Monday, August 29, 2011

Pom pom Flowers























Keeping it real-- chipped nail polish and all. :)

Pom pom flowers idea project inspired by b*spoke. She even makes a really cute garland of them.

Happy Monday.





Linking to Just a Girl's Show and Share Day


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Links * 8.27.2011

It's finally the weekend. I'm so thankful. This past week was the first full week back at school and I still haven't fully recovered from my cold last weekend. Just today I am feeling a little more pep in my step and an itch to do something around the house. Of course what needs to be done the most is cleaning, when all I want to do is create! I'll probably be able to manage a few projects today and tomorrow to share, but until then . . . weekend links to amuse and inspire!



  • 29 ways to stay creative: a short video. I think I'm going to start with #1, then #4, then #7. I hope this week, I'll get #12. (It's like I'm speaking in code. Watch the video to figure it out.)


  • Make your own sun fabric prints from How About Orange. Recently she's been doing a series using a dye activated by sunlight. Quite a few cute projects that look like fun.


  • Paint Chip Lampshade: I think I like this for a lamp in the office someday. Totally appropriate for a studio or craft space to inspire some creativity.




  • If you like to sew, you might like these tank top totes. If I had a sewing machine, I might even try to make one. Maybe. 


  • Finally, I think I'm going to have to give Karen's pesto recipe a try. It's more like a marriage between an alfredo sauce and a traditional pesto. Much more husband friendly.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pinterest Has My Interest

Pinterest, oh brilliant, wonderful Pinterest. How I love thee.

I thought I'd share a few of my new finds that are new to my boards for those of you that don't follow me. (Though you should, I find some pretty great stuff-- in my humble opinion.)

Chalkboard Clothespins
First up, yet another chalkboard idea. This is positively genius. Little mini chalkboard signs that are attached to clothespins. You can practically label anything with that!

Chalk Board Clothes Pin Clips Organize and Lable
Anna Hailey




Mason Jar Lighting
This is just pretty. A rustic piece of wood, cut to fit mason jars that hold votive candles. This would be so charming suspended  on our porch. Josh needs to make me one of these babies some day.
Beth Helmstetter via Subtle Revelry



Pressed Leaves
I started a "Fall" board because I can't wait. I'm done with summer. Bring on the colorful leaves, pumpkin spice candles, and less humidity. Pressing leaves is not a new idea, but I love how they are floating in mat-less glass frames. I think it really shows the shape and color of the leaves.
Framed leaves and berries
BHG



Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles
I think I'm going to celebrate the first day of Fall by making these. I'll have to let you know how they turn out.
Whole Foods Market



Faux Metallic Finish Letter Tutorial
These letters are really cardboard that she painted to look like metal. They cost her about $5 to make, instead of buying them for $20. Her tutorial is great. Check it out.
Photobucket
K.F.D. Designs


Here are my Pinterest boards for more goodies. Feel free to follow me!



Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's Been One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to take more energy than it should?

It's been one of those days for me.

The first week back at school is always a little tough. And getting up at 6 am again is not an easy transition for a natural night owl like me.

Also, it's my fourth year teaching-- and for the fourth year in a row, I think I'm getting sick. It must be my body's way of celebrating the first week of school.

So now that I'm home, I lit a candle and sat down to read my favorite blogs. There's something so relaxing about a lit candle, isn't there?




How do you all relax after a long day?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What To Do With a Your Surplus of Summer Tomotoes

Sorry to be a little slow to post this week. Today was the first day of school, so as a teacher, life's been a bit busy lately. I'm still here, but just a little scattered.

So, tomatoes.

My wonderful mother-in-law dropped off some of her surplus of garden tomatoes the other day. They're great in salads and sandwiches, but there's only so much you can do with sliced tomatoes. So I decided to roast them in the oven because I've heard they're delicious.

And they are.

Roasted Tomatoes



1. Slice the tomatoes. If they are the grape or cherry tomato variety, cutting them in half or quarters would work. The larger tomatoes should be sliced 1/4" thick.
2. Spread parchment paper on a baking sheet and lay out the tomatoes.
3. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes. You could even sprinkle a little salt over them too. I did. Totally optional though.
4. Roast them in a 250 degree oven for about 2 hours. They should end up a little shriveled and crispy around the edges.

You can eat them off the pan. A little too easily.

Or you can pretend to be fancy and lay them on crackers and arrange them on a plate.



And try not to eat the whole thing . . .

(But maybe you didn't get to eat lunch and dinner won't be ready for another 40 minutes-- so you do.)

No guilt. None.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Links * 8.13.2011


Happy Mail from Giver's Log


  • You need to visit Giver's Log's series Happy Mail. This week she sent school supplies and colored pencils inside a water bottle through the mail. She's sent flip flops, a Frisbee, a bouncy ball, and sticky notes through the mail among other things. It's amazing-- you really need to check it out.







Happy weekend!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Blog Editorial Calendar Download

Here's a quick little treat for you on a Friday. If you have your own blog, you've probably heard many people advise you to keep an editorial calendar. This is a calendar that allows you to plan a month at a time with the general topics that will be covered in each post. It also gives you an overview of the month so that you don't forget a feature or special event for your blog.

I've created my own editorial calendar and also a "Dates to Remember" planner that includes space to write down link-ups, events, and post ideas for the future.

(After I complete my editorial calendar then I like to break it down into a week at a time. For this, I like Wild Olive's blog planner.)



Download Blog Editorial Calendar:




Download Dates to Remember Planner:


Just comment and let me know if you like or use these!



Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Favorite Things Party



The idea for a Favorite Things party has been around the internet for a while and like many, as soon as I read about one, I wanted to throw my own. And it was a big hit!

The gist of a Favorite Things party is that each person should bring a few of their favorite things (in our case, three items) that cost $6 or less to share with everybody else. At the end of the party, each person goes home with three new favorite things!

I got much of my inspiration from A Bushel and a Peck and Homemaking Fun.

Decorations

If you follow me on Pinterest, you got a hint at one of the decorations I made for this party. I saw this chalkboard banner and knew that I had to make it. What’s great about this party banner is that it is customizable to any occasion.




The inspiration project used small wooden discs that were painted with chalkboard paint. Instead of wooden discs, I painted up some posterboard and then cut out the circles. Then I hot glued  the circles along a string of yarn. It worked just great.


Game

Before we shared our favorite things we played a short game. The winner of the game was given an advantage, which I’ll describe in a little bit.

For the game, I gave each person a paper that they filled out about a few of their favorite things (i.e. color, candy, actor, actress, flower, etc.) They turned in their completed papers to me, I mixed them up, then I read them aloud without telling who’s was who’s. Everyone wrote down their guesses while I read and the person with the most correct won the advantage.


Sharing Our Favorite Things

I've read of a few different ways that people have chosen to give out their favorite things. What I decided to do was have each person write down their name on three slips of paper that were then thrown into a large bowl. The person that won the advantage only threw in two slips.



We went around the circle and each of us pulled out one item and described what it was and why it was a favorite. Then the person sharing went to the bowl and pulled out one name-- who was the person that would received that item. We went three times around the circle, but stopped right before the very last item was revealed. This is where the advantage came in. The winner was then given the opportunity to steal one item of their choice or give up their advantage and receive the unknown last item. If they chose to steal, the person stolen from would get the last item.


Here Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Some of the items that were brought were:
-Aquafina lipbalm
-Fuzzy socks
-Sharpie felt tip pens
-Local coffee shop gift card
-Chalkboard spray paint
-Nail art pen
-Coupon organizer
-Eating Well magazine
-Chocolate
-27 Dresses movie
-Roman Holiday movie

There were a few more, but I can’t remember them all! I should have written them all down.

Bags

A Bushel and a Peck decorated paper bags for everybody to tote their items home in. I loved that idea and it also gave me the chance to organize everything people would need during the party.



Inside the bags: pen, three slips of paper, game questionnaire, blank paper to write down game guesses


Food

I forgot to get a picture of the food. Sorry! I asked each person to bring a favorite appetizer or dessert to share. It makes it really easy on the hostess (yay!) and it was great to share another favorite thing with the group. Be prepared to share the recipe too.


The party was a lot of fun and it was recommended that I throw another one around Christmas time. Sounds like a great idea.


Let me know if you have any questions!



Saturday, August 06, 2011

Weekend Links * 8.6.2011


Volcanic Hues by Design Seeds

  • Design Seeds Blog is an amazing blog that is about providing color palette inspiration. Beautiful.







Have a great weekend!


Friday, August 05, 2011

Canvas Chalk Board



I made myself a canvas chalkboard quite awhile ago. It hangs on the wall in my kitchen. My little sister loved it so much that I made her one for a housewarming gift. However when I bought her canvas the two-pack was on sale, so I've had an extra lying around. My mother-in-law was over the other day and love it as well so I thought I would share this with you as I make one for her.

It's really quite simple.

You'll need a canvas. I like the 16"x20" size.



You'll need chalkboard paint. I had Rustoleum's chalk board paint on hand from a few Christmas presents. It was about $10 I think, but it's lasted me forever. You can also get chalk board paint in a spray as well. I've never used it, but I'm sure it works well.



You need to simply paint (or spray) the canvas. Be sure to get the edges too. Two coats work best.

*You should also take it outside to paint it. Don't use the middle of your living room floor like it looks like I did. I took it outside, really. *

Now here's the hard part. . .

According to the directions, you need to wait four days before writing on it.

I only waited overnight, but that's me-- living dangerously.

After waiting patiently, you need to "condition" the surface. Take chalk and cover the entire surface.




Then wipe it off with a dry cloth or paper towel. It needs to be dry because you shouldn't wipe it down with a damp cloth within the first 7 days.

Now it's ready to go!

I like decorate it with all those cute/funny/inspiring quotes you can find on Pinterest.




Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Restaurant Style Salsa In Three Easy Steps

I love salsa. It's my fave. So not surprisingly, it made my 27 Before Twenty-Seven list:

"5. Make the perfect homemade salsa"

After some looking around I thought I'd try out Pioneer Woman's recipe for Restaurant Style Salsa first because it's easy and  . . . it just looked good.


I didn't follow her recipe to a T. I view a lot of recipes as guidelines and ideas, not rules.

Except baking. Always follow the directions when baking. It's a science.

I decided to halve the recipe, since she said it made a bunch of salsa. I believe her because even half the recipe made a generous amount.


Restuarant Style Salsa 



Ingredients:

  • 1 10 oz. can of regular Rotel
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • A handful of chopped cilantro
  • Juice from half of a lime
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1/8 tsp cumin

I forgot the garlic. I'm totally bummed about that. I would also add 1 clove of garlic.


Step One: Chop It Up
Chop up the onion and garlic. You don't need to make it into neat, pretty pieces. It's all going into the blender, so run your knife through it real quick.

Next, chop up the jalapeno. I used one medium pepper for my half recipe. Pioneer Woman used one pepper for her whole recipe. I like it hot, but it you're a little timid, take out the seeds and go with a partial pepper. But I say go for the whole pepper!


Step Two: Dump It In
Dump all the ingredients in your blender.

Side note: Pioneer Woman uses a food processor. If you have one, feel free to use it. I used to have one, but it's no longer with us. It died after making two batches of pesto. It's a sad story. Such a short, wasted life. Anyway, a blender works just fine and dandy if you're making a half batch like me. If you're going for the whole enchilada, then you'll need a large food processor.



Step Three: Blend It Up
Obviously.



That's it, folks. You made salsa. Congratulations. Oh, and it tastes best if you stick it in the frig for an hour or two before you eat it.



Isn't salsa wonderful? Easy peasy. Full of flavor. Relatively healthy for you, especially for a condiment. . . until you get out its evil twin-- the tortilla chip. But let's focus on the positive, shall we?


My opinion? This salsa is really good. It has a nice fresh flavor. The kick is just right. However, my search for the perfect homemade salsa isn't over. This might be it, but I have a few more recipes to try.




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Monday, August 01, 2011

The Best of Printable Planners

It's Monday.

It's the Monday of the last full week of summer break. As much as I'd like to not think about the summer coming to a close, I can't help it. It has got me thinking of . . .

Planners!

For many people the new year starts in January, but for a teacher it's in August. My planner is often on an academic calendar, so I'm in the market for a new planner right about this time in August. This year I'm thinking of going the DIY route.

The places I go for ideas and research is Pinterest and other blogs I follow. It is overwhelming how much you can find if you search for "planner" or "organization" on Pinterest. I'm still thinking through my needs and what would work best for them. I'm thinking it will become an amalgamation of what I find.

Below is a round up of only a few of the resources and ideas I found. Enjoy!

For more planner resources, feel free to follow my "planner" board on Pinterest.

*Click on each image for its download or tutorial*

Daily Planners

My DIY Planner




To Do Lists

goallist_large

Blog Planners

planner2


Lists



Menu Planners

meal-planner


mealplanner22



Holiday Planners




Party Planner










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