Friday, July 31, 2009

Bella Bvld is doing another give away!!!

Just got back from popping into Bella Blvd's blog and they are doing another giveaway. It is paper packs from the new lines they released at CHA along with embellishments to got with them. Fabulous. Go to Bella Blvd and check it out and enter for your chance to win!!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


On one of the message boards that I sometimes visit, someone posted a video link that has been making the rounds about a couple's non-traditional walk down the wedding aisle. I watched it and I found myself immediately smiling, laughing, and crying. It was fabulous. They were celebrating what is suppose to be a milestone day in a person's life. They were celebrating their love for each other and life.

Watching this video made me think back to my own wedding and my serious walk down the aisle. Dave and I have talked and we both agree if we were to do our wedding all over again, we would keep the reception, that was so much fun, but the ceremony, we would change. We wouldn't do the big serious church ceremony and all the pomp and circumstance that goes with it. Don't get me wrong, I loved my wedding day, I loved my dress and feeling like a princess for a day, but the church ceremony, that is not me anymore. If Dave and I were to get married today, I would like the ceremony to be a celebration of our love and commitment to each other and our lives together, and we would want our friends and family to celebrate and laugh with us.

Below is a link to the video. Enjoy. I hope it puts a smile and laugh into your day like it did mine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jessica Sprague Lesson 2- Brushes

I managed to get Jessica Sprague's Lesson 2 - Brushes done. WOW!!!! Super super easy or what and after exploring her site and being linked to all kinds of websites that offer free brushes, I am sooo excited. It has opened all new world to me.

Anyways, here is my completed assignment from Lesson 2. Not bad if I do say so myself. Need to experiment a bit more, but I think I got it. Woohoo!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bella Blvd

My good friend Heather introduced me to Bella Blvd, I hadn't heard of them before, but after checking out their stuff I don't know why. Oh my goodness!!! Their stuff is absolutely freakin' fabulous!!!!! I love love what they have in their idea gallery and then today on their blog they posted sneek peaks of their new lines coming out soon. I want it ALL!!!!!!

If you love to scrapbook or are new to scrapbooking you have to go and see what I am talking about at Bella Blvd and check them out, you will be glad you did.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July Quickutz class

Once a month I go with Marissa and Denise to the Scrapping Turtle for their Quickutz Class. Quickutz is a product line of die cutting machines and die cuts used in paper crafting, to learn more check out their website here. We are members of the Quickutz club at The Turtle which give us a discount on Quickutz products, special deals and a monthly class where we make some projects designed by the incredibly talented Lori.

The July class was Christmas in July where we made a fabulous two page layout for Christmas pictures. Once again Lori outdid herself, we always joke about wanting to be inside her head when she is creating the projects because they are always fabulous. Below is the completed two page layout, ignore the crooked trees on page one, I didn't realize they were falling off until I loaded the pictures. Whoops!!!!

Close up of the first page, notice all the layering, love it. Used pop dots to make some of the elements "Pop".

Here is the second page.

The second project was another calendar page and photo page to go into the calendar album we are making. I loved the swimsuits hanging on the clothes line. Too stinkin' cute.

Touched by An Angel Hair Pasta

Thursday I went with Daniel and Laura to the St. Jacob's Farmers Market. I love going there, seeing the rows of stalls full of fresh produce and being able to buy directly from the farmer. The colors of all the blueberries, raspberries, peppers, tomatoes, carrots etc. It is a feast for the senses to be there. At the end of the day we came home with a cooler full of fresh produce that I couldn't wait to use in making dinner. I decided to make an Angel hair pasta dish with roasted peppers and pesto, it is a tried and true recipe from my Eat, Shrink and By Merry cookbook. The original recipe called for fresh basil, but I forgot to pick some up, even though there were stalls with fresh picked and potted basil. I guess I was too distracted by everything else going around me. Instead I used some of the Epicure Pesto Herb mix and it worked out perfectly.

I rounded off the meal with fresh corn on the cob with fresh watermelon and raspberries for dessert. It was delicious and everyone (except for Daniel) cleaned off their plates.

Here is a picture of the main course of the meal, yummy. Dave was looking at me kind of funny while I was taking pictures of my dinner. I told him it was for my blog and don't worry, I won't getting any more nuts on him than I already am.

Here is the orignal recipe along with my tweaking:

2 large red bell peppers
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (I used 1- 1 1.2 tsp or so of Epicure Pesto Herb Mix)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic (approx. 2-3 cloves of minced fresh garlic based on how garlic you want it)
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz (227 g) uncooked angel hair pasta (capelli d'angelo)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (you can get this in the deli section of grocery stores, don't get the powdery not real Parmesan but we will call it Parmesan cheese that you usually find next to the pastas and sauces in the main part of the grocery store, just not the same as the real stuff)
freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Preheat broiler. Halve red, yellow, and orange peppers. Remove stems and seeds. Place peppers cut-side down on non-stick baking sheet. Broil until blistered and charred. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel off skins. Set 1 red pepper half aside. Cut remaining peppers into thin strips. Set aside.

In food processor, puree reserved red pepper half, basil (or pesto herb mix), olive oil, garlic, and salt until smooth.

Cook pasta according to package directions until tender but firm. Drain and return to pot. Add pepper strips and basil puree. Toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Figuring out photoshop

I picked up Photoshop Elements 7 as a really good deal at Costco a while ago, but haven't been able to figure out how to actually use the program. Adobe has a good thing going when they charge you close $100.00 for the program (with my Costoc coupon I got it for a lot less!!!! I love good deals) but no instructions on how to use it unless you spend another $60.00 at Chapters on the manual.....I don't think so. Thanks goodness for Jessica Sprague!!!! I have started Jessica Sprague's free photoshop course and after looking at the first couple of lessons, the course is FABULOUS and she is such an amazing teacher!!! She explains everything on the videos clearly and walks you through it all step by step.

The lessons started last week, but I was too busy last week with company and birthdays to start. Since the course is online, I can start anytime I want, perfect for people like me. Tonight, I completed Lesson 1, PNG Frames and Word Art, below is my finished project.

I am so excited at being able to actually figure out photoshop. Also check out her website for lots of free tutorials and links to more free stuff. I love free stuff!!!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

100 Mile Diet

The other day on the Food Network I watched an episode of the 100 Mile Challenge. The show follows a number of families from a B.C. town as they attempt to eat only food that grows within 161 Km of their homes. The challenge is based on a book called the 100 Mile Diet written by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith which chronicles a year of them eating only food grown and raised within 100 miles (161 km) of their home.

Anyways, back to the show. It was fascinating watching these families struggle the first week or so of not having a morning cup of coffee or tea for example. No oranges, lemons, olive oil, salt etc. It was interesting watching them clean out their pantries and fridge of foods that were not local. The families consisted of foodies that already cooked food from fresh and used very limited prepackaged foods to families that exist on prepackaged foods and are looking to improve their health and well being by feeding their families wholesome real food. Also trying to lessen their footprint on the earth's climate.

Now there is a local 100 Mile Diet Challenge going on right now here in Waterloo Region. The challenge is coming from The Healing Path Natural Centre for Naturopathic Medicine. Our local newspaper will be following some of the families and I am going to check out Healing Path's blog to see how these families are doing.

Watching these people undertake what I think is a difficult path of only eating food grown or raised within 100 miles of their home, made me think of what is in my cupboards, fridge and freezers. What more could I do to lessen my impact on the earth and make healthier choices for my family? I pride myself in buying as much of my food locally as I think I could. I like to know where my food comes from as much as possible. I don't always get to the market, I probably could try a little harder. I get my milk, eggs and meats from Oakridge Acres just outside of town, Cindy and Mark who run the farm and store know me as one of their first customers when they were selling just their beef out of the freezer of their home. Yet I know I have dates from Iran in my fridge, coffee from South America, tea from lord knows where. I probably could do better but being human laziness gets the better of me at times.

I think of Amanda, who can't have dairy or wheat, her Rice Milk comes from the west coast, the rice flour comes packed from the States but where is it actually grown, possibly China? What could she have that is within 161 km of our home for her milk and wheat substitutes?

I applaud these families for stepping up to the challenge, I am not sure if I could. Could you?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Daniel's Birthday Invitations

Daniel has his 9th birthday coming up and he is going to have a sleepover with three of his friends. Since his birthday is right at the beginning of summer holidays it kind of sneeks up on me and I end up scrambling the week before to get invites made and sent out and all the planning done.

This year Daniel decided to help with making the invites. I have a couple of sets of Stampendous stamps that I picked up at Scrapfest just for him. The first set is a mixture of different robot parts that you can mix and match to make your own unique robot. Daniel had fun making a different robot for each of his guests. I finished off the cards using stamps from the galaxy stamp set.

Here is Daniel sneaking into the picture of his robotic creations. Crazy kid.

This is the inside of the invites. I just had to use the galaxy stamp that came with the set. I used the Star Wars font that I picked up somewhere for the inside as well.

Since Daniel was helping I kept the design super simple. Basic black cardstock and silver ink and printed the info off of the computer just using regular printer paper. That is it. And Daniel was more than proud to hand them out to his friends.

Next step is getting the decorations, food, baking the cake, and gear up for a night of little to no sleep.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pioneer Woman is doing a giveaway!!!!

Another one of my fav websites, Pioneer Woman, is doing a giveaway as well. She is giving away a really really sweet Nikon camera. I of course entered and hope to win, the question was what everyone was doing during the 4th of July weekend. On the 4th of July Dave and I will be celebrating our 17th anniversary. I think based on that fact alone I should win, and that I need a new camera badly, one that takes decent pictures. Keeping my fingers crossed.


SEI is doing a 100th post giveaway. They are giving away a sweet sweet paperpack. But then again anything from SEI is sweet!!!

Go on over and check it out at the SEI website.