Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Now here's the good stuff, In celebration of Little Monkey's turning one, they are giving away a mini set of sleeves with inserts in fun Birthday Colors for every order over $25!! How awesome is that??? The very most awesome part is that the mini sets are automatically sent if you order from the Little Monkey's site OR a retailer! Yep, automatic, no need to ask, they're yours!
This one might be my favorite part of the promotion... There are 5 Green Tickets hidden in the Birthday Mini sets, so be sure to look in your package to see if you are one of the lucky 5! I know, it conjures up images of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder version not Johnny Depp... That one was a little too creepy for me) ... I've got a golden ticket... You could totally go nuts and order a bunch of sets looking for a ticket!
Any who, if you are the lucky holder of one of the 5 tickets, you get a trip to the Little Monkey's Studio where you get a lifetime supply of stamps! But be careful, a multitude of trials await! Ooops, sorry again, wrong story. I did hear that there were a few Oompa Lompas running around assembling the Little Monkey Starter Kits, but the rumor can neither be confirmed nor denied.
OK, no lifetime supply of chocolate or a golden goose or fizzy lifting drink, BUT if you find a green ticket you DO get a a new color set with each new release! How awesome is that??? AND, you don't run the risk of turning into a giant blueberry if you are a ticket holder.
One more thing, shoot on over to the Monkey Park and check out the new blinkies available for you to download. Show your monkey love and stick one on your blog!
Whoo Hoo this is going to be a ton of fun! check back frequently to see what the Design Monkeys come up with!!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Well, after the meeting, someone came to see me. Apparently "spooky" is synonymous with "Halloween" which is evil. They didn't think we should have spooky treat day as that not everyone in the department celebrated Halloween. Unable to contain myself, I asked if "Spooky Treats" would be acceptable on November 3rd. No response... I went on to explain that regardless of your personal beliefs, in October, there is a plethora of candy packaged in tiny bags. Why don't we have a day where we eat that candy. Call it whatever you want so it's non offensive, but the end result is the same. Again, no response...I really think that people get caught up in looking for ways to find fault in things and they miss the true purpose. We just wanted to have a day of candy and treats, (except for out waistlines) where's the harm in that?
I honestly have to say that that is the worst part of being a manager. You work so hard to think of things that are all-inclusive and try not to offend anyone, but there's always one who ruins it for everyone. It's just extremely disheartening and as a result, many of the other managers have stopped making an effort to plan events. It's sad, just sad. What is wrong with a spooky treat? Are Halloween M&M's evil and therefore should not be eaten? Does that mean Christmas M&M's are OK? Is there a good and evil side to the M&M plant? How does their HR decide who works on which side?
OK, I think I got it all out. In the mean time, I'm looking for some spooky treat suggestions. Evil Rice Krispy treats mean more for me. Bwah ha ha...
So, in honor of the invitation, I needed a quick something and had to go with an ever popular standby. Mini Pecan Pie Muffins. These are Homemade Gourmet's #1 BEST Selling item. Let me tell you, these things are darn tasty!
Ok, all I need is 2 eggs and a stick of melted butter or margarine. (Butter gives them more of a carmely taste, margarine will be more cake-likeAny Homemade Gourmet mix that includes nuts will have them in a separate bag. The nuts are bagged in a different plant and brought in already sealed. So the mixes never come into contact with the actual nut nor are they made on equipment that may have been contaminated. Pretty cool for a few reasons if you ask me. With SO many nut allergies, it's a great precaution. For those people with nut allergies, I wouldn't recommend a this product. The bags are completely sealed, but nut oils could in theory seep through the bag. Better safe than sorry, right?
I am personally thrilled that the nuts are in another bag. Why, you ask? Well, I don't like big hunks of nuts in things. I enjoy eating things that are 1 consistency. Oh, just you wait, the food madness will continue in future posts...The hard nut interrupts the smooth soft muffin. Bleck.... So, what to do?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So, reason number 2, I got home from work today and saw this on the kitchen table.Poor roll of paper towels, a young life cut tragically short. Who knows what he could have grown up to be. Perhaps a poet or a chemist, we'll never know. I immediately knew the culprit, no need to bring in CSI, the evidence was pretty clear. It was one kitty in particular LOVES to shred paper towels and toilet paper.
I think Godiva looks a little guilty. I also think she bears a striking resemblance to the the kitty on the stamp. Horns and all.. (Lemme tell you, it is HARD to get a good picture of a black kitty. She tends to blend into one black lump.)
Let me start this post by saying that I LOVE candy corn. However, I only like it from September 15th - October 31st. That's when it's the freshest since they make more of it for Halloween. My darling hubby tells me that I have lost my mind. He says that they make candy corn all year round and store it in a warehouse. Then, in September they release it to the public.
BLASPHEMY!!! September /October candy corn is fresher and considerably more delicious than year round candy corn. I told him that they ramp up production in July/August to make enough for the Halloween season and make other things like Peeps the rest of the year. Still doesn't believe me... They also make that awful Easter Corn which is NOT the same. It lacks that delicious "fall" flavor. This is also the man who I have been debating with for the past 4 years that Indian Corn is chocolate flavored.
Kev: Why don't you eat the Indian Corn?
Me: The brown part is chocolate and I'm a candy corn purist. Yellow, orange and white, don't need any other corn colors.
Kev: You're crazy, it all tastes the same, it's just a different color.
Me: No, Indian corn is chocolaty
Kev: No it isn't.
Me: Yes it is.
Fast forward to me in CVS holding a bag of Indian Corn.
Me: Look, one of the ingredients in the Indian Corn is coco powder. It isn't in regular corn, SEE, different!!!
Kev runs away and refuses to look at the bag. Repeat scene every October for 4 years.
Sadly, it's only September 23rd and I have already eaten my candy corn allotment for the season. :( Really, it's for the best.
So, in honor of the candy corn, I made this adorable card!
Don't you LOVE the designer paper??!! So not on sale.. The gnome and sentiment are by justjohanna's Odd Bird planet. The little corns in the background are from Whipper Snapper Designs. How CUTE is this??? However, I realize that I stink and totally messed up his candy corn hat. ARGH!!! Why would I transpose the orange and yellow?? Any who, I ate the display corn after the pix was taken. :)
Update: The candy corn is wrong on the DP! See, not my fault!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I absolutely had to have Flopsy flying over the card even though I have it on the highest authority that Flopsy prefers to go "commando". I fear she's pulling an "oopsy" moment, but part of me thinks she really likes not wearing anything under that sheet. Hey, have you ever seen a bunny with pants? I think not.
Next one, this is what we made at my SU! class Friday. I think it is ADORABLE and super easy to make! Just a few circle punches, strips of Vanilla paper and a little daub of Close to Coco on the edges. So easy, so cute! We also made a really cute paper pumpkin out of strips of card stock and brads. Unfortunately it was too dark by the time I got to take the picture. I'll try to get one tomorrow.
I do have to promote my SU! Demonstrator. Her name is Merri Jensen and she rocks! I always have the best time when we make stuff. She also enables my addiction! :)
Last but not least, the TCP penguins from the "smells Like Cake set" I adore these stamps!! Yep, everyone gets a penguin or kitty B-day card. I used up some SU! DP that I hadn't a clue what to do with, so I slapped it on this card. I think it goes well with the giant cupcake. The only thing I can think of though is that must be one GINORMOUS cupcake or reeeealy tiny penguins. I prefer to think it's the cake. :) This one is going to my MIL for her b-day!
Here's the shower, and oops, sorry about the open seat. I guess someone left the lid up. Hmm... I wonder who? Well, at least you can't see in. Ewww...
You really can;t tell from the picture, but those are some Halloween towels. They have little black kitties standing on a fence. Awww.. Ever since we got a black kitty I HAVE to decorate from Halloween with what else... black kitties. :)
I was also creative today so I'm off to post some of that, but in the mean time, here's a photo of my very naughty kitty, who for some reason LOVES ice cubes. He'll even dig into your glass to get one out. He's also a little bit of a jerk. Hey, some cats are friendly, some are cuddly, some are mean, why can't mine be a jerk? Don't get me wrong, I love my kitty, but I really think he does stuff to P.O. me. I yelled at him the other day for trying to get in my glass. I went into the other room and watched him jump on the table, go to my glass and lick around the inside rim. Gross...
We just gave in on this one.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Little Monkeys is an AWESOME stamp storage system and it make it a breeze to organize your unmounted stamps. Mine used to live in giant Ziploc baggies. One for Bellas, one for the Cat's Pajamas... etc... I know, so bad for them and SO hard to find! So, I ordered the system and LOVE it. The only down side is that DH saw how many stamps I had. Oops!
Any who, I sent in an entry to join the design team and guess what... I was chosen!!! I am a proud new member of the Design Monkeys!!
I am SO excited and can't wait to meet the other DT members!!! This is going to be a lot of fun and I am anxious to show you what we come up with!!!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
OK, so we have rain and long pants in the forecast this week, I thought a nice hearty meal sounded great! Let's make the skillet chicken and rice! Take out the bag,
Mmm, ricey, what do I need? Water, (have that), chicken, (have that), cream of chicken soup, have that. We're in business! I couldn;t get a good picture of it, but Homemade Gourmet recently launched "Homemade in a Hurry." There is a piece of the tag you can rip off that lists all the ingredients needed to make a dish. When you plan your meals for the week, you can rip off the tabs, drop them in your purse and off to the grocery store you go!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Check out the package I received from my bella sister Marcia! She sent some adorable paper, brads (monkey brads!) stickles, velvet cut-outs, some stamped Bellas, a pretty card and my very first COPICS!!! Woo Hoo! You rock Marcia and your package is heading out today!!!
Sleepy time... I have a few more blog posts brewing in my brain and I really need to take some time to be creative and make something pretty.
Have a good evening!
According to my random number generator, the winner is... #8 Ice Escape! Congrats to you! I'll contact you for your address!
Thanks to all who played!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Yesterday was a jam packed fun filled day. I was at a craft show at the National Guard Armory in Durham. I went last year and it was my very first vendor show. (I really need to figure out how to get a calendar on my blog so I can post my upcoming shows.)Well, I've done a few events since then and I think I have the set up and break down to a science. They told us that it wasn't air conditioned but OK, I went last year, no biggie... Well, it was 95 degrees in Durham yesterday WOW was it HOT!! They had the giant door open, the one they use to drive the tanks through, but any breeze did not reach me... Nope, not at all. I had a good time talking to the vendors, I was next to April who's with Cookie Lee jewelry, if you're looking for some really cute costume jewelry, their stuff is great! I made some sales and got some contacts for home shows. Not to shabby for a vendor event. Lemme tell you, by the time 5pm rolled around, I was not the freshest smelling thing on the block. I had to pack up, run home, shower and get ready for a BBQ.
Every year my sorority alumnae association has BBQ kick-off in September. When we first moved here 3 years ago, it was the very first Kappa Delta AA event that I attended. 3 years later, I'm the president of the organization and wouldn't miss the BBQ for anything! I got there a little late and considerably fresher than I was at 5pm. We had an AWESOME time and I did not take a single picture. I'm still getting used to taking my camera with me places. I brought it, but it never made it out of my purse. I guess that's a step in the right direction. (I'll bet you a quarter that if you click on Carrie's blog in my blog roll, she'll have some pictures to show.) We had a great time and there were about 30 people there and a few new faces, I get really excited when new KDs come to the events and we had 3 or 4 new faces!
So, this weekend was also the year of my 15 year HS reunion. EEEKKK! Has it really been that long? I guess 1993 really was 15 years ago. Wow! I remember for our 10th anniversary someone had sent out invitations well in advance and you had plenty of time to decide if you could make it. This time, nothing, no letter, nada. I happened to be on Facebook and looked up Brooke High School and joined the "Friends of Brooke HS 15 year reunion" I believe it started by someone asking if we were having a reunion or not. At the end of July someone said that it was September 13th at the Follansbee Community Center. (Yep, the field house at the pool where we used to have our middle school dances. Did you have middle school dances? Did they play "Never Say Goodbye" by Bon Jovi at the end of the night??? I still LOVE Bon Jovi! Saw them in Greensboro in March YUM!) I digress. I didn't have enough lead time to plan a trip up there in that short of time and Kev is super busy with 2 operas and can't get away. Well, someone posted some pictures of the reunion on Facebook and WOW... 13 people from the class showed up. That's out of 336. 13! From what I could see in the pix, there were like 4 tables covered in yellow vinyl table cloths and a table with a few crock pots on it. (I guess that was dinner?) Seriously, they looked like they had a good time but it just got me to thinking.. (Look a southern phrase! Pretty soon I'll be saying "Bless his/her heart.) Maybe it was the contrast to the event I attended, maybe it reminded me where I came from, maybe it made me pretty grateful for the opportunities I've had over the past 15 years, the friends I've made and the places I've been. I'm not sure, I've been in a pretty reflective mood over the past 2 days and I think the pix of the reunion had something to do with it. I am pretty thankful that you all take the time to read my thoughts and ramblings.
Ok Dokie, off to shower and make some dinner. I have big plans for some HG Skillet Chicken and Rice. I'll take some pictures and post them later!!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I've become a little more environmentally conscious this past year and I feel a little guilty about all the little black sticks we throw away. So, I was thinking that perhaps there was some way to "re-purpose" the stirrer stick. I mean, we can't put them back to the way they were before they became stirrer sticks, if we throw them away, they're still in the landfill... Thinking, thinking... maybe they could be woven together to make a ghetto trivet. How about heated and stretched to a really fine string and made into a scratchy sweater. Stick puppet theater on a boring night?? Yea, none of those really worked for me either. If anyone has a suggestion, I'm all ears! If you'd like some stirrer sticks of your very own to re-purpose, I'd be happy to send some your way!
Here's my submission for the week. I used the new TCP Birthday sets. Wow! They are just adorable and came at a time when I realized I needed a whole bunch of birthday cards.
I gave this to one of my employees today, her birthday is tomorrow and I must say, she was impressed by my abilities... Yep, wowing the workplace one step at a time!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Here's the recipe:
1 Homemade Gourmet Spiced Dip Mix
1 16oz container of caramel dip (Like Smuckers)
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
4 oz whipped topping (thawed)
Mix it all together and refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. Serve with apple slices or graham crackers.
This would make an awesome after school snack or daytime treat or for dessert... Mmmm, the possibilities are endless. I am absolutely bringing this to a BBQ this weekend.
Well a lot of people have blog candy, so I am having a little candy of my own. Leave a comment on my blog and I'll draw a random number on September 15th. The lucky person will receive their very own spiced dip mix to make this tasty dip, some blank all occasion cards and a treat or two. I'll post a pix of the treats in the next few days!
Busy, busy, busy... After my great success painting the upstairs bathroom, I was besieged with grandiose images of great DIY projects. I've painted a bathroom, yippee! I can paint more spaces, maybe a fun new technique, like sponging or rag rolling?? the curse of the messy painter has been broken!!!
Nope, not a chance.
I went to Lowes and described the awful "Herbal Garden" color that graced the downstairs bathroom. (Seriously, I liked it for about a minute and have hated it for 8 months.) I was told that I needed to cover the walls with primer before I laid down the "Gardenia Red". OK, I get it, Better coverage, blah, blah, blah, all I heard was 3 layers of paint instead of 2. But no! I CAN DO IT!!! I've tackled the "Lion's Mane" and gosh does it look good! I've won before, let's press my luck!! So, I get a new roller, a pint of primer and a gallon of Gardenia Red. My happy empowered self drives the paint back home... So proud, so proud...
Sunday morning.... I get dressed in my painting/hair coloring/any messy task shirt, put the hair in a clip and promptly run my pinky toe into the door. OUCH! Picture me, sitting on the floor moaning in pain and cursing the paint that caused me to have to change out of my jammies. (It REALLY hurt!)
OK, toughen up and limp downstairs to the bathroom. I took an old sheet and covered the toilet and most of the floor. Open the primer and wow, this stuff is runny... is primer supposed to be runny? I trusted the little man behind the counter at Lowes, he said this is what I was supposed to buy, it says "primer" on the can... Hey, I don't paint so they could have sold me a jug of baby tears and I would have put it on the wall. I think I have that look about me, that indescribable, indiscernible thing that says... I don't do manual labor, I'll buy whatever you tell me to. Maybe if I had on a paint speckled shirt or some work boots I could have saved 10 dollars... I digress, that "primer" ran all over the walls and onto the floor, nope, not on the drop cloth, but 2 inches to the right. As I pull on the cloth/sheet to clean up the spill... the rest of the primer tips over and onto the floor.
I think that's when the cursing began in earnest... If Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore had still been alive, they would have had an earful from me... So, clean up the primer and try to start again... But NO, WAIT... There isn't enough primer left to finish the room, nope, not even close.
I think the bathroom will have to wait for another day. Right now it's a disaster area and off limits. The 2 of us can p in another bathroom for the next week.
Sorry to vent, but I do feel a little better now. You know what would make me feel a lot better, me paying someone to finish painting and clean the bathroom... Any takers??
Thursday, September 4, 2008
The best part is that they are giving them away as blog candy! Yep, just spread the word and they could be yours! Go to http://starvingartistamps.blogspot.com/ and check them out!!!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
To celebrate September, I thought I'd post some great Homemade Gourmet meals for the crock-pot. If you're anything like me, yours is sitting on a shelf in the garage or in a cabinet in the kitchen. If you are me, they're in both places since both you and your hubby each had one before you met. How about we liberate those pots and let them see some daylight! I'll bet they're feeling a little neglected, especially since the microwave gets so much attention.
Alright, here's the first one:
Tender Chicken & Potatoes
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
4 TBS Homemade Gourmet Grandmother’s Sunday Roast Seasoning
1 10.75 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c water
8 oz tomato sauce
2 potatoes, cubed (large pieces)
1 onion, cubed (large pieces)
1 c frozen corn
Place mixture & veggie bag into slow cooker and cook on low 4 hrs.
Or, place meat in bag with other ingredients. Remove air, seal & SMOOSH to mix & double bag and then place in freezer to use later. (Do not freeze potatoes unless they are blanched or canned) Make a note on the bag to add them at the time of cooking. Serve with HG World Vision Bread and you have a delicious meal!
Cheesy Mexican Crockpot Chicken
4 TBS Homemade Gourmet Taco Soup Seasoning
1 Can Rotel Tomatoes
2-3 lbs Chicken
*1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar
Dump into crock pot or baking dish. Or, place meat in bag with other ingredients. Remove air, seal & SMOOSH to mix. Place cheese in separate smaller bag. Zip both bags into another bag to make kit. Note on bag: *Sprinkle cheese over meat at the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Serve the chicken with our Spanish Rice. The next day, shred the leftover chicken and use the remainder of the rice to make a tasty burrito!
This one isn't a meal, simply the most AMAZING Dip EVER!!!
Sausage Enchilada Dip
1 lb your choice of cooked ground sausage
2.5 TBS Homemade Gourmet Chicken Enchilada Soup Seasoning
1 can Rotel
2 – 8oz pkgs of Cream Cheese
¼ cup milk
Brown sausage, drain well. Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or on high while constantly stirring. Serve as dip with tortilla chips or as a main fondue dish with bread pieces. (Or use the microwave for a faster cooking time.)
Leftover Dip freezes well! (You might have leftovers, we don't!)
Monday, September 1, 2008
Here's a card I whipped up for an upcoming hostess. (I bought Chefabella for that reason... to make hostess cards!) I coordinated the colors to play with this week's color challenge on Splitcoast. The task was to make a card using Kraft (or Creamy Caramel), Basic Black and Ruby Red. I used all of those inks on Miss Bella as well as some scrap paper I had laying around. The challenge code is CC181, check out all the other submissions in the gallery!
But was I done with the challenges for the day?? Not a chance! The bella sketch challenge beckoned as well! I didn't use my Bellas, I needed a birthday card for my SIL and none of my Bellas seemed to fit. I whipped out my TCP stamps and inked up Present Sprinkle and some party hats! The gallery link is BSC44. I am anxiously waiting for my order of the new TCP Birthday stamps to arrive, but I guess I'll have to wait a little longer and use what I have... (Have you seen the new sets? The penguins and cupcakes are adorable!!! and rumor has it that there is another release in the near future!) Can you tell I was really digging the Ruby Red and Pumpkin Pie ink today? I also think the scallop flowers really complimented the background paper, don't you?
Final creation of the day. This is for a friend of mine who recently announced she was pregnant. I thought teddybella was especially appropriate for her. When I asked if she wanted a boy or a girl, she said that it didn't matter, she just wanted to know so she could start shopping!
I know all of the paper is from SU! and I used Certainly Celery, Blue Bayou and Old Olive along with a bunch of other SU! inks. I even used the funky new Scallop edge punch! That thing is AWESOME!!!