Bleu Garten OKC

So Midtown is one of my favorite districts in OKC! The restaurants and businesses are thriving down there, and one of the best things about it is Bleu Garten, an outside area that features different food trucks and delicious adult beverages!

Tonight was a summer kickoff party introducing the new cocktail menu! I ordered a fruity, tequila-based drink called the Midtown Sunset! I highly recommend it! Ben got a beer, as usual! They had the Filipino Fusion food truck tonight, which is one of my favorites. I had already eaten, but the dessert was insane! The Halo Halo, a Filipino variation on the classic shaved ice, featured boba-type stuff at the bottom, ice cream, and a random piece of flan on top! Yes, you read that right! FLAN!!

I was so excited, I forgot to take a picture until this point! Oops!!

Besides the delicious offerings, I love that Bleu Garten has stuff to do! There was a live band to listen to, cornhole games, and GIANT JENGA!!

Here we are with some friends playing! Photo cred: Brianna Dodd! It was super fun! I always like food/drink places that have activities!

Bottom line: If you live in OKC or are planning a visit soon, go to Bleu Garten! It’s the perfect summer hangout! Bonus: You can bring the dog! We would, but our sweet Sheltie suffers from anxiety around crowds! Kids are also welcome before a certain time! Our toddler godson was there for a while!

Hope you had a fun Thursday like we did! Let me know if you love Bleu Garten, or drop a different OKC recommendation in the comments!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

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Hump Day!

Hey y’all! It’s hump day! Wednesdays are kind of bittersweet to me. At the end of the day, we are officially over the hump and on the downward slope to the weekend. Getting through the day, however, can be a ride on the struggle bus.

I feel like Mondays, though sometimes dreary, are a powerful reset button. It’s a chance to start the week off right and crush it! Since summer started, I have been working on the goals that I put on the back burner during the end of the busy school year, such as quiet time with God, exercise, housework, and this blog, among other things I will announce later. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This Monday was awesome! I did my devotional and Bible study first thing in the morning, went to kickboxing, grocery shopped for the week, started my weekly cleaning project, cooked a delicious dinner, went to Barre 3 with my friends, and did some professional development reading. Tuesday was a similar day, but with a full day of professional development. Today, however, was more of a struggle. It was hard to wake up early for devotional time before my day of professional development. I was tempted to watch TV instead of pushing through cardio dance and then order in instead of cooking the healthy meal I planned. I had to use one of my mom’s favorite phrases to push through:

Being an adult is doing what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it.

I listened to my mom’s voice, which frequently finds its way into my head, and I did it all anyway.

Does my story sound familiar to anyone? Does your Monday motivation turn “meh” about midweek? If so, you are not alone! It’s normal to hit the “hump slump,” but it’s not okay to stay there! Your responsibilities don’t end because you’re tired, and self-improvement can’t happen if you grow stagnant after a couple of days. You need consistency to be successful, which means doing the things you know you need to do even when you don’t feel like it.

At this point, you may be thinking that I’m a total slavedriver and that you deserve a rest. If that’s you right now, you’re correct! You DO deserve a rest! As for the other part…hehe, no comment! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not saying to just push through constantly and never give yourself a reward or a breather! We all need to recharge sometimes. The difference is that you recharge and then get back to work. It’s far too easy to justify laziness to yourself and extend your break to the point of irresponsibility. After I did my professional development sessions today, I met my husband at our favorite coffee shop, had coffee and a delectable croissant, and just chilled for an hour. That was a lovely treat for me, and I felt rejuvenated when it was time to go to the gym!

Here I am with that latte! Yum!! If you haven’t gone to Hank’s in Midtown, check them out! Great coffee with fun and knowledgeable baristas!

Here’s the bottom line: Push through hump day, do what you need to do, but allow yourself a bit of time to recharge when you’re feeling slumpy. I hope y’all had a great Wednesday! You are on the downward slope now, so keep your chins up!

What are your tips for getting through the “hump slump?” Let me know in the comments!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Frugal Fashionista

Howdy!

So, y’all know I’m a teacher. What you have probably also gathered is that I have expensive tastes! It is what it is. Everyone who knew me in middle and high school probably remembers that I was OBSESSED with labels. Back then, American Eagle, Hollister, and Abercrombie were staples in my closet! Unfortunately, my adoptive dad made great money, and I chose to make WAYYYY less. (Totally worth it for those students, btw!) The problem was that I couldn’t quite change my wiring enough to get down with Walmart. So what did I do? Take out crazy credit cards a la Lily of HIMYM? Call my parents for a shopping allowance?

Haha, no way! I just had to learn to be a frugal fashionista! I still wear name brands and have what I think is a pretty fabulous closet! I have just learned how to find those deals! Here is some of what I do when I shop:

1. Check the Outlet Mall first

OKC has a fabulous outlet mall that opened up a few years ago! I actually worked at the Nine West for almost a year in college! Yeah yeah, it’s last year’s clothing, but the prices are initially lower. Then, I wait for sales to get even better deals! Since there are so many designers featured at an outlet mall, you can build a versatile wardrobe just by shopping there, though I have plenty of other recommendations! Here is an outfit that is almost exclusively from the Outlet Mall!

Forgive the tired expression! I was finishing up my night teaching job at that point! ๐Ÿ˜ด

Skirt suit: Express

Leggings: Gap

Booties: Clark’s

The shirt and necklace are the only non-outlet pieces, and I got those on super sale! My students and colleagues complimented this outfit like crazy, and I paid a fraction of the original price for all of it! #balleronabudget

2. Thrift Shop, Macklemore Style

We all know that catchy song about “poppin’ some tags” from a few years back. While I personally don’t look for your grandpa’s clothes, I definitely thrift! I have found incredible pieces from Goodwill, Daisy Exchange, Plato’s Closet, Clothes Mentor, and other local shops. If you are in the OKC metro, here is what I would say. Preppy fashionistas seem to have the best luck at Clothes Mentor in Edmond. They are super strict about what they will buy from people, and they only take name brands! I have had wonderful experiences with them! Oh, and Kendra Scott lovers rejoice!! They have quite the spread! I think my most exciting find has been these Kate Spade shoes that I snagged for $25!

Wow!! I’m a sucker for a good pump, and the gold details make them special! Kate Spade is one of my favorites because of her ability to marry the classic and the whimsical! I don’t always like her prices, though, so this was the perfect find! I wear them at least once a week!

In addition to those gems, I’ve bought several items there and would highly recommend it! Daisy Exchange and Plato’s Closet can be more “trendy,” but I have been able to dig through and find some great stuff. Plato’s Closet can be especially helpful for workout wear! Almost all of my Nike shorts are from there!

3. Upscale Resale

This kind of goes hand in hand with the last one, but upscale resale shops are great if you are looking for something like a Lilly dress or a designer handbag. All of my favorites are actually in Florida! Remember my New Year’s dress?

Yep! Lilly dress for $50 at the upscale resale shop! (Recognize those shoes?) I’ll tell you more about the bag later! Another one you may remember from the summer:

This Lilly was $40 at a different one! If you are in Florida and you’re a Lilly fan, those shops almost ALWAYS carry Lilly, since she is a Florida phenomenon! Those pink shoes also came from that store! Boom!

4. Shop Super Clearance

Sometimes you just have to go to the regular mall. You can make this work just as well for you, though! I know threading through the messy clearance racks is a bit of work, but it can reap some major benefits! Yes, clearance is usually from a different season, but get your winter clothes for next year during the spring, and vice versa, to save some precious dolla dolla bills! (…why do I even try to be cool?) Not only do those items go on clearance, but there are some stores that do extra clearance at certain times. Dillard’s does an additional 30% off clearance once a month. It’s usually the 3rd weekend of the month. Cardholders get dibsies that Wednesday, and everyone else gets in that Thursday-Saturday! Their New Years Sale is even better! Additional 50% off clearance! Beware the crowds, though!

So if you find a piece you love that isn’t on sale, my advice is to exercise patience and wait for it to go on clearance, then wait again for extra clearance. If it’s gone, it wasn’t meant to be. I did this once with a total princess skirt! I found the most gorgeous tulle skirt at Windsor, and it was $50. I waited and waited, finally snagging it months later for $9!

Worth the wait!! By the way, the only full-price thing in this entire outfit is the Kendra Scott. Gotta splurge sometimes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

5. Take Advantage of Hand-Me-Downs

I feel that hand-me-downs have been given a negative connotation in our society. Even Ron Weasley complained about having to wear hand-me-down robes. We all love having new stuff, but there are times when hand-me-downs are awesome! I especially love the vintage ones, because I’m old school like that! My adoptive mom is turning 80 this year, and she has some truly unique pieces from her younger years! I now have all of her old evening bags, as well as a hat and some kid leather gloves, all in impeccable condition!

Remember this hat? Perfect for church! The eel skin clutch also adds to this outfit, which, by the way, is made up of Goodwill, Women’s Exchange, and the Outlet Mall! I’m known for my hats at church, and this one is particularly fabulous! That gold evening bag from my New Years outfit? My mom’s! This one is amazing, because it is a genuine Whiting and Davis mesh bag, and it is STILL IN THE BOX! Mom is quite meticulous, and it paid off! She told me that was the “it bag” of her time, and now I carry it! My future daughter will get it as well, and it will pass through my family! How stinkin’ cool is that? Hand-me-downs are more than just thrifty. They are sentimental! Another one of note is the black Coach bag from my first outfit! It was my Mother-In-Law’s! So sweet!

I hope you have come away with some savings ideas! I know my ways can’t be it, so I’d love for you to comment and tell me what you do to save money on high-quality clothing!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Lent Has Begun!

Happy Saturday, everyone!

We had a fun week of Valentine’s Day, but Hubs and I were a little more concerned with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. What are the odds of having to fast on a holiday, right? ๐Ÿ˜›

We did it, of course! I gave up sweets, while Hubby gave up both red meat (yes, not just on Fridays!) and Facebook. After an early morning Ash Wednesday service at St. Paul’s, we took advantage of the weekday morning downtown and got our one meal of the day at Hatch! If you are an OKC area person, you know that the wait there is absolutely ridiculous during brunch. Wednesdays at 7:45 am are a different story! We were seated right away, and boy oh boy, was it fabulous! We ordered some awesome fried potato nuggets (without the bacon) for an app!

Mmmmm!!! So good! Then we both had the salmon eggs Benedict, since other meat is a no-no on Ash Wednesday! It might have been the best Benedict of my life, and I’m a brunch regular! The eggs were perfectly poached, and the fried capers added a fun twist!

10/10 would recommend!! Go if you ever have a weekday morning off and enjoy it!

Hatch is also incredibly cute! Those colors!!!

So, our meal on Ash Wednesday is nowhere near as important as the meaning behind Lent. I think that the whole idea of sacrifice is beautiful, whether you are religious or not. No matter what you believe, I challenge you to do something sacrificial to benefit someone else. Whether that’s sacrificing your time to volunteer, sacrificing money for a worthy cause, or simply sacrificing your pride when you realize you are wrong, we can all do something selfless to help others. While I’m sacrificing my sweet tooth for a bit, I also strive to focus on service. I hope y’all join me and do the same!

Do you observe Lent?

Even if you don’t, what is your favorite way to serve others?

Let me know in the comments!!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Why Teachers Should Dress Up For Events

Hello! Long time no see! Life has been quite crazy lately. I’ll share more about that in other posts! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I want to talk about events and dress up days during the school day. Schools have many fun activities for the kids, and they love dressing up and getting to have a special day at school! There is something that can make their day even more fun: when teachers join in on the festivities!

We as teachers are so flipping busy, and dressing up on themed days can seem like yet another inconvenience to interrupt our precious free time. I swear, though, it is worth it to see the kids get so pumped up when the teachers participate! Plus, it is fun for us to get into character!

Yesterday was poetry slam day at school, so the 7th grade English teachers dressed up as dark, tortured poets! We went for the Beatnik aesthetic! We invited the kids to do the same, and everyone had a great time!

My teacher friend Jackie and I look like we belong on the cover of some indie album! It was so much fun!

My makeup is as dark as my soul! The bow is ironic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So teachers, if you don’t usually do dress up days, try it out!! The kids will love you for it, and you will get a chance to have a little fun at work while still being professional! If you don’t have the items you need, friends’ closets and Goodwill work wonders!

What have been your favorite dress up days as a student or a teacher? Let me know!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Mileage Programs

Hey hey hey! I am ecstatic today, because we booked our next trip to Seattle for March! One of my brothers is getting married at the beautiful Seattle aquarium! He and his fiancรฉ are going to make such handsome grooms! It will be a fabulous weekend!

One of the coolest parts of this trip is that my round trip flight was about $100! My brother, the same one who is getting married, signed me up for the Alaska Airlines mileage plan years ago, and I had enough miles to get an almost free flight! This trip is now well under budget because of those miles! I signed Ben up as well, so we will each earn mileage points every time we go on a trip!

If you travel frequently or want to start, I highly recommend a mileage plan, whether it is through your favorite airline’s free plan or a credit card with mile rewards. I am partial to Alaska! Their flights are always pleasant, the points stack up quickly, and many of the flights are nonstop! We just have the free plan, but we are considering the credit card down the road for even more payback! Go sign up and start earning on your next trip! It is well worth it!

Have sweet dreams of travel!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€

Awkward Times

Hello!! So, I was having a conversation with my “teacher BFF” (shoutout to Mandi!!) about awkward conversations with 7th graders! If you teach 7th grade, or have ever known a 7th grader, you know that it is a super awkward part of life! Puberty just makes things weird. The awkwardness is actually something I love, otherwise I’d teach something else! I totally “get” that age group, but there are still times when it is tempting to titter at some of their weird conversations. Whenever I feel the urge to laugh, all I have to do is think of this:

Meet 7th grade Shelby! She wore outfits of literally all pink sometimes, she wore way too much lip gloss, and she signed her school papers as Eponine. Yep, the oh-so-angsty Les Mis character. I guess I identified with her after the most popular guy in our grade asked me to the dance as a joke the year before. I was definitely “on my own.” Yeah, as you can see, I was super cool! NOT!

So if you ever feel like making fun of a middle schooler, just think back to that awkward middle school version of yourself and remember that this strange time is a rite of passage. Those kiddos are pretty awesome, even when they forget their deodorant or make “that’s what she said” jokes TO THEIR TEACHER. (Yep, someone tried it on me). Affirm those crazy heads, and let them know they are loved while providing firm boundaries. One day, they will grow into productive members of society just like we did!

Thanks for reading! Give a middle schooler a high five!

๐Ÿ’•Shelby๐ŸŽ€