Thursday, October 30, 2008

Random Thursday

Katie likes to squish up Tracy's face. He actually lets her do it!

One more thing I noticed about this picture is that my house looks SO much better now! New paint makes a big difference.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do You Ever Have Printer Problems?

This could be the reason...

One of my cats, Whisper, is obsessed with the printer, but I've never seen him do anything quite like that. He comes running when it starts up, and then he sits there and watches it work. Too funny!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another Giveaway!

I'm having so much fun with the Bloggy Giveaways madness, I thought I'd host another giveaway myself. Here's what's up for grabs:

  • Alphabet Stickers
  • Bubble Stickers
  • Multicolored Fibers
  • Sticky Rhinestones
  • Alphabet Stamp Set
  • Punch-Out Tags (pkg has 8 sheets of tags)
  • Purple Flowers
  • Purple Gelly Roll Stardust Pen (it's sparkly!)

This stuff would be great for scrapbooking or making cards. I love all kinds of papercrafts--it's almost like therapy for me, especially when I get together with the ladies from church. (Hi Amy, Becca, and Cathy!!!)

At our last get together, I decided to try something different. A couple of months ago, I got a book at a garage sale about tea bag folding. You may not be familiar with that technique, but it uses small squares of paper, which are folded and put together in a geometric design. Originally, tea bags were used to make the designs, so that's where the name came from. There are tons of websites where you can download and print the tea bag tiles. If you're interested in trying this or finding out more, click here. I was fortunate enough to get a whole bag of papers along with the book. I made 2 cards. I used the same layout for the cards, but the folding technique was different for each one.

Ok, now on to the giveaway. Please, before you leave a comment, read the rules. I have to disqualify a lot of entries from my
previous giveaway because people aren't leaving an email address. Good luck, everyone!


1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what kind of crafting you do.

2. Leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win! To keep from getting overloaded with spam, format your email like this: username(at)internetprovider(dot)com. I promise I won't email you unless you're the winner. If you don't leave an email address, you will be disqualified.

3. This giveaway is limited to participants in the United States and Canada only.

4. Duplicate entries will be deleted.

5. All entries must be received by noon eastern time on Saturday, November 1st. A randomly picked winner will be announced on Sunday, November 2nd.

There are now over 1000 links on Bloggy Giveaways! I'm off to enter a few...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Giveaway - Vera Bradley Slippers

Welcome to my very first giveaway! You could be the winner of a brand new pair of Vera Bradley Mod Floral Blue Slippers, Size M (7-8). They come in a matching zippered pouch.

I thought this would be a great item to give away, since I live in the same city as the Vera Bradley headquarters.

I might throw in an extra goody or two along with the slippers. That part will be a surprise!

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me something interesting about yourself.
2. Leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win!
To keep from getting overloaded with spam, format your email like this: username(at)internetprovider(dot)com. I promise I won't email you unless you're the winner. If you don't leave an email address, you will be disqualified.
3. This giveaway is limited to participants in the United States and Canada only.
4. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
5. All entries must be received by noon eastern time on Saturday, November 1st. A randomly picked winner will be announced on Sunday, November 2nd.

Take a look around my blog, too. You might see something here you're interested in. There's a little bit of everything: stamping/scrapbooking projects, book reviews, recipes, etc. Enjoy, and good luck! Check back again in the next day or two, and I might be giving something else away...

Check out Bloggy Giveaways for links to hundreds of giveaways!!!

It's that time again....

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

The Bloggy Giveaways Carnival is going on all week!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Random Thursday

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hoochie Hound

This was all Tracy's idea (including the title). I came home to this on Friday night, after we had dinner with his mom and grandma.

We've never really put any clothes on her before, but she didn't seem to mind too much. It looks like she's smiling!

I guess now I have a trendy dog. She's got the layered look going and a little denim skirt. My favorite part is that you can see her tail wagging underneath.

Isn't she the cutest?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've been tagged!

I just got tagged by my friend Robin from Bead Nest Designs. I've seen lots of these things on different blogs, but I've never gotten tagged before. How fun!

The rules...
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Now, here are 7 things about me...

1. I love to read. This might not be terribly surprising to people who know me or anyone who has visited my blog. I like all different kinds of books, fiction and non-fiction. I've been known to curl up on the couch and read through cookbooks just like I would read a novel. I'm also a fan of audiobooks, which I download from the local library.

2. I recently found out I have high blood pressure. This runs in my family, so it's somewhat to be expected, but it was a bit of a shock to be put on medicine for this at age 30. Yikes! This means that I have to cut back on caffeine, and probably some other dietary changes. Fortunately, all the other tests the doctor did came back normal.

3. I'm a paper addict. I have tons of paper in my crafting area, but every time I go to a craft store I have to buy a few sheets of something new. Today I went to a stamp convention and I bought some pretty iridescent paper--six sheets, each a different color.

4. I'm left handed. This was always a problem when I was younger, because there was only one pair of lefty scissors in the basket at school, and they never worked. Now I'm married to a lefty, and pretty much all of the scissors in our house are left-handed. So just make a note. If you come over to my house and you might need to cut something, bring your own scissors!

5. I hate vampire movies, and anything that's super gory. Tracy loves them, so he either watches them in the basement or on the computer, or he waits until I'm gone. When we go to the video store, we usually get three movies: one for us to watch together, one for him, and one for me.

6. I'm a cat person. And a dog person. For years, I was only around cats. My parents had cats, and I had cats when I started out on my own. I wasn't really much of a dog person at all. When I met Tracy, he had the sweetest dog, and I was hooked. After Shadow died, we didn't really think we would get another dog, but then I found Maggie. And she's all mine. She's snoozing next to me on the couch as I type.

7. I collect owls. I collect them with such a passion that I have a whole room devoted to it! The collection started with my grandmother. When she went to a nursing home, I took her collection of owls home with me, and it just went from there. Now I have owls from all over the world. Some I bought myself, and lots were gifts. I have so many, I've lost count!

So there you have it. Seven random and/or weird things about me.

Here's who I tagged...I hope they play along too! Go check out their blogs. Even if they decide not to participate, that's ok. These are blogs I love to read, and you might enjoy them too!

Root Beer Love
Girls Write Out
StampOwl's Studio
Make and Takes
CrockStar Wannabe

Katie's Birthday & Spa Party

Katie is 13 now! That's just crazy. 2 weeks ago was her birthday, and since it was one of those big deal birthdays, she got to have a sleepover party. She wanted a spa theme. She's not into a lot of girly things, but she loves pedicures. What's not to love about pedicures? She came up with a lot of the party ideas herself. I was impressed!

We made some cool invitations a couple of weeks ago...sorry, I don't have a picture of that. (Actually, there are a lot of things I didn't get pictures of, but oh well.) Katie found spa pictures online, I typed something up, and we went to Office Depot and had them printed on some shimmery paper.

I made up goody bags for each of the girls. Most of the stuff came from the dollar store! I didn't spend a lot, and I think they were all impressed with what they got to take home. Here's what I put together.

Large Cosmetic Bag:
Lavender & Vanilla Sugar Scrub
Green Tea Bath Bomb
Bath Poof
Lip Gloss Charm (I attached that to the zipper)

Small Cosmetic Bag:
Pedicure Set (file, orange stick, clippers, toe separators, etc)
Mini Nail Polish

I used a terry cloth headband to hold the 2 bags together.
By the way, all of that stuff was less than $7 per girl. Gotta love Dollar Tree!

For dinner, everyone got to make their own pizza. That was a big hit! I made the crust and the sauce myself, and let them put on their own toppings: sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and cheese. While the pizzas were baking, the girls played a game.

After dinner, they got in the hot tub for a while. After the hot tub, the girls changed into their pj's so they could be comfy for their spa treatments. Then, Katie opened her gifts and we had dessert. She requested peanut butter pie instead of cake!

At this point, Tracy made a beeline for the basement, which was his "man cave" for the evening.

The girls sat down and started watching "Titanic" on TV, so I went out to the kitchen and got them some drinks. I made a slushy mixture out of frozen lemonade concentrate, frozen orange juice concentrate, and pineapple juice. I scooped some of the slush into a margarita glass for each of them, then poured lemon-lime soda over it. They thought it was great that they got to have 'margaritas.'

We made 2 spa treatments for the girls to try, a chocolate facial and a strawberry exfoliating scrub. I got the recipes from Spa Index. Here's a picture of them with the chocolate facial mask on. This makes up for all the pictures I didn't take through the night. It's priceless!

While they were watching the movie, we started on pedicures. I got these tubs from the dollar store, too. I added some pineapple & coconut bath salts to each tub, and they soaked for a while. Afterwards, they put on some pineapple & coconut body butter and then put their socks on to keep the moisture in. By this time, it was pretty late and I was getting tired!

After the spa treatments, they all went upstairs to put on makeup and play truth or dare. Katie found these truth questions and dare ideas, and then I made up some others. This was all totally her idea. We cut them apart into strips, and put all the truth questions in one cup and the dares in another. When each girl's turn came, they picked a truth or a dare from the cup and did whatever it said.

In the morning, we had donuts with milk and juice for breakfast. By the time everyone got up and had breakfast, it was already time for them to go home!

I didn't go into a ton of detail on a lot of the party stuff, so if you want more info on something, just let me know! I'd be happy to share my ideas and recipes.

Also, here's a party planning tip: plan out your party activities, but you don't have to follow it exactly! As long as the girls were having fun, I wasn't going to push them to do start doing another activity. So they didn't get their nails painted, oh well. Less mess to clean up, I guess! What matters is that Katie and her friends had fun.

Now, thankfully, it's over. It only took me 2 weeks to recover!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Thursday

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dining Room

Since everyone asked about it at scrapbooking, here's a picture of my dining room. I still need to paint the ceiling and do some touch-up work, I love the color. It makes the dining room seem so much warmer! I think I might put up some cafe curtains, too.

Sarah is sleeping on the footstool, and Tracy is sleeping on the couch. I didn't figure he'd want to be in the picture.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce

A couple of months ago, I got an email from a company asking if I would review their product on my blog. Country Bob’s sent me 2 bottles of their All Purpose Sauce, and a couple of recipe pamphlets.

I love that Country Bob’s is a Christian company! In fact, that was one of the first things I noticed when I visited their website: Al, the person that contacted me has been really nice, and I can tell that they really love the product and want to get the word out about it. Hopefully, more than one person will read this post and give it a try!
I’ve used the sauce a few times now, and I really love the flavor of it. It's a little sweeter than steak sauce, and has more of a kick than ketchup. They have lots of recipes and ideas on their website
here. According to the site, the All Purpose Sauce can be used for grilling, marinating, and cooking. You can add it to soups, stews, and baked beans, or put it on steak, chicken, fish, hamburgers, and fries.

One night, we got some frozen cocktail shrimp from the store, so I decided to try the cocktail sauce recipe. If you buy cocktail sauce from the store, you’re missing out on not making your own. It just takes a few ingredients and it all goes together in less than 5 minutes. Basically, the only difference between my cocktail sauce recipe and Country Bob’s is that it used the All Purpose Sauce instead of ketchup or chili sauce. Let me tell you, it was absolutely the best cocktail sauce I’ve ever had! Tracy agreed.

This week, I made meatloaf with Country Bob’s recipe. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite meatloaf recipe. After the meatloaf was baked, it had a mushier texture than what I like. I did, however, really like the flavoring that the All Purpose Sauce added to the meatloaf. Next time, I’d go back to my regular meatloaf recipe and use the All Purpose Sauce instead of the ketchup or BBQ sauce.

I also tried dipping some fries in All Purpose Sauce , and that was good too. I want to marinate some steaks in it next, because I think that would be fantastic.
Country Bob’s also makes Spicy All Purpose Sauce, Barbeque Sauce, and Seasoning Salt. You can use their
retail locator to find out where to buy it in your area, or you can buy the products straight from their online store. In my area, their products are available at Kroger and Wal-Mart.

I went to Kroger and Wal-Mart to see what they had. I did find the All Purpose Sauce, but they didn’t carry any of the other products. I was a bit disappointed, because I would have also liked to try the spicy sauce and the seasoning salt.

Between the 2 stores, the price varied quite a bit! At Wal-Mart the price was $2.24 for a bottle. At Kroger it was $3.88 for the exact same bottle. Ouch! I’d buy it again at the Wal-Mart price for sure. I guess that’s why I do the majority of my grocery shopping there…

I did find a way that all of you can get a FREE bottle of Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce. Just go
here and they’ll send you a coupon. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Random Thursday

Book Club - The Shack

On October 5, our church book club met to discuss The Shack, by William P. Young. We had a really good turn out this time, so that was awesome! I hope we have that many people again next month. Anyway, this is what the front cover looks like. Just looking at that, I thought it was intriguing.

The description on the back cover made me want to read it even more. Here's what the back says:

Mackenzie Allen Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been
abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have
been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in
the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great
Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God,
inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry
afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he
finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant
The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in
a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets
will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him.
You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

I’ve seen on other blogs that people think The Shack is very controversial, and that it’s heresy, and so forth. Come on people, it’s FICTION! It’s not scripture, and it wasn’t intended to be. It’s just one person’s story.

I really enjoyed reading the book and then talking about it, because there was a lot to digest. Our group discussion brought up some points that I hadn’t thought about. For me, reading The Shack was a moving experience. It was one of those books that really sucked me in, and I wanted to read the whole thing without stopping! The book had a great message, and it definitely portrayed a different way of thinking than what I am used to. I think that reading the book helped me in my spiritual journey, and it made me look at my relationship with God from a different angle. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially someone that is struggling in their faith. Again, it is fiction, not scripture, but it paints a picture that people can relate to.

I don’t want to give anything away, so that’s why I haven’t gotten into a whole lot of detail. Let me just say that it didn't turn out like I originally thought it would. If you’re curious, go get a copy! Then read it, and let me know what you think. Even if it doesn't affect you spiritually, I'm sure you'll think it's a good story. You can also check out the website at

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Random Thursday

I'm going to try Annemarie's Random Thursday idea. Hope she doesn't mind! Here's my picture for this week, which is one of my all-time favorites.

Breast Cancer Card

Here's a card I made for my friend Gale, who is a breast cancer survivor. It's going in a gift bag full of pink goodies that a few of us have gotten together to give her.

The inside of the card says, "Your Breast Friends" and has everyone's name inside. It's a bit hard to see, but on the ribbon in the circle, I put pink rhinestones, so it's sparkly.

I'm planning to participate in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on Saturday, as long as I'm feeling up to it. (I'm still trying to get over my sinus infection.) Anyway, our team's name is "Breast Friends." By the way, I am a total slacker and I have NO donations so far, so if you're feeling generous and want to help with breast cancer research, you can click on the link to my team's name and help me out!