Wednesday, May 29, 2013

DIY: Wall Art

This past weekend was DIY time. I helped my friend, Rachael enhance the wall behind her bed. See her room come together here.

We started day 1 with shopping. We bought most of the frames at our local Goodwill. All the frames came under $20!!!

If you attempt this project remember to check the back of your frames! You may need to add some brackets in order to hang them.

We bought fun letters, words, and shapes to add to this wall "collage" from Michael's. We then placed everything on her bed to play with the arrangement and decide what frames should be painted what.

Then we added the next layer, the scrapbook paper.

Don't forget to grab something to eat.

Remember, you can always bedazzle!


Having a cutting mat and an exacto knife will make cutting your paper a lot more precise and quick.
Tips and Resources:
** Choosing the right glues can make or break a project. There is nothing worse than gluing something, waiting for it to dry, and it falls right off!

Frame Hanging Trick! <<Wish I saw this earlier!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DIY Tile Coasters

This DIY project is easy and cheap. The beauty of this project is that is doesn't look easy OR cheap!

First, you will want to gather your  materials.
  •  Mod Podge
  • - Paint brush
  • - Tiles
    • I got my tiles at Lowes for 18 cents EACH!
  • Scrapbook paper
    • This is where you can really personalize your coasters. You can coordinate your scapbook paper selections with the decor of the room you are putting them in, favorite colors, sport's teams, and on and on and on.
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  •  Felt Floor Protectors
    • These will go on the underside of the tiles to prevent scratching. I bought mine at Target's dollar spot. They have adhesive on the bottom like a sticker. 


Start Crafting!

1. Cut scrapbook paper to fit your tiles. 

 2. Paint a coat of mod podge on the tile and place paper over tile. Let dry (3-5 minutes, it doesn't take long)

3. Paint a few coats over the scrapbook paper to create a seal. Make sure to paint the sides of the tile too so the paper doesn't warp and peel off. 

4. Place floor protectors on bottoms of tiles.

Presto! You have beautiful expensive looking coasters!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Nanny Series: Part 3: Personal Nanny Bag

Thanks for joining me for part 3 of The Nanny Series. Today's post is about YOU. You will want to make yourself a bag of belongings to keep at your employers house.

This isn't the best picture so I will list off what I have in my bag and why.

  • Sweatpants and sweatshirt
    • Yes, the summer is hot but sometimes with the a/c running in a home it can get too cold. When I am working in the summer I am usually in spandex work out capris and a tank top. When I am indoors it can get chilly. I can throw my sweatpants over my leggings and be comfortable.
  • Change of clothes
    • You never know when you will get rained on, painted on, puked on, or completely sweat through your clothes. (All four have happened to me) A nanny's day is long so you want to feel clean and dry. 
  • First-aid items
    • band-aids, Advil, Pepto tablets, Tums. You want to be comfortable all day and you never know if your employer will be out of something you need. Make sure you have the back ups. 
  • Lady products
    • You could run out of tampons/pads from your regular supply in your purse at any time. You DO NOT want to be stuck in this situation. 
  • Hair Products
    • I pack with me bobby pins, headbands, and hair ties. Like I've said before, the summer is HOT. You may need to pull your hair back. You may even break a hair tie so you will want these extras with you. 
  • Make up supplies
    • You may sweat off your make up and want to reapply. That doesn't make you vain! You may get caught in a water gun fight and now have mascara running down your face. Keep make up remover wipes and some touch up make up with you. 
Keep all of these items in a fun bag that you will keep at your employer's house and in a safe place. This is not the same as your every day purse you will have with you. These are all back up emergency items to help keep your day running smoothly.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Nanny Series: Part 2: Car Kit

Welcome back to The Nanny Series. Part 1 was about creating a nanny headquarters binder. Part 2 will be about keeping organized in the car. What you will need will vary a lot on the age of your child(ren). My children are going to be 11 and 6. They are independent but may still make messes and get some cuts and bruises. Having a car kit will help ease the stress of crazy times!

A staple in any car kit would be sunscreen, trash bags, and an umbrella.

I bought a few pencil pouches from the dollar store. Inside the pouch I have Neosporin and bandaids, hand sanitizer, lotion, and Advil. A travel kit of wipes should be in everyone's car kit. They help clean up messes and messy kids!

Find yourself an extra bag you have in the house and you are all set! If your kids are old enough, let them know where to find the bag in case you are driving when an incident occurs when you will need your car kit.

Other items you may want to add:
- toys/activities for longer car rides
- snacks
- books
- tissues
- Quarters for unexpected meter parking

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Nanny Series: Part 1: Nanny Binder

If you will be nannying or working with kids this summer you may want to pay attention. I will be posting a series to help prep you for your summer nanny job. Today's post will be on creating a nanny binder.

I was a nanny last summer for a toddler and I will be a nanny again this summer for two girls ages 6 and 11. They will have full summer schedules with camps and activities so having a binder will be the best way to keep me organized.

First, I created my own cover page. Of course, it needed to be ADORABLE and appealing to the eye. I am going to have to look at this all summer long! You can download your own free nanny headquarters binder cover sheet here.

My employer asked me to keep track of my hours every week. The easiest way for me to do that is to create time sheets and print them out for every week of the summer.

You can download free summer time sheet here.

Binder Sections:

* Calendar. You can find a super cute free summer calendar here. This will help keep you organized and let you plan ahead.

* Summer Ideas. I see things on pinterest or run across ads all the time with things I want to do with the kids. This is the section to keep those ideas!

* Notes from Nanny. I do not have this in my binder for this summer but when I was with my toddler last summer I needed something to help me keep track of what my child ate, when she napped, and what we did throughout the day. I promise you, your days will start to blend together and it is nice when the parents come home for you to have something written out stating what you did with your day. I don't think I will use this for my job this summer because my kids are older and can tell their parents about their day. I plan to have the girls create a summer memories journal where they can write what we did each day or each week.

You can download your free notes from nanny sheet here.

* Medical. This will include photocopies or health cards, name of doctors, health professionals, and hospitals in the area. I created an editable family information sheet that you can download for free here.

I will make sure this binder goes with me everywhere. You never know when an emergency will happen. I want to make sure I have all the information I need. It will have a special place in the house where the children know where to find it as well.

Staying organized is the key to a successful summer and it will impress the parents you work for. It shows that you take your job seriously.

Part 2 of The Nanny Series will be about creating a Car Kit for you and your little ones.

Stay Tuned!

Test Post

Blogger has been giving me troubles so this is just a test.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Interview Prep

Last Friday, I had a screening interview in a nearby district for potential vacancies for the 2013-2014 school year. I had a lot of notice going into the interview, 2 months. I had a lot of time to prepare. Regardless of the time you have, you must prepare for an interview.

1. Research
You really want to wrap your head around what kind of school you are interviewing for and potentially would be working for. Would this school be a good fit for you? Would you be able to improve the school with your qualifications? Would you need to relocate? (Yes, I know that is thinking very far ahead when you are simply preparing for a first round interview but I am always looking 10 steps ahead. Now don't go buying a new house - that's crazy)

Get familiar with the curriculum that the school uses. If you haven't been exposed to their programs search online. The program's website will have a lot of information to help you. Try YouTube, you may be able to find some sample lessons being taught.

2. Update your portfolio

I spoke of teaching portfolios in a previous post. Make sure your resume, clearances, letters, and certifications are all up to date. Chances are in a first round interview that your portfolio will not be looked at but it still shows a lot of initiative if you bring it, place it on the table and inform the interviewers that it is available.

3. Pick your outfit

This can be the most fun part of the preparation process or the most stressful. Pick simple pieces with clean lines. Make sure everything fits, nothing too big, too small, too snug or too loose. Try to stay true to your style while still looking professional.

4. Be yourself!!!!!

I asked my cooperating teacher for advice leading up to my interview and she said, "Smile". Don't be anyone else but yourself. I tend to try to be too serious during interviews. I went into this one hoping they would get a sense of my personality while still taking the interview seriously. Smiling does help ease the anxiety too!

[image source]

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sub Tracker

Come on over to my Teachers Pay Teacher's store and grab yourself a free Sub Tracker.

It's important to keep track of your sub jobs including special tidbits about each one. Soon it will get hard to keep track of all of them and if you want to return or not. Print a chart for each district you sub for and update as you go.

- Date
- School
- Grade
- Teacher
- Plans
- Class Behavior
- Parking Notes
- Notes
- Return Again?

Give yourself good reminders such as:
- to park continue down the street and turn left (this will save you time in the morning)
- No cell reception in case of emergency

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Time Saver

I have been in many kindergarten classrooms where the students write in journals (writer's workshop, kid writing....). It becomes a mad dash for the teacher to write the dates on all of their journal pages and then begin checking and assessing their work.

I subbed in a kindergarten classroom with one smart cookie for a teacher.

See that stamp? The one with the date!? Ground breaking! Seriously such a time save! The teacher can simply walk around the room and stamp, stamp, stamp!

You can find a stamp similar here.

Friday, May 3, 2013

DIY: Classroom Response System

This great idea came from a 3rd grade classroom I subbed in. Every chair in the room had a hook and a set of affordable response systems.

I love the hook on the back of the chair idea. There is less of a chance the cards will get mangled and lost.

Polling Card Options:

This system could be used successfully in any grade level in any subject. You could add more cards to it for writing, "brainstorming","rough draft", "editing", "final draft". The possibilities will go as far as you take them.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Unplug with Ease

I don't know about you but I cringe every time I unplug my laptop and the cord falls and hits the ground. Even after I lay the cords on my desk they inevitably fall. I found my solution at the Target Dollar Spot. I bought a Plug Out for $3. It has a sticky back that you peel off and you can stick anywhere to keep your cords in place. You can also buy them here, you will get a set of two for $8.49. I just may need to buy more!

*Plug out has no idea who I am. I just wanted to share a great product.