{ easter inspiration }

{ I'm inspired by these lovely, delightful Easter images! }

{ all images from my favorite magazine website: Southern Living }


our version of march madness

Emmett's ready and waiting for a little shopping! He was excited because cousin Carter was going to be there, so it wasn't an all girls day. We went to Sweet Lizzie in Highland and American Quilts in Orem. Fun day filled with lots of eye candy.


I'm just sayin'

It's 12:30 a.m. and band practice is still going strong. I'm not complaining, just stating the facts. I think they're just getting warmed up actually. They play good music that I like listening to - most of it's original. It is also loud. It's a good thing (for them and us) that we're a bunch of night owls around here ... Scott's always up until around 1:30 and I stay up until, like, 1:00. For many years my bedtime was 11:47, but midnight is like noon anymore at this house, and going to bed THAT early was pointless. I'm lucky that I like to be up late and can find PLENTY to do - and this is not including TV because I've come to hate late night talk shows, and you can only watch the Cricut or mineral makeup infomercials so often.

So I just went downstairs and took a few photos of BUFFALO. They're good natured about my photo shoots, if a little self-conscious. In the blue shirt is Thomas Williams, who sings vocals (I love Tom's voice, btw, it's unique and cute!) In the center is Gabe Bush, an amazing songwriter, guitar player, and singer. Mike Raymond is in gray - playing guitar, banjo, harmonica, and whatever else. Mike is GOOD on that guitar, let me tell you. Mike didn't pursue music really until about two years ago, and then he really began to love it - especially guitar. He also works at KSM, the local music/guitar shop. In the back corner is Scott Bird on drums. You can see him in the top photo. Good on drums. Really. Good.

They are performing on Thursday at Why Sound - a little local venue on Church Street. It's a fun place to listen to music. I know, I need to kick this blog up a notch and post some of their live music as a You Tube video. Someday.


{ lovely blog }

Today's images are from a charming blog called Bluebird Notes . This blog is filled with lovely daily photos and matching quotes. The blog author Koralee Teichroeb shoots color-saturated photos that you just want to stare at because of the creative ways she composes them; she then adds quotes and text to make them meaningful.

the gift of time
to spend with
family and friends
the gift of time
to follow

the gift of time
to make
a difference in
this world

When you die and go to heaven, our maker is not going to ask, "Why didn't you discover the cure for such and such?" The only question we will be asked in that precious moment is, "Why didn't you become you?" elie wiesel


- adornit's february challenge winner -

I'm posting this on my blog because I think it's so cool. I'll explain. In February, I started a year-long scrapbook "challenge" on the Adornit blog called "10 in 2010," asking Adornit customers to make one layout each month from Feb. until November of this year. On (or around) the tenth of the month I post the theme of the month's challenge and a list of three requirements that have to appear on the scrapbook page. For February the challenge was to have 1) something with polka dots, 2) folded or pleated ribbon, and 3) a journaling spot. Once they make their layout, they post it to Adornit's blog or Facebook page. Each month I'll randomly draw a winner from among the participants. It's a way to motivate scrappers to scrap their layouts monthly, but the challenge adds a little fun and interest.

I just drew the Feb. winner and was delighted because the winner is a darling gal from IRELAND named Dee Morrison. I loved her white layout when I first saw it on the Facebook page because of the clean, uncluttered lines, and she used the requirements in a simple but beautiful way. You can see her folded ribbon along the right edge, her journaling spot at the top, and the background is a beautiful pastel dotted paper.

Scrapbooking is a indeed a international hobby - Adornit ships their product to scrapbook shops and internet stores in countries all over the world - and that market is growing. And because of blogs and Facebook, we get to share images of our latest scrapbook pages with friends from many places. I regularly visit blogs of scrappers from Holland, Spain, Australia, and Denmark.

Finally, I have to show you one of the layouts I made as an example of the requirements in the
February challenge. My journaling tells about one of my favorite things - the cuteness of a mom trying to make her baby smile for pictures. This is Becky and baby Emmett when he was about six weeks old.


- lucky today and everyday -

Happy St. Patrick's Day. I hope I have green food coloring in the cupboard, because there's nothing Scott likes more that eating a bowl of
green mush
first thing in the morning. And I always have to remind him to pinch his patients if they aren't wearing green. Yea, he's all over that one. I bet Google has done something with its title today. I like their creativity. Oh, I just Goggled to see today's "Google doodle" (that's what it's called) this year's design is a bunch of Celtic knots. No shamrocks. I liked last year's shamrocks better. They should have me on their committee.

I saw a St. Patrick's Day greeting on another blog and it inspired (lol) me. Here 'tis:

Jenny Doh Editor-in-Chief of Crescendoh and former editor of Stampington magazines says on her blog, Today's the day we wear green, change the color of petals on Web site banners, and wish each other luck. But what is luck anyway? For me, I believe in the old adage that says luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Because if an opportunity comes by and we're asleep at the wheel, it just might pass us by. On behalf of the entire CRESCENDOh team, we wish you much luck born out of preparation ... today, tomorrow, and always.

Oh crap - forget the preparation part...I just wish you much luck. Just good old luck. Not miracles or serendipity or coincidences or spiritual happenings. Just luck. Good luck. That's what we all get to hope for today. The luck of the Irish. Lucky duck. Lucky jeans. Lucky everyday

Here's a lucky quote for you:

"I never leaf through a copy of National Geographic without realizing how lucky we are to live in a society where it is traditional to wear clothes." Erma Bombeck

And finally, the luckiest for last - here's a darling printable set of tags for your last minute cupcakes or green M&M's. There are people out there that create these freebies just for fun! I especially like this designer at The TomKat Studio blog and thank her for sharing her talent. Scroll through her blog and see the wonderful designs she creates and sells. Inspiring!

Click here for her free tags - image below. When you see the box that has the SCRIBD logo at the top, click on print. (Be sure you have heavier paper in your printer.) You can also download the file. Hey, I've gotta get to work. I'm lucky to have a fun job, but I'm late!

:: sharing the amazing ::

I just have to post this, because it's knocking my socks off right now. Here's the story:

I belong to a Book Club, but I don't always read the books. I try, but lately I've had no time to get this month's book and get it read. Not that I didn't want to. I have heard both good and negative reviews of Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, but think it would be worth reading it. Then an email came from the Book Club friend who is supposed to review this month's book, and she can't be there tomorrow. Could someone else do the review, she asked. So I offered to help out by finding some info about the author, and though I haven't read the book, I know there will be discussion questions online too for this book.

This morning while exercising at the Sport's Academy, I was wondering about how I could get to Borders and get the book and try to squeeze in some reading time tonight after work. Borders isn't open yet, so I will have to wait until later. Now at home, I was making the bed and still thinking about the book, and I noticed Scott's Kindle sitting on the nightstand. AND IT HIT ME.

I have never used Scott's Kindle. I don't even know how to turn it on. But, as it turns out, it's EASY to use. I picked it up and in a matter of THREE MINUTES, I was reading Chapter One of Bel Canto.

I just have to tell someone about this. I can't believe it. I have the book just like that.

Scott has had a Kindle since they first came out. He had the original small size Kindle, and for Christmas this year he got the new Kindle DX - larger size with a better battery. He loves his Kindle and reads it most nights.
Scott is what is called an "early adopter." He is always the first in line to buy a new technology. He bought a computer before people had even heard of home computers. I don't have time to tell that story, but sometime I need to.

From Wikipedia: "An early adopter is a person who embraces new technology before most other people do. Early adopters tend to buy or try out new hardware items and programs, and new versions of existing programs, sooner than most of their peers. According to a theory called Diffusion of Innovations (DoI) formulated by Everett Rogers, early adopters make up 13.5 percent of the population." Early adoption does come with pitfalls: early versions of products may be buggy and/or prone to malfunction (such as the Commodore 64 or Xbox 360) or prematurely obsolete (8 track tapes, Betamax, HD DVD). Furthermore, more efficient, less expensive versions of the product usually appear a few months after the initial release.[1] The trend of new technology costing more at release is colloquially referred to as the "early adopter tax".

This tax thing makes me laugh, because I've always teased Scott that he ALWAYS pays more for everything he buys, because he buys the first-released version when the cost is at its highest. But it's his "hobby" so it's OK.

I am still shocked that I got my book that fast. I just had to blog about it, before the time softened my view of this modern technological miracle. What a world we live in!!!


{ copied and pasted, but not tried - yet }

Cherry Almond Granola Bars

from honey and jam dot com blog

cherry almond granola

Today has been...less than great.

I woke up thinking I wouldn’t be able to bake at all, we were all out of propane. But then! Our tank was filled! I was feeling optimistic. I baked up some fantastically tasty granola bars.

dried cherries

When they had cooled, I headed downstairs to take photos. I set up the table, took a few shots, and then it happened. The cat jumped through the window, onto the cooling rack the bars were sitting on and flipped them all onto the floor. Every last one of them.

That’s not that bad, right? I mean, it’s a annoying, but it’s also kind of funny. You should have seen it, it was like something out of a cartoon.

cherry almond granola bars

[64/365] cranberry almond granola bars

Cherry Almond Granola Bars
adapted from Alton Brown

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (or more) cup dried cherries

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, almonds, and wheat germ onto a half-sheet pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.


March Scrapbook Challenge

For this year, I've created a series on the Adornit blog that is a monthly scrapbooking challenge. Each month, I come up with a theme and a list of requirements for making a scrapbook page, and the participants have a month to make a page of their own, using the requirements. It's a fun way to share ideas. The best part is that at year's end, we'll all have TEN finished scrapbook layouts.I thought it would be fun to focus on the little things in life - I call it "Bits and Pieces of Everyday Life." For March, the theme is "What we say, every day." Here's what I wrote on the Adornit blog:

10 in 2010 logo

Hi everyone – thanks for your enthusiastic response to our “Ten in 2010” challenge. Special thanks to the scrappers who shared their awesome layouts. It was FUN for me to enjoy everyone’s creativity as they used the challenge requirements. If last month didn’t work for you to scrap, just jump in now – you’ll love our theme for March.

Please note: I’m going to wait until March 17 to announce the winner of the February challenge – because I said in the edited blog post that everyone would have a month to complete their layouts. So - you can still make that layout about how you're "lucky everyday!" Go for it. From now on, the deadline for the challenges will be the 10th day of the next month.

Now I’m excited to tell you about this month’s challenge! The theme for the March is, “What we say, every day.” (You can use that as your title, but it isn’t required.) What IS required on your layout is three easy elements.

Challenge requirements:

- QUOTE strips

- Brads

- Striped patterned paper

Here are two examples that I created using the three requirements:

I was excited to get started on the layout challenge for March, because I love the theme of everyday conversation. Preparing to create my little quote strips made me stop and listen to the daily talk around our house. In listening, I was able to determine that I don’t talk enough to my college-age son! He’s busy; I’m busy, and our interchange has become not much more than short sentences – most of them questions. “How are you today? How’s school? What time do you go to work today? Are you hungry? You left laundry in the dryer.” So in creating my layout, I learned something about myself and determined to make a change.


* PAGE KIT only $9.95 *

I chose Adornit’s Birthday Collection for the March 2010 Challenge Page Kit. (You don’t have to use the kit to post your challenge.) The page kit will include a photo illustration that you can scraplift and lots of supplies that you can use on several layouts. CLICK here for more information and order now for only $9.95 plus shipping.

I look forward to being inspired by your creativity! You can share your layout on your blog, on your Facebook page, on Adornit’s Facebook page, on your online retailer’s gallery (like Scrapbook.com) or anywhere else you like to post layouts. Just be sure to come back to this post and leave a link below (Remember to leave a link to the specific post that shows your layout, not to your blog home.) We can’t wait to see “what you say, every day.” Go start scrapping.


Mexico - Xplor, Chichen and Ek Balam

A A few typical scenes from our trip - a restroom stop and a deep sea fishing dock. Below is a nature park called Xplor which is famous for its huge underground caves and ziplines. You can see Mary and Corey on a little jeep ride. Below is also a photo of one of ten towers that were connected in a series of zip lines that we went on. The zip lines thrilled Scott but scared me half to death. But I completed the whole course, except the last zipline that ended up in water. At the beginning of that one, I told the kid I had a stomach ache and he let me walk down a path instead of zipping into the pool below.

On day five of the trip, we were all together - for our all-day-long tour to the Mayan ruins in Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. We found a tour guide through a friend of a friend - his name was Lemuel, and he was wonderful in his knowledge and personality. We had such an interesting day seeing the ancient temples, walls and other excavated treasures. The photo above is the only photo I have of the six brothers and sisters together. From youngest to oldest - Mary, Patty, Jill, Scott, Sue, and Spence. They're really cute together and very sweet with each other - and constantly joking. At one point I said, "I've never hear so much banter."

After three hot hours at Chichen Itza (not that hot actually), we piled back into the 12-passenger van and Lemuel drove us to a place for lunch that had a buffet meal and a cenote for swimming. A cenote is a sink hole that is filled with water from an underground river. You can see Scott (in his wetsuit) and Mary up on the ledge about to jump off. I went up to the ledge with them and even ran to the edge like I was going to jump, but then chickened out and walked back down the stairs and jumped in from the bank. It was cold at first, but then refreshing as Lemuel had promised. We only had about a half hour to swim and then had to get dressed and back into the van to go to another ruin site called Ek Balam.

Finally we got to climb to the top of a temple. I think our whole group made it to the top except Sue. Even Melanie with her bionic knees made the climb. We saw beautiful rock carvings and wall art under the thatched overhangs. This ruin was only discovered and excavated in the past ten years. It had been completely covered with earth and trees.

You can see for miles from the top - not a mountain or hill in sight - just an expanse of jungle. There are towns, roads and more ruins out there, but you can barely see them for the thick trees. I loved Ek Balam because of the calm atmosphere - not many tourists, no vendors or souvenir booths, and beautiful green grass everywhere.

Scott always has to take the window seat so he can get his photos as the plane takes off. This is the beautiful beach in Cancun - a city which is celebrating its 40th birthday this month. It is a modern-built city only 40 years old. Along the beach are hundreds of beautiful hotels and resorts.