Easy Breezy

Easy Breezy
Being creative every day and making it look Easy Breezy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to School

I started teaching preschool over a decade ago and have loved every minute of it.  Every year I love my class so much that I think the new class cannot possibly measure up and I'll just have to do my best to be nice to them!  Turns out I love my new class every bit as much.  This year I have a class with personality to spare!  It's going to be the most fun year ever.  There is no way next year's class can come close, but I'll try to be nice! :)

Other than the kids, one thing I love is decorating my classroom.  I guess that just goes along with how I like to decorate my house too.  The hubs asked me once, "do you have to decorate for every occassion?"  After a bit of thought, I replied with a deep and meaningful answer, "well, duh!"

Here are a collection of bulletin boards and decorations I have done over the years.
This was my first bulletin board.  Aren't those the worst paint splatters ever?  I've come a long way since "Our Colorful Class"


I like using the students art work as much as possible.

For the corn cobs I had the class put yellow fingerprints all around a toilet paper tube.  Easy Breezy!

I made these cute hats out of construction paper, added curling ribbon for confetti and on a later bulletin board I added those party horns that you get at parties where the paper unrolls when you blow it.

This was super easy too.  I just sponged the bricks on white paper using a kitchen sponge and red paint.  I then added my class' names onto Santa's list.  I think a cut out of Santa or an Elf holding the list would have been cute, but I couldn't find one anywhere when I needed it!

These penguins were a fun winter craft made using nothing but ovals.

"Our School is Cool"

Since Owls are all the rage now, I think I will be recreating this idea in my classroom this year.  The owl is just a coloring sheet owl that I let them color then glue torn construction paper for feathers.

Summer bulletin board using simple shapes the students glued together.

I did the corn on this stalk a little differently - I just cut out a yellow cob shape and green husks and the kids glued popcorn kernels to the cob with a little bit of raffia at the top for the corn silk.  I love my giant scarecrow!

Another cute bulletin board using a classroom craft.  The bunnies are made using a paper plate cut in half.  Half the plate is used for the body and the other half I use to cut out the ears.  The kids cover the body with cottonballs, glue on a wiggly eye and then color the inside of the ears pink.  This is one of my favorites because I can use it for several months.

In this classroom I didn't have cubbies where I could put their papers so I hung their work on this board using push pins.

I had so much fun making this board.  I found some cute animal pictures, blew them up using an overhead projector and traced them onto colored posterboard.

All the preschools I've worked at have been run by a local church and the classrooms are also used as sunday school classes year round, so I always leave a bulletin board up for the summer.  This summer I did a cute board with apples on it reading "Take a Bite out of Summer."  I was so lazy liked the idea so much, that I kept it for my beginning of the school year board and just changed the wording to read "Take a Bite Out of Preschool."

I re-did my tree this year too.  The bottom had gotten kind of ragged and there was no way to fix it without taking the whole tree down.  I like my old tree better, but this one will do.  They turn out differently every time.  I think I might go add some apple to this one until October when I add fall leaves to it.  I put snowflakes on it in the winter and flowers in the spring, so it's a tree for all seasons.

Tomorrow begins the second week of school for me.  I can't wait to see my sweet class!

Join me here:






Monday, August 22, 2011

Time to Make the Cookies

The teachers I work with came over the other day to decorate cookies and to have a pre-planning meeting.  We start school next week with open house on Tuesday.  I always like to have a little something for the kids to walk away with at open house, so I make my yummy sugar cookies.  The other teachers liked the idea of the cookies, so I invited them to my house to decorate cookies for their classes too. 

I got my sugar cookie recipe many years ago from a little old lady named Miss Jo.  She shared her recipe with me so I will share it with you!

1 cup margarine (2 sticks)                                     1 egg
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar                                   1 tsp vanilla

Cream the margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Cream of Tartar

Add the rest of the ingredients (add the flour 1/2 cup at the time, unless you like having flour slung all over your kitchen!).  Mix until well blended.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.  Roll dough to desired thickness and cut into shapes.  Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 375 degrees for 7-10 min.



After the cookies have cooled completely I ice them with my easy breezy icing.

One box confectioners sugar
Water

I add the water a tablespoon at a time until I get it to the consistancy of pancake batter.   It's more trial and error with the icing.  If it's too thin it will run off the cookie.  Too thick and it won't spread and level out evenly.


I make a big apple shaped cookie for my class but other teachers that have themes for their classroom make cookies to go along with that, like fish, or puppies or monkeys.  I like the apples for back to school.  I make the cookies ahead of time so all we have to do is ice them.  When they are dry I put them in clear treat bags tied with ribbon.

Tomorrow is the big day!  I hope the kids like their cookies and their new teacher!

Join me here:


                                                                        Sundae Scoop

                                                                          It's A Party
       


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chevron - not just a place you get gas!

My friend Amy called me the other day and said she had decided to paint a chevron pattern on one wall of her daughters bedroom, and asked would I help.  I said, sure, sounds like fun!  I arrived at Amy's house at 9 a.m. Friday morning ready to paint!  Coincidentally we had on matching outfits - pink shirts and jean shorts!  I took it as a good sign that we would work in sync all day.  We pretty much did too.  Turns out we are both mathmatically challenged.  Believe it or not, there is a ton of measuring and dividing to do when mapping out a chevron pattern.  We found an article on the internet that made it sound "easy breezy", but these people were clearly rocket scientists! 

After measuring the width and height of the wall and dividing them by three (don't ask me why we picked three, I guess that odd number rule of decorating thing. Whatever, It seemed right at the time.) we started measuring out from the center and placing dots along the wall.  The rocket scientists said all we'd have to do is get our blue painters tape and start connecting the dots to make the zig-zags.  Why what could be easier than that I said!  It should have been easy, but it was not.  Nothing was turning out right.  We ended up ripping off all the tape and starting over. 

The rocket scientists also didn't remind us about the whole taping on the inside of the stripe on one row and on the outside on the other.  Makes perfect sense now, but when you are standing on a cabinet, nose to nose with the wall and looking up at the stripes it was hard to tell.  Finally we made a paper template and basically drew the pattern on the wall and then added the tape. 

We used a magic eraser sponge to get off any pencil marks and then we started painting.  The painting was the easy part. 

We finished the wall at 10 p.m. -  ELEVEN HOURS after we started, but look how cool it turned out! 

It's not perfect.  The paint seeped under the tape in some spots and there is one spot where we taped wrong, but both of those problems are easy fixes.  The important thing is that Amy's teenage daughter loves it.  That is totally worth the crick in my neck I woke up with today!

Places I like to Party

The Dawg's are Callin'!

Tuesday I dropped my oldest son off at college.  What an emotional day that was.  I am so proud of him for getting into the college of his choice.  It's not easy to get into the University of Georgia, but he worked hard and got excellent grades in high school and it paid off.



Of course, y'all know me, it couldn't just be a simple drive to UGA, there had to be some drama!  Seth's girlfriend Samantha wanted to go with me to take Seth, so we had to wait until she finished her morning classes at 10:30 before we could head out.  That wasn't an issue because they had told us at orientation that the girls would be moving in in the morning and the guys in the afternoon, so we had planned on leaving mid morning anyway.  Well, leave it to me to fall back asleep after getting my two younger boys off to school.  I woke up at 10:15 and even Seth was still sleeping.  So there we were, just rolling out of bed when we had planned to be loaded up and ready to go around that time!

We quickly loaded the van with all of Seth's worldly goods, including his bike, and went to pick up Samantha.  Let me just say a few things about our van.  I hate it.  It's a 1991 Chevy Conversion Van - you know those vans that are so big they won't even fit in your garage?  Some cars might leave an oil spot in your driveway -  the van has left a rust stain!  It has mini blinds and curtains in it in a lovely country blue that has faded to gray.  The air doesn't work.  It has logos on the windows from the local paintball course.  People assume we own the paintball course.  We don't.  My husband and sons like to play paintball and were once on a team.  I guess that is reason enough to put logos all over your van.  We bought this van a couple of years ago from a family friend after the hubs lost his job and his company car.  It runs and it gets us from here to there so I will count it as a blessing.  Another blessing to count is that just as we were almost out of town the van died.  The blessing is that it happened close to home and not on the way from Athens, late at night, in the rain, far from home.  We were maybe 5 miles from the house when I heard a weird noise. It was hard to tell what it was because the van is loud and we had all the windows rolled down because it was 100 degrees outside already.  I wasn't sure whether the weird sound came from the van or not, but then the guages started spinning and acting crazy.  I turned around and headed home.  We ended up pulling over on the side of the road and parking in front of the Vietnamese Restaurant when I saw smoke coming from under the hood!


Samantha called her daddy.  I guess another blessing for getting a late start was that he was on his lunch hour and was able to come to our rescue.  Luckily it was nothing major - just a busted hose!  Then the real blessing happened.  He offered to let us take his nice new, air conditioned SUV to Athens!  Samantha took her daddy back to work then came back to get Seth and me.  We were able to get everything except for the bike in the car.  We made it to Seth's dorm at 4:45pm.  We didn't have any trouble finding the school, but we'd left the campus map in the van so it took us a while to find his dorm.


Because we were one of the last ones to be moving in we were able to snag a big cart and we got everything to the dorm in one load!  Samantha and I got to work and had his dorm room set up in no time flat.  I do have one question for the dorm people.  Can you not have a ladies room in a guys dorm?  After driving all that way I was in dire need of the facilities!

Here is the layout of his dorm room.

Here is Seth bed all made.  I'm sure this will be the last time we find it this way.  I couldn't help it, I had to go with the school colors.
Here is Seth checking to see if the internet worked in his room.

Just my luck, my camera battery died right after taking these two pictures, so I didn't get the pictures of his desk area and his new bulletin board and UGA poster that Seth's baby brother bought him at the book fair at school.  I'm sure this will be the last time this room looks so neat.  Also his bed can be lofted, so he may decide to raise it up once he gets his fridge. His aunt bought him a dorm fridge but it wasn't going to arrive here until after he'd moved so she had it shipped straight to Athens. 

It sure has been different around the house without Seth.  Number one thing is I have to unload the dishwasher now!  I miss my boy, but The Dawgs were callin' and he's started the next phase of his life.

video

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Baby Made Me Do It

When my sister found out she was expecting last year she and her hubs decided to make it a surprise birthday.  Nobody knew the sex of the baby.  I'm here to tell you that it is super hard to shop for a baby when you don't know the sex.  EVERYTHING is either pink or blue.  Even carseats and strollers are gender specific these days.  When it was time to throw the baby shower I had just finished reading the Twilight books, so of course we had to have a teams at the shower - Team Pink and Team Blue.  We decided, using a proven scientific method, that since there were more people on Team Blue, the baby would definitely be a boy.  Science-Smience! I  was on Team Pink and you couldn't change my mind about it!  Turns out I was right and in early December my bouncing baby neice was born.



Since we were unable to buy baby clothes before the baby arrived (other than some generic sleepers and onesies) I decided to get out my sewing machine and start sewing.  I am not an expert sewer.  I've never had a sewing lesson in my life, but I thought I could figure it out if I tried.  I started out simple with a couple of pillowcase dresses.  Mine weren't made from actual pillowcases, but the actual shape of the dress is a rectangle like a pillowcase.  I got the bloomers pattern from a friend of mine.  I think this is one of my favorite dresses.  I love the fabric! Check out this blog  for a video tutorial and free pattern!
Then I made this one with the contrasting ruffle. 

I also made her this bandana dress, which we dubbed the bbq dress, and matching bloomers and bonnet.

I had such success with the bandana dress that I wanted to try something else using bandanas.  So I came up with this cute outfit.


Next my sister picked up some fabric and I made these darling baby shoes  and a matching pinafore dress.  I love this pattern so much!  I bought the shoe pattern off of Etsy.  There are lots of cute patterns for very reasonable prices.

I found the pattern for this dress here . It was free also!  Yay Free!  This was also my first attempt at a button hole and making covered buttons!  Believe it or not, it was Easy Breezy! :)


Then I found this cute peasant dress pattern also on Etsy and with some pink plisse and white eyelet, I crafted this little dress and bloomers.

Oh and I made one more thing using a baby headband and some tulle, that I was sure the baby would need.  I realize that others doubted my logic...

... but I stand by my belief that a baby does need a tutu!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to School

I cannot believe school is starting on August 1st!  Next year we'll probably start the day after the Fourth of July!  If y'all are fans of Phineas and Ferb at your house you probably know the theme song by heart like I do.  It starts "A hundred and four days of summer vacation...."  I just want to know where Phineas and Ferb live because our summer vacation gets shorter and shorter every year!  By my count we got 63 days this year.  I think we are due atleast another month of summer fun...

at the lake...
on the slip and slide...

 at the beach...

at the pool...

or just catching a few rays...

Yes, that baby is me at about 9 months I'm guessing.  Sadly, I don't look any different in a bikini today!

Farewell summer, because even though it is just August it is time to buckle down and hit the books.  I felt ahead of the game this year because I had purchased school supplies weeks ago and had double checked wardrobes to see what was needed, or so I thought.  My youngest informed me last night that his new tennis shoes that I bought him less than 2 months ago were too small!  Grrrr...!  Shoes aside, I did feel pretty prepared for the first day of school.  I have been babysitting  four-year-old twin sisters this summer and they arrive at my house at 6:45 a.m. so getting up early would not be an adjustment for me since I've been up before 6:30 all summer long.  Today I overslept.

It was a mad dash getting everyone ready for school.  Josh had already missed his bus when we rolled out of bed this morning, so I had to take him to the high school.  I had already planned on taking Luke to school his first day since I missed meeting his teacher at the meet and greet because I was at UGA with Seth.  In all this mad rushing around I forgot to take the annual first day of school pictures.  I plan to reinact the first day tomorrow, but until then I decided to post one of my favorite first day of school pictures.


It's not that Luke was unhappy about starting school, he just didn't want to wear his "handsome" clothes!  Handsome clothes are those outfits that people feel compelled to tell him how handsome he is when he wears them.  Apparently school is no place to be handsome!

Y'all have a great school year!
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