Thursday, May 13, 2010

An apple a day...

It's getting closer to that time of the school year again...when your kiddies say goodbye to their teachers and say hello to summer break. Oh, no!

Thinking of a great teacher's gift is sometimes a little difficult. What can I get that's not too flashy?
An apple-themed gift is great idea, it's both classic and sweet.

My daughter's school doesn't allow gifts for the teachers, so I ordered these labels for her class library. I love the purple mod pattern.

I also really like this personalized stationary from FlutterbyeNotes. (I didn't order from them, but these are lovely too).Great idea for a male teacher.

Here are some other gift ideas that I came up with.

Cute as a button:

These buttons from Wasted Wishes, Moon Parade, and Humble Boy are super cute. Wouldn't they look lovely tied with a pretty ribbon around a small bunch of flowers? The note could be handwritten by your kiddie with the phrases,"Thanks for helping me grow!", or "Thanks for helping me bloom!".

Teaching tools:

This pencil cup from Made by Marta would be a really nifty gift with a small bunch of pencils.

An apple bookmark set is a practical gift, too. This one from theflashbulb is pretty. You could place it into a book or journal, and attach a card that says,"You made your mark on me, thanks for being a great teacher!".

These apple magnets from Shelley Scott are charming. They come in a small pillow box ready for gifting.

Lunch Box:

This tea-wallet from Hot4Handbags on Etsy is my cup of tea. Place some teabags in it, or package it with a pretty teacup.
I really like these reusable sandwich bags from bellsandunicorns, katysklippys, and marymule from Etsy. They are both eco-friendly and great for snacks. Fill with a small bag of nuts or trail mix.
(These might be a clever gift if your child was a little naughty this year, and spent a few lunches with the teacher..haha.)

Apple bauble:

These green apple jade quartz glass earrings from amadia of Etsy are beautiful, and are made from hand-molded findings.

This maple wood pendant necklace is from Etsy artisan ZephyrWoods. 5-10% of the profits made from these pendants are donated to

This beautiful necklace from aversionx is so dainty.

It's in the bag:

Either of these apple green keyfob wristlets from baffingbags and nattiesplace would be a very clever gift. She could use it to hold the classroom keys on her wrist while monitoring the playground during recess.

Wouldn't your teacher(or you) just love this gorgeous apple green shoulder bag from olivetreetextiles? It's large enough to carry her everyday things, a snack, and a book or two.

Out of the box:

I've always love MidCentury Modern design. Madeintheredbarn sells reusable "unpaper towels" to use in this tower. They sell the reusable towels separately, 12 for $12. My daughter went to Montessori school, and the little ones would clean up the counters and windows, then help launder them. These would perfect for a daycare or Kindergarten teacher.

This upcycled apple green drawer from JunkBoutique would be really nice for storage in the classroom. Fill it with some supplies or some yummy treats like cookies.

This clover terrarium from doodlebirdie would be cute too.(Alright, this is not exactly "apple-y", but they do sell little apple trees to place in the terrarium, and clovers are green. Close enough?) Attach a clever note that says, "Lucky me! Thanks for being a great teacher!".

Let's Dance:

This stunning vintage-material-made apple clip from crankypants would be sweet for a dance teacher. She could use it to hold back her hair while giving the routine instructions.

This Giclee print in appletini is a great deal at $5 for a 5x7. BluLima sells it in larger sizes too.

These apple trays from YouAreYou would be ideal for an art teacher. She can load them up with art supplies, and easily carry them to the table for the next lesson.

This apple-print utensil holder from RosyUndPosy would be perfect for a favorite Home Ec. teacher.

So what do you think?

Friday, May 7, 2010

One banana, two banana...

Now, I'm not a superfan of bananas. They are yummy, but I prefer them in a smoothie. My 3 year old Gwen loves them. She in fact, ate 3 of them (at least) in one day. But, I do love chocolate and bananas together. Now, that is yummy!
I decided to make some pancakes one day from scratch because I was craving something with chocolate, we had a lot of flour, and some bananas left on the counter.

Here is the recipe for my chocolate-banana pancakes:

2 cups of flour
4 tbsp of brown sugar
4 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of cocoa powder
2 eggs
3 cups of milk + 1 tbsp
4 tbsp of vegetable oil
3 tsp of vanilla extract
2 whole bananas

Makes about 20 or so mid-size pancakes.

First, I sift the flour. Now, you don't have to..but, I like my pancakes nice and fluffy.

Next, I add the brown sugar. You can add more sugar if you'd like, but I like to serve mine with powdered sugar on top. So, I don't like them to be too sweet.
I think the brown sugar clumps look like eyes in this photo.

Add the baking powder and salt, and dump in the chocolate. Smells yummy already!

Stir with a wooden spoon. Wooden spoons are probably my most favorite cooking utensil. Really. I'm serious. After you mix it about, it looks like this.
Yummy and chocolate-y smelling. Mmm..

If you'd like to, you can pour this all back into the sifter and go at it again. I don't have that much time, cartoons are only about 23 minutes long.

Next, add in the milk. I would recommend using whole. Personally, I do not like whole milk on it's own. I think it's gross. I can taste the cream and everything in it. But, it really is the best to use in baking. I first only stir in 2 cups at first, and at the end stir in the last full cup. That way if I need to, I can add the full cup or a little less, to even out the batter.

Add in the oil and the vanilla. Ahh..vanilla smells so yummy.
Then, add the eggs.
I love that Brandon bought these brown eggs from the store. Sometimes he is just so great!

I abandon the wooden spoon for the moment, time for the wisk!

Pick two bananas that are a bit brown. They are sweeter and more flavorful. Plus, your kids aren't going to eat the browns ones anyway(because they aren't yellow). Slice them up and put them in a blender/food processor/magic bullet.
What's a magic bullet you say? Why, it's the greatest thing since sliced bread! They really have the best infomercials.

Add the banana puree to the batter, and stir. After stirring for a bit, I pour the batter back into the measuring cup, because it's easier to pour it out that way.
If your bowl has a spout, lucky you!

Pour a good size amount onto the griddle. I heat my griddle up to 325 degrees. If you don't have a griddle, you must get one! If you have kids, you know how quickly you have to serve meals. Wait until the bubbles pop on the top before you flip over. You all knew this right? Otherwise the pancake will be soggy and may stick to your spatula.
(Yes, I know my pancakes are uneven. I never said I was a perfectionist.)

Now, because I'm weird I prefer my pancakes a bit crispy.
I flip mine over another time, so that the top is just how I like it.

All done!

I sprinkle mine with powdered sugar. One of my girls puts maple syrup on her's, but I think that's a fusion of too many flavors. And, if you're feeling artsy, or if that episode of Pingu went longer than you thought, you can serve them with slices of banana on top.

Here's a photo of my youngest daughter, Arun, enjoying her chocolate-banana pancakes, in her jammies, bed-hair and all.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast..

This will be my first blog entry. Kind of scary. Kind of exciting. My mind is always thinking of new things to do. I want to share some of those things with you. Hopefully, it ends up being fun!