Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hodge Podge Mish Mash

So many little things to report.  Plus...this catches me up (I think)

Did you notice the new blog design.  My bff Wendy did it for me.  She has some major talent especially when it comes to using the My Digital Studio by Stampin UP to design stuff.  I am lucky to have her for a friend.

Books I have read in the last little while...
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  • The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall- I enjoyed the book - thought it was funny yet thought provoking.  There were parts that I thought could have been left out.  I really feel like the author captured the polygamist lifestyle.
  • Against All Enemies by Tom Clancy - Typical Clancy style.  It was a good read
  • At town like Alice by Nevil Shute - recommended by a friend and loved it.  It wil be my next book group choice if no one has read it.  About a woman who was captured during WWII by the Japanese.  Her experiences during and after the war. 
  • Major Pettigrews Last Stand by Helen Simonson - had a really difficult time getting through the book.  So not worth it.
  • A Red Herring without Mustard by Alan Bradley - Another story in the Flavia Deluce series.  Loved it - great story and kept me captivated as always.  A murder in a small town and a meddling young girl to figure it out.
Pie 'n Beer day (pioneer day) weekend was celebrated by not doing a whole lot. Here is the run down-
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  •  We did get to go to the Tabernacle Choir concert Smiley from millan.netguest starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Linda Eder.  Two of my favorite soloist/broadway artists.  It is great to have friends that have access to tickets.
  • Later we went and got a milkshake at Shivers.  The line at Iceburg was way to long.  One of my all time favorite flavors is almond joy with raspberies. Coconut, chocolate, almonds, raspberries and vanilla ice cream.  I actually think Shivers does a better job with it than Iceburg.  Yum Yum
  • Weeded the garden - because it needed it.  The onions, potatoes, corn, peppers.  Dang them morning glory weeds are the worst.  My hams are still feeling it from bending over the whole time and my arms were tired too.  It was either pull weeds by hand or use the hoe.  Makes me tired just thinking about it.Smiley from
  • Scoured (deep cleaned) the upstairs bathroom - Not so much fun
  • Lots of fireworks in the neighborhood Smiley from so glad Riley doesn't freak out.
  • Our dinner group met on Monday - good food and company. peach and mango gazpacho, chicken picatta, wild rice with butternut squash, and chocolate cream pie with berries and creme anglaise.
  • Watched the parade on TV - didn't even have to fight for the remote.  Ralph wasn't home. 
  • We did celebrate by having a piece of pie at our dinner group and we substituted the beer for diet Pepsi.
My blow dryer decided to give up the ghost.  I have had it a long time and it has served me well, but  ya gotta hate it when you are standing there with wet hair and it goes out.  So I sat in front of the fan and scrunched my hair until it was dry enough to move on.  I have got to go find me a new one.

Since our office has moved 3 blocks west I have come up with a new walking route.  It has felt really good to get out and exercise - despite the heat.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

PAC 12

34 more days until the first football game of the season.  I can hardly wait!!!!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Promised Recipe

Salmon and Green Bean Panzanella Salad

picture courtesy of epicurious

  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teasoon red wine vinegar

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 8 ounce whole-wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips

  • Heat broiler to low. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Season salmon with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Broil until cooked through, 5 minutes per side; let cool. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; cook beans until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain and set aside. Whisk oil, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a serving bowl; add beans, tomatoes, onion, bread cubes and basil, then toss. Flake salmon and add to salad; toss gently. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

    *Cooks Note - We sauteed the salmon on the stovetop and had excellent results.  We also added avocado to the salad.  YUMMO!


    Monday, July 25, 2011

    I must be a genius!

    With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much information & wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we aren't heavy ... we are enormously cultured, educated & happy. Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good grief look how smart I am, I must be a genius!"

    (seen as a facebook post - just had to share)

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Village of Cuteness

    Oh good grief! I did it again. It was NOT my intention to leave you hanging the last week or so.  However a few things got in my way.  Namely the Stampin Up convention and then trying to catch up with my sleep and everything else that got neglected during my time away. 

    With that week over - I was exhausted.  I just needed sleep.  I should take notes and learn from my little bulldog.  Riley knows how to rest in style.  This is a picture we took of him after he had been playing with his buddies at the family compound. 

    Ralph made me promise not to pick up another papercrafting item for a few days so that we could have some time together.  I did my best.  For some reason, life doesn't ever slow down for you to catch up. 

    Ralph went to irrigate the garden on Wednesday night.  I should have been cleaning this....

    instead, I opted to clear a space on the table and work on a project that I didn't get done at convention.  Wanna see?

    Cute Huh?  The houses are made out of 2x4.  Painted, distressed and then decorated using Stampin UP Product.  They have found a place on my fireplace mantle.

    This is the WOW card I swapped this year.  I got the idea from here. Magnetic closure card by Michelle Force
    It is a cute card and I don't think I will be doing that again, at least not in the 110 quanitity that I made to swap.  Every year I think I have a simpler card and when it gets down to it...I don't. 

    The images have been colored, the snowflakes cut out with a sizzix die that turned out to be much more of a project than originally planned.  The humidty from the swamp cooler kept making the paper stick to the die and the snowflakes had to be removed very carefully so as not to tear them.  The snow has been glittered, the boots and buttons have crystal effects (stuff to make them shiny) and then there is a washer and magnet for the closure.  It is a stinkin' cute card though and everyone that saw it wanted to swap with me. :)  Front:

    Inside:  Left blank for a written note.  The magnet is placed just at the tip of the flap and the washer is on the inside of the card just behind the front and covered with a punched out circle to hide it. 

    During the week of convention, Ralph's family had a bridal shower for my neice.  I volunteered to make the favors.  What was I thinking????  I made 30 of these little cone shaped boxes.  Ralph came to my rescue and made the little chocolate covered cake bites to go inside.  I think they were a hit.  I thought the cake bites tasted yummo! 
    I didn't get a picture of the little gift I gave to my fellow demos, but I will try to recreate my awesomeness  the projects so that you can see them.

    I am off to attempt cleaning my space...hopefully there won't be too many distractions.


    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    July Stamp Club Projects

    I actually feel papercrafting overload.  I long to stretch out with a good book today, but alas I am stuck at my table for the next 3 days with every spare minute I have finishing projects.  I am getting farther along with my swaps.  Every little bit of time spents helps.  I volunteered to make favors for a bridal shower - thinking I had plenty of time and then the shower got moved up a week.  So not only will I not be able to attend, I have 25+ favors to throw in the middle of the rest of the projects.  YIKES! 

    I was up late last night working on the projects I was showcasing for todays club meeting.  For those that are interested...
    Here are the projects we made this morning. 

    Stamps - Up Up & Away
    Ink - Calypso coral, Wisteria Wonder, Baja Breeze, Pool Party, River Rock
    Paper - whisper white, baja breeze
    Accessories - Ruler, Copic black pen

    Idea from Jill Hilliard
    Stamps - Fabulous Florets, teeny tiny wishes
    Ink - Staz on Black, Versamark
    Paper - Melon Mambo, Basic Black, Very vanilla
    Accessories - Melon Mambo and wild wasabi embossing powder, 1/4 black grosgrain, large oval punch, embossing buddy

    This card called for desperate measures.  What I had originally planned was not working - so at around the hour of midnight I gave up and decided to case someones card.   I found this one by
    Mercedes Weber and decided it was so cute that I was going to outrightly copy it for my group project. 

    Stamps - Fabulous Phrases
    Ink - chocolate chip
    Paper - chocolate chip, lucky lime, calypso coral, whisper white, daffodil delight, berry blossoms DSP
    Accessories - Pefect Pennants Bigz L die, perfect polka dots embossing folder, Jewelry tag punch, Itty bitty shapes punch pack, 5 petal flower punch, little leaves sizzlits die, linen thread, white gel pen, full heart punch, 1/2 inch chocolate chip scallop dots ribbon, crop a dile

    Happy Stamping to you!

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Happy 4th of July

    I love this holiday...  Can't listen to The National Anthem without getting tears in my eyes.  I love this country and what it stands for.  I just hope that we can continue to show respect and honor to our country and to those that lost their lives to keep those values strong - always relying on God to guide our choices.  One of my dreams is to watch the Boston Pops live on the 4th and then the fireworks from the harbor.  Wouldn't that be cool?!

    Aren't these gals cute - the Cactus cuties have currently have one less member and are older, but still sound amazing.

    In the middle of working on convention swaps, I took a break to make a card that I saw, done by Jill Olsen - Land of the Free - Had to..just had to case it. 

    Stamps - Land of the free
    Paper - Real Red, Night of Navy and Whipser White
    Ink - Real Red and Night of Navy Markers
    Accessories - Bigz star die, star punches, texture embossing folder, star brad, red satin ribbon

    I hope everyone is enjoying their 4th - Eat good food, enjoy the company of whomever you are with and watch some amazing fireworks. 

    Ta Ta for now

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    A Boat Without a Paddle

    I have to admit, I looked at the calendar early this week, completely with a focus of taking care of work issues and was shocked when I found out that I got Monday off for the 4th of July.Smiley from  Really?  Already?  What happened to June?  With this weekend being a holiday - in my mind that translates into play time, picnics, fishing trips, camping, family craziness, and just a raucous good time.

    So now as we head into the weekend I find myself without a plan...Yikes!  This is unchartered territory for me.  How will I manage?  One of two scenerios...
    1.  I make it through the weekend with no major activites feeling like I wasted my free time because we just "hung out".
    2.  I find myself back to work on Tuesday feeling completely rested because I found the perfect balance of play time, chore time and rest, ready to tackle another month of craziness.  (gotta throw in a few chores)

    Time will tell, but I hope it is the second option. 

    I actually hope to get some stamping time, to work on convention projects and a few birthday cards.  I also hope we get a little of recreation time in...see the fireworks, maybe see a movie or go for a drive, eat some yummy food, and enjoy the company of each other and our dog.

    Ta Ta for now

    PS  I do have a double batch of dough proofing in the fridge so that we can prepare something yummy with it.  I guess that is a good start.