Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Four Month Update to My Nerdlution 2015

Back in January many on Twitter were posting about their #nerdlution for 2015. I posted a link to mine, which was a little bit different than most. You can read my original post here. Well now I'm four months into my nerdlution and I wanted to post an update. As a reminder, here are my four big realizations that I came to as I reflected back on my recent years.
  1. I need to make time for me! I can't just keep focusing on school.
  2. I need to make some healthier choices with food and exercise.
  3. I need to declutter some areas in my house. I keep a lot of "things" that I need to let go.
  4. I need to get back to being a presence on Twitter and blogging again. I've really missed it.
Four months in and I'm doing really well. I'm still having the most success with realization number 2. Since January I have lost 37 pounds! I have not been at the weight that I'm at in over 5 or more years! I am very proud of myself because this has taken a lot of work on my part. My principal just posted a quote on her Facebook page that really sums up where I was at in January. The quote is: "I just woke up one day and decided I didn't want to feel like that anymore or ever again. So I changed." This quote is exactly what I felt in January and I made the changes I needed in order to get me on the path that I'm on today.

I have begun to declutter some of my house. Over spring break I was able to take four bags of clothes that don't fit anymore and donate them to our second hand store. It killed me to have to give away some of my favorites, but if they don't look good because they are too big I just can't keep them. I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm making plans for over the summer.

I have been on Twitter and blogging again. Not as much as I would like, but I'm getting there. I think if I continue to focus on my one little word for the year, balance, I might accomplish more. If I work on balance, I might have more time for me as well. 

Things are not perfect and I wouldn't expect them to be, but I feel much better than I did in January. I can't wait to see where I'm going to go from here.

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Monday!! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

This week is Book Fair week in my library. Well actually, Thursday and Friday of last week started Book Fair. I get so excited over new books! My students know how excited I get over the Book Fair. It gets them even more excited.

Since I was prepping for the Book Fair last week, I didn't do a lot of reading. I did a lot on Saturday when I was recovering from Friday. This day was packed with six scheduled classes, students coming in from recess, 2 huge family events, and two emergency drills. I didn't get to each lunch until 3:30 pm after we dismissed the kids. I read three picture books, two nonfiction picture books, and one chapter book.
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The first picture book was Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins and illustrated by Molly Idle. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book was a fun read. I just loved the whole cowboy theme to it. The book would be a great book for those who are getting a new sibling. This is Maripat's first picture book! I can't wait to see what comes next from her. I can't say enough good things about Molly's illustrations. Different from her Flora books, but still has that whimsical elements that I have come to love.

22747796The next picture book was Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Matt Phelan. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is just such an awesome book! I loved how Marilyn didn't settle for waiting for her monster to find her, she broke the mold and went after what she wanted. Even when everyone was telling her to be patient, Marilyn decided to listen to herself. This book lends itself to so many great lessons. And everyone loves a good monster stories. Matt's illustrations are very soft and really fits with the whole tone of the book.

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The last picture book that I read was Finding Spring by Carin Berger. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is an absolutely gorgeous paper collage illustrated book. I am such a sucker for paper collage illustrations! This was such a great story to read just when spring was starting where I live. After the long hard winter we have had, I really was happy to read a spring tale. Maurice, the young bear, is like any young child and wants to find spring after his mom tells him it is coming. This is a great story for that time when we are transitioning from winter to spring. 

20484662The chapter book that I read was Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This was such a great transitional chapter book. Dory is the typical little sister that lives to play with her older siblings. Though, they don't feel the same way. I loved how there was a mixture of "made up" adventures and events that I have seen happen with my friends kids. This is one book that everyone will want to check out. I can't wait to see the next Dory adventure. This book was sent to me by Penguin Young Readers to review.

Check back on Wednesday for my reviews of Nature's Perfect Package Egg by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page and Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M. Walker and Jonathan D. Voss. I would do it tonight, but my eyes are starting to grow heavy.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Monday!! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

Well, I had very good intentions of coming back last week and posting again, but little did I know on Monday how crazy my week was going to become. I ended up having four meetings, with two being on the same day. So it was mainly just a survival week for me. I'm scheduling time this week to blog again!

With having all those meetings I really didn't get to read a lot. I've got three picture books and a link to one that I have already reviewed from Penguin Young Readers. I've also got a chapter book from my upcoming Scholastic Book Fair that I read. I also will be sharing what I'm reading now/next.

First up, the chapter book from Scholastic. It is TombQuest: Book of the Dead by Michael Northrop. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I read this book because it is going to be in my upcoming Scholastic Book Fair and I thought it sounded interesting. This is the first book in a series. Looking on Goodreads, this is not going to be like other Scholastic series, all the books will be written by Michael Northrop. I enjoyed this book because I'm always fascinated by the Egyptian culture. I think this is one that the kids will really enjoy because it has a lot of action, adventure, and a bit of grossness.

22522289Now onto the picture books. Ever since I listened to Matthew Winner's Let's Get Busy Podcast episode 131 with Greg Pizzoli I've been wanting to read his newest book Tricky Vic The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I first read through this book from cover to cover because I have been waiting so long to read it. Then I had to go back through and reread it to savor the experience! I am in awe of Greg Pizzoli's talent. He is such a versatile author/illustrator because this book is so different from the others books that he has published. The idea to use a fingerprint as the main characters face is just genius! It really reinforces the knowledge that most didn't know what Tricky Vic looked like. The variety of art work in this book just makes it even better. I highly recommend you pick this one up if you haven't and make sure you peek under the dust jacket to look at the front and back cover.

22504706The next two books have a yarn theme in them. The book is Knit Together by Angela Dominguez. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is a sweet story about a daughter who loves to draw and loves to watch her mom knit. The daughter wants to try knitting, but finds that it is not as easy as it looks. I loved the way the author had them end up working on a project together. The author also did the illustrations for this book. Every time I looked at the illustrations, I could feel the love that Angela has for her mother coming through. It was neat to read on the back flap how she and her mother worked together on the project that the two characters did. I enjoyed this one and gave my mom a hug the next time I saw her.

22521940The second yarn themed book is Edmund Unravels by Andrew Kolb. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. Loved this story so much! It is a great story about being able to get out and explore the world, but still remembering where you came from. I even got a little teary eyed while reading this book, but I know it is because of my good friend's son who is graduating from high school this year. I think this book might have to be part of his graduation gift this year.

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Another book that I got from Penguin Young Readers that I had already reviewed is Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. Click here to see my review from August 2014.

I will be back to post this week. I've already scheduled my time to write another post on my Google Calendar with two reminders!

I've got three books on my radar for this week, Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon, Mr. Pants: Slacks, Camera, Action! by Soctt McCormick, and The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)