Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bargain Bonding

Saturday morning yard sale-ing has now become a mother/daughter tradition in my family. Mom and I wake up bright and early and hit the road with our strategically planned list of sales and handy dandy google maps app. What are we looking for? That's a good questions...

The whole yard sale tradition began when I was decorating my new house a year ago and now it has become a hobby. We never set out to find anything in particular but always end up finding the best deals. And this past Saturday morning was no different.

We found a few odd and end yard sales where I picked up a new wicker basket for a guest bedroom trashcan and some vintage books... nothing too exciting but we knew that our jackpot was the tag sale at 9am. When we arrived, the cars were lining the streets for blocks and we could hardly make our way into this gorgeous house. Everything... and I mean everything... was for sale. From fine china and cookware to furniture and a lawnmower. But I managed to find this gems in the basement (it immediately became the envy of everyone when I got in line to pay... which I was in this line for 45 minutes so there was a boat load of envy.)
$5 20" cork wreath

I've been planning to make a cork wreath of my own but I never realized exactly how much wine I would have to consume all by myself to make this lovely piece. Now I can enjoy my glass of wine without worrying about the daggum corks. I plan to make a "cork board" for my kitchen with the two bags of corks I snagged for $5.

I also picked up 4 gold frames at $1 a piece and bought fabric to fill them. They are now hanging in the guestroom in my house. Not a bad price at only $7 a picture after the price of expensive fabric. I'll post a picture of the new guest bedroom wall next week...before and after.

Its amazing what you can do with a staple gun.

I'm OBSESSED with the bumble bee fabric... it reminds me of Slane&Slane

Overall it was a successful trip and I'm sure there will be many more to post about.

With a bargain of traditions,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Closed-Toed Shoes Dilemma

Last summer, I enjoyed my months of vacation work free. I slept in most mornings then spent my days crafting, shopping, lunching with friends, and planning for my move into my very own house.
Now, a year later, I am missing those stress free days. This coming summer will be much different as I take on the dreaded SUMMER JOB... dun, dun, dun...

I actually lucked out on a great opportunity to work at the recreation center a block from my house as the co-directer for the summer. I wasn't quite aware of how tedious the job was going to be until I started training every day after teaching this past week. Training from 3:30-8:30pm after teaching for the whole day can really take the energy out of you. But, I have enjoyed the job so far and will be starting full time as soon as school is out.

And that means no break for me...but the thing that I'm most distraught about is the fact that I have to wear CLOSED TOED SHOES all summer long! Who does that?!? I'm a sandal wearing southern gal and live in my Jack Rogers... now my poor toes are going to be cramped in shoes every day for 2 whole months!

So, I took this dilemma and turned it into a perfect excuse to buy myself a pair of TOMS which I've been contemplating for quite some time now. After visiting 6 different store (the sad thing is that I'm not exaggerating) I finally settle on a the burlap canvas TOMS... and I'm in love with them already. *Bonus: they were worth the $46 I spent because now I actually have comfortable teaching shoes too!
Have you jumped onto the TOMS bandwagon?
With a stylish closed-toed shoe-wearing summer,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Food Makeover Success

I realized today that life has been so overwhelmingly hectic the past two weeks that I've neglected my blog stalking and writing. After spending hours catching up on my favorite reads, I figured I would update you on my last post about the healthy skin diet.
It has been almost two weeks since I started my new diet and I am shocked at the results. Now I'm kicking myself for not taking a before picture of my skin so that I could show the difference after only a few weeks of changing what I eat. I've had several people (including my mother) comment on how great my face looked this weekend... and that is without makeup which is more than a big deal for me!
Over the past two weeks, this has been my daily menu:
  • Starbucks Iced Coffee with Non-Fat milk and lightly sweetened (I need my caffeine!)
  • Kashi Almond Flax Chewy Granola Bar (300mg Omega3s!)
  • 1/4 cup of raw unsalted all natural almonds
  • Fresh fruit: pear, apple or orange
  • 8oz. water
  • Spinach salad with fresh mushrooms, almond slices, craisins, avocado, and light raspberry walnut dressing
  • OR cottage cheese and pineapple
  • Diet Caffeine Free Coke
  • Grilled Tilapia or Cod
  • Beans or Zucchini
  • Spinach Salad with almond slices and vinaigrette
  • 8oz water

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Skin Healthy Diet

Today, I began my skin healthy diet. After years of struggling with constant breakouts and unpredictable skin, I've resorted to solve my blemishes with a new diet. I've tried every face wash on the market from expensive monthly delivery systems to doctor recommended products and nothing seems to have a long term effect. I spent hours researching food to add to and eliminate from my diet to help purify my skin.

Foods to Add:
1. Almonds
(Vitamin E source: Now my pre-lunch snack. I bought a huge bag of all natural/unsalted almonds and put 1/4 cup of them into snack bags. I replaced my candy bowl with these healthy little snacks to go.)
2. Avocado
(B-vitamin source: Fresh avocado is a great addition to a salad. I recommend adding lemon juice after cutting and if you plan to store some for later, keep the pit in the container with the remaining avocado.)
3. Fresh Mushrooms
(B2 source: Another great addition to a salad.)
4. Flax seed Oil
(Omega 3 source: I'm hooked on Kashi's Almond and Flax seed bars.)
5. Cottage Cheese
(Selenium source: Antioxidant)
6. Fish
(I prefer salmon and cod.)

Foods to Eliminate:
1. Caffeine
(Thank goodness for Caffeine Free Diet Coke!)
2. Processed Sugar
(No fruit juices, alcohol, vinegar, chocolate... no fun!)
3. White Flours
(No pastas, bread, cake, cookies... that included wheat.)
4. Dairy
(No milk, cheese... I'm struggling here!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Freebie for TV!

A little over a week ago, I learned about a new App for my iPhone that I have now fallen in love with instantly. For those Foursquare lovers out there (such as myself) you will get hooked the minute you check in to this new App for the first time. But instead of checking in to different locations to earn points to compete with your friends; Viggle allows you to check in to TV shows that you are watching and earn points to redeem for gift cards. Yes, you heard me right. You can earn gift cards by merely watching your favorite weekly shows. I was a skeptic of this App when I first heard about it, so I wanted to put it to the test before sharing it.

The App is FREE and it is available for iPhone4/4s, iPod, and iPad. After you have downloaded the free App and set up your profile, you will see a screen similar to the one below. To earn points, you need to click on the "Check In" tab and a large V will appear on your screen. With your favorite show streaming from your TV, hold you phone up and press the "V." The App will then listen to a short clip of the show that you are watching and identify the show. Then you can click "Check In"... and voila... you're earning points. There are select bonus shows each day that will give you extra points for just watching. (An average TV shows that is not a bonus show is worth 45-60 points.)
 There are numerous rewards that you can redeem your points for and these rewards are updated daily. I successfully earned 7,500 points in less than one week and earned a $5 Starbucks gift card. Now I have my eye set on that Kindle Fire but I don't think I have enough will power to wait until I have 350,000 points (that would take my a year people!) ** Note: if the reward you want goes away, wait a few days and it will reappear**

 I have successfully loaded my Starbucks gift card onto my account and IT WORKED! No longer am I a skeptic of Viggle... I'm now addicted!
With a Free Coffee for watching Grey's Anatomy,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh to be Appreciated

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
This week could not have come at a better time with our End of Grade testing beginning tomorrow for our Extend 2 students and continuing into next week for all other students. We are down to the wire and giving our best to make sure that everyone's hard work pays off.
I did a little self appreciation today and made a trip to Target after tutoring over cupcakes (sidebar: if you take a tutoring job, why not pick a location with amazing cupcakes... Genius!). Have you been to Target and seen The Shops yet? If you haven't, head on over to your nearest Target store or check out these new Shops online. I'm already falling in love with The Webster collection and Privet House collection.

Here are pieces that have caught my eye:

Racerback Tank $19.99
Sheath Dress $39.99
Flats $29.99
Jacquard Tunic $29.99
Sugar Sack Pillow $24.99

Dinner Plate Set $15.99

Wicker Caddy $16.99

Storage Box $34.99

With Self Appreciation,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Seis de Mayo

This year's Cinco de Mayo was much different from the past years'. It sadly did not involve any chimichangas or margaritas. Instead, I was teaching science all morning to 24 5th graders and babysitting for a sweet 1 1/2 year old all night. Oh how life has changed. Needless to say, I did earn some extra cash and finally bought a new lawn mower. I never thought the day would come that I would be more happy about a new lawn mower than new shoes!!
But I am making up for my lack of celebrations this weekend and am treating myself to a margarita on this Sunday afternoon while I indulge in hours of One Tree Hill reruns and catching up on my new favorite show Scandal.
I hope you've had a fabulous margarita filled Cinco de Mayo weekend... Cheers!
Happy Seis de Mayo,
The Penny Pinching Teacher

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ten Ways to Have a Good Day


a large vanilla latte in hand
music filled mornings (Pandora!)
a splash of color in your outfit
phone date with a friend
4 mile walk after work to release
an unexpected “I love you”
constant browsing on pinterest
well spent time in a great book
organizing your planning over a sweet treat
to top it all off… a nice glass of wine