Archive | September, 2013

Dose of Sunshine Monday — It goes on

Today I combined one of my favorite quotes with one of my favorite pictures to share with you. These are some amazing Aspen trees in Northern Arizona. My husband and I were hiking with some friends and came upon an entire forest of Aspen trees with their leaves changing color to a bright yellow. It’s almost that time of year again! I just LOVE fall.


Take a look at this picture and take a deep breath. Life goes on! No matter what you are going through, you can find amazing life all around. That is simply amazing, isn’t it?

Here in my city, we don’t experience changing leaves…nothing as amazing as these Aspen trees. We have to travel a ways to see beautiful, color-changing trees like this. Do you have changing seasons where you live?

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Halloween Treat Sacks — A tutorial (and a free printable!)

I have Halloween on my mind. I know, I know…it’s only September! First, mini pumpkin pies and now Halloween in September! But these little DIY Treat Sacks are so fun to make and share, that I HAD to show you how to make them.

These little sacks are made from 1 sheet of paper and really can be used for ANY occasion. But filling them and decorating them with Halloween is super-fun. :)


All you have to do is take 1 sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper and fold it up. It’s kinda like folding up an awesome note to pass around in jr. high, only this time it turns into the best little treat sack (and that’s better than a folded up note, right?!)

I made a video of just how to do this.  Check it out:

And for those of you who like simple, I created a printable Halloween tag you can use to dress up your treat sacks! It’s a chalkboard printable with a Halloween bat…a nice little combo. My nephew always says “Spoo-oooky” at this time of year, and that’s just the word I used for this printable! (Hi, Porter!)


To download this tag, first like my page here

Then download the pdf here: halloween tag 6 up


For a little added fun, take a spider ring and cut off the ring part. Attach it to a paperclip with a glue dot or hot glue, and sparkle it up with a little glitter glue on the body of the spider (see picture below). These work perfect to attach the tag to the treat sack. You can also punch a hole in the top of the sack and tie it together with ribbon.

So try your hand at making these little sacks. They would be perfect for a party favor, or to dress up a Halloween themed dinner table. I’m making some for my neighbor kids.


Happy Haunting!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Trick or Treat Money Card

My college-aged son is not a fan of my crafting. So I thought…if I combined MONEY with my love of card making and send it along to him at college he just *might* change his mind about that. Ha! So we are going to give this a try.

I learned this card technique from Laura Bassen at the Insider Card Class. I am LOVING this class…have I mentioned that?


Laura inspired me to create a card that had a “window” to see through to a money-containing envelope. I thought I’d make a Halloween card for this one:


That trick or treat stamp is a new favorite from Teresa Collins. When he opens the card….there is the envelope.



…filled with a bunch of money!!

Ok, tell me who wouldn’t LOVE a card filled with money? So we shall see if I make a fan out of him with this card. :)

That’s all for today! I’ll see you soon with a Halloween Treat Sack made out of one sheet of paper! (I love these little treat sacks!)

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Extra Long “Growing” Card

I have been taking the Insider Card Class with Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire and friends. It has been AWESOME!! I am truly enjoying each day of this 4 day class…and I wish it wouldn’t end!

Here is one of the cards I was inspired by Kristina to make:


It’s a happy, cloudy sky card with vibrant flowers. THEN, when you OPEN it…


It grows and grows and grows!



I used Paper Smooches friendly flowers stamps as well as Autumn Flowers stamps, Stampin’ up ink pads and Distress ink to make the sky. Inktense watercolor pencils are my favorites right now for coloring in these flowers. The “Hi” and those stars are heat embossed with gold embossing powder.

I thought this card would be perfect for my daughter who is pregnant (aka “growing” a baby)…what do you think?

Loving this card class, Kristina & Jennifer!!

Linking up to Paper Smooches challenge and Simon Says Stamp challenge.

Paper Smooches logo sparks


May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Fantastic and Easy Fried Rice (Guest posting)

Fantastic and Easy Fried Rice (Guest posting)

I’m guest posting over at Mom Endeavors today! It’s my all-time favorite Fried Rice recipe that you can make at home. If you like fried rice, you may be surprised that you can make it just as delicious as those teppanyaki restaurants (yum!)


So head on over here to check it out. And while you are there be sure to leave a comment or well-wishes!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Wishing You Sunshine card

Hello! Today I’m sharing a sunny card with you, as a part of the Verve Card Challenge! The challenge is to use “TIC TAC TOE” as the inspiration for your card. So, x’s and o’s, hugs and kisses, grids or circles.

So I pulled out my absolutely FAVORITE Verve stamp set, called “Let It Shine” and put together this tic-tac-toe inspired card:


My nod to the theme is the “X” stitching around the embossed cloud paper and the “Os” in the yellow background paper (My Mind’s Eye). Then I adhered the little sunshines in a grid or “tic-tac-toe” arrangement.

Aren’t those little suns adorable?! I love the sentiment too: Wishing You Sunny Days. Now doesn’t that just sound like me? (I have to admit, I was a little excited to find this stamp set.)


I used Inktense watercolor pencils to color in those suns. And added dots around the sentiment tag to imitate the clouds.

That chevron ribbon paper matches the thread almost exactly (I promise)…even though it looks a little darker in these photos.

I used pop dots to add dimension to the suns and the sentiment. Tic-tac-toe three in a row means you win, right?! What a cheerful card. See you next time!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — What if listening

Yesterday at church we discussed helping people, “rescuing” them…and someone brought up the idea that maybe we could help people by simply listening.

I think that there is definitely something to that. I know that just a little listening, understanding, discussing, and encouraging can go miles to helping someone (or even saving a life).


What if our only real assignment is to listen carefully?

But not just listening for others; Listening for OURSELVES. When we stop to hear God’s plan for us, we can see miracles unfold. Take some time to listen today…you decide what to listen to. What do you hear?

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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You Make Me Smile card

Aren’t eggplants a funny vegetable. They really seriously make me smile. That is what inspired this card today, well, that AND the Paper Smooches Color Story card challenge. The colors they chose are called “Fresh Fall:”

9-13 eggplant color fall inspiration

With those colors to work with, I immediately thought of my Paper Smooches “Vegtastic” eggplant stamp. It is a funny little stamp, but it always makes me smile. When I got this stamp set, I wondered what I would EVER use that eggplant for. This challenge was perfect! Here’s what I came up with:


I watercolored the eggplant and used some purple glitter glue on a few of them. (Don’t touch yet…wet glue!) For the sentiment I used the “YOU” stamp set from Simon Says Stamp. The cloud die cut is also from SSS.


Look at those cute little shadows the eggplant makes…I popped them out with pop dots. A little washi tape makes the fun pennant banner. Those eggplant veggies *might be having a little party.


Here’s a side view so you can see the dimension. I hope this card made YOU smile.

Entering the Paper Smooches challenge here.

And the Simon Says Stamp challenge here. Have a week of SMILES!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Grilled Peach Salad with Caramelized Onions and Homemade Croutons

Our peaches from Utah finally came in this week! Yes, I am very excited to make all things peaches! When you think of recipes with peaches, what do you think of?

I think peach pie, peach jam, peach cobbler…you know, desserts.  But today I have an unexpected TREAT for you: My favorite salad with GRILLED PEACHES!


It’s my Grilled Peach Salad with Caramelized Onions and Homemade Croutons.

This salad is fantastic. It’s the only salad that I DON’T put salad dressing on…it doesn’t need it! (Ok, ok, if you need salad dressing try a light balsamic or Olive Garden Italian dressing. Those are delish on this salad. Also a Peach Balsamic is fantastic with this.)

First, prepare the caramelized onion. Slice an onion (I use a yellow onion, or Vidalia if you can find them). Heat some olive oil (about 1 T.) in a skillet. Add the onion and cook low and slow until the onions are soft and caramel colored. Stir occasionally. This will take some time…but it’s worth it!

While the onions are cooking away, prepare the croutons. Slice some bread into bite-sized pieces. I like to use sourdough bread or rosemary olive oil bread. Spritz the bread with olive oil and toss. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Broil in the oven for a minute or two, until they are lightly browned and crunchy. Keep an eye on these while in the oven…they cook fast!

Now, prepare the veggies. Wash and dry the lettuce. Romaine and Green leaf lettuce are the best for this salad. Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces. Slice some fresh tomatoes. Shred some cheddar cheese.

By this time, the onions should be just about ready. Now, just slide those over a bit so you can grill the peaches. Take your peaches and cut them in half, remove the pit. Place them cut-side down in the pan with the onions (add a drizzle of olive oil if it needs it). Let those brown up just a bit…about 2 minutes. {Note: you can grill them on your outdoor grill or use an indoor grill pan if you have it.}

Now build your salad and ENJOY!


Lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, shredded cheddar, grilled peaches; This salad is layered with flavor…don’t forget to add your croutons!

This is one of those dishes you can feel good about eating. It tastes good AND it’s nice and light. I wish I had one right now.


You can expect a few more peach goodies from me soon! Oh yeah.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Dose of Sunshine Monday — Think Positive to Be Positive

Hello again, Monday. How’s YOUR Monday going? I’ve been thinking about the bad wrap that Monday has:

Another work week
Rainy Days and Mondays always Get Me Down
Just Another Manic Monday
Waiting for the Weekend

But how about some POSITIVE thoughts for Monday? Let’s think about all the times you have been successful. Or achieved something great! Can you think of any?

I can. Just today, actually. My Monday started out with some things I had to take care of that I wasn’t very happy about. Problems, fires, you know how Mondays can be… (oops, another bad Monday thought)
But I DID THEM! I GOT THROUGH THEM! And now there’s a little twinkle in my eye and a skip to my step.

And just last weekend I went to a large group gathering (that many times I’m not too fond of…I don’t like big groups and I often get claustrophobic…sigh), but I DID IT! (Que the Rocky theme song music!)

So what have you done lately that has you feeling happy, successful, proud or ecstatic?


This sign is a little quote from my husband. He is so brave and is constantly cheering me on when I have to do things I’d rather not do. When I hold onto that happy moment, I feel much more positive!

So take a moment to think positive thoughts and feel more positive about your day. Then go and conquer your work! And if you need to, go ahead and turn on that Rocky theme song “Gonna Fly Now” or “Eye of the Tiger” and feel great about yourself. 😉

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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