Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Favorite Bags Forever and Ever!

31 Bags! Here is my favorite consultant! I did NOT get paid to write this post. All my own opinions.

I just found out about them, okay I found them last catalog. I have become obsessed. I love the colors, functionality, personalizations, and not to mention the PRICE! They have numerous products very similar to Vera Bradley items, which I love that store as well.

Here is my favorite print in the Spring Catalog:
I love the black, reds, and pinks in this print. I WANT THIS OFFICE!

My newest purchase that I LOVE: Fold It Up Organizer
It holds your IPad!!!! And has a pad of paper. It is genius! $30
I am so happy with this purchase, makes work prettier and functional. 

I have so many of the products:
- Roller Bag - Big Dot - so great for weekend get aways, light before you put the stuff in it.

- Casual Cargo Purse in Brown - love the pockets on the outside - I keep my work and personal cells in there, makes it so easy to find.

- Cindy Tote in Black Tweed with a Pink "M" of course, Use this as my work bag. Looks not only professional, but cute. Holds my binder planner, and manila folders without peaking through.

- Coupon Clutch in Black Dot with a Pink "M" on it, I keep coupons, gift cards, receipts, and have a school section. For me, keeps all of the loose stuff out of my purse.

- Perfect Bottle Thermal in Black Dot, I love using this to go to get togethers or parties and take a bottle of wine. Looks way classier than the brown paper bag they give you.

- Zip Top Tote in Bold Bloom, I went with my consultant friend to the Spring opener and received this bag as part of my admission to the event. I love this bag and use it to carry my electronic devices for work. 

As you can tell I enjoy my purchases. All of the items above are in the current catalog and I am very pleased with the purchases. If you have any questions about my purchases let me know!

Until next time...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Martin Luther King Junior - Remembrance Day

When I think of him, I think of Civil Rights, I had a dream..., the new monument downtown, and have always wondered what DC was like during the time he was alive. 

Civil Rights Timeline

Civil Rights means so many things to so many people. Here is the definition from dictionary.com "The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination."

13th Amendment          14th Amendments   (Encase you have a bad memory)

I can go on and on about all of the people who are touched by civil rights and what MLK Jr. has done for this country. He started it all and had such a way with words. I could listen to his speeches forever. I wish I was that good with words. Could you imagine if he blogged every day? Fabulous.

Who hasn't been discriminated in some way shape or form? I do not pretend to understand the depth of what things were like in this country, I have been lucky to live in DC where I feel people are more understanding of differences and accepting. Is our country perfect - no - but we are on our way to accepting one another. 

I've said a million times, I am blessed to work at a diverse school. Without MLK Jr. I wouldn't enjoy my life as much. Each one of my kids teach me probably more than I teach them. The experience they have had and currently face teach me that we have come so far, and still have a long way to go. Working together, we can all make amazing things happen. Look what one man did! One person can make a difference.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thirty Thursday - Debt Free Update!

I'm debt free in 2014! Part 2:
Missed my previous post? Check out Idea #1 for debt free here.
2. Credit Cards - 

Oh I was the typical college student. Took out credit cards thinking it would start building credit. My father lost his job my last year in college so I put EVERYTHING on credit cards. Groceries, utilities, interview clothing, going out, and of course gasoline!

So when I found myself with my first job, it was time to put on my big girl pants and deal with my issues. I started with my handy dandy excel spreadsheets. My headers were - Credit Card, Balance, Minimum Payment, Interest Rate, Due Date. 

First thing I did was change all of my due dates to coincide with when I get paid. I only get paid ONCE a month which has forced me to be very organized with my money to make it through each month. 

Second thing, I ordered my card by the highest to lowest interest rate. 

Third thing, I started paying them off like this:

- Pay as much as I can on the highest interest rate card
- Minimum on all of the other cards
- I started babysitting on the weekends and used that money to make additional payments on my highest interest rate card
- When I paid the highest off, I moved to the next one and continued my plan.

Why did I do this?
I had already made stupid financial decisions, I should not pay tons of interest rates to perpetuate the problem. Was I perfect at this? No! When I changed jobs when the economy went south, I did have to spend a couple of emergency purchases on my already paid off credit card. Annoying but it was essential at the time. 

How do I handle my credit cards now? Lessons Learned!
- DO NOT CANCEL a credit card once you pay it off! It hurt your credit report. Lots of sources out there say cancel them but if you are afraid of using the card, cut it up instead.

- I found a card that gives me rewards, I only use this card. I get 1-12% CASH back on every purchase so therefore, I make every purchase on this card!
- I pay off my card EVERY SINGLE MONTH!
- In an emergency situation, which has happened once, I couldn't pay off my entire card, I made sure I paid as much as I could, and did some extra work to pay it as soon as I could.

Where do I get my extra work?

- Babysitting & Pet Sitting - www.care.com    www.sittercity.com
- Tutoring - www.craigslist.org
- These are things that I am able to do around my schedule and that I enjoy doing. It isn't for everyone. I tend to babysit on Friday and Saturday nights which takes time away from social. I have tried very hard to not do this every weekend. The pet sitting has been super fun. I have met some fabulous furry friends along the way.

What have you learned along the way? I love learning new things!

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

*Revenge Review*

Revenge TV Show Review

So as you know, I am a TV Junkie. I have tried to move from the trashy reality stuff to more "real shows". 

A coworker told me to check out Revenge that I would enjoy it. So I got on my netflix and watched the pilot episode. I was immediately hooked from episode 1.  Each character has a past which is revealed as and the plan of the main character "Emily Thorne" is revealed as you learn each past.

As vindictive and out there lots of Emily Thorne's plans are, you can't help but like her and find no matter what she does, you relate and sympathize with her every calculated move. 

I won't even tell a lie, I watched all three seasons in 2 weekends, it is that good of a show. I'm addicted :) Right now they are finishing out season three and I am very interested where it goes. I try not to spoil things but once you start you have no idea where this is going to go!

Let me know what you think!

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Education Update 2014!!!

My school has been experiencing a ton of changes. A new principal, tons of turn around for staffing and students, and new ideas/producers from the new principal. This has given me an opportunity to totally push forward with a lot of my *new* ideas for my programs. I don't know about you, but change makes me happy. I like trying new things. Fundraising, new website, increasing social media, DINNER for students, and we added 5 new activities - which for my students is a ton of activities. It has been hard to branch them out into trying new things.

Change is not difficult for me, so a new principal was exciting and an opportunity to learn new things and see my school through someone else's eyes. I'm a military brat - you get used to change. Our new principal is big on evaluations. I had to sit this past weekend and put together 25 pieces of evidence to show that I am doing my job in addition to my written evaluation and observations. At first, I was TOTALLY furious. I do so much as it is, I couldn't believe she wanted this many things to prove I do my job. 

I have come to terms that this is a good thing. I have not only evaluations, observations, but physical evidence that I do my job and am working hard each day. I used these pieces of evidence to put together my portfolio so I have it ready if I ever want/need to go job searching.

As you know I love reading about what other people are doing in the education world. I found this fabulous list of Middle School blogs and I read them often. Tons of blogs are out there for Elementary School, not as many for Middle or High. We all need our support and opportunity to see how others do things. Check them out: Middle School Blog Log: LINK

Until next time...

Monday, January 13, 2014

The 25th Project

The 25th Project

I had the honor of meeting the Jay last week and had to share about the wonderful things he is doing for the Northern Virginia area. He saw a need in the Northern Virginia area. Even though it is one of the wealthier communities in the United States, we have a ton of homeless individuals who need support and resources. 

Jay coordinates donations, deliveries, and support for various homeless locations in the area. He is doing fabulous things and helping so many in need. He even gave donations to my school. As I have told you, we have an extremely high poverty population - 75% of our student body. I had to give him a shout out. 

If you feel led to come to an event or offer support in another way, a link to his non-profit organization is at the top of the post.

Check out Upcoming Events! Chili Cook Off & Golf Tournament - click the link for more information.

Until next time...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

L is for the way you Look at me...

Since 2014 is my year, I figured that meant that I need to start caring about my appearance again. That means, I have been getting up a little bit earlier to do my hair, wear a complete outfit - with accessories, wear makeup, and have cute shoes with matching bag. It truly is amazing how much better I feel when I am "put together". 

I follow some fun blogs to help give me some great fashion ideas. My absolute favorite is 

- J's Everyday Fashion  - She posts a new outfit every day and doesn't purchase more than $200 of clothing a month. Been very helpful with my debt management. She shows her inspiration and then her version of the outfit! Super helpful when trying to play around in your own closet.

- Everyday Fashion and Finance

- Style Elixr 

- White Coat Wardrobe

- Joy of Fashion

I use Pinterest a lot for inspiration as well. I always find I have tons of stuff in my closet but sometimes need to see ideas of colors that would go well together. Where do you find your fashion inspiration? God knows I need as much help in this department as I can. Enjoy surfing the web for inspiration.

Until next time...