Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

Tuesdays Treats!
Chocolate Rolo Cookies!

Donations are $1 per cookie and ALL donations go towards buying uniforms for the students in Nicaragua.


Jello Poke Cupcakes

Mondays Treat!
Jello Poke Strawberry Cupcakes

All donations will go towards buying new uniforms for Nicaraguan children!

Recipe for the Jello Poke Cupcakes:
1 box white Cake Mix
(Prepare as nesscary, water, oil, eggs)
and bake as instructed
Once cupcake are out and have cooled (about 30 minutes)
Poke holes in the top of the cupcakes (about 3 or 4 per cupcake)
Boil 1 cup water, and add Strawberry Jello mix- stir until dissolved
Spoon liquid Jello into the cupcakes
Let set in the fridge for 2-3 hours
Make them pretty, frost them and be creative!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Nicaragua will always hold a special place in my heart. The culture, the community, the people and the kids! One thing that people may know about me is that I love to give, and giving of my time and talents to the Granada community will forever change me. Last summer when Amigos4Learning went, we looked at 5 schools and determined what needed to be fixed and what needed COLOR! We decided to paint and help organize their schools, all the while playing with the children. 

Amigos4Learning are going back this summer to the same community to help out again. This summer we have a different plan in mind. We have learned that the Nicaraguan teachers do not follow a curriculum. We are going throughout the 5 schools in the district and try and get them on the same page. We are also going to help and teach the children Math and English, and also see what repairs or painting needs to be done.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to go back. The excitement in the kids faces is something I will never forget. The day we left I was in tears...those kids will forever tug at my heart!

Now that we have been there once, we know what to expect. We also know how to prepare for this coming summer. Last summer we learned that each student needs a uniform to attend school. Their uniform consists of blue skirt/pants, white socks, a polo shirt, and shoes. Some children were unable to attend school because they did not have the correct attire. When we attend the schools we will be in close contact with the teachers because they will know best which children are in most need. Each uniform costs about $20, and the amount that we raise will determine how many we are able to purchase.

This is where MY talents come into play. I love to bake and give away my sweets. Mostly I just like to see YOU smile! And thanks to all the baking blogs that I am frequently on, I have found a lot of recipes that I want to try. I will be baking 1 or 2 times weekly and will post on my blog the recipe (in case of allergies) and I will have them available at school for minimum donations of $1 per item.
Any donation is welcome, and none of it will go in my pocket. My donation will be buying the supplies to make the deliciousness!

So while you are spring cleaning......
Other donations that would be greatly appreciated:

Monetary donations
kids toys such as Frisbees, jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, balls
School Supplies such as pencils, sharpeners, notebooks, counters, manipulatives
Hair ties, bows, headbands, clips
simple kids games
easy-to-read books, for beginner English speakers.

HERE are pictures from last summer
and HERE is where you can see more!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Muffin Top Banana Bread

So I bought a new muffin top pan and I LOVE using it! It turns out fluffy, just like the best part of the muffin! and I think I found a new banana bread recipe- it came out delicious and fluffy! I have always grown up with chocolate in my banana bread! (Thanks mom!) This recipe also works if you use a banana bread pan, was very light and fluffy also! I doubled the recipe to try both.
One funny thing--when ever I house sit, babysit, or am at a friends house and when I pass by their kitchen and see brown bananas I secretly hope they do not throw them away. The best part of banana bread is using days old bananas that are over ripe. It is never manner-ous to ask what people do with their bananas but I don't want to see them thrown away when they can be made into delectable banana bread --and yes I am talking to you Stacey-- never throw away bananas and if you have the urge, just bring them to me and I will make you muffin tops or banana bread!! :o)

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate chips (or maybe more!)
In mixer, blend butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Blend in bananas. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Fill cavities of muffin top pan half full (do not over fill). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Guardian Angel

Jovi is afraid of 2 things, hot air balloons and trashcans! I am not sure why he is afraid of hot air balloons but one day a gust of wind knocked over a trashcan in front of him and ever since he has been spooked. On Wednesday April 18th mom had taken Jovi for an evening walk. They were almost done with the walk when Jovi started to act skiddish- mom looked around and saw no trashcans and there was nothing in the sky. Jovi was acting nervous and started to pull on the leash- he was pulling her home- he had his head down, searching and sniffing, making a bee-line towards the house. Once they got home Jovi was very unsettled and was a hound dog, continuing to sniff every corner of the house. My mom was very confused as to what had been going on. Then the clock ticked 5:48 and her phone rang. I had been in a car accident here inHouston, 700 miles from home. My mom was able to calm me down and talk me through it. She was there to listen and comfort. When the police came to the scene I had to let her go so I could talk to them, all the while we were talking Jovi was searching the house. When we both hung up Jovi was then at peace, laid down and took a nap.

What is it with animals and their sense of danger? This story amazes me because he knew something was going on. He had that sense in him that his sister was in trouble somewhere. I just know that I owe Jovi a TEXAS sized BONE when I get back to Nebraska and all the love and kisses I can give him!

I have lived in Houston for 3 years now and have been accident free. I travel on i10 at least 3 times a week. Then the last month that I am living here, BOOM it happens.
That’s the funny thing, you never know what will happen next in your life. All the plans you have can be changed in a matter of seconds. At 4:15 I left school after our math meetings. I got home, checked my mail and I received my muffin top baking pan that I was planning on trying out after babysitting that night. I did a workout DVD-cleaned- vacuumed- started laundry- and took out the trash, I was on cloud 9 because I was being so productive- give me an hour- watch what I do with it! Funny thing is I am ALWAYS late for babysitting on Wednesday nights. I leave my apartment at 5:30 and roll into their house around 6:05/6:10ish- just depends on the traffic, because I am only traveling 8 miles! On this particular Wednesday I left at 5:20- determined to be ON TIME! The accident happened at 5:48 at the Voss exit…I would have been 5 minutes early.

Life Happens. I was unable to change the situation I was in, but I was able to choose my attitude. I chose to stay positive. The police came and were nice. Everyone in the accident was unharmed. I had a ride home. Everything was exchanged. I was not happy by all means, but I stayed positive. Even though my roommate took the next morning off of school she took me to Killough the next morning, my lovely co-teacher brought me a nice large coffee and she was there for me all day for my comfort. Dawn went out of her way to help me get a rental car. I went to the doctor and nothing is broken, my left hand is just sprained and bruised. The insurance company and the Toyota dealership have all been very kind and understanding. On a side note- I rented a Chevy Cruze…and LOVE it…I am thinking it will be my next purchase when I get back toNebraska!

So instead of saying woe to me or having pity, there is a life lesson that I can take away from this. SLOW DOWN. I multi-task way too much, sometimes I even forget what I am doing because I have to much happening. One thing I have worked on since last Wednesday is taking time out for myself. Since the sun sets later in the evening, I have been trying to spend some time outside in the sun with my nook. Just. Sitting. Enjoying myself and enjoying the sun- no music- no television. During the school day I am always needed, and Chels and I even work through our lunch so we don’t have to stay late after school. Taking time to sit outside is m ytime, my time to breath and my time to relax. I have also learned that I have an awesome support system here. I cannot begin to thank everyone that I have grown to love in these past 3 years. I have “family” down here and people that I can count on.

And I am slowly learning….that this may be the hardest move yet….

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More from Room 315.... Flying Airplanes

Since our STAAR testing is over, we are able to be creative in Math!  This project consisted of the kids choosing a design of paper airplane they wanted to create! They then had many trials, found the average (mean) distance, and convert the distances through different measurements....they LOVED being outside and we were grateful for the day we had! (good thing it was not windy also...) Tomorrow they will complete their posters with all their calculations, and write a reflection over the design they chose and how it helped or hindered the "flight" of their plane!
If you look closely you see a plane above her head!
 Planes were EVERYWHERE! I cannot count how many times I got hit! :o)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Apple Streusel Bars

I saw this recipe on a blog that I love reading and knew I had to try it!! This was my breakfast and snacks throughout the day today! I need to take them to school tomorrow so I do not finish the whole pan off myself! These were really easy to make. The only time consuming part was pealing all the apples! but again...soooo worth it!

enjoy! :)

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. real butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (I used about 3 teaspoons.. I LOVE cinnamon)
  • 4 c. (about 3 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples (I used Pink Ladies)
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • About 3 Tbsp. milk (whole milk is best)
To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles. Gently mix in beaten egg.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish
 with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.
To prepare apple filling, combine flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss with apples and spread apples out on prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over apples evenly and bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes
. When finished, allow to cool completely.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Place glaze in a Ziploc bag and cut off a very small portion of one of the corners. Drizzle glaze over cooled pastry and allow to harden (you can place it in the freezer to hurry things along). Cut into bars and serve.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My new camera lens!

So instead of buying a plane ticket home I invested in a new camera lens! For those of you camera lovers it is a 70-300 zoom lens. It is amazing and I tried it out with our Killough Soccer Boys! Their district game was on Friday night and we unfortunately lost, but it was an amazing game! My heart was beating fast the WHOLE time!
 This picture was taken after their first goal!
 LOVE action photos!

I am starting to enjoy taking action photos and am learning to use functions other than the "P" function on my SLR Canon camera. I messed with my Shutter Speed functions and took some fun shots!
So proud of our Killough boys! It was a good season! :o)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coffee Cake

  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1-¼ cup Whole Milk
  • 3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff
  • _____
  • 1-½ stick Butter, Softened
  • ¾ cups Flour
  • 1-½ cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 1-½ cup Pecans, Chopped ( I did not use pecans...but I am sure it is still delectable WITH them!)

  • Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat egg whites and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until combined. Don’t overbeat. Fold in beaten egg whites with a rubber spatula. Spread in a well-greased 9 x 13 (or LARGER!) baking pan. A cake pan with higher sides would be best.
In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle all over the top.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until no longer jiggly. Serve warm—delicious!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

This takes a little time, but I easily planned my day around each step!
These are wonderful and I definetly had wayyyy to many! 
Enjoy making them!
You can find the recipe here!

Brownie Peanut Butter Cups

This was a WONDERFUL and simply easy recipe.
The directions are easy to follow and if you are in a bind for a fast dessert, this is what you are looking for!

Step 1
Buy your favorite brownie mix and prepare it as directed. Fill up muffin cups 1/3 full
Bake according to directions!

Step 2
After the brownie muffins come out, with the back of a spoon, push down the centers of the muffins.

Step 3
Melt about a 1/2 cup of peanut butter and place a spoon full in the middle of the muffin

Step 4
While the peanut butter is still melted place some peanut butter and chocolate chips in the middle

Step 5
Pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy!!

You can get the recipe here!

The Meaning of Easter