FLASH FREEBIES!

Because I'm a bit OCD (it drives me CRAZY seeing no stars for my products) - I've decided to post some regular "price" items up for free - for just a short amount of time.

Stay tuned this week, as I will be announcing these Flash Freebies on my Facebook Page! Best to link my page, so you'll never miss a freebie!

Hurry - I've posted today's Flash Freebie! It's my Getting to Know You Fortune Teller's BUNDLE.
This is regularly priced at $4.50 - today it's FREE. But only for a limited time!!

Cheers,

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A Look Back

Greetings friends!

As we say goodbye to 2013 and prepare for new beginnings in 2014, let's stop to appreciate the past year.

I've decided to share snippets from my favorite blog posts from the past year:

In a post from January, I was just finishing up our Save the Dates...le sigh...


"Our Save-The-Dates came! On Friday night we spent the evening addressing 150 envelopes and stuffing them with our Save the Dates (I will not abbreviate this...think about it). This pictures shows our Save the Dates, addressed envelopes, stamps, and my Excel spreadsheet with all of our guests names and addresses. Easy system!"

In February, I posted about dreaded Super-Storm Nemo!
Molly and Lucy

There's a car under there...
"How's everyone in New England faring after Storm Nemo? We did not lose power, and everyone is safe...but DANG that's a lot of snow! As a North Dakota native, you would think I would get used to seeing huge snow storms, but it never ceases to amaze me the damage that Mother Nature can cause."

My Morning Routine's post made it to the blog in March. This is where I talk, at length about my Daily Warm Ups I sell in my TPT store! I love these things - and this post :)
This is a copy of the checklist they have taped to their desk for reference
"I have been thinking a lot about what makes my morning time successful for my students, and I give credit to my consistent (dare I say rigid) morning routines and expectations. I have a set morning routine for my students that they are to complete every morning. I have found that providing lots and LOTS of practice in the beginning of the year, paired with visual checklists and personalized lists for their desks, helps to engrain routines into their little noggins."



April was met with tragedy, as my beloved city was terrorized during one of the most joyous times of the year. The Boston Marathon Bombing happened April 15, 2013. I was at the gym with my fiancé (at the time) when we heard the coverage over the radio. It was all so surreal, as I frantically contacted all my loved ones who had any chance of being down in Copley. Thankfully, all of my friends and relatives were safe. Others were not so fortunate. I am reminded of this senseless tragedy nearly everyday, as our city is still recovering. I see bumper stickers on the backs of cars, Boston Strong billboards, and recurring stories in our city's media coverage of those involved in this crime. I am reminded of the strength our city possesses each and everyday as well. We are resilient, and we have thrived. Here's to you Boston.


"So I have been MIA for the past several days. My last post was Monday morning, smiling from ear to ear about one of my favorite days in springtime in Boston, Marathon Monday. That smile turned to tears just a few hours later, when I first heard of the senseless tragedy that occurred at the finish line."

May was a slow month - I only had one post and NO pictures! Yikes. My excuse? Finishing my Masters and preparing for a wedding...my wedding. No big deal.

"Well, as it turns out, the end of the school year was going to be so chaotic! Who knew?! (jk...I did). Oh right..and my wedding is is 17 days..."

June was just a little better, with 2 posts. I think I have a good excuse on this one too - I GOT MARRIED! This, of course, is my favorite post of the year. 
Of course this had to be made!
"On Friday evening on June 21, 2013, I got married! It was such a magical night full of romance, dancing, fun, and a castle. I could not have asked for a more perfect day to marry my other half."

How could I talk about 2013 without talking about my Honeymoon in July?! Well, I can't so here's a refresher of that wonderful trip:
Polo Beach, Wailea, Maui, HI
"...we had an AMAZING time in Maui. Everything about the trip was just amazing. Check out my Instagram for many of the images from our amazing trip, or type in our hashtag #omgitsmyhoneymoon for all of the pics :)"

Remember how the summer of 2013 was a rollercoaster of emotions for me? From pure bliss, to anxiety, to excitement, to a plummeting sadness. Well, here's a post from the last day of August in which I am really laying it all out on the table. Cue the sad Charlie Brown Walk music...
"Thursday I woke up, went to my Journeys training (which sufficiently stressed me out even more), then came home and cried. I had every intention of heading into my classroom to get more stuff done. After all, I still had A TON of stuff to do! Like, an ungodly amount. But instead, I came home, sat on my living room floor and cried. Then, after a good 15 minute sob-fest, I got up, ate my feelings, and watched TV. It was a mental-health day...but a'int no body got time for that!!!"

In September, I was still complaining and confused about my position (spoiler alert: It's nearly January and I still am!). At least this post has some classroom-related pictures!
"I need to find a way to make sure I am meeting the needs of this student, while ensuring he is able to make some progress and meet the standards required for 2nd grade. It's an art, not a science for sure, and I need to figure out the best way to do this. Advice is much needed and appreciated!"

I think my October blog post title sums it up... A Mopey, Self-Deprecating Confession.

"This week was terrible. Not in a "I'm so tired and stressed out from all the assessments and/or PD I had to complete this week" or even a "Yikes! My kid's were really unfocused and now I have to reteach everything again next week" kind of week. No - this week was one of those weeks where I am questioning my "calling" as an educator. I really, truly hate to admit that. I hate feeling stressed out every, single weeknight. I hate that I came home last night and cried on my couch for 2 hours before surrendering to my bed at 8 pm. I hate even more that I left my old job for this position. I feel like I made a mistake..."

My November post included no less complaining. It was almost as if I was enjoying myself again! Almost...
This post was jam-packed with linkys, recipes, and updates galore!

"A Yummy Pin: I blame all of you for my obsession of cuteness! I couldn't just post the pin - I had to create an adorable Recipe Image for you all to have too. Ya know, because I have time for that."

And finally, December. This month as been devoted to Christmas linkys, TPT sales, and Resolution writing! I think you all so much for such a fabulous blogging year (and teaching year, if you don't count the first semester...). After 119 posts in 2013 on this little blog (plus a few more on A Special Sparkle), I am reminded how much I adore the blogging community. Such a supportive, welcoming, and helpful environment. If I didn't feel comfortable here, I wouldn't open up the way I have, especially in the beginning of this school year. I have you to thank for that - without you, who knows where I would be?

Here's to a happy, healthy, and active 2014!

Cheers,
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Willpower and Skillpower in the New Year

So this post is a bit of a smorgasbord of New Years-y things! I'd like to direct your attention to a throwback post, all the way from last year:

Original post from December 30, 2012

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 January.

I went to a fabulous Goal Setting Workshop through Lululemon this past 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 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 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.

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.

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 its something kinesthetic related, but I don't know what)



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? Other's 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 2014 2015.


These same ideas still hold true for me. As I reread this post, and look into the future of 2014, I realize that I do feel confident in my goal-making abilities. I don't feel as though I've failed 2013's goals, nor do I dread 2014. I'm feeling great! I'm ready to conquer the upcoming year!

Now onto more New Years-related things, just incase you aren't as eager as I:

Check out this interesting article from The Huffington Post Blog on New Years Resolutions.


As a behaviorist, I don't agree with all of the assumptions about human behavior, however, overall Dr. Katz has some inspiring messages to share on why resolutions fail, and what we can do to succeed.


"A will for change in the absence of an accessible way to get there from here is a formula for frustration and bitter disappointment."

This is where skillpower comes in.

In another article by Dr. Katz, he describes skillpower in a way that just makes sense:


"Imagine, for example, that you wanted to drive a car or ride a bike but didn't know how, and nobody taught you. You might try bike riding anyway, out of sheer will, but there's only so many times you can fall down and get hurt before you say: Enough is enough! In the absence of the requisite skill, bad experiences erode will. Eventually, will runs out.
Skill power fixes this. If you know how to ride a bike, it may be still be challenging at first – which is where will comes in – but you gain expertise and mastery long before will runs out. Once you have expertise, the demands on willpower drop precipitously, because the task just keeps getting easier."


You may have the incredible amounts of willpower and stamina, but if you do not possess the skills to achieve your goals, nothing will be accomplished. Where there is a will, there is not always a way.

And so, I ask you - do you have both the willpower and the skillpower to achieve your goals for 2014? You must have both for it to be successful!

You may decide that New Years isn't the ideal time for you to start your resolutions. That's okay! If you want your resolutions to be successful, you need to do what works best for you! I know a lot of teachers who prefer to start their "life changes" during the beginning of the school year, as they attribute "New Year" to September. I happen to love starting fresh in January, as I am usually in some sort of rut by the time Christmas Break comes around. It helps to rejuvenate myself and motivation for my students. Again, you need to find what works for you!

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my 2014 New Years Resolutions!

And finally, I have created a new product on just this topic! It is an Interactive Guide for Setting Smart Goals for preteens to young adults! I know - this isn't my usual audience, but I have done a good amount of research and have a fair amount of experience with this population to create such a product.

I am looking for 2-3 editors of this new product before I release it to the masses. I would ideally like to have it uploaded by tomorrow evening (Sunday, December 29), with time for those to purchase to supplement their New Years lessons. If you are interested, please email me at mindfulrambles@gmail.com! For those who volunteer to help, I would love to provide you with the completed product! Thanks so much in advance!

Cheers,
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Post-Holiday Slump? Giveaway Time!!

Hope your Christmas was merry and full of cheer! Don't be sad that it's over...smile because it's time for a giveaway!


The incomparable Tammy over at Dots of Fun Designs and 1...2...3...Teach With Me is hosting a fabulous giveaway! She has reached over 1,000 Followers and has asked some terrific bloggers (plus me) to help her celebrate!

I am donating my Prompt-a-Day for December and January. This product is over 122 pages and includes 33 holiday-inspired prompts and 32 winter-themed prompts. This product can be used as both a holiday and/or winter writing pack - there enough non-denominational prompts to take you through both months of school. There are also two versions of each prompt -differentiated for your students' needs.

Make sure to head on over to Tammy's blogs to check out the other incredible products in this giveaway!

Cheers,

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Greetings!

Just popping in to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I haven't been a very devoted blogger in the last few weeks and I apologize for that. I'd like to say it's because of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but in reality, it's me. I come home from work each night exhausted, and just wanting to cuddle with the Husband and my fur babies. You understand that right?

Well, with the New Year fast approaching, I vow to do better! Stay tuned for my New Year's Resolutions for work, personal and blogging!

In other news, I have updated my New Years Resolution Mini-Pack for 2014! If you have purchased this product, please make sure you re-download! If you are looking for a New Year's Resolution mini-lesson for you class when you head back to school (for us it's the 2nd!), check it out by click the picture below!

And now, for some festive photos to get you in the mood for some holiday cheer:

Our Tree of Thanks turned into our Tree of Kindness

Printed some bulbs on colored paper and strung them along the already-existing tree in our hallway

Printed large Christmas Lights with this writing stem for the students to write their "Act of Kindness" this season. Isn't Chris' just darling?!

Our Winter Music Festival

The whole school + 3 guests each student = violation of fire codes!
On Sunday I ran the Somerville Jingle Bell 5K with some friends! I don't know what I am doing with my face...

and of course - Miserable Festive Lucy in a Santa hat.
Cheers and Happy Holidays!

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Find Me at A Special Sparkle

Morning Y'all!

I am blogging over at A Special Sparkle today. This post is all about sticking with your classroom routines to help make this week manageable and to benefit your students (and you). Let me know what you think ;)

A Special Sparkle

Cheers,
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Sheesh! It's December!!

I know, I know - I already posted in December. But that one was scheduled, and didn't really hit me that the year is coming to a close until yesterday when I wrote "December 2, 2013" on the whiteboard. But alas, whether I'm prepared or not, December is here. So I guess that means it's time to embrace the holiday season with a CURRENTLY!


Listening: For those who celebrate Christmas - who's NOT listening to Christmas music right now?!

Loving: Yes, I have my own countdown to freedom! I love that we have a nice "long" break, due to when Christmas fell this year! Huzzah!

Thinking: I know I'm not technically late, but I don't do the whole Black Friday shenanigans, nor am I big Cyber Monday person (I guess lack of money will do that to you). Once I transfer my moola to my Christmas account, it's off to the races!

Wanting: I'm <<OBSESSED>> with Tieks. Well, I don't actually have a pair, but I know I will love them. They look so comfy, I've read great reviews, and they are so deliciously cute!

Needing: You would think that someone living in New England would have a few good quality pairs of snow boots, but no. I have a pair from, oh...5 years ago. They have a hole in them and smell like sour cream (sorry, not sorry). I just can't seem to get my act together to buy myself a pair! Each year, I think I need to buy a pair in March, when they go on sale! and each year I forget, or buy myself a swim suit, or something that doesn't remind me of cold, dark sadness. Now, it's come to the time of the year, again, that boots will be full price, and I won't be able to justify spending money on myself, no matter how badly I need them. I'll try again next year I suppose...

Favorite Tradition: I LOVE my tradition of making Cappuccino Bon Bons for Christmas Eve at my husband's aunts house. My mom used to make these each year for Christmas and I LOVED them as a kid. As I began creating my own holiday traditions, this was always a staple. They are a huge hit at the Christmas Eve Party, but I make sure to make an entire extra batch for our house :)

Link up with the incomparable Farley with you December Currently!

Also, you may have seen today on my Instagram this little cutie-patootie...

My firsties math group is working on subtraction concepts. Our unit is coming to an end, and I wanted to do a fun craft this week to sum it up. I scoured Teachers Pay Teachers, with exactly what I had in mind, but to no avail. Instead, I realized, I could probably make my own Craftivity! I was a little intimidated, not because of my art skills (I think I'm quite crafty), but because I wasn't really sure how to do the whole "template thing." So on my prep today, I tried it out. Fifty-minutes later, this fella was born! Tomorrow my kiddos will be making Pete after we read Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. I have the templates scanned to my computer, ready to share with you all, but I realized - I don't know about the copyright laws behind Sir Pete! Does anyone have any clue if I'm allowed to share this craft (either for free or purchase)? I've seen them posted on Teachers Pay Teachers, but I'm not sure if they are "legal". Any insight would be fabulous - I must admit, I don't even know where to look for those rules! Please and Thank You!

And, it's your LAST chance to SAVE BIG on TPT products for the Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale! To head to my store to score savings, click the beautiful button below, created by none other than Krista Wallden!


Cheers,
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Deck the Halls Linky!

Happy December!

Can you believe it? Where has the year gone?! I know, I know, what a cliched remark about the start of December, but I mean seriously....wth?

The start of December always inspires my inner creativity... DIY gifts, homemade goodies, craft decorations. The holiday season (from Thanksgiving to New Years) is my favorite time of the year - so many reasons to count your blessings! And in the spirit of thankfulness, I am so thankful for this blogging community. Whether it be a forum for complaints, suggestions, and new, fresh ideas, I'm also thankful that I have this little escape for the chaos of reality.

Additionally, I am so thankful for the TPT community - my go-to place for new teaching ideas and activities to inspire young minds. I check out the new resources nearly everyday, love getting the newsletter, and have more ideas for products I want to create than I know what to do with. What I love about TPT is that they frequently run special sales for its members. It's the perfect time to stock up on all those fabulous resources you have on your wish list! And, with Black Friday devoted to in-store savings, we have our Cyber Monday to look forward to...

Darling Christina at Bunting Books, and Bainbridge has created a great linky for the Cyber Monday Sale on TPT! Not only is it a great way to find fabulous resources from other members, but her linky divides these resources into categories, so you can find just what you are looking for!

Click here to find other awesome resources!

Check out the "playlist" below!
Thanks to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah for the donated additions to the Linky Button!

Check out this seasonal classic...


And a new hit to add to your faves...

Check out Christina's linky to stock up on other fabulous resources for the Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) sale! Many stores will be throwing a sale already, and when you enter the code "CYBER" in at check out you will receive an additional 10% off your order! That's a whopping 28% high-quality teacher resources!! Are you thankful yet?

Cheers,
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