Saturday, March 7, 2015

Slim Down Saturday- March 7

How was everyone's week? Health wise- I thought mine was alright. Actually fairly decent. I didn't work out as much as I wanted but I ate pretty healthy all week. And then I stepped on the scale today. It has been 2 full months of this and I have made NO progress. I am at a standstill. I didn't make it to the gym as much as I wanted this week but I DID start the 30 day abs/squat challenge and have stuck to it each day. Which is huge for me- I usually give up after 3 days just because I forget a day or two and don't want to catch up. But I am determined this time. So even though the number isn't budging, I am just not giving up. I am going to revamp things, change my workouts, change some eating (though I am running out of things to change), and keep trying.

With that, here is my chart for this sad week...
Like I said, it isn't great. 2 FULL months since starting and not even down 2 pounds. I am not going to sit here and pretend it isn't discouraging because it is. I am just not going to let it stop me. I did have some positives all week. I am weird in that I don't count my weekends when I am thinking about "the week" and "next week" when doing these posts. I'm not really sure why, but it's just how my brain works I guess. So during the work week- I made my step goal 3 out of 5 days. The two days I didn't make it, I was around 8,000 I think and the days I DID make it had so many extra that it averaged to 10k a day. So not terrible.

I mentioned above that I started the 30 day challenge. And so far, so good. A friend added me to a challenge group on facebook and I truly think that is why I haven't given up. Because it is holding me accountable. And, it helps that my little almost 4 year old likes to do the sit ups and squats with me.

Next week, I need to work out more, and drink more water. I was doing really great with my water (great for me) but this week, I have no idea what happened. I guess I just wasn't thirsty? I don't know but I didn't even finish half of the water I brought to school and usually I have been finishing it all before the day was over and having to refill when I got to the gym or home.

My goal- 1-2 pounds. I am going to keep it at a number because all week, I kept saying to myself that I had that goal and it really helped me eat right. I am hoping it will continue to help.

And my quote- A quick workout is better than no workout. I completely agree with this. If nothing else, situps, squats, and pushups at home are better than nothing. I used to (years ago) do squats while brushing my teeth, wall pushups in the shower, and some other simple leg exercises in the shower. Those things (at that time) were literally the ONLY thing I was doing and it worked. I was losing fat in my legs and toning up my arms. I am going to add all of that back into my daily routine too, so if nothing else, I have done that each day (plus my 30 day challenge).

It dawned on me I completely forgot to add the blank template last week. SO sorry!! I was in a rush. Here it is. Hopefully I have some friends joining in again! Even if it was a rough week- share something positive!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I am back with another what I'm reading post... and this week is a book by one of my favorite authors...
The Shopaholic series is one that I have been reading for years. I absolutely love these books and their lighthearted nature. I have laughed through every one of these books. If you haven't figured out yet, I am most definitely a light and fluffy book kinda girl. I like books that don't require me to think too deeply or get too emotional. And these books are just that. So imagine my excitement when I walked into Barnes and Noble to find this book. I had no idea a new one was released! I instantly bought it, even though I own way more books than I have time to read. And this book moved right to the front of the line up.

In this book, Becky and her family are moving to LA for her husband's job and she can not wait to start living the lifestyle of a star. Except she isn't a star and is having a hard time becoming one. She decides she wants to be a stylist and goes through a few people to get herself there. The should-be easiest route would be to become Sage Seymour's (the actress her husband is in LA doing PR work for) personal stylist through the help of Luke (her husband). But he is not as supportive as she had hoped he would be. Through a twist of fate, Becky is given the opportunity to dress Sage's "enemy" and things take a crazy turn...

Becky is caught in the middle of a faux feud, her dad and best friend's husband have gone missing, and she has to decide what kind of person she wants to be...

While I love all of the Shopaholic books, this one I would give a 4 out of 5 stars. I wasn't AS engaged in this book as I usually am and the ending left a lot open, which I assume means there will be another book... at least I hope so anyways! Either way, I would still suggest this book, especially if you have followed Becky's story from the beginning. And if you haven't followed from the beginning, I would definitely recommend the entire series!

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Or if not, is it on your wishlist?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Slim Down Saturday February 28, 2015

Is anyone even still around for this? I realize I kinda gave it up this month. I had posts ready to go but I never got them out. I haven't been the best about working out lately, mainly because I am just tired. Seriously. And cold. I am so sick of the cold! But I am making it my goal, once again, to get my butt back to the gym and work out. I only went once this week and only because my 3 year old dragged me. Literally- SHE wanted to go because she wanted to play in the kids area with the other kids. I dragged my butt there and was glad I did but then one thing after another came up and I never went. I can ONLY go between 430-830 because that is when the child center is open, so I try to stay at work until 4:15 and then go.... because once I am home, I am not going to go back out. I get too relaxed. It's just how I function. Anyways, I am making it my goal to go back to 3 days a week.
Even with only going once, I did lose a pound, thanks to eating not too bad I guess. I gave up chips and dip for Lent and haven't been drinking pop a lot lately. I drink it less than once a week. I decided that my goal for next week is to lose another pound. I rarely make "weight loss" goals from week to week because I don't like to but I am thinking maybe it will push me to keep going if I put it out there.

My quote is to be patient. I am the type that gets discouraged when I work out and eat healthy and lose barely anything, if anything at all. And then I get in a funk and give up. I have to be patient and realize that it WILL happen and I WILL like how I look, it just takes time.

Hopefully next week I will be reporting another pound lost! If anyone is around to link up, feel free to join in!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Bright Idea... to make sure no one forgets ANYTHING

I know--- you are thinking "this girl can't be serious... there is no way to make sure everyone remembers everything"... But I am here to tell you that there IS a way. There is a way to make sure your students remember what to bring home every day without having to say it 100x or write it on the board. It has only failed me once or twice because of my own chaos during dismissal.
(**Disclaimer- a coworker introduced me to this idea but I think it is too good not to share.)

I have been away from the Bright Ideas sharing the past few months because life has just been chaos and I have chosen to enjoy time with my family. I am hoping that my followers understand that sometimes a girl just needs a break. (Proof- My daughter will be 4 in June and I am currently blogging on my mommy blog about our vacation we took when she was TWO... so yeah...that.)

Anyways, back to this bright idea!

Have you ever had students forget something they needed for homework? Forget to bring home their entire folder? Forget WHAT they needed to bring home? And then at the end of the day you are repeating the same thing 500x or you are making this list on the board...
As if we don't have enough going on at the end of the day, we have to add in constant reminders of what to bring home and making lists on the board. And if you are anything like me, you very well might forget yourself!

Here is a way to make sure that does not happen.

First- every student needs a crate. You line them up against the wall. I keep mine in number order. This way I know which crate belongs to which student. What you keep in the crates is up to you. We keep all text books and notebooks in there. (Our desks have reading folders and notebooks as well as religion books and folders and writing journals because we use those almost daily.)
Throughout the day, students place things they will need to take home ON TOP OF their crate. If we finish a science lesson and they need their book for homework, I tell them to put it ON TOP of their crate. This allows me to see at a quick glance who does not have it prepared to go home.
At the end of the day, I fill out conduct sheets and check planners (these stay in desks too since we use them regularly) and tell students to grab everything off their crate and pack up. Because I check the planners and fill out conduct (which is in their homework folder), it ensures they have both of those things in their hands ready to go home. They quickly walk by their crate and grab their pile and go pack up their belongings for the day. Since my crates are in number order, I can see who forgot to grab something and a quick "hey T you forgot your math notebook" and we are on our way. (Admittedly, I HAVE forgotten to check a couple times because we were rushing to get out the door and I had a student forget something.... twice. Same kid both times. But most days when I check I don't even have to remind anyone.)

That's it. Simple right?! I couldn't believe the ease of this. My biggest fear was that the crates would become messy- with garbage, pencils, who knows what else. But as you can see, they haven't. I am really impressed!

And another benefit of this... whenever you get papers you need to pass out, you can put it ON the crate. A lot of times there will be things in my mailbox to give to students after students have already left (because I always forget to check close to the end of the day). And I know me. I KNOW I will forget to give them the papers the next day. So I simply take the papers and place one on each child's crate so they see it in the morning and put it in their folder.
Simple. Genius. I love it!

For more bright ideas, check out the link up below!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I am going to try to bring this weekly post back because I know I am always looking for a new book (even though I own over 250 that I have yet to read)... yes I am a book hoarder. Lucky for my husband MOST of those 250+ books are on my ereader so I don't have to worry about how much space my books take up. However, our house did come with a little built in book shelf which made me so happy! I have wanted a built in shelf for as long as I can remember. And my husband actually thought I was going to use it for decorations... UM NO! The only time my books come down is Christmas because I have a LOT of decorations and they fit in the shelf perfectly. I mean, just looking at this makes me happy!
The shelf above holds only books that I have not read yet. Once I read a book it doesn't go back on that shelf because, well, I have a bad memory. I don't want to have to look at my goodreads account to see if I have read a book that I already own. I use goodreads to keep track of the books so I don't double buy (I have done it more than once).

I have read quite a bit recently (more so over summer than now) and I want to share the books with you. My goal has always been a book a week but some books are taking me longer due to all my other hobbies and such. But it's ok because I have plenty of books to share! I am definitely not going to be posting these in the order I read them because I never kept track of when I finished a book until this year.

So with all that said... the first book I want to share with you is...
(Clicking the image will take you to the book on amazon)
This is the first book I read by Jodi Picoult. The only book I have of hers on my wishlist is House Rules, and I have yet to read it. But there are a ton of books in our faculty room for us to borrow and I saw this one so I decided to give it a whirl.

Honesty- it took me over a week (maybe two) to really get into it. I read the first 30-40 pages 3 times I think. There are a lot of characters that get introduced right away and I was just not remembering them all and who each person was because I was reading for a short amount of time then taking a few days away due to exhaustion and being busy. But once I got into the book, I had to keep going. Now, I don't usually read "deep" books. I read fluff. I read brainless books. Books that make you laugh, smile, and saw aww.... chick lit. So when I finished this one, I had to take time away from the serious stuff. It is intense.

This book is about Sterling High School- a completely normal school, until one day there is a shooting that turns everyone's world upside down. Even the people in the town. Friendships are strained. Victims are plenty. And the one student who would be the best witness for the state, can't seem to remember anything from that day. And the shooter has issues of his own that we find out more and more about through the story.

This book makes you stop and think about what it is like to be different, what goes through the shooter's mind, what causes these events, and if anyone is really how they seem to be.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because it took me a while to truly get into it. I did like reading it but it took too long for me to get going with it. It is very 'heavy' in terms of the types of books I read, but I did enjoy reading it and seeing the story develop and getting a look into each character's life and what events shaped them into the people they came to be at the time of the incident.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Slim Down Saturday Feb. 7, 2015

Confession- I don't even want to post this week. It was a BAD week for me. I ate awful. I didn't make it to the gym. I had no ambition. I did however buy some weights for at home...

I decided to not weigh myself this week. I know it was a bad week and I don't want to discourage myself by seeing a bad number. See, that is how I get. If I see that things are not going good, instead of becoming more motivated, I just give up. And I don't want to give up. So I made the smart choice to not bother looking today. And just start over and get my act together this week...

Seriously- one point since the year started. Probably actually a gain at this point. I have to get my act together. I looked into things like Whole 30 and cleanses and everything else people do. But, I know they won't work for me because of my sheer pickiness. I just don't want to get my hopes up and dive into something that I fail at because I give up. So instead I have to be better about what I eat and get myself to the gym regularly. I swear I say the same thing each week and I am just failing.

The one good thing is that I bought some weights to use at home. So at least on days I don't make it to the gym I can get some strength done. I usually use 7.5lbs each at the gym but I decided to get the 10lbs (yes I know that is not a lot to some) because I want to push myself and know that I will be stronger for it.

I also plan to make a meal plan for next week. I don't necessarily eat "whole foods" or "clean" or any other style of food. But just having a meal plan and knowing what I plan to cook and buying all the ingredients makes it a guarantee that I will cook instead of eating crap or ordering food. I already know what foods I want to make, I just have to get a grocery list ready so we can shop tomorrow.

So how was your week? Grab the blank chart below and link up! I am about to make a workout plan...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Measuring Matter

I know it has been a LONG time since I have been around with a content post. But I have been taking a break from spending all my time working/related to working. And honestly, it has been a wonderful thing. I am enjoying time with my husband and daughter, spending time with friends, and enjoying my hobbies. But I did want to share with you all something I did with my students. My class (as I am sure ANY other class) loves to do hands on activities. Especially in science. They have loved doing STEM activities. We are currently learning about matter and I felt like the best way for them to fully grasp mass and volume and measuring matter was for them to actually measure. And they LOVED it. I tried to find something that would incorporate the basics of measuring but I just couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I quickly made something and gathered some classroom supplies for the students to measure. 

This little packet includes three basic activities for students to practice measuring mass, volume, and length/diameter. I wanted to get the students familiar with terms and tools used. 
One of the stations that students participate in is measuring length. The main point of this station is to make sure students are using the correct side of the ruler. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen children make is to use inches when they are supposed to be measuring in centimeters. The students measured the height inside an empty cup, how many centimeters of water are in another cup (think rain gauge type measuring), the diameter of a roll of tape and then the diameter of the inner circle (the cardboard) of the tape. This one was pretty simple at surface level. But a mini math lesson was also included. Students had to measure to the nearest centimeter and HALF centimeter. I found that some of my students weren't really aware that when measuring to the nearest half you could still end up with a whole number. 

Another activity included is the measuring mass station. This, I would say, was the fan favorite! Students first had to practice finding the mass of common classroom items using a balance scale and gram stackers. They measured a glue stick, a bar magnet, and some stacking cubes. They loved being able to measure mass of items and try to figure out what needed to be adjusted to find the correct mass. Once students had enough practice measuring mass they had to apply their skills to finding the mass of a liquid in a container. They were given a full Capri Sun and an empty Capri Sun pouch. The students had to find the mass of the full and empty pouches. They then had to figure out how they could use those two measurements to find the mass of JUST the liquid that is in the full pouch.  I loved watching them try to figure out how they could do this and make the realization of WHY they were doing what they were doing.

The last activity we did was to practice measuring volume of irregularly shaped objects by using water and graduated cylinders. The first thing students had to do was practice pouring given amounts of water. I made them call me over after each amount they were to practice pouring so that I could check and sign off on it. The point of this was to teach students that they need to get eye level with the graduated cylinder in order to make sure they have the right amount. After they mastered the measuring of just the water, students had to find the volume of pencil top erasers by putting them in the water and seeing how much the water level increased. They put in one eraser, then two, then predicted what the volume of three erasers would be.

I would have to say that these activities were a huge hit. I originally planned for it to only be a one period lesson but I wanted to make sure to FULLY explain each station and what was expected of them so it ended up taking us two periods. Which I was fine with it because they were fully engaged in their learning and genuinely excited.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Slim Down Saturday Jan 31, 2015

Sorry I am a day late here friends! I had planned to get this up yesterday but my best friend and goddaughter came over and visited and then we ran errands and by the time we got home, I decided to stay away from the computer. I assume everyone can understand that. :) But I am here, a day late, with this week's Slim Down Saturday.
This week was not a good one for me. I think I only made it to the gym once or twice. I don't even remember. It was a VERY long week... It was Catholic Schools Week, which in itself is fun but so exhausting! Our kids had so much fun (and so did I) but it tired me out. Not to mention I had an appointment with a new doctor and I disliked him so much that it caused me entirely too much stress. But I am determined to have a better week.
As you can see from my chart, I made no progress. I didn't even have any real positives. I stayed away from pop again all week, which is a plus. I didn't gain so that is another plus. But I also didn't lose. I didn't expect to lose anything being that I didn't workout hardly and that I didn't eat the best. OH but I DID have one positive that just happened that I didn't add to my chart- during our Friday events for Catholic Schools Week, a picture was taken of me from behind (not OF me, I just happened to be IN the picture) and, I didn't HATE the way I looked. I wasn't disgusted. And THAT is a HUGE step!

My goal for this week is to do some type of workout every day. Even if I don't get to the gym each day I am going to try to do some workout at home. I am going to make myself a schedule of what area I want to focus on each day so at least I have something to follow. I was going to buy myself some weights yesterday to use at home on days I don't get to the gym, but I didn't. However, I think I am going to go back today to get them.

I am also debating ONLY tracking my weight at the beginning of each month. I used to do this and it helped make me less discouraged because then the +/- of .2 doesn't phase me as much. I am HOPING that I will have more than a few tenths of a pound each week from now on, but who knows.

If you want to link up, grab the image below and join in. Again, sorry I am a day late this week!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Slim Down Saturday Jan. 24, 2015

It has been a pretty rough week for me. Nothing drastically terrible happened, just a bunch of little things adding up. Luckily it didn't affect my habits TOO much. I did have a cheat meal once this week, but I didn't kick myself for it. I enjoyed it and ate everything else healthy. And I am back to where I was 2 weeks ago.

So I lost 2 pounds, which is great. It brought me back to where I was 2 weeks ago. Thankfully! I tracked my food this week to see if maybe even though what I was eating was healthy, it was too much. I, for the most part, ate identical this week to how I ate last week and wasn't over on calories, so I know the weight gain wasn't from that.

I only made it to the gym twice this week but twice is better than no times. And, like I mentioned, I had a cheat meal. After we went to our 3 year old's FIRST parent teacher conference (people, I almost cried because my baby is old enough for parent teacher conferences and report cards) I really wanted a sub. So instead of depriving myself, I got it and split it in half instead of eating the whole thing like I may have in the past.

I managed to stay away from pop all week and at the store yesterday when we were buying pop for our basement fridge, I decided against buying Dr. Pepper (the only kind I drink anymore) so that I don't even have the option to drink it. I have been drinking water 90% of the time and every now and again have snapple. But I want to drink a little more water since I still am not drinking as much as I should be. I am also still hoping to run longer on the treadmill. Some days I have really good days and some days are awful. This week I couldn't last longer than a minute at a time for some reason, when last week I was going 3-4 minutes. But I am going to keep pushing myself this week and see how it goes.

I hope everyone had a great week and enjoys your weekend! If you want to link up, grab the button at the top and the blank template below and join in!
PS- I actually have some educational content posts planned to go... I just have to finish everything on my to do list and I will start them. Hopefully sooner or later!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Slim Down Saturday Jan 17, 2015

It's time for another Slim Down Saturday... and it is taking all my will power to not throw in the towel...

My chart below will explain why I want to throw in the towel...
 See that gain/loss for the week. Yeah, I gained TWO pounds. For a total for the year of PLUS one pound. After doing everything right this week! I didn't eat junk at all, went to the gym 3x (which is my goal for now), had NO pop all week, AND made my step goal 4 out of the past 6 days. Yet I still GAINED weight. This is when I would typically give up and binge. I am doing everything I can to not break down. I am HOPING that the gain is compliments of PMS... if not, I have no explanation for it.

My something to do better next week is to be able to run for a longer stretch on the treadmill. I do a fast walk for a few minutes, then run for the length of one song, then back to walking, then run, and so on. I am an awful runner. But I want to be able to run longer than one song.

My goal- um, lose weight agin.... I want to lose the 2 I gained this week and at least one more so that I am back in the negatives.

My one word, quote, song is from Finding Nemo- Just keep swimming- because I REALLY wanted to give up when I stepped on the scale. But I can't. I know this is a process and that I didn't gain it all in a couple weeks and I am sure not going to LOSE it all in a couple weeks. (Though I don't want to keep gaining that's for sure!)

If you want to link up, the image is below for you to add your information to. Grab the image and button and link up!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Slim Down Saturdays Jan. 10, 2015

It is time for the Slim Down Saturday linkup. This week has NOT been a good one for me. But I am not giving up!
This week started BAD. I wanted it to start good and I even bought a fitbit on Friday to help keep me motivated. Except then we spent 8 hours in the car driving Friday, sitting around, hanging out with family Saturday, and then another 8 hours in the car Sunday. Needless to say, those days were not good with steps. Then school started.... here are my results...
So, not AWFUL like I thought it would be. Not a gain. I somehow lost a pound. I say somehow because on Monday and Tuesday I binged. I felt like a bottomless pit. I could not get enough food in me. I also wasn't working out so it was bad. Wednesday we made a decently healthy dinner which I then used leftovers for as lunch on Thursday and Friday. I asked my husband to buy lots of fruits and veggies for me to snack on, which he did. So that helped. Thank goodness for the 2nd half of the week, because the first half was a doozy!

The other good thing from this week was that I definitely drank more water. So much so that I had to go to the bathroom at work. I definitely have a teacher bladder and rarely use the bathroom at work. I just never have to. Until I drank the amount of water I was drinking! But that is a good thing.

Things to do better: Don't binge... whew that was bad. Keep drinking water. No set amount yet, just keep doing it. And make the step goal. I have yet to make the 10k steps.

My goal- I need to get back to the gym. I haven't been since before winter break. I got sick, then I got busy, then this week was just a disaster being back at work. I was exhausted and it was FREEZING... and I just didn't want to drag Payton out in the cold to go to the gym. I have to get back next week.

My word is meals- because I am making it my goal to eat better meals. I am not saying I will eat the best all the time. Or that I will plan a ton in advance (though I am working on meal planning). But I want to at least have meals that are not full of bad food. Little bit at a time here.

If you want to link up, grab the image below and join in. (Anyone that doesn't know how- grab the image and save it. Open it up in powerpoint. Make a text box for each section of the chart and type your information in. Group everything together. Save as a picture.)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Slim Down Saturdays Jan. 3, 2015

It's time for our first Slim Down Saturday of 2015! I am hoping to keep this going every week. Make sure to grab the button and the blank image and join in if you want some accountability to your new (or continuing) healthy lifestyle!
I decided to start restart this journey last week. I have been going to the gym a couple times a week, for the most part, since moving home (except over break... the first week I was completely out sick and this week I have been a crazy person). But I need to make it more consistent and I need to eat to match it! So here we are... week one. I am counting this as my starting week so there isn't progress.
Ultimate goal: My ultimate goal is to look like I did when we got married. Which is 25lbs less than I am now. If I don't lose the 25lbs but still look like I did then... fine by me! (A tip, for those of you tracking the total weight lost... I save my blank template in powerpoint and edit it each week. On the slide, I keep a running record of what I weighed each week so that I can easily remember/see what progress I have or have not made. Like this:)
Gain/loss for this week: NA

Total since starting: NA

Positives from the week: I decided to start this up and am making it my goal to stick to it. Even if I blog about nothing else (as you can see I am rarely blogging lately), I want to make sure I stick to this one.

Something to do better: Drink less pop. This is pretty self explanatory. I was doing great staying away from it but lately have been drinking it too much. I need to drink less this week. 

Goal for next week: Drink more water. I hate water. I need to make it my goal to drink more. I am not giving myself a number of glasses or ounces. At this point, I just want to drink more than I usually do.

Word, quote, or song- "Never let a bad day be enough, to go and talk you in to giving up." This is from a Carrie Underwood song- Crazy Dreams. It has been a lyric I have always referred to, in so many aspects of life. Everyone has bad days. Especially in this get fit journey. And I know that I am going to have some really good ones, and some really bad ones. But it is important to remember that a bad day doesn't mean you should give up! 

There you have it. Week one. Join in! Even if you are just deciding today to start this journey with us. Link up with your goals. Fill in the chart the best you can. You have to start somewhere! Don't wait until tomorrow! Anyone who wants to join in, here is the blank template for you to use!
If you link up, remember to comment on the 2 people before you and the 1 after you. Everyone could use some support!

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