Dressing and Educating: Catch Up Edition

This post is a catch up edition to the days I’ve missed since taking my short vacation from the blog. Since I have so many outfits to describe I will be brief.

Day 147: April 3, 2017

I wore a Cassie skirt and Classic T from Lula Roe. I like the peek-a-boo tank look with a knotted tee.

 

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Day 148: April 4, 2017

I wore a pair of OS leggings by Lula Roe and a navy tunic from The Limited.

 

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Day 149: April 5, 2017

I wore my Kebede Mixed Material top by Skies Are Blue from Stitch Fix # 7 and Ellaine Open Cardigan by PaperMoon from Stitch Fix # 4 and coral jeggings.

 

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Day 150: April 6, 2017

I wore a brand new outfit from Lula Roe. I went to a pop-up party the night before and scored these OS leggings and this Irma.

 

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Day 151: April 7, 2017

I wore spirit-gear and jeans today.

 

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Day 152: April 10, 2017

I kicked off Holy Week with a blue and red striped Carly dress from Lula Roe.

 

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Day 153: April 11, 2017

I wore my Rinald Front Pocket Blouse by Fun2Fun from Stitch Fix #6 and  Abrianna Knit Cardigan by 41Hawthorn from Stitch Fix #1 and navy cargo pants from Old Navy.

 

Day 154: April 12, 2017

I proctored the state AIR tests today for the entire school day. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to capture my attire for the day.

 

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Day 155: April 13, 2017

I wore OS leggings from Lula Roe and a navy tunic from the Limited. I added flair to this outfit with a long open-front vest.

 

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Day 156: April 17, 2017

I wore a maxi dress from Old Navy with a Classic T from Lula Roe knotted over top of the dress. This is my first time ever wearing a tee over a dress and I really liked this look!

 

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Day 157: April 18, 2017

I wore red OS leggings from Lula Roe and a long sleeved striped tunic.

 

Day 158: April 19, 2017

As part of my district’s improvement plan I spent today in curriculum meetings with the other World History teachers creating maps for our units of study. I did not get a photo of my outfit today.

 

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Day 159: April 20, 2017

I wore OS leggings and an Irma top from Lula Roe.

 

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Day 160: April 21, 2017

I wore this spring top from Charming Charlies and a pair of jeans. Students had a half-day today as it was the mid-term. Teachers had afternoon meetings and professional development. We focused on making a difference in the lives of our students.

 

Which looks were your favorite?

 

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation as a result of this post.

LipSense Review

I’ve always wanted to be one of those women who wears lipstick. My goal was always to have that put-together, naturally beautiful look, but a combination of the way it dried out my lips and the ease at which products rubbed off as I ate and talked kept me from wearing it regularly. Over the years, I’ve tried a number of products, but none have proven satisfactory. For months, I’ve noticed several of my friends on social media posting about LipSense. It is a lipstick that promises longevity and moisture for dry lips. I was skeptical after my experience with almost every other company, but when I was invited to a live party I decided to try it out.

At the party, I chose several shades to try on myself. I ended up loving Precious Topaz.

The way you apply LipSense is different than any other I’ve worn. It’s a thin, alcohol-based formula that you apply in layers using long swipes in one direction. Each layer dries within ten seconds. Ideally, you should have three layers of the product on your lips, but I’ll admit I’ve cheated and done some applications with only a single layer and it was fine. After the layers are in place you finish the look with a generous amount of gloss. The gloss locks in the color and hydrates your lips.

Once you have finished with application the color should last 10-18 hours depending on the pH of your skin. Mine usually only lasts about 8 hours, but during that time it doesn’t transfer or rub off.

Because I’ve been a Chapstick fanatic for years, the first application was painful. My lips tingled and cracked as the LipSense formula worked to reverse the effects of wax buildup from Chapstick.

In my experience, the more I used the products the healthier my lips felt. Wearing it daily helps keep my lips hydrated. Glossy gloss has been a great replacement to Chapstick. I like to wear the gloss on its own and also while I sleep.

The first time you order LipSense you need to be sure to get the whole kit. The kit includes lip color, gloss, and Oops Remover. Oops Remover is absolutely necessary for removing the color at the end of the day.

So far, I’ve been very pleased with my experience. I get countless compliments each day that I wear LipSense. My advice for anyone who has naturally dry lips is to give it a week to achieve desired results. The first few days were painful for me, but as time wore on the pain went away. Before LipSense I was damaging my lips using products that contained wax and GMOs. I’m thankful for a product I can feel confident in while also knowing it is advancing my lip health.

If you are interested in giving LipSense a try check out the contact information below. Rachel is my consultant. She has some really good tutorial videos on her social media sites.

Facebook: Make up and Chill with Rachel

Instagram: make_up_and_chill

Email: makeupandchillwithrachel@gmail.com

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The Ameri Brit Mom

Short Story: Allegations

This short story was submitted to a contest through The Short Fiction Break. It is written according to contest guidelines and following a prompt provided by judges. It is a YA piece.

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Allegations

by: Lauren Sisley

Everyone else in the room decided I was guilty. I wondered if trying to persuade them otherwise was even worth the effort. Mom sat in the corner picking at her nail polish while Dad nodded along as the principal explained the situation. Neither of my parents looked me in the eyes.

“Mr. and Mrs. Konkel, this is a very serious allegation that has been made against your son. If charges are pressed we will have to turn this case over to the local police.”

The sound of my mother’s gasp distracted me from the dialogue. Dad asked questions like a detective. Mom continued in silence letting her heavy breaths do her talking.

“All I can say at this time, Mr. Konkel, is that it matches up. I can’t say for sure that Jordan is at fault, but he is our only suspect.” Principal Wallis placed his hands on his desk and looked my direction. He was the only brave soul in the room.

“And if charges aren’t pressed?” Dad questioned.

“Then, suspension is not off the table. This is still very serious and the school has a zero tolerance policy for this kind of thing.”

I found it ironic that no one asked me if I did it. They just assumed because I was Wilson’s little brother that I had to be guilty. While I was a captive to Principal Wallis’ office I tried to put the pieces together in my mind.

Seventh period I was in English. Miss Thorne was going over poetic devices and I was nodding along like I had any clue who William Shakespeare was. The bell rang and somewhere between my seat in English and the bathroom floor I lost all recollection.

I awoke to the smell of urine. A hand tapped my backside as I realized my face was soaking up the wet floor. My head felt as though it had taken the brunt of the fall. I could feel a bruise already forming under the skin, but other than that I felt fine.

“Better get yourself to the nurse, Kid.” The janitor spoke to me while returning to his mopping. It’s weird how you can go to the same school for three years and never once speak to the janitor. I wondered if he knew my name. Standing to my feet I walked right past the man without a word and made my way out of the bathroom.

When I turned to the hallway I heard the cries.

A girl from my history class was talking to Principal Wallis and pointing toward the bathroom. My vision was blurry, but I could see her busted lip and ripped clothes from where I stood. Fear masked her face almost as well as her smeared makeup.

Principal Wallis turned just as I crossed the hall. “Young man, I think you ought to turn around and head toward my office. You have some explaining to do.”

Then the questions started.

“What were you doing in the bathroom in the middle of eighth period? Do you know Amira Paulson? Why are you covered in urine? Did you flood the bathroom? Why is your head bleeding? Please answer me!” Principal Wallis was getting frustrated.

As hard as I tried I couldn’t come up with a response. There was seventh period and there was the bathroom floor. I couldn’t be sure of anything else.

Watching my parents as they each dealt with the conflict knotted my stomach. I could tell that they were struggling with how they could have raised another monster. They never thought I’d turn out like Wilson. Dad was pacing and finally worked up the courage to address me.

“Well, Son, do you have anything to say for yourself? After all we’ve been through as a family these past few months do they mean anything to you? Did you learn anything from your brother’s mistakes?” It was my first opportunity to speak since they arrived, but the death of my brother was still too raw to touch.

I wanted to be able to give them an answer that would satisfy them. I wanted to remember what happened so I could get myself out of this. I wanted to tell them I’m not like he was, but I couldn’t bring that up. Not now.  I just shrugged my shoulders and continued to avoid eye contact like the other three people in the room.

“Jordan, I suggest that if you are innocent you say so.”

“I need my bag.” My words were involuntary.

“Excuse me?” Dad’s voice jumped several decibels.

“I need my book bag. I think I left it in the bathroom.”

“No, it’s been confiscated.” Principal Wallis pointed to a bag behind his desk that I couldn’t have possibly seen from my chair.

“Well, I need it back.”

“Listen here, Jordan. You will get your bag when you cooperate. You’ve gotten yourself into a whole heap of trouble. You don’t get to make requests. Right now your only concern is the truth. Tell us what happened.” I could see a vein popping out of Dad’s neck as he spoke.

“The bag first.” I tried to barter information for the safe return of my belongings.

“What’s so important in this bag anyway?”

In a quick motion Dad bent down and grabbed the bag off the floor. I felt my stomach wrench as he unzipped the front compartment and shook the bag upside down. I couldn’t watch, but I heard the sound of many objects as they hit the desk.

I knew they had found it the moment Mom began to wail.

I could hear him pick the bag up off of his desk. “Is this why you did it?” I balled my fists as I waited for a lecture. It didn’t come. Instead I was punished by the return of silence to the room.

“You’re just like him, Jordan! And I can’t go through this again.” Mom broke the silence as she stood up and left.

All of this was too much for her. I wasn’t the first of her children to carry around a bag of crank. I always promised that I wouldn’t get caught up in this stuff like Wilson did.

“Mr. Konkel, I have no choice but to involve the authorities now.” I heard Principal Wallis pick up the phone and dial.

“How could you do this to your mother?” Dad barked before he joined my mother in the hallway.

I was done for. Not only had they found my stash, but there was a girl in the next room crying rape. Both my parents were furious. The authorities were on their way. I wasn’t sure how I would ever get myself out of this one.

I continued to answer all of Principal Wallis’ questions with silence until there was a knock on the door.

The janitor entered the room. He was a large man, and his face was lined with wrinkles. He wasn’t someone to be crossed.

“Mr. Wallis,” He muttered. He had a student by the collar as he shoved him into the office. “Caught this one in the hall talking about that little girl who was in here crying.” He let go of the student and looked over at me. “Oh, hey, how’s that head doing? You took quite the fall on the floor. I was coming in to mop it all up when I seen you laid out. Stupid seniors always making my job tough. Clogging toilets and all.”

It was a relief to know I hadn’t done it.

I have a week’s suspension from school to figure out how to tell Mom and Dad that I carry Wilson’s bag to remind me who I don’t want to be. It’s all he left me in this world.

I would never hurt them the way that he did, which is why I was so terrified that I had.

It is unlawful to plagiarize any of the original work from The Ameri Brit Mom. No permission is given to reuse this text or ideas without written consent.

Five Minute Friday: Empty

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Empty. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:

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On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He is risen!…” Luke 24:1-6a

Imagine you were these women. You were still grieving a man who had suffered brutality at the hands of the law. He was beaten and scorned before the eyes of man. He was mocked and ridiculed. They looked on as He took his final breaths and pled with God to forgive those who had tortured Him.

He was one so many believed in and who gave them hope so days after his crucifixion these women decided to pay their respects.

But the tomb was empty.

The women had traveled expecting to see his defeated body, but instead they were met by angels. Their crushed spirits resurrected as they left to tell the others about this Good News. Jesus was alive!

Jesus overcame the grave. Death did not triumph. He arose undefeated. He had the last word.

As the plastic eggs and vinegar dye fill our homes this weekend take heart and remember that our Lord is victorious. When we are struggling in our own lives and feeling the weight of expectations, failure, fear, depression, and everything else that binds up our hearts and keeps us from joy remember that the One who left that tomb empty is alive in us today. We have His power to overcome.

The battle is already won!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Dressing and Educating: Days 140-143

This week was our state test week. I will spare you all the test anxieties and dramas and skip right to the goods–the fashion.

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Day 140: March 21, 2017

I started the short week with my black tunic from The Limited and OS leggings from Lula Roe.

 

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Day 141: March 22, 2017

I added Spring color with coral jeggings and paired it with my Ilaria Crochet Trim Tunic  Stitch Fix #8.

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Day 142: March 23, 2017

I dressed comfortably today for four hours of proctoring. I wore a navy and white striped top and grey leggings with boots.

 

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Day 143: March 24, 2017

The last day before Spring Break and the final day of proctoring! I wore a striped top from Old Navy and black OS leggings from Lula Roe.

Which look was your favorite?

 

The Ameri Brit Mom

*This post contains affiliate links and I may receive compensation as a result.

Our First Geocache Adventure

Geocache- the act of using GPS services to locate a hidden package or item.

Over Spring break my husband and I found ourselves with some alone time. This isn’t something that happens often so we decided to make the most of it. Sure, we could have done the usual date night and gone to a movie, but this was a mid-day respite and the sun was shining. We wanted to soak up the sun!

As we tried to decide what to do I remembered a student recommending urban geocaching. It’s something I had heard of before, but had never done. The idea seemed intriguing and it proved to be the perfect way to spend a day together. My husband and I are always looking for new places to go in downtown Columbus so we packed up our car and headed in that direction.

First, we downloaded the app Geocaching. 

Then, we found a general area in Columbus that had several geocaches available. We parked in a random place. Our first task was to find somewhere nearby for lunch. Since we were on the edge of Harrison and Victorian Villages we decided to try the popular Katalinas. I ordered a breakfast taco and my husband had Hens in a Basket (eggs baked into toast.) Both menu items were really good!

Next, we headed out on foot for our first cache. Using the coordinates and GPS on our phones we made it to the first location. Our first try was unsuccessful. We spent twenty minutes looking for a hidden key box. To be fair, we had no idea what we were looking for. We decided to go ahead and move onto another cache and come back and check again on our way to the car afterward.

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The next geocache was two miles away. Geocaching is a good motivator for exercise…did I mention that? We plugged in the new coordinates and enjoyed a leisurely walk around town.

We found the next cache almost immediately. Hints provided by those who planted the cache are always helpful. Most geocaches contain small trinkets. You can take something from the cache as long as you replace it with something of yours. This first cache contained two small erasers. Despite the anticlimactic souvenirs we were excited to have found our first cache!

Next, we decided to head toward the arena district about half a mile away. There was another one hidden in a park there. This one was a little harder to spot, but after ten minutes we had captured the quarry. The memento contained in this one was a dream catcher key chain. Again, not super exciting, but finding the cache was reward enough for us.

Believe it or not, downtown Columbus isn’t the best spot to geocache. Many of the suburbs are ridden with them, but downtown only has a few. We decided to head back in the direction of the unsuccessful cache. On the way we stopped for coffee at a small place in the Short North called One Line Coffee. We sipped and walked.

Once we got back to the original coordinates from earlier it only took a few minutes for us to find the hidden key box. Having the experiences of the first two helped us know what to look for.

We ended up walking five miles and having a really great time. This is something we plan to continue. We may even get our daughter involved. Stay tuned for more geocaching adventures!

The Ameri Brit Mom