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5.31.2015

Shopping Freeze: One Year Later


A year ago, when I wrote that I was going to try to go a year without shopping for clothes, I have to admit, I was a little nervous about undertaking that challenge.  I mean, I had a history of spending between $100-$300 per month (omg) on clothing.  It was completely out of control and I was absolutely addicted to shopping and spending money on clothes.  I was worried about going "cold turkey," but I also knew that I needed to do something drastic to refine my spending habits.

In my post, I outlined the parameters of the challenge.  I was allowed to buy myself clothing using gift cards and rewards, I could purchase clothing out of necessity if I gained/lost weight, I could buy some school spirit gear for the school I work at, and I could replace my old-and-falling-apart black boots.  I have to say that for the most part, I stuck to the challenge.  In all, I believe I wound up spending a grand total of around $300 on clothing the entire year...and nothing that I bought was without much thought.  Not too shabby, when I was spending up to that amount every month.  And for someone whose hobby is (was?) shopping and buying clothing, that's pretty good, I'd say!

This year of no shopping has been a massive learning experience for me.  I've learned that I really can get by with not having as much clothing as I thought I did.  I can get dressed and create unique outfits without needing to constantly have new things.  I can resist the temptation of buying something all my blogging friends have.  I can walk into Target or a mall and walk out with empty hands.  I can try many things on in a fitting room and walk away from it all...even if it's not that expensive and/or adorable.

I'm proud of myself for not only setting out to accomplish this challenge, but also for sticking with it (for the most part).  It's changed the way I think about clothing - I'm much more discerning now when I look at things to buy.  I'm more inclined to leave things in the dressing room or return things to the store if they're not 100% perfect or if I'm not head over heels in love with them.  I'm pickier about fit, color, style, and price (aka, it doesn't have to be on clearance - I'm more comfortable spending a little bit more on an item that I really love).  I don't have that compulsive urge to shop and spend.

Going forward, I can tell you right now that I'm a changed woman.  Yes, I'm eager to "have permission" to shop now, but at the same time, I don't feel like I need to do a lot of shopping anymore.  There are some things I'd like to purchase and have been holding off on for at least a year...like replacing my old beloved Birkenstock sandals (I'm still holding out for the perfect pair - I've been on the hunt for about 3 years now since my old pair fell apart, because I'm super picky about them...), or looking for a dress or two to wear to fancier or special occasions (all my dresses are either casual or very work-centered instead of more playful and fun).  However, I'm going to try and shop within a certain set of (loose) guidelines...

I've become increasingly concerned with consumerism - what that means for myself as an individual, but also how consumerism affects those around me.  I've done lots of research about how to be a more ethical consumer, and I'm determined to put what I've learned into practice.  I'd like to try and do about 80% of my shopping in the most ethical, sustainable, and responsible way possible.  This means shopping secondhand, local and/or United States based companies, or shopping brands with missions that I support (such as TOMS, which I've talked about before).  I'm going to try to avoid shopping at stores who are known to treat their employees poorly or that negatively affect the environment.  I'm eager to do some more research and find more brands and companies that have missions and practices that are positive.  Wish me luck!

All in all, this year of no shopping has been a fantastic experience for me.  If you've ever thought of putting a freeze on your spending (even if it's just for a month or so), I highly recommend giving it a try.  The lessons I've learned and the way it's changed me have been gratifying and life-changing (as crazy as that sounds).

Have you ever done a shopping freeze?  What did you learn from that experience?  Did it change the way you shop and spend?

5.28.2015

Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Me.

Top: Target | Jeans: Lauren Conrad | Shoes: Converse [Top 10 item] | Necklace: Eclectic Wendy Designs

This may be the simplest outfit I've ever shown on my blog before...it's literally just a striped tee, jeans, sneakers, and a necklace.  However, I loved wearing this outfit so much and I want to wear it again and again.  As my life has gotten more and more hectic and chaotic over the past several weeks, I've been finding myself wearing simpler and simpler outfits like this one.  I'm sure you've all seen articles (like this one) about how successful people like Steve Jobs (sigh, I loved him) and Mark Zuckerberg wear the same outfit day after day, and I have to say...I kind of understand why, now.  Eliminating the stress of planning a unique, "blogworthy" (God, I hate that term) outfit by dressing simply has helped to keep me focused on all the other stuff I have to get done in life.

Do you have a go-to outfit that you choose when life gets stressful?

5.27.2015

A Full Plate

Tee + Jeans + Scarf: Target | Shoes: Converse [Top 10 item]

Things that are stressful:
  • The end of the school year, when you're a high school counselor.  Trying to get all your seniors through all of their classes so they can graduate is wicked stressful, and tricky for someone who's a bit of a control freak (aka ME).  I just know that I'm doing the best I can do without actually having to do things for my kiddos.
  • Buying a house.  Getting all the finances in order (omg so much paperwork), planning the actual move, preparing for closing, packing, etc...there is so much to do and think about!!
  • Being on an opposite time schedule from your partner.  Kevin's job is nearly and hour and a half from where we currently live, and he works overnights.  When he's done working, he sleeps at my parent's house (about 15 minutes from where he works), where the basement bedroom is nice and dark.  Thus, I don't see Kevin from Saturday evenings until Wednesday afternoons...and because he works nights, we are on opposite schedules as well.  It's like being in a long-distance relationship all over again!
Things that are downright overwhelming:
  • DOING ALL OF THESE THINGS AT ONCE.
This is my life right now, y'all.  It's a big reason why I've been really inconsistent in my blogging - I just can't seem to get anything in control right now.  I love blogging and I miss posting here regularly and supporting all my blog friends' blogs, but with all the other junk I've got going on in my life, it's been hard for me to stay motivated and organized.  So...until things fall into place (which could really take a month or so...since we don't have a moving date yet...and I'll be starting my nanny job again in a couple of weeks), I'm going to be pretttty spotty around here.  Just a heads up.

As for today's outfit, this is one that I have worn multiple times now.  These white cropped jeans are so comfortable and I love how they feel on me.  They really freshen up any look - and make this neon pink tee stand out nicely.  Lightweight scarves like this floral one are my jam these days as well.  We've had several very cold, cloudy, rainy days in the past couple of weeks, and I love how a lightweight scarf can add another layer of warmth and coziness without being too bulky and seasonally inappropriate.

Thanks so much for sticking with me as I'm trying to sort out all the little pieces in my life!  I love y'all.

5.21.2015

I Love My Legs

There's three pictures of these outfit, and that's because my hair looks like crap in all of them, and I couldn't pick the least crappiest shot, haha!  But I loved this outfit, so....you get crappy hair pictures ;)

 Dress: Old Navy [Top 10 item] | Cardigan: Target | Wedges: Skechers | Necklace: From my grandma


Bri's Third Thursday Threads for this month is bare legs!  After a long winter of pants, tights, and leggings, I love this time of year when I get to wear dresses and skirts with bare legs again.  Although this particular outfit is ridiculously simple, I absolutely love it.  This bright pink dress just begs to be worn with black and white, and I hadn't yet paired the dress with my herringbone cardigan.  Also, I'm starting to really appreciate these wedges a little bit more.  I've worn them three times already this spring, and I have several other outfits that I'd like to wear them with.  They're very comfortable, I can walk confidently in them, and the strap actually keeps them on my feet, too.  Plus, they make my legs look amazing.  Any shoes that make my legs look this good deserve a solid home in my closet ;)

I'm linking up with Bri for Third Thursday Threads.

5.18.2015

Brown? No, Olive.

Top: Old Navy [Top 10 item] | Leggings: J. Jill | Sandals: Target | Necklace: From my mom

Happy Monday!  I hope y'all had a great weekend.  I spent my Friday night hanging out with Kevin (we had our weekly Pizza Friday tradition and watched several episodes of The New Girl).  On Saturday, I spent the day with my parents.  We went to see Pitch Perfect 2 (OMG SO GOOD), went out for dinner (where I ran into an old mentor of mine, which was SO much fun!!), and then went to see one of the girls I nanny in her middle school production of Peter Pan (she was the cutest fairy ever!).  Yesterday, I basically spent my day lounging around, casually working on some blog stuff while I did laundry and watched most of the first season of Queer as Folk.  Not a bad weekend, I'd say!! :)

I'm disappointed that these leggings are photographing as brown, because in real life, they're very much olive, which looks much better with this black + white marled tunic and my cognac + gold sandals than the gross brown they're appearing to be.  #iphonecameraproblems [Also, I really like using hashtags still, so sue me.]

5.15.2015

Four Things Friday | 12

Dress [Top 10 item] + Leggings: Old Navy | Scarf: Gift | Shoes: Payless

I loooove this outfit.  I've been really into wearing dresses with leggings and flats lately - it's the perfect way to transition dresses into warmer weather without needing to wear tights or boots.  Plus, I don't know why, but I love the look of leggings with flats.  While this outfit isn't anything spectacular or anything, I like how the leopard flats and coral scarf give it a little life.

I'm back with another Four Things Friday, too!  Today, I'm going to share with you four songs that I love.

Some Fantastic | I've shared with y'all a few times that Barenaked Ladies is my all-time favorite band and has been since I was 6 years old.  "Some Fantastic" is one of the songs that immediately makes me happy when I hear it - in fact, it used to be my ring tone, haha.  I love this version of the song - the two lead singers (Ed, on guitar, and Steve, who is no longer in the band, booooo) are singing it in the bathroom for one of their Bathroom Sessions.  I just like how you can see their personalities, and I love how stripped down it is as well.  I am seeing BNL in concert in June again (for I think the 10th or 11th time??), and I can't wait!  They are such great musicians, and they are so entertaining in concert!

Try | The first time I heard this song, I thought it was pretty good.  I love acoustic music, and Colbie Caillat is a favorite of mine.  I liked the lyrics, too.  A few months later, I saw the music video for this song, and I have to admit to you that I openly wept nearly the entire video.  Listening to the song and watching the video for it was such an emotional experience for me.  As I've wrestled with my own body image and have worked through disordered eating and learning how to love myself, this song has hit me like a ton of bricks.  I don't need to try hard to look beautiful...I already am.  I sing the chorus of this song to myself frequently when I'm having a rough day and struggling with accepting my body.

Somebody That I Used to Know (Pentatonix version) | Okay, I'm know that people are really over this song, but I actually really like it (even the original Gotye version).  I'm absolutely in love with the Pentatonix version, however.  Ever since they were on The Sing-Off, I have been a huge Pentatonix fan.  I find the group to be so talented and innovative, and I love that they're just normal people who happen to be incredible singers and have started to get famous.  This particular version of the song just shows off how beautiful all of their voices are, both individually and as a group.  Plus, I find the video to be captivating.  [For the record, I also really love this version, by Ingrid Michaelson - another of my all-time favorite artists!]

I Choose You | Sara Bareilles is so effing amazing.  I absolutely love her music, and I love who she is as a person as well.  This song is adorable and so catchy, and I find myself singing it in the shower all the time.  If you haven't seen it yet, you have to watch the music video.  Sara sang at two couples' proposals, which is all documented in the music video.  Both of the stories are so cute, but I think it's awesome that she included a lesbian couple her video.  I am so supportive of LGBT rights and gay marriage, so I give Sara a lot of credit for featuring Aly and Andrea.  Seriously, I get goosebumps every time I watch this thing.

Alright, y'all - what are some songs you love?  Send me some of your favorites!!

5.14.2015

Two Ways | Polka Dot Jeans + Navy Crocheted TOMS

[Yes, I'm still working on posting my Top 10 Remix outfits...I got so far behind in taking my blog photos, so I took a bunch of them this past weekend, of all the outfits I had worn in the second 2/3 of April.  Unfortunately, it was very windy that day and the pictures are all kind of crappy, but I'm not too torn up about it.  I hope y'all don't mind either...because this is as good as it's going to get for a little while...]

One of my Top 10 items is my navy crocheted TOMS.  I professed my love of TOMS shoes in Tuesday's post, so I won't go into too much detail about why I love my TOMS.  However, this particular pair is one that I included in my Top 10 items because I like how the crocheted detail is just a little bit different than the classic canvas style.

I'm not really the most creative when I wear these shoes, though.  I tend to wear them with navy and white, or navy and gray.  During the month of April when I was doing the Top 10 Remix, I wore them twice with these polka dot jeans and a white tee!  I can't help it: I know what I like.

Tee: Thrifted | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: TOMS [Top 10 item] | Necklace: Eclectic Wendy Designs

This outfit was worn on one of our nice, sunny weekend days.  I love how these jeans look with a plain white tee, and this relaxed fit boyfriend tee totally fits the bill.  A simple silver necklace and my TOMS complete the look.
Tee + Cardigan: Old Navy | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: TOMS [Top 10 item] | Necklace: Forever 21

I wore this outfit last Friday, actually.  I took a half day off of work, and I found this outfit to be polished enough for a casual Friday but comfortable enough that I didn't have to change in the afternoon when I was home.  It was chilly and overcast that day, so I added my navy boyfriend cardigan for an extra layer.  Perfection!

5.13.2015

A Few of My Favorite Things...

I'm switching things up a little bit today, and talking about some of my current favorite products!!
Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer | I mentioned in my May Goals post that I wanted to experiment with some more lip colors.  I'm typically a cherry Chapstick girl, but I've been trying to play with lip color a bit more.  I first tried out these Burt's Bees lip shimmers several years ago in an attempt to look more sophisticated without buying actual lipstick.  [I've always found lipstick to dry my lips out, so I was looking for tinted lip balms instead.]  I've been hooked on these since!  I usually only wear these on "special occasions," but I'm trying to be a bit more bold and wear them on "regular" days as well. Below, you can see how I wore the shade "Rhubarb" on Mother's Day.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Top Coat | I love having my fingernails painted, but I hate having to wait ages for them to dry.  When I was in grad school, I was lamenting to a friend of mine that I never had  a large enough chunk of time to paint my nails.  She, who always had beautifully manicured nails, recommended that I try out an instant dry top coat - it's how she was always able to have painted nails!  I picked up this bottle, and it's made such a difference.  It has actually allowed me to paint my fingernails once in a while, because it doesn't need to be such a big, long process.

SoapBox Coconut Oil Shampoo & Conditioner | As I mentioned yesterday, I'm love products that have global missions.  When I was given the opportunity to review SoapBox shampoo and conditioner, I was so excited about it.  SoapBox products are sulfate- and paraben-free, and are made with natural oils.  Also, with each SoapBox purchase, a child in need is provided with one month of clean water - isn't that awesome?!  Now that's a mission I can get behind.  The shampoo and conditioner I was sent is coconut scented - mmmm!  It brings me right back to college when I was obsessed with this coconut shampoo and conditioner that has since been discontinued.  I love how fresh it smells, and I truly feel like it's helped to moisturize and thicken my hair.  I'm really pleased with these products, and I'm so happy to have been introduced to a brand that has a mission I feel good about supporting.

Aveeno CC Cream | For years and years, I've been using a daily face moisturizer with sunscreen to protect my skin (#palegirlprobz).  It wasn't until I was in college that my cousin told me about tinted face moisturizers with SPF.  As someone who hates caking makeup all over my face, I've never used foundation, bronzer, or toner (are those even the right words to use?  I'm such a makeup dummy.), but every once in a while, I felt like I needed to even out my skin tone.  A tinted face moisturizer with SPF is the perfect solution! I used to use a Neutrogena variety, but it was only SPF 15, and eventually my local Target stopped carrying it.  I needed a replacement.  As I searched through the aisles at Target, I was so excited to find this Aveeno tinted moisturizer with SPF 30.  I've been using this product for about a year now, and I'm only halfway through my second bottle of it...and I wear it every single day.  It goes such a long way!

Redken Wax Blast | I've been using this finishing spray-wax for a couple of years as well.  It's been great for all of my different hairstyles over the past couple of years, ranging from the bob I had when I first started blogging, to the pixie cut I had a year or so ago, to the bob I have again now.  It's been a great finishing spray for every style along my hair journey.  I like that it gives my hair some texture and grit (it gives it a messy look that I really love), but it also helps it stay in place as well and keeps it from falling flat.  Bonus?  The smell of it reminds me of my grandpa (he was a barber and I remember spending lots of time in his basement when he'd cut my dad's and brother's hair - the smell of this wax spray reminds me of some kind of product he used to have and use).

How about y'all?  Have you ever used any of these products?  What are you liking right now?

I was selected by Influenster to review the SoapBox Shampoo & Conditioner.  They sent me the products - all thoughts and opinions are my own!

5.12.2015

#noshame

Tee: Old Navy [Top 10 item] | Blazer: Target | Jeans: Lauren Conrad via Kohls | Flats: TOMS | Necklace: From my mom

I so enjoy wearing a blazer + tee + jeans combo.  There's something so polished about it...and it makes me feel less bad about wearing jeans to work on a non-Friday, haha.  Also, can I just talk about how much I adore my TOMS ballet flats?  They are so comfortable - the soles are squishy, they don't pinch my feet, and I can walk in them all day without my feet getting sore or getting blisters.  Plus, I just love clothing companies that think about the world around them, like TOMS does.  With every purchase, TOMS sends a pair of shoes to a child in need.  I think that's pretty neat...and it's also part of the reason I currently have about 8 pairs of TOMS... #noshame.

5.11.2015

Old Navy Order + Review

A couple of weeks ago, I placed an order at Old Navy, because not only were they having a 40% off sale, but I also wanted to use up the last of my rewards before paying off my Old Navy credit card and closing the account.  I had been eyeing a few things on the site for awhile and wanted to see if any of those items would work for me.  So...here are some crappy photos of what I got (excuse the dog beds on the floor behind me...).
First up: this skirt.  I typically don't really like how skirts look on me, but I've been trying to get over that and see if I can find a skirt that I like.  I loved the little floral print on this one, and the coral color is right up my alley.  I really liked the smocked waist as well - so comfy!  However, I'm pretty sure this skirt is getting returned.  It's too sheer for my liking, and I don't think it would be as versatile as I would like it to be.  [I ordered it in a large.]
I've wanted a black circle skirt for ages now, and I thought this one might be a winner.  I had tried on a size extra large in the store awhile ago (they only had smalls and extra larges in the store), and it was huge on me.  When I had the opportunity to order it in a large online, I jumped on it.  I was so disappointed when this one arrived and was too snug.  Like, I look like a snowman in it.  NOT CUTE.  Needless to say, this one is going back and the hunt for a stretchy black circle skirt is back on.
I already have this dress in black and gray...why not get it in coral (my favorite color to wear!!!) as well?  This style of dress is perfect for my body.  It's soft and stretchy, and because it is long enough and has sleeves, I can wear it to work, on weekends, etc.  Get ready to see this one a ton... [I have this in a large.]
Okay, now here is where I need a little help, I think.  I really like the style of these peplum tanks.  I generally find peplum to be flattering for people with my body type, and I like that it disguises the part of my body I struggle with the most - my stomach.  I ordered these in a large tall, as I find that oftentimes, Old Navy's tops are too short on me (I'm 5'8", so I don't quite fit into the "tall" category, but I order things in tall more often than not...).  I'm so glad I ordered these in a tall, because they absolutely would not have worked if they were any shorter.  I like the peplum and the way it falls on me, but I'm just not sold.  They look kind of awkward on me.  Maybe it's because they're sleeveless and I rarely wear anything without sleeves?  Maybe it's because I'm wearing slouchy jeans instead of shorts or skinny jeans like I would with these tops regularly?  Maybe it's because I'm wearing a crappy bra here?  Haha.  Who knows.  I really think these tops could get some great wear in my closet, but I'm just like 2% nervous that they look awful on me.  Help me decide!! [Oh, and for the record, the one on the right is navy with very thin white stripes...which you can't see here, because, crappy cell phone selfies...]

Have you ordered anything from Old Navy recently?  Any winners?

5.06.2015

Currently | May

Another month, another installment of the Currently linkup with Anne and Jenna!

Designing | Kevin and I have never really done a lot of decorating in any of the places we've lived before.  A lot of it is because we've never been somewhere that feels very permanent...and we've never been able to paint the walls (we've had to deal with plain white or "eggshell" - both of which kind of make me gag).  Now that we'll be moving into our own house, I am so excited to be able to start decorating the way we want to.  I've been designing (in my head, and a little bit on my Pinterest boards) our new living room, bedroom, etc.  So much fun!
Our living room furniture is forest green (like the second color from the left), and our new house has a brown brick fireplace...I'm thinking that a color palette like this could be nice...

Enjoying | I took last Friday afternoon off of work, and I spent it with my cousin Katie, and her 5-month-old son, Nolan.  Nolan was asleep when I arrived, so I got to catch up with Katie for quite awhile (which, by the way, was wonderful).  We have been close for most of our entire lives (she's two years younger than me), and were best friends in high school (I was her chauffeur for my junior and senior years), but we haven't lived in the same area since I graduated from high school (in 2006).  We're both much better at talking face-to-face than we are via texting or talking on the phone, so having the opportunity to catch up face-to-face is such a gift!  When Nolan woke up, Katie plunked him in my arms and I was so excited to get baby snuggles (he's seriously the snuggliest kid everrrr), feed him, and listen to his adorable squealing and babbling.  I loved having the opportunity to hang out with my cousin and her darling son!!

Ordering | I recently took advantage of a 40% off sale at Old Navy and used the rest of my rewards to place an order for some new clothing items.  I ordered a few tops (this is one of them), a couple of skirts (here is one), and this dress in coral (don't judge me for having three of these now...).  I'm pretty sure I'll be doing a review post of what I ordered and how the items worked out for me, if y'all are okay with that.

Celebrating | This past weekend, my family celebrated my brother's graduation from college!  I'm so excited for him - it's been a long journey for him, and he has actually been finishing up his bachelor's degree while going through his first year of graduate school.  AKA, he's been busy this past year...and he's also nuts a little bit ;)  But in all seriousness, it was so wonderful to watch him walk across that stage and get his diploma.  I'm such a sucker for graduation ceremonies!  [Also, Winona LaDuke was the commencement speaker, and she's freaking amazing.  She was such a captivating speaker and she has the greatest messages about social justice.  I want to read all of her books now!!]

Kevin and me with Ian!  Hooray!!  [Also, sorry about the squinty faces - it was so sunny!!]

Tasting | Okay, so I may not be eating candy right now (I'm going without it for the month of May), but I'm still eating ice cream.  Kevin and I are total Ben & Jerry's junkies.  Our local grocery store stopped carrying my favorite flavor (dumb), so I've had to find another flavor.  I had heard about the new cookie butter flavors Ben & Jerry's released a few months back, and when I decided to try out the Peanut Buttah Cookie Core flavor, I was kind of hooked.  Now, it's really peanut buttery, but I happen to love peanut butter, so it's perfect.  And I want to find out where I can buy the peanut butter cookie butter - omg DELICIOUS.

5.04.2015

Monthly Goals | May

Recap | April Goals
1. Create a blogging schedule for the month and stick to it - take two | Okay, I'm struggling with this goal so much, y'all.  Due to my busy schedule, inconsistency in taking outfit photos, and desire to spend less time on my computer, I'm having a hard time coming up with a consistent blog schedule.  I'm tired of feeling guilty about how much I'm posting, so I'm going to try something new.  I'm not incredibly interested in growing my blog too much (I love the size of my blog and how I feel like I can establish and maintain relationships with all my blog friends), so I'm not going to focus on participating in linkups each and every week (although, there are some that I love to join in with, so I'll for sure continue with a handful of them!).  I'd like to try to post as often as I can, but I'm going to remove the pressure to post 5 times a week and post when I have the time and desire.

2. Establish a post-work routine | Done!  I absolutely love my post-work routine right now.  I come home from work, play with the dogs, and immediately work out (I've been doing these walking videos on YouTube, which are actually a great workout!).  Afterwards, I do a little cleaning around the house (I typically do one chore each day).  Then, I plop in our recliner with a book and read for about an hour while I eat dinner.  Then, I put on a show on Netflix (or a movie) and work on my computer for 1-2 hours (reading and commenting on blogs, writing blog posts, catching up on social media, etc.).  It's so relaxing and I feel really productive, haha.

3. Work on de-cluttering the house | This is definitely still a work in progress, but I'm making good headway.  I've begun to purge my closet (although I want to go through it again with an ever finer toothed comb), and I've gone through my accessories, the bathroom cabinets, my purse collection, and some old makeup/nail polish.  I'm ready to tackle the kitchen and our bookshelves next!

4. Watch a movie | I was all excited to watch Into the Woods and Les Miserables during April, but I actually didn't make the time to watch them.  However, when I was sick for a week, I decided I wanted to try and watch a few movies from my Netflix queue.  I think my favorite one I watched was Struck By Lightning - it wasn't anything special, but I found it to be entertaining :)  I have made plans to watch some movie musicals in the future, though - I got Kevin to agree to watch Into the Woods with me, woo!!!

5. Focus, focus, focus at work | This, like my third goal, is still a work in progress.  We have 4 weeks left of school, so I still definitely have projects to work on...however, I have checked so much off my massive to-do list and have removed so many sticky notes from my desk!  Hopefully I can take the motivation I had during April and keep it up through May as well!

Completing 4 out of 5 goals isn't too bad, right?

May Goals
1. Go without candy for a month | I'm a total candy nut.  I love candy and it's a total weakness for me.  However, I know that my love of candy is not helping my desire to lose weight at all.  I'm really interested in decreasing my sugar intake, and by eliminating candy for a month, I'm hoping it will be a great jump start to overcoming my sugar addiction.  I even got my parents to join me in a month without candy!

2. Try out a new lip color | I really dislike lipstick because I hate how it feels on my lips, but I am all about the tinted lip balms.  Several years ago, I purchased a few Burt's Bees tinted lip shimmers, and I loved them.  I love that they give me a little extra color while still moisturizing my lips and feeling more like a lip balm than a heavy lipstick or gloss.  I picked up a few others at Target recently, and I want to try wearing them more regularly (I'm typically a Cherry Chapstick or Carmex kind of girl, so something with color is a little outside of my comfort zone).

3. Get back on my bike | I haven't ridden my bike since October, and I am SO excited to get back on it.  I need to put some air in the tires (luckily, there is a new gas station with free air right across the street from our house, so that shouldn't be too hard to get done), and I should be good to go!  Kevin and I can't wait to get back out on the country roads for some great long rides together.

4. Catch up on reading blogs | I currently have just under 500 unread posts in my reader right now (ughhhh).  I don't know why, but I just can't seem to stay caught up with blogs these days (it doesn't help that while I may comment on 50 posts one night, the next day 50 more posts are published, haha).  I really want to prioritize catching up on the old posts so that I don't feel so overwhelmed by all the unread posts every day.

5. Work on Spanish skills | I took several years of Spanish in high school and loved it!  I still remember quite a bit of it, but I know I've lost a lot of my skills.  I've wanted to improve my Spanish skills for years, but now that I work in a school district that has many Spanish-speaking students, I think it could be really helpful for me to brush up on my Spanish so I can communicate more effectively with my students and their families.  Several years ago, I bought a handful of old Spanish textbooks on half.com, and I've slowly been working my way through them.  I haven't made any progress with them since about January, so I want to see if I can sneak some Spanish into my weekly routine.  Plus, the girls I nanny attend a Spanish immersion school, so I would love to be able to speak in Spanish with them this summer to get some practice in.  [And yes, I realize it is incredibly nerdy to want to "do homework" in my free time, but I am a super nerd and this actually really excites me, hahaha.]

What are your goals for May?