Thursday, August 25, 2016

Creation Crate Review - Let's Get to Building!

Hey there! 

Recently, I was contacted by a new sub-based company and they offered me a free Creation Crate box in exchange for a review of their product. I heard the words creation and elementary and knew that it was a perfect collaboration!

So, what is Creation Crate? Creation Crate is a beginner friendly, technology driven subscription box that's perfect for kids in upper elementary school. According to their website: 

"We started Creation Crate to give people a more practical way to learn - in a subject that's not getting nearly enough attention in traditional schooling. When most people think about careers in technology, the first thing that comes to mind is programmng. Not many people think about the hardware side of tech."

How true is that? I loved the idea and had to try it out. Here's what came in my box!

The box was pretty simple in its design and I was excited to open it up. When I opened it, I found all of the hardware components to build and program a lamp. How cool!!!

I love the tech inspired stickers. I would definitely save these to hand out to kids when they successfully build the design. The booklet on the left is the instruction manual.

The instructions are pretty simple. I appreciate that they're not super wordy. That makes it very helpful for younger kids. I also like the pictures that match up with each material in the box.

So, of course, I had to test out the instructions and I got right to building! I found that the instructions were simple enough to use and I was able to figure it all out and get everything put together. 

So, all-in-all, this product was super fun! I would totally bring this into my classroom and allow students to build and program. This is a great incentive for early finishers or class rewards. I loved putting this together and I have no doubt that other students would too! 

I think that I am going to get a few more of these and keep them in plastic bins to pass out as needed for activities!

Want to try out Creation Crate? Head on over to the website to get started!

Creation Crate

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Win a $100 TpT Giftcard and Other Great Prizes

Hello hello!

I am super excited because a few of my teacher friends have gathered together and we're hosting an awesome giveaway!! There are 3 huge prizes and they are all AWESOME! $100's of dollars to Teachers Pay Teachers, an adorable chalk board, a custom board by Amy Harris....WHAT???

On top of that, most of us are going to be hopping on Facebook live throughout the day to share our favorite Back to School resources! I can't wait to catch everyone's live videos and hear about their recommendations. This is an awesome group of teachers here!

Want to enter!? Check out the details below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Best Beauty Subscription Box - Boxy Charm Review August 2016

I am so excited to bring you a Boxy Charm review today! I have been subscribed to Boxy Charm for 3 months and I wanted to wait a while to really feel out the sub box before recommending it to my readers. I have to say...this is THE BEST makeup subscription box that I have ever found.

I used to be a hardcore Ipsy fan but my excitement was dwindling. I felt as though I was getting more and more low-quality cheap products from China that were filled with nasty junk and not worthy of use in a professional makeup artist's bag. I couldn't rationalize the subscription anymore but needed to fulfill my makeup obsession somehow.

That's when a friend of mine recommended Boxy Charm to me. We both worked at M•A•C together and I really value her opinion so I went for it...even though it costs twice as much as Ispy. Let me tell you...IT'S WORTH IT! 

In the past three months, every box that I have received has had a retail value of over $120. Talk about a steal. One month, I received an $80 bottle of eye cream. Yes, I paid $21 for that box and got that eye cream and 4 other items. All of the items are full-sized. No more mini samples that are a one-time use. Plus, the products are higher-quality brands that I would actually use professionally and personally and most of them are free from all of that nasty junk that we don't want on our skin.

So...what was in this month's box? Take a look!


Do I have your attention now?

Here's what the box looks like when you get it in the mail.

This card on top breaks down the prices for each item in the box, tells you what it is and tells you how to use it! LOOK at those prices! 

I really don't love the blank paper that comes in the box...but hey...that's a pretty minor issue to have. These products are so amazing that I don't even miss having a cute little bag from Ipsy. Let's be real....that was the main seller for me anyway.

Aloe Pure Aloette Serum

This serum is heavenly! I've been using it for the past few days and it's lightweight, absorbs quickly, and doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky or weird. I haven't had any skin issues from it and I love the way that my skin has been looking. I'm definitely going to be ordering more of this!!

I try to change out my mascara once a month and I'm excited to put this to use next month! I'm always open to finding new mascaras to love!

dirty little secret liquid lipstick

dirty little secret liquid lipstick

If you know me, you know that I LOVE a bold, matte red lip! I love that this is a liquid lipstick. It makes the application so much smoother. This stuff is amazing. The wear really lasts. I applied this to my hand to swatch it lasted on my hand for about 8 hours...hand washing and all. I can't wait to try this out at work when school starts back up! 

Beauty for Real eye pencil

beauty for real eye crayon

Beauty for Real is the reason that I subbed to this box in the first place and I was super excited to get this gorgeous purple eye crayon in my box. It applied super gently and left a super-charged color payout behind. I couldn't believe it. It had a short window where the color could be smudged or moved. After it set, it stayed put. The swatch on my hand had to be scrubbed off at the end of the day...even through all of the hand washing I did during the day. WOW!

coastal scents palette

Now, if I'm being honest with you, this was the bust of the box for me and it was the first product that I have been less than excited for. I am not a huge fan of Coastal Scents. Their stuff is fine but it's not what I prefer to use. Even so, this would make a great gym-bag go-to and it's always nice to have another makeup brush around!

So, what do you think? Have you tried Boxy Charm before? Do you want to? You can click any link in this post to try it out using my referral code! 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Awesome Back to School Deal for Your Best Style Yet

I just had to pop on here really quickly and share this amazing deal with you! I have been eyeing these Nume wands for years. Have you heard of Nume before? They make curling wands, straightening irons, etc. I've seen pictures of people with gorgeously styled hair using these for years. I know they're real too because one of my friends uses one and her hair is perfect.

Today, I was doing my hair and thinking about how I really needed a new wand to keep at school (yes, I do my hair at school after the gym) and that I didn't have a lot to spend on one right now. Guess what happened next...I got an email in my account to get any wand for $29. WHAT??? I just saved $120 on a wand and I want to share the code with you! I can't wait until mine gets here!

Ready for perfect hair? Click the link below!
Back To School Flash Sale: ALL wands only $29


Sunday, July 24, 2016

#TPTDIGITALSALE on TeachersPayTeachers

Ready to get super techy next year?! We're here to make it SUPER easy for you!!! Don't miss out on this amazing one day, TpT sale for Tech Day! It's happening on Monday, July 25, 2016! 

Just search #TPTDIGITALSALE and you'll be hooked up with great resources for a great price!

Want to see products and blog posts from the sellers involved in this sale? Check out the links below!!


Tackle The Tech Monster: Google Drive for Elementary Education

Can I be honest for a minute? I hope you're saying yes...because I'm bringing some honesty either way!

I always start the year with loads of goals and intentions to start 100 different "totally amazing" and "super cool" and "most creative" ideas ever. Care to take a guess about how many of those things I actually carry through during the year? If you guessed between one and two, then you're correct.

This year...I want to focus on just ONE thing. One intention. One change .

This year's focus is on adding more digital instruction to my school day. 

Now we all know about good goal setting, right? Goals should be SMART.
Time Bound

Here's my plan for making this happen! 

Why am I so insistent on getting this whole train rolling anyway? FIRST, my whole school is going 1:1 next year. I am so excited because we will have a SmartBoard, 1:1 Chromebooks and Apple TV. I also own a few iPads of my own to add to the mix. Why would I let this great technology go to waste?

Also, I believe that integrating technology purposefully is the perfect way to boost students' career and college readiness skills. You may not know but I also teach at the local community college. I hate to say it but I feel as though a lot of these students were not prepared to use technology as college-level students. I hope to instill a love of technology for learning in my students and support them in learning HOW to use technology to purposefully. 

So what's the big deal? It can be HARD to change the way you do things. And...TIME. Right??

Along with all other things worth doing, it takes WORK to make it happen. Besides modifying my curriculum to be technology-driven, I have to change my routines. My procedures. My current practices in grading, editing, etc. There's so much to think through!

That's why I'm starting with only ONE area. Let's check in on some SMART goals for getting started with using Chromebooks or other technology in your classroom.

If you're anything like me, you're going to try to jump right in and implement technology in all subject areas. I've tried that. I failed. I've now refocused my energy. I will implement my Chromebooks specifically in my independent reading time (or Daily 5). I'm going to rework my current independent work to fit in with technology.

Close Reads?
Does your school use a digital reading service (MackinVia)? Ask your librarian if there's a way that students can annotate text in the reader and send it to you via Google Docs or another platform. I found out that we have that capability and my paper/pencil close reads will be decreased. Alternatively, you could use NewsELA for free to work through close reads.

Reading Response?
Easy!! Create a template, share it with students, or teach them how to build it themselves. Have students respond and share it to you at the end of the day/week/etc.

Word Work?
Think of how you can use Google Slides to create interactive vocabulary work. Can students add pictures from the internet to define the word? Can they edit colors and manipulate text to demonstrate understanding? What can they do with the words to show that they understand the context?

Writing can be so rich in a digital environment. You can create templates. You can share photos IN COLOR. You can teach digital revising. You can even share text and mark it up together on the screen. Of course, there's always free writes too!

How will I measure my success in achieving this goal? Well...I will set a goal that for the first month, one of my activities is digital. The second month, three of them will be digital. The third month, all 5 of my activities will be digital. The step-by-step increase will help me not feel so overwhelmed. If you picked an activity to implement first, which one would it be? Start there.

Is this achievable? For me, yes. However, it's not for everyone. If you don't feel comfortable creating digital projects yourself, seek out sellers who produce digital products for the classroom. There are some amazing sellers out there who have awesome digital projects. Some of them are linked here for you and you can check out there projects in the link up!

What's realistic for my classroom may not be realistic for you. Maybe the whole Daily 5 block is too much for you. Can you implement something smaller? One read aloud? One read and respond? One math project? Morning quick writes? What makes sense for you?

My time frame here is to be done implementing digital activities in my Daily 5 block by the end of the first trimester. This is going to keep me on track. What would be an appropriate amount of time for you? 

So, I hope this helped you figure out ways to think through tackling the technology overwhelm! Do you have plans to integrate more technology next year? I'd love to chat about your plans! 

Want more tips and advice?! Head on over to read tips and tricks from other great techy bloggers!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ultimate LuLaRoe Business Supply List

As you may or may not know, I recently launched my LuLaRoe business and I have finally pulled together all of the supplies that I need (want is more accurate sometimes) to get my business rolling!

Now, I do plan to sell online and in person so I have purchased supplies for BOTH options. I'm going to share with you everything that I have pieced together to get ready. Please note, this post does include affiliate links with Amazon.

Here it goes...

Packing Materials

I want my packages to stand out. It's very important to me that I take a few extra minutes to package things up neatly and really put that little extra layer of love into my packages. Perhaps I'm this way because I am a life-long Johnny Cupcakes fans and his personal touches have always inspired me! 

I purchased some Thank You stickers and tissue paper to wrap up items in. Then, I also picked up some super cute pink poly mailers. These mailers were so perfect for my business. The bags say "Keep Calm and Go Shopping." How perfect is that for merging my blogging brand and my clothing business? 


Photography Supplies

Next up, I picked up a few things to make my photography better. Here's what I suggest!

I picked up a backdrop to make my images look prettier. It was a small expense and totally worthwhile. The backdrop is matte which is going to help a lot with reducing glare from my lighting kit and flash. The whitewashed wood looks so clean.

I was happy that I already owned a lighting kit and I'll be using it a lot for my product photos! I have the lighting kit shown below and I've been very happy with it. it's super easy to set up and take down, which is huge for my since I live in an apartment.

Next up is my dress form. Although it takes more time, I seriously prefer images where the clothing is placed on a dress form. I picked one up for a pretty decent price. I wanted to get a solid white one so that all patterns and prints would photograph nicely. This thing was a breeze to build and it's super sturdy.

Lastly, I made some overlay images to make my photos cleaner and easier to navigate for my customers. I posted them up over on my Etsy shop if you're interested in editing yours with them as well! They're a simple PNG file and I have them for all styles and sizes! 

In Home Supplies

Next up, here's the list of things that I purchased for use in my at-home set-up as well as for in-home pop-up parties. All of these things are moved back and forth as needed.

I picked up some sizing rounders for my racks. I got plain white ones. I found that the 100 pack was a decent set for starting out with. Then, I purchased some labels to decorate them with some cute LLR backgrounds. I picked up these labels. The hole wasn't quite as big as my sizing dividers so I had to trim it up some with a craft knife. It was a quick and simple project even with having the extra step.

Other Items

Other than the items mentioned above, I picked up the following:

I think that about sums it up! If I find that I forgot anything, I'll make sure to come back and update the list!!

Please let me know if you have any questions! I'm happy to help you out!