And the Winner is...

Congratulations!  Please email me {} to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered :)

Shopping List Freebie

Warning: this post is not exactly teaching related.  Getting organized is one of my top New Years Resolutions (and yes, I have thousands several).  I have written before about my obsession with my grocery shopping list.  I used to use this one
But this one was on sale, so I am now using it.

To be honest, I love them both equally!

In preparation for New Years, I decided to make a similar list for all of my Target/Walmart needs.  I am always going into those stores, forgetting what I came for and end up walking out without half of the things I came for, and with a cartload of other stuff that I don't necessarily need.

Here is the list I made.  I did it in four colors, just for fun.  I included both a PDF version to save the formatting, and a Word version so that you can customize it for your own needs.  If you do, I would love to know what you added so I can change mine too :)

Enjoy, and have a happy, organized new years!

Target Walmart Shopping List - PDF

Target Walmart Shopping List - Word

*I used Doodle Script size 26 for the header, and Doodle Tipsy size 12 for the rest of the document*

Don't Forget!

My giveaway ends tonight at 6pm... that gives you about 8 hours to enter, so get on it!   A brand spanking, 21 page word wall unit could be all yours.  Good luck!

Click {HERE} for more information!

Good Deals

I took my brother to the movies last night to see "We Bought a Zoo"... very cute!  I have been in love with Matt Damon since Good Will Hunting, and there's no chance of that letting up anytime soon.  While in the ticket line, I got talked into buying an AMC card for $6.  They are usually $12 but are half price for the next week.  The perks are that for every $100 you spend, you get $10 back.  Also, online ticketing fees are waived and you get automatic upgrades on drinks and popcorn... If you buy a small, you get a medium!  Throw in some extra popcorn and I am immediately a sucker.

How am I just now discovering that you can print Michael's coupons online?  You can pick and choose which ones you want.  See {HERE} for an example.  Also, I left my 50% off coupon at home last week and downloaded the Michael's app in a pinch.  I still got that 50% off! 

New Bilingual Unit & Giveaway!

Hey all!  I am so pumped because I have had some extra time and was able to crank out another word wall unit this week.  

It is 21 pages long, and the materials are in both Spanish and English.  You could use just Spanish, just English or both! 
There are word wall cards in both languages.  I use these on my word wall, in my pocket chart and hole punched & laminated as a word ring.  The kids use it all year long!

The mini word walls are great.  I put them in 8x10" acrylic picture frames (from Christmas Tree Shops) and display them on my writing table.  When we are done with the theme, I put it in a clear sleeve in our "Class Dictionary" binder.  This way, the kids can use it all year round.

I also threw in a Roy G. Biv poster and the ABC, 123 & Colors song that my kids love so much.  This unit is on sale in my TPT Store for $3.00, or in my Teacher's Notebook Store for $2.50. 

I will give away a copy of this unit to one lucky winner.
There are five ways to enter.  Leave one comment for each.   You can do as many or as few as you like! 

1.  Follow my blog
2.  Add my Teacher's Notebook store as a Favorite {HERE}
3.  Follow my TPT store {HERE}
4.  Download one free item from my TPT store and rate it
5.  Download one free item from my Teacher's Notebook store and rate it

A winner will be chosen tomorrow night, December 30th at 6:00pm EST.
Good Luck!

PS.  I am so grateful to have 200+ amazing followers!  I am also working on a 200 follower giveaway, which will be coming up soon!

My 11 in '11

11. Favorite movie you watched:

This is a hard one.  It has to be a toss up between The Lion King 3D and The Help (mostly because of the book... so much better than the movie).

10. Favorite TV series:

MAD MEN!!!  My boyfriend and I watched this obsessively on Netflix.  I am in LOVE with this show!

9. Favorite restaurant:
OMG this is almost impossible for me.  I LOVE to eat... how could I pick just one?  I recently discovered Chili's and loved it.  How could you not love an appetizer, meal and margarita for under $20?  I also love lots of restaurants in Boston's North End... the old school Italian section of town.  And if you've ever been, you know that any time you eat in the North End, a cannoli from Mike's Pastries is a must!

8. Favorite new thing you tried:
 This is really hard!  First of all was buying a house.  SO scary, but so worth it.  The second new thing I tried would have to be (not to copy Hadar or anything...) making activities to sell to other teachers.  I was so scared to try it but now I love it!  I am trying to make time to write another unit before grad school starts up again.

7. Favorite gift you got:
 My boyfriend bought me a house!  Enough said.  Also, I got FIVE Dunkin' Donuts gift cards from my little ones.  I guess they know what makes Miss P happy :)

6. Favorite thing you pinned:
 This quiz is impossible.  How on earth can I pick just one?!?  Didn't anyone get the memo that I am madly in love with pinning?  Here are three favorites out of about a thousand.
I was born in Michigan, and have gone back every summer since forever.  I LOVE this print that I found on Pinterest, and I actually got it for Christmas.  Woo hoo!

Fruit stand made out of cardboard... yes please!

Inspiration for a gorgeous writing center. 

5. Favorite blog post:
Hmmm... maybe either pinterest inspired Christmas projects or the thankful for my hometown linky party?  Or even my back to school post?  I don't know!!!

4. Best accomplishment:
 Again, buying the house!  In the world of kindergarten, my best achievement would have to be getting more organized in general.  Especially organizing all of my zillion and a half read aloud books.  It has made my life and my teaching so much better!  I still have a long way to go, but it feels so good to be organized.

3. Favorite picture:
Again, totally indecisive but here are a few favorites...
Our Christmas card, in front of our new house.

 Michigan sunsets make me so happy.

With my favorite baby girl.  I think it;s funny because it looks like she is doing something very rude, but really she is just pushing up her glasses!

And last but not least, a kitty cat photo shoot:

I could just eat him up.
2. Favorite memory:

 The amazing time that we had in Mexico last February with my now engaged BFF and her fiance.  I have a feeling that it will be my last vacation in quite awhile, so I am so lucky to have gone!  It was truly amazing.

1. Goal for 2012:
To save as much money as possible and put it into improvements in our new little house.  Extreme couponing, here I come!

2011's Top Three Most Viewed Blog Posts Linky Party!

I hope that everyone had a holly, jolly Christmas!  I had a fantastic day with my boyfriend, his family and my family.  We were running all over the place like crazy, but it was a magical day.  He surprised me with tickets to go see the Mary Poppin's musical in Providence.  Isn't that sweet?!?  I was so impressed that he came up with that all by himself.  

ANYWAY I am linking up {HERE} to show you the top three most viewed blog postings from my sweet little blog this year.  Here they are:

3.  Favorite Back to School Books 

2.  Free Literacy Activities 

Christmas Quiz

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? 
Both!  Plus hot caramel apple cider... YUM!

 2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? 
Santa ALWAYS wrapped his presents at our house.  Even the teeny tiny stocking stuffer presents!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
 Definitely white... on the tree and outside. 

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
 Not this year, but I would love to.  Just one more excuse to kiss my honey.

5. When do you put your decorations up? 
This year we were very naughty... I am ashamed to admit that we put them up last weekend :( Between moving, unpacking, work, grad school and a family emergency or two the last month has been CRAZY.  Next year I hope to start a new tradition of doing it the weekend after Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
 I have a crazy sweet tooth.  I love all of the cookies, cakes, candies, brownies... I could go on and on!  I'm not going to lie... I love the ham and mashed potatoes too!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? 
I don't have one specific memory, but I loved the anticipation... making cookies, writing letters to Santa, making Christmas lists and so much more.  I could never fall asleep on Christmas Eve!  

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
 I think I was in 5th grade.  I was heartbroken but loved "keeping the secret" from all of my younger siblings.  My youngest brother is only ten and he still believes :)

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? 
Yes!  We always got to pick one to open.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
All of my ornaments have special meaning to me.  When I was little my parents gave us an ornament each year, then gave them to me when I got my first apartment.  Now Ryan and I buy an ornament every time we go on vacation.  We have them from Maine, Saratoga Springs, Cozumel and more.  I love looking at the tree and remembering all of these special times.  My mom also gave us one Christmas village house each year.  Now I have my own small village :)  

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? 
I LOVE the first snow, then after that I wish I could flee New England and move to Hawaii.  Shoveling is my least favorite thing in the whole wide world.

12. Can you ice skate?
No!  Isn't that pathetic for a girl from Maine?  It's on my bucket list.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? 
My Samantha American Girl Doll was my absolute favorite.  I also got a nightgown for her and a matching one for me.  LOVED IT!

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Spending quality time with friends and family.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Pie, cookies, chocolate, candy.... I could never just pick one!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Waking up early, opening our stockings and then eating a very delicious breakfast.

17. What tops your tree? 
Sometimes a star, sometimes an angel.  It all depends on my mood that year.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?

Definitely giving.  I love finding that "perfect present" for someone.  Last year I got my dad Pub glasses with his name and birth year on them, plus some special Lobster themed beer.  He was tickled pink.
19. Candy canes: yuck or yum? 

Yum (in moderation).  I LOVEEEE peppermint bark though!

20. Favorite Christmas show?
Definitely Elf!  I also heart Love Actually and A Christmas Story.

21. Saddest Christmas song? 

I can't even think of a sad Christmas song.  Maybe "Christmas Song" by Dave Matthews?  I love that song, though!

22. What’s your favorite Christmas song? 

I love almost all of them, but if I had to pick just one it would be All I Want for Christmas is You by Miss Mariah.
*I got the graphic & idea for this quiz {HERE}

Holiday Gifts for my Students

Okay, so let's get real.  We love, love, love our little ones, but buying gifts for each and every precious little face in our classroom can be EXPENSIVE!  Here is my thrifty solution to give each and every one of my 22 little sweeties a meaningful gift that won't break the bank.

I snatched up these books from Scholastic when they were on sale for $1 each.  I used my points, and they were free!  Also, it's always one of their favorite books.

I grabbed 100 CD's for $20 on Amazon.

I found these colorful "Memorex Keepers" soft plastic cases at Target for less than $6 for 50 of them. 

I burned each little one a CD with 32 of our favorite songs.  I have done this every year and they love it!  The best part is that it only cost me 32 cents per child!  Yay :)

I also printed up labels for each CD and book.  Here is a free download of the book labels.  It looks funky here, but I promise the font is super cute when you download it.  Enjoy!

Holiday Book Label

Christmas Pinterest Projects

This is what I ended up making for the Yankee Swap party we went to on Saturday.  We had a ton of fun, and they were a hit!
 The eyeballs are a little iffy, but the two stores I went to were both sold out of the little tubes of black frosting, so I had to use a toothpick dipped in chocolate frosting.

I decided to leave the middle row plain because I didn't think any more reindeer would fit!

Yankee swap gift!  Super cute and SO easy.  All I did was bend pipecleaners around the top of the bottle, twist on smaller pipecleaners to create antlers then hot glue the eyes and pop pom noses on.  I also hot glued a gift card in an envelope to the side of the carton.

I also made pretzel turtles but forgot to take a picture.  SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS!  I might be whipping up another batch tonight to give away to friends at work.

{HERE} is the link to all of the recipes and instructions.

Great Last Minute Gift Idea

I was searching high and low for a great gift for my parents, and wasn't having much luck.  They already have everything!  Then I found this great deal... 

You pay $50 for a $50 gift certificate, two movie tickets (thru Fandango) and $25 to Walmart!  It's a super fun date night for a fantastic price.

Click {HERE} to check it out.  Also, if you enter the code FIRST5 you will receive $5 off.  Woo hoo! 

Do you have any great last minute gift ideas?  I have been a naughty elf and am super behind on my shopping.  Let me know!

*Please note that I have no affiliation with this company at all... I just love to spread good deals around!

Fill in the Blank Friday

I am linking up {HERE}

1.   My most favorite "little thing" is sleeping in on a lazy weekend (I can't remember the last time I did that!)

2.   I'd give anything to be on winter vacation already!  In a lot of states today is the last day of school.  We go until next Thursday.  YUCK!

3.  I can't believe that Christmas is in a little over a week and we don't have a tree yet.  Between moving and both of us working full time and taking classes at night I don't know where the time has gone.  I feel like a bad little Christmas elf!

4. The one thing I'd like to achieve today is for my little ones to have fun and put on a great Holiday concert for their families.  We are singing "This Little Light of Mine" and "Five Little Latkes."

5.  The last thing I want to do today is go to the bank to withdraw ALL of my savings to pay for my last grad course :(

6.  If I were writing my own blank today, it would say:  One thing that always puts me in the Christmas spirit is...

7.  My favorite candle scent is Christmas Magic by Yankee Candle, but I just found out that they discontinued it.  I am so sad!  I also love Slatkin's Cranberry Frost.  It is a perfect winter scent.  I use that, then Febreeze my house with the Febreeze cranberry scent.  YUM!  

What's Cooking Wednesday: Christmas Edition

So I have to admit that I have not actually made any of these recipes YET.  There are so many amazing recipes on Pinterest that it's almost overwhelming, but I managed to narrow it down to three recipes.  We have a Christmas Yankee Swap party this Saturday and I will definitely be making one, two or all three of these delicious and adorable recipes. 

Perfect for a Polar Express party!  I love the vanilla on vanilla cupcakes, and the sprinkles that look just like snow.

Adorable and surprisingly easy.  These just might be the ones I end up making!

These look delicious... and the cook time is only 4 minutes!  Can't beat it!

And last but not least, this is what I will be bringing as my Yankee Swap gift... SO adorable, right?

Fabulous Holiday Ideas

Hey, all.  I have heard rumors that some people's last day of school is this Friday.  LUCKIES!  We go until the 23rd, so I have plenty of time left to cram in a few fun holiday projects.  If we touch on Christmas, then we also need to make sure that we include all of the other winter holidays that the children celebrate.  I sent home a questionnaire at the beginning of the school year to make sure that I am including everyone.

Here are some great (mostly Christmas) ideas from my Pinterest board.  I would loveeee some Ramadan, Hannukah or Kwanza ideas if anyone has some!

This would make an adorable and inexpensive gift!

How cute is this?!?

I love any activity where you can mix a little art, a little fine motor and a whole lotta cuteness.

As Rachel Zoe would say, "I DIE!"