Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Little Red Wagon #48

Happy Wednesday everyone! The sun is shining and we have a brand new challenge on Little Red Wagon - it doesn't get much better than that!

This week Avril has challenged us to make our own embellishment. I decided to try making a flower using a technique that Deanna showed us here.

It was quite easy to do and I love the way it turned out! Then I added a layer of three buttons, some scraps of paper, a bit of trim and a couple of little heart buttons. I finished it off with a 'thanks' rub-on.

Bright and cheery - just like today! Check out what the other Girlfriends created and give making your own embellishment a try. We would love to have you play along :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Forum Challenges

We have a really great forum at Two Scrapbook Friends that includes challenges posted by our Design Team that are fun to participate in.

Each Wednesday, a new card challenge is issued and I decided to play along with a couple of them. First, Avril challenged us to make a baby card and this is what I made...

This was a quick and simple card made with a Cricut die-cut, a border punch and some left-over tulle that I had.

Then Bobbi challenged us to make a card with squares and I decided to go with a fall theme...

This card is made with the new Basic Grey Pyrus line - gorgeous papers and embellies!

If you enjoy a fun challenge or if you are just looking for some inspiration, why not check out our Forum? It would be great to have you join us :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Isn't She Lovely?

I am very blessed to have 7 adorable nieces that I totally love! They are all beautiful and fun and oh so girly!

My sweet 15-year-old niece, Emily, shared these photos with me recently. Her friend got a new camera and did a photo shoot with her. I was amazed at how gorgeous they were!

The wonderful thing about Emily is that she is even more beautiful on the inside. She is sweet, kind, bright, sensitive and loving. I am truly blessed to be her aunt ♥

Friday, September 24, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Remember this post? It was back in the early summer and we were reworking an area of our patio/garden and installing a new fence section.

Look at it now! This lovely garden area next to our patio has been such a delight for me over the summer. The small plants that I put in a couple of months ago have grown like crazy!

One of my favorite additions to this area is this sweet little bird bath that I found at Winners for only $20.00! I just love it!

I also love my little angel statue that has earned a front row spot.

It was given to me when my Dad passed away a couple of years ago, so it is a sweet reminder of him.

This butterfly garden stake was a gift from my Godson, Patrick, and it is a treasured addition to my garden.

I really wish that summer would last for a couple more months. Just when things are full-grown and beautiful, Fall starts knocking at the door. I am not ready to give up my little backyard retreat just yet! (sigh)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Little Red Wagon Challenge #47

It was my turn to post the challenge at Little Red Wagon this week and I chose Glitter!

I found this beautiful Cherish title from My Mind's Eye that has lots of glitter on it and I thought it would be perfect for a card. So I paired it up with paper from the same line, cardstock, ribbon and a decorative pin. Then I added some pink Liquid Pearls along the scalloped edge on the left-hand side.

Pretty. Pink. Glittery. Perfect!

If you want to see more beautiful glittered projects, be sure to check what the other Girlfriends have made. I am sure there will be lots of sparkle to brighten your day :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On The Road Again

When we were at CHA Chicago this past July, Carolyn and I found some fabulous new sketch books that provide great inspiration for scrapbook pages and cards. They are called Sketches for Scrapbooking and we were quick to order them in for our store. They are absolutely wonderful and just packed with great sketches.

I had the opportunity to play with one of the sketches recently and I made up this layout.

I used papers from My Little Yellow Bicycle and a car and suitcase that I cut using the Cricut.

My photos are from I trip I took last summer to Lexington, Michigan, a quaint little town on the shores of Lake Huron. It has lots of shops and restaurants and a beautiful little marina.

It feels good to get some of my photos into my scrapbook :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Little Red Wagon #46

Help! I'm seeing stars! (lol) Deanna challenged us to use stars on our project this week at Little Red Wagon. I found some old Scenic Route paper in my wagon that was perfect for this challenge.

I also found a sticker from the same line, so I combined them into a fun card. I added a die-cut star, two corrugated stars, some ric-rac and a button and I think I met the challenge quite well!

I love dimension on cards, so I used some foam adhesive to adhere the die-cut star and then I layered the corrugated star and a button on top.

I hope you play along this week and make something using stars. Check out Little Red Wagon to see what the other Girlfriends have made :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Something that takes me back to my childhood is stuffed peppers. It was always a late summer/early fall dinner that my Mom would make up for a Sunday meal and I always loved them! I have had many stuffed peppers over the years, but I still favor my Mom's recipe the most.

Today was my day off work, and for some reason (maybe the slight chill in the air) I had a craving for stuffed peppers. So I found my Mom's recipe, went shopping and prepared a much anticipated meal.

The only thing that I changed from my Mom's original recipe, is that I used a mixture of peppers (red, orange, yellow, green) instead of all green. I prefer the milder taste of the red, orange and yellow peppers and I thought, why not? I know that my Mom would probably shudder at the thought of anything but green peppers for stuffing, but I decided to go out on a limb and give it a try.

Guess what? They were simply delicious!

Stuffed Peppers

2 lbs. ground beef
1 can tomato soup
1 egg
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 small onion, diced
4-5 bell peppers, cleaned and halved

Wash the peppers, then cut them in half and remove the seeds.

Next, mix the ground beef, tomato soup, egg, rice and onion.

Generously fill each pepper half and place in casserole dish. Then mix a second can of tomato soup with 3/4 cup tomato juice and pour over the peppers.

This is the best part, because when the peppers cook, the tomato soup/juice makes the stuffed peppers all saucy and delicious!

Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Oh my! Soooo good! I served them with boiled baby Yukon Gold potatoes and green beans. A perfect fall meal :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Little Red Wagon Challenge #45

I just love my Girlfriends at Little Red Wagon. They always come up with such interesting challenges that make me scrap outside the lines. This week Rosanne challenged us to use a photo on a card.

Once again I had to put my thinking cap on and give this challenge a bit of thought. I started with a pretty picture of some outdoor scenery. I played with it a bit and it just didn't work. Then I started looking through my photos and this is what I came up with.

I used a photo of our beloved Chelsea.

She has such a wistful look in this picture and I thought 'missing you' was the perfect sentiment.

THEN... I saw this photo of my niece that my ds took! I thought it was just hilarious - so...

I made this card!

Thanks Rosanne for a fun challenge! Now you have to pop over to Little Red Wagon and check out what the Girlfriends did this week. I am sure you will get lots of inspiration for using your photos on cards!

Have a great Wednesday :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teacher in Training

So today is back to school day! It is the last back to school day for us at the elementary or high school level as our youngest starts grade 12 this year. (bitter-sweet) I told him to really enjoy his last year of high school, but to work really hard because I expect him to get top grades! (Nothing like a little pressure to keep him in line!)

Anyhoo, I thought it would be appropriate that I post this layout that I was able to work on yesterday. I used the new Crate Paper collection, School Spirit. It is an absolutely amazing line that I fell in love with when I saw it at CHA. It has awesome colors, is double-sided, has great matching elements and I know where you can get some! (click here)

My ds has wanted to be a teacher ever since he started Kindergarten. Last year he was in a Co-op program at his school that allowed him to be a teacher's assistant for a semester. He was able to work with a Grade 6 teacher in the elementary school that he used to attend. He loved being back there, walking the halls again and re-uniting with his old teachers. He also loved working with the students, helping out with administrative duties, helping to plan lessons and doing extra-curricular activities with the school, such as organizing sporting events and emceeing the year-end assembly!

So even though this is his last year of high school, I would imagine that Spencer will have many, many more back to school days in his future - both as a student and as a teacher!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Canoeing the Grand

After talking about it for a long time - we finally did it! We canoed the Grand River.

Last weekend we decided to do a 2-1/2 hour trip on the Grand River and it was wonderful! It was sunny and peaceful - well, except for the many times that Mr B and I were arguing over which side of the canoe we should each be paddling on - and it was beautiful and we wondered out loud why it took us so long to do it!

Mr B and I shared a canoe and Spencer was by himself in a kayak. It was just the three of us - a good time for some family bonding, even though Spencer paddled along far behind us at his own pace. (I think he was pretending not to know us!)

We enjoyed the scenery and the wildlife and we had fun trying to guess exactly where we were along the river as there were not very many buildings or landmarks to guide us.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday and I am sure we will canoe the Grand again sometime. We are very fortunate to have this kind of nature right in our own back yard!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Taste of Home

When we were growing up, Sloppy Joes were something I always enjoyed. We didn't have them so often that I got tired of them, but a few times a year my Mom would make up a big batch and everyone looked forward to having them.

I still have my Mom's recipe, which I have always thought was the best. But recently I saw a recipe that had all the same ingredients as Mom's, but with a few added spices. Eager to try something new, I made some up yesterday (modifying the recipe a bit) and they were delicious!

I served them with some fabulous Kettle Chips and fresh corn on the cob from Herrles Country Farm Market! Perfect! My guys are not big fans of Sloppy Joes which is why I don't make them too often. But they both went back for seconds - so I am hoping that means I will be making them again soon!

Here is my recipe if you want to give them a try.

Sloppy Joes

2-1/2 lbs. ground beef (approx. 1.2 kg)
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 large green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-1/4 cups ketchup
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste

Brown ground beef over medium high heat. Drain off fat.

Add onions, green pepper and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables soften.

Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, Worcestershire Sauce and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture over fresh Kaiser roll or sliced bread. Top with a slice of cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Note: You can also serve Sloppy Joes over cooked elbow macaroni noodles. Yummy!

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