Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Neighbour Gifts

Source: Live Like You Are Rich

I found this post the other day when researching little gifts for the upcoming holidays. Such a cute idea!  I love the idea of giving a small gift to neighbours at festive time - do you have a 'go-to' gift?

I like flowers, candy, cakes, but this post has me inspired to see what else I may be able to do!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Day In The Life: Monday 17th November

I love both reading and writing 'day in the life posts'.  Naturally nosey, I like glancing at what others do in their days (I'm always in awe of how busy and effective people are!), and it's quite fun to reflect on what my day-to-day holds too.  So every so often I like to do a good 'here's what I did' post.  Here's my day from Monday, November 17th:

 5.15am: Alarm goes off.  It's so dark at the moment (really starting to feel wintry!), it's all I can do to blink myself awake at five in the morning!  Quick stretch, ablutions and change, before heading downstairs to give the katzen their first breakfast and have a nice glass of water.  I eat breakfast when I get to work - making food and coffee this early doesn't quite compute!

My standard school outfit - classic and comfy!

6.00am: Leave house, walk to station, catch one then another tube across town.

The Jubilee line at 6.20am is a quiet place!  Perfect to tuck into a book or the paper.
 7.00am:  Arrive at school.  This time is ideal for ad hoc meetings, photocopying, hoovering up some marking, setting up for the day and having breakfast (of course!).

Mmmmm, desk-fast.  Coffee and muesli.
8.00am: The boys arrive and we have some form time - we chat, take books from the library, catch up, play card games.  Usually we'd have an assembly but it's been moved, so we get an extra long form time!

8.40am:  It's review paper week so I start getting the boys set up for their creative writing paper.  I'm exited to see how they do!

8.50am:  While the boys write their stories I am invigilating (and giving our tonnes of tissues - the joys of cold season!).  It's a great chance to write a few notes home - I send about a half dozen to dozen a week to keep parents in the loop on our adventures!  Perfect task to work on while keeping the boys calm and happy.
I love choosing new stationery every term or so!

9.50am: We finish up the papers and get them filed.  Then the boys head off to break and I hit.....

10.00am: The marking!

Haribo helps improve sentencing, right?
10.35am: After a silent session for reviews, we have a nice, loud, active maths session.  Blackjack, anyone?

11.10am: Monday is my main day for planning and marking, so I spend the next hour in the ICT suite making resources and filling in my planner.  So lucky to find pockets of time in the day for this!

12.10pm:  I popped to the office to see if my packages had arrived and then headed down to lunch - a spot of macaroni cheese and a big old helping of salad, YUM!

Christmas presents arriving :)
1.00pm:  Back to the planning and marking.

'Challenge lists' for our reading focus.

And more marking - gold stars agogo!
2.05pm:  English with my 5s - we are working on debating at the moment - such fun!

3.15pm:  A nice chilled RS lesson on the Bible.

3.50pm:  It's my turn to do 'shakey handy' duty - bidding all our Middlies a good afternoon.  I love times where I get to check in with the boys.

Monday is my earliest finish (along with Friday) - Tuesday through Thursday I tend to stay until 6, 7, or 8, but on Mondays and Fridays I'm often done by 4.30 or 5.  That's still nine or so hours, and definitely feels like hometime.

4.45pm:  Jump on the tube home.  Arrive to a cross Poppet - she gets very indulged with attention over the weekend, so she does NOT like Mondays! 

Where have you been???

6.15pm:  After a quick sip of water and some supper for the cats, it's back out of the door to the grocery store.  Luckily it's close by!


I bought *so* much Christmas stuff.  I did remember milk!
7.20pm:  Home, and attempt a selfie while unpacking the shopping.

Failed utterly - Leela was not having it!

7.30pm:  My Dad used to make Dundee cake every Christmas, and this year I've decided to try.  First attempt tonight!
It begins!


While this is going on I also check emails, mark a bundle of mental maths scripts, send about a dozen Junior League emails, catch up with Matthew, read a couple of papers on division and generally whirl about.

Fry is getting sleepy...
11.30pm:  It's finally time to wrap up for the night....close down the house, have a cup of decaf and curl up with a good book.  Another Monday done!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pinterest: Recent Favourites

I love me some Pinterest.

Recipes, school ideas, fun quotes, new blogs to read - it's a real wealth of things to see, do, make and enjoy.  It was also such a boon when I was wedding planning, even if you do have to occasionally take a step back and put the £35 wedding invites down. To quote Amy Poehler, "Good for you, not for me"  (FYI, we used vistaprint for our low-budget, very pretty, exactly-what-we-wanted invites!).

Back to Pinterest - here are a few of my recent finds.

Source: bullyinglte
 I added this to our class unit on bullying as I thought it was so powerful.  It provided such an excellent start point for a full and frank discussion on bullies, bullying, and what we can do to prevent people feeling hurt.

Source: Growing A Jeweled Rose
 This is so sweet!  Matthew and I don't have kids of our own, but I love reading up on family traditions and ideas for the holiday season anyhow.  This is just such a nice thing to do as a family.

Source: Luckey Frog's Lily Pad
 At school we use spiral-bound planners, which are great, but I'm thinking of making a binder of my own for next academic turnaround.  Hence my pinning lots of things like this!  Teacher friends, how do you organise things like this?

Source: Munchkin Munchies
 Sugar Cookie Truffles?  These are definitely going on the festive 'to bake' list!

Source: She Wears Many Hats
I adore almonds, so this recipe will be happening soon.  I also think they'd make a super Christmas gift packaged up in a cute Anthro style bowl, or as a party take-to.

Source: loubis-and-champagne

Source: Simply In Control
 As a new year approaches, new ways to organise are always fun to read about.  I'm all set with my Erin Condren planner (I got an August 2014 - Dec 2015 edition with my new name on), but am always keen to pick up tips on strategies!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Making a house a home

Source: This cute printable is from Nessa Makes.

During the holidays, our house tends to be clean, tidy, well-kept.

During's a different story.

I make lists, plans, schedules, but choosing chores rarely happens - there's always other stuff to do!

My friend E posted this schedule on pinterest the other week, and I liked the simplicity.  Just a few things to do each day.  

My problem otherwise is that I get too ambitious.  

Past Me always woefully overestimates how much Future Me will be willing and able to do.  

It's very easy to write in my planner that on a Wednesday night I'll hoover the sitting room, iron a pile of shirts and cook up a batch of treats.  

It's very hard to do so on that Wednesday night after an extra long day at work, or an impromptu late night chat with the girls, or a date with Matthew!

Just called me a wannabe housewife.  I love a good bit of homemaking, but it's hard to fit it all in sometimes!  So I try my best.

Don't we all?

How do you get it all done, lovelies?  Do you have a favourite chore? (Mine? Cooking and ironing)  Or a most-hated chore? (Hoovering!).

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