Friday, July 25, 2014

My Classroom Library

WHEW! I tackled a monster of a project this week... I am thrilled to share that my classroom library is finally neatly organized and  labeled by genre/author! Every book has a home and every bin has a label! I am one happy teacher! I've put together somewhat of a tutorial that is complete with links, products, and tips to help you  get started on creating your very own fabulous and functional reading area for your classroom!

 The Books: It tends to come as a surprise to others that I have only been teaching for a year. I am often asked, "How in the world do you have so much stuff?" Well, I just so happen to be a very determined- almost relentless bargain hunter! So, where exactly did all of these books come from in such a short amount of time?
  1. Thrift Stores/Goodwill - These are great places to start when building a classroom library. The majority of my Dr. Seuss collection is from a local Goodwill. The books were less than a dollar each, and they were still in great condition!
  2. Scholastic, Scholastic, Scholastic! If you are not a member of the Scholastic Reading Club for teachers, you need to head on over and sign yourself up ASAP! This is an amazing program designed especially for teachers that earns you FREE books for your classroom! Another wonderful thing about Scholastic is the fact that they offer book fairs and warehouse sales. My school's PTO offers each teacher a mini shopping spree at the end of a book fair based on the amount of money our students spend. You'll definitely want to find a Scholastic Book Fair Warehouse Sale in your area too! I'm telling you... this place is book HEAVEN! You can shop thousands of brand new books for 50% to 80% off! They even offer volunteer opportunities so that you can earn a book allowance by the hour and you don't have to spend a dime!
  3. Amazon - is perfect for finding a specific book at a great price! When it comes to shopping at thrift stores and warehouse sales it can be hard to find exactly what you need. Amazon is my go to place for those specific book needs! Just type in the title you're looking for and choose the price, seller, and condition that works best for you.
  4. Parents - I teach at a Georgia Charter School with absolutely amazing parent involvement and support. I can reach out to parents to donate unwanted books or even purchase new books. The kids really enjoy being able to contribute to our classroom library. This gives them a sense of ownership that encourages a responsibility to keep our books neat and tidy.
  5. Your Community - yard sales, relatives, retiring teachers, neighbors, libraries... the list goes on and on! Reach out and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how willing others are to lend a helping hand and contribute to your classroom library.
 The Shelves: The majority of my book shelves are not book shelves at all! They are Stackable Shoe Storage Organizers by Closetmaid, and they can be found at Home Depot for $9.48 each! They are 24 inches wide and 11.5 inches tall. One storage unit can hold three of my book bins and crates when it is assembled with out the extra shelf it includes. I purchased a total of eight for my classroom. The other storage unit pictured featuring the cube shaped shelves can also be found at Home Depot (Walmart and Target carry them too.) These are much more of splurge ranging in price from $30.00 to $70.00. They are definitely stronger and more sturdy, but I have found that you get more storage space per dollar with the shoe organizers!

The Containers: I paid no more than $1.00 for every bin and crate in my library. The blue crates can be found in a variety of colors at Walmart. They are very popular and tend to go quickly, so I would plan to start looking around mid July when "Back to School" merchandise starts hitting stores. The blue and green bins were all purchased at The Dollar Tree. I've said it once and I'll say it again... The Dollar Tree is a teacher's best friend! Like the crates these bins practicality fly off the shelves each Summer. You may have to try several different locations in order to accumulate enough bins for all of your books. Unfortunately The Dollar Tree is not currently selling these containers online, so it can be even more difficult to find the size and color you have your heart set on. I would recommend buying more than you think you actually need if you do find them. You'll thank yourself later when they are no where to be found and you have decided to add an extra row of bins to your library!

The Labels: You guessed it... Teachers Pay Teachers! Yet another amazing resource for teachers. Bethany McClure offers adorable chevron book bin labels in her TPT store. The best part is Volume 1 and Volume 2 are FREEBIES! I fell absolutely in love with them and decided to purchase the complete set! I had fun playing around with the blank templates included with this product and created my own labels for the genres or series that weren't in the set. You can download the font "Wish I Were Taller" that she used for free to ensure that your labels coordinate with the rest! I made the Cam Jansen label pictured below myself. I simply covered her existing clip art with a plain white box and pasted an image from Google over it!

I hope you found this post to be helpful! Please feel free to leave feedback or ask questions in the comments section below!

Happy organizing,


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beauty Bargains

Hey y'all! I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite beauty products that won't break the bank. It's no secret that a teacher's salary is not likely to support the most extravagant lifestyle, so when it comes to often pricey items like beauty products budgeting and bargain hunting are a must!

Frugal Fragrances:
Like any Southern Belle I consider Lilly Pulitzer items to be an everyday staple. If it comes in Lilly, I'll take it! I was thrilled to score all three of these Lilly Pulitzer fragrances for the price of one! Each 3.40z bottle retails for around $68, but I purchased each of these for about 20 bucks a pop on

Wink by Lilly Pulitzer

 Fragrance Notes: Pink Freesia, Pear Nectar, White Lily, Amber Crystals, Sensual Musk, Lush Gardens, Rose, Violet Fields

Scent Strength: Moderate
Classification: Flowery
Recommended Use: Casual

Beachy by Lilly Pulitzer

 Fragrance Notes: Citrus, Watermelon, Jasmine, Frangipani, Amber, Vanilla, Marine Air Accord, Tiare Flower, Salt Crystals

Scent Strength: Subtle
Classification: Natural
Recommended Use: Casual


Squeeze by Lilly Pulitzer

Fragrance Notes: Pink Grapefruit, Lychee, Lotus Blossom, Sun-drenched Woods, Water Musk Red Currant, Wild Rose
Scent Strength: Moderate
Classification: Citrus/Fruity
Recommended Use: Casual

Affordable Hair Care:
Salon quality hair products can be outrageously expensive. I try to stick with brands that offer the same quality with out the outrageous price tag. You can find a great selection of Not Your Mother's hair care and styling products at Walmart for about $5 a bottle.

{Beach Babe} This texturizing sea salt spray works wonders for my crazy, out of control, frizzy curls. I like that it adds a little definition with out weighing my hair down or making it feel crunchy. I'm definitely a fan of low maintenance hair styles, and this is a great product for days when you're wanting to spray, tousle, and go!

{Clean Freak} If you have not yet discovered the wonders of dry shampoo you need to invest in a can pronto! Using dry shampoo has many benefits especially if you have naturally curly, friz-prone hair like me. Thanks to this amazing product I feel comfortable going a couple of days without washing my hair. I even use it on freshly washed hair for extra volume and lift at the root.

{She's a Tease} I use this voluminizing hair spray to finish off just about any look! It's perfect for straight, wavy, or curly hairstyles. My favorite thing about it is the fact that you get a light flexible hold with a subtly sweet scent! Pair this product with a little back combing at the root, and you've got yourself the perfect amount of va va voom!

A Steal on a Splurge:
If you've been on Pinterest within the past year you're probably already very familiar with Urban Decay and their notorious NAKED palettes. My jaw dropped when I saw the retail price, but thanks to a friend that just so happened to discover them on a discounted website I now am the proud owner of all three of these beautiful palettes. I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about ordering at first. I mean really, all three palettes for 20 bucks?! I kept thinking to myself, "This is too good to be true!" Despite my suspicions they arrived a couple of weeks later sealed, wrapped, and in the original packaging. I use all three of them regularly, and the quality definitely seems to be authentic! Head on over to Ali Express Wholesale to get yours!

Happy shopping,


Friday, July 4, 2014

Mason Jars, Monograms, & 'Merica


The Hat: Marley Lilly
The Necklace: My Personalized
The Tank: Old Navy
The Shoes: Jack Rogers
The Cup: I made it! Here's a great tutorial to help you DIY!

Happy 4th y'all,


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Seersucker by the Sea


The Dress
This dress is a Southern Belle's dream! You can head on over to to shop their adorably sweet and Southern Seersucker Dress Collection. I'm wearing the Merona® Seersucker Ruffle Neck Dress in Grey/White. 

The Necklace 
I had to search Etsy high and low for one of these irresistible monogrammed necklaces last Summer. I was determined to find genuine Sterling Silver with out having to pay an arm or a leg for it. Luckily, they are so much easier to find, and they tend to be more affordable now that they have become more popular. I ordered this necklace from the shop My Personalized on Etsy. It has a 1" Sterling Silver monogram pendant in circle block font and an 18" Sterling Silver chain.

The Clutch
A monogrammed envelope clutch is easily my favorite accessory. This coral clutch pulls my whole look together by adding a touch of class and a pop of color. I found a shop on Etsy that sells them for less than $20. You can visit Designs by April on Etsy to order yours! These clutches come in a variety of colors, and there are several font options to choose from.

The Shoes 
These Navajo Hampton sandals by Jack Rodgers are a summer staple. I wear them with just about anything and everything. They're comfortable and durable enough to wear down to the beach but dressy enough to wear out to dinner! Jacks are definitely up there in price, but if you're lucky you can snag them while they're on sale. Check out Nordstrom for a good deal!

The Toes
If you've ever used the term "monogram it all" then you're probably already very familiar with vinyl monogram stickers. The Etsy shop Cuttin Crazy is my go to place for all things vinyl and monogrammed! The owner of the shop offers tons of vinyl monograms in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. Her prices are fair and shipping is always super quick! You can find these tiny monogram nail stickers there for a fun way to personalize your pedicure.

The Beach  
If you're anything like me you probably consider the beach to be your happy place! My husband and I stayed in Panama City Beach, Florida for this little Summer getaway. We live in Georgia, but we always travel to the Gulf Coast. You just can't beat the sugary white sand and the crystal clear emerald water!

 Happy Tuesday,