Thursday, December 19, 2013


By Ivy Morrison

Peppermints abound at Christmas time,
It’s out with bananas, melons, and lime.
But why should I wait for such a sweet taste?
In my cookies, my cocoa and my coffee! Make Haste!

Peppermints come in so many ways.
Any form or shape I will eat just the same.
Such as ice-cream and candy and chocolate – Oh my!
Oh my word – could you picture a peppermint pie?!

But when Christmas time is just about over,
I’ll start to freak out and run to Ms. Toler.
I’ll scream “OH NO! The stores have run out!”
To which she’ll respond “Heavens’ sakes child, don’t pout!”

At Tarkington Intermediate it is poetry time with 4th grade language arts! Before the holidays they had some fun coming up with Christmas themed Shape Poems and Concrete Poems! During my Tutorials I decided to go ahead and make one along with the students. Above is my ode to peppermints, my absolute FAVORITE flavor!!

And in case anyone wondered who the heck Ms. Toler is...she is our lovely librarian. And in case you're STILL curious she is pictured below :)


Isn't she cute?!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Nails

Just a few strips of tape and voila! Candy Cane inspired accent nails...

Thought it was a fun way to start off December!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Too many leftovers? May I recommend...

Last year while looking through my Better Home & Garden magazine I found this QUICK, EASY, and DELICIOUS looking recipe for cute individual pot pies!!

You simply cut small pieces of pre-made pie crust and fit them down inside of the muffin cups. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees. Take the pie crusts out and let the fun begin! Simply fill them with all those wonderful leftovers - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and hey if you feel adventurous add a little of that cranberry salad! Then pop them back in the oven for another 8 minutes until everything is nice and warmed up!

Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and  enjoy the day after just as much (this easy recipe should help!)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Do you notice something??

Do you notice something different?!?! Perhaps at the bottom of all my posts? Like a BUTTON!! Haven't got it yet???? A "Pin It" button!! YAY!! I've only been trying to figure this out for well...a few DAYS!! All the posts on HOW TO were outdated for the old blogger interface and plus they talk like they think I know what all that HTML code is and how it works!

Well news flash...I DON'T! But lo and behold I finally found a wonderful blogger that made my life simple. Well at least as simple as HTML gets!

And I will add in my little tip that made it take so long:

When you open up that big long box of HTML and scratch your head because you can't find the class: post footer or however you write it look on the left side of the box and there may be little black triangles. These triangles shorten the HTML codes under each section. So click the triangles to expand it or figure out where the "EXPAND WIDGETS" button is...because I couldn't, lol.

You can find the "Pin It" button how to post at Julie Ann Art blog. Just click here for quick access.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Antonyms!!

On a whim today I created a miniature 4th grade anchor chart for an Antonym lesson tomorrow! Since it will be Halloween I found this cute Frankenstein guy and the put down some words that relate to the holiday. Again it was on a whim so yes some of the words I chose weren't the greatest and yes I wish I could go back and redo some words however when you work on a whim you typically work in Sharpie, so they stayed what they were. 

Feel free to insert some better (and easier) words to find antonyms for!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Makin' a Comeback!!

So who from the 80's remembers these things...

Yes, you are seeing right, that is a crimping iron my friends!! And yes I still have it and yes it still works! The school I work at is having its Red Ribbon Week this week and today was Crazy Hair Day. Thus the need for a revival of such a great styling tool! So yes, I crimped my hair in 2013:

But you know what? I actually LOVE my hair like this!! Haha, who knew right?!

I'm not scared of new and perhaps weird and so I embraced the big and out of control and loved every minute of it! I mean for real, I may be dillusional but I think I look good with my white girl attempt at an afro: 

And leave it to me to play with photo filters all day long...

But seriously is anyone with me in bringing back this iconic 80's "do"??? 

No. Well, okay I'll enjoy my hair today then and do it again next year. 😉📆

Monday, October 21, 2013

10 Minute DIY Fall Decoration

A couple weeks ago we had our first SORT OF cold day (we're in Texas so cold is used lightly here) and so it have me the fall bug!! I baked Two Peas in a Pod's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and made a 10 minute DIY mantel decoration! 

At Michael's I had picked up a white craft pumpkin that was 50% off and on this said Saturday googled monogrammed "M"'s. In case you don't know it's our last name initial! I found a simple one I could re-create, got me a Sharpie and drew it on one side of my pumpkin. 

Next I sent my kids out and told them to find me sticks! They ran all over the yard and created a pile ranging from logs to minuscule pieces of branches. I picked some good clean ones that were all similar in size and stuck them in a glass vase. Next I snipped off a lower limb of a maple tree that had some beautiful red leaves on it. Stuck that limb in the center of my arrangement and plopped both up on my mantel by each other! And bam! In ten minutes I had a masterpiece! 

Okay maybe not a masterpiece, but it looks pretty doesn't it?! And for a very busy mom, it was perfect and very doable. The kids even helped so I get extra points for that right?

Idioms Anchor Chart

Here is the Idioms Anchor Chart I created for a 4th grade classroom! Use it with a smaller example that has a picture with the literal meaning and then a picture with the actual meaning and define Idiom!! 

I just love the cute little piggies in this one! Got the idea off a book cover someone made! If I can find the original source I will add it to this post later!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

4th grade Anchor Charts

I have been preparing anchor charts for 4th grade this year and thought I'd share some of them! 😊 

My life in a picture...

This is me. In a car. Doing my homework while my kids are in the yard I'm parked in front of sliding down a slip and slide at a birthday party. And I'm in the car. Doing homework. Do you understand my life right now?? 

I only had time to unpack two boxes total for the entire week!! I am sleep deprived and have an entire night of homework, assignments and projects. Ugh. Barf. Snore.

Is this semester over yet?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Things in front of me...

During the summer while we impatiently awaited getting into our new home, I was bored one morning and so started snapping pics on my iPhone. Doesn't everyone do that when they're bored??

I played around with the editing of them, then put them into PicFrame, an awesomely cool APP for any photo freak out there, and gave it a title: "Things in front of me right now". Creative huh?

I was bored, don't judge me. But it really was cool and so I wanted to share it on here.

In case you are wondering that green goodness on my plate was freshly roasted Hatch green chile with a little bit of gooey cheesy goodness inside!! It was heaven to this New Mexican girl's taste buds!

So what beauty is right in front of you??

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"SUPER" Bulletin Boards

Public school. Yep, I officially work in the public school system! Since we moved I applied at a local school and was hired a week later. I am extremely excited about the opportunity and experience!

I am a teacher's aide and as such I was in charge of many of the school bulletin boards. Well the school has a Super Hero theme this year so it was really fun being creative with them! 

Here's a few I did and thought I'd share:

And yes I MADE the Captain America shield as the Wonder Woman logo!! They really are basic shapes and letters! 

Hope everyone has a good school year! I'm sure you'll hear more about my public school adventures!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


So I'm sure you are expecting me to tell you a heartfelt experience or sight I saw that rocked my world and brought me to tears and come on hear and gush my story, but nope. This title applies to me! But no, not in the dirty standing on the street corner type! You see the last post was about how we finally sold our house and were so excited knowing it was only a few weeks from a new place and a new beginning but alas as any of you who have undertaken the loan process and title companies and blah blah blah...can relate to us in that 5 and half weeks later we are still...homeless.

It has been very trying on my patience and very stressful as we email back and forth a million times trying to jump every hoop that people keep putting in front of us. I had this great dream of getting the house, painting the rooms I wanted painted and setting my kids rooms completely up so when they return from time with Granddad (which has been a saving grace through this process) they can walk into normalcy again. But nope. Not gonna get that either.

All these trials though God has constantly been reminding me to trust Him. Just trust Him. God has proven Himself to me time and time again and why start doubting now? It would be dumb and pointless. So I wait. And trust. And do as many errands humanly possible to occupy my time and mind so worry and anxiety can't squeeze it's ugly head in the door!

The main thing I have reflected on throughout this process has been family though. How many people can stay in a two bedroom apartment with their parents and never fight or get on each other's nerves OR even be offered to stay that long in the first place!! I am so incredibly thankful for my family and never take for granted the great relationships we all have and the love and care we have for each other. It is amazing and rare and I do not take it lightly. I love my family :).

And if you need encouragement like I did today may I suggest what I did? Put some ear buds in and crank up Jason Castro's "Only a Mountain". And if you really feel froggy post a blog entry just to get it all off your chest! Hehe. <3 p="">

Saturday, June 29, 2013


So this is where I have been recently...

Yep, selling my house. I'm so glad the sorting, the organizing, the donating, the packing, the taping...ooooh the screechy loud over with! But that last day when I had to shut the door on my completely empty house and know as soon as it did shut that I would never again open it - it hit me pretty hard. It's the only house my babies have known and was technically my husband and I's first house.

But another chapter of our lives is calling and I have no regrets and no doubts about where God is taking us. Now we play the waiting game to close on the other house but with my parents in an extremely nice apartment complex with two pools - one resort style, basketball courts, movie theatre room, full workout room along with a cappuccino machine that anyone can use anytime, this batchin' it ain't bad!

And yes I've been in Texas long enough that I use the word ain't. Don't tell my dad. He would be correcting my English right now and I'm family so it's out loud not in his head :) .

Hopefully I can manage to ACTUALLY make some blog posts while I wait on my new home!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Shapes & Toddlers

I occasionally go to the library and just LOOK around for better ideas to teach my toddlers. One such day I was looking at all types of shape books and just happened to come across this gem! It is called "Shape Capers" by Cathryn Falwell - it rhymes, is fun and engaging for toddlers but best of all they have a repetitive line that can easily be made into a game AND they make all their shapes into different things at the end of the book - and if you are a teacher you are already on the same page - instant art project!!

This is exactly what I did. I read the book to my kids. Then I made this handmade "Shake the Shapes" game which can easily be made out of any cylinder container (I made mine out of a chocloate covered pretzel container from Christmas). (In the middle of the container I covered it with a solid color paper and then wrote with sharpie on the front "Shake the Shapes".) I said the repetitive line of "shake, shake, shake, shake the shapes" and then asked what shape will ______ pull out? And then I let each child in turn pull out one shape from my jar and we had to identify what shape they pulled out!

When we were done with all that I used the picture from the book to make the spaceship out of the shapes we learned about. The kids loved seeing their art next to the picture in the book. It helped them relate and brought the book to life!

It was a wonderful resource and after returning my copy to the library I purchased one to keep in my classroom! If you are teaching your toddler shapes (or are a toddler teacher like me) I highly recommend this book to you!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Isn't she cute? But yes, it is St. Patrick's Day!!! The color green abounds and clovers cover every window! And look out for pincher's - they'll get you!
I just wanted to share a quick fact with you since I'm Irish and feel it's my duty.
Did you know...
that St. Patrick went around Ireland preaching the gospel and Christianizing the country! He used the clover to help teach the trinity of God (as shown below).

It makes me wonder how did a holiday honoring a man who preached the gospel turn into a drunk fest at bars?? Sad. But I still love my heritage and am proud of the work that St. Patrick did for his country! So go green, orange and white!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Fun!!

How do you teach toddlers colors, have them exercise motor skills AND have fun doing science??! Well in my class I did this sensory table on St. Patrick's Day and the kids loved it! All I did was make one ice cube tray of with blue food coloring and one with yellow so we had blue and yellow ice cubes. When the kids arrived I dumped the ice cubes into a water table and gave them each a big spoon.
They stirred and stirred and slowly but surely the water turned green right before their eyes! they were amazed and then we spent the day of course talking about and showing them lots of examples of the color GREEN around us!
Later that same day we made Puffy Parsley Clovers for art. Here's what you need: Elmer's Glue, Shaving Cream and green food coloring.
Mix together some shaving cream and glue (roughly 1/3 glue as amount of shaving cream but trust me this is not a precise measurement type art!) Then mix in the green food coloring until you have desired color. I actually ran out because I learned it takes a LOT to make a true deep green so don't say I didn't warn you! So you will have to accept my minty green clovers for now.

Then cover a card stock clover with your shaving cream mixture. Once it's covered place the clover in a container and give the child a small bowl of parsley. Allow the child to sprinkle parsley all over the clover until covered or until they are content with it :)
Because if you know toddlers - some will cover the WHOLE thing until every last bit of parsley has been used and others will drop a few handfuls and be like okay where's the blocks? Ha ha, but that's the personalities of children and I encourage you to let them explore their world the way they want to. If art takes 5 seconds or 50 minutes - it's fine.

We also make elf pudding later that day! Vanilla pudding + green food coloring (hey it's St. Patrick's Day you need to stock up!) + Elf Cookies = Elf Pudding!! Simply stick the elf in the green pudding and use it as a spoon or dip it and then eat the cookie with pudding on it - or eat them separate if you are one of "those" that can't have your food touch!
One week away and I'm already pumped about St. Patrick's Day!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


So it's not a common known fact but I actually love flipping through fashion and style magazines to see what some "things of the moment" are! I would just like to make clear that I do not agree with most fashion  gurus for what they THINK looks good HOWEVER they DO give me new ideas for my clothes. And so I channeled my best inner model and thought I'd share a couple fresh inventions of my clothes I've had (and don't my "inner model" or my "NEW revelations" because yes I realize they may not be new to you) Okay you may continue.
A plain jane t-shirt with a fancy satin skirt! Okay call me old fashioned but until last year I didn't pair plain t-shirts with my pretty skirts - I put pretty tops with pretty skirts. you know what I mean right? Okay good. I feel better now. However I LOVE the look and it makes the outfit more comfortable! My suggestion, for what it's worth, is to pair it with great heels to keep it dressy - or go for all casual with the skirt as the oddball instead of the shirt.
A BUN! Seriously how many of you knew this was the latest craze! Now this one is as classic as it gets but here's the change - either go loose and flowy with strands coming out OR do a sock-bun look instead of the "old" twist. My favorite new up-do is sock-buns and yes there is a sock in my hair!! Hey I work with teens - they come up with crazy but creative things! And I like it!
(click on the link to see a tutorial for sock-buns)
Roll the sleeves up on a tailored jacket!! My momma gave me this cute sailor striped jacket but she is shorter than me so the sleeves down made it look funny on me. You could tell it didn't fit right. But I liked the look. So I rolled the sleeves up and viola - casual chic!

Wish they were better photos but to be honest I thought I need to blog and grabbed photos to MAKE this one happen instead of the reverse where I take photos and when I see them think - this deserves a blog post!!

My crazy self - oh and I actually was wearing these adorable nude peep toe HIGH heels with these skinny's. I love how the tall heels dress it up but the nude color doesn't distract from the simplicity of the outfit.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Winter Ideas

January seemed to fly by and although we are always busy it wasn't really because of that. It's just that I finally got my head settled enough to take some things in and enjoy life! In case you are amidst a winter womderland right now let me introduce you to Texas where 3/4 of January was in the 70's. Yes the 70's, that was not a typo. So we barbequed, because we could, the kids were out on their bikes as I baked cookies for all the neighbor kids out playing together and I even scrapbooked and did some Spring cleaning. I know Spring is a long ways off but shoot if it's 70 degrees out you feel good and get some things done!

However even if it's 50 below there will be something on here that might inspire you! I'm working on my laptop so I don't have all my wonderfully artistic photos (sarcasm, NOT pride) to go along with the ideas but I just thought I'd post some things I've gotten done and also plan on doing this week! Hope you feel inspired!

1. Tried a new recipe! This always makes a blah winter day fun! I've tried a couple: one was a new smoothie recipe from my daughter's cookbook she got at Chrismas, one was Italian Meatballs that I added to our everyday spaghetti (which made it amazing may I add), and I searched for a new green bean casserole recipe because if it's not something I LOVE LOVE LOVE, then I'm not stuck to the same ole recipe. And found I like my new recipe for it more than my old one. If you want to try the green bean casserole recipe too it's from Paula Deen (I suppose I felt especially Texan that day) - just click here for her recipe.

2. Painted an old dresser to repurpose: So we have passed this dresser around a bit because it's a nicely made wooden dresser that was a beautiful red color. It started in my son's room and when we put the house up for sale put it in our room because we had to pair down our dresser space. This one was tall versus wide so it gave the bedroom more space. However when my parents recently moved we inherited their bedroom set (what a blessing) and so the dresser ended up in the garage. I told my husband not to get rid of it though because our daughter needs a new dresser. Hers is probably 15 years old (it used to be mine!!) and was starting to fall apart. However red would not do for my baby girl's purple, pink and torquise room. So a $13 quart of paint and a few hours of work and viola! A white dresser was made. I let my daughter go to the hardware store with me to pick her own drawer pulls so she could be included in the remake! It wasn't that hard and here's a quick tip - for a quick color change buy "deglosser". It's a liquid that you wipe over the old paint and it takes away the gloss so your new paint will adhere better. No sweat lost over traditional sanding!! Worked great! (Just make sure you paint it within a couple hours of applying the deglosser otherwise the gloss will come back)

3. Organized my kids closets! This was my early spring cleaning. I usually save my daunting closet organizing for then but it felt great to get them all cleaned up, decluttered and organized and right on time for the in-laws! They had room to put some shoes and hang some shirts and what-not and saved us the embarrasment of showing them what their closets "used" to look like. Don't pretend like you don't know what I mean!

4. Making handmade Valentine's: This one will be done this week! I saw the cutest idea in a magazine and can't wait to set up my kids and I at the table to knock some out! You take regular cardstock and cut them to desired size. Then round the corners with a corner rounder or scissors. Take a small roller craft brush and paint the middle of the card leaving a one inch border on each side. Once dry, take cookie cutters (preferably heart shaped) and dip into paint and then stamp onto the card. One idea is to stamp white hearts cascading down the side of the card or paint several hearts putting the point of the hearts at the same spot so it makes a flower!! Use your creativity and see what you can create! I loved the thin stamped outline of hearts on the cards though! So you all know what I'll be doing Tuesday night!

I could add several things but my daughter is beckoning me to play horses with her so alas I must sign off and go feed her horses some plastic carrots. Farewell and don't let winter blues get to you!