Thursday, October 29, 2009

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

Michael and I both earned our yellow belts on the same day.

I am edging closer to being in my comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Inspiration Again: Ice Sculptures

I own 2 ice sculpture molds- a snowman and a fish like one. But they aren't really 3 dimensional. They are the kid that needs to lay flat on a tray. Its cool--but I want bigger and better. I want a standing 3 dimensional one.

I read an article on how to make a latex mold here and might just try it.

But then I stumbled across this incredible and cool bar type ice sculpture and think I might have to find a way to create this on my own.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Inspiration: Christmas Ornaments

I belong to a website called Organized Christmas which starting in October, helps you take a 6 week journey preparing for Christmas in order to be done and ready to celebrate come the beginning of December. I have done this for 3 years now and find it an amazingly useful tool.

So with that, the Christmas countdown began yesterday and my mind has turned to all things Christmas.

I am looking for some inspiration for making Christmas ornaments this year both as gifts and as party favors. We host a Christmas Open House each December and I like to give out a little party favor at the end to my guests (very Martha Stewart-y if I do say so myself). So this year I would really like to make ornaments with the year on them for my guests to have. This might not be a small feat considering we are expecting about 100 people this year.

So here is my inspiration today from brilliant crafters found on Etsy.

Photos are products of sellers SaraEi, Plunkettdesigns, Craftnique, XxSnapdragon

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Preview

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reply Emails I Need to Send this Week

Dear Mr. Heng-Shu,

Greetings to you too! I am so happy you contacted me. I am sure you can imagine my surprise that I, of Polish and Irish descent, am the sole heir to my long lost (and unknown) great great uncle from Africa.
I am so sorry to hear he was exiled from his country only to die shortly after. Amazing that he had all of his 24.5 million US dollars tied up in foreign bank accounts too.

Of course I will help you release the funds from the bank so I can claim my inheritance and pay your simple fee for your massive efforts of locating me.

Let me wire you the necessary funds to release my money as well as provide my secure banking info so that you may forward the money on.

I will also send you the keys to my home and my address so you may come and visit while I am away. Please make yourself at home.

Dear Mr. Fahil,
I am so excited to hear that hot Russian woman are waiting to meet me. Your climate though must be rather warm as it is very cold here in Syracuse; I doubt they will be hot here. I hope they have jackets.

So I am assuming they want to learn how to bake bread or homeschool. Well then I too am excited to meet them.


Dear Mr. Zahirri,
I am very interested in this male enhancement product you are offering. I am assuming you are targetting woman who would like to enhance their husbands. Specifically I would like to enhance my husband's ability to listen to my endless stories with extreme interest as well as enhance his ability to put laundry away.
I will send the $224.95 at once as I am about to receive a large inheritance from my distant African exiled uncle.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Perspective Revisited

I got upclose and personal with these little mushrooms growing on the kids playground and realized they aren't the same brown lumps needing to be kicked over that I thought they first were. It all depends on how you look at it.

Do you see an eyesore or think of Smurfs and fairies that should find this a most lovely dwelling?

Do you see something that needs to be ridden from your garden or proof that this little decomposer is doing its job breaking something down?

Does it remind you of your younger wilder college days? (If you have no idea what I mean by that--carry on)

Do you see a reminder of that wonderful chicken marsala recipe you know?

It is all about how you choose to look at something.

Thank you to Emily at Chatting at the Sky for making me look at things differently each Tuesday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Flavors: Pot Roast and Pumpkin Custard

Two of my favorite fall foods rounded out dinner last night--Pot Roast and Pumpkin Custard.

Pot Roast Recipe:
3lb Top Round Roast
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
8 Beef bouillon cubes
1 Cup sour cream
2 Tsp basil
1/2 c diced onion
1 tsp Gravy Master (for color)
10 potatoes
2 cups carrots
10 cups (or so) of water

Put all ingredients except veggies in large pot. Water should just cover top of roast.
Bring to boil and then simmer for 4-5 hours.
Add veggies and cook for another hour.
Serve and enjoy--super easy!

Pumpkin Custard Recipe
1 lb. can pumpkin
3 eggs
2/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. dry milk or 1/2 c. milk

Pour into individual ramekins, dust top with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and bake at 425 for approx 20 minutes. Center of custard should rise.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Treats

We have a Halloween Party next weekend to attend and we will be bringing some "treats". As I'm scouring the web for ideas, good ol' reliable Martha Stewart has some fantastically freekish Halloween treats we will be working on duplicating this week.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: Just When I Thought I Had Nothing to Share

I've been bummed all day thinking I had nothing to contribute today to Tuesday's Unwrapped.

There didn't seem to be anything extraordinary that I noticed--I'm sure it was there but being bogged down with a stomach virus, I haven't been especially aware.

Then, as I dragged myself to bring out the trash--there it was. A full rainbow. Full and vibrant. I know what your thinking--the picture is of a smidge of a rainbow--but that's what happens when you have to scramble for your camera--only to find dead batteries inside--then scramble some more to find and insert the new ones.

The kids reveled in the joy of seeing a full rainbow as they stood with soggy bare feet in the icy cold rain. And now I feel better having shared this now lovely Tuesday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I ♥ Faces Challenge: Excited

This pic is the one I thought of right away upon reading this week's challenge on I ♥ Faces-

A boy shocked and unable to contain his excitement over catching the first fish of the day.

Reason 136 I Homeschool

When people ask why I homeschool I try to explain--but they don't always "get it". they think we must be fanatical or anti-social when it is the opposite that is true.

I read a story about a boy, age 10, with emotional disorders and on medication for such was ticketed by police for disrupting class--all because his medication made him sleepy and upon the teacher waking him became upset.

This reminds me of one of Michael's early schooling events that shaped our decision to homeschool.

Michael had been in an earthy-crunchy nursery school for about a year. But he was liking it less and less and needed something more. As a 3 year old at the time, he was craving learning which this school didn't really offer. We made the jump one day after long consideration to a progressive learning nursery school in our area. At the time, I was working and we had few options for fueling his desire to learn.

The first day he was at the new school, I called several times to "check in". I was told happy stories of him playing and having fun. It was quite the opposite when I showed up hours later to pick him up.

Michael had found gears at a "center" and was completely intrigued by them--he played and learned and was fascinated. While exploring these, the teacher called everyone for circle time. Michael was never the sing-songy kind of kid and really disliked sitting around singing the ABC--which he knew by heart since he was 2. So he continued to play and learn about gears.

The teacher confronted him at which time he crawled under the table and refused to join circle time. On his first day in a new school and being all of three years old-- it should have ended there. But of course it didn't.

The teacher pulled him out from under the table. When he began to flail and protest she called in two other teachers from another room that he had never seen before. The three of them tried to restrain him as he fought harder and harder. All the while they spoke in Spanish (which he didn't understand) and pulled him to circle time.

My three year old son, scared in a new school, was being restrained by three strangers and hearing the teachers complain in a foreign language cried and yelled and tried to wriggle away.

He spent the rest of the day in "time out" not allowed to play. He came home with a bruise in the shape of fingerprints on his neck. This was the end of our schooling experience.
Three and half years later--he can recall this episode with great detail.

As a teacher, I know all too well the need for kids to fit in to the protocol of the school day and assimilate.

It seems that the schools are less and less tolerant of children being individuals with needs and personalities. Schools often forget that children are--children.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Favorite Things

I ♥ Faces is running the Favorite Things contemplation challenge this week.
I decided to make mine have a Fall theme with the things that help me love this fantastic season.
Check out the other entries here.

Featured on Tip Junkie

I L-O-V-E Tip Junkie so you can imagine my utter delight when I found out this morning I was featured on Tip Junkie with my frugal wine-rack turned towel-holder hack!

View the feature here.

Terms of Use

All Rights Reserved. All information and pictures on this website are copyrighted. To use any pictures or information a link and credit must be provided.