Friday, October 31, 2014

evolution of Halloween

Halloween has been a holiday that I have always wanted to get into, but I haven't really been able to successfully pull it off. 
Last night Mark and I were trying to figure out what to do tomorrow and I declared that next year, i'm going Alison Show style and planning a Halloween bash for our friends. I'm doing it. No one can stop me.
So here is a little evolution of my Halloween days. It's been it's fair amount of rough, ya know?  Also, apparently my parents don't love me enough to take pictures of me when I was little in my costume because I couldn't find A SINGLE ONE!
So, we're starting in my teens. 

You guys have seen the tragedy that is my pizza and inflatable cow costumes:
(Can I add that my blog gets at least 7 hits a week for people googling "Inflatable Cow Costume?" 
I used to get several emails a month inquiring as to where I bought it. It's actually kind of weird.)
Judging by my nephew who just turned 14 and is above six feet and he looks about four in this picture, I would say I am 14 here.

This was my fifteen year old costume year. A pizza. A greasy, not even appetizing pizza. It was as terrible as it gets.

So then, Freshman year I got the memo that girls are supposed to dress cute on Halloween. I was mega, meeegggga poor first semester because of my AXO dues/pin so I gathered together what I had for a pre-Halloween party. I present to you, the hot mess express....

What exactly was I supposed to be????? I honestly don't even know. Thankfully, Karly or Katie intervened and I sorted things out for the Howl.

Man, that Howl was successful for my Freshman year self.


My sophomore and junior year, I moved into the sorority house. That was evident at times...
Sophomore year. Wearing my Mom's gypsy costume from the eighties. Yikes. But i'll be damned if those boobs don't look amazing.




The Pirate costume that lasted me for three years...


And other times it wasn't.

 Yeah, I was a Grandma for a pre-halloween party two years in a row. 

Then during my senior year, Mark and I started dating which meant precious couple costumes. Except if you know Mark, you know he doesn't really play that game. 



That bring us to this year. I obviously have to be at school today so I needed something professional yet cute! I realized I had a red skirt from downeast and yellow shoes, so that lead to Minnie! I only had to buy the ears, I even had the felt for the spots. I actually didn't end up buying the ears because my Minnie Ears didn't come from Etsy on time so I got them for free from a neighbor and got my money back from the etsy lady. 


Cheapest costume? Yes. Most successful? Maybe. Classiest? Absolutely.
Also, what are your thoughts about the red lipstick? My lips are HUGE. So it's hard. But I tried a different technique today so we'll see if it helped.


Tonight we are going to my parents to watch my cute lil niece and nephew trick or treat and then probably going to see Nightcrawler. I HATEEE scary movies, they are THE worst so, we're in negotiatons. 

Happy Halloween!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

excuse me while I glorify "busy"

I feel like lately I have seen a lot of haters of the word/concept of "busy" 
a few weeks ago we talked in relief society about busy-ness being "buried under satans yolk" and I was like "I mean, that's a lil intense, but I get it." and I totallllllly get it. 
I also hate when people say they have been ~*~* sooo BusSy LaTely~*~*~ and it's just super pretentious and annoying.
However, I HATE feeling bad when I say that i'm busy. I'm not trying to be pretentious or unrighetous, i'm just trying to be true. 
I am, by far, the busiest I have ever been in my LIFE. 
When I say that, I feel like I have to justify telling people I am busy. So then I go into this monologue: 
Every day I run about 200,000 miles a minute at school. Seriously. I sit down at about 3:30 every day and i'm like "phew!" like I just ran a marathon in a hurricane. 
Then I have to scramble to make sure everything is prepared for the next day, which usually puts me home about 5:00 where I continue planning for the next day/try to have some relationship with Mark/try not to eat total junk and then after a few hours, around 7:30, I start studying for my Praxis that is in two weeks (!!!)

It's rough trying to convince people you are busy because I feel like it's innate in everyone to "one up" you with the stories of how their lives are busy.  I know I am so guilty of this. My friend has been working really hard on a project lately and saying how she is so busy but in my head i'm like "you're not busy. I saw you had time to make a Pinterest craft last week so obviously i'm way busier than you!" Maybe i'm just the only douche who does this, actually....

Anyway, my point is that PEOPLE ARE BUSY. Everyone is freaking busy and we should just stop being jerks about it. If someone didn't text you back for two days and when they finally do they say they are sorry, they were busy and forgot, don't roll your eyes (me), just be like "hey man, that's cool. busy happens." 

I don't know why I have been SO fired up about this lately. It's just a thing, ya know? Maybe because I have been ticking a lot of people off by not really being "present" and then i'm like "DUDESDOYOUUNDERSTANDWHATMYLIFEISRIGHTNOW" 
so basically i'm self conscious and psychotic. Does this post even makes sense?


Ok, here are some pictures. 

Remember I told you about my friend/cousin Codi? She is doing a reality show on E! network, House of DVF. I visited her in NYC while she was filming and it was, to say the least, surreal. Anyway her first episode aired early On Demand and well....all I have to say is that producers LOVE editing, don't they? 


We went to Velour this week for the release of our friend's EP. They play in a band called Kitfox and they are just lovely. Check it out HERE.



 I keep trying to get a good picture of the gallery wall Mark hung above my desk for me but since that sttttuuuuppppid temperature thingy is right there, I can never get a good picture of it. However, it's my favorite corner of the house!


See those pink fuzzy slippers? Mark hates them. For good reason, since I wear them upstairs and inevitably get hot and ditch them somewhere so he is constantly picking them up. Anyway, this day I couldn't find them and immediately accused him of stealing them and throwing them away. Hahhhh. They were under our bed. Woops. 

Also that cup i'm drinking from? Mark also hates that cup. Haha.



So for our Greek Unit final I told my kids they could make food (amongst a bunch of other projects) and so last Wednesday I was fed SO MUCH and it was the best day of my life and I really patted myself on the back and said "Good thinkin, teach."
BAKLAVA FO DAYZZZ.

This kid put the Greek alphabet on cookies and I said...I accept. Take your A.



 I took my niece and nephew to a ward halloween carnival. They are almost Irish Twins so I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the night. I have honestly no idea how my sister and brother in law do it. 

She is the cutest dang thing but has no clue how to smile for pictures. No clue! Oh, Hallie. 

We went to Provo and ate at The Slab since my little brother in law swears by it. Since Mark wasn't being adventurous and just got three meat, I got Thai Chicken. I was pretty good but also WAY too heavy on the peanut butter. I don't regret it but wouldn't get it again? Ya know. 


Then we went to Velour (again) and saw Moth & The Flame.  We were right in the front. Literally front row. I felt bad because I heard this girl a few rows back who was *fangirling out of her mind* and honestly I could not have cared less and I was right in the front. 
Everyone shizzes their pants about Moth & The Flame but I wasn't impressed. Srrrry. 





So, Mark and I have already started talking about Christmas (sorry if that grosses you out) and we set a budget and a plan for Christmas plans for each other. Mark knows exactly what he wants and then some. I don't really know what I want other than some Agnes and Dora leggings and the shirt below....

HOMEWARD BOUND + DRAKE. You guyyyys I think this shirt is beyond hilarious and no one else does. I got really upset after showing our friend this shirt and he didn't even COURTESY laugh. Mark was like "Riley, just admit it's not funny." 
Someone, validate me. Quick.

Source: Passive Juice Motel

If anyone has stocking stuffer ideas for men, let me know! I searched Pinterest and they had nothing but the worst suggestions like "bungee cords!" ?????? Sorry, but I don't think Mark would be overjoyed finding even ONE bungee cord in his stocking. 

Have a good week!


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

backwards design



We have this thing in education, it's called backwards design lesson plan. This idea of backwards design is how you should plan everything you present to your kids.  What do you ultimately want your students to take away from this class, lesson or unit? What do you want them to learn? Then, just as the name states, you work backwards from that. 

Example... we are doing an Ancient Greece simulation in my history class. For the first day, I said "What do I need my students to understand by the time class is over today?" I decided they needed to know information about city-states and Gods & Goddesses. So we did one activity about city-states and one about Gods and Goddesses. Pretty simple.

Today as I was walking to school, thinking about what a bad day I was going to have because it's B-day and well, B-day is extremely difficult for me. Then I decided to backwards design myself, What do I want from this day? I want to teach my B4 class without losing my cool. I want to be productive. I don't want to be a couch potato. I want to drink a Diet Coke. I want to make a delicious dinner. I want to have a good day! Who wakes up wanting to have a bad day? No one, I tell you. No one.

I used to describe myself as a positive person. On job applications when it asks "what are three words to describe yourself" I would say bubbly, positive, and reliable. It was only last year that I was like "Holy crap, I'm not positive at all. I'm actually really negative." It's not like I believe life is pointless and we should all just die, how could you really think like that? However, I am realistic to a fault. I don't really have high expectations for anything, ever. If I am going to an event i'm like "Well this could suck," and then I am just pleasantly surprised if it doesn't. It's a super annoying trait that I have developed, if I may say so.

I need to find a balance between positive thinking as well as remaining realistic and I think that means setting goals, backwards-designing my life. I don't mean big goals like "Be HAPPY!" or "Survive Student Teaching" but really small, manageable goals.  Today I had two hours of prep time. Honestly, i'm worthless during prep. I usually walk home and watch TV and eat. Today I asked myself, "What do I want to get out of these next two hours?" I wanted to be able to grade papers, plan out my timeline for my lessons for the next two weeks, get a diet coke and go thank the art teacher. I did all of those things during my prep time today and I honestly felt so good. I couldn't stop smiling, even when a kid dropped the F-bomb in my last class of the day. Backwards-designing my life, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, it keeps me realistic, it keeps me positive. Did I have my moments today where I was like "My goal for this hour is not to kill this little critter child. I am failing miserably right now." but having the goal in my mind really helped me not to totally lose it.

So there's a lil bit of teacher wisdom for you today.
HAGSY
(have a good school year)


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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

another day another vlog

It's time for another rendition of "Why Would Someone Give Riley A Camera?" 
Today I am reviewing the Deans List Vox Box from Influenster! There were some great items in this box so i'm filling you in, awkwardness included. 






Also, sorry I seem so breath-y. My asthma has been coming back in FULL force meaning I can't get through a sentence without having to gasp for air afterwards. Tis the season!
To summarize, the winner of this vox box was definitely the pens. The loser would probably have to be...probably the nail polish since it takes forever to dry and chips off in a few days. 
Also, we got an Etsy giftcard from our friends Alex and Ashley as a housewarming present. Mark was sad that I decorated the entire house without his input so I let him decide what to use the giftcard on. He chose the poster behind me. My nickname with my friends is "Giantess" sooo...there's that.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

and now a word from us kids

In Elementary school, I used to pretend to miss the bus so I could go over to Codi's house and watch Arthur. The other day I was doing something and randomly, "and now a word from us kids!" popped in my head. I was like...yessssss. I made my own little creation up there from when I made Mark take a picture of me in front of the beer, at the time I thought it was hilarious and now I don't know why. So...there's that.

Anyway, I could have called this post a happy list, or a iphone dump, or any of those things. Here we go!

When I come back from lunch to find notes like this on the board...

Mark and I went on a picnic and drove through the Alpine Loop.  I wasn't feeling the cute fall pictures that are popping up on every social media outlet lately. Mainly because I was so freaking exhausted this day and I had no desire for makeup. Hey, at least my hair is clean.
Also, is anyone else obsessed with KFC like I am? If I could choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would undoubtedly be their mashed potatoes and gravy. My brother used to deliver for KFC when they were about that life, so maybe that's why I love it so much. I just have had it forever.


This was right before I almost accidentally killed Mark so he is being  quite a gem about that whole thing.


Here's the most fall-esque picture I could pull off. It was SO COLD up there, I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, a jacket and a blanket and it was not enough.


I spent Fall Break at the UEA convention with my Mom. She was making me laugh pretty hard, like when she asked what a "mee-mee" was and I didn't understand what she was saying so I had her write it down...


Then she asked to take a selfie. Then she told me that she looks like a grapefruit.


So last week I won Gentri Lee's blog giveaway for a pair of Sven's Clogs. I was beside myself trying to pick a pair. I ordered this pair and instantly was like "I MADE THE WRONG CHOICE!" but I knew I would never pick a style if I didn't just pull the trigger. When they came they were so cute and I wear navy almost every day so they will get a lot of wear. They are SO comfortable. Like, the most comfortable shoe that I own. I don't feel like i'm going to teeter and fall which is huge for me since I have the world's weakest ankles. I'm constantly spraining my ankle. Anyway, i'm in trouble because I have now started a really expensive habit. After wearing these shoes for two days I can tell you they are totally worth the investment. 

Also, a word about the shirt. My Mom took me to the Overstock Warehouse. If you haven't been there, it's clear out in the boonies, off California Avenue and 5000 W. However, it's SUPER cool in there. They have really cheap rugs, furniture, decor, shoes, jewlery, art, clothes, curtains, bedspreads, anything and everything! So I was sorting through this huge box of clothes and found this Madwell chambray. The price tag said $15.00 but when we went to ring it up it was only $5.00 and then the cashier gave us a huge discount so it was like the cost of a drink at McDonalds. 
My Mom bought THE coolest rug for like $35.00 so it's absolutely worth the drive, though I was told that it's hit or miss, like a yard sale.



The other day I was really p/o'd at one thing or the other and so I took my frustrations out on our flower box. I ripped out every single dead flower and tossed the dirt. It makes our house look so much better. I'm sad that I can't plant flowers until spring, but I wanted to do something to jazz up the flower boxes. So I made these SUPER cheesy headstones. They would have been a lot cuter if I had good handwriting but alas. 


We finally ran out of our huge thing of Old Bay that we got in Maryland this summer. We put that ish on EVERYTHING so we were super panicked about how we were going to possibly get more. Then I found it in Walmart! So that's good!


Speaking of Codi, she was in In Style magazine this week! Her show airs in less than a month and the whole thing is very surreal to me so I can't imagine how she feels. It was almost a year ago when she told me she applied to a weird reality show and we all thought it was fake. Now, she is in huge magazines! Check her out on House of DVF on E! *Note- it's actually on On Demand right now if you have Comcast! I'm waiting for Mark to get home to watch it but I can't wait!*


After reading Life of Bon's post about personality tests, I decided to take the test myself! It seems pretty accurate to me. I want Mark to take it so we can analyze ourselves..woo!


We tried a new taco place on Friday, 180 Tacos in Provo. Though it was pretty pricey, it was AMAZING. Twenty thumbs up.




Well, that's all for me. I'm off to study for the Praxis...again....

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 things that have changed my life recently

Today i'm talking about....well, exactly the title of this post. Five things i've recently discovered and I  am not sure how I have lived without them for so long. So let's go!




1. NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil
So a few months ago I got a new makeup palette and so I was on YouTube searching for tutorials. I found this tutorial and almost turned it off because the girl had THE biggest white head zit I had ever seen in my life and I was going to puke. But then she introduced this NYX jumbo eye pencil. It's specified use is for eyeliner? (maybe for giantesses, it's huge!) But it's actually perfect for an eyeshadow primer! Ever since using it, my eye makeup doesn't even budge the entire day. It literally looks the exact same when I walk out of the door as it does when I come back eight hours later. It's AWESOME! Seriously.


2. Mophie Charging Case
Mark got a new phone a few months ago and the guy at the Verizon store, though he reeked like pee, actually showed us a really cool case I had never seen before. The brand is Mophie and it's exactly what it sounds like! It holds the power for a whole second charge for your phone. Since I was so jealous of Mark's, when I got my new iPhone I had to get one as well. You plug your phone in at night with the special Mophie charging cord and it charges both your phone and your phone case. Then during the day, when you feel like you need more battery, you just flip the "on" button on the back of the phone case. It took my largest first world problem, always seeking a outlet, always having a charger in my purse, always trying to conserve my battery and made it completely non-existent. I have had this charging case for over a month and my phone has only died once. It's just not something I ever have to worry about! That alone is worth the money spent on the case. Suggestion: When upgrading your phone, don't sell your phone back to your provider. Sell it on KSL for much more money and then use that money to buy a Mophie case. 


3. Agnes & Dora Leggings
I have heard about Agnes & Dora for quite a while so last week I decided to have my own party. Thanks to the 10 people who came, you jerks. Anyway, I earned a few free pairs of leggings and other fun things and HOLY CRAP you guys, their leggings are like you are lounging on a cloud. A warm, perfect cloud. They stay where they need to stay, they aren't see through (even my white-striped ones, not see through!) and just awesome in general. I have worn them pretty much 24/7 since I bought them. Their skirts are awesome too, they don't go anywhere so I'm not constantly tugging down on them. 


4. Cocomotion
 I'm a big hot chocolate person, like, year round. I used to just fill my mug up with water, microwave it for three minutes and then dump a lil packet of hot chocolate mix and some sugar in my cup. I thought it was pretty good until we got a Cocomotion for our wedding. WOAH. WOAHHHHHHHOOOHHH. How have I lived without a cocomotion my entire life!?? You just combine milk and hot chocolate mix in the machine. It takes about 5-10 minutes to do its magic and when its done its the most delicious, perfectly warm concoction. Seriously amazing. 

5. Eye Mask
I bought this last minute the night before Mark and I got married. I knew we would be leaving on our drive to Maryland and I had never tried one before so I decided to try it out. Mark hated his immediately, he's got a huge noggin. I am obsessed with mine. I use it ALL the time. Naps, short drives, long drives, and especially on vacation. When you are going somewhere that you have never been before you don't know what the light situation will be like. For example, when we went to Rehoboth Beach, our room was right by a huge streetlight and even when all the lights were off, it was so freakin bright in our room. I was so glad to have it that night. I have also conditioned myself to know that when that's on my face, it's sleep time. Example, last night I was not tired whatsoever. I laid in bed trying to sleep for a while and it wasn't working. Not even kidding, I put the cover on and I was out in probably three minutes. Even though we keep our bedroom as dark as a cave in the middle of no where, it's just helps me sleep. Get one. 


Ooookay, that's it! I've got a few things coming up that i'm excited about so stay tuned.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

pinata and a near death experience.


Last week, Leah, Emily and I went and partied it up at a spa in Bountiful. The owner of a line of specialty spa products called Salt of the Earth reached out to us lowly folks and invited us out for the night. It was super fun in the most awkward way. 




Salt of the Earth takes 72 natural minerals from the Great Salt Lake and uses it to create their products. I was hoping I would get to try some at the party and even better than that, we had the opportunity to mix our own scrub or cream. We could choose our own scent and then literally mix it in this big giant coconut bowl. Then we would pull the plug on the coconut bowl and it would funnel down into the jar. If you feel like you already have too many lotions, they have a bath bomb that you can fix as well!



After a lot of deliberation I chose Aloe & Green Tea and it smells heavenly!



I didn't really get a great picture of this, but the coconut bowl screws into the jar and you put a plug at the bottom of the bowl. Once you are done mixing with the special extractor spoon, you pull the plug!


Something that is super cool about Salt of the Earth is that they use Ikea products for their entire company. All of the jars they use come from Ikea's kitchen line. All of the furniture in their spa and warehouse comes from Ikea. It's actually really neat and smart, I think. 



Let me tell you about the highlight of the night, the pinata. So, they had a lot of stuff to giveaway so they decided to do a pinata. We were hoping they would break it and throw stuff out, but nah. It was birthday party style, one person at a time is blindfolded and gets three swings and tries to break it. So even though it wasn't a sturdy pinata, it took a while to break. Once it was broken, all literal hell broke loose. It was like my black Friday nightmare. I ran towards the pinata and got pushed over. The poor girl who broke it open was still blindfolded and getting absolutely crushed so I tried ripping her blindfold off her head but she probably thought I was just mauling her. Some lady actually got really hurt and was crying...and then someone just posted that they chipped their tooth??? It was nuts. I walked away with some lil notebooks and a lot of chocolate but my heart was racing for fifteen minutes afterwards. 

So the party was in their spa and it was actually just reclaimed storage units stacked on top of each other...which sounds like it could be a hot mess but it was really cool. Like I mentioned, they used Ikea in their entire warehouse and other recycled materials, like this particle board floor. Particle board is extremely cheap so it also could have been sketchy but the glaze they put on top of it made it look totally awesome. 

Can you see the reclaimed storage unit on the left? They painted it teal.



They had some masseuse's giving hand massages upstairs. Pretty sweet!
Ok, but maybe the highlight of the night was the food that was catered by Whole Foods SLC. I have never had fig anything before and I swear to you, this was the best cake/ice cream I have ever had in my entire life. Probably the best desert I have had in my entire life. It was amazing and GLUTEN FREE so I didn't feel like crap for the rest of the night.


*THE BOMB* 


But actually, I lied. The best part of the night were the fuzzy white robes we received. We put ours on to get a picture and I didn't take it off till the next day when I absolutely had to leave for work. It is so soft and amazing. 

Thankfully, Emily makes us take pictures!


Thanks to Salt of the Earth for hosting us for the evening! Even if we did almost get killed in a pinata mob.




If you are interested in trying any Salt of the Earth products, the owner gave us a super awesome discount code! I hate when bloggers are like "Here's a discount code....10%!" Uh, no. That saves me like two dollars. So Salt of the Earth is offering 40% off! That's pretty cool if you ask me. 
****USE THE CODE "SALTYPARTY14" FOR 40% OFF ANY PRODUCT FROM SALT OF THE EARTH****


Thanks to Leah, Emily, Salt of the Earth, Whole Foods, Ikea, Desired Shots Photographer, Utah Bloggers, Stein Erikson Lodge & Spa, Grand America Spa, Garden Day Spa and Sego Lily Spa for a great night. Phew! 


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