Friday, August 30, 2013

Fair, Friends & Fungus

I've been "mingling often with good people" this week.  :-)
Image via Serena @ Magic, Mistakes & Mayhem
This week I enjoyed the last tastes of summer and the first tastes of the school year...
#1 - The Great New York State Fair
We climbed in a tank,  rode Bubba the Camel, saw a horse show in the coliseum, went on lots of rides, and ate lots of yummy food...

#2 - Back to School Hair
I made this Tuesday appointment months ago to ensure I got in the day before our first staff day. I was going for a Christina Hendricks' red a la Mad Men.  It's a wee bit bright, but red fades so quickly that I hope it will be perfect by next week. 
 (I love catching up on all the gossip mags at my hair dresser's.)

#3 - First Staff Days
Wednesday & Thursday were our first days back at school. My giant pile-o-stuff that I took home over the summer to "work on" was dumped in my room, and then I attended meetings galore. Lucy Calkins training (with a little Zentangle brain break in the margins of my notes...), Strategic Planning, Safety Protocols, Professional Learning Community meetings... 

I did make our new marble jar. :-)

#4 - Meeting with Friends
A major bright spot was to catch up with friends I haven't seen since last June. It's so nice to go out to lunch (instead of scarfing down a microwave Smart Ones in 10 minutes) and hear all about everyone's summer adventures. I got to try Johnny John's yesterday - yum!

#5 - And......Mold....
One not-so-bright spot to getting back into our classrooms was finding mold all over the place. Our custodial staff is AWESOME and has been valiantly battling it all summer, but it's just been so very muggy here. My room wasn't hit so bad (just my white board erasers...that I know about...), but my friend in the room next to mine discovered this in her class:
So what adventures did you have this week?
Link up with Doodle Bugs to share !
Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

When...I Go Back to School Shopping

When I have to accomplish school shopping for myself and my 2 daughters in ONE day...

When the Michael's App won't upload the coupon code I want to use...

When I see NEW items in the $1 bins at Target...

When I try on pants at The Gap thinking I've gotten back into that size...

When I see our principal in Macy's...

When I'm at The Loft and they let me use a Teacher's Discount AND a 40% off coupon...

When we finally get a dressing room in The Children's Place and my youngest tells me she has to go potty...

When I find Crayola crayons for $.49 at Wal-mart...

When the salesperson at Stride Rite tries to get my e-mail address, zip code, and then sign me up for their rewards program...

When we are finally DONE and back in the car!

How did your back to school shopping go??  :-D
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

5 Steps to Upcycled Classroom Furniture

Want to add some personality and pop to your classroom? Try upcycling old furniture!  Add some extra style to your classroom in 5 simple steps...

#1 - Find Old Furniture...
Check out your basement, attic, roadside, yard sales, Craigslist...  Look for something sturdy.  I used an old coffee table we inherited a couple years ago. It had sentimental value, but was stained and worn.
#2 - Sand...
Using fine or extra fine sandpaper, smooth down all the surfaces.
I had my two little helpers with me. :-)
#3 - Vacuum & Wash...
Suck up all the dust from your sanding. Then wash it with a damp cloth or sponge and wait until it's totally dry.  It's amazing how much dust was still on the table - even after vacuuming....
#4 - Paint...
Select a semi-gloss in a fantastic color for your classroom.
I picked Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover in black since it makes all the other colors in my classroom "pop".  Plus, black will go with just about anything and doesn't show much dirt. (A very important consideration in any classroom!)
#5 - Admire!
Enjoy your handiwork and find that perfect place in your class for your new upcycled furniture! I added some chair cushions, a cute lava lamp, and - voila! A cozy writing nook!
Warm thanks to Laura Ellison from Will Grade for Coffee for the Pinspiration for this project. :-)
You can check out full pics of her classroom right here.

What upcycling ideas do you have for your classroom?
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Brownies, Blue Moons, & Bruises...

summer is dwindling
planbooks, packets, post-its call
first day jitters start

Okay...there is my 5 second back to school haiku - ha!  I have no business writing a blog post with my mountainous to-do list looming, but I'm calling it a "break brain" - so let's just go with that! Summer is indeed dwindling away and the sun is setting sooner and sooner now....  We've been trying to cram some vacationy things in before my gals and I all have to go back in just 11 days. (I think Mr. Allen may be the teeniest bit happy to see us go and have the house to himself for a few hours each week with our youngest in Nursery School this year.)'s a very brief recap of our adventures this week.
#1 - Seabreeze Amusement Park
My daughters have been singing their theme song since last MAY, so we just had to take them. I caught them holding hands a few times...aww... 
That was mere moments before my infamous Whac-A-Mole injury. Bent my thumb back - yikes!

#2 - Mr. Allen's Birthday Brownies
Paul likes his birthdays low-key (or "no-key" as he said), but craved the brownies he used to get as a child from Harrison Bakery. So we made a special trip. :-)

#3 - Blue Moon
I know it's not really blue, but it was bright and beautiful that night. Dragged my girls all over the house to see it, but the photo I took was less than stellar.  HA!
Eh - gave me an excuse to fancy it up with that Beautiful Mess house border I've been wondering how to use.

#4 - "Show What You Know" Parking Lot 
After some Instagram Inspiration (and my desire to try out washi tape!), I made my own post-it spot for my students this year. I'll have them "reserve" a spot (write their name in the square) so I can do periodic check-ins. (Post-it donation requests are going in the newsletter this year.....)

#5 - Back-to-School Shopping
Took my daughters shopping last night for sneakers and a few fall clothes. Thank goodness I had my Mom as back-up 'cause those gals can be a handful in a dressing room. My 6 year-old insisted on grown-up lace shoes. She's right, but we'd better start practicing or her first grade teacher is going to KILL me!!
The employees at Stride Rite deserve sainthood. My 4 year old accidentally kicked the poor guy in the face trying on some shoes and he was super gracious about it. Sigh....
SO....Mommy, Grandma, and gals needed a break after that!
Fresh guacamole made table-side at Cantina Laredo! 

So what adventures did you have this week?
Link up with Doodle Bugs to share !
Have a fantastic weekend!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back to School SALE!!

It's time for TpT's Annual Back to School SALE!  Save up to 28% on over 500,000 great products.
Just click on the picture above to check out my store. I'm sure you'll discover some fantastic deals!
Remember to enter promo code BTS13 at checkout!
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