Archive | October, 2013
Peach Week Wrap Up

Peach Week Wrap Up

If you missed any of the great peach recipes, here’s a quick wrap-up! Mmmmm….I LOVE all these peach treats!

individual-fresh-peach-cobbler

Fresh Peach Cobbler

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Peach Mango Salsa (for salad or chicken or tacos!)

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Fresh Peach Muffins (with Brown Sugar Streusel)

homemade-peach-jam-halloween-style

Homemade Peach Jam

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Peach Freezing Tips

grilled-peach-salad

Grilled Peach Salad

I loved having Peach Week! I think we’ll do this again next year….do you have some peach recipes you’d share?

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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Happy Halloween card

Can you believe that tomorrow is Halloween? I really can’t.

But today I have a quick Halloween card to share. I played with some distress inks for this one to (try) to mimic a sunset…

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I used Kristina Werner’s adorable cat in a pumpkin and sentiment for this one. Love them! I heat embossed them both with black, then watercolored that little cat and pumpkin. I’m loving my watercolors right now. :)

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See those bats…they are made with Shrink Paper! So cool. And the paper (used for the hill)  is from an amazing Fall Paper Stack from DCWV.

I stitched around the whole card in order to attach the Halloween sentiment flag.

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A very Happy Halloween to YOU!

Linking to the Simon Says Stamp Challenge here.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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the-tasting-cups

Taste Test Tuesday — Starbucks vs. Dutch Brothers Hot Chocolate

Welcome to our Taste Test Tuesday Hot Chocolate Throwdown! Today, we are highlighting two powerhouses in hot chocolate: Starbucks vs. Dutch Brothers. We wanted to include Seattle’s Best (because I LOVE their hot chocolate…they even serve it up with a little chocolate swizzle stick); unfortunately, there aren’t any Seattle’s Best near us anymore. :( They all closed.

But we DO have a Starbucks (actually 2) within 1 mile and a Dutch Brothers just down the street. It’s about time we held a blind taste test between the two. And, since the weather is cooling off just a bit, now seemed the perfect time to hold this throwdown!

hot-chocolate-throwdown

We ordered 2 plain hot chocolates. Nothing fancy, no peppermint or gingerbread, no vanilla or hazelnut. Just. Plain. Chocolate.

The Starbucks hot chocolate cost us $3.25
The Dutch Brothers cost $2.50

Both came with whipped cream on top.

the-whipped-cream

I was surprised to see more whipped cream on the Starbucks (on the left), since we purchased that one first before running to Dutch Brothers (on the right). I thought it would have all melted in by the time we got to it.

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Since this was a “blind” taste test, I marked the tasting cups with an “A” and a “B” and poured the chocolate in before handing them over to the judges in the other room.
The Dutch Brothers was significantly lighter in color than the Starbucks. And the Starbucks tasted much richer, and like a dark chocolate.

And when the judges cast their votes, it was UNANIMOUS!

The Winner {Drumroll please…}
By a landslide, the winning Hot Chocolate maker is:  Dutch Brothers!!! (Crowd goes wild)….Congratulations to Dutch Brothers!!

Final Notes
After the votes were tallied and the winner was announced, one of our judges declared that the absolute BEST way to drink them, was to mix them together to get just the right balance of chocolate flavor. So, if you are in the mood to give it a try…order up one of each and mix them up. :)

I love hot chocolate in the fall!

Next Taste Test Tuesday will be a PART II to this taste test: Homemade Hot Chocolate. Yes, we will be searching all grocery stores and specialty stores for the BEST hot chocolate mix that you make at HOME.

So, what’s your favorite…leave me a comment below and we’ll include it in our next Taste Test Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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whole-bunch-of-halloween-sacks

Dose of Sunshine Monday: Happiness is…

“Happiness is not so much in having as in sharing.”

whole-bunch-of-halloween-sacks

I agree with that statement. Do you?

I had such a great time handing out my Halloween Treat Sacks to my neighbor kids and my nephews over the weekend. In no time flat, they had those things torn apart and the candy devoured! But it was all worth it because I had a great time and I sure do love those kids. :)

For this Monday, ponder on that statement and see if sharing something DOES make you happy.

Tonight, I’m off to share some {Halloween} Peach jam! See you next time.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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10-13-hello-acorn-2

Fall Acorn card 2

This is my second card I’m entering into the Paper Smooches card challenge here.

It is a cool shade challenge using these colors

OCT_2013 cool shades challenge (Teal, light purple, kraft, orange)

So here is my second card using the adorable acorn in the Paper Smooches “Falling for You” stamp set.

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I clear embossed the acorn in the background on kraft paper. Can you see those shimmering in the background? Then I used some distress inks to ink up the banner with purple, teal, and orange. The “Hello” is cut using My Favorite Things hello dies. I painted it with watercolor.

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I’m pretty happy about that watercolored acorn. I’m loving my watercolors right now. I popped the acorn up with some dimensionals.

Hello, Fall!

Edited to add: This card was a WINNER! I won the challenge…So Happy, Excited, and Grateful!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
Comments { 1 }
10-13-foot-is-slipping-last

Verve “Tag You’re It” card

I’m loving Verve Stamps. In fact, I have a couple sets now…and today I am going to use a stamp that I WON from Verve. (Thanks! I love it!) I thought I’d turn it into a tag card and enter into the current Verve Challenge here.

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The fonts they used on this stamp are just BEAUTIFUL, and I heat embossed it in silver on my tag. Yes, I made that tag from scratch (I don’t have a tag die cut….yet! Wink*)

The flag on the left is embossed with a new embossing folder I found at Hobby Lobby (50% off; how could I resist?) I think it pairs nicely with this sentiment. You might be surprised to know that the “paper” I embossed is actually the backing to vinyl that I used on some girls camp water bottles! I loved how it had a bit of shine to it and I knew it would come in handy for something! :)

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These little snowflakes I cut out with my cricut using the NEW Anna Griffen Winter Wonderland cartridge! I’m loving that cartridge so far, and I’ve only used it once.

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I added a little glitter to those snowflakes and I love the shimmer it adds.

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So there’s my first Verve Tag Challenge card ever! A little winter, a little glitter, a little embossing and a tag. Hope you like it!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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10-13-acorn-evolution-final

Paper Smooches Color Challenge: Fall Acorn Card

Last week I had a few computer challenges and so I couldn’t upload my card in time for the Paper Smooches Challenge! So this week, I have TWO cards I’m entering.

This week is a color challenge:

OCT_2013 cool shades challenge

(Teal, Light Purple, Kraft, Orange)

I knew I wanted to use my little acorn stamp from the Paper Smooches “Falling For You” set. And this card changed quite a few times over the course of the creation process!

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Here’s the first draft. It seemed a little plain to me, but I did LOVE how that plaid acorn turned out using watercolors and Inktense pencils. The “tree branch” was painted teal to match the acorn and embossing with a wood grain embossing folder. But that Sentiment seemed a bit out of place.

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I thought it would be great to have the sentiment hanging from the tree. But it here seemed a bit too low, so I changed it to this:

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What do you think about the evolution of this card? I used a little plaid paper to play off the plaid acorn. <3

Entering into the Paper Smooches challenge here.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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10-13-fox-say-inside

Happy Birthday Fox card

Today is my nephew’s 6th birthday! I made a special card just for him. He has been singing that fox song that has become a big hit….but I must warn you that this song will stick in your head and never leave! Have you heard this song?  Check it out here.

I’m entering the Lawnscaping Challenge with this card, and I was inspired by this pinterest pin:

foxy-fabric

Isn’t this fabric CUTE? Anyway, I used a brighter green and the adorable fox from Lawn Fawn for my card.

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and the inside:

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Also linking up to the Simon Says Stamp Challenge (Halloween Colors)…I love some bright green for Halloween! Happy weekend!

Edited to add:
I won an honorable mention at the Lawnscaping Challenge for this card! (Thanks to Garrett for the inspiration)
 photo HonorableGnome_2013_zps29b8dd8c.jpg

May your days be filled with sunshine,
Comments { 4 }
peeling-peach-skin

Tricks to freezing peaches

We are ending the week full of peaches, but I have some tips for freezing peaches!

peach-freezing-tips

When you have lots of extra peaches, it’s great to freeze them and then use them for  smoothies or even peach syrup. Cut them in half, remove the pit, and cut the halves in half. Don’t take the skin off. I know what you’re saying “But I don’t want those fuzzy peach skins!

I know, but wait…here’s an awesome trick I learned from my grandma!

Before we get to the trick, put your cut peaches on a baking sheet, and freeze them this way.

peaches-on-baking-sheet

Once frozen, remove them from the tray and put them in a freezer baggie. If you freeze them on the cookie sheet first, they won’t stick together in the bag.

in-ziploc-bag

Now here’s the trick: when you are ready to use them, take a peach piece and RUN IT UNDER WATER….the fuzzy peach skin will slide right off!!

Awesome, huh?! I know, I wasn’t sure if I should believe my grandma, but we tried it and it works! Only the skins slide off, so you use more of the peach, which is fantastic. (this is my husband’s hand…demonstrating the trick for you)

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Simple. And ready for a smoothie. :) So try this trick and let me know what you think!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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You are a Peach card

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This week I just had to put a peach on my card since it’s Peach Week! Here’s my card using Paper Smooches “Fruitastic” stamp set.

The challenge was focused on this designer draft:

october designer draft

Originally, I was going to use the funny face that came on this peach, but I decided it took away from my card design. Here’s what it looks like with the funny face:

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Unfortunately, due to a glitch with my computer…I didn’t get this entered into the contest in time. I will not ever know if this card would have even placed. Ah, well! Next time!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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