Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Do You Graze??

When you're teaching, do you ever have those moments when you just need SOMETHING to eat?? How often do you reach for a piece of chocolate or a small handful of chips?

Well, if you're anything like me.. it's often.

Cue Graze.
Graze is a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly subscription box that you receive in your mailbox. It's a product that allows healthy food to be delivered straight to your door - or your school!

How does it work? Well, the process is ULTRA simple.

First, you sign up at If you use the code "SARAU5LWT," you'll get your first box and your fifth box for FREE! Otherwise, it costs $6.00 flat for 4 snacks - which comes to $1.50 a snack! You choose the type of box you'd like - I chose the nibble box. But, there's also a calorie box.

Then, you choose your foods. There are over 90 foods to try. Although you don't necessarily get to "choose" your foods, you go through and rank them - trash, try, like, love. Trash means you NEVER want to receive it. Try means you want to try it at least once. Like means you want it sent to you occasionally. Love means you want it regularly.

Y'all, there are things ranging from sweet to savory to salty. Dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, and even CHOCOLATE. Oh yeah!

Then once you've done that process, you wait! You'll get your first box roughly a week after you sign up.

I actually just received my first box and I am in LOVE!! It comes in a quaint, little box with four compartments. Each compartment holds one of the nibblers, which are all removable! You don't have to take the box with you wherever you go… just the little snack pouch. It's awesome.
I decided that I'm going to keep the boxes even after I finish the snacks and I'm sure I can do something with them that become teaching related!

Below are what I received in my first box:
Herby Bread Basket: basil baguettes, garlic crostini, and oregano rice crackers
 Black Pepper Pistachios: pistachios with black pepper
 Triple Berry Smoothie: mini strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and bananas
Walnut & Vanilla Truffle: walnuts, vanilla pumpkin seeds, fudge, and raisins

While I've only tried the pistachios so far… wanted to start off with a good experience since I know that I LOVE pistachios… I'm excited to try the other 3! And also excited to see what comes in my next box in another week.

I do know that Graze will certainly help me when I want to reach for those potato chips or a cookie this summer… instead, I'll grab for a healthy snack and be happy about it!

What do YOU think about the idea of a grazing box?? Let me know what your favorite snack to graze on in the comments!

*Graze did NOT give me any sort of promotional product to write this review. I wrote it simply out of the fact that I LOVE the idea of this product, especially for those who seem to find themselves snacking throughout the day!*

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cheap & Easy End of Year Student Gifts

Technically, our last day of school was Friday… but that was a 2 hour day and I had 9 of my 22 show up, so I'm counting Thursday as the last day.

Knowing that our last day was approaching, I had to come up with some ideas for end of year gifts for my kiddos.
This class was my first class and I truly came to know them as "my kiddos." SO, I had to make it a special end of year celebration/good-bye!

I gave them three different gifts. One of them was completely free, except for the paper and ink, but the other two were VERY cheap & easy to assemble.

The first one I gave them was a Wordle, which is a word cloud. You can get to wordle by going to What I love about Wordle is that it's completely customizable - you can choose your fonts, sizes, the way the words are laid out (horizontally or vertically), AND the colors. It's so much fun!

The reason I ended up doing this was because we had done one as a class, too. They each wrote down adjectives about themselves during our "all about me" unit and they typed them up on the computer & printed them out. So, they were familiar with this project and it made it THAT much more special.

Here's an example of one of the Wordles for my kiddos:
I printed the wordles on white paper. Then, I put them on black paper (did NOT glue or anything) and laminated them with my laminator. I initially bought frames and thought they'd fit perfectly but it didn't turn out to work SO I resorted to laminating. I love the way they turned out SO much better. Then, I signed the back saying it was from me - that way, if they pull it out later in life, they'll remember who it's from :)

Then, I purchased this pack from Teaching With a Mountain View's TPT Store.
By FAR one of my FAVORITE purchases ever. The morning of the last day of school, I chose an award for each of my kiddos. The process was difficult since many fit quite a few of the awards, but then I got down to work and it was easy peasy. I'll be honest - they LOVED these babies. They were giggling and clapping for each other and were so excited when their name was called for their awards.

Here's a peak at the awards printed out:

Finally, I was perusing Pinterest (of course) and found this pin from The Crafted Sparrow. It was a link to printable tags that I could put on my summer gifts that were cheap, but fun!

It was a HUGE hit with my kiddos because I chose the blue raspberry kool-aid and some cool crazy straws. They loved it!

Here's a picture of me working on them:
All I used were cellophane bags, the tags printed on white card stock, kool-aid packs, crazy straws, and a stapler. Was very easy to assemble!

Mine had SUCH a blast getting their presents for the end of the year celebration and I hope they truly enjoy them throughout the summer & for years to come!

What do you do for the end of the year for your kiddos? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

10 Things I Want to Do This Summer

Linking up with Mrs. Deanna Jump for 10 Things I Want to Do This Summer!

Summertime is a time for teachers to relax and enjoy. And of course, still work, too. But, I plan on doing exactly that - relaxing and enjoying the summer months! Below is a list of 10 things I would LOVE to do this summer.

1. I want to go to the pool EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Since we're part of the military, I get to go on base now and use the base pool (which is hardly ever crowded..) and just tan my little heart away!

2. Not only just the pool, I'd love to go to the beach! We live 45 minutes from 1 beach and 1 hour & 30 minutes from another! Why not utilize it if we're so close?!
3. We're moving - so redecorating! I can't wait to make the new house look how we want with our own decorations. And, the new house is colorful (paint wise), so it makes it that much better!

4. Read. Read. And read. I have sooo many books in my bedroom that need to be read, when's a better time than summertime to read? Some are PD books, but quite a few are "for fun" books, too!
5. Cookout. We've got a fantastic grill and the house were moving into, it's got a beautiful deck. Take advantage of it while we can.

6. Meet up with Mrs. Emily who blogs at Curious Firsties! We've already got a plan, just need to pick a time and place to meet and we're golden :)
Curious Firsties
7. Go to Arizona. Hubby & I are going a few days early to spend some time together in Sedona (pictures from TripAdvisor of our place we're staying below) and then meeting my momma & sister in Phoenix to spend time with my Grandma! Cannot WAIT for this beautiful vacation.
8. Blog & create. Throughout the school year, I lacked BIG time on blogging and on creating for TPT. I love to do both, so the fact that I didn't do either is not a good feeling! So, I plan to hop back on that train and get to work ASAP.

9. CRAFT. I love to craft and have soooo many ideas of what to craft, just never sit down and do it. At the new house, I have a room solely dedicated to my craft stuff, which means I have my own space to do as I please. I am SO excited!! A lot of the projects are on my Pinterest board, but below are a few ideas that I'd like to do - click the pictures which link directly to the bloggers' posts about them :)

10. Spend time with my husband and our fur babies - this is my number one thing I want to do. These last 6 months, I didn't get to see hubby much because he worked nights and I worked days. But, with me being off during the days, we'll get to see each other often. And, we'll have weekends to do with as we please. YAY!
That's it! That's my 10 things I WANT to do this summer. Head on over and link up with Mrs. Deanna at her blog for this fantastic linky party!

See y'all soon!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

OH, Pick Me! A Bright Idea

Time for the next installment of the Bright Ideas Linky party!

I've gotten together with 130 of my blogging buddies to bring you another GREAT and BRIGHT idea for your classroom to make things just a little easier!

In our classroom, I like to do a lot of things randomly - partners when working, groups when working, choosing a helper to help me with something, choosing someone to read, and other times that may require choosing someone in the classroom. 
Instead of looking around to see who has their hands raised or NOT raised (because they either A) don't want to answer or B) aren't paying attention or C) don't know the answer), I created the "Pick Me Jar" for our classroom.
And I have got to be honest, it's been a HIT since Day 1!

Whenever we need to do something in the classroom, I'll ask for volunteers or whatever. I'll be honest... I don't know why I ever ask for volunteers because the kiddos always say, "HEY! WIll you use the Pick Me Jar instead?" and well, I usually do.

They LOVE it.

You know what they love even more??

When THEY get to use the pick me jar.

They want the opportunity to be able to choose someone out of randomness and what a better way than to use the Pick Me Jar?

The only things you need to make your own Pick Me Jar are the following:
Glass Jar
Popsicle sticks
Black sharpie

If you own a Cricut or a Silhouette machine, you can cut out the words, "Pick Me Jar" from black vinyl. Otherwise, I would use some sort of permanent marker (paint pen, perhaps) on the outside of the glass jar!

My Pick Me Jar is VERY similar to my Party Puff Jar that I created as a whole class reward system. We get a "party puff" if they receive a compliment. Once the whole jar is full, then we get a party!
If you enjoyed this *BRIGHT* idea, consider following me on Pinterest where I pin ideas (and recipes… and decor… and a lot of other stuff) VERY often!

How do YOU randomly choose students so that everyone has an equal chance to chime in? Let me know in the comments below!

For those other 120+ Bright Ideas, check out the link-up below and browse through the different topics! Each post has a grade level AND topic listed so that you can easily maneuver the linky.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Celebratory Giveaway - Day 6!

This past week has been a total BLAST. I am so happy I got to celebrate it with you all!

Today's the day I promised would come… the big day.

This is the giveaway that I personally wish I could win.

With the Back to School cloud coming over us all slowly… oh yeah… it's that time already… I figured what's a better way to celebrate than with two gift cards to some places teachers LOVE to shop at?!

First up, you've got a $25.00 gift card to TARGET.
Yep, I said it, $25.00 to Target. Who DOESN'T like Target?? I get groceries… and dollar spot stuff.. and planners.. and clothes… and junk.. I mean, cool stuff.. ALL. THE. TIME.

And then, you've got a $50.00 gift card to TEACHERSPAYTEACHERS.
Yuuuup, $50.00 to TeachersPayTeachers. I have about 28348234 things on my wish list currently, so that $50.00 would come in handy REAL good if I were to win my own giveaway… but I can't. SO, hopefully one of you will win and will get to go on a shopping spree before our BTS-craziness that is known as prepping sets in come August.

Now, I told ya it was big… did I not? :)

How many of you would LOVE to win?

Welp, there's THREE separate giveaways so you have to enter all 3 - but they're easy peasy to enter. Only a few entries… so, good luck!

Good luck!!!
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