wednesday windows #6.

holy bananas, i am actually posting this on a wednesday. sort of shocking.

taken through the window of my mom's car. southern california is not exactly known for frequently running trains, so seeing one moving is a bit of a spectacle. what i found extra fascinating was the fact that this train waited for the CARS! since when do the trains do the waiting? only in L.A.

a caprese sandwich. seriously the best sandwich in the world. so simple, so delicious. i could eat these all day. sometimes i do. in fact, when the mister and i got married, i only had two requirements regarding  wedding refreshments...caprese sandwiches and coronas. 

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wednesday windows #5.

yes, yes, yes, i am aware that it is friday. but i was busy like a little bee. now i am settled in los angeles at my parent's house and i have a spare five minutes (well actually i do not, but it sounds good), so i am posting my wednesday windows. enjoy.

let's face it..nobody likes to sit squished on plane for five hours. but i LOVE the view.

i met my nephew for the first time yesterday. he is almost a year old and he is absolutely, positively, the cutest little guy in the world (i am of course 100% unbiased). i have spent a grand total of 1 hour with him and i am head over heels in love.

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holiday haul.

some of you might be wondering the results of my shameless hustling for holiday gifts, so here are pictures of all of my gifts. did my 18 students and their parents appropriately show their appreciation? you decide.

a handmade card and little debbie cupcakes.

a coloring page and a candy cane.
a handmade card.

a stuffed penguin and a miniature rubber robot.

an eraser.


framed by chaos.

as if i did not have enough projects on my plate, on tuesday i decided that i should give a gift to some of my colleagues. of course i cannot walk into a store and buy some little trinkets like a normal person. oh no. i have to create. right. on a budget. super. luckily, i mentioned this to mrs. nipper knapp and not surprisingly, she is a treasure trove of ideas. she promptly rattled off some quick and easy options and i was ready to roll...picture frames for the ladies and one embroidered hanky for the gent. no problem. except for having only 48 hours to buy the supplies, make the frames and hanky, and wrap up all the goodies. yikes!

a quick trip to michaels and target to secure supplies and i was ready. twelve picture frames...here we go. i set up a little assembly line to whip through these as efficiently as possible. paint the back of all the frames. apply modge podge and attach purty paper. cut the paper to size. modge podge over the paper. three times. wait for it all to dry. clean up the edges. insert a cute lerato designs card in place of the advertisement picture. wrap it up and tie a bow with a handmade gift tag. voila! it only took sixteen hours.

and then i remembered that i needed to embroider a hanky. ummm...never embroidered a monogram before, but how hard can it be, right? eeeps. it might not be the finest monogram ever completed, but it was done with love and that is all that matters. i hope.

of course 8 hour days at work followed by 8 hour evenings of crafting means i did not get enough sleep and ran myself right into another cold. argh!!! but i will get better fast and then i will plow headfirst into the real christmas gift creations, because it would not be christmas if i was not crafting until the last possible minute.


wednesday windows #4.

the fourth installment of wednesday windows.

looking through the window of our china cabinet. in case you are not already aware, i spent a little time in africa and kind of fell in love with the place. there is something inherently peaceful about life in a little african village and i harbor dreams of raising children in the tranquil setting. of course there are those minute details like devastating poverty, appalling health care, and inferior education... not to mention the fact that i cannot exactly stomach the thought of being ten THOUSAND miles away from my family (so instead the mister is that distance from his family - thank goodness he is not a momma's boy). maybe we could relocate lesotho just off the coast of california. then the mister and i could have our cake and eat it too.

this is oliver. from an early age i had an unnatural fondness for monkey and orangutans. actually, i thought it was completely realistic to think that i could have one as a pet. turns out that my parents were not exactly supportive of that plan. but when i was about ten, they did buy me oliver. we found him at price club (the predecessor to costco) and it was love at first sight. he has hung around with me ever since and now spends his days lounging on our bed while we are at work.

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when i was a kid i remember begging my mom to let me buy this or that for my teacher. twice a year i got to pick something little to show my teacher how much i loved her. it was never anything earth-shattering, but it was my childish way of saying "thanks." from my perusals of the blogosphere, craftosphere, and facebook, this tradition continues, yet the kids at my school do not seem to have gotten the memo. i am a big believer in the motto "it is the thought that counts," so does that mean that despite wrangling your kid for six hours a day, five days a week, for 10 MONTHS that i do not even warrant a thought?

patiently teaching 5-year olds how to weave paper.

in five years of teaching, which thanks to various administrative shuffling, puts me somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 kids, i have received nine gifts and only a handful of cards. now i know the economy is in the dumps, but is it truly too much to ask that you go to the dollar store and buy a candle or sit your kid down with a paper and some crayons and tell them to make a thank you card for their teacher? really?

more times than i can remember my mom told me that it does not take much to say thank you and it sure does make the other people feel special. so this year, thanks to the brainchild of ms. pumpky, i have taken matters into my own hands. blatantly begging some might say. i prefer to think of it as continuing education...teaching kids that they should say thank you. i am not picky. handmade cards and dollar store gifts are the apple of my eye; all i ask is that you think of me. to that end, i placed a box on my desk, stuck a fake present in it and pointed it out to my kids telling them that if they have cards or gifts for me, they can just put them in the box. i plan to give them daily reminders of the box's existence. shameless plugging? perhaps. but i have decided that it is necessary since their parents refuse to teach them how to be good people.

the beggar collection box.

for those of you that have kids in school...do not forget the teacher. they work hard day in and day out to try to prepare your child for the future and it is always nice to know that you care. no need to spend a fortune...feel free to have your kids make a popsicle stick photo frame or some other crafty dealio (click here if you need some inspiration) and i guarantee the teacher will love it. after all there is a reason they chose to surround themselves with little people.


happy winter.

despite the fact that most of my students have never experienced actual freezing temperatures, let alone snow, they still love to make winter pictures. so as promised, here are some of their wacky snowmen. i am particularly fond of the one that appears to have been shot out of an invisible cannon.

••posted from my phone••


wednesday windows #3.

i am aware that today is thursday and this was supposed to be posted yesterday, but it didn't happen...give a girl a break.

today i happened upon an accidental theme: school.

this is a window into my afternoon. to raise money, my school has monthly dances where the kids pay $1 for 45 minutes of acting like wild animals. is it obvious that i hate supervising these "dances"?

i love creating things, so it should not come as a shock that my favorite time of the work day is art time. i am not one of those teachers that helps the kids create "perfect" art. nope, i give them directions and let them do the rest. not only am i overly fond of their wonky creations, i think it is a more genuine representation of the kids. this is a picture of menorahs they made after learning about hanukkah. i was planning to post a picture of their snowmen, but forgot to take the picture. i will have to post that tomorrow.
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wednesday windows #2.

the second installment of wednesday windows.

i took this picture through my windshield (fear not, i was stopped at a light). since childhood i have coveted the original VW beetles. i still harbor fantasies that i will one day own one of these babies. the one in the picture is a bit dilapidated, but here on the streets of miami it is rare to find such a gem amongst all the hummers and lamborghinis.

i spend approximately 1,000 hours a year holed up with small children, so it is probably no surprise that on the days recess is rained out, i am just as saddened as the kids. over the years i have come up with some creative ways to keep the kids entertained without causing me to lose my sanity, but today's inspiration was the best ever. i dumped a box of mini-blocks on the carpet, paired up the kids, and gave them one minute to make a tower. tallest tower got a point. and then we did it again. and again. and again. instant hit. clearly we know what will be happening in my room the next time it rains on our recess.

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