Monday, July 30, 2012

Chilling With Commodore Perry...Don't Give Up the Ship!

After spending the weekend surrounded by fantastic friends and family Handsome Husband and I decided to book it on up to Put in Bay (an island in Lake Erie) to live the lake life for a few days.  We spent today out on the lake floating, relaxing, and avoiding the HUGE snakes that enjoy floating as well.  Seriously!!!  It had a fish hanging out of it's mouth!  Yuck-er-oni.

We saw many young-uns running around half-dressed and acting like fools...which is why I jokingly tell HH's aunt that it seems like the Jersey Shore of the Midwest.  Luckily, she and her husband have an amazing house on the west shore that exudes relaxation and calm. :)

Tomorrow HH and I plan on visiting the monument tomorrow and going to the top.  When we were here last year it was still under construction.  This island has such a fascinating history that many don't know about!  I could be sitting in Canada right now.  What an amazing way to end the summer.  I think that a trip up here during my fall break could be in order.

This place is a blast...check it out if you dare!

Friday, July 27, 2012

High Five for Friday!

High Five for Friday!!!!






5 cont. 

1.  I inherited a class pet as of 11:30 yesterday morning.  It is a hamster that is currently named Brownie...a class vote could change that.
2. Wedding prep for my brother's wedding tomorrow.
3. Drinking in the hotel lobby from 12:00 am to 3:00 am with my mother and Lorrie.
4. Downtown Indianapolis today.  TJ Maxx and CVS...exotic shopping, ya'll.
5 and 5 continued.  I L.O.V.E having family surrounding me.  This is my Aunt Sarah and Uncle Ernie from Maine.  I don't have much extended family around me very often and I LOVE it!  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Check out Lauren't post over at From My Grey Desk.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Preparations Have Commenced!

So, I'm down in Indianapolis helping my future (t-minus 2 days!) sister-in-law make her center pieces for her wedding on Saturday. I am VERY happy that our reception site did all of that for us!

Handsome Husband and I are ready to party down this weekend! We're gonna party like it's 1999...oh, wait. Here are some of the photos of the preparations:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Classroom Organization...I Think I'm Almost Ready!!

Whew!  It has been a L-O-N-G three days in my classroom.  I have spent them checking in new curriculum, purging, organizing and rearranging.  I am proud of all the work I have done!  Totally not understanding the new curriculum aside, if I had to start the year with students tomorrow I would be ready.

That feels AMAZING!  I finally feel like I can rock out from the get-go.  The first year I got a classroom I had no idea what in the world I would need, so I held on to E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  And I mean everything.  My cupboard situation was stick something on any shelf that had space, shut the door quickly and pray that it didn't all come tumbling out the next time I opened the door.

(On a side note, that is what my bedroom looked like until I got married and my mother forced me to throw stuff away...I'm wasn't quite "Buried Alive: Hoarders" but it was close.)

I have slowly become more and more organized as I have grown into myself and space personally and professionally.  There is a place for everything and everything in it's place.  Here are some pictures of the work that I have done this week:

My corner all put together.

Standing in the doorway looking in.  You can't see them very well, but my mailboxes are at the bottom of that middle post.

From the back corner.

I am using smaller, less fussy name tags this year.  The past two years I have used large name tags with different resources on them (100s chart, money, shape and color words, etc.) and most of my students peeled them off.  These will only be their name and number, can easily be removed if they become a distraction and make rearranging the seating chart amazingly easy.  I simply move the name tags instead of the desks...I'm planting a palm on my forehead as I type this because it only took 2 years!!!!!!!

My corner with my freshly painted wall and border.

Above the sink.  I'm not sure what else is going to go here yet.

The classroom library is on the middle few shelves.  The books are organized by Fountas and Pinnell (F & P) levels.  Our science curriculum books are on the top shelf and the students' book boxes on the bottom few.  They were a bit unruly in desks last year so they are starting here and may be relocated at some point.

Supply storage, crafty things, and Quizmo/Bingo games on the top three shelves.  ONE section of books in my room.  (They are hidden E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. in the room (filing cabinet, plus 2 (TWO!) other cupboards that are hard to get to) since I don't need all of them at once.

Randomness.  Note to self; see the books on the bottom shelf????  DON'T put them on anything but a bottom shelf.  If you put them on a middle shelf (such as the one here) they will collapse the shelf, scaring the living daylights out of you and the janitor across the hall who thought that you had hurt yourself when he heard your scream!  Not that I did that or anything. :)

Math manipulatives, clipboards, random math thingys and desk offices.

The language arts cupboard that I have kinda-sorta-not-really tackled yet.

UGH!  I attempted to understand and organize our new language arts curriculum today.  I gave up.  This is what it looked like when I left today.  It'll get better...I know that.  It's just daunting when I know that we start using this on the second day of school!
Now, I just have to remind myself that it may take a little more time to put things away right when I'm done with them this year, but it will save me in the long run.  Let's see how that works!

T-minus two weeks until school starts!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Pressure!!!

Ok.  Putting a wedding album together is H.A.R.D!  Yes, I procrastinated, forgot, said I would do it next weekend waited until a YEAR after our wedding to put our album together.  I went through three phases while working; I am not going to be able to pick enough photos, I have picked wwwwaaaayyyy too many photos, how am I going to get these in here using ONLY the arrangements on the diagram ,and HOW THE HECK TO I ARRANGE THESE THINGS SO THEY MAKE SENSE??

I was tired when I got home, but now I am exhausted.  I seriously didn't think it was going to be that difficult.  I went through all of our photos and picked out the ones that I loved and then had to fit them onto 24 pages.  How do you fit the best night of our lives (so far) onto 24 pages??  I definitely had to sacrifice, but that's what picture frames are for, I guess.

Speaking of picture frames...
...I finally put a picture in one of our wedding frames!  We are so much hotter than the cookie-cutter couple that has been staring at us from our mantle for the last year! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crafty Time!

I was feeling wicked crafty on Friday evening after spending the entire afternoon running around town.   Handsome Husband REALLY wanted to go see a movie, but I convinced him that watching the Sox/Tigers game was waaayyyy more important...I had my own agenda, see??

While he watched the game (and I watched Youk suck it up...ugh!) I got crafty at my desk.  There were many occasions last year when my students wouldn't get their morning work or another paper completed and would have to finish it later.  Well, I didn't have a very good system set up so some of them got lucky when I would forget.

Well, that's not going to happen this year!!  I had an epiphany while browsing Pinterest.  Here is the picture that was the inspiration for my creativeness.

I decided to do something like this but still be able to tell whose work was up on the wall.  I have these awesome cupboards that have cork board already on them and some of them stayed blank all last year.  That's about to change!!!!

I give each of my students a number when they enter my class for the year.  I did the same thing here so that these would be reusable.

Materials needed:  black acrylic paint, white acrylic paint, a medium paint brush for painting clothespins and shapes, a small paintbrush for painting the numbers, clothespins, wood cut-out shape of your choice, flat thumb tacks, hot glue gun and glue sticks for said glue gun.  (I purchased all of my materials at Michaels)


1. Paint your clothespins black (or your color of choice...I just like black because it goes with
   everything!) using the medium brush.
2. Glue your shape to the top of the clothespin.
3. Paint the shape black as well.
4. When black paint is dry, paint the numbers on the stars using the white paint and small brush.
5. When the paint is dry hot glue a thumbtack to the back of the clothespin.
6. Put on wall!

I love the way mine look on my cupboard!  I think that once I teach my students this system that it will work pretty well!

Check back later this week for more things being painted black in my classroom!

Friday, July 20, 2012

High Five for Friday!

I can't believe that in three weeks (3!!!!) I will be greeting my newest group of nuggets and beginning a brand new school year.  The summer has flown by quickly, but I've been productive!

This weekend last year was a pretty exciting weekend in my life.  Handsome husband and I got married on Friday, July 22.  It's hard to believe it's been a year already.  It's been a great year and we have many great years ahead of us.

Onto the Friday bit for today!  Here are some of my favorite things from this week:

1.  My final summer haul of reading material before the school year takes over my life.
2.  Fresh-cut flowers from my local farmers market.
3.  An idea that started in my head, came to fruition and looks every bit as awesome as it did in my
     head!  (Explanation and uses to come on Monday.)
4.  Handsome husband got me a new charger for my DS Lite because the other one decided to get up
     and walk away...I swear it did!  I don't EVER put things in a "safe place", which turns out to be
     TOO safe and then discover that I am unable to find them. :)
5.  My bracelet from E.  Lord, I wish that girl and her family didn't reside in California!
6.  I took this room from drab to fab.  It started the week a gross off-white color (incidentally, the original color in the WHOLE house before I took over) and became a lovely, peaceful haven for a sofa-bed that has yet to be delivered.  (It's NOT as neon as this picture makes it look!)

I hope your Friday was as great as mine!
Don't forget to check out Lauren's High Five for Friday post over at From My Grey Desk!

Mrs. B


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thank You, Thank You, Oh Thank You!!

So, while wandering around the world that is Pinterest I discovered this pin about how to clean your grout using nothing but bleach and baking soda.  HORRIBLY, I stupidly assumed that it wouldn't work on our shower because our shower was so gross that it was uncleanable.

CRAP!!! *Palm, meet face.* It worked so well that I couldn't stop looking at it!  The difference was so drastic that I feel like I am in a new shower.  It will definitely need another coat to really get it clean in certain spots, but I feel proud to show off my "new" shower.

Now, since I don't have any before shots, I will describe it to you...VILE!  DISGUSTING!  RANCID!  NEVER COMING OFF!  My husband and I have been thinking about renting our house out for local football games and he was worried about the stains that were under the carpet that we pulled up.  THIS is what plagued my dreams of home rentership.  I thought, "There is NO way that they are going to believe that our bathroom is actually clean and no one is ever going to want to rent from us again!"

Well, here is what was formerly known as "The Corner".
It may not look like new, but it looks 100,000 times better than it did before.
Don't mind the spot where the paint on the ancient tub has come off...focus on the tile!  The grout in that corner used to be black and spreading!  I guess that is what happens when dudes live in the house for 9 years before a girl swooped in to the rescue!

I'm simply excited that our shower now looks clean to the causal observer!

Recipe I used:  3/4 cup baking soda
                        1/4 cup bleach
                        the original blog post suggested using a toothbrush to scrub and put the paste on...I started out using the toothbrush but after the third batch was made I began using my hand to smear it all over the place.  Let sit for 10-20 minutes (you can probably go shorter, but my shower was forming its own habitat) and scrub/rinse it off.  I ended up making 5 batches because ours was in need of some serious rehab.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Today, my mom, two friends and I went to a local flea market called Shipshewana.  There were all sorts of things to be found; antiques, socks, random nothings, socks, garden creatures, and food.  Oh, and did I mention socks?  18 packs of socks.  No, I did not buy any, but it was tempting!  Just joshing ya.

I had a conversation just last night with my FIL about his EVOO holder.  He has this cool glass "jar-ish of sorts" thing with a stopper.  It is so much prettier than the plastic Meijer container the EVOO usually comes in.  Well, I found one today!  It is smaller than his, but we don't use as much in our cooking.  It has a stopper and the price couldn't be beat...$2.00!  Here is a photo of the beaut:

Isn't it soooo much cuter than the original container????!!!!!  I sure think so.

We also went to the bulk food store near there and I got some fan-TAS-tic deals!  I got flax seed meal for $1.79/lb.  I got a 1.5 lb. bag for $2.70.  The last time I bought some I spent around $4.00.  I also got a bag of steel cut oats (2.235 lb at $.69/lb) for $1.54!!!!!  When I bought this the last time I spent around $5.00!  Nice deals to be had!

I love a good deal!

I Think I May be Falling in Love...With My Kitchen!

That is a statement that I NEVER thought would ever cross these Chapstick laden lips.  (Ok...I actually use this.)

When I first took over moved into this house (Handsome Husband has lived here for 10 years) I thought that the kitchen was hell in a hand basket completely unworkable.  There isn't a whole lot of counter space, the walls and cupboards were a HORRIBLE yellowish color with matching tile, and the countertop was white with gold flecks.  Nothing meshed and all the bad points were highlighted.

So...Spring Break of 2011 was spent frolicking in the sun and having fun.  Wait...I don't think I'm remembering that correctly.  OH YEAH!  My mom and I spent the majority of the week holed up in the kitchen painting walls, trim, tile and cupboards.  Wonders upon turned out beautifully!

Yellow, yellow everywhere.
Couldn't for the life of me get this to rotate...sorry mom.  You're floating.

This is an "after" shot.  The microwave began its journey on the top of the cart.  It ended its journey underneath so that I could use the CUTTING BOARD as a CUTTING BOARD!  Novel idea, I know.  I need all the prep space I can get!

Here is what it looks like now:

This is my favorite part!  My cookbook nook.

My kitchen has actually become "workable" space!  Who'd've thunk??

P. S.  This is a double post day because I didn't post yesterday AND I got some new treasures today!