Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slim Down Saturday Jan 25

Week four is here! I am NOT doing good. I am doing great with eating better, but I just can't seem to get back to working out... 
I can't get untired. It is just insane. No matter how much I sleep... I am STILL tired.
Ultimate goal: I want to lose 25-30 pounds by the time I turn 30 on May 10th. I want to feel good about myself going into my 30s. If I lose 25lbs I will be about what I weighed when we got married. 30lbs will be the exact weight. I look back at the pictures from 2009 and think to myself "and you thought you needed to lose weight then?!" 

Gain/Loss for the week: down .2

Total since starting: -3.8lbs

Positives from the week: I ate healthy all week. Including lunches. I managed to prepare my lunches in advance which helped a TON. See.. Ok well for some reason the picture won't work... but what I did was premade salads for each day. I put dressing in little cups for each day. And then I bagged up some grapes, peanuts, and tortilla strips (for my salad) for each day of the week. In the morning I just grabbed one of everything and threw it in my lunch. Super quick and easy!
And another thing I did was cut out unnecessary snacks. I usually come home from work, have some kind of (not healthy) snacks, and then have a later dinner. This week, I cut out the snacks and had dinner at a normal time. 

Something to do better: Same as last week. I didn't work out. Seriously. I can't be not tired. It is really frustrating. I know I NEED to workout. And I know NOT working out is NOT helping. But the amount of work I have had to do takes up the little bit of free time I have and by the time I finish, I crash. And of course- drink more water... always. Though I did do better with it this week.

Goal for next week: I am very close to having a lower number in the tens place as my weight. I reallllly want to get to I definitely need to get back to working out.
And my one word: Truth- I chose truth because in all of this, I am being truthful. I know I am not doing all I need to do to lose the weight I want to lose. But I am not denying it or acting like I did things that I really didn't. 

Another week down! I look forward to seeing everyone's progress! Here is your blank template. (A tip- click the image to enlarge it before copying or saving it.)
I will be around on and off today to catch up with everyone. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

First of all, I had this post all written and accidentally deleted it. So forgive me that this one isn't going to be as swell as the rest of them. Now... I almost didn't manage to get it done in time to post for this week. Not because it wasn't a good book, because it was. But because I am so tired that I read a few pages and fall asleep. This week's book is Misery Loves Cabernet.
This book is the follow up to last week's book A Total Waste of Makeup. You can find my blog post about that one here. If you plan on reading that one, you may want to save this post for another day because a tiny bit of information is about to be given away....

Charlie is happily with Jordan... until his job takes him to Paris. They decide to take a break, but she is always wondering and analyzing his emails. In the midst of the "are we or aren't we together" feelings Charlie is having, Liam, an old crush of Charlie's and now producer, asks Charlie to convince Drew (her actor boss) to read a script for the low budget film he is producing. The selling point for Charlie- part of the film will be filmed in Paris. Drew reads and agrees to be in the film... and then wreaks havoc on the set (which just happens to be Liam's house). Charlie starts developing feelings for Liam... all while trying to figure out what is going on with Jordan.

Throughout the entire book I was waiting to see who she would end up with... even with 15 pages left in the book! It was another laugh out loud book for me, and those are my favorites. Between Drew's antics and Charlie's family, you just can't help but laugh! The only thing is... I am honestly not sure how I feel about the ending of this one. It wasn't bad... just wasn't what I expected. And I like a straightforward ending... and while there was an ending.. I feel like Charlie's story could continue.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Slim Down Saturday January 18th

Week three is here! How did it go for you? Did you stick to your goal for the week? 
It has been a rough (emotionally) week (well rough two weeks) for me back at school. And honestly, I MAY have worked out two times, but I can't even remember. The good news is that I didn't GAIN weight.
Ultimate goal: I want to lose 25-30 pounds by the time I turn 30 on May 10th. I want to feel good about myself going into my 30s. If I lose 25lbs I will be about what I weighed when we got married. 30lbs will be the exact weight. I look back at the pictures from 2009 and think to myself "and you thought you needed to lose weight then?!" 

Gain/Loss for the week: None

Total since starting: -3.6lbs

Positives from the week: Managed to not binge which I tend to do when stressed. And even though I didn't work out more than twice, I didn't GAIN weight. Phew!

Something to do better: Get back to working out and drink more water. I think that water one is going to be here for a while. I am just awful about drinking throughout the day.

Goal for next week: Work out 4x during the week.

I found a new wordle for this week... 
And my one word: (ok two) Better Body- The ultimate goal here is for me to be happy with the way my body looks.. which means I want a better body. Not for superficial reasons, but to be happy with myself. 

Another week down in the books! I look forward to seeing everyone's progress! Here is your blank template. (A tip- click the image to enlarge it before copying or saving it.)
My husband is actually off on a Saturday (BIG deal for us) so we will be spending some time together, but I will be sure to check in with everyone throughout the day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

You belong to me...

Possessive nouns. The time when apostrophes start sneaking into every.single.word that ends with an s. Every year, I add a little more to my plans for teaching possessives to REALLY try to stop that before it starts. To start, we talk about plurals. And how plural means more than one. And how MOST plurals end with an s.

Then we talk about owning things. We start simple with singular possessive nouns and I go through and name things that are mine in my room. This is Mrs. Sz's pen... table... chair... etc. And then give examples of things that belong to certain students. Johnny's seat... Amy's shirt... etc. Then I write a few on the board and ask the students to figure out what they all have in common. Then we watch this video from the Electric Company. Students get a real kick out of this. To keep them interested, each student gets a sheet of paper, folds it into fourths, and picks four things that they would/could own. I tell them they can have anything they want with apostrophe s.

I love this one with the money tree!
The next thing we do is read Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale. We talk about how now that we learned about possessives does NOT mean that the apostrophe can just stick himself in all of our words ending in an S. I honestly think this was the best year with this. It only happened a couple times with the greedy apostrophe sticking himself where he doesn't belong.

The next day, I hung some pictures on poster paper around the room. Students got into groups and traveled from poster to poster writing possessive sentences. I gave them 3 minutes at each poster to come up with as many possessive sentences as they could. (I am sorry the pictures are so far away, I am adding captions so you can make sense of what they wrote.)
Tigger's costume is a pirate. Winnie the Pooh's costume is like Tigger. (Pooh spelled Poo.. of course)
The scarecrow's hat is big. The lion's fur is brown.
 By the end they had quite a few sentences...
The next day may have been a favorite activity and was something new I did this year. After learning about plural possessives and practicing those we were ready for our class book. We made a list of the alphabet on the board and as a class we came up with nouns for each letter of the alphabet that were Halloween-ish (this was mid Oct.. yep that is how far behind I am on sharing with you!). After we made the list, students picked which noun they wanted. They then had to figure out something that could belong to that noun, write a sentence about it, and then illustrate it. (Of course all of the pictures that I took are of singular noun pages, but I promise there were some plurals in there too.)

The final thing we did was put all of this knowledge to good use. We did some writing! I started by reading The Scarecrow's Hat. The students made a text to text connection to the story What About Me from our reading series. After that each student took some type to make a scarecrow and decorate his/her hat anyway they wanted. When they finished they had to write about their scarecrow and his/her hat using possessives. The idea of the scarecrow came from Christina Bainbridge. This one was super easy to modify for my kids that struggle with writing. Instead of writing a paragraph about their scarecrow, they just wrote a few sentences. They LOVED it. And they were so proud when they were hanging up in our room.

Now... if only I could get them in the habit of speaking correctly and using the possessives instead of just saying "Payton coat is on the floor." But we are getting there- they know I am going to correct them so usually someone else jumps in to correct the mistake. Not in a "you're wrong, I'm right" kinda way... just in a "Hey she taught us this and wants us to sound like intelligent people so this is how it goes" kinda way.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm back with another book. So far I am doing pretty good with my plan to read one book a week! This week's book is

Charlie is about to be turning 30 and is single as single can be. Since she thinks she will never have her own children, let alone grandchildren, she is writing a guide for her future great niece with tips for girls (dating and life tips). Her big tip- never wait by the phone...which she is doing as this book starts. Waiting for Dave to call. And when he is not the outcome she had hoped for. Charlie is an assistant to a movie star who calls her at all hours to do crazy things (like get his arm unstuck from the toilet!). He throws a dinner party and invites her as well as two potential men.... While spending time with Doug, deep down, it seems Charlie can't stop thinking about Jordan. Will she end up happily in love or just forever single (and wallowing in self pity as her younger sister is getting married and she is the MoH)?

I loved this book! It has been on my wishlist for a LONG time and I am so glad that I finally grabbed it and read it. There were points where I was literally laughing out loud. Yes- I am one of those people that laughs when they are reading. I react to books like people react to tv. I visualize the book from start to finish as if it is a movie. My husband has yet to get used to this and will often ask me what I am laughing at. Sometimes I try to explain... but most times, he really doesn't care once he realizes I am laughing at yet another book.

One of my favorite things in this book... some of the quotes were actually blog worthy! And why not share them?!

"Don't do anything in your life to get someone else's approval. Yours is the only one that matters." (This was one of Charlie's pieces of advice to her future great neice.)

"Don't be jealous of anyone. I guarantee you, if everyone walked into a room and dumped their problems onto the floor, when they saw what everyone else's problems were, they'd be scrambling to get their own problems back before someone else got to them first." (Drew- Charlie's actor boss- tells her this. It is actually a line from one of his movies (or a movie), however I have NO CLUE if this is a line from a real movie or not. Either way... it speaks volumes.)

"There is nothing more painful in life that to be invisible. Try to never make anyone in your life feel that way."

If this sounds like something you are interested, the picture above will take you to the link on amazon. Just click the following link, A Total Waste of Makeup. I have no clue what I did to break the link on my image. It is available in kindle and paperback. It is also available on B&N. There is another book in Charlie's series and I will be reading that one next. Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Slim Down Saturday Week 2

It's week two. Have you been doing your best? I hope you are ready to link up! Even if you had some bad days (or even a full on bad week) just get back on the train and push through!
It was our first week back to school this week so I thought for sure I was going to give up. Thankfully I didn't.
Ultimate goal: I want to lose 25-30 pounds by the time I turn 30 on May 10th. I want to feel good about myself going into my 30s. If I lose 25lbs I will be about what I weighed when we got married. 30lbs will be the exact weight. I look back at the pictures from 2009 and think to myself "and you thought you needed to lose weight then?!" 

Gain/Loss for the week: lost 2.4 pounds!

Total since starting: down 3.6 pounds!

Positives from the week: I thought for sure I was going to lose steam and give up Tuesday or Wednesday because I get so tired from work. But... I made it. I worked out every single day! Even on Tuesday when I was asleep before 10pm, I managed to work out. Seeing that number go down, even as slow as it is, motivates me to keep going. I know it would go down more if I did more cardio, but I am not ready for that yet. I am getting there.

Something to do better: I had a "free day" Monday to watch the FSU game with my husband. I knew this was coming so I tried to not "cheat" anywhere else in the week.

Goal for next week: Eat some kind of breakfast. I HATE eating that early in the morning. I am going to try having breakfast bars or granola bars or something just to have a small breakfast. Thursday and Friday I was able to eat a granola bar which is better than nothing. Wednesday I had some yogurt and granola. So I want to continue doing that.
And my one word: Positive- this is such a positive experience all together. Having friends to link up with me and having to hold myself accountable is really helping me to stick to this. I usually give up after day 1 of the resolution. It is also nice to see everyone that is joining in and (hopefully) enjoying the link up!

I was going to do weekly pictures but I haven't taken any yet.. and right now I have bed head and am in pjs... NO one wants to see this mess. So maybe I will do monthly pictures. I will say I am starting to FEEL like I look better. I haven't lost a lot yet (though for me 3.6 pounds in about 2 weeks is a good start) but I can tell there is a difference.

My one tip (from a complete NON professional here)- don't deprive yourself. If you really want a bite of chocolate, it is not going to throw you completely off by having one bite. a whole bag- that might be a problem. But I feel like depriving yourself of the things you want only makes the want that much worse. And eventually, when you do finally "treat yourself" to what you think will be just a small taste, it ends up being a full on feast. I have one or two small pieces of chocolate a day.

So there it is friends. Week 2 COMPLETE. I look forward to seeing everyone's progress! Here is your blank template. (A tip- click the image to enlarge it before copying or saving it.)
We have a birthday party today so I will be checking in with everyone who links up later tonight and/or tomorrow. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winner...and a little management tip

Remember this picture...
I had some REALLY good guesses as to what caused this...

Allison guessed: Earthquake, fire drill, elf, or early release. Earthquake was a good guess because that is usually what the room looks like after an earthquake drill because the kids have to cram under those bitty desks... but not this time.

Amy guessed: small group activities but we got so carried away that we were late and had to run out to our specialty classes... also a regular occurrence in my class.. in fact, it happened TWICE today alone. BUT not this time.

Andrea guessed: the kids tried to stay organized but couldn't because the tops of the desks looks ok but binders are on the floor and chairs aren't pushed in. Sadly, our chairs don't push in. The chair and desk are one. I HATE them. They are so not for little kids. But I digress... the binders actually used to have to be on the floor permanently because they had no other place. I finally said forget this...and sent them home. They were taking up space and we didn't need them.

Ursula guessed: the kids left the mess and I wanted proof the next day because the custodians or I would have to clean up after them. Oh I can say this USUALLY doesn't happen. Usually we spend a few minutes at the end of the day getting my room organized. I can't stand to come in in the morning to this mess.

Sarah guessed: The students just finished a group activity and were about to write about it in their journal BUT said that if it were her school, I wanted proof that the custodians came and swept. AND with that, I declared her the winner because she was closest..

What happened here was... our floors were being swept... which is a LOVELY thing.. but daily I was coming in to my groups all over the place like this and I could not take it. Especially because I made my kids spend a few minutes each day getting their desks in order so we could start each day in the right place. So I took a picture to show the building engineer because it was daily... needless to say, it hasn't happened since.

Thanks everyone for participating in my fun!

And because I am telling you how much I hate chaos... I want to tell you one thing I do to help keep my room NOT looking like the above picture.

Every day during dismissal preparations, students work on straightening up the shelves under their desks (have I said how much I hate these desks?!). I have one person who is the "desk police" every week. They walk around to make sure there is nothing on the floor. That is step 1.

As far as keeping the desks in order... simple... the tiles on the floor. I make my kids line their desks up according to the tiles. Easy peasy.

But my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE thing... morning work. You see the folders on the desks? Those are the morning work folders. Students must put their folder on their desk before they can leave. And yep, I have a "morning work police" job too. They make sure desks have folders. Not only does this make everything look uniform (because I swear I have a little OCD going on in my life)... but it saves SO much time in the morning. How?

Well... when students come in...there is NO fumbling to find morning work. No excuse to not get started right away. They come in, unpack their bags, sit down (with their breakfast-we eat in the class) and get right to work. You would not believe the amount of time it saves by having that folder on their desk in the morning. Kids drag in the morning (ok who am I kidding, I drag in the morning too) and this cuts out a good 3-5 minutes of time wasting. LOVE it. My morning work routine has changed due to some school mandates, but you can look here and see what I did last year. (I still do the word problems and word wizard- though I have the updated version now).

You want a little more management... check out this bundle on educents. It is positively amazing!
There is so much awesome stuff in here. One of my favorites might have to be the brag bracelets. My kids love ANYTHING that says they did something outstanding... and a bracelet just takes the cake!! And the pizza pan praise... oh em gee... too cute. Having a visual is so helpful for my kids. They look forward to see the positives and their praise. And then there is the anecdotal records notebook... 50+ pages of amazingly organized materials. I am amazed. Not only is this one good for students, but it will be good for my own child when she is old enough (because yes I will be that mama that tests their child every now and again at home...)

Anyways... if you want to check out this bundle yourself.. hurry because there are just a few days left. Click the image above to be taken to it on educents! AND if you want an even better deal on this bundle.. sign up HERE where you will get $10 off your first order... making this bundle...ready for this.... 99 CENTS!!! seriously?! You can't beat that!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I am back with another week of What I'm Reading. This one is out of my normal genre but I couldn't pass it up.
If you are a football fan you may remember in 2007 when Kevin Everett had a bad hit when tackling and was paralyzed at the Bills season opener against Houston. Tim and I were at that game and I don't think that is an image ANYONE that saw it will ever forget. It was scary. Beyond scary. And it was unlikely that he would ever walk again. He beat the odds and this book is his story. I am not typically a nonfiction reader but when it popped up on Amazon when I was searching for something else, I just had to grab it. The book takes you through his highs and lows of recovery and is definitely worth the read if you are interested in his story or the story of what may have been influential factors in his recovery. It was very interesting!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Drawing Conclusions...and a chance to win a free item!

What can you conclude about THIS picture?
If you can figure out why I took this picture (or what happened), you can pick one item from my store for free!

But back to my lesson... way back an eternity ago in October, we worked on Drawing Conclusions. I have to admit, until last year I HATED this skill. Because it was one of those things I always said HOW in the world can I get kids to make conclusions and not just predict or make random statements. That all changed when I found this post from Abby at The Inspired Apple. I did it last year with my kids (you can read about it here) and it was such a hit, I decided to do it again. But before we did that, we had to talk about what it meant to draw a conclusion. Enter cute anchor chart with the help of Krista's amazing graphics.
Can I just say how much my kids love to use the word schema?! We call it their filing cabinet in their brain and every time we learn something new we stick it in our filing cabinet. Who knew they would get such a kick out of it!?

We had to leave after this to go to support but when we came back they could not wait to see what I had in my purse.
After each item I pulled out they had to try to conclude something about me. If you look close you will see some of them are stating the obvious. We spent a lot of time talking about how to think deeper. For example, on calendar someone said you need to keep track of dates. We talked about how we needed to expand on that, because it is obvious that the function of a calendar is for dates. Eventually they came up with that I was busy and forgetful but needed to be organized. Much better. There were a couple others too but overall they did pretty good.

Later in the week it was time for another favorite of mine... mystery mail. I did this last year as well (though I did it a little differently) and you can find that post here. This year I did things a little differently. First I took out the envelope and had it hanging on the board. The students try to make observations and conclusions from JUST the envelope. Which I evidently forgot to take a picture of. Sorry! (Ok this picture shows the  clues as well but it doesn't have any information except for what we noticed or concluded before opening it. That is all written in black marker.) (Also, so sorry these are so blurry. I must have been exhausted when I took these because I thought they looked clear.)

Then each group was given a clue from the envelope. They had to use only their clue to try and make conclusions about the person who sent the mail. Each group brought their clue up to the board and shared a few ideas with us. The clues were: football field, nook (in the B&N store), chicken wings, and pens. Once each group shared their clue and ideas, the class started generating more conclusions.
They took the football field, pens, and bookstore picture and concluded that the sender wrote a book about football. That might have been the best conclusion because they used as much as they could. Others they came up with were that the person teaches how to play football and signs autographs (they got that from the pens and knowing that people sign autographs in stores).

After we shared our ideas and listed some on the board, I had all of the students fill out a sheet with their conclusion about the mystery sender and then make a guess about who sent it. One of my kid's responses was so funny I made him rewrite it so that I could keep it forever.
He decided that it was from a male (football) and must have been my college boyfriend (the pens) but that I broke up with him and now he is a professional football player (because pros sign autographs). I cracked up!

Don't forget to make a guess about my first picture for your chance to win an item from my store!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Slim Down Saturdays 1/4

Are you ready?? 
Since my journey only started Thursday, this may not seem like much. But I am proud of myself for committing to this. And having this weekly blog post is SURE to help me.

Ultimate goal: I want to lose 25-30 pounds by the time I turn 30 on May 10th. I want to feel good about myself going into my 30s. If I lose 25lbs I will be about what I weighed when we got married. 30lbs will be the exact weight. I look back at the pictures from 2009 and think to myself "and you thought you needed to lose weight then?!" 

Gain/Loss for the week: Since I started on Thursday, this is pretty darn good I think.

Positives from the week: I decided to stick to my New Year's Resolution this year. See, usually I say I want to lose weight and then I never do anything about it. I didn't do anything New Year's Day but I took January 2nd and went for it. To start, I printed some of my favorite and realistic fitness pins. I laminated them so that I can use a dry erase marker to cross the things I do off each day and can then reuse them every week/month. You can find my fitness board here. Unfortunately a lot of the pins are "dead" and lead to nothing now since I pinned them 2 years ago. Here are pictures of the pages that I printed out to use.

(Note: I am not taking credit for ANY of these ideas. The pins just took me to blank pages so I took screen shots of my pins and pasted them into ppt so that I could print and laminate.)

I also printed and am doing this 30 day ab and squat challenge (laminated as well so I can cross off) and this couch to 5k (eventually, when the weather warms up just a bit... I don't do cold well).

My other positive was having healthy snacks. Instead of having junk food (think chips, cookies, etc) I had apples with peanut butter, oranges, and crackers with cottage cheese. We also bought baby carrots but I haven't had those for a snack just yet!

Something to do better: I didn't put anything here because it is only day 3 and I haven't slacked yet. I am sure that I will cave or slack soon enough. Please know, I am not trying to be negative here. Just realistic!

Goal for next week: Drink more water! I am not making my goal 8 glasses a day because right now, that is unrealistic for me. I don't drink a lot of anything as it is. My goal is to just drink more each day. Preferably, finish the water I bring to work with me BEFORE I leave work. Then fill it back up when I get home and finish that before bed.

And my one word: Necessary. This is necessary. I need to be happy with myself. I am hoping that this change will bring me more energy as well. Because THAT is much needed.

Here are some pictures... the first one shows what I looked like in 2009... the ultimate goal. The second one shows what I currently look like (the pics are from this summer, but it is about the same). In the 2009 pictures, there is a picture of me in SHORTS. I NEVER put shorts on anymore. Hopefully I will get back to feeling comfortable in shorts. In fact.. I just cleaned out my dresser and found that exact pair of shorts... I am determined to wear them again. Here's to meetin' goals in 2014!

So there it is friends. Week 1 (well half of a week sorta) down in the books. I look forward to seeing everyone's progress! Here is your blank template. (A tip- click the image to enlarge it before copying or saving it.)

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