Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Scrapbooking can "Bee" So Fun!

Sorry I'm later with a post today, but I had some appointments this AM and I wasn't good about preparing ahead. 

But I'm here now to say happy day to you - and to show you another scrapbook layout from my past. I chose this one to show as I wanted to share a favorite little "trick" I often like to do in my scrapbooks.  I have so many fun page sets (that have card stock with stickers and alphabet letters to match) that work lovely together in a layout and everything goes together and matches.

And then I have some loose stickers or diecuts that I pick up just because I think they're pretty, or adorable, or cute. One such set was this pack of cute bee stickers I had picked up a few years back. At the time I was working on my family album and I thought maybe I would use them in a summer or spring kind of layout, but they just didn't gel with those I was working on at that time. Well, then I started working on a layout about a reunion I had with some girlfriends of mine & I thought these stickers would be so adorable to use with pics of our kiddos too, however I wanted to tie it all together somehow.  So I did something I love - which is to do a play on words as a way to work stickers or other embellishments into my layout.

In this case I used the bees to talk about our friendships and a title and theme with the bee stickers was created!

I then used some patterned and solid card stock that matched the stickers and colors in the photos. I have used this idea in many other layouts - another example was when I made a baby album for a friend and I used little buttons all over the page and titled it "cute as a button".  Or used zoo stickers to make a page with boys on it titled "Wild Boys". You get the idea.  It can be a nice way to use up embellishments you have that won't fit in anything else.

Here's a photo of the full layout all together. So bottom line is have fun playing with words when doing those paper crafts like scrapbooking or making cards: but don't forget to "BEE" CREATIVE!   XO

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

Hello and Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend. It felt like it flew by to me and I can't believe it's a new week already.  It wasn't the nicest weather this past weekend, so I wasn't able to get outside as much as I would have liked.  I did get lots of quality time indoors with my sweet Girl. Our Boys were gone for hockey this weekend but we needed to stay behind for my daughter's drama rehearsal yesterday. So all weekend we played games, read books, watched movies - fun girl stuff. Anyway, on to a new busy week. 


  Chilly this AM, but clear skies and sun is shining away. When I let Ruby out early this morning the birds were chirping like crazy. Love that!


Some toast and coffee with girl scouts thin mint flavor creamer - yum!


I see the promise of a nice day, but not sure how warm it will get. Would love to go for a walk later if the weather behaves. 


Making out my list of errands. Will probably run around with my mom-in-law a bit today. Also looking through some recipes trying to decide if I want to bake anything. Hhhmmmm.....


Tidied up my dinner dishes last night, even though I was tired, and it's so nice not to have a pile waiting. Did several loads of laundry yesterday too - so feeling good for daily duties. However, making my list of heavier spring cleaning to get into this week before Easter weekend. It's always the time of year we deep clean many areas, plus we host some family for Easter so that's extra motivation for extra cleanliness. Lol 


Finish making my to-do list. Start planning Easter menu and think I'll run and get all of those groceries a different day this week. Looking at my calendar and checking the appointments and goings-on of this week. Brought my in-laws dinner last night so may just take a break tonight and do something more simple or eat up old leftovers, so will just run other errands and only grab some minor groceries  today.


I actually started reading a funny new book on a whim this weekend. It's called "I'll have What She's Having" by Rebecca Harrington and it's basically one gals exploration in dieting. It's quite hilarious as she's trying every fad or celebrity diet out there (from what I've read so far) - but she has a great sense of humor about it all, and some of the diets are beyond hilarious. She's written it in almost a diary or blogger style. I have a bunch of books I put as samples on my ipad, as it's a nice way to read the first chapter or several pages and get an idea if you'll like it without having to buy it. I just happened to start reading that one as I must have put it on there in the past, but I'm truly enjoying it.


Call the Midwife started back up last night! Yay!! Love that show and had been missing it! I watched that but still need to catch up on the Good Wife and some cooking shows I've taped. 


Not sure what I want to make for in-laws this week. May just do an easy go-to I know my dad-in-law likes (he's the fussier one). Maybe tacos or some kind of meat and potato dish. Will be more focused on gathering my groceries for ham dinner for Easter. I've already ordered and gotten my ham(comes with crunchy sweet glaze already on it - so yummy!) and it's in my freezer. Then we usually do cheesy hash brown potatoes, a strawberry & spinach salad topped with my homemade sugared pecans and poppyseed dressing, corn, crudite, dinner rolls and deviled eggs. I think I may make a special cake for dessert this year that I haven't made in ages - so stay tuned for info about that one! Also, I usually make individual fruit pizzas (basically on a cookie) that my kiddos just love! 


I have been catching up on my travel scrapbook and it's been SO fun remembering trips of the past. I really am itching to work on my mom's family heritage album too as I've accumulated such fun items for it!  And I have a fun new idea for a unique page in it. I've also, started some new cards I will share in the future.


I made the honey mustard chicken tenders and they were yummy and crispy but i think I would rev up the honey mustard flavor more next time. I made an old family recipe of my mom-in-law's for old fashioned lemon bars this past weekend that are so good and I will share recipe soon. Been looking at some different poke cake recipes (other than ones I've done before) so I can show my friend Alison at Life at Sylvan House blog what one is in the future as she wanted to know. So still stay tuned Alison! Lol


I think this is such a great tip - however I'm not very good at it! Lol When you have a set of sheets a great way of keeping a set together and organized is to take your folded fitted and top sheet and place them in the pillow case that goes with that set. Then basically you're just stacking nice filled pillow cases on your linen closet shelves and not all kinds of separate pieces. However I struggle with this as I'm the worst folder of sheets! Lol I hate that part of laundry. Maybe it doesn't help that we have a giant king bed which equals huge sheets and I'm short!!! 

Feels so good to be catching up!


I'm linking with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Scraptastic Saturday: Office Organization

Today I wanted to share how I recently better organized our family office space and it's also my personal crafting space.

When we first bought our house I was a little bit bummed that there wasn't really a designated office space. It only had 3 bedrooms (the master & one for each of my kiddos), and it had the downstairs bonus room - which we turned into a media room. But there was a little room that held the hot water heaters and the fuse box etc. As half of our house is old and the other half newer, this room was sort of created during some renovation before we bought the house. Well there was enough space to this room that we could make it our office space.  So we came up with some solutions to hide some of the other uses in the room.

The hot water tanks are in a sort of raised basin area so our solution to hide them was to put up a wall of curtains that would blend with the room, but hide the heaters and pipes we didn't want to have to see.

Another area we didn't like looking at was a long fuse box on the wall. I covered that up by putting up 2 burlap pinboards that together were big enough to hide that space. I used it to hang my calendar and fun photos of friends and family. We don't have a fridge that is magnetic so this was also a great spot to hang those photos I might have put there.

We definitely needed a designated desk space with a spot for the computer and printer, as my hubby often will work on things at home.

I've been slowly accumulating some fun baskets and containers to better organize office and craft supplies. Not only to make things easier to find, but it gives the area more character and charm. On the computer desk I have a basket to hold rubber bands, paper clips etc and it holds my fitibit stuff as I sync and charge it at the computer. I also love the little "garden bucket" that holds my address labels, thank you cards, memo pads etc. The flower on that bucket is magnetic so I can move it around. The mug that holds pens my son made for me long ago and says that I'm the "best mom ever" in case you wondering. Lol

I especially wanted a nice area to do my crafting and of course scrapbooking! This drafting table fit the bill and I use it often! My hubby helped me put up some nice shelves too...again for character and charm,  (& I just love my silly little knick knacks).

I have a big travel caddy with scrapbooking tools that I keep in the closet for when I take my things on a scrapbook retreat, but this little caddy is just right to fit on the drafting table with the necessity items.

This rustic looking set of drawers is perfect for my little brads and buttons and things.

This cloth box holds my glues and other materials like lace and felt.

And I have a few other baskets and boxes around the room to hold other items. The first basket photo holds some current little projects (like Annie's cookbook and pages in progress) and also my albums that keep my photos organized chronologically.  The middle photo shows a round box that holds my ribbons and some other boxes that hold loose photos, some scrapbook papers and sets and one box for die cuts and large stickers and pieces. The last basket photo shows the basket that holds all my card making supplies.

So hope this post maybe inspired you with some storage ideas and solutions too.  And in all honesty these photos were taken shortly after I organized and Spring cleaned everything. I took a photo of my scrapbook area just this AM and here's the truth of how it usually looks:

But truly, what good is a nice clean and organized craft space if you're not using it, right? 

I'm linking with Andrea for Scraptastic Saturday.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five on Friday: Hawaii

Happy Friday to All! Yay the weekend is here!!  And seeing that it's Friday I am linking with Amy at Love Made my Home for Five on Friday

For my 5 today I was inspired by my scrapbooks when I was working on them recently. I was looking through my travel album and browsing through some pages of when my hubby and I took a cruise in Hawaii. 

My son was 8 at the time and my daughter only 2&1/2, so it was our first big trip that we took with no kids (nice romantic getaway). My sis-in-law's family was doing a reunion on a cruise through Hawaii and my bro&sis-in-law asked if we wanted to come along and have a nice getaway. I know several of my SIL's immediate family pretty well and just love them so it was a very comfortable situation so we jumped at the chance!  My hubby has a great sense of humor and lives to joke and tease and he came up with the idea to do matching t-shirts and naming our trip. He & I also worked on funny names for everybody for the backs of their shirts (you can see us all in blue shirts above). So our trip was the Tiki Tour 2009. Some of the funny names we came up with for folks were: poi boy, pineapple princess, speedo inspector (for a single gal) Lol - and my hubby is a fair redhead & sunburns easy and made good fun of himself and he put 'mister blister' on the back of  his shirt. 

The cruise was a really nice way to do Hawaii as we were able to cover many islands in an efficient and easy way. This allowed us to have many different wonderful experiences and see a lot! And the cruise was so wonderfully organized at handling the activities we had signed up for at each island. So here's 5 great experiences we had in Hawaii:

When you're in Hawaii of course you want to do a luau! It's fun for the food (wonderful pig roast) and great entertainment. It's also a wonderful way to learn more about Hawaiian culture.

We did the Molokini snorkel excursion. I have had the fortune of snorkeling in Mexico too and it was one of the most fun and amazing things I'd ever done. My hubby didn't have a lot of snorkeling experience so I was so excited to share this with him. You can see in the photos on the right we had fun with an underwater camera, and in the top pic I even dove underwater and was showing my hubby the way! Lol If you look at what I wrote below the bottom pic on the right you can see I like to make fun of us too. 

In Kauai we did an ATV mud buggy tour. My hubby talked me into this one and I wasn't sure what I thought about it. It was truly one of the craziest things I've ever done! It was quite adventurous as we had to drive through dark caves and go through huge pond like puddles full of muddy water that would splash so big over us we coudn't see. As the passenger it was my job to keep cleaning my hubby's goggles (the driver) so he could see. We would go down large hills with hairpin turns - that's why we had to wear helmets as sometimes people flip over!! Quite adventurous for me and my hubby absolutely LOVED it and was so proud I was a good sport. This island is where they filmed movie Jurassic Park and you can see they like to give folks a funny experience and in bottom right pic the guy running the program took a photo of our ATV looking like a plastic dinosaur is chasing us. I had to wash my hair 3 times to get all the mud out by the way!!!

My hubby and I love golf and golfed on 3 different islands during the course of our trip. I put the photos from this one of us at the Kona country club course, as there were huge wild turkeys all over the course! And that was fitting to me as I birdied one hole! Which if you play golf you know is a good thing! Lol

And we couldn't go to Hawaii and not visit Pearl Harbor and visit the historical USS Arizona memorial. They ferried us over to the memorial and, out of respect, everyone walks around in complete silence as it's the grave site of so many men who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941 during a surprise Japanese attack. They have a large memorial wall with all the names of the men. If you look at the photos on the right you can see that there's still oil leaking out of the Arizona into the water after 70 years. They refer to it as "Arizona's Tears".  A truly moving experience and an important landmark to remember in our history.

We also did a really neat helicopter tour over a volcano, but I didn't include that in the 5 as my hubby got quite motion sick and didn't enjoy it as much as I did - poor guy. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!! xo  

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Raspberry Pie & Potato Bundles

I love this raspberry cream pie from the Pioneer Woman. I have made it several times and it's always a winner!  It's so yummy, yet refreshing for Spring and Summer as it's a freezer pie. It's got creamy and sweet, yet a little tart filling from the raspberries, and chocolate crunch from the crust. Just so good in every way!! 

If you click on the link above it will show the full recipe and how to make it. But I'll show you the basics:

First you get your oreo chocolate crust going. You can buy either already finely crushed crust already done. You can crush up oreos yourself in your food processor. Or you can go the rustic route like I did and just crush them up a bit with your rolling pin.

Then get your raspberries going by mashing them up with some sugar and letting them hang out.

Finish getting your crust ready by adding some melted butter and pushing it all down in your pie plate. Bake for a few minutes. I love that it looks like dirt from a garden. Lol

Then take some raspberry yogurt and vanilla pudding mix and mix it together in your mixer. Once blended add some heavy whipping cream and whip it together for several minutes.

Then fold in your berries gently.

Spread raspberry cream into your crust. Then put in freezer for about 10-15 minutes or so to get hard enough so you can then take it out and cover it without wrap sticking and put back in freezer for at least 30 minutes or until you're ready to serve it. If it's not a hot day you'll want to let it sit on counter and thaw a good 20-30 mins before serving. If it's a hot day and you serve outside it will start thawing much faster! I like to serve it like Ree shows it with some whipped topping, more crushed cookie crumbs and fresh raspberries over the top.

The other night I brought this dessert to my in-laws to go with dinner that I had made which included burgers off the grill and these potato bundles i did on the grill:

I love throwing these on the grill with whatever meat I'm serving because they're so versatile. One tip for any veggie bundle is to spray the aluminum foil with a little cooking spray first. Then add veggies of choice, a little olive oil or butter (or both) and seasonings of choice. In this case I had used thin sliced carrots and red potatoes also sliced thin. I also had sliced onion on top but added it last, as I almost forgot it, so didn't get photo with it on top.  A couple of pats of butter and some seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme and dried parsley (I didn't have fresh). But I love shaking it up and using other veggies: zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, squash - any vegetable you'd like to roast in the oven you can throw on the grill too. 

I usually use a double thickness of foil, pull the 2 big sides together and roll up together and then roll in the sides. Place on medium grill and put cover down and grill for 20 -30 minutes depending on thickness of veggies. So I made a bundle for each person. It's so nice because everyone can then have their own little bundle of veggie goodness. Yum!!

This was a lovely Spring meal but this the kind of food I LOVE for summer!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Paris - Ooh La La

I find it really sweet that my 8 year old daughter is in love with France. She keeps telling me she's going to go to school in Paris one day. Isn't it wonderful to be only 8 and already have grand plans for yourself? ((doing a motherly "all knowing" smile right now))  It'll be interesting to see where life really leads her (maybe Paris - who knows?) - as long as she's happy.

Well last year we kind of "upgraded" her bedroom furniture and look to a big girl room and she picked a Paris theme. Here are some photos that I took last year after it was complete:

As you can see those are Easter egg "clingys" in her window and look at that mound of snow in her garden! Again - last winter was trauma!! Lol You can also see the Paris print above her desk and she has some little eiffel tower doo dads on her desk too.

I didn't find a bedspread I was in love with - but this one fit her color scheme which she wanted pink, black & white. More Paris fun on her walls too.

She has some pretty soft colored stained glass lamps that were in her room when it was still a fairy garden theme, before the paris transformation. The other one is on a dresser not pictured.

And what Parisian room would be complete without a chandelier? 

Some other fun accents included these trunks I found (I think at Hobby Lobby).

Well she recently got a stain on her bedspread and it is time to change to something different, but I can't decide what to go with in here?

image from ebay

I love the idea of a black and white toile one (I love toile!!), but then I think it might be a bit too formal for the style of her room?

image: homeaccessoriesanddecor.com

Or maybe I should go with something more graphic? And maybe go just black and white this time with no pink?

Designer Paris Eiffel Tower Bedding Twin Queen King Duvet Cover Bed Set
image: kids room treasures

Or maybe I need to scream the theme "Paris" even more? Lol She'd actually probably like that but I think it'd be a bit much for me.

Limited Edition PARIS Bedding Collection - Bedspread Set, Sheet Set and Window Panels (FULL/QUEEN)
image: amazon

Maybe something more young girl "paris" wouldn't be as bad?  Or maybe I should try to find something similar to last time with floral in it and in her colors?  Anyway, throwing this all out there to see what you folks think about it. What do you think would look nice in there? Open to all other suggestions too! 

On a side note to Carrie from Anniehow blog I needed to share this photo with you:

Yep, woke up this AM to snow on my deck furniture! Lol Hope that helps you feel better. It wasn't inches, but we got some too. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Turn Back Time Tuesday

Well I thought today it would be fun to share some photos I was digging through and found from last summer. I just can't wait to show you my beautiful northwoods and bay in the summer. So let's turn back time to beautiful summer days of the past....so we know what we have to look forward to in the months ahead.

This is a planter that I plant some fun flowers in each summer by our front door (I had the pretty watering can on it the other day in those pics). Last summer I had a crawling kind of vine and some geraniums and impatiens in it.

This is on the back deck by the fire pit. We have lilies that surround the deck the whole way around it that are so pretty. I loved my "cathedral window" looking planter (you can see it in the background on a table) and I had "martha washington geraniums" in it.

 A nice shot of the bay & stairs going down to our dock from the deck.


A bunch of orange day lilies that run all down the sides of the bay side of our yard.

And finally I just wanted to share the reason I've been dreaming on Spring and Summer so much this year. This is especially for you out East folks. This Winter has been pretty mild for us, but last winter was a different story.  Last year we didn't even have Spring. We basically had snow and then all of a sudden it was summer. When I have complained about the trauma of last Winter and how horrible it was here are some photos as proof:

This is a side by side shot of my kitchen window from winter(I think it was February or March) a year ago (winter 2013-2014) and my window today.

Annie and Ruby enjoying the snow hills on our deck. We had a GREAT sledding hill for the kiddos that winter!!

Sending you lovely warm, flower-filled Spring & Summer thoughts. xo