Monday, August 31, 2009

Creative Escape 2009

I spent an amazing weekend with my great friend, Crystal, at Creative Escape this last weekend.
This was the first time I had been away to some sort of creative/scrapbook event. The event was held about 15 minutes from my house at Wild Horse Pass. It was a beautiful conference center/hotel.

Our first day we meet all of the teachers and got to look at some of their work. Itk. was fun to see thing that I have seen on blogs and in magazines in person. Lots of ideas are brewing after seeing their amazing work.

I've met Heidi Swapp a few times and it was fun to chat with her for a while.
This was my first time to meet Tim Holtz. His class was definitely one of my favorites.
Tim Holtz class project in progress.Debbie Schuh's class was so well paced and orgainized.Heidi Swapp's class project.We had a delicious breakfast buffet, sack lunch and sit down dinner both Friday and Saturday. Friday night Heidi gave a great presentation on the risks of NOT scrapbooking. She talked about how we just cannot remember all of the special moments in our lives and without recording those moments, they are lost.
Satuday night we had a very exciting auction where these 2 lamps went for a combined amount of around $37,000.00. It was very exciting to watch and all of the money went to the leukemia and lymphoma society. Melanie Wellman was the keynote speaker and gave an emotional and entertaining talk about making a difference to others and remembering that our stories are still being written.We even got to enjoy having our dessert first as part of our Saturday night celebration.

I'm very grateful for the opportunity to attend this amazing event. Thanks to my sweet husband and great friends for helping with the kids and making it possible for me to go.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Teacher Card + Creative Escape

I have been having such a great time using up the last bits of my SC August kit.

Since this paper has such a great school them, I thought I would do a little planning ahead and work on a card to use for one of my kid's teachers later this year.

*Photo are out for publication*

I decided to decorate an envelope with the leftover card scraps. The ledger paper on the envelope will be a perfect place for writing who the card is to.

I'm so excited >>> today I'm going to Creative Escape. I've NEVER been to any type of scrapbook/creative getaway and I'm sure this is going to be great. One bonus is that the event is being held about 10 minutes from my house, so I don't have to travel. My fantastic friend Crystal is joining me and I can't wait to make great memories with her while being around creative people for three days!

Thanks to my amazing husband and great friends who are helping with the kids while I'm at CE!

Can't wait to share my Creative Escape creations with you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Favorite Banana Bread

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that all three of my kids love it, my husband loves it and I love it too! What better way to use up those unripe bananas on your counter than making some homemade banana bread for your family or friends?The Recipe:

2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 - 4 very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I usually double this recipe and it makes about 6 mini loaves. Perfect amount for keeping a couple, giving a couple to friends and freezing a couple for later.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 9X5X3 loaf pan.

Combine try ingredients. Then mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined.

Pour batter into loaf pans and bake for about 55 minutes.

If you use mini loaf pans, the cooking time will be less. Watch the bread and remove when it's golden brown.


Recipe from adapted from Cooks Illustrated Magazine.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School

Our kids went back to school about a month ago and I just had a chance to do layouts celebrating the first day of school.We always do photos before leaving for school on the first day. I like to get a close up shot so that we can preserve what the child really looks like when starting that grade and another photo including the backpack and first day of school outfit. I think the backpack and clothes are a great piece of history.

Layout supplies are from the Scrapbook Circle August Kit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Costa Rica

My husband and I were lucky enough to go with some great friends to Costa Rica earlier this year.

I put together a travel journal with photos while on our trip. Still need to finish up a few details on that and then I'll share it.

I've been able to put together a few layouts on the trip. Scrapbook Circle kits usually give me plenty to keep busy, but when I saw the Scarlet Lime May kit, I knew I *needed* it for my Costa Rica photos. I loved that the kit was full of custom paper only found in the kit. Got to love that.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sideways Journaling

Seems like I usually journal horizontally, but I thought I'd mix things up a bit on this layout.I think the journaling creates an interesting design element when it is written in an unexpected way. Give sideways journaling a try on one of your layouts, I'm sure you will like the results!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Using a "Poor" Photo on a Layout

We visited Mesa Verde National Park this summer and I wanted to include this photo on a layout about our time spent there.The problem with the photo was that I didn't like all of the distracting feet in the background.

My solution was to cut the photo into vertical strips and the hide the feet under the patterned paper on the layout. I also trimmed the strips to make them more uniform.Problem solved!

Everything on this layout is from the October Afternoon Road Trip line, except for the brown scalloped cardstock from Bazzill.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


My cycling teacher shared a great quote this morning that I've heard before, but think it's worth repeating, "Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have." Love that quote.

Also wanted to share a happy photo of my sweet daughter.Make it a great day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Just made these today:
I've made (and eaten) countless chocolate chip cookies in my lifetime, but it wasn't until I received the May/June 09 issue of Cooks Illustrated that I found the perfect chocolate chip cookies recipe.

One of the secrets of this recipe is that the butter is browned before adding it to the batter. This gives the cookies such a deep, rich flavor.

I've tweaked the recipe a bit and here is my version.

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
13 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

The directions are a bit more involved than a traditional chocolate chip cookies recipe, but I promise that the extra time will be worth the effort.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Melt 10 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Continue stirring butter until it is completely melted, turns slightly brown and has a delicious browned butter smell. Add melted butter to remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to the butter and stir until combined. Add eggs and mix for about 30 seconds. Allow the batter to sit for 3 minutes and then mix for another 30 seconds. Repeat this stir/rest method 3 times.

4. Add flour and baking soda until just combined. Don't overmix. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. Make dough into golf ball sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. 12 cookies per sheet. Makes about 20 cookies per batch. Bake 10 minutes or until they just start to turn slightly golden. You don't want to overcook, so be sure to watch them and pull them out before they get too brown. Allow cookies to rest on baking pan for a couple of minutes after pulling them from the oven and then move them to a cooling rack.
(The dough is divine, so be sure to give some a try!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Goodbye Kindergarten

As soon as a saw the Cosmo Cricket Boyfriend line I knew that I had to use it on a school page. Here I did a "Goodbye Kindergarten" page.My favorite part of the LO is the journaling my son did. It's going to be so fun to look at it in the future and see how his handwriting changes.

Get your kids involved in some of the journaling on some of your layouts. They love to see their work on the LO and it makes a great family keepsake.

Everything is from the Scrapbook Circle August kit except for the Jenni Bowlin cream letter stickers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have a thing for journaling stickers. I just can't seem to get enough of them! The October Afternoon labels from the August kit have been a favorite item on make scrapbook desk.

One this layout, I wanted to use the label stickers for my journaling, but I only had smaller stickers left. I decided to layer a bunch of the labels to create a bigger journaling space.I love how the layering created an original jouraling shape and space.

Paper: Scarlet Lime
Flower Sticker: Pebbles Inc.
Label Stickers: October Afternoon

Monday, August 10, 2009

Loving Circles

One thing that I like to do with my layouts is repeat an element throughout the page. Sometimes it's a color, other times a shape.On this layout I repeated circles. I just love the flow circle give to a page. I like to use the element in different ways. Here the circles were used for a background paper, a place to put the date, a "fun times" label and a place for a little journaling.

Most of this was put together with the Scrapbook Circle August kit. All of the other items are from the October Afternoon Road Trip line.


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