Ramona Recommends Travels to VEGAS!

Hi Friends! It is Tuesday for Traveling with Ramona Recommends. Share a picture book you purchased along your travels or a book about your town or state! :)

Also! I am linking up with A Burst of First to share my VEGAS adventure!

Have I got the post for you today! I've had many great experiences in my lifetime. This past weekend has been put into my top five. Think of how you feel about a new Ticonderoga pencil or a brand new post-it note pack. The feelings of excitement traveled all over my face this weekend. I traveled to Vegas for the TpT Conference. Well, kinda! Long story short- I am teaching summer school and could not take Friday off for the conference. BUT! I realllllllly wanted to go so I decided to go Friday afternoon through Sunday to still meet up with teachers from ALL over the world. I can't stop smiling because I have made so new wonderful friends through this experience! Let me tell YOU all about my experience which even involves a new book!

Ramona Recommends Itinerary
For the most MAGICAL weekend! 

11:30am Summer School Finished 
12:00pm The most beautiful treats arrived at my school for our Ramona Recommends and Easy Teaching Tools Meetup Friday night. My friend Megan from Bettie's Bake Shop in Orange County, California made the AMAZING cookies for the event.
 2:30 Flight to LAS VEGAS!!! Oh my gosh! Can I tell you something? Traveling with a suitcase packed for 10 people (It was just me), 100 cookies, and a purse is QUITE the experience. Really it was just the cookies that about gave me a heart attack. I wish I got a picture, but I was a momma bear with my box of cookies. Next time, Megan can you move to Las Vegas for the weekend to bake? :) 

4:00 Cab drive to the Venetian. The cab driver proceeds to tell me, "Nothing is going on this weekend." UM hello!!! There is the MOST amazing event happening, sir! Arrived at the Venetian! 

4:30 I meet up with my roomies!!! Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools, Beth from A Kindergarten Life for Me and Brittany from BrittanyLynchTpT. Thanks to Brittany and Beth we assembled cookies with business cards, created cookie tins for meet-up!

6:00pm Dinner! The fun BEGAN! I met up with some wonderful bloggers. I love how I have made so many friends from the blogging community! Everyone I met this weekend was just as cheerful as "online". 
 Ya'll! Jessica from Ideas with Jivey is just the SWEETEST gal ever! Oh my word! It was such a pleasure to meet her in real life. Thanks for coming to dinner!
 We ate dinner at Canonita for dinner with these amazing ladies! I loved meeting and having dinner with Jessica from Ideas with Jivey, Amanda from Collaboration Cuties, from Erika Reyes' Remarkable Rants, Casey from Miss Case's Classroom and of course my roomies! 
 Do you know Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd? She is one of the sweetest girls ever! We have been chatting through blogging and instagram and we knew we had to meet. She will be a lifelong friend. We both love "ya,no?", diet coke, organization, early mornings (well not 5am, but close), working out, and being happy!

8:00pm The Bourbon Room Teacher Meet up! 
Kristen and I decided in Juneish that we wanted to do a teacher meet up in Vegas. We both love to plan parties and talk. So! Posters, Invites, Google Docs, Emails, Cookies, NameTags, meetings, Erin Condren, Amazing Donations later.... we created the Ramona Recommends and Easy Teaching Tools Meet Up! We were both excited and nervous!
Picture this 70+ teachers in a room. Did you visualize NON stop talking, laughing, sharing, and more laughing? Let me share with you the highlights! Thank you Kristen for my button, I heart it! I created the name tags for the meet up. It was my first editable document, I am very proud of it! :)

If you are ever having a bad day, just email Katie from Teacher to the Core or Lisa from Growing Firsties. Oh my word. Both of these ladies are super sweet and made my day for coming. Thank you! 

Catherine from The Brown Bag Teacher!!!! I hope to be as amazing as her one day. Her reading classroom is a dream. You must go visit. Catherine was the recipient of my Ramona Recommends Gives A Book July Edition. Good luck at your new school!

I heart this picture. Molly from Lessons with Laughter, Catherine, and I LOVE children's literature. We are legit obsessed. I love it! Whenever I get new books they are both in my corner. Fun Fact- When I first started blogging, Molly was the first person to comment on my blog. I had been reading her blog for years so I about died! #celebritysighting!

Catherine brought me this book from Kentucky! It is magical. The illustrations are beautiful like a raining winter day. It is about the Kentucky Derby and the first African American Jockey. I particularly like the title because I believe everything happens at the RIGHT time. If you go to the author's website, she shares how this book can work in a Common Core classroom. #Wahoo! THANK YOU, CATHERINE!

Have you met the ladies at All Y'All Need? OMG OMG OMG! They are the SWEETEST ladies EVER! We just clicked the moment we started emailing each other. Their southern ways are true magic. The sweet ladies brought me two picture books about their home state TEXAS! They came wrapped in a VEGAS bag with an ADORABLE white and green ribbon.

My favorite part of Buddy- is the way the name is written! Such wonderful books to help me learn more about Texas!  THANK YOU LADIES! You are both just so peachy! 

Here is a snapshot of all the other amazing teachers! Serioulsy this weekend was so wonderful and rewarding. We work so hard to make school an engaging home. Disclaimer- the lighting in the meetup area was HORRIBLE. So my pictures aren't going to be pretty, but the people in the pictures are!
 The queen herself Kimberly Geswein from KG Fonts. She is adorable and hilarious.  Her fonts make my life so much better!
 Another SUPER STAR Rachel Lynette from Minds in Bloom! Her Task Card products are amazing and used ALL the time in my classroom/groups. In fact, we used one of them today! My favorite- Reasons Why!
 Have you met Bridget from Hardcore Teacher Resources? I remember when I first started creating I bought some of her wonderful clipart. Friday when she introduced herself- my mouth dropped up and I looked like a deer in headlights (I think). It was such a pleasure to get to know her this weekend. She is the best!
 Meet Holly from 4th Grade Flipper and  Joanne from Head over Heels for Teaching. Such sweet gals. I really enjoyed getting to know them.
 I love this picture because Brittany and I took a quick break from all the fun to run to our room to change shoes. My feet were killing me. I decided to also change. Remember I brought enough clothes for 10 people.

More Teacher fun! Seriously this whole weekend I didnt stop learning. Each teacher had a unique story and such knowledge to share. Trip of a life time! 
Meet Nicole from All Things Apple in 2nd, Sarah from A Rocky Top Teacher, Jessica from Ideas with Jivey, Brittany from BrittanyLynchTpT, Catherine from Brown Bag Teacher, Ashley from Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd, and Christy from Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road.

The Winner is! Congratulations to Beth for WINNING the Erin Condren $50 gift card. Thank you Erin Condren and all the other lovely friends who donated to our giveaway!!! Want to see who donated? Click here!


8:00am- GYM TIME! 
The only reason I am posting this picture is because of my shirt! Does anyone recongize this fabulous word? This gym was fabulous! Each machine had a computer! So of course, I looked up RAMONA RECOMMENDS!

 1:00 I met up with some gal pals for lunch. Ashley recommend Earl of Sandwich. Us girls sat there for two hours sharing ideas, laughing, and soaking in the "real time" experience. Unfortauntley, I do not have a picture from lunch! :( 

3:00 The Book Hunt! 

 This is probably my favorite picture from the weekend. These girls are so wonderful and I am so glad we got to spend the day together just enjoying life. #friendsforever! Note- I forgot my sunnies in the hotel and had to buy this cute little number. I actually think they are pretty cute!
PSA- When you ask ANYONE in Vegas if they sell picture books, they look at you like you're weird. Ashley and Bridget were so sweet and went all over Planet Hollywood and Venetian to help me find THIS book. It was never to be found. BUT! I ordered it on Amazon! I am allowing myself that cheat because I worked HARD to find the book in Vegas. Want to learn more about why I collect these, click here

4:00 The Introduction to Alex and Ani Bracelets

Ashley wasn't familiar with Alex and Ani, until I showed her the beautifulness she was missing. I had been looking for the LA bracelet and found it at the Alex and Ani Shop in Planet Hollywood. Ashley got the Scorpio.

Look a payphone still does exist!

Right before I went to bed, this happened. Thank you Vegas! This isn't the first time this has happened. When I first turned 21, I won 750.00 Vegas you are good to me! #moreclipart #morepicturebooks

I have had a blast typing this LONNNnnnnnnG post. This whole blogging experience has changed my life. Thank you to all of my supporters. 
I hope you always OPEN THE MAGIC!
Until Next Year, Vegas! 

 Don't forget to LINK UP! Travel with Ramona Recommends


  1. I love the cookies! I live in Southern California and would love to get some for teachers as a back to school gift. Wondering where you get them made? Loved my Vegas experience, but didn't win like you did. How awesome!
    2 Smart Wenches

  2. It was so nice meeting you! Can't wait for next year! It was such an amazing experience!

    Amanda Bryant
    A Traveled Teacher

  3. Loved this post! :) you're the best! I am so glad I got to hang with you! Btw the ending with the Vegas win took me by huge surprise! That's awesome! I'm so glad you got your hands on that book! #wildbookchase have you stopped talking in hashtags yet? I've been at my apartment by myself sooo I have!

  4. Awe, Miss Courtney!! You are so sweet! So glad you came to Vegas and we got to hang out on Friday! And looks like you girls had a great time on Saturday too! And your Alex and Ani bracelets are adorable!! I've never tried one on before, but they look super cute! And don't they have an apple one or something for teachers? Hope you have a great week!

    Lessons with Laughter

  5. I LOVE your blog; your excitement & enthusiasm shine through!! I was in Vegas last weekend too, but since I JUST started blogging (like the day before the TpT conference!!), I was a little intimidated to go to the Meet Up. Your post made it sound so fun & casual! I feel like I know so many of the bloggers by their "voice" in their writing & of course, their pictures. I will definitely be there next year!! Thanks for all your book recommendations! Will be linking up with a travel book soon!


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