Monday, February 28, 2011

Favorite Things Linky Party!

Jodi over at Fun in First Grade is having a Linky Party of favorite things!  It's so much fun I just had to participate :) are some of my favorite things!
My Favorite Things
1.  Cold Stone Creamery
I have proclaimed my love for Cold Stone over & over - so much so, that at Christmas several of my kiddos and family members gave me gift cards for ice cream!  I am still using them up :)  My ultimate favorite is Reese's Peanut Butter Cup perfection, but Cake Batter Batter comes in a close second.

2.  Starbucks
Another guilty pleasure of mine.  Apparently, I talk about how much I love Starbucks a lot too because I ended up with $80 in gift cards from Christmas :)  Even my sweet little 4 year old son, Owen, is hooked on Starbucks kids hot chocolate with "extra whip." 
I love everything, but I am partial to the Passion Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade, Caramel Frappuccino, and Perfect Oatmeal.  And the scones.  Mmm...scones.

3.  My iPhone
Ok, time for a non-food post.  I got my iPhone last year and I couldn't live without it!  I love the convenience of having everything in one place (calendar, to do list, Face Book, etc.).  It is also great for Owen to play and learn with, and I have been incorporating it into more and more classroom activities.  Love it!

4.  Movies
I just love going to the movies!  The popcorn, theTwizzlers, the Diet Coke...oh, and watching a movie with Jason & Owen is fun too!  Mostly I am limited to children's movies, but once in a while I get to go to a grown up movie as a special treat!

5.  Running
I have a love/hate relationship with running.  While I'm running, I love it.  I hate getting up early and trying to get motivated.  But, I just got a 5K registration form in the mail that has inspired me to hop on the treadmill and train, train, train!

6.  Dave Matthews Band
Seriously, you can't get better than this.  Talented AND gorgeous.  I <3 him!  I've seen him in concert many times and would love to see him again.  I own all of his cd's, have many concert t-shirts...basically, I am obsessed.

7.  Reading
This is one of my favorite books, but I just love reading in general.  Fiction, non-fiction, magazines, blogs - I could spend an entire day curled up on the couch just reading.  I wish I had more time to read and enjoy books - it is part of why I look forward to the summer so much!

8.  Diet Coke
I know it is not healthy - but it is SO good.  I try to limit myself to just a few per week.  Yum!

9.  Office Supplies
I am in heaven when surrounded by office supplies!  I love to file, organize, highlight, and clip things.  I love buying new binders and post-its, cool pens and markers.  I could wander around Staples for hours.  If this makes me a geek, then so be it :)

10.  Shopping
Who doesn't love to shop?  Owen and I love nothing more than to just look around stores, sometimes buying things, and sometimes just "window shopping."  More often than not, we come home with a little something though :)  Here are some of my favorite stores:
Cute clothes, great quality, not too old-ladyish or too young looking.
Do I even need to explain this one?  Love it!
Great sales, great discounts, and great $5 hardcover books!
I'd be lying if I didn't include this one.  They have huge selection and great prices.  Plus Owen loves the toy aisle.

Now it's your turn!  Post your favorite things, then link up with Jodi at Fun in First Grade!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Plumdoodles Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is...
Emily Morgan!  Congratulations Emily!  You win your choice of crayon sets that Plumdoodles makes. 
The winner was chosen using the random number generator at

Custom Random Number generator

This program will generate a random number between two numbers of your choice.
Enter a lower limit: 
Enter an upper limit: 
Random Number:

Thanks to everyone who participated!  Stay tuned, I will be making and posting some brand new, super adorable SEASONAL crayons today!  Here's a hint...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plumdoodles Give Away!

Two posts in one day??  Yes, it is true!  And the best part is, this post is to tell you about a giveaway I am offering!  You could win a free set of handmade crayons (your choice which set!).  Just go to my website,, and click on the "Survey" page.  Fill out the quick little survey, and leave your name and email address in the comments section, along with any comments you may have!  The contest ends Friday at midnight.  I'll choose a winner using a random number generator on Saturday.  Good luck!

100's Day and Valentine's Day - Oh My!!

Yep, you read the title correctly...due to "inclement weather" days, as our school refers to them, both the 100th day of school AND Valentine's Day both fell on Monday.  It was a bit of a crazy day - we celebrated the 100th day of school in the morning (which is usually an all-day event), and Valentine's Day in the afternoon.  The kids, bless their little hearts, were as good as they could be with all of the excitement.  I attribute part of their good behavior to planning, planning, planning on my part (and a pretty low-sugar menu for both parties!).  My only regret is forgetting my camera, so no pics this year :( 
For 100's day, we wrote about having $100, which to a first grader is like winning the lottery!  Their responses were priceless.  We admired each other's work as we filled out a mini scavenger hunt about the 100th day projects (find a fluffy collection, an unusual collection, etc.).  We also made 100th Day crowns and wrote about things we might want 100 of, or want to eat 100 of.  No doubt about it though, the student's favorite part was making the 100th day snack!  Thanks to Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants for the great idea!  In the past, I have had students count out and bring in 100 pieces of their favorite snack.  Then, we combined all of the student's selections into one big bowl and created a trail mix of sorts.  This year, I had students bring in 14 different items, which I placed in individual bowls.  Then, students could come up and count out 10 items from 10 bowls, to make a snack mix with 100 pieces in it!  The best part about it was that there were more than 10 choices, so if students did not like one item, they didn't have to include it.  I'll definitely be doing that again next year!
After lunch and recess, we transitioned into Valentine's Day mode.  This is my favorite holiday party because it is low-key and low stress!  The students passed out their Valentines to each other, played a few Valentine games, and enjoyed a heart and tooth friendly "buffet."  Rather than overload on sweets, students brought in fruit, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, and cheese and crackers to enjoy.  One of my little cuties tried to eat a piece of her Valentine candy after school and her mom told her no, because she had already probably had enough sweets in class.  The poor thing hadn't had any!!
Finally after our busy day, I got to spend time with my little Valentine!  Owen and I met up with our good friends at Basil Boys, a local Italian restaurant for pizza, breadsticks and presents!

My friend was sweet enough to get both kids their own mini-heart cupcake maker.  Owen was super jazzed because she also got him pancake mix (you can make pancakes too!) and sprinkles.  O is a pancake monster, so this was the perfect gift in his eyes.  It even trumped the Zhu Zhu pet app that I downloaded as a gift for him on my iPhone. 
We ended up trying out our pancake/cupcake maker this morning.  Owen woke me up at 3 am not feeling well, so we stayed home today.  Heart shaped pancakes were just what the doctor ordered!

The maker is adorable!

The special sprinkle pancake mix!

And the perfect mini-heart pancakes!  They were delicious, and resembled muffins because of the cupcake maker.  I highly recommend picking one of these up on after Valentine's Day clearance if you can find one!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Busy Weekend!

Here in the Plum household, we believe in making the most of our weekends!  We are always on the go, and this weekend was no exception!  We kicked off Friday with a fun night of college hockey - Adrian College vs. Lake Forest.  Go Bulldogs!
The Bulldogs won!  Owen and my nephew Johnny loved all of the hockey action - and the food!  They devoured bosco sticks, caramel/cheddar popcorn, and cookies.  We had a great time and can't wait to catch more hockey action!
We also celebrated not one, but TWO birthdays with this mouse over the weekend...
Let me tell you, that is a four year old's dream come true.  He played all of the games, ate pizza and cake, and ran around like crazy.  Then, he took a three hour nap, which is a mommy's dream come true :)
We're looking forward to a nice, normal week with very few scheduled events.  After all, we need to rest up for next weekend!
Stay tuned - I'll be back with another edition of "What I Wore Wednesday," pending we don't have a ton of snow days again.  If I had posted this week, it would have been "Pajamas I Wore Wednesday" week!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Grumpy Day

Wow - what was supposed to be "flurries" has turned into an all day snowfest!  We had two snow days last week, and I'm thinking with what's coming down now, another snow day might be in store!  All of this snow is enough to make even the happiest first graders feel a little grumpy...
Ok, we were acting!  (Some of us not all that well - I see a few smiles sneaking in!)  We just read the adorable new book by Anna Dewdney (author of the Llama Llama books) - Grumpy Gloria!
This book, like her others, was wonderfully written and the illustrations were absolutely adorable!  When we finished reading it (two times - the students begged for me to read it again!), we talked about adjectives.  This book is chock-full of words that mean the same thing as grumpy.  We created a word map to help us remember them all!
After we took our grumpy picture, the students wrote about a time when they felt grumpy (or crabby, mopey, grouchy - you get the picture!).  They had so many words to choose from!  You can imagine how cute their stories were.  And Grumpy Gloria has become one of the most popular books in our class library.  Have you read this book?  If not, grab a copy and be grumpy with your students - we had a blast! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Try Something Tuesday!

The snow is falling and my wifi service is being difficult, SO...I was inspired to create "Try Something Tuesday!". I'm blogging from my trusty iPhone for the first time (new thing #1). Owen and I are very jazzed to be trying a new (although not super healthy) dinner. He saw this tasty little treat while we were grocery shopping Sunday and was so thrilled that I couldn't resist buying it for him. After all, doesn't this look scrumptious??

Perfect comfort food for a blizzard - and something new #2!
I am also super excited to share a fabulous fellow first grade teacher's blog - Kristen Walsky at First Grade Teaching! She is featuring a giveaway of some of my Valentine heart crayons from my website,
Make sure to check out her blog, the giveaway, and her awesome downloads! Being featured on a blog I adore is new thing #3!
This post has taken me about 3 times as long as a post normally would, but hey - what else am I doing? After all, it is in the middle of a blizzard, and I just got the call that tomorrow is a snow day! All of you who are in the snow belt - stay safe, stay warm, and try something new! Leave a comment if you want to share something new you were inspired to try...(btw, the pizza & cookies were totally delish!!).


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