Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Legos!


LEGOS!
My friend went to a conference a few years ago where she learned about Legos being used in the classroom as non-linguistic representations.  Loved that idea so much I decided to create my own set to use!

So the first step you need to do is go to the Lego store and get their $15 buckets and fill them to the brim with a variety of bricks.  The thing about making your  classroom set is that all of the tubs have to have the same exact Legos in them.  That's why you can't just go to town on Craigslist and hope for the best.  If your tubs aren't all the same, the kids will fight over that one container that has the wheels in it.

Stack your legos so that you can really cram 'em in!


Now that you have brought home a ridiculous amount of Legos, it is time to enlist your trusty husband or family member to help you sort through all of this nonsense...


You may (like me) start cursing at your packing method which at the time seemed like a great idea which quickly evolved into something that looks a little like a murder scene. In order to separate these tightly compacted bricks, you need a rather large sharp knife and a handy dandy little Lego plastic separator.  I used the knife just to start the separation and the used the plastic wedge (around $2.50 at the Lego store) to fully separate the bricks.


You could use Legos for so much in the classroom and even though it is an investment (I spent around $65 for everything), you won't need to purchase them again. I used to use party favor sized Playdoh a lot for non-linguistic representations and still like to use them, but they dry out so quickly and the students are somewhat limited in what they can do.

Just be sure to write your name on the buckets in case you lend them out and number them that way you can hold your students accountable.


I plan to use these in a professional development coming up as well as in classrooms to model lessons.  I can picture these being used to represent their understanding of a concept, definitions to vocabulary words, metaphors, fractions, probability, you name it!

What would you use Legos for in the classroom?


Monday, February 16, 2015

Essential Oils Blog Hop


Disclaimers:
*The information in this post has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.
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*In addition, I received a sample oil in exchange for my participation in this blog hop and for the purpose of a testimonial. All opinions are my own. By being a part of this hop, I have the chance to receive a referral bonus.


Welcome to the Essential Oil Blog Hop!
Each participating blog has a different post on a number of topics, from how to use essential oils in general to actual uses and testimonials for the oils themselves. We hope that you will have some fun and learn a bit as well! If you are new to essential oils, you may want to start with some of these introductory posts:



            And now for some information about
            Clove - Healthier Oil the Thyme.jpg
            Information and Uses
            • Sweet and spicy fragrance
            • Stimulating and revitalizing
            • An important ingredient in Thieves
            • Immune-enhancing properties
            • Can be used to numb the gums for teething or other dental pain
            • Can be added to food to enhance the flavor

            To Use
            • Add to food to enhance the flavor
            • For a dietary supplement, dilute 1 drop in 4 fl oz of vegetable oil and put in capsule. Take one capsule before mealtime or as desired.
            • Diffuse using a specific essential oil diffuser
            • Dilute and apply to the bottom of the feet for immune-enhancing properties

            Things to Consider/Warnings
            • Should be diluted for topical use


            My Testimonial
            CONFESSION: I am very much a newbie when it comes to oils.

            In fact, I was a little overwhelmed by this project just because I knew absolutely nothing about essential oils or how to use them. Essential oils have intrigued me because I have always chosen to “suffer” through symptoms because I didn’t want to take medication for it. Being in classrooms all of the time, Clove seemed like a natural choice for it’s immunity boosting abilities. About a week ago, I noticed that I was definitely getting sick. We all know that dreaded feeling of waking up with a sore throat and you groan with frustration because you know this is just the beginning of a long, unpleasant journey. My friend, Dory, suggested that I put a little coconut oil and about 2-4 drops of clove essential oil on a q-tip and put it towards the back of my throat where I was experiencing pain. I sucked on it for a minute or two and promptly felt like I was sucking on a q-tip dunked in my favorite holiday scented candle. Moving past that was easy though because I happen to love the smell of clove. I started to feel a slight hot sensation from the q-tip and it was successful in numbing my pain for about an hour. I was amazed! The best part was, after doing this for a few days, I started realizing how quickly my sore throat had cleared up. Being the newbie that I was I didn’t really make the connection that, duh, obviously it had cleared up because I was consistently using the clove essential oils. I did the q-tip swab once in the morning and evening and I know that played a part in my sore throat really not developing into the mammoth sickness it could’ve potentially have been.  I have started to also use my clove essential oil on some stubborn chin acne along with coconut oil as a carrier.  I love the slight warm feeling on my acne; it feels like the clove oil is really fighting that evil acne bacteria! I can’t give you a result yet on this yet since I just started yesterday, so this little pimple story will need to be continued at a later date.  I was so impressed by my experience and it definitely cured my doubts about essential oils. I’m hooked now and can’t wait to experience with other oils!



            Please spread the love and visit some of the other posts in this Blog Hop!
            Make sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a roll-on bottle of Stress Away!
            EO Blog Hop Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway   If you fall in love with essential oils and are interested in purchasing the Premium Starter Kit (more on that here), make sure to mention my blog as a referral!

            Saturday, February 14, 2015

            Walls Need Love Too

            I love moving things around in my home and making them look new without actually going out to buy anything! Who doesn't love to shop their house?  I have been bugging George to make me these shelves for a really long time, but honestly I am not sure what I was thinking...

            A.  We are not handy with power tools
            B.  That would've been a whole lot of wood going on in a house that's already filled with wood         floors and wood cabinets 
            C.  We are not wood workers and I enjoy having all 10 fingers

            So I decided that these shelves would be a good alternative and they are pretty reasonably priced considering how much weight they hold.  Warning: You do have to screw about 36 holes in your wall so if you are squeamish about dry wall demolition, you may want to consider another route.

            I love the new look and how bright and colorful it is now.


            I filled them with some of my vintage treasures as well as some newer items that I have picked up and of course plants... because green always makes everything better. 

             

            I tried to follow these guidelines when I planned out my shelves and what you are seeing is probably the 3rd or 4th version.  I stuck with blues, greens, oranges, and golds. That sounds like a wide range of colors, but I used orange citrus trees as my inspiration. Here in Phoenix, the bark of some citrus trees is painted white to protect it from sun burn.  The bark of citrus trees is very thin and if you don't use the paint, the tree could end up looking more like a bush because the tree will start growing leaves at the trunk to try to shade itself from the sun. Here's a less than stellar example...


            So you can see on my shelves, I tried to replicate that same color palette.


            I also added a few handmade touches - I added gold glitter to the antler and the felt wreath was made by TheFeltFlowerShop on Etsy. <3


            Using different heights, colors, and textures makes this hodgepodge of items feel somewhat organized and put together.  I love it! It's hard to capture in pictures the full effect just because the shelves are so large, but hopefully you have gotten the overall idea.  If something is in your house that makes you smile when you look at it then it's a success, even if it's not perfect or everyone's cup of tea.  :) 



            Thursday, February 12, 2015

            Do the Dishes!

            Even though it is just George and I living in our house, I am always so amazed at the amount of dishes that pile up! I created a quick little sign from a leftover chalkboard that we used in our wedding so that we could keep track of whose turn it was.  (ignore the water drop stains!)


            I also added little Instax Mini pictures to the signs just to give it a little bit more of an ooomph and a punch!  Love my Instax Mini! If you don't have one you should buy one, but after you finish reading this post...


            George's side towards me seems a little aggressive, but I created it so I must've been feeling guilty about my lack of doing dishes the day I made this!

            Just a quick little craft! Have a wonderful 3 day weekend!


            Sunday, February 1, 2015

            Craigslist Coffee Table REDO

            Is anybody else a Craigslist nut out there?

            You know you are on Craigslist too often when you search for a category and you recognize things on repeat from your last virtual visit.  Some might call it a problem, I prefer to think of it as a talent.

            One lovely lonely coffee table kept popping up every time I searched for midcentury tables.  George and I decided to venture out to the east side of town to see the table.  When we saw it I knew I wanted it immediately - it was substantial but not clunky looking.  It needed A LOT of tender loving care though; the Phoenix sun had not been kind to it and it was completely sun warped.

            I paid the nice lady who made us eat the mystery citrus from her tree and went on our merry way home to our little condo, coffee table in tow.


            The legs were almost white because the wood was so dry and sun bleached.  George went to work on sanding down the table and staining it.


            Once we got our pretty couch delivered from West Elm (all hail West Elm!), we were able to move our finished coffee table into the living room.




            I love how it looks, but the only issue was the woven rattan screens were still super sun bleached and didn't look so clean and nice looking.  See below and try not to shudder like I do every time I look at this incredibly up close. Zoom should be illegal...


            I decided to paint the wooden weavings an antique gold color. I know, I know, before any one starts lecturing me about painting vintage furniture, I know I "shouldn't" paint it.  Simmer down - it's going to be okay, I promise.


            It was super simple and took me about an hour to do one Sunday morning.  First I cleaned up the screens...

            Then I taped off the table so that I wouldn't ruin George's handiwork.


             Finally, I painted away! It took me several coats, but they dried relatively quickly so it wasn't the most painful thing I have ever endured.


            I love the final result!  It's definitely not super noticeable but it has given new life to this 1950's coffee table. It's not perfect, but it's charming and has a story about it and that's what I love.




            Disclaimer: I know the photography skills on this post are not stellar. My beloved camera is on the fritz and getting fixed right now in California (at least someone is having a little vacation!).  My phone is getting a work out in the meantime, but I am definitely missing my little camera and the high quality pictures it takes. One day we shall reunite!

            What do you guys think about the coffee table? Have you ever given a Craigslist piece of furniture  a new lease on life?

            Sunday, January 18, 2015

            Chairish Styleboard

            I have a lot of wannabe personalities and aspirations...

            Some days I want to be like the Pioneer Woman and live on a ranch with my family, homeschool my nonexistent children, and let George take care of the cows.  Does George know how to take care of cows? No. Does he have any desire to take care of anything bovine related? No.

            Other days I want to live in a vintage refurbished trailer on the road with George living off the fat of the land.  Nothing but me (well and George, and the chihuahuas, well you get the point...) and the road - cruising my very own paved road of dreams. But then I remember that I need to make money some how and that you can't really live off the fat of the land if you are driving a gas hog all the time. 

            Moving on to my point, another dream is that I wish I were talented enough to be an interior designer. However, I have no idea what I am doing and certainly don't even pretend to be as talented as say Emily Henderson (my decorating idol!), but I do enjoy it.  I am in the process of completing of a mini redo of my living room and am having so much fun with it.  

            When Chairish contacted me about doing a styleboard based on a rug of my choosing, I was so excited to start and let my creative juices flow!  Chairish is an online company that makes it fun and easy for design lovers, like myself, to shop for vintage and used furniture.  I am a sucker for vintage goods and love the mix of new and vintage in a room.

            Here is my style board...


            The rug that I selected to focus my style board around was this beautiful Missoni octagonal rug.  I loved the jewel tones in it and decided to focus on picking up the green accents in the rug.   
            All rugs at Chairish are available to view here.

            This was so much fun to do!  Do any of you ever make style or mood boards for fun or before you start designing a room?  If you don't you should! 

            Sunday, August 24, 2014

            A Few Things - Back to School Version

            It's Back to School time!!! Or if you live where I live, it's been Back to School time for a few weeks now, but better late than never, right?  I love a good theme so get ready!

            Here are some of my favorite Back to School ideas that I have seen floating around.

            These are too perfect. I wish I was more talented in the art of cake decor.

            Gift wrapping idea for back to school (or Christmas, or birthdays, or Hanukkah, or Tuesdays...) Mine would not look this cute if I tried it, but I am going to pretend that it would.

            Why don't they make this desk in my size???!!! This is from a children's store, The Land of Nod, and I LOVE it!! It even has a cup holder for my wine.


            I love everything on here, but I think my favorite is the chalkboard cake. I didn't even know you could do that!!  I don't know how appealing it would be to eat a black cake, but who cares? It's too cute to eat anyway! Plus I am a little partial to this because I used those library cards in the #1 spot for my wedding.


            The Teacher Wife is AMAZING!  I love these!!!

            Those are just a few of the wonderful things that I have seen.  Happy back to school!