Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You are cordially invited to view my invite!

This invite was created with Stampin' Up!'s new My Digital Studio! I love it. Granted, it's not the fanciest thing ever created, but the program is so user friendly that I was able to get it created in less than 10 minutes. I can have them printed and mailed out to my customers super fast!

Also, if you are in the area and want to attend our stamp camp, please feel free to contact me. The projects we are making- and I mean it when I say this- are the cutest we've ever done. I'm part of a wonderfully creative team.

Hope you're all doing well!
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Convention Swaps

Stampin' Up! Convention is a month away and I do not have my swaps made. My hope is to have 200 card fronts ready to swap by then. The hardest part is coming up with the ideas. Here are some rejects. Now, when I say rejects, I want you to know that my reasoning for rejecting them are NOT because of appearance. I think the cards are darling. They are, however, intensive and when making 200 cards you want the cards you make to be both simple AND attractive.

I have 3 darling card that I will be mass producing over the next 30 days. Once we get closer to the big day, I'll post those pictures. I doubt I have many followers of my blog but I still want to protect my ideas! Better to be paranoid than sorry, I always say!

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cooking again!

Ben and I lived in an apartment right after we married. The apartment was decent. Before the wedding, we were time crunched to find a place. Ben had been living and working in California and moved to Utah (where we live now) a month before the wedding. I definitely didn't want the responsibility to find a place without his input, especially while also doing most of the wedding planning. We didn't have a ton of time to look and we took the first place that met our needs and fit our budget. It was 1,000 square feet, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. It had a laundry room and pantry and balcony and plenty of storage. It was in good shape. It was more than decent, I suppose, it was nice.

However, I never took pictures of it. While living there, I just couldn't get myself excited enough to document our first residence as husband and wife. I regret it now. One of my biggest complaints was the lack of windows. Natural light is a must for me and for my happiness. Also, the kitchen was small (and the only room, besides the bathrooms, lacking a window). The first few months of our marriage I planned meals and cooked because I was excited to do those "wife things." It didn't take long, though, to not want to cook in that closet of a kitchen. We started eating out. A lot.

And then Ben left for Canada. I swore to myself that while he was gone I would cook more. Exercise more. Read more. Craft more. More, more, more. It's hard to be motivated to do such things while your honey is so far away. I'd pick up fast food on my way home and then sit in front of the TV.

Next came the stresses of finding a house, buying the house, packing up the apartment, moving and unpacking in the new house. Eating out became a daily thing with Ben and me. I was so excited when we found this house because there is plenty of windows and even one in the kitchen! No window over the sink, which is a bummer, and I'm basically still facing a wall while cooking, but I'm still cooking in a kitchen FILLED with sunlight! Oh the joy!

We've been in the house nearly 3 months now and I'm just getting to planning a menu and sticking to it. And you know what? I feel better. We're eating more healthily. I'm losing some weight. It's glorious.

So, with that long introduction do you want to know what we've eaten lately? I've only taken pictures of two meals but they were tasty! One is a recipe that I tried for the first time yesterday night. I get a daily email from Martha Stewart. This was for Orange Beef Stir Fry. When I got the email I was very excited because I had all the ingredients already on hand. Except for the beef. So I made it with chicken instead. It was still delicious. It didn't have a very orangey taste so the next time I make it I may use orange marmalade or some orange peel or something. Other than that, the flavor was wonderful. Click on the link below for the recipe!

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

Tonight I made a tried-and-true Weight Watchers recipe. A few years ago my roommate and I did Weight Watchers together. We both had online memberships so I'd search their recipes and try them out. I don't think I'll make another spaghetti recipe. No high-fructose corn syrup bottled sauces anymore!

The recipe calls for carrots in the sauce, which I enjoyed. Ben wasn't a fan of carrots in spaghetti sauce. So, I added some green bell pepper. He isn't a fan of spaghetti noodles, so I boiled up some mostaccioli noodles that I had in the pantry instead. Serve it with a salad and you're set. See the link below the picture for the recipe. Love it!

Now that I'm in the habit of cooking again, I should have recipes to share more regularly.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Still playing. :)

Last week, my good friend Kym celebrated her birthday. Scheduling conflicts, as well as waiting for her present to arrive, made it so I couldn't give her the gift ON her birthday. I wanted to make it up to her by "wrapping" the gift in a special way. When I saw the tutorial here I knew how I wanted to package the present! Isn't that a fun bag?

I'm pairing the bag with the card from the previous post.

I'm also trying to come up with some simple, yet cute, cards to make for convention swaps. This uses the new in-colors in both designer series paper and ribbon as well as the new stamp set Teeny Tiny Wishes. The set and the ribbon are so versatile. In fact, the ribbon shown here actually has polka dots on the other side. I chose the non-polka dot side for this card because I thought the solid side gave a cleaner look.

This is another swap possibility, also using new in-colors and ribbon. I just love the new Lots of Bots set! So very cute.

ETA: The layout for this card is from Keesh's sketch challenge #9

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playin' around

So, it started when I saw this wonderful idea on Mary Fish's blog. Genius! Make a topiary out of the new Circle Circus set. I wanted to play with the new Stampin' Up! in colors so I chose Rich Razzleberry along with tried and true Old Olive and Orchid Opulence. However, when I showed my husband the following card, it took him about two minutes to figure out that it was supposed to be a topiary. He was right to be a bit confused. Topiaries usually are green, not purple!

A second attempt, with an appropriate topiary color. Somewhat boring though. Ah well. I'll keep trying. Gotta love the new polka dot ribbon!

And farewell to the lovely Taste of Textiles paper and Baja Breeze in color. This just might be a birthday card for a friend. We shall see. I didn't attend SU!'s Leadership conference, but I've seen people copying a card made there, which is very similar to this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Heart Attack Dessert

Checkout what I saw online today:

Cookie Cake Pie


Sunday, May 31, 2009

For my family.....

Here is a photographic preview of what will be available at our family campout (click on any photo to see a larger version:

A large campsite for all our tents....

...bathrooms with flushing toilets...



...and grandmas...

...lunch (and dinner and breakfast)...

...bongo heads...
...jedi mind tricks...


...nature walks...


...sippy cups...

...boats (should you choose to bring one)...

...roller coaster rides...


... and cousins (or nieces/nephews or grandkids all lined up in a row!

It's all about the family and I hope you'll all be there!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For the men

My father's birthday was on Cinco de Mayo. I made this card for him. The sentiment at the bottom says "he who has the most tools wins." I think this would also make an awesome Father's Day card. Soon I will post pictures of the card I made for Mother's day. Thanks for looking! (and thanks for not noticing the messy table behind the card)

Not a candy maker....yet!

So I tried a new recipe today. It's for Oreo Truffles. You can find the recipe (as well as some prettier pictures) here.

The dough was easy enough to make, but I really am no good at dipping the truffles....yet.

For this recipe I used special edition Strawberry Milkshake Oreos. They taste yummy, but they sure don't look too pretty.

If you're a candy maker, make these! They're delicious. I'll make them again and will probably try the mint creme oreos next.

Here are the not so round nor pretty truffles (I'm only showing the prettiest, which should give an idea on how bad the rest look).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ben's Home!

And I have some pictures of projects and recipes to share with you soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Almost-After pictures

Okay, so I wanted to wait until we were really DONE to post but I just can't help it! I'm in love with our new floors. Here are some pictures. Now, the floors were JUST installed so they are still a bit dusty. We pan to mop and shine them after we get all the moving-in finished.

Here's the living room. It used to have the yuckiest carpet. Now look at that warm, cozy room! I love the paint and wood combo.

The stair rail hadn't been re-installed when I took this picture. But it is back on now. We are still waiting for the wood trim. It is currently on back-order. Our current plan is to keep the hallway wall white, but we may end up painting it the same sand color later. We'll see.

It was overcast and rainy when I took these pictures so my apologies for the poor lighting. Anyway, this is the space between the living room and kitchen dining nook.

Our red kitchen! The trim still needs to be painted. Ben purchased a power roller to paint with and it was handy because it didn't require any real prep work (taping, etc.), which is why there are white strips in the corners and top and bottom of the wall sections. We'll be filling those in this week. Please disregard all the tools and supplies on our kitchen counters! ;)

Here's another view of the kitchen and the two red walls! It's very red but we love it! Even Ben, who was hesitant about having red walls, loves it!

Finally, here is the newest addition to our little family- PENELOPE! She doesn't look like she's very happy in this picture, but trust me, she's a sweetheart. She is all about the snuggling and was actually walking toward the camera to snuggle up to it when the photo was taken.

Her sweet profile.

I love this picture. Ben and Penelope are snuggle buddies. Penelope fills the craggy holes in both our hearts!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Before Pictures

I know I posted this in the previous post, but here's the front of the house again. It's not a very bright picture since we were checking out the house as the sun was setting. But don't you worry, I'll be posting lots of pictures of the house over the next while.

When you come to visit, knock on this door. Or ring the doorbell. Both work. Can you see a red door? I can't even though I want to. Eh well. That will be decided later. These pictures, as I've mentioned before, we're taken in January when I first looked at the house while Ben was in Canada. My plan was to email him pictures just in case I needed to buy a house while he was gone. Good thing I didn't have to!

Anyway, The house had been owned twice when we bought it. The original owners rented the house out, and there's some cosmetic problems with it because of the renters. The second owners, who we purchase the house from, were corporate. They pretty much went in and painted the whole house and maybe fixed some stuff (but not a lot, judging from the things we need to fix- anyway). They purchased it about the time the housing market started to crash in Utah. So- it went unoccupied for a long time. The paper you see taped on the front door basically says that the house has been winterized and not to run any of the water.

I pan to eventually put a small bench or chair to the left of the door.

When you walk in the house, you walk directly into the living room. It's a smaller room, but I like that. It's a more formal room and we won't be doing anything too major in it. Our plan is to rip up the carpet in this room and down the hallway and replace it with wood laminate. We will also replace the laminate in the kitchen (which you will see in a few pictures). Hopefully doing so will actually make the front room seem larger. I hope to also hang a large mirror on the wall across from the stair rail.

Ben has already started to paint this room. We are painting it a pale sand color but keeping the white trim. You'll see some after pictures of the painted room (hopefully with better lighting) soon!

This picture is of the dining area of the kitchen and was taken while standing in the front room. I like the bay window. (realtor cameo on the left!). We will place our round kitchen table in the bay window area.

The wall on the right will be painted the same sand color as the living room, and the wall on the left will be painted red. I'm so excited to have a red kitchen!

The two walls in this picture- stove and refrigerator (which we need to buy) will be painted red.
And the flooring will be replaced.

The picture below is of the master bedroom. The side wall is all closet and on the right is a window. The room will fit our california king-sized bed, which is nice. No walk in closets, which is sad, but it does have a master bath. I can't believe how many houses I looked at did not have a master bath! The current plan is to paint the walls blue but put beadboard paneling on the lower portion of the wall. You can see a sample here but just imagine, instead of yellow, a seaside blue paint! I think it will look really pretty.

This next picture is the downstairs living room. The tile is very nice although not professionally installed. It is pretty though, even if it isn't something I would pick out on my own. This room will be the "entertainment room" and on the far wall there are 10 outlets! I can't imagine needing them all since we aren't too big into gaming or TV or whatever.

In the picture you can see (L-R) our Realtor, Jennifer Gilchrist, and my step-mom and my dad. They came with me to look at houses while Ben was in Canada. When we have more money, we plan to buy a sectional couch and some area rugs.

This next picture is of the same room, but the other side. The open doorway to the far left is the door to go upstairs (where the kitchen, living room and and 3 bedrooms are). The hallway in the middle-right of the picture goes to the other two bedrooms- one of which is the craft room- as well as the 3rd full bath.

Below is the 3rd bath. The shower is a mess, even if it does look pretty. Whoever did it was not a professional and hence did not slope the floor. That means, water does not drain. So, we have to redo the shower. We want to salvage as much of the tile as we can, but we will make it not as deep. We'll tear out the wall on the right- thus extending the laundry room (Do you see that little closet to the far right? Yeah, that's the laundry space.) The tile you see for the shower is just the entrance. The shower goes all the way to the left wall.

This is the craft room closet. The picture does not do it justice! The thing is huge and all shelves. I guess there will be no excuse for the room to be messy, right? :P

This last picture is just one of the corners of our backyard. In fact, it is the smaller corner. The shed was there when we purchased it and we have plans to finish it (before the wood rots) this spring. You can see a peek of the RV pad and "patio" under the snow. Ben plans to build an awning over the cement this spring as well. This picture was taken from the master bedroom window. We are so excited to have a yard in which to entertain and garden!

There you have the before pictures! I haven't taken any pictures of the other bedrooms yet but if I do I'll post them. There are 3 upstairs and 2 downstairs. Our plan is to make one of the upstairs bedrooms an office and keep the 3rd open for now. :) The two downstairs will be the craft room and a guest room. I also didn't take any pictures of the bathrooms. Bathrooms are bathrooms. You can imagine what they look like.

More to come! Thanks for looking.