Saturday, June 30, 2012

so, i've been doing all these projects...

It's Summer. 

I have my moments where I want to be super-productive, and I have these other moments where I want to be super-lazy.  They don't exactly balance each other out...but, hey - it's Summer. I'm allowed to ignore my work.

Anyways, I've been doing all these projects that I found on...yes, pinterest. I have a HUGE LONG LIST of things that I want to do in order to "update" my classroom for this school year.  I want it to run more efficiently, allow for my students to be more productive, and prevent myself from saying things repeatedly, and prevent myself from saying things repeatedly:) - i kid..

As part of my efforts to allow things to run more efficiently, I took THIS idea and ran with it.  This past school year being my first year, I had already spent SO much money (read that as more than I should have spent) stocking my classroom with supplies and other decorative items (i.e. border...).  

Because of this need to minimize the amount of money spent, I tweaked the M-F bins, and, instead, I used hanging file folders in my Teacher File Cabinet.  While this was nice, I found myself not using it as much, and generally saw it as a waste of space/materials. I dislike..I mean, I truly DISLIKE useless items in my classroom. If it doesn't serve a purpose, I don't want it in there. I realized that the reason I wasn't using it was because my Teacher File Cabinet was back behind my desk - a place I rarely ever go to when I'm teaching.  I prefer to stay in the middle of the classroom, able to monitor my students and answer their questions easily. Having to go back to my desk area to grab materials was just lost time every day...multiple times a day.

So, in an effort to stay organized, but continue to be something I like to look at AND use, I bought 2 of these black plastic drawers from Wal-Mart:

And then, I dug in to my stash of scrapbook paper....and I found a style I really liked - stripes with some pretty embellishments.

I measured the drawers and cut out strips of the paper - they ended up being 24 cm x 6 cm.

I printed out the days of the week (M-F) and "other" for the miscellaneous papers that like to accumulate on my desk. The font used was called "Marker Felt."

After the days of the week were cut out, I centered them on the strips and glued them in the middle. Something to note: glue them closer to the bottom of the strip so that you can clearly see the words underneath the drawer handle.

After the glue dried, it was off to the laminating machine, and then they got taped in to place in the drawers themselves.

 You like?

I decided to do create my own twist on these drawers, and I used the same paper for M-F, but I found a similar print for my "other" drawer.  Both stripes, just different colors.  

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the result.  This project definitely took a lot of time, but I know it will be so worth it!  


the craft rookie

Friday, June 22, 2012

microwave s'mores!

Okay, so I try to deny it, but I LOVE sweet things.  I'm not a big fan of candy - I only like it every now and then, but I absolutely look forward to having something sweet after dinner each day.

OBVIOUSLY, I can't eat a heavy dessert every day, otherwise I would need to replace my wardrobe a lot, so, enter microwaveable s'mores!

As a former staff member at a Sky Ranch here in Texas (WHOOP!), I have an obsession with s'mores.  Campfire nights just didn't feel right without the graham, the 'mallow, and the chocolate - shout out to Smalls.

Anyways, let's get down to it - prep and cook time about 5 minutes.

In order to make these delicious s'mores you will need:

1. Graham Crackers
2. Peanut Butter (I have Almond Butter above, but PB is better) - optional
3. Marshmallow Cream
4. Chocolate Morsels

Okay, here's the How To:

1. Take 1 flat of graham cracker, and break it in half. It's nearly impossible to get in on the half way line, but I like to make a game of it.  I have a mini celebration when I do get that "clean break." Clearly, I need more practice, which is OKAY with this girl!

2.  Spread some Peanut Butter on the graham. This is completely optional, but, in my kitchen, totally necessary.

3. Spread some Marshmallow cream on top of the Peanut Butter.

4. Drop some chocolate morsels on top.

5. Toss in the Microwave for about 15-20 seconds. I like 20 seconds, but my mom prefers closer to like 10.  It's all personal preference at this point. 

While in the microwave, the Marshmallow cream will start to inflate...or puff up - TOTALLY normal. 

I usually let mine sit for a couple minutes before I dig in, but if you want the sticky, true s'mores-like experience, take a bite as soon as the microwave dings!

eat up!

the craft rookie

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

consumers will LOVE Apps Gone FREE!

Okay, so...I have a confession to make. 


and dogs...

Here's an obligatory funny canine photo:

 Okay...I'm done. Back to relevant matters...

Yes, I have an iPhone, but, no, that does not mean that I like to spend a bunch of money on different apps for my phone. I especially struggle with the idea of spending money on an app that I do not know if I'll like it or use it.  The Reviews that are found on each app are helpful, but I'm pretty picky...and I have a tendency to not trust those reviews completely.  

So, I love it when apps give "Lite" (why they spell it like that is BEYOND me...) versions so that I can test out the app with limited features to decide if I want to purchase the full version.  

What could be better than that, right?

Well, I will tell you what - FREE FULL VERSION APPS!  These deals only come around every so often for each app - when the developers are looking to boost sales by providing free versions for a limited time and they rely on word of mouth from those lucky few who got the free version to boost sales when the price jumps back up (is that a run-on? It's 4 lines long...).

There is a WONDERFUL person/group of people who have put together a website that updates DAILY with the apps that have reduced their price to FREE that day.  

The name of this website?  App Chronicles.  And a Chronicle it is!  They have a section solely devoted to this FREEDOM of commerce! Found HERE :)

Here's a screen grab of what it looks like for an app called Toolbox+:

Below each app, they give a short description about what the apps purpose is:

Wanna know what I consider to be the "GEM" of this site?

The fact that they UPDATE when the apps go back to full price on their site.  That's true dedication to their audience - and an unnecessary extra step.  I appreciate that about them.  They don't just post daily about what apps are free that day...they go back to apps they've posted about on previous days and look to see if they are still free.  If they are, the post looks exactly the same as it does above.  

If it's gone back to full price (BOOOOOOO), it looks something like THIS:

I was particularly sad that I only found this website today because I would have LOVED to get that app for free...I LOVE to budget (she said whilst shaking her head left and right violently...).

Do you LOVE the idea of this site??

I think it's GENIUS!

already playing my new game,

 the craft rookie

Friday, June 1, 2012

is it june already?!

time sure does fly!

it's summer - school's out. i've been in my pajamas all day long. 

long story short...i'm LOVING being lazy.

what i'm also loving, though, is the book that i picked up for some summer reading.  what is this book, you ask?? it's a biography slash informational about one of the biggest internet sensations EVER.  yes, i do mean EVER.

it's "the facebook effect" by david kirkpatrick, and i HIGHLY recommend it! it's so interesting to hear about the early days of the website and all about the way things came about - even contemporary happenings that influenced the decisions being made regarding the website and its features.  

some of my favorite parts describe mark zuckerberg's interactions with big business executives who he wanted nothing to do with.  it's a great story that tells the makings of this social networking site from many angles. david kirkpatrick does a great job of setting up the timeline for his readers!

By David Kirkpatrick: The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World 

i'm revolting against proper punctuation and capitalization?

happy reading,

the craft rookie