Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Some Room Decorations

Ever since we moved E to his new room (and painted it a bolder colour--rather than our typical "some shade of brown"), I've been looking for some ways to decorate it. Because he is getting older and I don't want to be doing this very often, I wanted to try to find something that could stick around for a bit. Something that was not too old and not too baby-ish either.

Here was some artwork I kinda liked, from HomeSense. But I never got it--it just wasn't quite right.
In talking with my sisters, I was first thinking about trying some of those vinyl stick-ups or so. None of the ones I found really suited what I wanted either. My sister, Helen, made these cute wall-hangings. She bought the material from Quilt Essential Fabrics (in Abbotsford, BC) a year or so back, from an Eric Carle line. (Based on the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?). I really liked them and she gave me her extra material to do the same kind of thing.

However, my hubby wasn't a big fan--he thought they might be on the baby-ish side, or not too fitting for the room E was currently in, so I had to do some thinking again.
I did sew some curtains for him to match the comforter (sorry for the sideways picture!), and we did hang up some bulletin boards for all of his "stuff" (he is a collector of stuff--anything--he NEEDS to keep, so this is a good place--otherwise it is all over the house!)

I still liked the idea of the frames my sister had made, so I decided to check out Quilt Essentials as well. I'm terrible at matching colours and prints. I just don't have an eye for that, so the ladies there helped me out a little. E picked the one fabric he liked (the transportation one!) and then the other ones were "matching" ones. I picked up a fat quarter of each, and then went home to decide what to do with them.
I did a little searching, and ran into a tutorial here about fabric covered wall canvases. So I decided to give it a try. I didn't like the brightness of the fabrics I had chosen just because the rest of his room was grey and navy, so I tried to incorporate some of the fabric from the curtains into it. . .but I didn't have a bunch of it left! So here was the new plan:
First I got my hubby to build some frames for me. . .
Then I followed some of the advice from the tutorial to wrap the fabric around the frames. Some of my staples didn't go in all the way, so I got to go a little crazy with the hammer too. E had to inform me that he didn't know mommy knew how to use tools. Did I show him! :)
With a little help in the idea department from an old IKEA catalogue, I finally came up with a "set-up" I liked:
Here is a close up of my "solution" to the fabric being too bright. . .and not having enough pieces of curtain fabric. This is actually two small pieces sewed together, and then I made a band that kind of matched the bands holding the curtains back. I figured this might look nice with the curtains, and add enough dark colour to the colour scheme. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't have chosen the orange that they recommended, but gone with a reddish or green instead.
So here it is on the wall (the most time consuming part was hanging it all up!) The big "canvases" are 17x17--perfect for those fat quarters! The small frames are 7x7. There is 3 inches of spacing between it all. Notice how this lay-out doesn't match the above one? Not sure which one I like better. . .but I suppose that can be changed. . .
And here is my happy kiddo.
So. . .that is one of my Spring Break projects completed.

Menu Plan Monday

Well, after a break from this for a bit, I figured I better jump back into it. So here is the plan from last week and for this week. It's a good thing I didn't post last week because I'm not sure I stuck to any of the days' plans!

Last week:
Monday-Sausage, noodles and corn (Yep, freezer-ish and prepackaged meal--I came back from a weekend away, so it worked!)
Tuesday-Thai Chicken, rice, carrots with a Dijon-type glaze
Wednesday-harvest potatoes, BBQ meatballs, salad
Thursday (CP)-Chicken Curry, buns, salad
Friday-Corn Fritters with a garlic cilantro dipping sauce, meatballs again
Saturday-Crock pot and BBQ ribs, Lemon-dill (twice baked potatoes), salad
Sunday (Breakfast)-French Toast Casserole, maple breakfast sausages
Things I baked this week: Lemon Blueberry Loaf, Banana Bread, Cookies, Brownies

And then for this week:
Monday-Left-overs (Can you see my enthusiasm for cooking already this week???)
Tuesday-Pizza or Pizza buns/bagels
Wednesday-Spaghetti or Spaghetti Casserole, garlic bread, salad
Thursday (CP)-Chicken with Plum Chutney
Friday-Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa, cut-up veggies
Saturday's Snack- Apple Muffins
Sunday (Breakfast)-Pancakes and Bacon

Saturday's Snack recipe:
Apple Muffins
This recipe came from my MIL, but copied out by my hubby (you'll be able to tell by the short-hand type of recipe it is!)--she made them as my hubby was growing up. Super easy to whip up. They are not astounding per say, but they taste good, especially when they are fresh. Maybe we will have a relaxing Saturday a.m. and they will be perfect for that! (Is that wishful thinking???)

2 c. flour
3-1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. chopped apple
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/3 c. melted butter or shortening

2 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg

1. Mix dry ingredients. Stir in chopped apple.
2. Combine egg, milk and melted butter. Add to dry ingredients. Do not over mix!
3. Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle with topping.
4. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.

I have a few pictures to post and some recipes to comment on, but don't have the time right now. Next post perhaps. . .I'll try not to be so absent in the future!

Enjoy many more MPM at http://www.orgjunkie.com/

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday. . .er, Tuesday

Well, I didn't make it to post on Monday. I'm on Spring Break mode. . .and well, there is no excuse really. Just never got around to it. And the sad part is that I don't have much to post! We are going away so I don't even have that many meals to plan! Sorry this is so short and pathetic! Maybe I'll do better next week.

Monday- Salmon Strudels (for us), perogies and sausages for the kiddos, harvest potatoes and salad
Tuesday- Hamburgers
Wednesday- Chicken strips, corn salsa and salad

The good part, I guess, is that I made something yesterday and we thought it was good, so now I can recommend it. Now I say, we thought it was good, but you gotta like salmon to like it I guess. A while back (about a year ago), we went to visit my sister and she made these things called Salmon Strudels. I have to honestly say I was pretty nervous about it because it didn't sound that great. But they turned out pretty fancy looking and VERY good!!! So, I'm going to visit my sister again, and one AWESOME thing about visiting her, is she is a very good cook! So I was thinking about those Salmon Strudels again. . .and well, we had this recipe this weekend (using Steel head, instead) and had leftovers (our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs). But we don't like leftover salmon. I save it. . .but eventually throw it out cuz no one eats it! So, I decided to see if I could find a recipe that actually used left-overs and made it taste good. I came up with this recipe, modified it ever so slightly, and we ate it! It was good!

Here are the modifications: we used half the amount of salmon (steel head) which was left-overs, added rice to the recipe, didn't use phyllo, but used multi grain crescent rolls instead, and I made the butter sauce from my sister's recipe to go with it.

So here is my {great} little photo served with some potatoes. . .and yah. My hubby was actually impressed and said I could make it again!

For more MPM, head over with www.orgjunkie.com.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Week

A few weeks ago (the week before Spring Break AND the week us teachers had to hand in our report cards!), the school's PAC hosted a Teacher Appreciation Week. I thought they did such a wonderful job that I wanted to make a blog post about it!

Their theme was Italy, and here are a few photos of some of the things they had set up in our staff room:
The above photo just showed some of the special things they did for us each day. The below photo was the daily draw gifts they had.

Here are some of the decorations in the Staff room:
And some more:

Then, each day they had a "special thing" for the staff.

Day 1: The first day was a treat, with the attached verse: "I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy." Philippians 1:3-4
Day 2: The next day was a flower with this poem:
Why God Made Teachers
by Kevin William Huff
Day 3: We got a card with the Bible verse: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
"Our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father loved us. By His grace God gave us comfort that will last forever. The hope He gave us is good. May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father comfort your hearts. May they make you strong in every good thing you do and say."
Day 4: The PAC hosted a wonderful Italian-themed lunch for us. It was simply amazing!
We received the poem, Unity by Cleo V. Swarat.

Day 5: We were treated once more to "fancy" ice-cream in the afternoon. Chocolate. . .how could I possibly complain!

Throughout the week, I received many pictures, notes, cards and gifts from my students and the parents of my students. I felt very appreciated and loved! It's amazing what taking a little time to write a note or say a prayer can do for another person.

Then to end, in our boxes, we were left with this note:

Dear Staff,

We want to thank you for all the lovely things you do for our children. They may be encouraging words, your hugs, your great teachings, the love you show, your helping hands, and your never-ending prayers. We wanted to show you this week especially how we appreciate you and all your hard work. We pray that you will have a great two-week break and that you will come back all rested. Here's one more prayer we leave you with:

Teacher's Prayer
Author unknown

Lord, please help me,
To strengthen their voices,
bodies and minds,
To express their feelings and
control them sometimes,
To explore what's near
and venture afar,
But most important to love
who they are.

Thank you so much, PAC, students, and parents for all the love and encouragement you showed to me and the staff at ACES!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday. . .what is that again? Yes, it has been a while! But I'm back, and we actually did eat last week, even though nothing was posted here!

Here was my last week. Busy week= lots of changes to the original plan anyway!

Monday- BBQ Chicken on buns (CP), salad (for this recipe, you can just use your favourite flavoured bottle of BBQ sauce, too. Then you can pick a "specialty" flavour, even.)
Wednesday-potatoes, sausage, corn
Thursday-Homemade Hamburgers
Friday- Honey garlic wings, noodles, carrots
Saturday's Snack-Bruschetta, Baked Brie
Sunday- Pancakes

The Bruschetta and Baked Brie have been "featured" before. Took some pictures of it, but can't find them right now. They both turn out to look kinda red and white. . .we may have eaten these on Sunday during the big gold-medal game. The kids ate marshmallows and red smarties and cranberries (aka: Canada snacks!)

And here is this week:
Monday-Potato Soup with toppings, more bruschetta, buns
Tuesday- Chicken with Pasta Primavera, Garlic Bread (This isn't the "easy" recipe I usually make. . .I'll have to find that an post it later. But this one still seems pretty good. . .and the picture looks delicious!)
Wednesday-Beef and Veggie Stir fry, noodles, salad (an alternate recipe is here, with a tomato-ish base. When I have made this one, I've added lots of veggies, not just broccoli. I think my family would hate me if I didn't!)
Thursday (CP)- Thai Chicken, rice, salad
Friday- Pizza Perogie Casserole (For this one, you can pretty much add any "pizza topping" to the sauce. We usually add sausage, peppers and some onions.)
Saturday's Snack- Mom's Chocolate Chip Cookies (from LC Cookbook)
Sunday- Crepes. . .maybe?

Running out of time for this post. . .will try to post the cookie recipe later. Right now it is story time. (There is only so much blogging you can do around the kiddos!)

For more MPM, check out http://www.orgjunkie.com/!