Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Yes! Two weeks in a row posting and linking up to The Pleated Poppy for WIWW! This is an outfit I wore last week during school break. We were having a sunny, 40 degree day so I got away with wearing a sweater layered over a collared shirt, topped with a vest! 

I'm digging the orange/green combo! Sweater is from Target, vest is from H&M, wide-legged jeans are from GAP (purchased them several years ago), and boots are from Famous Footwear.

Hope you're having a great week!
We are having yet ANOTHER snow day today...
I hate the snow but it can be quite breathtaking at times...

My cozy little Maine cottage blanketed in snow...
I snapped the picture as I drove off to school Monday was just so peaceful and pretty!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lunch Lady Brownies

Today is my mother's birthday so I had the family over for lunch! 
Instead of a cake I made some fudgy, gooey, delicious, frosted brownies from scratch!

The recipe is called 'Lunch Lady Brownies' because it is reminiscent of the brownies that were served in many an elementary school cafeteria in years past! It's super easy to whip up and the layer of frosting on top is a perfect addition to the cake-like brownie base. 

Visit Saltbox House, which is where I found the recipe, to read more and make your own!
There's even a gluten-free version listed, too!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIWW: School Break Style

Wow! It has been MONTHS since I've linked up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday! It's difficult for me to find the time (and lighting) to take pics of my outfits since I usually leave for work and get home from work when it's still dark! But since I'm on school break this week I reminded myself to snap a couple pics of what I'm wearing today!

It's a no makeup, no blow drying hair kind of day (and most of this week) so I put on my most comfortable sweater (from Old Navy), my UMaine baseball cap, and a comfy inexpensive henley tee from WalMart!  Jeans are from Delias (my favorite teeny-bopper store) and the awesome quilted navy Sperry boots are from Marshalls! Off to run some errands!

Monday, February 18, 2013

New Neighbor Gift Basket & Printable

I have new neighbors! My house is on a private drive and when it was built a year and a half ago, there was only one other house on the road. In the fall a new house went up and the neighbors just moved in a couple weeks ago. Now, there are plans for a fourth house to go, it seems that my hopes of living in a neighborhood are actually coming to fruition! 

Enter the Welcome Basket!!
New neighbor gift basket ideas and free printable
I went to my local dollar store and purchased a basket and a bunch of household items that someone might need upon first moving in. In total, I spent only $10!!

Items included:
 -box of tissues
-dish towels
-dish soap & scrubber
-trash bags
-cleaning wipes
-pens & sticky notes

Using Photoshop, I designed a little card to go in the basket (taped to a wooden skewer)...
you can download the FREE PRINTABLE card, too!

Happy Gift-Giving!

Linking up to...
UndertheTableandDreaming Skip To My Lou

Friday, February 15, 2013


Yay! It's the first day of February Vacation! And it's InstaFriday...
Here's a glimpse of my past couple weeks through pictures! 

How hilarious are these Puritan Valentine's Day cards? Very appropriate since this week we've been learning all about Puritan New England...

My students are hilarious...a 'Valentine Bandit' posted hundreds of sticky notes all over random lockers throughout the school...
 Crafty project of the week...100 Valentines for my kiddos...

 New pink slippies from Beans...

Valentine's treat...Gelato Fiasco!

Post blizzard snowshoeing by the river with some excited doggies...

Brunch at my place with some cuties and their momma...

A furry little feeder visitor...

Monday, February 11, 2013

You're A Star, Valentine!

*Update to this post: I found the printable on another person's blog but since that time that blog seems to have been disabled...

No time to create my own valentines from scratch this year, but I did find a really cute printable that I 'tweaked' a bit in Photoshop (I added the 'from' part)...

Starburst School Valentine Printable

Such a cute idea! Bags of Starburst candy are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the chocolate candy out there....something I have to keep in mind since I have over 100 students who will be receiving these valentines! Happy Valentines week to you, too!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Technology Ideas for Teachers

Happy Snow Day! I'm bracing myself for the big BLIZZARD headed to Maine today! We're expecting anywhere from 2-3 FEET of snow to fall today into Saturday! Yikes! Needless to say, we have today off from school!

Speaking of school, today's post is about some cool technology teaching ideas I've been using this year! Teachers, this one's for you! I've compiled lots of other school-related ideas on my Pinterest board, too!

I have recently starting using a free site called Remind 101 which allows me to send text message reminders to my students because, let's face it, that is how most teenagers prefer to communicate! It sends the messages from a phone number assigned by the service, NOT from my actual phone number! The students can't reply to the messages, they can only receive them. So far, it's worked really well and the students appreciate the reminders! I may also extend the service to the parents of my students as well.

Techie teaching idea number two is the use of QR codes in the classroom! I've just recently started a new semester class with four sections of students and I added something new to the course syllabus...
The students and parents can simply scan the codes with their Smart Phones and it automatically saves my contact information and takes them to my website!

To create a code, all you have to do is go to a site that creates QR codes, enter your information, then save the image to your computer. You can then add the image to any document where you want to share the codes! This is a great way to show parents and students creativity and innovation! You do need a Smart Phone that has a QR reader app in order to scan the codes (you can download this app for free).  Here's a code for you to try scanning:
Todays Meet
This is a great online tool to use when watching movies in class but requires that each student has access to a laptop (we are lucky, ours is a one to one laptop school).  Instead of pausing the film every time I want to point something out or every time a student has a question, I create a private chatroom at

TodaysMeet is a really cool (and free) resource for teachers and presenters who want to encourage a backchannel chat amongst their students or audience.  Backchanneling allows conversations to go on while something is being presented.  In this case, we watch the film while having an online conversation.  I can also print out a transcript of our conversation to give to the students as notes.  How cool is that?  Most students seem to really like this activity because it takes something they love to do (chat online) and allows them to do it with a purpose!

Random Name Generator
In my quest to ensure all of my students are participating during class discussions, I've turned to two ideas, one 'old fashioned' and the other 'high tech'! The 'high tech' idea is this website that allows me to create groups and then the program will random select names.

 The 'old fashioned' idea, which I prefer when I'm using my laptop for something else, is the use of jumbo craft sticks!

On the first day of the semester I had each student color half of the stick and then write their name on the other half. At the start of class, the colored sides are facing up and as I randomly call on students throughout the discussion, I switch the sticks in the container so I know who has already participated.

Looking for more teaching ideas? Follow me on Pinterest! Happy Snow Day!

Friday, February 1, 2013

More House Pictures

So, my house is a year and a half old and I just realized that I've NEVER posted any pictures of the kitchen/dining area! This is probably because there isn't much going on in these areas in terms of decor or DIY (except for maybe my awesome drum shade makeover). Today I'm sharing a few panorama pics taken with my new iPhone! The quality of the pictures is just OK but OK pictures are better than NO pictures!

When I designed the layout of my house I really wanted an open concept kitchen/dining/living space. With only 1,100 square feet to work with, it was important that I tried to maximize the main living space.

Here's the view from the kitchen looking toward the living room...
you can also see a sliver of the main entry hallway on the left!

And here's the living room right now...I just got a new furniture set from Ikea so the slipcovers are a bit wrinkled...buying a steamer is on my 'to do' list!

I'm not done with the decor in this room yet (want to add some pillows, maybe change out the rug...not sure) but I did just frame up some more engineer print family photos for a little collage behind the couch!

Here's a source list for the items in these rooms:

Paint Colors
Dining and Kitchen: Studio by Valspar at Lowes (in LOOOOVE with this color!)
Living Room: Polished Silver by Valspar at Lowes (the color in the above photos of the living room is off, though!)

Dining Table & Chairs: Bjursta from Ikea (it comes with two leaves and expands to seat 10-12 people)

Chevron Rug in Living Room: Rugs USA (online)

Living Room Sofa & Chairs: Extorp from Ikea in 'Svanby Gray' slipcovers (which, again, I really need to steam the wrinkles out of because they are new)

Silver Frames: Ribba from Ikea

TV Hutch: WalMart

Coffee and End Tables: Christmas Tree Shops...painted navy!

Silver Tray & Fabric Baskets on Coffee Table: Marshall's

Side Lamps: WalMart

Curtains: Target