This is about the time of the term I usually begin to burn out. We’re almost halfway through; it usually takes me about this long to soak in all the work ahead of me and start to mini panic and break down. Today was definitely the first day I felt overwhelmed. It was my first bad day of teaching– actually, it was just an awful day.

My alarm didn’t go off this morning. I’ve been sick the last few days and apparently my body decided I needed the extra hour of sleep– yup, a full hour of sleep that I should have been using to…. I don’t know, shower or something. So, I woke up 15 minutes before I had to leave and, of course, this is also the point of the term where my house becomes a complete disaster, so I couldn’t find anything and ended up running out the door, disheveled and haggard. No coffee, no breakfast, no brain– forgetting my phone, my wallet, and my lesson plans.

Then, I got to school and had to throw a lesson together because, of course, it was my observation day and I had to look like I knew what I was doing. Didn’t work out so much. Next week I’m doing my formal lessons for this term, but in order to do what I wanted for those lessons, I basically had to breeze through the activities that the department does out of the text book all in one day. I was bored, the kids were bored, it was awful. Basically, I’ve never had the classroom management issues that I had today– I left the classroom feeling defeated.

Walking in to my house for my two hour break before work, I took a good look around my apartment and realized that  I need some motivation. I usually start the term off with a pretty great organizational system. I am one of those people who’s creativity can be seriously blocked by a chaotic environment. I always spend my breaks trying to reorganize my home so that I can breeze through the term without any hang ups; but, life just happens, and it’s usually about week four when things start to fall apart. My laundry is EVERYWHERE, the office is a whirlwind of assignments, lesson plans, mail, and notices. I don’t even want to talk about the status of my kitchen and bathroom.

So, to make myself feel better, I did what I always do: visit my favorite organizational blogs to find some motivation to make good use of my time this weekend. Here are my two favorites:

Alejandra.tv

Alejandra has been featured on HGTV, CBS and tons of other media venues for organization. She’s been referred to as the most organized woman on the planet. Obviously, some of her organization techniques are a little overkill, but I love to watch her videos and adapt them for my own purposes. Right now she’s creating an office organizing series that is pure gold. I like that she breaks big projects down and uploads the videos once a week because it makes it less overwhelming to do small tasks, rather than trying to overhaul the war zone all at once. Also– she makes me really want a label maker.

The Nina Show

I like this blog because the author seems like a real person. She’s a mom and a wife and she works and… I guess I just relate to her more, even though I don’t have kids of my own yet. Her voice is really fun and spunky and her tips seem so attainable. I especially love her family planner ideas. She basically keeps a giant binder with all of the planning things it takes to manage a family. Planning pages for appointments, sports games, practices, conferences, meetings etc. meal planning ideas, checklists– you name it, she’s got it. The post I linked above is her bill paying binder. Just genius ideas that I really want to adopt and use in my life. I think they will especially come in handy once Braden and I fully assimilate our finances and things.

Maybe it’s a little OCD of me, but just reading these blogs and knowing that organization is actually a reachable goal, helps me feel a little better. My plan over the next week is to pick a post from one of those two sites and put it into action… hopefully. My next post will be an update on how well it works for me and what changes I made to make it more relevant to my life.

Hope you all are doing well in your endeavors of a busy bee!

Best Way to Eat Healthy When You Have ZERO Time to Cook

Hello, all! Hope your week has been well. My post for this week won’t be too exciting. I spent the weekend in Bandon celebrating my dad’s 60th birthday, so I couldn’t take extra time to take pictures of my tricks like I was hoping I could; however, here’s a cute one of my dad and me before I left this morning, and, yes, that’s an Autobot shirt.  Iphone 055

We drove down late Friday night and left this morning, but the time we spent down there was amazing! I didn’t want to come back, to be perfectly honest.

Anyway, here’s my magical tip for the week. I find that, during the week, I have a really hard time eating healthy, especially working at a grocery store. I feel like I have zero time to cook and only time to grab and go. Last term I gained a bunch of weight. I ended up eating fast food two or three times a week, and fried chicken from our deli at least twice a week (which is hardly any better than fast food). This term I have managed to stay on track using as magical tool. It’s known as a Crockpot! I know that seems to simple, but really. It’s amazing. I use it at least twice a week. I got mine at Target for, I think, $20.00. I usually use it on Sundays to make a huge meal that I know I will have left overs of and then I have my Sunday dinner and lunch for several days. Then, usually one day during the week, I run home between teaching and going to class and throw something in. It never takes more than twenty minutes and, seriously, NOTHING beats coming home to the smell of a hot dinner that you know you have to do nothing to. It makes so much of a difference at the end of the day.

The best part is, you can cook almost anything in a Crockpot. Last week I make chicken fajitas. I just threw a couple of chicken breasts in with some peppers, onions, and tomatoes, and when I got home the chicken was so soft and moist it shredded right up and went in a tortilla with fresh cilantro. AMAZING. Here’s a link to my Pinterest page, featuring all my go to crock pot recipes: Crockpot Wonders! 

Small disclaimer: If you put something particularly yummy in your Crockpot, it MAY cause a distraction from all of your tasks… for the whole day. Sometimes this happens. You end up thinking about steaming hot spaghetti when you’re supposed to be thinking about grading a stack of papers; but, it’s worth it.

 

Busy Bee Teaching

Hello there! My name is Whitney. I am 26 years old, and I am probably the busiest person you will ever meet. I work nights at a grocery store as a supervisor. I’ve been there for about eight years. It’s not the most glamorous line of work, sometimes I love it, some times I hate it. I’m currently working on finding a way to quit my night job. I’m about four months away from completing my Master’s degree and earning my teacher license to teach high school and middle school Language Arts. So far, I love it. I student teach half days in the morning, and then I take full time graduate courses on top of that. As you can imagine, I don’t get much time to spare; so, that’s what this blog will be about. All of the little tips and tricks I have picked up over the years to save time and money in order to live a happy, healthy lifestyle while being a busy bee.

Here are just a few things you should know about me:

1. I’m getting married August 9th, 2014. I’ve been dating Braden for over two years now and we are SUPER excited to start the rest of our lives together. It’s pretty likely that a lot of my money saving tips will be wedding related. We are doing mostly DIY projects to save on money and our next task is invitations, so I’ll probably upload some pictures of that. Below is one of our engagement photos (cute couple, huh?), and some pictures of the boxes I used to ask my brides maids to be in my bridal party. I might make a whole post with instructions about these; although, they certainly did not save me time, or money. I’m just proud of them.

Whitney & Braden 21

The inside of the card

The inside of the card

I filled the box with color swatches, pictures of my and each bridesmaid and a few inspiration pictures as well. I lined the top of the box with pretty scrap booking paper using Modge Podge.

I filled the box with color swatches, pictures of my and each bridesmaid and a few inspiration pictures as well. I lined the top of the box with pretty scrap booking paper using Modge Podge.

The hand made card

I even hand made the tiny little flowers

I even hand made the tiny little flowers

I made information cards about the type of wedding we are planning and information about the other bridesmaids

I made information cards about the type of wedding we are planning and information about the other bridesmaids

2. I LOVE stage and special effects makeup. I sometimes glue feathers and rhinestones to my face for no reason. It’s made for some interesting explanation conversations with previous room mates. I haven’t been able to do anything with it recently, but if I somehow manage to find the time again, I’ll probably upload those photos as well. Here are some old ones I have:

Pheonix

Pheonix

Lioness-- Last minute Halloween Costume

Lioness– Last minute Halloween Costume

Mime

Mime

Avatar

Avatar

3. I like to be outside. Hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, you name it! I am a country girl at heart. My small town apartment right now is almost too “inner city” for me, but somehow, I manage. I also love the coast. My dad was born and raised in Bandon, which is a small coast community on the southern edge of Oregon. There’s something about the endlessness of the water that calms me, even on stormy days. Below are a few pictures of Bandon, and one of Braden and I at the top of Mt. Hebo after a fishing trip:

DSC01326 DSC01202 DSC01199

Braden and me at the top of the mountain

Braden and me at the top of the mountain

4. Last, but not least: I just got a cat. Actually, Braden tricked me in to getting her. She’s a nuisance, and adorable. Don’t be surprised to see a random, unrelated picture of her from time to time.

Jasmine

Jasmine

Other than that, I am a pretty simple girl. I’m looking forward to sharing all my secrets with you, check back soon!