Friday, June 9, 2017

Teacher Planner

I know, I know, it's June and officially summer time for most of us teachers! No one is trying to think about school for the next 2 months. BUT, if you're like me, then you want to spend a little time planning and organizing for next year while you don't have to worry about meetings, parents and assessing. That's why I was so excited when I got my reminder email yesterday from Malia at Playdough to Plato. She JUST uploaded the new 20117 - 2018 teacher planner! And if that wasn't exciting enough ... it's free! 

I used her lesson plan book template last year and loved it! It's brightly colored (which anyone who knows me will know suits me to a t!), editable and has just about every checklist you could think of. Did I also mention that it's free??

Now I will admit, it took some getting used to to be able to break away from the computer for everything. On days when I just didn't have time to turn the computer on or didn't have an iPad charged to use while walking around, this planner was a life saver! With 11 classes of 32-42 and sometimes 50, I need to be able to jot down which groups students were in, who was working on what and keep track of a lot of different activities and areas. Perfect. Tool.

Click the picture below to head on over to Playdough to Plato and get your free teacher planner for 2017 - 2018! 

Happy Planning!

Free STEM Lesson Plans!

AFTERNOON UPDATE:  I did find, after all, that as an educator, you are able to set up a free Microsoft Educators account with your school email. This would have been good to know a year and a half ago so I could've saved some money each month! Lesson learned ... research more than you think you are.
Image result for microsoft educators
Microsoft Office for Educators
This morning, as I was exploring options to update my Microsoft Office subscription, I came across their education page. I've visited it a couple times in the past, but since our district did have the option of downloading Office to personal computers, I didn't really frequent it too much.

Now, I know that I'm probably telling some people things they already know, but I was excited to come across Microsoft's STEM library! They have activities with varying time frames that can be used in the classroom to promote STEM activities. These lessons can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 weeks! There are some costs involved, so if you or your district is unable to get things going for an entire classroom, maybe it would be possible to have smaller groups work together. Cost wise, their activities range from $2.00 - $5.00 per student for each activity. I've had a classroom of 14 and a classroom of 42, so I know that collaborative groups can vary. Having 3-7 groups puts material pricing anywhere from $6.00 - $35.00 for a lesson, which is much more feasible than $28.00 - $70.00 or more for individual projects.

Microsoft maps our everything that you need on their website and in One Drive. They have downloadable PDFs with instructions, the customized excel workbooks (also downloadable) for coding purposes, spreadsheets with materials needed as well as links to order materials if you are unable to get them close by and free downloads for Excel add-ins so students are able to complete STEM assignments.

With more and more schools pushing for STEM integration and getting students involved in STEM career paths, I think this would be a great way to incorporate it into classrooms, after school programs or GT and enrichment programs. Click the pictures below to explore Microsoft's STEM lesson plans more in depth.

Happy lesson planning!

Monday, March 13, 2017

This week at Ulta!

Its a HOT BUY thing | Grab these. Tell your friends. Now through March 18.

Ok, so my "weekly" Ulta post didn't quite work out like I wanted it to. Hey, it's hard to get things done when you don't have internet at home! Well, I'm back this week with a new set of Ulta goodies! Besides, they said tell my friends ...

URBAN DECAY | Smoked Palette 58 Percent Off, NOW $20, Makeup Setting Sprays and Complexion Prep Sprays 40 Percent Off, NOW $10-19

I haven't bought Urban Decay eye shadow since high school because it's so expensive and as a makeup addict I would be in way more debt than I already am. With that being said, right now the Smoked Palette is 58% off right now!!! 10 shades, liner AND primer potion in a case!!! Get it. Get it now!

TARTE | Double Duty Beauty Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation 30 Percent Off, NOW $27

ANASTASIA | Beauty Express NOW $27, Bold Brow Kit NOW $25

BAREMINERALS | Perfecting Face Brush 50 Percent Off, NOW $14

SMASHBOX | Jumbo Photo Finish Primer NOW $24.50, online only

This is another makeup goodie I haven't gotten in a while. Again, not because it's horrible, but because I would like to eat throughout the month. I don't like buying online, but this is completely worth it! Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer is one of my favs! The fact that it's 50% off probably means it won't last get. Go grab it fast!

L'OREAL | All Lip 40 Percent Off

REVLON  | Entire Brand 40 Percent Off

EXUVIANCE | CoverBlend Skin Caring Foundation SPF 20 25 Percent Off, NOW $28.50

STRIVECTIN | Best Sellers Starter Trio 40 Percent Off, NOW $21

You've got until this Saturday, March 18th to grab all these lovely makeup goodies from 25% - 58% off! Don't forget to use your $3.50 off of $15 coupon in the store and online! Click here to get yours!

Happy shopping!

Spinach Pesto

I cannot WAIT for it to warm back up so I can have my fresh, fragrant basil in my kitchen. It's been way too long without homemade margherita pizza and homemade pesto! To get me through my basil dry spell I tried using other green herbs and veggies. The first trial pesto recipe I tried was using parsley.

Grilled chicken and penne with parsley pesto

Parsley is ALWAYS at the grocery store
- A bunch was rather inexpensive
- It's so pretty!

- I had to add quite a bit of seasoning to get some kind of flavor
- Less leaves, more stems

It wasn't horrible, but lacked any real flavor. I even tried to spruce it up with some Italian seasoning and dried basil I keep on my seasoning wall. {Yes, I have a seasoning wall. No, it is not NEAR as pretty as I want it to be. Ah, the joys of renting.}

Trial recipe #2: spinach pesto. I tweaked this recipe a little from my parsley recipe, and it wasn't half bad. Let me apologize before hand for the pictures. This is what happens when you have VERY limited counter space in the kitchen. I do what I can.

Here's what you'll need:

baby spinach, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Y'all, I'm almost out of my olive oil I bought in Italy last summer. I may cry.

I started off by toasting my pine nuts in the oven. {With my lack of kitchen space, I always find it easier to line my bake-ware with foil for easier clean up.} Toast the pine nuts for about 6 or 7 minutes on 375℉. I can't even tell you how good the house smelled while these were toasting in the oven. I went 7 minutes ... but probably could have taken them out a minute before I did.

While the pine nuts were toasting, I got my spinach washed and tried to free up some more space on the counter top. When they were ready, I added the pine nuts and 3 cups of spinach into my Ninja Chopper. 

It doesn't take long for this bad girl {my appliances are all girls because they work so hard 😉} to get the pine nuts and spinach blended together. Once those two are mixed pretty well, I add my garlic, Parmesan and lemon juice. I like to wait and add my salt and pepper at the very end. Sometimes, I don't even need them.

Gradually add olive oil in between pulses to the spinach mixture. Be sure to add it slowly, you may not need the whole amount. A couple more spins in the Ninja and presto! There's my pesto! 

I won't lie, it wasn't as good as the basil pesto I'm used to making, but it wasn't bad. I finished it off 3 1/2 meals! I like to pair my peso with chicken and shrimp, but all I have right now is chicken. Lemme tell ya, it was delicious! So delicious, in fact, that I forgot to take a picture of my dinner before I started chowin' down. My roasted veggies {I'll make a post on them soon, but they're suuuuuper easy} were the perfect side item for my chicken covered pesto.

Click the button below to download and print this recipe! {The downloaded file contains the full page and 4x6 color and B&W recipe files}

Looking for more recipes? Check out some of my other posts of snacks, appetizers and meals!

Apple Pie Parfait

I can't even remember what I was looking up when I came across this little gem from Claire at A little Clairefication. It looked so. GOOD! So I thought I'd give it a whirl. And I'm glad I did. This was definitely an easy dessert that was satisfying. As someone who loves apple pie, this is the prefect dessert year-round.

Right before I layered it all together, I decided to make a last minute change, so one of the ingredients will differ. Here's what you'll need:

baking apples (I used Pink Ladies), butter, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel yogurt, graham crackers or honey almond granola, an whipped cream (if you want)

Doesn't my mother's counter top look so much prettier than mine?!? The answer is yes. Yes it does.

I started off by peeling and cutting the Pink Ladies into small chunks. I used 2 apples for this recipe so we could have some left over for later.

While I was cutting the apples, I placed 6 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan to melt. Once melted, I added the apples, cinnamon, brown sugar and just a dash of nutmeg. 

While the apples are cooking, it's important to make sure to keep stirring the apples in the pan so they don't stick or become sticky in the butter and sugar.

They looked so good when they were ready to be taken off of the heat! I may have stolen a few pieces from the pan while they were cooling off. 😄

While the apples were cooling on an off burner, I started layering the glasses we chose for dessert, which were martini glasses! First, I added a teaspoon of caramel yogurt in the bottom of the glass followed by 2 teaspoons of granola, then 2 teaspoons of apples. I was able to fit 2 layers in the glass, then topped it off with a dollop (2 teaspoons in my case) of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

This may be one of my new favorite desserts to eat! And can you imagine what cute little gifts they would make in canning jars!? When I get a decent sized kitchen, we're gonna be in trouble, people!

Click the buttons below to download and print this recipe! {The downloaded file contains the full page and 4x6 color and B&W recipe files}

Looking for more recipes? Check out some of my other posts of snacks, appetizers and meals!