Tuesday, June 30, 2009

recycle your starbucks

yum yum yum

coffee is good. hot, steaming coffee with just the right amount of foam and sweetness, black coffee, iced coffee, frappuccino...i will slurp down any of them just about any time of day.

and while many people rue the day a starbucks popped up on a street corner near them, i want to sing the praises of the 'big-bucks' coffee chain.

1. the first time i picked up a bill bryson book was on the sharing bookshelf at the marion starbucks, and i have been reading and re-reading his works ever since. if you have never read bill bryson, his books usually chronicle his travels in europe in a humorous way. he also has a great one called "a walk in the woods" this recounts his trials and joys of hiking the appalachian trail...if you can't travel, then read about it-it's much cheaper, and less dangerous

2. i loooove to make something out of nothing, or to use the current terminologies, upcycling/repurposing. i have cut, pasted, and stitched countless cup sleeves and cups into gift-card holders and bookmarks.

3. starbucks will give you their used grounds to toss into your composter, which i have been told is great for your garden/flower bed.

4. order black fresh brewed coffee and you can take the leftovers and make these:

a. coffee ice cubes for a future iced coffee or frappuccino

b. espresso/coffee brownies--just replace the water called for (on the brownie mix) with
chilled coffee.

if any of you are so inclined, i would be happy to pass along a tutorial, or at least some photos of my upcycled creations using starbucks paper goods. just fling me an email, or leave a comment.

Monday, June 29, 2009


I subscribe to, or follow this blog, but have fallen behind on recent posts. Maybe some of you want to check it out...

totally unrelated information:

starbucks will give you used grounds for your compost heap/garden

just ask

paper flower happiness

good morning to you my dear 3 readers :)

The paper flowers have taken on a life of their own. At the bridal shower Saturday the flowers seemed to be the hit of the morning. Then late Saturday evening I received a call to fill-in as Sunday School teacher for our 3rd-5th grade girls...

I focused the lesson on kindness and friendship; we had a brainstorming session, sharing, praises and prayers, etc., and the girls could hardly keep their eyes off my stash of scrapbook paper!

We made our own Friendship/Kindness flowers, and to tie it to the lesson we wrote a scripture verse on the back of each flower.

I wonder where these flowers will appear next?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

paper flowers pdf


this will give you a pdf template to make LOVELY layered flowers--use paper, fabric...be creative...
i'd love to see what you make!

i will post a photo of my flowers as soon as i get new aa's for my camera


Ahhh, creativity is great. Creativity with decorative papers is even better! Just returned home from a bridal shower (i helped plan, throw, whatever)...we had a good turnout, good food, and nifty decorations, i must say :)

over at oneprettything.com i found a link to some paper flower templates/patterns...

there is something so satisfying about creating something with your own hands that you will share with someone else. when i craft/create/make for others, i find myself thinking of the special person and hoping they will like what i am making, and know that i put thought into it for them.

hey, if you're looking for 2 easy, crowd-pleasing recipes consider these:

1. coffee punch

brew strong coffee

chill overnight

in a punchbowl combine:

cold coffee (strong)

1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream

1 container cool whip

1/2 -3/4 bottle hershey's syrup

that's it

i am really not a cool-whip person (prefer hand-made whipped cream)

nor am i really crazy about the questionable ingredients in hershey's syrup, but--

all in a punchbowl this is a sweetly satisfying, caffeinated, dessert-like treat that people will cheer about all during your party :)

2. spinach feta egg bake

6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

14 eggs

10 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced

two handfuls fresh spinach, chopped

splash of milk or cream

preheat oven to 350

bake 30 minutes (approx.)

i'll post some photos of the paper flowers sooon

it's time to do the kitchen-clean up dance and clear the dining room table of the paper-craft aftermath...

are there state standards for that?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

animal project

no, these are not the animals...though by the end of the day--we smelled worse than the monkeys in the trees! i will post more photos from our trip, and share more ideas from our projects shortly :)
Yesterday was our magnificent trek to the fort wayne children's zoo! yippee!
I planned this as a mid-project refresher for my kids and the 3-4 kids I tutor each week.
Here is a listing of the major points of our projects...

pick an animal you would like to learn about
use the library's electronic card catalog to search and locate books related to your animal
find books on shelves (hello mr. dewey)
peruse books, weed out those deemed unnecessary
identify title, author, illustrator
locate and examine table of contents, index, glossary, etc.
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS (discuss and write)
what does my animal eat in the wild? in captivity?
where is my animal's natural habitat?
so on and so forth...
interesting facts
something i thought i knew, but was wrong/right...
i planned our zoo trip to have a purpose, and will plan all future field trips with a purpose for the students (and myself)
We took photos of our animals at the zoo, and will paste them in our scrapbooks along with some creative writing and creative illustrating...maybe add in a poem or two
i will also list the indiana standards that this project is addressing!

smart vs. pleasant

As I make more moves to apply for teaching positions, I am considering the idea that being pleasant, or kind is so much more important than being smart. Yes, I want to have ideas and great ideas at that. I want to show that I am a competent teacher, but at the same time I want to show kindness. Kindness to my peers, my students, parents, volunteers...
Recently Danny and I watched segments of the movie Harvey, starring Jimmy Stewart. The line that resonated with us the most is this (paraphrase) in this world you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant...i recommend pleasant.
You can be right, or you can be friendly, and sometimes both, but how many friends can a person make while being "right" to the point of meanness? And being the "winner" all the time ends up making you quite lonely.
So my challenge to myself, and to my 2 readers :) ...remember to be pleasant. Your life, and the lives of those you encounter will be much nicer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

animals of all sorts

hello. i have not been lost, only busy.
right now i am working out lesson plans/activities for 6 children. each child has chosen an animal to research: rabbit, gecko, river otter, snake, red fox, and gorilla. we are in the beginning stages of this project, and are just reading about the animals from books. our next step is to explore the fort wayne children's zoo! woo hoo!
i am hungry to learn more as well, so i have chosen the elephant. african, indian, not sure. and there may not even be an elephant in fort wayne, but oh well.
later i will blog on the importance of modeling for your students--they need to see that you take a project seriously enough to do it yourself...