure to be a hit, let's talk about a few items you really can't go wrong with. 

1. Magnets.  Like a cute one that is memorable that they can display all year round.  Any desk I've ever had is completely metal the entire way around and there is a ton of open space just screaming for decoration.  I remember one of my first years one of my students got me a big Steelers magnet which I have taken with me to every school and is always a conversation starter, not to mention a fun game for Ravens fans who think it's funny to hide it elsewhere in my room and cover the logo lol.  Anyway, it's a great reminder of your child that the teacher can take with them AND something the child will see on her desk every day and say "hey, I got her that!"  

I also found this adorable magnet on Amazon that I thought would be fun for the kids during the season too! (click photo)

2. Lip Balm.  Elementary school teachers (at least where I taught) spend a good chunk of the day braving the elements outdoors.  Recess only gets cancelled if it's below a severe windchill factor and I definitely spent the entire winter dreading it and shivering the entire time begging for it to be time to go in.  Morning and afternoon duty (getting kids on and off of busses) has no mercy no matter what the weather.  LipSense Lip Balm is a totally healthy solution for lip hydration that is sure to get a ton of use throughout the winter.  Not to mention, it's all the rage in teacher circles right now.  And at $20 a pop, it's definitely a doable and very appreciated gift. 

3. Glitter gloss.  Identical to said reasons above, the gloss is also super moisturizing and adds the additional perk of girly sparkle.  Depending on who your teacher is, you might see her loving something like this, especially with a note like "you put the sparkle in my season" to go with it! ;)

If you go with either of these, be sure to print off these adorable little tags to attach and your gift is done!

4. Your family's Christmas card.  Seriously.  I LOVE seeing my students with their families at home.  I love how they show me who each person is and how proud they are when they see me pin it to my board.  I honestly have personal family cards from like 6 years ago that I'm still holding onto because it's a great memory of the kids I loved and miss. I keep them in my desk and smile when they cross my path.  Just a thought of something to throw in as you get your goodies together. 

5. Gift cards to Dunkin, Starbucks, or Target.  Ok, maybe it's not the most original idea on the block but I can assure you it's done and done again for a reason.  Teachers use them and its a really nice gesture to treat them with a hot delicious coffee on the way to a long day at school.  And well, Target is Target so you can't go wrong with that.  (And btw, they are 10% off on Sunday!) 

I hope these ideas helped and please feel free to join my group for the hookup on balms and glosses.  Continue this convo in comments with the favorite teacher gifts you have given or received! xo 

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Stocking Stuffers You'll Want to Keep Yourself!

Well well, long time no talk!  I've missed you all as I've taken time to focus on other baskets, but alas, the holiday season is here and I am ready to rock and roll!  I don't know about you, but as a professional shopper, I feel like I'm typically pretty on top of the big stuff.  I know what's reasonable to put under the tree and while it may sometimes seem like a lot, I also have 30 years of shopping experience and know EXACTLY how to get more than the most bang for a buck, so I'm typically pretty successful at making it happen.  Then the week before Christmas comes, I pat myself on the back, and suddenly am saying "Crap!  I forgot about the stockings!"  Que me running to the local CVS for toothpaste, body wash, and chocolate Santas (that will probably get thrown out a few weeks later).  

Anyway, this year I'm wising up and have put together a list of the best stocking stuffers you will actually WANT in your stocking!  So without further ado, behold my top 5 little gems of Christmas 2018!

1. Real Techniques mini contour brush.  Perfect for blending ShadowSense under cheekbones and creating your perfect subtle look for the holidays and beyond! 

2. ShadowSense.  With the same budge proof power of LipSense, this stuff is my go to for multiple reasons and the perfect compliment to the brush mentioned above.  I use as shadow, liner, concealer, blush, and as a contour on the rest of my face.  Talk about cutting back on the amount of products I use, this stuff can truly can do it all! 

3. How cute is the adorable holder for your brushes?  I have to admit, I have mine thrown into my bag amongst the rest of my makeup and isn't it a rule that you can always find every brush except for the one you are looking for?  Might need to invest in this myself, especially since I apparently have a penchant for all things marble.  

4.  A bright pink lip color.  Sure, my mind is still locked on deep berries and holiday reds, but with New Years and Valentine's Day next on the docket, you'll be sure to have something to be excited to wear! 

5. How cute is this little motivational jewelry tray?  I don't know about you but the ring dish my MOH got me for my engagement is seriously one of the most used organizational pieces in my home and honestly I could probably use another in other areas of the house.  

So there you are.  The things a girly girl's stocking dreams are made of!  Which are you asking Santa for this year? 

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How to Spend Money for Twenty-Somethings

This might be the least searched post title I've ever created because honestly, what twenty something has trouble spending money?  I know I spent plenty of it.  Some of the right way and some the wrong way.  Mostly on pure necessities.  Things like a car, food, concert tickets, breast implants... I digress. Honestly I don't have many regrets when it comes to how I spent my money, but more that I didn't seek more of it.  Nonetheless, as I near closer to 40 than 30, I can't help but feel that I have a good chunk of knowledge to bestow on anyone willing to listen.  So here it goes.  Five things you definitely should spend money on (or save for) in your twenties.  

1. Retirement.  This one I actually STARTED out doing right and am sad to say I haven't continued.  Upon accepting my first out of college job I took pride and putting a solid chunk of each paycheck toward my aggressive 401K thinking I started now so I'm going to be set for life.  Righhhhht.  Enter a mortgage, childcare, wedding expenses, and a family's worth of grocery shopping... thank GOD I did this in my early twenties or I would probably not have a single dime to my name!  Please I am begging you.  It may seem far away but trust me when I tell you your expenses WILL increase.  Do it while you don't have a ton of responsibilities beyond yourself.  You never know what life is going to throw you down the road. 

2. Personal growth. And I'm not really talking resume builders here.  In fact if I had to name my #1 top waste of money in my life, it would be my college education, but that's a topic for another day.  I'm talking about opportunities to look introspectively into your own soul and learning to recognize the God sent goddess that you are.  It's now my firm belief that it's not a lack of education or opportunity that tends to hold people back, but a lack of belief in themselves.  A lack of awareness about their own impact on the world.  Get a book.  Register for a conference.  Go to mass.  One way or another, you MUST invest in your spiritual growth or you will feel lost and confused for the rest of your life no matter how successful you look on paper.  

3. A space you love.  I tend to go back and forth on this because I realize that cleaning and decorating will never get me a paycheck, but I also know all too well the mental chaos that can ensue from disorganization and a space that is not cohesive.  Ok, maybe that's just a personal problem on my part, but I definitely feel a sense of peace and clarity when everything is in it's place and I am surrounded by a feeling of "home".  Be it an extra comfortable mattress or an adorable piece of decor, these touches are not to be overlooked.  Your environment definitely effects your psyche.  Make it easy on yourself.  

4. A quality ANTI AGING skincare regimen.  Yes, even in your youth, you NEED to start treating your skin right.  Just like when we talk about investing your money young, the same goes for your skin.  Now is the BEST time to set your skin up for an amazing future and slow the again process from square one! Luckily I learned this early and although I have certainly tried many different brands, I definitely remember my college roommates all but making fun of my Mary Kay TimeWise as though I was too young to purchase such a product.  But I didn't listen because I knew better.  Today I've discovered something even more revolutionary that is actually helping my cells to turnover faster thus bringing those new, youthful cells to the surface and minimizing wrinkles before (and after) they begin.  It's a necessity for gals at any age... especially you young ones! Commit now and look forward to comparing your selfies today to the ones 20 years from now and saying hmmm... I don't look all that different!  Don't wait until it's too late. 

5. Epic vacations.  When I was 24, my roommates and I spent 3 nights in Vegas and I'm pretty certain it still might be 3 of the best nights of my life.  We dressed to the nines, networked with ease, and were treated like queens at literally every one of the hottest nightclubs on the strip.  We shared tables with celebrities (Dennis Haskins counts right?), walked straight past the lines, and drank like fishes until my body literally went straight into vodka rejection mode.. but I rallied on.  Granted, it wouldn't exactly be the vacation I'd be seeking today, but "epic" is still the word that comes to mind.  No matter how much you keep up, you won't be able to put on a slinky dress and be comped your every desire forever.  Do it while you can.  Create those memories.  You'll keep those forever. 

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How I Get Fall Styles for Less

There's something about Fall.  Suddenly people are finished with the bikini life and they're ready to get dressed.  And when they go to their closets they wonder what in the world to wear.  And when you wonder what to wear, you'll inevitably want to go shopping.  Luckily for me I consider myself a deal finding expert and get quite a thrill out of it if I'm being honest.  Even if I won the lottery, I'm still totally convinced I would not change my current shopping habits because there's just something internally rewarding about getting the bang for your buck.  Sure I'd go on a lot more vacations and probably spruce up my house, but as far as fashion?  I'm stuck in my ways and yes I think they're best the ways.  That's why I've decided to fill you in on one of them today and that is my ongoing love for Jane.

No, it's not a person.  It's a website.  And if you STILL aren't shopping there, you're really missing out.  Jane is a site for people who want the latest fashions but don't want to spend a ton of money.  It's a site for people who like me, get a thrill out of finding the BEST deal at the right time (all deals change daily and they sell out if you don't jump on them!). It's a site for people who are sick of looking for a needle in a haystack.  Because if you're a fashionable "basic" girl like me, you don't want to spend hours scouring a million different boutiques for exactly what you want.  You want them all in one place.  And that's what Jane is.

Below I've put together some of my favorite looks, all of which can be found on Jane - clothing and accessories included!  I've also paired with my favorite lip colors because now that I'm into that life, it has too become a part of the outfit!  No, I did not link each individual piece because the cool thing about Jane is that inventory changes daily, so what's there today may be different tomorrow, but guaranteed if you like these, you'll find them coming back again and again.  Comment below with your favorite look and stay tuned for my Target haul coming up soon!

Look #1 - Florals, browns, and fringe booties!

Look #2 - Oversized sweaters, Pointed Flats, and Wines!

Look #3 - Graphic tee, side pony, and a double leather wrap!

Look #4 - Flowy blouses, head wraps, and subtle pink lips!

Look #5 - Plaid, Criss cross necks, and plum pretty gorgeousness!

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