Category Archives: School

Mini Monday – Post 15 – One of the Chosen Ones

Hello, everyone!

Yes, I am one of the chosen ones!

My school district has a reading and writing expo. It’s pretty new. They showcase the student’s artwork and writings.

There is a Poetry Cafe and the students can read their poems aloud.


That’s right! I get to share my poem with lots of people!

My poem is a tribute poem to Carrie Fisher. Princess Leia is one of my favorite superheroes.

My Mom will do a post later this week that will include my poem. I asked her not to share it with anyone until after the expo.

Well, that’s all I have to say. As my Mom always says, “YAY ME!”

See you next time!


Chatterbox: Mabel’s Labels Review

Some of you might be familiar with the House Party website. They give you packs of awesome stuff to throw a party with and you post about it.

I have hosted two parties with them. I am a dummy and keep forgetting to take better pics, but I am going to do better. Promise!

They also have a Chatterbox program, where they send you awesome Chat Packs to review and post about. I have tried some Dove hair products, illy k-cups and Doggy Dentastix to name a few items.

This Chatterbox was from Mabel’s Labels.

I have been dying to try the labels, but with spending cuts we’ve made, labels just weren’t in the budget. I was pumped for this Chatterbox though!

I was sent a coupon code to use on the Mabel’s Labels site that gave me an Ultimate Back to School Combo for free! We went with a Science theme because we’re super proud nerds :)

First off, the Mini Tags. I loved the brilliant blue of these. The colors just popped. Mini has decided these will be her backpack’s zipper pull :)

Chatterbox: Mabel's Labels Review - Tina B's World

Next, the Custom Shoe Stickers. Circular and perfect for crayon, colored pencil and marker boxes too!

Chatterbox: Mabel's Labels Review - Tina B's World

Next, the Mini Custom Name Stickers. Perfect for pens and markers.

Chatterbox: Mabel's Labels Review - Tina B's World

Last, but certainly not least, the Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels. These are a great size to stick on clothing tags, but also for labeling individual pencils (because I’m crazy like that).

Chatterbox: Mabel's Labels Review - Tina B's World

Not only are these stickers cute, they are insanely durable. I scratched them with my nail several times and not a scratch mark on them. I can’t wait to see how they hold up during the year! :)

If you want more info about House Party and their Chatterbox program, click HERE.

To check out this and other fantastic labels from Mabel’s, click HERE.

Mini Monday – Post 9 – Mars Project

Hello Everyone!

I got a perfect score on my project about the planet Mars and I am so happy!

Our project was making a brochure about whatever planet we wanted to. I love all the planets and I want to visit them all someday. Mommy and Daddy bought me a book called “Earth & Space” because I kept taking it out at the school library. I read the book all the time and love it all.

When I came home with the project paper, Mommy read it to see what information I needed then showed me a lot of brochures. I was excited to do one but I was not happy about all the writing.

Mommy made me feel better by telling me I could use her scrapbook markers. I LOVE those markers!!! They are so pretty and they write so nice. I’m not allowed to use them to color but this was a special project.

I came up with the folding design for the brochure and Mommy was very impressed with me! It is folded not normally.


We had to use a scissor to hold it closed!

My awesome folding:


I bet I blew your mind!

The back.. with my 4/4 score!!


It is like a real ad for Mars!

The most writing was done in the unfolded middle. It was just SO MUCH WRITING!!! I had to put all of the facts and information from the assignment paper into it. Mommy let me decorate the fact dividers. That was so much fun!


I really had a fun time doing this project and I hope you had a fun time looking at my pictures and reading about it!

See you next time!


Tina TidBits 8.31.15

I decided to start a new post series. I have a lot of random thoughts and opinions, but not usually enough for an actual post. That’s where this series comes in. That being said, here is my first group of thoughts. Since my last blog was called “Tina’s Tid-Bits”, the title is a send-up to that.

I’m kind of dreading back to school. We had a rough summer. I’m already involved with a PTA fundraiser. I did the same one last year and although it was stressful, I ended up having fun. I didn’t expect an October fundraiser to be in my face in the middle of August though!

It’s going to be lonely without Nanny around. I broke up the monotony of my days by taking her to doctor appointments and/or lunch. Sometimes, I would just go sit with her and talk. She gave the best advice and was so much fun to be around. My birthday is coming up and this will be the first year in my life she hasn’t called to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. That hits hard and it’s going to be rough to deal with.


I had an eye exam and a strange thing happened.. my script went down! I put the new contacts in and I have never seen sharper or clearer. Apparently, My eyes corrected themselves. I had the same prescription for years and had no idea it was wrong. I haven’t had an exam in three years and I’m kinda pissed I waited so long. My daily headaches have subsided as well. Who knew?

Mini had her first eye exam as well. She wasn’t happy about it, but she said it was fun. She doesn’t need glasses yet, which is surprising. Her father started wearing them in the second grade and I in the fourth so I thought she might need them in the third, but she doesn’t. She already had her choice frames picked out just in case though :)

With the eye exam out of the way, we can move onto clothes. Back-to-school clothes shopping is a nightmare. Mini is very picky about her clothes. If it were up to her, she would wear the same oversized t-shirt and baggy pants every day of her life. She hates leggings and skinny jeans. She’s not a fan of frilly, lace or sequined. She would flip her lid if I bought her a tutu or anything pink. It is so hard finding affordable clothes she will actually wear. Luckily, she is still the same size she was at the end of last year so for now, we can hold off on the clothes.

How was your summer?

Are you looking forward to back to school?

Book Fair Spoils

Last week was Mini’s school book fair. Since I loved reading so much as a kid, I let her go to town picking out books. She was very picky about the ones she found and while others raised an eyebrow at her selections, I wasn’t shocked int he slightest.

She likes her girly books and she likes her books about trucks and big machines. She has quite an eclectic mix of books in her personal library.


Since Mini has discovered Disney channel shows (during certain times.. since they have *ahem* “outages” during shows I don’t like), “Jessie” has become one of her favorites. She was excited to find that one. It’s a chapter book, so we are reading it together. It is basically the first few episodes of the show in story form so Mini is telling me what’s about to happen before I get to that page.

“Silverlicious” is one from the “Pinkalicious” series. In this one, she loses a tooth so Mini was all over that!

“Sofia the First”, “Bubble Guppies” and “Doc McStuffins” are some of Mini’s fave “little kid” shows, as she calls them on Disney Jr.

Then of course, we have “Mighty Machines”, “LEGO Super Heroes Handbook” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. She knows I’m a TMNT fan and she has happily read me that book twice.

Out of all these, guess which ones get read the most? Yup! The last three ones!

There was one book that sold out twice. Thankfully, the woman running the show was able to order more. On another day when I volunteered, I was able to purchase this for Mini:


Since she goes nuts for this game, I was so happy to be able to grab one when they were in stock again. When I showed her after school, she grabbed the book and started jumping and yelling. Ahhh, satisfaction :)

I love book fairs. Sometimes when you order books, you just don’t know what you’re getting even though it might be a familiar character. I prefer looking at them first.

How do you handle school book fairs? Do you participate in them or do you prefer picking out your books at a book store?

The Education “Problem”

NOTE: I’m not looking for an argument here. We are all concerned about these standards. We’re all frustrated: parents, children and educators alike. I’m just sharing my opinions. I respect that not everyone will agree with me and you’re entitled to your opinion on the subject I will discuss..

At the last PTA meeting, our school’s principal and assistant principal gave an awesome presentation on the dreaded Common Core standards. We’re all in the same boat here. Rolling out an unfinished curriculum to unsuspecting students and parents through untrained educators was, to put it in nice terms, a pretty stupid thing to do. I feel if they were going to completely overhaul the learning system, they should have started at the Kindergarten level. It should NOT be all levels that were subject to change. You shouldn’t have kids that have been learning one way for years be forced to change their way of thinking to keep up. Kids are failing. They’re struggling. As parents, we’re frustrated and angry because our little scholars aren’t feeling so scholarly at the moment. In fact, their self esteem is plummeting at an alarming rate.

One thing we can NOT do, however, is blame our own district educators. One parent chose to attack the principal and accuse her of “not doing her job” and causing more work for them now.


It’s not like our principal said “Hmm. How can I screw with ALL my students’ education processes at once?” It came down from the state. It’s not a matter of them ‘not doing their jobs’.. they were given NEW jobs without being told exactly how these jobs would unfold.

I praise the principal for how she handled this woman. She shut her down and said she wasn’t even going to entertain someone who went there.  The sad part is this parent was looking for someone to blame and won’t bother going to her local representatives to protest. She wanted a face. She wanted blood at that moment.

Our teachers and administrators are as frustrated as we are, if not more so. We have to deal with just our kid(s). They have to deal with all the teacher frustration as well as the parents like this woman, who just want to yell at someone about it. They are also the ones who are deciding how to proceed with all this new information.

The bottom line is, this Common Core isn’t going anywhere. We need to stop letting our frustrations boil over. Our kids are having a hard enough time as it is. They don’t need us getting crazy over it.


I was a hit at the PTA meeting earlier this month.. Well, not me really, but my snacks were!

First, I had “Witch Hats“. These are all over Pinterest! I saw them last year, but didn’t get a chance to make them with the hurricane and losing power and everything. They are super easy to make! I used a slightly different technique than Barbara did on her blog.

You take a fudge striped cookie (I used the ones from the dollar store because they have a smaller hole in the middle), add a dollop of orange “deco icing” then top with a Hershey kiss. Yep, it’s that simple! This is what they will look like:


Next, I made an Oreo-Cookie-Brownie concoction. It’s my go-to because it is easy to put together and everyone loves it. You have probably seen this on Pinterest somewhere:



I love peanut butter, but I have a sister with a pb allergy. You know what she’s not allergic to and we all love? OREOS!

I searched the internet and I don’t remember which site I found it on first (a lot of people make different variations), but here is the recipe: Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper. Press cookie dough into bottom of pan, evenly, cover corner to corner as best you can (the small tub of Tollhouse or large tube of Pillsbury both work very well). Next, line with Oreos. You should use about 24. Prepare brownie mix according to box directions. I prefer using the cake-like brownie recipe. If you want a gooey finished product, use the fudge recipe. Pour batter over the Oreos, covering them all. Bake at 350 for around 50 minutes. Cool then cut into pieces. This was what my tray looked like:



Last, but certainly not least, I found some cotton candy sugar cookie mix on clearance at Target. The cookies were delicious! The matching frosting was super sweet though (in my opinion). Some people like that, but I wanted people to eat them. Since it’s October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month), I decided to break out my icing bag and add the frosting in the form of a pink ribbon. Here is my creation:



I had as much fun making all these as the kids and adults did eating them! Everything was gone by the end of the meeting. I’m on the list for snacks in December. I set the bar kinda high, so I will have to start planning soon :)

First Day’s Ups and Downs

Mini started school this week. She is in First Grade this year and therefore, in a new school. Obviously the school is a LOT bigger than her last one, but I am more nervous about that than she is. The pushing and shoving on the stairs.. oh geez! With all the bully issues Mini had last year, I don’t want anything taking away from this new experience.

She wanted to pick out her outfit, but she spent the last remaining minutes before bed Sunday night planted on the couch watching the Giants get spanked by the Cowboys. We told her she could watch the first play of the game, not knowing Manning (who she named our pup after) would be off the field in just seconds.

So, I picked out her outfit. She had asked to wear her new sneakers though..


Nice, aren’t they? Yup. I liked them too ;)

She had picked out her backpack and matching lunch bag (which she didn’t need but it was free!) early in the summer. As soon as the backpacks came out in stores, she wanted hers, to make sure she got the one she wanted.


So, this is the outfit we ended up with.. The pants have those inner-elastic thingies so she kept pulling at them, thus the sloppiness of her look.. HA!


Last year, it was in the upper 80′s the first day of school. Mini had on a tshirt and skirt. The high was only 70 today and there was a bit of a chill in the air, so we needed jackets this morning. Here’s my baby waiting for the bus:


She absolutely loved her teacher! Their daily special was Music today. They all got to play some instruments. She played the piano, xylophone, recorder and a few other things. They sang the “Apples and Bananas” song. As she was telling me all about it, I guessed the song and started singing it. She was both shocked and impressed. I explained to her that I was in first grade once. She laughed at me “No, Mommy. You’re too old to be in first grade.”

All in all, she had the amazing day I imagined she would. I wasn’t as bad as I was last year (hello pacing and shaking), but I was still on edge all day.

Here’s to an awesome school year!

Oh, and my Mommy-Nerves to calm down :)

Summer Plans.. and the Tooth Fairy Has Gone Crazy!

Summer is here!

Welcome to sunscreen and bug spray season!

Time to put away the pants and sweaters then bust out the shorts, capris and tank tops. Time to plan endless parties, get-togethers, BBQs, whatever you call them. Time to take stock in Banana Boat after-sun lotion and Soothe-A-Caine. Time to buy the refills for those Off! fans. No, I’m not a paid endorser. I’m just picky.

Mini’s summer vacation officially starts Monday, June 24th (today). She ended Kindergarten with awesome grades. She is a reading level H, which is roughly where she should be at the end of the 2nd trimester of 1st grade. She excels in math and writing. Really, this was no shock. Her father and I are Math and English nerds. She claims her favorite part of Kindergarten was her teacher because she wears pretty necklaces. Yup. She proclaimed that at her graduation ceremony.

Our summer plans span from playdates at the park to beach trips to indoor (read: air-conditioned) activities but we decided on a home activity as well. When Mini watches a movie and really loves it, she will watch it so many times she is quoting it and refuses to watch anything else until it is no longer available “On Demand” then she pouts about it. I came up with the idea to watch a different movie every day. Well, Monday through Friday at least. Weekends will be for all those fun family and friend things that people always plan. I believe this will help us bond, as we will be by ourselves during the time. Another thing I hope is that it will build her trust in me. She will have to trust I can pick out fun movies that she will enjoy. I know it’s a stretch but I’m hoping!

Mini turned 6 on the 15th and has been lamenting for weeks (ok, months!) about how “all her friends” who have turned 6 (and some who are still 5) have lost teeth already. On a daily basis, she asks me to feel her teeth to see if one is loose yet. Last week, one was a TINY BIT loose. Mini was ecstatic! I made her promise she would not try and wiggle it free and she has stayed true to her word. How do I know? The tooth isn’t any more loose and it’s still in over a week later.

A topic of discussion has been the amount of money she will be given when the tooth comes out. Some of the tooth fairies around her school give upwards of $20 for the first tooth. These fairies need to knock it off! Come on! I told Mini she would receive $5 for the first and $1 for each additional. She wanted $5 for each tooth. Nope, not happening. I told her some kids didn’t get any money for losing teeth (umm.. ME!) so she should be happy with whatever we give her. She finally accepted it and we left it at that.

I have a feeling this is going to be a crazy summer :)