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A chip off the old snack…


In my search for healthier eats for myself and my husband, I came across the recipe for kale chips.  Nick LOVES them, as he is a fan of more seaweedy type snacks and things like wasabi peas.  It was a little too strong of a kale taste for me, but I love that he loves them!  They’re really easy to make, too!  All I do it cut the leaves off the ribs (the kind of stalk part in the middle), and tear them into bite sized pieces.  I lay them out on a Silpat mat and spritz them with some olive oil, flip them, and spritz again.  Sprinkle a little kosher salt and pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 12 minutes.  Slide them out, into a bowl, and it’s OM NOM NOM time!

What healthy snacks do you like to make?

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It’s been so long!

FINALLY AFTER A MILLION BAJILLION YEARS (really, like a year and a half, but in Internet time that's like ETERNITY), I have managed to update my costume website. Hey, look at that! Finally got pictures up of Ophelia and everything!

There is a lot of stuff that’s just not done yet – I have a lot of the older costumes to update the pages to the new layout – but there are plenty of new things and (I hope) a more streamlined look.  I hope you enjoy!

Go get it!  =)

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Disappointing behavior…

Dear efirstbank,

I must say that I switched to your bank after leaving Chase and Wells Fargo due to their unfortunate behavior regarding the average customer; there I was treated like a number.  I had anticipated that I would not have that experience with 1st Bank because you are a Colorado company.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I'm deeply disappointed by your "Free Checking" campaign - in my experience, your checking account is anything but free.  I've been charged for neglecting to use your bill pay service and charged for my debit card (seriously?  Didn't that policy end around 1996?).

This is frustrating to a customer like me.  I am a public school teacher, and those little charges of $5 and $10 amount to a lot.  That is money I could be spending in my classroom, on my students, on children, and you are taking it away from me.

My experience with your bank has been disappointing and sad.  I will not recommend your services to anyone and I will be switching to a teacher-supportive credit union as soon as possible.  I also want to express how unfair and misleading your "Free" checking campaign is.  No part of your checking service is free.

I hope that you consider the repercussions of your marketing and customer service, particularly in the case of the average customer.

Beverly Warner
Brighton, CO

PS: Deleting my complaint from your Facebook timeline was super classy.  Very nice.

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The best week ever.

Our wedding is 3 days away.  School is out.  We had incredible seats at a fantastic baseball game last night (go Rockies!), not to mention the gorgeous fireworks following!  We have had an absolutely stunning week so far, and if it’s any indication, the wedding should surpass all our expectations.

Personal Photo

I am delighted to announce that in addition to successfully completing my first year of teaching, I will be moving to the Technology Teacher position for next year – a subject I feel particularly passionate about. 

I’ve had a purely incredible year.  I hope to be back more regularly to share the next one with you!

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What passing bells

Ten years ago I had just started my junior year of college.  Ordinary day turned into extraordinary.

Later that year, all the choirs at UNC performed the Britten War Requiem.  It had been chosen prior to the reality-changing events of today, but it deeply struck a chord with everyone who was a part of the performance.  To this day it remains one of the most powerful pieces of music I have ever experienced.

Always remembering.

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The end… the beginning!


The view from my desk in my nearly-finished classroom.  School officially starts tomorrow, though I have been here for several weeks preparing, decorating, and testing students.

It’s come to my attention that – at least for the next little while – teaching will be keeping me impressively busy.  So I shall be taking a  bit of a blogging hiatus until I see how things will settle out.  I want to give my students all my energy (thought I of course won’t forget to care for myself!) and focus on this tenuous first year in my career.  I’m uncertain when and if I’ll be back to blogging here regularly, but I anticipate a few fun projects and great ideas will be shared periodically.

So, with much love, I bid you adieu… for now!

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But what if it is?  Can you fix it?  Is it worth the DiY?


This rocker was left outside another teacher’s room with a sign saying it was broken.  It looked in good condition, but after sitting in it (not necessarily recommended…  Please don’t risk injury, haha!), I noted that the only flaw was a loose right armrest due to a missing screw.  An extra screw and 30 seconds later, the chair was good as new and sitting in a place of honor in my classroom!  I’d been hoping to have a rocking chair for reading, and now I got it!


Then there was this little table, sturdy and in good condition, but the top was a mess.  Even after cleaning, it was patchy and stained.  My solution?  Paint that tabletop!  Now it’s a great extra addition for the classroom, useful for students to use as a group learning area (also it fits neatly under one of the other tables, storage win!).


What DiY projects have really paid off for you?

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Two weeks later…

I’ve been steadily working on my classroom, and I’ve just about got it where I want to start out.  Furniture is in place, number and alphabet lines are up, library is.. well, halfway sorted.  Now all I need is kids!

2011-08-04 15.51.18  2011-08-04 15.51.24  2011-08-04 15.51.28 

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2011-08-04 15.51.58  2011-08-04 15.52.03  2011-08-04 15.52.08 

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A lot of the walls are still bare as we’ll be creating charts with students.  I love the bunting, and I’m planning on having the kids create more for the rest of the room.  I’m so excited!  Just two weeks until school starts!  Wow!

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I’ve been at it all week decorating my classroom and have come across a need for an alphabet line.  My students will mostly know their letters, but an alphabet line is useful for creating alphabetized lists.  I decided to keep on with the bunting idea!  I went ahead and created both upper and lower case letters in a PDF file that I will printout on colored paper and trim to the right size.  It’s easy to do on your own, just make sure your top margin is as small as possible!

source: ruffled

Need an easier idea?  Try the bunting printable with these cute patterns over at Ruffled!  It’s so cute!

What make and takes have you found additional uses for?

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Back to School?

Holy cow, is it really that time?  Sure is!  Most schools will be starting in just a few weeks, about halfway through August, and we sure are close to that!  In celebration, here are some fun projects to prepare for the big return.

source: Dollar Store Crafts

Rhonda of Dollar Store Crafts developed this adorable pencil cuff!  Great for teachers and kids alike, it’s a way to show off one of our favorite classic writing utensils.  Think of all the things you can do with pencils, wow!

source: Factory Direct Craft

This adorable burlap pencil case is printed with a little foam and some paint to create a block print.  Super cute and of course functional!  Thanks, Factory Direct Craft!


Finally, our own speech bubble chalk boards take nothing more than foamcore, a knife, and some chalkboard paint.  Make any shape you want!  Fun first day photos, anyone?

What are some of your great projects for back to school?