Friday, January 27, 2012

Royal Cathay Collection- Native American Dolls


My little Native American Babies. They are so cute, they happen to be some of my favorites in my doll collection! I picked them up from the local hardware store in Zimmerman several years ago. Their value is somewhere around $30.00/ doll.

My Very Dear Companion: Sherry

As I celebrate my 27th Birthday this week, it is finally time for me to post about my most prized possession, my dolly girl, Sherry. She happens to share my share my exact birthday, as I received her on January 26th 1985. Apparently she was made in 1984 but I guess she really wasn't born until she was given to me as a gift from my mothers friend on the day of my birth.

Since that very day Sherry has accompanied me on endless trips to Grandma and Grandpa's, to birthday parties, show and tell, basketball games, even on a road trip to Montana, she finally came with me to college in Bemidji and St. Cloud, today she lives in the big city, sleeping quietly in "the doll room" on Pecks Woods Turn most nights.

She is my very most favorite possession and she is the one thing I would grab if my house was on fire and I could only pick one item. I plan to someday give her to my daughter if I am able to have one. Last year, I was able to score another 1984 Vintage Betsy Wetsy in mint condition on EBay! I was so excited! Now I have one for my collection, and of course the original, to be played with by the children!

Sherry is made by IDEAL in 1984, her actually name is Betsy Wetsy...And she is actually pretty important in history. Betsy Wetsy was one of the first major dolls to be produced in black versions. My estimated value is $75.00 for Betsy in Mint Condition and somewhere between $40-50 for my Sherry.

Betsy Wetsy was one of the most popular drink and wet dolls of the Baby Boom era, originally issued by the Ideal Toy Company of New York in 1935. Named for the daughter of Abraham Katz, the head of the company, the doll's special feature was urinating after a fluid was poured into her open mouth. The doll was made in several sizes in the 1940s and saw a spike in popularity in the 1950s. Betsy Wetsy was produced with either molded hair, wigs, brown, blond, or red plugged hair. A layette, baby bottle, a plastic bath tub, and other accessories were available.
Effanbee had previously manufactured a similar doll, "Dy-Dee," and a patent infringement suit resulted. The judge ruled that drinking and urinating are natural movements and cannot be patented.
A made-in-China version was issued in the late 1980s by Ideal to boost sales, but the doll never reached the success of the original.
In 2003, the Toy Industry Association named Betsy Wetsy to its Century of Toys List, a roll call commemorating the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century.

                                                         My Baby Sherry!

                                             My Mint Condition Betsy Wetsy

                                                            Both Babies

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Family Board

I made this family board for the little one to learn the names, faces, and sign language for each of his family members. He loves being able to find his cousins, and pull off the pictures off of the board. I took it to office max and had it laminated and each one has Velcro on so that they easily pull off and stick back on. We pull this board out whenever he is going to see some family members so that he practices their names and recognizes their faces. It works great!

October Love...

 These are some cute pumpkins that I have made with little ones using hand prints. It is so much easier to do with infants and toddlers rather then carving pumpkins.

Below are three different hand print decorations for spiders, ghosts and pumpkins. Just paint the palm for a pumpkin, whole hand for a ghost, and everything besides the thumb for the spiders! They are super cute and easy for kids to do! However, every time I do an art project that is more structured (hand prints in certain places) I always make sure to offer free paint after so the kids can get out their creativity!

In the fall we are so busy going to the pumpkin patch, the apple orchard, and enjoying the outdoors that it gets to be overwhelming! I always try to remember to bring my camera, and slow down whenever possible! Also, after we finish an activity I always try to take the time to talk about what we learned or make a bulletin board for the kids play room or bedroom of their recent activities. It really seems to help kids place a feeling or memory with learning activities.

 These photos are from my Halloween party with my preschool class. Above each of the kids used a plastic serving glove and filled it with a party mix/chex mix mixture along with some candy corns in each of the fingers for the finger nails. The kids loved having these snack filled gloves to take home! Also, we made a kiddie party punch bowl and to keep it cold we made an ice ring inside of a bundt pan and froze some gummy worms in there for some extra spooky decorations!

In the picture below we had a table filled with all kinds of sprinkles, light colored orange and purple frosting, and sweets and treats so that each child could decorate their own cookie at the party. I always think that having some sort of craft or activity at any birthday/holiday celebrations makes the time fly by for both the children and adults!


After some consideration I decided to post some of my teaching adventures and projects! I have been teaching children for many years in all kinds of environments and continue to enjoy teaching on a daily basis. Over the years, I have accumulated quite the collection of ideas, books, and teaching supplies. I love teaching children of all ages- with a variety of different tools. Teaching a student isn't just pen and paper, it is imagination, art, movement, exposure, song, books, and it is love. One of my all time favorite quotes is, "A teacher never knows where their influence ends." So under my teaching category on my blog I will share books, art projects, skill building activities, and teaching tools. I hope that you enjoy! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cake Batter Truffles

 I had to make my own to see if delicous treats were as good as they looked!
 My husband thinks they are even better! They were so simple to make, and best of all they are no-bake!
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 Tablespoons sprinkles

Truffle Coating:
  • 16 ounces (8 squares) almond bark (or white candy melts)
  • 4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix
  • sprinkles

Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Blend in vanilla. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.

While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, quickly stir in cake mix until incorporated completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished. {Note: for smoother looking truffles, don't add cake mix to melted chocolate, just leave it by itself}

Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Boneless chicken breasts, thawed and chopped.
Shredded veggies, I bought the broccoli slaw mix.
Fresh mushrooms.
Iceberg lettuce.
Pinto beans.
Soy Sauce
Minced garlic (from the jar)
Brown Sugar
Olive Oil

In a large skillet on the stove top start by cooking chicken until pink is gone, add veggies, mushrooms, and pinto beans if desired. Stir in a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, garlic, and olive oil. Add a couple pinches of brown sugar.

Cook on stove top until heated through. Wash iceberg lettuce and cut into medium size wrap pieces. Fill lettuce with chicken, veggies, mushrooms, and pinto beans. The wraps are wonderful with a slightly sweet Oriental taste. We loved them and will definitely be having them again!

Dream A Little Dream of Me...

Why, oh why, cant my life be like the songs that turn me inside out? Why, wasn't my day spent
walking arm in arm with my love through the park? Why werent we listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong sing heavenly jazz? Why didnt he pull me in close and whisper the sweet nothings I want to hear right on my bare neck?  Why havent these old gym clothes turned into sexy night lounge wear, why are these chap lips not glossed over with shades of bright red? I have most definitely grown up in the wrong generation....

A sweet photo of my Grandparents...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Brighton Charms

   A Charming gift from my husband...
Josh bought me a charm bracelet for Valentines Day, last year from Brighton. I loved it so much that this year I asked for a necklace to wear my charms on... and once again Josh came through! He bought me a special necklace and a snow globe charm. I added on some of my charms from my bracelet and I am simply in love with this meaningful necklace. I love my newest charm which is a bible that really opens with readable verses inside. And of course my all time favorite charms are my engagement ring and horse and carriage ride charms because they remind me of the happiest day of my life, my wedding to my amazing husband.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

...Baby Button Gift....

I love to make a little handmade gift for new babies. Next week, I have our good friends Jeff and Steph's baby shower. I was inspired by vintage buttons of little boy blue colors, mixed with rich browns, which we have learned will be the colors of the little ones room. I started out my venture thinking I would make a frame, but as I found different materials my project quickly turned into baby's night light. I used a thick glass cube to attach my vintage buttons onto, it had a half dollar size hole in the bottom,  making it the perfect size for me to slip in a 4 watt blue bulb for baby. My hope is that this will match babies room perfectly- and it will look wonderful lighting up is room just enough for midnight feedings.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

 Happy New Year! We welcome 2012 with open arms! So excited about this wonderful year of change! May the Lord bless us with health, babies, prosperity, wisdom, love, and friendship!


Too much apple pie for Todd!

American Girl Salon and Spa

When my niece Valeria came to Minnesota last week we were able to take her to the Mall of America so that she could go to the American Girl Salon. It was amazing! Her doll, Rebecca Ruben, was in need of some salon style treatment! At the American Girl store they have a full service salon.

You can get the following done:
Have trained stylists brush, braid, and twist to create a fabulous new look for your doll. They comb your dolls hair, and can give your doll a little extra sparkle! You can get doll ear piercing, there or let her have the Spa Deluxe package which gives her a facial scrub to get her clean. And to keep her feeling relaxed, they send her home with a pampering set featuring cucumber stickers for her eyes, nail decals, flip-flops, a salon cape, and a faux face mask. Its so cute! I would highly recommend taking any little doll lovers there. I thought it would also be a cute place for a birthday party with a couple friends who have AG dolls.