Saturday, May 17, 2014

Deceptively Simple Ice Cream Cake Recipe

We had a cookout for Mother's Day last weekend and I was tasked with bringing the dessert. I decided to use my mom's recipe for homemade ice cream cake using ice cream sandwiches layered with lots of gooey deliciousness! The best part of this recipe is that it's very simple while giving the illusion that it's more complicated. It also easily modified to fit the tastes of whomever it making it!

Prep Time: 
This will only take about 15 minutes to put together (faster if you have a helper to unwrap the ice cream sandwiches) but should be made a day in advance and frozen over night. If you don't give it enough time to firm up, it will come out sort of 'soupy', especially if it's a warm day!

-Two boxes of ice cream sandwiches (24)
-16 oz of whipped topping, thawed 
-12 oz of hot fudge sauce, warmed
-12 oz of caramel sauce
-1 8oz bag of toffee bits
-Chopped nuts of your choice (I used peanuts)

1) Layer the bottom of a 9x13 pan with ice cream sandwiches
2) Spread a layer of whipped topping
3) Sprinkle toffee bits then drizzle a layer of hot fudge and caramel sauce
4) Add a second layer of ice cream sandwiches
5) Spread another layer of whipped topping, followed by toffee bits, hot fudge, and caramel sauce
6) Top with a final layer of whipped topping and sprinkle on chopped nuts (if desired). 
7) Cover with foil and place in the freezer over night or until completely firm/frozen!

This is seriously simple and delicious...people go 'nuts' whenever it's served! The crunchiness of the toffee bits paired with the gooey goodness of the hot fudge/caramel layers is divine! 

I'd love to hear other variations of this recipe so leave me a comment and let me know your ideas!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day of Teaching

Dear Kelly-Anne,

Buckle up, kid! It's going to be a bumpy ride! Your students will test you to see what you're made of. It will feel awkward and even scary at first because you don't know them and they don't know you. But, with time, you'll learn each others personalities and you can start to enjoy your time with them. 

Don't be afraid to be strict.  Set the ground rules early and stick to your guns. A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect. At the same time, be fair and flexible. If a rule or policy isn't working, discuss it with your students, change it, and move on (or don't discuss it, just change's your class and you can do what you want)!

Show interest in your students lives so they know you care and so you can get to know one another. Ask them about their weekend and go to their games, plays, and art shows...they notice! Be so enthusiastic about what you do that they can't help but be engrossed in whatever it is you have to give them that day. And be prepared to laugh hysterically until your stomach hurts, even when you are trying so hard to be stone-faced, because some of those kids are so damn funny! 

Try not to take it personally when kids complain, or fall asleep in class, or try to text for 45 minutes rather than listening to your amazing lesson on the Articles of's not you, it's them! And some kids are just pains in the a**, and will try your patience like you can't even imagine, but you'll realize they are there to teach you just how patient and clever you can be! Others will be so smart, and creative, and kind that you'll be reminded to try just a little bit harder.

Give yourself a the end they won't remember how long it took you to grade their essays or that you gave them a piece of historical information that wasn't entirely factual (they probably won't even know).  You're learning, too, and can only do, and know, so much! What they will remember is the time you dressed up in a powdered wig and recited the words to the Declaration of Independence or how hard you made them work to earn that 'A'.

They will roll their eyes and feign disgust when you play them the rap video you made, but in the end, they will secretly download the song to their iTunes account and will play it till they know every word! Just when you think you haven't made a difference, you'll get a letter or a card with a 'thank you' that you never even expected and it will be AMAZING and just the little bit of reassurance you need to keep doing what you do.


Your Future Self, 10 years down the road

 PS- Stop buying so much crap from don't need any more coupon books, cookie dough, wrapping paper, or tickets to pancake breakfasts!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday: Field Trip Edition

I recently went on a field trip with some students to the Portland Museum of Art. The goal with dressing for any field trip is to be comfortable and practical yet still a bit stylish. Even though it is May, the day of our trip was drizzly and cold so comfy boots paired with a raincoat were in order! By the time I got home from the trip, the sun had come out, just in time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and snap some pics...

I was thrilled to find this super cute navy polka dot rain jacket at Target a couple months ago. It's lightweight and has a hood and pockets. I also like that you can cinch it in at the waist, too.

I just picked up the cute citrine beaded necklace at Forever 21 for $7! I think it pairs well against the navy and white striped shirt from Old Navy. 

The skinny jeans are the 'Diva' from Old Navy. They fit well on my curvy body and have a little stretch, too! My boots are from Kohls, purchased last fall.

Of course no photo session or outfit post would be complete without a picture from Instagram! You can follow my exploits in teaching, crafting, and decorating @CraftyTeacherLady

I'm linking up this week with Lindsay at The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday and with Because Shanna Said So!

Friday, May 2, 2014

10 Inexpensive Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Teacher Appreciation Week 2014 starts Monday, May 5th! As a high school teacher I can say that this week is usually pretty lackluster. I'm shocked if anyone at school, particularly my students, even knows this week is happening! Since most high school kids have multiple teachers, purchasing several gifts could really add up! Below are 10 inexpensive (and unisex) ways to show the high school teachers in your students' lives some love and appreciation!

Inexpensive Teacher Appreciation Week Gift Ideas

I can honestly say that the BEST gift I've received as a teacher is a heartfelt thank you note. Each May I have my students fill out these note cards to give to their other teachers and it makes my heart happy to know how happy these notes make my colleagues!

I'm always looking for colorful ways to decorate my classroom and this print is so cute! Having a few prints made up would be relatively inexpensive, particularly if you give just the print, unframed. Check out the two free classroom poster printables I created, too!

The good thing about gift cards is that they are practical and flexible for both the giver and the receiver! Purchase a couple cards from Target and add this cute printable!

 Swing by your local bakery and pick up a dozen donuts! Print the logo on some white paper bags and you've got an adorable gift that any teacher would love first thing in the morning (and donuts are my personal favorite)!!

Bake up a batch of your favorite cookies, place them in a baggie, and add this cute printable topper to show your teachers that they're 'smart cookies'!

#6: Fruit Themed Gift
Download the gift tag that says 'I Couldn't Have Picked a Better Teacher!' to give with an apple or any 'berry' scented item (like hand sanitizer, lotion, or a candle). 

#7: Eraser 'Candies'
 How cute is this dish full of eraser 'candies'? I know I'd love this since it's cute AND practical as erasers seem to be hard to come by in my classroom! You can buy the erasers in bulk here.

Download the gift tag and attach it to a few highlighters

#9 Ruler
Create a tag that says 'Teacher, You Rule' and attach it to an inexpensive ruler! Clever and practical!

#10 Mason Jar & Pencils
Paint some Mason jars or leave them clear and fill with pencils or other writing utensils. I'd love to receive a jar filled with my favorite correcting pens!

 Even if you don't have time or money to give a gift, a simple 'hey, I appreciate the work you do' goes a really, really, long way! What are some of your favorite Teacher Appreciation Week ideas?