BYOF at the Straits Wine Company (East Coast)

I love the east. I've lived in Katong, Siglap, and now Mountbatten.. It's the best area on the island, I swear - this Katong kia stands her ground!

I also love wine. (Shocker?)
So when I found out that this non-descript wine shop along East Coast Road has a second floor dining/chilling/lazing area and that we can (i) buy a bottle of wine at retail price; (ii) lounge on the nice sofas to drink the wine on-site and (iii) GET THIS - tabao food from any of the food outlets and eat there, I knew I had found a new favourite hangout.

That location is superb for BYOF-ing! There's tze char from my eat-since-young Sin Hoi Shan restaurant and Boon Tong Kee just across the road, this Beijing dumpling place down the road and SO MUCH MORE... 

In the end, we settled (no pain in that) for tze char and a lovely bottle of $60 burgundy white (I don't remember because I was too happy drinking).

I can totally see myself returning here again - hmm need to do some homework on what wine goes with chilli crab *rubs hands in glee*

They have loads of wine magazines for browsing. Impressed with the setup!

Make Me Over!

I am a mummy in desperate need of a makeover! Dont get me wrong, i'm not all grungy and slovenly or anything, i'm just really tired of being the mum who throws her hair back in a ponytail everyday. Its not because i dont have time to do my hair ( though, of course, that may change a little when Miss Jelly finally arrives.... ) - even on days when i have hours to do my hair i still throw it up in a ponytail or a bun 99% of the time.

Not that there is anything wrong with a ponytail mind you - its just that since finding out i'm having a girl i've had this idea in my mind that i need to embrace my femininity more. Like if i'm going to be raising a girl, and being an example of womanhood to her, it might be nice to make just a bit more effort than i do now. Not that i want to be one of these mums you see out who have perfectly coiffed hair and a perfectly made up face either ( hell, we all know they did not just wake up like that, and frankly i do not have an hour or two to devote to my hair and makeup ). I just want something relatively easy, but not as lazy as a ponytail everyday.
Maybe something like these cool mums....

So - i've decided the only way to force myself to make more of an effort is to cut my hair. I'm thinking i'm going to go for a bit of a choppy bob ( which i've had before, when growing out a pixie cut ) . I'll have to make an extra 10 minutes in my morning to straighten it, but i can always pin pieces back, or wear a headband or scarf, or leave it wavy to have different looks. I've booked myself a hair appointment for Saturday of the long weekend ( so i can be nice and new for my school reunion drinks that evening! ) so i have a week and bit left to ponder it some more and make the final decision.

So - is it just me or did anyone else out there feel like they needed/wanted to embrace their feminine side more when they found themselves with a daughter?

PKNA Special 2000 - Super

PKNA Special 2000 - Super

Oh man, I DO love special issues. Because those are the ones that I've never read before.

Banker is my god. And with this, there's now only five issues remaining of the PKNA series.

I Want to be a Domesticated Goddess (Part 4)

An occasion to cook for my family- my dear Sis' Susan's birthday! Look Ma, I can cook!

I think my mum was very proud of me tonight - it's the first time I've seen her whip out her phone to take a food picture - she took about 4 (?) from all angles :p

My dear nephews love pasta so this time, I attempted making aglio olio. Granted, it's a simple dish but hey, to do it well takes some kungfu ok.. I did intensive research on this one, combined the best of the recipes I found online and tweaked the recipe abit for more omphm.

Yes, I should never open a restaurant because I will be making losses from being  too generous with the prawns. They were fresh and sweet, but it sure wasn't a cheap dinner, this one.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS! I love you for the wonderful (dare I say nurturing) person you are, how you stood by me through my "wildchild" years, gave me a roof over my head when I first moved back home... You are the perfect sister and I will always cherish our bond.


Ok, enough public display of affection. Here's the recipe:

Serves 5

Spicy shrimp:
1 kg jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoon crushed chili padi
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
Coarse salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Aglio Olio:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (100g) tin anchovy fillets
6 to 8 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 teaspoon crushed chili padi
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls
Coarse salt
500ml spaghetti, cooked to al dente

Combine shrimp with next 6 ingredients and toss to coat shrimp evenly. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, then add half of the shrimp. Cook shrimp 3 minutes until pink and just firm. Remove shrimp to a warm platter and repeat process with remaining shrimp.

Return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add anchovies, garlic, and pepper flakes to oil. Break up anchovies with a wooden spoon until they melt away into the oil and garlic mixture.

Cook spaghetti and toss in the pan with parsley and the garlic oil, then season with a little coarse salt, to your taste. Top servings of garlic and oil spaghetti with spicy shrimp.

Winter Warmers

This one is a big " help me! " for all you avid home cooks out there. I'm not quite sure that i'm "Masterchef " material, but i do enjoy cooking. I like being able to get in the kitchen and throw some ingredients together that will provide a healthy, hearty meal for my family. Not that it HAS to be this way, but being a good cook helps me to feel like a good mum too - maybe its the old fashioned notion of the mum looking after her family through food, i dont know. All i know is that i feel like a good wife and mother after i've eaten something delicious that i've made in my kitchen ( though it doesnt stop me sometimes eating something delicious thats been made in my local fish shops kitchen ).

Seeing as though we're starting to come into the colder weather, its the time of year i look to eat warm, hearty food. Things like a nice Thai or Indian curry, beef stroganoff, apricot chicken, or a big warm stew with lots of vegies and some crusty French bread. Its even better if i can throw it all in a slow cooker, and let the ingredients work their delicious magic while i do other things that need doing ( like going to work, or playing with Flynn ). And this year i'm hoping to experiement a little by taking some of the lighter recipes i enjoy cooking and " winter - ing " them up. Like turning a tomato pesto chicken recipe into a nice pie or pasty, eaten with a serve of mash.

So here's where you guys come in - whats your favourite hearty, winter meal? You dont need to give me an exact recipe ( unless you want to ), just enough of a name or description that i could Google up something tasty. Think of it like a virtual cookbook for a hungry pregnant lady!

Summer Reading

My brain rarely takes a break from learning and teaching.... even in the summer.  Obsessed?  Maybe.  More importantly, I have a strong desire to keep learning.  Some people like to bike or make model cars- I like to learn (and craft!).  If I were rich, I'd go to school forever and have a stack of degrees sitting on my shelf.
Summer is a time of reflection for me.  What can I do better or differently with the next group of sweeties.  The Common Core has given me PLENTY to contemplate.  Our district is switching over in chunks.  Next year is ELA, then Math the following year.  I mostly go with the flow with science and social studies :)

Looking at my wishlist on Amazon, I noticed that I have about 179 children's books listed.  I'm out of classroom money, so I'm not sure what will happen there (the mister is hoping our credit card is not my answer!).  I've been trolling some blogs looking for summer professional reading and am thinking about the following:

I'm on the RTi team at our school, so I thought this would help.  I actually bought it last month, but passed it off to a fourth grade teacher who was looking for ideas for her struggling readers.  I'll read it after school is done.
Catching Readers Before They Fall: Supporting Readers Who Struggle, K-4
Amazon link
 As I said, our population is and their needs are changing.  Although I read Ruby Payne's book, I'm a huge fan of Jensen and brain-based teaching/ learning.
Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids' Brains and What Schools Can Do about It
Amazon link
 I was given this book by our Literacy Coach, Kate, at one of our Readers Workshop labs.  We were able to choose a professional book (love that I didn't get a duplicate!).
First Grade Readers: Units of Study to Help Children See Themselves as Meaning Makers
Amazon link
I will also be spending some quality time with this:
Heinmann link
I'm still looking for others, so please feel free to comment with your own suggestions! :)

Tim Ho Wan (HK IFC Mall)

Tim Ho Wan in Mongkok, HK, is THE cheapest 1-star michelin "restaurant" - if you can call the hole in the wall that - in the world. I have been to HK at least 20 times (yes, my 3rd home, after Singapore and Shanghai) and I am ashamed  to say I have never tried it.

I hate to queue.  Not very Singaporean, I know.

When they opened up a new outlet at IFC Mall, I was thrilled. Yay, I don't even need to travel to the "other" Kowloon side. But I was worried. Would "going commercial", so to speak, compromise the quality of the food? Surely the standards at this new outlet would fall short of the famed Mongkok outlet's?

I don't know how good the Mongkok outlet's food is but OMG the dim sum I had at the IFC outlet was damm freaking good lah. I still dream of the crispy char siew bao....*drools* Best bao I have ever had. Period. This goes on my "10 things I ate before I died" list.

The Sticky rice and chicken in lotus leaf was a winner too. I have had many lotus leaf wrapped rice before but this lotus leaf was so fragrant it surprised me. It went perfectly with the tender chicken and moist mushrooms embedded in the precious package.

The har kow was one of  the best I've had - the "skin" thinness was perfect and that was some explosion of shrimp flavour! The siew mai was a bit too starchy and  floury for my liking, we finished it anyway... and ordered more har kow!


Super full.. For the record, we had this "tea-time snack" at 4pm, after a heavy lunch. 

It was sooooooo cheap we were tempted to order more. Check out the bill. Tell me now, who needs Maxim's and Fook Lam Moon (ok, only for the suckling pig) when you have this fantastic dim sum outlet just below the airport express station? I am so coming back for more more more!

PKNA #44 - On the Dark Side

PKNA #44 - On the Dark Side


Manic Monday Freebie!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that some teachers and I have been feverishly working on a training for our district on Words Their Way.  If you are unfamiliar, it is a spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program all rolled into one.  The heart of the program is that new readers & writers look for patterns in words to read, make meaning, and later spell.  We had our presentation/ training last week and it was great.  The teachers in our district were very supportive (no heckling- yeah!) and asked some really great questions.

I have also been creating some making words activities (available on TPT) and games for my class, based on the program.  Here is a FREE game for you in celebration of Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies.  It uses the short u families.  Enjoy!

You can find more freebies EVERY Monday!  Start here to get started:

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

P.S. I need a little bloggy love (rough times in our room lately), so if you like this- let me know.   Yes!  I am desperate for your affection :)  Sad, right?

PKNA #43 - Time to Time

PKNA #43 - Time to Time

Sorry it took me a while to get this up on the front page. Banker's speed is awe-inspiring these days!

Crunch. Time. People!

It hit me today.... as I was sitting in an IEP before school, I realized that we only have 22 days left of school.  I nearly had a panic attack!  I knew it was coming.  I did, it's just there is so much to do before the end of school.
I'm way ahead in reading and writing workshop.  I didn't realize that there weren't enough mini-lessons to last the year if I taught one every day.  I really did repeat MANY of them, but it happened.  Oh, well.  I'll know for next year.  For the last month, I haven't been teaching on Fridays- just a review and writing or reading time.  Last Friday, the kiddos read for almost 40 minutes while I conferred.  They are such big readers with some serious stamina :)

I should be fine in social studies... I'll just cut out a few project-y stuff and hit the basics of economics and get the produce/sell/donate stuff underway.  We will be producing a good, then selling it to earn money.  The money will support a public issue of the students' choosing.  Like how I blending the state standards together there?  Getting the class to pick an issue or charity has been tough so far.  We may just end up donating money to buy food for the animals inside the nature center next door.  At least they could watch the snake eat the mouse....  I picked this up during the TPT Mother's Day sale (I wasn't thinking that far in advance during the appreciation sale).  It's from a sweet teacher in our district.  Yes- I paid for it.  She worked hard on it and deserves the cash, even from someone knows :)

Economics Unit - If You Give A Kid Some Cash...

Science is a WHOLE OTHER situation.  Nature Girl (teacher next door) has science down to an art form.  It is her passion and she does a great job inspiring her students.  I tend to fake it (at least until I make it!).  We are doing life cycles for the bulk of the year.  I managed to get in insects, arachnids, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals done.  Birds and fish may just be a few read alouds at this point.  They all get the idea and will get it again in a few years (4th grade I think?).  Plants are a must and it needs to start next week.  Thank goodness for some awesome purchases on TPT!

My Seed to Plant Project      and       Plants for Primary Teachers

Next week, we have AimsWeb testing (universal screener, like DIBELS).  I'm sort of in charge (mostly scheduling and getting people to help test all day), so there is an element of stress added.  I also don't want to be out of my classroom more.  Ugh!  Guest teachers are slim pickin' around here lately!

Anyway, my vent is over for today.  Deep breaths.

BabyMoon Rising....


I know that regular transmission hasnt exactly resumed around here yet, but i just thought i'd let you know i wont be posting tomorrow afternoon..... because we're off on our babymoon!

Because Mick and I are now running our own business, and the only truck driver that we have is Mick himself, its pretty much impossible for him to take annual leave. ( Except at Christmas - we'll shut down between Christmas Eve and New Year, as is traditional in our industry ). Long story short i thought because we cant take extended periods of leave, we need to take any opportunity we can to just get out of town and do something.... even if we have to create those opportunities ourselves. So i did a bit of internet surfing, and decided that this weekend would be a great weekend to take ourselves - minus Flynn - off for a quick weekend getaway!

We're roadtripping it down to Sydney tomorrow evening after work ( which means a 5 hr drive in the dark - we'll probably get there sometime around 10pm ... ). Saturday morning we'll head to Homebush for the Baby and Toddler Expo which, although we dont really intend to purchase anything major, i'm kind of secretly excited about having a stickybeak at. Then its a train ride into the city in the afternoon because i've booked a tour on the back of a Harley Davidson trike for the two of us. I'm actually really looking forward to it and have been assured that yes, they will have motorcycle jackets to fit over my expanding baby bump! I wanted to find an activity that was more for Mick, but that we could enjoy together, so i'm hoping he loves it. Its a one hour ride from The Rocks, through the city , out to Bondi and back again.

Of course, we'll take the opportunity to go out for a nice dinner ( though no drinks for me of course ) and Sunday morning we'll do a quick tour of the shops and have a late breakfast with Micks aunt and uncle before we roadtrip it back to DubVegas. So its not a long break by any means, but it will be enough to get me by until #1) Miss Jelly makes her arrival sometime in August and #2) until we can get away somewhere around the Christmas break with a by-then 3yr old Flynn (!) and a roughly 4 mth old baby girl!

A ( Mothers Day ) Weekend By The Numbers

1 - block of chocolate included in my Mothers Day present. Cadburys new " Marvellous Creations " Popping Candy flavour ( which is, by the way, awesome! )

4 - number of times i shared some with Flynn, who knew exactly where i had it and kept going " 'Scuse me Mum? I want some! " with the biggest grin on his face.

6 - loads of washing done over Saturday and Sunday. It would have only been 4 but i had to do 2 rewashes because the stupid bloody dog keeps pulling stuff of the clothesline. He's still only a pup, and i love him, but if he doesnt stop stealing washing i'm going have to kill him!

10 - combined total of books i bought at two different book sales. 9 of them were picture books for Flynn, and the other was a novel for myself. Not exactly sure when i'll get around to reading it tho - it might just have to make a nice addition to my bookshelf for now.

60 - minutes i spent snoozing on the lounge on Mothers Day afternoon. Flynn and Daddy went off into the new playroom to play trucks ( and Mick tuned Flynns radio into a live football game ) while i drifted in and out of a nice, restful, nana nap.

3 - number of dvds i tried in our dvd player before i came to the sad conclusion that it has died in the arse. No Mothers Day afternoon spent watching " That 70's Show " for me. Boo to that!

2 - number of tv shows Mick and I watched after the lovely chicken tikka curry he made for dinner : " Modern Family " and " New Girl ". ( For the record, Schmidt cracks me and Jess and Nick just need to hurry up and get it together already! ). After that we perused the tv guide, found out there was nothing much else worth watching ( Masterchef just isnt doing it for me this year ), so we turned the telly off and had a chat and went to bed early instead...

562 - approximate number of times that Little Jelly kicked me in the belly button/bladder/ribs to make her presence known over the course of Mothers Day. Its nice to know she's going ok in there but getting super-Ninja kicked all day long isnt exactly the most comfortable of presents!

PKNA #42 - The Ulysses Syndrome

Little Cravings (112 Katong)

When craving, indulge!

We were stuffed from Mother's Day lunch at Canton Paradise (which, for the record, has this century egg with wasabi mayo dim sum that's outta this world) but craving something sweet. We chanced upon Little Cravings, this small brightly lit cafe which serves kopi and nonya desserts, and decided to check it out. 

They serve nian gao! Yes, Chinese New Year came early!

I absolutely adore fried nian gao. It's super unhealthy I know but I'd hit the gym more often just to get my fix. Little cravings serves two versions: the normal fried ones my mum makes every CNY, as well as this "special" fried nian gao in popiah skin. Ever the greedy one, I proclaim to my Sis: "Let's order both!"

Very well-fried. I personally preferred the traditional version, though the crunch of the popiah skin was nice. The cafe also serves up some savoury dishes such as nonya curry and nasi lemak but we didn't try those. B also ordered the ice kachang drenched in gula melaka with mango (or you can choose avocado or durian). Not Jonker walk standard but good enough, I suppose. 

A great find in the east. Oooh that fried nian gao!

Marmalade Pantry

It's been a while since I had an "eggy" weekend brunch (we've been prowling the hawker centres a bit) and what better occasion to indulge in a leisurely chi-chi brunch than with my girlfriends Dee, Bev and Sue. It's nice to have an occasion to wear a new dress *grin*

Marmalade Pantry's been around a long time and shame on me for never checking it out. The not-so-new location at Ion is nice - open, perfect for people watching and gossiping the afternoon away.

I've read a lot of glowing reviews about the crabmeat linguine pasta and had high expectations. Dangerous. Luckily, the dish did not disappoint. I loved it! Lovely spicy tomato based sauce generously loaded with crab meat, perfect al dente pasta and pine nuts for an added crunch factor. Definitely a dish I'll return for.

The sticky date pudding held its own too. I heart the creamy vanilla ice cream - complemented the pudding perfectly. 

It's been a while since I had a girly catch-up with the girls.  Everyone's busy and with Sue in Hanoi and all, it's almost impossible to find a good timing. I'm glad we managed to. Thanks for a lovely afternoon!

Summer Bucket List

I'm VERY opposed to a count-down to summer in my classroom.  In fact, I even put a plea in my newsletter to parents in an effort to squelch the uprising of first-grade fever.  I said something about "the limited moments available for learning opportunities".  On a personal note.... I"M SCREAMIN' IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS!  We have about 5 weeks left which has me in a bit of a panic, but also looking forward to regrouping and spending time with my own children.  I love a a good list (and love to check them items off even more!).  I'm joining in with a few of my favorite bloggers for some fun (and distraction from panic):

Here are some off the top of my head:
  • I don't have to move my classroom this summer (first time in 4 years!), so I have a few projects in mind.  I REALLY want to fancy up the file cabinet in the back of the room.  Here is my inspiration:
link to info
I have an ugly potion of a brick wall that I need to do something with... maybe this will help.
all crafts 8 File Cabinet Makeovers {Drab to Fab!}
link to directions
  • We already have a vacation planned to Tawas, MI.  We go every year and stay in a sweet little cabin right on the bay.  My boys and I go for a week with my parents (gotta love when grandma and grandpa insist on taking care of the kids!).  The mister joins us on the weekends.  Here is where I plan to read a bunch of mind-candy books:
  • We haven't been to the Detroit Institute of Arts in a few years, and I'd like to take the boys now that they are older and can appreciate more than the restaurant and gift shop.
  • I need more space for books (even though I'm obsessed with my Kindle Fire, I still crave the smell of new books).  We are hoping to re-do our family room.  Here's the inspirartion:
Pinned Image

I'm sure more will come up (like a getaway with the mister without the kids!), but it's a good start :)

I Want to be a Domesticated Goddess (Part 3)

Happy anniversary and another successful culinary experiment! As part of our austerity drive, I suggested cooking for B at home, rather than going out and splurging on a fancy dinner.

"What would you like to have?" I asked. "Vongole", he said.

Erm.. ok, new dish. So in the spirit of Bobby Fray, I went online in (re)search of the "perfect vongole" recipe and tada, this was what I cooked for my darling on this special occasion. Looks good, doesn't it, if I dare (shamelessly) say so myself?

Here's the recipe:

Serves 2

1 kg clams (we used manila clams)
1/2 Onion, Chopped
1.5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Fish Stock (I couldn’t find clam juice)
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
500g Chopped Dry Spicy Italian Sausage
1/4 Cup Chopped Clean Parsley
One Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 chili padi finely chopped

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and sausage. Saute slowly until the sausage begins to brown and caramelize slightly on the surface, cook onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes (allow garlic to soften without browning).

Turn heat up slightly and add the fish stock, wine, chili and tomatoes (allow wine to simmer and deglaze the pan) and cook until reduced to about 2 cups. Season with salt and pepper. Add the clams, cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the clams have opened. Discard any clams that do not open. Add the bits of butter and new parsley and stir well into the mixture.

Serve immediately with pasta.

Waddle, Waddle, Waddle, Yeah!

Oh yes, you better believe it - at 24 weeks pregant I am well and truely getting my pregnant lady waddle on. I dont feel like my bump is overly huge yet but for some reason i find myself with a much sorer back and achier hips than when i was pregnant with Flynn... the combined effect of which is a nice little duck-like waddle.

Truth be told this is kind of a rant post. I dont mind waddling so much - its pretty much inevitable with pregnancy and actually helps other people to realise i'm not just getting chunky, i'm actually cooking a small human being in there. No, its the back ache that is really getting me down. I dont remember having an especially sore back until maybe the last few weeks of pregnancy the first time around. But this time? The burning, aching sensation up the right hand side of my back is enough to make me want to cry. Being right handed i of course do everything with my right hand and over-reaching/stretching with that arm is causing me to be in pain by the middle of the day. So far i've found that if i can lie down and rest on that side it feels better - but unless my employers let me install a daybed in the kitchen that isnt exactly an option at work.

So i guess the only thing this little pregnant duck can do is put up with it. Possibly with the help of some Panadol. Ooh - or i can possibly cross my fingers that Mick and Flynn get me a massage gift certificate for Mothers Day. Either way, i think the daily pain might be here to stay for roughly the next 100 days ( countdown til my due date is on! ) and i'll just have to live with it - although, as with all things pregnancy related, i reserve my right to have a whinge!

Adevntures in World Touring and Big Boy Rooms

I've always found that if i had things on my calendar to look forward to it makes the boring/slow/unmotivated down days a bit easier to bare. " So today i feel like balling my eyes out? So  what - next week i'm on holiday! ". You know, that type of thing. Well, yesterday was one of those " loking forward to " days because Flynn and I were lucky enough to have tickets to see " Elmo's World Tour " !

Sure, it may not sound overly exciting an activity for a grown up but truth be told i WAS really looking forward to it. I've loved " Sesame Street " since i was a little girl and i'm so glad that Flynn has inherited that same love of all things Muppet/Jim Henson related. So when i found out they were bringing an Elmo show to our local theatre i made sure i got two tickets - and front row at that!

Flynn loved it - he spent at least the first 15 minutes waving to all the characters ( its a wonder his little arm didnt fall off he was flapping it that hard! ), and had great fun dancing, laughing and participating in the show when the characters called for it. And i loved being able to see him all lit up by something so special - i was almost brough to tears by huge his smile was, and how his little eyes widened in wonder at every new aspect of the show. I'm so glad we were able to go, and only wish that maybe next time something like that comes to town Daddy is able to come with us and share in it too!

And after all the excitement of Elmo, i ahd the somewhat more adult excitement of being finally able to put Flynns new " big boy " room together! The garage-to-bedroom/playroom conversion was completed by the carpet layers while we were at the Elmo show, so when we got home i got busy moving him in. Aside from a lunch and a dinner break, i literally spent 7 hrs yesterday builing flatpack furniture, setting it up, and moving all the toys and books from loungeroom and old bedroom to the new one. I have to say by 8:30pm last night was completely and utterly exhausted - methinks this pregnant lady took on too much for one day! - but it was well worth to be able to put him to sleep in his cool new room and snuggle down into my own bed to watch " Revenge " in peace!

 Its still missing the finishing touches of decor/wall art but an extra living space we have in our duplex now, but it is ready in plenty of time for Miss Jelly's arrival into the world! ( Which, of course, means my next project is getting Flynns old room ready for the baby ). So my big important question for the day - who do you think is going to get shot on the beach in the " Revenge " season finale?

Quest for Clutter-Free Walls

I like things to match and cannot handle a lot of visual clutter.  Seriously.  I even made agenda labels for a friend's wall because her handwritten/ computer combo labels did not match-- it was driving me nuts.  She didn't understand why it would bug me through a bathroom and cinder block walls.  I knew it was there!  Can I get an AMEN to my insanity?
One of my favorite blogs has provided a bunch of organization inspiration over the last year.  A girl after my own heart!
Clutter-Free Classroom

I am always on a quest to make my walls simple and student directed, however having a workshop format has loaded my room down with TONS of anchor charts and it's a constant battle.  I only want to keep up what is current and being used every day by my students.  Inspired by this week's Clutter-Free challenge, I took some photos of my current walls.  I'm trying not to cringe as I actually see what I live with every day!

This is my favorite wall- I finally got back to this side of the building and LOVE my view.  Cheesy, but it reminds me of the Pacific Northwest- very Twilight-ish when it rains :) 

So, I have a few thoughts for next year:
  • I really like the blue paper on everything.  I think this will stay the same. 
  • The word wall is too high on those cabinets.  I'll move that over to the big bulletin board at the back of the room (over the built-in cabinet/ counter.  That way, when they write the room or are using it in writers workshop, they will have a surface to write on.  Also- they won't hurt their little necks :)
  • I don't know if I made good use out of our Bucket Filler board.  I'm wondering if I should put the pockets on their lockers instead of name tags to keep the concept in the forefront of their minds.
  • I like my math/calendar area.  I think the rest of the board will be a permanent home for the current readers and writers workshop anchor charts for the unit.
  • I REALLY want my windows bare, or at least to just have student seasonal artwork along the laundry line.  I'm conflicted, because my students do use those charts (as I put them up and rotate them) throughout the day. 
My door is a bit lame at the start of the year... I saw this an I really like it, as it goes with our class theme about being a "school family".
Pinned Image
Link to blog for details...

I would change the colors to match my blue and green.  I take a photo of everyone on the first day, so I can have this prepped ahead of time and just add the photos after school.