Always Be A Mermaid

Let's go ahead and address the elephant in the room, this little ole blog received a face lift over the weekend. 

I feel like I should take a step back and admit that I and this blog have been having a bit of an identity crisis as of late. Maybe its the birthday, the change in housing or the three year itch I get when I have any job for too long. Regardless of the why, I just haven't felt 100% invested in this blog as of late.

If you were around for most of June and May you know I wasn't all that present, I even considered quitting the whole shebang. Mostly because it felt like a lot of work, work I wasn't getting paid for...and for me when life got tough this blog took a backseat. 

Since school is on summer break and we are finally done with a less than ideal move I decided to put a little thought into why I started blogging: I wanted a place to document my life...the good, the bad and the messy...a place that forces me to take pictures and a place that allows me to connect with other girls and forge friendships I never even imagined existed on the internet.

I see other bloggers out there posting five times a week, maintaining thousands of followers, posting perfectly cropped and polished pictures and never forgetting to tweet a few times a day and here I am struggling to post once a week. Forgetting I even have a twitter account and looking at page views like it all matters to me. And so comparison started creeping in, which led to unnecessary pressure which lead to me abandoning ship. 

As 29 starts to sink in, I have started accepting that I will never be the perfectly polished girl or blogger. I am the girl who puts feathers in her hair for no reason, wears odd headbands, listens to depressing emo music one minute and country music the next. I am the girl who handled turning 29 about as gracefully as an elephant ice skating and had the bruises to prove it. I have never met a bottle of gas station wine that I haven't loved. I will always be 30 minutes late no matter where I am going and middle fingers and bras are appropriate accessories.

And I am perfectly happy with all of that, in fact I decided to embrace it...hence the blog face lift.

I have champagne tastes on a beer budget...well more like a gas station wine this weekend I committed to redesigning the blog myself. I spent countless hours on etsy looking for the perfect template to start with, if you are in the market for a new blog design and want to keep the costs low I would suggest starting there...there are 100's of options. Once you purchase a template all you have to do is install the template in blogger, edit the header and about me pictures in picmonkey and then tinker to your hearts desires. I am lucky that I do have HTML knowledge but I will say that even if you had none you could do this in a heartbeat.

I had visions of feathers, glitter, X's and O's, mermaid quotes that made no sense, pretty and soft lines, grungy flowers and more glitter. Because glitter, duh! What I came up with makes me pretty giddy, I think its a happy place that expresses me. It's simple but quirky in parts, like me. It's a work in progress, that will take time to get just right...just like me. 

But most importantly it feels like home, a place I would be happy to invite girlfriends over to, to drink my cheap wine, dish on the latest bad reality television shows, life and everything in between. 

What does your blog say about you?
Why do you blog?
Is there anything that is showing up funky or unreadable on your computer screen?

Linking up with: CarlyLeeAnnMore Pieces of MeOn the Daily Express and Monday Mingle.  and Tara.

Five For Friday: Hello Summer!

Summer is officially setting in round these parts and I had the loftiest goal of actually getting a third blog post out this week before 9:00 but I was too busy know to celebrate summer and all.

In order to keep this short and sweet I figured I would share a few things I have been loving this week...

one. Summer began with an ambush, as we ended summer school a day earlier than expected and gave the students all of a ten minute notice at the end of the school day. It was glorious.

two. The mister took Thursday off and since I also had Thursday off our apartment became the best place to watch the soccer matches...even if I hadn't been off the mister would have done this anyways.

 We decided since we were both off to go out for lunch at some place besides our usual, and really what's more American than fried chicken...

three. Two weeks ago I had my hair cut at the Aveda Institute for 6 bucks...yes you read that hair dresser of eight years left the state...pretty rude in my I needed a trim and figured why the hell not. I would never say it was an amazing haircut but it was what I needed for the summer time. As I was leaving the girl of course tried to sell me on their products, and since I am a sucker I walked out with this:

basically you put this in your damp hair and blow dry your hair and your hair doesn't need a straightner, its just straight. I will say I like to run a straightner over the top layer just to make it smoother and I am a tad OCD. But here is the beauty of this product, for the next three days no matter how many times I throw it up in a ponytail I can always pull it down, brush it out and BOOM straight hair. It has saved me sooo much time getting ready already that I am in LOVE.

four. To celebrate the begining of my summer and as a belated birthday present to myself I decided to do a little shopping today, I had four things on my wish list: a kimono, cute summer tops, a purse and cute headbands. I was super frustrated with the mall so I stopped my Nordstrom's Off The Rack and walked away with so many cute things. Plus I got seven items for a hundred bucks, which is an awesome deal in my book. 

I am in LOVE.

I am still on the hunt for a cute new purse, suggestions?

five. My blogging bestie Alison mentioned how much she enjoys sharing ecards with her friends and I of course annoy the mister to no end constantly bugging him to read ecards that I find hilarious, so I was struck with the most genuis idea last night. I got all tech savvy and started sharing a few ecards with her and she has been sending me a few that have me cracking up...meaning I was laughing at my phone will standing in line at the grocery store today...totally normal!

I told my boyfriend to join pinterest 'because it's fun.' Really, I just want him to follow me so he'll know what to buy me.

Funny Teacher Week Ecard: If you're going to be a teacher, you'll need to consider developing a drinking problem immediately. 

Maybe Abby should do this for those that don't do their homework assignments:  Funny Teacher Quotes

six. Yes I know this is called five for Friday, but I like breaking's summertime rules are meant to be broken. Today Eminem's daughter graduated high school, which makes me feel incredible old...if you are unaware I have a small obsession with him and have ever since he graced our radio stations with Slim Shady. So in honor of him today I sharing one of my top five favorite songs from him...I could probably turn this into a post in and of itself but I promised you short and sweet!

Happy Friday, hope your weekend is filled with sunshine and good boozy drinks!

Linking up with Lauren, WhitneyApriland Jennifer.

It Ended in an Ambush

As many of you know I have been slaving away at summer school for the last 13 days, meaning I have complained about it relentlessly on this blog, before I wrap up 'teacher me' and put lazy me's hat on I wanted to take this moment to document the three most important reasons I love summer school.

I appreciate my 'regular' student's so much more.
The summer school I worked at was a similar breed of hood rat that I am used to on a daily basis, but on a different level. Both groups are eighth graders, both groups are title one schools and many of the students are students I taught at one point during middle school, we have a very high turnover rate as students change schools all the time, but my students are just smarter. 

Case in point:

girl one: "Miss are we 2-D or 3-D?"
me: "Like us, as in people?"
girl one: "Yea, we are 2-D right?"
me: "now I know why you are in summer school..."

boy one while talking to his friend: "I am still buzzing from taking..."
me: "boy, please stop talking about drug use in front of me. I legally have to report suspicion of drug use."

Not five minutes later he was talking about it again. And again. And again.
me: "are you an idiot, or do you just really want to get caught."
boy one: "It's whatever, it's what I am known for..."

boy two while other boys were asking my age: "your 28 right?"
me: "I am 29."
boy two: "Baby girl, age is just a number. You got a man?"
I should also mention said boy called me baby girl at least 10 times an hour. He spent his entire first day hitting on me and actually believed he had enough game to pick me up.

Day two...boy two took to farting repeatedly. Either he was over me or farting is the mating call of middle schoolers. Either way I have never had a student make me so uncomfortable to be around him, I could never figure out if he was going to slap my ass or fart on me.

boy three's story is better told in story form:
Boy three walked out of state testing today so I followed him around until he was ready to talk, apparently he was anxious to get his tracking monitor off, for assaulting a cop, so he wasn't handling sitting in a room without his phone well. I finally got him to at least come sit next to me in the hallway rather than wonder about, we had a lovely conversation about his juvie experiences, his favorite drugs, what I thought might happen if he failed a piss test for the 2nd time, etc. This boy was completely comfortable sharing soo many things with a complete stranger...or I just have a trusting face. 

Our conversation ended pretty shortly after I asked him what high school he would be know to stop the pot conversation...his answer: "I haven't decided if I am going to high school or not yet."

Best of luck dude, best of luck...

Ambush endings are the best way to end school.
A fellow teacher at my regular school mentioned to me how cool it would be to have an ambush ending to the school year: basically the Friday before the last week get on the announcements and just say this is the last day, say your goodbyes and have a nice summer. I personally loved the idea: just think about the amount of behavior issues that could be avoided, the number of suspensions that would be unnecessary and the lack of hormonal emotions leading up to the last day.

Low and behold 10 minutes before the end of the day today the admin team stopped by each classroom and told the students that today was the last day and they would not need to return tomorrow. I can promise you I was probably more excited than half of those kids...

three. The money, duh!
Regardless of the last crazy 13 days of waking up early, dealing with getting hit on, hearing middle schoolers boast about drug use and the lack of consequences for any actions, I would teach summer school again in a heartbeat. It's all about those Benjamins...perhaps I have been hanging out with the hood rats too much...

- The Babbling Box!


I haven't done a weekend update in awhile, mostly because packing, moving and unpacking are not all that blog worthy, so I figured I would share a few pictures from my weekend trip to Houston. I know that most bloggers generally do this on a Monday, but I had drinking and couch time to catch up on last night. Priorities.

Saturday I made the quick trip to Houston in order to attend my cousin's graduation party. After 10 years of making these trips I have finally perfected how to travel for family functions: wake up early with your bags already packed, drive to my mom's, eat her food, spend two hours doing my hair and makeup and then have her chauffeur me to the family function. Stress free and well free, so its a double win for me. This also might have been the least I have ever packed for a trip...and just to clarify the tall stacking container is just makeup. Priorities.

I will say the quickest way to make me feel awkward is to attend a high school graduation party: 

.its just weird if you hang out the eighteen year old's and shoot nerf guns, even though I would totally be down, 

.your not exactly old enough to be sitting with the grandparents and chain smoking, even though you probably should spend time with them,

.hanging out with your uncle's bounty hunter friends that are already sporting a nice buzz just seems unfamily friendly, even though they are right up your alley.

Normally I would be down for any of these three situations but at a family function it was difficult to figure out where I fit in, so I did what I do best...enjoy the AC, drink free beer and only socialize with my sister and her man. Antisocial much?

I even battled hundreds of yellow jackets to get said beers from the outdoor fridge, cause every southerner has two fridges, priorities.

Sunday I demanded my dad come have lunch with me, cause I am sweet like that, kind of like a belated birthday/father's day get to together. I also ordered the presence of my sister and brother. Suddenly these birthday cards are making a lot more sense...

After lunch my dad treated us to Oh La La, which has the most amazing desserts. Whole30 be damned. Also I was too busy attacking my creme brulee and my dad's cheesecake to worry about great blogging pictures.

We of course ended the visit with an impromptu photo shoot.

We actually do take serious pictures too...

Of course I then had to haul butt back to Austin to plant my butt on the couch and watch the USA soccer match, which included plenty of pizza and boozy drinks. Priorities.

Two more days then my summer officially begins...not that I am counting down or anything.

- The Babbling Box!

People Be Trippin' Vol. 1

In my absence from blogging I have had a lot of these 'musings' floating around in my head, basically my lack of understanding of how and why people decide to make certain decisions, say certain things and most importantly share it on the interwebs for us all to see.

 So I introduce you to: people be trippin' 

The other day someone shared a link to this article on facebook: My Daughter Was Dress Coded For Wearing Shorts which left me saying WTF...people be trippin'.

I will save you the time and just give you the short and sweet synopsis: the mom shared a picture of her 6th grade daughter wearing teeny shorts to school. Shockingly there is the finger tip rule at the school...which I think has been around for the last 20 years...the girl as a consequence had to borrow ill fitting clothes to wear the rest of the day. And the mom is outraged. I will say it again, people be trippin'.


This is how she ends her article:

"My daughter was punished for showing too much of her (gasp!) legs. Her school is normalizing the notion that girls’ bodies are distractions. That girls bear responsibility for boys’ reactions to their bodies. That boys have thoughts that are inherently impure and will lead to misconduct. The school’s chosen mode of punishment is disrupting girls’ educational experiences and quite possibly hindering their legal right to an education. The message and actions perpetuated by gender-biased implementation of school dress codes—the blaming and shaming of our girls—has got to stop."

I have a few minor problems with the whole point of the article from a teacher standpoint.

one. There are dress code rules for both girls and boys. Shockingly most boys are also not allowed to show their shoulders or undergarmets. Turning this topic into a gender issue makes zero sense because boys and girls do dress differently so there must different rules for each gender.

two. The chosen mode of punishment of changing into clothes the school currently has is the least disruptive option possible. If school's sent kids home for being out of dress code: they miss class. If kids had to call home for a change of clothes and wait in the office: they miss class. If student's aren't provided a consequence for breaking a rule: learning will always be disrupted. Please tell me a method you prefer.

three. Let's talk about this word distraction. 

I would imagine I would be hard pressed to find a single school dress code that says the distraction is from the opposite sex. It's for everybody in the learning environment. Let's also remind ourselves we have a classroom full of hormonal teenagers going through puberty here. So no other student regardless of sex or teacher should have to see: a boys ass crack, a girls boobs, a girls butt when she bends over or a girls private parts when she is sitting. 

Middle school students aren't statues, they move around, work in groups, sit on floors, run outside, etc. Children should be dressing to fit their environment.

But here is my biggest issue with this whole rant:
rules are rules, consequences are consequences. 

What exactly are you teaching your daughter when instead of supporting the administration for enforcing a rule that has been pre-established with consequences that were probably reviewed many times with students, you are claiming they are in the wrong. 

I can tell you: that if she doesn't like a rule, it stifles her individuality or interrupts what she wants, she doesn't have to follow it.

I deal with parents like this all the time: they tell there children to walk out if a teacher is annoying them, they have to pee, they call them during school and expect them to answer and if another kid hits you you better hit them back.

These parents aren't doing their children any favor by teaching them how to break rules they find inconvenient because NEWSFLASH in a few years these kids are going out into the real world with this attitude and jobs have rules. And jobs fire you for breaking rules. Most jobs don't care about your individuality or self expression. 

One of the biggest complaints regarding this new group of young adults entering the workforce is the feeling of entitlement that they bring into the workplace and I can certainly see where it comes from...parents teaching children to disregard rules.

So parents: stop tying teachers and administrators hands and allow us to prepare your children for the real world. Because jobs have dress codes, jobs expect you to be timely, act professional and follow rules. And unless you want to have them live in your basement forever, your child needs to learn this as well.


Obviously I am not a parent, am I way off base?
Teachers in agreement or disagreement?

- The Babbling Box!

Monday Made It: Presents!

Happy Monday! 

Last night I typed up this melancoly post filled with my latest angst well prepared to slap a rambling babbling post on you this Monday evening. But then this morning as I was prepping for another day of summer school I was reading Alison's post and it made me smile and encouraged me to do a little crafting this afternoon. 

Not only was crafting on my summer bucket list but it also makes me feel so much happier, lighter and just a little more like me. A feeling I have been missing since moving.

So without further ado, a few Monday Made It's...

My cousin graduated from high school a few weeks ago but this upcoming weekend is his graduation party, so I plan to trek it a nice five hours across Texas to celebrate with him. I only have two cousins on my mom side so gotta support the family. I basically planned to give him money cause all graduates want...need, desire, thirst But I am me and I enjoy something a little more creative. Insert #pinterest

I bought a dollar frame from the Dollar Store and used some crafting paper and stickers I already might notice spacing is not my strong basically make a card that I found cute and funny. But oh so true. Considering most cards cost close to five bucks I considered it a win!

Since I am going to Houston next weekend I demanded my dad drive over to my mom's side of town to eat brunch with me, and then wrangled my sister and brother into the mix. I might sound bossy but my dad is always willing to please me and it generally takes the will of the gods to have all three of us in the same place at the same time. #bestdaughteraward

I wanted to make him a card that was corny and special...insert pinterest of course. I saw a few different candy poems that I adored but I wanted to make sure the card read ME, so I worded it the way I wanted and added a cute paper border to frame the card. These cards can be made for anyone and any occasion, you just have to word it to fit the person/situation.

I will say the Dollar Store paid off again and I scored big with a bunch of extra candy, woe is me. I figure I might use it as a bride for my summer school darlings.

My last made it is a cooking made it and it is the easiest made it ever. Easier than the last two if you can imagine that. 

I have been on a whole30 kick lately and absolutely loving it. Let's be real: I am skipping over the cheese and booze rule. And have a whole blog post dedicated to the why's and how's of the whole30 mess, coming up. But for now I have a simple and delicious recipe to share tonight:

Kale & Sausage Bake

I will probably get three meals out of this 15 minutes of my life, plus I threw a egg fried in coconut oil on top so it truly felt like I was breaking all the rules and eating breakfast for dinner. Delicious, easy and favorite combination.

Eight more days of summer school and then I am officially FREE!

What easy crafting ideas are you working on this summer?
What is your favorite way to prep healthy meals?

- The Babbling Box!


So I am going to go ahead and admit that I have been very very pouty lately...and not the cute pouty girl but the girl who needs to get over it. Whatever it might be.

I was less than thrilled with starting summer school yesterday, on my birthday no less. I pretty much let it put a damper on my birthday and summer. Real talk: there are only 12 more days of summer school then I am officially free. And the money is so worth it. So I need to get over it.

If you have been following me for long you know I heart the toneitup exercise videos and try to incorporate at least two different videos a week into my workout routine, this summer they have focused on the whole concept of creating your own summer which is super cute. And they are super cute. Major girl crush on my part. And then the lovely Erin at Living in Yellow made a fun little link up with her summer bucket list. 

It felt like the blogging gods were calling to me to shelf the sour puss attitude and focus on all the fun things that I want to happen this summer...

.rule the pool. 
.buy a fun pool float.
.have a snow cone. or two.
.take a road trip.
.dance for no reason.
.go to a baseball game.
.watch the sunset.
.be active at least five times a week.
.experiment more in the kitchen.
.paint something.
.bar b que. getting our pit to the new apartment was a task in half, we should use it.
.girl time.
.see a concert. or a few.
.finish setting up my tv room.
.wear less makeup. and bra's.
.read a few good books.
.squeeze in some relaxing family time.
.watch every episode of PLL. cause duh its awesome!

What am I missing, what would be on your summer bucket list?
Is anyone else nearly excited as I am about Pretty Little Liars coming back tonight?

Also my teacher pals out there, I am teaching 8th grade math during summer school and we have 3 hours with the students which is a TON of time, so any fun activities, resources or games you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!

- The Babbling Box!

So There's That...

It's been 14 days since my last post, so there's that. 

I would love to be able to tell you some amazing story about the comings and going of our very very hectic move but really my stories would just bore you. Long story short: our apartment is too old for U-Verse, Direct TV are the village idiots and we had to go crawling back to Time Warner which resulted in us having no cable or internet for the last 14 days. 

There are probably 14+ comments sitting in my email unanswered, thank you everyone for all of the sweet and positive comments on my moving woes posts over the last few weeks and sorry I am a horrible blogger and never responded, and I pretty sure I was supposed to host a goal link up three days ago, so there's that.

The fact that I finally managed to get my blog reader account down to the double digits is some sort of small miracle. To say I am a little behind in the blogging world would be an understatement and I would love to say it will get better in June. But why lie to you.

Saturday we brought the last car load of crap over from our house to our tiny apartment and unpacked our last box. The landlord might of used the word perfect a few times when walking through so hopefully that means the deposit is heading our way, granted his English isn't that great, so there's that.

There might be a crap ton of things shoved in corners or under the bed...and under couches. But the boxes are gone.

Tomorrow is our last day of school with students. Friday is our last staff meeting. Monday I start teaching summer school. Monday also happens to be my birthday, so there's that.

I have decided that I hate the last week of school, granted moving doesn't help, but the kids are crazy in the stupid sort of way. There are zero consequences that matter considering there is no more school. The school goes on prison style lock down and all privileges are gone which makes the students act crazier than normal. Grades were done last week so there is zero motivation to do any work. And despite all of the behavior we are hosting a all day celebration tomorrow for each grade level and everyone gets to participate regardless of the rules we made at the beginning of the semester. #wasteoftime

And that is my life in a nutshull or four perfectly placed gifs. My hope is that after I survive tomorrow I will get back in the swing of life, working out, blogging and perhaps even cooking...but I try to make my goals realistic so tomorrow evening there might be blogging...there will be wine and there will be relaxation.

- The Babbling Box!