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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday Social (from the airport) 3.31.13

Happy Easter!
Our Lord is risen.
He is risen indeed!


I hope you are having a wonderfully relaxing Easter afternoon. 
Handsome Husband and I are anxiously awaiting our flight to LA.
Therefore, I may or may not be getting a post in every night this week.
I'm going to be out having some fun!


This Week's Questions:
1.  What is your favorite kind of workout to do?
I LOVE indoor cycling.
It is such an amazing workout.
Plus, I have some pretty great gals right next to me each time.
Hi, Faye and Lori!

2.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure candy or sweet?
Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
I love the Americone Dream flavor the most at the moment.
Phish Food is a close second.
Plus, anything chocolate and peanut butter is pretty great, too.
Photo taken from here.

3.  What is one thing you continuously forget to do?
Take attendance and lunch count at school.
Seriously...I'm awful.

4.  Do you prefer Post-its or phone reminders?
I love both.
I am a Post-it addict.
I have an entire baggie of Post-its in my school bag at all times.
(Like, 25 pads or so.)
However, I also use phone reminders a lot.
I use them for things like hair appointments, the chiropractor and other things that I schedule ahead of time.

5.  What is your favorite picture currently on your phone that always makes you smile?
I just took this one today.
Lordy, I adore this lady!
I don't keep many photos on my phone since I'm constantly using them on here.

I hope you have a great week!
I know I will.

Check out the other posts here.

Laters!

Mrs. B

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday

So, after running my (not so) little tushie off yesterday, I got some much needed down time.
(I actually woke up at 7:30 on my own - which is unheard of - and stayed up - also unheard of.)

I crocheted my little heart out and worked on my granny square quilt while I patiently impatiently waited on the floor lady to show up to give me some stain samples.

She was supposed to show up between 10:30 and 11:30.
So, I wasn't too happy when I had to call her at 12:30 to see if she was coming at all.
However, I got this done in the meantime:
It felt so much more productive to do the innards first and then add the white later.
I am so excited to see it coming together!


I also had to give some pretty explicit instructions to the mailman:
The gorgeous sunlight isn't just a trick of the filter.
It was a gorgeous day today.

I guess it's hard to tell which one is the mailbox.
You know...because one has our house number on it and the other has the name of our newspaper.
Difficult, I tell you.
*insert wry facial expression here*

I don't normally care, but as you can see from the picture just above, the flag was up...
FOR THREE DAYS!!!!!!!
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I hope you had a great day!
Did you do anything thrifty on this gorgeous Thursday?

Laters!

Mrs. B

P. S.  I almost forgot to post something today because I kept thinking that it was Saturday!
Darn "spring break brain".
:)









Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I'm Loving...3.27.13

Happy workaholic Wednesday!
Today is my first day of spring break and I have been running my tushie off all day!
Ug-er-oonie, Batman.
Don't forget to check out the other great posts here.


Even though I've been running around all day, I'm loving that I am on spring break until April 7th!
We get a week and a half this year.
Woot woot!

I'm loving that my mom told me I had a "Memere (my grandma) moment".
I remembered that I didn't have any coffee creamer left this morning when I went down to get my "getting ready" cup-o-joe.
I then couldn't figure out why the coffee looked clear.
Duh!
I turned the machine on but forgot to pour the water in.
I was pretty excited since I didn't have to waste any coffee.
It just doesn't taste the same with skim milk.

I'm loving that my feet are out of hibernation.
My mom and I got manis and pedis today.
I am rocking my black French manicure on my toes.

I'm loving that because of this blog I decided to check out what Forever 21 had to offer.
I used to shop there, but didn't think that their stuff would fit my figure.
I was happily proven wrong!
I got 3 really cute light-weight shirts for our trip to LA and an adorable makeup case.

I'm loving that a friend of mine suggested putting tape on my arm or leg to remind myself of things that I often forget.
It's worked every time.

I'm loving these funny tea-smelling directions at the local coffee shop.
It's kind of sad that they're needed...

I'm loving that I'm a real lady now.
I have more than one perfume to my name for the first time in my life.
My perfume samples in my Birchboxes has made me realize that I like having a choice in scent each day.

Here are a few pins I'm loving this week:




I desperately want to make either of these amazing afghans!  
I adore rainbows.

What is something you're loving this week?

Laters!

Mrs. B





Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jet-Puff Place Value

I am very happy to announce that today is my last day of school before 12 days of spring break!
Yaaaaahoooo!!!!!!!!!!
Surprisingly, my nuggets have been more "on" these last two days than all of last week.
I took advantage of this and tested their brains out yesterday.
They took 10 tests.
The rhyme I used with them (I rhyme with them A LOT) was, "If we test today, tomorrow we can play."

I made sure that there was plenty of learning going on but wanted to make sure that they were rewarded for working so hard.
(The fun sure has been sucked right out of teaching, but there are still many ways to put it back in!)

So, I decided to introduce place value to my nuggets using this idea I found on Pinterest last year.
I adapted it for our second grade standards so that we worked on numbers to one thousand.

What you need is:
2 bags of normal sized marshmallows
1 bag of circular cereal (I chose generic Fruit Loops, but Cheerios would do, too)
1 box of toothpicks or smallish skewers (I got the smallish skewers this year because the toothpicks were a bit too short)
strips of paper with thousands, hundreds, tens and ones written on them
(I stupidly bought double of everything...that's what happens when you forget to go to the store the night before and have to go at 6:30 in the morning.)


Have your nuggets place their toothpicks into the marshmallows and stand the marshmallows up in the sections of the paper strip.

Then, have them place amounts of cereal in each place value area to represent a digit.
I forgot to get a picture of this, but I then had them write the digit underneath each place value area, place the comma in the correct spot, and read the number.

We worked together for a little bit.
I challenged them a bit by asking them to add a certain amount and see what the new total was.
For example, the number was 345.
I asked them to add 200 to the number and then change the appropriate digit in the written number.

After they began to get the hang of it, I had them create any number they wanted to at their seats.
They then walked around to each other's desks and read the numbers that they had represented with the cereal.

It was amazing to hear the nuggets who really struggled to read longer numbers at the beginning of the lesson read them fluently and without much hesitation.

Being a reflective person, I immediately tried to figure out how I could have made it better and even more concrete for my nuggets.
When I do this next year, I am going to create a worksheet to go along with it so they have to write it down on a piece of paper and accumulate multiple numbers to read instead of just one.

Ok...now that I'm done with this...I am off to start my spring break!
(After a 4:30 meeting, though.  Seriously.  Who schedules a meeting about school on the last day at 4:30??  That is cruel and unusual punishment.)

Do you have anything exciting happening this weekend??

Laters!

Mrs. B




Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday Social...A Day Late

So, don't mind me.
I spent yesterday afternoon relaxing in bed after a fun-filled weekend in Kalamazoo and didn't feel like thinking.
However, I still wanted to throw this post out there.

This Week's Questions:
(check out more posts here)

1.  What is your favorite thing about spring?
Oh, surely the smell of new life in the air.
I love watching the leaves come back on the trees, 
the days getting longer, 
and realizing just how much my nuggets have grown and changed.

2.  What is your favorite kind of flower to grow or receive?
I LOVE lilies.
One of my favorite things about the farmer's market in the summer is that one of the booths sells gorgeous bouquets with lilies and wildflowers.
(It doesn't hurt that they are only $6!!)

3.  What is your favorite nail polish color?
Uh...clear?
Does that count?
Just kidding...that just what I usually wear.
I really like Chinchilly by Essie.
It's a great neutral.
For my toes I usually get a black french tip.
It's a great punk-ish twist on a classic.

4.  What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Handsome Husband loves to drag me disc golfing.
I love to spend as much time outside reading as possible.
It doesn't hurt to have a pool around during this activity.
I love to float and read.
I have mastered the art of not getting my books wet.

5.  Do you have any fun spring plans??  Details!
Why, yes!
Handsome Husband and I are headed to LA on Sunday!
I've never been to California, so I'm super excited!
We also have 4 weddings before spring is officially over.
One is here in town, one in Indianapolis, one in Michigan, and one in Charleston.
Yikes!

Next Week's Questions:
1.  What is your favorite type of workout to do?
2.  What is your favorite guilty pleasure candy or sweet?
3.  What is one thing you continuously forget to do?
4.  Do you use Post-its or phone reminders? Why?
5.  Which favorite pictures currently on your phone always make you smile?

Thanks for reading through my late post!

Laters!

Mrs. B

Expert Words

So, after a meeting with some coworkers about a nugget I was (and am) worried about, my friend gave me such a great idea!
This particular nugget is struggling to automatically know the difference between "b" and "d".
She suggested that I make him the "expert" of one of those letters.  
I chose "b".
So, he now has a lanyard that says, "Ask me what sound this letter makes," on one side and the letter on the other.
He is in charge of that letter. 
If anyone else in the room reverses the letter, they go to him to see his lanyard.

He LOVES being the "boss of b".

So......as we were talking I realized that this concept could work for ALL my nuggets.
I consulted their high frequency word list of 300 words and picked one that they didn't know how to read yet.
If they knew them all, I picked a frequently used writing word.
(One little girl got switched to 'they' since I remembered that she struggles to spell it ALL THE TIME!)
Aaaaannnnndddd...I may have also forgotten that I had already given that word to someone.
Whoops!

Here is how I have it listed right now:

My nuggets write this word on every single piece of paper that I give to them.  
(Name, number, expert word, and date.)

I keep it in my binder (which is out most of the day) so that I can reference who has what if I need to.
I truly don't need to, though!
A nugget will get stuck on a word and quietly say, "Is anyone the expert for _________?" and that person will answer.
If no one answers they consult their word list.
It's magical I tell you!

Seriously, who doesn't love being the expert of something...anything??!!

Some of them have learned these words so well and so fast that they will become a two-word expert when we return from spring break.

This is the most effective word-learning activity I have ever used.
For realz.

I hope you had a great weekend.
Let me know if you start using expert words in your classroom!

Laters,

Mrs. B

Friday, March 22, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Holy tired Friday, Batman.
This has felt like the longest week ever!
I could have just put my head down and taken a nap at any point.
Thank heavens it's the last Friday I have to endure before spring break!

Here are some high points:
(check out some others here)

I think the biggest high point was that I turned 29 this week!  
I officially can say that I'm in my final year of this decade.  
Whoa.

1)  I used my granny squares to give a talk on perseverance.
My nuggets requested that we keep them up so they can see the progression.

2)  I wore flowers in honor of Spring!
Can't it just feel like it already??

3)  I am heading over to a friends house to hang with my team from school to celebrate our birthdays.
Out of the 6 people on our team, 4 of us have birthdays in March.
Crazy I tell you!

4)  I decided to give my nuggets "expert words" this week and it has worked out FANTASTICALLY!
I can't wait to share more with you next week!

5)  I am headed to Kalamazoo to celebrate Lindsay's bachellorette party!
We are going to get our paint on!
Follow me on Twitter (J_Bod23) and Instagram (lilpasteeater) if you want to see some of the shenanigans.

I hope you had a great week and have a relaxing weekend!

Laters,

Mrs. B




Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Madness Birchbox!

I'm writing this later than I would normally since it's the first day of March Madness.
These are the four days that I knew were "off limits" when I married Handsome Husband.
He loves this weekend more than any other sports weekend of the year.

So, while he is off watching basketball games I am chillaxing at home.
(I think today was just one of those days...all 4 second grade teachers were gone by 3:45.)

It's been one year since I decided to order Birchbox each month.
I have been happy most of the time.
(No one can be happy EVERY time.)





1)  This shampoo was a freebie in this month's box.
It was meh...I'm not a fan of shampoo freebies since I only have them in my hair for a second.
It smelled good though!
I've been wanting to try this brand (since I always walk past the end-of-the-row display whenever I'm in Target) but haven't because of the expense.
I don't know that I would spend $14 on this shampoo since I just recently found a cheeper, sulfate-free shampoo that I really like.

2)  Since I usually use the Schick Intuition razor I don't have any need for shaving cream.
However, I am traveling to LA, Charleston, and Maine soon so having something a bit more portable (like this sample) is nice.
(That being said...I haven't tried it yet since I'm saving it for my trips.)

3)  I really like this conditioner.
I have always been a fan of good conditioners since I color my hair a lot and it's usually pretty dry.
I would definitely buy this conditioner (if I were able to spend that much on conditioner). 

4)  I was SUPER excited about this eyeliner until the tip broke off and fell down the drain while I was trying to use it.
Seriously??
I had already done one!
Grouchifying.
I love the color but have found the same color in cheaper versions (whose tips didn't break off!).

5)  I was a bit hmm, uhh, meh about the nail file.
I have about a million nail files hanging around my house, car and desk.
The one thing that I really liked was the clear plastic case.
I was able to toss it in my purse without worrying that everything else would get "filed".

6)  I REALLY like this facial cleanser.  
The buffing beads feel effective, yet gentle.
This brand didn't feel like it was going to slough off 3 layers of my skin with every use.  
This is something I would DEFINITELY purchase.

The only thing I was bummed about was that this was the first box where I didn't get a perfume sample!
Bummer...
I got birthday money from Birchbox from my sister-in-law and am planning on using it toward a new perfume.
So excited!!

Did you get anything you loved in your Birchbox?

Laters!

Mrs. B



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I'm Loving...3.20.13

Zip-i-dee-do-dah...it's Wednesday!!  
Yay!

Here's some of what I'm loving this week:
Don't forget to check out the other great posts here.

I'm loving that I actually read the book for book club this month!
Although the fact is, I read it THE DAY OF our meeting!
Oh well...at least I did it!
It was great!
A very easy read and entertaining.

I'm loving that my new friend Faye got me a gift card to my favorite jewelry spot!!
(If you like her stuff, like her on Facebook...she ships!)

I'm loving the Vegas Night we went to with HH's parents on Saturday.
You've gotta love dollar blackjack.
I jokingly said that I should teach my nuggets how to play blackjack since they could practice having to add quickly.
Notice that I said it was a joke...no worries.
I won't be starting any recess-time gambling rings.

I'm loving the fact that I think I was born to be a teacher.
A bucket full of freshly sharpened pencils gives me butterflies in my stomach and puts a smile on my face.
It's ok...you can say it.
I'm a dork...adorkable that is!

I'm loving this little nugget.
This was a great birthday greeting!
I can't believe how big she's getting.
She is army crawling now!

I'm loving being reminded that sometimes you've gotta have a little faith...
And coffee.

I'm loving that I figured out how to crochet the granny square that I was crushing on.
I had crocheted a few sample squares to figure out what yarn I wanted to use, what colors, and to practice the pattern.
I now have the first two granny squares for my very first afghan.

I'm loving this much needed picture that I got during an intense meeting today.
How can you not want to cuddle up to that??!
(I'm also loving that she's wearing the new slouchy beanie that I made for her!)

I'm loving that HH bought me breakfast and lunch for my birthday.
Coffee and a bagel from a local restaurant for breakfast and sushi for lunch.
I'm a lucky girl!

Here are some of the pins I've been loving lately:








What are you loving on this cold, spring Wednesday?

Laters!

Mrs. B


Monday, March 18, 2013

You Say It's Your Birthday! (Well, Mine Actually)

Picture from talesofbooksandbands.com
So, I am hitting the big 2-9 today.
(I also discovered that I am a birthday buddy with Sherry over at Young House Love!!)

The only reason that even begins to make me feel old is because my parents have been 29 and holding for YEARS.
I told them that this year may be a good time for them to graduate to 30 or something...
It's getting weird. :)

I am really looking forward to celebrating the last year of my twenties.
I don't have any regrets.
I am beyond excited to see what the next year holds for me.

Picture from www.kcentv.com
My birthday wish as I blow out my sugar-free, fat-free, and calorie-free birthday cake (and non-existent since I've been working REALLY hard!) is that I live my life to the fullest.
That I am the best wife, friend and teacher that I can be.
Life is just getting good.
I'm only in the previews!
I can't wait to see what the feature film is all about.

Here's to 29!
Picture from walpaperstock.net

I am going to spend my birthday afternoon having coffee with my friend Lindsay and my birthday evening crocheting my little heart out!

I hope you have a terrific Tuesday!
(And don't forget...spring is only a day away!)

Laters!

Mrs. B

To Friend or Unfriend...That's a Tough Question

This isn't meant to be a "Debbie Downer" post, but I've been thinking about writing it for a while now.

I've been thinking about friendship lately.
I've been thinking about my friends, what kind of friend I am and what kind of friend my nuggets are learning to be.


I've spent the last year or so trying to decide whether or not certain friendships were worth continuing to nurture or abandon.
Trying to decide if a friendship is worth continuing or moving into the acquaintance column is one of the most difficult decisions to come to grips with.


I have never had a lot of close girl friends until the last few years.
High school was rampant with competition, misunderstandings, and drama.
College was a tough time for me mentally and emotionally.
I was learning how to navigate the world and just be me instead of caving to the pressures of social norms.
I didn't always do such a great job.
I was lucky that I got married at the age I did because if it had been any earlier in my life I would have struggled to fill my side of the bridal party.

I think it was because of this that I was easily sucked into toxic friendships.
You know the ones...
The ones where I was feeding, feeding, feeding the other person while I was starving.
The ones where I was constantly making BAD decisions because I so desperately wanted to be accepted by the other person.

I am tired of a "friend" trying to make me feel guilty for not visiting.
I'm sorry...did you forget where I live?
Did you forget that I would come running in the middle of the night, but when it was for me it was always the next day?
I had to fill out my own flipping bachelorette party invitations.
I am tired of being used.

I MAY be bad about visiting, but I also work my tushie off every day (leave at 6 am, get home at 7 pm) and would like to see Handsome Husband.
I can honestly say that Handsome Husband, my mom and my dad are my best friends...super sappy, I know.
I am not perfect, nor will I ever claim to be.
However, I CAN say that I would always go to bat for my friends.
I will always defend you (and then pull you aside to tell you if you're being a doofus.)

I have loved forming new friendships over the past few years.
I get to help one friend celebrate her marriage to her best bud.
Another new friend got me a gift card to my favorite jewelry gal at the local farmer's market for my birthday.
I have the honor of snuggling with another's gorgeous little girl.
I can't wait for another to move home so that our Sunday breakfast tradition can occur more than twice a year.
I can't wait to help another celebrate her hard work toward her college degree (You go Littlefoot!!).

I don't have some sick need to have attention on me at all times, but it's nice to know that I now have friends who will text me first.
For no reason.
Not because they need something from me or want me to celebrate something in their life, but don't care one iota about my successes.

Friends are people that you choose to have in your life.
I haven't chosen very wisely in the past, but I am well on my way now.
I enjoy having people in my life to celebrate.
People who appreciate being celebrated and reciprocate.
I truly love being excited for my friends.

What is something that you love about a friend?

Laters,

Mrs. B







Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Social 3.17.13

After napping most of the afternoon away, I am linking up with all of the folks here to bring you another Sunday Social.

This Week's Questions:

1.  What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
I love to open the blinds so I can see the rain running down the window, curl up with some coffee or tea, and devour a good book.
It's either that or stay in bed all day...
Who doesn't love that?


2.  What is your favorite thing to do on a summer weekend?
I love getting together with our friends and having a conversation on a porch somewhere.
I don't get out much during the school year, so that is my time to catch up.

3.  What is your favorite spring accessory?
I wear my scarves year round but still love them in the spring.
This year (since venturing into the world of skinny jeans) I love cute flats in a bright color.
(I just bought some ADORABLE open-toe mint green flats with bows on them!  Love!)

4.  What is your favorite way to spend a winter day?
Yet again, I would love to spend it curled up on my couch.
However, there aren't many days where I get to do that during the winter being a teacher and all.
Bummer, dude.

5.  What is your favorite season and why?
I love both spring and fall. 
I like chilly weather where you need to layer, but don't quite need a jacket all the time.
Plus I sweat SUPER easily, so I'm not really a fan of summer.

6.  What is the best birthday you've ever had?
I swear we just answered this one a couple of months ago, but oh well!
The best birthday I've ever had was my 16th birthday.
I went to a local Mexican restaurant with my 4 best guy friends.
My parents paid for our meal and we just laughed, told gross jokes and burped the whole time.
However, each birthday that I get to spend with Handsome Husband is also amazing.
I love knowing that I get to grow old with that cute dude.

What are your answers to these questions?

Next Week's Questions:

1.  What is your favorite thing about spring?
2.  What is your favorite kind of flower to grow or receive?
3.  What is your favorite nail polish color?
4.  What is your favorite outdoor activity?
5.  Do you have any fun spring plans?  Details.

I hope you have a great week!

Laters, 

Mrs. B