Wednesday, May 28, 2014

End of Year Gift Idea - Squeeze the Most out of Summer (Freebie)

As part of the #3weeksnocheats movement at For Blogness Sake, I have been trying to workout more and eat even healthier than usual.  I have had fun trying new Pinterest recipes the last week or so.

One of the things I decided to try was cucumber water.  I love cucumber water at the spa.  The last few days I have been pre-making water bottles with water, cucumber, lemon, and mint.  I keep them in the fridge until I want one.  I love it!  I drink tons of water anyway, but sometimes you just want anything other than water. The cucumber lemon water doesn't really taste like water, so I don't feel the need to grab something else instead. It's so refreshing...perfect for summer.

I thought it would make a cute gift idea.  So I bought some cups and some lemons and made some gift tags.  The picture below doesn't show it real well, but there is a lemon inside the cup.  You could tape the tags on the cup, tie them with ribbon, or even place them in the cup.  You also could put the tag on a bottle of lemonade or place a lemonade packet in the cup.

Now I have some great end of year gifts that encourage healthy habits.  You can download a copy of the tags HERE.

Do you have any fun, easy end of year gift ideas?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getting Healthy for Summer #3weeksnocheats

As I am trying to finish up the school year and coming out of the grad school semester, I am trying to get back into a better workout routine.  I consistently do yoga, but I want to get back to working out 5-6 days a week.

I follow lots of great teachers on Instagram.  You can find me at I often share pictures of my lunches and what I am eating.  Actually, one of my students told me yesterday, "Mrs. Walker, you always eat so healthy." I thought what a nice complement and observation from a student.  This was my lunch yesterday that she commented on:

I have seen several people jump on the #3weeksnocheats challenge with Forblognesssake.

The idea is not to cheat on your meals or workouts (whatever your weakness is) for 3 weeks.  Today was my first day.

Not cheating for me means:

  • workout 6 days a week
  • Minimal sugar
  • No chocolate
  • No soda
  • Minimal or no dairy
  • Minimal or no gluten
  • No soy
  • Minimal corn
  • No late night snacking (This is the hard one for me.)
  • No skipping breakfast
I actually started up the Fast Metabolism diet again last week, so this lines up really well.  I am not following it perfectly, but I am trying to follow it as close as I can.  It helps to speed up the metabolism and detox from processed foods. 

What foods would you give up if you gave up your cheat meals?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer Reading List Ideas for Kids (By Mensa for Kids)

I haven't blogged in like two weeks!  Finals just took up all my time.  I finished finals last week, and honestly my brain has been too tired to do much.  I just finished my first year of working full time and working on my PhD part-time, and I am still adjusting to how to balance it all.

I have a lot I want to share with you, but I thought I would start with some ideas for summer reading for kids.  I always have parents who are looking for ideas of books for their students to read.  Parents of gifted and bright kids, especially, will usually ask because they struggle with how to keep their kids adequately challenged through the summer.  I do not like assigning summer reading, but I like to share ideas for books to read.

Last November at the NAGC conference in Indianapolis, one of the vendors was Mensa for Kids. They told me about a book list they put together.  There is a K-3 list, a grades 4-6 lists, and a grades 7-8 list.  I currently teach grades 4-5, and next year it looks like I may be moving to grades 7-8.  I am trying to choose the novels I want to cover next year for grades 7-8.  I am planning on choosing at least a few of the books from the Mensa list. There is about 50 books on each list, so they obviously probably wouldn't read them all in a summer. However, at least it is a great resource for parents. If the kids read all the books on a list, they also can send it in and get a t-shirt from Mensa for Kids.

HERE is a link to the website to click on the different lists.  Below is an image of the first page of the grades 4-6 list.

I am going to email the list out to my students' parents next week.  Where do you get your summer reading list ideas to share with parents?
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