Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Laci!

Happy birthday to my younger sister Laci! She is an amazing sister and I'm so lucky and so thankful to have her in my life! Laci has always been our tender-hearted, mother hen sister. Good thing she was, because as the oldest I wasn't very sympathetic so luckily we all had a sister like Laci! :)




Isn't she gorgeous?! Stole this pic from my Mom's blog. It was taken recently in my Mom's new crafty studio. Laci is incredibly talented and has been doing a lot of "free form" crocheting and has been making a million things without patterns that turn out so cute. Click on the link on her name above to go to her new crafty blog to see what I'm talking about! ;)



Here's a pic of Laci, Shae and I from last September when we went out to visit my family in Florida. Oh how I miss hanging out with these two! Yes we all cheesed it (ha), but I wanted to point out how amazing Laci looks! Laci has lost 65 pounds since this photo (see above!) and I'm so proud of her! She said I was the inspiration for both her and my Mom, and once we all hit our weight loss goals I'll post some before/after pics of all of us, with their permission of course! I'm so proud of her for making the healthy lifestyle changes she has and how proud of herself she feels, and how good in general she feels! Same goes for my Momma! ;)


Laci is such a super talented girl and a genuine sweet heart. I am so, so, so very lucky to have her for a sister and I'm so thankful that my kiddos have her for an aunt. She is the sweetest, most caring, most compassionate person I have ever known. Thank you Laci for always being you and for being such an amazing sister. I love you more than a bowl full of red Jello with a cheery on top! :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Foodie Experiences

I’ve posted a couple times here and here about places Jake and I have gone to eat and I decided I wanted to continue documenting each different “foodie experience” we have.  Also, I was told to keep sharing my pics (thanks Wendy!) so hopefully you’re in the “I like when you share” category. Otherwise you can skip this one! ;) I’ll definitely try to keep a good balance of both projects and other pictures on here, but I know that I enjoy other things on the blogs I follow too, so hopefully you’ll also enjoy the extra things I post. :)

Jake was even so cute as to suggest that I make a mini-book full of pictures of each of the places we go to, what we eat and then refer back to my blogging for the journaling. See – I totally have a great guy, he has great ideas and he gets the lingo! ;)

So with that idea we’ll definitely be trying out more places that are distinctly Salt Lake, and even visit some of our favorite places that we’ve been to, but that we haven’t taken pics of before. Then I’ll share them here with you! One of the places we’ve both been to, but separately, is Faustina's. Jake went with a work group a couple years ago, and I went in February, or maybe March, with my friend Cammie so we decided it was time to go together!

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We ended up going on Earth Day (Friday 4/22) and they had all the lights turned out which was neat to support Earth Day, but sort of killed the ambiance there naturally is with the muted track lighting.

We were seated up front and had this great view out of the huge windows pictured in the photo above. Doesn’t Downtown SLC look so cute and quaint? There are certain parts that are just too cute and fun and I love walking around Downtown!

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Here’s a shot of the inside along one partition. I fell in love with the décor here the first time I came in and still swoon over the green, black and white colors mixed throughout. Faustina’s has a decidedly modern, eclectic feel to it.

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You can order anything off Faustina’s lunch menu for $12 and you get a dessert along with it.

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Jake ordered the Gourmet Macaroni (not on the online menu) with shrimp. It was super creamy and very cheesy! Although I liked mine better, and Jake liked his better (ha), we still enjoyed tasting the others dish. I do love cheese but it was a little much for me. Interestingly enough it was the pesto that was too much for Jake in my dish!

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I ordered the Chicken Pesto Pasta, same as I had last time. ;) I seriously love pesto and this dish has a perfect balance of pesto, cheese and roma tomatoes. There are also some crimini mushrooms mixed in, and having a bite of all the flavors is a taste explosion – serious love!

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So delish….

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until the very last bite! ;)

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As  mentioned you get a dessert and instead of the Pumpkin Roulade Cake I had last time, they’d changed it up to more of a spring flavor with strawberry! The dollop on top is whipped cream mixed with cinnamon. The vanilla cake is also filled with cream and has the same cinnamon flavor. The strawberries were super fresh and not overly sweet, but worked so well with the cake and the cream. As much as I love anything pumpkin, I decided I loved the strawberry cake even more!

There are a few places at the top of our list and I’m hoping that at least once a month we’ll be able to find the time to do a lunch or dinner date to explore some more foodie places in Salt Lake! If you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grand Calibur Projects

I shared the links Monday for the review I had done on the Grand Calibur by Spellbinders and wanted to share some of the projects I made with it.

Grand Calibur - Part 1
Grand Calibur - Part 2

 

Onto the projects!

First up was a quickie card using a brass stencil by Dreamweavers. I embossed the cardstock and then ran a distressing ink pad over the top to give it the aged look. After that I spritzed the cardstock with water and crumpled up. Added some simple navy strips of cardstock to the card base and added the embossed layer with pop dots.

Next, one of the shaped cards! I made two of these, so be sure to check out part two of my article to see the other one! Here I was showing how well the ovals and scalloped ovals coordinate to make perfect layers. I also used the smallest oval to create the sewing pattern flower.

The oval shape sparked ideas of Easter in my mind so a simple layout was done quickly with a few cut outs. Just for fun….. the layout above was done with pictures from 2007. Here’s a pic of Gwynie from this last weekend when we were dying eggs….so crazy.

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Here’s a quick little card using one of the die cuts with fabric and a stamped sentiment.

The giveaway is open until Friday 4/29 so you still have time to comment on either of the above links to have a chance at winning some of your very own Grand Nestabilities dies!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Project 365: 4/17–4/23

Last week was weird. Yes, just weird. Partly due to the crazy weather we’ve been having (snow in April…yeah…), partly because I’m feeling out of sorts with too much going on and not enough time to get things done with an upcoming vacation on the horizon, and then add in a holiday weekend and it felt like I was running behind every single day!

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4/17 – Jake’s Mom and Dad got a new puppy! They had to put down the basset hound they’ve had for well over 15 years a little while ago and their dachshund was feeling a little lonely. So they got Harley, a mini long-haired dachshund! He’s 8 weeks old and is seriously ADORABLE! He absolutely LOVES the kids and almost wagged his little tail right off while playing with them!

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4-18 – Softball was rained out for both Gwynie’s games and our COED game, so Jake went and shot archery with the league he participates in. He recently got a new bow and had to take a pic to show me how well he’s shooting – look at that tight group! All 10’s…he’s consistently beating his Dad now, which is just the way he likes it. ;)

4-19 – Brady begged me to show him how to do dishes after dinner so he could earn some extra allowance. It was hilarious how he kept begging me to come do dishes…ugh I hate dishes, but we got them done!

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4-20 – Angry Bird Seasons – EASTER edition, yay! Just another reason I love my iPad!

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4-21 – The first Men’s softball game for our CLEARLINK team and Jake. Last week was rained out and although it sprinkled a little at first, and was chilly, they still played this week. They won 19-11 and it was a great game! Looking forward to nicer weather to hang out and watch softball games!

4-22 – Dinner and a movie with two of my besties! Love these two girls! We had dinner at Iggy’s and then went to see Water for Elephants. Steph and I both read the book and we all really enjoyed the movie. I definitely think we needed time to just talk though, I swear we didn’t get enough of that during dinner!

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4-23 – Decorating Easter eggs! Normally Jake and I each dye our own dozen, but we let the kids do all of our eggs this year since they seemed to just fly though dying their eggs. I’m wondering when they’ll get to that age that they don’t want to do them anymore, but I think we’ll still be dying eggs for a few more years at least.

Well that wraps up another week! I am still loving this project, and love seeing what picture I’ll end up with at the end of the day. Some days I know (like Easter stuff), but others still surprise me and I laugh at what I take pics of some days.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Little Latte!

This is our last week with Laurie Schmidlin,and we’ve had some amazing sketches from her this month! This last one is super versatile! The Stamp Tramps of Skipping Stones Design and our super talented guests have all done such great variations so make sure you check them all out! I went in a more clean and masculine direction, and can’t wait to try using it in more of a feminine approach!

 

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I feel like I’m “a little latte” in many places and things lately! ;) Last month was my boss Chris’ birthday and we did a lunch and had a good celebration for him, but I completely spaced bringing in a  card each day! *Insert me smacking my forehead right here!* So, with this sketch I finally made a “Little Latte” birthday card for Chris! He is a HUGE coffee addict so of course my neglected Coffee Vol #1 was put to great use!

To create the cover around the coffee cup I stamped it in Early Espresso onto Crumb Cake cardstock and stamped the "star buck" in Garden Green. I then crimped the square after cutting it out and used a pop dot to lift it up off the to-go cup. I also crimped the banner portion to also mimic the belly band around the cup.

The coffee stains in the background were stamped in Crumb Cake and I loved the extra touch it added without taking away from the masculine feel.

Make sure to visit the other "Stamp Tramps" to see what they created, or visit the SSD Blog!

Amy Tsuruta

Ann Kranitz

Barb Turpin

Brenda Weaver

Gladys Chia

Jennifer Ingle

Tammie Beaton

Wendy Jordan

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grand Calibur Review!

Hi everyone!

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing the Grand Calibur by Spellbinder's for Craft Critique and my review has gone up today! Since you all know how wordy I can be (ha!), ok it's mainly because of all the testing I did with this awesome machine, it's split up into two parts.

You'll definitely want to check it out, and leave a comment on either article to have a chance at winning some Grand Nestabilities dies!

Grand Calibur - Part 1

Grand Calibur - Part 2

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Friday Lunch Date

So I realized I hadn’t shared these pics from awhile back when Jake and I went out to lunch one sunny Friday back in March!


Although we don’t really see each other a lot at work, unless we make a point to (or Jake comes to my office and takes fruits and Laughing Cow cheeses from my mini fridge, ha), we love being able to car pool every now and then, and take walks around the lake on nice days together. We also love having lunch together! Most of the time we grab a quick Subway or bring our lunch, and those times we just each eat in our offices (lame, right?), but when we actually leave and go enjoy a lunch together it makes it even more special.


Before our weather got all crazy and we had a touch of spring, we went Downtown to one of the best pizza places in Salt Lake! Settebello's is an Italian Pizzeria, and their crusts are all hand tossed, never rolled with a rolling pin. They import several ingredients directly from Italy and strive to make the most authentic Italian pizza possible…and in my opinion it is THE BEST! Now, I just need to go to Italy to do a comparison and taste test. ;)



Can I just say that seeing this picture makes me want to run to Settebello’s and chow down on their amazing pizza right now?! The crust is so light and airy, and the sauce is tangy and full of flavor. The cheese melts in your mouths and the oven roasting adds the perfect flavor to all the ingredients!


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This is the Quattro Stagioni : Margherita Divided Into Four Sections. Each Section Topped Separately With Wood Oven Roasted Sausage, Salame, Roasted Mushrooms, Calamata Olives.




Jake and I each ordered a full pizza and split them, each taking slices off the trays and devouring them! We took about three or four slices home...that was it! This is the Settebello: Crushed Tomatoes, Pancetta, Wood Oven Roasted Fennel Sausage, Roasted Mushrooms, Toasted Pine Nuts, Mozzarella, Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil.


Pine nuts on pizza? Yes, so amazing! My mouth is literally watering just thinking about these pizzas! Also the smell of these pizzas…ahhhh.




The décor is another reason I absolutely love this place. I didn’t snap many photos inside because we were so fixated on our pizza, but if you take a look at the website they have a gallery of photos which are incredible. This is one of the pizza ovens!


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Look at that giant spatula! That’s what they use to put your freshly made pizzas into the oven and then bring them back out after they’ve finished cooking. Also, see all the wood? Those ovens burn and burn with the stacks of wood they keep right in the restaurant along the wall right next to the ovens.


There are a few other local spots that we love so I’ll have to take my camera along and share some of those places with you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sending you smiles, SSD #73

Welcome back to another Tuesday Sketch Challenge with the Stamp Tramps of Skipping Stones Design! We have another fabulous sketch from Laurie Schmidlin, and I know you’ll love this one!

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Combined with this sketch I used the CR84FN color challenge!

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I used the newly released Uplifting stamp set! I wanted it to look like these clouds and hot air balloons were just drifting off into the sky so popped up the vanilla square onto the main vanilla card base. Not exactly the way I really wanted it to come out, but it was so fun to piece the papers together, such a fun sketch! I used Baja Breeze, and then for the light blue I used Marina Mist, but stamped off once before stamping onto the cardstock.

 

For the patterned paper I used some older SU dsp from the SAB sale last year. The problem was the paper was white, but I wanted it to match the vanilla cardstock and color challenge. In order to achieve the right color I just swiped my vanilla ink craft pad over the paper and then wiped off the excess with a tissue.

Make sure to stop by the SSD blog to see what our Guests and DT members came up with!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Project 365: 3/27-4/10

Back with my previous weeks worth of Project 365! Scroll below for week 4/11-4/16.

 

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3-27 - Gwynie is studying medieval times in school right now and one of their projects was to either create a castle, a shield, or do a 10 page essay on the time period. Gwynie choose to do a shield and after Jake cut some wood into a shield shape she painted it and I taped on some lines for her to paint in.

3-28 - The finished shield, which she got an "A" on of course! For the shield project they had to do things that represent them or what they like and then write a one page paper on why they choose those things.

 

3-29

 

3-29 - Someone isn't spoiled is she?! All of Gwynie's softball gear she totes around to each practice and game. A lot of the girls love her bat and use it during all their games.

 

3-30

3-30 - Parent teacher conference...dun dun dun. ;) Why yes, that is proof that my 6th grade 11 year old daughter is reading at a 9th GRADE LEVEL! Whooo hooo!

 

3-31 - My throat started to feel a little scratchy before I went to bed so I tried soothing it with some tea and honey. Little did I know then how bad this seemingly scratchy throat would turn into a full blown cold later.

 

4-1 - Took the kids to the batting cages at Mulligans. It was the perfect weather (too bad it got worse later that week) and they had a blast.

 

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4-2 - My little bookworm in action! She is working on "Conspiracy 365" a kids action/suspense/mystery series. It came out last year with each new book debuting each month as they story takes place one month at a time.

 

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4-3 - True confession, this picture was taken days later not on the actual day. That scratchy throat turned into a huge cold and I was out of commission Sunday and Monday and then didn't feel well off and on for the rest of the week. Blech.

 

4-4 - Yeah, she is totally spoiled! ;) Jake won some money for the fitness competition we had done at work and while he was looking on KSL for a new bow, he happened to find this phone for Gwynie. He waited a few weeks before giving it to her, but thought since she is doing so well in school that now would be a good time to reward her. She literally burst into tears when he gave it to her. :)

 

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4-5 - Looking up info and dates for the babysitting class the American Red Cross offers. Gwynie will be 12 in June and can start babysitting, she is so excited! With this class she'll be first aid and CPR certified and she is so looking forward to taking this class and to start babysitting. She absolutely loves babies and kids (she wants to be a neonatal nurse) so hopefully this gets her on the right track to start!

 

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4-6 - Some new Stampin' Up! goodies came today! I had a workshop and got some papers, inks, embellishments and a stamp set, but one of the punches was on back order. Love playing with new things!

 

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4-7 - Our passports arrived today! Wow, it is official we are going to Mexico one month from today!!

 

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4-8 - Let the tanning begin! Going to tan a little to get a base before going to Mexico, so excited for this trip!

 

4-9 - Jake made homemade french fries with our burgers tonight...so good! Fry sauce = love. For those of you that don’t know what fry sauce is….for shame! ;) Fry Sauce is essentially mayo and ketchup mixed together and although that sounds gross it is seriously sooooo goooood!! It is definitely a thing that is a “local” favorite because “Thousand Island Dressing” IS NOT Fry Sauce and when you ask for fry sauce in different places or someone sees you mixing mayo and ketchup together you get strange looks! ;) Trust me on this one, you simply must try it with your fries next time, you will seriously thank me!

 

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4-10 - Completely cleaned out my closet today, kind of sad. I finally tossed things I'd had in there for at least 10 years (not even joking) or that were too big and I know I won't wear again. Felt good to get rid of a ton of things, but now I feel like I have hardly any clothes, which is very true after my weight loss but it’s a good thing!. Who wants to go shopping with me? ;)

Yay, now I am caught up, until Sunday when I can share this week!