Sierra's View: December 2014

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

When the Apartment is Clean, Mama is Happy.

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

As many of you know, T Money and I live in a small 700 square foot apartment. It is teeny, but we love it so much. Needless to say, because our apartment is so small, it can get messy so quickly. And even when it's not messy, it looks messy because if you have one thing on the floor, it takes up a lot of room! 
It doesn't help that we have an 8 month old puppy who loves to dump her toys out and make fun messes all over our carpet. Recently, we got a Electrolux Ergorapido Limited Edition Vacuum
Seriously, this is the best vacuum in the entire world. 
This is Saylor, our AussieDoodle puppy. She loves to make messes. 
This is this AWESOME vacuum. 

Our door opens up directly into our family room, so throughout all of the seasons, our carpet gets exponentially dirty. We get dirt, mud, snow, and so many leaves just by people opening the door. We have to vacuum almost every day to keep the carpet looking clean and nice. 

With this awesome vacuum, it takes us like 2 minutes to clean up and it's wonderful!!! 
Some things I've noticed about it is it is:
It's compact and versatile. It is super small so it can fit into our teeny newly married apartment. But it does need a cord to get it going. It also has a removable handheld option. I love that it gets into all the little corners our other vacuum couldn't. It does awesome in the kitchen as well! 
Tanner looooves the camouflage look of the vacuum. Because he is such a hunter and outdoorsman, this vacuum makes him feel super stylish. It also helps want to actually vacuum ;) 

There is something seriously amazing about a clean home. I swear, when my apartment is clean, I am so much happier. I feel like I can actually get things done! I love that I have a husband who helps me clean with this vacuum everyday as well. This would be such a good gift for those outdoorsy men in your life…you know, who you want to help you clean :) 

You can find this vacuum for a LIMITED TIME ONLY online here. 

How Education Affects Lives.

I love teaching 6th grade.
I truly do. I love being around these hilarious, bright, and thoughtful students.

Now, some of you may be confused why I used the adjective thoughtful in the above sentence. That was not an accident. Yes, I am dealing with hormonal teenagers. I have a boy and/or a girl who cries every day. There are awful smells and annoying comments that occur on a daily basis. But, on the flip side there are also so many wonderful things happening in my classroom. I see students gain confidence in their ability to do math, I see children learning to handle conflict and learning how to be friends with one another. I enjoy lots of stories of laughter and ridiculousness.

The other day, I came in from recess and I saw one of my girl students in the classroom. I was about to lecture her about being inside, until I noticed what she was doing.

She had 24 handwritten letters and little candies that she was putting on desks. She had, on her own time and free will, written each student in the classroom a letter (and they were not short letters!) about the good qualities each student in the classroom possessed. As cliche as this sounds, I was almost brought to tears.

She came up to me and handed me a letter as well and then ran outside with a huge grin on her face. Essentially, in the letter, what she explained to me was that I had inspired her to write these letters to the other students. She said, "You do such a good job at making us feel so good about ourselves and I wanted to do that as well." You guessed it, I was teary eyed at this point.

It's moments like these that I remember why I am teaching.

Now, I am not a mother yet. But, after teaching for a few years now, I already see the exponential importance of education in a child's life. There is so much more to an education than making sure the students know how to do fraction models. Yes, that is so incredibly important. Students NEED to learn how to think and do math and grow intellectually. But education is about an entire facet of things, intellectually, emotionally, and mentally.

I have seen how having a good education makes people grow. I see how having a good education challenges people past their breaking limits. I see how having an education helps someone with his or her confidence. And for that, I am grateful. I am grateful that I was lucky to have a splendid education, and I am grateful that I am doing that to help students now. Education truly can change lives. I know this because it has changed mine.

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to live and teach in Kenya in a village a few years ago. This opportunity validated this importance of education to me. Those students would do anything for an education. And I have seen those students who continue their education, excel financially and in other realms of their lives. Education changes everything, people. This is something that I can promise you.

I have teamed up with IKEA today to talk about how you can do your part during this Christmas season to help those who need an education.

Education is the most impactful way to help children escape poverty; this change to their lives is immense. Because education has a direct impact on well-being, from better health to increased opportunities. It gives children knowledge skills and confidence they need to shape a better future for themselves. When a child begins – and stays in school, he or she not only changes the course of their own life, but that of future generations.

*For every soft toy and children's book sold between November 9, 2014 and January 3, 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.00 to children's education through UNICEF and Save the Children.
-$1.00 is split and donated to UNICEF and Save the Children.
-Since 2003, more than 11 million children have been impacted through 99 projects in 46 countries. Total amount donated $90.4 million (67 million euro).
-Last year, the IKEA Foundation raised $13.6 million (10.1 million euro) and over $1 million was raised in the US. This year, they will probably go over $100 million in total contributions since 2003.

Go to IKEA today and buy a soft toy. Do your part to help the education of these special children.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How We Wore It: Fashion Collaboration

Okay, so, when I received the email 
 to participate in this fashion collaboration, I might have laughed out loud. I love clothes. I really do. Yet, I am by no means a fashion blogger. Half the time I don't even get out of bed in time to brush my hair. 
But, I thought to myself: eh, why not? 
And even though I feel incredibly uncomfortable in front of a camera, I decided that I would step outside of my comfort zone and go for it. 

The original outfit was from the lovely Suburban Faux-Pas. 

I changed the outfit by picking one of my favorite blue paid shirts. I wanted to wear a vest, but mine is more of a puffy vest instead of fur. I have my little booties, but with black jeans. My outfit is a little more 'run around errands' friendly. 

You get pictures inside our teeny apartment tonight because I waited too long to take pictures when it was light outside. Procrastination at it's finest. 
Oh, enjoy the awesome lighting and fun little pictures everywhere. Adds character, right? Ha. 

This is my "Tanner--hurry up and take the photo" look. 

Maybe one of these days I'll take some cute fashion pictures. Ya know, with good lighting and like...not inside our 700 square foot apartment. Ha! This was so fun to participate in. I love seeing others' take on the outfit. It's so fun to see people's personality in what they wear, don't you think? :) 

Here are the other bloggers who joined me in this challenge. They're some of my favorite (and stylish) lifestyle bloggers. Check out their versions of the outfit!

Kaycie at Redhead Memories
Meghan at King and Ford
Krystle at Krystle, Darling
Brooke at Silver Linings
Alexa at He and I
Deidre at Deidre Emme
Danica at Danican Skywalker
Kyla at Fordology
Bri at Breezy Days

Now, I'm going to work on my Christmas cards. Who wants one? :) 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Time to "Give Extra" Love to T Money.

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

There is something "Extra" special about the Holiday season, don't you think?  
Everyone is just a little more kind, a little more giving, and a little more loving. I am grateful for this Christmas season because I get the opportunity to stop and think about the ones I love and the ones that have gone the extra mile for me. 
More than anyone I know, T Money has done just this. 
I am so swamped with teaching all day, and then going straight to rehearsal/my show that I am never home. We can't forget my workout time and young women's, too. Essentially, my whole world is constantly nonstop. 
There have been countless days where I come home and the laundry is done and folded, the dog is clean and taken out, and the dishes are done. I am so grateful for all of the hard work that Tanner has taken so that I could have the time to enjoy my extracurricular activities. 
I decided to give Tanner a little gift including a little christmas tree (we don't have room for a full blown tree in our teeny apartment) with a pack of yummy Watermelon Extra Gum. I know it's not big, but I wanted to let him know that I am grateful for all of the extra work he has done during this holiday season. 

After all, it is the season of giving a little bit extra, right? :)