November 18, 2017

Christmas Party with Oriental Trading

Every year my family always has a Christmas party together.  This year we chose some Oriental Trading items to make our party a bit more festive!  

No party is complete with out a table full of food & drinks.  These are just of few of the items from Oriental Trading that I will be decorating my table with.    

Christmas Red  will  definitely be the dominating colors on my table!  The Plastic Tablecloth will make clean-up so easy!  We won't be eating dinner, but we will have a bunch of snacks...these Round Red Plates will be perfect!  And... don't you just love the little Candy Cane Desert Plates... they will add a little POP to the table.  

I'm already dreaming of a White Christmas and sitting around the fire drinking my  Coffee or Cocoa out of these Insulated Paper Coffee Cups! And for those that want a cold drink I'll have Red Paper Cups available for them!

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the Way!  Don't you just love to hear the sound of bells!  Decorating this Christmas tree with  red and green Jingle Bell Necklaces is definitely putting me in the Christmas spirit!   It will be fun for everyone to wear and jingle all evening to celebrate the holiday cheer.

The Spirit of Christmas will continue to flow with this bowl of bracelets.  The Thin Brand Silicon Bracelets have 3 different designs...  bells, Christmas lights, or MERRY CHRISTMAS!  The Happy Birthday, Jesus!!! Bracelets... after all Jesus is the Reason for the season!!!

My hands will be protected with this cute Santa potholder while doing my Christmas baking.  It will be sure to add some holiday cheer when I hang it in my kitchen in a place visible to everyone.

Disclosure:  Oriental Trading has provided me with the products.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

November 11, 2017

Shelter by Celine Clair


As a big storm approaches, two strangers arrive in the forest. All the animal families, safe in their homes, are worried, unsure of their motives. So, they all turn them away when they ask for shelter, and the strangers are left to fend for themselves. But then the fox family is suddenly forced out into the storm, and they must ask these outsiders for help. Will they find it in their hearts to give it?

In my first-grade classroom my students love to be read to… especially those with animals in them. As the story progresses the pictures themselves give you the feeling that the storm is drawing near!   I can almost visualize the expressions they will have as I read it to them!  The rejection that the bears must feel when no one will let them in… how cold they must be in the midst of this terrible storm… the gratitude they have for the fox’s gift… the fear the fox family has when their home is in danger… 

Discussing generosity and kindness towards others is something that we all need to be reminded of sometimes.  What a huge difference in can make in our lives!

Disclosure:   I received this complimentary book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

Me, Me, Me by Annika Dunklee

This cute book is about three young girls that are best friends.  Their school is going to have a talent show and Annie suggest that they enter as an all-girl singing group.  This seemed like a wonderful idea to Lillemor & Lilianne until they realized that they were going to have no say about the song they sang, the name of their group, or even what they wore!  They quickly realized that the talent show was really going to be all about Annie!  The group breaks ups and Annie decided to do a solo performance.  The other two girls decide to do a duet. 

All the girls quickly find out that things are not the same without the who group. 

This book is so typical of what children go through when they won’t work together as a team.  Will the girls reconcile before the talent show?  an


Disclosure:  I received this complimentary e-book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed above are my own.  :-)

Blind Spot (Book #3 - Chesapeake Valor Series)

Book Description: 

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives.

My Thoughts:

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this the 3rd book in the Chesapeake Valor series.  This book was worth the wait!   It seems like forever since I read the last book, but it didn’t take me long to recall the events from the previous book and I found myself totally sucked into this book.  Two days later (I had to sleep, eat & work!) I was finished.   😊  

This Christian/Inspirational Fiction book allows the characters to show through their words and actions their faith in God.  It is just a part of their life and the author does an excellent job of showing that without overdoing it!  As the reader, you know they are Christians, but it is not overpowering!

If you like a book full of action and suspense, then you might want to give this series a chance!   One of the characters, Declan was highlighted more in this book than the others and I was so happy about that!  He has always been one of my favorite characters in the books and I was glad this book brought out more of his character and deep beliefs in the storyline.  The ending of the book was quite a surprise!  I love a good cliff-hanger and I was not disappointed by this one!!!! 

I would recommend that if you have not read Cold Shot and Still Life that you do so before you read this book. There is a lot of history between all the characters in this book and it will help you connect the pieces together easier.

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

September 26, 2017

Monster Party with Oriental Trading

Every year I try to do something fun for our fall party in my first grade classroom.  This year I decided to have a MONSTER DAY!!!  I had so much fun trying to find fun ideas (that can be made educational) from Oriental Trading that I think they are going to LOVE!  They have so many monster ideas and it was so hard to pick.  I finally decided on these fun things.

Monster Bean Bag Toss Game – I am going to set this game up at a math center.  Students will throw a bean bag to knock over the plastic cans.  Students will add up the number of cans they knock over using the color key for the different colors of the cans.  Aren’t these little monster cans CUTE!  I will be using these for several other activities during the school year as well.  

Monster Weaving Mat Craft Kit – These will be a perfect addition to our Monster Party.  The only preparation I will need to do is it tear the perforated paper apart  and put in a container at our art center.  Easy Peasy…Lemon Squeezy!  I'm so glad that I did one of these ahead of time... Now I know I need to tear these apart before the party.  

Monster Piñata – It doesn’t get much cuter than this to use for decorating my classroom for our Monster Party.  I just have to figure out how to make sure all 24 of my students get a chance at hitting it before it breaks.  Instead of filling it with candy, I’m painting 24 small film canisters (Yeah! I finally found a way to use them!!) and then adding a Tattoo monsters into each of them. 

Monster Pencils – We will start our day by writing a monster story using the Tattoo Monster from our Piñata and a cute Monster Pencil!! These pencils are hard to sharpen in my regular pencil sharpener because of the coating that is on them.  But I have a hand turned pencil sharpener that works great on these pencils.  There are 6 different designs for the Tattoos and I'm sure my kiddos will have a favorite.

And of course… what party would be complete without food & decoractions.

Goofy Monster Head Lollipops – Super cute!  I really want to try them…but I only have 2 boxes (12 in a box)… and I have exactly 24 students.  There are 6 different designs and they are different flavors.  Yummo!

Mini Monster Luncheon Napkins & Monster
 Party Paper Dinner Plates – A monster party definitely needs to have monster napkins and plates!!!  They are so cute!  My kiddos are going to be so excited to use them. I love that they are very sturdy and the napkins were bigger than I was expecting.  

Mini Monster Cupcake Liners with Picks – I have a friend that makes awesome cakes and she has volunteered to make the cupcakes for my party. All I have to do it add these monster picks when I get them to school.  I think I will be more excited than the kiddos!!!  The liners are different colors and go perfectly with the monster theme.

Eyeball Gummy Candy – Monsters and eyeballs... they go together RIGHT!!!  I had to have someone try them out... Isn't he about the cutest thing you have seen all day!  He said they were delicious and wanted more!

That's it!  I am so excited about this party and can hardly wait to see the expressions on the faces of my students when they walk into our classroom on MONSTER DAY!    

You still have a littler over a month to get ready for you Halloween Party!  Please give  Oriental Trading a quick look... you will love their variety as well as quick deliveries.  

 Disclaimer:  I recieved the above products from Oriental Trading in exchange for my honest opinion of their products.

August 14, 2017

So Much To Do... So Little Time...

I’m so sad!  My summer break is almost over and I didn’t even get a single one of my to do lists completed! 

The one thing that I did do was meet up with my Siblings in Niagra, New York.  It was so beautiful there and I didn’t want to leave

But my classroom is calling me

Have a great year everyone.

July 18, 2017

Celebrating 60!

60 is a big one!  Surprising my sister with a party to celebrate was so much fun.  Instead of the traditional BLACK we decided to go with fun colors. Oriental Trading had so many items to pick from which made planning for decorations so much fun!
The decorations I went with were the BRIGHT & BOLD birthday items.  This plastic banner was the perfect size to hang over one of our food tables.  I was a bit nervous when I opened the package because it didn’t say 60 on it!!!  After my initial panic attack…I realized that several milestone dates were included in the package.  All I had to do was peel and stick.  Easy Peasy. 

    To continue with this BRIGHT & BOLD theme I chose a table cloth, balloons, and hanging swirls that had the same design on them.   Everything was cheerful, instead of the traditional depressing black!  Lol!!!  


Just to rub it in even more... I wanted 60 on the napkins as well!!!  The plates and forks blended in perfectly with this bright pattern.  

My sis loves owls!  When I saw this cute balloon owl I knew that it had to be a part of the birthday party decorations.  Isn’t it absolutely adorable?!

Since this party was going to have a ton of kids, I chose a few candy items that would catch their eye. These gummy bears and light blue mini twisty lollipops were definitely a big hit with the kiddos.  

The cupcakes that were left over we sent home with guests in these cute little cupcake boxes.  They were very easy to assemble and everyone loved them!  

Birthday parties are so much fun!  I hope that next time you are planning a birthday party that you will give OrientalTrading the opportunity to meet your needs.  They have so many choices!!!

Disclaimer:  I received the above products from Oriental Trading in exchange for my honest opinion of their products.

June 23, 2017

Oriental Trading - Lots of 4th of July Items!!!!

In just a little over a week, my husband and I will be hosting our annual 4th of July picnic for our church.  This year we wanted to make it extra special for all our guests by have a few treats and decorations.  Thank goodness for ORIENTAL TRADING  and their wide variety of patriotic items it was easily accomplish! 

Candy Buffet anyone???  I started off with some red containers from Oriental Trading's patriotic selection to put all the goodies in.   There are 3 sizes (2 of each).   They are the perfect size.  I am saving the largest 2 for the Rice Krispie Flag Treats that I will make later!) The other 4 containers are filled with Sweet Creams Hard Candy, Candy Sticks, Tootsie Rolls, and Butter Mints.   What child (or adult for that matter) will be able to resist these eye catching sweets?!  And yes... I did the taste test and they all passed!  :-)   Chocolate is one of my favorite candies...I hope they make it for the party next week.  

When I saw these Red, White, and Blue Leis I knew they would be absolutely perfect for our celebration.  I was concerned they might be too hot to wear, but they are very light-weight.  I will definitely be wearing one.  

We wanted to decorate just a bit, so we decided to add a few bows randomly around the lake/picnic area.  They are very sturdy and I will be able to easily attached them to the trees.

And of course...every party needs a photo booth!!!  
I’m pretty sure these 
will be a big hit.  Since everyone (almost) has a camera in the phone it will be a do it yourself booth. The problem I found with these props is what to put them in.  I finally decorated a container and we are going to attached it to the tree so it doesn't constantly all over.  

Isn't my little boy absolutely precious!  I have to admit...he wasn't too happy about posing for me.  You probably can't tell that though.  lol

The 4th of July wouldn’t be complete without a few glowing items!  Aren’t these Glow Necklaces awesome!  There are several kiddos in our church that are going to love them.  I might have to put a sign up that says “children only.”  

I hope you saw some things that 
you liked.  If not, you need to head on over to Oriental Trading and find items that will make your 4th of July more special.  
You still have time but you need to hurry... hurry... hurry... if 
you want them for your 4th of July Celebration!!!!

Happy 4th of July and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!

Disclaimer:  I received the above products from Oriental Trading in exchange for my honest opinion of their products.

June 18, 2017

Naeir! Oh My!!!!

A few weeks ago I posted that I wanted to accomplish several things this summer and I thought posting might make me be more accountable.   Nope... it didn't work.  Instead I have developed an addiction... to a website can Naeir!!

Apparently I signed up a while back and was approved to purchased items but I never even checked it out... Until a few weeks ago...

Now I'm hooked.  It's crazy... being drawn to things that I could really use in my classroom and they seem so cheap... and they are... well... some of  them...

But now... my checking account is empty...and I must quit visiting that website before it becomes an addiction that I can't overcome.  I've read comments from other teachers on Facebook... apparently it is an issue for other teachers as

That's it...I quit!!!