Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm in LOVE...

...with UNEXPECTED snow days like today!

Today is one of those days where I was truly surprised to get the 5:30 2-hour delay call and then was ECSTATIC to find out that we had cancelled! We had some freezing rain last night and I can imagine that some of our rural roads, which might still be snow-covered from Friday's snow, were not safe to drive on. 

Since I did all my running-around-town-ing over the weekend, today is a SUPERFLY BONUS day to catch up on everything I just didn't get around to over the weekend around the house & my new 

Aaaaand, to spread the love, it's 20% off until the end of the month!

Another reason I am SUPER excited for today is that it pushes our 100th day of school back to Friday. This is something I've been yakking about for a couple of weeks because I discovered that the 100th day would have been this Thursday, and I'm out for a grade-level meeting all day. I finally decided to just celebrate on Friday when I came back, but was feeling a little bad that it would be the 101st day..even though my kiddos wouldn't notice.

Wish granted! Whoopee!

In honor of today I created a little pack of acrostic poem frames in a SNOW-DAY theme!


Well, so far, today's productivity hasn't reached beyond this laptop and a cup of chai tea. 
I'd better get busy around here! I have plans to organize my kitchen cupboards & MAYBE my closet upstairs. No promises on the latter...that's a big job! :)
I've also promised my hubby a good dinner since I'm home all day.
I'm thinking chicken & black bean enchiladas! Mmmm!

Here's to celebrating snow days...or ice days!

Until next time...

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter Walks & No-Bake Energy Bites

Gorgeous winter days are wonderful.

Yesterday the Hubs and I decided to take off on a nice little hike while the sun was out & the breeze was blowing. I keep complaining that the hiking boots I got last summer are too clean-looking and wanted to get some dirt on those little babies...I'm so weird sometimes.

We hiked at Salt Fork State Park, which we are fortunate enough to live near. The snow is all gone, and most everything is brown. The crisp blue sky and the occasional shocks of green moss & rocks were a nice contrast. So beautiful. So nice to get some fresh air!

My Mr.

We did the quickie loop trail. I wanted to go down by the lake but it was WAY too muddy!

Oh, I just love this place! In the middle of a pine thicket there's an opening where the sun shines in. 

You're my blue sky- you're my sunny day

Billy said: "I feel like I'm in the Lord of the Rings right now" :)

This hike paired up PERFECTLY with the No-Bake Energy Bites I made last week!
I re-pinned the recipe from a friend on Pinterest. The original recipe is here
I made some modifications to fit my tastes & they came out SO GOOD! 
Here's the recipe I ended up with:

My Version of No Bake Energy Bites

1 c. dry oats (I used quick-cooking oats)
2/3 c. toasted coconut flakes 
1/4 c. almond butter
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. chia seeds
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/3 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract

This recipe is so simple! Just mix all the ingredients in a bowl. It's a little stiff at first, but once you get it mixed, it combines well.

Cover the mix with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. 
This will help when you roll out the energy balls later.

Once chilled, roll out into 1-1 1/2 inch balls. These are kind of big, but I was tired and wanted to get to bed. I needed to eat an energy bite before I made energy bites. Ha!


I'm keeping them in Tupperware in the fridge- they're really good kind of cold.
This weekend I've had them for breakfast, a snack, and an after-lunch bite of sweetness. I'm already thinking of the ways I can do this differently next time. Adding dried fruit, flax seeds, and nuts would be nice, too. I'm thinking a cherry chocolate-chip (an ode to Cherry Garcia, maybe?) version will be next.  


Friday, January 18, 2013

The Winter Blahs

How do you deal with the winter blahs? 

It always happens. It's cold outside, dark waaaaay too early, and the magic of Christmas has all but worn off. We've had snow, a little thaw, and a little coating of ice. It's helped to make most everything soggy and gross. Even the yard feels ugly, or at least it would if the yard could feel.

I needed a pick-me-up. Who knew that would come in the form of a roast chicken? Martha did.

 I tried out a new recipe from the January issue of Martha Stewart Magazine.

I made Roast Spatchcocked (I can't say it without snickering because I am forever 10 years old) lemon chicken. It was so good, even though I don't think I'm tasting too much. I LOVE lemons and found some meyer lemons & shallots that made this super tasty. Cutting out the backbone to make it lay flat was an experience. It felt a bit barbaric! Well worth the effort, though. I'm shredding leftovers for spinach salads for tomorrow's lunch.

It was really very easy and SO delicious!

I wish I would have taken some photos of the process, but as it so often happens, I'm half-way through the process when I remember to get out my camera..or phone.

So, until I can get to somewhere sunny and warm, this dish will serve as a way to make dinner a little lighter and a little brighter. Try it'll be glad you did!

Pizzza, Donuts, & a Valentine's day freebie!

Hi, All!
Where have the last couple of weeks gone?
I can’t believe that January seems to be passing me by! Even though I can’t really tell yet, it just FEELS good to know that the days are getting a bit longer and that each day we are creeeeeeeping ever so slowly towards springtime. It’s out therefar awaybut getting closer.
It’s the little stuff.

I’m happy to report that I survived (haha) a bout with some strep-throat yuckiness a couple of weeks ago!  I HATE getting ready for a subespecially when I’m sick. My kiddos were good, thank goodness, and other than taking a couple of days to catch up when I returned, things are back to normal.

Our class celebrated a fun award- we were the winners of a holiday change drive & got our choice of a donut or pizza party.

Of course, we voted on it!

Donuts were the clear winners! 
What would your students or kids choose? I think that since they have pizza once a week at school, and at home, too, they chose the donut route. It was a perfect mid-week treat!  

I kind of forgot that I made this class Valentine's day book a couple of weeks ago. I found a couple of old class books and have been showing them to my students...they're so excited to make one of their own. 
I'm glad I did find it though, because it's perfect for today's FREEBIE FRIDAY event at Teaching Blog Addict.

I am in LOVE with the glittery backgrounds I found on Etsy! Check them out here!
They come in a rainbow of colors & I can't wait to make some more fun stuff with them!

I hope to catch up on some blog posts this long weekend- at least that's the plan!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Friday Freebie for the New Year!

I headed back to school yesterday with a renewed sense of was either that or I'd had too much coffee. Either way, it was a quick day full of eager first graders who were excited to show me their new clothes & tell me about their break. I heard lots of "I missed you" and "I'm so glad to be back at school"! 
That kind of stuff is so good for the teacher's heart.
 I really missed them, too.

...and can I say that going back on a Thursday definitely has it's advantages- mostly that today is FRIDAY! 

To celebrate, I'm offering a New Year's roll-the-dice game! My students LOVE to play roll-the-dice..especially with the cool new casino dice we received from a Las Vegas casino! They're red and transparent. I've been trying to incorporate dice as much as I can in math activities, mostly because my kiddos just love to work with them!

This product is part of my New Year's Math & Literacy Center Packet on TPT.Check it out!

I've got a MAJOR assignment due this weekend as well as report cards to enter and lesson plans to create. 
We'll also be celebrating my Mama-in-Law's birthday :)
It's safe to say that most of this weekend is already spoken for. 
That's okay. 
I'm glad to be back in the swing of things. 

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Currently

Happy New Year!
2013 is here!

We had a super-fun party last night with some of our buddies and streamed Phish's concert from Madison Square Garden. Today I cleaned up confetti, streamers, and remnants from the celebration. Today we spent time with my family to celebrate my brother's birthday. I played in the snow with my nephew and just had the best time! As my vacation is winding down, I'm designing a game-plan for the next few weeks, both for my personal and professional life.

I've made my January currently, too!

If you follow my blog you'll notice that each month I post a picture of a super-cute "currently" background and fill it in with the things I'm CURRENTLY thinking. This is part of FARLEY'S page and it's so neat! I've found some excellent blogs through this monthly linky party as well as some friends! 

Without further we go!

Listening: This is a familiar sound in this house! Bless his heart, he has the best of intentions to actually watch an entire movie...he just gets so comfortable and before I know it...he's out like a light! Not one to miss an opportunity, this is usually when I peel the remote out of his hand and change the channel! Score!

Loving: Call me naive, I don't care. I am in LOVE with all the positivity I've been feeling lately. New Years signifies fresh starts & new beginnings The chance to finally get it right. Whatever your resolutions may be, I truly wish you all the determination and tenacity in the world. 

Thinking: Even though my last day of vacation is tomorrow, I'm really ready to see my kiddo's faces again! I've missed them! I'm excited to hear their Christmas stories and start the second half of our school year. I'm planning on being at school ALL day tomorrow to de-Christmas my room and make copies, etc. While I'm at it, I may as well do some organizing. I've got a BUNCH of laminating to do, too. 
It will feel SO nice to be ready for the kids when they return!

Wanting; If the last few weeks have taught me anything it's that this winter is SURELY not going to be anything like last year's super-mild winter. We've got quite a bit of snow since we released for break and I'm already feeling the chill of recess duties on that frigid playground! I think I'm in the market for a new coat! I want something long, well-insulated, and cute. I found a cute coat while Christmas shopping but felt guilty buying something for myself when I should have been shopping for others. Now that Christmas is over, I may head back up to Columbus to snag it! Ha!

Needing: I really need to shut myself in my room with my laptop and materials and not let myself leave until this project is finished! This is a BIG component of my master's degree and is already over 60 pages without all of my analysis. I've been working on it little by little, but crunch time is here and I need to GET-IT-DONE! I will be SO GLAD on Saturday when it's submitted!

OWL (One Little Word): I had to think long and hard about this one. I chose the word "breathe" because I am really trying hard to be PRESENT. Not just going through the motions, but actually BEING in the moment. Breathing is one way that I ground myself and remind myself to just take in the things that I am surrounded with. I've begun (and by begun I mean dipping a pinky toe in) to practice yoga and breathing is a key component.

So folks, that's it! 

To my blog followers: THANK YOU! Your support, kind words, and encouragement mean SO MUCH to me! I'm looking forward to more successes and friendships in 2013!