Designer Notebooks

This year I wanted each of my students to have a notebook that they can write in throughout the day.  I had decided to make my classroom theme this year Dr. Seuss.  My mom went to girls camp recently and their theme was also Dr. Seuss.  While at camp the girls were able to make Dr. Seuss journals.  That's were I got this idea.  The thing that I am most excited about with these notebooks are the ribbon bookmarks.  Hopefully this will help my students stay on the right page and a little more organized.  

Supplies Needed: Composition notebook, cute paper, and matching ribbon

Trim the paper to fit nicely for a cover.  I used glue sticks to glue the paper onto the books.
You could probably use mod podge if you wanted.

 Cut the ribbon to the length of the bookmark you want.  I wanted my bookmarks to hang a little past the notebook when closed.  Put a small dab of glue on the top left corner of the inside of the back of the book.  

To mass produce books, open all of them up, put dabs of glue, then put the ribbons on.

The back of the books had not-so-cute bar-codes, so I covered them up with a small piece of black paper.  I thought the back cover matched the front cover and looked fine without a full sheet of paper.  If the back of the book doesn't match your cover you may want to put a sheet of paper on the back too.

Place a name plate sticker on the back of the book.

The finished product.  So cute!  Hopefully my students will appreciate them and write better because they have such a darling notebook.

Happy Birthday Decoration

For the longest time I have wanted to display something cute in my classroom  for my students' birthdays. I finally finished a project that will look adorable in my class.  This idea came from "The Wood Connection" but I made a few changes to fit my personality and style.

Supplies needed:
* Wood- I purchased the wood from The Wood Connection 
* 5 different designs of paper
* Vinyl lettering
* Paint and brush
* Ribbon
* Mod podge



After sanding the wood, my husband helped out by using his air compressor to get rid of all the dust.

I watered down brown paint and painted all the sides of the smaller pieces of wood.
 It took me a while to find the perfect paper to mount on the wood, but I finally found it at Hobby Lobby.
 I traced and cut out the paper.

    I wanted an antique look so I rubbed brown chalk around the edges of the paper.
 I painted the base (birthday) board blue.  It was a little too blue for my liking so I watered down more brown and rubbed and smeared the paint around the corners.
 After painting, I mod podged the paper onto the boards.  I waited for the paper to dry and then put a top coat of mod podge.
Then I cut out vinyl with my cricut and put the letters onto the blocks.
               Paint the balloons and then you can tie and curl ribbon around them.

The finished project.  I can't wait for upcoming birthdays!


Anyone that knows me pretty well knows that I am crazy about ORGANIZING.  My husband even bought me a label maker last Christmas to help with my organizational needs! Above my washer and dryer and in bathroom cabinets I had a lot of cluttery areas.  It was driving me crazy so I did something about it.

*  I bought some new clear plastic shoe tubs from Wal-Mart for $1 each.
*  I organized and laid all my items into the tubs they belong in
*  I used my label maker to make labels of what was in each box
*  They stack so nicely, keep things organized, and help you find things easily.

I absolutely love how clean they make an area look!  I will continue to add tubs as I get more things.


My next organization projects will be in my classroom.  Stay tuned!

5-strand t-shirt bracelet

 I had two girls (age 7 and 12) over to my house the other day.  I wanted to teach them how to do something crafty so I decided to teach them how to make a 5-strand t-shirt headband.  But then I thought bracelets would look really cute too.  After giving the girls the option they both decided on the bracelets.  The girls did a great job making them.  These bracelets are made the same way that you make the headband, only you make it smaller to fit a wrist.  Check out the instruction on how to make these bracelets or a headband.

Must knows.... about couponing

Top Ten Must Knows

1. Cut and keep all coupons
-Even if it isn't the brand or item you normally use. Trust me.
2. The best place to print coupons:
- (my favorite)
* If you see a coupon that looks like a real good deal, print it because they go fast
3. Use coupons on sale items
- Most often a store brand item will be cheaper than using a coupon for a name brand item, unless you use the coupon when the name brand item is on sale.
4. Stack coupons
- My favorite! I had no clue you could do this before. Did you know you can use 1 manufacturer coupon and 1 store coupon on each item. Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Target are some of the stores that have store coupons and let you stack.
5. Plan Ahead and Stock up
- If you wait until the last minute to buy something you need, you probably won't get a good deal. Buy things on sale before you need them and get a stock pile going.
6. Subscribe for a Sunday newspaper
- It is definitely worth the money. You will get your money back by using just one or two coupons.
7. My favorite websites for deals:
- freebies2deals
8. You can use 1 manufacturer coupon per item
- For example: If you buy 2 boxes of Rice Krispies, you may use a coupon for $1/2 and a coupon that says one free bag of m&m's with the purchase of 2 boxes of Rice Krispies.
- Another example: Buy 2 body washes. Use a buy one get one free body wash coupon and $1/2 body washes.
9. Don't give up
- Even if you have same failures and frustrations, keep trying. Overtime it will become much easier and not take much extra time out of your days. I use to grocery shop out of necessity, but now I actually really enjoy it. It's a skill!
10. Have fun and share deals with others!

Not the average white binder

About 2 months ago I was shopping with an envelop full of coupons. I had to scramble to find the coupons I needed. It was quite the seen. My coupons were in my basket, falling onto the floor, and bulging in my pockets. This wasn't even the terrible part. My mind was frantically trying to figure out what the heck I was doing. At the same time I was trying to get my coupons in order, I was also trying to not draw any attention to myself. After a few trips to stores with this type of experience and feeling, I decided I needed a change. At this point I didn't want to use another coupon in my life. I had a hard time giving it up because I had seen and heard of so many people getting unbelievable deals. Being one who doesn't give up easily, I decided to give coupons another shot. I got myself a binder, sheet protectors, and baseball card protectors. Next, I printed off some handy coupon dividers that helped me organize my coupons oh, so nicely! I can't even explain to you how great of a change this was. Although it took some time to get my binder organized, it has saved me tons of time in the stores. Now I don't stand around in the store chaotically going through coupons. I am able to confidently turn to the page that the coupon is in, take it out, and move on. This makes my time in the store shopping to a bare minimum.

More than just a white binder...
Easy to find the coupons you need- put them in the right
section and they are ready to be used, when you are
A page dedicated to each type of item
Baseball card holder pages are perfect for holding coupons
Take it with you shopping, you never know the amazing deals you will find

Braided T-shirt Headband

I got this idea from Make it and love it. She has so many great ideas on her blog. It's amazing how talented some ladies are. I have a bunch of old t-shirts in my craft closet so I took them out and started making headbands. If you want very clear instructions on how to make these headbands go here.

1. Cut five 2 inch strips that are twice the length of your head. 2 inch strips make a thicker headband. If you want a thinner headband, made thinner strips.
2. Sew (by hand or machine) the 5 strips together.

3. Pull the strips so they stretch out and curl a little on the edges.
4. Braid away (it's like braiding 2 braids together)
5. Once you reach the end sew the end of the braid. You want the braid to fit around your head, with a pull. You don't want it too loose or too tight.
6. Sew the two sides together. I did this by hand.

7. Take a rectangular piece of fabric to cover up the "mess" of the two sides of the braid meeting.
8. Wear it! Give it as a gift!

Chicken Pot Pie

I love trying new recipes and adding more meals to my list of things I can cook for dinner. I found this recipe in my cookbook called. "Freezer Pleasers." I was a little hesitant to try it, but boy am I glad that I did. It is so filling, tasty, and easy! Here it is:

Chicken Potpies:
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
4 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of check soup
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of onion soup
1 cup milk
1 coup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry

1.) In a large bowl, combine the chicken, potatoes, vegetables, soups, milk, sour cream, flour, and seasonings. Divide between two 9-in. deep-dish pie plates. Roll out pastry to fit the top of each pie. Cut slits in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and flute edges.
2.) Cover and freeze one potpie for up to 3 months. Bake the second potpie at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
3.) To use frozen potpie: Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking. Cover edges loosely for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; remove foil and bake 50-55 minutes longer or until golden brown.

*Makes 2 potpies

** I couldn't find cream of onion soup anywhere, so I used cream of celery and added some onion powder. Also, I only had 2 cups has brown potatoes so I added extra chicken.

I highly recommend trying this. It would also be fun to make mini individual pot pies .