End of Year Teacher Gift

paper pockets finished all

Not too long ago, I found pictures of Gift Holding Cards made with scrapbook paper. I filed the idea away knowing I could do something along the same lines in the near future. Miss Priss and Mr. Star Wars wanted to give scratch off lottery tickets as end of year teacher gifts again (mostly because they know they get to scratch any leftovers), and I have spent three days engineering my own gift holding cards to hold the lottery tickets.

paper pockets supplies

I used scrapbook paper and located all of the various trim, ribbon, sequins, and embellishments I have from American Girl projects. I dug out craft scissors with the decorative edges and my fancy hole punchers. You can really use any kind of decorative materials you have on hand (stamps, stickers…).

paper pockets prep

Cut two coordinating pieces of paper to 4″ x 6″. Fold one piece over about 2/3 of the way along the 4″ side and press firmly to crease. I first sewed the folded piece and any front trim together along the folded edge before attaching to the back piece. I then stacked the two pieces together, lining up the edges, and sewed around the outside to attach the folded piece of paper to the back leaving the top of the pocket open. If you don’t sew, double sided adhesive roller tape along the edges would work too, but I must tell you, sewing paper is super fun.

paper pockets finished set 1

We filled our gift pockets with the lottery tickets and slipped a small handwritten note in the front of the pocket. The pockets also fit gift cards. I think they would be a pretty way to deliver a thoughtful note too. The Original Blog Post with the pocket idea had single fancy tea bags in the pocket.

paper pockets finished set 2

paper pockets finished set 3

paper pockets finished set 4


Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry shortcake

It was TheRoomDad’s birthday this weekend, and there were many little opinions about the birthday dessert he should have. TheRoomDad typically does not go old school like I do and want a yellow cake from the grocery store with butter cream frosting (my favorite birthday cake). So, I made the executive decision to serve strawberry shortcake. TheRoomDad loves fruit desserts, and we all thought this particular version of strawberry shortcake was delicious.

Shortcake Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. flour (plus more for rolling out dough)
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 6 T. cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c. plus 3 T. heavy cream (plus more cream for serving)
  • 1 large egg yolk

Shortcake Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine 1/4 c. sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork (or a pastry cutter) to cut in butter until the dry ingredients resemble coarse meal.

strawberry shortcake cut in butter

  • Whisk together egg and 1/2 c. plus 2 T. heavy cream in a separate bowl. Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork until the dough comes together.

strawberry shortcake add liquid

strawberry shortcake dough mixture

  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a 6-in. square, 1-in. thick. Cut 4 rounds using a 2 1/2 in. cookie cutter. Place shortcakes on an ungreased cookie sheet.

strawberry shortcake biscuit cutting

  • Whisk together egg yolk and 1 T. cream in a small bowl; brush over the tops of the biscuits.

strawberry shortcake brush biscuit top

  • Bake until golden brown, ~25 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet immediately and cool on a wire rack for ~15 minutes.

strawberry shortcake biscuits baked


  • Cut ~16 oz. of strawberries (the standard container size, about 2 cups) into quarters/bite sized pieces and put in a bowl.
  • Top with 3 T. fresh lemon juice and 1/4 c. sugar. Stir gently without crushing the strawberries.
  • Let stand about 1 hour.

strawberry pieces


  • Cut shortcake biscuits in half like a hamburger bun.
  • Place biscuit halves in the bottom of a bowl. Top with sweetened strawberries making sure to get a little strawberry juice on there too.
  • Drizzle heavy cream over the top.


  • You can serve the shortcake with whipped cream rather than the liquid heavy cream.
  • Use a glass with a thin rim to cut the biscuits if you do not have a round cookie cutter.
  • Trying not to overknead the shortcake dough, keep reshaping leftover dough and cutting more biscuits until the dough is used. The final biscuit can be formed by hand rather than using a cutter.

strawberry shortcake with heavy cream