June 28, 2015

Summer Sundays are Still BUSY!

Phew! I can't believe I'm here before my day starts this week. Today is going to be very busy as will NEXT Sunday, too! So I'm here with the Sunday Scoop!!

I taught a performance summer camp last week at a church and the church staff would like for the kiddos to perform this morning at the church service. I need to be there to guide them. After all, they're only 5 and 6... They were SO GOOD. I am planning on doing a blog post about the entire experience this week.
I also need to go to the gym today. I won't be able to tomorrow due to an insane schedule at the theater, so I'm bumping my usual Monday workout to today.
My mom is cleaning out the storage shed! Which means... I need to go get some of my old things before she throws them out!!

Tomorrow begins the rehearsal process for the kid's musical at the theater I work for. I am directing this year and I am prepared for it, but I don't feel very organized. I certainly could be better, so I hope to get my act together a bit better before tomorrow morning.
I also just got together with my best friend and we shared some sweet new music with each other. I have so much ear candy to listen to right now and it's killing me that I can't just turn up the music and dance around the house today.

My husband and I decided to splurge since we have been so busy and we have a MASSAGE today!! YIPPEE!!!

Thanks for stopping by! Gotta run! Church starts in 30 minutes!

June 22, 2015

Dare to Dream

As fun as last week's TpT Seller Challenge was (makeover madness!!), this week's is very reflective and thought-provoking. This week's challenge is to blog about my dreams for my TpT store and my blog and internet presence. I have been so inspired reading about other teachers' goals and dreams and am so overwhelmed with how amazing this community is.

So without much further ado, here are my dreams for my TpT store and my blog.

1. Buy a home: 
My husband and I are incredibly fortunate. We are currently living in my mother-in-law's home almost completely without cost. She was given an amazing job opportunity to travel with her company but was not quite ready to sell her home. My husband and I at that time were living with my mother and stepfather when my mother-in-law approached us and offered her home to us while she traveled. At the time, I was in my final internship and my husband had just lost his job. It could not have come at a better time. Ryan and I have been smart about this though. We have taken this opportunity to save and pay off tons of bills. I just finished teaching my first year of kindergarten and I have never earned that much money in my life, which is pretty sad if you think about it. Teachers don't make a lot of money... but it was more than I have ever lived on and my husband and I were able to pay off a lot of debt in this past year. Once we are debt free (which won't take long now, thank goodness), the plan is to buy our OWN home. As lovely and incredibly amazing it has been to live for practically nothing in a home that feels like ours... we can't live off our parents forever and we want to do this for us and our future family. Having the income from TpT is helping us get there little by little and my dream is to have my TpT store provide something fairly solid to work with when the time comes to make a huge buying decision. In the mean time, I sometimes have to pinch myself that we are as fortunate as we are to live here and save, save, save.

2. Start a family:
 Ryan and I have always wanted children. We have been married for just under two years and are starting to have serious talks about starting a family. We may wait till we own the home I spoke about in item 1, or we might not. Sometimes, things in life are not easily planned. So at this point, we aren't necessarily trying to have children, but we aren't avoiding it either. I would love to be able to take time off from work to have a family. Ideally, I would be able to work from home. My husband works from home now. How amazing would it be for us both to be able to? The crazy things is... it's totally possible. If I work hard now and build my TpT store and other online presence, it's fathomable. It may be a long ways off. It may not even pan out, but there's no reason not to try to reach this goal. Either way, I'm going to have a family. I'm approaching 28 years old and my husband will be 30 this year (yikes!). We ain't gettin' any younger! ;)

3. Inspire others:
Here's a little back story - I used to work at Best Buy. It was a great place for me and I met a ton of people that I am still friends with today. One such friend also became a teacher around the same time I did, except she teaches middle school math (glad someone can... that stuff is no joke...). We were talking on Facebook about the Smart Notebook software and how excited I am to have my first smart board next year. As we were talking, I discovered that she makes a lot of her own activities and that they were good! Long story short, I was able to inspire her to upload her first free product and begin her journey on TpT. (Her brand spankin' new store is right here by the way: Algebra Addict. If you know any middle grade teachers, download her freebie and leave some love!)
The experience left me feeling incredibly motivated and as I thought about it, I always feel that way after inspiring someone to do something exciting. By creating products, helpful blog posts, and relationships with my customers and readers, I am inspiring them to be better educators. I owe my own motivation to a lot of blogs I started reading as a college student. These bloggers, whether they knew it or not, inspired me to be better. They inspired me to be a better teacher before I even was a teacher! And now they've inspired me to create resources and support others. What a domino effect! I hope that my blog and TpT store reaches more and more teachers (and ultimately students!) everyday and my big dream here is continue to grow and touch lives.

4. Not feel held back:
After that really inspirational section of this post, selfishly, I want my TpT store and blog to help me feel like I'm not held back. I have worked many years in jobs that I hated for almost nothing. For years I questioned my own ambitions and felt like I couldn't do anything. In just 18 months of being on TpT, I feel like I can do anything! The past 2 years have brought a LOT of change and opportunity my way and I want to make sure I'm not letting it slip by me:

Ryan and I were married.
I quit my job and finished school.
We lived with my parents.
Ryan lost his job.
Ryan began streaming video games and has developed his own stay at home job (yes, he seriously plays video games from home and earns money...).
I began my blog and TpT store. Why not, right? If Ryan can do it... why can't I?
We both graduated college.
We moved into a house. With rooms. Like more than one room we can put our stuff in.
I taught my first year ever. And didn't completely suck at it! ;)

I want to make sure that these opportunities only have me moving forward... and I think they will, as long as I work hard and pursue these big dreams of mine. (Totally a side note though: my big dreams are completely realistic and reasonable I think!).

Thank you so much for reading my lengthy post. I have loved reading the other posts. Click this link (HERE) to go to a link-up where you can read other posts about big dreams all of us teacher folk have. ;)

June 21, 2015

Sunday Scoop Summer Style!

Well, because it is Father's Day, I was not on top of my game this morning with my favorite weekly linky! Ahhh! I'm a bit late, but here ya go!

Thank you The Teaching Trio for this fun link-up!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day! My dad was in town to visit and we all had breakfast together. My husband snapped this picture of us and I'm hoping it will be the memorial image of my dad's hippie hair. It's driving me crazy. Retirement in Florida does crazy things to people! ;)

My shirt's pretty cool, though.

Happy Father's Day!

I also snuck by my mom and stepdad's house today and have to squeeze a picture of Ralph, my stepdad in. This is our "mafia" look from my wedding.


June 20, 2015

I'm Makeover Obsessed Sale

I think I've become a little Makeover Madness obsessed. I made over another couple of products entirely. Not just the cover page has been redone, but all the content inside has as well. I've decided that at this rate, my entire store may go on sale if I continue to update my products! I hope you like the changes and if you already own any product that has been updated, simply re-download for FREE to get the changes.

The original feel of the product posted over a year ago never quite felt right to me. I had each activity saved as a separate file and saved into a .zip file, which I hated. So with the update, I added better graphics and fonts and now all the activities are saved into one easily accessible file. Each section is divided by colorful instruction pages as well. Here are the instruction pages which give you an idea of the activities included. 

Here's is a blog post by Hanging Around in Primary, who reviewed this product and took lots of pictures: Hanging Around in Primary. (don't judge the old look! It's new and improved now!).
Click the image above to snag this item on sale!

This is one of my best sellers and a wonderful craftivity for your students. This is great for a lot of different grade levels. I used it with my kinders (post HERE... again, don't judge the old look!) and still plan on using it with my second graders next year but more adapted to fit our curriculum. It is on sale as well.

Here are the changes to expect:
Better graphics
Easier to read fonts
More variations of the mobile pieces to fit your needs
More ink-friendly printing options

Thanks for stopping by again! If you'd like to see a specific product in my store get a makeover, let me know in the comments below!

Another Makeover?! This is MADNESS!

I am LOVING Makeover Madness week hosted by the lovely ladies who created the TpT Seller Challenge! I have been wanting to give my store a bit of a facelift and this is just the motivation I needed. Plus, everything I redo will be on sale for a while! Fun, right?!

One of my favorite beginning of the year activities is a Time Capsule. I did it with my Kinders last year and we all loved looking back at the work we did on the first day of school after a full year. The kids were so excited! It also makes an awesome keepsake for parents at the end of the year.

I redid the ENTIRE Kindergarten Back to School Time Capsule Book in my store. Check it out!

Here's the dramatic cover page difference!

Here's what's new in this pack now:

- A much clearer instructions page with pictures
- Real images of the product created, printed, and completed
- Better graphics and easier to read fonts throughout the entire packet

Here's an image of the preview page:

If you already own this Time Capsule pack, re-download for FREE by going into your TpT Purchases and clicking download! Or click the image below. If you already own it, it will say so and you can re-download from there!

If you do not own the Time Capsule Book yet, it will be on sale through June 24th! I am extending the sale date a bit because I updated this one late into the week. Don't forget to leave a comment on the product after downloading to ensure you get TpT credits to use in later purchases! Enjoy!

June 19, 2015

Another Makeover!

This week has been Makeover Madness week and I am loving it! I have been working really hard on getting my binder cover sets (three total) redone AND planning pages added to go with them! If you don't know already, I made these cover sets about a year and half ago for myself and two friends to use for our first year teaching, but we need a change! I already updated my namesake, the "Amanda" Edition... so here's.... drumroll, please! The "Calli" Edition!!

It went from THIS

to THIS!

This one did not change as drastically as the "Amanda" Edition did because the colors and patterns worked SO well together. I consulted Calli and added the flowers at the bottom as well as some bolder lines to make things POP! I LOVE it! I kind of even love it more than my own version!

And just like the "Amanda" Edition, the "Calli" Edition comes in a Covers Only set (which is 50% off through the weekend) and now it also comes in a FULL 116 page planning package (which is also on sale!). Click the images below to check them out! I also have images below of the "Amanda" Edition so you can compare and see which one suits you best. 

FULL pack!



Covers ONLY

Want a sneak peek of the "Susannah" Edition? Head over to my Facebook page to see a follower only sneak peek image of the Earth tone pack I made for my pal Susannah! The full pack will be updated this weekend! ;)

June 15, 2015

Seller Challenge Week 1 Day 1

I am SO excited to participate in a TpT Seller Challenge hosted by Third in Hollywood, Sparkling in Second, Zesty Teacherista, and Teach Create Motivate! (What a mouthful!).

For the next four weeks, other bloggers and sellers will be going through a boot camp of sorts to get our stores and blogs ready for the upcoming year. This week you will see a LOT of changes to not only my store, but literal HUNDREDS of other teachers' stores and blogs as well!

This week is Makeover Madness week! I have "makeover products" on my summer to-do list anyway, so this challenge is pushing me to get it done now!

I decided to start with one of my earliest products and one very dear to my heart: My teacher binder covers. I made these during my final internship in college for myself and two of my closest friends. There's the "Amanda Edition," the "Calli Edition," and the "Susannah Edition." I have gained a lot of knowledge and TOO MANY new clip art packs to not give this baby some attention! I started with my own "Amanda Edition" and plan on revamping the others this week as well!

This product went from THIS...


I kept the same feel for it, but it just feels so new and fresh! As I was creating the new covers, I got carried away and actually prepared an entirely NEW bundle pack! I started adding planning pages, and before I knew it, I had calendars, charts, and everything else you'll need to start the year off right!

AND the best news of all... I have both of these beauties on SALE this week during Makeover Madness Week! Click any of the images above or below to head to them now to check them out and snag a great deal!

Stay tuned for more Makeover Madness products, because my store is about to get a MAJOR facelift!



Teacher Quirks

Hey ya'll! I'm back with more link-up fun for the summer! I'm linking up with Miss Monica over at I Heart Grade 3 with her great summer weekly link-up.

Each week she has given a topic to blog about and this week's is "My Teaching Quirks." Oh dear...

Although the image says "Quirk" like a singular quirk... I am posted 3, which in all honesty are not just teaching quirks... I just notice them more when I'm teaching. These are more like warnings and disclaimers people should be exposed to before becoming friends with me...

Fortunately, my students really seem to like this quirk. They try to duplicate some of my silly faces, which has made for some GREAT photos of life in my classroom. Sometimes, I've noticed though that this affects people's ability to take me seriously, so it is something I'm working on. Oops... I just made another one... Dagnabbit, I did it again!

Of course, the movies and games I'm referring to are all appropriate, since the movies I watch in my down time as an adult are basically all cartoons... I did a lot of talking like Mario from Super Mario Bros. this past year. One time though, I said, "I need more cowbell!" and the volunteer in my classroom and I had a good laugh. The kids had no clue what I was talking about, so I saved their impression of me by making a silly face. Ya know... all in a day's quirk! ..... I should have put "I'm a punny teacher" as one of my quirks...

This also goes pretty well with an elementary school classroom as most of my students are the same! It also means my back hurts when I get home and rest it. A wiggly teacher with scoliosis makes for some annoying back pain.

So what are your quirks? Link up with I Heart Grade 3 and/or check out the other teacher bloggers who are linking up!

June 14, 2015

Playing Catch-Up with the Link-Up!

How is it that the summer is sneaking past me?! Last week was a whirl! I returned from a much needed (but too short) cruise and then went it head first to the theater for summer auditions and the beginning of summer camp season.

I have a little catching up to do on a fun summer link-up hosted by I Heart Grade 3! Each week teacher bloggers from all over will be linking up their posts about a specific topic. 

Check out my post HERE for the first topic: Summer Goals!

The next couple of topics are in this single post. Let's go!

Why I Started Blogging:

I am an avid writer. I have kept a journal since the 6th grade and write in them constantly! I decided that I wanted to start a blog and did, but never found the right niche for it. I did a lot of book reviews. Then I did some recipes. Then I did some fitness related stuff. None of it really inspired me to continue blogging and it just kind of died out! Fast forward a couple of years, I was in my final internship/student teaching in college and discovered the amazing world of teacher bloggers! I was finding freebies and lesson plan ideas and all these wonderful things to incorporate into my internship and future classroom. I decided I would start a blog when I became a teacher to join in on all the fun. I told my husband about it and he said, "Why wait?" So, I jumped in and have never looked back! I love to try things I find on Pinterest, discuss hot topics with other teachers, support other teachers (bloggers and non-bloggers) and offer resources. I also love to just write write write!

It is no secret now, but if you are stopping by for the first time (welcome!), my blog is named after my dog, Daisy! My name is actually Amanda, but I get called Daisy all the time. No biggie! But the real Daisy is my little baby chihuahua! Well, not really a baby anymore... but... she's the inspiration for my blog and store name and brand!

Here she is... so stinkin' cute...


Next up: An accomplishment I'm proud of! Truthfully, there are several things I've accomplished in life that I'm proud of. I followed a dream to become an actress and left my home town to pursue it, but was gravely disappointed. Following that dream broke me, but over time and with the help of people who love me, I was able to pick myself up. I learned so much about myself during those years, including my passion for teaching. Now I am certainly thankful for those hard years, but I definitely do not think back at them fondly.

I know this does not sound like much, but I think the accomplishment I'm most proud of myself for is getting myself where I am now. I live a pretty simple life all things considered and compared to where I was just a short 7 years ago, it is an accomplishment! I live in a house now (not the small apartment with 4 roommates I was used to) with the man of my dreams and my two fur-babies. I was able to go to college completely paid for by my employer (Best Buy) at the time. I overcame heartbreak and addiction. I am almost completely debt free at age 27. Although it took me a long time to accept the fact that my childhood dreams and plans for my adulthood did not pan out, I could not be happier with where this journey has led me. And I have been very lucky to combine both of my passions: theater and education; by teaching at a community theater. 

Thanks for sticking around and reading about me! I will be linking up again tomorrow ON SCHEDULE this time about "My Teaching Quirks." What are your teaching quirks? Link up with I Heart Grade 3!

June 9, 2015

I'm Back In Time for a MEGA Birthday Giveaway!

Hey ya'll! I just got back from an AMAZING cruise! I would have posted about this yesterday, but wasn't yet in town. Here I am, just in time to help by good friend Celeste celebrate her birthday! And leave it to Celeste to organize a MEGA Birthday Giveaway and blog hop! Holy cow, there's a lot to win in this one!

Before I get to the giveaways, here's a quick Currently for June. Ya know, on June 9th... Don't judge me! I was on a cruise! :P

Thanks for the super fun monthly link-up, Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade!

And now for the birthday girl! Happy birthday Celeste! You HAVE to check out this blog hop! There are classroom ideas, summer recipes, freebies, and like I said before... a MEGA huge giveaway!

Let's get this party started!

Who uses GoNoodle in their classroom? If you don't, GO THERE NOW! It is a classroom favorite and it is SO wonderful! It's full of great (long and short) brain breaks and indoor recess videos to get the wiggles out of your students. I even use the indoor recess videos for compliment parties sometimes! They LOVE it!

Well, I have a great idea for your summer with the kiddos. I sent home a letter over the summer to the parents that will allow students to use GoNoodle at home! Boy, were they excited... And one student said, "I want to make my OWN GoNoodle." How cool is that?! Over this summer, I will be working at a community theater and thought, how neat would it be to create our own dance video or silly song to sing and dance to? This summer, you can do this at home! Kids can choose music and get super creative making a video for their own GoNoodle. Give it a try, and let me know how it is working for you! In case you need some inspiration, here's one of my class's favorite GoNoodles!

Skip to about a minute in. This is the version on YouTube and it's not as good as GoNoodle!

The summer can be worrisome with that summer slide! Don't let your kiddos lose what they learned this year! There are TONS of educational games out there that your kids won't even know that they are practicing valuable skills. I have a freebie in my store that is such a fun learning activity to pull out and practice basic subtraction. It combines a very lovable book character, too! Pete the Cat! We use buttons as our manipulatives to go with Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, but you can use almost anything! Click the images below to go to the download. There are ideas for use in the download as well to get you started!


And now for the BIG giveaways! You can enter here from my blog as well as any other blogger who linked up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you click the other links in the link-up to snag all of your other summer ideas, freebies, and recipes! Thanks for stopping by!