July 31, 2012

Versatile Blogger

First off I wanted to thank and acknowledge a couple 
of bloggers who gave me the "Versatile Blogger Award" this summer.  

Thank you to 

There are a couple of rules for accepting this award.... 

1)  Thank the blogger who nominated you!  Thanks again ladies! 
2)  Include a link to their site.  See above...
3)  Include the award image in your post.
4) Write 7 random facts about yourself.
5) Nominate 15 other bloggers.

Here are my random facts:

1) I have always loved to read. In Elementary School I was in a reading club group with my best friends called "Battle of the Books" where we traveled around answering questions about books we had read against other students. Nerd alerts! 

2) My favorite dessert is cheesecake. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Did you know yesterday was national cheesecake day? And I didn't eat it. Sad.

3) I still sleep with my baby blanket.

4) I haven't been on a plane in like 5 years.

5) I get really frustrated and competitive when playing Wii games. I swear like a sailor. It's bad. Especially since I'm usually playing with kids. Most of the time- my own.

6) I was kicked out of elementary school band. Sort of. It was 4th Grade and everyone was allowed to now join band or orchestra if they wanted. It was the new, cool thing to do. So I joined band and chose the flute. I could never make a sound, so I faked it. The teacher told me I had to learn or quit. I quit. 

7) I once was riding bikes with my friend Jaime in the desert by our house and we discovered a desert tortoise.  I thought it was cute and put it in my bike basket.  We named it Mitchell and left it in my house while my dad was taking a nap.  We left and went to Jaime's house and came home to a house full of turtle poop. My parents surprisingly let me keep him (outside). My mom called the state to see what we should feed him and we were told that I had broken the law by taking an animal from the desert. Thus, we had to return him. Tear.

I am nominating the following bloggers :
Thanks for always following along, regularly commenting, and showing my twitter/facebook/blog love, or just plain being one of my favorite bloggers! 

1) Hillary at A Gal and Her Dog
4) Becky from Mrs. to Mama
5) Whitney at Soup of the Day
6) Mrs. Howard at The Howard Bunch
8) Megan at Table for Three
10) Leah at Everyday Love
11) Christy at The Wallace Family 
12) Jamie at This Kind of Love
13) Hayley at What's the Scoop?
14) Hadar at Miss Kindergarten

July 30, 2012

Our Weekend

Happy Monday!
How was your weekend?
Ours was filled with seeing friends, family, and Arizona monsoons.

Reagan and I drove out to visit my friend Sarah and her sweet kids.  She was hosting a play-date for our Mom's Group and the kids had an absolute blast. Reagan kept asking, "Why do we live so far from Chase? Me want to go back tomorrow!" I think we are definitely going to have more play-dates together! I loved meeting the other mommies and their little ones. 
(Sorry, I didn't get any pictures... I know Sarah did, so if she posts them on Facebook, I will steal them!)

We woke up to a very overcast/rainy morning.  It was perfect to do some yard work.  Nick worked on the yard, Reagan played, and I cleaned off the patio and outside toys. (Which was totally pointless since the mud/dirt/rain came back through later that night and my patio was ruined again!)

That afternoon we drove out to spend the evening with my older sister and her family.  They just had a new pool put in and Reagan was so excited to try it out!  The cousins played and played outside before the rain started.  Then we moved inside for a delicious dinner.  The kids went upstairs to play and us big kids played a fun game called "Ticket to Ride".   

I slept in and met my friends at Butterfield's for a birthday brunch for Sarah. Sarah and my sister have been great friends since high school and she is like a little sister to me. It was great to catch up and hear about their wild night before. It was a little bit torturous though- the food there is amazing but I had lunch plans for shortly after, so I didn't eat. Bummer. Next time! 
(I also didn't get any pics- what is going on with me?!)

After breakfast, I went home and picked up the boys.  We drove out to meet Nick's Mom and Step-Dad for Papa Bill's birthday lunch. We had a delicious BBQ meal and Reagan was in absolute heaven sitting and playing with his Papa Bill. He sure does love him!
Nick and his Mom
Papa Bill and Reagan
Silly boys

These weekends are just flying by!
Can not believe it's already almost August!

July 29, 2012

Sunday Social

It's Sunday and I'm linking up with Neely and Ashley's blog link up!

1. What is your dream job?

I love being a teacher, but I do have a couple of dream jobs.

I would love to be a talk show host.

I would love to be a party planner.
(Kim from TomKat Studio)

2. If you had just won the lottery and didn't need to work for money, what would you do with your time?

If I didn't have to work for money, I would probably be a stay at home mom but spend time working with various children's charities or being on various committees.  I would also spend a lot of time planning parties for my kids and friends families.

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a little girl I either wanted to be a teacher, a talk show host, or a Broadway star. My elementary friends (if you are reading this) do you remember my talk show at lunch recess with the theme song? "Mandy talks a lot"?  We also used to video tape ourselves singing, dancing, and putting on commercials. I can't believe none of us ended up famous! ;) 

4. What piece of career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your career?

If I were to give a new teacher a bit of advice I would tell him/her to put time and effort into the beginning of the year.  Start with strict behavior and guidelines and you will thank yourself later in the year. 


5. What is your biggest pet peeve at work?

I get so irritated with people at work who complain about everything, but don't do anything to find a solution.  I also get irritated when people who genuinely dislike children are teachers. What on earth are you doing there?!

July 26, 2012

Are you looking for things to do?

Every summer break I get a glimpse of what it is like to be a Stay at Home Mom.
I have an absolute blast doing lots to keep Reagan busy and having fun!

I know once the babies are born we will be stuck at home for a while,  but I would still like to get Reagan out and about to do things.  Here is a list of ideas I have put together for any moms out there looking for new, fun things to do with their little ones!

Swim Classes
We have done swim lessons through the city the last two summers.  It is seriously such a good deal- only like  $22 for 2 weeks! Check out your city's parks and rec website to see what is offered.  

We plan on signing Reagan up in the fall for sports through the city as well.  They offer tons of recreation classes such as art, dancing, and sports. 

Library Classes

Our city libraries have various classes each week specifically for toddlers.  The last few summers we have attended "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" classes and Reagan (and his baby cousin)  has loved them.  They are usually fast (30-45 min.) but the kids sing, dance, play instruments, etc. with other kids their age.  We have also done story times and registered for special classes when they appear on the website- like Mother Goose Visits, Puppet Shows, etc.  These classes are free and air conditioned!  We always  make a trip out of it- loading up on new library books, movies, etc. 

Splash Pads

We love the splash pads here during the summer. 
They are a free and cool way to have fun.
In Arizona they are pretty much at every mall and park, so we are lucky! 
We have friends who made it their summer goal to hit up a new splash pad each week! So fun!

Mall Playgrounds

I am not a huge fan of the mall playgrounds, especially during the summer.  (The parents who let their big kids run around wild make me crazy. They knock all the little guys over!) But anyways, it can be a cool alternative when it is hot out! It is a a free place to let your kids run around in an enclosed place.


I am lucky to have a couple different groups of friends who have little ones the same age as Reagan.  We try to get together about once a month to have the boys play, swim, etc. while the mommies all talk and catch up.  If you don't have a "built in" group, you can join various groups or build your own.  A friend of mine just recently invited me to a group of teacher/mommies who started a Facebook page where we ask questions and bounce ideas off one another.  We also are meeting tomorrow for a play-date. I met a really sweet mommy through Reagan's swim class this session and we plan on getting the boys together outside of swim.  I also have joined the local Mothers of Multiples Club and look forward to play-dates with these ladies once the twins arrive!

Pre-School/Mothers Day Out

During the school year Reagan goes to preschool 3 days a week and he loves it.
I love the structure, the friendships he makes, and how much he learns.  

If you don't have your child do preschool, you may want to look into a Mothers-Day-Out program offered at many churches. Just giving your little one time to be away from you, surrounded with kids his age, and with structure is a good thing! 


Arizona has a couple of really great children museums.  We love meeting up with friends at these museums and exploring.  Check out Groupon deals and their Facebook pages for special prices and deal! Otherwise they can start to get $$. 

Store Visits
(ie. Home Depot, Michael's, Lakeshore Learning, Barnes and Noble)

Many stores host great and free activities for kids.

Home Depot does Saturday kid workshops
Michael's does daily kid crafts.
Lakeshore Learning does Saturday kid crafts.
Barnes and Noble does weekly story time and crafts.

Movie Programs

Our local movie theater does a summer movie program for kids. It is such a great deal.  This summer Reagan and I got passes and we got 10 movies for less than $10 dollars.  They were older kid movies (but luckily ones we hadn't seen!) This year's line up included Horton Hears a Who, Puss in Boots, Happy Feet 2, Rio, etc.  All you have to do is pick a theater location and choose a day. You go to the same theater at the same day/time each week and you are surrounded by families.  Reagan has LOVED our movie dates! 

Gymboree / Little Gym Classes

I haven't signed up Reagan for any of these memberships yet because the prices can be so $$.  So the only time we have gone was using a guest pass of a friend.  Reagan had the best time but I just can't imagine paying that much right now!

Do you have any other suggestions to add to my list?  I would love to read your comments below!
Mommies are always looking for new and fun things to do with our little ones!
Thanks guys!

July 25, 2012

Family Date Day

Today was a great day!
Nick took the day off  from work and we surprised Reagan with a family fun day.

We started by going to Reagan's swim class.
Nick hasn't seen a lesson this year and Reagan was proud to show off!

After swim lessons we drove downtown to IKEA to pick up a bookshelf for the babies' room.
That was followed by a quick lunch.

And last we ended up at

We had never been and they were having a discount this month for teachers.
So it was an obvious choice.

We had the best time! 

We spent a good 3 hours playing, doing art projects, and exploring! 
Thank goodness Nick came because my big 'ol belly couldn't fit in any of the areas that Reagan wanted to go! But I was fine with my job as photographer! 

If you live in Arizona and are looking for a great indoor activity I would totally recommend this museum!  

July 22, 2012

How to "Follow" a blog

I have had a couple of people ask me how to "follow a blog". 
And a wonderful teacher/blogger has posted a little tutorial that I copied for you below.
Thank you!

If you do not have a Google account you can create one.  (I highly recommend a gmail account – you can save tons of stuff in google docs and use the reader there too!)

Then you can view those blogs you follow in one place.
You go to your blogger dashboard (see #6).
You can view them with Google Reader (#7)
I hope this helps!!

While you are at it, please vote for me at Circle of Moms for a Top Teacher/Mom blog.
You can vote once a day! 
Thank you!

July 20, 2012

Reagan's Favorite Books

As you guys know, I am a HUGE reader and I love, love, love books.
Especially children's books.

I'm thrilled that Reagan (3 years old) is equally as obsessed with books and reading as I am. 
Since many of my readers are mommies to little ones, I thought I would share some of Reagan's current favorites.  If you haven't added these to your collection or checked them out at the library, you may want to try them! 


Reagan LOVES David. David is a little trouble-maker and each page has a different lesson and hilarious pictures.  They are great read-aloud's that spark some good discussions!


We just recently got this book and it has become a favorite. We have read it before every nap and every bedtime for the last week.  Reagan has it memorized and loves to "read" it to us. It's pretty hilarious. 


This has been one of Reagan's favorites since he was really little.  We have it in board book, a couple of paperbacks, and even the DVD version.  It has very little text, but allows for Reagan to retell the story using his own words.  It's a classic at our house!


Reagan loves all of the Llama Llama books, but especially this one. Hmmm. I wonder if he relates? Haha.
We have most of the books in this series and the stuffed animals from Kohls. The books all have great rhyming text and situations our little ones can relate to (going to school, going to bed, running errands, being sick, etc.).


This book was a favorite of mine when I was young, and now the author has a whole collection of these stories.  They are awesome and Reagan loves them! I would recommend the whole series!


Reagan loves to sing and this book is full of the "classics" including Twinkle Twinkle, Row, Row Row your Boat, Pop Goes the Weasel, etc. When I was teaching first grade I was always shocked at how none of my kids knew these songs! So I would teach them 1 week. I think especially at the school I was at, parents themselves either didn't know them or didn't have time to sit and sing with their children. Anyways, I'm so glad Reagan is learning and loving these classics. 

What are some of your little one's favorite books? Please leave them in a comment! 

July 18, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!
I'm loving a lot today! 
Have fun reading and link up with Jamie to share what you are loving today.

I'm loving Reagan's new swim class. He has a boy teacher and LOVES him.  
He is getting so brave and having a great time - much better than last session!

I'm loving the fun bath night we had recently. 
Glow Sticks in the dark + Bath = BIG time fun

I'm loving getting all caught up on my photo albums. 
I still do old school prints in albums and I've been a year behind.  
I'm just about all caught up. Whooo hoo! 

I'm loving my sweet boy and all the lovey-dovey things he says lately. 
Please never grow out of this stage.

I'm loving that I got the invite to my first baby shower for the twins.
I'm getting so excited! I have 2 showers being thrown for me the same weekend- so fun! 
(Sorry I haven't taken a picture ... but I will!)

I'm loving all the blog/Facebook/Pinterest love I've gotten over my classroom set-up from last year. 
Scholastic shared the photo on their Facebook page and it got 1,268 likes, 71  comments, and 314 shares.
For a little blog like me, that seems crazy!  The blog post I did last week on your "back to school questions" got 520 views- insane! And my classroom has been getting lots of "pins". Thanks guys!! 

I promise I will do another teacher-tip blog post this week! 

I'm loving my new Pinterest project for the week:  Reagan's Box of Memories
I plan on filing his random photos from events, art projects, paperwork from school etc. all in one box.

July 17, 2012

My Blog 411

Today I am linking up with one of my favorite bloggers, Becky, at From Mrs. To Mama. She thought of some great questions for people to answer and link up! Have fun reading! 

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?

I started blogging in November of 2009 to keep our family updated on baby Reagan's happenings.  From there it turned into a place to meet other new blog-friends and talk about things that were going on in our lives.  As the years have gone on it turned more into a place to share my teaching strategies and ideas as well as life at home with my family. 

November 2009 

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?

Yes, I went to college at Arizona State University and I had the best 5 years ever (yes- it took my 5 instead of 4 years to graduate..... they call it the number 1 party school for a reason!) I lived in the dorm my freshman year and then the sorority housings for the middle time and got an apartment my last year.  I studied Early Childhood Education and was super involved with my sorority.  My Junior Year I was president of my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and had the best time ever. If you remember, this is where Nick and I met- when he was president of his fraternity (Pi Kappa Alpha) and we fell in love! 

 at a party my sophomore year 
pre-party before a Golf-ho's and Tennis Pro's date party
graduation day with my little sister Meg

When I was pregnant with Reagan I took classes from Northern Arizona State University and received my Masters in Elementary in Education. 

3. Where have you traveled?

California, Texas, Massachusetts, Florida, Washington D.C, Maryland, Maine, Wisconsin, Colorado, Hawaii, Mexico, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

knocking on Louisa May Alcott's door in Boston

cheering on the Packers in Colorado

San Francisco


4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?

If I won the lottery I would pay off our mortgage, car payments, bills, etc.  
Then I would treat my family to a vacation! 

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?

1. loud eaters (especially when they are the only ones eating)
2. ungrateful people
3. people with no/bad manners

6. What is your favorite movie?

My all time faves are Fried Green Tomatoes and Hope Floats. 
But I also love boy movies- like Taken, Tombstone, Shooter, etc. 

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?

Alcohol wise I like beer.  I think I o-d on liquor in college and I seriously want to vomit at the smell of anything hard.  I love water and ice tea otherwise! 

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?

If I have some me-time I love to sleep, read, get pedicures, have girls days spent lunching and shopping, and getting massages. 

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?

Probably Target or Buy Buy Baby.  There is so much I want from those stores at this point in my life.  If I couldn't spend it on my kids and house I would love some Louis Vuitton bags.  

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.

Hmm.. I used to pee my pants a lot when laughing.  I wish I could say this happened only in elementary school. But no. I would laugh so hard I would pee all through college.  

11. What day would you love to relive again?

I would love to relive our wedding day!

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?

Hmm.. I have no idea. My doppleganger was Katherine Hiegal but I don't really care for her as an actor.

 I need ideas?!

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?

I didn't work in high school. During college I worked as a Mall Concierge (you know the people who sit in the center of the mall and direct you to stores or help you find good gifts?).  Later in college I worked as a "student worker" in the College of Education- in other words I answered the phone, made copies, and talked on AOL IM all day. 

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.

 with my bff Kristin in high school
senior year prom- I was prom queen

 with my college bff Rebecca
college Halloween

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Ohh I would love to go to Fiji or take my whole family to Disney.

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you. 

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?

In 5 years Nick and I will be 35, Reagan will be 8, and the twins will be 5. This is crazy to me. 
Hopefully we will be happy, healthy, busy, and full of laughter!