Thursday, December 30, 2010

Girlfriend Glitter Cups

Pretty over the top, aren't they? But super cute and a great way to let a girlfriend know how special and unique they are.

Here is the scoop! You will need:

  • Modge Podge (I used Gloss)
  • Foam brush
  • Glitter (I used Martha Stewart)
  • Insulated cold or hot cup
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • eyelets
  • eyelet setter
  • strong hole punch (ie: Cropadile)
  • acrylic sealant
  • coffee sleeve (or use this template with cardstock)
  • fabric to cover coffee sleeve
  • ribbon to tie on the sleeve
  • embellishments of your choice: the blingier the better!

1. With a foam brush, paint modge podge all over cup in an even layer. Sprinkle glitter to cover the modge podge (do this over a paper plate to re-use glitter). Shake off excess glitter.

2. Allow to dry (I let mine sit about an hour near the heater) and repeat 2 more times.

3. Once it is completely dry (maybe leave several hours or overnight), spray with an acrylic sealant. I used DecoArt Triple Thick Brilliant Gloss Glaze. This sets the glitter. Make sure you handwash only!

4. Next, make the sleeve. Unglue the coffee sleeve and cover with fabric using modge podge or a glue gun. Make sure that the areas where the eyelets will be (on the ends) are not too bulky so you can get the hole punch through it.

5. Punch 3 holes on each end and set the eyelets. String through some cute ribbon like a corset. This allows the sleeve to be removable for cleaning of the cup.

6.Next, bling it up using glitter picks (from Michael's), feathers, flowers, initials, beads, ribbon...whatever you like! Make it personal and over-the-top! These are meant to be fantastic. Adhere all of the bling with LOTS of hot glue.

Imagine these for your friend as a Birthday gift, a fun New Years cup, Girl's Night Out, Secret Santa.

Have fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

First Crop

Last night, I took Elise to her first crop. I decide to just be her support while I was there and teach her the basics of scrapbooking. I had her pick out all the photos she wanted to scrap from our Mexico trip last year and we picked them up at Costco.

At the crop, I had her plan her first page out, picking the pictures that would go on that page. Then we selected the paper (she did this herself out of papers I had on hand). Mostly, she scrapped by color which is what I do too! I emphasized the importance of journaling on each page, trying to get her started on the right foot! She did a great job and scrapped all the photos we printed. I am very proud. She loved it too!

I took a peek at the Creative Memories digital software while I was there. I think I may take the plunge. It was very cool and easy to use.

I am so looking forward to a lifetime of scrapbooking with my sweetheart!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inspiration Everywhere

I've been wanting to dip my toes into the ocean of digital scrapbooking for a while and I am getting closer to doing that. This week, I am taking an online class that includes digital elements. It's a free class that will produce 5 different projects led by Jessica Sprague, digital goddess.

I think this will jump start my creativity!

Join me if you like! Click here to join!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Easy Giftwrap

Here is a gift I wrapped today for a birthday. I used the techniques we learned at our recent flower making craft club. Who wouldn't want to get a gift like this? :)

Black Friday 2010

I braved the sales yesterday! I was in position where I had to! Ellie's #1 toy request was pretty well sold out online except fro inflated prices at Amazon and Ebay. So off I went, at 10:30 pm. I waited in line outside at Toys R Us for 30 mins and then grabbed one inside (3 left on the shelf!!) and proceeded to wait in line to pay for 2 hours! I got home at 2:30 am and them back up at 5:30 for more sales!

Needless to say, I napped most of the afternoon. It brought me back to going to the after Christmas sales when Lucas was a newborn. I got up early but then had to be back within a certain time to pump and feed him. Then no nap for me! Grateful for Daddy yesterday and the kids for going downstairs while I slept.

I was in hell waiting in that line but now that I am rested, it was worth it. You just have to go with the flow!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teacher Gift: altered tins for gift cards

These are some altered tins I made today. I bought some Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels and decided to play around.

These tins are for the kids' teachers. Ellie has 2 teachers. We had conferences today and I don't like to go empty handed :) So I altered these tins ($1.99 ea at Michael's) and tucked in Starbuck's cards.

I think it's nice to do something personalized for the teachers, something different and not just your average apple themed gift. Take something along for your teachers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I found out a few weeks ago that a friend from college is a Medium. That means she can communicate with people who have passed away and facilitate communication between the living and the dead.

I had a session with her today and I wanted to blog about it.

It was pretty awesome. I will talk about the most interesting parts because it was 90 mins long.

At the very beginning, my Dad came through first. Karen told me that he showed her a stuffed animal to identify himself. I have a stuffed animal he hand sewed on my nightstand. Then he showed a photo of me sitting on his lap. The only 2 things I have out in the open in my house are the stuffed animal and a photo of him on the fridge. So I pretty much take that as meaning it was him coming through.

Here are some of the notes that Karen sent me after the session:
He loves being in your kitchen for your kitchen is full of life, love and energy. He loves watching you make dinner, for he likes the energy in the room. He loves seeing you happy, which your family often is when they are in the kitchen. He says you are such a great cook!

When your eyes go toward the photo of you sitting on your dad's lap know that he is with you and thinking about you at that moment as well.

He is with you often and loves you!!!

He was talking about how he is sorry that he was not there to help raise you. He could have taught you more about men and help lead you in the right direction. He also said that he is happy with the man you married. He was not always happy with your other boy friends. He said that you picked a good guy. He was also saying that he would have had great "engineering" conversations with your husband. For fun he was laughing at how much your husband can eat. (Dama has an insane appetite)

He showed me how he was sad when he was saying his goodbyes. He knew he would not be there to raise you and see you grow up and that made him sad. He showed me that your mom and brother were holding hands and standing by his hospital bed and showed me that you were on the bed and he was petting your hair.

However, he was still able to watch you grow up while he was in heaven. He is happiest when you are happy. That is why he likes your kitchen.

Both my Grandpa's came through as did my Gran but they were all quiet. My Grandpa (who was a Dr) walked in and put a stethescope on my heart and said that I have a very strong head and a huge heart and all of my loved ones know that.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Soccer 2010

It has been a really busy and fun 8 weeks in our house! Both kids
started soccer this year and I had no idea how much we all would love

We have been putting it off for a year because we were not
ready to "give up our weekends". Little did we know how much it would
enhance our weekends! Both kids had terrific teams and it was amazing to
see how putting them into a team environment really fostered their

I was assistant coaching Ellie's team and that was a
lot of fun. It truly can be a lot of work at times too. There is a lot
of organizing behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. Ellie's
team ended their season yesterday with 7 wins and one loss. These girls
were such a fun group. Lucas has one more game and I believe they will
probably be close to a split season (half wins and half losses). Lucas
really excelled from the get go and Ellie came into her own over the
season. She turned into a fierce defender! Her self confidence on the field blossomed.
Lucas was a goal scoring guy. I saw his loyalty to his team come shining through.

Here are some photos of the season:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Howdy! and good feelings

It's me!

So, I am on the cusp of a day that I have both longed for but more recently dreaded in some ways. Come September, both kids will be in school all day. {insert fist pump}

I remember when I used to long for this day. When I could "scrap all day"! Now I know that won't be happening. More accurately, I will be at the school a lot, shuttling kids to activities, teaching swimming, maintaining the house and running of the family! It will be busy but will also be peppered with a lot more time for myself.

But recently, I have looked at the kids (especially Ellie) and felt kinda sad that they won't be around much. The thought of my little girl being gone all day makes me sad. I had last year to adjust with Lucas and thankfully he had a teacher that allowed me to drop in whenever to help out, read with the kids or just give my baby a kiss in the middle of the day. But Ellie was my sidekick last year in the afternoons. We had lots of peaceful and fun times together. It's going to feel a little empty.

It's bittersweet but I look at how far I have come with 2 kids who are so close in age. It's just a new stage for us. I have new responsibilities now. No longer do I have to deal with the "baby stuff" like diapers, fits, teaching to share. Now I will be educating, instilling values, and helping them reach their potential. I think after I adjust, this will be exactly what I want to do.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


My friend Tia had a warm and fuzzy blog post, just wanted to share it with you:

Sharing Laundry

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kid Report

I have not subjected you to bragging about my kids in a while so I will now!

Let's start with Lucas. Right now he is very passionate about reading and read 100 pages of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" in 2 evenings before bed. He has a voracious want to read and is planning all the books he is ready to conquer. He has just taken off in the last few weeks. He has even entered a challenge with the best reader in the class to see who finishes the book first! Very ambitious. He is doing really well in all areas at school...math, reading, writing. I love all of his work and the teacher told me he is a very emotionally intelligent kid (surprise) and is very in tune with the feelings of others, almost too much at times! He definitely has his moments at home and a lot of that has to do with the flip side of being an emotional kid. I'll keep him though :)

Elise had her Kindergarten performance last night. Cuteness overload! She did a great job of singing and dancing. She too is doing great in school, improving in reading and her math is excellent. Elise is a very funny kid, has a great and natural sense of humor. Dama and I were just talking this morning about how much we laugh with our kids. Both of them are very happy and funny but Elise really is a natural. She says and does really quirky things. Her swimming is going really well! She is most definitely a water bug. Loves diving down to the bottom of the deep end to retrieve her swim teacher's glasses when they fall off :) She is the teacher's go-to gal for that.

As summer is approaching, we are looking forward to keeping up with reading. We will do the Summer Reading Program with the KCLS again. Also on the books is a road trip, camping, VBS, sport's filling up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pop Arty

I think Ellie may have thought she was in heaven when I brought home a bucket of Pop Arty today.

I love it when I find something cool that the kids have never seen, even on commercials, and they get fixed on it. Pop Arty are beads that just pop together, so kids her age and even younger can make their own necklaces, rings, bracelets etc with ease. It comes with 500 beads as well as bracelet starters and ring starters. Only $15 at Target!

I am all about things that are fun, cute and keep the kids occupied. Oh....and the hug I got was well worth it too!

If you have any gifts to give for a girl coming up, consider this!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What's for Dinner?

I've been really enjoying cooking these days!

Monday: Sausage and Mozzarella Calzones, coleslaw

Tuesday: Steak on the bbq, broccoli and strawberry salad, steamed rice

Wednesday: Japanese Curry and rice with carrots and potatoes

Thursday: Salmon wrapped with lemon and dill on the bbq, corn on the cob, green salad, rice

Friday: Eat out

Saturday: Dama usually cooks!

Sunday: garlic and gruyere brats, quick make sauerkraut, roasted potatoes, maybe grilled butternut squash?

What's for dinner at your place?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teacher Apprecation 2010

It's Teacher Appreciation week! I'd love to hear what all you crafty ladies have done for your special teachers this week.

Here is an idea that we are doing this year. Our starts have been doing wonderfully so I thought I would share the wealth and give the teachers something that will really produce!

inexpensive planter + veggie starts lovingly grown by me = cute gift!

Add in a card that reads "thanks for helping me grow" and it's ready to give.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Money Matters

It really does. I've never been one to care too much about money, material stuff is just not that important to me and doesn't impress me all that much. But ever since we have been working aggressively on finances, I have become well aware that money matters much more than I had hoped.

I am really happy with the work we have done and the fact that hubby and I have not killed each other in the process! Not even close. I am grateful that finances is one thing that we agree upon and as we all know, that's huge in the realm of marriage.

Yesterday I sent off what I feel is a gigantic cashiers check to purchase years of college for the kids. The bank teller told me "you are doing the right thing, Mom" as she saw the anxiety written on my face. I wish I had a video camera to document all of this and the long discussions with hubby, trusted friends that brought us to the decision of college funds.

We also worked on our 401k so monthly income is trimmed back . But there is a certain peace in knowing we will have that security later in life and that we are "doing it right".

Friday, April 23, 2010

Home Improvement

I love to work on home projects when the hubby is away. This time I picked a large one that involved hiring someone to help. I am so excited to see his reaction when he gets back.

As I type, the tilers are putting in our new tile in the entryway. It's called "black grotto" but it's kind of a dark gray with some brown accents. It looks fabulous so far! They will also be replacing all the trim (which was 1970's original) and they took out the entire door jam leading from the entryway to the downstairs hallway and are replacing it with an open entry type doorway, no door. Nice and neat. They are also doing all the trim in the downstairs hallway.

I have been working in the yard and on getting ready for growing season. I built a 6 foot by 3 foot raised bed for tomatoes and lettuce, filled it all up with soil. Ready for my starts which are looking hardy and strong! I also thatched the yards and re-seeded. It's going to look great!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Look at me!

I have a new blog design! It's custom made...oooooo, ahhhhh! Do you love it? Give me some feedback!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Menu

My final Easter menu is in the works. Here are the ones that definitely made the cut:

Costco Ham
Mashed Potatoes with a little cream cheese and chives
Scalloped Pineapple
Steamed Green Beans (fresh and plain)
Apple Pie
Julie's Famous Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Topping

And some others that I will choose from once I get to the grocery store:

Bourbon Pecan Smashed Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Raisins

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homemade Tortilla Chips

These are so quick and easy, plus they are a much healthier alternative to store bought chips.

You can do this with corn tortillas, flour tortillas, pita bread. I used corn tortillas for mine that were just hanging around after we had tacos.

Cut them into chip sized triangles and arrange on a baking sheet. Spray with Pam and sprinkle with any seasoning you wish. Garlic, seasoned salt, onion powder, kosher salt. Then you pop them into the oven which you have pre-heated to 350 or 400.

I baked mine for about 7 mins at 350 and turned them for an extra couple minutes. Be sure to not let them turn brown too much, then they will taste burnt. These are just so good and fresh when you pull them out of the over. I made some homemade guacamole while they were cooking.

If you do this with pita bread, you can use them for dips like spinach dip, hot artichoke, or my famous buffalo chicken dip!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Closing in on 11

We've been married almost 11 years. And it's funny because it has taken me about 10 1/2 years to figure something out about how my husband works.

Things have not always been rosy. I am not embarrassed or shy about saying that and my friends whom I trust all know it. I am one of those people that wears my emotions on my sleeve so trying to hide my feelings or pretend is not my strong suit. I am also a strong believer in not secret keeping with those I trust. It stresses me out. My friends are my friends for a reason...because I trust them and want them to be part of my life, good or bad.

Anyways, this year really has been great for us and it has been especially good recently. It's that little secret I figured out that has been great. What is it? Well, I figured out that if I don't take everything on myself and actually ASK for help, I get it.


I recently told hubby that the laundry was taking me over like a bad monster and laundry is not something I cherish. I said "Honey, the laundry is consuming me. Can you help me fold on weekends?". BAM!

So I tried it again. "Honey, the kitchen clean up after dinner, it comes at the point of my day where I am just kind of done." BAM!

You should try it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Smart Puppy

I was speaking with a fellow puppy owner about the wonderful parts of having a smart puppy. She has a shiba inu cross. Shibas are the national dog of Japan so I am particularly in love with them. They are very smart, very cute and active dogs.

Boston Terriers are also known for being smart and clever and Baxter is no exception. I was thinking about all the stuff he knows, all the commands and he really does understand much of what we say. Here are some of the cute, clever and funny things he does:

-when I say "Go to your room" he goes into his crate

-I can ask him to "go kiss Ellie" and he will hunt her down and kiss her. Same with any member of the family, even the cat! If I say "go kiss Cooper" he will look for him and kiss him on the face.

-He just learned how to "drop it", a feat I'd never thought he would learn.

-He can "shake" but usually he just swats my hand. But if I tell him "nice shake!", he will rest his paw on my hand gently. This one is so cute!

-If I say "Do you want some lovin'?" he will stand on his hind legs so I can pick him up and snuggle. Awwwwww!

-If I say "so you wanna play like that, huh!!!" he will run and grab his rope toy so we can play tug

-he can cat wrangle. If I tell him to "go get Cooper" when Cooper has escaped, he will chase him down and herd him back into the house.

-when he has done something naughty like chewing on something, we simply have to show it to him with no words at all and he gets the look of guilt. The ears go back and he slinks over and sits at my feet. Then I ask "did you do this?" and he looks even more guilty. After I scold him, I tell him to say sorry and he gets up on his hind legs to "hug" and kiss me. If I show him the same item hours later, his ears will go back again and the guilt shows. He is so funny!

The thing I love most about him is that he really does see the kids as his "pack". Not just our kids but the kids of the neighborhood. When they are in the backyard, he must be out there playing too. When we go to the dog park, he runs ahead with them. I really think he views himself as one of our children. And we love him like he is.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Made By Me Monday

We had Craft Club this past weekend at Kim's. Thanks so much for the fun time and great food!

We made banners, which are all the rage. I decided to do mine for the mantle upstairs. I don't decorate too much for the seasons but I always do my mantle. This year, I did it all in green and white for spring so I made a coordinating banner.

I also learned how to make this adorable flowers that can be used to embellish many things. They look great on the banner!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Go Summer

Ordered and shipped! Starting small and see how it goes!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

He Got It Right

Overheard this evening:

Lots of kid noise

"Kids, the last thing you should do right now for Mummy is to horse around and be noisy. She is sick and it will make her tired".

Jangling of the leash. Sound of little footsteps out the front door.

Taking the dog and kids out for a walk.

He got it right. I love it when that happens.

Monday, March 8, 2010

One Dinner, Two Versions

I do this from time to time. Make one dinner but with an adult and kid version. Last night, I made homemade chicken nuggets. Well, it's called Karaage Chicken in Japan but it's basically nuggets :) I feel a lot better serving this than the bagged, frozen chicken yukkets (though there is a time and place for those)!

I made the kid version: plain with rice and furikake, apples on the side:

And the adult version with a simple sauce added (recipes below). Also served with tsukemono (Japanese pickled veggies):

Chicken karaage

  • 2-4 boneless chicken thighs or breasts, depending on how big they are
  • A piece of fresh ginger about the size of your thumb, grated
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs sake or sherry
  • cornstarch
  • oil for deep frying (I use vegetable oil but I have heard peanut is good)

Cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces. I use skinless breasts that I have pounded with a tenderizer.

Put the chicken pieces in a bowl. Add the grated ginger, soy sauce and sake, and mix well. Let marinate for a minimum of 1/2 hour, and up to about 1 hour (not too long or the salt in the soy sauce will toughen up the chicken.)

Heat the oil. Toss in enough cornstarch into the marinated chicken so that each piece is completely coated. Fry the chicken pieces a few at a time until a deep golden brown.

Drain well.

Simple Karaage Sauce

Mix 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbs vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp sesame oil with cut up green onion. Drizzle over chicken.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Green Month

With March being St Patrick's Day and all the plants and trees renewing their lives, it just begs to be dubbed the Green Month in our house. My mantle is decorated for spring, all in green and white. So our thoughts are with how to GO GREEN this month.

What are we up to? Well, I have started doing the countertop composting thing. I keep a container on the counter and all food scraps and compostables go in there. Getting the kids involved....they take it out to the yard waste every evening. I am a little concerned about this for the summer, preventing fruit flies etc.

Talking to kids about the earth and what it means for the earth if we don't do these things has been easy. They genuinely want to do the right thing. Lucas has started keeping his nightlight off. His reason being "I want the earth to always be green". (Julie J, I think the Cars light has seen it's last day!)

We have also been scrutinizing the stuff we put into the garbage. Is it recyclable? Is it compostable? Stopping to think before anything goes in the trash.

Getting ready to put the garden in for this year. It will be an expanded one, and will try out a potato cage . Garden plans include tons of green onion, cherry tomatoes, purple heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, herbs.

Just want to challenge everyone to make March your Green Month too!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fun Idea

The kids are bike crazy! All 3 girls in the cul de sac are now on 2 wheels so I am sure this will be a summer of biking fun.

One of the Dads came up with a great idea that the kids are loving. He made a "bike path" with chalk that weaves all around the cul de sac. It goes all over and up driveways and the girls have been following it all over. They just go 'round and 'round and barely stop! In fact, one of the girls was out there at 9 this morning!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lucky me

Lookie what I won! A personalized table runner handmade by a sweet gal and tremendous mom.

Head over and check out Liz's blog.

Thanks Liz! I love it!

Hanging Photo Collage

It's Made By You Monday!

It's amazing when, from some small and simple item, comes sweet inspiration. Beautiful Tia inspired this cute project from an item she spied at Ikea.

It was just a set of 5 clear plexi squares meant to frame photos.

We transformed it into a hanging photo collage with embellishments and fun!

You can embellish on the outside of the plexi too. In fact it adds dimension and interest.

I just kept it very simple. I didn't even print my photos on photo paper, I simply printed them off on regular printer paper. It was more important to me to finish the project rather than make sure I had perfect everything ready. Simplify things for yourself! Sometimes I over prepare or take way too much time gathering. Don't take your crafting too seriously.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Last Day!

More pictures! Went to our curling match today.

Waiting for the bus to get to the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

NHK (a major Japanese network) interviewed Dama!

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