Sunday, July 29, 2012

Enter to Win Mission Possible!

Being a teacher, I am always reading up on new ideas in education.  I am always interested in what other schools or states are doing and what is new or up-and-coming in the are of education. Because of this I can imagine that I will "that crazy mom" that other teachers talk about, asking every question to Jack's teachers. That's why, when I was presented with the opportunity to read Mission Possible: How The Secrets of the Success Academies Can Work In Any School, and give away a copy to one of my readers, I jumped at the chance!

I got into this book right away as it talk about the Success Academy charter school system.  Charter schools are a big issue here in Chicago, and I was a charter school teacher for 4 years.  This book takes you on a tour of the Success Academies and shows you THINK literacy in action. Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter Schools, and Ana Lavinia, designer and developer of THINK literacy, understand the challenges teachers and principals face. Using the strategies outlined in the book the first Success Academy Charter School quickly emerged as one of the top performing schools in New York State.
But what stood out to me as the biggest difference between traditional public schools and the Success Academies is the extensive time, energy, and funds that go into educating the adults in the building. They believe that success starts with the adults and there are high expectations placed on teachers. There is also constant support, training, and feedback. Their professional development system includes things like the Cycle of Teacher Improvement and T School, a four week teacher training program.  These things, I believe, really help with teacher morale and making teachers feel like they can be successful and that they matter.

New Winner

So the first Fiber One winner never contacted me, which means there is a new winner!

#38, Chrissy 'Francis' Boros you are the new winner!  Contact me at

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blueberry Love...

We went blueberry picking over the weekend and I have 15 pounds of blueberries to go through.  We freeze some for the winter to make muffins or pancakes, but I wanted to make some recipes now using these fresh blueberries.  I found a few of my favorites and wanted to share them with you...enjoy, and have a great weekend!

I am making these right now....

And we must end with a cocktail...

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I am sorry I have not been posting that much lately.  I have been super busy, and when I am not super busy, I am SUPER tired.   I will try to post more this next week.

I do want to announce the winner of the Fiber One giveaway.

#76 Julie A.  Scott you are the winner! 

Please email me at

Monday, July 23, 2012

fruit salsa and baked cinnamon chips

One thing I love about summer are all the fruits.  They are all so fresh and colorful.  I thought I would share one of my new favorite recipes using these great Summer fruits with Fruit Salsa and Baked Cinnamon Chips. 

Now I have a friend who tells me that some of my "easy" Working Mom Meals are not so easy for the Mom who REALLY doesn't cook.  Well "Nn" and everyone else who is afraid of the kitchen....fear no more.  This recipe really is easy as long as you have a knife and an oven.

This is a huge hit at my house.  My husband and Jack love the sweetness of the fruit with the added sweetness of the cinnamon chips.

I hope you get to try this, and let me know what you think!  You can get the recipe and many other great recipes over at The Girl Who Ate Everything


2 more days..

I hope you had a great weekend! It was another hot one.  We went blueberry picking, the racetrack to watch the horses and out to eat a few times.  Now I'm exhausted.  Exhausted and realizing Summer is going by so fast!  I will have some pictures and great blueberry recipes later this week, but in the mean time check out my Fiber One giveaway if you haven't..only two more days left to enter!

Enter Here, and have a great Monday!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

wordless(ish) wednesday

So over the weekend we went to visit friends and Jack was able to play with one of his friends he hasn't seen in a while.  It was just too cute seeing them interact and have "conversations" with each other. 

We are already planning their wedding.  I they they are pretty cute....

Have a great Wednesday, and keep cool.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fiber One Nutty & Almonds Cereal Coupon & Giveaway

I am a member of MyBlogSpark and they have offered me a chance to share the new Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal with you. I have received a gift pack that includes (2) boxes of Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal along with a nut bowl and spoon for review purposes. One of my readers who enters this giveaway through the rafflecopter form below will win the same gift pack that I have received.  It's so great!

I am a breakfast eater and I don't usually have time to cook in the mornings. This is why I like cereal for breakfast. It's quick, easy, and can be nutritious if you choose the right box. I am happy to have now found the newest flavor in the Fiber One cereal line-up: Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds.  My husband however is a night eater.  I can always hear him downstairs crunching away on cereal. He loves this cereal, he says it's the perfect late night snack.

Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds has 11 grams of fiber, 23 grams of whole grain, and only has 180 calories in each serving. Every bite is full of crunchy nut clusters, real sliced almonds and whole grain flakes. Not only is this new cereal tasty but it is a good way to help me get the daily fiber that I need.

In a nut shell: I think that Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds is a great, wholesome breakfast cereal that I can feel good about eating. It has the perfect combinations of both crunchy and sweet and it has the added benefit of fiber and whole grains.

Coupon: SAVE $1.25 when you buy ONE BOX Fiber One® Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal.

Giveaway Time: If you would like a chance to win (2) boxes of Fiber One Nutty Clusters & Almonds cereal along with a nut bowl and spoon please enter the giveaway in the rafflecopter form below. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Things I love Thursday....Jack

So I haven't posted in a few days....we've been busy.  Busy with finding a job, busy with summer things...the pool, bowling, walks, parks, etc.  Busy just being BUSY.

So for the things I love this Thursday I thought I would make them about Jack.  We have been non stop doing things and trying to enjoy every second.  So enjoy a couple of collages I put together of just a few of our Summer moments that I love.  I would love to hear your favorite parts of Summer as well!

Enjoy your Thursday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Up next ...a marathon

Jack loves to run.  Loves it.  Any time he can get someone to chase him or run with him or race him he goes for it.  So of course when our local fest had a kids 1/4 mile race, this past weekend, we had to sign him up. 

At first I thought 1/4 mile?  That's tough for some adults, how will Jack do it?  Well he did.  And after he finished he was ready to run again.  Of course sappy old me had tears in my eyes watching him run his first race all by himself.  He was so serious and so into it, and he tried to hard.

I think I have a future runner on our hands...what's next?  The marathon maybe??  If you want, take a look at part of his race below.  That's my husband cheering him on.  Oh and you'll probably see me running along on the sidewalk.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Help others today!!!

Happy Friday!  Are you staying cool?  Today is going to be 103 hot degress and we are going to be doing some inside fun.  In the meantime, I am so happy to have Colleen from Zealous Good as a guest poster today!  She has some great information about a way you can help in need!  So please take a read and if you can help, please do!

Zealous Good: Providing Chicago With A Meaningful Way to Donate

How many of you have old children’s games have you been meaning to get rid of, but haven’t yet? Or how about old sports equipment your kids don’t use anymore, and is just taking up space in your garage? Or maybe, you just upgraded your computer and want to donate your old one?

Now there is a place for you to easily get rid of that stuff, while at the same time making sure that it is going to a local charity that really needs it.

Zealous Good matches people with excess goods to donate, to local Chicago charities with matching needs, providing an efficient and effective way to donate your no longer needed items.

And, don’t worry, the process is easy.

Simply go onto the Zealous Good website ( and submit what you want to donate. Then as charities request your donation, select your preferred charity and schedule a time to pick up or drop off your item. Once your donation is in the hands of your selected charity, you’ll get to see the lives you’ve affected.

Or, if you’re a charity and need donations, all you have to do is make a Zealous Good page and request what kind of donations you want to receive. After Zealous Good matches the donation with your needs, you receive the donation and your charity benefits.

Zealous Good offers a sentimental aspect by giving you (and even your child- for example, if it is their old toys) the opportunity to choose which charity you want your donation going to. Then, you can feel good about your choice by seeing the difference you’ve made.

To put it into perspective, the average American household has $7,000 in unused items. Look around your house, can you give any of your unused items a second shot at life? It only takes a little effort on your part, for an enormous impact on a local charity. Start doing good today!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

I hope you are all enjoying your 4th of July.  We are here burning up with 100 degree weather but Lenny wanted to say Have a great 4th of July.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mission Impossible Completed!

It's something I dreaded..that I never thought could or would be done.  Potty Training.  I dreaded it.  For me it was easier to stick a diaper on then sit next to the toilet for 3 days.  So we would try here and there, ask Jack if he had to go potty, but didn't push anything to much.  I figured there was no was he would be trained before 3.

Then strange things started happening. Jack started to tell us when he had to go "poo poos" which amazed me since that seems to be the last thing kids tell you.  Then, last week Monday Jack woke up and said "no more diapers"....and that was the end of the diaper.

He is now in his big boy pants; Toy Story, Cars, Mickey Mouse.  And he has not had one accident since.  I am amazed.  I thought this would be the most tiring, stressful "mission" I had to accomplish as a Mom, and instead, Jack did it all on his own. 

So Mission Impossible has been completed. 

Have a great 3rd of July!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

love a bargain??? look no further.

So I am always looking for a bargain.  I hate paying full price, especially since there are so many great discount shops out and about, and even more of them on the internet!  Well I wanted share one of them with you.

My friend Aly, has an online closet/rummage shop, with some great items/brands in it.  She has 7 jeans, Marc Jacobs shoes, boutique jewelry, and more!   If you love a deal like me, I think you shuld check her shop out HERE!
I am sure you will all find something you love there!