Thirty-One Gifts Fundraiser and Giveaway!!

One of my friends started selling Thirty-One bags and I'm so excited to be hosting this fundraiser and giveaway.

I have loved Thirty-One bags for several years.  I have purchased bags for teaching, for home, for organizing (which you may know is a slight obsession of mine---at school), for my car, for my lunchbox, for toting baked items to parties, etc.  You name it, and I've bought it.  I love the fun patterns, too!

Here are some of my current favorites.  You can click on the images to check them out:

Cinch-Top Bin in Black Parisian Pop ($25):

Retro Metro Weekender in Sunny Stripe ($80):

Timeless Memory Pouches in Pink Pop Medallion ($5):

And how cute is this for a hostess gift at Christmas time?

On-Snap Bin in Black Chevron ($10):

All of the proceeds from this party will benefit my classroom and students.  This party is a great way to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done or buy a treat for yourself! All items purchased are guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas. 

While you are shopping, make sure to check out the monthly specials.  You can select one of five of the most popular styles that are perfect for gifting for a discounted price with every $35 spent.

Visit the fundraiser by clicking {here}.  I'd really appreciate any purchase that you make.  My students will appreciate it, too.  

Would you like to win a $20 gift certificate for you to pick up something special for yourself this Christmas?  Just enter the giveaway below for your chance to win!  Hurry!  This giveaway ends at midnight on Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't Live Without It...Come Join the Fun :)

If you haven't had a chance to check out my new linky, I'd love for you to head to that post.  Click on the picture below to check it out.  I've already found some great things to put on my "must have" list.  Thank you to everyone who has already linked up.  If you haven't yet linked up, you can link up any time between now and the third Saturday in December.  That's when we will have the next one!

If you still need some suggestions for what to blog about...check out the ideas below:

1) Teaching supplies you can't live without
2) Subscription services you can't live without
3) Organizational ideas/ products you can't live without
4) Home/Cooking/Clothing products you can't live without (because, let's face it, if you can't get all of your life in place, we can't be effective teachers, right?)
5) Teaching products you can't live without

*I won't mind teacher products being promoted, but please follow this guideline:  Promote a product that you have found from someone else.  I know that I have probably bought more in the last few months since switching jobs than I have in the last 3 years.  I wouldn't be able to be as effective as I have been if it weren't for some AMAZING resources I've found from other teachers on TPT.

*You could also partner up with a friend or two if you'd like to share products from each other.  That's fine with me!

Thanks for considering linking up with me! :)

Can't Live Without It Linky {November 2014}

Take it to me to be late to my own party.  It's actually rather fitting that I am.

Let me explain.  The whole purpose for this new series is to help all of us make our lives just a little bit easier.  I clearly need it.  I just can't seem to "do it all" lately.  Not that I've ever really been a master, but lately I seem to be scrambling to accomplish anything on my "to do" list.

The reason for that is simple.  I'm taking more time to enjoy the little things in life.
My family.
My friends.
And Life.

But, we can all use a little help to make our life a little simpler.  That's where this linky comes in to play.

By the way, if you want to know more about my reasons behind this linky, head to my original post {here}.   If you'd like to join me, grab this button:

For my first Can't Live Without It post, I'd like to share with you a service that I recently have fallen in love with!
(Although Hello Fresh is not paying me to write this post, I have added my promo code to this post.  If you sign up, I do receive credit.)
This is a weekly box service that states that they make cooking easy. And they do!  When you subscribe, they deliver "delicious recipes and the exact ingredients to your door every week". (From their website).

They create healthy recipes, you then choose what you would like for them to send, they send the ingredients straight to your door and you cook a delicious meal in 30 minutes or less.  You can skip a week (or schedule when you want to skip a week), too.

Three meals come straight to your door in a styrofoam cooler with all of the ingredients you need for all three meals. Everything is clearly labeled and all ingredients are farm fresh.  Um, Hello Fresh.

I currently subscribe to the Veggie box, but they have a classic box (meat), too.

Very easy to read and follow recipe cards are sent, too.  That was the selling point for me.  Everything is easy, easy, easy to prepare.  If you know me, I am not a cook.  This allows for me to fake it.

These meals literally take me less than 30 minutes to cook.  And they are delicious!

I received a $20 coupon to try them out back in the summer.  Although I liked the meals, I just didn't like the price.  The veggie box is $59 a week.  I thought that was pricey for what I got, so I stopped getting them.  But then, I thought about it.  That's $20 a meal for my family.  That's not a bad deal considering the amount of free time I was given.  I have less planning to do.  Fewer grocery shopping to do.  And, I know what's for dinner! (Isn't that half the battle anyway?)  So, I started it back up and I have LOVED it.

A little tip if you decide you want to try it out:  The $59 a week (or $69 for the classic box) is for what they say are 2 meals 3x a week.  However, I have a family of four and when I add a side, or beef up a meal by adding more pasta, or rice, or throw in some extra veggies, we usually end up with leftovers for my lunch.  It has been a life-saver for me this year.

If you are interested, you can click on the links to go directly to Hello Fresh.  If you use my promotional code, you receive a $40 coupon, too.  If the link doesn't allow you to use the coupon code, try typing in this code: HL9NU3.

I love this subscription and....

I Can't Live Without It :)

I'd love for you to link up your ideas and things that you can't live without.  For more instructions on ideas about what you can add, please read the original post {here}.

November Bright Ideas Round-Up!

Welcome to the November edition of the Bright Ideas Link-Up!

This one is a special one! Over the past 10 months, we have shared thousands of great ideas through our monthly Bright Ideas event. This month, we’re re-capping all of those great ideas, just in
case you missed any! Below you will find some of my bright ideas from the past several months:

My first link up with the Bright Ideas Link-Up is actually one of my favorites!  How do you tame your task cards?
Click on the picture above to go to that post.

I also love the post where I shared how students sign out to go to the bathroom.  This post is one of my most pinned posts.

Click on the picture above to check out that post.

The last Bright Idea I'm re-sharing is the tip on how to save on wall space.  This tip came from a teacher-friend and it saved me a lot of headache!

Click on the picture above to go to that post.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed these bright ideas, and that you have found an idea that you can use in your own classroom. Be sure to check out the link up below for tons more bright ideas from my friends!

Monday Made It {November 10, 2014}

November Monday Made It.  I haven't linked up since August  Where has the time gone...

As most of you know, I've switched gears this year and I'm now teaching ESOL.  I've just barely gotten my feet wet and am finally in a groove of "almost" knowing what I'm doing.  You know, each new teaching position has a bit of a learning curve and this one has been a huge bend in the road.  Like a mountain road kind of bend.
On to my Made Its:
Since I've switched gears, I'm finding that I have a need for ELA resources to use with my ELL students.  When looking for resources, I've found that I can't quite find what fits my needs.  See, I pull kids to work with me in my classroom twice a week for 30 minutes.  There's just not enough time in that short session to do all of the activities found in most resources that are geared towards phonics.  I need something quick and easy.  And, I need for it to be a flipbook, or notes, that can be added to their ESOL notebooks.  So, I've started creating what I need.  First up..."L" Blends:

Yay!  It's on sale right now for only $1!  Check it out {here}.
I didn't really make this...but I framed it:

Isn't it lovely?  I got it from a  If you haven't Jane-ed (yep, made up that word...remember, I do that a lot), then you should totally check them out. The seller was Beloved Paper.  So, if you are interested in it, you can check out more of her loveliness {here}.
And now the curtains:
I have been loving getting creative with my Erin Condren Planner.  It's one of my "happy" times of the week.  I love coming up with ways to get a little creative and use very little brain power doing it.  This is the perfect way to do's relaxing.
(Yes, this is last week...but it's finally completed.  This week's is still a work in progress.)
Finally, this isn't really a tangible thing...but it's an idea that I've recently created.

Starting on November 22nd, I'll be starting up a new monthly linky.  It will be similar in nature to the Fabulous Finds Friday that I did back in 2011, but with a twist.  Check out what I mean {here}.  Hope you'll consider linking up!

How about you?  What have you been creating?

Have a great week!

New Series Coming Soon!

Lately, I've been so consumed with my new position, my family, and life in general, that I haven't had time (or rather made time) to post to my blog.  I've missed it.  I've missed connecting with all of you.  All of you who have truly been my Professional Learning Community {PLC for those familiar with Educationese} for the last several years.

During my first full summer of blogging, I started a series called "Fabulous Find Friday" where bloggers would showcase some of the great things we were finding while shopping for our classrooms.  It was a way to share (before most people started using Instagram) where the good deals were for the week.

I found a lot of great ideas through this series and it's kinda the idea that I'd like to bring back to my blog/blog readers/fellow bloggers.

However, I'm going to start it with a bit of a twist.  I really want to showcase one thing that has made your life as a teacher easier. Something that you've found that you seriously can't live without any more.

Without sharing my entire post for when this starts, I'll give you a hint about the type of things that I'll be blogging about to help give you some ideas about what you could possibly share during this link-up.

1) Teaching supplies you can't live without
2) Subscription services you can't live without
3) Organizational ideas/ products you can't live without
4) Home/Cooking/Clothing products you can't live without (because, let's face it, if you can't get all of your life in place, we can't be effective teachers, right?)
5) Teaching products you can't live without

I'm going to run this linky the THIRD Saturday of every month.  I don't want to interfere with the fabulous linkys that are already in place:  Monday Made It, Currently, Bright Ideas, Five for Friday, etc.

Look for the first link up on November 22.  I realize this is actually the fourth Saturday of this month, but the Bright Ideas post for November is scheduled for the 15th.

Hope to see you back on the 22nd!

Dry Erase Surfaces Made Easy {A Bright Idea}

It's that time again!
Are you ready for some...

I've got a simple idea to make learning a little more fun!
Have you heard that you can paint surfaces to be dry erase?  Yes, you read that correctly!  Many surfaces can be used with Dry Erase pens!  Check it out...

I started with a thrift store coffee table that my in-laws found for me a few weeks ago.  I painted the entire table with white spray paint.

Next, we found this awesome product at our local Home Depot:

I had originally planned on painting the top of the coffee table with chalkboard paint, but found this instead.  I think it will be much better!

My husband followed the directions on the package and covered the top of the table with two coats of the dry erase paint.  We let it "cure" for about 3 days and my sweet daughter tested it out.

Looks good, right?

But, how does it erase?

Not bad, right?

I'm sure not many teachers plan on putting a coffee table in their room, but think about the endless possibilities:

Clipboards, table and desk tops (if you are granted permission to paint school furniture), filing cabinets, etc.  And if you are super lucky and can paint walls and cool??

I hope you found a new little trick while visiting!

If you are new to my blog and enjoyed this bright idea, please consider joining me on FacebookInstagram or at Teachers Pay Teachers for more great ideas!

For more bright ideas tons of different bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting! 

What are you waiting for?  Have a great time checking out the links to find more

I'm Supporting Breast Cancer Research with Tieks!

Cancer Sucks.  And it is all around us.  If you haven't been personally affected by cancer, then you should consider yourself very lucky.  I have had several family members and friends lose their battle with cancer including my grandfather, my aunt, and my daughter's best friend's mother.  

In my daughter's young life, she has seen cancer strike and take the lives of two very special people in her life. And very quickly, too.  How do you explain that to a young girl?  You can't.  You can only listen and love as she cries and questions.

We need more research for a cure and we need it sooner than later.  More importantly, we need people to take the time to educate themselves about early detection.  Especially women.

Which is why I was so very happy to team up with Tieks and the American Cancer Society to promote awareness during the month of October. 

I received these beautiful pair of Tieks about two weeks ago:
You might have seen my excitement on Instagram when they arrived:

I am lucky enough to already have 2 pairs of Tieks and I LOVE them.  I love this pink pair even more!  Not only are they supporting a wonderful cause, but they are even more comfortable than the other two pair that I wear ALL of the TIME.  Read more about my love of Tieks and check out my other two pair {here}.

But this pair....swoon :)

Do you know the following facts?

-In the U.S., 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
-Every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.
-Every 15 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer in the U.S.  
-When breast cancer is detected early in the localized stage, the 5 year survival rate is over 95%.
-It has been estimated that if every woman over the age of 50 had her yearly mammogram, breast cancer deaths in this age group would drop by 25% or more.

-Ways to increase your chance for early detection:

Please, please spread the word.  My daughter and I would appreciate it.  Now, if only I can stop her from wearing my Tieks...or maybe not.

Currently It's October...Really?

October already?

I'm linking up with Farley for this month's Currently.  I've missed the last two months, I think??

Listening: To the TV in the background and my sweet dog moving around on the floor.  Poor fella is getting a little old and when he moves around, it seems to catch my attention.
Loving: My ELL students! I love working with these students.  In the few short weeks that I have been working with them, I have seen tremendous growth already.  Plus, they are precious.  PRE.C.IOUS!!
Thinking: About the weekend...need to take care of a bunch on the growing "to do" list around the house...
Wanting: To hit a few more bucket list items this school year.  It's my daughter's senior year, so time is of the essence.  I can't believe she'll be off to college next fall.
Needing: Pretty much nothing...except maybe more time.  Or a time machine.
And for my Trick or Treat:

I recently hit a milestone on Teachers Pay Teachers and this week, I am celebrating by sharing my Multiplication Lapbook.  You can still snag a free copy until Sunday!  Thank you to everyone for all of your support over the last 3 years!

Now, what have you been up to lately?  Check out everyone's CURRENTLY over with Farley!

Interactive Notebook Cover {A Freebie!}

I've recently transitioned into a brand-new teaching adventure teaching ESOL and I love it!  My ELL students are amazing and I can't wait to learn and grow with them this year.

Last week, I officially started pulling them for their instruction.  The first few weeks of school were spent testing new ELL students and completing federal paperwork.  Those were probably the longest weeks of my entire teaching career because I missed seeing students.

Which is one of the reasons that I've been sporadic (at best) with posting to this blog.  I really haven't had too much to say.

Now that I've started seeing students, I hope to start sharing more of what we are doing.

I'll start today with sharing our interactive notebooks.

If you have been a reader since the beginning, you already know that I am a strong believer in interactive notebooking.  Yes, "notebooking".  It's a verb.  As in we "DO" this together.  It requires active thinking and "doing".

When I transitioned into this new role, luckily for me, I was partnered back up (although virtually as we are in different schools) with my best teacher friend in the whole-wide-world.  I shared two years ago about how sad I was that she was leaving me to do ESOL.  You can read all about that {here}.  But, now that we are back together, we have been sharing ideas again and we are back to being like peas and carrots :)

Anyway, she has been notebooking with her ELL kiddos and I knew that I would want to do that, too!

Take a look at the covers we created last week.

Do you need a notebook cover?  I made this one available as an editable file.  Check it out by clicking on the image below:

Do you use interactive notebooks?  I'd love to hear about how you have your students create covers.  Leave me a comment below!

Hope to be back soon!