September Goals

It is crazy to think that today is the first day of September. Where has 2016 gone?! Because it’s a new month, it’s time to reflect on my goals from last month and share my goals for September.

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For August…

  • Post on the blog 4 times a week and have them scheduled in advance > Fail – I started out the month strong but as school started it became more like 2 posts a week. BUT, I did try to schedule them out and promoted old content on days I didn’t write on social media.
  • Workout at least 4 times a week > Success – I kept this up in August and hope to continue to do so now that we are Planet Fitness members.
  • Complete my name change > Success – I’ve officially changed my name on everything that matters at this time. I still need to change my passport and update my name on some Iowa retirement stuff but that can be done in time.
  • Create a cleaning and organizing routine > Success – I’ve started a new nightly routine but I haven’t officially created the complete routine.
  • Organize under the sinks and both closets > Fail – I ran out of time for this. It will be transferred to this month.
  • Read 3 books > Mega Fail – I’m still on the same book I was at the beginning of the month.
  • Complete our budget for the month > Success – this is something we’ve become really good at doing every month!
  • Create a gallery wall of our wedding photos/decor > Fail – We officially have the pictures and the frames but we have not put them on the wall. We’re waiting for the centerpiece to arrive.
  • Create a honeymoon photo book > Fail – This will probably take the back burner for a while with other things taking priority.
  • Be ready and confident for the school year > Success – I was definitely ready to do Day 1 and have a great first 2 weeks (much better than last year!)
  • Continue promoting the blog through social media > Success – I’m sure I could be doing better but I haven’t put money into promoting yet and it is new for me so I’m trying🙂
  • Adjust Cooper to our new schedule > Success – He now has a play pen he stays in the during the day to give him more space and we take him on walks every night to burn off some energy from the day.
  • Go on at least 2 dates with Cody > Success – We went on an official date last weekend and we’ve gone out on a couple double dates this month.
  • Enjoy summer activities while it’s “nice” outside > Success – We went jet skiing a couple of weeks ago and also went mini golfing last weekend.
  • Post items on Teachers Pay Teachers for sale > Fail – Haven’t done it yet. Other school things took priority. I’m hoping to get some things posted this month.
  • Try a new workout (hoping to get some new motivation!) > Success – Planet Fitness has some great machines and even this Total 30 minute workout area that we tried last weekend that was nice.
  • Try 3 new recipes and a new restaurant > Success – We had 2 new recipes in the Crockpot for some convenient Tuesday meals. I also made Egg Sausage Casserole for the first time in August. This is Cody’s favorite breakfast dish and his mom makes it all the time. I’ve never eaten or cooked it before, so I’m counting it as new to me. Also, last weekend we went to Lewis Barbecue for the first time and it was delicious!

This month’s goals are a lot shorter!

  • Create a workout plan for each week
  • Read 3 books
  • Take something away from Financial Peace University
  • Complete our living room gallery wall
  • Have materials for lessons ready in advance
  • Promote blog more
  • Participate in a blogging webinar
  • Organize bathroom cabinets and bedroom closet
  • Try a new recipe and restaurant
  • Post items on Teachers Pay Teachers to sell

What goals do you have for this month?

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Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #44

It’s crazy to think it is already 8 pm on Sunday. Where did the weekend go?!

The fun this weekend sort of started Thursday night when I had a girls painting night with a few girls from small group. We all met up at Fear No Easel and did one of those painting classes. I was a little nervous my painting wasn’t going to turn out because I’ve never felt very artistic. BUT, I love how they all turned out!

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Friday I started coming down with a cold. Nothing like getting sick week 2 of the school year. But that didn’t stop our plans for the night. I first went out and celebrating surviving the first 2 weeks of school with some of my coworkers. Then Cody and I took Cooper on his first social outing! We all went to Waterfront Park for another movie night, this time it was Star Wars (the new one).

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And Uncle James came out to hang with Cooper!

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Saturday I woke up really stuffed up and just kind of lousy. So I spent a lot of the day lounging around and I think Cooper knew I didn’t feel good because he was so good and cuddled more than he usually does these days. It was really nice! But we had to get up eventually and clean the apartment before our evening plans.

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Our friends Alexa and Mitch just moved to Augusta and came into town for the night. We went out to dinner with them at Home Team then took them on a tour of King Street, ending up on East Bay by the harbor. On our way back to the car we stopped for some dessert! It was nice to spend some time with them since our wedding was the last time we saw them.

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Today we got up and went to church. Today’s message was about parenting, shaping the arrow. And honestly, it applied so much to my life. No, we don’t have any kids yet (well, aside from Cooper); however, I have over 80 kids in my life right now that I teach this year or are still around from last year. As their teacher, it is my job to shape those arrows, especially when some of those kiddos don’t have that model at home. Check out the message from today (it’s Part 3) because it can apply to anyone’s life! (The whole series has been great!)

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Before we left church we also got signed up as the leaders of Financial Peace University for our small group, which starts in a couple of weeks. I’m really excited to learn a lot from this study and to grow even more as a small group!

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After church we stopped at Target to pick up some pieces for our gallery wall we are doing in our living room. When we got home we did some lunch and I worked on planning and school work. Tonight we took Cooper on a walk, getting rained on the last part of it.

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Speaking of Cooper, this is my weekly funny from him. He was just sitting on Cody’s leg like that for a good 5 minutes. We love him so much!

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Questions for You:
What do you like to do when you have friends come to visit?
How do you get rid of a cold quickly?

P.S. Be on the lookout Tuesday for a reader survey! I would love some feedback from my readers now that I’ve been talking to y’all for over a year!


So this week’s meal plan is going to be a little sparse. Cody is gone 2 nights this week and we are going out of town Friday for Labor Day weekend. For a full meal plan, check out some of my past ones on my Food & Fitness page!

Sunday – Chicken Parm Pasta

Monday – Crunchy Taco Hamburger Helper

Tuesday – Leftovers (on my own)

Wednesday – Quesadillas or Sloppy Joes (on my own)

Thursday – Spaghetti Squash Skillet or a Soup

Friday – Asheville!

Saturday – Asheville!

Last weekend we joined Planet Fitness and it’s been nice to have a lot more machines available for our use! 5:00 am comes really early but it’s great to already have my workout done before my day begins.

This week I still want to do some lifting but I’ll be listening to my body during my workouts. I’ll for sure be doing some cardio to at least be moving every day.

Monday – Cardio + Abs

Tuesday – Cardio + Legs

Wednesday – Off Day

Thursday – Cardio + Arms

Friday – Cardio + Full Body

What kinds of workouts do you do when you are sick with a cold??

Pins I Love

Pinterest is such an amazing resource! I use it for a lot of different reasons: to find recipes during meal planning, outfit inspiration, blogging tips, workouts, and many other ways. I use it to keep all of the great tips and resources from blogs I follow organized.

Here are 10 recent items I pinned that I love (click on the image to take you to the actual site of each pin).

I did this workout this morning and it was great! It works your entire body, using only your bodyweight. Plus, it’s quick and efficient, which I need so early in the morning.

Pins I Love

I’ve been using this site a bunch to find good Crockpot recipes. We started making Tuesday Crockpot Night to make it more convenient with small group.

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Sometimes I wish we had a full house so I could put the farmhouse stamp on it. I love the look of a farmhouse, especially inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines!

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With fall around the corner, I am in love with all things sweaters, boots, and scarves (even though it won’t feel like fall here in Charleston until probably November). This pin gives you 20 fall outfit ideas.

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I am wanting to organize our bathroom better after watching videos courtesy of Alejandra Costello. Hoping this pin gives me some inspiration.

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Finally, I’ve had the travel bug ever since we went on our honeymoon. This pin makes me all smiles with it’s bright colors and picture perfect destinations.

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For more pins, check out my Pinterest boards here! I also have a teacher Pinterest for those fellow teachers out there!

Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #43

My first weekend of the school year is officially coming to an end. I hope y’all had a great weekend! We had a nice mix of plans and down time.

Friday after work I met Cody at his work before we headed to the Riverdogs game with his company. We had some good picnic food and enjoyed hanging out!

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After we left the game, we headed over to our friends Chris and Katie’s place for a night swim and to hang out. The guys did a bourbon tasting while us ladies chilled on the couch.

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Saturday after feeding Cooper at his usual time, I was able to sleep in since we had a really late night Friday. We made omelettes for breakfast and laid around the house until we went to check out Planet Fitness. After the tour, we decided to officially become members.

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Saturday night was date night! We had supper at Lewis BBQ downtown, a new addition to the BBQ scene in Charleston. Their brisket is amazing! The sausage was good but a little spicy for my taste. Overall it was a good experience!

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After we filled our bellies, we went and played some mini golf at Charleston Fun Park. And as always, Cody beat me, but only by 2 strokes.

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We wrapped up our date night with frozen yogurt for dessert. I got a mix of white chocolate mousse and mountain blackberry with some Kit Kats and Oreos. YUM!

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Later Saturday night we invited our friends Chris, Katie, and James for a night swim at our pool. It was fun to finally be able to do that in our pool!

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Today started out with an amazing message about marriage at Seacoast! Everyone should go to their site and listen to it!

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The rest of the day was pretty typical. We played with Cooper, did a workout (at PF), meal planned, did some school work to get ready for this week, and relaxed.

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It was a really nice weekend and I’m now rejuvenated for another great week at school.

Here is another adorable pic of Cooper from this weekend to end our recap!

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Questions for You:
What did you do this weekend?
What is your go-to date night?


Here is our meal plan for this week. We decided not to go get groceries for the week, so I had to work with what we already had in our kitchen.

Sunday – Homemade Pizza

Monday – Turkey Walking Tacos

Tuesday – Crockpot Cheesy Chicken & Rice with Peas

Wednesday – Egg Burritos

Thursday – Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Friday – Chicken Parm Pasta

Saturday – Wine Bar Date

As for fitness this week, I am starting in full force at Planet Fitness. I’m planning on going with our friends Gracie and Trevor in the early mornings. Not sure what I’ll do for workouts, but I’m sure I’ll take ideas from my Being Fit Pinterest board. Check it out for ideas for yourself!

Year 2 Classroom Tour and Teaching Goals

Yesterday was officially our first day back to school! It was a great day and I have a good feeling about this school year. I wanted to share with y’all a tour of my classroom as well as my goals for this year.

I set up my desks a little differently this year, and there is truly no bad seat in the room. I went for the more flexible seating, providing a variety of choices for the students, which will also help when the students are working on different things in a unit and need different types of help.

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I divided my left whiteboard with washi tape for areas like Announcements, Agenda, Homework, and Standards/Essential Questions. I kept my right whiteboard open for if I need to write directions or note take with the students (this board is easier to see for most of the room).

Above the whiteboards, I printed our geography standards on orange paper to add another pop of color but also to make the standards transparent to the students. Plus, it makes it easier to reference them when all you have to do is point at them.

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Next to my whiteboard is my only bulletin board in the room. I used a world map as the backdrop and put some of the postcards I’ve collected from my travels above it. Eventually, I would like to make the map more interactive as we go through the regions in the class. At the bottom of the bulletin board, I’ve tacked on things the students would need to reference.

I was excited to have a teacher desk be moved and have this table available for use. I decided to make it more of a student center where they will turn in their work, collect missing work, and access any supplies they might need.

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This “Were You Absent?” binder comes from Eat. Write. Teach. I’ve used it in the past and it seems to work! Plus, I love the binder I put it in this year🙂

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Instead of making another big poster and cluttering up my walls, I decided to make this little sign next to the turn in trays for things the students can do if they finish early.

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Under the front table there is a set of drawers. In those drawers are supplies the students can access and use like calculators, erasers, notecards, clip boards, band-aids, etc.

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Next to the door I keep important documents like the schedule, grading scale, and classroom expectations so they are easy to access. This year I also decided to put a small whiteboard next to the door to have students sign out on when they leave the room.

P.S. I love my little chalkboard signs!

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On the other side behind the door, I put hung out folders for exit slips. These are to rate their understanding of the content for the day. I don’t do these slips every day but I try to do them a couple of times in each unit.

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I set up my teacher area a little different this year. The desk was switched out and I added the document camera cart, which freed up space on my desk because the printer is on top of the cart. I put the recycling bin behind my desk to avoid students putting food wrappers in there. I also put a student desk at the end of my teacher desk for when we do student conferences.

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This is behind my desk. I really like how this is set up compared to last year. I feel like I have more surface space. Also, I’m still in love with that map!!

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This last area is a space I was more excited to incorporate. I wanted to make it feel more homey in my room so I purchased two bungee chairs, a couple of throw pillows, and a small rug to create a lounge/reading space. The green ottomans were part of the room last year but felt out of place by themselves. Yesterday, the kiddos were really excited to know they could sit in them🙂

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The cabinet behind the chair is also an area where the students can access. It holds extra supplies for them if they need it, art supplies for projects, and books for them to borrow and read. And the cabinet is easy to access with just a scooch of the chair.

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I am very happy with how my room turned out! I definitely want to be in there doing work and I’m excited to share the space with my students this year!

Speaking of work, here are my teaching goals for this year:

  1. Stay firm and consistent in my classroom management
  2. Incorporate more engaging and collaborative activities in my lessons
  3. Contact every parent before Open House (which is some time in September)
  4. Have all copies and presentations done by the Friday before
  5. Keep working at home to only one night a week and don’t stay later than 5 pm any day – this means utilizing every planning minute before and after school and during my prep period
  6. Update grade book weekly
  7. Do more checks for understandings and conferences to catch issues early on
  8. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to other team members

But most importantly… enjoy the school year, get to know the students, and continue to grow!

Questions for You:
How do you decorate your classroom?
What are your non-negotiables?
What are your goals for this school year?

Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #42

Sorry I was little MIA last week. It was a crazy week with getting ready for the school year to start back up tomorrow. As I sit down to write this post, I feel ready but still have those first day back jitters. Just leaving it up to God and planning on having a great day tomorrow🙂

I wanted to make sure we had a great weekend before heading back to school!

Friday started off great with heading over to Home Team to celebrate a co-workers birthday. Then Cody and I went out to Waterfront Park under the Ravenel Bridge for a movie in the park. This week’s movie was Space Jam! Classic. We got there early to grab some grub and listen to some music. Our friends James and Allie also joined us for a nice night.

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Saturday started off early for me. I went into school to do all of my copies for the week and put my finishing touches on my classroom. Look out for a full classroom tour this week! Here’s a sneak peek for now.

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In the afternoon, Cody and I headed out to Isle of Palms for some jet ski fun. We hadn’t been out on jet skis in several years and we missed it. We were able to go crazy in the bay before riding 15 miles up the Intracoastal Waterway to Capers Island and hang out on the beach for a bit before heading back.

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Saturday night started out chill with some egg sausage casserole for supper (Cody’s favorite breakfast food!) and hanging with Cooper then we were invited out with some friends to watch some preseason football and Olympics at DIG in the Park, a great restaurant in North Charleston.

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Today we heard a great message at church about how each family is imperfect behind the picture perfection on social media, pulling examples from the Bible as reference.

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The remainder of the day was pretty typical with grocery shopping, lunch, and planning on my part.

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In the middle of all the usual business, I was able to get together with a few of my girls from small group for some pedicures. This pampering felt great right before a new school year begins! It’s easier to take care of your students when you take care of yourself first.

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I also want to give a shout-out to my amazing mom. It’s her birthday today!! I was able to chat with her earlier today and I hope she’s had a great day, she deserves it!

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And, here is your weekly dose of our cutie Cooper. He’s been in a biting phase lately. Any tips to help him learn to listen and to stop??

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Questions for You:
What did you for fun this weekend?
What is part of your typical routine on the weekends?


Here is our meal plan for the week. I’m planning on doing some Pinterest workouts this week, give myself a break from the bootcamp workouts.

Sunday – Hamburger and noodles

Monday – Vegetable beef and rice soup

Tuesday – Crockpot chicken, potatoes, and green beans

Wednesday – Turkey meatloaf and asparagus

Thursday – Turkey dogs and sweet potato fries

Friday – Riverdogs game

Saturday – Homemade pizza