Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recipe of the Week...Marinated Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Well, today is the day that I've been dreading for the past two weeks...root canal day! After spending over 3 hours in the dentist's chair, my root canal is complete and I am sporting a temporary crown until my next appointment in a couple of weeks. My jaw is really, really sore, so I could only drink a cup of soup for supper...I am a TOTAL WEENIE when it comes to having dental work!!

On a happier note, Mike's been gathering tomatoes from our little garden spot and they are so delicious! There's nothing like the flavor home-grown tomatoes!! The recipe that I'm sharing with you this week is one of Justin's favorites, using some of the cherry tomatoes that Mike picked from the garden. It's a cool and summery side dish which goes well with beef, pork or chicken. I hope you enjoy it too!

  • 2 or 3 medium sized cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
Add all ingredients to bowl and stir. Set in refrigerator for 2 - 4 hours to allow flavors to marry. Stir before serving. Refrigerate left-overs.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Check out the blog hop at Paper Craftorium....

The Paper Craftorium is hosting a blog hop each Tuesday, so thought I'd join in! (It's my first blog hop!!) Click on the button and join the fun!!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Projects From Saturday's Scrapbooking Workshop...

As promised, here are the photos from the projects that we created at the scrapbooking workshop last Saturday. I showed the group how to use a Close to My Heart Level I kit to build 4 BEAUTIFUL scrapbook pages in less than a hour. I then showed them how to create a "Card in a Box" from some of the left-over materials and some ribbon. Below you'll find not only the photos of my version of the "Card in a Box" but also the template and the links where I found the instructions.

Here are the 4 scrapbook pages I designed using the materials from a CTMH Bella Level I kit:

To create the page above, cut 2 pieces of 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" pieces of olive cardstock and one piece of 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" piece of smoky plum cardstock and adhere to left side of page as shown in photo. Cut three smoky plum and three olive cardstock rectangles 3 1/2" x 1 1/2" and adhere to right side of page, staggering as shown in photo. Using a soft, dry paintbrush, apply cornstartch or baby powder to the back of the brown and purple StickEase buttons and two of the flower stickers to remove the "sticky". Using a paper-piercing tool, poke holes in the button stickers to form the button holes. Run bamboo Waxy Flax through the button holes, apply a 3-D dot to the backside of the button, and adhere to the left sides of the cardstock rectangle journaling boxes as shown. Apply 3-D dots to the backsides of the flowers and adhere to page as shown. The wavy border on the right side of the page is simply the negative from the rick-rack sticker on one of the StickEase sheets that comes with the kit...a great way to add a fun page element by recyclying something that most folks would have thrown away!

To create the page above, cut a piece of patterned paper 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" and adhere to left side of page. Decorate the corners with the chocolate stitched corner stickers from the StickEase provided in the kit. Apply the "Friends" sticker to the left side of the border at the top of the page. Apply the wavy "In Sunshine" "And in Shade" stickers to the right side of the border at the top of the page, lining up the edges with the right side of the page. Using cornstarch or baby powder, dust the back of 3 flower stickers to remove the "sticky", adhere a 3-D dot to the back of each flower, and adhere as shown above. Tie a piece of chocolate ribbon in a knot, trim the ends as desired, and adhere to center of border with a glue dot, as shown above. Cut a 3" x 6" piece of colonial white cardstock, trim edges as desired, sponge edges with bamboo ink, and apply a flower sticker at the top. Punch a hole in the center of the flower sticker and run a piece of green polka-dot organza ribbon through the hole, tying off green ribbon with a narrow piece of plum organza ribbon, as shown in photo. (Organza ribbon purchased at Hobby Lobby & Michael's).

To create the page above, cut four 3" x 3" squares of smoky plum cardstock and adhere to page as shown in photo. Adhere one the purple stitched rick-rack StickEase to the page as shown. Dust the back of one of the large StickEase flowers to remove the "sticky", apply a 3-D dot, and adhere to the lower right corner of the page. Adhere the flower stem StickEase as shown.

To create the page above, (which took about a minute - HA!), adhere the last purple stitched rick-rack sticker as shown in the photo. Using the alphabet StickEase, form the phrase "So Happy", (or phrase of your choice!), to the left side of the top border. Adhere the "Because Being Together is Enough" StickEase to the right side of the top border and viola` you're finished!

Now for the card-in-a-box...I found the template, posted below, at Be sure to check out her blog which is chocked full of great ideas and FREE templates! The amazingly detailed paper flowers on the lid of the box are so simple to make using the instructional tutorial found at (I now need to purchase a larger flower punch so that I can make bigger versions of this gorgeous flower!!) I created the paper vines simply by cutting narrow strips of cardstock, about 4" long and twisting around a toothpick, as shown in the photo below. Slide the "vines" off of the toothpick and shape as desired. Tuck under the flowers and ribbon and adhere using liquid glass or your favorite clear-drying glue.

Here are the photos of my version of the card-in-a-box. I made a very "girly" box, using photos of my sister-in-law Sandy's family, because I'm giving the box to her with her birthday gift next month. (So, Sandy, if you see this post before I give it to you, now you know what part of your gift is!)

Notice the purple wavy border on the lid? It's another sticker negative left over from one of StickEase sheets in the kit. I just trimmed it up with scissors and attached it to the lid, aligning the top of the "wave" with the top edge of the box. I lightly pinched the corners of the sticker as I went around the corners of the box, to form it to the sharp corners of the box. Once again, recycling something that most folks would have thrown in the trash!

Here's the template for the box:

Here's how I decorated the outside of the box:

Cut four 2" x 2" pieces of patterned paper and four 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces of patterned paper. Cut the 1 1/2" squares in half diagonally to form triangles. Adhere the 2" squares centered inside the scored squares on the outside of the box. If desired, tie four bows out of organza ribbon and adhere to the center of the squares with a glue dot. Adhere the triangles to the outside of the box as well, as shown in the photo below:

I hope that you've enjoyed these projects! Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recipe of the Week...Mandarin Orange Spritzer

I served this light and refreshing beverage at a scrapbooking workshop at my house last Saturday and it was a hit! If desired, one or two 11.2 oz. bottles of Bartles and Jaymes "Fuzzy Navel" wine coolers can be added as well. I served the non-alcholic version at the workshop...thought it best considering it was going to be consumed by very creative ladies wielding scissors and adhesive - ha! ha!

  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 small can mandarin orange pieces in syrup
  • Sprite
  • Optional: Bartles and Jaymes "Fuzzy Navel" wine coolers
Combine orange juice and mandarin oranges, including syrup, in a large glass pitcher. If desired, add wine coolers. Finish by adding Sprite to fill the pitcher. Stir and serve chilled over crushed ice. Enjoy!!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!! I thought I'd share some Dad photos along with a great Father's Day poem which is posted at the bottom. Some of my favorite things about my dad are:
  • Listening to him sing...he has a beautiful voice! I especially love it when he sings old-time hymns; my particular favorite is "In the Garden". Also, he can yodle like nobody's business!
  • His dad always worked very hard to provide for our family. I learned at a very young age that there is no such thing as a "free ride" and to succeed you have to work hard.
  • His humbleness...he always taught me and my sister that we weren't better than anyone, but that we weren't beneath anyone either! 
  • Watching him dad is very artistic and builds incredibly beautiful Kentucky long-rifle muzzleloaders. The way he carves the stock out of a blank piece of curly maple wood is a miraculous thing to witness!
Here's a photo of me and my dad, taken in November 1967...

Here's one of me and my dad, taken a few years you can see some things never change because he still wears plaid flannel shirts - ha! ha!

Here's one of Mike and his dad...

Here's one of the 3 "Brown Men" together: Logan, Mike, and Justin...

And last, but not least, here's two of my favorite photos of Mike and Justin. The first one was taken in 1995, when Justin was only 5 years old, while they were out fishing. The second photo was taken a couple of years ago while they were duck and goose hunting on a snowy day. I LOVE this picture of the two of them...the grins on their faces show how much fun they have being together, especially when they're hunting or fishing! Mike is such a wonderful father, husband and friend! He and Justin have always had a terrific relationship and Justin has always said "My dad is my best buddy!" How awesome is that?!?!?

Here's a great poem, (I'm not sure who the author is), that would be a nice to add to a scrapbook page to commemmorate how special a dad is:

Father's Blessing

Mender of toys, leader of boys,
Changer of fuses, kisser of bruises,
Bless him, Oh Lord.

Mover of couches, soother of ouches,
Pounder of nails, teller of tales,
Reward him, Oh Lord.

Hanger of screens, counselor of teens,
Fixer of bikes, chastiser of tykes,
Help him, Oh Lord.

Raker of leaves, cleaner of eaves,
Dryer of dishes, fulfiller of wishes,
Bless him, Oh Lord.

Have a blessed day!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bouquet from my yard....

Good morning! I woke up early this morning and made a cappuccino to drink while I sat on our back porch enjoying the cool morning air and listening to the birds sing. While I was admiring the flowers and plants growing in our back yard I decided to cut a few and make a bouquet to sit on the bar in my kitchen. A couple of months ago I purchased 3 hydrangea plants, (one of my FAVORITE flowers!), on clearance at Lowe's for only $4.00 each! They were marked down from $19.99 each, so I was THRILLED to find such a great deal! Mike planted them for me along the brick wall under our bedroom windows and they seem to be thriving there! I clipped some flowering stems from the hostas growing next to the garden shed, as well as some varigated ivy and fern fronds, tucked everything into a recycled square candle jar, and viola` a beautiful bouquet! Of course, being the ribbon junkie that I am, I tied a scrap piece of ribbon around the mouth of the jar to add a little extra foo-foo - hee! hee!

I've got to go get ready for a scrapbook workshop that I'm hosting this afternoon. I'll post the pictures later in the coming week to share the projects that we're making with you.

Have a fun and safe weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Miranda Lambert House That Built Me Live at ABC News

I just had to share this wonderful song with you all! It's sung by Miranda Lambert and is called "The House That Built Me". It's my new favorite song and just reached #1 on the charts! It's one of those songs that brings tears to my eyes everytime I hear it, and it takes me back to being a little girl growing up in Bernice, OK in the house that my dad built "nail by nail and board by board". I hope you can open the video clip and enjoy the song as much as I do!

P.S. Before you click on the video clip to listen, you'll need to scroll down the page and click the mute button on my playlist link, which is shown on the right side of my blog page. This will silence the music programmed to play when my blog is opened, so it doesn't interfere with the video clip sound.

Have a blessed day!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Recipe of the Week....Mexican Stew

What a rainy, rainy day it's been! There's been some flooding in parts of Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but thankfully Broken Arrow was spared from that! I called my sis-in-law, Lea Ann, who lives in Edmond, to make sure that they hadn't been swept away by the flood waters, and they were all just fine!

The upside about all of the rain is that the temps were cooler today...the high was only 81 degrees! I put a batch of "Mexican Stew" in the crockpot before I left for work this morning, so that it would be ready when we all got home this evening. (I just LOVE my crockpots...they're such a blessing for a working gal!)

I had to go to the dentist this afternoon...I broke one of my back teeth last week, and the dentist was on vacation, so I couldn't get in to see him until today. (Thankfully I wasn't in any pain!) Anyway, the verdict is that I have to have a root canal and a crown - ugh! So, I've got two upcoming appointments to get that tooth fixed. Thank heavens for dental insurance...but the part I have to pay is an expense that I hadn't counted on right now. Oh, well! It is what it is!

Enough about my's the recipe for Mexican Stew, which Mike and Justin gave "two-thumbs-up", (actually, I guess that would be four thumbs up, eh? HA!)

  • 1 can nacho cheese with jalepenos
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Ranch style beans
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. lean hamburger meat
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped pepper (your choice - green, yellow or red!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package dry taco seasoning
Brown hamburger meat with onion and pepper; drain and rinse to remove fat. Return drained/rinsed meat to skillet and add taco seasoning and water per directions on package and bring to simmer. Add can of nacho cheese and stir until melted. Pour mixture into crockpot. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve with corn tortillas, (or Fritos), and top with cheese, sour cream, olives, etc. ENJOY!

Have a safe week!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Recipe of the Week...Cheesy Baked Potato Slices

Happy Wednesday! This week I'm sharing a recipe for one of our favorite side dishes, Cheesy Baked Potato Slices. It goes great with steak, meatloaf, chicken, etc.

  • 5 or 6 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley

Peel, rinse and slice potatoes into 1/4" slices. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together soup, milk, paprika, pepper and parsley. Butter the bottom and sides of an oblong baking dish. Arrange potatoes in dish, overlapping rows. Sprinkle top of potatoes with cheese. Spoon soup mixture on top of cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Serves 6.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Monogrammed Correspondence Set Tutorial

Hi! Below you'll see a photo of the cute monogrammed correspondence set that I made to give to my friend Carolyn for her birthday. The set includes monogrammed notecards with matching envelopes, a bookmark, a post-it holder with pink monogrammed post-it notes, a pen, and a magazine-style box to hold everything together in a neat little package.

Here are the supplies that I used:

CTMH Products:
  • Olive cardstock
  • Chocolate cardstock
  • Blush cardstock
  • White Daisy cardstock
  • Alphabet stamps from the "Felicity" pack
  • Medallion stamp from the "Key to My Heart" pack
  • "A Tweet" stamp set
  • "Playful Flourishes" stamp set
  • Chocolate ink
  • Blush ink
  • Copper bitty brad
  • Bitty sparkles
  • Chocolate grosgrain ribbon
  • White mini rick-rack
  • 3-D dots
Non-CTMH products:
  • Polkadot ribbon
  • Cards and envelopes
  • Pentel pen
  • Teriffically Tacky Tape
  • Tape runner adhesive
  • Xyron sticker-maker
  • Peel-n-stick velcro dot
I started by making the box, which is modeled after a slant-sided magazine organizer. It will contain cards that are 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" and their coordinating A2 envelopes. (Keep checking my blog, as I'll be creating and posting another SUPER CUTE project soon using this box design and the new Cherry-O papers! The upcoming Cherry-O project posting will be a sneak-peak of what my monthly workshop attendees will be making in July!)

Here is the diagram that I created to make the box:

To create the slants, measure out 1 3/4" from the score lines at the top and make a light pencil mark. Measure 3 1/4" from the top corner and make a light pencil mark. Line up the pencil marks on your paper cutter, and trim off to form angle. Trim an additional 1/4" off of the sides of those flaps. Trim 1" off of the sides of the center flaps, and 1/4" off of the bottom flaps as well. (Trimmed areas are shown in black on the diagram above). Fold on all score lines, to form box as shown in photo above, and secure with Terrifically Tacky Tape for a strong hold. Run a 16" piece of ribbon through a Xyron machine to apply adhesive, then attach ribbon to the circumference of the box, overlapping ribbon slightly in the center on the front of the box. Decorate the front of the box as desired. I used the adorable little bird stamp from the CTMH "A Tweet" stamp set. It's one of my new favorite stamp sets and a REAL BARGAIN at a cost of only $7.95!!!

Next I created the monogrammed cards, envelopes, book mark, and post-it note holder. The cards are a simple and elegant design...for each card you only need two 3 1/2" x 2" pieces of cardstock in different colors, (I used Blush and Chocolate), and one piece of 3 1/4" x 4 1/2" piece of cardstock in another color, (I used Olive). I ran a 5" piece of coordinating ribbon through my Xyron to apply adhesive, then attached the ribbon to the center of the Olive cardstock. I adhered the Blush and Chocolate cardstock to the upper left and lower right corners of the card blank, and then adhered the Olive cardstock with the ribbon to the center. I then stamped the medallion using Blush ink, and centered the monogram over the medallion, stamping with Chocolate ink, as shown in the photo.

Here are the instructions on how to make the post-it note cover: 

Start by stamping monogram on the lower right corner of each post-it note. Next, cut a piece of cardstock, (I used Olive), 6 3/8" long by 3" wide. Score at 3 1/16" and again at 3 5/16". Adhere the pad of post-it notes to the inside back cover using Teriffically Tacky Tape. Cut a contrasting band of cardstock, (I used Blush), 1 1/2" wide by 9 5/8" long. Wrap around the center of the cover, creasing on the sides to follow the form of the cover and overlapping across the middle of the front. Adhere the back of the band to the back of the cover and the front left band to the front cover, using Teriffically Tacky Tape, as shown in the photos below:

Cut a 2" x 2" piece of Chocolate cardstock, turn on the diagonal, and adhere to the top of the band, trimming the band point to match the point of the Chocolate cardstock as shown in photo below:

Center monogrammed medallion over Chocolate square and adhere with a 3-D dot. Place a small piece of peel-n-stick velcro on the back of the band, behind the Chocolate square, to close the post-it holder as shown in the photo below:

I hope you've enjoyed this project! Please feel free to email me with any comments you may have...I'd love to hear from you!

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Catching up...

Hi, All! I've been nursing a back injury for the past week, so haven't been able to sit at my desk to send out a post or even check my email for that matter. Mike has been great about taking care of the laundry and housework, as well as cooking for us too! My best bud, Jamie, brought dinner to us Wednesday evening, (thanks, again, Jamie!!!), to give Mike a break from the domestic choring - ha! ha! My back is still tender, but I finished off the steriods that my doctor prescribed and I stopped taking the muscle relaxers Friday night. I'm able to sit upright for longer stretches of time now. (Thank heavens that we have a recliner with a massager and back heater built proved to be a real life saver for me!) I'm really looking forward to going back to work tomorrow...I'm a high energy kinda gal, so staying down is rough on me! Anyway, I thought I'd take a minute to post a picture of the GORGEOUS Jackmani Clematis that is growing on the trellis alongside our garden shed. A mouse built a home under our garden shed for the winter and chewed the vines to the ground, so we weren't sure if the clematis would survive, but survive it did and flourish to boot!

Wishing you a blessed week ahead!