I kept seeing a lot of buzz about The Very Secret Society of Irregular Withces, by Sangu Mandanna and since I just decorated for Halloween, I figured it was the perfect time to get me into the spirit of spooky season. In this book, Mika is one of the few (very secret) witches in Britain. She keeps her powers hidden and stays far from other witches so as not to draw attention to herself and her powers. Orphaned as a young child and raised by strangers, Mika knows what it's like to feel alone. When she's invited to help teach three young witches how to harness their powers, Mika starts to learn what it feels like to belong and find love … [Read more...] about The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches, by Sangu Mandanna
I don't even know what made me pick up this book, but OH MY WORD. The Measure, by Nikki Erlick is one of the most thought provoking books I've read in a loooooong time! One morning, everyone in the world ages 22 + wakes up to find a little wooden box on their doorstep and no one knows how they got there. This global phenomenon has everyone wondering what the boxes are for. Each box contains a string...some are long, some are short....and after this story makes the news, it's determined that the strings in each box represent the measure of their recipient's life (how long they'll live). Everyone who has a box is left with the decision … [Read more...] about The Measure, by Nikki Erlick
I needed a palate cleanser after my last read, so I opted for a rom com and picked up Lease on Love, by Falon Ballard. Good gravy, I'm SO glad I did! In Lease on Love, Sadie has recently been fired from her job and needs a new place to live. After accidentally accepting what she thought was a "date" on a roommate finding app, Sadie finds herself with a new home (gorgeous brownstone!) and roommate, Jack. While Sadie and Jack and two very different people, they find themselves forming a great friendship....and eventually romance :) If you enjoy a predictable roommate to lovers trope with lots of f bombs and tons of humor, I think … [Read more...] about Lease on Love, by Falon Ballard
Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson has been on my TBR for a while, so I was really excited to pick it up and finally give it a read. A beautiful debut novel. Black Cake follows two adult siblings, Byron & Benny, who receive an inheritance from their late mother, Eleanore Bennett. Eleanor leaves behind a black cake (family recipe/tradition) and an audio recording for her children who haven't spoken to each other in eight years. Eleanore's audio message leaves Byron & Benny trying to understand who their mother was as they follow her story that spans across decades. Family secrets, unexpected revelations, and so much more. I … [Read more...] about Black Cake, by Charmaine Wilkerson
Here's a quick and easy recipe that's sure to please...especially if you're a fan of creole comfort food! This easy red beans and rice dish requires minimal ingredients and prep time and takes a total of 20 minutes start to finish. Tastes amazing, too! … [Read more...] about Easy Red Beans & Rice
Today's gift guides are geared toward the ladies in your life and might even give you a few ideas for yourself! *This post contains affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting my blog!* Fuzzy Slippers - because you can never go wrong with comfy, cute slippers.Silk Pillowcase - another step in preventing wrinkles and hair damage, a silk pillowcase would be a perfect stocking stuffer & pair beautifully with a little calming pillow spray, too.Two Tiered Jewelry Tray - absolutely LOVE this jewelry tray & the vertical storage option on the one!Never Too Soon Hand Sanitizer - because … [Read more...] about 2020 Holiday Gift Guides for Her & Beauty Lovers
Whether you're searching for the perfect host/hostess gift or trying to finish off the list for your brother/sister/parent/grandparent/friend, these party themed gifts are where it's at. *This post contains affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting my blog!* Wine Infused Rubs - for the host(ess) with a taste for wine, these rubs are perfect for adding to their favorite foods.Holly Monogram Glass Candle - not only do these candles smell great, but the monogram adds the perfect personal touch.Bath Fizz Serenity Set - with scents or orange and lavender, this bath fizz set is … [Read more...] about 2020 Holiday Gift Guides for the Host/Hostess, Wine Lovers, & Cocktail Enthusiasts
With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to start rolling out my annual gift guides so that you’ll have plenty of time to shop for your family, friends, and everyone in between! Today's gift guides are all about the cozy things and with many of us being forced indoors this year, you can never have too much cozy. When I think of cozy, wrapping myself up in a warm blanket and enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea with a book is what comes to mind so these gift guides are a reflection of that! Hope they're helpful! *This post contains affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for … [Read more...] about 2020 Holiday Gift Guides – The Cozy Edition
I'm all about a weeknight meal that's easy to prep and takes minimal effort. This one is all that and then some. And perfect for making if you're entertaining, participating in a meal train, or taking dinner to someone. Absolutely delicious! … [Read more...] about Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
I love picture books with personality and Rot The Cutest in the World is full of just that! Rot is a story of a mutant potato who isn't short on confidence UNTIL he starts thinking he should be just like everyone else. The story is illustrated so incredibly well and the lesson/theme is perfect for kids of all ages. Rot is great to use as a mentor text for several different concepts & skills (theme, character traits, making predictions, etc.), but for today's ELA lesson we're focusing on Fact & Opinion (with a heavy emphasis on the opinion piece.). Feel free to check out this video to see this lesson from start to … [Read more...] about Rot The Cutest in the World – A Virtual ELA Lesson
If you haven't read Llama Destroys the World yet, let me introduce you! This is one of my FAVORITE picture books. The illustrations, the story...it's whimsical and hilarious...and there are so many different activities you can do with your kids after reading this book. I love to incorporate several different comprehension skills when reading this story. To start, this is a great book for reinforcing the concept of cause and effect. I'll start with a "hook". If you watch the video, you can see how I set the stage for introducing this skill with an egg. After the hook, I'll explain the concept of cause and effect using this … [Read more...] about Llama Destroys the World – A Virtual ELA Lesson
I always start a new year with lofty goals and about mid-week of the first week in January, I usually forfeit those big ideas with a quickness. I’m the kind of person who falls off the horse and finds it WAY too daunting of a task to get back up and keep going. Instead, I abandon said goals and resolve to just “do better”. This year I knew I wanted to do a better job of reading. I LOVE losing myself in between the pages of a good book and would sit down and read for hours a day if I could, but in all honesty?! I’m riddled with guilt when I do…especially when I know there are a million … [Read more...] about January 2020 Book Review
If you're anything like me, you might have a soft spot in your heart for the sentimental. Something about the holiday season really pushes those feelings into overdrive (for me, anyway). I think this is why Christmas cards are my favorite. I love running to my mailbox in December. I anxiously tear open each and every card and swoon over the beautiful faces and sweet handwritten sentiments hiding of each envelope. And because I'm so sentimental, I absolutely can't part with ANY of those Christmas cards at the end of the season. It kills me to think that my friends and family spend so much time curating the perfect card only to … [Read more...] about Christmas Card Covers
It's always a bit of a challenge shopping for kids whether they're young, teens, or semi-adults. I'm all about the gift cards personally, but when I'm gifting to the kids in my family I like to try and put a little more thought into what I purchase. Hopefully these gift ideas help you while you're crossing things off your list this year! If nothing else, I hope they give you a little inspiration and maybe a few new ideas! *This post contains affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting my blog!* Pranklopedia - for the kid who loves to pull pranks, here's a book full of ideas!Knee High … [Read more...] about Holiday Gift Guides for Kids, Tweens/Teens, & College Students
Continuing on with our holiday gift guides, today we're highlighting stocking stuffers and gifts for those special guys & couples in your life. *This post contains affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting my blog!* 11-in-1 Survival Gear Kit - I hope my husband and boys are NEVER in a situation where they need this kit, but just in case they are I want them to be prepared!Rechargable Hand Warmer - I'm thinking this is one of those gifts intended for him, but will be stolen by me in no time.Solid Cologne Sticks - these are such GREAT stocking stuffers! Perfect to carry on-the-go … [Read more...] about Holiday Gift Guides for Him & Them
With the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to start rolling out my annual gift guides so that you'll have plenty of time to shop for your family, friends, and everyone in between! Just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today's gift guides are for the ladies in your life whoever they may be and most of these gift items are from Amazon! I know how much we all love to Prime :) Gift guides for him, them, kids, tweens/teens, college students, cocktail enthusiasts, book lovers, travelers, faith-based, and teachers will be rolling out each day between now and Thanksgiving Day so stay tuned for those! *This post contains … [Read more...] about Holiday Gift Guides for HER!
I can't believe we're staring down the end of another month. I swear the older I get, the faster the days and months fly by. Anybody else? Last week I sent out a math game to my email club. If you aren't subscribed, I'd love for you to join us. I promise I won't inundate you with emails, but it's definitely the quickest way to get updates and freebies just like the one I'm about to share. I designed these games to accompany the activities I created to use with the book, Monster Trouble. Monster Trouble is a great read ANY time of the year, but it definitely lends itself to the festivities and themes in October. This game is no … [Read more...] about Monster Math – a Freebie!
Being a teacher is really something special. From the kids to the curriculum, teaching most definitely has its perks. Not only do teachers have the distinct privilege of growing lifelong learners, but teaching provides its educators with constant opportunities to continue learning, too…and I’m not just talking about content! With each year spent in the classroom, teachers learn more and more about what it means to be an educator. How to reach the hearts of their students. How to teach their minds. How to adapt to challenging situations & recover from failed lessons and classroom … [Read more...] about I #MoveFor Learning with Easy Spirit!
When I work in different schools and talk to teachers in between sessions at conferences, I always hear something along the lines of, "there's just note enough time for (science & social studies!!!!)" Teachers. I feel you. I really do. There's barely enough time in our day to teach the skills & objectives you need to teach in the first place! So often, we as teachers look at our curriculum and see everything through compartmentalized lenses. If we're teaching literacy skills, it must be done during our ELA block. If we're teaching math, it can't go beyond that 90 minute time frame we have carved out … [Read more...] about Fitting It All In with Science
If you've ever attended one of my professional development workshops, attended one of my sessions at a conference, or invited me to visit your school, you know how passionate I am about cross-curricular instruction. Integrating concepts and themes across the board and weaving objectives through each of the subject areas is one of my biggest academic passions. So often we, as educators, look at our content through a compartmentalized lens. If our schedule says "Math from 1:00 - 2:00", then we stick to teaching math in that designated time slot and teach it in that time frame only. I'm such a strong believer in making connections across … [Read more...] about Classroom Connections
WHERE TO STAY IN BANFF If you’ve been following my IG for a while, you might remember that my husband and I…along with two of our friends…traveled to Banff Canada for a few days in June. I’m not an expert on traveling, and I’m definitely not an expert on traveling to Banff, but here’s just a little rundown of the lodging and food after several people have asked for trip details. We reserved our lodging only about a week and a half prior to our trip due to poor planning on our part. By the time we were ready to reserve our stay, most lodging in Banff was completely sold out. We ended up having to split our stay … [Read more...] about Banff Canada – Lodging & Food
I'm often asked by friends and strangers alike what my thoughts are in regards to holding a child back an extra year as opposed to sending them to Kindergarten with a June-early September birthday. As a former K-2 teacher who spent fifteen years in the classroom, I definitely have my opinions about this. However, instead of sharing my perspective solely through the lens of a teacher, I'd love to share my opinions with you from the viewpoint of a mother who made this decision for her child as well. Keep in mind that these are my opinions based solely on my personal experiences. We all have vastly different experiences both in and out of … [Read more...] about Why We Gave Our Child The Gift of Time & Delayed His Start in Kindergarten
For those of you who know me, you know that I have a slight obsession with SONIC® Drive-In. The ice. Those cheese sticks. And I'm convinced no other fast food establishment serves a tastier fountain Coke. While all of that is amazing in and of itself, SONIC's partnership with educators is what keeps me going back. Ten years ago, SONIC partnered with Donor's Choose to recognize teachers needing more support in public schools in our local communities. Through their Learning for Limeades campaign in partnership with Donor's Choose, SONIC has donated $11,902,421, supported more than 27,407 classrooms, and provided learning materials … [Read more...] about Limeades for Learning
The end of the school year is always so bittersweet. While I always loved anticipating the freedom summer would bring, I was always really sad to say goodbye to the kids who spent the year growing and maturing right before my eyes. As I've said before, I always loved spending the last few weeks of school reflecting on our year. It's also such a great time to look ahead to summer. I love implementing writing activities and crafts at the end of the year to give me an opportunity to do both. I created a set of four different hand-drawn craft templates to accompany writing prompts. These prompts are pretty straightforward and simple … [Read more...] about End of Year Writing Activities