For some reason I'm on this resolution kick.

I know its July but still you gotta start somewhere I guess :)

Its partly because of the horrible year I've had (I'm a teacher my years go from August to May) and probably because this is my birthmonth.

As I prepare to turn another year older I'm also moving and starting a new job. I do nothing in small doses!! So I'm looking at all of this as a way to make changes and fresh starts.

Insert my resolutions:
1. Lose 40 lbs.
2. Manage money better and acquire savings.
3. Join a church.
4. Pray a personal life will come will ^^ all of the above :)

My biggest goal is the 40 lbs. I keep seeing all these weightloss blogs on Pinterest and that's where I've gotten my motivation....well kinda ;)

I gained most my lbs in college and through serious relationships. I always seem to date those really skinny teeny tiny guys who can eat ANYTHING and not gain an ounce. Well a girl like me just can't keep up with that.

So I've been wanting to shed the extra flub for quite a while (I've been out of college since Dec 08 :/)
But I am realistic in my pursuit. First of all I know it will take time and it has to be a lifestyle change.

So just to start and ease myself into the groove of things I'm eliminating fast food (I'm a junkie!!), working on my portion control (my eyes are WAY bigger than my stomach), and working out!!

So why blog about it? Most of the weightloss blogs I've seen just showcase the after and I want to show the whole SHUBANG!! It will also help keep me accountable (I hope).

So here goes nothing...

current weight 173 (ouch!!)
current pant size 12
goal weight 130
goal size 6
front view in the very unflattering white :P

side view July 2012

These are pictures from the past year...everytime I see them I cringe. I walk around thinking I'm normal and fine (not skinny but I think I look good ;) Then I see a pic and BLAH!!!'
Last day of school May 2012
Easter April 2012

September 2012 (^^at Stripes...classy I know)
I had lost some over the summer but with a BAD year I quickly gained it back!!

October 2011
I'm always told I carry my weight well....**cough** bullshit**cough** haha!!

I am relieved that people can't actually tell I'm that heavy but I'm 5'2" there's only so many places you can hide it!!

So onward in my journey to become a skinny bitch :)


I'm BaaaAAAaack!!

I will keep up with my blog...I will keep up with my blog...I WILL KEEP UP WITH MY BLOG!!!

I know I know yet again I've fallen off the bandwagon but alot of things have been going through my mind. I'm making the decision to start another (since I keep up with this one so well...HA!!) I just want to seperate my teaching world...which is a big one :) and my random world I call my life.

So if you want to follow my wonderful world of teaching check out my new blog

Miss Stallings' Safari

I'm getting it up and running and making it my goal to post at least once a week with pictures and info of all the exciting things happening in my classroom. I'm excited and I hope this will keep me motivated!!

Brain Break

Balancing the stress of two grades is ALOT of work!!!

I constantly feel guilty for the students because I push them so hard during the day. I've seen and heard the idea of brain breaks but I was always scared I'd have a hard time getting the students back on task. But with our busy busy BUSY schedule I think they will be perfect for my kiddos!!

I compiled a list of breaks that I felt would benefit my students:
1. 10 jumping jacks
2. Dance break (my kids LOVE dancing!!)
3. Brain Teaser
4. Trivia Question
5. Act like a ____________ (animal)
6. Act like a _____________ (profession, exp. farmer, teacher etc.)
7. Partner up and make a the letter ________
8. Lightning round Rock, Paper, Scissors
9. Mental Math
10. Lightning round Bear, Man, Gun
11. Random question

I tried to come up with a variation of movment and thinking activities.
My plan is to offer stickers for the best actors and also for the right answers of the all the questions.

Then I wrote each on a popsicle stick.
I attached these cute pom poms ^ I got from Target in the dollar bin. They don't have a real function just to know which side goes up and to make them cute :*)

Then to continue the the preparation I compiled the questions I need. I wrote them on index cards so they would be ready whenever the specific stick was pulled.
Then I organized them ^ so they would be easy to find. (Thinking ahead for subs and my sanity :P)

I can't wait to use them in class. I think the kids will really appreciate the breaks!!

Clean It Up

Oh my, its been a looooooong week. I'll try not to bore you with the very stressful details but I'll just say I've been a ball or stress in motion :/.

But I'm trying to stay afloat with the Clutter-Free Classroom Project to reorganize my classroom.

Clutter-Free Classroom

My challenge was start purging my classroom of clutter. (Eek!!!) While answering these questions:
What do you plan to do with your "stuff" you don't want?

Well I'm a keeper (no pun intended :) so I save everyTHING!! Just in case I need it someday. Lucky for me I'm a new teacher so I don't have alot of stuff.
So I made three piles
KEEP         GIVE         TRASH

What are your rules for purging?

1. Go through EVERYTHING!!
2. With each item way the importance and frequency of use.
3. If its important and used often you may keep it. If its not important and never used throw it out. If its important but you don't use it give it away.

I think these are the basic rules most people use. However, for me like I said there isn't much there. For the most part its sorting through everything and finding the right place for it. Also, its about clearing the things I don't use and never will. Its one of those learning things as a new teacher but I'm getting there!!!

What have you gathered to make your decluttering task easier?

Uh oh, now you've caught me!! I didn't gather much. I do use plain wash tubs in my classroom for various things. I have put them to use with my decluttering project.

This ^ doesn't give the best example but I've removed clutter and now I'm using the tubs to hold things through my hectic weeks that pile up. Only one has a definite purpose right now. Its full of to be piled papers (story of my life everything needs to be filed!!)

This picture ^ is just some proof of my progress.
Since I know most of what looms in front of me is filing and finding a proper system and place for everything. I cleared out my filing cabinets. These are the stacks of 4th grade materials and Pre-K/Kinder materials I want to keep. Yes I did go through them to sort out what was necessary to keep and trash. (Should have taken a picture of the trash can its full!! :o )

Next thing on the list of the project is start purging!! Think I've already got that started...YAY!! But I have alot more to go and if this week is as busy as last week I'm glad I got a head start!!

Better Late Than Never!!!

So I recently stumbled on The Clutter Free Classroom. I have decided to link up with the new challenge.

I pride myself on being an organization freak, however it seems like when the school week gets going I can never keep my classroom clutter free. So this challenge is perfect for me!!

I've decided to tackle my desk and cabinets, basically the space that is my domain in the room.
Here are some before pictures (which I feel slightly guilty because I tried to clean them up earlier today because we start back tomorrow...but they still need ALOT of work)

Also I'd like to focus on this cabinet. When I moved (in the middle of last semester :/) I just threw everything in it to get it out of my way!! I would LOVE for it to be a more managable and useful space.

Week 1 Challenge: Take Pictures ^

Week 1 Prompt:
What were your thoughts when you took your before pictures? Was your "current state of affairs" better or worse than you thought. What are you most excited about tackling?

My thoughts were EEK! I'm gonna show that off?? I need to focus more energy and time getting my space organized. My desk area is not as bad as it has been before but there is tons of room for improvement!! I'm excited about tackling my desk because I can't wait for a sound peace of mind when I sit at my desk so I can be ready for anything!!!
1/4/12-Question of the Day: Do you have an item in your classroom that you anticipate will be challenging to purge, but yet you realize it's just taking up valuable space?

Hmmm you know I'm not actually sure there is an item. My biggest "item" will be every little thing because I'm a hopeless pack rat! Ever so often I get get fed up and trash alot of things but I buy new things that I don't use but can't make myself part with!!

My weekly challenge: Develop a plan for decluttering your space and compose a list of "non-negotiable must purge" rules.

So I'm off to plan on gulp purging my space!!

Break Time

So I've been spening the week working my little tail off!! So today I've decided to take a little break. Of course being the ADD woman that I am I couldn't just sit around. Sooo my creative juices got flowing to create a glamour rag.
I got the idea from Giddy Up Glamour (my most FAVORITEST shopping boutique in the whole wide WORLD!!!!)
See here is an example of theirs:

For some reason all the sudden I was REALLY really really really wanting one. So when I went online to check them out I didn't find any I was insanely in love with.

I know if I wanted one SO much it doesn't make sense right?
Welcome to my world!!
I just couldn't pay that much money for something I wasn't SURE I wanted. So I dug through my scrap fabric and jewelry and decided to create my own!!

The finished ^ product!!

Me ^ styling my new rag!!

I think its totally cute!! It'll be perfect for the spring and summer when I'm out and about and my hairs lookin a mess fabulous (ha!). I don't think this will be the only one I create. I can't wait to get out on the river and rock it!!

New New NEW

In case you didn't notice I've finally updated my blog thanks to the girls at Shabby Blogs!! Isn't it SO cute? I'm in LOVE(:

My blog isn't the only new thing going on...

I've been working hard and heavy to ready myself for school next week. I've accomplised my own reader's notebook, 3 wks of lesson plans for 5th & 6th grade (not easy), and have began developing a game to help my students with English. Yes I'm certainly challenging myself. I was inspired by something I found on pinterest (of course!!). This blog

had the best Candy Land games geared toward learning. I was pysched to find them!! Then bummed when I found they were for the younger ages and wouldn't really work in my class. But I'm still a follower cause you never know where inspiration will strike you!! 

It struck me :)

It was simple transform Candy Land into what I needed. First I bought a game from my local Wal-Mart. And I must say whoa!!

Now yes I haven't played Candy Land in many many many many years but wow it's changed!!

Even the ^ cute little gingerbread men ^ are different :/
I know not a big deal and it probably makes the kids love it more but it sure threw me.

Ok focus
Then I started developing questions on just what I wanted for my game. I decided this game wouldn't take the place of a lesson but just enhance the learning of the students english skills. I wanted to hit parts of speech and conventions like capitalization, abbreviations, etc. To make it work with the game I decided the question would be on the blank side of the card and the answer on the side with the color squares.
See ^^
I have simple questions like above:
What is a noun?
and sentences where the students will name the underlined word:
Carl and Abbey walked down the filthy hallway.
and sentences that need correcting:
Susan is eagerly awaiting her trip to london england.

The students must answer correctly then they may move the spaces on the card. So simple but I know the kids will enjoy and they'll be learning and sharpening their english skills (sneaky sneaky;)

I must get back to my planning!!

Crappy to Cute

Ok this is a first for me....two posts in one day!!
Its amazing I know. But I've spent the whole day devoting myself to my classroom I just had to post more about it.

I recently decided to turn this
Into this
So cute right? I had a few of these little boxes in my classroom and scored even more in my aides classroom. They're such a handy thing for the kids notebooks but lets face it the before was UG-A-LEEE!!
So inspired by pinterest I decided to Mod Podge my favorite wrapping paper on the box to make it a cute addition to my classroom.

Here is my tutorial:

 My super cute paper ^ from Target

Here are my supplies: Mod Podge (this was my first time using it...LOVE it)
sponge brush
wrapping paper
paper plate

My process:

I started by cutting the paper to fit the box. Then taping ^ it to the back.

Then I cut ^ the top excess off. I left a little on the top and bottom so I could wrap it in hopes this would add to the longevity!!

Then comes my new love ^ MOD PODGE(:
*sidenote the first box I did I used a small sponge brush because I just wasn't sure about the podge ;) but this time I was a believer so I poured it on a plate and used a big ole brush!!

Next I start coating the box ^ and wrapping the paper around one face at a time.

More wrapping ^ be sure to smooth the best you can but don't freak yourself out by bubbles they will be covered later

After I wrapped the box I focus on the bottom and top ^ wrapping the paper over and securing it with more podge(:

When all is wrapped I start schlopping it on the outside ^ of course ocd/anal me doesn't exactly schlop but I do like to get it done quickly

I let the first coat dry then apply 3 more coats. I know sounds crazy but I'm hoping they will last in a classroom full of kids :o so I need want all the strength I can get.


My finished project. SOO CUTE I'm so proud and can't wait to make more. I even bought more wrapping paper from the Target dollar bin (my favorite spot:) to add some color and fun!!

It was super easy and quick and who doesn't love the handmade things around?!?!

Planning, Planning, Planning

As everyone hurries back to work and school I get to enjoy one more glorious day of rest and relaxation....HA! Although, I'm very glad for a little more time off I'm spending my week making lesson plans, devising new strategies and grading. That's right ladies and gents our grades are due the Friday we get back to school :/

I am very excited however, to start a new lesson with my 6th graders. I hope to do a reading unit on The Egypt Game.
A truly amazing book that I read when I was in the 6th grade!! (My wonderful sister sparked the idea, she did the same in 6th grade too)

 I will be taking this venture on myself (thats right no cirriculum...eek!!) so anyone with advice BRING IT ON!!!

I recenlty won Becky from

Lesson Plans and Lattes
Reader's Response Notebook & Good Readers Cards. I've been super excited to use them and this unit seemed like the perfect place. However as I started going through the notebook I have decided it doesn't have exactly all info I want to teach my students.
In a nutshell my 6th graders (as a whole class) failed their TAKS last year. YIKES I know!! And the more I have them in class it is becoming ever apparent why, they have serious gaps in their learning. So my goal with this unit is to fill in the gaps and accelerate their learning. I know it may be wishful thinking!! But I'm determined!! So sparked by Miss Becky's notebook I have taken on the undertaking of making my own Reader's Notebook!! So far so good and I will post soon with my finished product. 
Eeeeee I can't tell you how excited I am!! But I better get back too it :D
Hope your first day back to the real world was AWESOME!!




Now normally I don't do resolutions...ok that's a lie. I do try to make goals for myself but I very rarely take them seriously. This year I've been thinking about what I was going to do for awhile. I know I'm slightly late in putting them down in words but I have honestly been thinking about them for weeks. So instead of resolutions on how I'm going to make 2012 the best possible I decided to reflect on the past year. I wanted to find the good and the bad then make goals to change these things. I don't want to repeat the same year I want to make each upcoming year better and better!! Soooo here they are:
That ^^ is my handwritten copy (I love different colors to organize myself) so I can always have it with me to stay accountable.

My Job: 
Reflection-My frustration with 2 grades, I have NO TIME and it feels impossible to get everything accomplished.
Letting laziness creep in and not devoting the little time there is to things I should.
My unchanging LOVE for my kiddos and my teaching them.
All the drama of everyone else!!!
Spend more time planning and preparing.
Letting people help me when I can.
Don't allow what people say affect my work!

My Love Life:
Reflection-Break up and finding the wrong guy over and over!!
Looking and searching in the WRONG places.
Falling back into the same patterns with guys.
Be happy being alone.
Devote myself to things that make me happy and be myself.
Remember God is preparing him and he will come when we are both ready!!
My Health:
Reflection-Alot of unhealthy eating.
Weight gain and weight loss and not staying with one way for long.
No exercise.

Resolution-GET MY FIT ON
Eat better, work out
Don't focus everything on just losing weight!!
Find a work out routine that won't kill me but don't be LAZY!!

My Money:
Reflection-Spending just to spend
No saving
Paid bills off
Having nothing paycheck from paycheck

Resolution-WATCH IT
Pay attention to what I spend and why
If I don't need it I don't get it
Focus on saving and getting credit up
Plan so that my money will last ALL month!!

My Happy:
Reflection-Focused on the negatives
Was NOT being myself
Caught up in the drama 
Focused on the wrong things i.e. boys, others opinions

Resolution-BE HAPPY
Remember despite everything I'm truly blessed!!
Don't let others opinions get to me
Focus myself on being happy and doing what makes ME happy
Surround myself with those who care and have my happiness in mind

My Music:
Reflection-Came a looooong way with the guitar
Not enough practice time
No songs at all
Resolution-PLAY ON
Practice more-EVERYDAY!!
Try to find inspirations to write more
Play more publicly, don't be afraid to put myself out there!!

Whew!! :) I was not one of those people saying how horrible 2011 was. It wasn't horrible to me but it was not all bad. The biggest thing I learned was to be myself and strive to be a better me. With that I think I go far.

So with that Happy 2012 I hope it is the best year yet!!