Monday, June 10, 2013

Chevron for the classroom

Let's just say my classroom needs a little updating for next year. And with moving classrooms, this summer is the perfect time to do some re-decorating. I am totally diggin' the whole chevron thing right now (maybe a little too much), and after making a trip to the fabric store, decided to go with grey chevron and a sky-blueish color scheme(kind of goes with the sky blue & lime green decor I already have). I bought several yards of the chevron fabric and a few of the blue polka dot (pictured below) to make chair pockets with. Remember my trial run found here?

This weekend at a garage sale, I picked up this mini stool for $2. It needed a paint job, but had some potential. I touched up the legs with white spray paint and then made a chevron pattern with painters tape. I spray painted the seat with blue, then removed the tape & painted those parts yellow. MUCH cuter! My students will use this when sharing their writing or for sitting on during independent reading. 

Last but not least, I saw a similar canvas with initial letter on Pinterest and headed to Hobby Lobby for supplies. I started by choosing a coordinating blue for the letter (my future last name initial!) and then chose a gray to make a chevron pattern with the white background of the canvas. Then, I decided it was a little drab and outlined the pattern in yellow to match my stool. After it dried, I hot glued the letter to the canvas. This will go on a shelf behind my desk (should I wait til October when it's actually my initial?)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Paleo Week 1

So, it happened. I joined the Paleo craze. So far I am loving it! I printed out this poster and it now hangs proudly on my fridge. Basically, you eat like the cavemen did: protein (meat, fish, eggs), veggies, healthy fats (oil, seeds, nuts) and a little fruit. You DON'T consume: processed foods, beans, grains, alcohol, etc. 

In my first week, I really didn't crave or miss anything like I thought I would. Towards the end of the school year, I got on a big junk food kick: candy, treats & ice cream parties on the reg. at school, what was a girl to do! I would come home exhausted and reach for the first thing to fill my belly (usually something that came in a package & was totally unhealthy). 

Here is the rundown of my first week. I can't say I didn't cheat a little, but I am feeling healthier and more energized already:

Day 1: This was our closing day at school for teachers, so I was super-busy & had to eat on the run. A lot. 
Breakfast: small apple, egg & sausage off of a McDonald's breakfast sandwich
Lunch: Subway salad with turkey, lettuce, tomato, onion, green peppers & italian dressing (I've been letting dressings be my cheat...they can't be that bad, right?)
Dinner: Although I had planned to go to the grocery & had this huge list of Paleo-friendly items, it starting storming and pouring down rain on my way. Who wants to carry in groceries in the middle of a downpour? So I went to Qdoba instead & got their Naked salad with grilled chicken. Yummm!
Snacks: almonds & grapes

Day 2: 
Breakfast: 1/2 grapefruit, almonds (busy morning + no groceries)
Lunch: taco salad (made this a-mazing taco meat in the crockpot with ground beef, taco seasoning & Ro-tel) on top of lettuce with avacado, mexican corn & tomatoes (and ranch oops)
Dinner: Taco salad (it was so good I had to go back for seconds)
Snacks: raisins Monkey Salad, grapes

Day 3:
Breakfast: mini Larabar (who knew these were Paleo-friendly?), grapes
Lunch: chicken, lettuce, salsa, fruit (we had a going away party for someone at work and it was surprisingly easy to make good choices)
Dinner: Taco salad
Snacks: raisins

Day 4: 
Breakfast: Southwest eggbeaters & grapes
Lunch: Wendy's small berry almond chicken salad
Dinner: Taco meat, mexican corn & 1/2 avacado
Snacks: almonds, grapes, Lara bar

Day 5: 
Breakfast: southwest eggbeaters, banana sliced with honey drizzled on top
Lunch: Strawberries & almonds with honey on top, Lara Bar
Dinner: Lexingtonian salad at Drake's restaurant (lettuce, tomato, bacon, vinaigrette)
Snacks: raisins, almonds, chips & queso (BOO!)

Day 6: 
Breakfast: banana, Lara bar
Lunch: Salad, grilled chicken breast & green beans from restaurant
Dinner: Mermaids salad (greens, chicken, eggs, bacon, pecans, vinaigrette...whoa protein and delish!)
Snacks: raisins, glass of wine (whoops, social obligation)

Day 7:
Breakfast: Egg & sausage from breakfast sandwich at gas station
Lunch: chicken burger from Trader Joe's topped w/ avacado (these are awesome!) & salad (see picture below

Dinner: Turkey slices & roasted squash & zucchini with barnyard rub seasoning

Snacks: dark chocolate- covered raisins from Trader Joe's (cheater), grapes

Thrifty Teacher Finds

This weekend, I had some awesome garage sale finds for $.50- $1.00 each!

The first thing I found is this collection of mostly brand new educational games. And of course, I have already post-it labeled what I plan to use them for (so I don't forget haha)! 
1. Sight word game- erasable boards with different sight word families at the top. Students have to find the matching word tiles and then write the word with dry-erase marker. This could be used in small groups or as a center.
2. Scrabble cards- could be used for any word work center or game to make words.
3. Counting bears activity set- I just LOVE these bear manipulatives and so glad to get my hands on another set. We just had a PD training about the importance of number sense and addition in first grade. I thought this would be a great resource for students who are in the stage of counting collections and then adding them together. You could differentiate by covering one or both of the addends and it also reinforces that a number stands for a collection that can be added onto. The possibilities for these little guys are endless!
4. My first number pairs card game- so I know that this is targeted for pre-school, but thought it would be good for small group intervention or a center. You could  have kids first find the number and collection picture that matches it, then find the other pair and add them together to solve an addition problem.
 This might be my absolute favorite find! Brand new, never opened Dr. Seuss game treasury. I haven't explored all the games yet, but there is an alphabet game that will fit nicely with our first Reading unit: Alphabet Books and Children Who Read Them. Now, if we can just keep all the pieces together....

Kindergarten & First Grade Activity Books- I can use these to pull resources for homework, morning work, extra resources worksheets, etc. There are lots of great activities in here!

Where do you find bargains for the classroom?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Bucket List Linky

This linky is all about what teachers want to *get done* over summer. It seems like everyday I'm adding something to that "I'll do that when Summer Break starts..." list. Here are some of my top to-do's?

1. Wedding planning
Hopefully one summer mode kicks in I'll have more time to get down to the details of my Fall wedding. My wedding Pin board has been put on the back burner for too long!

2. Go on vacation... we are heading to the beach 4th of July weekend for a little fun & relaxation.

3. Classroom updates

There are some things I've been dying to get done in my classroom. I'm that teacher who, with 3 days left in the school year, is already doing some mad planning for next year!

4. Pick out things for our new house

It should be done by October (fingers crossed), so we need to be doing a lot of shopping and planning over the summer.

5. Complete the Whole 30+ Challenge

I have really been wanting to try the Paleo lifestyle... my eating and energy level lately has been not so good. Hopefully the start of Summer will re-energize. Which brings me to...

6. Get into an exercise routine. My after-school gym trips have been not-so-frequent as of late. I have good intentions, but after a long day sometimes it just ain't happenin'.

Wedding arms?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

DIY chair re-upholstery and chair- back pockets for the classroom

I recently got a sewing machine and FINALLY got around to some projects I've been dying to do today! 

My first project was a re-do for my dining room chairs. We've decided to wait on getting a new dining room set for our new house, so these babies needed a little fixing up. This adorbs chevron fabric came from Hobby Lobby (20% off sale this weekend!)

What you need:
  • 1 1/2 yards of duck or home decor fabric (I covered 4 chairs). Measure the area to be covered & add 5 inches to the length & to the width to see how much you will need.
  • pliers
  • staple gun
  • staples

First, I ripped off the old fabric with pliers. 

Then, I placed the cut-out fabric face down and placed the seat face-down on top of it.

Using a staple gun, I stretched the fabric around and stapled away. So simple!

Another thing that I've been wanting to do is make chair-back pockets for my students next year. The ones from teacher stores are so expensive, and not as cute. Plus, I just wanted an excuse to try out my new sewing machine. This project turned out to be so quick and simple! 

I also picked up some gray chevron fabric (regular cotton this time) at Hobby Lobby and just got a yard to see if I could make two out of it. All of the tutorials I've seen online call for so much fabric! After measuring the back of a chair and cutting the fabric, I decided I would have to use a different fabric for the front pocket if I wanted to fit two pockets from 1 yard of fabric. Lucky me, I had some leftovers from the chair seat project!!!

First, I folded the fabric in half (I wanted it doubled) and cut the width about 18 inches for each pocket. Then, I ironed the fabric and sewed up all the sides to make them back-to-back. One side was folded, so I didn't have to sew that side. 

Then, I folded back about 3 inches from the top and sewed the sides so that it would hang on a chair. 
Next, I cut out a rectangle of the other fabric and pinned it onto the bottom front of my creation. Finally, I sewed the 2 sides and bottom to create a pocket. 

 Love it!!! 

I am so pumped for my firsties to use these for their books next year!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

End of School Year Memory Book

Happy Testing to us this week! As school winds down for the year, I am always looking for activities to engage students who are mentally "on summer break" already. I created this Memory Book on TPT that can be customized for your grade level. Click HERE to check it out!

Welcome Sadie & Ballin' on a Budget (classroom-style)

So this is what B said to his mom on Mother's Day..."Brittany's gonna be a mom too". He failed to mention the puppy mom part. But it's TRUE....Sadie Mae will be ready to come home in 5 short days :)

Like any new mom, I figure I better be prepared...

Wait, I have to put this together???

We are ready to welcome the princess!

On a different note, I will be switching from teaching 3rd to 1st grade next year, which means a whole new classroom (aka opportunity to buy lots of stuff for my new kiddos!)

Since I am always ballin' on a budget, I decided to hit up the Dollar Tree first. They have some awesome teacher finds y'all: 

I am planning to decorate in lime green, tealish blue, and black and white (I'm thinkin' lots of chalkboard paint).  The zebra alphabet border has cute green polka dot at the top. I also scored some lined dry-erase boards and magnetic letters for word work, a post-it/ paperclip organizer for my desk, birthday certificates, and these adorable nametags and sentence strips (I laminated & used them for desk nametags this year, or could use them for word wall words under the alphabet letters). 

Also, this is off-topic but how cute is this meal planner from the Target Dollar spot?

I have an obsession with children's books, and love finding them for a good deal. All of these came from various yard sales last weekend. Love it! I'm planning to organize my library in 3 levels by Lexile next year, so already getting a head start.

Love the Dr. Seuss collection I scored for 10 cents each!

Also got this awesome tote to carry them all in for $3.

Where do you bargain hunt?

Happenings Lately

Last weekend, I was reunited with some college besties for the derby. Despite the rain, it was 10 kinds of fun. My girl Kitty hostessed a brunch and we had plenty of mimosas, photo ops and people watching goin on'. Loving my Marley Lilly hat!
KY Derby Love 
So I kind of have an obsession with long dresses lately. I bought this along with 2 more hi-low dresses at Target this weekend.

Decided to cuten-up the furniture I bought recently at a garage sale and actually put it to use before I refinish it for our future home. It actually turned out quite nice.

Mother's Day 2013

We spent this Mother's Day at a brunch with B's family. 

Blake and his Mimi.

My future mother-in-law.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Catching Up & Garage Sale Finds

Food journaling:

Frozen strawberries, light vanilla yogurt, almond milk, banana & Splenda...
mix it up in the Ninja...

...yummy healthy smoothie

Breakfast: omelette with egg beaters, spinach, feta & tomato plus sliced banana

Mexi salad: iceburg lettuce, black beans, mexican corn, grilled chicken, salsa & sour cream delish!
Wear to work this week:

This is my favorite find of the day...cute reddish cabinet for $7 & picture fame for $1. Goes with my decor already :)

This one was a bit of a bigger purchase. We weren't really looking to buy any furniture right now (my apartment is itty bitty and already full of stuff for our new house) BUT when I saw this cute hutch it had DIY project written all over it. At $40 for a 2-piece set it was too precious to pass up...

 ....and it came with this darling little collapsable buffet. 

We crammed the furniture into my dining room, as you can see, until we figure out what to do with it. I'm thinking a pottery barn- white finish on the part that is now yellowish and add decorative knobs. This will be so perfect to display my new wedding registry dishes!