Friday Favorites: Surprise Visit Edition

Happy Friday, friends! This week was actually supposed to be my first week of work, but somehow I ended up in my favorite state…


…good ol’ Pennsylvania. 🙂 So what brought on the sudden road trip?! Well, first of all, road trips are fun. But second of all, I was supposed to take a four day class this week about classroom management and climate, and last week I got an email that the instructor was on medical leave and would be unable to teach. I really thought nothing of the email…I was happy to have an extra week of summer! But then on Sunday night as I was falling asleep and NOT setting my alarm, I had the bright idea to show up in Pittsburgh on Monday. And by show up, I really mean show up.

As in no one knew I was coming.

As in I texted my brothers this picture of the PA sign and they said, “OMG you’re here?!”

As in I walked up behind my mom in the store she was shopping at with my aunt, and she did this…

My Dad’s first question when I sent HIM the picture of the PA sign was, “Did you tell your mother?” He knew she would freak out. I was so happy she was so surprised. And I intended to catch this whole thing on video, but once she said, “OH MY GOD!” and hugged me, I accidentally stopped recording hahaha!


Alex was also super happy to see me. 🙂


Jake tried to kill me with his Fast and the Furious driving habits. Just kidding. 😉 He’s actually a good driver. Now if we could just stop “changing songs” on the iPhone while behind the wheel…and to be clear, I feel bad yelling at him for that because I do the same thing. But OMG it’s scary when the sixteen year old does that!


And I taught my Dad how to take a good selfie. Skills that everyone should know. He said every time he turns the camera around, his face looks weird. Don’t we all know that struggle?!


And all the selfie takers of the world said Amen.

IMG_0495 IMG_0499

The most important moment of the week was getting my hair “fixed”. I am the kind of person who waits until she wakes up one day and says OMG I HATE MY HAIR before I get my hair cut. Therefore, I hardly ever make appointments. Also, I know 2.5 people in DC so I don’t have a new go-to person to do my hair yet. Michelle, the stylist I went to this week, has cut and styled my hair many times in the last ten years and she is my favorite. In fact, she cut my hair when I was thirteen and changed me from long straight hair with a part down the middle to side bangs and side part. And obviously I have never strayed from that style. 😉 But then I went and got my hair cut short. Which I like (most days). I saw my mom a few weeks after I got my hair cut and asked her if she thought the layers in the back looked choppy or sloppy…because there is a difference and that difference matters. We decided it looked fine and I moved on. Lately, my hair is at that awkward in between stage. It’s not short, it’s not long, it’s just there and not doing much for me. So I went to Michelle because she is the only human I trust to put color in my hair (it’s called caramel) and I was SO afraid of what she would think of the choppy layers in the back because she is good at her job and I just knew she would have an opinion. 🙂 Let’s just leave it at this: the girl who cut my hair a month ago had lime green hair and lime green fingernails and Michelle has been cutting hair for twenty years. Now I have nicely cut short hair AND some color!


#model #lol #not


I ate lunch at my favorite Pittsburgh restaurant, Eat ‘N Park, and since I’m not young enough to get a free Smiley cookie with my meal anymore, this chocolate covered pretzel had to do the trick. Do you ever just NEED something sweet after a meal? That’s me all the time. 🙂


I perused books about my new favorite age group…second graders. I am a naturally curious, inquisitive person, and when my principal offered to give me some books to look through, I had no idea what I was in for! There are just a FEW in that stack. Ha!


Found my favorite coffee mug. Can we talk about how many ounces of caffeinated goodness would FIT in that mug?! Keurig, let’s talk about making that fit under your machine. Thank you.


I suffered and had to eat Hunt’s ketchup with a meal last week…then I accidentally went shopping at Trader Joe’s and had to buy their version of ketchup. Let’s just identify that there is no better ketchup than Heinz ketchup and Sam’s Club now has me set for life. JK. More like set for the next three months. 🙂


Shopped at my favorite store (aka Target) and tried on clothes that didn’t match. Does that bother you? Sometimes I honestly pick out a neutral piece that I have no intention of buying just for the purpose of trying on clothes so I can get an idea of what the outfit would look like. Not the case on this night!  I (or should I say my Dad) bought the pants because they were on sale for $11, they have pockets, and they are dressy enough to wear to work. I hope I can pull off the slouchy trouser trend! Reasons I doubt myself: my Dad asked if these were pajama pants. He is also a guy, so he doesn’t understand. And he is color blind, so did he even know what he was looking at? I hope he is reading this right now. 🙂 I danced around in this plaid top because I love the buffalo check pattern on the cuffed sleeves, but I put it back on the rack and now I’m having buyer’s remorse. Target, I will be back.


I spent twenty minutes of my life whitening my teeth every day this week. I still have 7 more days to go. 🙂 In this picture, I have the white strips on my teeth. The strips come in trays that look like retainers and you just kind of place the tray over your teeth and push up or down so that when you pull the tray out of your mouth, the white strips stick to your teeth. My favorite aunt is a hygienist and she always has the latest and greatest products for us to try. These white strips are like Crest, but 100 times better. I also like them because they taste like mint and if I recall correctly, Crest White Strips taste disgusting. My aunt is having me take before, during, and after pictures throughout these ten days and after only one day, her coworkers in the dentist office were freaking out about how much whiter my teeth were/are. So either my teeth were really bad before, or these strips really work!


I found my new favorite shirt at Sam’s Club. Yes, you read that right. Sam’s Club. What the what?! I also bought a slouchy Calvin Klein sweatshirt and the cutest pair of running tights for only $9. Who knew Sam’s Club had such great picks?! Not I!


Let’s talk about moving. I seem to do it a lot, do I not? There are some clothes in my closet at my Mom’s house that I just want in my closet in DC even though I am probably not going to wear them tomorrow. I just don’t like my wardrobe to be spread out all over the map. 😉 In an effort to NOT pack 107 duffel bags or 1 large box (that I do not have room for in my car because I have too many other things), I looked to our favorite friend Pinterest to help me pack hanging items in my closet. Ain’t nobody got time to take all those clothes off the hanger just to put them back on! Enter: the garbage bag. Pick a section of clothes that will fit the width of the bag. Slide the bag up over the sides…


Take that section off the hanging rod and set it on the floor. It pretty much stands by itself. Slide the garbage bag up over the ends of the hangers so that it is more enclosed, then wrap the ties on the garbage bag around the tops of the hangers. GENIUS. I CAN’T EVEN.


As if I didn’t love Pinterest enough before. If my description confused you, find the original pin here. And follow all of my boards here! I’m a big fan of the “Is It Fall Yet?” board right now. 🙂

Have the best weekend! 🙂


Bloggers, looking for a link-up? Click over to any one of these amazing blogs to join us for Friday Favorites!

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23 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Surprise Visit Edition

  1. So. Many. Comments…

    – I’m so glad you were able to surprise your family, I did it last year for Thanksgiving and it was the best!
    – I hate the in between hair phase and hate finding a new stylist. I found one place in Clarendon that I’m happy with so far. We’ll chat 🙂
    – You’ll have to tell me what that whitening product is, I like Crest strips but I’m always up for trying new things.
    – I have a home state t-shirt like that, definitely a favorite.

    Happy Friday!!

  2. Aw what a nice surprise for your mom!!! I did that to mine over Mother’s Day and she was so confused but also so so happy. The garbage bag over your clothes trick is genius!

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. I love how surprised your mom was! My siblings and I surprised my mom for her 60th birthday and she was sooo surprised and cried happy tears when we walked in the restaurant which was awesome and made me want a surprise party! Haha. My only regular hairstylist is at home too. When I was at school and now living in Seattle I don’t have one, and I’m always nervous going somewhere new. It seems like every time I go back to my old hairstylist she’s like, “What did they do to your hair?!” I’m the same way about trying stuff on. I need to see how it might look when I actually wear it, or I might not like it as much!

  4. AMEN! I love that meme. SO true! I’m glad I’m not the only one! (I am also very selfie jealous of you…you take such good selfies!) And so cool that you were able to surprise your family like that! I love surprises. 😀 Not a meal goes by when I don’t feel like I need something sweet to end it with! Most of the time I just cut to the chase and have sweet(ish) breakfast type food for both breakfast and lunch. Win-win! Then I can have dessert after dinner and not feel as bad. Which doesn’t make much sense and I really shouldn’t feel guilty about it but I do. I just love sweet breakfast foods too much! Yogurt and granola for lunch? Yes please! 😉

    • Haha I could live on pancakes/waffles and syrup:) Sweet breakfasts are the jam, although lately I have been having egg white omelettes and oatmeal on repeat! And I liken my selfie skills to taking lots of Snapchats haha but thank you!

  5. Thank you for making me laugh out loud when I read “I am the kind of person who waits until she wakes up one day and says OMG I HATE MY HAIR before I get my hair cut.” I did that exact thing this morning- its been about 4 months and I do exactly the same thing. Love your new cut, super cute. Have a great weekend.

  6. I’m pretty sure I watched the video of you surprising you mom like five times since you posted it. It just makes me so happy, haha! I am so with you on the whole picking out a neutral piece to try on a non-neutral piece of clothing!! Your hair looks AMAZING! I love that you can rock all lengths of hair. Lucky! And YES to Eat n’ Park and Heinz ketchup. Pittsburgh has all the best food stuff 🙂

    • Haha we really do have the best food! My roommate’s friend asked if I was one of those Pittsburgh people who is obsessed with Pittsburgh. Well…kind of…because we are the best:) And I love that video of my mom too! When she hugged me, my hand hit my phone and it stopped recording. But at least I got that part! 🙂

  7. as my friends and I always say, if it ain’t Heinz, it ain’t ketchup! what a fun surprise trip. I’ll be there Labor Day weekend and the first thing I’m going for? Those chocolate covered pretzel smiley face – Holy Crap you just changed my life!

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