Friday, May 19, 2017

This Happy Teacher

I'm a happy teacher.  I love my school, my coworkers, and my students.  I also love some of the tools I get to use as a teacher- shelves of books, new school supplies... and teacher bags.  We carry around a lot of stuff, therefore a good tote is important.  So even though it might be nearly the end of the school year, I 'm super happy that I found the perfect teacher bag and I have to tell you about it!  (Don't worry- this post isn't just for teachers- this bag would be perfect for college, as a carryall, the office, for a diaper bag, travel, etc.)

I'm picky about bags and purses and will look for a long time (ahem...years) before finally deciding and making a new purchase.  My former teacher bag had been looking fairly worn (and sad and threadbare and had a broken strap) and needed replaced.  I had some specific expectations that I was willing to wait for that included:
  -tall enough to easily carry file folders, notebooks, etc.
  -wide enough to fit my ancient & big 16" laptop
  -be able to carry my laptop AND all the papers I need to grade- not one or the other
  -slightly structured with some flexibility in the loads it could carry
  -zippered closure so I don't dump student work all over my backseat
  -large main compartment without separation and a few pockets for pens, etc.
  -leather.  I knew it would be pricey, but I was ready to invest.  I know leather will last, will age well, can be able to be repaired, and is timeless.
  -I originally wanted a cross body strap, but realized that was a little impractical and probably not as good on my back considering the weight I was going to load in it.

And guess what?  I found my perfect bag!

After looking and looking and not being 100% committed, I stumbled on this beauty on a site I had already been perusing.  She's called the Meles Leather Carryall and is from an awesome company called Fashionable.  Not only am I super happy with my bag, but I love that I found a company that is working to make local and global change to employ women around the world.  They carry totes, purses, jewelry, and shoes.  You can read more about their mission to impact those in poverty by providing empowering jobs on their website.

The leather is just so, so lovely.  It is thick and sturdy while also being soft and gently distressed and still has a rich true leather smell.  I know with care and conditioning it will look beautiful for a very long time.  I chose the cognac color (this bag also comes in black, pewter, and chocolate), which is complimented by the brass hardware and sweet rose lining.

I love that my bag stands solidly on its own when it is loaded up.  Originally, I was unsure about the cutouts on the corners, but they actually help the bag adjust to carrying wider or longer loads, which is really nice.  Since I gave up on finding a good cross body, I was super pleased that the nice long straps (an 11" drop) sit and stay put on my shoulder.

Pleeeeennnnnty of room for my laptop, cord, planner, lesson plan book, papers to grade, books to read, and approximately 28 pens.

Well, maybe not 28, but there are a lot of colored pens and Ticonderoga pencils and some Saint stickers for grading.

And there is one nice sized zipper pocket for all the little things I like to keep with me as I go back and forth to school.

Isn't it cute!  I often have buyers' remorse, but not with this bag.  I did snag a sale and free shipping, so that helped, but I am so happy with the quality  and their mission that I plan to keep Fashionable in mind for my next bag purchase.

Aaannnnd... if you've never purchased from Fashionable, go visit and sign up for $10 off your first purchase!  Here I am, teacher lanyard and word wall and all, to prove that this teacher is very, very happy with her purchase.

FYI- This post isn't sponsored- I purchased my own bag and those are my honest opinions.  Fashionable does offer an incentive for referrals, so if you make a qualifying purchase through my link, I earn a small referral rate at no cost to you.  Things like this keep us little bloggers going, so if you are looking for something special for yourself or as a gift, I'd love for you to go check them out! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Teaching With Fulton Sheen {150 page FREE Curriculum & a giveaway!}

Today is Venerable Fulton J. Sheen's birthday!  In honor of this great man who has so profoundly impacted my role as a teacher, I'm happy to share with you the second edition of my Teaching with Fulton Sheen Curriculum- 150 pages of printables and instructions available to you for free!  It is the fruit of five years of teaching faith through the lens of Fulton Sheen's life, and I'm happy to be able to share it with classrooms and homes around the world.

Common questions:
-Most of these activities were created for use with my 5th graders.  Many of them have been successfully used with varying ages with small adaptations or different purposes.  I would say the target audience of the content is 2nd-6th graders, but some activities could be used with younger students and some activities would work for older students.
-The pdf ebook contains not only the printables, but also instructions, lesson purpose, cross curricular connections, timeframes, and photos of projects.
-Most of the ebook is content common to all CCD and school classrooms- prayer, Saints, Sacraments, Mary, Adoration, the Rosary, etc. This book shows how you could teach those activities in connection with Fulton Sheen's life, but they also could be stand alone activities.
-The ebook could be used in pretty much any order and with any amount of content.  You could use one lesson, five lessons, or the whole book.  It's meant to be a flexible supplement to your existing classroom content.

Would you like to use the Teaching with Fulton Sheen Curriculum?  Click here to get your free copy!

And what's a birthday without presents?  In honor of Fulton Sheen's birthday and my excitement over the new edition of the curriculum, I would love to send one reader this stack of books!  Sheen was a prolific writer and reader, so I think he would approve. ;)

You could win: (affiliate links to Amazon just in case you're not the lucky winner!)
And I might just send some other surprise goodies too!

So how do you win?
All I ask is that you share the Teaching with Fulton Sheen Curriculum somehow.  You could:
-email this post to a teacher, catechist, or DRE
-tell a homeschooling parent or co-op organizer about the curriculum
-send this post to any Catholic parent for help enriching their family culture
-pin an image from the post on pinterest
-share this post on facebook
-post a pic on instagram, etc.

To enter, just leave a comment below telling me you shared the post and who you shared it with.  If you have trouble leaving a comment, or can only leave an anonymous comment, you can also send me an email at looktohimandberadiant (at) with your entry and I'll put you in the running.  I'll collect all the entries submitted by midnight next Monday, May 15, 2017, and randomly choose a winner to send the stack of books to.  Good luck!

Thanks for sharing the life of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen with others, and most of all for spreading love and devotion to Christ and His Church.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, pray for us!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Honoring Our Mother Mary

Happy May!  In honor of the month of Mary, I've collected a whole series of posts with tons of ideas for teaching kids about Mary- and through her, modeling Christian life, prayer, generosity, and virtue.

Click on any of the pictures below to take you to a post with more info, ideas, printables, and pictures.  I'll spare you more descriptions...and let the posts do the talking!

And, to every woman reading this, thank you for all of the ways that you mother each soul you meet: the kind word, the smile, the caring touch.  You are what the world needs.  Keep on living that call to be what God has made you to be!
"A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." ~Proverbs 31:30

Monday, May 1, 2017

St. Joseph the Worker

My dear St. Joseph has a feast day today, celebrating his work and provision and protection for the Holy Family and for the Church.  This quote from St. John Paul II has long been one of my favorites, and I lettered it recently as a reminder to pray for the work of the leaders in our lives and homes.

"St. Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care.  May he always guard, protect, and enlighten families." ~St. John Paul II

Click here for the black and white printable coloring page:

Click here for the gray watercolor printable:

You might also like the St. Joseph quote coloring pages here and here.