Saturday, May 30, 2009

Baseball Mini and Crop Dates

Like Laina mentioned earlier this week, I too am doing my best to just maintain during this time of year. Soccer season ends today (thank you, Lord!) and t-ball and softball season are underway. I plan on sticking favorite photos into this mini I created with the June WIP Project kit. I used the Tim Holtz crackle paint on the book to make it look more authentic--kind of fun to play. Also, it feels good to simply slide the photos and journaling in as they come--gotta love that sense of accomplishment!

I wanted to add that I posted a couple of dates for local gals who have been asking for more crops. I normally do not do scheduled crops during the summer months because the facility I use is also used by the community more often, and people are busy. Since I've had so many requests, I have decided to do a couple of Friday night crops at my house from 6-midnight (or whenever!) on Friday, June 12 and Friday, July 10th. Cost of the crops are $10, and it will include pizza and snacks. Please email me at Turay if you are interested, as space is limited. I hope to see you soon!!
Enjoy your weekend!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

fathers day, coming up!

hi ya'll, emily here!
i'm quite convinced (and maybe ya'll are too) that i get every gift idea from martha stewart's website...her ideas are so great...i just love them! well, fathers day is right around the corner, and i love to be prepared, so i've been checking out sites...but martha's site has beaten the rest. here are some cute ideas...if you have some too, please let me know, as i LOVE good fathers day gift ideas!
you can't beat a good ol' fashioned tie...but make it a cute one...and put a monogram on it, even better!

here is something that the kids can get involved in a block of paper and let them color on the will have a fun gift, all year long...or until he uses all his paper!

cut out a DAD frame and put pictures of your cute kids in it :)

every dad needs one of these...a handy dandy car wash kit. so he can (of course) wash your car for you :)
like i me up to some good ideas! happy gift making!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Good morning. Laina here with you today.

Has your life been as crazy as mine? The end of the school year is always so busy. Field trips, field days, concerts, etc. Add in a 13 year old on 3 baseball teams plus the other 2 little rascals in soccer, baseball and karate all at the same time. Can you say "over committed" family? There should be law (for moms) that forbids sports seasons to crossover. Hardly any time to scrap. The good thing about this time of year? Lots of outdoor photos!

In an effort to get motivated once again I have been looking at some great sketch sites. I know Janelle and Amy are active in a few challenge blogs. One of my favorites is the Scrapbooks Etc. Challenge Blog. They post challenges and sketches from their special Page Planner issue and other challenges.

Here are two pages I created from their challenge blog.

Got any other great blogs you like to use to get you motivated? Link em up below!

PS Remember last month when I said I was going to start using that Cricut of mine? Both titles on these pages were created using my Cricut and SCAL. I love being able to cut my own custom titles. So much I may stop buying Thickers! (did I just say that?)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Travel Journal

There is a severe need in my life to keep track, make lists, bullet point the day. While preparing for a family vacation last year to Florida, I knew I wanted to have a journal with me to do just that, keep track of the days and happenings. Ali Edwards has always been inspirational with her travel journals that she basically puts together while on the road. So from all these thoughts grew this mini travel journal. Mini because it is only 4 x 5 3/4 inches. Perfect to throw in my bag and go.

The Florida map paper was a perfect find at my local scrapbook store. It's by paper love designs. I just picked up several for our Virginia trip the other day. Anyway, it has this great vintage feel about it. Using scraps of chipboard that I am forever hoarding, I covered the front with the patterned paper. The chipboard frame is covered in Making Memories scraps. The label is just part of my stash, and then titled it with those fabulous MM mini alphas. And notice the MM Passport sticker on the side. Used those through the book.

The inside is made up of eclectic pieces of various ledger paper. I love ledger paper. It's not matchy matchy inside, which was perfect for me. I just had fun making spaces for journaling, using date stamps or journal spots throughout. Also in the back is included an envelope to capture this and that as I come across it on my travel.

You can see the different pieces that make up the journal part. I left room for a photo or two as well.

I encourage you to make one of these fun mini's if you are taking off on vacation this summer. Even if it is camping for a weekend, there are endless things to save and write about in that situation as well. Just have fun with the inside and let the possiblities lead you where they will take you. I promise it will be a book to be held and loved for many years to come.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scrapbook Escapes

Scrapbooking for me is an escape anyway, but sometimes you have to take it to the next level and escape for a whole weekend with your girlfriends. This is something pretty new for me. I used to just scrap by myself, even though I attended the occasional class, but recently I've been going on more scrap retreats and have discovered that the weekend really is the way to go.
You have the whole weekend to scrap. No make-up. Lots of girl-time with your scrappy friends. You get in the groove and don't have to stop to make dinner or take the dog out or run to the grocery for this or that. One weekend, I made over 30 layouts!!
We have a couple places we go here outside of Atlanta. About 12 of us rent a house for the weekend. Each of us brings a snack, and we chip in on meals. We make a list of our tools so that we only bring what no one else has. A few of us bring movies and iPods to make sure we have chick flicks and tunes. Scrapbook magazines and idea books. And then we just let loose and scrap the weekend away! It is such a great way to catch up with people you haven't seen in a while, or even meet new people. Check and see if there is such a house in your neck of the won't be disappointed. I've done this twice now, and I'm hooked.

And there is always WIP's Fall Event at the Bertram Inn
Another great way to escape is going to the scrap conventions like the Expo, or Scrap ETC. There are a ton of these things that occur on an annual basis, or maybe just a one time thing. I don't do them often, but they are a great way to meet new scrappers in your area, and you learn from people like Margie Romney Aslett, Donna Downey, and Jenni Bowlin. You learn new techniques and ideas, and you get to play with some really great product at these things.
A couple years ago, I went to one in DC and took an extra day to see the sites like Paper Source in Georgetown...oh, and of course our Nation's Capital ;-). Donna Downey has her Inspired event. There's the CKUs and CKAs and all of that. Silver Bella. There is one in Louisiana later this year that I heard about. A whole weekend of scrappy classes, fun projects, nightly crops, games, raffles. A great way to have a scrappy escape, but also be a tourist at the same time! Can't beat that!

What's your favorite scrappy escape?


Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

In honor of our service men and women today...


Saturday, May 23, 2009


who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie?

hi ya'll...emily here!
well, even though i've been horribly sick with this pregnancy, chocolate chip cookies have seemed to soothe my always nauseous belly. i'll take it.
i've got the worlds best cookie recipe here...i think it actually won some was passed on to me during a recipe exchange and i've never baked anything else! it's so delish that half of the dough usually gets eaten before i can bake it all!
here ya go...enjoy!
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 3.4 ounce package vanilla instant pudding (this is the secret ingredient!)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
cream butter, brown sugar, white sugar. beat in pudding. stir in eggs and vanilla. stir in flour and baking soda. bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (in our house, we usually don't bake it that long cause we like gooey cookies).
hope you love these as much as we do!
(picture taken from apartment therapy--wish it was mine, but it's not--but i swear, they really do look this good when made!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Favorite Things.

Enabler Alert. Be Warned...

A few of my new favorite things. The narrow oval and the coordinating scalloped oval from Stampin' Up. Even better yet--they have stamps to go with these. You need them.Thank you Laina. Because of you, I had to go out and get those Bazzill templates. I LOVE them--especially the border one.

Duck brand adhesive has a new dispenser, and I really like that it has tiny strips. Did you see the mini dispenser? Great for tight spots.
See all the College Press paper? Yummy die cut sheets--a new fav.

Speaking of die cut shapes, I married the Fancy Pants Mixed Media mini book with an 8x8 tabbed acrylic mini book I already owned--and I have a wonderful project in mind for it. It is on my to do list...
KI Memories has a wonderful summer line. I'm not one for glitter, but since it is embossed, I can handle it...
Doodlebug has an adorable cupcake paper and sticker set that I had to get. Maybe the 80 degree weather here put me in the mood for ice cream...
What is your new favorite thing? I love getting feedback--spill the beans!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

mini albums.

aren't these just the greatest little things?
they can be any shape, any length.
thats my favorite part.
you can do a mini album
on just about anything!
-new babies
-summer fun
-zoo trips
-water play
-funny things the kids say
-photo shoots
-favorite flowers
-everyday moments

i could go on and on!
what is your favorite part about making a
mini album? share with us your favorite
one--that you have done, or one that someone else has done/

here are a couple of my favorites that i have done:

another one of my favorites:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I love FLOWERS!!!

but I do NOT have a green thumb at all. I think I will plant beautiful flowers every year, but it just doesn't seem to happen. The few (and I can totally count this on one hand) times I've managed to actually plant, they never turn out like they're supposed to. I don't know why or how, but I truly do kill every flower/plant I own.

Anyhoo, since I can't enjoy them in my home, I totally love using them on my pages. I could put flowers on each and every page I do (along with a chipboard piece or two). I wanted to share some of my fave flower embellies with ya today.

I found these over at 2peas...
here, here (LOVE, LOVE this flower!!!, and here (love how she used the big flowers.

Magistical Memories has some of the coolest chipboard flowers around. You can check them out here.

Now, who could forget Prima, when we're talking about are some of my faves from them:

Have a wonderful Tuesday!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Memorable Baby Blanket

Here is a great idea the next time you host a baby shower. Provide 7" muslin squares (one square per guest), pencils, embroidery thread and needles. Have guests lightly sketch a symbol onto the square, and then have them do a running stitch to outline the image.
It can be as simple or as intricate as you'd like. Encourage guests to sew their initials on the square if you want to go the sentimental route. You can go with a baby theme (in this case, a vintage cowboy theme for our son, Griffin) or simple flowers for a little baby girl. Select colors to go with the nursery and play with the concept. And if you think your guests will hesitate at the drawing part, think about using a die cut machine and provide them with templates (see the finished project--cheaters unite!)
Once I gathered all the embroidered squares, I then thought about the design of the quilt. I grabbed scrapbook paper (Scenic Route grid) and created a map...
I selected fabrics to go with his bedroom (varied color and scale, all 100% cotton), and then cut 7" squares to match the embroidered ones. I went square by square, creating a row first, and then sewed them together. I also had our son's name, date of birth and weight embroidered on a square for the center piece of the quilt.
The finished result ended up like this...
It is an easy weekend project that can be used immediately!! I've done about 4 of them as gifts and each time I do, it is always a big hit. This blanket is my son's bedspread, and it matches his room perfectly.

Give it a shot!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

summer plans.

well its right around the corner! i know that we get out of school
on the 22nd in my neck of the woods. what does everyone have planned
for the summer months? any thing fun? any vacations planned? do tell.
maybe you can give me some ideas. I know that we will be spending
alot of time here:
(amelia island, flordia)

my kids are already begging on a daily basis to go
to the beach. There will be lots of trips to the beach
( they get so excited cause we cross the state line into
flordia to get to the beach! ), the park, and many many picnics,
romps thru the sprinklers. popsicles. milkshakes.

so tell us YOUR plans!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Eating It and Having It Too

I like cake. I have not always liked cake. I like MY cakes. Although in my lifetime I have come across some fabulous bakery's that have caused me to change my thinking about cake. Like the Chinese-Mexican Bakery in Chula Vista, California...I know...a strange name...but a great bakery. Our church would often order their fresh strawberry with whip cream frosting sheet cake. THAT was good. Or Hans and Harry's in Bonita, California...yep...two Austrian brothers making fabulous cakes. My wedding cake was to die for . It was both layers of fabulous chocolate, and layers of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting iced delicately in a lace design to match my dress. Yum!
Now a days I'm the neighborhood baker for most things requiring a celebration. It seems like spring makes for many occasions for cake. One of the main sources of inspiration for me has been the Whimsical Bakehouse. I just recently found them online having read their book years ago. Their site offers a fun gallery, as well as tutorials for some of their creations. I first found out about them with this book The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-Make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look! What really drew me to them was first the cake designs which were...well...whimsical. Wonderfully fun designs in buttercream and chocolate. The second thing that made the find so wonderful was the buttercream recipes. Kaye's Buttercream is just that...made from butter...and the best cake frosting in my opinion hands down. I highly encourage you to look for their book, or go online and try that cake topping.
Another recent baking find is Cupcake Bakeshop. The site is now 'closed', but is still available for a great list of recipes and beautiful photographs of lovely baked creations. The Green Tea cupcakes look challenging, but worth the effort.

And let's never forget Bakerella...Trish has that site linked up on the right. LOVE that site too...have you tried your hand at the mini cupcake pops? Oh, those are so much fun and fabulous too. The kids are way too eager to have their hands in that task. I love her ganache recipes and my new passion, brownies, is often inspired by her recipes and exceptional photos.
There are just so many great ways in life to be creative. I love the challenge, and I love the reward of the effort. And with cake and buttercream, even the mistakes are yummy.
So what baking sites inspire you right now?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

June Sneak...

You will also see elements from Sweet Shoppe from Collage press, Cosmo Cricket Early Bird and more from Basic Grey Lime Rickey. Please note that the kit will not be available to the public until Friday, May 15th at 5:00pm EST on the website.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Springtime is a happy time

I love spring. Love it! The smell of the honeysuckle. The warmth of the sun. The birds chirping (although I could do without them chirping at 5am, Mr. Mockingbird). Irises and daffodils popping up. Azalea blossoms. Dogwood Festivals and lazy days in the park. The strawberries and the blackberries. Fresh blueberries.

Love Spring!!

Matter of fact, I just invented a new Spring salad. My dad has blackberry patches, so we picked fresh wild blackberries this weekend and now I have them coming out of my ears. In addition to the blackberry muffins, cupcakes, and cobbler I plan on making, I've been grabbing handfulls of them everytime I go into the kitchen (which is a lot...shhhh). This morning when I was making my lunch before running off to school, I decided to toss some in a salad. I'm sitting here munching on it right now and it is really good! Here's the recipe
365: may 12
Green Salad with Feta and Wild Blackberries
Serves 1

2 cups lettuce or salad greens
a handful of grape tomatoes
feta cheese, crumbled
sliced cucumber
a big handful of blackberries
fresh ground black pepper
oil and redwine vinegar to taste

I used oil and vinegar because I go into the kitchen a lot and now I'm back on Weight Watchers, but feel free to use whatever salad dressing you like. Enjoy!


P.S. If you are interested in the other blackberry recipes that I was talking about, check out my food blog Real Food. I will be posting some soon!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shopping fun

for under $25...

Last Thursday was my mom's birthday, so my sister and I took her to lunch and then we headed over to one of our favorite shops in Medina, Perfectly Charming.  If you are ever in the Medina area you have to check it out.  They are a perfect store to decorate your house during these tough economic times.

The wire tray is going to be used in my scraproom, the adorable bird book is already with my spring flower decorations, the geranium napkin is on my table in the family room and this adorable bag...

For $5 I got this bag made out of chicken wire.  I can't wait to fill it with a gift for my girlfriends birthday, she's going to love it!

Monday, May 11, 2009


I hope everyone had a fabulous Mother's Day. My day started at 4:30 AM with a race we do every year in our neighborhood for my son's best friend who lost his battle with cancer. ): It's a very emotional day for me, and there's no place I'd rather be on Mother's Day than with the friends that share the love and loss of such an amazing little boy.

I made sure to take some time to honor my mom, and my grandmother, who taught me everything I need to know about being a mommy. They are the BEST!

I also wanted to share a LO I did of my sweet girl with the May kit. I got my kit late, so I didn't get to create anything this month. I love the colors in this kit!

If you haven't already, head on over to the store and check out the amazing NSD kit, along with the May project and addon. YUMMY