Sunday, August 30, 2009

Go Rangers!

Although summer is not over, it is winding down. I know this because I spent the afternoon at the Kitchener Auditorium watching the first home exhibition game of the season.

It is always a very exciting time of the year. We get to go and see all the new players and get a feel for what kind of team we are going to have. It usually takes me a few games to figure out who is who, but it doesn't take long before it feels like they have been playing for the Rangers forever.

The pace was fast, the air was cool and I enjoyed a bucket of over salted popcorn. It felt like a Friday night in January.

Hockey is what gets me through the winter months. I can't wait until the regular season begins.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I am so excited to tell you that I have been accepted as one of the designers over at Sketchabilities!

Karan does such amazing sketches and she has a blog called Sketchabilities. Earlier this summer she put out a call for designers to create a design team. I was so excited to hear about this and really wanted to give it a try. I love working with sketches and I also love working with Karan.

I am now part of a great team of ladies on my very first design team! Check out her blog and meet the team! I can't wait to get started.

A big 'THANK YOU' to Karan for giving me this opportunity!

A Camping We Will Go........

On Monday, we are leaving for 5 days at the Six Mile Lake Provincial campground. We rented a cottage on this lake last year, and we just loved it so much we wanted to return.

The lake is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

There was a beautiful sunset almost every night!

Instead of renting the cottage, we decided to camp.......I am not sure why!

I am not a camper. I like the conveniences of home (or hotels). I like my own washroom with a warm shower. I like a warm place to sleep. I like cooking in a kitchen with running water, a fridge and a dishwasher. Don't get me wrong......I love the great outdoors! I love campfires, hiking, boating and tubing. I look forward to spending time with my family. I just don't like camping.

I have checked the weather forecast for the upcoming week, and it does look good. Camping in the rain is even worse. We are packing warmer clothes and extra blankets for the cooler nights. I am going to cross my fingers and hope for the best.

We have a boat and spend a lot of time on the water. My hubby plans on taking us to the Big Chute. This is a lock that actually takes you out of the water and over a road to the lake on the the other side.

We went and checked this out last year. It is pretty amazing. I am sure we will have lots of photos to share when we return.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August Product Challenge Layout

Life has been busy, but I managed to make a little time to do my August Product Challenge kit. I used everything in the kit plus.....
  • scalloped pattern paper and alpha stickers from Jenni Bowlin
  • rub-on letters from Adornit
  • chipboard letters and tags from Cosmo Cricket
  • border punch from Fiskars
  • added Stickles and Glossy Accents to the fish and background

Amanda and Jake went to Grand Bend with some friends. This photo was taken of them in the lifeguard tower.

This was another great challenge package. Can't wait for September's kit.

Baked Teriyaki Chicken

Tonight I am trying another new recipe. It is all part of my meal planning (that isn't going quite like I had hoped). It is baked teriyaki chichen thighs. It looks really yummy. I prepared it this morning before work. All I have to do it pop it into the oven and make the side dishes.

Here is the recipe. I will let you know how it turns out!

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 skinless chicken thighs
  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and bubbles.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. Place chicken pieces in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Brush chicken with the sauce. Turn pieces over, and brush again.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn pieces over, and bake for another 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


When the kids were little and I was a full-time 'stay at home'
mom, one of our favourite field trips was to the Dollarama. It was an outing and you could go shopping without spending a lot of money (something we didn't have lots of because I wasn't working).

Back then, everything was a dollar or less. To this day, I am not sure how they sell some of the stuff they do for only $1. Like every 'dollar store', there is a lot of junk, but there are also some really good deals. In order to take advantage of these, my philosophy is to go often.

The kids are older now, and I am not a stay at home mom anymore. The funny thing is.....we still hit the Dollarama every once in a while.....just for fun. We usually come out with a bag full of goodies and change in our pocket. As a matter of fact, we visited the Albert Street location just last week.......and look what we found.

Amanda was actually looking for sidewalk chalk, but they didn't have any so we ended up with Magic Bubbles. These were amazing.

The would blow hundreds of bubbles at a time.

If she blew lightly they would be bigger and they would stick together.

If she blew hard, they would shoot out and blow everywhere.

The coolest part was that the bubbles did not break. They would stick to everything. Her hair was covered in them. It provided quite a bit of entertainment......all for only $1.

Some day when you are bored, I recommend a trip to the Dollarama. Be sure to keep your camera might just get some photos out of it too!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A New Recipe!

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed with meals lately. It seems like everything is decided last minute. We end up just cooking something quickly, and often I don't have the ingredients I need to make what I want. I find this very frustrating.

I used to plan meals all the time. This past weekend I decided to give it a try again. I found a website that gave suggestions and recipes. This pasta salad caught my eye. I tried it out, and it was delicious.

Garden Fresh Pasta Salad
  • 1 box(es) Bowtie Pasta
  • 20 slices Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 cube Bell Pepper
  • 1 jar Sun-dried Tomatoe Dressing
  • 1 head Broccoli
  • ½ cups Fresh Parsley
  • ½ cups Grated Parm. Cheese
Cook pasta according to directions. Add broccoli heads 5 minutes before pasta is done and drain. In large bowl, combine cooled pasta and broccoli, sliced tomatoes, bell pepper, and fresh parsley together with dressing. Let sit overnight. Right before serving, add your grated parm. cheese and mix well. GREAT for a summer picnic..because there’s nothing to spoil like mayo, etc.!
Add-ins: sliced pepperoni, cubed cheese, black olives, feta cheese, cubed salami, the list is endless. You can even use italian dressing for a different flavor. You can really add any fresh veggies from your garden that you grow!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Use it Challenge #22

It has been a while since I have played along and I have missed these fun challenges. This weeks challenge goes like this:
  • Try a new can be an old technique, but one you have not tried.
  • Use a virgin stamp.
  • Use papers you have never used before.
I spend some of my leisure time surfing the internet, and I see lots of inspiring techniques and don't really find the time to try them out. I thought this was a great challenge. I also have lots of stamps and papers that I have purchased, but have never even used. This challenge seemed like a perfect fit for me!

Here is the card that I created for this challenge. I had the sticker left over from a project that I was working on, so I figured that I would 'use it'!

The technique that I tried was to make a faux window in the front of my card to hold the sticker, but I wanted to use a set of Nestabilities dies with my Cuttlebug, which is something I have not tried yet.

On our store blog last week, we showed how to make a bling swirl using a transparency and Stickles. Someone suggested just doing it directly on paper, so I tried that as well. It turned out beautifully.

I also added Stickles to the limes on the sticker for a bit more sparkle. I hand stitched the border around the front of the card. The paper is a from a line I have not used yet. It is the Pink Paislee's Facinating line. It was the perfect colour for the sticker.

Inside the card I used a 'not so new, but never used' stamp to add the sentiment. It says 'Sending Sunny Thoughts'. I used another set of Nestabilities dies to create the background for my stamped verse.

I am thrilled with the end result and happy that I could play along again. Thanks Julie for a great challenge. I even have the perfect person (people) to sent this card to.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fender Bender!

Last night we had the opportunity to go and see Jake's van at the garage where it was towed. I just had to get some photos for Amanda's scrapbook. I know it is not really something that she wants to remember, but after everything has healed, she will be glad we have the photos to tell the story!

You will notice that all the impact was on Amanda's door. She now understands why she is so stiff and sore!

At first she said she didn't want any photos with her and the van. After we were there for a bit she decided she would take a few. She said to me that she was not going to smile....because she didn't feel happy about it.

Jake, on the other hand, is starting to feel better about things. He is feeling less guilty and they are both starting to laugh about it. We are all just very thankful that other than some minor bumps and bruises, everyone is going to be fine.

Just a little update......the family that was brought in from the other accident is not as fortunate. We found out last night that the 18 month old girl died from her injuries and there is a 10 year old that is now in Hamilton hospital with serious injuries from this same crash. This makes me so sad. I can't imagine the pain they are feeling. My heart goes out to this family.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Interesting Weekend!

Have you ever had one of those weekends where nothing goes as planned? I just did. Here is how it went.

I had the weekend off.......yippee! We received free tickets to attend the drag races in Grand Bend. We were even lucky enough to get extra tickets so that the boys could each bring a friend along. Believe it our not, I have always want to go to the drag races (is that weird?). Turns out, the boys were not really interested in going, so Monty and I decided to have a 'date' and go ourselves. The weather forecast was not the greatest, but we thought we would chance it and head out anyways. We didn't even make it out of the city when it started to rain. We drove for a bit, neither one of us saying anything to each other, but thinking we should turn back. Eventually I spoke up and we made our way back home. The tickets were good for the whole weekend, but Sunday we planned on going out on the boat.

On Saturday evening Monty and I decided to go to the movies (something we never do). We decided on a show, which turned out to be the same movie that Amanda and Jake (her boyfriend) were going to see. We promised to sit on the other side of the theater and pretend we didn't know them. They left a bit before us to get gas in Jake's van.

Monty and I were waiting in line to buy our tickets when we received a phone call from Amanda that they had been in a car accident. My heart skipped many beats and I am not sure how we got to the accident scene. When we arrived the 911 call had already been made and there were fragments of car parts all over the road. The van that Jake was driving had been t-boned and the passenger side was hit very hard. Jake was fine (but very shook up) and Amanda seemed a little confused and complaining about head, neck, shoulder and arm pain. I settled down a bit once I could see that everyone was going to be fine. She was taken by ambulance to Grand River Hospital where we spent the remainder of the night.

While we were there, victims from another bad accident had been brought in. Their injuries were much more serious than Amanda's. It was also a minivan that had been hit....with 4 young children and 2 adults. They were part of a wedding. Before too long then entire wedding party including the bride, groom and parents were there too. My heart went out to them. The bride was still in her dress and the little boys in their tuxes. Some of the injuries were very serious. Although we were not involved, nor did we know any of them, I felt their pain and stress. It was traumatic for Amanda too, as she could not really see what was going on (due to the fact that she was strapped to a board with a neck brace on and couldn't move anything but her eyes) but she could hear everything.

This made our wait very long. Amanda was on the back board for about 4 hours. She was not handling this very well and I had to coach her through many panic attacks until the doctor could be sure there was no real damage to her neck and back. Eventually x-rays were ordered and around 4:30am we headed home to get some rest.

Today she is very stiff and sore. There is swelling in her elbow and she is moving very slowly. She looks much like the girl in this image. Thankfully they are both ok. The van did not fare so well.

We are hoping for a more normal weekend next week without any surprises.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday To My BFF!

July has been a whirlwind......who am I kidding, my whole life is like that. Anyways, my BFF's birthday is in July and I was on holidays and then off to CHA. Even though we spent lots of time together while we were at the trade show, I still wanted to do something special.

Both of us love scrapbooking and that would be the obvious thing to get her, but we have everything. I thought it would be fun to combine scrapbooking with her gift and this is what I came up with.

I was in Chapters and they had these really cute stationary sets. She loves to make notes and even more, she loves cute things. I picked up a note pad, 3 pocket size journals, sticky notes and a matching pen. I altered all the items (this is the scrapbooking part) with a splash of pink (her favourite colour) and the suited her perfectly.

I just bought a new stamp set and I was able to try it out.

While I was at Chapters I thought I would pick up a new book for her to read. This is another hobby that she has (an interest we do not share). I didn`t even know where to start, so I decided to get her a gift card instead (this will give her the opportunity to do another thing she I made a gift card holder that matched the other altered items that I made.

On the way out, I spotted this extra cute pink bag. It was perfect to hold all the items and could double as a book bag! I filled the tote up with all the goodies and stuffed it with pink and white tissue. It was a perfect gift for the perfect friend.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home From Holidays......

It has been about 2 weeks since my last post. It has been that long since I have scrapbooked too. I have always taken stuff with me in the past, but this time I took a complete break from it. I sure hope I remember where I left off.

So much has happened over the past 2 weeks, I actually have to go back through the photos to help me remember everything.

We rented a cottage on Stoney Lake (near Peterborough) and we had 3 extra teenagers along with us. We had a wonderful time. Everyone really enjoyed the cottage, the boating and all the other amazing things we explored.

We were thrilled with the cottage and the location. We found this cottage online, and you never know what you may get, but we were very impressed. It was worth every penny. It was cozy, but roomy. It was tucked back from the water with lots of little paths to get around the property. It had a beautiful waterfront with a dock that was large enough to tie up our boat and all 6 kids could fish at the same time.

It didn't take us long to unpack and settle in. My hubby found the hammock that was located right down by the water and quickly claimed it as his 'spot'. We often found him here snoozing or listening to his music.

All the kids were anxious to explore their surroundings. Amanda did not like the weeds so she stayed on the floating raft. Poor Jake pushed her around all over the place. Matt was busy trying to catch anything that would fit into his net and Jason and David explored things from the canoe. These activities continued on almost the entire time we were at the cottage.

Even Maya had fun exploring her new home. She did really well. I think she was really relaxed and the holiday did her paws some good too. She slept all day while we were out and then she got lots of cuddles when we returned.

Amanda was up early one morning and took some really great photos of a family of geese that would visit the dock everyday. She got a little carried away and we have about 40 pictures to choose from, so if you ever need a great photo of a family of geese, I can set you up!

Everyday, after a big breakfast, the kids would make their way down to the lake for their morning 'dip n lather'. This was quite entertaining to watch and I couldn't resist taking photos.

The owner of the cottage preferred that we use the outdoor shower and the kids preferred the lake. I on the other hand, chose the shower option. I was very apprehensive, but it turned out that I really enjoyed it. The water was always hot, and one day I even showered in the rain. I actually think that I would enjoy camping if every site came with its own private outdoor shower. Don't get me wrong.......I much prefer my own shower and bathroom at home.

We spent a lot of time on the boat. The kids tubed and wake-boarded. We cruised around and checked out all the cottages. It was also a treat to get in the boat after dinner and go to the marina for ice cream. This is a shot of all the kids in the front of the boat. The sun was just going down and we were headed in for the night.

Something new for us on the boat was going through the locks. We were right on the Trent so we took advantage of this and tried it out. Growing up, I lived in a small town north of Peterborough, and these are some images of the Buckhorn locks. It was fun to revisit my old home.

This is another group shot that we took of the kids. They were so much fun to hang out with. They made us laugh all the time. There were times when Amanda and I felt out numbered with 6 boys, but it sure kept things interesting.

I didn't do any wake-boarding this trip, but I did get out on the tube. Amanda and I had a blast.

The week went very fast, and we are already looking forward to returning next year. The days were filled with fun from sun up to sun down. I recommend this to anyone.