I do it for the money….(NOT!)

If you’ve been here since the beginning you might remember that my very first (or one of the very first) blog posts was about “Why I became a Teacher”. You probably noticed that one of those reasons was not because of the amount of money that I get paid.

I remember being in college and so many people telling me that becoming a teacher wouldn’t make me a lot of money and that I should probably reconsider my major. I also remember a lot of people telling my that being an education major was an “easy” choice…but that’s another blog post.

I already knew that I wasn’t going to be making a ton of money becoming a teacher. If I were in it for the money I would’ve stayed in nursing school. But I wasn’t in it for the money. The money honestly doesn’t matter to me. Money doesn’t make me happy, you know what makes me happy? Working with my students every day and helping them to accomplish their goals and become better learners is why I became a teacher!

I can guarantee that if you ask any teacher; no matter where they teach or what they teach, they will tell you that it’s not about the money. It will never be about the money.

Xo’s Shelby

Advertisements

Classroom Update!

I’ve shared a few pictures on social media with friends and family but I wanted to do an official blog post about how I updated my room! But before I talk about it I just want to give a huge thank you to my schools, Home and School team! If it weren’t for them none of this would have been possible!

IMG_1235.JPG

 

With that being said, this is my second school year taking on the task of teaching technology to preschool – eighth grade at my school. I spent three days a week last year in my room trying to think of how I could make it more functional and more up-to-date for our students. This is what my classroom looked like at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. We were beginning to update the space by purchasing new monitors and a new smart board. But, the more I sat there the more I realized that the tables that I had in my room….needed to go! None of them matched, they were uneven, and the size was ridiculous for the amount of space that I had to work with….but for the year I made it work. I just knew that I had a vision where my kiddos could come in and have plenty of space to sit comfortably and work together without feeling like they were all sitting on top of each other.

I did my research and found some amazing tables that I knew would be perfect for the lab! After taking my proposal to Home and School, they agreed with me and with their help I was able to purchase my beautiful tables!

 

When the tables came in I was so excited and happy! I couldn’t wait to get them put together and arrange them how I wanted to. Let me just say that to have a vision and watch it actually come to life….was amazing! I couldn’t be more excited to finally have my tables in my room! It took my dad and I a whole day to put them together and arrange them in just the right place so that everything would work in the room. Talk about an exhausting day! But I am so pleased with the room that it didn’t matter. (A huge shout out to my dad for all the hard work he did to help me get my room ready….I’m really not sure what I would have done if I didn’t have his help…oh wait yes I do…I would have been sitting in my room in a corner rocking back and forth sobbing uncontrollably!)

No of course you can’t have a new setup like this without some new decorations right?!? I’m not gonna lie my room was a little sparse in the decoration department last year, but to be honest that was because I just didn’t have that much room to work with and my mind couldn’t come up with any ideas that worked with the room. But now, I have more wall space (that I can actually get to) and I was able to find some amazing decorations on Teachers-pay-teachers to help me out!

The first thing I changed up were the bulletin boards behind my desk. I added an apple boarder to the one and added a banner that I made with my Cricut (best Christmas present ever…thanks mom and dad!!) Then I changed my rules board to match my room a little more and I love it so far! (No my desk does not look like that right now, it’s actually a lot neater but I took these pictures while I was still in the process of working in my room…I promise I’m much more neat of a person than that!)

The next thing I added was a rewards system (Bitcoins…shoutout to Linda Kamp from TpT and AroundtheKampfire.com for the resource!!) The way that I am using this reward system is by having each class earn a set amount of “Bitcoins” based on good behavior, for example if they as a class stay on task and are good listeners then they earn Bitcoins for that class period and if there are any issues during the class period I will take away Bitcoins). As a class once they have reached 50 Bitcoins (preschool and kindergarten) or 100 Bitcoins (1st – 8th grade), they can turn their Bitcoins in for free time on the computer. So far the kiddos seem to love the idea (especially the older kids! They were super excited to hear about this!). The next thing that I added that I didn’t have last year were classroom jobs (for preschool – 5th grade), I am hoping that these jobs make cleanup time and transitioning between classes a little easier!!

Last year I had these wonderful colorful buckets at each table next to each computer, inside each bucket I had the headphones that went with that specific computer. Since we bought new monitors and new tables, there’s just not enough room on the tables for the tubs. Originally that made me sad because I love the idea of having the headphones in a bucket and out of the way instead of on the table or hooked over the computer monitor. My original plan was to get a bookshelf that I could fit 36 of these little tubs on so that the kiddos could come and get their headphones when they needed them. But my dad came up with the idea to use the shelves instead and let me just say that I LOVE the idea so much! Not only are the headphones in their tubs, but they are out of the way and look super cute! I also thought it would be a cute idea to have a printing station – basically my printer, paper, pencils, a stapler, 3 hole punch and pencil sharpener are all in one area so that the kiddos know exactly where everything is. So far I am loving it so much!

Of course the only thing left to do is show you the final product!!! I could not be more excited or happy with how it turned out! Again I would like to thank Home and School for helping me out with all of this, my dad for helping me set everything up (and being so patient with my when it came to moving the tables around for about an hour straight…) and of course my mom for helping my print, cut and laminate about 1,000 different things for my room!

IMG_2141

Here’s to an amazing school year! To all of my other teacher friends out there I hope you had a successful first week/couple of days back!

Xo’s Shelby

2 ingredients…1 healthy snack!

Do you have a sweet tooth but you’re trying to eat healthy?? If you do then I know that you’re feeling the struggle, and it is real!

But I may have something up my sleeve (thanks to my friend Danielle!!) that can help with that. Oh and did I mention that it’s super easy too!

Ingredients:

1 banana
Peanut butter

 

Directions:

Honestly you can do this one of two ways….

  1. Peel and slice the banana
  2. Put a little bit of peanut butter on each slice of banana
  3. Place banana slices on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer, let them sit in the freezer until the banana is frozen.
  4. Take them out of the freezer and enjoy

 

Now if you’re impatient and don’t want to freeze them, you can always just take out that step and just slice the banana and put some peanut butter on it and enjoy! This is seriously one of my favorite snacks and it’s super easy and delicious too. Oh and healthy for you too which is always a plus!

What is your favorite healthy snack?
If you have a sweet tooth, what is your go to? Mine is anything chocolate…but I really like chocolate ice cream! Leave your answers in the comments below!!

Xo’s Shelby

Mind…..Blown…..

Have you ever read a book and felt like you knew exactly what was going on the entire time?? Thought you had it all figured out….until the final few chapters and then all of a sudden the truth hits you out of nowhere? Yeah, that was this book!

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is one of the most amazing, addicting, intriguing and consuming books that I have ever read. I can honestly say that I was consumed by this book. I stayed up way too late on one too many occasions reading this book. After the first night of reading the book, 92 pages in (30% of the book read at this point) I thought I had it all figured out. I wrote this comment on Goodreads “I’m addicted and starting to think I have a theory….don’t want to spoil anything for anyone but I feel like Adele has cancer or some other terminal illness at this point. She knows her husband is cheating but instead of getting angry she’s befriending his mistress and making a plan?”

 

Well….let me just say that I was so far out in left field with that guess that it wasn’t even funny! Okay maybe it was a little funny?? As I continued to read the book my mind did change a little bit and I think I came up with at least 10 other different scenarios that could’ve been possible. I’m not gonna lie for the longest time I honestly just thought that Adele was certifiably crazy! Then just like Louise I feel for her act and almost felt sympathy for her and began to think that David (her husband) was the crazy, manipulative and overbearing one in the relationship. But when I thought about that theory I thought to myself, that can’t be possible because he doesn’t treat Louise that way so why would he treat his wife that way?? Granted it could have been because he wasn’t happy in the marriage but why not just divorce her? David and Adele had some secret that was holding them together but what could be so terrible that he can’t divorce her??

I could talk about this book for hours….in fact I talked about it to a friend for a good hour! But I don’t want to give any spoilers! So here is the summary that Goodreads has on their website.

“Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong – and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.”

After reading that I’m sure you know why I picked this book for my selection from Book of the Month! (I mean honestly this was the best idea ever….thanks Book of the Month for existing!!). This book clearly did not disappoint me one bit and I can promise you that if you read it, it wont disappoint you either!!

Have you ever read any other books by Sarah Pinborough?? If so what book was it and what did you think of it?? Have you read this book?? What did you think of it??? Leave it in the comments below!!! Happy reading!

Xo’s Shelby

1 Short Story With a Big Twist!

I opened this book and I will say the first line had me in….shock? I won’t tell you what the line is because if you read the book I want you to have the same first reaction that I did! But what I can tell you is that I absolutely loved this short story!

This was the first book by Gillian Flynn that I have ever read and The GrownUp did not disappoint one bit! I never knew that a 64 page book could give someone chills! (Yes I just said this book was only 64 pages!)

Flynn’s writing played with my mind the entire time I was reading this story. I kept thinking to myself that I knew exactly what was happening and what was going to happen. But the more I read the more I kept questioning myself. Originally when I completed this book I thought to myself, “I need more!!” But now that I’ve had some time to process…I’m glad that it was left open-ended.

There are some instances where explanations and closure are needed, and when it comes to books I am usually all about getting closure. This book was different, this book plays with your mind and gives you, the reader the opportunity to create your own truth and your own ending and I really enjoyed that.

In this novel a canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. One rainy April morning, she is reading auras at the Spiritual Palms (where she works) when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our narrator immediately notices that Susan, though rich, is an unhappy woman who is eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, why this “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home, the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes that she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s stepson, does not help matters with his disturbing and sometimes terrifying manner and imagination. As you read this short story you will follow these three characters through a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and hat, if anything, can be done to escape it.

In case you couldn’t tell this is kind of a ghost story! Which was another reason I loved it!! I read it all in one sitting. Now…since this was a short story…I will leave you with a short review. I mean I could definitely talk about this book a little bit more, but I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone who wants to read it!

Have you read this book or any other book by Flynn? If so leave it in the comments below! Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Back To School Countdown Begins!

Does someone want to tell me where the time went?? I feel like it should still be June…or at least July! But here we are already in August and the countdown to going back to school has officially begun!

We officially start school in 17 days…..17 days!!! I am in complete shock but I am also ready for a steady schedule again. But I am also not even close to ready…

My room is not ready for the kiddos to be in it, my lesson plans are not done yet and there are so many other things that I need to do that I haven’t had a chance to start yet. Am I a little stressed out?? Yes, definitely! But I’m trying my hardest not to be, I mean after all I still have 17 days to get my act together right?!?!

Though I may not be fully prepared (which to my defense is not fully my fault…I am waiting on tables that I ordered which will be here soon…YAY!!), there are some things that I made sure to have prepared!

  1. Classroom management plan: If you come in to the first day of school with no classroom management plan, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. I am trying something new this year (I have a separate blog post where I will talk about that more coming soon!!) Once you decide what your classroom management plan is going to be, stick with it! You can always back down, but you can’t get more strict, I can promise you that it will not work!
  2. Early Finisher Options: After last year I did some research because I did not have these in place, I mean right now I teach computer so I didn’t think I would need them. But it turns out that just giving kids free reigns on the computers was a little bit of a headache! So I’ve come up with a few “early finisher” options (specific websites) that they are allowed to go on once they have completed their tasks for the day. My hope is that it will make the computer lab a little less crazy!!
  3. Lesson Plans: Yes I know earlier I said that my lesson plans weren’t completed, and they’re not. I have all of my plans done up through Christmas break. I know you’re probably thinking “why are you worried if you planned that far ahead already?!?” Well I only teach computer one day a week, and I teach it to preschool – 8th grade and time goes by a little more quickly that you think. I would feel better knowing I have something planned rather than having nothing planned at all.

Would I like to have more things done than I do? Yes of course! But am I going to stress out about not having things done? Nope! It will all get done in due time!

To all my fellow teacher friends out there, what do you make sure that you have ready before school starts?? Does anyone else feel like summer went by way too fast?? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Xo’s Shelby

Kids Notice EVERYTHING!

Anyone who has ever been around kids has probably realized that they notice everything and they are also very honest with you!

I work with kids every single day so this is no surprise to me. However, sometimes I am still shocked by the things that my kiddos say to me. To be completely honest sometimes the younger the kid, the more interesting the things that they say are and I love all of it!

So about two weeks ago, I was at work, and it was lunch time. So we took the kiddos to lunch and I’m standing there eating my lunch, drinking my water and keeping an eye on the kids, just kind of minding my own business. Then the next thing I know one of our preschoolers is at my feet, and the conversation goes something like this…

Preschooler: Miss Shelby!
Me: Yeah?
Preschooler: Why do you have such big water??
***Side note, I had one of the large 50+ oz bottles of SmartWater with me that day***
Me: Well….I really like water, and it’s good for me and makes me feel good!
Preschooler: Oh…okay….well then I am gonna like more water too!

Conversation over…and she walks away with a huge smile on her face. This goes to show that kids are watching everything we are doing. We as adults need to lead by example. It was honestly the cutest thing. Her face was so serious when she asked me why I had so much water. Of course she’s at that age where she asks “why” to everything but it was still adorable!

Do you have a funny kid story to share?? Leave it in the comments below, I would love to read them!

Xo’s Shelby

 

 

5 Reasons I Chose to Start the Shift Shop Program

Okay real talk here….

Who willingly signs up for a fitness program that you know is going to be hard and is going to push your limits?? Well I did, and I know 26 or more amazing women who took the plunge with me!

Back in July I made a huge decision to take part in this crazy and amazing new fitness program called Shift Shop from Beachbody thanks to my amazing friend and coach Danielle! I followed her through her journey in the test group and I immediately fell in love with the program. I knew it was exactly what I needed in my life.

If you know anything about me at all you’re probably thinking to yourself “Ummm Shelby what do you mean you needed a fitness program?? You workout at the gym 5 days a week and teach 1 day a week so what more could you need??” WELL let me tell you the 5 reasons I decided to start this program…

 

 

1. I was in a major funk: I had a lot going on in my life this past year. I had several very important people to me pass away in a very short period of time. I hit a major slump in my life and I wasn’t willing to admit it to myself, even though people (and by people I mean my mom…sorry mom!) were trying to tell me that I was in a funk. I was still going to the gym but I was just there…I wasn’t really putting in the effort I usually did. I was just going through the motions and getting some type of workout in…and blowing that work in the kitchen…which leads me to my next reason for joining this challenge….

2. My eating was not on point: Let me just start off by saying I’m not perfect by any means when it comes to my eating habits. I am 100% down with a treat meal (yes I said TREAT not CHEAT…that’s another blog post though!) I was snacking at work, which I normally never did. A cookie here, some pretzels there, a piece of candy, or whatever it may be, and I had an excuse for doing it. My excuses were mostly “I’m working out later so I can totally have that” and I was OKAY with that! NO!! You can’t out run a bad diet! I knew that…but I didn’t care. To me that was not a good thing….

3. I needed a major change in my life: Once I was willing to recognize that I was in a major funk….(again sorry mom for not listening sooner….friends your parents are always right, listen to what they say!) I knew that I needed to do something majorly different in my life or I was going to continue on this downward spiral. I knew that was not an option for me because I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t let myself get back to where I was 6 years ago. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out my blog titled “6 years and 43 lbs later”)

4. I needed to change my mindset: Did you know that how you think is connected to everything else that happens in your life? I mean yeah I’ve heard that your mind can either hinder you or help you to reach your full potential but I never connected that to my health and fitness. The more I followed Danielle through her journey in the Shift Shop test group, I kept hearing her say that she was making this “mental shift” and I kept thinking to myself what in the world is she talking about? Then when we began this challenge group and I started reading the book I Am That Girl (book review will be coming once we finish the book so keep your eye out for that because I am loving this book and I already highly recommend it!), and I began to realize what she meant. I kept looking in the mirror and instead of focusing on the things I loved about myself, I would immediately jump to the things that I hated and that was so unhealthy! If your mind is not in the right place, you are just holding yourself back from reaching your goals. Positive thoughts render positive actions, negative thoughts render negative actions.

5. I needed motivation and accountability: For someone who genuinely likes working out, I never would’ve thought that I would need motivation. But after months of just going through the motions and not eating the right foods to fuel my body, I was finding it difficult to find my motivation on my own. A friend of mine recently told me “Sometimes a trainer need a trainer” (Thanks Tamiko!!) –> I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I realized that I needed some guidance. In the past I could bounce myself out of whatever funk I was in, but this one was different and I knew that I would need more than my normal motivation to get me going. For me, I can say “I’m gonna follow this meal plan and eat healthier foods” then I see French fries and that all goes out the door (hey I’m human and I like fries!). But when I have someone (or in this case a wonderful group of ladies keeping me accountable for following the meal plan and doing my exercises, well then things are different. I hate letting people down, so knowing that if I messed up or didn’t follow the plan that I would be letting other people down…that’s not okay with me. Now I’m not saying that I’m perfect, I still crave things that I shouldn’t but I am getting better at resisting those temptations and that is what counts! If you need motivation I highly recommend getting an accountability partner!

And guess what…I have a BONUS reason as to why I wanted to join this challenge…and I can say it all in one picture because we all know that pictures say 1,000 words! I mean just look at Danielle’s results…who wouldn’t want to see what their body could do after that! Shift Shop

 

Here’s to making the shift, both mentally and physically!

Xo’s Shelby

4 Stars for The Trespasser

 

The Trespasser, a novel by the New York Times best selling author, Tana French is book number six in her Dublin Murder Squad Series.

The Trespasser was the first book of French’s that I have ever read, and I will say that I was not disappointed one bit!

The Trespasser follows Detective Antoinette Conway and her partner Stephen Moran. Conway is learning quickly that being part of the Murder squad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact she’s convinced that the whole squad (aside from her partner), hates having her around. Her work life is nothing but pranks, harassment and pointless cases, but she tries to remain tough.

Conway and Moran land a new case that looks like another by-the-books lovers’ quarrel gone wrong. Aislinn Murray, a pretty, blond young woman, found dead in her perfect living room next to a romantic table-for-two dinner. What seems like an open and shut case, until Conway realizes that she’s seen this girl somewhere before.

Conway and Moran are doing everything that they can to solve this case, but in her gut Conway knows something isn’t right. Meanwhile, the other detectives on the squad are doing everything in their power to push them to make an arrest on Aislinn’s boyfriend, and they want it done fast. As if that isn’t suspicious enough, Aislinn’s friend continues to hint at the detectives that she knew Aislinn was in some kind of danger. As this case continues to unravel, Conway and Moran begin to think that Aislinn wasn’t exactly who they thought she was.

The constant harassment and pranks at work have gotten Conway a little more than paranoid with her every day life, and since taking this new case things have gotten worse. She’s spotted a shadowy figure at the end of her road, and she is starting to become unsure how far the squad would go to get her to leave. This case has her wondering, if it is just another step in their campaign to get rid of her, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface??

If you want to know what happened, because let me tell you, the ending will shock you, pick this book up! I highly recommend it and I will be reading more of her books in the near future!

Have you read any of Tana French’s other books? If so please leave it in a comment below! I would love recommendations!

Xo’s Shelby

 

Why I Gave Good As Gone 5 Stars!

Good As Gone by Amy Gentry was my first book from my Book of the Month Club subscription (and no this post is NOT sponsored by Book of the Month – I pay for my subscription each month!).

When I heard about this subscription box I just knew I had to have it, and honestly I have not been disappointed yet!

Along with the book you receive a book mark and sometimes a card with a note from the judge that picked the book.

I received this book in October of 2016 and along with the book came a card from the judge, Liberty Hardy, the card said:
“Snuggle in and get cozy with this perfect mystery! Actually it’s more like mystery squared- it’s a mystery-in-a-mystery! There’s the question of what happened to Julie, but also has she returned?!? And if not, who is sleeping in her bed??? (Spoiler…NOT GOLDILOCKS!) This novel kept me guessing while repeatedly squeezing my heart! It’s so, so good!”

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Review//Thoughts: 

I personally LOVED this book! I loved the way that Amy Gentry told the story of Julie backwards. I also loved the way that she focused in on each part of Julie and all of the different roles that she had to play over the years that she was gone. I feel that those “people” shaped her into the new person that she is now that she’s back home.

I’m not gonna like, I questioned at first if the woman standing on Anna’s doorstep was really Julie, even after learning a little bit about what happened at “their hold house” it never crossed my mind that Charlotte could’ve been the one that died. Part of me thought that Charlotte was posing as Julie for some reason. But as I continued to read and the story began to really unfold I realized that it really was Julie standing at their door and that she had been the one who escaped and finally made her way back home.

I loved reading this novel. I felt that the ending was absolutely perfect. It was amazing from beginning to end. I read some reviews online after I finished the book and read some of the comments in the discussion board on bookofthemonth.com and I noticed that some fellow readers were disappointed with the book. Some said that they were left wanting more about Jane (Julie’s sister) and her father. I understand where they are coming from, but at the same time I feel that the author told the story the way that she did for a reason. Yes, Jane and their father were an important part of Julie and Anna’s life but the were not a huge asset to the story. It was not her father’s “fault” that Julie ran away (nor was it her mothers). BUT I feel that Julie felt closed off from her mother, like the bond that a mother and a daughter are supposed to have was not there. I felt that she was trying to fill that void through conversations and her “relationship” with Maxwell/John David. That is why I feel we did not get more background on Jane and her father.

To be completely honest I am content with how the story ended and I am content with how the story was told. I did not feel cheated or disappointed because the fine details of two characters were left out. I felt like I got the complete story and I feel like the author did an amazing job telling it from start to finish.

I would highly recommend this book.

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?? Leave me a comment below!

Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby