Wednesday, August 31, 2016

September Goals


Hello September!

Today marks the official beginning of our school year and I am SO excited! Growing up I was always that nerdy kid who loved the first day of school. For me learning has always been a ton of fun! Plus, new school years meant new, crisp, clean school supplies.

...I'm a nerd. I know it. I've accepted it. I embrace it.

Anywhoo, this school year has me particularly excited because it's my first as an educator rather than a student. I can't wait to see what my kids learn and what I learn from them. It's going to be a good year :)

An ending of August means a new set of monthly goals and aspirations. But before I talk about what I hope to accomplish this month, let's have a look at last month's goals, shall we?

August Goals Recap:

1. Complete the Chaplet a Day Challenge via The Living Person Got to learn some knew chaplets and keep in touch with friends as accountability partners. Excited to try out TLP's next challenge!

2. Find an apartment Done and LOVE it! I still have things to bring from home this weekend, but my new little home is coming together quite nicely.

3. Move in to said apartment and have at least one space settled in. Ok, so it's the bathroom, but it's organized, put together and squeaky clean :)

#crushedit

I think this might be the first month where I accomplished everything on my list. Mind you, it was a shorter list than normal, but hey, I check them all off! I just hope September's goals go just as well.


This month I hope to:

1. Settle into another room - My apartment isn't huge, but I still have a lot of settling in to do. Hopefully by the end of September I'll have it feeling even more cozy.

2. Start a savings account - Hooray for no longer being a student. Time to be fiscally responsible.

3. Go out to eat with a friend - Living in a brand new city is rough. Hopefully this goal will push me out of my introverted comfort zone and force me to meet new people and make friends.

4. Write an outfit post - It's been ages and I actually have a dress code for work which is inspiring me to dress nicely and get creative with my wardrobe.

5. Set the February Trip for work - Part of my job involves service trips with students and it turns out our February break trip isn't scheduled yet. That's exciting because I can try something new, but also scary because typically these trips are scheduled a year in advance. I'm praying that it comes together beautifully.

What about you, friend? Any fun hopes for September?

Peace,
Sarah

**Linking up with BraveloveblogStaygoldautumn and Mysocalledchaos

Sunday, August 28, 2016

5 Weekly Graces Vol. 26


Slowly but surely I am settling in to life here on the East Coast. It is definitely different than California, but it has been good so far. As I reflect on this past week (though I may be meshing two into one - it's been a lot of transition/processing haha) I am overcome by the beautiful experiences of grace and hospitality that have been extended in this new, remarkable place.


This week I am thankful for:

1. Small Worlds

On my first day of work I met a colleague whose daughter went to undergrad at my school. I asked her name - partly to be polite and partly because the school is small enough that I could have known her - and it turns out I knew exactly who she was! Between my being sick most of freshman year/ studying abroad fall of sophomore year and her transferring halfway through sophomore year, we only overlapped for about a semester, but our paths definitely crossed. She kindly reached out to me on Facebook when her dad mentioned it and we met up for coffee. The world is too small, y'all. Yay for a friend in the area!

2. Great Colleagues

I cannot even begin to say what a warm, welcoming, super-willing-to-help environment the school I am working at is. The number of faculty who have reached out and offered to help me in any way that they can is humbling and so heartwarming - #blessed doesn't even begin to cover it.

3. Early Dismissals

The majority of out school is not air conditioned and like much of the States, we've been having incredibly hot weather. Friday's forecast was a scorcher and it was the last day of summer before the students arrive, so we were told at about 9am that offices were closing at noon and we had the rest of the day off! A huge perk especially after learning that my job doesn't fall under the typical snow days category... womp womp

4. Retreats

Another indication that I am in the right work environment: the school year began with a faculty retreat devoted to reflecting on our mission as educators and how it meets the needs of our students and the world.

5. Neighborly Neighbors

And for my final moment of grace this week, a big shout out to a fun night of Kan Jam, Cornhole and homemade beef stew courtesy of the super nice couple that lives below me. People in Connecticut are so nice! I can't get over it!

How was your week? Any fun end-of-summer plans?

Peace,
Sarah

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mini Life Update


Hello friends! So sorry for the radio silence lately, but boy have I been busy.


Last week I packed up and officially moved to Connecticut for my new job. My apartment wasn't ready until a few days beyond my first day of work so I spent a few days in limbo at a hotel, but Thursday I signed my lease and began settling into my first apartment! I don't have a lot of furniture yet (it's making its way slowly but surely) but that's made deep cleaning and organizing what I do have easier.

I'm also waiting patiently for wifi which won't be installed until Wednesday - womp womp. Oh well. It gave me a big push to find a local coffee shop in my new neighborhood to get some work done. Caffeine has been acquired and I'm only about a 10 minute walk from home. Score!

Work has been incredible. Everyone is so kind and passionate about their work. It's only been a week, but I can already tell that it is going to be a great community and environment to work in. We've had orientation a few days this week and will finish it off next Wednesday with a day long retreat.

Other than the new job and apartment, life has been pretty low key which is just the way I like it. A lot is happening this year and I am so excited to see how it all pans out.

Here's to new beginnings and new adventures!

Peace,
Sarah

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 Weekly Graces Vol. 25


Only a short time home this summer means filling my days with fun and friends which means it was hard to choose just 5 moments of joy this week - the best kind of dilemma if you ask me. I'm soaking in this precious time off and trying to do just about as much as possible before the big move this weekend.


1. Road Trip
My plan for moving to Connecticut included staying with a friend of a friend for a week or so while I searched for housing. Unfortunately, they didn't have the space for me until a few weeks after I already had to be in town for work so I had to make new arangements quickly. Luckily, I have amazing friends who are willing to road trip last minute with me in search of housing. So last Wednesday I took my first trip to CT and looked at a bunch of apartments on Thursday. I loved having time to spend with my friend and time to see my new home and workplace. It is stunning. I can't wait!!

2. Apartment Found!
Our last minute trip was an amazing success. I found an apartment I am absolutely in love with that is within my budget and only 10 minutes from work! I will definitely have to post some photos to share with y'all as the move-in process begins.

3. Fish Fry
My best friend and roommate from college, who also took the road trip with me, is moving from Erie, PA to Florida this week and her family hosted a fish fry to send her off and celebrate her dad's birthday. It was lovely and I was able to car pool with another friend from college who I hadn't seen in a while and catch up. Good friends, delicious food, perfect weather - what else could be better?

4. Dinner Date
Tacos, brownies, long conversations and a good friend from high school - another great visit with an amazing woman. She's the best.

5. Concert
Last, but not least, my cousin has been playing local country music shows for a few years and Saturday he played with one of his friends at a local winery in Ohio. I went with my family and had a ball. It's great to see his passion for music and the joy our family feels seeing him on stage.

That just about sums it up for me. How were your weeks? Any moments that have you just beaming with joy?

Peace,
Sarah

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2016 Summer Reads


As I mentioned in my "Oh Hey There"-sorry-I've-been-MIA-post, I have read a decent amount this summer. Not a ton as I am still easing my way back into an understanding of "reading for fun" or what I used to call "normal" before graduate school, but a good amount. Gosh I missed just picking up a book for pleasure and getting lost into the words... I digress.

Anyways, I thought that I would share which books I've picked up in the last month or so and see what you all are reading.



(--In the order that they were read--)

1.) Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller - Great read. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating for years, I resonated a lot with the author and what she had to share. I also very much enjoyed her writing style. Miller writes over at Refinery 29 and I have read and loved many an article by her, especially this one about her experience of barre classes.

2.) Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling - I'm mildly obsessed with Mindy Kaling so I pretty much knew I'd love her second book as much as her first. It did not disappoint. She's a hoot.

3.) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - I was looking for a good book on tape for my 36+ hour road trip home and a friend highly recommended this one. It was touching and lovely and sad and beautiful and funny - pretty much all of the feels. Also found out that they made the book into a movie and am considering renting it. Any reviews? I'm worried I'll be pretty disappointed after loving the book so much.

4.) Yes Please by Amy Poehler - Another audio-book for the road trip. Loved hearing it in Poehler's voice. It was a nice light choice when the other option got too intense. She shares many words of wisdom along side many hilarious jokes. This book also helped me push past the first season of Parks and Rec which I'd tried watching multiple times. The other seasons are so much better and I finally understand the hype. Thanks, Amy.

5.) Is It Evil Not To Be Sure by Lena Dunham - As you might have picked up, I have a thing for autobiographies by female comedians. However, I wasn't a huge fan of this one. It was nice and short, so I thought it would be a good beach read but it wasn't really my style. It's excerpts from Dunham's college journal - sort of pre-twitter as she notes - but I thought there would be more of a story line and did not anticipate the majority to be about her sex life. I will say that the fact that all of the proceeds from the book go towards programs encouraging girls to write made me glad I purchased it. Not my cup of tea, but hey, not every book is.

6.) Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany - As a huge Harry Potter nerd, um I mean fan, it was no question that I would get this book the day it was released and read. it. all. #noregrets It's wonderful. A lot faster paced than the other books because of the script style, but that means those of us who obsessed over Harry Potter as tweens and teens don't have to take off multiple days of work to read it all.


I've also begun Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (so far, so good) and Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It is waiting in the wings.

Have you picked up anything good this summer? I'm always on the lookout for new reads and keep a list in my journal that I love to add to! Suggestions are warmly welcomed!

Peace,
Sarah


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August Goals


And so continues the catch-up phase of my break from blogging. There isn't much point in recapping my May goals (though I would like to note that I rocked them) so let's just jump right in to the goals I'm setting for this beautiful month of transitions.


1. Complete the Chaplet a Day Challenge via The Living Person - If you're interested to learn more, check out TLP's website (here)! I've already agreed to be an accountability buddy for a number of friends and would love to add you to the list if you're interested!

2. Find an apartment - Pretty self explanatory. My original CT housing plans fell through so it's go-go-go time over here!

3. Move in to said apartment and have at least one space settled in - I anticipate that between new places, work, etc I won't have my new home completely settled into by the end of August, so I will settle with having at least one space clean, organized, and homey.

I am just so excited to begin this new adventure in Connecticut! I know it will be a challenging transition in many ways, but I have no doubt that it will be even more grace-filled and rewarding.

Here's to a new month and new adventures.

What are you plans for August?

Peace,
Sarah

**Linking up with Stay Gold Autumn

Monday, August 1, 2016

July Budget


Looking through the archives, it looks like the last time I wrote a budget post was in April - my bad. But I think the only things I added to my wardrobe in May and June were dresses for graduation events graciously gifted by my mom so there wasn't much to share anyway.

Plus, the lack of spending - which, let's be real, was more to do with finishing up school and packing to move back east than a new found self control - makes me feel slightly better about the amount spent this month.
1. Guess Envelope Collar Double Breasted Coat - originally $240, on sale for $140 (Medium was too big, small too small in the arms - in between sizes and not willing to keep it if I'm not in love...)
2. Michael by Michael Kors Hooded Trench Coat - originally $210, on sale for $130
3. Zella "Live In" Leggings - originally $52, on sale for $34
4. Mossimo Supply Co. Tracey Quarter Strap Sandals - originally $33, on sale for $18
5. Xhilaration Cutout Shift Dress - originally $25, on sale for $17
6. Merona Catalina Slide Sandals- originally $23, on sale for $6

Total: $342 (minus the $140 from the Guess coat) $202

Not gonna lie, not loving that number. But, spread over 3 months it's not as bad. Plus July is my birthday month and I decided to use some of my birthday money on a few staple items in the NSale.

I've been in the market for a classic trench coat for ages and this one has a nice removable liner that will be a perfect transition piece as I re-acclimate to non-California weather on the East Coast.

I've had the same winter coat for around 10 years now and it's starting to show. I ordered the Guess coat in a Medium and it's a tad too large even with bulky sweaters so I am waiting for a small to arrive and see if it fixes the problem. If not, it will be returned and the hunt for a nice winter coat will continue. On the search again. Luckily I have a few months til winter.

I think it might have been one of Fran's budget updates that first introduced me to the idea of Zella leggings. After reading the reviews I had to try them out and am SO happy I did. They are amazing! I love the material and fit. Oddly, I had also ordered a pair in purple ombre in the same size and they did not fit as well. They were just as comfortable, but there was a bunch of extra fabric bunching so I decided to only keep the black. Has anyone else had similar issues?

The Target buys were mostly for a bachelorette party I attended at the end of the month and also because I can't say no to a pair of adorable flats that cost less than $6. The wedges are taller than I normally wear, but so comfortable that I decided to be a little more adventurous. I bought the dress in a black, patterned option size medium. Normally shift dresses look awful on my body type, but I really loved this one and got a ton of compliments on it.

Overall, I am very pleased with this month's additions. The more expensive pieces are staples that I'll wear for years to come and the more trendy items are ones I love that were on mega sale.

How about you, friends? Add any good items to your closet this July?

Peace,
Sarah

**linking up with Fran over at Franish the Blog
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