Classroom Tested Resources Blog Launch

Lots of fun stuff keeping me busy this week! You may have noticed things are looking different around here and I am just so thrilled about the new look! Celebration plans are in the works, but today we've got something else to celebrate!  

Today is the launch of a brand new collaborative blog, Classroom Tested Resources. I am joining with 30 elementary teacher bloggers who will be bringing you daily posts with all sorts of tips, ideas and resources to use in your classrooms.   

We are kicking it off with a fantastic giveaway you do not want to miss. We are giving away THREE Teacher Swag Bags filled with some of our favorite things!

Be sure to stop by and check out the blog and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Hunger Games Party

I have always loved to throw parties.  My son's birthdays have been a fantastic creative outlet for me. Over the years we have done Toy Story, Cars, LEGO, Harry Potter, and more. This year I got have some fun with The Hunger Games!  I remember party planning in the days before Pinterest, and while always fun it was so much more time consuming!   This year my time was limited, but Pinterest did not fail. Take a look at some the great idea I found.  

There are tons of FREE printables from the Hostess with the Mostess out there to help you with your party decor.  I used this fabulous label to decorate and assortment of appetizers from the Mellark Bakery.  They included: "Peeta Chips", "Peeta Bread" , along with some other assorted artisan breads you  might find at the Mellark Bakery.

The party food was basically a big play on names from the books. Little "Ceasar's Flickerman's" pizza was too easy for 12 hungry teenagers. 

Thanks go to the Pillsbury Dough Boy for these "Cinna Buns".  

I found the idea for President Snow brownies and then decided to kick it up a bit using a Wilton cookie mold to add the white chocolate roses. 

In past years I have always spent quite a bit of time on the birthday cakes.  I usually use this recipe for marshmallow fondant and try to create something simple to match the theme. Maybe I will do a cake post some day....but y'all probably don't want to see my Tardis cake fail.  Anyhow, there was simply no time for such endeavors this year. So between Pinterest and my good friend Carolyn who owns the Cookies in Bloom in town, these are the fabulous cookies we served instead of cake.  I just love how they turned out!

Party games are my thing. I love coming up with fun activities tied to a theme.  Must be the teacher in me.  However, I am not completely out of touch with the teenage scene and I knew that games are not really their thing.  Eating, swimming, and movie watching are more their speed, but I did manage to sneak in one trivia quiz.  It helps that almost all of the kids attending are big readers and love the series. So I modified this quiz from The Data Divas for the guests to complete as they arrived.  Then, before watching the movie we had our own "reaping" to select tributes.  For each correct answer the guests had to put their names in the reaping jar.  We then selected one boy and one girl tribute and they were immediately given this parachute from a very special sponsor.  President Snow himself gave them gift cards to our very popular snow cone shop Bahama Bucks!  By the way if you have never had Bahama Bucks you are missing out on the best snow cones E.V.E.R.

I used a black table cloth, red and orange plates, and yellow napkins from the party store along with some more FREE printables Living Locurto and some metallic curling ribbon to decorate the table. The finishing touch was a single long stem white rose.  

And because this was really a teenage pool party with food and movies that I put to a theme because I just can't help myself, the invite was simply a picture text that my son sent out in a group message to his friends.

This truly was one of the easier parties that I have thrown and I could not have done it without Pinterest and other fabulous blogger party planners who have come up with so many creative ideas on this theme.  I have a small Pinterest board with some of the best resources I found, but there are plenty more to be found.  We love this series so much we may just have to throw another party when the next movie comes out! 

Check out my Hunger Games Party Pinterest Board for more great ideas.

Follow Mom2punkerdoo's board Hunger Games Party on Pinterest.

March Pinterest Pick 3

I know February is a short month, but seriously, where did it go?  It's time already for another link up with  PAWSitively Teaching and The Inspired Owl's Corner for the March Pinterest Pick 3 Party! It's March, so it's all about green! My favorite color! Be sure to check out my St. Patrick's Day Fun board on Pinterest for additional fun ideas to do this month.

Follow Mom2punkerdoo's board St. Patrick's Day Fun! on Pinterest.

Art: How to Draw a Shamrock

If you've stopped by before you know I am a fan of directed draws. Here is another simple one for some Shamrocks.

How to draw & paint shamrocks - good simple instruction for the kids - would make nice greeting cards for St Patrick's Day.  From Art Projects For Kids.
Click to see this pin!

Say Cheese: Photobooth Fun

Photo booth props are so fun and these are FREE!  Have a little St. Patrick's Day fun sporting your green top hat and bow tie!  Don't forget to say "cheese"! 
Free St. Patrick's Day Photo Booth Printables from The Dating Divas #stpatricksday #funeducation
Click to see this pin!

Keepsake: Handprint Shamrock

How stinking cute is this?  What an adorable keepsake and so simple too! Green paint, some sort of paper or canvas, handprint....done! 
St. Patricks Day Handprint Four Leaf Lucky Clovers. Click for 10 More Easy St. Patrick's Day Crafts!
Click to see this pin!

My Whole 30 Experiment

We did it!  30 days of

  • NO SUGAR  (of any kind, natural, stevia, honey...nada, none, zero, zip)
  • NO ALCOHOL (the hardest part for me)

The Why:
Well for starters, we'd packed some on in 2014 and we needed to start losing some of it quick. Hearing about all the benefits some have found by trying The Whole30 and having a good friend say, "You can do anything for 30 days!" we thought we'd give it a shot.  

The Scoop: 
The truth of it for us is the shopping, cooking and cleaning were truly the hardest part of the past 30 days.  You should know that the kitchen and I are NOT friends.  It's almost too embarrassing to confess how poor of a relationship I have with my kitchen appliances.  They are likely in a state of shock after this month.  As a matter of fact, half way through the month I had to call and oven repairman because all but one of the buttons on my oven stopped working.  No joke!

The second hardest part for me was no adult beverages.  I am one of those type A, high anxiety, high manufactured stress kinda gals who likes to relax in the evenings every now and then with a drink. Sipping my hot tea on Friday and Saturday nights was more than a little difficult.

The Running: 
Sucked.  Sorry there is no other way to put it.  I seriously could not believe how much this way of eating completely tanked my running.  Killed it dead.  I was almost 3 weeks before I could get back to completing a decent run without needing to walk.  Even when I was finally able to finish a 7 mile long run, my already slower than slow pace was a full minute slower per mile! UGH! It did not help that I am training for a half marathon in April and was really need to up my mileage.  Hopefully I can recover the lost miles quickly.  

The Biggest Accomplishment: 
We did not eat out ONE single meal for 30 days! Seriously, this is HUGE for us.  I honestly don't think I can remember at time when we have gone more than a week without eating out let alone and entire month.  Certainly not in the last 20 years! It was not easy.  Just so you know you can eat out and still stay true to the Whole30 we just decided it was too much work to figure out and that we might as well just do it ourselves.  After all, we can do anything for 30 days, Right????

The Results: 
Yes, the weight is coming off.  How much? No clue.  After way too many years of paying too much attention to the scale, I no longer get on it.  I use how I look and my clothes as a judge.  Clothes are fitting much there you go.  My skin does feel better, my nails seem to be growing faster, and while I don't feel like the energizer bunny I am not as bone dead tired at the end of the day as I had been.  I was hoping for a few more miracles and it's possible I need to keep it up for a little while longer to truly see more  improvement.

What Now: 
Not entirely sure yet.  My husband still has some more weight he wants to take off and I would be happy to do that too.  I think we will likely continue to eat this way for awhile longer and then play around with what we can add  back in moderation without going off the rails too much. We shall see!

Have you done a Whole30 yet?  What was your experience?