Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!!!

A giraffe just came to my door!! So cute!

Okay, so I like that at least two people have been referred to my blog simply by searching for a quote from 30 Rock:

Liz Lemon: Are you a doorman?
Carol: Yeah, I'm a doorman - to the sky! I'm a pilot.

Also, one person did a keyword search for "Is Grimace from McDonald's an eggplant?" and was directed to my blog (second page on Google, people!) so that's pretty awesome.

Thank you Blogger stats for making my day. There are others out there like me... but they probably aren't commenting on my blog because I disabled anonymous commenting. Blerg.

In scrappy news, I made this layout yesterday based on sketch 57 at Inspired Blueprints. I didn't get sketch 58 done this month, but oh well.


The swirly paper is American Crafts. I cut around the swirls on the outside. Letters are also American Crafts and everything else was in my stash bag. The pictures are of a concert I went to last weekend, The Rocket Summer. LOVE that band/one-man show. The title of the layout is the title of one of his songs, which I love, and I got to hear him sing it. Sweet!

Right now I'm making chili for dinner. More on that later. Have a safe Halloween! Don't eat too much candy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just popping in to say...

... head on over to the Nikki Sivils blog today because two of my layouts using Nikki's Boo-tiful line are featured! My layouts were spotted by Julie Tucker-Wolek and she asked if she could put them on the blog. But of course! There are also several other layouts and cards using a variety of Nikki Sivils product and it's all just so cute!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm Not Following


Why is it that Blogger is all of a sudden telling me that I'm not following any blogs when my Google Reader tells me that I am? Anyone else having this issue?

Moving on...

To the left is a layout I did based on sketch 86 at The Scrappiest and for the latest challenge at Scrap Outside the Box. The challenge was to use magazine subscription inserts. How and where did I use them on my layout? There is a polka dot frame around the picture and that came from a subscription insert! I saw it and thought it would be the perfect accent. Of course, first I had to cut part of Christina Aguilera's arm out of the way.

Other supplies used on this include American Crafts Thickers and Colorbok solid paper. The patterned paper and felt embellies were all in my goodie pack that I received from Jamie. And speaking of Colorbok, they are going to be releasing a new line at Target with product for $1!!!!! I can't wait!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Snippy

I got a little snippy on my latest layout for sketch 84 at The Scrappiest. The little embellishment at the bottom of the page, the one with Joan Jett's picture on it, is a paper flower that I made using a tutorial at YourScrapbookStash.com. You make a lot of tiny incisions in a piece of paper and then create a circle and voila. Paper flower. The tutorial was fairly easy to follow, although I would have liked a video or more pictures of the steps. I got a little confused as to how I should be pleating the paper to form a circle. But the end result didn't turn out too bad, so I'd probably make more of these.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Adaptation

We didn't grocery shop last weekend. I was determined to make what we had bought the weekend before last us another week. (I love ground beef big buys!) I had bought five cans of tuna because they were on sale, so we had an interesting tuna and rice dish Sunday night and then tuna sandwiches Wednesday. We used up the last chicken breast from the freezer for chicken alfredo (we had to buy more alfredo sauce). And then we had one bag of frozen ground beef left. What to do with it? Spaghetti and meatballs? No rice pasta and not enough pasta sauce. Meatloaf? Takes too long to make on a weeknight. 

I turned to CDKitchen.com for some help. There I found a recipe for Cherokee Casserole. Not only was it a fairly quick recipe to make but it used ingredients that we already had in our pantry... with a few adaptations. You can follow the link above to see the original recipe. Below is my adapted recipe for Cherokee Casserole, which turned out pretty good in light of my substitutions and omissions. If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe that will help clear out your cabinets and not your wallet, then this is it!

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
1 can gluten-free cream of chicken soup (the original recipe calls for cream of mushroom, which I think I would try next time to see how the flavor changes)
2 cups cooked rice
American cheese, cut in 1/2 inch strips

Directions:

Brown beef in oil. Drain. Stir in seasonings, soup and rice. (I only stirred in the seasonings and soup. There was too much rice to fit in the skillet, unless you brown the beef in a pot.) Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon into baking dish, top with cheese strips. Broil until cheese melts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Catch the Moments...

...and scrapbook them! I love to scrapbook but I especially love it when I'm scrapbooking with a kit. It's so nice to have everything there already coordinated and picked out for me. It's also nice when that kit is affordable. That's the aim of a new kit club called Catch the Moments Kits. You get coordinating paper and embellishments from all the top scrapbooking manufacturers for just $18 (plus shipping). Add-ons are only $7. Right now there's a Christmas kit available if you're trying to get ahead for this holiday season... or trying to catch up from last year! So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall in the Valley

 These are just a few pictures of what fall looks like where I live:




I took these pictures while on a little walk Sunday afternoon. The weather was nice and cool, in the 60s, and the sun was shining and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring my camera with me and snap some photos.


In other fall news, it's October and I had blogged awhile back about some of the things I was hoping to do this month because I had a Halloween-themed scrapbook pack from Nikki Sivils just waiting for October/Halloween pictures. Well, already we've done two corn mazes, one during the day and one at night!! So over the weekend I got to scrapping:


 "Fall Night" is based on Leslie Ashe's "This is the story of a girl" layout. On Leslie's layout, she created a break between the photos and the title, and I really liked that. I recently sketched a bunch of layouts in my sketchbook that utilize this technique in different ways.


"Good Times" is based on CrazyDiamond's "Cousins, Cat and Dog" layout. The purple and orange scalloped paper was actually one 12 x 12 piece, but I cut it in half and placed the pieces like so. I've seen many other scrapbookers use this technique, so I was excited to finally try it out for myself.

Well, the heat is on, it's dark when I come home from work, and my husband has already started Christmas shopping. Hard to believe this year is almost over.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Amazingness!

You already know that I love getting mail so imagine my excitement when I big package arrived at my front door featuring an array of scrapbooking goodies. Awhile back, a blogger that I follow (Jamie at Inspired Mess) put out a call that she was giving away some of her scrapbook supplies and the first five people, I think, to email her would receive some goodies. I happened to be one of the first five and so that was really exciting. But it was even more exciting to tear open the packaging and take a look at all the goodies. I swear, it was like the neverending package! I was not expecting so much stuff!! It was seriously the coolest happy mail ever! And now my scrap stash is replenished with lots of neat stuff! Wahoo! Thanks Jamie!! Go visit Jamie's blog because she's always posting really cool stuff - giveaways, pictures of themed family nights that she creates for her kids, scrappy/crafty stuff. You'll definitely be inspired!

And, I promised this layout to you two weeks ago or something so here it is. Underneath the picture are all the ribbon flowers that I made. I had to adhere them to the page using brads and boy were my fingers killing me from getting poked with the stupid brad ends. I think you are really supposed to sew the ends of the flowers together but I don't own a sewing machine and I would have poked my fingers even more with the sewing needle if I had tried handstitching. Do they make thimbles for every finger?

This picture isn't the greatest but I just can't seem to get the lighting right. I think it's time we invest in a bigger scanner. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies - Gluten Free!

It's Friday and you know what that means: new recipe! The best thing about the recipe Cassy is sharing with us this week is that it's naturally gluten-free! Yay!

Cassy says this recipe for peanut butter cookies is one of her favorites because she always has the ingredients on hand and the directions are easy to remember. Check out just how easy it is:

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter (smooth)
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Directions:
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Place mixture in balls on cookie sheet (about 1-2 inches apart). Press down with a sugared fork and bake for 10-13 minutes at 375 degrees.
3. You can also add Hershey's kisses to make it really yummy. Just press an unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie immediately after taking out of the oven. Let them cool and enjoy!

I made something very similar to these way back when my husband first embarked on his gluten-free diet. And yes, the cookies were delicious. But then I received a free package of Betty Crocker's Gluten-Free Cake Mix along with a press release about a new gluten-free baking cookbook called The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free (that comes out December 8) and, wouldn't you know it, there is a recipe for peanut butter cookies using the box of cake mix. So, of course, I made them, complete with my own addition of Reese's Pieces because they are also peanut buttery, my husband loves them, and the colors are perfect for Halloween-themed treats, which is what these cookies ended up being.



Look good, don't they? They were a big hit with friends at a recent get-together. Everyone commented on how they wouldn't have known that these cookies were gluten-free had I not said something. That's how good and "real" they taste. Don'tcha love it?

Thanks for joining Cook Scrap Craft for another installment of Getting Scrappy With... Don't forget to visit Cassy's blog and Scrapbook.com gallery. And if there are any scrapbookers you'd like to see featured on this blog or any questions you have for scrapbookers, let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Inspiration from Cassy

I love perusing the Scrapbook.com gallery for inspiration, and I especially love checking out the galleries of my favorite scrapbookers to see what products and techniques they're using. I've been scraplifting Cassy since 2008.



(click here to see these layouts in Cassy's Scrapbook.com gallery)


And this was my take:




I loved how Cassy did her layouts with all the squares and rectangles. Those are my favorite shapes to use in scrapping. I also liked that this layout gives you the chance to use multiple photos on one 12x12 piece of cardstock. So if you've got a ton of photos but don't want to make 50 scrapbook pages, crop the pictures down to simple squares and rectangles, line 'em up, and throw down some colorful strips of paper for pizazz. So easy! 
Cassy also got me to do some doodling on a recent layout. Here's Cassy's original, which you saw on Monday:
Click here to see this on Cassy's Scrapbook.com gallery
 And here's how I interpreted the layout:
First off, it's very rare that I use white as a background. Second, I usually never doodle, but on this layout I doodled a swirly border. Isn't it fun seeing how other scrappers can break you out of your comfort zone? Check out Cassy's Scrapbook.com gallery and her blog for more inspiration and come back here on Friday for a yummy new recipe!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Getting Scrappy With... Cassy

This month we are Getting Scrappy With... Cassy aka Cadi Walda on Scrapbook.com. When I first joined Scrapbook.com, Cassy was one of the first scrapbookers whose work I discovered and really liked.

Click here to see this on Cassy's Scrapbook.com gallery
She's a big advocate for white space, which leaves her scrapbook layouts looking crisp, clean, and oh so lovely. Cassy's work is a great example of how you don't need a lot of bells and whistles to make a truly fantastic layout. Click on the above link to visit her Scrapbook.com gallery and then head over to her blog, The Super Watsons!, to find out more about Cassy. Of course, if you keep reading, you'll get to know Cassy a little bit better, too.

So Cassy, when did you start scrapping?

I first started scrapbooking shortly after I finished high school, so it's been about 10 years now.

How has your style evolved over the years?

Well, when I first started it was all about stickers, weird cutting of pictures and matting every photo. All my pages were very busy in all the wrong ways. Now I stick to simple, clean lines.

Most of your layouts do adhere to the "simple, clean lines" concept. Do you think of that as your signature?

I don't know that I have a signature, but I tend to lean toward simple design. I am a "white space" advocate and almost no page is complete without a little doodling.

What are your favorite scrapbook manufacturers?

I l-o-v-e Basic Grey! They have the cutest paper! I'm also a big fan of American Crafts and Scenic Route.

Why do you scrap?

I like the way it looks when I make a cute page. And I want to remember my life! I envision my kids going through my scrapbooks one day and we're all laughing and crying, and talking about all the fun/crazy things we did.

How often do you scrap about yourself (or scrap pictures that you are in)?

Rarely. My kids are so much cuter than me so they dominate my scrapbook world now.

Click here to see this on Cassy's Scrapbook.com gallery
Do you have a favorite place to scrap or a certain time of day when you get the most scrapping done?

I really like to scrap on the floor. My husband bought me a table to do my scrapping on, but I just really like being able to spread everything out in front of me and work on the ground. As far as when, the only time I can is after 7p.m.—kid's bedtime.

And what does your scrap area look like?

Right now it's in a corner of my bedroom. I have to keep it cleaned up so that things don't get trampled, but someday I'll have a craft room and things can be haphazardly strewn about!

Any tips for other scrappers out there who are short on space but need to keep their scrap areas cleaned up, too?

I like boxes, drawers, canisters—anything that has compartments. I really like knowing where things are. I would say just see what you have to work with and get appropriate storage. I have a small corner so a rolling cart and a table that can be closed up help me to keep things together.

From reading your blog, it appears you have a few other crafty hobbies.

I love to sew! It is my newest obsession. I also love to write anything: journal, poetry, stories, thoughts, whatever.

Well, you certainly have a knack for sewing. The flower girl dress you made for your daughter turned out really well! Where do you get your creative inspiration for all your crafty endeavors?

All over. My best friend is really creative and we work well to generate ideas between the two of us. She gives good input and will tell me when something isn't working.

It's good to have other crafty friends like that! Thanks so much for being part of Cook Scrap Craft this month, Cassy!

***

Don't forget to check out Cassy's Scrapbook.com gallery and her blog for more inspiration. Speaking of inspiration, come back later this week to find out how I scraplifted some of Cassy's layouts!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gotta Love Udi's

It's not very often that we get to eat pizza anymore. (Well, I do now that Fridays at work are pizza lunch Fridays, but...) So when I discovered a few weeks ago that Whole Foods carries Udi's gluten-free pizza crusts, I was ecstatic. For about $5.49 you get two pizza crusts, each is enough for one person, and you can top them however you want and then throw them in the oven for 5-7 minutes. The crusts don't have to be kept frozen!! They aren't even sold in the freezer section!! We love Udi's!!

One thing to note, when you put the pizza sauce on the crust (and make sure you buy gluten-free pizza sauce), the crust tends to soak up the sauce. It's kind of weird. The first time we made these I only cooked them for 5 minutes and I thought the crusts ended up a little soggy. So the second time we made these, I cooked them for the entire 7 minutes and they turned out much better!

If you don't live near a Whole Foods but want gluten-free pizza, you can order these from Udi's website. (Some chain grocery stores and health food stores also carry Udi's products, so check out the store locator on Udi's website to find out if there is a store near you.)

Bon appetit!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like....

 ... HALLOWEEN!!!

I finally broke out the Halloween decorations last night. I had meant to do it last weekend but, well, it's hard to get motivated to do anything with a tissue up your nose. Both nostrils to be exact. TMI?

I was actually surprised by how few Halloween decorations we have. I thought we had more. Oh well. Just another excuse to go buy some new decorations when they go on sale at the end of this month?

We also have some window decals that I put on the little window panes next to our front door. (I didn't take a picture of them b/c it was dark out and I wasn't sure how well the picture would turn out.) I figure it's the best place for the decals (ghosts, spooky trees, a haunted house, gravestones, bats, clouds) because if we get trick or treaters, they'll be able to see the decals when they come up to the door.

I'd really like to get some outdoor decorations, as well. Maybe a fake bale of hay. (Cuz, you know, I'm allergic to real hay.) And then we could put a carved pumpkin on top of it.

How are you decorating for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Can Breathe!

So, while I couldn't breathe through my nose on Sunday thanks to a cold, I made some tiny ribbon flowers to put on a layout for my brother-in-law's wedding last month. (It's been a month already? Yikes.) Do I have pictures to show you? No. I tried taking a picture last night of the ribbon flowers, but they looked weird, so I decided just to wait and take a picture of the final product, which will hopefully be done soon (fingers crossed). I haven't been scrapping much at all. I wanted to on Sunday, but I felt poopy. Saturday I was finding my way through a corn maze and looking at farm animals (while also feeling kind of poopy). Friday night my husband and I saw Steel Train and fun. in concert. Thursday night I was busy baking. I can't remember what I did on Wednesday night. Tuesday night I waited around for a tow truck to come take my car and it's broken sway bar (which got fixed today! yay!). Monday night was How I Met Your Mother and I don't have cable in my scrap room.

I've got a three-day weekend coming up so maybe I'll get some scrapping done then.

But to give you some sort of substantial post, have any of you other Bloggers realized that Blogger will be updating the way you post your blogs? You can switch over to it now by changing your settings. It's so great! You can move pictures wherever you want in the blog post AND the text will wrap around the pictures! The pictures insert WHERE YOU WANT IT and not at the top of the blog post! You can also easily change the size! No HTML needed! I've been wanting these updates since, oh, I started this blog almost a year ago. SO EXCITING PEOPLE.

Hopefully in my next post, I'll be able to show you what I'm talking about. Or you can click on the brand spanking new "page" tab right underneath my blog's header. That's right - click on The Side Scrapper to see how the pictures look when using this fabulous new update AND to find out more about my side business.

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Scrap and Win!

Here it is, your beginning of the month scrapbook challenges round-up:

1. Scrap Outside the Box is hosting a new challenge where you have to use those subscription cards that you find about 25 of inside every magazine on your layout. This one's gonna require some creative thinking!

2. Paper Tree House has a sketch challenge that goes until Oct. 13. You don't need to have the September Paper Tree House kit to play along, so don't worry if you don't own it. (I don't!)

3. It's Inspired Blueprints 2nd birthday! They recently posted sketch 57 so try it out for a chance to win the monthly prize.

4. PageMaps has a new sketch contest (and a new blog!). You have until Oct. 24 to be eligible to win a $35 gift certificate to Ally Scraps.

5. And the latest challenge at These are a Few of My Favorite Things is to scrap your favorite fictional character. I already did a layout about Ugly Betty so maybe I'll try to do one for Frodo Baggins and the rest of the LOTR cast. ;) You have until Oct. 13 to submit your layout.

Good luck!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Not a lot of ado about nothing...

So last night I asked God to give me a little hint as to what direction I should be going with my life. I said, "I don't need to know all the details—just a hint. Show it to me in a dream."

And here's what I got:
The company I work for was involved in some brouhaha with another company (it seemed like my company was the whistleblower on the other company) and it ended up being made into a TV movie. Guess who starred in this TV movie? TOM HANKS. For some reason, Tom was dressed like it was the '80s and he talked in an accent that no one in my office talks with. So I'm not really sure who Tom was supposed to be. But anyway... At one point Tom goes, "Well, we have the interview already..." and two other guys go, "Yeah." This interaction takes place outside at night by Tom's car b/c the three guys are staking out the owner of the other company's house. Meanwhile, I'm in a radio station with no roof that is located in the middle of the woods and I'm on the phone with Loretta Lynn interviewing her for a magazine article I'm writing. Loretta is getting kind of snippy with me, but she's seriously the worst interview EVER. And then somehow everything turned into an action movie starring Keira Knightley as a bad guy (true to life), complete with sweeping camera shots. People are shooting arrows from on top of a cliff and then another girl jumps off the cliff, lands on the ground where the enemy is, and starts fighting Keira Knightley using arrows as swords.

The End.

What the what??? Does anyone know how to interpret dreams? (I think I have a dream dictionary somewhere.) Am I missing some important message or was this dream literally just a mish of mash?

(Happy October, btw! I made pumpkin bars and gluten-free Reese's Pieces peanut butter cookies last night. More on those later!)