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FREEBIE FRIDAY!! FREE tutorial, clip art and some Charlie lovin'

Hi everyone!!

I can't believe how fast this week has passed us by!! Holy cow!! I have been VERY productive this week, however. I got through most of my custom requests (still working on the Greeks) and I listed several on TPT, which felt very good. I will share the sets I put up towards the end of the post. 

My father-in-law is visiting  this weekend and the kids are so excited. He brought his dog (Daisy) and I was hoping that Charlie would have some fun with the bigger dog; however, they are all already fighting over a bone that Daisy snatched while my dogs were too busy being offended that I allowed this to take place...hahaha. Daisy was forced to have to give the bone back to Charlie, but quickly snatched it the second she could....then she swallowed it whole so no one could take it again...hahaha...

My new dog, Charlie has been doing very well adjusting. His new thing now is to smile, which is so completely hilarious! However, after about 20 photos, this was the best shot I could get...he is always moving...
Here is his smile in slow motion
He is definitely a cutie....even Roxie is beginning to be swayed by his master charming skills...hahaha...
I put together a quick blog tutorial for everyone. How many of you like having links to other blogs on your page, but you are getting a little overwhelmed by the clutter of the never-ending list? If you haven't noticed, I use the animated blog roll to list several things on my blog such as: my store links, favorite blog links, and awards. I love the blog roll and I decided that you should too...hahaha...

Here goes...
Click on the link to see the blog tutorial notes and download the PDF version.

My Artsy Fartsy friend is celebrating 100 followers and many artists from TPT have joined in to support her and offer some great clip art sets to the winner. Head on over to Tammy's blog to enter the giveaway - there are 3 days left!!
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Here are some of my new Fall themed sets I have recently added to my TPT store...





I have FINALLY linked up with Friday Freebies!! It is technically still Friday in AZ...hahaha.. I have created a complete clip art set for you to grab.
Freebie Fridays



Thank you very much for visiting and following!!

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A Little Somethin' Somethin' for Sunday: How to Block Ads from Facebook Tutorial!!!



I have to first say that I am seeing my art out in the world more often & it makes me feel so excited that you all are using my graphics to make some of the most incredible resources!! I have a collaborative Pinterest board and would like for anyone to join who would like to brag about stuff they have created using my art... I love being able to see everything in one place (-; If you would like to join, just leave your Pinterest link below & I will add you as an exclusive pinner..hahaha... You can even grab the cute button I created to get more traffic to that board. 

Here is the link if you would like to take a quick peek
http://pinterest.com/3amteacher/education-products-using-3am-graphics/



I am not sure if many of you have noticed, but lately, Facebook has been bombarded with third party ads and sponsors. The ads were not so invasive before the Facebook interface changed to the Timeline. Anything inappropriate, I was able to click the little "x" in the top right hand corner of the ad & then remove it...simple. The more inappropriate ads I removed, the less I received until I did not get anything that I would not be embarrassed to have pop-up. 

Now, it seems like you can't even scroll through your wall without there being some ad that pops up. It has become so bad and invasive that I have not allowed my kids to play their games. Well, my son asked to play a few Zynga games and I let in - how bad could a few games be, right?? Well, this morning he came running in and said that there was an ad that kept showing up and he couldn't get rid of it! I told him to bring me the computer...

"Mommy is the geek, so any computer issues are always brought to me"...hahaha

When he brought me the computer -  I WAS TOTALLY SHOCKED!!  I have never had ads as bad as this before!! There was a HUGE (full sidebar) picture of a (almost nude) woman with the text, "You Know You're Curious....Click Here"

Holy !*&#^HKJDFHKLUHSISUH:ALKN<OI*^&$)(&#_)(*#)(#@!!

How DARE they invade our privacy like that!! I tried changing the privacy settings, turning off the chat and upping the security, but it still would not go away. When I tried to close the ad using the "x" in the top right corner, I was immediately taken to a PORN site!!! It is one thing that this crap pops up on the T.V. all the time when you're least expecting it (which is one reason I don't have cable....), but it is even worse when you are on your OWN account and this stuff finds its way to invade your thoughts. 

I Don't feel that anyone should be forced to have to watch or see anything they don't want to. I stopped our cable because the kids just sat in front of it for hours, but also because I was so tired of being forced to watch half-nude women pop-up on the screen in-between a discovery show...or Fringe.... 

The networks always say, "well, you don't have to watch it"...which is completely true! EXCEPT....the stuff pops up right after a flippin' potty commercial or a commercial about Stovetop!! To me, that is forcing the consumer to watch something they may not want to see... It is one thing if you see what is playing and turn the channel to watch it, but when you don't get a choice...to me, that is completely against our constitution!!! We should not be forced into looking at soft-porn or pornography...unless we CHOOSE to do so. Prostitution is illegal in almost every state! So why then, are the networks allowed to show a Victoria Secret commercial with a woman's crotch right in your face in the first screenshot??? I love shopping there, but I don't need to see a bunch of women touching themselves in a room with my children to know that I need a bra!! I have boobs people - I know I need a bra!!

I no longer have cable...I did make a choice...I am NOT going to pay to be forced to watch that crap & I don't want my son or my daughter believing that the purpose of a woman is solely for the pleasure of others.

Anyway....I believe that women are, by far, the most incredible beings on this earth!! I think, instead of wearing nothing to get attention from creepy (or any) man, we should instead wear a shirt that says,

I CAN CREATE LIFE - WHAT CAN YOU DO???

Where there is my rant, but back to the Facebook 3rd party ad take-over!! If you would like to get rid the the Facebook ads, as well as any other ads on other sites you may visit (like yahoo mail), I have a great Google Chrome extension for all of you that I found!! Here is how you take back your rights and the ability to choose what you look at (whatever that may be).

First, Got to the Google Chrome Web Store (where you can get cool extensions for your web browser) & download the Adblock Plus Beta Extension (the best extension EVER)!!

Click HERE

Once you click on the link, your screen should look something like the screenshot below.
If the link does not take you directly to the extension download page, then go to the Google Chrome Web Store (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/home)
and type "Adblock Plus Beta" in the search menu.
Click the blue button that says, "ADD TO CHROME" and then follow the steps to download the extension.
Once the extension is downloaded, close out your browser and restart it (you can also press F5, but that does not always do the trick).

Now log on to your FB page and see the difference??? If you don't see a change, follow the steps to make sure that the extension is enabled in your browser...

1.  Find the WRENCH icon at the top right corner of your browser (in Google Chome)

2. Click on the WRENCH and scroll down to settings (click it)

3. A new browser window opens up with your settings page.

4. Click on "EXTENSIONS" in your left side menu

There are directions for installing this extension on a MAC computer as well. I do not believe that Firefox supports this extension, but I may be completely wrong...Just do a search for Adblock extensions and I am sure you will find something for any browser... Enjoy the peace!!

5. Look for the "stop sign" icon for the Adblock extension and make sure that the box next to "enabled" is checked"


If you still have problems, clear out your browsing history and temporary files and try again or go to the HELP menu in the Google Chrome Web Store.

I LOVE not having ads on my Facebook page!!

**For those of you who enjoy the ads or the soft porn during commercials, I am not judging you at all - I simply my own personal preference and choice not to be forced to look at those images...

Cheers!!

I also wanted to share with you the beginnings of my new web store that I am hoping to have finished soon. I was using a WIX template, but the limitations on my creativity were driving me insane. I thought using a template would be a quicker way to go, but sadly, I was wrong. I trashed everything I did and chose to use my Adobe Muse for the first time!! Holy cow - I am LOVING Adobe more and more everyday!! First , you plan out your site...mine was taken in three screenshots (so far)...hahaha

Then, you begin to work on the design without any limitations as to what you can think of to ad!!
I worked on it for a couple of hours last night and I got my Master page finished (for the most part)...TAH-DAH!!


And I even have a surprise for all of you!!
While working on a blog re-design (Yes, I am going to make some changes to my blog as well), I created some blog backgrounds that I will not be using. You are free to grab and use as you wish. They  are great for a blog background, but you can also use them to spruce up your cover pages on your files!!
Happy Sunday everyone!! 
(P.S. - the TPT Fall sale is still on until tomorrow night. Everything in my store is discounted 20% - you might want to check it out)...


And now for the FREE Blog Backgrounds!!




And an extra cute text frame shape!!


Thank you for visiting!!
& Thank you for the pins!!



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FALL TPT CLIP ART & Teaching Resource Sale: 20% off!!

Hi everyone! I am just going to do a quick post tonight to let everyone know about the Fall sale this weekend. If you want to participate in the sale - it's not too late!! Head on over to Casey's blog to link up. 
I have teamed up with Casey over @
to offer everyone a 20% off discount through the weekend!! My sale will actually not end until Monday at midnight!!  Grab your favorite sets and head on over to my TPT store!! Click on Casey's blog button to check out who else is having a Fall sale!! 

I would really appreciate some pins to let everyone know about the sale...there are a lot of great resources at a great discount this weekend!! Thank you so much for the pin & link up if you can (-;
Click the bucket below to get a head start on TPT!!


Isn't this bucket a cutie?? You can grab him, along with several more, in my free mystery set on TPT (-;

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Common Core: Fiction work and informational texts & a FREE frame

Common Core Book Study
Kindergarten Team
Unit #5
Unit #5: The Great big World
How the setting of fictional and informational texts differ

Common Core Book Study Unit 3 & 4 (Many Freebies & Resource links)

Unit #3: Exploring with Friends in the Neighborhood
I have a large smoothie glass full of writing for you today!! Feel free to grab the image above. 
(See my TOU to the right for information about using my graphics for personal and commercial use)
This six weeks, students get to participate in the fun stuff - exploring fictional characters in literary texts and neighborhoods in informational texts. 

Common Core Book Study: Kinder Unit 2 & A FREEBIE SET

Common Core Curriculum Maps
English Language Arts
Kindergarten
Unit #2
Unit #2: Tell a Story
For the first six weeks, the Common Core Curriculum Maps (ELA:K) focuses on the importance of  using rhyme and repetition to  teach phonological awareness. Students participate in lessons that allow them to listen to and interpret familiar sounds and patterns as they begin to think more critically about their "A-B-C's".

A day to Remember Freebie, Life with Charlie, Games & a Special Thanks!


Hi everyone!! I am taking a little break between posts for the Common Core Book Study. Over the next few days, you will be seeing a bunch of Common Core Resources here & you can link up to other grade level teams to get some great tips and resources!! I have a lot to squeeze in, so please bear with me here (-;

Before I get into anything, I just want to give a little love to the men and women who so valiantly protect our country!!! Thank you to all of you who serve our country (and that INCLUDES teachers)!! The picture above is from my new, Proudly United Clip Art Set & it is FREE for you to grab!! Please read my TOU to the right if you have any questions about how you may use the image. Here are the previews for this set. You can click on the last pic to go to my TPT store to get this bunch of proud cuties!! I wanted to add more to this set, in fact, I have the black outlines to several more, but I ran out of time - so I will be adding more to this set in the next few weeks. Those of you who pay for and download this set will NOT have to pay for the ones I add - I will add them directly into this file and then send out a notice that it was updated through TPT!!




Enjoy the Freebie (P.S....don't leave yet, there are more freebies at the end).

Okay, 'nuff about that. (-; I know most of you know that we got a FREE, super cute puppy last week and named him Charlie. I have to say that life with a puppy is a bit like life with a toddler - GEE-GOLLY!! He is quite the stinker, this Charlie, but he is packaged with so much cuteness that I can't get upset at him...although, I am on to his games!! He is so smart and I find myself talking to him like he is a real person...hahahaha. His new thing is to sit in my office chair while I work - he seems to like watching me draw. Here is a pic I took, but the angle is weird. And yes, I put a sheet over my office chair to protect the leather - one day, I will have some time to look for a tutorial on making a chair cover on Pinterest - until then...sheets are in style!!
Sometimes, he leaves me some room on my ow chair to sit...hehehe
Charlie loves to be around us, but he is still not potty-trained - not even close. He doesn't even give out any signs he has to go - he will just be playing one second and peeing and playing the next second - he is so hyper that he won't even fully stop playing to pee...hahaha! I am crate-training him, so he is making progress at times. He loves the kids and he will do things that my other dog (Roxy - a Chihuahua) won't do, like fetch and chase his tail. I am finding that he has an obsession with my deodorant and the ipad. He won't stop trying to lick my underarms - which is driving me batty...hahaha...and he LOVES to tap the ipad with his paw when anyone is on it...hahahaha!! I think I may have to hire a puppy trainer because I am not so sure I am up for training this little guy - he seems to know what I am asking him to do, but he is cleverly refusing my requests...Maybe I am the one who needs the training...hahaha

Well, the good thing about Charlie being a happy and healthy puppy is that with hard play comes even harder sleep...bwahahaha! He even has his ball & his "foxy" right next to him!!

Well, onto STATES!

This year, my son is in 5th grade, so when asked to review a couple of games from Lakeshore (and seeing that there was a states game), I delightfully accepted their offer!!

I chose two games to review:

United States Grab & Play Game for grades 3-5th
United States Grab & Play Game

The Allowance Game for grades K-4th
The Allowance Game®


I will begin with the game I liked the least, so that I end with a happy note (-; The Allowance Game was really not my cup of tea. The game focuses more on winning than on learning. The coins are very dark in color and would make it very difficult for younger children to distinguish the different coins. The game is a fast play; however, and can be played in about 10 minutes. The first one to get to $20.00 in earnings is the winner. The game does not include critical thinking questions to help children learn the concept of money and/or working hard. It is pretty mindless (and I am trying to be polite). I would have included more of a strategy focus with game cards where students could match the coins to determine their worth. It is fun to play, but if you are looking for a learning game - I would not recommend this one...Wah Wah Wah...I hate to be a FROWNY FILBERT about this game, but I was looking and reviewing this game from an educator's point of view...it is not a bad game - it is just not a good game for the classroom.

THE STATES GAME - HOWEVER - IS A WINNER IN MY BOOK!!
Even ask Charlie...hahaha

The game comes in a little package, but includes TONS of great learning opportunities for kids in the areas of Social Studies, U.S. History, Government & of course, U.S. state and capital review.

The little game "board" is actually a reference map to help children find answers to many of the questions on the cards. It makes for a great opportunity to familiarize students with a "bird's eye" view of the United states. The map includes capitals, major landmarks, lakes, rivers, and more. Students can become familiar with using a map key and compass as well. I can't even tell you how many great learning elements are packed into this little game. I played it with my son and he loved it!! We have made a habit of playing it every other day to help him practice for his states quizzes this year. 

To play the game, one player rolls the dice, while the other player picks up a card and reads the question that correlates with the number that was rolled. The player whose turn it is can use the map to answer questions (or you can allow students to use their own notes from class). If he/she gets the question correct, then a "token" is pulled from the little bag and the player gets to record the point value on their score sheet. The answers to each question are located next to the question on the right side (the part I cut off apparently..hehehe)
The game only comes with one master copy of the score card, so I created a template to print 4 per page in a PDF and made several copies, cut, and placed in the game to be used. I asked if I could share the PDF with  all of you and was given the green light...WOO HOO!!

Click on my cute monster icon to download the file...(I did not make this icon - this was a freebie I downloaded about 4 years ago from an online place...not sure where exactly now...eek)
You can visit Lakeshore Learning to find more games or to get this game!!

Lakeshore Learning Materials
& visit their FB page for news, updates and specials!
Lakeshore Learning Materials - Carson, CA

I have also been given a coupon code to get 25% off if you get a game (or other regular priced resource) before October 10th, 2012...enjoy the savings!!
Click HERE to go straight to the discount page...

Onto some other great Goodies!!

Before I share some of the work I have been up to, I would like to give out some thank you's to some special lady bloggers!!

First, I must give a GIANT hug and shout out to my bloggy friend from Oregon, Tanja!!! I was going to send her a message yesterday on TT, but I decided that I would surprise her. Tanja has been such a great bloggy friend and such a wonderful resource for so many of us. She is a little light & probably the most faithful and loyal cyber friend I have! She is always my number 1 supporter and cheerleader & I found that I am not the only one she is a number 1 fan to. She is spreading her little happy light all over the place and I love reading her comments as I read through the 900 blogs on my blog list (hahaha...I wish I could get through all of them).

While obsessively checking my sales (I have been really working hard to get them up), I noticed that her name is the first name listed on every new set I put up!!! She is always supporting my art and sending referrals my way & I am so appreciative to have her support and friendship!! Even though she is all over the place, she doesn't try to draw a bunch of attention to herself (hahaha...like I do with my obsessive FB antics)... and she has a modest following on her blog of  564 followers on her blog and 218 likes on her FB.

I have decided to honor her with a special gift - I don't have a lot of money, but I do have a lot of art (-; Here is your gift...
My (just made up) Golden Star Gift Certificate - for a great person that shines brightly!! 
This certificate allows you to choose ONE clip art set each month (from anything I put up) completely FREE of charge until December 31, 2012!! 
Thank you for shining bright - hopefully this makes your shine glisten...hehehe

If you haven't already checked out her blog & FB page, you must go check out Tanja's blog. She has tons of resources!!
MsT3

Visit her FB page HERE

I would also like to give a little shout out to a new artsy fartsy blogger friend. I strongly believe that success comes with those who learn and support one another. I love being able to help out new or inspiring digital artists, which is how I met Tammy from

DotsButton1

She is wild about polka dots as you will see, but she is also started to sell some great looking clip art for educators!! I have enjoyed working and laughing with her through instant chat!!! I look forward to the "DING" in my inbox...hahaha!! I believe in supporting fellow artists... Because I am a self-taught artist, I know how difficult it is when just starting out & I love to put on the face of a mentor at every chance I get!! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Tammy and I hope you take an opportunity to visit her blog and take a peek at her cute clip art sets!!!

I know there are WAY more people that I have encountered through blogging that have positively impacted my life & I thank each and every one of you!!!

Here is a peek of a few of the new sets I have recently put up...I told you I have been busy...hehehe...
Special Request from Krista @ http://www.thereadingolympians.com/blog/

 Special Request from Linda @






Thank you for pinning & for visiting my blog!!
Now off to finish Unit 2 of the Book Study!!

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