Friday, March 30, 2012

Card Share: Made with Love (Little Yellow Bicycle Savor)


As you may have noticed, from my Tasty Tuesday posts, I like to cook and bake and try new recipes. Family and friends often ask for a recipe so I made a card that I could tuck a recipe into and send if off. I wonder who will get this...:)
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Tween: Little Yellow Bicycle Paradise


My usually happy and upbeat girl is going through some tween changes this year (to be expected) and it's hard watching her go through this. One minute (and yes, I mean minute, LOL) she's laughing and having fun and the next minute she's sensitive and doesn't find the humor in anything. Sound familiar? I wish I could apologize to my mom for putting her through this (and she did it FOUR times!) because I only have to do it once. LOL! I'm thinking it's time to read the book, "The Rollercoaster Years", that many of my friends have recommended to me. :)
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let's All Hang & Dangle: Simple Stories Fabulous


I had a chance to scrap a bit this weekend so I pulled out Simple Stories' Fabulous collection once again. I can't get enough of the beautiful colors and patterns! Alexa was hanging on the play set in the back yard during last week's heat wave so it was a great time to get some photos (even though what I really wanted to do was tickle her, LOL!)

Here's a detail shot of the embellishment cluster on the right side of the page:


Oh, and the title is based on a fun book I used to read to Alexa when she was little, called...wait for it..."Let's All Hang and Dangle". :) Have a great day!
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Zucchini Bites

My family has gotten to the point that they laugh, and roll their eyes, when I tell them that I found something to try (usually a recipe) on Pinterest. They can laugh all they want because just about everything I've made is a keeper. :)


This recipe is meant to be made in mini muffin tins so you get a "bite" but I don't have a mini muffin tin. I used a good old regular-sized one so we got more like a little zucchini tart (and six "bites" instead of 12).


Now don't go freaking out like I did when you mix up the batter, and start thinking that it's not wet enough to bake. I almost added a bit of milk but Tom convinced me not to (and I'm glad he did because they turned out just fine). The top photo shows what they look like BEFORE baking and the photo below shows them nice and crispy and golden AFTER baking.

So, without further commentary, here's the recipe:

1 cup zucchini, grated
1 egg
1/4 yellow onion, diced (I don't like raw onion so I sauteed it for a bit in some olive oil, just to get them brown and tasty)
1/4 cup cheese (cheddar or Parmesan work best)
1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray, set aside.
2. Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water (like when using frozen spinach; or shred the night before and wrap in a few pieces of paper towel to absorb the moisture).
3. Combine the zucchini, egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
4. Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top (for minis, fill halfway for regular). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set (bake about 20 minutes if using a regular muffin pan).

Now you have something to do with all of the zucchini you might grow in your garden this year or your friends and family might give you from theirs. :) Enjoy!
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Chalking It Up For Fun: Bella Blvd. Sunshine & Happiness


Like most of the Northeast, we had amazing weather last week which gave us ample opportunity to spend time outdoors. On the last day of this March "heat wave", Alexa broke into a brand new pack of sidewalk chalk and went to work decorating our driveway. I couldn't resist taking a photo of her holding the fresh stash of chalk. It reminded me of breaking into a brand new box of crayons. Ahhhh...

Here's a detail shot of the flowers. I cut them out of a paper from Bella Blvd.'s Flirty collection, misted them, crumpled them, and let them dry before adhering with Pop Dots.


Another detail shot of the chipboard tree which I embellished with a trio of buttons.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

You Make the World More Beautiful: My Little Shoebox


It took a while for me to get into the groove with this layout. First, I chose two "vintage" black and white photos of me (as a baby) and my mom and they just weren't "speaking" to me. I then moved on to a recent photo of me (gasp!) and although I liked the photo with these papers and colors, I didn't know what to say, nor was I in the mood to put much effort into coming up with something. LOL! So I decided to go to my stack of photos of Alexa (I know, you're surprised) and it all came together.

Here's a detail shot of the layered embellishments:


A close up of the flowers. These are intended to be rolled flowers, but I liked the look of just "popping" them and then bending the petals a bit for dimension.


Thanks for coming by for a visit today. Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Card Share: Happy Fall


Today I'm sharing another card I created for Paper Craft's September/October '12 card sketch call but it didn't get picked up...which means I get to share it with you! :) I actually worked on this during our one "big" snowstorm of the season and I have to tell you how weird it was to work on a fall project in the middle of winter. LOL!


Patterned Paper: Cosmo Cricket (woodgrain), Bella Blvd. (all others)
Stickers: Bella Blvd. ("happy", "date"), Jillibean Soup ("raking leaves", "autumn", "apple orchard")
Chipboard: Studio Calico ("fall")
Diecut: Imaginisce (leaf)
Pop Dot: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L
White thread
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Card Share: Autumn Quilt Card


This is a fall card that didn't get any love from Paper Crafts this month (which means I get to post it and share it with you). This was based on the second sketch they posted.

Patterned Paper: Creative Imaginations (green), Bella Blvd. (all others)
Sticker: Bella Blvd. ("autumn")
Diecut: Imaginisce (leaf)
Buttons: SEI
Twine: Jillibean Soup
White thread
Pop Dot: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

(Photo from Eating Well magazine)

I get bored with eating the same old vegetables, the same old way. How about you? I found this recipe on Pinterest (imagine that!) and it sounded so yummy I just had to try it. Even better, Alexa had dance the night I made it so I didn't have to hear any complaints from her. LOL! Let me tell you how good this was...Tom and I finished it ALL off. Yes, we did and I'm not ashamed to admit it (at least it's healthy, right?). It was that good (in my humble opinon). Just in case you need a tasty reason to try cauliflower or you just want to make it a new way, here's the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets (about 1 large head)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I only used about 1 T.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (the original recipe called for marjoram but I didn't have any)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl (I like to put it all in a large plastic container with a lid and just give it all a gentle shake). Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

We R Goin' Bananas


A couple of weeks ago I shared my recipe for chocolate chip banana bread. This layout documents the recipe on a tag behind the photo. I pulled out Little Yellow Bicycle's oldie, but goodie, Savor collection because the colors and designs were perfect for this page and I added in a doily for good measure. :)
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Friday, March 16, 2012

She Loves Him So and a Liebster Blog Award

(Based on a sketch by Julie Bonner)

Three years ago, we adopted our sweet cat, Butterscotch. Technically he's Alexa's cat. She's responsible for feeding him and taking care of him. It's been a good lesson in responsibility for her and she realizes that having a cat is like having a child. There are so many parallels, it's not funny. LOL!


I pulled out more Dear Lizzy Neapolitan for this (actually, I haven't put it away because I can't get enough of it). :)


On an unrelated note, earlier this week Deedee nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award. Thank you so much! Take a look at Deedee's blog here.


The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are unclear but the word translates from German as "darling" or "beloved." It's given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers in order to generate some traffic for them. 



Here are the guidelines for the Liebster Blog Award:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Give this award to 5 other bloggers, who must have less than 200 followers, and let them know through a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Best of all, bask in the glory, have fun, and share the love!

Now I'm passing the award on to five other blogs that I love to read:
1. Izzy Anderson
2. Angie Gutshall
3. Lynn Murphy
4. Lisa Dorsey
5. Alicia Giess


Thank you to all of you for sharing your stories and inspiration. :)
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sweet on You: Fancy Pants Be You Collection


A couple of weeks ago, I did an impromptu photo shoot with Alexa (and no, I didn't bribe her with the lollipop, LOL!). This photo is one of my favorites. I converted it to black and white so it wouldn't compete with the beautiful colors in the Fancy Pants Be You Collection. I love the colorful results! Oh, and I created an index tab border to the right of the photo using my new Jenni Bowlin index punch. I'm loving this thing so you'll probably see lots of tabs on my layouts for a while. :)
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Scrapbooking-Related Pins of Interest

As you can see by the new addition to my sidebar, I'm now a full-fledged, crazy Pinterest member. It's opened up a whole new world in terms of finding things on the web that appeal to me. I thought I'd share some of my scrapbooking-related finds with you today.

First up is a quick and easy-to-understand tutorial on how to use your DSLR camera. I found it on kevinandamanda.com. Check it out by clicking on the "source" link below the photo.


Next up is something you can do with all of the fantastic photos you're going to take after reading the tutorial above. Find an old window to display them in! (Oh, and Connie, if you're reading this, you're going to love the blog it came from AND I'm commissioning you to find me one of these babies! LOL!) Be sure to check out the blog these came from. There's many more repurposed window ideas there.


Lastly, if you're like me, trying to create a wall collage of photo frames stumps me (to say nothing of the fact that I can't get them all lined up and straight on the wall so I always have to get Tom to do it). Here's a web site that will help you come up with creative photo groupings. I see many that inspire me. How about you?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Asian Glazed Salmon

I'm loving Pinterest because I can type in ingredients I have on hand, do a search, and a bunch of yummy recipes come up. I made this Asian Glazed Salmon last week to rave reviews. I made just a few modifications to the original recipe, using brown rice (because that's what I had on hand) instead of Israeli couscous and omitting the fish sauce (because I didn't have any). Experimenting is what cooking is all about, right? :)

Asian Glazed Salmon

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 6-oz salmon filets
brown rice
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, and ginger. Place salmon filets in a shallow dish just big enough to accommodate them and pour the marinade over them. Marinate in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Remove salmon from marinda, reserving the marinade, and grill until light and flaky.

Cook rice according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add garlic and saute for a minute. Add reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Add spinach and saute until wilted.

Serve the salmon over the rice and spinach, spooning any extra sauce over top.
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Monday, March 12, 2012

You Have Very Happy Feet


I just had to document the fact that Alexa NEVER stops dancing (and yes, sometimes it drives me crazy!) I think I've mentioned before that she dances anywhere and everywhere, even under her school desk (her teacher told me at our parent-teacher conference)! I'll say, "Alexa, time to set the table." Dance, dance, dance around the table. "Alexa it's time to go up for your shower." Dance, dance, dance up the stairs. And so on and so on. She even dances with the cat in her arms. Does he like it? No! :)

I'm thinking she takes after my sister, Morreen, who was a high school cheerleader. She pantomimed cheers throughout the house and practiced Russian splits in front of my Mom's bedroom mirror, creating loud thuds that could be heard from the first floor. LOL! Must be in the genes. :)
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Time for Another Sneak Peek :)


Last week I shared a peek of a back to school card. This week's sneak is from the same time of the year but it's a fall-themed card. I used lots of Jillibean Soup on this one, Apple Cheddar Soup to be exact. :)
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go :)


Late last week I decided to (ahem, finally) check out the Pinterest craze (and as you can see in the top right corner of your screen, I am hooked and you can now follow me there). :) While I was poking around, trying to find altered project ideas, I came across a YouTube video tutorial that teaches how to make origami dresses.

I thought this would make for a fun mother-daughter craft, so on Sunday I set my laptop up in the middle of the craft table (between me and Alexa), and we proceeded to make origami dresses. For the most part, the instructions were easy to follow and the end result is really adorable. You can do so many things with these! Alexa made a couple so she can decorate her locker at school (next year, mind you, LOL!)

I cut pieces of doily so I could mimic the look of lace under the pleat. I also used some deco scissors to cut just a snippet of pink cardstock to peek out of the bodice. Alexa's pearlized creation is on the right. Oh, and we got Tom involved in the craft too. He cut wire and made the hangers. :) I guess it turned out to be a crafty family affair. LOL!

I'm thinking these give new meaning to the saying, "All dressed up and nowhere to go." :)

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Selling Us On Cellular: The Layout Version


A few weeks ago, I blogged about the list Alexa made with the reasons why she should have a cell phone next year in 6th grade. Here's the layout version. :) I was so excited to use Simple Stories new Fabulous collection on here. Love the summery colors with just a bit of distressing. Totally my style!
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Tortellini and White Bean Soup

(Photo courtesy of All You magazine)

I was a bit hesitant to make this because I wasn't in the mood for any complaints. LOL! Neither Tom or Alexa have a love for just about anything in the bean/legume family and this soup has plenty of 'em. :) Regardless, I went ahead and bought all of the ingredients because it appealed to me (and if they didn't like it, I guess I'd be eating a lot of soup). Turns out they both loved it, beans and all (and so did I), and even took it for lunch the day after I made it. So here, in all of its glory, is the yummy recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8-oz. package fresh cheese or meat tortellini (I used a 16 oz. package of frozen cheese tortellini)
  • 1 15-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt, optional
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preparation

1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery, tomatoes and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until celery begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes longer.
2. Stir in broth and bring soup to a boil. Carefully add tortellini and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until soup is heated through and tortellini are tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt, if desired. Divide soup among 4 bowls, sprinkle each with 1 Tbsp. Parmesan and serve immediately.
The yield was more like 6 servings for us, probably because I added in the extra pasta.
Enjoy!
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Thinking of You Heart Card


Even though Simple Stories didn't show me any love when it came to choosing their design team, I still love their products. It's OK, we've kissed and made up and I'm on to other things. LOL!

To create this card, I penciled a heart shape on the text paper (to use as a guide) and then I lightly adhered a bunch of punched circles over it, sewing them down to keep them secure. I added the buttons in to give the card some dimension.
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Friday, March 2, 2012

One Red Rose & Ravioli: The Layout Version


Last week, I blogged about Valentine's Day (a bit belated, but better late than never, right?) and now I've committed the photo, and story, to paper. I used lots of Echo Park Yours Truly on here, with a bit of Jillibean Soup and Pretty Little Studios added for good measure. Does anyone remember who made the dotted black cardstock? Was it Bazzill? I've had it in my stash for ages and I was so happy to finally use it. Oh, and I also used the last of the antique keys I found when we cleaned out my Dad's apartment.
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Be True to Who U R


This is a life lesson themed layout (featuring Little Yellow Bicycle's new Paradise collection) about Alexa's struggles with wanting to be "popular". It's hard enough growing up in today's world, but then you throw this issue in, in fifth grade no less. I don't remember noticing cliques or "popularity" until I was in high school! How about you? Do you have a story to tell about your tween struggles?

Journaling reads: This year the topic of being “popular” has come up. It’s difficult to see you struggling with this but I know you have to find your own way. All I can tell you is what I’ve learned from experience (and already shared with you) — you don’t have to dress a certain way or act a certain way to get people to like you. You know what? People DO like you. You’re a great kid and you have so many positive qualities. Next year you’ll be in sixth grade along with 400 kids you’ve never even met. Imagine the possibilities in terms of new friendships! Just stay true to who you are and you will blossom and attract friends who like you for YOU.


Oh, and in case you missed it, this page was featured on Little Yellow Bicycle's blog earlier this week. :)
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