Sunday, July 13, 2014

#Blog Hoppin 2014

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about the scavenger hunt that I am participating in, but today I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to share some of the photos I have taken so far.

If you aren't sure what this Blog Hoppin' scavenger hunt is about,  click HERE to get more information.

You can see two of my pictures on the Blog Hoppin' linky page (#7 & #8) but here are a few more of my favorites.

I have been having a blast taking photos of all of the items on the list.  I only have 20 more photos to go until I am done!  My fingers are crossed that I win a prize!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Teach 1st Conference & Blog Hoppin' Scavenger Hunt

I'm alive!!!  
I know it might be hard to believe since this blog has been untouched since January. I had every intention to blog several times over the past six months {, did I really let that much time go by???}, but life, and all of its demands, kept getting in the way.  I really have 
right now because I am on summer break 
(which sadly, seems to be slipping away too quickly!)

I didn't completely abandon the social media world, however, since last January.  I focused on making instagram a regular part of my routine.  Can I just say, I {LOVE} instagram! Some might even say that I have a slight addiction... obsession...problem. When I started posting on instagram, I was ecstatic when I reached 50 followers.  I can't believe that in about 5 months, I have gone from 50 followers to this...

Have you all heard about the instagram scavenger hunt going on at Blog Hoppin'?  If you haven't, you can find information about it here.  I'm blowing up my instagram feed trying to post pictures of all the items and I'm only a little over halfway done.  I'm having a blast doing it but I think my friends and family will be glad when I'm done!  Two of my friends/coworkers helped me out by posing for pictures while we were at the I Teach 1st conference in Vegas.

I even got some help from some random strangers...

Now for the most exciting news - I just got back from the 
I Teach 1st conference!!!!!!!!!!!
 This was my first time and let me tell you... it was FANTASTIC!!!
The keynote speaker was Marc Brown.  
He's wonderful and I love him. I may or may not have acted like a crazy person 
in order to get a picture with him.

The presentations that I attended were so inspiring and helpful, and I am even more obsessed with following their blogs than I was before (who knew this was possible!)
Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade
Diane Schmelzer (along with Kelly Bumgardner) from Made for 1st Grade
Erica Bohrer from Erica's Ed-ventures
Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump's Class
Kim Adsit from the Kinder Gals
Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants
Erin Klein from Kleinspiration
While in Las Vegas, I also attended the blogger/teacher meet-up, but I don't quite feel like a "real" blogger yet so I didn't feel comfortable introducing myself or my blog to the many wonderful bloggers that were in attendance.  Instead, I stood off to the side with my coworkers and we tried to identify as many bloggers as we could.  Here we are...
(You might recognize one of my coworkers...I teach with Heidi from Heidi Songs!)

I hope all of the awesomeness that surrounded me in Vegas has rubbed off a little bit on me so that I will be able to make blogging a regular part of my life.  
Now it is time for me to get caught up on the Bachelorette and Big Brother episodes that I missed while I was gone.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sprained ankles, lice, and the Bachelor

Since I'm brand new to the blogging world, I feel like there is so much I want to post about as a way to introduce myself.  However, I feel slightly extremely odd posting anything right now since no one knows I'm here.  It probably feels similar to the way an unknown comedian would feel performing in an empty theater {insert cricket sounds here}.  But I'm not ever going to get any blog followers if I don't ever post.  I keep hearing the voice whispering to Kevin Costner in The Field of Dreams..."If you build it, he will come."  I don't know if that really applies here, but I find it oddly inspiring that people will eventually discover my little blog. I go.

First off, here's a little tidbit about me. I decided to begin blogging and making things for Teachers Pay Teachers when I entered into a new phase of my life where my little birdies left the nest.  Yep, my two children had the nerve to become adults and move on with their own lives without me. Okay, well actually they just went off to college, but it still left me with an empty nest and time to explore my own interests. Now, I don't want to mislead you and have you think that I am well-adjusted and immediately started living my own life and pursuing my own interests the second my nest became empty.  It took a little an insane amount of time to get to that point.  My nest has been empty for a year and half.  For the first year, I spent most of my spare time either curled up in the fetal position feeling sorry for myself or stuffing my face with comfort food.  I decided 2014 was the year to dust off the chicken potpie crumbs, uncurl myself, and stop the pity party. 2014 is the year that I am going to do things that I've been putting off for years because I was too busy raising my little ones while working full time. 2014 is the year for great things to happen! {I feel like the Rocky theme song should be playing here}

Now, let's look at some highlights of the start of 2014...
I made an overarching resolution to accomplish something each and every day.  I broke that down into more specific action goals.  One was that I would walk/run on the treadmill every day when I got home from work (remember, I had a year of drowning my sorrows in comfort food). Another one was that I would not leave work until all student work for the day was corrected and filed in their mailboxes.  I was off to an excellent start with both of these goals until this happened...

I rolled my ankle and ended up with a really bad sprain.  No more treadmill for a while!  I am actually dying to get back on the treadmill [those are words I thought I'd never say!].  I'm hoping that I will be good to go in a few more days because it happened 13 days ago!!!  Now, for obvious reasons, this was a little speedbump with the treadmill, but it also disrupted my other goal about correcting papers.  Working all day with my ankle like this resulted in me being an extremely cranky teacher by the time 3:00 rolled around. Rather than stay after school to grade papers and clean up my room, I have had to leave immediately to get home and rest and elevate my ankle. Now I have an enormous stack of papers and a messy room that I absolutely MUST deal with tomorrow!

2.  LICE: 
2nd time this school year- I now have the psychosomatic head itching, lovely styling of a ponytail every day, and all pillows/stuffed animals bagged up for the time being.

We read all about Martin Luther King, Jr.  We did a great activity about how we may be different on the outside but we are all the same on the inside using brown and white eggs. {Thank you Cara Carroll for this great idea!}. We also read the book Spoon and talked about how we need to embrace and celebrate our differences, and made the TLC directed art lesson for Martin Luther King Jr.

We read the awesome book The Snowglobe Family and made these cute 3D snowglobes and wrote about what it would be like to live in a snowglobe. I know there are many versions of this snowglobe activity out there, but my inspiration came from this activity which I had saved on Pinterest.

A few other winter-themed art activities:  torn-paper snowmen, directed art Tacky the Penguin, and Catching Snowflakes.

I am obsessed with this season's Bachelor.  Last week, Juan Pablo took Chelsea to a Venezuelan coffee shop called Amara that is located in my neck of the woods.  I have walked by it many times but never tried it and not aware that they served anything other than coffee and chocolate. After seeing it on the Bachelor, I decided to give it a try.  Thank you, Juan Pablo! My hubby and I started with beef empanadas and tekes (cheese sticks), then tried a few of the arepas, and ended with churros in chocolate sauce and a Venezuelan cacao latte (they also gave us samples of their chocolates, and Venezuelan hot chocolate).  This was one of the best dining experiences, from the savory to the sweet!  My hubby (who is a total "foodie") was in heaven from beginning to end.  In his own words, he was like a heroin addict getting a fix after being deprived for 3 days.  He loved it so much, I think we are going to go back there again in a few hours! 

Well, I have a busy week ahead of me that I haven't finished getting ready for and my Sunday is slipping away from me.  Everyone have a nice week!  {empty theater/crickets chirping}

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blogging is bringing out my OCD!

One of these days I will be done "creating" my blog and ready to post and share. I think it would have been so much easier to buy a template from one of the fabulous blog designers out there, but I thought it would be "fun" to create my own.  Originally, I just created images in photoshop and uploaded them to my blog template. But every time I visited other blogs, I liked mine less and less.
This is what my blog looked like 2 weeks ago (sorry for the poor picture quality!)

So I decided to try to make a few changes to make it more professional looking and less "scrapbooky". Knowing nothing about blog design, I have spent countless hours watching tutorials and scouring websites for help and answers.  I think I am done (at least for now).  I'm learning how OCD I am with this because I even needed to add social media icons to link to my facebook and instagram pages, even though I have nothing posted to either sites.  Maybe I'll have time to post to facebook and insta now that the designing is done. I might even get around to posting pictures and stories about things that are happening in my classroom!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

And the blogging journey begins...

Well, I've decided it's time to jump in with both feet into the blogging world.  I guess I have been dangling my toes from the side long enough.  I'm a little (okay, a lot!) embarrassed to say how long it has taken me to finally write my first post.  I joined Blogger in 2009 and did nothing with it except follow the many wonderful blogs out there and dream about my own personal blog.  I became a blogger...but only in my head.  I would create blog posts in my mind for my nonexistent blog and even take classroom pictures that would be perfect to post...if only my blog were real!  In 2013, I finally created a real blog with a name and everything (baby steps, people). I played around and figured out how to create my blog header and background. I visited my blog many times, but did I begin posting? no.  I had every intention of starting this blog in August, but life (work) got in the way and my poor little blank blog just sat here neglected.

My 2014 resolution is to complete things that I have started, and blogging sits at the top of that list.  So here I sit, on my final day of winter break, and I know that if I don't begin today, I will let the rest of the school year go by without paying any attention to this poor little blog.  So my 'real' blogging journey officially begins today and I can only hope that it is as easy as my 'pretend' blogging has been over the past few years.