Friday, May 31, 2013

Fun in the Sun Five for Friday!

I'm loving this Friday tradition of linking up with Doodle Bugs for "Five for Friday" :)
If you don't know about it, it's a linky where folks note five highlights (or lowlights, or anything) from the last week or so. It's neat to see what everyone is up to, as well as meet some really cool people!
If you haven't done so yet, LINK UP, YO!

1. I've got sad/happy news.
 I'm getting a new teaching partner next year.
I have mixed emotions about this because Miss D. and I worked  REALLY well together! 
I'll miss her cheerful smile, willingness to help, and daily interactions.
She's leaving to teach in her home district and I completely understand. She was an asset to our school and will be missed!
It still kind of stinks, though. 
BUUUUUT, I'm happy that another SUPERFLY talented teacher will be taking her position.
My friend, ANOTHER Miss D. has accepted the job as of TODAY and I am thrilled!
First grade is nothing, if not exciting, right?

2. I FINALLY got some flowers to plant!
I think that my later-than-usual gardening is actually exactly how it was supposed to happen.
Ohio has had some WHACK weather lately!
Even last weekend we had frost warnings & I overheard at the greenhouse that some local farmers in low-lying areas lost significant crops. It would be JUST like me to plant early and lose plants.
Boo on THAT!
Also, my tardiness made for some DEEP DISCOUNTS at the greenhouse.
I've got lots of potting and planting to do this weekend!

3. Hi, I'm Alisha and I love smoothies.
(crowd says: "Hi, Alisha")
This creation is made of blueberries, a banana, a handful of spinach, and some almond milk.
So good! Glad that summer is the time for lots of fresh fruits & veggies. 
Eating healthier is just EASIER in the summer, isn't it?
What are your favorite smoothie recipes?

4. I had SO much fun with my nephew today!
He's 3 1/2 and full of funny questions and comments.
He calls me CeCe and that makes me smile.
He loves to learn. Of course, I am always explaining things.
I think I blew his mind by telling him that HIS Daddy is MY brother.
We had some adventures today:

We started out by filling up the bird feeders. He now sees that as HIS job at my house. Love that!
Can't believe he held still long enough to grab a photo!

Then we headed to Stacy Family Farms and picked strawberries with my teacher-friend Karen. 
Stopped at the automatic carwash- he loved it!

1 in the bucket- 2 in the mouth.

He did a really good job! 

Karen and Ian picking berries

Well, OF COURSE we had to find COOL ROCKS!

My cutie-pie
.We followed up our pickin' with some lunch with Karen. So good to catch up, even though it's only been a week! On the way home, Ian snoozed. Naptime!
By the time we pulled in the driveway he was charged up and wanted to play outside.
Who knew that a $4 sprinkler from Wal-Mart could bring SO much excitement to our yard? 
We screamed, got soaked, and dried off in the sun.
It really doesn't get much better than that!

I'll have him 3 days next week, too. I wonder what kind of fun we can have?

5. This was printed on the tissue paper that came with my new Teva sandals.
Food for thought, for sure.
Hoping this summer brings "better stories" than ever before! 
For ALL of us!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Are You Reading This Summer?

For the first time in a long time, I'm reading for fun!
Now that my master's degree has been finished and summer vacation is here, I feel like I have the time to dive head-first into some great books.
That's not to say that I haven't READ lately...
It's just that, every time I'd start to get into a book, I'd start feeling bad about not reading a textbook, or grading papers, or even doing laundry.
Stupid conscience. I wish it would quiet down now and then :)
My plan this summer is to read, soak up some sun, and then read some more!

I've recently bought 3 books for my Kindle. Click on the links to buy them for yours!
Have you read any of these?

by, Sarah Jio

This comes highly recommended by my friends!

by, F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is actually one of those books I can't believe I haven't read yet! 
I really want to see the movie (in Imax 3D) but want to read the book first.

by, Stephen Chbosky

I've had my eye on this one for awhile. 

I also can't wait to visit my public library for some great finds.

What are some of your favorite summer reads?
Any recommendations for new/good/can't-not-read books?

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's Wild, Wacky, Wonderful, Wednesday!

I'm SUPERFLY happy to report that this is my first WWWW of summer vacation!
While it's relieving to be done, as I scan Instagram, I see so many cute ideas I wish I would have used! 
Teachers are some CREATIVE folks!
Definitely will be pinning some ideas to use next year!

Bring on Wild, Wacky, Wonderful, Wednesday! It's BOTH here on my blog, AND on INSTAGRAM (#wwww)
It's a linky party in which you can share the wild, wacky, and/or wonderful happenings in your classroom and in your life. A mid-week reason to celebrate our every-day-is-different lives!

I'd love for you to link up, too!
Grab the image below, add it to your post, and then link up below!
OR take a photo with Instagram and hashtag it with #wwww

This past week has definitely had it's wild, wacky, and wonderful moments:


My hubby and I, along with some great friends, spent the weekend at a music festival! We attended the Dark Star Jubilee in Thornville, Ohio. We love the Dark Star Orchestra- we're hippies at heart!
 Music is a HUGE part of our lives. Great tuneage, beautiful people, and an atmosphere of kindness, fun, and non-stop laughter thanks to the knuckleheads we were with made this a PERFECT way to kick off the summer music festival season! 


Well, maybe a new chevron notebook isn't TOO wacky, but I'm excited about it nonetheless! This $2 score from Big Lots (which I still want to call Odd Lots) just makes me smile.
I think I'm going to use it as my go-to summer journal. Last night we had friends over for dinner and used it to keep the score of our rummy game! 


If you can't tell, this is the "You've just ordered your new Teacher Lesson Planner" notification from! I am ECSTATIC about ordering this lesson planner. I'm a huge LIFE PLANNER devotee and was STOKED when my teaching partner gifted me with an Erin Condren gift card as an end-of-the-year gift! (word to the wise: the teacher lesson planners are on sale through the end of the month- save $16!). Now yes, the planners are kind of pricey, but believe me, this stuff is built to last! I take my life planner everywhere with me and it has held up beautifully! I'm a sucker for details and Erin has thought of everything! Really, you could use the life planner as a lesson planner if you wanted to! I can't wait to see all of the thoughtful touches she's included for teachers!

Are you on vacation yet? Is it getting close? 
What are your summer plans?
Today's adventures will include a trip to the greenhouse, grocery-getting (yuck!), and heading to the YMCA for a workout. Viva la Summer!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'm an Influenster!

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

You're a WHAT?
Maybe that's what you're thinking.
Let me explain...

I'm a SUPER beauty-product junkie! I've been a long-time subscriber to Birchbox and love to receive that little box every month! I've discovered some GREAT beauty products through Birchbox and am usually pretty happy with what I get. My favorite product so far has been a full-size Stila Bronzer that I received last summer. While most things are trial-sized, they still occasionally throw something larger in there.

To sum it up, I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff.

Have you heard of Influenster? They work with various products who, in turn, pass their goods onto people who then review them & give feedback- good or bad. In March I signed up on their website, took a few quizzes & gave a few product reviews. This month, I was happy to have been chosen to receive the Spring Fever VoxBox! Part of my agreement with Influenster is that I will review the products I've been sent.

That's what this post is all about!

I received my Influenster box last week. Here's what I got as well as my reviews of the products:

Impress Broadway Nails
This is the color I received. It's not something I would buy for myself. Wondering if I have something fun in my closet to wear them with? Haven't tried these out yet.

Secret Deodorant
I think the last time I used clear deodorant was in 8th grade, it burnt my armpits & I swore it off forever. Glad to see that things have changed!
This is perfect for summer!

NYC New York Color Appleicious Lip Gloss

This gloss is good! Not too sticky, gives my lippies a pretty flushed color, and tastes remarkably like Swedish Fish, which was not the intention, I'm sure, but I see it as an added bonus. 

Tasty Kake Sample
I'm not one for this kind of snack, but the peanut butter was pretty good in there. I'm not a fan of waxy-chocolate covered stuff. I wouldn't buy these, but Billy would love it if I did! Hehe!

Schwarzkopf  Professional Volumizing Hair Powder
I haven't had the chance to use this yet. To be honest, I'm afraid I'll use too much, my hair will look grey, and I will be sad. While searching for an image, I came across a tutorial. Will definitely watch before I attempt to try this out.

Well Peeps, that's it for that! Check out Influenster and maybe you can be a tester for yourself! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

High-Five For Friday!

By the time this posts airs I will most certainly be on summer vacation!
For those of you who aren't getting out for awhile, I promise, we are envious of your after-labor-day start schedules! It feels so weird to head back in August when it feels like there's still SO much summer left to enjoy!
But for those of you who have just begun your summer vacation, I send you virtual high-fives! 
Strike that, I'm sending EVERYONE high-fives! It's Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for the Five for Friday link up. I love going through my photos & recapping my never-boring weeks. I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead for me this summer :) I foresee lots of pool time, getting on a fitness schedule, and READING FOR FUN! That last one is something I never seemed to find time to do while I was working on my masters. I have a few books on my Kindle I can't wait to read. Does anyone have any recommendations for great books?'s my Five for Friday!

Packing, schmacking.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad FOR the process, just CRABBY about actually having to do it. 
HOPING I'll remember where I put everything. 
VOWING that I'll be more organized next year.
Tell me I'm not alone here! 

While we were packing I tried my hardest to let the kids help. They were so eager & oddly (not so oddly), they had the energy of little Oompa-Loompas. As a few kids helped me clear a bookshelf a boy turned a book over, showed me this photo, and asked: "Is this Jesus?"
Don't laugh, Alisha (I told myself).
"No honey, it's Shel Silverstein"

We had field day this week, too! We all loaded up the buses and headed to the city park. 
We rotated through stations like kickball, obstacle course, bubbles & water games, and we even had a picnic in the pavilion with hot dogs on the grill! So much fun!
These kiddos had found an earthworm. After yelling at everyone in a 5 foot radius to stay away from it (haha) they yanked out a bunch of grass and made it a "home". 
I'm going to miss those little animal-lovers!

I also hosted my first linky! I'm hoping that it will be a fun mid-week celebration of the wild, wacky, and wonderful-ness that is US!

Finally, our school hosted it's annual OSCAR awards ceremony. It was fantastic! We began the tradition after our school reached a milestone "rating" from the state. We want to stress to our students that "Our School Cares About Results". Each time we host it gets better and better. We had special reason to celebrate this year because we were 1 of about 90 schools in our state designated as an "High Progress School of Honor" for our continuous improvement. 

We try to go all-out in our formal wear (you know, gowns, tuxedo t-shirts), we have a spotlight, oscar-y music..the whole 9 yards! The kids even get golden statue awards. This ceremony was especially cool because we honored all of the community members who do so much for our school. Various churches & organizations put lots of time into our school to help our students and staff. It's really wonderful! 

This was the kind of week that was CRAZY-busy, but worth all the mayhem.
I'll be glad to kick back & relax this weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What NOT to do in first grade!

Can I just say HOORAY!
The kids are OUT for the year and after 2:15 tomorrow, I'm out, too!

Yesterday on Instagram I posted a picture of a class book that we made this week. 
It was called "What NOT to do in first grade". I told the kiddos it would be a gift to next-year's students to help them make their way through the first grade. At first, they couldn't think of ideas but once I gave a few suggestions they had a BLAST! 

I had them act out their ideas and I took their photos with my phone. I uploaded them to my computer, added text and some backgrounds and we had ourselves a slideshow! They loved it! I'm going to print out the pages & laminate them for the book.

If you're looking for a fun end-of-the-year activity, this worked well for me!

Here are some of the pages: