Tag Archives: organization

My new(ish) job and random junk from my brain.

23 Jul

In my last post, I told you that I’ve changed jobs. Well, I feel like I’ve been thrown into a new world. I’ve been either owning or managing a coffee shop for so long, that I didn’t realize what else I was capable of. Last year, I just had this feeling like I needed more. I didn’t quite understand what it was that I was looking for, only that I was so completely restless and had no idea why. I did know that I needed more of a steady income than the coffee shop was providing, especially with my oldest starting college and my son getting braces. So this started my job search.

Let me just tell you something about looking for a job…..for most of us it sucks! It is probably one of the most humbling, nerve-wracking things I’ve done. It basically makes you confront your insecurities while realizing that the ability to drink a whole pot of coffee in an hour is not really a transferable job skill. Whatever.

Anyway, fast forward to January of this year when I started my new job as a librarian at my local city school system. Actually my job title when I started is LRC tech and now it is something else, but at the heart of it I’m a librarian who will be integrating technology into our lessons. I know a lot of people think that because children are introduced to smart phones and tablets that they have computer skills and know how to properly use technology. Nope. I was actually surprised at how many times I had to show kids where the back button was. My kiddos are 3rd – 5th grade and most of them know enough to navigate the computer to play games but when it came to typing, research, knowing which information is accurate, which sites are safe or even the right way to shut down a computer I realized we have a lot of work to do. Fortunately for me, I love technology as much as I love reading so this is a good fit for me.

I came into this job in the middle of the school year after taking over for a substitute. The first few weeks for me were completely frantic and I was like a deer caught in the headlights but I kind of fell into some sort of rhythm with help from all my new coworkers ❤ ❤ ❤

I will say that much of my challenge is classroom management, but I just need to keep working at it. I’m so against the library being completely quiet and regimented….I want kids to learn, but I don’t see why we can’t have some fun too. I realize in order to do that, the kids need to have routine and structure so they know what to expect every time they come in. I’m looking into setting up centers so they are broken up into groups and not all expected to focus on the same thing. This could either be one of my best ideas, or total disaster. Half the fun is finding out….right?

Somewhere over the last month or so of the school year, I came down with mono. Which to me is crazy but I guess working around so many kids and picking up every germ possible weakened my immune system. This was kind of a bummer way to start out my summer break, but it has kind of forced me to take it easy and rest….two things I don’t do very well. During all my down time, Pinterest became a valuable resource for me….I’ve had so many ideas swirling around in my brain and I was able to organize them and come back to them later.

Also, my awesome sis in law, who is a teacher, introduced me to a site called Teachers Pay Teachers .I’ve only just begun to explore it, but there are lots of free resources and great ideas! I just downloaded this free printable and can’t wait to print, laminate and hang them up.

I’m hoping to at least write on here once a week….I find that I’m more productive and focused when I sit down and write some of whats in my head. That way some of the junk can spill out and make room for other junk. 🙂 Feel free to join me and make suggestions or post any helpful tips. I can use all the help I can get!

 

I have kitchen ADD

20 Sep

Yesterday I spent my whole day in the kitchen……and not in the fun way (eating cookies and drinking coffee) – the whole day!!  I guess it will be worth it…hopefully. I wanted to make dinners for a week ahead of time so I opened the fridge and cue horror music.

So this is how my thought process went: Have to make food….can’t make food because fridge is gross….have to clean fridge….can’t clean fridge out because dirty dishes in sink…..have to do dishes….put them away….clean counters…..then clean fridge, put it back and organize. Now I can make food….I wish I had a bigger fridge.

Trust me, it was worse than it looks. Never mind…it looks pretty bad.

Don’t judge me. 🙂

See how easy it is to get to the margaritas now?

I was finally ready so I found a recipe for spaghetti sauce and went to work….about 5 minutes in, I remembered that I hated recipes and measuring and just started throwing stuff in. I highly encourage you guys to do this…..cooking is so much more fun when there aren’t restrictions and you can just be creative. I find that doing it this way helps you figure out what works in a recipe and what doesn’t. I know that this way of cooking isn’t for everyone, but you should give it a try just once. Oh and I just want to add that I NEVER make my own sauce…..if we want spaghetti I go to the store, buy a jar , add some diced tomatoes and spices and I’m done. But since I’m trying to cook ahead , homemade just made more sense. Ok so sauce on the stove and then its time to get the meat out.

Let me start by saying that I had this great plan…..I saved all these recipes on Pinterest for freezer meals and the plan was to put meals together in the freezer bags. Again, this did not work for me….it was way to confusing to figure out what you could freeze and how, and putting the raw meat with the veggies kinda of freaked me out. So I decided to separate the meat I bought into different freezer bags so I can just pull them out, defrost and stick in crock pot or oven. I put BBQ in with some of the meat and the rest I left unseasoned because I’m not sure how I will use it yet.  I bought pork chops, country style ribs and chicken drumsticks. I have no idea how to pick out meat but I’m learning. I really tried to plan meals ahead of time and make a grocery list, but I didn’t like that. I went to the store, found the meat that looked good and was a decent price and then planned around that. From the meat, I was able to get 6 dinners for 5-7 people (sometimes my sis and nephew eat with us) for $30….not too bad. Much better than eating out, thats for sure.

I’m sure there are better ways of freezing and stacking, but right now I’m just glad its done!

The rest of the week I will post recipes for spaghetti sauce, baked mac and cheese(no Velveeta! ), waffle mix from scratch and some sort of cookie- if I can get it together to make them!

I almost forgot, here is a site you guys HAVE to check out….she has everything from recipes to homemade laundry detergent to crafts to everything! I promise that you will thank me later……there are some really great ideas on there. In fact that’s what motivated me to clean my fridge(other than the nastiness).

My chalkboard paint obsession (before and after pics!!)

14 Sep

I jumped on the chalkboard paint bandwagon….then it ran me over, backed up and then ran me over again. My brain could not stop thinking of new ways for me to use this stuff! I’m taking a break from it because not only am I covered in this black mess, but if I don’t stop I will end up chalk boarding the refrigerator and I just can’t come back from that.

I kept seeing all these cute ideas with the chalkboard paint all over Pinterest but I was holding off trying it. Mostly because I didn’t think my kitchen would look good with it – I don’t have a pantry, my cupboards are plain and I didn’t have any glass jars. Then I got over it. My kitchen wasn’t going to look any better with me sitting there complaining so I bought some paint, found some glass jars at the dollar store and went to work. Let me give you a tip though -if you are going to fill your jars first and then paint them, please label the contents with something that won’t rub off easily. I recommend using post it notes. Unfortunately I learned this the hard way and my first batch of cookies were very salty!!

I started off by taping off a square on the jars and trying to get it perfect…..that lasted 3 seconds. I can’t stand taping and I didn’t want them to have exact edges anyway. I just grabbed a foam brush and started painting freehand. Much easier! I had to do 2-3 coats a jar and wait 24 hours before they were ready. I then took a piece of chalk and rubbed it on the whole area, wiped it off and then wrote the labels.

I can’t even believe I’m showing you guys the before picture…..the first picture is what the kitchen looked like when we first moved in. Carpet on floor, sea foam green laminate counters, and “lovely” wood cabinets. This was right before I painted the cupboards so there is stuff just thrown everywhere.

The second picture is a couple years ago after I painted…..sorry about the messy counter, I couldn’t find any other pics right now, but you get the idea. I was trying to use baskets as food storage, but that ended up a disaster because everything would get thrown in them and it would be a mess.

The last picture was taken this morning…..I would like to say that I’m done, but I know myself and I’m sure this is just the beginning. And I may have painted a few other things….like the inside cabinets, and my oil & vinegar bottles, and well thats all for another day.

Total cost for the paint & jars : $26.00. Pretty good price for something that makes my kitchen look better and eliminates bags of flour falling out of the cupboard….not that I know anything about that. Some of the stuff I had and some of it I got at the thrift store and dollar store.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to draw on that area under the cupboards where the jars are but I’m sure I will think of something:)

I’m addicted.

13 Sep

As I sit here typing with chalkboard paint all over my hands, I’m reminded of an episode of How I Met Your Mother when they did the interventions……more specifically the intervention with Marshall when he makes a whole bunch of graphs and then graphs about his graphs. I poured chalkboard paint in a glass jar, painted it with chalkboard paint with the intention of labeling it chalkboard paint. I need someone to stop me…..I keep finding more things to paint. Help me.

 

Before and after pictures to come soon…..as soon as I find the camera. Maybe I should paint a label on a drawer to put it in. Seriously, someone help me.