Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Lemonade, Christmas Crunch and Holiday Freebies!

Hello everyone!
Here we are...the last few days of school before the holiday break.  We shopped, we wrapped, we baked...and somehow managed to write some great lesson plans for this nutty week.  Right??

Are you looking for some last-minute craft/writing ideas for this week?  I'd like to share two that I used in my classroom last week.  They are for Christmas and Kwanzaa.  The Kwanzaa activity is pictured under my wrapping paper Menorahs (thanks, Pinterest!)

The children really enjoyed learning about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa.  It was a great writing task to have them relate the principles to their own lives.  What they really enjoyed was trying to pronounce the names of the principles. They are beautiful words that are fun to say!

Kwanzaa falls on December 26th, so this a great activity for your kids to do this week...Grab your copy by clicking{here}.

Next up, are these cute little reindeer...
They all look precious hanging in my classroom...and they are all in want of a JOB!  Who will make Santa's Sleigh team?  
Applications accepted in PARAGRAPH FORM only (what a way to practice all we have been learning about paragraph writing!)

I think the kids' favorite part was when I put the "HIRED" stamp on their project!  Click the picture of that little cutie patootie for the template.

Now for the gift giving...This part is from a special request from some of my Instagram friends. 

My girls and I have been making homemade body scrub gifts for the past two years.  Last year, we made a gingerbread sugar scrub.  Our whole kitchen smelled like a gingerbread factory.  This year, we decided that we needed something summery.  They decided on Lemonade...easy enough.  I looked through some recipes I found with a google search, and these are the ingredients I came up with.  We went salt instead of sugar to try something new.

Here's the my late and beloved Nana, I have no actual measurements for you.  It's like she would say, "A little of this, and a little of that...."  I basically start with the scrubbing component (sugar or salt) and just add the other ingredients until it feels and smells just right.  This recipe was a double batch, and this is how it went down...

  • Empty 2 boxes of Epsom Salts in a huge bowl
  • Add 2-3 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil...get your hands in there and MIX!
  • Add small amounts of the Neutrogena Body oil -you don't want it too greasy! (You can actually skip this step and add all coconut oil if you wish.) MIX!  How are your hands feeling now??
  • Add drops of lemon extract and mix until it smells a little lemony.
  • Grate lots of fresh lemon zest in there and keep on mixing. This will add to the lemony scent and look pretty with all of the little zesty pieces in the mix!
At this point, your kitchen should be smelling a lot like summer! If we added lime instead of lemon, I think it would have smelled like a big margarita! Hmmmmmm, maybe next year!

Up last, is one of our favorite traditions...Christmas Crunch.  It should be called Christmas Can't-Stop-Eating-This-Stuff-Even-If-It-Means-I-Can't-Zip-My-Jeans.  It's THAT yummy.  There are lots of recipes out there, but this is what it boils down to in our family...It makes two very large bowls.  

  • One Large Box of Corn Chex 
  • One Large Box of Rice Chex 
  • One Large Bag (I got the extra large Shop-rite bag) of pretzels; or two regular-sized bags
  • 4 bags of M&Ms (2 bags per batch)
  • 4 cans of peanuts (yes, you can omit for those with a peanut allergy, but I have to say...the peanuts are our favorite part of the salty/sweet sensation!) 2 cans per batch
  • 4 bags of white chocolate melting chips (2 bags per batch)
Start making this and just watch that the kids...or hubby...or dog...or cat...or even some neighbors passing by don't eat it all!

  • Start by getting the chocolate melted.  I do mine in a fondue pot.  Keep warm and melted.
  • Prepare a surface to spread the mix on to.  I cover my workspace with a few long sheets of tinfoil.
  • Empty half of the Corn Chex and half of the Rice Chex in a very large bowl.
  • Add half of the large bag (or one of the regular-sized bag) of pretzels
  • Add 2 bags of M&Ms
  • Add two cans of peanuts
  • Pour white chocolate over the mix. Mixing with a spoon can be a little bit of a challenge, so I give my hands a good scrub, roll up my sleeves and get right in there to mix.  Be sure to incorporate all of the chocolate.  It should look like a white glaze (not thick at all) over all of the ingredients.
  • Dump the bowl ingredients onto the tinfoil.  Spread into a thin layer and leave it there to dry.
  • TASTE!!
  • Once it's dry, pick it up and break up any large chunks.  I usually break it apart right in the large bowl I started with.  Here's what it looks like:
    A few of you were asking if I would share the labels for both of these gifts.  Of course the answer is YES!  {HERE YOU GO!}

    Happy crafting everyone and have a great last week before break!


  1. So happy to see you here again. I have missed you. These are great recipes. I have printed them out for using. Merry Christmas. I hope this week goes well for you.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom

  2. “May the best person win,” House Speaker John Boehner, ted baker outlet  a Bush supporter, approximately echoed when asked about Romney. Two weeks into the new year, Sen. Rand Paul was already schmoozing with New Hampshire state lawmakers in Murphy’s Diner in cheap ted baker dresses Manchester. Just one day earlier had come the announcement that Chip Englander, who most recently guided Bruce Rauner to victory in Illinois' gubernatorial race, would serve as Paul’s campaign manager —ted baker dresses sale  if there was to be a presidential campaign, Paul's aides cautioned with rhetorical winks.


Notes For the Teacher