Monday, March 3, 2014

No Fail Teacher Gift: Classroom Emergency/Survival Kit

I've been a class room mom for several years now, and have had to come up with loads of different teacher gift ideas for various times throughout the school year. I've learned the best gifts are either useful items that they need or special indulgences. So far, the Classroom Emergency/Survival Kit is my favorite go to gift for any teacher.

What I really love about it is how many different things you can fill it with, and all of the different spending ranges it can support! I look for cute fabric toiletry kits (like the one above) with multiple pockets to use.

A basic kit is a great birthday gift from the class. Here's what I usually include:

  • chapstick
  • pain reliever
  • hand cream
  • gum/breath freshener
  • tea/instant coffee
  • energy bar/granola bar
  • chocolate
  • bandaids
  • safety pins
  • pen/paper
  • hand wipes/sanitizer
  • travel size deodorant
  • tissues
If you want to kick it up a notch for a larger class gift, throw in a few gift cards to school supply/craft stores the local grocery store, coffee shop, gas station, whatever. 

It's almost guaranteed to be a well loved gift!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cold Weather Fun: Hanging Ice Ornaments

This week, it seems pretty much the whole country is being affected by an arctic air in Birmingham, AL we woke up to a bitter 8 degrees outside. Extreme for some, I however grew up in New England, and even spent several years living in one of the great, lake effect snow areas of our country: Buffalo, NY. So, I typically don't mind the cold, except of course, when it means my kiddos can't get much outside play time.

When Juliana got home after school yesterday, my short list of non-TV activities ran out quickly (we're just coming off of a two week winter break, so I've used up a lot of my stash of creativity with the kids!). But then I thought of this cool idea to do something fun with the cold weather: Hanging Ice Ornaments!

They were super easy to make, and for Juliana it was extra fun because she could design them using (mostly) whatever supplies she wanted. I'll admit, I even got into it a bit too.

Here's what we used to make them:
  1. pie plates and Bundt pan
  2. water
  3. food coloring
  4. glitter
  5. beads
  6. cranberries
  7. string or ribbon for hanging
Simply pour water into your plates (or whatever other mold you wish to use) and have fun adding color and more to it!


Monday, January 6, 2014

Inspiration Found: Connecting Faith with Social Justice, the Story of Sister Simone Campbell & Obamacare

This is such an inspiring story about faith being connected to social justice. (I think I've found a new personal hero in Sister Simone Campbell!).

From the podcast "The Good Fight" with Ben Wikler:

"In the final days before the bill passed, who saved Obamacare? Catholic nuns. Sister Simone Campbell—one of the most charming, utterly down-to-earth, and profoundly committed people I've ever met—explains why. And in the process, she tells her own fascinating story, from an anti-segregation sit-in where, as a teenager, she decided to take her vows, all the way to the present and her delight in the joyous tone set by Pope Francis. If you're glad that Obamacare is finally here—that millions of Americans are, at last, covered by health insurance—then you'll love this mini, Christmas-inspired episode of The Good Fight."