Monday, May 20, 2013
Oh my goodness...May has completely escaped me! What in the world is happening? It must be that my oldest is graduating and moving quickly on to bigger things. And we are trying to cram as much as possible into the last few weeks of him being home. It's exhausting. Our last few weeks have been filled with college finals, AP exams, graduation festivities, senior parties, scholarship and awards banquets, and of course...prom!
Remember last year when I got fed up with the cost of corsages? And I ventured off on my own, determined to create a beautiful corsage for pennies on the dollar? Remember that? Well, this year was no different. Except that I am a little more experienced.
And instead of one corsage, I was asked to make SIX! And three boutonnieres. Call me crazy! I will say this though...I loved having prom on Mother's Day weekend. The flowers were very very plentiful and in every color you could imagine. Most of the girls in our little neighborhood were wearing some variation of blue (royal, turquoise, robin egg, etc) and a few chose coral.
We also hosted Prom dinner again this year. So stayed tuned for all the juicy details. So much fun!
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I had plans to meet some dear old friends for lunch today. Friends that I haven't seen for years. I found out this morning as I was getting caught up on a little FB, that it was my friend Ruth's birthday. And how awesome that I would get to go to lunch with her on her birthday? And how sneaky of her not to tell us! I thought it would be fun to make her a birthday cupcake. So I set to work. First I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes. I could swear that I bought a big package of plain white cupcake papers just a couple of weeks ago. But...apparently not. So, I had to settle for pink princess liners. Not ideal--but we'll make it work. Then I decided that I wanted to do a German chocolate variation on a theme. I quickly made some traditional caramel coconut frosting and a batch of chocolate butter-cream frosting, while the cupcakes baked and cooled.
So, this is how you turn a plain jane chocolate cupcake in a pink princess paper into a fantastic German Chocolate Cupcake Birthday Surprise!
Cut a "cone" of cake out of the center of your cupcake. Remove the cone.
Fill the void with a tablespoon of German chocolate caramel coconut frosting.
Replace the cake cone. Don't worry about smashing it flat. Just set it on top. It actually helps to give your cupcake some height.
Pipe some chocolate butter-cream frosting around the perimeter of your caramel crater. Continue piping the chocolate butter-cream in a circular motion working from the outside in. This will give your cupcake a fun swirl on the top.
Hide your pink princess cupcake liner inside of a white nut cup. I fancied mine up a bit with some washi tape.
And there you have it!
If you want to take it even a step farther, add a washi tape "flag" and package your cupcake in a cupcake box. Don't forget the ribbon. You know how I feel about ribbons!
Happy Birthday Friend! Thanks for sharing a few minutes of your special day with me!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
We are deep in the middle of teacher appreciation week at our school. If you are still looking for a little something for your favorite teacher, I thought I'd show you a couple of ideas from last year.
Monday, April 22, 2013
We have a tradition in our elementary school of decorating the teachers' classroom doors for teacher appreciation week. I was asked to decorate my daughter's Kindergarten door for her teacher. I thought about it for a long time. Her teacher is amazing! She loves to read and has instilled this love in her students. I wanted to do something that involved children's literature. I thought it might be fun to use an illustration from a children's book to show our teacher how much we appreciate her.
We love Mo Willems at our house. If you aren't familiar with his works, run to your nearest library and check out a book or two or three or ten! They are delightful! My daughter is especially fond of the Elephant & Piggie Books. The last time we went to the library we really did check out about a dozen of them. Our all time favorite is There Is a Bird On Your Head . But I found a fun illustration in his book I Am Invited To A Party that I wanted to use for our teacher's door decoration.
First thing you need to do is to acquire the book or the illustration that you want to use. I scanned the page into my computer. Then I used our projector to enlarge the image.
Now you need to trace the image onto a large piece of paper or posterboard. I just lightly traced the image with a pencil.
Once you have captured the basic image, you can trace it with a black marker. Have you tried the new Sharpies with a brush tip?? I am in love! The funnest marker I have ever used. Not kidding. Outline the image in black and then color as desired. I used mostly markers to bring my image to life. You could also use crayons, pencils, or chalk. I actually did use chalk to color most of Elephant's body. It was just too much surface area to color with the marker.
Now all you have to do is cut out your image with a pair of scissors.
I had pre-measured the teacher's door which proved to be very handy. My daughter's teacher always leaves her door open. So, I had to work around the push bar. Which was kind of a pain. The other side of the door probably would have been easier. I grabbed some bulletin board paper from the teachers' workroom while I was at the school earlier in the week. You know what I mean, right? The big rolls of colored paper? I pulled out and cut a little more than I needed. When I got home I measured out the roll of paper and cut it to the exact size.
If you want to write a fun phrase about your teacher, you will need to cut out some letters. Or you could just draw or paint them right onto your paper. I chose to cut some out. And I did it old school baby! I used a large stencil set and hand cut each letter.
I wanted to assemble everything on-site. So I hauled all of my supplies to the school. I taped the colored roll paper to the door. Then I attached my images and my letters.
There you have it! You knew I would add some bunting, right? I think it turned out pretty fun.
As I was cutting out the letters, my six year old asked me what I was doing. I told her what I was going to write on the paper..."Mrs. Crockett makes learning fun!" Her response? "She really really does!"
Thanks to all the great teachers out there! We appreciate you!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Yesterday was kind of a big deal for our family. My 18 year old son turned in his application to serve an LDS mission a few weeks ago. As a missionary he would be assigned to serve for two years. Missionaries are sent all over the world and speak almost every language imaginable. We received word from the post office that his assignment had arrived yesterday morning. We were so excited and anxious to see where he would be going! He wanted to wait until evening to open his letter so that many of his friends and family could be there with him. Twelve hours is a long time to wait. Truth be told, I've been waiting for this day for over eighteen years!! I could hardly stand it. We decided to make a party of the whole thing. It gave me something to keep me busy all day.
So, I set to work. We went with a map theme. It seemed like the logical choice since that was the big question of the evening...where in the world would he be going??
You can't have a party without garland, right? I love me some garland. I knew that I wanted to make it out of maps. But where was I going to find enough maps for cheap to finish the job. Then it came to me...a stoke of genius really. We had an old road atlas collecting dust on the shelf. I set to work removing the pages and cutting them into triangles. It was quick work. Before I finished watching an episode of Downton Abbey, I had a huge pile of triangles. Then I punched them and strung them on some yarn and hung them all over our front room.
I hadn't even begun to exhaust my map source. So, I made little cupcake flags. I just cut strips and glued them to a toothpick. My strips were about three inches long and one inch wide. Fold them around a toothpick and glue in place. Cut a notch in the end if you want. We made these cute little jars of yumminess to serve for dessert. I did a strawberry shortcake version and a chocolate cake version. They were fast and I could make them ahead of time. I didn't want to have to be tied to the kitchen, once our guests started arriving. They were delicious!
I decided to just use some full pages of the atlas as a table runner and put a globe in the middle for a centerpiece.
Last but not least, we made a guessing jar.
We had each of our guests venture a guess as to where they thought he would be going. They wrote their name and place on a strip of paper and put it in the jar. People were guessing Russia, Brazil, Taiwan, China, France, Kansas, Michigan, Africa, Spain, Washington state, Oregon, Paraguay, etc etc. When it as all said and done, there was only one person who guessed correctly!
It was a super fun evening. I'm so proud of my boy! Do you want to know where he will be going?
Have you seen missionaries in your neighborhood? Be sure to say "Hi"...they are some of the most outstanding young people you will ever meet!
Friday, April 12, 2013
I thought this was such a fun idea for a preschool or kindergarten teacher. I received a letter from my daughter's room mother. She sent a white lunch sack home with each student with a letter of the alphabet on it. Our assignment was to put some small gifts for the teacher in the bag. The gifts needed to be items that start with that letter of the alphabet. They could be homemade, store bought, or whatever. And they needed to be able to fit inside of the bag. We've been out of town, so I only had one afternoon to put mine together. I probably could have been a little more creative if I had known earlier. Oh well.
We were actually one of the lucky ones. We were given two bags to fill. We were assigned the letters N and Y. "N" was fairly easy. We decided to get some nail care products (nail polish, nail files, etc), a notepad, and some Hershey Nuggets. Some other ideas we were considering...a necklace, Nutter Butters, Newtons, and Nerds. The letter "Y" was a little harder. We went with YooHoo drink packets, yogurt covered pretzels, York peppermint patties, and a gift card for frozen yogurt. Some other ideas we thought of were Yahtzee, a yo-yo, and anything yellow.
My daughter loves her kindergarten teacher--and so do I! She does such a fantastic job. I'm sure that you feel the same way about the teachers in your life. Take a minute to do something nice to thank them for all they do.
I've got a few other "appreciation" tricks up my sleeve...so be sure to stick around!
Friday, March 29, 2013
So, I've been thinking. Lots of families around here have long standing Easter traditions. They gather with friends and family to celebrate the season. But maybe you know of one or two that just aren't up to the task this year. Or maybe just someone that needs a little extra TLC. Why not provide a little Easter fun for someone else? It's not that hard and it could just become a family tradition of your own.
Gather some supplies for a good old fashioned egg hunt. I used plastic eggs. You will need twenty-four of them if you are going to use the printable that I am providing. Fill them with jelly beans and other goodies. They don't have to be sweets. You could use small toys or money or whatever tickles your fancy. You could number them if you want to or seal them with washi tape.
Now put them in a festive container. This cute Easter bag comes to mind. Or you could use a fun bucket or a spare basket. Or some bunny britches! You could even add a cute stuffed bunny for good measure if you'd like. You can never have too many bunnies!
Now comes the fun part. You have to be all ninja-like. Gather the kids and explain the procedure. You are going to sneak up on the family you would like to surprise. Quietly hide the eggs in their yard. You might want to go when you know they aren't home or when their blinds/curtains are closed. I would stick to the front yard to avoid dogs and such. When you are done hiding all of the eggs...leave your empty Easter bag (or bucket or basket) on their porch. Be sure to attach a fun tag to explain the fine points of the Easter Hunt Surprise! Click here for an orange version or here for a pink version.
Then ring the door bell and run like the wind!
Door bell ditching Easter style! Gotta love it!
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