September Goals

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,
I'll be completely honest with you, originally I was never going to do a monthly goals post on here. Yet, I find myself writing this on a whim. I definitely have some goals to work toward this month, so why not share them?

1. Be ahead in all my classes. I'm taking 5 classes toward my teaching license and work two jobs. Needless to say, time is scarce.
2. Save some money. I'll be honest, I've been spending a lot, and I need to stop.
3. Have some fun. Looking at my agenda (and Google Sheets of classwork I have to do) basically makes me want to cry right now. I need to remember to have some fun (especially because my birthday is this month!).
4. Walk 10,000+ steps a day. Currently I've been walking way more than that, but it's nice to keep it as a constant reminder.
5. Make sure I'm writing in my teaching journal once a day. I started this as a way to remember the activities and other things I do with my kiddos or what I see other teachers doing, with the plan that it will help me once I become a teacher!

 with southern grace,

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First Day of School!

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,

There is no case of the "Sunday Scaries" over here! Why? My first day back at my elementary school is tomorrow and kiddos come in on Tuesday! This means everything picks back up between the two jobs and going to school full time. That's ok though.

I'm also super excited because tomorrow starts the Lilly Pulitzer Sale! I've always been a huge fan (I still have some of my "minnie" clothes (what Lilly refers to as little girls). Its been hit or miss with a lot of patterns for me recently, I'm really missing "old" Lilly (the more classic designs), but I always fall in love with elephant prints.

Make sure to follow on twitter, instagram, bloglovin, and snapchat (links below) to stay up to day on everything (and see what I get from the Lilly sale, first!)

See y'all soon!

 with southern grace,

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Life Update Mid 2016: Let's Try This Again

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,

I figured it's about time I gave y'all a life update since we're (over) halfway done with 2016.

I took another break from blogging to readjust to school, two new jobs, etc. While yes, it seems like excuses, I felt it was necessary and it really paid of GPA wise.

So, now for the big question: where am I in life?

(c) with southern grace

Well, I've finished my first semester of my Teaching Certificate program, and I officially have two semesters left of actual classes before I student teach next fall (Fall of 2017). I'm trying my hardest not to take any classes next summer so I can earn/save some money during student teaching. I've been working toward this since the end of 2015 so needless to say I'm happy there is an end in sight and it's getting closer.

I had some goals I wanted to accomplish this year and I'm so happy to say that I've accomplished some of them completely! Others are definitely still a work in progress...

          1. Fitness
  --Workout 3 times a week.
  --Drink more water.
       How do I hold myself accountable?
         --Tracking with apps
         --Online programs like Blogilates and ToneItUp
         --Going to the occasional class
2. Happiness
  -- Incorporating more fitness.
  --Write down three things that make me happy at least three times a week.
  --Blog more--2 times a week.
       How do I hold myself accountable?
         --Writing it down.
         --Blog posts are public for the world to see.
         --Planning ahead
3. Career
  --Take classes toward teaching license.
  --Take and pass tests (VCLA and Pracis Math).
  --Apply to post-bac program (by end of April).
  --Volunteer at elementary school.
  --Apply for TA position.

       How do I hold myself accountable?
          --Studying (for classes and tests).
         --Working hard to be able to afford said tests and classes.
         --Finish everything for application far in advance (hopefully by the first week in March).
         --Setting small goals to help reach the bigger ones.

Obviously, I haven't accomplished some of these goals, but I have accomplished all of the ones that are highlighted. Essentially, career wise, my goals are definitely getting hit. However, in the more "self pleasing" categories they aren't. It is definitely my intention to start working more on these as it is only going to hold me back in the long run. 

So besides classes and work, what have I done this summer?
Well, I squeezed in a trip to visit my college roommate who is going to be a 2nd year med student this fall. I've also done a ton of (unnecessary) shopping. Like I have a problem, ok? The first step is always admitting it. I've also managed to survive a minor/somewhat major computer problem even with a not so great solution, it still functions so all is good there. I've managed to pretend puppy shop. Literally, besides a vacation when I finish school, I'm getting a puppy. 

While my original goal was to blog twice a week, I think I'm going to take it to once a week since I've been pretty terrible at posting so far. However, that just means the content will be even better! My goal is to post every Monday. Make sure to go to bloglovin' and like withsoutherngrace so you stay up to date! I'm already starting to make a running list so y'all can tweet me, or email me with any requests!

 with southern grace,

Taking a Leap of Faith: How my Life Plans have Changed

7:00 AM

Hi Y'all,
I know I haven't posted in a long time, but let's change that.

I started a new job about a month and a half ago now, which seems absolutely crazy. I now work with first graders! Also, I've made the commitment to go back to school and earn a degree in Elementary Education. I will hopefully hear back from the program I want in the next few weeks. While I'm about to hit finals week (it's next week for me), I realize every day that I do want to work with children, especially young ones.

Now, let's go back to a year ago. I was getting ready to finish up my first college degree in Communication Studies with the dream of becoming a journalist (thanks, Rory Gilmore).
Fast forward not being able to get a job in that field (literally anywhere in my state), and working in retail for 11 months at 40+ hours a week. Then, a very big job change to focusing on 6 and 7 year olds.

Clearly, that dream has changed a lot.

And that's okay, really.

Yes, not having a "dream" job right out of college hurt, a lot. It's okay though because I was able to find my real dream.

Instead, I got a lot of life lessons that were important to learn. I've learned what I will and won't put up with in a business sense, as well as how to stand up for myself. I've learned that it is never okay to be happy, and the only way to fix it is to do something about it. I've learned that being single when all your friends get engaged is ok, even a good thing (much more free time to plan things). I've learned that it's okay to say no... and so much more.

While this past year has been crazy, I've learned so much about myself and have set myself up for success along the way.

 with southern grace,

Dove Dry Spray

8:38 PM

Hi Y'all,

Wow, do I miss this. I know it was one of my goals to blog twice a week this year. Yes, I have failed up to this point. But, I promise this is changing. I'm switching jobs this week, and I'll have more time to write! Woo!

Today's post isn't a super fun one, but it is about a pretty cool product: Dove Dry Spray.

(Disclaimer: this was sent to me by Influenster to review, but all opinions are absolutely my own).

I was pretty skeptical when I pulled out the men's and women's versions of the Dove Dry Spray. First and foremost, I am a tried a true Secret kind of gal. I've gone from using Clinical Strength in high school when I was the most active (riding horses and playing/coaching two sports) to the Outlast with "Xtend Technology" (whatever that is).

Now, onto the important part: what I actually thought. I didn't try the men's out, but I did smell it and I thought it smelled a little bit better than the woman's, but still really strong.

As far as the women's version went. It applied really well, but had a really strong smell. The smell was so strong that I couldn't tell if I was actually smelly or if the product was just super strong. Personally, I don't sweat too much (like I have to really be over-exerting myself to sweat), so this was definitely a tough call. I do like how it applies like a mist. It was very refreshing. I think that if they changed the scent, I would like it more, especially if it wasn't as overpowering. For reference, I was sent the cucumber one.

Overall, it's not a bad product thought. You can find it at Target by clicking here.

 with southern grace,

FTC Disclaimer: I was sent this product in exchange for review, all opinions are my own. 

Galentine's Day Link Up

10:21 PM

Hi y'all,
It's been a hot second since I've last posted. Quite frankly, life caught up with me.
But, I have a great post to bring to y'all tonight.
Back in January, Michaela from the shore life of m, asked me and a few other bloggers if we would participate in a Galentine's Day link up. I immediately said yes because not only was this a great opportunity to give a gift (one of my favorite things), it also meant getting to know another blogger!

I was lucky enough to get to send goodies to Michaela! You can click here to check out her post.

Jenny from Breakfast at Lilly had me, and boy did she hit the nail on the head!

Aren't these adorable? I absolutely love mugs and notebooks so these two were absolutely perfect! It's been super cold in Virginia lately, so I'm about to get a lot of use out of this mug with all the hot chocolate I'll be drinking. I honestly think this little notebook is too cute to use, but I'm sure I'll use it for something fun (blog planning, maybe?).

I'm off to go study for a microeconomics test I have tomorrow (wish me luck!). Don't forget to head over to Michaela's blog to check out some great Galentine's Day posts.

 with southern grace,

New Semester Prep

8:00 AM

Hi Y'all,

It's one of my favorite times of the year: a new semester!

I decided this past fall to go back to school for a post-bac in elementary education. I have a B.A in Communication Studies from CNU. I'm slowly making progress towards this goal of becoming an elementary education teacher, and hopefully I'll be able to teach in the near future!

Anyway, I thought I'd do a quick post about how I prep for a new semester.

1. Write down important dates. I normally write them down in my agenda, this year I'm trying the assignment document to see if that helps me more (especially with half my classes being online).  The dates can range from midterms to finals, to spring break. Basically, anything of any importance goes in my agenda. I also have an application due in April and that is in my agenda as well.

2. Create an assignment document. I created mine using excel. Essentially, I made a column for date, class, assignment, and complete. That way, I can check them off as I complete them. I put the assignments in chronological order to help me as well.

Here's an example of what I have so far:

3. Prioritizing time. Every week, I make a to do list with everything I have to get done that week on it. This includes my work hours (I work 40 hours a week), blogging, etc. I try to get as much stuff out of the way as possible so I'm not running errands (and losing precious time) all the time.

4. Deleting unnecessary apps. Ok, this sounds silly, but I lose a lot of time going through apps I don't need on my phone and iPad, especially time wasting games. I try and delete them before a new semester starts.

5. Getting enough rest.  I'm constantly tired because of work and trying to accomplish a lot of things with very little time. This also means allowing myself to sleep and knowing when I have to get stuff done.

I swear by all of these things and they all seem to work for me.

What do you do to prep for a new semester?

 with southern grace,