June 22, 2015

TpT Seller Challenge Week 2: Dare to Dream

When I saw the focus of this week's challenge I had to laugh a little.
Last week I was supposed to be updating products, but I got ended up getting distracted by trying to start my blog. So after spending an enormous amount of time on blogging last week, I have another week to continue improving and creating my own blogging style.

I started selling products on Teachers Pay Teachers about three years ago. Mostly I did it as an experiment. Would anyone be interested in the items that I spent so much time creating for my own classroom? As it turns out, I've been fairly successful. At least to my standards.

As I thought about WHY I spend so much time creating, improving, sharing and posting products to my store, I realized there are a LOT of reasons. Narrowing it down was kind of hard.

So, here are the top three goals I have that I hope to achieve with the help of income earned from Teachers Pay Teachers.

After my first year selling on TpT, I had saved enough money that I was able to buy my "dream car". It's a cheerful yellow 2010 Volkswagon Beetle with daisy rims. I absolutely LOVE it!
Isn't it the absolute cutest car you've ever seen?!?
My husband REFUSES to drive it. Heeheehee. Fine with me!
I even got personalized tags...
I used my earnings to put a nice down payment on the car and have been making monthly payments ever since. I'm hoping to increase my sales enough that I can use the extra income to make double (or maybe even triple) payments so I can pay it of early. The sooner I get it paid off the less interest I will end up paying overall. It's a good plan.

So, last summer I really cracked down and got myself on a good eating and exercise schedule. And then, as I'm sure many of you can understand, school started. And life got hectic. And I got tired. So tired that waking up at 4:15 to get to the gym and back before work just wasn't happening enough. My workout buddies stopped coming too, so that made it even harder. Then when bills started piling up and we were looking for ways to trim expenses, I chose to cancel my membership to the YMCA. At first I was super diligent and I went running or did a workout DVD at home. But then it got cold and the holidays hit and I just lost my motivation. And so the story goes...

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret...
I'm short. I'm only 5'1" (if I stand up really tall) so stepping on the scale and seeing a numbers creep closer and closer to 200 was devastating. And to make matters worse, I was so mad at myself for gaining back the 21 pounds that I had worked so hard to lose that I simply fed my depression. NOT a good idea, I know.

Back in the day when I was 105 pounds and feeling enormous (what in the world was I thinking?!?) I never felt good enough. I always wanted to be thinner - like all those models we see in advertising. My ideal silhouette would have been something like the number one. Unfortunately at this point I'm closer to number two. My goal? Number three! More realistic, and definitely healthier.
And now another little secret...
My husband adores me. He loves me for EXACTLY who I am. He finds me attractive and desirable and actually LIKES my curves. (Me? Not so much.)
So despite feeling loved and wanted by the man I love, I am still not happy with myself. Not because of a number on the scale. Not even because of my shape, specifically. But mostly because I don't have the energy to get out and do things with my kids or my husband anymore.Last summer, losing about 20 pounds caused me to feel more confident, energetic, and happy. I want to feel that way again.
So, no. I am not trying to get down to the 105 I was when I graduated high school. I just want to feel better overall. And I know that a gym membership is the most effective way for ME to do that. When I'm paying for it, I'm more likely to go. (I hate wasting money.) So I plan to sign up for a new, closer, 24-hour access gym. Less excuses. More opportunity. And an 18 month commitment.

This one seems kind of silly, but I live in Tennessee. It's HOT and DRY in the summers. When we bought our beautiful house last year, one of the best things about it was the HUGE yard. 
But while it's a lot of space for the kids and the dog to run around and play, the grass is usually in its dormant, brown state. Watering it with a hose and sprinkler is a pain because, let's face it, I always PLAN to move the sprinkler every 30 minutes but tend to get distracted and forget for like...um...4 hours. The water bill skyrockets and the grass is still patchy and dead looking. Well, except for that section that got 8X the amount of water that I had planned.

The solution?
Deal with the dry yard. I know. That makes sense, right?
But there is something about a fresh, green lawn that screams "American Dream" to me for some reason. I don't need the white picket fence. I just want a green lawn. So one home improvement I want to get to when I save enough from selling on Teachers Pay Teachers is professional installation of a sprinkler system (at least for the front and side yards).

So, I kind of feel like the contestant in a beauty pageant who shares what she most wants and then adds...AND WORLD PEACE. Hahaha. I have other goals like save for the kids' college, go on trips, donate to charity, help family members in need. I promise.

June 21, 2015

More Makeover Madness

I've spent the week working on bringing my store into the social networking age. It's now on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Blogger. Tonight (this last night of the Week 1 Challenge: Makeover Madness) I've worked on updating a couple more products. As long as I'm feeling motivated...

Product Update #2: Attitudes about Learning Poster Set


iTeachSTEM on Instagram

So last night I officially felt old.

Really old.

Why? Well, I was laying on a picnic blanket in the front yard having my oldest son help me set up an Instagram account.

As he walked me through the process and explained the different features, I had a flashback. I remembered sitting on the couch at my mom's house helping her to set up a Facebook account a few years ago. I remembered all of her questions (that seemed so silly to me at the time). I remember trying to teach her what "liking" and "tagging" and "posting" meant. I looked at my son, working so hard to bring his mom into the digital/social media age, and I couldn't help but laugh!

So, the results from last night?
I officially have an Instagram account for iTeachSTEM! Yay me!
iTeachSTEM on Instagram

#makeovermadness #TpTsellerchallenge #teachinganolddognewtricks

June 19, 2015

iTeachSTEM on Facebook

As I spent time this week giving some of my products a much needed "facelift", I felt inspired to create a Facebook page for iTeachSTEM. I'm really hoping to be able to keep up with Facebook, Pinterest, this blog, and creating new resources. Thanks to the #TPTSellersChallenge I'm feeling especially motivated. Just the kick in the pants I needed.

iTeachSTEM on Facebook
iTeachSTEM on TpT

Thanks for reading my random middle of the night musings.

June 16, 2015

Week 1: Makeover Madness

So many of my early products could use a good facelift, but I chose one of my "summer" products for this challenge. Several years ago I put together cute "goodie bags" for my students. They loved them.

I have had a number of requests for customization of the little note I included, so for this week's challenge I decided to add pages that could be printed onto Avery 5160 address labels. I absolutely LOVE printing onto labels because it's fast and they can be attached to just about anything.

The NEW file includes the following updates:
* New fonts
* Clip art
* 8 pages of labels

In honor of the TpT Seller Challenge, I'm putting this product on sale for a limited time. Click on the link below the picture to grab your copy today!
Download this Product
I'm hoping to do some more "sprucing up" of other products this week. I'm so excited to improve some old favorites!


I've actually had my teacher blog set up since LAST summer.
And then life happened...

My goals for THIS summer:
(1) Start posting on my blog
(2) Participate in the TpT Seller Challenge
(3) Finish (and post) at least one full unit bundle - Solar System or Bottle Rockets STEM Challenge
(4) Update product listings to include links to related products
(5) Read TWO books for pleasure*
(6) Take a nap once a week*

Thanks to
for coming up with such a fun way to get me going!