Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Friday!

Yay! It's Friday! Let's celebrate with a linky party. :)

We did Jena Phillips' 100 Licks Lab on Wednesday and it was so much fun! This is such a great product and is such a wonderful way to celebrate the 100th day of school for middle schoolers without being cheesy. This is my second year doing it and the kids love it every time.  You have to check it out.

Tomorrow we are on our way to Prescott, Arizona to enjoy Saturday spending the day with my husband's family. Prescott is the mecca of vintage shopping when it comes to Arizona so you know I am going to need to squeeze that in some how. I'm not really sure when, but I think it's going to happen.
I have drooling over these very cute hair accessories made by Giant Dwarf for a few years now. This seems kind of ridiculous, but I could never justify spending the money on a hair accessory so I just kept looking at them online while I secretly wished that we could win the lottery.  Then all of the stars aligned and the clouds parted, and TADA!!! A sale! 30% and free shipping - and now these are coming my way.

I made these turkey taco lettuce wraps the other night and they were so delicious! Not only is it super easy and really tasty, but it's also pretty healthy. You have to try them as soon as possible; I am not really sure why you are still reading this because you should be making them... now.

Today is my Dad's birthday!  I wish I could spend the day with him! I hope he has a wonderful day and has a special day that he deserves. :) Love you Dad!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Group Presentations

I love project based learning. I will often assign my students expert group presentation assignments that the students get to choose what they want to present based on a list of choices.

Right now in 6th Grade, we are doing natural disasters so the students were allowed to choose a natural disaster to present on. They were given questions that they needed to research and had to create a presentation that included at least one type of technology.  They could choose the form of presentation that they wanted to do, but most usually choose power point.

I love these assignments because it allows for so many opportunities to research, summarize information, presentation skills, non-fiction comprehension, collaborative team work, and much much more.

I used someone's packet and adapted it to fit my needs and now I don't remember who created the original packet! If you did or know who did let me know!

Click the picture below to download the natural disasters presentation guidelines:

While the students are presenting, I always think it is important to have the other students be doing something. Not only does it keep them busy so they won't be tempted to get squirrely during others' presentations, but also helps me to see if they were listening and learned something from these. This is just an example of one I would use, but the nice thing is that you can adjust it to the presentations that the kids are making. I also like that it gives them a chance to write an affirmation down for each group. We talk about how just writing down "good presentation" or "you did a good job" isn't an acceptable affirmation and that we should strive to write down specific things that the group did well based on what we know good presenters do (eye contact, clear speaking, didn't read straight from the slide, etc).

Click the picture below to download the "what the other students are doing during presentations" page (haha, I can never think of a good title for these!):

Do you do expert group presentations in your class? What do you have the other students do while their classmates are presenting?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wedding Items Repurposed

I have been able to repurpose some items from the wedding. It makes me feel a little more useful in this world.

I had pilfered my parent's house a few months before the wedding looking for things that they did not want anymore. They had a really heavy mirror that they weren't planning on using anymore so I threw that bad boy in my car and was ready to do some serious DIY. Of course, it would be too perfect it I had taken a before picture; that would have been much too sensible.

I spray painted a primer all over the mirror. I think taped off the mirror section and sprayed the frame a pretty sunny yellow. The actual mirror part just got a really good coating of chalkboard paint. I also did not take a picture of this..........

Here it is on the wedding day! I used my great grandmother's toothpick holder collection instead of table numbers, that is why there are random titles with names underneath them. I will write more about that later.

It worked perfectly and it was so heavy and huge it actually ended up being a really convenient door holder as well!

I loved this giant chalkboard so much I knew I wanted to keep it but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. It's much too heavy to hang on the wall.

I decided to make a little sign for our house and have our guests sign the board whenever they came to visit as a little memento.

The only issue if that I keep forgetting to have people sign it when they come over! Oh well... one day it will get filled up.

I think it is cute right by our front door and it adds a nice splash of color to a pretty blank space. I figure I can change out the saying too when holidays come around.

What else would you guys use this for?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Affirmation Bags

At our school, we do a program called Capturing Kids' Hearts. Does anyone else's school do this also? I like the program and a really large part of it is writing affirmations. The students write them to each other as a way of showing their appreciation for one another. Usually one day a week I have my homeroom write affirmations to each other to strengthen the bonds within our little classroom, but I also encourage them to write notes to others within our school community. They love writing small notes to each other! You would be amazed at how sweet these are and even though it takes 10 minutes out of your school day, it really makes a huge difference as far as your classroom climate and mutual respect goes. 

Since I teach 6th grade and the students rotate classes, it was difficult to organize a system where students could "deliver" notes to one another at an appropriate time. I created homemade mail boxes in my classroom so students could leave affirmations for one another.  One of my students' jobs in every class is to distribute the affirmation for their specific class during bell work every day if we have mail.  Since I encourage my students to write affirmations if they finish their work early, we usually always have mail to pass out. Some students even write them at home and bring them the next day to deliver, so cute!

Here's how I made them:

I bought three different colored gift bags from Target. I think they were 99 cents each so it's not like they set me back too much!  I cut off the handles because those weren't necessary.

I then used these "Hello My Name Is" clip art pictures by Maree Truelove (love her stuff!) and created labels for the bags. I didn't upload a freebie for this just because I did pay for the clip art, but I used LD Shelly Script as the font so that you can recreate it. Don't you just love free fonts? 

I used Mod Podge Gloss to adhere the printed labels, but if I had a choice I would have used rubber cement instead. I had to use glue dots to stick down the corners after a few days because it wasn't working so well.

I used washi tape to decorate the tops of the bags as a little decoration and to tie all of the bags together.

I ended up just stapling them to the wall along with class lists so the students would know which bag to drop their affirmations in.

Do your students write affirmations to one another? Is it something you would want to try? Let me know if you do so we can give each other ideas! :) 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

365 Project

This year I am attempting to take on the 365 Project! This is a way to photograph your every day life and not just the special occasions.  I was aiming on taking a picture every day however this hasn't really happened. I was really good and started early January and then... I stopped. So now putting this out here on bloggy land will hold me more accountable! I really want to make a scrapbook from our first year of marriage and this will be a perfect way to get pictures. So here is the first batch; wish me luck!

1/365 ~ Cupcakes from book club
2/365 - My favorite nook in the house (note the Christmas tree needles on the counter haha!)

3/365 ~ New Moscow Mule cups for the bar cart

4/365 ~ Everything about this is my favorite
5/365 ~ Phoenix sunshine is beautiful
6/365 ~ Random assortment, I'm starting to think that my home decor style is slightly bizarre

7/365 ~ The crafting never stops; artsy not so fartsy
8/365 ~ Snuggly chihuahua

9/365 ~ Birthday flowers <3

10/365 ~ Fly assassin
Have any of you ever tried this? I would love to hear about it if you have. I am afraid I will run out of inspiration. If any of you want to tackle this project with me, let me know!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Etsy Finds for the Wedding

If I could write a poem to Etsy it would go something like this...

Oh Etsy, I love you
I think I love you more than fondue

OK, well I never claimed to be a poet. Here are some of the Etsy purchases that I bought for the wedding along with their sources just in case you are interested in purchasing some of them.

Robes to get ready in - these also double as my bridesmaid gifts. A different color for every girl. The best part about these is that you can adjust anything and make them totally custom with the seller. I made our sleeves 3/4 length just because in Phoenix it is necessary.  Get them here from BridesmaidsRobes.

The ring bearer was wearing a jaunty little outfit from RockingHorseLane.

The corsages for the mother and grandmothers were from SpringDews

We got these super cute banners from FunCult. She was able to make it custom for us as well and was really easy to work with. 

There are so many creative cake toppers these days. I found these and fell in love. I loved that Clootielugs let me pick the colors and the accessories of the sweet little birds. Note the donut that has fallen off of the cake, haha!

I loved these library cards for place settings that I bought from KNOT & BOW. They were absolutely adorable and I received a lot of compliments. It also doesn't hurt that it fits with the whole teacher thing that I've got going on, you know since I'm a teacher... get it ? Get it? ;)

I bought my headband from PowderBlueBijoux. I wanted something with a little bit of bling, but not overdoing it. I like that it tied in the back making it a little dainty and feminine. 

I bought my veil from LoBoheme. I absolutely loved this veil and wish I would've been able to wear it longer. It kept smushing down my bangs. :(

And finally last but not least, I bought this vintage yellow travel suitcase from journeyspast for the guestbook setup. 

I love everything I bought from Etsy! What's your favorite thing you have bought from Etsy?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Favorite Vintage Finds

I love vintage shopping - it feeds my soul and is totally therapeutic. The things that I am drawn to are totally random. I used to feel like I could only choose things from one era, but then I got over that and just bought things that made me happy.

I love vintage shopping because the items are unique. You can't find them mass produced in chain stores on Black Friday. It adds character and a homeyness to your abode in my opinion. I also like to wonder about the previous owners of the items, what their stories are and what their lives were like. I am a little picky because I really only like to buy vintage items that I can actually use.

It was really hard to pick only a few of my favorites! I might have to do a part two because I love all of my treasures.

Here's just a few...

A white duck wall hook - this just adds to my faux taxidermy love.

Salt and pepper shakers made from vintage lightbulbs.

Vintage calendar flipper day thingy - haha that's the technical term. I love the sweet little birds at the top.

Vintage pink glass juicer - a lot of you are probably sitting there going, yeah, big deal it's a juicer. I just love the pink glass; it's so feminine and beautiful.

This is my newest find! It's a three tiered tray for entertaining or cute storage. I absolutely loved the diamond handle at the top and the beautiful black and white pattern. Black and white patterns make my heart pitter patter these days.

I turned vintage princess bowls into cacti and succulent planters for my wedding centerpieces. I searched for months for reasonably priced princess bowls at antique stores leading up to the wedding. I gave away centerpieces at the wedding but kept two of them for my memories. These will always hold a special place in my heart. I'll post about my adventures with those at a later date.

I hope you all enjoyed my vintage treasures! Do you like to go vintage shopping? What are some of your favorite finds?