Saturday, February 27

"Relax/ Refresh, Indulge"

Teacher appreciation yesterday was a success!  It took me about 4 evenings after the boys' went to bed to make the sacks (32 of them!).

The sacks ringed the the treat boxes, with note for the teachers explaining it all.~

  Pick out a therapy sack in the fabric and scent of your choice.  Choose the lavender scent to help you RELAX, or pick a eucalyptus one to help REFRESH your senses.  Then, INDULGE yourself and grab a box of sweet treats to take home and enjoy all weekend. 

Earlier in the week, the toddlers each picked their favorite paint colors and put their hand prints on a box.  And the boxes were filled the cookies, brownies, bars, etc that many of the toddler parents volunteered to bake and bring in.

The instructions tags were tied onto a corner of the wheat sacks. Here's what the tags said, taken from Brassy Apple because Meg's poem was perfect and why mess with a good thing!  And yes, don't worry, I asked for permission first. ;)

This little sack filled with wheat,
Is such a comfort that can’t be beat.
Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on HIGH
and kiss those aches and pains goodbye.
Apply it to the troubled spot,
The heat will ease the pain a lot.
Or warm those little toes, so cold.
You'll find this nice to have and hold.
Or freeze it for a little while,
And fix that boo-boo up in style.
Instead of a compress made of ice,
Use this sack of wheat that feels so nice!

(I'm scented with LAVENDER to help you RELAX)
or the last line said --
(I'm scented with EUCALYPTUS to help REFRESH your sense.)

A few of the parents had bought their contribution, so we kept those out on a smaller adjacent table for the teachers to grab a bite of something right then or pop in and out throughout the morning.  I didn't get a pic of that.

Sorry the pics aren't that great.  I must have been using the wrong setting on my camera or perhaps it was the lighting in the room.  

*Oh and hey look, lol, we made the school newsletter that goes out each weekend.  I'm in the middle with Logan.  The other room mom for the Toddlers is to my left, and one of the parents who did a lot of great helping is to my right.

Tuesday, February 23

The one woman assembly line has begun!

I'm in charge of the upcoming Teacher Appreciation event this Friday at Gunnar's preschool.  Each class level rotates throughout the school year, and the toddlers are now up.  Here's my plan.

"Relax, refresh, Indulge!" is the overarching theme I've dubbed the event.  I'm making 30 wheat filled therapy sacks (you can put them in micro or the freezer, and place anywhere on your body to sooth aches, pains, etc) in two different scents (lavender- "relax", eucalyptus- "refresh").  I've also asked the toddler parents to bake some yummy treats (the "indulge!" part) that we'll package in take-out boxes which the kiddo's will decorate in class on Thursday. So on their way out for the weekend, the teachers can pick a wheat sack in the fabric/scent of their choice and grab a to-go box filled with fresh baked desserts. 

I really wanted something that didn't take effort or time on the part of the teachers, like having to come early for a breakfast, or stay late for a lunch.  While those type of things are nice of course, I know from experience with hubby that teachers really just want to get the heck out of there just like the rest of us when the work day is done. I also thought it'd be nice to do something that they could enjoy with their family at home, and something they could actually use instead of some gimicky commercialized crap they'll throw away after a day.  So hopefully they'll like my idea.  We shall see!

My main focus right now is the sacks.  I've got help from another toddler room parent to take charge of the dessert boxes, whew!  I bought fabric last week.  There's some Legacy prints and an Alexander Henry.  I really tried to pick a variety that would cover most people's tastes. I cut all the fabric last night, today is sewing, Wednesday is filling with wheat/essential oil mixture, Thursday is sewing the opening closed and creating instruction tags, and Friday is the event! 

(I cannot take credit for the idea of the therapy sacks.  I bookmarked this from Brassy Apple a while ago knowing the idea would come in handy at some point. Good thing I did! Her blog is great too by the way, so check it out!)

Monday, February 15

It's 7am this past Thursday morning.  Look at my kids face!  He is so excited.  And he should be!  It does NOT snow in North Texas, so this was quite the rarity and special treat.
And, his first time ever in the snow. :)

Of course we had to build a snowman.  Gunnar built one for him and one for Logan.  It was so sweet he thought of his brother all on his own. <3

 All done! Their faces bring a smile to my own.  Gunnar did a really good job!  He was so proud of his work.:)

Building snowmen sure makes a boy hungry.  I guess snow in general makes a boy hungry though, because I'd say he spent the greater part of his snow play just eating it, lol.  Mmmm, snow.

So this is snow, eh?

Poor thing took a snowball to the head. Yeah, not liking that so much.

The boys and I.  Littlest one preferred snuggles for the rest of his snow experience.  Can't really blame him.

Getting bolder with the bites while daddy works on the snow tunnel.

Said snow tunnel.

By the next morning, there was a LOT of snow.  12.5 inches, a record for Dallas!

So we headed out to check out the neighborhood. 

Snow is so much fun when playing in with a friend. 

Overall, we spent 2 whole days in a winter wonderland.  We made snow angels, built snowmen, threw snowballs, ate snow ice cream... You get the point.  

Thanks for putting up with my gazillion photos. :)

Monday, February 8

Me and Mini Fobs

Key fobs are a must for any mother, I am convinced.  I cannot tell you how much more convenient and easier life has been for me because of this thing.  Really, I'm not kidding.  No more fumbling through the diaper bag with a baby and grocery bags in tow to find keys to unlock the the car doors.  And no more losing your mind trying to find said keys in the car after putting said grocery bags and said baby in said car. Or leaving keys in a retail bathroom after changing (again) said baby's diaper...  Uh huh. Yep.  You know you moms out there have many similar (and same!) stories.  Don't deny it.

I have to say, I love the way these key fobs turned out.  The J Caroline ribbon is gorgeous.   And I am really, really pleased with my stitching.  It's nice and tight and straight, and perfectly barely kissing the edge of the ribbon.  Exactly how I hoped!  Yes, I'm completely tooting my own horn.  And I'm okay with that!  I'm really hard on my own work, really hard.  Poor hubs has to deal with me on that.  But this project, I was happily singing along with my machine.  I intended on only making one, but I had to buy yard increments of material so I ended up making three adult sized fobs, and then had a little extra webbing and ribbon so I made little Mini.

And Brandi, if you are reading this, I hope you like it, because I actually made it for you. It'll be in the mail shortly. :) Congrats again on that sweet baby boy of yours.

Thursday, February 4

Heavenly delicious pudding.

Coconut chocolate pudding, *drool*.  Oh. My. Gosh. This was really good pudding.  You must try this recipe.  As in go today to the grocery store if you don't have the ingredients on hand. It is well worth it, and really easy to make. My little nursing's tummy is still quite sensitive to lactose, so when I came across this recipe (dairy-free!) on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen, my stomach begged me to make it. We love both coconut and chocolate over here, and who doesn't like pudding? 

I made a few changes to the original recipe. I subbed in dark chocolate chips (we are big fans of dark chocolate!), used  cornstarch instead of arrowroot, and only put in 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. (I did the recommended three on the first batch and it made the pudding was a little bit super sweet.  Still excellent, but I liked more of an intense dark chocolate taste to come through.)  I also allowed the pudding to cook a little longer than "just to the point of simmer" before stirring in the chocolate chips, which gave it an even richer, velvety, almost hot fudge sundae topping type quality once it sets up in the fridge. Completely indulgent. 

Gunnar helped cook, so he got to help clean as well.  And boy, pudding tools are a great thing to have to clean up!  lol.