Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow Hours

When schools are cancelled or delayed due to snow, The Learning Bug will be open from 11am to 6pm. That gives me time to dig out the driveway and take my son to school, and lets me drive home before the roads completely turn into an ice-skating rink.

Friday, November 13, 2009


The PlasmaCar is a fun riding toy for kids and adults all the way up to 220 pounds. Come in and give it a test-drive today. I promise that once you get on, you won't want to get off.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Magformers are safe, fun, and easy to use. Your entire family will enjoy this unique 3-D magnetic building toy.

Available now!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mummy Candle Jar

This easy project is fun for all ages and makes a great party favor. All you need is masking tape, a permanent marker, and an old glass jar.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spooky Fun

This skeleton makes for a fun - and educational - Halloween activity.

Build a life-size skeleton, bone by bone!

  • Encourages kids to explore the human body by piecing together a life-size puzzle

  • Invites children to make comparisons to their own bodies as they lie on top of the completed puzzle

  • Features 15 illustrated pieces with both formal and common bone names printed on the reverse side

  • Provides a fun activity for spooky-themed parties

  • Soft foam puzzle measures 4'H when assembled

Friday, October 16, 2009

Raking up the Leaves

Mara Anderson, from Peace Lutheran, shared with me a great idea she's working on for a learning center in her preschool room. You'll need old gloves, a rake, artificial fall leaves, brown butcher paper, and fall borders or our fadeless fall leaves butcher paper.

Thanks for the tip, Mara!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Putumayo Kids: European Playground

Check out our newest Putumayo Kids CD: European Playground. I listened to it while I drove out to Tuba City this morning. Loved it! (But then of course I love everything from Putumayo).

Friday, October 2, 2009

October Coupon

For the entire month of October, when you buy any 2 literature units, you get 2 more FREE!

No limit! You must mention code BLOGLIT with your order.

Here's the fine print part:
No limit. Limited to stock on hand. No refunds (exchange for different literature units only), not valid for cash, and no, you can't just buy 2 at half-off. Valid online, in store, or by phone.

When you place your order online, you won't see the discount in the shopping cart. It will show up once we process your order. Just make sure you include the code BLOGLIT.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Syrup for Pumpkin Pancakes

I told you all I love pumpkin.

Here's a recipe I found on allrecipes.com that's delicious on the pumpkin pancakes:

3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a saucepan, combine the syrup ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Warning: Makes the house smell really good!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Holiday Countdown using borders

This week's video showcases a little tip: save money by using borders like mini cut-outs. They cost the same, but you only need two packs of borders instead of 10 packs of mini cut-outs.

Featured in this video:

poster board
library pockets
craft sticks
mini cut-outs - or - assorted mini cut-outs

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pumpkin recipes on 3x5 cards

Here's an easy way to get all 4 pumpkin recipes, and they're already in 3x5 inch format. Download the PDF file.

Pumpkin Cornbread

This is awesome with chilli or baked beans. Fall heaven.

1 egg
¾ cup milk
1/3 cup honey
2 T melted butter
½ cup pumpkin mash

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter an 8 inch square pan.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg, milk, and honey. Whisk in the melted butter and pumpkin mash.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

  4. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir just until combined.

  5. Pour the batter into the pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6 to 9 servings.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup pumpkin mash
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup melted butter
2 eggs
¾ cup milk

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend the pumpkin mash, brown sugar, butter, and eggs.

  3. Add the milk to the pumpkin mixture.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and stir just until combined.

  6. Spoon the batter into 10-12 muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 10-12 muffins.

Pumpkin Pancakes

The "secret" of this recipe is to withhold the egg whites. Beat them until stiff, and then fold them into the batter right before you cook the pancakes. With this trick, they'll turn out very fluffy and not heavy at all.

2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 eggs*
1¾ cups milk
3 T oil
½ cup pumpkin mash

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

  2. In a different bowl, whisk the eggs and milk.*

  3. Whisk in the oil and pumpkin mash.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix. Do not beat. It’s okay if the batter is lumpy.

  5. Cook about 1/4 cup of the batter in a skillet over medium heat until the pancake bubbles. Flip and cook the other side. Serve hot. Makes about 20.

* Extra fluffy pancakes: separate egg whites. Beat until stiff, then gently fold into the batter after step four.

Pumpkin & Cranberry Cookies

This is one of my favorite cookies. I love cranberries, I love pumpkin, and this is the perfect combination.

This recipe makes quite a few cookies, so even I have to find someone to share the yumminess.

2 eggs
1½ cup pumpkin mash
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 tsp lemon extract
1½ cup dried cranberries “crasins” (optional)

3½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the eggs, butter and sugars. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon extract.

  2. Add the dry ingredients, and stir until completely combined.

  3. Fold in the dried cranberries.

  4. Drop on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350° F.

Pumpkin Recipe Book

Create a pumpkin recipe book for each student in your class using a pumpkin accent, green ring-its, and library pockets.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The digital age

Effective last week, our birthday coupons ($5.00 off a $5.00 or more purchase) started going out by email.

Our September coupon (we're workin' on it) will be going out digitally as well via email.

What does this mean to you?

a) We're saving paper and the mailman's CO2 emissions!
b) You need to make sure our emails don't go into your "junk" box or you'll miss out.
c) If we don't have your email, you'll need to get it to us. You can do that on our sign up page.

d) moving forward, our electronic coupons will be more tailored to you.

We send emails about once a month, so it's not overwhelming and we don't sell, trade, or distribute any of your information to anyone for any reason.

And don't forget to bring in those Bingo cards - every dot on the card is worth 50¢ off a September purchase!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Report Analyzes the Consequences of Disappearing Playtime in Kindergarten

New research shows that many kindergartens spend two to three hours per day instructing and testing children in literacy and math—with only 30 minutes per day or less for play. In some kindergartens there is no playtime at all. These practices may produce higher scores in first and second grade, but according to a new report, “Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School, it is done at a cost.

Read the entire report.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Made in the USA

Did you know our paint is made in the USA?

Did you also know that our paint is the best washable paint on the market, and that it really is washable. If you've been disappointed with other so-called "washable" formulas, give our paint a try. It's been tested first-hand on our sofa, our carpet... anywhere our son's little painted hands can reach.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's in a Guarantee

So I placed an order with a company on the 31st of July. At the time, I spoke to them on the phone and they said it should ship in about 5 days. On the 10th I hadn't received it, so I called them. They told me at that point that they were 2 weeks out, but my order should ship "next week."

Feeling neither warm nor fuzzy, I called on the 18th just to make sure things were really on track. They told me it should ship on the 19th. On the 19th they called me at 5am and said it was shipping out on the 20th.

Today I didn't receive it, so I called again. It went out on the 24th.

Another company "guarantees" to ship within 48 hours, but this year they've been shipping in more like 72. They "guarantee" it, but if they don't meet it, there's no discount, credit, or apology. It just didn't happen.

So what's in a guarantee? Or whatever happened to a "gentleman's agreement"? If you've said you'll do something, do you do it? What do you do if you can't keep your word? Should you do anything? or do you just say "oh well"?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Way to go Killip

If you didn't catch it in the paper, there was a great article in the Arizona Daily Sun about Killip elementary school.

Read the whole article.

The article singles out Sheryl Wells. Who else do you know that is an excellent teacher? What practices do they use to make student learning a success?

The article also talks about having "no excuses." I think that's a great plan! They actually bought a copy of this poster for each classroom. I've always thought of it as something you'd say to a student when they forgot their homework or something, but I'm realizing it's a great plan for grown-ups too. What excuses will you be letting go of this year?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Take photos now!

Okay, so this has nothing to do with school or teaching. My grandpa just died (93!!) and at his funeral they had a slide show going of pictures with him. Oddly, most of the photos were of him with my family. The cousins are hard to "find." I think it's because my parents moved far away to another state, and my cousins all lived in the same town. It was "special" for us to see our grandparents, while my cousins saw them "all the time." You wouldn't think to take a picture of your work-place; it's not "special." Also we tended to do "exciting" things with them because it was vacation. Again, it was "special."

Michelle does a good job of reminding us to take pictures of our family (the three of us), and we have big group shots.

However, our family hasn't been on a "vacation" to my parents' and when they come the store is still open so it's not like we go camping in Sedona for a week. Plus, it's just my parents. Why would I need a picture of them? I know what they look like, and they're just here to visit. That's the problem! Ian will look at my photos with my parents 30 years from now and not really remember when or where that photo was taken (and think wow - I look young!) - especially if there is no photo.

So make me this promise: Next time your family comes to visit, take a picture.

And last but not least, A brief pause for Leo Despain -- 1916 - 2009. Hiker/Camper, husband, father, gardener, veteran, and my grandpa.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Welcome Poster

Get a free welcome poster with your $20.00 purchase. Valid only while supplies last! You must mention this blog post to take advantage of this awesome deal.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

iGami from Plasmart

So check out this new product we got in this year. It's called iGami and you build projects similar to regular origami, but the pieces are made of plastic instead of paper.

Come by the store to play with it yourself! This is from the same company as the Plasmacar, so you know it's gonna be fun!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back to School Hours

This started on Monday, but the 'technical difficulties' meant I couldn't post until today.

Every year we have Back-To-School Hours from 8am to 7pm, Monday - Saturday. That way you can come early, or late. Whatever works best for you.

PS, we're always open until 7pm - it's just the early part that's different for Back-To-School.

Computers -- gotta love 'em

So just when I had resolved to update the blog and facebook on a regular (more than once a quarter) basis, and just when I had a list of a dozen things to blog about (I always sit at the keyboard going 'uhhhhhh') My computer died. Well, the power light comes on but that's it.

After some diagnosing, it was determined that a new computer was in order. Maybe I'm just getting older, and don't like the idea of something 1/6 my age being called "too old", but is six years really that old? I guess so. So here I am finally back at a working computer. However, I've spent too long playing with bells and whistles and should really be going to bed. Our son thinks it's HIS computer.

Yeah... no.

Monday, June 29, 2009

4th of July Hours

We aren't closed for many holidays, but the Fourth of July is one of them. We'll be closed on Friday the 3rd and Saturday the 4th. You can still shop online at www.azlearningbug.com.

Enjoy your long weekend! (and please don't set the forest on fire.) See ya' at the parade.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New catalogs are on the way

I just got the fax we've all been waiting for (okay, maybe just I've been waiting for it).

Our catalogs shipped from the printer! That means they'll be here in just a few days. yeah!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stimulus Funding Update

So Arizona is in the news again. If you haven't been following the story, here's the 10 second version:

Part of President Obama's stimulus package is for funding education. The intention was to provide additional money for education. However, they forgot to use the word "additional" in the actual law, and so some states want to simply drop their budget for education and replace it with the stimulus money.

For example: Let's say that Arizona spends 10 million dollars on education. The idea was to give AZ 8 million more dollars to spend on education (for a total of 18 million), but the state wants to cut their 10 million obligation, and just use the 8 million.

National Education Secretary Arne Duncan is not happy about that, and he's since he controls the purse strings, he's not the man you want to make upset.

Now would be a perfect time to contact the Arizona Department of Education and the Governor's office and let them know how you feel.

Read the entire article from USA today.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back up and running.

I woke up this morning to discover our web site went down sometime overnight. Apparently some part of "automatic renewal" meant the money came out of the checking account, but the site didn't get renewed.

Everything is back up now, although it's conceivable that you might have trouble for 24 hours if your ISP isn't on the ball.

Sorry for the outage.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Follow The Learning Bug on Facebook

You can follow The Learning Bug on facebook too! Be a Fan, and you'll be the first to know what's going on. Like I just finished a post about the new spinners from Educational Insights. Want to see a photo? Hop on over to facebook!

The Learning Bug on Facebook

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stimulate Minds with Stimulus Funds

The Learning Bug is pleased to announce the launch of a new section of our web site designed specifically for educators planning their stimulus funds purchasing. Teachers and administrators can view over 1,000 hand-picked products eligible for stimulus funds purchasing, plus thousands more products that can be purchased with the stimulus money targeted for improving education in Arizona.

Visit www.azlearningbug.com/stimulus.

In addition to the website, educators are encouraged to contact The Learning Bug for a customized product listing based on their district's and school's individual goals and needs for the 2009-2010 school year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Than $681 Million in Recovery Funds Now Available for Arizona to Save Teaching Jobs and Drive Education Reform

Finally, some money for education. Let's hope the AZ and local governments stay true to the ideals of the stimulus package and get this money into the hands of teachers where it can do the most good.

This is from the US Department of Education press release earlier today:

U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that more than $681 million is now available for Arizona under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This funding will lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save hundreds of thousands of teaching jobs at risk of state and local budget cuts. Arizona will be eligible to apply for another $335.5 million this fall. Today's funding is being made available per Arizona's successful completion of Part 1 of the State Stabilization Application, which was made available on April 1st.

Read the entire press release.

Then check out the materials we've identified to correlate with the goals of the educational portion of the ARRA at azlearningbug.com/stimulus.

Monday, June 8, 2009

June Coupons

June is here, school is out, and it's time for summer savings.

$1.00 off any one Storage Box

Buy Any Three Webkinz for $18.00
Regular price: 12.95 each.

40 Sheet White Drawing Pads: ONLY 50¢ each!
while supplies last.

Make sure you sign up for our monthly e-newsletter! Also, be on the lookout for our world-famous Back-To-School Bingo™ and our Buy 2, get 1 free ARGUS poster sale. There are some really cool new ARGUS posters this year.

For all coupons: Limited to supply on hand. No cash value. Minimum purchase required. Limit one coupon per customer, per visit. May not be combined with any other discounts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It's he so cute?? He's new from Eureka. The new line is called "Alphabites" (as in 'take a bite') and they're just totally adorable. I saw them in Dallas and just had to bring him (and his 25 friends) in. He just arrived today.

They've got an alphabet line, awards, borders, and more. Come check him out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Coupons for March

If you've been to our store recently, you know that the coupon on your receipt sends you here to our blog. Thanks for checking it out!

Here are a couple of coupons you can use next time you're in the store.

No limit! Valid for any regular priced Webkinz animal or accessory.

Buy any book priced $4.99 or higher and get $1.00 off instantly.

50¢ OFF ANY NEW Pop-Its decorative
Coupon valid on your first two Pop-It's products.

For all coupons: Limited to supply on hand. No cash value. Minimum purchase required. Limit one coupon per customer, per visit. May not be combined with any other discounts.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back and Busy

Whew, I'm back from Dallas - which was GREAT!

Met some new friends, saw TONS of new products, placed orders for some really neat stuff, and enjoyed the 80° weather.

Now it's back to real life - and snow. Next week I'll be talking about the new products that I saw at the show. Some of them have already arrived and are here in the store now. One thing that's big this year is mini bulletin board sets. We just put up a whole display of the ones we have so far. They're great for all kinds of things besides putting up on the wall. Come check 'em out!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Off to Dallas!

Well, it's that time of year again!

I'm off to this years Ed-Expo. It's the HUGE show where we get to see everything that's new for the coming school year. We get to meet the vendors in person, and talk to the people who create the products. It's so awesome. Looking at a product in a catalog is nothing like talking to the person who made it. We learn sooo much more about how the products can help teachers solve real problems.

The other great thing about Ed-Expo is meeting with all the other teacher store owners across the country. It's rejuvenating to mingle with peers.

I'll be on the lookout for cool new stuff (some of which is already on the way or even at the store right now)!

Yee haw!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Week in review

So Clarkdale was a big hit. Everyone loved the Dr. Seuss project, and everyone wanted to buy my wife's collection of books! I had to tell um-teen people 'they're not for sale.' We've still got plenty of Dr. Seuss stuff, but it's going fast. We've been shipping it to Florida, Arkansas and all over the place. (Why can't anyone in Arizona find our web site as easily as people 2,000 miles away?)

I've spent the better part of the week entering descriptions of products into our web site. We're getting there!

The landlord has decided to replace the shingles across the front of our store. Yeah!! goodbye disintegrating orange ceramic tiles! It should look nice when it's all done, but they've been blocking off the entire parking lot to do it. I promise we ARE open!

Next week is the big annual trade show for the school supply industry, so I'm off to Dallas (yee haw!) I'll be checking out all the new products for this year and scoutin' deals for all our teachers. It's a real picker-upper to get away for a week and have a change of pace, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Our son discovered that the bulbs in our front yard are popping up! yippee!!!!! I really like spring - almost as much as summer. If the bulbs are coming up, that must mean it's time to get out the shorts!! Maybe I need to go bump the thermostat up a few degrees first.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Suess Art Project

Last night we created the sample of our Dr. Seuss art project that you create using the lesson plans I wrote up last week. I think it came out really well. Our son — who has very ticklish feet — was a good sport, and I'm amazed that we got such good foot prints with all the giggling going on.

The project might look complicated, but it's really not that bad since you only do a little piece each day over the course of two weeks. For example, one day you glue on a picture of somewhere fun (for Oh, The Places You'll Go). That's it!

If you haven't already, be sure you download our lesson plans and patterns for the entire unit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Boxes - again

This time it's 40 boxes full of paper. Construction paper, butcher paper, tissue paper, lined paper, sentence strips, tablets. If you've ever been to the grocery store late at night, you know goblin creatures crawl down from the ceiling and, with their beasts of burden, pile boxes in the aisles and restock the shelves. Okay, maybe they're people not goblins and maybe they're forklifts, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, that's what our store looks like right now. Chart tablets in the chart section waiting to go out. Tissue paper in the art department, butcher paper ready to go on the rack. All these boxes are scattered here and there. I guess I should get to it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dr. Seuss lesson plans

My son and I have been sharing a cold experience all week. We must have picked it up together some time. But in the midst of the sniffles and coughing, I've been able to put together lesson plans for two weeks worth of activities correlated to Dr. Seuss books.

I love Dr. Seuss's books!

One of the lessons requires the teacher to cut out little fish (One fish two fish, red fish blue fish). You can't just use Dr. Seuss's fish artwork because it's copyrighted. So I set out to draw a fish that looks like Dr. Seuss but isn't Dr. Seuss. I had a blast (even if it was not on the to-do list for the day). It's fun to be an artist every once in a while.

We've got copies of the entire lesson schedule at the store, and I'll be making samples of the projects this week (yeah! more art!) or you can download them from our web site at www.azlearningbug.com/seuss.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Code Breakers from Mindware

I realy like the products from Mindware. We just got a new order in today and one of the books is called Code Breakers. Looks like loads of fun (even though my dad will keel over dead at me calling anything remotely mathematical "fun").

Here's one of the puzzles. It's from the level A book, and it's number 25 out of 150, so it's a pretty easy one.

Click here for the solution and explanation (but promise me you tried it on your own first).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

State lawmakers coming to Flagstaff

The time is lousy - who isn't working at 10am?? But if you can go, we'd strongly encourage you to attend and support education.

If you go...

WHEN: Monday, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: High Country Conference Center (NAU north campus)

State Rep. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, and other members of the House Education Committee

WHAT: Education Committee informational hearing

Locals can speak with state lawmakers and hear from northern Arizona education leaders Monday when a special meeting of the state House Education Committee convenes in Flagstaff.

Flagstaff Unified School District Kevin Brown, Northern Arizona University President John Haeger, Coconino Community College President Leah Bornstein, Coconino County Superintendent Cecilia Owen, and others will speak at the informational session, which will take place at the High Country Conference Center. Citizens can also ask general questions about education in Arizona.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sing your way through math

Carol Kohne was in yesterday laminating some music staffs. I know she's not a music teacher, so I asked what the staffs were for. She shared with me a fun way for students to learn about fractions. I thought I'd pass it along.

First she has students design quilt squares using fractions. So some students might make a "whole" square with just one color. Some might make a "1/2" square with two colors, or 1/6 with six colors, and so on.

Once the squares are completed, they connect the quilt squares together into one big quilt.

Next comes the fun part. They sing the quilt. So they might sing

laaaaaa for a "whole" square,
la-la-la for a "thirds" square.

How fun is that!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Most excitedly pleasantly surprised

Sometimes as a retailer, ordering products is a bit of a gamble. We'll see something in a catalog and think "that looks cool" but then when it comes, it's not as cool as we thought it would be. These Dr. Seuss™ book erasers are way cooler than they looked in the catalog.

To bo honest, I wasn't sure what they were really. I didn't know that they come gift wrapped in the cutest little box, or that you get Four erasers for just one dollar. (I was expecting each eraser to cost a dollar.) And I wasn't even sure how big they were going to be.

So imagine how excited I was to open the box and find 4 erasers each 1½x1x¼ inches, for less than a buck. I was so excited that I had to take one home last night to show Michelle.

If I was teaching, I'd buy 6 or 7 packs of the erasers, open them up, and give each student one eraser. And I'd buy the pencils to match. But I'm not, so I'll have to settle for oogling over them while they sit on the counter here at the store.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Valentines Goodies

This morning I had a real power morning doing all my deliveries. I'm sure some of the people I saw wondered "what was that streak?" as I dashed madly through the school halls carrying giant boxes of cardboard.

Anyway, we have the front of our store back and you don't feel like you're walking into a warehouse anymore, so I was able to take a picture of the Valentine's Day display Michelle put together. She's collected some cute things for boys or girls, and for young or old kids. My favorite is the smart snacks from Learning Resources (on the top) and the pink wedgits.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cardboard Boxes filled with Cardboard

I was supposed to write a blog all about Michelle's lovely Valentines display, but I can't get a good picture of it. The front of our store is filled with boxes (28 of them) filled with hundreds upon hundreds of science fair project boards.

Every year about this time we order project boards for the local schools and also some to sell to customers. We give the schools a really good deal, and many of them sell the boards to the students as a fundraiser.

Now the trick is that I'm supposed to deliver them all tomorrow morning but the roads are a nightmare. I passed at least 20 accidents on the way home tonight and barely made it home myself. Hello? cinders anyone? I'm such a chicken snow-driver.

One crazy thing: I realized that two years ago before we expanded this would have filled the Spanish and science departments completely. I'm reminded once again how nice it is to have a bigger space.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Even though the borders came in yesterday, I wasn't able to finish the display until this afternoon. I've been paying taxes (trust me, POP-Its are way more fun). I'm really happy with how it turned out. The pictures don't really do the product justice, so you'll have to come in and check out these totally unique products.

When you do, be sure to ask for a sample of the border that you can take with you.

These decoratives are like nothing you've seen before. The borders are die-cut and scored so that you fold them such that they stick up above the surface by about ½ an inch. (see the close up picture below). The cut-outs have a a paper "fan" that opens up to a "ball". Super cute!

Here are some detail pictures of the borders and accents:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New things

Okay, so I know this is totally retailer-geeky, but we inherited a few display racks from About Memories and More when she moved to her new location. We finally had a chance to put one of them together, and it looks so great! I've wanted a shelving unit like this for a couple years, but they're ridiculously expensive. Kirsten gave us an awesome deal on it, and now I'm like a retailer in a display store!

See that Butterfly Bungalow on the second shelf? We have one set up at the store and kids LOVE it. We've seen play tents going for twice as much, and this one comes with 10 caterpillars/butterflies! What a deal.

Tomorrow I'll be putting the finishing touches on a new display with some really cool new products from Carson-Dellosa.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy 100th Day!

Most schools are celebrating their 100th day this week, so Happy 100th Day to all of you!

PS, the star is a new product from Creative Teaching Press.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Reading Flash Cards

If you haven't seen them already, you need to come in and check out this year's hottest item by far: reading flash cards from Edupress.

They just announced their new products for the 2009-2010 school year (woah - 2010!) and they've added two new subjects to the line:  Following Directions, and Reading Between the Lines.  They look awesome.  We hear from teacher after teacher how much they love the cards.  In fact we have a hard time keeping them in stock.  Every time we get an order in, they're sold out within a couple days.

I just filled all the subjects and all the grades, so we'll see how long this batch lasts.  PS, make sure you learn the "secret" for sorting the cards by subject and grade level.  Edupress really thought out these incredible cards.