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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Classroom Makeover

Hello there strangers!! Just thought I'd write a quick update for the first time in two months... no big deal. I have survived my first four weeks as a kindergarten teacher and MAN oh MAN am I exhausted when Friday rolls around. It's going to be an adventurous year with plenty of ups and downs but I can tell it's going to be a good one. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now and even though some days are going to be tough, I'm going to keep a positive outlook and be the best teacher to these 21 little kiddos that I can be!

Because of that, my blogging may continue to suffer. I worked 8 to 12 hours a day on school stuff from the time I found out that I got the job back in June until the day school started. Talk about burnout. I'm trying to get to a point where I can have SOMEWHAT of a life, but I also realize that the first year of teaching is going to be extremely time-consuming.

Most of the hours that I put in this summer revolved around coming up with the most fun, creative environment that I could think of for these sweet little 5 year olds. I showed you the lovely empty room that I had to work with in my last post. I'm not much of a theme person because I get bored of things easily so I decided to just stick with a bright colors meet owls meet rainbows meet other fun outdoorsy things type of vibe. 99% of classrooms that I've seen over the years have been decorated with primary colors so I decided to try something a little different!

Here are the "afters":
...Just ignore the awful light blue 50's tiling. Unfortunately I couldn't give the hallway a makeover.
I had a TON of leftover border so I dreamed up this idea in the middle of the night one night. It sounded like it would be so simple. Four hours into the project and not even done with one side of the door, I was really hating my brilliant idea. I powered through though and really like how it turned out!
 Magnetic "Word Wall".
 The mat was the first purchase that I made and was the inspiration for the rest of the room.
 I made the pennant banners out of scrapbook paper and modge-podge.
 I found this random archway at the furniture distribution center, covered it in hula skirts, and made it part of the reading corner. The kids absolutely love it!
I had some leftover party poms so I decided to only open them halfway so I could attach them to the wall and create flowers.
 I bought an enormous package of lime green tissue paper and decided to make a tree out of it! This project only took about 30 minutes but really makes a statement in the room!
I created this behavior chart with InDesign and uploaded it to Vistaprint (I stole the idea from here). I absolutely love how it turned out!

...And that's about it! Hopefully this will be a place where valuable learning can happen each and every day. And HOPEFULLY I won't grow to hate bright colors before May. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

And it's back to the classroom I go!


So I know I've been MIA lately... and I might continue to be that way for the next few weeks. Since we have last spoken, I've learned that I'm going to be teaching KINDERGARTEN next year!!! It's been a lifelong dream of mine! Even though I taught a couple of years ago, I wasn't a homeroom teacher so I never really felt like I had accomplished my goal!

I had pretty much given up on the dream considering how difficult it's been for me to get a teaching job in Lubbock during the 4 years that I've been trying. I went to a couple of interviews this summer but assumed they would choose someone with more experience as usual. Much to my amazement, I ended up getting offered two jobs in one day! It wasn't even a contest - I took the kindergarten position. I was and still am so ecstatic!!

I know some people probably think I'm insane for switching jobs THREE times in the past year, but I've always considered the jobs that I've had since college "temporary jobs" until I could finally land a job as a classroom teacher. Naturally, I've never done this before (and I feel so far removed from the things that I learned in college) so I've been spending every free minute planning. I have absolutely no idea where to even begin. I sure hope I can figure it out somehow because I want my future kinder babies to have the most amazing experience during their first year of school!

I will be teaching at one of the oldest Elementary Schools in town. This is actually the last year that the building will be used because they're in the process of building a brand new school. I'm trying to keep the idea of only being in this classroom for one year in mind since I tend to go overboard sometimes.

Here is my overwhelmingly blank slate. I don't even have furniture yet!


Yep. I've got a longggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg way to go. And that doesn't even include planning the things that have to do with actual learning!

Due to insurance reasons I'm keeping my current job all the way through August 1st, so it's going to be a mad dash to the finish line after that! Who said teachers get summers off?? I'll show you the "after" pictures if I can ever get there. :)

Hope everyone has a very happy 4th!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This summer, I'm all about...


Obsessing over the flower beds.


Eating as many fudgesicles as possible.

Comfy dresses.

Long walks on campus with Jake.


Cooking meals several nights in a row and then getting burned out and taking two or three weeks off.

Planning weekend getaways that I will not actually take.

Gold jewelry. Gold sandals.

The Bachelorette even though it's my least favorite season ever. 

Also, I cannot WAIT for the premiere of Dallas tonight.


Sprinklers under my lounge chair so I don't have to fight the crowds at the pool.

Neon nail polish and neon tanks.

Trips to the lake.


Disconnecting as much as possible from Pinterest, blog reading, and blog writing.

Getting lost in nature and new books instead.

And trying as hard as I possibly can to make sure that I get the most out of summer even though I don't get a summer break this year. 

I can't wait to see what the next two months will hold!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Who'd wanna live down there?



As I was driving home from work yesterday, “Fly Over States” by Jason Aldean came on the radio and I found myself thinking about how much I love this city. Yes, the drivers are insane. Yes, the climate is ridiculous. No, we don’t have the most beautiful views in the world.

But there’s just something about this place that I have really grown to love.

And then I started thinking about how true the statement is about how you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Exactly two years ago, I was dying to get out of this town. To go ANYWHERE but here. I remember telling everyone how sick of Lubbock I was and how I couldn’t stand to spend another minute of my life out here in this forsaken town. I applied for jobs in Abilene and all over the hill country. Before I even knew whether or not I was going to get a job, I quit my job in Lubbock and we moved to Abilene. Thank goodness I got a teaching job the day we moved because that was a pretty insane thing to do!

Within three or four months of living in Abilene, I found myself missing Lubbock like CRAZY. And exactly one year after moving to Abilene (and proclaiming my hatred for Lubbock), we moved back. I’ve been in love ever since. Sure, sometimes I think about how fun it would be to live somewhere that was closer to other cities that have a plethora of fun attractions so I could get away every once in a while. Sure, I miss trees and think it might be nice to live near a few bodies of water. 

But then I remember how much I missed Lubbock when I was gone, and I don’t ever want to have to miss it again.

Nope. I will be just fine if I get to spend the rest of my life in this dusty old town in the middle of nowhere. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 iPhone covers that you should buy since I probably won't.

Why are there soooo many adorable iPhone cases in this world? Lately I've been perusing the web trying to find the perfect summery cover. Actually, scratch that, I've already found the perfect cover. Five of them.

But I'm a person who drops my phone somewhere around 5 times a day (don't ever let me babysit your phone). Every time it happens I reach down as quickly as I can while holding my breath, pick it up, and see if the screen will still light up when I press the button. It's a rush I tell you. Seeing as my budget would not allow me to purchase a new phone at full price, it would basically be a huge tragedy if I were to ever drop my phone and actually damage it.

So, I only buy covers that are proven a hundred and fifty bazillion times over to be one of the most protective styles. Aka not the cutest ever. I hate bulky covers though, so I swear by the iSkin solo.

But oh my goodness gracious, how I wish I had the guts to swap the old trusty iSkin out for one of these babies:

{via}
To die for right here. It makes me want to grab a pair of my favorite shorty shorts and jump on a sailboat.


{via}
Leave it to J.Crew to completely steal my heart with a phone case. And it's only $25.00! Only problem is the description says it "prevents minor scrapes." How about 4 foot plunges from my car to the pavement?


{via}
I'm not usually a chevron fan but this one nailed it.


{via}
How do these Etsy sellers do it? I want to know how to design phone covers, too!


{via}
This website includes adorable ready-mades or you upload any image you want to create a custom design!


While the rest of you are out there purchasing the cute covers of my dreams, I'll just be over here reading and over-thinking product reviews with my plain jane looking (but very well-protected!) phone.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Currently...


Planning:
  • to make a new wreath for the front door since I took the winter one down 2 months ago and have had a boring front door ever since.
  • to paint the shutters a lovely shade of green.
Wishing:
  • that I could spend every single day at the pool like I did last summer. Oh wait, that's not how real life works?
  • that a magical email fairy would fly down and reply to the 28 emails in my inbox for me.
Reading:
At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
Watching:
  • Gossip Girl (team Chuck & Blair... get outta the picture already Lonely Boy)
  • and of course I'm in great anticipation of The Bachelorette in ONE WEEK!
Eating:

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni. Oh my goodness. I could have it for every meal.
  • and peaches. 
  • and Starburst.
  • and drinking too many vanilla cokes.
Wearing:
  • racer back tanks like they're going out of style
Obsessing over:
  • The flower beds. I only allow myself to plant one or two things per weekend... when really I just want to go buy up the entire store and get them finished RIGHT NOW. I'm also a very impatient gardener. Why do the flowers have to start out soooo small?
Looking forward to:
  • seeing my BFF and her sweet baby this weekend.
  • September so I can be on a cruise ship. It's been too, too long.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Storm Panic


I love a good summer thunderstorm, but I can't stand cloud to ground lightening or even worse... tornado warnings. I thought I would show you a quick peek of my evening last night. An hour spent huddled in the closet with my laptop, a dog, and two cats. Hubs and dog #2 were too brave for such escapades.


 Being someone who always has a plan for any morbid situation, I typically kick it in high-gear as soon as I hear that there's a tornado warning anywhere within about 30 miles. In the midst of a mini panic attack, I start gathering all necessities crucial to survival as well as any important belongings that will be a pain in the rear to replace should this inevitable tornado (that will definitely be an F5) show its face and choose to flatten my house. 

Luckily, we all scraped by unharmed this time. Come on over next time there's a tornado warning. I'm a super calm, nonchalant person to be around. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mottephobia


Lubbock has had an absolutely DISGUSTING, full-blown moth infestation over the past couple of weeks. Something to do with mild winter temps and/or migration. It's something straight out of a horror film. I really don't care what the reason is, I just want them to get the blankety blank OUT OF HERE! I tried to be a good sport about it at first but they just keep getting worse and worse. I've been using the vacuum wand to kill them in the house and the garage and last night I had to chase down 13 of them in the living room within a 30 minute period. I don't even know how they keep getting in the house!! A few minutes later I noticed that the light in the kitchen had about 10 of them crawling around. I nearly hurled.

Yep. Living in filth.

Whenever I see one I'm unable to function until it's dead. I kill them when I get home from work. I kill them in the middle of doing crunches. I kill them past my bedtime. I kill them in the morning when I'm trying to get ready for work.

Come inside this house and you shall surely die.

This whole experience has definitely left me with a phobia of moths that is sure to stick around for many, many years. This cannot  continue for much longer. Little boogers are stealing my sunshine.

Hear that moths? GET.OUT.OF.MY.FREAKING.HOUSE and TOWN.

Sincerely,
Moth Hater #90,567

Friday, April 20, 2012

Deep thoughts.


I've started at least 10 blog posts this week. I have gotten about halfway through them and then end up deleting the whole thing. I don't know what my deal is, I just know that I really haven't had a lot to say lately.

I was looking through an old photo album a few days ago that my mom filled with random pictures from throughout my childhood. I found this one of my sister and I from one Christmas morning and it made me laugh. Partially because things have changed so much and partially because they are still so much the same.


But then I just kept staring at it for a while and was really shocked when I discovered that there were tears in my eyes.

Do you ever see pictures of yourself as a child and feel like maybe, in a few ways, you let the childhood version of yourself down? I look at that sweet, innocent little girl with the biggest hopes and dreams and I wonder if she would be disappointed in me; if I did everything that I could have done to see that those dreams happened. Don't get me wrong, a lot of them have. I just feel like there have been so many times in my life where I have been presented with opportunities but have taken the easier road because of my extreme fear of risks and the unknown. I always have to have full control of every situation and if I can't have full control, then I'm not willing to walk down that road.

I know it's never too late to become exactly who/what you want to be and for that, I'm very grateful. Because I still have a long, long way to go. From this day forth I'm going to try to make an effort to overcome my fears and have more faith in the things that are unknown. I can't spend another 20 years of my life waiting for the wind to magically blow me in the right direction.

Thanks so much for listening to my deep thoughts. I hope you have a very happy weekend. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Organization Freak's Dream



I know that most people aren't quite as obsessed with organization as I am, but even if you're not... you need to get Evernote. I downloaded it on my computer and iPhone about 2 years ago but I didn't know what it was for so I never used it. THEN a few weeks ago I saw an article about it and quickly decided it was the most amazing program in the whole wide world (and it's free!!). I wanted to share about it with you since it's been such a helpful tool for me. I use it every single day!

It's kind of like your own personal inspiration box (sort of like Pinterest but way better and way more useful). I use it to collect ideas, projects, recipes, photos, shopping reminders, and to plan events. It has a search feature that will allow me to easily find things later. Best of all, I can access all of my clippings online from any computer.

Whenever I find a recipe online that I like, all I have to do is copy and paste the information on a new page (as-is... with the picture and everything!). It's so easy to use it's not funny. The program automatically inserts the link to the original web page in case you ever want to find it again.


It would be extremely helpful for helping you organize your business if you have one, but I think it's great for personal use too.

A few more things you can use it for:
- To do lists
- Compiling business cards
- Saving articles
- Scanned tax documents
- Audio recordings
- Sharing projects with classmates
- Research
- Vacation Planning
- Project planning

Love love love it. Can you tell? I could keep going on about it but you might as well just see for yourself.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

IT'S A MIRACLE!


I know you're all going to faint with shock when I tell you this great news...

I finally found a Maxi Dress that isn't 17 inches too long for me!!!!!!!!

In all seriousness though, it really is quite amazing. I've always wanted one and have tried on a couple dozen in the past couple of years but it's never worked out. Yes, I could get out my sewing machine and make it work, but who wants to do that??

THIS ONE FIT ME PERFECTLY! Take THAT you 5'6" people with your perfect height.


So if you're short as all get-out, go to Target (but don't bother trying on any of the other long dresses because they'll be too long). :)

Which reminds me of that time that I vowed to stop buying clothes at stores such as Target and focus on only buying a few high-quality staple items. It was a really great plan and worked well for me in the winter but now that it's hot outside it's not working out so well. I sold 90% of my summery dresses and now I'm discovering that I have nothing to wear to work every day. GENIUS. A few "staple" dresses just really won't cut it because you can't swap up your outfit with layering in the summer like you can in the winter.

My only plausible solution is to buy some cheap-o dresses to get me through. I'm even considering making a visit to Forever 21. Please forgive me for breaking my own rules (and don't mention the fact that 90% of the dresses I buy will probably end up in next year's garage sale).

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The best hair products. Of all time.


We all know that I am a super weird control freak about my hair. I'm so protective of it that I stress for weeks before each professional hair cut/dye. Yet, a couple of weeks ago I had no qualms about going to Sally's, mixing up some random packages of creams and brown dye and painting it all over my head without hesitation. Then last weekend I realized that I haven't had a real hair cut since October so I promptly took the mirror with me to the front porch and cut THREE inches off of my hair on a whim.

And worse. If I were a Dave Ramsey fan, he would certainly banish me to a far away island if he ever saw me buying hair products. I don't have much to say for myself other than once I stuck my toes into the water of professional hair products I just couldn't imagine going back. I never thought it could make that big of a difference but it REALLY does.

I used to have to wash my hair every single day because it looked too oily and had no life if I tried to go an extra day. Now I wash my hair twice a week and it seems just as clean and lively on Day Four as it does on Day One. I'd say that makes up for any extra money that I spend on the products that make it possible!!

So here's the recipe for only washing your hair once every four days ;) :


My favorites on the hair washing days...






I spray it in my hair after I towel it dry. It detangles, smooths, restores moisture balance, nourishes, improves color vibrancy, etc.


Next I use this all over my hair to help hold the style.


Then I spray this on my roots for volume.


My favorites that I use every day...


I spread a couple of drops of this over my hair when it's dry before I use my straightener/curling iron.


I use this to smooth away the fly-aways around my part.


And the hair product that I give the most credit to for making it possible to go four days between washes...
I think I've told everyone I know about this stuff. I've tried a ton of different dry shampoos. This is the ONLY one that you want to use. The pure amazingness of it makes me so so happy. Even if you don't want to use any other professional hair products, you really need to be using this one!


So there you have it. The lazy man's guide to pretty hair. Hopefully I'll be back again soon! It's been a CRAZY couple of weeks. It's that time of the semester/school year where things at work absolutely never slow down. I've had so many blogs I've wanted to start writing but so little time to actually make it happen! Woe is me.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Makeover!


I can't believe this will be the 3rd year of my little bloggity blog's life. We've had our ups and downs... from periods of time when I have posted every single day to times when I have only blogged two or three times in a month. Every year around this time I get fed up with my blog design and have to do a major makeover.

I'm no graphic designer by ANY means, but I do at least like to think each of my headers have been better than the last!


2010...



2011...



And 2012!



I love it but thank goodness it's done. I swear I would make the slowest graphic designer in the entire world. 


Happy WEEKEND!!!