Monday, November 30, 2009

I Heart Faces: Tooshies!


The photo theme at I Heart Faces this week is TOOSHIES! Here are my two little padded tooshies when they were 7 months old. Check out more adorable tooshies by clicking the link below.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Hugs! A card!

Doh! I created this card two days ago, but haven't posted it and now it's too late to enter it in one of the challenges! Oh well....

The first challenge (the one I'm too late for) was for color at SPCC. Here's the combo:

And next was the sketch by Card Patterns:

And here's my work, but it will only be submitted to one challenge :-(

~For the celery color I used the Christmas tree patterned (embossed) cardstock (Michael's)
~For the bashful Blue I used the felt snowflakes from Close to My Heart
~The stamp is from JoAnns....it was on clearance, it's super cute.
~I just used real red cardstock and little gems from Amuse
~I added my new Dew Drops to the snowflakes
~I had fun coloring the little guy with Copics.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Heart Faces: Sun Glare

Oh I love these challenges! For two weeks now I've known that this challenge for capturing a photo with sun glare was coming up. One day I was at the park and had an opportunity to get a picture of one of my girls with the sun behind her. I did. I got it. BUT, I had the UV filter on my lens and so the whole picture is just washed out, with a few distinct sun rays.

So last night I had another chance while our kids played with friends in a leaf pile. I got a few good ones of the sun, but narrowing down the best one that included a face was hard. It was definitely a learning experience (which is why I love these challenges). I noticed what was happening to my camera as it metered different areas; meter the sun and the kids turned out dark. Meter the kids and it made the picture look like it was taken in the daylight, not dusk.

I also learned that a little spot on the lens will pick up the glare and leave every picture with a little alien spot floating here and there......ooops, time to clean that puppy!

So, that's what it's all about, right? Learning! This may not be a stellar photo, but I captured the rays of sun....and a cute little one playing in a pile of leaves!

Check out more sun glare by clicking the button below

Meatless Monday!

Cauliflower Feta Pasta Bake! This is a Rachel Ray recipe. I regret to inform you that I forgot *gasp* to take a picture of this dish when I made it....sorry!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 pound ziti pasta
  • One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cups pitted kalamata olives, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring halfway through, until browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Lower the temperature to 350°.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta and cooking water to the pot and stir in the crushed tomatoes, feta, olives, the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and half each of the parsley and bread crumbs.

  3. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish; top with the roasted cauliflower and remaining breadcrumbs. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining parsley on top.

For more Meatless Monday ideas, click here!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fibers on Friday

Here's my progress from this week. I got a couple inches completed on this front part of the sweater. I wasn't quite as die-hard about working on it because Daddy got home from a two week stint away, so we've been having family time. Still moving right along, though!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DIY Christmas Countdown Calendar

Yay! I got back to my paper! I've been so wrapped up in knitting, the paper crafting has been neglected. But, MAN, I had fun working on this puppy! Have you seen these boxes from Karen Foster? I think I saw it last year in a scrapbooking magazine and knew I wanted to make my own countdown (Advent) calendar. Fortunately, I stumbled upon the box in my local stamping store....so I got to work!

I went through my bits and pieces and scraps of Christmas supplies. This project is AWESOME because every single little box can be decorated differently. Click image to enlarge for details.

A close up of the odds and ends. Only have one snowflake? No problem! Only have one mitten? No problem! For the little Christmas trees on days 21 and 4, I cut out the image from a piece of embossed cardstock, added Stickles for the ornaments, and then used Glossy Accents to make the whole thing shine.

I had a blast making this thing and I know my girls will have a blast counting down to Christmas and getting a little treat every day. I have a crazy friend (you know who you are) who is known to have THREE advent calendars running in her house during the holidays.....this would be perfect for her and her gorgeous family!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday : In Honor of Mimi


November 18, 1928 ~ February 12, 2004
Thinking of Mimi on her Birthday

I Heart Faces: Autumn Beauty



The challenge for the week at I Heart Faces is Autumn Beauty. Beauties, in my case. The other day we went for a nature walk and I snapped a lot of pictures set on black and white in hopes of capturing the perfect Christmas card photo (successfully, by the way). But, I'd switch the settings back to color here and there and was able to catch a couple of these shots in full autumn color.

Check out more Autumn Beauties by visiting I Heart Faces!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meatless Monday! Sweet and Sour Tofu



I have made this dish several times. I originally used The Crockpot Lady's recipe and would cook it in the crock, but this time I did it on the stovetop. I prefer it made on the stovetop because the veggies get too mushy for my taste when cooked in the crock. So here's what I did:

Ingredients:

1 block extra firm tofu, sliced, drained, and then cubed*
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 green pepper
1 cup broccoli
1/2 onion sliced
hot pepper flakes, optional
1 bottle Sweet and Sour Sauce

After the tofu has been drained and cubed, toss in a bag with 1 TBS cornstarch. Saute in a skillet with olive oil until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Saute veggies starting with the ones that take longer to cook, like the carrots. Cook all veggies until they're to your liking. Throw the tofu back in and add the sweet and sour. I don't use the whole bottle....just enough to coat. Heat through and add pepper flakes if desired. Serve over rice.

*To drain tofu, I slice the block into 8 equal pieces. Lay it on a cookie sheet lined with a kitchen towel and paper towels. Place another layer of paper towels on top and cover with another kitchen towel. Sandwich it together with another cookie sheet or cutting board and place something heavy on top like your teapot. Let it drain like that for 20-30 minutes.

Feel free to toy around with this. It's very forgiving. Add different veggies....add pineapple....whatever! Delicious!

Check out more meatless ideas at Meatless Monday.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fibers on Friday


Here is my sweater that I'm knitting for Afghans for Afghans. Over the course of the week, I finished the back of the sweater and last night started the front. Really, it's going much more quickly than I ever imagined a sweater would. I only work on it about an hour a night, so in a couple weeks it should be complete. I always imagined a sweater would take the entire winter to complete....granted, this is a child's sweater, but still! I'm happy and now confident I can knit one for myself and my kids!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday : Roger



***I can't help it! I have to be wordful on this one! I really had no idea what I was going to post for this Wordless Wednesday. But, then first thing this morning, I was reading my friend's blog in which she spontaneously burst into song. Judging by my pictures, you can probably guess the song that inspired this post. Right? Here's my rendition:

"And I've been to the desert on a........
CAMEL
named..........................
ROGER!"

Yup, that's my husband on a camel in Abu Dabi, UAE back in '05. Click here for more WW posts!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another sad one, but let's try to make it HAPPY!

This has been circulating on Facebook (I've checked the validity). A story about a little boy at the end stages of cancer, who will be celebrating Christmas early this year. His wish is to receive tons of CARDS!

Let's Do it!!!!

Here's the one I'm sending:

Here's the brief story and address:
A 5yr old boy named Noah Biorkman , is in the last stages of a 2 1/2yr battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer.The family is celebrating Christmas next week and Noahs request is to get lots of Christmas cards..Lets get him some Please send cards to:

Noah Biorkman

1141 Fountain View Circle

South Lyon,Mi 48178





Monday, November 9, 2009

Meatless Monday! Black Bean Soup

Bust out your crockpots, here's a good one! It's from Cooking Light. I served it over some white rice, because it was so thick, it was great as a Rice and Beans dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I used Veggie broth)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Preparation

1. Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain.

2. Combine beans, broth, and next 5 ingredients (through chile) in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 10 hours. Discard bay leaves. Stir in juice and salt. Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

***I used a potato masher to mash up some of the soup. I just like it to be a little starchy and thick.


Want to go Meatless one night a week? Visit Meatless Monday for ideas!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

For the Better Good

While I was blog hopping through the CPS card entries, I read about a good deed being done in support of a little girl who has suffered a horrendous crime and loss (on this blog). In order to brighten her day, there are several blogs dedicated to raising awareness of her story and violence in general. People are uniting and sending cards to help her through this time. Here's a snip-it of the story:

"On October 4th, 4 teenagers armed with knives broke into a home in a small town in New Hampshire. Alone and sleeping inside were a mother and her 11 year old daughter. These 4 boys broke into this home with the intent to rob and kill anyone inside. They stabbed the mom, Kimberly Cates, to death and left her daughter, Jaimie, for dead in their driveway. It was a completely random act, their home was chosen only due to its secluded surroundings."

So, I'm sending a card and I encourage you to do the same! It just feels good. Here's the info:

This is the card I sent. On the inside, I wrote, "Who's thinking of you? WE ARE!........"

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fibers on Friday: Progress Report

This is the back of the sweater. I got about 11 inches completed this week. And I've learned a new technique; how to carry the yarn! I've always avoided striped patterns because I didn't like switching colors, cutting, and weaving in ends. It makes it too bulky. So, I've learned to carry the color that I'm not working on up the side of the garment, thereby eliminating the need to cut and weave in! Yay!

Tonight is the first knitting night of the season. I've got at least 5 people coming over, so it will be a nice evening of conversation and eating knitting. Not to mention a little wine or homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte....yum!

If you didn't know already, this sweater is being made for a child in Afghanistan. To read more about the project, visit Afghans for Afghans.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

CPS #140 and 2Redbananas!

Coming at you with a card that fits two challenges!
2 Red Bananas is calling for a card using Red, orange, yellow, and brown (at least three). And here's the sketch for CPS:


Oh this was so fun to make! Not being one to generally send a Thanksgiving card, I was stumped for a minute with the color scheme. But, I just had a Birthday! I received awesome gifts! Um, helllooooo, let me make a fall-ish thank you card!

a close up of the felt squirrel and acorn:

I made two while I had the supplies handy; one for mom, one for my darling sister:

~The felt is from Close to my Heart, leftovers from a class I took at my scrap weekend!
~The patterned paper is from Creative memories, leftovers from a class from LAST year's scrap weekend!
~The stamp set is also from CTMH. It's called Hodgepodge and it ROCKS! Plenty of letters of all different shapes, sizes, caps, lowercase....awesome!

Thanks for looking, friends!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Meatless Monday! Pierogies with Carmelized Onions

Super duper easy one here. This one is especially good on nights when you're only cooking for one or two. I ended up eating an entire onion by myself when I made this last night!

I cooked the onions on low with a little sprinkle of sugar for about 45 minutes. Saute the thawed pierogies in the same pan when the onions are about done. YUM!

I was munching on edamame sprinkled with Sea Salt while I cooked this.....that made up for my lack of protein!

Want more Meatless Monday idea? Visit Meatless Monday.com.

Balloons at I heart Faces

The photo challenge this week at I Faces is to submit a photo that includes a balloon and a face.

I immediately thought of this photo thinking it included the entire balloon, but as you can see, it doesn't. But, I LOVE the photo anyway.....and you can see the edge of the balloon. The balloon string and the way my girly is looking up makes me look up to the balloon.

Click the button below for more balloon photos