Sunday, June 21, 2015

ShareEats with me!

So when there's something new that sparks my interest and curiousity, I'd be willing to give it a try! Along comes ShareEats!  A new community food app that I'm helping to Beta test! So would you like to ShareEats with me while I'm testing it out? I'll be posting just a few things I enjoy cooking on ShareEats. My first food that I'll be sharing is my finger-licking baked Honey Soy Sauce Chicken Wings! You can pair it with some sauteed green beans and a starch and it's a healthy full meal! If you're wondering what ShareEats is all about, come and check it out! Here's the info below. 

I'm inviting you to a community food app that I'm helping to Beta test called ShareEats. With ShareEats, you can order and pick up my home-cooked Honey Soy Sauce Chicken Wings (for pick-up this Tuesday)! Download the iPhone app here:

All members are personally invited to join. Please email me or text me for your private invite code to join!

Important: Be sure to allow the app to access your location so you can instantly find my food listings. 

Also, if you are open to providing feedback, let me know and I will have Carol (one of the app designers), reach out to you after you give it a try. 

Thanks in advance to those who are going to ShareEats with me!

Friday, June 19, 2015

A New Chapter..

I've been a teacher for the past 10 years and I have loved every minute of it! Teaching is truly a passion of mine and even though there are some "rough" days, I still enjoy it in the end with all the laughter everyday and the funny student stories that I'll have for a lifetime!

If you were to have asked me 10 years ago if I'd leave teaching, my response would've been "heck no, I'm always going to be working full-time as a teacher, even when I have kids." Okay, fast forward 10 years later. I'm a mom of two little girls and after working full-time this year, I've decided (drum-roll...) to take a "break" from teaching and enter into the world of being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM)! Say whaat?!?! I know, kinda crazy that I'm making this change. Thankfully, I have an awesome supportive husband who has made it possible for me to take a year leave from teaching so that I can try this SAHM business with my cute girls. So, I've packed up my classroom and said my "goodbyes" to the wonderful staff, students and parents that I've known for the past 10 years. Here's a picture of my empty classroom, a full trunk of the mini van, and my "teaching" home for the last decade!

So, a new chapter begins! Stay tuned in for whatever shenanigans I'll be getting into with these little cuties!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Geeking over Google Drive!

I absolutely love Google Drive! I use it for my work and at home to organize my electronic files and ideas. I definitely use it more in teaching because I have tons things that I use and collect. When I first started teaching, I had loads and loads of paper files. Then after moving classrooms several times, I realized I had so much paper files that I ended up not using those files because it was so hard to find things! So last year, when I had to move to a new grade level and move classrooms, I decided it was time to chuck those files for good. But wait! I didn't just throw everything out, I decided to scan as much as I could and start saving into my Google Drive!

So a year later, I have now my electronic file system on Google Drive. I just love how organized all my teaching ideas are and it's so easy to find because I can use the search engine to find what I'm looking. Super easy and efficient versus flipping through a load of papers. 

Well, how do I organize my electronic files? That's a great question! I decided to start with subject folders: Math, Writing, Reading, Phonics, Grammar, Science, Social Studies. Then as the year progressed, I added other folders such as: Field Trips, Report Cards, Team Meeting Notes, Lesson Plans, etc.

Now, here is where it gets a little "Type A" crazy organization. I made sub folders within each subject folder. Here is a picture of what I did and I absolutely love this way of organizing all my electronic files for each subject. 

Now whenever I get new ideas electronically, I can automatically save it into the right google drive folder, which makes searching for things much easier! My 1st grade team got use to me asking "can I get a copy of that to put into my Google Drive?" or saying "I have that on my Google Drive and I can send that over to you." Oh and the best part of Google Drive is the sharing feature! You can share a file, a folder, even your whole drive folder with anyone you like! Happy filing and organizing with Google Drive! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I "Plan to Eat!"

If there's one thing I do enjoy, it's cooking and trying new recipes! I am definitely not one of those "let's throw these ingredients together" kind of a cook because I wouldn't know what to put together! I am such a rule/direction follower that I need recipes!

A long time ago, a good friend of mine had a recipe book that was given to her as a bridal gift. It was a great and fantastic idea that I decided to start one of my own! That was 8 years ago and now my binder is outdated with old recipes and it's become a pain to flip through the binder and write down all the grocery items I would need to buy for each recipe. I needed something that would automatically put together my grocery shopping list and also save my meal plans that I would do for each week! Bascially, I needed something more efficient because being a mom of two little girls and working as a full time teacher, I didn't have the time, energy, nor the brain power!

So, what did I discover that has literally saved me this year? Thanks to a friend's Facebook post earlier this year about Plan to Eat! This meal planning website is so great, you have to check it out! (disclaimer: this review is from my personal experience) 

Here is a list of the things that I love about Plan to Eat:
  • Saving recipes - All my recipes are saved in one place. They're all organized by categories (lunch, breakfast, dinner, sides, desserts, etc.). I can also tag each recipe by type of cuisine as well so that when I want to just see my Italian recipes, it will just show me those! How great is that!
  • Adding recipes is super easy! - You can add the "Add to PTE" button to your web bookmark bar and anytime you find a recipe on a website, just click on that button and it will automatically take all the recipe information and save it into your recipes. This was super awesome because all those Pinterest recipes now have a place and I don't have to search my Pinterest food board anymore!
  • Weekly Meal Plans saved! - I absolutely love this because I save the weekly meal plans I've done and choose it again for the future! This definitely makes meal planning easier in the long run. 
  • Grocery Shopping list - An automated grocery shopping list with all the items you need for each recipe! Wait there's more too! You can edit this  shopping list as well. So for example if you don't need that spaghetti sauce because you already have it in the pantry, you can delete that item from your list. Also, you add items to the list as well. Another great feature is you can add your stores that you shop to and move grocery items to the store that you would buy it from. And here's the best can access this grocery shopping list using your chrome web browser on your phone! The only thing I wished they had was an app version of this but so far using the chrome browser on my phone while doing grocery shopping is great! Once you buy an item, you can check it off and it deletes off your list! No more paper and pen grocery shopping lists!
So check Plan to Eat! I highly recommend it! They have a 30-day trial and sometimes around Black Friday time in November, they might have deals on the subscription fee. Happy Meal Planning everyone!

End of the Year Student Gifts

I've been teaching for 10 years now and every year, I always ask myself "what would be a good end of the year gift to give to my students?". Here are some things that I've done in the past: books, class t-shirts, class dvd with a slideshow of the year in pictures, and a journal. This year, I wanted to do something different that would be meaningful to my students and parents as well. And where do I go to find my ideas? Pinterest of course! I really love finding ideas on Pinterest for just about everything! So, this year I found this great Pinterest Student Gift Idea.

What do I love about it? I love that it's personal, memorable, and encouraging for each student. Did it take some time to think of words for each student? Why, definitely! But I also found a list of positive personality character traits that helped me find the right words for each student. This took me a good hour to type and print each one out for my 23 wonderful 1st graders.

So, how did I make these cute and awesome gift? Well, here's what I did:
1) Go to (I have a MacBook Pro and I could only use this website using the Safari web browser)

2) Click on "Create" (if you don't have the latest Java update then you'll probably have to install that onto your computer).

3) In the box where it says "Paste a bunch of text:", I typed the student's name 3 times in a line so that their name would show up bigger than the rest of the words.

4) Then I just typed 8-9 words that described each student's personality (one word per line).

5) Finally, click the "go" button.

6) Wordle will automatically create a layout of your words with a font and color. I chose to have all my words be "mostly horizontal" and to make it easy, I went with the already prescribed color combinations. To adjust any of these, you can click on "Layout", "Color", "Font".

Here's the final product and what it looked in the end for me. I think it came out really cute and I hope my students will love them! I'm planning on spending the last 30 minutes on the last day of school presenting them to each student by reading each one out loud. Happy end of the school year!