Sunday, July 21, 2013

No Bake Chocolate Cookies

I was just looking through my archives to see when the last time was that I posted a recipe. It was over a year ago! I shouldn't be surprised because I really didn't cook a lot this last school year.

Since I organized my scads of recipes to try, I've been slowly trying new things, and now I have a stack of recipe cards to make. Not that I'll get around to making them all into recipe cards, but it's good to have goals.

The one I'm posting today was e-mailed to me by my sister in 2007. Yikes! When we were teenagers she used to make these for us all the time. You know, when she wasn't beating us up. Anyway, I think most people have had one version or another of No Bake Chocolate Cookies, but I never had a recipe card for them before, so now I can make them whenever I want.

Zoe especially loves these and begs me to either make them or let her make them. I say let her make them. Now that my girls are getting older it's really nice to have them cook for me. They're always complaining that I only had kids so I could have a slave. You know, because I make them do soooooo many chores.

In reality I never considered this extra benefit of having kids. "Sweetie, I don't feel like running downstairs for my purse. Run along and fetch it for me, will you?"

"Pick that up for me, please. I'm old and I don't bend."

Etc., etc.

I'm just living the life.

Anway, super easy recipe that doesn't require the oven. Make some today and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pinspired Again

Blast Pinterest! I tell you, my life was a lot simpler before it came into my life. I'm obsessed with checking in to see what's new, and once I click in, I can't leave until I get to the bottom of the pin page. 

In spite of my addiction, I have managed to try a couple of my pins.

Here's the first one.

Crackle Bookshelves by crazy
I came across this amazing bookshelf on Pinterest and it led me down the rabbit hole. I'm not lying. This was a pin that led to nowhere, and because I had to have it, I spent long minutes of my life trying to resuscitate it proper onto my Pinboard. Thanks to Google, finally I met with success.

But alas, I was not able to recreate this magic you see before you.

My skillz fell short.

I started with this unsuspecting little magnet board, which I love, but it has outgrown its intended use.

When I went back to work four years ago, I created this magnet board to keep the girls' schedules straight when I knew I would be forever and perpetually discombobulated. 

The magnet board worked like a charm too. I'm really sad to see it go, but since we're no longer using it, I decided to redo it, with the pinspiration above, and use it in my classroom.

Not exactly what I was going for. Here's what I think I did wrong. First of all, I was supposed to use latex paint for my colors, and I used acrylic paint. I was lazy and I didn't want to go out and buy six different colors of latex paint because, you know, money.

Since my paint wasn't latex, you can see the ridges where the colors meet up and it's not at all like it's supposed to look like. 

Which is this. Swoon.

What a letdown.

So I declare my attempt at recreating this pin a flop. A Pinflop.

Not to be foiled, I decided to approach the project another way. Since I knew I wasn't going to invest in vast amounts of gorgeous paint, I decided to sand down just the top surface of the frame to get rid of the ridges. 

Next I applied a very thick coat of Valspar's Weathered Crackle Glaze for round two.

After an hour, I applied a nice thick coat of a red latex paint. The trick with the Crackle Glaze is that you need a thick coat of paint over the top of it, but it cannot be overworked. If you try to brush it on the same spot more than once, it rolls off and makes a mess. Through trial and error, I learned to load up my brush and sort of roll the paint on thick in one stroke.

I really like how it turned out, even though it didn't live up to my initial Pinspiration vision.

I'm especially glad that I left the edges the way they were, so I have some of the bright colors coming through.

Those areas were small enough that you can't really see the flaws from my first go at it.

I guess the other thing I didn't mention was that I also turned the magnetic board into a chalkboard as well. It was my first time using chalkboard paint, and it was pretty easy to use. I'll definitely use it again.

I first tried the Crackle Glaze on this bookcase that I posted about last week. I learned a lot about how to use the Crackle Glaze on this project, so it's not the best example of the cool effect that's possible with the glaze.

I practiced some more with this little table that my computer tower and printer at school sit on.

I feel so special now with matchy matchy furniture in my classroom.

I even improved on my crackle skillz.

I also get Pinspiration in parenting techniques. There are quite a few examples of different kids wearing this shirt on Pinterest.

Imagine my unbridled glee when my girls began arguing like Cockfighting Parrots earlier this week. Here, finally, is my opportunity to whip out the Getting Along Shirt.

Many tears were shed (by Zoe Bug), many pictures were taken (by me), and many buttons were pushed (by Stinkerbell).

Zoe, with a tear stained and red face blowing snot, yelled "She won't cooperate! She's just flopping around like an extra appendage and she won't let me get my chores done!"

"Well, Sweetie, she kind of is an extra appendage. If you want to get out of the shirt, you have to work together and be pleasant with one another."

The tragic part is that Stinkerbell enjoyed every minute of it. She had Zoe captive for a button pushing extravaganza.

I think there will be therapy. Karma will get me in the Nursing Home one day, I know it. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Classroom Bookcase Take Two

I'm only halfway through my summer vacation, but I can't seem to turn off my brain and relax. School is on my mind constantly. My house is in dire need of some cleaning and decrapification, but I can't seem to bring myself to care enough to actually do something about it.

It's so bad that I can't get the chorus for John Mellencamp's Crumblin' Down out of my head. That's my house. In disarray and disheveled.

So what do I do?

I paint. It's my therapy.

First I painted my classroom. Three walls are the teal color, that small wall area by my door is lime, and the rest is bulletin board. I'd show you more, but my room is in disarray and disheveled.

Plus, I want to save something for my classroom tour. 

Next I painted this. Again. You may recall that I only just painted this last summer. Well now this blue doesn't really go with my new colors, so I had to change it up.

To this. That's leftover lime paint from my classroom paired with black.

Zoe helped me out by holding the bookcase up while I snapped pictures. Our lawn is in need of mowing so the bookcase wouldn't stand up straight.

This is a close-up of the black. I used a weathered crackle glaze between the lime paint and the black paint to get this effect.

I really like how it turned out. 

Miracle of miracles, my classroom has already been cleaned this summer so I can start setting up now. I've been in a few hours already to move furniture around and unpack my desk. I'm anxious to get my stuff unpacked and get some things on the walls before the girls and I leave for California in a couple weeks. We'll be gone for two weeks, so once we get back I'm going to be overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done in the space of two weeks.

I'm feeling a little cray cray right now. I mean more so than usual. You know, it's all relative.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Popcorn Chicken

That's a pretty crazy picture of Peanut Head up there, isn't it? In it, he's at work, and you're going to love the explanation.

Recently Peanut Head acquired another job duty and that is on the Safety Team. In the past, the Safety Team has always done a Popcorn Friday dealie where they solicit safety suggestions from employees in exchange for popcorn.

Sort of demeaning, isn't it?

Well anyway, while we were camping earlier this month, another member of the Safety Team burnt their cornea popping popcorn. Seriously. I don't make this stuff up.

This is why there is even a Safety Team to begin with. Remember the whole McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuit? It's like that. Sort of.

Anyway, after that incident it was decreed that all employees making popcorn must wear safety glasses  in order to protect them from themselves. I mean popcorn.

The irony was just too much for Peanut Head to resist and he dressed up for Popcorn Friday in the get up you see above. He's wearing a fire retardant smock, by Kate Spade I believe, fire retardant potholder mitts, and a face shield with safety glasses.

Now he's ready to dish up the popcorn.

If only the employees could take him seriously and respect him enough to offer safety tips instead of mock him for his fashion sense.

That's the Popcorn part of this post.

Here's the Chicken.

Our chickens make me laugh on a daily basis. What I'm laughing about today is the way that Stinkerbell holds the chickens.

The funny part is that the chickens don't even seem to mind. They don't squawk or flap their wings, or even wiggle. They just lay there as if they are chillin' on the couch.

So there you have it. Popcorn Chicken.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Putting Out a Fire

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As is typical of me, I waited until Google Reader was kaput before I did anything about it. I just this very minute signed up with Bloglovin, so this fire is out. Done.

If you're on Bloglovin and you want to follow me, you can click on the link above and you should be good to go. Have a great day!