Tuesday Tip-Dealing with Teens

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

four men sitting on platform
Photo by kat wilcox on Pexels.com

Are there teens in your life?  I have been thinking about writing this post for awhile because I am with teens close to 24/7!  Why am I qualified to write this?  I am not!  But, I have 17 year old twin boys and I have been a high school teacher for 26 years. 

I personally love teenagers!  I think they are fun, funny, sharp, caring, open-minded, but they are also scared, in a state of limbo, dealing with new responsibilities and emotions.  I would say that being a teen today may just be harder than ever before.  There is so much pressure on them to already know what they want to study, to get the highest test scores possible, to play all the sports and be in all the activities.  And, on top of that, think about the social media aspect of their lives.  So, before you deal with a teen, I think it’s important to think about these things and come to them with a little more understanding.  Now, do I always practice what I preach?  No.  I have my share of head butting with my kids and my students.  

First of all, as a parent, set boundaries.  They are not grown up yet and still need you.  I might argue that they need you more now than ever.  Set age requirements and parameters for social media usage.  The kids want boundaries and they like to be able to blame you the parents so they don’t look uncool.  

It’s too hard to do school and work a part time job for many kids. Their primary job is student right now.  Most of them say they have to work to pay for college, but my bet is that the $100 or so a week is not going to savings and the loss of sleep and time to work on school isn’t worth it.  If a teen can put that time towards getting those high grades, the scholarships will pay off far more than the part time job.  I am all for summer employment, though!  

One of the biggest issues I see with teens is lack of sleep.  The teen brain is not ready to go to sleep too early but school start times work against them.  The majority of my teens in class and my own kids can’t get more than 6 hours of sleep a night and we all know that isn’t enough at this age.  Also, I am amazed at how many kids are allowed to go to concerts or other late night events (sometimes even out of town!) on a school night and then they are allowed to sleep in or just miss the entire next day.  That is not an excused absence and the parents lie and say they were sick.  

Speaking on this topic, you are not your kids’ friend. They have plenty of friends(hopefully) but they only have two parents.  It sucks to say “no” and be the bad guy but you have to sometimes.  One of my sons was recently mad at me for not letting him go to a party that started at 9:30 when he had theatre and choral auditions early the next day.  Come on parents, why did the party need to start that late?  Because I said “no” he was upset and it spurred a long conversation.  The next time he asked to do something with that group it was a 9:00 p.m. movie on a Friday that didn’t get out until 11:30.  I was able to say “yes” to that.  

Listen more than you talk – Gosh this is so hard for me.  I have found that if I let my boys come to me and if I don’t throw 20 questions at them they will tell me more.  I think teens are like cats – do not approach; let them come to you.  Ha!  Just kidding, but many of the best conversations occur in the car when you don’t have to make eye contact,too.  Look for ways to be one on one with your teen.  Also, always start with a positive before a negative comment.  I do this in my parent teacher conferences, too.  Example:  “I really love ____’s enthusiasm, however he needs to save it for the pep rally.  In my class, I expect him to act like a civilized human.”  

Pick your battles.  Does that horrible shirt really matter that much?  Does it really matter that he wore that shirt two days ago?  Teens are figuring out their style and they have favorites and it’s probably not that big of a deal.  Say yes when you can say yes.

Let them email the teachers with questions and take care of their own business.  Let them call to make their own hair appointments.  In college, you aren’t allowed to contact professors anymore.  They need to learn how to do this when they are under your roof.  Do not rescue them every time they forget something at home.  They have to figure out how to deal with the consequences.  

Don’t create roadblocks for success.  I have already touched on this but I cannot tell you how hard it is to miss school at the high school level.  We have 7 classes a day and so that could mean 7 assignments.  If they miss 2 days, that becomes 14 assignments.  Help your kids to be at school on time almost every day.  Sometimes the school calendar isn’t convenient but I have had many students tell me that their parents are insisting they miss school and they don’t want to.  I have also had kids have to miss school to babysit for siblings.  

Understand the teen brain and their chemistry to some degree.  Teens are very implusive.  Sometimes they don’t know why they act the way they do.  Remember that they are not fully formed yet. 

Keep saying I love yous even when they don’t say it back.  I have one son who tells me he loves me multiple times a day.  The other finds it much harder.  I will often text the I love yous or the I am so proud of yous.  Remember that teen language is through texting.  I have heard one student talk about the funny gifs their parent sends them and how it makes them feel loved.  

Find things to praise and laugh with your teens.  They are really fun at this age.  They can watch the same movies now and get the more mature humor.  Look for stand up comedians on t.v. or take them to a comedy show.  They really love music at this age.  They are in a constant state of earbuds in ears.  Remember how much music helped you as a teen?  I wrote lyrics out on all of notebooks.  

Try to keep some shred of self esteem for yourself!  I almost think there should be workshops for parents of teens or maybe even support groups.  I really miss my sweet little boys and the simple days we had.  But, I love the men they are becoming.  I love my students, too, and cherish keeping in touch with them after they graduate.  

What have I forgotten? 


Hello Monday!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Did you notice the exclamation point is back?  It’s because I am out of school today!  I was also out Friday!  Actually, I worked these days already through my professional development this summer.  I am linking up with Heather, etc. so go right here!  

So, Friday morning I had probably the second best donut of my life.  I am not a big donut person but the best donut is from my hometown and it has white icing and tiny chocolate chips.  This donut was on the way to our first college visit of senior year.  It was a glazed donut with decadent chocolate on top and the donut itself was amazing.  I could only eat half; don’t worry I ate the other half later.  

College visit selfie.  

This was a full circle moment.  We visited the college where our wedding reception was held (the building below with the columns)!  Neither of us went to college there but I am from a small town without many options for receptions.  

Both boys really liked it, but Mason LOVED it.  It hit me this weekend how hard this is to do with twins.  They have different interests and different wants in a school.  I can’t recommend enough to visit when kids are on campus and to let your kids sit in on a class.  They also got to meet the professor afterwards.  Mason went to an English class with only 15 students where he got to participate in the discussion and then the professor talked to him after the class for over an hour and gave him a book to keep!  What a great experience even if this isn’t going to be his college.  

When we got home, I made dinner and then Jack went to a 9:00 showing of The Joker.

Saturday Mason went to The Joker with his friends.  I made my first pot of chili!  

I had some errands and also treated myself to Starbuck’s  

I finally changed after 5 weeks to Malaga Wine dip by OPI.  

Saturday was gorgeous.  The morning was really cool but then it got up to 80.  Sunroof, baby!  

Tom and I went back to 3rd Turn brewery in the old greenhouse for their Octoberfest.  

The “German” food was not good.  I could lie and tell you it was, but it was bad.  I’m glad we split this plate.  I only took 4 bites.  

My beer was really good, though.  It was number 2 on the menu above.  

We left pretty early and just watched some new fall sitcoms on the DVR.  

Sunday was lazy and I made pumpkin bread.  

My yard was starting to get the fall memo!  

I ate a bowl of chili and a slice of pumpkin bread on the patio.  My chili recipe is coming soon.  I think it’s really good and super easy!  

And, finally, we don’t usually go out on Sunday nights but we had an early dinner reservation with our good friends and their daughter (their other daughter is away at college) and our boys.  This Day of the Dead themed Mexican restaurant just opened in a renovated church.  

Mason got the ribs.  He said they were super spicy with Mexican seasonings.  

I got a blackberry drink.  

and fish tacos.  It was a great atmosphere and great food!

It was a fun way to spend a Sunday night with no school the next day!  

What did you do this weekend?  Hope it was great!



Friday Faves

Friday, October 4, 2019

Happy Friday all!  This is a special Friday for us because we don’t have school today – or Monday or Tuesday!  But, I do work on Tuesday because it is Parent Teacher Conference Day.  The students get a nice 5 day weekend.  Also, our 90+ degree weather is supposed to change to 70s today!  

I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. so go here for more posts.  

Here are some random favorites for you!  Please leave me a comment and let me know what your favorites were this week!  

I have not tried this on yet, but I saw this on the internet and thought it was gorgeous. It is a poncho and looks like great quality – Target A New Day.  Here is a link for it.  I thought the price was reasonable and I plan to try it with black skinny jeans.  I love the combo of black and camel.  

Aren’t they so cute?  These are my twin niece and nephew. I love them so much! 


I am a baby when it comes to my sleep.  We had our bedroom window cut out to lead to the addition and then our drywall was done in the addition.  We had an industrial fan running one night and the smell of drywall was bad.  I didn’t sleep well that night.  The next night there was no fan but still the smell, so…

I plugged in this Bath and Body wallflower in Mahagony Teakwood next to my side and it smelled amazing and really kept the drywall smell away for me.  


Here’s what the opening looks like now:


So, our current bedroom will be our master bath and this opening leads to his and hers walk in closets and our new bedroom.  Construction update coming soon but I don’t want to bore anyone!  

My favorites then would be the wallflower and the amazing mahogany teakwood scent!  And, I guess progress on the renovation, but it is moving very slowly like I knew it would.  My husband is managing the project. We didn’t hire a general contractor.  

I love these non-slip hangers so much.  They are 2 for 1.00 at my Dollar Tree right now so I picked up 8 more.  I need to do a good closet clean out and inventory my fall clothes.  

When my boys were in elementary school, a mom said that grape juice can prevent stomach viruses – Hi A!  My boys don’t drink soft drinks but they love grape juice.  I think it might work but I know it does have many of the same benefits of red wine?  

I really want this sweater!  I don’t often think of Aerie but I want to look into them.  I know their stuff is ridiculously soft and I love the quality of American Eagle.  

I picked this up on a whim.  It is really good!  I have a Keurig at home and at school and lately I have been drinking two cups a morning.


The nail saga continues:  I was too lazy to make an appointment this week so now these are 5 week old nails tomorrow!  

Did you read my pet peeve post yesterday?  I hope it didn’t come off as too snarky!  

Did you see my What I Wore and Transition Tops ideas Wednesday?  

What are you up to this weekend?  

We have a college visit for my senior twins, I would like to see Downton Abbey, I want to go to a brewery for their Octoberfest, I need to clean, and I’m very excited about trying a new Mexican restaurant in an old church with our friends B and B!

As always, thanks for reading!  You make my day!  



Thursday (Negative) Thoughts – My Pet Peeves

Thursday, October 3, 2019

man person face portrait
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I try to keep it positive around here (I hope!) but today I thought it would be fun to share my pet peeves. Fun for me to get these things off my chest at least! You may read this and think I’m an insufferable grumpy middle aged shrew?  Hope not!  I hope you can relate or laugh! 

  • When people are late – I’m not talking five minutes late – that’s nothing to me. I’m talking 30 minutes to an hour late kind of late. One of my best friends is guilty of this. One time I was actually so perturbed that by the time she arrived I was in a bad mood and it affected our time together. I hate that I felt that way, but I’m busy, too, and my time was wasted that I could have done something else.  
  • Speaking of busy, I hate hearing people drone on about how busy they are – ha!  We are all busy and people really do not want to hear about it.  I try really hard not to do this.  
  • When people don’t text me back it really irks me. I will even give you a 24 hour grace period. I have a friend who doesn’t text back sometimes. I am also best friends with her husband (I introduced them 20 years ago!) so I will just text him but it bothers me.  If someone texts when I am teaching or already asleep I may forget, too, but I try really hard to clean out my texts and make sure there was not one I missed responding to.  
  • People who are rude to servers or who don’t tip enough. We had a friend who we used to go out with in groups a long time ago and he thought it was “cute” to give servers a hard time and then would only leave 10%. Needless to say we don’t go out with him anymore. My friend and I would go slip more cash for his tip! I was a waitress for several years and think everyone should do this job because it teaches you a lot about life.  I try really hard not to be difficult and to tip at least 20% but oftentimes more because they are working really hard and probably really need the money.  
aluminum black and white business cart
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • How hard is it to return your grocery cart to a cart corral? Park next to one if you can’t be bothered to walk 10 feet. I tell my students this is an informal personality test and you can tell a lot about a person by whether they do this simple gesture or not – ha!
person wearing pair of brown leather loafers
Photo by Avinash Patel on Pexels.com
  • If I let you out in traffic you better give me the courtesy thank you wave. I guess this comes from living in a friendly area. Almost everyone lets people out and receives a wave. I wonder if this is the case for my northern friends?
  • All.the.Walmart.blog.posts.can.stop.already. I just read one about getting tailgating supplies at Walmart – at least it wasn’t another fashion post. We know we can get Solo cups there, ok? I’m not even joking; the blogger linked to Solo cups.
  • And speaking of Walmart fashion posts, another blogger had a caption that read a “Walmart Tops Under $100” and my head snapped and I did a double take! I had to click on her link and this is what I saw. So now Walmart is selling designer wear? I do have one Walmart Time and True blouse but the quality isn’t great in my opinion and the fit is a bit off. (Sorry to those of you that love your Wal-Mart clothing; I just don’t think it’s that good.) I am just tired of all of these sponsored posts. I don’t think these bloggers really wear this stuff. I read several blogs (probably too many) and on any given day, there may be five Walmart posts. I guess I should just click away! I have seriously had a bad experience every time I have shopped or returned something at Walmart.  But, I also know that many people who live in small towns rely on Walmart.  
  • Target needs to stop trying to look like a high end department store in their clothing section (and other sections). Don’t mix the accessories with the clothes. I need Target to stay Target. I love you just the way you are/were, Target!  Do not change!  

What are your pet peeves?  Whew – I feel better!  

Let’s all get it off of our chests today!




What I Wore Wednesday and Fall Transition Tops

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

This is a hard time of year to dress!  I have said it before and I will say it again!  I am so tired of my spring and summer clothes since I have been wearing them since April and they seem not quite right for the calendar.  This leaves me with a small selection of fall colored clothing that still works for the 90 degree weather!  

Here are a couple of recent outfits that I thought looked o.k. and some of my favorite tops that work right now!  

I love this blouse.  It has a built in tank and then is kind of a poncho on top.  I got it last year from Steinmart and it is the perfect blouse for this time of year.  I think I should have gone down a size, though.  I would love to find more patterns in this style.  Hue jeggings and faux leather clogs complete the outfit.  

Here are the stars of the last couple of weeks…

The famous Walmart blouse.  I actually liked the rust orange version better but knew this would work with my wardrobe.  

Give me all the camo, but especially this time of year.  This was last year from Versona. I also have a Target camo dress but I have not felt much like dresses and skirts lately.



This adorable (in my opinion) patterned top is several years old from Anthropologie and it was on major sale.  This rust color is supposed to be super hot right now, too!  I have to wear a cami under it and a cardi over it.  But, I did wear it last week and I will show that again below, too!  img_9297.jpg


The Steinmart blouse from the first outfit.  img_9298.jpg

Major sale from Anthro last year.  The length is a bit long.  Maybe I should hem it, but I really like the color and lightweight sweaterish material.  I like the long seam down the front, too.  

And, during jeans week I wore the Walmart blouse.  

I think the secret is to look for fall colors in lighter weight fabrics.  I love, love, love all of the fall colors – wine, olive, mustard, rust – what about you?  

What are your transition pieces and what have you been wearing lately?  


Prime Purchases

Monday, October 1, 2019

Happy October all!  It is now socially acceptable to make all things pumpkin!  

Hubs’ name:  My friend and faithful blog reader from Sweden guessed it on the first try – Tom!  

I am linking up with Tanya for her Prime Purchases.  Go see her – she is a sweetheart!  


Most of these items are for my son Mason.  He is in a women in literature class this year and the travel journal is required for his Europe trip and the Adidas are his back to school shoe.  

The mascara primer is for me.  The other beauty things are for my best friend – a favorite things basket.  The fortune cookies were for a school activity.  My students wrote fortunes in Spanish and I surprised them by attaching them to a cookie the next day!  

I have been buying the Amazon e-gift card and I really like that.  Everyone can find something they like that way!  

And, the killer bee glasses have been so fun!  

What have you primed lately?


Hello Monday

Monday, September 30, 2019

This is going to be a short one today!  Linking up with Heather, Tanya, etc.  at My Glittery Heart and The Other Side of the Road.

Friday night I made a reservation at Ciao, the Italian restaurant next to the youth theatre.  

Their breadsticks are soooo good!  When our food came we were in a hurry to get to our play so no photos!  We saw a play called She Kills Monsters.  Our son wasn’t in it but wanted to support his friends.  

Saturday morning was a busy one.  I did get a pumpkin spice latte!  Who cares that is was 95 degrees and will be until this Friday!  This is not normal for us.  We are having a hot September/October.  Jack had theatre and all state choir try outs.  Mason had to go to a friend’s house.  I had to do grocery because it had gotten down to bare cupboards!  I have not done curbside pick up in months.  I need to get back to that!  The last time I did it was a royal disaster.  My order was really wrong.  

I started this – the first one is definitely way better but it’s still amusing. Is it wrong that I’m glad the world of elementary class mom, PTA, etc. are behind me?  I was classmom many times for one boy or the other (they never were in the same class) and I think I was inside the school at least once a week.  

This is really good!  

And, Sunday I had things to grade! img_9434.jpg

I read on my patio for a bit on Sunday even though it was hot; there was a nice breeze plus my fan!  

Hub and I went to Closets By Design and I went to Sherwin Williams again.  I am gravitating toward slate blue, grey, and greige.  We are basically re-painting the whole upstairs.  I want the dining room and kitchen to be the same because they are open to each other.  I want the mudroom to be a complementary shade to that.  I am not sure about the hallway, living room, guest bath, master bed and bath yet.  Lots of decisions to be made.  Sherwin Williams has paint 30% off right now and then it goes 40% off October 18.  Maybe waiting will pay off?  

Saturday night we got takeout and Sunday night we ate the leftovers.  

How was your weekend?  

We have a four day week this week and a three day week the following for a total of five days off for students.  This is all we get for a fall break.  I only have four days off because next Tuesday is Parent Teacher Conference Day, but I will take it.  

We are doing a college visit, working on college applications, getting haircuts, and trying out a new Mexican Restaurant with friends.  Also, this week we have a closet designer coming over and I am soooooo excited!  

Any more tips on paint or closet design or the college process are appreciated!  I need advice on everything really!  

Oh, also, I’m ready to start using hub’s name now, too.  Any guesses?  If you’re new here, I kept my sons’ names anonymous until recently.  It was fun hearing your guesses!  

Thanks for reading!


Friday Favorites!

Friday, September 27 2019

Happy Friday!  I am linking up today with Andrea, etc. right here!  

For those of you following along on my dip nail journey – ha – this is four weeks tomorrow!  Sorry for the poor photo quality but you can see the regrowth at the cuticle.  I got tired of my first dip which was pink/salmon very quickly but as I am definitely more of a dark color person, this has not gotten old for me.  I plan to go back to get them redone either tomorrow or early next week.  What color should I do next?  I am thinking a wine/burgundy color – too soon for that?  

I have not really done much this week except work and go home!  I am starting to look at paint colors for master bedroom and mudroom.  Here is a mudroom photo that I really like.  I would like to do a grey somewhere and maybe the mudroom would work for that, but it will need to work with new kitchen color and I have not decided that yet, either!  

I do think I will stay in the warm tones for the bedroom.  And, I want that to work with the master bath.  Any suggestions?  I do believe we will use Sherwin Williams paint.  

I am trying this at level 2 and I have never done this before with that low of a level of Spanish.  I do this at level 3 and above.  I am excited to see if they can carry on a conversation only in Spanish after just having one year and 6 weeks of Spanish.  I know it is all up to me and how I set it up.  I am excited because I have some really great kids and I think they can do this!  img_9388

Our boy Jack joined choir for the first time as a senior.  I am proud of him for doing this and we witnessed his first concert Tuesday night in our open air courtyard.  

Back to house stuff – here is a kitchen color I like.  

I ran out this week and this is a lotion I really like.  It is very similar to Oil of Olay I think.  

Drywall started on our project this week and this will be my closet!  Just mine!  I have never had a walk in closet!  I get to help figure out how to configure the rods and shelving.  I am so excited about this.  My clothes are seriously unorganized right now.  

What have been your faves this week?  

Any color suggestions are appreciated!  Should mudroom and kitchen match?  Should master bed and bath match?  Would it look more modern and interesting to have complimentary colors?  

Happy happy weekend!  We are busy but not all plans are firm yet – see you back here Monday to find out what we did!



Matilda Jane Pants II – My Entire Collection

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Did you see my recent post on why I love Matilda Jane brand pants here?  Are you tired of hearing about them?  Ha!  I thought I would do one more follow up and show you my collection.  I wanted to show this for my first post but my full time job got in the way – just keeping it real here!  Only three of my MJ pants were purchased full price ($59) and the rest were consignment finds.  Yes, I am lucky to live in a city with GREAT consignment stores!  Also, this was over a year a year’s time and also these are the staple of my pants wardrobe.  I don’t think I need any more at this point!  

I apologize for the wrinkles in the photos below.  I let all of them hang dry and then I use Downy wrinkle release before hanging them.  They are excellent quality and the only thing I dislike is the giant tag.  

This is the $18 new with tags consignment pair that started it all.  I have noticed this is a 2019 Pantone color of the year, too, by the way.  It is a very dark evergreen with grey notes.  They have really worked with a lot of my clothes.  All of the pants you will see below I think work for all of the seasons except for my velvet ones.  


This light moss green color hits me where a capri pant would.  I wear these the least of all of my pairs but I still like them.  These were also around $18 consignment.  


These are a little bit lighter than a navy but I have had a lot of tops that work with them.  They were from a Facebook sale and under $15.  


Another pair from my local consignment store and these are really a size small but they work.  I have found I can wear 2-3 different sizes of these and I’m going to cover the waist with a top anyway.  I really like the brown and grey combo.  


These are my two full priced pairs that I bought together.  One is just the regular material and the other is velvet.  I found that I wore them to all of my holiday events last year. img_9290.jpg

And, this is my last full price pair that I ordered most recently.  These required a hem but my tailor was able to keep the fun bottoms.  These are called the Finn.  

And, my last two were also part of the Facebook sale along with the blue ruffle.  I thought this olive green was really unique and again they had to hemmed and my tailor simply moved up the detail on the bottom.  img_9292.jpg

And, finally these also had to be hemmed and she used the same method.  These are the most casual of the bunch and I think they will be my weekend pants. img_9293.jpgI am a little embarrassed as I know I have quite the collection.  This is kind of what I do – when I like something I go all in!  But:  they make me happy, they fit great and I think they are flattering, they are great quality, I love the unique vibe, and they work with my lifestyle and my other pieces.  And, I was lucky to find some great deals on them through my consignment shopping skills and the Facebook sale I found.  

If you want to jump in, I would definitely say to just get a black ruffle pair or the black Finn pant.  Let me know if you have any questions?
Also, do you have a brand that you swear by?  I am always interested in this because I truly value quality and tried a true products.

Thanks for reading!




What I Wore Wednesday

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Thank you for following me on my new blog Instagram account!  

Happy hump day to you!  

I want to work on the areas of athleisure and night out clothing in my wardrobe.  I picked up these blush pants at a sporting goods store by Carrie Underwood – the brand Calia.  They were majorly reduced.  


Last winter I really wanted a velvet kimono from this local boutique but it was $80 so I did not get it.  Target does it again.  A New Day brand had this in the accessories section for $27.  I can still return it, but I think it will be great for holiday and winter outings.  

Here is the detail in the light.  

Last week was spirit week and this was my attempt at decades day – I went with 70s.  

My co-worker did 50s.  

This was just a typical day at school.  Another day another pair of Matilda Jane pants!  

This was my Sunday boat outfit.  

This was outdoor concert attire.  I wore my most comfortable Reef flip flops, drawstring linen shorts, and white Old Navy top because it was still going to be hot until the sun went down.

And, last outfit…


And, this week at school is jeans week to raise money for pediatric cancer.  If you are a jeans person, this is your fall uniform.  Get just a couple of pairs of jeans that fit you great and a couple of cute blouses and for simple accessory – ADVdesigns leather earrings on Etsy.  I have not talked about these clogs – I ordered them in the spring and they finally came in the summer.  They were around $20 and you get what you pay for!  They are not real leather but I guess they look o.k.!

What is your favorite?  What are you wearing this week?