Friday, June 26, 2015

Latest Delivery, Just Accessories to Add to my Obsession

It's been a few years since I realized that I have a problem with office and school supplies. I understand that this is a common issue among teachers. My issues seem to well over the average compared to some as well as meek compared to others.
My first realization that I definitely fell on the higher end of office supply collector/obsess-or was when we moved and I packed up my office.
(Just a note that this is just my overflow from my classroom)

About a year ago, I was interviewing for a new job. The teaching market in my area is extremely competitive and I knew that my qualifications showed that I was a good candidate but so were the other 150-250 people that submitted resumes, which meant that I needed to stand out just a little if I was chosen for an interview. I came up with a personality type question to ask at the end of the interview. (Don't worry, I asked very sincere questions that pertained to that school or district...) It just seemed perfect to incorporate my school/office supply obsession into my favor during my job hunt.

I came up with an idea to ask, "If you could pick just one school supply, what would it be and why?" The question was very purposeful because the answer tells you just a little bit about the person whether they are practical, technical, a bright personality. 

You may think that is a silly question but I had 3 interviews within about a week, where I asked that question. During the first interview, I seemed to have caught the team off guard but it seemed to have sparked a conversation. The principal was new that year and said that he was learning a lot from his new team from that question. That principal called back to let me know that they chose to fill the position within the district, but the principal told me that my last question left the interview team talking about me. 

The second school interview team, seemed to enjoy answering that question and it sparked a conversation which led to a strong connection with the team I could be possibly working with...more on that in a minute/

The third school, the question was asked an answered but I did not feel a connection with anyone in the room. I knew when I left that school that it was not the right fit for my personality. 

So back to the second school, they called and offered me a job, which a graciously accepted. A few days afterwards, I went "Back to School Shopping" and found the supplies that team had said was their favorite to give to them at our first meeting. They were shocked that I remembered what they said they like most.

All of this leads to my most recent obsession pertaining to school/office supplies. After I accepted the teaching job, I realized I needed to get ready for the new school year, new supplies, and a new school. I searched all over Pinterest to find the best way to be organized in my lesson planning and came across Erin Condren Teacher Planners. After watching a handful of Youtube Videos, thank you ladies who post those types of reviews, I took the plunge and ordered one for the upcoming year. If you have read my posts before, you already know that I love that planner. 

This summer I have ordered a few other things from Erin Condren. I have jumped onto the Life Planner bandwagon, but maybe next year. I have ordered a deluxe notebook with a calendar that I use for personal planning, budget, and just for notebook type of stuff. 

Today I received my lasted delivery, just accessories to add to my obsession of school/office supplies. I ordered new markers that were launched this summer with the new Life Planner, sticker book, coil clips, and for my Teacher Planner, colorful date dots and a divider to just customize for the upcoming year to make it seem fresh. I ordered my planner early so I could just be ready to go in August but now I know that she updates them in the summer  making changes. (wish i would have waited but oh well...) 

If you know Erin Condren, you this Box!

My order...
Freebies...Erin Condren is generous with samples of their products.
I skipped the Life Planner this year since I just bought a Deluxe Notebook with Calendar, but I could resist the curiousity of some new items that were released. I bought the Launch Bundle for $25 which included the clear clutch, new markers, and new sticker book. Personally, I with I would have just gotten the markers, the sticker book is not really my style.
Items to add a little more personalization to my teacher planner for the upcoming year. (Since I couldn't wait for the release of the newestTeacher Planner) 
I couldn't wait, so I started working on my new planner!
Lastly, I wanted to compare the new markers to the older ones.
Obvious differences-
The packaging, personally I like both but the plastic box is easier to keep things neat while using them 
The price went up, I think $2
Minor differences-
The colors are a little different-the first 3 are very similar but I love the turquoise and charcoal colors.

If you are new to the Erin Condren shopping experience, follow the link below to save $10 on your first order. 
(The Teacher Planner is suppose to launch in early July)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Easy Triple Berry Lemon Trifle

I was trying to think of an easy dessert that was light but full of flavor. June is perfect for berries and I love lemon flavored treats, so I came up with this recipe. Feel free to tweak it for your flavor preferences.
1 package of pound cake (or angle food cake works too)
2 (8 oz) containers of Noosa Lemon Yogurt
1 (16 oz) containers of frozen whip cream
2-3 pints of favorite berries

For presentation, a trifle bowl works best.
Dice the cake into about 1 inch cubes.
Dice strawberries into similar size.
Mix the Noosa yogurt with about 2/3 of the whip cream, set the rest aside.
Start with layer of cake, then a layer of berries, and then a layer of yogurt mixture
Repeat with a second layer and then start the third layer, but top the final layer with the remaining whipped cream that is not flavored. I like the top layer to be a little lighter, that is why I don't mix it all with the yogurt.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Love a good sale!

If you know me, you know I love to shop but the budget does not always allow everything I want. I have not been successful with the traditional budget shopping at consignment shops, discount shoots/websites, clearance racks, or even shopping at Target. Through the last few years, my profession and lifestyle have directed me to mainly one store for the majority of my wardrobe. Loft! I am a sucker for sales and Loft has something on sale all the time. This past week, I benefited A LOT! I am so proud of my budget success that I have to share!
To start of with, if you are a loyal Loft shopper, you know they do a promotion for Loft Cash Cards where if you spend $50, you will receive a card for $25 of your next $50 purchase during a determined time period. 
Recently, I was planning a trip to Vegas and wanted some summery, new fashions. The entire store was 40% off, so I stocked up on some staple, summer pieces and a couple of fun dresses for my trip. I earned 6 of the Loft Cash Cards! Well the time came to redeem the cards and I needed a dress for an upcoming wedding, as well as some nice summery prices that I could wear into the beginning of the school year. Over two trips this week, I am set for the summer and into the beginning of the school year!

First trip-
Dresses and skirts were $25 off and scarves were 50% off, note that these were promotions and not clearance. So I bought 2 dresses, 1 skirt, and 1 scarf. I was able to use the teacher discount, #Loftlovesteachers, and two of the Loft Cash Cards.
This was the receipt for my purchases, notice what I saved compared to spent!
@74% overall discount!

I still have 4 more Loft Cash Cards, and even though I didn't need anything, I could not let such great deals pass by...

Second trip-
Several promotions! Maxi dresses were $25 off, shorts, tanks, and tees were 40% off, scarves were 50% off and they had various accessories for $8 (originally $15.50 to $24.50)
I bought 3 maxi dresses, 1 pair of shorts, 2 tanks, 2 scarves, and 4 hair accessories, again these were all promotions and not clearance items. The last time I was at the store, they had asked if I was a Loft Insider. Well, no I wasn't so they told me to sign up at home and I got an email for 25% off my next full price purchase! A lot of discounts won't combine, but every Loft store I have shopped at, they will try combining discounts and the computer will accept some on this trip it worked to save 25% on top of the promotions, then I used my last 4 Loft Cash Cards!

My receipt, again notice the amount saved versus spent!

@ 73% overall discount!

Last thoughts-
Although Loft is affordable, I have never been this successful in my shopping, hence creating this blog post! I am a fan of good deals and these are the types of deals you should keep your eye out for! Please note, Loft Loves Teachers, so bring your badge for 15% off and sign up for Loft Insider for a one time 25% off code! One last thing, "full price" refers to anything in the store that is not on clearance. The clearance section runs its own sales that cannot be combined with any other discounts.

Please share any fabulous deals that you have found that you are proud of as well!!!

*the background of my second receipt is my latest obsession, Erin Condren. I have previous post about their products.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Surprisingly, Satisfying, Squash for Supper!

Surprising treat found in the frozen food section the other day. I love easy dinner, especially when it tastes good. The flavors of butternut squash, sage, and kale were bold but blended well together. An extra bonus is it is from a local company about a half hour away in Boulder!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A school year later...Erin Condren Teacher Planner (updated)

If you need a lesson planner to prepare for 2015/2016 school year, the latest edition of the Erin Condren planner comes out July 7th!
This is my review after using the planner for the entire school year.
(Link for $10 off at the bottom of this post)
Previously, I wrote about the phases of my lesson planning. I am sold on the Erin Condren Teacher  Planner. I also had shared the unboxing of my planner and what I liked but I decided to share how I used it and the overall usage now that the school year is completed.
This is my planner after the last day of school. Pages are crammed in and notes are in the planner as my organizational skills whithered away during the last few days.
The planning pages worked well for me. I added Avery 5770 labels to type the start times of my schedule on the headers. This a timely task in the beginning and then during mid year when our schedule changed, but I loved how neat and clean my planner looked instead of handwriting in each block. 
I used washi tape to divide smaller blacks of space for specials and lunch/recess times so that I did not waste blocks.
I did not utilize the monthly calendar as much as I had planned but I like the space to add notes. After each double calendar layout, there are double note pages and then one more note page. I utilized these a lot during staff meetings and trainings.
(Sorry for the blurry picture but I just wanted to give a brief shot of what I did without giving away too much information.)
I added extra checklist pages and got creative with how I used them as the the year went along but it's a pretty standard layout to utilize how you may need.

A few things that I did not utilize from the planner but would like to find a way to use it next school year.
Graph paper
Year Plan pages-I wanted to use them but our district had very detailed curriculum guides that I never added lessons to this section.
Absentee Log-my school has an overall high amount of absences, with an average of 7 days with a few students with up to 18 plus days. I had a hard time keeping up it using the log, so I recorded patterns or long absences. I also used for noting if the student was absent during testing.
Some of the stickers. Like the "furlough" stickers. I don't know if that is common in other areas but in Northern Colorado, it is not so it is not a practical sticker. 
I decided to rip out all of the extra sticker pages that I did not use to add to planner next year. I also trimmed the edges of the pages I did not use and try plan to use them for clipboard checks or data.
Overall, it held up really well. Nothing ripped, snagged, or wore out in any way. $50 plus may be a lot but if it works for you and you enjoy it, it's totally worth it!!!!
Now I am ready for my next planner and prepping it for the 2015/2016 school year.
Out with old and in with the new. I recently purchased a deluxe notebook with calendar (my version of a life planner since I missed the 2015 planner and didn't want to wait until mid summer). 
I ordered a similar cover because I was so attached to it.
As of July 7th, the teacher planner is back! There is talk of new accessories too!
Follow this link to set up your account and save $10 on your first purchase.

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