Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Game: Crossword Cubes

Ok, from the makers of My Grocery List and Take Out, I come to you with yet another game from Marina Games that is great for both kids and adults. It's called Crossword Cubes. So this game is a cross between Scrabble, and and Boggle.

You have a cup and letter dice. You role the dice and you build as many words as you can off of each other (like in Scrabble), and once you have finished you add up your score and it's the other players turn. First to 300 points wins. Such a simple game that brings loads of fun and stimulates the mind to REALLY think while having fun, fun, fun! Here's a photo of the words I made when it was my turn!

As a teacher I'd love to have several Crossword Cube games set up in my classroom as May Do activity. It's a GREAT way to help build vocabulary and work on the student's spelling as well! Also this would be a great game to play at home for the same reasons!

I'd say Crossword Cubes is another winner from Marina Games.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: My Grocery List- A Matching Game

I have been lucky enough to review the children's game My Grocery List by Marina Games. This is like memory but more exciting. You get a grocery list card with the name and picture of the items you are shopping for that day. You also get a large shopping basket card. You turn all of the game pieces over that contain the shopping list items. Then you play like normal except, you are not looking for a pair of cards, you are looking to match the card to an item on your list. If you find an item then you get to place it in your basket. This game is great for color recognition, as well as letter and word recognition.

The sweet girls I played this with adored this game, especially since we pretended we were really in the store making comments when it was our turn like, "Oh yay, there is that sack of rice I needed. Now I can make it with the steak I was planning on cooking for dinner tomorrow night". They thought it was a kick. Great for kids ages 3-7 and you can have 2-5 players.

Just in time for the holidays this game would make a great stocking stuffer or a great gift on its own. Here is the contents of the game!

As you may recall I also had the chance to review the game Take Out. This game too was created by Marina Games.

Our First Feature

HOORAY for us, we've been featured over at Crumbs and Chaos with our BEST EVER CREAM CHEESE COOKIES! YUM! Here's the link if you'd like to check it out along with some other YUMMY looking cookies! It's the perfect blog post if you are hosting or going to be a guest at a Cookie Swap!

Crumbs and Chaos

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful Day 26

Today I'm thankful that all of the Christmas Cards I ordered came in. I have 30. 10 of one typs and 20 of another. I just couldn't decide. I am so thankful they all made it here in one piece and not bent. YAY.

Here's the only problem. I have 30 cards and quite a few more people to send to this year. HHHMMM I may just go get some photo cards and print off a photo of us to put in there.

I will post our Christmas Cards after Christmas or at least closer to Christmas for you all to see.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful Day 25

Today I'm thankful for Black Friday Shopping.....ONLINE. I didn't have to worry about crowds, parking, people spraying me with pepper spray in order to get what they wanted (yes that actually happened at a Walmart in LA). I got some great gifts for the hubs! About noon or so went out grabbed lunch and went to the Yankee Candle store.... buy 2 get 2 free. AWESOME! I got two Christmas candles and I let my hubby pick 2 he liked too!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Day 24

Today I'm thankful, today I am just thankful. I am just blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Day 22 and Day 23

Day 22:

Today I am thankful for Greek food. Being Greek we never had a typical Holiday meal. When we were little my mom would ask us what we wanted for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter dinner. We would always say "Turkey and Greek food". I love the stuff. This will be my first thanksgiving in 31 years that I haven't had Greek Food for Thanksgiving. Makes my heart sad, so tomorrow I am going to find a Greek restaurant and have Greek food the day before Thanksgiving... not the same but it will have to do.

Day 23:

OK I hit save yesterday instead of publish so you get a twofer today.

Today I am thankful for the funniness that is my Dog Pudge. Today I was watching Youtube on my Apple TV and all of a sudden a radio talent from AZ pops on the screen and starts to sing and Pudge jumps on the bed and starts barking at him! SO FUNNY! So I turned it off and every time Pudge walked passed the TV he'd pause and growl in a low tone. SILLY GUY!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful Day 21

Today I'm thankful for having things to look forward too. Big things, small things, it doesn't matter.

List of things I'm looking forward to:

*Subbing in my little cousin's classroom tomorrow
*Peppermint Cocoa mix from Williams Sonoma (must get on Saturday)
*Holiday baking
*Wrapping Christmas gifts
*Finishing up Christmas gifts for 8 special little cousins.
*Starbucks Peppermint Mochas

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful Day 20

Today I am thankful for my cousins, The C family. They took time out of their trip back home to make a detour to see me! I haven't seen them in a year so I was so excited, and overjoyed to get the chance today. The kids are growing and I got to meet baby J for the first time today. He was so full of smiles and happy to be around new friends. We chatted a bit, played a lot and had some BBQ for dinner.

Today (and everyday) C Family I am thankful for you. Thank you for bringing so much love and joy into my life. I will always remember the special times we share!

Our traditional Greek Girl Photo. Ever since M was a baby, we've taken a photo together, Me, my cousin D, her daughter M, and D's mother. We're missing a member of our photo, but I am thankful we got to take a picture. We have only missed one year of photo taking, when M was 3yrs old.

I bought M a rainbow ribbon to twirl around! She loved it.

I bought S and Baby J each a ball and when it bounces it lights up.

Baby J and his ball! He loved sitting with me and making them light up. Such a sweet happy baby boy!

Baby J and I!

The kids played and ate and got PJs on. Just before they left, I gave each child a Snuggle Monster that I had made (sorry no picture). So happy they like them!

Thank you again C family for making the journey to come see me. I love and miss you guys!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful Day 19

Today I'm thankful I got to spend some fun time with Sammy at the park today. We walked the creek, and laid in the sun! I am so blessed to have this little furry friend in my life. Happy Birthday (yesterday) Sammy.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful Day 18

Today I'm thankful for the birthday boy, Sammy. We rescued him from the Monterey County Animal Shelter in 2008 and we are so blessed to have him in our lives. Sammy is the sweetest, most loving and friendly dog you could ask for. Everywhere we take him, Sammy is always making a friend. Sammy is such a great dog, and is always there when you need a little pick me up. Happy Birthday my Sammy Boy, I love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Day 17

Today I'm thankful for Yankee Candles and the memories they have helped to create. Each candle sent I love hold a special memory for me. There is a candles my mom would burn every year at Christmas and each time a smell it now, it takes me back to Christmas at my parent's house as a child. So today I'm thankful for not only Yankee Candles, but the memories they have helped me hold onto over the years.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful Day 16

Today I'm thankful for the fact that I get to see my cousin Deme and her family on Sunday. I haven't seen her for about 1 year or so. They live in New Mexico and I've gotten a chance to see them once a year when they'd come to CA to visit Deme's mom. Last year we missed our visit, so I am REALLY thankful we'll get to spend a little time this weekend.

Can wait to see you guys!

Home Depot Christmas Tree Project

Ok check out thise SUPER COOL Christmas Tree that Home Depot came up with made completely out of string and bulbs. It's so pretty, and clever.

Want to learn how to do it yourself, here's the link

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls

Ok, here is the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls, yet another find off of Pinterest!


1 1/2 C pretzels
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips *(I used milk chocolate)

~Crush pretzels into small bits -*I put them in a plastic baggie, wrapped it in a towel and crushed it with the back of a measuring cup).
~In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all ingredients are completely blended and smooth.
~Add pretzel bits to peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly.

~Add powdered sugar and, again, mix thoroughly.

~Prepare a chilling tray--a dinner plate covered with waxed paper works well.
~Take about a teaspoon of the peanut butter pretzel mixture and roll it into a ball. I used a spoon to scoop and help me shape the ball (keeping one hand clean). If the peanut butter starts sticking to your fingers, your fingers are too warm. Run your fingers under cold water for a minute to chill them, and begin rolling again.

~Place the peanut butter balls onto the pan. When you have rolled all the balls, place the entire plate into the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
~After the peanut butter balls have chilled, prepare your chocolate. Pour the chocolate chips into a small microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. If needed, microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again. Continue until the chips are completely melted, which means they stir easily into smooth, fluid chocolate with no lumps.
~Place one peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate and gently roll it around with a fork until completely coated. Remove from the bowl with the fork and place back on the waxed paper plate. Repeat for all other balls.
_Once all the peanut butter balls are coated in chocolate, return the plate to the refrigerator and chill another 30 minutes.

~Then enjoy!

Thankful Day 15

Today I am thankful for being loved by my students past and present (the ones I sub for). I really don't think they know how much they can effect our day. Really, I could be having the best day and have one of them tell me "You're the best teacher ever" and just boost my happy day even further. I could also be having an awful day because of personal reasons or school related ones and I hear "I appreciate you", "I am so glad you're hear today", maybe it's a hug or a sweet little note that can just make the gloomy clouds over my head vanish. So thank you out there to all my students, the ones that are in college now all the way down to the ones I spent time with on Monday. Thank you, I am so thankful for you all!

Since all of my other notes/pictures etc. are packed away with my classroom stuff here are two notes I got yesterday from a very special first grader.

SOUND+SLEEP Adaptive Sound Therapy System Giveaway


Ever have trouble getting to sleep, maybe you're like me and have recently move and miss the sounds of where you once lived, or you just had a baby and all the middle of the night feedings are making it hard to get in what little sleep you need, or you work long hard days and need something to help you unwind while you fall asleep, well the SOUND+SLEEP Adaptive Sound Therapy System would be GREAT for you. Click the link below to enter to win!

Go over to Natalie's Sentiments and

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful Day 14

Today I am thankful for my little cousin"-in-law" ( I guess is the correct term) Mia and thankful that I got to be her substitute teacher today, her birthday! I have had Mia and her WONDERFUL parents in my life ever since we moved here to Texas (and I guess before too on Facebook, but in person is so much better) and I am so happy to have them as apart of my family.

Mia is the sweetest little 7 year old I know. I enjoy her smiles, her silliness, her chats with me at recesses and her hugs. Her parents are just as wonderful and I can see why Mia is turning out to be one terrific young lady.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LITTLE FRIEND MIA. Today (and everyday) I am thankful for you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful Day 13

Today I'm thankful for having a job subbing. It's not the job I want, but right now it's as close as I can get to having my own classroom once again. I enjoy working with children so very much and I love that no matter how old they get, no matter what road they take, I've an effect on them, I've touched their lives, I've helped them to become what they will be, and what they are today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful Day 12

Today I am thankful for Christmas photos. We took our photos today. Now since I was not only part of the photo, but also the photographer, we decided to just do the hubs and I, and add photos of the dogs to go along with ours. It worked out great! I'm just trying to figure out how to get the card I've designed to be 6 X 7.5 so that I can get them printed at Costco!

No photo today because our Christmas Cards are going to be a cute surprise.


Wether you are a teacher or a parent, we know how it can be hard to get our kiddos motivated when it comes to learning. You can't have paper and pencil activities all the time, especially when it comes to math. Sometimes you need to get out of your seat, sit on the floor and play a game, a game that doesn't feel like learning!

I was lucky enough to get a chance to review a great game dealing with addition and subtraction too! The game is called Take-Out!
It's a dice game that is "Fast to learn, and Fun to Play".

Here's how you play.

~Each player starts out with 50 points. Your goal is to not get up to 150
~You roll the red (they are really orange but the directions say red) dice that show the actual numbers on them.
~Then you roll the two white dice.
~Add up the numbers you rolled on the white dice.
~Look at the red dice and remove two dice that add up to the number on the white dice. (Example: If I rolled a total of 8 on the
white dice I need to find to red dice that add up to 8 like a 5 and a 3 or a 6 and a 2).
*You can only take one one combination of numbers (so only one set of numbers that equal your total).

~Then the player continues to roll the white dice and remove that total of red dice until you can no longer remove any red dice or you have used up all your red dice.

~If you have no red dice left YAY for you. Subtract 10 points from the 50 you start with. If you do have red dice left over. You need to add up the red dice and add it to your total.

Then it's the next players turn. You keep going until someone either reaches zero points and wins or someone reaches 150 points and loses.

It's pretty simple to play. I think this game would be GREAT for second graders (7 and 8 year olds). The box does say 8+ though. In second grade we work on adding and subtracting two digit numbers as well as single digit numbers. So this is a perfect game for that.

The game is for 2+ players, however I think that you could very well play against yourself and have fun too! I wouldn't play with more that 3 players however. Kids are engaged when it's their turn but not so much when it isn't their turn. So if you are playing with someone who takes a while to add or subtract the other players can lose interest until it's their turn.

This game is great for adults too! My husband and I enjoyed playing it. Tonight I tested this out with some second graders and they loved it as well as the fourth graders that played after. I would use this game in my classroom. In fact I think I'll buy a few so more students can enjoy the game at the same time!

Want to get Take-Out for your classroom or your kids? Check out the website. You'll find this game as well as plenty of others. Christmas is coming, these would make amazing gifts too! The gift of knowledge and learning...and having fun along the way... priceless.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Starbucks Happiness

So on my way home today I decided to stop and get the hubs an iced tea from Starbucks and ordered a Tall Peppermint Mocha Frap for myself. Well I get to the window, pay, grab the tea and then grab a MASSIVE Peppermint Mocha Frap. The woman at the window said the guy just decided to make me a big one. So thank you Starbucks man, I appreciate it! YUM!

Thankful Day 11

Today I am thankful for the men and women who have served/are serving our country. You are the reason we have what we have and can do what we do. I am so very grateful to you all and everything you have done, are doing and will continue to do in the future!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Day 10

Today, I am thankful for my cousins! Growing up we didn't have much of a relationship at all. Living 2 hours and 30 minutes away, our parents never got us together more than once a year. Growing up I wanted nothing more than to have a relationship with them, and it just never happened. Over the past few years my cousins and I reconnected online and over the last year we really started doing things together. It has been amazing. I love them and their kids and really cherished the moments we spent together before I moved out of state. One of my cousin's lives in NM, and I hadn't been able to visit with her as much and waited for the days they'd come out to CA to visit her mom. They would always give me a call so I could come and hang out. Those were special times and I feel so blessed to have been thought of. Even though we're far apart, I do hope and pray that the relationship we have built with each other will continue to grow.

Today, I am thankful for you, Juli, Chrissy, Deme and Benny (and all of your little kiddos as well). Love you guys!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful Day 9

Today I am thankful for thoughtful friends and surprises in the mail. Today, with emailing, facebooking, text messaging, it seems like the art of letter writing has been lost. I know we are all busy, and have families, jobs, chores and a pack of wolves on our heels, but it's always nice to take 5 minutes to just sit and write a letter to someone who's been on your mind. It makes you feel good and it makes that special someone feel good too.

I love writing and receiving "snail mail" and here's why:

1. It's feels so great to know that someone in your life took the time to sit down and actually write you a letter, totally focusing on what they want to say to you.

2. I love picking out some cute stationary/card (or making my own) with that person in mind that I want to write to.

3. I get so excited when I open the mail box and I see an envelope in there addressed to me that isn't a bill or junk mail.

4. It makes me feel appreciated and thought of I know someone took time out of their busy life to sit for a few minutes and think about me.

So today I am thankful for Snail Mail and the thoughtful friends who still love to send it to me. Thanks pals!

Here's a card I made to send to a friend when I take the time to sit down and write here a little note tonight!

Reindeer Munchies

I got a free recipe booklet from Land-o-Lakes Butter and thought it would be super cute to make with/for kids!

5 cups sweetened corn & oat
honeycomb-shaped cereal
2 cups thin pretzel sticks,
broken in half
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES®
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter*
1 (11.5-ounce) package (1 1/2 cups)
milk chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup red and green candy-coated
milk chocolate pieces
Ice cream cones, if desire

Preparation time: 25 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes | Yield: 12 cups
Reindeer Munchies
Let the kids measure the ingredients and shake the bags for
a sweet snack. santa and the elves will gobble it up!
Combine cereal and pretzels in large bowl; set aside.
Place butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100%
power) for 45 seconds; stir. Continue microwaving until butter and chocolate are melted (15 to 45 seconds). Stir
until smooth.
Immediately pour chocolate mixture over cereal in bowl; stir until well coated. Spread mixture evenly into single layer
on 2 waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes to set.
Break into bite-sized pieces; divide mixture between two large resealable plastic food bags. Pour 1/2 cup powdered
sugar into each bag; seal bags. Shake bags until mixture is well coated. Place 1/2 cup chocolate pieces in each
bag; seal bags. Carefully shake to distribute chocolate pieces.
To serve, spoon mixture into ice cream cones, if desired. Store mixture in resealable plastic food bags or container
with tight-fitting lid in refrigerator up to 4 weeks.
*Substitute almond butter or hazelnut-chocolate spread.
TIP: Add more powdered sugar after storage, if needed.
TIP: For longer storage, freeze in container with tight-fitting lid or resealable plastic freezer bags up to 2 months

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

mini pumpkin pie croissants

I split this recipe because I only had one tube of crescent rolls, but here is the full recipe I got from Pinterest.

Yeilds: 32


2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls

1/2 block of cream cheese
1 cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 T sugar

4 T sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice


Roll out the rolls pull apart and cut each triangle in half length wise.

Mix filling ingredients together until smooth and fluffy.

Place filling on each triangle

Roll em up

Mix together dipping ingredients.
Roll each crescent in the dipping mix.

Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375* for 15-18 minutes.

and that's it. SIMPLE and good. These are not meant to be super sweet.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Thankful Day 8

Today I am thankful for my very dear friend Hetal and her family. They have been such a big part of my life for the past few years. They have almost taken me in and made me a little part of their family. Hetal is a good friend and she will always give you her honest opinion, no matter what. She always helps me to see "the other side of the coin" to make sure I'm making the right choices when I need her advice. She's fun loving, thoughtful, and really one of those friends you always wish you had. Her little son Z, is amazing. He brings, like his mom, so much joy to my life. Just hearing him say my name Sacey (Which has now graduated to Stacey...sniff,sniff) makes my heart smile, so much so, that his mom's ring tone on my phone is him singing happy birthday to me!

Thank you Hetal for your friendship and everything you have done for me. I am thankful for you (and little Z too).

Blog Frog

If you haven't, go check out Blog Frog! It's a great way to find blogs you may be interested in reading, and to help others find you! There are great communities to join based on your interests! Check it out!

Something Yummy this way comes

On the recipe roll for today: mini pumpkin pie croissants.

This will be my first time making them (like most things I post) so we shall see how they turn out. Official blog post and recipe to follow. Here's a photo I snagged from Pinterest as a little teaser for you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful Day 7

Today, I'm thankful for family. Through thick and thin family is important, family is always there, and family always forgives. I love my family.

Today's seems short and sweet, but family doesn't have to be complicated.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful Day 6

Today I am thankful for the cooler weather. It's been all kinds of CRAZY HOT out here, but just recently it's been cooling down and I am OH SO GRATEFUL for that. Where I'm from in California 75 degrees is getting warm..... so this cool weather has allowed me to to feel a little more at home!

Thankful Day 5

Edit: So I guess I clicked save instead of publish, HA! Ok so here's day 5.

Today I am thank for my dogs. Being here in Texas with no friends and no one to hang out with has been difficult and lonely at times. It is VERY challenging for someone like me to go from constantly hanging out with some amazing people, to then hanging out with just myself. My dogs have made this process easier, by being a constant form of entertainment!

Meet Sam and Pudge (the yellow lab).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful Day 4

Today I am thankful for little ones. I am so grateful, to have been blessed with the gift to work with children. They enrich my life so much and I learn so much from them each and every day I am lucky enough to spend time with them. I love all the hugs, challenges (some more than others) and heartfelt moments we've shared.So to all the little ones who have ever come into my life, the sweet and the not so sweet ones, thank you, thank you for being you and being such a blessing in my life.

Just a few of the kiddos I'm grateful for:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Day 3

Today I am thankful for Brendon's parents for letting us stay with them here in Texas until I can get a full time teaching job. It's been such a relief to know we don't have to stress out about a place to live! Thank you for opening your home to us (and our two pups).

Christmas Shopping

Ok, so I know we haven't even hit Thanksgiving and Halloween just past, but if you are like me you like to get your Christmas shopping done early. Well, The Crafty Nest Blog is having a giveaway for a super awesome prize that would make a great gift if your loved one has an iphone, by Uncommon. You send Uncommon your image and they create a phone case with that image on it. Want to see an actual one follow the link to see what one actually looks like and to enter for your chance to win, win win!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful Day 2

Nov. 2nd

Today I am thankful for my friend, Amanda M. We met through out job and right as she was hired by my former principal, the boss herself came to find me and told me, we just hired our 4th grade teacher. Her name is Amanda and I think the two of you would get along great! And boy if she wasn't right. We are two snowballs from the same wrapper. She has been an amazing friend. We can act stupid and silly and not worry about embarrassing each other. We can have serious "life talks" and go on random trips and no matter where we are or what we talk about we are ALWAYS laughing at some point. When I moved to Texas this Summer, Amanda decided she wanted to Road Trip it in the car with me as we drove from California. That's a true friend to sit in a car with you for 2 and a half days. She made a VERY HARD experience one thousand times easier.

Thank you Amanda for your continued friendship. I am so thankful and blessed that God has put you in my life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


November is the month where were really sit and think about what we are thankful for. I encourage you to write down, blog, facebook, tweet, one thing you are thankful for everyday.

Nov. 1st:

I am Thankful to have a husband who loves me very much!