Friday, June 22, 2012

(One of) Her Favorite Authors

I have said it here before - I <3 Reading! It doesn't usually take much for me to love a book - cute characters with a fun story line and I will be hooked. Very, very rarely will I leave a book unfinished...usually I push through until the end in the hopes that something good will happen. (Sometimes I hope that the "something good" will be a character I hate -shall we politely say- being removed from the storyline.) 

The other night I finished a book and went looking for the next one. I decided to check my Nook for something new from one of my favorite authors...Kristan Higgins. Check out her site here. She has a gift for writing story lines that are not predictable and very entertaining to read. Her characters are fun and funny; I find myself rereading her books many times so I can "visit" with them again and again.

If you are looking for some great beach/summer reading, I would encourage you to check out Kristan Higgins. Here are some of my favorites by her - I linked the captions to

**I just finished Somebody to Love --- If you are going to read it, I would recommend reading Catch of the Day (picture below) and The Next Best Thing (not pictured) because the characters overlap. The girl main character is the best friend in The Next Best Thing. She moves to the same town as in Catch of the Day so you get an update on all the characters from that story. Love it!!

Loved the revisiting of characters from other books. :)
I love the brothers in this one - they are funny!
Each book has a dog that just makes the story that much cuter and more fun.

Nothing wrong with a tough guy who is actually a teddy bear!
The first book of hers I read...I love Maggie and Malone!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Her Summer Vacation

Another school year has ended. *sigh* Don't get me wrong, I love summer vacation! Days full of lounging, no alarm clocks, and not feeling so tied to a to-do list and schedule. The *sigh* was in reference to the students I already miss. One of the big problems with teaching 8th grade is that my kids will be at the high school next year so it is hard to see them and stay connected. 

-Moving on-

This summer I have plans! Not big plans, but things I am setting out to accomplish and do over the next....wait a minute, checking the countdown on my phone...65 days.

In no particular order...
1 - Catch up on laundry and housework
            It really seems like at the end of the school year all of the things that need to be done around the house just don't get done. I'm going to fix that - starting today...laundry, dishes, and vacuuming are on the agenda. A deeper clean and organization of the two spare bedrooms upstairs are on the agenda for later this summer.

2 - Go to the gym
           I joined Planet Fitness about a month ago and I LOVE it. They have a 30-minute circuit that is very similar to Curves and a ton of treadmills, bikes, and elliptical machines. I'm hoping I can stay motivated to go 4-5 times a week.

3 - Lose 15 pounds
            At a Weight Watchers meeting a few weeks ago, they talked about summer goals. I wanted to keep mine attainable and realistic (something my leader talked about) so I decided on 15 pounds. I weighed myself today and I'm already down 2 so that's a great start!

4 - Plan our vacation
             We are going on a driving trip this summer to visit a bunch of places in New England. The Type-A and OCD parts of my personality want to research the best places to eat, shop, sight-see, etc. Now that I am not knee-deep in school stuff I can focus on that.

5 - Read 30 books
             I love to read - it is my favorite pastime and hobby. I always read a lot over the summer, a couple of books a week, so this summer my goal is to read 30 books. The Chesapeake Public Library has a summer reading program with prizes given out randomly throughout the summer. Last year I won a tote bag so I would like to win something else this year.

6 - Go to the movies
              There are two movies that I know I want to see in theaters - Men in Black 3 and Brave. I'm sure there will be others that come out later. 

7 - Go to Busch Gardens
               Roller coasters, fun rides, and good food - Oh My! :)

8 - Go to Water Country
              Water slides, Hubba Hubba Highway, and really delish frozen yogurt - Yay!

9 - Hang out with friends
               This ties back in with the last three. I have amazing friends who I don't usually see enough over the summer. I'm hoping to make movie and theme park dates with them so we can hang out.

10 - Participate in a book study
             I blogged about this earlier but the book study of The Daily 5 and Cafe is starting in July. I am really looking forward to learning some new ways of teaching English. The blog where the book study will happen has almost 600 followers so I know I will be getting tons of great ideas.

11 - Travel
            Aside from our big vacation in July, I want to travel to see friends and family. A trip to visit friends in the mountains of Virginia and my sis and bro-in-law in South Carolina are a must.

12 - Cook
           Sean and I have a deal - he cooks on days I work and I cook on days I don't. So summer is always my time to plan and cook dinner. I love it and I love giving him a break from the hassle. Tonight's menu is Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf with veges in garlic sauce.

13 - Work on school stuff
           The old saying is true - "A teacher's work is never done". I have some things for school that I want to get done this summer. A student project to be overhauled, a substitute binder idea to get ready, extra credit options to plan...nothing major but it will be much easier next school year to just have all of those things done and ready to go. 

14 - Paint kitchen
            Our kitchen is painted a pale, boring yellow and has a French border (very ugly - I hate it!) along the ceiling. Sean and I want a tropical kitchen with bright colors so I want to take down that border and paint with a bright, summery yellow or maybe a tropically-looking orange.

15 - Pinterest ideas
             I have so many things pinned on my "For the Home" board and I would love to get some of them done this summer.

16 - Go to baseball games
             I <3 baseball! Going to the Tides games (nearby minor league team) is always fun and a great way for Sean and I to spend time together.

Well, those are some of my "big" plans this summer. Seems busy when I see it all laid out that way. What about you - what are your big summer plans?

Happy Summer,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Her New Summer Project

I started following blogs on Blogger a year or two ago. Just simple things like friends' blogs or blogs about TV shows that I like. Then it dawned on me during the school year that I bet tons of teachers blog about ideas they have, resources they've found, and things that work in their classroom. When I started searching I was amazed! So many awesome teachers willingly sharing plans, games, resources, and anything else you might need for your classroom. Most of the blogs I follow are elementary school teachers but their ideas can be easily adapted for my eighth graders.

One of the books for the study
The second book for the study
It was through those posts that I found out about a book study "group" (blog) of teachers who will be reading and studying two books through a new blog they have created. I have heard many of the bloggers I follow mention "The Daily Five" (one of the books) so I read the reviews on and found a few people who said they had adapted it for middle and high school. I am not a confident English teacher so I decided to join in the fun. I am super excited and can't wait to read the books, get ideas, and collaborate with teachers all over the United States. :O)

If you are interested in checking out this book study, just head over to We Read, We Blog, We Teach. The links for the books on are there, as well as an introduction to the whole idea and process. If you want to have a chance to win the books, and save yourself $25, head over to Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher. (Her blog is great also so I would recommend following her.)

Let me know if you decide to join in the fun.
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