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Monday, October 8, 2012

7 weeks in and exhausted...

This is now week 7 of the school year (day 36 for those of you who are actually counting), and I feel like a rookie all over again. I know I have been out of the game for a few years, but this Common Core should come easy. It is alot (almost identical) to what I did with PYP, but for some reason I am having a really difficult time making things work. I have scoured the interwebs and Pinterest trying to find ideas that will make my life easier. I know better than to reinvent the wheel. Why is it so hard to make things happen?? I feel like my schedule isn't working, and that everytime I turn around, my desk is a mess. I don't want to work all weekend ( I have a family, you know), but I find myself working crazy hours and staying late. Does anyone out there in the cyberworld have any tips or ideas?? Please Please Please Please share!!! Sincerely, The crazy teacher in Kindergarten

Friday, July 13, 2012

Back In Teaching Mode!

It's nice to be back in Teacher Mode. :) It has taken several weeks to get my brain back into it, since I have been out of teaching for 3 years!! (WOW!!) I got a job as a Kindergarten Teacher here in Indiana, and I am very excited!! I have been trying to get everything ready for my new class, and forgot how expensive it all is! So, I got to working on my My Memories Suite, and started creating!

This is only 1 of the several things I have created. As soon as I complete my stuff, I will load a couple of Freebies on my TpT store! Please share your thoughts below!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Purge!

So, this Summer, my hubby and I packed up the Offspring, and sent him to visit his grandparents in Florida. Yes, he is only 3, and we miss him like crazy, but it has given us a chance to purge! I am not just talking "throw away what I know he/we are not using," I am talking "Go through every closet, drawer, cabinet, toy box" type of purge! I have donated boxes of clothes and toys, moved toys down to the basement, organized office supplies, re arrange closet space...I have been a busy little bee. My biggest accomplishment, has been my recipe book(s). Our grocery store, always has little recipe ideas, and I always take them so I can try to make something new. Well, the stockpile of recipes was growing and growing. It was so bad, I didn't want to open the cabinet where I stuffed them all! This afternoon, I sat down and organized my mess!

This is the final product. I failed to take a picture of what the insanity looked like before, but it was not this well organized. I used a 2"-3" binder, some plastic sheet protectors--the regular ones, and the ones that are for Photo Albums), Dividers, an old fashion hole punch, scissors, time and patience.

I determined what my categories would be...
-Meats (Beef, Lamb, Veal, Pork, Sausage)
-Salads, Soups, and Sandwiches

I then went through each of my recipes, and see if they fit any of those categories. Once I separated my recipes, I started putting them in the binder. Now, sounds simple, right? WRONG!! It would be simple if all the recipes were 8 1/2 x 11, but THEY AREN'T! So, I had to use my hole punch, and make them fit in the binder. I had some that were from the back of the box, so those went into a sheet protector. The small "Recipe Card" sized ones fit perfectly in the Photo Sized Sheets.

THAT'S IT!! Recipes are's next??

This is the size that my recipes are...see? NOT 8/12x11...

A Ragu Sauce from my mom...Make due with what you got, and an envelope was what I had with me!

A dessert recipe from the back of the box...instead of fighting with the hole punch, just put it in a plastic sleeve!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brew Over Ice

I just received my "Brew Over Ice" Keurig from BzzAgent.

I am so excited to try it. I love ice tea and iced coffee, and I am absolutely sure this is going to save me some money from stopping at a high end coffee shop every morning! I will report back in the next couple of days (given the 100+ degrees outside, I won't be having anything HOT for a while). I have embedded a video of how easy this is!

Let's get brewing!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

SoBe--So Be Yourself!

Hello Summer! Yesterday was the beginning of the Summer Solstice. Of course, here in Indiana, it feels like it has been summer since May! They SoBe Lifewater has been a very refreshing way to get through the this heat. There are over 25 flavors to choose from! I have had the Mango Mandarin, Pomegranate Cherry, and the SoBe Lean Green Tea. So far, Mango Mandarin is my favorite! Drinking these, is like a drinking a tropical drink by the beach!

The "SoBe" (Short for South Beach) name pays homage to the vibrant Miami (my hometown) neighborhood. Living in Miami, I know how important it is to stay hydrated. You always try to find ways to stay hydrated that are beyond plain water. I remember the first SoBe Drinks with Ginseng, Guarana and other herbal ingredients. I drank it all the time! I am so glad they have come out with new flavors!

I took the Coconut water and mixed it with some frozen fruit, ran it through the blender, and made some fruit smoothie pops for my son and I. LOVED THEM!! There are 35 Calories, and only 8 grams of sugar. That's pretty good when trying to watch what he eats and drinks!

So Why the Lizard Logo? Relaxing in South Beach, a lizard on the side of a local hotel caught the eyes of the founders, and the logo came to be!

If you want to know more about SoBe drinks, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I was browsing Pinterest (I know, shocking), and came across a site for Calendar Notebooks/Binders. Little did I know how much more I would find! Ms. Meacham's Classroom Snapshots are amazing!! She has shared all her tried and true ideas with everything under the sun! I think I have found my new mentor!!
Please hop on over to her site and check it out. She is also on Pinterest. She is FULL OF IDEAS!!!

Just sharing....

Monday, June 18, 2012

Puffy Paint

I found this awesome Puffy Paint idea on Pinterest (of course). I have every intention of doing this the first week of school! When it dries, it feels gritty and hard, so it is good for teaching letters by touch. This is a great way to work on Colors/Letter/Numbers...etc. It makes for a great center. Hop on over and check it out!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Boy With Pink Hair

So...The Boy With Pink Hair arrived a few days ago (THANKS MOM!!), and I believe I was more excited about reading this, than Peanut--of course, he is only 2.

I bought this book for 2 reasons: 1) Perez Hilton is from my hometown, (and 2) I believe it is never too soon to teach children about acceptance and tolerance.

My thoughts...
Well, I was blown away. I was not a fan of Perez Hilton up until I read an interview about this book. I said to myself "well, why not give him a shot. No harm, no foul." Glad I did! Right off the bat you know he is paying homage to Lady Gaga's Born This Way. As we read about the Boy With Pink Hair, and the Girl with the Ponytail, I was transported back to a time when classmates of my own were made fun of for being different, or looking different. I knew that I didn't want my Peanut to grow up in a world where "kids are cruel" and are not taught any better. I only wish this book would have been around when we were kids.

This is a great book to teach tolerance and acceptance. This boy doesn't care what others think, and his parents support him no matter what.

Bottom line...I LOVED THE BOOK! I think every teacher/educator/parent should have this book in their collection. This book teaches tolerance, acceptance, and that every child is special and different in their own way!

So...thank you Perez Hilton--you have a new fan!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Happy New Year"

So a school year is coming to a close. To most teachers (and mommies) this means the end of a year. If any of you are like me, your calendar/year runs from August-June. July is usually a blur of Summer!

This End Of School Year is a little harder for me, emotionally. My first class ever is graduating and moving to High School. (I have been an emotional roller coaster all day!!) I am also ending a 3 week substituting "gig" with a 2nd grade class. Although I did not have them all year, I am sad to see them go. I became very attached to them in a very short time. (Imagine had they been with me all year...YIKES!!) They remind me a lot of my first group, which is probably why I am sad to see them move on.

As we all know, every year must come to an end, and every group must move to its new adventure. It's still hard!!! all the "graduates" moving to High School, High School Seniors graduating and moving to college, and college graduates getting ready to embark on "the real world"--HAVE A WONDERFUL SUMMER!!

I am ready to do it all again "Next Year"

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I Love Disney! I was so excited when Disney Jr was brought to our cable network! My son, husband and I wake up every morning and watch Disney Jr as we get dressed, and eat breakfast. If we don't watch it in the morning, we watch while dinner is being made (so that a little person is not wandering in the kitchen while the stove is on). Sometimes it is background noise while my son colors, or plays puzzles, other times he is completely enthralled with what is on. His particular favorites are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins.

Well, guess what?? As Alice Cooper once said: "School's Out for Summer!" What on earth am I going to do to keep my 3 year old busy??!! And here comes Disney Jr to the rescue! Teachers out there (and parents as well) remember the book Flat Stanley? Well, here is the chance for your child to take a Disney character on a Summer Adventure.

Visit the Disney Jr Yo Ho, Let's Go! Summer website, and print your child's favorite character. Have them color the character, and help them cut it out. Then...let the fun begin!

If your children are older, have them keep a journal daily of the character's "adventure." Perhaps they can share it at school on the first week back. This is also a great way to help them recall what they did over the summer! If your children are younger, have them pose, with the character at different places you visit! With today's day of camera phones, and digital cameras, you could probably make a scrapbook full of their entire summer; picture of the day...etc. Have fun and get creative!!

Speaking of technology, if you need something to keep them busy on those long car may want to consider downloading the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally and Jake and the Neverland Pirates Appisodes. These are interactive episodes that lets your child be part of the episode! Download and have fun!

Enjoy your Summer!!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten: Extreme Make Over {Classroom Edition} NEW STUFF!:

Check out her freebie!! Someone already got to work on next year's classroom! Read her refreshing ideas and share!!! Click on her name below to access your freebie!!

 She always has cute ideas and lots of pictures! If you don't follow her already, then head on over....tell her I sent you :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Math-n-spire: Math Notebook {Notes}

Math-n-spire: Math Notebook {Notes}: After my post on Integers , I received a few emails and comments asking for more pictures on the "math notebook". So I've put together a ste...

Monday, May 7, 2012

OXO Food Scale giveaway!!

Enter to win a 5lb Food Scale from OXO! If you look through your kitchen utility drawer, you may have noticed that most of your products might just be by a specific brand...OXO to be exact. You may not have ever noticed, but since 1990, OXO has seeped its way into our homes. From peelers, to tongs, to salad spinners, OXO has always paid close attention to detail, and making their products better. I had a chance to try the OXO 5lb Food Scale recently.
I had never used a Food Scale before, but I have read and heard over the years how useful they really are. A digital food scale is great to help with creating healthy eating portions, to helping you calculate caloric intake. (if you know how much food you are intaking, you can calculate how many calories you are eating).
This scale offers you a way to "zero out" your dish/container. You place the empty dish/container on the scale and press the "Zero" button. This will now not take into account the weight of the dish when you add the food. GENIUS!!! NO MORE GUESSING!!!!!
By far one of the easiest scales ever! Push a button, and done. The scale does the work for you. Did I mention it has a Pull-Out Display?? So much easier to read. No more guessing! My family and I have really enjoyed using the kitchen scale. It has definitely made us much more conscious of how much we eat.
So now here is the fun part..... One lucky reader will win the very scale shown above. To enter the OXO Food Scale Giveaway simply follow the entries below. 4 of them are mandatory. a Rafflecopter giveaway Full disclosure: I received my 5lb Scale and the scale to give away from OXO for free, as part of their blogger outreach program. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

From Diet to NEXT

And so my initial thought...MORE DIET SODA?!?! Sheesh...let's not mess with perfection! Well...Pepsi NEXT surprised me! I received my BzzAgent package while I was traveling, so I was excited to see my package waiting for me on the kitchen table when I returned. This is what I found...
Lucky for me, we already drink Pepsi in our we got to do a real "COMPARISON" of the product.
We tasted all 3 Pepsi products, and reached the final conclusions...Pepsi NEXT tastes better ice cold, and it tastes as if Pepsi and Diet Pepsi came together in one glass. There is just enough sweetness, like regular Pepsi, however, it tastes more like a Diet Pepsi (which works for me because I drink Diet Pepsi). Well done, Pepsi...Well Done!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BzzAgent Opportunity

Check it out! Here is a chance to try Gucci's new Flora Fragrance. Join me now as a BzzAgent! If you qualify, you will be sent some samples for you to keep and some to share! Signing up is easy... Just click this link, create a BzzAgent profile, and VIOLA!! DONE! This is open to new BzzAgents only. If you already a BzzAgent, the link will not work!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Expert?!?!

So today on Facebook, my friend posted a pic of a delicious beefaroni she made using her Slow Cooker. I commented on how much I loved my Slow Cooker, and I would send her some recipes. Little did I know it would turn into quite an extensive conversation. I am no expert, but I love my slow cooker. I think it is one of the 5 most essential items in my kitchen. With a slow cooker, dinner can always be ready (with a little planning). So here is what I shared with her: All-Clad has one of the best, however it is more expensive. Oval-shaped is better than round (circle) especially if you freeze food ahead of time. We have been buying our meats in bulk. I marinate the meats, and most of the vegetables in a zip-top plastic freezer bag. When I am ready to cook it, I dump it all in the Slow Cooker, add about a cup of water or chicken stock, cover the slow cooker, and walk away. I also recommended one with an insert that is easily removable for cleaning ;) Here is a link to some "Florida Fusion" recipes found on the All-Clad website. Pretty Simple! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012



My friend Bela ByLu is having a contest this week!!!

Here are the rules for our their Giveaway:

1- Post in your Facebook status about this giveaway and comment on their Facebook (Click on the link above) that you had done that.
2- Refer a friend to them and let them know you did and double your chance to win it.
They will use a website to random pick one winner.

The Winner will choose 1 of those 3 Bracelets on the picture below.
Good luck to everyone!!!!

Please make sure you leave a comment below when you register!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

From Sweet Nothings....

My friend over at Sweet Nothings Designs just visited my favorite place in the world...Walt Disney World...with her beautiful family. Here is what she created!!

In my head, I try to be crafty---but the reality is---I am not. However, I have decided to tap into my sources and see what I can come up with for my Offspring and Better Half. the next few weeks, I am going to attempt (attempt is the operative word) to get crafty and creative!!



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Free Eucerin Sample!!

I, for one, suffer from dry, itchy skin! I saw this free sample, and decided...let's give it a try!!
Don't miss out on your change to make the pledge for healthy skin!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lessons from Abuela

Below is a post I wrote after my grandmother passed away. Today February 29, 2012 is the anniversary of her death. She lived life to the fullest, and was a special, and unique person. Her passing on Leap Day means more--because it was a day as unique as her.

Abuela was my hero. She taught me everything I know; how to be a friend, how to live life and even how to set a table for a formal dinner. She lived life to the fullest extent and until she took her final breath. She passed on Friday February 29, 2008 with her family and those closest to her around her. She passed on a day as unique as her-Leap Day. She stuck her tounge out at me one last time as she always did when I passed by her room as a way of saying I LOVE YOU, and then drew her final breath. It has been hard to let go of someone I love so much. She wanted a party, and that is what we gave her. We celebrated her life this past weekend and lost family and friends were reunited and swore to never part ways again.

It is hard to sit here and type this without sheding tears, but she's probably looking down at me and sticking her tounge out at me because I shouldn't be crying, I should be smiling--she passed on her terms and when SHE was ready. We can only wish that we could do the same.

Abuela taught me the values of family dinner around the table or kitchen counter--time spent with your family is the most important time of all. She taught me that it was okay to eat off paper plates every now and then, but "let's humor my mother and eat off regular plates." She loved all my friends as if they were her own grandchildren. She was my confidant. I could go to her and tell her my problems and she would listen and let me solve them on my own, but never complained that I vented to her. I would lay in her bed and watch TV with her as she sat on her chair. We would fall asleep watching Golf and NASCAR, but she always knew what was happening. She lived life to the fullest!

As she passed on Friday the smile remained on her face--the smile that I will always remember. I know she is sitting in heaven with Abuela Isa (Alyna's grandmother-who was as fiesty and energetic as her) and Titi (Jackie's grandmother) and they are looking down on us smiling at the fact that they did a good job.

Abuela you will be missed, but your values and passion for life will live on with us. We miss you and we will always think of you. We know you will be watching down on us when we need you. I am just happy you made it to see me be a bride--I know it was your happiest day ever!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Read Across America-Target

Tomorrow February 25, 2012 Target Stores across America will be hosting "Read Across America" from 9AM-11AM. There will be a live reading of The Lorax, free goodie bags, and activities!!

Let's remember Dr. Seuss, and Read! READ! READ!!!

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere."
Dr. Seuss

Monday, February 20, 2012

SneekPeeq Freebie with FREE SHIPPING!!

Get it while it's hot!!!

HURRY UP! This offer will be gone before you know it!!
Head on over to Sneak Peeq to get your FREE Scarf with FREE Shipping! All you have to do is sign up, which is easily done through facebook and then fill out your information and it will be on its way!

If you do not see the scarf in your cart when you login to Sneak Peeq, go to your badges and click "spring fling" and that will add it to your cart!

This offer is for new Sneek Peeq members

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A teacher's worth

The value of teachers article was posted on Facebook by a fellow teacher today.

Interesting enough, I was just ranting about how under appreciated teachers really are. People laugh or giggle when I tell them "I am a teacher". And I hear "Oh how nice to have summers off!" "How easy! Get paid to hang out with kids and make sure they are doing what they have to" (these are my 2 personal favorites)

Summer's Off???! Really??? Did you know I spend my Summers in intensive Master's Level Courses prepping for the following school year? Did you know that I spend my Summer's preparing lesson plans so that YOUR CHILD will get the most out of the time he/she is with me? Or maybe you knew that I spend my Summers working a 2nd job so that I can supplement my very *Crappy* income?! Bottom line people: WE DON'T GET SUMMERS OFF!!!! BEING A TEACHER IS NOT EASY!!!!!!

"Teacher" is the basic title, but what it entails is so much more. I am a nurse when your child gets a paper cut or falls on the playground. I am the mediator between Johnny and Maria when they can't share the green crayon in the Art Center. I am the comfort to Bobbie when her mommy leaves her at school, and she really misses her mommy. I am a confidant to the student who's parents are separating, and that student is between houses. I am the psychologist to the parents of the student who are separating, and giving them the best advice for their child. (Get the picture??)

The "Teacher" title is not just is earned. Parents, appreciate your child's teacher. Take the moment to say "thank you." Send them an email or a note saying you appreciate them. It reminds us why we do what we do.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Few Bad Apples...

Because of a few bad apples who are Dishonest and (dare I say it) EXTREME COUPONERS....I was unable to complete a BzzAgent Campaign today.

As part of BzzAgent, I had received a coupon for a free 11x14 Canvas print that expires on Jan 17, 2012. I found a beautiful picture from my friend's wedding that I edited, and uploaded it to a jump drive to take to the store...since I cannot order it online.

I was very disappointed when I went to Meijers today and was told that I could no longer use my coupon. They were very nice, and offered me a 50% off coupon for something else, but it was very disappointing...especially because my coupon had not expired! They said it was due to others who abused this wonderful opportunity and were honest costumers! Part of what we pledge as BZZAGENTS is to be honest, and fair. I was very sad. THis is of no fault of Meijer's or BzzAgent. I wish BzzAgent would have sent an email to let us know that this was happening. According to the clerk, it was over 3 weeks that they had not been taking the coupon. So sad that others went and ruined it!!

I guess I should have taken an old picture, that I wasn't in love with, and gone to Meijer's earlier to take advantage.

There should be a way that you can limit the number of times you print the coupon that was sent. Or, there should have been an actual printed coupon mailed to the BzzAgents who were part of the campaign. From the looks of it, I was not the only disappointed Agent out there.
I am sorry to those who went through the embarrassment like I did.

I am still very happy with BzzAgent and the opportunities they have given me to try new products, but...this was an Epic Fail!! Sorry!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clean and Fresh Laundry!!

So it's Jan 2, and in my culture, it is bad luck to do laundry on Jan means you are going to wash away all the good that is coming for the year. So you do laundry on Dec 31st, to wash away all the bad, and make sure you have clean laundry for the coming year. If you can't get to your laundry on December 31st, you wait until January 2nd. So...we did most of our laundry December 31st, and finished today. The last few loads, I switched from another brand to Purex Triple Action for High Efficiency washers.

I was very excited to try something new, since I was "stuck in a rut" with my old detergent. I was hesitant to change, due to sensitive skin and all, but I said "why not!?" So we gave it a shot. We definitely have loved the clean smell of our sheets and clothes. But I have enjoyed the softness in my t-shirts most of all. They are not scratchy and feel great. My son gives his clothes a run for their money, but all his clothes look good as new now! The only small thing I have noticed, is the "detergent marker" on the lid is not very easy to see, so it can be difficult to measure the amount of detergent you need. Purex Laundry Detergent has been great, and the price is within our budget.

So, thanks to Purex, I am going to run a contest from now until January 15, 2012 for a free bottle of Purex Triple Action for High Efficiency Washers. To enter this "fun contest" you must:
--Leave a comment about your "wanting" to change detergents (1 entry--mandatory)
**Additional Entries:**
--Follow me on Twitter and retweet contest, and comment here with your Twitter handle (@Twittername)--1 entry
--Follow my blog, and comment with your name (1 entry)
(I am still working on Facebook page)

I look forward to hearing from you!!!

**Purex provided a free sample of their Triple Action Laundry detergent so I could write a review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own!"**

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Versatile Syrup = Heaven

Thanks to, and the blogging community, my family and I were given a chance to try some of the Torani syrups. Can I tell you how delicious these recipes are?? Not to mention how many sugar-free flavors they offer!

Now, don't get me wrong...on a cold, winter's day, it is so easy to stop at get a Peppermint flavored coffee at a high-end coffee shop. But, but there is a huge satisfaction in making it yourself. Not to mention, you know how much syrup is going into your morning coffee. ;) In the time it takes me to pack lunches, and put coats on, my Peppermint coffee is ready to go. I also decided to use the syrup in my hot chocolate a few nights ago...DELICIOUSNESS!!! The latest use for my Peppermint syrup--Chocolate Covered Peppermint Oreo Balls. **RECIPE ALERT!!!**

Morning Coffee--this is a given for this sugar-free syrup. But now I am going to make some brownies and cookies with this syrup to see how it works. ;)

The syrups have proven perfectly delicious and very versatile. I know for a fact that these will be a staple in our home, and gift for our baking and coffee drinking friends!