Back to School Teacher Gift Ideas

Friday, August 26, 2016

I wish I could say I came up with this idea myself but I got it from my friend Dannielle who happens to be a teacher and blogger at Quite Dainty.  Two moms from her classroom showered her with gifts before school even started.  What a blessing!  I loved the idea so much I had to do it this year.

  I scoured Pinterest for ideas and pinned tons on my Room Mom Shenanigans board and ended up getting this bundle of goodies.

I first got some extra supplies because I know teachers can always use them.

Then a few things just for her.  Hand sanitizers, colorful pens, a Starbucks gift card, Post Its.

The printable for the pens is from this site.  So cute!

We also added in the teachers favorite things printable that you can find HERE. 

I got this purple crate from Walmart for a buck and put everything in.  You can find the welcome back printable HERE

Delivered by this cutie and we are all set for this school year!

I can't believe how fast these little munchkins grow.  I'm going to go sit in my corner and cry now.  Hope you're having a great back to school time! 

Feel free to pin. 

Until next time.  Toodles!

Teacher's Favorite Things Printable

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The day I have been counting down has finally come.... back to school!  The beginning of this season brings out the crazy in me.  I'm soaking every single moment in!  I love first day of school outfits, school supplies, back to school nights, being in the classroom.   

Before last years meet and greet I found a great questionnaire asking for the teachers favorites.  I had hoped it would show the teacher I was interested in being the room mom but it ended up being super duper helpful.  I couldn't find one I really loved so I created one and you can download it HERE

I may not be looking to become room mom this year but this sheet is a must.  It's a great way to let the teacher know you care about them and so handy for Christmas, their birthday, and teacher appreciation week.  

Are you ready to send the kids back to school?

Until next time.  Toodles!

Mommy and Her Phone

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ZTE Grand X Max 2. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know about you, but my phone screams BREAK ME to my kids.  After a few months of having it, my little man playfully grabbed it from my camping chair and took off running.  I got up and as if in slow motion he tripped and hit the ground screen first.  There was no mending the shattered phone.  The bad news was my new-ish phone was done but on the good news was now I can get a new phone.

There are so many options and phone companies out there it can be very overwhelming. After some research, I found that the best bang for your buck is from Cricket Wireless, who offers a much more affordable rate plan for my budget. You can bring a phone from any other carrier to switch.  I have my eyes on the ZTE Grand X Max 2  since mine is trashed. As a mom and blogger who takes way too many pictures, the most important feature on a phone is the camera capabilities.  

The Grand X Max 2 has a beautifully large 6' LCD screen, which I will for sure put a shatterproof case on.  Love the wide angle front camera and of course there is a rear camera.

What draws me to this phone is the Bokeh effect setting.  It photographs just like my 50 mm lens but on a phone!  It blurs out certain areas of the image allowing for the key element to remain in focus.  You wouldn't even know these images were taken on a phone.

The Grand X Max 2 is a high powered LTE smart phone that runs on android Marshmallow OS.   It has a great audio system and I love love love how slim it is.  However, the best part is the price.  Because I am a new customer bringing my number to Cricket, the current price for the phone is $129.99.  If you happen to be a current cricket customer the price is $169.99.

My search concluded that Cricket has the best deals on plans and also a great priced phone compatible with my mommy needs.  I love that this that photographs like my professional camera.
Now I just have to find a way to keep the screen from those sticky little toddler fingers.

Buy ZTE Grand X Max 2 for $129, port number to Cricket and activate a new qualified plan, minimum $40 per month. Fees, other charges & restrictions apply. See store for details.
Visit Sponsors Site

Bacon Carbonara

Thursday, August 11, 2016

With bacon, cheese and pasta it is very hard for this recipe to go wrong.  It's super simple and delicious!  It reminds me of a grown up version of butter noodles.  The plus is the kids like it too!  It doesn't have the heavy cream found in alfredo but the egg mix makes a smooth light weight sauce it makes your mouth dance.

1 pound dry spaghetti
1 pack of bacon 
4 cloves of garlic
2 eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmasean 
fresh parsley

How To
1. Mix the eggs and cheese together.  Cook noodles in boiling water 
(Save some of the water in case you want to thin out the sauce)

2.  Cook the bacon in the olive oil until crisp about three minutes.  Toss the garlic in the fat and saute for less than one minute to soften. 

3.  Toss the noodles in the bacon and take it off the heat.

4.  Add in the egg mixture into the noodles and whisk quickly.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve with fresh parsley and fresh grated Parmesan.

This is a quick dinner and a win all around.           

Feel free to pin.  

Secret to the Perfect First Day Pictures

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I'm a tid bit crazy about pictures.  I love getting that one smiley picture perfect shot, especially on those first and last days of school.  I know I'm a hot mess the first day, so I found a way to get it without the pressure.  What's the secret?

Taking it a few days before. 

She wears her first day of school outfit, we go outside and have fun with it.  There's no time restraint, no pressure on her, no stress for me.  I can be as annoying as I want with the camera and it takes the rush out of getting that perfect picture in the midst of the crazy gotta get out of the house to not be late on the first day. 

If you're a crazy picture mom like myself, you'll actually be able to enjoy every first day moment.

It may not be an actual "first day" shot but it captures her perfectly at that age and each time she shows me that big personality.  These pictures really are for me so I can cry every year as I see how she's grown.  I think the sass has grown with each year.

SO if you're like me and crazy about pictures, then give this a try.  This little series of us may not have been on the actual first day but it still makes me teary.  This was our moment, talking about her first day and how excited we were.  Me full of those silly sappy emotions about her growing up.

With her first day of coming up, you better believe that I will be taking the pressure off the day and taking that perfect perfect a few days before.

We Broke Up

Friday, August 5, 2016

There is something very special about social media.  It allows for people to feel part of each others lives without having to be in the same physical location.  I've always been thankful for Facebook because with every move it has allowed me to feel connected to family and friends.  It helped with homesickness, provided me with work from home, and it was fun to share our lives with everyone.  

SO if we're Facebook friends or you follow me on Instagram, we are connected.  Over the last few weeks I've slowly unplugged.  It's as if we broke up and I never told you why or even gave a warning that I was leaving.  I've gotten some sweet texts and messages of concern and questions.  To eliminate the wonder I would like to tell you why I left in this social media break up letter/blog post.

Over the last few months the fun of sharing felt more like a chore.  More like an obligation and less fun.  I slowly pulled away from Instagram and something crazy happened.... I didn't miss it.  Then on our first day of vacation to Yosemite my phone died and I couldn't find my charger.  For that week I didn't even bother looking and just completely unplugged.

You know what happened?

I didn't miss it.  I fully enjoyed our vacation and to my husbands shock I didn't feel the desire to share.  The thrill and desire to be so connected has left me for this season.  Nothing profound.  I will still be around for short updates and to check messages.  I'm sure one day I'll jump back on, share our family photos and life again.  For now, I'm taking a break and you may not see our crazy faces pop up on your feed as often as before.  

My plan is to focus my online time blogging and getting back to this first social media love.  I know it won't be the same as daily pictures, but for now it will have to do.  Feel free to text and email me still.  Catching up with some of you one on one through messenger has been awesome!  

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Recipe: Mango Salsa

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

One of my favorite parts about having company is being able to cook for them and learning their recipes.  Hubby smoked a feast and my cousin showed us how to make their mango salsa.  
[I also learned how to make the bomb adobo and will be sharing that recipe in the near future.]  

This salsa is delicious.  The perfect balance of sweet, salty, tangy and OH so fresh.  Perfect for summer and  a great pair to cilantro grilled chicken.  Forgive me for not having exact measurements but it's kind of a cater to your taste recipe.

Ripe Mangos

1. Chop everything up into tiny little squares.  Chop cilantro, squeeze the lime, and add the salt. 

The best things in life are simple. Enjoy! 

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