Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hello, Husqvarna!

My favorite time of year for so, so many wonderful, friends, gatherings, gifts, and the icing on the cake for me this time of year usually is defined by the two plus week break from work! Yes, I get to completely unplug from it all and have no worries of coming back to chaos because my entire company is on holiday! Love it!

So, you might ask, what does one do with all this extra time on her hands? You guessed it...create! I've been spending the wee hours of the night getting to know my sewing machine and creating all sorts of sweet little gifts to give!
The colors and patterns of fabric are almost as addicting as paper for me and I see as I sew more this could become a whole new addiction...I guess it's good that I have employment to help pay for my hobbies! :)

My friend has a 7 month old so I decided to create a little stuffed giraffe for her and add ribbons for texture and motor skills. I found the pattern on Pinterest and this was such an easy creature to create, aside from the head where you can see my less than perfect sewing skills. Thankfully, I think this little 7 month old is fairly forgiving! 

Next up are the hot/cold rice filled packs. I found a ton of tutorials for this and used a combination of them to come up with my own version. Cotton flannel on one side and patterned cotton fabric on the other, stitch right sides facing together all around long rectangles of fabric and turn right side out, add a few quilting lines, relaxing essential oils in a large bowl of rice and that is pretty much it. You dump the rice in and work it so there's equal amounts in each square of your pack and stitch it closed. Put in microwave for a few minutes or freezer and you have handmade relaxation.

I am having so much fun creating gifts to give! Some of these have already been packaged up and are on their way. Luckily I made a few extras to have on hand for us to relax with, too!

What are you gifting to your friends or neighbors? Hopefully you are enjoying the process and not feeling the stress that so often comes with the season...happy weekend!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friend, Neighbor, and Hostess Holiday Gifts

Beer bread is a treat in our house that I love to make with soups or stews but more often than not, I don't have any on hand. A friend that I work with informed me of the easiest recipe ever to create it whenever we're craving some and wanted to bag it up for a gift but she isn't a big crafter. We decided to collaborate our efforts and she came over last night to make tags to adorn her bags and in turn, shared the recipe with me!
I saw lots of Pinterest posts so decided it wasn't a secret so it would be safe to share the recipe here as well...

Add 3 cups self rising flour and 1/2 cup sugar to the bags. Here are the remaining directions printed on a label for the treat bags...
We bagged up the mix in Christmas cellophane bags and whipped up a huge batch of tags to jazz them up with some red ribbons...
Papertreyink Ink's penguin stamp in combination with Lawn Fawn's tag it die and stamp set started the process and the envelope die from Studio Calico is what the penguin is holding.
I got the idea for the penguin holding the SC envelope from Julie Campbell here.
So excited to start delivering these tonight!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Friend or Teacher Christmas Treat

While grocery shopping at our local Hyvee, Addison and I came across some sweet gift ideas and decided to recreate one for her teacher's Christmas gift. He loves Mountain Dew and if you haven't looked lately, vintage has even hit the soda aisle! We found a four bottle throwback of his favorite soda, added a few googly eyes, sparkly pom poms, and tinsel covered pipe cleaners to create his own pack of reindeer...
Slip a gift card to Scheels in the crate and her gift is ready to give! I have a certain friend who loves Corona and I'll be gifting her one of these with a beer bread bag that I'll post tomorrow so stop back! This time of year is just so fun! Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Christmas to Me

Boxes have been arriving daily filled with various holiday gifts for friends and family. Many are already wrapped and under our tree. Tonight when the UPS man rang our doorbell I assumed it would be one of the final arrivals. Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and revealed my very own present...
Merry Christmas to me! Seriously, I was thrilled to get one more shipment of Dexcom supplies after my deductible has been met! Sad but true that there is big joy in this little box! Even more humorous was the response from my daughters at my excitement... "It's just diabetic stuff, Mom. What's fun about that?" Not much, I admit, but having my insurance pay for 90% of a medical resource that allows me to feel in tighter control, priceless! :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SC Hercules and Sandlot

Cannot get over the fun rose paper from the add on Hercules kit! I made a few more cards using every last one of those flowers fussy cut!
I heat embossed the Happy stamp from the main kit with red Zing and then used a Signo white pen to make it pop! Next up I used up the sequins and placed a tael one in every diamond on the patterned paper to make the background special and then an old die and stamp from Papertreyink with teal Zing embossing powder and white for the sentiment.
Happy Thursday! Where has this week gone?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Tags

I've beat the rush and am proud to say I'm almost done with my shopping and now that all the decorations are up, I'm in the mood to pretty up some packages. The girls are way too good at guessing their gifts so I've moved to a number system to keep them guessing.

I love Thickers and get plenty in my kits but often have no use for all the numbers but they are too pretty to part with so I thought using them for my Christmas tags would be perfect!

I die cut some tags using the set from Lawn Fawn, got out some bright colors of Distress Ink and had fun blending on some color.
Next up I grabbed one of the matching stamp sets from Lawn Fawn and added images, embossing powder, ribbon, white and gold pens, washi, and various numbers to complete these tags. Simple, fun, and a great way to put my stash to good use!
I guarantee the first thing I hear tomorrow  morning will be, "who's odd and who's even?" Little do they know I put a new spin on things this year... let the guessing begin! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

One of my favorite Christmas songs and I came across this phrase on Pinterest and added it to one of my boards. Looking back at that board, I decided it would make the most perfect print for our mantle!
I love how it turned out! So much inspiration from an image and creating it into my own art to decorate our home just makes me happy! I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the image and letters and even made a matching sparkly elk print to finish off my holiday mantle...
A few pine cones, potted trees and holly berry adorned branches make this mantle my absolute favorite one of the year! I hope you were able to get a start or even finish your holiday decorating this weekend. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Sorry, I couldn't resist! :o)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

SC Sandlot and Poet Society...and Fleece!

Finally taking some time to work through my stash of Studio Calico kits! I used their creative gallery to mass produce lots of cards from left over pieces of the scrapbook kit but did take some time to come up with a few of my own designs...

I have a friend whose birthday is coming up and she loves pinks and purples so I thought this one would be perfect for her...
The girls and I were hoping to spend a little time just chilling and watching the movie Elf for the sixth time but stopped to check out the fleece sale at JoAnn's and each found some fun prints to make  tie blankets for their rooms. We grabbed a number and waited, and waited, and waited. Almost two hours later we had our fleece and were finally headed home! Needless to say we are all thrilled to be cozy at home tonight, I'm almost through my next stash of kits and the girls are almost done with 
their blankets!
Now excuse me while we get to the Elf movie...again! :)

Another Punch Party

Hope you're enjoying the start to your Saturday! Just popping in quick to show you what the girls and I are crafting up this morning. I discovered yet another talented blogger, Amber at Damask Love where "craft is always I session!" Need I say more? She has a zillion fun ideas and when I came upon these easy ways to use punches I knew the girls would be all in and also make tags for our presents!
Addison dug out her stash of construction paper while I hauled up the punches and glitter glue. Construction paper is one of those nostalgia reminds me of kindergarten and being 6 again. Who doesn't love that? So using circle, scallop, and oval punches, we set in to make dozens of donut tags and a bag or two of peppermint candies. Check out Amber's blog for donut tutorial here and her peppermint one here. So much fun and the girls made just short of a dozen before Addison started Elf again on the DVD player and Graci and her are taking a break from crafting while laughing at Buddy. Our Elf on the Shelf, Spice, arrived again yesterday and now that they're watching our new favorite for the fourth time this weekend, I'm going to try to finish the Christmas mantle...
Whether they're crafting or watching Elf, by the looks of things I think they're good for awhile! Happy weekend, I'll try to stop back with my mantle decorated and a few other fun things I've been working on this long weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hope and Thanksgiving

The holidays have officially arrived! No school, vacation from work, Addison and Graci had friends sleepover last night and all four girls are playing Christmas songs on the piano upstairs, some lights are already up and I'm trying hard to wait until Friday to finish off the Christmas decor...

Family time, catching up with friends, lots to do as I'm in charge of a mini feast tomorrow and my turkey is unfortunately still too frozen in the fridge but among all of the chaos I can't help but be drawn to this, the amyrillus that my mom gave me last month to provide my long winter with some color. It is incredible...this vibrant red flower blooming in the midst of a snowy day. Not sure if you can see it but there is fresh snow covering the deck and temperatures are freezing outside but still this bulb blooms and thrives among it all. A vivid view of hope right here in my kitchen.

Wishing you a start to this holiday season filled with hope! I'll be back sometime this weekend with lots of crafty goodness to share because with 5 days off, after the turkey feast and finishing up my Christmas decorating and maybe a bit of Black Friday shopping, I hope to have some time to hibernate in my craft room! :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Beauty Blessings...and a Turkey!

Not sure about you but the holiday season has got me buzzing around to find all of the perfect gifts for everyone on my list and, as usual, I've discovered a few items I absolutely love for, well, myself. Is that bad? I've found all sorts of fabulous finds for my family members, too, and I'm not a big shopper so I figure if I get all my yearly shopping done in this month or so, hey, why not?!?!??!?! :) Self justification is so right! Right? are my finds
First of all, who doesn't love something different? A rectangular nail polish and Julep has so many fun colors! Zelda is sparkly and reminds me of the rose gold that's so popular. Perfect for the holidays! You can find it at Sephora here.

While we're on the subject of Sephora, I LOVE anything Tarte brand! They have a holiday package every year that is filled with everything a girl needs and Eric, if you are reading, this would be a great gift idea and here is the link, easy peasy...hint, hint! :) 

Ok, one more for beauty products. Not sure if it's because I'm not 20 anymore, far from it. Let's be honest, 30 has also come and gone and 40 is oh, so close, but my pores are a bit well, bigger than ever before and it sort of bothers me. I got a sample of this pores no more at, you guessed it, Sephora, and LOVE! It makes my face feel like a smooth canvas before applying my make up and it still looks that way at the end of my day, which, not sure about you, but that is usually 15 hours later. No more gargantuous craters to fall into on my face...I may be being a bit dramatic there but seriously, that's how I feel about my big pores so Pores No More is a nice add to my arsenal!

So, Thanksgiving is next week and it will be quiet for us as we are celebrating with my family this weekend and with Eric's for Christmas but I love to do some fun activities with the girls and this is one we will be attempting next week...
So much fun but actually think we'll try the laying down platter with meats, cheeses, and grapes. Easy on the blood sugar and it should keep the girls busy for a bit while I am working on the real bird! A video is here for the Rachael Ray version. So pretty!

Will try to stop by again soon. Just so busy with the holidays and don't want to miss a moment of all the fun. I realize  more and more how quickly my girls are growing and enjoying all the little things with them right now. Hope you understand! Happy Friday, friends!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thankful Mantle

My mantle is fairly basic most of the year. Between October and January, however, I go all out! Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas take over in these months and I love it! I know none of those holidays are in January but I love Christmas so much I usually procrastinate a few weeks to let the sparkly and vintage decor linger. It is my favorite. Runner up would be my Thanksgiving goodness so here it is...
I created the banner last year with a Crate's Close Knit set, which is still one of my favorite releases from Crate. 
All of the wood and embroidered embellishments...
A few pine cones and pumpkins scattered...
...and I used lots of scraps to create this piece with a $5 frame from Hobby Lobby.

So much to be thankful for...hope you're having a fun Saturday and feeling blessed!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Plan to Travel, and Hear Crunching...

So, it's 7:35 PM west coast time and I'm sitting on a flight that was scheduled to leave at 5:39 PM. We were excited that we were cruising on the tarmack and in line for take off when they announced they were bringing us back to the gate for some "surprise" that they will reveal once we all deplane. I already know I will miss my connection in Denver to get home tonight. I've accepted that.

I'm also thrilled that I was wise enough to do a site change this morning before getting to the airport even though it wasn't due to expire until 12:46 AM after I was scheduled to be home. I'm good to go with insulin until Wednesday AM, which I really hope to have arrived back home by then.

I was just informed at the gate that the mechanics somehow failed to change the oil on our airplane, which is why I'm still stuck in San Francisco. Oddly ironic when you think about it...I'm better at planning for my diabetes today than a United mechanic was at airplane safety with over 300 passengers. I'm not sure what else to say about that.

The guy behind me loudly munching his bag of potato chips with his mouth wide open between crunches? Not sure who needs to take accountability for his actions and narcissism but I will say it is more annoying to me at the moment than flying...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Whooo Knew?

I cannot even put into words how much fun I had this past Saturday with my friend, Amy, and all our girls! We piled into her van with a few paper crafting supplies, snacks, and our girls, Shelby, 1, Madelyn, 9, Graci, 10, and Addison, 8. An hour later we arrived at her aunt, Linda's house, and the fun began!

Linda had invited us down to learn and play with all her piles of punches and paper and it was a punch extravaganza! We learned all sorts of fun new ways to use our old Stampin' Up punches but by far, our favorite is the old Owl Builder punch! One punch and endless possibilities! Seriously!

This hefty punch has been sitting in my barely used pile for ages...

Owls are fun, of course. But so are all sorts of other little critters and I learned from Linda that this owl punch can be used to create every critter you can fathom! Here are just a few of my creations...
Monsters and ghosts just in time for Halloween,

penguins and reindeer in time to start building up my holiday card stash,
...and turkeys to be thankful for, mischievous minions and mice! There were farm animals of every size, safari creatures like lions and giraffes, and Graci even came up with her recent favorite creature, a unicorn! I consider myself creative but are a creative GENIUS! We can't thank you enough for your kind hospitality and sharing your gift, not to mention the yummy turkey dinner you cooked up to top off our evening!

Can't wait to craft in Vermillion again and even more excited to host an Owl Punch Extravaganza sometime this winter for anyone who would be interested! I love creating something new using what I already have on hand! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Routine, Halloween, Buffets, and Pop-Tarts...

Yesterday Addison and I were making an early afternoon run to the fabric store to get the necessary items to work on her Halloween costume. I LOVE Halloween! I don't know how this is possible because being the token kid with type 1 diabetes in a rural community the best item I ever received trick or treating was a bag of sunflower seeds. All the good stuff consisting of chocolate, caramel, colored magical powders, and any other yumminess that had sugar as an ingredient was divided among my two older brothers, who probably don't even remember that! But I think because of those memories and because my daughters do not have this non-Halloween friendly disease I go all out now to make up for some of those childhood losses. We have fun creating costumes, decorating, and we spend the month of October coming up with a unique, gory menu to eat before hitting the streets to collect candy!

So we're ready for costume creating as I hear the beep-beep of my DexCom while I'm searching for a parking spot (it seems I'm not the only one into costume making five days before the big event!) and I see that it is informing me I'm 68 and dropping. Parked and thinking as rationally as one can, I realize now I feel lower than 68. I check and my meter tells me I'm actually 49. Damn! Where did that come from? I dig in my purse and have an almost empty bag of Stingers that I chew. I dig in the counsel thingy that I keep stashed with goods and find a tiny crunchy Peep from last year's Easter that I gnaw on... I'm frantic to find more and am coming up short. Suddenly I hear from the back seat, "You can have my Pop-Tart from church, mom." Yes! She digs with confidence through my purse and uncovers the cookie dough studded treasure that Kellogg's recently added to their repertoire of flavors. Addison added a final suggestion of, "You need to build your stash up again, Mom!" Such a wise 8-year old I have!

After a few minutes I started feeling better, my mind wasn't as lost and I confirmed with a true 72 on my meter, and we headed into the fabric store. As we wandered through the tulle and sparkle I wondered what caused that low...we had gone to the earlier church service this morning because Addison received her 3rd grade milestone Bible. We are 11:00ers always but they were honoring her class at the 8:45 service so we switched things up. Typically Sundays we have a nice breakfast at home and lounge in our PJs before getting ready for our final day of the weekend and attend church. Routine demanded to be switched and we went with it and after church, Addison selected a local restaurant that has Sunday brunch to celebrate her milestone. This was my big mistake, routine switches happen often enough where my diabetes handles them smoothly, per my DexCom line, but buffets? Oh, those baffling buffets that we seldom attend are a whole different kind of culprit! I'd bolused for a high amount of carbs because they're hidden in every item on that line other than the eggs and bacon. The problem was I filled up on eggs and bacon before adding the carb goods to my second plate and had little room left to eat them. I double did the math to decide what I could add in to take up some of that insulin now on board and had Graci grab me two teeny weeny Special K treats. They were delicious and I figured they had plenty of carbs to do the trick.

Clearly I was wrong. That was my mistake. Routine was off, partly timing, but mostly my non routine of consuming Special K bars and guessing on carbs. That was the biggest problem. Lesson learned, under bolus for a treat I assume is higher in carbs, much easier to correct than treat this damned low! Other lessons duly noted: cookie dough Pop-Tarts work fine in a pinch but that flavor was definitely intended to satisfy a 3rd grader, not so much her mom, and the lady at the fabric store rocks because she taught us how to make an adorable tulle skirt for Princess Elsa on the cheap!

The girls and I spent the rest of the day working on their costumes and I'm excited to show off our final creations and share our ghoulish recipes once the excitement of Friday has come and gone so check back!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Papertrey Ink October Blog Hop

 Happy Saturday! Papertrey Ink has their monthly challenge and this time there are unique color combos to get started on holiday anything. I created a card using the inspiration below...

As soon as I saw the colors I knew I wanted to use the Winter Penguin set and had this sparkly kraft snowflake from a Stampin' Up card set from my stash a few years back. The background on white or any other color just didn't do it justice to so I took out the Building Blocks set and decided creating my own background would be a fun way to incorporate more of the colors. Although the inks are from SU, Pear Pizzazz, Pool Party, Smoky Slate and Baja Breeze, I think they matched up to the inspiration ones quite well and this is what I came up with...

Stay cool and thanks for stopping!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Favorites!

My favorite time of year is here and I 1.absolutely adore everything about it! Although it's been unseasonably warm, I'm embracing the idea and wearing cozy sweaters and boots that the gorgeous colors covering the trees have inspired. Along with all the fun autumn attire, I've been trying out pumpkin and squash recipes and also reading a great book so here are my fall favorites to share!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Seriously one of THE best uses of canned pumpkin yet! So, so good! From The Girl Who Ate Everything, who now has a book out that has made its way onto my Christmas wish list. Love her blog for fun recipes for any season or reason! You can find the yummy recipe here.
Pumpkin Noosa Yoghurt
One more pumpkin pick...if you haven't tried Noosa yoghurt, you need to...soon! I've gotten on and off the Greek yogurt bandwagon for various reasons but once I tried this stuff, there is just no going back. Warning to my friends with diabetes...not the best yogurt for your blood sugar so be ready to bolus for this little spoonful of heaven, worth every unit, in my humble opinion! :o) I typically use one container for three separate servings so it doesn't pack such a punch but regardless of blood sugar, lots of healthy protein and my absolute favorite yogurt for a treat. Lemon is my fave but the seasonal pumpkin is available only at Target and so worth its own trip to the store. You know you'll find something else you need while you're there anyhow so I'm technically just helping you out with this one!

 The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
 I read What Alice Forgot and enjoyed it but this book is so many levels above that read! If you've seen the movie Sliding Doors from years back where the simplest choice or chance, such as whether you make it in time to board the train or the door closes too quickly and you have to wait for the next one could change your entire future was brought to mind while I read this. Couldn't put it down and if you read it, you MUST read the epilogue! A perfect book to read by the fire on a lazy can find details here.

Finley Top by Matilda Jane Clothing
I bought this in September and literally have already gotten my money's worth in a month! You can dress it up or dress it down, it is loose fitting for a warm day and you can add a sweater or wrap to cozy it up as winter approaches. So comfy and just love the vintage feel and little details Matilda Jane always adds. You can buy direct or from a home party, more info here.

South of the Border Chicken and Butternut Stoup
I was skeptical of this as I wouldn't consider my family squash fans but this came together quickly and everyone enjoyed it. I love all the apple, squash, pumpkin recipes that fit this season but a Mexican flair to an otherwise autumn vegetable was a perfect way to mix up the menu this week! Recipe is here.

Hope you're loving autumn as much as I am! What's your favorite part of this incredible season?