11.21 | high five for friday!



i’m trying something out of my comfort zone.  i’m not going to give any details just yet because i don’t know how the hell it’s going to work out, but i’m excited/scared about it.  :)

overcome fear by action


this month’s birchbox was amazeballs.  (do people still say that?) i just loved everything.  i’m always up for a mask and there were two in this box.  i’ve used other balm products and i look forward to the highlighter.  i wasn’t sure about the perfume but it’s growing on me.  (i also got my second stitch fix this week.  check that out HERE.)




my middle sister has special needs.  to keep it simple: she is a seven year old in the body of a 27 year old.  holidays are very important to her.  she focuses so much on them that it becomes an obsession.  (this is common with kids with special needs. her other obsessions are the wizard of oz and hello kitty.)  so it’s important to channel her nervous/excited energy on positive things.  my mom and i have been planning some elf on the shelf activities for her this week over the phone.  i always thought it was kind of creepy, but i know chase will love it.  she will get the biggest kick out of it.

elf on the shelf


i hung out with my niece for a few hours on saturday.  she’s a handful in the best possible way.  we made some cookies, watched some “girl meets world”, played with my kitties, and just chilled.  and when i wasn’t looking, she wrote me a little message on my white board on my fridge.  her birthday is this weekend, and i have the perfect gift!



i took today off for a doctor’s appointment (yeah that yearly one).  but it’s nice to have a little break from school even for a day.  it’ll give me a head start on getting ready for thanksgiving week.  so in honor of my poor substitute teacher, here is my favorite key and peele skit – the substitute teacher.  makes me laugh every single time i watch it.  (you done messed up, a-a-ron!)


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WOW 11.19 | day nine was a new day.

workout wednesdays with {a tattooed teacher in texas}

for eight days, i ate crappy food.  i quit my workouts.  i camped out on the couch during my illnesses and didn’t really get up even when i was better.  i basically just stopped taking care of myself.

day 8 was hairy.  i had been sick for days 1-3 and had a migraine for days 6-7.  i wasn’t feeling my best.  so i thought – what is the freaking point?  it’s cold as balls outside.  plus, it’s not like i have a man to notice.  so again, what is the freaking point?  

so on day 9, i shaved my legs.  i also repainted my toenails, did a facial mask, and put on some lovely smelling lotion.   i then cleaned out my fridge and researched some new workouts to add to the mix.  because what i realized on day 9 is that the point is that i should take care of me for me.  it’ll make me feel better for me.

every holiday season, i face this dilemma: to enjoy the holidays or not.  it shouldn’t be a choice, right?  but somehow i don’t have the self-control to face the holidays and not overindulge.  even with the best of intentions, i always tend to gain about 5-10 pounds every year.  i really want to go into the holiday season with a great attitude, a focused diet, and consistent workouts.  why is that so hard??  i’m usually good at planning, but it seems that around the holidays there’s always something around the corner to sabotage me.

happy thanksgiving

to top it off, my workout partner is indisposed right now with an injury.  it’s not a good excuse, but that’s making it difficult to keep myself accountable.  there’s no one asking about if i did my workout or how my eating is going for the week.  therefore, i can just keep quiet and make mistakes without anyone really knowing about it.  i still haven’t been working out and it’s been over a week!  i think need someone to text or call me every day.  he/she would basically need to yell at me to get off my ass and move and to quit eating crap.  i swear it would be effective.  any volunteers?  just kidding .  (but seriously…)

advice on getting through the holidays without packing it on?

The Hump Day Blog Hop

my second stitch fix

i received my second stitch fix this past weekend. (here’s a recap of my first stitch fix.)  i have mixed feelings about it…and yet, i bought the whole box. let me explain…

my second stitch fix.

when i started stitch fix, i knew that some items would be pricey.  let’s call them “investments”.  so i decided that i would only buy items that i absolutely loved.  but when you buy the whole box, you receive 25% off of your total.  so it just seemed to make more sense to buy the whole box even though i am not IN LOVE with the clover print top just off of the price difference.

this box was different from my first.  i got everything out of the box and tried them on.  at first, i didn’t really love anything.  then i walked away from them.  when i came back to try them on again, i looked at it from a different perspective.  i looked at fit, comfort, style.  then, suddenly i liked pretty much everything.  i studied the style guide* for ideas of how to incorporate them into my existing wardrobe.

stitch fix style guide

after looking at my bill online, i figured out the math and bought the entire box.  the whole process is so easy.  and i like the fact that someone else is picking it out for me.  i would never even look twice at most of the items that come in my boxes if i saw them in a store.  and still, i end up liking them because they are out of my comfort zone but still fit my style.

my second stitch fix

the four tops from my second stitch fix


i’m learning what looks good on me, how to invest in clothes, and about my own personal style.  i still haven’t figured out those things yet, but i’m getting there.

*i think the style guide is key.  i’m very visual.  tell me how to wear it and i’ll be confused.  show me and i’ll be inspired.


teaching tip 41. don’t be a gossip girl.

i originally wrote this post at the end of last year.  my school is dealing with some more issues this year.  every school goes through growing pains when there are staff and expectation changes.  it’s just part of the job when you’re dealing with lots of adults and even more kids.  this post seems even more significant now with teachers picking at each other (for new and different reasons from last year), the continued frustrations with the kids’ behavior issues, the added stress of the upcoming state testing, and the struggles of dealing with a partially new administration.

when i reread these teaching tips posts, it reminds me to follow them too.  there are always new things that come up to deal with, but the old ones come around again and again to pester me.  so here we go again…  :)


teaching tips from a tattooed teacher in texas

things have been a little uncertain and weird at school lately.  we are going to have some staff changes that we already know about.  on top of that, there are certain people dealing with personal issues that seem to follow them to school.

all anyone wants to do is talk.  this is typical of schools.  teachers can be just as bad as the students about spreading hearsay.  it’s even worse when you’re friends with the teachers at your school.  i’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be friends with your co-workers.  hell, those weirdos are some of my best friends!

but here’s the thing…it’s easy to get pulled into the speculation, to gossip, to predict what is going to happen in the future.  one piece of gossip can spread like wildfire, especially in a small school like mine.  however, none of us know the real deal.  not really.  you ever played that game of telephone?  yep.  it’s like that.  the truth (or the beginning version of it) gets distorted as it spreads.  who knows what you’re hearing by the time it gets to you?!

no one’s perfect.  you’re going to hear things about other teachers or administrators (and even students!).  you’re going to want to know what is happening, who’s screwing up, who’s being a brown-noser, who’s got problems at home, etc.  it’s human nature to be curious.  however, there is a line.  it’s hard to find sometimes, but you are a professional.

so try not to get sucked into the drama as much as possible.  it’s just not worth the stress of it all.  i struggle with this issue for sure.  my curiosity and nosiness gets the best of me sometimes, but you’re never really going to know the truth and spreading gossip just makes the problem worse.


11.14 | high five for friday!


…one…  thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (right ahead of july 4th).  my mom and I have been planning the thanksgiving menu. we’ve decided to go non-traditional for once. and we’re doing all new recipes from the November Southern Living magazine.  i’m excited to try some new things!


….two…  a friend told me about this app called relay.  you can send gifs (and added texts) back and forth like text messages.  it is so entertaining!  i’ve been having a blast with it.


…three… i got sick on sunday night and stayed that way until tuesday.  stomach flus are the worst!  i wish i could have enjoyed having two days off from school, but i’m well now and i couldn’t be more grateful.  i was forced to rest for a couple of days, and i think i needed it. on the upside, being gone for two days means that i have two days of lesson plans already done for next week!

rest and self-care

…four…  first Ipsy bag. i feel like Ipsy might be the sluttier and younger sister of Birchbox. not that there’s anything wrong with that. i want to be both of those things sometimes. i just don’t know yet if I like one over the other. I’m going to give Ipsy another go. (in other subscription box news, i getting my second stitch fix this weekend and am so excited after a great first experience.)


…five…  this snuggle bug kept me company on my sick days and has been so cuddly during this cold week.




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teaching tip 49: don’t be stubborn

teaching tips from {a tattooed teacher in texas}

when i was a kid, i would always say “i can do it by myself”.  this obstinance resulted in lots of self-inflicted physical and emotional bruises.  my mama called me “a strong-willed child”.  but really, i was just stubborn as hell.  still am.

halloween 1993?

this is my favorite picture to illustrate my stubbornness. i refused to cover up my ballerina costume even though there was a whole bunch of snow outside. i’m pretty sure i ended up throwing a fit because of how cold i was a little later on.

as an adult, i continue to want to “do it by myself”.  sometimes it’s a good thing because i am fiercely independent.  but it’s been detrimental too.  because i am so independent, i think it can hurt my relationships in my personal life and at work.

it’s been a hard lesson to learn to not be stubborn.  (have i really learned it?  i’m not sure.)  this year, i’ve had many reminders of my stubbornness.  i’ve had to ask for help quite a few times, whether it’s for an unexpected absence or with a troubled student.  and just last week, i moved classrooms…for lots of reasons.  when i went to my assistant principal to talk to him about it, he asked me – “why do you have to be so stubborn all the time?  you should have told me about this two months ago!”  and i should have.  but i wanted to take care of it myself.  in the end, i did all i could to deal with it and it just didn’t work.

i look back on my first year of teaching and think – how did i get through it?  i wanted to do everything by myself, and really i did.  but it was so hard!  i should have asked for help more often.  i shouldn’t have waited for my breaking point to hit for me to take action.  i should have been more vulnerable.  and i should have accepted assistance when it was offered.

so here’s my advice… when someone wants to help you, let them.  when you require advice, ask for it.  and when you need something, accept the assistance no matter how much pride you have to swallow.

11.7 | high five for friday!


…one…  i’ve been beating myself up about my health goals lately.  i lose all control on the weekends, which usually screws up the beginning of my week.  and i can’t let. it. go.  so then the week feels like an uphill battle.  but really, if i look back on it, i’m not doing that badly.  progress is progress no matter how slow it happens and no matter how many mistakes occur along the way.


….two…  tonight is “senior night”, when all the students in fall activities are recognized.  each student chooses sponsors who’ve inspired and helped them.  usually the students choose their parents, coaches, or other important people in their lives.  for the first time, a student chose me (and a couple other teachers) to be his sponsor.  it’s a sweet moment, and i’m proud to be a part of it.  he said he picked us because we push him to always do better and we don’t accept “average”.  i’m not a perfect teacher, but a kid saying that about me makes me feel great.

education is not

…three… the turnpike troubadours concert was awesome!  we ended up finding $80 on the floor so we drank and ate for free the whole night!  it was so fun to let loose for a few hours and enjoy some good music.


…four…  i had to make some decisions at school this week.  i had some things bothering me and i stood up for myself and took it on to make the changes.  although the decisions were difficult to come to terms with and really just created more work for myself, i think it will be better in the end.

…five…  this video.  this song was starting to get real annoying until i saw this version of it. i couldn’t look away. it is amazing and irresistible.


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october favorites.

monthly favorites

{favorite beauty items}  


china glaze nail polish in leather – it is the perfect, completely opaque shade of black nail polish.  plus, it lasts a long time.

naked basics 2 palette – i love the cool tone shades

nivea lip butter – i like putting this lip butter on while i’m doing my make-up and before lip liner.

nail tek II nail strengthener – this stuff has saved my nails!

{favorite snacks}

malt shoppe ice cream from blue bell – so so good.


i can’t get enough of thin crust pizza in weird flavors from some local pizza joints.


{favorite books}

wild by cheryl strayed (this is a re-read)

in your dreams by kristan higgins (i love this author’s books.  this one was good but not great.)

war brides by helen bryan (i’m almost done!)

{favorite new music, tv shows, movies}

william clark green – great texas country artist.

eddie vedder – i’ve been listening to this pandora station for weeks.

Scandal - this show is so addictive!  i want to both be olivia and shake the hell out of her in every episode.

The People’s Couch – i want to be on this show.  it makes me laugh so much.

{favorite words}

have the courage #stevejobs

energy is power #erinbrown

{my own favorite posts}

the best 24 hours. ever. (aka my Paul McCartney experience)

how to make a concert shadowbox

going outside to feel better inside

{favorite posts from other bloggers}

fall capsule wardrobe by unfancy

my story of (and how you can avoid) exercise addiction by fitness blondie

cardio vs weights by skinny meg

i told you i was strong & independent.  i lied.  by the single woman

{most memorable moments}

going to the paul mccartney concert.  it was an amazing experience that i will never forget.

i got my new iPhone 6 and love it.  i didn’t think i’d like the bigger screen, but it’s the perfect size.

a field trip with some of my students.  i had to drive a little bus full of ten teenage boys.  surprisingly, it went really well.  just give them some snacks and music, and they’re completely distracted.


going out to the canyon after a long hiatus.  i needed the fresh air and outdoors.

pumpkin carving with my friend’s family.  in general, i hate carving pumpkins – it’s gross and i can’t ever get my design just right. but this time was fun.  plus i got to pet all of their farm animals and eat some great food.


turnpike troubadours concert.  i’ve seen them multiple times, but i’ll always go again!


and then…there’s this photo of our vice president looking like a badass eating an ice cream cone.  i don’t know why, but it made me laugh all month.


happy bday to my sister from another mister.

my cousin is turning 30 today.  we make each other laugh. we have inside jokes.  we listen to each other cry and help each other mourn.  we let each other complain without judgement.  we help each other find solutions with great advice.  we also clash (especially over that doll with the pink dress christmas 1992).  she’s outgoing and i’m shy sometimes.  we push each other’s buttons.  we worry about each other. we approach situations completely differently.  but we’re always family.  and even better…we’re always friends.  so happy birthday, lauren!












measurements and goals | november 2014

monthly goals button


things i did well in october:  counting calories and journaling.  meal planning.  hydrating.  started taking a probiotic.

things i still need to work on:  eating out too much.  portion control.  inconsistent workouts.  not eating enough veggies.  getting on the scale too often. beating myself up for small mistakes.  using the holidays as an excuse to go crazy with food. eating too quickly.


i have some work to do.  i have gained about an inch around my middle since the first of august.  i want to lose half an inch by the end of the month.   i know that will be difficult with the holidays in there, but i need to stay focused.


eating | more and different seasonal veggies

drinking | lots of water and tea

practicing | meditation and prayer

mastering | some standing yoga poses and working on my balance

learning | about some new education resources

trying | indian food and other exotic things (to me)

playing | word games

finishing | my lesson plans and school work before the weekend

reading | “the single woman” by mandy hale

remembering | that the road to health is a long and rocky one

enjoying | my time with family

feeling | hopeful even if lonely

hoping | for healthy and happy relationships

wearing | a few new workout clothes pieces

cooking | lots of pies for thanksgiving!

working | on building my relationships

traveling | to visit family

needing | to stop feeling sorry for myself

wanting | to save to build a tiny house

*i found the idea for this list from katrina @ sotaissexy.com.  i think i’ll keep it for my monthly updates.  and check her out!  she’s hilarious.

10.31 | high five for friday!


…one…  people dancing horribly might be my favorite thing ever.  and this clip from last saturday’s SNL is awesome and made me laugh until i cried tears of unabashed joy.  :)

….two…  my cousin turns 30 this week!  i met up with some of her friends to surprise her with a little celebration dinner. i may have had a little too much red wine and the next morning at school may have been somewhat painful, but the dinner was really fun.  her friends are great and i claim them as my own.  they’ve always been nothing but welcoming, fun, and kind to me, and they definitely were to me that night.


…three… school is testing my patience lately, but it’s not bad.  it’s hard to get too upset when there are so many reasons for it to be difficult…red ribbon week, football games, halloween, etc.  next week will be better.

a major accomplishment

…four…  i had dinner with some friends earlier this week, and it kind of refreshed me for the week.  they listen, make me laugh, and give great advice.

let us be grateful

…five…  i’m headed to a turnpike troubadours concert tomorrow night.  i’ve seen them three times before, and i just love them.


it’s not my favorite holiday, but HaPpY hALloWeeN!  here’s my adorable little pumpkin that’s sitting on my porch.



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10.24 | high five for friday!


…one…  i took a trip out to the canyon this past saturday.  it was just what i needed to end a tough week.


….two…  my october birchbox was just alright.  i get emails from birchbox all the time, but one this week kind of ruined it for me.  i like being surprised by what is in my box.  but the “sneak peak” email told me everything that was going to be in it.  and the perfume was busted.  that’s the third time that’s happened!  i emailed them, and they’re sending me a new one.  i hate the mascara.  so clumpy!  despite all the problems with this box, i really liked the mask and the face rejuvenator (which i’ve gotten before).


…three… “walking dead” is back with a vengeance!   i didn’t think i’d like this show when i first saw the previews for it years ago.  it’s gory and violent.  and it’s downright scary at times.  and yet, i’ve watched each and every episode from the beginning.  i tell people – it’s not about the zombies, it’s about the people and what they choose to do when pushed to the brink.  (on a funny note, if there is one, twitter blew up this week with the hashtag, #BobBQ.  the memes and comments were hilarious.)

Walking Dead #BobBQ

it’s horrible. but it’s also funny. :)

…four…  i ran across this drawing on the storyline blog the other day and it reminded me that on this road of life, there are all kinds of distractions that can pull me off of it.  i struggle with all of these things and more.  but like the blog post says, you just have to find your way back, move forward, and accept help.  it was a much needed reminder.


…five…  and finally, this shirt.  i don’t think i can get through a month without ordering a new texas shirt.  i just can’t help myself.  this one from tumbleweed texstyles, in particular, is adorable.  and it’s on sale right now!

Tejas shirt from Tumbleweed TexStyles


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concert shadowbox how-to

i went to a paul mccartney concert a couple of weeks ago.  (like you haven’t heard me talk about it.  haha!)  i saved some materials from the experience.  my sister and i talked about doing shadowboxes to exhibit them. so over the past few weeks, i gathered everything together. i’m very indecisive so it took me awhile to get it exactly how i wanted, but by the end, it was perfect. here’s how i did it…

supplies for shadowbox

supplies for the shadowbox

for a concert shadowbox, you will need:

  • a shadowbox -  make sure it’s not too big and not too small.  i watched the hobby lobby ad for a couple of weeks and waited until mine went on sale.  i got it for $16.
  • photos from the concert – i used the walgreens app to print them.  it’s super easy and they’re available almost instantly.  the prices are reasonable.  also, i like that you can print 4×4 prints from instagram.
  • your ticket stub and any other mementos - i stuffed that thing in my purse as soon as the ticket taker scanned it because i didn’t want to lose it.  my sister also grabbed some confetti from the very end of the concert.
  • scrapbooking paper for photo backgrounds – again, i waited for them to go on sale for half off at hobby lobby.  i chose several different prints that blended well together.
  • stickers and markers – to add a little extra cuteness
  • pins – to attach the items to the background.  you can also glue them directly, but i like the look of the pins.
  • scissors and glue- for cutting everything out and sizing them inside the box
shadowbox how-to

concert mementos


1.  decide on a few key pictures and mementos.  it’s best to keep it simple.  i chose photos, my ticket stub, and confetti from the end of the concert.

2.  add backgrounds to your pictures.  combine some pictures on the same background.

3.  decide on your layout.  eliminate anything that doesn’t fit or mesh with the theme.  layer each item with the others until you get it how you want.

4.  add stickers and any writing.

5.  pin everything down. usually you’ll only need one or two pins at the top of each item.

6.  carefully lay the shadowbox face down, add the confetti (or other items), and attach the back.

7.  hold it upright and tilt it back and forth until the confetti lays how you want.  and attach to the wall!

finished concert shadowbox

finished product!


this fake ice cream {almost} tastes like the real thing.

i’m one of those people who likes cold food items in the autumn and winter.  i don’t know why.  it just is.  popsicles, frozen yogurt, fruit bars, ice cream, etc…i like it all.  but those things aren’t exactly healthy for you to have all the time.

i found this idea off of pinterest last year and tweaked it a bit.  the original recipe that i saw had peanut butter and cocoa.  but since then, i’ve tried it a few times with different ingredients.  i don’t really like the banana flavor so much, but i love the consistency of bananas with this “ice cream”.  i’ve tried it with dark chocolate dreams spreadrazzle-dazzle peanut butter, and with some fresh fruit like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

for the entire bowl of “ice cream”, it is about 370 calories.  it usually turns out very rich so i can stretch it into 2-4 servings.  it’s the perfect end to an autumn night when i need a sweets fix.

banana ice cream

The Hump Day Blog Hop

going outside to feel better inside.

last week was rough for me.  on top of some added stress, my anxiety was high.  i debated on going to the canyon over and over all week.  i think i knew deep down that i needed to go, but by saturday morning, i was still going back and forth.  after wasting an hour after getting up, i put on some ripped jeans and old tennis shoes and just went.  i got some advice from the park ranger for some new hike ideas.

i ended up doing two hikes.  and in usual taylor fashion, i got lost on the first one.  but i made my way back and finished it.  the first hike on the CCC trail took me from the top of the canyon to the bottom.  i paused several times during the hike and took in the impressive view.  it makes you feel small, like all the bullshit doesn’t really matter.  after some serious reflection, i turned around and went back up.  i got in my car and drove to the opposite side of the canyon.  by this point, i was feeling much more relaxed.

Palo Duro Canyon

my second hike, the rock garden trail, was a little different.  the distance was longer, but the altitude change wasn’t as drastic.  i just put in my earbuds and listened to music the whole way up.  the whole experience was exhausting, in the best possible way.  i needed to be pushed physically as much as i needed the quiet moments of meditation.  i am thankful for the beauty of god’s creation, but i’m also grateful for the stillness to simply be in that canyon, to not have to think too much about anything but putting one foot in front of the other for a few hours.


Palo Duro Canyon