With a title like that please tell me that I am not the only one finishing that thought with...
"just when I thought I said all I could say, 
my chick on the side says she got one on the way, 
these are my confessions..."

No just me? Whatever.

I confess...

.I have completely jumped over the no credit card goal this month and am swimming so far on the other side that I don't even see the goal. I want to blame the Chicago trip next week and all of the 'events' we have to attend, but really I just have problems.

But seriously how cute is this dress for the rehearsal dinner?!? 
This was a need not a want.

.I am crazy. Are you questioning me? I have purchased 5...not two or three but FIVE dresses for said wedding. And I am still contemplating purchasing a few more cause...crazy...enough said.

.I hate all of the dresses I purchased. Actually, I like a different dress on any given day so its not really hatred but indecisiveness. Different word, same meaning.

.I hate wearing heels because it makes me taller than the mister, which makes me incredible self conscious. Hence I am only searching for maxi dresses that I can wear cute flip flops with and not look out of place.

.The wedding location might be fancier than any place I have ever attended, I have started using the term know middle class with a little trashy thrown in to describe myself.

.I am leaving my dress choice up to fellow bloggers cause all good decisions start and end here.

.I haven't been to the gym all week so I surely will not look bloated in whichever dress you choose, or maybe I will cleanse next week. I have counted the six plus miles I walked during state testing as my workout though, so there is that. Let's be real choose a dress to hide the bloat pretty pretty please.

Without further ado, the dress options...cause I am sure you have been holding your breathe...

.I love 90's music something strong and have been listening to this video picking out as many 90's songs as I can identify:

I offer you this as a form of payment for browsing and commenting on which dress I should keep and the ridiculous amount I need to find some time to return this weekend....after I buy shoes and jewelry...priorities people!

- The Babbling Box! 

Talkin' Money

"if you ain't talkin' money, I don't wanna talk"

The irony of the fact that I am responsible for teaching my students about financial responsibility is never lost on me.

I didn't start a true budget until about three years ago. I think credit cards are tomorrow's problems. And college loans are just there to be chipped away slowly over 20 years, knowing the running balance isn't all that important.

But alas the great state of Texas has deemed me the best of the best to teach middle schoolers how to be financial responsible. Yikes...aka...sorry future America.

Talking about money is difficult for my students...and most people really...but it is hard for them to realize that in a few short years they will be dealing with it all on their own with no do overs. 
And middle schoolers love do overs.

I pretty much run two different projects for my different preps...I get a lot of repeat students so I need two different projects.

Project One - The Dream Room Project - Students have a budget of $5000.00 to purchase everything they will need to furnish and live in a house. They can not spend a penny more or less. They track all of their purchases in a publisher document and take pictures of the items they are purchasing in order to set up a floor plan of their dream house. I also require them to find a house or apartment, no budget required. 

I have tweaked this project over the last three years and regardless of the class size, age group or demographic I generally have a great amount of participation as they really enjoy looking at houses and furniture. Especially if its Versace!

Project Two - The Game of Life - Students have to choose a career, determine taxes, calculate costs of college and loan payments, purchase a house, calculate loans, purchase a car, calculate loans and then set up a monthly budget. There is so much math in this project!

This year I am throwing some real life problems in the mix: losing your job, marriage, kids and all of the expenses that come with the big life changes that happen. 

All loans, scholarships, down payments and life changes are all done by chance: a student draws a card at random to determine what life is throwing their way.

The students enjoy looking at houses and cars and suddenly all of my life changes have them on their toes...which keeps me mildly entertained.

While running these two projects run I use a bunch of websites to assist both me and my students in learning about the financial skills they will need in their futures.  - For kids, teens, parents and teachers this website has great resources and activities for students to be more hands on, like writing a check or calculating interest on credit card purchases - This website has a bit of everything including lessons for educators. My favorite section are the games though because...students love games...DUH! - Financial Football is one of the most interactive games from the website for my students, or/and the financial socceer, the questions can be tailored to your students age groups. - This Avengers Comic Book focuses on learning how to save money and saving the day! - This site is for middle school and high school: you set up an account and then upload your students and assign them specific modules that you want them to listen to. The modules can be read or there is audio for the students to listen to, perfect for your LEP's, and then they anwser questions as they move through the module. There is math involved, which I am not going to lie my students HATE! You can assign as many modules as you want and the system grades the student with topics ranging from credit cards, savings and credit ratings there are topics to fit all of the financial objectives. - This site is my newest find and I have been loving it!

As the teacher all you have to do is set up the class and provide the students a class code and they set up their own account, which I love. The students choose missions to complete and they are awarded points for how well they solve the mission. It is all very video game like which has been highly engaging for my students. 

And the nice thing about the points is we currently have a little competition going and the top 12 students with the highest score in each class will get to choose their partner for the final the competition is on!

While talking about money might not be the most glamours topic to middle schoolers, I feel like with the help of an over the top project, fun engaging websites that contain games and websites written in teen like language these units fly by!

And every so often a student walks away with a real life skill that will help them later on in life...crazy talk!

How do you teach your students real life or everyday skills?

- The Babbling Box!

What's Really Important?

I have this horrible tendency to focus on being perfect or portraying the put together woman that I should be...ere think I should be.

Every weekend I make this ridiculously long to do list and bust my butt to complete each and every item. If guests are coming I scrub the house from top to bottom...and generally even when guests aren't coming...lay out the towels perfectly folded and hell if it wasn't too weird I I would probably put mints on the pillows.

I lay out outfits every Sunday so I will look as put together as I can come Monday, I paint my nails, pack a workout bag, pack a lunch bag, tackle the laundry and iron the mountain of clothes because dry cleaning doesn't fit in the budget. Put together a menu, grocery list and grocery shop. Basically I spend 48 hours running around like a crazy person in the hopes of being ready to tackle the next week.

I learned this crazy process from my parents: weekends were spent doing laundry, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and cooking. I never really saw my parents enjoying themselves, each other or life.

But what's the cost?

My parents ended a very unhappy marriage after eighteen years of 'the rat race' and while there problems were probably bigger than working to be perfect, it probably was a factor.

What's my point here...good question...

Last Friday and Saturday I spent most of my free time prepping for a garage sale and we hit our target goal and then doubled it. Bonus we got rid of all of the big furniture items we needed to get rid of. Double win.

So just like any other weekend I made my to do list and tried to shove it all into Sunday and around 2:00 I just quit. 

Was I just taking care of things or was I taking care of myself?

Instead of worrying about my to do list I decided to do a few things that would make me happy and instead of the endless exhaustion and stress I had been feeling lately I suddenly was feeling a little lighter. Crazy right?

.Bubble baths. 
A glass of wine doesn't hurt either!

.Spend money when it makes sense. 
Take the clothes to the dry cleaners every once in a while, it won't kill the budget. 

.Read a Book. 
I have read 3 books this past week...yes they are cheesy romantic books but I love them so what?!?

Get a Hobby. 
Painting is mine, definitely something I plan to pick back up after we move.

Quick and Healthy Meals. 
Stop trying to make elaborate meals if you don't have the time, keep a few healthy frozen meals in the fridge just in case.

I have doing these two yoga routines from Tone It Up on repeat lately: one and two.

Yes you have a budget but that doesn't mean you can't treat yourself every once in a while.

.Special Beauty Routines. 
Scrub your legs, holy crap they will feel amazing after this. Scrub your face. Coconut oil your hair, so soft and worth it.

Quality Time.
Put the phone away some nights and enjoy your loved ones company. Skype with your bestie even when you should be *insert chore. Grab a glass of a wine with a friend and just relax together.

Keep the to do list short and sweet. 
Adding more than five things a night to my to do list is unrealistic and unhealthy, figure out what works for you!

How do you take care of yourself?

- The Babbling Box!

Getting Drunk Off HGTV

It's official!

The mister and I have a place to live and will in fact not be living in my I previously discussed.

I have exactly zero pictures to show you because:
.the mister actually gets a lunch break to do 'productive' things and I don't
.I actually get off of work before every office closes but the mister doesn't
.we did not take a tour of the grounds
.the apartment we saw was not the floor plan we decided on...please explain to my how it makes sense to put the sink in the bedroom with no door...
.all of our lease paperwork was done online so technically until we need the key we have no reason to stop by for anything

So I can promise you this: I am crossing every finger possible that we don't end up in a whore house...or worse! But hey considering it was only a hundred bucks over our budget beggars can't be choosers.

This gif has nothing to do with this post but it has Timothy Olyphant in it so I call it a win!

Some very exciting facts about the complex...besides the possibility of whores...
.it is 3 miles away from my school...and this includes no freeway driving
.there is a pool! My students most likely live there so I will have the pleasure of hanging out at the pool with them this summer
.there is an HEB Plus at the light to turn onto my currently takes me a good 20-30 minutes to get to a grocery store...but my students shop there
.there is a Planet Fitness at the light as well...that my students frequent

I was feeling a little melancholy about saying goodbye to my 8th graders at the end of the school year but it looks like I will be getting even more quality time with them...a teachers dream!

Not afraid to admit that I am a little scared to run into the students in gangs though...they scare the shit out of me during school hours when I am supposed to be pleasant to everyone...running into them in a dark parking lot not really my dream come true.

Either way we have a place to live: focusing on the positive!

Between the idea of decorating a new place, endless talks of buying a house and then apartment hunting my typical ridiculous obsession of all things HGTV has reached epic proportions. Screw cleaning off my DVR I want all things HGTV at all hours of the day. And because my sister knows me so well she sent me this pin on pinterest this evening I couldn't resist slapping it in this blog post...cause a good blog post has to have pictures...

HouseHuntersDrinkingGame.jpg (625×1564)
The link from pinterest sends me to a bad link but I would love to give credit to whomever made this because it is straight up genius!

I can tell you that if anyone was apartment hunting with us and playing this game they would be trashed...or perhaps not everyone has my tolerance...

Which items would you guess we said while apartment looking?
Are you guilty of any of these HGTV sayings?

Linking up with Shanna.

- The Babbling Box!

Currently: April

It's time for April's Currently with Farley and considering its already the 9th I figured I would be in the 500's so 293 ain't too shabby. not one bit. 

Listening: Dallas is a pretty awesome TV my opinion...but for some reason I have backed up a bit on watching this season. Along with Justified. Hart of Dixie. And a few other shows. Our DVR box has over 50 shows on it currently...first world problems...and considering we are stuck changing cable providers when we move we need to clear off our DVR box. 

Loving: My classroom dynamics right now are downright amazing. There is something about this time of year when we have settled into our grooves that my eighth graders and I just click. Don't get me wrong I have a class that definitely challenges me, but one out of six ain't bad. I was watching my students today as they diligently worked on HTML coding, making website banners and image mapping I was downright giddy with how far they have come and how much more challenging I have been able to make my class. 

As one of my third period students sought out his endless need for praise today, I was reminded how much I will miss him challenging each and every thing I say. As one of my fifth period students mocked me, then followed it up with...I love you miss...I realized how much I will miss his quirky sense of humor. And then their is my homeroom class...and I probably will just cry big ugly tears once they all get promoted to high school.

This is my first group of students to watch go from 6th graders to 8th graders and I feel invested in them and as we start the final countdown until the last day of school I am realizing just how important they really have become in my life. I am ending the mush now...but be warned there will probably be more to come as we inch towards the finish line.

Thinking: So our homeroom class is used for social and emotional building. It's something our students desperately need BUT it can be difficult to have them see the importance in the topics or lessons. This week's topic is Drug and Alcohol Abuse...and I was informed around 3rd period today so I had zero time to prep. 

There is a fine line between having a 'real' conversation and judging choices. We are told to avoid personal stories BUT the only other option is to just read the script we are provided which seems so cold and really doesn't impact them one bit. So I can't stop thinking what I can do to generate a real and meaningful conversation tomorrow during homeroom. Honestly I might feel more comfortable having the sex talk with them.

Wanting: Stamina...go ahead and get your head out of the gutter...I have been participating in Erin's #1800minutechallenge and my love for competition has my head in the game when it comes to going to the gym after work. But I am so over feeling like I am going to black out mid work out. 

I get to the gym pumped up...cause really just pulling into the parking lot feels like a win...and get my tunes jamming, I knock out the first 10 or so minutes with 60 or so flights of stairs...

and then I lose my mojo and seriously start seeing stars. My body basically thinks its dying. 

I am trying to determine if I am not eating the right thing before a work out or I am just so out of shape that my body really is just revolting. 

Needing: A girl day. Dying my hair. Doing my nails. Laying in the bubble bath with a glass of wine and a good book. Skyping with the bestie. A girl day plain and simple is something I am trying to desperately to pencil in between planning a garage sale, a trip to Chicago and a move.

Hours and Last Day: Our contract hours are 7:45-3:45 and every Thursday we are required to stay for meetings until close to 5:00. If I am honest I can probably count the times I have left at 3:45 on one hand...before you start feeling sorry for me...I can also tell you that unless I have morning duty I generally role in around 8:00. Our last day with students is June 5th, we are required to attend our last staff meeting June 8:00 am...the cruelty in that is unreal. And summer school starts June no rest for the wicked.

- The Babbling Box!

I'm Just Going To Live In My Classroom...

Every Monday during 3rd period my students ask me how my weekend was and I do the same. And yesterday I was incredible happy to return to my students, because I was NOT looking at apartments. If you follow me on know how well that went. So as I mentioned that apartment looking was exhausting and we were no closer to finding a place then we were on Friday. One of my students told me I should just move into my classroom...

you know section off a portion of the room and just live there...

and really if it weren't for the dirty boy smell, the need to shower occasionally and of course the was a genius plan.

Because here is how apartment looking went over the last 48 hours:

.the mister called over 12 apartments bright and early Saturday morning...aka...after a long night of drinking and betting on Turtle Races...just a normal Friday night.

But I went apartment looking anyways.

.we were left with two apartments to tour. Apparently it is common practice to not answer your phone, lie on your website and think we are 'hilarious' for just now looking for an apartment...60 days before we move. Customer service my a**!

.we stopped by a place I was lusting after to be told: the rent was $200 over our budget and if we didn't sign now we probably wouldn't get the only apartment they had available. But best of luck!

.we went to the second place and my reaction was pretty very quickly...anywhere but here...

.we saw a third place that looked amazingish...of course I can only tell you what their office looked like because they had no 'available' units to even show us an apartment. I could never determine if they were being honest about the come back later on in the week or just too lazy to get up.

There website advertised well...rock climbing wall, organic garden, hammocks by the pool, totally renovated. Then I broke the cardinal rule...never read apartment ratings...but I did and I read a lot about roaches, more roaches, saw pictures of mold and then there were the bats...oh the bats...

.we sped by another place. When I say sped, I mean we saw the place and literally feared for our lives and sped away. 

We would have stood out more than much more than this...

.we went to one final place hoping for a tour. Instead we waited close to 30 minutes while the woman in front of us explained her cps case to the apartment complex. While waiting we got to see 'the sights' a very odd cement shaped patio with no patio furniture, followed by the drained swimming pool and rounded out by a woman dumping dirty dish washer over her balcony. Needless to say we stopped waiting and just left.

At that point we stopped the apartment looking and just went to The Tavern. The Tavern was having their 80th birthday so they had 80 cent Fireball shots and 80 cent Tecates...basically the cure to all failed apartment looking.

We also ventured out on Sunday, but no story was really worth retelling. 

As of now we have: living in my classroom, having bats as pets or possibly getting mugged or robbed. So I am pretty sure living in my classroom is the winning option right now. The struggle is real guys...real.

So how exciting was your weekend?

- The Babbling Box!

04/2014 Goals

It's that time of the month again, time to do a little goal setting and perhaps actually keep a few more of them this month...a novel idea. 

Before we dig into April Goals I figured we should recap on my March goals, despite falling off the wagon on some of my more important goals I am not beating myself one bit. not one bit at all. Because the whole point of monthly goals is each month offers a fresh start, a chance to revise goals that aren't working and make small lifestyle changes in order to accomplish the things that are important to me.

March Goals:

one. Gym goals: two days of cardio, one day of weight training and one day of ball rolling.  Fail. I went to the gym 7 times the entire month.
two. Save money for Chicago. Fail. No money saved and I had to use a credit card to buy a dress for the wedding.
three. Beg or bug someone until I get a paycheck for my Robotics Competition...from December. Mild success, technically I finally got the signed paperwork today so tomorrow's plan is to drop it off at the downtown office.
four. Be more in the moment in the classroom with the students and less worried about admin responsibilities. Not really sure where this goal falls, perhaps it needs to be reworded.
five. Upload two new items to TPT. Success.
six. Refresh some of the pictures on Poshmark site. Success.
seven. Comment at least five times a week on other blogs. Major fail.
eight. Blog at least 3 times a week. Major fail.
nine. Finalize our living situation, 60 day notice must be given by the first day of April. Success, now to find a place to live.
ten. Set up at least two different social outings with friends. Success.
eleven. Call, close and cut up three credit cards. Mild Success, two out of three done, and one more will be done this week.
twelve. Make a dentist and doctor's appointment. Mild Success, doctors appointment scheduled but haven't even tried to located a dentist.
thirteen. Purchase and mail the bestie's bday present. Success.
fourteen. Finish and hang the dart board taking up half of my living room. Fail, another project started and left unfinished.
fifteen. Continue taking two nights off of drinking a week. Major fail.
sixteen. Plan something special for the our anniversary. Major fail.

Whew. Perhaps sixteen goals were a few too many and/or perhaps Spring Break killed my motivation to get anything accomplished. Shrug, good thing April is a new month

one. I am participating in Erin's #1800minutechallenge with over 900 other bloggers, the goal is to log at least 1800 minutes of activity from April 1st to May 31st. Not only do I have a nice little spreadsheet to log my workouts but I am nothing if not competitive so hopefully this helps my workout goals more this month. My goal should be to log at least half of my minutes in April in order to stay on track.

two. No credit card purchases.

three. Blog once a week, this month will be busy so I making my priority working out and not blogging.

four. Respond to all blog comments by the end of the week.

five. Find a place to live, sign paperwork and book the movers.

six. Go through the rest of the house, pull out items for garage sale and price items for garage sale. I have never done my own garage sale, is it wise to price items?

seven. Plan all outfits for Chicago and purchase accessories, shoes and makeup bag by the 20th. Send back whichever dress I won't wear to the wedding...because normal people buy three dresses for one day.

eight. Pack for Chicago. I always wait until the last minute and throw it all in a bag and hate myself later when I end up with eight pair of shoes and one pair of pants.

nine. Get ahead in lesson planning and grading so that when I miss three days of school I don't hate myself...refuse to go back to that mess...cry!

ten. Tackle one project at a time, one week at a time. I have a large problem with allowing too many to do's overwhelm me and with so much going on over the next six weeks I need to focus on one item at a time. Or else I will end up curled in a hole on my couch chugging wine and refusing to pack for anything.

So now its your turn to join the party! The rules are simple, cause there really aren't any, write out your April goals, grab the button and then link up to the party.