The New Whiteboard

I like to have a spot in my office that I can just scribble out ideas. Sometimes my brain kind of explodes, so it’s nice to have a spot to focus the explosion. Or gather those pieces to make sense of another day.

Rather than collecting a bajillion post it notes all over my office, I kind of like the idea of a white board I could scribble on with different colored markers. There is even paint you can buy to make a DIY whiteboard. Eh, cool, but I’m not really that crafty. Besides, having a big, white, board thing taking up a lot of wall space is, well, kinda ugly. And to get a smart board, those are $pendy.

So here’s what I did: I made a glass board. I got a large piece of glass, a little package of mirror mounts from a hardware store, and installed it on my wall. Okay, you’re thinking, “sure, large pieces of glass are just super easy to come by”. Well, kinda. I actually went on safari in our church basement and found some large pieces of “art” that had been donated when a hotel closed. So imagine budget hotel art from the eighties. We weren’t going to use the picture, but I sure could use pieces. I used the frame for a different project I’ll share about another time. I was left with this huge piece of glass. So look around your space and see if there are things you can “repurpose”. Or ask others. Or check garage sales.

This could also make a really cool response station for your students.  Even if you kept it in the frame (minus the gross eighties artwork) then hung it on the wall.  Additionally, a person could use a smaller version in their home.  It would make a great family center to write notes or schedules on.

Whiteboard? or Brain Exploding Board!

Whiteboard? or Brain Exploding Board!

Rather than dry erase markers, you need to use the wet erase type. Like overhead markers. Yes, they still make them. I got a package with a nice selection of colors, so my little brain could explode in multiple colors. The other cool thing, you can slide other papers you may want to display behind the glass. Then write and draw around them. Then erase. Then let your brain explode all over again. So. Cool.

Happy brain exploding!

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Paint It!

If you’re looking to reinvent a tired space or create something new, paint is a quick way to do it. Paint a room. Paint an alcove. Paint the infant ministry space. Or the bathroom?

I used to be a bit afraid of paint. I was afraid of picking the wrong color. Or colors. Unsure of what the whole scheme might be. Then choosing the brand and texture of paint, and all the tools I needed… shut the front door. That was overwhelming.

Want to know how I got over that?? Lean in, a little closer, and I’ll let you in on my secret. Ready… Here it is: I asked someone else to do that. I found a volunteer who was in design school and asked her to pick some paint colors for me. Granted, I had final say, but I let her pick them. Then I had her estimate costs, including all the supplies. I gave her petty cash to go buy the products. She loved it. And I loved that she loved it. And I loved that I didn’t have to get overwhelmed with it.

Since then I’ve gotten better in my painting skills. And I’ve gotten better in my paint selections. I’m never going to be a designer, AND I still have fun ideas that are valid. So when someone suggested hideous paint colors and dismissed my ideas, I was able to thank them, appreciate that they showed me a path I didn’t want to choose, and moved forward with my decisions.

The other cool thing about paint: even though it goes on permanent, it’s really not. I mean, you can’t erase it, but reality is you should update your space about every five years. Can you live with the color for up to five years?

So don’t be afraid to go BOLD. Or bright. Or soft. Maybe not technicolor vomit all over the place. That would be, well, gross. Then again, if you can make it work with your plans, GO FOR IT!

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Lettuce Bombs

My kids LOVE Lettuce Bomb night.  Now let me explain before you get some crazy idea like we explode lettuce or I disguise salad so they think it’s “da bomb”. (they would forbid me from saying that anyway…)

We just really enjoy the Asian Lettuce Wraps at PF Changs.  But I don’t always want to run across town just to grab those tasty wraps.  Nor do I want to pay the price, because honestly, we could eat several orders of those fine little things!  Also, I enjoy throwing something a bit crazy and unexpected in our meals at home.

So I was doing my regular grocery shopping when, much to my great delight, I found a seasoning packet to make my own wraps!  So I bought the packet, some of the dried rice noodles, iceberg lettuce, ground chicken, and went home to create!  

If you’ve never cooked the rice noodles, you’re in for a treat right there!  It’s super easy and fun for the kids to watch.  I use my big dutch oven and heat oil in the bottom.  Get your big tongs or a spatula and slotted spoon ready.  Toss in a bundle, watch them sizzle and expand, flip them over for the other side to do the same, then pull them out.  That quick and simple!  While you’re doing that brown your chicken in a skillet and add the seasonings as directed on the packet.  The iceberg lettuce is also easy to pull apart.  I also like spicy mustard, so I mix some dry mustard with a bit of vinegar to make my own.  Voila!  A quick and fun dinner is ready!

The original lettuce bomb!

The original lettuce bomb!

As for the bomb name?  Well, sometimes they can be difficult to wrap up.  My son just piled a bunch of the crispy noodles and meat in the middle of his lettuce the first night we had them.  Instead of rolling it up burrito style he just sort of gathered the lettuce up, more like a pouch.  A few noodles were sticking out the top.  He sort of chuckled and said, “Look!  It’s like a lettuce bomb!”  We all laughed and the name stuck!

So the next time you’re grocery shopping or looking for a fun family meal, give the lettuce bombs a try!  I’m sure you’ll create your own fun family memories in the process!!

 
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