Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hooray for May!

I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to looking at my blog stats and I am excited to announce that May was the second highest month for my blog!  Last July was actually the highest month ever, which is strange because wasn't into much of a blogging routine at that point, but whatevs...  Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who follows this blog!  It's been super fun doing this for a little over a year now and I feel like there's so much more to learn and explore with blogging that there's more to come!  


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Bucket List Linky Party!

I learned about this linky party at the beginning of the month, starred it on Google Reader, and then completely forgot about it until yesterday when I was going back through my starred items!  Oops!  I wanted to join in on this one since I'm totally one of those teachers that sets a lot of lofty goals for my summer and what I'd like to get accomplished.  I'm really focused on my upcoming move and home-related stuff at the moment, but I know that probably once things start to settle down around the middle of July I'll get motivated to work on things for the upcoming school year again!

The picture below links to the party, so please check it out!

Summer Bucket List

You totally need to check out A Cupcake for the Teacher if you haven't already!  She's got one seriously cute blog with lots of awesome ideas!  

So, here's my bucket list:
  1. Try one new recipe each week.  I'm not a cook and I'm usually pretty unmotivated to do much cooking wise since it's just me.  But, I'm also trying to eat healthier and put to use those many many cooking related pins I've found on Pinterest.  (PS~  This week I've already tried TWO recipes!)
  2. Read at least 3 books.  I know that's not much for some people, but that's about average for me during the summer.  I hit up a pretty sweet 10 for $10 sale at a local used bookstore and grabbed another few at Big Lots recently, so I'd say I'm probably stocked up for the next 5 years at least.  
  3. Plan out my reading themes for the year.  I've made a list of themes and made a spreadsheet for planning, now I just need to combine to two into a rough schedule of the reading themes I plan to do next school year.  From there, my plan is to start looking online for additional books and resources to follow those themes to have the ready.  I'd at least like to get my resource list compiled for the first semester before summer's end, but I know that may be a lofty goal!
  4. Complete a few home decor projects.  I've mentioned my $2 chair before, which I plan to paint along with my nightstand and a couple of old hand-me-down side tables before I move into my new apartment.  I also plan to refresh a few things around my home and treat myself to some new goodies with my garage sale money.
  5. Blog more!  During the school year I set a goal of blogging at least once or twice a week and I feel like towards the end of the year I was really doing a good job at that.  I've actually been posting almost everyday lately, which is really awesome!  I'm going to try to post more of my teaching resources on here to share as well!
  6. Try some new workout classes!  Now that I have my days free (for the most part), I'm looking into trying some new group fitness classes.  I started going to Zumba last fall and have really enjoyed that and would like to try out some more.  Growing up, my mom taught step aerobics classes and it always looked like a lot of fun, so I figure now's a pretty good time for me to try out some new things and freshen up my workout routine!
  7. Print off all of the cool downloads I've found!  My district started a print shop this year, so I can now send things online and have things copied and laminated over there.  Even better, they're open all summer long, so I can send whatever I want online and they'll deliver it to my school and have it waiting for me in August!  
Well, that pretty much covers my bucket list for the summer.  I've got a lot going on, but I'm still going to accomplish a fair amount between now and when we go back to school in August.  I don't think anything I'm setting out to do is going to be terribly strenuous or time consuming...  It's just going to be a matter of sitting down (or getting up) and getting those things done!

Happy Tuesday!

To Do Tuesday

For some reason now that school is out I feel like my life suddenly got a lot busier.  I managed to make it to the end of the school year with ease.  (I even had my classroom packed up and my student folders ready a whole day ahead!)  

Now that school is out, my efforts have been focused to getting ready to move.  This coming weekend will be my garage sale and I'm really hoping to get some of the junk out of here!

So, my to do list for this week:

  • Prep for and survive my garage sale.
  • Take remaining items for storage or Goodwill.
  • Paint (or at least buy paint for) my new chair.  (Which you can read about here.)
  • Finish reading The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.  (I've been working on this book for like 2 years...  I've read others in the meantime, but for some reason even though I like this book it hasn't been a priority for me to finish!)
I'm also attempting to get back into a good diet and exercise routine despite the busy schedule.  I feel like the last few weeks of school are always tough to stay in good habits, so now is the time to get back into the routine!  I love summer for the fact that I have more time (usually) to make healthier meals and that I can go workout during the middle of the day when it's a lot less crowded!  Yay!  

So, do you have any to dos this week?  Please share!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Awesome New Blog Giveaway!

I was recently guided to Every New Beginning, which is a great new 5th grade blog!  She's only got few posts up so far, but if those posts are an indicator of what's to come, it's going to be a really awesome blog.  

Every New Beginning is also doing a Target gift card giveaway!  Follow this image to her blog and you can get the details on how to get in on this giveaway!  

Happy Memorial Day!  

(Student) Teacher Apprciation

This post is a bit overdue, but I still wanted to share...

My student teacher completed her time with us a few weeks before school actually ended.   I wanted to do something special as a surprise for her, but with our busy schedule and her still being in the building through her last official week, we weren't really able to do much sneaking around.  We celebrated her last day with donuts, but promised we'd have a surprise for her when she returned for Field Day the following week.

I sent home a note on Monday asking the students to donate small items for our student teacher.  Since she doesn't yet have a full-time job lined up for next year, we sought generic items that would be helpful for any teacher.  My cooperating teacher did the same thing for me and I really appreciated their gifts, so I wanted to do the same!  

We were overwhelmed with the generosity of the students in the class!  I was shocked with how many items we had to fill her bag!  The teacher bag I had almost didn't fit everything!

In addition, I had the students type a letter, poem, acrostic, or essay for her and I assembled them into a little booklet.  Their writing was very encouraging, sweet, and of course, hilarious!  My students are quite honest and funny sometimes.  She's definitely going to have some entertaining reading material!

She was completely delighted over the bag of goodies that we gave her.  The kids and their families really outdid themselves with this one!  (The pic above doesn't even show everything that we ended up collecting!)    I know that these goodies were greatly appreciated and that she's now got the makings for an awesome classroom!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

When do you start working on school stuff?

I'm just curious how long into the summer do you wait to start prepping for the next school year...  Are you so burnt out on the previous year that you take a break for a while before you even begin working on preparations?  

I usually want nothing to do with school for about a month after summer vacation begins.  I'll think about it, run across some resources or something, but don't really do anything for school until about July hits.  Once July rolls around I start getting my motivation back and begin to get a little more excited about the new year.  

So, what's your summer school work style?  Do you work all summer?  Wait 'til the very last minute?  
Please share!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Out With the Old, In With the New!

One day into summer vacation and I've already gone on a mini shopping spree!

In preparing to move in the next few weeks I started going through some of my housewares that were in storage down in my basement.  In going through my own things I decided that it's time for an upgrade in some areas!  I have a lot of stuff that is whatever I could afford as a poor college student and isn't of very high quality.  I feel like for the most part I have nice stuff for my house (nice for what I can afford at least), but I'm working to upgrade some items as I make the transition to my new place.

Yay for new plates!
My kitchen is probably the weakest of my housewares...  I'm not much of a cook (yet), so I guess I haven't really cared much to spend my money on items for the kitchen.  My mom got me some cute "green apple" Kitchen Aid mixing bowls at TJ Maxx last Christmas and I recently went back there and discovered the same green Kitchen Aid accessories...  And the best part?  They're about half the price as the same accessories at Target!  I love TJ Maxx for housewares because you can get nice quality items and good brands at really reasonable prices.  (I'm also in love with HomeGoods, but we don't have one here in town.  Boooooo!)

I then wandered into Dollar Tree and happened upon some cute dishes...  My current dishes aren't awful (they're just plain white), but they're hand-me-downs from my aunt's first apartment back in the mid-90's and I've been looking to upgrade.  I found these babies, which look quite similar to Pottery Barn's Emma dishes.  For $1 each, I decided to get 8 plates and 8 bowls.  They looked even nicer when I got them home.  I had to pick and choose from what was in the store since most were a little imperfect, but I'm really happy with my bargain plates.  They also coordinate nicely with the other random white pieces I've picked up at Pier 1 and Crate & Barrel.  I hope to be able to sell the old ones in my garage sale for about the same price I spent on these!

Next to Dollar Tree is Goodwill.  I pop into Goodwill every now and then to look for clothes for my brother or other random treasures, but I sometimes struggle to see the potential in items there.  I wandered back to the furniture and found this chair for *drumroll please* $2!  Yes, $2!  It's a nice solid wood chair and I think will be a nice little addition to the corner in my bedroom.  I plan on painting it (either off white or a greige color) and adding a cute little toss pillow to it.

Speaking of my bedroom, I finally settled on my new bedding!  I decided upon Pottery Barn's Vanessa Floral duvet and shams.  It was on special and they were offering free shipping, so added onto my gift cards I saved $88.  What my kitchen lacks in quality, my bedding collection makes up for.  I'm a total PB bedding addict.  It's probably the one area I really like to splurge on for my home.

I'm hoping that my garage sale next week will help me justify a couple more small purchases for my new home.   I'd like a tall framed floor mirror for my bedroom and then might get some new toss pillows for my bedroom or living room.  I may also just save my money for an out of town shopping trip where I can hit up my faves that we don't have around here like Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, HomeGoods, and maybe if I make it to Denver, Ikea!  I'll be sure to post some pics of the chair after it gets its makeover and maybe a few pics after I move and get settled.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fashion Friday: One Little Accessory

Image via
My current shopping bans have limited me from buying some of the items I normally gravitate towards...  Jewelry, makeup, and nail polish, in particular.  I really like how "banning" myself from certain items is making me realize what I really want and is making me less impulsive.  Going a month without buying any tops was a big challenge, but I've really not gone all that crazy since lifting that ban. 

I was scrolling through my Google Reader postings before bed the other night and found a blog post on summer scarves.  I love scarves, but I don't really wear them once it gets warm outside.  Most of my scarves are more fall and winter colors and styles anyway.  Well, I saw this beauty and then found that it was from Forever 21!  (One of my favorite stores for affordable accessories!)

I looked up the scarf online and contemplated making the purchase, but I really hate to buy things online from stores that I have in town, especially if I haven't checked in store yet.  I happened to be over by the mall yesterday and decided I'd pop in to see if they actually had that scarf...  Guess what I found a whole rack of?!?  The salesgirl said they just got them in yesterday!  How awesome is that timing?!?

IRL image from my phone.  
I love the colors in the scarf and how it's the perfect in between with the pastel trend and neon trends that are popular right now.  I've held it up to my neon Gap tees and more neutral items and it looks like it'll go with quite a bit in my closet!  I also love that it's got black in it and isn't so bright and summery that it can transition into the fall very easily.

I have a funeral to attend tomorrow and I plan to wear this scarf with one of my little black dresses and then transition it to the rest of the day with family paired with a tee and jeans.  I also picked up some new black patent ballet flats at Payless (since my Target flats bit the dust and my mom stole my other good pair!) so I think it'll be a stylish and comfortable outfit for spending the day with family.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another DIY!

I've been trying to get a few items for my apartment for when I move just for a fun, cheap refresh.  Since my goal is saving money to buy a house, I've been trying to be as budget-friendly as possible in getting new items.  I've been looking at memo boards on Etsy, in stores, and online and wasn't really finding much below $30 or so.  I'm going to have a blank wall in my new kitchen that I thought would be a nice place to a cute board and would be convenient for a small command center as I come and go.

I'd looked at this memo board at Hobby Lobby a few times, but wasn't completely convinced of the print.  I like the vintage-y scribbles, but I just didn't think it was the look I was going for in my kitchen.  But, during my last HL visit I found this board on the clearance aisle marked down from $29.99 to $10.20.  It suddenly became much more appealing, but I still wasn't totally sold on the fabric.  If you look closely the black frame also had some white spots showing through where the paint had chipped off.  I debated, but for just over $10 I decided to grab it (since it was the only one left) and make it work!

When I got home I pulled out these yellow napkins that I snagged on clearance at Target a couple months back.  I don't really entertain or use cloth napkins at all, but I loved this pattern (it compliments some placemats and pillows I have that are also from Target) and decided to go on and get them since the 4 were less than $3.  I measured the board and found that one of the napkins was the perfect size to use the fabric to recover the board!  I'd been wanting to go with yellow accents in my kitchen and this is the perfect starting point!

I wanted to preserve the existing fabric on the board in case I change my mind down the line, so I found some thin packaging foam downstairs from when I bought my TV.  I cut it to fit around the existing board and just stapled it on to add a little extra cushion and so that the black print wouldn't be visible through the fabric.

From there, I repeated the process of cutting the napkin and stapling it to the board.  The frame overlaps so I had about 1/3 of an inch to work with to where my staples would still be hidden.  It took a few tries and it's not completely perfect and straight, but it's pretty darn close!

The final step was to touch up the black paint.  I was able to do this pretty easily with about 3 drops of black paint and a little sponge brush.

And then, voila!  A cute new memo board for my kitchen!  The total cost was less than $14 and I still have 3 more of the napkins to decorate with!  (I'm contemplating finding a way to sew them into a throw pillow or 2!)

Is it bad?

Is it bad that yesterday as I mentally prepared myself for summer vacation I realized that one of my top priorities my top priority is to figure out my summer TV schedule and set my DVR accordingly?

And then that I spent a lengthy amount of time looking up TV listings to see how my schedule will have to work?

Ha ha.

I'm totally addicted to old sitcoms from the 80's and 90's.  I've seen a lot of them before, so it's good background noise when I don't want to totally invest myself in a show.  I usually already know what happens!  The thing about these shows is that most of them are only on in the middle of the night.  (Hey, at least it's less prime time to add on.)  I regularly DVR "The Facts of Life" and "Mad About You" overnight and usually play them when I'm cooking dinner and unwinding after work.  I realized ABC Family took one of my faves, "Full House" off their schedule so now I'm left to record it overnight on Teen Nick.  "The Wonder Years" used to be my daily fave, but it's now only on weekends overnight on Hub.

Yup, welcome to my life!

Happy summer!  :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If This Is It

Okay, I chose this title and song for several reasons...

  1. Huey Lewis & the News is pretty much my favorite band of all time, although Duran Duran is right up there with them.  This is a wonderful summer-themed music video and I'm now officially on summer vacation!
  2. I wanted a song title about the end of something and this one that came to mind.  Actually, Michael Jackson's "This Is It" came to mind first, but I like this song and video more.
  3. It's the end of the school year and I passed my wonderful little third graders onto fourth grade!  This is a breakup song.  The end of the year kinda feels like a breakup...  Sorta...  Maybe...
This was a fairly eventful year in my school.  Our principal of many years retired / took another job in the district at the end of last year and one of the other third grade teachers was hired as our new principal.  I have to say that last spring I was really nervous about all of these changes, but in the end it all turned out great.  We have a fabulous principal and his replacement in third grade is pretty awesome as well!  We had a pretty great team in third grade, which was hard to break, but it's turned out to be a really great year!

With all of those changes, I ended up taking on a lot of new responsibilities in my building. Once again, I was really nervous about these changes and taking on new things, but I've enjoyed some of my new leadership roles.  i'm still one of the younger ones in my building, but I guess they think I have what it takes to be a good leader with certain things and I'll continue to take on some new roles next year.  (And no, I'm not looking into a career in administration someday...  I get asked that a lot these days.  Admin just isn't my cup of tea!)

I was blessed with a really awesome group of kids this year and really enjoyed this class.  I felt very lucky with last year's bunch and knew they'd be a hard group to top, but I'd say these kids won my heart over as well!  Their personalities were so fun and unique and they were some of the hardest working kids I've ever met!  I was challenged with having a really wide academic range in my class (1 Sp.Ed. and 4 Gifted), but they all worked together so well that it all just seemed to "click."  I was sad to pass these kids onto 4th grade today, but retaining 20 hard working, assessment rocking kids just isn't an option!

So, there's a little year in review...  It was a great year, but I'm glad to have to summer to relax and renew before the next group comes along.  I love the fact that I'm in a career where I get a fresh start each year and have the opportunity to change things from year to year.  I have a busy summer ahead of me, but I'm bound and determined to fit in plenty of chill time before August rolls around again!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tomorrow's the Day

Tomorrow is our last day of school!  Today was actually our last full day and tomorrow the kids only go until 11:30 a.m.  Our last real day of school was busy with 5th grade versus staff kickball in the morning and then our PRIDE party for good behavior in the afternoon!  Whew!  I'm super worn out!

I'm actually feeling ahead of the game as far as prepping my classroom for the summer.  I recruited my students to help me a bit last week with cleaning and organizing, so that definitely helped to speed up the process!  Now I've got a half day tomorrow and then Wednesday morning to wrap up other loose ends.  I've already got a lot of things made and copied for next year, so I really do feel like I'm ready to roll!

You may not be hearing from me a ton over the next few weeks...  I'm going to be super busy with preparing to move and whatnot!  I'll try not to be too much of a stranger, though! 

To those of you finishing school in the coming days and weeks, I wish you the best as you conclude this school year!  I hope it was a great one!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To Do Tuesday (Oops! I mean Thursday!)

So much for posting my to do's on Tuesday this week.  Oh well, better late than never!

Did I accomplish the things I set out to do last week?

Well, for the most part...  I got my desk cleaned out and organized, which was probably one of the things that I hadn't done that was driving me nuts.  I've got the year-end progress reports printed and plan to work on those  over the next couple nights during my TV time.  And finally, the grades...  Those are pretty much done, with the exception of one assignment, and they're due by noon tomorrow so I'm going to wrap that one up tonight.

This week's to do's:

  1. Clean and prep my room for summer!  (The last day is Tuesday, a half day, and then we have work time the rest of the day and can check out around 1 p.m. Wednesday!)
  2. Cut out lamination.  I have a stack sitting in my basement and I'm trying to clean everything in preparation for my move next month!
  3. Finish cleaning out my closet for my garage sale!
I'll post my progress next week, as well as my next set of to do's!  I seem to be buying a lot of storage containers at Target for both home and school.  It's a good thing they're on sale this week!

Happy Thursday! :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May Birchbox

I just wanted to give a quick update on my May Birchbox!  It arrived in the mail today and I was pretty impressed with the contents.  They were "Gossip Girl" themed this month!  

I don't have my camera handy to take full pics, but the best item was a full-sized Stila Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner!  Yup, full-sized! and both list those at $22.  So, considering the whole box cost me $10, I'd say that alone is worth it!  

The rest of the box is pretty decent...  Ojon Conditioner (which will be good for traveling), Bvlgari Omnia Chrystaline perfume sample (smells really good, but reminds me of Wildbloom from BR, which I already own), a cute hair tie, a fun blank notecard, and a very small Dr. Jart BB cream (the little sample bottle hardly has any product).  The Stila eyeliner is by far the standout product, especially for the value.  This is actually the first box of the three where all of the products are things I'd actually use or wear.  (I'm not big into oils, so some of those kinds of things aren't that interesting to me.)  Anyway, Birchbox has won me over for at least another month!  

I've been getting into watching beauty videos on YouTube and I've been hearing a lot about Birchbox and other similar subscription sites.  From the sounds of things, Birchbox is one of the better ones, if not the best in terms of quality products and customer service.  I've been fairly pleased so far, so I plan to continue to stick with it for another few months at least.  It's a fun little treat for myself and I do like getting to try some fun products I normally wouldn't test out!  I recently read an article about how companies that participate in services like this have seen an increase in sales because people are more willing to buy higher end products that they get to try first.  Makes total sense, huh?  I'm getting close to having $10 in the Birchbox store, so I'm excited to pick out my first purchase!

Shopping Bans

In an effort to cut back on unnecessary purchases and save some money, I've been trying to ban myself from buying certain items for a month at a time.  Last month I banned myself from buying new tops and I did pretty well sticking to it. The world didn't end and I'm pretty sure I saved myself a few bucks that I didn't need to be spending!

With moving soon, I want to focus on getting a few goodies for my new apartment.  That means I'm going to be cutting back in the areas of clothing, accessories, and makeup!

Here are my latest shopping bans:

Jewelry - 1 month (minimum)
Nail polish - Until September
Dresses - 1 month (minimum)
Non-necessity makeup - 2 months
(Necessities are things like foundation, concealer, and powder.  I have plenty of the fun stuff!)

I did a mini haul at Ulta this afternoon and got a little more than I intended...  I got some really good deals and used 2 coupons, but after leaving I felt like I maybe shouldn't have bought them items I got.  Nail polish is a definitely non-necessity for me and I got 3 new bottles today, so I'm banned from buying anymore until the end of the summer!  (Plus, my Birchboxes have been including nail polishes anyway...)

Ulta Haul (clockwise from top) - Revlon Lip Butter in Sweet Tart, Revlon Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, Essie Luxe Effects nail polish in Shine of the Times, Essie nail polish in Tart Deco, and Essie nail polish in Camera.

About a month ago I purchased this "J.Crew" bubble necklace on eBay.  I've not seen the real J.Crew version in person to compare, but this $15 (plus free shipping) eBay version is much more in my budget than the "real" thing that runs $150 (or even the J.Crew Factory version that's still $69.50)!  I thought the yellow was super fun and I'm excited to pair it up with items in my closet!

Well, wish me luck with these shopping bans!  Summer gets a bit hard sometimes because when I get bored I like to go shopping.  I'm getting a bit better at being more creative with items I already own, so hopefully I'll continue to do so!  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Teachers Have Class and Style: My Teacher Fashion Story

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Mix & Match Fashion is hosting the Teachers Have Class and Style linky party!  OF COURSE, I had to participate in this par-tayyyy!

I thought that'd also share my teacher fashion story with you and how I've transitioned my everyday wardrobe to function for work and play!

My teacher style isn't as fancy as some or as casual as others...  I feel like I fall somewhere in the middle erring with more on the side of function than fashion.  As someone who is all about dressing on a budget, my ultimate goal in buying clothing for school is to buy items that can also be easily worn for everyday.  I'm not a heels and pencil skirt kinda girl (though I do think all of you out there are super adorable), but I'm more of the type that tries to bridge the gap between teacher and regular 20-something.  

Pretty much my favorite kind of outfit...
Other than sweats, of course!
I feel like creating a teacher wardrobe was almost as much of a task as preparing my actually classroom when I first got started.  Before student teaching, I worked an office job a few days a week on campus.  I splurged on a couple pairs of black pants from Express and the rest of my office wardrobe consisted of my church clothes. I wore heels to work almost everyday since other than walking across campus to work, I spent most of the day sitting at a desk or walking around our small office.  On my days off, I was found in the typical college student gear of jeans and hoodies.  My nice clothes never made it to class unless I was working in the office that day.  When I got to the point of teaching full time, I realized I really needed to up my teacher wardrobe and cross the lines between fashion and function.  I had a wardrobe full of K-State t-shirts, American Eagle hoodies, and Gap tees and suddenly had to make it work in a more professional setting on a daily basis.  (I pretty much lived in Gap and AE since those were practically the only two stores I liked in our little mall in Manhattan.)  I also had to do this on a budget!

My style has grown up a little bit since college, but honestly I still shop at pretty much all of the same stores, I just have a different eye for items I purchase.  I try to buy items that can be worn for work on for the weekends.  In addition, I've expanded my favorite stores to a few more "grown up" stores that meet more of my professional wardrobe needs, but that still represent my personal style.  I think it's about how you pair items together and with a little creativity you can be comfy, cute, and professional all at the same time!  

Always a bargain hunter!
Here are my top stores:

American Eagle
Banana Republic
Old Navy

In the warmer months I love wearing comfy knit dresses, my beloved denim jacket, cropped pants, warm weather sweaters, and cute knit tees.  When it's cooler I'm most frequently found in v-neck sweaters and cardigans, black pants, adorable scarves, and cute jackets.  I believe you don't have to spend tons of money to be a fashionable teacher and that your wardrobe can cross the lines between work week and weekend.  It's all about creativity, mixing and matching, and being youself!

Now it's your turn to head over the Mix & Match Fashion and link up with all of the other awesomely stylish teachers out there! 

Follow this link to Mix & Match Fashion!

 Show us what you've got!

PS ~  If you're new to my blog, CLICK HERE to check out my other fashion and style posts!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's the Final Countdown!

As if that song wasn't awesome (or awesomely bad) enough, then one of my all-time favorite TV shows, "Arrested Development" had to go and make it even better.

Unfortunately, YouTube didn't have any great AD clips with this song, so you're just going to have to settle for this freakin' amazing Europe music video!

We're down to just 7 1/2 days of school!  Wow, where has the time gone!?!

We went to a baseball game yesterday and I think it really started to hit me how much I'm going to miss this group of kids.  I've been blessed with a truly wonderful class this year.  They're fun, easygoing, enjoy school, and well-behaved!  Seriously, could I ask for a better class?  I thought I was super lucky last year and then it happened again this year!  

We returned from our baseball field trip with about an hour and a half left in the school day.  The kids were absolutely exhausted!  They asked me for nap time until recess (over an hour), so I gave them about 30 minutes of chill time to rest or read.  It was absolute silence the whole time...  I had to snap a pic because they were so cute!

Tomorrow is Field Day, so it'll be busy with all of those events.  Next week is jam packed with more events, many of which involve the word "party"!  I guess it doesn't really bother me at all since these kids have worked sooooooo incredibly hard this year and they've made so much progress!  They are definitely due for some time of celebration!  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Home Wish List

I've mentioned my upcoming move, that is now just over a month away!  Ahhhhh!

My roommate is getting married and I'm trying to save for a house, but in the meantime I'll be back to apartment living for a while.  (I have promised myself I will not settle on just whatever when it comes to buying my first home...  I want to actually get a place a like, in an area I like, and a place that will potentially be a good resale later down the line.)  I'm a little overwhelmed with the idea of taking what's currently occupying a 3 bedroom house with a full basement and cramming it all into a one bedroom apartment.  Thankfully, my aunt has offered her basement for storage and a lot of things will be finding a home over there.  

One of my true passions in life is home decor, so pretty much every time I love I use that as an excuse to redecorate a bit.  Since my goal is to save money, I'm trying to limit my redecorating budget, but still allow myself a few goodies to freshen things up and make me less depressed this whole moving situation.  (I was hoping my next move would be into a more permanent residence, but timing didn't quite work out that way.)

So, here a few things I'm considering picking up for my new apartment!  For the most part, I'm leaning towards items for my bedroom.  I have a love for Pottery Barn bedding!  For some reason I'm being drawn back to bright colors for my bedroom and I'm thinking a fun, fresh mix of florals and other patterns. (Um chevron, please!)  My bedroom is the last room to lack matching, new furniture.  I'm trying to hold out until I  buy a place to buy anymore big furniture items, but in the meantime I'm trying to with with what I've got!

(I'm hoping that between a few gift cards and garage sale money, my budget won't take a huge hit!)

I've tried to link each picture to the original website!

I want this!
Woodland Organic Duvet -
Easel Floor Mirror - Black.Opens in a new window
Easel Floor Mirror -

I wouldn't list any of these things under "needs", but I do like to treat myself and like I said, between gift cards and my garage sale, I'm hoping to make a little money to put towards some fun home purchases!  Sometimes you just need a little refresh!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

To Do Tuesday

I decided that for the end of the school year and into the summer I'm going to do a feature called To Do Tuesday.  I'm just going to share some of my goals for the week and things that I'd like to accomplish.  I'm hoping this will inspire me to get things accomplished at a reasonable pace and not be such a procrastinator.  Maybe a little accountability too?  Yes, that sounds good.

As the school year nears the end, I'm really trying to focus on getting things organized for next fall.  I feel like my school year starts out sooooo much better when I get some of the organizational stuff done before I leave at the end of May.  

I'm not feeling terribly motivated to push myself this week.  I have obligations after school almost everyday this week, so that cuts into my To Do-ing time...  But, I'm still going to try to hammer out a few items.

Here are this week's To Do's:

  1. Clean out my desk.
  2. Begin working on end-of-the-year assessment reports.  (It's the same sheet I go over with parents at conferences, only with the most recent testing scores.)
  3. Wrap up grades for this nine weeks.
So, my goal is to have these things done (or some at least started) by next Tuesday.  I'll update you on my progress and share next week's To Do's!  

I also want you to share your own To Do list and what you would like to accomplish.  Sometimes I don't think of things until I see or hear about another person doing it, so this is a good way to inspire and encourage one another to be productive!  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Teachers Have Class and Style

The fabulous Tara from Mix & Match Fashion is hosting her Teachers Have Class and Style linky this week in celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week.  I discovered her blog sometime last fall around the last time she did this feature.  The last couple times have been where bloggers submitted pics to her and she put them onto her own blog.  (Check out last fall's post...  I'm the 6th pic down..)  This time around she's hosting a linky that will be open this Friday!  It's a super fun way to discover blogs of other awesome, fashionable teachers and see how they mix style into their teacher wardrobe!  I wanted to share this with you all in time for you to participate and enjoy this linky on Friday!  I'm super excited to connect with other fashionable teachers and discover some awesome new blogs!  :)

Click here to visit Tara's blog, Mix & Match Fashion!

Today was pretty much my only dress up day this week...  Tomorrow is bully shirts, Wednesday will be casual for out baseball game field trip, Thursday I'm out for reading training, and Friday is Field Day!  It's not really a good week for me to be bragging about being fashionable since I'll probably be schlumping around in jeans and tees and baseball caps half the week.  Oh well, that's just how things go every now and then!  

See you Friday for the party! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Celebrations and Appreciation

The end of the year is just around the corner and just when we think we're done with testing, what do we get to do more of?  TESTING!

We do AIMSweb math and fluency assessments with all of our students.  I've pretty much been spending all of my free time testing kids.  Aside from hating the fact that all this testing take sooooo much time, I do really enjoy seeing the progress the kids have made over the course of the school year.  My kids have really rocked it this year!

(I'm really not saying this to brag, by the way.)

It's just been really cool to celebrate all of these awesome accomplishments with my students.  One of my biggest success stories is a girl that came to my class about a month into the school year.  She'd really struggled with reading and when she came to my class she was reading on a first grade level.  Today when she took her fluency assessment she met the end-of-the-year benchmark for third grade!  In addition she scored in the top performance category on both of her state assessments!  I shared this celebration with her mom this afternoon and almost cried!  It's been a team effort to get this little girl on grade level...  Her parents, my amazing para, and I have all worked together to make this happen for her.  She's worked extremely hard this year and has made amazing gains!

It just so happened that this girl's mom came in with some lovely flowers and a super sweet card for both my para and I this afternoon.  All four of us were excited to celebrate this year's success together and know that this girl is going to move onto fourth grade as a success story!

There are a lot of times when I feel like I'm not doing enough for my students and just not being the best teacher I could be.  I compare myself to others around me and wonder if I'm doing enough for my students.  I think we all go through these times where our self-esteem as a teacher is a bit low and we focus too much on comparing ourselves to others.  Looking back at this school year and thinking about where these students started out at and where they are now is reassurance that maybe I've been doing things right after all...  Just maybe.  :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mother's Day Crafts

Mother's Day is one of those holidays I always forget about until the last minute.  Blame it on the fact that it's the end of the school year and we have about a zillion activities going on right now.  My calendar is full of special events, most of which involve the word "party."

I always seem to lack ideas for Mother's Day gifts.  There was the year of the cookbooks.  I assembled and bound 20 cookbooks.  I had so many kind thank yous for that one, but it was sooooo much work!  I don't think I have the time or patience to embark on that project again.

Then, last year we made the picture tiles.  (You can read about those here.)  Those were really great, but I did those already this year as Christmas gifts.  I've actually run across this craft of mine on Pinterest a few times!

So, now I'm left to figure out an easy, cute, and cheap Mother's Day gift idea that I can hammer out in the next week.  (And by "week" I mean Monday and Tuesday since Wednesday is a baseball game field trip, Thursday is reading training, and Friday is Field Day!)

Pinterest to the rescue!

I'm not sure which, if any, of these I'm going to do.  I need to review these a little more and then see how much this Hobby Lobby trip will set me back.

Here's the best of Pinterest's easy Mother's Day gift ideas...

Slacker teachers like me shall take note!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Currently... MAY!!!

Oh' Boy 4th Grade is hosting her monthly CURRENTLY linky party for the month of May!  Last month was my first month to participate, but I liked it and thought it was a fun way to share my blog and discover some new ones! 

 May has really snuck up on me...  It seems like ever since we finished up with assessments time has really flown by!  My student teacher had her last official day with us today, but she'll be joining us a few more time this year for some special events.  It was a lot of fun having her in our classroom this semester and I know we'll all really miss her!  She's still looking for a job, but I told her that if she ends up subbing next year we'll all be sure to keep her very busy with sub jobs!  (We've been having a horrible time lately with subs dropping jobs at the last minute and leaving us without anyone!  Ugh!  I wish we had more than just a small handful of good, reliable subs.)  

Farley has a great website over there and there's already a bunch of other Currently links posted!  

Happy Friday!  :)

I Cheated (A little, but not really...)

I'm pretty sure I mentioned I was putting myself on a very short month-long shopping ban from my April paycheck to my May paycheck.  I gave myself a lot of flexibility and pretty much the only thing I wasn't allowed to buy was more tops.  I've purchased a couple accessories and then last Saturday did some minimal damage while I was out with a friend.

First we hit up a super fun outdoor market just outside of town.  There were about 25 vendors jewelry, home decor, hand-made items, and vintage items.  I have several friends that had booths, so I thought it would be a fun little Saturday morning outing!  I managed to walk away only spending $7 of my $20 budget on these cute pairs of earrings!  Aren't these adorable?!?  I love the colors (these pics are from my phone, so they're not the best) and I'm super excited to wear them!

Next we hit Old Navy since they were having their $8 dress sale.  Both my friend and I tried on their $8 dresses, but neither of us liked them.  I did try another dress which was a whopping $15 and fell in love with it.  (Here's the link.)  I absolutely love knit tank dresses and have been kinda sad that there weren't many in stores so far this spring.  It's a little brighter than a regular navy blue and the biggest accomplishment for me is that it's not another black dress!

My other ON purchase was this super cute skirt.  I'm not really a skirt person.  I like skirts, but I can't seem to find many that fit me the right way.  I rocked this one on Wednesday with a ruffled white tank and my denim jacket and got TONS of compliments all day long.  It's another color that's not really represented in my closet, which is also a plus!   (It's kind of a green-ish yellow.  Here's the link to the skirt.)  Thankfully, Old Navy was still running their friends and family "Stuff and Save" promo for 30% off.  Both items were full-price (and we all know I don't do full-price), so that discount sealed the deal.

Then yesterday I made a trip to AE.  I've hardly made any purchases there (well for me) since around Christmas.  I actually went in to return / exchange a hoodie that I purchased back a few months ago that was  a super cute cream with peach stripes...  Every time I put it on, though, it just didn't work and wasn't worth keeping.  (Thankfully AE has a nice return policy and the people there know me.)  A coworker had a super cute lightweight neon pink hoodie from there, so I decided ahead of time to make the exchange.  (That's not cheating in my eyes.)  I also was super happy to recently find out they brought back the beloved Boyfit Crop jeans.  I was kind of obsessed with last year's initial version, which was the Slouchy Skinny.  These boyfit jeans are pretty similar only they're not really skinny when unrolled.  They were marked $15 off full price, which was the icing on the cake, but these are one of the few items I truly wouldn't regret paying full price for!  I'm sure I'll be back to get the other wash at some point since these are pretty much the pants I live in from spring to fall!

Did I mention my classroom has been without A/C?  Yeah...  It sucks.  It's been out for about 3 weeks, but just recently has it been really hot here.  Rumor has it they finally fixed it, but we'll just have to see when I get in there!  I was about 10 degrees from busting out the booty shorts and crop tops!  LOL

Anyway, my clothes shopping thing has gone alright so far.  I have another week to go, but it's really not been that awful.  I'm obviously giving myself some flexibility since I still purchased a dress, skirt, jeans, and earrings.  (Once again, the hoodie doesn't count.  LOL)  I'm really trying to stick to my priorities.  I'm pretty sure with this upcoming move I'm going to go into a major home decor kick.

I.  Will.  Show.  Restraint.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ugh... (***UPDATE***)


I think I got the blog issue fixed and Chrome is working just fine with no red warning screens.  All seems to be well with the world again!

If you didn't read my initial post earlier and you've got anything from Shabby Blogs on your own page, you may want to keep reading...

So, I went to add a blog post a bit ago and Google Chrome informed me that my site contained content from Shabby Blogs and that site has been known to distribute malware...  Ugh!  I've gone through and removed everything I know to be from Shabby Blogs, but Chrome is still giving the same message.  I went through diagnostics and my site appears to be clean.  No warnings come up with I open the site in Internet Explorer, so I don't know what's left to do.  The only thing I can't figure out is why there's a Shabby Blogs button in the upper left corner, when that's not longer the site my background is from.  I can't come up with a way to remove that, so I'm trying to solve that mystery.

In this process, I ended up revamping the blog design a bit.  I'd actually intended to do this for a while, but it's just not been a high priority.  I hope you like the new design!  I may still make some adjustments, but we'll see.

Well, if you're reading this on the site, let me know if you're getting the same message.  It seems like Google is working on whatever issue there was with Shabby Blogs and it said to "come back tomorrow."  Hopefully that means it'll be fixed.