End of the Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts 2014

I always try to do something cute for the kids’ teachers’ gifts at Christmas and end of the year. This year I had so much going on I almost opted for the easy way out with gift cards, but decided to give Pinterest a try.
I saw an idea to give soap with a hand cut out of paper taped to the gift. On it was written, “Hands down, you are appreciated.” (Of course I can’t find the pin now…Sorry!)
Cute, but I needed to make it cuter.
Because I was planning to gift Bath and Body Works scented soaps, I wanted to add the word “scent”-sational.
This is what I came up with:


I purchased all beach scents to tie in with summer (and got a great deal on them!). Next I picked coordinating paper, tissue, and ribbon to go with the “theme” of the soap. The purple/blue combo went with the Ocean Pearl scent. I used some clear bags I had left from another project and tied everything up.
The teachers have loved them. It’s a cute gift with a crafty touch, but not time consuming. Exactly what I was looking for!
What did you gift your kids’ teachers this year?

Misikko HANAair Premiere Hair Dryer Review

Several months ago when we were still in the middle of winter, I was struggling with dry static-y hair. I’d been trying all sorts of products to keep the moisture in, including argon hair oil. Because my hair is so fine, if I use too much or don’t distribute it well I’m left with a greasy head. I’ve been known to do both in the hast of my morning “hurry up we’re late” routine. Most days I would do it right but I would still end up with static some days.
So needless to say, I was thrilled when I was contacted by Misikko to review one of their ionic hair dryers, the HANAair Hair Premiere Dryer
I’ve used this hair dryer exclusively for the last 3 months and I honestly love it.

First, let’s talk about the PROS:
I love the rocker switches. I hate when I have to pause to switch between off/on, high/low, warm/hot. Buttons that slide up and down are hard to activate so I love these rocker switches. I don’t miss a beat when I need to change things up.

I like the COOL button. On my old hair dryer you had to hold the cool button down and wait a few seconds before the air was cool. This COOL button is a clicker button. You push it in and it stays engaged. It gets cool instantly and when I’m ready to switch back to heat, I just click the button again.
This hair dryer dries my hair faster than my old one. Rayna has said the same thing and uses it whenever she can. I’ve even caught her taking it into her room to use. Not so fast, girl, that’s momma’s dryer!
The cord on this puppy is extra long! Which is perfect for a salon, but is a bit overkill in my bathroom at home. Hubby has mentioned a few times he hates it, usually after tripping over it. I try to keep the majority of the cord tucked away in the cabinet below, but it rarely stays put. It’s a tiny annoyance, but nothing I can’t overlook.
The cost, because yes this dryer is a bit pricey. I probably would have never entertained the idea of spending so much on a hair dryer, but now that I’ve tried one I’m a believer that a more expensive hair dryer is worth it. I mean hair is serious business right?! Us women spend so much on maintenance (cut/color, etc) it only makes sense to use the best tools in between salon visits to keep our hair looking great.
So was it a winner? Did it get rid of my static? I was afraid to quit the hair oil right away, so I used it for the first few weeks along with the dryer. Then when I was brave enough, I went without it. Things went well so the next week I gave up my mousse. Amazingly, my hair did better with me putting nothing in it and then blow drying. I still use texturizing powder to hold my “volume” in place, but I’ve given up my mousse for good. I will use the hair oil, maybe once a month if it’s feeling dry, but for the most part I don’t.
So the long answer to the question “Did it get rid of my static”? ….. YES!
Overall I am very satisfied with this hair dryer and would recommend it if it’s something you can spend the money on.


(Casual) Stripes+Leopard

Well it’s definitely Spring. It’s announced its arrival with the thick velvety blanket of yellow pollen all over everything. *ACHOO*! Pollen and allergies aside, the temperatures have been amazing. We had a fantastic cloud free weekend with temps in the 70′s. It. was. perfect!
I went shopping for shoes with my mom on Saturday evening; walking shoes for my Israel trip and work flats for her. While we were in Belk, I spotted these striped tops in the Junior department and knew they would be perfect for Israel. Elbow length sleeve and not too fitted. I ended up buying this one and a mint color. I wore this ensemble to church and grocery shopping on Sunday.



top: Belk, skirt: Body Central (old), shoes: Dolce Vita for Target (old), watch: Michael Kors, ring: Kohl’s,
necklace: no brand agate slice necklace

This is a different look for me. I’ve owned this skirt for about 5 years and although I love it, I have a hard time loving it on me or loving it with anything in my closet. I wasn’t 100% sure I liked this top with it but didn’t have time to hem and haw so I just went with it. It was super comfy.
I wanted the shirt to fit loose, so I bought a size up in it. The material is so light, soft and stretchy. It’s going to be perfect for my trip.

(Casual) Stripes+Leopard

Here’s yet another stripes and leopard combo! And you saw it in a dressier version last August (my phone won’t allow me to insert the link, ugh). In this look, I opted to pair the striped top and belt with skinnies and flats and a more casual necklace.
I wore this Easter Sunday to a casual family gathering. We went to Easter services at our church on Saturday night and I’ll share that outfit later as it was raining Saturday and I couldn’t get outfit photos then.


top: Green Envelope via Marshall’s; skinnies: Delia’s; belt: Marshall’s; flats: Jessica Simpson; necklace: Premier Designs; watch: Michael Kors

I found out I have a hole in these flats after having owned them for years now. I am so sad. I can’t seem to find any other leopard flats that I like online in my budget. Plus, I have to be careful about shoes because my feet are wide at the toe joints and some shoes can be plain uncomfortable because of it. Trying flats on before buying is almost a must. But if you have any leopard flat recommendations, let me know!
Also, can we talk about my wild hair? I really don’t know what to do with it at this point. I’m letting it grow out and it is so annoying at this stage. The back has no shape anymore and the right side is constantly trying to flip out. A flat iron makes it worse. I just wish my hair would grow already. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at hair extensions on Amazon.com. Can we say desperate!?
Anyhoo, before I go here’s a photo of my kiddos and the bunch of us from Easter Sunday. I think it’s like an unwritten rule you have to take a family photo on Easter. My IG feed was blowing up with everyone’s family pics; I loved it! I didn’t share one on IG, so these are exclusive! 😉

These are straight out of the camera, no edits. Do you like my step-dad’s head photobombing the pic in the glass door?

Cowgirl Up

Today’s look is very different from what I normally wear. There’s four things going on here that you typically won’t see me sporting: a ponytail, long earrings, button up shirts, and plaid.
A coworker of mine brought a few things to work that her daughter didn’t want anymore and I snagged this green plaid shirt-dress. It was from the Old Navy clearance rack and still had the tag on it. It was a little too short for my liking so I tied it up, cut the belt loops off, and made it a shirt. It made me feel all cowgirl, so I pulled my hair back into a pony and added the boots. (read to the end for a surprise visit from my mini me!)



shirt/shirt-dress: Old Navy {similar}; tank: Target; jeans: Marc Alan; boots: Justin; bracelets: gifted; watch: Michael Kors; earrings and ring: Premier Designs

I normally wait until sunset to take my photos, but because I had to take them earlier this week the sun wasn’t quite right. The top photo wasn’t the best color or quality of the bunch, but turned out to be the best overall. To make up for it, I’ve added two more close ups :) ha
Because Rayna was wearing her boots that day too, I took her pic for the blog. I thought she looked presh.

hair: braid waves; cropped sweater: Kiddo by Katie from Marshall’s; tank: Justice from Marshall’s; skinnies: Marshall’s; boots: Target

Hope you like our look! Do you like wearing western style boots?

Go Fly a Kite

The title today has nothing to do with my outfit and everything to do with the weather we had on Sunday: WINDY! A kite would have been a nice little accessory but I just about needed both hands to keep my hair out of my face. 😉

Oh well!

I mentioned on Monday my new sponsor, Very Jane. This is where I picked up the extra long tank you see peeking out from under this open knit tunic/dress. These are so versatile because you can wear them stretched all the way down, or ruched up. I love them. I ordered them in black, white and red.