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Love Me Some Young Adult Fiction

To get me through these final weeks of my grad school I will be turning to some older posts. I hope that if you have been with me from the beginning this will be a fun trip down memory lane. And if you are new to my blog it is a great way to see some of my more popular posts from the past.

This is an old post and a lot has changed in my classroom since this time. But one thing that hasn’t changed–My aim to foster reading as an enjoyable activity for students. Take a look at this 2015 post!

The Ameri Brit Mom

If you were to ask me to describe my idea of a perfect day my description would in some way involve a trip to a bookstore with a follow-up reading session in a nearby coffee house. My husband and I both possess the gift to linger amongst books in bookstores or libraries for hours at a time. I could spend a bit of that time wandering the aisles which hold the books on religion, home improvement, and healthy living. However, if I could only make one stop during my visit I would have no problem camping out within the rows of Young Adult Fiction.

I have a natural affection for Young Adult literature. I love the creativity that is brought to the plot development of YA fiction. Many of the best authors in this genre write to convey a message relevant in today’s culture. In order to appeal to this…

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Purpose: Five Minute Friday

Today I am joining the positive writing community over at Five Minute Friday for their weekly link-up. Each week we gather to write on a common theme. This week our theme is Purpose.

At our district’s opening meeting for the school year, the presenter (Sarah Johnson) spoke on being “Affirmed in Purpose.”

While this was a public school system there were so many hints throughout the talk about how Sarah allows her faith to drive her purpose both inside and outside of the classroom. She challenged us to write a life mission statement and to set commitments and goals based on our passions. I’ve been refining my mission statement and intentions, but I wanted to share what I have written at this point:

Mission Statement: I will lead with faith, passion, and healthy relationships in order to make this world a better, more empathetic place.

Some of my passions include: writing, reading, exercise, art, teaching, and health.

Commitments that I have brainstormed that align with my mission statement are: only taking on roles in my church and school that feed into my mission, completing morning routines and Artist Dates regularly to ensure I am supporting myself, and daily self care.

Sarah challenged us in her presentation to revisit our mission statements and commitments at the 30-,60-, and 90-day marks to figure out what is working, not working, and to set new goals.

As of now, I feel like my goals have remained a priority. I’ve kept my passions in focus as I have chased my purpose over the last few weeks. I know I can continually improve in all of the areas listed above so I reviewing regularly will help me to realign and refine my focus areas according to my intentions and purposes.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Why Blog?

To get me through these final weeks of my grad school I will be turning to some older posts. I hope that if you have been with me from the beginning this will be a fun trip down memory lane. And if you are new to my blog it is a great way to see some of my more popular posts from the past.

This is my very first post on The Ameri Brit Mom. In this post, I discuss the WHY and WHAT of my blog. It was really interesting to look back and see how much life has changed in six and a half years. I hope you enjoy taking a look at this post from February 2015!

The Ameri Brit Mom

The most common advice that I’ve read out there for newbie bloggers is to focus on something that makes you unique. They say to find something about yourself that you can share with others to mutually benefit you as the author and the readers as well. I struggle with picking out one thing about myself to truly focus on in this blog. I have too many interests to limit myself to just one particular aspect to highlight. In truth, I am questioning the value in blogging at all, but the aspiring author in me is yearning to give it a try. So in this struggle to label my individuality I came to the conclusion that I am so multifaceted that picking ONE thing about myself would be to limit my inspiration in this blog.

So who am I?

I am a wife. I’m an All-American girl who fell in…

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Rescue: FMF

Today I am joining the positive writing community over at Five Minute Friday for their weekly link-up. Each week we gather to write on a common theme. This week our theme is Rescue.

Right now I am a couple of weeks in to my final semester of graduate school. In December, I will be graduating with a Masters of English degree and I am really proud of the work and effort I have put in to accomplish this life goal. At times, during this journey I have been treading water. My enrollment in the program coincided with the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and so I taught hybrid and remotely all while trying to keep on top of my studies and assignments. This semester is also my heaviest load. I am taking three courses right now, one of which is my Capstone/Thesis project. I have been busy and will only continue to be until the semester ends in December.

So how am I coping? What is my plan for this semester? What is my plan for my degree?

First of all, I am coping with large amounts of coffee, planning chunks of work time weekly during the semester, making routines and sticking to them, and prioritizing my time better for my family. Having a plan has rescued me from going crazy, but nothing has rescued my energy like a couple of cups of coffee each day.

After December, I plan to use my degree to better my craft, increase my teaching opportunities within my district, become a qualified cooperating teacher for pre-service educators (aka–have student teachers in my room), increase my salary, and I look forward to the other options that I am still unaware of.

Writing on here may become sparse at times throughout this semester, but don’t worry I am still writing just in a different capacity. And this is all temporary. And I am incredibly thankful for the way coffee and friends provide a rescue line when I start to feel buried by the load of graduate courses.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Labor Day Weekend Ulta Haul

This weekend I was in need of a restock on a few of my favorite beauty products so I went to my local Ulta store and picked up the essentials. Here is a look at my Labor Day Weekend Ulta haul:

1. Wetbrush Detangling Comb ($7.99)

As a mom and a lifelong struggler with dry, thick, curly hair a good detangler is a MUST. Both of my girls have thick hair that tangles easily which turns nearly every brushing session into a match between my determination and their ability to endure the pain. Wet brush products seem to be the best I have found for both mine and my girls and so I wanted to try the detangler comb. This purchase was long overdue.

2. Essence Pure Nude Sunlighter ($4.99)

I’ve never owned highlighter before. I’ve always been a bronzer or blush girl, but never dabbled in the use of highlighter. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try, and something I think will compliment my sunkissed complexion pretty well.

3. bareMinerals Lash Domination Ink Liner($19.00)

This is my tried and true eyeliner. I have used it for a couple of years now and I cannot say enough good about this product (and anything else by bareMinerals).

4. Hempz Travel Size Original Herbal Moisturizer ($7.50)

I never would’ve picked up this product for myself, but last spring I won a gift basket from my salon and a large bottle of this stuff was in it. Oh my goodness, I had been missing out! I am in love with the scent as well as the hydration provided by this Hempz product. Today I picked up a small bottle to keep with me in my purse, but I am sure I’ll be restocking my full size version soon.

5. Biolage HydroSource Conditioning Balm ($20.00)

I have not found another product that nourishes my thirsty hair like this conditioning balm. I use it in place of my Smoothproof conditioner a couple of times a week so it lasts a long time. I leave it in my hair for a few minutes before rinsing and it really changes the texture and feel of my naturally dry, curly hair.

6. Biolage Smoothproof Conditioner ($20.00)

This is my go-to. Enough said!

7. Dashing Diva Morning Orchid GLOSS Ultra Shine Gel Strips (Not pictured; $6.99)

I’ve been buying Dashing Diva products because they are easy to put on and to remove and way cheaper than competitive brands. I am excited for this Morning Orchid fall color.

*Because I’ve been exclusively using Biolage Shampoo and Conditioners on my hair for a couple of years I was also given a gift at the register for brand loyalty.

I am not a brand ambassador nor do I make money off of this post in any way. My hope was just to share some of my favorite products with you in hopes that maybe I can introduce you to a product that I have found which may be of use to you.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Honorable Debate

To get me through these final weeks of my grad school I will be turning to some older posts. I hope that if you have been with me from the beginning this will be a fun trip down memory lane. And if you are new to my blog it is a great way to see some of my more popular posts from the past.

This first post was meaningful because it captured my initial feelings creating an honors history course from scratch. In this post I asked for advice for conducting classroom debates. Now, when I ask former students something they remember about my course debates are most often the response I receive.

If you have any old favorites let me know! I’ll be reposting 1-2 times a week until December.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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It’s been some time since I’ve written about what is going on in Mrs. Sisley’s classroom. So in case you were wondering the year is off to a great start and I’m excited to share a little bit. Currently, I am teaching six classes. In the mornings I have three English 9 classes one of which is an Inclusion class. During the afternoons I teach three Honors World History classes. This is the first school year that an Honors History course has been offered since I’ve been working in my district and I’m thrilled to get the privilege of teaching this course.

The first few weeks have been spent getting their feet wet and providing opportunities for my students to discover my expectations. In English so far we’ve written one essay, read two short stories, and each student has now completed two of their Nine in 9th Independent Reading books…

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City: Five Minute Friday

Today I am joining the positive writing community over at Five Minute Friday for their weekly link-up. Each week we gather to write on a common theme. This week our theme is City.

Thanks to Covid the city has lost its appeal.

I miss the days of hopping in the car and seeing what we could get up to in town. With all the restrictions and all of the “hotspots” it makes a trip into the city one of the greatest opportunities to be at-risk.

I miss shopping in-person instead of through online portals and digital exchanges.

I miss strolling down busy streets, sipping coffee, and looking for good deals in storefronts.

I miss concerts and events in the parks and arenas downtown.

I miss dodging cyclists on the city’s walking paths.

Columbus is my city and I miss it so much. Crime rates are up and the city misses the people who came with a sense of wonder and enjoyment to its streets. I look forward to the day when we all return to life as it was before. I cannot wait to stroll through downtown with a cup of Stauff’s coffee (highlander grogg of course) while my hubby eats his Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream from a freshly made waffle cone.

One day this will all be over and we can return to our cities as we did before and enjoy the spontaneous.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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September 2021 Bullet Journal

Last month went incredibly quick for me. I feel like I was just setting up my August pages and now here I am. There’s something to be said about the start of the school year and finding oneself in a time warp that launches you straight into fall. Because August was so busy there were a few pages that I didn’t use from last month as I’d hoped. With that being said, I am going very basic for September in hopes of being able to keep up and to keep it all functional for my busy, working-mom life. So without further ado…


Cover Page: Campfire Theme

As I said, this month I want to keep it simple. I went with an outdoorsy color scheme and kept my doodles to a minimum. I left some objects uncolored to keep with the simplistic theme and only colored those things that fell within my scheme.

September Calendar Page

I did some 5×5 boxes for this month’s calendar page. I’m not in love with the fire doodle (even though I used a step-by-step on Pinterest), but it just goes to show that nothing has to be perfect in your bullet journal.

Fitness Tracker

With plenty of space for my intended workouts I finished off this super easy spread with a campfire doodle.

Weekly Spread

This is my weekly spread that I’ve stuck with for a couple of months now. It is highly functional and allows me plenty of space to plan events for the week on the left hand side and tasks for the week on the right.  This type of weekly spread is heavily inspired by The Plant Based Bride.

The supplies that I used to create this theme and the spreads for September are Tombow dual brush pens (colors: 912 and 153), Flair pens in orange and coral, and my usual black Flair pen. The doodles were inspired by images found on Pinterest, but I added my own creative flair and colors.

Let me know what you think about these pages or if you have ideas for future spreads or themes in my bullet journal.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Five Recent Updates…

If you have followed my blog you may have noticed that my posting schedule has been light over the past several weeks. Don’t worry…there are no plans for a hiatus or time away from the blog.

To simplify the reason, my priorities have just shifted temporarily.

Summer is coming to an end and I am back in the classroom. Time seems to be elusive and I’ve had to make some compromises with myself to ensure that I am prioritizing my time in the healthiest ways during this season.

Life has been hectic, but enjoyable and I need to catch you up with where I have been and what I have done during the days between posts.

1. I started my 11th year as a classroom teacher

This is my typical first day selfie while working hard at my desk. The year is off to a great start. This year I also added Student Council Advisor to my list of titles. I am so excited for the road ahead.

2. This week I begin my final semester of graduate school

I took courses this summer on Dystopian Literature and Critical Race Theory (BLM in films). I have learned so much and the work has been manageable. I cannot wait to finish my degree in December. This semester I am taking a course on Indigenous People Groups and another on fiction writing. Additionally, I will be enrolled in a capstone program where I will be working toward a Masters Portfolio/Thesis. I have BIG writing goals for myself post-degree.

3. My youngest sister started working in the same school district as me

What kind of sister would I be if I didn’t buy us matching shirts for the staff first day? We are having a blast working on the same schedule and for the same community. I love hearing her stories and seeing the district afresh through her eyes. We don’t work in the same building, but how fun would that be?

4. It’s been important to reconnect with friends

The pandemic taught me that my friendships are important and gathering with friends regularly is important for my spirit and mind. I am lucky to have amazing teacher friends within my school as well as many friends outside of my teaching community.

5. My little gymnast is keeping me busy

I spend a lot of time during the week transporting and watching my little gymnast practice. Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how she makes me feel. We are praying that her gym will open up for competitions this year after a full year of no competition.

The Ameri Brit Mom

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Teach: Five Minute [Friday]

Today I am joining the positive writing community over at Five Minute Friday  (a day late) for their weekly link-up. Each week we gather to write on a common theme. This week our theme is Teach.

Eight days in to the 2021-2022 school year and I have already been through so much: adapting to numerous administration changes, learning my role as a Student Council advisor, a 24 hour stomach bug, learning 150+ students’ names, and kicking off my courses in fun, interactive ways. In many ways it has felt like things are back to the way they were pre-Covid, but this week the pandemic kept rearing its ugly head in the background. A few students quarantined here and there, social distancing protocols, and the latest talk of reinstating mask mandates in the schools.

I’m not here to be political or to insert myself into the dialogue about our rights to not wear masks as American citizens. All I want to accomplish is a smooth, productive, and positive school year.

If we could leave Covid protocols to the previous school years and move forward with a clean, healthy slate that would be ideal. No one would argue that. But as my sudden illness this week proved, being healthy comes before anything else.

So those are my scattered ruminations after my first eight days. Things are going well and I’m trying really hard to ignore the fact that Covid is still trying to impact my school year. I’m ready for a normal year of learning and growing as a teacher and individual.

The Ameri Brit Mom