Monday, February 28, 2011

Something I can't live without...

This month at SUYS there is a fun new challenge asking you to create a project about something you can't live with out, and of course using a handmade object made by you or someone else.

I KNOW I cannot live without my husband so I made a card dedicated to him when he is away on business sometimes. We were lucky to be sponsored by Purple pumpkin buttons this month, and I included this fun button on my card.I have also added another card that was recently up in the hambly gallery that I made for valentines day for hubby as well!
Till next time...

Rainy Days and Mondays...

Only you can make me wear a pink ribbon even when it doesn't go with my outfit at all
OK, So how does the rest of the song go?? Well, however it does not apply here today...See that card up there ^ ...I found that in an envelope at my place this morning...My daughter had gotten the mail already...I slept late today! Already a good beginning to the day! I am off. I worked the weekend...The card had been in the mailbox...sent to me by my husband...Isn't it cute? What a guy! It is a great day to receive the card because I am planning to send out my email asking my committee members of last year if they intend to join me again this year in our endeavor to make this year our best year yet...We are the Survivor Committee for the Maryland Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 2011. It will be held this year on Sunday, October 23, 2011. All are welcome! We usually have upwards of 35,000 participants, at least 2000 of which are survivors. It is the job of my committee to make sure it is a very special day for every one of them...Last year we outdid ourselves...this year we will do that again...It is time to begin...

My Husband did not even know this when he mailed that card! How perfect is that!?! Before you ask..No, this does not routinely happen, making this an even better surprise...

So Happy Monday! Stay Pink! I have an email to compose...Any ideas? We have to come up for a theme for our tent...Pinkim! (no that is not a theme, that is a sign off)

Oh, here is a shot of our tent last year!
Prior to all the action...

chicky-boo meet ella-phant

I had a GREAT birthday! Friday I went to lunch at Rubio's (yummy fish tacos!) and a quilt shop in Payson I'd never been to (Gracie Lou's) with my girlie friends, Marci, Jen and Marina. (Yes, the same-same goofy ones from the girls' getaway. Love them!) Then on Saturday Lynn and I went to lunch at PF Chang's with my brother, Steve, his wife, Deanna, and my niece, Jessica. They'd never been (can you believe it?) and it's one of my favorite places to eat. It was great to catch up with them. So many birthday wishes on Facebook, text and e-mail. Thanks so much everyone, it made my day extra special.

I've looked at Heather Bailey's pincushion patterns so many times and couldn't get over how darling they are. Seriously, I've wanted one so much. I've considered making one, but there are a lot of small pieces so I haven't. Even better...check it out!

Jen gave it to me for my birthday and I LOVE it. It couldn't be more darling. I love it even more because she made it for me. And it's so me. Thanks, Jen! Big hugs. 

Oh my goodness, check out this little tail.

In the first photo you can see a little chicken pincushion I made in a class Lori Wilson taught forever ago. Her name is Chicky-boo (what I call Madi sometimes). She sits on a stash of polka dot fat quarters in my craft studio. I've named my new little friend, Ella-phant. Ella thinks since I named it that, it should be hers. Not sure where she's going yet, but it'll be somewhere I can see her often.

Moosewood Mondays: Homemade Protein Bars

For the past few weeks I've been successfully going to the gym.  There are two reasons why I've been successful.  The biggest reason is that my friend joined the gym and we have been going together. Just knowing that she is waiting for me is enough to get me up and out of the house.  It's a great motivator.  The second reason I've been successful is because my friend and I LOVE the Aqua Zumba class.  Neither one of us looks forward to putting on our bathing suits, but we do look forward to the class.  It's fun, it's somewhat relaxing being in the water, and it's just a great workout.

Even though I grab something to eat before the class, I am absolutely famished, starving, and ready to eat everything in site when I'm done with the class.  Being in that water makes you really hungry!  Last week I was unprepared and made some really bad food choices.  This week I am trying to get a bit more organized and think ahead.  I decided to make these Homemade Protein Bars so that I could pack them in my gym bag and have something to eat on the way home.  These homemade protein bars are great for anyone on the go.  They're delicious, filling, and very satisfying.  I think they'll do the trick just fine!

Homemade Protein Bars
Adapted from Sunlight Cafe by Mollie Katzen
Yields about 20 bars

Nonstick spray
1 cup soy protein powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup oat bran (I subbed wheat germ)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar (I used 2/3 cup)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup canola oil (I subbed 1/2 peanut butter) *see list of variations below
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F (325F for a glass pan).  Lightly spray a 9-by 13-inch baking pan and a baking tray with nonstick spray.

Mix together the protein powder, flour, oats, oat bran, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.  Crumble in the brown sugar, rubbing it with your fingers to break up any clumps.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Measure the yogurt, oil, vanilla into a second bowl, stirring until well combined.  Add the wet mixture to the dry, and mix patiently until thoroughly blended.  (You may have to use your hands - it will be a thick batter, verging on a dough).

Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, patting it evenly into place with your hands.  Bake in the center of the oven for 15 minutes, the remove from the oven and cut into bars of any size or shape.  Place the bars on the prepared baking tray and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden around the edges.  (For extra-crunchy bars, turn off the oven and leave them in there for up to 45 minutes longer.)  Remove the bars from the oven, and place them on a rack to cool.

Eat the bars within a few hours, or seal them in a heavy zip-style plastic bag and store in the freezer.  For maximum crispness, "refresh" them in a toaster oven after defrosting.

Replace the canola oil with 1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (softened in a microwave).

Replace the flour with quinoa, ground to  a powder in a blender or an electric spice grinder.

Replace the yogurt with mashed silken tofu (soft or firm).  Add an extra pinch of salt.

Add 2 - 3 tablespoons powdered egg whites.

Add up to 1 cup chopped nuts and/or sunflower seeds.

Notes/Results:  I think I'm somewhat obsessive about making homemade granola bars of any kind.  I always feel drawn to these types of recipes because of all the variations.  I made a couple of substitutions with these bars.  I subbed peanut butter for the canola oil, used wheat germ in place of oat bran, subbed milk chocolate chips for semi-sweet, added about 1/2 honey roasted peanuts, and added about 1/4 cup honey.  Also, I baked mine in the pan for the full 30 minutes and then removed them to let them cool on the countertop.  The recipe indicates to bake them for 15 minutes and then cut them into bars, place on a cookie sheet, and bake individually for another 15 minutes.  I felt like doing all that was too much work and also that the bars wouldn't have held together.  I think that baking them 30 minutes in the pan was definitely the way to go and I would do that again.   

I loved the bars and will make them again.  They remind me of  very thick and dense oatmeal cookies, but with peanut butter and nuts.  I found them to be very filling and satisfying.  Next time I'd like to make them with the ground quinoa just to up the protein in the bars. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Great Outdoors in CAS

I have the privilege and honor of being the guest designer for Monday's Clean & Simple challenge at Splitcoast Stampers.  This simply means that my card will be linked with the challenge and that I got advance notice of the challenge topic.  I was thrilled when I got the challenge - it couldn't have been better for me - The Great Outdoors!

That can mean so many things and I am sure the gallery will be full of trees and beatuiful birds and butterflies but, being from Colorado and spending lots of time in our mountains, for me the Great Outdoors is all about the pine forests.

If you have never wandered through a pine forest - it is truly indescribable.  You might think of a pine tree as simply a prickly evergreen.  But when they are part of the forest, the light that filters through has a hazy green/yellow look and everything has a sparkle to it.  I have attempted to recreate this in my card.

These little scenes are amazingly easy to recreate.

Mask off the portion of the card that you want to leave white.  I like sticky notes with lines - it makes it very easy to keep your lines straight.

I don't like coloring directly on stamps - it takes too long - so I minimized the work.  I inked the tree completely with Old Olive.  Then I used a Chocolate marker down the trunk.  Then I "thumped" the tree with Always Artichoke - that's just randomly hitting the stamp with the marker, like playing drums. 

I stamped the tree once toward the front of the scene and, without reinking, once towards the back.  I repeated this once.

The I brayered (or you could sponge) Old Olive on the bottom of the scene, Soft Sky at the top and a touch of Daffodil in the middle.

Here's how the process looked:

Peel up the post-its and you have an amazing scene.

Instead of planning ahead, I did the scene and then went looking for a sentiment.  I know we are not near Father's Day, but when I saw this sentiment in a wonderful set by WPlus9 Design Studio, I knew it would be perfect!

A little linen thread, a simple button and I am happy!

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Lovely As A Tree, WPlus9 Woodgrain Silhouettes
  • Inks: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Soft Sky, Daffodil Delight, Chocolate Chip pads; Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip markers
  • Paper: Confetti White
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Linen Thread, Bold Brights Buttons
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Stampers Clean & Simple challenge: The Great Outdoors

Sympathy in Three Squares

 This week's Less Is More challenge is simply to use 3 squares.  You HAVE to click over to this challenge to see all of the participants.  This is only a three week old blog, yet they get 100s of participants, and you will be amazed at how fun, unique and creative all of the cards are!

Then, I looked at today's SplitCoast Stampers Featured Stamper gallery.  Corie has created great cards - and many, many of her cards use three squares!!

So I definitely knew what I was doing this morning!  And, I continue to work on sympathy cards for our church so all three are sympathy.

First, is my original card for the Less Is More challenge:

The embossed square is from a Cuttlebug four-pack.  There were many of these four packs in their very first release but they have become increasingly difficult to find.  If you can find them - they make great CAS cards.  There are fancy squares, cute squares, fancy circles, cute circles, themed postage stamps - and many others.

There is a trick to using these smaller Cuttlebug folders, or for that matter, border embossing folders.  If you have tried, you know that you often get a line on your paper at the edge of the folder - it's very unattractive.  Both edges of the folder can leave that line, but the edge of the folder that is the last part through the Cuttlebug is by far the worst. your folder, roll into the Cuttlebug just until the folder disappears into the roller and then back it back out.  Do NOT go all the way through.  9 times out of 10 you will get a nice embossed image WITHOUT the annoying edge-of-folder lines.

Edited to Add: Chrissie, from the Less Is More challenge, e-mailed me with another great idea for using small Cuttlebug folders.  She said she makes a stack of cardstock that is the same depth as the "B" plate of your cuttlebug and is slightly smaller than the embossing folder.  I tried it right away and it works very well.  Here are the steps:

Place your small folder on the paper.

For my Cuttlebug, a perfect stack is
11 squares of Stampin' Up cardstock
with tape between each one. 
The squares are 1 3/4" square to fit
within the edges of the folder.

Do NOT top with the regular
"B" plate - just keep your finger
pressed on it as you roll it
into your Cuttlebug.
Now I'm going to pull out all of my border embossing folders and make stacks for them.  Just 11 rectangle cuts of cardstock sized to fit inside the edges of the border.  Isn't this great??  Thanks to Chrissie!

Here are the cards that I CASEd from the featured stamper:

Corie's original card was a bright and cheerful birthday card
that I will definitely be CASeing EXACTLY!

Corie's original card uses bright and cheerful
paper and no stamps at all!

Gray and Vanilla Squares:
  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps Heartfelt Sentiments and mini cross
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Basic Gray
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Basic Gray, Very Vanilla
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Antique Brads, Cuttlebug Formal Squares 4-pack (I see them online at and at my favorite embossing folder site,
  • Challenges: Less Is More
Parisian Breeze Butterflies:
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Simple Little Things (an anniversary set - so not available, sorry!)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake, Baja Breeze, Parisian Breeze dsp
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, misc corner punch
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Featured Stamper
Guava and Chocolate Sympathy:
  • Stamps: Clear Dollar Stamps Heartfelt Sentiments
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Chocolate
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Chocolate, Guava, K&Co Classic K Bailey dsp
  • Accessories: misc pearls colored with copic, SU Old Olive satin, Antique brads
  • Challenges:  SplitCoast Featured Stamper

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Pink Saturday!!

Isn't this house lovely? I can certainly picture myself living there! and I can see myself curling up on that porch with my Kindle and reading a great book...

Hi there! and Welcome to my Very Pink Saturday and My Very Pink Blog! I come a little late to the party this week because I had to work today...I stayed up late last night to finish a new JD Robb book and then had to be up VERY early this morning...So I have to tell you that as soon as this is posted, I will be settling down for a long late winter afternoon's nap...I can so see myself curling up on the window seat in that turret room on the end up there...pure bliss in my big PINK house...with my little Eskie puppy...

Happy Pink Saturday Everybody!!  Pinkim!



A very alert reader has e-mailed me with a valid concern on my instructions for cutting nestabilities using a Cuttlebug.

My Friday Focus instructions (found here) show the following "sandwich" to cut with a nestability

C plate
Die (with cutting side up)
B plate
A plate (the big white one)

Lavonne pointed out the following (basically reversing my B and C layers):

"In most nestability packaging it tells you to layer plate A, plate C, die cut edge up, paper then plate B.  The reason for this is the B plates are much easier to find for replacing.  C plates are not easy to replace.  At least not where I am.  I've been using my cuttlebug for several years now.  I accidently cut into my C plate the first time I used nestabilities."

She is absolutely right.  Whichever plate is above the die gets cut - and eventually you have to replace that plate.  And, I've never seen C plates sold in local stores - I have to order on-line.

If you know you do NOT want marks on your C plate, scroll down for a revised stack. 

If you are already totally confused and frustrated, go ALL the way to the bottom for a simple way of remembering everything.

But, let me tell you why I do it - then you can make your own decision as to which works for you.

First, it is so important for you to realize that my Cuttlebug gets used at all of our church cardmaking events.  This means I have little control over what gets cut into - even my base A plate has cut marks in it.  So I am likely more immune to cutting concerns than most people.

Second, the reason that I cut that way is because it is (every-so-slightly) less work to switch things around for embossing and, as you will see, I am clearly very lazy about it!

My sandwich for embossing is as follows:

B plate
Rubber mat
Die (with cutting side up)
Three cardstock shims
B plate
A plate (the big white one)

If you compare that to the cutting stack, this stack means that all I have to do between cutting and embossing is:
  1. Remove the top C plate
  2. Slide a cardstock shim under the die/paper
  3. Add a rubber mat above the die
  4. Top with a B plate
If you compare to the following revised stack, you will understand just how lazy that I am as I only save two tiny steps!

This stack keeps the C plate undamaged as the cutting part of the die goes into the top "B" plate

B plate
Die (with cutting side up)
C plate
A plate (the big white one)

The stack to emboss the edges is the same as previously shown:

B plate
Rubber mat
Die (with cutting side up)
Three cardstock shims
B plate
A plate (the big white one)

So, the steps to take between cutting and embossing are:
  1. Remove everything above the base "A" plate
  2. Put "B" plate on the base "A" plate
  3. Add cardstock shims
  4. Add the previously cut die/paper
  5. Add rubber
  6. Top with "B" plate everbody clear as mud??

The reality is that although these stacks can be totally confusing, there is a simple way to look at it.
  • To do thicker things (embossing folders, cuttlebug dies, sizzlits or the nestabilities embossing stack using a rubber mat) squish between the two "B's"
  • To do thinner things (thin metal dies like nesties, Papertrey, My Favorite things, etc.) squish between the thicker "C" and a "B"
  • To do really thick things (Sizzix dies) get rid of that big "A" and squish between two "B"
  • Remember two things (1) the plate on the cutting side will get marked up and (2) you may need to add 1 to 3 cardstock shims to get a good emboss or cut.

Thanks to Lavonne for pointing this out.  I really can relate.  If you check out my pictures from that post - I was using a brand new "C" plate to take the pictures and I have to admit, when it came out the other end with a mark on it - I was sad that it wasn't shiny and new any more!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Focus: Nestabilities Embossing Part II

Last week, the Friday Focus included step by step instructions on cutting and embossing nestabilities using a Cuttlebug.  This week, I am adding a couple more fun ways to emboss and I have a step-by-step picture tutorial on using a Big Shot to cut and emboss nestabilities.

Embossing Metals

Spellbinders (the company that makes Nestabilites) has a line of embossable metals!  They are absolutely lovely.  Besides this pack of precious metals, there is also a pack of jewel tone metals.  Each piece has a silver core, so if you want to get really fancy, you can lightly sand the finished product to get an antiqued look.  (Local ladies: Hobby Lobby carries these!!  Can you say "coupon"?)

The process to cut and emboss these metals is no different than embossing cardstock.  See last week's post for step-by-step instructions using the Cuttlebug.  Keep reading for instructions on the Big Shot.


Impressabilities are Spellbinder's embossing folders (but they aren't folders).  They are very thin metal dies - so thin that you want to be very careful with them or they will break.  They are fairly reasonably priced (at my local Hobby Lobby, they are $6.99 but often go on sale at 40% off).  I tell you this because the official Spellbinders website talks about how easy these are to cut up - they suggest buying two of each, one to keep whole and one to cut up. For example, you can cut a small portion off and use them in a card corner or just as an accent.  I left mine whole as I wanted to do the entire card front.  They are VERY nice in that they do cover the entire card front as compared to your average Cuttlebug folder which only covers a 4 x 5 1/4" piece.

In general, you can follow the embossing part of the instructions that I have provided.  Cuttlebug is here; Big Shot is below.  But you need to do one extra step to get a good impression - spritz your paper with water before embossing.

I use a fine mist spritzer that I
got at a craft store.  You can spritz
fairly heavily - I actually rubbed some
water droplets off when I was done.
You can also wet the front with a
sponge - wait a few minutes to let
the water soak into the fibers.
Then follow the embossing instructions.

Here is the difference.  The left
side was NOT spritzed with water;
the right side was spritzed.

You can also use these impressabilities to accomplish the letter-press look.  Simply ink the impressability with a pigment ink and then emboss as directed!

BIG SHOT Instructions:

My Big Shot is not my go-to machine.  It has nothing to do with quality because IBig Shots are defnitely more sturdy than Cuttlebugs.  But I have a very small corner in which I make cards - the Cuttlebug fits, the Big Shot doesn't.  But I did many questions as to how to accomplish the Nestabilities cutting and embossing with the Big Shot, so here goes...

First, there are a number of options at many of these steps depending on (1) whether you have an older or newer Big Shot and (2) whether you have Spellbinders pads or Sizzix pads.  I have shown the options that I know about - but please remember, I am not a Big Shot expert.  I just know what works for me.


Lay your die face up on
a fully folded together Big
Shot Multipurpose Platform.

If you have an older machine in which
your platform does not have the
tabs, you will need a Wafer-Thin
Die Adaptor.  Then just place your
platform, then the adaptor, THEN
your die facing up.

Place cardstock on top of the die.

Then top with TWO cutting pads.
Roll it through your machine and
you will have a nice die cut.


Remove the top layers but
leave the die and the cut cardstock.

Top with your Spellbinders
tan embossing mat
If you have all Sizzix products, top
with the Sizzix rubber pad.

Top your mat (whether the tan or
black) with a Spellbinders spacer plate
If you have all Sizzix products, top
the mat (whether tan or black)
with a Wafer Thin Die Adapator.
This is a bit of a problem if you have
an older base platform, because then
you need this adaptor on your base
platform (see cutting) AND on top.

Top with one cutting pad
and squish it!

I hope that I have give you some fun ideas - always feel free to ask questions!  As I said, I am definitely NOT a Big Shot expert, but given I have all the parts and all the toys, I can always play until I find the answer!

With Love and Caring:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Thanks for Caring
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Creamy Caramel
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Rose Red, Vanilla, K&Co Life's Journey dsp
  • Accessories: Spellbinders Fancy Tags (They just came out with a Fancy Tags 2 and 3 that are absolutely stunning!  Check it out here).  Stampin' Up Oval Punch (oddly none of the Spellbinders ovals fit inside this tag??), Stampin' Up Artichoke seam binding, Martha Stewart border punch, misc copper brads
  • Challenges: Stampin' Royalty Sketch Challenge

Butterfly Celebrate:
  • Stamps: Papertrey Mat Stack 3, Butterfly Dreams
  • Inks: Papertrey New Leaf, Summer Sunrise, various copics on butterfly
  • Paper: Papertrey New Leaf, Summer Sunrise
  • Accessories: Papertrey Mat Stack 3 die, Butterfly die, Cuttlebug corner die, Spellbinders Impressabilities Flowers, misc gems colored with copics to match New Leaf
  • Challenges: Splitcoast Free4All: Aloha and Technostampers Sketch Challenge


Technostamper is the fun challenge that lets me link to the other participants on their blog.  Then you can see what others have done with the above sketch!

Gorgonzola and Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Winter is quickly coming to an end here in Kentucky and I'm on a mission to squeak out a couple more  ultra-comforting recipes like this Gorgonzola and Porcini Mushroom Risotto. What's not to love about risotto cooked in a quick porcini broth and lots of creamy Gorgonzola and Parmesan?  This is a beautiful and indulgent risotto that is very rich and satisfying.  A little bit of this risotto goes a very long way.
Gorgonzola and Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from Giada at Home
Serves 4-6

4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth
1-1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add the porcini mushrooms.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 30 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and set aside.

Reheat the broth to a simmer and keep hot over low heat.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until the onion is tender but not brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter.  Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.  Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, and allowing each addition to be absorbed, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes in total.

Remove the pan from heat.  Stir in the Parmesan, Gorgonzola, chives, salt and pepper.  Transfer the risotto to a serving bowl.  Serve immediately.

Notes/Results:  This is an extremely rich, comforting, and satisfying risotto that is beautiful enough for special occasions.  The flavor of the porcini is so wonderfully savory and inviting.  I personally loved the little chunks of Gorgonzola as I found they didn't melt all the way into the risotto.  We served this risotto on it's own as a meatless meal, but it would also pair well with steak as part of a very indulgent dinner.

Now Celebrating the Recipes of Giada De Laurentiis

Starting next week we will be voting in a new male chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs.  Please stop by to place your vote!

PTI February Blog Hop

Last month, for the first time, I played along with the monthly Papertrey blog hop and it was a wonderful experience.  So many people play along that you can put your project up and then spend the rest of the day visiting new blogs.  The participants are incredible - so many visitors leave comments that it is an incredible boost to one's blog mojo!  I immediately put this month's blog hop on my calendar!  And here it is...

The theme for this month is scallops - any kind, any way.  I have used tiered scallops like this in the past and love the look.  So earlier this week when I was putting up window treatments in my new craft room (!!!!!) I realized how cute a card could be with the same tied up "poufs"!

Then I had to decide on stamps - that turned out to be easy as my Papertrey order came in the mail yesterday and included these two little sets.  Both are so cute.  The sentiment comes from a mini set of three big sayings, the other two being "Make a Wish" and "Thanks So Much".  The set is labeled "#1" so I am hoping for more.  The stem and leaves comes from a mini set that also includes a couple of cute flowers and four sentiments.  I ended up not using the stamped flower because I thought I needed a little more dimension up there to balance the bows.

The colors were also easy.  I wanted to use Kraft and ANY color looks good with Kraft; in fact, I think most colors look brighter and richer against Kraft.  I have one plea if anybody official from PTI is reading this - Kraft ribbon and buttons???  What do you think??

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your blog hop.  I'm off now to refresh my cup of coffee and then enjoy my hopping time!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Flower Fusion #1, Think Big Favorites #1
  • Ink: Papertrey Dark Chocolate, New Leaf
  • Paper: Papertrey Kraft, Berry Sorbet, Lemon Tart, New Leaf, 2008 Bitty Dot Basics dsp
  • Accessories: Papertrey Large Scalloped Border Die and Beautiful Blooms II #3 Die Collection, Lemon Tart button, Cuttlebug embossing folder, misc grosgrain

Food 'n' Flix: Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix and Pomegranate Sodas

Over the winter months, my family and I have at least one movie night per weekend.  So far this year, it's been a winter full of old 80's movies (Goonies, Back to the Future, Karate Kid, Poltergeist, Spacecamp, you get the idea).  It's been a lot of fun watching the look on my daughter's face as she discovers how different things were back in the 80's.  A lot of things have been very shocking to her and we've had a lot of good laughs. My husband likes to joke that each old movie must be torture to her, but I can honestly say that she has loved each and every old movie we have chosen.  How could she not?  They're classics for a reason, right? 

On family movie night we always have popcorn.  Lots of popcorn.  I've tried to deviate from this, but it's just not pretty. Things just get ugly. So, during the week, when everyone is at work or school, I pick my very own movie and make my very own snack.  Most of the time this involves chocolate, but this time it was this Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix and a special drink just for me, a pretty pale pink Pomegranate Soda with a maraschino cherry floating on top.


Once I have my snack, I pop in a movie of my very own choosing.  No cartoons, action flicks, or teeny bopper shows.  Only chick flicks.  It's time for girly, romantic, sappy, ridiculous, over-the-top, dramatic, passionate, and funny movies.  Even better if the movie involves cooking, like this month's Food 'n' Flix pick, Woman On Top. A very passionate love story about both love and cooking, it was the perfect choice for some down time. 

Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix
Adapted from Everyday Food September 2008 issue
Martha says this serves 8 (I say more like 2)

2 cups thin pretzel sticks
1 cup natural almonds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, toss together pretzels and almonds.

In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon water to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Pour over pretzel mixture in bowl; gently toss to combine.

Spread pretzel mixture in a single layer on prepared sheet.  Bake until almonds are crisp, about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Cool on sheet before serving (To store, keep at room temp, up to 5 days).

Pomegranate Sodas
Adapted from Everyday Food September 2008 
Serves 8

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
club soda, for serving
maraschino cherries (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and juice; bring to a boil over high, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a simmer; cook, without stirring, until mixture is syrupy, about 2 minutes. (To store, refrigerate syrup up to 1 week; adjust consistency with water, if necessary.)

To serve: Fill 8 glasses with ice. Pour 2 tablespoons syrup in each glass, and top with club soda. Garnish with cherries, if desired.

Notes/Results:  A very satisfying snack and drink combination that really caters to those sweet and salty cravings.  The sweet and spicy pretzel mix is delicious, a little more sweet than spicy, but it does have a gentle heat to it.  If you enjoy your food a little more spicy, go ahead and add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne in place of the 1/8 teaspoon. The crunchy pretzel mix pairs perfectly with the sweet pomegranate soda, a fun and delicious match.  I really enjoyed the pretzel mix, but I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the pomegranate soda.  The soda is just plain fantastic! Not only is it a gorgeous pale pink color, but it is also sweet, bubbly, refreshing and just plain fun to drink.  Decorated with some maraschino cherries, this would be fun for a family, your next party, a group of girls (any age), or even just on a day when you're on your own and need a fun treat.  
Now Watching Woman On Top

Thursday, February 24, 2011

family word art collage & phrases download

Here's the word art collage I created for the Design on a Dime: Decorating Your Walls class for our Relief Society meeting.

I'm having a hard time deciding which colors I like best. Download the collage here. Just click and choose your color(s).

Here's the LDS word art phrases I created:

Loving this blue. Download here. Just click and choose your color(s).

Remember to have your photo processor turn OFF the auto enhance before printing or the colors will change a lot.

These are for your own personal use or to give as gifts. Please don't print them for a profit--I'm not. Thanks.