Reading Logs Kill Love for Reading

When I was a kid, my nose was always in a book. I lived for the Scholastic Book order thing, so I could order more and more and more! Plus the cute puppy poster that came when you ordered three books.

books with girl reading

I remember my parents and even my grandparents forcing me to put my book du jour down so I could be present with my family at dinner, or at vacation, or during family events.

“Look up,” my mom would say, when we were in the car because she was worried I would get car sick from looking down the whole time. I learned at an early age just the amount of the check looks at the horizon I needed to keep my head and tummy clear and my interest wrapped in the book.

My love for reading continued for the rest of my life. There’s never a time when I’m reading nothing. Nowadays it’s usually on my phone or ipad. But I love books.

When my oldest, Isa, was in elementary school, she hardly ever did that. Now that she’s in 7th grade, and no longer a slave to the prescribed mandatory reading logs, she reads on her own just because she enjoys it. Her favorite day was getting a new library card over the summer. She devoured books as fast as she could check them out.

Gabi is now in third grade. And she has reached the same stage as Isa did. Where reading is a form of torture. And recording the book title and page numbers she reads each night for 20 minutes. That’s it. No more than that. She can’t wait to get through it and be done.

I firmly believe that the reading logs are evil. Not only does her log need to be completed and turned in on Fridays, but I have to sign it!

Now, that’s just ridiculous. They have something called AR which I’m not even sure what it stands for, but when they complete books, the students take a comprehension test and get points for completing them. When I was a kid it was called SRA.

So, I ask you, if they have to read books to take the test, why do they also have to do a reading log and why do I have to sign it? If a student isn’t doing the reading, it would be evident in their AR tests. If they are doing it, it would also be shown by the test. And in Gabi’s case, I’d be willing to bet that she would do better on her AR if she was left to her own pace of reading and deciding how long to read each night.

I know I’m not alone here.

The worst part is, last week, we forgot about the log and she didn’t have me sign it. So, she got detention for not turning it in with my signature. And had to stay in at recess. Guess what she did during detention… READ! So, not only is she mandated to read each evening but reading is also part of the penalty for not having it done? Way to reinforce the negativity she associates with reading.

So then, she lies. We ask her, did you finish your homework? Yes. Did you read? Yes. What book did you read? Um. …

She just wants to get through her reading so she can do other things. She doesn’t care to read and will go to the trouble to avoid it. That makes me sad.

It’s just backward thinking. It’s time schools did away with the parent signed logs.

Just let the kids get excited about reading again.

I need to start reading to her again. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Harry Potter. Harriet the Spy.

We’ll get through it. Like we did with Isa. And probably will with the twins. But I’m intending to counteract the log with the love. Reading should be a joy.


Saving Money – Easy for you to say

If you’ve been around here  a long time, you will know that I’m not the best with the budgeting. But I really need to improve that more than ever.
Backstory: the ex and I agreed to child support back when we first drew up the papers. And he hasn’t kept up his end of the bargain. And lately, not even half of his end. It’s a long, stupid story, and probably won’t get better soon.
Saving Money

pennies at a time

We’d like to save up for some more important things than getting rid of all of our money every month. So, here are some things we are doing:
1. No more drive thru. Fast food is available aplenty around here. And it’s super easy to grab breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack etc. Not only is this an easy money grabber, it isn’t the healthiest.
2. Take my lunch to work. Like #1, I spend too much money by grabbing lunch every single day when if I just took the time and effort to throw leftovers in a container and a piece of fruit, not only would the money be saved but most likely calories.
3. If we spend money going out for food, it’s going to be worth it. For special occasion or at least for a place that has enjoyable and tasty food.
4. Make grocery lists. And eat before shopping. By doing this I am less likely to throw random items into the cart because either I’m hungry or I don’t know what we really need. Thanks to Emmie, I’m trying groceryIQ to help this along. Also, Fresh & Easy app because good prices, good food.
5. Make lists for Target too. Because when I go there for specific items, a $30 trip can easily turn into a $130 trip. Too easily.
6. Put $ in a saving account every paycheck. So that we can plan vacations and stuff like that. And if I get it done through payroll, I won’t miss it.
7. Only get cash from my bank atms. Because those fees add up.
8. Give myself a starbucks allowance. And not reload the card until the next month. Once I’m out, too bad Lex.
9. Cook extra on the weekends so leftovers last for a few lunches or maybe a dinner.
10. Apply for that promotion. Did that already, we’ll see what happens.
Hopefully, for the first time, we will have a cushion within a few months.
What about you? What are your saving tips?

photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via photopin cc

Disclaimer: Nothing to report. Links are here just for reference. This post brought to you by yours truly. 

Fresh and Easy for Breakfast on the Go #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post for Fresh & Easy.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You may remember that I was at Blogher this year with a partnership with Fresh & Easy. I gave out gift cards and told other bloggers all about my favorite things from the store. And I have cards left and I’m sharing them with you! But first, let me tell you how Fresh & Easy has just made my morning life easier.

Fresh to Go right in the store

This is right in the store, so you can run in, grab your favorite, heat it up and go!

Fresh & Easy continues its transformation into a breakfast destination with the launch of several new delicious, fresh products with a twist on traditional breakfast staples designed to make breakfast easy without compromising on taste for customers on the go. I’ve tried a few of them and they are not only easy but delicious too! “Gone are the days of diet-busting drive-thru breakfast, eating on the go with Fresh & Easy is just as fast and isn’t full of artificial nasties,” said Sharon Price, Fresh & Easy’s grab & go guru. “We set out to develop more breakfast options that are delicious but not overloaded with calories, perfect for the customer looking for healthier options on the go.” The new hand-held meals make fresh breakfast on the go convenient and satisfying and join a variety of innovative selections such as grab & go omelettinis, breakfast sandwiches and meal bowls. Fresh & Easy’s breakfast selections are priced affordably from $1.99 to $3.99 and like all of Fresh & Easy’s fresh products, they are made fresh and delivered every day. The new breakfast items include: • fresh&easy Breakfast Parfait Wrap – Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and granola rolled in a sweet cinnamon wrap…no spoons needed • fresh&easy Open-Faced Salmon Bagel – Super convenient sandwich topped with oakwood smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and dill


Breakfast wraps and sandwiches, ready to go!

• fresh&easy Protein Breakfast Sandwich – Sliced turkey, egg whites and fresh spinach on a whole-wheat bagel thin, an egg-celent source of protein with less than 200 calories • fresh&easy Vegetarian Soyrizo (Chorizo) & Egg Wrap – Scrambled eggs and veggie soyrizo in a whole-wheat wrap


Omelette and Scramble Bowls

• fresh&easy Apple Cinnamon and Almond & Fig Baked Oatmeals – Two varieities of tasty whole grain baked oatmeals with sweet and fresh fruit toppings Fresh & Easy has been making its name for itself with breakfast with more than just grab & go items, earlier this year the chain introduced first of its kind Wild Oats Marketplace™ cage free eggs delivered to stores within 72 hours of being laid – so fresh they even have a “laid on” date stamped right on the shell. The Wild Oats Large Cage Free Eggs sell for $3.99/dozen.


Wild Oats yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit!

Since transferring to new ownership in November, Fresh & Easy has reinvigorated the brand and its stores with the aim of being the anytime, anyway, anywhere solution for getting healthy, convenient and affordable food including extended hours of operation – making many stores open 24 hours – bringing convenience and value to more and more shoppers.

About Fresh & Easy Fresh & Easy operates 167 stores in Arizona, California and Nevada. All of Fresh & Easy’s products, including the freshly prepared meals, are made with the highest quality ingredients and contain no artificial colors, flavors, high-fructose corn syrup or added trans fats. For more information about Fresh & Easy, visit and follow the company on its journey on Twitter and Facebook     “This giveaway promotion is solely sponsored by La Primera Blog and has not been sponsored, endorsed or approved by Fresh & Easy.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday Fragments – 8.29.14


Half-Past Kissin' Time

After talking to some awesome friends, I did a little reading and think I need to give probiotics a try for both me and Isa. We both have allergy issues and digestive issues and I hear this could help a lot. I’ll report back. If you’ve had experience with these, please, share your thoughts.


School started this week for Gabi. She’s been so worried about 3rd grade. But she got a really good teacher, so I’m hopeful. I’ll have to spend more time this year helping her with her homework. And God help us with this common core crap. Hoping another year of speech therapy will finally get the R’s right for her.


Isa starts at a new middle school next week. Sixth grade was really hard for her. But we’ve spent a lot of time working with her doctors to get a hold of her anxiety, eczema, and allergies. Not missing as much school will be key. Plus getting an IEP or 504 plan is in the works. A smaller school with less students and hopefully less social distraction. She says she’s going to be Spencer (We binge watched Pretty Little Liars recently) this year, and hit the books hard!


Speaking of binge watching, it’s been a summer of shows around here. House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, Lost Girl and I can’t recall what else. I love a good story and binge watching is the best because no waiting for the next episode! well, until you reach the end of the ones they’ve aired anyway. Any other favorites I should know about?


Today I had lunch with my sister and her man. He has a brand new smartphone but hasn’t downloaded apps because he doesn’t want it cluttered? WHAT? who does that? I don’t get him. Apps are my crack man.


I’ve also done a lot of reading. Fault in Our Stars, This is Where I Leave You, something, and um… the Flowers In the Attic series. I read them all in the 8th grade. For a while VC Andrews was my favorite! Now, I think that is really twisted. wow.