Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday's Lunch

Here's what's in the Lunch Box today:

Clockwise from the top: Flower Garden (Tomato, Egg, Carrot, Cucumber, Cheese and Hot Dog all cut into flower shapes); Tofu with Soy Sauce; Crackers; Grapes & Kiwi.

I knew I had some Oilcloth buried away in the fabric closet somewhere. I think I got it when my daughter was a baby with the intention to make a splatter mat (Little K is now 8 - don't think she needs a spatter mat anymore). So I went digging. The fabric I remembered was pink with strawberries. I thought it would be perfect to make an easy clean bag to carry the Laptop Lunch Box.

This is all I could find...

I don't think Red and Blue is going to match the Pink Lunchbox very well...there has to be more somewhere...keep digging...I distinctly remember pink strawberries...

Ahhh - success. Not only did I find the Pink Strawberry Oilcloth - but a coordinating green gingham too. Won't they look adorable made into a Lunchbox Tote?

What do you think the chances are that I'll get that tote made anytime soon?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday's Lunch

Day 3 and I'm still at it.

Clockwise from the top: Cheddar Rice Cakes with Sun dried Tomato Cream Cheese; Swiss Cheese Rolls; Raspberries; Golden & Yogurt Covered Raisins; Mr. Piggy made from Smoked Turkey & Swiss Cheese on a bed of bread and butter (with a little cinnamon)

How long does it take to create a new habit...30 days?

The Smell of Fresh Brewed Coffee

I love the smell of Fresh Brewed Coffee. Especially if I'm still in bed when the aroma finds it's way to me. That means my sweetie of a husband has let me sleep in. I'm almost embarrassed to say, I get that privilege nearly every weekend.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CPS 113

I wanted to make a card for this weeks CPS Sketch Challenge. But right now I’m stuck at home without a car (mine’s in the shop for maintenance). I figured I had to be able to live up to the challenge using what I have in my stash and scraps…so that’s what I did.

I used CPS sketch #113 as well as “Days to Remember Card” in the new Paper Crafts Magazine for inspiration. They used a circular rubber stamp that caught my eye. I created a similar version using Word Art and Auto Shapes to build my Sweet 16 Sentiment.

Solid Black and Pink Cardstock are from Bazzill.
Black / White Patterned Paper and White Embossed Ivy unknown (from my scrap stack)
Ribbon is Offray Dippy Dots in Black and Pink
Black Crystal flower center from Zva Creative
Pink Candy Dots from Pebbles Inc.
2” Circle Punch from Marvy Uchida
Large Scallop Circle Punch from Marvy Uchida
Small Scallop Die Cut from Quick Kutz Revolution
Small Pink flower punch EK Success
“Happy Birthday” font is CK Anecdote
“Sweet 16” font is CK Curly Cursive

Finished Size: 6 ¾” X 5 ¼”

I don’t know that this is an original design (as I had a lot of inspiration), but it certainly is an original interpretation.

Anybody turning 16 - Again?

Random Crafting

I signed up for a Craft Swap that Khris is coordinating at Sew Prim Khris. I’m very excited to get to know another craft blogger, and hopefully get a swap package in the mail in the future. My swap friend is supposed to check out my Blog so she can get an idea of my style (ha ha) and what sorts of crafts I like.

It was brought to my attention recently that my Blog doesn’t actually have many crafts on it - OOPS…apparently I’ve been too busy Blogging instead of actually Crafting (I call it research for inspiration).

To remedy the situation, here are a few random crafts that I have done somewhat recently. Sorry to my facebook friends for the redundancy of things previously posted on fb…and for the “out of season” crafts shown. I tried just to pick some things that show my current interests. Here we go…

Click on Images for a closer view.

I'll try and post some sewing projects later (mostly twirl skirts) - if I can get my daughter to model them for me.

Tuesdays Lunch

I'm happy to say all the pieces of my daughters Laptop Lunch Box made it home from school yesterday safe and sound.

We're doing 2 and packing is still fun.

Clockwise from the top: Vanilla Yogurt with Strawberries (frozen in sauce to help keep it cold); Pistachio Crisps; Pockey (by the napkin); Brown Rice California Roll; Cucumber and Carrot slices with flower centers; Eggie Girl (hard boiled egg with B & B pickle slices for hair)

I found this cold pack at Safeway yesterday. It can be cut to nearly any size needed. It's thin and flexible. I plan on making a lunch bag to fit the Laptop Lunch Box (OK, stop laughing...I'll get around to it eventually). When I do, I'll cut the cold pack down to size to fit in a pocket in the lunch least that's the plan!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday's Lunch

We're off to a good start. Monday's Laptop Lunch is packed and on it's way to school. Here is what we're serving up today.

Clockwise from the top: Babybel Round of Cheese; Clementine Sections; Cherry Tomatoes; Smoked Turkey cut into Butterfly Shapes (decorated with Chives and Nori sitting on a bed of shredded lettuce); Almonds with Dried fruits and M n M's; Edamame with Soy Sauce

I hope my daughter likes it - and I hope she remembers to bring all the containers back home again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Me...Going Green?

I'm not the first name that comes to mind when you think of Living Green, but when I saw these Laptop Lunchboxes on Amber's site Berlin's Whimsy, I was hooked. I admit, it was probably the "cute" factor that drew me in. Those happy little food faces staring up at me....they were calling...."make me"! (Go check out Lunch Ideas on her site - you'll understand what I mean).

I'm all about making food pretty. I do it in my everyday regular life. I serve dinners on fancy platters. I add herb and flower garnishes to our plates. I adorn the top of salads with a hint of what's inside. So why shouldn't my daughter have a lunch that is pretty too?

The truth is, because I seldom (if ever) get around to actually packing her lunch. It's easier to have her buy school lunch. She's not a picky eater, and she can always find something on the salad bar if she doesn't like the hot lunch selection. Just because she doesn't complain, she doesn't get the benefit of my best efforts, and that's just not fair!

So I did it. I ordered the pink Lunchbox from Laptop Lunches along with a few extra containers. They arrived a few days ago. When I saw the box sitting at my front door I was positively giddy (OK, maybe I need more excitement in my life). I also ordered some Bento accessories on e-bay, but those will take a bit longer to get here.

I can hardly wait to get started. I'm sure the task of being new and creative on a regular basis will get overwhelming, but for now, the excitement of making fun food creations for Monday's lunch is all I'm thinking about. School is almost over, so this is probably a good time to start. We'll see how long I can actually keep it up.

Here I go. I'm committing publicly - to packing my daughters lunch for (at least) the next week (baby steps). I know she will appreciate the effort, and if she gets better nutrition, and we reduce waste just a bit, then I'm happy to at least be making a step in the right direction.

I'll post more later, after I actually have some cute food packed in the Lunchbox. Right now I have to get to the store.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quick Card

My husband called today to see if we had any Sympathy Cards. Apparently he's on to me...and knows that I have a "stash" of almost everything. However, Sympathy cards is not one of them. I did offer to make a card for him, (I know the recipient would appreciate the gesture behind a hand made card).

I don't know what I was thinking. I guess the groceries on the kitchen counter didn't really need putting away. The bed can always wait until tomorrow to be made, and I'm always looking for an excuse not to do laundry.

Here's the card.

It's nothing spectacular, but that's what I'm so happy about. I was able to put it together in just a few minutes and didn't feel the need to keep embellishing, or adding to it, or trying to make it different. That's saying a lot for me - because I never know when to stop.

It's a simple design that I find myself going back to time and time again. I have one of those boxes of patterned note cards and envelopes from Michaels. I think they sell for around $10 (and I of course used a 40% off coupon). Some time ago, I took the box to the scrapbook store and picked out solids and ribbons to match the various colors in the cards. I keep everything that matches these cards in one place so it was a snap to put together.

I used a corner round punch on the bottom corners. The brown circle is a 2" punch and the inside circle is 1 3/4" that I ran through my printer with the "sympathy" sentiment before punching. The ribbon is just stapled on to the layered circles. It took only a few minutes.

Sometimes Less really is More.

These are a few other cards (I made some time ago) from the same box.

They are intended for my girlfriends who flew in for a Book Club Weekend last year (girlfriends = more embellishment). Since I have them out - maybe I should write my notes and finally send them off to their intended recipients?

Now - back to the Laundry.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Today may not have been the best day to make baked potatoes for dinner, considering it's 100 degrees outside, but I found this recipe and wanted to try it. I added a Spring Mix Salad with Shrimp and Avocado to make it more summer appropriate. It all tasted great, the house just got a little hot in the process.

I realize now the potato doesn't show up that well on the yellow here are the rest on a serving platter.


4 Medium Baking Potatoes
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
6 oz. Can of Lump Crab meat, drained
Dried Onion Flakes, Salt & Pepper to taste

Scrub potatoes and rub skins with oil. Wrap in aluminum foil and Bake at 400 for 1-1 1/2 hours until done. Allow potatoes to cool to the touch. Cut in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the pulp, leaving the shell intact. Mash together potato, cheese, butter, and spices. Add cream, a little at a time, and continue mashing until desired consistency is achieved. Fold in crab meat trying not to break apart the lumps completely. Spoon potato mixture into reserved shells. Bake at 475 for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Thoughts

Years ago my husband and I started writing down things that made us happy. Some were specific memories of special events in our lives, or places we visited, but often they were just things. If I was having a bad day it would help ease my mind by thinking about something else...something that made me happy.

Now it's a family journal, and my daughter not only enjoys making her own entries, but hearing the stories behind the older entries her Dad and I have made.

So this is my visual log of "Happy Thoughts".

Butterflies that choose to visit our yard.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jelly Roll Giveaway

This Blogging stuff is pretty cool. Who knew there were so many people giving away such great things? And all you have to do is visit their site and post a comment.

I realize there is a very good chance that I won't get chosen for any of the giveaways I've commented on...but my odds are better than winning the lottery, and I still play that from time to time - so why not.

Here is a great Giveaway from Diary of a Quilter. This adorable Jelly Roll of "Wonderland" fabrics (as in Alice in Wonderland) from Moda could be yours. But hurry - deadline is 4/22.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Petal Power

Look at this cute bag. At Book Club last month one of my friends showed up sporting an adorable, multi colored bag that we all fell in love with. She got hers at Sam Moon in Texas. She’s a flight attendant, but alas…popping down to Texas to buy one was not an option for us. We checked on line at the Sam Moon website, but this particular style was no where to be found, although they did have some other, very adorable, reasonably priced things that I’m still trying to convince myself I don’t need to buy.

Imagine my surprise. I got a call from my friend April this week (another Book Club Babe who had admired the purse)…she was at Fashion Bug…and they had the exact same Petal Purse. The only choice now was what color to purchase. Green, Metallic, Yellow?

I chose the Turquoise (oh, and the Brushed Metallic also).

Now we just have to be sure that April and I don’t go out on the town together wearing the same handbag. Thanks April for snagging them for me!

Friday, April 17, 2009

In The Garden Today

I woke up this morning to the sound of the furnace running. It was 49 degrees outside. Now, I realize that's nothing new to many of you, but in this part of Arizona, we have usually had several days of 100 degrees temps by now. So for us, it was chilly.

For some reason the cooler weather made me appreciate all the things growing in the garden. I know that soon enough, our weather will be hot and scorching again, and the plants need to get a good start now, during this cooler weather, to be strong enough to withstand the summer heat.

I planted some new rose bushes last year. I tried to find places in the yard that received dappled sunlight throughout the day to offer some protection from the heat. I think they are pretty happy. There are several other varieties that have not yet bloomed this spring. I'm thrilled to see these ones doing so well

This is the first bud on this rose bush. I can't wait to see in in full bloom - hopefully soon.

This little Herb Garden is just outside my kitchen door. It's perfect for snipping fresh herbs when I'm cooking. Several of the plants (Rosemary, Mint and Sage) were put in last year and wintered over beautifully. I cut the Mint and Sage back completely about 2 months ago, and this is all fresh new growth. The entire planter box is no more than 5' X 3', but it puts out a ton of growth. I'm going to have to find some good recipes for's starting to take over.

Purple Basil - it's a new planting this year. I just love the color. We sometimes have trouble with dark leafed plants burning because they absorb the heat. I hope it will do OK.

Mint - one of my favorites.

This Basil plant made it through the winter. Cut back in January, the new growth has already started to flower. I think I may let it go to seed and see what I get.

I also have a raised planter in another part of the yard. We built it on a tiled slab where the previous home owners had a hot tub. Several Tomato plants, and some cucumbers that are not doing much, but a few things are already producing well there.

One Green Bell Pepper - hopefully more to come.

Strawberry Plants.

Some with blossoms...

Some with strawberries - ripe - and soon to be ripe.

These beautiful shiny berries are no longer on the bush - I couldn't resist!

We also have a few friends that visit the garden...

Just kidding, he's not real. It's connected to an irrigation line so he fills the birdbath with fresh water each day. My daughter took this photo and I thought it looked pretty convincing.