Screen-Time & Me-Time

S&E Watercolor

Last weekend my 8th grade orchestra had their biggest performance of the year.  They competed in a festival with four judges, three pieces to perform, and a sight-reading element.  It was exhilarating and a little nerve-wracking.  They did a wonderful job and ended up getting straight 1s, the highest score possible from all four of the judges.  I’m a proud orchestra teacher.

While all of this was happening, I found myself craving relaxation.  My husband and I probably watched 4+ movies in the past few days, aka Extreme Screen Time. We all know it somewhere in the back of our minds; EST (extreme screen time) is great in the moment but can leave us empty and more tired than before.

Today I challenged myself to a “no tv screen night”.

Instead of watching a movie or another million episodes of Arrested Development I cleaned the kitchen, talked to a friend on the phone, and attempted to draw with watercolors.  The satisfaction and relaxation I feel compared to the mind-numbing movie nights lull is pretty remarkable.

Maybe I’ll try  one no-tv-screen night per week.

How do you relax?  Do you like to watch TV?  Are you a reader? an arts & craft-er?


Positive Talk


Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

Recently our class has been tackling an issue that hits close to the heart: self esteem.

One of my students came to me the other day saying she just couldn’t do it; she was never going to do be able to do it; she wasn’t good enough to do it.  “Yeah, whatever Mrs. B. I say that because it’s true and just because I don’t say it doesn’t mean it’s not true. … ”

We started a positive-talk challenge.  It’s been about three weeks now. Students aren’t allowed to say, “I can’t” or “I’m just stupid” or things along those lines.  Instead they say positive statements and celebrate the every small success.  They have come along side each other in a whole new way.

One of my 8th graders said he’s been telling himself positive things for a year now and it has made him a more confident person.

I have banned this in my own life. I’m not allowed to joke that I’m stupid and I try not allow myself to think it. It has pushed me to do more recently than I thought was possible.

Here are some of my self-positive talks:
“I can do it.”
“I’m smart enough.”
“I have good ideas.”
“I am good at what you do. ”
“I am a treasure.”


Do you secretly talk down about yourself?  How do you positive self-talk?


p.s. You’re great and I’m proud of you!

Finally Moved In

Moving is a beast.  It requires so many boxes, muscles, minutes…  It always takes longer than expected and more patience than I have stored up.  But in the end… it’s worth it.

My husband and I have been married for about a year and a half and we bought our first house in September.  It was a whirlwind.  We are both teachers and September is the start of the school year.  That month is always hectic. Throwing moving into our first house on top of our regularly wild September was nothing short of an adventure.

This week, mid-winter break, we finally got rid of our last box.

You know that door that’s mysteriously closed in your friends’ house.  They’ve closed it off because they “just don’t use that room” or “they’re trying to save heating the whole house”.  We had one of those but we closed it because we were hiding a bunch of boxes.  Well not anymore!!

Introducing… our craft room!

donation bags and basement boxesboxes in the upstairs hallwayside table - craft room

craft tablebaby chair - craft roomtrunk and photo - craft room

It feels so great to get this done.  What are some things, big or small you have had on your to-do list?

{my next big to-do is getting serious about daily exercise}

Valentines Day’s a-comin – You can feel it in the air



I can definitely feel it in the air… at work.

I work at a middle school teaching 6th, 7th, & 8th grade orchestra and I’ll tell ya, my students are buzzing.  There are whispers, looks, and cupid arrows thrown all over my room.  Two scenes really made my smile because, hey, we’ve all been there before:

Scene 1:  I witnessed one of my girls holding in her hand a Valentines day gram and trying, it seemed, to give it to one of my boys.  She never actually got his attention and he ended up doing his own thing, ignoring her on accident.  After realizing the moment was gone, she hurriedly took her V-gram and shoved it into her stack of books looking back to see if anyone saw here.  [She is one of the sweetest girls in my class.]

Scene 2: I was tuning a student’s violin and saw his V-gram in his hand.  “Whacha got there?”, I said.  “Oh, it’s just a Valentines Day Gram.  I’m trying to figure out who sent it.”  “Well, what does it say?”  “It says, ‘You’re cute’.  Finally someone other than my mom thinks I’m cute.”   [I died.  He is awesome.]

Sometimes all I do is wish for snowdays, other days I just love my job.

Happy almost Valentines day!

p.s. here’s a puritan valentines day card that always puts me in the valentines mood.

Fighting the Winter (lazy) Blues

That ice cream reeled you in, did it? Ditto, my friend.  Ditto.

When growing older there are so many life changes that are expected… responsibilities, a slower metabolism, some reading glasses…  But what I didn’t expect was having to tell myself what to do and making myself do it.  As trivial as it sounds, I just don’t want to do some things!

This weekend my to do list got out of control and I had to do something about it.  So I did what any grown woman would do… I made a list and gave myself a reward when it was completed.

To Do List:
-check all of my students tests
-send out a bunch of emails (parents, students, bible study)
-do the dishes!

*my new favorite pen (Pentel 0.5, and a matching one for my husband)
*ice cream (yesssss)

I sweet friend of mine and I were talking about making lists on sticky notes and how motivating and satisfying it is to crumple up the sticky when the task is completed.

What are your secret or silly rewards to help you complete your un-fun tasks?

Sleep in on Saturday? In my dreams.

As a public school teacher and every day I drag my butt out of bed early. Like, 5:25 at the latest, early. I try and leave the house by 6:15.  Currently it’s dark for my entire 40-minute morning commute.  Needless to say, I miss waking up and seeing the sun.

This Saturday morning was my chance to do it.  To finally sleep in and wake up with the sun shinning!  It didn’t happen.  I woke up at 5:25 and stayed up for a while.  After finally falling back asleep I woke up again at 6:40 and then I decided to just get up.  Since I had so much time to think, I came up with my list of how to sleep in and sleep better (aka what went wrong).

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