Sunday, November 2, 2014

My classrooms

I've been wanting to post about my 1st year's classroom for the longest time and I never got around to it. Well, now I have this year's as well!

The thing about my classroom, I feel like it is always evolving in what it looks like. Things are added or moved.

So here is my very first classroom as a teacher!!

It started out like this. I share my room with the math specialist, so the left is my side.

Bookshelves were full of books and old things 

This was the 1st week I was able to get things done. 

The left brown bookcase was full of old materials and books. My things were mostly on the one by the filing cabinet. 

This was by December (note the Christmas things)

My desk
I used the brown door as a To Do list. 

By the end of school

  • The basket on the top of the bookshelf was my treasure box. The little green buckets held the student's name slips that I use for reward system. 

  • The pink line around my desk was to help a student with boundary issues

I liked the little cart in front of my desk bc it helped me be a little hidden while I was at my desk from the door.
  • I used the foldable board for a lot of my instruction. 

The thing I liked about this lay out was the bookshelves right behind where I taught...any materials I would need were right there. 

  • Yoga balls had a boundary or "home" and once the students were finished sitting on them or having their bounce break, they would be put up in their "home". 
  • On the brown shelf is my library. It has grown this year! :)
  • The black shelf held leveled readers(which I had no idea what they were last year. I use them now)

After my first year, I had to move to a classroom that was just on the other side of the wall (the wall behind my desk). As weird as it sounds, I was happy to do so simply because I was able to look through all the things that were left behind and see what I had. Some things did not travel, they went and visited the recycling bin. Others I realized how great a resource they were and organized them!

My Second Year

 After a little work: 

The yoga balls got deflated for this year and put in a closet. 

That poor globe was in the lounge...nobody wanted it, so I took it. 
The chair belongs to a coworker and it is stored in my room right now. 
Got my library organized 
  • Orange bucket has prizes the kids can pick 

You can also see the books I got organized on top of the green cabinets. That was one of the many resources I had, but didn't know of the previous year!

 What it looks like now: 
  • Up on the wall are things that we are learning about or have learned about. 
  • The yellow "ABC" holds our vocabulary for the week
  • The blue chart next to it holds math vocab right now. 

  • The little cart at the end of my desk holds the pencil bucket and materials that I use during groups. 
  • Materials are on the white shelf to the left of the picture. 
  • Teacher materials are in the smaller white bookshelf. The green basket on my desk holds timers, sharpies, post-its that I might need. 

  • I utilize the metal on the front of my desk to hold examples of good writing and other materials that I might need to show to the students. 

My library is labeled with the genres, I am trying to get my students to understand the different ones. 
The rug on the right is the "break spot". AKA cool off zone.
No one has had to use it yet, but I created one this year just in case!

My desk area!
I love having the side table! 
I have 2 clear file organizers, a blue hanging holder and then not pictured is a plastic hanging file holder. 
There is a lot of paperwork with my job and it is key to keep it organized!
This is my desk all clean. 

This was a busy day! 
That side desk is a hard worker at times! 
(Under the desk is my actual treasure box!)
Notice: a cute picture of all three kitty babies in-between my owls. 

My view from my desk! 
I wanted a picture of Joey and I on it this year!
I love looking at it when I am having a hard day!
Here I have a picture of us when we were in Vegas and also my cup from when we were in Vegas. 

There you have it! My classroom from last year and then from this year so far! I am sure the room will change before the end! I love documenting what it looks like and how it changes as I need it to. I am sure more photos will be added once this school year is finished!

Have a great night!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hair Adventure

It has been a while since I have blogged. Why? I am really not sure! One of my goals this summer was to blog. Sadly, I didn't get to it. Perhaps it is all the things I want to blog about that just snowballs and I get over whelmed when I think about what to post.


So this summer I finally decided to take the plunge. For about two years I have wanted to do something fun with my hair. After much research and Pinterest searching, I finally decided to dye my hair!

I did not do it myself....since I have natural medium brown hair, I figured bleach would be involved for any color to look good. So instead of trying and it looking horrible, I went to Visible Changes.

I talked to Joey about it and I decided on blue. I went to the nearest Visible Changes after having lunch with Joey in June and made a walk-in appointment that afternoon.

It took 2 1/2 hours to bleach bath my hair (which is less harsh than just straight bleach I was told). It took three bowls of it to get to a color where the blue dye would look best. I was hoping I would look like Daenerys Targaryen....instead it turned a more Cersei Lannister. Meh.

Like a good blogger, I took Before, During and After photos! Warning: a lot of other way to get hair pics! :)


This is about the second of three bleach baths they needed to do. Issue was that summer of 2013 I dyed my hair black...the black was still on the tips from being grown out. As a result, more bleach needed to be used on the tips and the blue was the darkest there. 

Waiting for the dye to set

The day of. It is blue, but looks more purple here. 
It would look different depending on the lighting. 

Next day

One of the things I loved about the way my hair turned out was the different tones. One piece of my hair in the front received more bleach and as a result, the dye turned that section a beautiful aqua color. 

The saddest part of this color is the fading and the roots growing out. My roots grew out a blonde color so they were pretty obvious. The color really didn't look bad as it faded until about a month and a half or two months after I dyed it.  I made sure to use a special shampoo/conditioner for dyed hair. The reality of it is though, each time you wash your hair some of the blue comes out. 

The first time I washed my hair after it got dyed, it looked like I killed a Smurf! So if you want to do this as well...wear gloves. 
Blue gets everywhere!

Since I needed this color to fade out/grow out enough before school was to start up again, I didn't get it touched up. If I could be a blue haired teacher, I would be!! 

This is the process of it fading. 

It turned a pretty blue/green

Eventually the blonde was so much, it started to look not so nice. Again, I went to Pinterest...but this time for a haircut style. Another thing I have been wanting to do since the beginning of this year (ever since I saw Snow White's pixie cut in Once Upon a Time) was get a pixie cut! 

I knew that if I were to cut it short, it would be much easier to dye to a brown color for school. Plus it would be much easier to style/manage. 

Notice all the blonde

My hair was 12 inches long in a pony tail. However I was not able to donate it, since it had been bleached and dyed. That still kinda makes me sad, but I do not regret dyeing or cutting my hair. 


I thought most of the blue was gone...however when I got it cut, the back was all still blue! It looked AWESOME! Plus the blonde really went with it. 

Ack! I still love how the lady cut my hair! 

As school neared, and I was about to meet the new principal of our school, I decided it was time to go back to normal. 

So much blonde! 

I dyed it and now I'm back to a normal brownish color. 

Will I dye my hair again? YES! It was a lot of fun!

The most awesome thing about it was it gave me a new found confidence and people seemed to be more open to talk to me. Wither that was just telling me they liked the blue or asking me where I got it done. It was pretty neat. 
My hair definitely changed a lot this year, but I am so happy I took the risk. 

Quick Look: 

I hope reading this gives you confidence to try something you have been wanting to do for a while. It doesn't have to be hair, it could be something as simple as hanging that picture on the wall which you've been too nervous to hang or trying new food. Take that risk and you might find that you love it! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Kitchen

It's been a while since I have written a post about the house. Now that I am off for the summer (YAY!), my hopes is to be posting more regularly.

One thing I loved about this kitchen is its original fixtures. The cabinets, the ovens, the stove-top, and the sinks are all original, are in great condition and work!

One feature that stood out to me the most...separate stove and oven, as well as double ovens!! I thought that was so fancy! The stove-top is really neat too because it contains a griddle in the middle. (You can see it in the pictures's silver)

Features I love about our kitchen: 
- double ovens
- amount of cabinets (44 I believe I counted)
- already installed recently done under cabinet lighting
- little prep sink
- original sink
- griddle
- shutters on the window above the sink
- the sink is much deeper
- the character

What I did not like about it: 
             - The HUGE red plastic knobs aka clown noses
             - the flooring
             - Main intercom that did not work

Notice the flooring and the red knobs. 

One great thing about cabinets with handles/knobs is that you 
can easily change the look of the kitchen by swapping them out. 

I found a great deal on Amazon for nickel brushed knobs and I got a pack of 25 for $26. 
At Home Depot and Lowe's each knob costs around $2. 

I spent a whole evening switching them out, but it was SO worth it! 

 After knob change

It is so surprising to me how a simple change can cause the kitchen to look up-to-date, 
even with the scalloped cabinet border. 

Sidenote: In this picture you can see a screen at the end of the bank of cabinets. Since the intercom system did not work, we decided to replace the main intercom with a computer.  We were able to find a cheap touchscreen and build a tiny computer for it (housed in the cabinet below it). On this computer we can browse the internet, watch tv and anything a normal computer can do! I am SO SO glad we did that. It makes the kitchen even more fun to be in when you are waiting on something to cook. If you are interested in our the house tech, visit Joey's blog, he recently posted about it here

Back to the Before/Afters!

We have a cute little prep sink next to the fridge.

Here you can see the red clown noses are gone and you can see our new fridge!
I was a little worried about getting a side-by-side...since I have only ever had the traditional fridges (freezer on top, fridge on bottom). However, I love this fridge! I really like that we were able to get rid of our Brita pitcher and use the in-door water/ice. We use it all the time!

After we received our fridge, the only other major change we were waiting on was the floors. Joey gave me the option of getting new vinyl or to carry the wood laminate into the kitchen. I was worried about wood laminate and water, so I looked up to see how common it was. Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to envision what it would look like.  I am so glad we decided to do that because the cohesiveness is so beautiful.

After the floors were installed

Complete After

This is what our kitchen looks like now (a couple of months ago). 

Changes we did after flooring:
- installed the above cabinet lighting 
- got a new dishwasher (not pictured, it's stainless)
- I'm in the process of replacing the green shutter inserts

Right off of the kitchen is the breakfast area. When we first saw the house, it was very dated with some ugly curtains and very bland. 


Thankfully we were able to see past this and see the potential. 
Those shutters on the windows open and fold and let in so much light! 


We painted the walls "Soulful Blue", had crown molding put up, and the wood laminate installed. 

Complete After

Bonus shot with the shutters open! 

 So there you have it! Our before and afters of our kitchen and breakfast nook! 

I will post another room soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My First Year

Tomorrow is the last day of school!! It is hard to believe that I am just a 1/2 day away from completing my first year of teaching!

How was it? Well....

- It was challenging. Our team leader went on maternity leave in March. I was really afraid that without her being there I would not know what to do or that I would try to rely more on the other teachers instead of rising to the challenge. Thankfully, I became more confident and stepped up to the plate. I am really thankful to have had that happen. It helped me gain confidence in myself and to see my true ability in teaching.  I had times that I felt overwhelmed, but it was always me that did it to myself. Once I calmed down and looked at the issue in a different light, I knew what I needed to do. Even though I have a hard time with it sometimes, God always reminded me to trust in Him and that everything will turn out just fine. 

- It was a learning experience. 
  • I have learned more about myself through the process of my first year. 
    • I need to have lesson plans. There were a few days that we had to deviate off the path or there were a couple of days that I did not have plans for. I still taught. I knew what I wanted to teach and I was prepared with papers. However having that plan in front of me helps me feel so much more "with it". 
    • I have learned that I am an organizer and even more a planner than I thought I was. At the end of this year, I learned that I have to move classrooms and I started planning immediately. I started planning things like: Where is my table going to go, what is going to be on the bookshelf, how are my cabinets going to be organized, etc. In order to try out the layout of my room for next year, I moved my group table in my current room to see if I would like it. (I do! Yeah for solving that!) I like to be prepared when I can.
  • I learned even more that students need more than just curriculum
    • When it comes to the students it is important to teach them more than just the material. This may seem like a no brainer to some and I knew that going in, but everyday I could better understand what they needed to know. Some needed to know that they can be successful, they are important and smart; others that it is okay to take risks and try something new. One thing I heard in an in-service I was in, was a story about a super strict teacher. She did not let her students get away with much, if anything. However, each morning she would start off by greeting her students at the door, she would give them a hug and say that she loved them and told them that they are important. This put things into perspective. In some children's life the only person telling them that they are smart/important/worth-it could be their teacher. So I decided to be that influence for my students, wither they got that at home or not. 
    • My classroom goal this year was for the students to know they are loved, important, and smart. That if they try their best, that is what success is.  
  • I learned that no training, college class, or book can truly prepare you for teaching. Don't get me can get GREAT advice from all of those! However, the best teacher is experience. I learned things this year that I want to implement next year and I also learned what worked or did not work. I already have an idea about next year and what I want to get better at. 
  • Most of all, I learned how much a teacher can love her students. My babies are going to middle school next year. I went to their award ceremony this morning and couldn't stop smiling. I noticed one of my students opening the award packet.She pulled out the award I put in there for her. She smiled so big and showed all the students around her. I am proud of them for what they have taught me and how they have grown.
I enjoyed my first year. Looking back when I first started my job, people would ask me "How do you like it". I would smile and say "I like it" even though inside I was still adjusting to all the new. It's kind of how I would envision  new parents. Among the sleep deprivation, learning how to feed and change the baby, and adjusting to the new schedule, they are happy even if in that moment they feel like they are swimming in the sea inexperience. Once the newness wears off and they get the hang of things they can fully see how great a blessing it is. That's how I felt.  Now I can look back at the year and say that God has blessed me so much with this job! I love the school, the people I work with and the kids I teach. Overall it has been an amazing first year!

I am so blessed

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Master Bedroom

This is one of my most favorite transformations. I will let the pictures speak for themselves!


When we first saw it, I didn't think it was that bad. 

The yellow was everywhere. All the way to the vanity and bathroom. 

I knew I wanted gray in the bedroom, so we had to find a primer that would work to cover the yellow. 
The last thing you want is a yellowish gray. 
It took a while, so much so that I was thinking about just having the primer on the walls! 

I decided I really wanted to paint, so we painted some more. 
Notice the carpet is gone!!
Oh how nice it was to paint and not worry about the flooring! :)


View of the vanity/bathroom 
This is standing in the room, we have two doors. 
One above and this one, it goes to the comic book room and eventually into the breakfast area/kitchen. 

Work Done: 
- Paint
- Crown Molding
- Thicker base boards installed
- Fan installed
- New light switch installed

Done but not in picture: 
- Vanity area painted
- Bathroom painted
- Trim painted white 
- Outlets changed out (color)

Quick look:

 If I had a good picture of our bedroom now, I would post it. I am waiting for better lighting to get a picture.   So there's our master bedroom!

I'll be posting another before/after soon!