Thursday, May 31, 2012

It Had To Go!

As most of you know I started this blog without a second thought. I had just gotten home from meeting with a wonderful ENT who told me I had cancer. I could not even say the word out loud. I practiced by calling my two best girlfriends and I really could not say, "I have cancer!"

I was a ball of all mixed up emotions and I could not think straight. For whatever reason, I opened blogger up and just started typing. I had no idea the release I would feel just putting it out there.  So, maybe it is because writing helped me stay sane during that journey.  Or maybe I just really like writing. Or  maybe I am closet exhibitionist! {since reading Shades of Grey, I think we are all questioning our deviant side!} Whatever the reason, I am emotionally attached to this blog.

In the days after being diagnosed and laying in bed recovering from a multitude of procedures, I poured a lot of energy into "decorating" my blog-world. I was about to lose my hair and I needed for this blog-world to shine for me. I found a cute website, I downloaded some bling and for the past few years I have been happy with the way my blog looked.

Until a few weeks ago when I got a security warning NOT to access my own blog because of malware. WHAT! At first I thought, there is no way! I got the warning again last night and decided to talk to my husband about it. The ever "smarter about computer things than me" husband and he told me I needed to delete everything from All the prettiness had to go!

{Did you visualize it? Yes, my shoulders literally dropped, my head went down and involuntarily my lower lip just went ahead and pouted! I reacted as my Short Chic might if I told her you can not mark on the couch with a pink marker even though pink is your favorite color!}

So, in case you can't tell...ha ha that was funny!....I took all the shabbyblog stuff down last night and returned to standard stock from blogger.

Standard stock may have gotten better in the past two years, but I assure you, it is still standard stock. I walked around last night feeling like I had a large pimple growing on my chin. I needed help! So, I made a quick decision to call in the doctors.  Well, not really a doctor, more like a fairy godmother. In this case, a Fairy BlogMother who will once again make my blog pretty!

So, stick around. Things will be changing over the next few weeks to return prettiness to my blog-world. Oh, and the changes will be for my computers safety as well as yours.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Father's Day Album

I am in rush mode. We are going on vacation soon.

But before we leave, I absolutely have to show you a project I have been working on.

A work friend of mine asked me to create a scrapbook for her beloved for Father's Day. I have never made something for someone else before. {Maybe I should clarify that. I have made things for other people. I have made it for them, with them in mind. This is the first time I have made something for someone else without knowing the person who is getting the gift.}

I am about finished with the entire thing. Of course I keep tinkering with the album and will probably keep tinkering until the moment I pass it off.

Overall, I am so pleased with how it turned out. I am excited to show it to you!

The theme of the album is red, black, brown, and cream. It was a chipboard book we found at Hobby Lobby.


Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Pages 5 and 6

Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10 and 11
Page 12

Page 13

Page 14

Pages 15 and 16

Page 17

  There you have it! I hope it's new owner is going to love it! And since Father's Day is still a few weeks away, you have time to make the man in your life something special!

I have linked up!

{Junk in their Trunk}

Pink Cricut: Link It Up Tuesday

Under The Table and Dreaming

Sumo's Sweet Stuff: Market Yourself Monday

Serendipity and Spice: Manic Monday

Six Sisters' Stuff: Strut Your Stuff Saturday Link Party

Tatortots and Jello

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bear With Me: Please


Did you know that nearly 39,000 people a year commit suicide? It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Directly and indirectly, my life has been touched by suicide three times.  The most recent has been this week.

About three months ago, my professional path crossed with another persons. I had to make some professional judgement and stand by those which caused the other person to lose their job.  That other person recently chose to end their own life. They left behind family: mother, father, siblings, children. And of course they left behind other people who were in their circle of friendship.

I feel a little selfish for feeling as distraught as I do. Selfish in the fact that I realize others are hurting way more than I am. Others have a right to be concerned more than I. Others have a closer relationship with this person than I did. In fact, I even acknowledge and honor that "others" might point a finger and blame me. They might say, I caused this. I helped push this person over that edge of no return.

There are two sides to me. The logical side and the emotional side. They are at war right now.  My logical side knows that there were many problems there. That I did not cause this.  My logical side knows that I made sound professional decisions. That my assessment skills were spot on. I even know that if I had it to do over again, I would make the same decisions.

However, my emotional side is screaming, "It did not have to be this way!" "This could have/should have been prevented." I keep thinking about children and family left behind. My heart is sad. My soul is injured. 

My emotional side has captured the logical side and is holding it for ransom.

Nearly two decades ago, a person at the center of my circle chose to end their own life. I still carry the grief and guilt over not being able to prevent that decision with me. I know this factors into why this recent news is rocking my world so drastically. I know that unresolved grief will keep re-emerging. But let's be honest: unresolved grief and guilt is what we who were left behind must deal with on an ongoing basis.

Again, not my photo, I grabbed it from Google

I understand pain and making it want to go away. I would rather not feel any emotional pain, too. But we were not promised rose gardens and sometimes life does hand us some thorns. {Heck, I have been given thorns, rashes, and bee stings all at the same time.} There are tough decisions to make and you might feel like no one will like you or support you. But, I promise that is just not the case. Yes, today feels dark. But there is always the promise of sunshine!

If you are thinking about ending your own life, please talk to someone. Say the words out loud. Do not let them live in your head. Do not let them take root. As soon as you say them out loud they look differently.

To my friends, thank you for your support! I am sorry for one minute I let you think something was wrong with me. No, my cancer is not back. Yes, my children are healthy. Yes, my husband is still wonderful. I am just waiting for my logical side to come up with the ransom money to buy off the emotional side.

Greatfun4kids: Best in Blog Link

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Denim Tablecloth

In preparing for our Mother's Day/Post Dance Recital dinner, I thought I needed a new tablecloth.

So, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased myself some denim. Denim comes in different weights. Ironically, they all cost the same amount. I purchased the lightest weight they had. My thinking: I just needed the LOOK of denim and not the weight of it. Denim can be tough to sew through because it gets so thick. I was hoping to avoid some of that by working with a lighter weight material.  {I purchased 3 yards at $9.99 a yard but I used my 40% off coupon!}

While at Hobby Lobby I also thought about the hem. Again, knowing denim gets difficult to sew the thicker it gets, I opted to use Single Fold Bias tape as my hem. Sewing that onto the edge of the denim was WAY easy!

The crafty part: I went to a thrift store and I purchased three pairs of used blue jeans. {Cost, $1.99 a pair!!} I took my little seam ripper and I ripped those pockets right off the back of the jeans.

Next I laid out the material onto my table and decided where I wanted to place them. I pinned them into place and sewed them to the material.

Here is the cool part! The pockets make a super cute place to put a napkin and eating utensils. Right there to the right hand side of the plate! How cool is that!

This denim tablecloth was the perfect base to my Denim and Diamonds themed Mother's Day/Post Recital party.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pinterest Review: White Texas Sheet Cake

I found this cake on The Girl Who Ate Everything's blog.  She called it a White Texas Sheet Cake. I pinned it and decided I would make it soon.

This weekend  was my perfect opportunity: a dance recital after-party and early Mother's Day celebration. The review: This cake is pretty amazing! Thanks to the almond extract this cake taste like almonds. Everyone at the party last night loved it!

To make this cake:

1 cup butter 

1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose four
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup milk
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium saucepan bring butter and water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl add flour and sugar and mix. Then add in eggs, sour cream, extract, baking soda and salt. Slowly pour in the boiling butter/water mixture. Stir with a spatula until well combined and smooth.  No need to use an electric mixer. Batter will be very thin.

Pour into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Your cake will be flat and not very tall (it's a sheet cake). Cool for about 10 minutes. You still want your cake a little warm when you add the frosting so that it spreads well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quick and Easy Gifts: Great for Mother's Day

With Mother's Day and Dance Recital just around the corner, I spent a few hours at Hobby Lobby the other day looking for ideas for gifts.  I came across one of those free fliers they strategically place next to merchandise. You know the kind: they make every project look super easy. They lure un-knowledgeable crafters in thinking, "Hey, I can do this!"

Yep, sucked me right in!  So I loaded up on supplies:

The Jewelry Shoppe brand square key chains, assorted scrapbooking papers, stickers, embellishments, and Magic-Glos. 

The Jewelry Shoppe has lots of different mediums to work with. You can make key chains, pendents in many different sizes and shapes, earrings, rings, ect. 

The Magic-Glos is the key to the whole project. There maybe other products out there like this, I am just not aware. It comes in a little bitty 1 ounce bottle with a $9.99 price tag stuck on it. I used my 40% off coupon and prayed one bottle would be enough.

The next step should feel comfortable to any scrapbooker. You simply open the package and scrapbook the item you are working with. I decided to make key chains for the "Mother's" in my life. I put down a background paper, an initial sticker and then two round jewels. 

I also decided to make my daughter a pendant for her first dance recital, which is Saturday. I found a cute package of stickers that were ballet and I used the ballet shoes sticker on solid card stock.

I had a little fun. I also used some small charms I picked up and made a few extra things. There is an important difference between making these pendants and scrapbooking. I did not tack anything down with adhesive. I just laid it on the surface I was working with. {Except the things that were stickers, and yes, they were stuck down.}

After I had them decorated the way I wanted, I put them on a cookie sheet. I then took the Magic-Glos and filled up the pendant. It did not take much. I put some in, used a toothpick to spread it to the corners. Now, I must tell you, AIR BUBBLES are not our friend on this project.  I used my heat embossing gun after I had all the Magic-Glos in the pendants and blew the bubbles out. It was super easy!

The last step is to sit the pendants under a UV light for a few minutes. WELL, I do not have a UV light, nor do I want the expense of buying one just for this project. A little research told me I could also sit these pendants outside in the sunshine for 15 minutes and they would cure.

And they did.

They key chains are done, I just have to wrap them up. But the two necklaces still need some ribbon and clasps put on them.

Overall, I made 10 small gifts in less than an hour.  And that 1 ounce bottle of Magic-Glos? Well, it is still not empty!

The coolest thing, was showing them to my son when he got home from school. He literally asked me, "YOU MADE THESE?"  

Interpreting things a teen says is sometimes difficult. But I am interpreting it as a win!

I made this pendant for my Short Chic. I gave it to her after she finished her first dance recital. I promise these gifts are super easy to make and hope you have as much fun making them as I did!

p.s. I do not do paid product endorsements. These are my own opinions on products I sought out to try. 

I have linked up!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mexican Brownies

Today is Cinco de Mayo!

I remember living in Denver Colorado and watching the Hispanic community drive up and down Federal Boulevard in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. They proudly hung their Mexican flag from their souped up cars.  So much fun!

Our celebration tonight will not be as grandiose at those on in Denver on Federal Boulevard but we will have sinfully wonderful food!

I am bringing Mexican Brownies. These are super easy and I promise, you still have time to whip them up for your Cinco de Mayo celebration tonight.

What you need:

1 box of brownie mix
oil, eggs and water as directed on the box
3/4 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Pepper
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Prepare your brownie mix and add the Chipotle Chili Pepper and Ground Cinnamon to the batter. Pour into a prepared 13x9 inch baking dish. Bake as directed on the box.

You can serve them with ice cream or plain. In the photo mine are topped with whipped topping and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Muy bueno!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Have A Secret!

Ssshh, I have a secret!

It is too big not to share! So I have to tell someone.  However, it is a surprise, so don't give it away!

 We are taking her to Disney World!  She believes in Princesses and Princes. And Magic. It will be her first trip to Disney.  It is going to be amazing!

Oh, all the wonders she is going to experience.

Meeting Mickey and Minnie.  The Electric Parade.  Small World.  The Pirates of the Caribbean. Breakfast with the Princesses. Main Street!

We are taking him too! He still gets excited to watch The Lion King. It will be his third trip to Disney. His first time he was her age.  Roller coaster rides! Thrills! Adventures!  I wonder if he will still gasp when he sees Captain Hook? Will she?

Is it bad that I can't recall how many times I have been to Disney? It does not matter, every time is full of excitement. I can't wait to see it through her eyes this time. 

We booked lodging this week. It took us a long time to decide. Resort. Cruise. Cruise and Resort?  In the end we decided to do Resort and Beach. I have thought about nothing else all this week! Wanna sneak peak?

This is the resort we will be staying at! If Disney was not such a huge attraction, we might never leave the resort. 

The planning has commenced. If you have good Disney advice, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!