Friday, January 31, 2014

Valentine's Day Centers

January is coming to a cold and frosty close. Stop by my Teachers Pay Teacher's store to get your own Valentine's Day themed centers for February.

You can purchase each center individually or purchase the bundle! These centers are geared towards first grade but could easily be used in kindergarten and second grade.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Survive Cabin Fever

I don't know about you all but I am SICK of snow and I am sick of this cold weather. Be gone frigid air, BE GONE!!!!! If icy roads and horribly low temperature are keeping you inside, stay put and read my top ten list of ways to survive cabin fever.

1. Pamper Yourself
Exfoliate with body scrubs, give yourself a facial, and paint your nails.

2. Bake
 Try out some recipes you have been wanting to bake. If you are running low on ingredients with no chance of making it to the store try two-ingredient cookies from Pocket Full of Sugar.

3. Netflix Binge
Here are my top three shows I have binge watched:
    1. Friday Night Lights (5 seasons)
    2. Parenthood (4 seasons)
    3. Orange is the New Black (1 season)

4. Purge and maybe sell?
 Start spring cleaning early. Decide if any of the stuff you want to toss would be worth anything. If so, take some pictures of it and list it on eBay. They say one man's trash is another man's treasure so you might as well make a profit out of it.

5. Wine and Cocktails
yeah, I don't think I need to explain that. If you're going to be stuck inside, drink until your heart's content. 

6. Attempt to make some sellable items for TPT
If you are a sub like me, you don't get paid for the days you don't work, including snow days. Play around and make some original worksheets to sell on TeachersPayTeachers.

7. Workout at home
It's so cold outside that even leaving the house to drive to the gym is torturous. Find some fun printable workout guides on Pinterest or videos on Youtube and get your sweat on.

8. Rearrange the furniture
It's a good workout and a fun change.

9. Wash your make up brushes 
If you are like me, you put off washing your make up brushes. Seriously, just go, take 10 minutes and wash them! 

10. Light a candle and sit with that good book you've been waiting to read 
Enjoy the slow snow day(s) because life moves too fast.

P.S: Happy 100th blog post to me!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Decorating At The Dollar Spot

* This is not a sponsored post

The first week of January I took down all of my Christmas decorations and I was disgusted. The apartment looked SO bare! My eyes couldn't stand it. This is our first year in our first apartment so we don't have a stock of decorations at our disposal. What's a girl to do when cute and affordable decorations are in need? Go to Target! 

I knew with February fast approaching that Target would have great Valentine's Day themed decor. Off I went to Target, grabbed my red shopping cart and made a bee line for the Dollar Spot. 

If you are not familiar with the Target Dollar Spot, then you need to actually stop reading this, get in your car, and go to Target. The dollar spot has crafts, school supplies, supplies for the classroom, themed decor, storage, and more ranging from $1-$3. Every month or so the inventory changes. 

This is what I did with my purchases back at home.

 Everything on the shelves were $1.00. The bird and clothes pin were also a dollar each and from the dollar spot from earlier in 2013.
 This Valentine's Banner kit was $3 and very easy to assemble.

 $3 rug for the bathroom
 $3 rug for the kitchen

$3 accent pillows for the living room

Everything shown totaled to $24 to add some Valentine's flair in the living room, kitchen, and bathroom of the apartment.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Time Stays Long Enough For Those Who Use It

Hi there and happy snow day(s) to you all!

I bring to you an organization and planning tip from a first grade team at one of the schools where I work. They have every day mapped out corresponding with their language arts curriculum. The teacher's manual already gives a scope and outline of what pages are where but typing them out in the order you want to teach it will save you a lot of instructional time in the end. Having the lessons typed out has helped me as the building sub, if I have to come in and cover in the middle of language arts. It is also a great thing to have prepared and on your desk with your materials if you have an unplanned absence. The plans will be very easy for a substitute to follow without any major preparations.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Online Class Organization

I've started going back to school for my masters back in August. This semester I will be taking an online class. There is no face to face interaction and all components are online. There will be a lot of readings and assignments and organization is key. If you are taking an online class now or in the near future keep reading for my tips to stay organized!

1. Get your materials ready!

Even though a class is online and all the documents I need are available online, I still like to have physical copies. I need to bring the classroom to me! This way no matter where I am, school, home, the gym, waiting room at the dentist, I have everything I need to get my tasks done. I like having the papers in my hand to mark up and highlight.

I set up a binder, printed out my syllabus and put each page in plastic page protectors. At the end of most semesters my syllabus is completely torn up and scribbled all over. I put the syllabus in the page protectors so I can write on the protectors with a dry erase marker. I think that will help keep me sane.

Yes, you're eyes are correct, that is a good old fashion pencil case! It holds a highlighter, pen, dry erase marker, and some post it notes.

2. Get your computer ready!

Aside from organizing the binder, I have also gone ahead and organized my computer for this class.

I have a folder in my documents designated to my class for the semester. In that folder are MORE folders. Each folder is labeled by a week in the course. I downloaded and put all of the required readings due for each week in their own folder. This will make it easier through out the course and save time each week searching for what I need to be reading.

3. Refer to your syllabus and portal often!

It can be very easy to forget what you have going on in an online class when you do not need to physically show up anywhere. Stay organized and on top of your online assignments. Time will slip away from you. Check whichever portal your school is using to facilitate your online class often! You may not always get email updates when something has been posted. You do not want to miss any important information!!! I like to make sure to check mine in the morning and in the evenings.

If you are taking 1, 2, or more classes on top of an already hectic teaching schedule, I salute you! It isn't easy but with proper time management and organization it can be done! Good luck to all starting their January classes!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Alright people! It's 2014, winter break is over, and it is time to get back to a routine and back on a schedule.

Here's what I'm doing/trying to do to feel better going into 2014.

If your body is running smoothly everything else will be better aligned. You will feel less groggy at work. You will feel less stressed about the little things.

Here's HOW I'm doing it:

1. Fueling my body with the right stuff

I've been making healthy lunches for the week for me and my boyfriend to take to work ahead of time on Sundays. (Yes, that is 10 lunches)

This makes packing lunches in the morning so much easier and faster which means a few more minutes to snooze and I am so much happier come lunch time.

It's very simple to make: I buy a few bags of spring mix, a bag of shredded cheese and about a pound of chicken breasts (remember, this is for two people). I bake the chicken in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes, shred it and ration it out. I put my favorite dressing in separate smaller containers. Have you tried BBQ sauce mixed with honey mustard? Do it! I also add a greek yogurt with my lunch.

I am also trying to drink more water! Any teacher can attest to how hard this is during the school day. Most elementary school teachers have two definite opportunities to go to the bathroom during the day: lunch, and when their students are in their special (art, music, etc...). I fill a 30 ounce water bottle in the morning and my goal is to at least drink the whole thing and then refill and drink at least half before I get home.

I have an hour commute to and from work. To prevent myself from stuffing my face the moment I step in the front door, I pack some nuts and fruit. I munch on these towards the end of the day or on my ride home. It has made a huge difference in how much food I consume when I get home.

2. Making fitness a priority

I have a gym membership but sometimes just the thought of getting myself together to go to the gym stopped me. I have stopped that from being my excuse and went to five below to buy some basic at-home-gym essentials.

This is what I bought :
- 2 free weights ($5 each)
- jump rope ($5)
- 2 weighted ankle bands ($ oops, I cant remember!)

This is what I already had:
- yoga mat
- foam roller (great for sore muscles!)

There are some great youtube channels that provide fitness instruction and work out videos for you to follow along. Here are some of my favorites:

Tone It Up


Be Fit In 90

When we had that polar vortex nonsense last week I was still working up a sweat in my living room. It has been a nice change of pace. Sometimes I just want to work out alone and not have to deal with all the people and commotion at the gym. Does that make me sound anti-social? After a day at work, sometimes that is exactly how I want to sound.

By fitting fitness in my day on a regular basis, I have been sleeping better and have had more energy all throughout my day. I don't feel like I am crashing by 2pm and I am eager to go work out because I know it is one of the few times in the day that I am doing something solely for me.

Take care of yourself people!