Thursday, May 19, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week- Hand Sanitizer

For the last day of teacher appreciation week, the kids were encouraged to bring a classroom supply. I had been seeing really cute personalized and decorated bottles of hand sanitizer and knew that I could get a good deal on them from our local grocery outlet. I bought some and brought them home to decorate. I removed the labels with adhesive remover and decoupaged some scrapbook paper to the backs of the bottles. I crafted a tag and cut out vinyl names with my Cricut. I think they look all cute and happy. Makes me want to sanitize my hands, that's for sure... Anyway, a cheap and effective gift, if you ask me. I will be banking this idea and probably will use it again someday.

Linking up here: Momnivore's Dilemma Link Party

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week- Flowers

The elementary school that my younger kids go to, participates in Teacher Appreciation Week at a different time than others. Well, it happens to be this week and today was "bring your teacher a flower" day. I try to save money and be creative wherever possible in our household, so, I came up an alternative to buying the real thing, or picking our own (which seem to be lacking around here lately anyway.) Our marigolds and daffodils are long gone and our little backyard roses are either trampled by the dog or had the delicate petals damaged by the elements. It has been a crazy spring around here. Hot one day then practically freezing the next. I can't even keep up! I do not have what anyone would consider, a green thumb so any flower that appears is almost magical. Really. We comment on them every time we go outside. But, alas, there will be no magical real flowers shared this year. Instead, I spent a couple of hours making some of my own to appreciate the kids' fabulous teachers. I let them duke it out over which teacher would receive which flower. 2 out of 3 of them weren't even embarrassed by giving something handmade! ;-) It seems that appreciation for crafts comes with age. lol. So... I made some rag rose flowers with burlap leaves and attached them to some dowels. They are about 12 inches tall, but you can't really tell from the photo. I added buttons to the center, stamped tags with hemp twine and some pretty ribbon accents. I know I wouldn't mind getting one of these myself and am thinking I may whip up a bunch and put them in a terra cotta pot for my summer mantel, now that I know all the secrets to putting them together. (The last one went WAAAAAAAY better than the first two.) I think I should get started soon before my inspiration leaves...

linking up here: Momnivore's Dilemma Link Party

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Floppy Cat by Kari Kay - Book Review

I recently joined up with a new friend, Crystal Reagan, who has a mommy blog called Simply Being Mommy. She does all kinds of posts over there, like, reviews, recipes, lots of giveaways and posts about her family and their lives. She was needing some contributors and asked if I would be interested. I jumped at the opportunity. I have been able to review several different products and it has been a blast!! I look forward to what comes next. Please take a moment to check out my latest review on her site, right here.
If you are interested in having me contribute to your blog or website, please don't hesitate to contact me. I am looking forward to more review possibilities or guest blog posts.

Owl Miss You

I am graduating from MOPS. Yes. It's true. I just finally start feeling comfortable and now it is time for it to end. I am kinda sad! I am such a shy person that it really takes a long time before I can relax around people. Nonetheless, the end has come and I'm about to go out into the mom world alone, since you are considered to be graduated when your youngest child is done with kindergarten. It is POSSIBLE that I might be ready. ;-)

To "celebrate" the last meeting on Thursday, I made these cute little chocolate favors to give out to my table mates. I used my Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter and various dies and printed the message off on the computer. I inked the edges with pumpkin ink and put the message and some chocolates in a small cello bag. I used some ribbon that I recently found at Hobby Lobby.
I really had a great experience this year. I am praying that I am able to find some kind of support system similar to this but for more "mature" or experienced moms. There has GOT to be something, I am sure! I will just have to be on the lookout! Thanks to for the inspiration for this project. Hope the ladies like them!

linking up here: Momnivore's Dilemma Link Party

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Strawberry Jam

7 cups of sugar!! Can you believe it?!

A little on the tart side. Still early in the season.

We popped open the small one for a taste.
Nothing like warm jam on toast. So good!
Full rolling boil... Seems to take forever!

We have had strawberries in our house several times this season and have enjoyed them plain, with brown sugar sauce and as shortcake. I kept PROMISING myself  that next time I bought some, I would make some jam. It is a tradition that I started several years ago when I discovered just how much better homemade is.

I bought myself the Ball Blue Book of Preserving and have made all sorts of recipes from it. One of the other new traditions is sweet pickle relish. I can't even eat any store bought kind anymore. It just all tastes so flavorless and weird. I guess I am spoiled. It just so happens, I am out of it. Looks like I will be making some relish in the near future too. But for now, I have made my first batch of jam for the season and I feel like I accomplished something today. That is a totally good thing. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week in Review

A gift I made for my sister to put on her desk.
She works in the child support office for our county.
I have been working on a few little things this week, nothing major. We were busy prepping for Mother's Day and dealing with sick kids, while transporting the others all over town to various events so time has been seeming to fly by super fast. My husband suggested I take a picture or two of what we have been up to and put them up on my blog. He says that is what bloggers do, you know, post things. He is brilliant. I should keep him... He is right though. Figured I should make good use of this space I have created and chances are, I would feel accomplished to boot. I need that these days. Life is crazy!! So here are a couple pics of what's been going on this week...

Made this so I would quit sticking
myself in the finger
reaching into the storage box for pins
 while I'm making all my purses.
Sophie and her award for consistent scholarly behavior. A big huge deal since it is based on her entire year performance. Pretty stinking proud of my kiddo. This was taken at the awards assembly that we attended.
Yumminess. Authentic tasting! (if taquitos could be, anyway.)
Used the tamale meat that had been
 in the freezer since Christmas.
Don't they look real?
 Ummm, whatever that means.
They tasted really good though. I promise...
The super awesome lesson/Mom's Day card
I received from my loving son.
He is always concerned about
my need for more scientific knowledge.
Priceless, if you ask me.

Ranchero sauce in the beginning stages of awesomeness.
I made it to go with the fabulous taquitos
that we couldn't believe were homemade.  ;-)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Be Happy Shadow Box

On one of my dollar store excursions, I ran across a couple of wood items that seemed promising. I found a little shadow box that was a great size but had a beachy scene outlined on the inside and appeared to be intended for kids to paint. I thought it would be better off as some other kind of craft.
I started by painting the whole box in a buttermilk color and sanded the edges. I decided on my scrapbook paper and attached it with Mod Podge and cut out the letter with my Cricut and put them in place. I covered that with a layer of the MP too.

Then I made a cute little burlap, fabric and button flower and attached it to the inside. I used twine around the outside of the frame, just to rustic it up a bit. It had hanging hooky things on the back which I decided to ignore and placed it in one of my plate stands instead. Super easy craft and only cost me $1 plus supplies I already had. LOVE the cheap stuff. :)
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