Month: August 2014

3 Things I Love

1. Real Simple Magazine. Every time I would pick up this magazine at the doctor’s oRealSimple_June_051412ffice or a friend’s house, I couldn’t put it down. So, I finally gave in and subscribed myself. This is the only magazine I read cover to cover (even the editors note!). Real Simple Magazine has everything- organization, decorating, beauty tips, and life lessons to name a few. (Psst…Thinking about subscribing? Go to for a $10 Container Store gift card with your purchase!)


2. Gayle Forman, Author. After seeing the trailer for “If I Stay” months ago, I knew I needed to read the book before the movie came out, and I’m so glad I did. Reading “If I tumblr_nazvvsRx5v1r9uizvo1_1280Stay”, led me to read several more of Gayle Forman’s books (I particularly loved “Just One Year”). She is an amazing author and I can’t wait to read more from her. Check out her website for interesting tidbits about her and her books, like how Adam from “If I Stay” was inspired by her husband(how cute!!).


3. This video. The ultimate throwback – music videos. Definitely worth the 14 minutes!


Day Trip

Today I took a trip to Nyack, NY and Piermont, NY. Two small towns filled with old buildings, beautiful architecture, local shops, and located steps from the Hudson river.



Every Kid Needs a Champion

This is a must watch before returning to school! If you think back to your favorite teacher, what do you remember most? Rita Pierson talks about the importance of building relationships with your students and how it can make a true difference.





Classroom Decor

I am so excited to show you guys my classroom! I worked hard on it all week, and I’m really happy with the way it came out. If you’re looking for decorations on a budget, I suggest Dollar Tree; they have an entire aisle set aside for teaching supplies! I also found a lot of supplies and decor at The Christmas Tree Shop and in Target’s $1-$3 section (usually located at the entrance).
I’m going to use this board for homework assignments. The placement is perfect because it’s in the students line of vision as they exit the room (no excuses!). I need to hang up the calendar ($12 at Christmas Tree Shop), which I will use for test and quiz dates, assemblies, and days off. The washi tape is from Michael’s, but can probably be found at any craft store.
On the other side of the board I have a place to write the objectives. Don’t you love the tiny bucket for the markers?

I bought a pack of colored paper tape at Target for $6 to categorize the classroom library. Each color corresponds to a different genre. I love how they serve a purpose, but also brighten up the space! If you’re going to use this method, I suggest putting scotch tape over the paper tape to prevent it from falling off throughout the year.

I had these mini bulletin boards around my house, but I painted them for a pop of color. I will be pinning quotes from books on them, as well as my book recommendations for the students.
How great are these posters for only $1?! The one on the left is the writing process and on the right is proofreading reminders. Thank you, Dollar Tree!
I’m really excited about this one! I used pages from my old Lilly planner (yay for recycling)  to create my name. I simply traced each letter on a page in the planner, cut it out, and then laminated them!
My desk is looking pretty empty right now, but I’m sure it will be filled with papers soon. I used command strips to put up the wrapping paper, which I bought at a party supply store.
I purchased the file folders from Target for $5. They each have a different day of the week written on them, so when a student is absent they can easily find what they missed. The welcome board will eventually be used for important notices and articles.

Where is your favorite place to shop for school supplies/decor?




I Did it!

I have been working really hard to get my classroom ready for September (I can’t wait to show you the finished product!), but I have also been really stressed about the upcoming year. So, when I went in to school today to drop off a few books, I was excited to see that they put my name on the door. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember, so to finally see my name on a classroom door, is completely overwhelming – in a good way! I have been so nervous lately, that I kind of lost sight of how much I have wanted this, and how hard I worked for it; to see that name plate was a small, but much needed, refresher.


Travel Tips

As I was catching up with my friends over dinner last night, they pointed out that I travel all the time, and asked me if I had any travel tips. So, I decided to compile a list of tips to make traveling a little bit better.

Weeks before your trip…

  1. Stock up on reading material. Instead of paying airport prices for new magazines, check around your house and friends’ houses for magazines (or books) you haven’t read yet.
  2. Download movies. Before my flight to Texas this past June I checked iTunes every day for deals on movies. I ended up renting GBF on my iPad for only 99 cents (compare that to the $5 they charge you for the inflight movie), and it turned out to be a great movie!
  3. Research. Whenever you have free time start to research the area you’ll be visiting. This can be really overwhelming to do in one sitting because there are so many websites to look at (my favorites are tripadvisor and yelp). Find places you may want to eat, interesting places to see, and activities for rainy days. Have a loose outline of what you want to do – but don’t worry about sticking to the plan too much, just have fun.
  4. Stay healthy. I try to take a vitamin C tablet every day, but I become especially aware when I have a trip coming up. It’s very easy to get sick when you’re traveling, so prepare your immune system with an extra boost before and during your trip.

Your carry on…

  1. Warm clothes. Planes tend to be really cold, so I always tuck a sweater and a pair of fuzzy socks in my bag. Being comfortable makes all the difference in how long or short a ride can feel.
  2. Medicine. Though I rarely need to use them, I bring Advil and motion sickness medicine with me on all of my trips. Just knowing they’re in my bag helps me worry a little less.
  3. Snacks. Food at the airport is extremely overpriced (a bag of pretzels for $5.50…how?!) Fill your bag with your favorite healthy snacks so you won’t be tempted to buy junk food!

During your trip…

  1. Don’t sleep on the plane. This may not be the same for everyone, but sleeping on a plane makes me more drowsy than I was before. It’s uncomfortable to sleep on a plane and I’m constantly waking up. I find that staying awake and keeping busy helps me to be more alert when it’s time to meet whoever is waiting for me at the airport. Once I arrive, I take it easy for a day (but still no naps!) and then sleep early that night. If you nap the first day, you’re setting yourself up to need naps the rest of the trip.
  2. Make use of yelp. When my boyfriend and I went on our road trip the yelp app was our best friend. I like to use travelocity, as I mentioned before, for activities and hotels, but yelp is the best for places to eat.  I love that users can upload pictures of what their meal looked like – it’s the perfect menu!

Southwest Florida

Sanibel Island, Florida
My dad recently moved to Florida, so I visit at least once a year. It has quickly, and happily, become my second home. I decided to squeeze in one quick vacation, before the start of the school year, and fly down to Florida. It was a much needed trip filled with relaxation, and father-daughter time, of course. My dad and I went to the beach nearly every day and we even took a mini-vacation (a vacation within a vacation) to Sanibel Island. I fell in love with the tiny island, also known as ‘The Shell Capital of the World…and they do have a lot of shells (picture a beach with shells instead of sand)!



Venice, Florida
Towards the end of my visit my dad and I went out to eat at Snook Haven, a restaurant in Venice, Floirda. It was our first time there and we loved it. The place has an authentic “old Florida” atmosphere – to get there, you drive down a dirt road lined with canopy trees on either side. The restaurant itself sits near a tangent of the Myakka River and hosts live music daily. The food was delicious (try the sweet potato wedges!) and the staff was friendly- just like you’d expect in the South. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area, and be sure to look up at the giant alligator on the ceiling…it’s real!




Back to School


1. Colorful desk organizers. I got the ones in the picture from The Container Store– one of my favorite places. I could seriously spend hours in there. It is kind of pricy, but they have good sales, so keep an eye out!

2. A Lilly Pulitzer agenda. There was a time I tried to get into using iCal, but I just couldn’t do it. There’s just something about pen, paper, and real highlighters. The well known Pulitzer prints and colorful pages of the Lilly agendas make scheduling more fun- and a lot less intimating.

3. A tote bag. Before starting the maternity leave replacement last April I bought a tote bag and had it monogrammed. It was one of my best purchases because it really helped me to be organized at work and at home (it makes a great beach bag!). I purchased mine from Lands’ End (they’re having a sale right now!), but L.L. Bean also has a very similar one.

4. Luna Bars. My absolute favorite (healthy) on-the-go food! The company is geared towards women, and against dieting. The bars not only taste delicious, but they are packed with important nutrients that women specifically need. The company has a variety of flavors, from Peanut Butter Cookie to Blueberry Bliss, as well as specific bars for protein and fiber. They’re a great pick-me-up for in between meetings or a snack after lunch. My two favorites are the S’mores bar and the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough protein bar (can you tell I like chocolate?).

5. Thank you notes. I really love stationary- but it can be expensive ($12 for ten cards? No thank you!), which is why I buy all of my stationary from TJ Maxx. They have the cutest cards at very reasonable prices. A pack of twelve cards and envelopes is usually about $4-$5. I stock up on these before the school year starts and keep them in my desk, because you never know when you’ll need them. Whether a student gives you a gift or a coworker does you a favor- it’s always nice to send a handwritten note with a personalized thank you.

6. Reusable water bottle. I’m a firm believer in drinking 8 cups of water a day, but that can be hard to do when you’re busy teaching. I bought the 32oz Nalgene water bottle, so I don’t need to worry about running out of water during the day. I like the Nalgene bottles specifically because they’re BPA free and the wide mouth makes them easy to clean.

7. Dry-erase calendar. A helpful tool I learned from the teacher I replaced on maternity leave, this one is for the students. You can find these reasonably priced ($12-$15) in Target or The Christmas Shop. Hang one in the classroom where everyone can see it to record assemblies, tests, and days off. Since dates are constantly changing it helps to be able to erase and rewrite easily.

8. Travel cups. I have both the hot and cold cups from Starbucks and I use them all the time! You can fill them up with your coffee at home or bring them in to Starbucks and receive 10 cents off your purchase! That doesn’t sound like much, but it definitely adds up if you tend to stop for coffee every morning.

9. Post-it notes. These are life savers! It really helps to have different colors too. I’ve found that if I always use the same color my eyes get used to that color and I forget about notes on my desk.

10. A to-do list. This is another thing that I buy from TJ Maxx (the last one I bought was about $3). They have a lot of nice ones that make looking at a to-do list a bit easier.