I Have a Problem!

But it’s a problem that makes me HAPPY!

Look what arrived in the mail today – perfect timing on July 1st!

Oh, my goodness! How exciting!

(And I was 30 minutes from walking out to see Henry Cavill Man of Steel, too, so it’s been a VERY exciting day!)

Look at my goodies! Erin Condren Teacher Planner, pens AND extra notepads (because I love to scribble down notes!).

Yes, it cost me money I probably should have spent… but I did buy it after I finished writing reports. And yes, $40ish dollars is expensive for shipping, but I’ve paid more for less and this thing is SO lovely that it will be used inside/out and loved to death by next year. So I figure it’s worth it!

Look at the inside awesomeness! Granted, it’s a July-June planner (and here in Australia we work from Jan-Dec), but this gorgeous little thing will see me through the rest of this school year, and continue to serve me well into the next school year in 2014. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Planner stickers, big pockets, little pockets, shiny notepad that I stuck inside the back cover AND cute little stickers. (The 6 bight coloured stickers I got in the planner, and the darker stickers on the left were free samples – total love! I’ve used one already!)

So now I have 2 major loves in my life – my Teacher Planner AND my MacBook Pro. If this isn’t incentive enough to stay organised, I don’t know WHAT is!

Plus, I did go to see Man of Steel and loved it. Even liked Russell Crowe, and I’m not a big fan of his. Amy Adams is the best Lois Lane I’ve seen in ages.

And then… I may have done a tiny bit of shopping. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!

Look at the pretty!

I got the beautiful bag, scarf and belt for only $50! Love!

Then, I added to my Washi Tape collection (okay, so maybe I have MORE than one problem…), picked up another set of alphabet stamps for the classroom, AND found a ‘Pinned’ stamp (only $1) from Typo!

And that’s how I’ve spent the first official day of my mid-term break!

What’s been the highlight of YOUR day?

Everybody Loves Free Things!

I know I definitely do.

A few weeks ago, VistaPrint ran a promotion where they had samples of a good portion of their products reduced to FREE (one of my favourite words) – and all the customer paid was the shipping (see below). As someone who shops online rather frequently, that’s quite a good deal, especially when you can customise all of the products.

VistaPrint promo flyer (now finished)

So, I did what any self-respecting shopaholic would do… I got as much free stuff as I could!

Today my box arrived:

Now, I love packages. I love opening them – even when I know exactly what’s inside them. Tonight was like opening a box of presents!

With the exception of the tote bag, everything was a free promo from Vista. I used a voucher on the tote (which took it down to about $2, plus a small fee for uploading a custom design). Along with the $16 shopping charge, I paid less than $20 for everything, which is a pretty good deal. (IMO!)

The tote is black and white (black straps, black base) with a custom design image that I made in Fireworks with some clipart that I adore by KPM Doodles and another source (The Very Hungry Caterpillar images) that I’ve lost the link to. Will update when I find it.

An overview of everything in the box: a blank notebook, postcards, fridge magnets, notecards, business cards and a notebook. (Missing from the picture is a self-inking stamp with my name .)

25 fridge magnets promoting our classroom blog. These will go home with students in the first week of Term 3 with our Term newsletter. Despite the fact that I send the blog address home at the start of every term at the top of our Weekly Calendar, all my kids tell me their parents don’t know the address. This seemed like a really cute way to promote the class blog. I just picked a nice, pre-made design off Vistaprint’s site and added the content. Can’t wait to send these home!

250 business cards. I’ll admit, not sure what I’ll do with all 250 of them, but they are super-cute and have all my info. Anyone want one? 😉

One can never had too many notecards. I now have 10 of these really pretty cards to throw into my emergency card box! (They came with 10 plain white envelopes, too.)

A pretty little notebook with blank pages. I don’t know why – I hate writing on lined paper. (Maybe it’s a product of my schooling?) I just LOVE writing on blank paper, and Vistaprint had the option for free so I took it. Love the cute design and now it has my name on it!

This is actually my second set of postcards from Vistaprint (this time there were 50 postcards in the set). I have shamelessly stolen this idea from Jami’s Two Things in Common blog where she posted about her Vistaprint postcards “A special Thank You from the Teacher”  – I made a set of those, too! It was from Jami that I learnt about Vistaprint and signed up for their newsletter and hence found out about this offer.

Now, whenever I need to send a note home to a parent, instead of scrounging for a dodgy looking bit of paper scrap of paper, I have something nice and professional. I included a space for the date at the top and my name down the bottom. (My ‘Thank you from the teacher’ postcards are the same design as my business cards – the owls – and are at school and therefore unable to be photographed at this time!)

Finally, a rubber, self-inking stamp that I can use to label all my books. I do have one of these (that I made from one of those build-your-own-stamp sets but I seem to have lost it in my classroom). Plus, this one is smaller and a little clearer. Not bad for free!

At any rate, I’m pleased with my little stash of goodies and I can’t wait to put them to good use next term.

I have a stack of 25% off vouchers if anyone wants to try out products from Vistaprint. Their quality is very good. (If nothing else, visit their site and sign up to get their newsletter to stay up-to-date with other specials, because there’s always things we need in classrooms, and the cheaper the better!)

EDIT (10/7/2012): There are some more great classroom ideas from 3rd Grade Thoughts on the use of Vistaprint items!

Have you found other places that do good deals? (Share the love!)

What other ways could teachers use similar products in their profession?