Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Woof You

Hello! Can you believe this gorgeous weather we are having??!! For those of  you who don't live here, it is supposed to get up in the low 50's and then snow all weekend...crazy!

Today I am sharing a Valentine card I made for the Pretty Cute Stamps blog using their Doggone It! stamp set.

The cute puppy is colored with Tombow's Irojiten Colored Pencils and blending with Gamsol.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Pinned It Made It Monday

I decided to bring back PIMIM as part of my word for the year 2016 {simplify}. I have been going through my pinned boards and cleaning them out. Being very intentional and real on what I would really make/create/do, etc. Part of that is trying recipes that I think we would like and if we do, keep them, if not...delete.

Here are a couple new recipes that I have tried lately and liked:
Asiago Artisan Bread (I am ♥ing my new cast iron Dutch Oven that I rec'd from my kids for Christmas) Cut thick and then toasted, it is amazing with soup!

M & M Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie


via: My Favorite Meals
3 C. Sifted Flour (plus extra for kneading)
2 1/2 tsp. Yeast
2 tsp. Salt (a little less if adding strong cheese)
2 TBS. Sugar
Mix dry ingredients, then add:
2 C. Water (Warm water if you're in a hurry) 

1-2 Cups cheese, Blogger used shredded Asiago, cheddar chunks and a few tablespoons of Parmesan, I added the cheese when I kneaded dough. Add shredded Asiago to the top of the bread once you place it in the dutch oven.

Mix ingredients together until well mixed with a fork, cover bowl with plastic wrap let sit until mixture has doubled or tripled in size. (About an hour.) It will look really wet and bubbly.

Turn oven on to 400, add Dutch oven to heat up with oven. (Dutch oven needs to be very hot when adding the dough.)

Meanwhile, knead dough with a extra of flour, add cheese let rise for 30 min while oven heats up. 

When oven is at temperature and your dough has doubled in size again, add to hot dutch oven. Do not add any oil. Cook with lid on for 30 min. Remove lid and cook for 10-15 more minutes to brown bread. 

Remove from oven. This is the end result. Yummy hot cheesy bread. 

M & M Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
via: Sally's Baking Addiction y
  prep time: 10 MINUTES         total time: 50 MINUTES           yield: SERVES 6-8
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar (or dark brown)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature preferred
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup M&M’S® Baking Bits
  • optional: ice cream and chocolate syrup
Special Equipment
  • 9 - 12 inch oven-safe skillet1


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C). Lightly grease your oven-safe skillet.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in eggs and vanilla on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the chocolate chips and M&M’S®, then mix on low for about 5-10 seconds until everything is evenly disbursed.
  4. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, spread the cookie dough evenly into prepared skillet.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffed, browned on the sides, and lightly browned on top. If you want your skillet cookie a little more cooked through, bake for 40 minutes. Allow the cookie to slightly cool in the pan set on a wire rack before digging in. You can scoop/slice and serve or serve with a whole bunch of spoons so everyone can dig in together. I always serve with ice cream and chocolate syrup. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  6. Make ahead tip: Prepare cookie dough through step 3. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 3 months in the freezer. If freezing, thaw in the refrigerator before continuing to the next step
  7. Additional Notes:The most important part of this recipe is using an oven-safe skillet. You want anything from 9 to 12 inches in diameter. When making skillet cookies, I always use my 10-inch cast iron skillet. As stated in the recipe directions, adjust the baking time. A larger skillet will take a little less time, a smaller skillet will take a little more time.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Sealed With a Lick

Hello from snowy Nebraska! I have another Inky Antic card to share today that is springy in nature, but it sure isn't springy outside. I used some fun Doodlebug papers from their Hello Sunshine paper pad. The images are from Inky Antics. Dog from 10977MC Delightful Dogs #1 set and sentiment 4713D Sealed With a Lick.

here is a  peek at the other images in the Delightful Dog set.
Inky Antics Clear Stamp Set - Delightful Dogs #1

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Valentine Bendy Card

Have you seen the new Bendy/Bendi cards? I hadn't until Regina designed a set of them on the Cutting Cafe and that is our challenge for this week. To create my card I used the Bendi-Bendy Card Template and Cutting File as well as Valentine Family and Friends Printable Stamp Set and Valentines' Day Mini Words.

Most of Regina's files come with a SVG Measurement guide in case your cutting machine doesn't open it to size. I use a Silhouette and sometimes the files are to size, but this one wasn't. Rather than copy and paste all the images to one mat to resize, I decided to just make the size that showed up on my mat. (this was due to the fact that I have a head cold, my eyes are watering like crazy and my head is in a fog LOL) But...I think the small size turned out kinda cute. When folded flat it measures 4 3/8" x 3 5/8".

I decided to go with a Valentine theme, since that is right around the corner. From the borders option, I cut one of the large hearts to go at the top of the card and 3 of the smaller hearts border for the tabs and for the inside of the card. I trimmed off one of the hearts on the border to fit the length of the sentiment on the inside.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

500 Things Decluttering Challenge

I subscribe to Money Saving Mom (I highly suggest this site as she has so many frugal tips, special buys, etc and has helped me save a lot of money on things I otherwise would not have known about and would have paid a higher price).

She posted a few days ago about a gal that is hosting a 500 Things Decluttering Challenge in 14 days. MSM is posting what the challenge is on her blog and keeping a running tally of the things she is purging from her home. I decided this falls under my word for the year {simplify} and I wanted to do it as well. This started on the 11th.

Here are the challenges for the days so far in case you would like to play along. Be sure to subscribe to Money Saving Mom to get the daily challenges. I will also be posting them every few days here as well. I've added the links to the posts from Money Saving Mom in case you want to read more about each challenge.

Day 1 100 pieces of paper Right now I'm at 210 pieces of paper. I decided for a month, I'm going to try to find the number of pieces to throw away for that day. So for Jan 1st I threw away one, Jan 2, two, etc.
Day 2: 25 items from your bedroom done
Day 3: clean off counter tops We basically have no counter tops. Our kitchen is very small and we have a 14" space on both sides of the kitchen sink and then my Hoosier Cabinet, but I try to keep that cleaned off so I can use it when cooking baking. My Kitchen-aid sits out at all times and I can pull out the shelf thingy on the Hoosier to give me more room esp when serving food when we have company and for rolling out cinnamon rolls, baking, etc. We do keep tea, chai, hot chocolate etc on the top of the Hoosier so I decided to clean that all off and find another space for them. I did declutter the area, but didn't get rid of anything, so am not counting anything on this. We use all the items I have on the top of the Hoosier.
Day 4: 50 things from your home office done
Day 5: 25 items from your pantry done
Day 6: 50 things from kitchen drawers and cupboards
Day 7: clean out the garage and basement

I don't have all of these done yet, as I started a couple of days late and am battling a head cold, but I will keep a running tab on what all I get rid of and post.

so far...310 items...I'm on day 6 today and it's WAY too cold to go outside to do day 7, but supposed to be warmer this weekend, so will tackle that then.

Here is a great quote as a reminder while decluttering...

"have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." - william morris.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

PCS Monthly Challenge ~ Love

It is time for Pretty Cute Stamps' monthly challenge and this month it is all about love! Every month Pretty Cute Stamps has a card/project challenge where you can play along for a chance to win some prizes.

I don't have a lot of stamp sets, so had to be creative with what I did have and I came up with this cute card using Doggone It! and Fur Baby.

The sentiment is from Doggone It! and the heart is from Fur Baby. There is a sentiment in Fur Baby that says "I ♥ My". I just colored the ♥ with a black Tombow marker and stamped it on the ends of the sentiment strip. The dog is colored with Tombow Irojiten colored pencils.

Here are the 2 stamps sets that I used. You can click on them and it will take you to the store: 

Now we would love to have you play along! Check out the wonderful projects the rest of the Design Team created. You have until February 6th to enter your own project with a {love} theme and Pretty Cute Stamps image for the challenge for a chance to win.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Have a Purr-fect Day

Last week was CHA in CA and I really miss not going any more, but I was able to create some cards for Inky Antics, so I was represented in my artwork.

This card is using 10979MC Cute Cats #1 Clear Set. The image is colored with colored pencils and blended with Gamsol. The sentiment comes vertical, but by masking, you can stamp each line and make it a horizontal sentiment.

The set comes with 3 images and several different sentiments.

I hope you all are having a "purr-fect" day!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Totally Rad

I'm over on Pretty Cute Stamps' blog today. Pretty Cute Stamps has a new stamp set that came out this month called "Totally Rad". This fun stamp set has lots of fun images reminiscent of the 80's. I was needing a birthday card and I thought this set would be perfect. I even had some fun "rad" paper that I wanted to use with it. The papers may be more 70's, but I put them together any way.
I colored directly onto the glasses stamp with a Tombow marker and I like how it looks like there is a glare on the glasses.

Friday, January 8, 2016

PCS January 2016 Stamp Release Blog Hop

If you came from Amber's blog, you're in the right place. If you stumbled upon this post and would like to start from the beginning, please visit the Pretty Cute Stamps' blog, so you don't miss all the wonderful inspiration.

For this one day hop, we are sharing projects featuring the new stamps from PCS' January 2016 release that are now available in the Pretty Cute Stamps Store

My stamp set to share with you today is a fun 80's set called Totally Rad. This is a fun set for anyone who lived in or loves the 80's.

Here is a peek at the stamp set and all the sentiments that come in it.

The blog candy for this hop is a $15 Gift Certificate to the PCS Store. For a chance to win, you must leave a comment on each blog. For EXTRA chances, just "like" Pretty Cute Stamps on Facebook and/or sign up for the Pretty Cute Stamps Mailing List.

A random winner will be chosen for the prize on Monday, January 11th. All new releases will be on sale through January 12th and you can save even MORE by purchasing the January 2016 Stamp Release Bundle. 

Now it's time to hop over to see what Larissa created. And if you hop over to the PCS' blog, you can pick up this cutting file for free TODAY only!

Here is today's line up in case you need it:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

PCS January 2016 Sneak Peek Day 2

I get to share a card for today's sneak peek of new sets coming out this month for Pretty Cute Stamps.

The game images and sentiment are from the set Game On. I do not play these kind of games, but I have kids and niece and nephews who do, so this set will be fun to create cards/projects for them.

Don't forget to stop by the PCS blog to see what my fellow DT members designed with the new sets they received.

Here is today's freebie. Head over to the PCS blog for info on how to get this. Remember this is only available for free today. If you miss out, you can always purchase it in the store tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

PCS January 2016 Sneak Peek Day 1 Freebie

This is the freebie you can pick up on the Pretty Cute Stamps blog TODAY only! Be sure to browse the blog for sneak peeks of the new stamps sets coming out too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Love Blocks

Welcome to the first Cutting Cafe post for 2016! This week it's all about love! The design team has been challenged to create a project using any love /valentine etc files from Regina's files.

I chose to create some wood blocks spelling out L♥VE using the letters from Love Word Shaped Card, heart from the Heart Tic Tac Box file, and mini words from Valentine's Day Mini Words Printable Set that I printed out on pale pink cardstock.
I cut the letters twice from scrap cardstock and then once from designer paper. All the designer paper is by Fancy Pants Designs' Love Note line (oops black polka dot is from Country Boutique line) with the exception of the red heart and that is from My Mind's Eye. 

After layering the letters and heart with Tombow adhesive, I decorated each letter using ribbons, brads, and flower from my stash.

Each wood block measures 3 " x 3.75". Now I have to decide if I'm keeping these or gifting them. Ü

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Monday, January 4, 2016

BFB A Refuge at Highland Hall

A Refuge at Highland Hall
A Refuge at Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky is the 3rd and last book in her Edwardian Bride series. Set in 1915 in England and France we find the Ramsey family struggling with losses due to the first World War.

As Penny welcomes orphans to Highland Hall, she finds she has bit off a bit more than she can chew.

This story is filled with romances, but also the hope and courage of those who face loss and difficult challenges that war brings. I loved this series from Carrie and look forward to reading more by her.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, January 1, 2016

One Little Word

Happy New Year! If you've followed me for awhile on my blog, you will know I pray for a word, song, or verse to claim for the new year. I've been doing this for many years when my friend Debi challenged me way back in 1983!

The word I have chosen for 2016 is SIMPLIFYI was really thinking it was going to be "slow", as that was something I have felt I needed in my life, but in the back of my mind "simplify" kept repeating itself and I knew that I needed to go with this word. 

Simple Definition of simplify 
to make (something) easier to do or understand

Full Definition of simplify


  1. :  to make simple or simpler: asa :  to reduce to basic essentialsb :  to diminish in scope or complexity  c :  to make more intelligible :  clarify

    1. I have also been thinking about this word and how I can break it down into an acronym and work on separate words that can be "simplified" in my life. I would like to look at this word each month and see how I am doing in the ares that need simplified. It could be that some months I change the acronym. I'm not sure right now, so we will see how it goes.

    2. {SIMPLIFY} one of the biggest things that I want to simplify is my home. I have way too much stuff! I would like to take a month to work on each room/area of our house a month and declutter and simplify! The rooms/areas I have are: porch 1 & bathroom (I am putting these together because they are so small), porch 2, kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, bedroom 3, craft room, office/man cave, upstairs landing, basement (our basement is just cement and is where all the canning food and supplies live)

    3. For January, here are the words I have come up with using the letters of {simplify}that I want to work on:

    4. S: I am going to use the "slow" word. The past 3 months have seemed so crazy! There has been so much to do. But then 4 weeks before Christmas I ended up with sinus infection which turned right into bronchitis a couple days later (which it usually does). But then WHAM! on top of that I came down with a viral infection that took me out! 3 weeks out! I wasn't "ready" for Christmas and by the time I felt even remotely "human", I had a week to get ready. All "my"  plans were NOT going to happen and you know what? It was OKAY! We still had a very nice Christmas and all the baking and whatnot that I thought "had" to happen didn't need to.

    5. So for the month of January, I just want to take it easy. I am still pretty weak, get tired easily, and just need to slowly get back into "life".

    6. I: invest...I am pretty frugal, but I would like to look for ways to save even more. I found this picture on facebook and it is something I want to do.

    7. M: Me...oh my! This is the hardest, but I have read so many blogs and sites that have shared how important it is to take care of  and make time for ourselves. I love to do for others so much, that this is hard for me to do. But when I do it, I am so much more refreshed and ready to take on anything. I'm not sure yet, what this looks like for January, but several weeks ago when I wasn't feeling very good and a friend wanted to get together to paint, I wasn't sure if I was up for it. I almost backed out, but I didn't have a fever, was able to get a good night's sleep for the first time in many nights, so decided to just do it. I am so glad I did! It was just what I needed to get out of the house and enjoy being crafty with a friend I hadn't seen in awhile.

    8. P: pray...I do pray, but there have been so many hurting friends and family lately, that I want to be very purposeful and intentional in naming these friends and loved ones on a daily basis in my prayers.

    9. L: ladies....every month a friend and I host a ladies night out. This is something that is very important to us and something that we plan to continue again this year.(if you have any theme ideas, please share as we are always looking for something new to do) Some times I do way to much and I want to "simplify" by letting others do more.

    10. I: intentional...I want to be more intentional in every area of my life. To stop and think, do I really need to do this and if it is, then do with passion, but also know that it is okay to say "no". Some of these things I need to be intentional about are quiet time (time reading my Bible), health (eating better, staying on top of my thyroid disease, etc), exercise (because of my knees there is so much I can't do, but I want to add more time to the exercise bike)

    11. F: food...if you read my blog, you will know that food is what I call my {love language}. I love baking for others and I want to bless others with what I love to do.

    12. Y: are probably thinking what???!! But a couple of years ago, I saw on Pinterest an idea to make "sunshine basket/boxes". It's where you fill baskets with all things {yellow} and give to someone who just needs some sunshine in their lives. I don't know if this will work to do each month, but I would like to be sensitive to others and be ready to give some sunshine to someone when led to do so.
    My plan is to check in each month to report how I am doing. Do you have a word for 2016? What is it? I would love to hear about it and what it means to you.