New Adventures

In March of 2014 my world changed forever when my sweet baby girl was born. Fast forward 9.5 months to today. How can my baby girl be 9.5 months already. I don’t even want to talk about the birthday that will be happening in just a couple months time. If we don’t talk about it, she won’t grow up right?

9.5 months ago was the last time I stepped foot in a classroom. It was actually longer than that due to extreme pregnancy sickness my entire 9 months. The day I became a mommy was the day I no longer was a teacher…in a classroom. Now I say, in a classroom, because I am a teacher. I get to be the best kind of teacher in my eyes and that teacher is called MAMA. I get to be my baby girls MAMA, teacher and more. And I get to do it from the comfort of my home and I couldn’t be happier. I miss teaching the little ones, but am so glad that I get to stay home with my sweet girl and watch her grow, because friends, she is growing right before my eyes and most of the time I am way too afraid to blink for fear she is a teenager when I open my eyes.

Even though I am not in the classroom anymore, I still have soo many ideas flowing in my brain and do soo much with my little girl on a daily basis and I want to share it. My eventual goal is to homeschool my daughter and any future babies that come along. I wanted a new fresh place to share the ideas I am currently doing with my little girl, sensory activities, baby play activities, eventual preschool activities etc., so I started a new blog: Mac-n-Taters.


It is here that I will be sharing all the “teachery” things I do with my little girl. Mac-n-Taters was formed as a way for me to share my journey through parenting and teaching my little ones. I strongly believe that it is never too early to start teaching your children and believe that they can learn amazing things when given the opportunity, no matter what the age. I strongly believe play is an important part of learning and you will see a lot of that at Mac-n-Taters. You can read all about what my blog will entail at my first post HERE. I would love to have to hop over and follow along. 

Now I have to brag on the blog designer for my new blog. Parker from PJs Design Laboratory is the man behind the design.


Parker is the UBER talented hubby of Susan from Thank God Its First Grade. I knew exactly the look I was going for and wanted all sorts of stuff added, like drop down menus.  I contacted him and started asking all sorts of questions and friends he made it happen. He researched how to create drop downs for me, made them and installed them.  I am in LOVE with it all. He even helped fix my blog after I severely screwed it up after posting my first post and trying to add something…I call it sleep deprived mommy brain, but others may call it crazy…I will let you decide :) I HIGHLY recommend him if you are looking for a new design. He got it all done so quickly and was the definition of professional!!!

Onto my next adventure, in addition to TPT, my new blogging adventures, and being a full time stay at home mommy, I have also started an Etsy shop for all of my invitation creations. I actually started this back in July and have been slowly adding to it as I go and have time. I would love to have you hop over and check it out and if you are on the hunt for custom invitations or have an idea I would love to hear it. I am always looking for more ideas to create :)


Some of my favorites so far include my Valentine Invitations and my Milk and Cookies Invitation

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Thank you for following along on all my adventures. I plan to continue My (Not So) Elementary Life as a “filing cabinet” of sorts for my TPT products and showcase others from time to time as well. Thank you for all your support and I look forward to sharing with you and hope you will come follow along with my new adventures :)

Penguin Unit Resources & Books

Good cold day to you. What’s the weather like where you are at? –18 degrees here this morning and lots of crazy snow fell over night. The perfect day to curl back up in bed and go back to sleep. Oh wait I have a baby who didn’t allow that :) Good thing she’s cute. Well since I couldn’t curl back into bed this morning, I thought I would share with you some Penguin resources I have as part of my Penguin unit (recently updated to include over 100 new pages) as well as some others I have found and love.
 picture compiliation for social media sites
Seeing what the kids write using these writing prompts is always so fun. These prompts/pages allow students to use their imaginations and get as creative as they want. Seriously, how would YOU catch a penguin?
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All my units contain various graphic organizers for you to use to help build schema for your unit. I feel it is necessary to continue supplying these types of organizers to my students in order to help with comprehension of information they are being presented. If we continue to offer these types of resources to our students it will lead to them being able to independently use these skills on their own while reading and learning, which will lead to better comprehension of text and information.
penguin gr.Org collage
An activity I have been adding to all my units is a one page reading comprehension passage. It reads exactly as my “big” books and student readers do and includes 3 comprehension questions on the bottom for students to answer. All answers can be found within the text. You can have students color code the information they found to answer the question with the question in order to encourage students to make sure their answer is correct.
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One of my favorite activities I include in my units is a labeling activity. Various options are provided to allow for differentiation within the classroom. A colored and black and white poster is provided to discuss the parts of penguin as a whole group and to then display during your unit. 3 differentiated student labeling activities are also provided: one cut-and-paste activity, one fill-it-in using the word bank, and one fill-it-in with no word bank.
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The biggest addition to this unit is the section dedicated to the 17 different types of penguins. I know not everyone has time to study and learn about all 17. I wanted to include enough information for you to be able to pick and choose which types you wanted to take a closer look at.
For each of the 17 different penguin types, there is a colorful 4 page “booklet” included. You can choose to print out the pages you wish to use or just display the pdf using your technology in your classroom. However you choose to use these colorful pages full of real life pictures is up to you as the classroom teacher. A fact book activity that correlates to the information provided for each penguin is also included. Students will learn some fun facts, what the animals eat, how big they are, and where they live.
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Students will also love the colorful, vibrant, real life pictures in the classroom “big” book. They will be able to follow along with the black and white student reader. They will love having their very own book, just like the teacher :)
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And you just have to have a craft to finish off the unit. I just love this little guy. Penguins are so stinking cute.
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I also have a Penguin Types flip book that includes pages for each of the 17 different penguin types. You can check it out by clicking on the picture. It is a separate product.
One can never have too many penguin books either right? Here are some of my favorites, both fun and informational. The links provided are Amazon affiliate links.
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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
Looking for more penguin resources? Check out my PENGUIN PINTEREST BOARD.
To find my unit in my store, you can click on any of the pictures in the post or you can find it by clicking HERE. 
I am linking this post up with Jessica from Mrs. Stanford’s Class and her Hump Day Highlight (albeit a couple days late.)

Holiday Happenings

This last year was by far the best year of my life and that includes the recent Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Being able to celebrate the holidays with a little one, who is old enough to actually participate in opening the presents and playing with the toys, was the best thing ever. We packed the month of December full of various projects and fun. I actually added a few too many things to my to do list (still working on the balancing act called life with a baby) and didn’t get them all done, but looking forward to adding them to the mix next year.

Here’s a look at some of the projects we tackled.

ornaments made 

Love my snowmen ornaments. The one on the left was for an ornament exchange that I whipped up just before heading out the door. I just took white yarn and started wrapping it around itself to form the balls. I then used felt to create the hat, eyes, nose, and buttons, and ribbon to create the scarf and hanger.

The fishing bobber snowman was a project little miss and I whipped up for my husband. I had some left over fishing bobbers from his Father’s Day gift and he LOVES fishing so we thought it was only fitting that he get a special fishing ornament. I used felt to make the hat, nose, and scarf and drew on the eyes, mouth, and buttons using sharpie. I used an ornament hook to hang. I just cut a slit in the top of the hat and pushed it down through and attached it to the hook on the bobber.


These are our matching Christmas PJs that I sewed. My husband was needing some new pajama pants and we can never find any that he likes or that aren’t extremely expensive. I hit up the Black Friday sales at Joann Fabrics and got a TON of fabric and felt for super cheap. I used preexisting pants as my patterns to create a pattern that I can reuse and then just used basic sewing techniques to finish the rest. In order to create the R on the baby’s onesie, I printed out an R from the computer, cut it out and then measured the size of fabric I would need. I cut that square out, ironed on some iron on material to it. Then I backwards traced the R onto the paper side of the iron on material. I cut it out, using an exacto knife to cut out the inside of the R and then peeled off the back and ironed it to the onesie. I finished it off by sewing a zigzag stitch all the way around the R using my sewing machine. So happy with how they turned out and have made several more pairs of pants for the hubby since :)


I also got crafty and created multiple Christmas onesies and outfits for my baby girl. I love how fun it is to sew and cannot wait to create more outfits for her as she grows. I am so sad that Christmas is over and these precious outfits are going into the box :( Time to make some for Valentine’s day I guess :)


This project is by far my most favorite. I wanted to create a special baby’s first Christmas ornament for my little girl and loved all the cute mistletoes plaques i saw floating around on Pinterest and thought the concept would be awesome to use to create an ornament. I am OBSESSED with hand and foot print art (footprint art being easier to do with a baby than handprint…not that I know this or not haha).

In order to create this, I made a batch of salt dough: 1 cup flour, 1 cup salt, and about a half cup of water (give or take a little bit). I rolled out the dough until it was about 1/4 inch thick. I enlisted the help of my husband to hold the baby and I gently pressed her foot into the dough to create two footprints. I did the same with her fingerprints to create the berries. I think took a knife and very carefully cut out around the footprints so it had a tiny edge and looked like a foot (same with the finger prints). I pre-poked holes in them before drying out, but ended up having to have my husband drill the holes out more to fit the string I was going to use. After I had the prints cut out, I dried them out in the oven. This process does NOT require baking so you need to set your oven temperature low. I set mine to 200* and then “baked” the prints for 3 hours, turning half way through. Be sure to bake them on parchment paper so they come off easily. If they still seem damp after three hours, turn off the oven and let them sit in there for a bit longer until they are hard, or leave them sit out overnight on the counter. Once they were dry, I took green and red acrylic paint and painted over them, both front and back. I ended up doing 3 coats just to make sure they were well covered. I then strung them together with bakers twine and applied a little bit of hot glue to keep the feet in place so that they look like mistletoes. I wrote the year and baby girls name on the back and Baby’s First Christmas using Sharpie and then hung it up and cannot wait to get it out year after year.


I wanted to make special wrapping paper for all of our family and friends after seeing a picture posted by a page I follow on Facebook. I never logged the name of the person I saw the original post from so I cannot give proper credit for this idea. This is NOT my original idea and have since seen multiple people replicate this along with other DIY wrapping paper ideas so if you search Pinterest you are sure to find multiple posts :)

hand foot print for blog

The day we made the mistletoes ornament we also created some hand and footprint plaques for Christmas gifts. These were created the same way using the same recipe as above. I had to create a fancy one for myself. I used a toothpick to make the holes and the year and baby girl’s name before baking. If you want impressions in the dough you HAVE to do it before baking. If not you risk cracking it when trying to drill it.   


It was an exciting Christmas full of lots of new traditions that I cannot wait to continue. We started off the morning by celebrating Jesus’ birthday with some Blueberry Buckle and a story all about that First Christmas Night as well as telling Baby Girl all about Jesus and why HE and his birth are so SPECIAL. Then we got to work on opening those presents, which she had a BLAST opening. It was a great day of family and fun.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and have a very BLESSED new year. I cannot wait to see what this one holds for my family :)

I am linking this post up with Megan at Mrs. Wheeler’s FIrst Grade for her How I Spent My Winter Break Linky.