31 December 2014

Currently: JANUARY

I know I've been a little absent, but what better way to start the year off?!

I'm currently at my precious grandparents' farm with my parents and my sister and my husband. The week has been full of relaxing and catching up (now that we ALL live in different places) and watching football. Love it. (:

I am so thankful for my new job. I seriously was thinking even before I started working on this post how incredibly thankful I am to be in a position that I love and that allows me to spend Christmas break only thinking or planning ahead because I want to and I'm excited... Not because I am so stressed about what is coming up when I get back. That being said, I am also grateful for my experience last year because I'm not sure I would have understood what a blessing this is without it!

I would love some prayers for my sweet old man "puppy". To keep a long story short, we left him to be taken care back home, and he was hurt this week. Even though I know he is a dog (vs a child), I have been so upset that I left him in a situation I wasn't a hundred percent comfortable with and now I can't be there for him. Maybe pray for both of us?

Looking back on my year and thinking about all that I have... There is not a single thing that I truly NEED.

After I finished my challenging year, I knew one way this school year could improve was by taking care of myself. So I did the Advocare 24 day challenge and pulled my act together. I have lost 23ish pounds from my first challenge and about 30 from my heaviest weight during last school year... And I feel awesome. Not just because of my clothes fitting (some are even too big now?!), but because my skin feels good and I don't feel greasy and I rarely have tummy troubles (which now I can almost always track back to an abundance of friiiiiied food). But now I need to get my exercise on. My primary exercise involves walking the dogs... That's better than the nothing I was doing previously, but being an ex-athlete, I know I can do way better. I'm debating CrossFit. Thoughts on that?

My goal last year was to make $50 on TPT. I didn't achieve the goal, but I also didn't work very hard at it last about... February. Oops. So maybe I will push up on that.

Last, I hope and pray and wish that my family and I will remain happy and healthy this year. I think it's going to be our best one yet!

24 October 2014

knocking out bullying in october!

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. My very first ever See Bean Teach post was about that very topic, so I thought it would be a nice throw-back to look at some more anti-bullying ideas! Here, I've listed three lessons I've taught so far this month and two more I plan to teach. I like to be able to to link our content with talking about social skills type topics (just so we can make connections between what we learn and the real world)...  I also feel like lessons that help build our classroom community are a tool to help prevent bullying because I've notice that it is much easier for students to pick on those they know very little about... but when they know another's story and where they come from and who they really are, they find it easier to choose to say and do uplifting things. Pacer.org is a great online resource for some facts, along with Stomp Out Bullying.

As mentioned, my very first post, many moons ago was about a lesson I did with a kindergarten class during my senior year of college. It all focused around The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin and how to avoid bullying. It went over really well, so this year I decided to whip that baby back out! My class had a bunch of fun listening to the story on YouTube and then making their own unique pumpkins a couple weeks ago. Of course, I added in an attempt at some academic content and had them make a verbal text-self connection before they could craft their own Spookly, but it was a much needed afternoon of creative thinking and fun after a week of 6 weeks tests (BOO ON THAT.)
We learned about adjectives in language arts this week, so we combined that with a lesson I saw on good ol' Farley's blog a while back. We described my "friend" that I'd drawn on chart paper using adjectives. When the children slung out unkind words, I crumpled it up. When they said kind things, I uncrumpled the paper. We noticed that the wrinkles were still there, and even after we tried to smooth the paper out by saying nice things, the wrinkles didn't totally go away. I think it made a bit of an impact, because after the lesson we did a full on "share you feelings circle" for about 10 minutes. I made sure to end it by asking all of the students to share something that has been a positive interaction with another person in their life so that we could have some emotional closure and a way to bring our thoughts back to a happy place if they'd traveled a little away from there.
We also drew portraits of a classmate (they had to draw out of a jar so it was random!) and described them using 10 adjectives. I was so pleasantly surprised that no one had unkind things to say on their drawings AND they were all excited about who they got (even when it wasn't there bestfriendevereverever). I am proud of how close-knit and sweet my students are. We even had a "special visitor" from another class in another grade our room that day (yep, I get to be that teacher) so I threw his name in the bucket too and my sweet little nuggets just acted like that was totally normal and drew him a beautiful portrait as well!
We watched the BrainPop Jr. video on bullying and then did a class sort to clarified the difference between true bullying and teasing someone of having a "mean moment" using the phrases I cut from a chart that I found on Ms. Sepp's Counselor Corner. It sparked a lot of great discussion about what kinds of things we could problem solve on our own or by talking with the person who offended us, versus what kinds of things we couldn't solve unless we got help from an adult.
We read The Recess Queen, Chrysanthemum, Giraffes Can't Dance. Then we practiced making Text-Self connections. We talked about how we felt and how the characters felt, and experiences that we had that we similar to experiences the characters. We used Venn diagrams to compare both our life experiences and that of the characters AND the characters in the books. There's a freebie in my TPT store- it's not fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it works! (:

I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share these five ideas! You should participate, too!

P.S. Real talk- this post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Check out my About Mrs. B page for more info on that!

17 October 2014


Kaitlyn at Third Time's A Charm nominated me for a Liebster Award!

This award is for bloggers who are new to the game and trying to grow their readership!  I have to answer the 11 questions from Kaitlyn, and then nominate 11 blogs of my choice that have less than 200 followers!

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging? I started this blog twice, actually. Once in 2012 as a project for one of my classes in college, and then I picked it back up again in June of 2013 right before I began my first year of teaching! I started blogging because I'd always gotten such fantastic ideas from the real teachers and wanted to be a part of this beautiful, giant professional learning community!

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why? Honest. I am secretly terrified that someone I know in real life reads this baby because it is really more like a journal for me.

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before? Hmm... I feel like I am still pretty early in my blog journey... but I wish I'd known that I could pay someone a fairly nominal fee to make it look nice! (: I am also about to start focusing in on learning how to take decent pictures, so that will probably be something I look back and wish I'd known earlier! 

4. What is your favorite past time other than blogging? Ugh, I'm not so awesome at "favorite" questions. My answer is always different... So here are a few of my faves: I coach swimming a couple days a week, which is fun! I like to binge-watch series on Netflix with my main squeeze. I really like to read, but I am one of those obsessive readers (think like the way you watch a stereotypical 13 year old boy with an xbox... that is me with a good book) so I have to save reading for pleasure for Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer... I want to make exercise a favorite pastime, but I am still working on finding enough time to fit more than walking the dog in!

5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog? Yikes. Maybe like 2? More in the summer, but I haven't reached that point in my career where I have a ton of down time!

6. What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most? I totally have to agree with Kaitlyn on this one- I like real-life, nitty-gritty, nobody's-perfect blog posts that share highs and lows so I can feel like it is ok not to be a Pinterest-perfect teacher. However, for quick reads, I also like EASY, healthy recipes and wish list-y kind of posts!

7. Where does your blog inspiration come from? Initially, it came from all of the big names Abby Mullins, Farley, Cara Caroll, etc. While I still L.O.V.E to read the hilarious and inspiring things those chickadees write, I am trying to find my own voice and be more inspired by my life and my students!

8. Which post that you've written are you most proud of? Oh man. My most popular posts come from my how to interview series...  But I think I'm most proud of this post because I pretty much just let it all hang out and it showed the side of teaching that isn't always so fun.
9. Is there any post you have been planning to do, but have postponing it for a while now? I have been planning to do more writing about the focus I've put on a healthy lifestyle this year and how I make it work with teaching... but often lesson plans and life are calling Five for Friday is a much easier way to brain-dump! #oops

10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging? Um, I swear Kaitlyn literally took the words out of my mouth. I am literally going to quote her, because there is no way to even paraphrase my thoughts better "I find it very cathartic, even writing posts that I might never publish. I feel that I express myself much better in writing than I do verbally, so sometimes typing something out helps me talk about it better with others in person." I am the kind of person that will type out notes on my iPhone before a conversation about a sticky-issue before opening my mouth... I would ALWAYS rather send an e-mail or text than call... Not because I am rude, but because I am much more eloquent when writing! Side note- Kaitlyn, I feel like we may be having one of those blogger Step-Brothers moments...

11. Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you be most likely to try yourself?  I really want to try to make the White Chicken Chili recipe... Sounds like a great fall Saturday "cheat meal" (: I am also really excited to get my TPT store up and moving (one day!) with all of your awesome detailed tutorials! I started some this summer, but I am going to do a better job narrowing in next summer!

My Liebster Nominees:
Mrs. R @ Fourth Grade Fizz
Krissy @ Krissy's Kindergarten
Kristin @ My Carolina Classroom
Jennifer @ Stories and Songs in Second
Jennifer @ Teaching With Grace
Sheri @ The Early Years With Sheri
Northern Mama from the South
Paige @ Paiges of Learning
Sarah @ Run Teach Save

Some of y'all are blogs I follow... Some are great Currently finds... and some follow me! Can't wait to learn more about you! (:

Now that you've been nominated, here are the "official" rules for accepting:
1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you (the ones I answered above).
3. Nominate 11 blogs of your choice that each have less than 200 followers. Provide them with 11 questions to answer or have them answer the questions above.
4. Let your nominees know that they've been nominated and provide them with a link to your post so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so that s/he can learn more about you as well! (You can just put your post link in the comments below!)

Y'all have fun! (:

03 October 2014

Five for Friday: October?!


Are you in an end-of-first-six weeks slump? Or maybe almost-end-of-nine-weeks funk? I read this last week when I was feeling a little tired and a lot little just... well... OVER IT and it totally turned my mood around. The post has great tips for teachers specifically, but you could apply it to your life in another profession or your life as a college student. It will also probably make you breathe a sigh of relief to know that you are not the only one feeling like you are under pressure all the time! A few of The Second Grade Nest's suggestions were promises I made to myself this summer so that I could feel more like myself this school year. I planned to leave school at a decent hour, do things other than teaching or crafting for teaching or planning for teaching and pay attention to maintaining a decently healthy lifestyle. It has made SUCH a difference for me this school year. Scoot over and absorb this post. Maybe read it two or three times if you need!

Speaking of healthy lifestyle... have I mentioned that I am really working hard in that department? I am about to do another 10 day Herbal Cleanse and I am super excited! A couple of friends and I are starting on October 13th and you can join us- shoot me an email at losdosfrijoles@gmail.com or click on the link above to order. I mean, for $31.50, you could buy a meal at the Cheesecake Factory... or you could put some focus on your health. Check back in a couple of days for a post with some tips for how to manage the cleanse during school!

My vice-principal sent out this video this afternoon. Add that to the fact that totally unprompted a student put on her Open House sheet that her favorite part about school is that "our class feels like a family" and I was a puddle this afternoon. Get some tissues and watch. You make a difference. You matter. Don't forget that.

I need a pencil solution. I hear a lot of good things about a pencil challenge- can someone explain that idea to a sister before I go crazy?! (:

We skipped pumpkin decorating last year, so now I am totally planning to make up for it... Pinterest seriously has the cutest ideas. I was originally thinking something like this:

But then I saw this post that has some fantastic no-carve ideas compiled! Can't wait to convince B that this adventure is happening tomorrow!

27 September 2014

Five for... well, you know...


Since I've been on the Bountiful Baskets train, I've been trying really hard not to let produce go bad... so I was devastated when I found two bundles of celery that was like flubber in my fridge. ): But low and behold, did you know you can firm it back up?! Check it out! This is real life. I was so jazzed. I wonder if this works for any other veggies...?

Also, check out my haul this week below. Everything pictured for 15 smackeroos.

Week FIVE of school is in the books. WHAT?! I am 100% in LOVE my students. They are precious and I am already sad that they won't be mine for more than a year. I am still working on managing my time well and I spend the first three-ish weeks about to go nuts because I did not have a working computer monitor. That meant no BrainPop, no doc cam, no projector, no Go Noodle.... It was alllll song and dance for this tired teacher. I finally found relief and now we are technological wizards up in Room 16!

Speaking of technology: I have a couple sweet nuggets in my class that are still having a tough time with letter sound correspondence... I'm talking basic consonant sounds and short vowels... in second grade. While I am obsessively casually taking data (#formerspedteacher) and spending time wondering how they got this far without anyone else documenting their struggle, I have been using the Orton-Gillingham app with them while we are building our Daily 5 stamina. The app is FREE and I downloaded it after I attended the LETRS training this summer. I just kinda set them up and let them run it on Friday with very minimal instructions, and my heart was just singing as I walked past the sassiest of my two totally engrossed in the app and heard her proudly repeating each letter, sound, and key word. I think the best part of the app is the video option. After the students touch to hear the name of the letter, the sound, and the key word, they click "video" and it shows the mouth/face of a real person saying all of the things again. 

I am so darn close to getting Daily 5 up and running. My darlings can Read to Self and Read to Someone like champions. We still need to introduce Listen to Reading (my start up has been a little off of the sister's plan due to the technology snafus early on...). I have been doing some basic intervention and pulling kids here and there, but I am itching to really get my guided reading groups going! Any great suggestions for second grade higher level book study books? 

I mentioned that we adopted a little (OLD) monster, right? Well, we have been slowly working on getting him adjusted to normal living (aka, not being on da streets)... I left him in the house unsupervised for about 20 minutes yesterday and this is what I came home to:
I love bossy lady watching to make sure he doesn't get off his bed!

01 September 2014

Currently: September 2014

Thanks for Farley for the ORIGINAL ;) and always fun link-up!

I am happily listening to my husband mow the lawn while I do "inside chores"... lol I am thankful that he is willing to be out in the sun. It is still triple digits most days here.

A couple weeks ago, B saw a dog almost get hit by a car out of our window. He went out to check its collar and return the poor guy to his home... and long story short, there was no room at the local rescue, so Walker ("Dubya") is now enjoying living the good life in the Bean house. The vet says that he is an older gentleman who is really malnourished (he gained 4lbs last week though- partay!) but otherwise in decent health for his age... and we just love him!

I adore my new class of sweet 2nd graders! SO sweet and very respectful for the most pat. They also love to learn. I had students asking me for homework on the first day... and then again on the weekend! They are a liiiiitle chatty, though, so I am looking for new ways to arrange their desks- any ideas? We're currently in groups of 4, but I'm open to just about anything!

I would love to have a personal chef. I am enjoying the effects of my healthy eating lifestyle (all of my teacher clothes fit again! hallelujah!), but sometimes it is really hard to come home after a long day at school and want to whip up a meal that is nutritious and delicious. Shockingly, those are hard to find in my neck of the woods. Especially on my budget...

After one of my sweeties told me last week that she didn't have a toothbrush at home because they had to wait for her mom to get paid again, I am thinking about this "needing" question in a whole nother light. I do not need anything. Not a darn thing.

Three trips I would seriously love to take are: (1) Machu Picchu (I've been dying to visit ever since I learned about it in my 8th grade Spanish class!) (2) Euro Trip (I've never been anywhere in that part of the world!) (3) American Landmarks (I lived in Australia when I was little, and you best believe I saw just about every historic and/or amazing national landmark they had... However, my American adventures are lacking! I'd love to visit the Grand Canyon, NYC, Mount Rushmore, D.C.... just to name a few!)

25 August 2014

first day of school

a wise, wise woman once said:

“I love the second grade… It’s so much better than first grade where you don’t know what’s going on, and definitely better than third grade with all the politics and the mind games.” –Phoebe Buffay

happy first day of school, friends! 

04 August 2014

Monday Made It: August 4


see the difference?! the entire thing is done now, don't you worry!
Ok, so we did not actually make the fence. A kind gentleman who spoke primarily espaƱol did all of the construction (and did a fantastic job, if I do say so myself!), and then quoted us a pretty high number to seal it. Both B & I decided that was a project we could take on ourselves to save some money, so we marched up to Home Depot, purchased materials and weather sealed that bad boy. BY HAND. 

...until I realized that a sprayer is less than $20 (and our brushes were like $9 each...) and picked up one of those to use on the second coat. We worked two days + one morning with my darling father and sister on staining/sealing/whatever, and both days it was well over 95 degrees. Probably closer to 105. Brutal. And of course, we did it between like noon and 5pm each day. The whole time, I told B that when we list the house I am FOR SURE insisting that the phrase "hand-sealed fence" be added in. His response every time was a variation of "Um, we'll see when the time comes..."


My second project of the week is my teacher planner/organizer/binder. I mentioned in my August Currently that I am fighting off mild feelings of panic and overwhelmingness about my classroom. 
Let me tell ya what: when I printed out that lesson planner and started filling it up with all of my grand schemes and plans for the sweet nuggets that will waltz into my room and demand that I fill their heads with knowledge (... a girl can dream, right?) I felt better. This is what it's all about y'all. My classroom will come along. It will be reasonably acceptable by the time school starts. BUT my kiddos will have things to learn and do that are super fun and engaging and they will all become a part of our classroom community because I will be intentional about it. That, my friends, is the part that I am truly jazzed about. 

Back to the "MADE IT" part: (which again, I didn't actually make BUT I did put together!) Check out this cutie planner from A Modern Teacher. I am loving it. I downloaded one from her last year, but it just didn't fit my needs as a special education teacher so I rarely used it. Nothing against the planner- it was awesome!* I couldn't find the file from last year to reuse it, and I just loved the new colors and patterns + I wanted the forms that matched so I went ahead and bought this year's version. I put it in a 2" binder (overkill? We'll see...) and I really like the way it looks. I also like the options I have for layout, and I LOVE the small group planning sheets. 

*If you are a multi-age/multi-group special ed teacher, I might recommend this guy. I haven't used it, but it would have been a MUST HAVE for next year if I stayed at my last job. It looks like everything I was missing in my life and more.

03 August 2014

#healthyteacher: Bountiful Baskets

Y'all, I had the best experience picking up my Bountiful Basket last Friday! The whole pick up process ran like a well oiled-machine, and I really think the baskets are going to a) make it easier for me to eat healthier during the school year and b) push my boundaries when it comes to cooking! I got the "conventional basket", and for $15 it came with:

-6 bananas
-5 figs
-a large bag of seedless red grapes
-7 limes
-4 large navel oranges
-8 tomatoes
-1 head of lettuce (cabbage?)
-4-5 radishes
-1 clamshell of cherry tomatoes
-1 large avocado
-2 heads of broccoli
-1 box of mushrooms

I also ordered a bag of cherry pecan granola (an extra fee, of course, but it came with TWENTY-EIGHT servings), which I immediately began putting into portion control ziplocs because it is SO delicious that I would not be able to stop chowing down if I ate out of the big bag. 

Apparently there was another someone in the house who enjoyed the process almost as much as I did...

My meal plan for the coming week looks like this to try to accommodate some of the fruits/veggies that I received:

How do you maintain healthy eating habits during the year?! Let me know!

02 August 2014

currently: august

thanks to farley for another fun month of currently! (:
SERIOUS QUESTION: do we think 2nd graders could handle doing a monthly 'currently' in the classroom?

My ridiculous feline has been running laps around our house all morning. Not sure what has gotten into her, but I can hear her little feet scrambling on the tile as she rounds the kitchen...

I am loving that there is Someone with a greater plan than I have. I had all sorts of grand plans to round out my summer and they fell through, but Praise the Lord that happened because I found out that I basically start work in two days! I would have been in major panic mode trying to get home (driving from Florida to Texas!) in time to make that happen! I just have to keep reminding myself to trust trust trust

All that being said, I am thinking about making lists to calm myself. I will be attending the LETRS training for the next two weeks + New Teacher Orientation, and our school closes at 4pm everyday soooo I pretty much have one full day, and then parts of days during teacher inservice week to finish my classroom and get ready for school to start in there. WOAH. Lots of stuff is done, but I have lots of things left to do, too. I know it will all come together, but sometimes I feel a little panic-y...

...and then I remember what the real deal is. If my classroom isn't Pinterest-worthy, IT'S OK because I will love my students more than I will love a perfectly designed and decorated bulletin board. Seriously cannot wait to meet this group of hooligans! I'm going to honestly say (and maybe step on some toes here... yikes! bear with me!) that right now, at the beginning of a new job and new school and new district and new class and new grade... looking at precious blogs and Pinterest boards kinda stresses me out more. I feel like there is a bar set, a standard for how my room needs to look and function and if I am below the cut, my kids will run screaming from the room and refuse to learn. 

BUT, what I have to keep reminding myself is that these awesome bloggers/pinners are putting on display the work they are proud of (as well they should!), but there are likely behind the scenes things that they still have to improve on. I'm trying to focus on 1-2 things per day that I am proud of, and then keep adding the extras to the list!

I kinda basically start work this coming Monday... I have a Monday-Thursday training for the next two weeks, plus an orientation on the second Friday, and then teacher inservice week starts. I'm not sure it has hit me yet that my summer is over.......

01 August 2014

Five For Friday: AUGUST 1


First of all... check out the post title^^^^ AUGUST. What the heck just happened?

I ended up sadly having to scratch the road trip I was planning on because my darling father got saddled with jury duty. I am quite upset that I won't get to see the sweet friend I'd planned on staying with in Alabama this summer, buttttt: Blessing in disguise, because I found out that 1) I do have get to attend a two week literacy training (LETRS, anyone?) STARTING ON MONDAY 2) I was able to start working in my classroom this Monday.

Speaking of classroom, my darling father and my sister hauled it down here to help me work in there a little bit. I hate covering bulletin boards. I think it is the worst. But they have a beautiful method so I let them go to town butcher papering all of those bad boys. My crafty little sister also freehanded this mug for me. Is she the stinkin cutest or what?!

I have been doing shockingly well with balance in my diet [not diet as in "only drink cinnamon fire water three times a day with only vegetables and hot dogs to eat"... just my general eating habits]. I've been able to splurge on summer trips a little, but reign it in enough to still have even dropped a couple more pounds past my ending 24 Day Challenge weight! Woohoo! I am headed down to pick up my Bountiful Basket this evening (Click the link if you haven't heard of it- seriously a really cool endeavor, especially if you live in no-man's land like me). It's my first experience, so review to come... but I'm hoping for lots of delicious fruits & veggies that will help keep this healthy train rollin!

This recipe for baked french toast is delicious and awful for you... but mostly delicious. I first made it in mass quantities while I was cooking on the middle school mission trip I helped run last week AND THEN I made it yesterday morning for breakfast since my dad and sister were in town and there were actually enough people in the house to eat a full sized recipe AND THEN I cried tears of joy while I ate it with my side of turkey bacon. It's all about portion control, right? Or something like that.... OMG delicious. Still drooling over it a little bit.

To quote some of my favorite bloggers and teenage drama queens: I JUST CAN'T EVEN... this shirt... Perfection I tell ya. I have added it to my not-so-secret wish list for birthday gifts, etc. pinterest board and will likely purchase it even before a holiday opportunity arrives. Check out this precious little etsy store for more!

27 July 2014

New NAILED IT Adventure

Hi, friends! It looks like interview questions are by far my most read post in the Nailed It series. I've also gotten a shockingly large number of e-mails regarding my "golden weakness"...

...so, I'm ready to potentially try something new:

 Practice Interviews

If you are still looking for a job, I AM LOOKING FOR YOU. Contact me ASAP by clicking on the email link at the top of the blog. 

I'll only have time for a few before the craziness of back-to-school starts, and it will likely be a first-come-first-served kind of set up, but I'd love to try this out with a few of you sweet thangs, fo free. I'm not super intimidating (just ask the people who I've been e-mailing back and forth with for months!) and I reallyreally like to be a helper! Let me KINDLY help you hone your people skills, learn to speak your brilliant thoughts out loud, adjust your answers if need be, and practice answering tough questions with a random stranger in a situation where you won't lose a job opportunity! ;)

21 July 2014

Monday Made It: 2

Am I the only one who is amused by the fact that my second Monday Made It link up is a TWO?!

Anywho... I was pinspired by this pin and then had craft night with some of my darling teacher friends from college. 

I haven't decided if it is a "Nailed It" (click on the link... This is not to be confused with my surprisingly popular* series) version of the project or not.

But it was {SUPER} easy and maybe will look cute on my classroom door? What should I hang it with?

*ok, so I'm no Cara Carroll or anything... but if you still need a job, check it out!

18 July 2014

Five for Friday: July 18


This time last week I was on a plane to see some of the sweetest, most hilarious ladies I know. We had a BLAST doing the Warner Brothers tour, going to the beach, cruising around the bay, and seriously just soaking up time with each other. It had been far too long since we'd had a W(h)ine Night!

For the rest of the week, I spent way too much money enjoyed civilization. Ikea, Target, JCrew, Gap, and Hobby Lobby were just some of the places that viciously stole my money. I did some back to school shopping for my classroom and myself and caught some fabulous sales.

I also had a classroom craft/catch up on life night with another sweet college friend and her precious dog. Check out my Monday Made It on Monday (um, duh) to see some of our projects!

I didn't pay real close attention to what I was eating/drinking on my lil trip, so I gained a teensy bit on weight... Even though it was just a little, I found this to be super frustrating because 1) I just paid to do a "challenge" to help me lose weight and 2) I had all the power and resources to NOT have that happen. However, because I thoroughly enjoyed the after effects of my Advocare adventure (and couldn't find anyone less that an hour and a half away to buy from), I decided to become a distributor. I'm hopping back on product here pretty soon and have also started a Three Weeks, No Cheats. My goals were: no sweets, drinking only water, and exercise 30 minutes a day. So far I've definitely exercised, but I've only been able to check off NO 100% successful days of no sweets (margaritas one day, GF cookies the next). It is soooo hard on not being at home but I am determined!

the bikes = exercise... not true winner days ):
I am mission tripping next week and then going on a road trip to round out my summer. And suggestions for audio books? Driving by myself can be pretty lonely and I'll have LOTS of time to listen!

Happy weekend, friends!

14 July 2014

Monday Made It: Class Synergy Board

Class Synergy Board:

Pinspired by: this, but the link didn't take me to the printable ):
Hundreds Chart from here
Cutie Frame on the bottom right from here

{Check back in August to see how I'm really using this bad boy in my classroom!}

11 July 2014


My official 24-Day Challenge is over! (well- actually my last day was on the 3rd... but I was not about to write up a lil post on the FOURTH of JULY! Or the weekend following... Ain't nobody got time for that.)

Here are my final quantitative stats:

L-Bs Lost: 8.8

Total Inches Lost: 16.5

Inches lost around my gut (because "belly" is waaaay too cute a word to describe what I was previously rocking): SEVEN INCHES

Though the weight loss aspect was nice, I was much more excited about the inches coming off. Those numbers are really what directly relate to how well my clothes fit and on day 24, I was squeezing back into my student teaching pants!

I followed the rules of the challenge fairly closely. I would say that I ate dairy products maybe 4x total during the program, and had something off of the complex carbs list an average of 1x day. I ate TONS of veggies (carrots, broccoli, peppers, corn, asparagus, green beans, snap peas, etc.), fresh fruit (mostly apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears, blackberries, and raspberries), almond and peanut butter, chicken, ground turkey, shrimp, egg whites, and almonds. A couple of times when I was starving and knew I might cheat, I had veggie sushi (brown rice, avocado, carrots, and cucumber) for lunch from good ol' HEB. When I was craving something sweet (which was actually pretty rare), I usually had an apple or banana with peanut butter, OR a no-sugar added fruit cup.

I honest and truly thought that it was easy to stick with this challenge, even when we ate out a few times... But I also honest and truly know that a huge part of the reason I found it so easy is because I was home most of the time and I could plan my snacks and meals ahead or spend the time to cook whatever I found in the fridge. Planning ahead is definitely something I will take into next year.

Now, back from my weekend of indulgence and Independence celebrating, I am back on the wagon. I gained about two pounds back over the course of my long weekend of fun, but I know it will not be difficult to shake off. I am not currently on Advocare products (but really only because I ran out and didn't have anyone to order from!), but I am sticking pretty closely to the Max Phase eating plan (because when you break it down, it is just a plan to help you make healthy choices- nothing ridiculous) and intend to do so throughout the rest of the summer.

...speaking of, my next challenge is going to be eating healthy while I am traveling. I will be flying, mission-tripping AND road-tripping over the course of the next few weeks. Maybe sticking to an 80-20 rule? Here's to hoping!