Paisley Sweetheart

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hello Black Friday!

Well, it was really more like 9:00 pm on Thursday.  After a wonderful day at Fire Jack’s station, I found myself hanging out on the couch browsing the massive amounts of Black Friday ads.  Nothing was really jumping out at me.  I wasn’t interested in any of the electronics deals, so just found myself mindlessly turning pages.  Until I came across the Walmart ad…
Okay, I am a Lego junkie.  Love, love, love trying to find ways to use the bricks in the classroom.  The only downfall is I do not have very many basic bricks for the whole class.  So our projects are limited to like 15-20 bricks per student.  As I am turning through the Walmart Black Friday ad, I came across the toy section.  The 650 piece Lego Creative Building Kit for only $15!!! 
Holy moly! Do my eyes deceive?? Surely this is just an example of items in the store or a joke…. I quickly, and I mean quickly, grabbed the laptop and pulled up the Walmart site.  It was not a mistake!  There it was online, the same ad!  You are maybe wondering why this is such a shocker… This kit is normally priced at $49.99!!  Had credit card in hand ready to purchase!
Here is the kicker… it is was in store item only.  OH NO!!  I was going to have to brave Walmart on Black Friday!!  I was just devastated!!  But never wanting to back down from a shopping challenge, I was going to go…
I called Fire Jack to let him know I was off.  He thought I was crazy insane… I bribed Reido Speedo to go with me.  I figured I would need a support system as I maneuvered through Walmart.  We jumped in the hybrid and made our way.  While driving, I warned Reido about the craziness he was about to partake in.  I think this was more for me to mentally prepare… ha!
I turned the hybrid onto the street with the Walmart.  Boyhowdy!!  This trip was not going to disappoint!  I have NEVER seen so many cars in one spot for a single store!!  Cars and people were EVERYWHERE!  We hadn’t even pulled into the Walmart parking lot yet!  What was I thinking???  Deep breathes,,, breathe…. I was going to make it!  I would not fail in the quest for Legos…
We turned into the parking lot and decided to hook a left to go towards the car shop.  I figured my chances were better to get parking.  Low and behold… a car was pulling out!!  I was just tickled!  The nice parking lot man saw me waiting and waived other cars on…  okay, parking 150% successful!  To the inside of the store we go…
Oh my word!!!!  People EVERYWHERE!!!!!  Lines EVERYWHERE!!!!!  I had never seen such a display of shoppers except on the news during crazy stories of Black Friday!  We were living it!  I kept telling myself to stay focused…
After winding through the store, and people and cars and whatever was in our way, there they were….. The shopping angels began to sing as we came up to the super deal!  AHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Grabbed one for me and one for Reido Speedo (remember I bribed him)…  Now the hard part….. checking out!
Well, since we only had 2 items, express lane we went.  To top it off, there was only 1 person ahead of us…once again, just tickled…
That’s right folks, in and out of Walmart in less than 30 minutes on Black Friday!!  Put that in the Guinness!  Absolute success!  Go me!
Happy Holiday!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Don’t you just love Halloween?!  Maybe it’s because of all the candy… or maybe it’s because we get to enjoy our kiddos being just that… kiddos!  This year my little (well, not so little anymore) guy decided to be a banana… yes, a banana.  I was pretty surprised since he is soo into zombies and gross little guy things.  I just have to share this pic with you… too cute!


My students brought me many Halloween treats, including a Mountain Dew… love, love, love!  Homework for Wednesday night was to count their Halloween candy.  It was fun to hear the kiddos subtract how many pieces they gave to Ms. Burney from their final count…  needless to say, my belly is FULL of chocolate.  Not that I mind… LOL!  One of my students gave me the sweetest gift…  check this out…


Don’t you just love this?!  A Hersey bar wrapped like a mummy… I was soo tickled!  It still sits on my desk all wrapped up!

Luckily for me, there are to more weeks of boot camp… definitely need to work off all the candy.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


So, each year our PTA is coming up with new ways to show appreciation to our teachers and staff.  Well, I am sitting at my desk one morning last week as students are coming in and one of my sweet students approaches me with this amazing basket of YUMMIES…


Low and behold… the basket of YUMMIES was for me!!!  Jaw drop!  A little drool for the Hot Tamales!  And just a fantastic fuzzy feeling!  It soo made my day (and many more to come)!  Kit Kat, Twix, Recess, Hot Tamales, and Earl Grey tea.  Love, love, love!

Each month, a different family/ student will bring me one of my faves…. we filled a form at the beginning of the year, so now I know what it was for…  I feel so appreciated and grateful!  Thanks to my awesome families!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Guided math and math games…

Now that my kiddos are off and running with a few games under their belts, I was able to begin our daily math rotations.  This year, I have decided to use a guided math model.  To help with the management piece, I am using the TIMER system.

T: Technology
I: Independent work
M: Math facts
E: Extra practice
R: Review with teacher

I purchased the Math Centers & Guided Math T.I.M.E.R. Organization Package  from Sweets-n-Treats

I just love it!  The colors are perfect for my bright classroom., and it went perfect with my black student numbers.  Plus, it had the stations that I was wanting.  I was finding many of the guided math packets, although super cute, were just not quite right.

Here is what my TIMER board looks like…


I have each student’s number on a magnet… makes it easy peasy to rotate groups.  Right now, I am “assigning” students a station.  I will do this for another week or so, till students have the routine down pat.  Then, I will let them choose a station, with certain weekly requirements.

Work for the TIMER stations is nice and neat in some drawers…


This has made it very easy to keep organized and together!  The drawers are nice and big for all the tools needed for each station.  So far the system is working super duper!

We use Investigations as part of our math instruction.  While I love the games, I do not love how the instructions look.  What?  Me want to redo something in cute fonts with fun frames?  Of course!  So… I began putting together a pack of instruction cards.  I made them a little bigger than most task cards… sometimes tiny task cards are hard to read.  Here is a preview…


I have included a task card for Collect 25 cents, Trash Can Math, Plus 1 or 2 Bingo, and Make 10.  Click {here} for a copy.  I also created a recording sheet to go along with Trash Can Math.  Since there are many more Investigations games, I have a tad more work to do… stay tuned!

And for something random, well not really random since I use them for math… I have found the BEST card holders.  I was tired of using travel soap holders…  well, while at Michaels one day, I stumbled across photo holders.  These super awesome 4 x 6 plastic storage boxes are PERFECT  for storing cards… love, love, love them!  They are super cheap, too… just under a buck fifty!  I can stack them nice and neat in my cabinets.  Can’t beat that!  Michaels sells a big ol’ box of 16 photo boxes that comes in its own storage case… that will be my next purchase!



Let me know whatcha think about guided math!

That’s all! Have a fabulous weekend!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A portable word wall…

My room does not have the best wall space.  More specifically, I only have 1 tiny magnetic whiteboard and 1 tiny bulletin board.  Ugh… I really was not up to measuring and stapling a word wall onto a blank wall… SOOO much work!  I found a HUGE magnetic whiteboard in one of our storage closets.  Getting hung was taking forever, so I needed to throw out an audible… Oh yeah, Peyton’s back!  Not so psyched about being a Bronco, but nonetheless, he is back… okay enough of that tangent…

I put my thinking cap on and was trying to brainstorm about how I wanted to use the word wall this year.  Over the years, I made note of the difficulties students had in seeing the tiny words or reaching the words when doing word work.  I was not really up for creating magnetic word wall cards with all the other tasks I had piling up as I transitioned to a new grade…. so what to do…

I love to follow Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files.  She had created a fabulous and extensive list of frequently used words.  Unfortunately, the list was just too big for my kiddos.  I inquired about the set up she used as well as the fonts.  I really liked the format of her list.  With the information in hand, I went to work.

Wait for it….. wait for it…  Here it is!  Woohoo!  A portable word wall!


I used PowerPoint to create the nice columns.  We use the Sitton Spelling Word List #37-130, so those words are included on the list.  I included #1-29 as well.  I used a larger size for the font to meet the needs of my students with visual impairments.  I used rubber cement to secure 1 page to each side of a file folder.  Then, off to the laminator I go…


I am super excited to use these!  These portable word walls sit on the student tables.  Students can access them at any time necessary, thus eliminating the squinty eyes or aimless walks to the big ol’ word wall.  Plus, students can take them around the room during Daily 5 work.  Since they are laminated, students can use Sharpies to add any new words or tricky words.

Grab your free copy {here}!  I hope you find these as useful as I do!

Let me know whatcha think!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The start of something beautiful…

Whew, the first week was crazy!  Not only was it the start of a new school year, but it was also my first attempt at teaching second grade.  Boyhowdy!  I spent LOTS of time this summer making the transition from a kindergarten classroom set up to a second grade classroom set up.  While I still have a few projects to complete, I thought I would at least share our classroom as it was on Monday.

Here is what my room looked like in June when I started to move all my many things in…




Yes, yes, it was sad…. but sometimes slow and steady wins the race.  Here are a few pics of where it is now…





I wanted to keep my room as bright as possible by using lots of color.  Most of my classroom labels are black with white or colored lettering.  I thought this would help ease the eyes somewhat.  Jump over to Ladybug Teacher Files to see these fabulous labels!  I just love all of them!  I also purchased the library genre labels.

My classroom library is definitely a work in progress, though…

2012-08-25_14-52-02_396      2012-08-25_14-52-18_872

I spent a ton of time this summer sorting books into genres,  The next step is to level them all… ouch!  Not to mention, I still have 3 crates of books to sort… books, books, books…

I just finished the library sticks for my classroom library and just about finished with my Daily 5 rotation board.  I will share those later… the pool is calling, and I want to answer!  Happy Labor Day!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

A chair to call my own...

I have never really had a teacher's chair.  I either sat in my desk chair or one of the kiddo's chairs.  I wanted to try something new this year that involved my new hobby.  One of my favorite places to go is Rockwall Helping Hands, our local thrift store.  I can usually find pieces that need some love.  Having in mind to upcycle a chair, I would visit with a purpose... that is usually never the case... lol!

I searched frequently for about two weeks and began to get a frowny face.  I just wasn't hearing anything speak to me.  The pieces were either way out of my league (or should I say I wasn't ready to take them on) or just yucky.  I didn't give up, though...and kept visiting.

Then one day, I stopped in on my way home while running some other errands.  As my eyes quickly scanned the store since I was kinda in a hurry, no time for strolling, I noticed bar stools.  "Nah, they never have those," I said.  I headed over to check it out.

Well lo and behold!!  A pair of wood bar stools!!  Granted, they were rough...but for $15 a piece, very doable!  So, I picked out the best ( I use the term lightly) and checked it off my list.  Here it is...

Yes, your eyes are seeing it...vinyl on the chair pad!
Okay, how hard could it be to reupholster a chair??  I am guessing it all depends on whatcha got.  Let me tell ya, this stool did not want to play nice!  It took Fire Jack and me (we had to rotate because our hands were falling off) almost an hour to get all the staples and 7...yes... 7 layers of nasty fabric, vinyl, and padding off.  It was g ross!!  That was all I could do the first night... yuck!

The next day I approached my sad stool with some hope... I could make it fab!  I headed to Jo-Ann's for some fabric.  I was completely in overload with all the fabric choices.  I am sure I drove my BFF CrAzY with all the photos of fabric choices...hehehe!  Anyhoo... I found a super cute blue and white coral outdoor fabric that would bring a sweet twist to the other beachy colors in my room (at 50% off, too..woo hoo!).

I needed to get some new foam since the original foam was just gross... I headed to Hobby Lobby for that because I had a coupon!  Yay!  I decided to invest in the higher priced foam.  I wanted something with staying power because this would get some use being in a classroom.  I wound up purchasing this fancy foam...

Word of warning:  electric knife or bust to cut this bad boy!!  I learned the hard way...

When all was said and done, I had this beauty staring back at me...

I patted myself on the back at my first attempt at upholstery.  This is where my ambition took over... I wasn't pleased with the look of the fabric on the flip side.  I think I was still traumatized by the original seat.  Hmmm...what about putting cord around the fabric?  Why not!

I found some fab hot pink cord at Hobby Lobby that just happened to be 40% off...I can handle $2.57 for that!  After a little hot glue and a few minor burns on the pinkie... this is the result of being overly ambitious...

I just LOVE how it turned out!!  I was just (still am) beside myself!!  The colors are sooo cute together!

Okay, now comes the paint.  I wanted glossy white.  I mean really, what else would look fab but let the fabric be the star?!  I was super nervous about using spray paint, though.  Had never done a project with spray paint, but had seen some really bad jobs!  The guy at the Depot recommended a spray paint trigger... a what???  This is what he handed me...

I gotta say, a very, very wise $2.50 investment for smooth and not-so-tiring spray painting.  My little finger tips were thankful.  I primed the chair and put 3 nice coats on the stool frame.  I sanded lightly any paint drips.  Surprisingly I did not have as many as I was planning on... yay!

It was super humid, so I let it dry a 3 full days before putting the seat back on.  Okay, heart is racing as I prepare to show off my first attempt at a bar stool... drum roll please...

Love, love, love!  I look forward to showing off my new stool in my classroom.  The picture in the cave does not do the chair cutey justice.  I will post a new one when it is shining bright in the classroom.  When all was said and done, this baby cost me around $30 bucks.  Not bad! 

Speaking of classroom... oh boy!  When does school start again?!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Now that is some console chic...

Boyhowdy was this media console a process!!  Let me ramble for just a moment... I was laying in my bed one morning and heard a strange thump.  It didn't seem spooky, more like a weird house creak, so I went back to sleep.  A little later, I woke well rested and ready to finish the console.  Last sanding was finished and final coat awaited...  I was pumped and ready to work.  I walked into the garage and noticed a hole in my line of sight where Fire Jack's bike used to hang from the ceiling.  Strange, but whatever.  I walked around my car and let out a massive gasp and then several explicatives... FIRE JACK'S BIKE HAD FALLEN ON MY FRESHLY PAINTED PROJECT!!  My heart broke when I saw the scratches on the top and sides...guess the bike took a real tumble.  Luckily, there was no major damage... so it took a little longer than expected.  Ugh!!

Okay, so that is the drama.  Now, how my beautiful console came to be...  I wanted our media console to be a statement in "the cave".  Color was going to be super important!!  Enter Glidden's Lucky Shamrock.  It is a vibrant, welcoming green.  It truly pops in our living room.  At night, the green becomes surprisingly rich.

I started by sanding and priming.  Nothing spectacular.  I put nails in the drawer holds so the holes didn't disappear when I painted.  I sanded in between each cost to make sure it was nice and smooth.  I decided to only paint a thin coat in the swirls.  It covered but didn't completely mask the original gold tones.  I slathered on four total coats.  If you count the areas that were injured by a flying bike, some areas have a whopping 8 coats... ouch!  Nonetheless, the paint turned out spectacular I must say.

After the painting and emergency touch ups, I let the console dry about 2 1/2 days.  It was super humid during this project, so I wanted to make sure it was cured properly.

During this time, I searched for authentic French Provincial drawer pulls.  The hardest part of the search was making a decision without breaking the bank.  Then look what I found at Ansaldi and Sons....

So perfect!!  The drawer holes were 2 1/2 center to center which was completely odd, so I was super excited when I found these babies... They arrived in about a week, and the customer service was top notch!  Big kuddos!

I put the pulls on as soon as I could.  Well, like I said earlier, this project was a process...  Fire Jack brought the media console in, we centered in the space, then gently put on our TV.  So where is the cable box going to go??  Okay, don't panic.  Time for an audible, Peyton style... how about a riser??

Just so happens we were getting rid of an old TV stand in our office.  With a little cutting, I had this little guy to work with.

By no means was this going to work on top of our Lucky Shamrock console.  Luckily, I had some leftover paint.  A sanding we a go...

After sanding and three coats of paint, I wanted to add some flavor to our riser.  I found some super cute and trendy trellis paper in a navy and cream color scheme at my favorite place, Hobby Lobby.  Grabbed the Modge Podge  and worked some magic.  Here is how it turned out...

I was very pleased with how the riser turned out and would be more than happy to add it to the console.

Let's see, painted, drawer pulls, riser... is it ready??!!  Wait for it...... Say hello to my delicious media console!

Yummy!  WOW!!  This piece came a long way (check out the original post)...
So whatcha think?  A statement or what?! :)


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Adding a little spice...

Our new house has an all neutral template...tans, creams, and so forth... Our kitchen was just begging me for more color!  I had already purchased some super fun (and of course bright) towels, but that only packed a small punch.  Still begging for more...hmmm...put the thinking cap on...

I was driving through my neighborhood and noticed a pile of small wood items on the curb.  My curiosity got the best of me, and I had to stop.  Low and behold, sitting in the pile, was a cute (but drab) spice rack.  Being the frugal gal I am, I usually do not pass up free.  So, in the trunk it went.  Fire Jack at this point thought I was crazy!  What in the world was I going to do with this sad spice rack...But since it was free, he had no complaints...

When I got home, I wasn't too sure if I was going to use it for a spice rack.  But after visiting the spice cabinet while cooking dinner, the decision was pretty much made...spice rack!

Poor spice cabinet... so boring and unorganized...
The beginnings of something spicy...

Luckily the rack was not a weird shape or material, just old wood that needed love.  Definitely screams for color and pattern... I decided that I wanted to paint the rack but line the inside of the "shelves" to Hobby Lobby!

My wallet was so excited when I saw that scrapbook paper was 50% off that week...well, that takes care of the liners!  I purchased 3 pieces of a gorgeous vintage looking paper...and at 30 cents a sheet, I was super giddy!

While browsing the paint isle, I got a little daring and decided to pair this with a turquoise... now that is the color and texture my kitchen needed!  Unfortunately, Hobby Lobby did not have what I needed, so I headed to the big orange building...

After a bout of dizziness on the color wheel, I had found the perfect match... say hello to Turquoise Bay.  WOW!  It was b right!!  Snatched up a sample size... home I went.

I began by sanding and cleaning the wood.  Then, I cut the paper to the size of the shelves and the back of the rack.

I removed the paper slices and set them aside for late... I had painting to do!  I started with one coat and let that dry for about an hour.  Then , I repeated that process 2 more times.  I really wanted thick coverage. 

We refer to our house as "the cave" because it is always on the darker side.  This color was definitely breaking through the darkness!

After letting the paint dry overnight, I was ready to line the shelves.  I grabbed my trusty Modge Podge and got to work.  Precutting the pieces was a big help!

I put a nice layer directly on the wood and laid the pieces.  I used a brayer to roll smooth.  I let it dry for about 45 minutes.  I then came back and added a nice layer on the top to seal it all in.  And.....

Voila!  Snazzy, but not yet spicy...I felt like it was missing something...  as I scratched my head, a little light bulb went on... what about "feet"?  Yes, feet!  Back to Hobby Lobby... Found some sweet little finial caps and a picked up Americana in Soft Black.  Easy trip only cost me a little over $2.00.

I painted to caps with the soft black and waited about 45 minutes to dry.  I then applied each on to the corner using the always handy and trusty Gorilla Glue.  And drum roll please....

Much better!!  Next step, load up the spices...

The perfect little punch in the kitchen... and for around $6 bucks for the entire project... definitely spicy!