Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentines, PW Lasagna, Word Wall, and Ribbon

I could split this into multiple posts, true, but I am tired and decided to put it all here.   Tomorrow I might edit this and break it up, so read it while you can!

FIRST -- yesterday we got to go to the Container Store after a wonderful lunch with WHM's godmother Angie and her husband (who we all adore) Nick. (He's not technically WHM's godfather because they weren't even engaged... yet ... when we asked Angie to be godmother!  But WHM has a pretty fantastic godfather -- who now is also married -- so the kid kind-of has two amazing sets of godparents!)  The Container Store is my favorite store in the whole wide world.  Really.  And I have been trying to think of a way to store my ever-increasing ribbon supply, and wanted a chance to just go and walk around and look for inspiration and ideas.  I've seen a ton of ideas on Pinterest but none of them really appealed to me.  I had to do this walking around a little speedier than I'd have liked because all four of us went and for some strange reason the kids go NUTSO in the Container Store, but I did get what I came for.

Here is what I found:

This was in the kitchen cabinet organization section.  A cup stacker.

Here is what I turned it into!

It hold four tiers of ribbon, and the two outer prongs are good for loose remnants. 

Of course I have much more ribbon than just this, and I have to buy another cup stacker, but I'm thinking for $5, this is pretty great!  I love the caddy handle, too!

SECOND-- next project.  Last year, I sent CAM to school with a class set of the store-bought Valentines.  You know, the kind with any character you can possibly imagine, and you pull apart the cards, fold them, and put little stickers on.  Valentines.  Simple.  What we all know and love.  Well, CAM was (and still is) into The Cat in the Hat, so we bought and sent those in and had a ton of fun, the two of us, picking out who got what card.  And what happened?  SHE WAS THE ONLY KID WHO DIDN'T SEND IN GOODIE BAGS.  Seriously.  Where was THAT little gem in the parents-of-preschoolers handbook?  It wasn't a freaking birthday party, it was a valentine! I was so embarrassed.

Anyway, this year Pinterest helped me with some crafty inspiration, a neighbor lent me a Cricut cartridge that I don't own, and my Cricut and I got busy.  (Actually, these were insanely easy and the perfect project with which to start learning how the old Cricut works!)  CAM helped me, too.

Aren't they cute?! Even with the handwritten message I think they came out great.
 These little beauties are two cuts of card stock, four Swedish fish, and a gift bag tied with a silver twist-tie.  I tried to print the saying ("I'm glad we're in the same school, Valentine!") and then cut the "water," so it would look even more put together, but I have been fighting a bug all weekend and the truth was that I was just too lazy and tired to fight that battle -- and I was seriously ready to check these off my list.  So I hand-wrote them, and CAM signed the back of each one.

THIRD--  I've also been promising you I'd make and tell you about the PW Lasanga.  Mick and I made it today -- half-assed it, if you don't mind my sayin', and pardon my language.  But I wasn't feeling well, so I didn't really prep very well.  As in, I asked Mick to cook up the sausage and completely forgot that we also needed ground beef ... so he ended up cooking up frozen ground beef.  And I didn't feel like chopping garlic, so we used a healthy scoop from the minced garlic in the fridge.  And I didn't remember to keep the mozzarella out when I put almost all our cheese in the freezer last night, so we had to fight frozen mozzarella.  And we didn't have fresh herbs, so I had to use dried parsley and basil from my spice cabinet.  And yet, believe it or not, this is a delicious, hearty, definitely-will-make-it-again lasagna!  Strangely, it calls for cottage cheese!  But if you didn't know it, you'd never know it, so don't let that sway you.  (Fact:  I've never had cottage cheese that I've been aware of, until tonight.   My parents don't like it so we didn't have it in the house when I was growing up, and the appearance of it always scared me away a little as a grown-up.  But I tried it tonight when I was cooking and it's really quite bland.  And it's absolutely delicious in this lasagna!)  Another strange thing:  the recipe calls for grated parmesan.  As in, shaker cheese in the green refrigerator-door canister.  We had hardly any left, and even less after Mick shook it up and the cap blew open and half the remaining cheese landed all over me!  But that's just the powdery cheese on top.  Inside, I used fresh parmesan.  (Hey, if there's anything you can count on in this house, it's that I always have fresh parmesan and romano cheeses and likely enough cheese of any kind to make any meal you might want to make!)

We didn't take any prep photos, but this is the after.  Not the best picture you've ever seen, but this lasagna is 100% YUMMY!!!

And, finally, the last thing I wanted to share:  we're practicing sight words with CAM, and this is our new "word wall."  It's sloooooow going so far.  But we're getting there. My goal is to have her reading at least simple books by kindergarten.  She is interested, but only in small doses.  I don't want to pressure her, but I think we need to get on the stick a little over here.  So we're making a game of it with the star sticky notes and some other fun ways to practice.

Okay, that's it.  I'm exhausted and really want to beat this stupid bug, so I'm going to bed!  Have a great day!


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