Sunday, March 27, 2011

Instagram Pizza

I thought I was cool because I have the Hipstomatic camera app on my phone. Mike informed me that the Hipstomatic is no longer cool, that now the Instagram camera app is the one all the cool kids have. Sigh. I cannot keep up with these things.

Mike installed it. I used it to take pics of our pizza night out in San Francisco at the ever delicious Tony's Pizza Napoletana. If you have never been you should really, really go. You will leave fat and happy, just like we did Saturday night. :)

Tony's Pizza, located in North Beach, San Francisco; Mike with his favorite wine, Grotta del Sole Gragnano; one of the pizzas from the evening; an Italian pastry shop around the corner from pizza.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Teacher's Wardrobe

As a young teacher, I sometimes have a hard time finding outfits that are appropriate for the classroom, but that are still fun and have my quirky style. I also want things that are affordable and that I could potentially wear outside of school or to other events.

When I first started teaching, I scoured the web looking for suggestions on where to get cute "teacher clothes", and really didn't find anything helpful. So here is my teacher clothes post! Even for my readers who aren't teachers, these sites have adorable clothes at pretty good prices, and some of these companies may be new to you. Happy shopping!

Oh, and just for the record, I am all for stores like Target, H&M, and Gap. I just figured we all knew about those stores already and would like stores that were new and a little different. Enjoy! :)

This site is amazing for one-of-a-kind, retro-inspired clothes that are purposely cut modestly. This means they are not low cut, cover your upper arms, and have longer hemlines. These modest touches do not take away one bit from how adorable their dresses are.

Here are two I just bought for spring:

Bellissima Bacciami!

The site has many collections with the sweetest dresses ever. I love their bold colors and fun details. The dresses typically run between $70 - $80, and are well constructed.

This is another modest clothing company that has a wide variety of basics, as their name implies. Skirts, dresses, tops, and pants are all available here. I like their skirts the best, and they also have some cute t-shirts that have some pretty embellishments to dress them up a bit for work with khakis or under a blazer.

Cute, simple tops like these are items you can find at Down East Basics. The best part? These tops are less than $25 each, and you can often find amazing sales.

Now this site you have to be careful on, because their dresses can be quite short. However, depending on how dressy or casual your school is, you can definitely wear some of the shorter dresses over leggings or over skinny black pants. They also have cute blouses and sweaters, and a whole section on dresses that are "longer lengths." I try to get a hemline that is at least 35'' long for school, or I plan on wearing something underneath.

Quiet Campus Stroll Dress in Yellow Tumbled Stones Dress Too Much Fun Dress in MelonEnchanting Entomologist Dress

Their variety of dresses is really large, and as you can see from the pics above, they can run from retro to more polished, to quite whimsical. Dresses typically range from $40 - $80.

Ruche is another site very similar to Modcloth that carries inexpensive, cute clothes with a little bit of vintage style. Again, watch the hemline on their dresses. I find that I like their outerwear and tops the best.

mint 'n chips dippin' dots top by Nick & Molead me straight to you striped blazer

Ruche's prices for tops tend to range from $30 - $80.

Boden is a European company that has traditional clothes, but that are made with unique, colorful fabrics that really give them a twist. One downside? I find them a bit expensive. I'm not sure they are all that more expensive than department stores, though. And, I will say that their quality is incredible. They also have great sales!

Essential Short Sleeve Scoop Neck Breezy Jersey Tee Appliqué Jersey Top Flared Cotton Trousers

If you are looking for clothes that are a little more traditional, or you just need some basics like good work pants, cardigans, or simple button-downs, these are my favorite go-to stores. The best part? They all give a teacher discount!

This is my favorite store to buy work pants and cardigans. Their quality is great, and their pieces last for years. The 15% teacher discount doesn't hurt, either. They even have a whole teacher section on their website with styling ideas for the classroom.

Go to: for information on how to sign up for their discount and to take a peek at their teacher lookbook.

Other stores that give teacher discounts:

New York & Company
The Limited

Usually you just have to have your Teacher's Association card with you to the discount.

To end, are these not the cutest teacher shoes ever?

Image of Brown Apple Moccasin

Buy these and other cute moccasins at Darlingtonia Moccasin Company. Love!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Catching up on Classics

I have finished reading all of my recent purchases and I needed some new books. At the last book club meeting I went to, one of the girls mentioned she had picked up The Wizard of Oz on her eReader since it was free. I always forget about the huge selection of public domain books on the Kindle. I went on a little classics shopping spree and picked up five classics that I have always wanted to read but never have. These will hopefully keep me busy for awhile!

War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
Dracula, by Bram Stoker
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving
Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

Orson Welles during his War of the Worlds broadcast.

Retro Peanut Butter Pie

I found this delicious recipe online when I was searching for "old-fashioned cakes and pies." I'm not sure exactly how "retro" this really is - they say '70's, which could be accurate, though I'm not sure. Either way, retro or not, it is absolutely fantastic and I almost ate the entire thing myself. This is a good recipe if you like peanut butter (it is not overly rich, it has a nice, soft flavor) and want something easy and quick to whip up. Enjoy!

This recipe is from Family Fun Magazine.

  1. Beat 1 package cream cheese and a 1/2 cup brown sugar in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup milk, and a tablespoon of vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add in an 8 0z tub of thawed cool whip, and gently fold in until the mixture is smooth. Don't beat too hard!
  3. Scoop the mixture (the mixture should be a mousse-like consistency) into a prepared graham cracker crust. If you want to make your own crust, chop up graham crackers in the food processor until they are fine crumbs and add melted butter until they are moist but not wet. Press into the bottom of a round pie plate. Bake for about ten minutes and then cool.
  4. Add chopped up Resse's Peanut Butter Cups around the edge of the pie. I added a bit too many - it looked pretty, but ended up being too much for me to eat and I would usually scrape some off. You might want to go lighter than in my picture.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours until set. Try not to eat too much all at once! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gardner Grammys

Every year my school has an auction to raise money and to celebrate our wonderful campus. This year's theme was the Grammy's, and we all got in on the fun. We dressed up, had drinks, and danced until the music stopped. We clean up pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

Left picture: The pretty teachers at my school from left to right: Kris, Kate, CJ, Rachel, me, Barbara, Kristin, Jen, and Amy. Middle picture: We know how to join a party! Right: Kris, Jen, Kristin, and me.

Our school raised over $100,000 to help pay for various programs and amenitites that, due to the current budget crisis in our state and district, we could never afford otherwise. I am so grateful to work with such an amazing parent community.

It was an incredible night, and I had so much fun with my fellow teachers. These ladies are more than just coworkers - the support and friendship I feel from them cannot be described. We are more like a little family than a school, and I am so honored to be a part of this group.

We literally danced until the very end. And I had three lemon martinis. But who's counting?

P.S. - we had way too much fun posing with the Justin Beiber cardboard cutout. Enough said - :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Calling all bakers!

There is a plethora of adorable sites that sell the cutest baking supplies ever. Here are some of my favorites. :)

Meri Meri (website link)

Bake It Pretty (website link)

Image 1

And of course, Etsy (website link)

Birthday rosette cupcake toppers

Mustache Cupcake Toppers - Set of 20 Picks - You Choose Colors

Woodland Creatures Bright Orange Fox Cupcake Toppers Set of 4 - READY TO SHIP

Fondant Cupcake Toppers - Toadstools - 3D

and because I love me some Star Trek:

Star Trek Cupcake Toppers

Star Trek Cupcake Toppers - Set of 12 Picks

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yosemite Trip!

Over the holiday weekend Mike and I went on an overnight to Yosemite. We usually go at least once a year, but we had never been in the winter. It was so fun to walk in snow again - I forgot how your feet sink suddenly into snow pockets! We had a blast. Enjoy my snapshots and Mike's amazing photography.

On the way to Yosemite we passed about a hundred rolling green pastures filled with beautiful grazing cows. Happy cows come from California!; The view from our car as we entered the valley; Mike and me in the winter wonderland.

Mike's Pictures:

For an even better view of Mike's pics, visit his flickr site at