Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Another Day, Another Card

Okay - not just another day! My wonderful sister decided to surprise MrP and I with our Christmas present a little early this year, promising an experience of a lifetime. Well, I love my sister, but when she says something like that, then chuckles all the while after I agree to give this experience a go, it makes me a little anxious. She does, afterall, have a wicked sense of humor. I half expected a Fear Factor-esque gift.

Nope - she outdid herself on this one! Along with the help of Try
That (The Experience Company), we're going to be trying our hand at Stock Car Driving! One of my first questions - is it a standard?! HAHA! At the ripe age of 28, I have yet to learn to drive a stick shift. I tried a couple of times in high school with friends. Jason? Sorry about the ground out gears. Amanda? I apologize for stalling more than a kid with a bedtime 10 minutes ago. But you did own a Taurus....which is technically a family car, so that's my justification. Had your parents bought you a sports car, well let's just say I think that's more my style.

Anywho, sometime this summer, MrP and I will be off and racing. Please don't judge me when I only manage to get to about 15km/hr! Thanks MamaBear (I've decided to call you MamaBear because you have three little cubs that I adore the crap out of...if you'd prefer I use your real name, well you can take it up with the complaint office at the right)

Finally, I dedicate my lawn work last night to K-Dawg, who managed to separate his shoulder last night and had to be hauled to the hospital with sirens blaring (Actually, I don't know if they had sirens going, but in my mind, there were sirens....I'll confirm with Chelsey on that). I did some thatching and lawn mowing before I drop spread fertilizer and grass seed. Finished up just as the heavens opened up on that home in the hole known as Millwoods. To you, K-Dawg, I dedicate my lawn. May it grow & heal like your busted up shoulder. Get resting!

Without further ado (since the card should be on it's way to it's intended destination), my Verve Sketch 3 card from June (that I just finished on Sunday)...

Stamps: Like a Tree
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White,
Ink: Pink Pirouette, Chocolate Chip Craft
Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Chocolate Chip Grosgrain

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wanted to Watch TV, But Made a Card Instead

I created this card yesterday for a couple we know that have a baby on the way (any day now, child!) It was nice to sit down last night & make a couple cards while MrP talked to his father, although I didn't appreciate it at the time since we were three episodes from finding out who the killer is on Harper's Island, a show we've been neglecting and thus ended up with about 10 shows on the PVR.

It amazes me how many familiar faces are on that show - people from shows that nobody else ever watched, according to MrP! Well I did, so there!
The soon to be married girl (Trish Wellington) was also Ruby on Supernatural. The father (Mr. Wellington) was Susan's ex husband, Carl, on Desperate Housewives. The soon to be married guy (Henry Dunne) was on Popular. A couple of the groomsmen were on other shows that I recognized, too - one from One Tree Hill, the other from The Best Years. Okay - maybe nobody really does watch those shows, but I did, so whatever! (And I'll tell you what....I liked them! Yep - I said it. I LIKED THEM!) It does seem to happen, though, that many of the shows I've enjoyed have been cancelled after a season. Like Moonlight, Journeyman, Bedford Diaries, Hidden Palms, Whistler, The Nine, Cashmere Mafia, Kings, Priviledged...then comes ones that had a season or two and that really dug the knife into my teeny tiny heart....Veronica Mars, Reaper & Pushing Daisies.

By the way, don't google any of them or you'll likely find a theme - I enjoy zoning out to fluff (although some of them were very smart & witty, delicious to devour marshmallow fluff!)

Alright, enough crying about spilled milk (cancelled shows in this case). This is my card du jour - it was easy, peasy thanks to the Verve June Week 4 sketch (I'll post week 3's sketch after it makes it to it's intended destination).

Stamps: Whipper Snapper Here's Two Ewe
Paper: Barely Banana, Certainly Celery, Watercolor, Delicate Dots DP, Non SU! Purple Cardstock
Ink: Black Staz-On, SU! Markers
Accessories: Nestabilities, White Ribbon
Techniques: Watercolor

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Images of a Sunburn Day

10th Hole at Jagare Ridge

I loved this little birdhouse

Tee'd up

I look like a pro, right?! LOL!

These little cuties were swimming along with their mom and I caught the one at the back just as he was popping up from his underwater swim!
I got a couple of great shots, but I'll have to ask permission to use them since they involve G-Unit and I =)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Off to Golf

Let's just put this out there. I don't really golf. But today, I'm attending the annual Golf Tournament for MrP's work and it's going to be a long day. We've got a great couple of friends that we'll golf with, but 18 holes when you do it once a year is one long course. So we'll see how it goes. I'll take lots of pictures for sure. Last year, G (for gorgeous) and I decided to jump on our good shots. This year, we're going to jump for the bad ones....at least we'll get our exercise in! =)

Yesterday was another busy day 'off". I didn't get half of what I wanted to do done, but what I did finish was important (including cutting the shag off my head, visiting and collecting pledges for my 15K walk on Wednesday that benefits the Cdn Cancer Society, and meeting my friend's new son, who's the cutest bundle of roly poly I've met).

I didn't get my SU! order reviewed, a sprinkler to hide from MrP, the lawn at the front worked on or mothballs to make the local cat who thinks my back yard is a litter box stay away. Oh well - there's always Sunday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Recent Reads & Creativity Collide

Lifeguard by James Patterson & Andrew Gross was a great find for my second audio book. I really enjoyed it and it took me just a few days to "read" the entire book. I'm really getting into this listening of books. Most of the time, if given the chance, I'll choose to read over having something read to me since I read faster than people seem to say it, but I've really loved getting read to while I go about my business (driving to work, harvesting on Farm Town, etc.) This book was apparently written in 2005 and having a name like James Patterson behind it, I expected good things. I wasn't disappointed and The Voice was enjoyable, as well. Check it out!

I thought I'd also share the second card I created yesterday in my evening of glorious whateverIwant! I uploaded it to my gallery on Splitcoast Stampers and then received an email saying they'd moved it to a more appropriate spot?! Well, that spot is in the Fabulous Flowers Gallery as a sample apparently. Is this an upgrade? If so, yay me. If it's what they always do, well don't tell me because I'm thinking my pooh's smelling pretty rosy today! AND to top it off, I received a comment from Julee..THE Julee. The VerveGirl. She's amazing and fantastic and inspires me (see right side)...can you say Yahoo for TannyP?! LOL Don't worry - no need to feel happy for me - I feel happy enough for myself. =)
Anyways, without further rubbish (I love that word!), my card using the 2nd June Verve Sketch:

Stamps: Fabulous Flowers, Best Yet
Paper: Rose Red, Summer Sun, Regal Rose, Shimmery White
Ink: Rose Red, Summer Sun, Regal Rose
Accessories: Nestabilities

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tastes like Summer

Tonight was my night "off"! No gym, no real plans...just me and some time to do what I wanted (as soon as MrP headed off to golf of course) So he made sure I had some supper and around 7, headed out, leaving me to my tasks, which I'd decided on earlier. I found this recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Bars on Baking Bites, which is always loaded with great recipes and informative tidbits (What kid wouldn't love this?! My nephew would gobble those pancakes) on everything delectable.
The idea of a bar that didn't appear to be too difficult, yet promised a mouthful of summer in every bite?! Count me in!

Since I don't have a food processor, I use the next best thing for small batches - my multimix! It's one of the "must have" items from when I moved out on my own that rarely gets used, but when it does, I'm glad we have it around. It turned about a cup full of strawberries into a puree smoother than a baby's bottom (I'd like to know who started that saying....lots of babies I've known have had diaper rashes....and while I'm no expert, I think that's likely less smooth than they're claiming)

Anyways, the butter & sugar are whipped together until smooth, then add in the flour & salt until it's meal-y. You know, NOT smooth...

then press it into a lightly greased 9x13 pan

Once you throw that into the oven 1t 350 for 17 minutes, get to work on the lemons, man. I'm telling you - they're not that bad. I debated "cheating" and just using lemon juice from a bottle, but I went to the store and picked up 7. I had one left over, having squeezed out a cup of their juices. That little trick about heating them in the microwave for 8-10 seconds seems to work, too. They weren't awful to juice. And heck, I don't have a reamer. I just jammed my little weiner tongs (well I don't know what they're called....I use them to pull boiled weiners out of the water) Look in the picture and you tell me what they are.

I even managed to zest my lemon! (now that I reread the recipe, I grossly undersupplied the lemon zest, but whatever!) Toss everything into your food processor (in our spacially challenged kitchen, a blender is a decent replacement until one day when the stars align in favour of a food processor. Oh Cuisinart, how I'll treasure you!)

then pour it into your hot out of the oven pan

At this time I would like to make a safety announcement. Please do not forget that the pan was recently removed from the oven and attempt to replace it back into the oven for the required baking time without the use of a heat transfer device such as a set of baking mitts. Thank you!A safety demonstration will not follow, but please remember this....it's for your own good. (And my palms don't wish that discomfort on another set of palms. They're kind, gentle souls that way.)

Now that it's in the oven, you have time to do a little cleanup. What?! You're done? Sweet! So am I. Not a dirty dish in sight thanks to Boschy, my bestest kitchen buddy.

Just over 11 minutes left?
Let's get cracking!

Oh no....someone broke in & rummaged my craft area!

Call the police.

Wait. Call the...
Call me. What a disaster. It was time for a little clean up and then I could get crafting.
And craft I did. With my bars cooling, I managed to get through the Verve June 2009 Release Week Challenge 1 (also known as Mojo 92)

Stamps: All Year Cheer I, Cause for Celebration
Paper: River Rock, Groovy Guava, Whisper White, Ruby Red, Ginger Blossom DP
Ink: Ruby Red, River Rock, Groovy Guava
Accessories: River Rock Stitched Grosgrain, Nestabilities

I loved this sketch and I'm really hoping to make more with it. It can be simplified or made as extravagant as you want. I did manage to get one other card done, as well, but it's 11:54, Chris is home from golf and I need to shower and get my sorry butt to bed for another long day of work!
Oh - and you're probably wondering about the finished bars? (No? Then don't look below...)

Strawberry Lemonade Bars
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.
Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard - nothing to worry about). Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices. Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day (like those happen in Canada!). Makes 24 bars.
Oh yeah - and Happy Birthday to TheMrP, MrP's Pa, who is the youngest 50+er I've ever met. He also pledged my upcoming walk, allowing me to hit $800, which is just $200 away from my original goal! I suspect MrP might have a pledge up his sleeve....if not, I know his credit card #!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Wow – last night was a late one! My riding lesson was extra busy (our usual class is about four of us, plus one on occasion). I thought the class max was 6…apparently it’s okay for the Barn Manager to dump in 4 additional “make up lesson” people for a crowded 10 horses & riders in the smaller indoor arena. Had it been the outdoor, it might have been a little windy, but at least we wouldn’t have had some near death crashes. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration. But we did transition to walks to change directions.

My assigned horse, Trapper, was especially ornery, having been ridden earlier and thought he had his workout for the day. I can’t really blame him….I can get cranky with too much exercise, too. His robust form, however, has leaned up and you can actually see muscles, unlike the first time I rode him in April when he looked like he was about to birth a set of Pillsbury dough-horse twins.

I did manage to keep my knee this week, which is always nice. When he’s tired and grumpy, he usually tries to rub me off against the wall. Maybe it’s the threat of his nose being ground off like a lemon on a zester, but he didn’t try to take me out at all! Maybe because of his earlier workout, he wasn’t the freight train that he sometimes can be when he hears the hoofbeats of another horse coming up behind. I call it off the track Thoroughbred mentality…maybe it’s just my wishing to be a jockey. HAHA At any rate, when we walked, we did our best
Quarter Horse impression.

By the end of the lesson, we’d jumped our course twice and did it with more flare than usual (yay me!), managing to somewhat look like we belonged in the class instead of one for morons who haven’t ridden for ten plus years. To the other riders from last night, I apologize for making you look like amateurs. Clearly, Trapper and I are on our way to super stardom in the Professional Rubbish Spewer Master classes. =)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yard Work Made Easy

Well this weekend I pulled out my newest lawn maintenance tool. You see, I have a problem. I want a beautiful, luscious lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. In my opinion, that’s not my problem. The fact that I live with The Lawn Miser is.

MrP is a hater. In his opinion, we don’t live in some posh, uppity neighborhood, so there’s no pressure to have a high maintenance patch of grass. I beg to differ. I don’t want a yard that resembles the neighbors. We have a good neighbor on one side (keeps their lawn trimmed, had some flowers that perennially beautify their yard) and the other one…well that’s another story. If I tell you that he parks his boat in his front yard, having ripped out the little bush that was there at one time, does that give you a clue? No? Well, how about the fact that he mows about 3 times each summer, waiting until his dandelions reach an astonishing 10” tall before pulling out the ol’ ride on mower, dropping the blade into the dirt and almost rototilling his land. Get the picture? ‘nuf said.

So each year, I haul out the jug and water under the ruse of weed & feeding. Let me tell you, those few times a summer of piddly watering does not a patch of glorious green make.

I suppose this would be the time to mention that MrP is also not buying into my recommendation of making our yard look like a dog crapped all over it either (aka aerating). I hear the grass gods mocking me, I swear.

When I was visiting Chelsey’s a few weekends ago, her husband (we’ll call him K-dawg for today’s purposes – FYI – he’s a Yard Master Extraordinaire) introduced me to this
little diddy. A thatching rake. Then he showed me her powers (I like to think of it as a girl, since she gets the hard work done). Removal of thatch that was barely visible. I mean, I couldn’t even tell there was anything there until he pulled that rake through. I had to have it.

And so the story goes…I picked one up the following Monday. $20.99 of lawn maintenance goodness. Yesterday, I got to it in the back yard. It showed me the error of my ways, thinking I’d done my lawn justice with the crappy raking job that I’d thought sufficient with my leaf rake. I realize it’s supposed to be used in the spring, but have you looked outside, peeps?! It’s just barely out of spring around here. With that, I leave you to your own lawns and humbly suggest this affordable, effective unit make it’s way into your tool collection. (And thanks, K-dawg)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Anniversary with a Color Fave

Tonight I created two cards. Only one will be shown here, as the other is only fit to be seen by the two year old who's getting it. Actually, I'm not even sure it's okay for her eyes, but we'll see =)

It's my sister-in-law's anniversary coming up on the 30th, so I put this together for it, using a VivaLaVerve Sketch challenge for the fourth week of June. The twist was to be inspired by a piece of designer paper. I found my favorite, which is a piece of Spring Silhouette DP that uses Wild Wasabi and Soft Sky.
Easy but elegant and I love the way it came together!

Stamps: Wonderful Favorites
Paper: Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi, Whisper White, Spring Silhouettes DP
Ink: Soft Sky, Wild Wasabi
Accessories: Wild Wasabi Striped Grosgrain, Stylized Silver Hardware, Nestabilities

I desperately need my ATG tape gun, though! Chels, I'm coming to rescue it!

Culina (Mill Creek)

Last night, the Ladies of Leisure had a late supper at Culina at the Mill Creek location. We shared a Persian Platter of flat bread, yogurt cheese, hummus and artichoke hearts. Tasty! A bunch of us tried the Alberta Beef, which featured a blue cheese & chocolate sauce. Interesting since I can't say I would've ever thought to pair the three....but good none the less. A glass of Peter Lehmann's Futures Shiraz was a nice send off for the meal.

Congrats to MsL for her completion of the Underwear Affair in the hot & poplar fuzz filled weather!

Today, yoga & swimming, then a visit with Mom & some cards/relaxation, I hope!
Hope you have a great one (especially with the men & fathers in your life!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

River House Grill

If you're ever in St. Albert, give this place a go! We went there for supper tonight in our attempt to try a new place each month and what a success.

While my fire roasted red pear, feta, pecan, lettuce & 2 balsamics salad was delish, next time I'll definitely be giving the Zesty Caesar salad a go! MrP's was yummeroo. The tenderloin had blue cheese on top, putting the steak over the top for me, but they do put on a great rub while cooking the steak and while tasty, it contains celery seeds. This was MrP's only complaint. His ribeye was flavorful and had a great reduction. I wish I'd taken my camera because the presentation was beautiful.

To finish, the fruit-ladden creme brulee was really good, but for me....the macaroon was the most amazing part. I think I'll call & see if I can just buy macaroons there. Mmmm...coconutty goodness galore. MrP enjoyed a berry & rhubarb crisp, saying that it was great, but as usual, lacking in ice cream for his preferences (most places don't do the generous ice cream servings like we do at home...and as a result, force us to hit the gym). Anyways, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere & service were very nice. Give it a try =)

Self Control

For anyone with a hobby, it's often difficult to pass anywhere that provides entertainment to that facet. Well, now imagine that it's right next door....

Beside my office is a scrapbooking store and you can't imagine how often I thought I'd be there when I first started here. I look out at it every day through my large window panes. I see the crafters going in and out from 10am on. I think of the great things they're creating and damn it, I want to go over there. I'm sure they have a lot that I could add to my collection. Wait - that's the key. Collection. I've got a habit of collecting....but then not actually USING my supplies. Which leads to a backlog of embellishments and ideas that all get put on the backburner to the newest 'must have' item that I promise myself I really will do something with.

Well no more, I say! Today, I commit to at least three papercrafts per week. Mark it. June 19, 2009. I need to get cracking on card sketch challenges, color challenges, ways to use it challenges from Splitcoast. I have so many things that I don't even know how to use "properly", it's just sad! Each month that Chelsey & I get together at my house, I say "next month, we're learning how to use something that I haven't even opened" and each month, I get carried away with a new idea I discovered somewhere else. Thus, my supplies remain. Unopened. Unloved. But no more! Today, Chelsey, I commit to you....we will open something this month! =)

I made it!

Well last night, despite MrP's complaints, he helped me after we got home from the gym to make the peanut butter glazed chocolate loaf. While it's tasty, it looks not nearly as good as Culinary in the Country. Maybe it's because my cocoa is far inferior? Maybe I'm an inferior baker? I'll blame it on the late night....yep, I will!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Everyone's a Farmer

I grew up with grandparents who lived on acreages and the weather was always a big topic of conversation. By the time I hit my teenage years and worked in retail at a farm supply store, I'd decided that it didn't matter the weather - nobody was happy. "Too dry" "Too much rain" "Not enough sun" "Too hot" You really can't win. And while I've all but left my country roots, living in big city Edmonton, it seems that the weather complaining doesn't stop.

I'm not saying I don't sympathize with the plight of the farmers a little south of us, who've basically declared a state of emergency with their drought-ridden fields. I have the utmost respect for them and I feel terribly for their situation. Honestly! I also, however, see my coworkers in the office in a constant state of b*)#%ing about the lack of rain/too much rain/lack of sun/too much sun and it makes me snicker.

Mmmmm....snickers. Chocolate. Peanuts. Oh I really need to make that loaf!

Anyways, just a random realization - no matter where I go, I'll likely never escape weather-whiners.

How do I avoid complaining about the weather? Sign up for an indoor Reformer Pilates class. Yay July!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Simple Birthday

It's amazing what getting some food in your stomach will do - like make you realize you were a little bit hysterical earlier in the day when you flew off the handle. I mean, I think that's what happens to people. Of course, it's never happened to me. I'm mellow like jello.

I managed to get in a quick & easy card (although you wouldn't know it, had you seen how long I was downstairs) for a friend's birthday tomorrow.

A simple stamp of the loopy cupcake from SU! on whisper white, punched out with my 1" circle punch, then mounted onto a pacific point 1.25" circle. This circle concoction was then pop dotted to the combination of whisper white base, pacific point layer, topped with a basic grey paper. YAY! Done - easy, peasy.

I can't believe how quickly this week has flown by. Apparently I needed the weekend, though. I received a returned card in the mail with the 'shortage of postage' sticker. But none of them were checked off, so I snuck a peak at the suspect postage spot and then I'm sure that my cheeks turned a lovely shade of red. I forgot postage entirely. So much for making it in time for my friend's birthday on Monday! Thanks for taking the time to check out today's rubbish =)

Oh Boy...

Looks like it's going to be one of those days!

Last night, Chelsey had a fantastic project - a stationery set. Hopefully I can get some pictures this afternoon. So after a great supper (mmmm...steak), we got to it for the next three hours of crafting goodness. Thanks, Chels!

This morning, I was already running behind, but stopped at *US chain coffee shop* for a cold drink and decided to give their new toasted breakfast sandwiches a try. I selected the peppered bacon....may as well just call it a fat sandwich. With fatty, floppy bacon being layered on the egg & cheesy muffin....blecht. One and a half bites later, dumpster! So now I'm hungry and feeling a little irritable. Guess it serves me right for forgetting my cereal. In the meantime, I've been drooling over the chocolate & peanut buttery goodness that can be found
HERE. Must. Make. Now!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Testing, Testing!

Well I did it....started my own rubbish pile. It's been a productive day, having finished listening to my first audiobook, Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner. Fantastic! My only complaint - the CDs had some scratches, so I'll have to pick up a copy of the book at Chapters and read the last couple pages to be sure I got it all.

I've got about 10 minutes left before I head to Chelsey's for our monthly stamp night and I'm so excited! It seems like forever since we've had some crafting time and she's always got great projects. All I know about tonight's project is that it involves post it notes. =)

As I type, the insects in my yard are being erradicated. Hopefully this includes the aphids that survived my Sunday night beat down (aka power rinse with the garden hose pressured up). How is it that one little bug can do so much damage?! I'm sure my rinse helped on Sunday, though, because the birds had returned to the tree now that the branches and leaves were not completely dripping with sap.

Anyways, before I ramble on and make a real nerd of myself, I'll just say thanks for taking the time to read my rubbish =)