March 19, 2009

Easy Little Easter Treat

Immediately after Valentine's is gone, you start to see an overload of Easter Candy in the aisles of your local Wal-Mart, Target or grocery store. This little treat calls for mini egg candy.

In this case I used these mini bubble gum eggs in mini clear cartons that they sell 4 for a $1.00 at Dollar General. They aren't sold individually, they are actually 4 in a package. Now I also did find them at my local grocery store, but they were going for 10 for $10. They make that sound like a steal when they put it that way, but I don't really think it's worth $1 each little mini carton.

So basically all I did was dress up the outside of the mini carton. I thought this would be a cute little item to throw into your kid(s) Easter baskets. Or if you have a little Easter tree you can mimic the example I have with the mini clip on it and hang them on your tree with each child's name. This is just a fun little activity that you and your kids can have fun doing or you can do it on your own and hand them out.

There are no rules or no directions. Take this and make it your own! Be creative!

P.S. If you like the paper I used, I used The Angel Company™ exclusive paper. I did use some of a pad that they've discontinued, but if you like the word cut outs I used on the vertical bubble gum treat, they have a 12 x 12 sheet that has all sorts of cute one lines and bold words in their collection Tutti Frutti™.

February 27, 2009

Pretty Post-It Gift ... Free Download!

I've been itching to post this online for a few days now! Now, instead of me just throwing it up on here I thought I'd actually use my own free download and show you just a few of the ways I thought of how to jazz it up. You are definitely free to use this download and embellish it as you wish! If you do, I'd LOVE to see what you've done with it.

This is what the download looks like when you visit the link and print off the PDF. I've put simple instructions, but I will furthermore tell you how to assemble it here. This would make a PERFECT office gift for your co-workers in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Easter or a just-because gift. It's so cute and I'm definitely proud of this pretty little thing.

Click Here for your FREE Pretty Post It Gift Download.

This is how you do it.
1. Visit the link above, print off the PDF. I printed mine on a thin white cardstock for sturdiness. I recommend the same or at least a heavier weight of paper if not cardstock.

2. Take note of the faint white lines (there are arrows pointing to them on the print off). That is where you'll score (fold) AFTER you cut the shapes out.

3. Cut around the shape without leaving any white of the page.

4. Score along the lines.

5. Using a paper/craft glue (I use Zip Dry) glue the back of your post it pad to the center of the cut out. (Refer to the image for placement).

6. If you'll be using ribbon to create your closure, then punch holes with a hole punch where the white dots are. If you plan on embellishing, you can use Velcro dots with sticky backings as your closure. (Refer to the image for placement).

7. Embellish and most importantly HAVE FUN!!!

These are the few that I created with the download.

1. For the Easter Bunny I used Paper Bliss' Bunnies. It came in a pack of 4. It was approximately $4.00 at my local Hobby Lobby. For the "eggs" I used Polo Shimmer Brads.

2. On this one I punched out the holes and fed the ribbon through both sets of holes with this ribbon from Crafts Etc. Their mini ribbons are $.99 each!!! You can't beat that. The little flowers I found in the wedding section of my local craft store.

3. No, I didn't spend time cutting felt flowers and gluing the bling. I actually found these in pack of approx. 30-40 or so, and it was $1.99! I found these in the Easter Crafts section of Hobby Lobby. They already come with an adhesive backing too! Too easy! (The middle flower I added a pop dot to.)

4. This one was the quickest to make as all I did was add this embellishment from K&Company's Amy Butler Adhesive Chipboard.

OH and lastly, the sticky note pads come in a pack of 3 for $1 at Dollar General in Pink, Yellow and Blue!

February 11, 2009

Decadent Dark Chocolate Heart Cupcakes

I love cupcakes. I love chocolate. I love hearts. This was the perfect, delicious harmony for my cupcakes that I baked tonight. I am taking these yummy little bad boys with me to work for my co-workers. For sure I wanted them to be red or pink or with hearts, and luckily I had both! It's a really simple recipe, but will admit that it's a bit time consuming. Perhaps not so much for someone else, but I'm slightly a perfectionist :)

Here is the recipe for you to try:

Moist Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

• 1 stick of butter
• 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup of flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder (not baking soda :)
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup whole milk (split in half)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• cupcake liners

Makes 12 - 14 cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is soft, then add the sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes.

• Add the eggs, one at a time beating until they are combined well.

• Combine all the dry ingredients with a whisk in a separate bowl.

• Add 1/3 of the dry mix to the butter and sugar and beat it just until combined. Add half the milk and half the vanilla extract, scrape the bowl and beat with the mixer until combined. Now add in another 1/3 of the dry mix, and beat. Add in the final half of the milk and vanilla, and beat. Lastly, add in the last of the dry mix and beat. It's important that you alternate the dry and wet like that.

• Now fill your cupcake liners in your cupcake pan 2/3 of the way and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then frost.

Strawberry Buttercreme Frosting
Note: This isn't perfected, and it made way more frosting than was needed for my cupcakes.

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 tsp. strawberry extract
• Red food color
• 6 or more tbsp. whole milk

• In a large mixing bowl beat your butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, strawberry extract and about 5 - 6 drops of red food color.

• Add in 6 tbsp or milk or more until you get the consistency you want.

I'm sure if you stopped there, they'd be a showstopper on their own. I went a step further and bought a tiny little cookie cutter from Wilton at my local hobby store. I just made packaged brownie mix and used parchment paper underneath my brownies to ensure that they'd be completely non stick (I never have luck with brownies not sticking to my pans). When the brownies cooled, I just cookie cut them.

February 5, 2009

In Honor of Happy Hearts Day :)

My husband and I truly don't do anything over-the-top fancy on Valentine's day, but being an old-fashioned romantic at heart I love seeing all the red, pink and heart stuff in the stores. Aside from Valentine's Day, I LOVE hearts. If I ever get another tattoo it probably will be of hearts! I've just been finding things on the internet with hearts that I LOVE (and hopefully you love too), and here they are for your viewing pleasure.

1. Bittersweet Candy Hearts $9.99. These totally crack me up. Instead of the traditional sweet candy sayings these come in dreary packages like Dumped, Dejected, Dysfunctional. For example, here are a few of the candy heart messaged from the Dysfunctional package: ANNULMENT | I BEEN CREEPIN | CALL A 900# | P.S. I LUV ME | DO MY DISHES | BOOTY INFL8N | PAROLE IS UP! | AWFUL INLAWS

2. Lace Heart Earrings $5.00. Why do I feel so 80's Madonna when I look at these, hmm?? LOL. I love them though! They are so cute! I'd totally wear them with a cute summer dress.

3. Juicy Couture Lip Gloss Pendant $16.99. So it's a bit pricey, as soon as I have some money I may splurge on something like this. It's so pretty and it would be one of those items that if I bought I'd smile with glee when I saw it. By the way it's a light, pale pink lipgloss.

4. Hello Kitty C Ring Key Chain $27.49. Not something I'd buy for myself but would LOVE as a gift. I'd cherish it forever! I just LOVE it!

5. Felt Heart Wallet $15.00. If I could ever plan enough ahead of time for someone's birthday gift, I think this would be so cute to use as a gift card, check or cash holder. Or perhaps putting in some tickets to a movie theater. It's so endearing and pretty to look at.

6. Red Heart Ramekin $18.00. Holds about 8 oz. It's a bit pricey, but these would look so beautiful on my table when I serve salsa or dip...Or I could make pudding and serve them in these cute ramekins. Or make mini cheesecakes.

7. Heart Bath Fizzies $3.00. These are handmade by a woman in Minnesota. Something about handmade things makes it more authentic to me. These light colored fizzies come in a rose scent and sets of 3. $1.00 per fizzie-full bath!

8. Heart "Love" Votive Candle Holder $1.90. These don't have to be just for Valentine's day. These would be great for setting that mood all year round. I LOVE the price and may have to bookmark this page to purchase them later too!

February 3, 2009

Super Sweet Valentine Cards

I have been so excited to share this with the world (or the small following of people on my blog :). I created small printable Valentine's Day cards. They are about the size and shape of the kinds that come in a box for kids. I will admit, the design is probably not for everyone. I've just come to the realization that the kinds of illustrations the I love to draw and that I'm drawn to can be described as Kawaii.

There are 8 cards to a page.

Click here to download the PDF.

So, yeah, have fun with these. As for me I will be printing these off and handing them to the lovely ladies I work with and possibly attach some sort of sweets to it with ribbon. Ribbon makes everything better :)

A side note, to anyone out there who would like some designs done for a competitive price, let me know! Email me separately and I can send you some of my work and you can decide whether or not you want me to work on something.

January 31, 2009

Valentine's Day Ideas

I don't know about you, but Valentine's Day has snuck up on me and I can't believe it's 2 weeks away. I started to think about ideas of what I can do for my husband. It's going to be a little hard to get some alone time, as we have a toddler. Yet, I think I will practice what I preach and do a couple of these ideas I'm about to indulge you with.

Whether you're a man or a woman, hopefully there is something on this list that you can do for the one you love. I realize a lot of these are "duh" ideas, but sometimes we need reminding of the many ways we can say "I love you."

Say I Love You Like This...

• Leave a handwritten note in your love's vehicle for them to find on Valentine's Day. Better yet, you can write a note on a heart shaped post it pad, and if you're doing this for your wife, she can keep the post its on her desk at home or at work to remind her of the wonderful words. (You can find these at your office supply store or even Wal-Mart or Target.)

• Prepare your love's favorite meal. Even if you don't know how to make it, try and find a recipe that's easy to follow. Your love will appreciate the effort. For extra points, you can also make breakfast :) One place I love to go to for easy-to-follow, feasible recipes is Taste of Home's website. There you can sort through low-cal, low-fat, diabetic-friently, quick and easy meals!

• Treat your honey to a spa treatment. Even just one aspect of the spa will relax them. Either a back rub, a hot bath, or for you men...treat your woman with a manicure. Use a scrub on her hands, try painting her finger nails and then massaging her hands with lotion afterwards. My favorite hand lotion is from Bath and Body Works. It smells wonderful and again it makes as a great gift!

• Create a list of 10 or more reasons why you fell in love with, and are still in love with, your other half. If you elaborate with a sentence or two on each, I'm certain it will melt their heart.

• Set a mood. Create an atmosphere. Build a love-nest. If you have a child or children, this may be something you have to do when they go to bed. Wherever you decide to do this, stage is beautifully. Who cares if it ends up being cliches. Use tea light candles all around the room, have fresh flowers (not even necessarily roses), many pillows for lounging, a bottle of wine or champagne, some breath mints and some really nice chocolates (save the Hershey's Kisses for the kids..I'm talking Dove, Ghirardelli or Godiva:) Use this time to have soft conversation or making out. If it leads to more, than great. If not, just enjoy the time you had snuggling close.

• Surprise your love with an impromptu slow dance. Music is optional! They will be caught off guard, and sure it's a little silly at first, but everyone could use a little giggle and spontaneity.

• Hold hands any chance you get. Again, this may seem silly at first, but the more you touch, the closer you'll become plus it's a sure-fire way to de-stress. Don't believe me? Check out this article on WebMD.

• Look and smell your absolute best. Brush your pearly whites, shave, slather on that yummy smelling lotion, put your best perfume or cologne on, and get your hair done or for men, cut. Women, put on your sexiest lingerie, false lashes and high heels on...stilettos if you got em! Perhaps buying some new lingerie would get your confidence up and help you to feel your perkiest :) (Beautiful, curvacious women, this one's for you.) It's always fun to feel sexy!

January 29, 2009

Tidbits of Happiness

Here, have some wonderful, uplifting brain candy with these quotes and quips by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Practice random acts of kindness.

Surprise someone who's more than 80 years old, or a couple celebrating 50 years or more of marriage with a personal greeting from the President. Mail details to The White House, Greetings Office, Room 39, Washington, DC 20500, four to six weeks in advance.

Every couple of months, spend 30 minutes or so in a big toy store.

Remember that sometimes the best way to clean a child's room is to just close the door.

If you know someone's on a diet, tell them they look terrific.

Reread the books you enjoyed reading as a child.

January 27, 2009

Still on Project 365

So, I haven't fallen off the wagon just yet, and it's been about a week now. I have taken one photo a day documenting my life. Any idea of what I can take that day I take it, even if it seems ridiculous or trivial. I'm sure that even the trivial things will mean something to me 20 years from now.

One thing that is definitely challenging me is getting to know my camera's settings and capabilities. I've been reading up on depth of field, aperture, metering, etc. It's not sticking in my head like I want it to, but perhaps now that I have fresh batteries in my camera it's something I can play with over the weekend. My goal is to take really good photos. I may need to buy a lens for my camera to take the kinds of photos I want, and maybe I will after my tax return.

Okay, so here are some of my photos from this past week for my Project 365.

This one is from the corner of my bare living room. There is only a dining table, a couch, a small end table with our small screen tv and this chef's cart full of photos I adore and plan on hanging on the wall collage style.

Ah, my nerdy husband in his man-cave. He's got his computer hooked up to our 47" flat screen HDTV. In this photo he's researching and learning some skills for his on-the-side job.

My sweetheart on Saturday morning. She contently drinks her milk and watches Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Imagination Movers and My Friends Tigger and Pooh. She doesn't watch them straight of course. All throughout the morning she'll play, we'll read, she'll eat, but she'll bop in every now and then to see what's on.

Sydney sure loves her daddy. This was on Sunday and she is always so happy to be in his arms. Yes, even more than mine. It's heartbreaking really. But I pray it's a phase and that she misses me when I'm gone.

Well I don't want to make this post extra lengthy, but I encourage anyone to take photos, even if they seem meaningless or ridiculous. Our minds will age and as we grow older we won't remember half the things we think we will. I already experience that with memories from high school, and I'm only in my 20s! Take advantage of every day and every memory you can. It will be worth it in the end!

January 26, 2009

10 Easy Things to Do to Uplift Others

I think it's the winter blues, but lately I've been dreading the cold weather and thinking of warmer memories. When I get to feeling down I try and pray, read inspirational books or articles, or think of ways to make others feel good. I get all warm and fuzzy inside when I think of making someone elses day better. At work, I keep good and positive thoughts in this little green notepad that a near and dear friend gave to me on my birthday. It's fitting that I keep these thoughts and ideas in there as the cover reads "If you could open a door to anywhere, where would you go?" Just that sentence alone makes me ponder good thoughts.

So, here's a list of 10 things you could do to brighten someones day which in turn will brighten yours :)

1. Make photo copies of an inspiring article, roll it up, and tie a ribbon around it and hand it out to your friends or co-workers. My favorite articles come out of Successful Living. It's a free publication, and it's so worth it!

2. Print off some funny quotes or cartoon strips and keep them in your car. If you ever notice someone who looks like they could use a good laugh or smile while getting out of your car in some parking lot, be sure to leave a page under their windshield wiper. Some of my favorite silly, naughty and non-sense comics are from Natalie Dee.

3. Smile! Just simply smile at someone else...the best gift you can give is yourself.

4. Buy pretty lollipops, find some matching scrapbook paper and adhere the pops to the paper and attach a nice quote or a compliment to it and hand them to your friends or co-workers. The Angel Company has wonderful, exclusive paper to suit any occassion.

5. Take a moment to send an e-mail thanking others for their help, friendship or kindness. Tell them you appreciate them. You may even like to send an e-greeting, such as those Hallmark has.

6. Compliment someone on their appearance. Everyone could use an ego boost.

7. Buy your friends or co-workers their favorite drink or candy bar. They'll love the gesture!

8. Make a couple cds of your favorite relaxing, mellow music and hand it to those of your close friends who may need some unwinding time. If you're feeling extra generous, you could buy a small travel size bottle of bodywash or lotion. (They're usually only a $1)

9. Ask how someone is doing, and just listen. When they are done, ask them more questions about their topic. Don't speak of yourself at all. They will be so grateful for someone listening to them whole-heartedly.

10. Bake goodies :) Who could resist wonderful, scrumptious yummies made from the heart. I have this really awesome sugar cookie recipe to share with you, just ask me in the comments.

January 25, 2009

Things I Want and Love!

I don't know about you, but it seems that there usually isn't enough money at the end of paying all my bills to buy the things I want immediately. I am constantly making up wish lists and the chances that I ever get these things is slim. It doesn't help that I'm totally a bargain shopper and I have a hard time shelling out loads of cash for some things. Yet, it doesn't stop me from window or cyber shopping :) So, I'd like to share with you a few things that I absolutely love, and perhaps some that you may love too!

1. This sweetheart apron is soooo cute. I am such a home-body and I love to bake and cook. Being old-fashioned at heart this apron just calls out my name. It's retro yet sassy and sweet! Plus, if anyone knows me well, you know I LOVE hearts. For aprons like this one, just go to

2. When I found these sarcastic, funny and witty notepads, I just broke out in a giggle. These a few I like, but there are others like "Reasons why I want to have sex with you" and "sh*t list" and "things to pack". So, yeah, some are just for fun, but there are practical ones too. There aren't just notepads though, there are paper clips, folders, sticky notes, books and flashcards.

3. Vanilla cake batter Perfume..yum! I love smells that resemble baked goods. Those are the candle smells I gravitate towards, and if there is a lotion that smells like it, chances are I'll buy it (if it's on sale :) This little fun perfume would be fun to have and wear! By the way they have other odd smells like marshmallow, dirt, sushi, and junior mints just to name a few!

4. Okay so I've spotted soaps like these before on Etsy and I was sooo close to buying some for a friend once. I am going to buy these Popsicle Soaps someday! I LOVE them. They are just too darn cute and come in sweet smells like Candy Carousel, Nilla Sammie, and Orange You Cute. Plus they're only $8 each! Perfect for gift giving.

5. This would be such a romantic gift. I don't think my husband would ever get something like this for me unless I hinted really hard about it. So, again, perhaps one day I'll buy it for myself and engrave our names or our wedding anniversary on it. This heart and lock bracelet is so sweet...and on sale!

6. Lastly... I've been anticipating spring and summer like no other. I daydream about the warm weather and planting some flowers in my front yard, and buying some plants for inside, taking long walks with my family in the park...sigh...I wish it was spring. I plan on buying some pretty sweet dresses this season, and these were just a couple I spotted that I LOVE. I'm so girly and frilly and I love wearing my high heels and dresses. These springy dresses are from Delia*s. I don't usually buy from places like this as they show more junior than misses type dresses, and I am a woman not a kid. But these I can definitely see myself in.

So, those are some of my faves. I hope you enjoyed them.

January 24, 2009

Words of Wisdom

I wanted to leave with a few quotes from one of my absolute favorite books, Life's Instructions for Wisdom, Success and Happiness. It's not a read-cover-to-cover to kind of book, although you could...I have. It's just a book full of quips, quotes and liners. It's so uplifting though. After reading a few pages I feel like I want to change the world, or at least uplift those around me.

Here are just a select few of my favorites...

Remember that your life is nothing more than a collection of the choices you have made.

I've learned that the best tranquilizer is a clear conscious.

Remember that you'll make fewer mistakes trusting people than not trusting them.

Learn to make your grandmother's favorite dessert.

Late Night Crafts

Last night I had so much fun just sitting on the carpet of our spare bedroom/craftroom and creating these cards. Luckily, the princess had gone off to bed at about 6:45 pm. That was a first! I actually didn't start on these until about 10 pm though. There was eating, and chatting with the hubby between that time period.

So there I was sprawled on the floor with paper, embellishments, color pencils, scissors, trimmer just everywhere. I swear I lost what I was working on about 5 times! I'd panic and start to sift through everything, turn over every paper and finally when I'd get up and walk out of the room and walk back in, my eyes would spot it instantly. It was behind me or under my leg the whole time! LOL.

These were made with Lilly Anna, yet another WONDERFUL, fresh, fun and springtime color palette from The Angel Company. I listened to 977 The Hitz channel on my husband's psp and had it playing through my boombox. It was so nice! Talk about a mini little vacation for my mind.

Sorry if the colors are too bright, or off slightly. My camera is dying and I took this shot with whatever options were up so that I could take it quickly. I tried to fix it up a bit, but I'm trying to hurry so I can go and spend some quiet time alone while the little one is still napping :)

January 23, 2009

One of My Gifts For a Friend

I realized that I have not shown everyone my little gift that I made for our (Brian and I) very very good friends Ben and Alana Gwinner. They are expecting and their little bundle of joy will arrive into this world in April 2009! Very exciting stuff! Anyhow, I wanted to make them something that they could put their boy's hospital bracelet into and his hospital wear as well. I wished I had one of these when my little girl was born. I also created a little mini album to go into it.

I purchased the metal tin and the scrapbook paper from my job. The collection is called Toodle Loo. It is such a colorful palette and works especially well for spring and baby related projects. I had a blast making this gift.

By the way, I just have to say my excitement has not passed. I have been thinking about my blog all the time! I'm such a dork :)

January 22, 2009

I LOVE Hello Kitty!

Okay, I told you I wouldn't be able to stay away, but seriously I had to share my love for Hello Kitty. I don't even know what it is about that kitty cat that I love so much. She's just iconic okay! So I was browsing through the Sanrio Website as I do from time to time and I just have to tell you how full my heart gets when I look at the shop. If you ever wanted to get on my good side, get me something Hello Kitty :) I can't wait to share my love for Sanrio items with my daughter as she grows older. So, I just thought I'd take some of my favorite items and show you what is some of my favorite eye candy in the whole world!

And so it starts...

I have a blog now, yay! Since I'm so thrilled about this don't be surprised if I post like 2 times a day or everyday for the next week or so. I've got so many great ideas and websites and artwork and photos to share with the world. Who knows if I'll have one viewer or 20. I don't really care quite frankly. This makes me happy. It will be like my cyber baby :)

So for my first post, I thought I'd share my first photo for Project 365. On another blog I peeped this Project 365, where you take a snapshot of your life everyday for a year. Who knows if at some point I'll fall off the wagon. I mean, one whole year, that's a long time commitment for taking photos...Well, at least for me!

This was taken yesterday, and it's a great representation of Sydney at this point in time. She LOVES HER BOOKS! She makes us read to her many times in a day.

On another note, I think Sydney's teeth are finally coming in! She has two bottom teeth and I think two of her top ones will be popping in anytime. She's 1 year and almost 5 months now, it's about time!

So, um, I don't have anything good to say, but that doesn't mean I won't later :)