Friday, July 26, 2013

~*Favorite Pins Friday*~

I feel like I've been away from my blog for way too long! I just got back from my LAST trip of the summer...what a bummer! Now, it's time for me to buckle down and get things ready in my classroom! I haven't done ANYTHING all summer long! I guess my batteries are partially recharged, so it's time to start getting in that mindset! I guess pinning cute stuff is a start! Today, I am linking up with The First Grade Parade to share some great pins I found this week! 

I am in a "holiday/celebration" mood today, so I am going to share 5 of my favorite classroom holiday/celebration pins! Let's go!

1.) Saint Pat's Day Yumminess!

One of my favorite things is baking/making something for my class! I know my kindergarteners would go bonkers for this on Saint Patrick's Day! How cute and EASY and most of all, CHEAP! Cupcake liners, a box of cereal and milk to drink? I love the straws, too!

2.) Christmas Cuteness!

Christmas is my ultimate favorite holiday! It brings so much joy and happiness to the classroom! And the crafts you can find on Pinterest are unbelievable! Every year, all the crafts we create throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas are put in a paper bag. In the past, I have gotten paper bags from grocery stores and written the kids' names on the outside...isn't this cuter? And it's a craft in itself! 

3.) Bunny Lovin'

This is the ultimate cutest Easter pin! Every year I dye Easter eggs with my class and have to come up with something cute and creative for them to cart it home in without breaking it! How cute would a soup can like this look with some Easter grass inside and their little Easter egg? Something to plan for and start collecting!

4.) Halloween Writing!

I found this on Pinterest and think it is a must do to make a class book! The kids would love this, seeing as how they adore Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.! Just think, you could do: Orange Pumpkin, Black Cat, Purple Bat, White Ghost, Green Witch...the ideas are endless!

5.) Don't Forget the Groundhog!

I love groundhog's day becuase most of the children I teach don't know what it is! But, they quickly become fascinated with the idea of a weather predicting critter who lives underground! I found this adorable graphing idea on Pinterest and had to add it to my "to do" list!

If you like any of these pins, head over to Pinterest and follow me: Natalie Melton! I have boards upon boards of school ideas! I have different boards dedicated to every holiday and school activity! What did teachers do before Pinterest? Did you find any exciting pins this week that you want to share? Head over to the linky party at The First Grade Parade and share them! Can't wait to hear your ideas! Click below to go!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

~*Liebster Award!*~

~Drumroll please!~ 

First of all, let me start by saying this whole "blog thing" has been one of my new favorite things to do! I love linking up, reading other blogs, and especially connecting with people! When I get a comment on my blog or see that I have another follower, I instantly have a smile come to my face! Blogging makes you feel good, doesn't it? You get a chance to express yourself, share your ideas and see what others are doing! Like all teachers, I love to beg, borrow and steal! My fellow Charlestonian, Ms. McEachern from It's a Core Thing so sweetly nominated me for the Liebster Award! What a nice honor to have! Thanks girlie for nominating me! Her blog is adorable and she has some really cute ideas! To check it out, click on the award she gave me to link back to her page! Isn't the award ahhhhmazing?

So, this is my first award nomination and I am pretty excited about it! Let's hope I do it right. Here we go! Let's start with the Liebster rules (feel free to grab this graphic for yours):

~Questions For Me:~

1.) What kind of oreos do you like? 
    Oh wow! How do I pick just one? If I was forced to pick (and 
    was given a tall glass of cold milk) I would have to go with
    Double Stuf Oreos! Mmmmmm Mmmmm! Good!

2.) What woudld your dream vacation be?
    I love to travel, so choosing a dream vacation is tricky! 
    I would love to travel to a faraway country like Australia.
    However, packing up the car and going to Disney with my 
    entire family, including my 2 1/2 year old  niece and nephew   
    sounds pretty amazing, too!

3.) What was your first cd?
    Ooooh....this one is tough. I believe my very first cd was a
    Garth Brooks cd when I was little. I believe I stole it from
    my mom! I'm still a huge fan!

4.) What made you decide to start blogging?
    Well...I actually started a blog about a year ago called 
    "Kindergarten Tweethearts." I loved it, but I also started
    my Master's degree at the same time, so the blog took the
    back burner! This year I started up my TpT store and wanted
    a new and improved blog to go with it, so I started up this
    one and I love it!

5.) What is your favorite TV commercial?
    It seems like commercials start getting better and better! I
    love the AT&T commercials with the little kids. They always
    crack me up! I also like the Progressive commercials with 

6.) Are you a fan of a specific sports team?
    I don't really follow professional sports, but I do love the
    USC Gamecocks! I also somewhat follow pro tennis. My favorite
    tennis player is Nadal! 

7.) What is your favorite local restaurant?
    I love the Ice House here in Summerville, but I also love, 
    love, love Halls Chop House in downtown Charleston! I've
    only eaten there once, but it was so fantastic, I dream
    about going back!

8.) If I came to visit your city, what would I absolutely have to 
    do while I was there?
    If you came to Charleston, you would have to see Rainbow Row
    and the battery! You would need to sit in the swings at Water
    front Park, take a carriage ride, and eat at Halls Chop 
    House! Among so many other amazing things!

9.) Who was your most influential teacher and why?
    I have been lucky to have many amazing teachers! I have two 
    favorite teachers--one is my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. 
    Howiler. She was always so caring and giving and PATIENT! I
    also loved my highschool French teacher, Mrs. Alford. She 
    was so talented and made me so interested in foreign 
    languages! I loved hearing her speak French!

10.) What does your spouse and friends think about your blog?
     My husband thinks it's great because it makes me happy and
     I get so excited about it! In fact, he created it for me!
     He is so "techy." He had some reservations about the name,
     but I was adamant that it was cute and I wanted it! Some of 
     my friends are also bloggers and my other friends think it's
     great! My family loves keeping up with me through it!

11.) What was your favorite teaching moment?
     There are just so many! I have two favorite moments. I had
     one sweet child who was adamant that when he grew up he 
     wanted to be a kindergarten teacher just like me! How sweet!
     Another moment came when I was teaching about MLK Jr.! I 
     brought two eggs to class-- one brown, one white. We talked
     about what they looked like on the outside (different), then
     we cracked them open and looked at the inside (the same). 
     After explaining the concept of "It's what's on the inside
     that counts" one of my students said, "So, we are all like 
     presents. We are all gifts on the inside. The wrapping paper
     is just different." My jaw dropped open! How insightful and
     beautiful for a five year old! I'll never forget that and I 
     plan to use that simile for years to come!

12.) (Extra Question) I student taught in first grade! Now I'm
      in kindergarten and love it just as much!

~A Little Randomness About MOI!~

1.) I LOVE the color pink! You wouldn't know it by looking at my blog, but it is my ultimate favorite color! I chose to do red and white polka dots in my classroom because I figured the little guys wouldn't appreciate all the girly pinks! So, I compromised with red! Red's good and super cute in my K classroom, but PINK is utterly fabulous!
2.) I have the cutest little Yorkie, Oliver, who is spoiled to the core! I also have a lop eared pet bunny named Buttons who weighs the same as Oliver (7.8 lbs!)
3.) My husband and I recently built our first home together! We love it! It is shabby chic and perfect for us! You can see a picture of it in my About Me section!
4.) My life motto is: "Be a warrior, not a worrier!" I have an autoimmune disorder that affects my platelet counts (ITP). But, I don't let it get me down! I have to treat it and be cautious, but overall, I try to keep a positive outlook! I have so much to be thankful for!
5.) I recently began a new adventure in trying to "eat clean." This is very hard to do for a junk foodie and diet coke addict. I must say, I haven't had a diet coke in exactly 13 days...phew! I am trying to stay healthy! It's so hard sometimes!
6.) One thing that makes me happy is fresh flowers! I almost always have four or five vases around my house with fresh flowers in them. It's the little things that make me happy!
7.) My husband and I have been together for 11 years! We started dating when I was a junior in high school! We just celebrated our 2 year anniversary on April 16th!
8.) One of my favorite channels to watch on TV is Investigation Discovery! I love the shows during the day but hate them at night because I get scared!
9.) I love iced tea! It is my drink of choice. I love a little sugar and lots of lemon to make it perfect! Mmmm!
10.) If you've read my blog you have read that I am obsessed with polka dots, birds, and mason jars! Go figure...I know I can't be the only one! :)
11.) My favorite stores in random order are: Loft, Target, Anthropologie, Garden Ridge, HomeGoods, and Urban Outfitters!

Again, I want to thank Ms. McEachern from It's a Core Thing for nominating me! You made my day and I have had so much fun answering your questions! Thank you for my nomination! So, I am going to go ahead and pass it forward and nominate...

~Questions For My Nominees~

1.) Where did you go to college? How was it?
2.) What is your favorite movie and why?
3.) If you could go on a shopping spree, where would you go and  
4.) If you could visit anywhere in the United States, where would
    you go and why?
5.) Where do you teach and what makes it awesome?
6.) Name two things that makes your job enjoyable and amazing.
7.) Name two things that makes your job (at times) frustrating
    and difficult.
8.) Do you have any pets? Tell me about them. If not, what pet
    would you have if you had to choose?
9.) What is your favorite recipe?
10.)If you weren't an amazing teacher, what job would you choose?
11.)Name one simple pleasure that you love in life (like fresh 
    flowers or a big diet coke!)
12.)Bonus Question: What is your favorite thing to do during the 

Friday, July 12, 2013

*~FaVoRiTe PiNs FrIDaY!*~

Wow! What a busy week it has been! I am just now starting to get in the mindset that school will start back in less than a month (*tear*)but I have been amping up my own professional development by pinning some cute ideas on Pinterest! I am excited to link up with The First Grade Parade and share my top five pins that I found this week! So, here we go!

Have You Made a Ziploc Quilt Today?

I saw this cool idea and had to pin it! How neat would it be to get some adorable or funky duct tape (they make so much of it now) and make a class quilt with ziplocs? Simply slip student work inside to display! No more staples or tape...genius! 

Have You Given a Mouse a Cookie?

I just recently finished up my If You Give a Mouse Cookie thematic unit and saw this adorable craft to go with it on Pinterest! I think I may have to pencil this craft into my schedule for the first or second week of school! Cute!

Awwww.....More Cuteness!

A few weeks ago I posted my Kissing Hand Unit on my blog and the other day, I found this adorableness to go along with it! Don't you think the kids would love this on the first day of school? It is so sweet (both literally and figuratively).

Hungry Yet?

So, one of my favorite topics to pin about on Pinterest are recipes! I love to eat and I TRY to cook, so anytime I come across a yummy looking recipe, it gets itself pinned! I came across this recipe and had to pin it! I actually made these and they turned out DELICIOUS! You should try them, too! They are chicken roll-ups-- cream cheese, boiled/shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and a ranch packet rolled up into a crescent of deliciousness!

Laughter is Good for the Soul!

I love pinning funny pictures and sayings that bring a smile to my face, especially if they involve animals. Needless to say, this one did both! It's a little dorky, but I'm sure you laughed too!

Thanks for reading my Favorite Pins Friday post! Did you pin anything "pinteresting" this week? If so, head over to the linky party and share your pins! Click below!


Have a fantastically fun weekend,

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Made it Monday---Have YOU Given a Mouse a Cookie, Today?---GIVEAWAY!

Hey Everyone,
Today, I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics to share what I have been busily creating this past week!

I am so excited to announce on this Made it Monday that I finally finished up my If You Give a Mouse a Cookie unit! I am super excited because I will definitely be using this in my classroom! I think I have found what my favorite activities to create are--thematic units! My school, in the past, has had strict guidelines for our whole/group/shared reading time allotments. Finally, this year, they decided to do something new and innovative: not dictate what the teachers read and trust their judgement. Novel idea, isn't it? Anyways, here are some clips from my unit! Also, there is the link to my TpT store! This unit is $5.99 (but includes 74 pages of nonstop cuteness!) You can click the link to visit it in my store....

OR you can be the first THREE people to comment on here (my blog) about my new product and I will email it to you for FREE! That's right....FREE FOR THE FIRST THREE COMMENTERS!Just leave me your email addresses!

Here are some sneak peeks! Click here to head over and see the full preview at TpT!


Did you make something incredible and would like to share it on this Mad it Monday? If so, head on over the 4th Grade Frolics by clicking below and share it!

Happy Blogging!,

Monday, July 8, 2013

~*MaDe It MoNdAy: Recipe Edition*~

So, I'm finally back from my amazing getaway to the mountains and the beach. I must say, it was an exciting break, but I am glad to be back! I'm ready to hunker down and start getting some things prepared for this coming school year and I'm excited to be back go blogging and creating! For this made it Monday, I am excited to share one of my favorite recipes: Mama's Brown Apple Betty Pie. This is one of my favorite desserts and it is so super easy! And, it will make for a very happy husband! Details and pictures are below!

* 5 cut and peeled tart apples (I use Granny Smith apples, but  
  you can use sweeter apples if you like!)
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1 cup white sugar
* 3/4 cup flour
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
* dash of salt
* 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
* cooking spray
* 9" pie plate
(I accidentally forgot the flour...oops! Don't forget it!)

To make your delicious pie:

1.) Mound your cut and peeled apples in a 9" pie plate after you have sprayed it with cooking spray.


2.) Sprinkle the apples with the 1/4 cup orange juice to prevent them from browning.


3.) Combine dry ingredients (sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg) in a bowl. Mix together.


4.) Cut in the stick of butter until the mixture is crumbly. I cut small slices like this and as the mixer goes, I drop it in. Mix until it looks like the picture below this one.



5.) Sprinkle the crumble over the apples. Resist from eating the crumbles...they are tasty!


6.) Place your pie in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is crisp. Serve warm over ice cream or with whipped cream! Makes 6 servings.

For this particular pie, I was a fatty and doubled the crust! All you have to do is double the dry ingredients and the butter! 

Mmmmmmmmm, Mmmmmmmmmm, Mmmmmmmmmmm! It was GOOD! :)

I hope you enjoy this recipe! It really is easy and super delicious! Do you have an amazing recipe to share? If so, head on over to 4th Grade Frolics, link up and share what you did! Click below!

Happy Eating, Blogging, and Sharing,

Friday, July 5, 2013

~*FaVoRiTe PiNs FrIdAy*~

Pins To "Chirp" About

A little change-o this Friday! I am excited to link up with Cara from The First Grade Parade to share my top five pins from this week!

We all do it...hover over our computers engaging in out of control pinning sprees. I know I do it on a daily basis! From pinning things for my classroom (the bulk of my pinsanity), to delicious recipes, to the perfect outdoor porch d├ęcor, I am guilty of pinning like a mad woman! This week was no exception! Enjoy my pins by clicking on them. Or...follow me on Pinterest and have access to close to 1,000 pins! Whew! That's a lot...and I'm sure some other bloggers could put me to shame! Sounds very "pinteresting" to me!

 What a Hoot!
I found this adorable goody bag that I may use for my open house/meet the teacher night! It not only goes great with my bird theme with the adorable owl topper, but the bags are polka dot to boot! What a hoot! Love it! Click the link for an entire collection of adorable owl ideas!

Shabby Chic Goodness
(and apparent sold-out-ed-ness)
So, I am a TOMS lover. I have two pairs (glitter silver and the white crocheted pair). Also, anyone who knows me well knows that I am a Shabby Chic freak. Anything girly, frilly, cottage-y, etc. and I am going to go goo-goo for it. Well, I happened upon these pieces of cuteness and had a total freak-out which prompted an immediate trip to the website to order them. Unfortunately, some other shabby lovers grabbed them before I could! *Tear* But, they are still cute to look at and maybe they will be rereleased. A girl can dream.

Sweet, Quick, Easy
One of my favorite things to pin are cute gift ideas that won't break the bank and involve a smidge of personalization. Being the lover of mason jars that I am and the great baker that I am (ok, that last part was a fib), I had to pin this adorable idea. So simple, fast, and adds that personal touch! This is perfect for a friend who has moved into a new house or gotten married. It is a mason jar with a rolled up apron and tied with a bow with a recipe tag. Cuteness on all levels!  

One Word: DISNEY
Is it wrong for me to assume that everyone loves Disney? Well, this girl does and anything that involves Disney involves an automatic "ooohhh and ahhhh" from me. So, when I stumbled across this awesome idea (and after the initial "ooohhhs and ahhhhs), I pinned it to keep for the future. Then I thought, I could make my husband do this with me, right? This pin basically led you to a forum in which a very crafty mom made certain nights Disney movie nights, involving a special menu and activities revolving around a Disney movie. This particular picture is from Peter Pan night. Unfortunately, the link no longer works, but I figure we are teachers and can use our imaginations! I would kill for some Peter Pan Pirate Ship Pizza with Pixie Dust right about now, wouldn't you? I can already imagine some Cinderella inspired cupcakes!

(Who doesn't like to laugh?)
So, here are three Pinterest funnies that made it onto my *LOL* board. They all, in their own way, shed some light on the complex nature of my personality (i.e.- I forget to take attendance and am still hung up on Noah Calhoun, I am a cheese hog, and I consider pants optional).

I hope these pins were somewhat entertaining! I love me some Pinterest, so head over and follow me on there! But, beware, because I may stalk your boards in return! Want to share your pins? Head on over to Cara's blog, The First Grade Parade (click the icon below) and share some of your "pinteresting" finds!

Happy Pinning and Blogging on this fantastic, fabulous Friday!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

****HaPpY 4th oF JuLy!****

Just wanted to give my blog some love and wish all of my viewers and followers an amazing Fourth of July from South Carolina! And to make it even better....some Polka Dotted Chirp lovin' is below...

Oh, how appropriate! I hope everyone has a safe and fantastic July 4th! Here's to good food, great drinks, and dazzling fireworks!

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue,