Teacher Survival Kit

After what seemed too short of a summer vacation, it’s back to school.  My daughter was so excited and could not wait for all the back to school shopping.  Actually, she was ready for the shopping even before the school year ended!  Picking out new supplies, backpack, lunch box, new clothes, etc.  So much fun going through the aisles and seeing the vast number of choices.  It can be overwhelming, but she was focused and had her list of needed supplies but of course there are always items not on the list that she just absolutely must have and make their way into our cart.  For instance, a cute little two colored stapler.  This I can’t say ‘no’ to as it really didn’t cost much and, I have to admit, it is super cute.

Now, I thought we were all set.  We got all our supplies, new clothes picked out for first day, knew what we were going to pack for lunch.  Then, my daughter has a brilliant idea.  Let’s do something special for the teacher.  What a great idea and is really sweet of her to think of her teacher.  But what do to.  My daughter came up with the idea of a Teacher Survival Kit.  It is such a great idea for a back to school gift.  She did some research online and we came up with a list of items to pack into a craft supply box.  All items a teacher may need and enjoy.  We also came up with an instruction list (see below) so that her teacher would understand the meaning behind each of the items.  We packaged it all up and tied it with a nice sparkly bow that my daughter picked out.  I think this looked so nice when it was all put together.  All items were easy to find in our local stores like Target and Walmart and it didn’t cost much or take much time to do.

 

 

teacher survival kit

At the end of the day, as I was waiting to pick up my daughter in car line, her teacher made a point to walk over and thank us for the wonderful gift.  She was so surprised and appreciative of the kind and thoughtful gift.  What a great way to start off the year!

This is a nice way to do a little something for the hard work that our teachers do each and every day.  The Teacher Survival Kit can be modified to the “likes” of your teachers and can be done anytime during the year.  It would make a great teacher appreciation or holiday gift as well.  Please write back and let me know how you like this idea and how you might use it.  Thank you and have a great school year!

 

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Heart Fruit Skewers

I made these heart-shaped fruit skewers for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day party at school.  Her teacher asked for a fruit option for the party and I wanted to make something fun for a bunch of 2nd graders to eat, so I decided to cut fresh fruit into heart shapes and put them on a skewer.  I mean who doesn’t like to eat something on a stick!  Maybe it’s just my kids, but put something on a stick and it’s instantly gone.  Seriously, my daughter is not a huge fan of meat but something magical happens when I serve it on a stick; it’s as if it’s somehow transformed into a fun, delicious food that she can’t resist.  Now, if I had served that same meat off the stick; she probably wouldn’t touch it.  I’m telling you, the stick is a powerful, magical thing.  If there is something your kids give you a hard time eating, try putting it on a stick, I bet they’ll at least taste it.

So, yes, eating food off a stick is fun.  You don’t need utensils.  You get to eat with your hands.  What’s not to love about it.  Therefore, I thought since my daughter loves eating food off a stick, I bet her class would like this too.  Sure enough I was right.  The class devoured it.  Nothing but sticks were left.

This looked so pretty at her party and the teacher was so impressed that I made it myself.  I can think of so many ways at different occasions with different shapes where this would make a great addition to your table.  This is so simple and options are limitless.  And not to mention, it’s a fun, healthy, allergy friendly option.  Here’s what you need for the heart-shaped skewers:

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Heart Fruit Skewers

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • cantaloupe melon
  • Honeydew melon
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Long wooden skewers
  • Heart shape cookie cutters, various sizes and shapes as desired
  • Ribbon
  • Candy to decorate around tray if desired (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash strawberries and grapes.  Set aside and let dry.
  2. Cut the melons in half lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds from honeydew and cantaloupe using a spoon.
  3. Slice the melons to desired thickness allowing enough room for skewer to be inserted without breaking the melon shape.  Carefully remove rind with sharp knife and cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
  4. Remove the stem from the strawberries with a paring knife by cutting in a “V”-like pattern so that you create the look of the top part of a heart.
  5. Assemble your skewers starting with a grape, then the heart melon pieces, and finally top with a strawberry.
  6. Add a little ribbon to dress up the skewers.
  7. Arrange holiday candy around the tray, if so desired, to create a more festive look.
  8. Enjoy!

 


Laced Fingerless Gloves

I recently purchased the craft book Generation T beyond fashion by Megan Nicolay.  She is amazing.  Who knew there were so many ways to bring life back into an old T-shirt.  The laced fingerless gloves or, “gimme some glovin” as Megan Nicolay calls it, was the first project I tried out of her book for my daughter, although I didn’t use a T-shirt but an old pair of her leggings instead.  She needed something a little extra for her Halloween costume, she was half an angel and half devil, and these laced gloves were just the ticket.  She thought they were cool and a little bit rocker that fit the devil side of her costume. Read More


Halloween Spider Craft

I wish I could take credit for this one but it belongs to Michael’s.  When I was searching for a fun way to serve candy at my daughter’s Halloween class party, I came across this on Michael’s website under projects.  I instantly fell in love with this creative way to use a craft pumpkin and the instructions are pretty straight forward.  I did make a couple minor modifications to my spider, for instance, instead of using decoupage and glitter for the mouth opening, I just went straight to glitter glue (combined two items into one easy step) and then I used a different design for the eyes.  But these were just my preferences,  feel free to make your own modifications to make this your own creation; use different colors, sizes, or other creative ideas you can think of.  It’s Halloween and spiders, monsters, and ghouls come in all shapes and sizes. Read More


April Fools

April Fools Day is one of my sister’s favorite days.  I can remember countless times growing up, where she would play the best and worst tricks on us.  Every year on this day, I’d anxiously wait not knowing what or when her master plan would unfold.  Her tricks ranged from when we were little to “you have something crawling on you”  to when we got older she had a terrible accident.  Just playing with our emotions.  We were all just little pawns in her master world of trickery.  When all was done she would be laughing, well, we’d all be laughing and we fall for it each and every year.  I honestly don’t know how she can keep such a straight face and keep the gag going.  Well, I guess that’s why she’s the master.  Now, she’s passing down this fun and tormenting ritual to her daughter and I am as well to my kids. Read More


Stacked Teriyaki Burgers

Recently, our cold winter weather turned into beautiful spring-like days for a brief period.  The sun was shining bright and the temperatures rose into the 70s.  It felt so wonderful to strip off all the winter layers and enjoy the days outside.  It felt so much like spring that I wanted to uncover the grill and cook up some juicy delicious burgers. Read More


Chocolate Waffles (Paleo, Mediterranean)

My favorite meal time is probably breakfast.  I love that you can really get away with eating just about anything.  It can be savory or sweet or somewhere in-between and it’s all acceptable for breakfast.  I mean you can eat cake with a side of ham if you want and that’s perfectly fine.  How can you not love that!  The no restrictions and unlimited potential of breakfast is so appealing to me, maybe it’s because I have an enormous sweet tooth and can get away with eating chocolate first thing in the morning, but really the endless options and choices makes this my favorite meal time. Read More


Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup (Paleo & Mediterranean)

The weather here has quickly turned into the blustery cold of winter.  Freezing cold temperatures and windy conditions make me dread going outside.  I much rather stay in with a hot cup of tea cuddled up on the couch with a plush blanket watching holiday movies.  But there is too much to do and I have to finish up my holiday shopping and baking. Read More


Halloween

Halloween is such a great time to be creative, not take yourself too seriously and just have some fun.  There are so many ideas from cute and whimsy to gruesome and scary.  My taste falls somewhere in between.  Approachable, maybe a little bit of scare or the unexpected but never gory or creepy.  This year since we haven’t done any landscaping around our new house yet and it is rather bare, we decided to decorate part of our front lawn like a cemetery .  I know it’s been done many times before, but it is a first for us.  The kids loved it!  They really got into the Halloween spirit and helped with everything too.  Picking out the decorations and planning the design.  We had the typical tombstones and skeletons coming out of the ground but added a little bit of special effects with a fog machine that we hid inside a tombstone designed to conceal it with a skeleton face and red light up eyes and a wide open mouth where the fog would expel from.  Then we found light up skeleton heads that react to passers-by with various sounds and sayings.  Perfect for the unexpected trick-or-treater!  Overall I think it turned out great and loved to see the reaction of the trick-or-treaters when the cemetary would call out to them.  This was lots of fun to do as a family and will probably add on more for next year.  Read More


Sesame Candy

I apologize for the recent pause in my blog posting.  It was a busy time for us packing in as much last minute activities to enjoy the end of the summer with the kids before school started up again.  Then we were trying to find our daily routine as the school year began.  I think I’m finally back on course and will be able to carve out time of our crazy weeks filled with school and sports to focus on my blog.

As you know, I’m constantly trying and testing recipes that will fit into my Mediterranean & Paleo diet plan.  Over the summer I purchased a cookbook entitled Mediterranean Paleo Cooking.  What a perfect find!  It’s quite a mix of recipes and for me personally, I was only interested in about half of them but enough that I had to buy it.  Especially when I came across the recipe for sesame candy.  This is a childhood favorite of mine and I had to make it.  This recipe is quick and easy to make.  They are sweet and chewy and nutty with a hint of cinnamon and ginger.  Absolutely delicious.  Please consider giving them a try.  Click Sesame Candy for the recipe and enjoy!