Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pre-Classroom Ideas

Hello internets!

I hope to be getting my own classroom in the future and I have begun the daunty task of getting things organized.

My room will be in greens and blues.

I have bought several LARGE storage tubs and organized them by categories such as: Math, Language Arts, Odds N' Ends and Holiday Decor. I downloaded the CUTEST labels from Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera , which you can buy here.  She was even kind enough to make them bigger to fit my tubs! I plan on storing the tubs like this from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits.

Next, I plan on making a teacher's toolbox. Like this:
 I used the zebra design from Miss. Nelson's pack because I bought this zebra designed Teacher Toolbox labels a while back. Even though the stripes are black and not white, I will NOT let my O.C.D. get the better of me. (That was a ramble!)
I also want to figure out how to make my paper fit to make one of these. I want to do it in solid green with blue letters.
Pretty much passed all that craziness... I don't know what to do. So I'm seeking your advice.
 Any suggestions on organization, themes, management tips.. ANYTHING!
Also, where in the WORLD do I find all those cutesy backgrounds that everyone uses on their blogs, or even uses to create cute labels to use around their rooms? That is a very important question because I have searched to the end of Google and back and still can't come up with that answer.
.....Hello internets please help!
- S-Jean-S

Storage Wars

Hello there internets!
I decided to go in the freezing cold to clean out my storage unit today....
I ended up finding lots of hats, and stuffed animals.
I'm pretty sure I was meant to be a school teacher.
At least I hope that's why I have so many random and weird things in my storage unit!
Never a dull moment!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

An explanation and Glittered Up Buck

Hiiiii.... :D

I know I've been away for a LONG time, but a funny little thing called life (long term sub job) came up and I jumped at the opportunity!

I haven't had a chance to be crafty in a long time and the lack of glitter in my life has started to take a toll on me! I did a QUICK craft the other day and I thought I'd share. Sorry no pretty pictures but I promise I'll be back on the picture taking soon!

Basically, I saw a picture on Pinterest of a lady who traced this onto a white canvas and then filled it with glitter. Well, I took it a step further and painted my canvas a dark brown THEN traced the deer's head on it.

I do have to recommend you add the (Elmer's) glue and glitter in little sections at a time. I used a Q-tip to spread the glue around small parts then add some glitter, press down lightly with a finger and wait a few seconds, then shake off the glitter and repeat until you finished the whole outline. :)

Simple. AND. fun.

Monday, July 23, 2012

String Balls - Failed

Want to see something absolutely beautiful?? 
Aren't they beautiful?! Ugh. So gorgeous.. almost unbelievable actually!

Well guess what... they are unbelievable because here's my attempt at a string ball ----->

I was shown this awesome centerpiece idea for a wedding and was asked to try to recreate it. 

I was thinking to myself, this will be the easiest crafting craft I've ever done! Things started off bad to begin with. I had all my supplies... balloons, string and fabric stiffener (which is almost impossible to find, I finally found it at Walmart and it was overpriced!) 

I blew up my balloon and started to wrap it with string, since this was a very difficult task because the string kept slipping off, I couldn't take any pictures. The string was falling off, becoming untight and just overall being difficult. This is what it looked like before I sprayed it. As you can clearly see the string is loose, I thought that maybe it wouldn't matter and would just add to the artistic element of the ball when it was finished. HA. 

Once I got enough string on, I took my stringy ball outside so I could spray it. 

After it had dried for about 6 hours, I brought it inside and popped the balloon. 

Do I need to say anymore? I think the pictures basically speak for themselves. Attempt 1: Failed. I really hope my failure at crafts isn't a repeating process for much longer because I am getting very frustrated!

Duke mocking me. How rude. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flower Balls

One of my best friends is getting married and I have the honor and privilege of hostessing a bridal shower for her. I was equally as excited because I was finally getting to use some party decorating ideas from Pinterest! I looked through my wedding Pinterest board and found my inspiration.

My inspiration:

I loved the cluster of the different types of balls. I have already made the tissue paper balls before, and I knew I could buy some of the paper lanterns. I wanted there to be one more element to the cluster though, and that's when I remembered what a cute clothing boutique by my house had in their display windows. Flower balls! I had asked them how to make them and it was so easy I couldn't believe it! 

No hot glue required!? How can that be so?! IT IS SO!

Here's what you'll need: 

* Fake flowers that'll pull off the stem easily - (I bought 2 bouquets of flowers from Hobby Lobby, each bouquet had about 14-15 flowers on them. The bouquets were originally $11.99 but, flowers were half off that day so I only spent $6 on each bouquet!)
* Straight pins - (Since I was using these to stick in the hole of the flower, I had to make sure the heads of the straight pins were big enough to keep the flower in, I ended up buy a set of 250, size 24 - 1 1/2. I tested them in the store to make sure they would fit perfectly in the flower and not go through the hole.)
Styrofoam ball - (I used a 6 inch floral ball.)
Ribbon if you plan on hanging it

Here's a picture of the underside of the flower so you can see how it is detachable. 

I did this backwards but I would recommend doing this part first. Attaching your ribbon to the ball so you can hang it later. I just double looped the ribbon for added security and pushed it in with a straight pin. 

Now you just detach all the flowers from the bouquet. Then take a flower one by one and stick a straight pin through the hole. You see why the straight pin head has to be bigger than the hole? You can't have it dropping through the hole or they'll serve no purpose!

This is a really quick process and the product is AMAZING!!!

Ta-Da! I hope you enjoy making your flower balls! I am going to make smaller ones too using 3 inch balls but I ran out of flowers. :( Sad day, but I'm going to Hobby Lobby tomorrow to buy more!

And since this is a wedding post... I thought I'd let y'all in on a little secret... one of my dear friends makes homemade invites and they are AMAZING!

If you are in need of invitations from weddings to showers to birthdays and baptism, every order with Simply RSVP is custom-designed around your event theme and made by hand. Whether you need invitations, announcement programs, escort cards, table numbers, thank you cards, etc., each piece will tie your event together elegantly. 

Here's a little snapshot of some previous invites she's done: 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pumpkins: 1-to-1 correspondence

A lil something I made for my Pre-K class... I bought lil plastic pumpkins and wrote the numbers 1-10 on them, then I printed and laminated pictures of candy corn. Students will put the correct amount of candy corn in each corresponding pumpkin :) 

Also, I bought pumpkin bulletin board decor pieces, cut them in half (you can cut them straight across, or make them like puzzle pieces like I did), put some stickers on one side and the matching number on the other side (cut out with my Cricut), laminated them and bam... another quick and easy (cheap!) center!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cake balls (2nd attempt): Failed.

I tried cake balls (pops) again... 

mine are the pink ones. 

I think I'm making mine too big too... I'm flirting with gravity. I'll be making much smaller balls next time... maybe that'll help!

I will not surrender!!

In the meantime, a good friend of mine thought of this AWESOME idea.... Thank you Kim!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cake Ball - Status: Failed

Hello all! I've been away for longer than I thought... but I have come back to entertain y'all with a failed Pin! I wanted to make cake balls for one of my best friend's bridal shower... I was thinking, "I can make all these precious cake balls in her wedding colors and top them all off with a pretty T and everyone will love them and I can quit teaching and open a cake shop and get a reality show..."

Basically I was getting pretty excited about all my future plans in the baking business. 

Here we go: 

What I used:
* 4 cups of cake (mine was just the plain ole white cake for practice)
* 1/2 cup of butter cream 
* white chocolate candy coating (I bought at Kroger)

The pan with the wax paper and the cooling rack will come in handy later. 

Here I am cutting the cake up into tiny pieces... you aren't suppose to have ANY big pieces of cake so once I put it in the bowl I really broke it apart with my hands.

After I put in the half cup of butter cream... it looked sticky and I did not enjoy mixing it with my hands. It got stuck all over my hands and wouldn't come off... my dreams of being buddies with Buddy from Cake Boss were slowly going downhill...

Roll the mix into 1 inch balls. I placed mine on a waxed cookie sheet... LESS CLEAN UP! 

After you finish rolling, place your cake balls into the freezer. The recipe I used said to just keep them in the freezer until you are done melting the chocolate... first mistake. Leave them in there for a while. They are easier to work with when they are hard. 

After they have been in the freezer for a while, place your cake balls on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (again lined with wax paper... less mess people!)

I would like to point out that the chocolate is NOT moving in this picture. She had scraped it all forward hoping it would pull together and pour out neatly on top of the perfectly round cake balls.  It didn't... it just sat there in all it's lumpy wonder. 

I dyed my white chocolate with regular food coloring. I reheated it and it still wouldn't pour.
Turns out you're suppose to add shortening (Crisco) to help thin out the consistency.. or you can use a small amount of Crisco vegetable oil. Of course, I didn't know that until I was writing this!
Mom tried really hard to make this work and tried rolling the cake balls in the chocolate using two forks, but the chocolate just started to harden again, again, because of the lack of the vegetable oil. 

These cake balls could be used as alien babies in the next sci-fy film!

 I am going to re-attempt making these tomorrow and this is what I'm going to do differently:

1. Don't use the candy coating you buy at Kroger. After researching, I found that most people use the Wilton chips that you can buy at Michael's.
2. Add a bit of Crisco Vegetable Oil to the Wilton chips to help get it more workability.

So, my future cake shop isn't exactly on the horizon but I'm still going to get it another shot! Also, I might try putting them on sticks, that seems to help with the pouring of the chocolate as well. We will see!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Reese's Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are a mouthful to say and a mouthful of goodie goodness!

Here is what you'll need: 
* 3/4 cup butter (softened)
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup brown sugar 
* 2 eggs
* 1 TBSP honey
* 1 TSP vanilla
* 2 1/4 cup flour 
* 1 TSP baking soda
* 1/2 TSP salt
* 1 small box instant vanilla pudding 
* 1 cup chocolate chips
* 1 cup Reese's Pieces
* 1 cup dried banana chips (broken)

In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix and set aside for later. 
In a large mixing bowl (I used my Kitchen Aide Mixer) combine butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and honey and beat again until completely mixed. 
Slowly add the dry ingredients, a little at a time. Not all at once. 
Stir in the chocolate chips, Reese's, and banana chips by hand with a spoon.

Drop by spoon onto a baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches in between each cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes. Cool on pan for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes about 36 cookies.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and pudding mix. Set this aside for later. 

Then I used my wonderful Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer to mix the next set of ingredients. Beat together the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. 

((These little 1/4 cup packages by Imperial Sugar are AMAZING! No measuring cup required... I just needed two of these 1/4 cup packages to get my 1/2 cup of brown sugar needed for this recipe!))

Oh that's just Duke... waiting patiently to have a lick of batter. :0

Ok... back to the cookies. Here is my mixer beating together the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar .

Next, add in the vanilla, honey and eggs. 

Now slowly add the dry ingredients that you set aside earlier. Turn your mixer on the slowest setting and using a spoon gently scoop the dry ingredients into the mixer bowl. 

Once you're done beating together all the ingredients, measure out your cup of Reese's Pieces and your chocolate chips. I just put them in one measuring cup. You are going to mix these in BY HAND (with a spoon) don't use your mixer for this part. (OH I left our the banana chips.. but you can add them )


Ta-Da! And they really really are amazing!

This recipe is definitely a pin!!!

Here is the pin where I found this recipe. This lady made up herself!