Saturday, January 31, 2009

Too Many Babies

I remember how we were so careful when she was a newborn and wouldn't put anything in the crib with her, as the book experts and our pediatrician had told us that they were smothering hazards. All the adorable baby quilts, pillows, and other snugglies were carefully removed when we lay her down. We've certainly come a long way from those days!

Now she's all about her babies, and she has a ton. These aren't even nearly all of them. At bedtime we find ourselves trying to bargain with her as we attempt to move some from the bed to her shelves. Each time we try, she gets all panicky. "I need her, I NEED her. I need baby," she'll insist. Today at nap time, Brad had actually done a good job removing them, and had a stern talk with her about how we don't get out of bed until Mommy or Daddy come and get us.

This is what I saw when I came in to get her up, so much for that talk! They're all back in, can't believe there was room for her too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Recipe Roundup - Tortilla Soup

Today's new recipe was supposed to be made on Tuesday, but as you all know we had a little mishap. It's from my really good friend Margaret, who I met in college when I pledged Kappa Delta Sorority my freshman year. Not only do we have great memories from our university days, but now we're making new ones as we navigate motherhood together. She has a four year old, so she's my go to gal when I have questions as she's the trailblazer when it comes to having kids among my friends. My daughter and her youngest girl are also just three months apart so it's great to have someone who's got experience but is also going through all the same milestones as you are.

Margaret gave me this great recipe, that the entire family liked. Granted ER mainly liked fishing out the corn, but she did eat quite a bit too. Always nice to be able to all eat the same meal, and it was super easy. It's also healthy too, until I add a dap of sour cream, sprinkle of cheese, and chips that is, but still pretty healthy after my additions.

Tortillla Soup Slow Cooker Recipe

16 oz can refried beans (Margaret notes: I use the vegetarian ones, they are healthier)
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
14 oz can fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
3/4 cup chunky salsa
3/4 cup boneless skinless cooked chicken cubed
1/4 cup water

1. Combine all ingredients
2. Cook on low 3-4 hours
3. Add cheese, chips, sour cream etc. to individual soup bowls

We used mild salsa so that ER would eat it, but that made it too wimpy for me! It still had good flavor, but next time I'd definitely get some hot salsa and pepper jack cheese to stir into my bowl. After living in CA and NM, I like my food with some kick!

Thank you to everyone who's sent their recipe, we plan to make everyone's contribution. If you come across another meal that's become a "go to" dinner that your family likes please sent it on over. I'll feature you and if you've got a blog link to yours when we make it. Read my plea for help here before you sent it, please.

I'm working on a cute new binder using more of my scrapbooking paper scraps to keep all my recipes together in, and I hope to post that soon!

UPDATE: Pop on over to Katie at A Listmaker's Life, she's got Soup-er Saturday going on over there. Go and see all the soup recipes shared and add one of your own too!

Plaid Kid's Crafts Blog of the Week is ME!!!

I think I'm going to have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming!

I just got an email from Kia, the editor of Plaid Kids Crafts, a blog produced by Plaid, the makers of Mod Podge. As many of you know, Mod Podge just happens to be one of my favorite crafting supplies, so this was especially thrilling to me!

If you haven't already, check out my previous posts: Altered Baby Board Book, NOEL Letters, and A Love Note and Our Sweet Kitties to see three projects using Mod Podge.

Guess who's next week's Blog of the Week? Yours truly!!! Kia is going to email me some crafting related questions, but the post featuring my baby board book is already up. So please stop by and be sure to leave a comment, cause I've noticed previous Blog of the Week features don't seem to have any. So please leave me some bloggy love and your support ♥ I'd really appreciate it!

There are a lot of fun things on the site including a whole category on Mod Podge, party ideas, recycled crafts, ideas for room decorating - check out these kid's wall canvases, and Valentines - I'm already planning on making these.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their sweet words of encouragement and their compliments. I appreciate each and every one and they really do mean a lot to me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Got Scraps? Make a Password Mini Boook

Got paper scraps from various crafting projects laying around?
Turn this... Into this!
Why? Cause you love surfing the Internet, belong to a lot of websites, and have a lot of passwords. Remember you're not supposed to use the same one over and over. Make a handy dandy little mini book to keep track of them, that's cute AND functional.

Begin by compiling your paper scraps, cut them into 3X4 inch pieces, or any other small dimensions. Just make sure they're all the same. Round the edges, if you like, and punch a hole into the top corner of each one. Embellish the front cover, I used a sticker, letter rub-ons, a flower jewel, and ribbon scrap.

Assemble the book by putting all the pieces of paper onto a book ring, I got mine at Staples. Write a website on each piece of paper followed by its password. Display by your computer and enjoy never needing to have your password emailed to you again. Change your password or stop using a particular site, simply pull out the page. It's so easy to add more pages too.
Update: Hi and welcome to all the visitors from Tip Junkie, I'm excited to be featured and so glad you took the time to stop by. If you've got learning activites or lesson plan ideas or if you're looking for some please stop by my new blog ABC and 123: A Learning Cooperative and become one of our first contributors and find out about our kick off on March 13th!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I can't believe it, how great can this be! I'm featured twice in one day! I submitted my button heart pillow awhile back to Tip Junkie, but didn't know if it would ever really "make the cut". How thrilling to find out after getting home from dinner that I'm featured there too!

UPDATE: I wanted to add that my pillow can also be found on petit elefant and Ashley at Domestic Divas Fancy made a really darling pillow door hanger, complete with ribbon hanger inspired by my project.

Picture Perfect Silliness

Brrr...we just got back from dinner at the local Big Boy, where our dinners helped raise money for our school's special education music therapy program. Doing a good deed never tasted so great, and the place was packed. BTW: Brad says his scruffy appearance isn't due to laziness, it's his play-off beard. He'll shave it when the Detroit Lions win the Superbowl. Guess he'll be rockin' the Rip Van Winkle look for quite awhile!
Yesterday I posted a link about free Valentine's photo cards; today I tried to take the "perfect" picture. Why is it when you really want to capture a great one, your kiddo gets all silly. She's very much into the hoodies these days, so when I wanted to get her dolled up in a dress this morning, she absolutely refused. Honestly, the limbs all turned to jelly! Okay so battle one to child, put her in warm hoodie outfit. Tried several times to get a picture, results: all pictures with eyes closed or tongue out. Nice, round two to child. Figured tonight before dinner was my last chance. Talked to her about it as we got ready for nap. She agreed to smile pretty after nap time. She actually took a two and a half hour nap, round three to Mom. Got up, brushed teeth, and ready to go for dinner. I'm thinking okay, pick my battles. The outfit is cute, try to get her to put the hood down, and the graphic on the card will get the idea across. Don't worry about a filly girly dress. What will my child NOT do without tonight, and keep in mind it's 100% dark outside, her sunglasses- of course! Please note extremely big smile, match point to kiddo. We'll try again tomorrow, cause I've got a few more days to get it but I'll add this one did come out cute, even if it's not what I expected!
Here's some more silliness I thought I should add, although it happened yesterday. I think this is one of the time honored events in childhood. Pulling the toilet paper down, why should my child be any different? She's got a big grin, and is jumping with excitement - which is why it's slightly out of focus. What fun.
Some fun for me! Cathie at Just Something I Made, a blog I follow, has just helped me add an email gadget to my blog, whoohoo! She's got simple instructions on her blog and has some cute email graphics you can use. There was even one with a little birdie on it, perfect for me! Or do you think the blue with black border would be better? The blue matches the blue of the bird on my header but I thought the black seemed out of place. Anyway, if you've been wanting to add this, check out her post here. Peruse her blog while you're there too, if you'd like some inspiration with a vintage flair. Can't believe the things she does with clip art books and a scanner!


Hi Everyone!!! I am so excited today!!! I can't stop with the !!!, so can you tell? I wanted everyone to know that I am featured at Little Window Shoppe and it's my very first guest post. Emily, who's the founder and editor also said the nicest things about me and I am truely so honored and happy. I feel like I need to celebrate for sure! Please stop by to see the feature: Make Keepsakes from Your Old Baby Board Books. See the original post here.

And while you're at the Little Window Shoppe be sure to look around at all the great finds that Emily has found! There's a little bit of everything on the site from yummy looking recipes, easy to make crafts, the best giveaways, and a great collection of store featuring the cutest of cute. And did I mention how bright and cheerful the site's design is? I love visiting!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Crock Pot Mishap & Free Photo Valentine's

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry, as we learned today. I had hoped to have a chicken tortilla soup recipe to share. My husband came home at lunch time, got everything ready, put all the ingredients in the crock pot...and...forgot to turn it on. We were in and out today, and I guess we didn't notice it wasn't working away. Cause when we went to eat dinner...well on the bright side we learned that Melissa's taco bake really is just as good the next day as leftovers:) My mom pointed out too that it lookes like something that can be put together ahead of time and then heated up later.

It's just annoying that we were actually took the time to plan this week out. Monday: Taco Bake, Tuesday: Tortilla Soup, Wednesday: Dinner out at the local Big Boy Restaurant for a fund raiser for the school, Thursday: Taco Bake Planned Leftovers, and Friday: Tortilla Soup Planned Leftovers. As you can see the cook once, eat twice method was being put to good use. No looking at each other at 5:30 with blank stares about what to eat.

Did manage to get somethings done, have finally decided on a theme for the Valentine's playdate. I've found a cute post for a Love Bug theme here, with some neat ideas for themed food too, and on the same blog some simple examples of how to decorate the dollar spot mailboxes I picked up at Target.

But the most exciting part of the day by far was going to My Urban Toddler with ER to meet in real life my fellow Michigan blogging friend Joy, who I found through Blog Around the World! She was very nice to meet us at a kid's play area, that gave ER something to do, and let us talk. We had a great time, and hope to meet again for some shopping fun!

UPDATE: Just checked in on Frugal Family Fun Blog, and found this post. It's for real and through a service connected to one of the scrapbook magazines I subscribe through which is published by Better Homes and Gardens. You can six free photo valentines and even the shipping is free, so it really is free! Just enter the code valentine at checkout. I love this kind of stuff, I've gotten some of free stuff over the years from Shutterfly but you almost always have to still pay shipping and handling. But it's only untl Feb. 1 so get crackin' on taking a cute picture! I'm going to try and get one tomorrow:) I love free!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Recipe Roundup - Taco Bake

Thank you to everyone who's already sent us a recipe, at my request for help working on our resolution to cook more at home. Today we made our first one, courtesy of my friend since high school Melissa. She actually sent us three, the most from one person so I decided she'd "earned" the right to be first! Melissa is the friend of mine, whose wedding to Tim, was the one I was a bridesmaid in. Aren't they a cute couple, and don't ya' love those red shoes!

She warned me this one wasn't healthy, and it certainly isn't, but that it is yummy, which it is! We lightened up the best we could by using low fat meat, reduced sodium taco seasoning, reduced fat cream cheese, reduced fat sour cream, and less shredded cheese. It's completely different from anything we've ever made, we're not connoisseurs of the casserole, but this one was a delicious change of pace. I'm pretty sure if it hadn't been sent to us I'd have never made it, cause it sounded a bit weird to me. That's why having recipes our friends and family already like is wonderful; there's more of a chance we'll like them too! This one was really good and smelled great the whole time it was being made. Melissa says it also tastes just as good the next day as leftovers too! It makes a big pan, so this might be one to save for when my family is coming over, so we all eat a little along with lots of salad, and so then there won't be leftovers to call my name the next day! I'm always looking for something to feed a crowd!

Melissa's Taco Bake:

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
15 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. seashell pasta
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened in microwave
1/2 cup sour cream
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese Directions:
1. Brown ground beef, drain. Add taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

2. In the meantime, cook pasta according to directions. Drain.

3. Mix softened cream cheese and sour cream in separate bowl.

4. Spray bottom of 9x13 pan. Put pasta in bottom of pan.
5. Spread cream cheese mixture over pasta.
6. Spoon ground meat mixture over this.

7. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

8. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
We had ours with a green salad, cause the ONLY thing you should be eating with this rich dish is a veggie! I think I'll have to do a lot of cardio on the elliptical to make up for this meal, but it was so worth it:)

Felt Needleholder

For the novice at needlecraft's like me, felt is your best friend. When it's on sale you can get yard for $2.49 at Joann's, so it's pretty cheap, the ends don't ravel, it cuts easily, and doesn't show all your mistakes. It's thinner than fleece and stiffer too, so it's easier to work with.I found a tutorial on Melissa's blog One Crafty Mumma for an easy felt needle holder. Check that, may it would have been easy if I could have left well enough alone and followed her directions. Well we all know I'm having trouble with sewing curves, so the first thing I decided was that I was not going to use the machine to sew on the bird. Then I thought, wouldn't a blanket stitch around it look cute? So my quick little project took a lot longer because I decided to add a bunch of hand sewing to it. On the upside, I really like how it came out. It gave me an excuse to use one of my favorite color combos: aqua blue, purple, and lime green. Only thing is, ER saw me working on it and now she wants one. Can't very well give the two and a half year old a needle holder. So now I'm on the hook to make her a wallet, as well as the cute felt food that are also featured on tutorials on Melissa's blog.A note on the template included with the tutorial, Melissa is from Australia so the directions are to print it on A4 paper which is different than US standard letter sized paper. I only used the bird from the template and cut my pieces to 4x9 for the two outer pieces and 3x7 for the inner one. This holder will really come in handy because before now, random needles were rolling around in my sewing box, no more poked fingers...always a good thing:)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Felt Peony Flower

UPDATE: 2/9/09, Finally decided what to do with one of the flowers, I attached it to the headband with a few little stitches so it could be removed if I change my mind later. I thought it'd be too big for this, but I really think it turned out cute.

Yesterday while the hubby was out doing guy stuff, I let the kiddo watch a video from the library because she ate lunch like a champion. Meal time is getting harder and harder, not because she's ultra picky but because she's a grazer. She'd like food left out continuously so she can drop in for a bite or two here and there. She loved getting a chance to eat popcorn with mommy on the coach all snuggled under the blanket.

While she was occupied I had a quite moment or two, for once. I saw this tutorial at yoonie at home awhile ago, and have been wanting to make them ever since. Her pictures show better, how cute it is. Her blog takes a moment or two to load, wait for it. I love them! They came out really well, require very little supplies, and are easy to make. All you need is the time to cut them out. I also plan on using her felt flower pin tutorial. There are more tutorials through out her blog along with some free printables here and there, so check the archives. It's a fun blog to read because she's from Malaysia so looking at her daily life can be like reading a travel log. She also helps with a lot of weddings and makes some incredible decorations.

I actually made a blue and a pink felt peony, but when I uploaded the pictures of the pink one I discovered, horrors of horrors a big cat hair on it! So maybe I'll share that another time. Today the plan was to finish adding the button to the centers of my felt peonies and then attach them to either clippies or headbands. Haven't decided exactly what to do with them yet, might add a pin back and make a brooch out of one to attach to my many tote bags for an extra bit of color.
I'm working on a cute birdie needle holder and a pin cushion, both from tutorials I found online. Now that I'm spending more time with my sewing machine, it's time to accessorize:) Spent over forty minutes cutitng out four 8x9.5 inch rectangles for a clutch, so hopefully I'll have some more pictures of completed projects soon. Working with my new rotary cutter and big clear plastic ruler took a lot more time than I expected. Hopefully that'll get easier as I get more practice.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Love Note and Our Sweet Kitties

All the artists and crafters I visited last night through One World-One Heart 2009 got me thinking about some of my favorite projects. These are both a few years old and are some of the first efforts I made as I began creating on a regular basis. They're also two of my favorites.
The first one is the Valentine's Day card I sent out in 2006. It was inspired by an article from Stampington Inspirations Winter 2006, back issues are still available online. I don't think Stampington publishes this particular magazine anymore, but they do have several other magazines. I like Take Ten in particular because it has a wide range of stamping projects that can be finished in ten minutes or less.
For my project I used the folded heart template from the article From the Heart. I was immediately attracted to it because of the interactive elements, the fun tags that I used to include my holiday greeting. I stamped and embossed one tag. For the other I formated text boxes in Word, typed out my message, and then used a template to cut out the tag shape around the sentiment.
The next project from the vault, so to speak, still sits out in my crafting room. I love the bright colors and the picture of my kitty Mabel is so sweet. She's a kitten still in the picture. It was also my first decoupage project as I began branching out from scrapbooking. I remember when I was done, I was so proud of myself for thinking to paint the frame's back and sides; how clever I thought adding the letter beads to spell out her name was. Sure I've made more elaborate ones since then, and I'd probably design it differently now. But when I look at it I can still remember how deeply satisfied I was, a grown up, "I made it," moment!
Since I've got Mabel in the frame above, this seems like a good time to introduce our other cat Beaver. No we didn't name him. He was named by one of the animal shelter's volunteers after a Zuni animal totem, which are small carved animals often out of stone. We lived in Santa Fe at the time, a lot of people there collect animal totems, and believe that the properties of the animal reside in them. We adopted Mabel and Beaver on the same day and they are the first pets Brad and I had together. Brad jokes they were our trial run at parenthood, as any pet owners knows, like kids they both have their own little personality quirks. I've got quite a collection of Mabel getting into trouble, I'll have to post those together sometime.

Friday, January 23, 2009

In Need of Some Crafty Inspiration?

Kathy over at Kathy's Cottage is giving away the cutest black and white apron. She's part of One World-One Heart 2009 and there are an amazing amount of craftsters, photographers, jewelery makers, and artists of all mediums over there. There is a huge list of participants, over 400 and growing. Each one has a link and each one has a give away. It's a great way to find a lot of inspiring work all in one go. Or should I say several goes since it'll take hours to go visit them all. I just spent over two hours, time I was going to spend working on sewing a pillow for ER's room, captivated by all the inspiring work. I am so glad to have found this medium through which so many people can share their work and ideas.

I think I may have to begin several new crafting hobbies; my husband is going to freak out! I especially like seeing all the jewelery, my MIL makes things but I haven't learned the trick to putting things together so they look pretty. The altered art was also very cool to see, that's a little closer to what I have done in the past. The vintage inspired flair to a lot of them is so beautiful. I wish I could do that style of work, but I am never happy with the results! After seeing some of the pieces that have been created I think it's time to try again. I want something that lovely for my house, and I'm so unlucky I can't count on winning anything!
One crafter in particular caught my eye, she's Nikki at WhiMSy Love. Her give away is overflowing with cuteness, I especially love the Valentine owlie plushie, {sigh} if only my little endeavors came out that nicely.

Take a look at her long list of very helpful tutorials, I want to make the hanging advent calendar, top middle photo, cause I just so happen to have an extra organizer hanging around here. On her blog she has detailed pictures of all the neat-o ways she came up with the represent the numbers like, a handprint for five, a domino for eleven, and so on. Great ideas! The fabric luggage tag she made would also be great on backpacks with your child's name, school, teacher, and room number, the paint sample notebooks are the cutest, and the felt art kit would be a great quiet activity to keep ER entertained in places like church or restaurants. I love how it can all roll up into a small zippered case to take along with you. I have lots of felt scraps, so glad I saved them! Other fun tutorials I plan to use include the button flower bouquet and felt dessert picks, I think they'd be great a pencil toppers too.

Now the point of this blog was to show off my own crafting endeavors, but sometimes one has to make exceptions. I stopped at this blog and stayed. Check it out and get your craft on! And for the record I did ask to use her pictures and she did email me and give me the go ahead, yea!

I thought of one more source for free graphics that I forgot to include in yesterday's post, it's at Homegrown Hospitality, a blog I found because I bought all four special issues of Home & Heart that featured the artwork of Stephanie Ackerman. On her blog in the left hand column there is a box titled RAK Doodles. Click on that and you'll be taken to a gallery of her doodles that you can save to your computer, print out, share, and post. Just don't sell them, but DO add a link to her blog. That's where I got the cute on in this post. She also has some fun inspirational sayings. I have a feeling this blog will become peppered with them:)

My First Meme

Vickie at Vickie's Scrapbooking and Tidbits tagged me for my first meme! Does anyone know how meme's got their name or what meme might stand for? I'm wondering if it's Me Me as in once you're tagged you answer a lot of questions about yourself so visitors to your blog can get to know you better. After answering all the questions you are then supposed to tag 25 other bloggie friends, to get to know them better. There are a lot of questions in this one, and I don't think I know 25 other bloggers to tag, so I'll just answer these and if anyone who drops in is so inclined, please consider yourself tagged and respond on your blog. Leave me a comment so I can visit and read your answers.

I will however, officially tag Noelle. She just gave me an award and when she answered the honest questions she had me laughing away. I'd love to know her take on these questions! She's having a great time at a scrapbooking get away at a bed-and-breakfast in Amish country right now, lucky girl!

It'd also be fun if some of the other gals who follow my blog like, Katie at a Listmaker's Life, Sarah at Mrs. D. Lightful, Anna at K E Household, Joy at Joy to the Blog, and Aime at A Diet Revolution would answer them too, so I can get to know them better! Aime was my first follower that wasn't a family member or friend that I pestered into following me. I really don't know much about her other than she works in education. But I'd love to know more! I think everyone else I pop in at has already been tagged with this meme or received an award from me lately and has those questions to answer. I'd even love it if anyone wanted to answer just a few or maybe just their favorite five.

Here are my answers...

  1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My formal name is Kathryn and I got my name because my mom admired her boss' name.
  2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Honestly, I can't remember right now. Life must be good!
  3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I do but I don't really like including it on scrapbook projects because I can't seem to write in a straight line. If I could get it to look orderly and centered then I'd probably love it, cause I hate taking the time to format and print journalling out.
  4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Salami, although it's high fat and salt content means I limit how much I indulge in it.
  5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes I have a two and a half year old daughter. I also have two four year old kitties.
  6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIEND WITH YOU? Of course, in fact I think it's safe to say we'd be best friends. Since we'd have so much in common:)
  7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Oh yes, hopefully most people get it and don't just think I'm rude! In fourth grade I was marked down for conduct on my report card because I was deemed sarcastic.
  9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not in a million years as I don't like the sensation of being dropped, so also no roller coasters, no rides that drop, don't even really like elevators, and hate flying.
  10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I don't really like cereal unless it's in Chex Mix, but Pops and Honey Smacks are pretty good.
  11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No and most of my shoes are slip on.
  12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Too many flavors to choose just one, depends on the mood but I do like butter pecan, chocolate chip mint, and plain jane flavors vanilla and chocolate, both of which have to be with nothing in them.
  14. RED OR PINK? Pink but a deeper pink not pale baby pink unless it's for ER.
  15. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? That I need to lose weight for health reasons and I hate exercising!
  16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Alicia, who's in AZ.
  17. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? Of course, but mainly I'm doing this because I haven't posted all that much about me and it's a quick way to let people know a bunch of random things about me. Right about now I'm realizing it's a long list and you have to retype all the questions too. Does anyone know how to cut and paste in the posts?
  18. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Do sweat pants and slippers count? Black and teal blue.
  19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My husband reading to ER in her bedroom next door.
  20. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON WHICH COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Lilac, aqua blue, or happy colors!
  21. FAVORITE SMELLS? Lemon, peppermint, coffee
  22. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Margaret, about setting up a Valentine themed playdate for our daughters.
  24. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Detroit Tiger baseball, figure skating, and gymnastics - although my husband would argue the last two don't count.
  25. HAIR COLOR? Black
  26. EYE COLOR? Brown
  27. DO YOU WERE CONTACTS? Not any more
  28. FAVORITE FOOD? As if I could just chose one!
  29. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, I am way too much of a scardy cat for the other!
  30. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Movies, did I mention I have a two year old? Haven't been to the movies in ages, might have been the Indiana Jones movie...on television, do kids videos count?
  31. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Black fleece, very cosy indeed:)
  32. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer for sure, on the ocean please!
  33. HUGS OR KISSES? I'll take either!
  34. FAVORITE DESSERT? Not really a dessert gal, but anything warm and chocolately with gooey fudge sauce and real whip cream is pretty good.
  35. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Vickie, I am sure will leave a sweet comment!
  36. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Since I'm not sure if I'm sending this to anyone...
  37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne by David Starky
  38. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR MOUSE PAD? We don't have one, but in the past ours has had sea otters on it and the other one had our picture on it.
  39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? No time for television last night, too busy reading blogs til 2 am or so :)
  40. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My baby's happy squeals, toddler girly girl saying," I love you, Mommy," or "Baby needs kisses," or asking me, "Will you be my kissaroo," that one's from a favorite book of ours.
  42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? When in CA --> Hawaii, when in NM --> MI, and when living in MI --> FL.
  43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Other than taking on too much or trying to get too much done in too little time? I like to think it's scrapbooking, papercrafts, and general craftiness. I certainly have a lot of enthusiasm for them
  44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Seoul, South Korea
  45. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? I'm eager to see everyone's answers and I'm even going to visit Vickie to see what the other people that she tagged wrote.
  46. HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER? Our mutual friends in high school decided to fix us up. We met a local used music store that let garage bands perform Friday nights. We met at one of those performances.

Vickie also gave me this award too, now I've gotten four awards! It's so fun to be winner!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scrap Honest Award!

You meet the nicest women out here in blogland. I just got my third award, Scrap Honest from Noelle at Lil' Bits and Pieces of Me today! She is so sweet and always leaves the nicest comments for me. She's a teacher in training and wants to be a kindergarten teacher, so right off the bat you know she's a fabulous woman even before I add that she scrapbooks too!

The rules for this award are:
1. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2. Show the 7 winners' names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing then that they were prized with "Honest Scrap", the nifty icon they can display proudly on their blog.
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

Here it goes, 10 honest things about me although I don't think I'm nearly as humorous and interesting as Noelle!

1. If I'm in a bad mood, I can eat an entire bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos during the course of a day.

2. I have serious foot phobia issues, I can't let anyone touch mine...EVER!
3. I am addicted to Bravo reality T.V. shows, especially The Real Housewives of O.C. and Top Chef; while I like to pretend I only watch quality shows like documentaries on the History Channel...

4. My secret shame is that I also LOVE Bret Michael's Rock of Love and Love Bus on VH1. Those girls present themselves as so trashy; I should be embarrassed to admit in public that I watch it, but I was a HUGE Poison fan in their heyday. Bret wasn't where it was at for me, no siree, I was a C.C. Deville girl, I always liked the guitarists. Saw him on Surreal Life and boy was he irritating, he'd have driven me nuts in minutes!
Still following along on the reality reel of shame, I'm addicted to the Girls Next Door on E!, and I am completely aware a good little Catholic girl like me should NOT be watching anything to do with Hugh Hefner but I cannot stop watching. I'm horrified yet fascinated, and hmmm what would it be like to be a Playmate, although I know one thing I don't think my parents would be "cool" with it or think it was an honor like some seem to.

5. I was a big metal head in the 80's and loved hair bands like Skid Row, Whitesnake, Slaughter, and Warrant. I plastered my closet doors, walls, and ceiling with their pictures. Oh sure now, when I watch their videos on VH1 Classic I wonder what was I thinking...and yes that is Def Leppard's Greatest Hits in my car's CD player and yes I do listen to it all the time!
6. I am so G rated that my idea of a big night out is going to Borders, getting a Raspberry Mocha Kiss drink, sitting in the cafe, and reading magazines.
7. I was so nervous about having a c-section that as the spinal started kicking in I FREAKED out, this while already in the operating room. My husband had to be brought in quickly and ahead of time while they simultaneously gave me a little something something to calm me down. Evidently, it conked me right out cause the next thing I remember was, "Look over here, it's your baby," all I could do was mumble somewhat incoherently, "Oh that was so fast!" They must have been like, "Yep that one's loopy!" This is an example of do you say it, maybe how high strung I can be!
8. I really, really, really wanted a little girl and even though I said the normal politically correct things like, "All I want is a healthy baby," I'd have been really, really, really upset if ER had been a boy. Oh sure I'd have gotten over it and loved him just as much but we're being honest here!
9. I'm adopted from South Korea; my younger brother is also adopted. This next part is what always surprises people, I don't have a burning desire to visit my "homeland" nor do I have an overwhelming urge to find out about my birth parents. Sure I'm curious, and if that information came to me I'd take it, but I feel like I know about my HOMEland. It's called the United States of America, and I KNOW my parents. They were over my house yesterday along with my brother, and for the record I REALLY want to travel to England.
10. Even though I have no idea of how to house train or take care of it and I definitely don't want to walk it everyday in the freezing cold, I want a puppy! A little fluffy mom thinks I'm nuts! The sensible part of me knows we have to wait until the kiddo is older and the husband says NO, I secretly want one all the same. Wonder how the two kitties we have would feel...

Passing The Bloggy Love On: Now for the seven blogs I'm to pass this along to, this is the best part for me, getting to recognize the great blogs I read. It was hard to pick just seven because I enjoy so many, head on over to to see them and tell them I sent you :)

1. My friend Vickie of Vickie's Scrapbooking and Tidbits, is so popular she gets a ton of these, I think this one might actually be one she doesn't have yet! Yea! She gave me my first blog award and I was sooo thrilled, I've been wanting to give her one back and this is my first chance.
2. Tori, at The Breathings of My Heart, is a super sweet girl; reading her blog brings me back to my early college days and young love. She's an amazing writer and writes from the heart.
3. Jessica at Kid's Napping? I'm Scrapping! has the prettiest vintage inspired art work. I love the details she puts into everything, check out her paperbag books!
4. Jeanne at Jeanie's Happy World has lots of reason's to celebrate right now, she just found out she and her daughter got scholarships to go to college, yea to them! She's also just as funny as can be and is the very definition of honest!
5. K E Household, is full of fun toddler antics and easy crafts; it's fun for me to see toddlers around the world (0r at least North America - they're in Canada) be very similar and yet so different!
6. Mrs. D. Lightful has a great recipe blog, I'm so going to make chocolate covered heart shaped brownies for Valentine's and the homemade Oreo's sound yummy too. She also has mommy blog with good crafting ideas like the Love Birds Paper Craft, and the one on how to make your own baby headbands, wish I'd known how to do that when ER was younger.
7. Julie at Journey to Family I immediately liked because she lives in a purple house, then I found out she's an adoptive parent and of course I liked her even more. Then to top if off she has an awesome attitude toward open adoptions and keeping ties to her daughter's native country and family.

FREE Graphics Coming Up!!! And while there isn't a prize per say for this award, I decided to share my favorite links for free graphics on the Internet. The second and third resources I found when I was looking for fun ways to decorate the weekly newsletter I sent home with my students as a kindergarten teacher. I also used the stationary in writing centers, the kids loved seeing new seasonal choices and such a little thing made practicing writing fun again, and who doesn't love having a matching envelope to put their letter in afterward. At my last position, when I was a special education teacher even cutting out the envelope was a lesson, working on fine motor skills. Unfortunately, I had to use black and white copies most of the time to save on ink costs but they still loved them. Once in a while I'd print them out in color or on colored copy paper and they loved finding this surprise in their work box.

Lettering Delights is having a promotion for 10 free alphabets and free Valentine candy bar wrappers. I don't know how long this is going for so if you want them head on over soon! From time to time they have free graphics and other free alphabet/font promotions.

Cute Colors has sweet graphics for sale, and also has a free section with clip art sets, lists, journling cards, and greeting cards you can print out in color or in black & white so your kids can color them in. The coffee bears are my favorite, the housework bears make it look not so bad, and I love the variety of children that she provides in sets like Winter Kids so that most of my students could be represented at some time or another on the newsletter.

Graphic Garden and Art 4 Crafts are both by Helena and are two more great sites. She has graphics for purchase, free websets, and printables such as stationary with and without lines, envelopes that coordinate with some of her free stationary, calendars, scrapbook tags, school awards - these are great for a teacher on a budget, print them out on white cardstock and save yourself a bundle, bookmarks - again great as prizes for reading goals, recipe cards so your recipe collection looks as good as the yummy food you make, and patterns for crafting or as coloring pages. There are even cross stitch charts and you can send a fun digital postcard too. A lot of these have seasonal options; on Art 4 Crafts she has ideas on how to use her graphics under Projects for You and Photo Gallery.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Like Mommy

Remember the post about my love of bags, well judging from the picture above, I think she's taking after me already. Please note that she's got four bags and purses hanging from her baby's stroller. Hmmm...wonder how she knew to put them there! Come to think of it, that's not even all her bags, she's got at least one or two more. Another way she's a chip off the ol' Mommy block, a few days ago we sat down for a snack. She went right away to get her magazine to read while eating. Hey a girl's got to keep up on all the latest Build a Bear fashions! Guess she's noticed how I always have my nose stuck in a book during casual meal times.

And I haven't remembered to take a picture of her chowing down on a crunchy dill pickle yet, but she's already proven she's inherited a love of salty things. My paternal grandma gave me my first pickle when I was little and I haven't stopped eating them since. I just remembered that my Aunt Barb gave me a recipe for Dill Pickle Soup when I got married eight years ago, I may have to look that one up and actually try it as part of my recipe round up. It still sound weird but she swears it's totally edible.

Thanks a lot for all the great suggestions and recipes in my mailbox. We're looking forward to trying chicken Florentine, ravioli lasagna, slow cooker tortilla soup, turkey chili, and pork chili verde. Keep them coming and thanks for your help! They all look pretty healthy too, and after my oatmeal raisin cookie and ice cream extravaganza tonight, my jeans feel a little tight so that's a good thing! My advice, if you live by a Meijer's grocery store, just keep on walking right past the bakery section and their large plastic tubs of bakery cookies. The containers have way too many cookies in them, and you will love them. And yes they will go straight to your hips or in my case tummy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Say It Ain't So...Good Bye Simple Scrapbooks Magazine

I finally stopped in at The Simple Blog, one of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine's blogs that I used to read regularly, until I started reading so many personal blogs online and found this post. I am so sad, my favorite scrapbook magazine is no longer going to be published!

Sure the word is it's going to be folded back into Creating Keepsakes Magazine, where it's concept originated, but it won't be the same. I was just wishing it would publish every month instead of every other and now after the May/June 2009 issue it won't be coming to my mailbox at all. I always liked it because it had simple and clean designs that were easy to reproduce and because each issue has a simple album scheme, and I love mini albums. It helped take the design work out of the equation while still letting you personalize things with your paper and embellishments so more time could be spent getting all those great memories down on paper.

I do like Creating Keepsakes, especially Becky Higgin's monthly sketch, but they're adding more and more digital scrapbooking and frankly I just don't have the time and energy to learn a ton about digital. Plus I like good ol' fashioned paper and scissors fun. A lot of their designs seem to require a lot of work, more than I've got right now, especially since I just added blogging to my list of must do.

Better and Homes and Garden's spin off magazine Scrapbooks Etc. is also a great magazine, probably my second favorite after Simple Scrapbooks but a lot of their content eventually ends up being on their website. Great but then why subscribe, well I do because was running a super duper rate for Christmas but before that I got most of it online. I do really like having a paper format it's much more accessible for me.

I love Somerset Studio Magazine type work with it's shabby chic artsy designs but that look doesn't come naturally to me. It's more of something I admire other's for. I especially like their magazine Artful Blogging it's full of beautiful photographs and inspiration. But their magazines are expensive and a bit hard on the pocketbook. By the way, if you're looking for some vintage inspiration work try Jessica's blog. I love looking at her stuff.

I've also learned the Country Home has stopped publication, and I read Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion is too, although I can't find an Internet confirmation. A magazine I loved and subscribed to for years Victoria magazine just started back up again, is that in jeopardy? What about another fave Country Living, could even, dare I say it, Martha be in I know I'm jumping to conclusions but hey that's what's running through my head right now. You can probably tell I'm a magazine junkie by now, hence the withdrawal pangs!

I'm sorta worried about Paper Crafts Magazine too. Also published by CK Media, you can find it on Creating Keepsakes's main web page under magazines. It recently reduced its number of publications per year to six, will it be going away too. I am so bummed, stupid economy being slow...she whined.

Recipe Rescue! Help a Girl Out, Blogher Gals!

Okay so one of my resolutions this year was to cut down on eating out and work on increasing our stock of go to recipes for meals. The idea is to make a new recipe each week. The last week or so has to be chalked up as a dismal failure on that count. So girlfriends, if you've got a recipe or two that are quick and easy but still full of flavor send them my way. Please keep in mind I would be considered an extremely novice cook and absolutely hate things like fish, liver, and other weird proteins. Basically, I've got the tastebuds of a toddler. Our dinners seem to be a revolving menu of taco night, spaghetti, hot sandwiches - i.e. same ol' lunchbox sandwich but toasted, broiled chicken, hamburgers, and throw everything on a plate of lettuce and call it salad. We recently masterd crock pot beef stew but that's pretty much been our lone addition to the rotation, and I'm already getting sick of that too! I am particularly interested in healthy recipes but even something sinful is probably better than another night at Chili's and a plate full of deep fried goodnes smothered in Ranch. Please help us begin a new leaf and start a healthier lifestyle so we can be around to bug ER with too much parenting advice...NOT that my own dear parents ever give me too much of that:) When we make your recipe I'll feature it on the blog, include a link to you, and extend our heartfelt thanks!

If your recipe is too long for the comment page or you're one of my friends without a blog who drops in occassionally to catch up, please email:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kindred Spirits

I can't believe it, I got my second blog award today. I am so touched and honored. Vickie over at Vickie's Scrapbooking and Tidbits gave it to me. The longer I know her the more we find out that we have in common. We both live in Michigan, and she currently lives in the town I grew up in. So I can talk about stuff like Mile Roads and she knows what I'm talking about! She is married to an accountant so he's also a math guy just like Brad is. Brad's a chemist but double majored in mathematics too, he actually likes math better than science. Math runs in his family as his mother is a retired middle school math teacher. I'm a complete dunce when it comes to numbers and figures so let's home ER takes after him. We're both SAHM's, Vickie has three girls; I've always said I want to have three girls. We've got one down, and we'll have to see about the other two. For now, I can live vicariously through her. We both like purple, scapbooking, and reading history, especially about European royalty. I think it's safe to say we've also got a love of blogging in common too. I am so glad I clicked on someones Blog Around the World button on a whim, where I found her under the listings for Michigan. Speaking of which, I am now passing this award on to Joy at Joy to the Blog, who I also "met" at BATW. She's another Michigan blogger and she lives right by me! We both love glittery things and thrifting; she's introduced me to some great stores in our area. I can't believe how much fun I am having in such a short time and all the great ladies I've met! I wanted to start a blog for a long time before I did and I am so glad I jumped on the bandwagon.

Big Bright and Beautiful Bags

I used to carry cute little handbags and prided myself with how much I could fit in a tiny little bag. Well those days are certainly LONG gone and their disappearance coincided with the arrival of a certain little someone. Now I find my collection of cute totes ever growing along with the pile of pull ups, wipes, snack cups, drink boxes, toys, crayons, books, and my own stuff like wallet and cell phone that all need to fit in them ever growing.

These days I'm carrying this sizable bag from, gasp the ultra uncool Land's End, and I'm lovin' it. It fits all my stuff and camera with room to spare. Plus it's so colorful it's bound to match nearly anything I'm wearing. Yes I'm one of those people, type A enough to bother changing what I'm carrying to match today's outfit. The only downside is no zipper, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices for fashion!

One of the reasons I got a sewing machine all those years ago in the first place was to make my own bags. Fast forward a few years and actually using it to make anything has become one of this year's resolutions. As you know from past posts, I've had some sucess but definitely have a LONG way to go. Spent some of my baby free time yesterday while the MIL watched our kiddo at Barnes & Noble in the craft section reading up on how to make it around the dreaded curve.

Since I am so far from making my own little, I mean my own big bag to carry I'm always excited to see a chance to carry an exclusive design and not have wait until I can maintain a seam allowance and learn all that right side to right side stuff. Keri over at Quaint and Quirky is celebrating her one year blogiversary and giving away this lovely one she made. After the last few dreary days of MI weather and being in a car accident I could use a little ray of sunshine don't cha think? So when I saw the big bright flower on it, I knew it would be just the thing to cheer me up. So go on over, say hi, and enter. Once I get up and posting my own craftiness more, I even hope to sign up for her Sew Craft Blog. I'm really a scrapbooking and papercrafts gal, but trying to branch out into more general crafty goodness, wonder what category I'd fit in.

She is very crafty and sells handmade things on Etsy, where I love to waste way too much time browsing. She even has a blog post on Henry VIII, for those of you not in the know British history is an obsession of mine and besides scrapbooking and crafting books often the only other thing I read. I have the book she mentions too, the author Alison Weir is supposed to be in my area next month. Keep your fingers crossed that she actually makes it for the book signing. She's my all time favorite author and the one who started my whole love of England. I'm more excited about meeting her than any movie star. Yep, I'm a big history nerd! And how lucky was Keri to go to England for her honeymoon! That's where I wanted to go, but settled for Maui instead because I hate flying and when we lived in CA it wasn't ever going to be a shorter plane ride there. When Brad moved me against my will to NM from CA if we hadn't gotten pregnant within the first year, we were going to go to England, well you all know how that turned out! Not that I'd ever trade ER for a trip to England...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Home Again

Breakfast at Grandma's, such a nice way to start the day! We got up bright and early because some of our little friends had their birthday party this afternoon; we needed to get moving. After a quick bite and a little snow play, we were off. Like usual ER couldn't go directly to the car, she immediately stomped through the snow drifts on the porch, put her mitten into piles on the side of the driveway, and started a snowball fight with Daddy. There's nothing like a child to put a smile on your face!
Thanks for the comments and emails expressing concern and thankfulness that we're okay! In the grand scheme of things it was a minor accident with just the back end damaged. The drive home was slow going and we did see a truck spin out ahead of us, luckily almost everyone slowed down and there wasn't yet another accident. But wouldn't you know, in the left lane there were still impatient drivers, probably annoyed we'd come to a stand still trying to zoom around. People like that should stay home and not endanger everyone else. I know we're a society of cell phones, but when your car is skidding around the corner maybe it's time to hang up. We saw more than one driver weaving, who was on the phone. We also saw a multi-car accident with the cars banged up quite a bit more than ours, so yet another reason to be thankful for our outcome. We've decided it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, because that woman was going to hit whoever was in front of her; it just happened to be us.
As far as ER is concerned this weekend was great fun: made brownies with Grandma on Saturday, ate them with ice cream, jumped around in the snow today, played with friends at the birthday party, and got to eat a big cupcake with pink frosting.
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