Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday...

I am linked up with Jamie this week.  You should link up as well or peek at what other bloggers are loving.

I am loving many things this Wednesday including but not limited to.....

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
I am reading this to my class right now.  Every year I get more and more excited about reading this novel.  I remember how much I loved it when I was younger and I can see the excitement in their eyes and their imaginations run wild!  If you've never read it, I highly recommend getting a copy....even if you're an adult!

Also, I am loving Waiting for Superman, a poignant movie about the current state of our nation's public education system.  It is thought provoking and a real eye-opener to both teachers and non-teachers.  I highly recommend this movie.

Currently I am loving Facebook.  I know, I know it is so cliché but I have recently reconnected with faraway friends and it helps keep me up to date with what old and new friends are doing.

Speaking of social media....I am LOVING the app, Path, that I have on my iPhone.  It is a place where you can upload pictures and share them with others whom you've asked to follow your "path".  I am only following my family right now but it's fun to send pictures back and forth to keep up with things going on in our lives both near and far.  Below is a collage I made so you can see what it's like.  If you have an iPhone it is fun and free...two more things that I also love!

I recently stumbled upon Stella & Dot, jewelry & accessories.  Though I haven't bought anything yet, I have my eye on a few things...

There are very cute and fashionable pieces in all price ranges!

Additionally, I am LOVING these Vera Bradley totes!  Miss V turned me on to them and I am head over heels!

It always seems like Wednesdays come so quickly and I am so fortunate to have many LOVES in my life.
I hope you are loving many things today as well.

Last but not least, my music LOVE for this Wednesday...

I am so hip, my students would be proud!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thinking About Thursdays...School Pride

"Budget Cut Blues" have been getting me down these days.  In an effort to combat the "Budget Cut Blues" this Thursday I am thinking about all of the fabulous things that my students, my school, and myself have been doing.

Friday, February 18th, my 4th graders are headed to the Oakland Unified School District Oratorical Fest Competition!  Last month we competed against other classes from our school and won the judges votes with an original poem entitled "Martin Luther King Jr. Had a Dream and So Do We!"  I am so proud of my students and their hard work and dedication!  

"Letters make sounds, sounds make words, and Words frame our World.  The students, parents and educational teams of Oakland are proud to announce the thirty-second year of this event.  Approximately 5,000 students and numerous volunteers will come together for one of the most positive and rewarding educational experiences honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all those who have championed for the betterment of mankind.  The competition honors the life of a great orator - who made the highest sacrifice in his dedication to combat injustice and fight for the rights of all humanity regardless of nationality, race, or color.  The fest allows students to develop a strong sense of self, their talents, and their own voice developing into tomorrow’s leaders."

We will be dressed in blue jeans and white shirts hoping to bring home a trophy to our school!  

Wish us luck!

Though my students can be difficult and trying at times, they have been diligent this year and proved that hard work pays off.  At our school we say - Think you can! Work hard! Get smart!  Based on our most recent trimester tests my students have been believing they can and achieving their goals.  

I am so proud of the Room 15 Spartans!

After a few hard days at work, I spoke with two sets of parents today who said, "We are so happy that our child in your class.  You are dedicated, caring, and have done so much to ensure our son/daughter is safe and happy and learning.  Thank you for being a great teacher and believing in our child."  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  Today I have so much pride in myself, my students, and my schoolGo Panthers!

"Wake Up Everybody" by John Legend & The Roots


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday...

I am linking up with Jamie this Wednesday for...

Today I am enjoying the break from the rain and the crisp winter air.

I am also loving my cat, Lucy.

I am enjoying visiting other blogs and having other bloggers visit me.

I am really LOVING Real Housewives....especially Atlanta.

These ladies are always doing the MAXIMUM.  I can never seem to get enough of their craziness and unpredictability.  I am so looking forward to Real Housewives of New York.

Some Real Housewives quotes that I LOVE:

"She is a thug in a cocktail dress!"

"The hats and gloves were one thing, but the male escorts? I mean, where are we, Chippendales?"

"...A wig does not count as a hat, honey."

"If I had gotten plastic surgery every time I had marital problems, I'd look like Dwight."

I really enjoy my fair share of reality TV.  Between The Bachelor and Real Housewives (of every city) my DVR is almost always full....hahaha.

Speaking of The Bachelor....I am LOVING the pool that I have with my girlfriends.  It is not so different from Fantasy Football except, categories do not include quarterback, running back, or total yards rushed.  There are categories such as "lands the first kiss," "is drunk in episode 2, 4, or 6," and "has a loon-ball family."  Not only does this game of Fantasy Bachelor make the show more interesting, but it also makes Mondays more enjoyable.

I am always loving my automatic coffee maker.  Java, my coffee maker, never fails to have coffee waiting for me when I get out of bed.  I just wish I could make my coffee look this cute in the morning.

Finally, I am embarrassed to admit but, I am absolutely loving JUSTIN BIEBER.  The first step to recovery is admitting I am powerless to my addiction so, I guess I only have 11 more steps to go.  All jokes aside, Justin Bieber is a very talented artist.  And YES, I did go see the movie Never Say Never, I am sure you were wondering.  Though I have aged and my musical taste has matured, every once in a while I find myself back in "teeny-bopper" mode.  I do wish he would do something else with his hair, but who am I to judge.  I suppose I am still a kid at heart.  Perhaps that is why I relate so closely to my students.  Here is a video of Bieber singing Usher's "You Got it Bad."



Here's hoping that you have many LOVES today as well.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Delights

I had a great weekend.  I attended a great baby shower for an old friend, spent time reading Pioneer Woman, had quality time with my mom on Sunday and did some laundry.  All and all, it was very enjoyable weekend.  It is still hard for me to believe that one of my best friends is having a baby and going to begin a whole new chapter of her life... Especially since the word baby is so not in my vocabulary right now.  I am so happy for her and cannot wait to meet the newest addition to her little family.  

 Below are a few pictures from the shower.... 

 My gift was a hit! I wrote all the advice my students gave on small pieces 
of paper and tied them to the basket handle.

  Lots of gifts for the new baby...he's already spoiled!

Nice center pieces that doubled as cute prizes for table games.  Very clever.

On another note I am completely falling in love with Pioneer Woman.  You MUST read this love story.  I can't wait to finish and then gossip about the book with my friends!  I suggest you find a bookstore that has copies left or download it to your electronic is too good to miss.  You could even start a book club with your girlfriends like we did.  It gives us a great excuse to spend time together, drink wine, eat tasty treats, and talk about a great book.

I have been getting a lot of blog ideas from followers (all 6 of you) and friends and decided to add a recipe to my blog every once in a while.  I love cooking.  I love baking.  I find them both very relaxing.  I turn on a good CD, either an old favorite or new obsession, and whip up something delicious.  Although I really like to spend time in the kitchen, it seems like a lot of people, especially younger adults, don't look forward to cooking up a feast following a long day at work.  I've decided to post easy meal recipes that require little or no culinary skill.  Please give me feedback, good and bad, and try out these easy meal ideas yourself.  For those who loathe cooking, I hope I can help you begin to enjoy cooking as much as I do.  For those who already enjoy the culinary arts, here's hoping I can give you some new recipes to add to your cookbook.  Enjoy!

Turn on some music...I am listening to Cee Lo Green "The Lady Killer"


Boil water and add pasta and salt.

In a frying pan heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.  Add chicken (cut into bite sized pieces), salt and pepper to taste, and Parmesan cheese, cook until chicken is golden brown (about 8 minutes). 

2 minutes before the pasta is cooked through add in a cup of chopped broccoli to the boiling water.  
Drain pasta and broccoli.
Finally mix together chicken, pasta, and broccoli.  Add Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

 All together this takes about 20 minutes to cook and needs very little "baby-sitting."  It is hard to mess up and tastes great.  Also, it is easy to make for only one or eight.  Try it out!

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fabulousness on Friday...

  I jump at the chance to get advice from children.  This weekend a good friend of mine is having a baby shower.  As I carefully packed the teeny tiny clothes in the sweet little packaging, I was trying to come up with something clever to add to my gift.....and I thought of my 29 lovely students and all of the fantastic wisdom that they have to offer.  Their pure and youthful insight is priceless.  So, I said to my students, "A friend of mine is having a baby!  She has never been a mom before.  She and her husband are going to encounter A LOT of new and challenging things.  What advice would you give new parents?"

Here are a their responses:

"Give your baby milk and lots of toys so he doesn't cry."

"Go to sleep in the morning and stay up and night and tell your husband to keep a good eye on the baby."

"Buy the baby stuff before you bring the baby home so you can be prepared.  Baby proof the house!"

"Always keep an eye on your baby."

"If your baby cries maybe he's hungry, sleepy, or you got to change his diapers.  Try not to make him cry."

"Don't have twins, they are a handful!  They fight over toys and wrestle in your tummy."

"Love your baby and give your baby lots of kisses."

"Put that baby in an automatic rocker when you want him to calm down."

"Babies are REALLY whiny and you and your husband should split the duties up."

"When your baby come out, love him with all your heart because babies grow up quickly."

"Keep a hat on the baby.  Get one of those Fisher Price speaker phones and then you can hear what the baby is doing while you're in the other room."

"Read your baby bedtime stories before he goes to sleep.  Keep your eye on the baby to make sure he doesn't get hurt.  When he's crying give him a pacifier.  If you have more kids you could name them after me, Hanif."

"Buy a baby swinger so you can spend time with your husband." 

"Get a rocker and you might want to try headphones if he cries a lot."

"Buy him a bed before you bring him home."

"Take turns taking care of the baby."


"To keep the baby happy don't put the covers on top of his head and don't shake your baby.”

How tender?!  These thoughtful and kind 8, 9, & 10 year olds really have the right idea.... Share duties, have everything in order before you bring the baby home, and love the baby.  It always makes me smile when they take adult situations and break them down so simply. 

My Friday was filled with many fabulous things.... Sunshine, a cute spring dress, my favorite earrings, fun 100th day of school activities, parent volunteers, the ADELE song "Rolling in the Deep", my homemade cornbread, and the excitement of a weekend packed with my favorite people and fun activities.  


I hope you have had a wonderful Friday.....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thinking about Thursdays....BLOG LOVE

Big thank you to Miss. V for tagging me with this award..... <3

Who or what inspires you?

My students inspire me.  They inspire me to work hard.  They inspire me to be a better person.  They inspire me to enjoy life more, seize the day if you will.  I find myself being more self-reflective because I spend time around children.  I am inspired to be silly and have fun because of my students.  My students come from all different walks of life and I have become a more compassionate, caring, and maternal woman because of them.  I have become a better learner and educator because I have built positive relationships with my students.  I can honestly say that I love my work and it is because my students give me the inspiration to achieve great things....It is my hope that I have the same impact on them.

What is your favorite season and why?

Spring.  I love the chill that remains in the air from the winter.  I love sweaters and scarves and the smell of fresh flowers.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am most looking forward to some major upcoming events....weddings, babies, but most of all the Justin Bieber movie coming out tomorrow - just kidding (well kinda)!

What is your greatest passion?

My greatest passion is teaching, more importantly teaching at risk youth.

If you would write a book about anything, what would it be about?

I would probably write a book about my first years as a teacher and chronicle everything from the hilarious to sad moments I have experienced.

If you could change one thing about your life or yourself what would it be and why?

I really wouldn't change anything.  My choices, good and bad, have created the wonderful woman that I am today.  The most important people in my life love and care about me regardless of any mistakes I have made or will make.  The only thing I would change is that I would like to be more spontaneous.  Yes.... a little more spontaneity would be nice.

What is your favorite novel?

Eeeek what a hard question so I am going to list a few

The Prince of Tides
The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Something Borrowed

I am a new blogger so I don't have 5 friends to are three though!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday....

So according to Miss. V, "What I'm Loving Wednesday" is something many bloggers do and so in an effort to disguise myself as a seasoned blogger I am going to jump on the band wagon.

On this wonderful Wednesday I am absolutely loving Maroon 5!  I cannot stop listening to their "Hands All Over" album.  Maroon 5 and I have had a great relationship since we were first introduced by a good friend of mine about 8 years ago!  

If you knew me you'd know that I am obsessed with all things music.  I also LOVE knowing about bands/artists before anyone else.  I am always listening to music and have a hard time doing much of anything without have some sort of music in the background.  I really encourage you to download this album and all other Maroon 5 albums as well!

 Today I am also loving the The Man Behind The Curtain
by Brandon Hughes.
My signed copy <3
So the reason that I am passionate about this story is because I know the author!  How cool is that?  I feel like I am a little bit cooler because I know someone who wrote a book and had it published.  The back story here, is that I met Brandon years ago when he worked in the office at Piedmont Avenue School (where I work).  We became friends and he talked about how he was writing a book.  I remember thinking, wow that is a great idea but how many people actually get their work PUBLISHED?  Anyway, cut to four years later....During lunch at a district professional development there was a table set up with FREE BOOKS and the author was there to sign them.  Well, I never pass up an opportunity for free I hopped in line only to see my old friend, whom I hadn't talked to in about four years, on the other side of the table signing HIS book.  I could have cried!!!   We spoke briefly and I went home and immediately read the book from cover to cover.  I suggest you read it as well.  It is relevant and meaningful.  I hope you love it too.

So that's what I am loving this Wednesday.

Peace, love, and sunsets.


My Very First Blog

Hello friends, family, and followers..... I have never been interested in blogs and reading them until my aunt began her blog a while ago.  More recently one of my best friends, Andrea, began blogging and it got me thinking about the idea of "online journaling".  I am not sure if anyone will read my blog, follow my blog, or really care what I have to say, but I thought that it might be fun to begin!