Sunday, November 22, 2015

All I Want for Black Friday - Linky


I can not believe Black Friday is just around the corner!!! I am teaming up with some of my teaching favorites, The Primary Pack, to show you what we want personally, for school, and what we think YOU should want for your classroom for Black Friday! :) 

Hunter Rain Boots -  So, I normally wouldn't justify me wanting these just because we live in south Texas, but the rain this past year has been INSANE. I absolutely HATE walking around school with wet pants because I have flats on. So these are a must somehow. (Costco has them for $79.99 for members, I will be getting these ASAP)

Target Gift Card - If you know the way to my heart, you know what this will do :) 

Yeti 30oz Rambler - 30oz of delicious coffee every morning. Being a new mom and coffee has become my BEST FRIEND.

Mini Kenmore Coffee Pot - See previous wishlist item. This would be for my classroom.

Gunner, Gunner, Gunner - Little guy is the sole receiver of gifts. Everything you see on my wishlist, I will more than likely purchase myself. Except we will all spoil little man.

I am to the point where I would do ANYTHING to get grammar to stick with these kids. I already splurged and got all packages of mentor sentences by Ideas by Jivey and those have already helped SO much. Then my teaching partner introduced me to Games 4 Gains. SOLD. They love it. The top four products are in my cart already.

Then for my design purposed for the classroom, I'm all about I Teach! What's Your Superpower? 

The next three are all in correlation with grammar and writing to get my students to become pros! 

Here are a few things from my store, Cassie Thomas, that I think would be a great addition to ANY classroom.  These are my best sellers: 

  • Author's Purpose- This is a mini pack to get you started or to reiterate author's purpose. It's 34 pages of anchor charts, graphic organizers, lessons, etc. 
  • Writing through the Months- This is one of my favorite products I ever created. I grew up loving creative writing and this is exactly what that does. The students roll 3 times for character, setting, and problem, then they write a story trying to solve that problem. Some of them get really crazy and creative. They are organized by months. 
  • Spiral review (STAAR)- Even if you don't teach in Texas, this correlates with CCSS also. It prepares them to think critically about their reading. 
  • Procedural Text Mini Lesson- This has been my biggest seller this year! It's a mini lesson pack to get started with procedural text! The kids had a blast with it last year. 

Drumroll please.... Check out this HUGE giveaway package you can win by entering below! There is a resource from almost everyone in The Primary Pack, perfect for all primary grades!! Good luck, friends and happy shopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now It's Your Turn To Join The Fun! 

Just a few rules to follow and you're on your way:

  1. Download the images above!
  2. Add your personal holiday wishlist to the image titled "My Personal Black Friday Wishlist"
  3. Add your favorite sellers products from your TPT wishlist to the "My Classroom Black Friday Wishlist"
  4. Add your own products to the "For Your Black Friday Wishlist"
  5. Link up below to share your Black Friday Wishlists!
  6. Don't forget to enter our fabulous giveaway above AND visit others linked up below!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Two Day Week

Well, I did it. I went back to work after maternity leave, and a few days earlier than expected at that. I really wasn't sure what to expect, except the worse. Nothing I can't handle. The kids have gotten a little taller, older, rowdier, and noisier. BUT - they missed me, and I missed them. I basically gave them a quiz Thursday about grammar and judging their sentence structure - uhh, we have work to do? ha. We reviewed adjectives and adverbs and I thought today we would do a fun activity so they would TRULY understand adverbs and adjectives. I found the idea on pinterest and on one of my favorites blog, Deb Hanson. You can read the original post here

We made lists of adjectives and adverbs and talked about the differences. (Next week we are going to review a lot, partly because I haven't been there in 7 weeks and I need them to understand the basics.) 
After we talked about the differences we read, The Z was Zapped by Chris Van Allsburg - The book is amazing, and the illustrations are even more beautiful. 
Basically, the book shows you a letter illustrated differently then on the back of the page it tells you what is happening to that letter. 
For example: A is The A was in an Avalanche. 
(Disclaimer: Most pages contain an adverb, only a few do not and this is where I had the students create their own aloud)

My students LOVED guessing what was on the next page. 

After we read the story, I assigned a letter to each child and they created their own. 
Here are a few examples. 

I didn't make my students do alliteration, just because I wanted them to understand adverbs solely right now. I love how Deb did the activity in her lesson, but I was just trying to ensure they understood adverbs. Some didn't, but most did. I love how they came out. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

To My Son:

To My Son:

As I sit here and watch you sleep your little heart away during your afternoon nap and think about how you're a few weeks away from 2 months old, I have a lot running through my mind. I go back to work tomorrow, a few hours away from spending the first 7 weeks of your life together every single day, to seeing you around 6pm at night Monday-Friday until you go to sleep, my heart aches and my eyes fill with tears. You were the gift from God that I had prayed for, begged for, ached for. I couldn't be more thankful and feel more blessed that He allowed your father and I to be your parents.
I have a few promises I want you to know about as you grow older.

I promise to always be in your corner, within reason of course, but I will always be your number one fan.
I promise to be a mother first. I know there will be moms who are "cool" because they let their sons stay out till 3 am, doing God knows what, or even allow the God knows what happen in their own homes, but know.. I won't be that mother. We will be friends, yes, but I will be your parent FIRST.
I promise to comfort you anytime you feel frightened, worried, concerned, etc.
I promise to work the best I can to raise you into the man I know you will be.
I promise to listen to you, pay attention, hear you, understand you.
I promise to remember to walk in your shoes. Your father and I both. We've been through so much as individuals and lived and learned, but I also know you will need to experience situations as well.
I promise to not pressure you into any sports, academics, lifestyle, etc. You are a part of us, you are always accepted.
I promise to encourage adventure, encourage experiences, and let go of my fears as your mother.
I promise to believe in your dreams and do everything in my power to help you pursue them, no matter the limit or the funds. You come from a family of dreamers, believers, and doers, and I would expect nothing less.
I promise to keep you safe. There will be times where you get mad and think I'm so unfair, but know, if at anytime you are in harms way, I won't allow it.
I promise to lead zero judgement when you make mistakes. You're only human, and once again, you come from your father and I. Mistakes are much expected.
I promise to be honest. My opinions matter to you, and I will respect that. Whether sometimes it's what you want to hear, or not.
I promise to love you unconditionally. There will be times when you won't want your Mom near, and believe me, I had those moments with my parents, but they always loved me significantly and hard, and I promise to share that love with you.

I want so badly to be the stay at home mom that gets every second with you, I'm selfish in that way, I am, but I also grew up my whole life wanting to be a teacher, and that is just what I became. Like I said before, you come from parents who are dreamers, I always dreamed of making a difference. I hope you understand this, and admire what I do. It's the hardest thing I have ever had to do, going back to work, but remember everything we do, we do for you. It's no longer about me, or your father, it's about you and your dreams. It's about making sure you have a life that is exactly what you want.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Currently November

I have linked up again with Farley for November's currently. I LOVE all things ER months, I'm sure you've gathered that from my blog :)

Listening - My husband is watching Glory Road. I just cooked biscuits and gravy and I could hear the movie in the background. Also, I'm loving the time change. It's my absolute favorite!!

Loving - I am such a fall girl. I love the crisp air, the changing leaves, the layers of clothing, the hot beverages ALL THE TIME. I am in heaven right now. 

Thinking -  I go back to work next Thursday. My heart hurts, but I am so ready to get back into my classroom and a routine. I need Gunner on a routine too. Gunner is getting his tongue tie fixed on Wednesday and then Thursday is the day. Say some prayers for me. Nov 9-13 is my first full work week back. This is an outline of my plans. 

Wanting -  I love Thanksgiving. The one holiday with ZERO expectations except good food and even better family. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year and I am even more excited. 

Needing -  I have homework that HAS to get done today. I have been such a slacker. I also have to head to the most professional PD - Pinterest, and get some planning done for when I get back. I  have some awesome lessons planned, so stay tuned in the next couple weeks for blog posts.

Yummy - (I altered Farley's, I think it was supposed to say this) - These are my favorites for Thanksgiving, I can't wait! 

Don't forget to link up! :) 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hospital Bag Must (Should) Haves

Back again for some hospital bag ideas! 
Just know - I am no expert, and everyone is different, but these are a few should haves and must haves I could think of for your birthing stay!

First off, know your hospital policies and procedures. 
Our hospital was 24 hours-ish for vaginal delivery and 48 hours-ish for a csection. That's important to prepare for JUST IN CASE. 

Also, a friend of mine said at their hospital once Dad was there, he couldn't leave. Dad needs to prepare for that too in his bag. 

Mommy SHOULD Haves (This also goes with what you need at home too)

Sweatpants - Comfy is best. I see some women leaving the hospital dressed in Sunday's best and their makeup on point, please know you do not have to meet this standard. Comfortable and happy. You're going home to no sleep and an unbelievable love. Your baby will not care what you look like. 

No Slip Socks  The hospital has theirs, but if you want thinner ones or even clean ones, bring your own.

Tuck Pads  My hospital provided these while I was there, I made sure to ask for some more before I left. I ended up only buying one more before I didn't them anymore. They helped ease the discomfort tremendously! 

Nursing Tanks I wish I could say these were cheap, but I haven't found them anywhere under $20 but they are lifesavers. Gunner is almost 2 months old and I'm wearing them under clothes constantly instead of bras. 

Boppy  So important for feeding at the hospital. You will be exhausted and this helps you with holding the baby while you feed. 

Thick Pads Kotex was the only brand that didn't irritate me. The hospital pads are THE BEST. Stock up while you are there as much as you can.

Flip flops My shower was super clean so I didn't have any problems not wearing flip flops, but my swelling was real bad so I needed something that would fit. 

Baby SHOULD Haves

Going Home Outfit I was not one to be overly picky about what Gunner went home in, but if you are Etsy has the cutest! 

Diaper Bag  I had three different bags full of stuff for Gunner. Take one fully stocked (diapers, wipes, meds, blankets, etc.) 

Carseat Must have. Can't leave the hospital without one :) 

Socks Our room was pretty cool, and Gunner's hands and feet get out of a swaddle in a second. Socks help keep his body temperature comfortable. 

Mittens Luckily little man didn't scratch, but I have seen some babies working in daycares who scratched their faces until they bled. This is where the mittens come in handy! 

Baby Book  Make sure you get baby's footprints and handprints! 

Sleepers  I made sure and had NB and 0-3 just in case for Gunner. He wore NB a lot longer than I expected, but I had taken 4 in case. Which was good cause he peed all over one on the second night! 

Daddy SHOULD Haves

Dad is going to be bored, don't let him fool you. Have him bring his laptop/iPad/iPhone, something. Our hospital had TVs so we watched movies, but I know the husband was real bored. 

Snacks This is for you too. All the things you couldn't have and craved while pregnant, bring them or have someone bring them. If you have the baby in the middle of the night you are going to be hungry afterwards usually. Snacks help when nothing else is open. 

Blanket and Pillow The hospital will more than likely have blankets and pillows, but if your husband is super picky - make sure he brings his own. 

Comfy clothes He's going to be sitting around/laying around with you. He doesn't need to be in his Sunday's best. 


Phone Charger  You are also going to be bored if you are getting induced or scheduled csection, a lot of wait time. You don't want to just sit there, you will go stir crazy.

Medela TenderCare Lanolin Oil This was my favorite brand. You can also use coconut oil! The Laniosh Lanolin stained my clothes with an oil stain and I was real unhappy. 

Phone This is what we used for pictures, if you have a camera and want pictures on there, make sure you bring that too!! 


That first shower to wash your hair will be magical, as well as when you can finally brush your teeth. Don't forget these items! 

Robe This was important for me. I didn't wear regular clothes until we left, but the robe is so easy to breastfeed and use the bathroom, etc. 

Happy parenting! :) 

Spooky BOGO

I posted this awhile back on my Instagram - I am OBSESSED when it starts to become Halloween time! Partly because it leads to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ER months are definitely my favorite. I've said that in several recent posts. Granted, I am from Oklahoma and sure miss fall weather, I still love the way the air feels, the PSL (I'm a basic white girl I guess, judge me), layering clothing, leggings, and everyone's moods are just so much brighter. 

I have FOUR products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store directed to 2nd-4th grade ELA classrooms. 

Because of that I am going to bring to you: 

The top two are NEW products, that I LOVE. I was having serious withdrawals not being in the classroom on Halloween (maternity leave), but I am going to offer a BOGO. You buy one of these, pick another, buy two, get the other two. 
Just two rules:
1. Please leave feedback 
2. Take pictures and post on Instagram! 
I love seeing my products in action.
Here are the bottom two from last year!

(This page is a freebie on my TPT store!

These are screen shots of my two newest products! 

Just email me at your name and the product you bought and which one you want for free! Tell all of your friends :) 

Happy Haunting! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baby Registry Must (Should) Haves

Being a new mom comes with your brain opening to a whole new world out there that you had more than likely never thought about before.

There were a lot of things I immediately added to my registry, the basics of course, diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. Then there were things I didn't even think about until right before he was here, or now that he's a month old I am finding myself going out and buying. 

These are my top 11 things that should definitely go on your registry so you aren't the first one to go out at 11pm at night and buy in a hurry! 

1. Aden + Anais Swaddlers - I know these are expensive, and if you can have someone else get them off your registry it's a great deal. I was given a TON of blankets and a few cloth swaddlers before Gunner got here, then I realized these blankets were light enough that he wasn't waking up drenched in sweat at night time. (Hot blooded like his daddy) 

2. Munchkin Bottle Drying Rack -  This rack holds a LOT. When you are breastfeeding and pumping you go through a lot of dirty bottles from moving milk to freezer bags or moving to all one bottle, etc. So I needed something that held a LOT and wasn't taking over a big space in my house. 

3. Buybuybaby Dish Drying Mat - I'm not a fan of water everywhere and constantly cleaning after washing bottles. My mom went out and found a baby drying mat at our local grocery store and I LOVE it. I found this one and it's super cheap!

4. Nosefrida - Now, before you judge this nose sucker just know YOU ARE NOT SUCKING IT INTO YOUR MOUTH. I was freaked out at first too, I promise. There's a filter and plastic blocking you from even getting anything you suck out. I don't think you should totally get rid of the sucker from the hospital, I still use that, but right now Gunner has serious congestion and I use the saline spray and then the nosefrida and I get everything out! It's a miracle worker.

5. BRICA Baby in Sight Mirror - Best $15 I have ever spent. As a mother you're constantly wanting to look at your baby and I felt the urge and need even more in the car. This eases my stress big time. 

6. Boppy - Luckily I was given one of these, but it never even crossed my mind to add one to the registry or to buy one. When anyone feeds Gunner it's a life saver. Now that he's a little bigger he can lean in it to sit up and he loves it. It has many uses and is well worth every dollar! 

7. Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer - I didn't think I was going to need one of these ever, I figured it wouldn't be a big deal at all. Surprisingly at first it wasn't. Gunner LOVED cold bottles for a few weeks, then he hated them. My friend asked what I needed still and this was my immediate response. So now we have to make sure the bottle is warmed up in enough time for him to stop thinking he's never going to eat again ;) . 

8. Footless PJ's - This is a weird one, but something I have spend maybe $50 on already for little man. He is a longer baby and we didn't know that, who does? BUT he also is very warm blooded and gets hot super fast at night. He HATED the footies. He will wear them more now than the first 3 weeks, and those first 3 weeks I just wanted him comfy so I could get a full hour and half stretch sleep. These are AMAZING. I bought maybe 15 from The Children's Place. 

9. 10. 11. 
Gripe Water - How I wish I had had this on hand when his belly first started hurting. It's nerve wrecking to be a new mom and your child is in such discomfort and has the worst hiccups and you have no idea how to help. The first dose of this and he was like a new baby. It was amazing. 
Gas Relief Drops -  Breastfeeding equals blow outs a lot at the beginning, and a lot of gas. I haven't had to give this to little man much, but it helps get the gas out and even get the gas to poop whenever he has had trouble pooping the last few weeks. 
Saline Spray - We are a family of seasonal allergies and congestion. Poor baby inherited that for sure. He's been snotty for a few weeks and I started using the saline spray then the Nosefrida and it gets all those boogers out of his little nasal cavity. 

I hope these are a few ideas for you first time, second time, third time, etc. mommies. I looked up a lot of stuff and still missed things. It happens, plus every baby is different!!!

Happy parenting! :) 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

East Texas Photography - Maternity and Newborn Session

When I lived in Oklahoma I met April through a strange coincidence. April owned a 24 hour tanning business and I was all about that, and we had a lot of mutual friends, but I never actually knew her. When it came to getting signed up for tanning I had to get ahold of her through her personal phone number and sign up through her at the shop. Long story short, once we got to talking more and more, she became a sort of big sister I never had. We had a lot in common when it came to the loves of our lives, the one that got away, and came back. She gave me some of the best advice anyone had ever given me in my love life, as well as when I was job hunting. (Which I'm forever grateful for girl. Thank you!) As fate would have it, we ended up both moving to Texas within a couple weeks together, EXCEPT I moved to south Texas and she moved to more north/eastern Texas. 

April started her own photography business - she had always been one for her own businesses - but she started literally from the ground up. She taught herself, and it's phenomenal. 

When we found out we were pregnant, I kept seeing more and more of her pictures on her Facebook, and I knew I wanted her to take Gunner's pictures. 

Her and her Husband Stoney came down to go to dinner and take our maternity pictures in Gruene, Texas. 
It was HOT, and my legs look like STUMPS, but she did AMAZING.

After these I had told her we would make the trip up there for pictures of Gunner. I was super nervous about the trip with a few day old baby, but he did really well, and it turned out amazing. 

He gave us some heck at the beginning, little stink did NOT want to go to sleep. These are a few shots she was able to get while trying to get him to sleep. 

 Aren't these even AMAZING - nontraditional and still gorgeous. (Little partial to my little man, but you get my gist ;) ha)

Once we took some outside, she came back in and ended with the football pictures. You will see why. 

My advice to you, if you live in north/east/middle of Texas - take the time to make an appointment with April. My husband was so impressed with April and her passion for her "job" he could not stop talking about. She's fantastic and super affordable. I could not be more proud and obsessed with the shots she got of our pride and joy. 

You can see her portfolio here:

April does some of the cutest mini shoots too, for example, a circus theme - your kids will LOVE. 
We are heading back to Troup, Texas for Christmas minis with the family. Let me know if you live in the area and head her way.