This week I tried a “Pinspired” art project with my students, and it turned out great! With Earth Day today, we have been studying the things we love about Earth and discussing actions we can take to make our planet a better place. When I found this great art project on Pinterest, I knew we had to do it! We paired it with our Earth Day writing and displayed them for all to see! Here are some pics….
We’re all about celebrating Earth Day in my classroom this week. It’s only 4 days away! We have been evaluating how “green” our school, classroom, and homes are. I made 3 report cards for each of those locations. If you are interested, they are at my TPT store! (It’s a 20 page unit with math and literacy activities too.)
How else are we celebrating Earth Day? We are repurposing our trash! I discovered an easy way to remove the printing on food containers, so we have been collecting yogurt, butter, and cottage cheese tubs in order to turn into attractive storage containers (well, as attractive as it gets when a 2nd grader is doing the decorating!).
Do you want to know how to remove the printing on food containers? It’s easy! You need pure acetone (located in the beauty section near the finger nail polish removers), a rag, and a container.
In a dish pan, pour enough acetone on the rag to saturate it. (Make sure you are in a well ventilated area and are wearing gloves.)
Then wrap the rag around the container and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. It may take longer depending on what brand container you are working on. I found that Dannon, Great Value, and Kroger brand come off the easiest.
Check the container by rubbing the paint. If it wipes off, you are good to go! Just keep wiping! It’ll come right off. If it doesn’t come of easily, keep soaking. You may need to re-saturate your rag.
That’s it! You’ve got yourself a blank slate container ready for sprucing up. Check back later this week to see what we did with our containers.
Happy Earth Day!
Raise your hand if you or someone you know has felt like this lately??? (Raising my hand high & waving it in the air!! I’m the picture in the middle!) If you teach kids or have your own, you are probably all too familiar with the anxiety that comes with the dreaded week of……
STANDARDIZED TESTING! Ahhhhhhh!
Two weeks ago my second graders took the ITBS and, man, am I glad it’s over! Each day my kids were drained, I was drained, and we all needed a little something to re-energize us and get us going again. Not to mention, kids perform better when they are working toward a reward!
So, back before all this “testing torture” began, I started gathering ideas for candy and gifts, and I decided to treat my class this year to something I’ve never done. I put together little edible treats for each day of testing (and the days surrounding the test, since our grade only tests for 3 days.) Here are the treats that my kiddos received each day and the materials you need to recreate them:
You’re an “EGG”cellent student! (2 days before Easter!)
Bag of Reese’s chocolate eggs, small zip-lock bags, cardstock and paper cutouts, Easter basket cutouts (Cricut cartridge: Doodlecharms, accent: eastrb)
- send in a lunchbox or backpack
- put in the seat of the car
- on the nightstand
- in the cereal bowl or box
- on the fridge
- as a surprise on desks
- in school boxes
- in mystery paper sacks to open daily
- Principal can deliver to the room as a surprise
- Make a word puzzle for kids to “crack the code” to receive prizes
- deliver to students while they are eating lunch
A Few More Corny Sayings:
- Teddy Grahams or gummy bears: You’ll do “BEAR-Y” well today!
- Air Heads: Don’t be an “Air Head!” You know the answers!
- Bite sized Milky Ways: You’re “Out of this world!”
What are your suggestions for teachers or moms who want to give their kids some sweet treats or encouraging notes? What are some that you’ve used? I hope you aren’t too stressed out over testing! Take a sweet-tooth break like I did and enjoy some yummy goodies! Happy Testing to all! Summer is right around the corner!
I am always being inspired left and right by others’ organization! Pinterest is no stranger to pictures of organized spaces! And I LOVE organizing, as mentioned here. So, the tutorial that I’m sharing today is one I am very excited about.
Lately I’ve been drawn to numerous pictures like these of altered clipboards mounted on walls. The clipboards are hung in craft rooms or home offices and re-purposed as hanging storage for memos, pictures, projects, or whatever!
(Click picture for original source; left: Better Homes and Gardens; center: Martha Stewart; Right: Apartment Therapy)
I have been looking forward to doing this so that I can have a handy visual for the materials and inspiration of my next project. At the same time, I wanted my clipboards to 1) be eye-candy for me and serve as wall art whenever they are empty and 2) coordinate with the green/white/silver theme of my craft room. Here are the materials and steps for my creation:
- 1 clear clipboard
- paper cut-outs (scrapbook paper, magazine clippings, etc…)
- Mod Podge
- sponge paint brush
1) First, wash the clipboard off and dry it with a dish towel in order to ensure each side has a clean surface.
2) Cut out the designs or words you want to cover your clipboard with. I used my Cricut Expression to cut out the designs you see here. I used Cricut Cartridge Accent Essentials, accent 17.
3) (Do not glue anything in this step!) Arrange the paper cut-outs how you want them. If you place them on top of the clipboard, it may make the next step a little easier.
4) When you are ready to adhere the paper, flip the clipboard very carefully, but quickly onto the table. Now the pieces are on the table upside down in the arrangement that you desire.
5) Pick up one piece at a time and paint mod podge across the top of the piece (on the pattern you want to show).
6) Repeat step 5 for a couple of pieces to make a row of glued pieces on the clipboard.
7) Press down the pieces so there are no air bubbles. This will make a much neater appearance on the top side (the side you will see).
8) Now, paint mod podge across the back of the row you just adhered. This will seal the pieces of paper in place and create a smooth surface for the back, instead of bumpy paper. Now the paper will be less likely to peel off in the future.
9) Do steps 5-8 repeatedly until you have the entire design completely glued on both sides.
10) Lay the clipboard face down, leaning on the table. Allow at least 15 minutes for it to dry.
11) Embellish the top of the clipboard with whatever you desire. I used ribbon. On the first clipboard I tied a nice bow, and on the second one I tied strips of ribbon in knots until the metal clip was covered.
12) Hang on your wall for the storage you need, or use your cute clipboard on the job!
I used the Cricut Cartridge Accent Essentials, accent 39 for the second clipboard.
- 1 green styrofoam wreath from Michael’s
- 1 package of yarn
- felt flowers
- glue gun & glue sticks
1) Carefully cut the styrofoam wreath in half using a sharp knife. This takes a while and is pretty tedious, but is totally worth it, because now you can make 2 wreaths for the price of buying one! (And the wreath will lay flat against a wall or door!) I got this idea from That’s My Letter. A “poke & swivel” motion is the method I found to work the best. I used no directions or videos to help me, so I’m sure there is a better way to do it.2) Wrap the yarn around the wreath once, and tie it in a tight knot with no slack. Make sure the knot you tie is on the back.
3) Now, continue to pass the whole package of yarn through the wreath and wrap the string of yarn around and around the wreath. Lay each string next to the string before it, making sure to pull tight and leave no space to show. (This is the most time-consuming step.)
(In between these steps you could use an additional yarn color to make a stripes, argyles, or another pattern for more interest. I chose to leave mine plain.)
4) Next, you are ready to decorate your wreath with whatever embellishments you choose. I made and attached 3 types of felt flowers (rose, loopy, & carnation) for a simple springy, outdoorsy style.
5) Choose what ribbon, bow, or fabric you want to hang your wreath with. (Or you may want no hanger) I layered 2 different widths of ribbon and looped them through the wreath. Depending on the size of your wreath & where you are hanging it, the length of your hanger will vary. I didn’t even measure the length of my ribbon. I just “eyeballed” it.
6) Hang your wreath however you wish and adjust it to your liking. Now it is on display for all to enjoy!
FYI: I mostly followed a tutorial from thegluegungirl to make the wreath and the different felt flowers. I got different tips and tricks by looking through her tutorials and watching her videos on youtube. So, please refer to her if my steps weren’t clear enough. She is a wreath pro!
Well, I’m no longer a wreath rookie! I officially heart making wreaths! Seeing the finished product was the best part! (Isn’t it always?!) I can’t wait to make more, especially with felt! What other felt flowers are you interested in? Do you like the rose, loopy, or carnation one the best? Are there others I should try? What other felt creations have you tried or “pinned” lately?
I’m linking up at:
When my friends from Nashville found out I had a blog, they were surprised I hadn’t posted any cups recipes. Why? Because when I lived there I was CRAZY about cups! They were my answer to everything. Baby shower? Cups! Wedding shower? Cups! Pot luck? Cups! Superbowl? Cups! Brunch? Cups! See what I mean? I brought them to Sunday school when it was my turn to bring snacks. I brought them to game night on the weekends. I loved cups! I still love cups! They are one of the few things I make over, and over… and over. So since I’m so smitten with cups, it’s about time I share them with you.
I decided on 6 cups to post today. Some of the recipes use biscuits, some don’t. Some are full-size cups, some are miniature. Some I copied straight from the cookbook, some I altered, and one is right from my brain! But no matter how different they are, they all have one thing in common: They are delicious!!
Here they are in no certain order. (How could I have possibly ordered them from least to greatest?)
Mini Chicken Taco Cups
adapted from Taste of Home
1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 envelop taco seasoning
¼ cup chopped onion
1 cup salsa
1 cup cheddar cheese
45 mini fillo shells (comes 15 per box, so 3 boxes)
sour cream, chopped green onions, and additional salsa and cheddar cheese to garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 350°. Toss chicken in taco seasoning. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir the chicken over medium heat for 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
- Transfer chicken to a food processor; cover and process until chopped. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, salsa, and cheese.
- Place fillo shells on a cookie sheet. Spoon rounded teaspoons of chicken mixture into cups; top with additional salsa and cheese (if desired). Bake 10 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm. Garnish with sour cream and green onions, if desired.
Depending on how much you filled the cups, you may have some extra chicken mixture left over. Roll it in a tortilla, bake it, and have a snack! Oh, and try not to eat the whole batch when they come out of the oven! They are so addicting!
Barbecue Beef Cups
adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray
1 lb ground beef
¾ cup barbecue sauce
1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, divided
Pillsbury grands jr. flaky layers 12 oz. Buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 400. In a skillet, brown the beef over medium heat; drain off excess fat. Remove from heat and stir in the barbecue sauce and 1 cup of cheese.
- Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and place a flattened biscuit dough in each cup, pressing the dough up the sides.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture into each cup. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake until biscuits are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
modified from Taste of Home
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1 tube refrigerated biscuits
1 can broccoli cheese soup
3 cups frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
- Place biscuits in greased muffin cups, pressing dough onto the bottom and up the sides.
- In a bowl, combine the chicken, soup and broccoli; spoon into each muffin cup. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes: 10 cups
Ham and Cheddar Mini Cups
from Taste of Home
2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 packages (2-1/2 ounces each) thinly sliced deli ham, chopped
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup real bacon bits
2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tube (10.2 ounces) large refrigerated flaky biscuits
- In a large bowl, combine the cheese, ham, mayonnaise, bacon and mustard. Split biscuits into thirds. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture.
- Bake at 450° for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Let stand for 2 minutes before removing from the pans. Serve warm. Makes: 2-1/2 dozen.
These are the best little things to bring to a brunch. I always get compliments on them and people are always asking for the recipe. I’ve made them dozens of times and they always turn out right. Also, as a side note, I don’t like mustard too much, but I like it in these. So don’t shy away from this dish for that reason. They are worth a try!
P.S. Kroger has these awesome packs of pre-diced ham by Cumberland Gap that I always use to make these. They come with 8 oz. so I only use half of it, and use the rest for salads or omelets.
Apple Cobbler Cups
Pillsbury grands jr. flaky layers 12 oz. Butter lovin’
2 apples, finely chopped (I chopped mine in a food processor)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup water
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup rolled oats
cup packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
¼ cup butter, softened
- Preheat the oven to 400. Squeeze each biscuit flat and press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased muffin cups.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water, vanilla, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Add apples. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until apples are tender and liquid is clear and thick.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly.
- Spoon ¼ cup apple mixture into each cup. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
- Let stand for 2 minutes before removing from pans. Serve warm with ice cream and caramel syrup. Makes: 10 cups
Mini Pizza Bread Cups
from Plain Chicken
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup mini pepperoni
1 cup italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
pizza sauce for dipping
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, garlic powder and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, sausage and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with the warmed pizza sauce for dipping. Makes: 24 mini cups
I made these to take in my lunches all week, but Josh ate the whole plate while watching Kentucky win the National Championship on Monday night (Go CATS!). So guess who’s been eating school lunches all week? Yep, corn with pizza, corn and pizza.
Here’s one small side note you need to know before you start baking all these cups. The great thing about cups are they are unique finger foods, easy on-the-go foods, and fun to eat. But the tricky thing about cups is you don’t alway end up with the right amount of fillings for the right amount of cups. Sometimes I end up with more biscuits than fillings, and other times it’s the other way around. So when you run into this problem, don’t think you did something wrong! If this happens, one thing you can do if you have more filling is split one or two of your biscuits in half to create another cup to fill.
I’m linking up with:
The next list has the same books as the other list. However this list tells why the books received the ratings they did. It shows the same categories as listed in our “25 Series to Read if You Love the Hunger Games” post. Then on the last page there are 46 more books that were recommended, but were not compared to The Hunger Games using the 8 categories. That means this file contains 71 books (some series, some not) to read!! Wow! Who even knows how many books that is when you include the sequels that follow?!
Click on the picture to download! It’s free too!!