Monday, August 22, 2011

A Peek into my Classroom

I promise I haven't disappeared!  We have gone back to school for our Teacher Workdays and I have been busy busy busy! For all my teacher readers, we all know how stressful those days can be and how many hours it takes to fulfill your duties.  I wanted to give a few peeks into my new 4th grade classroom! :)

 Bulletin Board for Classroom Jobs
 Busy Wall!  A wall for the student's to show off their work.
 Close up of student's brag wall!
 Close up of student's desk!  The tootsie roll bag says, "Here's something to help you ROLL into 4th grade!"
 Helping Hands - Teacher wishlist for Meet the Teacher day tomorrow
 Writing and math shelves
 A view of the room
 View of the room from a different point of view
 Sign in table
A gift for the parents! (Thanks for "popping" by!) and then a little message from me!

Tomorrow is the big day!  Tomorrow is when I meet my new 28 4th graders! :)  I am excited, nervous, and thrilled to be starting a new year with a new class!
Until later,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Toasting to Daytime TV

Welp.  This is the last evening before I head back to work in the morning.  It's a Teacher Workday and we have a morning staff meeting, PTA Lunch, and team meetings in the afternoon.  It's a day of catching up with our fellow teacher friends, looking at class lists, and not getting a whole lot done.  I would love to find a teacher that actually gets a lot of work done on the first day back.  I usually going home feeling unaccomplished but I am determined to get at least one thing done tomorrow. (or so I say)
So what have I done today?  I woke up to watch a couple episodes of Saved By The Bell, had a massage (amen!), and then came home to do laundry and do a little crafting.  Of course I had to watch all my daytime today that I will not get to do after today.
I had to watch...

 The View!  I have to give all my "View" love to Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  If she were not on this show then I probably wouldn't watch it.  I have to admit I am not a huge Whoopi fan and I think that she likes to take control of every conversation. (apologies to Whoopi fans!)  I have recently found this show...
The Talk!  This is the perfect cast (in my opinion)  How can you not just fall in love with Leah, Holly, Sharon, Julie, & Sarah?  I seriously LOVE watching all five of them interact and talk amongst each other.  They have different opinions and they respect each other.  They have a quality that you can't find on a lot of talk shows.
Have you watched either one?  Which one is your fave?
I am going to vote with THE TALK and send love to all of their fabulous hosts!
Let me leave by toasting to the ladies who have occupied my summer and kept me entertained for days on end.  You will be missed.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let me introduce you to....& share my number one problem!

Meet my three fur babies...

& Amber

These three dogs are seriously like my children.  They are spoiled and seriously run the house.  I really love them all and they are all rescue dogs!  There is only one problem...SHEDDING!
Please tell me someone else out there has dogs that shed crazily.  I mean these dogs shed and shed and shed.  We will sweep up what looks like another dog in just fur, just to have more the very next day.  It is seriously driving me insane.  The hubby and I spent a good hour cleaning today and then we even brushed the dogs and I already see hair. What is up with that?
We need HELP!  I am hoping there is someone out there that can give us the cure or share a secret that keeps your house fur free!  I am desperate and have even started browsing online for "As Seen On T.V" products that are supposed to keeping shedding to a minimum. All I know is I am ready for the shedding to stop and for my house to be hair free. 
Until next fur animal is swept up,

Monday, August 15, 2011


I have probably eaten ice cream more in the past week than in a long time.  Oops!  My body is not like it was five years ago.  I can see the change when I eat unhealthy foods. Yuck!  I need to head back to the gym as often as I used to and get this whole thing worked out. 
So I know you are wondering what my favorite ice cream place is...

 I absolutely love Marble Slab!! I have gotten the same ice cream and mix every single time I have gone there for probably ten years. And to think that I claim I like change.  I always get cheesecake mixed with butterfinger.  Does that not sound delish?  What are your favorite flavors?
I went to The Creamery last night with my sister and friend, Jessica.  While checking out I asked the cashier how they kept the marble cold enough to not melt the ice cream while they were mixing it.  I honestly was curious.  Then I found out a SECRET that will HAUNT me the rest of my LIFE.
You know the slab?  The famous "marble slab"????
IT IS NOT ACTUALLY MARBLE!!!  I know, insert your shocked face right now, I couldn't believe my ears.  The slab that the entire dessert franchise is based on is not marble.  It is granite. Does Granite Slab Creamery sound ok to you?  I don't think so.  
Alright, let me have it....are you as shocked as I was?
Until next lie unveiled,

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Weather

This weather is CRAZY here in N.C!  This summer has brought on all sorts of craziness around where we live.  In fact it is a little scary.  We have had the hottest days that NC has seen in years, more storms that I think I have seen in years, and even a random cool day here and there.  The weather just doesn't make any sense.  Coming from an old second grade teacher who studied weather intensely for quite some time, the patterns just don't seem normal.  (I think I am starting to sound like a meteorologist, my bad.)
This morning I headed to my parents house (that is up for sale *enter sad face*) to wait for an appointment they had set up.  Since they no longer live in NC, I agreed to do this for them.  Fabulous daughter?  I think so.  I pulled into the driveway only to see...

 oh wait, there is more...
What in the world?  I live less than fifteen minutes away from their home and our neighborhood looks nothing like this.  I'm trying to even remember what storm this is all from?  How can it be this bad just a few miles away?  All I can hear are the sounds chainsaws running and people gathering wood at the curb. Seriously?  Not to mention that one of the trees fell onto a neighbors car. Oops! 
Has the weather been this random everywhere?
Until the next tree falls,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My New Obsession

I have a new obsession...

 Have you tried this stuff yet?  I was shopping at Target recently and went through the grocery aisles ( I love their food prices!) I ran across this Organic Sweet Tea and I thought I would give it a try.  Let me just tell you it is AH-Mazing!  I have already gone through almost two containers of it and it has only been a couple days. Oops!
What drink obsessions do you have?  Where do you buy them?  Please share!!
Until next refill,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


If you read my last post, you know that I am in a positive mindset and I really want to bring positivity to my coworkers, students, and friends.  In a world where it is extremely hard to stay positive (myself included), I want to make a conscious effort to put my best foot forward and to attempt to make a difference.
I have been debating about what to do in my library area in my classroom for about a week or so now.  I used to have a big school bus to keep up with their reading for each quarter.  I wanted to do something different and a little bit more mature for my fabulous future students.  Since I am on this positive kick, I decided to put some quotes in frames and I am going to line the top of my book shelves with them.  Again, I apologize at the crappy quality of my camera phone. :(

 " A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."
 " It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
 "Just for today, no matter where I am going, or what I am doing, or who I am doing it with, It is my intention to focus on the positive."
I hope that my students know and remember these quotes as the year progresses.  I will probably add more to my bookshelves, especially for mini lessons that we may or may not need to build character.  
When I am out in public I constantly notice the number of children that don't show kindness to their parents, friends, sales people, etc.  If I can only reach a class of 25+, then I need to reach them well and really teach them how important kindness is in the real world.
Can you think of any other quotes that are great mini life lessons that I could share with my kids?
Until next life lesson,

Positive Encouragment

I headed into my classroom today to do a little more work.  I thought I was getting somewhere last week and then today I had to go through all my books and reorganize this.  We all know this is a tedious task and my books were literally spread out across my entire classroom. O.M.G. That is how I was feeling when I walked out of my classroom this afternoon.
HOWEVER the fabulous news is that when I walked into my classroom today I had this apple bell sitting on my desk with a note.  It caught me by surprise.
 It says "Ashley - Welcome back!  Hope this helps you to ring in the new school year with hope and happiness! :) Lecia  (I already miss you!)
Lecia is a first grade teacher at my school and she used to teach across the hall from me.  She was a really great friend and I got to know her well after teaching her son in second grade.  Since I have now moved into a new building, I am really going to miss her too being right across the hall.
Last year, Lecia was a leader in my eyes.  She would make us different quotes to inspire us and really try to keep us smiling.  Here are a few of the quotes that stay on my desk.
 "Am I the kind of teacher that notices new shoes?"
"Are we feeding the elephant or merely weighing it?"

I want to continue to be a positive leader and role model on our staff this upcoming year.  I think simply encouraging others and keeping other smiling can make a huge difference.  Last year my teammate and I put a sign in the bathroom that really created a lot of laughter at the beginning of last year.  It said, "Smile, you're on candid camera."  We put them anonymously in every bathroom last year!  People could NOT figure out who put it there or if there were really cameras.  It was hilarious!  Don't worry, eventually we told people!

So, what are some things that your staff or buisness does to keep the morale high in your workplace?  I would love to use some ideas to bring to my school to start the year off on a great foot!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Not-So Boring Monday

Oh Monday's!  I woke up this morning grateful that my alarm wasn't going off at 5 something in the morning but a little depressed because it is the last full week that I am not in "Back to School" mode.  Next week is the BIG week where I make my fourth grade teacher debut. (Enter nail biting here)
Today I ventured to the mall for what I thought was going to be a short trip to get another pair of Toms. Yikes..can we say addicted?  I ended up not even finding a store in the mall that carried them.  However I did end up doing something completely random while on my shopping trip.  I was walking through Belk's minding my own business when I was approached by a woman (Hi Amy!) who asked me to be her model for a Mac Make-up project.  I instantly though, "Me?"  I don't think of myself as model-esque or even that really pretty girl walking through the mall. I barely wear makeup and I don't even feel that comfortable wearing a lot of it.
I found myself agreeing to do this for her. In my mind I told myself I was being crazy.  Amy first took off all my makeup.  Be prepared....

 (Thank goodness the pictures are from my cell phone which is not fabulous quality.)  She had to do a day look and a night look on me for me to model. Yikes!  Amy was really great about asking me the colors I would normally wear and she really wanted to make me feel comfortable as well.  For my day look she used Studio Fix Fluid NW30 for my foundation, Mineralize Medium Plus for my powder, Pinch Me Blush, and then some fabulous colors for my eyelids, brow highlighter, and even lipstick colors.  Aye aye aye..already WAY more makeup than I usually wear.
 Then after my fabulous day look (which I really liked), she was on her way to creating a spectacular night look.  Let me be the first to say that my make up stays the same whether it be day or night. Is that bad?  I just don't have make up style I suppose.  She did a smoky eye, bright cheeks, and bright lipstick.  It was more dramatic.  The ladies working at Mac thought I should have left with it all on and I declined and asked poor Amy to please remove the make up when the modeling was done so that I could shop and not look weird.
My parents used to joke with my sister and I about becoming models one day and so today my dream came true! LOL!  It was really fun and I give major kudos to Amy, who has also been featured in the NY Times for her video tutorials on youtube where she has 11,000+ followers!  She has done make up for many fashion shows and I enjoyed looking through her look book as I waited when my makeup was done.  She did a great job and I want to give a big thank you to Amy for turning my boring Monday into a super fun makeup filled Monday!
Until later,
P.S. Any Bachelor Pad watchers out there?  Tonight is the night! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I caved in!!!

Since this weekend is Tax Free Weekend my sister, hubby, and I headed out to do a little shopping at the mall and some boutiques close to our house.  The hubs was just thrilled, let me tell you.  I was able to get a couple things from The Loft but that was about it.  I didn't have much success elsewhere. :(
My sister and I were a little disappointed with our not so successful shopping trip so I made a casual comment... "We should both just buy something that we would never usually buy for ourselves."  I figured this would make us happy and curb that shopping appetite.
We headed into a boutique we had never been in, Bevello, and browsed the clothes!  Let me tell you it is a super cute store with dresses from tons of designers (True Religion, Michael Kors, BCBG, and more)  I have to give a shout-out to the sales associate who helped us out, whose name I didn't even ask for, because she was really helpful and sweet! :)
So after looking at the clothes, I saw a wall dedicated to Toms.  I have always seen people, teachers, students, basically everyone BUT me wearing these shoes.  Honestly, I didn't see what the big deal was when it came to these homey shoes.  I knew the story behind it but I guess I never really paid too much attention to it.
Well, my sister (Visit her blog!) encouraged me to try on a pair!  Next thing you know, I did.
Guess what I ended up buying?!?!
 You guessed it!  I got the silvery sparkly pair!  They are ridiculously cute and I can't wait to rock them!
I even decided to check out Tom's website to see what other pairs I may like.  I am IN LOVE with...
 The Calculus 101 pair
The Polka Dotted Pair!
I feel like I could start collecting these shoes and wearing these shoes ALL THE TIME! Oh great...a big thank you to my sister who has now gotten me addicted to these shoes. 
So you're turn to share...
Do you have Toms?  Which ones do you like best?
Until next Tom purchase...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Random DIY

TGIF!  Although it has been one rainy, gloomy, and dreary day here in NC.  My day has been spent watching as many talk shows as I can including The Talk, The View, Maury (sadly), Ellen, and many more.  I usually don't get time to just sit and watch t.v but today was the day!  Do you ever have days like that?
After the hubs got home from work today, we headed to Home Depot to price and match our hardwood floors.  Our next project is to pull the carpet up in our t.v room and put down hardwoods.  A big thank you to our three dogs for ruining our carpet.  We greatly appreciate it. :) No but really.
While in H.D., I grabbed some paint samples to casually make some bookmarks for my classroom.  Is it just me or do teachers constantly think about things for their classroom while out shopping?  I did this spur of the moment so don't expect anything too fantabulous!
Materials that I had around the house:
- scissors
- glue gun
- ribbon
- paint samples

 I just decided to cut the ribbon and hot glue it alongside the side of the paint sample.  That way it covered up the writing.  I'm not a huge fan of them but I don't think the kids will know the difference.  They will be happy to have something other than a post-it note, right?

I plan to have a basket near my classroom library that will keep these little guys.  I am going to make at least 40 of them before school starts so the kids have something to use at the start of the year.  I was thinking that during holidays I could do certain colors to match the seasons.  Black/Orange - Halloween, Red/Green - Christmas, Red/Pink - Valentine's Day, etc.  With teaching an upper grade, I don't think there are as many class parties as I am used to so this may be a cute way to incorporate the holiday's into my classroom.  What do you think?
TGIF!  Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm Making Progress

It's Thursday!  Woohoo - tomorrow begins the weekend!  I have to admit that I haven't appreciated the weekends as much as I do during the school year simply because the summer is one giant weekend.  I need to start appreciating them now because during the school year it is those two days that are my saving grace.
I was able to work in my classroom a little bit today.  If you were able to read my last post, my room looked like a tornado had flown through it.  It is by no means looking like a classroom yet but it is on its way and looks a little better than before.  Let's check it out!

I decorated the sink area with the character traits that our school recognizes monthly.  I put on my "To-Do" List to get some things to accessorize this area a little bit more.  I plan to put the classroom jobs on the bulletin board.
 One idea that I would love to share is this pencil "rule" that I keep in my classroom.  The kids LOVE to have the smallest pencil in the classroom and it would drive me nuts because their handwriting would be terrible.  I am hoping that in fourth grade we don't have that problem but I think I am going to leave it up until I know for sure.
 This is where my calendar will be!  I snooped around in the other fourth grade classrooms and I found that they all dedicated a whole board to the just the calendar.  I did that in my second grade classroom but there was more surrounding the calendar (weather, days of the week, etc.)
 This is where I am going to keep my math manipulatives and my writing area.  I plan to put fake flowers in the basket and to hang the blue board.  I also made more frames to put on the shelves in the writing area that have quotes about students and writing.  I hope to inspire my students this upcoming year to really focus on expressing themselves through writing.  (In case you couldn't tell, writing is my FAVORITE!)
This is where I have my bathroom passes and pointers that I made during the summer!  I'm not sure I am in love with where I have them but, it'll do for now!
I have to say that I love bold and bright colors in my room.  I don't really have a theme to my classroom, I just LOVE to have bright colors to keep the students interested in their classroom.  Too many times I walk into the upper grade classrooms and see sort of boring rooms.  I want to be the change this year that helps my new teammates really take pride in their rooms and really take the time to decorate their room so the children WANT to be there.  Here's to hoping and inspiring!
I can't wait to work back in my room next week a little bit because I feel like I am making some progress!  BTW I have LOVED getting to see the rooms of my fellow bloggers!  They look amazing ladies!  Keep up the amazing job! :)
Until next time,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What a Disaster!

Let's talk....
I have been really excited this week because...
I worked Monday and Tuesday in my new FOURTH grade classroom!  

Reasons Why I am Excited:
- new challenges
- I know the children from two years ago
- getting to know other educators better
- forcing myself to learn North Carolina history
- independence
- maturity
- implement new ideas from my fabulous 4th grade blogger friends!

Reasons Why This Move Has Been Difficult:
- The building has no air currently.
- I am moving from the clean "new" building to the ancient dirty one.
-  The previous teacher's things are still in the room (not her fault though)
- And the condition of the room with two teacher's things in it

Proof #1
 Proof #2
I am telling you that my room looks at a disaster and I am freaking out about it.  We go back to work in two weeks and I can not go to school with the room looking at a tornado.  I plan to go back to fix this MESS (maybe) tomorrow for a little bit.  With having no air, it makes it really difficult to work!
I am super excited for my teacher friends who I follow because your rooms are so inspiring.  It makes me WANT to work in my room so I can show you all the end result.  But until then I leave you with my MESSY MESSY NEW room!