Magazine Fetishes...Cause That's Normal

Once upon a time ago I used to be obsessed with buying magazines...the only real reason I stopped is the stupid word called budget. 

You know you are an adult when you are weighing the cost benefit of buying a magazine versus buying food. My top three favorite magazines were always Shape, Cosmopolitan and Vanity Fair. To this day I still get delighted to fly just to buy the stupid magazines...yes I know you can read it all online but to me it just isn't the same.

I wouldn't even be home yet and nearly every quiz in my Cosmopolitan magazine would be complete...stupid Austin favorite were the couples quizzes and the sex quizzes. I never. NEVER. seemed to get the answers I wanted so I always did the quiz twice: once to see what sort of partner I was and then once to get the answer I really wanted. When it was all said and done I would claim the magazine was full of sh*t and wonder why I even bought it. Then next month do it all over again...signs of an addict.

Now I secretly get excited to wait in the longest line at the grocery store in order to 'take' the quiz, determine my results and then return the magazine to the shelf all before the person in front of me finishes checking out. Am I the only one worried that the cashier might tell me I have to buy it if they see me reading the same magazine for too long...I am weird...whatever.

But today I didn't have to choose the longest line, hide my magazine fetish or cheat on cosmo quizzes! Erin over at Two Thirds Hazel has created a fun link up called the Blogmopolitan Quiz and as soon as I saw it yesterday float through my bloglovin feed I knew I had to fill one out for myself. And yes I might have changed my answers a few times...some habits just don't die!

After rereading my quiz I realized I obviously had booze on the brain, so its time to trade the mister a kiss for a boozy drink and do a little relaxing before Saturday School tomorrow.

Hope you have an awesome weekend!

- The Babbling Box!

WIWW February

Sometimes I like to pretend I am a fashion blogger, I see all these awesome fashion bloggers out there inspiring me, taking amazing pictures in beautiful settings and all together rocking mixing the latest trends and patterns. Most of the time all I want to do is find out how I can recreate that outfit!

But sometimes I wonder: how do they find the time to take these pictures, who helps them take the pictures, do they also take time to edit all of these pictures and where in the world did they learn how to pose?

So I thought I would give you a few tips on how to pose if you are looking to break into the fashion blogging business. 

Poses From The Non-Fashion Blogger
...because with a title like that you know the advice will be amazing!

The Focused Pose!

Just pay more attention to the camera on your phone rather than looking up, smiling or anything flattering. Pushing that one button a few hundred times requires the utmost concentration.

The Action Pose!
All this requires is a bit of moving while taking the picture and your eyes will become big black holes. For days when the bags under your eyes just won't go away!

The Head Tilt Pose!
The steps are simple: jut one leg out, do nothing with your hand and tilt your head to the side. With a pose like this you will start to look like a beginning fashion blogger...or a little confused.

The Hand on Hip Pose!

This is for only the most serious of fashion bloggers, it says I have attitude and I am rocking this outfit! Sometimes combining the head pose with the hand on hip pose will lead to some of the best fashion photos of the post!

While technically none of these poses are what 'true' fashion bloggers do, I do get a kick out of pretending to be a fashion blogger. Plus I love taking selfies...if you haven't noticed...and tracking some of my more creative outfits.

Honestly, I give major props to all fashion bloggers out there...coming up with outfits photos once a month is a ton of work...can't imagine doing it daily!

Linking up with Shanna and The Pleated Poppy.

- The Babbling Box!


Friday a student of mine made an illegal choice on school grounds, no one was hurt, it didn't happen in my room but of course I can't talk about it. Either way reading about the incident I was sad and angry: sad/angry that the student will not be at our school for the entire next six weeks, sad/angry that a teenager was issued a ticket, sad/angry that the student made the choice and sad/angry that the student's parents weren't aware of what was going on.

This job has the power to change you. 

It can make you cynical, judgmental, fear the future, break your heart and leave you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of 'bad' in the world. 

But if you don't dwell on the negative, let go of all the sadness and just focus on the little moments you can see the possibilities.

So rather than remember last week for the negative I choose to remember it for the little moments:

one. A 'heavy hitter' in the school has had an amazing six weeks in my class. He passed, kept his tardies down and had no discipline problems. He might not make it through any of his other classes but I know for 48 minutes he can and is successful. He kept using the word gay the other day and it was driving me insane. I asked him to use another word...on his own he choose fabulous. During homeroom that day he used the word fabulous at least 20 times...I thought the class was ready to strangle him but I couldn't stop laughing.

two. In Robotics we started a new project Wednesday, the students needed to build a new robot and I gave them nearly the whole 90 minute period. We have lunch after class on Wednesdays and a few boys asked if they could stay during lunch and keep building, I said of course. Before I knew it there were 12 students choosing to keep working rather than go to lunch and socialize with their friends. Proud teacher moment.

three. Tuesday we were told every teacher needed to collect two writing samples for every student by this Friday for our TELPAS (a rating system for our ELLs) ...sure no problem says the teacher who never makes her students write. So on Friday I had every single student sit down and write, such a fun Friday. This is my third time doing TELPAS but my first time getting 100% of them to write a full page and take it seriously. You could literally here a pin drop in my room. 

four. Often time in Robotics the students need to get extra lego's from the main lego table cabinets, it can be a bit of racket as students are digging through all of those lego pieces. A student was searching for the piece and moving his hands back and forth in the bin, he started saying "you gotta make love to the have to make love to the legos." It was probably a little inappropriate but I couldn't stop cracking up.

five. A history teacher stopped me to share a funny story: they were reviewing for a upcoming test and she asked the class "who is John Adam's wife" and one of my 8th grade boys yells out my name. Then face palmed himself, shaking his head muttering "that's my Robotics teacher, why am I thinking about her...that's weird."

If I were to let every little minion who skipped my class, cursed, rolled their eyes at me or made poor choices get to me, I would probably look like this every evening:

But with little moments like these sprinkled throughout my week I don't always just feel like I am surviving the day or the kid but seeing the possibilities of something a little brighter. 

A good gym routine and a bottle of wine doesn't hurt either!

Linking up with: BreCarly and Logan.

- The Babbling Box!

Fab Five

TGIF...well kind of...I am technically teaching Saturday school tomorrow so its not like a real Friday. I was told there was going to be free breakfast tacos...but most importantly extra pay...breakfast tacos don't generally entice me to wake up before 10 on a day off but $$$ will in a heartbeat. 

Speaking of money, I was uber productive last Sunday and filed my tax return...for someone with the easiest tax return to file. ever. I probably shouldn't be so proud but I procrastinate so I am proud. so what.

To me tax returns are free money...please don't offer me financial my brain I have X amount of money each month to make last all 30 or so days. But in a few days I will get XX additional monies that I wasn't planning on, hence free money.

I try to be smart with my tax return...well as of last year...I set aside a certain amount to pay towards a debt and then set aside a certain amount for me to do a little shopping. Someone looking at my financial situation might say put it all towards debt, personally shopping is a great pleasure of mine, and life without pleasure doesn't seem worth living. extreme...perhaps...but honest!

For some reason shopping with a set budget like this requires planning, window browsing, and great thought. I certainly wish I took this much time to think my purchases through when I was using credit cards...I am sure they make a self help book for that somewhere.

So without further ado...

My Fabulous Five Must Haves For Spring
aka how I will spend all of my monies... 

Maxi Dresses and Skirts. I am a tall gal and so many of the skirts and dresses out there pretty much look like shirts on me so I love that the maxi trend is all the rage right now. Plus I find a million different ways to wear these to school, so double win in my book.

    Ethnic boho flowy dress  

Crop pants. The seasons are so fickle in Texas that cropped pants are always my solution, while I would love a pair of light mint or spring colors I generally stick with colors I can wear year round. I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans, with just the right amount of rips that would look great with booties, converse or flip flops but for the life of me I can't find a pair that flatter my figure. Are boyfriend jeans supposed to flatter your figure?

    Casual Outfit - LOVE the purse too! 

Tops with details. I like to stick with simple patterns...aka no patterns at all...and mostly black tops but I have been pushing myself to expand my horizon and I love all of the details on these tops. 


The perfect tee. If I am going to be honest 75% of my wardrobe is made up of tee's: slouchy tee's, lacy tee's, graphic tee's, dressy tee's. I wear them daily, I even throw them on with a maxi and some fancy jewelry and call it a work outfit. So of course I want more...duh.

  14 glitter sleeves baseball tee! give me now.  

Shoes. No fabulous list of mine would be complete without shoes. Rewind time seven years ago to a time when I was single, receiving college financial aid and went out nightly: I had a shoe closet with over 60+ pairs of shoes. As much as it pained me to part with my heels, I just don't wear them anymore, I still have a ridiculous love for all thing shoes.

Love.  Love.

  Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Kessi Crochet Boots - Taupe

I do realize that the majority of these items come from Victoria Secret, I wasn't compensated for that...though a girl can dream...besides Target, Old Navy and Nordstrom Off The Rack I only shop at Victoria Secret. A bad habit brought about during my days in the corporate world.

I was just going to make this post about my spring fashion desires but as I was writing this post in my head on the way to work...please tell me other bloggers do this...I wasn't focusing on the radio and next thing I knew my country radio station was doing an interview with Jamie Lynn Spears. I honestly went to change the radio station to another station but then they started playing her single and I was blown away. Whatever your thoughts on country music or Brittany Spears are just give it a listen: it's raw and I just completely connected with the message. Meaning I have listened to it on repeat at least 20 times since I heard it.

What are you spring essentials? 
What fashion trends are you currently lusting over? 

Linking up with Whitney, ChantillyLaurenApriland Lauren.

- The Babbling Box!

I'm the kinda girl who...

...takes entirely way to long to get ready to do anything. If I say two hours, its probably going to be more like two and a half hours. Or maybe even three. 

...judges girls who show up to Saturday drinking in heels, crop tops or makeup done to the nines.

...will change my mind eight times on what I want to wear and most likely end up in my first choice at the end of my impromptu fashion show. 

...goes through two bottles of dry shampoo a month. 

...doesn't make small talk with other girls very easily. More like completely awkward.

...takes it personally when girls don't instantly become friends or 'click' with me. 

...hates emotions. I am sorry if you have had a lose, are getting married or a bad day, but I am not the person who will know what to say or offer comfort to you.

...enjoys a few adult beverages on the regular. In my book a good night ends with a good buzz. I take pleasure in getting drunk every once in a while. 

...delays answering emails, comments, voicemails, text messages...carrier pigeons. I am trying to work on this but 9 times out of 10 I fail. addicted to caffeine. I will have 3+ Advocare Spark's a day sometimes and still think I need another to really get over the six pm hurdle.

...takes over five selfies a day but never shares them on social media because I judge people who take selfies.

...obsessively talks about my students. For 50+ hours a week 187 days a year they are my world, so my stories will revolve around them, I will gush at their successes and be livid with their injustices. And sometimes their antics are so outrageous its worth a chuckle or two.

...honks my horn, flips the bird and curses at nearly every idiot driver on the road each time I get behind the wheel of a car.

...doesn't apologize for who I am, my quirks or my lack of social skills.

Linking up with Holly and Shana.

- The Babbling Box!

Exploring Austin

While I am certainly not pushing you to move to Austin I do absolutely adore my city ... unless I am sitting in traffic...but after ten years of living here there are so many experiences and places I haven't taken advantage of yet. And a few weeks ago that lesson was really driven that sort of judgmental voice..."box get off the couch and go do something."

A few weekends ago the mister had a friend and his fiance come into town from Chicago and we pushed ourselves to really give them the true 'Austin' experience. Meaning we racked our brains for two plus weeks and came up with our four regular places to show them...and hoped they had something in mind to see.  Go us!

The fiance suggested the Hope Gallery and boy was I blow away...

Basically right across the street from the boys football stadium is this hidden gem of living art work. 

"The HOPE Outdoor Gallery (HOG) is a three-story educational art project located at 11th & Baylor Streets in Austin – one of the largest outdoor galleries in the USA. This project was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messaging. In addition, the project activates and beautifies a dynamic yet underutilized space with a great view of Austin!" 

I certainly wish I had perhaps read the website before we stopped by...lets just say there are no stairs up that three story wall...and I don't wear practical shoes. ever. 

Going on an adventure!

I mean don't get me wrong I wasn't wearing heels or anything but I was wearing unsensible like a child I climbed on my hands and knees and scooted down that building on my butt.

Now I wish there was a picture of that...

Regardless of my choice of shoes the views were amazing.

After climbing back down without killing myself we were famished, the mister suggested Franklin BBQ...supposedly the best BBQ in Austin served out of a food truck on the east side. The only catch is once they sell out they sell out for the day, meaning you could wait in line for an hour and get nothing. You might have seen the BBQ place in the Chase credit card commercial...yep Austin is pretty much a big deal.

We passed by the trailer and the line was down the street so we opted for John Mueller BBQ, same concept as Franklin...just a shorter line.

The owner was walking around passing out Lonestar's, so I was basically in love. The BBQ was melt in your mouth and the four of barely said a word the entire time we were shoveling piles of meat in our mouths.

I noticed guys with cameras on their backs walking into the trailer area, I didn't think much of it until they actually closed the gates to the trailer area. Then there was a lady walking around telling us to put our cellphones away they were shooting a scene for Jimmy Kimmel. 

So the next time you see Jimmy Kimmel proposing to a guy at a BBQ trailer, I was there in the background...covered in dirt from the Hope Gallery, drinking a Lonestar and shoving piles of BBQ in my mouth...which pretty much makes me famous.

I think we did a pretty good job of showing our guests a few of the many special spots that Austin has to offer and the plus side it pushed me out of my normal Austin comfort zone. Hopefully over the next few months...aka before it reaches 100 degrees daily...the mister and I can go exploring Austin a bit and break up our normal weekend routine.

Have you ever just gone exploring in your own city? 
What treasures does it have to offer?

- The Babbling Box!


Friday is Valentine's Day.

There I said it. 
Wasn't sure if you were aware...or living under a rock.

I am dreading Friday at school: the fights, the tears, the break ups, the massive amounts of balloons, stuffed animals and roses...and this is all before 1st period. Teach middle school for Valentine's Day once and you will be doing the arctic vortex dance praying for a snow day.

Personally, I have always found Valentine's Day super cliche. 
All the red and pink...vomit. 
Roses...yes I am the girl who hates roses. 
Chocolate...blah I dislike chocolate too.
Plus, any man of mine...please tell me you know the singer of that song...better be showing me his love 365 days a year and not just one day of the year.

I am not going to lie, what girl doesn't expect something special though? 
Don't get me wrong I have no desire to even put on adult clothes after dealing with middle schoolers all day, much less be in public. 
BUT I am not going to deny the fact that I am looking for a little romance....
There is a small part of me that will be disappointed if nothing lovey or mushy is done.

Be glad you don't date me...I am confusing as hell.

In my search for the perfect way to wrap up this pointless post and make it not look like my boyfriend is set up to fail...because he is...I thought I would share a picture of one of my favorite things. That moment where he made me feel extra special and there was no damn Hallmark holiday telling him he had to.

This picture might look familiar as I used it as the image for my February goals link up, it seemed fitting for the month of love and mush.

Step back in time six years...

The mister and I had just gotten back together after our third break up...third time is a charm...and he came over to hang out on the couch, watch tv and have a boozy drink...our normal weeknight routine. 

He pulled me into my bedroom, away from the roommate...stop your dirty thoughts...
he presented me with the necklace.

Those of you not familiar with Irish culture, the symbol is called a Claddagh and it represents friendship, loyalty and love. Since as a couple we broke up twice and got together three different times, we have three different anniversaries...yep my boyfriend really can't win.

The first anniversary is when we became friends...something that despite each of our break ups was an impossible bond to break for us. The second anniversary is when we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend...a title we didn't use for over a year...our loyalty anniversary. And our third and final anniversary is when we finally admitted we loved each other. 

A present for the mister one Valentine's Day...long long ago.

While we had never discussed our anniversaries or story like that as he explained the meaning of the necklace it all clicked. It might have been just a simple necklace, a regular Tuesday night in November and I probably was in my pajamas but in that moment I felt special. And he it did just because.

So while all the boyfriends out there are wining and dining their ladies in an attempt to make them feel special...mine has it covered 365 days of the year. And I consider myself pretty darn lucky.

That isn't to say that I am not expecting some type of romance in the near future...hint hint!

Is there a picture or item in your life that holds a special meaning to you?

Linking up with Shanna and A Beautiful Exchange.

- The Babbling Box!

Websites, Apps, Pocket Change...Oh My!

And just like that we had our third late start of this crazy winter. 

I am not complaining one bit, an extra hour of sleep goes a long way in my life. Plus this is completely testing my ability to be flexible and roll with the changes. So what if I have had to rewrite my lesson plans twice each week or we rescheduled our MOY when my PDA's was supposed to be...grades are due next week...why not just give them smiley faces?

With all the odd changes surrounding our weather and our MOY schedule I have been looking for ways to 'occupy' my students way too hyper minds and channeling my inner blogger has been just the ticket. 

In today's Tried it Tuesday edition I present to you...

I was not offered any commission or other goodies to talk about these websites/apps, just figured I would pass along what I have been loving right now. Sharing the wealth, one blogger at a time!

Picture editing websites like are bloggers jam but our students also love to create images, or at least mine do!

I tasked all students to locate a quote or song lyric that represents themselves and then to find an image that could work to create their inspirational image. Then we walk through the steps to edit the image, add the text and even add their blog username...just like true bloggers. The results were pretty neat:

I have even borrowed Farley's Currently idea and had students create a currently using picmonkey...students really are just like bloggers in the making.

A few other picture editing sites we use are: and Who needs to buy Photoshop when you have all of these awesome tools at your fingertips?

Another set of websites we use are: and  in order to take pictures using our built in webcams on the computer. We do a ton of group work in my classes and in order to build that team bond I make them complete a team contract and I allow them to take a group unites a group of students into thinking of themselves as a whole.

We also spend a lot of time talking about problem solving when working with our groups and all groups are required to document their problem solving steps in a format the group prefers, a lot of students will take pictures using one of the above websites and add them in their presentations. Story telling with pictures has been a great way to allow all the team members to contribute in a way they feel really comfortable with. 

Plus its really cute when they say...John put the wheels on the motors and then John's head pops up in a picture with the wheels and the motors ... their facial expressions kill me.

Apps and Pocket Change.
These two topics pretty much go hand and hand but have nothing to do with school. We have a very strong no electronics rule at school that we must follow, but a lot of the above websites do have free apps if you are interested.

Everyone likes saving money and with all of these extra snow days and late starts I have had a lot more time to play with my phone and discover some really incredible apps. Perhaps I live under a rock and you already know about these...says the technology teacher.

one. The Cartwheel App from Target is amazing! Download and set up an account and BOOM you start saving $$$! For instance I stopped by Target for some wine this afternoon...and ended up lusting after a pair of cute spring pajamas. I opened up the app and searched for women clothes and low and behold there was a 5% offer on the pajamas. I added the offer to my Cartwheel and when I checked out presented the app with the QR code to the register and it took 5% off both items. 

What I love even more about that app is you can combine them with coupons so you get double the savings...and Target has some great coupons on their site. Two weeks ago I went in loaded with coupons and my app: rang up over $90 in purchases but saved over $17! Winner, winner...chicken dinner?

two. I just downloaded Scantopia and I am still playing with it but the concept is pretty addicting...simply scan bar codes of products with the app and earn coins or pocket change. The coins let you enter raffles and provide you offers for in a sense extra pocket change! I always pick the slowest line at the grocery store and the other day I found myself occupying my time by scanning bar codes, collecting coins and a few extra dollars...aka...keeping me from strangling the customer in front of me!

three. Poshmark is pretty much my new addiction. It's a free site that you can list clothing/household items on and sell them straight through the app. I had four bags of clothes I was just going to donate when I discovered the app, out of curiosity I listed all of my items and have already sold 6 items! 

There are so many things I like about the app! One, you can take pictures and list on one page which makes the process quick and easy. Two, once you have sold an item Poshmark emails you the shipping label for you to print, so easy! Three, there are always 'parties' going on and ladies sharing your listings so you reach a large range of people! I have over 100 followers already, I can't even describe how long it took me to reach that in the blogging world.

Poshmark does take a small commission from your sale, I figure it covers the cost of shipping, but really these items were sitting in a closet unused so any money is extra pocket change for me.

What's even better is that if you download the app and use my sign up code (BPNVB) we both receive a $5 credit to the site, which sounds pretty awesome to me!

What great new apps or websites have had you singing their praises lately?

- The Babbling Box!