Washi Altered File Folders

Folders-Title-ChaosServedDaI recently found myself with two problems.  I needed file folders for my student teaching stint in the fall, and I have collected so many cool washi tapes that I have nowhere to keep them, such as this amazing set from the craft store that matches my new planner (also justified as a student teaching necessity).

Folders-Tape-ChaosServedDaiLast summer, I found some file folders that were labeled backpack folders, and they were closed on two sides, like an “L,” with the folded side and the bottom sealed. I really like these, whether in a backpack or a totebag, because they stay closed. Of course, I couldn’t remember where I bought the ones last summer, so I had to improvise with some nifty teacher-ish folders I found in the Target Dollar Spot.  First, I used regular Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive to glue the bottoms of each folder closed. Folders-Glue-ChaosServedDaiThen I thought, why not use a little washi to make sure it’s really secure (as well as much cuter).  I ran a strip of washi along the bottom, leaving the majority hanging over, so I could wrap it onto the back of the folders.

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Folders-Backs-ChaosServedDaAfter running a bone folder over the washi tape overlap on the back, I flipped the folders to the front and added another, contrasting washi tape. Cuter by the step, right?

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These just took a few minutes (maybe fifteen minutes for all six folders) and allowed me to use twelve different washi tapes from my stash. As a bonus, I now have super cute folders that will keep my calculus from my algebra papers when I bring them home to grade!

Don’t you need some folders that put the “fun” in functional for your life, too?

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Summer Screentime Checklist

So my kids, while not thrilled, were at least mildly happy to see this Summer Screentime Checklist reappear on the frig this summer.

Screentime-ChaosServedDailyDuring the school year, we stick to the no screentime on weekdays rule, but in the summer, we relax it a bit.  When they’ve completed everything on this list, they get an hour of digital time. What they don’t seem to realize, at least not yet, is that by the time they do all these activities, combined with the “summer fun” activity or camp for the day, they’re pretty much wiped out and just want to read or go to bed!  I think they’ve completed their checklists 7 out of the 10 days they’ve been out of school, and they’ve played digital 3 or 4 of those.  That all makes the hubs and me very happy!

This list is not original…I’ve seen dozens of versions on Pinterest, but I’ve tweaked it to fit our family and created a free printable for you!  Simply click here to download it.  THe printable version doesn’t have the watermark on it, so take all the credit you’d like with your family. I printed ours on cardstock, laminated it, and used magnets to stick it on the frig. You could also trim it to 8×10 and frame it, if you’d rather.  Enjoy, and I hope it helps your family find harmony for the summer!

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Quick and Easy Tea Towel Apron

I make no excuses for my love of tea towels (also called dishtowels, but I’d rather clean up from a delicious afternoon tea than dry dishes…at least in my mind, I live a high tea kind of life!). And my sister-in-law is kind enough to indulge and enable my addiction with fun and fabulous towels.  For my birthday, she sent a fun “Keep Calm and Bake On” tea towel, and I really, really didn’t want to relegate it to a drawer.  So, instead, I turned it into an apron!

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To make one from your favorite tea towel, you’ll just need the towel, 2 yards of 1” to 2” wide ribbon (you want it comfortable around your neck, but not too thick to tie easily around your waist), and some fusible (iron-on) tape or needle and thread.

First, fold back triangles at the top, from about 4” in on either side and down about 12”.  The easiest way to make them equal is to fold the towel in half lengthwise, then tuck the triangles into the center.

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At this point, you can cut the triangles off.  I left them, because I might want to take out the stitching and just have a towel again at some point.

Next, cut a piece of ribbon 18” long, and attach an end under the top of each triangle, either sewing it or using the fusible webbing tape.  Cut the remaining ribbon in half and tie a knot at one end of each piece to prevent fraying. Sew the unknotted ends to either side of the apron, just below where the triangles end on the sides. I tucked the ends under before sewing, to prevent fraying.

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There you have it…a cute new apron in about 5 minutes. How much easier could that be?  And, I’m pretty sure my food tastes better (and my mood is definitely better) when I’m wearing an apron I love!

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Prosciutto, Basil and Balsamic Nectarines

Finally…a new post!  After being cajoled in person at Bunko and my neighborhood 4th of July party, as well as on social media, I found myself newly motivated to post today!  So thanks for the encouragement, y’all!

This is a super quick and easy recipe…Prosciutto, Basil, and Balsamic Nectarines.  I made a big plate of these for lunch yesterday, and, of course, just as I was sitting down to enjoy, the hooligans wandered in and “shared” them….good thing I’d made a lot!Nectarines-ChaosServedDaily

Prosciutto, Basil, and Balsamic Nectarines

· 3 nectarines, sliced into 8 wedges

· 8 wafer-thin slices prosciutto

· 24 small basil leaves, or 24 pieces of large basil leaves

· Balsamic vinegar glaze

Cut the each piece of prosciutto into 3 long “ribbons.”

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

Place a basil leaf on a slice of nectarine and wrap with a ribbon of prosciutto.

Place in preheated skillet, with the side with the end of the prosciutto down, and let nrown. Turn and let other side brown, then remove from skillet.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze (and a little shaved Parmesan, if you’d like) and serve!

I had somehow run out of Parmesan, or I would have shaved a bit over the nectarines just before serving, using a vegetable peeler to make the shavings. Oh, and these are tasty with peaches, as well, if they’re in season where you live. These are really an appetizer, but I love them for a light lunch, too.

So I know you’ve been wondering (just humor me…I know you haven’t wondered!)…what’s up with the long absence from blogging?  Well, life, basically!  Nothing exciting or traumatic…I had a really tough semester, but finished 21 credits and passed (with flying colors…I have to brag a little, I was so stressed about these tests!) all my state- and college-required exams on math content.  I have two more terms of coursework, then a term of student-teaching, and I’ll graduate in December of 2016.  I’m so glad to have a light at the end of the tunnel!

My favorite GI Joe retired from the military last October and started a new job helping veterans transitioning back into the civilian world.  Then, just last week, he switched to a healthcare company, where he’s a strategic planner.  Whatever that means.  What it means to me is that he’s pursuing a new career course that still lets him help others, which makes him happy!

The hooligans are thoroughly enjoying their summer, sleeping late, spending a ton of time at gymnastics practice, swim lessons, and various day camps, and generally being kids.  I crushed their little happiness bubbles a bit yesterday when I told them summer is one-third over this Friday…but they decided they need to squeeze in more fun, if that’s the case!

We had a great Fourth of July…as usual, starting off with funnel cakes and berries for breakfast, a small-town parade, the neighborhood cookout, and fireworks on post.  I hope yours was amazingly fun, too!

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Merry Christmas, 2014!

I can’t believe Christmas is here already…I love this time of year, and I really love the last week before Christmas!  Since we ship almost everything to various parts of the country, I have to have all my baking, crafting, and gift-buying and –wrapping done at least a week ahead, which leaves Christmas week to do fun stuff with the kids, make neighbor and local friend gifts, and generally enjoy the season.

As you might know, I went back to college last January to work on my degree to teach high school math.  I’m loving school, and have completed 43 hours this year, but I find I can’t give the kind of time I want to my family AND my schoolwork AND this blog AND life in general, as much as I love all of them!  So, the blog is that thing that’s going to have to give, unfortunately.  I’m hoping to still do an occasional post, but it’s become a “have to” rather than a “want to” in my schedule.

I really appreciate all the support you’ve given me, and the great friends I’ve made through Chaos Served Daily, and I hope you’ll subscribe via email so you won’t miss anything when I do post!  And, until then, I wish you and yours the merriest Christmas ever, and a blessed 2015!

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Stampin’ Up! Online Extravaganza

It’s that time again…Stampin’ Up! is having their Online Extravaganza, starting Monday November 24 and running until Tuesday. December 2.  BUT….there are some really good deals that are only available Monday, November 24, and Monday, December 1…and ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! I think the Card Kit Bundle is a fantastic buy…you get both the Everyday Occasions Cardmaking Kit and the Hip Hip Hooray Cardmaking Kit for less than $35.  That’s the supplies and stamps to make 40 creative cards!

Here is a list of all the deals, but you can see them more easily at my Stampin’ Up! website…and you can place your order right then and there!  Happy Shopping!

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My Favorite Cranberry Recipes

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving?  One of my favorite memories from childhood is reading “Cranberry Thanksgiving” by Wendy Devlin with my mom, then seeing the cartoon version on TV, and finally getting to make the Cranberry Bread that’s the star of the book.  We used an actual grinder to grind the cranberries, since this was way before food processors came along. It took what seemed hours to my little brother and me, but the bread was the best ever.  Now my kids and I make it, in muffin form, for teachers on the day before Thanksgiving…and it’s much easier with a Cuisinart!

But I digress down Memory Lane…cranberries taste like fall to me, even more than pumpkin or apples, so today I’m recapping some of my favorite recipes using fresh, tart cranberries.

First, the most amazing one…Sugared Cranberries.  It’s essentially no-cook and super easy.  It does take about 24 hours for them to be ready, though, so plan accordingly!  These are a great addition as an appetizer, a snack-y dessert, or even as a hostess gift.  Give them a try! Everyone I’ve ever served them to (from preschoolers to grandparents) has loved them.


We also love Cranberry Marmalade, like canned cranberry sauce except infinitely better! Better yet, it only takes a few minutes to cook and can be made days ahead of the meal.Marm-Sauce

For something a little different, but just as delicious, try this Cranberry Salsa…it’s full of bright, fresh flavors with a bit of kick.

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And, of course, my favorites include a couple of out-of-this-world desserts!  I took these Pecan, White Chocolate, and Cranberry Pie Bars to bunko last month, and my family was quite upset that I came home with an empty pan!  They’re so much better than pecan pie because the crust stays crisp while the filling is nice and gooey with the tartness of the cranberries to offset the sweetness. Really.

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And, last but certainly not least, these Orange Cranberry Cheesecake Bars make frequent appearances at our house! They don’t crumble easily, so they’re perfect to take to holiday gatherings.  

There now…don’t you just want to rush to Costco and buy a giant bag of cranberries? Don’t tell anyone, but I bought my fourth big bag there today, I’ve made so many cranberry recipes already…and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!  And I still have to make Cranberry Muffins for teachers next week!  I better go get another one tomorrow, don’t ya think?

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Veterans Day 2014

Today, I’m not sharing a craft or a recipe…I’m simply expressing my gratitude to all of our country’s veterans. I made this shadowbox display after my favorite GI Joe’s second deployment. I think it spells out why he, and millions of other military members, as well as their families, do what they do…being separated from loved ones for months at a time, working twelve hour days when they aren’t deployed, and, for far too many, selflessly sacrificing their own lives.

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Since retiring a month ago, my husband has embarked on a new career, working with transitioning veterans in Washington state. I’m thankful he’s found a job that allows him to continue to serve others.  Although I’m not sure he realizes it, that’s where his heart lies…in making a difference every day, no matter how small.

Our country is blessed beyond measure by our military members. I hope we never forget to show them our appreciation, and always give them our unwavering support.

Thank you to all who serve.

Monster Glitter Slime

We made this fun Monster Glitter Slime a couple of years ago for Halloween party favors, and I think we need to break it out again this year. It was fun to make, and the kids who took it home thought it was pretty nifty, too! Here’s the original post from the way back machine….

You know how sometimes you find a craft that sounds super cool, but you just know it’s gonna be messy, so you put it off and put it off?  And it usually involves glitter?  Well, that was the case with glitter slime. How could that not cause me to clean my kitchen for the rest of the day?  Believe it or not, it was basically MESS-FREE!

We made it to give as party favors at our Halloween party and had so much fun doing it!

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You can see a step-by-step tutorial at The 36th Avenue blog.  It’s super simple…here’s the written info:

Supplies:

  • 1 (6 oz) bottle Elmer’s washable glitter glue
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon borax
  • 1 Tbsp water

Directions:

1. Have your minion pour all of the glitter glue into a medium size bowl.  We used plastic ones. Stir in 1 Tbsp water, to make it a bit more liquid. Meanwhile, you can mix the 1 cup water with 1 teaspoon borax, then pour it into the bowl of glue.

2. The minions can then knead the glue, and it magically becomes gel…not a sticky, glittery mess as you would think.  It was amazing, I tell you!

We found these little plastic cups at Walmart with the paper plates and such.  Each bottle of glitter glue made 6 little tubs.  To decorate them, I printed “monster slime” on orange cardstock and punched out circles the correct size.  Then the hooligans glued on googlie eyes and I drew noses and corners of their mouths.

I have to admit, after the party I found a couple of spots of glittery slime ground into my couch…but it came out easily with a bit of Spot Shot, so that’s good to know!

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Simple Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Let me say, right off the bat, that I know this is not real ice cream. It doesn’t involve an ice cream maker of any kind, and the texture is not the same as ice cream. But it does contain milk, cream, and sugar and is frozen, so I’m counting it. Not to mention that it’s darned delicious!

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This is a variation of a recipe from Kraft, but since I had fresh local raspberries on hand, I used them instead of strawberries. And I bet mine is better than theirs!

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) lowfat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can  (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup  whipping cream
  • 2 tsp.  lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 cups  fresh raspberries, pureed
  • 3 graham crackers, in big crumbles
  • Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Mix first 4 ingredients with mixer until well blended. Freeze 4 hours or until almost solid.

Beat cream cheese mixture with mixer until creamy. Add pureed berries to cream cheese mixture with chopped grahams; mix well. Pour into shallow dish, such as a pie pan. Freeze 6 hours or until firm.

Remove dessert from freezer 15 min. before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly before scooping into dishes. Sprinkle with fresh berries.

Although it was a little bit of trouble to make, since I had to remember to take the first step out of the freezer before it froze completely, this was really simple to put together, and it was a cool and delicious end to a summer meal!

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