Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halloween wreaths

Wreaths are my favorite part of holidays.  Easter wreaths, fourth of July wreaths, Halloween wreaths, Thanksgiving wreaths, and Christmas wreaths.  This is the season for Halloween wreaths and I have found an abundance of inexpensive ideas floating around in blogland.  Click on the photos to follow the links.

Candy corn, how adorable!

Easy rag wreath.  I may just need to go out and buy some fabric.

Not quite a wreath, per say, but it's still adorable!

$11 wreath... can't get much better than that!

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Saturday, October 2, 2010


I love having unique jewelry.  When I'm asked, "Where did you get that?" I thoroughly enjoy describing the little shop by the lake or the artsy boutique downtown.  It doesn't usually cost much and it feels so good to purchase directly from the designer.  I don't need Tiffany's, gold and gemstones... just give me silver and stunning designs any day!

Estevan once gave me a pair of earrings from a coworker who not only designed websites but also designed beautiful jewelry.  Her name is Sara B. and she now has an Etsy shop with many gorgeous new designs.  Her designs are all inspired by the Great Lakes, very pretty!  Check out her Etsy shop here or click on the photos to follow the links.

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Check out my room!

My last post was started last week and I lost track of time.... imagine that.  Sorry.  I'm trying as hard as I can to keep on top of this little blog and I thoroughly enjoy having this little outlet to share about my move from fourth grade to kindergarten.  Thanks for staying with me through all this mess!

Now on to some pics of my new room.  It's just 2 weeks old and already looking SO cute... I'm obnoxiously proud of it.
 Everyone keeps coming in my room to check out the lanterns.  Found them in the $1 bins at Michael's.  

 Significantly smaller Word Wall than my word wall in fourth grade.  Yatsee!

 Mailboxes, play area, and reading rug.

 Free stuff from the other kindergarten teachers.  I LOVE my team!

 I'm the first at my school to bring this idea to the table.  These are E-Instruction clickers which are assigned to specific students for testing purposes.  I cut a shoe organizer in half (so the little ones could reach on their own) and numbered each pocket.  Pretty nifty, right?

 My little bitty desk area in the far corner.  I'm never at it... seriously, I've never even sat there.

 Reading rug.  I traded lots of stuff with the teacher who took over my last room.  This rug, rocking chair, and little reading pillows were hers.  Aren't they the sweetest things?

 My carnivorous plant.

 Look what it caught!!!!  
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Kindergarten, what?!

I am still in shock. 

S  H  O  C  K

Last week I learned that I was being transferred from one school to another and from one grade to another.  And not just a little transfer in grades, I'm talking from one end of the spectrum to the other.  I'm now a KINDERGARTEN teacher!  My old school hired too many first grade teachers but I was the last one hired so I was transferred to a school that needed a kindergarten teacher and a first grade teacher from my old school took over my old fourth grade class.  Make sense?  I know, it doesn't make a whole ton of sense to me either. 

Even though my fourth grade students miss me very much, I keep receiving emails from them, I know that they are very happy with their new teacher and I'm UNBELIEVABLY more happy as a kindergarten teacher!  I had no idea how much I was missing the little ones and all the adorable things that I can do with them.  Crafts, paints, picture books, oh my!

I am literally on pins and needles waiting for Christmas crafts to come around, not to mention all the cute falls crafts I can make right now.  I did a little browsing around one of my favorite blogs, One Pretty Thing, and came across these SUPER CUTE and easy crafts.  Click on the pics to follow the links.

Plaster spoon bugs.

Pipe cleaner finger puppets.

Hand print spider!
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Weeks of School

What a great first two weeks of school!  Everything is unbelievably busy but I'm actually still alive and doing well.  I'm so glad that my second week was better than my first week... if we keep up this pace, I should be sitting very pretty by the end of the year!  So proud of my kids.

I am also very proud of this board outside my classroom!  I made the tree leaves out of sheets of foam in two shades of green.  The sheets of foam come in large, rectangular sheets and I cut them out in random, wavy cloud shapes.  I then glued them together on the ground and, when they were FINALLY dry, I stapled them up on the wall.  The trunk is made from brown paper and the picket fence is made from white foam sheets.  I'm a huge fan of foam sheets!!!
I love having groups, although the kids have to search for their desk every morning because I'm still playing around with their seating arrangements.  I'll get it figured out soon.

My desk!  So happy I could hang my "Welcome Friends" flag, it used to be hanging outside the front door of our old home. 

Every day I place extra copies of papers in these folders.  Makes taking care of make-up work easy!

I love these pens, so easy to make and they look so pretty.  Plus, I get them back every time!
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Classroom ideas

Please pardon my absence, my mind has been very far away from making a cute little house and has instead been intent on making a cute little classroom.  I can hardly believe how many followers I've gained since my off and on hiatus began!  I just sat down for the first time in weeks to peruse through blogland, looking for ideas to share with all my new followers and was completely stumped still.  I could share recipes which I haven't tried (nah), I could show you skirts I'm infatuated with (boring), I could even share photos of drool worthy jewelry (been there, done that).  But, truly, this blog is about what I'm in love with NOW and can't stop thinking about, it's about my passions.  So..... I've decided to share with youwhat has really been on my mind.  MY NEW CLASSROOM!

I'm going to warn you now, this blog may take on a whole different feel.  What I really feel like sharing with the world is my passion for fourth grade and all that elementary school ensues.  However, I'm still very hopeful for being able to cook the occasional new dish which I, of course, will share with you!  Not to mention, my new career will make home ownership possible once again for my husband and I.  So stay tuned!

Here are two picks of my newest wave of inspiration for my math and science classroom.... I'm thinking GO GREEN.   This idea unabashedly comes directly from my alma mater, the kids in Texas are just going to have to deal.

I love the look of this large-scale tree idea which is made out of paper, found here.  Wouldn't it be fun to change out the leaves with the seasons?  Every student can make their own leaf/flower for the tree.
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Friday, July 2, 2010

Good News!!!

I just received the best news!  I am now officially a teacher in the state of Texas.  I was hired earlier today to be a fourth grade teacher in Klein Independent School District.  This news is beyond wonderful and I still can't believe my good fortune.  Hopefully, now, I will be able to get back to blogging instead of sending out resumes and stalking principals every waking moment of the day!

Cheers! Pin It Now!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Arroz con Gandules

This is by far my favorite recipe and it is a staple in our cute little house.  It's a recipe for a traditional Puerto Rican rice and could literally be a commercial for Goya.  Check it out....

It really is served with just about everything in Estevan's family and we cook it pretty often as well.  It's just so dang easy and the flavors come together so well that it could be served with just about anything.  And like nearly every other Puerto Rican dish, it is not spicy in the least... just flavorful!  I've edited the original recipe by taking out a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the Adobo is plenty salty enough.  I also increased the amount of liquid from 2 cups (water and gandules liquid combined) to a bottle of water and gandules liquid.  Maybe it depends on the type of pot being used but I found that I just kept adding more and more water previously.  Enjoy a taste from Puerto Rico!

Arroz con Gandules

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large, sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 package Sazon
1 tablespoon Recaito
1 tablespoon Adobo
1 can Gandules Verdes, reserve liquid
16.9 fl. oz. (0.5 L or 2 1/4 cups) water 
1 jar sliced pimientos, drained
2 cups rice

In a large skillet or cast-iron pot, sautee onion in olive oil until tender.  Add the water and reserved gandules liquid, Sazon, Recaito, Adobo, gandules, pimientos, and rice.  Bring to a boil and stir for 3 minutes.  Cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting (seriously, I mean it, the heat must be low) and let cook for about 30 minutes.  I try to only stir it about 2-3 times while the rice is absorbing the liquid.

***Tip:  If you need to serve it a little later, take off heat, cover with paper towel and recover with lid.  This helps to catch any of the excess moisture so that you don't end up with mushy rice.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

I'm very happy right now that I made this meal not too long ago and I still have leftovers because.... drum roll please.... I broke my first bone!  (Funny side note: when I told my dad he thought I said "phone" and then asked nonchalantly, "You do have a warranty right?" to which I just dumbly sat silent and tried to process why my daddy was making a joke about his only child breaking a bone. LOL)  It's a fracture on the tip of my ring finger on my right hand.  How did I fracture the tip of my finger, you may ask?  It's a bad combination of me being stupid, watching two classes at the same time, and a child who didn't see me there.  I was standing in front of a door jam between two classes holding onto the side which the hinges are and leaning into one of the class rooms.  A student from the other class didn't see me and slowly closed the door which my finger happened to be near the hinges... neither one of us realized what was happening until I heard the cracking of my nail and bone.... "AAAHHHHHH, OPEN THE DOOR, OPEN THE DOOR!"  Instant blood and guts and tears (ok, maybe not the guts part, but it was traumatic for both me and the poor child).  Now my finger is in a splint and is all sorts of interesting colors, according to the doctor it should be all better in a month.

This too shall pass.  Now onto happier things!  Sorry about the weird intro.  

This is an incredibly tasty and easy meal, I'm so happy that I became a follower of Annie's Eats because every recipe that I've tried from her blog is absolutely as advertised: delicious!  Seriously, you should stop by her blog soon, it's incredible.  I made this with her recipe for Garlic Rice Pilaf....YUM!

 (Love my new photogenic counter tops!)

Lemon Rosemary Chicken
2 tbsp. lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons, at least the way I hand squeeze)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks
2-3 tbsp. melted butter
Thinly sliced lemons, for garnish

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large zipper-lock plastic bag.  Seal the bag and shake well to blend.  Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, pressing out excess air and sealing once more.  Refrigerate and let marinate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish, skin-side up, reserving the leftover marinade.  Brush the top of each piece of chicken with melted butter.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned.  Halfway through baking, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken pieces in the baking dish.  Once fully baked, cover loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before serving.  Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with lemon slices and serve.

Source: Annie's Eats and adapted from Simply Recipes Pin It Now!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Remember me?

Hello, you may remember me... I'm the person who occasionally writes on this blog.

Wow!  It has been incredibly long since I've sat down with my computer to post anything here.  Thank you for sticking around during my blog hiatus, I'm hoping that it will be over soon! 

Some yummy recipes and delicious photos are coming soon! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Driving Range

We've been living in The Woodlands for almost a year and let me tell you, there are golf courses everywhere!  On a preliminary search on Google, I came up with at least 10 different courses in The Woodlands alone.  WOW.  About a month ago, Estevan and I decided that we needed to start.  We did some research and found some excellent deals on Craigslist, one of which panned out for both of us.  We went to a house looking to just purchase men's clubs and walked away with both the husband's and the wife's set of clubs.  Boo-ya on taking full advantage of rich people's need to upgrade!  Then, a few weeks ago I went to Ladies Night at a local golf store and scored a bag of free goodies including balls and a $10 gift certificate... oh and FANTASTIC DEALS on clearanced out clothing.  And it all comes together to make this......

Oh yeah.  I'm talking at least $300 in savings in this photo!

What really made the day great was running into these guys at Chic-fil-a beforehand.

We had a great time at the driving range.  Maybe we weren't all that good but it's only going to get better.  
Let's face it, we can't get that much worse!
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Place

Holy moley!  What a whirlwind couple of weeks!  We've finally got everything in order at our new place and the rooms are starting to take on that old familiar, homey look.  This is the first flat that Estevan and I have ever lived in and I have to admit, we are are really liking it.  And yes, I'm taking on the European model of calling our apartment a flat.  Sounds so much cooler and sophisticated, right?  =)  We chose a complex that is very freshly built, we are actually the first ones to live in our unit, and it's on a lake!  The transition from house to apartment has been surprisingly easy.  Even Java is adjusting amazingly well!  Java has made many new friends here, one of which is named Belle.  I'll have to take my camera out more often because it's the funniest thing when Java and Belle meet... they stand on their back legs and hug each other!  So funny.

Ok, so on to the main show.... here's some pics of the new place.  Enjoy!

Granite counter tops throughout the flat.  LOVE THEM!

We were so shocked that this table set fit.  Super cute.

Our place faces East.  Awesome morning light and it remains bright throughout the day.

This in one of two built in bookcases.  I think I'm done fiddling with the arrangement.  Maybe.
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

All moved in!

We've finally finished moving and almost all the boxes have been unpacked.  I'm hoping to be up and blogging soon.  Keep posted! Pin It Now!

Monday, April 12, 2010

For Sale no longer!

Oh boy oh boy!  We are moving again.  I can't believe it myself!  When we moved down here, we moved into a three bedroom house and completely underestimated the amount of purging that we did while moving from Michigan.  So now we are moving into a two bedroom, two bath apartment just down the road a bit.  Plus, we'll have a pool!

But now here's the kicker... while living in this monstrosity of a house, we filled it up with some furniture that won't exactly fit into an apartment.  So now I'm trying to sell some of it.  I've had some luck on Craigslist but one piece hasn't gotten a lot of interest and I just don't understand because it's so cute!  Take a peek and leave me a comment if you live in the area (The Woodlands, TX 77380) and would like to have this beautiful shabby-chic table set for only $225.  The table measures 5'6"x3'6" and could very easily seat 6.  It fits perfectly!  Snug as a bug in a rug.  =P  Pics to come.

Two of these adorable chairs.  I seriously love these chairs.

And two of these with the cushions.
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Stuffed Shells

This meal is by far my favorite pasta dish.  It is very easy to put together and requires mostly ingredients that I always have on hand.  Oh, and it tastes delicious too!  I found this recipe over at Annie's Eats, I tweaked it a little by adding in a green bell pepper.

Stuffed Shells
1 12-oz. package of jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 pound Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup bread crumbs, substitute 6 club crackers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes with herbs, including the liquid

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta shells according to package directions.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and bell peppers and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the sausage to the pan, breaking it up as it cooks.  Cook until the sausage is completely cooked and no pink remains.  Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, basil, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.  Stir together to combine.  Add the cooked sausage mixture to the bowl and stir until evenly mixed.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spread a thin layer (about half) of the chopped tomatoes in the baking dishes (either three 8x8" pans, or one 9x13" and one 8x8").  Stuff each shell with some of the cheese mixture, and arrange in the baking dishes, open side up.  Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top of the pasta shells.

Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling.  Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.

Source: adapted from Simply Recipes via Annie's Eats Pin It Now!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Give a Hoot

I am so in love with owls now!  Ever since getting that wild hair to make my own thank you cards, I can't stop thinking about how I'm going to carry this theme on to my teacher career.  I can just see my future classroom now.... owls everywhere!  And not just any boring, run-of-the-mill owls, but colorful and funky owls.  After a little browsing through Etsy, I've found my perfect classroom accessories.  


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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Custom Thank You's

Today, I had a really great experience at a job fair for a local school district.  To express my appreciation for the time that these principals and teachers took out of their Saturday morning, E and I made up some thank you cards.  I found this image of a wall decal and he whipped up a variation of it on one of his outrageously complicated design programs.  We then added my signature font of primary colors and printed it up on some blank cards.  


Pretty, right?  I have a lot to be thankful for. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little Miss Momma is having a GiVaWaY

I am a huge sucker for giveaways.  HUGE.  I've fallen in love with Little Miss Momma's blog and she is having an awesome giveaway.  Get this, if you win, you get to choose three items from some very cute bohemian items.  I really want those braided bracelets on the top!  Click on the photo to enjoy her original post.

While you're there getting the info on the giveaway be sure to check out her beautiful crafts and tutorials.  So pretty!

Stencil wall art

 Cork board picture frame with button and earring push pins.
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