Friday, October 28, 2011

December Daily

Have you ever heard of Ali Edwards December Daily project?  Have you done one?  I set out to do it two years ago in December 2009 with the best of intentions.  I bought this album:
I even started gathering the contents of it that I was going to use.  I just never made it past the planning stage.

For nearly two years it has all just sat in a pile in my studio.  Well, I have gotten a wild hair again and I have promised myself and my family that I will do it this year!  I have a really cute idea planned for my cover but, I don't want to spoil the fun so I won't be posting how it turned out until after it's done (and let's hope it's presentable! lol)

In my album, I have plans for a few things already.  A few years ago we did a fun family project a day with activities such as making homemade Wassail, making Chocolate Covered Cheesecake slices on a stick (they looked like Xmas trees!), making Pecan Tassies and much more!

Here are a few layouts documenting our activities that year.

So, I plan to do that for all 31 days this December.  I am still looking for good ideas for activities though so if you have some I would love to hear them.
So far we have these planned:
Chocolate Covered Cheesecake
Watch Xmas movie as a family
Play a board game together
Pecan Tassies
Homemade Sugar Cookies
A trip to Starbucks
Drive to see Xmas Lights
Decorating the tree

I also have planned for us to do a Gratitude Tree that I found out about on Pinterest.  I will have it ready for us on December 1st and each day we will each grab a pre-cut circle and write one thing or two or three that we are thankful for.  In my album when the month is over, I will put all of our little thankful tidbits in a protective sleeve in the back.

Here are a few specific products I am picking up as well.

I know there will be several more I will add to my supplies for making my album ultra special but, so far this is it.  Besides the little bits of stuff I have from 2009.  

I plan to photograph the process as much as possible and share my journey with you on my blog along the way.  

If you haven't heard of the December Daily project and are interested, here are some great links to provide you with more information.
HERE is a link to all the posts in the December Daily category on Ali Edwards blog.  You can literally spend hours and hours there.
HERE is a link to the Flickr group that Ali has started for the December Daily 2011.
And HERE is just a Google search I did of December Daily and just look at all the inspiration it pulls up!
And finally HERE is a link to Ali Edwards site where you can find a ton of inspiration, I mean this girl ROCKS!

So, what do you think?  Are you inspired?  Will you be joining me in a December Daily project this year?  Remember - it is YOUR story so you can tell it how you want to whether it is simplistic or more elaborate.  If you will be doing one, I would love to follow your process too!

Look for more posts soon with updates on my album and our December activities!

Until next time.....HUGS!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Designing Again!

Sorry it's been awhile since I posted.  I had a super busy week last week and then my wee Grandson and my daughter came and stayed with us for the weekend.  When that happens, I always drop everything and focus my total attention on them.  I only get to see them about every 6 weeks so it is imperative that I soak up every minute!  ;)

Here are just a few shots from their visit:



I also wanted to share on here that I have started designing again.  I had retired back in January of this year due to some major medical issues I had going on.  However, I am all well now and itching to get back into creating templates so I can help scrap bookers preserve their memories.  I promise not to advertise my design business on here much as this blog is really for the "personal" side of me.  But, I had to give a shout out just to let you all know that I'm back at it!  I am not selling at a store yet.  I am just letting the chips fall where they may and see if something comes up.  So, in the meantime I am just going to be creating some FREEBIES!  I have one available today on my Facebook Fan Page HERE.  All you have to do is LIKE my page.

Also, here is my site address so you can bookmark my site to come back to in the future and while you are there, make sure you sign up for my newsletter!

I will be giving out 3 more freebies this week so keep an eye on my Facebook page or Twitter so you know when they come available.
Monday the 24th - Facebook Freebie (Serendipity One)
Tuesday the 25th - Blog Freebie (Serendipity Two)
Wednesday the 26th - Newsletter Freebie (Serendipity Three)
Thursday the 27th - Twitter Freebie (Serendipity Four + Word Art)

And just in case you ever forget where to find my designs, I put a button in my sidebar!  ;)

Whew.....okay now that I'm done pimpin' myself, I have a few layouts I have done the past week or so to share with you!

Truly Blessed by Captivated Visions and Laura Banasiak
Gimme Layers Vol 17 by Cluster Queen Creations

Welcome to the Air Force
Courageous by Libby Pritchett
Double It Up 8 by Cindy Schneider

Breakfast For Dinner
Sunnyside Up and Sunnyside Up Word Bit by Chelle's Creations
A Life Expressed {Mega Alpha Stash} by Suzy Q Scraps

With that I am going to sign off for tonight.  I have been in front of my computer for 14 hours today and I think I need to settle down and watch a movie.

I'll be back soon to talk about my 2 new projects that I am starting soon!

Hugs, NeeNee

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pinterest, Poppers and Pretzels

I admit it.  I had been in the closet about Pinterest until about 2 weeks ago.  I had heard and read things about it around the net but really never wanted to go check it out because in all honesty.....the last thing I needed was a new addiction that keeps me from getting other more important stuff done.  However, in a moment of weakness I clicked on someone's link to their Pinterest boards and within minutes I could feel myself getting sucked in.  I love inspiration.  Colors, beautiful places, recipes, home decor ideas and quotes, just to name a few.  I really haven't pinned a whole lot since joining as I only check in every few days and only peruse for 30 minutes or so at a time.  I am trying to be controlled about this so it doesn't get out of hand.  ;)

I have pinned several recipes that look and sound delicious!  Since today was grocery shopping day, I picked out a few recipes for us to try this week.  Well, I was so excited that I made them both tonight!  LOL

With this being my FIRST ever Pinterest projects, I knew I had to capture the memory and photograph my steps along the way.  I don't promise that you won't do some drooling along the way.  I apologize in advance for some of my photos, there is no window in my kitchen and I have dark counters, dark cabinets and black appliances so the photos can be a bit dark.

First up is some Jalapeno Bacon Cream Cheese Poppers.  Last night after seeing these on a friend's board, I knew I had to make them for us to try.
You can find them on my Recipes Board HERE where you can link to the original recipe by From The Aisle To Aloha.

You need the following ingredients:

1 tube of Crescent Rolls (I used the regular size, not the BIG ones)
2 fresh jalapenos
4 oz. block of cream cheese
1/2 pkg. of bacon

My way of making them yielded 12 poppers.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In the original recipe it says to cut your bacon in small pieces for frying.  Have you ever tried to slice bacon?  Not easy to slice those slippery strips so I've always used a little trick for cutting my bacon....SCISSORS!  I cut up half the package and then fried it up.

While your bacon is frying, cut the stems off of your jalapenos and then cut them lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and veins and then slice each half again lengthwise.  Then cut them width wise to yield pieces about 1/2" to 3/4".  

Next you can unroll your crescent rolls.  Once unrolled, I broke them into sections so that just 2 triangles were attached.  I then sliced them at an angle to yield 2 normal size pieces and 2 pieces that were smaller (the tips).

I then took those tips and pressed them together to make one piece.  So every 2 triangles wound up yielding me 3 crescent bases. 

Make sure to keep an eye on that bacon!  I got so busy doing my rolls and jalapenos (okay, so I was taking pictures too!) that I got my bacon a little too crispy.  Errr....burnt.  :)

Here are all of my ingredients ready to start assembling the poppers.

I laid all of my crescent pieces out on my rectangular cookie sheet and then added a dollop (about 1/2 tbsp.) of cream cheese to each one.  I then added about 3 or 4 chunks of cooked bacon and 2 to 3  pieces of jalapeno.

Once they are all topped, bring each corner up to the top and give it a little pinch or twist.  

Next just seal up the sides to keep your cream cheese yumminess from running out the sides when it heats up.    Then pop them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.  

I got a little distracted again this time shopping at Lauren Grier's $1 sale and let mine stay in the oven a bit too long.  I never seem to make anything right when I try a recipe for the first time.  Practice makes perfect!

But, they were a big hit with the family!  I will definitely be making them again!

After dinner, we got together as a family to quickly make these Candy Corn Kissed Pretzels.  I knew these were going to be something we would all love and eat too much of.  Combine that with how incredibly simple they are to make and you can't go wrong!

You can find these on my Recipes Board HERE where you can link to the original recipe by Free Cake Info.

You will need the following ingredients:

Bag of Candy Corn
Bag of Pretzels - I used Snyder's Snaps cuz I love the butteryness of them!
Bag of white chocolate/milk chocolate kisses
Bag of almonds (optional)

The original recipe calls for just candy corn's but my hubby suggested we try them with an almond on the top too.  I thought it was a good idea so we tried ours half and half.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange your pretzels on a rectangular cookie sheet.  I was able to fit 70 pretzel snacks comfortably on my cookie sheet.  10 rows of 7 in each row.

Unwrap your kisses and place one on top of each pretzel.

Place in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes just so that your kisses get a little melted.  They turn shiny when they are warm enough.

Remove your cookie sheet from the oven and place a candy corn or almond on the top middle of each kiss.  Some of ours slid a little to the side but no worries, they all taste the same when you pop 'em in your mouth!

I popped our tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes to harden them up a bit so we could try them right away, we were anxious!  

After the taste test, Hubby and I both agree that the almond topped ones were the best.  We thought the kiss added just the right amount of sweetness and the candy corn made them a little sweeter than we like.  However, they are still really good with the candy corn, we just probably can't eat as many at a time.  Not that that is a bad thing, right?  And....admittedly the candy corn ones are more festive!

It was such a fun night and it got my family involved which I am all for!  We had some good laughs while prepping these recipes.  Laughter and food go so well together!

Let me know if you decide to try either of these.  I would love to know how they turned out and what you and your family thought of them.

I am out of here for now.  Ready to relax and take in some boob tube.  Until next time, HUGS!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday's New Release Faves

I have decided to try and do a weekly post on Sunday's featuring some amazing products that were released in the digi stores throughout the previous week.  So, grab your coffee, tea or whatever your sipping pleasure is and join me while I recap these great finds!

At Scrap Orchard, Lucky Star by Laura Banasiak:

At Sweet Shoppe Designs, Country Cuties by Kristin Cronin-Barrow and Lliella Designs:

Also at Sweet Shoppe Designs, Majorly Big Monogram Alpha by Shawna Clingerman:

At The Lilypad, Haunted House Printable by Kaye Winiecki:

At MScraps, I {Heart} Flairs by Studio Basic:

At 9th & Bloom, The Witching Hour by Secret Stash:

Be sure to check out these coordinating Stickers too....that can also work well independently:

At After Five Designs, At The Pumpkin Patch by Jady Day Studio:

At Scrap Matters, Return to Oz by Viva Artistry

At Gotta Pixel, Days Ending in Y by Bella Gypsy:

That's about all I have for you this week.  Maybe one of them is calling to your PayPal like they were mine.  ;)

Have great rest of your day!  Hugs!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just Another Saturday At The Labaya's

Yep, just another typical weekend.  Everyone doing their own thing....Jonathan is hard at work on my poor wittle car.  He drives it to work since it is better on gas mileage than his Tundra.  However, on his way home Tuesday night, it died on the highway while he was driving home.  A $55 tow fee later, it was home waiting for him to work on this weekend.  He thinks it is the fuel pump but unfortunately, he has a day of troubleshooting ahead of him.  Hopefully he gets it fixed though because I am going stir crazy cooped up in this house.  I ran out of tea on Thursday and couldn't get any!  Besides Chunky is really missing me driving her to school and I really need to get to the gym next week.  I need the steam room! ;)

Chunky had her BFF Myra over last night and after going to bed at like 4 a.m., they are now up at 10:45 this morning and eating the breakfast tacos I got for them when I went out to get that tea I was out of from the grocery store.

I have the curtains open leading out the sliding door to our backyard and the Bassetts,  Maggie and Buster, are pacing out on the patio hoping someone will come out to play.  Actually, Maggie who is a HUGE titty baby is whining and crying a ridiculous amount today.  She seems to know when her Daddy is home and thinks this is going to get his attention.

And me?  Well, I just finished making this scrumptious looking Layered Pumpkin Cake!

And now I am about to start working on organizing my digi stash supplies that I have downloaded over the last week.  Some of them have been scrapped with and some of them were things I bought or freebies I found (more on this below) for using later.  I have a total of about 100 files to organize! does this happen so fast?

I didn't get a chance to do any more layouts this week as I spent most of my day yesterday redesigning my blog.  What do you think?  Pwetty, isn't it?  I absolutely LOVE it!  It suits my personality perfectly.  I think it's my fave blog I have ever had.  And it was SO EASY to do.  No idea why I haven't done it sooner.  I hope you all like it too!

I had so much fun sharing with you the other day the great finds I have come across in digi land that I thought I would share with you a few more I have found!

Lita, of Litabells Designs is having a great sale!  You have to enter the coupon code at checkout to get the deal.  You can check out the details and see her latest kit on her blog HERE.

Darcy announced the details of her So You Think You Can Font Challenge 3.  Man, after seeing the winners from previous years...I don't know that any of mine are good enough to enter!  LOL

Have you heard of Little Green Frog Designs?  If not, you don't know what you are missing!  This girls templates are phenomenal!  I mean seriously.....just look at some of these that I fell in love with.

And that's just two of them!  She has a store full of great products and they are all even CU ok so you designers out there can use them for creating quick pages!  

I perused her blog and grabbed all the freebies!  Here they are and all linked to their original posts on her blog.


Of course, I have no idea how long those downloads will be available but, if you happen to miss these, keep checking out her blog for more goodies both in her store and free samples.

And lastly today I want to leave you with some AMAZING inspiration.  I have become quite the fan of zoebearsmom.  I swear she creates some of the most beautiful layouts!  Here are a few that she has done that have left me with my jaw open.

The colors in this are simply amazing, so fresh and fun.  And I love all the bits and bobs she put together from various designers to create this.

This photo.....seriously?  I mean how fantastic is it?  And I LOVE the blended text stamp on the left lower side.  Gorgeous.  

Look at all of the attention to detail in this one!  I mean all of the tiny scattered elements are just phenomenal!

All of the images are linked to the original image in her gallery and HERE is a link to her gallery at DST and here gallery at Me So Scrappy is HERE.  Not only is this girl an AMAZING scrapper, she has got some mad photo skills too!  Sigh......

Well friends, that digi stash is calling my name so I better get to it.  I won't feel like I can start creating layouts again until I get all of that organized and I already see some great things in the works from my designers next week!  I will be back in a few days with more gibberish ;)!  

Have a great weekend!  Hugs!