Surrealism and Dali for junior high

I love teaching Surrealism because junior highers are especially attracted to the weird and trippy nature and they love exploring and creating Surrealist pieces. Plus, Salvador Dali is one of my personal favorites.  Exhibit A:

daliquoteHe’s amazing.

Anyway, the problem with Salvador Dali is that his paintings reflect his dreams and his subconscious, which were often quite sexual. So his paintings, are often quite sexual. Which is fine, unless you are a junior high art teacher trying to teach about Salvador Dali.

I went on a youtube quest to find a video clip to show them that would include some information about his life and some of his artwork. When you’re an art teacher, teaching art history, educational videos have to be previewed not for relevancy, but for nudity. Paintings, even (especially) really really old paintings, have nudity. Junior highers, cannot handle this. At. All. I can barely say “I have bus duty” to them without them snickering. So I have to have little preview parties with myself where I make a tally of how many times (and at what point) I see nipples. If it’s only a couple of times, I can usually scan through quickly or A/V mute the promethean and still show the video. Once I get to an entire post-it of “nip-slips” I have to veto the video entirely. This qualifies for an #ArtTeacherProblems official hashtag because as I was sitting on my couch writing down all the times I saw nipples I realized that the science teacher doesn’t have to do stuff like this before showing their video on chemical reactions.

I found this really cool BBC special on Salvador Dali that I highly recommend. It’s awesome. It definitely did not pass the “nip slip” test though, so it had to be vetoed. It became glaringly obvious around the point that the narrator was standing in front of the actual painting “The Great Masturbator” (yes, the name it self would have gotten it vetoed) pointing out and analyzing all of the sexual connotation including the nose to junk situation in the corner…which was, because the painting is gigantic, about the size of the narrators head. Because this is the internet and not my Junior High classroom, here it is in all it’s glory:


So I found a really cool Brain Pop clip to help with my introduction to Surrealism, and then I found a VERY kid friendly Salvador Dali video here:

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Pretty cheesetastic but gloriously nipple-free.

The video also suggested this cool Surreal exercise called “Exquisite Corpse” which I used as a warm-up the next day. I broke them into groups of 4 (there was one group of 5 but it still worked) and gave them a 12×18 piece of paper that they folded into 4 sections. Without looking at any of the other sections, each kid in the group had to draw a part of the body. They knew where to start in the next section because they continued the line a mm into the next section. The kids LOVED it and their creations turned out so cool.

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Then we did a collage project where they created a Dali Style surrealist scene out of “found objects” in magazines. They were tasked with putting together common things in uncommon ways.

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We also did a series of surrealist style warm-up drawings. You’ll notice many of them involve hands. That wasn’t on purpose…but it became a running joke to announce that the warm-up was hand related.

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Also, shout out to Trina Carter for a couple of those warm-up ideas!

We finished the unit with a clay surrealism assignment to create a surrealist creature.

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Alternative Guest Books for Geeks



My Robots in Love Wedding Guestbook drawing is featured on  in a cool post with great alternative guest book ideas!

Check it out here!

Soup, there it is.

It’s supposed to rain on Wednesday, it’s finally time for soup!

I love soup. I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with soup. I live on a primarily soup diet throughout the fall and winter months.

And sometimes in summer. And spring.

Yesterday I had 5 different kinds of soup. In one day.

I tend to get into soup ruts, making the same 3 or so kinds week after week. And when I make soup I make A LOT of soup…so we are eating it lunch and dinner for a week straight. Which I don’t mind at all!

These are some of my staples and are all delicious, nutritious and easy so I thought I’d share the recipes in case you are also soup obsessed, or soup curious at least.

Artistic soup photos courtesy of my hubby, of course.

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup


3 italian turkey sausage links (4 oz. each, casings removed)

1 medium onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth

1 and 3/4 cups water

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (undrained)

1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 package (6 oz) of fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

2 and 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon pepper

dash crushed red pepper flakes

shredded parmesan

1.) Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven, add onion. Cook and stir over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic, cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Add the broth, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.

2.) Stir in tortellini, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 5-8 minutes or until tortellini are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach, basil, pepper and pepper flakes, cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted. Serve with cheese if desired.

Curried Chicken Corn Chowder


2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

3 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth

5 cups frozen corn

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

dash cayenne pepper

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

3 cups cubed chicken breast

1/3 cup fresh minced cilantro

1.) In a dutch oven, saute onions and celery in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, corn, curry, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and summer for 15 minutes.

2.) In a small bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Whisk into the pan. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken and cilantro, heat through.

Butternut Squash Soup

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 (32 fluid ounce) container Veggie stock
Salt and Pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the veggie stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
2. Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Or mash with a potato masher for a chunkier soup. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Tasty Tortilla (Turkey!) Soup


1 large onion, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

4.5 cups chicken broth

2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can tomato sauce

1 can chopped green chilies

1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups cubed chicken breast (or turkey)

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 and 1/3 crushed baked tortilla chip scoops

7 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese

(sour cream if you are into that)

1.) In a dutch oven, saute onion and green onions in butter until tender. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes longer.

2.) Stir in flour until blended, gradually add broth .Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chills, oregano, cumin and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chicken and cilantro. Heat.

3.) For each serving, place 2 tablespoons chips in to a soup bowl. Top with 1 and 1/2 cups soup. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon each of cheese and chips.

Roasted Tomato with Pesto Swirl


3 lbs. tomatoes, cored and halved

4 tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3 cans (14 oz) vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream


Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange tomatoes cut sit up in jelly-roll pan (or casserole dish), drizzle with 2 tbs olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 45 min. In bowl or food processor, pulse tomatoes 5 times. In sauce pot, cook onions and garlic in remaining oil 5 min. Add tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 20 min, adding heavy cream after 15 min. Garnish with pesto, if desired. (YES THIS, LOTS OF PESTO!)

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

I don’t know if you’ve been watching the new Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in it’s first big week, but if you aren’t…you should be. He is totally killing it! I am a long time Jimmy fan, but I think even the die hard Jay Leno fans will be warming up to him after this week. Also, I’m so excited the Roots came with him! I love them! Here are some of my favorite highlights from this last week in case you need some more convincing.

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And of course…… I saved the best for last. My boyfriend JT. *swoon*

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St. Patricks Day garlands

I love St. Patricks day. I am actually Irish, but even if you aren’t you have to appreciate a holiday that is celebrated by drinking heavily and wearing green. If your house, kitchen, classroom needs a little spicing up this month, I have 3 super cute St. Patties day hand-cut felt garlands in the shop!


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A new face behind Igoyougo

Hi! I’m Brittany.



That’s pretty much me. Laughing. In the sunshine. Drinking a cocktail out of a mason jar and a striped paper straw. On the phone, most likely trying to involve more people in whatever scheme or adventure that I have concocted that day. That will likely involve sunshine. And cocktails.

My short bio: I’m a mom, I’m fiercely dedicated to my family and friends (which are pretty much the same thing in my book). During the day I teach Art to middle schoolers, and everywhere in between I process orders for my Etsy shop. When I’m not doing all that stuff, I’m social butterflying around or planning my next adventure. (Another thing you need to know about me is that I make up words. I’m the wacky art teacher, I’m allowed.)

I used to have a small family blog that I wrote on, a lot. I love writing and story telling, and documenting in pictures, so it was a perfect outlet for me. Then I had a baby, and I kept writing,  for awhile! Cause, ya know, newborn babies sleep all the time, it’s fantastic. Then she started sleeping less, and moving more.. and I started chasing and stopped blogging. And I didn’t blog, for 2 years. Recently I have been itching to start again, I literally lay in bed at night and write blog posts in my head. I wanted to start over but with a little broader reach. I looked at WordPress for awhile and got really overwhelmed, so I decided to email my favorite blogger who also happens to be my BFF (Best fucking friend, as quoted in her speech at my wedding..) : Amanda.


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Amanda said “Call me I have an idea” Which is kind of her thing. Well, as you might have guessed (since you’re here reading this..) her idea was for me to take over Igoyougo, the blog she had poured her heart and soul into for the last 5 years. The blog I loooovvveeeedd reading. The timing worked out right, Amanda is an executive at her company and just didn’t have time to give it the love it needed, and I was looking for a new project to take on. After I made REALLY REALLY sure that she could part with it, (I may have used the sentence “Are you sure it’s okay I rape your blog? It feels so wrong!”) I started blogging. Well, it wasn’t quite that simple, I signed on and stared at the dashboard at least 5 times afraid to touch anything. Amanda is my best friend, but she’s also pretty much my hero, and after admiring her and her blog for so many years, this is totally a big deal. I have been gifted something very special, so here it goes!

If you are a longtime fan of Amanda as the author of Igoyougo, I’m sorry, I will miss her too…but you’re in luck! Amanda and I aren’t BFFs for nothing, we totally love all of the same stuff. So if you love the food, shopping, crafting, diy, bad reality show posts… FEAR NOT! It’s still coming! I’m also hoping to gain a new following who are interested in teacher stuff, kid stuff, art, and country livin’.

So, Hi! Anywhere I go you go….




Ladiespalooza 2013

Today is the start of my favorite trip of the year – my all girls LADIESPALOOZA trip!

As I mentioned here we have an amazing house in Palm Springs we are going to this year. I can see it now…floppy hats, vintage swimmies, lovely ladies, and fruity cocktails. Bliss!

Here is this year’s roster:

Here is a look at LADIESPALOOZA’s past:

(After this trip we decided this group of gals are NOT campers)

Laura’s Lentil Summer Salad

My friend Laura made this awesome dip that I have actually been eating as a side salad because it is THAT GOOD and super simple to make.

Here is what you need (all from TJ’s):

and some feta.

Just mix it all together in a bowl and serve with pita chips. I had this last week served in a bowl with some fish on tip and it was the perfect healthy summer dinner. Lentils are highly under rated.


Had a great visit with LOLA and her parents over the 4th of July weekend. Britt brought her family down for a whole 5 days! We had a blast going to the beach, the park, and just hanging around the house. It’s insane how cute LOLA is, we love getting to spend time with her. It was hard to see them go home, I wish they lived closer so we could do fun stuff like this all the time!

While they were here I hosted a Doughnut and Mimosa “sip and see” so that they would have a chance to see some of their other local friends.

Fancy Dinner Design

Last week I co-hosted an elegant dinner party for some of the top women executives working in aerospace and defense locally and opted to do the table design myself. I wanted it to have a feminine feel without any pink or too much sparkle. I went with cream, gold, moss green, and tan for the color palette.

Trader Joe’s has incredible peonies right now and I was lucky to find several all white bouquets.

I used a handy trick for the place cards, I printed them in a light yellow ink and went over them in metallic gold pen. The font I used is called “Before the Rain”.



LOLA’s 2nd Birthday: Minnie Mouse Clubhouse Style

We recently got back from our trip to visit our god-daughter LOLA for her 2nd birthday! My best friend Brittany did an amazing job compiling supplies and crafting elements for the party. She delegated a few things to me and her Mom and we all pitched in to set up this very pink party. LOLA loves Minnie Mouse and had so much fun seeing all her favorite friends.

Let’s start with the decor:

Again, this was the invite I made for the party – we blew it up and made a big poster.

Pink, Black and White Poms were ordered from Express Poms on Etsy.

I made a ton of printables to stick around the house.

The Gift Table

Britt made these awesome sparkly mason jars to hold all the flowers.

I arranged the flowers and Britt’s mom made these amazing Mini heads.

Brittany makes some super fun garlands, you must check out her shop:

Variety Pack Set of 4 Minnie Mouse Felt Garlands

The photo op area turned out really cute too, Brittany took a bunch of different colored crepe paper and fringed/twisted it to make the backdrop.

The Food

Britt wanted to keep it simple so she served lots of snack options, a make your own sandwich type bar and some crockpots with Mac N’ Cheese.

And check out these adorable cupcakes!

The Drinks

The drink table had two kinds of pink lemonade, one for adults and one for kiddos [that were carefully labeled]!


Britt had planned tons of fun activities for the guests including: Cookie decorating, pin the bow on the Minnie, a coloring table, and a make your own Minnie bow headband station.

Britt made one of her famous thumbprint guest sign in pages:

Hand Drawn Ink Guest Book Art: Birthday Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse with Balloons

The Birthday Girl

Other fun pics

All in all it was a super fun day!




Happy Birthday to LOLA!

As most of you know LOLA is my god-daughter. Today is her 2nd birthday, I’ll be headed up on Friday to celebrate with her all weekend. LOLA brings so much joy to our lives, Jon and I are always excited to facetime with her and sing silly songs or play our funny face game. Having LOLA has certainly helped take our minds off our own difficulties having kids while simultaneously making us EVEN MORE excited to give her some pals. I am absolutely obsessed with her gorgeous red hair (duh) and all the funny sounding new words she is practicing. I can’t wait to spoil her and her parents with love this weekend! xoxo