Fitness Resolutions *UPDATED*

For the last day of this linky party I am linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.

Fitness is a hard one for me.  For most of my life I was very active and able to eat what I wanted and not gain any weight.  Freshman fifteen?  Nope, freshman year of college I actually lost weight.  I lived in a dorm with a kitchen where we cooked for ourselves.  It was FAR away from most of my classes, so I either took the subway or walked.  I worked in a daycare center and nannied, and was always chasing kids on the playground or pushing strollers up and down very hilly roads.

THEN teaching happened.  And driving to work and not being active.  And eating too much and having an extra glass of wine and talking myself out of going to the gym ALL.THE.TIME.  And living in a state where winter lasts at least four months.  And blogging, which I love, but it involves a lot of sitting on the couch.  And dating a man who can eat ANYTHING he wants and not gain a pound.  He is actually trying to gain weight right now.  NOT FAIR!

 Case in point, here is a picture of me with my sweet grandparents at my college graduation party, quite a few pounds ago.  I blurred them out because I am pretty sure they would not want to be on the internet (if they even truly understand what the internet is haha).

My resolution this year is to lose at least 15 pounds, and more importantly to be active!  I want to be well on the road to being my old self again by June, which is when I plan to start trying on wedding dresses. 

Here's the plan:

1.  Track what I eat
 I used the My Fitness Pal app over the summer and loved it.  You can scan the barcode of any food and it automatically knows all of the nutritional data.  It also has a huge database of foods you can look up and a social networking component (don't worry... they don't tell anyone how much you weigh!).  The best part is that it's free!

Santa brought me this sweet new ipod that comes with a Nike fitness app. I have no idea how it works, but at the very least all of the new jams I downloaded will get me shaking my booty (I dare you to not shake it to "Yeah" by Usher!).  Other plans are to go to the gym three times a week and do some type of excercise at home when I don't go to the gym.  My sister-in-law just gave me a set of three Jillian Michael's DVDs and I'm sure she will kick my butt!

3.  Cook healthier
I love to cook, and have been trying to collect some new, healthy recipes that still taste good.  I need to keep my man's belly happy, while keeping my belly skinny!  If anyone has any good resources I would LOVE if you could share them!

I am off to do Jillian for the first time... I'm scared!
PS. The ironic thing is that our 3 year old nephew thinks she is me and asks his mom to "put auntie Mary on tv" hahaha I WISH I had those abs!

I just did Jillian for the first time and she kicked my butt.  Since she has four different programs on the DVD (from easiest to hardest), and recommends doing each program 5 to 6 times before moving to the next, I realized that I needed a way to keep track of it all.  Thanks to my new best friends washi tape and pinterest, I found a fun and easy way to track it.
If posing objects on your cat is wrong, I don't wanna be right.  It's kind of hard to tell, but it's four strips of washi tape - one for each week of the program.  There are six boxes on each strip.  As I do each workout I will check off the box, then know when to move on to the next one.

I am also trying to drink 100 ounces of water a day because it is good for you, AND I hear it makes your hair and nails grow like crazy.  I did the same thing with the washi tape... each bottle is 20 ounces, so I made five boxes to check off to make sure I am drinking enough.  We all know it's tricky to drink too much water during the school day (no time for potty breaks!) so I am hoping to chug a bunch first thing in the morning and the rest after school.  I got this idea {HERE}. 

What are some of your favorite ways to slim down and stay happy while doing it?  Any awesome workout songs I should download?

Downtime Resolutions

Today I am linking up with Amy for this fun linky party.

Honesty I don't have a lot of downtime AT ALL.  And when I do, I am glued to my couch with my laptop on my lap and trashy tv on in the background.  Awful!  I feel like I drive myself so hard at work and at all of my after school obligations that I am just positively exhausted by the time I get home.  I am super excited because starting NOW I have fewer non-school obligations than I ever have before and will *hopefully* have more downtime.

 Love this guy so much, and we need to spend more one on one time together.  We have both been so busy with working full time, then going to school at night that sometimes it feels like we only see each other when we are falling into bed exhausted at the end of the night.  I want to make a jar of fun, creative (and cheap!) dates that we can go on to keep things fun and fresh.

Here are two of my favorite ladies... my baby cousin and my BFF.  This year I plan to stop being so tired and overwhelmed, and start being more fun and present for my most favorite people.

 I have not been taking care of myself as much as I should.  In 2013 I want to adopt the motto "my body is a temple" and start treating it much better.  I hope to do more yoga and hit the gym at least three times a week.  Eating healthier wouldn't hurt either :)

Here is our super cozy living room tonight.  LOVE it with the tree and the candles.  Don't love it so much the rest of the year.  I am so proud that we bought this house a year ago and painted then we sort of, um, stopped.  I want to put some finishing touches on each room to make it as beautiful as I know it could be.

 This is pretty self explanatory, but I want to spend more time doing the things that make my heart happy.  Gardening, reading and crafting... these are a few of my favorite things!  I didn't think that including drinking wine and the Real Housewives would make me look very classy {not that I enjoy those at all or anything}.

I have a sinking feeling that that this will be taking up most of my downtime, but I am still super excited about it.  We will be getting married in my most favorite place in the world... Maine! That is about the only detail that I am firm on yet, which is kind of a problem.

2013 Resolutions: Professional Goals

I am linking up with Amanda at One Extra Degree to share my professional goals for 2013.

My most important professional goal for 2012 iwas to get my Masters degree  in early childhood education.  I finally did it in May, and am so freaking excited to be done!

My goals for 2012 are
1.  Catch up on the huge stack of professional books I have next to my bed.  It's so tall that it toppled over today when I was dusting.  Yep, definitely starting to get out of hand!
Some of the books at the top of my stack are:

2.  Take online classes!  I don't know how your district does it, but ours pays a little more the more edumacated we are.  I only have nine credits standing between me and a little pay raise.  I signed up for three online classes and hope to get them done as soon as humanly possible.  They are interesting, too.  One is about inquiry based learning, one is about challenging behavior in the early childhood classroom and the third is reaching young readers.  Somehow I have been able to avoid even cracking one book during this whole vacation, though!

3.  Get inspired!
I am part of this amazing group called Making Learning Visible.  It is a group of teachers and early childhood coaches who take a Reggio Emilia inspired approach to learning.  Last year we did "Kids are Experts" where each child wrote his/her own how to book.  They were so beautiful and the kids were so empowered.  We even had an exhibition at the Children's Museum.  This year we are focusing on storytelling and I am SO excited!  You can check out some amazing videos that explain the process {HERE}.  

I think it is so important to find something that inspires you.  Every time I leave this group I am so energized and excited to try new ideas in my classroom.  

The pictures above were taken in an amazing teacher's classroom who is part of the group.  Her room is gorgeous and very Reggio-ish. 

Merry Christmas & Supporting Sandy Hook

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  Ours was fantastic.  Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were filled with family and delicious food... two of my favorite things!  It was so fun to watch our niece and nephew open their presents... they are 2 and 3 1/2 and PRECIOUS.  

The most fabulous gift I got was A SILHOUETTE CAMEO!!!!!!!!!!  I have been wanting one for what feels like decades, and I was so surprised and happy to unwrap that sweet little baby.  I have played with it for a couple of hours so far and am in love.  Any advice or fun tips would be greatly appreciated!

I love the Cameo so much that I allowed my picture to be taken with it in elf pajamas with no makeup on.  All of the filters and cropping in the world couldn't save this sad little picture!  Sorry about the bed head :)

Also, I just came across this great idea on Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten.  I will be donating 50% of all of my TPT profits to Sandy Hook.  Each and every day I think of that horrible tragedy, and this seems like the least I can do to help.  

As Kristin said, "Let's show the teachers of Sandy Hook that we, too, feel a personal hurt for what happened because we know that any one of us could've been in the same situation and we would've done the exact same thing to protect our students at any cost.  Let's show them that we're proud of their strength and hold them high as heroes."

You can visit my store {HERE}.

Last but not least, I just finished up my latest bilingual unit, and it's all about January!  This packet contains 35 pages of word cards, mini word walls, graphic organizers, writing prompts and more.  All items are in both English and Spanish, and can be used in an English only classroom, Spanish only classroom or Bilingual classroom. It is perfect for boosting vocabulary and inspiring writing.  Plus, did I mention it's on sale for $3.00 (this week only)?
You can check it out {HERE}.

12 in '12

I am linking up with Hadar and Kristin for this super fun linky party.

12. Favorite movie you watched:
The Hunger Games!  I will also give you the two old favorites I will be watching this weekend while I wrap presents and recover from a crazy zombie death virus that my lovely fiance has passed onto me.

11. Favorite TV series:
I hate to even admit this, but I'm hooked on all things Real Housewives.  No judgment!  I also love New Girl and The Mindy Project.  We also got totally hooked on Breaking Bad.  If you are looking for a new show to watch with your man, I would definitely recommend it!
10. Favorite restaurant:
I am in love with almost all of the restaurants in The North End... I could never pick just one!  It's a historic Italian section of Boston right by the water, packed with tons of authentic Italian restaurants, pastry shops and gelato... yum!  This part of town has been around forever.  Paul Revere grew up here!

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
Does being a maid of honor count?  Because I LOVEDDD that!  I am also obsessed with the pilates class I tried at my gym on Wednesday nights (then I promptly signed up for a class that met up every Wednesday night.. whoops!  Need to start going again now that I'm done).
8. Favorite gift you got:
An engagement ring from the love of my life!  There is no gift that could ever be better than that.  Head over heels, over the moon happy!

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
Why is this so hard?  I don't think I could ever just pick one.
Here are a few favorites for home:
                                     Source: via Mary on Pinterest

An old dresser turned into a super sweet bench.  I wish I was creative enough to think of these things!

                                 Source: via Mary on Pinterest

Adorable magnetic photo frames so you can pop in a new photo anytime.  Love!

                                Source: via Mary on Pinterest

And for parties... adorable baby champagnes with a straw and a ribbon.  Yum!

And for school:

                                               Source: via Mary on Pinterest

How freaking adorable is this?  Would LOVE to do for my babies at the end of the year.

Love this gorgeous frame with mini clothespins... You could just pop pictures in and out to inspire the kids and make them feel important.

                                     Source: via Mary on Pinterest

And last but not least, this pin (on the left) which inspired me to do {this}

6. Favorite blog post:
So hard to pick.  I am pretty proud of this Name Game post and have gotten tons of positive responses from Changing Page Orientation in Word.

5. Best accomplishment:
Being chosen to co-teach a graduate writing course at Boston College.  So much work but so worth it!
4. Favorite picture:
 Once again I cannot pick just one.  I'm pretty sure that I should change my middle name to "indecisive," so here are three favorites.
 The view of my favorite place in the world (Northern Michigan), taken from my uncle's plane.

I call this "Little Cat, Big Chair."  Love!

And I call this one "Squirrel Booty DC."  This little guy was digging for nuts in front of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.  So funny.
3. Favorite memory:
 I would have to pick three: my best friend's wedding, hosting our very first Thanksgiving and my proposal.  We were so blessed this year!

2. Goal for 2013:
 To get (and stay) more organized at work and at home, and to exercise more!

1. One Little Word:
 Love.  To me this means focusing on the important things in life and not being stressed out by the little things that don't matter in the end.  The horrible tragedy in Newtown has reminded me to hug everyone I love a little tighter and to create special memories with them (students, family and friends alike).

Holly Jolly Art Projects

I am loving these pinterest inspired ornaments.  They were SO easy and SO adorable!  Brown handprint, googly eyes, red pom pom nose and a loop of ribbon and you're done!

My little ones made these wooden ornaments with our super amazing science teacher! You can check out her blog {here}.  They painted pieces of wood (after learning about trees, of course), and decorated with super cute foam stickers.

 We also made applesauce ornaments. They are very plain, but smell SO ridiculously delicious and last forever.  Just mix cinnamon {I bought mine at the Christmas Tree Shop for $1 a pop, along with cookie cutters 3 for $2} with applesauce and white glue.  I used two cups of cinnamon, 1 3/4 cups applesauce and 1/4 cup glue.  It was a little too sticky so I just added tons more cinnamon. 
Of course I forgot to take a picture, but they looked a little something like these.

I found gift bags on sale 3 for a dollar at the craft store, so I scooped them up.  Here is what each proud little one brought home for their parents.

And here is what I gave each of them:
Three books and a mix CD of our favorite songs.  
I bought Gingerbread Mouse when it was a $1 scholastic selection, and stuck in two other books that were donated to our school (otherwise known as cheating).

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. 
I burned each little one a CD with 32 of our favorite songs.  I have done this every year and they love it! With my laptop and my school computer cranking, it only took a few hours (with plenty of interruptions in between) to burn 24 copies.
I also printed up labels for each CD and book to jazz them up a little.  Total cost for the book, CD and case was $1.32 per student.  Now that is what I call a great deal!

Happy Holidays!