Friday, December 26, 2014

Pinterest Fave Five

1. 25 Must Make Freezer-safe Meals
February and March are super busy crop months for me and having a few of these meals in the freezer will be a life-saver. I plan on getting a bunch made and ready for Feb/Mar.
 2. How to Pack for Cold Weather like a Boss
What a great idea for packing for a trip. I've always been a light packer but this is even better. I've used the one for summer before and loved it. Will be using this on our Annual Florida trip (typing this ahead of our trip).

3. Blow a Frozen Bubble - Not looking forward to super cold temperatures but know it's inevitable. The only thing to do is to try to enjoy it and I'm hoping to talk all of my boys to head out to try this, if only for a few minutes.

4. Snow shoeing - I have been wanting to try this winter activity especially since skiing and snowboarding don't appeal to me. I'll let you know how it goes.
 5. I have plenty of winter photos to scrap and will definitely be looking to this list for ideas.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday's Challenge: Use Your Scraps

Lesson #3 was on using up the bits and pieces of scrap paper in your stash. I dug out some strips of Christmas paper and threw this layout together using a Scrapbook Generation sketch. I even managed to dig up matching stickers and alphas. A few strokes of Clear Wink of Stella, white souffle pen and my favorite black journaling pen and I had myself a layout.

How do you use your scraps?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Flashback Friday

11.07.2009 - Setting up at the Scrappin' Sista's crop in Plymouth MA. 2 crates, a pegboard, a spinner, some baskets and the trusty bucket of Bazzill. My how I've grown...I would not be where I am now  without you and your support. Thank you!!!
The best part about my job is hanging out for the weekend with you...chatting, laughing and hearing the stories behind the pictures. The stories, that is what it's all about, isn't it? Sometimes, I'm guilty of just trying to get the pages done or getting my hands on the latest and greatest, and need to remember the reason I started scrapbooking and my business in the first place...preserving the memories. And in order to do that, I also have to take the time to make the memories. With that said, blogging will be sporadic for the remainder of the holiday season and I will be back at it for Cool Crops Nashua.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Didn't Even Make It

I tried to get into this project. I really wanted to make a 30 Minute Ornament Wreath for under $20.
It took a couple of trips to the stores to find shatterproof ornaments...finally found them at Big Lots.

I forgot to buy the wreath form...and finally made it out to the store today to buy one.

An hour ago, I pulled everything out and CANNOT find my hot glue gun. Ugh! It has been a while since I've needed it and I did re-do my craft room. Question of the day: If you were a hot glue gun, where would you be hiding?

So I am going to lay this project to rest and not even go there. It is no longer a 30 minute project nor is it under $20. And I have no clue where the hot glue gun is hiding. 

 I'm thinking I should have just bought an ornament wreath while I was at Target today. I came home and @Targetdoesitagain rubbed it in on Instagram with this...
I am not heading back out to the store *insert foot stomp*...except maybe I should return those ornaments and the wreath form. 
OR maybe the next time I hit the craft store, I should buy another glue gun and get a head start on Christmas 2015!!! Hah! How is your Christmas crafting coming along?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday's Challenge: Punches & Dies

We were asked in class #2, what about using your punches and dies with patterned paper? So I decided to use up my stash of patterned paper (and layer!) using punches and die. Looking through my stash of punches and dies, I don't have that many and this challenge was harder for me. I didn't quite make the challenge but I did use my circle punche, wood veneer pieces and even some washi tape.

I scrap chronological albums for my boys. As a time saver and not to waste a good layout design, I make a duplicate layout using different photos. I am looking for photos that tell "their" individual story. The layout above will go into Jori's scrapbook and tells of his favorite meal, lobster. The layout below will go into Darin's scrapbook and it has photos of him and his shenanigans in the aquarium.
Do share your take on using punches and dies with patterned papers!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pinterest Fave Five: Christmas Edition

'Tis the season and I am looking forward to no events in December. At the top of my want to craft list are these beautiful decorations, tags and DIY gifts.

1. Lights + Xmas card display...what a great idea! And it would be so easy to do this with command clips.

2. An ornament wreath...this would be so pretty on my front door. Now where to find shatterproof ornaments in bulk?
3. Christmas Minute to Win It games...looks like a blast. Now I'll just have to plan it and talk the family into playing some silly games!
4. "Oh Deer" tags (I couldn't find the link, it was just an image)...looks super easy and cute. I'll have to dig through my stamp stash to see if I have the right one. If not, I'm sure I have other stamps I can make something up with.
5. Ring dish...looks super easy and made with sculpey plus a little paint. Looks like a fun weekend project and would be even better if I can talk my boys into it.
What do you have up your sleeve for Christmas crafting?

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Thankful for your support.
Thankful for girls' weekends.
Thankful for this crazy hobby we call scrapbooking.
Thankful for your friendship and those late night conversations.
Thankful for a husband and children that get it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Great times as always with the Cool Crops Crew. Boycotts and cancellations aside, it's never quiet or dull at an event. It's even better when you get to hang out with friends and chat the night away.
I am going to take a few days away from the blog since it is the holidays and we have family visiting. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Am...

listening to an audiobook, Shadow Woman by Linda Howard

knitting a cowl for my dad and cutting really close to my deadline

wearing hand knits almost daily now

training Diego to "wait" and walk on a leash, he walks...I just would like him not to try to trip me up every 5 minutes

loving having older kids that can help around the house

enjoying an extra helping of apple crisp plus ice cream

deciding to skip working out this weekend

working my last crop of 2014 this weekend

planning classes, Make-n-Takes and layout kits for 2015

shopping for ^ classes, Make-n-Takes and layout kits

looking forward to a visit from my brother-in-law and his family for Thanksgiving

anticipating some down time for other crafty pursuits ie. knitting and general crafting

taking next week off from blogging

grateful for your support of my tiny business

wishing you and yours a Wonderful & Blessed Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Nailed It: Hah!

IThis week's Nailed It definition would be that I managed to cook, do laundry, work, work and work some more. I also managed to keep the cats and puppy fed, watered, and exercised (does puppy chasing cats count?). It's been crazy busy...I know I keep saying that...but it is what life is right now and I don't see it slowing down. Some weeks are a little less crazy and I manage to fit in some fun things and/or experiment with a new recipe. These past few weeks haven't and I have nothing for today. I have some projects in the works and recipes in queue, but nothing completed. C'est La Vie!

And since a post isn't a post without a pic, here's one of what's happening daily around here :(

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tuesday's Challenge: Letters

I signed up for an online class a month ago even though I knew I would have time to participate fully. But the content was good and I figured I could work on my own pace at a later time. The first lesson was on using up letters especially on how to use up your letters. I finished reading the lesson and watching the videos...and couldn't wait to put a layout together. I've been trying to scrap these pictures for a while now and it's done. What better way to use up letters than a quote title? Bonus...a Dr Seuss quote for a layout about a visit to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.
I did a mix-n-match style of letters including some of my super old Scenic Route letter stash. Love how it came out.
Your challenge - use a quote for a title and mix-n-match those alpha letters!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

The weekend officially starts after 5 on Friday, right? And spending 30 minutes in Burlington Coat Factory plus 2 more hours at Sky Zone with a DJ playing really loud music waiting on 4 boys counts as a date night, right? That is what we did Friday knitting and listening to a book on tape, him reading his kindle...with some conversation thrown in and shaking of heads at tween/teen shenanigans.
Saturday there were practices, grocery store runs, dinner out plus some shopping. In between all that, I stole a few moments here and there to go through my piles of layouts and put them into albums. There were also plenty of kit and class layouts that just needed photos. Having a photo printer on hand made it easy to print what I needed to fill the photo spaces.
Sunday, we had an early morning hockey game, breakfast, mass, a walk and some more time in the scrap room.
I guess you could say it was a nice and relaxing weekend minus the coughing (me), grumpiness (kid that stayed up too late the nights before early hockey times), busy-ness (him) and puppy watching (other kid with no homework or anything pressing over the weekend).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sneaky Sunday

It has been a very productive week - THREE new layout kits designed and will be available in store next weekend, Cool Crops Hyannis. They're also available by mail...just send me a message and I can get them mailed out to you.

Autumn Adventures - just because everyone has fall photos that need to be scrapped. 2 page layout for $10.

My Guy is perfect for all your boy adventures. It is 4 pages for $20.

And I couldn't leave out the girls. Authentic has the perfect pink, black and cream paper line called "Pretty" that I couldn't resist. Coupled with some Prima flowers and you have this pretty combo. 4 pages for $25.
Lots more kits in my queue...check back next Sunday to see what I have in store for you.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flashback Friday

Going way back to 2008...I attended my first weekend crop. I was finally ready and thanks to Jean for pushing me in that direction. If I remember correctly, we pooled our inventories (I had very little) and bought a booth. You may see some familiar faces...anyone know them? and yes those were the days we scrapped at round tables. Also, anyone recognize the location? Didn't look back after this crop and am looking forward to many many more!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nailed It: Homemade dog treats

I'm almost afraid to tell you that this happened last week. I baked homemade dog treats for Diego. I had 3/4 cups of leftover pumpkin from the breads and was unwilling to toss it. I found this recipe on pinterest and gave it a shot. And since I happened to have a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter in the junk drawer, they're also pumpkin shaped!!!
I halved the recipe since I only had 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree and didn't know how the cookies would come out. I used quick cook oats and needed all 4 tbsp of water to make the dough pliable.
It was super easy though, in my opinion, the cookies are hard. Diego doesn't seem to mind and eats them with gusto! Do you make homemade treats for your pets? Care to share your recipes?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday's Challenge: Scraplift a layout

I came across this layout on pinterest and loved the use of circles on the layout. Nichol Magouirk does an awesome job with her layouts and this one is no exception. My challenge this week was to scraplift this layout.
Here's my take on it. I stretched it into a 2 page layout and copied the circles. And just as I did last week, I killed two birds with one stone. I got part of a layout kit designed AND a two page spread for my personal album with this challenge. Love how it came out using Echo Park's All About a Boy paper line.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

THANK YOU to the Cool Crops Cromwell PJ crew for your support and a wonderful weekend. There is never enough time at a weekend away...I would have loved to check out your wonderful time!
And thanks for not missing me too much when I left the crop to watch my boys compete in their flag football league championship game.
They lost but played their hearts out. It was a cold windy night and the best team came out ahead.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sneaky Sunday

I've been super busy and managed to put out TWO new layout kits. The first is a soccer 2 page layout for $10. It comes with a handmade title and some fancy cutting work.
The second layout kit is a camping themed 2 page layout for $10. It takes 7 photos and has the cutest bear cut-out ever!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Around Here

October has come and gone...oh my! Around here life is full. Everything is in full swing. Lots of practices and games for the boys. Freezing cold mornings for me at my corner. Crops...lots of them lined up for the season. Daily walks with a reluctant walker. Layout kit and class designing in full force including a Christmas Mini Album. Hockey season started and my kid looks so big on the ice. Beautiful fall sights everywhere. No more braces in the house! And a wonderful Halloween.
photo taken by my passenger and younger kid on the way to School Newspaper club

photo taken by my passenger and older kid on the way home from football practice

Aircraft carrier and Vince Wilfork of the NE Patriots for Halloween

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Nailed It: Pumpkin Nutella bread

There has been too many mornings of me wandering around in my kitchen looking for something quick and yummy for breakfast. Yesterday, I broke down and made the Nutella Swirled Pumpkin Bread that has been on my to-do list for a while. It was super easy and fast (or would have been if I wasn't also wrangling a certain puppy every 15 secs). The recipe was spot on and the bread absolutely delicious. I was afraid I was adding too much Nutella and held I wish I had just followed the recipe to the T. It was still good but definitely 2 tbsp of Nutella per loaf.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday's Challenge: Use something from Nature

Another challenge I came across on the WWW - use something from nature in your layout. I know I'm supposed to be getting my own pages done with the challenges but when I'm right in the middle of a crazy season, I like to kill two birds with one stone. I get a layout kit designed AND a two page spread for my personal album with this challenge.

I have had the papers spread out on my desk for a few days while I absorbed the papers and decided the best way to use them. This challenge gave me a nudge in the right direction with leaves and burlap. I love how they add dimension to the layout.

Kit will be available at Cool Crops Hyannis.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

A cold and blustery weekend at home. We didn't get any snow but it rained all of Saturday. And in that rain, we dragged ourselves to...
- an early morning hockey practice,
- a flag football playoff game - they're going to the superbowl,
- a basketball practice,
- a travel baseball parent meeting,
- a quick run to Sam's while kid was at basketball practice,
- a visit to the Apple store to fix the battery on my phone
- a date night with my main man.

Sunday we stayed close to home with just a few things on the calendar (mass, CCD and a hockey game). We spent the rest of the day cleaning and cooking - everyone cleaned and then I spent the afternoon prepping meals for the weeks ahead. In case I haven't mentioned it, I like to have meals ready/frozen for busy nights as well as weekends. 80% of the meals are freezer meals that my boys (husband included) can defrost and toss in the oven or crockpot and 20% are meals that are full cooked and we just need to reheat. If you're curious, today I...
- seasoned pork chops - frozen for later
- cooked a beef stew - frozen for later
- made dinner - ham, potato salad, rice with beans

- cooked taco meat - 1/2 for nachos lunch and froze the other half for another day
- baked meatballs - frozen for later
- cut up boneless skinless chicken thighs for tomorrow's dinner
I had planned on baking too but ran out of time.

I find that having these options in the fridge/freezer makes it a little easier to have a home cooked meal every night. Tell me, do you make freezer meals or prep ahead?