About Me

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I’m a book-reading, craft-making newlywed living outside Chicago. I love my husband, cooking dinner and especially eating desserts! We love to ride bikes all over town and read books at coffee shops. I also enjoy shopping at JoAnns, drinking wine on the patio and playing with my bunny rabbit Penelope. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment- they really make my day! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Crafts

Many American families like to watch football on Thanksgiving, but not mine.  Instead of indulging in some television, we CRAFT!  My mom broke out her crafting supplies, I brought things over and my future sister-in-law, B, packed some in her suitcase.  I should have taken a picture of the Thanksgiving-dinner-table-turned-craft-table because we made quite a crafting mess!

Here's our creations:

My felt flower and sweater pin.

B's bluebird ornament


Mom's felt bird ornament

B and my mom are really into embroidering, so they showed me how to do a blanket stitch. Here's a YouTube video demonstrating this easy and versatile stitch.

Update- This post is featured on Between U & Me!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Edible Turkeys

This year for Thanksgiving, I was in charge of bring the veggie tray.  I saw a picture of a veggie tray on Facebook that was my inspiration for my veggie turkey:

I served this with my homemade hummus and some people (who were trying to avoid eating anything healthy on Thanksgiving) said it was too cute to eat. I used lettuce, baby carrots, a red pepper, a green pepper and an orange pepper, along with 2 raisins for the eyes and a little celery for the feet.

My super crafty niece made ThatGuy and me this awesome edible turkey for Thanksgiving.  She used a green apple, multi-grain Cheerios, marshmallows and a candy corn.  Now this one really is too cute to eat!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Turkey Bulletin Board

Outside the entrance to the library there is a giant bulletin board, which is the perfect backdrop to feature student work.  This year I wanted to do a school-wide thankful project.  First I put up the brown turkey, but without the feathers.  That got the kids really interested and they kept telling me I forgot to put the feathers on!  As the classes cycled in over the past 2 weeks, the children helped create the feathers.  The students traced their hands and wrote, drew and decorated  what they are thankful for on their paper cut outs.

I really love that the whole school was involved in making this bulletin board.  And its really interesting to see what the kids are thankful for- most of them are thankful for their mom and dad, which is really sweet to see.

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ikea Sidetable Turned Nightstand

During out bedroom re-do, we searched for some nightstands and were slightly horrified at the prices.  This called for a cheap fix and I remembered 2 end tables I purchased years ago from Ikea for $10 each.  In fact, you can still buy them!  ThatGuy took this project on himself.

First he sanded down the tables to make the new pain stick.  We used a glossy gray spray paint.


Then he painted a flower design in the middle using black craft paint.   I bought cute lamps from Hobby Lobby- you can't see it in the picture but the lampshade is gray with sparkles. Also (not pictured) are baskets below the table to hold books, etc. Total cost for the table re-do was around $5.00!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

ThatGuy is a chili connoisseur- he eats it at least once a week.  He got a tip from a friend about pumpkin chili and now we are obsessed with this recipe.  The pumpkin gives the chili a heartier and smoother texture with just a hint of flavor.  I've changed this recipe ever so slightly- it's really good, easy and healthy!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili
1 onion
2 peppers (one red, one green)
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 can pumpkin
1 cup chicken broth
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbs chili powered
2 tbs cumin

Chop onion, peppers and jalapeno and saute in a pan for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and ground turkey and cook until turkey is no longer pink.  Add pumpkin, broth, beans and spices.  Heat on stove top until boiling and reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes.

To counter all the healthy, ThatGuy recommends adding cheese and crackers (or his favorite, Jalapeno Pepper Pretzels).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Books

I know this is a little late for Halloween, but a good idea to tuck away for next year (or to do now with pumpkins on post-Halloween clearance!).

This year I hosted a "decorate a pumpkin to look like a book character" contest in the library.  Since this was the first year, I was a little nervous about the quantity and  quality of the pumpkins, but I was really happy with the entries!

There were only  a couple of rules:
1. Pumpkin must resemble a book or book character
2. No carving the pumpkin
3. One entry per student

Yes, clearly there was a lot of help from moms and dads, but I sent this home as a fun family project that would also promote literacy (one of my favorite things to do!).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows (love this one- she did Ivy on one side and Bean on the other!)

Arthur's Vacation by Marc Brown

This one is DW- Arthur's sister.  The kids who made these are sisters and they used playdough tops for the ears!

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
It was really fun to see the reactions of the students when they came into the library.  They were so excited to see the pumpkins and it definitely encouraged some books to be checked out- which always makes this librarian happy!  All of the students voted for their favorites and the winner received gift cards to a local independent bookstore in town.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011