Thursday, April 30, 2009

puppy love

I am wading through another extremely busy week so I am just throwing another cute puppy (and kid!) picture up here for now. This is my extra cute nephew, Mason, holding Skipper.

On the puppy front, he has become an active BARKER. Again, I am no dog expert so any advice is welcome in this department. He barks when we leave him alone in a room, as soon as we are out of his sight. And he barks when he is excited and wants to get us to play. Just wondering the proper way to tone this down---or rather, teach him some coping skills!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a princess and a prince

Today was the professional pics for Olivia's First Communion. It was a totally overcast day, the perfect kind for portraits. Plus, she was a willing subject today. I noticed this beautiful light coming inside a side door at the church. Isn't she beautiful?? (I took my camera along, this was not from the pro:)
And this is Prince Skipper on Sunday. Some things are going much better with the dog, and others, present new barking...alot.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

soccer and paninis + sunday showcase

You may need to click the above photo to see it larger but, number 2 in the green shirt is my girl Shelby, going for a goal!
Next, this is her proud face as she exits the field to greet me on the sideline. Love it.
Today's lunch: Hearty Grain bread, Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Tomatoes and Roasted Turkey--grilled on my waffle maker=panini sandwich extraordinaire! Seriously, this method of crisping up the outside and subtly melting the inside results in a restaurant worthy, yummo, sandwich. Two days ago I did the same thing without turkey. Tasty as well.
And here is my humble set up: a Krups waffle iron. I simply spray it with non stick spray (or you can brush your bread with olive oil) place my sandwich inside and press down hard. The only thing I caution you about is to use a sturdy bread, otherwise it does not seem to withstand the deep indentations of the iron combined with oil too well. So far, this bread has worked the very best. I got it at Kroger for $2.99. It goes stale quickly so I slice it up and place the slices in the freezer and pull them out as I need them. Perfect.

I had such a crazy, busy week that as I look down at my notebad that I normally fill with Sunday Showcase ideas, I find it to be blank. I will start today on next's week list so come back.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

a long work day...but good

So, I have this great part time job where I am required to work 8-10 hours...per week! Yes, I feel blessed and grateful, plus I actually truly enjoy it. Today I attended and worked a booth at a local Business Expo. I arrived at 7a and returned home about 2:30p. Mercy, for me that is a long day...a week's worth of work in one day!! Hee ha.
Anyway, I was fortunate enough to hear this presentation today by Brian Beaulieu, entitled
Looking for Signs of Sustainable Recovery”. He was so insightful and engaging. This economic downturn appears to be here to stay for awhile, his forecast being that we will see the start of a turnaround in 2010. I am ready for that.
The other notable thing about today's expo is the number of people who are "in transition" or "currently seeking a new position" that were in attendance. In the past, I think this would have been a strictly business to business event, but I admire those who attended who were networking to find a new job in this very tight market, approaching the booths, seeking opportunities.

On the home front...Shelby feels better and returned to school. The temps were in the low 70's so the kids-and pup-can play outside. Mr. Skipper seems to be adjusting a bit more to his new life here with us. He is sleeping better at night and more content to hang out in the kitchen behind a baby gate so I can corral some of his accidents.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

why i am MIA

This girl is sick. Fever + puking. Might be a bout with her fever syndrome (PFAPA).
This boy is a handful. He pees and poops so often, I cannot keep track. Even when I get him outside for a "victory", he seems to march right back inside to leave me more surprises throughout the house. It is wearing me D O W N.

Oh, and I have a busy work week scheduled too.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

project 365 month 3 + sunday showcase

I completed my March layout today for my project 365 album. Again, each month will have two pages highlighting well, the highlights of that month. Just for a fun comparison, and to make me feel good about my accomplishment, you can see February and January below.

In keeping with a digital scrapbooking themed post, my Sunday Showcase is short sweet and FREE!

Funky Playground: They are having a designer contest called capture the flag. Tons and oodles of great kit have been offered for free there. Go, quickly.

Jessica Sprague: The Digital Diva(to me!) is offering a freebie too. Take a short survey and get a kit for free. You might also win a copy of her newest book. I was just plugging along, teaching myself how to scrapbook using photoshop, and then I took one of her classes and it really took me to a new place :) Priceless knowledge and skills in a great format.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

meet skipper

He is our new pet malti-poo puppy. He is 3 months old and a little fire ball of energy. He was especially energetic during the night! It is like having a newborn, the little trouble maker.
The girls are in L O V E with him.
As you can see, they cannot keep their hands off of him.
His favorite place is underfoot and if the girls run, he chases.

Life has changed an awful lot since 5:30 pm last night! I am sure things will even out but right now, I am extremely tired and in need of groceries :) Skipper should be exhausted too but I think he chewing like a madman under Olivia's soft caresses and watchful eye. My wish is that they would all take a short nap.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

another kidlet/wall tote

I made this over a week ago for my Mom and gave it to her on Easter. She recently redecorated her spare bedroom and is using some of these fabrics. I was very pleased with how this one turned out.
I made two for my girls for Easter as well. I left out the pellon and truly wish I had not. This bag looks so much crisper, professionally done and more finished. Why am I always seeking the shortcut only to learn the hard way?!
This pattern/online tutorial is one of my favs. Try it for yourself :)
Spring break wears on here and fortunately today was a sunny, yet cool day. I persevered and took the girls to the park for nearly 3 hours. Yea, fresh air!
Not sure if I have mentioned my semi, sorta, puppy search but at the park, we saw some families we know from school. One had a 3 month old malti-poo puppy that was THE cutest ball of fluff. I had been researching shih-a-poos but wonder now if this last puppy, available just right down the road, could be the one for us?!
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

cooking and baking

I made a seriously, outrageously good cake for Easter. I got the recipe from a Country Living magazine that my neighbor shared. Deep Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe. But I have a secret...I made a boxed Devil's Food cake mix and just made the icing from scratch. Whoa! Both the raspberry filling and the chocolate butter cream were out of this world and took the cake to the homemade, over the top level. Here is the chocolate butter cream recipe. It made a ton of frosting, I had a plastic container full leftover, which my kids have eaten like fudge every day since. The Raspberry Frosting instructions are included with the cake recipe. I made only half of what it called for, and that was the perfect amount. I also did not strain the jam, and that was fine too. Can you tell I like to take shortcuts?

Last night, I made quiche with leftover Easter ham. Yum. I love quiche! I use the recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook which gives many variations so you can sub in different ingredients. I added broccoli to the basic recipe and it was so good. In fact, I think I need a slice for breakfast right now.

Bon Appetit. Pin It

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

photoshop actions

It is so fun just to press the button and watch the magic! This sweetie is my niece Megan. I used PW 70's action and edge burn + a little bring on the eyes, hopefully not too much. I need to work on my finesse. Blue eyes are always a little thrill for me b/c I have dark eyed beauties.

And an opposite extreme is the PW boost but I think it worked here b/c the colors were so bright and saturated. Love how her tongue is right in the missing tooth spot. My kid's teeth are falling out at a slow rate, and they grow back in even slower. Is that weird? I wish I had some catch lights in her eyes but I have to take what I can get some days.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

an easter recap

This story could be told with MANY more photos, I got a surprisingly good amount this year but Blogger only allows 4 for it's easy upload so I went with these.
First, it began with color coded clues for the girls from the Bunny himself. Blue was Olivia's color.
Later in the day we had our annual, family Easter egg hunt. This year, we took the team route and team PINK found their 50 eggs first. The above photo is of them after receiving their gifts.
The highlight of the hunt is always the golden egg. Or, plastic carrot as it has been for the past few years. This year, it was the top only of the plastic carrot. My mom accidentally lost the bottom while trying to hide it in a drain pipe! That led to a discussion of our Golden Eggs from years past and just what exactly keeps happening to them. Anyway, Olivia found it this year, all by herself, after all of us, adults included, searched for at least 10 minutes beyond the point that the colored eggs had been located. In this photo, my mom is presenting her with her prize which includes $10. (By the way, that is how you get adults to hunt, dangle the money carrot: pun intended!).
And this I like to call Goodnight Easter. Shelby passed out on our chair sorta sideways, mostly backward, at around 8:15. That's how you know it was fun.
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

today I saw a coyote in my backyard

No kidding. And I am not too happy about it. I had read quite a bit about coyotes in surrounding areas, within miles of where I live but never did I dream I would see one in broad daylight. We saw it this morning, not 10 feet from our deck, at about 8:15 am. It was chasing a squirrel. It looked very much like this photo I found and in fact, my niece first said it was a fox. Once we saw it's larger size, and especially the tail, I figured out it was really a coyote. Scary.

The remainder of the day was spent preparing for Easter. I hope this scoundrel is not present for the egg hunt! Also wondering if you report sightings of this to anyone? Pin It

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

how can such a beautiful girl...

Be such a whiny girl the very next second!?

This week is Shelby's Spring Break so we have had a LOT of time together with me trying to do things with her and for her but also trying to maintain the house and do some work for my job. Not an easy balance to strike.

The above picture was edited with the Pioneer Woman free actions, mostly the 70's action which I love so much that I plan to work toward an entire collage for the cool frame I got for my birthday from red envelope.
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So far, I have three good portraits of my girls. Perhaps the upcoming sunny days, another Spring Break and First Communion will give me the opportunity to fill it and get it on the wall.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

oops--please pardon the reconstruction

I tried to make some changes and am having a HARD time repairing the damage I have done. HTML...wha?!

ETA: Well, the three column blog is now alluding me and too many hours have been spent trying to get it back to the way it was. If some blogger genius is reading and wants to pay it forward and help a girl out, I would welcome a favor. Otherwise, until further notice, everything is along the right side. Pin It

Sunday, April 5, 2009

weekend summary + sunday showcase

Olivia leaving for her first ever, Brownie, overnight which went very well. Shew!

Shelby's first soccer game of the Spring Season. Also went well.
Snickers the guinea pig got loose from this little circle configuration but thankfully Kacie scooped him back up and placed him in the cage. There was a lot of screaming and giggling during that 45 seconds.
Last, the coloring of the eggs!

Sunday Showcase:

Mexican Lasagna recipe: this is from Woman's Day magazine. I just prepared it but for tomorrow's night's dinner. Very easy and my taster bites indicated it is yummy too. I could see just serving this cold and scooping it up with chips or wrapping the leftovers (which there is probably another 1.5 cups left) in a tortilla as a soft taco. Meatless too.
Alicia Paulson fat quarter pack--which I can see is already sold out. I knew I should not have hesitated. Thinking about purchases instead of just ordering on impulse is just NO FUN! I really love these fabrics together and wish I had snagged it.
Creative Parties and Showers: A great idea to collect all kinds of creativity in one place. Readers can submit their own party ideas too. Scroll down to see the tags on the water bottles that hold drink mixes. Love this idea.
Cali-schetta recipe: I had torn this out of a magazine but found the exact same recipe spelled out here. I am not typically an avocado eater and totally loved this.

No wonder I am in need of many sit ups!
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

good news and bad news

The bad news is that I have strep throat. It started hurting yesterday afternoon and during the night I could barely swallow.
The good news is that I went to a Walgreen's Take Care clinic at 9:30a when they opened, was the first and only patient, was seen right away and put through a completely automated and thorough system which ended in a printed prescription. I handed that over to the pharmacy intern (he had a mohawk?!) next door and was on my way about 20 minutes later. The ultimate one stop shop (I even got some Easter basket supplies while waiting). Regular doctors' offices should be very afraid b/c this experience beat the pants off of their service, or at least any I have had in a long, long time. Pin It

Friday, April 3, 2009

we have a guest for easter break

Meet Snickers, Shelby's class pet! Unbelievable to me even now that Snickers is in my living room, I am in charge of this little guy until April 13. If you are reading this and are a mom, you understand there are no limits to what you will do for your children. If you are not a mom, right now, you think I am crazy.

Some of these photos were taken by Shelby herself. Can you guess which ones? The kids are absolutely enamored with this guy. We will see how I do...
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

progress + things in progress

The baby quilt is complete! It survived both the washer and dryer, is heavenly soft and I feel proud to give it as a gift. Regardless, my kids knew who it was intended for and would have held me to it anyway :)
This a little art gallery I have going in my upstairs hallway adjacent to the window seat I have been making pillows for. Two of the three plates are from Orla Kiely at Target, the other I just picked up b/c it coordinated. The frames are from Ikea and were bright yellow which did not work so I spray painted them (using the same color as my office hutch) green. They are sized to hold an 8.5x11 sheet of paper so my intent is to rotate the kids art work. The best part? This is exactly what I see when I look out my office door. It is an extension of the things I love :) Slowly, I hope to collect plates to add and perhaps bump it up to 5 frames for artwork.

And in progress is this coin quilt. I really love all the piecing, sewing all the "coins" together. What I do not love, and am not good at, is cutting. Especially large pieces or long strips. I'd like to get the top done and then purchase a yellow print for the back and then perhaps bind it in grey or a combo of these prints? Not sure. I also am getting anxious to try free motion quilting, which requires a new foot, so I am working up to that purchase. This quilting bug has really bitten me.
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