Love for Booties

Do you ever first see a trend and kind of balk?  Wondering, "Why is that gaining popularity?  Are we really supposed to wear that now?"  I had this kind of response with pointy-toed heels in college and again with leggings a few years ago.  (Although both still kinda irk me a bit.)  I felt the exact same way when I saw booties popping up on bloggers and cute trendsetters last year and again this fall and winter.  But now I'm in love!  Here are some cute budget-friendly ones I have found online.

I snagged the Classified Lace-Up booties from Amazon (I'm totally addicted to Amazon Prime), and I love them.  They are very comfortable and have a leopard lining - which no one but me can see, but it makes me happy.  =)

What are your feelings on the bootie trend?

Spaghetti Squash with Laughing Cow & Diced Tomatoes

So it's pretty obvious that I deserted this blog for a verrrrrrrrry long time.  I never extinguished it entirely though because I do love bloggin' the 4 Fs (food, fashion, fitness, and fluff) and always hoped/planned to return.  Why the absence?  I threw all of my energy and extra time into my teaching blog.  While it's a close race, at this point in my life, my role as an educator and dreams to ignite passion and spark ideas in the teaching world outweigh my desire to dress cute and try new recipes.  (Maybe I'm growing up...!???)  That said, I still spend an embarrassing amount of time reading fashion and food blogs so I'd love to continue writing my own a bit too.  I think I'll try taking quick outfit and meal posts and giving brief rundowns rather than blow-by-blows and see if I can get back in the swing of things. ;)

Tonight... it was a woman-on-her-own dinner night.
I always struggle with eating healthy and fresh food when hungry hubby is working late or playing soccer.  While Tostitos and wine sounds amazing, I'd never eat that for dinner on a Monday (now on a Friday, that's totallllly justifiable).  ;)  
When I don't have to cook for the hubby, it's oh-so-tempting to just heat up a Lean Cuisine.  I mean seriously, the only dish dirtied is a fork!  But I know while OK every once in awhile in a pinch, TV dinners have way too much sodium and preservatives to be a good dinner choice on a regular basis.  The perfect winter or fall solution?  Microwaved spaghetti squash!

I cut off about 1/8th of a large squash, scraped out the pulp, and microwaved it for 7 minutes face down in a dish with about an inch of water.  Once done, I just drained the water, scraped it apart to get those fabulous noodles, and added 1 wedge of swiss Laughing Cow and some diced canned tomatoes with basil and oregano seasoning.  DELISH!  Add any steamed veggies to easily up the health factor.

It feels good to be back.  =)  And if any of you are teachers, feel free to check out my Kindergarten blog here.

Old Navy Weekend Steals

I got an email from Old Navy on Friday (addressed to "only our best customers" of course... mmmhmm sure).  Fake flattery aside, the deals were way too good to ignore.  The email advertised in-store only promotions for the weekend - 75% off full-price Outwear on Saturday noon-5pm, and 75% off full-price Sweaters on Sunday noon-5pm.  So I did what any other retail-obsessed girl would do, I went both days!

Unfortunately, by the time the fam and I got there on Saturday, most of the outwear was picked-over and only XL and XXL sizes were left in any of the coats I wanted.  I did grab this black puffer coat (perfect for windy recess duty days) for a mere $15.  My mom treated me - thanks Mama!

Learning my lesson, I was in Old Navy today by 11:45am to scoop up sweaters in my size.  There were TONS of options, and I lugged about 15 different sweater styles into the dressing room.  Here's the whole loot:

5 sweaters for me...

1 for the hubby...

+ 2 long-sleeve tees...

For a grand total of $69 bucks!  I had a $25 Visa card (a gift), so I walked out of there with 8 items for an out-of-pocket expense of $44 bucks!  I know I'll certainly regret saying this later, but now I wish it would get cold so I can enjoy all my new clothes.  (It's currently 70 degrees in the big D.)

I'm not brave enough to battle the crowds on Black Friday, so these steals will be my excitement for the week.  Do you shop on Black Friday?

Thirsty Thursday: My Favorite Cheap Wine

Where has the time gone!?!??
Not only was today the official end of summer (so totally tragic), but it's been over a month since I've posted on this bia.  What can I say??  I've been busy.

Let's recap...
  • Prepared classroom for the new school year
  • Headed-up two staff trainings on my campus
  • Frantically finished writing curriculum for my school district (that may or may not still be unfinished... *cough* *cough*)
  • Packed-up our 2 bedroom apartment
  • Frantically cleaned said 2 bedroom apartment to avoid cleaning fees
  • Moved
  • Un-packed into our new 3 bedroom rent house
  • Attended 3 weddings
  • Ate
  • Breathed
With the beginning of the school year and the big move behind me, I can finally relax.  AHHHHH.  My new class is AH-MAZZZZING and I am enjoying every single second of work. It's time to start blogging again.  Enter: Thirsty Thursday.

I won't even attempt a euphemism, people.  I like to drink. I like my drinks, I like them to taste good, and I like them to spare my waistline.  Thirsty Thursday is my chance to share my wine-o wisdom with you all... Let's get our drink on in a budget and waist-friendly way!  Happy hour anyone!??

Disclaimer: If you are a wine snob purist, you probably want to hit that X up in the corner right about now.  I usually loathe Walmart.  I have for years.  But their Oak Leaf Pinot Grigio completely makes-up for everything I've come to despise about the place.
In my incredibly cheap opinion, this wine is incredibly good.  Especially when you consider its ridiculously low price-point.  Here in Dallas, these are priced at $2.7something, bringing them to an exact 3 bucks even with tax.  That's per bottle people.  Like less than half of what you pay for a glass of wine at a restaurant FOR THE WHOLE BOTTLE.  And it's good.  No, seriously.  If you are happy to drink $10ish bottles, you will LOVE this stuff!
And look, y'all, it's won medals and stuff!  Over 40 since 2008!

I've tried the Pinot and the Shiraz, and friends have mentioned that other varieties are great, as well.  Please just take a chance and try some Oak Leaf!

Do you love wine as much as I do!??!  How about cheap wine?

OOTDs: Spring 2011 and School Year Inspiration

Old OOTDs that never made it to the blog... to post or not to post?  Well, it would be a shame to waste those iPhone snaps, so here are my OOTDs from Spring 2011 when I was spending my days in something other than yoga pants.  
White Tee - Target
Lace Skirt - LOFT
Nude Pumps - Forever 21
Jeweled Necklace - Old Navy
White Tee with Flowers & Ribbons - LOFT
Yellow Skirt - Old Navy
Gray Watch - Charming Charlie's

Striped Top - Old Navy
Black Slacks - LOFT
Silver Sandals - Old Navy
Pink Watch - Charming Charlie's

It's official... I'm a 9-to-5er 7-to-3er again as of tomorrow.  I get so excited to start each new school year.  I have so many new ideas for my classroom, and I love meeting my new kids.  I also love getting new fashion inspiration for "teacher outfits."  Here are some sets I'm loving right now on Polyvore.

What looks are you loving for "back-to-school"?

Snack Attack: Asparagus with Raspberry-Mustard Dipping Sauce

So apparently my friends have been missing my blog posts.  As much as I love them, it seems a little strange as they NEVER leave me comments. *ahem*  I really want to get back in orbit in the blogosphere, so I thought I'd start with a super easy, super yummy Snack Attack post: Asparagus with Raspberry-Mustard Dipping Sauce.
Before I get into the deets of the dish, it's only fair to explain where I've been...
 Viva Las Vegas, Baby!  The hubby and I headed to Las Vegas with one of my best girlfriends and her man, as well as some other super fun couples.  We had a blast!  My girls and I are already planning our Vegas Invasion Summer 2012!  ;)
I then headed home to Houston, TX to throw a Baby Shower for my sister-in-law and my soon-to-be-born niece Kayla!  I also got some good time in with the G-ma, Aunts, Uncles, and Lil' Cousins.

 Lastly, HH and I headed to the beautiful Charleston, SC for a wedding.  We stayed in an adorable beach house on the Isle of Palms, and celebrated my birthday on the rooftops of downtown bars.  We had some AMAZING food on this trip, and I'm literally kicking myself that I didn't take any pics.  What was I thinking!!??!

Besides all of my travels, I've been working like crazy with private tutoring and curriculum-writing for my school district.  Not to mention trying to survive the sweltering 110 degree heat wave we've been in!  Despite the heat, I still like to have "cooked" snacks sometimes.  This is a perfect summer snack - the asparagus are lightly steamed in the microwave (<--- which won't heat up the house), then blanched in cold water.  Add a delectably easy dipping sauce, and it's snack attack time!

Trim the asparagus spears, and place them in a microwaveable dish.
Add about 3 tablespoons of water.
Nuke 'em for about 2 minutes.  Immediately place them under cold running water.
Mix a raspberry salad dressing with equal parts dijon mustard.

Delicious and easy!

Has your summer been as crazy busy as mine!?  Or have you gotten in some good relaxation? I can't believe it's almost over!