Thursday, May 2, 2013

Bahama Breeze Night Out & Giveaway

Last Friday evening, I attended my first Memphis Bloggers get-together at Bahama Breeze. I know I'm a little behind on posting this, but better late than never. I so enjoyed finally meeting some of the ladies whose blogs I've been following. The six of us met at Bahama Breeze because they invited us to try (completely on the house!) and review some of their new items which included rice bowls and items from their new happy hour menu. But best of all, Bahama Breeze is hosting an awesome opportunity for us to giveaway a "Cocktail Hour Party". They are offering the winner of our giveaway 1 hour of free appetizers and 1 free cocktail per person for up to 20 people. This giveaway is only available at the local Memphis-Wolfchase location and will end May 5th. So...don't hesitate...enter now! Just go to the Rafflecopter toward the end of this post to enter.  

I really wasn't completely sure about what to expect, but I had an amazing experience. The restaurant staff literally wined and dined us all. Each of us was able to order cocktails, appetizers, and entrees of our choice. I chose my favorite drink, their signature Bahamarita.

We then had some of their coconut shrimp and famous onion rings as appetizers.

We were then served one each of their six new international themed rice bowls: Shrimp Creole, Carnitas, Chipotle Beef, Vegetarian Asian Tofu, Asian Chicken and Vegetable, West Indies Chicken Curry. 

I would seriously recommend the Chipotle Beef and Shrimp Creole to anyone. The beef in the Chipotle Beef bowl was so tender it melted in my mouth. The Shrimp Creole was definitely tasty as well. We were offered dessert on top of everything else, but we all declined. YES...we were crazy...I know! We could've all divided them up and brought a sampler home with us. On top of everything else they gave us a heap of complimentary small plate appetizer cards to use at anytime we like.

Our waiter was awesome, and he decorated each of our take-home containers differently so we would know whose was whose.'s your chance to enter our giveaway for the
Bahama Breeze Cocktail-Hour Party for 20.
Just use the Rafflecopter below and Best of Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our food + drinks were comped,
but the opinions herein are all mine.


*Thanks for dropping by!

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bogus Blog Traffic...What to Do?

?! HELP !?

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been so excited about my blog traffic stats. Well...that is until I began to notice some strange sources. One was filmhill and the other was vampirestat.

Since these two accounted for the majority of my traffic and I had no idea what they were, I started researching. Apparently, they are bogus traffic spamming sites that skew traffic source data. The only thing I really still don't understand is why...what's the purpose? How does  making it appear that my blog has more traffic than it actually does help them?

I also couldn't find any suggestions about what I should do about this. From the sound of it, Blogger isn't concerned and doesn't do anything about it. 

Realizing that there are sites out there that do this sort of thing really kind of took the wind right out of my sails. I don't want my blog statistics to be false, and I was disappointed to find out that I really hadn't had the traffic I'd initially thought.

If anyone knows how to resolve this situation, please help! I would so truly appreciate any information or suggestions about what to do to stop this.

*Thanks for dropping by!


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Monday, April 15, 2013

A Hubby Jack Makeover: Help Needed

Us womens' friend, or should I say nemesis, "Hubby Jack" over at Hubby Jack's Blog Attack is having a contest for a blog makeover. I am a newcomer to the blogging world and pieced together my blog design part by part by pulling different things from various free blog template sites to create an elementary classroom teacher blog. I actually thought I did a relatively decent job until I read a post by Hubby Jack's wife, Holly, about when she first started blogging and how, at that time, her blog looked like a scrapbook page vomited on her screen. My thought, ".... hummmm, sorta like mine."

For that reason, I think a crisp, vibrant, newly designed blog makeover with a catchy name would be TO DIE FOR!

Also at the moment, I am in a major state of transition in my life. My youngest son is graduating from high school this year, and I'm definitely beginning to feel the "empty nesters" funk. I've also just ended a fifteen year relationship with the only person, other than my children, that I truly loved unconditionally...or let's say as much as I could without losing my sanity. Seems like he made it his personal mission to try to destroy me from the inside out. But let me say this...without a shadow of a doubt, I know his being out of my life is the best thing that could happen to me.

Enough bellyaching!

All that was just a segue to why I feel that starting a blog has been therapeutic for me. It has provided me with a creative outlet.  It helps to distract me from the nagging feelings that have recently been pulling at my heart strings.

While experiencing similar emotion, Adele wrote and recorded the top selling album of the 21st century. Well...I just took up blogging...HA! However, my current blog, The Sweet Life of Second Grade, is not exactly the place I imagined I would think out loud about personal matters. So actually, I think I'd like to maintain it for it's initial purpose and use Hubby Jack's design for a personal blog...maybe, say...The Sweet & Single Life at Almost 50...Aack!!!

I need your help though.


This is how it works: Just click on the Hubby Upgrade button above and leave a comment on his blog post about who you'd like to see win the blog makeover...hopefully me!

I want to send a heartfelt "Thanks!!" in advance for any of you who see fit to use your time to cast a vote for me.

*Thanks for dropping by!

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sizing Up My Buttons: An Easy Tutorial for Sizing/Spacing Grab Buttons Equally

Due to waking up this morning around 4:30 wide eyed and feeling rested, I decided to tinker with my blog. For a while now, I've wanted all my blog grab buttons to be more uniform because they were all different sizes and zigged zagged back and forth. I chose to be adventurous and take a risk to try to manipulate the HTML code for my buttons. worked!! Look at the grab buttons I have under Blogs I Read or Use in my sidebar to the left to see an example. So for those of you who are interested in sizing up your buttons, I decided to post my first little tutorial.

There are 3 things to check for if you want uniform buttons. Some buttons might have one element but not another. The elements you want to look at are: sizing, centering, and spacing. In order to change or manipulate any of these elements, you must first click Layout in your menu items on the left hand side of your Blogger page. (These directions are for Blogger, but I'm sure there are very similar options for Wordpress. In fact, I know there are because I helped a friend place her grab button on her Wordpress blog, and the steps were very similar to the ones I followed for Blogger.)  

Sizing Buttons Equally

After pulling up your Layout page, go to your Gadget where your buttons are listed. Find the section of code that corresponds with the button you want to change. It will look like this:

href=""><img border="0"

To resize each particular button, you will need to insert the following section of code between image type" (i.e. gif", png", jpg") and the code at the very end that reads /></a>:

width="140" height="140"
Afterwards, your code should read like this:
href=""><img border="0"
LOGOBEST-1.gif" width="140" height="140"/></a>

Some button codes might have an additional thread of code just after the image type". The code looks like this:

alt="Blog Name"

If this is the case for you, insert the width="140" height="140" between alt="Blog  Name" and /></a> as in the following example.

<div align="center"><a href=""
title="The Sweet Life of Second Grade" target="_blank"><img
alt="The Sweet Life of Second Grade" width="140" height="140"/></a>

You can change the numbers for width and height if you like. I used 140. It's better to use the same number for both so that your buttons will be square.

Spacing Buttons Evenly

Again, you will go to your Layout page, access your Buttons Gadget, and locate the section of code for the button you want to work with. Then, you'll need to add

as the first line of code above the existing code for the button as in the example below:

href=""><img border="0"
LOGOBEST-1.gif" width="140" height="140"/></a>

Centering Buttons

Follow the same procedures (Layout and Buttons Gadget) as explained above to locate the existing code for the non-centered button you want to move. To center the button, insert the highlighted section of code shown below just before the existing code: href="".

<div align="center"><a href="" 
title="The Sweet Life of Second Grade" target="_blank"><img 
alt="The Sweet Life of Second Grade" width="140" height="140"/></a

Well...that's all folks. Hope this tutorial will be helpful to some of you. Please don't hesitate to comment if you have any questions or to let me know if it helped you.

*Thanks for dropping by!

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's a Partaaay!

The Ultimate Blog Party 2013...that is! This is another bloggy first for me, and it sounds like lots of fun! The party is hosted by Janice and Susan of 5 Minutes for Mom. Come on and just click the banner below to join the fun. 

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

For those of you who are here because you've already joined the party, here's a little intro to me and my blog:

Hi! My name is Wendy. First and foremost, I am mother to Skylar and Weston, ages 21 (this week) and 17 who I've raised on my own from the time they were 3 and 4 weeks. I feel that I have done an amazing job as they have both grown into grounded, genuine, witty, and respectful young men. 

I'm also a 14 year veteran teacher in a small town just north of Memphis, TN...with every last one of them in second grade and even the same classroom. How lucky am I! With all the materials and resources I've collected over the years, it would take more than a few rolling chairs and shopping carts to move me. I'd, at least, have to borrow a couple of golf carts.

My blog (not yet even 2 months old) and I (not yet even 50 years old) haven't really found our niche in the blogosphere quite yet. Initially, I intended to showcase teaching ideas, resources, and funny instances. However at the moment, it's more of a hodgepodge of social, personal, and professional experiences and think-alouds. I'd absolutely love for you to follow my journey on bloglovin' or GFC and share your impressions and suggestions.

*Thanks for dropping by!

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Something New - April Currently Linkup

My very first linkup...yay! I saw this monthly linky and liked the idea too much to pass it up. A new one comes out at the beginning of every month. It was started by a teacher called Farley...that's it, just Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade. 

So, here's my very first Currently.

Now it's your turn, and here's how:

I tried this with both a Mac and a PC and PowerPoint, and these directions worked like a charm.

For the ADVICE section this time... give advice for blogging, or selling, or creating, etc.

Farley asks that we remember The Rule of 3... comment on the 2 links in front of you and the one after's just nice. To do this, go to the large Currently button at the top of this post and click on Farley's link. Then, scroll down to see everyone else who has posted their April Currently.

Hope you enjoy.

*Thanks for dropping by!


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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

6 Ways to Have a Blast at the Zoo (Minus the 5 Stitches)

It was field trip time for the 2nd grade at MES yesterday. To be honest though, we teachers were not at all enthused over the pending forecast considering it included a cold, overcast day with the possibility of rain...and, our trip was to the zoo. However after all was said and done, I think this trip could possibly go down in the book of epic field trips.

First, let me not forget to mention that we had approximately 120 2nd graders with us. Honestly, is there any better way to explore the zoo than with a slew of curious and inquisitive children and some wonderful parents? 

It is springtime, although it's hard to tell, and love was definitely in the air - for the animals that is, especially the giraffes. There were several times we had to shoo the children away from the giraffes exhibit to keep from having an inopportune birds and bees discussion or, at least, coming up with some story as to why the giraffes were trying to "play leapfrog". Momma giraffe had plenty to say about that!

Another way to have an awesome time is to interact first-hand with the animals in some way such as taking a class or attending a show. We signed up for an animal classification class and were able to get up close and personal with some of the animals. Say hello to a sweet little Mexican Burrowing Python named Val.

We also got a lesson on how to convincingly strut our tail feathers from Clyde, an impressive Mexican Serama Rooster.

Coming nose to nose with a neurotic, bee-bopping polar bear is another amazing way to make your trip to the zoo a success. He had that head flip action going on and couldn't get enough of us. Of course the kids loved him too. The chilly overcast weather was right down his alley I'm sure.

The flamingos were a sight to see. I'm not sure where they were headed when I took this picture; but when I saw it, they reminded me of a group of women speed walkers, especially the three in the middle. They have such good form and leg extension.

Yep...this is us, Mutt and Jeff (my student teacher, Mallory, and me).

See the resemblance?

Now about the class arrived a little early for the sea lion show, and we were actually the only people in the little amphitheater (a definite benefit of going on a chilly, overcast day). So naturally, the kiddos were playing. One of my boys tripped and hit his right brow bone right on the edge of one of the wooden bleachers causing about an inch long gash. It looked like one of those cuts boxers get above their eye and bled like one too. Poor thing looked like he'd been in a brawl. All I had was a travel pack of tissues in my purse and a zip lock bag of ice in my lunch bag. Well, I placed a thick pad of tissues on the cut, wrapped the ice bag in a scarf, and put it on top of the tissue. I thought this would cut down on the swelling and possibly help stop the bleeding. Then, Beau and I had to make the trek from the back 40 to the only first aid station in the whole zoo which was all the way back at the front entrance. Beau was a trooper! They cleaned and bandaged him up, and he was good to go. I called his mother from the zoo and provided the details as well as suggested they meet us upon our return to the school cause I suspected he might need a few stitches. They did, and he did...5 to be exact. All's well that ends well. And now, Beau has his war story which all little boys need.

Have you had any exceptional experiences at the zoo or on a field trip? If so, I'd love for you to share them.

*Thanks for dropping by!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award Goes to...

Being the newbie blogger that I am, I don't exactly know if I'm following proper protocol with my next act. But I'm guessing with my rookie status, I can claim ignorance and fall back on the old "better to ask forgiveness than permission". A very dear and wonderful friend, who is a fairly new blogger herself, encouraged me to pursue this blogging adventure which I've enjoyed more than I would have ever guessed. In her short time blogging (about 3 months), she has already met and socialized with a large group of Memphis bloggers and done a guest post for one of them. She also suggested me to her new acquaintances as a possible participant in a big group giveaway they were all just about to kick-off. They included me in their giveaway which has resulted in a huge boost in my followers...especially considering my blog hasn't even been up a month yet. This fabulous friend of mine is Jaime at Mommy On A Mission. She is an absolute doll whose blog has such a positive, uplifting, yet feisty vibe, so be sure to click here and pay her a visit. Maybe even show a little love by leaving her a comment.

For these reasons, I'm presenting Jaime at Mommy On A Mission with the 
Sisterhood of the World 
Bloggers Award.

This award is passed from sister blogger to sister blogger. As in so many other things in life, there are a few conditions (4 simple ones) Jaime must follow in accepting the award. Sisterhood award recipients must: 

  • Post a thanks and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Provide 7 little known and/or interesting facts about yourself.
  • Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers of your choice who you feel promote the "sisterhood" of bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.
  • Include the award logo in your post or on your blog.

Thanks Jaime for introducing me to this fun world that is blogging and all the support you have given!

*Happy Easter Everyone!

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Pink Eyelet Dress, A Little Timberlake...and Five Guys!'s not at all what some of you were thinking. Hey...minds over here! I had a maaarvelous spring break day yesterday! Our weather here in Memphis finally turned around, and we had an absolutely gorgeous day. My good friend Ashley and I met up at Marshall's after she finished work and headed to Jerry's Sno Cones (not a typo - that's how good ol' Jerry decided to spell it). If you live in the Memphis area and have never been to Jerry's, it's a MUST go. They have absolutely epic snowcones and other frozen delights. Here's their strawberry cheesecake deluxe.

From there, we hit Target where I got the 20/20 Experience...Timberlake's new CD.

Then, Ashley and I scooted on over to Old Navy where I purchased a darlin' eyelet dress that will be so darn cute with either a denim shirt or jacket! I also picked up a great khaki cargo jacket that's gathered at the waist and a St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt.


Oh...that reminds me! Don't forget to enter the $200 Piperlime Giftcard Giveaway here.

The card can also be used at Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic.  Time for the giveaway is quickly winding down. So, go enter!!!

After we wrapped up our shopping, we hit Five Guys...the burger joint. Why do I always forget to order the "smallest" sized fries? I got the regular size which is enough to feed a family of four! I ate my burger and only the fries that fell into the bottom of the bag, and I was stuffed!

Only 3 more days left of spring break! Happy Good Friday and Easter to you all!

*Thanks for dropping by!

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

50 Followers...Woot Woot!

This morning, I officially reached 50 followers. I'm only 3 weeks in, so to me this is very significant and exciting! Mad props to all the wonderful ladies who allowed me to join their Piperlime Giveaway. I so truly appreciate the opportunity! I have really enjoyed reading all  your blogs. I must also thank everyone who entered the giveaway and followed me on bloglovin' and Pinterest. You all are very much appreciated as well! And speaking of the Giveaway, don't forget to enter in case you haven't already. You've got about 2 1/2 more days left to enter. Here's the Rafflecopter again.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Last night, I added several new tabs to my blog. I chose things I'm interested in and also thought all of you readers might enjoy. So, give 'em a whirl, and let me know what you think. Just remember they're new. There will be lots more goodies to come.

By the way, what's up with this whack weather???

I'm on Spring Break this week, and it's been so windy, cold, and rainy for the majority of it. Sounds like the next couple of days might actually be prettier though. Let's hope so.

*Thanks for dropping by!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Here!...My First Giveaway: $200 Piperlime Giftcard

I'm so excited to be joining a group of 13 other bloggers and fashionistas in my very first giveaway! The prize is a $200 Piperlime giftcard.

Misty @ Handbags & Handguns | Wendy @ The Sweet Life of Second Grade

Whether your style runs toward...


Jet-Set Bohemian,

Fun and Flirty,

Playful Prep,

Downtown Cool,

or just some Sweet Little Accessories...

this darlin' is for you!

What's even better is the card can be used in-store or online where there's always free shipping & returns. It can also be used at Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, and Athleta.

We are using Rafflecopter to help you enter the giveaway. You can get up to 84 entries in the drawing. To enter, just use the Rafflecopter tool below. Giveaway will run until 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, March 31, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be announced here and notified by email.

Good luck!!!

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