Right now I can hardly contain my excitement - I'm going to be a teacher in the fall! I'm so thankful that the time is finally here, and I'm looking forward to having the summer to rest, recharge, and prepare for a great first year as a teacher.
Of course, there is so much unknown about what I'll experience as a first-time teacher, which is why I'm glad there is an abundance of resources and testimonies from seasoned teachers who have been-there-done-that. Some things can only come by experience, but other things I can go ahead and prepare for now by reading up and by saving great resources.
You may be in the same boat (we can do this, new teachers!) or you may have already been teaching for a while now. Either way, some fresh perspective could be helpful! So I hope you get some ideas and inspiration from these teaching blogs, which are mostly geared towards elementary teachers (but not exclusively!).
You can see by the menu what Sarah from "The Designer Teacher" stands for and cares about! It's refreshing to read about affirmations for teachers as well as to get behind advocating for social justice in education. Plus, she has a really great (and cute!) line of products like teacher care boxes and teacher tees.
This blog has tons of resources and activities geared towards the preschool-first grade age range. The author Malia is incredibly accomplished (National Board certified), and her resources show it. She runs a second blog called The STEM Laboratory that I only just discovered as I was writing this (gasp!). I'll have to check it out right now!
This is another blog full of resources. Karen, AKA Mrs. Jones, provides guided reading tool kits, books, DIYs, decorations, and more!
As per the name, this blog has a big focus on staying up to date on what's going on in teaching today. There seem to be a lot of great technology and planning resources for teachers, but April also writes about home DIYs and organization, too! She's got tons of teacher planners up on Teachers Pay Teachers.
This incredibly professional blog features all sorts of preschool-Kindergarten resources, like dramatic play activities, lesson plans, and teaching tips. Teacher blogger Vanessa Levin is also a public speaker, author, and consultant - so basically, I've got a lot to learn from her! I could probably spend all day on her site.
This blog is not exclusively for elementary teachers and features topics beyond the classroom, such as general organization tips and technology hacks. While I haven't browsed through Angela's blog enough as I would like to, I listen to her podcast Truth for Teachers regularly, usually while I drive to work. She has lots of great advice and hosts some incredible people on her show!
I love how organized this blog is! Author Maria Gavin provides an abundance of freebies, activities, decor ideas, reviews of teacher products, and more! She has a lot of great insight about life as a teacher and offers some solid resources.
Well there you have it - hours and hours of browsing to do and an abundance of resources and tips for elementary teachers! There are so many great blogs out there, but I'm thankful to have stumbled across these few so far to get a head start on preparation for the fall.
Do you have any favorite teaching blogs, or write one yourself? Share below in the comments!
You may have recently read my Summer Kitchen Wish List, full of sunny kitchen essentials I would love to add to my apartment this summer. I'm counting down the days until summer is officially here - only one week to go!
As well as browsing kitchen things, I've also been dreamily scrolling through summer wardrobe pieces. It's time for sundresses, shorts, and bathing suits, plus rompers, sunhats, and sandals.
Here's my Summer Wardrobe Wish List!
No matter what season, I'm a sucker for pastels, stripes, and soft vintage tees. I'm definitely looking forward to some dresses and shorts as the weather warms up, too!
See anything you like? What are your summer wardrobe staples?
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase from one of the posted links. I only include things that I actually like or think would be beneficial to others.
Spring cleaning has come and gone. Our apartment is finally feeling homey and clean, although I think I'll always have things to rearrange. I'm also still working on downsizing little by little after that minimalism challenge I did in April.
That being said, after I do a good clean-out I often find myself admiring lovely little things that fit the fresher feel of the place. That's admittedly not the most minimalist tendency, but I don't actually buy things nearly as often as I browse.
The main space I've been browsing for items for lately is the kitchen. I'm loving the citrus-y soap from Bath and Body Works that I have on the sink at the moment. With the light, floral, sunny feel of May and impending summer, I've been compiling a cute batch of summery kitchen items that I like - the "must-haves," if you will. Here's my wish list of Summer Kitchen Essentials!
1. Citrus Juicer
Manual Citrus Juicer
It would be so nice to sit on the front porch with a glass of super fresh lemonade this summer. Swooning!
2. Kitchen Lemon Hand Soap
Bath and Body Works Kitchen Lemon Gift Set
Speaking of lemon, I'd love to add more citrus-y soap to the edge of my sink like I mentioned earlier!
3. Dinner Napkins
As a way to go greener, we switched from using paper towels to kitchen napkins this year. These would be a lovely addition to our collection!
4. Honey Sticks
Sweet fresh lemonade during the day and delicious warm tea with honey in the evenings. Yes please.
5. Utility Cart
3 Tier Wood Metal All Purpose Utility Cart
My kitchen is honestly a bit small for this, but I would love to have a cart like this for coffee and tea fixings! It would look lovely topped with fresh flowers, too.
6. Spatula Set
Spring Shef Spatula, Pastry Brush, and Whisk
I love the color of this set! And I'm a sucker for wooden kitchen items? Plus I'm enamored with the idea of baking pastries this summer.
7. Honeycomb Canister
Creative Co-op Ceramic Canister
I'm honestly a bit obsessed with honeycomb print, especially on ceramics. And that yellow just feels so summery!
8. Breakfast Table
Greenco Bamboo Foldable Breakfast Table
I think I'll use this nifty breakfast table to eat all those pastries I mentioned while I lay in bed. Plus, I could use a laptop desk to do some work from bed!
9. Drip Coffee Maker
Diguo Glass Coffee Maker
Of course, breakfast is never complete without a good cup of coffee. I'm interested in these glass drip coffee makers, especially with the pretty wood and leather details.
Now I'm even more excited for keeping the kitchen tidy and making it feel like summer!
What are your essential kitchen items? Have any summery suggestions?
I feel like a broken record, but spring is heeeere! May is always such a beautiful month, with wild flowers canvasing the hills, evening thunderstorms, and summer approaching.
In March I started making mood boards on Pinterest to capture the "aesthetic," if you will, of the upcoming month, and I've enjoyed keeping up with it. If you've never heard of mood boards, or vision boards/goal boards, they're a way to envision the things you want to do, the person you want to be, or the mood you want to embody for a certain season of life.
You can read more about mood boards and learn how to make a physical version here!
May's "mood" encompasses lots of beautiful things - watercolors, berries, raindrops, coffee mugs. Yes please.
Here's my May Mood Board from Pinterest!
Do you have any goals, visions, or a mood for this month? Have you captured them with a mood board, either physically or on Pinterest? I would love to see your mood boards!
It's Sunday again and the weeks seem to be going faster and faster as the school year comes to an end. Daniel only has one final left and I have basically the month of May.
April was an interesting one. There were lots of highs and lows to deal with. We celebrated a few birthdays and my brother's wedding, we both landed jobs (more info to come!), and we got to participate in some fun things with our church community. On the other hand, we've been dealing with some other things, like my own bout of bad news, the challenges of life changes, and the tiredness of the semester.
But April was good for me. It was stretching, which can be painful but is ultimately worth it. You may have read my post earlier last month about how it's okay to not be okay, and that kind of sums up the month for me. I'm growing in many areas of my life and it's okay if that looks messy. It's okay if I cry, it's okay if I need a minute to just do nothing, it's okay if I let go of some things to focus on others. Basically, it's okay if I slow down.
Since you've been hearing from me here less frequently lately, I wanted to share a bit about what some of those areas have been and what I've been doing with my time. That feels a bit scary for some reason? But I just want to share what my life has looked like the past month or so.
The past few months have felt like a lot of preparing for me. Lately I've felt like I'm in a constant mode of rearranging and refining our apartment, even though we're nearing 5 months of living here. Part of that has to do with the minimalism challenge I attempted in April that I'm still kind of working through. And maybe 5 months really isn't as long as I think?
I've also been preparing a lot for my upcoming job, which is teaching kindergarten in the fall (yay!). I'm beyond excited for this stage of my life to finally be here! I'm stock-piling activities as well as making some of my own, so that has been a small bit of my time in the evenings recently. I really can't wait to put my classroom together.
Beyond what I can go ahead and tangibly prepare, I've been doing a lot of dreaming of what's ahead. Of course, I probably have lots of notions about teaching that won't work exactly as imagined, but it's still fun to think creatively about what I hope my classroom will be like.
As well as dreaming of teaching, I've also been dreaming of the future in general - where we'll go when we leave Waco, what our first actual home will look like, what our children will be like.
Babies. My pondering has been filled with lots and lots of babies. Just to be honest.
I've also been dreaming up summer plans and travel destinations, although nothing solid just yet.
Along with kindergarten activities, I've been creating different little things here and there, from some simple Peter Rabbit drawings for my niece's birthday party to paintings for my Etsy shop. You may have also seen my potato stamping project, which was a lot of fun. I can't say I've made anything too earth shattering as of late, but doodling in my journal and painting flowers onto sticker paper has been somewhat therapeutic for me. Creating can be more about the process than the outcome, no?
Part of slowing down for me has meant being okay with not having a giant project to chew on. The result has been some tiny and refreshing bursts of creativity.
To be real, a lot of this past month has just been existing. Processing the changes that are taking place in my life, thinking through things, and being okay with doing absolutely nothing at times. Some evenings are blanketed with Netflix binges and Pinterest scrolling. Others with walks to the coffee shop. Others still with turning in for the night even earlier than usual.
Some days I get home from work and don't feel like doing much of anything but sit on the couch with Daniel, but I think that's okay sometimes. I've been sort of intrigued with this idea of "slow living" that's been buzzing around on my internet feeds, so we'll see where that exploring takes me. I definitely know that living life slowly and intentionally is not the same as sitting around lethargically. I'm working through getting to a point where that feeling of wanting to sit idly comes less frequently.
And honestly it already is. May is off to a good start. April was odd, but through the groaning growing it's put a little pep in my step for the new month ahead. I feel like the Lord is doing something new in my heart, and I'm eager to know more.
That's just a little update on what life has been like lately, however scattered it may have come across. I've been preparing, dreaming, creating, and being. I've been slowing down a little at a time, taking some extra moments to figure out this whole adult thing. I don't know that it's figure-out-able, but the process is sure interesting.
What's your life been looking like lately? I'd love to hear!
It's been a minute since I did a "Thankful Thursday." This Thursday I am particularly grateful for the new month and impending summer. Here's what else I'm thankful for today!
I'm thankful for:
And a snippet of the passage I read:
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. (NLT)
Have a happy Thursday! What're you thankful for today?
Happy May! This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, which was started in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization. When I read that it was started so long ago, I was a bit surprised! It seems we still have a ways to go in being fully aware of how to care for our mental health.
Of course, there's a lot that can be said about mental health, and providing a simple list of self-care ideas in no way scratches the surface. Mental health awareness is obviously more than sitting down with a hot cup of tea or giving yourself a spa day, but sometimes those small gestures can feel huge.
I wanted to share this list as a starting point that pretty much anyone could try, fully realizing that these simple activities are not prescriptive solutions to mental health problems, but rather small, everyday ways that someone could be intentional about taking care of themselves.
They may not be for everyone, but I hope you'll find something creative that you hadn't thought to try before.
Here are 31 Self-Care Tips, one for each day this month!
From this list I currently employ at least 10 of these on a weekly basis. They may not be ground-shaking, but they are simple and effective for daily mental health maintenance, especially when life is feeling stressful.
Do you use any of these self-care tips regularly? What other ways do you practice mental health awareness?
I probably say it every month, but April went by soo quickly! Daniel is done with the semester in just a week and I'll be done in less than a month. Summer is around the corner, and it couldn't come sooner!
You may have noticed that the blog was a little bit quieter this month. I scaled back a bit to focus on some other life things, but if you've been following along, thanks for sticking around through the slowness! In case you missed anything, here are the highlights from April.
Here's a list of all the posts from April:
Sneak Peek into May:
Here are a few posts you just might see around the blog in the upcoming month.
What are you hoping to see on the blog in May? I'd love to hear!
I'm not ready for the weekend to end. The weeks are going by quickly, but so are the weekends, and this particular weekend was one I wish could've lasted longer.
My Joy from this week was pretty much this entire weekend. Yesterday two of my best friends and college roommates came down for a visit. We spent the day shopping, eating, and hanging out.
We started off the day by making some super delicious garlic butter pasta at my apartment. We always loved cooking together in college, so it was a fun and nostalgic choice, not to mention easy and cheap.
After lunch we grabbed some ice cream at Heritage Creamery and popped next door for coffee at Common Grounds. I almost always get their cappuccino because they make a really good one. Then we pulled the top back on my friend's convertible Bug and let our hair whip around while we drove to our next stop, a local greenhouse called the Urban Reap (which you may have read about in my post here). We enjoyed looking at all the cute little flowers and herbs.
Next we went downtown to the Spice Village, which I had never been to before. It was really cute! Their slogan is "worth the climb" because it's up a pretty steep staircase. It definitely was worth it, because the store was a giant boutique with everything from antiques to clothing to nice candles and soap. Very "farmhouse chic," if that makes any sense.
We spent quite a bit of time just perusing. I basically have to smell every single candle on a display, ha. I didn't buy anything, but if I went again I would probably have to go in with a set budget.
When we left the Spice Village we did some more shopping at World Market and Old Navy, ate burgers and custard at Freddy's, and played a card game back at my apartment. It was a much needed girls day!
The wonderfulness of the weekend continued today as Daniel and I went to church, had lunch with some friends at a little cafe, and headed to my sister's house for our niece's first birthday.
Time with family, cake, coffee, presents, sweet baby giggles, bubbles, sidewalk chalk - it basically doesn't get better. I guess I'm pretty biased, but my nieces are literally the cutest kiddos on the planet. My sister attempted having a "cake smash" for the birthday girl, but she insisted on eating her cake with a spoon! She didn't want to grab the cake with her hands. It was hilarious and adorable.
We're ending the evening watching The Office on Netflix and eating pizza rolls. It's been a pretty chill weekend.
What's your Joy from the week?
This past weekend, my brother got married! It was so exciting to see him and his new wife make their vows to each other surrounded by our families, and on the top of a mountain no less!
They got married at sunset at the edge of a peak on the Rio Grande Village Trail in Big Bend National Park - how rad is that? We all hiked up the trail in our sun dresses, Chacos, boots, etc. and gathered around the happy couple as the sun cast gold ribbons over the river. It was absolutely stunning.
It was a long 8 hour drive for us to get there, and we wished we had more time to explore the park. Unfortunately, we drove down the morning of the wedding and had to drive back the next morning to be back for work and school on Monday.
We definitely want to go back again when we have more time to spend there! Daniel and I aren't super experienced hikers, but we enjoyed our trip to the Grand Canyon for our honeymoon and we like trying our hand at it from time to time.
Nevertheless, the trip was well worth it, and we're so excited for all that's ahead for my brother and new sister-in-law!
Recent graduate + Wife
+ Instructional aide
+ Coffee lover + Artist
I'm a twenty-something trying to figure out this adult thing and using my spare time to run an art shop on Etsy and write a blog about life, art, education, and travel.