Welcome Friends!  

Are you ready for the eight 
great days of my 

When I was a little girl, the July 4th holiday always meant piling in the car and heading to my father's rural hometown about 45 minutes south of our city to see relatives and enjoy a potluck of delicious picnic fixings.  Being of Italian heritage, my family had plenty of good cooks in our ranks, and the buffet table was full of delicious casseroles, breads, desserts, and salads.  The highlight of the day was when my Aunt Mabel brought out the frozen scoops of Dietsch's ice cream, direct from Findlay, Ohio, and we each got to pick our favorite to enjoy on a cake or waffle cone!  Sometimes we would even stay late to watch the fireworks burst over the farm fields and chase lightning bugs! 

These memories of good times, good food, and special family members served as my inspiration for this holiday weekend giveaway.  I hope you will celebrate my milestones with me, and know that they make my heart happy! My purpose in hosting this event is to "pay it forward" to all my fans and fellow bloggers by sharing a few of my favorite things with you!

Qualifying for a chance to win the featured prizes will be as simple as either liking and commenting on that day's Facebook page post OR commenting on my newest blog post!   Some of the prizes will be e-mailed, and some will have to be received through snail mail.  I feel blessed to have had many of my fellow bloggers and TpT sellers contribute to this celebration. Generosity is their middle name!  

Sarah from Educlips got this party started last week by donating a $20 gift certificate!  Be sure to check out the Friday Freebies she posts on her website every week, as well as the Membership Club she just started!

Today's prize, the first of the eight that I'm pulling out of my holiday picnic basket, is for the person out there who has always wanted to be a blogger!  Now is your chance to "take the plunge" like I did just seven months ago!  

Just tell me why you've always wanted to be a teacher-author and what you'd like to title your personal blog in the comment section below and include your e-mail address!  Amanda will then help me pick a winner to be announced tomorrow morning!  There are two dates you will be able to choose from!  If you pick the August 16th session, I will even be there to help you!  This prize package covers only the cost of your ticket to Blogger Boot Camp and lunch that day, not overnight accommodation or transportation needs.

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to come back tomorrow for a chance to win yet another one of my favorite things AND enjoy this....

 The anticipation and excitement abounds!

Until then, continue to read good books, teach your children well, share your story, and hold a song in your heart!


  1. What an exciting opportunity! I have been thinking about starting my own blog for about a year, but don't know where to begin. I want to be a teacher-author because following teachers blogs has inspired me to be a better teacher. The title of my blog would be Reading and Loving It because I am an elementary Reading specialist.


    1. Hi Jen! I didn't know where to begin way back in November either! I spent many sleepless nights reading through blogs and website tutorials! I finally got up the courage to e-mail some of my favorite teacher-authors with questions! Marcy from Saddle Up In 2nd Grade sort of "adopted" me, and has been my "go-to" gal for help and questions ever since! Make sure you look up Adventures in Literacy Land and Comprehension Connection if you are an elementary reading specialist! They are two favorites of mine, and offer great ideas and resources for all things literacy-related!
      Warm Regards,

    2. Cute! I just started a blog last week. I've always loved reading other teacher's blogs & learning new things from them. However, I also love to share my own ideas, but never want to appear pushy. By having a blog it gives me an outlet to share things with others and not worry if the information isn't wanted. I'm not good at the whole blog thing yet. I spent 3 hours yesterday trying to figure how to put a fan tab for freebies on my FB page....ummm it hasn't worked out so well. :)

    3. Hi Jennifer! Figuring out my FB page tabs was a nightmare at first. I found that using Shortstack instead of WooBox helped though! I also found YouTube tutorials just by doing a "search." Hang in there! I am not a very tech savvy person, and I had LOTS of frustration at the beginning of my journey! You can do it!