Friday, September 30, 2016

Family Scrapbook Page

Yesterday was a flashback, but today we're flashing forward a bit. This scrapbook layout uses two pictures from when my parents came to visit in June.

I got to use up some papers and embellishments from my stash on this one. It was just a quick page. I knew what patterned papers I wanted to use, I remembered a sticker that I had that kind of matched one of the patterned papers, and then I randomly looked over at a pile of embellishments on my desk and saw the big "Family" chipboard sticker and went, "Perfect!"

It's so crazy to look back at the baby in these pictures. June wasn't that long ago, but the baby was so little and didn't have much hair and now she's so much bigger and not as bald!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What the Elf? Scrapbook Page

So every year, my mom finds these hats and makes us wear them in a family photo in front of the Christmas tree. Last Christmas, we were elves.

I thought the title was kind of funny and luckily, I happened to have a package of American Crafts Thickers that had all the letters I needed to spell it out!

The big white chipboard snowflakes came from my Christmas scrapbook stash. I added the red ribbon (gasp! Using ribbon!) from my ribbon stash.

And all three of the patterned papers are from a Me & My Big Ideas holiday paper pad. The green cardstock is just a generic brand from Walmart.

Does your family have a holiday tradition like this?

Side note, aren't you proud of me that I've scrapped my way up to December 2015? I am making progress!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dancing Through Life - Book Review

When I went to Book Expo America back in 2015, I saw in the daily newsletter that review copies of actress Candace Cameron Bure's latest book were going to be available. The newsletter didn't say when, so I made it a point to stop by the publisher's booth first thing to ask about when I should come back so I could pick up a review copy! And the nice guy working at the booth opened up a drawer and gave me a copy!

And even though it took me a year and a half to read it, I still read it!

I've always been a fan of Candace. We don't always agree on everything, but I do like her as a person. I didn't read her first book, and I didn't even know that she was on Dancing with the Stars, which is what Dancing Through Life is all about. So if you watched the season where she danced with the stars, then you might really enjoy reading this book.

Candace basically gives you a behind the scenes look on what happened each week on the show, from picking songs and learning dances to standing up for her convictions when it came to certain dance moves and costumes. While reading, part of me kept thinking, "Oh come on, Candace! Just give it up! What's the big deal about dressing as Ariel from The Little Mermaid?" But just because I might not have a problem with a costume like that doesn't mean that other people won't for whatever reason. And if Candace's reason is because she wants to remain modest and keep things for her husband, then that's just fine. You have to applaud someone for standing up for what she believes in and not worrying about what other people are going to say! I mean, non-Christians and Christians alike had problems with Candace's choices and told her so on social media. So you know, sometimes you just can't win and you can't please everybody. Just be yourself and don't let anybody tell you otherwise!

There were two parts of the book that I really liked. The first one is about what the Bible says about modesty. Candace writes, in reference to 1 Timothy 2:9-10, that this passage doesn't give us a dress code. Instead, it's more about how we "clothe" ourselves with God-like qualities.

And the second part was a blog post that Candace's friend wrote comparing Candace's journey on DWTS to our journey with God. Just like Candace had Mark, we have God. He's our coach and when we think we've forgotten the steps, He's right there to tell us the moves. The blog post is printed in the book, but if you want to read it now, just go to the post on Karen Ehman's website here. (Reading it might make you cry.)

If you're a fan of Candace's acting and reality show work (Full House, The View co-host, Make it or Break It, Fuller House, DWTS, those Hallmark movies) or you're a fan of Candace's faith (or both!), then you'll enjoy reading about Candace's journey on DWTS and her continued journey of faith in this book.

Dancing Through Life is on bookstore shelves now. It's published by B&H Publishing. I received a free advance review copy at BEA with no obligation to review.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Do the Teal Pumpkin Project

Last year I wrote about my participation in the Teal Pumpkin Project. (You can read about it here.) And this Halloween, I'm doing it again!

If you don't know, the Teal Pumpkin Project is the Food Allergy Research & Education's (FARE) program to create a safer and happier Halloween for ALL kids. Taking into account that 1 in 13 children in the U.S. has a food allergy, instead of handing out candy, households that participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project pass out non-food treats to trick-or-treaters.

The TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT® and the Teal Pumpkin Project® logo 
are registered trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
Food allergies are life-altering and can potentially be life-threatening. Even a tiny amount of an allergen can cause a severe reaction, and many popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, soy, wheat, or egg, which are the most common food allergies among children and adults. Not to mention that some of the miniature-sized candies contain different ingredients from the full-size candies, and those mini candies don't always include an ingredients label, so it can be difficult for parents to determine which candy is safe for their child. That's why non-food treats are a fun and safe alternative for those kids.

Last year, households in 50 states and 14 countries put teal pumpkins on their doorsteps (or a Teal Pumpkin Project poster on their doors). You can sign up to participate this year by visiting FARE's website. FARE provides free downloadable fliers and signs so you can advertise your participation, plus you can shop for fun Teal Pumpkin Project goodies, including premium non-food treat kits to give away to your trick-or-treaters. And don't forget to add your address to the map so that trick-or-treaters can see in advance which houses near them are safe!

Last year I handed out bubbles, and this year I know someone who is giving out temporary tattoos. (Please be aware that even some non-food treats, such as Play-Doh, may still not be safe. Play-Doh contains wheat.) I haven't decided yet what to hand out this year. We don't get many trick-or-treaters, sadly, so I think the leftover bubbles from last year will probably suffice.

If you choose not to purchase your non-food treats from FARE (though if you do, all proceeds will go to food allergy research), there are lots of other great places to find some fun goodies. Last year I hit up Target, but the Dollar Store (whichever version you have near you) is also a great place for buying a lot of things at an affordable price. I also like Oriental Trading Company because they sell a lot of bulk goodies at reasonable prices, too.

And if you don't have a teal pumpkin but would like one, you can always go out and buy a craft pumpkin at Michael's or even Walmart (which has a pretty decent craft section) and paint it teal! (I mixed acrylic white paint and acrylic blue paint to make teal for my pumpkin.) A lot of stores also sell pre-painted teal pumpkins and even pumpkin decorating brands such as Pumpkin Masters offer teal pumpkin painting kits!

I hope you'll consider participating in this great program! You can, of course, still hand out regular candy, but providing the option for kids with food allergies to still enjoy trick-or-treating by bringing home a non-food treat will really make those kids feel good!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Meal Plan Monday - September 26

Last week's meal plan got a little hijacked. We ended up with unexpected leftovers, so things got pushed back a day. Because of that, our Baked Alfredo is now happening THIS week. I'm very excited about it. I'm also very excited about a new Rachael Ray recipe that we're going to try because a) butternut squash is on sale and b) Italian sausage is on sale! Yum-o!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday: Baked Alfredo with peas and bacon

Monday: Sausage and Butternut Squash Skillet Supper

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Eggs, Bacon, and Pancakes

Thursday: Chicken Strips and Fries

Friday: Turkey Burgers, Fries, and Mini Corn Cobs

Saturday: on our own

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ghosts from Our Past - Book Review

Do you want to be a ghost hunter like the famous Ghostbusters? Well, now you can! The book that Abby Yates and Erin Gilbert wrote way back when is now being published again in an updated version!

Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally & Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal gives you the background that got both Yates and Gilbert interested in the paranormal. From there, you get a history of ghosts and other ghost hunters, plus the research that Yates and Gilbert have done on ghosts. And then you'll read about the proper methods and tools that should be used when investigating paranormal activity. For aspiring ghost hunters or for anyone who is just interested in the paranormal, this is a very helpful book that will guide you on your quest to study ghosts.

Okay, so this book is a parody. If you saw the new Ghostbusters movie, then you'll remember Yates and Gilbert (played by Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, respectively) talk about this book. So here it is, ready to go for movie fans.

This book seems to take itself so seriously that you almost wonder what is being made up and what is real. (Make sure you have your phone or computer handy so you can do a lot of Googling. You can also check out this interview that did with the book's author, Andrew Shaffer.) And at times, you almost forget the book is supposed to be funny. There were a few chuckle-worthy moments, but this book is definitely no Lord of the Rings parody book Bored of the Rings.

But this parody book might make a fun gift for a mega fan of the new Ghostbusters movie.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Color Run 2015 Scrapbook Page

I did The Color Run again this year, but of course, I'm not even close to scrapbooking any of this year's pictures unless they have to do with the baby. So here is the layout I made for the pictures from last year's Color Run. I went with a friend from book club and we got lots of color! I was also three months pregnant, and I remember drinking a lot of water beforehand and throughout the run (we walked) as advised by my OBGYN. And boy did I have to pee!

All of the elements on this layout came from a kit I had purchased last year at a scrapbook store while visiting my parents in St. Louis. I think the actual scrapbook store is in Illinois.

Oh, I did add the pink letter stickers from my own stash just to label the photos as "before" and "after". Just look at my very yellow arms!

Next year I'm going to do a tips for doing The Color Run blog post. Remind me!