Five on Friday

Good morning and Happy Friday!

This week has been great- nice weather for taking walks outside and kids are loving our new novel unit. However, it’s also felt beyond busy. Excuse the short post today; I’m barely keeping my head above water with end of the year stuff. I forget how busy it gets each year!

one. My coworker Erin has her last day at school today before she is out for maternity leave, and then she moves to Alaska a few months after that. We threw her a little celebration during team on Thursday with some gifts and treats. I’m in total denial that she’s really leaving, as she has been my sounding board for the past three years. We plan on having some pool days this summer to catch up before she really moves. 😦

two. On Tuesday of this week, our school’s ELA and Social Studies teachers got subs for half a day so we could grade our students’ Social Studies Writing Assessments for the state. We divided into teaching groups of 6th grade and 8th grade to assess the writing, and even though it was work, it felt like a nice refresher during the week to unwind and get to talk to coworkers more than the usual rush between classes.

We even got done early before our subs were supposed to leave, and got to go out to eat and take a long lunch break. Be it the habit that we’re in, we were all still done eating in about ten minutes- ha! We are trained creatures to our usual super short lunch times. Days with extended time to talk to coworkers really do rejuvenate me and remind me how important they really are for my sanity. 😉

three. I can’t believe after having 85 degree days this week that the weekend is going to drop into the thirties again. What the heck, Kansas?! I’m hoping Travis and I can get some simple shelves built for my office and maybe even stain and hang them up too. Got to be productive!

four. Last week, my students made mini newscast videos about The Great Depression with some causes and tips to survive through a depression. While their videos might not be the most accurate, they seriously cracked me up. Seeing their little personalities come through made me laugh. I even made Travis watch some of them with me at dinner one night this week, and he was cracking up too.

Of course, some of them are a little inaccurate, but you get the point. We used a site called Flipgrid, and I will definitely be using it again. The kids loved it, and it was a unique way to “present.” Check them out here (seriously, scroll to the bottom ones if you’re going to watch. 🙂 ).

five. Welp, I wasn’t planning on talking about school for the whole post today, but you can see where my mind is. This last unit with our book “A Long Way from Chicago” is my absolute favorite thing to teach, but it’s also a lot of work to keep up with. Lots of grading and some exhausting days, but it’s all worth it when I have students asking, “Are we reading today? I really want to know what happens next.” That makes my heart pitter-patter, especially coming from kids who normally claim to not like reading!

Have a good day!

Question of the Day: What is one thing you hope to accomplish this weekend?


Five on Friday

Happy Friday! This is the first Friday that I’ve had school in about a month. I was getting used to those four-day weeks. 🙂

As usual, here are five happenings from the week.

one. Yes, the first highlight of the week is this candy. Raffaello’s by Ferrero. It’s that good to go as number one.


My mother-in-law put some of these in our Easter baskets last weekend, and I might just have a new favorite candy. If you’re a coconut and almond fan, go get some of these. They’re the perfect balance of crispiness and creaminess, and the coconut flavor is strong and delicious!

My mother-in-law said she got them at Walmart. I’m not sure if they are just a holiday thing or what, but she loaded me up with another box after she found out how much I like them. I might be going back for another box soon too. Drool-worthy, I tell you.

two. Even though it’d been near arctic conditions (in my opinion) this week, Travis has still been going strong on working on our house landscaping each night after work. What began as a plan to just redo the front of the house has turned into a whole-house landscaping revamp, and I’m pretty excited for the much-needed facelift.

Even though he gets home around 5:45 p.m. each night, he has still been going out and doing a couple hours of work putting in edging and laying rock/mulch. Though he acts like it’s such a chore, he really loves it, and he is enthralled with telling me the latest developments/plant options that he’s been planning. 🙂

three. You know I’m the biggest sweet potato fan, and this roasted sweet potato salad that I found on Pinterest did not disappoint. When I make it again, I will double the amount of sweet potatoes used, but other than that, it was great as is! It’s going to be a good/easy summer lunch around here!

four. If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you know that I jokingly tease that we live in a retirement community because of the average age of our neighbors. We do have some younger families too but they’re few and far between.

Well, two of our little old lady neighbors complained and complained that people drive way too fast through our little street. They would know, I guess, since they have a little walking group that’s at it twice a day when it’s nice out. 😉

Those two old ladies decided to buy these to put besides their houses to remind people to slow down. (I can’t say that it’s worked, but it’s given them some much-needed peace of mind – ha!).


They didn’t stop there though. They decorate these for every holiday/season, which just makes me laugh. The picture above shows them in their Easter/spring glory. Before that, they donned their winter gear: mittens, a hat, and a scarf.

They haven’t had them long enough to be in a summer season, but I’m wondering if they will go all out and put sunglasses and bikinis on them then. Time will tell. I’ll keep you updated. Big happenings in our neighborhood, I tell ya. 🙂

five. In my Language Arts classes this week, we started our last unit, where we read the novel “A Long Way from Chicago,” a book I absolutely love. This is my favorite thing that I teach all year (AND it means that the school year is almost over- bonus! 😉.

I feel like I’m introducing my students to my own relative when we read about the main character, Grandma Dowdel because I feel like I know her that well! She’s a kookie old woman who doesn’t care about breaking the law, which thankfully keeps my students engaged during this final home-stretch to summer. Hooray for almost making it through this year!

Have a superb weekend! This one doesn’t seem like it will be too warm, but hopefully soon we get there! 😉

Question of the Day: What is your favorite candy?

Up until this point, I’ve always said Kit-Kat’s are my absolute favorite, but I’m thinking the Raffaello’s just took the lead! 😉


Five on Friday

Happy Friday! We have Good Friday off at my school today so I’m running errands and packing for our Easter Weekend back home.

Let’s get started with five things from this week. I’m going to be honest; I’m feeling a bit brain dead at the moment as I write this post. It hasn’t been a bad week, by any means, but it’s felt like a “survival mode” type of week at school. Getting back in the routine after spring break, preparing for state testing next week, and starting a new unit have left my classroom (and my mind) feeling cluttered.

one. We are headed back to my parent’s house on Saturday morning, and we will spend the day there before heading to Travis’ family on Sunday morning. Easter always feels like such a quick getaway, but it’s nice to catch up with everyone. The last few Easters have been so cold so I was hoping for a warm one this year, but it doesn’t look like that’s in the forecast. Oh Kansas…

two. Travis has been working outside almost everyday this week (despite it being so chilly!) and he has put in edging, spread mulch and river rock, and planted some boxwoods. Even just having mulch and rock in our landscaping beds looks like a huge improvement, so I’m beyond pumped to get more plants in a couple weeks when it warms up!

I, on the other hand, have crashed hard almost every night this week. Last night, I “accidentally” fell asleep while starting this blog post at 6 p.m. Six o’clock! I need the weekend- ha.

three. This made me laugh. Soooo true!

11 seasons

That’s it for today. Hopefully next week I’ll be a little more with it. 😉

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Question of the Day: What are your Easter plans for the weekend?


Five on Friday (Spring Break Recap)

Happy Friday! This week was Spring Break, and while the weather started out gloomy, it ended with some sun- Hallelujah! This week I’m actually sad to see Friday though because it means my Spring Break is almost over. 😦

one. I spent last weekend and part of the week back at my parent’s house. The weather was seriously gloomy- cold and rainy, but it was nice to be back in the country and just relax for a few days. My mom and I did some shopping. I got to see my grandma, and I got too used to having a daily nap in the mid-afternoon each day. 😉

two. My mom drove me back to Manhattan on Wednesday, and we did some more shopping before meeting up with Travis for lunch at Taphouse.

Pink beer to support breast cancer. Thinking of you, Aunt Mari!

We like to order a beer flight, and split a turkey/avocado sandwich and apple/walnut salad. We’ve got our order down!


Travis is a trooper and gets pictures of us from every angle. 😉


Thanks for spoiling me this week, mom and dad! 🙂

three. On Thursday, I got up nice and early, determined to finish grading my students’ essays. I worked for a few hours in the morning, and they are now done!!! (#BiggestRelief #WhyDoIAssignEssays?).

Then, Emily and I went to the Konza mid-morning to get in a little hike and catch up. The weather was at that perfect spot, about mid-fifties, where you just need a light jacket.

We had our usual crew over that night to watch the K-State game. We’re all ready for summer and dreaming up some fun ideas and trips!

four. For today, the only thing I have scheduled is to go to the winery with Emily in the afternoon. (#RoughLife). Ahh, the days of Spring Break when the big goal of the day is drinking wine. 🙂 I love it!

five. Travis tilled up our front landscape bed last weekend, and he has spent a lot of this week planning the types of plants to use. I’m seeing a flashback to high-school Travis when he worked for a landscaper. He’s having a little to much fun planning out our landscaping (Not that I’m complaining!).

I’m loving that he is so plant knowledgeable (because this girl sure isn’t!), and I’m just excited that I get my peony bush (my one request!). Our house has been needing some serious curb appeal, and I can’t wait to see the green instead of looking at ugly dirt. 😉

Have a great weekend!

Question of the Day: What was a highlight from your week?


Five on Friday

Good morning!

I made it through conferences and have today off as a comp day. Halle-freaking-lujah! It’s officially spring break!!!!

one. My mom’s big birthday was this past Tuesday. I won’t say which birthday, but it was a big one, which means there will be lots of celebrating! 😉 Travis and I are going home for the weekend, which I am so pumped for. I’m planning on staying a few days of next week too. We are overdue for some family time/being in the country time.

two. Along with two other coworkers, I helped throw a baby shower for my coworker, Erin on Wednesday after school. It felt like a crazy week after having conferences Monday and Tuesday nights, but I made sure to do my baking last Sunday so that I wouldn’t be too stressed during the week. 🙂 I made my new favorite flavored popcorn again, pumpkin spice flavored, which I’ll have up next week on the blog!

Erin is having a baby girl so we enjoyed decorating all things pink and making some sweet treats to share as we showered Erin with advice (not me though- because I kill my houseplants so I’m not the best to ask 😉 ) and gifts.

I’m so excited for Erin, and I’m really going to miss her next year, as she and her husband are being relocated to Alaska. She has become my teaching “bestie” and she’s my favorite person to plan with, complain with, and just talk with when we’re avoiding working. 😉

three. On my first Lobster Loves post, I mentioned wanting to try this teeth whitener. Well, I bought it last week and have been using it every night in the evening before I brush with regular toothpaste.

It’s definitely a strange feeling to see the black charcoal all over your mouth, making your teeth look dingy, but I’m hopeful it will work! I love that it’s not inconvenient to use (just brush with it before normal toothpaste) and you don’t have to sit around with whitening strips on for awhile. Maybe it’s me being a little too optimistic but I feel like it’s already made a slight difference on my teeth just in a few days.

four. I have to share another Pinterest recipe win because I’ve tried enough bad ones, and you just never know until you try sometimes. This Basic Bulgogi recipe was divine! You cut the pork loin into very thin strips and let it marinate for awhile. The end result is tender, slightly charred bites with a teriyaki flavor.

five. One of my boy students asked me on Wednesday if we would have poetry homework over Spring Break and complained when I said we didn’t. I told him to write me a poem over the break, and that genuinely made him excited. I’m loving that this group of kiddos have become little poetry fanatics. It’s the small things that make my teacher heart very happy! 🙂

Travis started clearing out our front landscape beds this week, which means next week might be landscaping time! Our house has been in dire need for some curb appeal. I’m loving this weather and the longer (brighter) evenings! Have a great weekend!

Question of the Day: What are you most looking forward to this weekend?


Friday Favorites

Hi there! Long time, no talk! It’s been a whirlwind of a week around here, as parent-teacher conferences are next week. I am struggling to stay afloat under 80 essays that still need grading, among making lesson plans and grading poems that students have written this week (Who was the idiot that assigned three written poems to 85 students this week? Ya…didn’t think that one through!). Add to that the fact that I’ve had a minor cold for most of the week, unable to breath and feeling like my nose could fall off because it’s so tender, and I’m beat.

We have a PLC work day at school today, which will give me a few hours to attempt getting caught up. These days always seem so promising to get work done, but every single one usually ends up with a coworker or two in my room talking about something for most of the time. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I love the socialization because I really do have the best coworkers, but the work time flies by too quickly already!

As if this post isn’t random enough already, here’s a few more random thoughts to finish out this week.

one. I made this Thai Peanut Chicken and Sweet Potato Noodles dish from Iowa Girl Eats, and my taste buds were singing praise to the high heavens. I could eat peanut chicken everyday and not get sick of it (In fact, I had leftovers of this for lunch three days this week, and still wanted more!). The sweet potato noodles were the perfect savory base too!

two. Without going into specifics, I got some good news this week about a switch that I’m making for the next school year. I’m not moving schools or anything like that, just possibly switching to teaching a different class at my school. I’m learning that change is scary but so exciting too! More news on that later…

three. This weekend is already Fake Patty’s Day! While we have no plans to fight the crowds in Aggieville, we are planning on having a lowkey get together at our house in the evening. The weather is set to be rainy and crappy, like it was last year, but we won’t let that stop us. 😉

four. I saw the below picture this week on Facebook and thought it was pretty interesting. One thing I learned early on in teaching is that there’s never enough time to get everything done and that it’s okay to go home, even when you still have work to do and papers to grade. You’d go crazy otherwise!

five. I had multiple students accidentally call me “mom” in class this week. 😉 I strive to create a warm and welcoming environment in my classroom, so it kind of melts my heart when they feel that comfortable with me. (What does not melt my heart is receiving the kind of sass that they give their real moms too- ha!). We have been working on poetry this week, and while almost every student I have claimed to hate poetry in the beginning, I’ve had a surprising amount say, “This is actually fun!” while writing a poem. It’s even been some of my tough boy students.

I always stop class, and say, “(Student), what did you say?!)

Student: “I said this is actually fun.”

Me: “Ok…one more time…a little louder.”

That gets them smiling even more. Getting middle school students (most of them being boys) to smile while writing poetry feels like a miracle in itself!

Have a great weekend!

Question of the Day: What was a “win” you had this week?


Five on Friday

Happy Friday! What an accomplishment it feels like to complete a full week of work. 🙂 The warmer days this week were a perfect teaser of spring, and I’m officially beyond ready for the spring weather to stay!

Here are some tidbits from the week! Let’s go! (It’s a little short this week because it’s been a crazy one!)

one. Tonight, our friend Emily has a party bus rented for her birthday. We will ride on it for two hours, and then it will drop our group off in Aggieville to keep the party going. After a long week, this sounds like the best stress reliever. I think there are about fifteen of us going on the bus, but that number might have changed! Bring it on!

two. We had a couple recipes from Pinterest this week for dinner that were both so yummy. This one combined two of my favorite things: buffalo chicken and sweet potatoes. So good! I’m a fan of a sheet pan meal for a quick option during the week, and this one did not disappoint either! Skinnytaste never fails!

three. In my classes this week, we began our short poetry unit, and yesterday, they read the poem “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss. I’m apparently a bad English teacher and didn’t even realize it was Dr. Seuss week this week. All my students thought that was why I picked the poem we read, but really I didn’t know at all. (Maybe this actually makes me the BEST English teacher since it aligned so perfectly- ha!). 

They were able to connect the themes of the poems to larger world and historical issues, which made my teacher heart so happy. 😉 Wins like this haven’t seemed to happen much this year (at least that’s how it feels!) so I’ll take them when they come!

four. Can we get three cheers for warmer weather? Whoop, whoop, whoop! There’s nothing like having three snow days last week, and temperatures in the seventies this week (#Kansas). Travis and I tried to get outside to walk in the evenings as much as we could. There’s something about the crisp air that just rejuvenates me! I would get home from our walks and hop on the treadmill to run an extra mile or so too because I felt ready to take on the world (maybe a bit of an exaggeration- more like avoiding the 90 essays I need to grade 😉 ). I’ll take the extra energy and motivation when it comes too!

five. Sorry- no fifth one today. It’s already late (Thursday night), and Travis has the tv pulled up to a new episode of Shameless. Off to veg for the next hour before bed!

I told you that was a short one! Enjoy your weekend!

Question of the Day: What are your plans for the weekend?