Happy Holidays!  Summer celebrated her first Christmas this year!!  She had a great time opening presents {just like her momma!} and it was so special to see the holiday through her eyes.  Such a happy girl!!  Just look at that SMILE!!  #gorgeousbaby #andspoiledtoo


Now that the New Year is right around the corner, I decided it was time to finally update my Happy New Year hat craftivity!  It's totally FREE, so head on over to my TpT shop and grab the updated patterns for 2015!


And even though Chinese New Year isn't for a bit yet {it's in February this year}, my craftivity and printable pack has also been updated for 2015!  Stop by my TpT shop to learn more or purchase a copy for your classroom!


Now it's time to love on my baby some more :)  Have a great night!!
Another Grinch Day is in the books!  A few Insta fans asked me to explain, so in a nutshell...  The Grinch visits our classroom one day each December and leaves a lot of GREEN in his path.  It's a really fun day for the kids, especially the ones who believe in the magic of it all ;)  Read on for some of the ideas I used in my classroom this year! 
From top left {clockwise}:

The kiddos were greeted by a green streamer curtain on our door. They said it was "SO FUN!" to walk through the curtain each time we left the room today.  It's the little things.

Just outside the door, the Grinch altered my welcome sign and labeled me as "Mrs. Grinch."  I'm sure both my students and family would agree that sometimes I can be a little Grinchy. ;)

The Grinch loves himself so much, that he framed a photo {er... an old craft} of himself and renamed Christmas, "Grinchmas" on our little countdown calendar.

Our elf visitor Max brought us red candy canes the other day {not pictured} and of course, the greedy Grinch had to lick them and turn them all green!  One of my kiddos was truly appalled-- until I told him I had a sneaking suspicion that they tasted like apples.

The Grinch made himself a Super Student with loads of jewels... and he clipped all my little ones down to RED!  They were very concerned about how they would color their behavior calendars at the end of the day!

Our classroom rules were also tampered with.  Grinch Rules included talking over others, not following directions, and making a mess!  Silly Grinch.  We took this opportunity to discuss what our classroom rules REALLY are.
From top left {clockwise}:

The green guy had to make an appearance, of course!  He made his way from Barnes and Noble a few years ago, but I just saw him somewhere else this year... hmmm.  Anyway, the Grinch also renamed our classroom elf to Grinch {anchor chart inspired by Cara}.

Our elf, whose real name is Max Sparkle, was tied up in green streamers and had to hang out upside down with our lanterns for the day.  The kids wanted me to rescue him but there's that whole "no touching the elf" rule and all!

The Grinch put our reading buddies {shower puffs from Pier 1... cheap and efficient} into Grinch Jail!

Our class enjoyed green frosted cookies and lime green sherbet, courtesy of the Grinch!

Last but not least, a Grinch ornament!  My class didn't actually make these-- I had a leftover canvas from our parent gifts-- but I think next year they might be part of our Grinch celebration!  Super easy:  Paint a 3x3" canvas in green.  Paint on a red heart or do as I did and add a foam sticker.  Add red glitter if you like, and hot glue on some ribbon.  Voila!  A Grinchy decoration for your tree :)

**More ideas not pictured!!**

There was green Grinch glitter all over our desks when we got to school... and later it was all over our faces and clothes, of course.  The Grinch took away all our sparklers and classroom compliments {I put them back at the end of the day}.  He sent us an email midday saying that his heart was growing and we could clip back to green.  We read How the Grinch Stole Christmas and watched the cartoon.  Another teacher used green balloons, and there was talk of green silly string, too!

I hope you can use some of these great Grinchy ideas for your celebration next year!!  Do you have any other ideas that you use on Grinch Day?  I'd LOVE to hear them!!
My online shopping addiction has gotten... worse :)... in the last year or so.  The UPS guy visits my house daily often and my mailbox is stuffed full of USPS deliveries as well.  What's pushing my shopping addiction over the edge?  Being a mommy, of course!!  Baby girl gets deliveries of clothes, headbands, books, you name it!  And most recently...
Freshly Picked moccasins!!  The team at Freshly Picked sent Summer a pair of moccasins to try out and review.  She must like them--  in the above photo, she is about to put the moccasins in her mouth!  Silly girl :)
24 week photoshoot!
Little one doesn't want to sit still :)

Freshly Picked moccasins come in a wide variety of colors, from soft pinks to navy blues to pretty metallics.  Picking just one color was hard, but we finally decided on a sparkly neutral called Merci.  Here is a close-up of the shoes {in a new photo location}:
The moccasins are soft and flexible, making them super easy to put on.  I can only imagine they are super comfortable, too!  Do they come in my size?!

Summer loves to stand and jump {with support} in her pretty shoes!
 
    
Aren't they just adorable?!  Word on the street is that Santa is bringing Summer two more pair-- neon pink and ivory-- for Christmas.  Hehe :)

A little more on the moccasins, from the Freshly Picked website:
"Freshly Picked moccasins feature a unique design with elastic at the opening. Our shoes are easy to put on, easy to take off, and most importantly: stay on your child’s foot. Our soft-soled shoes are made with durable leather and are suitable for infants and toddlers alike. Moccasins fit true to size and are available in children sizes 1 - 10."

Now for the best part!  The team at Freshly Picked has offered up a pair of mocs for a giveaway!  One lucky winner will get to choose one pair in any color and size!  This contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada due to shipping costs.  Also, you are not eligible to enter if you’ve won a pair of FP moccasins in the last 60 days.  You can take a look at all the different moccasins available {HERE}.  Good luck!!

At work, there are nine of us who eat lunch together just about everyday.  These gals are my close teacher friends-- we all look so forward to that short 40 minute lunch!!  We talk, we laugh... and every year during the holidays, we add a little gift giving into the mix!


Since there are so many of us, we organize a Secret Santa gift exchange.  We use Elfster to randomly generate our Secret Santa recipient.  It's great because you can mark who had who the year before so everyone gets someone different.  Then we each fill out this little form that I created, to aide in the gift buying process!


To keep it secret, everyone gets a copy of ALL the forms... it's fun to see what everyone wished for!  And, we like to drop fake hints to throw our friends off our trail ;)

Since my girls and I are greedy like to give gifts so much {hehe}, we do mini exchanges during lunch for three weeks leading up to Christmas break.  We keep these gifts at $5-10 each.  Our last gift is the BIG one, and we set a limit of $50.  For the final exchange, we all get together for dinner!  It's going to be SO much fun!!

It's not too late to organize your own Secret Santa gift exchange!!  You can download the above form for FREE from my TpT shop!  If you grab it, be sure to leave some love!

Our first exchange is tomorrow... I'm so excited to see what my first gift is!! ;)
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