Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Classroom Reveal!!

I've come to the end of my summer break! (So sad!) And I have to say....I don't think I've worked so hard over a summer, ever. I've been up at school working in my room nearly 3 times every week and every day this past week. I've worked many long hours in my room. Especially this past week. The earliest I left school this past week was 8:00 p.m.!

With all these long hours, I can finally say my classroom is ready for the parents and kiddos today for orientation! Yippee! 

So, here you's a look at the hard work I did over the summer!

The view of my room right when you walk in...

The view from the classroom library corner....

The view from my desk...

The view from the corner with the tv...

Some of my wall decorations...

I've still got several more things I've got to work on this week before Thursday, such as labeling all my book bins, labeling various items with the kids names/numbers on them, and running off papers for the first week of school. But I'm so happy with the way my room has turned out! I've truly been blessed.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Last Week of Summer

That's right, you read my title right....this is my last week of summer! This time next week I'll have already meet my students and their parents at orientation! Then, I'll have a few days of meetings and in-service, and next thing you know--it's the first day of school! I must say, this summer has gone by incredibly fast. I've spent a lot of time up at school, working on my classroom and preparing my lessons. I just can't believe I've only got a little over a week before it's time to get back to school!

I'll be finishing preparing my classroom for school all week, and I'll be sharing pictures of my classroom later!

Friday, July 20, 2012


This is my second year to be coaching volleyball. Last year I started out coaching the 7th grade middle school team at Madison Academy and this year I got to move up with my same girls and coach them again in 8th grade.

I've had so much fun coaching these sweet girls! I definitely learned a lot last year. It was great to be back around the game other than a pick up game here and there. I did find that coaching is very different from playing! I had a lot to learn in how to balance the team dynamics, pulling out the best in my players, and inspiring them to do well. As well as all the fun administrative things coaches take care of that I took for granted as a player.

Coaching volleyball is such a blessing and I'm so happy I get to do the things I love!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Classroom Sneak Peek

I've been spending a lot of time in my classroom lately. I've got 3 WEEKS to get it in tip top shape! Deep breaths.....

Here's a few items that I've been working on! 

I've been collecting books from anyone who was willing to give them to me! I had some myself, at the end of the year I was given 2 boxes from an old 5th grade teacher, and I had another friend from college give me 4 big boxes of books she used when she taught 5th grade! Plus several other people that have given me books here and there.

Here's my attempt at organizing them. Yikes! I know. It's been a couple days since I've taken this picture and I'm still working on organizing them....

Here's a look at my classroom library. I found the bins at Dollar General. The chair is one that I had when I was a teenager and have had it in storage for years. The run came from Old Time Pottery.  My Mom is working on making a cute little curtain for the window.
I'm going for a bright and colorful look! I'm not nearly finished with it, but it's starting to take shape!

I also got these adorable chalkboard clothespin labels for my class! I'm planning on using these to display student work in the hallway!

This bunting banner was one of my first purchases after I found out I'd be teaching this year. I don't really have a "theme" for my class, except bright and colorful inspired by this design.

Here I've got my cursive alphabet above my white boards. (Cursive should be interesting because I don't write in cursive....ever! I print everything!) And my bunting banner is hanging off the top of my whiteboard to give it some color at the front of the room!

Here you can see an example of some more colorful parts of my classroom. Each kid has a lunch card with their lunch number. When they buy a school lunch they hand their card to the lunch lady to scan. I found the "lunch cards" letters at the Dollar Tree, and the pockets are the same design as my bunting banner. I'm also considering putting a boarder up around this sign....I haven't decided yet.

I'm also planning on using the pockets for my classroom jobs.

As you can see, my classroom is beginning to take shape! All the furniture is in place and I'm beginning to hang things on the walls! I've still got a lot of work to do in my classroom library as well as getting other items ready to hang on the walls, and don't forget bulletin boards! 

My lesson planning is beginning to come together and I'm starting to feel better about them.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Let me just say....these Philly Cheesesteak Peppers are awesome! These were a great alternative to a regular Philly cheesesteak, and not something I'd normally cook. But, I have a feeling these will make it in the rotation from now on! I found the recipe from Peace, Love, and Low Carb, and changed it up just a little bit.

Here's what you'll need:
2 green peppers
8 oz. roast beef (I used the 'Carving Board' roast beef that can be found with sandwich meats)
1/2 onion (chopped)
6 oz. baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
1 1/3 cups Monterey Jack cheese
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Sauté your chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, and minced garlic over medium heat in your butter and olive oil. Sauté until they are nice and caramelized.

While you are sautéing your veggies, take your green peppers and cut them in half, lengthwise. Then remove the ribs all the seeds inside.

Take your roast beef, cut into smaller pieces and add to the onion, mushroom, and garlic mixture. Cook for about 5-10 minutes.

Take your peppers and line the inside of them with some of your cheese. Then, fill your peppers with your meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing. Top with additional cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Southwestern Chicken

I made this recipe the other night and I felt like it was a success. I asked Charlie if it was good enough to post on my blog and he agreed that it was!

Here's what you'll need for southwest chicken. This recipe is an adaption from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

1 cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper (or green - if you choose), diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheese
sour cream, for topping

Cooking instructions:

I cooked my rice in a rice cooker that Charlie had from before we were married. But you can cook your rice by following the instructions from the back of the bag.

While your chicken is cooking, cut up your onion and red pepper. 

Here's where it gets really easy.....after the chicken is cooked, dump everything but the rice in the pan and mix. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes until the cheese melts.

Add a serving of rice to your plate and top it with the chicken mixture. Add a dollop of sour cream for a topping!

There ya go! This recipe was tasty and overall pretty healthy!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I hope y'all are having a safe and happy 4th! I thought I'd share this patriotic video I saw a couple of days ago.

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I'll try to do better in the month of July!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Work Has Begun!

Yikes! I don't know about you, but summer is flying by for me! I'm only a few weeks in, but so far I've been so busy that I haven't had a chance to do much blogging!

I've finally been able to get into my classroom and begin to get down to business! When I walked into school check out what I saw on the front name! :)

Here's the before shots:

This is what my room looked like right when you walked in the door.

This is the corner of the room directly in front of the door.

This is the corner diagonal from the door. (Where you see the bookshelves in the first picture.)

As you can see I've got A LOT of work that needs to be done. I've already changed just about everything you see in the set up in the before pictures. I haven't put anything up on the walls yet, but all the furniture has been changed up. But, I want to wait until I get the finished look to reveal the after pictures of my classroom! :)

Other than being in my classroom most days, I've been busy lesson planning and running volleyball practices! (And trying to enjoy my last few days of freedom!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

DIY Curling Iron to Curling Wand

I recently discovered how wonderful a curling wand is! You might be wondering....what's the difference between a curling iron and a curling wand? A curling wand is a curling iron without the clamp/clip. So, in order to use the curling wand, you wrap your hair around the barrel with your fingers because there isn't a clamp to hold the hair onto the iron.
I've found that you can do many different types of curls and that I can curl my hair faster than I would normally with a curling iron.

After playing with the idea, I decided to make my own curling wand from an old curling iron. I used a curling iron I've had for a long time but hadn't been using a lot lately. I had thought about buying a curling wand, but once saw how you can change a curling iron into a wand somewhere. I decided I'd try it out and see if it would work. This is really easy and took me about 5 minutes. All you'll need is a curling iron and a small screwdriver.

Start with an ordinary curling iron -- mine is a 1" con air curling iron.

Step 1. Pop off the stand for the curling iron.
Step 2. Take your screwdriver and push out the pins that are holding the clamp/clip for the curling iron.
Step 3. Unscrew the spring from the iron.

And viola! You've got yourself a curling wand!

It's that easy.

So what do ya think? Which do you like better, a curling wand or a curling iron?

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Classroom?

I've been out of luck when it comes to working in my classroom so far. The first week of summer I was able to move a few items into my new classroom, such as a few bookshelves, a filing cabinet, and a work table. But the last two weeks I haven't been able to get into my room. Last week the school was hosting a science camp and my room was one of the classrooms they used for camp. This week the floors are being waxed, so again, I can't get in my room.

I have been able to do a little bit of work outside the classroom to get my room ready. I inherited some chairs from the teacher that left. These will be great work chairs the the students to use when they work at the work table I brought in or if they need to to work on the computer. I also inherited a tall barstool chair that will be great for me if I ever want to sit while I teach. Both of these sets of chairs needed a lot of TLC. So, my Mom came over and helped me sand them and repaint the chairs.

Here's the before:
As you can see these chairs were and interesting blue color...
(Trebek wanted to make sure we were doing a good job.)

And this barstool chair was in desperate need of help.

And here are the chairs right after we finished painting them:

They look much better with the new coat of black paint and I can't wait to see what they look like in my classroom!

Last night I found out some good and bad news about my lesson plans. The bad news, I have to scrap a lot of my lessons I've already began to map out. The reason I'll need to scrap a good portion of my lessons is because of the good news, I have more freedom than what I thought to do some different activities! For example, I found out I can use mostly chapter books instead of the typical reading books. This will be better, but I wish I would have known about it earlier.

Next week I'll be able to get back in my classroom and move the rest of my stuff in and begin having things come together! I have 6 weeks of summer left to get my classroom and lesson plans ready!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Small fact about me: I love chocolate and peanut butter. It's probably one of my favorite food combinations. I my favorite candy is Reese's, my favorite blizzards from DQ are Reese's blizzards, on occasion when I'm craving it at home I'll just melt some chocolate chips and put a dollop of peanut butter in it and gobble it all up. Needles to say, I kind of a have a thing for chocolate and peanut butter.

Thanks to Pinterest I found this yummy recipe. Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing. This recipe is really easy. You use a cake mix and make your own icing. (Which is the way I always make my cupcakes.)

For these cupcakes you'll need...

For the cake mix you'll use 1 box of devil's food cake mix and make the cupcakes according to the package.

For the frosting:
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 stick of butter (softened)

Mix all your frosting ingredients together in a large bowl. Then pipe your icing on to your cooled cupcakes. You could even top your cupcakes with some chocolate chips!

There are only 2 changes I would make to this recipe.
1. Next time I'll add some chocolate chips to the cake mix to make it more chocolatier (is that a word?).
2. I'll probably use less milk in the frosting next time. It was a little soft when piping it and I like my icing a little more stiff for me to work with. (Just personal preference.)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks mine and Charlie's three year anniversary! It's hard to believe three years have already come and gone! 
Here's a few pictures to reminisce our wedding day:

It's been three wonderful years and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us!