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Isn’t it wonderful how much help you get running your classroom and juggling it all? We bet you thank your lucky stars every day for that 24-7 personal assistant that your school district provides you! We know we do! It is just amazing how much they are able to take off of our plates so that we can focus on doing the important things like teaching, spending time with our families, and watching Netflix, of course!
Not sounding familiar? Wait, your district doesn’t do that? Hmmm…. wait… now that we think about it, we don’t have that either! Must have been a dream we were having. Man… now that we know we don’t have that what we have to do everyday sounds, well, overwhelming! But don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, we’ve got a nifty little program that will help you out. If This Then That (IFTTT) is an amazing site that can act as your personal assistant helping you complete both little and big tasks. Here is a list of just a few of our favorite ways that IFTTT can help!

These tips are amazing! Can't wait to start using IFTTT in my classroom and at home!

IFTTT can help you…

Never forget another birthday of a student, coworker, family member, or friend again!

Get notifications for birthdays in your calendar! You can even have it remind you when it’s your mail carrier’s birthday and be the best neighbor on your block [we know, we know, it’s not a competition… but it sort of is :)]! Click here to learn more!

Get healthier!

IFTTT can help send you reminders to drink more water. A common problem for teachers… and, you know, humans! Click here to learn more!

Get dressed for the day!

Okay, so it can’t actually pick out the perfect IG worthy outfit or dress you but it can check tomorrow’s weather and let you know every day at 6 PM so you’ll always be in the know! And that’s kind of the same thing, right? Click here to learn more!

Back up your photos!

How many times have you freaked out thinking that your phone has just died or may not survive its latest kamikaze jump off the table? It’s happened to us on more than one occasion. IFTTT can help back up your photos from your cellphone automatically to either Dropbox or Google Drive so that you never have to worry about losing any of those precious memories! Click here to learn more about backing up to Dropbox if you have an iPhone or here if you have an Android! Click here to learn more about backing up your photos to Google Drive if you have an iPhone or here if you have an Android!

Move your school pics from your cell phone to a specific folder online!

IFTTT can use your location when you took the photo to determine if it is a school photo and save it to a pre-specified folder in Google Drive all without you having to lift a finger… you know after you use all of your digits to get it set up in the first place :). Note: you may have an issue with these ITTT’s working correctly if you happen to live really close to your school and take pictures at home too. Click here or here to learn more!

Keep an eye on a certain app and let you know when it drops in price!

You can tell IFTTT to email you when the app you would love to use in your classroom drops in price. Click here to learn more!

These tips are amazing! Can't wait to start using IFTTT in my classroom and at home!

Text to remind you of that meeting or afterschool duty you always forget:

With all of the other things you need to keep track of during a day, we’re betting you could use a little extra help remembering those meetings or duties that only happen once in a blue moon. Click here to learn more!

Text you when a form is submitted!

Google Forms are amazing and can be used for so many different things! Parent volunteer sign-ups. Student sign-up for writing conferences. And so much more! Now, you don’t have to keep checking back constantly to see if you’ve gotten another response, your IFTTT assistant is on the job! Click here to learn more!

Adjust your cell phone’s ringer volume when you’re at work!

You can set IFTTT up to automatically mute your Android ringtone when you get to school and un-mute it when you get home. Click here and here to learn more!
You can also have your phone text your husband or kids when you leave work – or better yet you can set your kid’s phone up to text you when they leave school and are on their way home! Click here to learn more!
You can even set it up to turn your volume up when you lose your phone. Click here to learn more!

Close and open your garage door!

IFTTT can control your garage door for you so that you never have to wonder if you remembered to close it when you’re just about to school! Or on vacation! Click here and here to learn more!

Remind you of what’s on your To Do list!

You can schedule IFTTT to show you your To Do list when you leave your house, helping make sure that you look at it at least once every day. Click here to learn more!

Remind you what you need to buy at the store!

IFTTT will help remind you what you need to purchase when you arrive at store X. No more wondering… hmmm, I know there is something that I needed from here. IFTTT will use the GPS on your phone to know when you’ve arrived at store X and pull up your list for you. Pretty crazy, right!?! Click here to learn more! 
Want to know what’s even crazier??? IFTTT can also text your husband, kids, parents, whoever you choose to see if they need something at that store too when you arrive! Hearing “Oh I wish I had known you were going to X, I really need …” when you get home later. Now it’s on them to let you know if they need something. Ah, one less thing to have to tackle! Click here to learn more!
Here’s to the best personal assistant (no)money can buy you! IFTTT has so many amazing features it was really hard to stop. So, check them out and see how they can help to simplify your life both in and out of the classroom! Cheers!
These tips are amazing! Can't wait to start using IFTTT in my classroom and at home!
These tips are amazing! Can't wait to start using IFTTT in my classroom and at home!

Family vacation! Does that conjure up memories or what? Whether or not your images closely match those of the Griswold family, there is NOTHING like a road trip! We’ve got ideas for settling back. Enjoy the ride!

Grab Audible!

Books on tape that is! Yes, you can go for the heady stuff; dive into documentaries on ancient civilizations or learn a new language. But, nah! We’re just up for some fun listens. Try these series:   A Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen and The Fox and O’Hare Series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

Snacks for the road!

We’re breaking snacks down into categories because there are some must haves that just don’t fit into the healthy category but no matter. They’re a definite must! And, then there are the healthy ones to include because after all, your destination is the beach!

  • Healthy options:
    • When you want to keep snacking, we suggest lots of raw veggie strips with hummus for scooping. Red, yellow and orange peppers are a fav of ours. Snap peas, zucchini strips, carrots, and celery are also good. Apples too, of course.
    • Healthy but don’t go crazy – roasted almonds, trail mixes. Check out Sahale. We can personally tell you that the Raspberry Crumble Cashew Trail Mix is delish!
  • Must haves that are in no way healthy:
    • Salty snacking mixes like Gardetto’s and, our personal fav, Synder’s of Hanover!
    • Sour gummy worms, m&ms, snack mixes with mini peanut butter cups – you get the picture!

So most of our plans revolve around food. Figures! Got road trip favorites? Please share your family vacation faves!

So this IS the perfect day to write about what to do after a rough day! Copier kept jamming. One of my students threw up all over my supplies. Wonderful. Good news is – that’s all behind! Now for some serious relaxing, regrouping and ice cream!

Every little thing’s gonna be alright!

Oh yes. Here are some of our fav recoups after a rough day:

  • Chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joes. A mouthful to say and even better to eat! They’re the perfect combination of sweet and salty. And, starting with chocolate, it’s gotta be alright.
  • Pasta! Pasta! Pasta! Basta? Never!!!! Yep, we can go on record on that one. Pasta has all the carbs of a good comfort food. And endless possibilities – cheesy, Caprese, just pretty much anyway!
  • Ice cream! Now that’s serious feel better stuff! Mouse tracks or Thin mints are super tasty… you really can’t go wrong.
  • Portillo’s Chocolate Cake Shakes – We thought they were better when they were an off menu item but they still crazy good!

Don’t worry bout a thing

Food’s a great start. Here are some of our fav add-ons:

  • Got the hot chocolate. Now we’re ready to binge watch Netflix! This time catching up on Reign.
  • Love lavender! It’s so calming. Marti loves Trader Joe’s Lavender Sea Salt Scrub.

Because those rough days come around every once in awhile…

Share your favorite stinky day prescriptions. We’d love to hear them!

Need a little spa-like pick-me-up? Go for infused water and know that your choice is cleansing, soothing and healing. Better than guilt free! It can help you stay healthy and even lose weight.

Why infused water?

Hydration… yes, yes. But more than that! Infusing water with cucumber slices, a little lemon or a combo of citrus fruits, can give you extra taste and benefits. Here’s the scoop on different options:

  • Lemon – Where to start? The obvious is that lemons are a great source of vitamin C which helps helps boost immune systems. It’s also a great source of citric acid. Without giving our spin on a science lesson we’re in no way ready to give… it helps your body maintain its optimal pH. Keeping body pH within the optimal range helps prevent fatigue, weight gain, heart disease, cancer and more. Pretty fascinating and powerful!
  • Cucumber – No wonder cucumber water conjurs up spa day. It adds its own contributions to the hydrating effects on skin. Think vitamin B-5 also known as pantothenic acid and known for boosting metabolism. Also known as an anti-stress vitamin – hello!?! We don’t know of proof for that claim but it’s worth a try!
  • Mint with watermelon – Anna fell in love with this combo, always out in the lobby of the Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii. Mint is a natural breath freshener, is high in antioxidents and is calming for upset stomachs.

 

Making infused water:

  • No matter what flavor you’re making, let it steep for awhile (maybe an hour) before drinking and drink within a day or so.
  • Lemon
    Wash and slice a lemon, adding a few slices to your water. For more lemon taste and benefits, squeeze the lemon before adding it to the water.
  • Cucumber
    There are no definite must-dos but here’s what we suggest. Peel strips off the outside then slice into rings. We scoop out the seeds although they’re edible so no worries if you don’t. Tip – Cucumber slices float so if you want to keep them submerged for more flavor, layer some ice cubes on top.
  • Mint
    Wash it well, crush or muddle some of it to add more flavor.
  • We love the water bottles with the infuser built in. You can get individual sport bottles or get a bigger bottle and infuse water to share.

Got favorite combos of fruit you use to make infused water? Please share. Ah! Relex and drink up.

Books that speak to you. That’s what Amazon calls Audible. So while you’re driving, cleaning, showering or doing so many different life tasks, you can still be read to and who doesn’t love that? Anna loves Audible – no more waiting for summer breaks to read – stories are just a few clicks away.

 Books that speak to you. That's what Amazon calls Audible. So while you're driving, cleaning, showering, you can still be read to and who doesn't love that?

26 Categories make searching easy

Browse or search by title, author or keyword. With categories and subcategories on their web page, you can narrow your search and find a book quickly.

Books that speak to you. That's what Amazon calls Audible. So while you're driving, cleaning, showering, you can still be read to and who doesn't love that?

“Quoth the Raven Nevermore”

Looking for a spine-tingling experience? Audible’s editors chose voice performers who deliver performances that bring their stories to life, whether it’s a thriller, a spicy romance or comedy.

Books that speak to you. That's what Amazon calls Audible. So while you're driving, cleaning, showering, you can still be read to and who doesn't love that?

Download audiobooks

Ready to listen? Download the book to your iPhone, Android, Kindle, or another listening device. You can even download books in sections to save space and you can even start reading before it’s finished downloading. That’s pretty stellar! Another listening tip is to download on wifi to save on data.

Books that speak to you. That's what Amazon calls Audible. So while you're driving, cleaning, showering, you can still be read to and who doesn't love that?

Build your own library with Audible

With over 180,000 titles, you’ve got choices! If you don’t know where to get started, you can always browse their editors’ suggestions or list of most popular or most recent. Anna’s library includes picture books she uses when doing a read aloud in her classroom. Sustainability again as kids get to listen to a different voice when doing stations and Anna can devote her focus to meeting with other students.

Books that speak to you. That's what Amazon calls Audible. So while you're driving, cleaning, showering, you can still be read to and who doesn't love that?

Bottom Line

Here’s the scoop: you can get a free trial then it’s $14.95 a month. Each month you get one credit which you can use to buy a book. You also get 30% off additional audiobooks so you can be strategic and use your credit for the most expensive pick if you think you’ll want more than one. There’s peace of mind in that you can cancel anytime and keep the books you’ve already downloaded. And that, if you decide you don’t like a book, you can return it. Check out the site for details. Keep an eye out for extra credit specials so you can buy credits in bulk for less.

 

Want a good story to let your mind escape the daily traffic snarls or to encourage you to spend 10 more minutes on the treadmill? Try Audible on your choice of listening device. It can be one more step in keeping that balance between work and time for ourselves. One more point for sustainability! Tried Audible? Let us know your thoughts!

Books that speak to you. That's what Amazon calls Audible. So while you're driving, cleaning, showering, you can still be read to and who doesn't love that?

So, we’ll fess up. Marti got to meet with a dietician and learned some facts about protein and finding a good protein source that both scared and fascinated her because yes, it’s an absolute for health but the daily requirements are pretty staggering.

The roles of protein in health are fascinating:

The roles protein play are fascinating and varied, determined by each protein’s sequence of amino acids which determines its 3-D structure and its job. Most of the work in cells is done by proteins and they’re also essential for maintaining the structure and function of the body’s tissues and organs.

Albumin, a plasma protein, is a big deal in terms of maintaining fluid balance which it does by helping cells pull in and emit fluids. If your body doesn’t have enough albumin, swelling can occur because of fluids that have leaked into your tissues. Think back to those times when you’ve felt bloated and sluggish because you’ve retained fluid. It might be because your body needs more protein. We’re not nutrition experts and definitely believe you should check with a dietician or your doctor before significantly altering your diet.

 

So here it is – both the challenge of getting enough protein and some protein source:

CHALLENGE: Women need to consume .8 percent of their body weight in kilograms daily which can translate to between 50 – 70 grams of protein in a day. That’s a  staggering amount when we thought about the protein in one egg equaling 7 grams. Yikes! We aren’t thinking about eating the 5-7 eggs it would take to meet the protein requirement for a day but the thought of meeting the minimum requirement by eating that much protein seems… crazy!

SOLUTION: Greek yogurt is a great protein source but be sure to read the label because the grams of protein can vary widely. Chobani and Fage are two brands that contain 18 grams of protein in their 6-ounce containers. You can do the math to adjust for various serving sizes but that can be 50% more protein than some other Greek yogurts offer.

SOLUTION: Chicken! Yes, heard that one before! That’s because, without the skin, most of its calories provide protein – 53 grams for 284 calories. Add to that that chicken is versatile – you can fix it so many different ways, it doesn’t have to same-old, same-old.

SOLUTION: Quinoa! It has all nine essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein and offers 8 grams of protein (222 calories in one cup of cooked quinoa). Whoa! That’s not all – quinoa also has quercetin, a flavonoid that is shown to be a powerhouse fighting depression, inflammation, viruses, and cancer.

SOLUTION: Lentils give about 18 grams of protein per cup when cooked. Besides being a great protein source, they’re also a great source of iron – think energy – and fiber – think fullness and weight loss!

SOLUTION: Good, quality protein drinks like Premier give about 30 grams of protein. That’s with only 160 calories and 270 grams of sodium for those people who are watching salt intake.

 

Did you know the origin of the word protein comes from the Greek protos which means first? That helps us to remember the basic role of protein in our health which means that when we’re getting enough protein, it’s able to perform its many roles beyond providing energy.

Scrumptious protein in a parfait made with Greek yogurt? Fast protein in a drink? You’ve got this and will feel so much better for it!

Did you know the origin of the word protein comes from the Greek protos which means first? That helps us to remember the basic role of protein in our health which means that when we're getting enough protein, it's able to perform its many roles beyond providing energy.

Just need to get away? Warm sun. Beaches. Spring break. Even thinking about it makes us smile!

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is our hands down, comfortable, can’t-wait-to-get-back-to fav for spring break! We love the white sand beaches! The sand is powdery and you can walk for hours or just find a spot away from crowds, stretch out and soak up the sun, salty breezes and listen to the waves roll in. Mmmmm! We love it! We love looking up to see pelicans flying along the shore. They’re stealth and seem to glide since many times we don’t catch them flapping their wings. Some of our local favs are:

Just need to get away? Warm sun. Beaches. Spring break. Even thinking about it makes us smile!  Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is our hands down, comfortable, can't-wait-to-get-back-to fav for spring break!

Biking along 30A

Most everything exists connected to 30A, the slow going route that is set back from the beach but follows the coast. Alongside is a biking/walking path we like riding on – sometimes just for fun, other times to get to fish tacos at our fav places.

Stinky’s Fish Camp

Right on 30A. It’s super casual, laid back and has amazing fish tacos, oysters, crawfish pie, fried brie with Memaw’s pepper jelly, fried green tomatoes, local fish of the day Po’Boys and key lime pie! Mmmmmmmm! Amazing!

Seaside

A great destination – so many restaurants, boutiquey shops, more amazing beaches and great people watching. It’s compact so it’s great for walking everywhere, not so great for driving. We like riding our bikes, parking them then walking everywhere. Like a few blocks in at Ruskin Place where the  European ambiance makes us feel like we’re in France. Old brick buildings with boutiques on the first floor and scrolled, wrought-iron balconies attached to the homes above. All surrounding a courtyard – a continuous park filled with sections of gardens, paths across and dappled sections of grass where the sunshine breaks through the leafy shade. Mmmm! Love it! Grab a latte, chill and relax. There’s even a not so happy pooch on the second floor who yammers on when we get too close to his space.

Airstream food vendors

Located along 30A and the central square which is a big, open park at Seaside. We love the breakfast sandwich with tomato bacon jam (sounds weird but it’s sweet, salty and wonderful!) served up at The MeltDown.

Baytowne Wharf

Switch up gears for Baytowne Wharf – exciting, crowded and filled with kid-friendly options like zip-lining, a giant chess set, and movie nights on the lawn. We like grabbing a mojito and strolling down to the wharf.

Just need to get away? Warm sun. Beaches. Spring break. Even thinking about it makes us smile!  Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is our hands down, comfortable, can't-wait-to-get-back-to fav for spring break!

The beach!!!!

Whether we pick spending the day at Grayton Beach State Park or basically any spot along the Gulf, the beach is beautiful! Not much in terms of shelling but the powdery sand is so easy on the feet that we love walking. First thing in the morning. Later in the evening to see the sunset. Even later at night when it’s moonlit.

What’s your go to spring break destination? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear all about it!

Just need to get away? Warm sun. Beaches. Spring break. Even thinking about it makes us smile!  Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is our hands down, comfortable, can't-wait-to-get-back-to fav for spring break!

So I’m fessing up to my double yoga life. Yoga with my class of seriously boisterous secondies. And yoga in the calm of my own space. Funny thing now that I think about it – it’s pretty chill both places. My kiddos relax and destress as we all move and stretch. It’s really a glorious thing!

 

Building quiet minds. One yoga session at a time. Namaste!

Yoga is a great way to exercise and relieve stress. It’s not competitive so it gives kids another healthy way to belong to their classroom community. Yoga slows down even the most bubbly, bouncy fiest machines in my class. Concentrating on their breathing makes them focus, decompress and leaves them in a quiet place. What?! Okay, a girl’s got to dream a little! But seriously, yoga calms the beasties in us so we’re all in! The kids don’t need any convincing – Star Wars workouts help them feel strong, confident and more focused. Cosmic Kids Yoga, on YouTube, creates yoga videos that are usually told through a story. Bloody Hell! There’s even Harry Potter!

 

For me, outside of the classroom, it’s Asana Rebel! I love the face paced workouts. And each day there’s a different workout for free! So easy for me – it’s the yoga of the day, already chosen so one less decision. Win! Win! Have to confess though – I got hooked and opted for the paid version for $39.99 a year. Also available for $9.99 a month but the year was too good a deal to pass up. Especially when the Happiness Flow workout promises to help me find clarity, focus and inner peace. I’m still working on it!! In the meantime, I’m still often opting for “Today’s Workout”. It’s just 10 or 15 minutes – burns lots of calories and is over almost as soon as my ADD addled mind starts wondering. Perfect way to destress, let go of the day and calm. Bliss!

Got yoga tips? Please share! We’re up for new ideas!