Person, Place and Thing

So glad today is OVER! 
I walked away today with two tubes of mascara, a mirror and a bottle of perfume.  
And I didn't buy any of that!  
Oh and I didn't steal it either...just in case you were concerned. 
I am at my wits end with some of my eighth grade girls and the in class primping. 
FYI ladies, my computers are meant to complete class work not to use as a mirror.

So happy I have a three day break, come Monday I am sure the urge to stab with the first mascara wand I see will have died...a bit...I hope...

I have been seeing these linkys floating around my google reader and they looked fun and a chance for you to know a bit more about myself...or for me to babble about myself more and post more silly pictures. Either way I think we both win tonight!

The Noun Game:


EASY! My all time favorite person in the world would have to be Mr. B. 
In June we will have been together for six years and I definitely count myself lucky that I have a relationship that has only gotten better over time.
Mr. B is my rock, he has been such an amazing support person as I traveled through this unknown journey of teaching. Listening to my rants about everything! We share a love of mocking stupid people like its going out of style.
But most importantly we have fun together, we can be ourselves around each other, understand when we both need space and cherish the time we can just relax together.  
I couldn't ask for a better best friend or partner.
I could really go on and on but I am sure by now you are the solution: silly pictures!

On our way back from Chicago in 2009...I HEART traveling with him!
We like to party on boats in Austin! (2010)
My birthday 2011 at Hamilton Pool in Austin.
My birthday 2012.

This one was a bit more difficult for me, I HEART my home with Mr. B and sometimes there is nothing better than curling up on the couch with him and an adult tonight!

But since moving to Austin in 2003 I have lived in 10 different places. My parents have also each moved three times.  So for me any place where I have family and friends is my favorite place. 


I am sure this is a common answer but it has to be my iphone. I didn't jump on the iphone craze until about 1.5 years ago and ever since I have been hooked. 
I HEART my iphone like a fat kid loves cake! 
Without my iphone I feel leaving the house without shoes naked. I wouldn't be able to communicate, take pictures, make to do lists, blog stalk, pin on pinterest or find silly useless facts in seconds. Life would just be unbearable!


This one was damn near impossible for me. I am going to let you all in on a little secret, which will probably lead to some unhappy thoughts about me but oh well, I do not like domesticated animals. Like I think cats are evil and out to get me! And I am straight up terrified of most dogs. And I once had a goldfish that killed itself rather than live with me.  

So I like horses! Growing up someone in my family always had horses so it was always a childhood highlight to get to go out to the country and ride/pet/feed the horses.

My dad once had a dog that I loved, her name was Lady, and she was my kind of dog. She didn't jump on people, didn't bark and didn't lick you. She even had a pink blanket she kept with her to sleep on. And she pranced around, well like a lady, she was my dream dog. But then my dad's soon to be ex-wife took her when she moved I am back to not liking domesticated animals or his ex for that matter!

What are a few of your favorite things? 
Make sure and link up with Flying Into First, meet others and share!

- The Babbling Box!

Happy Hump Day

Happy Hump Day! It's pretty much passed us by, but its been a long day so I am just now getting to this little ole blog.

Here's what I am loving today this week right now!

I'm LOVING that we have a three day weekend ahead of us! WOOT! WOOT!

I'm LOVING that I learned that you can cook potatoes in the crockpot, dinner this week was SO easy! Maybe not nutritious but so easy! Just in case you were curious we added chopped brisket, cheese and sour cream to ensure that our dinner would be completely unhealthy.

I'm LOVING that I was able to have so much sister time this weekend, even if she won't share our pictures with me!

The best picture from my phone...EM...please send pictures...wonder if she reads this blog...

I'm LOVING the Sugar and Spice box I received from Influenster for free, so many great goodies.
More about it later.

I'm LOVING that both Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers will be playing in Austin this spring/summer. I HEART outdoor concerts!

I'm LOVING my new dress! Picked it up from Marshall's Friday night on a whim and received so many compliments today. My favorite was from a student, 'Ms. you look good. No, I mean you look goooooood today.' Could of also been the addition of the heels, but whatever there are few jobs out there you can get as much praise as I did today!

Excuse the odd selfie, Mr. B kicked me out of the bathroom so I was improvising.

I'm LOVING that I am planning a vacation with my mom in August to New York for her 50th birthday.
So any suggestions on places to stay or visit would be GREATLY appreciated, last time I visited I was a poor college student who slept in the airport one I am just a poor teacher with a mom who would never sleep in the airport.

I'm LOVING the two books I am reading Manology and Safe Haven...interesting mix but both really good picks so far.

And most importantly I'm LOVING Mr. B and that we both have Friday off together, this never happens so hopefully it will be EPIC...or something like that.

A oldly but a goody!

- The Babbling Box!

Sometimes I Read

Today I am in teacher mode, non-teachers might find this all incredible snooze worthy...but I included a few silly selfies for your enjoyment, or something like that!

Sometimes I read blogs that are educational, shocking I know.

Like this one Smart Classroom Management, every Monday bright and bushy tailed begrudgingly at 5:45 a.m. I read my Google Reader in an attempt to wake up and right myself with the world.  Smart Classroom Management comes in some time over the weekend but I generally try and avoid all school things like the plague until Monday morning.

The Monday after spring break I had these babies waiting for me: The Most Common Speaking Mistakes Teachers Make (Part 1 and Part 2).  Following a rough few weeks before spring break I took the blog posts as signs of the direction I wanted to steer my classroom in as we do the final push towards summer. Teaching to me is always a constant cycle of evaluation, tweaking and making improvements. 

So here are the top four mistakes teachers make, I am sure everyone is probably guilty of at least one, I will be completely honest and admit to being guilty of all four:

All teacher advice must be given with shades on!

1.  Speaking Too Loud
Main Points: "To attract students to what you have to say, to encourage them to hang on your words, speak softly." and  "Further, you'll find their own voices growing softer and more respectful. After all, they mimic what they see, and hear, from their teacher."

In my classroom I have been known to go really loud with my attention signal (5,4,3,2,1, volume level 0) in order to ensure students hear me. 
New resolution: count down softly and calmly. 

2.  Speaking Over Students
Main Point: Waiting until all students are silent and looking at you to begin talking.

In my classroom I rarely speak over students, just my rule of thumb but I know that I have been guilty of moving on when I only had about 80% of the eyes on me or the board. 
New resolution: stand firm on the 100% and don't move on no matter if it takes all period...and it nearly has a few times.

3.  Talking Too Much
Main Point:  Be stingy with your words. Make every word count.

This is probably my Achilles heel. I talk way to much, shocking right!?! 
New resolution: be brief and too the point when providing directions or discussing a project.

4.  Repeating Yourself
Main Point: Say directions only once, if students know that you will be repeating yourself they have no urgency to follow the directions.

I do this way too much, I feel like everyday I repeat my directions nearly three times before I release my students. Plus they are on the board and in their electronic worksheet.
New resolution: Have students read worksheet silently at the beginning of period, then review directions once and release.

Sometimes I read books that aren't written by Tyrese and Rev Run...mind blowing I am sure!

Last Tuesday our PLC was centered around Teach Like a Champion, a book I never get tired of.

Certainly beats this weeks PLC's, two 45 minutes of STAAR training(our state assessment) blahhhhhhh it was mind numbing to say the least. Oh and plus there is a 100+ page training manual we have to read, sigh. Sure I have time to read through it who needs a life.

Stank face for the STAAR.
Back on topic, all teachers were asked to pick one Teach Like a Champion strategy to use in their classroom for the rest of the semester and my favorite was the 100% Technique: teachers will expect 100% compliance and not accept anything less. Accepting anything less is basically saying you don't have to follow my rules or procedures. I thought this technique would pair nicely with my new speaking strategies and what I am already doing in the classroom.

I tried these out last Monday and have to say that my week ran SUPER smoothly. It felt like we were moving at a slower pace waiting for 100% at first, but I really did feel like these small changes were able to tweak the few areas I was unhappy with before spring break.

Because I am honest and all, I will say that even just reviewing them now I feel like I started slipping on number 3 and 4 this week, but my classroom is ALWAYS a work in progress.

I don't know about you but this time of the school year gets more difficult for us: 8th graders check out, 6th graders are starting to push back, and well our 7th graders...lets just say bless their hearts.  

So every little bit helps me keep a firm semi grasp on my sanity, hopefully someone else will find these helpful as well.  

I look totally sane right?!?

What's your favorite classroom management technique? How do you keep behavior issues to a minimum these last few months of school?

- The Babbling Box!

This Weekend I...Peed on a Bus!

Oh Monday, I have such a bittersweet relationship with you, my head is still in weekend mode but regardless  5 am came around and slapped me in the face this morning.

My weekend was different so I figured I would switch things up and babble about it for a bit rather than actually accept that it's Monday.

Side note: My weekend was Mr. B-less so you wont see any of him in this post. Mr. B works two jobs, one of which is at a bar in west campus, for those of you who don't know west campus is where all the frats and sororities exist near The University of Texas. This weekend was Round Up weekend aka Mr. B's hell weekend. Basically a three day drinking binge for underage and barely of age college students. So lots of fanny packs, neon and debauchery.

This is the youth of very scared!

Enough about Mr. B's poor overworked soul, back to my weekend.

I left work and went to the gym and ate a super healthy dinner. went to Marshall's and purchased three new dresses just because I could couldn't but that's what credit cards are for. I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step...right?!?  Then I purchased Sonic for dinner because I wasn't about to cook after all that hard work shopping.

Then I followed some sage advice that my middle school girls provided me.  Apparently kool-aid can be used to dye your hair. So I drank the kool-aid and purchased a whole big buck worth of kool-aid packets and dipped my hair in it for 30 minutes, not expecting a whole bunch of anything.

I was pleasantly surprised to find these results:

I will definitely be doing this again no matter how cheap ghetto it might be.  
Then I decided to do some drinking and get my little butt to bed before midnight.

I woke up at the butt crack of dawn, well 6 am so I pretty sure that qualifies as the butt crack of dawn on a Saturday.
And proceeded to get myself together for my little trip to Houston for my little brother's 25th birthday lunch, and by get myself together I mean throw two outfits, three pair of shoes and some makeup in a bag and go. 
I had decided to take a MegaBus, which I must say is an amazing form of transportation. For $23.00 total I got to and from Houston  all the while reading a book, having wireless internet and most importantly NOT driving.

I was able to start reading this little gem recommended by When In Doubt Just Add Glitter:
and I am totally hooked. Maybe I will even talk about it at some point later.

My sister picked me up at the bus station and let me get changed and ready in her car. Were classy like that.
We then went to Target to find my brother a present, and then I proceeded to get another dress and then change again...I am super cool like that...or indecisive.

We then had dinner with the family, more on that later, which included Mexican food and margarita's. 

Me and the little brother. 
My grandparents, little brother and sister.
Birthday boy and his lady.
Sister took me back to the bus stop and I was on my way home.

My chauffeur for the day.
I learned two very important lessons: one after too many margarita's peeing on a a moving bus is hard work and two only creeps travel on a bus on a Saturday night.

Said Megabus dropped me back off in West Campus, so I then had the privilege of walking through massive amounts of little boys in neon man tanks, I gave them all the stink eye to ensure they would not talk slur at me. I even had the honor must burn my eyes experience of seeing one pee in front of me. 
Not everyone can be as lucky as me.

Since it was eleven o'clock and my day buzz had long since faded, I picked me up some J Box tacos and proceeded to drink some more.

A housewife I am not, but I did a little cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping and laundry on Sunday. 
No Sunday Funday here.
As a reward for all my hard work I ended my weekend with a little bubble bath, wine and my kindle. 
It was a blissful way to spend the final hours of my weekend.
Be jealous!

I do believe I have a bit of my wine until next weekends shenanigans I will be back in teacher mode, at least its a three day weekend.

- The Babbling Box!

It's Spring Time!

I can't believe its already Sunday evening...sigh...on the positive note we have a four day work week ahead of us, YIPEE!!!  Also, I might have an appointment with my bathtub and a bottle of wine scheduled later.

Regardless I still feel like this weekend went by TOO fast for my liking.  Yesterday I went to Houston and back for lunch which pretty much took over my whole weekend, because of course Friday night I had to go shopping for said lunch.  

All the super cute dresses in the stores had me totally HEARTING spring time...and I might have picked up one two three different dresses.

Today I am linking up with Sunday Social as I wait for it to be an appropriate time to start my bubble bathing and wine drinking.

Sunday Social

1.  What is your favorite thing about spring?
In Austin our spring time is way to short, we seem to jump straight to 90 degree weather way to fast and I HATE being sweaty when preforming day to day tasks so I am trying to enjoy this spring time weather as much as possible.  

Here are a few of my favorite things about spring: driving with the window down, laying in the hammock reading, pretty spring time dresses, flip flops, drinking on a patio, hiking and bluebonnets!

2.  What is your favorite kind of flower to grow or receive?
I don't know the first thing about gardening, in fact we have lived at our house for 1.5 years and until this morning didn't even know that we had a rose bush in our backyard. Gardening epic fail!

As far as receiving flowers, lets get something off my chest I HATE RED ROSES! That might sound odd but I find them so clique so Mr. B knows understands gets that he should never purchase any for me.  Other than that I HEART bright colorful flowers. Calla Lilies are probably my all time favorite, I also have an obsession with bluebonnets and indian paintbrushes but I pretty sure it is illegal to pick those here. 

Mr. B has a pretty good track record of picking pretty flowers...

3.  What is your favorite nail polish color?
On my toes I love bright pinks and corals but on my fingers I go a for a different style: blacks, blues, purples, grays and greens. Right now my favorite spring colors for my finger nails are mint, lilac and yellow.

My favorite cheap brand is...

4.  What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Anything on the water! I HEART boating, floating, sun bathing, playing in the sprinklers, did I mention floating!  

I completely love hiking here in Austin but it gets hot so quick that the window of hiking time is very small.

And of course drinking on patios!

5.  Do you have any fun spring plans?
At the moment I don't have anything planned out. BUT here are some things I am hoping to do:

  • Go on a hike with Mr. B
  • Go kayaking
  • Go to an outside concert
  • Lay in the hammock and read
  • Drink on a patio
  • Clean up our backyard
  • Plant some herbs.
  • Finally: just enjoy the amazing weather!
Here's hoping that Monday doesn't kick any ones butt too badly tomorrow. 

- The Babbling Box!

It's Gonna Be Me

Survived another week!

It was one of those weeks that teachers love: students interacting positively, very few classroom disruptions and some really awesome classroom discussions today. Hopefully I put enough 'coins' in our classroom piggy bank with lots of praise and smiles to ensure that as testing month aka April takes over we will be smooth sailing.

But its Friday...Friday...Friday! So that means locking the classroom doors and 48 hours of pure relaxation and fun.

I always have a song of the day. I think its a fun way to welcome the students to class and also its an incredible stress reliever for me. Especially after a rough period, music always calms me down and puts a smile on my face. 

I like to take input from my students, but let's just say their music advice is hard to follow. No matter how much they try to convince me dirty rap music just isn't going to fly. 

So mostly its my music that gets A LOT of Imagine Dragons, Gavin Degraw, The Fray and The Lumineers. And well pretty much anything else I here on the radio while driving to work that is school appropriate...I never realized how many references there really were to drugs, sex and booze in the lyrics til I had to start censoring them.

I do take their advice sometimes...Call Me Maybe, Katy Perry and Journey. Yes my middle schoolers like Journey and Wiz Khalifa, their cool like that.

This week I played N'Sync.
I recall being in middle school and being head over heels in LOVE with N' Sync. 
I was in LOVE with J.C. move over Justin Timberlake, I was going to marry J.C. I already had it planned out. Funny, that fast forward to 2006 and I paid good money to see Timberlake.

Oddly enough I had multiple students guess that "It's Gonna Be Me" was the Backstreet Boys and then proceed to roll their eyes. Gotta love middle schoolers.

Since I noticed that I Wore Yoga Pants was hosting #backthatazzup Friday I knew my sudden rediscovery of N'sync MUST be shared.  Well, at least I think it must be shared so you are stuck reading about my love of N'Sync thus leading to a little bit of judgement of my sanity I am sure.

I wore yoga pants

Perhaps I will move on to 'Bye Bye Bye' next week. 

Or better yet 'Gone'!  

The possibilities are endless!

I can't wait to read all of your suggestion of AMAZING tunes I can torture introduce to my students!

- The Babbling Box!

Nerd Out Much

Most couples have a song, we have a comic strip.

Ever heard of Pearls Before Swine?  It's a pretty nifty little comic strip that stars a narcissistic rat, naive pig, intellectual goat and a guard duck, plus a few more characters.

Most of our cheesy anniversaries or holidays center around giving each other Pearls Before Swine books or stuffed animals. One year I even decoupaged a dvd shelf with the strips for Mr. B.

Just a few of my friends!
 Obsessed might be an understatement.
We are totally unique...

So when Mr. B told me that Stephan Pastis was having a book signing, I was TOTALLY on board to going. Despite it being a school night and me being old and all.

Stephen Pastis's newest book is called Timmy The Failure: Mistakes Were Made, and its actually aimed at middle readers so NO references to booze or insults, but never the less still a good read. If I wasn't a total nerd about the whole thing I would bring the book to my classroom for my students to read...but its MINE!  And Mr. B's, I guess...

On the last Tuesday in February Mr. B and I went to happy hour Austin Land and Cattle, which by the way is an awesome happy hour if you are ever in the Austin area.

And then after a few adult cocktails wondered down to the book signing...of a children's book. Please refrain from judging to much!

Stephen Pastis was just as funny to listen to as I would of expected.

Excuse the blurry pictures, I was trying not to be 'that' girl taking his picture a million times.
Then we waited in line to get our book signed and of course I got all shy and unbabbley (that's a word right?!?) and couldn't think of anything to say.  

Regardless it was a really fun night and a neat experience.  I HEART sharing firsts with Mr. B and it was my first book signing. Since today is our 5 year 'boyfriend-girlfriend' anniversary (we have a few anniversaries, another unique quality about us) I felt like sharing a bit more of our couple side on this little ole blog of mine.

- The Babbling Box!

Goodbye Spring Break!

Goodbye Spring Break! (For the life of me I could not think of a better title, sigh, some days you have it and some days you just don't.)

For me its always a bittersweet going back to work, I absolutely despise waking up at 5:00 am or really anytime before noon, but I certainly enjoy getting my routine back. 

For the most part my students were back in our normal groove today, its always nice to be able to say that at the end of the day no students riffled my feathers. There was one girl that I considered poking in the eye with her mascara wand after her hundredth reapplication today...but alas I showed restraint.

Today I am linking up again with Jess and Jenn for the Five for Five in an attempt to shake my spring break laziness.

First lets recap last weeks goals: red means failed, yellow means kinda and green means success. 

1.  Blogging GoalThree blog posts this week and update my 365 photo page. Success!

2.  Personal Goal - 4 days in the gym this week. One really intense workout will never equal four workouts.

3.  TPT Goal Post at least 5 items up. I think I managed to get seven items added to my store this past week. Double success!

4.  House GoalCook at least two different meals at home this week. I only cooked one real mean at home this week, plus a bunch of different health bars so I will call this a kinda success.

Side note:  Looking for a super easy healthy lunch option you should definitely try this Bok Choy Salad from Annie's Eats. Super easy to prep, transfers wonderfully to work and tastes amazing.

Bok choy brown rice salad with orange sesame dressing from Annie's Eats

5.  Future Goal Finalize research on Master's Programs. I am also calling this a kind of success, I have narrowed it down to two different programs but I am having a hard time deciding.

6.  Friendship Goal Our close friends had twin girls, I know they have been bombarded with family and friends so we have been trying to give them space but Mr. B and I want to cook something to drop by and of course see the twins! We were able to meet the twins on Saturday PRECIOUS is an understatement but I think at this point I am going to hold off on cooking anything and once her house is family free in a couple of weeks bring over a bottle of wine for her to enjoy.

And here are this week's goals:

1.  School Goal - Get to school everyday by 7:15, for me morning mean a ton of time to get work done, I am just horrible at getting up. Oh, and don't get me started on deciding what to wear, it's an extra 30 minutes some days.

2.  Blogging Goal - Try and comment on at least five different blog posts this week. I love blog stalking reading but I have a horrible time thinking of comments to leave besides I think your blog is super neat...

3.  Health Goal - Go to the gym at least four days this week. No excuses!!!

4.  Personal Goal - Figure out something for my brother's 25th birthday on Saturday. I have absolutely no money past my bus ticket and lunch so while my presence is always a nice gift, I feel like I should at least make him a card or something. 

5.  Future Goal - Make a final decision regarding master's program and submit an application. One school's deadlines are in April so I really need to get the ball rolling if I want to start in August.

Hopefully this is a manageable list, past my daily to do list I make for myself, oh and there is my school to do list...perhaps I have an obsession with to do lists.  To Do List Anonymous anyone?

- The Babbling Box!