Wedding Wednesday: Decorations, Part 1

Hi there!

I hope you all are having a great week so far! My week seems to be going SO slow; Justin and I leave on Friday after work for a vacation and I am so excited! I have to keep distracting myself so that I don’t focus on time or otherwise this week will seem never-ending. Come on Friday!!

Wedding Wednesday: “Welcome Table” decorations

For today’s Wedding Wednesday post I thought I’d start re-capping some of the decorations we had around our wedding. I should preface this by saying Pinterest became my BFF during the wedding planning and it was definitely reflected in the decorations. Wish I could take all these ideas as mine alone but I took lots of inspiration from others. I still tried to put my own spin on things so that counts for originality points, right? All photographs below are copyright Rothwell Photography.

For today, I’m gonna focus on the things on the tables at what I call the “welcome table.” This was the first thing guests saw: where they were dropped off gifts, signed the guestbook, and got programs! I wanted it to be functional, interesting, and helpful to our guests.

I incorporated chalkboards in a couple different ways. I bought mini chalkboards from a local store and used them as signs to give info to guests.

Wedding Decoration: Simple chalkboard sign for cards

I used one small one in front of a wooden box to tell guests where to leave their cards. (Props to my wedding coordinator for thinking to use extra painted bottles and flowers to spruce up the area. More on the painted bottles in another post!)

Chalkboard sign at wedding

I didn’t ask anyone to hand out programs so I used one chalkboard to instruct guests on what they needed to do. I had a basket with song sheets, another wooden box with programs, and a huge tub with bottled waters for guests to grab before they went on to the ceremony.

Speaking of programs . . .

DIY Wedding Fan Programs DIY Wedding Fan Programs

My amazing sister helped me put together these cute fan programs in the days before the wedding. I used navy and green font and the same tree drawing (which my other amazing sister drew herself!!) that was used on our invitations. Making the fans was super simple! I printed out the programs on cardstock, folded them in half, used spray glue (found here) to attach popsicle sticks to the back of the cardstock, and sealed the fold together. Once the glue had dried, I used a scrapbook corner cutter to round the edges so they looked more polished. Easy! And it was very appreciated by my guests since it was a hot day!

Now on to a few more things!

Also on the welcome table was the guest book.  For this, I found a giant letter “W” (for our last name) at Hobby Lobby and I had a friend paint and distress it using green paint. (Not only was green a wedding color but it’s also a color I use in almost every room of our house so I knew I could use the letter to decorate later!)

Last name initial for guestbook! Last name initial for guest book!

I absolutely loved that we did this! The letter is now hanging up in our living room — the perfect reminder of our special day and all the loved ones who shared it with us!

And speaking of loved ones who shared it with us, there were a lot of loved ones who couldn’t make it to the wedding. Specifically, Justin’s grandparents were both in poor health and lived four hours from our wedding site so they were unable to attend. We wanted to pay respects to them so we put their pictures on a table near the guestbook with a little sign that said “Loved ones celebrating from afar” because we knew they were celebrating in spirit!

Table remembering loved ones who can't make it to your wedding

We also included a picture of Justin’s grandpa, my grandpa, and one of my childhood best friends, all of whom unfortunately passed away long before Justin and I knew one another. We wanted to remember them too so we included a sign that read “loved ones celebrating from above” — it was hard to not have them with us at our wedding but I love knowing they were still watching over us!

And continuing the picture theme, on the other side of the table, we had a grouping of pictures from our ancestor’s weddings. We were lucky enough to find pictures of all of our grandparents at their weddings in addition to our parents. For fun, we also threw in baby photos of the two of us. 🙂

Photos of parents and grandparents weddings on display

I’m glad we had all the photos out because it gave our guests something to look at while waiting in line for the guest book and programs. And it was a great way to pay to tribute to all the marriages that we respect and admire!

And that’s all for now! All of the decorations were super simple and easy — just the way I like it! And none of them took very long to put together except for the fans which did take over an hour to complete.

More decorations to come in the next Wedding Wednesday! Which will not be next week because I’ll be on VACATION!! Whoop whoop!!

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Today’s outfit was warm weather wishful thinking. Can’t wait to not have to wear cardigans and tights with everything!

black and white dress, cardigan, fun peacock earrings

Dress: Maurices (exact unavailable) ~ Cardigan: Maurices (exact here) ~ Tights: Express (exact here; similar here) ~ Black suede pumps: Target (exact old, similar here and here) ~ Belt: Maurices (exact here) ~ Earrings: Gift from a friend

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The after-effects of a Juice Cleanse

Ugh. Today has not been the most fun of days.

After three days of nothing but fruits and veggies (whether in whole form or in juice), my body is not adjusting back to my “normal” food well.

This morning I had a bowl of cereal and skim milk, the same thing I’ve had every morning for the last several months. Normally I love starting my day out with cereal but today I didn’t feel that great afterwards. I kind of missed my refreshing morning juice! Tomorrow I’m definitely going to start my day off with some nice fresh juice.

For lunch I had yogurt with granola, like a normal lunch. I didn’t feel too bad after that, but then I made a mistake. Remember that delicious looking birthday cake my co-worker had yesterday? She saved me a piece and after eating it, I felt horrible. There was so much butter and sugar in it that I felt like sludge afterwards.

This has really made me realize how much food impacts your energy level and regular functioning. Even though I’m off my cleanse, I still need to incorporate lots of fruits and veggies into my everyday eating. And I really need to be careful about the amount of artificial sweeteners I eat. Butter, sugar, chocolate, and oils are things that suck my energy — and they’re not good for me anyways so limiting my intake of them can only be a good thing! 🙂

Tonight I’m making dinner and I think a nice fresh salad sounds like the perfect addition to the meal! I love that I’m actually craving veggies now!

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Today’s outfit retreated back into winter layers and colors because it SNOWED last night and is cold again. I’m officially done with cold weather!

black cardigan, purple tank, black pinstripe pantsBlack cardigan: Express (exact old, similar here and here) ~ Purple tank: Express (exact old) ~ Black cami layered underneath: Express (exact here, similar here) ~ Pinstripe pants: Express (exact old, similar here) ~ Black beaded necklace: Premier Jewelry (exact old, similar here)

Wedding Wednesday: Operation Honeymoon!

First and foremost, today marks the last day of my 3-day juice cleanse!!

In the first two days of the cleanse, I made a huge juice in the morning and split it between breakfast and lunch. Yesterday, however, I was craving some change so I made a smaller juice for breakfast and then a different juice for lunch.

My breakfast juice was DELICIOUS! I’m going to call this my Peaches & Cream Morning Juice 🙂

Peaches & Cream Breakfast Juice

Ingredients:

-1 large handful of kale

-2 peaches

-10-12 strawberries

-1 banana

-a sprinkling of chia seeds (I added these to the juice afterwards)

This was probably one of my favorite juices so far — I stuck it in the freezer for about 20 minutes before leaving the house and it froze just enough to taste like a delicious smoothie! YUM!

For lunch, I made a greener juice.

Green Lunch Juice

Ingredients:

-2 handfuls spinach

-1 handful kale

-1/2 cucumber (I am not a huge fan of the cucumber taste in juice and I didn’t want it to be overwhelming. If you love cucumber, you could use the whole thing)

-1 pear

-1 apple (wish I had green apples for a true “green” juice!)

This juice was pretty good as well, although not as delectable as the morning juice. By lunchtime, I was just craving real food! While I wasn’t hungry (an 8 oz. juice is actually very filling!) I missed the texture of different types of foods. It didn’t help that it was my co-worker’s birthday and I had to stare at this all day long:

Temptation!

Yeah. It was brutal! I had to watch everyone eat it while munching on carrot sticks at my desk.

Yet another carrot

Pathetic, I know.

After a quick workout at the gym, it was time to head home and freshen up for DINNER. A real live dinner!! We went over to our friends’ house where they had prepared a feast!

First meal!!

My friend Kristen was the one who initially suggested doing the cleanse and we were both salivating watching her husband prepare lemon alfredo chicken pasta and perfectly steamed broccoli! This meal was perfection and it was definitely worth the wait!

A few tips for anyone considering a juice fast:

-Listen to your body! I tried a 3 mile run the first day of the cleanse and that was a mistake — my body was still adjusting at that point and I wish I would have done a lighter workout.

-Incoroporate whole fruits and veggies. I never would have survived on just juice so I munched on bananas, strawberries, and carrots in between meals.

-Do it with a partner! Kristen and I both admitted we would have cheated many times had we not known there was someone there to keep us accountable. We were both really proud of ourselves for sticking with it and not cheating or giving up!

While I’m actually glad I had this experience, I think I’ll stick to juicing just once a day for the time being. 🙂

Wedding Wednesday: Operation Honeymoon!

About this time last year, my workout routine was getting more and more intense to prepare for the wedding! There are few things more motivating to get your butt to the gym than knowing you’re going to stand in front of 200+ people in a form-fitting dress and have pictures in it that last a lifetime! Also motivating is knowing you’ll frolic on the beach in a bikini the next week on your honeymoon. Needless to say, I was working hard! I found that having an actual plan for my workout helped me adequately rotate muscle groups and make sure I was getting a good mix of strength training and cardio. I even created a workout chart I called “Operation Honeymoon” to help motivate me! I wrote down everything I wanted to do each day (i.e. Monday: 60 minute kickboxing class; Tuesday: 2 mile run, 30 minutes arms strength training; Wednesday: 30 minutes on bike, 30 minutes legs strength training, etc). My plan was for 6 days a week and I tried to keep mixing up what I did so I never got into a workout rut. I was really thankful for all my hard work once my wedding day came! There is nothing quite like feeling fabulous and fit on your wedding day! 🙂

If you are getting married and want to get in shape (or just want to have a healthy workout plan), I highly recommend created an actual physical plan of what you want to do each day. It helps keep you accountable and also gives you and idea of what you need to work on each time you go to the gym!

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Today’s outfit was filled with bright colors because it’s finally sunny and warm! (Never mind that it’s supposed to snow tomorrow…)

coral shirt with turquoise jewelry

 V-neck shirt: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Lace cami: Express (similar here and here) ~ Khaki pants: Maurices (similar here) ~ Leopard Flats: Target (exact here) ~ Necklace: Premier Jewelry (exact old)

Juice Cleanse Day Two!

Day two of the juice cleanse is on! So far I’m feeling pretty good, but yesterday I ran 3.25 miles (I’m running a 5k on Saturday) and by the end I was NOT feeling very well. I’m not sure this juice cleanse provides enough calories (and possibly not enough protein) for such strenuous exercise. I think today I’ll just stick to a light workout.

Last night’s dinner was the first real challenge for me because before I made my juice, I cooked a huge pot of chili for Justin. OH MY GOSH it was ridiculously tempting. Luckily, I made enough chili for leftovers so I won’t have to cook again tonight and be tempted again.

03-10 DinnerI had to throw in a bunch of strawberries for something to chew. The juice was yummy but I just needed something “extra!”

My dinner juice consisted of:

-2 handfuls of spinach

-1 banana

-1 apple

-4-5 pieces of bok choy (kind of a mix between lettuce and celery if that makes sense at all)

Morning Beet Juice

Morning Beet Juice Ingredients :: simplifythechaos.comMy juice this morning consisted of:

-2 apples

-4 clementines

-1/4 pineapple (half of what is shown)

-handful of kale

-2 large handfuls of spinach

-1 beet (peeled)

This juice is also really good but the beet kind of gives it what my husband calls “a dirt taste.” I have to agree that the beet significantly changes the taste but it was good variety to add! I had half the juice for breakfast and half for lunch with a banana and carrots as snacks. Tonight I want to try a juice with lots of greens–we’ll see how that goes. I’m halfway through this juice cleanse!!

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Today’s outfit was simple with a touch of sparkle!

cardigan, pencil skirt, statement necklace. teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com  Cardigan: Old Navy (similar here) ~ Lace cami: Express (similar here and here) ~ Grey pencil skirt: Laundry by Shelli Segal (similar here and here) ~ Grey pumps: Bandolino (similar here) ~ Necklace: Purple Peridot “Crystal Sparkler” (exact here)

Let the Juice Cleanse begin

Well, Daylight Savings Time is officially kicking my booty. Last night Justin and I thought we had changed all the clocks, but we forgot one crucial one in our living room and by the time we realized it, it was already way past our bedtime (yes, we have a bedtime). Needless to say, that led to accidentally sleeping in WAY too long this morning so it’s been a bit of a rough start for me with the time change!

Juice Cleanse

I have really enjoyed the juices that Justin and I have been trying lately; it’s been fun to come up with different combinations! Yesterday I was talking to one of my good friends and she expressed a lot of interest in doing a 3-day juice cleanse. Even though I initially said I had no interest in a juice fast of any kind, she convinced me to give it a try with her. We started today and so far, so good! I made an extra big juice for breakfast and brought half with me to school for lunch.

Morning Burst JuiceI had to drink it on the way to work because of my super hurried morning!

I made my Morning Burst Juice again but added an extra apple and pineapple. It was a pretty frothy juice (I blame the banana) but very yummy! I enjoyed having another one for lunch as well. In addition to the juices, I packed lots of carrot sticks and a banana; there is NO way I’d be able to survive on only three juices! I plan on making a snack juice after my run this afternoon and then a dinner juice later in the evening. It will be hard to cook Justin dinner and watch him eat it, but I really want to try to make it through this cleanse!

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It was finally above 60 today and it’s sunny so it feels like spring is really on its way! I wanted to pick fun springy colors for my outfit and here’s what I came up with (open-toed shoes!! Yay!) Details on wear page.

Orange stripes, green statement necklace, navy ankle pants, orange strappy heelsSweater: Express

Pants: Target

Shoes: Bakers

Necklace: Bluetique

Outfit catch-up + Juice!

Hi y’all!

Another day off of school due to snow (I don’t know about you, but I am READY for spring to get here!) which I spent cleaning, doing laundry, and . . . napping. Not even a little bit ashamed about it either.

Morning Burst Juice

Today for breakfast Justin and I tried a new juice and we LOVED it! I am calling it my “morning burst” juice because it seriously gave me the perfect boost of energy to start my day! This is definitely going to make it into our regular rotation.

Ingredients:

-2-3 handfuls spinach

-1 banana (two if they are small)

-1 large apple

-1/4 pineapple

-1 pear

Morning Burst Juice Ingredients

So delicious! I added water to mine to make it less thick but Justin loves the thicker/frothier taste so he didn’t. We were both big fans!!

Morning Burst Juice

Outfit Catch-up

Since I’ve been horrible at blogging lately, here are my latest work outfits! Details to all available pieces can be found on the wear page. Enjoy!

teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com teacher outfit blog :: simplifythechaos.com

Teacher Tuesday: Fraction Practice

Hi y’all!

Thanks to a light dusting of snow this morning, I got to sleep in a bit! Love two-hour school delays! 🙂 I had time to get a gym session in before heading to school — I ended up being very glad for the calories I burned when I opened the lunch my hubby had prepared for me (thoughtful, huh?) and saw it included two packs of Fun Dip and a sucker. Definitely a sign that I need to go grocery shopping!

Teacher Tuesday

With all the school we have missed over the last two months, the classes I co-teach in have been focusing on getting caught up and back on track with our yearly pacing guides; therefore, I haven’t done nearly as much remediation in math and have mostly just helped give extra support to the students in class. Now that we are back on track I am back doing remediation of old topics. We’re currently reviewing fractions and I’ve come up with a few fun ways to engage the students in fraction practice.

Fraction Practice1. Simplify fractions with playing cards.

For this activity, I had the students get with a partner and each place a pencil longways on their desk. Each set of partners had a deck of cards (you could use a half-deck or a smaller amount of cards if you need it to be divided amongst several students.) The partners would take turns drawing two cards. I instructed them to put the larger card on the bottom (Ace = 1, Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = 14, Joker = wild) and the smaller one on top. They then used an Expo Marker ((see from this post—it wipes right off!)) to simplify the fraction. If it was not possible to simplify, they just re-wrote the fraction. The partners had to check one another’s work before they could draw two more cards and create new fractions.

Variations

1. Have them put the first card they draw on top and the second card on bottom regardless of which is bigger. This may result in an improper fraction, which they can change to a mixed number.

2. Turn it into a game. When partners check one another, the students keep their cards if they simplified correctly. If one partner catches a mistake the other made, that partner gets to keep the cards. At the end of the deck, whomever has the most cards wins.

3. Change the values of the face cards. This is an easy way to differentiate instruction for learners at different levels. For a struggling group, face cards can be eliminated or simply assigned numbers under 10. For an advanced group, face cards can be assigned higher number with more multiples (24, 30, etc) to give the students an extra challenge.

4. Add operations! You can do this activity with the various operations (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) and students can show their work using the dry erase marker. See photo below for clarification!

Fraction 22. Use dominoes!

Even simpler than playing cards are dominoes! They come as fractions so it’s easy for the students to visualize the fractions. My students really loved getting to use dominoes and, of course, getting to work out problems on their desks. Ways you can incorporates dominoes include:

Practice simplifying.

Fraction 4You can have the students put the smaller number on the top if you don’t want improper fractions or you can have them just flip the domino and if it is improper, simplify it to a mixed number.

Add operations

Fraction 3  Fraction 6

Fraction 5You may want to encourage students to set up their dominoes to make simplifying easier. For example, with adding and subtracting try to find either the same denominator or ones where they can easily find a common denominator. For multiplication, encourage them to try to find “shortcuts” that help them.

The bottom line is, get creative! I have found students are WAY more willing to work if they can use manipulatives or get to try something they normally don’t get to do. These activities keep them engaged, help them practice, and are way more exciting than just another worksheet. Try something new! 🙂

Past Teacher Tuesdays

Picture Schedules

Desk Decorating

Dice Multiplication

Writing on Desks?

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Today’s outfit was includes some bright bold colors to contrast all this snow! Details and links to available pieces on wear page.

02-18 LookShirt: Express

Tank: Target

Skirt: Express

Tights: J. Crew

Shoes: Maurices

Necklace: Lia Sophia