financial, lifestyle

How to Prep for Taxes

Hi y’all,

I know taxes are not the most fun topic of conversation. However, they’re a lot less painful when you are prepared for them. I am not self employed, but I can give you a few tips if you are since both my parents are self employed.

Now, I am not a financial advisor, nor do I work in the finance industry. However, I have never been in a bind when it comes to my taxes because I do these things.

Set up your paycheck correctly.

Make sure that you are taking some money out already for taxes. You’ll have less sticker shock when it comes time to pay the rest (or get a refund!) because you were overly prepared. This means that you need to double check your filing status, how many dependents, etc.

Keep track of your potential deductions throughout the year.

I keep a Google Sheet with all of my potential deductions on them. I have it set up for the date, where the purchase was made, the cost, and which category it would potentially fit under. So for instance, when I got to the dentist, I pay $69 for a regular visit. So, I put the date of my visit, dentist, $69, and put an X in the Medical category. When I pay my tuition, I make sure that it is marked under education. As a teacher, I can take off a certain amount (about $200) of things I purchase for my classroom out of pocket. This year, I made a point not to purchase things because we still do not know how long we will be in person. I started this last year, and it was a total lifesaver! You still need to keep your receipts, though.

Prep early so that you aren’t behind.

Make sure that you are ahead of the ball game. Don’t wait until the last minute to start preparing and filling out forms. This saves you from paying the late penalty.

Save some each month.

Especially if you are self employed this is a game changer! My mom told me that when my dad first started his business (before I was born), she set aside 30% every month of the income so they had it ready to go. If 30% sounds a little high, just remember you’ll have that money left over, so it’s like saving it!

File early.

Obviously, you have to wait until all your paperwork from your job(s) are in. However, the earlier you file the less you have to worry about a late penalty.

File for Free

My last tip is to find a place to file for free or the lowest cost if you make under a certain amount of money. Once you hit a certain threshold, you have to pay. However, as a teacher, I do not make enough to have to pay.

I know we’re not even to 2021 yet, but it’s better to be prepared when it comes to taxes!



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Christmas Wishlist 2020

Hi y’all,

I know at least my mom will be happy I’m finally writing this post! Albeit, I am actually super disappointed in how many bloggers are promoting numerous gift guides and super expensive gifts. Obviously, this year has been unique and I am definitely not expecting or really asking for any of these things on my wishlist. It’s just something to help guide and would be nice if someone wanted to buy them for me.

Now, this is not a gift guide. It’s a wishlist. I know that I will probably get maybe one thing that is on it. That is totally fine with me. This year has been stressful for everyone in one way or another. Also, I’m really proud of myself that the word “puppy” is not on here one time. We all know that will be coming though (if only I could finish grad school in the near future).

  1. Camera for vlogging. I already have a DSLR canon I bought a few years ago; however, it’s not conducive for vlogging and my iphone battery is not reliable anymore. My mom is a professional photographer (check out her instagram here) and we’ve been buying from B&H for years if not decades.
  2. Lilly Pulitzer Dillon Pullover. I have this in the lavender color Lilly did back in early spring (before quarantine) and love it! My favorite part is the bow detail in the back. I would want this in a medium to make sure I had room for my shoulders. I love the fact Lilly did this in black, such a great neutral.
  3. Money. It’s no secret I’m saving for a house. I also need to start saving for a new car. I’m also in the home stretch for grad school (about 3 more classes and a practicum over the summer) so being able to finalize the money for this would be great. My district announced in earlier this month that all faculty will be receiving a bonus with our December paychecks, and a 2% raise starting in January. This will of course be a big help; however, I’m definitely focused on making sure I have enough money to make all my dreams happen (and to actually have a bed and a couch in my new home!).
  4. J. Crew Factory pjs. I love love love J.Crew pajamas. They are hands down some of my favorites and are constantly on my wishlist. Mine are a size small.
  5. iPhone 12. I know this is one that my mom will be rolling her eyes at. It’s on me to buy my next phone and I know that. I love that you can pick a color.
  6. A spin bike. Again, I know I’m not getting this. It is definitely something that I want in my future house, though. I haven’t been to spin class at Zoom since March 5th and I really miss it. While I know they are taking as many precautions as they can, I’m constantly in a high risk environment at school.

Obviously, I have some clothes that I really want (and have already been purchased by me). Again, this is a wishlist, not a gift guide.

What’s on your wishlist, realistic or not?


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20 Things to be Thankful for this Year

Hi y’all,

Since it’s 2020 and we all probably feel like there is not a lot to be thankful for this year, I decided to share with you 20 things I’m thankful for this year.

There is no rhyme or reason for what place they are in on the list. It’s simply just a list.

  • A consistent paycheck.
  • A roof over my head.
  • New friendships.
  • Old friendships.
  • Social Media.
  • Grad School.
  • Electricity & Running Water.
  • Technology.
  • Weight loss.
  • Clothes that fit.
  • Warm blankets.
  • A fun class.
  • The ability to workout.
  • Being able to do kind gestures.
  • Cute pajamas.
  • Family time.
  • My health.
  • Sleep.
  • Time management skills.
  • A sound mind.

What are things you are thankful for this year?



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Sharing Kindness

Hi y’all,

I’ve been on the computer a little more than normal working on grad school assignments, and one thing that I’ve noticed is how few people actually share things about being kind, or even a “positive post”. I even wrote this post back in January on teaching kindness to 5th graders.

While I definitely agree that fake positivity does not help anyone, we need to have more kindness in the world. One of the things I’ve believed for a long time is that we need to lead with a servants heart. This means helping other people out, and showing kindness every time you can. Sometimes, yes, it’s difficult. I will be the first person to say that. However, when we sprinkle some kindness, overtime it will lead to more people showing kindness.

This month I decided to post a quote or a saying about kindness every day to my Instagram story. I’ve already had multiple people message me thanking me for posting something about kindness.

I’ve included some of these posts here; however, there will be even more coming this month.

Kindness is something we all need. Especially right now. As a teacher, I still have parents that question everything I do. We’re in person, so it’s not like they’re in the classroom. Kindness may look a little different right now. For me, showing me kindness means keeping your child home from school when they are sick. It means trying your best to follow directions. It means texting or calling to check in. It means supporting others as they reach big goals in their lives, or start working toward a new goal.

Showing kindness right now means thinking of another person and what they may like, not just getting something generic. Keep in mind, it does not have to be a physical object. Take something of their plate. We need less to do right now, not more.

We also need to show kindness to ourselves. This might mean not taking work home. It might mean sticking to a daily routine. It could be exercising every day. It could also mean making a new friend. It could mean window shopping.

As I said, showing kindness can mean different things. Do you have a friend that has a small business that you want to support? A little low on cash this year? No problem!

Here are a few ways to support a small business without spending a day:

  1. Share on Social Media.
  2. Like their posts.
  3. Comment on their posts.
  4. Talk about them.
  5. Write a review.
  6. Give them a shoutout.

How to show a friend you care:

  1. Do something nice for them.
  2. Write and send a card.
  3. Send a text saying that you’re thinking of them, ask if you can do anything.
  4. Spend time with them, even if it’s virtual.

Remember, we do not have to spend money to share kindness. We can do so many things that are kind just by respecting and checking in with people.

Today, take a minute a sprinkle some kindness.



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lifestyle, teaching

Flood day?

Hi y’all,

Something a little crazy happened last week. We had a flood day! I’m more used to snow days than flood days. My junior year of high school, we ended up having both when it snowed 3 feet twice, and the snow melted so fast between the storms that we had severe flooding.

However, we managed to somehow get a flood day. Anna (my roommate) and I walked around in the afternoon to see some of the damage and flooding. We knew where some of the major flooding was and walked a different direction.

Also, I will be the first person to say that teaching this year is so different than teaching the last two years. My school district is still offering 100% in person or 100% virtual for elementary (no hybrid model). Our middle and high schools are all on a hybrid model.

When Anna and I went on our walk, I took some footage and did a week in my life, so I thought I’d share it here. Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel so you can see videos first!



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Why I Could Never go on The Bachelor

Hi y’all,

Okay, it happened. I got dragged into the drama of this season of the Bachelorette. Honestly, Clare, I don’t know what you’re thinking. Obviously, she knows her own feelings; however, I really do not think you could have such strong feelings after two weeks. Especially if you hadn’t talked to them before as they’re claiming. I am very excited for Tayshia though. I truly liked her on Bachelor in Paradise. I definitely thought JPJ could be too immature for her, so I wasn’t too shocked when that relationship ended. I will say JPJ seemed to step up though.

Anyway, I digress on my thoughts about the current season and wanted to share why I could never go on The Bachelor.

  1. The dates are pretty unrealistic. As much as I would want to go horseback riding through a city or town, that’s just not something that would happen. I also feel like a lot of them don’t allow to really get to know the person. Plus, most of the dates are planned by the producers to play on fears or something you don’t like. Sorry, I don’t wish to be terrified on a first date. For instance, I keep thinking of Hannah B. going bungee jumping during her season. No thank you. I would literally walk (really run) away.
  2. People are playing with your love life. There are still other people involved (like the producers) that are playing their game to make “good tv”. In this case, “good trash tv” would be slightly more accurate. They manipulate the list to make sure that certain people are getting screen time or whatever other reasons. I feel like your love life is something you should control over and this show takes away those elements. I do wonder how much control they have during Bachelor in Paradise, though.
  3. The “type” I’m attracted to most often is portrayed pretty badly. I love the sweet, preppy guys and they are often portrayed as stuck up jerks. Y’all, if a guy will open a door for me I’m all for it. Can I open a door for myself? Absolutely. Is it nice for someone to be polite and do it for me? Yes.
  4. I’d be terrified of making a mistake. What if I sent the wrong guy home? Plus, I feel like there is definitely not enough time night one to make a true definitive decision after like 5 minutes. Sure, you might know that there is absolutely nothing there; however, this is definitely a strange situation where you might hang out with a person for 5 minutes and decide you never want to see the person again. This is not like in real life where you could contact them a little bit later and say hi again.
  5. If I got frustrated (which I probably would) I would either just send all the guys home or be like I’m leaving.

Now, obviously dating live on tv would probably not be the best option for me. Neither is online dating/dating apps apparently.

I feel like there could be a laundry list of things that you want in a significant other/life partner. However, we don’t always see it. I actually saw the best thing on a guy’s Instagram story. The post was about how we ask God or hope for a certain person to just walk into your life. Instead of hoping for that, you should be looking at all the things that are in your life or look at the pieces because together it could be the “total package”.

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lifestyle, teaching

A Week in my Life as a 5th Grade Teacher

Hi y’all,

I posted a video to Youtube this week, and I wanted to make sure y’all saw it!

Teaching in a pandemic is weird and I definitely wanted to show some insights. I obviously cannot film my students for privacy reasons. One thing that has changed is that we cannot meet as teachers in person. We have to meet via Zoom or another video chat service. This actually is a newer policy than most (it changed in October). Before, we could meet in our grade levels and now we always have to meet via Zoom.

I’ll be doing some more videos similar to this coming up as well.

If you have any requests, leave me a comment below!



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Book Chat {November 2020}

Hi y’all,

I cannot believe I haven’t done a book chat since June! This book chat is super long, and it’s not even complete. I’ll be doing another post to share even more books that I’ve read since June.

Trust Me by Margaret Watson- 4.5/5 stars

Raine Taylor is concerned about one thing: catching her sister’s killer. Connor Donovan, local detective, is called about a disturbance…little does he know how that little disturbance will change his life. Raine’s one goal in life puts her at risk, can Connor save her?

Loved this one! The story has a variety of twists and turns which I love. When you think you have everything figured out, there’s another twist!

Hometown Calling by Lexy Timms-4/5 stars

The girl best friend is getting married-to someone else. I’m a groomsman, and do not want her to marry this guy. Hometown Calling is the story of a groomsman, who never spoke up for himself, finally figuring out who he is meant to be with, but is it too late?

This book was almost too predictable. It’s definitely cutesy and if you’re the girl next door, super relatable. However, the storyline is obvious in most parts. However, the characterization definitely draws the reader in.

I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill-4/5 stars

She’s supposed to move across the country. Then, she gets scammed and has no where to live, no money, and no backup plan. Her best friend is also moving across the country, and just got dumped by his fiance-the fiance he needs to live in married student housing. Now, he’s got no backup plan…or does he? Together, they navigate grad school and figuring our real life when they have all odds stacked against them.

This book has a typical yet unique storyline. While it follows traditional relationship stereotypes for books, it definitely has twists that keep the reader on their toes. There is great characterization and the reader is drawn.

The Lone Star Lawman by Justine Davis-5/5 stars

Shane Highwater, local Police Cheif and most upstanding citizen of Last Stand, Texas. Liliana Jones, the local reporter, begs to differ. She’s convinced that Highwater did something to cause her boyfriend to have a major accident. Highwater will do everything he can to prove she’s wrong.

If I could (which I guess technically I can since this is my book chat) this book would have like 7 stars. The characters have such storylines and it’s like you’re living in Last Stand with them. The town itself reminds me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Added bonus, the characters are just as loveable and unique. While the events that occur in the book aren’t 100% relatable, the characters and the complete story line really draw in the reader.

Head Over Heels by Cindy Procter-King-4.5/5 stars

Magee works for her family’s advertising business. Yet, she can’t seem to do a good job and it’s looking like serious nepotism for her to have her current position. She has to do something-and fast. Justin, a serious mountain biker and almost client needs her help. Together, they create an arrangement. However, that arrangement might not be as solid as they think.

Another book that truly draws the reader in. The events are super relatable and you never know when you mind find yourself in a similar situation.

Always: A Sweet, Small Town Romance by Leeanna Morgan-4.5/5 stars

Mallory was a top figure skater, until she got injured. Grant Byers does it all: cattle rancher, Search and Rescue volunteer, and he’s a former Navy SEAL. Grant puts it on himself to keep Mallory safe, when the same person that injured her arrives in Bozeman Montana.

Challenging the Cowboy by Jeannie Watt-4/5 stars

Zach will continue running the Marvell family ranch until his dies. He’s already been doing it since he was fifteen. However, Finley has other plans. She’s a trainer a little down on her luck. She needs a job to stick, Zach needs help with his brother now working his own ranch, too. Finley may, or may not, fit the bill.

Great story line! Zach and Finely both have their challenges, which could define them as both individuals and as a couple.

This is Crazy by Natasha Madison-5/5 stars

Zara Stone has been (unwillingly) around hockey her entire life. Her dad was a pro player, and now two of her brothers are. Zara is crushed after her ex-bf posts an engagement picture and wedding announcement (3 months after their breakup). Evan, a pro hockey player, is the perfect date to crash said ex-bf’s wedding. She and Evan hit it off, making Zara reconsidering the whole self induced no hockey player ruler.

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Zara is relatable and chases after her dreams, and Evan is fully supportive making such a positive book model for #relationshipgoals.

Chasing Hannah by Melissa Ellen 3.5/5 stars

Hannah has done everything to keep her job, but instead of the promotion, she gets the boot. She heads home for her BFF’s wedding, and runs into the person she never wants to see ever again. Opportunity comes knocking, but it might not be enough to get her to leave her hometown after all.

I think I always joke about being from small town USA, but Hannah is definitely from there more so than I am. This story almost seems a little forced in parts.

Jersey Girl by Rhonda James-5/5 stars

Cassie has come to campus after a disaster year. Her brother is a hot shot hockey player on campus, destined for the pros. So is his best friend and roommate, Brantley. Brantley has been a player both on and off the ice, but Cassie might just be the girl to change him. However, Brantley has to get the big brother’s seal of approval, and fear might just keep them apart.

This book is relatable to anyone who has a protective older brother. I loved how this book faced a wide variety of relationships issues and kept it real.

Cowboy in her Courtroom 1/5 stars

She’s seeing someone on a personal note…little does she know he’s about to end up in her courtroom. He’s not a good guy, and is being accused of a pretty serious crime. Yet, she’s his alabi.

Y’all, as a person who loves a good crime and mystery book, I could NOT get into this one. Everything seemed fake and I think I read like 10% of the book before having to put it down.

All of Me by Heatherly Bell-4/5 stars

Ivey Lancaster is back and is trying to persuade the local hospital to start a midwife program. Her ex-boyfriend is the doctor she has to convince. They will have to get past years of hurt in order to seal the deal.

This book has such a good plot line and fantastic characterization. This book keeps the reader engaged and asking “what will happen next?”.

Choosing Happily Ever After by Elena Aitken- 4.5/5 stars

Hope Turner is a wedding planner and event host extraordinaire. Levi needs a job now that he’s back in town. Hope needs help. Levi might just be the man for the job.

As we see Hope go through a bunch of different things, Levi is there for her every step of the way. He steps up to the plate big time for the love of his life-even if Hope doesn’t see it.

Three Dates by Grahame Claire-5/5 stars

Muriella doesn’t date. Stone thinks she’s beautiful. Stone convinces her to go on three dates. His mission: to sweep Muriella off her feet.

I am obsessed with the characters in this book! You are brought into the story and the characters’ lives. In turn, they become a part of yours. I loved this book so much, I ended up getting the next book in the series Heartbreaker. These stories rope you in and are so relatable. If you don’t read any other books I recommend, these are a must read.

Heartbreaker by Grahame Claire-5/5 stars

Mulaney has a secret, the business isn’t doing well. She can’t figure out why though. Easton has a secret, too. His is very different from Mulaney’s. Together, there secrets define their relationship with each other, and those around them.

Again, LOVE this book! As you read, you are drawn in and make deep connections to the characters and their stories. Another must read on this list. Grahame Claire absolutely nails it!

What have you been reading lately? Do you have any must read books?



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Home Rehab

Hello there friends!

I feel like I’ve been running a hundred miles an hour and can’t catch a break.

However, I did take the time to vlog this weekend since we worked on rehabbing my friend’s new house! I wanted to share the vlog here, and of course my YouTube channel! Make sure to subscribe for so many videos!

Thanks for watching! Make sure to like and leave a comment if you want to!



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Life Update: October 2020

Hi y’all,

I’ve been sitting down yesterday and today making plans for content, but I also wanted to share what’s been going on in my life and why I haven’t been posting as much as I normally want to. I actually ended up filming a Youtube Video and wanted to let ya’ll know to subscribe so that you could be the first to know when I post a new video!

I’ll be posting a few school videos this weekend (specifically math related) so be on the lookout for those!).



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