Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chalkboard Art and other October Favorites

This October Favorites link up with I Teach What's Your Super Power is just what I need on this cold fall morning!  This is such a beautiful time of year, but it seems to fly by with all the chaos of back to school.  Here are some of my October favorites...ya know...things that help me slow down and appreciate how awesome this month really is.

1) Chalkboard art is all the rage now, so I decided to give it a try on the board I painted near our garage entrance.  Here are my first attempts!

I saw this saying on Pinterest and decided to give it a whirl!

Here is my second try...

This chalkboard stuff is therapeutic.  I guess the teacher in me misses the good old days of writing on the blackboard! Oh wait a minute....NOPE...I don't miss the chalk print I would always get on my butt from leaning up against the tray.  How embarrassing with a class of middle schoolers!

2)  I love to decorate for Halloween!  Here are some of my latest additions...

We took apart our chandelier and made some spooky alterations. (Temporary of course!)

My husband is a pumpkin carving god.  Check out these number pumpkins he did!

3)  Goodbye summer salads and hello hearty fall food.  This month I made this delicious apple granola. It was super easy!

OK...Don't laugh but I thought it would be a good idea to buy a 50 lb bag of organic rolled oats.  What can I say, I like oatmeal!  Anyway, it turned out to be A LOT of oatmeal so I've been getting creative trying to use it up.  Here is one of my October uses...

Apple Cinnamon Crunchy Granola!

Something I love about granola is that it is pretty hard to mess up.  There are so many options and add-ins that the possibilities are endless.  Here is the recipe that I whipped up for this batch:

4-5 apples (from our neighbors trees) 
2 pounds organic rolled oats (not the instant ones folks)
Approximately 1/2 cup of honey (maple syrup works too)
1/4-1/2 cup canola oil
Cinnamon and nutmeg (however much tastes good to you)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flax meal or wheat germ (optional- but makes it more healthy)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds (whole or chopped)
Dried cranberries or raisins

Puree the apple in a food processor or blender (peel on or off depending on your preference).  Add oil, honey, sugar and seasons.  Mix together by hand.  In a large bowl stir together the puree, dry oats and flax meal.  Try to mix until all the oats are coated with the sticky apple puree.  Spread on baking sheets (I like to spray mine with a little olive oil first) and cook 1-2 hours at 300 degrees.  Stir and flip the granola every 20 minutes to ensure even cooking.  When all the moisture seems to have baked off, the granola is done.  I've made about 10 batches following this recipe and it takes a different amount of baking time each round.  So, check it every 20 and when you go to flip it, look for steam or moisture.  Once there is none or very little, the granola is probably done.  Let it cool on the cookie sheet for about a half hour before storing it in an air-tight container.  Some people say refrigerate, but we don't have room in our fridge and it gets eaten within a week so it stays fresh.

4)  My fourth and final favorite for October is Ibotta.  This is a money-saving grocery app for your phone.  As much as I try to do coupons, I'm always rushing and don't seem to ever have the right one on hand!  This is a much easier option for me.  

Here is how it works.  You get offers on your phone and then you earn $ by buying the items in the grocery and then scanning your entire grocery receipt.  They give you a certain amount per item but then give you bonuses for redeeming 5 offers in your first two weeks. You don't have to buy a lot of junk either.  I earned 50 cents just for buying a gallon of milk (any brand).  Cool!   I used it during two shopping trips this month and earned $26.50....which was deposted right into my Paypal account.  Whether you are an extreme couponer or a super lazy couponer like me...you might want to give it a go!

I hope you all had a great October with your students, friends and families.  Thanks for checking out my October favorites and be sure to check out Megan's at I Teach What's Your Super Power.

Oh...and one more thing.  I'm putting together an awesome Middle School Giveaway for mid November along with my friend Krystal over at Lessons From The Middle.  The theme is GIVING THANKS to all of our hardworking middle school colleagues!  If you are a middle school teacher-author-blogger please consider joining in on the fun!  Click here to sign up:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EhEPy8aS-LSc0UYy11YnnIsGYHKL2EC0qFJFqIFmhT4/edit

Happy Teaching...


  1. Love all your Halloween decorations! Isn't ibotta the best? I think I'm up to about $40 in my account since June. Not bad!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Your chalk art is seriously amazing! So jealous. The type a girl in me needs to let go and try something like that!

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  3. Thanks Megan! So glad I was able to link up :)



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