An Interesting Day...

Today was an interesting day. 
-I nearly ruined my white jeans 4 times.
-I broke my car door then fixed it right as the tow truck got there.
-I went back to school officially.  We had Smart Board training today.  I learned so much and am so excited to get to work creating fun lessons for the kiddos. 
-I lost the parent packet that I created for BTS night after working on it for 2+ hours on my school comp.
-I learned I may be getting a new laptop to replace my slow as molasses school computer that lost the aforementioned parent packet.
-My sweet husband surprised me at school with a visit to my classroom.

Due to the fact that my mind is going 1 million places right now, here are my random thoughts...

I have started listening to music that I'm pretty embarrassed of.  The following songs are about the only songs that I can tolerate right now, and once the radio has overplayed them all in about 1 week I have no clue what I'll be listening to.  I feel like my current favorites resemble those of a middle school student. Oh well!
     -Taylor Swift, "Mine" (ok, not really embarrassed about this one, can't wait for her new CD)
     -Kesha, "Take it Off"
     -Katy Perry, "Teenage Dream"
     -Usher, "DJ Falling in Love Again"

I loved watching this season of Design Star on HGTV, and was beyond excited when Emily Henderson won.  I love her quirky personality and style, and am obsessed with her show Secrets of a Stylist.  Although there's just 1 special episode for now, I can't wait for her series to start.  Did you see her special on Sunday?  I love the premise of the show and think she's just what HGTV needs to add some variety to their lineup.

There was a bit of Emmy controversy in our house because someone (CAhusband) forgot to DVR the Emmy's for me while I worked at school all day Sunday.  I ended up completely missing the red carpet, but was able to piece together the entire show between the 2 showings.  I was so happy that Modern Family won big, and thought Jimmy Fallon did a great job.  Here are my favorite looks:

Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta

Claire Danes in Armani Prive

Alright, that's all I've got for now!  I hope you're all having a great week!

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Happy Birthday Claudia!

Today is my mother-in-law, Claudia's, birthday!

Claudia has been like a second mother to me long before she was officially my MIL, and I could never thank her enough for all that she's done for me.  Once my parents moved to CA, it was so helpful to still feel like I had family close by, and I came to rely on her a lot for things that my parents simply couldn't do because of the distance.  

Claudia is also an extremely generous person!  She's always giving of her time to help with one cause or another, and is a wonderful friend to anyone who would ever need her to lend a helping hand. 

Lucky for me, my MIL is also a ton of fun! Claudia is always the life of the party, she can make anyone laugh, and she knows how to host an amazing Thanksgiving feast.


Although we can't be there to celebrate with her, I have no doubt she's having a fabulous day!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday Claudia!! 
We love and miss you!

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Blogger Bookclub: CeeCee Wilkes Ch. 21-35

1. Do you think Tim is the one sending the money?
Yes I do!  I think he has figured out where Eve is living and is sending the money to help her raise the baby.  I think it's his way of apologizing for getting her involved in the whole mess. I don't know who else would be sending it?

2. So far, there's been a lot of discussion on CeeCee/Eve and her choices. What choice(s) would you make differently from her?
Basically all of them during her life as CeeCee!  I wouldn't have ever fallen for Tim's scheme, I wouldn't have let Genevieve die by not taking her to the hospital, and I wouldn't have taken off with the baby.  Now, once she's living her life as Eve I think she's making pretty good choices.

3. What do you like about Jack? Are there things about him that you don't like?
Basically I like Jack because he seems to have a really youthful side to him, which is good for Eve because she never really had that.  I think he seems kind, light-hearted, and caring.  At times he seems a little hokey, but overall I think he's a very likeable character.

4. What are the differences between CeeCee/Eve's relationship with Tim and Eve's relationship with Jack?
CeeCee's relationship with Tim was all a lie.  Tim never cared for CeeCee they way that she thought he did, and was simply using her.  Although Eve's relationship with Jack is also based on a lie, I truly believe that they love each other.   CeeCee's relationship with Tim was also moving way too quickly.  Eve is taking her time with Jack, and I think that's a smart move!
 5. Do you think Eve is to blame for Cory's fears? What could she do, specifically, to help Cory feel like less of an outsider?
Yes I do.  Eve simply sheltered Cory too much because of her fears of eventually being found out and losing her.  Eve needs to stop babying her and needs to start exposing her to more things.  Although I'm sure Cory would struggle, taking baby steps towards new things would surely help.  Treating Cory differently than Dru also doesn't help much!

6. Do you think Eve appropriately answered Cory's questions about her father? Do you think Cory will question her father more as she grows older?
I don't really think she answered Cory's questions all that well, but given how little she could actually share, I think she did the best she could.  I think Cory will only grow more unsatisfied with Eve's vague description of her father as she grows older. 

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What I Learned in My Summer as a Nanny

If you follow me on Twitter or have been paying much attention to this 'ole blog, you know that I have been spending my summer with an adorable 2 year old little boy!  Although this gig wasn't in my plans, I have truly cherished my time with this adorable little one, and boy did I learn a lot...

-First off, this summer taught me that I am nowhere near ready to have my own little ones.  I think I'm still way to selfish with my time to take on the responsibility of another person.  I like my sleep, shopping trips, and countless hours with my laptop and DVR a little too much for the time being!

-At the same time it taught me that although we definitely aren't aboard the baby train, that if God has other plans, we will survive.  I fell in love with little Dylan over the summer, and have no doubt I can handle my own when the time comes (hopefully SEVERAL years from now). 

-There is a lot of really awesome baby/toddler stuff out there these days! 

This Munchkin Snack Catcher is the coolest thing in the world, and is PERFECT for cheerios, goldfish, etc. The can reach their little hands in through the top, but they don't spill out! 
I had no idea something like this existed!

-It is wonderful to have a smart kid!  Dylan just turned 2 in July and has a humongous vocabulary, speaks in sentences, knows several signs, and has fantastic manners.  Although I know his mommy worked with him a lot on this stuff, it definitely paid off.  I loved taking Dylan to the park and having his vocabulary show up the 3 and 4 year olds, it made me so proud!  Parents would often ask, "how old is he" and would be blown away that he was barely 2 (this may also have had something to do with the fact that this kid has basketball player written all over him). 

-Car seats are the biggest pain in the ass!!!  Lugging a gigantic 2 year old in and out of a car seat in 110+ temps was my least favorite chore in the entire world!  We would sometimes stay at home and play all day because the thought of taking him in and out of the car was just too much to deal with. 

-It takes you an absolute bazillion years to go ANYWHERE.  You can't just say, let's go grab a smoothie.  You have to say let's go grab a smoothie, then change a diaper,  pack a sippy cup, put his shoes on ......  it's never ending and takes forever!!!!

-Although I'm sure there are some quality kids shows out there, there are also some awful ones!  Caillou is the creation of someone awful... the voice on that kid is like nails on a chalkboard.  Ahh, I'm so thankful I've watched my last episode of the awful show. 

-Our area has an awesome and HUGE mom's club.  I honestly never knew such things existed, and am seriously impressed.  The mom's club here coordinates play groups based on age, and has activities at least 4 days a week!  I met more adults through Dylan's mom's club playgroup than in my whole first year living here. 

Although today was my last official day as Dylan's nanny, I know I'm going to have to come spend time with the little guy quite often.  I'm really going to miss him and our smoothie dates!

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Blogger Bookclub: CeeCee Wilkes Ch. 11-20

Here are this week's answers for The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.  Head over to Book Beginnings and Bookends to read everyone's answers!

1. Where do you think Tim and Marty are at this point in the story?
Who knows?!?!  I honestly have no clue where they could be, because I stopped trusting them very early on.  I bet they're on the road and skipping from place to place to avoid getting caught.  I honestly don't think that they ever intended to go back to the cabin to get CeeCee. 

2. What were your thoughts as CeeCee was helping Genevieve deliver her baby?
I was instantly worried when she went into labor because after reading the back of the book I knew she would die.  I kept wanting CeeCee to snap out of it and get her to a hospital.  Sadly, I knew that just wasn't going to happen! 

3. After Genevieve died, what would you have done with her baby if you had been in CeeCee's shoes?
I would have turned myself in.  The guilt over what I'd done would have been to hard to deal with, and I would have wanted the baby to be returned to her family.  Although I would have been in BIG trouble with the law, I have no doubt that's what I would have done. 

4. Why do you think CeeCee/Eve is still holding onto hope that Tim will come for her?
She loves him- plain and simple.  He got her into this mess and because she loves him, she thinks he'll come to the rescue her and the baby. 
5. How do you think Eve will establish her new identity in Virginia?
I think she will really struggle to leave CeeCee behind and become Eve, but I think she'll do okay.  She simply doesn't have an option, so I think she'll step up to the plate and make the best of a bad situation.   

6. What do you think of CeeCee/Eve now after she has gone through with the kidnapping, the delivery of the baby, the escape, and the relocation?
Although I still get mad at her when I think about what she's done, I also really sympathize with her.  She's such a sweet person who just got roped into a bad situation.  I'm easily frustrated with a lot of things she does, but I just can't bring myself to dislike her. 
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This and That

Here is a bit of a hodge podge to wrap up the weekend...

Friday afternoon I went and saw The Switch with some teacher friends!  It was really predictable, but very cute.  The little boy is adorable and was by far the highlight on the whole thing.  I think I actually said "Awe" about something this little guy said at least 50 times during the movie.

Saturday I went to Staples 3 times, Office Max 2 times, and Target once.  I love when people say, "You must be a teacher" when they see my buying a cart full of binders and paper folders!

I've decided Facebook is no longer entertaining unless one of the following things happens:
-someone gets engaged (bonus points if it's a little scandalous)
-someone announces their pregnant (scandal points awarded here as well)
-someone posts pictures of their really awesome wedding
-someone posts pictures of their really ugly wedding (I'm going to hell for saying that)

My husbands aversion to Twitter and blogging is starting to get on my nerves... why doesn't he understand this little hobby of mine??

CAhusband and I have watched Seasons 1 and 2 of Dexter recently, and are already starting Season 3.  Although I was certain I would hate this show because of the whole murderer thing, I LOVE it!  We're flying through it so far, and are hoping to finish Season 4 before the new season starts in late September. 

During my break at JCrew this weekend I walked to Anthropologie and almost bought the mini Latte bowls in every color.  Do I need them... nope! Do I want them in every single shade... YUP!  I just love my large ones so much, I can't imagine I wouldn't get good use out of the small ones?!  I also now realize that I have an obsession with buying things in every shade of the rainbow!

This time of year always makes me long for Purdue and Kappa!  Although RUSH was a pain in the ass at times, I always loved all of the excitement that came along with it.  I've had Kappa rush songs stuck in my head ALL WEEKEND (Kappa, Kappa Gamma, KKG, go Kappa Gamma - to the tune of Copa Cabana is currently on repeat in my brain).  Syllabus week with short classes, no homework, and frat parties every night of the week while drinking cheap beer sounds like so much fun right now.  Ahh, that first week back was always the best!

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J. Crew Sweater Lust

I feel like I've gotten some new readers lately so I'm going to preface this post with a little background info.  Once we moved out here last August, and it became clear I wasn't going to find a teaching job for the school year, I started working at JCrew.  Eventually my sub license was processed, and I started subbing.  JCrew asked me to stay on to help out occasionally, and I now work there about 1-2 times a month. 

This week I had the privilege to work rollout on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  I love working this shift, even though it's super early, because I love to look at all of the new stuff fresh out of the boxes.  I also get first pick of items we only get in 1 size run.  Although this job had proven that I am definitely not cut out for retail, I will hold onto this job as long as they'll keep me.  The discount is just too good to pass up!

Anyway, while working this week, I got to try on some of the amazing new sweaters!  Here are some of my favorites!

This sweater looks amazing on, and is definitely something I have no doubt I'd get tons of use out of if we lived somewhere cooler.  If you love cardis, you should definitely try this on, it's adorable!

I tried this on in a beautiful heather camel color, and am in love with it. 
The knit is super soft and warm!

This fabric is similar to last fall's mohair, but is softer and thinner. 
We have this in several colors not shown online, and the ruffle is so pretty. 

This cardi is online only, but I'm in love with it!!!!  I want to wear this with a white fitted tee,
skinny jeans, and my brown boots so badly! 

This cardi looks a little blah in this picture, but IRL it's adorable!  There are 3
buttons on each cuff that you don't see in the picture, and the accent color is actually a champagne colored satin.  I tried this on in a small which is my usual size, but it was a little short.  I definitely want to try it on again in a medium.  If you're between sizes, I'd size up on this one!

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Dying for Fall to Get Here

Luckily, our summer has been pretty mild by desert standards... until this week!  Somehow our "it's a dry heat" desert has turned into a tropical rain forest!  It has been 110 and insanely humid, which is not a good combo.  I can handle super hot, but I DO NOT tolerate humidity!  Please, someone just put me out of my misery.

Although I'm not quite ready to go back to work full time in a few weeks, I am so ready for fall to get here.  I've realized I won't even be able to wear a sweater in November, but I still can't wait for a slight break in the temps come late September. 

We love Colts and Big 10 football, and can't wait for Saturday and Sundays in front of the
TV cheering on our favorite teams! 
I'm so excited to see where all of my favorite shows will go this season, and
there are a few new shows I look forward to watching! 
Although BRAVO is doing a good job of holding me over until then,
I still can't wait for my favorites to return. 

Although investing in these items is pretty pointless here, fall clothes are by far my favorite! 

Are you looking forward to fall? 

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Blogger Bookclub: CeeCee Wilkes Ch. 1-10

I'm so excited about Book Beginnings and Bookends, and the blogger book club that they've started.  Here are my answers to this week's questions about the book The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.  We're all linking up at the original post, here.

1. What was your first impression of Tim?
From the very beginning I felt like Tim was a little too good to be true.  He was handsome, kind, left good tips, etc., but honestly, what 22 year old grad student spends time with a 16 year old without some kind of motive?  Tim seemed fishy to me from the start!

 2. If you were in CeeCee’s position, would you be willing to help your boyfriend in the way that she is willing to help Tim?
No way Jose!  I avoid sticky situations like the plague, and even as a 16 year old I know I would have run from this whole situation as quickly as possible.  I was afraid to get in trouble with my parents, not to mention the law.

3. Why do you think CeeCee is so eager to please Tim?
I think that CeeCee is eager to please Tim because he is all that she's got.  They've grown close and she truly values their relationship.  Due to the fact that she really doesn't have anyone else, I think she'd be willing to do almost anything to keep their relationship strong.

4. Who do you think has it harder? Tim or CeeCee?
CeeCee, definitely!  Although what happened to Tim's sister and family is terrible and he's clearly struggling, I don't really sympathize with him for some reason.  CeeCee has been through so much at a young age and is still a kid.  I just want her to catch a break; unfortunately, it's becoming pretty clear she isn't going to. 

5. What character trait(s) about CeeCee stuck out the most to you in these first ten chapters?
CeeCee is both smart and incredibly naive at the same time.  I struggle with the fact that she's been smart enough to handle herself this far in life, but then can fall into such a horrible plan and think there's any chance it will end well.  Based on the premise of the book, I think we can all tell that this plan isn't going to go smoothly and I hate that for her.  CeeCee is such a sweet and likable character, I just want everything to work out.

6. Do you think CeeCee is as mature as she seems?
Yes and No.  (I've tried to answer this question 5 different times and can't seem to put my answer into words, so I'll leave it at that).


Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother!

I'm so thankful that my mom and I now live just 5 minutes apart after a few years of only seeing each other about 3 times a year!  It's been so nice to share dinners and afternoons laying by the pool with her, she's also a doggy Grandma extraordinaire and always helps me out with the girls when I'm in a pinch! 

My sister and I are so lucky to have such a wonderful mom!  She's fun, hilarious (even when she isn't trying to be), and is as sweet as can be!  She's even proven to be quite good at hanging bulletin board paper and building bookshelves in my classroom this summer... who knew?

I'm so thankful for my wonderful relationship with my mom and hope that she has a wonderful birthday, because if anyone deserves it, it's her! 

I love you mom, thanks so much for all you do!
Happy Birthday!!!!

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Teacher Week: Classroom Tour

Today is the classroom tour portion of Babbling Abby's Teacher Week!

If you've been reading for awhile you know that my room is still a major work in progress.  I spent the entire first 3-4 days in my room just clearing out old things that I didn't want, and once I got my stuff moved in, I showed you some of my initial progress HERE

I've been spending about 2 days a week working at school lately, and am finally starting to see some progress.  Luckily (unlike a lot of you) we don't start 'til September 8th, so I still have a few more weeks to get everything organized.  Check back on September 7th or so for a complete reveal!

front of the room 
The white board will be replaced with my new Smart Board in about 2 weeks!

back of the room

the overall layout of the room

my classroom library
Picture books and readers on the right,
chapter books on the left.

Although I've made lots of progress since the last round of photos I showed you, I still have a billion things I want to do!  I'm hoping to work some more this weekend and get a lot done so I can start to relax a little bit.

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Teacher Week: Creative Ideas

It's the 3rd day of Teacher Week over at Babbling Abby!  Today we're all sharing creative ideas from our classrooms!  I'm a little low on time today, but here are a few of mine...

Poetry Notebooks:
I use a weekly poem to help increase reading fluency.  At the beginning of the week I choose a poem that either reflects a current topic, holiday, or theme.  I then make a copy of the poem for each student.  We then practice reading the poem with good inflection several times together.  After we've read the poem several times together, the students get to cut out the poem and glue it into their poetry notebook.  They then get to illustrate the poem on their own using crayons, markers, etc.  We then practice the poem a few times each morning of the week. 

At the end of the year their poetry notebook is a great reminder of things we've learned throughout the year.  The students love it, and it really helps their reading fluency.  I really wish I had a picture of one because the kids always do an amazing job and put a lot of time and care into their poetry notebooks! 

Last year I used paper folders, and just placed plain copy paper in the prongs.  This year I'm using cardstock, and am going to bind them. 

I have tons of poetry books that I pull from each week, these are just a few that I use!

Song books are also great to incorporate from time to time. 
These are some of my favorites that the kids also love!

Beth Newingham's Third Grade Website:
Almost all of the other creative ideas in my classroom have come from Beth Newingham and her amazingly resourceful classroom website.  I use her mystery reader program, incorporate several of her classroom literacy bulletin boards, and am going to try her math workshop idea this year.  Beth Newingham has SO many fantastic creative ideas that I've used, so I can't take credit!  Definitely check her out!

Well, sorry that's such a short list but I'm off to celebrate with the birthday boy!!!
Have a great night everyone!

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