August 8, 2009

Shower/Wedding Alphabet Details

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:06 pm by Dory

I am a teacher, and because of that, I love alphabet touches. My initials were always important to me (DMT), and I love my new ones (DTD). When I saw these featured on Martha Stewart, I knew I had to include them here. Maybe I’ll be able to use some of these in the future:

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“Homespun white cupcakes are crowned with fondant hearts cut with a cookie cutter and imprinted with the bride and groom’s first initials using a new rubber stamp. Those bearing a B are paired with napkins marked with an H, and vice versa.”

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“Letters found in vintage books or print shops can inspire beautiful cakes. If you find a monogram you’d like to use as a cake decoration, you can transfer the design from paper to a rolled fondant-covered tier.”

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“To create these special cookies, monograms can be made by cutting dough into letters or twisting ropes of it into shapes. An initial could also be crafted in contrasting dough, or piped onto still-wet icing.”

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Prior to arriving, the guests at this shower came up with words to describe the bride. They were used to decorate these cookies.

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Mmmmmm… truffles!

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I love how the little candies are shown off in coffee cups. Also, notice that the little jelly candies have pictures sticking out of each of them. The “R” cookies are adorable!

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“Make an impression on guests by adding eye-catching detail to basic cookies with ordinary rubber stamps, which come in a wide range of designs, or ceramic cookie stamps. Since rubber stamps can be custom ordered, create your own, like our monogram. To yield the best results, use the stamps on cookie dough containing no leaveners, such as shortbread.

Tools for the Task: Rubber and Ceramic Stamps
Use inexpensive ready-made rubber stamps with graphic patterns (polka-dot stamp by Outline, stripe stamp by Hero Arts). Or order a custom rubber stamp; ours from Wax-Works has the monogram recessed, so the letters will be raised on the cookie. Ceramic cookie stamps, such as the bird cookie stamp by Rycraft, come in many pretty motifs.”

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“Powdered cocoa forms a monogram on these stenciled chocolate cakes.”

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“The monograms on these French patisserie-style charlottes, or molded sponge cakes, consist of piped chocolate batter baked into almond-flavored cake.”

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“Silk flowers spell out a couple’s initials on a silk faille banner. Start with a 30-by-40-inch piece of fabric. Hem sides; sew 1-inch casing at top and bottom; insert 1/2-inch dowels. Hot-glue silk blossom to banner; hang with ribbon.”

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“A chic pearl monogram tied with a satin bow hangs from a sconce. To make, string pearl beads onto 16-gauge wire; make loops at ends and shape into a letter 20 inches tall. Secure junctions with finer wire.”

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“Personalize the entrance to the shower in an instant with store-bought wooden initials.”

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One of my favorite gifts (which we didn’t register for) was a monogrammed kitchen towel.

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The typical shower ribbon bouquet has an added touch with hanging letters.

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“As everyone arrived at the party, they stacked their gifts marked with their assigned letter. As it grows, the present pile spells out the guest of honor’s name. “

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“Cards written by guests are bound into an accordion-fold book.”

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“The bride stands with a banner made of rosemary, which stands for remembrance.”

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“Name tags for the favors — ranunculuses in espresso cups — are tied to Italian nougats, which are traditional wedding candies.”

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“A clip-art letter can be scanned into your computer, or you can use a letter from its word-processing program. Make the letter or name a detail in the envelope of your shower invitation. A single repeated letter or the bride-to-be’s name is a treat for the invitees when they open the envelope.”

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“To fashion these monogrammed labels, print on adhesive or regular paper and cut out with a 3-inch circle punch.”

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“Give a glimpse of the favors inside with monogram-punched boxes. They make an impression and won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Boxes, B.T. Eelements. Alphabet punch set, Quilling Superstore. Cellophane bags, U.S. Box. Jelly beans, Jelly Belly. Ribbon, Tinsel Trading Company, 212-730-1030.”

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I think the most thoughtful gift I got from one of my students after my wedding was a set of notecards with my new last name. How wonderful would it be to give this to a bride at her shower?

Thanks, Martha, for your amazing ideas!

March 1, 2009

Free Fonts

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 5:24 pm by Dory

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with finding a bunch of different fonts. It started with trying to find D’Nealian fonts for my classroom, so I could make my own handwriting practice sheets for my classroom, and it ended with me adding about 15 different fonts.

I thought it would be helpful to make a list of the websites I used:

Out of all the websites, I love DaFont the best. They have such a variety of different fonts, and their site is so easy to maneuver.

Another one of those sites that you’ll really want to check out is Fonts for Peas website. Amanda is incredible! She actually turns your handwriting (and doodles) into a font! She has very detailed directions, and you can bet that as soon as I have access to a scanner, I will be sending her my handwriting sample.

Directions for Windows:

Once you’ve decided which font you want to use, download it and open the file. On the toolbar, you will need to click on “Extract All.” After the file is extracted, it will be in the font format you need.

Then, go to the windows bar, open the Control Panel, and click on Fonts. After the Font window is open, you will just need to copy and paste the downloaded (and extracted) file to the File window.

February 26, 2009

Things-I-Love Thursdays: Dr. Seuss

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 5:42 pm by Dory

What elementary school teacher doesn’t love the man who can rhyme just about anything? Actually, what person doesn’t love him. He’s a staple in any child’s bookshelf, and there’s always the argument over picking one’s favorite book of his.

So why do I pick now to profess my love? Well, March 2nd is his 105th birthday, and in my 2nd grade classroom, we are starting a Dr. Seuss unit. In honor of the man who wrote such classics as “Hop on Pop,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and (of course) “The Cat and the Hat,” here is some little-known trivia about the genious of a writer:

  • He was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904, and died on September 24, 1991.
  • He wrote his verse in anapestic tetrameter.
  • He never had any children of his own.
  • His first children’s book, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” (1937), was rejected by over 20 publishers.
  • Seuss (his mother’s maiden name) is pronounced to rhyme with “voice.” Not with “loose” as it commonly is.
  • He supposedly wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” on a bet with His publisher, Bennett Cerf to write a book with only 50 words in writing a book.
  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
  • “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
  • “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”

So do you remember you childhood? Are you ready to pull out your old Dr. Seuss books and get lost in his tongue twisters and made-up words? In order to facilitate, a list of his books follow. AND, Sam’s Club is currently having a sale: 2 books for just over $11.

As Dr. Seuss:

  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937)
  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (1938)
  • The King’s Stilts (1939)
  • The Seven Lady Godivas (1940)
  • Horton Hatches the Egg (1940)
  • McElligot’s Pool (Caldecott Honor Book, 1947)
  • Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose (1948)
  • Bartholomew and the Oobleck (Caldecott Honor Book, 1949)
  • If I Ran the Zoo (Caldecott Honor Book, 1950)
  • Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953)
  • Horton Hears a Who! (1954)
  • On Beyond Zebra! (1955)
  • If I Ran the Circus (1956)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957)
  • The Cat in the Hat (1957)
  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (1958)
  • Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories (1958)
  • Happy Birthday to You! (1959)
  • Green Eggs and Ham (1960)
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960)
  • The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961)
  • Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book (1962)
  • Dr. Seuss’s ABC (1963)
  • Hop on Pop (1963)
  • Fox in Socks (1965)
  • I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew (1965)
  • The Cat in the Hat Song Book (1967)
  • The Foot Book (1968)
  • I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories (1969)
  • My Book about ME (Illustrated by Roy McKie, 1970)
  • I Can Draw It Myself (1970)
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?: Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises! (1970)
  • The Lorax (1971)
  • Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! (1972)
  • Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (1973)
  • The Shape of Me and Other Stuff (1973)
  • There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! (1974)
  • Great Day for Up! (Illustrated by Quentin Blake, 1974)
  • Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (1975)
  • The Cat’s Quizzer (1976)
  • I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! (1978)
  • Oh Say Can You Say? (1979)
  • Hunches in Bunches (1982)
  • The Butter Battle Book (1984)
  • You’re Only Old Once! : A Book for Obsolete Children (1986)
  • I Am NOT Going to Get Up Today! (Illustrated by James Stevenson, 1987)
  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (1990)
  • Daisy-Head Mayzie (Posthumous, 1995)
  • My Many Colored Days (Posthumous, illustrated by Steve Johnson with Lou Fancher, 1996)
  • Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (Posthumous, from notes, with Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith, 1998)
  • Gerald McBoing-Boing (Posthumous, based on story and film, 2000)

As Theo. LeSieg (for books he wrote but did not illustrate):

  • Ten Apples Up on Top! (Illustrated by Roy McKie, 1961)
  • I Wish That I Had Duck Feet (Illustrated by B Tobey, 1965)
  • Come over to My House (Illustrated by Richard Erdoes, 1966)
  • The Eye Book (Illustrated by Joe Mathieu/Roy McKie, 1968)
  • I Can Write (Illustrated by Roy McKie, 1971)
  • In a People House (Illustrated by Roy McKie, 1972)
  • Wacky Wednesday (Illustrated by George Booth, 1974)
  • The Many Mice of Mr. Brice (Illustrated by Roy McKie, 1974)
  • Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog? (Illustrated by Roy McKie, 1975)
  • Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him! (Illustrated by Charles E. Martin, 1976)
  • Please Try to Remember the First of Octember! (Illustrated by Art Cummings, 1977)
  • Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should Be a Vet! (Illustrated by Michael J. Smollin, 1981)
  • The Tooth Book (Illustrated by Joe Mathieu/Roy McKie, 1989)

As Rosetta Stone:

  • Because a Little Bug Went Ka-choo! (Illustrated by Michael Frith, 1975)

February 24, 2009

At Home Spa

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:29 am by Dory

Since partying has never been my thing, it would make no sense to have a wild bachelorette party. So it was definitely perfect planning to have my bachelorette party be a bit of adventure and a bit relaxation. We will start the fun by doing a high ropes course, and then we’ll head back to my house and have an at-home spa, complete with manicures, facials and chick flicks.

In order to have a very personalized (and cheap) experience, we are having home-made facials. Here are the recipes I have found:

Soothing Yogurt Face Mask (All Skin Types)

  • Mix 1 tbsp natural yogurt (room temperature) and 1 tsp runny honey (from microwave)
  • Apply to face, let stand for 15 minutes
  • Wash face with steaming washcloth
  • For Dry Skin: extra tsp. honey
  • For Oily Skin: few drops of fresh lime juice

Natural Skin Brightener from India (All Skin Types)

  • Mix tbsp turmeric powder and 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Leave on for 5-10 minutes, then rinse off

Homemade Cat Litter Mask (All Skin Types)

  • Mix a couple tbsps of 100% natural clay litter and a few drops of essential oil
  • Leave on for 15 minutes
  • Wash off

Rose Face Mask (Combination Skin)

  • Soak 6 fresh rose petals, then crush in a bowl
  • Add 2 tbsps of rosewater, 1 tbsp natural yogurt (room temperature), 1 tbsp runny honey (from microwave)
  • Mix and apply to skin
  • Leave on for 10 minutes
  • Wash off

Avocado Face Mask (Dry Skin)

  • Mash 1/2 avocado
  • Stir in 1/4 cup honey
  • Apply to skin, leave for 10 minutes
  • Rinse with cool water

Natural Exfoliation

  • Mix brown sugar and olive oil
  • When turns to a paste, massage onto skin
  • For Chapped Lips: add honey

Or you can go through this full beauty treatment, from the Washington Post:

Cleanse:

  • Mix 1-2 tbsp whole milk and several drops of olive oil (Milk removes dirt and makeup, Olive oil is exceptional moisturizer)
  • Warm the cleanser by working between palms
  • Massage mixture into skin with circular movements (to stimulate circulation)
  • Remove with warm water, splashing upwards

Exfoliate:

  • Mix 1/2 cup dry oatmeal, 3 tbsp almond oil, 1 tbsp finely ground sea salt (or cornmeal for more sensitive skin) and 1/4 tsp fresh mint with warm water to form a paste
  • Dampen skin and use gentle circular movements to apply paste
  • Avoid eye area
  • Rinse
  • Repeat only 1-2 times a month
  • Don’t exfoliate if skin is irritated or broken out

Tone:

  • Mix 1 part witch hazel with 2 parts rose or orange-blossom water
  • Use 100% cotton pads to sweep the solution across face and neck
  • Use of Toner: refreshes skin, removes residue, creates a base coat for moisturizer
  • Use of Witch Hazel: antiseptic to combat blemishes without causing skin to become dry and flaky
  • Use of Rose Water: stimulates circulation
  • Use of Orange-Blossom Water: helps balance skin’s pH

Steam:

  • Boil 1 quart distilled water
  • Remove pot from heat and set on protected surface
  • Apply light layer of almond or sesame oil to face (acts as a buffer to protect from heat)
  • Bend over steam, hold towel over head to catch the steam
  • Stay for 5 minutes, then pat dry
  • Use of Steam: opens pores, primes the skin for deep cleaning

Mask:

  • Use one of the masks above

Massage:

  • Massage a lotion into skin
  • Pay particular attention to cheeks, mouth, forehead, around eyes
  • Blot excess with a tissue

February 19, 2009

Things-I-Love Thursdays: Dyson

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 6:45 pm by Dory

When the commercials first came out, I thought the Dyson vacuum cleaners were SO cool. Then I went to the store and saw the price. At that point, I thought $100 was a lot for a vacuum.

Fast forward a few years, and the carpets are covered in cat hair from our long-hair cat and the Bissel has just died. Now what to do?

Being the careful consumer I am, I did all kinds of research on the DC14 and DC17 Animals, and they looked pretty good. Most everyone loved them, and I was pretty impressed. But the price was still getting to me.

Finally yesterday I was disgusted with the mess, went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and to try out the models they had: DC25, DC14, and DC 17 Animal. I found out, however, that I couldn’t get past the DC25- it was light-weight, the ball technology was amazingly easy to maneuver, and it really sucked (and in the good way). But I still hadn’t heard much about the DC25, so I went home to do some research.

So today after work, I went back the BB&B with my 20% off coupon in hand (I actually had a bunch of them), and bought the $500 machine for $400. Don’t you love saving $100!!!???!!!

Yes, it was a lot of money, but I’ve never been this excited to do some housework. And it even works on the hardwood floors: you just have to turn off the brush button.

I’m SOOO ready to have the house get dirtier, so I can vacuum again!