Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Share the Shot: Yellow

In an effort to creatively take more pictures, Amy at She Wears Many Hats has come up with an idea for a Tuesday linky-party.  She calls it "Share the Shot," and it started last week with the theme: BLUE.  I didn't have my act together then, but each week, she'll give us a new prompt for photo-taking.  All you have to do is to keep your eyes open looking for photo ops that go with each theme (your interpretation), and then link up.  This is open to all age and experience levels, and is just for FUN.  Love it!

This week's theme:


I still feel like I'm in "hibernating" mode.  We've had some warm days, but that makes the cold ones seem even colder.  Outside, there's not too much color yet -- especially not yellow!  But inside, I was literally thinking about what "yellow" could be for this week,
and as I pulled open the fridge, there, right in front of me...

And then at snacktime... popcorn supplies.

And the ever-present shopping list.  You know the one: you list and list, and then finally get the chance to go shop... only to return home to find that someone just used the last of the ________. (fill in the blank)

I can't wait to take pictures of some BLOOMING yellow.  Do you have any of that at your house yet?  You DO?  SO jealous!!!  Spring's coming, though.  I can feel it in the air.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally... Project Life (my Disney version)

After tracking my package on-line and seeing it was "out for delivery,"  I may or may not have been stalking the mailman.

One thing is for sure: I was really happy to finally receive my photo pocket pages, and had about 98% of my pictures in place before the end of the day.  (Can you say obsessive-compulsive?)

But don't you worry... the project is just beginning!  Now that all of my pictures have a "home,"  I'll be:
  • adding "matting" for some of the cropped photos.
  • adding journaling both in the smaller pockets (of "Design A"), and on 6x12 pages in between.
  • getting creative with some vertical photos.
  • purchasing some more Disney papers and embellishments to "fill in the blanks."

I'm including the first few pages below.  You can see how I used photos in both the 4x6 slots as well as the smaller slots typically used for journaling.  Since I will include some 6x12 pages with longer journaling accounts on them, I felt free to use up some of the smaller areas for photos.

In addition, you'll notice a lot of white space.  As I listed above... some photos need to be matted so that they fit appropriately.  Other spots either need journaling, or some bright piece of Disney paper or embellishment.  THIS gave me the idea of using Disney paint chip cards as embellishments in my album.

The days of the week journal cards are a free download from Cathy Zielske HERE, and I love them -- because they mark our progress through the trip, and remind us what happened on what day.

Crazy family photos on the plane!
This was the first time we had all flown together.
I'll use that "Saturday" journal card (and the other "day-cards")
to give a general idea of each day's schedule.

At the airport, at the hotel,
and on our way to the cruise terminal.
I'm glad that I decided to use Dad's, Jill's, and Shelby's photos
as well as my own.
Imagine!  I am in some of the pictures!!!

Inside the cruise terminal, checking out a model of the ship.
It was raining when we arrived -- but not for long!
Just long enough to get that view of our ship's lifeboats through the raindrops.

Lifeboat drill and "Adventures Away!"
Check out the rainbow that appeared as we set sail on our adventure.
My sister caught that shot.

I'll come back and show you these pages again when I get all of the blanks filled in.
I can't believe I'm finally on my way!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scavenger Hunt ~ 2.26

Crossed - do you see it?
My sweet hubby spotted this photo op on our downtown walk today.

A Glimpse - of the American Flag from inside the library.

Handwritten - a thank you note from our niece

Bliss - Pineapple Angel Dessert (see recipe below)

Gray - Saturday

Oh, looking for that yummy dessert recipe, are you?
It's only got TWO ingredients.
Can you handle it?
Easy, easy, and easy -- and unbeLIEvably delicious!

Pineapple Angel Dessert
15 oz.  Betty Crocker Angel Food Cake Mix (dry)
20 oz.  crushed pineapple (undrained)

Mix undrained pineapple & dry cake mix.  Beat 30 seconds on low; scrape sides of bowl with spatula. Beat 1 minute on medium.  Spread into a 9x13 ungreased baking dish. Bake 25-30 at 350 degrees until lightly browned.  Cool completely.  Cut in squares and serve.

My mom shared this recipe with me.  A friend shared with her.  I'm sharing with you.  It's nice to share!  What you should know... It's apparently important that you use Betty Crocker cake mix.  It has only ONE packet - where some others have two for Angel Food Cake (flour packet and egg white packet).

Linking up with:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Little Help For My Friends...

You've probably heard by now that Google Friend Connect is scheduled to become unavailable to nonBlogger blogs on March 1st of this year.  If you blog on a blog platform other than Blogger, this means you.  I wanted to provide other ways for you to connect here in the future.  It seems that's the best way we BLOGGER bloggers can be of help to you.


I've recently added some "connect tools" to my sidebar and footer.

In the sidebar, you'll see that I've added Networked Blogs. [UPDATE:  Now, also Linky Followers!]

In addition, you can now subscribe by e-mail, or through RSS feed.  You'll find these connection points in the sidebar of my blog as well.

I hope these new tools will prove helpful.  I don't want to lose any friends!!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

If you don't know what I'm talking about (and you KNOW who you are!) -- no worries.  Just keep on keeping on.

Most of all,
remember that I'm glad you're here...
each and every one of you.

UPDATE:  I've also taken the plunge, and signed up for Google+ recently.  I'll be the first one to tell you that as a blogger, I do not necessarily understand all of the ramifications of this loss of Google Friend Connect.  However, if Google+ will allow me to grow my blog by making it more convenient for people to hook up here, then I'm for it.  Soooo... it's a lazy Saturday around here, and I've just figured out how to add the Google+ button to my sidebar.  See it over there?  If you're one of those wanna-be-connected type people... go ahead & click.  You'll see my familiar header artwork, and know you've landed in the right spot.

For the time being, I don't spend any time over there other than to link to my posts.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fancy Friday Five ~ Ohio Amish Country

In keeping with my "Amish" theme for most of this week, I couldn't resist sharing more of my photos.  I probably should've squirreled them away for a rainy day on the blog, but... I love 'em too much.  I hope you'll love 'em too.

Happy Friday!

Linking up with Bluff Area Daily for "Barn Charm"

This one is probably my favorite:

Fancy Friday
Got FIVE things that YOU think are "fancy?"
Come join the party!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Project Pinterest: Orange Sherbet Cake

Here's my original PIN.

I found the idea at It's On The Tip of My Tongue.
(This is Sarah's "orange sherbet" variation.)

Sarah found the recipe at What Makes Savanah Smile.
(Savanah's version uses diet 7-Up, and is called "Soda Cake Cupcakes.")

I pinned this idea several months back.  Recently, when my daughter was browsing through my pins, she spotted it again, and decided that she would like to make this for her birthday cake this year.  SHE.  Meaning, Mom was not allowed to make the cake!! MY DAUGHTER used the sugar-free cake mix, and diet orange Sunkist, just like Sarah.  SHE added no egg whites, and SHE made sure that she only "whisked for 30 seconds" as Sarah recommended, because you know... we had THIS surprise outcome.

We served the cake up (with some rainbow sherbet) to family members when they joined us to celebrate my daughter's birthday.  They all loved it.  There wasn't a crumb left!

One thought about the cake:  my daughter (like Sarah) decided not to add the egg whites that Savanah recommended.  Here's what I read about egg whites: "Reducing or omitting egg whites can result in less volume."  I would have to say that the cake did not rise much. The egg whites might have been a good idea.  Next time, we'll make that adjustment.

After birthday presents were opened, I went to the kitchen to find candles.  I may or may not have forgotten why I was there, and CUT THE CAKE instead.  (Oh brother!)  When I finally remembered the candles, I had neither "regular" candles, nor the correct numbers. Yeah.  I guess "1" and "4" candles never made it to the shopping list, and I keep forgetting that I took the regular birthday candles to my sisters one time when SHE forgot to buy candles.  (Guess it runs in the family, ay?)

(Ahem...) So, I got creative.  Can you see how I got 14?  (12+1+1)  And guess what?  Let's eat, because some smart person has already CUT the cake!

It got a little crazy serving 12 adults and 10 kiddos (and living in the moment), and the whole idea of picture-taking was forgotten -- so, there's a great picture of a piece of the cake over at Sarah's.

This Project Pinterest = Success.  (Thanks Sarah!)

Here are the guidelines for Project Pinterest: 
1. Decide which pin on Pinterest you’d like to recreate.
2. Create it!
3. Flop or success, create a blog post about your re-do and include the original pin’s url.
4. Add the Project Pinterest button to your post so others can join in too!
5. Link up and check out other bloggers’ posts!

I'm also joining the "Friday Food Fight" at Run DMT.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Auction... & Some Amish Cooking!

(...continued from Amish Country Adventure)

Our next stop was the auction area. As we walked closer, we realized how heavy the traffic was, and that something was definitely going on. Not a livestock auction, though. This was different. We followed the crowd. The male crowd... The hatted, black and navy-wearing, German-speaking, male crowd... There was an auction, alright. There were pallets and pallets piled higher than you can imagine with big manly tools.  There were engines and generators -- ones big enough to run everything on our street, my hubby said.  There were tractors and forklifts and the list goes on and on.

My hubby looked at the "toys", and I tried hard not to stare at the culture that was swirling around me. Hundreds and hundreds (oh, and did I say hundreds?) of hatted Amish men in black or navy. If ever there was a time that I wanted to take a picture... but that's a no-no in the Amish culture -- and the tourist pamphlets tell you so.  It was so busy... there was absolutely no way to take a picture without pointing the camera at an Amish person, and so, I refrained.  No worries, there were LOTS of other places around town to take pictures!

What a great day out with my hubby!  I've been to Amish Country many, many times - but never experienced a day like today.  It was really something to see these delightful people in their element!

And... I DID get some delicious Amish cooking afterall!

Here's my tip for the day (you know, for next time you head to Amish Country):  If you want to blend in, rather than stick out like a sore thumb... think dark colors -- not bright purple.  Just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Amish Country Adventure

(...continued from Winter Weekend)

Saturday dawned.  It was SUNNY - and already about 40 degrees when we got underway.  I read more about the Ice Festival on-line, and it seemed to be mostly wine-tastings around town (not our thing), ice sculptures (probably melting on a day like today), and no snow, therefore gray landscape.  All of a sudden the picture-taking opportunities didn't sound so great -- so we opted out.

We decided to take off on an adventure, beginning with a local grocery outlet that we like to check out frequently.  Today, our best-buy was Corn Chex Cereal for $1.89.  Thank you, we'll take FOUR.  As we walked around looking in the other shops, my sweet hubby said, "We should've gone to Lehman's today!"

Lehman's is a little drive from us -- down in Amish Country.  It's a store that was started in 1955 to serve the Amish community and others without electricity. Their founder's vision was to "preserve the past for future generations."  That said, they have everything from cookie cutters in every shape, to giant jingle bells on a leather strap -- for a one-horse open sleigh, perhaps? You can also find oil lamps, housewares, tools, and toys -- and just about everything in between (including some beautiful handmade German pottery that I spotted this trip.)  It's a wonderful combination of past and present, museum and retail operation.  Completely unique.

Well, it was a beautiful day, so I said, "Let's go!" -- knowing that there was probably good Amish cooking at the end of this trail!

It was a beautiful drive, and I snapped pictures here and there along the way.  When we arrived in Kidron (home of Lehman's), I hopped out of the car to take a picture of the sign, and I could hear all kinds of noise echoing from the other side of the Lehman's complex. There's a livestock auction area over there, so I assumed that's what was going on (little did I know).

We shopped around at Lehman's, and as always, enjoyed all of the curious things they have -- both from the past and for the present.  If you're ever in Ohio Amish Country, you HAVE to stop in.  Ask anyone, and they'll tell you how to get there, or give you a map. (There are hundreds of pamphlets and maps at every establishment in the area!)  We hit a couple other local spots as well.  Here's one of my favorite finds from the day: a hand-cranked Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer!  Do you LOVE it?  I'm not exactly sure how this would be any different than using a WHISK, but I shouldn't knock it till I've tried it, right?

In the past, our visits to Amish Country would typically be on a weekday, using vacation time for a day-trip.  But, this was Saturday -- the big day for the Amish folks to be in TOWN apparently.  Previously, when we visited, I thought that perhaps the Amish felt overwhelmed by the amount of tourists in their midst.  But today -- I was much more aware that we were the visitors, and we were the ones that were DIFFERENT.  (YOU try wearing a bright purple jacket in a black and navy crowd, and you'll see what I mean!)

(to be continued...)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Weekend

This has been on my calendar for months:

Ice Festival ~ February 17-20

I saw an advertisement for it back in the fall, and it sounded so dreamy somehow.

Then, we found out that our kids would be gone this weekend -- on a Winter Weekend Retreat with the Jr. High and Sr. High youth groups from church.  WooHoo - can you say "date weekend?"  I thought my sweet hubby and I would have a romantic evening walking around this local scenic town for their ice festival.  (If you know me well, you're probably already shaking your head because... I hate the cold.  On the other hand -- I'm a sucker for some good picture-taking.  See where I'm going with this?)

Friday night came.  We fed the kids dinner, and dropped them off at church.  We grinned at all of the other parents we knew who were dropping all of their kids off for the weekend (as we were), and headed out the door.  We had already made the decision to go to one of our favorite restaurants to use a Christmas gift-card.  When we arrived, we were told there was an hour-and-a-half wait.  We opted to wait only about 15 minutes or so, and grabbed a table in the bar area.  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, and a little shopping.  In the back of my mind, I was thinking - "tomorrow: Ice Festival.  Afterall, I'll get better pictures during the DAY anyway, right?"

(to be continued...)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What's the Big Hullaballoo??

OH MY GOODNESS.  Twitter and Facebook exploded on Friday with all of the new Project Life components arriving on Amazon.  Sweet Becky was busily keeping us all updated on each new thing that was added to the inventory, so that we knew when we could order.  It was an awesome thing.  I sat here on the edge of my seat... ordering one thing, and then waiting, waiting, waiting for the other.  It was really only a matter of a few minutes, but it seemed like an eternity.

I ordered my Design "A" photo pocket pages, and the 6 x 12's as well.  Yay.  Looks like (according to Becky's Twitter comments) the Turquoise Core Kit will be available sometime in April.  I'll be ready!!!

In the meantime, if you can't find me...

If I don't answer my phone...

If dinner isn't ready when you arrive home... (honey =))

I'll be working on my Disney Project Life.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Fancy Five Friday ~ Shopping

You might think there's nothing fancy or special about a shopping trip.  Well, let me tell you my friend...  When you have a certain window of time, five stores to hit, a long list, and everything gets crossed off the list...




Well, come on now...

You know it's been a good shopping trip when...

...you find meat marked down 45%, and "the date is still good!"
(Pork chops for dinner, and some for the freezer!)

...you use NO plastic or paper bags, just reusable ones
-- and you save five cents at Target for doing so.
[Five cents is five cents, right?]

...you find another bowl to go with a little set of two.

...you find the correct black ink for your computer.
(Why do they have to make this stuff so hard to find?)

And last but not least...
...you save just over $19.00 (26% of your grocery bill).

It's been a good day.
Fancy Friday
I'm linking up with Love Feast Table
for Fancy Friday Five.
Come join the fun.

And in other news:  I'll bet you think I've forgotten ALL about my Disney Project Life, right?  NOT AT ALL!  I've been sorting through all of my pictures over and over again to get them grouped just right.  I printed my photos as well as my dad's, and my sister's. THEN, when I got all of those sorted, I realized that my daughter had saved her Disney photos on my computer -- and of course she had some different shots that I wanted so... I had hers printed as well.  I have quite a collection of photos.  Some of them are duplicates, so I'll choose some of the best of those.  Others didn't turn out that great, so I'll have to decide if they're worth using.  All in all, though, they tell our story -- which is what I'm after.

I was so excited (on Valentines Day) to see this Twitter update from Becky Higgins:

"Update: Things are still looking good for Amazon to
receive all the plastics by the end of this week.
Happy Valentines Day! #ProjectLife"

Best.  News.  Ever!

Honestly, at this point, I'm not even worried about the Turquiose Core Kit with all of my journaling cards (& etc.).  They'll be back in stock eventually, right (she said hopefully...)  If I could just get all these photos set up, I would be in heaven!!! I'll be singing from the rooftops when Becky announces that Amazon has my "A" Photo Pocket Pages back in!  Stay tuned.  Looks like it will be TODAY.

The eagle has landed.   Uh... I mean - the goodies have indeed arrived at Amazon today. They are busy stocking the shelves, and Becky is sweetly letting us know as items become available.  If you're ordering this time around... don't wait!  Just ordered my stuff ~ Yippee!!!

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