Friday, January 31, 2014

We Got Snow, We Got Food, We Got Plans

We finally got some decent snow to cover up all this brown - this wicked, wicked brown.  Unfortunately I had to go out in the snow.  I was secretly hoping for the 12" they called for and a closure of schools.  Unfortunately, all the high totals stayed north and east of us.  Well, and to the west where they are expecting feet instead of inches.

Being in Colorado, aka Bronco country, I think it's the law to gather and watch the Super Bowl.  We aren't huge football followers, but we'll be watching and cheering and I'll find some munchies to throw out for the game.  Now whether I'm watching the game in the family room or down in my studio remains to be seen.  As for a winner . . . weeelllll . . . our sunrises and sunset have been blue and orange lately.  I'm just sayin'.

Speaking of food, my menu planning this week was all Pinterest.  While the dishes aren't munchie-fare or typical game-day foods, any of them would work to put out whether you're watching the game or crafting the game away.

  • Creamy Chicken (Turkey) and Wild Rice Soup - I used rotisserie chicken and true wild rice, rather than a wild rice mix.  The rice "bled" a bit so the color instead of golden was a bit more muddy - but it was one of the best soups I've had.  Creamy, rich, and the wild rice was just the thing.  This would make a good day-after-Thanksgiving soup, or an "I'm scrapping, go pour yourself a bowl."
  • One-Pan Enchilada Pasta using this homemade enchilada sauce.  This was a quick to put together meal.  It needed a bit more punch seasoning-wise, but I think it was because I should have used my taco seasoning when the meat was cooking rather than waiting until it was cooked like I do when I make tacos.  The enchilada sauce was a first try and it was good.  I only used 3 of the 4 tablespoons of chili powder - next time I'll use the 4th.  It, too, was a quick to pull together piece.  Overall it was well received by the family.  I may try cojita cheese along with the cheddar.
  • Kentucky Hot Brown Bake - the blogger of this recipe said it's not the real thing, never having the real thing I wouldn't know.  But it was good.  I found the crescent sheets (I hate trying to pinch those rolls together.)  I may choose a thinner cut of turkey next time and the kids wanted more bacon.  I also will put parchment under to try to crisp up the bottom crust a bit more.  It would be great for brunch.
  • Slow Cooker Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken - this was fast to pull together and really good.  I used chicken thighs.  The sauce got a little thinned because the thighs were still partially frozen.  If I'd cared, or had the thought at the time, I could have probably reduced the sauce to get it a little thicker.
  • Spreads - These are like short bread bars.  Totally yummy and easy to whip up.  Top with any and all manner of goodies - like, oh, orange and blue M&M's maybe. ;D

My hard-to-get-going day isn't moving along much - I'll blame the snow.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cupid's Arrow - Valentine Treats

A big "Thanks" goes out to Kristin Perez for today's post on how she's making crafting a "to-do."

On this Valentine's Day the best Valentine gift I ever received turns eight. You see my daughter Amory came exactly one month early and disrupted my doctor's romantic dinner reservations, my older daughter's classroom Valentine party (went into labor at her school - it is still talked about at the school to do this day), and not too mention I had not finished washing all of her new things.

And for this reason now Valentine's Day is cake with candles and not dinner with candlelight, boxes filled with presents not boxes filled with chocolates, and a rosy cheeked little girl to love forever instead of a dozen roses to love for a short time.

I have been  making crafting a priority because Lori has inspired me to make crafting a priority.  So on the list of crafting is all of the things for Amory's birthday (she has picked a sugar skull inspired art party - it's tough - I will let you know how it goes), to scrap the last Disney trip before we leave Thanksgiving week for the next one, and tackling the scraps pile. In my effort to tackle the scraps I made cards. All of them are smaller than 4 X 4 and made completely from my scraps. All in all I made 107 of them. In this basket it doesn't seem like that much but they are all small and I have tackled A LOT of scraps.

I have cards for teachers, birthdays, and everything in between. It was such a sense of accomplishment! I highly suggest taking your scraps, your paper trimmer, adhesive and some ink and go to town. I also suggest removing yourself from where you usually scrap because you will want to add to what is intended to be a quick project! Meaning these cards are not embellished in anyway - they are all just paper and cardstock.

My next crafty project was the January Smaller than a Breadbox kit. In the kit were several arrow papers that screamed Cupid's arrow to me. Although Valentine's Day is a birthday day I also make small treats for my Valentine (my hubby Victor), my Valenteen (my daughter Priscilla), and my Valentiny (my daughter Amory). These are what I made:

On the girls' Valentines I bought heart shaped candies and cut out the arrows from the papers and created my own sweet arrows! For my husband I framed a piece of the arrow with the chalkboard paper, added a heart and a sentiment from the paper in the kit and wrote a little note on the inside how Cupid shot me with an arrow and the rest of the note is none of your business!

Make crafting a priority!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We Are

  • We are a little too happy to be "Sorry."  Congrats to Granny who wasn't the Sorriest in the end.
  • We are snuggling with Big Sister.
  • We are enjoying this Cherry Wheat!
  • We are catching the guilty "sneetching." 
  • We are savoring the last Cherry Cordial of the season.
  • We are loving Downton Abbey Season 4, and this touching scene between Bates & Anna was awesome!  We are hoping they get a break to just be.
  • We are reminded of Wile E Coyote and the ever elusive Roadrunner.
  • We are home, sick.
  • We are up before dawn to catch this sliver of a moon and Venus.
Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Traditional Layout - Go Me

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I did pretty good incorporating my scrapbooking into my everyday over the weekend.  I had already pulled photos to go with this Bazzill Nordic Pines line from the January Smaller than a Breadbox kit.  

I already knew I was going to do a traditional layout. . .a decision made for me because I was out of Project Life® photos to work with.  (I took care of that over the weekend, too.) To take the "must create" pressure of, I used a sketch from Becky Fleck's Scrapbook Page Maps:  Sketches for Creative Layouts.

I stuck pretty true to the sketch - minus one photo.  And a "woohoo" for me is that I used a pretty decent chunk of the embellishments, typically a struggle.  Plus, holy cow, I painted and glazed the chipboard.  What got into me?!

Here's what I had left over, about a third of each of the papers, the black ATC tag, a few buttons and the Goosebumps.

Using that, plus cardstock from my own stash I created three cards - including the one based on a January Card Kit card (by Wendi Robinson) I picked on Friday.  I love the pleated ribbon look, but I'm sorry, I'm not hauling out my machine to stitch it down.  So, I just applied double-sided adhesive to the back of the ribbon and pleated away.  Wha-lah!

I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good about what I'm getting done - and it's taking a little practice to get into the practice of it all, but . . .

Also in the crafty arena, I knitted a bit, set up more photos sheets for getting more PL done - I have through August to print and I pulled and cut photos for another traditional layout.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Fighting It, Food and Inspiration

I'm a creature of habit.  A big one.  Just ask my husband.  My routines rarely change, from the time my feet hit the floor in the morning to my cleaning of the kitchen after dinner.  I have an order and a way to do almost everything I do.  Seriously, you could probably set the clock depending on what I'm doing.  I think my well formed routines are yet another layer to crack though in my quest to incorporate crafting as a to-do.  

Fridays are typically a tough day for me to get rolling - so what better way to crack the routines I'm so attached to while making something of a Friday, than by intentionally mixing things up.  I have my list of to-dos, making a layout is among them.  To help break my usual cycle I am purposely ignoring the dishwasher and blogging first.  I will sweep the floors after I at least mess around with the photos I plan to use.  I left my bed unmade (unheard of!) in favor of eating breakfast first.  And I can't tell you how hard it is to look in the kitchen and fight the urge to put down my laptop and go clean it up.

I'm planning to use the (eventual) scraps from the layout I do today to create a card based on the one created here by Wendi Robinson; she used the January All Year Cheer Card kit.  The January Card kit is put together to help you prep for Valentine's Day (Wendi created seven cards) but my papers will be far from lovey-day inspired - I'm looking forward to it!

Now if you have some crafty plans for the over the weekend you can make this yummy Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal ahead of time so your family can warm it up and let you sleep in, or leave you alone if you are still crafting away.  I used frozen cranberries - just tossed them in frozen.  I only had one apple, which seemed plenty.  The only downside is that it was a little drier than other baked oatmeal I have made.  Don't think I overcooked it.  It might have been the missing apple lending a little more moisture to the mix.  Or it might just be the recipe - I'll have to compare it to an Apple Baked Oatmeal recipe I have made and see if there's a difference in the ingredient lists.  Still, though, it's an awesome recipe - the tart pops of cranberry are yummy and a splash of milk in the bowl after reheating makes it perfect.

Now, it's not a breakfast in and of itself, but it could be part of your weekend breakfast, or a nice morning snack with your coffee during a crafting break.  I made this Winter Peach Cobbler for dessert on Monday and it was amazing.  I used the Colorado peaches I canned last summer.  The recipe didn't have a lot of sugar so I worried it might be a touch bland, but it was perfect.  I sprinkled Turbinado Sugar (aka Raw Sugar) on top instead of granulated and it was just the ticket.  We had it with ice cream, but whipped cream or just plain works, too.

I'm off to continue to shake up my routine, which now, purposely, includes crafting.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Now That's How You Do It and Project Life® 2013 Weeks 19 & 20

"My crafting as a priority is working - sort of! I finished my last two layouts with the January kit, took all my scraps and made 107 small cards, yes 107. All of them are 4 X 4 or less. Took me three days - dragging all of it to dance classes too. Also completed Amory's birthday invites. Thank you for inspiring me and challenging to make crafting a priority instead of a reward!" ~ Kristin Perez

First, just gotta say, "Holy Crap, Kristin!  107 cards!"  And you're welcome. . .you are definitely proof that a small change in perspective can wipe away the excuses we use for not crafting and then bemoaning not crafting.  Awesome.  Now. . .I wanna see those cards, LOL.

I already talked about my struggles to get my mind-set changed to make the crafting I love (and miss) from a reward to a to-do.  These layouts for my Project Life® 2013 I completed a few weeks ago and they've been sitting on my work table waiting to be photographed and moved to my album (which is now done.)  

The scraps, however, cluttered my table and taunted me.  I had used the cardstock for the pages (both traditional 12x12 and pocket), I had punched some random circles from one sheet and cut up two others for the journaling block and a filler.There wasn't much left in the way of embellies.  The remains of this Smaller than a Breadbox kit from 2013 - I think it was March or April - became my "warm-up."  I decided to make a card to get me into "doing" and picked a sketch from an Aly Dosdall Big Picture Class I took.

I seldom add the sentiment - that makes the cards flexible for whatever event I need them for; I just write it in when I use it.  What was left, you ask?  A fairly full sheet of the circle paper will go to the kindergartners and scraps from the other two into the trash.  The two jewel flowers and brads will go into my stash.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We Are

  • We are getting surprises in the mail
  • We are working hard at making crafting a "to-do"
  • We are having High Tea at The Brown Palace as a belated birthday treat with sisters, mom, daughter and niece and missing one sister and niece
  • We are couch-potato'ing and playing NHL14
  • We are working through stash and thinking that's it's about time for another purge
  • We are working on Project Life® 2013
  • We are cheering on the Broncos with help from a sister who made us tattoos (we are sure this is why they won - homemade tattoos)
  • We are soaking in the crystal clear skies and two-tone teal of the lake
  • We have extra passengers on the ride today
  • We have a patched dog
  • We are celebrating this man's birthday.  Love you babe.
Happy Wednesday.