Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Unexpected Day Away From School!

A water main behind the school needs repair....no water for us!
Better yet....NO SCHOOL for us!

And they are letting us work from home!

I am spending the day cleaning....my laptop files....my iPhoto library....my over loaded school email inbox!

I am updating the resources on the school website Park Spanish Immersion!
If you are interested in learning about what happens at an immersion school, or are looking for some great links to educational resources....check it out!
I am also planning some fun "Media Literacy" lessons for the week.....using Super Bowl advertising to help kids deconstruct media messages!
Helping children become media savvy is such an important thing for all adults to think about!
This is a great link that sort of explains what that is all about!

Here is kind of a fun activity that you might try with your kids:
I found it on a blog called ASIDE which focuses on teaching kids through media!
See if your kids or you for that matter can identify the logos on these images.

I would love to hear how many your kids know.
I find it amazing that even really little kids "read" these logos so well!

Sorry this was such a "teachery" kind of post.....but it IS  a work day for me after all!

Now I am off to the book store to buy copies of the winners of this year's Caldecott and Newberry prize!

What a great job I have.....I NEED to shop for, buy and read wonderful books!

Link Parties

Monday, January 30, 2012

Use What I've Got #7-Velcro Bedskirt Tutorial

We updated the bedding in the MB in September.
It was a great deal at HomeGoods!
I LOVE Homegoods!
I love the comforter and the pillows....and so does "Dave"!
But the bed skirt that came in the "Bed in a Bag" was pretty cheap looking...

 The fabric was too lightweight....and for whatever reason....it just would not stay put!
The fabric that is supposed to stay between the mattress and the box spring was always hanging over and the skirt itself kept dragging on the floor!

Don't you just HATE when that happens....(like this is something to really stress about in the big scheme of things)
But since I can't cure cancer or stamp out world poverty....
I will have to be satisfied with the fact that I cured bed skirt droop!

My solution....Velcro.....and it is almost No-Sew!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Taking Some ME Time!

I guess when you work in a school surrounded by germs....
it is bound to get you once in a while...

I have the crud....not bad....but bad enough!

And I really hate it when this happens on the weekend!

So here is the plan!
I am going to "use what I've got" and take some ME time!

A nice warm bath with the Easy Moisturizing Bath Soak....is bound to help!


My trusty Kindle is loaded with some great books....
Here is the post about how to make that cute Kindle Cover!

Our county library now lets you check out Kindle books!

The librarian in me really didn't like having to actually buy books....now I can "go to the library" in my jammies!

I am reading a new book by Gail Godwin.....
"Unfinished Desires"...
If you don't know this author...she is fabulous and has many wonderful titles.

Then I am turning on the fire....

Curling up under my Cozy "Fur" Throw.....
With the comfy pillow made from a sweater....

A little tea and honey....

Some crackers and a little chicken soup!

 Hope it works....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Library Chairs-Update and Funny Story

The tally on the Media Center Chairs 
12 done.....
7 to go.....

I LOVE the way the finished chairs look....
I HATE that there are 7 to go....

One of the things about Sweetwater Style that you might not know....I sometimes lose my focus on jobs that go on and on and on.....
Case in point....the lower level woodwork painting that I started in June....I still have 2 windows and 2 baseboards to finish....
But since finishing these chairs is sort of public....I WILL finish!
But now for the FUNNY story!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Use What I've Got #4-RIbbon Organization

It's time for another "Use What I've Got Challenge"

I've GOT these pants hangers...had them for years....
I have tried to use them for hanging pants....but they leave creases on the pants...yuck!
I tried using them to hang scarves....but that didn't work.....
I tried hanging my belts on them...that didn't work for me either!
I probably should have thrown them away....but I didn't....

 Now.... I know why I kept them....
Wait 'til you see this awesome solution for organizing ribbon!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Elegant, Inexpensive Quinceañera Celebration

Before I started working in the Spanish Immersion School...I had NO idea what a Quinceañera was....but now happily I do....
And a couple of weeks ago a friend and I had the opportunity to help a lovely young woman and her mom decorate for this important occasion.

Quinceañera (lit. meaning One (f.) who is fifteen), sometimes called "Fiesta de quince años", "Fiesta de Quinceañera", "Quince años" or simply "quince", is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday!

 Come along and see how we transformed the church fellowship hall into an elegant party venue....
on a budget of course....!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Goodwill Scores!

So I KNOW I am supposed to be "Using what I Have"!

Mr. S. was out hunting for fish under the ice this weekend.....
What's a woman to do?
Go Gathering of course....and I scored big time at Goodwill yesterday!

By the time my daughter and I checked out.....our cart was full!
Wait 'til you see what we found!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Another Book List-For Martin Luther King Day

Like many of you, this is a three day weekend for me because Monday is Martin Luther King Day!
Who doesn't like an extra vacation day?
In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have put together a list of some wonderful Children's books to read with your kids.

These books are a great way for you to start "Courageous Conversations" about the struggle in our nation surrounding Civil Rights!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Silver Polishing Tips and Resources

Several people commented on my post about my thrift store silver, asking me what my favorite silver polish is....

It seems that many of you out there love your own thrift store silver as much as I love mine....but hate polishing it.....ME TOO!

I have learned not to stress too much about the tarnish on the items on the display shelves....hey they are vintage after all...and a little tarnish is kind of charming....right?
Still....when it is time to get the glitz on or use the silver for an event....
I need to polish...and polish I do!

 My standby polish is Wright's Silver Cream from Weiman Products.  You can get it at the grocery store or at Amazon.
It comes with a nice little sponge applicator and it doesn't have that awful sulphur smell that a lot of polishes have.

I usually get the sponge a little wet to make it easier to use....it is fast and does a great job!

Some pieces I find at the thrift store are virtually BLACK with tarnish!

When that is the case....I start with Tarn-X Tarnish Remover....
Warning....get out the nose plugs and send your family away!
This stuff really stinks.....odor wise....but it works like magic!

Another warning....I get the feeling that if you use this too much you will actually take the silver plate off the item!

And.....it leaves a sort of golden tint to the silver...so you need to finish with the silver polish for that soft silver glow that we love so much!

Another quick tip....If you have a silver item with lots of black tarnish "pitting" and nothing seems to work....

Try a solution of Bar Keeper's Friend and water on a cloth...
It has enough abrasive quality to get rid of the "pits" and polish as well....
BUT...if you rub too hard there is a danger of scratching the piece.

Still....it is a great "quick fix"!

I don't worry too much about this because my stuff is NOT an heirloom but is from the thrift store and cost less than some plastic tray from Target!!!

I decided to do what any good librarian would do when faced with a question....
Here are some things I found:

This site has some recipes for homemade silver polish.  I am definitely going to try these!
Interesting info here!

 Good Housekeeping recommendations are never too far wrong!  Glad to see that the polish I use made their list!

Happy Polishing....
Let us know if you try any of the homemade polishing ideas....
or comment with your favorite polishing tricks...

Have a Bright and Shiny Day!

Take a look at the Thrifty Goodwill Silver Post
Linky Parties

Someday Crafts 
French Country Cottage 
Potpourri Friday 
Happy Hour Projects 
Stuff and Nonsense 
Fingerprints on the Fridge 
It's a Hodgepodge Life 
Six Sister's Stuff

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Use What I've Got Challenge #4- Goodwill Silver

What I've Got!

a lot of old silver plate that I have collected from thrift stores!
It lives on the shelves in our dining room....tarnishing away!

It seems that a lot of people get rid of silver plate....probably because it needs polishing!
My suggestion to you....
When you see it.....
Buy it!

Because I have it....
I use it.....
Over and Over and Over....Come see!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mad For Plaid



  1. Checkered or tartan twilled cloth, typically made of wool.
  2. Any cloth with a tartan pattern.
However you define it....I Love It!

these designers have made fortunes using plaid for clothing and home decor!

Why?  Because plaid always works!
Well.....almost always!
Read on to see some more plaid madness!

Monday, January 2, 2012

What I Used Up #3-In the Kitchen!

Happy New Year!
Most of the Holiday Decorations are back in the closet!
It feels good to have clean, uncluttered surfaces!
It seems like we have been entertaining ever since Thanksgiving!
Maybe it seems that way because.... we HAVE!

The shelves, refrigerator and freezer are filled with all the leftovers from all those parties.
Add to that the hostess and "teacher" gifts.....and we have lots to USE UP in the kitchen!
That brings me to "WHAT I USED UP #3".....and a recipe for the best darn garlic toast EVER!

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