Sunday, April 13, 2014

Primary Teacher Bookmark

Had a primary teacher inservice meeting. They are always so much fun. We asked for substitutes to sit in with their classes during sharing time while we pulled them into another room (all we have available in our building is the kitchen! so fun!) and talked about some training stuff. First we had some advice on how to deal with behavior issues and talked about WHY the kids might be having issues. It was a relief to see how much the teachers were already incorporating into their lessons and class time.

The behavior portion started with a short role playing where all the teachers were given a new name and a personality that they had to play out while we were trying to teach our lesson. We had 2 BFF's girls that were sitting in the back talking incessantly. We had the "Good Girl" that wanted to answer all the questions. We had a boy that liked another girl and kept poking her because he didn't know how else to show it. The girl was extremely shy and felt very uncomfortable from his advances. There was a boy with ADHD. There was a boy that was always trying to misbehave so he would get kicked out. It was a great way to start the class and to get the teachers talking and involved.

To transition from one topic to the next we showed this video.... Click here.

The second half of the class consisted of talking about spiritual preparation and making sure we love the kids we are teaching. Most of the information related to that part of the class came from the book "Teaching, No Greater Call." GREAT BOOK.

Made a bookmark with references to things that we talking about so they could refer themselves to the book as needed. There is a front and a back. I cut them about 2 1/2 inches wide by 8 inches long. I glued the paper onto colored cardstock & then laminated them. After they were laminated... I added a hole punch at the top, and a ribbon.

The front of the bookmark has a quote from President James E. Faust.
"The Lord has a great work for each of us to do. You may wonder how this can be. You may feel that there is nothing special or superior about you or our ability.... The Lord can do remarkable miracles with a person of ordinary ability who is humble, faithful, and diligent in serving hte Lord and seeks to improve themselves. This is because God is the ultimate source of power."

Here is the printable portion of the bookmark if you wanted to download it and make your own. 

And no church lesson is complete without a treat to go with it.... We think our teachers are DYNAMITE! We told them this... by giving them this little treat.

To make this... take a package of Rolo candy and wrap it up with a piece of red scrapbooking or construction paper. Before sealing the red paper, add a piece of brown embroidery floss or hemp to be the fuse of the dynamite. Then seal it up using some tape, glue or the best option would be the Sticky Strip. Finally add a word strip that says, "Thanks for being a DYNAMITE teacher!"

Click here for the tags to download and print.

This would be a great and simple gift to give to a school teacher as well. I was thinking about making a bunch of wrapped Rolos and putting them all together to make the gift a little more grandeur. Something like this.....

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chocolate Dipped Easter Treats

I love these chocolate dipped peanut butter eggs and they are made even more delicious with the addition of some rice crispy cereal. The crunchy outer chocolate shell, the inner soft chewy comforting flavor of the peanut butter, made a lot better with the crispy cereal.

Without further ado.... The recipe for these bad boys is coming right up.

{{Crispy Peanut Butter Balls}}

(Printer friendly version click here)

1 stick butter, melted
1 lb. powdered sugar (2 ½ cups)
1 (18 oz.) jar peanut butter
3 1/2 c. Rice Krispies

Mix together all the ingredients using a paddle attachment of a kitchen aid stand mixer. Using a cookie scoop, measure out the peanut butter fondant and then roll into balls the size of walnuts. Chill 2 hours on a cookie sheet.

In a double boiler, melt
2 bags chocolate chips
Optional: Add to chocolate chips a small piece of paraffin wax (This will make the chocolate shinier and easier to dip balls.)

Drop a peanut butter ball into the chocolate, and using a fork, cover the ball. Tap off excess chocolate and then set on wax paper/parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Chill until set. Remove and layer in container with wax paper. Store in refrigerator. 

After I dipped all the peanut butter balls I had chocolate left over. I grabbed a package of bunny peeps and dipped them as well. Start by pushing a stick inside the marshmallow, then dip into the chocolate. After they are laid down on a piece of parchment paper, add a mini marshmallow tail on the butt of the bunny. 

Let them set up and then serve. The kids thought these were adorable and they FLEW off the plate. Even the kids that don't really like Peeps, liked these chocolate dipped ones. That's what chocolate can do for things. It just makes everything better.

Peanut Butter balls... done. Package of Peeps... done. Still more chocolate left. What to do now with that chocolate??? I saw the mini marshmallows sitting there and remembered something my mom would do when I was little. I raided the pantry and found some Roasted and Salted peanuts.... perfect!

Now it was time to make some Rocky Road Candy! Mmmmmm... Yummy!

The leftover chocolate in the bottom of the pan will always vary so there isn't a set recipe, but basically. Toss in some mini marshmallows, add some peanuts and stir. You can drop tablespoons of the mixture onto some waxed paper or put it into lightly greased pan (if you have that much) and cut it into squares after to serve.

Either way... it is a yummy way to keep yourself from wasting any of this delectable chocolate. The salty peanuts... the soft and sweet marshmallows, and the rich chocolate... Everything you need in a quick treat.

Homemade Butterfinger Eggs

Only 3 ingredients to make these... and one of the ingredients is a total shock. Candy Corn! But as everyone was tasting these eggs, they were surprised to realize how much they tasted like a real Butterfinger treat.

They are really super easy to make. The only reason they take a while is because of setting time in the fridge or freezer. Kinda fun to try and make.

{{Homemade Butterfinger Eggs}}

(Click here for printer friendly version)

16 ounces candy corn
16 ounces peanut butter
16 ounces milk chocolate chips

Melt candy corn in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted. Will take a while and will first look very crumbly and then it ends up looking like liquid playdough.
Add in peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.
Mixture will be warm so using a cookie scoop pull out the mixture and put onto a piece of parchment paper. Then form into an egg shape and place back on parchment paper to set.
Place in freezer to set and leave in the freezer for a few hours.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot boiling water (or in the microwave by heating in 30 second intervals) stirring until completely melted.
Brush any crumbs off of the egg shaped butterfinger mix and then drop into the melted chocolate. Using a fork coat the egg completely in chocolate and then return back to parchment paper. Leave in a cool place to set or in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 16.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Candy Gift Wrapping

Here are two different ways to dress up some Easter Candy so they can be given away as a gift. I made the little bowls to give out to some kids and the bigger "Sour Cream containers" were used for a teacher gift, but they both utilized the same tag.

The little cups were bought at the Dollar Store (specifically the Dollar Tree). It is a package of 8 or 10 little cups for only a dollar! Great deal. I've used these to organize paper clips and tacks and other small items in Pens/Pencil drawers.

After printing out the little flowers (found below), I punched them out using my Stampin' Up flower punch. Then using a little piece of Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon to make some "leaves" I glued them down with some mini glue dots. Finally the whole flower was glued down on the little container. I added a little rhinestone embellishment on there as well... cause we all like a little glitz and glamour. Fill it with candy and give it away!

Here is the second little treat container... this is the classic sour cream container. There is a tutorial over on Splitcoast, click here if you've never made one before. They are super simple to make and so fun to give away.

I started with orange patterned paper and cut it into 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inches. (You can make 4 of these for every 8.5x11 piece of paper.) After rolling up the paper into a tube, and then sealing the bottom edge with Sticky Strip, I took some strips of green paper and scored it using the Stampin' Up simple scored tool then folded it up. There are three strips at the top of each carrot. I filled the tube with candy and then sealed the top edge the opposite direction as the bottom so that it resembles those little sour cream containers.

Finally, a punched out tag, attached with some jute or twine and it is done! Ready to give away.

Here are the flower labels that can be printed and punched out for an easy Spring or Easter tag.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bunny Easter Egg Craft

Ready to make a fun and easy little craft with some of those plastic little Easter eggs?

Materials needed:
  • Plastic Easter Egg
  • Cotton Balls
  • Pipe Cleaners, cut to 1.5-2 inch pieces
  • Paper, cut out in the shape of floppy bunny ears
  • Permanent Sharpie marker
  • Glue (used hot glue... if kids are making these you'd have to use
  • Scissors
  • Candy to fill the egg, if giving as a gift =)
  1. First open the egg and glue in the ears to the smaller flat side of the egg. Egg should still be able to close with this thin paper.
  2. Use the glue and cover the body of the egg with cotton balls. 
  3. Glue and poke in the pipe cleaner legs. 
  4. Use the marker and draw on a cute little bunny face! 
  5. Fill with some candy. 
These are fun to have placed around the yard on a fun little Easter Egg hunt! More than just a simple little egg. Fun for little hands to pick up and play with. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Cheetos Carrots Snack Bag

Fun non-candy treats for kids.

Take a cake decorating bag and fill it up some Cheetos or some other orange snack (Cheez-its, GoldFish, cheese balls, etc.). Add a green ribbon and leaf tag cutout at the top. Done! Cute little snack idea to give kids that isn't candy!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rice Crispie Easter Eggs & Chocolate Nests

Classic treat! Rice Crispie Treats! We love these at our house. And it's always a great way to celebrate any holiday. This was a great way for the kids to get involved as well.

Make some rice crispies....

After you've made them, drop the hot mixture by the spoonful onto a greased cookie sheet. Let the rice crispie treats cool down a bit so that you can handle them in your hands. Spray some cooking spray onto your hands and then pick up a spoonful and mold it into the shape of an egg. Lay it back down on the cookies sheet.

Melt some chocolate in a double boiler pan.

Collect some Easter/spring colored sprinkles and put them into a bowl.

After the Easter Egg rice crispies have cooled, you can have the kids dip them into the melted chocolate and then roll them in the colored sprinkles or sugars. Place them on a piece of parchment paper and let them set, then ENJOY!

When you have left over melted chocolate... you can't just throw it away! Here's a fun idea on what you can use with the leftover chocolate. Take the chocolate and mix in chow mein noodles. Drop the mixture in spoonfuls onto a waxed paper or parchment paper covered cookie sheet. After you've dropped the mixture down, you can mold the noodles into a nest shape. Let the chocolate set in a cool place (you can put in refrigerator to speed up the process). When they are hard, you can fill them with whatever goodies you choose. Here is large nest with a rice crispie egg....

Or you can make a smaller little nest and then put in the delightfully delicious Cadbury chocolate eggs (or jelly beans or whatever your candy of choice is).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Frito Dip

Best new dip ever! Cream Cheese Chili Dip.

I've made it several times for a varieties of parties and it is always a HUGE hit!

And the best part... there are only 2 ingredients in the dip. That's it! When people taste it and try to guess... they always guess many more ingredients than are actually included. Chili and Cream Cheese. That's all you need! And of course something to transport this delicious dip to your mouth!

 It's so easy to make. You can make it on the stove or you can make it in the microwave. You want to use a high quality chili... I like the Hormel Chili with Beans best. And then cream cheese... you can even use the low fat kind to make it a little less guilt inflicting when you are eating it. Put them together in the pan or bowl and heat them up. Make sure to stir it a few times while you are heating it up and then you are done. Pour it into a serving bowl (or eat it straight out of the pan)

{{Chili Cream Cheese Dip}}
(printer friendly here)

1 (8 oz) block of softened cream cheese
1 (15 oz) can of high quality chili (Hormel or Dennison)

Warm ingredients until blended in a pot on the stove or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Serve with corn chips (Fritos).


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Orange You Glad... Birthday Gift

I made this little gift to give away... I've seen tons of variations on Pinterest. I had to mail this gift so I opted for less chocolate and more mailable items.

Super easy and versatile gift that can be made to fit any person. Basically you just have to collect "orange" colored items.

Here's some orange suggestions:
  • Orange notebook 
  • Orange pen
  • Orange tube of Mini M&M's
  • Trident gum (Tropical Flavor- with an orange package)
  • Orange Crystal Light
  • Burt Bees Chapstick
  • Orange Nail Polish
  • Orange Slices Candy
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or Reese's Pieces
  • Kit Kat Candy
  • Soda/Drinks (Orange Crush)
  • Orange Tic Tacs
  • Goldfish
  • Cheetos
  • An actual real orange
  • Orange cup
  • Orange Ribbon
  • Orange Stickers
  • Anything Orange! Walk around and see what Orange things you find.
Then you add a little tag and it's done! Ta dah!

Here's a free printable of the orange tag for a Birthday gift.

And another tag for other gifts... Teacher Gift, Visiting Teacher gift, neighbor gift, just because gift! You can make the gift big or small depending on how much stuff you put into the collection.
 Right click on the image that you want and save it to your computer, then you can print out, cut out and attach it to your gift.

Here's another idea...

It's a plastic mason jar straw cup with a lid (and it even has an orange on the glass itself). I filled it up with a bunch of Orange candy, gum, Tic Tac's & Burt Bee's chapstick. I bought the cup at Wal-mart and after filling it with the orange treasures, I wrapped a ribbon and attached the tag.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day Fun

Love this fun Green Day!

It started this morning with the kids running around to see what our naughty little Leprechaun did to the house.  For some reason he likes to snag a shoe from each child in the house and fill it with some treats or gifts. This year they got golden rolos and skittles, plus a fun new pair of glasses. Sammie & Anthony got the cool aviators while Jared's has an orange mustache attached to his green glasses and Morgan got the 80s Shamrock shades.

A few little tricks that silly little guy worked on while we were all soundly sleeping...
  • He colored the toilet water green and unrolled the toilet paper a bit. 
  • He arranged the kid's alphabet magnets into the word lucky and then sprinkled some rolos around there too.
  • The kitchen chairs were left in complete disarray...turned over and on top of each other.
  • Some of the family pictures had funny faces and mustache's drawn onto the photo.
  • Finally the milk was turned green. 
Silly little mischievous leprechaun. 

After the tricks were found it was time to eat some breakfast. We went simple this year.... LUCKY CHARMS... cuz "They're magically delicious!" Served along with the leprechaun tinted green milk.

Plus to add some fruits and veggies into their breakfast we had some Turtle Juice Smoothies. 

{{Turtle Juice Smoothie}}

(Printer Friendly Version... click here)

2 frozen bananas
1 big handful of fresh spinach
1 yogurt (flavor of your choice)
2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, one apple, can of pineapple, one orange, raspberries, etc.)
2 cups juice, any kind
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
Blend all ingredients in a blender.
Will be different every time depending on the fruit chosen.

Pina Colada = pineapple juice, pineapple, banana, spinach and pina colada yogurt.
Blueberry Monster = blueberries, banana, spinach, vanilla yogurt, any juice.
This recipe was originally created by my friend Gina Smith and we use it all the time. We vary the fruit and juice to alter the flavor a little, but there is always a BIG ole handful of spinach added to the blender. When I first started making this the kids had no idea they were eating so much spinach, then they saw me doing it and at first they wanted to be abhorred... until I mentioned to them that they'd been eating it for quite some time. They paused... and realized it was true and they don't even complain anymore... they even pull out the spinach leaves when we go to make our green smoothies.

While the kids were happily munching on their cereal and smoothies... I was getting their green lunches ready. I made them a PB&J Shamrock sandwich, a green squeezie applesauce, a green Sprite, a green Fruit by the Foot, a green apple, green Sour Cream & Onion chips (the bag was green at least), and for dessert some Thin Mint cookies. They were super excited about the lunch since they got things that they don't normally get to have. FUN! That's what the holidays are all about. I also went here and printed out a lunch box tag to put in their lunch too.

After lunches were packed, and teeth were brushed... we stopped to take some pictures of their green-ness before they left. Sammie had a green strip of hair that we clipped into her hair and a green scarf. Jared brushed his hair up into a faux-hauk and then I sprayed it with temporary green hair color that we picked up on clearance after Halloween.

Then they were off to school!

When school was over and they busted through the door... they were welcomed by this lovely little rainbow snack. I've seen a bunch of variations and basically just pulled together what I thought my kids would enjoy the most.

Red= Strawberries (or could use raspberries, watermelon, cherries)
Orange= Mandarin Orange slices (or fresh clementines/orange slices, cantaloupe, )
Yellow= Pineapple Chunks (almost did bananas but the pineapple was more yellow)
Green= Green Apples (or kiwi, green grapes, honeydew,)
Blue= Blueberries
Purple= Purple Grapes

I gathered up the rolos that had been scattered everywhere by the leprechaun and used those to create my gold at the end of the rainbow. The puffy white cloud at the other end of the rainbow is a creamy fruit dip that growing up we affectionately called Angel Dip. It is a very popular dip and SUPER easy to make. Only 2 ingredients needed. ***If you've never made this before... you really need to. You don't know it, but something has been missing from your life... and it is this dip. You can mix things into the dip to turn it into different fun flavors, etc, but in its original form, it's a CLASSIC!

{{Angel Dip}}

(Printer friendly version... click here)

1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened (nonfat works great)
1 7-oz jar marshmallow crème
Using an electric mixer or food processor, blend ingredients until mixed thoroughly. Refrigerate. Serve with fresh fruit, such as strawberries, cantaloupe, grapes, watermelon, etc.

For dinner we always have a corned beef roast & vegetables. I pick up the corned beef at the grocery store or Cost-co and the directions for cooking them are right on the package. It has a yummy flavor that is different than a typical steak. This year I threw everything into my crock pot.

  1. First there is a layer of cut up celery, carrots, onions (and you can add potatoes, but I didn't this year).
  2. Then I put wedges of cabbage on top of the veggies. (Best to keep the cabbage out and add it in half way through cooking though so it doesn't get too soft.)
  3. Next comes the roast and I sprinkled a few of the celery, onions, & carrots on top of the roast.
  4. The corned beef comes with a little package of pickling spices that you will want to save and then sprinkle over the top of the roast and veggies.
  5. I made 2 cups of beef broth and poured that into the bottom of the crock pot.
  6. Cooked everything on high for 4 hours and then when we pulled everything out it was perfect. We sliced up the meat against the grain, added some of the veggies to the plate with a pile of rice (you can spoon the broth over the rice if you want, or thicken it up for a gravy).
You can't go wrong with a slow cooker meal, especially one that is easy and turns out great. Click here for the full recipe.

Along with dinner we had some green leprechaun juice. My 11 year old daughter Sammie adorned our glasses with a cute little dry erase marker mustache. She loves to set the table for holidays... she pulls out tablecloths and place mats and tries to make things match and look cute. (So proud of my little Sammie!)
For this juice, I just kinda improvised with what I had.

{{Leprechaun Juice}}

1 frozen can of limeade concentrate
1 frozen can of lemonade concentrate 
2 liter of Sprite
Green food coloring

Mix it all together and serve. 

Finally it was time for dessert... It's so hard to pick just one... So I picked two. (Even that was difficult... there are so many fun things to make for each holiday.) Here's what I made... one thing new and the other was tried and true... an oldie but goodie!

The first treat I tried today was the Lucky Charm treats. Basically a rice crispie treat but instead of using rice crispies, I used the lucky charms cereal. I thought they might taste extra sweet since the cereal has a coating of sugar on it, but it tasted like cheerios covered in marshmallows. Fun! My baby couldn't wait to get his little hands on them!

Finally... the oldie but goodie. Mint Brownies. And since there is a certain someone in my house that doesn't like mint in, there was a third of the brownies that didn't include the mint frosting... just the chocolate... And those kind are good too! If you want the recipe for these brownies... click here.

Oh yeah... one more thing. I thought I had mint extract in my pantry and while I was making the frosting I couldn't find any minty extracts anywhere. They were all gone! I was committed to these brownies... the kids were depending on them... I'd already told them that they'd be having them. So in order to prevent a coup I did something I have never done before. I had a small vial of doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil and I added in 3 drops of the oil to the frosting so they would be mint and it worked! I had heard that people cooked with the oils and so I tried it. I didn't want to run to the store for the extract. I should have started with 2 cause it seemed a little bit strong to me, but the kids didn't complain or even notice a difference. They were asking for more.

Another St. Patrick's day... done and over with. It was a busy but a fun day.  Now we get to start planning Easter! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

After School Snacks

The kids are ALWAYS famished when they come home from school. Always! Sometimes I just let them grab something from the SNACK bucket in the pantry, or a fruit, and sometimes I made them a snack to eat. It all depends on how much time I have and when we will be eating dinner.

Today I took 5 minutes and put together this plate of snacks for them when they came home from school. They gobbled it up in minutes. (It is amazing that they can put away so much food sometimes.)

A few days ago I had made some banana bread in mini loaf pans. I cut up the last loaf and spread it out on the plate. I broke apart some graham crackers and spread peanut butter on one side and then turned it into a little sandwich. That's it graham crackers and peanut butter- it kinda tastes like a quick and easy peanut butter cookie. Finally, I sliced up a green apple (somehow the kids developed a preference for green apples over the red- so that's what they got). 

Then it was done. They walked through the door... saw the plate, said hello and then I didn't hear much from them til there were only crumbs left on the plate and they were saying, "That was an AWESOME snack Mom!" (Mission Accomplished!)

Then it was time to do homework.


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