Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pinterest: A Classroom To Inspire

My 'A Classroom To Inspire' board is such a useful way to collect and share items which are handy at school.  Here's a few selections which have recently caught my eye: 

I love this infographic, and have printed and laminated a copy to go next to my class library!

As luck would have it, I found this 'Summer Reads' list....on the last day of the summer break!  A lot of the books look very interesting, however, and I'll definitely be checking some of them out.  Spending two hours a day commuting affords some excellent reading time.

I love these collages - I think I might ask our head of 'Life Skills' if I can do these as an add-on!

I'm planning on using a little less tech this year rather than the reverse....but I'll still have a browse of lists like this to pick up some great hints and tips.

I always get asked how to help with reading at home - I'll be adding this to the resources I have for parents!

 Some fun ideas!  I love the start of term.

And lastly, a great round up of fun print outs for parents and teachers!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Super Secret Sunday: A London Adventure

Matthew is such a planner.

He thrives on timetables, spreadsheets and itineraries.

It's a running joke with my girlfriends that amongst the many reasons Matthew is a keeper, his mad skills at planning holidays and trips must rank in the top ten, for sure.

However, I also like a good spreadsheet, so every so often it's nice to take the reins!  On Sunday was one such occasion.  Matthew let me take the whole day to plan us an adventure in London.  What follows is how Super Secret Sunday unfolded.  After the wedding rush and a lovely minimoon up in Matlock, this was the perfect way to conclude our break before work and Junior League and life kicked in!

I will always work cute stationery into a plan, wherever possible.

I planned for something to happen every two hours.  An hour before, Matthew got to open an envelope, so he knew what was coming next!

Ready for the off.

We breakfasted at home (M is not a morning person, so I wanted my schedule to honour that!) and then jumped onto the tube across to Greenwich.  Because first item of business was....a boat trip along the Thames!

The Shard and Tower Bridge.

The Tower of London.

The Shard and HMS Belfast.

Loved this view of the City and St Paul's.

The Houses of Parliament.

Cheesey boat based selfie.

Canary Wharf

After catching some of our city's most marvellous sights from a different point of view, we bimbled up from Westminster towards Trafalgar Square.

Hi, Nelson!

Because I had booked us lunch at Portrait, the gorgeous restaurant atop the National Portrait Gallery.

Such a unique, beautiful view of London, with Nelson in the foreground!

After a long, leisurely lunch we heading across to Covent Garden, where we had a jolly couple of hours exploring the London Transport Museum.

In a tube carriage from Victorian times.

After that we went to Christopher's for cocktails - I'm happy to report their drinks are just as delicious as their brunches!

Cocktails were definitely a mini-moon theme!

And then, when you're close to Covent Garden, there's a clear family favourite for dinner:

I put three pounds on just looking at this menu.

Best steak in town!  All in all I thought the day went well and I had such fun planning a busy, silly, tasty day for Matthew.  We've decided to do something like this every other month, with us taking turns to plan.  Such a fun way to spend time together and explore our awesome city together!

Life Lately

Today, we are back to life with a bump.

After the fever pitch intensity of the last fortnight of wedding planning, then the busy-ness of the big day itself, and the delicious lull of the tailend of last week, now we are back to reality!  Matthew is back to work, and all this week I'm in school prepping for back to school.  The boys return September 3rd, training commences September 1st, so this week I'm in for two full days and two half-days to get my room in order.  I've been so frenetic with all the nuptual based activities and things to organise, it will be lovely in a way to return to the tried and true rhythm of September, as tiring as it always is.

Last week was charming.  After the wedding we were lucky enough to have several of the players still around, and it was great to do lunches, dinners, and drinks.  Throughout the wedding experience Matthew and I were just blown away by the phenomenal amount of support and the huge outpouring of love in our general direction.  Our friends and family are just the best!

Our little minimoon to Matlock was super too, just the ideal respite from it all.  Aunty Kaz very kindly looked after the katzen, leaving us free to enjoy the break.  Originally we had been forecast rain, rain, rain, but instead our time in Derbyshire was sunny, cool and delicious.  On Thursday we arrived and shared a 'chippy tea' (always a treat for northern types!) before conquering a few of the local hills (never trust a road called 'Steep Turnpike' - the clue is definitely in the name!) then finding a cute local pub with a good range of real ales.

Friday dawned clear and crisp.  The forecast was for rain, so we set off straight after a yummy breakfast for a walk.  We walked a few miles in a loop to the nearby beauty spot of Matlock Bar and had a great time snooping and playing on the 2p machines.  Then we stretched our legs some more and had some delicious tea and scones by the Riverside.  The rest of the afternoon was filled with strolling and reading.  We then found a cute little cocktail bar and a super Italian restaurant before retiring early.  Fresh air makes me sleepy!

Saturday we found ourselves stuck with our bags as our B&B had no storage.  Matthew's team, Blyth Spartans, were down to play a match against Matlock FC (our minimoon location being no accident.  Check out my wife-points!), so he met up with the boys and I curled up and enjoyed copious cups of tea!  I would have loved to attend the match but the suitcase was an encumbrance.  An afternoon of reading and writing was a very pleasant way to spend some time instead!

On Sunday we enjoyed the first of what I hope are many 'Super Secret Sundays'.  More on that in the next post!

Then yesterday was a day of cleaning, tidying, writing notes and ironing.

Because today, life gets real!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meal planning Monday: 25th August 2014

Linking up with At Home With Mrs M and Organizing Junkie for another Meal Planning Monday.  Now the excitements of the wedding have passed and with the new school year on the horizon, it definitely feels like time to start getting organised around the house again!  Here's this week's menu:

Today (a grey, rainy London Bank Holiday Monday!) we are having Jerk Chicken with rice and vegetables.  We had some Jerk chicken canapes at our shindig which were a total hit, but which Matthew and I have never tasted, so I thought I'd perform a culinary homage.  Plus, as it's Notting Hill Carnival weekend, it felt fitting to have something delicious and in theme.

The rest of the week plays out thusly:

Tuesday:  I'm out at the movies, but I'll be defrosting Matthew a portion of chili con carne to have with rice.

Wednesday:  After a couple of days back at work, I feel a lazy tea will work best.  I'll pick up some mozzarella and chorizo to make some pita bread pizzas.

Thursday:  Chicken stir fry with glass noodles and summer vegetables.

Friday: Roasted vegetable pasta.

Saturday: Homemade chicken noodle soup with sourdough bread.

Sunday: Mexican chicken with rice.  Yum!

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