Thursday, February 15, 2018

3 Actions to Take Against Gun Violence


Yesterday, yet another mass shooting occurred in an American school. This time, 17 people died. As teachers, we can't help but think, what if it had been my school? My students? Me?  I think we are all frustrated by the meaningless "thoughts and prayers" that are delivered after every mass shooting. Here are three concrete things you can do to help end gun violence.

1. Don't vote for politicians who receive NRA funding. You can look up your representatives by state or name here to find out how much NRA money they've received. As long as politicians are relying on the NRA for funding, they're not to vote for anything that limits access to guns. Take your vote elsewhere.

2. Support organizations working to end gun violence. Consider Everytown, an organization that "seeks to improve our understanding of the causes of gun violence and the means to reduce it – by conducting groundbreaking original research, developing evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge in the courts and the court of public opinion."

3. Contact your representatives. Let your representative know that you want them to support measures to end gun violence. One of the easiest ways to do this is to text RESIST to 50409. You'll get a series of texts that will walk you through sending a letter to your representatives. Here's an example:



ANYONE can do these three things, and the last two you can do right now. If you're looking to do more, join the Facebook group Educators Against Gun Violence.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

7 Puzzles for Teacher Self Care

If you follow me on Instagram, you know one of my favorite self care activities is puzzling. People are always asking me about it, so I thought I'd share how I got into it, as well as a few of my favorite puzzles.

What can I say? One day you're a normal 20-something, and the next you're spending all your free time completing puzzles while listening to audiobooks. 

What actually happened was that my therapist assigned me the task of doing "nothing" twice a week, which seemed impossible to my pre-self care self. Around that time, I visited my in-laws in their retirement community in Arizona and helped complete a jigsaw puzzle. I got surprisingly sucked into it-- finally, I was doing my "nothing" homework!

After that, I always had a 1,000 piece puzzle going on my dining room table. It's the perfect de-stressing activity when you get home from school. Pop on an audiobook and just work on putting those puzzle pieces together. 
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I've done a lot more puzzles than this (seriously, 1 every three weeks or so for the last year and a half), but these are my favorites. I hate anything vaguely Thomas Kinkade-y, and honestly, the longer it takes the better. All of these are 1,000 pieces and can be purchased on Amazon. All links are affiliate links.

1. Avian Friends The grid makes this one pretty simple to complete, but there's a few challenging bits with similar patterns on the different birds.

2. Lady with a Fan (by Gustav Klimt) I complete The Kiss puzzle first, and I enjoyed it so much that I did another Klimt! This one is quite a bit easier, but still challenging. I also think the lady looks a bit like me!

3. Birducopia (by Charley Harper) The big blocks of color make this puzzle an easy one, but I enjoyed the unusual elongated shape of the puzzle and of course Charley Harper's signature style.

4. Succulents I love house plants, so this was a fun one! I normally don't like photo puzzles as much, but all the different plant textures and shades of green make it a fun challenge. 

5. The Kiss (by Gustav Klimt) This is probably the hardest puzzle I've completed! But I really enjoyed getting to know the intricacies of the painting and the patterns within it. Just be prepared for a bit of a long haul with the big brown patches on the sides! Also, pairs well with The Golden Compass trilogy audiobooks, in case you were wondering!

6. Twelve Sunflowers (by Vincent Van Gogh) This is one of my favorite paintings and one of my favorite puzzles as well! When you first start, it seems impossible because it's all gold and pale blue. But as you work through the pieces you notice all the different shades and it's actually quite fun to put together.

7. Your World When I look at a puzzle I instantly remember what audiobook I listened to as I completed it. In this case, it was Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. Kind of a weird pairing I suppose, haha. Anyway, this is a pretty easy puzzle but a lot of fun to put together because of all the quirky animals. 

If you're looking for a monthly reminder to practice self care, check out my self care subscription box for teachers, Teacher Care Crate.

Friday, February 2, 2018

February Teacher Care Crate Unboxing



Wondering what you'll receive in this month's Teacher Care Crate? Watch the video above and read the description below to find out exactly what comes in February's crate! Subscribe at teachercarecrate.com by February 14 to receive this box!

Deep Detox Bath Soak: This soak is equal parts Himalayan Salt, Dead Sea Salt, and dried rose petals. Pour into a warm bath for detoxification and relaxation. {Retail Value: $5}

Organic Tinted Lip Balm: The lip balm included in February's crate is handmade by Serenity and Blossom. I love tinted lip balm for school because you don't have to worry about reapplying as you do with lipstick. {Retail Value: $3} 

Affirmation Pencils: I'm obsessed with these pencils designed by Becca of The Teacher's Passport! Each box includes three different color pencils with beautiful affirmations created by  Becca. {Retail Value: $3}

Quartz Pendant: Did you know quartz is believed to increase positivity, patience, and perseverance? It's the perfect stone for teachers! I'm so excited about these pendants-- I'm already wearing mine all the time! {Retail Value: $18}

Art Print: This month's professionally printed 5 x 7 print was designed by Jess of Ink Chicago. {Retail Value: $8}

Chocolate: The chocolate was a big hit in January, so I wanted to include a little treat this month as well. Each box includes an organic OCHO coconut chocolate. {Retail Value: $.75}

Take time for YOU this February with Teacher Care Crate



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