Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Awesome Panini Anyone?

Yesterday Matt had a sick day, I love that! :) We got to spend the day together.... and guess what we made? Probably the most awesome panini I have *ever* tasted... I had to take photos and blog the recipe it was just too good not to share!




So, I found a bag of panini bread on sale for 50% off at the grocery store because it was close to expiring. I took it home and froze it - I do this a lot with breads and save a lot of money!

Anyways... onto the recipe. You will need:

- Cheese
- 1 Red pepper
- 1 Can Mushrooms
- 1 Onion
- 3/4 cup Mayo
- 1/4 cup Miracle Whip
- Diced Garlic (I use the jar kind)
- Garlic Powder
- Pickled Jalapenos
- 3 Chicken Breasts
- Buffalo Sauce
- Bacon

1) Cover your chicken breasts in buffalo sauce and bake in the oven until cooked, basting with more sauce as necessary.




2) Cook Bacon, remove from grease and set aside on a paper towel. Saute red pepper, onion, and mushrooms in the bacon grease until tender, we cooked ours on medium heat over about 20 minutes. Keep vegetable chunks relatively large.



3) Make the sauce. Combine Mayo, Miracle Whip, Garlic, Garlic Powder (to taste), and Jalapeno (chop very finely). Set Aside.



4) When Chicken is done, cut into small chunks.



5) Spread sauce on Panini Bread. Add Cheese, a layer of the veggies, then chicken, and finally bacon. Now to grill your paninis! We used our indoor grill, but if you don't have one you could grill in the frying pan with a tiny bit of olive oil. (Make sure to press down on your panini when grilling in a frying pan)



Here's what ours looked like before we added the cheese and the top of our bread:



I hope you try this recipe! It was soooooo delicious :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

As the holiday rush subsides...

Hey everyone :) I hope you all had very Merry Christmases, I sure did! This year was my first Christmas in PEI and it was wonderful. It was so nice to have so many people around, my Christmases in the past were usually quite small.

I made Christmas dinner for the first time ever, and I'm pleased to say it went well. My sister in law said my turkey was the best she'd ever had! That was so exciting to me since I had never roasted a full bird before, and had some problems getting the neck out... lol. Of course, we all got spoiled, especially Jude! We have so many toys now I'm not sure he knows what to do with himself..I loved the holiday rush but I'm glad to have it overwith now, I am tired!

Speaking of Jude, I re-arranged his room a bit today. It is becoming less of a nursery and more of a little boy's room. I hope to get a bookshelf soon, because has has quite the collection! I want him to love reading :) Maybe I will post some photos of his "new" room once I get it all finished.

I have been having motivation problems lately... I guess it's the holiday slack thing. I am going to start working on Valentine's Day items tomorrow, so check back in the next couple of days for pics! I'm also going to be catching up on a lot of things that I let slide during the holidays :) My Boxing Day free shipping promo went well... I have a lot of items to package up, so I had best get going!! Oh, but before I leave, I managed to snag an Etsy Treasury today - check it out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...



I just shot this video out my front door. Since then, it has gotten even worse! I was supposed to be having some girls over for a movie day.. but I doubt that will happen now!

PS: don't mind the neighbor's icky car/garbage bin..

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Morning everyone :) Hope this Friday finds you well! I have a couple of Christmassy photos to share as well as many new cards! I will start with the Christmas photos, since the first one makes me *so* happy.





Remember a little while back when I posted that I had won a limited edition white reindeer plushie from Tim of Fantastic Toys? Well, he arrived! Isn't this the cutest, sweetest reindeer you have ever seen? It really made my Christmas to be the winner of this little guy! Our Christmas decorations were mostly ruined in a flood this summer so I have had to start over... this little guy is the star of my collection! Please check out Tim's etsy shop - he makes amazing plushes with incredible details and high quality craftsmanship. Tim is one of the many artisans who could be affected by the new CPSA laws so please do try to purchase something from him before February 10th, when he could possibly be forced out of business by this silly new law!

Did you think my reindeer was all I had to show you??? Wait, there is more! I'm sure that you have all heard of Jenny Holiday (and if you haven't, you *need* to visit her flickr photostream... it is filled with some of the most amazingly delicious eye candy I have ever seen!) and her Shop. Well, I ordered an ornament from her and to my surprise when it arrived she had included another ornament for me, totally free of charge! Jenny is one of the sweetest people I have met in blogland and I am so happy to say that we are friends! Just check out these lovely ornaments:





My photos don't do them justice - I just couldn't seem to pick up the lovely glitter details. The cupcake one was the bonus ornament - isn't it sweet? She picked out a perfect cupcake for me - pink with a Cherry on top! Jenny and her boyfriend Aaron sell ornaments, prints, and original artwork in their Etsy store so please check it out! They also blog!

Now onto the cards! I was a busy little cardmaker this week and have made quite a few new designs. I have begun to focus on spring and Valentine's now that the Christmas retail season is done for me. What do you think of the cards?









Each of these cards are now available for sale in my etsy shop, if you click on the individual pictures they are linked to the listings :) I have also listed a lot of new tags, gift card holders, and notecards recently.

I hope that everyone is excited for Christmas now. This year will be the first year that I have Christmas dinner in my own home - I feel like such a grownup! lol :) I hope to wow my family with a really yummy dinner. In addition to turkey I am making a yummy turnip and potato gratin that I saw on Martha Stewart, Yummy Stuffing, Roasted Honey Glazed Carrots, and maybe a little something else. My mom is bringing Asparagus puff pastry with Holandaise sauce and my Mother In Law makes amazing desserts, so I think she is bringing a trifle! I can't wait :) I promise to post lots of photos. This is Jude's first Christmas so I am so excited to see what he thinks of it. He likes wrapping paper, so I hope he has fun. Speaking of the little guy... I'm going to end this post with a picture of him from yesterday:





He makes this face all the time now... I think he is trying to learn how to use his lips.. he seems to be pretty close to talking. Here's hoping that his first word is "momma" hhehe.. bye for now everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My first card for a challenge ever...




I like to read the 2 sketches 4 u blog - and this time I decided to go for it an make a card :) I usually forget to make it before the deadline... hope I made it this time!

I used october afternoon papers, a making memories journalling sheet, some american crafts ribbon, bazzill cardstock, lots of stockles, and love, elsie paper.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I snagged one!

I managed to snag a treasury on etsy last night... I filled it in quickly, but here it is! :) PLEASE click on it and give it some love if you have an etsy account! It would mean the world to me!



My typical colors... I cannot escape from pink! And I wouldn't want to... lol. I am off to get ready for a lunch date with a good friend who is home for Christmas from Ontario! yay!




Here is a shot of some cards I made yesterday - the weather is terrible so I can't get any good close up shots... but I wanted to share em!

See ya'll later!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Help Save Handmade!

I don't know if you guys know, but there is a new law coming into play in February that is basically going to put many small artisans out of business!




From the Save Handmade Website:

Overview

We're all for strengthening the safety standards of mass-produced toys, clothes, and accessories made in China, and banning toxins like phthalates and lead. But this year, congress passed the ill-conceived Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, a law which goes into effect in two months and will absolutely decimate the small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and crafters who have already earned the public trust. The very same ones that we often feature here and in our yearly special edition gift guides.

With this act going into effect February 10 2009 so many people we love will be affected: Moms who sew beautiful handmade waldorf dolls out of home, artists who have spent decades hand-carving trucks and cars out of natural woods, that guy at the craft show who sold you the cute handmade puzzle--even larger US companies who employ local workers and have not once had any sort of safety issue will no longer be able to sell their goods. Not without investing tens of thousands of dollars into third-party testing and labeling, just to prove that toys that never had a single toxic chemical in them still don't have a single toxic chemical in them.

So please go check out the Save Handmade website and add their button to your blog or website - I did!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gift card holders!

I've been making gift card holders like crrrrrrrrrrazy!! A productive Monday - for once! :) I have way more in the works too... so yay! I am also making tons of scrapbooking embellishments and even more card kits. I am totally in the zone! :)











All in the shop now :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gosh - I want this!

My friend Chelsea Ann made this lovely gingerbread house.... I think it is asbolutely amazing! I wish I could buy it.. do you think if I planted a money tree in my yard it would grow? ;) hehe..






Visit Chelsea Ann on Lollishops to see more of her cute, whimsical creations. Oh, and just for fun... here are some pics of some signs I made for Chelsea:







These were so fun to make! I made felt cakes, and "icing" out of glitter glue topped with white flocking powder. What do you think? I've been busy making lots of things lately... not only signs! I've also made some new products for the shop - money and gift card holders:







To see more of my creations (I uploaded a LOT of photos!) check out my flickr photostream.And to finish up with all the photos, here's one of my little guy chillin in his playpen.




Now I'm off to finish my wedding thank you cards so I can rush them in the mail before they are late!

Awwww....





My best friend Courtney made this scrapbook page dedicated to me.. isn't it cute? She is such a great friend she included a shot of me eating cake directly from the pan and hiding my face while doing it!! LOL :) love ya hun.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A little Christmas card tutorial

Here is a little tutorial on how to make my most popular Christmas card :)



Materials List:

Pink Polka Dotted Grosgrain Ribbon
Raspberry Cardstock
Light Pink Cardstock
Cream Carstock
Sassafras Double Sided Paper (spots and stripes, green)
Love,Elsie Snowflake Stamp
Fontwerks Sentiment Stamp
Stickles Glitter
Kaiser Craft Rhinestones
Star Shaped Button
Pop Dots or other 3-d adhesive dots
Corner Rounder
Brown, Pink and White Colorbox Inks




Instructions:

1. Cut 4.5×12 inch piece of raspberry cardstock, scor at the middle, and fold in half.

2. Cut 3.5×5.5 inch piece of polka dotted side of Sassafras paper, and round the top and bottom corners on the right hand side. Cut a 1/2 inch piece from the same cardstock, but use the striped side. Attach smaller strip of paper to the left side of the polka dotted paper, and cut into a scallop. Affix both pieces to the raspberry cardstock.

3. Cut 2×5 inch piece of lighter pink cardstock. Tie a ribbon knot around the top of the piece, and angle cut the ends. Affix piece to card as shown.

4. Draw a triangle shaped Christmas Tree on green paper, and cut into three separate sections. Stamp tree with small white snowflakes. Ink edges and apply rhinestones. Affix to pink cardstock piece using pop dots. Cut a small trunk from brown paper and also affix with another pop dot. Add a star shaped button to the top of the tree.

5. Stamp sentiment on cream cardstock using pink ink. Cut out and affix to card as shown.

6. Apply glitter glue to the scalloped edge, around the rectanglular piece of light pink cardstock, and the sentiment block. Voila!

Note - To make the mini card version, just scale down your card!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gift Tag and Notecard Sets

Just a quick post to show off a new set, each has 1 tag and 1 matching notecard. These cost only $2.75! :) These show just a few styles, there are more available in the shop and more to come!








I'm adding new items every day... well not today because it rained and I had NO light for photos :( But I have a bunch of new tags and three page kits waiting to be posted! So check back :)

I love you guys!

Thanks everyone for reading my post yesterday and responding with such nice, encouraging comments :) I am lucky to have such sweet and amazing readers! I don't think I tell you guys often enough how greatful I am to have so many people reading here and taking an interest in my business, but also in my life. Aww, mushy moment!! hehehe..

So I'm feeling better today... and I want to share a recipe for a somewhat odd, but delicious (and CHEAP!) meal that I made a couple of days ago.

I'm not sure what to call this.. because it was kindof a mishmash of what I had in the fridge, but I'm sure you all have similar ingredients in your fridges too. I had some leftover quesedilla filling which consisted of garlic, peppers, onions, and roasted chicken, so I added that in a frying pan on the stove to:

1 Can of onion soup
1 Can of mushroom soup
some frozen mixed vegetables
a little bit of milk
salt/papper to taste

And then I simmered that mixture for about 30 minutes... wow it was delish! If your sauce is a bit watery, add a bit of cornstarch to the mixture as it is cooking. I served it over brown rice. You could use whatever meat you have left over in your fridge, or don't even use meat at all! Now, I am a picky eater and even *I* loved this! My husband of course loved it because he is easy to please, lol :)




Now that I've shared my little recipe, I want to talk about this new show that I have discovered: True Blood! I've seen two episodes so far, have you seen it? It's done by Allan Ball - the creator of Six Feet Under (which is one of my all time favorite shows) and I think it's great! Vampires seem to be the hot thing right now, but I've always liked Vampire shows/books. I was a huge Buffy fan! I love Anna Paquin as Sookie... she is too cute. Anyways, if you haven't seen it and you think you might like it, it's on HBO.

Uh oh.. Jude is waking up... gotta run! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Feeling a bit blue...

Hey everyone :) I hope you're having a good day... me.. well, it could be better. I try not to blog about too much personal stuff, but I'm feeling really crappy today and I need to vent! I hope you aren't too turned off by my complainey-ness.

I am currently on Maternity leave, and in Canada we get one year's paid time off from work to stay home with our new babies. My mat. leave will be up in April, and lately thoughts about what I'm going to do when it runs out have been creeping into my head. The wages here are very low, I think that if I worked full time it wouldn't even be worth it with the cost of child care, etc. Plus, we have only one vehicle and with two people needing to get to work that could get tricky. When we lived in Calgary Matt always worked downtown so he used public transit - unfortunately the public transit here *sucks*. The other option is working part time in the evenings, which would be OK I guess, but it means I wouldn't get to see my Husband much and the very little "me" time that I have would dwindle to pretty much nonexistant.

So, I'm frustrated. I do have an etsy shop, but the profits are very low, especially considering the time that I put into it. I wish I could say that it was a business, but right now I guess it is 'just for fun'. I can't seem to come up with any other viable work-from-home type ideas. I am just getting discouraged and sad about everything..

Anyways.. I'm just not sure about what's going to happen - none of the options look good :( I am worried for the future.. I really need to not let negative thoughts in, but lately it has been so hard to keep them at bay. If any of you have been in this situation or a similar situation and have any words of encouragement, I would really appreciate them.

On a positive note - I was featured on Cuteable today!! :) check it out:



This really helped to get a smile on my face today, at least for a while. I have been hoping to be featured on cuteable for a long time! yay!