The Five Brands I’m Gushing Over Currently

NUMBER ONE – KATE SPADE

Kate Spade got started by launching a clothing line in 1993, and she now runs a lifestyle empire, full of pink and polka dots. I have her dining accessories on my table and stationary on my desk…but I want more!

I recently stopped in at Barnes & Noble and had to pry myself away from loading classics and paperbacks and coloring books into my arms…but my eyes were most drawn to Kate Spade’s collection here: shimmering desk tools, pretty papers and pens and fun cups and mugs.

NUMBER TWO – ban.do

I actually think I fell in love with this brand at Barnes & Noble, too, but now, I live for their sparkly and witty Instagram posts…and their expressive earrings…and funky beauty products…and gaudy home decor…and playful bags. If you know me, you should know that these pink items totally speak to me.

NUMBER THREE – OH JOY!

Joy Cho came onto the scene in 2005, with a graphic design studio. These days, you can find her stuff at Target, whether you’re looking for quirky furniture, baby clothing or band aids. She has a whole rose gold section (much like the brands above) that I’m dying to acquire.

NUMBER FOUR – FURBISH STUDIO

I stumbled upon Furbish, a boutique known for bold and eclectic gifts and finds, when I was searching for a large, colorful purse. The products all have an exotic feeling – but in a modern and cool way that I adore. Plus – again…more pink!

NUMBER FIVE – SUGARFIX by BAUBLEBAR

Who doesn’t love BaubleBar? And who isn’t obsessed with Target? And who is always looking for exciting jewelry that’s also affordable? I know I am, and now, all my dreams have come true!

just 10 things

  1. WOODSON, TEXAS: I’m from this town of 296, where my dad is the superintendent of the one school, which my brother and I started going to in kindergarten; we both graduated from WHS – and I only had seven people in my class. My mom was my sixth grade teacher and still teaches there – and I teach there now, too. No, we didn’t ride horses to school (I don’t even own a pair of boots.), but yes, I love this safe and comfortable home.
  2. WRITING: I remember asking my parents to buy me a tablet to write stories in when I was so young that some of my peers couldn’t even write complete sentences yet. English was always my favorite class in school, and I created my school’s newspaper and started contributing to my county’s weekly paper. I went on to major in journalism and write for publications like Austin Home, New York Resident and Us Weekly and cover events such as SXSW and New York Fashion Week. See where I’m currently writing via my online portfolio!
  3. AUSTIN, TEXAS: I attended the University of Texas at Austin and can still hardly believe I graduated from such an esteemed school. Though I’m away from ATX right now, I’ll be back, because I love it all: Alamo Drafthouse, Cathedral of Junk, Spiderhouse, Greenbelt, The Domain, Kerby Lane, Toy Joy, SoCo, the Veloway – See a complete list of my faves here😉
  4. MOVIES: I’ve always said my favorites are “A Walk to Remember the Titans”, combining two that I love. My family and I loveee going to the theater (mainly for popcorn and previews, amiright?), and if a movie can freak me out (in a scary or mind-blowing way (like “Predestination”…WaTcH!), I love it even more.
  5. FASHION: I always joked that when I die, I want to be cremated and spread around a mall, because I can’t get enough of new trends, window displays, glossy magazines, fashion blogs, “Project Runway”, fashion boards on Pinterest and buying new accessories/outfits!
  6. TRAVEL: I am used to making 28-hour drives to different states and have visited over half of them – and maybe a third of the baseball parks in the U.S. The only places I’ve visited internationally are Cologne, Germany, and Playa del Carmen, Mexico (loved both…can’t wait to see morrre).
  7. CATS: I’ve probably owned about 75 cats, but right now, my husband and I are happily raising Catalina Crookshanks. I’ve also adopted a polar bear, and penguins = mine and Tommy’s spirit animals. Fourth fave animal = unicorn;)
  8. GLITTER: Everything is better with glitter (just look at this blog title and/or ask Ke$ha;)
  9. LOVE: I really really really do try to show love to all – why wouldn’t you? We’re all stuck on this rock together, so be nice/spread peace! Thankfully, it’s super easy to love my loved, because gawww, they’re amazing…like tooooo good to me.
  10. LIFE: Speaking of being on this rock together, remember that it’s all about balance and perspective and blooming where you’re planted and being the best you can be and breathing and finding your passion/sharing it with others and being you and laughing until you cry!
    • Balance: You will have amazing moments of triumph and happiness, as well as horrible moments of stress and sadness. Through it all, you can eat chocolate when you’re sad and happy and dream about the future while still making the most of the present. Everything in moderation, with your head on straight.
    • Perspective: When those sad moments occur, try try try to find the silver lining. Know that everyone deals with loss. And when you’re overjoyed, know that there’s a time for everything, and even good things must come to an end. ALSO, I say these mantras over and over, but I just decided to change this one to “bird’s-eye view”, so that they all start with “B”!
    • Bloom Where You’re Planted: How many times have I blogged about this? My high school English teacher drilled this into my brain, and now, I have it hung in my house and sneak it into my English lessons. You are where you are. Will you always be there? Probably not – since we’re always in a state of motion, with moves and career changes and marriage and etc. So wherever you are and wherever you end up, do your best in that very place.
      • ALSO, I’ve written a good deal about this state of motion: I used to say that life was all about waiting – We wait in lines and drive-thrus. We wait for our alarms to go off, our coffee to brew…for work to start and then be over…then wait until it’s time for dinner, bed and it all to start again.
      • Recently, however, I’ve been thinking that it’s all about change, too; my bff and I feel like we’re always…well…waiting for the next big thing! As we wait and move forward, we encounter these big life events, such as graduating college, finding a full-time gig, getting married, buying a house and having kids. I guess it isss exciting that there’s always something to look forward to…It just seems like the in-between (the “upside-down” I – and other “Stranger Things” fans – may call it) time is just…there – and this time of limbo just flies by!
      • So enjoy those little moments that do make you laugh until you cry, which can be filled with things as simple as going for a walk, stretching as you get out of bed, cuddling with your cat and this.
    • Be The  Best You Can Be: The Woodson ISD motto is a good one, and it’s simple (So why do we complicate things?): Be the best human you can be. Do your very best at every single thing you do. Period. Yay.

P.S. – Happy six-year dating anniversary to my husband, Thomas Wayne Baze. ❤

present.

This time of the year is one of my favorites, with Tommy’s birthday, Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, then Christmas and the new year – a time filled with lots of presents!

However, this post isn’t about gifts wrapped up with shiny bows; it’s about being PRESENT.

I’ve struggled with anxiety and stress and OCD-tendencies for as long as I can remember. There are ways to cope with any situation/problem, but that can be tough in a world full of photoshopped models, egotistical/competitive ways on social media and the desire to just want to be a normal, content, attractive, happy-go-lucky, loved human being!

Many of my blog posts (and Instagram posts and almost-finished books and thoughts) are about perspective and blessings; no one has it perfectly, and even on your worst day, you can look to your left, right or through your Facebook feed and see someone who is suffering far worse – with loss or illness or war or famine (Remember that, students and Bri and reader!).

If you haven’t realized by now, bad things will happen – and it’s all about how you deal with them. Do you deal with them at all? Do you make matters worse? Sometimes, we just need a reminder that life is short, so why not actually/really/honestly live it to the fullest?

Since my husband is a trainer and my dad is a coach, I’ve always worked out, but only recently have I been super dedicated – cutting out sweets, hitting the gym every single day of the week, pushing myself to my limits, not complaining about the sweat and seeing results!

When I put this dedication/drive to use in other areas of my life…I created amazing year-long lesson plans for all eight of the classes I teach. I even had time to help Tommy with his. Much to everyone’s surprise, I have started cooking more. I’ve been making the effort to compliment people and let them know how special they are. Most importantly, I’ve been focusing on just being the best overall me – and it helps to be present.

In any given moment, you could be thinking about or doing a bazillion different things; if you stop, breathe, put down the phone and look around, however, you’ll notice…A. the beauty of nature B. that wobbly table that you could fix (And won’t your significant other be so proud/glad?!) C. someone’s cute haircut to compliment D. that the worry of the past and the anxiety of the future and the stressors you may be feeling about that to-do list or work or life…none of that matters. Sure, it’s good to be responsible and conscientious – but don’t make yourself sick! Don’t live in the past! Don’t let the present pass you by because you’re too busy wondering what tomorrow will bring!

I bet that if you look around right now, in this very moment we’re in, you’ll see several things you should be thankful for – and that perspective on the present is a wonderful thing…just like you.:)

P.S. – Check out these 101 ways to #livelifetothefullest!

Eat *glitter* For Breakfast&Shine All Day

I know my last post was about getting pumped for fall, and I don’t want this one to seem like I’m backtracking, but…M E R M A I D S.

We’re at a point where iridescent bags, seashell jewelry, sparkly makeup and bedrooms fit for Ariel rule.

How lucky for us, right? Because the sparkle and the magic and the Disneyness of it all is…mermazing. And part of me clearly wants to be a mermaid…but don’t we all?

My shell/rock collection

Me. Chillin’ in a shell. Next to a pearl. Like I do.

Perhaps the best part of this mermaid madness is the headpieces; I don’t guess I’d wear these in everyday life…though I do love me a good headband…

 

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…so I’m really hoping that during Homecoming Week there’s a dress-up day where I could incorporate one of these!

Mermaid crowns:

In the meantime, I’ll be…

  • dreaming of when I saw real mermaids
  • wishing I wasn’t a scaredy-cat on our honeymoon/had dove into the water to see this art (…though the fear of water makes sense, yes? Let’s not forget when someone almost drowned in the Gulf when she was 17!)
  • learning from real-life magical goddesses
  • and pinning more to my “mermaid inspo” board!

que todos os seus sonhos se tornem realidade:

 

kkk

The Upside Down

I feel like recently and regularly, my blog posts are combinations of all my recent thoughts/Instagram posts; I’m a very introspective person, and when I don’t have money for a therapist or time for yoga, I get my feelings out through inspirational social media images…and then recap all of that here.

My initial reaction for starting this particular post would be to lead with this: It’s been a weird year, to say the least.

…but – on the other hand – I could ask, “Has it?”

I mean…what makes something “weird”, especially a time in life? Sure, moving and starting a new career and and getting married and all that jazz have been out of the ordinary, compared to my past few years, but moving in general and teaching students period…Not so strange. These things happen every single day.

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So, this leads me to think that it’s just me; I’m weird for thinking it’s weird (getting a little meta, I know). I’m probably overthinking and overreacting and should just go with the flow.

BUT…

(bear with me)

What even isss going with the flow? We’re all here, to live life, on this rock, and we get to choose how/where/with whom we spend that time. And I like to think I soak it all in as much as possible…but I’d also love to say I’m a carefree person…yet I schedule and freak out and plan out possible and impossible scenarios – just in case.

I feel like I should segue now into what my high school English teacher used to tell me: Whatever you’re going through is real, for you, right now. Freaking out about a high school boyfriend or a new job or a bad day may seem selfish, since there are actual problems in the world…but those bigger, worse problems don’t necessarily affect us daily…while at-home, real-life situations do…which is why freaking out makes sense (to an extent).

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Ugh, okay, done – How exhausting!

Let’s move on………

Here are current things I’m stressing/worrying about and why I should/shouldn’t (feel free to offer up any advice at any point;)…

#1: I’m tired.

#2: I don’t get to write enough.

#3: This is reminding me of a previous/similar blog, where I had to remind people that I’m not just being a whiny baby.

#4: I’m not the best teacher in the world.

#5: I’m not the best wife in the world.

#6: I’m a teacher and a wife (wutttt).

#7: I care far too much about what others think of me.

#8: I constantly struggle with kismet, and if I should just make bigger decisions and move again, because I’m not sure if I should live here or in Austin or in New York or beyond.

#9: When I’m not sure what to do with my time, I automatically think, “It’s time for a new IG post/blog!” … though only, like, four people will read this … though, that’s okay, since it makes ME feel better … ???

#10: I think I care too much about “ME” (yet I struggle with self-love…but we all do, to a certain point…Right?!).

I think, inside of us all, there’s a hippie, a free spirit who would love to get carried away by the wind and the music in his/her head and just live life – traveling and exploring and reading and looking at the stars and learning new things.

In reality, though, there are bills and responsibilities. We get tied down by commitments and relationships and fear – which is good and bad.

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It seems like many of my posts trail in to the whole “life is short, so live it well” thing…and it’s true…but I’m too tired to write on that. I’m too confused to discuss the make money vs. be happy debate. And I’m too inexperienced to blab on about why we’re here and what we should be doing.

All I know is this: I’m in control of my life. I make my own decisions. If the majority of me wants to work hard at a job that helps to pay the bills and helps to feed my online shopping obsession, then that’s what I’ll do. If part of me needs to escape now and then, and just talk with friends around a fire or roadtrip to the beach or hide in a fort with my best friend, then I’ll do that, too.

I’m one person, trying her best to be happy and to make others happy. Sure, I fail, and at times, I upset people and get super stressed and get into fights and freak out. But then I breathe, refocus, get up, dust myself off, and keep on trucking…because I have/need/want to do so.

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So I write to remind myself to be the best I can be: the best wife and teacher and friend and daughter and work-outer and sister and employee and customer and blogger and human…because…why not?

P.S. – Have you watched “Stranger Things” yet? You should! I stole my title from there, since “the upside down” is this alternate reality…kind of like the one in my head; when I get into those funks of “what is life” and “am I doing enough” and “stop being so whiny…but care a little more, too”, I’ve decided to refer to that as The Upside Down – a place where I may think too much but where I always come out better and more driven…so visit it, if you dare or if only to realize that you should love you!

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BRIde to B*

As I write this, my fiance and I are celebrating our one-and-only Valentine’s Day as an engaged couple (after spending the last four together…and by celebrating…I mean we’re eating pizza, drinking champagne and waiting for “The Walking Dead”;).

I thought – as a typical bride-to-be – that I would blog about this time in my life…This time during which I not only picked up and moved from Austin to a tiny town (one Tommy had never even been to)…not only started a new career (one I’d never even attempted before)…not only stressed about coaching basketball, leading UIL, directing a One-Act Play and living life…but also during which I decided to get engaged and plan the wedding of my dreams.

You probably know that I’ve had my wedding planned for ~decades…but I also had it planned for the Hill Country…so I’ve improvised…and it’s going to be pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself…

PROS of being married near my hometown at this time in my life:

-My mom and I can use every/any spare moment we’re awake to plan

-Nearly my entire town of 300 (my “Stars Hollow”, if you will) will get to celebrate with me

ON THE OTHER HAND…This next list isn’t really about cons…it’s more about how…….

-I’ve been SOOO busy – too busy! – to even realize that I am, indeed, engaged. About to be married. Starting on a journey with one person. Taking a step that will lead to kids and mortgages and joint bank accounts and carpools and retirement (ha).

OF COURSE, I’m super excited to be spending the rest of my life with Thomas Wayne Baze – a dude I’ve loved since my eyes first landed on him nine years ago. I’ll never grow tired of watching “Always Sunny” with him or star-gazing with him or playing with cats with him or referencing “always” or “4815162342” with him or discussing life and now and love with him.

He knows that I can be a stressed-out/emotional train wreck (evident through the tears and copious amounts of chocolate and other tears), yet he loves me, despite.

I’ve thought about what this time of my life would be like (exciting, with the cake-tastings and dress fittings/bridezilla-ish, with it being what it is) and seen movies with different brides handling the stress in different ways…and here I am: A 25-year-old English teacher – one who left her friends four hours away, to move back to her hometown, and take on moody teens – planning a wedding between play practices and tests and grading papers and emptying the litter box and sleep.

Now, this post isn’t here to serve as a “woe-is-me” thing; planning anything can be stressful, and I’ve actually loved this creative process. I just really need April 2, 2016, at 3:33 p.m. to happen, to watch my ideas come to fruition.

Furthermore, a few weeks before that, I need my English I and II students to pass their STAAR exams, my UIL kids to excel at competition and my OAP cast to remember its lines at competition. THEN, I’ll have a somewhat normal life back! I can breeze through the last few weeks of school, tearfully send my seniors off into the world, graciously thank my parents and new in-laws for making 4/2 possible, enjoy life as a married woman and leave my classroom for the summer, to head for Playa del Carmen, for a honeymoon!

There are many stereotypes as to what an engaged woman is supposed to be and how she is supposed to act, but – if you know anything about Tommy and I and our proposal story and our fun wedding – you know we’re not typical. So I guess it makes sense that I’m checking things off my blissful to-do list in a haphazard-yet-organized way. It makes sense that I’m eager to please everyone (since Woodson is like one big happy family). It makes sense that I sometimes turn to students for advice on all of this (since I’m with them 90 percent of the time). And it makes sense that I have this vision in my head that I want/need to come to life, to celebrate life and love in the most purrrfect way…Right?!

To conclude (since it’s realllllly almost TWD time!), I can’t believe I’m moving into the married stage of life, but it’s neat to transition past the first quarter of my life and into happily ever afterness with my bff by my side…and in a pretty dress;)…even if I do feel like I’m going cRaZyYy!

 

 

New Year, New Outfits

Returning to work after such a long break (Does ANY work really get done between Thanksgiving and the New Year?) can be rough…but new outfits help ease the pain!

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spruce up a sweater with a necklace

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back detailssss

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add a pop of color (+ ignore my face)

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white&light&fluffy

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literal book bag

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this jackettttttt

what a weird time

Isn’t it [a weird time]?

I always get the post-Christmas cries/New Year emotions, due to thinking about all I have, all I could have, all I’ve done, what I wish I’d done and so on…but this year, it all seems even more prevalent…and I think I know why (kind of)…

Seven short years ago, I was getting ready to take on the world, leaving the tiny bubble I’d been in for the past 18 years, and moving to Austin – the mecca of adventure and learning and excitement.

charlie's angels

 

I graduated from UT early, hoping to be a journalist – even though I was told it was a dying art (and I guess “they” were right, since the magazine program I majored in no longer exists).

From January 2013 to May 2015, I then set off on a whirlwind of weirdness: I couldn’t get a “real” job, so I suffered from a bit of a quarter-life crisis (which you’ve heard me talk about before…which spurred me on to read tonsss of articles/books on it…which eventually led me to writing my own book on it…which I WILL publish at some point in time [Geez, how many times has THAT dream been my New Year’s Resolution??]). Despite the confusion, though, I did some pretty amazing things, like interning in New York, interviewing celebrities, learning about everything from washing kosher cook areas and fitting international bikinis to what herbal tinctures and hedge funds are. I also started my own company, which I should do yet another/separate blog on, because I realized what I was good at, what the city of Austin needed help with (at least certain companies within the city;) and how to use my degree + skills + passions to pay the bills!

ha

So now my Google results yield pics with cool fashion bloggers and “Project Runway” contestants;)

NOWWWWWW, however, my life looks like this:

-I live in Graham, Texas (Yes, I know you’ve never heard of it).

-I am a schoolteacher – a. school. teacher.!!!!

-I teach back in that tiny bubble I left seven years ago (meaning I teach students I went to school with…even though they claim not to remember me…since I’m “sooo old”…:/).

-My dad is my boss, my mom teaches down the hallway, I lead UIL and OAP, I assist with basketball, and I’m surrounded by memories and old teachers and not Austin or Ryan Gosling or Longhorns or traffic.

In three months, I’ll also be getting married (since I have all this time to plan a wedding AND since my boyfriend of five years proposed [after picking up, leaving his favorite city and moving with his girlfriend to a town he’d never even been to].

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Halloween engagement = the way to my heart = fun pics with the perfect ring/man;)

In four months, I’ll celebrate my seven-year high school reunion by watching my first group of seniors graduate; I cry at every graduation (because I’ve been to every Woodson graduation in the past two decades except for, like, three), but I know I’ll for sure be bawling at this one, since a. I’ll miss those kiddos tons b. I’m pretty sure IIII was just in my cap and gown here (right?!) and c. I’ll be flooded with more of the memories/thoughts like the above, regarding the circle of life and how blessed we are and how crazy life is and how fast time flies and how weird it is that I’ve done so many amazing-yet-odd things in the past few years AND how that weirdness will only increase…since I’ve (hopefully) only lived one quarter of my life…so the next few years will be filled with babies and more students and vacations to places I can finally travel to…or with some other form of great adventure…because who knows where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing…since the possibilities are endless…Weird, huh?

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Fashionable & Creative Stocking Stuffers

Fact: Christmas is right around the corner.

Fact: I get on BuzzFeed every night.

Fact: I’m a sucker for cute packaging.

Therefore, the following items – which are from BuzzFeed AND come in cute packages – are perfect stocking stuffers for the creative fashionistas in your life!

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(all artists/shopaholics need good lighting to see their handy work!)

Fact: This last point has nothing to do with fashion.

Fact: This last point is cute, though.

Fact: This last point was discovered on BuzzFeed, too.

Sooo, enjoy looking at Lyft’s amazing office – love!

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