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It's Spooky Season!


I know it might be premature, but I have already gotten out my Halloween and fall decor and I am beyond excited to get decorating!   One of my favorite pieces of decor is a Haunted Mansion desk nameplate from my sister who works at Dinsey!  

The haunted mansion is one of our favorite quick and easy Disney rides, and the most recent time I was able to ride it was a week ago at Disney's after-hours Boo Bash!  We started our night with it and ended our might with it!  

Getting my spooky decor out made me reminisce about my most recent Disney trip and start planning for my next one :) 

I have my eye on some items to help create the perfect spooky season Disney outfit, or an outfit for anyone who loves the Haunted Mansion as much as me! 

Ears, ears, ears!   I literally always want a new pair of ears when I am at the parks!  These ears would double as an easy Halloween costume  AND are wearable year-round at Disney! 

For those of you who are not a fan of the Mickey ears ( or like me, need a break sometimes to avoid a headache!)  this hat will help keep you covered from the Florida sun, while still being in the Halloween mood! 

 I love a good crossbody bag for the parks.  Makes it easy to wear and remove for rides, is secure, and can normally fit a lot!  This one is an adorable doom-buggy-inspired one! 

Do you have any favorite ride-inspired outfits??? Share in the comments! 

Make Vocab Fun with Monster Flashcards!

If you are like me, you are always trying to get students to create deeper meaning with vocabulary terms other than just memorizing the dictionary definition.  I want my students to be moving up Bloom's pyramid and making deeper meanings and connections with words and terms.   One way I have found to aid in the deeper acquisition of vocabulary knowledge is in using Monster Flashcards. Super cheesy... But it sticks!   Below are the intro slides I use to show students the information to include on their flashcards that goes beyond a simple definition.  I also encourage them to add colors or drawings that connect to the meaning of the term to aid in retention.  Let me know if this resource is helpful for you and your students! 

You can download this product here

Or use the images below! 

Test Taking Tips for High School and College Learners!

Last month I was asked to make some graphics to feature each week for my college students to help with preparing for big exams.  I researched best practices and was able to break down a few tips to highlight for test-takers.   I used Canva ( amazing!)  to create these.  Enjoy them below! 

Easy Money Makers! (Make Money Every Day with Passive Income!)


If you are like me, you are always looking for some extra spending cash for your daily coffee fix :) 
Now, working from home, I have some time on my hands between meetings to play around on my personal computer.  With this time I decided to do some research on easy ways to make some extra cash that take little to no effort! Below are my finds!   Some of these include my personal referral link, so I will receive some benefit, but I will not be offended if you just google the website yourself and skip my link! :) 

Swagbucks is a super-easy way to make cash EVERY DAY!  At the very least, you can answer the daily poll question on the website or app and earn 1 cent.  That is an extra $3.65 a year! At least one free coffee from dunks or Starbucks!   If you want to spend more time on this to make more cash, I highly recommend letting the "watch" feature play in the background while you are working on your computer. There are also some super easy signups under discover that you can do each day to earn a few cents.  I earn about $5-$10 a month without really trying.  If I put more time into it I can earn $5 in a day! 

I ADORE ThredUp!   I have made over $800 by simply selling clothes that I no longer wore anyways.   It is so easy to use.  You order a clean-out bag,  OR print off a free shipping label and send off your own box.  They process your box, set starting prices, and then you can go in and change/set your own prices if you want to charge more or less.  I am posting my stats below, but I average about $35-$50 a bag depending on what items I send in.   ALSO, you earn rewards on the site for coupons and free shipping just by logging into your account each day.   A GREAT and simple way to make money while doing nothing! 

Earn money for workouts that you already do!  This app has been amazing!  Your goal is to get to 150 active minutes each week, and you earn $1.  This is an extra $52 a year!  All for an activity you might already do.  First, this is a great motivator to move a little more if you don't normally hit 150 active minutes a week ( I might be guilty of this some weeks...) but more importantly, you are literally making money for something you already do!  Below are my link and my referral code! If you use my code you earn $5 automatically!  Easy peasy! 

Use my referral code to join: JJCG85

Another App that simply runs in the background of your phone and earns you money is Achievement.   This app works the same as paceline.  It runs in the background and synchs with a Fitbit, apple watch, or other devices that count steps.  This is how you earn points each day.  Once you reach 10,000 points you can redeem it for $10 in rewards.  I send this money right to my Paypal account!   I will say, this one pays out at a VERY slow rate, but it's always a nice surprise every couple of months to get my $10.  My signup link is below! 

                            Use this link and sign up today

This app is amazing.  You just open it up in a specific store when you are shopping and get the points right away!  You can also earn points for scanning items, but if you don't want to put that effort in you don't need to!   This one has gotten me about $65 in PayPal money over the last few years.  I am also over halfway to another $10 soon! 

                                        Use code SHOP299606 or download

6. Fetch 

This is another easy app to use!  All you have to do is take photos of receipts from your purchases and you earn points!   It's a minimum of 1 cent per receipt,  and some grocery receipts can earn you more based on what you bought!  You get a nice sign-up bonus of about $5 but I will say after that it can be slower to accrue points.  My philosophy is that I am buying groceries anyway so why not get some extra cash from them?    I have had this for about 3 months and have earned $9 of Dunkin gift cards!   My sign-up link is below! 

Be sure to use my referral code, FE15A, during signup and you'll get 2,000 Fetch Points. Download Fetch Rewards for free here:

Let me know in the comments which of these you try and which you might already use!  Happy earning! 

Fall Favorites!

Was my house decorated for fall by the end of the day September 1st? Yes.  Do I care about being judged? Um, no!  I'm too busy being surrounded by cute pumpkins to care!  :) 

Here are some of my favorite fall pieces for this season!  I limit myself to just a few purchases each year because otherwise, I would buy out all of Target and Hobby Lobby... 

These velvet pumpkins are from one of my favorite home decor stores, Kirklands!  I love that there is always a coupon to use, and there is always a same going on!  These were half off IN SEASON last year and are available again this year!  Click here to buy! 

These burlap pumpkins are from THE DOLLAR STORE! I saw them and had to scoop them up.  In fact, most of my decor was from the dollar store this year.  I was so pleasantly surprised to find some very trendy and good quality things to decorate will this fall season! 

My glitter pumpkins are another dollar store find :) 

This candycorn hat was a gift from my friend who corchets amazing things!  I sent her a picture I found on pinterst, and this beauty arrived at my doorstep a few days later!  Check out her work on her Instagram at:


I was at Target looking for a new dress for a first date  ( wish me luck!) and saw this bandana in the dollar section that I needed for my pup!  He is all ready for Halloween!  He has this to wear AND an amazing Haunted Mansion themed collar from shop disney that can be found here.

Finally, this was my big splurge for the season, and it wasn't even that much... I try to always buy decor that would work for both Halloween and Thanksgiving so that I can keep it up for longer, and can save some cash when decorating.  However, this Halloween decor was too amazing to pass up!  If you are dinsey fan, you totally get why I NEEDED it!  Plus, when I can finally go back to working with my students in person, this desk plaque will be a permanent resident on my desk and will let my kiddos know who they are dealing with! ;)    I ADORE my Foolish Morals Desk Nameplate

What are some of your favorite places to shop for fall finds?  Share your ideas with me in the comments below! 

P.S some of these links are affilite links and I may earn from your clicks! 💕

I Tried The 5 Day ProLonFMD Fast And Here Is How It Really Went

I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and elevated A1C as well as elevated Glucose levels. This was something that I desperately wanted to change (as well as lose weight, duh!). 

Overall, for me, it’s really about getting away from the precipice of diabetes that motivates me to try prolonfmd. This isn’t a sponsored post, and I did NOT get it for free. I paid the whopping $225 for 5 days of food that fits in 5 teeny tiny boxes.  I was inspired to write this because of course, I looked for blog posts on how other people handled this crazy fast! And you know what? Those posts were annoyingly positive and pretty much all rainbows and butterflies. But that’s not how I felt all the time on this fast! 

The supposed benefits of Prolon are:

- reduction in visceral fat (fat surrounding your internal organs, super bad for you)
- resetting of blood sugar and lowering of cholesterol
- feeling energized
- autophagy   ( your good cells start to eat up all the dead and bad ones in you!) 

Now, I had already made some significant changes to my diet in the two months before I did my fast.    I cut out gluten and dairy (good bye pizza 😭) and I really lowered my sugar intake.  I pretty much only had dark chocolate as my dessert for two months. However, I will admit to getting ice cream with all the fixings the day before the fast.  A girl has got to live!
What I’m saying, is that I had already done some of the mental work of dealing with cravings before I went into this 5 day experience. I also think that 5 days is a pretty reasonable amount of time to give up foods you like and be able to wrap your brain around it!  That is what I decided to try this program over other programs to work on fixing my blood sugar issues.  

So, what did I experience on the fast??? I’m going to try to break it down day by day.

The free book included in your order about the science behind this, and how to make this a way of life

Day 1

No weight loss- It was the first day. 
What is there to eat? 
- 5 kale crackers 
-Tomato soup
-minestrone  soup
- two nut-based L-bars
-1 coco crispy snack 
- LOTS of tea! 
- some supplement pills 

Day one was hard.  All I could think about was that this was not a lot of food, and also all I wanted to eat was anything that wasn't in the day one box.   However, looking back and typing out all of what I ate day one, I am currently thinking, " wow that was a lot of food!"   One major change I have experienced on this fast is that my relationship with food changed, and I need a lot less to feel full.  Mental hunger vs. physical hunger. 

Another big piece of this fast is that you can drink as much herbal tea and water as you want. So I was basically running to the restroom every half hour.  This was do-able for me since I have been working from home, and I had a pretty flexible work schedule.  If I was doing this fast as a full-time teacher in a classroom, there is NO WAY I could have handled not getting a potty break! 

At the end of the day on day one, I was exhausted and had a huge caffeine headache.  That is another thing to consider, no caffeine on this fast! I literally fell sound asleep at 7pm at night and woke up the next morning at  8:30 am.  I felt well-rested and not hungry in the morning. I was expecting ravishing hunger to overtake me, but that was not the case! 

The minestrone soup

Day 2 
Weight Loss: Two pounds! 
What is there to eat? 
- 1 L-bar
-mushroom soup 
- olives 
-minestrone and quinoa soup
-L-bar choco crisp

This day was also hard for me.  I HATED the olives, so I did not eat them.  In fact, I tried one and spit it right out.  I was not desperate enough to eat the package of olives, but I was missing being able to eat more food. 

The mushroom soup was good but not as good as the tomato soup.  The quinoa soup was horrible! I did not like it.  But my mom, who did this with me, liked it! So I guess it's really about personal taste.  (She also liked the olives so the elevation of her palate is debatable... :) ).  

I was annoyed and angry on day two.  This stems from my own issues with food and restrictions, but I was not a happy camper.  I took a nap mid-day to stop myself from obsessing about eating.   My mom and I also had cleaned out our fridge and pantry before this fast so that we would not be tempted to cheat.  I highly suggest doing this with someone who will hold you accountable. 

Now, I might have been extra hungry because I did not eat the olives, but I wasn't so hungry that I broke the fast.  This day was all about mind over matter.  This is a very real thing, dealing with head hunger versus tummy hunger, and I struggled today.  I also had a very bad headache.  I think this was more caffeine withdrawal.  It also could have been the start of the "keto flu" as the goals of day 2 and 3 of this fast is to get your body into ketosis. 

Again, I went to sleep a little earlier than normal, but not as early as day 1!  I slept soundly, minus the constant pee breaks due to chugging the L-drink all day long! 

Some of the amazing teas included! 

Day 3
Weight lost- 2 pounds for a total of 4  ( this was over TWO days!)
What is there to eat? 
-tomato soup
-kale crackers ( I  MISSED these guys on day two!)
-Minestrone soup
-L drink 

Today was not as hard of a day as days 1 and 2.  However, it is the day with the least amount of calories.  This didn't seem to bother me, and this might have been because I was dealing with my hang-ups on food restrictions, and it also might have been because I no longer had a  constant headache on top of my hunger. 

The ProlonFMD literature says that your appetite should be changing, and as your body is entering a fasting state, you don't feel as hungry as often.  I think this was true.  I have intermittent fasted before and had had this same phenomenon happen and I am here for it!   It felt great to sleep well and to wake up not immediately hungry. 

The key to this day was planning out when I was going to eat each food, and how much I would eat.  I missed those kale crackers on day two!  That is a phrase I never thought I would say!  I split them between each of the soups for lunch and dinner.  I also made sure to save most of my nut bar for a sweet treat at the end of the day, since there was no choco crispy today. ( super sad!) 

The tomato soup tasted divine today! I think this was because I hated the quinoa soup so much.  I had liked the tomato soup day one, but I loved it today!  I was bummed that  I would not be getting it on day 4.  

Today was also an east hunger day.  I think this was partly because I was used to the food and had set up a routine, and also because I knew I had only two days left after it. 

This night I did NOT sleep well. I woke up from 4-6 am and was unable to get to sleep.  And I did not fall asleep until midnight before that.  I did take a nap in the afternoon, which could be a contributing factor to my interrupted sleep.  However,  I would call myself a professional napper, and I do not normally have an issue sleeping despite taking a nap. 

Day 4 

Weight lost- 1.5 pounds for a total of 5.5 pounds in 3 days
What is there to eat? 
- L-bar
-Veggiessoup (new flavor! Did not like, but better than quinoa!) 
-Olives- TWO PACKS! (still hate these, but I got hungry so I ate two...) 
-Minestrone and Quinoa soup ( I was v. upset about this!)

Day four was pretty easy, but I waited to long to eat and that set me off.  I was out and about with my mom and  I got shakey and agitated.  We had to go home between errands so we could eat. Oops! 

This day was good mentally because I knew that there was only one day left, but there was still one day left! I just wanted to be done! My mom also agreed, she kept saying "I feel like this should be day 5!" 

I was headache free, slept well, and besides the one close meltdown, I was pretty sound mentally! 

I did not take a nap, I ran around with my dog and I sat in the sun on my porch for a while. 

Day 4 was good. 

Day 5- LAST DAY! 
What did I lose- Sadly, no change, but this is considered normal- many people lose weight after the fast on days 6 and 7! 
What is there to eat? 
- L bar
-Tomato soup ( I was very excited for this!)
-kale crackers (YES!)
-minestrone soup ( eh...)
- L- drink 

No choco crisp bar :( 

Day 5 was a mental game again.  I was not super hungry, but I needed to keep my mind from thinking about the fact that I could eat regular food again in just one day.  The more I thought about food, the more I wanted it.  So my mom and I discussed food for day 6 for 10 minutes and then agreed not to speak of it again.  We even made sure we were going to eat things we already had in the house so that we did not have to go to the store to stock up for day 6 on day 5.  That would have been our breaking point! 

I was a little fatigued today, but I think that was more from walking around in the 90-degree heat for a few hours.  My mom and I visited an outdoor art show, and that took a toll.  I drank so much water and paced myself with eating!  Those kale crackers needed to be saved for dinner so that I could end the day feeling satiated.  

I was able to end the day well, and with a great mood! Mostly looking forward to eating non-plan foods the next day! 

Day 6 

I know, this is supposed to be a 5 day fast! And it is! But day 6 still has some restrictions so that you don't upset your tummy by eating junk in bulk right off your fast.  You are encouraged to eat low glycemic fruits and grilled veggies on day 6.  You also should consider non-meat soups and no overly processed foods.  I went with a prolon brand l-bar nut bar, some tomato soup from a can, and avocado toast on gluten-free bread.  My tummy was just fine! 

Overall Results: 

5.5 pounds lost
Less puffy in face and under eyes, slimmer looking face 
Tummy bloat GONE and tummy pouch noticeably smaller
Great mood and good sleep 
Fewer cravings 
Lowered appetite 

This is something that I would do again! But not any time soon...  I think it's a great way to reset your gut and health, and it's such an easy program to follow!  It is all done for you, you basically just need to open packets and heat up water! 

Have you tried something like prolon?   Let me know in the comments your experience and what other tips you might have for Prolon Newbies! 

Say Hello to Our New Contributor!

Hello everyone! My name is Taylor and I'm super excited to be joining Math & Metaphors as a contributor. Just to give y'all a little background on me:

I'm originally from Maryland, but lived in Cincinnati for about 5 years after graduating from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) in 2012. I'm a former 3rd-grade teacher and substitute teacher. I started my education career working in 3rd grade and decided to expand my horizons by working as a substitute teacher for several years. Subbing was quite an experience with several challenges, but it's one I wouldn't change!

About 2 years into subbing, I realized I was feeling a change in career, so I got my Master's degree specializing in Sport Administration from the University of Cincinnati (Go Bearcats!).  The summer after graduating, I had the most amazing internship: working for the promotions team with the Cincinnati Reds! This was probably one of my favorite jobs of all time; such an amazing experience! From there, I got my first job working with student-athletes and realized this was exactly the direction I wanted to go.

I realized I had to get more experience working with student-athletes, so I took an internship back at my alma mater, UMD. This was such a rewarding yet difficult experience for me. Working with football student-athletes, I felt the most self-fulfillment I had ever experienced. However, I had to spend the entire year without my husband by my side since he had a full-time job in Cincinnati. Being states away from him was nothing new (we did long-distance at the beginning of our relationship), but having experienced it once doesn't make it any easier the second time around! Needless to say, that year was full of mixed emotions.

And then that brings me to where I am now! I started working as a Learning Specialist with Molly at Notre Dame (Go Irish!) in July 2019. So many things fell into place for my husband and me this past school year and I honestly couldn't be happier. I am an educator at heart, so I'm excited to be sharing some helpful information with all of you Math & Metaphors followers! I'm excited to be starting this journey and hope you are, too!


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