Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Resolution Solution…it's TIME!!

As some of you already know, when I first took on the 24 Day Challenge almost 2 years ago, I lost 9lbs and 2 sizes in 13 days... but more importantly, I felt incredible. I learned what it was like to be healthy. I have kept the weight off and continued my adventure with AdvoCare.

I am starting the 10 day cleanse in January and honestly, can't wait. Since you can do the cleanse every 3 months, it time for me to do another one…not necessarily to lose weight (although I always lose 5-6lbs each time) but to clean out my system and put good nutrition back in my body! Let's face it…it is very difficult to eat perfectly healthy all the time. Everyone has cheat days. I am one to confess that I have been enjoying the holidays and eating what I wanted. But, I have been paying for it. Tummy aches and tight jeans. Ugh. So the cleanse will help me get back on track!

Here is a snapshot of my results. 

The cleanse is just the first 10 days of the 24 Day Challenge! My team is doing a TRANSFORMATION CONTEST! You could get paid for getting healthy! Pretty cool, right??

The transformation contest includes $1000 in total prize money to be awarded to the top 3 individuals with the biggest transformation over a 24 Day period. Order your Challenge on January 1st to be entered in the contest AND receive the discounted price! The challenge usually retails at $190 but AdvoCare is discounting to $175 if you buy on 1/1!

Message me to reserve your challenge. The time is now to feel great and get healthy!

Check out my AdvoCare website HERE!

FREE New Year's Printables!

So, we decided super last minute to have a New Year's Eve game night. We arranged for my in-laws to watch the kids and invited, via text, some of our friends over. It looked like we would have a good 10-12 people, perfect for a game night BUT unfortunately they are now dropping like flies…can't find a sitter,  coming down with a cold, or they already had other plans. In the meantime, however, I was scavenging thru Pinterest to find some free NYE printables to use as party decor. I found a really fun pop culture game to play but all the free printables I found, I didn't quite like and I wasn't about to pay $ for something that I could make myself. So I did.


Here is a banner. Not the greatest picture but it has turquoise stripes on the "pennants". And if you know me at all, you know about my slight obsession with turquoise. I know NYE is typically gold and silver but I couldn't steer away. ;)

Simply print out the banner pennants and hole punch 2 holes at the top….

First, lay out your pennant pieces and decide which "string" to use. I had some of that Natural Sisal twine left over from another project that I used but you could use any ribbon.

Once you have your holes punched, I would suggest measuring out your twine or ribbon leaving at least 6 inches on the ends to tie on to wherever you plan to hang. Once you have your twine cut, simply weave it through the holes. I liked to thread it thru where the twine would be in the back of the pennant but you could do it either way. 

Just keep pulling through until you have come through all the pennants. You can tie a little knot on the end pennants so they don't slide off while you are trying to hang. 

I would have put this up over the mantle but we still have Christmas stuff up! So I just put it up over my mirror in the entry way. You could add colored ribbon to the ends to make it look cuter. This literally took me less than 30 minutes once I printed it out.


Here are some fun "photo booth" props I made. I have "photo booth" in quotations because, well, I don't own a photo booth so it will just be fun to take pics of our guests, whoever shows up??? If not, the kids and I will have a blast! I'm thinking about taking the glasses to school to take pics of my students! Ha ha

You could use craft sticks, popsicle sticks or cake pop sticks for these! I found these lollipop sticks at Wal-Mart for $3.

Ok, so I am not the best cutter…I actually hate cutting stuff out. When I cut out the mustaches I couldn't quite cute perfectly straight so I just used a brown and a black marker to fill in so it looked a little better!

See, can't tell at all, right?!

Once you have your props cut out, use a hot glue gun to attach your sticks.

I think they turned out pretty cute. It only took me 30 minutes to get these printed, cut out, and glued!


GIFT TAGS for Party Favors

I also made some gift tags for party favors. Not sure if I will be doing them this year but thought about putting Hershey's kisses in a gift bag (get it? new year's kisses?) and then just attach the tag with twine or curling ribbon. 

I couldn't decide which tags I liked better so I included them both.


It really wouldn't be a party without cupcakes so I thought I could make some cupcake toppers too!

Hope you can use them! It's kinda last minute for this year, I know, so I will be changing these to say 2015 soon and have them ready for next year!! Click on the link below to access the free printables.

**Oh, and since they are free I would really appreciate if you would first join this site by clicking on the right side over there….--------> Pretty, please. Oh and also, if you could repin on Pinterest and tell your friends that would be great too! I absolutely LOVE creating things like this and sharing with others. :)**

Get the FREE printables HERE!

Stay tuned, I plan to take some pics of the kids with the props later!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Our Thankful Turkeys

We've been cooped up in the house for a few days (only because it's been super cold) so today we made some thankful turkeys! They turned out pretty cute.

I found this idea on Pinterest and decided to extend the idea a little. I was looking for some great fine motor activities for Myla. Clothespins are always great for that. And the turkey idea was perfect for this week.

Here is how we made them…

We had some leftover cardboard from our cardboard castle we made on Saturday…

I love having cardboard boxes around the house to make stuff! This castle was Myla's idea. Sadly it only lasted about 3 days…little brother was a little too rough.

I just drew a turkey pattern on the cardboard and cut it out. I recommend using your best pair of scissors if your cardboard is thick. I didn't have a good pair at home. All my good ones are at school!

Then I gathered some clothespins and asked Myla to name things she was thankful for and I wrote them on the clothespins….

Funny because the first 3 out of her mouth were "the pilgrims, all the Indians, and autumn leaves." I had just told her the story of The First Thanksgiving earlier this week so that must have been fresh on her mind. ha ha :)

I explained how all of this was possible, the Pilgrims and Indians, the leaves etc…and that lead her to being thankful for JESUS.

Then she wanted to name everyone in our family. Next she wanted to name each individual friend so we simplified with "all my friends!" and of course she is thankful for her wonderful teacher, Mrs. Cox. I clipped them on the turkey as we wrote them.

After writing on the clothespins, I had Myla take each clip off one at a time to paint with watercolors.

I gave her two paper plates, one to paint on and one for drying.

While she was painting, I made the beak, waddle, and feet out of foam paper. I glued on some googly eyes on small white circles for the eyes.

She was concentrating so hard on painting. :)

Little brother, on the other hand, just had fun painting his plate and mixing up all the colors.

When the paint was dry, I had Myla take each clothespin and pin them on the turkey. I tried to let her figure out which way they went on the turkey so there were 6 "feathers" on each side. She did pretty good!

We just had to add a bow and eyelashes on her turkey so she looked "more girlish."

We didn't want Noah to feel left out so we helped make his too. He couldn't quite do the clothespins yet so Myla got a little extra practice clipping his feathers on for him. He was able to tell me what he is thankful for by me asking "Are you thankful for…mommy? daddy? Jesus?" etc. He came up with "Mickey Mouse" and "Doc McStuffins" all on his own. :)

Here is Noah's turkey!

We added the bow tie just so it was clear that this one was a boy!

We had a lot of fun making them today. I am enjoying these days off for Thanksgiving break where we can do arts and crafts in our PJs!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I have one word for this week. Honored.

Thank you so much to my awesome co-workers for naming me Teacher of the Year at McAuliffe. I am truly honored to represent our amazing school.

And I guess that is just the reason why I feel so honored. Have you been to our school?! It is the BEST elementary school around with classrooms full of incredible teachers. We are blessed to have supportive parents and fantastic students. McAuliffe is a place of high expectations where we know how to work hard and play hard. I love my school….

I am able to do the very best job that I can because of the incredible support our school provides. It is awesome.

Here are a few pics taken on Friday when they revealed Teacher of the Year…

I absolutely LOVED the reveal…My daughter came into our library carrying a gorgeous bouquet of flowers with my son following closely behind with an envelope (gift card to my fave restaurant inside!). Then my mom, aunt, sister and father-in-law all walked in behind the kids. Truly a surprise!

Introducing Myla to the staff (most of them know her already, but she will be in kinder there next year!)

This year, we had a great TOY committee who made it all possible. Complete with a variety of bundt cakes for everyone! 

 It was already on the marquee!!

Me and my beautiful sister. Once an amazing 2nd grade teacher herself!! Now she stays home with her adorable kiddos with one on the way!!

We had to be sure to take pics for my husband, who couldn't be there. Preparing for the first home basketball game…Ah, the life of a high school coach!

So, to stick with our ONE WORD theme….the word HONORED really sums up the week. It's not easy being a teacher at times but receiving a little positive recognition goes a long way and I am grateful and appreciative. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Drop a Pumpkin

Haven't posted in's definitely BUSY season for our family right now. Still trying to get back in the routine of being back to school! Oh gosh, and it's not even Basketball season yet!!

With all the craziness this time of the year, it is always good to take a deep breath and take time for yourself. Before the fast-approaching holidays, this is the perfect time to do a 24 Day Challenge! Average weight loss is 10-15lbs and a total of 10 inches. 
Did you know the average pumpkin weighs between 10-20lbs? Start the Challenge by October 1st and you could drop a pumpkin by Halloween.

I completed my 5th cleanse (the first phase of the challenge) a couple of weeks ago and lost 5lbs and 2 inches in my waist. I have continued healthy eating (with an occasional cheat meal) and have maintained my weight loss. Not to mention, the increase in energy and overall wellness. 

So, even at times when I feel swamped with two young kids, a classroom full of 2nd graders, and just LIFE...I am thankful for AdvoCare. 

Want to know more? Feel free to check out my website.

Or contact me and we can chat. 
Monica :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

First and Last Day of School Signs

I took a few pics of my daughter (a little early, since I won't be able to snap them on her actual day, I will be at school too!) with these chalkboard signs I made. Thought teachers might like to use them too for their students!

I couldn't decide which one I liked best...

The signs include 2 sets of a chalkboard sign for Preschool-Grade 12 with a Senior Year and Graduating Class sign. The first set has a colorful bunting banner and the other is plain like the one below. Simply add your year in the frame and print! It is in a PowerPoint so it's easy to add/edit your own text. Here are a few sample pages...

Best part?! It's FREE for TODAY! (Thru Monday, September 2nd!) Get these printables HERE!
Hope you enjoy!