Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crafting and Baking!

A few days ago, I posed about the DIY jute balls (see my post here).  When at Michael's buying the materials, I couldn't find jute (or a worker to help me) anywhere!  All I could find was curly raffia and yarn.  I bought both but decided at home that the raffia was impossible to use for this project.  I used black yarn instead to match my decor.  I also used regular balloons instead of water balloons because they ended up being more of a sphere shape.  Here are some pictures from my project.  I wouldn't say it was a total success but also not a total fail.  What do you think?!
Step 1: Blow up balloons.
Dixie likes crafts, too!
Step 2: Soak yarn in "stiffy" fabric stiffener and wrap around balloons.

Step 3: Get your hubby (or a friend) to help while you wash your hands!

Step 4: Allow to dry on wax paper (make sure to turn sporadically for even drying).

Finished product! Some aren't as circular as others :/

Not awful, right?

In my cute tray from Marshalls!

We're going over to Nick's grandpa's house today so I decided to whip up a quick dessert.  For some reason I''ve been in the mood for cake so I decided to make these Funfetti Cake Cookies!  Who doesn't love Funfetti!?  These cookies were SO easy and quick to make!  I only changed one thing: I used Betty Crocker's Rainbow Chip icing instead (SO much better)! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

New Books and Fill in the Blank Friday!

As a first year teacher, I am still working on building my classroom library.  I want to get books for the best price I can since I'm not rich so I've purchased collections on eBay, shopped at Half Price Books, browsed garage sales, etc.  I also stalk occasionally check the city's library website to see when their branches are having book sales.  I noticed there was a sale April 29th about 2 months ago and couldn't wait to go (nerd alert!).  I went to one last year and got a lot of great books for cheap!  I went today and got a bunch of great books (fiction, NF, picture books, chapter books) for only $23!  Where do you find (cheap) books for your classroom??  Check out my finds :)

I'm linking up with Lauren again at The Little Things We Do for her Fill in the Blank Friday! 

1.   I am looking forward to    all of my fun trips in the near future:  Cinci with the girlfriends and Sedona with the hubs in June!

2.  Something kind of embarassing that I still love anyway is    hmmm...this is hard.  I guess maybe the way that I treat my dogs - as if they are my children.  I talk to them like humans, lol :) .

3.  My favorite car is     (realistically): Acura TL-S or TSX.  (unrealistically): Lotus Esprit or Mercedes SL65.

4.  If I could pick one type of weather to live with for the rest of my life it would be   the weather we saw in Hawaii!  It is the same all year and never cold and never hot....always perfect (and beautiful!).

5.  My favorite thing to do after a bad/stressful day is    catch up on DVR to remember that the drama on TV is always 1,000 times worse than my life will ever be, ha!  I also like to lay in bed with the comfy covers, my cuddlebug pups and a good book!

6.  This weekend    I will be hanging out with the hubby and hopefully getting some things done around the house.  I think we're going to do happy hour at a Mexican place tonight (yum, margs!) and then have a date night tomorrow!

7.  If I were a color, I'd be     pink    because,    I love everything pink and I'm a girlie girl!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Decorating ideas? Please!

Today I stopped by Michael's to pick up some materials in an attempt to create these DIY jute balls.  I found this project on my new favorite blog, Thrifty and Chic.  Alicia has really fun, cheap ideas on her blog!  Head on over and check out her new pets - SO adorable!  I haven't started the jute ball project yet but I will definitely post some pics after I do that!  While at Michael's, I picked up a few goodies for school in the dollar aisle!  A few new puzzles (counting and ABC's), some "super star reader" glasses to motivate readers (I will pop out the lenses), cute pink magnets, and some rings for my prize box....all for $7!

You may remember about a month ago when we had a few areas of our house painted.  (If you don't remember, check out the before and after pics and paint colors here!)  Anyway, I'm now struggling on what to do with my fireplace area.  I don't really want to buy anything so I'm trying to use things I have around the house.  The vases on the right used to be on top of our kitchen cabinets.  I thought this mirror would look nice resting against the wall but I think it looks awkwardPLEASE send some ideas my way!
This is what it looks like currently.

Tried adding the mirror.  Awkward.

Too cluttered!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Pet Accessory and Anticipation Guides...

Good news: I found out today that I have another 1-year contract for my current position!  I am so relieved AND excited that I can still apply for other opportunities.  My current position is Title Reading but it's only a 50% position so I'm hoping I'll be able to find a FT position and transfer BUT I'm happy just to have a job!

About a week or two ago, Dixie decided to chew through her harness.  I usually don't leave it on her, but I was planning on going for a walk when the rain died down (as any of you Ohioans know, the rain NEVER died down).  Anyway, this was the third harness Dixie has chewed through.  The old harnesses were AKC brand that I found at Target.  I'm not sure why I kept buying them, they were hard to take on and off and our groomer could never figure them out!  After Dixie chewed through her third harness, I decided it was time to find something new.  I found the Puppia Soft Dog Harness on Amazon.  They came in the mail today and they're great!  Very easy to take on and off and a size small fit Chip & Dixie perfectly!  We haven't been on a walk yet so they don't understand what the harnesses are.  I'm pretty sure Chip thought it was an outfit, he wasn't thrilled.
If you're looking for a harness, I definitely would recommend this brand!

Note: I was not in any way recruited by Puppia to promote their product!

While browsing Mrs. Lochridge's blog, First Grade Factory, I found this fun anticipation guide.  I've been wanting to use an anticipation guide with my kids for a while so this gave me the incentive to go ahead and try it out!  I meant to email her design to my school email (I don't get on blogs at school), but I forgot so I had to create my own from memory!  I created one very similar to her design (thanks for the idea, Mrs. Lochridge!) and used it today with some Scholastic Science Vocabulary Readers that I bought during the Scholastic Dollar Deals sale (read more about that here).  Here is a picture of my version of the anticipation guide and a few student work samples.  I had them record the page # where they found the "proof" of true/false.  Next time I think I may add a column for the page #.

P.S. I know I haven't been doing 'What I'm Wearing Wednesday' lately.  I'm bored with it and don't want to post the same outfits since I wear the same things a lot so I decided it shall be no more.  I may still post fun new outfits every now and then though.....

Last, but not least, there is a fun giveaway going on over at Mrs. Patton's Patch!  Check it out here!  FOUR people have the chance to win!! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tail Wagging Tuesday!

I'm linking up with CMae again for Tail Wagging Tuesday!  (Click the picture above to head over to her blog and link up!)  This week's topic is Your Pet's Bed (or where they sleep)!

Chip and Dixie do sleep with us at night, but they also have a "comfy" zone in most rooms of our house (ridic, I know).  Here are some of their cozy spots, including their beds......

"Bed" a.k.a. body pillow in my office since they are my shadows and hate when I'm on my computer:
Beds in the kitchen (this is where they spend time when Mommy & Daddy are at work):

"Cuddle Sack" beds that a friend of my mom's made for them.  She made them for her three dachshunds and thought Chip and Dixie would enjoy them as well.  She was right - they LOVE these!  (For some reason, Chip loves the pink one.....)

They also just love cuddling up in our bed.  Sometimes I wake up with a "Dixie hat" because she loves laying on my pillow!

P.S. Notice that these pictures feature 3 different bedding looks, ha!  As we speak, I have a different duvet on the bed! 

Where do your pets sleep??

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lately in Room 46....

I don't have a ton of updates, but I wanted to share a few....

As far as Easter, I plan on doing a quick activity Monday since we had a short week last week.... I bought plastic eggs at Target in the dollar spot.  I'm going to put a small object in each egg and hide them around our classroom.  The students will have a quick "easter egg hunt".  After finding their egg, they will fill out this sheet (I'm so sorry I still don't use Google Docs....I need to upgrade my version of Word so I can save to pdf!):

One of my reading groups has been working on comparing and contrasting (in general).  We've compared books by the same author (pictured), characters in different books, different books in general, etc.  Here is an example we did recently:

We also have been working on adjectives.  For this activity, students chose an adjective out of a cup and had to create an interesting sentence along with a [matching] illustration.
Lastly, make sure to check out this awesome giveaway over at Teacher 2 Mom.  They're giving away a Phonics Dance CD (love that program)!!  Click the button below to check out their blog....
The Teacher Wife

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fill in the _________ Friday and Earth Day!

I haven't been around in a while - sorry!  But I'm back now so be excited!

Happy Earth Day and Good Friday!  Today I'm having my wonderful hubby do my fill in the blank Friday :)  He's SUPER excited!  [sarcasm]  I added a few comments of my own in red....

1.   Fridays are     the last day of the last day of the work week....great days to come home from work and relax with Emmy.

2.   My wife   makes me terribly happy.  Suck up!

3.  Something that inspires me is     people who work hard to achieve their the contestants on Biggest Loser.

4.  If I had the day off today I would     (I do have the day off!) relax in bed, take a nap, be lazy with my wife.  Notice his love of chores!

5.  If I had to put a label on my home decor style, I would say my style is   (laughing) ummm...contemporary.

6.  Concerning politics I would say I'm     moderate conservative.

7.  I'd like to go to    Hawaii   so I could    snorkel or scuba dive.

Now onto Earth Day!  We had late arrival Thursday and no school today so I had to do my Earth Day activities on Wednesday.  We read Earth Day by Margaret McNamara and then made some words using the letters from EARTH DAY and PLANET EARTH.  We split into two groups and made it into a little competition to see which group could think of more words.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Tail Wagging Tuesday!

I'm excited to link up with CMae again!  This week's topic is Your Pet's Favorite Toy.
It's hard to pick just one favorite toy since Chip and Dixie have an overflowing toy box and they usually have 50%  or more OUT of the box!  Chip loves playing fetch with his Kongs, but he also loves his "nubbins".  This is his 2nd and 3rd one because he chews off the little nubs and it basically falls apart.  He carries it everywhere and sometimes tries to carry two at a time!  Dixie loves stuffed toys but destroys them in .5 seconds so she doesn't get them very often.  This football is her favorite toy to bring me when she wants to play fetch!

Another favorite toy at our house is the "food ball".  I found this at Petsmart and my doggies love it so much I have to hide it!  You put food in it and they kick it around to make the kibbles fall out of the hole.  I originally bought this for Dixie when our vet mentioned she was getting some extra "chub" (shhh, don't tell her)!  This food ball is bigger than Chip & Dixie's heads but Chip somehow manages to carry it around.  Cracks me up!