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This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing an item on these sites using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase. For more information about my Disclosure Policy, please visit this link.

Now that I’m well into my 100th 9th month of being pregnant, I thought I’d share some of my absolute must-haves that have made my life a bit easier these past 9 months of pregnancy!

I am super fortunate. I’ve had a very easy pregnancy so far. I’ve felt great and have had a decent amount of energy. However, once I turned the corner on month 8…oh boy! It made me even more grateful for what a good pregnancy I’ve had.  My feet are swelling up like Fred Flinstone, my back is starting to ache, and somehow…your body just knows it shouldn’t get too comfortable with sleep and wakes you up every hour to pee!

Here are the things that have made my life much easier these past months!

Clothing

Alright, first things first. DO NOT resist wearing maternity clothes.  I was super proud of myself for still being able to slip into my “regular” clothes {or at least a larger version of my regular clothes} for the beginning of my pregnancy.  Then, came the day I had to start wearing the pants/shorts/shirts with the extra elastic and panels.

YOU GUYS…I wish someone had told me there is no prize for avoiding these clothes! They are unbelievably comfortable and stylish, too.

Because you wear maternity clothes for such a limited time, my suggestion is to not spend a ton building a new wardrobe. All of my clothes came from either Ross {you need to find an actual store because they do not sell online}, Amazon or my favorite…Jane where you could find something new each day!

At Ross, I found tons of trendy clothes {think cute tank tops, stylist fringed jeans, cute work dresses, joggers etc.} for crazy cheap. Like…in the $5 – 15 range cheap. Over on Amazon, I bought this dress in three different colors and I lived in them ALL summer long {and the warmer start to school, too}

Shoes

Okay, I’m gonna tell it to you straight, your feet WILL swell since we’re teachers and we’re on our feet ALL DAY LONG! However, I found that with comfortable shoes, I was able to minimize the discomfort and swelling a bit.

When I was in New York over the summer, I popped into the Allbirds store in SoHo and was able to try on these AH-MAZING shoes! The best part? You do not need to wear socks {one thing less you need to bend over for as your belly grows} and the shoes are machine washable! They’re made of wool so they are naturally soft, moisture-wicking, and odor-free.

You can order online and you have 30 days to return your shoes no-questions-asked, so they are definitely worth a try. However, I’m positive you’ll love them!

Another great shoe that I wore with pretty much every outfit I’ve been rocking these days are these Earthies Essen ballet flats.  I did size up {because of the swelling!} You can’t go wrong with any Earthies pair of shoes {even not-pregnant!} Some are definitely cuter than others, but they are all crazy-comfortable.

And my other must-have brand for shoes are Dr. Scholls! I bought a couple of pairs of the Madison Sneakers and a pair of the Really Flats in black for school.  So perfect and comfy!

Vitamins

I have a really sensitive stomach, so I did a bunch of research to find the perfect prenatal vitamins. I went with Prenatal Multivitamin from Rainbow Light. They are slightly more expensive than others out there, but they were really easy on my stomach, mostly organic and not gigantic to choke down each day.

Heartburn Relief

Unfortunately, I have always had bad heartburn. It doesn’t help that I love spicy {and fried!} food, carbonation {hello, La Croix!} and chocolate…all of which makes heartburn visit frequently.  Then, add a baby sitting on my esophagus and some days it’s just crazy uncomfortable.

I discovered two glorious products to help deal with the heartburn. Have you heard of enzymes? These are seriously miracle little pills! I take one Advanced Enzyme with each meal {or at least with a meal that I know will give me the ‘burn} and I’m good to go.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I do not get heartburn after a meal. I plan to use these after the babe comes, too!

There are definitely times which I’ve forgotten to take that magic capsule above and I’m left with the ‘burn. Tums Chewy Bites to the rescue. You guys…these are like candy they are so delicious! You can often find them at CVS for BoGo so stock up!

Staying Hydrated

All you ever hear people say when you’re pregnant is “Drink water! Drink even more water than you think you need!” I’ve learned they are not lying!

While the frequent trips to the bathroom are no fun, it gives the baby what it needs, keeps you regular {sorry for the TMI}, and cuts down on Braxton Hicks as you get later in this 9-month marathon. I’m sure there are many other additional benefits, but those are the top reasons!

I have two water bottles. This HydraTrak Tumbler tracks how much I’ve had to drink. As you finish up the 20 oz., you move a ring up the cup. The goal is to move all the rings up {but I never quite make it during the school day!} This tumbler sits on my desk at school and my kiddos are so good about reminding me to chug water! 

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Okay, I’m here with my latest teaching obsession – teacher stamps! You guys…seriously, I don’t know what it is about a lil’ rubber stamp {and, of course, a silly pun} that gets my kiddos so motivated to do their best!

But these self-inking teacher stamps are a game changer!

You may have seen over on Instagram that I am growing a BIG collection of stamps! It honestly started with just one…and then another…and finally, I had to clear out a drawer of {unused!} art supplies to make room for the collection.

I allow my Class President of the Day to select a stamp for me to use throughout the day. {I’m too lazy/forgetful to switch out jobs daily or weekly, so each morning after attendance, I pull a popsicle stick with a name out of a jar.  That person is IT for the day! They are my sidekick all day and help me pass papers, run errands, be the line leader, etc.}

There are TONS of options to choose from in my store! Here are a few of my favorites people have selected


Want to start building up your own teacher stamp collection? Check out Lucky Stamps!

For just $14.95 each month {including shipping!}, you’ll be able to select one of three new stamps to add to your collection! Plus, you’ll get a 15% off coupon to use in my Etsy store so you can add even more at savings!

Take a peek at some of the recent choices included in Lucky Stamps!

I can’t promise that this will make all of your grading go away, but I can promise it’ll make it more fun to do with Lucky Stamps! Go sign up for Lucky Stamps or check out everything available in my Etsy shop!!

The post Teacher Stamps! appeared first on Lucky To Be In First.

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Okay, everyone, I’m back with this year’s MUST READ list for Summer 2018! My Kindle is charged up and I am absolutely ready to burn through my list of books!

 This post contains affiliate links for Amazon.  By purchasing an item on these sites using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase {which helps me buy even more books!}  For more information about my Disclosure Policy, please visit this link.

First things first…are you a Kindle/E-Reader reader or an actual book person? I’m a HUGE fan of the Kindle.  It is on me at all times so I’m never without a book. I have the Kindle Paperwhite…because I like to read in bed using the illuminated screen.  It really is worth the extra bucks!

However, since I signed up for Book of the Month last year, I DO love getting books in the mail.  {If you use the code USESPF you’ll get a free book over on BoTM!} Plus, JB is a huge proponent of books everywhere in the house! So, the pretty covers are a plus and you lose that for sure when you’re holding an e-reader. My only drawback is that I can’t really lay in bed and read!

For the past few years {20152016, and 2017}, I’ve created a list of books that I was reading and books that you should read!

I’m back with another list for 2018!

As I mentioned last year, I signed up for Kindle Unlimited.  For just $9.99 a month, you get unlimited access to millions of books and unlimited audible files, too! The best part – the first month is FREE! I discovered some fun “summer read authors” last year {all of the Lauren Layne and R.S. Grey books are my favorite finds this year!}! You can cancel anytime, so it’s definitely worth a try – even if just for the summer.

Over the past year, I’ve read close to 90 books, so it was very hard to pick for this list! But, here are my MUST reads for the summer of 2018!

Books You Should Read…

I’ve realized that I kinda like suspense {but not nightmare-scary!} You MUST read The Woman in Cabin 10 {I’m a few years late on this one!} and Then She Was Gone.  You guys…you will not be able to put these books down!!!

If you can only stomach one {okay two!} kinda suspenseful books…definitely start with The Wife Between Us. It’s not scary, more like…”OMG did that just happen?” I remember reading it on the couch next to JB and I gasped at one key plot point. He looked over at me like I was nuts! Also, you MUST read The Last Mrs. Parrish. This is not scary at all – it’s more of a thriller!

An American Marriage is an excellent book. It is very well-written and brought up a lot of really interesting things for me to think about. As I turned the pages, I found myself going from angry to frustrated to laughing. This book really got me thinking.

Still Me is another sequel in the Me Before You Series.  This book follows the main character Louisa to NY a few years after we left her in After You. I love reading well-written sequels. It’s like I’m catching up with my old friends!

On the first sunny day of June, I read How to Walk Away. I did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did! Basically, the best day of the main character Margaret’s life {yay…she get’s engaged} happens on the same day as the worst day {uh oh…plane crash} I couldn’t put it down and was so sad when it was over.

I read Beartown in one lazy afternoon laying in bed in the rain. It is a very interesting story {written by the same author as A Man Called Ove} about a small-town that centers around a winning hockey team. One event sends shockwaves through the community.

I have been a HUGE Rachel Hollis fan for years {probably an unhealthy crush level} You may recall that I shared her fiction books a few years ago on my list and you can’t help but grin as you read them.  Well this year, I’m adding Girl, Wash Your Face.  I feel like Rach and I were meant to be besties {I told you…unhealthy girl crush}  I rarely read non-fiction books, but this one is SO worth it! It’s basically a guide to be a better you.  It covers 20 lies that Rachel told herself..and how to knock it off! If you do not follow her on Instagram, go do it. She’s inspiring, witty, and definitely keeps it real!

Before We Were Yours.  You guys…allllll the feels and emotions.  I don’t know if getting older has made me sappier or what, but some books just really get to me! This was probably one of the top books I’ve read in the past year.

And my final book suggestion is the Not Quite series.  They are all free on Kindle Unlimited. I read all six in about as many days this Spring. It was like hanging out with old friends each time I started a new one!

Books I want to Read…

Emily Giffin has been one of my absolute favorite authors forever. I mean, she wrote Something Borrowed {which introduced me to Shake Shack, hello!} and all the fun sequels. This summer she’s releasing All We Ever Wanted and I’m so excited to read it!

Colleen Hoover’s latest, All Your Perfects, comes out mid-summer.  Can’t wait! I didn’t love her last release {Without Merit} but I’m hopeful this one goes back to the style that she is amazing at {super emotional books with strong characters!}

It wouldn’t be summer with an Elin Hildebrand book, right? I can’t wait to read The Perfect Couple!

Lauren Weisberger is a very hit or miss author for me. Loved Devil Wears Prada and Last Night At Chataeu Marmont so I can’t wait to read When Life Gives You Lululemons!

Since Crazy Rich Asians is coming out as a movie soon, I’m adding it to my list! The movie preview looks fun so I’m sure the book is even better!

Something in the Water is my thriller of the summer! Can’t wait to read it.

The Queen of Hearts just sounds like a good {juicy} book about friendship.

Have a book you think I MUST read? Leave the title in the comments and I’ll check it out!

I put all of these book links over in one handy list on Amazon. You can check ’em all out HERE!

If you like some of these suggestions, make sure to follow me on Instagram. I often share the books I read using the hashtag #luckyreads.  Are you on Goodreads? Let’s be friends! I also put all of my “bookshelf” above over on Amazon!

Slainte!

The post Summer Reading List 2018 appeared first on Lucky To Be In First.

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In today’s world, you need to keep the learning exciting, engaging, and entertaining if you want kids to join in, right?! That’s why I created Sound Tappers to help students master their phonics skills using digital resources!

I am always searching for ways to sneak phonics instruction into our day. Sound Tappers are PowerPoint presentations that can be used on any computer with PowerPoint installed and on iPads {when the free PowerPoint app is installed!}

Sound Tappers on the Computer - Vimeo

Students simply tap the sound buttons, listen for the sounds and tap on the matching picture.

Sound Tappers on the iPad - Vimeo

The activity is self-checking, too! So when they tap on the correct picture, they’re rewarded with a happy chime. When they tap the wrong picture, they hear an “uh-oh” sound.

Sound Tappers are no-prep and waste no paper resources!

Grab the growing bundle of Sound Tappers!

Here’s what’ll be included

Beginning Sounds {July 19th}
Ending Sounds {July 26th}
Same Beginning Sounds {August 2nd}
Same Ending Sound {August 9th}
Rhyming Words {August 16th}
Short Vowels
Short A {May 8th}
Short E {May 15th}
Short I {May 22nd}
Short O {May 29th}
Short U {June 5th}
Long Vowels {May 10th}
Beginning Digraphs {May 17th}
Ending Digraphs {May 24th}
R-Controlled Vowels {May 31st}
L Blends {June 7th}
R Blends {June 14th}
S Blends {June 21st}
Ending R Blends {June 28th}
Ending S Blends {July 5th}
Ending T Blends {July 12th}
Trigraphs {August 23rd}
Synonyms {August 30th}
Antonyms {September 6th}

Please note: Sound Tappers will NOT work on Google Classroom or within the Google Docs suite. 

The post Digital Phonics Practice! appeared first on Lucky To Be In First.

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