Mayhem and creative therapy….

It’s been spring break here this week for our family and Friday I ventured out to the Children’s Museum of Houston with Lily.  She had a blast, I on the other hand was ready to go as soon as we got there.  I know that sounds awful, but if you have ever been there you know its a really nice museum for kids with lots to do, see, touch, feel, play with and throw in the air; as for adults it’s loud, dirty, cramped, and full of kids running around unmanned. It’s almost like the moment they enter the front doors  the parents just throw their hands up the air, put in ear plugs and close their eyes to what their children are doing. Not all of them, but WAY TOO MANY of them.

Maybe I’m trying too hard or maybe it’s the science teacher in me, but I like to try to read the directions for the activities or the explanations for the whatever we are looking at to Lily so she just maybe, perhaps learns just a smidgen of something while we are there.  I also don’t let her cut in line, push other children out of the way, step on their toes and/or wedge herself between others and the displays.  I can not count how many times we were trying to look at/do something and other children would come and destroy what we were building or “help” or just push her out of the way.  Lily is no pushover so she would say very loudly “Hey! I was there first!” and then take back whatever she had (taking into account the age of the child of course) so we could continue to “learn.”  Don’t get me wrong I’m all for free exploration and fun, but not at the expense of someone else’s enjoyment…just saying.

Lily redesigning a lego car she tested on the ramp that failed miserably.

Lily redesigning a lego car she tested on the ramp that failed miserably.

We made a bridge!!

We made a bridge!!

I should also mention that we were at the museum last Saturday for a dance performance that my oldest was part of with her dance team from Planet Funk Academy.  So I guess 2x in one week was a little more than I needed…lol.  But we only stayed 3 hours last weekend and I promised that I would bring Lily back later in the week.

Anyways after 41/2 hours and a successful “Coconut Climb” we left to get some late lunch/early dinner and then headed home.  On the way home I thought about what I could do to relax and keep Lily busy at the same time…bake and craft….that always does the trick.

We made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I had seen the recipe on Pinterest and was looking for an excuse to make it.  The stress of the morning was exactly the excuse I needed. 🙂

20130315_175949

Careful measurements…

20130315_181428

attempting to spray the pan….

20130315_185833

baked to perfection…

20130315_200043

frosting the cake and our fingers…

20130315_201142

SO GOOD!!!! (click image to be taken to recipe)

Once the cake was done and we had each had a piece it was time for a quick visit to Gma and Papa’s house to deliver some cake to them and say our farewells to gma’s friend that had been visiting from Turkey, Sudiye (Sue-dee-yay). Lily conspired with Gma and Sudiye to convince me to let her stay the night so home I went sans one kid.  Once home and showered, I decided to do some card making.  I visited a few of my favorite blogs beforehand to get inspired because my brain was not cooperating.  I came across the Simon Says Stamp Challenge for the week and used their sketches to help me use up some of my scraps.

Click here to see the sketches.

20130316_161929

Sketch 1 ish

20130316_161834

Sketch 2 ish

20130316_161940

I took a little more creative liberty with this one 🙂

This one is just using what paper was still leftover.

This one is just using what paper was still leftover.

 

These cards are all pretty small. They are 4 1/4 in x 5 1/2 in.  I used up the leftover papers from the card I made my brother the other day. The supplies: Recollections card stock from Michaels, buttons I’ve had lying around, baker’s twine and I repurposed some very boring/plain white thank you cards as the card base.

Happy Sunday!

Advertisements

Organization or addiction, plus a much needed change…

So my husband has decided that I am addicted to making cards.  Right now our daughters and him are watching a movie and I am sitting at my craft table NOT watching the movie.  He rented some movie that a friend said was really good and I’m just not in the mood.  Granted lately, I will admit, I have been spending a great deal of time at the crafting table. In my defense I just organized the closet/craft table area in December and now I can craft to my heart’s content without having to drag all the tubs/bins/boxes out of the hall closet, use the counter/table where we eat as my surface, and them pack everything back up to put it back in the closet.  I almost never did anything because it was such a hassle.

My hall closet/craft storage before ....

My hall closet/craft storage before ….

The closet that now holds my craft stuff....

The closet that now holds my craft stuff….

The "crafting only" table and closet that used to be a dining room/breakfast table area.

The “crafting only” table and closet that used to be a dining room/breakfast table area.

What I love is that I can start a project get up and go to bed, cook a meal, run an errand, watch t.v., or do anything and I DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN UP A SINGLE THING!!!!! So am I addicted…maybe…but I say I am making up for lost time 🙂

So now let me show you what I have been up to with my new-found addiction/hobby:

20130210_111630

This went to a friend of the family.

20130312_202207

Sent this one to my little brother to tell him how proud of him I am that he will be graduating from college in just a few short weeks.

Trip to Vegas Card

I am traveling to Vegas to meet up with a group of friends from all over the U.S. Sent them all cards like this with notes about how excited I am for our upcoming girls vacay…

I made another card and sent to a friend that lives far away, but I forgot to take a photo before I sealed it in it’s envelope…sorry. 😦 It too had a U.S. cutout, but it had hearts and a little tiny airplane with what was supposed to look like sky-writing behind it that said “thinking of you.”   Really cute! My friend will love it.

As for the list of supplies—– paper, glue, time and energy….lol. I am too lazy to list everything. If you really must know about one detail or another leave me a comment and I will gladly share the goods.

What else have I been up to you ask, well, I was doing some “pinning” the other day on Pinterest and came across a blog written by a woman named Rachel. Her blog is http://www.maybematilda.com and I was inspired to cut my hair.  I had long hair, not super model long, but my ponytail was probably a good 6 – 8 inches long (I had some layering).  I had been toying around with the idea of a major haircut for a while, but always chickened out.  Monday I took my girls out for breakfast…I LOVE being on SPRING BREAK…and was talking to my oldest, Alex, about the blog and the authors experiences with getting a pixie cut then trying to grow it out. Alex told me to stop being a weenie and go get it cut…”Uh, it’s only hair mom,” she said with an exaggerated exhale (i just love teenagers. Don’t you?)  So before I could weenie out I called and made an appointment.  At said appointment time I explained what I wanted, showed pictures and then closed my eyes (and crossed my fingers…lol).

20130311_184418

20130311_184423

I love it!!! I may even have to try a bit shorter next time.

20121103_193753

Here is a before photo taken about 6 months ago (that’s my youngest Lily 🙂 )

Hope you are having a great week.  Happy Tuesday!!

Inspired kinda day :)

Man this has been a pretty great day and I love those kinda days.

First a morning of crafting:

This morning I saw an email that a fellow blogger had commented on my post from last night and so I did what any good blogger does; I went and checked out their blog.  I was taken here where I read some pretty interesting posts about the couples adventures in Korea after a month or so, as well as being treated to pictures of some really neat cards.  One of the cutest ones had these origami dresses on the front and I thought they were perfect for a baby shower card or a “congrats on your new baby” card. I kept scrolling down skimming through other posts, reading bits here and there when lo an behold she gave a tutorial on making the dresses! Let me just say THANKS Amber! This is one design element I can see myself using many times.

I immediately went into crazy craft lady mode and got to work.  The tutorial for the folding was spot on and I had 3 cute little dresses done in no time. Next the decisions about what background to use, other elements/colors and card size.  I decided to go with the size from the original inspiration card, but since I know who I am sending this to I wanted to personalize it a bit with colors (plus put my own spin on the original design).  I got to work making clouds using a speech bubble stamp from the Lawn Fawn’s Little Birdie Told Me set and a pair of good scissors. Then added grass by cutting green polka dot washi tape into – tedious– grass like shapes (I included pics so you could maybe feel my pain…lol). I lightly stuck the tape to a scrap of white card stock so I could handle it easier.

Cutting washi tape grass...fun fun fun...lol

Cutting washi tape grass…fun fun fun…lol

20130303_130335

Washi tape comes off pretty easily, just go slow so you don’t lose any grass blades

using a bone folder to smooth out freshly cut grass 🙂

All in all this is my favorite card that I have created so far. I hope you like it just as much as I do, but even if you don’t…I love it 🙂

20130303_135541

Up close of one dress 🙂

20130303_135204

Completed card…SO CUTE!!!

Supplies

Supplies

 

Second an afternoon/early evening of cooking and being culinarily creative:

My husband is Turkish and I have come to love many different turkish foods, but one yummy dish always gets me excited for dinner  – Lahmacun, or Turkish Pizza as we have come to call it. As a born and bread American I love pizza and over the last 10 years I have branched out to try many different types of interesting ingredients. I have had mexican style pizza with fajita beef, tomatillo sauce and jalapeños, greek with spinach, feta, and olives and even asian style with sriracha, soy sauce and shrimps. When I married Chad I wasn’t a big fan of trying new foods, but after years of watching him scarf down all sorts of different things I have come to love almost everything…no curry..eww…sorry.

Today we decided to make Lahmacun (pronounced Lah-ma-june) and I thought I would share it with all (12 🙂 ) of you who read my little blog.

Lahmacun

2 lbs 85/15 ground beef

2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes

1 big bunch flat or curly parsley

4 small onions (2 really big guys)

10-12 round Lavash breads or big burrito shells

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

salt and pepper

Toppings: feta cheese, lettuce, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, extra parsley (flat or curly doesn’t matter), sumac (optional lemonish flavored spice)

Start by finely mincing the onions and parsley (separately) or chopping them finely in a food processor. Place canned tomatoes, minced onion, parsley, and burger in a big bowl and mix well (we are not making hamburgers…don’t be afraid to really go at it). Add salt and pepper to taste (you could taste the mixture in its raw form like my husband does…if your really brave). Don’t worry if it seems really moist, it is supposed to be.This mixture should look like the picture below:

raw meat mixture

raw meat mixture

Then start your oven to 500 degrees and put the meat aside to let the flavors meld. Slice your toppings and set aside. Once your meat has rested for 10-15 minutes and your oven is good and hot make a space on the counter to assemble the pizzas.

Brush the center of each flatbread with milk (why I don’t know, but this is what he does) and the edge lightly with oil.

Found this at the import market the other day, but flour tortillas work well too.

Found this at the import market the other day, but flour tortillas work well too.

Place a good handful of the meat mixture in the center and spread around. You want the meat layer to be about 1/4 of an inch thick. If it’s too thick it doesn’t cook before the flatbread burns, but if its too thin it dries out before the flatbread even cooks.

ready to put in the oven...

ready to put in the oven…

Place on a pizza pan that has lots of little holes in the bottom  or directly on your bottom oven rack and monitor…do not walk away.  If they don’t fit on the rack together you will have to rotate them half way through. Cook 6-8 minutes or until the edges are well done (I say they are burned, but Chad says that it the way its supposed to be…) and the meat is cooked.

When they are done we stack them together in a big piece of foil to keep warm until there is enough for everyone to eat, or you could just serve a few at a time. Pile high with toppings of your choice, roll up like a burrito and enjoy.

we had a bit of extra meat so we used a small flour tortilla

we had a bit of extra meat so we used a small flour tortilla

toppings

toppings

I can only eat 1/2 of one big one and the little one was still cooking so I improvised :)

I can only eat 1/2 of one big one and the little one was still cooking so I improvised 🙂

Happy Sunday!!

Why does it take me so long to make one card??

I sat down this evening around 5:30 p.m. to create a sticker to put on the back of all my cards that says my name with a cute little image and its now 1:45 a.m! I made the stickers using some square Avery labels and their online label making software, but then decided I would rather have them circular so I played a bit more and then used my 1 1/4 in circle punch to punch them out.  As I was tossing all the scraps from the labels I got to thinking about how the leftover parts would make nice templates for some stamping….6 hours later I have completed ONE card!!! I can’t figure out why it always seems to take me so long. Maybe it’s because I’m somewhat new to card making or I’m so indecisive…lol.  Anyways I am mostly pleased with the final design and I definitely think I am getting better and more creative. I still am having a hard time getting a clean stamped image. I tried using the Adirondack ink in Pebble for the words, but it was too light and so then I tried to restamp it in Colorbox’s Espresso pigment ink, but didn’t get it lined up correctly.  Below are pictures of the card and the supplies I used:

 

Collage 2013-03-03 01_55_26

 

 

The polka dot paper is my own creation using white card stock 4×6 notecard and the leftovers of the square labels.  I took a make up sponge and randomly wiped the Pebble and Sushine Yellow inks into the circles then peeled up the labels…wah la! Polka dot paper in what every color I need. Then I played around with the layout, colors, stamps and sentiment.  The flowers and sentiment are on dimensionals so they add another layer of interest to the card.

 

20130303_011440

Happy Saturday!

I cheated on the big 3 and crafting with the Silhouette Cameo.

Michael’s, Jo-Ann’s, and Hobby Lobby…oh what great friends we have been these past few years.  But I must confess I cheated on you this weekend, not once, not twice, but 3 TIMES!!!  I love the convenience and proximity of these craft supply stores to where I live, but the variety of what they stock doesn’t change very often and isn’t always the most inspiring. The Paper Source does give me a lot of inspiration, but their stock doesn’t change all that often either.  I was looking for something different, something inspiring, some place that offers more than just the run of the mill.  In order to find these gems I have been reading a lot of blogs lately written by fellow paper crafters and researching the products that they use and talk about.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before to see if there were other stores in my area, but it did yesterday.  I discovered 3 stores that are somewhat in my area.  By Design Scrapbook Boutique, Novel Approach and Archiver’s…let me just say that walking in to these three speciality stores was like finding a needle in a haystack.  Houston (have I told you I live in Houston, TX) is humongous and everything is a drive, unless you can afford to live in a cute condo/loft apartment in the heart of Rice Village/Heights/River Oaks…which I can not, so I live just outside the city.  I spend a lot of time in the city checking out new shops, restaurants, shows, and the like. I love the big city life!!! I grew up in a much smaller town many many miles north of TX, so I enjoy the city and all it offers.

For my first 2 stores I drove to the Clear Lake/Friendswood area. Both stores were well organized and had some interesting offerings. By Design Scrapbook Boutique had more scrapbooking supplies like stickers and embellishments (hence the name..lol).  They also had a room in the back where you could borrow their cutting stuff and space to work, which I thought was pretty neat. Novel Approach had so many more stamps and inks than the other place, but also a lot of stickers and embellishments. Both places were worth visiting and I will go back when I am in that area…..BUT the last place I went, which was an hour away from where I was, made me feel like a kid in a candy store.  Archiver’s had so many different brands and such a huge variety that I was worried I was going to go broke in there. The only saving grace is that it is 40+miles from my house and on a good day with Houston traffic that’s about and hour. I have made a deal with myself that I will only go there once every OTHER month…I hope 🙂

My daughter and I had some time this afternoon to sit down and get our craft on.  We looked for some new cut files for the Silhouette with an Easter theme and came across this cute paper basket that she made. I also did a print and cut of a few Easter eggs for her to color.  Below is the photo:

1361763825723

She did a good job.  We added the little Easter egg decorations on the side as an after thought. They are from a different cut file in the Silhouette store that is a border row of eggs with the words Happy Easter underneath.  Inside you can see just a bit of the eggs she colored.

While she was working on getting everything glued down I was just playing around with some of the scrap papers we have and wanted to see how the other half of the border we got would turn out. The Happy Easter portion of the border is written in a very curvy script and I just couldn’t get it to cut cleanly.  I don’t know what the problem was. I tried probably 10 times using different settings, changing the size of the font or other tips I found online, but nothing worked.  Suggestions are definitely welcome if anyone out there has any to offer??? I did contact Silhouette by email and am awaiting a response. I’ll let you know what they say.  After giving up on the Happy Easter border I decided to just see what else I could make rather quickly so I could end my night with a success (didn’t want to go to sleep frustrated).  Below is what I made:

1361763859242

This card is really small and cute.It measures 3 1/8 in x 4 1/2 in and was cut using the Silhouette (and cut out very cleanly might I add). I added some Stickles for a bit of something shimmery. Punched out a small orange circle for the flower and coated it with glossy accents.  I know it’s nothing super fantastic, but I think it’s cute and simple and I know just who I will be giving this too later this week. 🙂

Happy Sunday!

Sorry I’ve been away for a bit….

Just a quick note to say I’m sorry I have been away quite a bit lately. Had to travel 1200 miles to attend a funeral.  I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things with recipes, cards, etc… just as soon as I finish unpacking my suitcase…

Happy Wednesday 🙂

Valentine cards…

Sorry its been a minute since I last posted. Things have been CRAZY busy and I haven’t cooked a quality meal or done any crafting since the last time I posted. Had to do some last minute traveling and that has kept me from my regular routine.

Anyways I wanted to share some of the super cute cards Miss Lily and I made this evening.

image

The cards I made...

image

The cards Lily made.... (she's 5) 🙂

For a 5 year old I think she did awesome!! I was there to assist of course but she chose the colors, stamps, stickers and sentiments. I think I have a future genious crafter in the making.

Hey she’s my kid I can say what I want…

Happy Tuesday !

Tried 2 new recipes this week found on Pinterest. 1 winner and 1 loser…

First the Winner
taco soup

Chicken Taco Soup —–YUMMY!!! This recipe originally came from Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine and I came across it during a Pinterest session.  I’m trying to watch the carbs and fat so I thought I would give it a go.  LOVED IT!!!!! My kids, 5 and 17, loved it too. Hubby is doing no carbs so he didn’t try it. I think when I make it again I will use lean ground beef or ground bison because I like ground meat in my tacos.  We topped it with a sprinkle of cheese and then a bit of crushed tortilla chips. Did I already say YUMMY!!!

Now for the LOSER

216946907021529007_kYo4aNEh_c

For this recipe I gave up my usual notion to use as many from scratch ingredients as I could in favor of making something simple and quick to feed my girls  on  an especially busy weeknight.  The one thing I changed was that I used italian seasoned ground turkey and made my own meatballs for this because I couldn’t find meatballs that didn’t scare the bejeezus out of me.  I was so looking forward to eating these as a little break from the carb counting.  I made a nice big salad to go with them to counteract the fatteningness. (is that a word?)  We ate our salads while we waited for them to come out of the oven and salivated at the smells they were creating in the kitchen.  As soon as they came out I brushed a bit of garlic butter on the tops just for added flavor.

What a disappointment! Even my daughters weren’t fans. I think it was the biscuit dough. Just didn’t taste right with the italian meatballs, cheese and sauce.  Definitely not making this again. The Taco soup…YUMMY!!! (just in case you didn’t get it the first few times)

Happy Thursday!

Super awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Not my photo, here’s the link where I got the photo/recipe—-http://food-pusher.blogspot.com/2012/12/jacques-torres-chocolate-chip-cookies.html)

I’ve been doing a lot of Pinterest-ing lately, much more than I care to admit actually. Yesterday I ran across this post about these awesome chocolate chip cookies and so I repinned it to make some day. Then miraculously my 5 yr old Lily managed to complete her homework in less than 30 minutes; which normally is at least an hour + ordeal, all 5 sentences. With the extra time on my hands and cookies on my mind I suggested we bake.  She loves to help cook and I enjoy cooking with her, plus I seriously love chocolate chip cookies. A warm, gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookie is my absolute most favorite desert, hands down, no if, ands, or buts about it!!!!!  After retrieving the recipe, scanning the list of necessary ingredients and mixing up the dough I realize, much to our disappointment, that the dough is supposed to sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours BEFORE you bake them. DANG! So…..

Off we went to make some very overdue thank you cards for some of the Christmas gifts Lily received from family far away, not to mention some much needed distraction from the cookie dough we can’t bake…..well…. after a measly 2 hours we (meaning me) couldn’t wait and baked 4 cookies in our toaster oven.  If 2 hours in the fridge made them that good I can only imagine what 24 hours will do to the dough. O.M.G. it was good!!! Chewy, slightly crunchy exterior, super chocolatey…Alex, my teenage daughter, said they were the best ones I have ever made. I have tried hundreds of recipes to make them, hundreds! I honestly don’t think I have ever used the same recipe twice. I started the quest for the perfect recipe when I was in my early 20’s, if not before.

I can’t wait for tomorrow night. I know what I’m having for dinner, what I’m having for desert and my midnight snack. 😉

The “Poker” inspired card as promised…

image

My husband has a regular poker game with his buddies so I thought this card would be something he’d appreciate. I’m not posting what I wrote on the inside because its personal but I use the poker phrase “All In!!” (Get your mind out of the gutter) He loved it! As I knew he would :).  I used my imagination, Silhouette Cameo and colored cardstock.
Happy Tuesday

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: