More Life Updated + New Blog Design

In efforts to help Mr. UpCyclist feel better, I tried on this very fun(ny) bicycle dress.  Anthropologie didn't quite have my size, so I tucked this larger size under both armpits to hold it up for the photo.  You can see I was also trying on some yoga pants.  Lil O and Mr. U love to make fun of me as I wear my one pair of beloved Patagonia black yoga pants five days a week!  Yep, I am not even kidding.  The days I am not dawning them, I am teaching and thus, wearing my teaching clothes.

And yes, I do have two wardrobes - one for teaching and one for the rest of my life.  I can't seem to get the two sides of my style to align.

Mr. UpCyclist is feeling a ton better.  His facial gashes are healing up nicely; his stitches came out last week.  He still has soreness in many areas, but he is doing such a great job taking life slowly and icing his tricky spots.  Every once in a while, he gets a headache, so we are monitoring them.  He was in full training for a triathlon before he was hit by the car.  It looks like he will postpone doing a tri until the fall.  I am just glad he is healing and I cherish all the extra time with him at home.  Though he did return to work today.

I snuck out-of-town to attend a conference in Austin, TX over Memorial Weekend.  Don't worry, I made sure Mr. U was cared for.  I almost canceled going to the conference, but since I was presenting with two other women, I thought going would be prudent.   I am so glad I did.  The conference itself on teaching and learning (in higher education) was interesting and Austin?  Oh, my!  What a place.  I now understand why the city's motto is "Keep Austin Weird!"  I loved the crazy Austin vibe.

For my students, you know how much I love Whole Foods.  Austin is hometown to the corporation and this 80,000 square feet flagship store. I've been to most of the larger Whole Foods stores in the USA - Chicago has the second largest in case you were wondering.  But, this flagship store was the best!  The largest in the US and uber-impressive. My favorite parts included the bulk dog food and biscuit section, the sit-down seafood dining area, and their tremendous collection of interesting bulk sugars.  Apparently, London has the largest Whole Foods in the world.  Fieldtrip, anyone?

Mr. UpCyclist would have LOVED Austin.  It is super bike friendly with dedicated bike lanes everywhere.  To make him VERY happy, I visited Lance Armstrong's bike shop, Mellow Johnny's, and bought him a few souvenirs.  I haven't given him the presents yet, so I don't want to announce them online.  Let's just say he and Lance now have a bike item in common.

On the way back home, I got stuck at the Austin Airport for five extra hours!  Thus, what do you think of Upcycled Education's new blog design?  I'd love to hear your feedback.

My best and I hope you are well, amazing blog reader,


Life Updated + Break Time

As many of you Facebook fans know, Mr. UpCyclist is recuperating after being struck by a car while cycling.  Thankfully, he and his riding partner walked away without any huge internal complications.  Whew, I am so grateful. This could have been so. much. worse.  

As you can see from the photo above, Mr. U's front fork is completely severed.  The frame is also split in three other areas.  Mr. U specializes in composite materials (did I mention he's an engineer?)  He said it takes a tremendous amount of force to break, split and sever carbon fiber like that.  

Again, whew.

SOOOOO...with that prelude and my time helping him heal, I will be taking a short break from Upcycled Education.  For those of you longtime blog readers, you know I did this last May for a solid month.  Maybe that should be my new norm - take May into June off from blogging.  When I come back, I hope to unveil the new blog design, complete the Be Creative Series and gear up for a series related to school lunches (as I have a bag of tricks for packing them).

In the meantime, think healing thoughts for Mr. UpCyclist, my love.


PS - I do still plan to guest judge for Crafterhours Skirt Week competition.  I will be judging the A-line skirt category as that seems the most teachery.  Something about looking at pretty skirts online sounds soothing to me right now.

Theories on Thursday: Howard Gardner

Do I dare admit how long it's been since I wrote a "Theories on Thursday" post?  Probably not.

Today's post was inspired by a run I took on Harvard's campus recently.  I was in Cambridge, MA for an Open Textbook Summit and decided to see Harvard's campus via a run.  It was lovely - not the campus, but my run, that is.  The campus, itself, was kind of dreary as nothing was in bloom and it was pretty chilly when I dawned my new red, Brooks running shoes.  However, look where I found myself..... At Howard Gardner's office!  Neat, no?  All education majors know of Howard Gardner's work and I was feeling pretty geeked about being there in his corridor (as he was not in his office.  Rats).

Howard Gardner's office

Since everyone knows of Howard Gardner's work in the multiple intelligences, I will be quick.  If right now, you aren't part of that "everyone" crowd, don't worry.  I wasn't either 15 years ago.

Here's what Dr. Gardner says about our many intelligences:
  • We have just that - many intelligences.  He likes to use the phrase, "multiple intelligences."
  • Most schools tend to favor only "some" of the intelligences.  Such a shame....
  • The linguistic and mathematical-logical intelligences are the two most prized and favored intelligences in traditional public schools.  Think of the SAT and what two main areas it measures.
  • Other important intelligences include:  Musical, spatial, naturalist, existentialist, intrapersonal, interpersonal and bodily/kinesthetic
  • Many people get the "personal" intelligences confused.  Intrapersonal is the intelligence you possess when you are being reflective, keeping a diary or a journal, or sharing your feelings. Interpersonal is the intelligence you possess when you relate to and get along well with other people.  Teachers, by the way, should have high interpersonal intelligence.
  • Ironically, I met some of Dr. Gardner's graduate students at a conference years ago and they said even though his theory is so dynamic, he teaches in an old-school kind of way.  They said each class he taught, he would arrive right at the start of class, crack a can of coke, lecture and leave right away.  They said he made no attempt to include nor invigorate the nine intelligences.
Funny, no?

I guess I need to go to Harvard  and take a class with Dr. G to see for myself.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Care to join me?  We could do our Ph.D.s together.


Skirt Week - Yahoo!

Because a craftucator has to look stylish.....Check out Crafterhour's Skirt Week competition.

Not to give too much away, but guess who might be a guest judge?

Find out soon!  

In the meantime, get sewing and enter!


PS - Susan from Crafterhours helped me refashion one of Lil O's dresses into a skirt for me.  When I crack out my iron and dewrinkle the skirt, I will show you our finished {refashioned} project.

Puppy Jedi Recommends {and Giveaway}

Personalized dog treat

Puppy Jedi had a lovely surprise recently.  I ordered him a personalized dog treat from My Dog's Bakery.  Kris, the owner of My Dog's Bakery, was kind enough to send the treat since I had newly "liked" the bakery's Facebook page.  When I read the ingredients on the treat, I was in shock.  I am not kidding - I could have eaten the treat myself.  Everything was food-based and real.  No fillers, junk, or words I couldn't pronounce.

Want to order a {free} treat for your dog?  All you have to do is support a growing business, My Dogs Bakery by "liking" their Facebook page.  Then, email or message Kris to let her know the name of your furry friend.  The bakery sends out the treat lickety-split (pun intended :).  Kris gave me the thumbs up to share this awesome giveaway.  Of course, My Dog's Bakery is in Colorado - you knew that since they are so kind and generous.

Oh, and Puppy Jedi completely recommends their treats!

Now, you see it....(Jedi is practicing his "leave it" command. Look at his patience.)

Now, you don't.....

Thank you so much, Kris and My Dog's Bakery.  And thank you to Clipper's Canine Cafe for turning me onto to this bakery.

Bow wow,
Jen (and Jedi)

Pinterest in Education for Tech Tuesday

Do you have interest in Pinterest?   I sure do.  I love all my boards, which you can see here.  I love that Mr. UpCyclist finds great ideas on Pinterest, too.  And I love that educators can use Pinterest to engage students.  Unsure how?  See this superb infographic below to steer you in the right direction.

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest
From: Online Universities Blog

Brilliant use of pinning!


PS - Thank you, Linda, for sharing this infographic with me and the UE readers.

PSS - I heard Lil O mention Pinterest to a friend the other day.  Her friend had no idea what she was talking about.  Lil O looked stunned.

It's that time again....Scholastic Book Warehouse Sale!

Scholastic Book Warehouse Sale

It is that time of the year again when you can score soooo many inexpensive books at the Scholastic Book Warehouse Sale.  Yay!

If you have never been to their warehouse sale before, the warehouse is about the size of Costco and it is (uber) organized with new books by age range and genre.  There are also other items to buy like posters, knick-knacks, instructional toys, etc.  I think it is an educator's and parent's dream.  Lil O and I scored an armful of books for close to nothing.  

As a mom, it was one of those moments where I said, "Pick anything you want!"  "Now, choose another book!"  "How about another?"

Too fun and we both felt like reading rock stars.

Click on this link or the image above to find a warehouse near you.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN EDUCATOR TO ENJOY THE SALE.  Any person can attend.

Well worth it,


{Free} Sandwich Container for Kids!

Rudi's Bakery Sandwich Box Giveaway Image

I've been meaning to write a lunch series as our family packs 2-3 lunches a day and almost all of the contents are waste-free.  We use nifty containers and things to make packing lunches faux fun and doable.  In the meantime since I am bogged down with my college students' final exams, you'll have to find the nearest kid and ask them to draw some artwork for Rudi's Organic Bakery's free sandwich box giveaway.  Yep, all free.  Rudi's will even cover the expense to ship the lunch box container to you.  Kind, no?

See what you think here.   The only catch is you have to "like" Rudi's on Facebook, upload your image via their Facebook page and order by June 30th.  Lil O will be designing her artwork soon.  We She loves this kind of stuff.

Big ole' thanks to Rudi's,


PS - Figures Rudi's is a Colorado company.  You know how I adore Colorado and its awesome spirit.

Pretty and Inspiring

I found these super pretty note cards at Target the other day.  Here's the front of them.  I think they are pretty and inspiring.

The double-whammy.


PS - My mom and I each collect inspiring quotes.  I'm thinking about laying them out (like a faux graphic designer) and starting a quotable series that can easily be printed.  Do you have an inspiring quote you want to share below in the comments section?  Maybe I can use your favorite quotes in the series.

Diptic and Labelbox for Tech Tuesday

Let me start by saying, up to this point, I have NEVER paid for an iPhone app.  I only like the free ones.  But recently, I stumbled across a blog and a great post.  The blogger, Jenni of Roseland Family Blog, suggested two of her favorite iPhone apps to use with photos.  Since I love taking photos with my phone and was still grieving the loss of, I decided to give both apps a try.

I am hooked and oh, so happy.  And only out 99 cents.

I'll let Jenni - who is about as cute and cheerful seeming as they come - describe Diptic and Labelbox to you.  Click here for two life changing apps. 

Soooo happy,


PS - Thanks, Jenni, for giving me the thumbs up to share your post.