Sunday, April 19, 2015

Earth Day FUN and FREEBIES!!!

Happy Sunday, Bloggy friends! Kerri here..

Earth Day is this week! I can't believe it!! Where the heck is April going??


Earth Day is one of my favoritest days (holidays? What do I call it exactly??) to teach my kidlets all about, mostly because they REALLY take it seriously and become so motivated to help keep the Earth clean. 


Here are some of the activities that I did with my class last year to celebrate Earth Day...


First, we made this super EASY PEASY (and pretty) Earth Day art and wrote about how we could help save the Earth...


Here are the dimensions, if you would like to make them with your class, along with writing paper and the Earth template for your kids to color and cut out (clipart courtesy of DJ Inkers)...

9 x 12 light blue background
5 x 12 skin color (I folded it in half, traced one my kids' hands and then cut it out once)
Earth pattern (click picture above to access this)
3 x 4 paper folded in half for the heart (I used pretty scrapbook paper)
Writing paper so the kids can write how they love the Earth (also included with download, click photo above)


We also made a little "I Love the Earth" bubble map to help us describe the Earth. This helped us when when we wrote about it (click image to download)...



Here is another FREEBIE for y'all that my kids will be using in centers this week! An Earth Day sentence scrambler, which is similar to the scramblers in my Word of the Week Scrambler Pack!!
Click on the picture to download it via google docs...

If you liked this one, you can check out the entire pack here... (click on pic to go to my TPT shop!)

We also had LOTS of fun playing with examining earthworms in a VERY scientific way after reading Diary of a Worm (I got these HUGE nightcrawler from the bait shop!)...
SO NASTY!!


Isn't his expression priceless?? This was the BEST ACTIVITY EVER!!

We also had LOADS of fun with my Earth Day Math and Literacy Centers...



Here are my kids having fun with the centers...

Counting Patterns

Graphing

Number Puzzles


Syllable Sort

They also used my Earth Day Writing center to write all about the Earth...







Finally, to complete all this Earth Day goodness, how about another Earth Day Number Puzzles FREEBIE from my TPT store! Click on the picture to download it for yourself...


Whew!! That was a lot of Earth Day fun!! Hope you found some activities that you can share with your kiddies!! Happy Earth Day, friends!!

XOXO Kerri B


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Stitch Fix Strikes AGAIN!!!

Good Morning, Bits and Bobbers!! Kerri, your resident Stitch Fix girl, is back with not 1, but 2 months of Stitch Fix goodness!!

Why 2 months, you ask?? My February box arrived when my older daughter was in her high school musical and I was re-living my high school theatre glory days by being the ultimate stage mom (Not ashamed to admit it!!) 
Then, shortly after I got my March box and got the pictures all ready to roll, I got that nasty flu that was going around and it knocked my on my B.U.T.T. !
I literally had a fever for a week! It was ridiculous.

So, that is why I now have 2 whole months of wonderful Stitch Fix goodies to share with you. I'll show you the good (TONS!), the bad (A TINY BIT), and everything in between. Unsure what Stitch Fix is? Don't worry, I'll explain it all at the end of this post and you'll want to sign up FO SHO!!! :)


So, here is my pretty blue and brown box when it arrived at my house in March.  I like to look at it for a few moments in anticipation before I open it. I'm a huge DORK, I know!!! But isn't it so pretty??


And, here is the gorgeous pile of clothes Jessica (My personal stylist, who does an AMAZING job every single month!!) picked out just for me, based on feedback I've given her when I check out each month, AND my Stitch Fix Pinterest board. This is KEY to getting a good Fix! 
Aren't the colors delicious?? That top on the top is SCREAMING my name!

Now, I'll go through each piece and show you pictures of me in the ones that worked for me...

First up, the RENEE C Garren Keyhole Blouse. This was absolutely RIGHT UP MY ALLEY! The colors, the print, I loved everything about it! Unfortunately, when I tried it on it was too short and boxy for me (I prefer tops that cover my child bearing hips...I'm sure some of you can relate??) and I was super sad. 
However, my mom tried it on (she is shorter and more petite than I am) and it fit her perfectly! So, she kept it and ROCKS it every time she wears it. WINNER!!

Next up, the GILLI Kadyn Dress. You can't tell by this picture but this dress was V-neck and my first impression was, "I don't have the cleavage or the nerve to pull this one off!" But, I tried it on anyway, because you just never know, right??


Well, what do you know??!! This dress was pretty darn cute on me! My cleavage (or lack there of!) wasn't a problem after all! And it was so soft and comfy and that Cheveron print was TO.DIE.FOR!! KEEPER!!

Item Number 3...the PIXLEY Zoey Geo Print Dress. My first impression of this dress was definitely MEH. It reminded me of a dress I would have worn in the 90's, to be honest, and the colors were NOT my favorite.
Then I tried it on....and I was right. The colors washed me right out, cause in case you haven't noticed...I'm paler than pale, especially in the middle of March. Ugh...it was hideous. RETURNED!

Next item up...the PIXLEY Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse.
OMG!!! They had me at the tulips, people!! This top was oh-so-adorable, and right up my alley! I had high hopes for this one. :)

YUP!! It was perfectly perfect on me! Perfect fit, super comfy, and I just love how it looks with my favorite cardigan from my very first Fix!! KEEPER!!

Here is a close up of the blouse. I love that I can wear it with a cardigan in the Spring and sleeveless (well, after I get my arms tanned up a little-ugh!) in the Summer. LOVE IT!!


Item #5-The FATE Terrell Cardigan. I had asked Jessica to send me a gray cardigan, and this one looked super promising on the hanger. Interesting knit, but not too busy. I was excited to try it on!

YES!! I loved everything about this!! It was cozy and warm, but not too heavy, which is perfect for Spring, plus it looked fabulous paired with my pale pink jeweled top I got on clearance from Nordys. KEEPER!!

 So, all told, I kept 3 items from my February box-
the gray cardigan, the gorgeous dress with the chevron print, and the tulip print. Plus, my mom kept that fabulous BOHO blouse that was too short for me. Pretty awesome job, Jessica!! She knocked it out of the park, as usual!!


Up next, my March box, which arrived while I was still getting over the flu. Check out the beautiful selection that Jessica chose for me this month!! The colors are simply SCREAMING Spring!!


The first item she sent me was the BRIXON IVY Fallon Mixed Print Sleeveless Blouse. I think I pinned this blouse a million times and I was SOOOOO excited to see it in my box. All my favorite colors rolled into one?? Sleeveless blouse that I can wear with a cardigan or without?? Yes please!

And....it was even more fabulous on! I love bold colors that I can pair with my Kendra Scott jewelry and blue and teal are my favorite colors of all. This top was soft and silky and paired with a bright blue cardigan, it worked perfectly! KEEPER!! 
Here is what I noticed the most about this picture, however. 
HELLO ROOTS!! This girl needs a cut and partial weave STAT! Geez Louise....

Item #2-the COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS Phelan Blouse. Now, this blouse looks wonky on the hanger, but OH.MY.WORD. I love every single thing about this blouse!! The colors, the print, the material, the sleeve length. ALL of it was begging me to keep her!!

And I did, girls!!! Once I put it on, I know it would be my forever blouse. My favorite part about it was the sleeve length. I like a longer sleeve and these were the perfect length. I also loved the teal and pink. This blouse is the perfect casual look to go with capri jeans. KEEPER!!

Item #3-the MARKET AND SPRUCE Torin French Terry Stripe Blazer. I had asked Jessica for a blazer that I could wear with jeans. I have never had a blazer before and to be honest, blazers aren't really my thang...but I wanted to stretch myself and give it a try. This one was cute on the hanger, but I'm not a big fan of horizontal stripes, plus it looked a little short waisted, so I was skeptical, to say the least.
When I tried it on, it was NOT A WINNER AT ALL. The horizontal stripes made me look ridiculous and it was SUPER short. Bleccchhh....Sorry blazer...you were RETURNED!

Item #4-the GILLI Liana Maxi Dress. I asked Jessica to send me another Maxi dress and when she sent me this one, I was half excited and half dismayed. Excited because the print on the bottom was 100% my style, but once again, the top half had a v-neck wrapped look and I thought for sure it would make me feel uncomfortable and bustless. 
However, I still gave it a try on with my fingers crossed...

This dress was absolutely STUNNING on. The material was real soft and slinky and the pattern was perfect. The top part had a bit of a V to it, but nothing I couldn't deal with. I paired it with my denim jacket that Jessica sent me a few Fixes ago, and it was perfection! This dress also looks fabulous with my off-white cardigan. KEEPER FO SHO!


 Last up in this box, the LIVERPOOL Daryl Capri Straight Leg Jean. I had also asked Jessica to send me some denim capri skinnies and these fit the bill just fine. However, when I tried them on, they fit fine, but they were very similar to another pair of jeans I already own, and I couldn't justify the cost, so sadly I had to return them.

All told, I kept 3 items from my March Box-
the blue and teal sleeveless blouse, that gorgeous short sleeved blouse, and my favorite of all...the heavenly maxi dress! Another super RAD Stitch Fix from my girl Jessica!! 



I am already eagerly awaiting my April box! Each month, you can send a specific note to your stylist requesting specific items you have pinned (this is KEY!) or a specific type of item. For example, I would love a top with birds on it (so random right??) and boho dresses. Here is the note I sent her for this month:

Jessica again, please!! I would love some boho dresses this time, sleeveless and not too clingy around the waist or too short? Still looking for a bird top and I LOVED the collective concepts shirt from last time, so another one in the same style but a different print maybe? And some capri skinny jeans in a darker blue color or a denim skirt? You always knock it out of the park for me!! :)

See how specific I am? This is really helpful for her to know exactly what I like and don't like. Can't wait to see what she comes up for me this month!! :)

So, what exactly is Stitch Fix, you ask?? It is super easy to explain...Basically you get your very own stylist who chooses clothes for you that fit your unique style, without having to leave the comfort of your home. Super fun, right??

Here is how Stitch Fix works:

1. Create a Style profile on the Stitch Fix Website

2. Have 5 handpicked items that fit your style profile delivered to your house.
3. Keep what you like and check out online. Send back the rest in a pre-paid envelope.
4. Look fabulous at work!!

It takes about 10 minutes to fill out your style profile online, and this part is very fun, because you get to choose different outfits that best represent you. I loved this part! 

This really is the easiest service in the world. There is no pressure to keep anything. If you don't like anything, they charge you a $20 styling fee, but if you keep at least one item, the $20 fee goes toward the cost of that item, and shipping is FREE both ways. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!!


Plus, if you keep all 5 items (which I have done, by the way) you get 25% off your entire box, so you get a bigger discount! 
You also can just sign up one time to try it out, which is what I did the first time. After I did it once, I was hooked, so I signed up for monthly, but my mom signs up for a Fix every once in a while. It is so easy and flexible AND FUN!!!

If you want to check it out, would you please use my referral link? I get a small commission when my readers have their first box shipped and this helps me to keep posting these awkward photos for you all to see! :)

Thanks for reading, friends!! I'll be back with my April review in a couple of weeks. I wonder what Stitch Fix treasures will behold me this month?? 
XOXO Kerri B

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Open House Theme and How I Organize it!!

Good Morning, Peeps!! Kerri here...

I am happy to report that we have exactly 2 weeks left until Spring Break! I can't believe how this year has flown by. 
About this time every year, I start thinking about my favorite thing OF.ALL.TIME...Open House!!

I don't know why I love it so, but I sure do. It also is the one thing that used to bring me to a state of panic every single year, until I got wise, and decided to SLAY the Open House beast with my WICKED ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLZ!! 

WORD.

Here's how I do it. 
I start with a theme and for the past few years, mine has been the Rainforest. Super engaging to my kidlets, bright, colorful, and fun, and very scientifical. WIN WIN WIN!

We also start our Rainforest Unit WAAAYYYY in advance. Like we already started our first project this week because we were learning about butterflies and LUCKILY, there are butterflies in the rainforest! Exhibit A...




Next, I get my art projects all planned out and prepped. 
I have many different art projects that we complete for Open House (like 10-12 different ones), so I have been prepping them little by little and storing them in my Open House tub...
well, actually, this is not TOTALLY accurate. 
We are blessed to have an aide at our school who preps our art for us (I know, I know. Don't spit loogies at your computer screen!!)
 BUT I never had an aide at my old school, so I had to prep all the art myself and I would just prep my art projects 2-3 weeks in advance, so they were sure to be ready to roll. 
I keep them all in my handy dandy Open House tub and pull out the one I need each week...

I keep each project in a Ziploc with the directions included inside, so the following year I can just pull it out again and prep the pieces I need!

Next step...I make myself a checklist, with every single thing I need to accomplish before the big day. I also add the dates I plan on completing each thing, and I get PURE JOY when I get to check each item off. Seriously, it's like crack to a crack addict!!
 I also make a map of my classroom and lay out where everything is going to be displayed so I make sure I have enough room for all of the projects...

After that, I decide which books I'll need to teach about the Rainforest. Most of the books I can get from our school library, but I also ordered a bunch from Amazon, so when we are learning about each animal, I have a book to read the the class.
During the year I keep these in my Rainforest book tub...

But during our Unit, I display them in my pocket chart so the kids can see them all and read them when they have free time.
I also keep my rainforest animal posters displayed on my mini anchor chart stand that Falling into First wrote about on her blog. I LOVE THIS THING!!! 

Each week, when we learn about a new animal I can display my poster and the kids get all excited!

I also have my kids make a book about all the animals we learn about, so I have this all stapled and ready to go. They keep it in their desk and each week fill out the pages about whatever animal we're learning about...

Here are some examples of the pages inside the book...

We also make a mini Rainforest Vocabulary book during our unit, so I make sure I have those prepped and ready to go in advance...



Another thing that saves my skin is my rainforest tub that holds all of my vines that I hang in the room...
I twisted these vines out of green butcher paper ages ago, and I just pull them out and re-use them each year. That way I am not stressed out making vines and cutting out trees from butcher paper every single year!

Parents are a HUGE help to me when I do this unit each year. I send home a note soliciting help and I always get lots of offers. Many moms who can't help in the classroom are more than happy to help from home, so I send projects home each week for them to cut, glue, stuff, etc. It makes my life WAYYY easier!

Finally, to add to the aesthetics in my room, I make sure all of projects are in the same color scheme (I know, totally OCD of me, right?). For example, my flowers, butterflies, rainbow fish and most of the other colorful projects are red, turquoise, bright green, purple, and orange. What can I say, I like it to be matchy matchy!!

I also print out a brazillion labels with the kids' names on them (with a cute font of course), and have them put their name sticker on the front of each project so their parents can easily find them on Open House night!



TADA!!!


That's it, folks! The whole story of how I keep myself SANE and organized during Open House season!! If you would like to see more pictures from my Rainforest Open House, you can click on this link to go to my post about it on Blog Hoppin'!

http://imbloghoppin.blogspot.com/2014/02/rainforest-fun-for-open-house.html

And if you would like to see more about all of the things included in my unit, you can click on either picture to check it out in my TPT shop...


While you're there, you can download this fun Toucan Art FREEBIE from my unit...
which will give you a taste on what this unit is all about!!
Whatever theme you choose to do for Open House, may it be a wonderful learning experience for your kids, may you not get FRAZZLED, and my the odds be ever in your favor!! :)
Happy Saturday, Peeps!!
Kerri B