Are You Almost Ready for a SoCal Blog Hop, a Giveaway, and a TpT SALE?!!!


I have joined up with my favorite SoCal bloggers for a 
 #blogsurf
#bloghop
I am so excited to be a part of this group and to share with you!!!

What:  SoCal Blog Hop
Where: Your FAVORITE  SoCal Blogs
When: August 2 - August 4
Why: To celebrate living near our favorite beaches, to give away some fabulous freebies and to give away 4!!! TpT Gift Certificates just in time the BIG Back to School TpT SALE!

Have you heard about the Back to School TpT SALE?
Everything in my store will be 20% off!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/A-Kindergarten-Life-For-Me
Thank you to The Star Spangled Planner for this adorable graphic!

Have you started filling up your Wish List? Have you rated your recent purchases so you can earn TpT credits for the sale? I know I am working on both of these, so I'll be ready for the Back to School Sale!
What about you?!
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My New, Favorite Pencil Sharpener and #create2educate with Michaels!

Pencils. Pencils. Pencils.
Dull pencils. Broken pencils. 
Aaah! Aaah! Aaah!
 "My pencil's broken."
"My pencil's not sharp enough."
"My pencil won't write."
"My pencil just broke."
"I want my pencil to be pointy."

Have you heard this as much as I have? Do you dislike pencils as much as I do? 
Or, I should say, DID!

I have gone through soooo many pencil sharpeners in my teaching career! When I first started teaching, I didn't know any better, and we just used the pencil sharpener that came with the classroom, you know, the one that's on every classroom wall.

Eventually, I decided I needed an electric pencil sharpener. I just bought a cheapy one {I was still a newish teacher}. Of course, it broke. So, then, I bought another cheapy one...and...it broke. This cycle went on for quite a few years. 

Finally...I bought an expensive pencil sharpener. And, it has lasted 4 years...BUT, my students are not allowed to use it. EVER. EVER. Well, that can get old. Fast. Plus, it's at the point where it works intermittently. 
So, once again, I was on the hunt for a new pencil sharpener when I read this review by Mind Sparks! 

I contacted Classroom Friendly Supplies and they sent me a pencil sharpener to review. I am soooo glad they did. I cannot tell you how EXCITED I was to try out this new pencil sharpener!!! Especially, since my expensive pencil sharpener decided to "die" AGAIN!!!

I.AM.In.LOVE. In love, I tell, ya! I told my students all about this pencil sharpener. They were super excited to try it out! One, because our classroom sharpener was broken and their pencils were dull. Two, because they were actually allowed to use this new pencil sharpener. I decided that if I am going to review it, I wanted to see how my students did with it. Would it hold up to their little hands? 
IT DID! IT DOES!
My students absolutely LOVED this pencil sharpener by Classroom Friendly Supplies.
The Ooohs and Aaahs were just incredible. Really. Here are just a few of the things my first graders said about this pencil sharpener:
"It's so cool!"
"This is the sharpest pencil I've ever seen."
"You don't even have to hold the pencil."
"Look! One hand!"
"My pencil is so pointy!"
"This is the best day ever!"
Now, those are some SHARP pencils!!!

If you are looking for a new pencil sharpener OR a pencil sharpener that is just AWESOME, this is the pencil sharpener for you. I should know. I have owned more than enough for ALL of us! 
This pencil sharpener is kid friendly, easy to use, quiet, and with just a turn or two, you have the "...sharpest pencils ever!" 
to find your new pencil sharpener! They even have PINK! I am pretty sure that's my next one! 
Gotta love pink!  

 Have you heard about the #create2educate #sweepstakes with 
#michaels ?!!

Here I am at Michaels, shopping! I was there forever! The ideas just kept flowing!!! Oh, and PLEASE ignore my bags and wrinkles! HA!

I am so excited to share with you what crafts I have been working on!!! I am teaming up with Michaels and their #create2educate sweepstakes! Guess what?! You can join in, too! Have you been getting your craft on? Are you ready to share your creativity with #Michaels? Would you like a chance to win a $50 gift card from #Michaels?
Here's what's up!
 What is #Create2Educate?
 #Create2Educate is a sweepstakes to keep you inspired all year long! Create an original back-to-school project and upload a picture of it to Instagram, using #Create2Educate and #sweepstakes. While you’re there, tag @MichaelsStores too. The contest runs Friday, August 1 through Friday, August 15. A random winner will be selected daily and will receive a $50 gift card to Michaels. All entries will be shared on Michaels.com/Create2Educate.

 How will Michaels choose a winner?
 Each day’s entries (4 p.m. to 4 p.m.) are gathered and a winner is selected randomly.

When does the contest begin and end?
 The contest begins on Friday, August 1 and runs through Friday, August 15. Entries beyond this date will not be eligible to win.

 What does the winner receive?
 Michaels chooses a daily winner, and the winner will receive a $50 Michaels gift card.

 Can I enter more than once?
 Yes, entries are unlimited.

What must be included in my entry?
 Tag @MichaelsStores in a picture of an original and unique back-to-school project on Instagram using #Create2Educate and #sweepstakes. If you don’t have an Instagram, upload the photo of your creation to Michaels.com/Create2Educate.

I’m not a teacher, can I still enter?
 Absolutely! Teachers aren’t just in the classroom, anyone can be an educator.

 Do I need to give permission for Michaels to share my project?
 Yes! A link is provided in Michaels Instagram account bio. You must follow the link and complete the steps in order for Michaels to share your photo on Michaels.com/create2educate and/or social channels.

I submitted my project and was directed to a link to grant permission. Does Michaels need my permission? 
 In order to share your photo on Michaels.com/Create2Educate, you must grant Michaels permission to use that photo using the link in their Instagram profile. Once approved, you creation will be shared for all to see.

 Do I have to use only supplies from Michaels? 
Where else would you find such a wide variety of supplies?

I entered my #Create2Educate project. Why don’t I see it on Michaels.com/Create2Educate?
 Be sure that you’ve given permission to Michaels to share your unique project by following the link in Michaels Instagram profile. Once your content has been approved, it should be viewable on Michaels Create2Educate site.

So, do you want a sneak peek of what I am working on?! 
 Yep. I've got at least four projects going on! I am so excited to make them and Michaels' #create2educate #sweepstakes has me super motivated!!!
What about you? Are you working on a project? Are you going to enter? I can't wait to hear all about it!

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Giveaway Winner Announced and Even More Excitement to Come!

Thank you all sooooo much for entering my giveaway!!! I appreciate your support! Congratulations to Annette M.!!


I will be participating in more exciting events that you will ALL definitely want to join! Look for more information, later this week! 
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Bellini Bar Meet-Up, Erin Condren Giveaway Winner, and My Own Giveaway!!!

I had so much fun in Vegas that I had to split it up into two posts! Did you read all about my TpT Conference experience and the days leading up to it? If you didn't, you can read it here.

After the TpT Conference, I had dinner with some lovely ladies! 


 It's always fun to meet new people! As I said in my previous post, I can become shy in some social situations or when meeting new people, but dinner was a perfect, low-key way to chat! It was a great way to start off the night! Thank you to Kristen from
Easy Teaching Tools and Courtney from Ramona Recommends for making our reservation!
 At dinner with Brittany {one of my roomies}!
 After dinner, it was time for the Bellini Bar Meet-Up {changed to the Bourbon Room for more space}!
Kristen and Courtney went all out!!! Not only did they have the Giveaway planned, BUT they had these ADORABLE cookies for everyone!!!
 How cute are they?! I mean, their blog button is on the cookie! Aaahhhh! So FUN! 
Random pictures from the Meet-Up!
Me and The Super Sparkly Teacher! She is soooo sweet!
My Roomies!
Our Business Cards! So weird to have a business card!!!
A fun group pic!
A group shot with my roomies,Bridget from Hardcore Teacher Resources and Luke from Students of History
The next picture is a group shot of the winners of the Meet-Up Giveaway!!! Do you see me? Yep!!! I won the Erin Condren Gift Card!!!

 You guys, I never win anything! Ever!!! It was soooo exciting!!!! I really couldn't believe it! You see, I had an Erin Condren Planner last year and I LOVED it! So, I had planned on getting one again this year, too. I just hadn't picked it out, yet. Guess what? That's GREAT news for you! To say thank you for winning, I am having my own little giveaway!

 Would you like to win a $25 Erin Condren gift card? Enter below! Good luck, my friends!!!
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TpT Conference in Vegas...SO INSPIRING!!!

Years ago, I had a principal that was just like a motivational speaker. Really. I LOVED every staff meeting and I especially loved the meetings we would have right before the school year began. He was and still is a genuinely positive person {he's now an assistant superintendent, so our entire district benefits from his positive attitude}.
Each year before the school year started, my principal would show a video similar to this one. It always made me happy and gave me that inspiration I needed right before our little ones started a new school year. It always did the trick!!! I always left that last meeting with a smile and I was so excited for the school year to begin!
You might be thinking, "What does this have to do with the Vegas TpT Conference??!" Ever since my former principal became our assistant superintendent, those motivational talks and special videos have been missing at the beginning of our school year.

That feeling/motivation I felt from my former principal, was the feeling I had in Vegas at the TpT Conference!
It was motivational.
It was inspiring.
It was energetic.
It was contagious.

I was lucky enough to room with some amazing ladies...
Kristen from Easy Teaching ToolsBrittany Lynch and on Friday night, Courtney from Ramona Recommends
joined us.

The first night, we went to the What the Teacher Wants Meet-Up. It was HUGE! At one point, I said, "Just listen." It was this LOUD, energetic buzz!!! 
There was chatting. Meeting new people. Hugs. Seeing familiar faces. Saying hello to new friends. Seeing "celebrity" bloggers!!!!! 
Seriously. I have been following so many of these bloggers for two years now. 

  Blogger Meet Up name tag
"Celebrity" bloggers!!!
Amazing give-away items {I didn't win...this one}
FREE stuff! Look at all of those amazing items we got for Free!!! 
This meet-up was an amazing way to start this three day journey!

While we were in Vegas, not only were there teachers there for the TpT Conference, but they were also there for the SDE I Teach K and I Teach 1st Conference!!!
So, because of this, there were a lot of fun booths to visit! 
 Free goodies from the GoNoOdle Booth!
My roomies and I trying out a GoNoOdle video. Look for a future post on GoNoodle!
A new shirt I found at one of the booths {my school color is green, so I can't wait to wear it!}
SitSpots!!! Have you heard of these? Look for a future post on this,too! So excited to share!

I cannot tell you how excited I was on Thursday!!! Excited and Nervous! I knew the conference, on Friday, was going to be inspiring! Plus, I was really trying to find some courage to meet some of my favorite bloggers/TpTers! I was definitely inspired. But, the courage didn't come. You see, I am pretty shy. I'm not shy with my friends and family.At.All. But, when it comes to new situations or people I admire, I think I just freeze. :( I feel bad asking to take a picture with them. Even though I saw A LOT of people asking and they seemed so gracious and kind, I just couldn't do it! So, I have pictures from the sessions, but not with me. Maybe next year I will be a little braver and just ask! Did you ask? If you weren't there, would you have been brave enough to ask? 
So, not the clearest picture of Paul Edelman (TpT Founder), but he was super motivating and encouraging!!! He was also just so humble in his speech. He has changed thousands of lives with TpT and he looks at it like the teachers of Tpt have changed his life! I guess it's one of those situations when you can't have one without the other, you know? Whichever it is, I was impressed. Very impressed.

I know they all look pretty serious in these pictures. But, they were knowledgeable, funny, real, humble, inspirational and motivating! 

My first session was "Did I Really Sell THAT!? Improving Our Products with a Critical Eye," by Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills. These ladies are so honest and knowledgeable. They shared their mistakes and their tips on how to make better products. *See below for more tips and tricks!

My second session was "Your Blog Questions, Answered," by Cara Carroll,
Deedee Wills, Erica Bohrer, Greg Smedley and Elizabeth Hall. Oh, my! The knowledge in this room was powerful! *See below for more tips and tricks!

My third session was "Q is for Quality:Up the Value of Every Resource You Create," by Cara Carroll and Erica Bohrer. So much greatness! I just had to hear these ladies AGAIN! *See below for more tips and tricks!

My final session was "Advanced Pinterest:Take Your Pinning to the Next Level," by Melissa Dillard. She was one of the very first blogs I bookmarked! So, I was very excited to be in her session...that *might* be why I don't have any pictures!!! :(

All of the sessions were wonderful! A lot of the information told me I was on the right page with my products, my ability and my path. I was happy to hear this. But, I definitely learned a lot of Tips and Tricks!
Here are just a few:
*Join PicMonkey for better pictures
*Add blog address to the bottom of pictures
*Page views are more important than the number of followers
*Join linkies
*Include picture (photo) directions to products
*Make products "ready to cut"
*Add a preview to products
*Be as descriptive as you can
*Make meaningful comments on blogs
*Don't ask other bloggers to follow you
*Add a "pin it" button to your blog
*Organize your Pinterest Boards
*Put them in order of the seasons
*Watermark your images

SO.Much.Information! Soooo much!!! My ToDo List has grown soooo much longer! But, it's good stuff.  

I will leave you with a few quotes that I heard along the way...

"When you think you're done, you've just begun."
*Deanna Jump*

I can't remember if Deanna Jump or Paul Edelman said the following.. "...Someone told me, 'I'm just a little fish in a big pond!' And, I told them, 'Just keep swimming!'"

"Lord, show me the way and I'll do the work."
*Deanna Jump*


I'm linking up with A Burst of First and her Vegas Linky!
Go check out all of your favorites! I can't wait to read all about everyone's experiences! If you went to Vegas, leave your link in the comments. I would love to read all about it!!! If you didn't go, tell me about who you would have wanted to meet!
I had so much to share in this post that I am going to write a separate post about The Bellini Bar Meet-Up and the Erin Condren Giveaway! Can't wait to share my exciting news!!!
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A Vegas Style SALE and Don't Forget to Follow Me!

I am beyond EXCITED to see everyone in Vegas at the Blogger Meet-Ups and, of course, at the TpT Conference! I've been following everyone on Facebook and Instagram and they look like they are having so much fun!!! I will definitely post some fun pics there this week, too, so make sure you are following me! You don't want to miss it!

I know not everyone can make it to Vegas! I remember looking at pics last year and feeling so bummed I wasn't there! Well, this year, I decided to join some of my bloggy friends and have a SALE! I know shopping always makes me feel a little better when I am feeling FOMO {fear of missing out}!!! I hope it makes you feel better, too!
 http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/A-Kindergarten-Life-For-Me 
 My little store is 20% off! Check out Surfing To Success to see who else has their store on sale! 

Did you sign-up for the Erin Condren Giveaway?!! There's still time! 


 Check out my post on it here. You don't want to miss this AMAZING giveaway!!!

I will see you all in (if you will be in Vegas, I would love to meet you!) or from Vegas!
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Meetin' my Bloggy Friends in Vegas and an Erin Condren Giveaway!

Las Vegas is less than one week away and I'm beyond excited to meet so many other teacher bloggers who I've stalked, admired and become friends with!
http://adventureswithmrsrossi.blogspot.com/2014/06/monday-made-it-scotch-expressions.html
If you haven't heard, some of my bloggy friends and I are meeting up after the big Teachers Pay Teachers conference. Over 50 of us will be meeting {let's hope The Bellini Bar is ready for us}.  If you haven't RSVPd, there's still time here.
Not only are we meeting up for drinks and getting to know each other in real life…we're throwing a HUGE giveaway at the meet up.  Don't worry friends who won't be in Vegas, we're having a HUGE GIVEAWAY for you too!!!  So you won't have a fear of missing out, we're giving away amazing resources that will make teaching even better!

As most of you know, Erin Condren is the goddess of amazing planners and organization.  Plus, she wears adorable teal glasses and always looks to be having so much fun!  I bet she'd be a blast in Vegas!
She creates the prettiest teacher and life planners, calendars, and stationary.

Erin and her team have graciously offered 2 $50.00 gift cards to shop at her online store.
Her teacher planner is amazing because everything is in one place.  No more carrying separate folders back and forth.

The planner comes in gorgeous box.

The planner is so sturdy and well put together.  The book mark is great to keep your place.
 All of the divider tabs are easy to read {this planner covers everything}!
 The "Year at a Glance" section will make any teacher's heart happy.  Teachers are such planners and this just may be my most favorite section!
No more need for a desk calendar because you've got one here!  Like I said, I love having everything in one place.
The check list is great for keeping track of permission slips, important notes sent home, and anything else you need to keep track of.
 How precious is this little folder.  When you turn the page, there's one on the back as well to store your important papers.
 It's a bit blurry {silly iphone}, but you get the point!  There's a clear pouch to keep pens and pencils and a laminated calendar to use as a reference.

I can't wait until I get my school calendar to start filling this in.  Here's a full look into the planner
The amazing team at Erin Condren has offered to giveaway 1 $50.00 gift card to the teachers attending the Bellini Bar Meet up and 1 $50.00 gift card for those of you who won't be in Vegas.  How amazing is that!  We've also teamed up with these amazing teachers to bring you some amazing products as well.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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July Currently and a Happy 4th SALE!

I am linking up...a little late...with Oh' Boy 4th Grade and her July Currently!

Listening: I love the news. I don't know why. But, right now, I am listening to the weather and it just makes me happy!

Loving: It hasn't rained here in FOREVER! But, today, it rained for about 45 minutes with a little hail thrown in here and there! LOVED IT! I adore summer storms and we are supposed to have them all week! YAY! 

Thinking: Are you going to the TpT Conference in Vegas? I am sooooo excited for it! I can't wait to meet so many amazing bloggers and TpTers! I feel like it's kinda like meeting celebrities! HA! Wonder if they feel like celebrities...at least in the blogging/TpT world?!!!

Wanting: More energy! I am sooooo tired lately! I don't know why! I need a nap almost every day...I guess I should be thankful it's summer, so I CAN take my nap. But, this lack of energy is interfering with all of the projects I need to finish. 

Needing: I need to pick up a few things for Vegas...maybe a new outfit? Plus, I am going to make little goodie bags for my roomies...so I need to pick up a few, fun items!

4th Plans: Just relaxing... And enjoying it! What are you doing/did you do?

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/A-Kindergarten-Life-For-Me
I am putting my little store
 on SALE for the weekend! 

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!
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