Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another Update

I just wanted to take a minute to update on how Brian has been doing, as lots of sweet, kind people have asked.  The doctor started him on insulin shots two times a day a week ago.  It's taken some getting used to for him, as the insulin shots have lowered his blood sugars but now his sugars bounce around a bit more and he's had quite a few lows, which are no fun at all.  Overall, he's feeling way better!  He's only gotten sick at night once and both of us are sleeping much better at night.  Eventually he will probably end up going on the insulin pump but he'll have to be on shots for a few months before his insurance will agree to cover the cost of the pump.  I'm thrilled that he is feeling better and we have finally come to a resolution with his health. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Some Empties

I have some empties to share with you.  I'm not even sure when they are from... October?  September?  No idea!  But here they are.  ;)

1. Tresemme 24 Hour Volume Shampoo - I love both the shampoo and conditioner from this line.  They get my hair clean and soft without weighing down my fine hair.  And you can usually find them in the large sized bottles for a pretty fair price.
2. Herbal Essences Volumizing Mousse - Oh, how awful and disappointing this mousse was. It smelled okay, but just did nothing to give me any volume at my roots.  I much prefer my beloved Tresemme Thermal Creations Mousse.
3. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist - A tried and true product that helps to keep my hair smooth, tangle free, and conditioned.  I've purchased and repurchased this inexpensive product over the last fifteen years and still swear by it.
4. Suave Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave In Conditioner - I think this is about my second or third bottle of this stuff.  I really like it.  It helps keep away the split ends while still being inexpensive and easy to find in stores.
5. Up and Up Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin (generic for Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF 15) - This was okay but I prefer the Walmart Equate Generic of the same product.  Equate's formula is a little thicker, which I like and the bottle on the Equate product has a smaller opening so you don't squeeze too much out.
6. Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil (found at Whole Foods

Monday, November 12, 2012


I'd like to say that after Brian's doctor's appointment with the gastroenterologist on Thursday that I have some news to share with you but it was rather anticlimactic.  Brian's biopsies came back without anything to even discuss (which is good because there is definitely no cancer, but we already pretty much knew that after the colonoscopy and endoscopy came back with nothing to find).  We explained to the stomach doctor that Brian's latest blood test came back showing that his sugars were way high and that was the most telling thing to the doctor.  He told Brian that he would be calling his endocrinologist to discuss the next step.

The endocrinologist had discussed putting Brian on insulin but wanted to wait to find out the results of the biopsies.  Brian's endocrinologist just called today and asked Brian to come in this Wednesday for an appointment to start him on insulin.  Basically, the gastroenterologist thinks that getting Brian's blood sugars under control will help reduce the effects of the gastroparesis.  Any remaining symptoms could be controlled through diet and medication.  So again, we are waiting for another doctor's appointment to find out what is next to come but at least we finally have some answers!  Brian doesn't like the answers and really doesn't want to go on the insulin pump but as a pumper myself, I have assured him that it's really pretty easy and not that big of a deal.  This weekend, we finally got smart phones, which make it super easy to access nutrition facts for restaurants and foods while on the go.  Knowing the nutrition information of what you are eating makes it much easier to follow the low fat, low fiber diet he's been given, as well as letting him know how many carbohydrates are in his food so he can take the correct amount of insulin.

This has been a long and extensive process to figure out what is wrong.  I'm really hoping that Brian will start feeling better soon.  And hopefully when he starts to feel better, both of us will start sleeping through the night again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Very Rough Month

October was a very rough month, to say the least.  My husband, Brian, has been struggling for several years now with some digestion issues.  In 2007, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Being that I have been diabetic since 1998, that didn't seem like too big of a deal to us.  He took some pills, made some adjustments to his diet, and moved on with life.  Then he started getting sick.  It happened slowly at first, with occasional nausea turning to occasional vomiting from the nausea.  His endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) blamed it on the diabetes medications and said that basically, he would have to learn to deal with it.  Then, over the last year or two it seemed to get worse.  He was getting sick more often and more violently, especially at night and in the early morning.  Something just didn't seem right.  Neither of us has slept well at night for probably the last year because of his constant tossing and turning from not feeling well.  Finally, I convinced him to see my primary care doctor on October 1st.

The doctor saw Brian in her office and after talking to him about his symptoms, she immediately said that it would not be caused by his medications.  He asked what she thought might be causing it and the doctor said that she didn't want to even guess until he had seen a specialist and had his stomach scoped.  She sent him straight downstairs to a gastroenterologist (stomach specialist).  They made him an appointment for the next week.  Knowing all this, I began to really worry.  There is nothing worse than waiting around for what could possibly be bad news about your loved one.  That week passed by as one of the slowest of my life.

October 8th finally rolled around, the date of Brian's first appointment with the gastroenterologist.  I had family in town that week, which was keeping me extra busy already.  Brian came home from the appointment very upset.  After describing his symptoms to the doctor, the doctor told him it could be one of three things.  1: colon cancer, 2: something simple like Celiac's Disease, or 3: something we didn't yet know.  He thought it was most likely colon cancer.  Devastating news.  My 31-year-old husband, my best friend, the love of my life might have cancer.  Yet there is a huge difference between "you have colon cancer" and "you can't eat gluten".  I stayed optimistic and hopeful.

The doctor scheduled Brian for an endoscopy and colonoscopy for the soonest date possible, which just so happened to be on my birthday, October 25th.  More waiting.  And I thought the previous week had been slow.  When you are suddenly thrust into the realization that the person you care the most about in your entire life may be taken away from you far before you are ready, your priorities quickly change.  Suddenly writing about makeup and nail polish seems a little frivolous and the only thing that matters is spending every moment you can with the person you love while you still can and being sure that they know just how much you truly care for them.

Again, we waited and I worried.  On the morning of my birthday, we went to the hospital.  The doctors and nurses prepared Brian for his procedure.  They took him out and I waited in his room.  Pinterest kept me mindlessly busy and soon the doctor was coming in to talk to me.  The moment of truth.  As far as he could see, there was nothing to worry about.  No irregular tissue.  No tumors or growths.  No sign of gerd.  Everything looked healthy as far as the doctor could see.  They took some tissue to biopsy, just to be sure.  We were left with more questions than answers but it was a start.  The doctor thinks that it is likely gastroparesis, which is common in diabetics, especially diabetics with high blood sugars.  It's basically where the stomach digests food at a slower speed than normal and since the food can't travel down through the digestive system, it comes back up.

That same evening, I went to the orthodontist for my first adjustment since August.  The orthodontist confirmed what I already knew: my right canine still hadn't moved at all.  I was completely frustrated and pretty much ready to give up on the braces.  I've had these things on for nineteen months and that tooth has not moved at all.  My orthodontist was equally frustrated and he suggested a new strategy: a microimplant to pull at the tooth from a different angle.  If you don't know what a microimplant is, you can watch this video.  For me, they wanted to put a small titanium screw into the roof of the mouth so that the chain on my right canine could be attached to the screw and pulled.  The orthodontist forewarned me that there would be no anesthesia and that the process would be rather painful.  I can handle pain.  What I can't handle is the frustration of having braces and feeling like I'm making no progress towards getting them off.  I was ready to do this.

A week later, Brian went back to his endocrinologist and found out that his Hemoglobin A1C was exceptionally high over the last few months.  This means that his blood sugars have been way higher than usual, which might help to explain why his stomach problems had gotten worse over the last few months.  It also means that his pills are no longer working and as soon as they figure out what exactly is wrong with him, he will probably be starting on insulin via an insulin pump.  Then the next day, I nervously went back to the orthodontist to have that screw put in.  After waiting for quite awhile in the waiting room and getting rather nervous (Did I seriously agree to have a screw drilled into the roof of my mouth with no anesthesia?!?  Have I lost my mind?  This is going to hurt!) they finally took me back and got me started.  And honestly... it didn't hurt at all.  They used a topical anesthetic gel and then a shot (maybe novocaine) and all I felt was a lot of pressure while the ortho screwed it in but it really didn't hurt at all.  One problem solved, (at least for now), one to go.

This Thursday, Brian goes back to the gastroenterologist for his follow up.  We should get the results of the biopsies and we're hoping for some sort of diagnosis as to what is making Brian sick.  Meanwhile, he continues to be sick, especially at night or in the early morning.  We both are feeling worn out and tired all the time from so many restless nights.  I couldn't even tell you the last time we slept through an entire night.

Yet, I have found a newly rekindled affection for the man who is my everything.  We are spending more time together, laughing more often, and it sort of feels as exciting as it did thirteen years ago (as of October 27th, 2012) when we very first started dating.  It is rather like falling in love with the same person again.  After seven years of dating and six and a half years of marriage, when I get in bed each night, I know that I am absolutely in love with this man lying next to me and I will be there for him no matter what the outcome of all of this is.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Found It!

My favorite mousse, that is!  I had used this mousse for months and months and then the last time I ran out and went looking for it, I couldn't find it anywhere.  I ended up buying some stupid Herbal Essences mousse instead, which just did not give me the volume that this Tresemme Thermal Creations Volume Boosting Mousse did.  When I went into Walmart today to pick up some more mousse, I saw that they had my old faithful back in stock, with slightly different packaging.  Now it has a weird gold racing stripe or something!  Stripe or no stripe, I'm just happy to have my old favorite back and I can't wait to use it tonight!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Trying To Use It Up

I have a few skincare items right now that I'm trying to use it.  I swear these have all been on their last legs for the past several months but they just never seem to go away.

On the left is the moisturizer I've been using for quite awhile now.  It's Up and Up Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion, which is comparable to Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with SPF 15 for Sensitive Skin.  It's a much more affordable option and it's really been great for my skin.  I have a back up day time moisturizer, which is the Equate generic moisturizer that also compares to the Olay Sensitive Skin.

In the middle, I have a Garnier SPF eye cream that I purchased about a year ago at Big Lots.  I think it's discontinued because I haven't seen it anywhere since.  You just have to be a little careful not to get it in your eyes or it will burn.  I have several other eye creams that could replace this, but none of them have SPF, which is a little disappointing to me.  I haven't found any eye creams with SPF since this one.  When the bottle got too low to pump out any more, I cleared out the original container and put it in the little blue tub.

Lastly, I've been working on this small bottle of Desert Essence 100% Pure Jojoba Oil for over six months now and it just seems to last forever!  I add a few drops of oil to my moisturizer every morning and night to help regulate the amount of oil my skin produces and to add moisture back.  I have another bottle just like this waiting in the wings.

Well, that's it!  It seems like I go through skincare products faster than most of the other products in my beauty regiment, but these just seem to be lasting forever!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Blue and Silver

This is a manicure that I did way back in July and finally was able to get the pictures off of my computer to share.  I started with two coats of Milani's Beach Front.  It's a beautiful beachy blue with silver shimmer.  So pretty!
Next, I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep to stamp.  I chose this fish scale-like design from Mash.  It's on plate Mash-39.  I had kind of a hard time stamping it on straight but in the end, it worked out just fine.
Looking at this really makes me wish I had time to paint my nails these days!  But sadly, work and stuff at home is taking first priority.  *Sigh*  I miss the pretties!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer Favorites

Again, not sure how long it's been since I've done favorites so these are probably from about the last six to eight weeks.

ABOVE, going left to right.
Garnier Fructis Style Full Control Ultra Strong Humidity Hairspray - I had a mini bottle of this that I had gotten with my favorite version of this hairspray in Flexible Control.  Flexible Control wasn't proving to be strong enough for the extremely hot, humid, and rainy August here in Florida so I tried the Full Control version and fell in love.  After using the whole mini bottle, I bought this full size one.  It holds out humidity without feeling hard or crunchy.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation - Again, my hair was untamed at the beginning of August because of the heat and humidity.  Then I remembered that I had a mini version of this product that I had bought for travel earlier in the summer.  I tried it again and my hair has been straight, sleek, and split end free ever since.  Again, I ended up buying it in full size and I am in love!  It keeps out frizz, helps straighten your hair, and acts as a heat protectant.  Works better than some $20 products I've tried!
Suave Keratin Leave In Conditioner - This has also helped to keep my split ends away.  Works well, is affordable, and easy to find at Walmart or Target.
Victoria's Secret Amber Romance Body Splash - Another great smelling body spray that I'm trying to use up.  This is a great scent for fall.
Essence Big Lashes Mascara in Waterproof - Reminds me of Benefit's Bad Gal Lash but way cheaper.  Super waterproof but takes a lot of work to remove.
Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Espresso - Just so soft and easy to apply.  Can break down some in heat and humidity though.
Carmex Lip Balm - Shiny, moisturizing, and lasts for a long time.  This has been a favorite for dry lips for me for more than ten years.
Wet N Wild Brulee - I've really been enjoying the natural look lately, including matte eyeshadows.  This is a great matte cream that works on the lid or as a highlight.
NYX Dark Brown - Medium dark brown matte shade.  Great for lower lash line or the crease.
NYX True Taupe - Brown leaning taupe matte shadow.  Makes a great lid shade or a transition shade in the crease.
NYX Sahara - Shimmery cream shadow.  Also a nice natural look and works well with Dark Brown in the crease.
e.l.f. Studio Blush in Candid Coral - This is a great peachy pink with a slight shimmer.  Looks good with most skin tones and works with pink or peach lips.
Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush in Natural - A great slightly shimmery pink that blends like a dream.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Empties

So the cord that connects my video camera to my computer has been missing for about the past two months.  I have another camera but the quality is extremely low on it (it's about seven years old) and even the photos come out looking pretty crummy.  So yesterday I finally found that missing cord!  Now I'm back in business and the first thing I wanted to do was share my summer empties with you, as they were taking up a lot of space and I wanted to be able to recycle them!  I'm not even sure when the last time I did an empties video was so I'm just going to call this summer empties.  (I found a video on my camera from around July that I filmed with more empties so once I get a chance to edit that, I'll be posting it on YT soon.  Better late than never!)

ABOVE: I'll start with the empties above, going from left to right.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion - This giant bottle has lasted me since January.  I use it at night because it can look a little greasy but it does a great job of bringing moisture back to your skin.  It's gentle enough to use on your face and doesn't break me out.  It's also great on feet and hands.
Johnson's Head To Toe Baby Wash - This has been the only body wash that doesn't break out my shoulders or back, as I have seriously sensitive skin.  This giant bottle is only around $5 and lasts for several months.
Tresemme Healthy Volume Conditioner - I don't know if it really adds volume but it's a great and inexpensive conditioner.
Equate Gentle Skin Cleanser - I use this twice daily to wash my face.  It's gentle and doesn't irritate my skin.
Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes - These are great to remove any leftover mascara or eyeliner that might show up the next morning.  They are gentle enough for the eye area, even for people who wear contacts, like me.
Victoria's Secret Love Spell Body Splash - Oh my goodness, I've had this for years and I finally used it up!  A great sweet flowery smell.
Garnier Fructis Ultra Strong Humidity Hairspray - This stuff is amazing!  I used the entire mini can (came with a different Garnier Hairspray I bought) and then I bought the full size.  This is a current favorite in my book.
Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Face Powder in Translucent Light - When applied with a brush, this is a great powder.  High coverage.  Will probably replace my Healthy Wear Powder some day.
Carmex Lip Balm - Hands down, one of my all time favorite lip balms.  Adds a bit of shine, moisturizes, and lasts for hours.
Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation - My absolute favorite powder/foundation.  I have tons of back ups of this.  High coverage and SPF.
Essence Stay All Day Lipgloss in My Favorite Milkshake - Just an okay lip gloss.  Doesn't actually last that long.  Wouldn't repurchase.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Possibly The Worst Hair Product EVER

If you follow me regularly, then you know that I hate to waste anything and I hate to jump to the conclusion that I hate something without trying it lots of different ways.  After much thought and experimenting, I have come to the decision that Tresemme Salon Silk Anti-Frizz Serum is quite possibly the worst hair product EVER.  Yea.  I hate it that much.

I have tried this on my hair when straight, curly, overly dry, and every other scenario that I could possibly think of.  I've tried it in combination with tons of other products, tried using only a drop, tried using more product and every time I've had the same result: it does nothing for frizz but it sure makes my hair look greasy.  AWFUL.

As you can see from the picture, I really feel that I gave it a fair try.  I used about half the product and still, it is terrible.  Don't waste your money.

Here I Am!

Hello Friends!!  I have missed you so much!  The start to this school year has been insanely busy and I have had about zero time to myself since um... like... July!?!  I'm exhausted!  LOL

A lot of people have messaged me and asked if I'd quit blogging and making videos.  The answer is no, I haven't quit!  Here's why I've been gone.

As many of you know, I am a fifth grade teacher at an elementary school.  What you may not know is that I am the head of the grade level and I have been for several years now.  This school year, my fifth grade team is completely new to the grade level, except for me.  That means four homeroom teachers who are new to fifth grade, two push in teachers that are new to fifth grade, and one teacher who is brand new to teaching.  There is a lot to learn when you go to a new grade level, and I am the person that they all go to for help and information.  Therefore, my classroom has been a revolving door of people coming to me for things.  For the first three to four weeks, there would literally be one person in my room talking to me and one to three people waiting in line behind them.  Ack!  I love my job as a teacher and I love being team leader because I am patient and good at explaining things but WOW!  It was so overwhelming and there were days that I left school on the verge of tears because I had gotten there at 6:30 AM and stayed until 4:30 PM but still hadn't gotten any of my own work done because I spent every free moment helping others!

In addition, my principal has asked me to take on more additional duties, like sponsoring our fifth grade math team (which I haven't even started yet because I haven't had time and don't really know what I'm doing), being a model classroom for another school, and being in charge of helping our teachers with their technology, such as the awesome new student response systems we got at the end of the year last year.  With more than fifteen brand new teachers at our school this year, it's been more than I could handle.

To top it all off, my husband agreed to coach the girls' golf team at the school where he teaches, so now I'm having to pick up his extra chores like cooking dinner when I get home.  After six weeks of work, things finally seem like they are slowing down.  Most of the teachers finally have their technology set up.  My teammates are catching on to how we do things in fifth grade, and I have even started leaving work before the ten hour mark (but not much before, sigh).  I'm hoping as time goes by, things will continue to slow down to where I could maybe just work 6:30 AM to 3:30PM and spend at least some of that time getting my own work done.  We'll see.  The nice thing is that I work with a lot of really sweet, nice teachers and it's rather like a big family.  So when I'm spending all of my time helping others, they are very appreciative and grateful.  I truly am blessed to spend my days doing something that I love and which I get fulfillment from doing.

Today is Sunday, and it's the first weekend since July that I haven't brought home any school work to do so I'm going to enjoy it and now I'm going to write about some fun makeup and hair stuff!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bazinga Nails

Oh my goodness, this has been a busy school year so far!  There hasn't been a single day out of the past three and a half weeks that I haven't worked at least 10 hours.  Phew!!  But I love my job and I know it will calm down soon.  Meanwhile, I barely have had time to sleep, nonetheless blog, so I apologize for my absence.  I have things to write about but no time to do it!
On to the nails!  I did these nails for the first day back to work.  All of the teachers on my fifth grade team thought it would be fun to buy and wear matching Bazinga shirts from The Big Bang Theory.  We are all big fans of the show and science is really important in fifth grade.  I wanted to make my nails match but still keep it simple.
I started with just one coat of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Cherry Red.  It's a great blue toned red creme that is super opaque and only needs one coat!  Then I stamped over it with Wet N Wild Black Creme and Bundle Monster Image Plate 305.  I got tons of compliments and my team thought they were super cute too, especially since they matched our shirts!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects: Attempt #2

Way back in June, I gave Sally Hansen Salon Effects a second try and I sort of forgot all about the pictures until I found them again on my computer.  The second try went way better for me than attempt #1.  I'm not sure if it's just the difference in the kind of strips or what but I found them far easier to apply and remove.  They also lasted much better this time around.
The strips I used this time were the Checker Out strips.  These are a light green and white checked pattern, which I got on clearance at Target.  They are super cute and I got lots of compliments while wearing them.
At the time that I applied these, I didn't really have the best lighting, as I put them on back in June when we were staying at a hotel in Saint Pete Beach for a workshop Brian was attending.  The top two are natural sunlight and the photo above this paragraph is in the shade.  The sunlight pictures are rather color accurate.
The application was much better than my first try, although you can still see many bubbles and wrinkles from where I had some trouble.  It's most noticeable on the thumb above, as well as the index and middle fingers.
I was able to remove these quite easily using 100% pure acetone polish remover.  I have one more set of the neon orange strips I used in attempt #1 that I'm going to try again and see if it's just that particular type of strip or if it just takes some practice to get used to how to apply them.  They are definitely fun for something like vacation but I think for everyday purposes, I still prefer regular polish and my stamping kit.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Bare Minimum

I spent the entire day today working on stuff for my job.  Lesson plans, making signs, cutting out laminate, and counting out copies... I pretty much spent twelve hours at home working.  I knew that was how I would be spending my day today so when I put on my makeup this morning, I just applied the bare minimum.  Some people are perfectly happy wearing no makeup to just hang out at home, but even a small amount of makeup makes me feel good about myself and this is about the bare minimum that I wear, even just at home.

1. eye primer - I use the e.l.f. $1 eye primer to prime under my eyes so that my corrector goes on more smoothly, creases less, and lasts longer.
2. undereye corrector - Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate is my favorite for covering my really, really dark circles.
3. concealer - If I have any blemishes, I cover them with Maybelline Super Stay Concealer in Cream.
4. powder foundation - Today I used Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light.  This isn't my absolute favorite foundation but it covers well.  As you can see, my compact is almost empty.  It sets everything and blurs any imperfections.
5. lash curler - e.l.f. $1 lash curler does a great job of curling my lashes.  My lashes are naturally very long but not very thick.  Curling them helps make them stand out more.
6. mascara - Wet N Wild Mega Lash Clinical Mascara makes my lashes stand out without getting mascara all over my eyelids.  This is one of my favorite mascaras ever!

What is your bare minimum?  Are you fine with going makeup-less?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Classroom Pictures

A few people have been asking where I've been lately.  Well, it's back to school time for this elementary teacher and I've spent loads of time making my classroom cute and preparing to meet my new batch of students this year.  I had mentioned on my Facebook page that I would maybe post some pictures of my room and several people seemed interested in pictures so I figured I'd share them!  (NOTE: Most of the amazing ideas you see in my room are not my original ideas.  You can find most of the original sources by checking out my teaching pinterest page.)

This book is so..
This is a bulletin board idea where students can share fiction and nonfiction book recommendations that they have written.  I have this posted near my classroom library so students can see what their peers have recently read and enjoyed and perhaps it will help them to chose a book to read that they might also enjoy.

I bought these floral paper lanterns at the Dollar Tree.  There was one in each pack along with a cylindrical paper lantern with a Tiki design.  I hung them from the ceiling with ribbon.

On this wall, I posted several math anchor charts.  Again, look on my Pinterest page for close ups of these charts.

My little "office" area of my classroom.

Science anchor charts on the wall.  The black cabinet has a weekly figurative language station that I created.  In the corner, tissue paper fans from the Dollar Tree are hanging as decorations.

The purple charts are from The One Spot at Target and are $1.00 each.  They come in the small size pictured on the left.  For the right one, I stapled two together.  I use them to display what station students are going to for small group time in reading, math, and science.

Hanging from the ceiling is basically a laundry line that I use to hang more anchor charts.  I also used the Dollar Tree fans to make my group signs.

A wider shot.  The baskets on the groups are less than one dollar from Walmart.  They have pencils, markers, glue sticks, and scissors for the kids to use when making foldables.

My student computer area.  Some reading posters on the wall.

My office area again.  Paper lanterns from Party City.  The pack of three was $6.  The large pocket chart on the wall is used as a word wall.

This bulletin board will be used to display our classroom data.

The two posters on the doors were both in a pack from the Dollar Tree so basically $0.50 each.  "Be Kind To Your Neighbors" and "Think Before You Talk".  I had them laminated for free at my school.

Classroom Library/Small Group Area #1:
The smaller pink baskets were each $0.97 from Walmart.  The pink milk crate was around $3.50 at Walmart.  Instead of having a table for small groups to meet at, I have a chair for the teacher and students sit or lay on the floor and grab a clipboard from the milk crate.  The kids would rather be on the floor and it takes up less space in the room and allows for about seven students in a group instead of four.  On the bottom right shelf, next to the clipboards, are materials for my push in teacher to use in her small group.

Read Aloud Area/Small Group Area #2:
This is the area where my students sit for read alouds.  You can't see that well in the photo, but there is lots of room for the entire class to sit.  On the table I have student mailboxes for sorting checked work.  It also houses flower pens in a vase that students use to sign in and out of the restroom.  There's hand sanitizer there for after the bathroom too.  Under the table are more clipboards in a milk crate and an easel with a chart I use for small group differentiated phonics.  Paper lanterns again from Party City hang from the ceiling.  The reading word wall is a blue pocket chart.  Two more small pocket charts are stapled together to hold the classroom schedule.  A pink and green no name plaque with clothespins hold no name papers hangs on the wall next to the mailboxes.  On the far left is my bucket bulletin board.

Have You Filled A Bucket Today?
These little metal buckets were bought at the One Spot at Target (again, $1 each).  I use this bulletin board to encourage kindness and good citizenship among my students.  You can search my Pinterest page or Google to see some different ways that teachers have used these boards.  The bucket is basically a metaphor for your feelings.  Every person has an imaginary bucket that holds positive or negative feelings.  When you are nice to others, it fills their bucket.  But it also fills your bucket because you feel good about being nice too.  When you are mean to someone, it dips from your bucket and theirs.  So if someone else is nice, I allow students to write them a bucket note.  I review the notes and both the writer and the student who did the kind deed get a pom pom in their bucket.  I never take anything out for being mean, as I want to keep the board completely positive.  The students don't get any reward for this: no candy, no prizes, no free time.  It's based only on the good feelings that you get from doing good things.  And it works wonderfully, especially on those catty preteen girls.  They truly want to be bucket fillers because it makes them feel good!

So that's what I've been up to lately!  If you have any questions about any of the pictures or things I wrote about, please feel free to leave a comment and I will clarify and write you back.  For now, I am off to get some more work done for school!  I love my job!  :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Essence Haul

So my husband is out of town for the week and he took our other camera but the cord he took goes to the camera he left... so I'm out of commission with my good video camera for the next week.  So forgive the crummy picture from my cell phone.  It's the best I have right now.

Last week my friend and I went on a road trip to Orlando to check out Ikea and generally have an adventure!  We stopped into Ulta and they had some Essence items on sale so I picked up just a few things.

Essence Stay All Day Creme Eyeshadow in Glammy Goes To...  I picked this up because I have another shade (Coppy Right) that I love and I wanted to try a different color.  It's okay but not super pigmented.  It was $2.99.

Next, I picked up a Colour & Go Nail Polish in High Spirits.  It was the only polish they had from Essence that I didn't already have and it was only $0.29 so I went for it!

I also bought a new mascara.  This is Get Big Lashes Volume Boost Waterproof Mascara.  The price point was $3.49.

Last, I bought a creme nude eyeliner.  This was such a score!  It is Essence Kajal Pencil in All I Want.  It was only $0.29 as well and I am so impressed by how amazingly opaque this nude liner is!  If you like nude liners to line your waterline and make you look more awake, you need to try to find this pencil!  It is by far the best liner of this type that I have ever found.  And for this price, I can't believe how amazing this is! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

31 Day Nail Challenge: Recreate Your Favorite

By far, my favorite manicure from this challenge was this one but I thought it would be silly to redo the exact same thing I did a few days before.  So I went with a new spin on my favorite technique, which was definitely the gradients I did here and here.  I also wanted to use my all time favorite color, so I went with a purple color scheme.
You'll have to forgive me because I forgot to take a picture of the lighter shade on its own but it looks pretty much like what you see at the cuticle area.  The lighter shade is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Violet Voltage, which is a super opaque medium purple creme.  One coat was all I needed with this polish!  Next I sponged on Violet Voltage and Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Grape Escape following The Nailasaurus's awesome tutorial.
Finally, I stamped on this lovely design using Sally Hansen Color Quick in Gold Chrome and Bundle Monster Image Plate BM316 then followed with top coat.
I really love the way this looked and I got lots of compliments and people asking me where I got my nails done followed by people asking me how on earth I did that myself.  I actually wore this one for more than a day too!  But my days of painting my nails every day are over, as I start back to work next week and I've been super busy this week preparing my classroom.  I'm hoping to have a minute or two tomorrow to take some pictures of my recent Essence haul to share with you.  It's only four things but I still think they are worth sharing.  For now, I'm off to bed!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

31 Day Nail Challenge: Inspired by a Tutorial

It wasn't really a tutorial that I was inspired by but it was someone else's design that I had copied.  I'll just say that mine isn't nearly as good as the original look that I saw on My Nail Graffiti's blog but it's still super fun to do!  It's supposed to be a sort of stained glass look.
Polishes I Used
Sorry for the picture spam but I loved this and wanted to showcase it in all sorts of lightings and finishes.  I'll show you how I did it.
After my base coat, I applied two coats of this tiny Sally Girl nail polish in Surf's Up.  It's a pretty greenish teal creme but it took so long to dry!  I am impatient!
Next I used an eyeshadow applicator sponge to apply some spots of Spoiled's Plenty of Fish in the Sea.  I needed to go over it to make it darker so that's basically two coats.
Then in any areas that didn't get Plenty of Fish in the Sea, I sponged on Essie's Shine of the Times to give the polish a "lit from within" look.
Finally I stamped over everything with Wet N Wild Wild Shine in Black Creme and Bundle Monster Image Plate BM208.  I added a shiny topcoat and this is what I ended up with.  This photo above is taken in direct sunlight.
This photo is in artificial lighting.
I took this picture in low lighting so you could see how Shine of the Times can really seem to glow.  Too bad you can also see the flakies left over on my cuticles but oh well!
Another artificial lighting photo.
Finally, the next day I wanted to see what this mani would look like matte so I gave it a coat of Hard Candy Mattely In Love.  I can't decide which one I like more!