Friday, May 31, 2013

Recipe Organization

I found this idea from It's Overflowing. I pretty much spent ALL day sorting through my recipes and pulling pages out of magazines. I made lots of sticky notes with the categories, then put them into the folders.  I now have them all in a pretty place, and cleared up some much needed space! I was able to score the same magazine holder and some folders in the Target Dollar Spot! The whole project cost me $8!

I'm passing on the magazines and an organizer to my old roomie so she can get hers organized too! I think I inherited some of her recipes and pulled out pages. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I am LOVING my fresh lettuce from my garden! I planted lettuce seeds around the beginning of April.  I pretty much just sprinkled them in my garden! They took off from there! 

To harvest, I just cut, with scissors, off chunks of leaves. I am hoping that it will grow back more! 

Then, I throw it straight into the salad spinner. I give it a few good washes, and it is ready to eat! 

I found these cute stickers in the dollar bin at Target. I stuck them on a few ziplock bags and shared the lettuce with friends and neighbors! 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Front Porch

A few new pots, power washing, and new flowers! If only I could afford new concrete! 

This year I am trying begonias instead of inpatients. They were easier to plant and are supposed to get up to 30 inches! They are also a part sun plant not a shade only. My inpatients got cooked last summer! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Schools out!!

I had a great year with these 16 kids! They are an awesome bunch who all got along, liked to have fun, and were smart! You can see by this pic that they are full of spunk and really each have their own personality that shines! Cool, independent, creative, inquisitive, spunky, and lovable! I made my kids design a letter for the back door playground.  It had to be 2 feet tall, have at least 2 colors, and have a pattern or geometric design. They didn't all exactly follow the rules, but it was the last day go school and I didn't really care!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yard Clean Up

I love it when it is finally nice enough to get out in the yard! This weekend I did a little work! 

First off, I had to buy a new mower. My electric one bit the dust. It was buy a new battery, or buy a new mower, that was just a little bit more. 

Earlier this spring, my mom and I transplanted peonies from my grandparent's house. They are not supposed to bloom the first season after transporting. However, its looking like I will have 2 blooms! 
The home owners before me did not like landscaping. They loved ROCKS! They meant well with this little area, but it is a pain! So today I did a little rock gardening. I took out the lights, pulled weeds, used my leaf blower to blow out the leaves, and raked the garden to cover the weed barrier. I would love to do this to it. 

My friends came and got the swing set out of my back yard. I think I have used it a total of 3 times in 3 years.  Sloan will get much more use out of it. It also made me want to landscape around that tree and plant grass, not weeds.
I also picked up 5 bags of pokey balls and leaves! Next weekend I need to get some flowers planted, and I'll have to mow AGAIN! :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Marble Maze

At the end of the year I like to do this fun marble maze project.

I give some requirements:
  • It has to be the slowest maze
  • They can only touch it once
  • I don't supply any consumable materials
  • I encourage recycling
  • They can have only 2 people working on it
  • No liquids 
  • It can't be taller than them

 Then I do a bracket style tournament between the 2 fifth grade classes. They love it and so do I because it fills up lots of time! 

Pork Schnitzel

With a pending storm, I needed something that was not made on the grill, like most of my recipes this past week. I found this pork schnitzel recipe in Cooking Light. I had most of the ingredients and it was cheap and easy! I am usually not a dill fan, but this sauce isn't overly dill-y. I served it with a fresh salad.

1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1 T. chopped dill
2 T. low-fat buttermilk
1/8 t. kosher salt
3/4 t. black pepper, divided
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed and pounded to 1/8-inch thickness 2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Combine sour cream, dill, buttermilk, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; set aside.

2. Combine milk and egg in a dish; stir with a whisk. Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in another dish. Dip pork in milk mixture; Dredge pork in breadcrumb mixture.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Place 2 pork chops in pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 2 pork chops. Serve with sauce.

Adapted from: Christine Burns Rudalevige, Cooking Light MAY 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rock Chalk Baby Hawk

I made this for a friend who wanted a girly Jayhawk outfit. I think thus might get added to my gift rotation! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Funny

Kid- Can I just change my name to Chris?
Me- If I call you Chris will you do your work?
Kid- There is that show Everybody Hates Chris.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers always remind me if my Great Grandma Agnes. She would make them for us in her little kitchen, and we gobbled them up. My mom, aunts, and cousins all make & love them now.  They are a staple at family BBQ's. Her recipe is simple. Salt, vinegar, and cucumbers.

However, when I was looking at a cooking magazine they had a new way to make them. I decided I would give it a try. They are much fancier and sweeter, but definitely a keeper! 

3 cups cucumbers shaved vertically (I used a veggie peeler) I'm sure there is a better way to do this. 
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely sliced red onion
1 t sugar ( I like to use Splenda packets, it's much easier to grab 1 than to get out the sugar and measure!!)
1 T apple cider vinegar

Combine cucumbers and onions on bowl. Sprinkle with salt & sugar, and pour in vinegar. Mix together. Served chilled

Sorry this is not the best picture! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Raspberry Jalapeno Chicken

I love my Raspberry Chipotle Bean dip, and this chicken uses the same sauce. It is soo easy, I wish I would have done this sooner.  All I did was sprinkle the chicken with a little bit of salt and pepper, and popped it on the grill. Then after it was cooked, I smothered it with the raspberry jalapeno sauce!

Having been the 3rd day I grilled in a row,  I love how easy the clean up is. I also get to wait outside in the beautiful weather for the food to cook!

Chicken breasts
salt & pepper
Raspberry Jalapeno Sauce*

*The sauce can be found in the jam or marinade section of the grocery store, or at stores such as Dean & Deluca. I have also used the raspberry chipotle and the very berry, they all taste pretty much the same

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, grill 6 min on each side. Remove from grill and smother with raspberry sauce!

Serve with cucumber salad.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spicy Chicken Salad

This is my 200th post! Hard to believe I have written about 200 things! Here is another one of my  "so glad its spring, lets grill" recipes! 

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1/2-1t. Berbere Seasoning from Penzey's (SPICY!)
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • croutons

  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 t. basil
  • 1 t. oregano
  • 1/2 t. crushed brown mustard
  • 1/4 t. salt
Wash chicken and pat dry. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Berbere.
Grill over medium high heat until done (5-6 min per side)
Let cool and slice into bite sized pieces to toss with salad
While chicken is cooling, prepare salad dressing by mixing all ingredients. I like to use a small Tupperware container and put all the ingredients in it and shake it up. 
Combine all salad ingredients and toss salad and serve.  

Adapted from Penzey's

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pork Tenderloin Kabobs

I have piles and piles of cooking magazines. I decided to go to them, this week, instead of Pinterest.  Cooking Light had a recipe for pork and peppers on the grill! They were easy and delicious!


  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 2 t brown sugar
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Red pepper- cut into 1 inch squares
  • red onion- cut into large slices
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
1. Place first 7 ingredients in a large zip lock bag. Add pork; seal bag. Refrigerate 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

3. Remove pork from bag, and discard marinade. Thread pork evenly onto skewers; sprinkle evenly with salt. Thread peppers and onions onto skewers. Arrange skewers in a single layer on grill; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
adapted from Cooking Light - June 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Funny

When I told a kid to please be quiet, he responded, "sorry ---- is not available. Please leave a message and I will get back to you. "

I responded, you can go to the safe seat and write me an apology letter. This is what I got.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Birthday Harper!

Sweet Harper, I can't believe you are FOUR years old today! 

You are ...







(oh so patient, as I was applying your make-up and fixing your hair!)

And a princess through and through! 

Which is why I made this dress-up box just for you! 

Happy Birthday Harper! 
Aunt April

**Harper was quick to open every single thing that was in this box and put it on, in true princess fashion! ** 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Haiku Poetry

I try to make my poetry unit fun, by incorporating arts and crafts.  For our haiku poems, I had students pick an animal. Then they brainstormed 10-15 words that described that animal.  I also had them write the number of syllables each word was.  Then they were ready to write their 5-7-5 poem. After they wrote their poem we made these cute 3D tunnel books to go along with the poem.  I printed off pictures from online using the colored printer.  I found the directions here:

I think they turned out great! The kids had fun making them too! Even my non artistic children could do this-- see the cat!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mango Guac

My friend Ashley made a version of this for a shower this past weekend. We pretty much devoured it! As I was at the grocery store today, I decided I needed guac to go with my tacos (which she sent home with me!)

  • 4 ripe avocados 
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 fresh Serrano chilies, finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup diced peeled mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  1. Halve, pit, and peel avocados- Mash into a bowl. 
  2. Add onion, Serrano chilies, lime juice, and salt. Stir. 
  3. Fold in mango and cilantro. 
  4. Season with additional lime or salt if needed. 

Serve with hint of lime chips!

I made mine without Pomegranate seeds, because I was being lazy! It was still delicious!
Adapted from:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Etched Pyrex

Meet Jocelyn and Sean. 
I promise they don't usually dress like this. 
They are getting married this summer.  This weekend we had Jocelyn's bridal shower!

 If you don't know, I like to make something special out of what the bride registers for.
Etched Pyrex:

Supplies- Armour Etch, glue brushes, vinyl, the negative of the letters, Pyrex dish

This little guy was $8.00 at Hobby Lobby. I used a coupon, of course! A little goes a long way!

I used transfer tape (contact paper) to get the vinyl onto the pan, then brushed a few coats of the etch cream on. 

Let it dry for 10 minutes or so, then take the vinyl off. 

Wash it with mild soap and water, and its ready to go! 

And you have to go visit their wedding website and read the best bios ever!

I can't wait for the big day! 

-- I had to do a little copy and paste action on the bio to my blog! Thanks Erin! --