Sunday, May 14, 2017

How-to Writing + the Owlet

I've been on maternity leave the past week, but still no baby A! I'm sitting at 41 weeks today, just waiting for him to be ready to make his appearance. Since I am told this is common for first pregnancies, I haven't been worrying. Instead, I've been working away on new projects/products that have been on my to-do list. Siting around and taking it easy are two things I am not particularly good at!

I just finished and posted a new product that I am in LOVE with! It's perfect for my English language learners because it involves reading comprehension, writing, and sequencing events using pictures. Really, that's perfect for so many students! I might be a little ahead of myself, but I'm already envisioning using it and my other products with baby A once he's school aged. Ah, the life of a teacher's kid!

I'm loving this format (and excuse to use all of my new clipart!) and brainstorming more ways to use it. I am thinking of making this into a series of sorts, perhaps adding on a fairy tale/traditional tale set. Maybe a set with longer stories/more sequencing for more advanced students? If you have any great ideas, throw them my way! My plan is to create as many items as I can this summer while baby is sleeping.

And speaking of clip art - I hope everyone caught the teacher's appreciation sale on TpT last week! I went a little crazy buying up clip art sets from LittleRed. They make the MOST adorable style of clip art and I am bit obsessed. ;)

In baby news, I purchased an Owlet last week to use once baby A arrives. Like any new mother, I've been hearing horror stories about SIDS online and thought, that's it - I'm splurging and buying the Owlet for my own sanity! I saw that the updated Owlet 2 was released a few months ago, so I chose that one. Has anyone else used it with their little one? Since it never goes on sale, I found the best deal on it through Bed, Bath, and Beyond - free shipping, plus 2% cash back if you have eBates! (psst...If you don't have eBates yet - what are you waiting for? I LOVE getting a payment 4 times a year just from my online shopping habit! It's ridiculously easy to use if you have the app or browser button). And no, the 20% off Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons are not valid on the Owlet - I already tried! :(

                   Not this kind of owlet!
Not this kind of owlet!
THIS kind of Owlet. ;)

**Disclaimer: the links leading to Amazon are affiliate links, which means I may get a small cut**

Monday, March 27, 2017

I'm back!

Time has sure flown! In the two years since I last posted, I've had many changes. I was ready for a change at work and switched to a position as an ELD (English Language Development) specialist last school year, which I love. I work with all grades K-5. I really enjoy challenging myself and trying new things out.
And speaking of trying new things out, I have a REALLY big change coming soon: a new role as mommy! My husband and I are thrilled to be expecting our first child - a boy! - in early May. These sonogram images were from my 7-month appointment and I'm now 8.5 months along. This baby is a true blessing and miracle of science because we went through IVF last year, which was quite a long process, but so very worth it!

We have a head!
We have a head!
And a leg!
And a leg!
Now that I'm 34 weeks, baby is now a butternut squash and boy, do I feel it!
I am now 34 weeks along and baby is as big as a butternut squash!

Since we found out the gender at the 5 month ultrasound, I have been going crazy with baby fever! I've wanted a kiddo for so long and FINALLY it's time for a child of my own! I scoured Pinterest for nursery ideas and spent lots of time creating my dream baby boy nursery. One of my favorite things to do is find ideas I like on Pinterest and find a way to do them cheaper, which I'll share below.

I wanted a peaceful, serene nursery that was not too baby-ish. Something our baby can grow with. I focused more on the neutral colors of gray and white for the accessories and an espresso finish for the furniture.
{Furniture from Million Dollar Baby, ordered from an adorable local boutique
"Silvermist" paint from Sherwin-Williams, I used the Emerald base}

Pinspiration: stacked up ABC blocks and a glass jar full of pacifiers (the jar is empty here, but full now!)
{A-Z bookends and elephant pull toy via Pottery Barn Kids. 
White ceramic owl bank by Mud Pie via Amazon
Light/sound projecting owl by Skip Hop via Amazon
Baskets by Sweet JoJo Designs, similar via Amazon
Swaddling blankets by Aden & Anais via Amazon
Musical lamb by Gund via Amazon
Mini hot-air balloon via Amazon}

Pinspiration: cheap IKEA Mosslanda picture ledges used as bookshelves! 
I stocked up on super cheap board books at the local library's used book sale and cleaned them all up.

Pinspiration: gray glider chair from Pottery Barn. 
My much-cheaper version is by Delta via Target.
{Changing table, mercury lamp, diaper pail, and large basket via Target
Poopoose wiggle-free changing pad via Amazon
"Baby stuff" tote via Home Goods}

Pinspiration: set of 4 animal pictures from Restoration Hardware. 
My version: prints purchased from Etsy and Sondrum frames from IKEA.
{Similar fuzzy white pillow via Amazon
Similar fuzzy white blanket via Amazon
Rolling laundry basket - to get up and down the stairs easier! - via Amazon
Gray & white wool ball garland on crib via Etsy}

 Pinspiration: gray floor pouf from Restoration Hardware.
My version: from Walmart 
Pinspiration: gray and white striped rug via Crate & Barrel
Splurged and bought the C&B version because I couldn't find a cheaper version I liked.

{Cloud mobile via PBK, mobile arm purchased separately
Stuffed llama sold out on PBK, similar on Amazon
Stuffed penguin by Aurora via Amazon
Light-projecting stuffed frog prince from Amazon
Crib sheets by The Peanut Shell via Amazon
Owl security blanket by Blankets & Beyond, similar via Amazon}

In addition to all this baby fever, I've spent many hours working on creating more products for my TpT store. I've been focusing a lot on creating Spanish/English bilingual products (with my wonderful hubby as my editor) and even more mini-books about the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) because I found that there was a lack of resources for both on TpT. I previously had only created NGSS materials for 2nd and decided to expand to other grades as well. They are definitely a passion project of mine! I now have 13 mini-books in my NGSS collection, which you can see here.

Some of my new Spanish products:

Some of the new NGSS products I've created for grades 1-5:

All of the topics I have currently created science mini-books for:
* animals
* plants
* matter
* force
* weather
* the Earth
* the Solar System
* dinosaurs
* the human body
* energy
* organisms
* waves
* water

If you have any ideas/requests for more Spanish or science products, message me or leave a comment below!

Just for fun: a picture of my yorkie Chloe at my baby shower (wearing her "I'm going to be a big sister!" shirt from Amazon)
All those guests and games were too much for her!

**Disclaimer: the links leading to Amazon are affiliate links, which means I may get a small cut**