Recent Posts by Tera Bare

Dipped Rice Krispies Treats

Want to get fancy with your rice krispies treats?  Try this easy how to…

Emily and I made these for my great-niece’s first birthday party.  They were a huge hit, especially with the adults; because we’re all just kids at heart!  They are so much fun to make and go great for any occasion, holiday, or any day.  Not to mention, they’re super quick to make.  Maybe I’ll make some today!

Start with any rice krispy treat recipe that you like.  I prefer the original recipe here.  You need a semi-thick recipe because if it’s too soft, it won’t maintain it’s shape, and if it’s too dense then it’s just really hard to eat.  That’s why I prefer the original recipe; it’s the perfect consistency.  Feel free to use your favorite, just remember you may need to cut back on the butter a bit if it’s too soft.

Once treats have cooled, flip out onto a cutting board and using a cookie cutter, cut into your favorite shape.  I just did squares using a chef’s knife.  Be creative and have fun!

Melt chocolate for dipping.  Any chocolate will work.  I used Wilton’s Candy Melts in pink and purple.  Follow the directions on the package for melting the chocolate or candy melts.

Dip treats into chocolate!  That’s it!  Place on wax paper to dry.  Unless that’s as much decorating as you want, or you want to add sprinkles now, then do so while it’s still tacky so they’ll stick!  But if you want to add more color keep reading!

Next comes the decorating part!  We melted purple and used a spoon to drizzle it on the treats.  You can be really creative here and use multiple colors or add sprinkles, chocolate chips or candies.  Really anything your heart desires, so have fun and get the kids involved!

Need some more inspiration?  Check out these links below:

Spring Rice Krispie Pops from Glorious Treats

Birthday Cake Rice Krispie Treats from Celebrating Sweets

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats from Dreaming in DIY

Rice Krispie Treat Hearts from Intimate Weddings

First birthday Rice Krispie Treats from Pretty My Party

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Get a Head Start on Homeschool Supplies!

Wanna get great homeschool products, curriculum and even online classes at great prices?  You have to go to CurrClick’s Summer Sale!

You can get my products, and tons of other publishers, including my new Daily Homeschool Life 2017-2018 planner at 30% off!  Just click the picture below to view the main sale.

I must disclose that I’m an affiliate and publisher on CurrClick, but more than that, I have bought and used products from other publishers in my own homeschool.  They are quality products at amazing prices.  You have to check them out!

To go to my publisher page just click here!CurrClick Summer Sale

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If you are a homeschooler and you haven’t used CurrClick yet, what are you waiting for?

Disclaimer:  I am an affiliate of CurrClick and I am publisher.

But more than that, I am a mom that has used CurrClick for years.  They offer great homeschool products and online classes at amazing prices.  You have to check them out!  Starting June 5th – 12th, they are having a huge 30% off Summer Sale.  Tons of publishers, including yours truly, Creative Girl Publishing, will have their products on sale.  This is a great time to get what you need for summer classes, or next school year.  Go check them out!

New Homeschool Planner Designs Coming Soon!

I’m so excited! New homeschool planner designs are coming your way soon…

It’s going to get really busy around here, at least around my desk.  I’ve got all these amazing design ideas for new homeschool planners and accessories.  I can’t wait to get started!  I’m even going to be revamping my older planners so that they will no longer be year specific and you can use them from year to year.

I’m also going to be giving my books major upgrades.  I’m really into crisp, clean and minimalist.  But that doesn’t mean they won’t be pretty!  Of course, they will pretty and girly.

Stay tuned!  I’ve got to get to work!Blog Signature

 

 

The Fitness Journey Begins…Again

Fitness is a journey, it doesn’t magically happen no matter how much we wish for it.  It takes work and I’m starting my fitness journey again.

I’m starting all over with my fitness journey.  I have a goal and it’s simple, well sort of.  We are going to the beach in September, and I want to be able to be in a bathing suit and be comfortable with myself.  I also want to lose 50 pounds.  So I’m going to use my blog to help me hold myself accountable.  Don’t worry, I’m not posting pictures of me in bathing suit or workout clothes any time soon, if ever.  Not sure I’d ever be comfortable with that.  But, maybe some pictures in regular clothes as I journey down the road.

Here’s how I’ve done so far.  I started back in March, with simple things like:  drinking water and not reaching for the sweet tea all day.  I started saving sweet tea for meals.  I’m also trying really hard to cut back on soda.  I’ve enlisted the help of my daughter, Emily, to remind me when we’re out to drink water instead of grabbing a soda.  So, when we’re standing in a checkout line and we’re thirsty, she grabs me a water.  I still drink sweet tea, or soda at restaurants, for now.  I’m a Southern girl after all, and I can’t just go cold turkey!

Next, I’ve started trying to make better food choices when I can, as much as I can.  At home, this is pretty easy, but it’s not always easy when we’re out.  Sometimes a salad at a restaurant can be worse than an actual meal.  I’m learning what the healthy options are at the restaurants we frequent, or at least I’m trying to.  I try to stay around 300-400 calories per meal and try to keep the fat grams for each meal under 14.  Having the app My Fitness Pal helps so much!  The main problem I have at home is hearing, “not chicken again!”.

I have started working out, or at least trying to.  I found out that my knees, don’t appreciate workouts anymore. I started trying to work out three weeks ago, doing some light cardio and my knees hurt so badly and wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do, that I couldn’t do any of the workout.  I couldn’t even do a lunge without feeling extreme pulling and popping and pain.  I called my hubby crying, from pain and frustration.  The next phone call was to our orthopedist to get a visit.  After discussing some options,  we decided to try hydrocortisone shots to both knees.  OMG!  I thought I was going to die later that afternoon.  But, after a few days, everything started to settle down and I was able to begin walking.

I walked 2 miles with no swelling!  The pain from the shots will be so worth it, if I am able to begin working out and head off surgery for a bit.  We’ll see.  My follow-up is in June, here’s hoping!  In the meantime, my daughter and I found a great place to walk at the research park near our house.  It has color coded paths so you know exactly how many miles you’re walking, or riding your bike.  The area is so pretty and that helps with motivation.  Also seeing other people running, jogging, biking and walking helps.  I forgot how much I love walking.

The other thing I’m using for motivation is a free health coach through our insurance.  They’ve sent me some cool things to use to workout with, like stretchy bands and a workbook and some other stuff.  They also help me set goals and check in on me once a month.  It helps me with accountability and getting myself in gear knowing that I have to set a goal and answer to someone other than myself.

I also went out and bought some new workout shorts and tanks,  I didn’t realize it had been so long since I bought any that I honestly didn’t have anything to wear to workout in. Even most of my t-shirts had paint on them!  What did I do?  I took my Mother’s Day present from my hubby (he gave me cold, hard cash) and when shopping.  But it turned out to be a reward!  Just the little bit I’ve done has resulted in 5 pounds gone and never coming back!  I’m so excited!

Now to keep this up!  I’m actually starting to feel motivated and a little excited.  How about you?   Do you have any fitness goals that you are working on?  Share your tips and what you’re doing with me!

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Pretty in Pink First Birthday Party

A very simple and pretty in pink first birthday party that’s so sweet…

My great-niece turned one and my girls and I got the honor of decorating and baking for it.  I’m not supposed to be old enough to have great-nieces yet!  Where did the time go?  But she is so sweet and I think she liked what we did for her.  The best part?  The decorations are very simple and easy to do.

For a Pretty in Pink First Birthday for Hope, we made vanilla cupcakes and a vanilla smash cake with Rice Krispy treats.  The cupcakes in the shape of the one are so easy to do.  Start with a row of two cupcakes and go from there until you get the shape you want. We used one sheet of foam board with 24 cupcakes and we tinted buttercream with one drop of pink gel color.

Tip:  Ice the cupcakes when you have them in the shape you want.  We had to transport our cupcakes, and it just made it so much easier to assemble since they weren’t iced yet.  We used a huge open star icing tip.  It makes icing cupcakes so fast and you get just the right amount of icing.Pretty in Pink First Birthday

 

For the smash cake, I used a 6″ cake pan with really tall sides and baked two layers.  When they were cooled, I sliced the two layers each in half so that I had four layers.  I stacked each layer with buttercream between each and iced the cake as smooth as I could get it. It helps to crumb coat the cake first.  If you’re not sure what crumb coating is, it’s just putting a thin coat of icing on the cake and then refrigerating it till it gets good and cold.  It makes icing the cake so much easier and you don’t pick up crumbs from the cake!  I then used a shell tip for the border on top and bottom.  I think by the time we got to take pictures, some little fingers had been sampling the bottom border!  Didn’t even get a chance to put on tulle for the bottom of the cake.  Oh, well, it’s pretty anyway!   Then we just topped it off with large sprinkles.  Isn’t it cute!!

I made the “Hope is One” topper using my Cricut.  I made it 5″ tall by 5″ wide and I used Chopin Font.  Adjust the size of the topper to the size of your cake.  Since my cake was 6″ across I went with 5″ so the topper would fit nicely and not be bigger than the cake.

To make the topper you will need:

Poster board

Glitter cardstock (we used purple)

Clear glue

Tiny paintbrush

Cricut

Candy stick

First size and choose the font you like.  I learned the swirlier (Is that a word?  It is now!) the font, the more fragile it is to work with.  Cut out at least 3 from the poster board and 1 from the cardstock.  Use the clear glue applied with a tiny paintbrush to layer each of the cutouts ending with the glitter cardstock on top.  Allow each layer to dry a few minutes before adding the next layer.  Once everything is good and dry, use the same glue to attach the stick in the back.  That’s it!  Super easy!

For the sweet centerpieces I used the leftover tulle from the tutu to make pompoms and hot glued them to sticks.  I also used my  Cricut to cut out the 1’s and hot glued them to sticks also, using the same purple glitter cardstock.  We used a variety of glass jars; two different sized mason jars and one Starbucks glass jar.  They turned out so cute!

The My First Birthday keepsake I made using Canva.  I got the idea from Pinterest.  The monogrammed canvas with the flowers was made by my daughter Emily.  It is part of a gift for Hope.  She also made a beautiful floral chandelier/mobile for her.  I’ll link to it as soon as she gets her post ready.

Pretty in Pink First Birthday

 

To make the rice krispies, that my nephew Brandon, couldn’t stop eating click here.  They were so yummy!

Pretty in Pink First Birthday

Every princess needs a tutu!  This one is light and delicate.  I wish the colors would have shown up better, but we didn’t bring my daughter’s lighting kit to the party.  Not a good idea with little ones running around.  It was made with pink, green and lavender tulle and gold ribbon.  She loved it and couldn’t stop playing with it!  The best part is, when she’s ready for to wear it, all she has to do is adjust the ribbon and tie.  Princess perfection! For the DIY click here.

Pretty in Pink First Birthday

I couldn’t resist a picture of those sweet hands in her smash cake.  I think it might be my favorite picture.  First birthdays are so sweet and precious.  We wanted to make her’s just as sweet and delicate as she is.  Happy 1st birthday Hope!Blog Signature

 

Oil Cleansers

If you haven’t heard about oil cleansers yet, you will soon!  Here’s my experience trying one out…

I was scrolling through Pinterest one day and came about this pin, 6 Facial Oil Cleansers Dermatologists Swear By  as a new thing to try.  You should read it.  I gives great info about oil cleansers, what they are and the different types.  I took the bait and went to the article all about the new rage for cleaning your face.  I was so curious after reading the article that I actually went out for the sole purpose of buying an oil cleanser to try.  But what is an oil cleanser?  Well, for the most part, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  You are using an oil like, Camellia, Argan, Coconut and Grapeseed oil to clean your face.  They also have vitamins, fatty acids and the oils that can have anti-inflammatory properties.  Sounds weird right?

That’s what I thought at first, but then I remembered how during the winter, when my skin is screaming because it’s so dry, that I sometimes grab olive oil and dab it on; instant relief.  But how does it clean?  You would think it would be messy and greasy and leave a film on your skin.  I decided to try Simple’s Hydrating Cleansing Oil.  Their product is  free of tree nuts, which I have to avoid due to allergies and the price was great at $10 and it won a 2016 O-Award for Beauty.   Sounded like a good choice and I could just run to Walmart to get it.

Just to let you know, my skin is dry and I have a lot pink because of it.  I was even breaking out due to an allergy and it was overly irritated by the dryness. The first time I tried it, I didn’t have on any makeup.  It was really easy, just rub it on your face, then add a little water and lather and rinse off with warm water.  It was amazing!  My skin was so soft afterwards.  I even made my hubby touch my skin.  It felt soothed and soft.

I went to bed thinking that I would probably wake up feeling greasy and with a film on my face, but no, just soft skin.  I’ve been trying it for a few months now and there’s a nice difference in my skin.  It’s smoother, softer and more hydrated and the best part?  No greasy, oily residue.  I’ve used it to remove my makeup and honestly, it does a great job of removing even waterproof mascara.  The pink areas and the breakouts have toned down a good bit, too.  I give this product 5 stars!  You should definitely try it out. I love this stuff!  I’m definitely going to be using oil cleansers from now on.  There are tons of oil cleansers out there, find one with an oil that you like and try it and tell me what you think.Blog Signature

Smoked NC Style Barbeque

Think smoking meat is just for men?  No way!  Just wait till you try my recipe for smoked NC style barbeque…A Super Easy Smoked BBQ Recipe

Most of my growing up, all the grilling and smoking were down by the men of the family.  But something happened when I got married, somehow, some time, I started taking over the grilling at home.  My husband was the one who did it and I was terrified of the grill.  Then one day, I don’t remember when, he taught me how to start the darn thing and I fell in love with it.  So much so, I’ll grill in the snow, but hey, it’s NC and we all do it.  Then, all the men of my family started getting smokers and we were at their mercy if we wanted anything smoked and boy did we really want a smoker.

As it turns out, not only do I grill, but now so do both of my girls.  I’m so proud!  We love it!  Even during our lunch break when I homeschooled, it was nothing for us to turn on the grill and grill chicken for salads, or wraps.  Turkey burgers for lunch anyone?  That was us!  Then my husband showed up one day with a surprise, a smoker.  Talk about being terrified!  You wouldn’t believe how much research I did before I would even crank it on.  My oldest daughter and I finally dove in and I’m so glad we did.  Each time, it gets easier and we’re more comfortable.

I know how busy being a wife, mom, teacher, working mom, etc. can be and believe it or not, a smoker can help you out.  How?  It’s like a crock pot, prep the food, put the food in and you can kinda forget about it for most of the day.  You do want to be home when you use a smoker and you do need to tend to it during the smoking time, but it’s super easy.  You could easily do this while homeschooling, or a day that you are going to be home.  Then you have a fabulous meal with lots of leftovers that you can freeze.  It’s not as scary as it seems and if you don’t have a smoker, there are ways you can use the grill you already own as a smoker.   Today, I’m sharing the recipe we used yesterday and it was scrumptious!A Super Easy Smoked BBQ Recipe

Ingredients:

Bone-In Pork Butt (I used a 7lb for 5 people and I had nice leftovers to freeze)

Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Seasoning

Brown Sugar

Kosher Salt

Hickory Chips

Cherry Chips

Apple Cider

Apple Juice or water for the smoker

Tin Pan

Aluminum Foil

Directions:

The night or several hours before, in a large bowl or pan big enough to hold the butt, place the butt.  I like to take a steak knife and for lack of a better expression, stab it a few times on each side.  Then pour some apple cider vinegar over it on each side.  It doesn’t take much.  Then cover with the seasoning and sprinkle a generous amount of brown sugar and salt all over it.  It’s hard to use too much, the more the better.  Massage it in and make sure it’s coated.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in fridge overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Before you start smoking, in a medium sized bowl add about 2 cups each of the wood chips, covered with water.  Let them soak at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better.  This keeps them from burning up too fast in the smoker.

Start your smoker according to its directions and let it heat up.  Just like using a grill or oven, it needs to preheat to 250 degrees.  In the water pan, add water, or apple juice depending on the type of flavor you want in your meat.  I used plain water this time.  You will need to check this every couple of hours to make sure you don’t run out.  This helps to keep the meat from drying out.

Add a handful of chips.  I just left mine in the water all day and checked every hour, or so to see if it needed more.  Then you can add your butt!  Put it on the center rack, if yours has multiple racks.  I did not wrap mine in aluminum foil until it was down cooking.  I also use a wireless thermometer to keep a check on my meat temp.  If you use one, you can insert it now, but you don’t have to have one.   Close the door.

Check your temperature, it should be around 250 degrees.  You want to keep it between 225 – 300 the entire time you cook.  Do not worry about overcooking it.  The longer this cooks the better.  Plan on at least 8 hours of cooking time.  If you are using a thermometer, cook to an internal temperature of 145 – 150, but if you wait it out and get to around 195, you will be rewarded.  You can take it off before it hits 195, but it needs to be at least 145 degrees for safety.  You don’t want to get sick.

After you have hit your desired temp, take the butt off and wrap it in aluminum foil and place in one of those throw away tins and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, an hour is even better.  If you have cooler, you can even put it in there to rest and it will be heavenly.  After resting, remove the bone.  It should just pull out.  Then you can slice it, chop it or shred it like we do here in NC.

That’s it!  It’s not that hard.  Start cooking it in the morning and by evening you will have an incredible supper.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes.Blog Signature

Spring Flowers for Mom

As hard as it is to be without my mom, it is an honor to be able to make flowers for her.  Here is  how I made spring flowers for mom…

I have to say that it’s really crazy sometimes how an idea comes together.  Just like the idea for this particular spring flower arrangement.  I really didn’t have any design in mind when we went to the store; I just knew I was late getting this done.  I kept thinking white for some reason.  I met my stepdad at Hobby Lobby with my daughter Emily, and all he knew was that he really wanted some Easter lilies and some color.

We found some pretty Easter lilies and it just evolved from there.  One thing I’ve learned about design is to work with the inspiration.  He wanted white lilies, which are pretty bland, but they did have a little yellow way down in the center, so that’s what we worked with.  Next we found those huge peonies, which are supposed to be peach, but really don’t look peach at all.  They really looked like an off white, with a yellow tint and pink streaks.  They were so pretty and they looked gorgeous against the lilies!  Then we found the yellow daisy flowers that match and pretty pink sprigs.Mom's Flowers

 Materials:

1 bush of white lilies

2 bush of peony blooms deluxe

1 bush of yellow daisies

2 sprigs of pink mini flower bushes

1 1/2 inch ribbon

1/4 pink ribbon

6″ x 12″ green styrofoam floral rectangle

1 saddle for headstone

Glue gun & glue sticks

Green floral tape

Wire cutters

Directions:

This was a really simple design.  I started with the biggest flowers first and worked from the center out to the edges.  Cut stems with wire cutters to desired lengths; longer in the center and shorter as you move out.  Then add the large hot pink flowers in the center.

Fill in with the lilies.  Not all of these are sticking straight up.  The ones near the edges are put in at an angle.  Feel free to bend them to get the desired shape, or try different angles.  This goes for all of the flowers.  Fluff, bend and shape until you get the look you want.

Last, place the yellow and pink sprigs randomly.  If you have bare spots, fill in with any leaves you may have pulled off stems.  For the hot pink sprigs, I broke the large sprigs off into smaller sprigs.  Because I did that, each smaller sprig only had a few thin wires left that we wound together; which is really weak to put into the arrangement and be outside.  The wind would probably blow it out of the arrangement.  To help with that, I took a stem from one of the flowers I had to cut down and used floral tape to attach it to the hot pink sprigs.  It made them go in the arrangement easier and they are sturdier.

For the ribbon:

Measure around the foam and add 1/2 inch for overlapping the ribbon.  Cut both ribbons.  I hot glued the pink ribbon down the center and carefully hot glued it to the foam.  I start and end in a corner, so that the overlap isn’t as noticeable as it would be if it was in the front or back. Mom's Flowers

For the vase flowers, I started with the largest flower first and then the lilies and taped them together with floral tape.  Then I played around and placed each flower and wrapped with floral tape.  You can use foam shaped specifically for the vases, but for some reason, it’s really hard to find here, so I just usually have to skip it.  The foam helps to hold it in the vase, because a strong wind can blow them out.  To keep mine from blowing out, I bend each stem up like a J and outward.  Then place in the vase.  This helps to anchor it in the vase.

That’s it!  Super simple, but gorgeous.  Make sure to save any leaves that you trim off in case you need to fill in any gaps, holes.  Save the bottoms of stems you cut off in case you cut something too short, or, in my case, you need to add them to a stem to make them stronger.

Like I said, it’s really neat how things come together.  I got white, my stepdad got the pop of color he was looking for and my daughter helped to pull the rest of it together.  When it was finished, he loved it and so did I.  I’m sure my mom does too.  Blog Signature

 

Guest Post: Jennifer Chalupnik from Education.com

I’m thrilled to be able to feature Jennifer Chalupnik from Education.com!  She has shared a really fun Word Web Treasure Hunt game to make learning spelling a lot of fun!  You have to check them out.  Their site is full of great resources!

I loved doing spelling and reading games with my kids when we homeschooled.  It helped them to remember their spelling words easier and sure made it a lot more fun.  Any time you can connect a physical activity, or something that can be touched to learning, kids eat it up and it helps their brain to make connections to what they are learning.  This is a game I would have loved to have done with my kids!  I love the connection it makes from the word to something they can see and touch.  This would be a great game for homeschool groups or co-ops!

Web of Words

This Word Web Treasure Hunt is a delightful way for emerging readers to improve their reading and spelling skills by tying letters and words with their real-life counterparts around the house or yard. By having players hunt down the other half of their word and read it aloud in order to find treasure, this game will give your child practice and purpose stringing letters together into words and will also strengthen vocabulary by reinforcing the meaning of directional words like under, over, around, left, right, and through that kids need to master at this age.

This game works best in big groups. If a one-word match-up seems too easy for the group, you can also string several words along the web strand as a challenge. Try this activity as a kids’ party game or holiday activity–it’s something everyone can enjoy!

What You Need:

Several long strings of thick black wool, one for each player
Room or patio space with enough room for at least 6 kids to clamber around
Chairs or fence posts or table legs on which to attach yarn
A 3×5 card for each player
Treasure prize—candy, or a non-candy prize such as a book or pencil
Hole punch

What You Do:

  1. Before playing the game, you will need to set up the web. For each player, take a treasure prize and find a hiding place for it.
  2. Write the location of the hiding place in clear block letters on an index card. Cut the card into two halves. One of these card halves will be for the player; the other half will be part of the spider web. Punch a hole in the right-hand corner of the right side of one of the word cards; punch a hole in the corner of the other card.
  3. Place a chair or table in the middle of the space you’ll be using. Take one of the long yarn strings, and use it to tie one of the card halves onto the table or chair. String out the rest of the yarn around other objects in the space. At the tail end of the yarn, attach the other half of the treasure word card.
  4. Repeat Steps 1-3 for each player (up to 8), making sure than the yarn has plenty of chances to wind up, down, around, under, and through other strands.
  5. After the web is set up, start the game. Have each player grab one loose end of the yarn, the end where the first half of a word is attached.
  6. Players will then follow their yarn strand up, down, and around until they read the other half of the word.
  7. When they reach the other half, players should put their two halves together and read the card to find out where their treasure awaits. Remind each player to do his best to sound out each letter in the word.
  8. Finally, go find the treasure!

Let me know if you tried the game and be sure to go visit Jennifer at Education.com to check out their amazing resources!  Happy Homeschooling!Blog Signature

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