Love. This. Quote.

Seth Godin quote

It's all about perspective, my friends, and which perspective you choose.

Quote from Seth Godin's Linchpin,


My Favorite Fonts Round-Up

I am font addicted.  Are you?

Here are my current favorites....

DIN Condensed (I can't remember where this font is from...)
Coffee Break (from PicMonkey)

Do you have a current favorite font?  And as always, when you are at Dafont's website, do not click on the sexy font selection unless you are planning a risque event.  Oh my!  I lost a bit of my innocence by being curious.




Because life is too short for perfect, Jackie and I celebrate life's outtakes.

Have a great imperfect day, y'all!  If you need to have your own funeral for Perfect, go here to read about mine.



PS - On a side note, did you share our 100 ebook giveaway with your favorite teacher education graduate!?  If not, go check it out.

PicMonkey, Masking, Double Exposure, and Graduation - Boom!

PicMonkey Masking Graphic

I had so much fun making the text graphic above using PicMonkey's masking tutorial here to celebrate our 100 ebook giveaway.  Seriously, it couldn't be easier to make text more exciting using PicMonkey's ideas to mask - which, by the way, was a totally new skill for me!

Although, I am a HUGE fan of their cloning feature (remember when I cloned out the signs on the highway in Colorado here?  Or the time I cloned out Jedi's leash here when he was dressed up as Super Dog?), well, both of those were fun (and easy!) and so is masking.

Oh, and here's another new skill I learned from the PicMonkey blog, double exposure.  Don't you love the mountains double exposed on our Hello, Question Cards?

Or, Miss O's double exposed, mountain hair?  It's like a ombre of heavens, mountains, and greenery.

(Shhhhh....don't tell her I ombre-ed her hair with mountains.  You know those tweens.  They can be finicky about this kind of stuff.)  Am I right or am I right?

Go to PicMonkey to play around and use their blog to broaden your skills.

All the best, superstar blog reader,


PS - If you haven't shared our graduation ebook giveaway yet with your favorite graduate, go here for details!

Graduation Subway Art


I think we all know there is one traditional that lives strongly on Upcycled Education....

Graduation Subway Art 2016

Graduation Subway Art!

See the original post here to download the 2016 version.  Wouldn't this be fun framed, made into notecards, printed on tee shirts, or made into a backdrop for photos?  Oh, the possibilities!


And Graduates, I sure am proud of your accomplishments!


PS - Did you see the free book giveaway for graduates!?  Go to my post here for details.


Graduates, This is For You!

Dear Graduates -

Jackie and I feel the same way......

Jen Lara and Jackie Gambone
To celebrate all of the graduates in teacher education across the world, we are giving away 100 ebooks for free!  Yep.  You heard us correctly.  Giving em' away!

If you are a graduate in teacher education or you know a graduate who will be working with students (of any age - we don't age-discriminate here), go to and download your free Hello, Teaching Strategies ebook using the code: yourockgraduate2016.  Our ebook is full of 50+, ready-to-go teaching strategies ideal for grades K-16 students.  Half of the strategies are classics we've adapted; the other half are all new!

Directions how to enter code

To claim your ebook, very simply, add our ebook to your shopping cart and when it is time to check-out, type in the discount code:  yourockgraduate2016.  Your ebook will be totally free!  The code expires June 30th, 2016, so don't delay, ok? Plus, we are giving away just 100 copies, so go now, so you can claim yours and be part of the 100 ebook graduation giveaway celebration!

Once you claim your free ebook, you'll be prompted for your name and email address.  The ebook download is automatically sent to you via the email address you entered.

Graduates, we are so excited you are embarking on the next leg of your teaching journey.  We know you have so much promise and will have a fantastically positive impact on your future students.

We adore you,
Jen and Jackie

Love. This. Quote.

Alessia Cara quote, Know it all

Miss O and I are Alessia Cara fans.  We saw her perform at Jingle Ball in DC and we both appreciate her talent and natural, carefree beauty.

This line from Seventeen speaks to me.  I am such a know it all.  My problem is I just don't know enough


Oh, the power of yet.  Watch Carol Dweck's talk for more about the power of yet....

So powerful - this Alessia quote and yet.


When Your People Get You

Trailer birdhouseTrailer metal ornament
Trailer ornament

You can tell when your friends and family get you.  They foster your love of all things RV/trailer.  If you are new to Upcycled Education and my obsession with living on wheels refer back to this post or this one.

And, why not end on the most adorable note.....

How awesome is sweet B in this dentist office waiting room?!  Say what?  That is my kind of dentist! Thanks for sharing, Shelane!

Can't stop, won't stop dreaming, y'all....

Wheels for thrills - Happy weekend!


Big thank you to Jackie for the trailer birdhouse, Dana and family for the metal trailer ornament and my mom (I think) for the trailer ornament with the cute lil tree atop.

My favorite podcasts

Sometimes I pray for long drives or traffic.  Why?  Podcasts.  A modern invention worth celebrating.

Are you hooked on podcasts, too?

Jen's favorite podcasts

Today, I'm sharing my four favorite podcasts with you.  Ready?  

The Lively Show (with Jess Lively):  This podcast is published twice weekly with one main episode and one short in-between-isode.  If you are like me and like podcasts that are coachy, self-reflective and lean towards personal development, The Lively Show is for you.

Elise Gets Crafty (with Elise Cripe):  Elise brings a fresh take to entrepreneurial and small business topics.  I just bought her Get to Work Book (love that name, by the way) and I'm ready to crank on some upcoming projects with it by my side.

Start Up (with an array of hosts):  Again, more small business focused, which apparently resonants with my educator-soul.  I love hearing about how small businesses start, maintain, stay and/or die.  I'd start with season one if you are new to this podcast series.

The Tim Ferriss Show:  Tim does a super job deconstructing world class performers, as he likes to say in his podcast intro.  I wax and wane about listening to this podcast weekly only because each episode can be up to two hours long.  I prefer finishing a podcast on my 30 minute drive to work, so Tim's podcasts usually take four drives to complete and sometimes that bothers me (which is why I wax and wane with subscribing to them; I feel like I want to hear his podcasts in their entirety in one sitting).  My favorites from Tim recently include:  Joshua Skenes (a world class chef; trust me!), Seth Godin (marketing and business legend) and BJ Miller's interview (I now have a widened perspective on living and the often avoided conversation about end-of-life; I love this podcast with BJ).

What podcasts are you listening to?  Hit me up with an email or comment below.  


Colorful Abandon

There are certain people I admire.  Often, I'm pretty quiet about my admiration.  But, y'all starting a business, maintaining it, being a parent along side of it AND developing a new non-profit isn't easy work.

I am in awe of folks who do all of the aforementioned.  Heck, I'm in awe of people who do one or two of those activities listed.

Colorful Abandon on Jen

Today, I'd like to tip my hat to Erin from Roll Up n Dye - a (totally fun) tie dye studio in Ellicott City, MD.  Erin owns the studio and is a tie dye artist herself.  But, man, is she more!  She is a dreamer, doer, and collaborator like none I've seen before.  She wears her heart on her sleeve with so much passion.

Her new non-profit is called Colorful Abandon.  It will combine tie dye arts (plus, other arts) along side with expanding kids' and teens' mindset, perspectives, and compassion.  You can read an article about Colorful Abandon here.  Since Colorful Abandon is in the development stage, you can sign up for their newsletter and be notified when their workshop series goes live.

Erin, you amaze me.  You've said I inspire you, but really, it is the other way around.


PS - Look at the gorgeous tee I'm wearing above.  That's Erin's tie-dye work and that logo!?! Oh, I love it.  You can shop Erin's 5-star Etsy site here.  The heart boxers make me smile :)