Posted in Book Life

2020: My Library Picks

This year I did a lot more reading with my ears, than I did with my eyes. When I opened our Audibles account I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like hearing a story. I am typically a fast reader and a control freak, so I enjoy reading and skimming at my pace, but with listening I get every word the author intended.

Audibles

Every book listed here I would recommend and enjoyed. I feel like I sort of had a few categories.

Mystery, stories with strong women and guilty pleasures.

This cover and title caught my eye. Sometimes I judge a book by it’s cover…truth. I adore that chair. Granny chic at it’s best. This was a sweet listen.

This book was along timencoming. I remember reading the leaked chapters from a decade ago. I always had hoped Stephanie Meyers would revisit the idea of telling Twilight from Edwards perspective. I read the series when it came out and wasn’t a die hard fan, but I love a series whether it be pages or on the screen, so reading this was inevitable.

This is one guest list to not be on! I loved the flow and narration of this book. I highly recommend.

I am glad I gave this book a chance. I thought it was going to be a rip off of The Giver of Stars. NOT. It is about a pack horse librarian, but the details are a very different story. If you enjoy a tale based in some historical context-give this a try.

This book was a deal and I very much enjoyed it.

I enjoyed this story….very curious tonsee hownit will translate to film.

Can’t go wrong with a classic title with British narration.

This was GOOD. Read it! Listen to it…gasp!!! I recommend to my book club and we selected it for our next meeting….that was almost a year ago. My huge hope is once we are living normally again we will get together and discuss this book, among any others we read in the time apart.

This selection was because I let my mini read the Twilight series and she discovered this book. I guess I was to busy reading other types of books to even realize she wrote this flipped Twilight. I actually enjoyed the story. We listened in the car during our rides to and from school. I love that my little reader and I can listen, discuss and share books!

I pray I never get amnesia….even to forget some aspects of this unreal year! This thriller was good and I enjoyed the narration.

These two books (above and below) were Hallmark like and perfect when I needed some sweet, happy endings.

Paperbacks

So, I have to say that I picked up a book much less than I thought this year. Maybe it was the stress of what this year brought or that I was loving Audible books. Whatever the reason it looks like I need to step out up in 2021 and read the titles that long to be read.

This was a juicy read. Might try another by this author.

I needed some small, chill but of information to digest. This book was perfect with coffee in the morning before I hit the distance learning/teaching.

This book was recommended by my yoga instructor. I love it. I love that it can be picked up, turn to any page and take in the message. There are short passages and passages that take about a minute to read, so essentially it is a noncommittal book. This was perfect for me this year. I didn’t have the mental focus to digest a full novel, so being able to really think or just not was a blessing on the page.

This is my current read. My plan was to finish it, but like everything this year….eghh. I want to keep reading it for fun and I wasn’t going to push myself. I think that has been a huge take away this year. I don’t have to. I don’t have put pressure on myself, especially when it comes to things I should be doing for enjoyment. I will get to this and when I do I’ll let you know how it was.

Until then, I will keep listening and reading what and when it suits me. 2021 is going to be what it will be. Hopefully it will be another healthy, safe and productive year. Read on friends!!!

Posted in Gluten Free Life

Cinnamon Toffee Merry Mix

This mix was a need for me. It just seemed like a cozy idea. I love all of the ingredients and was super excited to try my concoction.

This is not going to be a long post. Just a quick share! Staying in ny lane-I am not a recipe blogger, just a gluten free gal who likes to share her road to living gluten free.

This is made just like the Merry Mix I made last week. Check that story (Spreading Holiday Cheer) out if you need deeper instructions.

All gluten free ingredients. I did not measure….I just eyeball what looks good to me, so add as much of each that suits your taste.

I added more toffee once I started mixing the batch together. So really this is a very flexible and personal mix of ingredients.

Then, I felt like I wanted some rice Chex, so I added that too. I was making a traditional Chex mix for my hubs, so they were already out….and why not.

White chocolate wafers are what brings the mix together. I have probably 1.5-2 cups here. I double boil and melt.

Once this is ready I add in spoonfuls to the dry mix and gently fold, coating everything evenly.

When everything is coated it gets poured out into a pan or tray that is lined with parchment paper.

I spread it out and added super cute gingerbread man sprinkles on top. This mixture needs to cool and harden, takes about a couple of hours.

I will gently break it up and store in air tight containers or zip bags.

Nothing left to do but wait to eat!

Cinnamon Toffee Merry Mix

  • Heath toffee bits
  • White chocolate chips
  • Rice Chex
  • Crispix
  • Kix
  • Peanuts
  • Cinnamon Chex
  • Cinnamon Cheerios
  • White chocolate wafers
  • Sprinkles
Posted in Family Life, Gluten Free Life, Positive Life

Spreading Holiday Cheer

As we all know 2020 has been a very interesting year.  I say interesting because so many things have happened in my bubble and in the global bubble. There have been positive and not so positive things that have occurred and I feel like I want to make sure I try to tip the scale at the end of this rollercoaster year in a positive direction.

My mini me and I made a fun and festive holiday treat for our neighbors. Being at home alot more these days has its ups and downs. We have seen and done more driveway chats with our neighbors than we have done in years! With this being said we have plenty of time on our hands, on the weekends, to be creative and productive, so we thought making treats for our neighbors would be a  nice way to spend our Sunday afternoon.

We didn’t want to bake, because we assumed people will do that for themselves.  Instagram and Facebook have surely displayed all of the banana bread, cookies and soups people have been whipping up over the last several months, so we decided on something sweet, salty and crunchy.

Gluten free ingredients!

I think this has many names if you look up recipes on Pinterest.

  • Grinch mix
  • White trash
  • White Christmas Mix
  • White Out Mix

We did not follow a specific recipe.  We used what we saw for a gluten free inspiration.  Everything but the pretzels were normally gluten free. I personally like the gluten free pretzle sticks, but and shape will work.

This is about 8 cups of cereal. 1 cup of nuts and 2 cups of pretzels.

We loaded our ingredients in the bowl. No real measuring. We sort of eyeballed the dry ingredients. This is very simple and fun for kids.

This is about 1.5 cups of white chocolate melting wafers.

I melted the white chocolate.  My mini me still isn’t ready for the stove, so while she scooped I melted the white chocolate wafers down to creamy deliciousness. I use a glass bowl that fits perfectly over a sauce pan, creating a double boiler.

We used MM’s, but you could use a candy you like better. We didn’t measure, we added what looked good.

I didn’t take a picture of the mixing process, but once the chocolate was ready I poured it onto the crunchy mixture and gently folded everything together. My goal was to evenly coat the dry ingredients. This is was an easy step and where our treat making story has two results.

With the first batch we added the candy and sprinkles on top…after we spread it out onto a pan lined with parchment paper.

This version looked prettier, but when packaging it up….the candy didn’t stick completely. I had to collect the mm’s and add them to the containers.

Totally coated!

With this batch we added the candies into the mix and coated them at the same time.  We added the sprinkles on after we spread it out .  This way the sprinkles didn’t melt and turn the chocolate pink.

Next, we allowed the batches to cool and harden. This took about an hour.  While this was happening we gathered what we needed to get things ready to package and send to the neighbors.

Gluten Free Merry Munch Mix

We put our tasty treat into disposable tin pans. I already had them and they are something that can be recycled when the treat is gone. No need to return a dish or container. In the past I have used cute, printed metal tins. I don’t know about you, but I can only store so many of my own, so I don’t want to burned someone else with storing a seasonal tin.

Festive and disposable containers.

We added tags and bows. Nothing crazy or fancy. I wrote a holiday message on the back side and a quick note of ingredients.  I have no idea about allergies, but I know that if we received this I probably wouldn’t eat it because I would be scared of gluten.

My mini popped on her elf hat and hit the sidewalk delivering our delectable delight with a dash of holiday cheer. Mission accomplished!

Gluten Free Merry Munch Mix

  • Sprinkles
  • Gluten Free Pretzles
  • Kix cereal
  • Crispix cereal
  • MM’s
  • Mini MM’s
  • Peanuts
  • White chocolate melting wafers or white chocolate chips

This is what we used, but you can honestly add whatever you want…coat it in chocolate and it will be delicious! I am hoping to create a another medley next week. I will post and share.

Wishing you a fun and festive holiday season-whatever you celebrate. I hope you can take time to enjoy, rest, and spread some holiday cheer!

Posted in Teaching Life

Creating Language Activities for My Littles

I find that I am in the constant pursuit of creating new ways to help my students use language to the fullest. Being a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is something I love and my own passion for language has been a helpful quality in supporting my students and the language gaps and barriers they have, but the ideas I think of are not strictly for the population of students I serve. We all use language for expression and reception, so my hope is that these activities can me modified for any student acquiring or expanding their language skills.

Descriptive Language

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sayrades-Christmas-Descriptive-Language-Game-6297874

This is a new resource I created for the holiday season. It is easy to use and can be modified for students needs and goals.

My students love games and activities that allow them to use clothes pins-which they love. I have various types for the individual lessons I plan. I try to use basic items whenever I can. They very much like the mini clothespins.

If these pages are laminated, wipe off markers can also be used to mark points earned. Also, laminated pages will save you prepping and planning in the future.

Expressive Language

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Write-A-Story-Holiday-Animals-5072651

My students often struggle with writing. I am always looking for ways to get more from them. I started making these writing promt pages. Our time is limited and I don’t want to waste time on an illustration, so I give them one. Language is my mission, not art. Don’t get me wrong, there are times and opportunities for creativity, but I want the majority of our time to focus on words.

These were a hit last year. Something I love about these is I can print as many pages as I want per student and for multiple grade levels. I always love having resources that I can use in so many different ways. It keeps my bag lighter and mentally I am juggling less.

I encourage the students to use the picture as a spark to start their story on fire. The pictures are there to support and guide the writing process. I love watching and reading their work when it gives life something I’ve made. So many times their little, creative minds take a page in a direction I never thought about when creating a resource. I have other write a story resources in my store.

Receptive Language

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Listening-and-Speechreading-Holiday-Animals-5072469

These are so much fun. I typically use with k-2nd grade students. The pictures are cute and fun, the flexibility is great and another resource that can be adjusted to meet IEP goals. Flexibility is essential to me as an itinerant teachers.a

I love exploring and expanding on a resource. I use these mats and cards to work on listening skills, speechreading skills, vocabulary skills and writing skills. I recommend laminating the cards and mats for durability and longevity. If you are using with multiple students laminated pages also easily wipe off, between students.

Having Fun with Language

Whatever language you use to communicate, being able to express yourself to the fullest is essential. Developing new tools to help my students do just that is always going to be my jam. I love language and I love teaching language skills.

If any of these ideas seem like something you could incorporate into your lessons you can visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I also have a Boom Cards store under the same name. Also, you can always follow this blog, I am always adding new content!

Have a holly jolly December teaching!