and Re:Marks! {Review and Giveaway}

Earlier this year, I got some cute little rubber stamps from that I just love. Look at the cuteness of these! (I hyperlinked the pictures in case you want to look at them online.)

I have to admit - the "Like" one is my favorite stamps of all that I have. Although my students aren't technically old enough to have a Facebook account, they all know what the stamp means.

Then a few months ago, I was contacted by to review Re:Marks! - their new self-inking stamp with an interchangeable die plate.

Nice packaging suitable for gift-giving. This would make a really great housewarming gift or wedding gift.

With the stamp, you get the Thank You one that's included in the package, PLUS a certificate for a custom stamp. When I ordered an address stamp for mine, it arrived REALLY fast. They have great customer service. In addition, the ink pad is double-sided, so it will last twice as long.

This stamp has a large and sturdy design. Here you can see it next to my wireless mouse. Looking at it from the top, it is a square-shaped stamper.

To swap the plates, press down the stamp and then press the red button to lock the plate in position. (Sorry for the fuzzy picture.)

Pinch the red tabs to remove, and click the new one in place. Easy peasy!

Crisp and clean inking. A nice and large stamp for scrapbooking and making your own cards.

The only thing that I would like to see improved is a place in the box to store extra plates. Since you get the second plate, I would like to keep everything together. Maybe no one else would keep it in the box, but I would like to keep everything in one place.

If you need a last-minute tax write-off for this year, consider ordering one for your TpT business, Etsy store, etc.

If you would like to take a look at the Amazon listing, it is {here}. At the time of this review, it was listed at $24.99 and eligible for Prime shipping (BONUS!).

HOWEVER, is generously letting me give away FIVE of these to my followers! WOWZA!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Top 5 Blog Posts of 2014

 If you are anything like me, you really got behind on blog reading this year. Here are my top five from 2014! (I did not include blog hops, giveaways, or product reviews.)

Go to {Ideas by Jivey} to see other top 5 posts or add your own!


Top 10 IG Pics 2014

Just checking in for a fun and quick linky! And if you don't {follow me on Instagram}, my username is @fifthinthemiddle

My January close reads are currently $6 - find them {here}

This hop is still happening, BTW - click {here}

Go link up or find more fun pics at {Teachery Tidbits}!

Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer {Review}

Earlier in the year, I had the chance to review the book Mom Made Us Write This in the Summer by Ali Maier. It is a journal-style book with lots of fun illustrations and handwriting text. The plot of the book is that the mom of brother/sister twins makes them each write in a shared journal during the summer. They have assigned topics and are allowed to comment on each other's entries. The book does a nice job showing their brother/sister dynamics in a fun way. This would be a great book to show point of view. It might also be fun to recreate the activity in your family or classroom!

Here are the details if you want to check it out:

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer by Ali Maier

Book Summary:

A sister and brother, forced to write in the summer, and share ONE journal? Ugh.

This is exactly what happens to 10-year-old twins Maggie and Max Pruitt. When Mom comes up with a plan for them to keep a summer journal, Maggie and Max can’t believe it. Worse yet, they have to share!

Through their writing, Maggie and Max find out they have very different (and hilarious) views about growing up, family and life - a conclusion they only discovered because, as Max and Maggie say, “Mom Made Us Write This.”

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is a journal-style book that inspires kids to read and write, and captures the essence of sibling relationships. Anyone with a brother or sister will identify with the fun and struggles that Max and Maggie experience this summer! From a trip to the zoo to the annual check-up at the docs – read all about the life adventures of Maggie & Max.

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is recommended for 2nd – 6th grade students.

Parents, kids, and teachers will love this book. Parents will welcome the emphasis on strong family relationships. Teachers will appreciate the classroom extension opportunities. Kids will enjoy the laughs, lessons and the “me too!” connection.

“Positive, creative and fun for classrooms and families!”
-Mrs. Jane Jagielo, 4th Grade Teacher

Mom Made Us Write This In The Summer is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:

Ali Maier was born in Johnstown, PA. In high school she spent a lot of time with children, working as a summer camp counselor for many years, volunteering to teach Sunday school at church, working in the local day-care center, and working as a kindergarten aide.  

She went to John Carroll University and earned a BA in Elementary Education. Throughout college, Ali worked at a local toy store then worked in product development at a company making art and craft kits for kids.  

Eventually Ali left her job to work full time with her husband, Mark, at their marketing company.  When her children were born, she worked from home.  

Ali lives in a Cleveland suburb with her husband and two children. She loves to read, write and spend time with her family.  

Ali chose to write the Mom Made Us Write This series to encourage young readers to do something she loves – to read! Ali wanted to write a book series that would allow readers to laugh and encourage them to write and share their own stories.

To learn more, go to


Five for Friday - November 21

I just cannot get back into the swing of blogging! When I'm not working or with family, I'm busy trying to complete the next month's close reading product. And I don't want to blog about those all of the time because blogs that only blatantly self-promote really bother me. So I'll see if I can finish this post before dinner arrives :)

My kids are really loving flashlight Friday. {Joanne} blogged about it forever ago, but I just started trying it this year. These are the flashlights I ended up getting.
They were only $10 when I bought them, but they appear to be more now. At this point in the year, about 15 are dead, but I think that I can change the batteries if I want. But maybe not.

They are also loving these holiday coordinate pictures. I have several of hers, and they are incredibly popular. Right now we are working in the first quadrant, but they have options for four quadrants.

Today we attempted to escape from slavery. I know that I've mentioned {} before, but it is seriously awesome. And free. I had to make the kids promise me that they wouldn't do it over the weekend!

Trying to find a way to get rid of some extra pounds while still being productive. Finding time for exercise is so not a priority for me. I ordered this Desk Cycle, and it arrived on Tuesday. Put it together last night and rode (that doesn't seem right) it for 45 minutes tonight while watching a basketball game. Baby steps!

I don't have a visual for this one, but for the first time in my 16-year career, I took my daughter to a Girl Scout roller skating party and saw a few of my students. For the first time ever, I work in the community in which I live (kind of), so I occasionally see my students outside of school. It's kind of nice, and it's not something that I ever thought that I wanted. A few weeks ago, I even attended a basketball game of a few of my fifth grade boys. They were thrilled that I came, and so were their parents. I feel very fortunate that I now have this opportunity to work closer to home. It has been a real change and somewhat stressful, but it will be a great thing for my family.

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