I'm linking up again with Gina for Slim Down Saturday!
First, I want to thank everyone for their kind words last week.  I only had a small gain but it was so encouraging to hear everyone's words.  This is a journey and I'm in it for the long haul!
This week I had better results.  I'm not going to lie and say that I did everything right this week because I didn't, but I kept going.  My goal for this week is to enjoy the process.  The scale isn't the only measure of success.  I need to give myself props when I do the right thing and make good choices.  I know that in the end, each little choice will add up and work itself out.

If you're making healthy choices and trying to slim down, you should like up with Gina!  Let's me 2015 the year we all reach our health and fitness goals!

I'm linking up with Gina again for Slim Down Saturdays.
I was disappointed when I got on the scale this morning, but I realize that this is a journey and there will be bumps along the way.  It took me a while to gain this weight and I'm not going to lose it all in a week.  Like my quote says, I'm disappointed but won't get anywhere if I just give up.  And, in the grand scheme of things .6 isn't too bad.

Despite the gain, I am excited to say that I followed my work out plan all week!  I did PiYo in the morning and my Leslie Sansone walking in the evenings.  I love that both of these fit into my schedule.  I find it hard to carve out an hour at the end of the day to work out, but 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening is doable!

Unfortunately, my eating wasn't on point.  I did good with writing out my weekly plan, however I didn't stick to it once I got home from work.  My plan has me eating a meal around 3:30 pm when I get home and I need to make sure this meal is prepped and ready to go.  I also need to do better with my snacks and come up with more protein filled snacks.  Any ideas?

Erin from Erin*tegration is starting a twitter chat this Sunday.  I'll be honest, I just set up my twitter account this summer after attending a PD.  I follow all education people, but don't check it that often.  I'd love to connect with some bloggers and sellers for a fun chat.

Here are the rules and directions.  Since this will be my first chat, I'll be keeping these close by.

Stop by and check it out.  You can find me @teacherbrandi

I go back to work tomorrow so I thought I'd link up with the Teaching Trio for Sunday Scoop.

Now that break is over, I need to get into planning mode!  I should have done a better job of planning before break, but since I didn't, I'm wrapping up my plans right now.  When I finish this, I will meal prep for the week using the Shred plan.  Hopefully the Cowboys will turn it around in the second half and come back then I can work out after the game.  I just started PiYo and am loving it.  Have you done it?

I'm hoping to plan my outfits for the week.  A few years ago I was so good at this, but have let it slip.  I figure the new year is a great time to get organized again.  I really only have to plan 4 days worth of outfits since Friday is spirit day.  When I do get back into my classroom, I really need to organize my teacher desk.  It's a hot mess right now!

Finally, I'm happy to always cuddle with my daughter. We've had a lot of cuddle time during the break and I'm sad to see that go!

I'm back to link up with Gina for Slim Down Saturdays.  I love the motivation and accountabilty this linky provides.  If you're looking to lose weight or achieve fitness goals, you should stop by and link up.
I didn't lose anything this week, but I didn't eat completely on plan and I just started working out on Thursday.  I also started #3weeksnocheats on Thursday and so far so good.  

Positives: I started PiYo and am really enjoying it.  I plan to do it in the morning and get my walking in after school.  

Do Better: I need to make sure that I get in all of my water.  I have really been slacking with this over break and I see a difference in how I feel.  

Goal: My goal for the week is to follow the Shred eating plan.  I absolutely love this plan.  It focuses on meal confusion and meal spacing.  I'm eating healthy, real foods that make me feel great!  

Word: My word for this week is plan.  It's been great being home when I can make a meal when I feel like it, but with going back to work on Monday, I need to plan my meals and snacks ahead of time and get them prepped so I stay on plan all week.

Here's to a healthy lifestyle!

Yesterday I celebrated New Years with my daughter at home, having a very low-key kid centered celebration.  So I thought I'd share what worked for us.
Celebrating New year's Eve with kids
To start, I searched Pinterest and found a ton of fabulous ideas.  I loved the balloons, but didn't want to blow them up, so I made bags for each hour.  I set everything up the night before and put a short note describing the activity/craft, along with the supplies in the bag (if they fit).  Most of the items for crafts were purchased at the Dollar Tree and the activities were freebies from TPT.

Here's what it looked like to start:
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
I had bags beginning at noon going until 11:55 pm, so we could be ready to ring in the new year at midnight.  My daughter was so excited to open each bag and it made the day go by very quickly.

Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
Our first activity was playing with silly string.  We went outside and chased each other around.  As a disclaimer, this did not last long before the cans ran out.  But since my daughter is 6 and we'd never had a silly string fight before, she didn't mind.
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
Next we decorated party hats.  The hats came in an 8 pack at the Dollar Tree and the glitter pens came in a 10 pack with 2 of each color shown (I put the other 5 in a later bag).  Similar to the silly string, the glitter glue didn't last long for my daughter and I (granted she is a little bit heavy-handed when I comes to this), but it was enough for the 2 of us and for $1 I'm not complaining!
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
I found this Slurpee coupon that my daughter got from soccer and put that in a bag since it expired yesterday.  She loved this and couldn't wait to get her Slurpee!  Bonus, it was free!
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
I had planned to make a wishing wand, but ended up making a stained glass wishing star with tissue paper.  I love how this turned out.  I used a template from KinderKay which is a freebie in her store and wrote my daughter's 2015 wishes around the frame.  She then filled it in with tissue paper squares and I laminated it.
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
At 4:00 pm we made rice crispy treats.  I didn't put any of the supplies in the bag, but she was excited nonetheless!
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
Celebrating New year's Eve with Kids
Next we decorated our toasting glasses.  We used the other 5 glitter glue pens for this.  The glasses were a set of 6 for $1.
Here was another food bag. I had planned to make breakfast for dinner, but we ended up going out with my parents.
Santa left Uno in her stocking and we've been playing as a family ever since.  This bag challenged us to see who the game champ would be!
Being a teacher, I had to squeeze in some work.  I used an add and color freebie from Triple the Love in Grade 1. Then we read a book.  At this point my daughter was getting sleepy, so she sat on the couch to rest and she was asleep by 8:45!

So I put her to bed and we opened the rest of the bags on New Year's Day!
This bag had ring pops to ring in the new year in New York (since we're on the west coast).
Next, we broke out the glow in the dark bracelets, which would have been way more fun at night, but since she's 6 she loves accessorizing!
The 11:00 pm bag had photo booth props which are a freebie in Deena Jump's store. I didn't have any dowels at home, so I just attached straws to use to hold them up.
Our final bag had a noise maker my daughter made last weekend at Lakeshore's weekend craft event.

I have to say that this was such a fun night/next day!  My daughter was eagerly looking forward to each bag and it gave us time to just hang out and do simple, fun stuff together.  Also, it was cheap!  I spent less than $10 at the Dollar Tree on the supplies and some things I already had on hand.

This could easily be adapted to your classroom if you wanted to do this when you go back.  There are lots of freebies and great resources to celebrate the year and simple ideas that can be a fun brain break to ease yourself and the kids back into the school routine.

How did you bring in the new year?

I'm linking up with Art with Jenny K. to share...
When I started blogging, I was teaching 2nd grade (which I thought I would do forever) so I named my blog Success in Second Grade.  After attempting to make my own button and do my own design, I went with a premade design that I loved:
It was bright and I loved the stars.  The problem was there were at least 3 other bloggers with that same design and one of them is a very well known blogger.  At that point I decided to save up to get a custom design.  When I thought of what I wanted to have in my design, I knew that I wanted to incorporate my love of sports and softball in particular since I played from the age of 7 through college.  
I also knew that it wasn't guaranteed that I would teach 2nd grade forever so major changes were going to have to be made to the blog.  I ended up getting a custom avatar from Shawnna from Lovelytocu on Etsy.  She has tons of premade avatars and was so fast in getting me this custom one.  I decided to have the avatar hold a bat to represent softball and books and an apple for the teacher.  Megan from A Bird in Hand Designs did the rest of putting it all together with colors that I love and here's the result:

Make sure you stop by and link up.  I'd love to learn the story behind your logo!

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