Jun 21, 2018

(Crazy) Life Lately

Hi, friends!  Life has been absolutely crazy lately!

On Friday, I spent a tearful day saying au revoir to my very last group of students and my sweet, supportive colleagues.

My students walked-out of my my classroom at 11:10 and then, at 11:45, I was offered a position with a company at which I had interviewed the day before.  And my start date?  Monday, bright and early!

So, friends, my career as a fancy business woman has begun. 

I haven't quite figured-out where blogging fits into my new schedule.  It's definitely not something I'm willing to give-up, but it might be slow around here for a little while while I determine what normal looks like again.

Thanks for sticking with me and I promise to share a better update (and my summer bucket list) soon!
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Jun 15, 2018

J'adore 6.15.18


Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately! 

1.  One of Us is Lying.  I'm currently listening to this audiobook by Karen M. McManus and I'm rivetedOne of Us is Lying is a YA novel which isn't normally my thing, but it's a murder mystery which is totally my thing!  At the beginning of the story, Simon, Bayview High School's resident gossiper, is murdered during detention.  Suddenly, each of the other four students serving detention finds him or herself to be a suspect.  And each student has a secret to hide!  The story is told from the perspectives of these four students.  The mystery is perplexing, the characters are well-developed and I actually enjoy all of the narrators (usually I'm pretty picky about this).  I would definitely recommend giving this book a listen (or read)!

2.  All Things Anthro.  My sweet co-workers at the Junior High not only treated Justin and me to an amazing send-off dinner this past Saturday, they also gifted me with a generous Anthropologie gift card (ugh, saying "goodbye" to these two is going to be so hard).  I'm so excited to treat myself to something special from my favorite store!  I'm currently eyeing my favorite candle (in Crane Flower), this pair of Soludos slides, a woven crossbody purse and  this striped skirt.

3.  Forty Pearl.  I have another Grand Rapids recommendation!  (Sidenote: I don't know how many people who read my blog will actually ever be in Grand Rapids.  I just enjoy highlighting what my great city has to offer)!  I tried a new wine tasting bar downtown this week called Forty Pearl.  The staff was outstanding!  You can tell that they're passionate about wine and they were super knowledgable and helpful.  The bar features wine from Northern Michigan and I guarantee you'll find a few you want to take home!
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Jun 13, 2018

A Day in the Life: Teacher Edition


I've always wanted to do one of these Day in the Life posts.  And since I'm wrapping-up the school year as well as my teaching career, I thought that it would be a good time to do one!  Once I've found my new career path, I will be able to look back at this post and remember what each of my days as Mademoiselle Rantz looked like.


5:00 My first alarm goes-off and I hit snooze several times before getting-up.  At the end of the school year, my getting-ready-routine is pretty minimal.  I spend about 45 minutes freshening-up, putting my make-up on, doing my hair, getting dressed and packing my lunch for the day.


6:00 I kiss Justin and the cats goodbye and hop-in my Forester for the hour-long drive to work.  I'm so thankful that I upgraded from my 2001 Honda Civic this past fall in order to survive the commute this year (especially during the winter).



7:15 I arrive at the first of my two schools a little bit before school starts at 7:30.  I teach two sections of French 1 at the High School so I'm here until about 9:30.  Today my students are studying for their exams using Quizlet on the school's Chromebooks so I have some time to work-on end-of-the-year grading.


9:36 2nd Hour ends and I head to the Junior High.  Lots of teachers don't like traveling jobs but I didn't mind this one.  I enjoy the opportunity to get out of the building, fill-up my gas tank and occasionally grab a special coffee drink.  When I arrive at the Junior High, I'm in the middle of my planning hour.  I spend the rest of my free time checking e-mails, making copies and giving myself a little breather before students show-up again.


10:40 My first group of Junior High students arrive!  At the Junior High, I teach two sections of 8th grade French 1 and one section of 7th grade Introduction to French.  Plus, I have a quick half-hour lunch (eaten at my desk) squeezed in the middle of my 4th Hour!  My French 1 students continue to prepare for their exams while my Intro students actually take the first half of their exam this afternoon!


3:00 After wrapping-up the school day, I spend another hour in the car headed back to Grand Rapids.  I've survived my commute this year by mixing-up what I listen to along the way.  I rotate between music, podcasts and audiobooks.  I even have an audiobook club with a friend who also commutes!  We are currently listening to the YA novel, One of Us is Lying.  I highly recommend it!


4:15 I try to stay active once I get home.  If I sit down on the couch, it's all over and I'll end-up napping!  Three times I week I head to the gym for a run.  Today I ran a quick (for me) five miles!


8:00 Justin and I attempt to accomplish all of our tasks -- whether it be going to the gym (and showering), doing graduate school work, playing Ultimate Frisbee, blogging or cleaning -- before making dinner together.  Sometimes I do more of the cooking, sometimes Justin does.  Tonight was a team effort!  We made potato bowls with baked potatoes, frozen broccoli and fried eggs.



9:00 It's wind-down time at our house!  After cleaning-up dinner we might watch a little Netflix, read, or do some wedding planning.  Honestly, it's one of those periods of time when sometimes I don't really know what we do to pass the minutes.  Somehow it ends-up bedtime!


10:00 Before falling asleep, I like to spend a little bit of time reading.  Although I do admit to sometimes spending too much time scrolling through my phone and falling asleep before I even get to my books.  Either way, most nights Justin and I fall asleep together with the two cats curled at the bottom of the bed!



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Jun 8, 2018

J'adore 6.8.18


Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately!  And while you're here, thank you for all of your thoughtful comments on my post earlier this week!


1.  Hask Cactus Water Shampoo and Conditioner.   I've mentioned my love of Hask hair products before.  They are great on my hair and easy on my wallet!  I just cracked open my bottles of their Cactus Water Shampoo and Conditioner for the first time and this new (to me at least) scent didn't disappoint!  It's somehow sweet and fresh at the same time.  Plus, my hair feels super moisturized after using the products.

2.  Wohven.  If you have a special guy in your life (Father's Day is happening soon!), you should check-out Wohven.  It's a men's t-shirt subscription service.  Once a month, your gentleman will receive either a chic graphic tee or a plain tee.  The shirts fit well (they're comfortable without looking sloppy) and won't break the bank at between $9 and $13 per tee (depending on the kind of shirt you choose).  Justin has been receiving them for over a year and wears them all.the.time.  He likes them so much that we just purchased a subscription for my dad!  If you're interested, we would love for you to use Justin's link so he get's credit towards more tees!

2.  Luna.  If you find yourself in the Greater Grand Rapids area, I highly suggest dinner at Luna, a Mexican restaurant downtown.  Their menu features margarita flights AND salsa flights (plus yummy tacos and lots of other delicious, south-of-the-border treats.)  Meet you there??
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Jun 6, 2018

Currently: Engagement Edition


Good morning, lovelies, something exciting happened over Memorial Day Weekend!  Justin proposed!

I thought that this month's currently would be a fun way to share my happy news!  So here's what I'm currently...

traveling: For Memorial Day Weekend, I traveled to Traverse City, Michigan with Justin and my parents to run the Bayshore 10k, to celebrate my birthday, and unknowingly to get engaged!

We arrived Friday evening.  While my parents rested at the condo, Justin and I went to pick-up our race bibs and shirts.  Afterwards, we planned to drive the race course so I could get a feel for what my first 10k would look like.  The course runs up, then down the Old Mission Peninsula with beautiful views of the water for much of the race.  At the exact halfway point, there was a little wooden staircase down to a private dock overlooking the bay.  Justin asked if I wanted to get out and enjoy the view.  Unassumingly, I agreed.

Once on the dock, Justin said the loveliest, most romantic things to me.  But honestly, I had no clue what was coming next (Justin regularly says sweet things to me)!  I only figured-out what was happening as Justin was fumbling in his pocket and was on his way down to his knee.  He asked me to marry him with the most beautiful ring (that he helped to design) nestled inside my Great Grandma Winnie's engagement ring box.  The moment was more perfect than I could have imagined.  Of course I said, "yes!"

The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind of running, sharing the big news with friends and family, celebrating with lots of wine and wedding magazines, and basking in the engagement glow (I don't think I've stopped smiling since)!


playing: around with wedding ideas!  I've always wanted a wedding during the holidays.  Combine my love of Christmas with Justin's love of winter sports (snowboarding) and we are hoping for an elegant, ski lodge affaire during the holiday season of 2019.  We've also picked-out a tentative color pallet that includes both of our favorite colors!  Side note: would you like to hear more about the wedding planning process here?  I'm not really sure how much I want to share on such a public forum, just looking for feelers.

exploring: possible wedding venues.  Ideally we would have our wedding at an actual ski lodge.  We are going to look at a couple in person later this month.  If the lodges don't quite fit, we will be looking for other spaces to create the same elegant, winter, mountainy vibe.  Michiganders, any suggestions?


grilling: a big cook-out on the 4th of July where our families are going to meet for the first time.  Our moms met in a chance encounter this fall but no one else knows each other yet.  My sister and her family will be in town for the week so we're super excited for our loved ones to come together at our house for good food and fireworks later!

planting: the seeds of our life together!  I know it sounds cheesy, but I am just so excited to be married to this guy!  Before I met him, I didn't know that guys this great existed.  I am so very blessed to have him as my partner in life.


Linking-up with Anne and Sarah!



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Jun 1, 2018

J'adore 6.1.18


Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately!

Well, friends, I'm still riding the high of the absolute best Memorial weekend ever!  If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that something exciting happened on Friday.  If not, I'll be sharing my big news on the blog soon!  But for now, here's what I'm into this week:

1.  Cloud Paint by Glossier.  Y'all, I finally figured-out how to wear blush!  I'm terrible at applying powder blush and, up until this week, was even worse at cream blush.  Then my sister introduced me to this stuff.  I don't know how Glossier did it, but you can't mess this up.  I purchased Beam which is less orange-y in person and makes me look nice and sun kissed!

2.  Neckerchiefs.  I don't know about you, but I find summer clothes to be way less inspiring than fall and winter clothes.  I rely so much on layers to create interesting looks.  So I'm loving all of the beautiful neckerchiefs that are popping-up this season.  You can do so much with them without making yourself feel hotter.  Lauren did a great post on all of the ways you can wear a these small scarves.  Another plus is that neckerchiefs are fairly inexpensive.  I've already purchased a few: a pretty floral, stars and stripes, black and white, and chambray.  I'm even wearing one tied in my ponytail today!

3.  Bubly. I posted a picture of my Mango Bubly to my Instastories on Friday and got a few questions about the flavored sparkling water.  They are delicious!  We purchased this variety pack to try all eight flavors and I would highly recommend it.  I'll probably exclusively order the variety pack so that I have different kinds to choose from.
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May 29, 2018

May's Work Wear Remix

I would like to introduce you to my sassy pants.


I purchased them while I was in Belgium last summer.  These wide-leg, printed pants were popping-up in all of the European stores I visited, so I predicted that we just might be seeing them on this side of the Atlantic this spring.  And I was right!

If you haven't jumped on board with this trend, do it now!  These pants are even comfier than pajamas!  Plus I feel extra sassy when I have them on.


The striped print of this particular pair can be styled in so many different ways, so I've been excited to feature these pants in my second, monthly Work Wear Remix.  If you missed last month, I decided that I need to be more inspired when it comes to the clothing I wear to work.  So I enlisted the help of my favorite professional dresser (and friend), Carrie, to work on monthly, business-casual inspiration!

For my professional look, I decided to play with patterns and combine stripes with polka dots.  A pair of sleek flats complete the look.




For my casual look, I swapped the flats for a pair of sneakers and grabbed a simple, sleeveless top.  A denim jacket would be perfect with this outfit if you need another layer!


So tell me, have you been wearing wide-leg pants this spring?  And don't worry, even though I found these pants in Belgium last summer, I found a bunch of cute, similar pairs at Target and Loft.  I've linked two of them below.

What I'm Wearing: Work Look
Blouse: Express (exact)
Pants: Zara (similar, similar)
Flats: Target (similar, similar)

What I'm Wearing: Casual Look
Tank: Anthropologie (similar, similar)
Pants: Zara (similar, similar)
Sneakers: Keds (exact)
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