Monday, July 23, 2012

Does Summer Have Wings?

...Because it's FLYING by!

Whew! I've been BUSY! We just returned from a weekend at the All Good Music Festival about 45 minutes away in Thornville, Ohio. We had SO much fun! Being with our friends, meeting cool people, grooving to some sweet music, and taking in the whole "festie" vibe that I've come to love so much! Saturday night's ALLMAN BROTHERS show was one of the best I've seen in quite a while! Derek Trucks & Warren Haynes are playing with the Allmans right now and they are amazing! We saw Derek with his wife Susan Tedeschi and their band (Tedeschi/Trucks Band) in the spring and they were amazing. We also saw G.Love & Special Sauce (swoon!), The Wood Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, and SO many more! No overlapping sets, plenty of space, and for the most part, a general attitude of kindness surrounding us. It doesn't get much better than this!

Seriously folks, get out there, see live music. It's so good for the soul!

Meanwhile, I've been feeling pretty guilty that I've been slacking on blog posts! Partially because I know that the back-to-school rush is about to begin and it will be harder to find time to post. Hopefully I'll be working on some sweet school projects soon that I can report on!

Until then, enjoy some photos from our weekend! I can't wait to do it all again next year!

My sun-freckles are here!

We were so close for G.Love's show!
Amazing oil paintings. When we complemented the artist he said "I just throw paint around!" :)
My, Oh My!

The tent city where we made our home for a few days

Even if I was going to spend $400 on one of these, how could I choose?


So many wonderful sights to be seen!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Back to School "I have, who has?" Game

I swear I've been in front of this laptop for most of the day! I planned to go to bed a couple of hours ago, but then I started my Back to School "I have, who has?" game and couldn't rest until it was finished. I'm so happy with the results. 
Check it out HERE 
What a big day! My first free and paid items on TPT!

This is a fun game that would be PERFECT for those first weeks of school when everyone is getting to know each other. This game is a good review of common classroom vocabulary as well as color words and simple oral reading skills. There are 32 cards to ensure that even large classes can play. 

Students can also play this game in centers or small groups. My class likes to play during inside recess
Just print on card stock and laminate for lasting durability. 

Okay, it's almost midnight- off to bed I go!  Good-night!

My first TPT item!

I finally have my  FIRST ITEM for Teachers Pay Teachers! It's a set of owl-themed, customizable, I have, who has cards. These are cards that can be used in classrooms or as a game at home.

I must admit, it took forever, but I'm pretty happy with the results!

If you're not familiar with the "I have, who has" concept, I'll explain:

Each student gets one (or more) cards. On the cards will say I have (and a number), who has (another number). Let's say the student says: "I have 7, who has 9?" Another student will have a card that says: "I have 9, who has (another number), and so on...  It's a really fun game that can be customized to fit any set of numbers you're working with.

As I began to think, you could use this for all kinds of activities. Shapes, words, symbols, or animals. 

This is definitely not a teachers-only item. Perhaps you'd like it for your school-aged children to play at home or with a tutor or friend.

The best part is that it's FREE!

This is the first of MANY items I'll put on Teachers Pay Teachers. Stop back to my TPT store often!

I also just learned that it's International Blog Hopping Day! I've also posted my item in the FREEBIE section!

Follow The Famous Yellow Road

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Farmer's Market: Kale Chips

I LOVE the farmer's market!  Ours is held on the courthouse square on Friday mornings. Luckily, my summer vacation allows me to be a regular patron! It's been neat to see the changes in offerings as the season progresses. At first, I went for plants. I got a few herbs, some perennials, and a hanging basket. A few weeks later, berries were in season and I got some of the best strawberries I've ever tasted!

Now it's starting to get good! The veggie selection increases each week and I always seem to find something that wasn't there the week before. Last week, I got a bunch of stuff:

1 giant bulb of fennel, complete with the frilly fronds. I ended up roasting it with some potatoes & zucchini. Yum!
2 big bunches of kale. Recipe for kale chips to follow.
A canteloupe
6 ears of corn
A block of tomato, basil & pine-nut cheese (again, yum!)
 A little lemon-blueberry pie

 A successful trip, indeed!

As I mentioned, I picked up some kale with the intention of making kale chips. I'm currently reading a book that sings the praises of kale, but I'm not at all interested in cooking it down like turnip greens. I'm excited that I'll be able to get some of that kale-y goodness in me & enjoy it!

Yes, I know. 
It's a garnish.

but I promise you, try one of these & you'll be back for more! 

Start by prepping your kale. Rinse it & dry it. Preheat your oven to 275

You want to trim your kale by cutting the stems off and removing the "rib" from the middle.

I did this a couple of different ways.

First, I used my knife to cut around the rib & stem:

 Then I decided to fold the leaf in half and cut the rib & stem off that way:

I think the folding method was a bit quicker. 

Toss the leaves with some olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

I also squeezed half a lemon over some of the leaves. I can't get enough of lemons lately!

Bake for 20-25 minutes until "chips" are crispy.
They are so good! The lemon-juiced ones kind of reminded me of a salt & vinegar taste. Delicious.
These are pretty delicate and won't really hold up to a dip, but they're good on their own!

Next time I want to experiment with other spices. Garlic powder seems to be good on almost everything!

Phew! Okay! I think I'm caught up on blog posts for a little bit. If you're a local reader, I hope that you weathered the storm. We experienced a really bad storm last Friday that left a major path of destruction throughout our area. still have lots of people without power in addition to ridiculously hot temperatures. I think everyone in our town has a new respect for conveniences such as electricity & water. I'm one who is always looking for the positive in any situation, and I'm happy to say that I've witnessed some fantastic acts of kindness in my neighborhood & community. People helping each other. People working together.

Good, good stuff.

DIY Workout Tank from Old T-Shirt

Pinterest strikes again! I've been meaning to do this project for awhile, and our 100+ degree heat indices the last few days have had me hiding from the heat & wanting to create!

The pin I followed for this project was super-easy. 

My materials were:

an old t-shirt (next time I'm using 1 size larger than I usually wear) 
This is a good opportunity to recycle those weird-fitting t-shirts 
or some of your boyfriend/husband's t-shirts too :)
Chalk (for marking shirt)

First, I laid out my shirt & made my chalk marks for cutting.

The next time I do this I'm going to cut the neck a little wider.

Cut those pieces out.

The long piece at the bottom will be used to "tie up" the back of your shirt. Cut this piece anywhere to make one long rope of fabric. Put the other pieces to the side.

Next, flip your tank over. Draw a deep V in the back of the shirt. This will create the back straps of the tank. I tried to line up the bottom of the V with the arm holes.

Next, you will wrap & tie the back straps together with the long piece from the bottom. I had to do this a couple of times to find a good spot that wouldn't make the tank look goofy. For me, a lower-tie looks best. I wrapped & tied the back straps & tucked the ends under. For longevity, I might consider a couple of stitches just to reinforce.

Can you see it? I should have tried on a non-black shirt.
You're almost finished! Fold your tank sideways and mark a line to make a tank that is longer in the front.

THAT'S IT! You may want to make some minor adjustments with the scissors for a better fit.

This was a fun, quick, project! I'd like to make a few more, possibly using different shirt's bottom-strips to tie up tanks of contrasting colors.Fun! I'm also secretly hoping that creating lots of new workout tees will inspire me to do lots of workouts!

Does  Pinterest inspire you to create? What have you made?

Caramel Apple Grapes

I'm considering re-naming this blog: Things I Saw On Pinterest That I Actually Tried :)

This post's inspiration came from a pin I saw that used green grapes as vessels for caramel & chopped nuts, like a caramel apple only bite-sized. I was intrigued and had to try it out...

Ingredients were pretty simple:

About 1/2 bag of caramels (I used 25)

 Green grapes

Chopped peanuts. Riesbeck's was out when I was there, so I substituted walnuts. They were good, but peanuts would have been better.

I also needed a splash of heavy cream, toothpicks, and some parchment paper. You might want to go ahead and clear out some space in the fridge for these babies, too.


I was lucky to have my bestest Cassie helping me with this little endeavor! Thanks, Cass! :)

We began by slowly melting the caramels in a small saucepan on medium-low heat. A splash of heavy cream makes for a creamy caramel dip. This is kind of a slow process but you wouldn't want to burn the caramels by cranking up the heat too fast. Take a minute, eat a caramel or five and if you're like Cassie and I, we do a little kitchen dancing & singing!

Wash those grapes. Dry em' off. If you want to, you can toothpick the grapes & put your chopped nuts in a small bowl for dipping. I found that my little 1/2 c. Pyrex bowl was perfect for this job! Have your parchment-lined cookie sheet(s) ready, too.

Aren't the flag toothpicks, awesome?!?

Eventually the caramel sauce will be smooth & you can begin!

We started working on the counter and eventually set up our work station right on the stove, so we could keep the caramel warm, but you could also transfer to a glass bowl & microwave for 15 second increments when it gets cool.

Dip your grapes in the caramel & into the nuts. Place on cookie sheet. Once you get going., it's really quick work. It just took a few minutes to fill a cookie sheet.

When your cookie sheet is full, place in the refrigerator to cool.

We made some with nuts and some without. They were really good either way!

Hints: these will STICK to regular aluminum foil! I'm so glad I used parchment, as well.

Like I said, the walnuts were good, but peanuts would  be better, IMHO :)

Really tart green grapes would make the best version of this.

Happy 4th of July weekend!