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December 2007
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February 2008

"Glitter is the herpes of the craft world."

lol.  I heard that quote from Dustin last night at Mel's as he was reviewing our scrapbooking efforts for the evening but I can't remember who he was quoting from.  Melody and I couldn't help but laugh at the accuracy of that statement.  Dustin also told us that we're both very good scrapbookers and that he wasn't jealous because he didn't scrapbook but if he did, he would be "insanely jealous."  I thought that was a surprising comment coming from a guy although considering who it was coming from it was mostly just funny; we were both amused.

Anyway, I worked on a few layouts at Mel's last night while the boys (Vic, Dustin, Al and Tim) played (or attempted to learn to play) Starcraft (and, paranthetically speaking once again, I need to see if Tim has any pictures because I didn't have my camera and watching and listening to them was pretty funny.  Spread out all over the living room floor while talking about zerglings, combat cards, purchasing technology with crystals and I think Vic built a hive of some sort.  lol).  One of the layouts I worked on was a re-do of some pictures that I had scrapped a while ago for a diecut class I taught at the scrapbook store.  Since, as with many of the pages I did for classes, I didn't like it, I pulled off the photos and started another one.  I got home a little after 1am this morning and as I was putting away the stuff I took to Melody's, I decided I needed to work on the title (because, who takes all the stuff to work on a very pink layout and then only brings black and brown alphabets?  duh.)  I was digging in my bin of alphabet stickers and rubons when I discovered forgotten treasure.  Iron-on letters!  In PINK!  So I whipped them out, along with the mini craft iron I bought at the same time (at least a year ago... probably more) which has also never been used, and went to town.



They're fuzzy.  And pink!  So from this I got the double enjoyment of having a great time playing with iron-ons and actually USING some of the stuff that I bought and have since hoarded instead of constantly going out and buying new stuff to add to my stash and then not use it either.  And of course, none of the enjoyment had anything to do with the fact that by this point it was after 2am, right?  lol.

Off to enjoy the NHL All Star Game!

Another interesting cooking experiment.

So, I made these last night... Ethiopian lentil sambusas.  (And yes, I did steal the photo from the blog where I got the recipe.  Mine looked just like this actually, but I was too lazy to take my own picture).


What, you might ask, possessed me to make these?  Well a friend at work raves about Ethiopian food and as I was browsing Tastespotting for my regular drool session, I saw the link to this recipe and thought, hey, that looks somewhat tasty and easy to make.  I think I'll try it.

So, last night I got home from work and got busy.  There are a lot of spices in this thing... the combination of cooking spices and the red wine made my entire house VERY fragrant last night (you could still smell the spices when I walked downstairs this morning).  At first, going off the smell alone I thought it was going to be gross and I'd have to dump the whole thing.  In fact, I was ready to fill my phyllo dough with instant mashed potatoes rather than continue with the lentil concoction that was simmering on my stove.  But, I promised myself that I would be open-minded and at least try it first. 

After the lentils were done I gave them a taste and to my surprise I kind of liked it!  It was definitely spicy (I mean, it had cayenne pepper, paprika, and lots of other stuff loaded in there so I was kind of expecting a kick) but not so spicy that it was all burn and no flavor.  So I finished them off and baked them.  Of course, since this process took over an hour and it was almost 7 when I got home to begin with, I haven't actually eaten them yet but I brought some for lunch today.  Despite my taste test, I'm still a little reticent about eating these.  I do have a backup plan, however.  It involves chicken strips from the hot item vending machine downstairs... lol.  We'll see how it goes :)

Happy Friday!

ETA... so I just ate them, and my Ethiopian food loving friend had a bite as well.  She loved them and I actually liked them.  So... experiment successful :)

Paper, scissors, PhotoShop and iTunes.

That and a few good books pretty much sums it up.  Here's my evidence of a productive weekend:


This is my little attic room, where I spent a good portion of my weekend.  Yesterday (after the great snow-shoveling event) I actually got so caught up in working that I forgot about lunch until about 2:30 and dinner until about 8:15.  lol.  Too bad that doesn't happen every day!  This is actually pretty clean.  If I hadn't cleared up and put everything away between projects I'd be up to my eyeballs in paper scraps and tools.  Nothing to post right now since I think I'm going to try and submit a few things, but hopefully I'll have something to share soon.

And now... sigh... back to work :-P

This post is for my family and friends who know exactly how much I LOVE the snow.

In case you missed it, there was about a truck-load of sarcasm in that title, lol.  I'm really glad we have today as a holiday, though, because I would have hated to deal with this first thing this morning before having to drive to Provo in it.


This view, from my attic room, is slightly deceptive.  All my neighbors were out shoveling, so I decided I should do the same and try to get ahead of it, especially as it's STILL snowing.  This was the lovely view as I opened my garage.


I estimated about 15" before I started shoveling, but that number seemed to increase the longer I worked... doesn't it always? I think it took about 45 minutes or so to clear the driveway enough that I can get my car in and out.



lol, check out the guy across the street for perspective - he's a good 6' or more.  I could seriously build tunnels through my front yard now if I wanted to.  I'll ponder that thought while I finish my hot chocolate and feel the ache set into my muscles :D

The pomegranate is a fascinating fruit.

Warning: this is a totally pointless posting.  I just felt like sharing :)

I go in phases when it comes to cooking.  I'd say about 68.3% of the time I just heat up something frozen or a can of soup since it's kind of a pain to shop and cook for just me.  But then I go through these phases where I shudder at the thought of nuking a Lean Cuisine and I just want to cook (or eat left-overs) every day.  I'm in one of those phases right now so the other night while I was at the grocery store, I looked down at my cart and realized that between what was in my pantry and my cart, I had just about everything I needed to make some Fatteh with chicken. (I had this for lunch with my dad at the Lebanese Taverna while I was home for Christmas and have been lamenting the severe lack of ethnic restaurants in Utah ever since.  Okay, so I lamented before then too, hence the visit to Lebanese Taverna while I was home.)

So, last night, I looked up a recipe for flatbread and set to work making a batch.  The fatteh I was making involved pomegranate and it was the first time I've ever actually peeled one (if you can call it peeling).  It's messy and takes a long time (I can see why pomegranate juice is so expensive) but it was a fascinating up-close introduction to a totally underappreciated fruit.  (A brief aside here; who decides that they're going to see if something like that is edible anyway?)  The pomegranate makes the whole dish, though.  Definitely worth the effort.  And with that, the final product:


Compared to my dish from Lebanese Taverna, it looks pretty good!  And after a bite, I was shocked to realize that it tasted about as good as well (if I do say so myself, of course).  I think next time I might pick up some mint leaves, though.

So yeah.  Totally pointless posting.  But don't say I didn't warn you ;)

Project: Brag Book for my mom

For Christmas in 2006, I gave my mom a brag book of her first grandson for her to take to work and show off.  This last year, she suggested that an update would be more than welcome so I went ahead and did another 22 pages of Ben, months 6-18.  I decided to keep this one simple as I did my dad's since it's supposed to be showing off the pictures, right?  So I gathered pictures that I took along with ones Erin posted on their blog and pulled together another album.  Here are a few of my favorites (more for the pictures than the pages, of course):


The rest of the album is here.  Can you tell I rediscovered my Making Memories Artisan Labels? (Those would be all the stickers with the fancy printed frames.)  I found those in my sticker file and couldn't figure out why I wasn't using them, so out they came!

With all these recent projects I think I've created expectations that I'm going to keep this up, lol.  We'll see.  With such an adorable subject, it's not too hard to work up the enthusiasm for it.  And Erin, I promise that the next brag book will go to Ben's mother instead of his grandmother ;)  I'm just thrilled that I'm lucky enough to have a family that loves getting scrapbooks as presents.

Project: Travel album for my dad

For this last Christmas, I did a few gift albums for my mom and dad.  I've never done one for my dad before, and that was kind of a risk since when I lived at home and would show him a scrapbook page, the response was usually some variation of "nice."  But we've been on several awesome trips in the last few years and I was the only one with photos, so I thought he might like an album that kind of highlighted all of those trips.  I especially wanted to use photos I took of things or places that he really liked, like the Juego de Pelota stadium (or whatever you call it) in Mexico. I tried to keep it simple since I knew he'd mainly be looking at the photos and it went over well, so I was pleased.  I just wanted to share a few of my favorite layouts from the album:


It was really fun to put this together and remember all of the great trips we've had.  I put the whole album here - just scroll towards the bottom. :)

P.S.  What's up with the Avs lately?  Pretty good defense and goaltending, but what happened to the scoring?  You'd think Sakic was the only offensive guy they had and how that he's out recovering from hernia surgery, they're totally at a loss.  I know I'm pretty much the only one who cares about this, but seriously.  It's getting pretty sad.

I hate snow.

If I had known that the roads and weather were going to be this bad in Utah County when I left my house in Draper this morning, I would have stayed inside and whipped out the VPN.  Snow sucks.

A little glimpse of my latest project.

Well, aside from spending FOREVER scouring the internet to find setlists from the concert Steph and I were at in November (which I did find), I've been happily progressing on my latest scrapbooking project which has provided me with two new / rediscovered supply addictions:  Basic Grey swirly acrylic stamps and glitter glue.



I've actually had all this glitter glue for a while.  I just rediscovered my love for it and pulled it all out and lined it up so I can use it more.

And as to what I'm using these for, here's a little peek at my project:



And now, back to listening to the wind HOWL around my house :D

Some thoughts to make me happier about the fact that it's Monday...

1.  Only a few hours left until I can go home and it won't be Monday for another week.

2.  Dance War!  Bruno vs. Carrie Ann starts tonight (snickers).  Although, I have to admit, unless Chuck is back on, I'll probably end up watching it.

3.  Today I put down my deposit for this year's Travel Adventure Extraordinaire!  Any guesses where I'm going?  (Nicole, Brian, Mel and Steph are not allowed to answer.  Dang it.  That's almost everyone who might be reading.  lol.)

4.  I'm actually excited to go home and get back to work on a project I started this weekend.  It's been so fun to scrapbook for myself... I feel like I can really play and experiment with products and not worry about what anyone else will think.  I'm currently working on a mini-album of Steph and I in Texas last November.

Okay, I can't think of any more things that make me happier about Monday.  It was a stretch to get this far.  But I finally scanned and uploaded a few layouts last night.  These are 2 more in my series of layouts that are being re-done because I originally used the photos on class samples that I now hate.

This one I'm still not sure I like... I like elements of it, but I'm not sure I like the whole thing.  I'm tired of messing with it, though.  This is from Whale Watching off the coast of Monterey a few years ago - these are humpbacks.


I really like this one - from Jae's wedding a few years ago.


Oh yeah.  I never did say where I'm going this year did I?  hehe.

The official "Happy New Year 5 days late" post.

Yeah, I'm a bit of a blog slacker again lately.  It's been a little busy trying to get settled again after the holidays.  Anyway, good riddance 2007!  There were a few really great things that happened last year, but for the most part it was really a tough year.  I'm hoping 2008 will be much better :)

So... New Year's Eve I went to Mel's for a party at her place.  Dustin, Tim and Al also came and we munched on some goodies and played games.  Mostly Apples to Apples which I love.  A few pics...


And Dustin doing some kind of count down thing while we watched the ball drop in Time Square:


And how cute is Logan?  He's getting so big!


Then back to the grind on Wednesday and Thursday, although truthfully it was still a pretty light week.

Mel and I met on Thursday night to go to one of our local scrapbook stores, All My Memories, for their first quarter open house.  I'd never been to one before and it looked like a HUGE turnout to me until one of the teachers laughed and told me it was actually a pretty small crowd.  I guess I'm still used to the Virginia turnouts, lol.  Anyway, they had all of the new class projects and several fun make-and-take projects.  Here are the ones we did:


Friday was nice.  I took the day off to get some final things taken care of with my condo back in Virginia.  After over a year, I am finally no longer a home owner.  Yay!  Freedom.  I think it's going to be a while before I buy another home... I'm enjoying the freedom and lack of responsibility that comes with renting, and I really love my place now. 

After I finished that up, I met Mel and we went out to lunch.  We have a Cheesecake Factory in Utah now!  So we went there for lunch and split a couple of appetizers (Fried Macaroni and Cheese and Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes... mmmmm...) and then got cheesecake.  So good. 

So now, I've actually spent the rest of the weekend scrapbooking.  For me!  It's been a while since I've done that because I worked on gift albums for all of November and December.  So fun to do projects for myself and I'm really enjoying just being holed up in my little attic.  Speaking of, I have some layouts that I'll share later this week... mainly from the gift albums, but a few I did a while ago that I never posted.

So, with that, Happy New Year (5 days late)!