Friday, June 29, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things This Summer...

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For all teachers out there relaxing and enjoying their summer break, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite things that I am loving this summer...

1.  L'Oreal Infallible 18-Hour Never-Fail Makeup   I bought both products shown below and I am not kidding- for the first time ever, my makeup did not wear off!  I was sweaty at an interview (TMI?) on a hot summer's day and when I came home, my makeup was perfect!  In fact, I still looked pretty darn good when I woke up the next morning!  Try it, you'll see.

2.  Nexxus Salon-Quality Shampoo (Split-End Repair)   I got a free sample of this in the mail and thought I'd try it out. All I can say is, "WOW!"  My hair looked GORGEOUS!  I have purchased expensive shampoos/conditioners in the past (actually, a recent one cost $60 and made my hair look like a damp dog) but none were really as good as this.  My highlights were slightly grown out and after using this, people were asking if I just got my hair done.  It's a neat find.

3.  Wendy's Berry Almond Chicken Salad  This is SUPER-YUMMY and comes with a FAT-FREE berry vinaigrette that is to-die-for.  You must understand, I hate FAT-FREE dressing but this I ran out and bought after eating it. This salad is so sweet, salty, and fresh and it was so refreshing paired with their Wild Berry Tea.  Perfect for a hot summer day!

4.  Coach Pink Leather Wristlet  Okay, so this was my one summer splurge.  You don't have to spend as much on a wristlet if you don't want to, it's just the idea that is so great.  There are cute ones at more affordable prices everywhere!  This one is my fave because it is just so PINK and I LOVE PINK!  I carry this with me all the time when I am running to the mall, to get an ice cream, or to my son's swim practice.  It is much lighter than a purse and fits just what I need!  You deserve something great for yourself, so pick one up if it won't break the budget!

5.  Scotch Thermal Laminator  I know, not nearly as fab as number 4, but hey, I am a teacher, right? ;-) I have spent most of my summer laminating my teaching resources and preparing for the school year ahead.  This little baby does a great job!  When I go back to school, I won't have to stand in the long line waiting to use the laminator.  Nope, my stuff will be ready!  I get to smile and wave at my teacher-friends as they wait and move on to the next task.  Maybe, if they're really nice, I'll bring mine in and let them use it.  Maybe... Anyway, you absolutely need to get your hands on one of these.  They are awesome and I simply buy the Scotch Thermal Laminating Pouches in a 50-pack for around twelve bucks.  Super way to get organized before the school year begins!
Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack, Includes 20 Laminating Sheets, 9 Inches x 11.4 Inches & FREE MINI TOOL BOX (fs)
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite things this summer!  Leave a comment and let me know if you own/have tried one of these things and what your thoughts are.  If you decide to try any of these since reading this, leave us a post and share your thoughts as well.  All of the items above (except for the salad) can be purchased with a click on the pic.  Well, I'm off to a family camping trip, so I'm sure I'll have a story to tell about that when I get back!  Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Graphics

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Have you been looking for cute graphics that don't cost too much?  Do you want graphics with terms of use that allow you to use them commercially with no credit needed?  If so, you'll love my new store, LBDesigns.  It is just getting under way so right now there are 12 graphic sets (2 of which are free).  Below, you can find a link to my store and links to the two freebies.  All you have to do is click on the pics!  If you try them out and like them, be sure to "Follow" my store so you can get all updates and new freebies!  Also, leave feedback so I know what you like best and what you need!  This will help me as I create new designs.  Here are the links for you...




Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog Swop & Hop!

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Blog Swap & Hop

Next Saturday, some friends and I are participating in a Blog Swap & Hop. 
We're all switching blogs for the day! There'll be a guest here while I'm posting somewhere else. You'll be able to hop through to check them all out. I'm sure there'll be some great freebies for you to grab as well. Check out the great bloggers who are participating:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Back to School Fun!

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I was surfing the net as I ALWAYS do (yes, I sleep with my laptop under my pillow) when I came across this ADORABLE CRAFT!  All you need are some bottle caps, glitter glue, and crafty beads.  I thought about giving one to each student during the first week of school.  They can use it to express who they are or what they like.  Then, I would attach a magnet to the back and they can put it on the metal part of their desks or I can use them as magnets all year.  I just KNOW the students would LOVE seeing me use their designs to hang stuff up.  They would also make a great rainy day activity or Mother's Day gift.  You could put small letters or words on them yourself and have a quick and easy word work center.  How about using numbers and symbols to have students do math problems? The possiblities are endless!  I hope you try this craft and send me pics of what your students did so I can post them here at a later time.  To get you started, I made a FREE TEMPLATE with some designs for you at the end of this post! Just click on the link that says, "Bottlecap Designs" to download. Get crafting with these or your own designs! Send pics of the finished project to - subject- Bottle Cap Craft.  I am so excited to see how these turn out!  I, of course, will post my students' creations but you'll have to wait until we go back to school at the end of August!  Until then, have fun with creativity and learning! xxHugsxx, Leanne

Bottlecap Designs

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Classroom Theme Decor

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Okay, so we all know the hottest thing on TeachersPayTeachers right now is classroom decor.  There are also many bloggers sharing their ideas for decorating your classroom at back-to-school time.  If you are out of ideas and want to get moving on a theme, check out my good friend, Lorraine Vaquez'z Classroom Theme Linky Party here...

For me, well, I am kind of like my students when it comes to decorating.  I want to use BRIGHT, VIBRANT colors that POP  and really get everyone's attention.  I looked around for a classroom theme set that fit what I wanted and I wasn't able to find one that was just right.  So, I went ahead and made my own.  I know I am biased but I think it is SOOOO DARN CUTE!!!  If you want to take a look or pick one up yourself, you'll find it by clicking the preview pic below.  You get 161 pages of COLORFUL CLASSROOM DECOR for just $8.99.  If you do happen to pick one up, be sure to leave feedback or comment here to let me know what you think.  Check it out here...

Happy decorating!  I'd love to hear about more themes you have used or would like to use in your classroom!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Creative Classroom Summer GIVEAWAY!!!

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You know how I feel about giveaways... I LOVE having them and I LOVE winning them!  I am sure you do, too!  This time, I am bringing you a SUMMER GIVEAWAY that you will just adore!  For this giveaway, there will be 5 WINNERS!!!  Each winner will have the choice of the 5 prizes based on the order they contact me.  To enter, use the Rafflecopter entry form below and follow the three simple steps.  All you'll have to do is sit back in your beach chair and wait!  The giveaway will run for 1 week and winners will be announced soon after. 

You could win...
A $10 gift card to Teachers Notebook
1 Shopping Spree to My Teachers Pay Teachers Store
A super cute beach bag
1 Shopping Spree to LBDesigns
2 pairs of funky fun flip flops in your size
Best of luck for lots of fun prizes!!!! 

What’s a Snowball to You?

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So, the other day, I was having a conversation with a bloggy friend from another state and I said, “I am off to get a snowball!”  She was like, “Um, it’s the middle of summer!  What do you mean?”  She really had no idea what a “snowball” was in terms of what I had known for the last 32 years of my life!  I explained that in Maryland, it is shaved ice covered in flavored syrup topped with your choice of marshmallow, ice cream, or peanut butter.  It is served in a styrofoam coffee cup!  There are some variations on the snowball that others know of and I will post them below for you to identify with! LOL!  To a Marylander, a snowball in summer is as ordinary as a trip to the pool on a hot day!  I understand some of you have similar treats such as a sno-cone or an icee but I really have no idea who else in the world shares the summer snowball!  So, please help me out here on my very important quest…do you have snowballs like mine or something else?  What’s a snowball to you?

Maryland’s typical summer snowball (no toppings)

My personal fave… chocolate with marshmallow

Homemade dessert snowball…my grandmother loved these…me?  not so much!

Tastykake’s version!

Mother Nature’s version!

Which one is YOUR version? Hahahahahahahaha!!!!

Hot Rocks!

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So, I was looking for a simple and fun craft activity for my five year old to do when I came across Hot Rocks on Pinterest! They are wicked adorable and sooo easy to do! Check out the cool looks you can get...

I am going to have him actually wear a potholder on his hand when he applies the crayons as the rocks will be pretty hot.  We don't need anymore trips to the E.R. this year, right? ;0)  This is such a funky, fun little craft and it reminds me of those cute little rock paintings we used to do when we were kids.  Anyway, let your creativity get rockin' and let me know if you try this, too!  Smiles, Leanne

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I’m Curious…

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Hey everyone!  I’m curious about what you think of the new poster I made to welcome students back in the fall.  One commenter recently asked for some help with making her students feel comfortable in the beginning of the school year.  I figured so many students love Curious George that I would laminate this poster and place it up as a sharing guide for the class.  I will most likely have students complete an “All About Me” sheet and then bring it to the carpet to share.  We will talk about Curious George and how he wants to get to know them.  I will bring my stuffed George along! :0)  For those who want to share aloud, they can use a plastic microphone I picked up for $1.00 from Target.  For those that don’t want to share, I will tell the class that person’s information will be hanging in the hallway for all to see.  So, I’m curious…what do you think?

New Bag...

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Check out this cute bag I just bought for the summer!  I LOVEEEE IT!  I have so many cute little outfits this will go with.  Thank you Vera Bradley for your fabulous SALE!!!  Right now, they are having a 25% off summer sale.  Click on the beautiful purse above to get your own!  They have other patterns, too, if you prefer something else.  Happy Shopping!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Make the Old Into the New!

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Okay, so I am sure you are like me and have spent the end of the year clearing out your old supplies.  I have thrown bags full of old materials out and passed some along to new teachers.  One supply I had an abundance of was old bulletin board borders!  I must have at least 300 patterns in all!!!  Some pieces were long, some were short, and some packs were unopened!  As I thought about tossing half of the borders out, I thought about the different ways I had used them this year.  The following is a list of ways I used old borders that you may find handy... (if you have some ways of your own you've used them, I would love to know!)

1.  Borders around posters.  Many times, posters looked empty or bland simply hanging on the wall.  To create a more vibrant effect, I used borders around the edges to frame them!

2.  Student head bands.  I can't count the number of times my students asked to make these!  If I was running short on craft supplies, I simply pulled out my old borders and let the students go to town selecting the ones they liked.  Then, I would call them over one by one and staple them to fit their heads.  Some even asked for tails to hang off the back!  Time and time again, these have satisfied my little friends!

3.  Informal units of measurement.  When our math journals stated that we had to use "informal units of measure" to measure the length of the classroom, we used yarn and blocks placed end to end.  Then, I had another idea...use my borders!  Students had a blast measuring everything in the room because they had chosen their own borders to measure with.

4.  Cute index cards.  Sometimes, an activity called for students to use index cards.  When I had run out of my fluorescent ones, I had only white ones left.  Ewwww.  So, I used a plain card to measure and cut new cards out of----you guessed it----colorful borders!  They wrote on the plain side and enjoyed looking at the colorful side.

5.  Pattern cards at math centers.  Many bulletin board borders have unique patterns on them that students can observe.  At math time, I had a plastic bin filled with laminated border pieces.  I cut and glued patterns of my own together from the old scraps, laminated them, and placed them in a bucket for students to match.  To enrich students who found the matching too easy, they would have to identify the pattern such as AB, ABBA, etc.  This was quick and lots of fun!

Do you have any ways you have used or would like to use your old bulletin board border scraps?  Share so we can all find new ways to use them!