Sunday, December 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Chili

Chili was made to warm you on a cold winter day.  I love this simple recipe that makes a hearty chili that is perfect on a Sunday afternoon.  A slow cooker and a few pantry ingredients is all you need.  

Ground Beef
Red Kidney Beans
Canned Tomatoes (I like to use Chili Ready Tomatoes, it makes it the chili have an extra spicy kick)
Green Bell Pepper
Chili Powder
Black Pepper
Brown the 2 lbs of meat and 1 cup chopped onion.
Place meat and onion in crock pot.
Chop the green bell pepper.
Roughly chop and crush 2 cloves of garlic.
Put the pepper and garlic in crock.
Drain the tomatoes and place into the crock.
Add the red kidney beans and mix together.
Add in chili powder, ground cumin, black pepper, and salt.
Stir well so all ingredients are mixed.
Put cover on the crock and cook on low for 9-11 hours.
 Then enjoy a big bowl of chili. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Cheer

Christmas has come and gone, and I am completely grateful for all the wonderful gifts that I received this year; however, my favorite part of the holiday is the giving.  This year I really wanted to give things that would be appreciated in many ways.  The gift that I was super excited about giving this year was my sister's wedding wreaths.  She will be having a rustic wedding at a beautiful barn in Barnesville, MN, so I wanted to give her a present for the wedding day and to decorate her home after.  Here is the wreaths that I created for her:
I used felt and burlap to create rosettes, leaves, and other small details. 
Also, I added medium sized pearls for a classic wedding touch.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gift Wrapping

This year I decided to wrap my gifts with a rustic flair.  Brown paper, string, and pine cones create a beautiful present for any person on your list.
Start by wrapping your gifts in brown paper.  I found this paper at Target in the year round gift wrapping section (not the holiday section).
Then I used string to combine the two presents.
Hot glue on a few pine cones and a pine sprig.
Finally, I printed off a small B&W picture of the recipient (in this case recipient's') and attached it with a cute little clothes pin.

Perfect Christmas presents to be proud to give!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Quilt & Silent Auction

During our clothing study, we used fabric and paper squares to create a quilt.  I precut the fabric and paper, and then the students used glue with paint brushes to make the pattern.  Next, we punched holes around the outside to sew yarn (a great fine motor activity is a bonus).
This is how the students did the quilt pattern:
The beautiful masterpiece:
This quilt is one of the pieces that we put up for silent auction.

Silent Auction:
This is a marvelous way to generate classroom money for new projects or items to add to your learning environment.

Simply create a bulletin board to display art and have a clip board for parents/families to bid on the project. 
I also added a picture of our classroom's next purchase with the silent auction money.  This will encourage families to bid because they know what the money will be used toward.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Quick Christmas Decor

The Christmas season is going fast, so if you are looking for a few quick decorating ideas here are a few that I love.

My old ladder is hung sideways on the wall.  Then I printed off pictures on card stock and wrote about the memorable moments.  Finally, using string and small clothespins, I hung the pictures to cherish.
Branches that were trimmed from our Christmas tree create a whimsical display in a large white porcelain pitcher.  A few pine cones added to the middle finished it off.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Toilet Paper Roll Christmas Trees

Christmas time in the classroom is always fun.  We created these cute trees with Toilet Paper Rolls, Q-Tips, and Paint!
I cut out a tree stencil for the kids to use to keep the shape of a Christmas tree.  Then they stamped the end of a toilet paper roll with green paint on the white opening.
Next, have the students take a q-tip and dot on their ornaments.
I used a rubber stamp with yellow paint for the star on top.

December Quotation

As I am sitting here looking outside at the Winter Wonderland, I remembered that I forgot to share my December quote printable with my followers!  I am so glad I remembered before it was January because this printable is to cute to not have displayed in your house.

Here is my finished product...
Print off your own at the following link:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Painted Mason Jars

One thing I seem to have a plethora of is mason jars.  They come in handy for many uses...

Lotion/Soap Dispenser
One thing I really wanted to create with the jars was a decorative piece, so I made these painted mason jars.
Do It Yourself:
Mason Jars
Newspaper (Other material to set wet jars on)
Pour paint into the bottom of the mason jar.
Tip the jar while turning it to cover the entire inside of the jar with paint.  Finally, flip it upside down on newspaper to dry.
It is that easy!  I put my jars in an old milk carrier and added a small sprig of pine to match my current Christmas decor.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Moss Trees

As this Christmas season continues to unfold, I keep spying beautiful display ideas at stores.  One of my favorites was moss trees, but they cost $15-25 each!  So I went home and put on my craft cape to come up with these DIY Christmas Moss Trees.
I was so excited with my finished product that I could not keep it to myself, so here is your tutorial to make your very own moss trees.

How to make this rustic, modern Christmas display:
White/Vanilla Craft Paint (Paintbrush)
Floral Foam Cones
Foam Block
Artificial Moss
 Cut out artificial moss to fit floral cones and pin down.  Make sure to cover top and bottom as well.  (HINT) When I folded the bottom piece of moss to pin, it was like wrapping a present.
Paint the pots with craft paint.  First, I painted with a white normally.  Then, I used a vanilla color paint to the top by dabbing it on.  This gave it a rustic chic look.
 Add the foam to the pots to hold the sticks in place.
Put the natural sticks into the base of the floral cone and pot.
 Cover the foam with artificial moss.  I used hot glue to keep the moss in place.
Ta-Da!  Beautiful, inexpensive moss trees!
I added my give sign from Thanksgiving and a few pine cones to complete this masterpiece!