Hold Out for your Break

Howdy!! πŸ€—

Today I am going to get just slightly personal, all in the name of giving people some hope! Many of us come across a season of life that leaves a legacy of hardship and pain. They say those things come in threes, and there seems to be a snowball effect once they start. This is often when people say things like, “I just can’t catch a break.” Weirdly enough, dim though it may seem, this is the point where we need to think the exact opposite.

Let me take you back to just this fall. First, my dad died. I’m adopted, and this is my adoptive dad who took me in and raised me after my own could not. Both of my birth parents died years ago, and the (only) crappy part about adoption is going through that twice. The good news is that the death ended his year and a half of cancer, and he is frolicking around up above with no pain. The selfish part of me, however, is still not cool with it.

You may be thinking that while that situation is terrible, at least it’s just one thing. Well, not even a week later, I totaled my car and it was so my fault. No one was injured, thank God, but while insurance took for-literally-ever (okay, figuratively) to settle, we had to go around with one car on completely different schedules. It happened to be our, ahem, senior citizen car as well, as I totaled the 2016. I also got a ticket, on top of the deductible and having to buy a new car. It was rough!

Yeah, okay, but it comes in threes. Where’s the third? I guess this one was technically the first. We had identity theft this fall and ended up with $48 in our bank account. My bank didn’t even notice, or think it was weird that someone took THOUSANDS of dollars out for various wire transfer things that I don’t entirely understand.

I am not telling you all of this to complain, but to let you know that I felt that there were no breaks this fall, and some of you may be feeling the exact same way. However, I chose to remain positive. I kept praying, and never stopped working hard. My goal was to be the best I could be and to believe that this was only a passing season. Luckily for me, I was right, and you will be too if you keep a positive attitude and manifest happy energy!

First, the bank gave us a full refund with barely any hoops to jump through! Having a responsible record has its perks! Then, much later on, we got an insane end of the year special on a new car, and because of certain paperwork, we were able to go through with it before insurance finished their stuff! The deal was better than what we got on our last car, and our monthly payment for the 2017 Honda Civic is LESS than the 2016 we had! Our interest rate went way down. Again, responsible decisions pay off, especially when they affect your credit score! 😊

Finally, there were some appliances we were going to buy that just showed up to us out of the blue, which changes our budget for the better! That was just the icing on the cake!

My story is definitely not the only one that involves someone catching a break after a long time! I truly believe that being positive and open really helped move things along. Your prayers are listened to, so don’t give up, even if your season of hardship is long. It always comes back up! Are things perfect now? Absolutely not! I still miss my dad like crazy, but I am still thankful for a slowly healing heart and a bucket full of blessings in my life. I’m sure we will all have sad times again, but they never stay that way. If you are in the midst of those times, hold out for your break! It’s coming!

By the way, here’s my new car! I am a Honda Civic girl all the way! The only change I made was from 2016 to 2017!

I hope this cheered you up! Thanks for reading! And please reach out to me if you feel like things are just too bad! I’d love to talk!

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€

Advertisements

Be Thankful

Hello!! This long weekend was Thanksgiving, and there is so much to be thankful for! I could go on all day, but here are my top 5:

1. I am thankful for my personal relationship with my God! It’s different for everyone, and I’m not saying my way is best, but my church family and prayer life are fabulous right now! I feel very blessed.

2. I am thankful for my family. My husband and I have a healthy and happy marriage, and are awesome doggie parents! My other family members are all over the US, but I got to spend this Thanksgiving with my in-laws, and I love them very much! Momma worked so hard on dinner, and it was wonderful!


Here we are after a trip to the Owasso Christmas Tree and Berry Farm! I was selected by the fam to cut down our tree!! Don’t believe me?



Crushed it!

3. I am thankful for not one, but two incredible jobs, where I can use both of my degrees! My employers are kind and fair, and they have already provided me so much growth as an educator. I also use my earnings to live a decent life, even if I’m not filthy rich. πŸ˜‰


My night class threw me a surprise birthday party! My jobs are seriously the coolest!

4. I am thankful for my friends who, unlike my family, put up with me when they don’t have to! πŸ˜‚ I have awesome people to hang out with in many states and even in Europe! That is pretty cool!


Speaking of friends, this is me with Jess, one of my besties since college! (I love all you other friends too!!) We are at Mary Eddy’s in downtown OKC, and that penguin hung out with us all through dinner! Y’all should check it out! So delicious! This was before we saw opening night of the 20th anniversary tour of Rent!! As in the first night of the whole darn thing, because it started in OKC!! (Also thankful for musical theatre!)

5. I am thankful for the ability to have a full life! I have a wonderful spiritual life. I have hobbies, such as food, fashion, reading, blogging, and dance. I have a fulfilling career and a happy home life. I don’t have to stress about bills. This one may be kind of a blanket statement, but the life I live should not be taken for granted. It’s beautiful! 


One of those hobbies I was talking about? MANICURES! Just got a new one yesterday! 

I encourage you to think about what you are thankful for. There are always going to be things in life that we are not thrilled with, and sometimes circumstances are downright depressing, especially during the holidays. We can, however, pick out the positives and focus on how beautiful life can be. This is the first holiday season without my adoptive dad, who passed last month, but I am working on seeing all of the good things and having an extra fun time, just in case he is watching! I hope you can all find the best aspects of your lives and focus your energy on them!

Please comment and tell me what you are thankful for this year! 

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€

Happy Birthday to Me!!Β 

Hey, y’all!! It is good to be back! The last 6 weeks or so have been insane and filled with some unfortunate situations. I took a couple weeks off blogging just to catch up with life, but I’m back and ready to go! 😊

Today is Thanksgiving, and I wish you all a happy one! I will post about our family festivities later! Tuesday, however, was my birthday! They say to never ask a lady her age, but I’ll just tell you that I turned 26! I am actually so excited to get closer to 30! Many struggle with aging, but I see age as stability and wisdom! 


Not bad for 26! Loving the new MAC lipstick I got for my birthday! I’m wearing Ruby Woo!

I was lucky enough to have my birthday on my “Friday” before the holiday weekend! I started with a work gathering at Louie’s to celebrate the break! Then, we got to my intimate but fabulous birthday celebration at Sushi Neko! If you live in the OKC Metro and have not been, GO NOW! It is my favorite restaurant in the area! We had four friends meet us, and we had a great time! I definitely did not get enough pictures, but here’s what I have!


This was our appetizer! Lobster and other goodies! So delicious!


My favorite roll of all time, the Lifesaver! It has the raw salmon and tuna I love, and the crowning jewel on the inside is TEMPURA BACON! The lemon on top adds the perfect tang! I have eaten lots of sushi in many places over the years, and this continues to be my favorite!


We are a pretty hot walrus couple! Don’t tell my old etiquette class or my mom! πŸ˜‚

Not pictured: My all-time favorite dessert, tempura ice cream! I was so excited that I forgot to take a pic before diving in! #bloggerfail 

After that, a few of us went over to Nancy’s 57th St. Lighthouse for some karaoke! I love going there, because the drinks are reasonable, the seats are super comfy, and karaoke is every day!! I absolutely love to sing, even though I am not quite Broadway status! πŸ˜› It was a great time! My friend Jess and I took it back to our college days and sang ridiculous duets all night! We used to go to Buffalo Wild Wings in college and sing bad renditions of early 2000s pop songs! It was a nice trip down memory lane, even if we were the only ones who thought so! πŸ˜‚

It was such a great birthday! I’m excited to see what 26 holds! Now I’m off to gorge on turkey!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€

North Park Mall

One of my favorite things is when I learn about a place I’ve never heard of in the city I’ve lived in for over 7 years! Last night, we had the opportunity to see a friend perform in an independent film! It was being shown at North Park Cinema in North Park Mall, on the north side of Oklahoma City. It was a tiny indoor shopping center with a charming 90s style movie theatre. The shops were already closed, but we will definitely be back to check it out in daylight, and possibly brunch at their Rococo location! They are supposed to have a killer cruise ship style brunch buffet, as opposed to the more traditional east coast style brunch at the Penn and 28th location! 

Here I am by the cute little fountain! I love how the best picture we got was the one where you can’t see my face! πŸ˜‚ I went for a fun fall look that took me from church to brunch to an indie film! This look can go anywhere! I just got the dress this weekend at Black Scintilla in Midtown! It is such a fun boutique, and the staff made it a wonderful experience! I’m so excited to show you my other dress from there in another post!!
Everything else I’m wearing is super old, and most of it is not even name brand, but I love it! I have to remind myself that name brands aren’t everything! πŸ˜‰

The movie ended up being awesome, and our friend did a great job! It was nice to have a fun outing before the Monday grind! 

Now, it’s back to the grind for me! See you next time!

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€

First Blogger Collaboration!

Hey, y’all! I am so excited to say that this post involves another lovely lady from our WordPress community! We are both pretty new to the scene, and were already friends from college before starting our blogs! We decided to hang out yesterday and do a photo together while talking about upcoming collaborations! 

Emily of The Muse’s Melody and I went over to Ellis Island for some coffee and sweets first thing Saturday morning. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s in Downtown Edmond on Broadway, and it’s delicious! The morning was cool and overcast, making it the perfect day for a steaming cup! I had a pumpkin pie latte and tiramisu, while Emily went for the iced mocha. My latte had all the pumpkin pie goodness without being as syrupy as Starbucks! It’s okay, Starbs! I still love you! πŸ˜‰

Whoops! I was so excited that I forgot to take a pic until after I drank it! πŸ˜‚
Here is the photo that our lovely barista took of us!

Her red dress with the leather jacket totally shows off her trendy, alternative style! I just love her look! I went with a less preppy look than usual, because I was in the mood for something a little more…hip? I guess? I also branched out a bit from my usual favorite designers while keeping some (Kendra Scott and Brooks Brothers) in my outfit! Change can be fun! Here’s who I’m wearing: 
Shirt: Ambiance Apparel (I grab many of my basic t-shirts at Ross!)

Cardi: Jody (found at a western shop in Stockyards City!)

Jeans: Levi’s

Booties: Clark’s

Hat: Brooks Brothers

Necklace: Kendra Scott

Watch: Fossil

Not featured: Cream Fossil bag

We had a great time, and look forward to collaborating in the future! It is so fun for us to be new together!! Please go check her out and follow her blog:

http://www.themusesmelody.wordpress.com

Have a great rest of your weekend! See you tomorrow!

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€

Rolling Ice Cream and Crepes

What the heck is this?!?! The answer to that question is a relatively new (at least to Oklahoma) dessert trend: Rolled ice cream! Lychee rolled ice cream with mango boba and coconut flakes, to be specific! I’d heard of it and passed by the new shop, but we didn’t try it until yesterday afternoon, while we were taking full advantage of fall break! It didn’t disappoint!

The place is called Rolling Ice Cream and Crepes, and it’s off 2nd and Bryant in the shopping center with Which Wich, which was why we were there for lunch in the first place. I remembered that I wanted to try rolled ice cream, so we stopped in for dessert! The first thing we noticed was how cute and colorful it was! 

Dessert is probably my second favorite thing after Jesus (duh), and eating dessert in a happy environment makes it even better!!! The only thing that would make it better is PINK! 
After we appreciated the ambiance, we got to savor that flavor, baby!! The ice cream was delicious! It’s a bit harder than normal ice cream, probably to keep the rolled shape, but the taste did not suffer! I will say that the medium was pretty darn big! We probably would have been fine with smalls! Next time, we want to try one of the ice cream filled crepes!! Mmmm!! 

Y’all should go and check it out! We will definitely be back!

See you next time!

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€

Parent Teacher Conference Tips

As y’all know, the past couple weeks have not been the best of my life. Life goes on, however, and last week was time for parent teacher conferences! My adoptive mom always says that no matter what, you have to “rally and sparkle,” so that’s exactly what I set out to do! I have a few tips that worked for me during my conferences! I hope they help! 

1. Dress to impress

I feel like this one is a big “DUH!” but it needs to be said! When I do conferences, I go for an old school professional look with personalized touches. My makeup is done, but not overdone, and I do sleek, no-nonsense hair to avoid hair-related fidgeting! French twists work wonders! I also make sure I don’t forget my name badge. Here is my outfit from Monday’s conference:

Sweater: Brooks Brothers
Skirt: Calvin Klein

Shoes: Kate Spade

Earrings: Kendra Scott

Bracelet: Rustic Cuff

2. Be prepared

When parents come, don’t be that guy who has to fish through a boatload of memories to find the kid’s grade. I had a (cute and pink) folder ready with each of my students’ grade reports and missing assignment reports so that I wouldn’t draw a blank. Many of my fellow teachers with more students had it all ready on an iPad, which also works well. I’m just old-fashioned! πŸ˜‰

3. Start with the positives

No matter how bad a kid’s grades or behaviors are, always start on a good note. If it’s “that kid” who always shows up when you don’t want him to, compliment the parents on their commitment to his education and his perfect attendance record. Make sure you are saying something that is true, though. The parents can tell if you are being fake! After you have talked about the good things, it is easier to bring up concerns, because you just showed that everyone is on the same team.

4. Be professional

Again, duh, but it must be said! I always try to build rapport and mention common interests, but our main job is to show that we know what the heck we are doing! I keep the introductions friendly, but I present myself in a professional manner when I am going over my grades and observations. Acting too austere can put parents off, but joking the whole time won’t work either. You have to find a happy medium that keeps parents comfortable and assured that their kid is in good hands.

5. Celebrate afterward! πŸŽ‰

You did it!! You got through parent teacher conferences! I like to go out and celebrate! That picture above was taken at Flatire Burgers, where Ben and I enjoyed a casual post-conference dinner! It was also our monthaversary, so bonus! We as teachers work our patooties off, and it’s okay to #treatyoself sometimes! 

I hope these tips were helpful! If you are not a teacher, I hope your kids’ teachers are making you feel at ease! Which tips would you add to this list? 

Until next time! 

πŸ’•ShelbyπŸŽ€