Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ted Drews Frozen Custard

Not only did our family have a great time on our family reunion trip earlier this month, I'm now happy that I have lots of fresh and new photos to scrapbook.

One of my favorite photos was one of my niece with frozen custard dripping down her face. She is just so adorable. I wish she lived closer so I could see her more than once a year.

We made a stop while we were in St. Louis at Ted Drews Frozen Custard. They only have two locations and they are both in St. Louis, so if you are every traveling there, I'd recommend a stop. It was really delicious. Just in case you are wondering, I had the vanilla custard with hot fudge and bananas. :)

This page is making crave more frozen custard. At least we have Nielsen's Frozen Custard nearby.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cousin Photoshoot Outtakes

A couple of weeks ago when we were at our family reunion, we decided it would be fun to get a picture of all of the cousins together laying in a circle. One of the kids didn't want to be in the picture and all of the other kids complained about the bright sun. It was pretty funny.

Since I had a bunch of "bad" photos, I thought that it would be fun to group them together on a layout. The squinty eyes and half smiles make for some memorable photos!

For the layout supplies...I was lucky to get a few sample sheets of the new American Crafts Amy Tangerine line while I was at CHA a couple of weeks ago. Don't you just love that chevron patterned paper? I also used stuff from other AC lines plus and Elle's Studio tag and Glitz alpha.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Paper Bows Tutorial

Hello and happy Friday to you.

This week I created a card where I added a paper bow and thought it would be fun to share a tutorial on how to make paper bows. The bow I'm sharing today is very simple and could be layered with more bows to make it even more festive.

The great thing about a paper bow is that you really don't need to add much more to your card. It's a quick and easy way to make something a little more fancy.

The photos really tell the story, but here's a quick run down on the steps.

1. Cut a strip of paper 12" long and make it the desired thickness of your bow. My strip was 3/4" wide.

2. Cut a slit starting on the top of the paper about 3 inches from one end, but don't cut all the way through.

3. Cut a slit on the other end of the paper strip starting on the bottom of the paper about 3 inches from one end, but don't cut all the way through.

4. Make a loop and interlock the two slits.

5. Set on table with loop facing up.

6. Press the loop down in the center.

7. Use a small strip of paper (mine was 3/8" x 2") and glue around the bow.

8 & 9. Cut a "V" out of each end. Start by centering a cut a about 1/2" slit on the end. Then cut from the corner to the top of the 1/2" slit.

You can add buttons, stickers, felt, etc. to the top of the bow or use as it is.

Card supplies from American Crafts Confetti line

Hope you have fun making some paper bows. Let me know if you have any questions and if this tutorial was helpful!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fancy Pants Off to School Cards Paper

Today on the Fancy Pants blog, I got to share an idea for using this Fancy Pants Off to School Cards Paper.

I love using tags and journaling cards on my pages, so this was a fun project.

Here's a peek at what I created.

You can check out the Fancy Pants blog to see the ideas for using this card paper.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Chicago Bike Tour

Last week while I was in Chicago, I did a bike tour of the city with my husband, two sisters and brother. We were all busy snapping pictures as we rode around the city.

I printed off a few of my favorite bike tour photos and paired them with the You are My Sunshine August Scrapbook Circle kit for this page.

Bike tours are such a fun way to explore a city. We used Bobby's Bike Tours in Chicago and I highly recommend them because of the pace, information and sites we saw. Good times!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Did Summer Break Go?

It was back to school today for my kids. Where did the summer break go? We only get a seven week break, so time really flies by quickly.

The kids were all excited this morning and ran off to be with friends as soon as they arrived at school. I'm happy they were excited about going to school!

Did you know that you can use the elements from the Scrapbook Circle printables with your digital projects too? Here I used the pencils from this printable and loaded them into photoshop with my photos. I just cropped and pasted the pencils right onto the photos.

Also, have you seen the peek for the Scrapbook Circle August Kit?

Watch for the full reveal tomorrow!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Weekend in Chicago: Part Two

Yesterday I shared part one of our adventures in Chicago. I thought I'd share what we did while visiting the city in case you are planning a trip to Chicago anytime soon and you are looking for things to do.

Day 3

Breakfast at Yolk
This place was recommended to us by a local mom at a park on Saturday. It did not disappoint. I had a very delicious veggie scramble while my oldest ordered the Red Velvet Cake French Toast. Guess what? It was pretty sweet!

Here's one of my cute sisters with the French Toast Trio she ordered. Yes, we all like taking pictures of our food. Maybe it's weird, but I like it.

Snack from Garrett Popcorn
We got the 50/50 Chicago mix which is half caramel corn and half cheddar popcorn. It sounds strange, but it is really delicious. It was hot, fresh and gooey. You can customized your popcorn with nuts or chocolate too.

Next we walked to a nearby park and let the kids play. We found several open grassy areas downtown that were perfect for letting the kids have some freedom.

At this point in the trip we said goodbye to my sister, her husband and 5 kids as they left to drive home to North Carolina. We also sent off our three kids and my parents and they headed off to the airport to head to AZ.

We were now down to 5 adults for the rest of Sunday and Monday.

Dinner at Gino's East
We decided to try out another pizza place before leaving town. The crust here wasn't as good - it was a bit too dry. We all decided the pizza the first night was better.

The Train
The train system in Chicago is really easy to use and you can buy a 1-day or 3-day pass. You buy the passes at drug stores up on the street BEFORE going underground to catch a train.

We rode the train out of downtown to a bakery called Sweet Mandy B's.

The Outrageous Chocolate Cookie really lived up to it's name. I could go for one of those right now. My husband loved the banana pudding. The cupcakes were good too.

This was a really cute bakery with a few tables, huge variety of baked goods plus they had ice cream. I'd love to have a place like this near my house. That could be dangerous, so it's probably best that it's halfway across the country from me.

Visit Millennium Park
We walked around the park a bit and posed for pictures as the famous bean shaped metal sculpture.

There's a lot to do here with movies, concerts and more going on everyday.

Day 4

Bobby's Bike Tours
We love exploring new cities on bike tours, so we looked up Chicago Bike tours and found this one had good reviews on Yelp. (I love checking Yelp for restaurant and activities while I'm on vacation.)

The tour took three hours and we got to explore downtown, Lincoln Park Zoo, Old Town Historic District, North Avenue Beach, and the Lakefront. I highly recommend doing this tour if you have the time.

After the bike tour, we had lunch at Frontera Fresco which I mentioned with the other Rick Bayless restaurants yesterday.

The Art Institute of Chicago
We spent a couple of hours visiting the Art Institute of Chicago. They have a really fantastic collection of pieces for famous artists such as American Gothic and Sunday Afternoon Along the Seine.

Ghiradelli Chicago
What better way to end a trip to Chicago than with a decadent serving of ice cream?

My sister and I shared this masterpiece:

It is a bit expensive - I think our sundae was around $8. But it was so huge that the two of us could barely finish it, so I didn't feel like it was a rip off. Even if you aren't in the mood for ice cream, you can walk in a pick up a free sample of chocolate.

The End
We walked and ate our way through Chicago. It is such a fantastic city to explore. Have you been to Chicago? What are your favorite places to visit? I'd love to add your ideas to my list of things to do on my next visit!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Weekend in Chicago: Part One

Last weekend I was able to spend three days in Chicago before heading to the Craft and Hobby tradeshow outside of the city.

We had such a fantastic time, I thought it would be fun to share the things we did in Chicago in case you are planning a trip there sometime soon.

I'll break it up into two posts so that it doesn't get too long.

A few general tips
* Do not plan on having a car in Chicago. The parking is expensive (up to $55 per day) and it is very congested.
* Plan on using public transportation and doing a lot of walking.
* Wear comfortable shoes (I didn't one day and I was sorry!)
*Bring a phone or GPS for easy navigation around the city. We usually planned our next activity as we were finishing one up, so we needed instant access to directions.
* Book your hotel at a discount site like or We got a great 4 star hotel right on Michigan Ave. for a great price. We ended up at the Intercontinental Chicago. Check out the view from our room:

Day 1

We arrived late ar night just had time for dinner before going to bed.

Dinner at Lou Malnati's
Several locations in the downtown area. We did takeout and ate at the hotel. The wait at the restaurant was 2 hours. (We had a group of 16.) Amazing deep dish pizza. We had "The Lou" pizza and the Malnati Salad. Both were amazing.

Day 2

Cubs Game
If you are in Chicago while the Cubs are playing, I'd recommend going to Wrigley Field to watch a game. Even if you don't like baseball, it's a fun experience.

Visit the Zoo
Half of our group didn't want to go to the game and they decided to take a bus to Lincoln Park and visit the free zoo. They had a great time and said the zoo had a nice variety of animals.

Hancock Building
The Sears Tower (renamed the Willis Tower) is the tallest building in the city, but the Hancock building is the 2nd tallest and it's right on Michigan Avenue, so it's easier to visit.

You can visit the top of the building for a fee ($15 adults, $10 kids) where you have a headset that tells about the different buildings around the city. Since we had 16 people in our group, we decided we didn't want to pay that much for a view.

The other option is to go to the lounge level (almost at the top) for free. You can grab a table and order a drink or snack or just have a look around. Tip: There is a great view from the floor to ceiling windows in the woman's bathroom.

Visit the American Girl Store
It's right next to the Hancock building and what little (or big) girl wouldn't want to look around here?

Hannah brought her doll and used her allowance that she'd been saving up to get a new doll outfit.

Dinner at Rick Bayless' Restaurants
We LOVE Rick Bayless at our house. We have his cookbooks and eat at his restaurants whenever we get to go to Chicago. He specializes in Mexican food and it seems strange that someone from AZ would love Mexican food in Chicago, but it's true.

We ate at THREE of his restaurants last weekend. Heaven.

Topolobampo: This is a little more upscale and the flavors are fantastic. I had the mole chicken enchiladas with black beans. The mole sauce has chocolate in it, so what's not to love? Closed on Sunday and Monday. I highly recomend making reservations.

XOCO: We ate snacks from here while we waited for our table at Topolobapo. We had fresh made churros and chocolate and my sister had what she said was the best vanilla ice cream ever. Another sister had the most rich and decadent almond milk hot chocolate. Yes, I believe in dessert before dinner! Closed on Sunday and Monday.

Frontera Fresco: We ate lunch here on Monday. They are only open from 11 - 4 Monday - Saturday. Great prices (everything under $10) and just as good as the other restaurants. Everything was so fresh and cooked on a grill right in front of us while we waited in line. Perfect for families because it's in the food court of a Macy's despartment store.

Architecture Boat Tour
We took the night + fireworks tour that runs during select nights in the summer. We have also taken a daytime tour on a previous visit. Both tours were excellent.

You ride a boat on the Chicago River through the city where you have spectacular views and interesting narration from the guide.

Late Night Treats
In case you haven't noticed, we love to find new places to eat while on vacation. Someone had recommended the Grand Lux Cafe for late night dessert and as luck would have it, it was just a 5 minute walk from our hotel. We shared carrot cake and benigets. They were fine, but it was late and should have just skipped on the sugar. It was a fun late night place to hang out.

Tip: Share one dessert with several people. That way you will be ready to eat again when you come upon another fabulous looking treat!

More Chicago fun coming your way tomorrow...

Ready for Sketch Inspiration?

The month at Scrapbook Circle, our monthly challenge is to create a layout based on this fun sketch created by one of our design team members, Nicole Nowosad.

Isn't it a great sketch? I loved the simple design and it was so easy to work with. I already shared the layout I created with the sketch earlier this month, but here's another look at it.

We'd love to have you create something inspired by this sketch too. Here's how to play along:

1. Create a layout using the sketch above. We would love to see a Scrapbook Circle kit in action, but any materials will do.

2. Post your layout to your blog, a gallery, or our Facebook page. Come back to this post and leave a comment with the direct link to your posted page.

3. Deadline to enter is Wednesday, August 3rd, 9:00 pm PST.

You could win a $15.00 credit to Scrapbook Circle, so what are you waiting for? Happy scrapping!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CHA Summer 2011 Recap

Last night my husband and I returned from CHA in Chicago. We spent a fun three days exploring Chicago and then two days at the Craft and Hobby show.

The first day at the show is spent visiting many booths where the manufacturers have all of their new products on display. I thought I was taking a lot pictures at the booths, but when I uploaded them to the computer, there really weren't many. Guess I was too distracted by all of the new paper designs.

Here's a look at the entrance to the show just before it opened.

There were so many great booths and I didn't take pictures at many of them, but here are a few of my favorites.

The Amy Tangerine display at American Crafts. *LOVE* this new line!

Jillibean Soup had several new lines that I really liked with happy and bright color palettes.

The Fresh Goods line at the Pebbles booth had a few pieces that I really liked. There masking tape stickers were really cool.

Heidi Swapp had a booth up saying that something new is coming January 2012. She had a cool bubblegum dispenser that gave out buttons and a video playing talking about why she loves to scrapbook. I'm excited to see what Heidi will have to share at the next show.

Love the bright and happy colors of the new Sidewalks line from October Afternoon.

Of course, Crate Paper had lots of things I loved.

Cute Christmas display at the Jenni Bowlin booth.

Also loved things at Lily Bee, Authentique, Maya Road, Glitz, Fancy Pants, Pink Paislee and more!

The great thing about creating kits is getting to choose favorites from each line and put them all together in one place.

Ward took this panoramic picture of my on Tuesday night when I was going through all of the catalogs and putting kits together.

So grateful to have such a wonderful opportunity! Can't wait to start sharing peeks of the new kits!

Saint Nick with Fancy Pants

Nothing like Christmas in July! It was fun to create with the new Fancy Pants Saint Nick line a couple of weeks ago.

I created a couple of layouts with this new line. The first layout is a collage of a few of my favorite photos crom Christmas last year.

The embellishment cards and design embellishments are printed on kraft colored paper. I love the vintage look of the kraft paper.

As soon as I saw the Naughty and Nice paper I knew that it would be perfect for a page with photos of my kids and Santa.

The new filter embellishments have patterns printed on them and I used one of each of the designs on this layout.

You can check out more Saint Nick creations on the Fancy Pants blog. Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Off to School with Fancy Pants

The new Off to School line from Fancy Pants has such a great color palette and cool mix of designs.

So far, I've created two layouts with this line. The first is a more traditional back to school page with first day of school photos from the start of last school year. I can't believe a week from today will be the first day of school for my kids, so it's almost time to take more first day of school photos.

The second layout with the Off to School line is a page about how my oldest is growing up. Time is flying by and I want to be sure and capture my kids at all different stages of life.

More ideas with this line were posted on the Fancy Pants blog today.

That's all for today! Hope you had a great weekend.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Family Reunion

This past week has been filled with great time spent with all of my siblings, parents and nieces and nephews. Most of my family lives in the west with the exception of one sister and her husband and five kids who live in North Carolina.

We decided to meet up this past week for a family reunion started in St. Louis, MO and then continued in Nauvoo, IL and finished up in Chicago.

We've had a fantastic week together full of good time and great memories.

I've been busy taking lot of pictures on our main camera, but here are a few photos from my phone.

My parents flew home with our three kids today and my sister and family left to head home. It was so great to have everyone together!

Ward and I are staying in Chicago a few more days so that we can go to CHA, the big scrapbooking trade show. Can't wait to see all of the new products in person and place orders for Scrapbook Circle.

Hope you've had a great weekend!


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