Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing Much

Ugh. I haven't been getting much of anything done these past few days. Weekdays are hard for me to do anything aside from go to work, come home and eat dinner, work out (sometimes), and go to bed. But I do have one scrappy item to share with you from this past weekend.

"Fun" based on a Basic Grey sketch; all products American Crafts Heat Wave

I wish the lighting could be better on this, but oh well. These are pictures from our mini golf outing last weekend (we had a coupon). I put our score card behind the first picture with a little ribbon tag so you can pull it out and see who won. (I did.) Alright, off to make my lunch for tomorrow. Can I just say that I'm totally addicted to Target's Archer Farms organic restaurant style white corn tortilla chips? SO GOOD. And $1 cheaper than Tostitos. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Changing the World One Sequin at a Time

The title of this blog post comes from a Lady Gaga quote. And the inspiration for this blog post comes from Scrap Outside the Box, which has challenged its readers this month to use, you guessed it, SEQUINS.

To me, sequins remind me of dance recital costumes, and there are some of those costumes that I'd just rather not relive. (Neon green plastic visor with matching neon green and black spandex body suit? Why would anyone put poor pre-pubescent girls in something so unflattering?) But the sparkle of sequins also reminded me of clubs (of which I know so much, yeah right) - girls' always wear sparkly tops and shimmery eye makeup. So I used that idea and put it on a layout of how I spend my Friday nights. No, not going out clubbin'. (Do the kids still call it that?) Rather, my Friday nights are spent in my pajamas folding laundry while watching The Two Towers and Dateline. Boy am I glad my husband took this picture of me this past Friday night. (He was amused that I had wrapped myself up in a blanket. It was cold!!)

Party Girl; Recollections solid cardstock, American Crafts Everyday collection papers, American Crafts Niki Riki glitter thicker letters; random sequins


And I must also apologize for going MIA last week. I've been trying to post every two days or so, but because I went on vacation, there wasn't a whole lot of anything crafty, cook-y, or scrappy to post. I also ran out of photo paper so I couldn't print any pictures. And my scrap area was getting a revamp. Thanks to my husband getting a new job, we were able to buy me a new chair and larger desk. Behold:


Props to the hubs for putting all of this together for me so that I could come in and make a complete mess. Look at all this space I have to be messy and creative now! Lovin' it! Alright, back to working on my cruise album. It's hard to believe I am so caught up on my pictures that I can actually scrap a recent event! What are you guys working on right now?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Enjoy Getting Mail

Especially when the mail is a box of American Crafts goodies that I won in a layout contest! That's right! While on vacation, my prize of AC Heat Wave products came in the mail. Look at all the delicious goodies I won!

So, of course, I had to start creating as soon as possible with my new goodies. Here's a layout I did for sketch 78 over at The Scrappiest:


Bright and fun and perfect for scrapping the rest of my summer pictures! How are you guys doing with getting your summer (or spring, winter, last fall, whatever) pictures scrapped?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My First Cruise

Can't wait to scrapbook all our pictures!


Just wish I was still on vacation to do the scrapping. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Chocolatey Breakfast

(I may be on vacation, but I'm not going to leave you hanging. Enjoy these pre-scheduled posts.)

Do you like chocolate? For breakfast? Get a load of this:

These Double Chocolate Butterscotch Breakfast Muffins (recipe from The Kitchn) are so delicious. Not entirely sure why they are called "breakfast" muffins because they are easily a dessert muffin, as well. Whatever. Make them. Eat them for whatever meal. YUM.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pinwheels and Deep-Fried Milky Way Bars

(I may be on vacation, but I'm not going to leave you hanging. Enjoy these pre-scheduled posts.)


I just wanted to share a recent layout that I did for a PageMaps sketch challenge and a song challenge at Scrap it With a Song - the song was "This Kiss" by Faith Hill.

As you can see, I'm still doing the pinwheels thing. They are so much fun! These are pictures from the county fair a few weekends ago. I had a deep-fried Milky Way bar for the first time. SO GOOD! In keeping with the song challenge from Scrap it With a Song, I used the lyric "it's perpetual bliss" for the title. Next time I go to the fair, I'm getting me a deep-fried Twinkie!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Easy Salad

(I may be on vacation, but I'm not going to leave you hanging. Enjoy these pre-scheduled posts.)


Yum, yum, yummy, yum, yum. Chicken Caesar salad with breaded chicken. So good. So easy. So fast. You can buy a premade kit (minus the chicken) from the grocery store or buy (or make) your own dressing, lettuce, croutons, and cheese. Grill up some chicken, poach it, or bread it and fry it. It's up to you and it tastes delicious every way.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Music

(I may be on vacation, but I'm not going to leave you hanging. Enjoy these pre-scheduled posts.)

This is not crafty or food-related and this post is long, but maybe you can listen to these songs while you scrap or bake.

Lately I've been obsessed with a few songs. Like, have to listen to them non-stop/sing them in my head all day obsessed. These songs aren't new. Two of them are from Shakira's last album She Wolf, which came out last year, I think, and was pretty dismal, in my opinion. Especially the title track—the whole chorus Shakira sounds so incredibly bored that she can't even muster up a decent wolf howl, opting instead to "phone it in", as they say in the acting biz. There are two redeeming songs on this album, however, and I can't stop listening to them. In fact, I have the music videos storyboarded in my head, so Shakira, if you want to make either "Mon Amour" or "Men in This Town" into music vids, gimme a call.

I tried to get these to play via iLike.com, but I can only get snippets. Humph. Here are links to the music videos, though:
"Men in This Town" - this is not the music video for this song but instead an old Shakira video with "Men in This Town" playing over it. At least you can listen to the song in its entirety - just don't pay attention to the vid.
"Mon Amour" - Same thing with this song. An old music vid with "Mon Amour" playing over it. Again, just listen to the song and don't watch the vid.

Another song I'm super obsessed with (and that only comes as a snippet on iLike.com - double humph) is "Naturally" by Selena Gomez. Okay, I know. Selena Gomez? Shut up. Yes I have the album (my husband has a Rhapsody account) but please listen to me when I say DO NOT BUY IT. Just purchase "Naturally", which is the only decent song on the whole album. I feel like poor Selena hasn't figured out what type of artist she wants to be and the Disney machine won't give her the freedom to decide, instead force-feeding trite pop/r&b/rap (it's awful)/dance songs on her. The album is not at all coherent, but I guess the target audience of tweens/teens doesn't really care that much. (Although, I like to think that when I was that age, I had sophisticated musical taste, Backstreet Boys and Five aside.) But "Naturally" is SO good. I saw her perform it live with her band on Jimmy Kimmel and, even though Selena's voice didn't sound so hot (in the words of Randy Jackson, she was a little pitchy, dawg), I really loved the song. Hopefully you will, too. Music video, complete with lyrics - how helpful, can be viewed here on iLike.com. There are three videos - it's the second one. (Selena, step away from the curling iron.)

The final song obsession is "Lights Out" by Santogold. (Okay, she goes by Santigold now, but back when this album came out, she was Santogold. Confused much?) You might have heard this song in Budweiser commercials but it has nothing to do with beer. Watch the music video for it here on iLike.com.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Butterscotch Yum Yum

The title itself sounds delicious, does it not? Jenny kindly passed on this recipe to me (in keeping with the "cook" part of my blog). She says, "A lady made this for our family when my husband's grandfather passed away last month, and I knew I had to have the recipe. It's sooooo yummy and so easy!" Readers, you have NO idea.

For the crust:
1 ½ sticks butter
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Blend together and pat into 9x9 baking dish (0r 9-inch diameter pie pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. (Mine took about 35 minutes). Cool.

For the filling:
1 cup sugar
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz Cool Whip
1 pkg Butterscotch instant pudding (I used three of the pre-made pudding cups b/c I'm just that lazy)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cream together the sugar and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Next fold in almost all of the Cool Whip (you'll need some extra for later). Spread mixture on crust. Prepare instant pudding and spread on top of cream cheese mixture. Top with Cool Whip and chopped pecans. Refrigerate.

Okay... photo presentation skills not the greatest here, but this is how mine turned out.

Eat. Enjoy. Have a big glass of milk with it. So sweet. So thick and creamy with a bit of a crunch from the crust and pecans. You have to make this NOW.

Thanks again to Jenny for sharing this recipe! And for agreeing to be a part of my blog this week! I hope Jenny has been as inspiring to you as she is to me! Don't forget to visit Jenny's blog (including this post for a Barbecue Beef and Potato Turnovers recipe) and Scrapbook.com gallery. Now get to scrapping, while eating your Butterscotch Yum Yum, of course!


P.S. Now that we've been through one full week of
Getting Scrappy With..., is there anything else you'd like to see from this feature? Any other questions you have for the scrapbookers? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Inspiration from... Jenny

Remember this from Sunday?



click
here to see this on Jenny's Scrapbook.com gallery

I sketched this into my inspiration book and recently created a layout based on it. Here's my take:

I also sketched this one into my inspiration book:



click here to view this in Jenny's Scrapbook.com gallery

And here's what I did with it:



Fun stuff, huh? Want even more inspiration from Jenny? Check out all the layouts in her Scrapbook.com gallery and visit her blog, Moore Than Words.

I'll be ending the week with a super sweet recipe from Jenny, so come back on Thursday to find out what you'll be making for dessert this weekend.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Getting Scrappy With...

Hello and welcome to the very first installment of Getting Scrappy With...! This is what I've been teasing you all with recently. Hopefully you are as excited as I am about this.

So what is Getting Scrappy With...? It's a monthly feature on my blog where I interview some of my favorite scrapbookers and share their work with you! You've seen on this blog that I've given credit to scrapbookers who inspired me, but I thought it would be fun to talk to those scrapbookers and find out what inspires them. So, the second week of every month will introduce someone new, and you guys will get to read about each scrapper's favorite techniques, brands, and even food. :)

Let's get started! This month we're Getting Scrappy With... Jennifer Moore (or Jenny41180 as she's known on Scrapbook.com)! I love, love, love, love, love Jenny's work! I've been following her Scrapbook.com gallery additions ever since I joined Scrapbook.com in 2007. Just look at this:


click here to see this page on Jenny's Scrapbook.com gallery



click here to see this page on Jenny's Scrapbook.com gallery

CUTE OVERLOAD!!!! Aren't these fantastic? It's no wonder that Jenny is on several design teams including Have Your Way With Paper and The Scrap Room. She's been scrapping since 1999 (around the same time as me!) and says that her style has evolved over the years to become more clean and streamlined. I'm loving the way her scrap style evolved, so let's get more into how Jenny scraps today.

Jenny, what are your favorite scrapbook manufacturers?
Oh, so many to choose from! I love Bo Bunny, Crate Paper, My Mind's Eye, Echo Park, October Afternoon...okay, ALL of them!

Why do you scrap?
I have so many reasons. Mainly, I want to preserve memories for my family. I love the creative outlet scrapbooking provides, but I absolutely love the looks on my childrens' faces whenever they pull out a scrapbook and look at the pages. They remember SO much because of their scrapbooks!

What size pages do you normally scrap?
12 x 12, although I do a few mini albums now and then.

And how often do pictures of you end up on your scrapbook pages?
I'm so bad about this! Not very often. I am usually the one BEHIND the camera, so I'm not in a lot of my own pics.

Ah, the curse of the memory keeper! Well, where do you get your creative inspiration?
Magazines, blogs, websites, other scrappers

Do you have a favorite technique that you use on layouts or something that you think of as your signature?
I just love good, clean graphic design. I love to use photo collages to get a lot of pictures scrapped.

Photo collages are a great idea, especially if you're super behind on scrapping tons of pictures. (Google Picasa lets you easily create different photo collages.) Where is your favorite place to scrap?
My favorite place to scrap is at home. I like being with other scrappers, but I get too distracted and don't get much done in a group. I work much better alone at home. Usually the best time for me to scrap is during my youngest son's nap time, around 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

What does your scrap room/area look like?
When we bought our current house, the part that sold me was a nice sized workshop/separate building in the backyard. I immediately knew that would be my scrap room! So, half of it is my scrap room, and the other half is storage and a play room for my boys. It's a work in progress... I definitely need to repaint it and decorate it better, but it'll get there eventually.

Sounds awesome! Any tips on keeping all those scrap supplies organized?
Just find a system that works best for you and go for it! I love my Expedit shelving from IKEA, and I have a large peg board with misc. supplies on it too. Having things where I can actually see them helps me remember what I have.

I was just reading something about pegboard storage! I need to get on it. Thanks for being a part of my blog this week, Jenny!


***

Want to know more about Jenny and her work? Visit her blog Moore Than Words or her Scrapbook.com gallery.

And check back with this blog later this week to see how Jenny's pages inspired some of mine and to find out what a Butterscotch Yum Yum is! You won't want to miss that!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pinwheels

No, not the delicious chocolate-covered marshmallow confections that I so enjoyed as a youth. To the best of my memory, my maternal grandparents always had these at their house and I LOVED them. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Pinwheels in stores in years. I should have known to take my search to Amazon (see above link).

I digress. I'm talking about paper pinwheels - cute little embellishments to add to your scrapbook page, a gift tag, a card, WHATEVER. I made mine for a scrapbook layout using a tutorial from YourScrapbookStash.com.

"The Great Outdoors" based on a sketch at Sassy Lil Sketches; Recollections solid cardstock, American Crafts paper, American Crafts Thickers, random ribbon, Basic Grey button

Isn't it cute? You can't really see it because of the lighting but the pinwheel is on top of a toothpick. (I made another pinwheel but the white part is folded to the center over the patterned side so that more of the pattern shows. The tutorial advises using double-sided paper, which I don't have right now, so I improvised.) Fun, fun, fun and super easy. Like I said, you can make these pinwheels and use them to embellish so many things (including Taffy Pinwheels - check it out at the GCD Studios blog)! Make these pinwheels this weekend and let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Looking for a Challenge?

Want your scrapbooking skills to be challenged? Then check out this round-up of challenges happening this month!

Kiki Art Design Team call
If you haven't heard of Kiki Art yet, then you should definitely check out the website. Fun, fun, fun scrapbooking products (that I haven't gotten to play with yet). There is a Design Team call going on right now, so if you'd like to be part of it and get to create using Kiki Art product, read all about it here. Deadline is August 23.

Imaginisce sketch challenge
This is your chance to win some fun Imaginisce products! Just use the sketch (shown here) to inspire a card or layout of any size! Deadline is August 25.

Better Living Through Scrapbooking "Scrapbook your scrapbooking" challenge

There is a new website called Better Living Through Scrapbooking and it has just posted its first challenge! As the name of the challenge suggests, you must scrapbook your scrapbooking. This can be done in a variety of ways and the list of guidelines can be found here. The winner gets an awesome kit from Piggy Tales and Piggy Tales Academy Kit Club. Deadline is August 31. (There will be more challenges throughout the month, as well.)

PageMaps Blog Scrap Attack Sketch Contest
The esteemed Becky Fleck usually has a sketch contest over at her PageMaps site. The winner of this month's contest (due August 15) will walk away with an amazing prize pack from Scrap Attack Scrapbooking - papers, flowers, letter stickers, and a $25 gift certificate to the Scrap Attack store. I know I'm playing along!

All About Me Memorable Birthdays challenge
What was your favorite birthday? The All About Me challenge blog wants to know! Deadline is August 17 and there are TONS of sponsors giving away goodies in celebration of All About Me's first birthday this month. Another challenge, and another chance to win, will be posted later on this month. There will also be a Design Team blog hop and other extra chances at winning stuff throughout the month, so add this blog to your Google Reader so you don't miss out on the fun!

Sketchy Thursdays weekly sketch challenges

And as always, there is Sketchy Thursdays bringing us a new sketch every, you guessed it, Thursday. Check out the blog for the latest sketch and deadline.

Have fun and good luck!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Is Grimace from McDonald's an eggplant?

This is an eggplant:


And this is an eggplant BLT:



I had never eaten eggplant before this venture (not even eggplant parmigiana) but I saw a recipe in Real Simple and thought, "Hey, that looks interesting." The eggplant is breaded and serves as the "bread" of the sandwich. This seemed perfect for my husband and I because the gluten-free bread he was eating was a little on the stiff side (had to be microwaved before eating) and kind of expensive. Removing the need for bread seemed genius! Well, before we had time to make this sandwich, we found Udi's gluten-free bread, which tastes, looks, and feels like regular bread, and it's cheaper than the other stuff we had been buying.

But we bought the eggplant anyway because it was on sale at the grocery store and we decided to be adventurous. The original recipe (which is NOT a BLT) can be found here. I'm posting our adapted, gluten-free, BLT version.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
1 medium eggplant (1 to 1 1/2 pounds) cut into eight 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cup canola oil
Kosher salt
head of lettuce
tomato
bacon

Directions:
1. Cook up some bacon. I think you can figure out how to do that and it can cook while you do all this eggplant business. (Just remember to turn the bacon strips so both sides cook and remove them from the pan before they burn.)
2. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour, then in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), and then in the bread crumbs.
3. Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half the eggplant until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with remaining oil and eggplant. Sprinkle the hot eggplant with 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Disclaimer: I totally didn't follow this step AT ALL. I have no idea what I was doing. I poured all the oil in the skillet at once... Follow the directions for crispier eggplant slices.)
4. Layer the eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon to form sandwiches with the eggplant on top and bottom of each stack.

So now that you're probably like "Oh that sounds good..." let me just say, it wasn't the greatest. But that could just be me. My husband said he liked it. I just happen to be very picky about the vegetables that go in my mouth and eggplant doesn't do it for me. It tasted a little like zucchini, but not as good. And I don't even really like zucchini, so...

But I'm glad I tried it. It was easy to make and didn't cost a whole lot.

If any of you try this, let me know. Got any other ideas on how to use eggplant? Maybe so that I can't really taste the eggplant?

p.s. The Robbie Williams song titles as blog titles has ended. :)