Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lovin' Spoonful Scrapbook Page

Lest you think you'd be getting a break from scrapbook pages, I've got yet another one to share with you! This one is for the August 13 Tic Tac Toe challenge at The Studio Challenges. (You still have until September 10 to play along.)

The challenge was to choose one row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) from the Tic Tac Toe grid and use the three elements listed. So I chose: flair, two types of alpha, and the color blue. As you can see, there is a lot of blue on this page.

I don't know which one qualifies for "flair", but I've got October Afternoon buttons, ribbon, and American Crafts arrow brads on here. I figure one of them will count toward that!

And my two alphas are both from American Crafts! I got lucky finding two different sets of alphas that had all the letters I needed.

Check out my Instagram story today (8/30/17) to see more about how I picked the supplies and put everything together!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 28, 2017

What to See at the Secaucus GFAF Expo + TICKET GIVEAWAY

Fall is almost here and so is the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo in Secaucus, NJ! I'm an official blogger for the Expo again, which means I get to attend for free, and I'm super excited about going again. 

Where else can you find more than 100 brands offering gluten-free and allergen-free products all in one place? Where else can you sample before you buy, get discounts, and take home coupons? Where else can you attend classes about how to eat gluten-free and ask Celiac experts whatever questions you may have?

It's all here at the Meadowlands Exhibition Center in Secaucus, NJ, October 14 and 15, 2017! Hours are 10 to 4 on Saturday, and 10 to 3 on Sunday.

Tickets are available now to purchase! Just click here and enter in one of these codes to receive a discount on your ticket purchase:

30% off with code EARLYBIRD (through 9/13/17)
20% off with code ADVANCE (through 10/13/17)

Or stay tuned to the end of this post for your chance to win a free ticket!

Of course, there are some new exhibitors who I am excited to check out (Ethel's Baking Co, Go Veggie Foods, Hummus is Life, and Manini's to name a few), but there are always some returning exhibitors who I look forward to visiting every year.

Below is a list of some of my favorites. This is a good list if you're newly gluten-free and looking for some tried-and-true products, or if it's your first time to the GFAF Expo and you don't know where to start.

Udi's Gluten Free - Udi's is one of the main sponsors of the Expo, so head over and show the sponsor some love. In return, you'll get to sample Udi's products, including their amazing gluten-free bread. They also share space with Glutino, who is another one of the main sponsors, so you'll get to sample some gluten-free snack foods, too.

Against the Grain - This company has the best gluten-free baguettes. We actually have one in our freezer right now. It's a freezer staple for us. (And their pizza crusts are good, too.) I don't remember seeing Against the Grain at past Expos, so I'm really excited to see them there this year.

Maddalena's - One of the things I love about the Expo is that it's a chance for local companies to interact with the gluten-free and allergen-free community. Maddalena's is no exception. This is a New Jersey-based company, and they've been attending the Expo for as long as I've been going! The cheesecake here is amazing. You have to sample some and then buy a slice as your show snack.

Banza - Chickpea pasta? Yes, it really is good! Make sure you sample some of the pasta they cook up, and take advantage of Expo-only sales here!

Garden Lites - When I first tried these veggie-rific muffins, I couldn't believe that they were gluten-free and packed with veggies. Read my review of them from a few years ago here. There will be samples at the show, and you will want to try them. The chocolate ones are my favorite.

Brazi Bites - I can make my own gluten-free Brazilian cheese buns, but Brazi Bites makes it so much easier. These are really good. Stop by and sample some.

Ronzoni - I was so happy when companies like Barilla and Ronzoni started making gluten-free pasta. This stuff is so good, and it's not that expensive! I like to stock up on Ronzoni whenever it's on sale at ShopRite. Last year, Ronzoni had a fun pasta photo booth with samples, so I'm anxious to see what they cook up this year.

Smart Flour Foods - When it's lunchtime, get in line at the Smart Flour Foods booth to sample some of their delicious gluten-free pizza. It's seriously yummy! And I like that it's easy to find at ShopRite and doesn't cost too much.

The Rachel Way Food Pantry - The Expo does have non-food exhibitors, too. One of those is The Rachel Way Food Pantry. This food pantry, located in Plymouth Meeting, PA, offers a way for low-income families to receive the allergen-free food they need. (Because it's not cheap going gluten-free!) I got to talk with the founders last year, and they were really nice. This is a really great service that they offer! Check them out!

That's just a short list to get you started! My only other advice? Don't get so caught up in visiting the exhibitors that you miss out on the great classes held throughout the day. Check the class schedule in advance and keep an eye on your watch so you don't miss the ones you want to attend!

By now you're probably wondering, "What about this ticket giveaway?" Oh yeah!

I have five free tickets to give away! Enter using the Rafflecopter below, and the five lucky winners will receive a code to enter on the ticketing page. Each code is good for one free adult single day pass. Good luck and see you there!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Sweet Snuggles Scrapbook Page

There's no break in the scrapbooking! Last night I got another one done for the zoo animals challenge at Lasting Memories. To satisfy this challenge, I used a sticker of a monkey on my page!

And here's the complete layout. These are pictures that I found in my mom's photo stash, and I had no idea they existed! So I brought them home and decided to scrap them.

This gave me a chance to use up some baby sticker embellishments from Echo Park that I hadn't used when I was scrapping all of the baby pictures I had. The title is a vellum embellishment from something that my mother-in-law gave me, and the green ribbon (yes, ribbon!) was in my stash. The patterned paper was also from my mother-in-law, and I thought the colors of it were perfect for baby pictures.

I did a pull-out journaling tag, which I haven't done in forever. And on it, I journaled about what that first week with the baby was like. Suffice it to say, it was hard.

Because I scrapped these pictures more than a year after they were taken, I didn't really have space to put them in my regular scrapbook, so I decided to put it in my Book of Me, an album that has been sorely neglected. The last time I added to it was May 2015!

So I'm glad that I was able to add this page to it. I feel like my journaling was very honest, and that's what a Book of Me is supposed to be about. So years from now when my daughter looks through it to try to "understand mommy", she'll get to see what my experience was like.

Do you do a Book of Me? 

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fred's Friend Scrapbook Page

Here's my scrapbook layout for the August 15th sketch over at Stuck?! Sketches. The challenge was to create a layout based on the sketch. I had just the perfect pictures for this one.

These are pictures of the baby with Flat Freddy, the St. Louis Cardinals version of Flat Stanley. Daphne used to love playing with this thing!

For this one, I decided to make a border of baseballs going down the diagonal line. Because I didn't have any baseball embellishments, I had to make my own. So I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to make two different sizes of circles from white cardstock (smallest circle template with red and green blades) and then I drew red lines on the circles to make them look like baseballs.

(You may have seen me talk about this in my Instagram Story from yesterday!)

The patterned paper is old American Crafts, while the red cardstock is from Recollections. The black cardstock is from a paper pad that I bought at Michael's a few weeks ago. Can't recall who makes it.

And the glittery red letters are also Recollections. Those were a great deal. If you see them in Michael's, snatch them up. You get a lot of letters!

Also, does anyone have tips for writing with white pens? I always find it so difficult to get the ink to come out smoothly.

Thanks for looking! Hope you can play along with the challenge, too!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Silly Goose Scrapbook Page

Finished up another challenge! This one is for the August challenge at Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge. The challenge was to use circles. That's it! Easy peasy!

Well, sort of.

I had in mind what I wanted to do and what pictures I wanted to use, and then I changed my mind about the pictures. And then after I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to cut out circles, I couldn't figure out how to make them work on the page. But here is the end result:

This is way out of my comfort zone. I'm the type of scrapbooker who likes to have a lot of patterned paper and embellishments on the page. If I see white space, I feel like I have to fill it. So to do a layout that is very minimal and with only one picture... phew, that was a hard one for me.

But isn't that what scrapbook challenges are all about? To challenge us!

As stated before, I used my Creative Memories circle cutter to make the small circles. I used the smallest circle template and the blue and red blades. (If you don't have one of these cutters, you won't know what I'm talking about. Check it out the entire cutting system here.)

I got to use up some Basic Grey embellishments on this one, plus I even broke out the foam tape to add more dimension to the page! See how that circle pops up? And don't you just love those American Crafts foam Thickers? They smell good, too. (Is that weird?)

Thanks for looking! I hope you join the challenge, too!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August Scrapbook Challenges

I am finally back from vacation, and that means I can get started on entering some more scrapbook challenges! Here are just a few that are still running through the end of the month. You still have time to play along!

1. Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge - You have until the end of the month to link up a scrapbook layout or card that uses circles. That's it! So easy!

2. Stuck?! Sketches - There is another sketch to play along with over at this blog, and it looks like a good one. I think I have the perfect pictures to use for it. Gotta link it up by August 29!

3. Scrap Our Stash - This one also runs until August 29, and it's definitely going to take some time to plan out. So get started! You've got to use the provided sketch and add an item from your stash for each letter of the word "Travel". So, for instance, to satisfy the letter "V", you could use vellum on your layout. And for "R" you could do a rub-on.

4. Lasting Memories Layout Challenges - You have until August 26 to do one of four challenges. Or do all four! The theme for the month is animals, so you can make a page using farm animals, a house pet/animal, a zoo animal, or a sea animal.

5. The Studio Challenges - And there is a Tic Tac Toe challenge over at The Studio Challenges. You have until September 10 to play along with this one. Just pick one row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal) and use the elements in that row on your layout.

Make sure you visit each page and read the full rules to participate! There are some great prizes to be had! Good luck!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Little Sweetie Scrapbook Page

This has been a full week of cute kid scrapbook pages. Thank you for indulging me. There might be food posts next week. I'm not sure. I've just been doing more scrapbooking than cooking lately.

I did this layout for a sketch challenge at My Creative Scrapbook, but I didn't get to enter it because I'm still waiting to be approved to the Facebook group page where you submit all your challenge entries. Humph.

Anyway, maybe it's for the best. I actually am not 100 percent in love with the finished product here. I like all the elements I have, but after I adhered everything to the page, I thought, "Eh, I could have changed things up a little."

I was using up some scraps for this one and trying to make everything go together. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But at least I got these 11-month pictures of the baby scrapped.

This used some Echo Park, Crate Paper, and October Afternoon. I'm not sure who makes the puffy stickers that I used for the title. My mother-in-law gave them to me.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Happy, Really Scrapbook Page

Here's another layout that I made for a challenge, the July Tic Tac Toe challenge over at Scrap Our Stash. I didn't win the challenge, but that's okay! It was my first time participating and I had fun! 

The row that I did for the challenge was stripes, stars, and twine. And, actually, I met the requirements for another row, too, by having banners and numbers!

This layout used up some old Crate Paper papers, Me & My Big Ideas embellishment stickers, and American Crafts Thickers letters. I opened up a drawer in my scrap room and discovered all these sticker letters that I had forgotten about, including the gold Thickers!! How could I have forgotten about those?

Thanks for looking!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cheerios Part 3 Scrapbook Page

So sometimes I just have so many pictures to scrap that it's easier to throw them into pocket pages and call it a day. I don't have any Project Life stuff to make it even easier, so for this one I had to create my own embellished papers to decorate the pockets without pictures.

Most of my pictures were horizontal 4x6s, and as you can see, these pocket pages are ideal for vertical 4x6s. So I had to figure something out. I grabbed some coordinating scrap paper and embellishments and got to work!

I just thought of it as I would a regular scrapbook page. I made a point to use all of the elements I could in creative ways so that I had enough supplies to fill all of the pockets while also making it look like I wasn't scrambling to put something together.

A lot of the embellishments are from an October Afternoon collection, and because these pictures are all about eating Cheerios, I figured that some embellishments about cows and milk would be very fitting!

Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Drink Scrapbook Page

If you saw my Insta Story a few days ago, then you probably saw my stories about putting together supplies from my stash for the August 2017 Scrap Our Stash challenge! (You have until August 29 to play along with this challenge here.)

This challenge is a Tic Tac Toe challenge, meaning you have to choose a horizontal, diagonal, or vertical row and use all three of the elements in that row. I chose the color blue, polaroid, and hexagon shape. And here's what I came up with!

This scrapbook layout uses a bunch of different manufacturers: Basic Grey, October Afternoon, Crate Paper, and American Crafts.

I didn't have a specific polaroid frame or polaroid camera, so instead I took a Basic Grey sticker frame that sort of had a polaroid feel to it and used it to frame my main picture. It ends up looking a little larger than a traditional polaroid, but I think it works!

For the hexagons, I broke out my Fiskars hexagon paper punch that my mom gave me awhile ago and punched out some Crate Paper patterned paper hexagons.

And, hopefully, as you can see, I used A LOT of blue on this layout. The navy blue circles were in my scrap paper drawer. I had planned on using them on a Christmas layout, but the color didn't work out, so I decided to save them for future use.

I used blue October Afternoon embellishments and layered them to make one big 3-D embellishment for the bottom of the layout.

And there's lots of blue throughout the patterned papers. There is even blue in my pictures: the cup!'

Thanks for looking and don't forget to play along!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What Happens After You Die - Book Review

My mom died back in June. It was very sudden. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer on June 3 and then passed away on June 19. Everyone keeps saying that she's in a better place now, and while I really have no doubt because my mom was a church-going Christian, I still felt like I needed to know more about where exactly she was. So I requested Randy Frazee's book What Happens After You Die from Booklook Bloggers. The book's subtitle is "A Biblical Guide to Paradise, Hell, and Life After Death". 
The first thing that struck me about this book was that the author was prompted to write the book after his own mother died suddenly from stage 4 pancreatic cancer. (Cancer sucks, huh?)

Even as a pastor, Frazee felt a little bit of doubt about what his mom would experience in the afterlife. He had told his mom that she would go to Heaven, but when it came down to it, he just wasn't sure he believed in all of that. 

So he turned to the only good source we have on Heaven and hell: the Bible.

The second thing that struck me about this book was that our popular concepts of the afterlife are actually wrong. Forget what your Sunday School teacher told you and the fluff fed to families at funerals. (Nice use of alliteration there, don't you think?)

Not to say that the notion of Heaven is all wrong. It's still a thing, but it's not what we've been told. Frazee actually divides things up into Life Now, Life In Between (when our spirits go to be with God and await the return of Jesus to Earth), and Life Forever (when Jesus returns to Earth). 

And Frazee talks about what happens after death for both believers and non-believers. The non-believer stuff is a little scary.

Of course, there are discussion questions if you're reading this book with a small group or Bible study. Plus, the back of the book is filled with relevant scripture passages for quick reference.

I think this book will enlighten a lot of people, especially Christians. Even if you're not sick and you don't know anyone who is, death is inevitable for us all, and knowing what to expect (as much as we can know) can help us understand how to make the most of our Life Now.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 7, 2017

TV Tot Scrapbook Page

It's the beginning of August, which means there are NEW scrapbook challenges to do! Here is one that I did using the August 1 sketch over at Stuck?! Sketches. You have until the end of the month (August 29, I believe) to get your completed layout using the sketch linked up to the August 1 blog post. There are prizes!

And here's what I came up with after taking a look at the sketch:

Back in February, Daphne learned how to press the buttons on the remote to turn on the TV. Whoops! She's not as into the remote now, and she certainly has no patience to sit and watch anything on TV, but I'm glad that I have these pictures to document this time.

With two pictures to use, the two-picture sketch was perfect! And I was able to use up some old American Crafts papers, random buttons, sticker embellishments, and ribbon from my stash!

I was definitely pleased with how this one turned out! I like the simplicity of the layout and the open blank spaces. I wasn't totally thrilled with the letter stickers, but I didn't have any other letters in my stash with enough T's. Oh well.

Make sure to check back on August 15 at Stuck?! Sketches because they will have another challenge!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Walk This Way Scrapbook Page

Welcome to a special Sunday edition of the blog! I'm posting today because I put together a layout for a scrapbook challenge, and I wanted to share it with you, get it linked to the challenge blog, and make sure you guys had enough time to participate in the challenge yourselves!

It's the 123 Challenge for August 2017 over at the 123 Challenge Blog! This is the first time I've done a challenge like this before. You have to use a given sketch, two words (either in the title or as inspiration for the page), and three colors.

So for this month, there is a lovely one-photo layout from Pagemaps, the words "family" and "fun", and the colors teal, chocolate, and violet.

I followed the sketch and the color scheme. (Had some gorgeous colors in this jewel tone paper pad I picked up at Michael's the other week for 40% off!) Instead of using the words in the title, I used them as inspiration for the layout. This is a picture of my daughter (the family) playing at her activity table (the fun).

The week before her first birthday, she pulled herself to standing at the activity table and started pushing it around the living room, walking behind it! WALKING! We were so excited, and it was kind of FUN to see her take these next developmental steps.

The patterned papers on this are old American Crafts, and I love how they have the violet and teal in them, too. Everything else is just random stuff from my stash. I was surprised at how many things I had that coordinated with the color scheme for this challenge.

I was also excited to use my Creative Memories circle cutter to make the thin violet circle you see on this layout. My mom gave it to me for Christmas, but it has been a challenge for me to do more than just simple squares on all of my layouts. So I'm glad that this sketch had a circle in it so that I could get creative and use one of my tools!

Thanks for looking, and thanks for 123 Challenge Blog for such great inspiration this month!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Stand Tall Scrapbook Page

Here's a scrapbook page that I made for a challenge over at Another Freaking Scrappy Challenge. This was a new scrapbook challenge blog to me, and it was a very easy challenge to complete last month. All we had to do was use old paper from our stash.

I used Cosmo Cricket papers and embellishments that have been in my stash forever! The twine is also old, as are the Basic Grey letters. I used my Xyron to adhere them to the page.

These are the kinds of layouts I like best because you grab a bunch of seemingly random stuff, and yet somehow it all looks like it goes together. I think I like the more neutral patterned papers because it's so much easier to add pops of color and whatnot with embellishments.

And yes, my baby pulled herself up to standing in her crib all by herself back in February. I was at work when it happened. :( Thank goodness Daddy took a picture!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What Happened to All the Scrapbook Bloggers?

Does anyone else remember Google Reader? I used to use it all the time to keep up with all the blogs I was following. Google Reader compiled all the latest blog updates in one place, so all I had to do was scroll through my feed instead of visiting each individual blog.

Most of the blogs in my Google Reader were scrapbook blogs belonging to individual scrapbookers. There were A LOT of them at the time.

Now, I don't know if the end of Google Reader is the problem or if something else happened, but when I look back through my list of scrapbook blogs that I subscribe to (still), most of them haven't been updated in years.

Where have all the scrapbook bloggers gone?

(I hope you sang that to Paula Cole's "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" If you did, then we are probably kindred spirits.)

But seriously. What happened to the scrapbook bloggers? Did life get in the way, and they just didn't have the time to keep up with their blogs? Are they still scrapbooking but not sharing their work on their blogs? Did they move on to other forms of online expression? Turn to social media-only sharing because it's easier and less time-consuming than putting together a whole big blog post?

I used to follow SO MANY scrapbook blogs. I participated in scrapbook challenges. I was part of a community! And now I feel like that community has gotten lost, or at least the community that I used to be a part of.

I'm sure there are other scrapbookers out there who are still blogging. I mean, I am! And I'm on a quest to find them and figure out the best way to follow them and make sure I stay up to date with the latest posts. I recently put together a Pinterest board for Scrapbook Challenge Blogs so that I can try and participate in more scrappy challenges. (Follow along on my board so you can see some of the challenge blogs I've recently discovered or re-discovered, in some cases.)

I would love to find even more challenge blogs and general scrapbook blogs. If you know of any, please let me know what they are in the comments section!

I want to get back into a scrappy community! It's a good group of people, you know?