Thursday, June 26, 2014

ROAD TRIP! - Tips & Tricks. 17 Hours, 2 Adults, and 1 Five Year Old!

Destination: Davenport, Florida.

Miles: 1,105.4

Time: 17 hours, 10 minutes.

Every year around this time, Chris goes to Florida to visit his family. A few of them work for Disney so vacation is usually filled with tons of awesome Disney destination trips, pools, beaches, lots of food and family fun! I have joined Chris on his Florida vacation road trips the past two years and am so excited for our third trip together! Even more so because we are toting along little man! YAY!

In this post I will be talking about how I prepared for the trip- from what I packed to tips and tricks I used in the car to keep a 5 year old comfortable and entertained! I will also be talking about all of the places we visited and just documenting our trip! :) Hope my information can help or at the very least entertain you!

So lets get started..

What to pack?

I am going to break this section down into a couple categories.

1.Emergency Kit
2. Car Entertainment
             a. Chris & Myself  
     b. Little Man
3. Car Comfort
4. Snacks, Drinks, etc.
5. Pool & Beach Bag
6. Toiletries
7. 5 Year Old Suitcase
8. Adult Suitcases

1. Emergency Kit

Any time you are going on a trip, especially one that is like ours- very long, in drive and stay, you have to be prepared! It is especially important in this case as we will have a little person with us! Of course you can always stop to grab something you may need but that is wasteful in gas, time, and money. SO BE PREPARED! 

I just used a little OPI bag I had sitting around. Any small bag will work just fine!

This is what the inside of my Emergency Kit looks like. And if you remove the towel roll that is sitting on the top it looks like this....

Below, I have all of the items of my Emergency Kit laid out. 
The items include:

  • Kitchen Towel
  • 2 Garbage Bags
  • Hair tie
  • Tooth Pickers
  • Little Man's Sunglasses
  • Bandaids
  • Wet Ones
  • Tissues
  • Paper Towels
  • Tums
  • Children's Motrin
  • Iburpofren
  • Allergy Relief
  • Vitamins
  • Cough Drops
  • Mucinex

That should about cover any emergency items that may be needed while in the car. I have other items as well such as Aloe Vera, Kids Avengers Vitamins, etc.- but those can be located in the Beach and Toiletry Bags. Hopefully nobody will be getting sun burnt in the car! 

I have the baggies of pills labeled. (In case I ask Chris to grab something for me ;) I of course know what they are based on looks.)

You may be wondering why I have a towel with garbage bags tied up in it? Well...Sometimes, spills can be a bit too hefty for paper towels- so in the case of a larger spill, we will be prepared. I have garbage bags in case I need them for trash, dirty clothes, etc. I have them rolled up because I needed an extra hair tie anyway and it was helpful for saving space in the kit! :)

See..just some bags wrapped up in a towel! 

This little Emergency Kit fits nicely in my Books/DVD tote that I will have with me in the car!

2. Car Entertainment

Being that we will be in the car for about 17 hours, we are making sure that we have plenty to keep us entertained. I know a lot of people have trouble reading in the car. However, I don't have that problem and reading makes my time in the car FLY! So I am packing tons of reading material! 

Road trips seem to require lots of bags. So I picked this one up at Old Navy for $1.50! This is the bag I am using to hold reading material and DVD's. 
The Emergency Kit will sit right on top as well :)

This bag holds more than it looks like it would!

This is the reading material that I am bringing and I am sure Chris will add a few more books to the selection! I have a good range in case I get bored. Everything from Cos magazine, a memoir, self help books- to educational teaching books. (Can you believe I fit all these in that bag?!)

These are only a few of the DVDs we are taking. We also have The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and more! The DVD player will mostly be for Little Man, but we may take advantage of it as well while he's sleeping.

Make sure your Portable DVD Player is FULLY Charged before leaving! 


We will be taking a bag of toys, not only for in the car but also for the entire week we will be there. While we will be busy and on the go most of the time, I wanted to be sure I had toys for any down time in the morning or before bed. :) He is only 5 and any unstructured time to him is play time! Keeping him busy and having fun is always a priority.

  • I bought a couple clearance toys to bust out on the ride any time he might get sick of the car. Its just something he has never seen before that will hopefully grab his attention for even a short period of time. 
  • Leap Frog
  • BOOKS!
  • Angry Birds

My mom is AWESOME and also pulled through with tons of awesome stuff for him to play with in the car. She's been there, done that and her items are all pretty ingenious. THANKS MOM! :) Love you!

3. Car Comfort

There is nothing worse than being uncomfortable when you are in the car for hours on end. While it obviously won't be luxurious, the goal is to make the car as comfy as possible while being safe. 

We are not willing to compromise our safety and especially not little man's. So the best we can do is bring lots of blankets and pillows!

The driver is the driver and they don't get to ride on the comfy train.
However, the passenger seat is a different story!

When I travel in the front seat I like to make sure I have plenty of leg room, a nicely reclined seat, a pillow for my back, a pillow for my head and my awesome fur blanket! Aahhh.

For Little Man, we covered his seating area with his Angry Birds sheet. For some reason laying a sheet down just seems to ALWAYS make things comfier. If nothing else it surrounds him with his favorite, angriest little birds! We have a pillow for his back, a pillow for his head, and of course all of his buds- his stuffed Angry Birds. :)

We have a good stock of cold drinks and snacks to keep our tummies comfy on our trip as well.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Accepting Defeat

Have you ever wanted something so badly and have it just not work out for you?

Sometimes you may even get your hopes up and the feeling of the fall isn't the best. But you can look at it one of two ways. As always. With a positive or negative mindset.

This is a post about something I have been dealing with lately and I am surprised with how quickly it came to me and how strongly I truly feel about this.

Looking defeat in the face can be discouraging.

That is our immediate feeling. But it only lasts as long as we let it.

Always trust Gods plan

I have been applying, studying, reviewing, and gathering ideas for the past year in my search for a full time job doing what I love. I have had several bites but none have worked out for me. I have had momentary thoughts that I must be doing something wrong, even that I may not be good enough. But those thoughts didn't last. Partially because I have the greatest people around me reminding me of my worth and assuring me that it just wasn't the right job. And the other reason is because I know in my heart that's simply not true. I know that when the time comes I will be great at my job because I am passionate about it and I will be successful at all costs. 

But in my defeat I have also felt liberated. I have felt thankful. I know that there is a plan and I know that every turnout is part of the plan. In each interview I have learned something new. What I don't know enough about, what schools are focusing on, and what they are looking for in their future employees. I have got to meet a lot of people and practice my interviewing skills. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I have learned is to be myself. I am not trying to fit the vision of what somebody wants. I am showing up, answering questions honestly and to the best of my ability and waiting for the employer who wants what I have to offer. 

I want this in my room

At the end of the day I know that there is a specific place for me to teach at and there is a specific time for that to begin. While I do not know when or where, I do know that it will happen in it's own time. And until then, I will prepare myself as best as I know how.

Working Things Emmy Cicierega

Everything is happening according to plan and I am learning and growing with every obstacle along the way. 

xoxo, Bethany

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Purpose For Being Here..

Facilitate Thinking: My mentor teacher would ask guiding questions in order to help her students think. Engage Minds:She really got the students involved in lessons.  Encourage Risk: She would let them make mistakes. Support Struggle: She doesn't always run to their rescue when they need help with something. Cultivate Dreams: I watched her engage in her students' lives and encourage them in their hobbies.

"You laugh, you cry, and you work harder than you ever thought you could. Some days you're trying to change the world, and other days you're just trying to make it through the day. Your wallet is empty, your heart is full and your mind is packed with memories of kids who have changed your life. Just another day in the classroom."

When I was a little girl, I was intrigued by the art of teaching. I don't know what it was at the time that interested me but I would play "teacher" for hours in my grandma's basement. She had a little chalkboard with the Alphabet across the top of it and workbooks from the 70's that previously belonged to my aunt and my mom. That chalkboard was my throne in my pretend classroom in that cellar. 
I also turned the basement at my parents house into my classroom. In fact, I wrote all 30 names of my imaginary students, the 10 classroom rules, and our classroom schedule on the basement pen. Sorry mom and dad! :)

Whatever it was, that's what I wanted to do. Teach. 
I argue that it could be that I loved school. I always have. I love learning, I love classroom activities, I love recess, school lunches, the uncomfortable desks that I organized my stuff in just so, pencil boxes, routines, new folders, a fresh notebook, and ballpoint pens. I love it all.
But I also think it's credited a great deal to the adults in my life that instilled a love for the classroom. My parents being the first people. They made school a positive experience for me. When I succeeded in school they were proud of me. And second, the teachers I was lucky enough to have. The ones in particular that provided me with a-ha moments and a caring enriched environment. I will always remember those teachers.

Starting Early

Having realized early in life what my end goal was going to be, I started surrounding myself with any experiences that I thought would help me grow in that field.

At 14, I got a job at The Rec working with children. I did anything from teach gymnastics, youth yoga, youth softball to working parents night out, youth summer craft events, and more. I loved my job and that is where I stayed for many years.

After High School I moved onto BGSU Firelands where I got my Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education. To broaded my grade span I continued my education and received my Education Generalist Endorsement for grades 4 & 5. This program provided me with some of the most important lessons, experiences, and blessings in my life thus far.

This is where I : Student taught, spent countless hours in the education room, built relationships with colleagues, built rapport with students, bonded with classmates with the same heartfelt goals as myself, failed, succeeded, worked with professionals who bent over backwards to prepare us for the classroom, and soaked every last bit of knowledge as I could from my peers, students, university mentor, classroom mentor, and professors so that one day when it was my responsibility to teach children I would do so successfully.

My Graduating class of BGSU Firelands will always hold a special spot in my heart!

Also, after High School I was hired as the Assistant Cheerleading Coach at NHS. This job prepared me in many unexpected ways as well. To be able to teach, support, and keep control of 20+ high school girls toughened me up for a classroom of younger children. 

I student taught in a 3rd grade classroom in an Intermediate School about 30 seconds down the road from where I live.

My collaborating teachers were all so different in their teaching styles, yet all so effective. It really showed me that despite the methods you go about teaching you can be successful in many different ways. It helped me realize what my style is and what I want to be like as a teacher. My mentor was understanding, supportive, and just overall a kind-hearted woman in her last year of teaching. She is such a strong person who is tough as nails with a heart of gold. She gave me an example to strive for.


My first year out of college I was hired as the Head Preschool Teacher at Playland Daycare Ltd. The experience I had as a Preschool teacher was awesome. It taught me that chaos is okay, flexibility is key, and that sometimes you just need to stop and shake your sillies out. I had two classes. A 3 year old class and a 4 year old class. However, having a PreK in a daycare is different than a school in that you can have any kids in your classroom on any day. This helped me improve my skills as far as keeping children challenged regardless of who your focus is on at the time. My experience was rich and fun and I wouldn't change it for the world! I will never forget my kiddos from this past year!

Where do I go from here?...

 I have decided that it is my goal to teach in a public school setting. Hiring season is in full swing and things are still up in the air. But I have decided that next year I would like to be a Substitute Teacher in full force so I can get acquainted with the schools and staff in the area. 

I have been beyond blessed with every opportunity and experience that has been handed to me so far in my stride to being a classroom teacher and I am so thankful.

Positive Thinking: Believe that you can make a positive difference in the life of every child. Know that some days will be a challenge. Remember that you are not alone. Work as a team with other teachers to empower yourself. You will succeed if you believe in yourself! #teaching #quotes

xoxo, Bethany

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Fitness Journey

A Compilation Post: My fitness journey, goals, strengths, weaknesses, and upcoming plans!


Almost 5 months into my new lifestyle and I am learning something new everyday....

If there could be just one small ten item list of what I have learned so far it might look something like this.

1. Being healthy is a lifestyle.
    You want to look good for bikini season? Sounds Good! You want to fit into your old jeans? Okay! But if you're going to get healthy it needs to be a lifestyle. There's no 21 day fix to being unhealthy. 

2. It takes time to create a new lifestyle.
     I am learning new things every day about having a healthy lifestyle. Its not always easy to say no to unhealthy things, and to be honest, a lot of the time I don't say no. But that goes without saying, the consequences follow. It takes awhile and for me it has taken research and a lot of questions to figure it out and I am still learning. In order for it to be permanent you have to be happy with it or have an extreme amount of will power. So you have to make it right for yourself. 

3. It takes a LOT more time to improve than it does to backtrack.
    I have found that there is a reason you have to do things the right way- no excuses. Because if you don't, the weeks it took you to get somewhere will only take days to reverse. Do it right and don't waste your time (I need to remind myself of this)

4. Having support and people working towards the same thing is a blessing.
     As you know, I have a personal trainer. I also attend several of his circuit training classes each week. Through these workouts I have met so many awesome people. Knowing that we are all there working towards the same goal is such a great feeling. It's something you have to experience to understand, but it's one of the truest forms of motivation. 

5. Half ass work will get you half ass results, at best.
    This isn't a 5 page report, this is your life. If you're going to put in piss poor effort you are only hurting yourself and essentially wasting your time. A little hard work never hurt anybody. But at the end of the day, you only get out of something what you put into it. My trainer always makes it a point to tell us this and make sure we are giving 100% effort.

6. You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for.
     You may not be where you want to be. But if you work hard, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually you will get better. And if you keep it at, imagine how much you can improve. I am much more capable of certain workouts than I was to start, and now that I have seen improvement, I know that there is more to improve on. Set big goals then work hard to get there. It will happen.

7. Don't take advantage of healthy foods and nonfat labels
     STRUGGLE CITY! You mean these reduced fat cheez-its add up after you eat the whole box? That's weird...

8. Staying Positive is a lifestyle
      Having a positive attitude is not only mentally life changing, but physically. You are literally not going to get as much out of anything in life with a negative attitude as you will with a positive one. Keep your head up and keep working.

9. Healthy lifestyles don't just look good on you but they feel good too.
    When I started eating healthier and getting active it was amazing the things I didn't realize were encompassed in this kind of lifestyle. You mean that not every meal shouldn't make me sleepy with a stomach ache? The foods you eat should make you feel better not worse. That's our energy source, and if it's not doing it's job then you're not doing something right.

10. JUST. KEEP. MOVING. -Tim Dorsey
       It really is just as simple as that. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Do What Makes You Happy

In every minuscule aspect of your life..

Because you can.
And because, why wouldn't you?

It all comes down to this- We wake up each day with a choice. People have argued this to be true or not to be true but I believe it to be 100% true in every situation because I live by it. I have seen it prove itself to be true over and over. The choice we wake up with each day is simple, to be happy or not to be. Even though this is my choice, doesn't mean I always choose it. But even on those moody days, when I decide I am not happy for whatever reason- it is still completely true that I have knowingly chosen that for myself. And that's okay. But when it comes down to it, for the most part I choose to be happy.

It is up to you to see the beauty of every day things.

Choosing to be happy creates a wonderful and beautiful ripple effect of happiness. I am truly happy but it all stems from the moment I decided that today, is gonna be a good day.

The law of attraction will tell you everything you need to know about this ripple effect of positivity. It's simply the truth that when you think good things, good things will be drawn to you. This also is true for  the most part that when you treat people REALLY well, they will treat you well in return. If you do what you can at all times to see the best in people and to be there for them they will most likely do the same for you. Can you imagine the type of people you'll have in your life if you treat EVERYONE in this way? It's amazing. I see it everyday. Now, not everyone that I treat well treats me well in return. But I don't care. That's not important. I believe that maybe me treating them the right way, over time will rub off on them. And to be honest, who knows what is going on in their life causing them to act the way the do. This isn't important. People can only affect you as much as you let them. This is another thing people OFTEN struggle with. People letting others control how they feel. That is also our choice. Do what you can do, and if people don't respond how you want them to then that is just not your problem.

believe it or not..,.it's the truth. Cant knock it until you try it. I watched the Secret and it's made all the difference in my life. Your choice  to make that change or not. If not, stop bitching about things and knocking down others' way of making their life better - how does that make you look?

Moving on...

Now that you know that happiness is your choice, know that all day long you should be doing something that makes you happy. Because like it or not, today is extremely important. Because today is all that we really truly have for certain. Yesterday is over and tomorrow is going to hold it's own events and memories. So that's why TODAY is important

All day long, do what makes you happy. Smile at people, play your music as loud as you want, text your friend when you think of something funny, hug your significant other, tell people you love them, sing out loud even if you sound like an in patient at a psyche ward. And most importantly, be yourself.

If you're the biggest weirdo ever, than be that! The people who are supposed to be in your life will be drawn to you. If people don't like you for who you are then that's insignificant because they don't have any business being in your life. AND THAT'S OKAY! No beef.

Never apologize for who you are.

If that one song from 1998 makes you happy, then blare that! Stop caring about whats cool and do what makes you happy. Dance around your room and laugh at yourself thinking about how big of a creep you'd look like if someone saw you. Talk in a weird voice because it makes you laugh. Make weird entrances and exits in and out of rooms. WHATEVER IT IS THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY- DO THAT!

My ideas of what makes me happy may be totally off the wall to you, because that's what makes ME happy. Silly little things. So attention to what it is that makes you laugh, smile, feel good and make an effort to do that as much as possible.

Because you can.
And because, why wouldn't you?


                               xoxo, Bethany