Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thoughtful Thursday - Using our Words to Make Others Smile

I can't quite determine where the inspiration for Thoughtful Thursday came from.... 
Perhaps it's the month of November and I'm feeling more grateful than before. 
Maybe it's the amount of negative information I browse anytime I hop online. 
It's possible I just wanted to help others feel good because Kid President says its the way to a happy life!

Whatever the reason, I can tell you that Thoughtful Thursday is a huge hit in our classroom and my kids were so excited to participate again. I had students delivering cards at 8:05 this morning (approximately 10 minutes after they arrived in class!)

What is Thoughtful Thursday? It's simple. Grab a blank card from the box and write a letter expressing gratitude, thankfulness, and kindness to a friend, teacher, family member, or anyone who may benefit from kind words. 

Looking for a little pick me up today? I encourage you to extend a note of kindness to someone else. I imagine it will not only brighten your day but theirs as well. Do it... I dare ya!

P.S. If you haven't seen the latest Kid President video. I highly recommend! He reminds us that we are PEOPLE, people and we should treat each other accordingly. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Global Read Aloud - 1st Timers

For a few years, I've wanted to jump into the Global Read Aloud that is always flooding my Twitter feed.  Each time I've remembered to participate... it's been too late or well... You know, things happen! 

This summer I signed up to receive Global Read Aloud updates through email so I wouldn't miss a thing. Over the summer, I purchased two of the options for my grade level and decided on The B.F.G.! 

Through Twitter, I was able to connect with several (too many in fact) educators and their 5th graders. After exchanging emails and schedules, we officially connected with 5th graders in Alabama. That's a pretty exciting deal for us in Missouri!

First thing on the Global Read Aloud agenda was..... Mystery Skype. Through mystery Skype, we were able to find our reading buddies in Alabama one afternoon. From there we have had several collaborative opportunities. We've answered #slowchat questions through Padlet together and we've even played Kahoot! while Skyping again. 

One of our more exciting mornings was when we saved Sophie's dreams in a Breakout EDU activity!

I'm sure I have only skimmed the surface on the possibilities of The Global Read Aloud, however I'm so happy our class has gotten to participate. It's pretty cool knowing that so many other readers are enjoying the same book we are! 

I'm looking forward to participating next year as well. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

When Life Hands You Tomatoes....

My dad brought us an incredible amount of tomatoes. 

Let me rephrase that, my dad brought us a ton of big 'ol tomatoes. I was bound and determined to move beyond my classic B.L.T. (heard of it?) and tackle these tomatoes head on in the most delicious ways. 

Big 'Ol Maters
Our tomato journey started on Sunday evening and as of Friday morning, we only have two tomatoes remaining. I call that a success! 

For most of the recipes, I snagged them from my fav-o-rite website, Skinnytaste. Gina (we are definitely on a first name basis at this point) always has the tastiest recipes. 

Here's what we've been eating all week!

On Sunday, we had Pesto-Parmesan Tomatoes to compliment our grilled steak. 

Over the weekend, my sister-in-law made a delicious batch of Pico de Gallo and I was hooked. One of our tomatoes this week was donated to the Pico de-cause and we have been snacking on Pico all week!

Pico de Gallo via Food Network, The Pioneer Woman

This dish was quite possibly my favorite! We have started incorporating more fish into our meal routine (BREAKING NEWS: I'm a salmon fan now!). On Monday, we had tilapia with a tomato and caper sauce. 

 We don't always have soup in the summer but when we do.... it's full of tomatoes! ;) On Tuesday, we had Tomato Bisque. My husband added some red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to give it a little more zing! 
Tomato Bisque via Skinnytaste

It's summer time, so lunch looks a little different for me these days. Yesterday, I enjoyed a lump crab salad and avocado. 

It's truly been a delicious week. (There was one recipe that was a big 'ol flop, but I'll save that for another day!)
Just when I thought I had run out of ideas for my tomato stash, a friend sent me this link from The Gracious Wife with 88 recipes for fresh tomatoes. Now... I need a few more tomatoes!

What are your favorite tomato-based recipes? Share with me! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Silobrating with the Best!

Like every other HGTV-loving American, I love Fixer Upper.  Truth be told, my husband and I started thinking differently about house hunting when we started watching Chip and JoJo. While we knew our skill set was a bit different than the Gaines dynamic duo... it made us approach houses differently and through a different set of lenses. Now, our house is not a "fixer-upper", however I like to think of parts of house being a blast from the past. The 90's are still alive and well in many areas of our sweet little home. 

This brings us to Waco, TX....My best friend just happens to live in Dallas, Texas. In the fall, we were planning a little visit at the end of October and it just so happened that the Silobration would be happening in Waco the same weekend we would be visiting The Lone Star State in October! 

This, my friends, was a no brainer. We packed up the car and made the trek down to Waco. We arrived incredibly early (we couldn't help ourselves), so we had a bite to eat at Twisted Root Burger Co.  We made sure to leave room for the food trucks later, of course. 

We're the four best friends anyone could ever have........ 
 We browsed the Magnolia Market with hundreds of other gawking fans and snagged a few keepsakes to take home. I couldn't leave without a t-shirt (I am my father's daughter!), candle, and one of Jimmy Don's metal signs

We listened to Johnnyswim sing, Chip and Joanna share their story (it's possible I may have cried...), and snacked on pizza from food trucks. 

It was an amazing trip and even better because it was spent with people I love the most!

Next on the list? I'm bound and determined to stay in that cute little B&B or I'll settle for Joanna flying to Missouri and being my best friend. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tying the Knot: Love is Sweet

Mike Cassimatis Photography

Mike Cassimatis Photography

At the end of our reception, guests were invited to take home a jar of honey. Now, this was not just your ordinary jar of honey. No... No... No! This was honey made in California, Missouri by my husband's parents. Let me repeat that for you: These little jars of Moniteau Honey came straight from California, Missouri and my in-laws house. 

It really doesn't get much sweeter than that. :)

Mike Cassimatis Photography
Filling these jars was a breeze thanks to my father-in-law's genius idea to use ketchup bottles filled with honey for easy filling. Plus, we had a cute flower girl/assistant helping to tighten the lids and fill boxes. :)

Behind the Scenes

Mike Cassimatis Photography

My friend Maggie  (you may remember her from this post, too!) was kind enough to make labels for the honey jars saying, Love is Sweet. Thanks For Making our Day Complete and thanking guests for being part of our special day. I called on my good friend Abby to decorate our chalkboards. Check out Abby's blog and learn how to fake calligraphy like the pro's!


A year ago this month we became husband and wife! Read more about our favorite day in June here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Was it the great Sir Mix-a-Lot that once said, "I like big books and I cannot lie"? I think those are the lyrics, right?

When I walked out of school last Wednesday, I brought home a huge crate of goodies from my classroom. I had to pack an additional bag just to carry all of the books I brought home to read over the summer.  

First on the list this summer was, "Absolutely Almost" by Lisa Graff. This is an incredibly sweet story about a little boy named Albie finding his path through a very confusing school year. While reading, you'll laugh with Albie and be heartbroken as well. I found myself having similar emotions as to when I read "Wonder" for the first time. I was Team Auggie and Team Albie all the way!

I look forward to sharing this book with my students and having conversations about the way we treat others and what it really means to be, "cool".  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My "Why?" on Blogging

My blogging journey began while I was studying abroad. A blog was the perfect way to share my experiences in London with family members back in Missouri. Since then, my blog has experienced a bit of growth and evolved with my life as I've grown up. Believe or it not... my life has changed a bit since the summer of 2008. :)

I'm always encouraging others to blog and jump in on the blogging community because there are so many benefits to being part of this inter-web network.  In almost every conversation I have with a friend about blogging, I (almost) always get the response, "No one will want to read what I have to say!" or "I don't have anything to blog about!".  My response is..... you're looking at it all wrong! 

Simon Sinek says, "People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it." 
Perhaps my "whys" will give you the little push you need to jump on in and start a blog:

First.... I look at my blog as as a reflective journal of my teaching practices, journal of our home renovating experiences, and an opportunity to share life experiences.  Sure, it's great when people read my blog and interact with me via comments or conversation, but it's also great having an online journal that has collected many memories over several years. 

Secondly... The connections!! Through blogging, I have had the opportunity to connect with teachers around the country. Kudos to my friend Abby for making this neat graphic illustrating connections made with my blog. I've swapped many emails with teachers in Missouri and other states about teaching ideas and my life is richer because of it. 

Next... The tone, style, and flow of my blog is completely up to me. Perhaps I've written one too many college papers where I've been criticized for not writing "professionally".  (Fact! This has happened!) I like to use my blog as an opportunity to write like I speak to others. I want readers to feel like they're having a conversation with me instead of reading my term paper. 

Most importantly... My blog is an opportunity to lead by example. I choose to use my blog as a source of optimism, positivity, and a breath of fresh air. Of course my life is not always sunshine and roses... we all have our bad days. However, I choose to share what makes me happy in an effort to spread good vibes to others. The internet is filled with so much negativity, trolls, and hate... why not use my voice for a positive purpose?

I would love to hear you WHY! Why do you choose to blog and share your journey online? 

In the meantime.... you should check out my super talented and creative friends and their blogs:

Mary @ Full and Merry 

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