Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who decides on the Happy Meal toys?

Is it some dude's full time job to scout out this garbage?

Well that dude totally out-garbaged himself.
The toys right now are absolutely CRAPTASTIC!
Not only are they weird, but the "music" that they play (and I use the term "music" lightly) is a total assault on the eardrums. Nothing like a plastic amplified scratchy synthesizer beat box.
With three notes.


They should give out earplugs in the adult meals with junk like this.

And you are alllll winners. (in my book)

So, it's Wednesday.

I went over to the Random Number Generator to pick someone for the class.
But I felt so bad.
I think I have entered roughly 582 contests just like this, and I have never won.
So I thought I would post one of my favorite recipes here for everyone else, who didn't win.

The winner DOES NOT get to copy the recipe. Or make it. Heh.

This is a perfect recipe for potlucks, since it makes a lot,
and it is very tasty,
and most likely you already have the ingredients in the pantry.
Also, it is low-fat--cause marshmallows are mostly air. And graham crackers aren't that fattening. And the chocolate chips? Well, doesn't the butterfat slide out of those when you melt them? I think it does. And then there is coconut, which we all know is a fruit. Or maybe a vegetable. So, see...healthy!

**This recipe makes TWO 9x13 pans of S'mores. You can cut it in half, but then you are left with a half of a bag of chocolate chips. And a half a bag here, is an empty bag the next day. I eat chocolate chips a handful at a time, cause I think they don't really count that way. This is why I necessitated a membership to Weight Watchers. You won't regret having two pans of these bars. Trust me.**

S'mores Bars

2 cubes butter, softened
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (one package--not the whole box, just one package)

Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add about 1/4 c. water, then add combined flour and crumbs, mix well. Press into bottom of two (2) buttered 9x13 pans.

Layer on top(s)(Split these ingredients between the two pans):

1 1/2 c. shredded coconut
1 (12 oz) pkg. chocolate chips (we like semi-sweet)
1 c. chopped nuts (I leave out, blech)
4 c. mini-marshmallows

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until marshmallows are puffy and golden brown. Cool, cut into squares.

Oh yeah, the winner of the class. Silly me. Thinking about toasted marshmallows.
I randomly generated from HERE.

And the winner is.....
Number 18.
Lezlee said...
Sounds Great! I need a jump start.

1:30 PM

So, Lezlee. E-mail me and I will get you set up.

Everyone else--go make some S'mores!
Do not share with Lezlee.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Hey scrappers and non-scrappers who are at all curious about scrapping.

I am guest designing for another class here:
Scrap Your Events
Look! The link works today, just when you thought miracles don't happen much anymore.

That link will take you right to the message board forum.
There is thread over there where folks are asking me questions and what-not.
The class starts tomorrow.
You can still sign up!

This class is guaranteed to get you to plow through a stack of photos. Multi-photo two page layouts are the push.

Here is the deal.

I am allowed to give a free pass away here, to one of you lucky blog readers.
Granted, the class starts tomorrow, but YOU WILL NOT BE BEHIND!

Debbie sets the class up so you download PDF files, and can take the class at your leisure. Plus there are message boards, if you have questions, and they are answered very quickly. There is a gallery for you to upload your finish projects too.

I was impressed with the last class, and I myself got a lot scrapped.
One of the layouts I did for that class just got picked up by a magazine.
(Can I get a WooHOOO!)

Anyway, check it out over there if you get a minute.
At the very least, leave me a comment here, and I will randomly draw someone to win the FREE PASS to the CLASS!

Ready? GO!

(I will draw a name on Wednesday)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Snow Hats

We took the kids to a local park the other day.

Incidentally, this was the only good weather day Utah has had this spring.
Kinda like the eye in the middle of a tornado.
Yesterday it snowed yet again.
I packed a bag.
I packed my swimsuit and some sunglasses and a trashy novel.
I looked for flights out of this barren, frozen wasteland.
Then the kids came home from school.
We made cake, and I forgot about leaving.

Anyway, at the park.
There was this:

Here is a closer look at the babe on the left:

I blurred her face before sending her out into the world wide web, to save her that one remaining shred of dignity.

Although I am sure that was completely unnecessary on my part, cause this chick was STRRRRRUTTING her stuff at the park. Her straw hat was the bomb-diggity, and she knew. She knew.

Her friend was a little more demure about looking so Mary-Poppins perfect.
But she was still feeling it.
All the heads turned at the park when they went by.

They came screaming into the park in a sweet 8 passenger van.
Honest to Pete, I HAD to go look and see if the licence plates were from that compound in Texas.

They weren't.
They were Utah Centennial plates.

I am sure these icons of motherhood graduated from BYU with a major in Home Economics and a minor in Child Development. I bet they were taking a break from their morning whole wheat bread making and taking advantage of the crisp air to discuss planting their gardens as to yield the best produce to later bottle and preserve.

The kids were well-behaved and dressed with actual matching shoes and socks. Their vocabulary did not contain things like "butt" or "fart-brain."

Mikayla came over right about then, wearing her two-left feet flip-flops. She wanted a drink of my diet Dr. Pepper. I had to put down my IN TOUCH magazine to reach it for her.

And that is when I realized.

I ain't never going to be THAT.
And really, I am okay with it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My love/hate relationship with the crock-pot

I know this is shocking that I am posting two (2!!) fairly long posts in one day.
I felt like I owed you--having *not* blogged in like a week.

Plus, I had a couple of coherent trains of thought today, and when I actually have a blog idea that may be remotely interesting, I better write that baby down.

So here it is.
An ode to my crock-pot.

Let's back up a bit.
My mom never had a crock-pot, which is shocking to me, really, seeing how much I use mine, and knowing that my mom had as many kids as I do, I am not sure how she pulled off dinner every night---sans crock-pot. Also, that last sentence used a whole lot of commas.

My mom did, however, have a pressure cooker. I remember her cooking up mystery meat in that pressure cooker. Steaming away on the back burner of the stove, whistling and spewing splatters of high-pressure juices. I was so scared of that thing! It acted like it was going to voluntarily implode at any moment. I would envision it sailing toward the ceiling, in a fiery-hot ball of silver fury. And seasoned meat.

I hated mystery meat days.

The pressure cooker would fill the whole house with wafting meat scent. It cooked all day long. It was especially bad when I was a teenager, and had a dance to go to, or a hot date that night.

"Awwww, mom!!! Not MEAT! I just can't have beef whiff tonight!"

Beef whiff was the term we invented for the lingering aroma of dinner.

Inevitably, your clothes would be saturated with meat odor when mom had a roast in the pressure cooker. And other folks could smell it. I know they could. I could smell it, all night long. The desperate attempt to cover the smell with a splash of Charlie, only to leave sirloin/onion undertones that did not mix well in the nostril.

Now I have a crock-pot.

I love this thing!

I am a night person. Mornings are really sucky to me. In fact, I warm up and start actually living around noon. No matter when I wake up. I don't kick into gear until the afternoon. I feel sluggish and slow and unproductive. I am quite sure we have vampires in our lineage.

So here is the beauty of the crock-pot.

I can throw some junk in the pot, in the morning, when my life is tragically slow, turn it on low...and then, THEN! When my day really gets going, and I am booked/busy/working/ hopping right along in the afternoon, and early evening, the crock-pot produces dinner for me! Right when I am busiest. Beautiful.

The downfall?


But this time, it's not about other people smelling ME. It's about ME smelling IT.

All day long.

By the time dinner rolls around, I am so sick of smelling beef, that I am craving chicken.

Or nothing.

Or anything but what is in the crock pot.

Maybe I should start cooking stuff in the garage where I don't smell it.

My other job.

You know, I have said it before, but I am really lucky.
The whole scrapbooking gig is a good one.
I work for a few really great manufacturers. They treat me so good, and have really fun stuff that I get to play with.
I just love what I do.
That being said, sometimes it is challenging.

I have mentioned before that often I don't have photos to fit the particular themes I am assigned to work with.

That leaves me scrambling for photos from friends or family, or staging a photo shoot to match the assigned theme.

It works out great for the kids a lot of times that way, because we go to places I am not sure we would go to, to fill my "stock" photo obligation. Like the one time we loaded everyone up and went to a Space Museum cause I had rocket/planet/space paper to work with. That was actually fun.

Anyway, sometimes I have other challenges.

Like this last week. I worked a tight deadline for a catalog. They overnighted me the box of papers and stickers and needed it back in a couple days.

They needed two (2) two-page 12x12 layouts and a couple smaller projects.

The paper sent to me was mock-up paper. This means that the real paper was still at the printers being printed, and the paper I had to work with was color copied versions. Not a big deal, I have worked quite a bit with mock-ups.

The stickers were mock-ups too. Color copies. That is a little harder since you have to cut out the images, and glue them down. It is a little more time consuming, but again, I have done it before, not a big deal. It was a big deal once, when I had to cut out mock-up brads. Those were tedious.

I got the box, and inside the box were half sheets of 12x12 paper.

And interestingly enough, some of the half sheets didn't have a matching second half. And I didn't have doubles of any of the designs.

I needed to pull a two-page spread out of half (non-matching) sheets of paper.

I wanted the manufacturer to be happy. I love those guys, and wanted it to look nice.

I stressed. A lot. And sketched some ideas, and was scared to cut the paper, since I had no extras. I cut the stickers and moved them around. And sketched some more, and stressed more. Finally I worked one layout, and second guessed myself, and stressed. I decided to put it aside. They needed to be mailed the next day! Time was ticking! I had a headache, so I went to bed, and thought maybe fresh eyes would give me more ideas.

Well dang.

I dreamed all night about crappy layouts and upset manufacturers, and somehow the dream also involved Gwyneth Paltrow and a poodle. And the next morning I went into the studio, and re-arranged things, and finally....after working THAT WHOLE DAY on two measly spreads, I was finished. I labeled them, and glued them down and mailed them.

Then I waited....for the manufacturer to say something. And maybe ask for a re-do.

They ended up liking them.

I was happy, and so relieved.

So I just wanted everyone to know, sometimes it is kinda challenging to be a designer. It's not always fun.

It still beats cleaning buses for a living.
Or working at the Walmart jewelry counter.
(done both, baby)

By the way, here are the blood, sweat and tears layouts:

Coming to a catalog near you.

In other news:
I got a new calling in my church.
They asked me to be in the Young Women's program.
I get to hang with 14-15 year old girls.
There will be paper crafting....oh yes...there will be paper crafting.

We R 2 cre8 EZ but XLNT projects! :) <---see me brushing up on my text messaging skeelz
There are a lot of meetings, hence my lack of blog time lately.
But I am pretty excited about it.

I have had PTA obligations up the wazoo. You know, the end of the school year approacheth, hence it's a good idea to pack a million things into those last few weeks, field trips, Teacher Appreciation week, dance festivals...all those memorable yet insanely time consuming things.

Mikaylas birthday went off without a hitch. We let her turn five. I didn't cry.

I weighed in again. To keep my Weight Watchers lifetime status, I have to check in once a month.
I was down a couple more pounds, bringing the grand total to thirty pounds lost. Even with that bag o' chips the other day.
And Mikayla's delicious Costco cream cheese frosted chocolate Mousse/crack-cocaine filled birthday cake.
Oh, and the artery clogging Ballpark Frank she insisted on for her birthday dinner.

And that about brings you current.

And brings me to the treadmill.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Geode Beds

The geode beds are clear out in the sticks.
Pretty far out there.
No cell phone reception or anything.
Just a bunch of tumbleweeds and lots of dust.

Not a great place for a vacation home.
But a FABULOUS place for pretty rocks.

It doesn't look like much.
But all over the ground are these petrified turd looking rocks.
I believe that is the technical term. Petrified Turd.
See...I will show you:

But then, you crack that turd open, and look...

They were filled with glittering crystals, and some of them had water inside.

We figured out that the lighter the rocks felt, the more hollow they were inside.
And easier for the kids to crack with their dollar store hammers.
Shayne was channelling his inner Willy Wonka. Could we make him look like a bigger nerd?

Jayden thought he would have better luck excavating in the side of the mountain for fresh! rocks! He is the brown spot on the cliff. He eventually wizened up and just collected ground turds like the rest of us peasants. Now that I think about it, I am pretty glad he didn't fall off that mountain. It was a long way back into a town if we needed band-aids.

Then we took a break and had a picnic.

Then we headed for home.
Did I mention it was out in the sticks?
Well, it was.
Dirt roads. Very dusty.
And at one point there were some grazing sheep. Sam called them "range maggots" and for some reason that made me laugh. Click on the picture to see how many of them there were. They really did look like maggots. In a way.
This is the height of excitement right here.

Makes you want to book your next vacation to Utah, doesn't it?

Then eventually those sheep had to cross the road.
Our road.
And we waited for the whole herd.
The sheep dogs made us wait.
They were very menacing.

We made it home.
We brought some extra rocks that aren't cracked yet.
We are hoping to cut them with a tile saw. Might be cool.

In other news.
Tomorrow is Mikayla's fifth birthday.
I sent the kids in to make lunches for tomorrow, and Mikayla made herself one too.
She totally thinks she will be going to school with them tomorrow, since she finally hit that magic Kindergarten age.

It won't be long, but to her it seems like forever.

When she gets a few years older and "just HATES school" I will have to remind her about this day, when she was aching to go to school.

A part of me wishes she were turning four, and I would have another year to get used to the idea of her leaving me home alone.

I am going to have a hard time letting her go next fall.

Happy Birthday Pickle!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I survived Spring Break '08!

Gearing up to send the kids back to school bright and early Monday morning.
Can I hear a "WOOT! WOOT!"

We are heading out for our last hurrah this afternoon.

Taking the kids to the Geode beds out west.

I am sure I will have real photos for y'all tomorrow. Not just these that I stole from the 'net.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I ate a bag of chips.

A whole bag.
I am not proud of it, and in fairness, they were these Veggie Chips.

They claim to be nutritious.

But let's be honest. They are chips.
Let's be further honest and say that they probably weren't even that good. I bought them on clearance at Walmart, which should speak volumes.

And while we are being honest, let me tell you that they were the best thing I have ever eaten, in the history of EVER, because I haven't had one single solitary chip since I started Weight Watchers last August.

So I ate that whole bag. And it was good.
Lots of willpower here.
And guilt.
Vegetable justified guilt.
But still guilt.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Things I am sure of:

*I am sick of snow. And yes, it is snowing here in Utah. During Spring Break.

*I love Blueberry shakes. (Some lowfat vanilla ice cream, a handful of frozen berries, some milk, some Splenda....deeelicious.)

*My space heater toasting up the studio. I started and finished nine layouts today, hoping for another four by tonight.

*Heading to the Post Office tomorrow to mail layouts.

*Renting Juno tonight. Gotta go pick it up from Redbox. Have you seen it? What did you think?

*Liking the treadmill. Need to talk Sam into hooking up the TV on that thing. My knees are holding up so far. Knock on um, formica.

*Glad the kids are out of school. I know, I know...but they haven't bothered me today. I got a lot of deadline work done, and Mikayla was entertained by following them around all day. Nice!

*Dinner will be a fend-for-yourselves affair. Like last night. Oh, and the past two night before that. Heh.

*Still looking for a Blogger template, cause I am NOT SURE about this one.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

well crap!

Maybe I will try again tomorrow.
Don't you people know I have work to do?


Urs--you don't like neon green?
Is it happy? Maybe?

Should I go back to the brown?
Someone want to link me something better?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day One, Hour Two of a week long SPRING BREAK

We all slept in until 9:30. It was deeeeelightful. I was thinking how nice it was, and how I could definitely get used to *not* busting heinie spending my mornings in a frenzy of looking for backpacks, clean socks and book room books all part of trying to get the kids off to school on time.

How summer is coming!
And that means no schedule, no rush...

I got on the treadmill. In my measly 30 minutes, I was interrupted five times. Two kids, (one kid bugged me twice) and then the phone rang twice with my kids' friends calling. That was in 30 minutes.

I went up to shower. Locked the door. The kids pounded on the door at least three times that I know of. You know, nothing can wait, heaven forbid.

It's 11:45. We have been up and going for a little over two hours. Already I have heard two kids moan "I am bored" and three ask "What are we going to go do today" Like I am a fricking events coordinator at fun camp.

I am having heroin flashbacks of summer.

Spring Break is a whole week long.
Please pass the hard liquor.
And keep it pouring in a steady stream until late August.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's a good week to be me.

I got a check in the mail today for some scrappy crap I did.
Now normally, these checks get put in a bank account and we use them for travel, or unexpected bills.

Well this time I went hog wild and spent it.
On this:

A Dyson.

I have been dreaming of one for a while.

My current vacuum is lazy.
It will allow me to vacuum one! room! And then it quits. It smells like tires too. I know it is getting on in years, but really? ONE! ROOM! at a time, takes a long, long time to get the house vacuumed.

I know how pathetic it is to put off buying something I use and need every single day.

I have been with Sam to the tool store. He will fork out twenty bucks for a socket he and I both know he will use once. And he and I both know that another tool that he probably already owns would work just as well.

So I blew the check on a vacuum.

It is a good week to be me.
The smell of new electronics is way better than any Yankee Candle.

Sam bought me a treadmill!

I have been wanting one for a long time.
I am no longer dependant on weather issues, or "what can I do with the kids" issues, or "hey, I feel like running, but it is 1:30 in the morning." <--okay, that hasn't happened, but it could, ya know?

I can run whenever I want to.

Incidentally, the treadmill is set up in the laundry room, so eventually, if it morphs into a very expensive clothing/purse hanger like I hear a lot of treadmills do, at least it is in the right spot.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday Share Day

A couple layouts for an online class I was asked to guest design for. You can click on the images to make them bigger. It was a "Scrap Yourself" class, and I am still a little freaked out seeing photos of myself. I don't like them.

Some more Home Decor stuff for Quickutz.
A plate thing. (And a horrible picture, ah well.)

A vahhhhhhhze.
Not a vase.

A vahhhhhze.
An acrylic napkin holder.

And all these projects were brought to you by IKEA.

About the napkin holder, my Brendan saw it, and said "YES! Are we going to have real NAPKINS on the dinner table now?"

Cause, yeah, we currently don't have them out at meal time.

And Brendan is FAMOUS for using his shirt as a napkin. He gets his butt reamed for it. Especially since he and Jayden share clothes and Mr. Anal Retentive(Jayden) doesn't care much for sharing his clothes with the Stainmaster(Brendan). They fight a lot. I suppose if you boil it right down, it's my fault. For not setting out napkins at dinner.

So thank you, Quickutz. For forcing the issue, by assigning me this home decor project. Maybe with the introduction of napkins, peace, love and joy will forevermore abide within the walls of our home.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The (other) Truck

So I happened to notice that no one wanted to wager a guess.
Don't you need an extra husband?
With a truck?

Sam picked up another truck on auction.
This one was in Arizona.

We flew into Phoenix, and drove to Tucson, picked up the truck and drove it home. We were lucky again. The thing ran like a champ!

It is a full-sized diesel engine Ford F250 POWER STROKE! I was told to add the POWER STROKE! I don't know what it is, but apparently it is worth mentioning. "You're Welcome", to my male readers.

The bestest part about the truck was the fact that it was a theft recovery. There were sweatshirts and bottled waters left in the truck. Along with a sack of stinkiness that was never identified in the back of the truck.

The front grill was filled, and I mean filled with cactus.

I am thinking that some Mexicans were busting that stolen truck over the Nogales border and got caught. A chase ensues; the truck bouncing along the midnight desert arroyos, illuminated only by a full moon (headlights needed to be replaced) Kicking up sand and taking out cacti. Finally caught. Or maybe, they resorted to finishing the last stretch on foot, and made it back to their haciendas. Ditching the truck for freedom.

Regretting leaving the bottled water, of course.

So anyway, we own the truck now.

Sam swears it will get better gas mileage than his little truck, cause it's diesel. And we squeezed almost 600 miles out of one tank. Maybe it's true? (shrugs) All I know is it sounds like a threshing machine when you fire it up and run it.

In other news:

I left my phone upstairs yesterday, and dug it out late last night to set the alarm for the school kids this morning. There was a picture message waiting on it.
I didn't recognize the number, but opened it anyway.
Sometimes Sam has the guys at work send me funny things.

Well, this wasn't funny.

It was a very violently graphic picture of someones beat to hell face. They were all grayish-purplish and bloody. I glanced at it, and had that icy terror thing. I am used to puppies, ponies, and rainbows and all of a sudden I get a corpse-thing straight from "I am Legend" sent to my phone.

I called Sam and asked him if he recognized the number.
I forwarded him the picture.
It freaked him out too.
He called the number, and someone answered and said that the police were involved.
What the....?
A friend of ours is a police officer, Sam called him, he was on patrol and dropped by the house. I made a report and everything.
I guess it was already in the system, a domestic violence situation.
Anyway, my PSA for the day, is don't download random phone photos.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Can you guess?

I did the Cupcake meatloaf thing for the family on April Fools.

It was good meatloaf. They fell for it, until a bite or two into the meal. And Mikayla seems to have inherited the same "if food is colored funky, it tastes funky" gene from me, cause she thought the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf looked like play dough. She wasn't having any of that.

And if you click on the picture with the pan of cupcakes, you can see how crappy my muffin tin is. I have been tempted by the cool-looking silicone muffin pans. Anyone have those? I am wondering what keeps them from just flopping in on themselves? Anyone? They sure look pretty.

And yes, the color is always funky in my kitchen, hence the quick black and white conversion of Shianne. You can almost bet, when you see a black and white from me, that I am too lazy to color-correct. Viola! Black and white. I am predictable that way.

Now let's play Can You Guess?
Here is the picture:

Where was the picture taken?

It involves an airport, One point bran muffins, and driving all day and all night.
Take your guess.

The winner gets a husband and a used full-sized diesel truck; of which I am still not sure he *needed.*