Wednesday, November 30, 2011


After missing two days of school this week because of a little bronchitis bug, it was great to be back with my kiddos again today. I was greeted with warm smiles, high-fives, cards, candy, hugs, and even a can of soup!

It's true what they say...

Mr. Hug Art Print

Short, sweet, and to the point. Now, turn on NBC and watch the Rockefellar Christmas concert!

Friday, November 25, 2011


What am I doing on Black Friday? Oh, just relaxing in my pajamas and catching up on a few of my favorite TV shows. Life is grand!

life rearranged

What's better than swinging outside on Thanksgiving? (In Missouri I must add...) Not much! This cute little face is one of the many things I'm thankful for. 

Traditions are the best part of the holidays. Christmas lights and fireworks are one my favorites! 

I jumped the Christmas gun a tad too soon, but I couldn't help it. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the lake. 

Visit Life Rearranged and link up your InstaFriday submissions. 

Happy shopping, friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Copy Cat

Two posts in one day? I'm on a roll. Or... it could be argued that I should get off my butt and do something else? Nah. I'm enjoying this completely.

Wreaths are quickly becoming my "thing". Mainly because, it doesn't require any sewing whatsoever. We all know (or maybe you know) that sewing is my Achilles' heel. Anytime I see a project with sewing, I quickly close the page so I don't get too attached to the project awaiting.

I've been pinning Christmas wreaths since the beginning of my Pinterest experience, and I've been dying to make one. Here are a few of my favorites I've pinned:

Etsy: Katie Jo Collection
Real Simple
Vintage Indie
Etsy: ItzFitz
I decided to tackle Itz Fitz's white wreath with poinsettias. It seemed easy enough for a Tuesday night. 
I picked up a few bouquets of 94 cent bouquets and Wal-Mart with cream yarn and started crafting. 

Let me tell you, it takes awhile to wrap a wreath. Sure, it's one of the easiest things to do... but darn! It's time consuming. Lucky for me, I had a few conversations on Skype and the telephone to pass the time. So my warning: set aside some QT (quality time) for wrapping your wreath. 

After the wrapping shenanigans ended, it took me about 3.5 minutes to hot glue fake flowers on the wreath. Bada-Bing.. Bada-Boom! I was done. In the near future, I'll embark on another wreath adventure (maybe). 

Now, it wouldn't be a proper post without ending my rambling with a random comment. Well, in case you're unaware.. my beloved Missouri Tigers will be facing the (dirty) kU jayhawks this weekend. Will I be there to cheer on the Tigers? You bet I will!

My advice: Friends don't let friends move to Lawrence, Kansas.

Love & Marriage

Christy Robbins

Say "I" if you've seen this ornament floating around Pinterest... I!

When, I pinned this a few months ago I knew that I had to make something similar for my newlywed friends. In October, my sweet friends Emily and Kyle said, "I do" in beautiful Key West, Florida. Then, in November they held the par-tay of the century (also commonly known as a reception) back in Columbia for family and friends (like me! Although, I would argue that I would like to join the family as well).

Now, it's late November and the Christmas holiday is approaching and it's the PERFECT season to create ornaments. Plus, I have five days off of school.

Christy Robbins has an excellent step by step guide to making an ornament of your very own. I had full intentions of finding a clear ornament and making a duplicate of the one above. Until Wal-Mart had other plans for the Newlands. Which means, they didn't sell any clear ornaments....

Yikes - Ignore the price! How tacky of me. 

I used the following supplies:
Wedding Invite
Pen (or pencil to roll invite)

I cut the invitation (sorry guys...) into tiny strips and then rolled each strip around the pen. Again, click here to see photos of the step by step process. Then, I stuffed each strip inside the ornament. Luckily for me (and Wal-Mart) the ornament I picked matched their invite and wedding colors.

Merry & Bright
Then, I got so excited to show the happy couple their gift I demanded that they drop everything and FaceTime with me. I knew my blog would be published before I saw them next. Don't worry.. they liked it!

Unrelated, doesn't it look like this reindeer is ready to party? I thought so too.

Here For the Party!
Gobble Gobble!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I love Thanksgiving for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is Friendsgiving! A delightful tradition that started over five years ago in a college apartment. Needless to say, the 5th Annual Friendsgiving was just as incredible! 

My contribution to the party was a little potato dish. I was introduced to the "Party Potato" phenomenon a few years ago when a fellow teacher brought in her family recipe to class one day. Since then, I've been having parties with potatoes like it's nobodys business.

Now, trust me with this recipe and go make your own Party Potatoes!

What You Need
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 lbs. Ore-Ida frozen cubed hash browns

Mix first 5 items together with salt and pepper, combine with frozen potatoes, put in greased 9x13 pan. Top with 2 cups of corn flakes and 1/3 cup melted butter together.Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.

Now, a family gathering isn't complete without a family photo. Before our delicious feast, we gathered by the fire for a group shot. All we're missing his Clark Griswold. 
Family Portrait by the Fire
It also wouldn't be a family gathering without a little arts and crafts time. I rallied the troops back to the table for a pinterest-inspired yummy craft. I had ulterior motives when planning this activity. My 5th graders will be creating this little turkeys on Monday and I did need to practice... but I also wanted to make the treat for fun as well. Uhh... You're welcome! 

We were good students and followed the directions below. You could say that we had a unique bunch of turkeys. 

I found this How-To on Examiner. Warning: this isn't as easy as it looks!

What You Need:

Oreo cookies
Candy corn
Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Candy eyes

  1. Separate the Oreo into two pieces (you may want to use a knife to make sure the cookies stay in tact).
  2. Add icing to the Oreo’s cookie icing and arrange five pieces of candy corn around the top of the Oreo that contains the most icing creating “feathers” and two across the bottom to create “feet” with white tip facing down.  (Note: strategically place feet to prop and hold up the Oreo turkey.  It may take you a few times to get the exact placing.)
  3. Re-close Oreo cookie using icing more icing to attach it if necessary.   
  4. Using icing, attach the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with the widest part flat against the bottom of the face of the Oreo. 
The icing was the best part. Right, Scott?

Admit it, you love arts and crafts time. 
Now, back to my favorite Atlanta housewives for some high-quality drama on a Sunday night. Enjoy the short week, teachers!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Over the Moon!

I'm fairly certain that I am not the only teacher on the block "secretly" counting down until Thanksgiving break. Right? Anyway, until that time arrives I'll do my best to plug in some Thanksgiving cheer in my classroom! 

While browsing blogland, I found an idea to "Gobble Up Similes and Metaphors", but similes and metaphors weren't on our menu, so I racked my brain to think of a way to gobble SOMETHING in 5th grade.  Then, I remembered that we could always use a little refresher with vocabulary. Plus, we were working hard on using context clues to identify the meaning of unknown words. So, one day we gobbled up great vocabulary!

Pardon my poor photographs, we'll blame it on the fact that I've dropped my phone several times and it's not in the prime condition it once was. 

Gobble! Gobble!

Each student received a plate and was instructed to pick two vocabulary words from any content area. Then, they had to use the word in a sentence on their plate. We went over proper sentences that would help our readers figure out the meaning of our vocabulary words.

For example: "I can survive." was not an acceptable sentence!

Yum! I'm stuffed.

At the end of September, I posted "Power of the Pod" (click here to refresh your memory) where I shared an idea to name your pods after content you want your kiddos to memorize. Sounds sneaky right? 

Today was the grand debut of the moon phases in room 52! I have five pods in my room and I have 5 moon phases represented to give the students a visual when memorizing the oh-so-wonderful phases. 

Full Moon in the HOUSE!
I bet you didn't know the surface of the moon was made from construction paper, did you? See! You can learn something new everyday. 

Watch our for Werewolves

Needless to say, today was confusing. I called the "Cumulus" group to line up then realized they were now the "Waxing Gibbous" group. Yikes! I should have studied a little more. 

Ready.. Set.. Memorize!

This morning, I asked my students, "do you notice anything different?" This is one of my favorite games to play. Simply because they not only notice what I want them to find, but they also sometimes mention things I've misplaced in the room or things I didn't mean to change. Which helps me out tremendously! They always keep me on my toes. 

For example, this morning the "game" (I'm noticing I use that term very loosely nowadays, there was no actual gaming occurring in my room) went like this..

"Notice anything different in our room, kids?" -Me
"Your desk is clean!" - Student
"Yes........................... anything else? Look up." -Me
"Are we studying space!?!" -Student

This went on for awhile. Great Monday morning conversation! 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Simple Things

Thanks to Lauren at Whimsy Lane, I was introduced to Simple as That and Simple Things Sundays.

One of my favorite things about early mornings and early evenings are the beautiful rising and setting sun. My simple things contributions are a few beautiful sun-spired photos.

When I moved into my house, my landlords told me that my back porch had a "seasonal view" of the lake. Today, I finally got to enjoy that seasonal view. Yes, the trees were beautiful in the summer and fall, but now I get to enjoy the water!

The advantage to sleeping in a tad is catching the sun rise on the way to school. No photo edits necessary. Stunning.

Party Rock Anthem

Once again, my blog has taken the back burner to the rest of life. (i.e. 5th grade, Mizzou football...) You get the idea!

As I was driving back to the lake this afternoon, I was 98% sure I would be headed right to my couch for a nap and a Bravo marathon (insert a Real Housewives title here). Instead, I decided to make a craft and cook!

As always, Pinterest never lets me down. A few weeks ago, I pinned a recipe for mini deep dish pizzas. I checked out Dashing Dish's post and started pulling ingredients from my fridge.

Now, let me just say that my little pizzas did not turn out as cute and bite-size as the photo above.  Mine were a little... how should I put this? Bloated.  Yes, they were bloated. Were they delicious? Absolutely. I will be having my leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Here's the recipe Dashing Dish posted on her blog. Head over to her page here to see photos and read how she made her mini pizzas!


  • 3-4 whole wheat wraps (try to find ones with at least 3 grams of fiber or more per wrap)
  • 1 (15oz) can pizza sauce (you may have some left over, depending on how much sauce you like)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 48 mini turkey pepperonis (or the 12 whole turkey pepperoni’s, each cut into 4 even pieces)
  • 1 tsp basil/oregano mix OR Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of sweetener, (sugar/stevia/splenda)
  • pinch of black pepper
*Put your own spin on these by adding anything that you would normally like on a pizza just before popping them in the oven!


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Start by laying each tortilla out individually on a flat surface, and use an empty can, cup, or cookie cutter to cut 3-4 medium circles out of each wrap. I used the empty pizza sauce can, which worked well!
Have you met Mr. Gobble Gobble? He's the newest member of room 52! My students wrote what they were thankful for on each of his feathers. Now, he is gobbling proud in our classroom for the rest of the month. 

How about those Missouri Tigers? Sorry Texas, just wasn't your day!

Linking up with another messy gal in blogland! Marvelously Messy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Yums in the Classroom & Kitchen

Say "synonym rolls" five times fast. 
Impossible, right? Okay.. maybe not impossible, but rather difficult.  I made you do that for a reason.. read on! Read on!

While grading our weekly Treasures assessment, I realized that my students struggled identifying synonyms in context. Yikes! I had a few ideas brewing in my head, but thanks to this delightful pin... my plans changed!

Luckily, Halloween was the perfect time to whip up a fresh batch of Synonym Rolls. It was the perfect attention-getter and way to spend time reviewing synonyms and using a beloved thesaurus.

As a class, we defined synonyms in our writer's notebooks. Then, we took the "boring word" said and thought of OTHER ways to say said. After creating quite the list, I introduced the rolls. Their assignment was to write the main/boring/overused word in the middle of the roll. Then, along the spirally goodness write words with similar meanings.

It was a great way for me to meet with small groups and talk about using a thesaurus and what synonyms really are.

For example: We picked the boring word "mean" for one roll. One student said, "Well, my sister is mean.. so can I add sister to my roll?" This sparked another discussion about what synonyms are and what they are not. 

Synonyms! Synonyms! Synonyms!

Rollin' Up!

Oh snap! We're using a reference tool.. and it's FUN
Now, each of my students has a piping hot batch of synonym rolls waiting for them everyday in their Writer's Notebook. 

Now, since I'm only talented in the sweet treats department, I have to include one of the recipes I'm preparing for book club on Thursday. 

Practically Living is a brilliant blogger who posted a recipe for Two Ingredient Lemon Bars. This woman is brillant! Since there are only two ingredients in this dish... let's cross our fingers I don't mess this one up. 

Practically Living

9:00!? It's bedtime. Plus, I've begun to italicize one too many things in this post. Time to depart.
Over and out, bloggers!

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