Saturday, November 15, 2014

Craft Club Magnetic Matchbox Advent Calendars

I'm so excited about starting a new club at school for students who share my love of crafting!! We had our first get-together this week and our craft project was making magnetic matchbox advent calendars for them to hang in their lockers and countdown to holiday vacation! A tutorial for making the advent calendar can be found here. It's a super easy, fun, and inexpensive project!

Magnetic Advent Calendar

I made some cute little signs to put up around the school advertising the club times and the project we would be making. I got a lot of positive feedback about starting the club from administration, staff, and students! 

Basic supplies are a ton of matchboxes (the people at the Dollar Store must have thought I was crazy for buying so many), scrapbook papers, magnet strips, and jingle bells for the top of the calendar. Glue sticks, rulers, and scissors are needed to put it all together.

I had 12 students and one teacher come to the first get-together, which turned out to be just the right amount of people so that I could easily walk around and assist if needed!

Because I wanted the students to be able to hang their calendars in their lockers at school, we designed the calendars with only 19 boxes as a way for them to 'countdown to holiday vacation' instead of counting down the days until Christmas.  We are a public high school, after all, so counting down to Christmas isn't exactly PC! Ha! They will fill the boxes with notes from friends, family, and teachers so each day they are greeted with a fun message!

DIY Advent Calendar Tutorial

They turned out SO CUTE!! And the kids had so much fun making them...we chatted, crafted, snacked, and listened to awesome '80s throwback jams!

The students have already asked when the next Craft Club meeting will be so my head is already turning with lots of ideas for projects we can make! My heart is also filled with happiness from spreading crafting joy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 Outfit & Style Ideas for Teachers

If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen my 'teacher outfit of the day' pictures, but if not, this post is for you! Although my school is pretty laid back when it comes to enforcing a staff dress code, most days my outfits are on the dressier side. Even on days I dress more casually, I try to ensure I look well put together when heading to work!

The places I tend to shop most frequently include Forever 21, Old Navy, H&M, Target, GAP outlet, and Banana Republic outlet. I do tend to find some great accessories and items at WalMart, too! I don't have a big budget (shocking...I'm a teacher so you would think I'd be rolling in the dough) but have found that creativity can really stretch ones wardrobe! The pictures to follow were all taken with my iPhone so the quality isn't the best, but hopefully you'll find some inspiration for your work attire nonetheless!

Outfit #1: Bold Color & Pattern
teacher style
The classic navy pencil skirt was only $12 at Forever 21 (I recently purchased it in gray also)! The navy belt came with a dress I purchased at WalMart but have repurposed here. The hot pink cardigan is from Banana outlet as is the lime green & white hounds tooth bow top! I went bold with the colors and think they play well off one another...don't be shy...go bold!

Outfit #2: Casual Friday
 My students said 'Miss Rush, your outfit looks like something I would wear' which I took as a compliment! Ha! I think the soft fall colors work well together here. The sweater is from H&M, the burnt orange tank was only $4 at Forever 21 (necklace is from Forever 21 as well...they have tons of fun and inexpensive accessories), boots were a splurge from my local Nine West outlet. Jeans are from Delias, a store for teens, but they have pant lengths for short people such as myself so I shop there for that reason!

Outfit #3: Feminine Neutrals
teacher outfit ideas
This is a really simple outfit but I love the soft colors and the bow detail of the neckline on the sweater. The top is from H&M, skirt is from Target, pumps are from Nine West outlet. I also have the shoes in black patent and really love how they look and feel (not too uncomfortable to be in all day). Purchasing classic pieces like the khaki pencil skirt & the nude pumps, really make it possible to mix and match my wardrobe.

Outfit #4: Fall Comfort
I LOVE this outfit because it's cute but so very comfortable! In this case, the plaid LL Bean scarf acts as a piece that ties the rest of the outfit together.  It's paired with a simple GAP outlet navy cardigan worn over a simple $13 heather purple dress from Forever 21. Navy tights and boots from Kohls finish off the look!

Outfit #5: MadMen
 I love this H&M sheath dress because you put on one item, and you're done! I felt like Joan from MadMen in this dress...classic and stands the test of time! I decided to pair the dress with a leopard print belt from Forever 21 to add a little bit of detail. Nude pumps keep the legs looking long...easy peasy! 

Outfit #6: Field Trip
 Dressing for a field trip in New England, in the rain, in November is not an easy task! It was cold and really windy and we had to walk outside around Salem all day. So, I paired my warmest blue wool sweater (purchased 10+ years ago at Old Navy) with my all time favorite Target purchase, this navy blue polka dot rain coat! Jeans are Delias and the Sperry wellies were purchased at Marshalls last year. They are warm, waterproof, and comfortable!

Outfit #7: Classic Teacher
When I think 'teacher style' I think of this outfit...a classic cardigan (Banana outlet) paired with a whimsical printed pencil skirt (Target) over a ruffle neckline button up shirt (Target). I wore this outfit for parent-teacher conferences and received lots of compliments!

Outfit #8: All About the Accessories
Here I've paired a pencil skirt from GAP outlet with classic white collared shirt topped with a navy blue Old Navy pullover. Without the accessories, the look would be a bit plain for my taste so I added a patent blue belt (Forever 21) and a gold bauble necklace from WalMart.

Outfit #9: Boho Chic
Another super easy outfit...dresses are the best! This bohemian-inspired paisley print dress from Forever 21 is paired with a belt, to cinch in my waist, and tan boots from Nine West (purchased in September). Really easy to put together but also very comfortable!

Outfit #10: Monochromatic with a Pop
And finally, a mono-chromatic look with a pop of red at the waist! This navy shirt dress from Old Navy is paired with navy tights and navy 'booties/shoeties'. I wasn't sure if I could pull off the bootie look as I'm pretty short and thought they would chop up my visual leg line. But, I think keeping the whole look mono-chromatic worked well.  This is an example of me going out of my comfort zone, albeit cautiously, to try something trendy...and isn't that what fashion is all about? Trying new things and having fun while doing it? My goal with work attire is to look put-together, conservative, and trendy all at the same time, while maintaining a strict budget!

Tell me, what are some of your favorite looks and places to shop on a budget?
Linking up to The Pleated Poppy for 'What I Wore Wednesday'!