Monday, September 30, 2013

Back to School Challenge

Last day of September.  Can you believe it?  I know I said Friday that that one was the last sketch. . .but I lied. 

Today's final sketch comes from Scrapbook Etc. and if you complete it, I'll give you an extra entry into the September drawing.

Complete your layouts or cards and get them all linked up by tonight to be eligible for the drawing.

Go Create!

Monday? Why am I here?

I'm here quickly, and unusual for a Monday I know, but I have a half a cup of coffee left and the house to myself this morning as hubby is on site today.  So I'm procrastinating getting started on my usual Monday cleaning/laundry efforts to post instead.  Lucky you.

The weekend was great and laid back.  I did make it to my basement and studio and did some major cleaning.  I actually can see the top of BOTH my desk and my work table!!  And the floors around both are passable.  I try not to look to my right where a horizontal surface remains cluttered and filled.  But hey I made good progress and I'm happy with that. 

Saturday I had the time to do some of the craftiness I had wanted to, but I putzed around after the major cleaning instead.  Sunday I had another shot at craft time, but braved the crowds at Costco - it's not a buffet people! - instead.  Hubby had the boys out on the lake - so I really could have made use of the time, but lack of focus kept me from going and digging in.  I think what really happened was I've been planning to do these Pins for a year or more and now that I actually have the time I can't seem to start because I'm afraid it won't turn out like in my head.  I hate that!!

Something did turn out as I'd hoped and that was Friday's dinner.  For our twice-weekly meal with the in-laws I made up this Crispy Skillet Chicken with Bruschetta Pasta and this German Apple Pie to go with it.  The main dish was flavorful and moist.  Really good.  The pasta was easy and fresh.  The pie was crazy good!  Hubby, the I'm-not-a-fan-of-fruit-pies, LOVED it.  I wondered about the cream, but as the blogger said, it was rich and smooth.  She also said you don't need to serve it with ice cream because of the pie's richness. . .eh, serve up the ice cream!!  It is perfect as is, but when I make it again I may try a crumb topping or crust top. 


Homecoming week starts today for my High Schoolers - it is Neon Day, followed by Movies on the Field tonight.  Naturally the coldest, wettest weather of the week falls on game night (Friday) and dance night (Saturday).

Later today will be the final Back to School challenge.  Tomorrow I'll kick off Croptober, so rev those trimmers and whip out your adhesive people!!

Happy Monday,

Friday, September 27, 2013

Back to School Challenge

First really quick, October Sneak Peeks are up on the website.  If you've been thinking about joining please do and then one of those lovelies will be heading your way.  There are also Side Dishes available for the kits - and you may find some past paper packs on sale there as well.

Today's sketch comes from Scrapbook & Cards Today and was created by Becky Fleck.  I love the blocks of paper (or smaller photos) scattered around.  Useing the main block as the basis for a card would be great, too.


If you haven't checked out Scrapbook & Cards Today, it's an amazing, eye-candy-filled magazine that you can get either hard copy or electronic versions of. The work is awesome and inspiring. It's a Canadian publication so instead of waiting on our mail to deliver a shredded copy, I get it electronically. Check it out for yourself.

This is the last sketch for this month, so you've got all weekend to work some crafty magic.  Remember to link up any work to the blog posts for your shot at the September drawing.  If you're new to sharing, you'll get an extra entry in the drawing.

Go Create!

Rain, Cleaning, Crafting and Food on Friday

It's a gorgeous, misty, rainy kind of morning.  The colors in the wetlands on the south edge of our neighborhood are so drenched and beautiful - golden browns of the cattails that fill in the creak.  The gold of the meadow grasses.  The deep green of the bordering trees.  And then the grey-mist covered foothills just a stone's throw away.  Makes me want to clean, craft, bake and nap.  Today'd be a good day for a clone or two.

I mentioned at the beginning of the week that my menu planning for this week was all via my I Can Cook That Pinterest Board.  Get ready for a run down - all of these were good and fast and perfect for a night you plan to scrapbook and or craft. 

Homemade Taco Seasoning and Homemade Enchilada Sauce for some smothered burritos.  The Taco Seasoning has some good heat and because I used Smoked Paprika, some nice smoky notes.  The Enchilada Sauce came out a little thick - I probably cooked it a little too long - so I just added a little more water to get the consistency I wanted.  It was good and, bonus, I no longer need to have cans or spice packets on hand!  WooHoo.

I made Fettuccine Alfredo, a family favorite.  And I'm sure it has nothing to do with all the cream and butter.  This recipe was posted by Jamie Cooks it Up, but is a Pioneer Woman recipe.  It's not in either of her cookbooks, but from her show and/or blog.  Definitely need to use fresh shredded parm.  I was warned and I ignored.  But it was still good.

I had bananas that were well past their prime so I made some Funky Monkey Baked Oatmeal.  Oh my!  I was afraid of adding milk to my reheated baked oatmeals - I thought they'd get mushy and I'd have a bowl a regular oatmeal, which is what I'm trying to avoid going the baked route.  But I've found a tablespoon or two after I've reheated my serving is perfect!  Moist, warm, sort of like a bread pudding.

Dinner tonight, and dessert are also Pins from this board as well.  I'll let you know Monday (or probably Tuesday since I haven't posted on a Monday in a while) how it was.

I love going through my Pin board and moving things from I Can Cook That to I Cooked That.  If you're ever looking for a quick dinner, check there.  I've tried those recipes and make notes in the comments for myself for the next time I make them.  I feel so accomplished moving something from one board to the next.

I'm hoping to do that with some crafty projects as well - well they won't move but they'll be something I completed.  I'm looking at some projects on my Home for the Holidays and I Can Do That boards for home decor pieces.  Which means if I hope to accomplish even one thing I need to get to my studio for some cleaning.  Serious cleaning.  What a pit.

But first I have a German Apple Pie to make.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to School Challenge

I mentioned early today that I'm kinda bored with the pocket-pages.  That's not to say I'll not use them, just that my last few weeks for Project Life have been pocket pages and, well, I'm bored.  The next couple I create I'll take my new "Grid Approach" and scrap.  

How great is this sketch to relieve my boredom?  I found it after a general search and it comes from Write.Click.Scrapbook (check out the examples, too.)  I love WCS - founded by some of the contributors to Simple Scrapbooks magazine after it ceased publication.  Clean and simple layouts and just some really good content.

The end of September is quickly approaching.  Dang.  Really?  Soon we'll be well into the Parade O'Holidays!  Create a layout or card from the above sketch, or shoot, go back and create a whole bunch using any of the sketches from this month.  Then just come back and share your work in the comments to become eligible for the September goodie pack awarded at the end of the month. If it's your first time sharing here, you'll get an extra entry.

Go Create!

Back to School and Project Life Weeks #17 & #18

Routines are returning to normal.  Routines are.  People, not so much.  

The 13 y.o. started coughing on the way to school.  Crap.

The 5 y.o. and the 14 y.o. are in the "moving past it" phase - a random cough, but seemingly normal.

It still is taking me about 30 minutes every morning to get the crud out of my sinuses and to feel semi-back-to-normal.  This morning I couldn't seem to kick the cough attacks.  But a Pumpkin Spice Latte seems to be working.

Hubby is sounding better, until, he too, coughs.  I swear one of these times I'm gonna find a lung on the floor.  Sorry. . .TMI?  Or just too gross?

And my daughter looked more lively this morning as she headed off to school.  She's not 100%, but she was much better.  Especially after "The Boy" came by after football practice last night for a quick hello.  She was much more perked up after that.

With these two layouts below, Week 17 and 18, I've run out of Project Life accomplishments.  I dug out and used a pretty old kit.  The papers are Bella Blvd.  I'm feeling a little done with the pocket pages.  Maybe the next couple layouts will have to be traditional 12x12 with the new plan of attack. . .grids!

The rain and cold is supposed to roll back in tomorrow.  Maybe I'll switch up what's on the menu for something I can throw in the slow cooker and then head to clean my space, which would in turn make room for playing more over the weekend.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Back to School Challenge

Today's sketch comes from Shimelle Lane's website.  I have taken part in Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas for the last couple of years.  I combine it with December Daily to change up the typical photos.  Her sketch is about as simple, yet effective, as it gets.  Check out her examples, as well as examples linked up at the bottom of the post.

Create a one or two-page layout. Create a card. Create both. Just create. Then share your work in the comments to become eligible for the September goodie pack awarded at the end of the month. If it's your first time sharing here, you'll get an extra entry.

Go Create!

Out Damn Bug and Project Life Week #16

Severe ear and throat pain last night kept my daughter out of school yet another day and put me on the phone early this morning to try to get her a doctor's appointment.  She has the same symptoms the rest of us have with this stupid bug, but she's prone to ear infections so I made the appointment to make sure we weren't fighting two things.  Nope.  Fairly clear ears - that's good.  According to the doctor though, she's seen "a ton" of these same symptoms home invaders and that it generally lasts over a week.  Yeah.  I can do without it.

Being in High School, that's a lot of time and work for her to miss.  So long as she doesn't get worse tonight she'll be heading back tomorrow - it's a light day, class-wise, so hopefully she'll be okay.  She's working hard on A's this year, and this "break" could be tough.  The school, and teachers, are pretty good about getting you help, plus there's lots of support on the web with SMART board notes and even videos of the class.  I'm hoping she works at getting what she can done while she's feeling well this afternoon.

I was feeling pretty good a few Fridays ago when I added this page to my stack of completed Project Life layouts.  I actually used a recent (for me) kit - the January '13 Bigger than a Breadbox, though it felt weird to be pulling snow papers for a week from April!

Another glorious fall day here and I've been looking at the Lawn Fawn inspiration week and it's making me really want to do some seasonal stuff.  So I browsed my I Can Do That and Home for the Holidays Pinterest boards looking for ideas.  I have some cute, totally doable, things there.  Now, can I get one or two of them done, or will I be burdened with the unrealistical-expectations-pick-too-many-do-none syndrome?

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Back to School Challenge

Today's sketch comes from a Pinterest search and leads to a blog that's a mess and hasn't been updated in three years, but credit needs to go where credit is due.

Can it be doubled?  Heck yes.  Room for more photos.  Yeppers.  Card-worthy?  I think so, with a bit of manipulation.

Create a one or two-page layout. Create a card. Create both. Just create. Then share your work in the comments to become eligible for the September goodie pack awarded at the end of the month. If it's your first time sharing here, you'll get an extra entry.

Go Create!

The Sick House and Project Life

My 16 y.o. daughter, the most recent recipient of "the bug," is home sick with the same thing that has hit everyone but the 13 y.o..  I believe the source/carrier of this lovely bug was the 5 y.o.  He came home with sniffles and a cough about two weeks after school started.  I can count on this happening every year - two weeks in and someone comes home with something for sharing.  Currently, the 14 y.o. is up and back to school (he was out during the rains.)  I'm on the mend, but the cough is hanging on and flairs when I talk to much.  So I limit my talking, which I'm sure my kids love.  Hubby is behind my daughter as the next one felled by the illness and he's about at day five, which seems to be the peak and then it starts to get better. 

Anyway, I've had to take my son to school (funny how quickly I got used to my daughter doing the driving!) before driving the other two to school.  It was lovely this morning.  Crisp, cool (45 degrees), deep blue skies.  Geese are over-nighting on the soccer fields.  The trees on the drive are sprinkled with the colors of fall I love so much.  And in the distance, the peaks were dusted with snow.  Snow!  This is hardly early for us here, but I love seeing it nonetheless.  I heard that one of the ski areas received two feet of snow.  Happy dancing ensued in my head.  And then a coughing attack hit me.  Still happy though. :)

This time of year, more-so than the Spring, has me wanting to clean and clear out.  Yesterday, while waiting in the pick-up line, I decided to make a list of what I'd like to do room-by-room - both from a sort/purge perspective as well as decorating.  I didn't care if they were long-term projects or not.  I wrote it down.  Let's see if I, 1) ever mention the list again, let alone 2) do anything with it.

I was, however, much more productive a couple weeks ago when I went out to crop.  All Project Life.  I made my way into May.  Yes.  I know it's September.  

I completed five weeks, I think, that night.  The above two are from our trip in April to Kansas for my niece's wedding.  The trip covered three pages - this is where one of those 6x12 pages might have come in handy.  I'm still really enjoying the process, even though I'm not as up-to-date as I'd like.  It was nice to have the book on the coffee table this weekend during out Birthday-palooza party, as it got picked up and flipped through.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back to School Challenge

Today's sketch comes from Page Maps.  I love the grid format.  Adding more photos or reducing them is easy.  A grid is also great for using up scraps or for dealing with papers you find difficult to use.  Easy to make a 2-pager.  Easy to make a card.  See?  So versitile.


Create a one or two-page layout. Create a card. Create both. Just create. Then share your work in the comments to become eligible for the September goodie pack awarded at the end of the month. If it's your first time sharing here, you'll get an extra entry.

Go Create!

Week in the Life - Sunday and Food

Homecoming is just a couple weeks away for my High Schoolers.  My daughter is planning on going with a group of friends and talks about making the trek to find a dress.  She did the group thing her Freshman year and seemed to enjoy herself.  My son has found someone to ask.  He and his sister came up with a little series of cards, given to her by her friends, to get her to meet him after school.  Armed with some candy and a bouquet of brightly colored daisies, he was off for the day.  His friends ribbed him a bit about the flowers, but he was on a mission, and I think his friends secretly admired him.  Shortly after school let out my daughter sent me the following photo.  Apparently, she said "yes." 
I'm not sure if he's planned any further than asking her, so I don't know if they'll also be going with a group of friends, or just meeting up at the dance.  Time will tell.  My son is nothing if not a planner.
My stinkin' head cold is still hanging on. . .I felt worse yesterday, so I'm hoping it was the peak.  Today I bring you the final day of Week in the Life.
 Still not sure what I'm going to do with the photos - I'm starting to lean toward doing thumbnails of the day and then putting those in my Project Life book.  The run-down on Sunday:
  • Here we go again
  • Tomorrow's his day
  • Not looking warmer or dryer
  • Boys live here
  • A scrapper lives here
  • Rooting for the younger bother.  Bad Denverite
  • Pretzel Dogs for dinner starts with the dough
  • Two happy High Schoolers
  • Sunday dinner.  Simple but tasty
  • Birthday treats for the kindergartner tomorrow
Finally, I may still be fighting congestion, but my appetite hasn't waned much.  Last weekend I finally remembered to pick-up an Angel Food Cake mix, to toss with an opened box of Yellow Cake mix that I'd used only a cup of to make Yellow Cake Pancakes.  I used this Mug Cake recipe I found on Mrs. Happy Homemaker, a blog I follow.  It seemed way to easy to work.  At the very least I expected a dry, rubbery cake. 

It.  Was.  Awesome.  Light.  Moist.  Delish.  We topped ours with caramel sauce and/or chocolate sauce. 

I've also tested out a homemade taco seasoning recipe, which was very good.  I love the idea of not having additives.  I've mixed up a different recipe but haven't used it yet.  Tonight I'm trying my hand at a homemade enchilada sauce, in place of the three cans the recipe calls for.  I think it's time I planned my menu from my I Can Cook That Pin board .  Next week seems as good as any.  Like I said, my appetite hasn't suffered under this head cold. 

I need to continue to push through when I'm feeling decent and get some things done around the house this weekend.  The clutter is getting to me.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to School Challenge

I always like a sketch that shows me a way to use those lovely die-cut papers.  I love them, but never seem to figure out how to use them best.  Today's sketch comes from Scrapbook Etc.  This should translate well to cards.

Create a one or two-page layout.  Create a card.  Create both.  Just create.  Then share your work in the comments to become eligible for the September goodie pack awarded at the end of the month.  If it's your first time sharing here, you'll get an extra entry.

Go Create!

Week in the Life - Saturday

Sunday I started feeling that, "Crap, I think I might be getting a cold" feeling coming on.  By Sunday afternoon I had the kind of annoying body aches that herald a fever, but I refused to take my temp.  What I don't know I don't have to acknowledge.

Here we are at Thursday and that crap-feeling has become a nice head cold.  The kind that makes reasoning or logical thinking near impossible - as if either of those were good to begin with, that is.  The kind where your face hurts.  I'm not a drug-taker, but I will load up on the Motrin, so mostly I just do my best to work through it; this approach makes my husband crazy.  I do what moms do. . .push through and just go until we can't go anymore.  Probably not the best Rx for getting better, but whatcha gonna do?

Luckily, I don't have to do much thinking since I'm still posting my final couple days of Week in the Life.  

The scoop:

  • The sun is out...finally.  Saturday morning to-do list.
  • Yard work before the rain comes back
  • The cowboy boots are a nice touch.
  • The last of the Colorado Peaches
  • Just putting them up to enjoy when the snow starts flying.
  • Faith
  • Storm clouds moving in. . .Oh Dear.
  • A Chick-Fil-A close to our home has started a new after-church tradition
  • DQ Choco-Cherry Blizzard for dessert
Happy Thursday,