Saturday, February 28, 2009

What a Hoot!

I am truly not a card maker, even though the same products used for scrapbooking are used for card making, but I decided to give it a try. I posted a color challenge on our On-Line Crop at Two Scrapbook Friends last night and I thought I would make a couple of cards using those colors for inspiration.

I used papers and die-cuts from the Penny Lane collection from My Minds Eye, pearls from Kaiser Craft, flowers from Bazzill, a Fiskars border punch and a glitter pen for highlighting.

It was actually a lot of fun creating cards for a change. They are a simple, quick project and a great way to use some leftover bits and pieces from scrapbooking. Who knows, you may see more cards from me in the future!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Helping Hand Award!

Rosanne very graciously awarded me the Helping Hand Blog Award! This award is meant to encourage and uplift others in the blogging world.

I am supposed to select 10 bloggers; 5 I consider my Helping Hand and then Pay It Forward to 5 additional new bloggers in support and encouragement for their efforts.

I have chosen to give the award to the following bloggers, who encourage me in my blogging efforts by their kind comments and inspiring blogs:

I don't follow that many bloggers, so I can't do the 5 + 5!!

Thank you so much Rosanne! Can I give the award back to you? Your blog is awesome and I always appreciate your comments on mine!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Add Another One!

I am so happy to say that I get to add another finished layout to my album!

When I was scrapbooking on the weekend, I completed this layout from my trip to Mackinac Island this past summer. I have so many beautiful photos that I took while I was there and I am excited to start scrapbooking them. These pictures were taken as we were bike riding around the Island.

The papers, title and bird die-cut are from the new My Minds Eye collections and they worked perfectly for these photos.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chocolate Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday and tomorrow is Ash Wendnesday, the beginning of Lent. Fat Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday in Canada and it is tradition to eat pancakes. Pancakes and doughnuts are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent.

For me, Fat Tuesday should be called "Chocolate Tuesday"! It is the day that I try to rid our home of most of the chocolate goodies that we have - including my secret stash! That is because I normally try to fast from any form of chocolate during Lent. Luckily this year there really wasn't that much chocolate laying around so I didn't have to indulge too much, but there were still a few brownies left over from the weekend.

I have to say that these are some of the best brownies ever so I thought I would share my recipe with you. I won't be having them again until after Easter, but feel free to make up a pan and enjoy them. Just don't tell me how great they are until after Lent is over! Otherwise, you might find me knocking on your door looking for a handout!

Cheesecake Brownies

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3-oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
10 miniature (or 3 regular) Snickers bars
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1 cup purchased chocolate fudge frosting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine oats, the 1/2 cup flour, the brown sugar, baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in the 6 tablespoons melted butter. Pat into prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, egg yolk, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Spoon in small dollops over partially baked layer. Sprinkle with chopped candy bars.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the 1/4 cup melted butter, melted chocolate, and vanilla. Beat in egg. In a small bowl, stir together the 2/3 cup flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to chocolate mixture, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition just until combined. Carefully spoon over cheesecake layer. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched.

Cool in pan on a wire rack. Spread with chocolate fudge frosting. Cut into bars and enjoy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My Sister, My Friend

My sister Mary and her two daughters came for a visit this past weekend! The girls had the week off of school so they arrived on Thursday and we spent four wonderful days with each other.

So what do sisters do when they get together for a weekend visit? Whatever we want! That is the beauty of it - with sisters, you don’t have to plan. You don’t have to fill each moment being entertained, because just being together is the best part. You can sit and catch up on all that is new, share some laughs and some tears, talk about hopes and dreams, and feel totally content just being in each other’s company.

While we enjoyed a lot of quiet, unhurried, sister time, we did manage to do a couple of other things as well.
  1. We watched the movie Changeling. Definitely not a feel-good movie, but it elicited many strong emotions as you identified with the mother whose son went missing and her struggles with a corrupt police department in the 1920s. Great acting and highly recommended although when it was over we just looked at each other and said, “Wow, that was intense!”

  2. We went shopping! Yes, we went to the mall for a while on Friday. Seriously, it was calling our names and we couldn’t resist!!

  3. From the mall we went to see Confessions of a Shopaholic - rather appropriate, don’t you think?

    It was hilarious and we couldn’t identify with the main character at all (lol)! Neither of us had read the book so we didn’t have any expectations and we found it to be very entertaining. Much lighter than Changeling!

  4. We tried out a new brownie recipe. It is a cheesecake brownie that is incredible! What would a sister’s weekend be without chocolate?

  5. We got together with a few friends on Saturday night and scrapbooked! Well, actually, we got together and talked and laughed until our sides hurt and ate all sorts of yummy treats, and got just a bit of scrapbooking done. It was an awesome time and I am so glad that many of my friends love Mary as much as I do!

  6. We played Scrabble. Mary and I happen to be Scrabble addicts and while we wanted to play earlier in the weekend, we didn’t fit in a game until Sunday morning as we were having our breakfast. Her daughter, Sarah, joined in and we had fun making up words that may or may not exist! (Thank goodness for the Official Scrabble Dictionary!!!)

The only bad part about a visit from my sister, is having to say good-bye when it is time for her to leave. I find my heart aches when she goes and all I can do is look forward to the next time we can visit again...

In the meantime, Scrabble anyone?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Semi Formal, Sweet 16 and Valentines Day

To be a teenager again! To be young and carefree! I am somewhat envious of my ds who had a very busy social schedule this week.

First of all, there was the semi formal dance that his High School had on Wednesday.

All That Glitz and Glamour was the theme and of course included the purchase of new pants, shirt, tie and shoes for the occasion. (I have no idea when he will stop growing!!) He looked very handsome and had a wonderful time.

Then on Friday night he was off to a Sweet 16 party for one of his girl friends. It was held at a banquet hall with dinner, a DJ and dancing and was another great time for him and his friends.

Saturday, of course, was Valentines Day and when I asked him if he had plans, he said he wasn't sure but he would probably be getting together with some of his friends later in the day.

How is it that I get to work 50+ hours a week, and am too tired to even go out if I had the chance, but my 15 year old is having the social time of his life? This was the question that was going through my head as I put in another 8 hours at work on Saturday.

When I finally made it home, close to 6 pm, I was greeted by my dear husband at the door. He gave me a big hug to welcome me home and as I walked into the dimly lit kitchen I saw that the table was set for a nice romantic dinner for... three?! Yes, three! My dh went through all the trouble of ordering out Chinese food (my fav), setting a gorgeous Valentine themed table complete with candles and wine, and when he realized that our son would be home for dinner didn't have the heart to exclude him. So the three of us enjoyed a lovely Valentine's dinner!

Oh well, I guess when all is said and done, I really wouldn't want my life to be any other way right now. I love my job. I love my children. I especially love my husband. He is thoughtful and caring. Thank you Wayne, for a wonderful Valentine's Day!

(Loved you then, love you now, love you forever!!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Mini Plates

With Valentines Day approaching, I decided to display my new Heart mini plates.

I received this set from my sisters for my last birthday so they are extra special to me.

I just love the pink, green and purple colors! They are very sweet and not only remind me of my sisters, but they make me think of Spring!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kreativ Blogger

My friend Patti was kind enough to bestow me with a Kreativ Blogger Award recently! (Thanks Patti!) I am honoured to have received this award and I am supposed to list a few things about myself, so here goes.

7 things I did before
Went to movies
Worked out regularly
Cooked every day
Worked in the financial department of a large corporation
Wrote long letters to friends
Traveled often
Worried about many things

7 things I do now
Own a scrapbook store
Go to the theatre
Stay up late reading
Blog/email every day
Work too much
Trust in God more

7 things I want to do
Take a photography course
Live somewhere warm
Fit into my skinny jeans
Become an expert at Photoshop
Travel more
Live greener
Keep in touch with my friends more

7 people I nominate for this award

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chicken Zuppa for the Soul

We all have our favorite comfort foods. Those familiar, delicious foods that bring a sense of well being to us. One of mine is homemade chicken noodle soup. My mother would often make up a huge pot of it during the winter months and the wonderful smell would fill the whole house.

I have made chicken noodle soup many times over the years since I have been married and I like to try different recipes from time to time. My most recent favorite is from my sister, Dianne, and her husband, John. Because John is Italian, it has a definite Italian twist to it - garlic and tomatoes. I have to say it is absolutely delicious.

I made a pot of it a couple of days ago and I am savoring every bowlful! Here is their original, secret family recipe if you would like to make some for yourself (given with permission, of course!).

Chicken Zuppa

  • stewing chicken
  • salt
  • carrots
  • celery
  • medium onion
  • 4 - 5 chicken bouillon cubes or packets
  • chicken base
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • noodles

Place the chicken in an 8-quart pot and fill with water 2 inches from top. Add a bit of salt and bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about an hour, until chicken is done. Remove foam/fat from top as it simmers.

Cut up carrots and celery (You can use as much as you want. I used about 4 carrots and 6 celery ribs). Cut up onion into 1/2-inch pieces.

Remove chicken from pot. Add carrots, celery and onion to broth. Add bouillon to taste, 1/2 jar chicken base, tomatoes and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Cut up chicken and add back to pot.

Boil noodles of your choice in a separate pot. Add to soup and serve. Delizioso!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Friday Night Crop

Our on-line crop last Friday night was a big success and a lot of fun! I posted a color challenge to our croppers, which was to create a layout, card or altered project using blue, lime green and orange colors. Not only did many of our croppers take up the challenge, but they did a great job!

I decided to make up a single-page layout with these colors to post as inspiration and I also used Karan’s sketch challenge for the design.

Karan has started creating her own sketches and they are amazing! I look forward to using many of her sketches in the future to give me a starting point for my scrapbook pages.

This is the layout I created. I used papers from Kaiser Craft's Esperance line, Family Stickers from Autumn Leaves and Prism cardstock. This photo of my ds was taken during our trip to Mackinac Island this past summer.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Springing Forward

It is usually about this time of year that I start to feel as though I am living in a snow globe and I want to get out. Sometimes it truly is pretty with all the snow, especially when the sun is shining. Other times it feels as though someone has decided to shake the snow globe and watch as the snow swirls around in a furry and settles anew on everything. Either way, it is always this time of year that I start to wish winter away!

I want to see the crocuses poking their brave heads above ground. I want to hear the chorus of birds chirping outside my window early in the morning. I want to sit outside in my favorite spot and feel the warmth of the sun… (sigh)

But, I know that all the wishing in the world won’t make these things happen any earlier than they are supposed to, so in the meantime I try to surround myself with pretty things that make me think of Spring!

:: a pretty hand-painted teapot from my sister::

:: crocheted and embroidered linens from my paternal grandmother ::

:: a decorative bird cage ::

:: sweet, little birds - a recent purchase while out shopping with my bff ::

:: a souvenir from one of my 'sisters get-away' weekends ::

:: a birdhouse I made with some of the stones I've collected, favourite photos, lanterns ::

I hope everyone is surviving these cold winter months and if you don't see me outside too often in the next little while, just look for me in the Spring - I'll be poking my head out when the crocuses do!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...