Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Clothing Haul

Last Tuesday was my teacher of the year ceremony.  A fancy event like that is always a good excuse to do some shopping.  I tried on several dresses including these ones from Forever 21 (Number 1, Number 2 and one more I can't find the link to) but none of them made me feel super confident like this little black dress that I already have.  So I decided to go with what I already love and just buy some new pieces to make the dress into an outfit.

I found these adorable and really comfortable shoes from Payless.  They have a built in insole and I got them in a wide size.  They also come in several other colors, including black and navy.

I also picked up several cardigans.  I wanted the hot pink one for my outfit and the others were just additions to my wardrobe as a swap out for some of my older, needed-to-be-replaced cardigans.

I got the first two from H&M.  I like their cardigans because they run pretty small so I can get the equivalent of a petite size sweater for only $14.95.  (They weren't on sale at my H&M.)

And this one I picked up at Target before I went to H&M.  If you're petite like me, I'd say the H&M version fits better.  The torso and arms of an XS or S at H&M will be shorter than the ones at Target.

I've been looking for some opaque black tights for awhile now.  The ones I have currently are really uncomfortable and even though they claimed to be opaque, they are no where near as opaque as I'd like.  This time I went with a pair with a higher denier (the higher the denier, the more opaque they will be).

I ended up wearing my black dress, hot pink cardigan, the new shoes, and the black tights.  It was such a busy night that I didn't even have time to take pictures.  Maybe I'll wear the outfit to work some time soon.  It was really cute when it all came together.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Year, New Hair

So I was inspired by other bloggers like Kendi and Heidi to get a fresh start to the year with a shorter haircut.  My hair has just become low on the priority list lately with teaching and tutoring after school.  I just have no time or energy or patience to blow dry all this hair anymore.  Even though my hair is fine, I have a lot of it and blow drying was getting in the way of me sleeping.  Hence, today I chopped it!

Please excuse the bad quality of the pictures and the fact that I look exhausted and have hardly any makeup on and my glasses.  Real life, you know?  I've had a terrible cold all week, had barely any voice for several days, and haven't slept much from all the coughing and hacking that I've been doing at night.  This is despite taking two Mucinex a day and two doses of Nyquil at night.  Can't wait to kick this cold!  Late last night I finally figured out that if I stacked up my pillows and slept with my head and shoulders inclined more, I didn't cough all through the night and could sleep.  Guess who's going to bed early tonight??  LOL

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Favorite Outfits of 2013

I spent 2013 working on purging and improving my wardrobe and while there are still some things I want to replace in my wardrobe, I'm pretty happy with the evolution of my closet over the last year.  That said, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite (work) outfits of 2013.  I couldn't pick just one so I picked two outfits with skirts and two with pants.

First up we have this orange skirt outfit [original post here].  I really love pencil skirts and this orange one is bright and fun.  I also love how this plaid shirt coordinates perfectly with the skirt.  I've worn this exact outfit several times.

Second up is this amazing olive pencil skirt [original post here].  This olive skirt was bought on a whim when I wasn't sure about olive and I ended up loving this skirt.  I swear it looks amazing no matter what color top I pair it with.  However, this floral chiffon blouse was one of my absolute favorite pairings.  The skirt and shirt just seemed meant for each other.  I can't wait for the weather here to warm up some so I can wear skirts again!

For my third outfit, I selected this chambray top and my straight leg black chinos [original post here].  Oh how glad I am I bought these chinos in so many colors!  I really love them.  They're professional but the slimmer legs don't overwhelm my petite frame.  I love this outfit with the simple basics of the chambray and chinos with the fun pops in the scarf and flats.  I've worn the base of this outfit with different shoes, scarves, and necklaces several times.  It's become a "no brainer" outfit base for those days when I want to look cute without having to think.

The last outfit is another easy basics outfit that's become a "no brainer" as well [original post here].  This striped shirt fits quite nicely and I love it paired with this camel cardigan.  I've worn this shirt and cardigan combo at least three or four times with different bottoms and different necklaces.  I actually wore that combo yesterday to work with jeans and a red and silver necklace!

The great thing about having clothes you love and that fit you well is that it makes getting dressed so much easier.  No longer do I stare into my bursting full closet and think, I have nothing to wear.  Now getting dressed is fun instead of a chore!

Rainbow Salad

Earlier this week, I packed hubby and I some delicious lunches that I dubbed "Rainbow Lunches" for all the bright colors.  I might not have covered every color in the rainbow, but I got pretty close!

Red: grape tomatoes and radishes
Orange: carrots
Yellow: sweet yellow bell pepper
Green: romaine hearts and baby spinach and cucumbers
Blue: :( okay, no blue
Violet: radishes (I know these are more reddish-purple but just give me this one, okay? LOL)

and some bonus white!

And as an update on my health, I had to get more blood work done on Friday and I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday to hopefully get some answers about what exactly happened and to see the results of the blood work.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Healthy Lunch

Today was my first day back to work and with my new determination to eat healthier, I got a good start with this lunch.  Let's break it down.

Lunchbox: I got this awesome lunch box at Big Lots.  You can get the same style (different print) here. I really like this lunch box because the lid opens up to the same size as the box, so you can set in a large tray (like pictured) without having to turn your lunchbox on its side.  I actually have several sizes and shapes of lunchboxes that I use for different sized containers.  I'll be sharing them as I post different lunches.

I also bought this plastic three compartment container that my lunch is in at Big Lots.  It's the perfect size for a salad, wrap, and snack.  I'm not sure where you can find those but I've also seen them at Target before.  This one came with a fork and knife in the slots on the lid but the utensils were cheap and I broke the fork.

The spork pictured here came with this food container.  I also have a reusable tumbler cup with ice water and a mini bottle of salad dressing.  If you're looking for an easy, mess free way to take salad dressing to work, these bottles are the best.  They are Evriholder Dressing-2-Go bottles.  I bought mine at Kitchen Collection but they are also available at Amazon and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  They are silicone, hold a perfect amount of dressing and they never leak!  And if that weren't enough, both pieces are dishwasher safe.  I highly recommend them.

Now let's talk about what I'm eating!  Yummo!
Wrap: a spinach wrap (cut in half and stacked on each other).  Inside is cracked pepper turkey, pepperjack cheese, baby spinach, cucumber slices and a drizzle of Ranch dressing.
Grapes: seedless green grapes make a tart and healthy mid-morning snack.
Salad: baby spinach and romaine hearts for leafy greens.  Sliced grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and green pepper.  To the side is a pink teddy bear-shaped mini silicone cup of shredded cheese.  I keep it separate so the cheese doesn't get sticky and goey before I eat it.
Dressing: Ken's Steak House Lite Northern Italian Dressing

I have to say, after five days of nasty hospital food, fresh fruits and vegetables taste delicious!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Hospital New Year

The Cause:
This has probably been the most trying, exhausting Christmas break of my life.  I started Christmas break from work on December 19th.  On December 20th, my husband Brian and I left Florida, headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with our families.  It was probably the busiest visit home we've ever had.  Our week there was packed full of dinners, shopping, and family get-togethers.  There was literally not a moment free.  On December 27th, we left and headed back to Florida.  I wasn't feeling well that morning and was pretty nauseated the entire trip.  Then we got caught in three hours of stop and go traffic in South Carolina and our drive ended up taking us about sixteen hours total.  By the time we finally got home, I was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to curl up in my own bed.  It was time to change my insulin pump site so before I went to bed, I finally did that too.  The insertion device that fires the needle and tube into your skin hadn't been working properly in Pennsylvania but I had been able to get it to work after some fussing.  I had the same problem again, where the device just wouldn't fire the pump site but I pushed it in as best as I could and thought things were grand.  And then in my state of exhaustion, I made a big diabetic mistake.  I went to sleep with a new pump site and didn't set my alarm to wake me up and check my blood sugar to make sure the new pump site was working.  Two and a half hours later...

The Effect:
I remember waking up around 1:40 A.M. because I had to pee.  Before I could even finish doing my business, I was vomiting in the trash can.  I remember taking the trash can out and cleaning it and from there everything is kind of a blur.  I don't remember much, just sort of blips and scenes of what took place.  I remember vomiting constantly, pretty much camped out with pillows and blankets on the bathroom floor.  At some point, Brian took me to the Emergency Room and I don't really remember much until I woke up the next day in the Intensive Care Unit.  I spent four days in ICU and one day in a different recovery room.  I rang in the New Year in a hospital bed with my husband worried sick.

I didn't remember much from the first two and half days but I guess I was severely dehydrated and delirious in the ER.  I didn't know who he was or what was happening.  Some time during the first night, my heart was struggling and my blood pressure kept dropping and alarms were going off and tons of doctors and nurses were tending to me and the 100 machines and wires that I was hooked up to.  The doctors said it seemed like my body was fighting some kind of infection that they couldn't find.  They asked a million questions and ran a million tests and it was all a blur.  I don't really remember.  Let's just say it was a nightmare.  Being diabetic has never been so scary to me and there's a certain amount of emotional damage that happens when you feel like you've lost the ability to handle your disease.  You feel like a child again and lose all confidence in your ability to take care of yourself.

January 1st, I was released from the hospital.  I know it's cliche, but I am definitely looking at things quite differently after all this.  My priorities have changed a lot and I feel like they needed to.  I'm proud that I won Teacher of the Year and that all of my hard work is appreciated and noticed but I need to put work lower on the priority list.  While I love writing for this blog and sharing whatever fun things I'm doing, sometimes it feels like work too and that's just added stress in my life that I don't need.  I'm not really one to make resolutions for the new year, because I never end up sticking with it, but there are some things in my life that I need to change.  So I've made some decisions.

1. Work less.  I can't really change the fact that I'm tutoring again after school starting in just a few weeks but I can choose to leave work at the end of my day instead of staying another two hours and I can choose to not work while at home all the time too.  Also, I've decided that I will only post things to this blog if it makes me happy, and never to do it if it feels like work.  Sometimes I just need to close the computer and get out and actually live my life.

2. Work towards a more healthy lifestyle.  I'm not going to say that I'm going to run a mile every day or lose ten pounds.  I know I won't do any of that stuff.  But back in the spring of 2013 Brian and I had started eating healthier and I felt better and had more energy.  Somewhere along the line, working all the time got in the way of that and I want to get back to eating fresh fruits and vegetables more.  Plus, they are delicious!  And I'm sure no one would mind if I did some blog posts about healthy lunch ideas every now and then, right?

Also, I'd like to try to get out and exercise more, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood with Brian.  Right now, I'm feeling lucky to even be healthy enough to exercise.  There's no excuse to at least walk.  Again, close the computer and get off the couch.

3. Live my life.  This sounds simple but I feel like I spend so much of my time waiting for the weekend or waiting for summer or whatever that I don't enjoy the time I do have.  I need to be grateful for the present and enjoy the people and things that make me content right now, whatever that may be.  I'm definitely thinking more dates and time with friends.

4. Put ME first.  I feel like in my life, so many things get put before me.  No more thinking things like I can't go to the doctor's at 11:00, I have to work.  We'll have to change it.  or I can't go out to dinner Friday night, I have to get these papers checked and in the gradebook.  Seriously, what is wrong with me?  LOL!  Having a good work ethic is important, but at some point I have to realize that my career can't be the only way that I define myself.  I need to have hobbies again, to spend time with my husband and just stop and take care of myself.