teacher appreciation day

Easiest Teacher Gift Ever!
Put a Starbucks gift card inside a Grande cup with lid.
Print a flower and add text to it that says
"Thanks a LATTE for teaching me!"
Tape to the green lid plug,
and insert for a cute gift that any teacher would love!


v-day 2011 Handmade Valentines/Cards

Trader Joe's Strawberry Fruit Leather
Construction Paper Rectangles, Triangles, Flames, Double Stick Tape

Teacher's Gifts for Valentines Day:

Trader Joe's Truffle Filled Hearts (Delicious and Cheap)

with a Rocket taped to the box.


halloween school party snacks

Halloween finger Jell-O
3 layers:
Black (3 grape + 1 lime), orange cream, orange transparent
Follow directions for Jell-O Jigglers,
Pour 1st layer into a 9 X 13 sprayed glass pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes,
tap with your finger and when "tacky" and firm carefully pour next layer,
*Orange Cream is made from mixing the orange jiggler recipe with 1/2 container of Cool Whip*
refrigerate for 20 more minutes, and then add the last layer.
Chill overnight covered with plastic wrap.

Halloween Bone bread sticks
Use Pillsbury refrigerator bread stick tubes.
Separate the bread stick dough and carefully stretch each piece into long strips.
Tie a knot at each end.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt.
Bake as directed on tube.


tea wreath

kojo designs made an easy & most lovely tea wreath!
how convenient to unclip a tea bag that is so easily visible.
this would make a fantastic teacher's gift next Christmas.
i can't wait to make one!


valentine buttons

1. gather pretzel rings

2. place pretzels on a Silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet
3. enlist children to unwrap a bunch of Hershey Kiss Hugs

4. balance a Hershey's Kiss Hug on the center of each pretzel

5. bake @200 degrees for 10 minutes while child salivates

6. while still warm push a M&M into the center of each Kiss
just enough for it to spread out and fill the entire pretzel

7. Place the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator for
10 minutes until chocolate is firm to the touch
8. Pop off the Silpat and enjoy!


pinch me

I made two of these frog-like coin/candy holders.
My boys thought they were fantastic and had fun putting a few quarters inside.
Here's where I got the idea
Cut 3- 10holes X 10holes
Hold the tail along the backside as you stitch diagonally.

Run 3 whip stitches through each corner square
You need 2 squares that have 2 edges finished and
one square with all 4 edges unfinished.

Line up and whip stitch two unfinished edges together.
Look at photo above to figure out which squares to use.
These two unfinished edges just need to get stitched together
and you're done.
Hot glue google eyes and pinch cheeks to reveal a hidden treasure inside!


december 1

Let the countdown to Christmas begin! The kids are tucked in bed asleep and now is the time to get a few things out for the beginning of our Advent celebration. Here is a list of the activities that show up behind our Advent doors each morning. http://www.scribd.com/doc/23411321

I'm trying for consistency with many special things we do for the holidays. I want my boys to grow up with traditions, excitement & anticipation. Christmas is packed with things we'll repeat each year. Here's a new tradition we're starting with "Elf on our Shelf". I've seen this idea on numerous blogs but was originally inspired while reading http://rootsandwingsco.blogspot.com/2009/11/elf-on-shelf.html.
I didn't buy the story book this year
but did find this little Japanese cutie on EBay.
He'll show up tomorrow morning on a shelf in our house, will watch over the boys for 24 days and report back to Santa Christmas Eve night. Moving around the house when no one is looking will help him keep a keen eye on who's been naughty or nice.

Another tradition we're beginning is that I'll be wrapping 24 Christmas themed books (off our bookshelf) tonight and placing them under the tree for tomorrow. I read about this idea on http://theidearoom.blogspot.com/2009/11/christmas-books.html and fell in love with it!
Each evening before bed the boys will take turns opening that night's book and will enjoy a beloved Christmas tale.
The same 24 books will be wrapped and opened each year. I think this will be a great way to make our Christmas books special and memorable.
We will also be making a paper chain tomorrow with 24 links. Each morning the boys will rip off a link and have a visual to the remaining days until Christmas.

{I'm feeling quite prepared this year}

All Christmas gifts bought (Check!)
Outdoor Lights Hung (Check!)
Christmas decorations inside setup (Check!)
Christmas Tree up (Check!)
Christmas Cards bought and ready to be sent (Check!)
Preschool Parties @ school planned (Check!)
December Birthday boy's party planned and prepped (Check!)

What's gotten into me?
I'm the queen of procrastination!


50 free 4x8 photo cards

It's the real deal. I just ordered 50 free 5x7 photo cards.
{including shipping}


My subtotal came to $40.50 and when I entered this coupon code


my total came to $0.00

Here's an idea for those that already ordered Christmas cards and don't need 50 photo cards... Just insert a photo into a blank photo card and get 50 5X7 prints for free! That's what I did! The site ran very slow during the day but was a breeze later in the evening.

Hurry...Offer valid until Nov. 30Th.



I'm making 25 silly bats for the boys' halloween parties
look like fun? here's how:

for a great tutorial and pattern to print

to purchase the "sweet treat cups".

cut a pattern

trace & cut on black card stock

add google eyes & use a white opaque marker to add details
fill the "sweet treat cups" with 5 candy corns & apply to bat's belly

fold wings in


spaghetti dogs

Isn't this the weirdest thing?
It took me a few minutes of staring to figure out
how the flexible spaghetti got into the firm hotdog
before reading these steps. It's like lunch and crafting rolled into one!

Lunch was LOVED today.
We used nitrate-free hot dogs and thin spaghetti.
Next time I'd use thicker-whole grain spaghetti for a healthier lunch.

Step 1: cut hot dogs into 1" pieces & break spaghetti in 1/2.

Step 2: Carefully thread the spaghetti into and through the hot dog.

Step 3: place in a pot of boiling water and cook according to your specific pasta cook time.


cutest little plate

My boys are having so much fun creating silly faces with their peas and potatoes! Vegetables taste so much better when they can be played with! I served my little one's birthday breakfast on his new plate and they had a lot of laughs!


my favorite craigslist finds

I love finding deals on Craigslist!
Here are a few fantastic things I've found...

Retails for $180.00 and I paid $75.00!

Retails for $70.00 and I paid $5.00!!!

Retails for $500.00 and I paid $125.00!

Furnished-German Playhouse retails for 200.00+ I paid $25.00!!!

Anyone else have a great find from Craigslist?