Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Classroom Tour 2016-2017

I just realized that even though I've been teaching since August I never posted pictures of my classroom! Granted this isn't the most inclusive tour (and at the moment my class is decorated for Christmas...) but here's the bare bones of it all!
I have 27 kiddos in my classroom. They're all awesome and silly and I love spending my days with these little turkeys! We sit in table groups of 4-6, and spend lots of time learning with our Smart Board or sitting at the back carpet together working on math and such! 

I've been in love with this barn wood bulletin paper since I saw it on a blog (and then found it on Amazon). I'm so obsessed with it that anytime I hang something up I put the thumbtacks on the space between the 'boards' so the holes don't show up as clearly... don't judge.

The 'Learn' banner is from Target (but I wrote on it) and the borders and alphabet are also from Amazon. Beanbags are form Walmart, green chairs are from my old mentor teacher, book bins are from the Dollar Store (for obvious reasons...) 

Only picture I have in my desk area. Looking like a stereotypical teacher over here. 

I don't even remember if I posted about this, but once upon a time one of my kiddos gave their teacher (i.e. me) a real life apple! I didn't know that happened in real life and I'm so psyched about it! 

 It's not perfect, but it's mine and I love it! :) 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I Won!!!

Let it be known that I never win anything. Until this week! A while back I was reading Hannah's blog about the Christmas cards they ordered from Minted. The cards were adorable and I'd never heard of Minted before. Hannah announced a giveaway on the blog for $250 (holy cannoli!) I entered, but expected zilch.

On Saturday I got the email that I FREAKING WON. And so, the Minted shopping began. I didn't know what to do with $250, and while I loveeee Hannah's Christmas cards, I don't really need Christmas cards at this point in life. So, I decided to browse around and see what else Minted had to offer. So, here's my mini shopping spree from Minted!

I loved this stationary the second I saw it. Obviously I ordered mine with my own name, not Valerie Maos, and I'm so excited to use it!

Ryan is getting ready to start student teaching (uh, yay!) and I played with this design a little to create something that was sophisticated and businesslike so that when he starts applying for teaching jobs and sending interview follow up thank-yous he'll have fancy shmancy stationary to write on!

Again, not the real photo. I ordered this print for my momma for Christmas! I added her favorite family photo, not this 'Your Image Here' shenanigans. 

brushed wall art print // 14x11" $89
I ordered this for Ryan for Christmas, again without these random people. I used one of my favorite pictures from when I went to Hawaii for the first time and we hiked Diamond Head and attached one of my favorite love quotes. 

I am so so jazzed about this! I love giving gifts. 10/10 would rather give than receive a gift. It's just so fun to put it all together! So, when I needed to add one more thing I definitely chose to get these super cute gift tags!

Total Order: $255.75
+free shipping, people!
-$250 promotion code
All of this Christmas for $5.75

I'm excited. And I'm so so thankful to Hannah and Minted for this awesome giveaway and opportunity. I'd never used Minted before, but I know I'll be back. I'm definitely eyeing the kid teepees as a possible classroom purchase in the future... 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2016 in Review: Thankfulness

2016 was an awesome year. I know it isn't over yet, but I wanted to take some time in typical blogger fashion to reflect on things I'm so so thankful for this year, and always. I apologize if you recognize some of these photos as repeats. Just consider them oldies but goodies :)

thoughtfulness - My brother gave me this watch for Christmas last year, and throughout 2016 I always found myself reaching for this with before serious events: hard student teaching days, my first day of my real teacher job, my first game as a coach, etc. I just love that he was able to give me such a practical gift that I appreciate so much. Thoughtful gifts are the best gift, and this year brought many of them.

 caffeine - My circle knows that coffee is the key to my heart, and I'm so thankful for the comfort that a warm cup brings. Especially when that cup is a surprise brought to you by good friends. 

the opportunity to travel (and the cutest tour guide ever)  - 2015 was technically the year we went to Hawaii for the first time and Ry got to show me around his home, but we were lucky enough to go back in 2016 (and are currently planning for 2017). I just love being able to get away and I'm so so blessed with amazing parents who after a long long time have finally recognized they need a break from their stressful days and have graciously brought my brother and I along. 

strength - I talked a little bit about sharing my testimony this year, but I didn't get into how big of a day it was. I'd been asked to share my testimony at my college group every year for my four years of college, and each year I turned down the opportunity because I felt I "didn't have a testimony". It was finally in my senior year of college (2016, woop woop!) that I agreed to share. It was terrifying and nerve-wracking, but I discussed God's protection and provision in my life and shared that my biggest concerns were always regarding giving up control and trusting, but that's where I see my greatest blessings. Anyway, after sharing this testimony God answered my biggest prayer request at the time and I was offered my current job (that I love)

great friends - I have many amazing people in my life, but this girl has been a huge part of my year. We've worked/lived together for the past three years and she's probably the closest person who understands the daily teacher struggle. J is my 6:30am commute buddy, occasionally my wake-up call when I sleep through my alarm (twice), my Dutch Bros co-pilot, teacher buddy, and Target aisle-roaming gal. I don't know what I'd do without her support and encouragement. And Dutch Bros enabling. 

Ry - Obviously I have to be thankful for one of the most important people in my life, but I have an incredible boyfriend. Being from Hawaii, obviously Ry has never bucked hay. On 4th of July weekend we got to my parents house about 11pm and my dad was out in the field in the dark bucking hay by himself. Ryan offered to go out and help and quickly learned the job. They stayed out there until well past 2am and he woke up early the next day to go out and help finish the fields. It's a job that would've taken my dad multiple days to finish by himself, but thanks to Ry's help we were able to put up the hay in under 24 hours and went to the coast for the rest of the day. I'm so thankful for his helpful spirit. 

this cute dog - no explanation needed, obviously.

dreams come true - It's an amazing thing when your childhood dreams just come true. I am so so blessed with this job and I couldn't imagine myself being anywhere else. I've never worked a job that I am happy and excited to put in 12+ hour days for. It's a good life. 

Last, but not least - Christmas coming up! ONE MONTH TO GO! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Christmas Wish List

I know, I know, Thanksgiving hasn't come and gone so we're not really supposed to be talking about Christmas yet… but I can't help it! Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. Which is sad, because having a December birthday, I almost feel excited for my birthday to be over so we can hurry up and get to the Christmas stuff!

This Christmas is the first one that I've had a full-time job (goodbye college!) and so I'm super excited about the gift-giving aspect. I always gave gifts before, but I was obviously more limited in the range of gifts I could give…

I'm also excited to see what the family gives me, since I'm no longer in college. If I could a few of my gifts under the tree, maybe I'd find a few of these! :)

1. A Keurig

Target - currently $110, been going on sale often though - I've wanted a Keurig for a long time. I think the intensity lately is stemming from wanting to stick to my coffee budget, though. I'm open to any Keurig. My thought is that I could keep it in my classroom… and that's a wonderful idea, I think.

2. Hunter Rain Boots

They're just so beautiful! I have one pair of rain boots from Freddy's or somewhere, and I love being able to wear them on rainy days (recess in the rain in Toms, just doesn't work out…)

3. A new phone…

I've had my iPhone 5S for three years now, and just recently it's started bugging out. The home button only works like 10% of the time, it crashes often, etc. It's obnoxious. I'm debating whether or not I can stick it out for a few more months, or whether it's time to give in and get a new phone… 
My biggest issue with this is that 1, phones are expensive. And 2, they're so BIG now. I remember thinking the 5S was too big for my hands when I got it. I don't know how I'll feel about toting around a brick. 

4. Crockpot Cookbooks!

We've really been getting into our crockpot cooking lately, so I would love access to more recipes. 

5. Another purse!

I'm open to anything, but I've loved this little Dooney for a while! I first saw it on sale in the dark green and loved it, but I also think this color, black, and red are beautiful.

6. And of course…

Some things are just obviously always the best things. 
  1. sweaters
  2. coffee (or coffee gift cards, or coffee mugs…)
  3. sticky notes
  4. fun pens
  5. teacher stuff!
  6. bean bags for the classroom
  7. fun scarves
  8. makeup
  9. shoes
  10. homemade things! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Let's Chat Over Coffee, Shall We?

Good morning, lovely person! It's only been two weeks or so since I've posted here but it feels like five-ever, and every time it seems like I've gone too long without posting I wanna catch up! So, here goes nothing! If we were hanging out in real life, my (now ridiculously small looking, thanks jumbo iPhone 7 peeps…) iPhone 5 would probably be chilling on the table, waiting for me to give visuals to whatever I was talking about. 

But since you can't see my phone right now, you'll have to settle for this photo dump that's about to ensue below, and just imagined the excessive hand motions and excited non-stop chatter for yourself!

We went to the pumpkin patch! it was probably the muddiest day of the entire month, and I forgot all of my boots at my parents house except this one pair that I didn't want to wear. My foot got literally engulfed by the mud (think quicksand) and I had a mini-heart attack while I tried to figure out how to get my foot out without dropping the pumpkin I was carrying/getting my clothes dirty. I escaped, don't worry! I also got a super cute pumpkin and a few nights later we….

Carved them with Ry's roommate and his girlfriend. I'm not going to tell you what my pumpkin was supposed to be, so whatever you think it was - YES, you're right! :) 

Speaking of Ry's house, he and one of his roommates decided on a whim to get a bunny! Before you get upset, both of them have had bunnies before so they're pretty experienced bunny owners. His name is currently Butterscotch (Buddy for short) but he has also been named Bugs, Biscuit, and Pebbles in the last week or so. Apparently the new consensus is that we're allowed to call him just about anything start starts with 'B' 

On Halloween my class celebrated with a pajama party, pumpkin exploration math (we measured, weighed, and tested their ability to float), and a movie with lots  and lots of snacks. The highlight though was when one of my students brought me a pumpkin she grew herself!!! It's the cutest thing ever and I love it. 

I've decided to start getting my nails done (gel polish, homies) every month or so just because I like it and think its fun. The first time I went in with J I absolutely loved my nails, but I wanted a change and so the next time I asked for something different. I'm not going to post a picture of what I actually wanted because what I got was so far off it wouldn't even make sense. Anyway, I had the nails above for about a day and then decided I absolutely couldn't handle them anymore and had them re-done. 

So now they look like this, I love them, and all is right in the world. 

That same day Janell and I went to Real Deals (a store similar to Hobby Lobby, Target, etc. in the home decor aspect). They also have some clothing too. I didn't buy much but I got this super cute little sign for six dollars!! I'm going to change it a little bit and use it for my classroom.
I found this little guy at TJMaxx and I'm so in love. I thought about getting it for my classroom, but it's a little expensive to use for the nine days of school we have in the month of December, and I don't want to offend any parents by encouraging Santa if that's not something they want their child to be exposed to. Its such a cute little mailbox though!!

Last, but of course not least, Ryan and I celebrated two whole years of dating (that's over 700 days, go us!) We spent the day doing homework (well he did, I watched movies…), shopping (yay for deals!!) and went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Which was delicious. 

How has your November started? Still have a guess about what that pumpkin of mine was supposed to be? Let me know! Have a happy Wednesday!