Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five For Friday 7-24-15

Happy Friday, Everyone!

What a week! 

I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching this week for the Five For Friday Linky. Yay! It's been a while and I'm excited to share. 


Today I want to introduce to you four of my favorite doggies in the whole wide world.

Meet my furry babies, Nia, September, and Maxwell. They are my friend's doggies and so I'm their Auntie Lori. Nia is the big sister of her newest little sister and brother. She has another little brother named Charlie, but he got too aggressive for his neighborhood and had to go live with another family on a farm where he could run and be free. 

This picture is priceless. These dogs are so good. They do not bark nor shed and they're hyper-allergenic. Nia is a little shy but she loves getting any attention she can get now that she has a baby sister and brother. She has to be the big, mature and responsible sister so I try to spoil her up whenever I get the chance to see her. 

Little sister September tries so hard to be big like her sister, but Nia is so gentle and patient she just lets her jump all over her all the time. Max is quite reserved and loves to snuggle on his mommy's lap all day. I could go on and on but I will reserve the doggie mush for another day. 

You see, my husband does not care for dogs, nor any animal for that matter, so I must take my love for dogs out on these furbies any chance I can get. 

And then there's Bud. Ahem. That's short for Buddy, A.K.A. "The Budster," my sister's [and mine, too] fur baby.

I was with my sister when she went to adopt Bud from Mollie's Rescue. He picked her to be his mommy and he's been the most loyal, affectionate, and spoiled dog in the whole wide world. When he looks you with those beautiful brown eyes you can see through to his soul. Such a gentle big guy.

My sister said that I could be Bud's second mommy since I'm not allowed to have a dog of my own and I gladly accepted. 

Who wouldn't though? 

I get to have a dog that I don't have to walk or feed, but to love and hug and get love and hugs in return whenever I see him. HA! 

No really, I don't get to see Bud too often because he lives way down in NC and I live way up in VA. But when we do get to see each other it's love at first sight. I miss him so much and I know he misses me too. Sigh... 

I will be blogging more about my fur babies. Stay tuned.

Today at summer school I volunteered to sit in for a teacher who was going to be late because she had spilled a whole tall cup of coffee in her lap while driving to school and she had to go home to change. 

While I was sitting with the class as they were having their silent reading time, I came across this book on the teacher's reading table. I'd never read Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber. You may have heard of it.

This book quickly became one of my favorite children's stories. It's about a boy who gets invited to sleep at his next door neighbor's house and has a big decision to make. I won't spoil the ending for you if you haven't read it. 

If you have read Ira Sleeps Over, now would be a good time for you to reread it. It will give you all kinds of warm fuzzies. Click on the book cover above to hear it read on YouTube. 

This week marked a milestone for my husband and me. We got to celebrate another wedding anniversary, 30 years! Yippee!

We had planned to spend the day sight seeing in Richmond, but the area where we live was under a heat advisory. We were experiencing temperatures above 100 degrees when the heat index was added. 

So we changed our plans and enjoyed a quiet dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Afterwards we ordered some new cheese cake flavors to take home. Lemon meringue and carrot cake cheese cake. Can you say...heaven?

I also got to attend my friend's graduation from University of Phoenix which was held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. 

I was so proud to celebrate this accomplishment with my friend. She's been through so much this year. She deserved all the attention as a reward for all her hard work despite her circumstances.

This was my first time ever in the Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards (NBA) and Mystics (WNBA). Nice! 

Finally, here is a slide from one of the presenters, Rachel Lynette, at TpTVegas2015. This quote has been my motivation for changing the way I've been blogging and viewing my products since returning from the conference. How enlightening, refreshing and freeing it's been. 

Blogging is so much easier now. :-)

How's your week been?  Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for your Five For Friday. 

Love and hugs,
Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Scoop Linky Party 7-19-15

Today, I'm happy to be joining the Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop Linky Party.

3 Things I have to do...
1. Summer School:

This is the first summer that I have worked in a very long time. I'm working towards purchasing another Mac computer. My current computer has been very good to me over the years but it's pretty old now. It's time for an upgrade so I can be more productive and take my TpT business to the next level.

Here is a glimpse of our Pre-K classroom. Our kiddies are wonderful! All but two of them are Spanish-speaking, so along with teaching them the basics of literacy and math, we also get to learn a lot from each other. They are so precious! 

2. Reconnect with a dear friend:  

Don't you hate it when you get so busy doing LIFE that you realize that you have lost touch with friends? This week I must reconnect with a dear friend. I plan to give her a call and offer to take her to lunch.

3. Catch up on house work:

EEK! Of all things on my list this week, this is my least favorite thing to do. I've had somewhat of a/n excuse reason though. Recently I've been so consumed with preparing for going to the TpTVegas Conference that I've kind of let my household chores go lately. It's gotten a little out of hand though as I take a look around my work space. This week I plan to catch up on things like laundry, cleaning, and organizing. 

2 Things I hope to do...

1. Revamp TpT Products:

During TpTVegas2015 I attended Deanna Jump and Dee Dee Wells' session on revising TpT products. I learned that some reasons for revising your products are that: 1) Teaching practices are always reflective 2) Trends in education are always evolving 3) Your technological skills are constantly improving, and, 4) Emerging Clip Art and Amazing Fonts!

This was one of my very first product cover creations when I became a brand new TpT author-seller. I can't wait to apply my newly acquired skills, clip art, and fonts to give this product a well needed face lift.

2. Write blog posts:

Another thing I learned at TpTVegas from successful blogger authors is to post regularly and to be consistent. My goal is to post at least twice weekly to my blog. Joining up with great linky parties like this one and collaborating on Facebook groups will help me with this goal. This is a doable plan

1 Thing I'm happy to do: 

**Celebrating my 30th Wedding Anniversary!!**

I am so blessed to be celebrating a milestone anniversary with my soul mate, my BFF, and the love of my life--30 Blessed Years of Marriage! YAY! This past April we splurged a little and went on a western carribean cruise to celebrate (a little early). This week is our actual anniversary, however, where we will spend the day sight seeing in Richmond--something we have been meaning to do since moving here almost a year ago. Afterwards we will enjoy a quiet dinner together remembering the many great years of marriage that we have shared together.

What things are you having to do, hoping to do, and happy to do? I can't wait to read about them.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Viva Las Vegas TpT Conference Linky Party!

Hi, There!

I'm so excited to be linking up with the awesome bloggers over at The Elementary Entourage to share about #TpTVegas2015!

I know it's been a while since I've posted. You see, I've been in #TpTVegas2015 mode for quite some time. You've probably already heard, but please permit me to have my few moments of bliss...

For more than a week prior to heading for Vegas, I was so focused on my very first TpT Conference that I was simply consumed with everything pertaining to the BIG DAY! All I could think about was VEGAS2015! Yep, I'm sure that I even dreamed about it once or twice.

Well I'm back home now, and have somewhat returned to my normal routine. 

Somewhat (if that is at all possible right now).

So today's post is going to be a wrap-up of my awesome conference experience.  

Hold on to your hat, it's going to be an adventure...

Here goes...!

So after waking up very early in the morning to catch the first flight out of Richmond I arrive in Vegas by late morning, Vegas time. I had to get there in plenty of time to make it to the Blogger Meet Up later in the evening.

Did I mention that I was traveling SOLO?!? Yes, the hubby told me I was a big girl and that he thought I could make this trip on my own. So he sent me on my way. 

By myself. 

      To VEGAS! 


Well, I made it safe and sound! Woo Hoo! I did have a little help though.

A huge shout out to my new blogger buddy, Princess Netherly from Teach, Love, Cupcakes.

I'm so thankful for her offer to share a ride to Treasure Island from the airport, which we arranged ahead of time when we both realized that we'd be landing around the same time.

We had the most awesome time on the way to the hotel getting to know one another and chatting with our driver. It was a private limo service so I felt like a VIP.

Later that evening, Princess and I met up with Jessi, from Wild West by Jessi, and walked over to the Venetian for the Cool Kids Meet and Greet, hosted by Kayse Morris and Literary Sherri. There we met some new blogger friends, Sally, from Teaching Redefined, and another lovely Sally as well.

The Venetian was an amazingly fabulous place. Everything was very GRAND in perspective.

Later, we registered and picked up our conference goodies, and then waited for a little while for the Teacher Blogger Meet Up to begin. This was the highlight of the night.

The energy was ELECTRIFYING!!! The room soon filled up with about 1100 Teacher Bloggers. And then it happened.

Yep, we got to meet, chat, nearly faint and take pictures with our favorite teacher-bloggers!

These lovely ladies must have had some very painful cheek muscles that night. Hehe.


I was thrilled to have been able to meet the designer of my awesome store logo, Laine Sutherland, all the way from South Africa!

Laine was so warm and gracious, and got so tickled when she spotted one of her logos among the hundreds of teacher bloggers that she got to meet that night.

I was proud to have been offered to wear one of her "More Than A Business Card" bracelets, which she dug out of her bag and gave me, to bring awareness to and benefit her schools back home.

The next day's activities began very early beginning with TpT Keynotes coming from Paul, Adam, Amy and Rachel Lynette. All I can say is, INSPIRING!

Mostly, I was so proud to be seated among more than a thousand author-sellers and the millions of TpTers who create and sell their products on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Then we were set free to attend the most inspirational day of learning and sharing and networking that I have ever witnessed and experienced.

Throughout the day there were plenty of opportunities for meeting new friends, further connections and photos.

I came away from the conference sessions with the following reflections:

1. The TpT Market is not saturated. Find your niche and do that. Well.

2. Find out what the buyers want and give it to them. Over and over.

3. Learn from your feedback: Use it to become a better seller-author.

4. Network: Be visible in the community. Connect with the people. Work at it.

5. Reach Them: Make your customers/followers think, make them laugh, inspire them, or teach them something new and they will remember you when the time comes to buy.

Finally it was time to go home. I took an overnight flight and was expecting to arrive back in Richmond the next morning. After a very long lay over in Philadelphia I got the surprise of a lifetime.

President Jimmy Carter boarded the same flight! He was such a gentle soul. After we all boarded and got settled on the plane, he got out of his seat and greeted each and every passenger with a hand shake and a huge smile. What a gentle noble man.

WOW! I can say that I have never met nor shaken the hand of a president, past or present. Hands down--this was the highlight of my Vegas trip.

A trip with memories that will last a lifetime. 

Viva, Las Vegas!