Cyber Monday SALE!

You have probably already heard that TPT is throwing a huge sale tomorrow for Cyber Monday.  If you enter the code CMS28, you can receive 30% off of every single item in my TPT store!  So head on over to get your discount starting at midnight and extending through midnight on Monday.  I will also be offering 20% off on Tuesday.

Items in my store include:

and more!  Come on over to check it out before this sale is over!

Great Deals - Yankee Candle Coupons

I have to admit something... I am totally obsessed with Yankee Candles!  I have a bunch of candles, but these are the best smelling and longest lasting ones that I have found.  I also think that they make great gifts, which is why I am SO excited to have found not one but two top secret coupons.  The first one is $10 off of $25, and the second is buy two large candles get two free!  Click {HERE} and {HERE}.  My favorite scent is Christmas Magic.  It smells like pine trees, yummy things baking and an extra pinch of something delicious.  I am going to scoop up some for myself and some to give to my Mother in Law & some friends at school.  They would also make great gifts at a Yankee Swap.  Enjoy!

What's Cooking Wednesday - Thanksgiving edition

I just popped in super quick to say hello and let you know that I am not dead, just surrounded by approximately eleventy billion moving boxes.  We haven't had internet for a few days, which feels like FOREVER!

In case you are scrambling for a last minute Thanksgiving recipe, here is my absolutely favorite, go to recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake.  It is based on a recipe from a five star restaurant and is scrumdillyumptious.  Everyone is always super impressed because there is a layer of regular cheesecake and a layer of pumpkin.  I love it because it is fast and easy!  You can throw it together with just a few ingredients, most of which you probably have around the house.


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 1/2 cups of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. 
  5. For whipped cream topping, whip all ingredients together until the cream forms peaks.  Make this the day of.

Fill in the Blank Friday

I am linking up for Fill in the Blank Friday!

1.   A nervous habit I have is cracking my knuckles.  I HATE doing it but I don't even notice it anymore!  Terrible.

2.   Something that makes me sad is when people don't take care of their kids.  I especially hate it when I see a car full of kids and someone is chain smoking :(

3.  Today I am thankful for the amazing friends and family who are helping us ALL weekend with moving and painting.  A huge shoutout to my best girl Kendra who is helping us four days in a row.  I think I should probably nominate her for sainthood or something.

4. My favorite room in my house is... I am not sure yet because we are just moving in!  I think it's either going to be the living room because of the big sunny windows and fireplace, or my teaching/craft room/office.  I can't wait to decorate!

5.  I can't stand when people are just plain rude and inconsiderate.  I will never understand it!

6.  If I had an extra $100 to spend on whatever I wanted today I would buy my Ryan a nice birthday gift.  He is doing so much for me right now, and his 30th is coming up in a couple weeks.  Yikes!

7.  The last person I hung out with was Ryan, if you count frantically packing, loading cars and standing up while eating at 10pm "hanging out." 

Plenty to be THANKful for Linky Party

Today I am doing a fun linky party with Simply Smithwick.  Today's topic is why you are thankful for your hometown.  I live in Boston now, but I grew up in gorgeous Portland, Maine.  Here are the just a few of the reasons that I love
The waterfront
SO gorgeous!
Portland Head Light
It is the most photographed lighthouse in the whole wide world.  Thousands of people visit every year.  There are parks and picnic tables, a teeny tiny gift shop and a super old military base called Fort Williams.  It is so relaxing and just plain beautiful!  It is definitely one of my very favorite places in the world.  Technically it is in Cape Elizabeth, but it's called PORTLAND head light, so I'm counting it!

The Old Port
This section of town is filled with adorable shops and restaurants.  I LOVE spending the day wandering down the cobblestone streets!

Portland was originally settled by Native Americans and was named Machigonne.  King Charles I of England ordered it to be settled in 1623.  There are still some beautiful super old buildings.  This picture shows the Tate House which was built in 1755.  

 Get in my Belly
Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other city in America!  Can you believe it?!?  There are tons of restaurants with almost every type of food you can imagine ranging from Somali to Thai to Indian to (of course) traditional and delicious sea food.  My very favorite restaurant is DiMillo's Floating Restaurant.  I worked there for many summers and it helped me put myself through college.  The restaurant is a retired car ferry, so you actually are floating the whole time you are on board.  The food is totally delicious and the environment is to die for.  If you are ever there in the summer be sure to sit up on the top deck. 

I am pretty sure that it is virtually impossible to be from Maine and not love lobster.  Not only do I loveeee to eat this delicious stuff, I love all of the paraphernalia that goes along with it... buoys, lobster traps, lobster boats... I can't get enough!

Famous Mainers
Stephen King
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
E.B. White
Robert McCloskey
Judd Nelson
Liv Tyler
Patrick Dempsey

Famous Summer People
Martha Stewart
Kirstie Alley
John Travolta

More Playdough!

Okay, so I am truly on a roll with play dough.  Right now, my class is learning about the "procedure" genre of writing, better known as how-tos.  So, what better than to combine play dough and procedures?

I wrote up a quick and easy how to, printed out two copies, trimmed them to 8 x 10" and put them in a clear acrylic frame.  Yes, I know... I'm obsessed with acrylic frames.  They are just so handy!  We also made a mini oven out of a cardboard box as well as a cookie sheet out of a piece of cardboard covered with tin foil.  It was SO quick and easy, and you would think that it is the fanciest toy in the world.  The kids can't get enough of the play dough center!  I love that they are actually reading the directions and following them step by step.  Hearing one say to the other "You forgot to let the cookies cool!  Don't burn your mouth!" warms my heart. And no, we still have not had anyone actually eat it.  Yippee!  I definitely plan on having the kids write their own how-tos soon!

(Please excuse the worst quality photos in the whole wide world)

Here is your free download... the font is much cuter when you download the pdf.  Also, click {HERE} for the world's best play dough recipe!
How to Make Cookies

A Favor or Two...

Everyone should go check out Miss Kindergarten's special request.  If you leave her feedback, she has a special prize for you.  I did, and I am so happy.  I won't tell you what the prize is (it's top secret!), but I will tell you that it is totally worth a few minutes of your time.

Also, I am still looking for anyone who wants to be a guest blogger for me this week.  I am packing, moving, painting, buying furniture, etc and would love to have someone else help me out with posting!  It is a great way to help me out AND get some publicity for yourself all at once.  Click {HERE} for more information.

Have a happy, relaxing Sunday!
 Clip art from Scrappin Doodles

Fill in the Blank Friday

I am linking up with The Little Things We Do for this one.
1.   My favorite new blog of the moment is Rinse. Repeat.  It's not teaching related but she has gorgeous craft projects and wedding ideas.  You have to check out her amazing bridesmaids boxes.  Loves!

2.   Something I am thankful for is my amazing man-friend (haha) Ryan and the house we are closing on in FOUR DAYS!  WHAT?!?

3.  Something that made me laugh this week was when our adorable but not so bright cat chased his tail to the point where he bit it and then got his head stuck in the bed.  dummy!  I am also loving this video.

4. An item that is currently on my wish list is a new pair of cute boots to keep my toes toasty this winter AND a pair of Minnetonkas.  Love them!

5.  I am excited about living in our new house!  What I am not excited about?  Packing, painting & moving while working and going to grad school.  Yuck!

6.  If I were a color I would be PINK!  Did you even have to ask?  It has always been my favorite color.  It is happy, feminine, classic and fun all at the same time.

7.  My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by drinking caramel apple cider, reading a good book in bed, going apple picking, cooking or baking... any of the above, really!

What's Cooking Wednesday: Playdough Edition

 I found a pin on Pinterest a few months ago that completely intrigued me... it was titled "The World's Best Playdough".  I just knew that I HAD to try it!  I finally did a few nights ago, and that title is 100% true.  I have never touched such squishy, soft, magical play dough!

Here is what you need to make a double batch:  2 cups flour, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tbsp oil, 4 tsp cream of tartar and food coloring of your choice.  Since my little ones are obsessed with pumpkins lately, I decided to make orange playdough scented with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Mmm!
 Gather your ingredients.  Not pictured: spices, oil.
 Dump all of them into a pot.  Stir well.
 Cook over medium heat, stirring often until it forms one large ball.  Remove from heat immediately.
 Dump play dough onto waxed paper or your countertop.
When cool enough, knead until smooth.  Store in an airtight container.

Oh my gosh... my kids are obsessed!  They have been "baking" cookies in a little oven that I made out of a cardboard box.  You would think that it was the fanciest toy in the world.  And I know what you're thinking... nobody has eaten any (yet)! 

Here is the recipe for a single batch:

Our fabulous para Ms. C had a great idea... let's get the families involved!  Not only is it very inexpensive and easy, it would be a great project for the kids to participate in as well.  Here is a letter that I wrote asking parents to get involved in our "Play dough club" as well as a copy of the recipe.  There is space for you to add your name and the date you'd like them to bring it in.  I hope to have parents bring in a fresh batch every two weeks so that we always have beautiful, squishy playdough for all of our many playdough activities.

Play Dough Recipe

Guest Bloggers Wanted!

Do you want to write a post on my blog?

The next couple weeks are going to be a whirlwind of insanity for me... we are buying a house, painting, moving, furnishing the house and oh yeah, I'm in grad school and teaching full time.  YIKES!  I am not going to have much time for blogging, unfortunately. 

I am looking for some lovely blogging friends to help me out by writing a guest post on my blog.  You can write about anything your heart desires, as long as it is somehow connected to teaching!  This is a great way to get some publicity and link back to your blog, so I hope that you will consider doing it.  I can take up to 6 or 7 guest posts on a first come, first served basis.  They will be published the weeks of November 14th & 21st.

Here's how it works:
1. Write a post in YOUR blogger, but do not publish it yet.  You can use pictures, links and all that jazz.
2. Click to the "Edit HTML" tab.  Copy and paste all of this, and email it to me at
3. I will let you know what day and time your post is scheduled for, so that you can publicize it!

Thank you!!!

Currently November

I am linking up with Oh Boy, Fourth Grade.  I LOVE this monthly feature!

I just found PreKinders and am obsessed!  Her classroom is totally gorgeous and she has TONS of thematic ideas, printables and even kid friendly recipes!

I am also stalking a non-teaching blog... Sugar and Dots. Her weekly feature "What I Whipped Up Wednesday" is really a giant linky party full of FABULOUS ideas of all kinds.  I have gotten recipes, craft ideas, teaching ideas, holiday ideas, DIY projects and home ideas.  My Pinterest is totally full of ideas from Sugar and Dots!  Enjoy!

What's Cooking Wednesday

To be completely honest with you, I am tired and sick.  Or sick and tired.  Either way, I have not been doing any much cooking this week!  Instead of skipping this post altogether, I thought I would point you to my little Recipes collection on Pinterest.  There I have a bunch of truly delicious looking, EASY recipes that I will definitely be trying soon.  Check them out!

Let me know if you have tried any of these recipes, or if you want to link up your own Pinterest recipes!

More FREE Drawing Resources

I am so excited that Michelle from Inspired by Kindergarten read my post about the importance of teaching drawing and decided to give away a fantastic step by step animal drawing book that she created.  It has every animal from Alligator to Zebra (really!).   Click on the picture below to check out her great blog and download the drawing book for yourself.  I already printed mine!


I am a huge fan of teaching drawing in my classroom.  I use this book throughout the year, both in whole group lessons, at the writing center and in my homework packets.  The kids LOVE it, and it really teaches them how to draw step-by-step.  I also find that having drawing materials available sparks childrens interest in writing stories (so that they can draw!). 

I have been looking for some additional drawing tools lately, and finally I saw this on Pinterest and loved it, but when I tried to copy and paste it, it got all wonky.  I decided to freehand my own version.  You can download it by clicking {HERE}.  I am thinking that I may frame it and hang it on the wall in our Writing Center.  Enjoy!