IMG_1508138771040Sweaters, jackets, boots and scarves…fall is here! However, our North Texas fall temperatures seem to change from hour to hour. I’ve left my home on a cool October morning, dressed in the cutest fall attire, only to return sweating uncomfortably on what many would call a summer afternoon. Yes, I’ve learned the hard way that layering is the way to go! And nothing says fall like plaid. IMG_1508138435638Last week’s fall post was about scarves. This week, let’s focus on wraps, ponchos, and ruanas. (👗A ruana is a poncho-style outer garment typical of the Andes region of Venezuela and Colombia.) Any one of these pieces can turn a basic white tee shirt and jeans outfit into a stylish look for fall. This green plaid ruana from Francescas is ever so soft.  I really love the pom pom details. Put it on when you’re too cool or take it off when you’re too warm- and you’ll be comfortable all day long. By adding booties in a similar hue the whole ensemble is perfect for a North Texas fall day.

| RUANA SHIRT  | JEANS BOOTIES | BOOTIES 2

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IMG_1508139100778Are you inspired to add a few stylish pieces to your fall wardrobe? Shop for a cause at North East Mall. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Now through October 31st, 2017 receive 15% to 25% off an item, from participating retailers like Francescas, when you purchase a $5 discount card to support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Learn more by clicking here. Also, please take a moment to read about my dear Aunt Barbara and why I personally Shop For A Cause. Thanks so much for stopping by!IMG_1508140227945

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jenna-10-01-081-01Each year I find myself in a delimma- do I like Fall or Spring better? Both seasons offer relief from the extreme temperatures. Fall brings relief from heat of summer and Spring brings relief from the bitter cold of winter. Both seasons beckon you with festivals, picnics, and colorful scenery. I love the flower shower of spring trees just as much as I love the reds and golden leaves of fall. Best of all, both seasons allow you change of your style. The quickest way to do this is with accessories. jenna-10-01-083-01

And just like that Summer fell into Fall.”

1. Ankle Booties

2. Blanket Scarves

3. Ponchos/Kimonons

4. Felt Hats

5. Light weight knits

6. Moto Jackets (Suede & Leather)

These are all chic ways to change your style for Fall. It takes a while for fall temperatures to arrive here in Texas. The days slowly grow cooler and this process seems to take FOREVER! We can easily dress for summer clear into October. Therefore, we Southern ladies have to be creative in our use of accessories to capture the essence of the season.jenna-10-01-159-01Today’s focus is on scarves. A simple and stylish way to “look like fall”, when it doesn’t “feel like fall”, is to add a scarf.  Light weight, colorful, and soft- a blanket scarf is the least expensive way to change of style for both spring and fall. Wear it as a wrap, drape it over your shoulders, tie it as a scarf- there are so many ways to wear a blanket scarf.  They also come in an array of colors (orange, yellow, pinks, blues). This year, the gray & light blue plaid scarf from www.ilymix.com instantly caught my eye. I love how the blue breaks up the gray. By layering it over my basic gray dress, I was stylish and chic for the school day. The light colors can easily be worn in both in Spring & Fall.  Use my code SassyTeacherChic 20 for a discount. Stay tune for more fall tips thanks for stopping by!

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Aunt Barabara and Uncle JohnnyOn October, 5th, 2016- I lost my Aunt Barbara to breast cancer. It was one of the most painful and darkest moments of my life. Before she passed away, she was in and out of the hospital for 2 years, underwent chemotherapy, lost her hair, felt sicker than a dog, but she always smiled. She put on a wig and just prodded on. When the cancer spread to her arm she still kept positive. When it entered her lympatic system she kept busy. Week after week, she would attend congregation meetings as if nothing was wrong. Very few knew how sick she really was until the last time they visited her in the hospital. You may be able to hold your tongue, but your eyes never lie. When I visited my Aunt in the hospital on October 3rd, 2016 I knew it was the last time I’d get to see her. Although she smiled, death was in her eyes and she succumed to it just 2 days later.

Sickness, old age, and death are cruel and unkind. I’ve lost six family members in the past  six years. Last month, September 2017, I lost my grandfather. Most days I feel numb on the inside, and then at other times I feel like screaming. It has been very hard to see my family dwindle away before my very eyes. I am sure that I’m not the only one.  Running helps, blogging helps, teaching my carefree 2nd graders helps. However, what really keeps me going is sharing the promise from the Bible at Revlation 21:4.

3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

While I wait on this promise I strive to keep busy, living my life in a way that will make Aunt Barbara proud when I see her again. Last year, I participated in the Dallas Heart Walk in memory of my Grandma & Cousin Solomon. This year, in memory of Aunt Barbara, I’ve teamed up with North East Mall to support Susan G. Komen’s fight against breast cancer. During October, you can “shop for a cause.” during breast cancer awareness month. Donate $5 to Susan G. Komen Foundation and recieve a special discount card offering 15% to 25% off an item at all participating retailers. I know my efforts will not end death. Only Jehovah can do that. However, just maybe my $5 and your $5 will help another “Aunt Barbara” win the battle against breast cancer. SmartSelectImage_2017-10-13-02-36-57

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italy-filtered-139-01Ah, we’re on the brink of fall! I wish I was on an airplane or boat right now heading some place exotic! Fall and Spring are “off seasons” for many places of travel, and therefore a great time to travel. Most travelers will enjoy low airfare, cheaper hotel stays, and less crowds. Pack your bags and go!!  What about traveling internationally in a carry on suitcase? Can it be done?  It’s it reasonable?

YES!  We’ve taken two international trips (Costa Rica in June 2016 and Iceland, Paris, and Italy in June 2017) with just our carry on luggage.  Here are my tried and true tips for traveling internationally with a carry-on, and one personal item.

“Fill your life with experiences, not stuff. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

snapseed-021. Take items that you can get multiple use from. For outerwear, I took a reversible puffer. It kept me warm and gave me 2 different “looks” when we were in Paris and Iceland. It was no use to me as we traveled the Amalfi Coast of Italy, so light weight option was best for the entire trip. I wore it on the plane so I didn’t have to pack it.IMG_1498520574555-01

2. For clothing, think capsule wardrobe! Repeat the same colors over and over again so that everything coordinates. For Europe I packed 10 complete outfits. They were: 2 must have dresses and 1 colorful romper (3 outfits) as my statement pieces. Then I packed 3 pairs of pants and 2 tops to match each pant as my everyday outfits. (3×2=6 outfits). I added 1 pair of shorts that would go with any top I chose. (1 outfit) That’s a total of 10 outfits in my suitcase. But dont forget I also wore another complete outfit on the plane, so I really had 11 outfits and my favorite hat! Yeah baby!

Once in Europe, all I had to do was wash our clothing once a week. Tide laundry pods are great for this! 6 pods double packed in ziploc bags was all we needed. Fancy right? Be sure you have access to a washer and dryer wherever you go. We love to stay at AirBnB rentals for this reason. It’s great to have a home away from home. (Use our code: Jason30 for a discount with AirBnB.)IMG_20170614_071644_379-01

3. Don’t forget your swimwear and under garments. One swimsuit and swim cover packed inside a wet swimsuit bag has been my goto for travel. 12 undies (1 worn on the plane) 3 bras (1 worn on the plane) is easy to pack. I keep it simple by packing all black items.  This way everything matches…so I’m just that kind of girl!IMG_20170627_183234_453-014. Jewelry & Accessories are a must! They are the exclamation mark of your outfit!  I took 3 Kendra Scott jewelry sets: gold set, silver set, and black set. I wore the black set on the plane. By having so many combinations I was able to have a different “look” for each destination. Throw in a light weight scarf for added style or to fight the chill of the air conditioner! Top everything off with your favorite pair of gold or silver sunglasses for a chic look. IMG_20170629_105353_772-01

5. Be classy by matching your shoes and bags.  I love shoes, but I keep it simple by limiting myself to 3 pairs when traveling. Save space in your luggage by wearing your bulkiest pair of shoes on the plane. For Costa Rica,  I brought one pair of dressy sandals, 1 pair of casual sandals, and 1 pair of flip flops. That’s all I needed. For Europe, I had 1 pair of dressy wedges, 1 casual sandal, and my rain boots.DSC03189-016. Keep it classy by matching your shoes to your handbags. If you’re a handbag girl, like me, you may want to match your shoes and bags. My Personal item for the flight, (my Long Champ Le Pilage) doubled as my day trip bag, my black Michael Kors satchel was my everyday bag, and then a smaller Rebecca Minkoff clutch was great for evenings. While in Paris, I purchased the Long Champ Neo handbag. It was the best size for the metro, museums, and touring the Colosseum, and wandering the streets of Rome. Personally, I adore Long Champs because their durability, pack-ability (fold flat), and variety of colors.

snapseed-017. Toiletries & Shampoo & Medicines are must haves. I purchased the 3 ounces travel sizes from Target. I didn’t run out! I took along mini medications: Advil, baby Tylenol, and Mucinex decongestant. Finding the RIGHT medicine in other countries is daunting, especially if the information is in a foreign language. IMG_20170702_060503_765-01

8. Lastly, leisurewear is big right now. I pack a sexy little nightgown (for my husband) and a pair of gym clothes (for a more modest option) when staying with others) to sleep in. Taking my workout clothes has been great for unplanned hikes. Anytime you can get more than one use out of an item you’ve really maximized your luggage space.IMG_20170701_203328_120-01

Before leaving for Europe, I purchased Shack Pack packing cubes off Amazon. Honestly, I didn’t find them to be helpful with compression. 😕 I was miffed. However, they did find them helpful with organization. It was nice not having my luggage explode once I unzipped it. However, I didn’t get the compression I was really looking. So should you invest in packing cubes? It’s up to you. One item that really did work well for me was the universal electrical outlet cube converter.  It’s compact, user friendly, and even offers USB ports. Hallelujah! Don’t leave home without it.

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Overall, the two keys to traveling internationally with a carry on is: 1) build a capsule wardrobe within your suitcase that repeat the similar colors, 2) and wash your laundry while on vacation! Simple doesn’t mean boring. You need good planning to pull it off. I hope you find these tips helpful and that you have a great time on your next trip. Safe travels to you! So where are you planning to go? Please comment below. I love hearing from you.

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DSC03831-01Summer has ended for many of us educators. We’re now busy preparing our classrooms for the new school year. I’m going to miss sleeping in with Jocelyn, meeting other moms for playdates, midweek ministry, and the free time to work on my blog. However, I’m excited to meet and teach my new crop of 2nd graders. It’s going to be a fun school year with a new principal, a new curriculum, and improved teaching techniques. A new school year also means a new outfit or two!  This year I ventured throughout Fort Worth’s Sundance Square looking for a few pieces to add to my back to school wardrobe. Spanning 35 blocks in Downtown Fort Worth, Sundance Square is filled with dozens of options for shopping, dining, and entertainment.DSC03705-01

JACKET| TOP| SKIRT |EARRINGS

Two of my favorite places to shop are: Loft and White House Black Market With the perfect balance of dressy and casual style, Loft is great for the classroom teachers who need to dress professionally for that Parent-Teacher conference, but who tip toe through muddy playgrounds at recess. 👗Tip: Loft Loves Teachers and provides educators with many perks throughout the school year. Just present your teacher ID. I added new floral tops and colorful cardigans for the school year! A denim jacket is also a teacher’s best friend year round to fight the air conditioner.👗Tip: For a more dressy look, or office environment, choose your colored cardigan instead of the denim jacket. 👗Tip: I love basic black slacks, but crisp white psnts always cause the flowers on a dark background to standout. If you opt for white denium pants instead of white slacks, iron them for a more polished feel. Add a colorful cardigan to give a youthful yet professional feel to the classroom.DSC04119-01

FLORAL TOP | CARDIGAN| JEANS| SHOES

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Just across the street, White House Black Market adds versatility and style to my wardrobe. I can always find sophisticated professional pieces with feminine details, just across from casual chic weekend looks. It’s the shoes that always get me! They must be cute enough to catch to catch the eye, but pratical for walking the school hallways. I’m always on my feet. Their dark pants are perfect too! Everything can easily be carried from day to night, from weekday to weekend- without looking dated over time. 👗Tip: A low heel makes it easier to walk on the playground and in the school hallways. 👗Tip: The WHBM Rewards Program offers great VIP benefits too without the stress of a credit card. This is excellent for budget conscious teachers and professionals.

DSC03770-01SHOES 1|SHOES 2|SHOES 3

As I headed back to the FREE Valet, I popped into Francesa’s to pick a few pieces of jewelry, and a fun novelty gift to welcome my new principal. 📚Tip: A good wardrobe is 80% staples and 20% trendy! Avoid filling your wardrobe with only trendy pieces, but don’t skip them altigether. Francesa’s trendy pieces work great on casual Friday and weekends! DSC03861-01Did I say Free Valet? Yes! Valet Park for free any day of the week when you dine and shop only in Sundance Square. You must have your ticket validated by a Sundance Square restaurant or retailer  Just look for the red umbrellas and the guys wills assist you.DSC03882-01Just when I decided to head home, Grandma called to say that Jocelyn wanted to stay. Jason and I will have the evening to ourselves.  We’re going to meet up in the all new Sundance Square Plaza. It’s the perfect place to dine, shop and have a cup of coffee as you sit outside under the umbrellas. No matter how many times we the fountains they still mesmerizes us. When Jocelyn is with us, she loves to tip toe though it’s water on hot summer evenings.

Shopping has really worked up my appetite! From here it’s an easy walk to cuisines of all kinds: Mexican to Italian to Asian. My favorite places to dine & drink in Sundance are: Taco Diner, The Bird Cafe, Reata, Piranha Killer Sushi, and the new Salsa Limon. Afterwards, should we just stay here and people watch while chatting over coffee? Should we catch a movie at the AMC Palace 9 Theatre, have a good laugh at Four Day Weekend, or listen to music while sitting on Flying Saucer’s open air patio? Hmmm… decisions, decisions, decisions. There is much to do in downtown Fort Worth on our impromptu date night! However, one thing is certain, my back to school shopping is done, and I’m ready for a new school year thanks to Sundance Square!DSC03920-01*This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and ideas expressed are my own. Thanks for stopping by!

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