Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend at the Movies

Even though this past weekend was incredibly busy, I managed to watch 3 movies! On Saturday when I got home from work I was too tired to do anything but sit in front of the TV. Luckily there were a few new listings on satellite so I was able to see some recent films.

The first one I watched was Twilight. Now, in all honesty I have to say that I have not read the book, and after seeing the movie, I would hope that the books are much better. For those of you who have not heard of Twilight it is a modern-day love story between a teenage girl and a vampire. The movie was entertaining, but not my favorite. (Sorry Bella and Edward fans!) I can see how the story would appeal to the 'pre-teen' - 'teen' age group though.

Then I saw Fireproof. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie as I had just finished reading the book. In Fireproof, Kirk Cameron (who is still a cutie!) is a firefighter and in an attempt to save his failing marriage he follows a 40-day experiment known as the "Love Dare". He also learns that the firefighter's motto "Never leave your partner behind" is as important in his marriage as it is in his profession. While the movie wasn't as good as the book, it was worth seeing and the message was invaluable.

Last, but far from least, I saw The Secret Life of Bees. All I can say is "WOW". That was one of the best movies that I have seen in a long, long time. This is an incredibly powerful and moving tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl played by Dakota Fanning, who is haunted by the memory of her late mother who died when she was just a toddler. To escape her lonely life and the troubled relationship she has with her father, she sets out in hopes of discovering more about her mother's past.

I was surprised to see all the big names in this film. In addition to Dakota Fanning, an outstanding actress, there was Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys. What a great cast! I would highly recommend this movie and keep the tissues close at hand...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Pretty Place

I can't believe it has been a whole week since I last posted to my blog! Last week my ds and I went home for four days to visit with my family during March break and this week the store has been incredibly busy. With our our Kick-Off to ScrapFest tomorrow and Saturday and our upcoming Spring Retreat Weekend next week, there just hasn't been much time to sit in front of the computer and put my thoughts into a blog post.

When I went onto my blog, I decided to update my header and as I don't have the time to make up a digital header, I have decided to use one of my favorite photos instead. This particular photo was taken while I was visiting Mackinac Island last summer and every time I look at it I fall into wishful thinking that someday, one day, I would have a home or cottage like this.

While we were on the island, we walked along admiring all the beautiful cottages and this particular one really caught my attention. In fact, as we walked past, it took everything in me to stay on the sidewalk and not ascend the steps and snuggle into the chair that the cat occupied.

Who could resist a white wicker rocking chair with a soft cushion on the veranda of an absolutely beautiful cottage? As I stood there and took a couple of photos, I found myself being very jealous of the priviledged cat that lived there! I wanted this to be my porch, not his!

I imagined coming home each day, climbing the slate stairs, holding onto the iron railing, walking past the watering cans and admiring the flowers in my gardens.

The pretty lace curtains on the windows would greet me and the wooden screen door would have the perfect 'squeak' as I opened it to go inside.

I could see myself inviting friends over to 'sit for a spell' on my porch. We would enjoy fresh lemonade, cookies and interesting conversation.

They would all comment on how beautiful my hollyhocks were - the color unlike any others on the island! And we would smile at all the tourists walking past, knowing that they too admired my pretty little home and wished they could live here.

Yes, all of that really went through my thoughts as I stood looking at this quaint, charming cottage. And that is why I chose this photo for my header. It takes me to a place that is pretty and peaceful. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Sunday Drive

The sun was shining, the air was warm and Spring fever took hold of us! We had a whole day ahead with nothing planned so we decided to take a drive to visit my sister-in-law and her husband. JoAnne and Archie retired this past summer to a beautiful area near Bobcaygeon, Ontario and we don't get to see them that often.

The 2-1/2 hour drive was wonderful - light traffic, lots of scenery and wonderful signs of spring all around us. After we arrived at their home we enjoyed a lovely afternoon visiting, having lunch and becoming familiar with their new surroundings.

Their house is situated with their back yard on a canal, where they dock their boat in the summer, and they are right across the street from beautiful Pigeon Lake.

With just a little neighbourhood park and beach between them and the lake, they have a full view of the water at all times.

Even though there was still ice on the lake, the fact that I was standing on a beach after a long winter made me want to put down a towel and do some sunbathing! My family was greatly relieved that I resisted the urge though!!!

I think the sun and the water put everyone in a good mood. My guys even willingly gave me a smile for the camera!

As we walked around the neighborhood, we met a sweet litter of puppies! They were too cute and of course my son wanted to take one home. But at $1,500.00 a piece, there wasn't a chance!

The ducks were taking advantage of the thawed area where the canal meets the lake.

When our visit was over, we said our good-buys and drove off into the sunset. I was filled with a real sense of well-being, having reconnected with family and having spent time enjoying a wonderful Spring-like day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Have Been Tagged!

Rosanne tagged me in the 4th Folder/4th Photo game. The instructions are to go to the fourth file in your picture folder. Then choose the fourth picture and post it on your blog.

When I did this, I came across one of my favorite photos!

This is a picture of Spencer and Amanda, Carolyn's daughter, at the pumpkin patch in 2007.

Now I get to tag some of my friends! I am tagging Carolyn, Karan, Patti, Heather, and Laura. Feel free to play even if I didn't "tag" you. Leave a link to your post in the comments section and everyone can check out your fourth pic too.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's All In The Details

There has been a tremendous amount of creating that has been taking place at our store in the last little while. Not only do we need to stay on top of designing for our regular classes, kits and displays for the store, but we also have two huge events taking place in the next month that will require a number of extra designs to be done.

With all the new products that have been released recently, it has been very easy to get inspired to create! In fact it can almost be a distraction when there are so many beautiful papers on the shelf calling your name and you have to tend to other jobs first. That is why I am usually not allowed to help unpack the boxes when they arrive! I get so excited about what I am unpacking, that if anything else needs to be done --like a customer that needs to be waited on -- I am totally useless!!

I would love to show you some of the layouts that I have created lately, but since they are scheduled to become classes and kits in the next few weeks, I can't. I can give you a sneak peek at some of the details though!

How is that for a little teaser?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker is one of my best friends! In fact, she has been one for almost 25 years now (ever since I received one of her cookbooks as a bridal shower gift). Betty and I have spent countless hours together in my kitchen, cooking and baking and trying new recipes that have since become my family's favorites.

I would have to say that my Betty Crocker cookbook is truly a treasure. I have picked up many other cookbooks throughout the years (sorry Betty), but for good, solid, no-nonsense recipes and cooking advice, I return to Betty time and time again.

After all, if you need to know how long to cook a turkey, she can help. If you want to know how to bake with yeast, Betty will tell you. If you don't know the difference between roasting, broiling, baking, panbroiling, panfrying, braising, or boiling - it's all in her book. She even shares a great Chocolate Fondue recipe! (You didn't think I would overlook that one, did you?)

Tonight, I returned to Betty's cookbook for one of my all-time favorites - Creamy Scalloped Potatoes. This is an absolutely delicious recipe that I have made many, many times. It goes so well with a number of different meats, especially ham, and is quite simple to make.

When I reach for my Betty Crocker cookbook, it is like reaching for an old friend. Some of the pages have ripped out of the binder from overuse, some have food stains on them, the tabs are bent and worn and the pictures are very outdated. But there is always the sense of the familiar. And familiar is comforting.

If you would like to give this recipe a try, I know you will enjoy it. And I am sure that Betty won't mind if I share it with you! After all, what are friends for?

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

6-7 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-1/2 cups milk
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon flour

Peel and cut potatoes into thin slices (to measure about 4 cups).

Heat 3 tablespoons margarine in saucepan over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Arrange potatoes in greased 2-quart casserole in 3 layers, topping each of the first two layers with 1/2 of the onion and 1/3 of the white sauce. Top with remaining potatoes and sauce. Dot with 1 tablespoon margarine. Cover and cook in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until potatoes are tender, 60 to 70 minutes longer. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.


Sunday, March 8, 2009


We had a wonderful time last night as we attended a delightful dinner theater with some friends of ours!

We enjoyed a delicious dinner buffet and an original, new comedy, Reunion, written and directed by Ron Eagle from Elmira. The play was about a College’s 75th Reunion weekend and it kept us laughing throughout the entire performance.

When we heard about this evening, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to have our own reunion of sorts! So we invited 3 other couples, long time friends of ours, to join us. It is always great to catch up with old friends, share some laughs, enjoy a good meal and take away some special memories of a fun evening.

Gary & Pat

Mary & Tony

Craig & Karen


We have shared friendships with these dear people for many years! Weddings, babies, new homes, holidays, anniversaries, funerals, backyard barbecues, afternoon tea, laughter and tears have all been a part of our relationships. While we don't see each other as often as we would like, we all just seem to pick up where we left off the last time we met and we continue to hold a special place in each others hearts.

Reunions can be wonderful! When was the last time you had one?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Island Charm

Our last on-line crop inspired me to do a bit of personal scrapbooking! Karan posted this single page layout sketch, which I loved as soon as I saw it!

I used it to create this layout with more of my photos from Mackinac Island.

Then I took Carolyn's circle challenge and created a second page!

For both layouts I used new papers from Kaiser Craft, Bazzill flowers, Close to My Heart rub-ons, Kaiser Craft gems and Chatter Box brads and chipboard. The Island Charm title letters are Doodlebug Design's Loopy Lou alpha stickers.

Thanks for looking!

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