Healthy Lifestyle

Saturday Safe’s and Save’s



Has anyone tried these for their pups?

ThunderShirt’s patented design applies a gentle, constant pressure that has a dramatic calming effect for over 80% of dogs.

  • Most effective anxiety solution as voted by veterinarians
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  • Great for storms, separation, travel and many other anxieties
  • No need for training or medication


Wow. 13 year old yoga instructor
I am amazed


8:30am call from my father
Dad “hi what wrong with your mom phone???!!!!”
Me” huh? Whut? I dunno I didn’t know anthyhing was wrong ? Why?
Dad ” I keep calling and it just buzzes. (((Attitude))))”
Me” no idea. I have not seen moms phone nor can I see it (bc I am not there?! Remember I live alone!?)
Dad ” I dunno I keep calling ?”
Me. “Silence ”
Dad. “Ok bye”
me “huhhhhh?!!??????!!!!!!????”

Later I realize he is at work. Trying to call her. He knows (or maybe selectively forgets) she likes to sleep in. He also knows she was charging her phone as of last night. He KNOWS this because he was arguing with her about allowing her to use HIS phone last night because hers died on her……..

He didn’t want her to use his phone….. not because he was using, or that he needed to use. There was NO reason, just besides being difficult.  He was not trying to be cute either. There was no reason. Just wanted to be difficult

It upsets me at the level of immaturity. It also upsets me that I can not do anything about it. It is out of my control. I can not change anything or anyone I can only worry about and take care of me.

I can’t allow things like this to make me miserable and unhappy. I need to think about all the positive qualities.Those are more important than getting angry over…..



Valentine’s Day is JUST around the corner! ❤

Some cute ideas for DIY cards and favors your kiddo’s can make their sweetest crushes

Valentine’s For Kids

How cute would THESE be to make, with a “jawbreaker” candy included?





Phew. I can honestly say I do NOT binge watch television! Did you know that it may be a sign of depression?   However, I DO binge blog, read, binge stay at home, binge “want to do things alone”…..wonder what that says?


to say that I am NOT a good sushi roll “wrapper”.  I tried to do it by hand (lololoololo)  I need to invest in a bamboo roll 🙂  Not sure if that will even help

Pretty much what mine looked like………


These cajun baked sweet potato fries (Droooooool)

AND I never thought about ROASTING Radishes

These look fabulous as well!



The crazy, mixed up, two faced ……diet talk!
Once again proving everyone eats differently. Do what’s best for you and what makes you feel your best!


Fitness trackers
It’s the latest! All the stores, magazines and gyms are filled with them. I have already decided for me it would be unhealthy and a trigger. I over obsess and would become fixated in no time (like my garmin did). However I see how it can be a wonderful tools for others



I love and enjoy traveling and exploring……alone. The biggest reason? It has taught me how to become more of a minimalist. I have had to pack light lately on my travels so that I did not have to check my bags and could always make my connections. It’s so much more hassle free. Everything you need right there. It is enlightening! It has taught me that I do not need much to be happy. I used to over pack. I had to have the perfect dresses, shoes ,handbags,jewelry. What if it’s really hot? Or really cold. What if …….I will survive. I would worry, over pack and barely end up wearing a quarter of what I brought! It feels so good to just “let it go”


The secrets I keep from my daughter

Such a sweet read


Sharing your space

Yikes. The thought of a roommate makes me…….quiver! I think I have become too accustomed to living on my own. Doing what I want when I want. No one to criticize or judge my weird habits or food choices. I ve lived with people before and never had an issue with it in fact I loved it. Turns out I think I love living alone even more, ormay e I just have not found that perfect housemate yet (I am hoping this is the care). Because it truly scares me. I want to connect better with people, it just does not come easy for me I feel I will be judged for the things I do or how I chose to do them, which I know is ridiculous deep down , but the mere thought causes me anxiety. Right now, lily does not judge. She only loves.


Things I love at Anthropologie ❤














Healthy Lifestyle

Friday Faves 1.30.15

Its Friday. FINALLY!


So it is FINALLY Friday, here are some of my favorite reads, eats and upcoming events 🙂  Enjoy!


Favorite relationship read

Honesty … relationships
I am thankful for finally realizing the importance of honesty on relationships

I won’t be afraid to ask this on a first date. Would you!?


Favorite Minimalist

30 day minimalist challenge.

Favorite “Studs”

You can NEVER go wrong with a stud 🙂
Especially these




Favorite Recipe (to try)



Favorite Friend

Steve ❤ I just want to thank my fellow introverted friend that cheered me up (without even knowing it!) yesterday!  He dropped off some books to me (without complaint) as well as some Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Cookies. I just thought that was the sweetest gesture!

Thanks Steve for the chat and cheer up session! (and of course the books and cookies!)



Yesterday was pretty craptastic for me……….I was tired and cranky and felt pretty down.  I wanted to go to the gym (because I felt like I needed to) but did not FEEL like going to the gym.  Reason being?  I absolutely, dread, hate, despise the gym.  The lights, the smell, the people (sorry people).  I hate the feeling I get and the anxiety  feel when I tell myself I have to do.  Yesterday, on my way to the GYM (sour puss face on ) I realized something……..

If I do NOT like the gym, nor enjoy it………I do NOT have to go.  There. SIMPLE AS THAT. So, I did not go.  In a way I felt awful because my “ed” thoughts came “You are so fat and lazy, you did NOTHING special all day, you cant even get your butt to the gym!? That is lazy and fat”………..but the other part of me felt happy to come home, snuggle with Lily, chat with a few friends and get some reading in (I have about 60 books piled up around the house to READ)

I have been letting myself be OK with not doing things and forcing/punishing myself to do things I do not want to do.  Its ok.  I prefer to walk or run outside, and will do so more often when the weather is nicer….I enjoy yoga, walks, hikes, even shopping and cleaning (YES that can be exercise)

Its ok. I am going to live my life and  be happy ❤

THIS picture just creates anxiety and distress in me:

THESE make me feel happy and ALIVE and excited


Future Event:  Saturday February 7, 2015





lunch Idea


Can NOT wait to try out these Avocado Radish Toasts this weekend!

avocado radish toasts



Strawberries and Blueberries.

They have been PHENOMENAL this week, in my oatmeal, in my yogurt, in my cereal! So flavorful and yummy ! ❤



Finished lesson plans………..THURSDAY 🙂

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee my Friday and weekend are LESSON PLAN free!! ❤


read for the classroom. Its simple little reminders like these Do’s and Don ts for Responding to Disruptive Behaviors



book I am currently reading

The Good Girl


I can NOT wait to read/listen to it next. I love books that get me to feel this way. I am a mystery/psychological thriller fiend!

I am also reading “The Book Thief”, “The Sociopath’s Guide” and “Near Enemy”.

I am really enjoying the Book Thief as well, but The Good Girl is currently on top 🙂


Your Turn

1.  What is your favorite moment from the week?

2.  What is your favorite food from the week?

3.  What are you looking forward to in February?

Healthy Lifestyle

Wednesday Wants 1.28.15

I want

to remind you to leave a comment for your chance to WIN a free book!  (See link here)

I want

my dad to find hobbies and interests of his own.  I want him to try listening to an audio book. I think he may really enjoy it!

I want

2015 Planner

my new planner to arrive. I keep checking the mail daily in anticipation. I am such a kid!

I want

to teach my students how to read and order from a menu, and I WANT my school to allow me to take my students on a class trip to a restaurant so we can practice our skills (once we are ready!)

I want

more time in the day.

I want

Golden brown eye makeup for blue eyes #tutorial #evatornadoblog

my new glasses to arrive!! Funny, as a kid I hated glasses. I was teased and taunted about them.  NOW, they are a fashion statement. I ordered a nice, dorky, pair! Can NOT wait. Oh how times change ❤  I always go with “smaller” frames, and I never end up wearing them, because I can not SEE! This time I went with a bit larger frame, against the “frame ladies” suggestion

I want

to stop feeling angry over things I can not control, or should NOT want to control.

I also want to say I know EXACTLY how one of my students feel. All he wants is a little control over some things in his life. I know how difficult it must be for him to hear WHAT to do, HOW to do it, WHEN to do it and WHAT he is doing wrong……all the time.  I know he just wants to control some things in his life, just as I do (and I am sure you do too) I know how frustrating it is for ME and I can express myself (if I choose). He is still learning just HOW to do that.

I want

to stay true to my word and commitments.

I want

SCREAM! I was planning on going to myrtle beach for a weekend trip, and someone is staying at my place during that time (renting) I am angry, for no reason.  I am just being a baby because I can NOT have things my way.

I want

to have MORE of a life, besides my job.  I absolutely love, love, love my job.  I get to work with amazing students and children all day. I just get overwhelmed because there is so much I want to teach them academically and socially.  There’s just NEVER enough time in the day. I find myself researching, reading about, planning and doing all kinds of school related things when I should be doing other things like dating, meeting friends, spending time with family, reading for pleasure, hobbies, etc.  I need to find balance between my life and my work.

I want

to be thought of as “reliable” and “dependable”.  My anxiety and ED has kept me from this goal. I am working towards it


Healthy Lifestyle

Ten For Tuesday (and a giveaway for YOU!)

Good Morning my snowed in(or out) friends 🙂

FIRST, we heard all the hype and complaining “Ugh, snow….blah”, “Ugh the stores are so crowded, and sold out”….(((Add your own complaint HERE)

NEXT, we were LUCKY and fortunate NOT to receive the 24 anticipated inches. I AM THRILLED, I do not know about you!  Instead, what do we do? Turn to negativity, point fingers “THEY were WRONG!! OMG the newscasters were WRONG!!!!!”  Ok, so they were. BIG DEAL, get over it. You and I are wrong all the time too…….whether it was a gimmick to get people to panic, spread money, etc. WHO Cares!! Enjoy your day off (Or your lovely drive to work) and MOVE ON!!!! Lifes too short

((Hopping off my high horse now))))

1.  Giveaway!

I am feeling happy and generous today!! I am giving away a FREE, autographed copy of Square Cat ABC!  Teachers, parents, if YOU would like a chance to WIN, write in the comments section below HOW you plan to use the Square Cat ABC book. I will select a random reader 🙂


2.  DIY Kool Aid Play Dough

Picture of DIY Kool-Aid Play Dough

I have been wanting to make this play dough for quite some time now. This morning. I did 🙂  At first, I was a bit nervous that I had just created a big old sticky MESS.   Turns out, it was sticky and messy, but THIS play doh just required a little (ok, a LOT) more kneading than my previous attempts (I made DIY Gingerbread play dough and lemon scented)

I let it sit for a bit, and when I returned, it was just perfect 🙂

Today I made Fruit Punch scented play dough, my next attempt will be blueberry or something BLUE, since my boys favorite color is……………BLUE! (They will be so excited)  I can not wait for them to try this one out!

3. In the works….

2 blog posts I am currently working on and super excited to share with YOU

  • Charleston, SC, Top things to do, see, and eat
  • Top Date spots in Philly

Stay tuned ❤

4.  Are you ready for love?

15 signs You are Ready To Meet the Love of Your Life


I am so proud of how far I have come in the past year ❤

5. Overnight Oats

A NEW recipe!! I want to try this:

Orange Overnight Oats

6. Lily

after her early morning snow romp 🙂


7. Clutter


This lovely snow day, a lightbulb went off…..

“I will go to my moms and help her declutter ONE room”

I was so proud of my closet success yesterday and I KNEW the only way she would do it, is if I pretty much…….forced her

So I did what any other crazy loving daughter would do……..I arrived with some Wawa coffee AND a big, trash bag

I knew it was going to be TOUGH for my mom to let go of things… one point she was yelling at me with her “MOM” voice (Yup, you know, THAT one, the scary one, which I have not heard since I was a frightened child, crap, in all honesty, she scared me SOOOO much I was about to stop…….., but I figured I could take her if thats what it came down to 🙂  )

It was actually WONDERFUL to hear her yell and scream like that. I feel like she has not done that in SO long. She was finally heard, then it was time to hear me…..

After some arguing, pleading, (((Lying))), this is what we got rid of, from ONE room



I know many people will be warm and cozy this winter now, because of my mom. You did something wonderful and good. You got rid of things in your life that you no longer needed AND helped others at the same time.  Gratitude ❤

Surprisingly THIS wreath, was very difficult for my mom to part with. I am not quite sure why.  It has been sitting in her office for YEARS collecting dust. When I grabbed it, she immediately assured me she was “Saving” it for my aunt…….Thankful for camera’s and cell phones, I took a shot and text my aunt….”Aunt Irene, do you want this?”


Aunt Irene’s response “Nope, its not terrible, but just a dust collector.”

EXACTLY. Do not keep things in your life that serve you no purpose!

8. Fabulous and Favorite new recipe:)

This Chicken carbonara!

Yum, asparagus, chicken and bacon!! Droooooooooool.  This dish was absolutely delicious! I made a few substitutes (omitted the vermouth, and used almond milk), but it was one of the best dishes I have made. I quite proud of myself !!

Reader Recipe Spotlight!!

My cousin JUST informed me that she made this easy “Stuffing Meatloaf” recipe andddddddddddddd both of her two little guys AND her big guy (Tony) ate this up!! She quoted saying “It’s definitely a “mans” meal”.  This looks easy, pleasing and perfect for cold, wintry nights!

ps- You could easily hide some nutritious veggies in there too, trick those kiddo’s (and those husbands!)


9.  Kindle ?

If you have a kindle and use it often, did you know about this website?  Its called Pixel Of Ink. If you sign up they send you daily specials. Most are FREE!!!

10. For the classroom (or home!)

I think this is just the cutest idea ever! I am surrounded by boys. My students, my nephews, my friends children, boys everywhere, so when I see something like this, I get excited (although girls would LOVE this just as much!)

Your Turn

1.  How are you spending your snow day?!

Healthy Lifestyle

Drinking and alcohol

Why do people drink alcohol?

This is something that has crossed my mind several times. Personally I do not drink much or at all anymore. I do not miss it. I actually prefer it. I like being in control of my body And my mind. I like blushing about my accomplishments and prefer to face fears when I am most myself. Alcohol makes me feel tired and blah. It makes my tummy hurt and it makes me say silly things. Most of all it just makes me want to go to sleep. So I choose not to drink.

I am not trying to persuade anyone to join me, nor do I care if you drink daily, weekends only or on special occasions. I do not care what you drink or how much of it you drink.

What I do want to know if why YOU drink?


I did a little research, and although this is not accurate by any means, I think it gives a pretty good sampling of the reasons WHY people choose to drink. Do you fit into one of these categories?  Comment below if you care to share ! 🙂

Sociability (71%)
Like the taste (51%)
Feel at ease (12%)
Get intoxicated (6%)
Get drunk (2%)
Because everybody does it (6%)
To forget problems (0%)


Your Turn

1.  Why do you drink, or why do you not drink?


Healthy Lifestyle

Un manic Monday

Happy Un-Manic Monday! I expected to awake to a light coating of snow but………..NADA! Which I am ok with!  I do NOT want to drive to school in snow, let alone clear off my car, my poor, poor fingers!  Brrrrr

We have an early dismissal today and then the waiting game begins……….We will get the 12-24 inches as predicted!?  Gah!! Just in case, I plan to have plenty of books, food and coffee available, oh and my yoga mat! 🙂 I may attempt some headstands if we are snowed in…..


Clear that clutter! (((MOM!!!)
Tips on how to clear those counters!
Click here (((MOM!!!!))))

ps- NOTICE how clear and clutter free that table is?!


5 Tips for a great run


For my vegan followers.


Feel good book

The Power of Style. I finished this book in TWO days! I love “self help” style books, this was one of them, with a splash of style 🙂

My Review:

My friend gave me this book as a gift. This friend always gives the most perfect gifts. ❤

Once again she was on the spot! I breezed through this book in 2 days!

I loved that this book focuses on your style from the inside first before addressing how to best style your outside. So many wonderful activities to really help you determine what makes you unique internally and then helps you bring that out. I was already doing many of the things suggested in this book which made me feel wonderful. Style and fashion have always been intriguing to me yet I never really felt I had the knack. This book helps me realize that I do have a style and I have a pretty good sense of what I am doing. Who knew! Not me. That is for sure! Great read if you enjoy self help books and being the best you that you possibly can

Some of my favorite quotes from the book…..

Flutter around the room land on one boy for a little while then fly away again and seeing what else is out there and the guys worth it he’ll end up chasing after you

  • absolutely agree. Life’s too short to to settle for someone that just thinks you are ok……I want someone to think I am INCREDIBLE 🙂

If you go out there and take on some other persona to try to impress a guy you’re ultimately going to attract someone who isn’t after the real you

  • YUP! This has been me pretty much my entire life. Conforming to others ideal of “perfect”. My 30s have brought me so much clarity and a real sense of WHO I am and what I want in a relationship

When you don’t say what you want you don’t get what you want from life

  • Do not assume that people just KNOW of should know what you are thinking. You need to express yourself clearly. More likely than not , they have NO idea what you are thinking




Made my day

I had an open house today. When I returned home I had a little present waiting for me on my door step.  My friend “tagged” me with a random act of kindness, she really made my day week. It makes me feel so good and special knowing that someone was thinking about me and cares about me. It really is the little things in life. This was the BEST way to end my Sunday and get me in my Un-Manic Monday mood. ❤

  • IMG_4911


I really, really REALLY want to make a hidden door book shelf, like this!



I celebrated my HALF snow day by doing something productive.

I can home , and being inspired by a recent book I read, I cleaned out ALL of my drawers and closet. I arranged all my clothes by type (dresses, skirts, pants) AND by…..COLOR!  Wow!

I also, got rid of a lot more STUFF, that I know I do not like or KNOW I will not wear.  I tried to stick with MY COLORS (Beige, blues, browns, blacks, yellows) and got rid of things that washed me out or were not complementary to my skin tones.

Just seeing a clear, clean closet makes me feel CLEAR inside and out ❤


Your Turn

1.  If you had a snow day, what you YOU do to make your day as relaxing, productive, exciting as can be?

2.  What is one area in your house that you can de-clutter. How do you think this will make you feel?

3.  When you begin to think something NEGATIVE today (“Ugh, my life sucks, I have to drive 2 hours in the snow to get home”), think of a way you can make it POSITIVE. You are the one responsible for your own happiness!!

Healthy Lifestyle

Weekend update 1.25.15

Weekend Update

What a weekend!! Filled with fun, excitement, productivity, relaxation and SNOW!

I lounged in a recliner seat at the AMC theater

and watched American Sniper, see my review here













I went to see

“Little Red Riding Hood” with the sweetest “date” in the world


I have been to several plays at The Broadway Theater in Pitman, NJ. This one has by FAR been my favorite. It was rally adorable!  I love the shows that Broadway puts on for children. They are the perfect mix of entertainment, humor (adult humor as well!), engagement (They call on the children to answer questions, win prizes, come up on stage, etc) and life lessons. The lesson today was WHY we should listen to our parents and teachers, or else we may end up in big trouble, like Little Red 🙂

“H” had his popcorn and drink, he enjoyed my hand knit scarf (He wants me to show him how to do it!), and of course he loved his Hi-C drink (shhhhh don’t tell mom! 🙂  )

We had fun taking some “selfies”. He was quite amused at how his tongue was getting “redder” as he drank his drink. Good ol’ fashioned STAINING hi-c 🙂




If you have kids, or nieces, nephews, little guys in your life, you should check out The Broadway Theater in Pitman, tons of great, interactive shows. Something different for your love bugs to do!

The next show is Cinderella , which is in February 🙂

I found

The Perfect Man, at Wawa!  haha, I die every time I see this 🙂


I received

my autographed Square Cat book by Elizabeth Schoonmaker


My review
I love this children’s alphabet book so much. I have found that many ABC books randomly blurt out things that begin with the letters (A is for Apple, B is for Bug…..) Square Cat ABC actually follows a little story 🙂  The author creatively adds some important skills for children to learn as well…… such as trying new foods. (((We all know how difficult the kiddos can be about trying new things. 🙂 spinach yucky or yummy? You decide. ))))I love the colorful artwork and the simplistic feel to the story. It will be easy for my students to follow or better yet read on their own!

Great work Elizabeth! Can’t wait to have my students give me their thoughts as well.

I stopped

by my aunts to “supervise” the pierogie Making party, unfortunately this year I was unable to participate, I had too many errands and appointments to take care of, left me little time.  I did get to stop by ……
IMG_4898I always KNEW, but was reassured of all the HARD work it takes to make these delicious Polish delights 🙂  My poor aunt was rolling the dough away, trying not to sweat too much, while my uncle sat and inspected (lol)


Mom wore her hankie, just like babcia used to. Wow, she really does look like babcia here!  xoxoxo


They started around 10:30 and ended around 5 ish, as my aunt expected.  My aunt is a morning person, like myself and was a bit peeved that my laid back mama arrived LATER than expected….ha! 🙂

Here is the “almost” final outcome, around 4 pm….


They were absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Just like Babcia’s, she must be so proud!


 I enjoyed

a glass of this incredible wine. I really liked it!! Des, didn’t we go here (or drive by at least) when were were in Napa????IMG_4884

 I read

The Power Of Style:  Everything You Need To Know Before You Get Dressed Tomorrow


My friend gave me this INCREDIBLE book. I sat down last night to read it and could NOT put it down!! I love all the little lists and “to do’s” in it! It gave me a lot to think about and work towards!! I am already half way through and have already gained so much from it. Thank you Donna, your gifts are ALWAYS perfect. How do you do it?

I AM discovering

My unique style.  I am not quite sure what it is that I want to portray…….

Confident. Unique. Approachable. Polished. Smart. I want my students to know I am warm, caring and dependable.

A combination of many things are my “desired” attributes I want to SHINE

I want to be KNOWN for something. I want people to think of something and say “Oh, that is TOTALLY Diana”  Yet I do NOT want that to be diet, fitness/exercise related….I am more than that, I am just trying to figure out exactly WHAT it is that I am good at ….

I am scared

I am scared of what OTHERS think about me. I came across this little exercise in the book I was reading and it gave me major ANXIETY.

The activity was to ask 5 people that you interact with on a daily basis, but do not really “KNOW” you. For example, the regular woman the you hand your money to at Wawa and have a friendly “How are you!?” conversation with, the mailman, an internet friend, etc.  Someone that knows you but does not KNOW you.
The task:  Give them this survey and ask them to fill it out.

YIKES! YIKES YIKES! Oh my gosh! Why do I have so much anxiety over what OTHERS think or perceive of me? What is it that I am so afraid of hearing? That I am fat? ugly? messy? unkind?


YOUR Homework

Curious as to what strangers FIRST IMPRESSION is of you?
Go to this site! You can upload a recent photo and pick up to 6 questions to have strangers answer about YOU based on your photo alone!!

First Impressions 

Your turn

1.  Will YOU give me an honest reply to the above survey? If so, I will email you a version. I promise not to get offended 🙂  

2.  Weekend highlight?

3.  How do you think OTHERS perceive you? Does it scare you?


Healthy Lifestyle

Saturday safes and saves


Spaghetti on toast
I had no idea this was a “thing” . It actually looks and sounds pretty damn good. I mean us Americans  dip our bread into pasta sauce so why not just put the pasta on top? This seems to be a British thing 🙂 I might have to check it out

THIS looks gross

but THIS looks good


American Sniper.  I saw this movie last night. Unbelievably, I did NOT cry. Although, each time I heard a shot fired I cringed. I could NEVER imagine having to be in that situation.  My anxiety was sky high.

I thought Bradley Cooper did an EXCELLENT job (not bad on the eyes either!)

I am a bit alarmed with myself that I did not feel more “deeply” about this movie.  Of course I felt sadness, terror, etc, I just suppose I expected something “different” with all the hype. I try not to get involved in politics and war much. I tend to avoid it. I hate conflict. I hate admitting that there is so much horror in our world.

I felt more sorrow and pain for him and his family. Chris decided (painfully) to choose his family over his career as a sniper. I can not imagine how difficult this must have been for him, and it is amazing to see how he was able to bring “himself” back.  It is a beautiful story ❤

To read more about the real Chris Kyle, go here. It is beautiful.


5 more reasons I LOVE traveling alone


It is pretty safe to say that I am getting sick of some of my food choices, YET I do not know what I necessarily want.  I love oatmeal, but it is getting old…….I eat it pretty much every day, I change it up, add different toppings, but some days i just feel like a “robot” when I eat. I feel like I am still lacking something……..desire, passion, want. I do NOT know what I want.  Some moments I do, and I love those little moments but for the most part, I still feel like I am “training myself” how to eat.  I have been able to identify WHEN I feel hungry, but I am still not quite able to put my finger on WHAT I am hungry for. I wonder if I start figuring out what I hunger for in food, if I will start figuring out what I “hunger” most in my life….

I feel like I need to use a scribed “I am hungry” for board, like I use with many students on the spectrum. It provides visual and verbal cues and suggestions……….ugh, will this ever go away!? (I am not serious about the visual cue board for myself, quite honestly I would use it if I thought it would help, but I do not)

English worksheet: what do you want to eat/drink?


I really, really , REALLY want to go to this presentation. I am so bummed that it is ALREADY sold out, however I have my fingers crossed that I will be chosen, since I signed up for the waiting list….

Who is Temple Grandin?

Born on August 29, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts, Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism as a child and went on to pursue work in psychology and animal science. She has become a leading advocate for autistic communities and has also written books and provided consultation on the humane treatment of animals. In 2010, HBO released an Emmy Award winning film on Grandin’s life.

An evening with Temple Grandin.

Durand is proud to be the first organization serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities in Southern New Jersey to welcome Temple Grandin, Ph.D., and her mother, Eustacia Cutler, to our area to speak about growing up successfully with autism and its impact on families, as well as offer hope for the future for children with autism and their families.

Dr. Grandin is a world-famous adult with autism, bestselling author, speaker, and designer of humane livestock treatment facilities and equipment. She was portrayed by actress Claire Danes in the Emmy award-winning HBO movie “Temple Grandin.”

Both Dr. Grandin and her mother, Eustacia Cutler-an autism advocate, speaker, writer, Harvard graduate, and writer of school lessons for major TV networks-will share their experiences with parents, educators, animal lovers, and the general public on Wednesday evening, April 22, 2015.

On this occasion, Durand will also present Dr. Grandin and Ms. Cutler with the first-time Dr. Durand Schulmann Award for Excellence in the field of autism. Dr. Durand Schulman was an autism advocate pioneer and founder of Durand who passed away in 2013.

To get on the waiting list, click here


I am quite pleased and happy to state that my assistant and I have unknowingly been doing ALL of these in the classroom. It makes me feel so happy that we are on the right page and doing something great for our students 🙂  I love these simple, yet so very important skills for ALL children to know.

 Most important skills taught under age 8.

  • Learning how to take turns.  This was taught with a board game.  When I got a little older, the whole family played cards. Lessons learned from turn taking in board games can be applied to taking turns doing activities as a family. When the family went to a movie, I had to take turns with my sister picking the movie.  Another example would be choosing a restaurant or a store to visit.
  • Saying please and thank you.
  • Shaking hands and greeting people.  It was demonstrated like teaching a person in a foreign country how to behave.  Mother and teachers demonstrated the correct distance, looking in the eye and the amount of  hand pressure.  I practiced my skills by being party hostess when my mother invited guests for dinner.
  • Shopping and learning the value of money. I got 50 cents a week to buy things I wanted such as comics, balsa wood toy airplanes, kites, and ice cream bars.  These were items that if I wanted them I had to buy them myself. I also had to do all the interactions with the store staff. Mom stayed away when I made my purchases. My favorite toy airplane cost 69 cents so I had to have two weeks of allowance to buy it. Comics were 10 cents and a kite and string was 20 cents.  Today these prices would be higher but I learned the value of money from my purchases. I also learned that I had to wait and save to get the 69 cent airplane.
  • My ability in art was always encouraged. My teachers and mother encouraged me to draw many different things.

Read more about Temple Grandins ideas on her website. I love it there is so much valuable information!

Here is a link to a list of ALL the books written by Grandin herself. I have quite a few of these saved on my GoodReads feed 🙂



the local little bookstores!

Haddonfields treasured Book Swap Cafe is closing its Haddonfield location. I am so bummed.  On a positive note the Medford location remains open AND a new Beach Haven location will be opening! 🙂

Also, the Collingswood Book Trader is also considering closing down its doors 😦 The lack of book sales is putting these adorable, quaint, amazing little gems out of business.

If you love books and to read, PLEASE try to go out of your way a bit and purchase some books from these adorable and informative little shops!!


Your Turn

1.  Did you see American Sniper? What were your thoughts?

2.  Weirdest thing you have eaten

3. Weekend plans? Snow day Monday? Yes or no?

Healthy Lifestyle, recipes, Teacher stuff

Friday Faves 1.23.15




What a week! I have to say although it felt long, it was very productive and very positive!! I had so much fun with my students and was able to clearly think of some modifications and improvements, which I am always so proud of 🙂

That said, I AM HAPPY it is Friday. My brain is fried!  Here are a few of my favorites for the week and weekend ahead!

Favorite food:

I am loving sweet potato nachos!! I had them TWICE this week, yum, yum, yum!

and currently this is my FAVORITE must try recipe…….it looks so comforting

Cottage Pie

Cottage pie

Favorite:  Nailpolish

Revlon Colorstay nailpolish

I picked mine up at target one day, after a girl ahead of me in line was sporting some pretty painted nails. I would have thought they were gel and professionally done, was i surprised when she told me it was the above! So I tried it, and love love love it!!!

Best of all, only $5.49 . Can NOT beat that! Try it!


My students’current FAVORITE

Play Doh!

They love love love it! I want to try this recipe out this weekend (if I get snowed in!)

I love the idea of adding JELLO!! Duhhhh, why did I not think of this!! Scented AND colorful!! Sensory, sensory, sensory!

Today’s Friday Funday activity is great for tactile play indoors during the cold winter months. Have your kiddos make homemade playdough out of household ingredients! The recipe is below:


1 cup white flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 3 oz packet of Jello

Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Cook over medium heat stirring continuously. Jello should form into a ball of dough. You will know it is ready when you cannot stir anymore!

Wait for dough to cool on floured cutting board for about 30 minutes. Add flour to control stickiness and add food coloring to brighten up your playdough if you’d like!

Thank you to Modern Parents Messy Kids for this awesome recipe!

Enjoy and stay warm this weekend!

Favorite Coffee:

At home:  My Trader Joes medium roast brew

Out:  Wawa, french vanilla with a bit of french van cappuccino

Favorite:  Organizer!

I finally ordered myself my DREAM organizer 🙂

I am super excited to receive my personalized organizer from Plum Paper!

This is the one I ordered:

2015 Planner

I love the nautical feel to it, and the colors!

I love that my name and monogram will be on it!

I love that you can customize HOW you would like your planner set up. I chose to display my days as Morning, Afternoon and Evening. You can opt for time frames as well, (By the half hour), days with just blank lines, and NO weekly spread)


I love the monthly spread! This gives me a wide eye view (unlike my iPhone, which I always feel so lost on and that I need to check multiple times to be “sure” (partially OCD perhaps!?? 🙂  )

I adore the cute little pocket in the back AND all the beautiful colors!


Also, as a SPECIAL for my readers ONLY, Kristina over at Plum Paper designs is offering MY readers 10% off with code:  COFFEE10, just enter it at checkout and save yourself some $$!! (offer valid until 2/23/15)

 Favorite Freebie

I was JUST notified that I am the winner of an autographed copy of the childrens’ book :  Square Cat. I am super excited to receive my copy and share it with my students AND you!

Want your own copy? Check it out here

Five things I learned this week

1.  Sometimes going back to “good ol’ fashioned teaching” is the BEST thing.  Differentiated instruction is so important, yet, my students did such an awesome job and LOVED a round of great, “round robin” reading.  They were all engaged, excited, participated and got over many fears any anxieties!! Who knew!?


2.  Thursday’s are the PERFECT day to shop at Trader Joe’s.  They are not crowded, have many things stocked on the shelves and…….the coffee, mmmmmm 🙂

3.  Do NOT put fresh flowers in with a beta fish. It may (or may not) result in a “dead fish”

4.  No one really knows any MORE than you, or better than you. Trust yourself and your judgement and your intuition. After all YOU know what is best for yourself!! You are your only expert 🙂

5.  If you fail, try again, but before giving up, stay CONSISTENT for some time.

Favorite Excitement

Possibility of a snow day (or at least delay) on Monday 🙂 Woooo hooo I hope to get at least one snow day! I can read, clean, organize, cook, maybe start to knit! ha

**I will be wearing my pj’s inside out on Sunday night! YOU Better too!

Your Turn

1.  What simple things makes you feel happy?

coffee, a nice brisk run

2. Weekend plans?

movies, Little Red Riding hood with Holden, making perogies with the girls, reading, relaxing, organizing, blogging, possibly crate and barrel outlet with Robin (weather permitting!!)

3.  What is a silly “kidism” you had as a child?

I thought Poland was in the “clouds” like the carebears, because when my grandmother would leave to fly to Poland, the plane would be in the sky……SO I just assumed……hmmmm, wonder why there are so many polish jokes……..:)

Healthy Lifestyle, Travel

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful

For my friend that cleared off my car today for me at work (snow!). It was so kind of her and greatly appreciated

I am thankful

for my students because they make me smile and happy, when I need it most. I can always count on them to brighten my day, whether they realize it or not

I am thankful

For realizing that “skinny” and “fat” are just words. Not feelings

I am so tired of hearing people say “uhhhh I feel so fat!” “I want to feel skinny for just one day”

No. You don’t.

Skinny is NOT a feeling.

This is what skinny is:
Feeling cold all the time (mentally and physically)
Feeling hunger for food , people, affection, attention
Feeling empty physically and mentally
Feeling guilt for not exercising, or eating
Feeling “fat” NO matter how “skinny” you are. “ED” brings out the worst. What we see is not what you see
Not feeling much of anything because of a preoccupation of the “how long until the next time I can eat”
Worry. Did I eat too much? Did I make a bad choice? Did I do enough? Did I make others happy?
Feeling tired. Physical tiredness and mental . Thinking , obsessing , hating
Hating your body and your brain
Feeling like you will never be good enough for yourself or others
Feeling empty. In my stomach and in my heart
Feeling fake.

I am thankful I am NOT feeling “Skinny” because skinny is not a feeling. I feel pretty amazing, because I AM.


I am thankful
This diy travel journal idea. Weekend project! Can’t wait to start recording my travels! Now ….I need to start traveling. Lol

DIY Travel Journal

How I use my Travel Journals:

I separate my trip into days (Day 1, Day 2 etc) and give them a page. On those pages I mark down what I did, making sure to include details about restaurants, hotels, transport, and also all the favorite places I visited like neighborhoods, streets and parks.
I include tickets, maps and other flat items that will remind me of my trip, and also jog my memory for when I come back!
I include things I didn’t enjoy that much or would do differently ( that’s travel, isn’t it?).
I also use the journal as a place to store creative ideas I have while I’m away. you know what they say don’t you? You have your best ideas when you’re not thinking about it.
At the end of the trip I do a little review and make a note if I think I missed anything, because it’s not always possible to do everything is it?

I am thankful
For this beautiful cake. Wonder if lily would like this for her birthday party….:)


I am thankful

being heard.

It means SO much to me when I get a message, email, or text about something from my blog. It means I am being heard, something I felt like I was not accomplishing in the past. If YOU want to be heard, you have to have a voice

Your Turn

1.  3 things you are thankful for today?