Friday, March 10, 2017

How to Survive Winters...Alone

As many as you know or may not, I spent 1/4 of the year alone while Clint heads south to Texas to train dogs for the winter. Every year people ask me how I do it and honestly sometimes I wonder how I don't go a little cabin crazy myself. Or maybe I'm already too cabin crazy to realize that it has already happen. But in all honestly I keep pretty busy. It is almost like a "reset" to my year. He leaves days after NYE and doesn't return until late March. So here I sit for nearly 80 days with 3 dogs and a pig on 200 acres down a gravel road 20 minutes from the nearest gas station. I think spending time with yourself is really important. It makes you appreciate yourself more because let's face it---there's no one else to. Am I right? So if you ever find yourself with lots of free time alone or just need to survive the rest of the winter. Here ya go girl, I got it for ya!

1. Master a new make-up (or hair) skill
Last year I finally became a girl and learned how to curl my hair from watching way too many YOUTUBE videos. This year I dug out my makeup bag and practiced contouring. I'm not sure if I can call myself a master just yet but my confidence has grown for sure.  

2. Try a new workout
Obviously where I live the workout classes are limited to none, not joking either. Fortunately with my daily commute to work I pass probably about ten gyms. I have always wanted to try hot yoga but I don't think that's coming to rural Missouri anytime soon so second on my list was Barre classes! I have seriously fallen in love with Barre classes over the past 6 weeks. Not only do I feel a little more sassy when I leave I wake up the next morning with every bone in my body aching. It uses muscles that you didn't even know existed. I'm actually going to two different places right now and both are amazing. One is Barre cardio and it an hour long class and the other is more low impact and 30 minutes. Summer bods are made in the winter righttttt?!?! So I know new gyms and workouts can be intimating but they are so worth it, your booty will thank you.  

I've always considered myself somewhat as a minimalist (minus my makeup and hair products) and I'm not sure why. Growing up I was a pack rat but as an adult and moving several times throughout the past ten years I really have let a lot of things go and it is very freeing. I love to shop and love stuff but I don't like crap and I HATE clutter, Which is really surprising because my classroom is a disaster 99% of the time. Each year after Clint leaves I seriously tear apart the house to the point where if company came by they would be concerned for my sanity. I donate everything I haven't worn in a year, throw away all my old shoes, and simply get rid of anything that doesn't bring me joy. Cheesy? Yes, but life is too short and if it serves me no purpose I hope that someone else can find some with it. My advice, start by selling anything worth a dollar on Facebook Market or an app like PoshMark. I think I made over $100 in January selling clothes, accessories and other household items. If you're having trouble getting started...just click here. You can thank me later. 

4. Deep clean (and organize) until your heart hurts
After the purging and trash removal the cleaning begins. Me giving anyone cleaning advice is a huge joke because honestly I hate it. Its a vicious cycle at my house with 3 inside dogs. Nothing is ever clean and once it is clean it doesn't stay that way long. I usually start in the rooms that I won't be using in the winter: spare bathroom, Clint's office and the spare bedroom. I focus on one room at at time and once it's done I really close the door and move onto the next room. So far I've mastered 4 rooms of the house and with the end of March in sight I've been saving the ones I use everyday for last. This doesn't mean I skip my cleaning for three months (I wish it did) but I save the deep cleaning and reorganizing until last so they are fresh in March. This week I've been working on the kitchen which means doing a total wipe down of the tops of the cabinets and the top of the refrigerator. Tonight I straightened up under the kitchen sink, consolidated cleaning supplies and took everything out of my utensil drawer. That was a purge in itself unfortunately. So now when you enter my kitchen and open the drawers you think we have our lives together.

5. Learn to meal prep
I actually enjoy cooking when I'm preparing it for other people but cooking for myself all winter is something I have zero interest in. I started cooking on Mondays and using that for the whole week. It is seriously a game changer. I've found that quiche is really easy, delicious and reheats perfectly.(Here's my fav), I cook up broccoli, chicken, tons of sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts to get me through the week..Don't worry that's not all I eat but it does make packing lunch much easier. Another one of my winter favorites is crock-pot apple cinnamon oatmeal!

6.  Start a budget and a Savings
I seriously can't even believe I said the B word. In all my years I've never budgeted my money until very recently. Luckily I think it is something I've always done naturally because I've always considered myself pretty frugal. I've been traveling more recently so that really took a dent in my teacher's paycheck. This winter I've sat down and really looked at my spending. Sticking to it is a whole different blog post though. We won't go there. Two or three years ago I started having money automatically taken out of my paycheck each month and added into a separate account. It is an IRA that grows interest. I wish I knew exactly what it is but I just trust my financial adviser that he knows what he is doing with it. It also gave me a greater refund on my taxes. If you're interest in starting one let me know and I'll hook you up! I highly recommend it.

7. Volunteer at work
Let's face it, a teachers whole job is basically volunteering. We come in early and stay late and do whatever is needed to get by. In the winter I always try to do more because I have that time to invest and I actually enjoy doing it. Volunteering to do extra stuff at work can be exhausting and add stress. I always try to do stuff that I enjoy doing so I don't look at it as work but more of something fun to do with the kids. This year I took on Media Team where we started making very short videos for the school. The kids love it so I call it a win.

8. Online shop for all your wedding and baby showers 
You guys!! I love shopping. Seriously, it is not a hobby of mine---It is a passion. And with the world at the the touch of a button I have shopped up or planned up for all my showers and weddings this year. I'm excited to share these things with you guys later. I love buying the perfect gifts for people and occasions. Teacher budget wedding gifts are coming guys. Just wait. I probably spend the majority of the time on my phone window shopping. I feel like I always had the best intentions of buying the best gifts in the past but always waited too long and then it was too late to order. Get on it! You won't regret being prepared.

10.  Get Crafty
Something I've really been interested in over the past few months is woodworking. In January I sought out the perfect kitchen table plans and started building it when the help from my Dad. We had a lot of fun and in the end build a beautiful table. My intentions were to sell it but I haven't had the response like I thought I would. I overpriced it purposely...maybe so  no one would buy it:) I love it so much. It needs a great home that will appreciate it as much as I do. I have several other things on my list to build too but told myself I have to sell my table first. It really is amazing what you can accomplish if you actually set your mind to it. With the proper guidance almost anything is possible these days. Seek out someone who is knowledgeable about the project. My dad was so patient and eager to teach me. I learned so much about different tools. An invaluable lesson for sure. Anyone need a table?

If you made it this far you clearly have enough time to sit down and think about all the things you want to accomplish this Spring considering there are 10 days left in winter!! Hooray! Hope this motivates you to get on it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gift Guide 2016

Eeeeek! Christmas is coming guys! I'm sharing a few of my favorite things to either ask for, gift to your bff, or buy yourself:)

1. KS "Elton" Cuff..I've never considered myself a Kendra Scott kinda girl, it is just too trendy for me! BUT I fell in love with this bangle. I love bracelets and the multi colored tones these jewels offer are perfect for the holidays. They remind me of Christmas lights!

2. Hue Leggings.. Once you wear theses leggings you will understand my lust. They are amazing. They hold it all in, don't stretch out and have a wide band! Eat away my friends, these will hide it all. And the price is spot on---Only $36 with free shipping. Plus they have thousands of good reviews. (I have bought 3 pairs of these!!)

3. Louis Vuitton Helene Wallet... Okay a bit pricey I know but I use this wallet EVERYDAY! It has changed my life. I no longer lug a purse into the grocery store because I grab this full of all my cards and cash and stash it in my pocket. It's so small but holds tons. Mine is actually an older model so it doesn't have the coin purse. Which is a bonus! An investment piece that you will LOVE!

4. Allison Blase Gold Horseshoe Necklace... My GO TO necklace ladies! It's delicate, girly, 14k gold and handmade in MISSOURI! Not to mention Allison is the sweetest gal around so shop small.

5. Nike Air Max Thea SE Sneaker... My heart skipped a beat when these beauties popped up on my computer screen. No explanation needed.

6. Stella & Dot  Multi IKat Travel Jewelry Box...Another item that I snagged this fall that I can't wait to use! Perfect for traveling this holiday season! Love the bright colors.

7. Patagonia Women's Cotton Quilt Snap-T Pullover.. Winter is so cold in the mid-west and this is warm and quilted!! Adorable. Number 1 on my Christmas list.

8. Ain't Nobody Needlepoint Pillow.. It has pink velvet people! How darling would this be on your BFF's couch?

9. Rose to Teal Faux Glitter Case.. I've been eyeballing these cases for a few weeks. They go perfect in a stocking. I love how they are clear so you can still see your rose gold phone:)

10. Viva La Juicy Perfume... Juicy brings me back to my teenage years for sure. Wear the juicy without the velour jumpsuit. I recently snagged this up and love the sweet scent. Perfect daytime perfume.

Hope this makes your Chirstmas list making or buying a bit easier! XOXO!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Long Hair Don't Care

Let's face it, good hair is a journey not a destination and If you know me well you know I'm a HUGE product junkie! My beauty supplies could use their own closet and I love trying new products! When I was younger I felt like healthy hair came natural to me. As 23 turned into 27 and now 28 my hair was turning brittle and dull. Fall back to January and I made a promise to myself that I would start taking care of my hair again. Now, almost a whole year later I can finally start to tell results. Don't let anyone tell you that Wal-Mart purple shampoo is good for you!! I promise it's not--- I tried it. Here's my favorites that don't break the bank but are worth the investment!
Joico K-PAK Color Shampoo
 I swear this stuff made my hair grow almost overnight. My hair went from short to long and in a year and I owe it all to his shampoo.
Pureology Platinum Shampoo & Conditioner
I rotate Pureology because as much as I would like to use it everyday I'm not sure it's practical but this is for sure my first choice.  No one wants a brassy blonde.

Matrix So Silver
And for my second choice I love Matrix Total Results So Silver which a bit more affordable.. I'm 99% sure I snagged these when JC Penny's was having a salon sale. I think they run buy one get one 1/2 off pretty often.

One 'N Only Argan Oil Treatment
After showering my hair is a tangled mess.. it's just naturally that way so adding the tiniest amount of Argan oil to the ends really helps getting a wet brush through without breaking and damaging hair.

During the week I try to eliminate adding heat to my hair as much as possible.  When that's not possible I use a Chi Pro blow dryer.  I've never been 100% sure how I feel about this dryer but at the time I purchased it I think it was a top seller. Now that technology has improved I know their are better ones on the market so I don't think I would recommend this one unless you were able to buy it at a steal price.

Bb Curl Defining Creme
When I'm not using a blow dryer I use Bumble and Bumble Defining Creme for a natural curl. I quickly realized that less is more with this product and using too much weighs down your hair and causes your curls not to curl.

Pureology Smooth Perfection Smoothing Lotion
For straight hair I toss the smallest amount on my middle and ends..

OnePass Pro Styling Iron
And I use this straightener which I LOVEEEE!

Bb Styling Creme
When I curl my hair...which isn't too often, I love using a styling cream because my hair doesn't hold curl well unless its dirty. This is my newest one but I haven't had a chance to use it yet!

I use this curling iron which it takes a minute to get used to but is super easy once you get the hang. 

Bb Texture Hair (Un) Dressing Creme
I most recently started tossing this on the ends to add some texture to the curls. It seems to help hold them too.

Bb Thickening Dryspun Finishing Spray
And I love this for adding some fullness. I actually really like this and just got it.

For hair spray I love Kenra and Big Sexy Hair

Friday, September 30, 2016

Currently Teaching....and Anchor Charts

Happy fall!! September has flown by and this is what we are currently doing in second grade! Scroll down for our anchor charts:)

Morning Work:
This is the third year I've used this and I still enjoy it! Third grade teachers also use the third grade packet and they enjoy it too!


Phonics is something we picked back up this year. I'm hoping it will eventually click! There are always those holes from first grade so I'm hoping to fill them in with a quick exit ticket each morning. I also put these cheat sheets up so they can choose a blend, digraph, etc.. or else you may get some WILD combos. 


I swear by Jessica's stuff from Second Grade Nest! She is amazing!

Skill Focus:
This resource is great! We made a collective noun class book yesterday with this unit and they turned out adorable! I wish I could upload them all. It was a fun way to end our 4 day week.


This is the first time in 3 years of teaching second grade I've felt confident in teaching narratives! It really breaks it down!

We are on Module 2 of Eureka Math which is measurement!
It can be found HERE. We supplement it with ZEARN.ORG. We just started using it and my kids are loving it!


This has kept me focused! 

Kids think they are doing less work since it's only a half sheet:)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Stick a Fork in Me...we're DONE!

Found this in my drafts from May:
Tomorrow is my last day... As crazy as this school year was I really enjoyed this class....all 25 of them! 

What a rotten group!

Yesterday we spent the entire day cleaning the room and getting everything packed up, now that it's done we can spend the rest of the day enjoying our friends!

We did a couple of memory books!

This one seemed to be the most favorable!

We ended by doing a self-assessment. They were pretty on target!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Fri-nally (Late Post)

With only 6 days of school left its starting to seem unreal that SUMMER can be this close! I saw a lightening bug last night and that gave a bit more realization to the fact! Today is the last day of my college student math push-in. We are celebrating.

*Forgot to post Friday

Monday, April 18, 2016


Is this school year almost over? Here's what I'm currently up to.

Reading: Jessica's stuff is AMAZING! I buy them all!



I highly recommend all these resources for your teaching needs!

For writing I do my own thing. I'll share that when I'm done with it:) 
Social studies we are doing maps and in math we are sticking to our Eureka math! 
Happy Monday ya'll!