Saturday, July 31, 2010

{what i have}

This layout has been on my heart and in my mind for awhile now, and I just finally found the picture to tell the story.

In February 2008, Adam and I had a miscarriage. We had been trying to get pregnant since the fall of 2007, and on Superbowl Sunday, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! We were so excited, so we told everyone we knew. As you can imagine, everyone else was pretty excited too, because this would be the first grandchild on both sides of our family. Two and a half weeks later, I woke up in the middle of the night bleeding pretty badly. I had called the OB on call, and they told me to sit tight until morning and get ahold of my doctor. After a trip to IC and some blood draws, they had confirmed that my Hcg level was too low and I did indeed miscarry. Adam and I were devastated. I had never seen him cry like that before. We had to take yet another trip up after that for a RhoGam injection (my blood type is O-). Worse yet, we had to tell everyone we had told about the pregnancy that it was no more. I spent a few days in bed, crying my heart out. I thought that the best way to heal would be to get pregnant again, which had it's share of ups and downs.

Between this time and the time that I found out I was pregnant with Keira was a very rough time. I don't want to forget that first baby, so I think he/she deserves a special place in my scrapbook. All I have is this picture of the positive pregnancy test, a onesie I bought, and my memories.

I used my new Studio Calico Anthology papers, as well as a journaling card (rose) and letter stickers (blue). The Thickers were originally a pale yellow, but I colored them with a Copic marker because I wanted a darker tone. The title is on a Making Memories journaling page.

I had a vintage style card with angels on it, so I thought it would be perfect to accent this page.

I also cut part of an old hymn to accent the top part of the layout, as well as a Jenni Bowlin pink butterfly sticker.

Since I wanted the journaling on this page to be private, I used a Maya Road scalloped envelope to house it. I also accented the envelope with more vintage angels, a stamped bible verse, punched heart, and some border stickers.

Thanks for letting me share, now as you know Adam and I are blessed with a healthy baby girl that is keeping us on our toes. :)

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, July 30, 2010

{tgif}

What a long week....thank goodness it's over. :)

I made a few card samples on the fly last week for my open house, this one uses the new Owl punch from Stampin' Up. I am not even a huge owl lover and still I am thinking this punch is one of the best things I ordered!

I used the new Early Espresso colored cardstock, along with some patterned paper from the Summer Mini catalog. This card is inspired by one in the SU catalog. That's the great thing about their catalog, it's not only full of cool stuff, but there are a ton of great ideas in there too!

This was the card I had for the make and take:

I used my new favorite set, Notably Ornate, along with some of the new patterned paper and crochet trim.


This note-card showcases one of my other favorite sets, Puns from the Past.
The vintage trend is one that I hope stays around for a long time because I love it so much. :) For this note-card I used the Two Tags Bigz Die and my Big Shot, along with a mini clip and button with some twine. I finished it off with a little greeting banner, scalloped edge, grosgrain ribbon and staples. It was inspired by a card on the cover of Stampin' Success one month.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

{a quick word}

Just a quick post tonight.....trying to get past the mid-week slump. Thursday's almost here and that means Friday is around the corner! Keira is going to her Grandma's house on Saturday so Adam and I can hit up a movie. Maybe Salt? We're not sure yet.

I soooooo wish I was at CHA! I've been living vicariously through all the blog and FB updates and photos.....maybe next year. :)

I had a friend ask me to make some birthday cards for her mom, here is one of them. I love this new stamp set by SU called Notably Ornate, it has a very vintage-y feel to it. I also used the scallop circle punch with some old hymnal music.

I also used my scallop border punch, along with some machine stitching and some of the new crochet trim by SU as well.

The sentiment is from the set 'Messages for Mom', which I'm SO glad is in the new catalog.

As you can see it has a lot of great sentiments, perfect for thank-you cards, Mother's Day or birthdays.


Keira got to play in the sprinkler today at her babysitter's house.

Gosh, her little pudgy thighs just crack me up so much. I'm very lucky to have a trusted friend that watches her and they always get to do fun things. :)

I had to take Hunter to the vet last weekend too for a strange uncontrolled snorting problem that he's had.

It's really unbelievable to me that he's going to be 8 years old in July. Nothing wrong with him, except maybe old age and a floppier-than-normal soft palate. He's such a good dog (most of the time). :)

Hope you have a good rest of the week. I have some more photos of cards to share, when I can find the time to get them edited and up on the blog. Good night.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

{party food}

One of my favorite things about having get-togethers is cooking and readying food for my guests.....today my open house was no exception so I tried to have a good selection of little bites set up and used it as an excuse to try some new recipes. :-)

I apparently cannot have a party without these.....I've been making them a lot this summer! The last time I made them, I added some minced fresh garlic to the cream cheese mixture, and I think they turn out much tastier that way.

I also tried out these Lemon Raspberry Bars from the tastykitchen website. They turned out delicious, pretty sweet but it didn't stop me from eating about 4 of them. :)

I tried making caprese salad bites for the first time, and these were pretty addictive as well! Skewer a cherry tomato, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella on a party toothpick, then drizzle with equal parts balsamic vinegar whisked with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I'll definitely be making these again!

I also tried my hand at some mini brownie bites. I mixed up a package of brownie mix and filled up a mini muffin tin that had been greased with butter. Bake at 350 for 12-15 mins. When they are still warm, I stuffed them with a caramel filled Hershey's kiss. They were very good, but next time I'll use paper muffin liners, because although I very liberally greased the tin, they were still a little hard to get out!

I had a lot of new product on display....including that cute new owl punch! I am just going to go ahead and say right now that everyone needs this punch. :)

I had also made up a display board showing the new colors, as well as some of the samples I had made up.

It was a good day that topped off a good weekend, so if you came, thanks again! I still have a lot of retired product left (stamps, paper, cardstock, etc...) so not sure if I'll be posting what's for sale here or on eBay. Leave me a comment if you didn't make it today and are interested, I can send you a list of the sets I have left.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

{this and that}

Tomorrow is the big day! I'm having my new catalog open house, so if you'll be around, stop by between noon and 3 for a free make and take, new catalog, and some yummy snacks.  I made this card last week to showcase one of my favorite background stamps, the Medallion.

This card also uses Stampin' Up textured cardstock, which I am going to order a LOT of with my next order!

I also used vintage book paper and the scalloped circle punch to create the flower, as well as the scalloped border punch to make the yellow border on the right side of the card.

I also used the medallion stamp on this card, as well as the I {Heart} Hearts stamp set. I am always pulling out this set because it's so versatile and can be used on any occasion card, as well as scrapbook pages.

This set also coordinates with the two heart punches available through SU.

For the greeting I used the Rough Type alphabet, and I also used a mini paper clip with some white taffeta ribbon.

I also did a little shopping on eBay and got part of my order today.

I ordered the Studio Calico Anthology collection (patterned paper, label stickers, journaling cards and letter stickers), Maya Road wavy scallop envelopes, and some Jenni Bowlin butterfly stickers.  I am looking forward to getting through tomorrow so I can go back to some of my personal scrapping! I love Stampin' Up and their products (otherwise I wouldn't sell them) but I don't use them exclusively in my own scrapping. I like to mix it up a bit.

I am sooooo looking forward to going to Minneapolis with Adam for my birthday too this year, we are going to stay for two nights and have fun seeing the Mall of America. Also I'm looking forward to taking a trip to Archivers to get some of the new summer scrapping goodies that will be available after CHA next week!

I am starting to compile some bedtime photos of Keira because I want to do a scrapbook page about her nighttime routine.

Every night she climbs the stairs to bed, and I'm not sure if she's more excited to get past the gate and climb the stairs or just excited to go to bed. She's a ball of energy but when she gets tired, watch out. She's ready for her blankie and her crib. On this particular night she had stopped to watch some TV on the way up. :)

I took this picture last night....once again she has pulled all of her books out of the basket and scattered them about. I hope her love of books continues as she grows....I think there are so many benefits to reading and having a love for books.

That's all for tonight, I still have a lot to get done for tomorrow. Have a good Sunday ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

{blueberry buckle}

Have you ever read Cook's Illustrated magazine? It's great. A few bucks more than your normal cooking magazine, but every recipe is tried and true, and I've never made a bad one. I have probably 15 or more of these magazines and special issues lying around my house, and I will never rip recipes out or throw them away like I do with my other ones! Well worth the extra few dollars, and they don't have advertisements in them.

 

 

 
Blueberry Buckle? Sort of a strange name, really, but I promise this will be the tastiest blueberry dessert that you will ever put in your mouth.
( <---Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated)

 
Blueberries have been on sale for the last few weeks for only a dollar or less per package, so I knew this would be cheap and cheerful.

 
Imagine a thick yellow cake with just as many sweet blueberries as there is batter, with a crunchy streusel topping. Mmmm. To let you know how good it was, we consumed it between the three of us in a matter of 2 days, save one lone piece that will probably be eaten for my breakfast tomorrow.  I used a 10" springform pan to make this, but if you have a deep round cake pan that will work too.

 
Blueberry Buckle
Source: Cook's Illustrated American Classics 2009

 
A blueberry buckle is a blueberry coffeecake with a streusel topping. The batter will be extremely thick and heavy, and some effort will be required to spread it into the prepared cake pan. This buckle is best made with fresh blueberries, not frozen ones, which are too moist. If you'd like to serve the buckle as dessert, consider a vanilla ice cream or whipped cream accompaniment (see related recipe for Cream Cheese Whipped Cream). Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Makes one 9-inch cake, serving 8 to 10

 
Streusel

 
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch table salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool

Cake

 
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( 7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/4 stick), softened but still cool
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs , room temperature
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 20 ounces), picked over

 
1. For the streusel: In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.

 
2. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides with nonstick cooking spray, line bottom with parchment or waxed paper round, and spray round; dust pan with flour and knock out excess.

 
3. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Disengage bowl from mixer; stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be very heavy and thick. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed.

 
4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; with rubber spatula, using a pushing motion, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Squeeze handful of streusel in hand to form large cohesive clump; break up clump with fingers and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Repeat with remaining streusel. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes (cake will fall slightly as it cools).

 
5. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place upside-down plate (do not use plate or platter on which you plan to serve the cake) on top of cake pan; invert cake to remove from pan, lift off cake pan, then peel off and discard parchment. Re-invert cake onto serving platter. Cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve.  

 
PS. We did not wait an hour to eat it. How could you?? 

Edited to add this:

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

A dollop of this can raise blueberry buckle to dessert status.

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

In mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk cream cheese, sugar and salt together until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined. With machine running at low speed, add heavy cream in a slow steady stream ; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form, about 1-2 minutes.

Makes about 2 cups.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

{dream big}

Well here we are again at the end of a weekend....I'm tired this evening and fading fast! I always look forward to sleeping in on the weekends, but somehow the past few days Keira didn't want to sleep much past 6:30. Then when she lays down for her morning nap I have so much to do I don't want to lay down myself....so in the end I am dragging. But today was fun, Adam fixed my computer so it's running a LOT faster, which is awesome. I edit a lot of photos and don't have time to be sitting around while this thing is processing slow! Then we went up to Davenport to eat lunch and do some shopping. Keira was zonked out in the backseat the whole way home. Then she got a visit from her Grandma and Grandpa who have been on vacation for 2 weeks -- so she got a lot of souvenirs! As did Adam and I.

I didn't scrap a whole lot this weekend, but I did manage to get this layout done for my open house this weekend, as well as a few more sample cards. My box of new SU goodies comes tomorrow from UPS so I can't wait for that!

As a background for this page, I used kraft cardstock, layered with a sheet of Presto Patterns specialty paper that I brayered with So Saffron ink.

I also used the damask image from one of my favorite stamp sets, Friends 24-7.

I used my Beautiful Butterflies die and Big Shot to create this butterfly by cutting out two layers of white cardstock.

I stamped the title with the Rough Type and Jumble alphabets, and handwrote the last part.

Do you remember this song from 2005? I just love it. When I had this picture of Keira developed, I knew then that I had to tie it in with this song.
Dream Big
by Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband

When you cry be sure to dry your eyes

'Cause better days are sure to come
And when you smile be sure to smile wide
Don't let them know that they have won
And when you walk, walk with pride
Don't show the hurt inside
Because the pain will soon be gone

And when you dream, dream big

As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud

'Cause it will carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself
And it'll help you feel okay
And when you pray, pray for strength
To help you carry on
When the troubles come your way

And when you dream, dream big

As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big

When you laugh be sure to laugh out loud

'Cause it will carry all your cares away
And when you see, see the beauty all around and in yourself
And it'll help you feel okay
And when you pray, pray for strength
To help you carry on
When the troubles come your way

And when you dream, dream big

As big as the ocean blue
'Cause when you dream it might come true
When you dream, dream big
Hope you had a great weekend. See you soon with a new recipe I tried using fresh blueberries! Yum.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

{storing your memorabilia}

If you're a sentimental sap like myself, you hate the thought of throwing anything away that has memories attached to it -- cards, newspaper clippings, etc. I can't stand to throw away cards -- especially if they have a personal message written on the inside! Not all of this stuff is suitable for scrapping (nor would I want to scrapbook some of it) so I've come up with a system to store it all for future perusal. :)

While not fancy, I use photo boxes to separate out my memorabilia. Usually you can find these on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael's for a few dollars apiece. I have mine divided into friends, Adam & me, Keira, family, old photos, and school/work keepsakes.

Here's a look at my family keepsake box:

I have old cards, recipes, bits of my mom's and grandma's handwriting.

Two recipe cards from my Grandma that passed away in 2001.

A funny Rachael Ray card from my sister....it's been well known that I've followed Rachael ever since she came out on the Food Network 8 or 9 years ago.

Notes from my Grandma Miller - this one especially makes me laugh because she wrote it on a paper towel. :) I remember spending the night at their house and when we would get up in the morning, Gramps would have already left but would usually leave a note on the kitchen table for us -- most often written on a paper towel.
"Jennifer I send this with loving memories of Grandma's kitchen, when you came to see me - fun, food, smiles and giggles! Ha. Gramps wrote me a love note on this today"
 "Do you remember you liked to cut out designs on my paper towels and napkins"
 I don't really remember that but it's cute anyway! :) These are the kinds of things that I keep because I can't bear to throw them away.

Also I keep obituaries and funeral programs and such -- my grandpa was killed in a semi rollover in 2007 so I kept the newspaper clipping as well. Here's a tip: if you're keeping news clippings, it's better to laminate them so they don't turn yellow.

I also kept all the cards with my Grandpa's handwriting on them...I just love looking at old handwriting. It's like a piece of that person, right there on the paper, even though they are gone now.

I had a lot of memorabilia from Keira's first birthday party that I wanted to save for her, so I decided I would make a new keepsake box just for that purpose.

It's very strange but sometimes I feel more at peace when all my things are organized. :) hehe

I wanted to include bits of things from her party, as well as cards and such.

Here are all the contents of the box.

Her invitation, party hat, noisemaker, temporary tatoos we handed out to the kids there.

The thank you note we sent out, all of her cards, and a list of the gifts she got.


Some Elmo confetti, and a plate and napkin too.

And a balloon. There were many more balloons than this, but I just kept this one because it said "1st birthday" on it.

Someday I hope she can go through this box and have fun looking at everything! I'm not sure yet if I'll do one for every birthday (doubtful), but maybe just some of the special ones. I don't want her to be bogged down with this stuff, but I do think it's important to keep some of it. :)

Hope you have a great day!