Thursday, July 29, 2010

Week #3 of Camp Paradise!

Wow, can you believe we are already in week 3 of Camp Paradise! I sure hope you are enjoying the challenges and games and chit chat on the message board!

My challenge this week is all about Wildlife. I want you to create a layout using photos of somebody gone wild! It can be your kids jumping around, your dog running like crazy, your husband wearing a silly hat...whatever you can think of. The wilder...the better!!

Here is my layout. We had friends over on Memorial Day this year and all the kids had great fun jumping off our garden wall as I tried to capture all the fun and goofiness!

I used the Play Date collection of paper from Jenni Bowlin. I also used some butterflies and bingo cards from Jenni Bowlin. This was my first time really using her products and I loved them!

That pleated ribbon is by Pink Paislee. So fun to twist it into a flower and add some other embellies to create a fun detail! I also just love love these Jenni Bowlin butterflies. I accented them with some others that I punched with my Martha Stewart punch.

Are you having fun at Camp? Are you getting lots of projects and layouts completed?? There is still time to join us at camp, hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Any cookie with chocolate in the title TWICE is a keeper in my book!! These cookies looked pretty unassuming and timid sitting on my plate...

...but they were amazing. Especially right from the oven. Crispy on the outside and warm and soft and gooey from the chocolate chips on the inside. My kids and I couldn't stop eating them. And when I told them ...just ONE more...and they caught me with another cookie in my hand, I had some explaining to do!

I used THIS recipe on the My Kitchen Cafe food blog. If you haven't checked out this blog yet, you are in for a treat. She has some amazing recipes. Her cookies called for M&M's, but we only had chocolate chips. They would look so cute studded with different M&M colors. I could see altering this recipe in many different fun ways. Maybe adding chopped up peanut butter cups??? Ummm...YUM????!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 26, 2010

More handmade flowers

Happy Monday everyone! Today it's all about making your own flowers. I've been seeing so many handmade flowers all over blog land lately and it's really fun to try them out. This is a flower I saw on Juliana Michaels blog a while ago and they struck me as pretty easy. And unique. So I tried it!

All materials are from the Crazy Daisy July kit. Americana colors aren't just for 4th of July layouts!

You can find Juliana's tutorial HERE. It involves lots of scalloped circles and folding and layering. Actually, it's very straightforward. You can see my card was also inspired by a design of one of her cards.

Have you been inspired by any scrappy blogs lately? Seen any flower tutorials you want to try? Give it a whirl, you'll be glad you did. Thanks for stopping by everyone!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Yes, the world's greatest food combination is back...peanut butter and chocolate. This time it was easier and faster than ever to get a delicious little bite sized treat with these great flavors. Well, it's not easier than going to Target and picking up a bag of Reese's, but it's close.

These are called Peanut Butter Pretzel truffles and are delicious. I found the very easy recipe HERE. It's basically peanut butter and pretzels, mixed together. You chop up those pretzels really good before mixing. Put the mixture into the freezer until firm. Roll into balls, dip in chocolate and TRY to wait until the chocolate hardens before popping one of these beauties into your mouth.

I loved these, so super easy to put together. You don't even have to turn on the oven. And in this heat, who wants to turn on the oven? Not me!!

Sigh...I wish I had one right now!!! Hope you are all having a sweet Saturday...thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week #2 of Camp Paradise

Hi Campers!! It's the start of Week #2 and we have a whole set of NEW challenges for you all! And it's not too late to start camp, come on by the Croppin' Paradise message board to check out all the challenges this week.

This week my challenge is all about Cabin Life. At camp, it's all about learning to live together and getting along in your cabin. My challenge this week is a color challenge...all these colors get along and play together nicely!

And here is my layout. I focused on the reds and greens and blues and the My Family line by Fancy Pants was perfect for this!

I used some Pink Paislee pleated ribbon (from the 365 degrees collection) and accented it with pearls.

And...of course...a banner!!!!!!!

My son (and daughter) were both so cute at my sister's going away party. She was about 4 months pregnant and they both sat down and 'read' to their new little cousins (she had twin girls!). I'm glad I captured this, such a fun memory!!

So...come on by and check out camp! I hope to see you there!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Handmade flower tutorial

Happy Monday everyone! I saw this cool tutorial on the Jillibean Soup blog for making handmade flowers. I decided to do my own tutorial and share it over at Camp Paradise today. It was very easy to make and adds a fun handmade touch to a card or layout. Ready????? All the paper is from the Fancy Pants line My Family.

1. Punch out 2 scalloped circles of different sizes. You could also use your cricut or die cutting machine (if you have one).

2. Cut between the scallops about 1 inch into the circle. Do this for each circle punched.

3. Using a pencil, roll the petals under to create a 3-D look. I also inked the edges with white ink.

4. Layer the two flowers using pop dots or foam tape. Cut a smaller circle to add to the middle of the flower.

5. Add it to a project!!

You can add whatever you want to the center, buttons, another small flower, bling, the possibilities are endless. This is a great way to stretch your patterned paper, make your own embellies, and maybe even use up some scraps. Thanks to Juliana Michaels, from the Jillibean Soup DT, who first posted this tutorial. I love these flowers and I will be making more!!

Hope you are staying cool this Monday. The weather was a bit nicer today, but still feels like summer out there! Thanks for stopping by, friends...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baseball Summer

Oh my goodness, it's HOT!!!!!!!!!! I think summer has finally arrived. It's been over 100 degrees all week. We are going to need popsicles, sprinklers, and ice cream immediately over here. Going to do alot of trying to stay cool today. I was contemplating doing some baking, but I don't know if I want to even turn on the oven. Even if the end result would be double chocolate fudge brownies, the heat may outweigh my sweet tooth. I know, I don't believe it either.

So...while we try to stay cool, i'll share this layout I did using the July Crazy Daisy kit. I've been saving this photo since last summer...waiting for the perfect paper...and I think I found it in this kit! This is my husband and son and friends at a Dodger game last summer. And not just any Dodger game, they had tickets RIGHT behind home plate, about 4 rows up. Pretty much the best seats ever. It was all you could eat cracker jacks, popcorn, water, and sodas. Waiters came around with icy cold towels for your neck (because it was crazy hot) and to take your order for other food. All the kids got to meet the players as they were leaving the clubhouse after the game. It was pretty amazing.

I needed something to compliment that beautiful Dodger blue color and I think the colors in this kit were perfect. Such a great memory for my hubbie and son associated with this photo!

Hope you are all staying cool this weekend...thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camp Paradise has begun!

Happy Thursday everyone! Today is the first day of Camp Paradise over at Croppin' Paradise. A whole bunch of new challenges are posted today for week 1 of camp. Come on over and see what is going on and play to earn some badges and great prizes.

My first challenge is a Campfire Challenge. You know that everything tastes better over an open flame. And one of our favorite meals is Campfire Potatoes. For this challenge you are going to make your own version of Campfire Potatoes using this recipe:

-use cardstock for your layout base
-use at least 3 different embellishments, one MUST be bling!
-include 2 handmade flowers on the layout

Here is my example:

I used the Garden Variety papers from Cosmo Cricket (which are ON SALE right now!!). I handmade 2 lollipop flowers, added buttons, twine, and stick pins.

And of course...a banner!

I love this photo, it's of all my siblings and my mom. It isn't often that we are all together. I love it so much, this is the 2nd time i've scrapped it!

So come on over to the Croppin' Paradise message board and join in on all the camping fun!! Thanks for stopping by today...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Andes Mint Brownies

One of the things I love most about my bunco group (other than the great girls and laughs and escape from the real world 1 night a month) is I have an excuse to bake. Because I love to bake, but don't love to eat it ALL and then lament the fact my pants don't fit anymore. And I like to share. I learned that in preschool. SO when a girlfriend in my bunco group mentioned she loved andes mints, it was almost fate when I ran across this blog post, andes mint brownies. I knew I had to make them for bunco!

I love chocolate and mint, so it wasn't that much of a stretch to try this recipe. And these were delicious. See the little andes mint chunks?

The only thing I might do differently next time is add more andes mints! The recipe was for a frosting-less brownie, but they looked a bit plain to me. So I whipped up this chocolate frosting (from my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook):

6 oz unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
1 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream

-Bring milk/cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add chocolate pieces. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes. Scrape into a food processor or blender and add:

1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tsp peppermint extract (to taste)

Process until smooth. Let it cool a bit to desired spreading consistency. Slap the whole shebang on the brownies! I put them in the fridge before cutting into bars. This frosting seriously rocked and added another layer of minty goodness to the brownies.

Such a good recipe, this is definitely a keeper!! Do you have a favorite brownie recipe? Because i'm always up for trying a new one. Please share if you do...hope you are having a good week so far. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back to work Monday

Monday...Monday...why do you have to be here soooo soon??? LOL! I had all last week off work and now i'm back. To work. I had boot camp this morning before work so hopefully I won't fall into a big heap tonight and fall asleep at the dinner table. I really am itching to scrap, hopefully I will fit some of that in this week. I had fun before my vacation playing with the July Crazy Daisy kit. Lots of beautiful patriotic colors that work perfectly for summer photos as well. Here is one of my fav photos of my son and his friend at the beach last summer.

I love the dark red against the ocean blue in the background. After I put this all together, I thought it was rather plain...but didn't know what else to add?? So I left it like it is. I cut out these little triangles and stars from the patterned paper to make a cute little banner. You didn't think I'd forgotten about banners, did you???

And here's one more using the July kit. We went to Disneyland and California Adventure last year for my daughter's birthday and I took these random shots of the midway at CA. I love the big ferris wheel and all the lights and colors of the midway.

The kit includes a fun rub-on sheet from Glitz designs and that's where the numbers came from. It also has a big rub-on sheet from Pink Paislee and that was fun to use too! Rub-ons stump me sometimes, so I was happy to find a way to incorporate them into my layout.

I hope you're having a wonderful Monday!! Thanks for stopping by...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Anatomy of a Camping Trip

These are some things you might consider for a successful camping trip...

Lots of good beer...

A friendly bocce ball game...

A few geocaching excursions...

Bike rides...

Graham crackers for when the natives get restless...

A personal tour of lifeguard tower #2...

Jackets for when the temperature at the beach is COLD...

Buckets for successful sandcastle construction...

A zoom lens to capture these beautiful dewey spider webs in the rain...

A spur of the moment trip to Neptune's Net for fried shrimp...

Finding a woolly bear caterpillar and building a house for it...

Despite the rain and cold weather, we had a great time. Thanks for making it this far in this photo heavy post!! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, thanks for stopping by!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back from camping

Happy Friday everyone! We got back from camping yesterday and it's been a whirlwind of laundry and cleaning up. We camped at the beach for four days and it was absolutely freezing. It rained for 2 days and was cold and freezing and rainy. The weather couldn't have been worse! LOL!! We all wore the same one sweatshirt all week, because I did not pack very well for cold weather. But we still managed to have a good time, did quite a bit of bike riding and hiking and geocaching. Not alot of boogie boarding and tidepooling as we had hoped, but we still had a good time. The California coast has its seasons mixed up right now for sure!!

While I get busy editing photos so I can share some with you, I'm going to share this great cupcake recipe. Margarita cupcakes with tequila lime frosting. I made these for my bunco group as i've been dying to try out this recipe.

I found it on the foodie blog Annie's Eats, which has yet to give me a bad recipe to try. I've loved everything from her site so far!

The only thing I changed was I made my regular vanilla buttercream frosting instead of the frosting she had listed. I have yet to make meringue frosting and just didn't have time to try it out. I added 4 tbsp tequila to the frosting because I really wanted to taste it. I also added lime juice and topped them with some fresh lime zest.

These were delicious. The frosting was perfect, just the right tequila punch. The cupcake was my hubbie's favorite part, it was so limey and margarita-ish. Very good. My only one small complaint is by the 2nd day, the cupcake part was getting a bit dry. I'm not sure anybody noticed, but if I had waited one more day to serve them...people would have noticed. So eat those cupcakes pronto! Ha ha!!

I hope you are having a good week, yeah for Friday!! I hope to be back soon with some camping photos and some other projects i've been working on. Thanks for stopping by!