Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Spelling Activities for the Elementary Classroom

Well, my self-imposed maternity leave is over and like all Good Bloggers, I'm going to make a better attempt at posting more than once every Blood Moon.  Did you see that, by the way?  I did not.  It was WAY cloudy here in Kentucky much to my chagrin.  Boo.  I can only imagine the shenanigans y'al have been enduring this week. 
Excuse the misplaced punctuation above.  Not my meme.  Not my problem.  {source}


I decided to be teachery this week and order a bazillion new books based on your recommendations in the previous post and those I'd recently heard about from others.  Because I love getting packages in the mail, you better believe I will be eagerly awaiting the postman tomorrow.  (Sidenote: Dear Amazon Prime, I love you and your fast shipping. The end.)  I will share the collection when they arrive.  

I also just posted this bundle in my shop.  It's a collection of 20 different seasonally-themed spelling craftivities with 8 different corresponding activity sheets to help you differentiate for your kiddos.  I've discounted it through tomorrow OR you can enter over at The Inspired Apple's Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of your very own.  

Have you been to Walmart lately?  Besides their stinkin' adorable Pioneer Woman line of kitchen-wares, I am pretty obsessed with the Halloween aisles, too!  Of course, the Mrs. Mullins in me was just itching to buy ALL THE THINGS for my classroom.  

And, lastly, a darling pic of the Three Little Mullins.  They are the cutest, Blood Moon and all.  

Happy Tuesday!

{And, don't forget to click over to Facebook for a chance to win the spelling bundle or grab your discounted bundle HERE!}

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for...

Want to link up, too?  Just click the graphic above!

I haven't played along in forever, so this should be fun!

I had a baby! If you follow me on Instagram or The Inspired Apple's Facebook page, then this is old news.  But, for those of you who didn't already know, Benjamin Daniel Mullins was born on August 14, 2015 at 2:22pm.  He weighed in at 7lb2oz and was 20in long.  We're all in looooooove. And, yes, he looks EXACTLY like Beckham. Like, it's scary.

I'm not sure about you, but I'm pretty much obsessed with Target's remodeling.  Like, it's unbelievably GORGEOUS and kinda makes me want to move in and take up residence right there in the Threshold aisle.  Also, our Target is finally getting a Starbucks. #praisehands Which means, I will now spend $106, instead of the usual $100.  Because, helllllooooo Grande Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte (add whip).  

I'm trying to stay current by reading the latest educational books.  Can you give me some recommendations?  Leave me a note in the comments with your faves!

How are my other two?  They're wonderful.  Becks started 2nd grade and absolutely adores his teacher.  She "smiles all day," he says.  It makes me feel good as a teacher-mama to know how happy he is and to see how much he's learning.  Faith is on the rebound after a 10-day stay in the hospital right before Ben made his arrival.  She's wearing her almost-2-year-old diva attitude with pride, getting into everything, and regularly shopping the cupboards for canned goods and paper towels.  

Though I'm not in the classroom this year, I'm missing it like CRAZY.  I seriously considered applying for a part time kindergarten position a couple of weeks ago.  Then, I realized just how CRAZY that would be.  But, next year is a definite possibility!  

Anyway, here's the resource we used last year to study all the things apple:

If you want to see even more apple-themed activities, check out the full-on Apple Week post by clicking the graphic below!

And, here's my lesson plans from this time last year, too! Click on the graphic to access the PDF.  Within the PDF, you can click on the product covers for more information about each activity!

That's all I got!  Happy Friday!

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Battle of the Bulge: Stupid Leggings

It all started with the wrong choice of workout wear.

I own about 497 pairs of leggings and 95% of them are labeled maternity.  On purpose.  About two years ago, I found that GAP maternity leggings have the most forgiving waistband and prevent muffin-top hangover.  I wore these totally unpregnant for years, and then wore them totally pregnant for nine months. 

Those labels should have a disclaimer, though, because they do NOT fit the post-partum body very well as one might suspect. 

Case in point:

While dressing for my daily walk – the 45 child-free minutes a day where I can be one with nature, listen to Summer Hits of the 90s on Pandora, and feel like I’m doing a little something to aid in the comeback of my pre-pregnancy self – I chose a pair of black, maternity legging capris. 

I pulled them up far-ish, in a selfish attempt to smooth out the post-preggo bulge from all directions.  We’re talking above the bully button - as far as I could stretch them without being uncomfortable.  Paired with an extra long maternity tank, I figured this would be the perfect combination. 

I. Was. Wrong.

I was about two tenths of a mile from our house, which was about the distance the crotch of the leggings managed to sag during the first few minutes of my walk.  The sag pulled the waist of the pants far below my belly button creating not just a muffing top, but a muffin bulge, hugging my hips and thighs in all the wrong places.  The fitted tank did nothing but accentuate what the leggings were already helping point out.  I should’ve just turned around and changed into a more comfortable, more likely to do what they’re told and STAY PUT pair of leggings.  But, oh no.  I persisted.  And, so did they.  Sag City, my friends.

the offending pair of capri leggings

My frustration with the pants grew, as did my frustrations with my body.

 I HATE this extra weight!  Why did I eat ALL THE FOOD for nine months?!  How come I’m not shedding the pounds like I did with Beckham?!  Stupid thighs.  Stupid belly.  Stupid muffin bulges. 

This internal conversation went on for all 45 minutes of my walk, and I’m sure I shot angry eyes at any passers-by.  (Sorry neighbors!)

But, here’s the thing.  I had a baby a mere four weeks ago.  So, I need to give my body a little grace.  It kind of did this big, miraculous growing-a-human thing for nine months, and then it managed to bring that baby into the world safely and healthily.  So, YAY, BODY! 

I just want to be honest, though, that I don’t feel comfortable in my post-baby body, even knowing how crazy awesome it is.  Cute tunics and dresses help me disguise the weight and bulges well, but it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with my body image right now.  
Exhibit A: Perfectly shot selfie with forgiving tunic makes all seem okay in my post-partum world.  

Despite parenting three little rascals, walking daily, eating far better than I did when I was pregnant, and nursing, the scale hasn't moved in TWO WEEKS!  What. the. heck. I'm still 30 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight.  

Exhibit B: This is more close to my reality right now.

 And, for anyone who’s riding the same post-partum crazy train, here’s my reality right now…which may make you feel a little bit better about yours.  I want to be honest and true for anyone who needs a buddy to say, I'm right there with you! Belly bulge and all!

Disclaimer:  I didn't write this for you all to chime in with the You look so good! comments, as sweet and uplifting as they are! Honestly, I know that social media and perfectly shot selfies can make us look at ourselves and feel inadequate and ashamed of our bodies compared to everyone else, so I want y'all to know that I'm normal and fight the Battle of the Bulge and struggle with self-image, too! 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Little Sunday Catch-Up...

So, it would figure that...

...the week I had the house cleaned and organized...

...the last week of summer vacation for Becks...

...the week I packed my bag for the hospital...

...the week I had actually blogged with substance...

...the week I had just one more project to finish up...

...the week it's absolutely gorgeous outside all weekend along...

we would wind up in-patient at the hospital with Faith.


She caught a tummy bug.  And, with her sensitive gastrointestinal system, it hit her hard.  I'll spare you the details, but it ultimately dehydrated the poor little thing.  She doesn't just get sick like a normal baby, she get's really sick really fast. So, they admitted her when her labs (not surprisingly) came back abnormal.  

B pulled the night shift until about 5:30am when I arrived to relieve him because he had the virus, too.  Ugh.  Also, it's his finals week and I'm set to have a baby pretty soon.

When it rains...

So, if you will PLEASE lift our family up in prayer, I would greatly appreciate it.  Becks and I are still healthy, and we would love to stay that way.  Also, that Faith will be released home tomorrow morning.  It's not a whole lot of fun to entertain an active toddler in a hospital room, especially when she can walk is attached to an IV pole.  

In other news...

Tomorrow is the BIG TpT B2S SALE!  I cannot even believe it's that time!  So crazy!  I won't lie - my cart is FULL of clip art!  I can't help myself from all the cute graphics out there :D

{You can shop my store >>>> HERE.}

I also uploaded one more alphabet activity.   It's called Letters From the Alphabet.  I hope to share more about it in a video blog once Faith is home from the hospital and I've Lysoled every surface of my home.  

And, lastly, DO NOT FORGET TO ENTER the crazyamazing B2S Bash giveaways!  Not only are there 18 Bash Baskets to win, but also a Grand Prize!  Hurry before it's too late!  Click on the pics below for more details!

Well, I'm going to try to get more than four hours of sleep tonight...on a hospital fold-out bed...nine months pregnant.  #youresojealous

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Have y'all had fun hopping around to all 18 of our Bash Baskets?  If you haven't done that yet, please start HERE and make sure you do!  You only have until midnight on August 2nd to enter!  You may be thinking "Ohhh, I'm not lucky enough to win... I never get picked for prizes...There's just no way that my name will be selected!"  But, I would say:  YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU TRY!  So, go for the gold, folks!

Here's what you NEED to do FIRST... like RIGHT NOW!  We are doing an Instagram Hop with a secret message.  This secret message MUST BE entered on the Rafflecopter below or you will NOT be chosen as a winner!!!!  Look for THIS graphic on Instagram.  THIS graphic will start the secret message.   Hint:  You'll start with @stepintosecondgrade
You might want to grab a sheet of paper and a pen so that you can collect all letters as you are doing the Instagram hop because YOU MUST COLLECT THE SECRET MESSAGE!  Here are some tips for your Instagram Hop!
Don't have an instagram?  Well, sign up so you can enter the grand prize basket!!!  If you start in the right place and follow the order then all of your letters will nicely flow into one message :)  If you go out of order then you will have to unscramble the letters to make a word, and no one wants to do that!!!

So, let's talk about the Grand Prize!  This is the LARGEST, MOST AMAZING, INCREDIBLE Grand Prize ever... in the history of teacher giveaways!  
Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a REAL Smartboard!  Whitlock (a Smartboard distributor) generously donated a Smartboard to our giveaway!  Isn't that amazing?!!!  Do you want to know all the details about the specific Smartboard and if it will work for you?  Look HERE!!

Whitlock will ship the Smartboard to the winner (continental US only!).  It comes with a projector and all software needed!!  The winner will need to have a way to mount the Smartboard AND will be in charge of maintenance after installation.  We want to make sure we lay it all out there before you enter :))  I'm sure that your school or district would be happy to help if you were the winner!
And, that's not all, y'all!  The winner will also receive a Silhouette Cameo and a One-Year ESGI Subscription!  OHMIWORD!!!

Once you have collected the secret code from our Instagram Hop, you can enter below!  You only have 24 hours, so don't delay!!!