Tuesday, November 30, 2010

day 29 &30

Wow.  November has been a really quick month.  I can't believe it's flown by so quickly.  I just wanted to give a big thanks to everyone who joined in, read my posts, left a comment, or did a page using one of my prompts.  It means a lot to be able to share my ideas with you.  I didn't have much time to journal this month.  I should have journaled my prompts, and I intend to, someday.  For now I have the Sketchbook Project to work on, and I want to work on my Christmas journal as well.  As soon as I get my journal pages done, I promise to post them.  :)

Today I am thankful for....
 * pink Christmas trees
* my iPhone4  (I'm in total Heaven)
* clean sheets
* cold filtered water
* Band-Aids & Neosporin
* tampons
* a laid back attitude towards Christmas
* all of my blog readers....YOU!

- do an advent themed page.  Think about fun things or treats you and/or family members can enjoy together in the days counting down to Christmas.  Make a quickie advent calendar by stapling, stitching, or taping together 24 envelopes.  Tuck little notes inside with fun activities like baking cookies or watching holiday movies.  Easy peasy, and you have a bonus mini journal to write stories on and attach photos of you all enjoying your activities together this year!  :)
- draw gingerbread houses.....or make a Christmas cookie page!!!
- write down ways that you can treat yourself well during the holiday season.  Often times we get so wrapped up in thinking about others that we forget to treat ourselves a little.  Could you pick up a coffee drink or a hot chocolate to accompany you on your shopping trip?  Pop in for a mani/pedi?  Pick up a few craft supplies or baking supplies just for fun.  Schedule in a night to make cupcakes and snuggle up with a good book.  Remember to eat healthy and steadily to keep your energy up and moods in check with this crazy season.  And try to get enough sleep!  :)
-write a letter to Santa.  Explain why you have been good and deserve what is on your wishlist (actually write one out!!), or if you've been naughty and deserve coal....reflect on what went wrong and what you can do to redeem yourself and start fresh in the New Year.

I hope you all have had fun with this.....I know I have!  Many thanks for everything good in my life (and yours)!! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

day 28

 Today I am thankful for.....
* my boyfriend buying me an i-phone 4 tomorrow....yay!!
* family thanksgiving
* KC not being sick anymore
* New Years resolutions
* sweet potato crunch!!!

- Do you hate your job?  What can you do to make ends meet?  Could you bet a better, more fulfilling job and still be able to make it?  What are you willing to cut back on?  Are you willing to take a side job?  Open an Etsy shop for extra money?  Stop going to Starbucks?  Make lunches and dinners at home?  Stop going out as much?  Sell your home & move into a place more affordable?  Go back to school?  Relocate?  Think really hard about how you're feeling.  Is it possible to make your current job more bearable?  Think about how your job is affecting your quality of life.  Ultimately, are you helping your family or hurting it?  Do you snap at them, are you frazzled, are you depressed?  Will a different job give you more time with your family?  Do you need something more creative or a fresh change of scenery?  Make a list of the pros/cons of your current job.  Make a list of the sacrifices and risks you are willing to make to be happier at work.  Quitting your job is a pretty serious move....you have to really be prepared for it.  But so is staying in a soul sucking situation, which puts your health at stake.  You can't create change by doing the same thing.  Embrace change, little or big.  It will make you feel so much better!
- Draw out a really outrageous room that you love but wouldn't allow yourself to do in real life.  Make this really fun.  Have you always wanted to paint the walls black?  Put glitter on the ceilings?  Have a pink Hello Kitty room?  Have a retro 70s room complete with wallpaper, wood paneling, and shag carpet??  I could do tons of pages like this.......If I was a rich girl my house would be tackier than Graceland!!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

day 27

Wow, November has flown by!  I can't believe there are only 3 more days left until December!!!!

Today I am thankful for....
* clean sheets
* cell phone stores being open on Sundays!
* grocery stores that are open 24 hours
* candles
* furry animals (minus tarantulas!)

- What can you do to leave the world a better place?  Brainstorm ideas on how to anonymously brighten someone's day.  Check out Operation Beautiful and like sites to help motivate you.  Could you rake or mow or shovel for a neighbor while they are on vacation?  Put a pot of flowers or homemade cookies on their doorstep while they are out?  Tuck away a $1 bill into your favorite library books???  You could have so much fun with this one!
- Has anyone in your family had or is currently suffering with a major disease?  What are some steps you could do to improve your own health so you can lower your risk.  Genetics are a factor, but I personally believe lifestyle is a much more major factor in weather or not you will get sick.  You have the power to shape your future.  Look at healthy family members vs. non healthy ones.....compare their lifestyles.  Sometimes the simplest things like cutting out processed foods, avoiding harsh chemicals, engaging your brain with books and hobbies instead of tv, enjoying nature more often......could lead you on the path to a long and healthy life.
- Are there things you feel like you really should know but you don't?  Did you learn things in school that you forgot immediately after you took the test?  I have a daughter in the 4th grade.  They were memorizing state capitals.  I only knew about half of them!  Luckily I did remember a catchy song I learned in the first grade that helps me recall the 50 states in alphabetical order.  And in the 8th grade choir we learned how to sing the alphabet backwards....(might help someday in a sobriety test?).  Also, in the 7th grade I think, they taught us how to type without looking at the keys.  That has been a really helpful skill.  Teachers that took the time to care about you actually learning the content, drilling it into you, and also explaining the importance of the information were golden.  I will be thankful forever to the teachers that cared enough to make sure we learned our lesson in whatever fashion we needed.  Like the songs, sung over and over...learned bit by bit until we learned them by heart.  To the teacher that made sure we spelled common misspelled words correctly.  To the teacher that screamed at our class & threw a chair because he found out a lot of kids were making fun of the retarded boy.  To the teacher that called me out in elementary school for plagiarizing The Owl & the Pussycat.  To the elementary teachers that taught "handwriting" and "grammar" as actual subjects with textbooks and everything.  Thank you!!!!!  You know, it's never too late to learn.  There were a lot of stupid high school moments that were passed in class.....sleeping, daydreaming, passing notes, talking.  Don't you wish you would have paid a lot more attention sometimes?  Write a list of the things you think you should know.  I bet it will be a lot more fun this time!

candy cane marshmallows

 Last year I made peppermint flavored marshmallows for friends & family for Christmas.  I had sort of forgotten about them until my grandma requested them again for this Christmas.  I don't remember which recipe I used, but the ones in the photo above were from Martha Stewart (I made the tops of mine all swirly like that), and I remember being inspired by this video I found over at Design Sponge.  Marshmallows are one of those things that are so fun to make because you don't always think of making things like that.  "What, you can make your own marshmallows?!"  So fun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving (+ days 25 & 26)

Well I did it.....I made my first Thanksgiving dinner all by myself!!  And it was easy too.  Nothing burned or undercooked.  Nothing ruined.  I was freaking out for nothing.  It was a lot of work, but really fun.  The day was so relaxing too....it was perfect.  We didn't have the girls, so KC and I stayed home and did our own thing.  Here's what I made........
My First Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Turkey.  We went for an organic twelve pound turkey (leftovers!). I made KC pull out the gross stuff inside.  We made a lot of inappropriate jokes about the turkey neck because we didn't know what it was!   The turkey turned out a little dry....I'm not gonna lie.  It still tasted really good though.  After I made the gravy, I poured the rest of the juices back onto it and added a little salt.  Turkey saved.
  • Stuffing.  Stovetop.  It was actually the only thing I messed up on!  (Because I wasn't paying attention to the directions).....instead of boiling the water first I added the breadcrumb mix.  Oh well.  It still turned out good.
  • Roasted vegetables.  We had organic sweet potatoes and yukon gold potatoes, carrots, green beans,  and I sliced up half an onion for flavor because I decided to listen to my mom and grandma after all.  I also threw in some bay leaves, sea salt, and olive oil.
  • Brussels sprouts.  I've been wanting to try them ever since I saw a recipe for them in GQ this summer.  I roasted them in butter, with lime, sea salt, and hot sauce.  They turned out to be KCs favorite out of the whole meal.
  • Fresh sugared cranberries.  I didn't cook them.  But added tons of sugar for a great sweet tart flavor.  Aren't they pretty?
  • Homemade rolls.  Made from scratch.  These tasted really good, but were a little dense because of the odd recipe.  It had you mixing all your dry ingredients, including yeast, first, then mixing in the rest.  So they didn't rise very much.  KC said they would make a great biscuit.
  • Pumpkin pie.  I used a frozen pie crust (homemade would have been better).  I made the Libbys pie...but my grandma said to use half or less of the condensed milk.  I also used pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices, but added more cinnamon.  I kept poking the pie in the center trying to decide if it was done.  It turned out well.  I actually didn't eat a piece until this morning for breakfast because I was so full the night before.  The girls said it was the best pumpkin pie they had ever tasted (they had to have some when they came home!)
  • Gravy.  Made from turkey drippings.  It tasted great, but didn't get as thick as I had hoped for.
  • White wine.  We drink Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling.
It was a really filling meal.  I was proud.  KC said, "babe I think we did pretty good for our first time", and I said, "WE?! did pretty good?"......excuse me?  :)  Afterwords we settled in for Netflix.  We found this movie, and had to watch it!

It was hilarious at first, but after a while it got really stupid (and not stupid funny like it was for the first 15 minutes).  KC turned it off as I fell asleep (turkey coma).

Today I had my favorite day after thanksgiving sandwich meal........
-turkey sandwich made with white wonder bread & miracle whip
-lays classic potato chips with chip n dip
-sweet gherkins
-chips a hoy cookies
-santa coke
.....I actually cried when KC suggested healthier alternatives to my sandwich meal.  Maybe because it's so sentimental.  Maybe because I'm on my period.  But he was right.  I consumed the meal I had been craving for months (more than Thanksgiving dinner), and was disappointed.  I'm not that big on all the processed foods that I once loved so much.  This is good.
Today, Yesterday, and Always I am Thankful for......
  • Lilly
  • Daisy
  • KC
  • Scarlet
  • Pumpkin
  • Tripper
 I love my little family so much!  I also love my extended family and my friends!!  You guys are the best!

....reflect on what you are most thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Make seperate pages for each if you like.  I am a big fan of writing a personal letter to each person who has influenced your life in a positive way.  The people who are closest to you deserve to know you love them.  You can say so much in a letter that you might not say in person.  You don't actually have to send it, but getting it out is good.  Oh, and I know some of the things we are most thankful for aren't family.  Health, safety, creativity, whatever......everything you are thankful for deserves it's own recognition this time of year!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Winter is so Magical!!!

Feeling bitter, cold, hum-drum?  Are you a little scroogey this year?  Here's just the thing to cheer you up....
Type these key words in your Google Image search......

Our Pink Christmas Tree
Christmas Cookies
Pretty Wrapping Paper
Mint Cupcakes
Hot Cocoa
Pine Trees
Snowed In
House Christmas Lights

These images make me so so SO happy!!!!!!

gingerbread man soap

 So, do you wanna make soap for Christmas gifts?  Have a look at this cute video...........

You should definitely check out this Gingerbread Man soap making kit  from BrambleBerry.....you could make 8 soaps for $20!  It looks like so much fun....and easy too!!!


 Good Morning friends........Happy Thanksgiving!!!!  Today I am going to attempt to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal for my boyfriend & I from scratch (we don't have the girls this year).  I plan on documenting the day, because it could turn out really hilarious, or I may be really proud depending on how things go.  Wish me luck!!!

I hope you all have a great day & eat lots of amazing food!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

day 24

Today I am thankful for:
* blog awards
* Lilly straightening up the share room all on her own without being asked
* Daisy being cute still
* having all the food we need to do Thanksgiving on our own....thanks KC!!!

- write down cute things that your kids say.....now, before you forget!!
- prep journal pages with cute boarders
- practice a new font
- do you have too many journals (me)?  designate one for thoughts, for pen only....the others can be art journals.  i am going to put my pen journal in my bedside table and use it for easy nightly entries.  i will also designate one to stay in my purse so i always have one with me.....for rough notes mainly.  my actual art journals won't get used as much, but i will love them the most. 

Tell me, how do you organize all your journals?   I can't stick to one at a time!  Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends!! xoxo

Baton of Friendship

 Sarah-Rose, over at Sezasaurus, passed along a "baton of friendship" award to me a few days ago!!  I'm always a few days behind on these things, because they are such a time consuming post, but so much fun.....I am truly honored!!  You should definitely check out her blog by clicking on the link above....she has a ton of great recipes you should look at!  Thank you so much Sarah-Rose!  Now, I must pass the award along to a few of my current/future blog pals.....

Brina from Rose Colored Glasses
Elis from Zomboid
Amy from LunieBin
cheray from Hello Starlight
Heather Dawn from Heather Dawn
Heather from Scraps of Me
Wicked Snicket from Cackle and Prance

If you are on this list, please answer the questions below on your own blog, and pass the award along as well.  This is a fun way to get to know each other, while also letting your blog readers about other great blogs, & getting potential new readers yourself!!!  Have fun.

what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Paleontologist.

what were your favorite cartoons?
The Smurfs, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, My Little Ponies, Scooby Doo, Garfield, Heathcliff, anything Peanuts, The Little Mermaid, Looney Tunes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Inspector Gadget, Pound Puppies, Muppet Babies.
favorite childhood game?
Sardines.  It's a variation of hide & go seek.  One person hides, and then everyone has to go find that one person.  If you find them, you hide with them.  The last person to find the "sardines" was the loser.

most favorite Birthday?
My parents made sure every birthday was special.  My birthday is on December 12, which is close to Christmas.  They made sure to pay attention to the details.....not a single present from them was wrapped in Christmas paper...all in something girly & birthday like.  We didn't even put up our tree until the day after my birthday!  My mom made all my cakes, and even made cupcakes or cookies for my class at school.  I always had a party, usually at home, and invited all my friends and had a great time.

something you have always wanted to do, but haven't done yet?

Move out of Missouri
what was your first love?
My blankie.

first musical idol?

favorite gift?
 Art supplies.
if a theme song played for you everywhere you went, what would it be?
"All I have to do is dream" by the Everly Brothers, because I'm always day dreaming.

favorite city to visit?

Anywhere where there is something fun to do, it isn't too hot or too crowded, and is really cute & clean is my favorite city to visit.  I actually don't really like cities, I like towns.

*****sorry if my text size/boldness/font type is all weird in this post.....I copied and pasted the questions into my own blog, then changed the answers to my own....it went all strange on me...guess that's what I get for being lazy.         :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

day 23

Today I am thankful for:
* sparkly frost
* better moods
* caffeine
* organic whole milk
* dark chocolate

- use magazine pages as inspiration...they can inspire a color scheme, a mood, you could write right on the page, cut out pictures-words-trims....
- splurge.  buy those supplies you've been eying.  really think about your spending habbits.....do you really want those new jeans, or would that journaling class or instax camera be a more meaningful investment?  if you don't have any money, like me.....re-think journal supplies.  I am looking around everywhere for them.  I see receipts, tickets, packaging, old books, nail polish as art supplies now.  I use my old paints and the stacks of paper I already have.  Have fun.....stop waiting.......just create!
- write your new years resolutions
- write a list of the things you want to accomplish in the new year
- imagine 2012.....what if something crazy actually happens??  are you living your life in the most meaningful way possible?  journal about what makes your life fulfilling.  are you truly happy?  do you have hobbies, are you kind to people, are you producing quality, helping, inspiring, loving???  list some simple changes that you can do to make you look back on this time in your life with no regrets.
- how well do you know your town?  take a few minutes to list some restaurants, shops, and other places you haven't been to but would like to visit.  plan a staycation in your hometown!!!

How to make Poloroid ornaments......

 So, I wanted to share with you an awesome ornament tutorial.  I found this tutorial for Felt Poloroid Photo Ornaments through an old blog post by Elsie.  The tutorial is found over at the KatieCupcake blog, which by the way, is super cute.  You should definitely check this one out.....these ornaments are sooooo adorable....I love them a lot.  See....

 ...aren't they just the cutest things ever?!  I for sure am planning on making some of these for my tree this year.  Go click on the tutorial link to find out how to make them for your tree.  Oh, and they would make the sweetest gifts....and would look super cute as gift tags!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

homemade amaretto recipe

Are you looking for a unique gift for a friend or family member, but can't really pin down the perfect gift for them?  If they drink, this might be perfect.  Everybody likes a handmade gift.  Making homemade alcohol seems like so much fun, and almost naughty.  I imagine recipes like this popping up all over in the days of prohibition, where bootleg moonshine flowed freely in speakeasies  all over the United States.   Try out this recipe for homemade amaretto this Christmas, and have fun!
p.s. You'll want to allow 4 weeks of curing time, so start this recipe now!!!

21 & 22

 There is never enough time is there?  It is quite the challenge to blog the same sort of thing every single day.  I am really loving sharing my thanks and prompts with you though.  I am committed to the end of this fun Thanks A Lot class.  I love that I might inspire some of you creative souls out there....it is such an awesome feeling!  So thanks for doing this with me....you all rock!

Today (and yesterday) I am thankful for.....
*  friendly get togethers
*  sweet boyfriends
*  blog followers
*  holiday spirit
*  hot showers
* support & love

( I've noticed my prompts, while fun, have strayed from the deeper more thoughtful prompts I had wanted to put out there for you.  Right now, at 2:30 am in my dark bedroom is not the time to share the lengthy prompts I have written in my current journal with you, but I promise to put some heavier prompts out there for you before the end of the month!!!) for now....
- do you know your state very well?  Remember in school where we would do a map of our state, fill it with the major cities, learn the state capitol and the state flower and the state bird and the state tree??  I think it would be fun to brush up on that knowledge again.  I think state maps done in colored pencils are so pretty.  It would make a really beautiful and fun journal in and of itself if you did all the states you have been to, and even all 50!
- make a list of all the little things that work for you to boost your mood.  Reach for a coffee, tea, or glass of wine?  Get out your craft supplies?  Put in that happy movie?  Get a pedicure?  It is good to have a list like this to go to when you feel sad.
- think about your wardrobe.  Do you love it, like it, or hate it?  Go through your closet.  Write down what you love about it, and what could use improvement.  Think really hard about your lifestyle.  Where do you spend most of your time?  Sometimes, sadly, we need to have more work clothes because we spend most of our time there.  Write a list of how you could re-arrange and maybe re-shop to fit your life better.  Sometimes it is better to have more of what you need and less of what you want.  It is going to make me sad to retire a lot of my dresses, but I'll feel better on those 5 days of the week if I have more pants.  Besides, I hardly ever go out.  It's ok to buy a new dress and heels every time you go out when you only go out a few times a year right???
- make a list of Christmas cookies to make this year.....or just list your faves.  :)
- what are your Christmas tree memories?  We have fake trees now, but as a kid one of my favorite things to do was go to a cut your own Christmas tree farm with my family.  We would bundle up, my dad would bring his saw, and we would trek through the snowy forest of pines to find the perfect one.  The trip would end with hot chocolate and a candy cane, and all the way home I would feel so happy.  Trimming the tree was prickly and messy and fragrant and perfect.
 - journal your favorite snowy memories.  Did you catch snowflakes on your tongue? Make snow angels, igloos, go sledding, have snowball fights?
- my mom forwarded me an email about a lady who played a trick on her family.  Her daughter was cooking a turkey for the first time.  When the lady came over to her daughters house, she started helping her prepare Thanksgiving food.  At some point in the day the lady had sent out her daughter for something at the store.  While she was away, she took the turkey out of the oven.....pulled out the stuffing, put in a little Cornish hen, and put the stuffing back in.  When the daughter went to scoop out the stuffing that evening her spoon wouldn't go in very far.  She reached in the turkey and pulled out the hen.  The lady said to her daughter, "oh no....you've cooked a pregnant turkey!".  Her gullible daughter totally fell for the joke, and the family still laughs about it years later.  Do you have any quirky traditions or hilarious memories of Thanksgiving?  Journal them.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

day 20

Today I am thankful for...
* bagel, egg and cheese sandwiches from steak n shake
* staying up late with friends & family
* pumpkin bread with chocolate chips
* cute cat drawings


-daisy (my 7 year old) says, journal about bunnies, deers, flowers, dogs & cats, slushies, movies, and paint....
- do you have a favorite article of clothing?  mine is socks.  i'm gonna make a journal page about socks.
- are the holidays a particularly hard time for you?  i used to hate being single around the holidays.  i hated walking through the mall and seeing couples hold hands.  i hated that i wasn't being all cutesy with my love.  what could you do to make the holidays more bearable?  drink wine? eat chocolate? stay in and watch cheesy movies?......
- brainstorm ornament ideas that you could make with objects you have around the house.  i just recently made a christmas tree out of a starbucks sleeve.  you could turn your instax mini prints into ornaments.  no doubt you have craft supplies on hand.  this is a fun one!

Friday, November 19, 2010

handmade holidays

I am loving this class format to share my creative world with you.  I am so excited to be announcing my next class......handmade holidays!!!!  As I had mentioned before, I plan on sharing a ton with my terrific readers over this holiday season.  All this time I thought I liked fall best, but you know......I think my favorite season is actually winter!  I absolutely adore snow.  Ice is actually fun.  Scary at times, but fun.  I love the coziness of the season.  The icy cold air makes you feel so alive and then you can come in and grab a hot cocoa and put on warm jammies.  Baking is a winter staple.  Warm food soothes the soul.  And the magic.  Oh the magic.  It is such a comforting thing, winter.  And there's no bugs.  
Of course I will keep posting daily in November for my Thanks A Lot class.  Coming up with all these prompts is really fun......I hope I can find time to journal them all!  And listing the things I am thankful for each day has helped me tremendously in staying positive.  It is such a great practice.  I think it might just inspire me to keep a simple notebook in my bedside table for this daily thanks only.  No art journaling.  Nothing fancy.  Just words.  Something I can read through when I have a rough day.  In Handmade Holidays I won't post as much journal prompts (though I will share my Christmas journal) ... because I want to focus more on food and gifts.  Oooh, I can't wait!!!!!
.....Homemade Holiday buttons will go up in my sidebar soon.  Please grab one for your blog so you can tell all your readers what you're up to!!  How excited are you all for the holidays??!

18 & 19...

So sorry I missed yesterdays thanks a lot post.  Sometimes life gets in the way of your good intentions....you know how it is.  So here we go....
Today (and yesterday) I am thankful for...
* evenings with my family
* the massive amount of inspiration and creativity out there on the web
* recipe swaps
* cute boys that wear plaid flannel & dark denim
* homemade caramel
* christmas decorating that is coming soon!!!

journal prompts---
1. write a list of your favorite holiday movies
2. create a christmas playlist that doesn't suck
3. try to draw or paint your pets
4. create the best thanksgiving menu ever
5. create a page around your favorite board or card game....either as a child or now.
6. journal the messy progress of craft projects in the works.  document the difficult parts and the fun ones too.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas wishlist....

1. "think" handmade wood sign by William Dohman
2. "live simply" print by Dazey Chic
3. chocolate brown instax mini (for those that don't know, it's like a poloroid & prints out credit card size photos....so cute!)
 4. handmade purse organizer by Downstairs Designs
5.  handmade leather journal by Silent Shadow
 6. "lets stay home" print by Ashley G
7. handmade cloud mug by Karin Lorenc
8. books print by A Black Apple (text in lemon)

Just thought it would make a fun post to share my wishlist with you.  Send me links to yours....I want to see!!  What do you wish for this holiday season (besides world peace and stuff) ???