Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Favorites: Weekly Schedule, Early Mornings, Hi Sugarplum!

Cheers for Friday!
A regular week after a long week seems to drag by.
I'm so happy to see Friday.
Only a few more hours until the weekend!

As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.

Adventure Books for Younger Readers

So I'm going to go ahead and list this book as one of my favorites from the week. 
My classes are doing a 40 Book Challenge, and I needed one more book from the past. 
These books can range from pictures books to books that I should have read a year ago. 
I went to our local library over Easter break and found this book-Chasing the Falconers: On the Run
It's a super easy read and only took me a day or so of just reading in class during our 15 minutes of silent reading. 
It's a great adventure book, and I now want to read the other 5 in the series. 
Lucky me, I already had this series in my classroom library but haven't read them yet. 

Weekly Schedule

On Monday I shared my weekly schedule. 
I like to think that it begins on Thursday and ends on Wednesday. 

A little bit of cleaning.

Some laundry. 

And meal planning.

This week I'm a bit out of the loop as I didn't go shopping last night, but there really wasn't anything we needed. 
So we may wait another week or I may stop by for a few things over the weekend. 
If you didn't see my post, click here

Early Mornings

It's no secret that I'm an early morning lover!
I'm loving this time of year when I hear the birds chirping before my 4:15 alarm even goes off.

I love getting to school and getting my room all set up. 
On this particular day we were working on The Great American Mail Race project. 
I had a ton of reminders/directions to write on the board. 

I wrote and wrote and wrote and then looked at the clock, and it was only 6:20.
I texted Alex and showed him how productive my day had been by only 6:20!!

Just sitting at my computer grading and planning for the day!

Poetry Month

Did you know it's National Poetry Month. 
All month long we have read a poem a day in class. 
I saved some of the most elusive poems for this week. 

The students groan and complain the first couple of days, and then I secretly think that they like it. 
We've watched stand-up poetry and read common and uncommon poems. 

Here's a little peak at one of our poems yesterday. 
The students just laughed and really couldn't believe that it was a poem.

Hi Sugarplum Blog

So, I've followed Cassie Sugarplum on Instagram for some time, but recently I've really been loving her Dressing Room Diaries. She blogs about and shows Instagram stories about her latest and greatest finds. I love how down to earth, optimistic and cute she is!

She even brings along her mom, who looks just as cute in all of the outfits. 

Find her blog here.

I came home to a package from Athleta yesterday.
I haven't had the chance to try them on, but I have 5 swimsuit bottoms waiting for me.
I'll report back on those next week.
Any other great ideas for swimsuit bottoms.
I want cute, yet full coverage!

Have a great last Friday in April!
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring Decor 2017

I'm a bit late to the party, but today I'm going to share some spring/Easter decorations for this year. 
I should have shared this post a week or two ago, but I didn't, so I will show you now. 

 I love having a set dining room table. 
I often find myself wanting to use the dining room table to grade large amounts of papers or to setup my laptop to blog and search online, but I always make the table back to how it was when I'm done. 
There's just something about a made dining room table that makes me happy!

This globe with battery operated candle sits in the middle of our dining room table. 
I filled it with glitzy eggs for Easter. 

On a hutch nearby are a few more glitzy eggs and a birds nest in some greenery. 

Near that is another globe with another battery operated candle and a little bunny. 
I enjoy setting my candles to come on right around dinner time and go off just after we go to bed. 

In the living room we have some more globes with plug-in candles and some more greenery. 

That's our simple and easy Easter decor!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekly Schedule

For some reason I find it fun to read about other people's schedules. 
What people do on a regular basis is intriguing to me (and I hope to you!). 
So, today I've decided to share with you some of the things I do on a weekly basis.

I'm going to start on Thursday and work through until the following Wednesday. 
For some reason I feel like that's how my schedule around the house goes.

Thing #1
Grocery Shop

I used to like to go grocery shopping on the weekends because it was most convenient. 
What I've found though is that is when the stores are most busy, which I don't love. 
So now, I like to go on Thursdays. 
The stores don't seem to be as busy, and I don't have to waste time on the weekend going to the store.

I go to three different grocery stores each week.
I love to go to Aldi's for fresh fruits and vegetables and some other items that I don't mind not getting name brand items.
There's one particular local grocery store that I like getting yogurt and some other items at.
Another local grocery store is where we like our lunch meat and cheese from.
These three stores aren't in the same town, but they aren't too far away.

Thing #2
Wash Work Clothes

Monday through Thursday I wear dress pants and dress clothes to work. 
I love to dress up, and I think it looks more professional when teachers actually dress up, so I really do enjoy this part of the week. 
On Thursday night I know I'm done with dressing up for the week unless we go out to dinner where I normally don't wear dress pants anyway, so I try to wash my dress clothes on Thursday nights. 
Sometimes I hang them on our clothes line in the basement, and other times I throw them in the washer. 
Most times I don't have time to wash and dry and fold them, but that's fine because I will fluff them up the next day and fold them and put them away. 

I really love this new part of my routine. 
I feel like it saves from having to do some many loads of laundry over the weekend. 
Also, I'm that type of person who likes to do little bits of things over time and not a lot of anything at once, so this really helps out. 

Thing #3
Wash Other Clothes

On Friday night I try to throw in a load of laundry. 
I will do our regular clothes, workout clothes and Alex's work clothes, if he's not working on the weekend. 
Monday through Friday Alex wears a work shirt and work jeans. 
These clothes can get SUPER dirty, so they have their own laundry bin, and sometimes they get thrown in the washer the minute that he comes home. 
Other times I wait until the weekend and throw them all in by themselves without fabric softener. 
Did you guys know that if you have fire retardant (FR) clothes that you shouldn't use fabric softener with it?
I did not. 
My husband works on gas lines and the FR clothing is supposed to be to help prevent the clothes from catching on fire. 
Well unintelligent me was putting fabric softener in with them and had no idea that I was setting up my husband for disaster if something would happen. 
Luckily, Alex caught it and now I have to consistently remind myself to skip the fabric softener!

Saturday mornings are usually a great time for me to finish the laundry. 
I am typically up early and can get lots of loads done before I go running and after I get back. 
Normally by the time Alex wakes up on Saturday morning the laundry is nearly finished and ready to go back in our drawers.

Thing #4
Iron/Steam Clothes

As I've mentioned before I pick out my clothes over the weekend, iron/steam them and have them ready to go for the week. 
I cannot stand to wait until the last minute and try to make cute outfits. 
It plain out stresses me out, and I don't have one extra minute to spare in the mornings. 

I pick out the tops, cardigans and pants that I want to wear for the week. 
I iron and steam them and then put them at the front of my closet, so that I can easily grab my outfit of the day each morning. 
Actually, most evenings I pull out my outfit for the next day and hang it on my closet door or lay it out on our spare bed.

Some evenings I even pick out my jewelry ahead of time.

All of this planning just makes life in the morning that much easier. 

Recently, I've learned that I need to pick out my casual clothes for Friday's and iron them too. 
Most Friday's I wear jeans and a school shirt, but lots of times that school shirt needs ironed, so now I'm picking out my school shirt a week ahead and ironing it too!

Thing #5

I like to clean each week. 
Some weeks I am able to clean more things than others. 
It seems that our house gets dusty very quickly. 
I've had people tell me it's from our hardwood floors. 
We don't have carpet in any of our rooms, so you can easily see the dust. 
I hate dust and even tried to convince Alex I was allergic to it, but he didn't buy it. 

Each week I always clean the bathroom and sweep the floors. 
Most weeks I will dust, but sometimes I don't do the baseboards and every picture/surface in the room.

I love my Shark sweep with all of its attachments, but just this week I was able to use a regular Swiffer under our bed and some other pieces of furniture where the Shark attachment won't fit. 
I could see all of the dust under there, but I couldn't figure out how I could reach it because none of the attachments were that small. 
Then, I remembered a regular Swiffer and borrowed my parents and voila! so much less dust now. 

Each week or every other week I wash our sheets, and I love to make the bed each day. 
Some days it doesn't get made, but I love a nicely made bed, even if it's 5 minutes before I'm going to get into bed, I'll still make it!

Thing #6
Prepare Lunches

After returning home from the grocery store I like to wash my grapes and put them in a new container, wash my carrots and put them in a new container, cut my cucumbers and celery and put them in their own containers.
So, it's on grocery store night that I get everything cut and prepared.

I've learned that if things are cut and readily available that it's more likely that I will eat them. 
So I take care of the cutting and washing after the grocery store, but I prepare Alex and I's lunches the night before each day. 
I tried preparing all of them on the Sunday before, but they didn't seem as fresh and some of the veggies were soggy. 
So, I'm sticking to each night after dinner. 
I grab little baggies and fill them with our items for the next day. 
Usually I have a little bag of cheese, a bag of peanuts and raisins, a bag of celery and a bag of carrots. 
Alex likes a bag of cheese, a bag of trail mix, a bag of dried fruit and sometimes some celery or carrots. 
I dish out what I'm going to eat the next day (usually our leftovers from the night before) and make Alex's sandwich the night before. 
I set out our lunch boxes/bags and put in anything that doesn't need refrigerated, napkins and silverware. 
We are all ready to grab things and toss them into our lunch boxes/bags the next morning.

Thing #7
Make Menu for the Week

I typically am thinking about our meals for the following week before I head to the grocery store the week before. 
If I know I'm going to be making anything special, I add it to my list so that I can get it ahead of time and not have to swing by the grocery store each day. 

I make out our menu for the week and each night if I need something from the freezer I will either get it out the night before so that it can thaw or grab it that morning and put it in the refrigerator. 
I try to make things that will take longer to make the night before and have it ready to bake. 

Thing #8
Look at Grocery Ads/Plan List

We get our grocery ads on Tuesdays, and the new ads start on Wednesdays. 
I look through the ads for three stores each week. 
I write on the top of the ad which items I want from that store, and then when I go grocery shopping I take the ads with me. 

In addition, I have a running list of items needs on a Note in my phone. 
I like to list things in order that I will find them in the store. 
This prevents me from running all of over the store numerous times. 
I take my ads too. 
If there are a lot of things in the ad, I will add them to my Notes on my phone. 
If not, typically I can remember to grab them as I'm going through the things listed on my phone.

And then the week starts over again by heading back to the grocery store, cleaning/cutting things, washing work clothes, then to regular clothes, cleaning, ironing/steaming and preparing the menu and lunches.

I try to make each new week a bit better than the week before.
The best thing I've learned is not to stress out over any of it.
Sometimes the house won't be as clean and sometimes I won't have dinner planned, but we'll still make it through the week.
I love being prepared and will keep working at it.
What weekly schedules do you follow?
Do you have any tips on streamlining my week?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites: Daily Spring Life Enjoyment

Happy Friday to you!
The short weeks always seem like the long ones, but thankfully this one flew by.
We had Monday off for Easter Break. 
It was nice to be home and enjoy regular daily life like I get to all summer long. 
My itch for the end of the school year might have kicked in when I got to sleep in, workout in the morning, watch Live with Kelly and the Today Show. 
Whew! What a day on Monday!

As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.


I'm a sucker for all kinds of flowers, but I've been loving the daffodils and tulips in my backyard lately. 
They don't last long, but I enjoy a little bouquet on my table.


With time off I get to spend some more time in the kitchen. 
We had a little impromptu BBQ last weekend, so I decided to make Mix and Match Mama's Chocolate Mint Bundt Cake but as cupcakes this time.
I figured they would be easy to grab and eat. 
The chocolate cake mix, chocolate chips and hint of mint just hit the spot!

In addition, earlier in the week I shared Mix and Match Mama's Fresh Blueberry Bundt Cake. 
I just love how easy and simple her cakes are. 
This blueberry one is one of my favorites. 
I've double the amount of blueberries in it and love the hint of lemon in the icing. 

$2 Frappe's

I really don't love coffee, and I'm not even sure I love Starbucks. 
I know everyone is probably gasping, but it's just not for me. 
The sugary drinks typically are too sweet and make my teeth feel all icky. 
I'm that difficult that I won't drink a drink because it makes my teeth feel dirty. 

Well, for some reason I love the Mocha Frappe's from McDonald's. 
They used to have a chocolate chip one, and I loved to get it without the chocolate chips. 
Ironic, but the flavoring of it was just better. 
Now I get a mocha one, and the smalls have been $2. 
I'm pretty frugal with drinks. 
Most of the time I'm a free water girl, but last weekend Alex and splurged on Frappe's!


Last weekend we got to enjoy an impromptu BBQ with friends.
We ate, laughed and talked the night away.
It's interesting how the people who were Alex's friends have become my friends.
We both really enjoyed losing track of time and staying up into the wee night hours on our friend's deck as the stars were shining overhead just talking.
Friends are hard to come by these days.
I just really enjoyed the conversation and friendship last weekend.


Have you guys ever had rhubarb?
Cooked rhubarb or rhubarb pie?
Well, it's one of my spring favorites. 
We have a rhubarb plant out back (it used to be my grandma's), and I cut and cooked rhubarb earlier in the week. 
I love it so much that it's already gone. 
I need to get back out and cut some more before it's all gone!

The weather is getting nicer, and it's starting to feel like the end of the school year. 
Tonight I'm judging more cheerleading tryouts and chaperoning our last school dance. 
Enjoy your weekend!