Friday, December 28, 2012

10 Tips to Staying Healthy

Hi everyone.. I felt this was long overdue - a post about staying healthy!  As a teacher, I am sure you know as well as I do, that our classrooms and schools are infested with germs.  Once a few students get hit with the common cold, flu, strep, stomach bug, or any other sickness, it is a domino effect, and it spreads like wildfire.  I pride myself with a great immune system, and have not been sick in any way shape or form in two years until recently.  And if I had done my normal routine and put the holidays aside for a minute, I probably still would be in pretty good shape. 
These are tips that are more likely to STOP your illnesses than to follow in your everyday life... so please keep that in mind!
*I do want to say for the record that I am in no way shape or form a doctor or have a degree in health education.  This is just based on my experiences and what has worked for me and only suggestions to help keep the sicknesses away from you*

1. Wash your hands!
     I cannot emphasize that enough.. even though we are so busy helping students with directions, cleaning glue spills, and trying to find our insanity, germs are EVERYWHERE.  Just because we cannot see them, doesn't mean we can't forget about them! If you are like myself and do not have a sink in your classroom, then buy hand sanitizer.  Works great and is convenient.  To get your students to love it as well, I buy fun hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works.  Our latest favorite is Twisted Peppermint.  It makes killing germs fun (and smells so yummy!)

2.   Airborne or Emergen-C
     When I start to feel sick, that little tickle in my throat or that slight ache in my bones, I take an airborne in the morning, and I am all set.  It usually does the trick, but the key is, not to take it all the time.  If you have not heard of Airborne before, it is a dietary supplement that is enriched with vitamins, herbs, electrolytes, and antioxidants that was actually created by a school teacher.  Her name was Victoria Knight-McDowell.  I do want to say that this product seems to help my immune system, but by no means will get rid of my sickness - so this is something just to take BEFORE you are hit with that big sickness to fight it... and I only take ONE every once in a great, great while! I have never taken Emergen-C, but I can imagine it does the same thing helping boost your immune system :)
Effervescent Lemon-Lime Immune Support Supplement Tablets, Lemon-Lime
3. Lots and lots of fluids
     Something that keeps my throat happy (especially if it is beginning to get scratchy), is liquids.  I will tell you, the last thing that I want to drink when I am sick (or getting sick) is water, but it really is good for you.. it seems to break up the mucus and basically just flush out my system.  I usually mix between drinking water, and my other go-to drinks: ginger ale (for stomach aches and/or sore throats), powerade or gatorade (after not eating for a while, I feel I need a boost of electrolytes), and hot tea with honey (soothes your throat and is just all around good for you).
I don't know about you, but when I get sick, the last thing I need is caffeine.. so I usually have decaf tea - I do not love the taste of tea, so I usually stick with my plain lemon or orange tea, but green tea is even better for you!

4. Vitamin C Drops
     If I just need a quick fix and just feeling a little off, tired, and blah, then I turn to Halls Vitamin C drops (Or the CVS brand works the same thing! Any generics work... Save your money$) One drop and it soothes my throat and gives me a nice fruit burst of Vitamin C.  Don't overdo it though! It will give you dry mouth, and too much Vitamin C has been known not to be the best for people.
5. Don't always go to medicine!
     Sometimes when you get a fever, you just need to let it ride sometimes.  When you get a fever, it's because your body is trying to fight an infection of some sort.  If my fever is low, I normally will let it ride and let my body "do it's thing".   However, if I need something, I will use ibuprofen or aleve to fight aches and fevers.  I do not use tylenol or aspirin - a big no no! I already have been known for high liver enzymes, and that would just put me over the edge.  Ibuprofen and aleve are safer on the liver!
6. Stay positive and don't get depressed
     I know it sounds silly, but this is a big one.  This is actually how I got sick most recently from being upset and letting it drag on... and BOOM. Next day, chills and aches.  Honestly, your body needs to be your friend, and you need to take care of yourself.  Your immune system will shut down, and the germs and viruses will begin to force its way through.  Every one in my entire school except maybe 2 or 3 teachers were sick (including me) until that.. and it really does matter!! XOXO Stay positive and surround yourself with happy people or support :) 
7. Eat smart
    Know your body, and if your stomach is not settled, do not rush into a big meal.  Take it easy with bland foods (they say the BRAT diet - bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).  I usually stick to crackers, popsicles, toast, and my mom has taught me over the years, eggs! Make sure you always eat a variety of foods because it will help you all around to stay healthy throughout the year.
8. Stay active
     Physical activity makes you feel good and gets your organs and blood moving.  This is a tip to only do when you are NOT sick though.. because if you strain yourself too much, you will be in danger of getting yourself sicker than you would have.  Rest is most important when you are sick, but physical activity (even yoga stretches) can help your body be happy and stay healthy.  I have to work on this one more.. but when I do workout, it makes me feel good too :)
9. Keep warm and do not take baths
     If you feel like you are getting sick, you need to bundle up.  Even the smallest chill can hurt your case... A long time ago when I was sick with a 103 fever, I finally got better after a few days, and when I wasn't 100% yet, I decided to take a hot bath.  I caught a chill from it and the next day, I was back to a 102 fever and just as sick as I was.  I had to start all over... and it's not fun!
10. Sleep is your best friend!
     I cannot tell you how important this step is.  If you cannot do any of the above steps, then only do this one.  Your body needs rest.  We all run, run, run (trust me, I have never relaxed a day in my life!) but when I feel a little run down or starting to get sick, 95% of the time, I just need a good night's sleep (or nap).  Trust me :) Your body will thank you!
I hope these tips have helped you as they have helped me over the years.  Stay healthy, fellow bloggers and teachers!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tis the Season to be Crafty

This Christmas season has been very tight for me with money, so I decided to look into some lovely craft ideas on Pinterest that would save me money, but also let me give to all my friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones.  I found one pin (no longer available), and I fell in love!  I also thought of a few ideas (although not original), still classic!
My three ideas I used for Christmas gifts were DIY coasters, black chalkboard wine glasses, and personalized ornaments.
Here are some pictures of the coasters I made...

Here are all the supplies that you need for the coasters:
4 x 4 white tiles (I got mine from Home Depot, and they were less than 50 cents each!)
napkins with your favorite design (or you can print out pictures, but the napkins work best)
mod podge
cork board (I bought a roll that had a sticky side.. if you buy this, you don't need a glue gun)
acrylic sealer
glue gun
sponge brush

1. The first thing I did was cut out the napkin to match with the tiles, and cut out the corkboard to match the tiles as well.  Make sure you cut them a little bit smaller than the actual tiles.
2. After, you layer a coat of the modge podge over the ceramic tile(s) and place the napkin/picture directly over the tile.  Let dry for 5-10 minutes.
3. Then I proceeded to cover the picture/tile with another layer of modge podge (as shown below) it will show up as a white coating, but then dry perfectly like in the second picture :) The drying time varies on how much modge podge you use, but I believe it took around 30-45 minutes to fully dry.
4. I put the finishing touches by water proofing the coasters with an acrylic seal. I let them sit overnight to FULLY dry, and then they are ready to go! :)

Here is a picture of the black chalkboard paint from Walmart.. It was priced at 4 dollars I believe? Perfect for wood, glass, ceramic, and other material.  I used the chalkboard paint on wine glasses, mugs, and wooden signs for Christmas.  We are all teachers, and can appreciate a little creativity :)

Here are some of the ornaments that I bought from AC Moore, and personalized with a felt tip marker (or sharpie).  I made sure that they were each neat and clean... 2 ornaments were not neat enough for me and I did have to throw 2 away because they weren't neat enough ;) but that's just me!! And they make beautiful, special gifts!

I hope you enjoyed the crafts!! Let me know what you think!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter break goals

What a wonderful linky party! I am linking up with What I have Learned.. a new blog for me to follow, and you should too! It is always important for me to reflect and get things done on my list, even if it is a vacation... it has just begun, but I already can feel it flying. 
Okay so on with my goals!:

1) Write up my social studies and science notes for my kiddies for the next 2 weeks when we go back to school... we have textbooks, but I like my students to be able to have their own notes, be able to highlight, and use to study for tests.  But it is VERY time consuming!!

2) Find 5 new blogs to like :) And also giving a shout out to at least 5 as well and showing some love... I want to spread the caring and love amongst my lovely teacher friends!

3) Work out at least THREE times during break... that's 3 within 10 days, I should be able to do it!

4) Make time for myself and do something that I love to do... this may be the hardest one!

5) Clean up my house and make it look somewhat presentable (maybe a good cleaning right after Christmas)

6) This might not pan out, but I really would like to make another unit or a freebie for Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook... we will see!!
Wish me luck :) Merry Christmas Eve (in an hour, depending on where you live!) :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gift swap

I was so excited to gift swap with my bestest blogging buddy, Sara, aka Miss V, from Miss V's Busy Bees :) Not because we had to or linked up with anyone, but just because she has been an incredible person to blog with and become close with.  I reaaally hope she likes her gifts, because she deserves them and all the more. 
I am waiting to open her card on Christmas day, but I could not wait to open her presents.. I was too excited!! Her and her boyfriend Cody actually gave Mike and I a present too, which was SO completely thoughtful... here is the ornament that has our names on it XOXO It is so amazing and my favorite ornament on my tree.

She also got me a way too generous gift card to Michaels (which is one of my all time favorite stores - I can buy things for school there and for myself and my house). It's perfect!!! Sara also got me adorable Christmas stickers, 2 snowmen stockings (they are my favorite.. and penguins!), and the cutest reindeer ornament!!
 Sara also got me these adorable smelly markers!! I am SO excited to use these because honestly, I live for the scented stamp pads and smelly stickers.. my kids love them too.  So perfect and I will be using these so much!! All different scents like cherry, peppermint, strawberry, etc.
 Here's my tree with my new, beautiful ornaments up, and with all my love's presents underneath... cannot wait to give them to him!! XOXO And over in the corner in that white bag are my uggs that he bought me this year...eeee I never would have gotten these myself because of the money, but I will wear them forever and ever!!
My coworkers were so generous to me too.  Karen had this adorable idea that I saw on pinterest before, where it says "pop, pop, fizz, fizz, you're the best teacher that there is" with a bag of popcorn and a can of soda!
And my lady Heather got one of the most unique and wonderful presents I have ever gotten in my life... it is called a "Diamond Candle" (as seen on tv) and you light a soy candle, and inside the wax is a ring worth anywhere between $10 to $5,000.  Most of the rings are worth $10, but what an extremely exciting and beautiful gift!! It is lit as we speak.. if you would like more details on this fabulous gift go to  it talks about the prices, scents, FAQ like ring sizes and quality.  Amazing and any one would be lucky to receive one of these as a gift!


My presents for my kids... goodie bags filled with erasers, candy, pencils, bouncy balls, and more, and these shirts with their pictures on them.  Vistaprint groupon, oh yeah!
I will leave you with this.... this picture below and tons more were the many gifts I was able to get my Adopt a Family.  Walter and Kathy will have the most beautiful Christmas, thanks to you.  I went yesterday with a full car load of food, presents and clothing for my two lovely angels - Kathy, a single mom fighting breast cancer with little to no money, and Walter, a 16 year old boy with autism who wants more than ever to get presents this Christmas.  Kathy's face was priceless bringing in the boxes and boxes of wrapped goodies.  XOXO I cannot tell you what this means to me, and their family.  Thank you SO much for all your help.. no donation is ever too small, and it really made a huge difference.  My heart is full from this and it reminds me that kindness to others, and helping out people that need happiness in their lives, is EVERYTHING.  It has made my Christmas <3 p="p">

I wish you all a happy holiday... I will be blogging again soon before Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gingerbread houses & Parent gifts

Hello my fellow teachers XOXO I hope this blog post finds you happy, safe, and healthy.  Tis the season, right?  My heart will not rest easy for a while with the tragedy of so many innocent children and adults, but I am doing my best to stay in the Christmas spirit for my students, Mike, and my friends and family.. I am so lucky to have them and I would give them the world if I could..

So, my kids and I made Gingerbread houses last week :) They came out cute, but they were not as easy as we all thought they would be! Of course, we knew it would be messy, but our roofs and walls were caving in like crazy ;)

 Their final products were so cute!! We made not only gingerbread (well, really graham cracker) houses, but also apartments, apartment complexes, garages, and even tents ;)

I also made a gingerbread house at my apartment :) I never have the time (or the patience sometimes) but I always manage to do one... last year Mike and I did a train, it was adorable.

This year, I wanted to do something special for my kids to give to their parents for Christmas.  I found canvas's on sale at Michaels, and I thought it would be the most perfect gift - a beautiful painting for their families!  They were on sale for an even better price, but the cashier did not catch that and I did pay regular price :( But I think I might have had a coupon that day, so I wasn't too unhappy! Us teachers really have to be careful with our money, our budget is not big!

Here are how some of them came out :) We have a couple redo's (even with a first draft copy on regular paper) but I am glad that my fourth graders were finally like "YES, this is perfect and I am proud of it"

I also wanted to show you the gift I gave one of my parents who works and does a lot for me and the school I work at.  She really does, so I wanted to know she was appreciated.. I had a groupon for it, and it's called Corso's Cookies :)
One of the students that I tutor (Kyle) he is in 8th grade now, and he made me the coolest thing in his technology class.... it's a homemade gumball machine! My kiddos went crazy over it when I bought some Christmas gumballs to start it off :) How clever and thoughtful.. esp. because he MADE it!!
I am so full of pictures I guess.. I will leave you with my door crafts that I used during the Christmas season... the ADORABLE penguins can be found HERE from Amy Lemons herself.  She has such cute products!!!  My kids even named their Penguins (I like "Pablo the Penguin" haha)
Also, the Gingerbread men saying that was on the door was made up by one of my students.
 They are so creative!