Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One for Me Linky

I have been thinking about my resolutions. Have you? I know that some people think that resolving things at the New Year is silly, but I LOVE it. Last year, I resolved to stop drinking pop (soda, coke, soft drinks...depending on your location! LOL!) That has been a staple resolution for about 5 years. I try, I fail, I retry. This year it actually materialized when the hubs quit smoking. In November. I count it as a victory. 

I was drinking more than three pops a day. Like Sonic Route 44 Coke first thing, then a can or two or four. depending on my stress level. 

For years I had suffered from caffeine headaches when I didn't have something by say, 10am. How messed up is that? 

I also resolved to try all foods that I had previously said I didn't like again. I realized that many of those foods were the victims of my tastes as a child. I was pleasantly surprised that I like mushrooms. I am also MUCH more easy going in restaurants. I still don't like olives. Sorry. Those suckers taste like dirt. 

This year I have a few as well. I plan to check in with y'all monthly on my progress. Motivation, right? 

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics today to talk about my big one. I will tell you my list and then for the grand finale, my 1 for Me. 
  • Lose 10 pounds and keep it off. I lost about 10 this year when I quit drinking pop. 10 more would be great. 
  • upgrade fixtures in our house. I LOATH our dining room chandelier. 
  • have more "me" time. I am always nicer when I am able to be alone. Are you that way? It could just be a bubble bath or window shopping. 
And now the big one

Be better at birthdays. 

Seems simple, right? I am HORRIBLE about remembering to call/remembering at all/planning ahead/sending a card/making it a big deal.

I actually spoke to my sister this year on her birthday. Didn't wish her happy birthday. 

I weighs so heavy on my heart. I guess the biggest thing is that all of the people I neglect on their day, are great to me on mine. 

Maybe I will do something like this board. It could fit into "me time." Yes?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Collaboration Cuties Giveaway!

I am watching this giveaway like a hawk! How wouldn't want a $50 Amazon gift card or a PINK pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies?? They are also giving away CC products from TPT. Hop over and enter here. They have plenty of easy entry options.

Happy Holidays,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Remembering Sandy Hook

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School.  We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children.  We honor their memory with our service.  Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

Giveaway Winners!

Winner winner chicken dinner! We have winners. I have contacted Mary by email for her Fandango gift card. I was not able to contact Amy for her gift basket. There was a problem with the email recorded.

Amy, I will wait 24 hours to hear from you at missbrandle@yahoo dot com before I will pick an alternate winner. I hope I hear form you:)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Favorite Things Giveaway with Fifth in the Middle

Just when you thought my 100 Follower Giveaway couldn't get any better...

Diane at Fifth in the Middle just sweetened the deal. You can go here to see her giveaway. I am REALLY pumped to see that Target Gift card up for grabs! I really enjoyed her Christmas questionnaire too!

You can also go to my Giveaway post to get in on all of the goodies. You have until tomorrow night.

Warm Wishes, 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Flash Freebie and Don't Forget to Enter

I am posting a Flash Freebie. It is available to you for the next 24 hours. I am really excited to offer this BRAND SPANKIN' NEW resource.

Pop over to my store to get these scales for FREE! You get posters in 7 options and desk tags. If your district hasn't started using scales, you will be so impressive with these babies hanging in your room. I will post again about how to effectively use a scale in your classroom. In the meantime, grab these.

Also, don't forget to enter my Favorite Things giveaway here. You could treat yourself to a movie at home or at the theater!


100 Follower Giveaway!

Hey Y'all! I am so bad at giveaways. It is embarrassing. Really.

This time, I may have done an okay job. I am celebrating because I hit 100 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers last month. Can you believe it? I am so happy I could dance.

Okay, honestly, I did dance.

I am at 104 now. That is one milestone that seemed FAAAAAAAAAAR away this time last year. I appreciate the support so much. I want to say THANK YOU to anyone who read this, comments, follows me anywhere, or supports me in any way.

Cute tree graphics courtesy of Surfing to Success!

 I have gathered some of my favorite things to shower on one lucky reader. Here is a run down of the items included.

EOS lip balm- I love the mint one. It makes me happy to use the little orb of balm. I wear lipstick in the morning, but rarely reapply during the day. Lip balm (never gloss..too sticky for me) is essential. It gets windy and DRY in Oklahoma. Just seeing the winter weather on the news can give me chapped lips. OUCH. Plus, this little guy is easy to grab from the inside of my purse. 

The Holiday- I love almost all Christmas movies. The Holiday is so relaxing and fun to watch. Jude Law is yummers, Jack Black does a great job acting and humming all of those silly themes. 

My ABSOLUTE favorite holiday movie is Meet Me in St. Louis, but that one is hard to find in stores. If you haven't seen it, click the link to go to Amazon. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is from this classic. Did you know that? Judy Garland is at her best in it. The songs are perfect and the total look of the movie will sweep you away. 

Pop-up Bowl Popcorn- I just love how convenient this little guy is. Butter. Enough said. Plus, you will need something to snack on during the movie. 

Trident Layers Candy Cane gum- I looked for this gum for a while. I grabbed it at the gas station, chewed all of my pack, and then couldn't find it again. Target saved the day, as always. You will love it. 

Paper Mate Flair felt marker pens- These are my absolute favorite pens. I buy them obsessively. I may have wanted to keep this pack for me. Shameless. 

Socks- I really really really love patterned socks. I have included three pairs of coordinating socks in wintery pastels. Keeping your feet warm in the winter is my priority:)

Scarf- This mint-colored lace-patterned scarf is lovely. It would be great for snuggling or wearing to work. And it is mint. I already said that, but I love mint. 

Chalkboard Pennant Banner- I made myself a banner and had enough for another. Lucky you! It is chalkboard paint on craft paper. See mine here

You can also win a $25 Fandango Gift Card!

Gift Basket Giveaway

Fandango Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will contact winners within 48 hours for an address to mail your goodies too. You have until Friday at 11:59pm to enter. 

**You can also go over and see Diane at Fifth in the Middle. She is helping me out by giving away her favorite things too. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Fa La La La La Linky!

Hey Teacher Friends,
I am taking a few minutes this morning got link up with Christina at Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for her holiday decoration linky. I am LOVING how many trees she has in her house!

Here is a little peek of my holiday decor. I hope to continue to add to them for many years. I would describe my Christmas Decoration Style as "Vintage Meaningful." I love to display items and ornaments that look old and have sentimental value. How about you?

Christmas Tree
 We roll with real trees around here. This is actually the second time that Dahlia and I decorated the tree. I am sure it won't be the last. I have a plan to craft some new garland using either felt balls or pom poms. I think they would add a bit of fun to our tree. I am also planning on adding my aunt's rag garland. It is adorable Christmas fabric tied to twine. Rustic. Lovely. But at my sister's house an hour away. BOO!

DIY Banner and C9 lights
 I made this banner with some craft paper, chalfboard paint, and string. It said, "It's Fall Y'all" last week. I love having the ability to change it at the drop of a hat! Now it reads, "Merry Bright." I am giving one of these babies away this week. You have through Friday. Go here.

Those big C9 lights are so fun! If we had time to put up lights, which we don't, I would use these guys!

Our stockings, crocheted by my Grandma Bonnie
 These precious stockings are hand crocheted by my amazing grandma. She makes one for everyone. One of my nephews has a little green tractor as his character. LOVE IT! I think that the angel on Dahlia's is just perfect. Another good thing about these: they stretch! We can add all kinds of goodies. My family always places an orange, and apple, and peanuts in the shell at the foot of the stocking.

Funny story, Dahlia came home from the hospital on Christmas Day. She was small enough to actually fit inside her stocking...and I have the pictures to prove it!

Bottle Brush Tree Forest
 I added these this year. I have them stacked on my family bible to add some height. The little figurines are just cheapies from the Dollar Tree. I used some of the trees and the people in the Bell Jar ornaments that I made last weekend.
Deer Bell Jar ornament
We (and when I say we, I mean mostly me) made these darling ornaments from plastic wine glasses. The snow is Epsom salt. I love the little dear best.

Better picture of Bell Jar ornaments

Isn't this so fun!?
 I added a bottle brush tree to this little car of Dahlia's. Isn't it fun? I usually have these vintage scarfs on a side table, and I thought they looked just right with the car and Dahlia's fingerprints from last year.

The picture includes me, my sis, and my Daddy via 1987 or so
 Here are a few treasured knickknacks and patty-whacks! A photo from my childhood, gifts from students, and my fave nutcracker figure.

Happy Holidays! I can truly say it is my favorite time of the year!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Currently...on the first (A Christmas Miracle!)

Hey there, Teacher Friends! 
Here I am, on the first of December posting my Currently. That is by my count, at least three weeks earlier than usual! How is it that I am still well into the 150s on the list? I like my sleep too much apparently! I digress. Pop over to Farley's lil ol blog to see what everyone is up to. My bet is that "wanting" will be chock full of wants like mine! 

Listening: Zooey D and her silky smooth crooning are on the top of my list lately. I am lucky enough to have my office right off of the stage. The kiddos are practicing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!" While I love me some James Earl Jones, a lady can only take so much. I shut the door and crank the Pandora this week while working on our site plan...more on that later. 

Loving: The faced and lined up cans and boxes in my pantry. I may be sleeping with the enemy when it comes to organization if you know what I mean. He better hope I don't go all Julia Roberts on him if  when he wrecks the serenity of my dry goods. 

Thinking: Site plan. Does your school district have a yearly presentation for each building? We have our site presentation on Friday. AHH! That means we have only tomorrow to finish the actual slides. I am so honored to be able to help with this process. Our school does so much to help students and this is when we get to brag on the great job our teachers do! 

Wanting: Just. One. More. Day. WAAAAHHH. SOB. sniff sniff. 

Needing: I am so torn. He mostly wants hunting stuff. That is easy. It is just hard picking which hunting thing to get. sigh

Tradition: My mom makes delish Christmas candy. Peanut brittle and chocolate peanut clusters are my favorite! 

P.S. Be on the lookout for a giveaway soon. If you aren't following me, do it now:) We are talking real items that will be mailed to you! Yippee! I am looking for helpers to donate their favorite things too. Email me to get in on it:) missbrandle@yahoo dot com

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Teacher Friend is on Facebook and a Giveaway Idea

Howdy Teacher Friends,
I went ahead and started a Facebook page for My Teacher Friend! It seemed like time...a month ago! That is right, I got it up and running a month ago, but neglected to spread the word at all. Maybe that is why I have a whopping 2 likes!

You can visit MTF on Facebook here.

Sidenote: Has anyone considered doing a "Favorite Things" giveaway? You know, Oprah style? I am thinking of doing a big big big bloghop giveaway for my 100 TPT followers celebration. I am at 77 now.

Here is what I am thinking:
Each participant would gather some of their favorite things. Candy, products, office supplies, etc. I would need a picture of each prize pack. We would do a hop where each person runs a Rafflecopter to win their "favorite things." The winner would be mailed your favorite things via snail mail. Interested?


Sunday, November 10, 2013

November Currently

Howdy Teacher Friends, 
I am so excited to share my Currently with you today. Linking up with Farley in the first half of the month is a special thing around here! I may never be the number one spot on the linky list;)

Before I start, do you see my adorable font? I finally coughed up the dough for Hello Fonts by Jen Jones. I am kind of obsessed. This one is HelloTipToes. 

Here goes:
Listening- I can't get enough of She and Him. I have been listening to the vintage sounds of Zooey D and M. Ward all week while I toil away in my ofiice under the stairs. On a positive note, I have been in my office less this week and in classrooms more! Another plus...Dahlia is really in to vintage cartoons lately. I have been enjoying Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, and Disney's The Three Little Pigs this weekend. I forgot how engrossing they are! 

Loving- I awoke to a super awesome surprise! I am featured in the TPT 10 freebie newsletter!! I almost peed! I have enjoyed all of the positive feedback, climbing downloads numbers, and new followers all day! 

I am having a sale in honor of being in the newsletter! 10% everything in my store

Thinking- I am having a little get together at my house this Friday. My best friend, Nikki, lives in Texas, but she is coming into town to hang with me. While she is here, I am hosting a Thirty-one party. She is a new consultant and I just LOVE that stuff. I am so excited to have people over at my house. I have been telling people that this is my ploy to get people to come and hang out with me, and they think I am joking...but I am NOT! I am such an old granny. I love to visit, but driving after dark? No thanks! 

Here is a link to her store, in case you need to do some Christmas shopping:

Funny story. One of the last times I left my house after dark, I was pulled over for no headlights. The officer was so nice when I told him that I have a toddler and hadn't been out after dark in a long while. He laughed and asked me to be safe. I was MORTIFIED! 

Thinking: I am toying with the idea of painting. I am sure we NEED to paint. We have some drywall repairs to do anyway (regular wear and tear) and while we are at it, I think a fresh coat of paint could do a lot. I am leaning toward a gray. Any ideas?

Needing: To work on a great idea. I have been working on the same project for a lonnnnng time. I just can't get it finished the way I want. It would help to have the time to sit and actually work on it at length. Ever have one one those?

Yummy Pin:
For the party on Friday, we will be having snack and drinks and such. How does this look? You put the entire unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into a water bath in your crockpot! Anyone tried it?
Cut up some apples and voila!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Introducing Brooke Brown!

Hi Teacher Friends!
I would like to introduce you to the lovely and talented, Brooke Brown. She didn't mention this little tidbit, which is no surprise, but did you know she is Teacher of the Year for our entire district?! Impressive! That makes me impressive by association, right?! Hop on over to her blog and follow her. She has great ideas:)

My name is Brooke Brown, and I'm a teacher, wife, mom, and grad student from Norman, Oklahoma.  My husband and I have a two year old daughter, Ellie Kate, and a Westie named Millie.  We love visiting our lake cabin and spending time as a family at Lake Texoma whenever we have a chance!  At the moment, my favorite hobby is creating innovative teaching materials to share on Teachers Pay Teachers. I also keep very busy as I finish up my Masters degree in Educational Leadership.
I currently teach third grade and this is my tenth year of teaching. I've also taught first grade and second grade.
My favorite subject to teach is definitely Interactive Writing, with Guided Reading and Shared Reading not far behind. I am very passionate about literacy and enjoy fostering a lifelong love for reading and writing.
If you popped into my classroom unannounced, you'd most likely find my students engaged in reading and writing.  I try to incorporate literacy into all subject areas, whether it be our Reading Response Journals, Mini-Math Diaries, or Science Journals.  Third grade is such a critical year for establishing strong literacy habits, and I love taking advantage of their natural interests and curiosity.
When I'm having "one of those days," my fabulous third grade team ALWAYS gets me through.  There's something to be said about the camaraderie, and sometimes almost a "sisterhood," of an effective team of teachers.  We collaborate on a regular basis and are always there to support one another professionally AND personally.  At the same time, we help one another to be stronger and more devoted teachers while putting the welfare of our students first. 
What six words describe you best? 
1) Driven
2) Inspirational
3) Innovative
4) Compassionate
5) Outgoing
6) Dedicated
What is one “can’t live without” office supply?
Highlighters and Post it Notes!  To a third grader, they make EVERYTHING more exciting! 

Below is a link to my current favorite TpT product.  My kids are loving it!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

I am guest posting. Guess where!

Hey Teacher Friends,
I am super duper stoked to tell you that I am guest posting over at Minds In Bloom today. I can't tell you how tickled I am to be talking about using partners. The thing that really gets me is that Rachelle Lynette is my all-time favorite. I am obsessed with task cards and her products were the first thing I EVER purchased on TeachersPayTeachers.

Please head on over and take a gander. I have included an adorable partner freebie for ya:)

I will be featuring a guest post here on the blog this week from Brooke at For the Love of Literacy. She is a wonderful teacher and I just might know her personally. How often does that happen in the bloggy world?!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Five for Friday on a Sunday!

I am linking up this week with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I have GOT to get more organized if I am regularly going to do this linky. I get all panicky and then just scrap my whole post. This week was just too good to care if I was late. 

Apple Day in K!
Our Kinder teachers and librarian invited me to teach a center rotation during Apple Day. We all sat down and planned it together. It was so much fun. I have been getting into rooms to teach and meet with teachers a lot, which make my pangs of longing for the classroom less stabbing:) Here are some pictures. Pardon the quality. It is just easier for me to use my phone on the fly. 
Mrs. Morgan's center included a story. "The Little Red House with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside"
Click the link to see the story. So cute!

 Here is my center. We measured each student's height with apples. The kids added their numbers to the correct side of the graph and in the correct spot! They are smarties:) I think it helped that we stacked our apples and our librarian, Mrs. Gourd, read the book "Ten Apples Up On Top!" with the kiddos in the center just before mine.
Here she is with her book and her adorable questioning stars. I think she got them at Lakeshore. The kids love the wands and were answering some hard questions.

We had two other centers that I neglected to get pictures of. (pardon my grammar) Oops!
After the centers, the kiddos went back to their rooms for some homemade applesauce. It smelled DIVINE! So yummy that Dahlia and I made our own at home last night!

I may or may not have happened through the gym (okay, let's be honest...my office is in the gym), and I may or may not have seen a certain p.e. teacher doing the cha cha slide with 3rd graders. SO CUTE!

I was invited to the music room to learn a dance to ROAR by Katy Perry. I just love that song! And...I have to tell you... I am SO OUT OF SHAPE! The third graders were unphased and I was on the side of the room trying to conceal my huffing and puffing. 
The GMA Katy Perry Roar Contest is over, but this video that Norman High entered is too fun to not share. Plus, lots of my former students are in it. 

While I was in the music classroom, I spotted this little beauty. What a perfect scale for a music classroom! Go Mrs. Love:)

I spent my day on Thursday meeting with teachers and looking at intervention data. I was and continue to be so impressed with the amount of work our teachers put into everything that they do!! 

I got a super awesome email this week. It is kind of a secret, but I will let you know more in a future post. Until then, here is a freebie!