Tuesday, April 30, 2013 No comments
I know this idea has been out and about on the world wide web....I'm not sure where it originated, wasn't here, simpe and fun tags to add to drinks!  This past year we decided to do a secret sister exchange at work.  My pal Kristine and I divided up the names of all the ladies that wanted to participate and then we filled out interested list of things we loved (from drinks, favorite breakfast, hobbies, etc).  We did this from Oct-April and ended with a fun get together and reveal.  Most of the gifts I'll have to post next year as the seasons roll by, but this was just a fast little gift I gave one day (we usually gave a gift every week or two, little and big and everywhere in between).  As a diet coke a-holic, when I find out a persons favorite drink-I always 'say it with soda.' 

Sombrero Cookies

Monday, April 29, 2013 No comments
 I've seen multiple versions of these all throughout the internet, is my version, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.  Sombrero Cookies!
I used Oreos because...hello, there is nothing better than cream filling.  I've seen these made with vanilla wafers.  I actually found an Oreo with sprinkles inside so they were even festive to the bite.  I also used yellow melting chocolate.  You could use white and dye it yellow, but.....I'll let someone else do that for me.  The only other things you need are sprinkles and yellow gumdrops. 
 I melted the chocolate at 30 second intervals.  Mine took about 1 1/2 minutes.  Stir every 30 seconds and it's ready when it's smooth.  The time usually depends on how much you are melting at one time, I go in small doses so it doesn't harden too quickly.  Dip your Oreo.  Place it on wax paper.  I then dripped the gumdrop bottom. 
 I added sprinkles to the wet chocolate, then placed it on the still wet cookie to adhere. 
 I let the chocolate harden,then melted the chocolate again, rolled the edge in chocolate, then in sprinkles, and...ta da.
 See, sprinkles in the middle.  You could quickly twist off the top of the cookies and add your own sprinkles. 
The toughest part of blogging is having to test the creations. 

Book: Once Upon a Time... Lamp

Friday, April 26, 2013 No comments
I saw this idea for a reading lamp at ChicaandJo and I knew I 'needed' one of these for my classroom.  This was one of the easiest projects I've put together.  It cost a grand total of 6 dollars for the lamp (plus more for the light bulb)....and that's a pretty sweet deal for something that'll grace my classroom for years to come.  The neat thing is you could really do this with any design you want to broadcast.
I found a stand for five dollars at IKEA and a lamp shade for 99 cents.  I cut out the phrase Once Upon a Time... using a cricut, BUT you can also just bring it off on cardstock with your favorite font.   
 You can use tape or adhesive spray to attach this to the lamp.....I decided on tape so I could reposition....the shade is just thick enough that you can't see the tape, but you see the letters dark and clear.
 Taped inside.....again, you can use adhesive glue spray as well and paste it to the inside of the shade.  You can also print it off on cardstock, and then adhere it with tape or spray as well and the paper shouldn't be visible, but the black letters will. 
 And....ta da.  A fun little lamp for a reading corner.

Mini Pull Tab Pinata Palooza

Thursday, April 25, 2013 No comments
I saw the idea for mini pinata's over at loveandcupcakes and I knew I had to add this to this year's teacher themed testing week o' fun.  This year some of the gals on the leadership team got together to try to create some fun 'snack options' during breaks from the state testing for the teachers to looking forward to/enjoy.  Invites are always important, as is candy.  So....we made these little pinata's for everyone administering the state test to great them the morning of testing in their office mail box.
For the pull, I attached a little piece of wrapped candy to a string with tape.  
I taped it inside as well.  
 I covered the bottom of a toilet paper tube with tissue paper, making a small hole to pull the string through with scissors.
I cut little pieces of folded strips of tissue paper so there was a fringe...
...and (called in reinforcement) and we glued these to the body of the tube.  
Fill it with candy (you can fill it before you wrap it all the way up and close the top off too, or I just left the tops open.  
We added a little 'pull me in case of emergency tag' and a string (via two holes on the side) to hang these in all the boxes.   

Book: Vintage Books New Stationary Envelopes

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1 comment
 I got a bunch of books from a used book sale a few years back and they've been collecting dust, which is probably what they have been doing most of their life.  The only time I can actually tear up a book is when I haven't owned it since it was born.  This was a withdrawn book from a library, I know because I saw the stamp inside that said so.  The pictures were fun and I knew it would make the perfect set of envelopes.  Any book or old paper would work.  How cute would these be for teacher stationary?  Add some blank cards you make with cardstock you fold over, stamp the teachers name on the front and tie them up with a cute ribbon. 
I pulled out my favorite pages that were left from other projects!  The neat thing is these are the innards and outers of each envelope, so a very colorful gift in a mail box. 
 I used a really basic template to trace out the shape of a card, cut around the edges and folded the two sides in towards the inside.  Here is a link to the free template.
 I added a little glue, then folded the bottom half up to create the pocket.
 I'll add some stickers (I'm thinking frogs) to seal the envelopes with, but...I can hardly wait to ship these out. 

Book: Vintage Book Letters

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 1 comment
 I saw this idea at kellehampton, and it quickly moved it's way to the top of my to do list.  As a reading teacher, I definitely needed this little prompt in my classroom.  I think this would be fun for any teacher....maybe just choose a cardboard with her last initial and a favorite kids book....
I just used some old books I got at a used book sale and I cut out cute pictures.  I painted the sides of the cardboard letters (you could use the wooden letters or the paper mache letters as well, but they never had the D when I was look at the craft store!).  I got these for 1.50 each.  I just used a glue stick to then stick down the pictures, and an exacto knife/scissors to trim up the edges.  You could add a layer of mod pogo to ensure the sides don't start lifting up, but so far the glue is doing it's job. 

Book: You are Sharp! Chocolate Covered Pencils

Monday, April 22, 2013 1 comment
These would be cute for a writer, or a teacher, or a student made to write a lot by their teacher.  ;o)  I made these in the fall for some of my friend's kiddos as 'first day back to school' after school snacks, BUT....with teacher appreciate coming up....and no time machine to go back and post these when I actually made these....I'm posting these now.  I saw these on a baking site online...just don't know which one at the time, and I just used my limited chocolate skills to recreate them from memory.  I have a label marked 'teacher gift' below with tons of ideas, add chocolate pretzel sticks to the list.  I've seen these out and about, but this is my version. 
 I took pretzel rods and covered them with melted yellow chocolate (I like the pellets they sell at the craft store in the baking section because it's easier for me to melt than some found in the baking row).  I scraped a knife along the chocolate to give it a little bit of a 'ridge' like pencils have.  Once it dried (which it should do in about ten minutes).  I added a drop of red to white chocolate and dipped on end in this for the eraser. 
 I melted some green chocoalte (again, you can die white chocolate if it's easier than buying three different colors).  I melted it in the microwave in a ziplock bag for about a minute and piped on the strips and #2 after snipping the edge off.  If it starts to harden, just pop it back in the microwave for a few seconds. 
I've also seen this done with the same rods snapped in half and dipped in multi colors with white piped designs made to look like crayons.  Maybe next year.  :O) 

Margarita Cake Balls

Friday, April 19, 2013 No comments
I made these recently for a friend of mine's birthday who likes A)  Mexican Food and B)  Lemon 'Stuff.'  These would be cute for a Fiesta Themed party.   I made a key lime/lemon cookie/cake ball that turned out to be really delicious (said the girl who doesn't like lemon-which is how I know it's tasty).  
I bought some lemon flavored cookies (you can buy the kind with the cream in the the middle, this pretty much works the same as oreo truffles).  I crushed up 1 cup of the cookies using a blender (doesn't have to be totally sandy, but pretty small chunks), and then I mixed in half a thing of softened cream cheese and about 1/4 t. lime flavoring.  

I mixed it all together...

Then I rolled it into balls (this made 10 balls, so use the whole bar of cream cheese would have made 20). I put these balls into the fridge to harden a bit (so it would be easy to roll in melted chocolate, I left it over night, but an hour or so would have done the trick).    
 I rolled these in melted white chocolate and added some 'festive' would have been cut to stick with the green theme as well.  One trick....I roll these in chocolate with a fork, tap the fork on the side of the dish, add the sprinkles (these harden quickly when the melted chocolate hits the cold ball), and then I scoot it off the fork with the side of a knife.
I added these to a little margarita glass I bought at the dollar store.  
 I printed a little tag....
 ....ate all the cake balls that wouldn't fit (oops) and delivered the rest.  :O)