Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Tieks Purchase

UPDATED POST:
So, I had to send my Tieks back because they just weren't the shoes of my dreams!! I'm sad to say this because I really loved that these shoes came in a thousand colors. My main reason for sending them back was the fact that my toenail poked through and I knew this would make my toes very sore. They were very high quality, but I think a half side would have worked so much better! I hope this helps anyone out there. By the way, I have found a shoe finally, it's Toms Jutti Flats! I have the canvas shoes, but had never tried the Jutti flats and they are absolutely perfect for my toes that are apparently pointing upward.

Wow, it's been a while! I've been super busy with work and everything! It's just so hard to keep up!
So, obviously I'm a teacher and I have been on the hunt for so long for a wonderfully comfortable pair of flats. I think I have tried fifty pairs of flats from all sorts of brands and styles. As a teacher, you all know what it's like to try and find a comfortable pair of dressy flats.

The brands I've tried so far over the past year are Clarks, Frye, Anne Klein, Walking Cradles, Softwalk, Bass, LifeStride, Born, and Ugg. I think I listed them all. Out of all of these brands, each style was returned due to their inability to keep my feet comfortable for more than an hour. The only pair I loved was the Softwalk leather brand because of the sole and they just about tore my foot apart with blisters.

I have continued relentlessly researching shoes and I found Tieks. No one has really complained about these flats and I just had to try them. I studied on deciding whether or not to make the purchase for about two weeks since they are somewhat expensive. I decided to since it's free return shipping. Today when I opened the box, which was super adorable, I was soo excited to see what they were like. I love the style of the shoe, they look super sturdy and they are the best looking flats I have ever owned. The soles are sturdy and comfortable. I slipped one on immediately and found that my toe prints poked out towards the tips of the shoes which I am not a fan of. They were also slightly stiff on the foot bed, which is part of the wearing them in part I hope. I can tell they will last and be sturdy, but I'm not sure they will hold up to the comfort test or if they will just make my toes feel sore. I really wanted to love these shoes. I've uploaded a picture. Pardon my red, swollen feet, it's a teacher life and I'm only 27! Please note that my red feet are not from the Tieks.

So, I contacted Tieks and...

this place has great customer service. They immediately placed an order for a larger size so that I can try both pairs on side by side to see which one I prefer! The return shipping is also free!

If you do decide to purchase a pair, let me know what you think! Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

So very thankful...

I was out working in our new addition earlier, ya know, just wiring up a few outlets and I realized that I haven't been very thankful lately. I have been very blessed with my little family as well as with everything in my life including my job, my friends, my family, and our ability to live freely. I work myself to death trying to make my products the best they can be to help other teachers make wonderful citizens, but I almost seem to forget about the little things in life like listening to my baby boy count to fifteen or listening to his adorable voice singing through the ABCs.
I have been so concerned this past year that we are only going to be able to have this one child and I want more, maybe a girl with bows and dresses everywhere, but I thought to myself, "God gave us one little souvenir and he has blessed us a thousand times over with this one".
I just want to say that we should all take a break and sit back and enjoy life. I enjoy teaching, but what I truly enjoy is my life and my family. I will admit right now, I'm not meant to teach for the next twenty years so who knows where I'll be in five or ten years. God bless!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Confession: I love summer time!

As I sit here designing my first set of unique chalkboard frames I realize it's time for a blog post. I'm thinking about how much I really enjoy summer time! I'm able to do absolutely any thing I want including spending wonderful playtime hours with my toddler and design a variety of items for my TpT store! This summer we have also been working on our addition to our house which is finally almost finished. We are laying tile and painting and hanging our lights that I purchased over a year ago! This has been a slow process, but we are handy people and we just can't stand to pay someone else to do it for us! Okay, I'll admit we hired a company to hang our sheet rock, but that's it! Mainly, because skinny me wasn't able to help the hubby at all. Well, here it is! My chalkboard frames that I learned how to create! I'm so excited when I'm able to get crafty and make it look good! In fact, I'm so excited this time that they are FREE for a limited time when you become a new follower on either my blog or Like my Facebook page! The links are also listed below. Once you become one of my followers or like my Facebook page, just email me at barnettcasey1@gmail.com with your Name/Blog/Facebook name and I will email you the Chalkboard frames CU file for FREE! Feel free to leave comments on this post!!

My blog
My FB page

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's confesstion time: I'm a blog designer!!!


So, it's official. I have completely taught myself how to design blogs and I'm super excited about this! It all started when I was determined to make my blog look great all by myself. It's been a bumpy past couple of weeks learning on the ropes to blog design (which is not easy, until now), but I have finally mastered it. I've completely redesigned my blog. Total time to do this was about six hours, not at once of course. The only things I have left to do are add my post divider and move around my ad spaces.

I'm super excited to show off my blog!! I hope you enjoy! Please be on the look out for my designs blog "Denim and Blogs! It's in the making and I will be taking design orders very soon!

Friday, June 6, 2014

THIS BLOG IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Please excuse my small mess. I'm in the process of redesigning my blog!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Confessions of my Summer Break Rituals

When summertime comes, most of us are dreaming of a vacation far away. My summer starts with the same ritual each year. I usually want to go to some exotic location, but I never end up going anywhere because I make up excuses each year. For example, two years ago it was because of a family situation. Last year, it was because I had a one year old and this year it's due to me not wanting to fork over the money. I'm thinking if I don't go somewhere the next summer, I'm going to regret it. The motto, "live a little" would do me justice.

During my summer break, I usually get crafty when I have a chance if I'm not trying to plan an invisible dream vacation. I also spend my days playing with cars and trucks in the dirt  with my wonderful baby boy.

So far this summer, I have managed to get my horrible looking deck stained, almost. I got bored with it just a little and didn't finish, especially after I was given the wrong color stain on my third gallon from our local hardware. I have also started some new products for my TpT store and I've even got the help of my wonderful husband once again. He's such a darling. I've also managed to update my blog and it just amazes me how much more organized it is.

This summer is my time to build my store, work on my blogging, relax during nap time, spend wonderful mommy time with my sweet baby boy, and read a good book.




Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Bucket List

I'm linking up with Mrs. Deanna Jump from TpT to create a summer bucket list. This list contains ten things that I want to do this summer!

#1: I want to spend as much time as possible with my hubby and my little man. I was definitely ready and super excited to spend every waking minute with my boys!



#2: I would really love to go to Hawaii, but since the flight is too long for my baby boy, Mexico will do just fine, it's beautiful and it's only a 2 hour flight.


#3: Goodness grief, I want to get pregnant with a baby girl. We've been ready for some time now since our baby is now 2 1/2, the good Lord just hasn't given us the go ahead yet. I want to decorate her room, too!!


#4: I want to finish our new addition to our house and decorate it and prep for a baby, but all of that is on hold for the time being.



#5: I want to lay by the pool, play with baby and relax. This would just be wonderful.

#6: I want to shop a whole lot for just about anything including clothes and house decor!


#7: I want to get crafty and create a lot of new products for my store. I also would like to find time to recreate some of my cover pages for my current products.


#8: I would also like to spend time with both of my sisters. This is especially hard during the school year.


#9: I would like to find time to make new friends and spend time with my current friends and family. I think I spend so much time with my family that I forget to meet new people.


#10: I want to make my back deck an extended dining room and make it an inviting oasis for my little family and guests.

I wasn't able to finish uploading the rest of my pictures, but these are my ten to do's for my summer bucket list!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Confession: Excitement about the Upcoming School Year

So, my next confession is that I am getting very excited about the upcoming school year because of all the organizing I've been able to get accomplished. My classroom looks great. At first, I wasn't so excited about next year due to the fact that I'm going to have a class of thirty students instead of nineteen, but I've accepted it and I know that I can handle that.
So first, I started organizing my supply center and my turn-in paper center. I've posted two pictures of the finished product below! I used labels that I found on TeachersPayTeachers from the Mofatt Girls. This location prior to organization was such a mess and I feel like with a large group this will really improve my classroom.

My next task was to organize my drawers for paper submissions as well as use the extra drawers for my copies for each week. I labeled each tray for my copies by the first letter of the day of each week. These will be made each Friday and ready for the following week. Check out my picture below. I also found this file drawer station at Joann's Fabric for really cheap last year because it was on sale and I had a coupon. Be on the look out for great sales!

 
 
My next organization task was for myself and my aid. I created this three drawer system to help us keep track of papers that need to be graded, copied or filed away to go home on Friday's. I found the labels online for free at: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwE4I-WZOyeaYXUySnFBanFCMlU/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

 
 
The last organization and management system that has been in my classroom for an entire year is my Reward Coupons! These items have been wonderful to use with my ClassDojo. My students love them! I found these on TpT as well! They are a great addition to my classroom. They take some time to get ready, but once ready, it's a very useful and easy tool.
 


I hope you enjoy this post! I think this confession has been my absolute favorite!!! I have plans to decorate my hidious filing cabinets as well! Take care and enjoy your summer break!!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Confessing again

So I'm sitting here thinking since it's the last day of testing. I actually get a moment to breathe. Sorry for the typos. I'm using my phone. The confession is this: how in the world can a kid just not care or try at all to pass a state test??!!! This makes
Me so mad because it all falls back on me!! I can't understand this and never will!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Confession #13: It's a Sale

So, my next confession is that I love sales and I only shop sale racks no matter where I'm at. TpT is throwing a sale coming up very soon!!! I hope you hold out on any items you might be interested in until May the 6th and 7th!!! Visit my store by clicking the banner below!! My entire store will be 20% off so wishlist what you'd like!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Confession #12

Today is Sunday and I'm confessing. I really just don't want to go back to work until, well, a long time from now. I'd really rather do what I'm doing right now. I'm sitting on my porch in my rocking chair, listening to my fountain and looking at my beautiful flowers! This is a touch of Heaven I do believe. I'm sure the good Lord will have lot's of flowers.

I also have another confession. I'm actually supposed to continue saving every dime I earn to go toward our addition to our house, but we've decided that a five year anniversary trip with our baby boy is in tow. We'll have been married five years at the end of May and we made it through all the ups and downs. We went from no jobs, to jobs, no baby to having a baby and here we are. Today, I earn enough with my TpT store to allow us to do plenty of extras in life. We are going to head to a beach somewhere in the U.S. due to the fact that it's so costly to travel anywhere else. I don't really know how well a two year old will do on an eight hour car ride, but we're going to give it a try. Wish us luck! Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Confession #11: FREEBIE again!!!

So, my next confession is that I am obsessed with fonts. Not just the ordinary fonts of life, but unique and creative fonts. I finally, after trail and errors through learning, have taught myself to make my very own fonts. I really hope that I am able to share the fonts I create with others. I'd really love to see some of my very own fonts out there!! This font is made just for cover pages. It's thick and bold to make anything stand out!

Here's a link to my Font FREEBIE!!! Please, feel free to leave feedback at my TpT store!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Confession #10

This is a completely random and not even educationally related confession. I'm in love with flowers and putting them all over my porch with their beautiful colors makes me happy!! Thanks to my sister-in-law and her design abilities, I was able to make everything work. I'm definitely ready for the summer so I can spend my days with my sweet baby boy and start a new project. My porch is now one of those places that makes you just want to sit down in the rocking chair, listen to the fountain, admire the beautiful flowers and read a book.
Check it out on my Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=632554684652&set=a.595619962132.1073741825.147101113&type=1&theater


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Confession #9: Another FREEBIE

I just can't stand myself. I try to spend my spring break free of school and TpT work and what do I find myself doing? Making new products for my store!! So I have another FREEBIE for you fourthie's (is that a word?) out there! I've been looking at the Next Generation Science Standards and I'm excited to say that I'm already organized. I've created a checklist for the 4th grade standards to keep myself together this upcoming school year. Things are changing so rapidly, there's no reason we shouldn't be organized. Check out the sample picture below.


Boy, do I have a surprise for all of you fourth grade teacher's out there! I'm not going to say what I'm currently working on, but it's going to be a wonderful addition to helping you make the best of the Next Generation Science Standards!!!
There's another thing, don't forget my Spring Break freebie is still up and going strong! I hope you all will take advantage of this morning worksheet set.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Confession #7: A Spring Break Freebie

We are all just so excited that spring break is finally here! I have no plans whatsoever and it kind of feels good! I do plan to spend the entire week with my baby boy and pretend to be a stay at home mommy. I can't wait to do this in the summer, too! After spending a while cleaning my classroom it popped into my head that I wanted to celebrate by posting a wonderful FREEBIE opportunity for the entire week of my spring break! I'm hoping a lot of you out there are on spring break as well!

The freebie can be found on my TpT site by clicking HERE! This freebie includeS a download of THREE of my best seller Go Math! Morning Worksheet sets! I do have plans of completing the rest by the end of the year, but my time is very short with teaching and raising a toddler! I hope you all will enjoy and please comment or leave feedback at my TpT store! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Confession #6

My confession for today is that I am truly exhausted. I rarely admit this to anyone except for my husband. I feel like I have a lot to do in so little time at work and at home. I'm working miracles at work, well, I'm trying to and have been all year. Right now I'm pretty sure the new school year excitement took off a few months back. It's the moment when you think to yourself, what else can I do?
Home is another story. A two year old on the run, a new addition onto our house and a business to run. I just don't know what to do first. Does anyone have a solution for 24/7 bloodshot eyes?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Confession #5

So my confession for today is that I have never been great at keeping up with classroom pencils. It seems that no matter what I do, I always end up with zero pencils in my pencil cup by the end of the week and there are none to be found. My children waste them and they just end up getting swept away at the end of the day which really gets me fired up.

I end up starting a new strategy each year and it almost seems like each month throughout the year I have to develop a new strategy to keep up with them. I think my biggest problem is that pencils are the last thing on my mind. I’m so much more concerned about the students learning that I forget about pencils. Another problem I have is that all of my scissors have disappeared. My next blog will be how to stop classroom supply borrowers from accidentally borrowing them for good.

My strategy around November was this: The pencil cup stayed behind my desk which meant my students weren't just free to grab a pencil at any time they wanted. They also had to pay me a “needs improvement” negative on ClassDojo as well as write their name on the board under “borrowed a pencil”. If they didn't return it by the end of the day, they had to pay me a certain amount of their recess time. I know this sounds drastic, but pencils go like hot cakes in my classroom. This worked great, but I wasn't able to keep up with it for long especially after all the snow days we had and getting out of the rhythm by February. 

Another strategy I'm thinking might work is rewarding students for keeping up with their pencil each day, all day. At the end of the day they could earn five minutes of extra recess or if they do that all week, they could earn lunch with the teacher on Friday. This would really be hard to keep track of, but if you use ClassDojo, it might be easier. 

Does any one out there have any simple strategies for keeping up with pencils? Have a good one!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Confession #4

As I sit here watching the UK game and spending time with the husband I realize that I'd like to post a confession. I love my TpT store and I love the resources on TpT. I also really love free resources. So this confession is that my blog will soon be turned into a resource for teacher's and photographer's that they will not forget. I hope you will all stick around by becoming a follower and watching my blog grow. Thanks for reading! I can't wait to get started on this!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confession #3

Today was one of those days where you're just so tired you can't even think by about 10:00 and the kids are waiting on you. The kiddos were awesome today.

So, my confession for today is that I absolutely cannot stand A.R. It seems like it wastes so much time and the kids aren't benefiting from it. I've been doing a lot of research on reading and I found that allowing a child to read a book of their choice for fun is so much more beneficial. I allow my students to read recreational books for fifteen minutes at any given point during the day. They are allowed to bring a book or comic of their choice from home or read what we have on our bookshelf. Our books include fun facts about animals or any thing scientific that draws them in. Reading can be fun and kids don't need the program to bog them down with it. I remember doing A.R. when I was in school and I was so excited that I didn't have to do it anymore when I got in high school. As a matter of fact, I don't recall reading a book for pleasure throughout all four years of high school thanks to that program.

Let me know how you all feel about the A.R. program. I know it can be beneficial, but I have yet to see it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confession #2

So today I started the day on an early duty day. I so very much dread these days as they just seem to drag on. I also woke with a sinus pressure headache or that's what I'm diagnosing it as. Please don't take these blogs the wrong way. I really just need to vent. I like being a teacher, but sometimes I just need a mental break and it's hard to find the patience sometimes that we all find at some point that we have lost.

The confession that I have for today is when kids pick their nose it makes me nauseous. When a child picks their nose and then proceeds to eat it, I start my gag reflexes. I will never understand this. I don't recall ever being this way and I know some kids just don't know any better, but we have to touch their papers for crying out loud!! The only way I know to stop it is to say something like "please don't do that any more. It's not very manner like or clean". Does any one else out there have any thoughts on how to tame the picker? It also grosses the other kids out which leads to a bunch of "Ugh, gross" screams.

I guess I just feel like I put up with enough paper work, arguments, back-talkers, interruptions, and hearing my name 100 times in one day, that I have to say nose picking is by far pushing it over the edge.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Confession #1

So I'm a teacher, a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur.  I am currently in pursuit of another life, well, another profession in which case I have always been on the hunt for a new career field. Since the day my son was born at least. My life long dream is to be a stay-at-home mom, but don't all of us ladies out there wish this dream at one point or another. I enjoy what I do for my kiddos, especially when it's rewarding, but I would also like to have a week or two of work where there is not an individual in my face under the age of twenty. Admit it, most of us out there have thought that at one point or another.

It's March, testing pressures are upon us and I can just say, I'm over it. I haven't given up by any means, but there's only so much you can cram into a ten year old's brain before they just quit listening and their eyes glaze over. I'm thinking each day, "I wonder what these kids are thinking? Do they hate me? Am I their worst enemy because I enforce learning and the dreaded A.R.?"

So that's my confession for today. It's currently too late for me to be up so I'd better hit the hay before I lose my much needed sleep to function properly for my kids. Now see, wouldn't it be nice to just have a simple desk job where you could be grouchy and eat all day?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Photoshop Clip Art Tip

I am still moving towards changing my blog from just teacher resources to photographer resources. I've been working really hard to create photo cards that pop. I want my products/freebies to be different. This is my first Photoshop post.
I did it and I'm super proud of myself. I created my first set of clip art using Photoshop. This is my first set and it's Valentine themed. I'm super excited about Valentine's day and I can't wait for it to get here! This blog post is going to teach you the simple way to make clip art using Photoshop. I'm going to try to post pictures as I go so hopefully that will help. Photoshop can be tricky so if you're not familiar with it, this may take a few rounds of practice.

Step 1: I started with my chalkboard paper I created when I first started learning how to use the program. The minibridge window in Photoshop is a dream, it allows you to see all your files in one simple window right next to your work. I double clicked on the chalkboard file so it would open my paper. I used this as a background because my plan was to make my chalkboard clip art stand out. Here's a sample image below.


Step 2: I'll bet you're wondering how this works. Let me explain. Each word is a separate layer in my document. I simply clicked "create new layer" in my layers tab at the bottom each time I was creating a new word/clip art. If I was creating a word, I went to my toolbar on the left and clicked the "T" which allows you to create text. See a future blog post on how to get the chalkboard effect.

Step 3: Save your work. Note: In photoshop: When you are inserting your chosen set of word/words into a card, etc., drag the word/picture to your project screen and drop. It may look huge. A little trick is to hold down "ctrl" and hit "t" on your keyboard. This will allow you to change the size of your image.

I've listed the 3 steps written in detail above in a simple list:
Step 1: Open your desired background. You may just choose for your background to be white.

Step 2: Click the "create new layer" button at the bottom of the layers tab each time you create a new piece of clip art. This will allow your art to stay separated and easily used in one file.

Step 3: Save your work and that's that!

If you don't have time to create your own chalkboard Valentine Themed clip art, visit my Teacher's Notebook store here: Valentine Clip art. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's the New Year!

OMGosh!!! I am so behind on my blogging it's unbelievable! I've been a super busy mom, daughter, and digital designer! Yes, that's right! I'm not completely sticking to my teacher product creations. I have slowly been moving myself into photography design. I love my Nikon camera and I love making things to make my pictures even better. I'm super excited as this year, I am working to create my very own product line of digital supplies for photographers as well as for stay at home mom's/dad's who enjoy working with their very own photo cards. I hope to start my very own website with this. Wish me luck!

I'm so in love with Photoshop right now, I can't put it down! I think of new ways to create things and I just dive in! I was very nervous when I first started using Photoshop two years ago. I would just like to recommend it to others. If you don't have it, you need to get it! It's great for being that digital designer/crafty person that you've always wanted to be.

BTW, this year is still going great! My students are wonderful and after this three week Christmas break I can really tell that they are growing up on me. It makes a me a little sad, but it also makes our days much more enjoyable learning wise.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Tieks Purchase

UPDATED POST:
So, I had to send my Tieks back because they just weren't the shoes of my dreams!! I'm sad to say this because I really loved that these shoes came in a thousand colors. My main reason for sending them back was the fact that my toenail poked through and I knew this would make my toes very sore. They were very high quality, but I think a half side would have worked so much better! I hope this helps anyone out there. By the way, I have found a shoe finally, it's Toms Jutti Flats! I have the canvas shoes, but had never tried the Jutti flats and they are absolutely perfect for my toes that are apparently pointing upward.

Wow, it's been a while! I've been super busy with work and everything! It's just so hard to keep up!
So, obviously I'm a teacher and I have been on the hunt for so long for a wonderfully comfortable pair of flats. I think I have tried fifty pairs of flats from all sorts of brands and styles. As a teacher, you all know what it's like to try and find a comfortable pair of dressy flats.

The brands I've tried so far over the past year are Clarks, Frye, Anne Klein, Walking Cradles, Softwalk, Bass, LifeStride, Born, and Ugg. I think I listed them all. Out of all of these brands, each style was returned due to their inability to keep my feet comfortable for more than an hour. The only pair I loved was the Softwalk leather brand because of the sole and they just about tore my foot apart with blisters.

I have continued relentlessly researching shoes and I found Tieks. No one has really complained about these flats and I just had to try them. I studied on deciding whether or not to make the purchase for about two weeks since they are somewhat expensive. I decided to since it's free return shipping. Today when I opened the box, which was super adorable, I was soo excited to see what they were like. I love the style of the shoe, they look super sturdy and they are the best looking flats I have ever owned. The soles are sturdy and comfortable. I slipped one on immediately and found that my toe prints poked out towards the tips of the shoes which I am not a fan of. They were also slightly stiff on the foot bed, which is part of the wearing them in part I hope. I can tell they will last and be sturdy, but I'm not sure they will hold up to the comfort test or if they will just make my toes feel sore. I really wanted to love these shoes. I've uploaded a picture. Pardon my red, swollen feet, it's a teacher life and I'm only 27! Please note that my red feet are not from the Tieks.

So, I contacted Tieks and...

this place has great customer service. They immediately placed an order for a larger size so that I can try both pairs on side by side to see which one I prefer! The return shipping is also free!

If you do decide to purchase a pair, let me know what you think! Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

So very thankful...

I was out working in our new addition earlier, ya know, just wiring up a few outlets and I realized that I haven't been very thankful lately. I have been very blessed with my little family as well as with everything in my life including my job, my friends, my family, and our ability to live freely. I work myself to death trying to make my products the best they can be to help other teachers make wonderful citizens, but I almost seem to forget about the little things in life like listening to my baby boy count to fifteen or listening to his adorable voice singing through the ABCs.
I have been so concerned this past year that we are only going to be able to have this one child and I want more, maybe a girl with bows and dresses everywhere, but I thought to myself, "God gave us one little souvenir and he has blessed us a thousand times over with this one".
I just want to say that we should all take a break and sit back and enjoy life. I enjoy teaching, but what I truly enjoy is my life and my family. I will admit right now, I'm not meant to teach for the next twenty years so who knows where I'll be in five or ten years. God bless!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Confession: I love summer time!

As I sit here designing my first set of unique chalkboard frames I realize it's time for a blog post. I'm thinking about how much I really enjoy summer time! I'm able to do absolutely any thing I want including spending wonderful playtime hours with my toddler and design a variety of items for my TpT store! This summer we have also been working on our addition to our house which is finally almost finished. We are laying tile and painting and hanging our lights that I purchased over a year ago! This has been a slow process, but we are handy people and we just can't stand to pay someone else to do it for us! Okay, I'll admit we hired a company to hang our sheet rock, but that's it! Mainly, because skinny me wasn't able to help the hubby at all. Well, here it is! My chalkboard frames that I learned how to create! I'm so excited when I'm able to get crafty and make it look good! In fact, I'm so excited this time that they are FREE for a limited time when you become a new follower on either my blog or Like my Facebook page! The links are also listed below. Once you become one of my followers or like my Facebook page, just email me at barnettcasey1@gmail.com with your Name/Blog/Facebook name and I will email you the Chalkboard frames CU file for FREE! Feel free to leave comments on this post!!

My blog
My FB page

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's confesstion time: I'm a blog designer!!!


So, it's official. I have completely taught myself how to design blogs and I'm super excited about this! It all started when I was determined to make my blog look great all by myself. It's been a bumpy past couple of weeks learning on the ropes to blog design (which is not easy, until now), but I have finally mastered it. I've completely redesigned my blog. Total time to do this was about six hours, not at once of course. The only things I have left to do are add my post divider and move around my ad spaces.

I'm super excited to show off my blog!! I hope you enjoy! Please be on the look out for my designs blog "Denim and Blogs! It's in the making and I will be taking design orders very soon!

Friday, June 6, 2014

THIS BLOG IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Please excuse my small mess. I'm in the process of redesigning my blog!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Confessions of my Summer Break Rituals

When summertime comes, most of us are dreaming of a vacation far away. My summer starts with the same ritual each year. I usually want to go to some exotic location, but I never end up going anywhere because I make up excuses each year. For example, two years ago it was because of a family situation. Last year, it was because I had a one year old and this year it's due to me not wanting to fork over the money. I'm thinking if I don't go somewhere the next summer, I'm going to regret it. The motto, "live a little" would do me justice.

During my summer break, I usually get crafty when I have a chance if I'm not trying to plan an invisible dream vacation. I also spend my days playing with cars and trucks in the dirt  with my wonderful baby boy.

So far this summer, I have managed to get my horrible looking deck stained, almost. I got bored with it just a little and didn't finish, especially after I was given the wrong color stain on my third gallon from our local hardware. I have also started some new products for my TpT store and I've even got the help of my wonderful husband once again. He's such a darling. I've also managed to update my blog and it just amazes me how much more organized it is.

This summer is my time to build my store, work on my blogging, relax during nap time, spend wonderful mommy time with my sweet baby boy, and read a good book.




Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Bucket List

I'm linking up with Mrs. Deanna Jump from TpT to create a summer bucket list. This list contains ten things that I want to do this summer!

#1: I want to spend as much time as possible with my hubby and my little man. I was definitely ready and super excited to spend every waking minute with my boys!



#2: I would really love to go to Hawaii, but since the flight is too long for my baby boy, Mexico will do just fine, it's beautiful and it's only a 2 hour flight.


#3: Goodness grief, I want to get pregnant with a baby girl. We've been ready for some time now since our baby is now 2 1/2, the good Lord just hasn't given us the go ahead yet. I want to decorate her room, too!!


#4: I want to finish our new addition to our house and decorate it and prep for a baby, but all of that is on hold for the time being.



#5: I want to lay by the pool, play with baby and relax. This would just be wonderful.

#6: I want to shop a whole lot for just about anything including clothes and house decor!


#7: I want to get crafty and create a lot of new products for my store. I also would like to find time to recreate some of my cover pages for my current products.


#8: I would also like to spend time with both of my sisters. This is especially hard during the school year.


#9: I would like to find time to make new friends and spend time with my current friends and family. I think I spend so much time with my family that I forget to meet new people.


#10: I want to make my back deck an extended dining room and make it an inviting oasis for my little family and guests.

I wasn't able to finish uploading the rest of my pictures, but these are my ten to do's for my summer bucket list!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Confession: Excitement about the Upcoming School Year

So, my next confession is that I am getting very excited about the upcoming school year because of all the organizing I've been able to get accomplished. My classroom looks great. At first, I wasn't so excited about next year due to the fact that I'm going to have a class of thirty students instead of nineteen, but I've accepted it and I know that I can handle that.
So first, I started organizing my supply center and my turn-in paper center. I've posted two pictures of the finished product below! I used labels that I found on TeachersPayTeachers from the Mofatt Girls. This location prior to organization was such a mess and I feel like with a large group this will really improve my classroom.

My next task was to organize my drawers for paper submissions as well as use the extra drawers for my copies for each week. I labeled each tray for my copies by the first letter of the day of each week. These will be made each Friday and ready for the following week. Check out my picture below. I also found this file drawer station at Joann's Fabric for really cheap last year because it was on sale and I had a coupon. Be on the look out for great sales!

 
 
My next organization task was for myself and my aid. I created this three drawer system to help us keep track of papers that need to be graded, copied or filed away to go home on Friday's. I found the labels online for free at: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwE4I-WZOyeaYXUySnFBanFCMlU/edit?usp=sharing&pli=1

 
 
The last organization and management system that has been in my classroom for an entire year is my Reward Coupons! These items have been wonderful to use with my ClassDojo. My students love them! I found these on TpT as well! They are a great addition to my classroom. They take some time to get ready, but once ready, it's a very useful and easy tool.
 


I hope you enjoy this post! I think this confession has been my absolute favorite!!! I have plans to decorate my hidious filing cabinets as well! Take care and enjoy your summer break!!



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Confessing again

So I'm sitting here thinking since it's the last day of testing. I actually get a moment to breathe. Sorry for the typos. I'm using my phone. The confession is this: how in the world can a kid just not care or try at all to pass a state test??!!! This makes
Me so mad because it all falls back on me!! I can't understand this and never will!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Confession #13: It's a Sale

So, my next confession is that I love sales and I only shop sale racks no matter where I'm at. TpT is throwing a sale coming up very soon!!! I hope you hold out on any items you might be interested in until May the 6th and 7th!!! Visit my store by clicking the banner below!! My entire store will be 20% off so wishlist what you'd like!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Confession #12

Today is Sunday and I'm confessing. I really just don't want to go back to work until, well, a long time from now. I'd really rather do what I'm doing right now. I'm sitting on my porch in my rocking chair, listening to my fountain and looking at my beautiful flowers! This is a touch of Heaven I do believe. I'm sure the good Lord will have lot's of flowers.

I also have another confession. I'm actually supposed to continue saving every dime I earn to go toward our addition to our house, but we've decided that a five year anniversary trip with our baby boy is in tow. We'll have been married five years at the end of May and we made it through all the ups and downs. We went from no jobs, to jobs, no baby to having a baby and here we are. Today, I earn enough with my TpT store to allow us to do plenty of extras in life. We are going to head to a beach somewhere in the U.S. due to the fact that it's so costly to travel anywhere else. I don't really know how well a two year old will do on an eight hour car ride, but we're going to give it a try. Wish us luck! Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Confession #11: FREEBIE again!!!

So, my next confession is that I am obsessed with fonts. Not just the ordinary fonts of life, but unique and creative fonts. I finally, after trail and errors through learning, have taught myself to make my very own fonts. I really hope that I am able to share the fonts I create with others. I'd really love to see some of my very own fonts out there!! This font is made just for cover pages. It's thick and bold to make anything stand out!

Here's a link to my Font FREEBIE!!! Please, feel free to leave feedback at my TpT store!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Confession #10

This is a completely random and not even educationally related confession. I'm in love with flowers and putting them all over my porch with their beautiful colors makes me happy!! Thanks to my sister-in-law and her design abilities, I was able to make everything work. I'm definitely ready for the summer so I can spend my days with my sweet baby boy and start a new project. My porch is now one of those places that makes you just want to sit down in the rocking chair, listen to the fountain, admire the beautiful flowers and read a book.
Check it out on my Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=632554684652&set=a.595619962132.1073741825.147101113&type=1&theater


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Confession #9: Another FREEBIE

I just can't stand myself. I try to spend my spring break free of school and TpT work and what do I find myself doing? Making new products for my store!! So I have another FREEBIE for you fourthie's (is that a word?) out there! I've been looking at the Next Generation Science Standards and I'm excited to say that I'm already organized. I've created a checklist for the 4th grade standards to keep myself together this upcoming school year. Things are changing so rapidly, there's no reason we shouldn't be organized. Check out the sample picture below.


Boy, do I have a surprise for all of you fourth grade teacher's out there! I'm not going to say what I'm currently working on, but it's going to be a wonderful addition to helping you make the best of the Next Generation Science Standards!!!
There's another thing, don't forget my Spring Break freebie is still up and going strong! I hope you all will take advantage of this morning worksheet set.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Confession #7: A Spring Break Freebie

We are all just so excited that spring break is finally here! I have no plans whatsoever and it kind of feels good! I do plan to spend the entire week with my baby boy and pretend to be a stay at home mommy. I can't wait to do this in the summer, too! After spending a while cleaning my classroom it popped into my head that I wanted to celebrate by posting a wonderful FREEBIE opportunity for the entire week of my spring break! I'm hoping a lot of you out there are on spring break as well!

The freebie can be found on my TpT site by clicking HERE! This freebie includeS a download of THREE of my best seller Go Math! Morning Worksheet sets! I do have plans of completing the rest by the end of the year, but my time is very short with teaching and raising a toddler! I hope you all will enjoy and please comment or leave feedback at my TpT store! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Confession #6

My confession for today is that I am truly exhausted. I rarely admit this to anyone except for my husband. I feel like I have a lot to do in so little time at work and at home. I'm working miracles at work, well, I'm trying to and have been all year. Right now I'm pretty sure the new school year excitement took off a few months back. It's the moment when you think to yourself, what else can I do?
Home is another story. A two year old on the run, a new addition onto our house and a business to run. I just don't know what to do first. Does anyone have a solution for 24/7 bloodshot eyes?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Confession #5

So my confession for today is that I have never been great at keeping up with classroom pencils. It seems that no matter what I do, I always end up with zero pencils in my pencil cup by the end of the week and there are none to be found. My children waste them and they just end up getting swept away at the end of the day which really gets me fired up.

I end up starting a new strategy each year and it almost seems like each month throughout the year I have to develop a new strategy to keep up with them. I think my biggest problem is that pencils are the last thing on my mind. I’m so much more concerned about the students learning that I forget about pencils. Another problem I have is that all of my scissors have disappeared. My next blog will be how to stop classroom supply borrowers from accidentally borrowing them for good.

My strategy around November was this: The pencil cup stayed behind my desk which meant my students weren't just free to grab a pencil at any time they wanted. They also had to pay me a “needs improvement” negative on ClassDojo as well as write their name on the board under “borrowed a pencil”. If they didn't return it by the end of the day, they had to pay me a certain amount of their recess time. I know this sounds drastic, but pencils go like hot cakes in my classroom. This worked great, but I wasn't able to keep up with it for long especially after all the snow days we had and getting out of the rhythm by February. 

Another strategy I'm thinking might work is rewarding students for keeping up with their pencil each day, all day. At the end of the day they could earn five minutes of extra recess or if they do that all week, they could earn lunch with the teacher on Friday. This would really be hard to keep track of, but if you use ClassDojo, it might be easier. 

Does any one out there have any simple strategies for keeping up with pencils? Have a good one!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Confession #4

As I sit here watching the UK game and spending time with the husband I realize that I'd like to post a confession. I love my TpT store and I love the resources on TpT. I also really love free resources. So this confession is that my blog will soon be turned into a resource for teacher's and photographer's that they will not forget. I hope you will all stick around by becoming a follower and watching my blog grow. Thanks for reading! I can't wait to get started on this!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Confession #3

Today was one of those days where you're just so tired you can't even think by about 10:00 and the kids are waiting on you. The kiddos were awesome today.

So, my confession for today is that I absolutely cannot stand A.R. It seems like it wastes so much time and the kids aren't benefiting from it. I've been doing a lot of research on reading and I found that allowing a child to read a book of their choice for fun is so much more beneficial. I allow my students to read recreational books for fifteen minutes at any given point during the day. They are allowed to bring a book or comic of their choice from home or read what we have on our bookshelf. Our books include fun facts about animals or any thing scientific that draws them in. Reading can be fun and kids don't need the program to bog them down with it. I remember doing A.R. when I was in school and I was so excited that I didn't have to do it anymore when I got in high school. As a matter of fact, I don't recall reading a book for pleasure throughout all four years of high school thanks to that program.

Let me know how you all feel about the A.R. program. I know it can be beneficial, but I have yet to see it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Confession #2

So today I started the day on an early duty day. I so very much dread these days as they just seem to drag on. I also woke with a sinus pressure headache or that's what I'm diagnosing it as. Please don't take these blogs the wrong way. I really just need to vent. I like being a teacher, but sometimes I just need a mental break and it's hard to find the patience sometimes that we all find at some point that we have lost.

The confession that I have for today is when kids pick their nose it makes me nauseous. When a child picks their nose and then proceeds to eat it, I start my gag reflexes. I will never understand this. I don't recall ever being this way and I know some kids just don't know any better, but we have to touch their papers for crying out loud!! The only way I know to stop it is to say something like "please don't do that any more. It's not very manner like or clean". Does any one else out there have any thoughts on how to tame the picker? It also grosses the other kids out which leads to a bunch of "Ugh, gross" screams.

I guess I just feel like I put up with enough paper work, arguments, back-talkers, interruptions, and hearing my name 100 times in one day, that I have to say nose picking is by far pushing it over the edge.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Confession #1

So I'm a teacher, a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur.  I am currently in pursuit of another life, well, another profession in which case I have always been on the hunt for a new career field. Since the day my son was born at least. My life long dream is to be a stay-at-home mom, but don't all of us ladies out there wish this dream at one point or another. I enjoy what I do for my kiddos, especially when it's rewarding, but I would also like to have a week or two of work where there is not an individual in my face under the age of twenty. Admit it, most of us out there have thought that at one point or another.

It's March, testing pressures are upon us and I can just say, I'm over it. I haven't given up by any means, but there's only so much you can cram into a ten year old's brain before they just quit listening and their eyes glaze over. I'm thinking each day, "I wonder what these kids are thinking? Do they hate me? Am I their worst enemy because I enforce learning and the dreaded A.R.?"

So that's my confession for today. It's currently too late for me to be up so I'd better hit the hay before I lose my much needed sleep to function properly for my kids. Now see, wouldn't it be nice to just have a simple desk job where you could be grouchy and eat all day?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Photoshop Clip Art Tip

I am still moving towards changing my blog from just teacher resources to photographer resources. I've been working really hard to create photo cards that pop. I want my products/freebies to be different. This is my first Photoshop post.
I did it and I'm super proud of myself. I created my first set of clip art using Photoshop. This is my first set and it's Valentine themed. I'm super excited about Valentine's day and I can't wait for it to get here! This blog post is going to teach you the simple way to make clip art using Photoshop. I'm going to try to post pictures as I go so hopefully that will help. Photoshop can be tricky so if you're not familiar with it, this may take a few rounds of practice.

Step 1: I started with my chalkboard paper I created when I first started learning how to use the program. The minibridge window in Photoshop is a dream, it allows you to see all your files in one simple window right next to your work. I double clicked on the chalkboard file so it would open my paper. I used this as a background because my plan was to make my chalkboard clip art stand out. Here's a sample image below.


Step 2: I'll bet you're wondering how this works. Let me explain. Each word is a separate layer in my document. I simply clicked "create new layer" in my layers tab at the bottom each time I was creating a new word/clip art. If I was creating a word, I went to my toolbar on the left and clicked the "T" which allows you to create text. See a future blog post on how to get the chalkboard effect.

Step 3: Save your work. Note: In photoshop: When you are inserting your chosen set of word/words into a card, etc., drag the word/picture to your project screen and drop. It may look huge. A little trick is to hold down "ctrl" and hit "t" on your keyboard. This will allow you to change the size of your image.

I've listed the 3 steps written in detail above in a simple list:
Step 1: Open your desired background. You may just choose for your background to be white.

Step 2: Click the "create new layer" button at the bottom of the layers tab each time you create a new piece of clip art. This will allow your art to stay separated and easily used in one file.

Step 3: Save your work and that's that!

If you don't have time to create your own chalkboard Valentine Themed clip art, visit my Teacher's Notebook store here: Valentine Clip art. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's the New Year!

OMGosh!!! I am so behind on my blogging it's unbelievable! I've been a super busy mom, daughter, and digital designer! Yes, that's right! I'm not completely sticking to my teacher product creations. I have slowly been moving myself into photography design. I love my Nikon camera and I love making things to make my pictures even better. I'm super excited as this year, I am working to create my very own product line of digital supplies for photographers as well as for stay at home mom's/dad's who enjoy working with their very own photo cards. I hope to start my very own website with this. Wish me luck!

I'm so in love with Photoshop right now, I can't put it down! I think of new ways to create things and I just dive in! I was very nervous when I first started using Photoshop two years ago. I would just like to recommend it to others. If you don't have it, you need to get it! It's great for being that digital designer/crafty person that you've always wanted to be.

BTW, this year is still going great! My students are wonderful and after this three week Christmas break I can really tell that they are growing up on me. It makes a me a little sad, but it also makes our days much more enjoyable learning wise.