Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt Variations

Do you have any Easter traditions? We didn't until all the grandkids came on the scene. Funny how they really weren't into just sitting around talking.

So I took the most common Easter tradition, the egg hunt, and tweaked it. Because I knew the kids would be getting all kinds of candy from school, church and not to mention their grandparents I steered away from making the kids hunt for candy.

I turned the egg hunt into an activity. The first year, I did a Puzzle hunt

Then last year, I did a Lego hunt

This year has yet another activity that I will not reveal now! You'll find out after this weekend!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Saturday Stumbles

So if you haven't heard of Etsy, then you must be live under a rock. It's a great site where people can sell their homemade goods.

Well, it just so happens that I know some people that I think YOU should know about. Check out my friends on Etsy:

Joyce: She's as sweet as she is cute and a friend of mine from college.
She hasn't really updated her site in a while, but here's some of her most recent masterpieces:

ChrissyRox: Christine is another sweet (and very pretty...all my friends are pretty!) friend of mine. She has some really cute tanks and shirts that she has jazzed up.

Rhapsody Attic: Rachel is a friend I've probably known since we were little. She has all kinds of pieces for your home whether your style be vintage, eclectic, shabby chic or more.

Go to Mandi's for more links.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - Teacher Gifts


I'm in my 8th year of teaching middle school. That's 8 rounds of Christmas & End of the Year gifts. Throughout that time, I've gotten some...um...interesting gifts!

Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not writing this as a wish-list of gimmie, gimmie, gimmie but it is merely some suggestions. Middle school presents a whole new set of circumstances. In elementary school kids have 1 or 2 teachers all day, but when they get to middle school they can have up to 8 different teachers! I know it's overwhelming and can really add up...but it doesn't have to!

Teacher Appreciation Week is a little over a month away, so here's a few tips to help you out:
  • DON'T feel like you have to buy for every teacher. One option is to spend a little more money on those teachers you feel put a little extra effort into your child and something smaller for the rest of them.
  • DON'T, for the love, give us a-noth-er mug!!
  • Oh, and filling it up with candy doesn't make it any better!
So here's some ideas:

Honestly, you just can't wrong with these. Ice cream card, gas card, grocery card, office supply card, iTunes, Target or Wal-Mart card. Honestly, any gift card you give will probably be spent on classroom anyways, so it's an investment. My all time favorite gifts are Starbucks gift cards. Don't feel bad for getting your teacher a $5 gift card. They add up!

2. Crayon Initial Plaque
It just doesn't get any cuter than this!

3. Magnetic Bookmark
Don't negate practicality. I got one of these one year and use it to keep my place in my teacher's edition book.

4. Paper ream
All teachers need paper. Why not spice it up and let your child pick out their favorite color.

5. Pencil Vase
I got one of these my first year teaching and still put it on my desk every year. This link is for a tutorial that uses colored pencils instead of regular pencils, which I think is a cute version.

6. Personalized stationary
I didn't realize how much I actually liked this until I got it. Then I realized how much I actually used it.

7. Pleated Poppy
I just met her at the blogging conference I went to last month. She was handing out these homemade pins that she made. I would LOVE to get one of these!

8. Homemade goodies on a cute plate
You can get some really cute, cheap plates at Crate & Barrell or even Target.

9. Kitchen gadgets
Who doesn't love kitchen gadgets? Why not put a bow on a nice grater with a note: Thanks for being a "grate" teacher.
10. Earrings
This one walks a fine line. If your child's teacher is young and dresses fashionable, then a pair of earrings from Forever 21, Charlotte Ruse, or Charming Charlie would be a hit.

So there you have it. In my humble opinion. I hope I've given you some good ideas. Go check out some more Top Ten at OhAmanda.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cupcake Tuesday - St. Patty's Day

My team is in charge of snacks for our weekly grade level meeting on Wednesday which just so happens to be St. Patrick's Day! Now, I'm not a huge St. Patty's Day fan, but I am a fan of all things theme related!

So my contribution is going to be Rainbow Cupcakes. Here's how:
1. Follow the directions on a yellow or white cake mix.
2. Divide the mix up into as many colors you're going to have. I had 4.

3. Start with one color and drop in a spoonful into each cupcake liner.
4. When you finished with one color, do the same thing with another color.
5. Keep doing that until you've used up all the colors.

6. Bake according to directions on box. When done, let cool.

7. Ice with white icing to look like a cloud (mine's not really white...boo!)
8. Add a chocolate coin to mimic the pot of gold. It took me forever to find chocolate coins. I finally found them at Party City.

9. But the cool part is when you cut it open. So fun!

Go to Hoosier Homemade for more cupcakes!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Favorites - Fonts

It's Friday Favorites time over at The Other Mama! Go check out all the fun favorites!

One of the things I love about being a teacher is it allows me to use my creative side and of the things that I'm wildly passionate about is FONTS!

You'll never find Times New Romans on one of my worksheets! No way. I've actually infected other teachers with my obsession of fonts and we get excited when we test out a new font.

So I wanted to share with you some of my favorite go to font sites.

1. Fontface.com
This is the easiest site to use and to download the fonts. Great for beginners! Take a look at some of my favs:

2. Fontspace.com
This one's got a few more steps to download the fonts, so it's not quite as user-friendly as fontface. A few of my go to fonts:

3. dafont.com
I haven't used this one that much, but it does deserve a gander. It wouldn't let me save a the font names as an image so you'll just have to go play with it.

4. Fonts for Peas
My new favorite! It's got a lot of really cute, easy to read, handwriting type fonts.

So go have fun and spice up your word docs! No one should have to read through Times New Romans!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

It really stinks being a teacher these days. Every where you turn there is talks of salary cuts, furloughs, and surplussing. Not to mention class sizes are going up and programs are being cut. We are in for some rough days ahead. And while I can't really see myself doing anything else, I feel like I've come to the point where I need to find something else to supplement what's dwindling out of my paycheck each month.

So I got the bright idea to apply for a part time job at Charming Charlie. I absolutely love this store!

Doesn't this just give you warm fuzzies?! The whole store is color coded, so all the yellow stuff is together, all the pinks, all the reds, and so on. I have to say that it is a bit overwhelming when you first walk in...sensory stimulation overload!

I just thought it would be a perfect fit for me.

I stopped by one day after work to see if they were hiring part time. They said yes and gave me an application and told me to come back on Tuesday to speak with the manager. I was excited for this new prospect!

I went home and immediately began filling out my application. I have an affinity for filling out forms...it excites me! [Am I weird like that?]

The problem is that I haven't worked a retail job in over 10 years. In college, I worked for a short stint at Abercrombie & Fitch. That didn't go well because of their policy of having to wear THEIR clothes that were on the floor at THAT time. So I was always having to buy new clothes which thus began my descent into the blackhole of debt.

My thinking was that with working part time, I would just work a day here, a day there, maybe a weekend here or there. I had the demented dillusion that I could just work whenever I wanted... like they would just work around me.

Imagine my shock when I realized the world doesn't revolve around me?!?!

Part time means nights and weekends. Which I would have been ok with except the fact that she said when they close at 9 PM, they stay till about 10 or 11. YIKES! I would be sleepwalking the next day if I didn't get off work until 11!

The other thing that turned me off was when she began describing what I would be doing. They work in what they call zones...different sections of the floor. Associates should make "figure 8s". Meaning just walk around mainly, she said, to prevent theft, but also assisting customers.

Just the idea of walking around in circles for hours and hours didn't sound too appealing to me.

Yes, I'm being picky. I already have a job that I love, I'm just looking for something easy to supplement it. So back to the drawing board I go. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

I'm linking up to OhAmanda's Top Ten Tuesday to tell you the Top-Ten-Reasons-My-Day-Was-So-Busy/Stressful-Today (and it's not over yet...)
1. 6:30 AM: Had to get gas.
2. 6:40 AM: Had to stop by Kroger to buy popcorn for a lab we were doing in class today.
3. 7:00 AM: Arrive in classroom and check email. Get ready for day.
4. 7:45 AM: Have a conference with a parent & interpreter with child in danger of failing.
5. 8:15 AM: Bell rings to begin my day.
6. 12:30 PM: Three administrators from the downtown office come in to observe me for my County's Teacher of the Year. (I made it through the first round!)
7. 1:00 PM: Interview with above administrators regarding Teacher of the Year. (only lasted about 15 minutes, but I felt it went pretty good!)
8. 2:15 PM: Finally sit down and plan for tomorrow.
9. 4:45 PM: Stop by Charming Charlie for an interview. I'm applying part time...am I crazy?!?!
10. 9:00 PM: LOST!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Diana: A Celebration

Do you remember where you were when you heard Princess Diana had passed? I was on a church youth group retreat and just couldn't believe it. She just seemed so larger than life and untouchable.

Today, I got to attend the Diana: A Celebration exhibit. My sister and I took my mom for her birthday as a girls day out.

The exhibit takes you through her life focusing on her childhood, engagement, wedding, charity work, and her untimely death. I have to say that when I walked into the display part of her funeral, it was moving. Just so sad because she was someone doing so much good and she genuinely loved helping people.

The one thing I wish the exhibit focused on a little more is her role as a mother. You could tell, even without knowing her, how much of a dedicated mother she was. She loved those boys more than anything. There were a few pictures of her with the boys, but that was about it.

Here's a couple of interesting facts I learned from the exhibit:

  • Her wedding shoes were suede on the bottom to prevent her from slipping.
  • She really made headlines when she was photographed touching a leper because no on in her position had done that before.
I would recommend not going right when it opened...which is what we did. Apparently everyone else wanted to get there when it opened too. Because of the poor lay out of the exhibit at the beginning, we were log jammed and couldn't move for about 35-40 minutes. After that, it did finally open up and you could walk through it at your own leisure.

As an incentive for you to try it, here's a $3 off coupon. Just print it off.

Disclosure: I was given 2 complimentary tickets to the exhibit in exchange for this little ole blog post!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Friday Favorites

It's Friday! And what better way to ring in the weekend than with a bloggy carnival and that's just what Hillary over at The Other Mama is doing. Go link up!

My favorite this Friday is this super cute thermos from Bed Bath & Beyond!
Here's what I love about it:

  • it's pink!
  • it's microwaveable
  • it's dishwasher safe
They come in other colors too. Go here to see!

This post is just my personal opinion and I did not get any compensation from BBB. I bought 2 of the super cute thermoses!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


In the age of email, twitter, blogging, and some other social media that's yet to be invented it seems like snail mail is a lost art.

There's nothing like opening that mailbox and in the midst of bills and junk finding a handwritten letter! It just kind of puts a little spark in your day.

I got inspired with an idea after reading Kelly's (one of my favorite bloggers) post on snail mail. Then I read this post by Scribbit (another favorite blogger!) about card making.

It's all coming together!

I want to send YOU a handwritten letter! That's right! This will work because I only have like 10 people who read my blog! But I'd like to reach more than just 10, so feel free to blog this, tweet it, facebook it, whatever else you want to do.

If you want me to send you (or someone you know who might need it) a letter, send me your address by:

  • email me (on my About Me page)
  • send me a message on facebook
  • DM me on twitter
Get ready! 'Bout to start a snail mail revolution!

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