Monday, September 28

PJ Day...

Just a quick post... I did this lo of Rainee's PJ Day at school. She was so cute... she couldn't decide on what jammies to wear... so she wore two different piece of her favorites... Star Wars and her Katie jammies. What can I say but... adorable!!!

As we walked to school... she laughed the whole way... saying... 'Isn't this silly, mom?'... and ...'Did you ever go to school in your jammies?' ... and ... 'I wonder what the other kids are wearing?' ... and ... 'This is going to be a great day, right mom?'... and it was!!!

It still amazes me how the simplest of things can make a child's day.... a great reminder that we don't need the best gadget or need to spend a lot of money to have a fabulous day ... sometimes all it takes is a pair of jammies to make a day spectacular!

(Materials - Paper: Cosmo Cricket, DCWV, Journal Tags: Jillibean Soup, Chipboard Letters: Heidi Swapp, String: Martha Stewart, Buttons: Joann's, Vintage, Stickers: Making Memories, Punch: Martha Stewart)

Sunday, September 27

What's Cooking Sun{day}

I thought I'd start a new little "thing"... If I consider a recipe worthy to blog about... I thought I'd put it under 'What's Cooking Sun{day}'... Don't know why that particular phrase... it just seemed to fit with cooking.... and the fact I'd be posting it on Sunday... Silly, I know... but it works...

For this first installment...
We did some grocery shopping yesterday... it's something Rainee & I do together... she likes helping mommy cross things off the list... It's more time together, plus I've learned if I give her something to do... she won't keep asking... mommy, how much longer 'til we leave... and she likes driving around in the 'car' carts... it's a win - win thing!!! Nevertheless... when we got home I wanted to scream because the heat here was so detestable... it's fall... I should be feeling cool breezes and my home is suppose to be filled with a wonderful fall bouquet of homemade goodies! But instead... it was 103º and who wants to cook in that heat??? Me??? What can I say? I was feeling inspired...

No matter what the temperature was outside... I was determined to cook!!! I was still boiling hot, even with the air conditioning on... but I was on a roll... remember, I was feeling inspired. I couldn't wait to savor everything I was making... Blackberry Cobbler, Jicama Salad and Tex Mex Chicken with Mexican Rice. My home was filled with the pleasing fragrance of... delicious.

I'm a great cook (even, if I do say so myself)... and this... this was one of the nicest meals I've made lately... I was exhilarated by the thought of sitting down with my family and eating a scrumptious meal... it was wonderful... Mmmmmmmm!

One of my favorite things about this meal, was the cobbler. I have to say, this IS the most marvelous cobbler recipes... EVER!!! I found it years ago, when I subscribe to Victoria Magazine... their recipes were always so alluring... sometimes more fancy schmancy than I would ever do... but this one... this one was a keeper!!!! I love it so much... I enjoy the slight orange taste, from the orange zest... plus, I delight in the fact ANY fruit works with this recipe. I've used peaches, cherries, blackberries, raspberries mixed berries, apples... you name the fruit, and I've probably made made a cobbler with it... and it always turns out incredible!!! So if you're in the mood... for something delicious, you'll want to try this...

Fruit Cobbler

1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
Grated Zest of 1 Medium Orange
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
4 Tbsp. Cold Butter
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Large Egg
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3-6 Cups Fruit
  • Preheat oven to 350º. Cooking spray prepare 8"x8"x2" baking pan.
  • In medium bowl, using an electric mixer, mix at low speed the flour, sugar, orange zest, baking power and salt. Increase speed to med-low, beat in butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
  • In a a small bowl whisk together milk, egg and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix at medium speed until batter is mixed together and fluffy. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Scatter fruit evenly over the batter.
  • Combine another 1/2 Cup Sugar with 1 tsp. nutmeg and sprinkle it over the top of the fruit.
  • Bake cobbler for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (Note: if you don't have fresh fruit, use frozen.. let it thaw out, drain it, then use it.) Enjoy!!!
I'd love the know if you make this cobbler... what you thought of it... and of course, what fruit did you decide on... bye for now.... I'm off for another slice...

Saturday, September 26

What's Your Favorite...

At What Is Your Fave Thing blog... the challenge this week is to scrap your {favorite} room.... I don't know about you, but over the years I've had several... When I was single it was my kitchen... I always decorated them like a 50's diner... in our last home, it was the Parisian themed guest bathroom.

Now since moving into our newest home... there is so much I love about it... but I know what my favorite room is... it's the Studio. If Rainee and I are inside... that's where you're likely to find us. We each had our own rooms in the old house... the playroom and the scrapbook room... but with this house being so much smaller... Rainee and I share the studio. We decided to call it the studio since we're sharing it... because it's not just the playroom, it's the scrapbook room plus so much more. One thing Rainee and I love doing together in the studio is... sitting together in the big bean bag chair and watch movies.... It's also where we scrapbook and play all sorts of games and of course doggie doctor. It's our place... our space... and I love it!!!

What's your {favorite} room??

Wednesday, September 23

Every{Day} Observations...

Some recent every{day} observations I've enjoyed...

• Listening to Rainee tell me about her day at school... and the new friends she's making.

• An open window that lets a cool breeze into our home after a hot day.

• Watching Rainee & her daddy playing together... I just love their laughter.

• Playing 'action fingers' with Rainee.

• Taking pleasure in the swimming in the pool for a couple more weeks.

• Watching Rainee take a nap, after a day at school.

• Enjoying Rainee's phone call with her cousins... soooo sweet.

• Playing with new scrapbook products and enjoying the process of creating.

• Savoring in a nice bowl of Fideo (Mexican Spaghetti) and tortillas... can you say... yum-o!

• Watching Rainee play with 6 week old kittens at Auntie Mary's... and listening to her giggles.

• Reading books with Rainee... & her reciting a favorite almost word for word.

• Listening to some favorite music while cooking dinner.

• A nice conversation with my sister.

• Enjoying good nights sleep... without getting up because Rainee's had a bad dream. Ahhh.

• Taking a deep breath.

• A really good cup of coffee... seriously there is nothing better.

What are some every{day} observations you've noticed lately?

Monday, September 21

Fall Cards

This weekend was really hot here, so except for a few dips in the pool... Rainee and I spent a lot of time inside. Which isn't always easy with a 5 year old. But I made sure we kept busy... we made chocolate chip cookies, watched 'Hanna Montana' ... season 1 & 2... played games, did puzzles and made cards! Rainee loves making cards to send to her papa in South Dakota.... and I decided I'd make some fall cards too. Here a few of mine.

(Butterfly Card Materials: Paper: DCWV, Vintage Book Pages, Buttons: Vintage, Joann's, Heart Sticker: K&Co., Stamp Background: Glitz Design) (Wish Card Materials: Paper: DCWV, BoBunny, Ribbon: My Minds Eye, Flower: Prima, Stamp: Fancy Pants, Ink: Ranger, Frames: My Minds Eye, Punch: EK Success, Button: Vintage) (Swirling, Twirling, Whiling Fall Card Materials: DCWV, Stamp Background: Glitz Design, Stickers: Adornit)

Thursday, September 17

Imagine These Lucky Boots In Their Hay Day...

As a kid I always enjoyed hearing stories my dad told about his life on the farm, going to the city for high school and living with my Great-Aunt Pauline and Great-Uncle Frank. He always had some kind of story to tell... he's always good that way... if we saw a picture... he'd have a story... I always enjoyed the stories he told about dating 'Ginger Rogers' and 'Betty Davis' - - of course they weren't the real ones... but it was fun hearing... and then there was the parties... oh the parties these boots did see. Sometimes when I'm looking through some old photos I see these boots... they had a good life with my dad... you could tell he loved them.

Once in California, we didn't see much of these old boots... except for occasional peek in mom & dad's closet... or of course when us kids would put them on to play cowboys... that is until we got caught and had to put them away. Once when I was in college, I used them for a still life subject... But over the years now, they've sat as decor, somewhere in my home... as reminder of the stories my dad would tell.

They haven't seen any action... until Rainee came home from Pre-K telling us they were having Cowboy Day... and the first thing she did was grab these old boots of papa's and ask if she could wear them for her Cowboy Day. At first I said no... because they were way too big... but she reminded me that she could put her shoes inside and wear them... like she does sometimes with mommy's shoes. So, of course we had to try it right then and there... with papa's old boots on, she went outside... ran around with Champ, played in the dirt, they were having a grand time. These old boots haven't seen this much activity in years... and Rainee... well Rainee was having the time of her life... wearing 'real cowboy boots'! And me... being the mom I am... had to get pictures of this event... it was too precious to pass by!

As for Cowboy Day... she did wear them... and she wore them all day. Miss Louise said she wouldn't take them off... she wanted to wear her papa's boots. All the kids, at school, just loved the fact that they were 'real cowboy boots'... pretty cool!!! Rainee and these old boots had a couple of great days. Now when I look at them, sitting quietly in our house... I have more memories to add to the stories my dad told... I just love these old boots.

Is there something of your parents that you hold dear... do they tell a story... Leave me a comment about 'your old boots'... I love to hear what stories they hold...

(Materials: Paper: Creative Imaginations, Prima, Bingo Card: Jenni Bolwin, Chipboard Letters: Heidi Swapp, Lace: Prima, Imagine Tag: My Minds Eye, Letter Stickers: Autumn Leaves -- Foof-A-La, Tags: Jillibean Soup, K&Co., Star: Melissa Francis, Picture Buttons: Jenni Bolwin, Journaling Tag: Jenni Bolwin, Stamp: Fancy Pants (flourish), Annette Watkins (splatter), Ink: Ranger Distress, Raffia: Joann's, Buttons: Vintage)

Monday, September 14


Well as we get ready for our first full week of school, I wanted to share with you how Rainee did her first couple of days and the few things I gave her if she ever gets homesick.

I made a little photo pocket for her, something I did last year... and it helped her on many a day when she was having a hard time and only wanting to be home with mommy. It reminds her, we're never too far away.

I also gave her a baggie with a few special little things to go along with this care card...
  • These (chocolate) kisses are to remind you that you are loved.
  • This penny is to remind you that you are special and valuable. Remember, there isn't anyone else like you. You are special.
  • This sticker is to remind you that we will stick together and we will be here to help you when you need it.
  • This band aid is to remind you that we will always take care of you. If you have an ouch-y or your heart is hurt.
  • This pencil and eraser is to remind you that it's OK to make mistakes... it's the best way to learn... everything takes practice.
Plus I couldn't forget 'the mommy shirt'... 'the mommy shirt'... this started when I was working full time... there were many times when I'd leave for work and Rainee would be crying, which of course broke my heart. On one particularly hard day, I gave her one of my shirts with perfume on it. Somehow it comforted her, knowing she could smell mommy anytime. She'd smell it, wear it, hug it, sleep with it... it helped on the days she was missing me most. Since then we've carried this little tradition on... she asks for it when she's having a difficult time... so of course I couldn't let her go to Kindergarten without 'the mommy shirt'. It's in her backpack... whenever she needs it. So far just knowing it's there has comforted her.

I wanted to start a tradition for breakfast on the first day of school... and since Rainee loves pancakes... I made her an 'R' pancake... she loved it and gobbled it up!!! Before we left for school, I gave her all the little things for her backpack... giving me a big hug she said, 'Thanks mommy, now when I'm at school... I know just where you are when I need you most!'... too sweet!

The first day, she seemed to be comfortable... playing with other kids... laughing... having fun... taking pictures with mommy and daddy... then it happened... the whistle blew to freeze... the tears started flowing... she knew it was time to go into the classroom WITHOUT mommy! I took her aside, gave her big hugs and reminded that I'm never too far away... all she has to do is pull out her picture pocket or her mommy shirt if she needs me... the tears were still flowing, but she gave me the biggest hug ever... and followed the kids into class...

The second day... she didn't want to play with the kids or go on the playground... she wanted to stay with mommy. So we stayed outside the gate until the whistle blew to go to class... then... the tears started... what a killer... once in line she kept blowing me kisses until she went inside.

As for me... on the first day... Steve had to comfort me! It was killing me that she was hurting... that she's in kindergarten... that this is the start of a whole new life for her. On the second day, I was better too... but I miss hearing her little voice at home.

Firsts are always hard... I hope each of her firsts get easier... although I do hope she continues to give me those great big hugs and kisses...

Sunday, September 13

As My Memory Rests

Lately I've enjoyed doing layouts to music... from Scrapping To The Music... I'm not always on time with them... but lyrics bring a new perspective to my scrapbooking which I'm enjoying.

This weeks song: "Wake me when September ends"... brought to mind my mother. She's been with the Lord these past 9 1/2years. In the time she's been gone... many things in our families lives have changed... good and bad. In my life, I remained single for several years after her passing, then I met my husband, Steve, got married, bought a house and had our little Rainee. Even now life is changing... Rainee's starting Kindergarten. And that's just my life... There are so many things she's missed in all our lives. We didn't always see eye to eye... but so many times, I've wanted to pick up the phone and call her about some news... then it hits me, she's not here... I take a deep breath, hug my little Rainee and go on with my day. I still miss her.

But this song... "Wake me when September ends"... and in particular the lyrics... 'as my memory rests'... reminded me that she is at rest and no longer in pain.... and I can rest in the fact she's with the Lord... and also, let her rest in my heart... always.

On this layout I was trying to find a photo of my mom when she was on her honeymoon with my dad... but I just couldn't find it.... so I settled on this one. I love it... this photo is in the front yard of my grandparents home, when my dad and mom were dating. I've always loved it.... it's one of my favorites and have always wanted to put it in our family scrapbook. If I do ever find that other photo I may change it out, but for now... this is where it will rest.

(Materials: Paper: Cosmo Cricket, Black Chipboard: Cosmo Cricket, Tag: Melissa Frances, Velvet Ribbon: Cosmo Cricket, Butterflies: K&Co., Stickers: Making Memories, Creative Imaginations, Rhinestones: My Minds Eye, Cricut Cartridges: Base Camp, Opposites Attract, Pen: Pigma)

Friday, September 11


This day changed the world. This is a day for remembering... a day for praying... for the families who lost loved ones... for our country... for the world... and for peace.

Wednesday, September 9

Wonderful Kind Of Day...

Yesterday was one of those wonderful kind of days... all was right with the world... and my household! Rainee & Steve woke up on the right side of the bed... happy {happy} happy!!!!

After breakfast, Rainee & I had a play-date at the park... the girls had a wonderful time... playing in the water feature, on the playground and in the dirt... making who knows what... but having a wonderful time giggling and running around! Then there was the picnic conversation of 3 little girls... who talked non-stop about bees, flowers, dirt and how much they love nachos and pizza! Too cute!

At Walmart we picked up photos for me to scrap... and as always, Rainee played with the toys. It's a great way to keep her occupied, she gets to see what's new, and I get to see what she really likes... and put it on the 'Santa List' for her... too fun!!!

When we got home... I had mail... a package... you know how Rainee and I love getting mail!!! But then who doesn't? Anyway, my new friend, Julie, (over at WhatIsYourFaveThing & The Tucker Wolek Clan) sent me some wonderfully fun scrapbook things!!! Aren't they just yummy! I can't wait to use them... I'm so excited... hummmmm what to do, what to do!!! I love everything... thank you {thank you} thank you Julie!!! It was soooooooooooooo sweet of you!!! Can't wait to get scrapping!!! You're just the sweetest!!!

Now I didn't think the day could get any better, what with...a {happy} husband and daughter... a great time at the picnic/play-date... A SURPRISE IN THE MAIL... is there anything more a girl could ask for???...

But there is more... my husband thought it would be nice to get some Tamale's, he decided it would make for a wonderful dinner.... whoo hooo, no hot stove to hover over for me!! Yeah! And Tamale's... can you say yum-0!!

You'd think it would stop there... but there's MORE... Rainee went into the bath, got her pj's on and had her bedtime stories without a fuss... even though, she says, she wasn't tired. Then after stories, prayers and good night singing she went right to sleep.... what a wonderful day!!! I wonder... can today can be a repeat of yesterday???... well... at least the happy {happy} happy faces!!!

Hoping your day is a... {happy} face, fun mail surprise, no cooking tonight kind of day!!! Enjoy every moment!

Monday, September 7

Labor Day...

What will you do? Traditionally, we've had bbq's and enjoyed our time together as a family, enjoying a day of rest and getting in those last few moments of summer. But today, Steve has to work... so, it's just Rainee and I... we can do anything. I do know it will include at least 1 or maybe 2 dips in the pool and I'm sure playing with Champ will be on Rainee's to-do list. As for what we'll eat??? That, is a good question. Since Steve always bbq's... we'll do something fun sp Rainee can help me in the kitchen. Our day has endless possibilities... but best of all... time together.

Whatever you do today... I hope you take time to rest and enjoy your time with those you love... Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 4

Her Smile... Plus A New Video!

Who can turn the world on with her smile...

Well I did say...I still had another idea for the 'Mary Tyler Moore Show' theme song... Rainee's Smile. I love love love Rainee's smile. I love how when she's really happy, her eyes sparkle. I love her dimples... I love the gentleness of it. It never fails to makes me smile. I love it most when it's just for me. So of course I couldn't let those delightful lyrics go by without making a layout of Rainee's smile.

I know... more butterflies... What is it about butterflies, that makes my heart happy? Maybe it's their dainty fluttering's remind me of Rainee dancing around the house... whatever the reason... I love butterflies. When I finished this layout... it didn't seem finished... I needed something subtle to catch the eye, but not over take the empty space, so I decided to make concave butterflies in the space. It's such an easy technique that when I was finished I decided to make a video of how to do the concave butterflies... or for that matter, any chipboard shaped image for a card or scrapbook layout. I love this delicately implied effect and how it finished off my layout.

For this Concave Image Technique Video, I used butterflies and I love how they delicately flutter upward on the card. On the set of cards, I've shown this technique using other shapes, plus using an embossing template. The thing I love about this concave image technique is, it's so simple. I do have a little bit of advice is when doing this technique... take your time... and be gentle with your paper, so you don't push through the other side. Do these two things, you will be happy with this concave technique every time. I hope you'll try this technique on your next projects...

(Materials - Scrapbook layout: Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Journaling Spots: Making Memories, Anna Griffin, Tag: Jillibean Soup, Butterflies: K&Co., Rub-ons: My Minds Eye, Letter Stickers: American Craft, The Paper Loft, Making Memories, Buttons: Joann's, Photo Tab: Joann's, Brad: Misc.)

(Materials - Cards: Paper: Core'dinations, DCWV, Stamps: Technique Tuesday's Ali Edwards Stamps, Ink: Staz-on, Chipboard images for concave technique: K&Co - Butterflies, Heidi Swapp - Star, Deluxe Designs - Heart, Cuttlebug Embossing Template - Swirl)

Thursday, September 3

What's Your Favorite...

I promised myself a few days ago that I’d do my layout for the favorite food challenge over at 'WhatIsYourFaveThing' this week... but, this one has been a hard one for me... I've really had to think about what my favorite food is... I love so many different kinds of food...

While thinking of what my favorite is, I was reminded that as a child I loved pickles, couldn't get enough of them. I still like them... but my favorite? I don't think so. I started thinking about Italian food, Mexican food, Thai food, a nice steak dinner or even a yummy hamburger, but I couldn't put my finger on what was my favorite. My favorite food, it shouldn't be this difficult. Then it hit me as I was watching Rainee enjoying an espcially pleasing chocolate bar... this is my favorite food... chocolate... mmmmmmmmm! Yes, that's it!!! Chocolate of any kind... I love the way chocolate melts in your mouth. I love how it makes me feel all warm inside... yumo!

Now that I knew what my favorite food was... I couldn't stop thinking about the layout... I had ideas running through my head. Of course this meant, I would need to squeeze in little field trip to the store with Rainee, to buy chocolates! Not a problem! At the store, while I was picking out some of my favorite chocolates... I saw how Rainee's eyes got bigger & bigger... then she said to me, "Mommy, these are for me right? Cuz' you know me, I'm a chocolate girl!" When she said this, I realized two things, 1- she takes after her mama, and loves chocolate... and 2- this layout would be of Rainee and not me, because I had the perfect picture!!! I love love love this photo of Rainee, it shows how much she's enjoying her chocolate! This is how I picture myself eating chocolate as a child... enjoying every bite, getting it all over my face... and having a very happy day with something I love. So even though this layout may have my dear sweet little Rainee on it with her favorite food... it's my favorite too!!!

What is your favorite food? Did you know it instantly or did you have to think about it, like me? Whatever it is... I hope you get to take pleasure in it soon! Enjoy your day and thanks so much for stopping by...

Materials: Paper: Core'diations, Cosmo Cricket, My Minds Eye, Buttons: Joann's, Stickers: BoBunny, K&Co., Making Memories, American Crafts, Tab: My Minds Eye, Journaling Block: Jillibean Soup, Thread: Wrights

Tuesday, September 1

Welcome September!

What does September bring to you? For me it brings... the first day of Kindergarten for Rainee, the beautiful colors of Chrysanthemums, candy apples, crisp nights just right for the crackling of a nice warm fire, sweater weather is coming, Starbucks pumpkin lattes, home bake breads of any kind... and the bright colored leaves that crunch when you walk... ahhh September.

This year it's a bittersweet thing for me, because it means my daughter is growing up... no longer is she home most days with daddy & mommy... happily playing, she will now start her first day of school... plus this is her last summer before she begins the 'real life'... of schedules, going to bed & getting up early... and homework.

September leaves behind a summer filled with those easy afternoons, swimming in the pool, playing in the backyard with Champ, story time at the library, spontaneous trips to the beach and the lovely pleasure of schedule-free days. Summer is over... it's time to welcome fall!

And although I have conflicting emotions... I am looking forward to the cooler temperature, putting on a sweater, drinking hot chocolate, the smell of cinnamon everywhere.... and the holidays it leads us into... so welcome you properly... I say welcome September with a lovely cup of cinnamon tea...

May this first day of month lead you into a wonderful fall season. Happy September 1st!