Sierra's View

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Goodbyes & Hellos

I know that it is not quite fall. But, as many of you know, I am a 6th grade teacher so my "summer" has, in a way, come to an end. The mornings are starting to cool down here in Utah, with a little frost on the car windows as I step out to leave early for work. The beginning of the school year is sort a new beginning for me.


Goodbye summer, hello back to school. 

Goodbye free time to work on this blog. 
Hello to 50 hour work weeks as a teacher. 

Goodbye to actually seeing friends and family. 
Hello my silly, fun, creative, intelligent 11 and 12 year olds. 

Goodbye being tan. 
Hello pale (er, fair) skin. 

Goodbye daydreaming in a field up in the beautiful Alpine mountains (see picture above) 
Hello to leaves starting to fall off the trees and colder air. 

Goodbye to spending hours and hours with Saylor puppy.  
Hello to watching her freak out after a long day of work when I walk in the day. 

Goodbye to fun traveling and awesome adventures. 
Hello to teaching and loving my students. 

Goodbye to naps in the sunshine.
Hello to naps in my bed :) 

Goodbye to avoiding church because of traveling.
Hello to a new calling: Mia maid advisor. 

Goodbye to long HOT summer hikes,
Hello to perfect, crisp air to walk right now! 

Goodbye to socializing with people my own age. 
Hello to pretty much socializing with 11/12 year old students all day and 14/15 girls on weekends :) 

Goodbye to long phone calls while driving.
Hello to quick check-ins. 

Goodbye evenings.
Hello to co-ed softball, choir, my calling and other extra curricular activities!

Goodbye to my big 1200 square foot apartment.
Hello to cuddling up in our teeny apartment now that we love :) 

Goodbye summer baseball,
Hello Football! 

I know some of this sounds pretty negative, but it's not. There is something so exciting about a new school year, bonding with my students and really getting to know them. With my crazy schedule, and a lot of new changes, it's just a transition. Transitions are good. 

Happy Back to School! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

T Money Needs This.

As many of you know, T Money is still in college. It really sucks. I mean, it's great that he's in school. Obviously. He's gonna be a DENTIST. Yeee! But, it's not awesome because I've basically been done for 2 1/2 years now….

But. Anywho.

As many of you know, college is expensive. And so is the process of renting books. I feel like Tanner's college textbooks are overpowering any semblance of our dream to go to Thailand this upcoming summer. 
However, I was lucky enough to find textbooks that were more than 50% off online. 
I feel like I have to spend my entire life savings when buying silly textbooks. Luckily, I found this site!!


Introducing Campus Book Rentals: A company that allows you to rent your textbooks for a fraction (save 40-90%) of the price with free shipping each way! You can rent textbook for a semester or even longer. You can set your own rental times and you can even write in the actual books. 




I promise this site is AWESOME. They have helped me save hundreds of dollars on textbooks over the past few years. 

Some perks to this awesome site are: 
-you save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-Free shipping!
-You can mark up the books any way you want!
-There are flexible renting periods. 
Also, Not only does this site allow you to save money on textbooks, but it also donates money to a child with clef-palate for Operation Smile. 

"So for EVERY book rented starting now, we will donate a portion of those proceeds to Operation Smile with our sights set on meeting and exceeding our goal of 1,000 lives changed. So add that extra book to your cart, and consider this goal as you go back to school this year. Thank you for your support."
-- Campus Book Rentals

This site, also, has new site called RentBack.com --more options to rent books!!!!
RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buyback options! (selling their books back at the end of the semester) Isn't that awesome?!


Check out this site today! You won't regret it. 


Do you use any sites to rent books from? 
Do you think college textbooks are too expensive? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Just Have To.

OKAY.
It's National Dog Day. Whaaaat?! How did I not even know this?! Thank goodness for social media, eh? ;)
So, naturally, I had to tell you about my puppy, Saylor. Because I know you guys don't know her yet. Ha! If you've been around awhile, you are probably sick of hearing about her. She is pretty much our puppy-child. T Money and I don't have children yet, so we like to pretend she's our child now. Yep, we have turned into those owners.
It's a good thing she doesn't shed, doesn't bark, is super smart and adorable and has the most hilarious personality ever because she is a little out of control sometimes. I couldn't get her to hold still to take these photos!
Saylor is an Mini AussieDoodle (Australian Shepherd, poodle). Her parents are a toy poodle and mini australian shepherd. She is about 12 pounds now. She is only supposed to be 15-18 pounds so she is almost full grown. She has grown up so much. She is now 5 months old!!! Our little baby is growing up. Haha. To celebrate this awesome holiday, I had to take some pictures of my doggy while I was outside playing with her today.

How can you not love this face?! 

Love her little ginger face. 

Ignore her wide open mouth. 

Model pose. 

"Mom, stooooooop takine pictures of me."






Ignoring Tanner. Hahahaha.

Love the way she lays. Ha.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Date Night with Chili’s® at Home | AMAZING Giveaway!

School has begun.
And I am wiped.
No, you guys. I'm not kidding. I was planning on getting tons of blog posts done, having a wave of inspiration to write some amazing stuff…but I just do not have the energy for it. I don't know what it is, but the first two weeks of school just wipe me out. But I seriously love my class. SO incredibly much.
To celebrate finishing the first week of school last weekend, T Money and I decided to go out on the town and have a date night to eat some yummy food. I got all dolled up and ready to go. I put on one of my favorite dresses and I was ready to go! (also--you get to see little snapshots of our cute little apartment!)


But, then, I sat down for a minute and was completely wiped. I mean, to the point of exhaustion. I looked at Tanner and said, "Can we just cook here and have a date at home?" Tanner was so patient and agreed. But first, we had to head to Walmart to purchase a fast, but yummy dinner. 


Chili's at Home dinners make my life so much easier because it is something that I can cook even on nights when I am incredibly exhausted. It still has the yummy taste of Chili's without having to go to the restaurant, which is awesome. It's a dinner that makes my life easier but I don't have to compromise my taste buds. 


Had to go right by the flowers that T Money gave me on the first week of school. Awww so dang cute. 

I got to cooking, put my pi's on and was ready to lay on the couch after a long week! I will have to save this dress for our next date night :) 

Chili’s® frozen foods let consumers treat themselves or their families to the experience of bold Chili’s®-inspired flavors — right in their own homes. Go pick one up today :) 

Have you ever tried Chili's at Home meals?
What makes them different than other frozen foods?

Thank you to Bellisio Foods for sponsoring this post and keeping my meals tasty and bold!

------------------------------------------------------------

Also, I have an amazing giveaway for you all today! Don't forget to enter :)

Who wants to win some free stuff?? Free ad space on 7 awesome blogs, to be exact. What if that prize also came with a $100 Etsy gift card and $45 PayPal cash? Where do you sign up? Oh, just use the Rafflecopter below. :) Be sure to say thanks to all the beautiful bloggers who made this possible!

Win ad space on 7 blogs, plus an Etsy gift card and paypal cash!

Ad Space prizes include:

1 month of Feature Ad Space on Life Could Be a Dream 1 month of The High Life Ad Space on Life With Amberly and Joe 6 months of Sweetest Ad Space on Ruffled Paper 1 month of Large Ad Space on Two Places at Once 1 month of Large Ad Space on Chez•Nemmar 2 months of Small Ad Space on A Beautiful Exchange 1 month of Small Ad Space on Wetherills Say I Do

The Rules

The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on August 21st until 11:59 pm EST on August 27th. The giveaway is open to US residents only. Entries will be verified, so don't be a loser–be honest with your entries. There will be one winner for these awesome prizes. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or a new winner will be drawn. Good luck!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

5 Ways to Earn Points for #HealthyLiving

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 

I'll be the first one to admit it. I need to work on my eating habits. Being a teacher and working 50 hours a week, not sleeping very much and a lot of extracurriculars means that my everyday habits have sort of deteriorated. #collectivebias and Walgreens motivated me to decide that it is time to add some habits, items and steps to include into my everyday that will help improve my energy, stomach, heart, and overall #health!

Here are Five Steps that will help with your #healthyliving on this awesome app.
photos via instagram.

Step 1. Download the Walgreens App onto your phone. As many of you know, Walgreens has a #BalanceRewards program. In this program, you can earn points when you buy items at the store, pick up prescriptions, etc. Also, in this app, there is a healthy choices feature. In this feature, you can earn #BalanceRewards points for making healthy choices. In this portion of the app, you can set health goals, track progress and connect your devices. This was a huge first step in getting my foot in the door for a healthy lifestyle change. I recently have been making a lot of health goals recently and this app definitely has increased that step. The coolest part about this app is that you can connect your devices and they can be synced with your BalanceRewards healthy choice feature. How sweet, right?! 



This is what the app looks like when you download Walgreens app. In the middle, as you can see, you can click on "Balance Rewards" and it will take you to your points. In the corner you can see that it specializes your name :)



This is me. So happy! Doing my Walgreens App healthy choice #balancerewards

Step 2. Head to your local Walgreens store and pick up some items that will help you receive points for eating healthier. While there, this is what I picked up:


Wandering the rows in Walgreens :)




  • Water bottles- Maybe this is just me, but I am in desperate need of more water!!!
  • Muscle Milk protein shakes--to get that protein that we need!
  • Luna Nutrition Bars- for those snack times!

Step 3. Get moving!!! On this app, you get 20 points for every mile that you walk, run or, bike. Saylor and I have been going out and getting our walks on everyday to earn these points! Boo ya!



While on your walk, you can see sites like these!!! At least, well, I can. Haha. Utah, baby! 

Step 4: Track your information! On this great app, you get 20 points per mile when you walk, run or bike, 20 points per daily log when you track your weight. Tracking on this app will help you save money while in the store! Setting up your account and making your first goal gives you 250 points right  away. 

One of my favorite things to do is be outside. I love to go hiking, walking, and be outside in nature. I feel the need to be "one with nature", if you will. I think it is important to be outside--even if it is something little, like I do when I take my dog for a walk. Just recently, T money and I went for a hike. I tracked my points and it was so fun to watch to my points go up. I don't know about you, but I am a competitive person. And I love to compete against myself and others. I love to watch those points go up. 




Always remember to get out, make health goals, for you. You don't need to compare yourself with others. I have found that I do this. I exercise, yet, I am still larger than so many other of my friends or bloggers that I see. I feel like I am so far behind. But I think the most important lesson I learned from this app is that I can have my own goals. And so can you! 


Step 5: Stay Awesome. No, really. Keep doing your yoga. Keep running. Keep walking. Keep eating healthy. You can do it. I believe in you! Download this app today! 

What do you do to stay healthy?
Have you tried this app? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Am a Product of My Family.

At the beginning of August, I spent a lot of time with my family--sisters, parents, nieces and nephews, etc. in Oregon at my cabin. I am the youngest of five children. I have three older sisters and one older brother (don't feel too sorry for him--he's the favorite. No, really).
My family is crazy. In a good way. (Kind Of). Everywhere I go, I have people telling me, "You look so much like your mom!" and "Oh my gosh, you talk so much like your sister!"etc. etc. After spending a significant amount of time with my family in one cabin I realized that I have gained so much of who I am from them (as many of us have). I like to believe that I am not like my family because they are loud, opinionated and very Type A. (Nooooo I'm not that way, I don't know what you're talking about), but alas, the whole "nature v. nurture" thing comes into play and that whole nurture part is quite prevalent. I am so convinced that so much of who we are is due to our nurturing and upbringing. Let's take me for example. I am actually naturally an introvert (Shocking, I know) but because I am the youngest of a very boisterous, stubborn family…I am more that way. If I had a quieter family, I guarantee I would be much quieter. Tanner always laughs because he always says "Your mom does that." And I get so mad.  Also, I look at the students in my class and it is incredibly prevalent in my kiddos. They are so much like their parents. They take their thoughts, mannerisms, personalities, etc. and use them as their own.

Anywho.
This is my family.


Aren't they cute? This was after a long day on the lake so forgive us if we don't look all dolled up.

I am a product of my family.

I am a product of my family (my father): I watch a television show all alone and laugh out loud--quite loud--to myself. You can hear me from the other room. Others will laugh at my laugh.

I am a product of my family (my mother): I am obsessed with walks. Everyday, if I am too swamped, I have to at least take my puppy for a walk. I love to enjoy nature and

I am a product of my family: I'm really loud. Ha.

I am a product of my family:  I feel like it's my duty to express my opinion. Even when no one asks for it.

I am a product of my family: I am a pretty natural athlete. I am bigger now, but hey, I played volleyball the other day and was by far one of the best. Just saying (do I sound cocky yet?) Along with this, is my natural competitiveness. I get super into board games, sports, etc--whether watching or playing, and like to win.

I am a product of my family: I love kids. Everyone in my family loves children. So much.

I am a product of my family: I am not afraid to be in front of a group of people. Every single sibling in my family has no problem with public speaking, being in front of others, being the center of attention, etc. Weird.

I am a product of my family: I love to go on trips, vacations and travel. This is more my mother, probably. But vacations and travel are my life. It gives me something to look forward to.

I am a product of my family: FOMO. Tanner says, "This should be number one!" My family all has this thing called "Fear Of Missing Out." If something is happening, we have to be a part of it. We hate missing out.

I am a product of my family: I am sociable. I can talk to anyone, I can connect with anyone and I love people (sometimes). My entire family is like this. Do we sound intense enough yet?

I am a product of my family: I have good hair. We all have really good hair. Woo hoo! Thanks Kuykendall genes!

And that's all I can think of now.

What aspects do you have that make you a product of your family?
If you know me and/or my family, is there anything you would add to this list? 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back to School | White Plum Giveaway

Yesterday, I did one of my very first fashion posts with a beautiful, yet incredibly comfy top from White Plum. Well, today, I have another fashion post. Can you believe this? It's unreal!! At this current moment, I am sitting (er, standing) in my classroom on the first day of school. Yes, it has arrived. I am back to school. (I'm probably going to go home and cry because I already miss summer). No, I love meeting my kiddos and bonding with them. I love my job as a teacher. I just miss playing! 
Along with this amazing fashion pictures (ha!), have a gift for you all. White Plum is giving away this beautiful necklace shown. I decided to wear it with this dress on the first day of school because it was the perfect combination of classy, but fun. (Not shown: a light blue cardigan to match the necklace). 
You get to win this necklace just for youuuu! 
Good luck! 
Oh, and do I look like a teacher in this dress, or what? 







Photo info:
Photographer: Catherine
Necklace: White Plum
Dress: Smith's Marketplace (yes, can you believe it?! The best place!) 
Belt: Forever 21
Saltwater Sandals: Lime Ricki 



Monday, August 18, 2014

A Fashion Post | White Plum

YOU GUYS.
I AM DOING A FASHION POST.
I guess this really means this blog is a lifestyle blog--encompassing all facets of life: humor, teaching, travel, food, fashion, etc.
I mean, I know I joked about being a fashion blogger, but I never thought this day would come.
Alas, it has.
And let me just tell you, I was so uncomfortable! I did not know how to stand or pose, I felt so incredibly fat that I didn't know what would be flattering. Ugh. I have a newfound respect for you fashion bloggers! I love to take pictures and I actually don't mind pictures of me, but this full body thing? Yikes. It was good incentive for me to keep losing this weight! At least I'm somewhat tan and my hair is blonde and long? No? (And can you believe I cut 2 inches off my hair right before these pictures?! Such long hair! yea baby!) Good thing I had Catherine with me to take these photos and make me feel beautiful and laugh throughout this process. We found a beautiful field in Alpine. In fact, I found so many gorgeous places to take photos in this town that I live, so maybe I'll keep doing some of these posts ;)

This shirt from White Plum is the perfect combination of feminine, yet casual. I love the stripes and flowers (my two go-to styles for all clothing!) I decided to style it with some dark jeans and my saltwater sandals. I put a cut necklace with it as well. Tomorrow is back to school and I am ignoring the fact that my summer is over and the school year is beginning. This outfit is a perfect one for the upcoming Fall season (since I know you all are craving those pumpkin spice everything!)




I had to have one weird one. It's me, guys. You had to know. 






Ignore the unhooked part of the necklace. Whomp whomp. 
Photo Info:
Photographer: Catherine 
Necklace: Target
Shirt: White Plum 
Jeans: Old Navy 

How would you style this shirt? 

P.S. Come back tomorrow because I have an awesome giveaway for you! Yeeee!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Trip Recap: Jackson Hole

| Trip Recap: San Diego |
| Trip Recap: Oregon Part I |
|Trip Recap: Oregon Part II |

Two days after we got home from Oregon, T Money and I got back on the road for the Cache-Teton Epic Relays Race. I was sort of designated as the race's "Photographer" and I am so happy that I got some amazing pictures. I followed the runners and the race starting in Logan, UT through Idaho, past the beautiful Snake River to end up in Jackson Hole. It was such a fun experience. These runners were amazing--this race is not one for the faint of heart with a 6000 elevation. But, oh my gosh! It was so much fun! The views were absolutely beautiful, the participants were awesome, and the race ends in a beautiful place. All in all, it was a fun experience. Unfortunately, I got sick and had to head home early. But it was still so fun to drive in my car, get my country music going and enjoy these beautiful sites. I tweeted and instagrammed the entire time. Got some good stuff there.

Idaho Dirt Roads. 

Beautiful Logan, UT. Where the race begins. 





Yea, the runners ran this. Yikes. 



Haha! 



Kristin is very excited to run! 


Boys running in Wyoming. 



Found an old antique out in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming. 

Race ends in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Beautiful! 

The "It's All Relative" team. 

The runners run right by this. The beautiful Snake River. 


Also, I am guest posting and doing another giveaway over HERE today. Check it out!