Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rainy Days and Sundays

It is a rainy day here in Florida but a much needed rainy day and a good day to just kick back a bit and regroup. The past week I was feeling crappy, run down, sore throat, running a temperature so I was just a lump on the couch all week but I'm trying to pull out of it. I know I know I should go see a doctor but I'm stubborn that way! So I took it easy all last week and today I'm just lounging. It's another day where we had lots of plans but the weather is just keeping us inside and for a change I don't mind.

Yesterday was a busy, fun and creative day. Mike tagged along with me to a Stampin' Up Workshop at our friend Zanne's house. This was totally an outside of my comfort zone activity. Not only does Zanne live in an area I don't drive to or around often but I have never been to a stamping workshop or really any craft classes so this was a big time first for me and I had a great time. We completed two projects - a tag and a card and it was really fun for me to really try something new and I was happy with the way my little projects turned out. I look forward to playing with more stamping ideas! So thank you Zanne for your help and encouragement!

Mom and I completed week 2 of our layout challenge. Because I wasn't feeling well I waited until the last minute to do mine, I just couldn't feel inspired. The challenge was to focus on one black & white photo so I went through my photos on Picasa and then bam when I came across a picture of me and Diana inspiration struck! I am trying to focus some of my layouts on the people who are important to me, I really want people to look through my albums and pick out all the people who are special to me. So I quickly ordered a couple of black and white prints and I had fun playing with this layout.

Mom also completed her layout! She did a great job again of course. This is the second layout where she used a photo of herself which she hardly ever does an I think it's funny that we both used very little journaling but we both got our point across. We are both so glad we decided to do this challenge not only does it bring us closer together even though we live far apart this has given me more creative ideas and made sure I got off my butt and scrapped no excuses! I work best under pressure!!

Yesterday we also ran over to Downtown Disney because there were two things I wanted to check out. The first thing we didn't get pictures of but it's a great new store called Tren-D. It's a new store for us trendy gals, it has some cool clothes with very subtle Disney branding the store is so cool looking with tons of chandeliers handing from the ceiling and stylized paintings of Minnie Mouse on the wall. I can't wait to go back, take some pictures and of course buy some stuff!! The other thing we wanted to see at Downtown Disney is a new attraction they set up - it's like a hot air balloon - it's not up and running yet but the balloon is in place and looks cool as hell. I can not wait to go up in that thing. Of course Mike will not go up with me so I think next week me an Gabby are going to give it a try!! Will keep you posted!

This week I hope to post more and fill my days with more creativity! Wish me luck!! More soon...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Celebrate Today

As I've mentioned before we are lucky to have all things Disney right in our backyard and we certainly try to take advantage of how lucky we are as much as we can. Disney recently started a new marketing campaign - What Will You Celebrate? and the signs and banners throughout the park remind you to "Celebrate Today" and it's a wonderful thing to remember. There are things everyday worth celebrating and we have to remember to take time and enjoy those every day moments. This was certainly a weekend of us celebrating good times, good friends and good weather.

Friday night Monika and Dave invited us to their house for dinner. Of course most of you know I'm directionally challenged so driving to Monika & Dave's house is an accomplishment for me. It's what I call out in the country! It's so fun that just 20 -30 minutes away we feel that we are in a totally different place. Monika and Dave have a beautiful home and we had a fabulous dinner and we went for a walk around the neighborhood, sat out by the fire pit in the yard enjoying a beautiful Spring evening talking and laughing and just hanging out and enjoying each others company. It was a great time. Next time I'll have to remember to take pictures!!

On Saturday we continued our celebration! We celebrated Twilight coming out on DVD and we celebrated Target by making two trips to two different Targets!! We also celebrated Spring and a beautiful day of togetherness at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival. Mike and I spent the day taking pictures, talking, eating yummy food, taking more pictures, enjoying the beautiful weather and buying new additions to our little garden. We bought a beautiful bamboo and plumarias that will hopefully flower soon! We had lunch in China and dessert in France. We went on only one ride but we enjoyed the day, we enjoyed our time together and we just had fun. Both Mike and I got creative with the photos we were taking which we'll both be using for projects in the future so stay tuned.

One of the things Mike and I talked about with our beautiful Epcot back drop was the novel I've been workin
g on. I started this years ago with just a brief outline of how I thought this would go and like so many other things I put it aside and forgot about it. Well no, it's not so much I forgot about it more like I remembered it was there but never pulled it out to work on it until recently I've been trying to write a page or two a day and I'm making fantastic progress. I don't know if it's any good and it's only the first draft but it's such a sense of accomplishment to be adding page after page to something that I created. To be creating characters and situations and just a whole universe for these characters to work and play. It's been exciting and Mike has been supportive - it gave us another thing to celebrate.

On Sunday we celebrated more good times and more good friends as we hosted The Amazing Race viewing party this wee
k. I made Banana Chai Bread which turned out delicious I thought, I love chai tea and this low fat banana bread was a great marriage of flavors. You can find the recipe here. I also made Indian Style Butter Chicken which was also delicious and Mike and I enjoyed leftovers last night for dinner. It is something I would make even if we weren't having an Indian Themed gathering. We served the chicken with different Indian inspired rices our favorite being the saffron rice. You can find the recipe for the chicken here. Another successful evening I think and it has definitely gotten me in the mood to entertain more. I am trying to think up ideas for fun gatherings, probably smaller gatherings so that I can enjoy the process and enjoy my guests. So how about you leave me a comment with great party ideas and who knows there might just be something in it for ya!!

More Soon...

Creativity and Challenge Update!

I mentioned last week that me and my mom planned to work out way through Elsie Flannigan's 52 Scrapbooking Challenges book. Our first challenge was to use word strips on our page. I knew right away I wanted to use a picture of Hooper and it had been a long time since I added anything to my pet book so it was about time I did and it was the jump start I needed.

My mom also got into the spirit of thinking outside her usual scrapbooking box. She not only completed the challenge but her layout is a different size then she normally creates and she also scrapped about herself! I'm so happy, excited and proud to be doing these challenges with my mom. Her creativity has always inspired me.

I also started scrapping our cruise pictures last week. Thanks to the NCAA tournament my usual 12:30 program (The Young & The Restless) was not on so I turned off the TV - shocking I know - and turned on the music. The amount of stuff I was able to get done was amazing. I cleaned up around the house and I took fun pictures and I created. The afternoon flew by but I felt so much more accomplished then usual and I went to pick Mike up with ink on my fingers and scraps of paper still clinging to me! For the cruise layout I used Heidi Swapp's new papers and her invisibles stickers. These are so much fun, I love the flexibility and I love playing with inks to create one of a kind embellishments.

Stay tuned another post or two will be following this one as I play catch up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Holden's turn on my lap

today is apparently Holden's turn to sit on my lap

Posted via Pixelpipe.

Creativity Update

This week has been a slow creativity week - see post below for why - but I have been trying to think creatively and refocus my thoughts. I have been playing with my camera and capturing random moments around the house an capturing them at random and fun angles. I've also been catching up on a pile of magazines I've been picking up and it's amazing how when I allow myself to sit and focus that all these thoughts and ideas spring forward.

I have worked on a few projects. I did a layout from the time I spent with my Aunt Jo, Uncle Al and cousin Jessica a year and a half ago. It's a layout I'm proud of because I tried new things and just allowed myself to tell the story I wanted to tell and have fun with the creating process. I also made two cards using items I ordered from and I am really proud of the way they turned out. For me, throwing myself into hybrid crafting, has really been like opening a door to a whole new world and I'm enjoying it more then I thought I would - which I'm sure Mike is glad to hear considering all the money I've spent HAHA!

I don't know how to get this picture to flip I'm having so much trouble with some photos and everywhere I have this photo stored on my computer it's the right way so if anyone has any tips for flipping it please let me know!!

Last week we did some creative cooking. We've been enjoying watching The Amazing Race with our friends Mike and Wil and this week we hosted the viewing party which was not easy since the contestants traveled to Siberia but we made some yummy Siberian dishes which we would possibly make again. We made meat filled raviolis known in Siberia as Pelmeni and we made a spicy Siberian cheese dip. Everything was yummy but not healthy and oddly I forgot to take pictures!! I also used bits of several Pelmeni recipes so that's why I'm not sharing the recipe for that but I'd be happy to help you search for a good one if you are interested.

Last week I also got to spend some much needed quality time with Gabby. It was so nice having her here. We spent Friday just chatting, going for lunch, wandering around and just talking! Friday night we saw Watchmen - INCREDIBLE! I loved it. I read the graphic novel years ago and have been waiting for this movie ever since and I was not disappointed. Saturday morning Gabby woke up early with me and we drank many cups of coffee while I made stuffed mushrooms and a cake to bring over to my mother-in-law's for a barbecue that afternoon. Gabby headed home and I missed her immediately! We are hoping to get to Jacksonville to visit Gabby and her husband real soon.

As of this moment we have no plans for tonight or tomorrow but I hope that will change. I do have things I will be working on today. Me and my mom have decided to work on scrapbook challenges together this way it's almost like we are scrapping together even though we are far away. So we have a week to finish the first challenge. I will post pictures of my completed project of course and hopefully mom will let me post pictures of her items as well since she really is incredibly talented! We are using the challenges in Elsie Flannigan's 52 Scrapbooking Challenges in case you want to play along. I will be sure to post an update real soon but in the mean time please let me know if there are any projects you'd like to see me create, if there are any recipes you'd like me to try and just in general if there is anything you would like to see here in my little corner of cyberspace!

Sometimes Time Runs Out

This week has been a very weird week for me. Tuesday evening I found out that my 32 year old uncle passed away. I realized that many of my friends, even my closest friends, didn't even know I had an uncle on my mom's side or that I had an uncle who was just a few months older then I am. It has been many years since my Uncle Phillip was a part of my everyday life and it's been ten years since we've even spoken. But there was a time when I saw Phillip everyday, we went to the same school, the same church and we lived in the same neighborhood. When my dad took me to my first baseball game it was with Phillip and my grandfather that we went with, we went apple picking, we went to Vegas and Disneyland, we shared countless dinners, holidays and birthdays. We shared our early childhoods together and the fact that now he's gone is really hard to take. It's hard because I feel like it can't be true, I mean really he was 32 years old - I'm 32 years old and we are supposed to be a long way from death! Another reason why it's hard for me to take is I feel incredibly guilty for not being in touch with Phillip. A couple of years ago my cousin Kevin ran into Phillip and Phillip asked about us and how we were doing and if Kevin spoke to us (which he thankfully does) Phillip gave Kevin his number and asked him to pass it along which Kevin did right away. I took down the number but I had no real intention to use it. I don't know what it was that prevented me from calling, the awkwardness of catching up after all the years maybe but I don't really know. It wasn't as though I never wanted to speak to Phillip again I just thought there was time, I would get to it or I would find him on MySpace or Facebook and I'd be able to get in touch online without the awkward phone call - but sadly time ran out. There is a lesson to be learned here - don't put things off, don't think there will be time for things, for repairing relationship, for accomplishing things big or small, for making those phone calls, for writing those letters, for taking trips, or enjoying life because you just never when time will run out. It's not a happy lesson and I certainly don't intend to focus on the fact that I could be gone tomorrow but I do want to remember that life is precious, time is precious, love is precious and we can't take these things for granted. I may not have spoken to Phillip in ten years but his life and his death will have a lasting effect and he's taught me a lesson that I will take with me always.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Me and Alyssa

my little girl

Posted via Pixelpipe.

For the last couple of days Alyssa has been attached to me. She slept with me all night last night and today while I sit catching up on my scrapbooking magazines Alyssa has decided to curl up on my lap and is showing no interest in moving. When I get up for any reason she follows wherever I go and when I get back to the couch she is right back on my lap. It is so nice to snuggle with my little girl who will no doubt go back to being little miss independent!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting Creative! Playing with Scrapblog

I've been really making an effort with the Creativity Project and I've been getting creative in as many avenues as I can! Tonight I made Salmon burgers for dinner - I didn't use a recipe I just ground fresh salmon myself and added ginger, onion and hoisin sauce and wa-la! They were pretty good there are a few tweaks I think I'll make next time but hey at least I can say I tried it - that I did it something different.

I've also spent the evening playing with scrapblog. Pretty fun. I like the idea of it for sure and it's fun but I'm definitely more a paper, paint and glue type of girl that's why I'm really getting into the hybrid stuff (thanks to but it gives me the chance to play on the computer and then print and glue and paint and go nuts! But I'm trying new things, I'm getting creative, I'm thinking outside my usual box and hopefully it will mean good things. So this slideshow on the blog wasn't loading on the actual page but if you click View Full Size Slideshow it will take you to the Scrapblog page. Let me know what you think!!

More soon...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let's Get Creative!

So, if you've been reading my blog lately you know I've been in a bit of a creative rut. Partly I think because I haven't been feeling well and aside from the cruise I've been pretty much apartment bound and more then that I've been pretty much couch bound. I do try to workout every day but aside from that I've had no energy and no interest in doing much. The weekend contained a lot of canceled plans because I just felt so run down and so out of sorts. My sinuses are out of whack and that's continuing today too which will problem mean canceled plans for this evening as well. I am doing my best to feel 100% by the weekend so I don't have to cancel any of the fun things we have planned then. So as a way to really pull me out of this dumpy under the weather mood I've been in I joined The Creativity Project. Read all about it on Lisa Day's blog. The purpose of this project is to get thinking creatively which is something I've kinda lost sight of lately so I started yesterday. I didn't do anything huge but I did work on digitally altering photos and I tried things I wouldn't have tried before. I also put together some elements for a card I want to make today. I also allowed myself to day dream for several minutes. I sometimes feel that is an important aspect to creativity is just let your mind wander and see where it takes you. You never know what crazy creative things can come from that.

Yesterday I also photographed and hung the new canvas I made. I am really trying to refresh the photos we have up here and get creative with the way I show case some of them. So I took a photo of me and Mikey and added a digital brush to it from House of 3 , I painted the canvas with Tim Holtz's crackle paint and then used Basic Grey paper, a bunch of buttons and a title from K & Company and I have to say I'm in love with the finished product because it was something different for me and I'm proud I thought out of my normal box. Can't wait to hear what you think!

Now one good thing that has come out of my living as a hermit this last week and change is that I haven't even wanted to go out to eat!! Ok I'll give you a moment to let that sink in - ok back with me? So being that I haven't wanted or felt up to going out I have been cooking! Friday night I made a new recipe - Brown-Sugar-Mustard-Glazed Salmon and it was totally delicious! I found the recipe in the latest issue of Rachael Ray's magazine and you can find it here.

One of our cancelled plans this weekend was an Amazing Race viewing party with our friends Mike and Wil, this was the weekend activity I was looking forward to the most, not because I love reality tv but I love spending time with Mike and Wil and we all bring food that coincides with where the contestants will be traveling that week. So when I got out of bed Sunday morning I fully intended to participate in this event not realizing that the zero sleep I got would catch up with me. But I made a Romanian Apple Cake for the event and it was yummy! I had one slice before shipping it off to work with Mikey so that he could make sure Mike and Wil got a piece. Hopefully they will weigh in on how it tasted! I got the recipe here. This Sunday we are hosting the Amazing Race party and the food will be from Siberia! Wish us luck with that one. It should be fun!

Well that's all for now I'm going to get to work on my creative activity for today, I will post the results soon!!

About Me

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I live in Champions Gate, FL with my husband and our four fur babies (3 cats and 1 dog)I spend my time either being creative or trying to get the creative juices flowing. I love to cook, go for swims and take the dog for long walks.