Ruffled Nursery Curtain

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 No comments

 I recently made these for a friend's nursery.  she bought some curtains and fabric and just asked me to add some ruffles.  I should say, what I'm about to describe breaks all the sewing rules, but my philosophy is, someone made those up to begin with.
We decided she wanted to have 9 inch ruffles, so I cut each to the width of ten inches b/c I created a seam on both sides.  For the length, the curtains were sixty inches, so I had her get 90 inches (1 1/2 the length is usually what I measure to get enough 'ruffle.'
Instead of sewing and 'pulling' to create the ruffle, I just pinned both edges, pinned the middle, and then created a 'ruffle' as I pinned it down and sewed over that to keep it ruffled.  
To make sure it stayed straight, I drew a line with chalk and just made sure I pinned along the line.  

Teaching Tuesday: Incentives

I am a part of a group that is in charge of student incentives and awards this year at work.  To keep a long story short, we had a small group that won a 'prize' when they earned cards for doing the right thing and it filled up a line.  I saw an idea like this on pinterest, so I got to work and covered some boxes to look like cars.  The students came down, ate popcorn and got to watch a movie. 
 Another incentive was a fortnight dance party for a larger group of kids who won a points contest for their team.  Students would earn points for following expectations and the team with the most point got a glow necklace, flashlight, and an invite to the gym to dance to some fortnight moves under the lights of a 'disco' ball. 

Apple Cranberry & Almond Coleslaw

Thursday, January 24, 2019 1 comment
When fruit is out of season, I struggle with veggies and usually end up looking for recipes like this one.  I also had some sliced almonds and cranberries left over from Christmas, so I decided to use them up.  I really liked the addition of the apples, and it was a fun side to add to some chicken sandwiches.
The recipe came from Cooking Classy.  Minus that mayo, it was a good way to get in some veggies.  I adapted it a little b/c I bought a bag of coleslaw mix instead of cutting my own carrots.
Ingredients:
Dressing:  3.4 c. plain Greek Yogurt, 1/4 c. mayonnaise, 1/4 c. honey, 2 T apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Coleslaw:
1 pkg of coleslaw mix (sold in the packaged salad selections at most stores-measures about 7 cups), 2 apples (peeled and sliced into matchsticks-about 3 c.), 1/2 c. green onions, 3/4 c. almond slivers, 3/4 c. dried cranberries
Instructions:  Mix all the dressing ingredients.  In a separate bowl mix all the coleslaw ingredients and then pour your dress over these and toss until everything is well coated.
Serve immediately.

Christmas Card Album

Monday, January 21, 2019 No comments
 A fear I have with the digital world is that so much of our personal history is going to be lost.  I have learned so much through photos I've found of family members from long ago, and letters they exchanged and kept.  With the digital world of texting and phone photos not being printed, I think there are going to be some pretty major chunks missing and not captured despite the fact that you live forever on the internet, who is to say the internet will live forever in it's current form.  So, I save letters.  In particular, Christmas cards have been a collection I picked up four years ago. I started b/c my friend told me how she kept hers in a box next to a chair and she picked one up each day and prayed for that person.  I decided to bind mine and keep them in a book.  I recently saw a friend who did the same and placed her family photo on top, which was adorable
Here is this year's collection.  I decorated two pieces of cardboard for a front and back cover, added a few decorations and then punched two holes in each card, letter, and photo that arrived in my box this December.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

Thursday, January 17, 2019 No comments
I have not yet entered the world of Instapots.  I think I've hesitated b/c....well, space, I have a tiny house and it's bulging at the seams.  There is also the 'not quite instant' aspect, but the reason I've clung to my crockpot up through this date is b/c I put together the ingredients the evening before, put the crock in the fridge, then pop it in the pot in the morning and hit low.  That way it's just ready to go when I get home.  Perhaps this is something you can do with the instapot, and I figured I'll get there someday, but for now, here's another recipe I really enjoyed via my (increasingly) vintage crockpot.  
Ingredients:  2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 c. bbq sauce, 1/4 c. Italian dressing, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 T Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 t. salt
Instructions: 
1.  Put chicken in the bottom of your bottom.  
2.  Mix all the other ingredients and pour them over the chicken.  
3.  Cook for 3-4 hours on high.  Shred and let it cook another 10-15 minutes in the sauce.  
4.  Serve on buns (or the original recipe at FamilyFreshMeals recommends serving it over rice or in a wrap).  Regardless, you have some well seasoned chicken!

New and Improved Sausage Balls

Monday, January 14, 2019 No comments
 I'm the fan of a sausage ball or six.  I made these for New Year's Eve, but I might just whip them out again for the super bowl....because everyone knows that even more important than the game, second only to the commercials, is the spread.  These were really great b/c they have the additional of the seasoning pack from the Red Lobster box.  Garlic makes everything better....and keeps vampires away, so....win win....unless you are a fan of that sort of guy.
Ingredients:  1 box of Red Lobster Biscuit Mix, 1 pkg (16 oz) sausage, 8 oz block of sharp cheddar cheese (shredded), 8 oz block of pepper jack cheese (shredded)
Instructions:  
1.  Head over to 350.
2.  Mix the biscuit mix, seasoning (in the mix box), and sausage.
3.  Add cheese to the mix and combine (this takes a lot of work, squish, squeeze, squish again).
4.  Roll 1 inch balls (I made them about 1 1/2 inch b/c I was trying to save time) and place them on a baking sheet.  T
5.  Coo for 25 minutes.  Cool on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil.

Vintage Valentine Tree

Saturday, January 12, 2019 9 comments
I have a white tree I have out at Christmas, and this year I decided to turn it into a Valentine Tree.  It's something I'll add to as I find the right cards at antique stores as I'm out and about, so it's just the start, but it's  a great way to display the few Valentine's I had already, an get a few more months out of my tree.  
 I had some white felt balls already, and I used some pink thread and felted some hearts and made a little garland for the tree.
 I collected a few more Valentine cards this year, I love the Mechanical Cards with moving parts.
 I want to add more garlands etc, but I'm trying not to rush the process and just let it grow through the years.
 I bought some little heart clips on Amazon I'm using to clip the cards to the tree so they aren't damaged.

Clearance Ornament Craft

Thursday, January 10, 2019 No comments
 I found little snowball ornaments at Target on clearance after Christmas, and I decided to give them a make over for future years.  I bought two, so you are looking at the first finished ornament.
It was the easiest craft b/c I just bought some buttons at Hobby Lobby I hot glued around the ornament, and I used my scrap ribbons and tied it to the string that was already there.  Ornament two will be shades of gold instead of silver b/c I'm an equal opportunity kind of gal when it comes to my fake precious metals.

Teaching Tuesday: Author's Purpose

Tuesday, January 08, 2019 No comments
 I made this a few years ago using free articles from readworks.  Step 1 is students sort definitions/examples etc of the different reasons author's write stories.  Step 2 is applying that to stories they read. 

Here is a link to the prinatable version.

Clover Rolls

Friday, January 04, 2019 No comments
 So, one of my goals NOT for the year, because that would be crazy, but for say....the next ten years, is to work my way through a cookbook.  I won't blog about all the recipes because you can buy the cookbook, but I will blog about a few with some tips and tricks I've learned because lets face it, I wasn't qualified to write the cookbook, so there is a learning curve that perhaps a more proficient chef doesn't realize would be helpful.
For instance, homemade bread.  I wanted to make rolls for Christmas, but...it's Christmas, I also don't want to MAKE homemade rolls on Christmas.  So...my quest was to make THIS recipe for no knead clover rolls, but do it in advance, and...it worked!
I made the rolls two days before.  I did have to punch it down several times until it created a little bit of a hard shell over the top (which was easy to massage out).  When it came to the day of, I pulled the double out and rolled it into the balls as instructed.  I just let it sit around (covered with a towel) for a few hours and it rose again (a lot, this yeast was doing it's thang).  I added butter and they were a huge hit.