Friday, June 28, 2013


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Great Michaels Deals to Prepare for Fall

Michaels isn't just a place to get arts and crafts materials anymore. Michaels has a great selection of resources for teachers. I was in today and snapped some pictures to show you.

They have a great Crayola section.

So many affordable borders, banners, cut-outs and addition bulletin board materials.

Dr. Seuss themed resources.  

A whole section of name plates, badges, rewards certificates, bookmarks....

Very simple center activities like this clock matching game for only $3.00!

Store supplies for your classroom with these colored caddies for $3.00

Michaels has a huge scrap book section which includes a lot of storage towers that can be used in a classroom for supplies. You don't have to wait long for one of Michaels' 40% off coupons to come your way to get a massive discount on one of these babies.

SO many magnets!

And of course Michaels provides evening classes for when you and a girlfriend want to learn or enhance a hobby.

I signed up for email alerts from Michaels and I am constantly getting coupons, most of the time they are for 40% an item. While I was floating through the store I noticed a lot of brands were on sale for 30% off. More times than not, if you go into Michaels and buy something, a 40% off coupon will print out along with your receipt. I am always happy by the prices and the sales that go on in Michaels.

The best deal of all is that teachers get 15% off their entire purchase ALL DAY, EVERY DAY! Just bring in a valid school ID.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Great Groupon Deals to Prepare for Fall

If you are a teacher, tutor, or child care worker here are a few Groupon deals going on right now to help you prep for the fall and save some money.

(Groupon has no idea who I am)

LifeCycles 8 book children's series $11.99 plus shipping ($2.99)

Titles include:

  • Caterpillar to Butterfly
  • Egg to Chicken
  • Joey to Kangaroo
  • Pup to Shark
  • Puppy to Dog
  • Seed to Sunflower
  • Snakelet to Snake
  • Tadpole to Frog

  • Reusable Dry-Erase Worksheet Pouches
    Choose from 10 small pouches for $7.99 plus shipping ($2.99)
    10 large pouches for $9.99 plus shipping ($2.99)

    **Groupon deals $14.99 have free shipping


    Zoobooks, Zootles, or Zoobies Magazine Subscription
    $10 for a one-year subscription to Zoobooks, 10 issues, Zootles, six issues, or Zoobies, six issues, from Wildlife Education Ltd.
    $19 for a two-year subscription to Zoobooks, 20 issues, Zootles, 12 issues, or Zoobies, 12 issues from Wildlife Education Ltd.

    Have a reading center?

    JLab Kids' Volume Safe Headphones
    $17.99 each
    Free Shipping

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    Bargain Hunting 101

    I will be moving into my new apartment in less than one week. I have been out of college and in the working world for a little over a year now. For now, I am a substitute teacher, which may come as a shock but it doesn't exactly bring in the big bucks (sense my sarcasm?). I have to be really smart with my money and try to stretch it as far as it can. Having to fill an empty apartment is a task on it's own but doing it on a tight (emphasis on "tight") budget can be a whole other ballgame. I was actually really excited and up for the challenge.

    I have been doing some bargain hunting the last month and I wanted to share some tips and steps for successful bargain hunting.

    1. Decide what you need!

    Do not, I repeat, do not just wander into yard sales without some vague sense of a plan. You will end up buying things you will not need or use.

    This a picture of the kitchen in the model unit of the apartment we will be moving into.

    The kitchen itself is very spacious, which I love! But there is a lack of storage and drawers so I knew I was going to need some sort of baker's rack or dresser I could spruce up for some extra storage. I would place it where you see that lovely pink oval.

    I began looking at my normal spots, Target and Wal-mart.

     Target had baker's racks for about $150

    Even their kitchen carts were over $170.

    While this kitchen cart fit my kitchen needs perfectly it did not fit my wallet needs. I knew I needed a solution to my kitchen problem but I wasn't willing to shell out $150. This is where I decided what I was going to need, but with a better price tag.

    2. Start your hunting....and be patient

    There are many resources to find cheap furniture.

    - Yard Sales
    - Habitat for Humanity ReStore
    - Goodwill
    - Salvation Army
    - local thrift shops
    - Craiglist
    - and always family or friends :)

    I went to many yard sales and walked away empty handed and that's OKAY. Just because you are searching for someone's used goods doesn't mean you have to settle.

    I finally found my kitchen cart on craigslist. I know craigslist can be a little sketchy at times. So no matter what you do, always go to pick up your item with a friend. Don't go alone - that's just silly.

    This was the magical ad that helped solve all of my kitchen storage problems. I emailed back and forth with the seller and then went this morning to pick it up with my boyfriend, Dave. Your eyes are not deceiving you, the cart was priced at $20. The family I bought this from had recently redone their kitchen and had no use for this great conditioned kitchen cart. I am happy to be the proud owner of it.

    I am still looking for a cute and dainty desk. I have been searching around and have not had much luck. I am stubborn and am not going to spend over $75 on a desk so I am going to continue bargain hunting until I find one. I am okay using my old foldable desk in our apartment until I find one. Decorating and filling an apartment or house is a process. Don't lose hope if it is not all done at once, you'll get to the place you want to be!

    What are some of your greatest bargain finds?

    Monday, June 17, 2013

    Moving Tips

    As mentioned in a previous post my boyfriend and I move in t-minus two weeks. We found our apartment two weeks ago so I will have had four weeks total to prep, pack and move. I have done a lot of research to find the best moving tips to make our transition as easy and stress free as possible.

    Tip #1: Purge

    Grab some trash bags and try to get rid of as much as possible. You want to start with a fresh start when you move into your new place. You also do not want to waste time moving junk! Moving day is going to be a lot of work, don't make it harder on yourself. If you can, donate the items that others can put to good use. I currently live on a busy street. On several occasions I have put a piece of furniture at the end of the driveway and within hours someone has already driven by and taken it. I am always so appreciative of the good finds I find while thrifting so because of that, I try to pay it forward and donate as much as I can.

    Tip #2: Make a Traveling Moving Head Quarters

    Put all of your packing supplies in one place that you can tote with you as you pack. It seriously is the best tip I found (I tried to find the original source with this brilliant idea but I couldn't find it!). I made sure to put packing tape, duct tape, scissors, labels, and sharpies in my basket. Make this even easier and get retractable sharpies so you do not have to worry about finding the cap.

    Tip #3: Create a Key

    I saw this advice on a lot of blogs. Make yourself a moving key.

    Then place the matching colored labels on every box and piece of furniture you are having moved. It will save everyone so much time. No one will have to wait for you to ask "Where do you want me to put this?" I made two identical signs. One will be placed in the moving truck and another at the entrance of the apartment. I know this may seem like a redundant task if I am already labeling boxes with where to place the boxes but many items are not in boxes and I cannot easily place duct tape on them to label them (I fear the adhesive may not come off nicely). The colored stickers should help with that. 


    Do not simply write "Kitchen" on your box. That is the location of where you want your box placed. Somewhere else on the box you need to make a list of everything that is in that box. This way, if you need to unpack slowly you can pick and choose high priority boxes to unpack first depending on what you need.

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    DIY Furniture Revamp!

    My boyfriend and I will be moving into an apartment in two weeks. I have been garage sale and thrift store hunting for some great deals to fill our new space. This time of year is a great time to hit up some garage sales. The weather is great and people are eager to clean out their homes. I found a lot of yard sales using When you are hunting, do not let the color or appearance of an item turn you away. It is so simple to change the look of any item.

    I bought this corner shelf unit for $15 at a multi-family garage sale. I simply sprayed on some spray paint and I have a the shelf I want. I get my spray paint at Wal-Mart for about $3.50 a can.

    I also sprayed a lazy susan and a knife block a pretty blue for a pop of color in the new kitchen.

    I made sure to cover the parts I didn't want exposed to the spray paint with blue painter's tape.

    I also found a great place to find home goods, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore (find a location here) You can get sofas, hardware, kitchen cabinets, refrigerators and more!

    I was able to get this bookcase for $5! And all of your money goes to benefit Habitat for Humanity!

    I will be using this to hold shoes for our new entry way. I will be on a hunt for some cute bins to place on the shelves to work as a drawers.

    When you are moving into your first place, there is no need to break the bank, even if you are starting from scratch. Hit up yard sales, thrift stores, Goodwills, and Restores FIRST. Do what you can to make your hard earned money go far!

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    The End of My First Year

    It is hard to believe I made it! I did an entire school year of substitute teaching. There were many ups and downs. I learned SO much about children, myself, and teaching.

    - I learned that students really do crave routine. Many classes were completely thrown off just to have me in the room, especially little kindergarteners.
    - I learned the importance of creating lasting professional relationships. The more teachers that saw me in their school the more comfortable they felt requesting me to sub for them. It was also nice creating relationships so I could see a friendly face while walking down the halls without feeling like an outsider.
    - As seen on my blog, I have soaked up everything I see in classrooms. Even with the teacher absent I was able to understand a teacher's teaching and management styles.

    I had some really fun moments. I was reminded how important it is to remember that kids need to be kids.

    This picture is when I subbed in a fourth grade classroom for two days. The wing where their classroom was was about to be demolished for a new wing to be built. Their teacher was there both days, moving things out of her classroom. I was there to be with her kids. She decided to let the children write all over the walls on there last day. I saw so much joy on the children's faces. This was something they would never forget.

    I was chosen to assist students in a learning support classroom take their state standardized test for two weeks. The other few subs chosen and I also helped served breakfast to all test takers every morning. I was able to get a greater appreciation for all teachers AND all the staff that work in a school cafeteria. I had no idea all the work and order that goes into feeding a school. I also left with such an admiration for those students I worked with those two weeks.

    I went on a screening interview and gained more experience and confidence when it comes to an interview.

    This is possibly my favorite picture from my subbing experience this year. This was taken on my last day substituting. Students had an indoor recess due to some nasty rain. I was able to see how creative and motivated a student can be during a game of hide and seek in a small classroom.

    I was able to sit through a lot of assemblies this year. My favorite was during a visiting author assembly. This is Herman Parish. He writes Amelia Bedelia books. His aunt Peggy Parish was the original author but he picked up where she left off after she passed away in 1988.

    I met some great kids and while some days (a lot of days) were rough, the best days are at the front of my mind. I am now beginning my summer as a nanny for two girls. I am excited for what is to come.

    So if you are wrapping up your year as a sub....