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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's Cooking Wednesday

Today's Recipe:
Peanut Butter Cookies

I have this love for peanut butter and chocolate---probably why I like Reese's cups so much.  Growing up, my family always loved the Peanut Butter Blossoms.....you know the peanut butter cookies rolled in white sugar and then a Hershey kiss is placed on top?

Well, I saw this picture floating around on Pinterest. 

                                                                Source: iheartnaptime.net via DeAnne on Pinterest

  And I thought, I HAVE to have those.  Well, actually my first idea was---Why didn't I think of that?  
I mean a cookie, and a Reese's treat?  Uhm, hello.  Yes please.

After reading the recipe, I thought, uhm....I'm too tired  to ball and roll my cookies in sugar BUT I HAVE. TO. HAVE. A. SWEET. TREAT!!

Last week I made one of my hubby's friends some AWESOME peanut butter chocolate chip cookies using a pudding mix.....so yummy.  SOO....I combined the two ideas and came up with my own.

That's right folks----These heavenly treats can be put into a cookie!  OHH MY GOODNESS!
   Peanut butter, Reese's hearts, pudding mix, YUMMY GOODNESS!

I've noticed that adding pudding mixes to cookie recipes have made them a little softer, but the dough seems thicker.  I altered a recipe a bit and added about 2 Tbs. milk to my dough.  Here's a picture of the dough...it is thick. 

I use a cookie scoop for my cookies, but then I sometimes go back and roll them too.  It makes it easier to flatten them, I think.
Bake them for about 8-10 minutes and top with a heart. 

I took them to work today.  I didn't need them sitting around the house.  Around 10:00 this morning (school takes up at 8), I went to go grab me one (ya know, thought a little bit of chocolate would make this long day better)---but they were all gone.  Found out at lunch time today, that they were all gone before school started.   At least they liked them, right? :)

I was told to sell them :)  but I thought I'd share for the Wednesday recipe instead. 

Click the recipe below to grab you a copy of the recipe--and make some sweets for your sweetie! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Tip

Today's tip is for anyone who comments on blog posts.  I LOVE comments.
 They make my heart happy.
I used to respond to the blog comments right back on my blog, and I often still do.  
how many people go back to check to see if I've responded?
I know that when I comment on blogs, a lot of times I don't go back and check...and I hardly ever remember to click that little box to let me know if there were more posts.

SO, how can you comment on blogs, and how can bloggers respond back to you?  It's simple.
I'm going to now link you over to another post that I read this summer. 
Lori from

has this great post on no-reply bloggers.  
Are you one?  
Check out her post and see if you are.
If you are one, Lori shows you step by step how to fix it, so we (as bloggers) can start replying back to your comments! :)

Happy almost middle of the week friends! :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Share

Are you ready for your upcoming week at school?  I love having my plans done when I leave school on Friday, but that doesn't always happen.  This past Friday, my grade level teamies and I were at a meeting, and then we released early due to bad weather, so I didn't get my lessons done.  AND, let me just be honest here and say that I do not bring stuff home with me.  I've said that before, and it's true.  I used to bring stuff home, and it would make it to my computer desk and never come out of the bag.  Then it only made it to the door.  Then it never made it out of the car....NOW it never leaves the room.   It all still gets done (just during my lunch time which gives me more time at home).

Okay, back on topic---so here I am planning out my week, and I thought that maybe some of you would like to see some of the great resources I will be using this week.  So I bring to you

(Love how she's still in her jammies)

My plans aren't going to be set up like all of those great visual plans you see.  
I'm just sharing some of the great resources I HAVE and will be using at some point this week.

 First up---Penguins!
Penguins were on my to do list all last week, but with no school on Monday, two late starts, and an early release, I was doing good to be able just to take lunch count! :)

I'm sure you all have come across Erica Bohrer's great penguin packet?
If not, click HERE and check it out.  The link takes you to her blog post where you can see a great image layout of her pages in this packet, and she has several great videos posted as well. 
 My students are going to love this! :)

For some of my lower students, Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies has a super labeling activity, and easy sight word books.  I LOVE the glyph craft too.
You can click HERE to check out her blog post, which she linked to other great penguin activities.

For stations, my below level students are going to be loving Hadar's (Miss Kindergarten) January Centers.
She has some great images of her stations set up if you click HERE.
and they are going to love Caitlin's (Kindergarten Smiles) Winter Literacy pack.
 You can click HERE to see her blog post on them.  
She has too many cute things and I LOVE DJ INKERS graphics.

Then I'm also still using my Ice Ice Baby Stations, 
as well as finishing up some prompts in my January Journal Prompt Packet.

You can click on the image to check them out on TpT or you can click HERE for a blog post on them.

Then we will be switiching over to February activities. 
 (Why is it that February only has 28/29 days but seems to be one of the busiest months?)

For Groundhog's Day--
I love this packet from Arlene at LMN Tree
I love how she explained Groundhog's Day and included a colored and black/white reader.
My students LOVE to have their own books to read and color.
She also has a great blog post HERE with a freebie and some links.

To follow up with Groundhog's Day discussion, I am just LOVING this big eyed groundhog from Heidi over at My (Not So) Elementary  Life.
She also has a blog post about her product HERE with a couple of book suggestions.

 I also am loving this little craftivity from Susan at T.G.I.F!-Thank God It's First Grade!
 I have some kiddos that play(ed) football this fall.  
One being one of my sweet little girls, so I know they will appreciate this.  
It will be a fun Friday activity for them. 
You can see Susan's blog post HERE about her cute craft.

 I will also be beginning on Kelley's (Teacher Idea Factory) February Morning Work.  
Her reading packet is perfect for my little guys, and will be great review. 
You can click HERE for her blog post, and find a few freebies to try it out! :)

We will be using the February writing prompts.
Here is a sample from this packet. You can click the picture below to download it from google docs.
 You can click HERE to see it on TpT.

I'm still hoping to get February Centers finished, but I've been spending a lot of time creating something to help my below level firsties.  
I mentioned it when I did Tessa's Linking Up with Love linky, but didn't explain it in great detail. 

I have students who are not retaining their sight words.  Students who were not at a first grade level when they came to me, and saying they were a K level may be pushing it.  I've worked hard this year trying to get them caught up, but I've not had as much success as I would like.
That's where Super Readers come in.  I am using the Fry Word List.  I've created a sight word story for each of the first 25 words.  Two different versions of the story.  One students will read the story, and highlight the sight word.  The other version students will fill in the missing sight word.  You can choose to do one or both versions.  These will make great keep books for students too.  Everything is just ready to be printed.  There are activities and spiral activities for the words.  If you have purchased any of my Treasures work, it's similar to that with the Cut/Paste words and Cut/Paste sentences.  
Here is a picture of the first set.

Here are a few close up images.
This is the word you.

There are flash cards in the pack, and games for review, but I wanted to show you how simple it is to print and use. :)
Students will practice the word you.  They will read it and say it aloud.  They will color the word, fill in the shape box, write it on the lines, then cut and paste to match the spelling.
 Here are the two versions of the book for the word you.  It folds to make a pocket size keep book.

You can click HERE if you would like a sample from the big pack.

Because some of the material is similar to the Treasures work I created, I put this into two choices for purchase.  One is with all the word work, and one is just the sight word readers. The picture above links to the whole packet.

The picture below links to just the sight word stories.

Now that I've showcased some great products, 
I thought I'd share some great resources if you are interested in creating your own.

I think Tessa (Tales from Outside the Classroom) has some cute digital papers, and I'm loving her Valentine's set.

I LOVE Alisha's (The Bubbly Blonde) glitter packs.
You can get a better image if you click HERE to see her blog post, plus you can see how she frames her pictures with her cute work on her posts! :)

Sandra (Sweet Times in First) has also been making cute borders.  
Click HERE for her blog post! :)

Then of course,  you all saw my love of graphics when I did my Tuesday Tip.  
Way too many to mention! :)

I hope this gives you some ideas when planning for this week.  
Have a happy day! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Linking up with Love

 Tessa from
is having this sweet linky party, so I of course had to join in! :)

What am I loving right now?  
I am loving that God blesses me every morning that I wake up.  
That's one more day to be with my family.  I LOVE them.
and I love the things we do together.  
I am truly deeply in love with my husband.  
(He would not love me so much, however, if I posted his picture on here.)
 BUT, if I use a wedding picture, it's no biggie right? :)

(and this picture is so old---that is NOT Instagram HAHA)
I fall in love with him again and again.  I couldn't ask for a better father, husband and best friend.

I LOVE my bloggy friends.  My list could go on forever.  I have met so many wonderful people through the blogging community and I feel comfortable calling them friends.  
Look to my side bar at the blogs, I follow. You will find many great ideas, and people! 

I LOVE YOU...my followers (blog, facebook, email)!!!  You encorage me, inspire me, motivate me and keep me going.  Your comments fill my bucket more than you could ever know!

 I love TpT.  
It has saved me time when I'm in a pinch.  It has helped me grow as a teacher.

I love my job (on snowdays and in the summer)--okay, no seriously, I love my job.  I love that I get to be a role model for these students.  I love teaching reading.  In fact, I have some low kiddos (just now about K level) that need more sight word practice.  I made sight word books and activities for the first 25 Fry Words in hopes to provide them more practice.

Now, what's a post without another one of my main loves?
That my friends is a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcake!  
I do not favor one cupcake over the other...a sweet is a sweet...no discrimination here. 
 This just happens to be a picture of the most recent one. :)

My list of loves could go on forever.  So I will sum it up with one more.... 
I LOVE that I'm so blessed with things in my life that I could continue my list of loves. 

**My post may have gone a little off from the original linky party, but I was on a roll reminding myself about all my positives! :)  Thank you for taking part.  :)

***Thank you Tessa for such a great linky party.  It made me realize just how lucky I am! :)

Link up friends!!  What are your loves?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What's Cooking Wednesdays!

Over the weekend, I had asked my FB fans what they thought of a teacher blog that wasn't just "teacher-y"  We are so much more than just teachers.  We have our school lives and our home lives which sometimes blur together.  I'm more than a teacher.  Yes, at school we are moms, dads, nurses, councilors, the list could go on.  Then at home, we are parents, spouses, significant others, caregivers to our parents/grandparents.  Then what if we have pets?   Again, the list could go on.    I wanted to let ya in on the "other side of me'.....so I'm bringing you:

  My intent of these Wednesdays, if they should continue, is to not only let you in on "my world", but also hope that you find something yummy to use in the process.  If you already follow me on Pinterest, you know that I pin me some food! :)

Allow me to introduce one of my best cooking buddies!  

Meet Bella
(Forgive the blurred image, but it links to Amazon if you want to check it out)

There's something about a slow cooker that makes me happy.  Not sure if it's throwing it all in and letting it go, the smells that fill the house, the time that it saves, or what---but I love them.  When I got my triple server, I was in heaven.  It's so nice to have a whole meal ready.  Main course, side dish, dessert, or a bread, meat, fruit for breakfast. 

Now, my favorite food of all times (besides junk food of course) is anything breakfast related.  I don't always get breakfast foods (never enough time in the mornings, ya know?).  We sometimes fix breakfast for supper.  LOVE it! :)  

Here's our latest menu for Bella:
1) Breakfast Casserole
2) Cooked Apples
3) Monkey Bread

*Probably not the "lightest" of meals, but hey! :)

Here is the before image of the Breakfast Casserole.

I tweaked it a bit to fit in smaller crockpots, and for my family's liking.

Here is the final product. 

Next up, the Chunky Applesauce.  
I don't really have a recipe for this.  I make it off the top of my head, but it generally turns out the same.  It is without a doubt one of my absolute FAVORITE crock pot recipes. Here is what I *think* I put in it ;)  Sometimes I have added vanilla too.

And the final product....

Finally, Monkey Bread.  
My kids love helping make monkey bread, and when I came across this crock pot recipe, I knew we had to make it.  Here's the original recipe. 

Again, I tweaked it just a hair.  Believe it or not, I didn't think it needed all that sweet stuff on it, so we opted not to do the icing.  Here's how we made ours.

And the final product:

Now, I'm too short to get a great overhead view of all this cooking together, so it's in parts. :)

Put all three recipes together and you have a simple breakfast/supper.  We made it together as a family, and everyone had their part.  Making meals together are some of our best times as a family. 
I hope you can find something yummy to share with your family too.

***So what do you think of "What's Cooking Wednesdays"...is this something I should continue? 

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