Andrea.plans is a community that will be used for inspiration for everything such as family, positive/natural lifestyles, fashion and beauty. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I have created this blog to document my life journey along the road in my many roles. Thanks for stopping by! I hope it can be an encouragement.
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of touring a new coworking space here in South Florida, The Emery. The Emery sits between Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale in a up and coming community. It is conveniently located at
801 N. Federal Highway
Hallandale Beach, Florida
As stated on The Emery website, “The Emery is a co-working space and social club designed for women who are looking to connect, collaborate and belong to a supportive community.” https://www.the-emery.com
When I arrived I was greeted by the founder of The Emery, Aileen Lavin. We started the tour in the center of the work space which reminded me of a living room because of its comforting couches and chairs.
The open space is where members can gather and collaborate with other members. If members need privacy, there are also places sprinkled throughout to accommodate those needs as well.
In addition to the open space, there are two conference rooms that could potentially be used for workshops or pop up shops. If you are looking for a more intimate space, there are several smaller offices that can be closed off to take phone calls and meet with clients.
The originator of coworking spaces, Brad Neuberg opened the first coworking space in a wellness center. The Emery has hit the mark with its wellness and beauty lounge.
This month, members were able to take advantage of the glam services offered in the beauty lounge with hair and nail services on site. If all employers could see the benefit of offering wellness services, the world would be a better place.
We ended the tour in the cafe. Members are able to enjoy water, coffee, cold press juices and snacks to keep them fueled during their work sessions with healthy options.
If you are a woman that lives in the South Florida area and you are looking for a beautiful coworking space, then you have to check out The Emery. They are currently scheduling tours so you can get all your questions answered. They have membership packages guaranteed to fit your needs.
A community is used to bring various people together to advocate and support one another. As human beings, having a sense of belonging is a natural desire and if that need is not met, it makes it difficult for individuals to obtain other needs.
Not to be downplayed but just as it is important to be a part of a community in our personal lives, it is equally important to be connected to a positive community in the workplace. Notice how I said POSITIVE…
When individuals are connected to a positive community on the job, they are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals which can be influential and encouraging to the students in their classroom as well as others connected to them.
A positive community is HUGE. I am so grateful for the #teachertribe I have found. They are teachers who teach from kindergarten all the way to high school. We are not all geographically in the same area however, we make the time to get together to share tips and encourage one another always over delicious food.
Today, we had a meetup in Wynwood. If you know me then you know Wynwood is an area I have been trying to get to for quite some time so when the opportunity came, I quickly jumped on the location as a potential spot to meet.
We enjoyed brunch at the Wynwood Diner and I was pleasantly welcomed by this cute setup.
Genius Plaza also gifted all of us with some amazing things and I can’t wait to use them.
Teachers from as far as Jacksonville joined us where we shared a conversation highlighting one classroom management tip as well as one social media tip that we utilize in our classroom.
There were several raffle giveaways and I am so surprised to have won. (I never win raffles LOL).
I was gifted the book Big Little Lies (one of my favorite series on HBO) and a $15 gift card for Dunkin Donuts. What teacher can refuse coffee???
After we finished, we had a few moments to stand in awe of the beautiful walls of Wynwood and wow, it is definitely a place I will be back to visit.
If you are a teacher that does not have a community or teacher tribe in your building, Instagram is an amazing community of go getters who are so willing to share what has worked for them in their practice. If you are a teacher who is feeling burned out or like you no longer have a purpose in the field because as we all know, teaching can be challenging in more ways than one, I encourage you to find some teachers who still have a fire in them to do what is best for the kids. Teachers like that can help light a fire in you and I promise, you will not regret it.
Have you attended an educational conference? Let me be clear, I am not speaking of the conferences your school district puts together when welcoming you back to school in the fall.
I am talking about a national conference that travels city to city with some of your favorite teachers and educators from Instagram and Youtube. If you have not, I strongly encourage you to research conferences that are scheduled to come to a city near you in the upcoming year and find a way to get there.
Whether you are new to the field of education, you are a veteran teacher, a school counselor or maybe you are a teacher assistant, national educational conferences provide workshops that are suitable for all individuals in the education realm where everyone in attendance can take away a wealth of information to be used immediately when they return to work.
Why Should All Educators Attend An Educational Conference?
Attending educational conferences allows educators a chance to connect and network with like-minded individuals.
In my opinion, it takes a special person to become an educator. Some of the best educators are individuals who are selfless and enjoy helping others become the best version of themselves academically as well as socially.
That being said, educators who take time out of their schedule to attend conferences really are dedicated to the cause.
While attending the 2018 Miami Teach Your Heart Out Conference, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by many dedicated educators. The teachers I spent the two days with are teachers who are extremely passionate about their craft. Anyone in their presence is able to see, hear and feel their passion in their conversation and they are able to see proof on their teacher Instagram accounts as well as their Youtube channels.
When you are in the presence of people who are that passionate about their career, they encourage you to get fired up as well. When you are encouraged, you are able to find little tokens in the smallest things to take back to your classroom to implement within your community.
Attending Conferences Fills Your Educational Bucket
Have you heard the term bucket filler? A bucket filler according to Bucket Fillers is an action or word that shows you care about someone, http://www.bucketfillers101.com/faqs.php . To take it a step further, bucket filling is a random act of kindness that you provide to another person.
As an educator, I realize the importance of filling other people’s buckets. I also realize if you are constantly filling other people’s buckets, you need to have your bucket replenished in order to continue filling buckets.
Attending educational conferences is an opportunity for educators to get their buckets filled. These conferences provide teachers with motivational speeches from teachers who are in the trenches who are able to give practical advice as well as an opportunity to laugh, perhaps cry and relate to what the speaker is saying.
Attending Educational Conferences is an Investment
The average cost to attend educational conferences is around $400. The cost usually includes a swag bag that is filled with various items from sponsors of the conference, a pad of paper and a pen to keep notes from the conference and coupons for educational items such as t-shirts, bags, etc.
You’re probably wondering how you will be able to attend a conference of this caliber on a teacher’s salary. Well, there are a few ways that could make it easier for you…
Donors Choose is a website that was created in 2000 by Charles Best, a History Teacher out of the Bronx. The website states they are responsible for “connecting the public to public schools” https://www.donorschoose.org/about.
If you create a project stating what you need and the cost of your project, people are able to contribute to your project and you could potentially get your registration fully funded.
If your school has an amazing PTA, you could write a grant explaining that you would like to gain funding for your registration to attend the conference and how your attendance will directly benefit your classroom community. As long as the PTA is able to see a link between you attending the conference and the academic growth of your classroom, they should be willing to pay a portion of the registration.
Some teachers have administrators who have a budget they are able to pull from and they are willing to make an investment in their teachers. Administrators who recognize the importance in investing in their staff know how much information will be poured into individuals who attend educational conferences. They know that attending conferences with educators who are still in the classroom can greatly benefit their school.
Some teachers who attended the conference paid their full registration out of their income. Teachers who are willing to do that know how important it is to be in attendance and in my eyes are amazing to make the sacrifice and invest in not only themselves but also their students.
Every educator must find a way to attend one of these conferences at least one time in their career, it can be life changing.
Comment below what educational conference you have attended? What conference do you plan to attend in the future? The next conference I have scheduled to attend is the Teacher Self Care Conference in March of 2019. I hope to see you there!
By now I am sure you have heard about microblading. Microblading is a beauty trend that is all over the internet. Whether you have seen the good, the bad or anything in between, I am sure you have heard of it. If however you have not heard about microblading, I am here to help catch you up to speed.
What is microblading?
Microblading is a form of semi-permanent makeup that fills in an individual’s eyebrows or reshapes their brows with tiny lines of ink that looks completely natural.
How long does it last?
Microblading lasts between 1-3 years since the pigmented color does not go down as deep as tattooing.
How much does it cost?
The price range varies depending on where you live as well as the permanent makeup artist you choose, with the average cost ranging from $350-$800 according to www.browsandbeauty.com.
Where can you get the procedure done?
To start your microblading process, it is best to begin with a licensed permanent makeup artist. It is always good to stalk Instagram for permanent makeup artists in your area so you can look at pictures of their work or even testimonials their former clients have posted as well as Google the company once you have decided who will be your artist.
What are the benefits?
I don’t know about you, but I was not born with perfectly arched, amazing eyebrows. For this reason, I started getting my eyebrows done many years ago. I began with getting them shaved then waxed and eventually progressed to threading. With many years of eyebrow abuse under my belt, you can say my eyebrows were in desperate need of a makeover. Enter microblading… With microblading, I don’t have to fill my brows in at all. Every now and then, I pluck some stray hairs out but other than that, there is minimal upkeep. With me not filling in my brows, it has cut down my makeup routine in half in the mornings.
What is the difference between microblading and tattooing?
When eyebrows are tattooed, they are there for life, permanent and if a client is not happy with their results, they have no choice but to deal with it. With microblading, the pigment is semi permanent and will eventually fade which allows clients more flexibility if they are not happy with the end result to change the shape or thickness with their follow up procedure.
My personal experience…
At the end of February, I finally took the plunge and decided to get my eyebrows microbladed. I had been toying around with the thought for over a year when I met my amazing friend and makeup artist Cali. I would always ask questions and tell her I was going to do it but I would talk myself out of it thinking of how painful it would be. Finally in February 2018, I got the nerve to do it. I texted her and told her I wanted to make an appointment to get it done and I wanted HER to be the one to bless my face with her work of art.
She set the appointment up and from that day until my appointment day, I watched so many videos and testimonials of girls who had gotten their brows done. What I saw was flawless brows that looked so natural. At that point, I knew I made the right decision.
THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE…
On the day of my appointment, I was instructed to not…
Take aspirin, vitamin e or ibuprofen
Drink alcohol or coffee
AFTER THE PROCEDURE…
No cleansers, creams, makeup or any other products on the treated area
Let scabbing and flaking occur naturally
Avoid sun exposure 3-4 weeks
Avoid sleeping on your face
***Return 4-6 weeks after the initial procedure for a touch up***
My permanent makeup artist is Cali, a former parent and friend of mine who is based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She is beautiful both inside and out and is an amazing permanent makeup stylist who is skilled at what she does.
When I got to her office, she gave me a rundown of what she would be doing and asked if I had any questions. I did not have many since I had drilled her for over a year and dr.google had answered all the questions that came about prior to my appointment. She then took a before picture and put some numbing cream on my brows to sit for a few minutes before beginning the procedure.
Once the numbing cream had set, it was time to start. I was SO nervous. During the procedure, my leg kept doing this weird reflex thing that I seemed to not be able to control when she would begin each stroke. Eventually, I got used to it and was able to sit still for the remainder of the session. About two hours later, I was done with minimal pain. I felt a little stinging once I got home, but nothing that was too much to bare.
That evening when I got home, I continued to look at my eyebrows, I couldn’t help it. They were finally dark and thick the way I always wanted them. I made sure to follow my post care procedure outside of the coconut oil because I wanted to be sure my brows would take all the color in with minimal fading.
After six weeks, I went back for my touch up and she was impressed with how well my brows kept the color. I required minimal color and was on my way in less than an hour.
I absolutely LOVE my brows. It has helped me to shave time off my morning makeup routine and on the days I don’t feel like putting any makeup on, I still look halfway decent because my eyebrows are groomed.
If you have ever considered getting your brows microbladed, take the leap. If you have not and you still are getting your brows waxed, plucked or threaded, consider microblading. I promise you will not regret it.
If you are in the Ft. Lauderdale, Miami or South Florida area, pay my girl Cali a visit. You can check her out on Instagram… @calihalie_beautytherapy. She is amazing and you will love her. On her page, you can see other people’s results and you can also dm her for any questions or inquiries you have.
If you decide to take the leap and get your brows done, I would love to hear about your experience! That’s all for now…
Happy SATURDAY!!! I felt like this day would never come. Not only did we start the week with a full moon but we are less than a month from summer break and everyone is restless.
On April 29th, we had a “Pink Moon” at 8:59 pm. It supposedly only lasted for five hours but the side effects have been lingering for days. So apparently, full moons last longer these days than they did before. Or maybe it is the fact that I am a teacher now and I am able to predict a full moon without having to watch the weather report…
The kids seemed to be extra talkative and after talking to several other teachers, I was able to realize, my class was not the only class this held true to.
Not only was the full moon an issue this week, but we also have been off our usual daily schedule between trying to complete assessments and projects. If you have never taught or volunteered in a kindergarten classroom, a structured environment is imperative in kindergarten for things to flow smoothly. Kinder cuties need structure and routine and anytime those things are taken out of the equation, things can get a little hairy. LOL.
Next weekend is Mother’s Day and we have been doing “all the things” to get ready to shower the moms of our classroom.
I am not at all crafty and try to avoid all artsy projects as much as possible. I know, it sounds strange coming from a kindergarten teacher but art was never my strength. Since I am not artistic, I often try to find activities I can print on construction paper and quickly assemble.
We worked on this project this week. My kids enjoyed creating the flower pot as well as writing about what they loved about their moms and what made them special in their eyes. Next week we will finish our Mother’s Day gifts with a hand drawn tile and a plant each child has been growing for the past few weeks.
So last week on Instagram, BGT (Black Girls Teach) posted this picture in their stories. I of course sent a pic and what I loved most about teaching kindergarten.
This is the picture I sent. Yesterday, I received a message that I will be featured next Friday!!! You will have to check on their Instagram page next Friday to see all the deets.
This week, our school celebrated Teacher Appreciation. My parents have been absolutely amazing in spoiling me and showing the appreciation they have for my role in their child’s life. I am so blessed to have such wonderful and supportive parents. On Friday, I even was surprised with this coffee from my Room Mother from last year. Her son has moved on to first grade but they still find opportunities to show their love and I am forever grateful for them.
To end my school week, I saw my sweet student holding a small note. She looked concerned because the bell had rung and her mom was there to pick her up. I asked was she ok and she gave me this note to give to our school Assistant Principal. I told her I would make sure to give it to her and I sent her on her way. After dismissal duty, I took the note to the Assistant Principal and as I was walking it over, I quickly read it…
I could not believe she had written that note! Last night I sent her mom a quick dm and she said she had the idea to do it all on her own… Cue the water works. Does your school take teacher requests? Ours does not but, I think this request should be honored, don’t you? LOL.
How was your week? Eventful? I would love to hear about it!
Starting school can be both a fun and scary experience. Going from a small daycare where parents are able to speak with their child’s teacher daily to a public or private school of several hundred students where parents may or may not see their child’s teacher on a daily basis can be quite intimidating for the child as well as the parent.
In situations like this, how is it possible to develop a relationship with your child’s teacher? How do you effectively communicate with your child’s teacher?
There are several things parents can do to set the tone for a successful academic year while also making the transition from daycare to elementary school a little easier.
To have an effective successful school year, a parent should strive to have a positive partnership with their child’s teacher. In my opinion, the following tips can help parents foster a positive parent/teacher relationship…
Establish a routine of open communication from day one.
Although you may not see your child’s teacher on a regular basis, that should not deter the communication. If you have a question or concern, you should feel comfortable to reach out either in an email or phone call and allow the teacher to respond within 48 hours.
Prior to the first day of school, most schools have a “Meet the Teacher” event. This is a time where students are able to see their classroom, meet their classroom teacher as well as drop off their school supplies.
In kindergarten, this is a “Mini Open House.” I say it is a “Mini Open House” because this is the child’s first time entering the public school environment and everything is new to the child and their family. For the teacher, there are several questions that must be answered before families can leave…
How will your child be going home for the first day/week? Is this different from how they will go home the remaining portion of the year?
Will they bring lunch from home or buy school lunch?
Do they have any known allergies?
In addition to these questions, most teachers have an index card set out so parents can jot down the phone number they can be best reached at as well as any email addresses they prefer to receive correspondence from the school.
As a kindergarten teacher of 10 years, I also leave out a parent questionnaire for parents to complete. I have found this questionnaire can be quite comforting for parents as they are able to put down things that are not traditionally asked by the school.
Questions such as, what is your child’s favorite subject? Do they have any hobbies or extra-curricular activities they are involved in? Are there any academic concerns the parent has regarding the child?
Throughout the year, I try to make it my business to get to know each and every one of my students in the classroom as well as their family dynamics.
Do they live with both parents; do the parents share custody and if so, which weekend does each parent have; as well as are there any extra-curricular activities they are involved in. If the child is in any extra-curricular activities, I try to attend them and show my support to let them know I truly am there for them.
Simple things such as this really can make a difference in your relationship with not only the child but it can also help bridge a gap between school and home. The student feels you love and care for them and that you are invested in their interests and when they feel this way, they strive to do their best and work hard in the classroom so they will not let you down.
Do you communicate your expectations for your child to their teacher? If you do not, how do you expect the teacher to know what your expectations are?
Another tip that can help foster positive relationships between parents and their child’s teacher is to get involved.
Many schools have an active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) where parents are able to join for a small fee. Upon joining, parents have access to firsthand information regarding volunteering for school/classroom events and they can also choose to hold a position on the executive board.
In addition to PTA, a lot of teachers have numerous classroom volunteer opportunities where parents can help out. Opportunities such as a volunteering to help out during parties or chaperoning on field trips are just a few.
If your schedule does not permit you to help during the day, some teachers send home activities to be cut out or organized.
One of the most important volunteer opportunities in the classroom is the Room Parent. A Room Parent works closely with the teacher to organize all parties in the classroom as well as correspondence between the teacher and other parents regarding these events.
Keep It Positive
Whatever you do, do not speak negatively about your child’s teacher in front of your child regardless of how you may feel about them which will allow your child to form their own thoughts and opinions. Strive to treat each other with respect at all times.If any problem arises, reach out and address it in a professional manner as quickly as possible. Often times, situations arise that can lead to a misunderstanding in which a simple call or email could have resolved it before it blows out of proportion.
Benefits of Partnering With Your Child’s Teacher
Did you know that simply having a positive parent/teacher relationship can contribute to your child’s academic success? How you perceive your child’s school as well as their teacher can really help how your child perceives education. If children have a healthy relationship with their teacher, it can foster a love for learning and the child can soar both academically and socially.
I was challenged to create a vision board for 2018 to include all things that are important and a priority in my life. You may think, there are so many things that are important, how can you narrow it down to just a few? I agree. It was a little difficult narrowing it down but of the many things that I had to choose from, these seven focus areas are THE most important. My friend Susan from school created a vision board group on Facebook and shared her past vision board from 2017 to give us a visual as well as ideas of what to include in our vision boards.
I have done vision boards in the past however, I took this one more serious because although 2017 was a good year, there was a lot of not so good things that happened. Vision boards are visuals that are used to concentrate and maintain focus on goals you have set for yourself. You can do vision boards online using technology or you can create one using paper. My board lands somewhere in between.
I used a poster board, pictures from magazines and online and stickers from my sticker vault. Continue reading to see what I included in my vision board…
This is an area that is extremely important to me. It has helped me in the toughest of times as well as the best times. This year, I would like to grow stronger in my faith by completing devotionals daily and journal my lessons. Writing in my journal will help me commit the lesson learned to memory and help me implement what I have learned into my life.
This area breaks down into two areas…
Mario works extremely long hours. He goes in at 2 am and sometimes does not make it home until 6 pm. With that being said, time is limited for us to reconnect. We rarely get a date night in and more times than not, it feels like we are just passing each other by on this thing called life. This year, I would like to have a scheduled date night once a month and connect more as a couple where we are acting more as “one” in our decisions, the way husband and wife should be.
This year, I plan to have intentional time together with the kids, fun family outings once a month. Also, something else that’s extremely important for me is family dinner time. I am guilty of veering away from the way I was raised for dinner time. Dinner growing up was eaten at the table with both parents and my brothers. The table would be set and we would pass the dishes around that held the food. We discussed our day and had conversations with each other.
Today, dinner looks a little different in my home. I fix everyone’s plate and we sit in front of the tv. Cell phones are not banned and we are not actively engaged in conversations with each other. The goal I would like to put in place is to have a no cell phone dinner time where we discuss our day and just catch up on what is going on in our lives.
Saving money is not my forte. I am slightly addicted to shopping. When I am happy, I shop. When I am sad, I shop. I even shop when I am stressed… Do you see the problem here…This year, I would like to budget better. To do this effectively, I have purchased a budget extension pack to use with my planner. The rent we pay is ridiculous and the amount we pay is much more than many pay for their mortgage. Our lease will be up this year so we are wanting to purchase a home. In order to purchase a home, our finances must be in order. I have also been looking into the Dave Ramsey Budget and I am trying to implement that as well.
This area is soooooo important. I deal with anxiety and when I am stressed or lacking rest, the anxiety is at an all time high. I want to devote time to take better care of myself through my yoga practice and a better sleep routine. When I work out, I instantly feel better. I feel I look better in my clothes and my mood shoots through the roof. Both of these things help my self-esteem boost and it is imperative for me to stay consistent in this area, doing yoga 5 days a week.
When it comes to my sleep schedule, I currently do not have one and recently have been falling asleep on the couch while watching tv. My sleep is interrupted through the night with my 4 year old climbing into our bed. She has gotten better and only comes at most two times within the night but I need that to be reduced to zero times.
Journaling is something I would also like to stay consistent with. For as long as I could remember, writing is something that has been an outlet for me. When I need a brain dump, I often journal in whatever random notebook laying around. This year, I would like to journal 3-5 times per week in the same journal. Nothing extreme, just a quick 5-10 minute session for things I am grateful for or things that may be overwhelming me during that season in my life.
Towards the end of 2017, I began getting regular manicures. I would like to continue with this which helps me to get “me time” and come out with beautiful nails.
Friendships are very important. I have said it before but I truly mean it. Friends are family that you get to choose. Moving around a lot growing up, it was always easy for me to meet and befriend new people. Although I know a lot of people and I am friendly with more, I only call a few my true friends. This year, I would like to spend more time building and fostering relationships with people who love me for me and do not have hidden agendas. I want to surround myself with people who help me become a better person, who I can laugh and have a good time with.
This is my 12th year teaching and I would like to get out of the classroom. This year, I am planning on beginning the route to getting my reading endorsement.
Last year, I began blogging monthly, for the most part. This year, I would like to step my blogging up and do it more consistently, at least twice a week. The crazy thing is, I do write often, much more often than I post. I just am so ADD that I fail to complete it and jump onto something else and I haven’t gone back to complete them. As of right now, I have 12 posts that are saved as drafts and need to be posted. I will be working on getting those out as well. I also would like to do more collaborations with other bloggers and possibly some small businesses locally.
Many of you know I am a Beauty Guide for Limelight. A promotion I was able to accomplish in November. In 2018, I would like to qualify every month and post regularly about this amazing company. I have a draft saved that discusses Limelight and the products more thoroughly, so please stay tuned to hear more about that.
This is an area that is very foreign at this time. I have not traveled on a vacation since 2012 for my honeymoon. Traveling is something I used to do often and it is great to just disconnect and see different parts of the world. In 2018, I would like for us to travel as a family on a vacation and as a couple, have a staycation or a weekend getaway.
If you have ever created a vision board, I would love to hear how you did it and if you were successful with achieving the goals you set for yourself. Do you set goals/resolutions? Please share how you keep track of them.