Monday, November 18, 2013

90 calorie homemade peppermint brownies

Ok, so I may of fudged a bit they were actual like 92.444 calories and then I sprinkled a little organic powdered sugar on top. :) Never the less yummy! It makes a really light and fluffy brownie. Now, you could cut this into as many slice as you like. I chose to have a good size brownie so I did 9 slices. So an 8 x 8 pan is about 832 calories total.

I haven't really posted recipes since I started my clean eating journey. No particular reason I guess I just didn't realize how little I was focusing on the "chicken" side of my blog. :)

I used the ingredients I already had in my pantry. This was a quick and easy dessert I whipped up on a whim after dinner. Now the clean eating world how this whole "eat clean train dirty" or "you don't have to count calories because your eating whole foods" thought process well....one year and 10 lbs later I'm here to tell ya that's a damn lie! I personally am not a big work out person. I go through whims when I feel the need to run but it soon fades. I'd much rather prefer to count calories or points.

Anywho, so I decided I was going to try and post more recipes. But I wanted to share some clean eating recipes that are low calorie too. With out further a do....

Peppermint Brownies

1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder(coco powder will work)
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder(regular will work too)
1/4 cup organic unbleached flour(all-purpose flour will work)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar(brown sugar will work)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
DoTERRA Peppermint oil
*optional organic powder sugar

My husband is always nagging about "the mess" I make in the kitchen. So when I made this I used a few dishes as possible.

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. oil an 8 x8 pan and set aside ( I cheated and used coconut oil spray from Trader Joes)

3. Mix together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs and vanilla until well blended. Gently mix in your cacao, baking powder, and flour. Last, add in a drop of peppermint oil. It is almost impossible to get one drop so tilt it slowly. :) I pretty much wasted a drop b/c I DID NOT want more than one drop b/c that stuff is strong.

4. Bake for 14 mins, set out, and let it cool.

Now even if you make the non clean ingredient version the calorie count shouldn't really change. I know coconut sugar actually has 1 extra calorie per serving than regular sugar.

**optional** sprinkle about a teaspoon of organic powder sugar over the brownies

Enjoy :)
Look at that huge piece of deliciousness for just 93 calories :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Parade



Hello my sweets! To say it's been a while is an understatement. I've just been busy playing mom. Oh AND I switched grades AGAIN. I know I'm crazy, but this time wasn't really an option. They didn't need as many teachers in fourth grade this year. Ya know the golden rule: last one in is first one out. So I'm teaching 5th grade ELA and SS this year. So I get to join the slave to STAAR club. If you don't know what STAAR is lucky you. :)

Anywho, one of my favorite things about playing mom is cooking with my little princess. That girl loves to cook. It's actually my new favorite sentence from her, "I cook wit mama", love her!  She cooks it all. I've even been brave enough to let her help with the meat. I just can't turn my back b/c she thinks she has to taste everything I pull out.



It looks like she was praying here, it's a possibility.
Well last weekend I did my once a month crazy cooking sessions. I cook tons of things to prep for her school lunches and weekday breakfast. I came across this recipe and decided to clean it up a little. It was AMAZINGLY delicious and I decided this should be the post to get me back in the blogging world, mainly b/c my friend Amber was helping to host the pumpkin parade and I told her I would link up. (check out her Fashion Fridays LOVE them)  Enough with the jabber, on to the deliciousness.

Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Muffin

First thing first preheat your oven to 350

Gather your ingredients

Muffins

1 1/2 cups of organic unbleached flour
1tsp baking powder (I use Rumford Aluminum Free)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda ( I use Bob's Red Mill, just seems to blend better)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
15oz organic canned pure pumpkin
1 1/4 cups of sugar (see why I said cleaned it up a little)
1/3 cup safflower oil
2 eggs from your neighbors backyard

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup of organic unbleached flour
1/3 coconut sugar (you can use brown)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's unsalted dry roasted pecan pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp. soften butter

You will need 3 bowls. One for your dry ingredients, one for your wet ingredients, and one for your topping. First, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pie spice, baking soda, and salt. In the second bowl mix the can of pumpkin, sugar, safflower oil, and eggs. I guess you could use any type of oil or melted butter. But that's what I had in the pantry so that's what I used. Combine your dry and wet ingredients and set aside.

In a smaller bowl combine all the ingredients for the topping. I just pinched the butter off into little pieces and then mixed it all together until it was crumbly. I used my fingers and gently squeezed and smushed until it was crumbly. Yep, those are legit baking terms right there.

Lightly grease your muffin tins. I filled each tin up with mix and left a little room for the topping. I got 12 muffins. Plop them in the oven and let them bake for about 20 mins. (If your in a good mood be a good wife and wash dishes while you wait). You can stick a fork in the middle to double check. When you take them out they will continue to cook a little while the pan is hot. My muffins were nice and plump. Most of all amazingly delicious and moist.

I would love to tell you they were low cal but that's just not the truth. But they are worth every bite. I plan to play around with it and try some applesauce and banana to reduce the calories. However, they are just perfect for a little princess that is not counting calories.




I'll be sharing this post on WillsCasa. Check out her pumpkin post pretty nifty and gave me an idea. Princess is working on the color green and rectangles at school. I'm thinking of spray painting pumpkins pink, cutting rectangles out of those cheapy sponges, and letting her dip them in green paint to put on the pumpkins. But we aren't heading to the farm until next Saturday so that will have to wait for now. :) I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we did. They are even better warm!


I'm also sharing here and here and here
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cooking with Toddlers




Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I started this little blog. 31 post, 6532 views, and 1 lone follower later I'm glad your reading! I am not worried about the lone follower. I am Queen of stalk your blog w/o following. :) Clearly people are reading from the stats. But thank you, thank you, and thank you some more for reading!

So, I've talked a lot in past months about my new natural lifestyle. I've been pretty honest with the one area of struggle being FOOD. I do really well at cooking clean but I still crave sweets. Yes, I know about Whole 30 and No I'm not interested. :)

Any who, part of my tot school schedule was to cook with princess on Thursdays. I find myself trying to duplicate a healthy version of crap food. I thought I would share some of the easy things princess and I have done together this summer.




Pineapple Freeze Pops



1 fresh pineapple diced
1 cup of coconut milk beverage
splash of vanilla
2 TBSP raw honey

Toss everything in the blender and pour into mold of your choice. This was super easy to do with Layla Grayce. She tossed in the pineapple and the milk and I did the rest. I ordered these molds off amazon.

Banana Fudge Pops

 
1 banana

1 can full fat coconut milk (comes in a can, look in the Asian aisle)
1/2 cup coco
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Toss it all in the blender and pour in molds of your choice. Are we seeing a pattern here? She literally just turned two a couple of weeks ago. So we are keeping it simple folks. :) I got these molds from Target but Dollar Tree had pretty much the exact same molds.

Breakfast smoothies


1 cup of strawberries
1 cup of ice
1/2 pomegranate juice
fresh lemon juice

Toss it all in the blender and then sip away. :) You could totally make this a frozen treat too!

Homemade cheese crackers

Now this recipe is not my own. I originally saw it here. It's pretty easy, flour, cheese, butter, pinch of salt. They were amazingly delicious. When I made the cheese mixture I could of just eaten it with a spoon. It reminded me of velveta. Could it be possible, a healthy, chemical free version of velveta.... Now, it would of been 1,000 times easier to just roll these into cylinder logs and slice. I actually tried this but it was way boring to princess to just put the crackers on the cookie sheet. So I started rolling the dough and pulled out the cookie cutters. We were working on circles this week, so she used a circle cookie cutter. Here is a picture of the dough once it was all mixed.

I hope you get your little tot in the kitchen and whip up some deliciousness!




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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Toddler Summer Schedule pt duex

***UPDATE- It was just brought to my attention that I forgot to set the lesson plan settings to share. It is now availabe to download. So Sorry!!***

So I made a quick snippet about my plans for little princess this summer. Well I'm just gonna be honest I've sucked at it. I've tried to stick to the daily activities but the Tot School section has been lacking. I mean we did it but I know I could of done better. For example to practice the colors I just had her pick up a certain color ball and throw it. Lazyness at it's finest. Then I saw this awesome link on pinterest. This amazing woman named Alison from Oopsey Daisy has created files called Mommy School. The documents are like 50+ pages and they are FREE, yes FREE. I know what you are thinking. Umm... your a teacher, can you not create your own lesson plans. And yes, yes, I can but frankly I do that 176 days of the year. AND... ya know the famous line about teachers: beg, borrow, and steal don't reinvent the wheel! So I thought this was perfect. I will just take some of these activities and plug them into what we are already doing. Before I knew it, I had a full blown dang lesson plan in front of me. When I was all done it was a WTF did you seriously just lesson plan your toddler. Well folks, yes, yes I did. I figured since I did it might as well share it. So w/o further ado here ya go! The unit is called Z is for Zoo. Stop by the creators blog and check out all her units. I simply just plugged them into what I already had planned. :)
A weeks worth of Z is for Zoo from Oopsy Daisy Combined w/my summer schedule. click here


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Friday, June 7, 2013

Summa Summa Summa time!

I'll keep this post short and sweet. Schools out, so that means mama and princess together 24/7. I already had visions of saying No and be a good girl a million times. So I'm trying to avoid that as much as I can by planning ahead and keeping her occupied and entertained. I wanted to share what I've planned with blog land. I hope it helps at least one mama out there.

A Summer with less No's  <----- click there

I'm sharing this idea here, here, and here.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Made it Monday

It's been a while since I've done a Made it Monday with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics. Actually, it's quit possible I did one last month but at this moment my brain is so dead I can't remember. We are still in school. Our last day with the kiddos is Thursday, teachers get out Friday, and I'm off on what I think is the first girls trip since my bachelorette on Saturday. I'm oober excited about that and it will give daddy and princess a full daddy/daughter date day :) It'll be a first for them and a first for me to leave them. Ok, ok, ok, enough with that now on to what I've been up to.

School Made it #1
This is actually from a little while back but I never shared it. We did a unit on The Mexican War. You know the one when the U.S. said hey Mexico let me buy some of your land and Mexico said uhh.. no! And the U.S. said fine we'll just kick your booties until you change your mind. You like my version of Texas history. ha ha  :) Well that and the fact we couldn't agree on the Texas/Mexico boundary. Any who we did a power point stop and jot of sorts covering the unit. After each topic I stopped and we would create one of the mini foldables for the lapboard. This probably took us 3 days. The kids really loved it. I think their favorite part was putting in their own words what caused the problem b/t the countries. The one above wrote, "This ain't yo land! This mine!" Some of my personal favorites were "You mad bro" or "Why y'all beefin" Ha this was hilarious purely b/c my kids are SO... PROPER. They tried really hard to come up with "slang" sayings for whatever reason. It was hilarious.

School Made it #2
This I didn't actually make myself. It actually came from Custom Kids D├ęcor. Don't let the name fool ya! Yes, they make things for teachers too. :) Actually, you can get one too! It only costs a whopping $20. Awesome, I know! I'm moving grades again next year and wanted a sign for outside my door. This year I didn't have anything and it was a little hard for the people in the school. New teacher w/o a label on her door, thought I would make it a little easier this year.
 
Home Made it #1
 
This little dilly is lemon and lavender infused raw and local honey. I've mentioned in previous post about transitioning to a natural life style. This allergy season we've got rid of daily Zyrtec and tried a mix of lemon, lavender, peppermint, and local honey. Your probably wondering why I keep saying local honey. Well.. if you take raw unprocessed local honey daily it can help you become immune to the the pollen in your area. At first we just added a few drops of the oils onto a spoon of honey. Well with an almost 2yr old that can get messy if she's not in the mood for "algee" as she calls it. So, by diffusing it the honey thins out and you can put it in a medicine dropper. I know, I know, pretty genius. You can thank me later. :)
 
 
Home Made it #2
 
Now, this is what has kept me BEYOND busy lately. This also goes along with my transitioning to natural lifestyle too. I've taken steps on moving towards and maintaining natural hair, we are trying to eat clean, I order local meet from a co-op, so what only seemed like the natural next step was getting rid of the extra chemicals we are putting on our body. I figure if I'm already making hair spray and moisturizer surely I can make some lotion and body wash. Well... lotion and body wash turned into a whole line of ideas to share with others. I've got my first round of products out to testers. After a couple of weeks I'll have them fill out a little survey, make changes, and then put it out to the free world. So say a prayer and wish me luck. Here's a little bit of my newest baby:
I know this picture isn't great. We took some shots w/our Rebel but this one is with my phone. But there she is :) My labor of love that's keeping me oober busy and my hubs feeling all neglected and stuff. :/ Just when I got this whole balancing my life thing figured out, I throw something else in the mix...
 
Made with the Hubs #1
 
I just had to add this picture of little princess. I was trying to take her picture, so I squatted to get on her level and she thought that was they way I wanted her to pose. So she squatted to and gave the cutest little cheese. :) Oh how I love this sweet baby. I can't believe she's almost two. Sometimes I get sad b/c I miss my little newborn that was small enough to fit in my lap. But then I realize that I should be grateful to God that we have been blessed with her this far. She is just so amazing and I love her more than my own life.
 
 
Well that's all I've got folks and thanks to Tara for hosting Made it Monday. Although, I'm posting on a Tuesday. :)
 





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Saturday, April 27, 2013

May's Menu



I know it's been a while since I've posted a monthly menu. Well I've been a little busy trying to figure out this whole clean eating thing. Trust me, some most of the recipes you could live with out. Finally, this month it hit me. Why am I making this so friggin hard! Think about what you would normally cook and search and scour the net for it in a clean version, ya idiot! So that's what I did. I'm really excited to share this clean menu with you. Keep in mind  you have to buy clean ingredients to make the meal clean. So keep the clean eating rules in mind as you shop. I've listed 12 dinners and 4 of breakfast, lunch, and snack. Oh, and how could I forget 2 ice cream recipes. Mr. Spouse has begged for ice cream the last two weeks. Now I will tell ya this, I am a lazy cook. I prep and cook breakfast and lunch for the entire week on Sunday nights. In other words, I eat the same breakfast and lunch all week long. It's not as bad as it sounds, give it a try. It takes a lot of the planning away and it makes the meal about nourishment not mmm what am I going to have today. I hope these recipes help you and perhaps start you on your clean eating journey!
 

I'm sharing these recipes with my fellow cooks at Six Sisters Stuff, I heart Naptime, I should be mopping the floor, and Skip to my lou.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Complete Idiots Guide to Clean Eating



I am the idiot I'm referring to in the title. I posted recently about life changes I wanted to make for my little family. The natural hair is coming along. I haven't put chemicals in my hair since Fall of 2012. Last month I tried to start the transition of moving towards clean eating. Well that was a big flop. Now mind you, I shop for groceries once a month. So even though we weren't loving the recipes I prepared it wasn't like we had much choice but to eat them. I decided that I still wanted our family to eat clean but I had to find a different recipe source. The website I used for April's menu was further over the cliff than I want to take my family. So I went back to researching and then I found this website (which a friend recommended in the first place but I forgot about it) and this website. Both these ladies focus on eating the same food your use to but with quality ingredients. These recipes are easy and tasty! Now, let me explain why we  I want our family to eat clean. It's for our health. I don't understand why we live in a society that makes me the weird one for not wanting to eat foods with ingredients I can't pronounce or have to Google the definition. If I buy a can of diced tomatoes shouldn't the ingredients just say tomato not that and five other things??? It's like we're poisoning our bodies with things that can lead to health problems. Why are we hurting ourselves so willingly? The biggest shocker to me was doughnuts and soda are BOTH in the top five cancer causing foods. I mean seriously, how many of us started getting doughnuts as a breakfast treat at least once a week before we even started Kindergarten. Now with all that said, here is what clean eating will look like for MY family.
Always
eat organic produce
Buy local beef grass fed, grass finished(it means they aren't giving them anything else to fattening them up before the butcher)
Buy local pasture raised chicken
Buy fish caught from the wild NOT raised on a fish farm
We basically want to make sure our meat isn't eating the things we are avoiding.
Get your diary from grass fed cows (princess can't have regular milk so we get almond)
Eat brown over white (whole wheat everything and brown rice) Brown still has all the nutrients you need. The more a food is processed the more nutrients we loose.

Sometimes

enjoy treats with white sugar and white flower(birthdays and other celebrations)
enjoy a meal out and make wise choices, avoid the meal that you know has Cream of Cancer Mushroom
For MY family I believe everything is fine in moderation.

Never

Eat fast food- seriously they make it so the stuff never goes bad, gross! I do want to clarify. I'm not saying that we will never eat another burger, taco, or premade pizza again. We for sure will, but instead of going the fast food route we will eat from a restaurant that actually makes the burgers, pizza, and tacos themselves. A few of my faves are Pailios, Chop House, and Mijos.

Deep fried food

Buy prepackaged food that has an ingredient list of more than 5 things.

So I took my new found recipes and headed to Trader Joe's for the month of April. I don't think they get very many once a month shoppers there. The carts are on the tiny side.You will be glad to know we've only had one meal that we could live without. :)

P.S.
I just want to end with this is what works for my family. And you have to find what works for you. For instance some people eat clean and still drink like a fish. Hey if that's what works for you go for it. Me, I L-O-V-E Laffy Taffy. I often joke that it is my crack and I can't/won't ever give it up. So, even now knowing everything I know I will still indulge in some good 'ol Laffy Taffy.


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Teaching Your Toddler to Do Chores

I often have people tell me how smart little princess is, how independent, and her school always says that she is such a good helper and teacher to the other kids. A lot of the time I totally buy into this. I mean it's bad manners to turn down a compliment right??? But, I do get a reality check when we hang out with one particular friend. He is 5wks older than little princess. Man, that little guy is smart as a whip! His mom said she gets the same comments about his intelligence. She also agrees that seeing little princess helps her see it could possibly be normal. Thank goodness we have each other to keep us grounded. ha! :)  That got me thinking. Is princess "smart" or does she just have more experiences? Let's call the little boy prince. Little prince does not watch a lick of TV. His mom doesn't even turn it on until he goes to bed. She also stays off the computer and chances are if you text you won't hear back from her for a while. I know that she is totally devoted to her little family so I don't expect a response right away. Little princess sees some TV. I do turn it on when we get home. However, she does actually watch it and will request Barney in the evenings. I was letting her watch it a lot! We watched it on DVR and Youtube! I thought it was super cute that she asked to watch it and then would sign and ask "again please". But, we are doing a Barney intervention b/c mama can't handle that much Barney. I'm trying to do it only right before bed on weekdays.
I promise all of this has to do with chores. I started thinking she does the things she does and knows the things she knows because of modeling. She's usually right next to me while I work. I don't sit her in front of the tv. She's with me and I talk through what I'm doing using simple vocabulary. After a while she caught on and now she loves to help.

Doing the Dishes
If we are unloading the dishwasher the first I think I do is take out the knives. If we are loading the dishwasher I save the knives for last. She can't really help with loading the dishwasher but she thinks she's helping. Usually, she just rearranges all the utensils and moves them from the center basket to the end basket. In the beginning I had to be clear to watch her. I mean she's a 1yr old. She wanted to lick every utensil. I made a point of saying ooh yucky, that's nasty. That's really helped keep down on the licking. Now, the part that she can help with in loading is added soap and starting the dishwasher. We use the little packets. She gets one out of the pack, puts in the the compartment, closes it, closes the dishwasher, and pushes the green button to start it up. When we are unloading she hands me the dishes to put away. Now, I know what your thinking. You probably wondering if it takes me twice as long to do the dishes. Yes, it takes a little longer but I feel like we are teaching her a life skill and getting her in the habit of contributing to the family. All of this took time. She didn't just start doing it all in one day. We just built on one day at a time until she had all the vocab down and completely understood what we were saying.






Wiping Things Down
This began after Christmas. One of Mr.Spouses clients gave her a little Toy Story table w/two little chairs. I let her eat meals there. I always wiped it down after each meal. Well, one day she had a fit and wanted to wipe too. I handed her a wipe and SHE WENT TO TOWN. I thought alright cool! Now,  I really had to watch her in the beginning. B/c a one year old can't tell the difference b/t a Clorox wipe and a baby wipe. Now she wipes her table, the cabinets, and spills from the floor. She started wiping the cabinets when I discovered after a day home with daddy various parts of my house and her face had a lovely new blue crayon decoration. I will admit, sometimes I think she spills her little coconut milk on the floor on purpose just to clean it up.






Another of her favorite chores is taking out the trash. I use to let her take out the kitchen trash. She would drag it from the kitchen to the garage. Occasionally that would leave streaks and created a mess of it's own. So now she "helps" me carry it out. I do let her take out the bathroom trash all on her own because it's light enough. We also have her put her own put her trash in the trash on her own. Ya know diapers, snack packs, tissue, all that great stuff.


Another chore she helps with that I could not get a picture of is the laundry. She has two jobs with the laundry. She helps move it from the washer to the dryer. She can do this alone except if there are jeans. Those are heavy for her when wet. Once the clothes are dry I let her hand me a hanger as needed. Of course she wants to try and fold the clothes but I'll have to pass on help with that for now. :)

I hope this post can help someone. Remember, it's not about how smart your kiddo is or their ability to do something. I think at this point it's about what you expose them to and the experiences you give.

I'm sharing this with other moms at I Can Teach My Child.
P.S.
Sorry if you are seeing a random pin it button, could not get that to work out :/




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Monday, March 4, 2013

Biography Scrapbook Projects



Alright, I think it's time for a crayon post! We just finished the CUTEST project. Just in case you don't remember I teach Texas History. We just finished a unit on the Texas Revolution.  Ya know the Alamo and all that jazz. I kinda found this part of our history ironic. We agreed to move to "Mexico", learn their language and practice their religion. Then we get here and are like nah this whole Spanish Catholic thing isn't really working out for me. Can you please change your laws? No, well ok guess we're gonna fight. If today's immigrants tried that with current Texans how well do you think that would go??? Anywho.. back to the projects. I originally wanted to have the kiddos create a Facebook page. I searched and searched and searched and found nothing to my liking. So then, I kept thinking and thinking and thinking. BAM scrapbook popped in my head. I did a Google search. I found this and used it as my foundation. I work with 4th graders so I made my instructions a bit more detailed. I told them exactly what to put on the cover page and pages 1-4. They came out oober doober cute. I'll go through the page requirements with you.

Cover Page- Texas Hero Name, Student's Name, Social Studies Block, and Homeroom
 
Page 1: Timeline of your hero's life
 
I love how she made out foldable for her timeline.
 
Page 2: Create a written correspondence pretending that you are your hero writing to a loved one during the revolution.
 
 
Page 3: Pretend that you went back in time and interviewed your hero about the Revolution. You have to ask at least 4 questions.
 


I love how he made it like a real newspaper artifact!
 
 
Page 4: Character Traits- create a bubble map with a picture of your hero in the center. You need at least 4 traits to describe your hero.
 
 
I gave the students the option to create extra pages if they wanted. I told them sky is the limit whatever they would like to do. This little girl had twice as many pages as she needed. My favorite was the family tree. It was very creative.
 
I didn't require them to actually buy a real scrapbook. The Sam Houston project used a real book. The Davy Crockett project used scrapbook paper, hole punched it, and added 2 metal rings to bind it all. I was TRUELY amazed with these projects. This was a take home end of unit project. If needed a provided 5 pieces of plain card stock and 2 metal rings. The kids did such a great job. If I had time I could easily show you another 90 books as examples. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to scrapbook!
 
I plan to share this idea with other teachers at Fourth Grade Frolics.
 

 
 

 


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