It’s Like Christmas!

Earlier this week I ordered a bunch of books from Barnes & Noble for my summer reading goal of Ya/Teen lit. They came today!

The Eleventh Plague and Switched weren’t in the order – I picked those up at Target today when I went for a completely different reason. Isn’t that how it always goes at Target?

I can’t wait to get through this stack….I don’t know where to start!



What a beachy bedspread, huh? Thank you,!


Guess How Much, 2nd Edition

Back in September, I decided I wanted to try boots because I knew they were going to be THE fashion item for the fall, and why not get with the times? So I went to BonTon, which always has a great shoe department, and tried on several pairs of boots. One pair that I tried on, I absolutely loved. They were Ralph Lauren, a beautiful shade of brown/cognac, nice “hardware” on the sides…and $270. I really wanted them but there was no way I could justify spending that much on shoes I wouldn’t be wearing every minute of every day. I settled on two different pairs that were on sale, with a coupon on top of the sale price, so I got a good deal on those. But I still wished I had the Ralph Lauren pair.

On Sunday, my sister needed to stop at BonTon to look at a foundation, and she had a coupon to use, so she told me to look around. I went back to the shoe department and found the Ralph Lauren’s on sale! 30% off! I asked for a pair in my size…they didn’t have it. I was a little heartbroken, but moved on. Yesterday, I made an excuse to go to the mall where another BonTon is, and of course, I checked to see if they had my size…they did! I tried them on, and the sales woman told me she would give me a 20% coupon on top of the sale!

SO…$270 shoes, guess how much?

$135!!!! I have been walking on air, in my boots, since last night!

A Happy Surprise

Don’t you just love when you have an unexpected perfect day? Yesterday was definitely a pleasant surprise. It started with breakfast with my boyfriend at my long-time favorite breakfast joint, Darto’s (even better now that it’s in walking distance!). I’ve been going there since my dad took us when we were young, and I love that it’s stayed the same for the past twenty years. The food is perfect for breakfast – nothing fancy, just that great homemade feel. I got my usual – french toast with sausage patties and orange juice…yum!

After breakfast, we made our way to The Crossings Premium Outlets in the Poconos for back-to-school shopping! While at the beach last week, I received a phone call offering me a long-term-sub position teaching 7th grade English for the first semester at a different middle school in my district; the beach must be my lucky charm! The Crossings has a ton of stores, including Coach, J. Crew, Michael Kors, and my favorites, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. Of course, I started in Banana Republic. About 45 minutes (and 5 or 6 new pieces of clothing) later, I made my way next door to Ann Taylor, my second-favorite store; how convenient! Between the two stores, I spent way more than I should have but I luckily have a solid excuse: the school I’ll be teaching at is more strict with the dress code, so I need to be sure to have (stylish) professional outfits! I can’t wait until the first week of school to have fun putting new outfits together! Here’s my new loot:

New Tops and Dresses

New Bottoms

Maybe once the school year starts, I’ll share a few outfits a la J! She has been quite the inspiration to dress more fashionably, and I notice myself thinking of outfits I’ve seen on her blog as I get dressed in the morning or as I’m shopping. Thank goodness I found her blog and subscribed!

After paying at Ann Taylor, I found my boyfriend and told him I should be done for the day, since I had already spent enough. Two stores and my shopping was finished…kind of sad, but I got plenty! We walked around to a few more stores (almost bought a watch in Fossil, but I stopped myself) before leaving to come home for lunch. On our way home, we stopped at Switzerland Old World Gifts, one of my favorite gift shops. They have so much! There are tons of cuckoo clocks, steins, Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments, and DeBrekht figurines, which I’ve just started collecting. I got a few ideas for my Christmas list and then we were back on our way home.

For lunch, we walked to Confetti Cafe on Main Street since I was craving their garden salad and a slice of Kentucky Derby pie. I enjoyed the perfect lunch, made even better because we were able to sit at a window table! I always thought Confetti Cafe should be in a movie, it’s definitely a place I could see Meg Ryan eating at in You’ve Got Mail! Maybe just spruce the walls up with some neat pictures and knick knacks and it would be the perfect little movie cafe.

Fast forward a few hours to what topped off my perfect day: Instead of going for three meals out in one day, I took the time to relax, enjoy some music, and make myself a good dinner (I thought it was good, at least). I had the apartment to myself, and I didn’t hurry to get everything prepared. I turned on one of my Pandora stations, Glenn Miller Radio, and let the big band music fill the kitchen as I diced potatoes for mashed potatoes (in the microwave – more info later!), seasoned and breaded chicken breasts, and cooked my favorite – corn on the cob. Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin…all those old songs remind me so much of my Nana’s kitchen and make me feel so much more at home. I love the old-fashioned feel my kitchen has to begin with, and the music just makes me feel like I’m right back in the 1940’s and ’50’s. I should dig out my great grandmother’s old aprons next time, and I’ll be set! Once everything was ready (all at the same time – yay!), I topped off my perfect day with a glass of wine and dinner….maybe I can have a repeat next week.