Monday Links to Love

homeslice sign austin

* For entrepreneurs who a shy side: how to build your business as an introvert

* Amanda shares this very real and honest post about travel blogging and it’s a must read

* I feel like I’ll use this often: how to get past a creative block

* Lovely wedding printables for brides on a budget or brides who just love beautiful printables

* Change is the spice of life

* Food for thought: why it doesn’t matter how you feel about your friends

Wearing: The Polka Dotted Professional

the polka-dotted professional

the polka-dotted professional

top: anthropologie, skirt: jcrew, heels: f21

 Everything about this outfit is perfect. The pink of the pencil skirt, the fluttery polka dotted sleeves, I have never felt more amazing than I did this outfit. Which is why this was the perfect first day of school outfit. Of course I made a little modification before I took these photos: what teacher could endure that long first day in wedges?! Still, I’m still like a little kid on the first day and have to have an outfit all picked out. It’s one less thing to be nervous about. Yes, I still get the nervous butterflies before the first day and a million thoughts run through my mind of all the things that could go wrong. Fortunately this year seems to be off to a good start (back to school night officially conquered Wednesday night!). I’m also looking forward to showing off some more of my “teacher” outfits.

This weekend I am looking forward to doing some fall things around town. Nick and I have declared that we are officially in “festival season” when some of the best festivals hit the streets of Philly and the surrounding suburbs. Of course it will be overcrowded and full of people in questionable outfits but what is a festival but a great vehicle for people watching? I love this time year.

linking up with mix and match fashion:

Mix & Match Fashion

Shades of Blue and Being You

Shades of Blue and Being You

When you go into the nail salon for a manicure or a pedicure, the first thing they ask you to do is to pick a color. You make your way over to the wall where hundreds of bottles (okay, maybe 100) are lined up on skinny shelves. Who knew there were that many variations of pink? Pink and red are the predominant colors. Those pinks and reds are feminine, tried and true colors of women everywhere. Nestled among those pinks though are a few shades of blue. Lately that color, the “wild and exotic” blue, has been my color.

At first it seemed like such a weird decision. Who besides my eight year old students paints their toenails blue? The first time I picked a subtle grey-blue tone, not so loudly declaring that, yes, I had blue toenails courtesy of Essie and a name like Rain Go Away or Nothing But Blue Skies. The nail technician finished and looked up at me quizzically: did I like it?

I loved it. I really loved it. There was nothing that made me happier than glancing down at that blue poking out of my sandals. Don’t get me wrong; I love getting pedicures with my pink polishes with their names like Cute As A Button and Tarte Deco. But they don’t bring the same joy as I receive from that sky-colored polish and I didn’t look back.

With my blue polish I feel spontaneous and bright. I feel easy and joyful. I feel like I’ve broken out of this mold I made for myself. The mold being that I “have to” wear pink polish because that’s what everyone else does, that’s what looks appropriate. Choosing a different shade of polish made me realize how many choices I make that are “safe” and “appropriate”. I don’t want to stand out so I pick the pink shade. I’m in my late 20s and a professional so I’ll choose a subtle red. But what it comes down to is excuses. Excuses that hold me back from being the most authentic version of myself.

I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to stand out a little, to do something different because it makes sense to you and no one else. We create these ideas in our minds of how things must be instead of really looking at our life and creating something in the way we want it to be. The blue nailpolish, though small, made a world of difference in my world view. It reminds me to be “me” each and every day.

Monday Links to Love

lucy the elephant margate

Another Monday is here already but I’ve decided to embrace this week. The weather will be mostly good and I think I’ve got life under control…for the most part. Either way, here goes nothing! Happy Monday!

* A fascinating read about a study where they tracked students from inner city Baltimore from 1st grade into their 40s and how your first grade life affects the rest of your life

* Wishing I was a creative right now: Melissa Alam opens The Hive, a coworking space for women in Philadelphia

* Okay, so I’ve embraced fall which means making all these 5 tasty fall treats

* Almost as good as her podcasts: Jess Lively answers some questions about career, creativity, and life in general

* Great tips for styling photos, for bloggers and for anyone who just wants to take better photos

* A fashion-filled one day guide to the great New York City

Wearing: Lilac in Summer’s End

Eyelet Lavender Crop Top

Eyelet Lavender Crop Top

Eyelet Lavender Crop Top

top: anthropologie (no longer available), shorts: h&m, sandals: american eagle (old)

The first full week of school had it’s ups and downs from opening lockers to tears over third grade expectations. Though this year’s group of kiddos is much calmer, sweeter, and we’re having a lot of fun, seeing the above photos make me wish for summer to swing back around. Indian summer anyone?

This lavender crop top was the perfect sale score as Anthropologie clears out their racks to make way for sweaters and sleeves. There were literally 20 others in the sale section too and along with a rust colored one (which my mom bought and I may or may not be stealing soon). Most would think buying a crop top in cotton eyelet is a bit silly but I always shop those end of summer sales and carry them as far into the fall as possible. Layers, ladies, they are your friends.
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What I’ll Be Wearing This Fall

Fall 2014

The weather is dropping into the 40s and 50s at night this week and it has got me doing some serious thinking about fall. Actually, that’s not true; Nick and I have been making all sorts of fall plans from festivals in Philadelphia to our engagement party in November. I love making plans because I love having things to do in the fall but also the clothes. Every new activity means finding just the right outfit. A new season also means moving my summer clothes into storage, pulling out fall favorites, and scoring some new pieces that will become old favorites. Now I don’t always do trendy but I’m always looking for something comfortable that will make the new season feel special. I decided to do a round-up of all the pieces I’m loving for this fall.

If I had to describe my look for fall in one word it would be “cozy”. I’m dying to wiggle into some cable knit or fisherman sweaters with a pair of worn-in boyfriend jeans. Don’t get me wrong; I love to dress up. But I think that fall is the perfect time to grab all the cozy knits and a cup of chai. Also can you say turtleneck?! Turtlenecks used to be the bane of my childhood but now their chic and warm appeal make them the perfect fall accessory. I’m waiting to find the perfect one to pair with my midi skirts.

Even though I’m feeling the cozy vibe for the fall, there are plenty of events coming up so I want to make a classic statement with a twist (okay, so maybe I can’t use just one word for my style). Pleated maxi skirts have been on my radar for awhile now and I have a nice black one in mind for our engagement party. Surprisingly I’m also looking to throw some leopard into my wardrobe for the fall. No, I’m not going full Jersey girl on you. Something about a hint of leopard on a scarf or on some wedges seems perfectly alright and something you wouldn’t expect. Actually I think that says a lot about my fashion ideas for fall: make it simple, make it classic but add a little something unique.

Monday Links to Love

 

new jersey corn

Another Monday…and it feels good. We are rolling our way into September and I’m attempting to be okay with that. I visited the beach on Saturday for what may have been the last time and I think I’m okay with that. I’ve got a whole class full of eager 8 year olds ready to soak up some knowledge for the year ahead and I’m making all sorts of plans for the fall. So here we go September. Happy Monday!

* If you need a little confidence in your life, make it happen

* This home tour is gorgeous…I pinned so much inspiration from this one post!

* For my Philly friends: a guide to more than 60 late summer/fall festivals

* Remember when you were younger and you had soccer or art class or music as “your thing”? It’s important to find a “thing” as an adult too

* Seven things you should never say when brainstorming made me think of the classroom and everywhere else where you need to work with people

*Stay curious, people

* I loved this: do just one page a day

Wearing: Casual Bun Around Town

Slouchy Pants, Bun in Hair

Slouchy Pants, Bun in Hair

tee: gap, pants: american eagle (similar), sandals: nine west (similar), necklace: madewell

When you’re on summer break there are so many days where you just don’t care. The purchase of the trendy “slouchy pant” only fueled my lazy days. And since mastering the messy top knot, I am rarely willing to leave the house. Just kidding because summer officially ended for me this week, blah and seeing these pictures makes me miss those lazy summer days of reading out on the back patio and writing and not worrying about a schedule. But I’ll put my blogger face on and get excited for Fall.

As you’ve probably already ready everywhere across the internet everyone is all about FALL (and pumpkin spice everything). I do love Fall, especially because I get to dig out parts of my wardrobe that haven’t seen the light since early April. But at the same time I am still clinging to last remnants of summer. I’m praying for good weather tomorrow morning so I can head down for some beach time and I have a few summer-y outfits left to post to the blog. But then again life seems to really ramp up again when the weather starts to chill a bit and I always have a wonderful fall. And get to celebrate some important times with family and friends. Okay, I’ll give into the fall obsession in blogland and get excited for leaves, booties, and light layers. But give me a few weeks while I mourn the last bits of summer.

The First Day…Yay!

I can officially call it quits on another first day of school. I told my new students, as they sat so patiently on the rug (a first day illusion), I have had 22 first days of school, give or take the year that I took off from education. As far as first days go for being a teacher, it felt the smoothest. I wasn’t temporary, I wasn’t at a new school, I knew what I was doing…sort of. Of course I only got through half of what I wanted to get through and buses were almost 20 minutes late and the pencil sharpener wouldn’t work as well as I wanted. But in the end it happened and I feel like the kids are happy they are in my class and they know that they are loved. Little do they know about the pain of standardized testing that will come later but for right now, we are all happy.

I am the most proud that I’ve ever been of my room set-up and decor. I feel like it facilitates learning but also is bright and cheerful and a place anyone will be happy to learn. Here’s to another school year in Room 10!

The First Day of School...Yay!

The First Day of School...Yay!

The First Day of School...Yay!

The First Day of School...Yay!

Monday Links to Love

A Weekend in Ocean City NJ

Happy Labor Day! In case you haven’t notice, look up at your address bar. That’s right this blog now has an official home at buttonsandblossoms.com! Moving to self-hosted has been a long time coming. Buttons & Blossoms was officially born four years ago today with a post about my favorite area in Philly. Since then I’ve been blogging off and on with no professional goals or ambitions. This blog for me is an outlet where I can be creative that’s separate from my everyday. More recently I’ve begun to take it seriously and put a little more time and effort into what I do here. I know that this move will keep motivating me to put time and effort in this space. Whether you’re just joining me now or have been visiting buttons & blossoms since it was The Lemonade Stand, I hope you keep reading and enjoying my random thoughts and everyday life. Happy Monday!

* You can’t deny that the girls over at A Beautiful Mess know what they’re doing when it comes to photography and now they’re sharing some of their best tips

* I have a feeling I’m going to need this this week: 10 ways to wake up refreshed

* All you need is three simple words to increase your happiness, focus, and gratitude

* Building friendships as you get older is harder but worth it

* This post from elise blaha cripe about the balance between consuming and creating hit home this week

* Make my reservation now! Bon Appetit names Philly’s High Street on Market the second best restaurant in the U.S. 

* I appreciate this interesting and totally legit reason not to do the ALS ice bucket challenge

* A short but sweet list of what Jessica Hagy learned after eight years of blogging