Sunday, September 30, 2012

It feels like fall!

*UPDATE: I forgot to post this a few weeks ago, but now that it is starting to feel like fall again, I decided I would let you in on my fall obsession.
As I have mentioned before, I love holiday decorations.  Love, love, love.  As you probably also know,  I love, love, love a sale.  This last week, we got a cold front, and I could no longer resist the urge to decorate.  Out comes the fall stuff:)))

 Outside my classroom:

 By my window, the leaves coordinate so well with my curtains.

 I also stopped by school on Saturday and realized that I have lots of decorations up there, too.  I get to decorate two places.  Be jealous!
Scarecrow in my fish water.  Hopefully nothing nasty happens.  On a side note, the fish are still alive, and the students love them!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Easy Peazy Crockpot meal

 Good Morning!  Anthony just left for his first golf lessons (more on that later) and my in-laws and I are having a lazy morning before we hit the stores later.  I wanted to share a super easy meal that we love.

Sometimes I get annoyed with crockpot recipes because there is a lot of prep involved in making the meal.  Not this recipe!

  • beef chuck roast
  • yams
  • 16 oz. jar of slasa
  • 1 C chicken stock or water (Not pictured) 

Peel and cut yams.  Layer in the bottom of the crockpot.

Add meat and pour salsa over the meat and yams.

 I actually forgot to put the chicken broth in this time, and it turned out fine.  I think I cook it for four hours on High, checking on it periodically.  I usually cook it on the weekend and have it for leftovers during the week.

*I do not like anything that has a hint of spicy in it!  If you are like me, don't be afraid of putting the salsa on it and trying it.  It actually turns out like a sweet flavor.

Let me know if you try it! Perfect meal to start the fall season:)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Frugal Fashion

I love clothes! But I also love a good deal, and I  know how to find them!  I never understand why people pay full price for clothes, accessories, or shoes.  They just aren't worth it.  If the clothes were worth the price that they were originally marked, then they would never go on sale.  The outfit right here is a dress with a high waisted belt (What Not To Wear tip), the ruffles add a bit of fun texture, the colors are fun and pop, the skirt portion of the dress if fitted like a pencil skirt and show off my curves in a good way.  The shoes are surprisingly comfy.  Pretty much like a wedge.  My mom say this the other day at TJ Maxx.  For $5, how could I pass this up?  In years past, I would not have paired polka dots and floral, but it totally worked.  Plus, the shoes are so fun, and I got a lot of compliments at work.  

This was another outfit I wore to work.  My friends Alice and Michelle had recommended a thrift store in Highland Village.  It's like Plato's Closet for adults.  Check them out!  This super cute sweater was only $6!  And for those of you that care, all the clothes at the place are name brand.  The necklace I got a while ago and can't remember where, but I am sure it was on sale, too.  The white tank has small stitching detail on the top.  I got it from Ann Taylor Loft clearance rack a few years ago.  Now, the Sperrys...These do not fit into my normal purchases as they are much more expensive than I normally like to spend.  Poor Anthony has endured my pining over these for the last three year, if not longer.  These shoes would not go on sale, doggoneit!  I finally bit the bullet and purchased them.  I like them because they go with almost anything.  I can wear them with shorts, pants, casual skirts.  I would like to say that I love them, but sometimes they rub against my toes and heels:(  Does this happen to anyone else?  I have tried those dumb footy socks, too, and they won't stay on my feet.  

If you are willing to spend the time looking through sale racks, you will find great deals.  Sometimes if I like something a lot, but don't love the price, I will return to the store a few weeks later to find it on the sale rack.  Score!

Where do you find your best deals?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Writing Materials

Writing has begun!  As most of you who know me, know that I love grammar.  I was super excited when our principal decided to departmentalize fourth grade.  That plan has slightly changed, but I will get into that later.  I started teaching expository writing, and we finished our first draft this week.  I am using the 4 square brainstorming technique.  This is the first time I have used this, and I will keep you updated on how effective it is.
This is similar to the book I am using.
It is always interesting to read and decipher my students' writing.  One student was adding vivid language to his paper.  Referring to when he eats nachos, "My taste buds aren't just buds, they're bros." I chuckled.  

Another book I found really helpful is Daily Oral Language.  Each student has a copy of this book.  It is their bell work.  There are two sentences with grammar mistakes, and they have to find the mistakes and correct them. I try to make it sound as exciting as possible.  I mean, I love grammar, but I know that it is not everyone's cup of tea.  I encourage them to "beat" the sentence by finding more mistakes than the sentence is able to hide.  I also bust out my best stamps and stickers.  I loved getting stickers, even in high school.  (Thanks Mrs. McCord!) Sometimes, I let the students correct the work under the document camera.  They love that!  Like I have heard before, teaching is one-fourth teaching, and three-fourths theatrics.  

What strategies do you employ to help motivate students in a potentially boring activity?

Dressed to Impress

This year for school, we were encouraged demanded to dress more professionally.  So, I have been able to wear things in my closet that normally are just left for special occasions.  I really haven't bought that many new clothes for school, but I have repurposed some of the older ones.  I get lots of compliments when I actually put thought into what I am wearing.  For example,
  • Student: "You look smokin'."
  • Me: "Excuse Me"
  • Student: "That means you look good."
I watch What Not To Wear quite a bit.  They really do have some good tips for any body type.   Most importantly, you need to define the smallest part of your midsection.  This can be done with a belt or gathers in the outfit or a bow that ties in the back.  It helps give you an hourglass shape even if you weren't born with one!  Anthony overhears enough of the show that he can even offer me genuine compliments when I have an outfit on that meets Stacey and Clinton's criteria. 

Full Speed Ahead!

I am sitting by my open window in the living room, and the breeze from outside feels A-mazing!  I am so excited that fall has come.  I have even hung my fall decorations on the door.  Holiday decorations are one little thing in life that give me great joy. Especially since I buy them on sale!

I have been training preparing not to die in a 5k called the Jack-O-Latern Jog for a few weeks now.  I have just been running at the gym on the treadmill.  First, I was running 4 minutes, walking 1 minute.  But the other day, I tried to run a minute, walk 30 seconds and so on.  I went so much faster and so much longer.  Hopefully, it is all just building up my endurance, so I can do my best in the race.  I think that is important to remember and not compare myself to others.  Their journey is not the same as mine, and I shouldn't expect the same results.