Friday, August 29, 2014

Back to School Night QR Codes, Playful Yoga, Ghirardelli Brownies

Math ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back to school night is very early at our school - during our second week! I usually try not to change things up from year to year because I am so busy getting ready for the new school year. Of course, that never seems to work, because I inevitably have learned something over the last year that I want to add in. This year, it's QR codes. Last year, I got an idea from Pinterest to make a label for a single bag of microwave popcorn. It said "Thanks for 'popping' in!" and gave all of my information on the label. Not only did parents go home with some popcorn to make, they had a label with all of my info which made it easy for them to contact me. This year, I decided to use a QR code to give parents all of my info, so that they could store it in their phone if they so desired, and so they could begin to see how technology is being integrated into my classroom. I used the website to create a free QR code that included my information. It was so easy! Then I bought 2"x4" labels from Target and created labels just like the one below (by the way, 120 labels from Target's brand up&up cost less than $5.) I hid the QR code here just because I didn't want my cell phone number obviously it does not look like that on the label. 

My cat, Tiki, loved the idea of the "popping in" popcorn for Back to School Night.
Labels for single size bags of popcorn.

Here is a copy of the labels...insert your own QR code:

Play ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yoga is an activity that I have been doing for about 15 years now. I have been to numerous studios and several different instructors. Here is my guide to finding a good studio:

1. Go to several local yoga studios to find one that you like. If you have to drive far, you probably will not go. Instead, you could use DVDs, but I find that when you don't anticipate what comes next in yoga, you actually feel freer ,and you can do more than if you know what is coming up.

2. See what the other members of the studio do before class. Are they welcoming? Do they smile or say hello when passing you? Or are they taking themselves too seriously, and are there noticeable cliques? I feel so much more comfortable in a studio where everyone is chatting before class than one that is serious and quiet. 

3. Does the instructor recognize you and/or greet you by name? This is not a must, but it makes me feel very comfortable when the instructor is personable. It definitely makes me want to go back for more.

4. Are there a variety of good instructors at the studio? If you only like one instructor, you are very limited to the times you can go, which means you won't go when you have the time if your instructor is not teaching.

5. Are the instructors playful? What does playful mean? It means they laugh during class, they can have fun, they do not take themselves too seriously. Maybe they yell out a big "WOOHOO!" They have a good following because people are drawn to their energy. They will take risks and try new things and will admit when they cannot do a pose. And they will help you to become your better self by allowing you to play and possibly fall - only to encourage you to get back up and try again. 

Of all the places that I have gone to, the most playful and joyful studio is Haute Yoga. Holly is the owner, and I have been going to her classes before she opened her studio. Her studio is one of pure happiness. Holly always has a smile, and her enthusiasm during class is catching to others. She loves to challenge you to your fullest, and I come out of her classes drenched, sore (a good sore), and craving more. I love Holly!!

Here is a picture of Holly taking a Caroline's class (another awesome instructor!) at her studio. I mean, seriously, how cute is she???

I want to mention that I bought a pair of pants at her studio from They are amazing and are out of Palm Beach Gardens. I love the bright colors, and the pants are so comfortable and colorful that I feel so much more playful during yoga when I wear them. I wash them constantly because I want to wear them time I do yoga.

I emailed Nikki from Jiva and she offered 5% off if you order Jiva pants (so worth it!) Use the code EPM5 at checkout! You will definitely feel playful! 

Eat ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These are the best brownies out there...better than scratch, according to my brother-in-law. And they are sooooo easy! I use the Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix from Costco

I timed myself, and it took 3 minutes 45 seconds from start to oven from this picture below:

I top with powdered sugar from a shaker. Another option is to put a can of frosting in the microwave (no lid) for 30 seconds, stir with a butter knife, and pour on top of uncut brownies. Then smooth with the knife. So so easy and tastes so good. You can also add a little kahlua and/or walnuts to the batter, but I don't do this when making it for students. 

Hmmm two pieces are father like son...

By the way, the next morning, more was missing?!

My students seemed to enjoy them!

Have a great week!

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