Liebster Award!!!

Wow.Just.Wow. I have been nominated for this award by two sweet bloggers! I have seen this award on a few blogs and always wondered what it meant...and then some bloggers started posting about it on Instagram...and they were all so excited to be nominated and SO AM I!!!! So cool! So, here are the rules:

*You must post 11 random things about yourself*
*Answer the questions the nominator set for you*
*Create 11 questions for the people you nominate*
*Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post*
*No tag back (but it would be great if you can me a comment on this post with the URL to your liebster post so I can learn more about you!)*

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I played College Volleyball.

2. I love TV. Reality TV. Crime Shows. Food Network. HGTV. My new favorite show is "Scandal" on ABC, can't wait for it to start again this fall! Olivia Pope ROCKS! LOL!

3. I am 5'11".

4. I ran a marathon 3 years ago- I would love to run another one. I think.

5. I grew up in Idaho and I now live in California.

6. I live in a very small town.

7. I collect hearts...pottery, paintings, rocks, pictures. LOVE them!

8. My very first students called me Miss Bef! I worked at a pre-school in a 1-2 year old classroom! 

9. I would drink Starbucks I love a venti, skinny, caramel late with no foam and one equal. You know it's bad when they know your drink and you haven't even said a word!!! 

10. My children are my fur babies! Molly-14, Millie-almost 2, Petunia-almost 2, and Sam-who is in heaven. All of them are rescues, except Molly. I've had her since she was 8 weeks old. Love. 

11. I have celiac disease and should not eat wheat, rye, or barley (anything containing gluten). I feel my best when I don't eat gluten, dairy, sugar, nuts, or soy. So limiting. So hard. Trying to get better at this. 

My first nomination is from A Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine. Her blog is just adorable! You can't help but smile when you see it! Here are her questions:

1. How long have you been teaching?
This will be my 17th year of teaching! Yikes! My first two years were in Kindergarten, 11 in 2nd, one in 3rd, two in Kindergarten, and this year will be in 1st Grade! I am super excited!

2. Did you always want to be a teacher?  If not, what did you want to do?
I've known for a long time. I would play school with my sisters when I was younger. I did change my major in college and thought I wanted to be a counselor instead of a teacher. But, then I realized I did want to be a teacher and was able to get my teaching credential during my first two years of teaching (California needed teachers and allowed you to teach while getting your credential).
3. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I love that I am making a difference! And, I especially love that light bulb moment-it makes me so happy to see a student "get it". They are just so proud of themselves and so am I! :)
4. How long have you been blogging for?
I started blogging in December 2012. I started out slow, but I love it!
5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, no expense spared, where would you go?
Bora Bora!!! I want to stay in a hut above the water!!! I pin these pictures all of the time! Sooooooo my dream vacation!
6. Do you have a favorite techie tool or any techie advice? If yes, what is it?
I am soooo not techie! My advice is google it!!! I have learned almost everything by googling it. If that fails, just ask. There are so many wonderful, knowledgeable bloggers that will help!
7.  What is your favorite dessert? (I love dessert!)
Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Huckleberry pie, peach pie, mixed berry pie, pretty much any berry pie! Oh, and definitely with vanilla ice cream!
8. What is your favorite movie of all time?
There are so very many. I could watch "Under the Tuscan Sun" over and over and over and have. I also love "Sixteen Candles," "Goonies," and most chick flicks!
9. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. I just love the decorating, music, movies, the reason for the season, and enjoying the happiness that Christmas brings to so many!
10. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Definitely a dog person! Love my doggies! Kitties make me sneeze!
11. What was your favorite toy or doll from childhood?
My favorite doll was a doll that my grandparents gave me for Christmas! Guess what her name was? Baby Beth! Really. On the box and everything!! I just thought she was the best doll ever!!!

The second nomination is from Teaching Tid Bits and More with Jamie!
It is a super cute blog and just says "crafty" all over it! Here are her questions:
1.  Are you a shoe or purse kinda person?
Probably a shoe person...I definitely get more compliments on my shoes...I love the keen brand...But, I would wear Teva flip flops if I could!

2.  What is your favorite grade to teach and why? 
I taught 2nd grade for 11 years and I thought it was the best grade ever. I have also taught Kinder for 4 years and I adore that, too. So, it's a toss up! This year, I will be teaching 1st and I really think it will end up being my favorite! I love teaching reading, so I really think (hope) 1st Grade will be perfect for me!

3.  If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would it be?
I answered this question above and said Bora Bora! If I could pick another, I would probably pick Italy! 

4.  What is your one teacher supply that you can not function without?
This is a tough one to just pick one! I think...sticky notes (the bright colored ones-pink, turquoise, orange)..I also really, really love pens and markers!

5.  What is your number one trick for classroom management?
Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. And, Whole Brain Teaching. Love it!

6.  What do you love most about summer?
The freedom. I love being able to stay up late. Get up early. Go into my classroom when I want. And go on vacation!

7.  Do you like whole group teaching, small group teaching, or both?
I love small group teaching. I feel you can reach the students so much easier, focusing on their level and needs. Plus, I feel you can get to know them so much better in a small group setting. 

8.  What is your favorite blog that you visit often?
There are so many and I am discovering new ones each day. Like most, I love 
The Inspired Apple and The First Grade Parade. I love their teaching ideas, but also their honesty and openness. Now that I will be teaching 1st Grade, I have been on the search for 1st Grade blogs...I love Teacher to the  Core and First Grade Glitter and Giggles!

9.   Did you always know that you wanted to be a teacher?
I've known for a long time. I would play school with my sisters when I was younger. I did change my major in college and thought I wanted to be a counselor instead of a teacher. But, then I realized I did want to be a teacher and was able to get my teaching credential during my first two years of teaching (California needed teachers and allowed you to teach while getting your credential).

10.  Where is your favorite place to shop?
Hmmm...I think it has to be Super Target-it has everything! 

11.  Warm or cold weather?
I used to love cold weather but as I have gotten older, I like warm weather the best. I think. I don't like being super hot (I get cranky) or super cold. I like Spring/Fall weather the best. LOL!

****************My Questions for the Newish Bloggers****************

1. How long have you been teaching?
2. What is your favorite state to visit and why?
3. Do you like cake or pie the best?
4. What is your favorite cereal?
5. What is the best advice you have ever been a teacher...or in life?
6. If you weren't a teacher, what would you want to be/do?
7. What is your favorite TV show?
8. Do you like Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays the best? Why?
9. Facial or Pedicure?
10. What was your very first car?
11. Are you the oldest, middle, or youngest?  

I am nominating the following blogs for the Liebster Award!
10. One Lesson at a Time 
11. A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner 

Now, I am off to give them the exciting! I hope you will all check out their blogs! :)

Favorite Pins Friday

Who's ready for Favorite Pins Friday??!!!! I am joining up with The First Grade Parade and her Favorite Pins Friday Linky!

I joined this linky last week and found some really great blogs and pins! So much fun! Here are a few of my favorites...

I just adore this outfit! Everytime I pull up the board it is on (Dress Me Up!), I am drawn to it!!! Love.
Okay, so this one just cracks me up! It is sooo very true, at least for me! Sometimes, I can't believe how fast time goes by while I am explore Pinterest!

The Skinny Rules
I need to put these rules to memory AND follow them!!! It's so easy to get sidetracked, especially in the summer!!! It is so much easier for me to stay on track during the school year. The routine keeps me focused. During the summer, there are so many activities, vacations, easy access to the fridge during the day...LOL! Must get back on track. Um, yeah, after I get back from vacation! For sure!!!

I love this! There are so many situations where it is so much easier to just let things go. It is so easy to get frustrated with so many things at work....last year was one of those years for me. This year, I have reminded myself to just let it go. Actually, I say..."Be a duck. Just let it roll of your back." It is amazing the clarity I have found. Just let it go. It's freeing.
Starting daily five in kindergarten
Do you use Daily 5 in your classroom? This blog has some wonderful ideas to incorporate into your own Daily 5. But, she also has some amazing tips to start Daily 5 in your classroom. She makes it very easy. You should definitely check it out!!
All of Rachel Freundlich's brain-based teaching videos. LOVE these!.....looks interesting- will have to watch this!
So, last summer, I decided I was going to research and learn all about Whole Brain Teaching. I discovered these videos! This teacher is amazing!!! She is a 1st Grade teacher and her skills are inspiring. I love them! When you get a chance, take the time and watch them...especially if you are interested in Whole Brain Teaching! Even if you aren't, her little sayings and tricks work shows. 

What have you pinned this week? Or, what are some of your favorites? Link up with The First Grade Parade and share your pins! :)

Are you following my blog?
Are you following me on TpT?  
Are you following me on Pinterest?
Are you following me on Instagram?  
What about Facebook?

I would love for you to follow me...I love sharing my ideas, creations, and discoveries!

Monday Made It

Projects, projects, and more projects! I think I probably have 7+ projects going on right now! I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to share some of them! 

I was at Michael's the other day and saw these owls and I instantly knew I had to make these! I like using sticks to call on students...I started this a few years ago. I wanted to make sure I was calling on all of my students and using the sticks ensures that! I've always just used plain popsicle sticks or the jumbo popsicle sticks (tounge depressors), written the students' names on them, put them in a can, and that was that. BUT, when I saw these owls...I knew I had to use them to cutesify (is that a word??!) the name sticks!!! 

It all started here...
Found some cute paper!
Jumbo popsicle sticks...

Traced the popsicle sticks on the back of the scrapbook paper...
Paint Mod Podge onto the stick, add the paper, paint the paper, repeat on the back...
Once both sides are dry, add the owl..It's a sticker!
What do you think?! I just think my students are going to LOVE them! I am going to let the students pick which owl they want! :)

I have been thinking about the next project all summer...At first, I thought I would make them using scrapbook paper and Mod Podge. BUT, then, I kept hearing about Washi Tape on Instagram, so I had to check this stuff out!!! I am so glad I did! It is pure AWESOMENESS and it made my project a million, billion times easier! Have you tried using Washi Tape yet? You should! I found mine at Michaels!

I am going to use these for my Clip Chart! I just think they are adorable and they will match my owl theme perfectly!!! So much better than plain, old boring clothespins, dontcha think?!! I do!!! 

The last project I am sharing with you is all over Pinterest! I have a few of them pinned...and decided to bring my clipboards home this summer to work on this projcect..Here are just a couple that I have made...

Of course I used Mod Podge for these!!! When don't I?! LOL! Are you beginning to see my obsession with Mod Podge?! I literally look at stuff and think, "Hmmmmm, can I Mod Podge this?!!!" 

So, for these clipboards...I started with a clipboard, traced the paper to fit, spread Mod Podge on the clipboard, added the paper, and then spread Mod Podge over the top of the paper, making sure to smooth it out...LOVE them! Way better than just the brown ones! I haven't added paper to the back yet...still not sure if I'm going to. Probably. 

What projects are you working on? Do you have lots and lots on your list like I do? Please share! We all love new ideas. I may not get to it right away...but eventually! 

If you would like to share your newest project, join the linky! I am! 
Are you following my blog?
Are you following me on TpT?
Are you following me on Pinterest?
Are you following me on Instagram?

I would LOVE for you to follow me!!! Let me know, and I will follow you right back! 

Favorite Pins Friday!

Who doesn't love Pinterest, right?! I know I do!! I am on there waaaaayyyyyy too much! But, I have found some amazing ideas on Pinterest, some that I have tried, will try, or will just dream about trying and having! HA!

I am joining up with The First Grade Parade and her Favorite Pins Friday linky! 

Here are just a few of my favorite pins from the week!

This pin is from IHeart Organizing and I just LOVE it! I tape a lot of things on the inside of cabinets, but this is such a better idea and just adorable!! I HAVE to add this one to my TO DO List for sure! She gives wonderful instructions on how to make this! Yay! Gotta do it!!!

This next one is ALSO from IHeart Organizing. I put all of my units that I buy on TpT in binders. I LOVE binders!!! On my current TO DO List is to make labels for the side of all my binders and these amazing units. I put them on a bookshelf and I want to know which unit to grab at a glance! This pin is a perfect reminder/example of what I need to do!!! 

I will be teaching 1st Grade this year and I have been working on organizing my Library/Book Boxes for my new classroom. First Grade Glitters and Giggles has some wonderful ideas! I already ordered these book boxes, along with some baskets for my Library...her classroom and this picture inspired me!

Two summers ago I discovered that I have Celiac Disease...It is often very difficult to stay on track and stay away from gluten. I know I need to in order to be my healthiest self, so this pin is AWESOME to me! I LOVE all of the "hey girl" pins, including this one!!! It is so fitting for me. I could not find the original just keeps giving me the image. 

I adore this outfit!!! It is soooooooooo me, but probably with a pair of ugg boots! I love wearing hoodies in the fall/winter. I love this one so much, thatI even looked it up to order it! SOLD OUT!! BooHoo! :( I really wanted it, too!!!

So cute and casual ;)
I will leave you with this one! I don't know about you, but this is me to a tee! Most of my pinning happens using my phone, right before I go to sleep! It's relaxing, calming, and I love it!!!


I LOVE pinning and am always adding great, new finds! Check out my Pinterest Boards! I would LOVE for you to follow me! I will follow you, right back! :)

Throwback Thursday

Happy 4th of July, my friends! I hope you all have a wonderful, safe holiday! 


I am joining up with The First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday! This past year I had a Pirate Themed Classroom! So much fun!!! Here is a little post that gives a little peek into our pirate life!! Aargh!

*****************Originally posted May 11, 2013*******************

All Things Pirate! Aargh!!!

I have a pirate themed classroom and it is so much fun!

Here are a few of the fun things we use to add to our pirate theme:

TREASURE CHEST: We put our prizes in our treasure chest! One of the treasure chests is filled with Pirate's Booty! Have you ever tried this before? So yummy and it's gluten free! A must for me!

Pirate's Booty, Aged White Cheddar, 4-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)
Yummy Pirate's Booty! This is a perfect prize for our classroom!!

WHOLE BRAIN RULES: We love using Chris Biffle's Whole Brain Teaching Rules in our classroom. I made these to fit our pirate theme. We have them up in a few places around our classroom...including individual ones that we use as reminders.

CLIP CHART: Our clip chart was inspired by Welcome to Room 36 . We discovered her clip chart this past summer, but it wasn't available in her store yet. We loved it soooooo much, that we had to make our own! BUT, her ADORABLE behavior chart is now available! Check it out!!

Our Whole Brain Rules are right next to our Clip Chart-a great way to reflect on the rule that was broken.
P.I.R.A.T.E. BINDER: We use Deanna Jump's P.I.R.A.T.E. binder cover for our binders. Check them out!

This is the first year I have used a binder to communicate with the parents. LOVE it! The daily communication is a must have!

BIRTHDAY BOARD: We keep each student's name and birthday on a popsicle stick and put it in the birthday baggie we got from Hobby Lobby. When the students' birthday month arrives, we put the popsicle sticks in our calendar pockets.

TABLE NAMES: I like to start of the beginning of the school year using our Pirate Theme for our Table Names. As the year continues, we change the Table Names based on our Science and Social Studies Themes.

Pirate Ships


Treasure Chest

Treasure Maps
I have added this to my TpT store as a freebie!
CRATES and CANS: I posted about my DIY crates and cans here. I love little touches like this to help add to the cuteness of the theme!
DIY Crates
DIY Mod Podge Cans
GAMES: We love playing games in our classroom! So, of course, I had to create a pirate themed game! If your students love pirates, you have a pirate themed classroom, or if you just want a fun way to reinforce the following skills, then this is the game for you!

                    *Letters and Sounds      *Number Recognition
                    *Sight Words                *CVC Words, including nonsense words
                    *CVCe Words                *Addition/Subtraction Skills

You can find Aargh! Pirate Center Games in my TpT store!
PIRATE PERFORMANCE: To end our year, we are going to have a "Pirate Performance" for the parents! Have you heard the "Silly Pirate Song" by Jack Hartmann? Oh.My.Goodness. It is adorable and our students LOVE it! We can't wait to sing it for our families and, of course, dress up as pirates! Aargh!

PINTEREST BOARD: I love Pinterest!! I have a Pinterest Board called All Things Pirate! Aargh!!! Check it out for more pirate ideas!

PIRATE PICTURES: During the first few days of school, we took pictures of each student wearing a pirate hat! We have used the picture throughout the year for different activities. Here is a picture of my partner teacher (she teaches the afternoon class)...and me. :)

My partner teacher! I sure will miss teaching with her next year! :(
Our "Pirate Performance" is in a couple of weeks! I will share some pics from our party (after the performance) with you..we will be joining in the fun and dressing up as pirates, too! Can't wait to see our little ones dressed as pirates! So CUTE!!

Do you have classroom theme? What fun ideas do you use to help incorporate the theme into learning, design, performances? I would love to hear your ideas! 
If you would like to Throwback Thursday, link up with The First Grade Parade and share an oldie but a goodie!
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