Wednesday, June 24, 2015

18" Doll Dress Tutorial

Meet Marie Grace with her best friend Ruthie's new car. Not only is she test driving Ruthie's new car, she's showing off her brand new dress as well. This dress was made out of her owner's old shirt, pictured below. It is a very simple pillow case style dress to make and I am going to show you how.
 Get a plain piece of printer paper and make two dotted lines on each end about an inch in from each side. Make the dotted lines go up about 3 quarters of the way. See picture below. This will be your pattern. Next, cut out your material around this paper. I added a little extra at the top to mine because I wanted it to be longer.
Then, pin your material together inside out. Mark the lines on the fabric using the pattern that you made. Sew along the line, going 3 quarters of the way up from the bottom.
Now, fold back each top part along the seam where the arms are going to be. It's the part where you stopped sewing 3 quarters of the way up. Start at one end at the top and sew down, across, then back up.

Then, fold back the front top portion and the back top portion to make a hole so a ribbon can go through it. Sew each flap down remembering to leave the space for the ribbon.

Lastly, string your ribbon through the two top holes and there you have it. A very simple dress you can make out of your child's old clothes. This works well if there is a stain on the outfit and you can't donate or sell it or you just love the outfit and can't part with it. This one happened to have faint grease stains on it. I consider myself a beginner sewer and this was easy for me to complete within an hour. My girls love it and so does Marie Grace. If you like this post, check out my other post to see what I did with the leggings that go with this outfit. 
Take care and I hope that this post will help you. Let me know what you think! Thanks
Until next time, see you soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Doll Chothes Tutorial

I am getting rid of some of my kids clothes due to the fact that they are growing like weeds. I can't donate or sell the ones with stains and I don't have the will power to toss them because they are some of my favorite clothes of theirs. I instead decided to make clothes for their American Girl dolls. I wanted to make this one in the pic but my daughters wanted a longer one. I decided to just cut the legs off the leggings and make one dress for each doll. That way they are able to fold the top to make it short, pull it to the feet to make a long dress, or pull it past the feet to make a "mermaid tail". 3 dresses in one was good for me. Yay no sewing on this project. It literally took me less than 1 minute to make these dresses. Just cut the legs off and there you go! Here are some pics.

The whole outfit. Wait till you see what I've done to this shirt!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Scope and Sequence with lesson plans

When I first decided to teach English as a second language, I searched the internet in hopes to find some information as to what I was getting myself into only I came up empty handed. I want to share with my readers the information that I had hoped to find when I was first searching. I have shared with you my schedule from last semester, now I want to share with you two lesson plans and the scope and sequence that Media Kids has at the school. They like you to go off the scope and sequence to create your lesson plans.

The scope and sequence is just a guide to help you create a lesson plan. The scope and sequence above is unit 7. This is the last lesson of the semester. As you can see, unit 8 is post test and reviews. Most of the units are a bit long which you are able to split it up into two separate lessons. There will be times when you may not see a class for weeks due to school and holiday activities. Its hard to plan because things come up suddenly so you will have to ask or do your best to make sure all the lessons get taught. If you happen to miss a lesson, make sure you teach them what will be on the test as far as what is on the test from the missed lesson. There is a day where you can review everything from the semester.
At the top of the paper, Media kids want name of school, your name, date, grade, and the title of the lesson plan. Vocab words need to be next. They come from the scope and sequence. Next is A and B conversations. Vocab and A and B conversations need to be written on the board and repeated and vocab explained usually with picture flashcards. The game should be written out as to what you will be doing. Usually, I put materials used on the top right of my paper like if I need anything for my games or a white board marker. I play a game during every class. The kids love it and is highly anticipated. Media Kids also urges you to play a game every class as well. Always change it up and use different games. At the bottom of the lesson plan, put what you want the kids to achieve.
 This is a schedule from Media Kids. They want the lesson plans submitted to them and the school you are working at.
 Here is another scope and sequence with one of the lesson plans made from it. I really hope this information helps you and wish you the best of luck if you are planning on teaching abroad.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

ESL Teaching Schedules Thailand

These schedules are my husband and I's teaching schedules. At first glance, it looks confusing. Let me break it down.
  1. The 1 through 10 at the top is 1st block through 10th block. They only go 9 blocks so the 10th one is pretty much useless.
  2. The squares below the 1-10 are the times for the classes. The first one is 08.20-09.15. That's 8:20 AM to 9:15 AM. and so on.
  3. The first squares on the left side column going down in Thai are the days of the week, Monday-Friday.
  4. Now lets talk about the squares on the inside, the ones with all the numbers and slashes. The numbers with the slashes (1/9, 4/4, 1/14). The first number is the grade of the class, Mathayom 1 through 4. For instance, 1 is a younger group like 12 and 13 year olds where 4 is an older group like 15 and 16 year olds.
  5. The second number is typically the level of the grade. The lower the number typically means the students may not be as knowledgeable of the subject or a certain other subject or subjects. The higher the number means that the students may be more knowledgeable in a certain subject or subjects. The numbers 13, 14, 15, and 16 are the gifted classes. 4/4 class is an exception. They are a Chinese English gifted class. 
  6. The set of three numbers below the slash numbers are directions on how to get to the class. The first number to the left is the building number. That tells you what building its in. The middle number is the floor you have to go to. The third number is the last number of the classroom. For example, the first class of the week is 1/9. It is in building 5 on the 3rd floor. Walk down the hallway and the number 533 should be on the outside of the classroom. Most classrooms are marked and if you know how to read your schedule, you will be just fine. Some schools are different so this is just a general guide on how most schools are set up. 
  7. Some classes will be 2 or 3 times a week while others will only be once per week.
Mini English Program
This was my daughter's schedule for last semester at her school. All classes are English except Thai, Club Chinese, History, and Social Studies.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Expat guide-Paying your Thai electric bill

Our bills were so confusing when we first got them. In fact, we didn't even know they arrived to our house in the first place. We actually got our electric turned off. When the company comes out to read your bill, they print out a ticket and put it into a small box that is zip tied to the fence. We had no idea until my husband luckily spotted it while outside. Be aware of this. Your bill will come. So, lets decode this bill.
This is how I decode it and what I know of it:
  1. Look at the third box from the left on the second row of boxes from the top. It shows 22/11/57. That is the date it was printed and put in your box, which is November, 22nd 2014.
  2.  The box to the right of that is the time it was printed.
  3. Skip down to the red box. That is what you owe. 2,189.95 Baht. This is a large bill. It has a previous amount on it. I'm not exactly sure how to read the previous amount but I am only really interested in what I owe total. The 143.27 right above the total amount looks like a tax.
  4. My main goal. How much do I owe and when is it due? Oh and where do I pay this thing? Look at the first bar code. It has numbers. 25-29 and 2557. Translation: You can pay your electric bill between November, 25-29th 2014 at any 7-11 store. If it is after that date, you will have to find the PEA Mobile Center to pay it. I believe that second bar code is for them. If you wait after that date, you are risking having your electric bill shut off. They don't play around and will not wait around for you. They don't give grace on these. 
The mobile unit was not that hard to find. You just have to show your bill to someone and point to the date and usually they can point you in the right direction. We went to 7-11 first and then we ran into one of our American friends. He told us to go to the old Serthai Complex in Mahasarakham. The mobile unit  should be there until 6. Well, the mobile unit was not there and we came back the next day. Sure enough, it was there and we paid the bill no problems. They turned on the electric the next morning.

Be very vigilant with checking for the bill. We received 3 bills in one month. I have no idea why we got three so we made a habit of checking for bills every time we left the house. That way, we were on top of things. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Kosamphi Forest Park, Thailand

Thanks to a wonderful friend, we had the chance to see the monkeys who live in this beautiful park. This was the truck passing us on the way out. They must have spotted the bananas. These little guys were hungry and so very active as you can tell. They were running every which way and were so funny to watch. I am so thankful and glad we were fortunate enough to experience this. It was truly amazing!!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Post Office in Thailand

Our relatives had sent us a box full of goodies for the girls. So we set out in search of the post office. It wasn't to hard to find being that it was in the center of town. When we walked in, we saw a few different service windows. I guess they just knew we were picking up a package because when we walked in, they pointed us to the correct window right away. We signed some forms and paid 600 baht and that was that. We were a little upset at the 600 baht only because our relatives paid 60.00 USD to send it. As you can see, it's not that big of a package. I really feel cheated by both post offices but then again, they have to pay their employees somehow. Here are some pictures of the out and inside of the post office in Mahasarakham, Thailand.

A lady who sells her handmade goods and other items inside the post office

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Care for cut flower arrangements

 Happy mothers day!!!
When I get flowers, I like to keep them looking fresh. Here are some great tips on how to keep long lasting fresh flowers.
  1. Cut the stems at an angle right before they go into water. The fresh cut angle gives it more  space to get the water up the stem.
  2. Get the flowers to water as soon as possible. 
  3. Remove any leaves below the water line. Leaves suck up water and make the water murky. 
  4. Mix in the flower food. This is essential for lasting life of the flowers.
  5. Use warm water. Hot or cold may shock or damage the flowers.
  6. Filtered light is best. Direct sunlight will cause them to die faster.
  7. Remove wilting blooms. The wilting blooms create more gases than the others which causes the other blooms to wilt faster. 
  8. At about 5-7 days, re-cut the stems and change the water. Bacteria may build up in the water so a change and cut is best. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thai towel art

I love going into a hotel and seeing the room nice and clean after a long day but most of all, I absolutely love the towel art. When we first got to Thailand, we stayed in the Siamtara Palace hotel. Every day the housekeeper left us really cute towel art plus a super clean room. Here are some of the beautiful designs the housekeeper created for us.