Tag Archives: pinterest

Back To School // Make You Drool

I’ve done a lot of Bookish Gift Guides over the years, but I’m going to mix it up today.  I keep getting a million Labor Day sale emails.  I can’t resist when they ask for your email for coupons, even though a few days ago I went through and unsubscribed from everything that never gets opened.  I decided that a lot of my students were graduating and learning how to function in a cubicle/closet of a dorm.  Plus, isn’t it just fun to buy school supplies? Or home office supples? Or just organization cubbies because they usually have all kinds of funky patterns and matchy-matchy themes?

So, here it is: THE BACK TO SCHOOL // MAKE YOU DROOL Gift Guide

  • SIGNAGE

Dorm rooms, home offices, and students should be surrounded by inspiration.  Inspiration these days comes from quotes, and signs on Pinterest, Etsy, and Tumblr.  When I was in high school, I printed Tumblr quotes and taped them to my mirror so I could be surrounded by goodness (or what I thought were deep quotes about people not understanding who I am). Now, scotch tape isn’t needed, nails and hammers are.

Signage from Etsy

Signage from Etsy

My favorite use of signage is this photo from Birch & Bird Vintage Home Interiors.  It’s bright and a tad Southern with the monogram M flower wheel.  And it includes my next must have – Inspiration Boards.

Birch & Bird Home Interiors

  • INSPIRATION BOARDS: 

Inspiration boards are like tangible versions of Pinterest.  Anything you find that inspires you in a magazine, a book (I’ve been known to rip pages, I know, I’m awful), postcards, receipts from movies or dinner where deep conversations were had, or just trinkets.  My inspiration board in my childhood bedroom used to have a Nazar (to ward off evil) just because I thought it was a good totem.  It can truly be anything that breathes inspiration into you.

Some of these inspiration board options are pretty expensive.  My advice is to find a flea market, a shop of stalls filled with wood pieces, a store of vintage finds, a Habitat for Humanity Resource Center, and just find something to DIY.

Inspiration Boards on Etsy

Inspiration Boards on Etsy

I have a few favorite offices with inspiration boards.  The first is from Tumblr (La-Belle-Vie).  I wish I could give credit to the actual person who owns this quaint office space, but here’s the beautiful image. This office is ALL about the inspiration board.  It makes the room, and shows that inspiration boards done right, don’t need to have expensive, luxury furniture.

Tumblr Image @ La-Belle-Vie

The next one is all about color.  It actually looks like a kitchen to me. Maybe it was a kitchen, or those spices just have something going on.  I have a shed in my backyard that I inherited from the last owner.  I would LOVE to make it into a home office, but my fear of snakes and my disgust at scratching mosquito bites until they bleed keeps me out of there.  A girl can dream though.   I think this one is all about organization and paint.

Decobiz Inspiration Office

Then, there’s “decorative clutter” on Pinterest. Wish I knew who had that adorable bench, but again, Pinterest doesn’t really cater to copyright.

“Decorative Clutter” (If this is your image, email me)

I mean, come on, guys, there’s a J.Crew bag up there. Inspiration can come from anything, anywhere, anytime.

  • DESK ORGANIZATION:

I believe desks are where writers, readers, and business professionals can really be themselves.  My creative writing teacher in high school had a taxidermy crocodile head on his desk and we never got the story behind it, but I remember that head being a reason why I really liked him as a teacher.  My dad has clay-wrinkled sculptures that I made in elementary school art and expensive pen holders from his time in management.  My desk at school has two plants: Laverne (philodendron) and Shirley (cactus wearing red flower bow).  It also has a draw-it-yourself frame so my students can let of steam by drawing when they need to.  Desks are for momentos, trinkets, and thingamabobs (thanks, Little Mermaid). If you need a little inspiration, here’s some fun.

Desk Accessories

Desk Accessories

My favorites around the internet are as follows:

This is from OCM BLOG

I just really like the hour glass (PINK HOUR GLASS YES) and the mason jar of paperclips, and the adorable white frames.  It’s just an eclectic mix of colors and pictures.

This is from DIY Enthusiasts

A lamp goes a LONG way and so do fresh flowers.  Who needs a significant other to buy them flowers, Walmart has a bin right by the door – GET YOU SOME, GIRL.

This is from Lovable Lockets

Sometimes the best place to be “girly” isn’t your closet, it’s your desk.  I love this desk design from Lovable Lockets.  It makes me feel feminine, fresh, and modern.

Now I have to go off and stare at my “study” and try to figure out how I can new & improve it into an eclectic, whimsy, genius center.  I’ll take pictures and share when I think I’ve got it where I want it.


Bringing the World to My Classroom

In Medias Res:

Last year, I covered a whole wall in salmon roll paper. And then I took white roll paper and crumpled it up as a trim.  It was cute for approximately 9 days.  (And then someone told me it looked like toilet paper).

Salmon:

Cassie in various seasons of salmon.

Cassie in various seasons of salmon.

It just didn’t feel right.

As I look to this new year and a whole new class (World Literature), I thought I would spice it up (literally, my students should be introduced to both Mexican food and Asian fusion, maybe even sushi).  Which is why I was compiling pictures from Instagram’s around the world at 2 am. I scrolled through @humansofny and their current 10-country trip through most of the Middle East and parts of THE CONTINENT of Africa.  There are so many people, ya’ll.  There are “humans of” in a lot of countries, cities, and places of interest.  I found quotes from people that mapped worlds in their ideas.  With world literature on the horizon, a grade level up, and a first-time EOC (not a common exam), I needed a way to immediately introduce the world to my students. And that’s what this classroom is.  It’s the world into focus:

My desk area.

My desk area.

Party in the front AND the back.

The class motto this year is, “A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.” My students are always worried about the haters, but in this class, AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. The only plant I’ve ever been able to grow indoors is on that desk.  As you can see, she’s Rapunzeling.  Her name is Laverne.  Shirley is the cactus with the flower bow in her hair.

Guys…I made these bulletin boards with dollar tablecloths from Walmart and Duct tape.  Because no one ever said you had to spend a million dollars to make your classroom cute.  Use what you have, and believe it can be pretty.

Good People

Good People

On my desk, I keep an assortment of unwashed mugs, dried out dry erase markers, a math standards lesson manual (because I like the way she puts emphasis on standards), a recommendation mug from my coworker, a hand-colored mug from said coworker’s child, and there are probably at least four dried-yogurt-remnant spoons in my desk that I still need to bring home.  Pictures of my parents are on my filing cabinet, not taped to my desk folder holder.

Weekly Jotter

Weekly Jotter

Because I get really overwhelmed, really quickly, I only jot things down by the week.  If I do anything more than that I will be the train, the tracks, and the person trying to be smashed at the station.

image 4

My favorite thing about my classroom update is my HUMANS OF THE WORLD WALL. I stole this idea straight from @humansony and found pictures of real people from all over the world and real things that they said.  I want my students to know that other people are struggling, or other people are shining and just because you’re in a place, doesn’t mean you have to be that place.

image 5

My mom made the HUMANS OF THE WORLD wall. She’s quite blurry, but my Mom has told me from diapers that the most important thing a person can carry is kindness.

image 3 image 2

 

A bit of a detailed look at the mapping and the taping, and the pinning.

WORLD WALL

WORLD WALL

Anne Frank made the wall along with a few other famous people, Mark Twain, Aung San Suu Kyi, Martin Luther King Jr., Bob Marley, and Nelson Mandela.  I still need a few people from South America if anyone can point me in the direction of a wonderful story/quote/phrase and the person behind that profoundness.

image 10

This used to be the poetry corner, until it became the corner where my students stuck all their notes to me. And what can I say, I love them and I love the love. It also has a great poem by Dorianne Laux called “Savages.”  I got that chair at Habitat for Humanity and it has always been a winner, winner, chicken dinner in my classroom.

image 12

Bookshelf Number 1 (Other not pictured, but huge).

I hoard all the tissue paper quotes that I could possibly find.  This one says, “Look closely at the present you are constructing.  It should look like the future you are dreaming.” Alice Walker said that because she’s a child of hard work.  The map next to the tissue paper poster is the literary map of North Carolina.

That is my classroom this year.  I hope it breeds an understanding of the world, and in it breathes children who try to understand and try to cultivate a personhood where they don’t look down on other people for their cultures, their belongings, or their patch of land. I know, officially, that I will be reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (YES YES YES) and Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.  Send good vibes our way.


Project 365 | Week 36

Day 251:

(This is the day that I didn’t take a picture, oops)

Day 252:

It’s so tiring being this handsome.

My ego was tired today so I just didn’t do my hair.

Day 253:

Strawberry White Chocolate Bread

When you have to fend for yourself, pinterest is your best friend.  It’s been taste test approved.

Extended Cut.

Taste tested, cat approved. (Unfortunately).

Day 254:

Oh, you wanted Mermaid nails?

Mermaid Nails = Complete

In first grade I learned that mixing pink and blue makes purple.  Thus, we have mermaid nails.

Day 255:

Kitten Kisses

I thought I’d never love another furry thing as much as I love Jasper, but now two hairballs have my heart.

Day 256:

Two tweets from yesterday

Two things you should know: I’m fascinated by cheetah print slugs (I typed sluts there the first time accidentally, har har), and I must own the cat poetry collection.  Look for a review in a few weeks.

Day 257:

Raise your hand if….

you do laundry on Sunday’s.  Isn’t it just the best day to smell fresh, hot clothes while you watch NFL football and hope you stomp in fantasy.


Newsday Tuesday

Favorite Tweets:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • ulysses moore book map: Earlier this week I read an awesome blog about introductions.  The way that Hazel introduces herself by saying, “I don’t read books with maps.” One: I totally want to be her friend and two: I don’t read books with family trees in the beginning.  Oh, how I wish that were true.  I tend to loathe books with family tree lines, but I still pick them up and hope for the best.  Why do we torture ourselves so? And do you have an absolute NO for certain things in books?  Awkward font.  Bad script.  No author bio at the end that talks about their inevitable two kids.  What’s your anti-obsession.
  • yard ornaments to make: I recommend papier-mache flamingos and play-doh gnome couples or just search pinterest because I guarentee three-hundred and seven other women have wondered this same thing.
  • one gleaming image to tell the truth of what is hunting us: I decided against googling this because I didn’t want to find out it was a chunk of a quote, or part of a poem because that would ruin the beauty of this line.
  • harry potter wedding invitations: SEND EVERYONE WANDS BY OWL.
  • beauty and the beast library:
  • pregnancy blog week 22: You know that commercial for EPT where the woman says, “I want to be a mother, just not yet,” and EPT comes up and it says “erase panic today.”  I thought that’s actually what EPT stood for, for a whole day.  If that shows you anything about how close this blog is to a pregnancy blog, there you go.

Book News:


Project 365 | Week 22

Day 148 | Monday

Built in 1888. Part of the National Seashore

Here’s what the blurb at the national seashore said: “Can you believe the building in front of you is the one in this photo?  It has had many lives.  Built as a Life-Saving station in 1888 it was absorbed into the newly created US Coast Guard in 1915.  The next year the Coast Guard moved it 70 feet to make room for a new station.  From 1919 through World War II it served as a barracks for naval radio navigation operators.  Finally, in 1957 it was sold as surplus and moved here, where it became a residence.  After years of service as a lifesaving station it seems only fitting that the building’s life has been saved too, preserved as part of the national seashore.” (Thanks Amy for taking some of these photos too).

When I was away for Memorial Day we visited an old town on an island near Cape Lookout.  Years ago it was evacuated due to Hurricanes.  The only problem with making the residence leave, and later move was that their hundred year lease was not up yet.

Day 149 | A Tuesday

Kindergarten Report Card

In rummaging boxes for paperwork about my life (ah, bank companies) my dad found my kindergarten report card.  It seems my love of reading started at an early age.

Day 150 | A Wednesday

He isn’t always a poser.

Sars got me a cat lady shirt on impulse.  The only way to wear a cat lady shirt is to hair it up with cat mane, thus, this happened.

Day 151 | A Thursday

Doing my first pinterest DIY

Yep, I’m one of the 1% that is actually creating something off of pinterest.  I’m also planning my wedding, my floral arrangements, tomorrow’s outfit and breakfast, my future bathroom design, and how to do a “summer bun.”

Earlier this week, I had to teach my teens what “it’s” meant, rather than “its.”  I also had to teach them how to spot a fragment and a run-on.  It was two hours of one-on-one tutoring using a 2009 EOC test.

I’m angry with my teens for being rowdy and not paying attention in class.  I’m angry with those stupid grammar workbooks that teach students NOTHING.  (I know because I had to use a few throughout high school and then teach myself grammar basics in college just to be able to write a functioning paper).  And, I’m angry with educators who haven’t engrained the differences between there, their, and they’re to these students.  (Please ignore my use of “and” as a sentence starter, I like to write like I speak).

One of my teens writes poetry in his free time; he loves English.  Why does he have an F?

Day 152 | A Friday

Inspector Gadget

We went to the new wing of the NC Museum of Natural Science and it was probably the coolest (and I use that word lightly because it makes me want to put my thumb in the air and yell, “rad!”) museum I’ve ever been in. I saw an actual dinosaur bone, and an actual chip of Mars.  We studied enlarged germs while Jack asked what they all did (most of them ate things…).

Sludge Scientist

Magnifying the tubes of sludge.

First genetically modified pet in the US.

These are glowfish.  Scientists took the glow gene from certain corals, and certain jellyfish and injected it into these tiny finned creatures.  If anyone ever asks you what the US has given the world, announce with pride, “THE GLOWFISH.”

Day 153 | A Saturday

Stanky Leg

My cat with half-kangaroo feet.

Day 154 | A Sunday

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

I bought a new mirror at the flea market yesterday.  This doesn’t show it off at all, but rather my evil queen face.  I saw Snow White and the Huntsman yesterday and you should see it.  Every girl can relate to an evil queen who has been “ruined by men.”  Are we all not unhinged at one point?


Newsday Tuesday

Favorite Tweets:

I just love this question because it’s a good one.  We all keep books on our nightstand (or in my case the poor-girls book basket by the bed) or on our bookshelves in our rooms, but where else?  Do you like to read meta-fiction by the toilet, or magical realism in the kitchen?

(I’m just really hoping Miss Bolden ended on “bud.”)

Favorite Search Terms:

  • mona lisa with cat: I just love that you came to my blog with this.  It seems I am discussing the right things.
  • books that have food contests: You’re looking for the State Fair.  Look for the red and white checked picnic table cloth.
  • the cat lady book by roald dahl: How is it that I had never heard of this before this search term came up?  Disappointed in myself.
  • how to decorate a love poem: You do this with gushy sentimentalities.
  • what is a catchy title for a science fair project about recycling paper?: I got nothin’.  Anyone have anything?
  • ninja takes out the trash: is he wearing all black? did he have to judu-chop the lid?

Book News:


Newsday Tuesday

Favorite Tweets:

Favorite Search Terms:

  • library bingo card: I’d like to come to this church’s bingo night.  Hoo-ha!
  • spinster chotskies: I just love that someone came to my blog with this.  It almost defines me as a cat lady.
  • how to talk to your mother notes: I love talking to my mother.  In fact this morning, I cried as soon as I woke up over something ridiculous and she was like “why are you crying?” and I said, “it’s too early for this, wah.”
  • picture of 2 girls in petticoats and a boy reading a book with footstool with basket of daisies on it?: this sounds adorable.  You should decorate your child’s room with this.

Book News:


Project 365 | Week 9

This week is once again about my cat.

Day 56 | Rabbit Foot

Remember when you were in seventh grade and you carried that purple rabbit foot key chain on the bottom strap of your backpack.  And you thought you had all the luck in the world; you practically bathed in fortune cookies and your horoscopes were always aligned in the stars.  Then,  a women in your memoir class writes a piece about stunning rabbits with her fist, skinning each alive and slipping the fur off like pajamas.  Rabbit feet are not cool anymore, but my cat has no choice but to be part rabbit, part beast.

Day 57 | Pinterest Recipes

One of my goals for this year was to actually create things that I find on pinterest instead of just planning my make-believe life.  Pinterest recipe trial #1: Mexican Pizza.

Day 58 | Spring Sidewalk

March 1st: Spring had already come, and drooped.  Petals in puddles on my run.

Day 59 | Cave Men

On Wednesday, my dad and boy had an epic battle over steak sizes, over text messages.  Let me rephrase that, on Wednesday, I was sent back to the time of the cave.  This is the picture that came of it.

Day 60 | NACHO GIRLFRIEND

It was the last “Cooking with Cass” this week at the teen center.  We made nachos. Of course when I say “No Guns” in pictures, boys get their finger ammunition ready.

Day 61 | Creek Bed

Once I tried to pee behind a bush back here and out of nowhere appeared a snake.  Don’t worry, I didn’t have a chance to show it any moons.

Day 62 | Auto Zone: Where Men Go to Hang Out.

My dad has announced I’m officially an adult because I can go into Auto Zone by myself for my oil change supplies.  Now if I could just perform that oil change.


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