Monthly Archives: August 2014

Back to School

Most schools are already underway and I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss my classroom!  Getting my classroom ready was one of my favorite things!  Thankfully, I had a few banners that I put together for some of my teacher friends to keep me busy.  When I cleaned out my classroom, I put all of my bulletin board banners in the lounge.  I sent an email out letting everyone know that they were up for grabs.  I will never forget Mrs. White running down the hall saying, “Why didn’t you ask me first?!  I want those banners!”  She has incorporated all of the banners in her classroom this year and asked if I could make a couple more for her.

She is getting married next month, so she needed a sweet banner with her name.  I did chevron with primary colors because that is her room theme.

She is getting married next month, so she needed a sweet banner with her new last name. I did chevron with primary colors because that is her room theme.

Cubs Cash is an incentive for good behavior in the building, I even made a Cub look like he was holding some Cubs Cash!  I embossed these pennants with polka dots since she has polka dots in her classroom as well.  I thought this one turned out so cute!

Cubs Cash is an incentive for good behavior in the building, I even made a Cub look like he was holding some Cubs Cash! I embossed these pennants with polka dots since she has polka dots in her classroom as well. I thought this one turned out so cute!

Mrs. Heather was another one of my teacher friends that wanted me to help her with her room.  She sent me a pin with a theme that she liked.  It was so cute with little silhouettes of children all over the room.  Since the theme of the school was animals, we decided it would be fun to do silhouettes of animals instead.  Since she is teaching Kindergarten this year, we did farm animals!  (The pig is my favorite!)

This is the bulletin in front of her classroom.  I cut out different animals and she glued clothespins to the back for easy hanging without holes!

This is the bulletin in front of her classroom. I cut out different animals and she glued clothespins to the back for easy hanging without holes! (Have I mentioned I love Pinterest?)

We spiced up her Word Wall with a banner as well.  I like that the banners could be hung above for more bulletin space!

We spiced up her Word Wall with a banner as well. I like that the banners could be hung above for more bulletin space!

Love the colors here!

Love the colors here!

This is one of my favorite creations for her room!  This banner is the perfect way to help the kids learn their colors!  I love that it reminds me of crayons!

This is one of my favorite creations for her room! This banner is the perfect way to help the kids learn their colors! I love that it reminds me of crayons! Click the picture to check it out on my shop!

I definitely had fun whipping up some school banners for my teacher friends!  I also wanted to share a banner that I made for first and last day school pictures.  I was contacted by a girl from my hometown that had a little girl getting ready to start preschool.  She had seen my posts on Facebook and wanted a banner that she could hold in the pictures.  I was excited because this was a banner that I was already brainstorming, but she gave me a reason to whip it up!  The banner comes with two sided pennants with all grade levels so you can use it for multiple kids and all the way through school!  To purchase this banner check out my listing on Etsy!

I also edited this banner to say Pre-K for a friend of mine.  Remember these banners can be customized to your needs!

I also edited this banner to say Pre-K for a friend of mine. Remember these banners can be customized to your needs!

The pennants are double sided for easy assembly.  Simply slide it off and flip it over!

The pennants are double sided for easy assembly. Simply slide it off and flip it over!

What a great way to cherish the moments!

What a great way to cherish the moments!

That is all for today!  If you are in need of any banners for your classroom or your child’s teacher, let me know!

 

 

 

 

Sewing Adventure

In June I purchased my first sewing machine! I did my homework and found a good machine on amazon.com.  The machine I purchased is  the Brother LB-6800.  It was a combo pack that came with a tote to store it!  I made sure to get a machine that has embroidery capabilities.  I figured embroidered items would be a great addition to my Etsy shop!  Both of my wonderful grandmas can sew and my great grandma was an amazing seamstress as well.  I wish that I would have taken it up more when I was younger, but I got frustrated easily and never really learned how to sew without the help of someone over my shoulder.  That being said, I have the “craft” gene and I should be able to catch on pretty easy.

When I graduated college, my Grandma Bloesser gave me an old machine of hers so I could make some curtains.  I got it home and couldn’t figure out how to thread the damn thing, broke a few bobbins and handed it off to a cousin because I had no idea what I was doing!  I wish I could go back to that day now, because with YouTube and Pinterest, there are so many great tutorials out there that would have helped me.  Keep in mind, I was not even on Facebook yet back then!  It is amazing how much technology has changed since then!  (I still have college papers on those old “floppy” disks!)

I found a Sewing 101 class at Joann’s and have officially completed my first class as of Tuesday this week!  I was surprised to get there and be the youngest one there.  I figured older ladies already knew how to sew!  Our instructor, Jeanette was a sweet lady that was very impressed that a woman my age was interested in learning to sew!  I felt bad though, because she had to stay an extra half hour after class to help me because I managed to break 2 needles and have a few other issues with my machine.  She was so patient and helpful!  I even signed up for her next class making a pair of Lazy Pants next month.

We talked about different terminology, parts of the machines, picking out fabric, using patterns, etc.  I made sure to ask questions when I had one.  We made a travel pillowcase with a jelly roll and a french seem.  I have to admit, I had a hard time understanding what a jelly roll was and why we were doing it, but once the project started going it was easier to get a visual.  My pillowcase was not perfect, but I learned so much in the class!

My travel sized pillow case.

My travel sized pillow case.

I wanted to write this post and share with you my sewing journey, as I plan on mastering it and sewing up some beautiful creations!  I found an amazing website on Pinterest that I wanted to share.  It has different worksheets to practice sewing a straight line, corners, turns, and curves.  I am working on my second set of worksheets today as I found them very helpful!  Check out the following link at Sew So Easy to print off your practice sheets today!

These worksheets helped me get started!

These worksheets helped me get started!

There are so many different stitches to work with.  They are a bit intimidating.  The worksheets encouraged me to play with the settings a bit.  It is a great way to get a visual of the different stitches.

There are so many different stitches to work with. They are a bit intimidating. The worksheets encouraged me to play with the settings a bit. It is a great way to get a visual of the different stitches.

Here is a close up of worksheet #3.  It practices corners and turns!

Here is a close up of worksheet #3. It practices corners and turns!

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.33.49 PM

 

Gluten Free Poppy Seed Chicken

I recently spent about 2 weeks back in my hometown.  It was so nice to spend time with my family!  My Grandma Bloesser had just had knee surgery and my Grandpa Bloesser had been dealing with kidney stones for almost a month!  I felt so blessed at the support the community of Ulysses.  Every day there was someone checking up or dropping something off whether it was frozen meals, comfort foods, and some delicious sour cream lemon pie!

Chloe and Mia posing by Grandma Bloesser's Hibiscus flowers while we were home.

Chloe and Mia posing by Grandma Bloesser’s Hibiscus flowers while we were home.

Here is a shot of my brother and I with my Grandpa and Grandma Underhill.  Grandma was sweet enough to give me a box of poppy seeds when I was back home when I told her how amazing that meal was!  Now this meal reminds me of my grannies!!

Here is a shot of my brother and I with my Grandpa and Grandma Underhill. Grandma was sweet enough to give me a box of poppy seeds when I was back home when I told her how amazing that meal was! Now this meal reminds me of my grannies!

My home ec teacher, Mrs. Chadd was one of the amazing community members I was talking about.  She brought over a poppy seed chicken dish that was DELICIOUS!  An hour after eating that night, I messaged her for the recipe.  She was kind enough to send it to me!  Unfortunately, I learned that the delicious crunchy topping is a sleeve of crushed up Ritz crackers and 1/4 c melted butter.  Alex can’t have the crackers, so I had to get creative with my topping.  I am pretty happy with the results as it is a pretty healthy meal packed with protein!  The first time I made it, Alex suggested mashed potatoes next time and I think it would be delicious over quinoa too!   Enjoy!

The only ingredient missing here was the butter for the crushed almond topping.

The only ingredient missing here was the butter for the crushed almond topping.

After shredding the chicken, mix the sour cream, cream of chicken, poppy seeds, and shredded chicken.

After shredding the chicken, mix the sour cream, cream of chicken, poppy seeds, and shredded chicken.

If you have never used this stuff, it is amazing!  You have to be careful because it tends to be a bit on the salty side, it is powerful stuff!

If you have never used this stuff, it is amazing! You have to be careful because it tends to be a bit on the salty side, it is powerful stuff!

However, since the gluten free cream of chicken is a little bland, I like to add an extra tablespoon to give it a kick!  If you are not worried about making it gluten free, you can probably omit this extra addition.

However, since the gluten free cream of chicken is a little bland, I like to add an extra tablespoon to give it a kick! If you are not worried about making it gluten free, you can probably omit this extra addition.

Top with almond topping and toss in an oven on 350 for 35 minutes!

Top with almond topping and toss in an oven on 350 degrees for 35 minutes!

Alex likes his over mashed potatoes!

Alex likes his over mashed potatoes!

Gluten Free Poppyseed Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups water
1-2 T chicken flavored soup base
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cloves minced garlic
8 oz. sour cream
1 can gluten free cream of chicken
3 tsp. poppy seed
1 1/2 c. almonds (crushed)
1 T melted butter
Throw some frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot with water, garlic, soup base, salt & pepper on high for a few hours to get the chicken breasts thawed out. After a few hours, put the chicken on low. When the chicken is finished, put chicken in a casserole dish to cool.  Using two forks, shred the chicken.  Add sour cream, cream if chicken, 1 T of chicken flavored soup base, salt, pepper, and poppy seeds.  Melt 1 T of butter and mix with crushed almonds.  Cover the top of the dish with crushed almond topping.
Bake at 350° for 30 min

 

Thank You

Has it been a million years since I have published something on here?  I am pretty sure it has!  It makes me sad because I love blogging so much and I miss it!  I am going to try to get some more posts going on here starting today!  This summer has flown by so fast it is crazy!  Let me update you on a few things.

My biggest news is that Alex and I are getting married!  We don't know when or where and I have stressed myself over the entire thing.  Let me tell you one thing...weddings are EXPENSIVE!  We don't want to spend a ton of money, but we do want a great time with our family and closest friends.  Stay tuned for many DIY wedding projects!

My biggest news is that Alex and I are getting married! We don’t know when or where and I have stressed myself over the entire thing. Let me tell you one thing…weddings are EXPENSIVE! We don’t want to spend a ton of money, but we do want a great time with our family and closest friends. Stay tuned for many DIY wedding projects!

I opened up an Etsy shop in January.  I create handmade banners, party accessories, and vinyl signs.  Click this picture to check out my shop!

I opened up an Etsy shop in January. I create handmade banners, party accessories, and vinyl signs. In June, I decided to try to take my shop full time.  Click this picture to check out more about my services!

I am taking a break from teaching full time and will be substituting this year.  This will give me more time to try to get my Etsy shop going full time.  I am excited to be trying a new district that is closer to my house.  I will miss having my own classroom, but am excited to teach other grades and see what I like most!

I am taking a break from teaching full time and will be substituting this year. This will give me more time to try to get my Etsy shop going full time. I am excited to be trying a new district that is closer to my house. I will miss having my own classroom, but am excited to try out multiple grade levels!

We have had a pretty busy summer.  My soon to be in-laws have a fireworks stand that they have done the past 32 years.  The last two years, Alex and I helped run the stand with his cousin Jillana.  It is fun to spend time with Alex’s family and get to know the family business.  I have learned so much about fireworks!  It is fun to see how excited everyone is when they come.

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This is Jo’s Fireworks located in a wheat field outside of Haigler, NE. Click this photo to check out our Facebook page!

Here is the vinyl sign I made with my Cricut last year for the stand.

Here is the vinyl sign I made with my Cricut last year for the stand.

When we went back to Haigler for a week, my neighbor was sweet enough to water all of my plants for me.  I never really started planting things until last summer.  I love planting and taking care of my flowers.  It can be stressful being away from home that long, so I am glad I have great neighbors to help out!

This year I planted Vodoo Red Stars instead of Geraniums in my Nebraska watering can!  Click on the photo to see the DIY blog post to learn how to make your own!

This year I planted Vodoo Red Stars instead of Geraniums in my Nebraska watering can! Click on the photo to see the DIY blog post to learn how to make your own!

My Grandma Bloesser urged me to try sweet potato vine in my yard and I am in love with it!  Look how pretty it drapes around the wagon!

My Grandma Bloesser urged me to try sweet potato vine in my yard and I am in love with it! Look how pretty it drapes around the wagon!

Chicks & Hens are also a new addition to my yard!  They are super easy to take care of and I love watching the babies appear!  Alex's mom had some of these at her house and I decided to try them.  I need to move them to a flowerbed, as they just want to spread all over the place!

Chicks & Hens are also a new addition to my yard! They are super easy to take care of and I love watching the babies appear! Alex’s mom had some of these at her house and I decided to try them. I need to move them to a flowerbed, as they just want to spread all over the place!

After being gone selling fireworks for a week, I had to get home to get ready for my booth at the fair in my hometown.  After the fair, Alex came down and we headed to my great-grandparents cabin with the whole Waechter bunch!  Let’s just say that it was a crazy July with a lot of stuff going on!  Check out a few pictures from our trip.

This was the booth I had with a friend of mine.  She made the wreaths and I did the banners.

This was the booth I had with a friend of mine. She made the wreaths and I did the banners.

Most of my business was custom orders that I did right there!  It was fun, but I wish I wouldn't have tried to guess what everyone would want!

Most of my business was custom orders that I did right there! It was fun, but I wish I wouldn’t have tried to guess what everyone would want!

The whole bunch!

The whole bunch!

Chloe and Mia got to spend the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Bloesser.  Grandma had just had surgery and Grandpa was not feeling well either.  I was glad they were able to keep them company!

Chloe and Mia got to spend the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Bloesser. Grandma had just had surgery and Grandpa was not feeling well either. I was glad they were able to keep them company!

The day before we left, we found out that my Great-Grandma Chilson passed away.  She was 94 and boy, was she a tough old bird!  Here is the last 4 generations picture we took at her 92nd birthday.

The day before we left, we found out that my Great-Grandma Chilson passed away. She was 94 and boy, was she a tough old bird! Here is the last 4 generations picture we took at her 92nd birthday.

The Chilson family getting together to celebrate Great-Grandma Chilson's life.

The Chilson family getting together to celebrate Great-Grandma Chilson’s life.

Now that I have updated you on my summer, it is time to get down to business.  I wanted to thank my neighbor for being so helpful while I was gone.  I had a gift card to give her and wanted a nice Thank You to go with it.

I thought the quote was a good way to thank her for taking care of my plants!

I thought the quote was a good way to thank her for taking care of my plants! “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”  Dalai Lama

I used a library pocket that I found on the Silhouette Online Store for $0.99!

I used a library pocket that I found on the Silhouette Online Store for $0.99!

The library pocket was blank, and I added a flower cutout and a darling rhinestone to dress it up a little bit.  I also used my Cricut Cuttlebug to emboss the card and flower with polka dots!  If you have a die cutting machine and do not have one of these…GET ONE!  They are amazing!