It's An All Black Kind of Day

Hey there! I'm linking up again with Gina from Teaching With A Touch of Pixie Dust to post my fitness progress. I know these posts aren't focused on teaching, but this blog is about me, and this is a part of me so bear with me each week as I use this link-up to keep me on track and motivated.


I've been doing Whole30, and I technically have a week left, but I couldn't resist weighing myself - which is a no no on the program. I've been craving certain foods that I'm not supposed to be eating for a few more days and I just needed confirmation that the benefits of the program extend to weight loss. I seriously started doing a happy dance and running around my bedroom when I realized that I had lost 11 pounds in these past three week! My dog was super confused. Next week I'll be back with the final weight loss results of the Whole30 program. I hope that I can lose a few more before the little experiment is over.


I did get my 2 workouts in this week including the Jazzercise class and a Pilates class. Even though I accomplished it, I'd kind of like to try for three. Last week was a tough week. I had to stay after school several days for meetings, so I ended up not being able to make certain classes that I will be attempting to go to some weeks.

Do Better/Goals

One thing I would like to do better with is my sleep schedule. My energy has been great since starting Whole30. I feel energized all throughout the day - until I get tired which is around 9:30 every night. But despite this, I ignore my body telling me it's time for bed and stay on the couch watching TV until I fall asleep anyway. Then I have to wake myself later to trudge upstairs. I need to start listening to my body because it is already telling me when to go to bed.

I also found the Fit Girl's Guide program at some point this past week. They have an eating program and an exercise program. I'm not really interesting in trying a new program because this one has worked so well. I'm going to try to stick to some of the principles even after it is done. But, what I did like is that Fit Girl's Guide has a workout plan that is all at home. There's a little bit of dancing your butt of to your favorite music and some circuit work. It's just a 30 minute 'program,' and if you finish your dancing and circuit work, you can either dance more or add in your own choice of cardio. I want to try to do this once or twice a week on days that I can't get to a gym or class.


This is seriously one of my favorite parts! I have the next four weeks of quotes planned out already! It was so hard to choose which one to go with this week. As my reward for losing 10 lbs, I said that I'd get a new workout outfit, though. So today I'm off to the store to find something cute - and perhaps in black to mourn celebrate the loss of my fat.

Good luck this week to everyone participating, and anyone else out there with fitness and eating goals!

Slim Down Saturday - Part 3!

I'm back again for Slim Down Saturdays, although I am a little bit late. Check out Gina at Teaching With a Touch of Pixie Dust and link up! I swear I will start posting non-Slim Down stuff soon! My whole teaching life has been focused on getting my evidence binder completed and making it through a rough teaching week, so now that all of that is done, I should be set to go!

As always, my ultimate goal is 60 lbs. Some days I want to push that to 80 lbs. because that would be a healthier weight for me, but I think that if I can do the 60 lbs., I'll be happy with where I am.

Still going strong on Whole30, so I'm not sure how much I lost this week or how much I've lost since we've begun. I'm not allowed to weigh in until Feb. 1st. Maybe I'll post a day late that week so I can finally share my losses!

Last week, my goal was to actually go to an exercise class. That's why I am posting late. Saturday morning, I sat down to type this up, only to realize - Oh no! I didn't meet my goal. So, the next day I got my butt up off the couch and got myself to a Jazzercise class. I was so nervous going in, but luckily there were only five other people in the class and all of them were at least my mom's age, so it wasn't that bad. The instructor was super helpful and several of the ladies came up to me after to tell me that I did a great job for my first time.

My real positive is that I went to the movie theaters and didn't get any popcorn! It was super hard! I almost turned down going because I knew how difficult it would be to stop myself. There are certain foods people have emotional attachments to, and for me it's movie theater popcorn.

Next week, I need to get back on track with drinking enough water. I was doing well for a week, and then last week happened. This week, I'll keep it in the front of my mind again. I also want to go to two exercise classes this week. I signed up for a Pilates class, so that will be one, and I'll try to hit up Jazzercise again one day. I'm holding out on paying for a full membership until I see that I actually like the format enough.

Finally, with my puppy in my lap, I offer you my quote!

Good luck to everyone this week!

Slim Down Saturday

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week. This has seriously been the strangest week with all these school days cancelled due to cold weather. Hopefully next week is a much more typical week!

Are you participating in Slim Down Saturdays with Gina from Teaching with a Touch of Pixie Dust? If you're not, but you're working on slimming down 10 lbs. or 100 lbs. you definitely should link up! So far, it has helped me stay accountable!

So how did I do this week? Take a peek!

So, my ultimate goal is 60 lbs. I still don't know where I am now. Since I'm doing the Whole30 program this month, I will not be allowed to weigh in until the beginning of February! I'm going to be extra excited to mark down how much I've lost in January, though, when I finally am able to check!

I'm super proud of myself for having stuck to the program so far. Cutting out all grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol, and dairy is pretty tough. It limits a lot of what you can cook! It's been great though. The only time I've actually wanted one of those things this week was the day we were eating a taco salad. The meat I was eating was way too spicy and all I could think about was putting some sour cream on it to cool it down. It wasn't so much that I craved it - I just wanted to stop breathing fire! My husband suggested that I use my fiery mouth to melt the frost on our windows.

One of my goals from last week was to find an exercise program. I did do that! I actually found several. There's a Zumba class that meets locally. There's a yoga studio nearby. We also have two places close to us that do Jazzercise. And, our local park district is starting a Pilates class on the 19th. Plenty of options. Now I just need to pick one. And do it. I'm just having trouble when I think about doing it alone.

My goal for next week is to lower my grocery bill. While that may seem like it doesn't totally relate, it really does and it's super necessary! Whole30 is all about eating fresh foods. Last week, my grocery bill was over $200 for just 2 of us! This week, I got it under $170. Both of these seem way to much to me though. I need to figure out how to eat less expensive meats I think. I'm really picky about what meat I will eat though.

I love my quote! I need to tell myself to suck it up more often. I'm a wimp sometimes.

Good luck with your eating and fitness goals this week, ladies!

Until next time,

Slim Down Saturday

Two posts in one day - oops! I just learned about a new link-up called Slim Down Saturdays hosted by Gina at Teaching With a Touch of Pixie Dust. Like many others do in January, I've recently reevaluated my fitness and eating habits and want to make a change for the new year. This link-up seems like a perfect way to track and reflect on my progress.

My ultimate goal is probably more than 60 lbs., but if I was able to do 60, I'd be more than ecstatic! Yesterday, my husband and I started the #Whole30 challenge. I'll be weighing myself today (because I forgot to yesterday), but I won't be weighing in again until the beginning of February. The program helps people lose weight, but it is not the main goal, so people completing the program are encouraged not to step on a scale until the 30 days are over.

I hope that the number of the scale at the end of the 30 days is amazing. I also hope that the program helps other aspects though. I get chronic headaches, and after reading a book about the program, I've heard that completing the program can also help with issues like that.

Another health related resolution that I want to improve on is drinking more water. As teachers, we have limited bathroom breaks, but it's still important to get that water in. I'm working on drinking a full gallon a day. It's hard! I'll need to be creative to figure out ways to make that. I can't drink much at school, so we'll see if I'm able to drink enough in the mornings and evenings to make up for it.

An Instagram friend recently posted her fitness goals and some rewards as motivation. I liked the idea, so I created one of my own. I don't know if I'll get started on the running part right away because it is pretty cold in Illinois right now, but I want to work on finding a fitness or yoga class this week to join.

My word for this week is persevere. The #Whole30 program will be a tough one for me. Giving up grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes is like... giving up the majority of my diet. I nearly did it in the summer (minus the legumes, and only gluten), but I probably cheated now and again with going out and such. I hope this time I can have the willpower to get through the whole 30 days.

Do you have any fitness goals for the new year? Link up!

Teacher Team Building

Does your school have a Sunshine Committee? How does it work? In the past, our school's Sunshine Committee was made up of a grade level or specials team. It rotated each year. Until last year when it died. No one wanted to be forced to do extra stuff. I kind of understand.

This year, a teacher friend and I decided to help revive it because we missed the fun t-shirts (which Sunshine never did) and socializing with other teachers (again - not a previous part of Sunshine). I wasn't so much interested in the retirement parties and the showers and such. I wanted the fun!

Now - you may be wondering - Kristin, what does this have to do with teacher team building?

This year for Christmas, the Sunshine Committee decided to do a holiday team scavenger hunt! It was a blast.

Teams were grouped by grade levels and had a list of 100 items or tasks to take pictures of. Some of these were super easy - like a picture with a custodian or a piece of technology. Others were a bit trickier - like taking a picture of a teacher outside in the snow when it hasn't snowed all week!

Like I said, it was super fun and super successful. Why? Because it was silly and cute. But also because the teachers were working together. Collaborative plan time is something that is new in our school district. Before, teachers collaborated by sharing ideas. It was brief and sporadic because our plan times were all different. So what is collaboration supposed to look like now that we do have the time?

The scavenger hunt was a great tool to show us how to work together. All teams participated to different degrees. But for some teams, we saw them having planning meetings about how to get all the photos accomplished. We saw them creating 'agendas' for what needed to be done during their lunch times in order to get all their shots. We heard discussions of how to make a picture even better. We saw people working as a team to make it work.

In fact, it was so exciting and amazing that next year, we're thinking about doing it during our in-service week to help set a good tone for working together and to help new teachers and team members become part of the team.

It was hard (but fun) work for sure. Especially when it's also your final week of grad school and you have a 30 page paper due at the end of the week. It required a lot of careful planning to get all of our normal work done plus get the things for the scavenger hunt completed as well. But collaboration can be hard work too. Working as a team takes effort, and that's part of what we learned through doing this.

How do the teams work together at your school? Do you think your team would benefit from something like this? I'd love to hear more ideas of things that you do or have done that help your team gel and work together!

Currently January

Hey there! I'm linking up with Farley for the January Currently!


My husband has been working on our basement for nearly a year now. He's down there right now and I'm listening to the sweet tunes that he has on. He's finally to the point where he is just doing some finishing touches as we wait for carpet and cabinets, so hopefully this long journey will be over soon.


If you've been here before, you may have noticed that my blog looks quite a bit different! Back in October, I went to a blogger meet-up and got lots of super cute blogging business cards. I decided I needed my own, too! I realized that I wanted to bright and fun design for my business cards. After I finished them, I decided to redesign my blog to match. I also love that I was able to fit a tab along the navigation bar for Design, so everything is in one place for now. Much more simple.


Besides working on blogging more frequently, I want to branch out further into the world of TPT. I don't have too much freedom in my classroom to add lots of extra resources, so I've been brainstorming what I can create for my room and how I can expand on it for others. My fingers are crossed that I'll figure something out.


I love my students, but I love breaks too! I've read four books over break so far and am working on the fifth. I've spent lots of time with family and friends, and I've been able to take some much needed R&R time now that I'm finished with my masters program (yay!). It won't be terrible to go back, but I wouldn't complain if our break was extended.


My lesson plans are done. They just need to actually be typed out. I meant to do this earlier in break, but I was so eager to leave school on that last day that I left my hand-written lesson plans in my classroom. I'll need to head over there tomorrow or this weekend to get them so that everything is all ready. Luckily, all my copies are done and such.

Yes, Maybe, Wish

I know that a lot of people make goals about weight loss, and I do have a goal like that, but I have trouble committing. The one goal that I have which I am certain that I WILL accomplish is that I will become better with blogging this year! Sarah from Shutters and Scribbles and I made a list of over 50 potential blogging topics. That's not even including potential posts about new designs I've done or TPT products that I've made (if I ever get started with that). I have set myself up to post at least a blog a week, and I'm excited about that. 

I'd love to write a book. For the past seven years or so in November, I have participated in National Novel Writing Month but it's always been difficult because of my undergrad or masters classes. I've always wanted to write. Now that I'm done with all that, I'm hoping that I'll have time to sit down and write some stories, even if they are just short ones - hopefully even outside of November!

This year, I'd also love to take some trips this summer. We went on one vacation last summer, which was wonderful, but teaching summer school took up the majority of my summer. I'm hoping that we can do a weekend getaway or two to somewhere fun. Plus, I'm really hoping that I make it to Vegas this summer!

Happy 2015!