These crops are life changing. They’re similar to the Lulu Fast and Free’s and you can’t freaking tell a bit of difference. I sized down one! This top is my favorite of everything. I love… More
I’ve been working on this blog post for quite some time now, but I really wanted to make sure it was thorough and well thought out before I hit the “publish” button. I care so much about all of my followers, but I hold my “teacher followers” so close to my heart, so I wanted to really take my time with this one!
Two things I want to say before I start in on this post. One, if you are a teacher, THANK YOU for doing what you do, you will never ever be thanked enough, ever. In my humble opinion, being a teacher is one of the hardest professions as well as one of the most underappreciated, so if you haven’t been told today, thank you!
Two, I want to preface by saying I probably know less than 10% about everything there is to know about teaching, and I am definitely not better than any of the people reading this right now! So don’t take this as the end all, be all, right way to do things! But I totally understand wanting to read about someone else’s techniques and tactics, so I hope I can be helpful to you in that way.
- What do you teach?
- I teach Kindergarten!
- How long have you been teaching?
- I am in my fourth year of teaching.
- Where do you teach?
- I teach in Leawood, Kansas.
- How did you end up at your school?
- The jobs were few and far between after I graduated college. I also went through an excruciating process of getting my Arkansas teaching license transferred to Kansas before the new school year began so it narrowed my options a little bit. I just applied online anywhere and everywhere I could and hoped for the best! I took my first offer (I was panicked at the time) and have been at the same school ever since!
- How long did you student teach and in what grades?
- I student taught for an entire year, and taught entirely on my own in each of those classrooms for a combined four weeks. Every college does student teaching differently, but I truly think my student teaching program is what made me the teacher I am today. It was extremely thorough, and I could not have felt any more prepared than I did when I graduated.
- 9 weeks in 2nd grade
- 18 weeks in 3rd grade
- 9 weeks in 1st grade
- What’s your advice to a first year teacher?
- You’re going to get it right 5% of the time. You’re going to question whether your kids are learning every minute of every day (at least I did). You’re going to be so tired, and you will want to quit at times. You will cry, a lot. It’s all normal! Always remember to keep pushing and give them your all every single day. Your kids are always learning, whether you know it or not. In the end, you’ll get through it and you’ll realize how quickly it went by and how truly successful you were, even if you didn’t know it at the time!
- What’s your advice to someone student teaching?
- Be prepared to not land your dream job right out of college. You might, but chances are, you won’t and that is totally okay! I was discouraged when I first started because it wasn’t where I had always imagined myself teaching, but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about it. I’m still here and I love it!
- Experience every single thing you can. Go to staff meetings, professional development days, committee meetings, parent/teacher conferences, do all of the things outside the normal realm of teaching. All of those aspects make up your job just as equally as teaching does, so it’s important that you get a feel for those things too. Teaching is made up of so many aspects outside the walls of the classroom so it’s good to get a feel for those things before hand!
- References are everything. Invite your principal to come watch you teach. It’s scary, but that is the ONE person that your future employer will want to talk to when they’re considering you for a job. It will make the world of difference if they’ve seen you in action and are able to convey your teaching style, skill level, abilities, etc. to someone wanting to hire you.
- What are your favorite shoes and jeans to wear to work?
- Shoes linked here – this brand is phenomenal and pretty much the only brand I wear to school. They match everything and they’re like walking on clouds.
- Jeans linked here! I wear these every single day. I own 7 pairs and that is no exaggeration.
- Where do you shop for most of your teacher clothes?
- H&M, Old Navy, and Marshalls. My clothes get glue, paint, dirt, mud, boogers, and worse, on them on the daily. I try to be realistic/not spend a lot of money on my teacher clothes because most of them don’t last more than a year.
- How to you keep close connections with your student’s parents?
- Email them. I choose 4 students per week to email a “happy gram” to their parents. They each get one once a month, they take me less than two minutes to write, and it means the world to both the parent and the student. I have gotten more positive feedback from this than you could ever imagine.
- Keep them updated through email/a monthly newsletter; make them feel involved without it requiring effort on their part.
- How long do you see yourself teaching?
- This is hard and I’m really not sure I can answer that! There are a lot of things I see in my future that aren’t teaching; blogging, being a stay at home mom, etc. But on the same token, my job fulfills me more than anything, so giving it up seems so unrealistic right now. I’m taking it as it comes! We’ll see what happens.
- How did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
- It’s just something I knew! I don’t know how to describe it. Ever since I was little I have known teaching is what I was meant to do. I also did a program in high school that allowed me to student teach my senior year, so I got a taste of what I was getting into even before declaring my major in college. Obviously student teaching in the end is what truly solidified things for me and assured me that I was on the right path.
- What guided reading program do you use?
- How do you run your literacy centers?
- We do Daily 5! There’s a great book that I read years ago that helped me implement Daily 5 linked here.
- I also occasionally create phonics centers just based on what I can find on Teachers Pay Teachers and work them in when I can.
- How do you balance being a teacher, blogger, girlfriend, etc?
- I DON’T. I don’t ever want anyone to feel like I have it all together because I don’t. I spend some mornings/nights/weekends not doing enough for school and then my week is a disaster, I’m unprepared, and I’m a complete mess. But there are also times that I’m so consumed with doing things for school and I’m not giving enough of myself in other aspects of my life. I aim to obviously be somewhere in the middle, but it doesn’t always happen. It’s okay! If I have learned one the the past few years that I’ve been teaching, it is to give myself grace in all aspects of my life.
- My best advice: get to school early. My day starts off so much better when I’m prepared in the morning, and I absolutely hate staying late at school, so mornings are just what work for me. Anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, spend that time cranking out as much as you can, and you’d be surprised at how much less you have to do at night/on the weekend. This also frees up my evenings for workouts, errands, dinner, time with Taylor, blogging, etc.
- When I do have to work outside of the weekday mornings, I try to minimize it if possible. My favorite thing to do is go to my local library, set the timer on my phone for an hour, and work with no distractions until the hour is up. I’m always amazed at what I can get done in that time frame.
- How do you avoid burnout?
- This is another hard one to answer. I think the biggest thing people struggle with, is balance. Work to live, don’t live to work. That has always been my motto and I really try to keep that in mind. My job means SO much to me and I’m thankful to love what I do, but it’s not my entire life. The minute you start giving up your personal life or neglecting your passions outside teaching, is the minute you become burned out.
- Don’t recreate the wheel if you don’t have to. Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers are both LIFELINES for me. I’m willing to pay $1 for something as opposed to spending two hours of my own time trying to recreate the same thing that won’t be half as good. Be resourceful, there are tools out there for a reason.
- Other than that, assess your burnout. What’s making you feel burned out? The grade your teaching? Your team of teachers? The content? After you feel like you have a grip on what’s causing it, figure out where you can make changes.
- DON’T FEEL GUILTY! If your heart isn’t in teaching anymore or the passion you once had for it is gone, be honest with yourself and move on if needed! You can’t pour from an empty cup, and to be honest, you’re doing your students a disservice by being their teacher if your heart isn’t in it anymore. They deserve more, and you deserve to be happy too!
- What behavior management system do you use?
- I use a clip chart! Love it or hate it, it works for me. Do what works best for you! My kids also have sticker charts. At the end of the day if they’re on pink or purple they earn one sticker. Once their chart is full they get to pick from a treasure box.
- How do you avoid the work room snacks?
- I make sure to pack plenty of snacks to have with me throughout the day, so typically it doesn’t bother me to have sweet treats and snacks around! But if I’m in there and see something delicious, I decide if it’s something I truly want, or if I just want it because it’s sitting there. If I really want it, I’ll eat it, if I don’t, I don’t.
- Do you pack your lunch every day?
- Yes I do! I eat the same snacks and lunches all throughout the week. It makes meal prep a breeze and as long as I change up my meal and snacks each week, I don’t mind it!
I think I answered almost every single thing, but if you have questions, please feel free to DM me! I’m always happy to answer teacher questions if you have them!
Shop My Outfit
So many of you are heading to Charleston in the next couple of months and asked for all the feedback I had gotten when I asked for recommendations! I compiled a list of the most highly recommended restaurants and bars and put them in a PDF that’s easy to screenshot and share if needed!
I’m positive there are some great places that were left off of this list, but anything that made it was recommended by 20+ people, so these are the best of the best! I hope you enjoy!
Places we went/loved!
Sea Biscuit Cafe: AMAZING breakfast on Isle of Palms. Even if you’re not staying on IOP, this is worth the drive. It’s a hole in the wall/local favorite and the food is to die for! I had the pancakes and the veggie omelet and both were phenomenal.
Taco Boy: This is a great place for a casual lunch or dinner. Everything on the menu is extremely affordable compared to a lot of other Charleston options. I had the roasted cauliflower taco as well as the grilled chicken taco and absolutely loved both! The margaritas are also a must.
SNOB (Slightly North of Broad): SNOB was by far the most recommended restaurant in all of Charleston and among all of you! It’s pretty pricey, but if you’re looking for a nice, sit down dinner, it’s a great option. The menu is mostly seafood, so if you’re not into that, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if seafood is your thing, it’s fabulous! You will not get in without a reservation so definitely make one on Open Table if you plan to visit!
Gin Joint: Gin Joint is an awesome little cocktail bar in the heart of Charleston with an extensive hand crafted cocktail menu. If you can’t find something you love on the menu, or you’d rather have the bartender come up with something for you, there’s a section of their menu where you can pick three adjectives (ie: sour, sweet, sassy) and the bartender will come up with something original made just for you!
Henry’s: Henry’s is a three story bar that’s perfect for late night drinks/dancing. The rooftop is split into two different patios that connect to a whiskey bar. There’s a nightclub called NV connected to the patios as well. Henry’s drinks are fairly cheap and it’s a fun place for a group/bachelor/bachelorette party!
Republic: Republic is a bar and lounge on King Street. They offer bottle service and are considered more of an upscale bar in Charleston. Highly recommend for a big group on a weekend!
Bay Street Biergarten: This place is the cutest place to drink beer and hang outside on the patio! They have games, brews/cocktails, and the best appetizers we had the whole trip. We actually went to BSB twice during our time in Charleston. It’s casual, and would be perfect for happy hour or to kill time during the early evening/afternoon. Inside they have booths with taps at the tables so you an pour your own beer!
- 1.5-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 cup dill pickle juice
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup almond flour (coconut flour would work too)
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a large Ziplock bag, combine the chicken, pickle juice, and almond milk. Make sure the chicken is coated and marinate in the fridge for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.
- Toss the chicken chunks in the almond flour mixture. Shake off excess mixture and place each nugget on the cookie sheet.
- Spray the nuggets with cooking spray; this keeps all the crumbs intact!
- Bake until the chicken nuggets are cooked through and the breading is golden, about 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- These could just as easily be air fried! About 5 mins on each side!
- 1/2 cup light mayo
- 1 tsp mustard
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp barbecue sauce
Recipe from Six Sisters Stuff!
These babies were inspired by @ErinLivesWhole, the queen of all things healthy baking! When I saw her make these, I knew I had to try them immediately. I followed her recipe, I just replaced oat flour with vanilla protein powder and they turned out amazing!
p maple syrup
sprinkles for rolling
- Melt together cashew butter, maple syrup, and almond extract.
- Whisk in vanilla protein powder and salt.
- Let mixture cool in refrigerator for an hour.
- Use a cookie dough scoop to evenly portion 8 scoops of mixture, then use your hands to roll into balls.
- Roll in sprinkles, and enjoy!
Macros per ball (makes 8)
9c, 8f, 6p
I love hard boiled eggs, but I won’t lie, they’re a pain in the you know what. I use my instant pot occasionally which is a lifesaver, but sometimes the set up/tear down/clean up just isn’t worth a couple of hard boiled eggs. Alas, I’ve come across the most magical solution: baked eggs.
This takes a total of 30 minutes, start to finish, and is quite possibly the easiest ever way to hard boil an egg. The best part? NO SHELL. AT ALL. Here’s what you need!
- 1 dozen eggs
- seasoning of choice (I use Everything But The Bagel from TJ’s)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Crack an egg into each well of a greased muffin tin and season with desired seasonings.
- Bake for 20 minutes!
That’s it! They should slide right out and are ready to be stored in the fridge until you need them! An ever better life hack is this silicon muffin tin I use. The eggs come out perfectly with no mess, and it’s dishwasher safe!
Here’s what’s going down today: a week’s worth of fajitas on one cookie sheet, in less than 40 minutes. Easy peasy, delish, quick. Here we go!
- 5-6 medium/largechicken breasts (if chicken isn’t your thing, use whatever protein you’d like!)
- 6 medium bell peppers, any color
- 1 medium purple onion
- 1 packet dry ranch mix
- 1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
- Preheat oven to 350
- Cut chicken into small chunks
- Slice peppers and onion
- Throw everything in a ziplock bag and add your dry ranch mix and taco seasoning.
- Shake it all up to get everything evenly coated.
- Dump everything onto a sheet pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 35 minutes!
- That’s it!
Serve them in whole wheat tortillas, in a fajita bowl on a bed of cauli lime rice, the possibilities are endless!
There’s nothing I love more than you asking me to write about something specific. I could spend hours brainstorming content that I think you’ll be interested in, or hope you’ll be interested in, but it’s so much more meaningful to write a blog post when it’s sparked by overwhelming interest from you! Today’s topic: supplements!
I will preface by saying I am clearly not in the medical field, so please take what I say with a grain of salt. I’m not a professional, I just do what works for me! It may work for you, it may not! I am positive you could find research out there to negate anything I’m about to say, or even tell you how horrible each one of these supplements are, but that’s just the world we live in. I’m just here to share what I do in hopes that you’ll find something you love/that works for you too!
What I take & what they do!
- Elderberry: this is a super-immune fruit that delivers both antioxidant and immune support, due to its naturally occurring free radical defenders called Anthocyanins. In simpler terms: this keeps your immune system strong and healthy! Take it from me, I’m a kindergarten teacher, which means I can use all the immune system help I can get. After religiously taking Elderberry this fall and winter, for the first time in five years, I’ve not taken a single sick day.
- Fish Oil: Omega-3s contribute to normal brain and eye development. They fight inflammation and may help prevent heart disease and a decline in brain function. This is a gummy version and I can vouch, it’s so much better than the pill!
- Calcium: I didn’t start taking a calcium supplement until I broke my ankle, needless to say it’s now a part of my daily supplement routine! Everyone needs healthy bones!
- Multivitamin: a supercharged, complete multivitamin that fuses massive fruit flavors with a ton of essential vitamins and minerals. Each serving provides as much vitamin A as one cup of broccoli and as much vitamin D as 5 oz. of salmon. I take this in hopes that it’s filling the inevitable nutritional gaps in my diet!
- Collagen: this is the same supplement as the collagen powder I mix in my coffee every day! I take this in addition to the powder but it’s definitely not necessary to take both. Collagen reduces wrinkles, keeps your joints strong and flexible, supports strong bones, and increases skin hydration.
- Melatonin: if you’re someone who doesn’t feel super well rested in the morning, or has trouble going to sleep at night, Melatonin is something you can try! I don’t take this regularly myself, but I’ve tried the powder version and it works wonders.
I hope you find this helpful and stumble upon something more delicious than what you currently have! 🙂
A couple of you had asked if I would do a most loved Friday Faves post, just in case you missed any favorites/some of you want to see what other people have loved! These are the top six (the last two were a tie!) selling products of the faves I’ve shared since January, as well as the products I’ve gotten the most rave reviews about!
I am so not surprised that this8 was #1 on the list. These leggings are AMAZING quality for the price. The fabric is identical to the Lulu Fast and Free crops. Mine have held up extremely well in the wash and I’m the proud owner of all four colors!
Yet another item from the Lulu dupe line. This top is comparable to the Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve that Lulu carries, but I actually like it better! I hate putting on a tank to go work out when its 0 degrees outside, so this has been my go to! It comes in so many cute colors.
This stuff is magic. I have never used a vitamin C serum before now, and I regret that. This serum as changed my skin. It minimizes pores, redness, dark spots, and I think it has done wonders for my skin. I’ve had no breakouts since I started to use it two months ago. I use a dime size amount, morning and night and it lasted me two months! Well worth the money.
These shoes are my new favorites. There’s a reason “cloud foam” is in their name. It feels like you’re walking on clouds. They’re SO light and are perfect for any workout. I also love the black because it’s sleek and I feel like goes with anything!
SO many of you girls bought these and messaged me about how much you love them! This is a cheaper version of the Isle of Paradise drops and I think they work so well! I see a noticeable difference after just one use. I mix 3 drops in my nightly moisturizer 2-3x a week and it gives me the best glow!
These are hands down my favorite piece of jewelry I own right now! And they were $5, so crazy. They go with every single outfit you could ever pick out. They’re nice enough to add a little something to your outfit for a night out, but they’re also perfect for work. I recommend these to everyone!
I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, but I have nailed this recipe. 100% nailed it. Taylor has been raving about these since the minute they we’re solid enough to cut into bars. I’ve done 4 different copycat Perfect Bar recipes now, but this one is far and away my favorite one. It’s sweet, I love the cranberries, and the texture is IDENTICAL to a real Perfect Bar.
Side note: I truly do not know how other proteins fare in these protein bar recipes. I do not have enough time or money to go out and test every brand to see if they work as well as IHM protein. That being said, the best thing to do is to try it and see! However, I think its 100% worth it to purchase IHM if you plan on making these regularly. Use “kale30” for 30% off your order!
- 1 cup vanilla almond butter (Justin’s version, Target’s version, Walmart’s version, RX bar version)
- 2-3 Tbsp honey(I use 2, but if you like them super sweet, use 3)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 scoops IHeartMacros vanilla cream protein powder
- Microwave your almond butter and honey for 30-45 seconds
- Whisk the almond butter and honey together until thoroughly combined (using a whisk is important because it keeps it from getting lumpy)
- Add in your protein as quickly as you can and mix! The longer you let the peanut butter mixture set up, the thicker it gets, and the harder it’ll be to combine the protein powder without it getting lumpy.
- Mix in dried cranberries.
- Pour the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Freeze for one hour, then move to refrigerator until your ready to serve.
- Cut into bars (6) or minis (12), and enjoy!
- 2 mashed bananas
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup vanilla greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Swerve brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
- Combine all wet ingredients in mixer
- Combine all dry ingredients in a glass bowl
- Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the wet mixture
- Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 for 45-50 minutes!
You guys KNOW my love for Zoe’s Kitchen runs deep. It’s by far my favorite fast food restaurant! I love that they provide healthy, quick options, that are nutritious, filling, and delicious at the same time.
The cauliflower rice bowl is my go-to at Zoe’s, and I figured it would be super easy to recreate at home! This is the recipe I came up with! It took less than 10 minutes to prep all the ingredients, and it has been the most amazing lunch all week long!
- 2lbs ground chicken or 4 medium/large chicken breasts
- 3 bags frozen cauliflower rice (I use the roasted garlic flavor – it’s in the frozen section!)
- 1 cucumber, chopped finely
- 1/2 purple onion, chopped finely
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- store bought taziki
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and juice from half a lemon.
- Grill chicken breasts or brown ground chicken in a skillet, whichever you prefer.
- Microwave all 3 bags of frozen cauliflower rice and set aside.
- Chop cucumber and purple onion, combine in a glass dish, season with 1 tsp dill, set aside.
- Assemble your bowls with 1/2 cup cauliflower rice, 4 oz. chicken, 1/4 cup greek salsa (cucumber/onion mixture), 1 tbsp crumbled feta, and taziki to taste!
Y’all are Lulu CRAY, is all I have to say.
I cannot believe the number of messages I’ve received over the last week due to the sheer number of you getting your Lulu dupes in the mail and dying over them. Nothing is more gratifying than to know that you guys trust me enough to spend hard earned money on an item of clothing I’ve shared with you, and are then so excited about it that you take the time out of your day to message me. I appreciate every single message, and every single one of you who takes the time to shop through my links, share them with friends, etc.
All I can say is, this stuff is AMAZING. Like so amazing I’m 100% convinced it’s made with Lulu fabric, just with a different symbol. You guys know that I don’t spend tons of money on clothes, meaning I would never want you to spend your money on something I didn’t stand behind, so trust me when I say, this stuff is the real deal.
I will preface by saying I have not tried EVERY single item of this clothing on. I have almost all of it ordered, but my main concern was making sure I got this post up before all of the items sell out. I will definitely share as I get the items in. I can’t help but think we’ve started a movement here, because none of these item were marked “low stock” until early this week!
What I Wear (Sizing)
- Tops: 8 in Lulu, M in Amazon
- Bottoms: 6 in Lulu, S in Amazon
- Sports Bras: 8 in Lulu, L in Amazon
- Jacket: 10 in Lulu, L in Amazon
Light Support Cross Back (A/B cups recommended)
Medium Support Strappy Back (C/D cups recommended)