Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quickie Post: TPT Sale!

Just dropping in to update everyone in the sitewide Start Your Year Inspired sale. If you use the code START16, you'll get an additional 10% off all sale items (which includes EVERYTHING in my store). Check out my products here and stock up on your faves throughout the site today! It might be the perfect time to nab those wish list items...

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Celebrate Dr. King

As I type this, I'm simultaneously drafting a list for what I need while I'm in San Francisco this long weekend. For me, this weekend has been on the horizon for a while, as it is the extended weekend I will be visiting my mom. However, it's also the weekend in which we celebrate the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. When I was in the classroom, we learned this influential leader with my kiddos, regardless of their age, through books, discussions, videos and hands-on activities.




MLK Day celebrates the life and legacy of the inspirational, compassionate leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. We commemorate the timeless values he taught us through his non-violent examples and protests. On this day, remember and honor the life and contributions of one of America's greatest Civil Rights leaders.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday was signed into law by President Reagan in January 1983. Celebrated on the third Monday of January each year, MLK Day is a time when the nation pauses to remember and celebrate Dr. King, his life and work, and honor his legacy and contributions to humankind.

For more inspiration from Dr. King himself, check out this terrific infographic from Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 24. This graphic includes influential quotes from Dr. King to help inspire your "day on, not day off"

Happy Dr. King Day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Resolution Inspiration

So by now you've figured out my love for making goals and sticking to them. I've posted a few times about ways to stick with your resolutions (or goals) and have created a couple products related to resolutions and making SMART goals.

Okay, okay. You've read these posts and understand how and why to make and stick with your goals for the upcoming year. But maybe you don't know what your resolution(s) should be. Maybe you have something vague in mind, like "get healthy" but can't determine a concrete place to start. Look no further! This post is to help you determine the perfect resolution(s) for you!


I've split up the ideas based on categories. You may even look for a different goal in each category, like I did here, if it strikes your fancy.


Get Healthy!

This category relates to anything in regards to your physical health, such as weight loss, exercising, clean eating, hydration, etc.

  • Walk _____ steps a day (many people start with 10,000)
  • Drink _____ glasses/ounces of water a day - check out my latest Busy Bee post for ways to increase your water intake.
  • Do yoga one day per week (this is great if you are trying to increase your flexibility and yoga practice. Once this is mastered and you want to increase it, do so!)
  • Exercise 3 times per week for 30 minutes each
  • Lose 10 pounds in 3 months -this is an example. Tailor this to your goals, but make sure it's reasonable.
  • Quit Smoking. I don't know a lot about smoking cessation, but check this out for some tips to meet your goals!
  • Cook at home 3 nights per week (to me this is cray easy, but that's because I a'int got no money for take out, and like cooking. But whatever you need to work on man...)
  • Jog ____ miles per week/month/year. I find it easier to make smaller goals, such as "Jog 100 miles by January 31st" or "Jog 30 miles by my birthday". Once I reach my goal, I set a new one. For example, if I ran 100 miles by January 31st, I might then set a goal for 50 miles by Valentine's Day, and so forth. If jogging isn't in the cards for you, then allow walking to take its place. I allow any cardio exercise to count, based on these rules below from Tone It Up.

  • Wear sunscreen every. single. day.
  • Incorporate fruits and veggies at EVERY meal -this is one of my personal resolutions this year!
  • Try one new work out each week - check out my #runteacherrun page for some workouts!

Save Money!

All things related to saving and making money.
  • Bring your lunch 3 days per week
  • Make coffee at home
  • Save _____ per month (enter a reasonable dollar amount here, based on the next idea)
  • Create a budget
  • Keep track of your finances - many people swear by Mint
  • Save money toward buying a house - this may obviously take longer than just one year, but by starting the process of determining your budget will make the process much easier. Check out this post to give you an idea of where to start.
  • Make more money this year - not always an easy feat, but check out this list of resources for some great ideas! I added TPT to my resume a few years back and it's been a great supplement to our annual income. Additionally, I work as a consultant on the side based on my profession (BCBA)
  • Consolidate your loans - or at least research it to find out if it's right for you.
  • Start a savings plan
  • Learn to live below your means -sound scary? It's actually quite reasonable, and responsible! Check out this post for some tips.

Live in the Moment!

Mindfulness (my fave), mental wellness, stress relief.
  • Turn off all electronics one hour before bed 4 nights per week (gotta start somewhere, right?)
  • Get more sleep - to make this SMART, add smaller, manageable benchmarks, such as "go to bed 30 minutes earlier" and once that is accomplished, change it to "go to bed 45 minutes earlier". Alternatively, consider tracking your sleep (I use my Fit Bit). Check out this post for some ideas for getting better sleep.
  • Be a Morning Person
  • Create a cleaning chart for your home - incorporate kids and spouses. Cleaning throughout the week leads to less stress on weekend and cleaner home all around!
  • Meditate ___ minutes per day - start at 5 minutes a day. Increase as needed/desired. Need help getting started? Check out my Beginner's Guide to Meditation for busy folks and my post on Meditation 101.

Be Professional!

Work-related goals for the professional
  • Be more productive -I'll admit, this isn't very SMART, but I don't know what you do for a living to make this a SMART goal. To help make this goal SMART, focus more on the steps you are going to take, based on your overall goal as it relates to your professional situation. For example, for me I might choose "work on behavior support plan for client in the first 2 hours of the work day" or "check emails 3 times daily".
  • Procrastinate less - again, not SMART, but you can figure it out.
  • Find more professional resources - check out my Pinterest page on all things "professional" and "work-related"

Blog More!

Blogging related resolutions to keep you accountable
  • Grow your blog - there are tons for resources for growing your blog. Check this one out for Twitter. This one for a list of new blog post ideas. Or this one and this one for making money while growing your blog. Score!
  • Learn how to write a great blog post - check out this resource for some tips.
  • Learn how to pair fonts for eye-catching images - like here, or here.
  • Learn about any gadgets you have - for example, your MacBook or Canon.
  • Learn effective photography tips for bloggers - say for, creating and animated gif, using photo editing apps, and general photography tips.

Have Fun!

Use these resolutions for adding leisure or "just for fun" goals in your life. Think: reading, vacations, hobbies, etc.
  • Read 1 new book a month (make this attainable for you!)
  • Take an adult education class of your choice (think knitting, a language course, or cooking class)
  • Teach yourself a new skill (YouTube has great resources for this - I taught myself to crochet using this method)
  • Join a sports team for leisure. There are lots of organizations geared toward adult sports or social groups. My favorite Boston-based ones are BSSC, Hub Sports, and Social Boston Sports. Check out your local YMCA for some leagues as well!
  • Learn how to change a tire by _____ (enter date)
  • Plan one weekend day trip per month -this is the perfect resolution for those of you new to your area, or even those who have lived in their town for years! It's an opportunity to get out and explore!
  • Complete 2 DIY projects of your choosing a month- Check out your own Pinterest page (or mine) for inspiration!

Now even though this last of resolutions is HUGE, it is by no means complete. This is meant to serve as inspiration for you as you develop the best goals for you. Hopefully, I have done that for you.

What are your resolutions/goals for the upcoming year? Comment below!


Monday, January 4, 2016

The Busy Bee's Guide to Staying Hydrated

Do you feel sluggish? Is your skin dry or sallow? Are you dehydrated and thirsty by days end? You need to increase your water intake! Don't feel like you have enough time in the day to keep chugging the beverage? Don't fret - I've got some tips to help you.

Some tips for upping your H20 intake:
  • First Thing’s First. Have a glass first thing in the morning! There you go. One down.
  • Meal Planning. Plan to drink a glass of water at each meal. Opt for water instead of grabbing your usual soda or juice.
  • Reuse and Refill. Keep (and refill!) a reusable water bottle with you at all times. If you have water within arm’s reach, you will be more likely to drink it!
  • Mix It Up. Don’t limit yourself to plain water, especially if you already struggle to drink enough of it. Spice it up by adding some edible flavors, such as cucumber, lemon, or mint. There are some water bottles made specifically for these delicious infusions. Click here for a list of yummy water recipes.
  • Eat Your Water. When all else fails, eat it! Incorporate foods with high-water content, such as watermelon, tomatoes, or cucumbers which all contain over 90% water per volume!
  • Get Some Bubbly. If cutting out the carbonated soda is a challenge, consider swapping out your regular soda with some sparkling water. It’s refreshing and hydrating without all the calories.
  • Pencil It In. There are a few ways you can use these reminders to get yourself drinking more water. You can plan to drink a glass of water at specified times throughout the day. For example, you can plan to have a glass of water at the beginning of each class you are teaching, or every hour on the hour. What every schedule you choose, make sure you can keep to it. Another idea is to have your fitness tracker or phone send you a reminder. My FitBit is scheduled to vibrate throughout the day to remind me to drink some water. It’s a simple, non-intrusive way to stick with you plan.
  • Track It. You can track your intake on your phone using a several different apps. Make a goal and track your progress each day. You can also simply add some checks in your daily planner, a post-it note, or fun little visual you keep in your purse. It doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to work.\

Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you don’t have time for some hydration. Use these tips and see the benefits!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years friends! I hope you had a wonderful NYE last night and aren't feeling to too badly today. I'm not - I've been sick the past 2 weeks and The Husband and I didn't feel much like partying. After the required Chinese Food (NYE tradition, ya know) and a scorpion bowl, we came home to watch the ball drop in the comfort of our fleece pajamas and down comforter. It was perfect.

In preparation for the New Year, I've joined the fun with Farley's Currently. I haven't done one of these in several months, but with the New Year brings changes, beginnings, and motivation, so I've decided to join in on the fun once again.


listening. Do you stream Spotify on your computer? If not, why not? It's free and amazing. I also pay for a subscription so I can listen to it on the go (in my car, at the gym, etc.) and it's my primary method for streaming music. One of my favorite things about Spotify is it's playlists. You can make your own (I have many times), listen to other user's playlists (and follow them), and listen to Spotify-made ones too. My favorite Spotify-generated playlist is the weekly one that is curated just for me, based on my last weeks' most listened to songs. They take what I'd been listening to and make a playlist based on those preferences. It's almost always on point (except when I accidentally click play on a country album on repeat while I'm away from my computer, and then my playlist is littered with country music. Puke). Regardless, Spotify rocks (no pun intended)

loving. The  Husband works most Saturdays and has a rotating day off during the week. So, unless he's off on a Saturday (every 6 weeks), we really only have Sunday together. Enter: Mid-week Holiday! When he get a holiday off, I usually do too, so today is our day together. Not that we do much on these precious days off, other than sleep in, go to the gym (see below) and snuggle on the couch watching TV, but it's being together that counts :)

thinking. I really enjoy making and sticking with New Year's Resolutions. Something about making a promise to change or complete something you've wanted to do,and hold yourself accountable, is so liberating to me. It makes me feel in control. I've written posts about this in the past, so if you want to read up on tips to stick with yours this year, check em out!

wanting. Being sick makes me sore. Not like flu-symptom sore, just like I-haven't-been moving-my-body-a-lot-and-I'm-starting-to-feel-stiff sore. I could use a good, deep-tissue rub down. However, massages are no fun when you are face down, dripping snot through the head pillow (sorry for the image), so before I head to the spa, I'd like for this cold to go away.

needing. As I mentioned above, our days off together are usually spent heading to the gym at some point. We do this separately on days we are working, but generally go the time the other one will be there, so we are usually working out together. Today however, I was moving just a bit too slow, and The Husband took off without me. I'm wrapped like a burrito in my knit baby blanket, trying to work up the energy to go (not because I'm too sick, but because I'm too lazy).

one little word. Health. Physical health. Mental health. Emotional health. Health.
*to come up with your own OLW for the new year, check out this post from The Chalkboard Magazine.

Before I bid you adieu, I want to remind you of two products you could use in your classroom when you head back to school next week! The first is my New Year's Resolution Mini-Lesson Pack, which has been updated for 2016. It's good for grades K-5 and can be added to any lesson on making goals, resolutions, and the like.


Need something for the older grades? I loved using this product with older students and young adults. The focus is on making SMART goals for sustaining lasting change. It does not have a New Years focus, but can easily be used to focus on making goals for the new year. My Goal Setting for Young People is my #1 best seller right now and has a 4 star rating. It's definitely my favorite product I've created so far :)

I wish you all a healthy, happy, prosperous New Year!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Making Goals That Last: Keep Your New Year's Resolutions This Year!

Happy New Year! Hope you have had a wonderful holiday season! I'm here again to share a post about making life goals and sticking to them this New Years. 


As I write this, I update this post this year, I am, yet again, sick. Only this time, instead of being snuggled at home with my pup, I am holed up in my home office, getting work done, coughing, and drinking hot lemon water with honey. So long are the days of Christmas break, I am now an office-bound clinician.

Similar to the last few years, I've been drinking my weight in fluids, and resting as much as possible, given my full-time work schedule. My body obviously is on some sort of cycle of sickness. Not surprising, given the time of year, but oh-so inconvenient. I guess it's more motivation to take continued control of my health and wellness. Which means I guess this is a good a time as any to start thinking about my New Years Resolution.

Thankfully, I am not alone. Many, many fellow bloggers are also thinking of their resolutions for the upcoming year, and many have linked up with others to hold themselves accountable. What a brilliant idea!

Setting goals for myself has always been easy...it's the execution and accountability that is the tough part. I know the things I need to work on. I dwell on them throughout the year. When the times come for New Years Resolution, I dive in head first. However, usually within just a short couple of weeks (if even that!), my fire dwindles and my dream dies. That's it! No long drawn-out goodbye, no preparation, nada. It's just gone, and I feel numb. Numb because it's so darn cold outside because it's still the beginning of winter.

I went to a fabulous Goal Setting Workshop through Lululemon in the autumn of 2012. It had a wonderful grid to help me visualize my goals and write them down on paper. Check out their blog section on goal setting. This workshop has obviously stuck with me because I keep coming back to the worksheets and advice three years later (and counting).

This video may be of interest to you if you are wondering about the power of writing down your goals. It may also be worth a listen if you are nervous about making your goals more real, or concrete. This video comes from the Lululemon blog, and is short (only about a minute).



I love the idea of linking up with other bloggers to help hold each other accountable, but before I link up, I want to really set meaningful, manageable goals for the new year, and I suggest you do the same. Further, we need to be setting goals for ourselves; things we want to achieve, not things others want us to achieve, or things we think we should change about ourselves. For example, you might think I should start drinking apple cider vinegar each day, because I heard it's good for me, but if you hate the taste of it, what's the likelihood that you are going to stick with that? And if you hate it so much, is it really worth choking something down that you despise, when you could be making other meaningful changes to your life that will be just as powerful and not completely suck?

My first step is to identify my values and goals for my life overall. It's hard to make a resolution if it doesn't fit with your life plan and values for yourself. At the Goal Setting Workshop, we were provided with a terrific double-sided worksheet to help define these goals. I have adapted the first page slightly as seen below.


get this worksheet from my Google Docs

This worksheet was downloaded straight from the Lululemon blog. If you download the PDF file from the website and have access to Adobe, you can type directly into the form. I prefer writing down my goals with pencil (I'm sure it's something kinesthetic-related, but I don't know what)


get this worksheet from my Google Docs

I find this worksheet fabulous! Something about the set up, the colors, the font...it's all very enticing. It also helps that it comes from Lululemon, as I love them (as evident from my latest Tweet). If this worksheet doesn't work for you, don't be discouraged! When in doubt, create your own! Whatever works for you! But make sure when you do create something that works, maybe share it? Others would love to see it (I know I would!).

This may seem a little overboard for something as mundane and routine as a New Years Resolution, but let's be real...should changing your life for the better feel mundane? Should it be a chore? NO! The New Year should inspire you to change! Change is good! Opportunities are good! You should feel empowered to make these life changes, not trapped. So please, take this seriously, and I promise you, by this time next year, you won't feel like you've failed last year's "goals", nor will you dread expanding your dreams for the upcoming year.

Cheers to making lifestyle changes that last!

What changes/improvements/goals are you making this New Year? Comment to start a conversation!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Stash Hash: Delicious Post-Holiday Leftover Breakfast!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday week last week! We cooked the majority of the meal at our house, then transported it down to the MIL's. Because that's practical. While I'm all about someone else cooking and hosting, I do love having the chance to cook such a memorable, large meal. The best part? Having leftovers! When I'm a guest at someone's house, I don't get graced with leftovers, which is honestly, the best part. This year, I brought Tupperware down to the MIL's and divvied it up amongst my household, and...my household. The MIL doesn't eat leftovers. Really!

Now, many people lover making new creations with their leftovers, but I've always felt, if I loved the meal the first time, I want to keep savoring it. Well, I had the chance to keep eating my Christmas meal throughout the weekend AND was able to try something new (I had a lot of leftovers). The creation? A delicious Stash Hash for breakfast (Stash - what you have on hand; Hash - hash).

Doesn't that look delicious?

Now this isn't a recipe - more of an inspiration. Basically, I just cooked up some leftovers and other ingredients I had on hand. Check out my Stash Hash "recipe" (more like guidelines) below and try it yourself!


Some more pictures, for good measure...


I had made some green beans for Christmas dinner, and had them for leftovers. I threw these in my omelette - so good! You could make this with other leftover veggies, like broccoli, asparagus, or sweet potatoes!

 This was the star of my meal. The eggs were an afterthought - a great afterthought.

The entire meal took me about 15 minutes. The hash took the longest to cook, but it was so worth it. Especially since I was a bit hung over. This breakfast hit the spot. I added a few strips of leftover ham on the side, because for some reason I don't think a meal is complete unless there are three different categories on the plate. Whatever. It was delicious.

What are you favorite ways to use up leftovers? I'm always on the search for new ideas...

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