I have mentioned before that I am horrible with emails, really all forms of communication but that is a topic for another post, but either way Elizabeth at Hodges Herald nominated me for a Liebster Award and I am just now getting around to posting about it. Sad really.


I was super ecstatic about being nominated because really every time I get a new comment or follower I blown away that anyone is interested in little old me.

I was actually nominated last November as well and I followed all of the Liebster rules.

1. Link back to the blog(s) that nominated me

2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted by my nominator
4. Create 11 questions for my nominees
5. Share 11 random facts about yourself
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them

But as I look back on that post I realize it was really before I found my blogging voice because the truth is I hate following rules. True story.

The only time I ever received detention in school was my senior year because I refused to wear my id, I thought id's were stupid. I believe recipes are guidelines and measuring out ingredients is for fools other people. The state said I couldn't drink until I was 21, I got a fake id when I was 18 and drank to my hearts content. A teacher provided me a assigned topic in high school to write about, I wrote about how teaching abstinence to students is stupid, and quoted that Beverly Hills 90210 episode a lot.

Basically I like to test, stretch and bend the rules to fit my style. Which is highly ironic considering I spend eight hours a day asking 150+ middle schoolers to follow the rules. The very reason that I use my blog as an outlet to test the boundaries.

1. Link back to the blog(s) that nominated me. 

2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers. 
I follow 112 blogs that I actually read on a daily basis, I could never choose favorites and really that list would be crazy long. Instead pick one question from below and leave a comment below, we can all get to know each other a little better.

3. Answer the questions posted by my nominator. 
Just so this blog post has some real content and is not full of gifs.

Why do you blog? 
I blog because I wanted a place to chronicle my life and something to push me to take pictures and say yes more. Over the past year I found I blog because I enjoy writing, sharing stories and the connections I have been making with other bloggers.

Do you have a TpT/TN store? If so, which did you do first, blog or store?
Yes I have a TPT store, it came after I started blogging. I have like 13 products, its not something I brag about.

How long have you been teaching?
This year will be my third year.

What songs would be on the soundtrack of your life? 
I have come back to this one about 800 times and there is not a gif in the world that can help me anwser it properly. I change my mind about songs, hourly. I have songs that fit my mood, I have songs that are reserved for Mr. B, Erica, my family, my moods, my ex, my college days...I couldn't pick one song if you forced me to. 
But since you are I am leaving you with:

Do you have a favorite teacher from your days in school? 
Mr. Pagel hands down. I actually have his 'life' lessons written in a scrapbook that is still around here somewhere, he spoke to us like we were adults and taught us at the same time. And he was old school, like hitting kids with erasers old school.

How would you describe the morale at your school? 
First year it was horrible, basically the kids won teachers lost. Last year the morale improved some but I feel like we started in the basement and have made it to maybe the 10th floor...we have a ways to go.

Favorite decade? (80's, 90's etc...)
90's hands down. My favorite television shows and movies are all from the 90's. I love rap music and country music from the 90's. And the sayings were so much better.

Do you speak a second or third language? Which one? 
I can understand Spanish but I sound like a white girl trying to speak Spanish

Funny story at school I tell the kids I had two years of Spanish in middle school, three years in high school and four semesters in college and they think I understand every word they say. I really did have that many Spanish classes it just was something I could never learn but they don't need to know that.

Favorite sport? Favorite team? 
Football. Longhorns. I was in Austin the year this happened, it was nothing short of magical.

Ever said "never" and then had to eat your words. 
(Ex: I will never teach middle school. HA! I am there!)
Easy the example is my never. I never thought I would be a teacher period. I actually openly laughed at the school of education at UT, now here I am teaching middle schoolers and loving every minute of it.

Dog or cat lover?

Neither, I really don't like domesticated animals. After yesterdays post about not liking crying people you probably really do think I have a black heart now.

4. Create 11 questions for my nominees. 

Pick one of the questions from above or just share a random fact, its all about bending the rules.

5. Share 11 random facts about yourself  

All of my posts contain random facts about myself, you get that on the regular.

6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them. 

This blog post is me contacting you, read number 2 if you are unsure.

Hopefully the blogging gods are not looking down on me and judging me for all that rule breaking, suddenly all I can think of is:

Can't wait to read your random comments.

- The Babbling Box!

P.S. It's okay if you follow the rules and answer a question, I promise!

Don't Come Crying To Me

I am going to let you in on a little I watch Pretty Little Liars...kind of ironic.

Crying people make me uncomfortable. Well actually emotional people in general make me uncomfortable. 

And before you go all...your a girl shouldn't you love having a good cry or isn't it in your DNA to be able to handle crying.

Here is how I normally deal with crying or emotional situations:

I once asked a boy in my classroom 'are you crying?' and I probably had this look on my face. I have learned now to keep my face very blank if someone is crying and just allow them to use my hallway to collect themselves when they need it. I have never seen so many teenage boys cry in my lifetime...shudder.

Laughing is generally not an unacceptable action but a response I usually use. I actually have a really horrible track record of laughing at funerals or other events that it is generally not acceptable to cry at. 
I am super sweet like that.

My version of comforting a person crying...petting them or patting their back. 
My go to comforting words are 'don't cry' and 'its going to be alright.' I am sure that will pep a person right up, right?!?

Once we have gotten past my reaction to a person crying and my attempts at soothing them my go to response is offering them alcohol. 
Alcohol heals all wounds right?!?

I generally also pour myself a hefty glass of something strong.
I would never let a crying person drink alone...
laugh at them maybe but drinking alone is just sinful.

My final solution to handling crying situations is to hit fast forward. I have probably missed a lot of key moments in movies and television shows because I fast forwarded past all the crying scenes.

And let me tell you something last night during The Bachelorette I was hitting fast forward for the last 30 minutes. 

And since they are dragging this out to a two part crying fest I imagine I will be doing a lot of fast forwarding during next Monday's finale.

And before you go judging me and my black heart, I promise I am not as cold as I sound. I can actually be a really sweet and understanding person especially towards my friends


Just don't come crying to me.

- The Babbling Box!  

Last Weekend In July...

How did that just happen? 
Next weekend is August!

Which basically means summer is over.

And I am one big box of anxiety over things that are unaccomplished, summer wishes left unfulfilled and basically driving myself insanely crazy over all of my coulda, woulda, shoulda imagineray things I still need to do in both my personal life and in my classroom...
by like Thursday.

If my brain could be a single image perhaps it would be this:

Or this:

Too scary for words?!?

So while I try to make all the voices in my head a little quieter I am leaving you with a picture dump from this weekend. 

Yes I just openly admitted I have voices in my head, too tired and unsettled to hide the crazy today.

one. Friday night Mr. B and I went out to see an old friend at the Iron Cactus then paid five bucks to see a rap show. The openers were a guy and a girl from Dallas who wore a top hat and fairy wings...but rapped. Memorable.
two. We I never to remember to take pictures until we are a few drinks in and in dark places.
three. Zeale, the whole reason we went out. He opened for Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION a few months back and was incredible. And from Austin. And his freestyle skills are mind blowing. Like the crowd will give him five words and he just goes to town. So for five dollars we definitely enjoyed the show.
four. TWO FIREBALLS for me! 
Told you I was enjoying myself.

five. Saturday I recovered with a work out and trip to Target. In love with this Elf box set for only five bucks. Running theme of the weekend perhaps.
six. Mr. B and I went back out Saturday night to Little Woodrow's for a friends birthday. It became a reunion of sorts and we reminisced about the old Champion's days...where we all met and worked. I had an absolutely wonderful time. And it also reminded me that I need to try harder to see my friends even though we all have different jobs and life's now.
seven. Little Woodrow's has buckets of bacon. So we ordered one, duh. Funny since the birthday girl is a vegetarian.

eight. I spent most of Sunday recovering on the hammock with the sprinkler and my kindle.
nine. Last summer I flew through the 50 shades trilogy and couldn't stop talking about it. Judge away. This summer I haven't read anything, its really hard to compete with Laters, Babe. 
Someone suggested Bared To You so I gave it a chance and hot damn is it a page turner. If you are into that sort of it, enough said.

Something I was SUPER excited was that my posters from Vistaprint arrived this weekend! 

I had three made up like the one above, one for each of my preps. I had hopes of showing you them in place in the room for my Monday made it up but alas the laminator is still hiding from me so it will have to wait.

So my Monday Made It is a little different this week, I need your advice!!!

I also had a sign made up for my word wall from Vistaprint. But I just don't know what to do about my word wall. I loved it last year but I received a new projector screen and it covers a good part of my word wall. 

My 'bulletin boards' are made from table clothes from the dollar store hot glued onto my cement walls and then duct taped to hide the edges. I added clothespins on top so I could easily change out my vocabulary words each week.

BUT changing out my 'bulletin board' is not a small task so before I add the new sign, I need your advice.

Should I leave the word wall alone and just deal with it being off centered?
Should I redo the whole thing?
Should I try and add something to the side?

In advance thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend and isn't nearly as anxious about it being nearly August as I am!

Linking up with: SamiBreCarlyLogan, and Tara.

- The Babbling Box!

Round Here

It's Friday: so time to tell you whats been going on around here in the form of letters and a tune that will be sure to send you into the weekend tapping your toes.

Dear Classroom:  I am so happy to back, you are my home away from home.

Dear Self:  Please stop beating yourself up about what you didn't get done in the classroom this week, it isn't healthy. 

Dear Janitor Staff:  I truly appreciate all that you do in my room, especially with how needy I have been over the past two years. BUT I am very unsure why you picked up chewed up gum and other pieces of trash and left it on my workstations, if you were unsure if I needed it for something this year I DIDN'T.

Dear Janitor Staff:  I hate to be a pest after knocking you but you stacked some of my items a little two well for my scrawny arms. If you could be a dear and hook a gps up to your strong self on Monday I would love to actually continue setting up my furniture. I feel like I wasted time playing hide and seek this week, especially since I always lost.

Dear General School People:  I am unsure who to address this to, so everyone gets this complaint, you took my only friend at the school away and I am devastated. Its sad to say that my only friend is the laminator, but we have had so much quality time together over the last two years that it would be wrong to not call it my friend. Let's be real, I could go to media services and pay to laminate my items but you don't pay me enough for that. So something needs to be fixed here. Like yesterday. Please!

Dear Students:  Why you gotta be so destructive? I give you computers and cushioned rolling chairs, I am pretty nice some days...I hope. 

Any advice from fellow teachers on: one how to protect my speakers better and two how to clean fabric chairs in a room full of middle schoolers would be much appreciated.

Dear New Recipe:  This week I made Crispy Chicken Parmesan Cutlets with a Tomato Mozzarella Salad, gosh that is a mouth full, either way it was divine. And super easy to make. I don't know if I have ever made chicken that tasted so wonderfully crunchy but moist in my life. This will be in my meal rotation, I already want to make it again and get the point.

Just so you actually want to make it I am leaving you with a picture from the website, a food photographer I am not.

Dear New York Trip: You are planned! I found the best map online that I seriously jumped up and down for and then printed immediately. It has 100's of movie scene locations already on it. SCORE. 12 days and counting!!!

Dear Gym:  We made it, 30 miles in 25 days. Now the trick is to actually keep going and try for something like 40 miles in 30 days.

Dear Mr. B:  Super excited you are actually off tonight and all of the nights this weekend. A 5 dollar concert and some boozy drinks out among the living sounds like the perfect start of the weekend.

Now since it is Friday I had to leave you with a tune for #backthatazzup, I already have swooned over Florida Georgia Line but then put them away because the radio places 'Cruise' like its the only song they know how to play. 

But then I heard 'Round Here' and with lyrics like:
"and that fireball whiskey whisper
temptation in my ear"

You are back on my must listen list, plus their mugs aren't too bad to look at either.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

Linking up with WhitneyLaurenSarahJennifer and Lauren.

- The Babbling Box!

Keep Your Head Up

What type of blogger are you?

I had this questioned posed to me a few weeks ago when I tragically let it slip to my real life friends that I blog.

And I have absolutely no answer to that question, well besides a babbler.

Shortly before or after this, I am horrible with keeping up with emails, I was invited to participate in a teacher link up. With rules. Honestly I have never been one to follow that many rules in life but when I started reading through them it was specified that you must be a purely education blog. 

Honestly my first thought was why. 
My second thought was did this person even read my blog. 
My third thought was not worth the trouble.

In truth I am a blogger with out a niche and don't plan on changing my ways or maintaining two blogs to separate my work and personal life.

But before you X out this page and delete me as your friend I am not knocking you if can manage two separate blogs or only blog about one topic. I actually really respect people who have the time for that or can focus on one topic.

I feel like my blogging time has already been cut in half and all I am doing this week is cleaning my classroom heaven forbid what happens when school starts. And my brain couldn't focus on one thing if I was pumped full of riddlin.

one. Other bloggers. Whether it be their posts, comments or link ups generally if I read a few blogs I am reminded of a billion and one things I have yet to babble about on this little ole blog.

two. TV and movies. I have an addiction and I am not afraid to admit it. I actually probably haven't scratched the surface of the amount I could babble about TV and movies...coming soon.

three. Social media. Pinterest, twitter, Instagram and facebook all provide me a plethora of inspiration when it comes to topics I could babble about. Whether it be a pretty new craft or recipe or bitching about the idiots who keep me posted every time they stop for a restroom break on facebook.

four. My family. All families are crazy but mine is my own special kind of crazy. My sister was married for three years before any one knew, mind blown yet, I have so much I haven't even begun to babble about.

five. My city: Austin. I live in an amazing city with the opportunity to do so many different activities, blogging certainly makes me say yes to more fun activities. Except tonight when I said no to Blues on the Green to come home and blog, to be fair it is like 100 degrees outside.

six. Booze. Enough said.

seven. Mr. B. I haven't spent too much time talking about our history or our unique antics yet but I certainly plan to babble about how we's not your average fairy tale.

eight. My friends. I have so many amazing college stories that I should probably write down for fear of forgetting them. One night a very nice man dropped over 500 bucks on drinks for myself and two roommates. Then wanted to rent a limo rather than get a cab to take us home. I am always a little hesitant to post pictures from those crazy nights, but I might be a little braver sometime...soonish.

ACL the year it rained the whole time and was just one big mud pit.

nine. My classroom/kids/teacher skills. My kids are a riot. A riot that gives me a headache but their mine and I love them. And sometimes I even have a fun unique lesson idea. I try to balance all my talk of drinking and such with a little wisdom from the classroom. 
It's all about balance.

ten. Music. I love music. Pandora is basically my other lover. I have it playing on my phone at the gym, in my classroom, in the shower, when I am cleaning the house, blogging, etc. I can connect so many songs to moments in my life.

I am also a crazy person that spent nearly an hour trying to find a song I heard on pandora yesterday sung by a Ben. But I succeeded and I leave you with one of my new favorite songs. 
Perhaps first day of school song...

Linking up with Helene, Sarah and Shanna.

- The Babbling Box!

Over Planning

Two weeks from tomorrow I leave on a grand adventure to New York with my mom and sister.

It wasn't the best planned trip on my part:
one. I am poor but going to a super expensive city, makes sense right.
two. I literally am giving myself four days to 'unwind' go school clothes shopping and prepare for school starting, not smart at all.
three. I am staying in a tiny hotel room with a sister who loves to annoy my mom and a mom who doesn't drink or eat anything bad. ever. 
I probably have lost my marbles.
Did I mention I am poor?

My solution at first was to avoid thinking about the trip. 
Now that it is just a few weeks away my over planning crazy obsessive ways are hitting me full force.

I should mention that I went to New York once before when I was 19 with a college roommate, we stayed two nights in a hotel and one night in the airport. Nine years later and my money issues sure look the same. Since we were on such a short time frame I planned out our trip by the hour and printed her a copy of the itinerary.

I did mention I am crazy right. 

I have been researching fun free things we can do in New York to see the city but you able to pay rent when its over.

And then it hit me.

The best idea ever!

Since I love am obsessed with all things TV and movies, why not recreate all of the famous New York scenes. Essentially we will run around and take pictures or act out different scenes. 
Get to see the city for free, check. Get amazing hilarious pictures, check. Day drinking, check.  

The best part is my bestie is coming up from Pennsylvania to spend the day and this would be the perfect thing to do with her and my sister while my mom is in class.

So here is what I have so far!

1. Breakfast at Tiffany's. enough said. 

2. Gossip Girl - Hold court on the Met steps.

3. You've Got Mail - meet at Cafe Lola

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet at Cafe Lalo. The popular New York City cafe -- located at 83rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue -- also appears in the Bollywood film Anjaana Anjaani.

4. Home Alone 2 - act lost in the city

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) visits Radio City Music Hall during his tour of Manhattan. Radio City also appears in a bunch of movies, including "Quiz Show," "The Godfather" and "Private Parts."

5. Dark Night Rises - create a riot at Federal Hall on Wall Street

6. Friends - Monica's Apartment - join the gang


7. Seinfeld's Tom's Restaurant

8. The steps of Carrie Bradshaw's apartment.

So what else am I missing? 
If you were going to go on a movie/TV scavenger hunt in NYC what would be the place you had to see? 

Besides running around like crazy people we probably need to eat so I would love suggestions of the best places to eat in NYC!

- The Babbling Box!

Silly Lessons

This weekend was not one for the books, I had no social engagements and Mr. B worked all weekend. 

So what did I do: shopped, crafted, cooked and most likely babbled too much when Mr. B arrived home at 1:00 am each night exhausted.  
Pretty much looks like my about me section.

I also learned a few silly lessons this weekend.

Lesson One:  The mister told you so.
If you go buy a blow up pool even after the mister has asked you not to, a thunderstorm will roll in and it will rain. Perhaps I will return the pool and buy a dress or something to make myself feel better.

At the overpass to get back to my neighborhood.

Lesson Two:  Always buy double.
When working on a project it is always better to buy an extra bottle of spray paint rather than be the crazy person who goes to Walmart three days in a row just for spray paint. 
No Walmart I am not tagging buildings in Austin, I PROMISE!

Side note:  I needed a stool for my classroom like yesterday.
My laptop is hooked up to my projector basically at the back of the room if I sit there my back is to every student in the room, a big teacher no no. So I purchased a wireless keyboard and mouse but found myself sitting on my middle cabinets to use them. While this worked perfectly for the 28 year old girl who still loves to sit indian style it probably wasn't that professional. 

During my major organization of the house I realized in my guest room I have a stool that the TV that hasn't been turned on in two years is sitting on. So I decided to let the stupid TV sit on the floor and finally finish painting a stool I started painting eight years ago from Target.

I gave the stool another coat of white spray paint because I really did a half ass job the first time I tried to make this brown stool white with out sanding it.

Then I taped off a chevron pattern because it is what all the cool kids are doing these days. Plus it matches a painting in my classroom. And I sprayed that whole thing navy blue. Like five/six coats that wood was just sucking up the paint. I finished it off with a sealer because the moment it chips I will probably pout for at least an hour.

Presto Chango!

I now have a teacher stool. Which pretty much means I am legit right?!?

Lesson Three:  The Dollar Store will surprise you! 
Last year I purchased curtains and a few odds and ends for my classroom from the Dollar Store, the colors just happened to match my color scheme perfectly. On a whim this weekend I went shopping at the Dollar Store, hold your excitement, and I found a bunch of goodies all 1/2 off at the dollar store. Be still heart!

My secret to perfectly square bulletin boards, table clothes from the dollar store.

Lesson Four:  It is not smart to be 'thrifty' about buying steaks. 
I purchased some cheaper steaks from HEB to make a delicious dinner for Mr. B. 
Something that probably happens about once every month or two. They looked freaking delicious. BUT when Mr. B cut into his steak it looked like it was being held together by meat glue. 
I will just stop there so you don't end up gagging.

So pretty but after seeing the mister's steak I just couldn't eat the rest of the steaks.

Lesson Five:  Risotto is actually easier to make than I ever thought. 
That is if you bake it. I had seen a recipe for Risotto at A Beautiful Mess a few weeks ago and wanted to try it, even bought most of the ingredients but hadn't gotten around to it. I thought it would go perfectly with the steaks although I didn't have asparagus so I followed Martha Stewart's recipe and just added peas at the end. Thank goodness for the risotto or we wouldn't have had anything to eat for dinner that night. It was actually super simple and something to remember when school gets started and I get busy again.

Lesson Six:  Taco Bell food can be healthy. 
When you make it at home.
I found this recipe for their Mexican Pizza on pinterest and just had to try it out. 
It was delicious! 
A little guilty pleasure that I didn't feel too guilty about since I knew what all the ingredients were.

Mexican Pizza (way healthier than Taco Bell)

Lesson Seven: Buying magnetic tape in the children's craft section is not smart. 
I should of just gone to Hobby Lobby but I am lazy when I shop and like to go to one store. I ended up having to hot glue the tape on the back of my project and basically used a whole roll on a frame that weighs absolutely nothing. Definitely a waste of money.

I had seen this project on pinterest and knew I wanted to do it pronto.

Re-purpose a frame and make into a cute menu planner - with printables

On the link they actually have 6 different options for printables but I am a control freak and wanted something super specific. I always plan out my lunches during the school year so I wanted a printable that had space for lunches as well. 
So I just made my own. 

Here is the image that you can print out if you want to use mine. 

I have no clue how to upload the pdf here, but if you want it I could also just email it to you.

Find a cheap frame, slip the menu paper in.
Add some magnets on the back and stick that baby on your fridge.
Stand back and admire your hard work.
Easy as pie.

I love how easy it is to change my mind about my meal planning with an expo marker with an eraser on the end. The frame cost like two bucks from Walmart and even with the silly magnetic tape the total cost of the project was six bucks. My kind of project!

I am off to go get my classroom keys back and finally start pretending I have job.

Do anything exciting this weekend? Learn any good/silly lessons?

Linking up with: SamiBreCarlyLoganChristyTara and Rachel.

- The Babbling Box!