Sunday, July 7, 2019


I know that many of us make resolutions in January.. or we come up with one word in January.  Being a teacher, my years run a little different.. as in July-June.  Each year I choose a different word to focus on. My one word usually comes to me in April or May and it is always so appropriate.  My past words have been Strength, Seek, Perspective and several others. My word this year is Priority!

I think I do a pretty good job of taking care of my family and the people around me, but I sort of forget about myself.  I don't want to be selfish, but I also need to remember that I am important as well.  

I have a really great friend, Catalina, who told me about Camp Gladiator.  She said you just need to come out and try it.. I have a code for a free month.  I put it off for a week.. and then signed up just for the free month. When my month was about to end I didn't know if I should sign up or not. I was LOVING the community, how I felt afterwards, and just my sense of well-being.  Catalina reminded me that it was important to take care of myself emotionally and physically (hello word of the year Priority!)

Catalina at her check in 50 (well, actually 51)
This past weekend I checked in for my 25th time! It was by far one of the hardest workouts I had done.  I got a little overwhelmed.. and on the verge of tears a few times.. but I knew that I was making myself a priority so I finished it! It was helpful that I had some great workout partners that encouraged me and some amazing trainers that pushed me to not give up and try a little bit more.

I stole this picture from Big U. (CG has a workout at Toyota Music Factory on Saturdays) I am in the yellow
I can't wait to have LOTS more check-ins (I had 6 this last week).  Camp Gladiator has given me a chance to work out with some great trainers, hang out with some awesome friends, and push myself and make myself a priority.

When I choose a word I also make it my background picture on my phone and my background on my computer.
Phone screen

Computer Screen
Here is to a year of making myself a priority (and also reminding those important to me that they are a priority as well!) Do you have a word of the year?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

I Am Back- Early

First of all- Happy Fourth of July!

Well.. I made it almost 3 weeks without social media on my phone.  I decided to do a #digitaldetox this summer (you can read about it here) My goal was to make it June 16th-July 28th.  In the digital detox my goal was not to not spend as much time on my phone and computer.  I deleted apps.. made it harder to get to social media and worked on digital detoxing.

So, a recap:
-I needed a reset on how much time I was spending on social media- between posting and perusing.
-got organized online and in my house
-Decided that I really wanted to take a break at how much I am online
-Got all the materials I needed for Christmas in July

Did I fail?
So, as I write this, I sort of feel like I failed.. but then I have to remember I did this for myself to reset myself. Did I keep to my calendar? Nope.. I mean.. I made it about 3 weeks. BUT, during that time I realized how much I was spending on my devices, I have read 7 books, I have prepared all the materials I needed to do my ornaments for the year, have hung out with friends and enjoyed my pool and house.  SO, I don't consider this a fail.. I consider that my 3 weeks did exactly what I wanted!

My biggest realization- I REALLY like to take pictures.. and I REALLY like Instagram.  I enjoy Facebook too.. but not like Instagram.  I also realized that.. even without apps it is super easy to access these sites on a phone.

So, here's to continuing to be more realistic on how much time I spend online.. and being more aware of when/how long I do.  My #digitaldetox didn't last as long as I planned- but it did EXACTLY what I wanted it to do!

Next up- getting ready for an AWESOME year in Girl Scouts (we have a lock in coming up- Girl Scout Kick Off- and NASA!) and making myself a Priority this year

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Early Bird Gets Mall Madness

Every year I am TERRIBLE at Early Bird Registration for our Girl Scout troop.  I can never get my life together.. but this year.. Troop 1810 not only did Early Bird Registration, but also took advantage of Mall Madness!

Mall Madness is a yearly event set up by the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas as a perk of participating in Early Bird registration.  Mall Madness is exactly what it sounds like! It is a night where those that register are able to have a giant mall lock in! It is full of open shops, activities, vendors, a movie.. and NO sleeping.

It was our first mall madness to attend, so I had no expectations.. other than I knew I was going to be TIRED the next day (today is the next day.. and I have slept on and off throughout the day)

Check in was at 9pm.. so we met about 8:45pm... the line was long (there had to be over 700 people that were attending this event) but we enjoyed chatting and catching up.  We totally brought way too much stuff! Our girls brought blankets, sleeping bags and I brought games and my chair. We got checked in, got our wristbands for movie time and started the Instagram Scavenger hunt.  During the hunt we also visited several of the stores. Not going to lie.. I REALLY wanted a coffee, but I think every leader/adult had that same plan because the line at Barnes and Noble was SO long... I looked at it and decided it was not for me.

Troop 1810- some of us dressed up in the 80's or 90's garb for the costume contest.  Allie was one of the winners!
I loved that the mall was a contained area so our girls had a chance to be on their own.. but with us close enough to follow along at a distant pace (and as the time got earlier in the morning.. we were moving slow anyway!)

The girls LOVED that Claire's was opened! There were also several stores that stayed open late and various discounts that were available.  Because we completed the scavenger hunt our troop one these super fun glow sticks to use during the dance party happening in the food court.  We did miss the big photo op as we couldn't move!
The moms had more fun at the dance party than the girls

Okay, it is a blurry picture but it was 1 in the morning.. in a dark theater.. and were all tired!
During the night you could also sign up for a movie slot.  We got to see Wreck it Ralph Breaks the Internet at 1:10am in the morning.  Great movie with a great message.

Top 4 of the Night (there are easily more!)
1. Seeing our girls be more independent! This was a great space, enclosed, and set up for success for the girls to be more independent
2. Hanging out with these awesome moms that are a part of Troop 1810!
3. Scavenger Hunt! Anytime I have a chance to take pictures (selfies!) make me super happy!  I even came out of my #digitaldetox on Instagram (you can check out @akbusybee on Instagram for all my stories!)
Okay.. I have one more..
4. The WHOLE GSNETX staff that was there making sure the event ran as smoothly as it could!! I mean.. it is an all night thing.. and people get cranky :)

Not so Top 2
1. It was hot! I know there really isn't much to control about that, but it was pretty warm in lots of places.
2. Some of the adults and girls forgetting that they are representing Girl Scouts.  There were some places that people forgot to be a Sister to Every Girl Scout.. and to Leave a Place Better than they found it.  But, this happens anywhere.. especially when there is little to no sleep involved. I think some adults also forget that girls are watching.. and sometimes it is important to teach girls to be patient. This goes for what people post online too. This was NOT the majority.. but it was still noticeable.

Overall.. the event was super enjoyable, and I know why it is called Mall Madness! I can't wait to register early next year (I mean.. first of all.. I have an awesome troop that wants to hang out and do activities!) but we will be attending Mall Madness again!
I love the opportunity to dress up in costume!

We survived Mall Madness let's take a picture at 4:15am in the morning picture!

Next up for our troop- Lock-In in July and NASA in October!! Some of the troop is also talking about joining the Travel Club!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

A Summer full of Selfies!

My official digital detox was going to start today (you can find out about it here).. after I finished school, after I finished Camp Amiga, and after I finished our Camp Amiga Survivor party... BUT.. thank goodness I hadn't started it yet!

I am so glad that I still had social media on my phone, as it is what I used to connect to get our power back up and running.These first 16 days of June have been CRAZY!!!
June 1st- blow out of a tire while on the interstate which resulted in 4 new tires for the Bumblebee (yes, I am fine.. car is fine.. wallet is hurting a little)
If you are in the DFW area you know that the weather has been UBER crazy lately!
June 6th- Storm came through and our transformer blew.  Not only did it take out our power.. it created a small fire.  Yes, we are fine, but didn't have power until almost 3am that next morning.
June 9th- CRAZY weather came through.. took out our patio table.. BUT.. not our power.. until 3 hours after the storm. Same transformer blew again. 
June 11th- Power back on at 6pm- all food in fridge already dead
June 16th- Transformer blew again 3:30am and turned back on at 10:00.  Transformer blew again at 11:15.. back on at 2pm.  Another storm has blown through and another one is coming.  I am crossing my fingers that we are good at least for a few days!
I know that it could have been much worse, but that still doesn't mean it wasn't crazy at our house.

Summer Selfie

I am a member of this awesome Principal Group that talks about different ways to appreciate staff. I LOVE showing people that they are important.  Matthew Arend shared this AWESOME Summer Selfie Bingo card that he does with his staff. It is a great way to get to know the community and the staff.  You can check out his post here.

I talked with my principal and decided to do it as well for our school.  I created a Bingo board in Google docs, sent an email to staff and have been watching the Twitter feed. If you would like your own copy you can use this link- feel free to use my pictures (they are all emojis I found on website.. it is cited at the bottom)
Here is the email I sent to staff (I made sure to also include our new staff coming in)
Hello Fabulous Friends!
I hope that you are already having an AMAZING and much needed break! If you are not on break yet.. it is coming soon!

Welcome to the first annual #lamarsummerselfiebingo
Here is how it works:
Share how great your summer is using the #lamarsummerselfie bingo hashtag and the @Lamar_MS
Use the Google Doc linked her to access your own game board. (It should open up as a copy!) or use the picture that is attached.  I like to do some appsmsashing so I use picmonkey to add my pictures to my virtual bingo board.. but you can do that through Google too!
Get a Bingo (or two or three) check out our hashtag to see what everyone is up to! (there might be prizes involved.. but also the prize is getting to know our Lamar family even better!)
Don’t want to post on Twitter.. no worries (although we would love to see your adventures!) keep up with your BINGO board so we can share the love when we start school!
Have questions- send me an email!
Have a GREAT summer!! I am actually doing a digital detox this summer will have to do this while on my limited computer, but I can’t wait to like, retweet and share what is going on this summer.

I still plan to participate because I can access social media from my computer.. just taking it off my phone so I am not staring at it 23 hours a day. I have already loved retweeting and sharing what the Lamar Staff is doing.  

But, I am super excited about spending some quality time celebrating our anniversary tomorrow (June 17th), reading lots of books and creating.

See you guys officially at the end of July!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Almost Summer!

I am winding down the last official week of being a middle school librarian.  What a wonderful year it has been! This is our last week with kiddos, I have one week left of work (and a HUGE to do list), and then a week of Girl Scout Camp Amiga.

Last year I made this awesome Bucket List (many of the items were on my #40by40 list) because I just knew I would have time! But.. instead.. we moved houses and I moved schools... which in reality made it so I had very little of a summer. I of course enjoyed it.. but THIS summer.. this summer I am looking forward to taking a break. This summer I am going to work on my #40by40, but more importantly I am going to take a Digital Deotx! I loved what Lisa wrote on her Digital Detox/Declutter Why and How. and have set this blog up much like hers. (If you don't already follow Lisa Johnson you need too!)

This summer I will be taking a Digital Detox from Sunday June 16th- Sunday July 28th.
Why I want to do it:
-I need a reset of how much time I am spending on Social Media.
-This next year I want to focus on celebrations and create.
-Priority! My word this next year will be priority. My word last year was Perspective and my perspective changed in so many ways.  From the school I worked in, the new friends I found, and our home life.. I tried to always think about my perspective.  This year, my word is Priority- and I am starting my summer making myself a Priority with a Digital Detox!

What I have already done (and am currently doing)
When I decided to do the Digital Detox, I made a to do list of the various items I wanted to get done so I could feel as if I could take a break. I thought about the various digital platforms I use and decided how I want to use my online space.
-I have organized, deleted items, and just cleaned up my Pinterest, Canva, and Piktochart. I have also organized my 2 different Google Drive accounts. I have also cleaned up my Instagram accounts and Facebook accounts.
-I am ALMOST done organizing my house! We did a ton of yard work yesterday and I only have 2 more rooms to go through.
-I am working on emails.  I did do and already my main Google account is getting cleaner. I plan to be at zero inbox on my 2 main Google accounts
-I have cleaned up my computer desktop along with deleting all of the download items.
-I joined Camp Gladiator!
-I reorganized my office and craft space.  I am ready to create this summer!

What I plan to do
-Delete apps on my phone.  My phone is where I spend most of my time! So, the apps that will be coming off my phone for this summer are: Yahtzee (I know.. I know.. this is one of my guilty pleasures!) Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Gmail, Outlook, Good Reads
-I do plan on keeping Glide, Text Message, Group Me and Marco Polo.  I feel as if those are still real life interactions I have with people. I also plan on keeping Timehop.. I mean I am on a 3 year streak!
-Limit my daily use of computer.  I would like to set time limits on this.. but I will be writing curriculum this summer so will need my computer! I have already cleaned up my bookmarks and history. I will still be checking my social media, but it will not be as often.
-Create and craft! I know what I am doing for Christmas ornaments this year.. and what I am doing for my Ugly sweater. So, I am going to have Christmas in July.  This will give me a chance to actually enjoy the season during Christmas.  I also plan to make lots of birthday, anniversary and various occasion cards. I have addresses and dates.  I am also get prepared for my Girl Scout leader meetings (and this year I want to focus on celebrations!)
-Read! There are SO many books that I want to read this summer, but I am not going to stress if I don't get them all read.
-Work on my #40by40 list.  That birthday is coming up this year.. and I have several things I can knock off my list.
-Update my Memory planner.  I was really good up through October, but then got out of habits.  I hope to build even more habits this summer that prioritize myself and things that make me happy.
-Enjoy my hubby, house, pool.. and RELAX!
-Catch up with friends.

Blogger- I will see you at the end of summer! My #digitaldetox is starting in 21 days!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Teacher Appreciation 2019- Camp Lion

I can't believe that my first year as a middle school librarian is winding down (reflections blog coming up on my Bee In the Bookends Blog soon!)
One of my FAVORITE things to do.. is help plan Teacher Appreciation (okay.. I lie.. I LOVE celebrating people.. so I love that I get a chance to help celebrate teachers during the holiday season and different times throughout the year.. and ooohhh.. do I have some plans for celebrations next year!)
This year Teacher Appreciation theme was Camping.  On Friday this flier went in boxes and was also emailed out. The flier was created in Piktochart which is a program that I use almost weekly in various ways.  It is also a program that I pay for because I use it so much. I also used Canva to create the information about each day.
In order to make sure that the week went off without too much of a hitch, I worked with one of our assistant principals, our amazing Lamar PTA, our fantastic secretary Tina, and some outstanding parent volunteers.  Of course I got some great ideas and help from the Skurtcrew!

Enjoy the pictures of the week, I usually know what I am doing the next year and start planning.. but inspiration hasn't hit me yet! Elliott Elementary did an a really cool one that was Wizard of Oz theme (Elliott teachers are Oz-some)

Monday- Don't feed the bears, but PTA fed us some awesome griddle cakes.  I also created a photo booth

Tuesday- Trail mix bar- we put the items in cast iron (I would have gotten a picture of it full.. but I didn't make it in time.

Tuesday night I also hosted a volunteer appreciation event for our Girl Scout Service Unit. We moved it to a restaurant this year, and Angelo's in Irving did an AMAZING job! During the event we celebrated graduating seniors, girls that had earned their Gold Awards, volunteers that were recognized with various awards, and just celebrated volunteers overall.
Wednesday- We celebrated Nurses day with kits to help teachers be prepared.  These included a little note that I found at Tried and True blog.  The goody bag had highlighters, a sharpie, pens and some paperclips (our parent center volunteers put these baggies together and also made sure they got in boxes!).  During the staff meeting admin also gave ALL staff members personalized water bottles (thanks to Mari and Leslie for making sure those happened!)  Admin also wrote little notes on each table for the staff meeting and left lots of goodies for us to enjoy!

Thursday- We could use S'More teachers like you!  Although we talked about having an actual s'more station.. it was much easier to make little s'more kits.  It is also testing season, so putting items in boxes made sure that everyone had a chance to make their own.  We also had a teacher bring up some yummy breakfast foods to share with the staff.

Friday-Camp food! Our Admin team made sure the teachers had some great hot dogs with all the fixings! They also had some fun cupcakes (because we all know that teachers are pooped at this time of year) For drinks staff members were invited to use their new water bottles and create their own favorite sonic style drink (we had cherry, vanilla and some Sonic ice)  I was not able to be at school that day because I had the opportunity to watch the young woman who I used to be a nanny for graduate college!

I think overall it was a successful Teacher Appreciation week.  I look forward to celebrating teachers and staff even more this next year!

This summer I am doing a Digital Detox... my new blog will share my plans for this and also my word of the year.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Burger Mission

It is a Sunday evening.. which means I really should be doing at list of 200000 things.

Being married to a chef means that I do have some great meals at home, but it also means that sometimes we just enjoy a good burger.  This summer we stopped at Burger House and decided we would be on a quest for good burgers (now, I like a good burger and chili cheese fries!)

Our List (and in order to how much we liked them)
1- Burger House- this place is a hole in the wall. and is AWESOME! Loved the atmosphere and it had our favorite burger and great fries so far (also the price was very reasonable)
2- Shake Shack- the flavor the burgers was spot on and the fries were pretty good.  The flavor the burger almost beat  Burger House, but we liked the feel and atmosphere of Burger House better.  Shake Shack is a chain, and was a little pricey.. but still our number 2.
3- BurgerIm- This was a toss up between Shake Shack and BurgerIm.  BurgerIm has slider size burgers with a ton of different toppings and add ins.  I went with just the regular burger and the bacon cheese fries.  I was a little worried about the fries, as they almost looked like the sliced potato chips (which I am not really a fan of) BUT- these bacon cheese fries were my FAVORITE! It would have moved above Shake Shack, but the burgers needed just a bit more flavor.  I will be going back as the price was right.. and I want to add other toppings (and I need more of those fries!)

4- Jakes Burgers- Nothing too exciting.  I actually didn't even get a picture because we were so hungry by the time we got there.  Our service wasn't that great either.

We also attempted to go to Clown Burger.  It looked like a great place that had been there forever. 1- we got there and realized they only take cash.. okay.. we could handle that. We went and found an ATM and made our way back.  2-After standing in line for 15 minutes (there were only 2 people in front of us.. it is a SMALL place) we heard through the grapevine it was going to be a 45 minute wait.  Although it smelled great and we wanted to try it.. over an hour for a burger when there were only 2 people in front of us.

Do you have a favorite burger place in the DFW area?