Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Math Review

Teacher confession time...I am SO not a math brain.
Math is what knocked me off of academic honors in high school.
Dang you, trigonometry.
I think part of that is that I was a TERRIBLE problem solver until I was in my early twenties.
If I reached an obstacle I expected someone to tell me how to figure it out.

I even had to (problems with transferring a few times, mind you) take 5 semesters of math in college.
I went to school for 6 years, so that's actually not THAT bad.

Thank my lucky stars that one of the members of my team has a math brain.
She has really taken math under her wing this year and become our resident expert.
Right now, we are finishing up a rotation where she teaches my nuggets math three days a week.

One of our "master teachers" (we are a TAP school) suggested that we do a math review each day.
His former school did this in order to incorporate Common Core standards (and those awesomely terrific standardized tests that we willingly and gladly do each year) into our every day routine.

Here is an example of what we are doing this week.

The nuggets are working on fact families, adding multiple two digit numbers, quantity discrimination (which one is bigger), and adding coins.
We have worked on many other topics already this year.

We do this daily.
I hand these out facedown.
My nuggets get 5 minutes to work on the problems. 
When the timer goes off my nuggets put their "desk offices" down and we go over it together.
They are required to fix what they have gotten wrong.

I walk around the room while they are working to make sure that they are actually trying to do the problems and not just waiting for the answers.
This entire process takes around 10 - 12 minutes total.

Each Friday my nuggets take a quiz with two questions for each topic on it.
I grade those and if 80% of my class passes a section it gets replaced with something else.

I have seen major growth in my nuggets.
I had some who were still struggling to add 2-digit numbers but can now since they have had daily practice.

I'm a fan.
We have been doing this school-wide and I am extremely excited to see our math ISTEP scores!
If our Acuity (a pre-ISTEP measurement tool) scores are accurate we will have an excellent passing rate!

Woot woot!


Mrs. B

Monday, April 29, 2013

Stairway to Heaven...AKA This Stairway IS Heaven!!!

Ok...I'm pretty dang proud of this transformation.
1.  The improvement is TREMENDOUS!
2.  This is the first big project I have done without dragging my mom over to my house to supervise me.

Check out the amazeballs view I got to feast my eyes upon when I walked in the front door!
This carpet was a part of Handsome Husband's house when he bought it...
at least all of this teal business had been removed before we started dating.
(It was actually removed from the first floor the day AFTER we re-met at a party...we had actually met a year before...long story.  Sorry...back to the stairs!)

Feast your eyeballs on that tealy goodness.

Mom and I spent a day ripping it all up.
Those nails were a BEAR to pull out.
You can see the improvement already, huh?
Handsome Husband and I were more than willing to live with this for a while.
But then...the opportunity to get the treads refinished came around.

So, we had the treads refinished in what is SUPPOSEDLY dark walnut.
(I say supposedly because it's not as dark as it's supposed to's much more obvious now that I have painted...they are getting a call...)

Another view...
(at night...sorry)

The view from the top.
It seriously took me 4 tries to take a picture that DIDN'T have my toes in it.
You can see the color difference between the treads and the first floor in this picture.
The treads are GORGEOUS but not as dark as they were supposed to be. 

So, I spent last Friday sanding my little heart out.
I knew from previous painting experiences around the house that I was going to need to sand down the seam where the former owner had painted after the carpet had gone down.
Plus, this was such a HUGE project that I wanted it to be done well.
I sanded all of this business BY HAND.  
My upper body is still killing me.
I should do this more often in lieu of an arm workout!

I had a pretty great setup, don't you think?
Thank goodness for school-issued iPads, huh?
(and for Hulu Plus and CSI Miami, and Law and Order SVU and extension cords...)

All sanded, wiped down, washed and ready to go!
But first, a shower.
The sanding, washing, nail-hole-filling and going back to do something I forgot took me 6 hours.
Seriously...thank heavens for technology.

Already an improvement.
I decided to quit here for the night.
It was 8:30 and my butt was killing me.

I got crack-a-lacking on the painting Saturday afternoon (after going to the Farmer's Market, a cookout and the car dealership...I was stalling).
As you can see, technology was a life-saver yet again.
Don't the treads look fantabulous next to the white?!
This is near the end of the first coat.

I am completely in love with these stairs now.
I think that I may put one more coat on the risers to give it that extra "Oomph".

Don't mind the spindles that now need to be done.

I went to bed last night dreaming about the other things in the house I could freshen up with some paint!
I think the trim on the first floor (after some sanding that I didn't do the last time I did it...I didn't know!!) could use a touch up.
All of the trim upstairs has to be done, too.

We have renters scheduled to come in three weeks and I now feel like I am ready to have them in the house.

How was your weekend??


Mrs. B

Friday, April 26, 2013

High Five for Friday 4.26.13

What an exhausting week!
I've been a bad blogger this week.
I have had zero energy and motivation...maybe because I needed it all for this weekend.
I'm in the process of painting my stair risers.

Here are my top 5 from this week.

They like it!
They really like it!

I'm seeing progress on my granny square quilt.

I grow one stinking daisy (well, keep it alive) and think that I can grow herbs, too.
We shall see.

I went to a cooking show with my mom and a friend at a local college.
It was like being able to smell the cooking channels.

My stairs are a work in progress.
I got all of the sanding and priming done today.
I.  am. exhausted.
My shoulder is killing me, too!
The payoff is going to be totally worth it, though.

I hope your week was great, too!

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Mrs. B

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ring Pillow

So, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
I have been working on my friends' (Lindsay and Nate) ring bearer pillow for their wedding in June.
I was so stinking nervous.
It's their wedding day!
That's huge!
It had to be perfect.

I started it as soon as Handsome Husband and I got home from LA.
This was the skinniest yarn I've ever worked with.
It is a gorgeous cream color with a bit of sheen worked in.
It's called Seduce by Berroco.

My original plan was to use an ivory towel (it gave the under layer a great texture) but I felt that the color took away from the yarn.
This picture shows the 5th attempt...which I hated and promptly ripped out.
Cue 3 more tries. :)
(I'm a bit of a perfectionist.)

I did the first few tries in a half-double stitch, but changed to a double stitch to get better texture.
And heck yes I used a TP roll...I couldn't get the stinking yarn to stay balled up.
This worked PERFECTLY!

The end was in sight last Monday night.
Thank heavens two of my shows are on on Monday gave me plenty of work time.

I used a petal pink towel with stuffing for the innards of the pillow.

I then sewed the crocheting around the innards.
It was so exciting to get to this point!

The finished product!
The ribbon is a pink-edged ivory silk that was left over from their invitations.
It's hard to see the pink, but I'm sure that their photographer will get some great pictures I can share!
This was a thank-goodness-it's-cute-10:30-at-night photo.

Here it is Instagrammified.

They both loved it which made me breathe a sigh of relief.
I was so honored to be asked to do this for them.

Now...back to the granny square afghan!
And this hat for Jayders Potaters;
Picture via


Mrs. B

Friday, April 19, 2013

High Five for Friday! 4.19.13

Confession...I totally had to look at a calendar to make sure that I was putting the correct date in the title of today's post.
I've been terrible at that lately.
I have had to go into at least one post a week to fix that for the past month.
And I'm not talking the year either...the DAY, man!
I'm losing my mind...

Onto the fun from this week!

1.  Handsome Husband and I bought a new car!
It's a 2010 Ford Escape and so fun to drive!
I thought that buying a new car would be fun and exciting with a little bit of holy-crap-I-just-signed-my-life-away mixed in.
I was wrong.
I'll tell more about that later.

2.  One of my nuggets had trouble spelling this week and gave me a giggle.
She has apparently renamed the bra.
I think the name is rating appropriate!

3.  I got a haircut this week.
I'm thinking that a side-by-side with my mother may be in order because we now have the same hair.

4.  I did a wine and canvas with the girls from my book club this week.
I love going to these events, but can only justify so many...
I don't have enough space to hang them! 

5.  My friend Andrea is in town this weekend!!!!!!!!!
I only get to see her once every few months (if that) because she lives in Ohio...
But not for long!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't wait for our usual Sunday morning breakfast tradition!

Have a great weekend!
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Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Heart Belongs To...


Picture via

Being born just outside Boston, I have always considered myself an East-coaster.
My heart is breaking this week.
I don't feel I have the words to express the bubble of emotions that keeps welling up inside me.
I can't do enough praying for those affected.

B Strong.

Mrs. B

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tunage Tuesday

Is it horrible that I am just now discovering the wonderous sound of Ok Go??

I mean, who could miss their amazingly inventive music video??
I am NEVER that graceful on a treadmill.
In fact, I am one of the many who can readily admit to flying off the back of one because I wasn't paying attention.

This is my new anthem.
I am super sick of hearing people piss and moan about how things are not (ever, ever, ever) their fault.
Get over it.

Here's their song Invincible.

I think their videos are just as great to watch as their songs are to listen to.

I probably look like a darned fool while driving and listening to their songs.
That's ok, though.
I'm just sad that it took me this long to discover and adore them!


Mrs. B

Please keep everyone affected by the terrible acts in Boston in your prayers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Instagram Weekend Recap

Like I do most days, I had some Instagramming fun this weekend.
Here are my snaps.

I introduced Handsome Husband to one of my absolute favorite movies Saturday night.
I totally sang along the ENTIRE time.
He loves me.

The previous picture led to setting a date night with my friend Brit.
We have been trying to get together FOREVER and finally just set a date.
Woot woot!
There may be some wine involved as well...

Handsome Husband was proud of the gift card swag he's been hoarding.

I wanted to show off my lashes...
One of my girl nuggets asked if they were real.
No falsies here.
I use this mascara.
I'm proud of how they look because my eyes are totally bald without mascara.

I have managed to keep the cactus alive for over a year and a half and the daisy alive since Valentine's Day.
That is AMAZING for me.
I usually kill plants right out of the gate.

The daisy's even blooming again!
It's a miracle!

I hope you had a great weekend, too!


Mrs. B

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Social: 4.14.13

I have had an AWESOME weekend.
I've done a whole lot of nothing.
Well, I have barely left the house, but I've gotten stuff done around here.
Mainly, working on my friend Lindsay's ring pillow for her wedding.
It is really starting to come together!

Now, on to the Sunday Social questions.

This Week's Questions:

1.  When did you join Twitter?
I joined Twitter a little over two years ago.
However, I barely used it up until the beginning of this school year.

2.  Who is your favorite non-celeb to follow?
I love following Kate of The Small Things Blog and her sister Lauren of From My Grey Desk Blog.  
I also love to follow Handsome Husband. :)

3.  Who is your favorite celeb to follow?
I like following Rebel Wilson and Matthew Gray Gubler.

4.  Have you ever had a celeb respond to a tweet?
Not yet anyway.

5.  What is your favorite store/brand to follow?
I love following Ali Oesch
She is my go-to jewelry gal and my favorite indoor cycling instructor!
The things she makes are amazing.
I have a hard time stopping in to see her without buying something!

6.  Give us three tweeps we should be following.
Well, obviously any of the people I've already mentioned.
And these folks:

Check me out on Twitter!

Have a great week!


Mrs. B

Friday, April 12, 2013

High Five for Friday: 4.12.13

1.  We are buying a new car!
It's SEXY.
I can't wait to share pictures after we pick it up on Tuesday!
Photo from here.

2.  I found an earring that I thought I lost while flying back from LA last week!
When we were boarding our plane in Chicago I realized that I was missing one of my earrings.
I could have died.
It's my favorite pair!
Perfectly neutral while being a bit dangly.
Ideal for every day wear.
Then, this morning I was getting ready to leave when I happened to glance at my bedside table.
There it was staring back at me!
I let loose a whoop and a holler...and made Handsome Husband think that I lost my mind.
Yay for Friday!

3.  Handsome Husband and I have NOTHING planned for this weekend.
I'm sleeping.
A lot.

4.  My nuggets were awesomely generous this week.
They decided to donate a pizza party they had won to another class in the school since we were already having one on Monday.
How great is that?!

5.  Have you seen this video?
It was great to see these big, bad football players having such fun!

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Have a great weekend!


Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I'm Loving Wednesday: 4.10.13

Thank heaven's I'm back on Indiana time!
3 hours of sleep Sunday night made for a very tired me Monday and Tuesday.

Here's what I'm loving this week.

I'm loving this picture of Handsome Husband and I right before our whale watching trip.

I'm loving that I got to spend some time in the sun last week.

I'm loving this burger that I had at Father's Office last Friday.
This was in Santa Monica...that was pretty great, too.

I'm loving that they had the most AMAZING beer selection.

I'm loving that I tackled my fear of raw fish and had something other than a veggie or California roll when HH and I go for sushi.

I'm loving that I got HH to join Instagram.
I'm not loving that I had to request to follow him!
JK. :)

I'm loving that HH and I made it home in one piece.
We were so stinking tired.
Red eye flights do just that.
It felt like the worst hangover of my life...without alcohol!

Pretty O'hare Airport.

I'm loving this poem that two of my nuggets wrote today.
They wrote it in 5 minutes!
That's pretty great.

Here are some pins I'm loving this week:

Pin from here.

Pin from here.

Pin from here.

Pin from here.

I hope you're having a great Wednesday!


Mrs. B