Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Career Day


Today was career day at the boys' school. Just thought I'd share a picture of Joe talking to Preston's third grade class about his job at the jail. Isn't he cute in his uniform?!

Cupcakes..........

Okay..............I've never made cupcakes from scratch before. The recipe is DELICIOUS!! However, my baking skills are lacking! I had to throw the first batch away because the recipe says to fill the cupcake liners two-thirds of the way up- BIG SPILL all over my oven.......UGH. I did not have time for this today!! The second batch came out better, but they don't look like the box ones that I've made in the past. They are very flat on top...............
The icing was a whole 'nother story!! It was a disaster!! Very tasty, but not what I had envisioned ................so I won't be posting a pic of them, but I will share the recipe!
Here ya go!

1-3/4 cups of Cake Flour
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 TBS.baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment,combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined.Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down the sides of the bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated, but do not over beat. Divide batter among liners, filling half-way (learned from experience!). Bake 17-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dr. Seuss Day


Friday is Dr. Seuss's birthday, but our kids have a half day of school that day, so they are celebrating tomorrow. I had purchased these cute mugs at Universal Studios in Seuss Landing when we were there in November. It's one of my favorite places! I bought one for the Reading Resource teacher, and one for Preston's teacher. I plan on filling them with Peppermint Patties and giving them the bookmarks. Now I gotta run and make the cupcakes for Ryan's class. I've never made them from scratch, but I heard the recipe I'm using is AWESOME! Hopefully they'll come out great and I'll be able to share a picture and the recipe for them also. Until then.............

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lucky Dog




While I'm waiting for the my Stampin'Up! order to get here with some new sets I'll be using for Stamp-a-Stack, I started surfing around for some ideas for St. Patty's Day. I came across this adorable card by Trish O'Brien . I *love* this dog set so I decided to make one. I used my giga scalloped punch for the Old Olive scallop and I used the smaller scalloped circle (from the lovely Emily Giovanni!) for my main image- it fit perfectly! I think I'll send this to my grandmom - she's this cute little Irish lady! This is starting to get me in the mood for my upcoming trip to Ireland with my mom (in May) - although I heard that St. Patty's day isn't celebrated there like it is here.....................guess I'll learn all about it while I'm there!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

2000 hits!


I can't believe it! I've had 2000 hits on my blog already! I know I haven't posted anything since last Friday......it's been kinda crazy around here. Ryan had some virus all weekend that included pink-eye (*fun*), and I wasn't feeling so well myself. I actually think that I'm just coming down with another sinus infection......it's just that time of year.

I can't post any of the stuff I've been working on lately because I'm getting my projects ready for Stamp-a-Stack. I talked with one of the representatives from my church yesterday and she said there's nothing else on the calendar for Sat. March 31st, so it should be okay. WOOHOO! As soon as I get the "official" word from her this weekend, I will email the registration forms out. If you are not currently receiving my E-Newsletter and you'd like to attend tamp-a-Stack, please email me and I'll add you to the list. You can find my email address in the profile page.

What I can show you is a little gift bag that I made using chipboard coasters- so easy! I followed the tutorial from SCS and it worked like a charm! you can find the tutorial right here. I didn't have a Crop-a-Dile yet, but Monica (*hugs*) let me use hers for the weekend. I ordered one right away- it cuts through these chipboard coasters like buttah!!! I glued the bottom of the box together using E6000 glue- man that stuff is like concrete (but it STINKS!) I'm definitely considering doing these for a club project. I only need 3 more people to complete the club, so if you're interested or know someone that may be interested, please tell them about it! you can find the information about the club. Here are the details:
* There are eight (8) members to the Club.
* We meet once a month (for eight months) and complete 3-4 projects FREE!
* Each member takes a turn being the hostess.
* Each member commits to place a merchandise order of $20 every month (before tax and shipping) and, since there are eight members, the hostess is guaranteed a minimum workshop total of $160, so she will receive all of the regular hostess benefits, plus any additional promotions that she may qualify for!
* We can meet at my house, or the hostesses- whichever you choose!

Clubs are forming now! Please contact me if you're interested and I'll send you a copy of the Club Member Agreement. As soon as there are eight interested people, a club will begin. I'd like the Club to begin in April so I'm really trying to get enough people signed up!

Friday, February 16, 2007

And the winner is..........FLORIDAMARY!!!!!

floridamary.........send me your snail mail address and I'll get these things right out to you!!! I can't believe it wasn't Allison........she had 7 tickets in the basket!! I have something for you too, Allison Thanks for sending all those people over to my blog! Please send me your snail mail address so I can send a little something your way!!!

Thank you everyone for participating in my first Blog Candy giveaway....................I'll be sure to do it again!!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Blog Candy................the RAGE!


So I've done alot of blog browsing these past few weeks and I've discovered a ton of Blog Candy! It's basically a free gift that gets awarded to someone who makes a comment on a post on someone's blog. I've been gathering some blog candy myself this week and will have my first givaway on Friday! Leave me a comment on this post and I'll have the kids pick the winner! The drawing will be held Friday at 4pm. The prize includes some cute embellishments I've found lately......some cute little tabs that you can put on your card or scrapboook page, some star brads, ribbon slides, and other goodies! Spread the word and get an extra chance to win! Have your friends mention that you told them to stop by and enter to win, and you'll get an extra ticket in the basket. Good luck!

Closeup.....................


Here's a close-up of the mug...................


I also made this travel mug for Preston's teacher to go with her notecards..................one of my best friends works for Starbucks and always scores these great travel mugs for me when they get them in. You can change the insert whenever you feel like it. Cute, huh?

I created a faux layer by punching the scalloped circle out of computer paper and then laid the reverse mask onto my template. I then stamped the teachabella inside of the mask and sponged all around it to accentuate the scallop. After that, I laid the punched out scalloped circle over the image and stamped the flowers all around it. I think this bella looks so much like Pres's teacher- it cracks me up!

Bucket of Bananas

So apparently, there is a problem with bananas in South Jersey this week! I went to six..........count em', six different grocery stores in search of bananas yesterday and last night! Every store I went to had bananas, but they were all GREEN! I couldn't believe it! I finally ended up buying Organic ones for 89 cents a pound!! And for what??? Today we had a snow day!!! Oh well! I guess I could've bought the green ones, cause by the time these kids get to eat them, they would've been yellow! Geesh!!!!! Anyways, here's a couple of pics of the final project...........we put four Hershey kisses in the bottom of each bag..........you gotta have chocolate on Valentine's Day!











ETA: I should say that the reason they are getting bananas is because the State of New Jersey is implementing this nutrition act in the schools and the kids are not really allowed to be given anything with sugar listed as one of the top 3 ingredients. I think they only can have special treats on designated occasions (i.e.- Halloween, Christmas, and Easter parties). Hope I don' get caught for the Hershey kisses! LOL!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My E- Newsletter

Do you get my newsletter?? It's jam-packed with all the latest news in my Stampin'Up! world. In the most recent issue I talked about the awesome promotion that SU is running in the month of March. Here's the details:

~ If you purchase the Polka Dots & Paisley stamp set ($17.95) and the jumbo Petals wheel ($7.95) and a pack of the Petals & Paisleys designer paper ($8.95), you get to choose any item from the Spring Mini Catalog at 50% off!!!

~ In addition, if you are a hostess during the month of March with your total workshop sales reaching $400 (before tax and shipping) you can get any item out of the new Spring Mini Catalog at 50% off!!!

WHAT A DEAL!
Also in my latest newsletter, I announced that I'll be having a Birthday blowout class on Friday, March 16th at 7pm here in my home. We'll be making 6 birthday cards- one for every person in your life! The cost of the class is $20 and it includes all of your card-making supplies and envelopes. If you'd like to attend, please register no later than Friday, March 9th.
I also announced that we have a tentative date for our next Stamp-a-Stack! It's scheduled for Saturday, March 31st . There will be two sessions- one in the morning and one in the afternoon. There will be more information to follow!
If you'd like to be included on my mailing list, please send me an email and let me know!As always, you can click the link to the right that says Renée's Class Schedule and it will keep you up-to-date on all the classes I'm doing.

I can't take the PRESSURE!!!


Of these beauties!!! I caved to the Bellas! I've been seeing these girls all over the place and I just can't take it ! As soon as I saw this Teachabella I had to have her! She looks just like Preston's third grade teacher! I've never used unmounted stamps before, and was very intimidated, so I sent an email to this wonderful girl (Christie Ortman) and she explained the whole acrylic block thing to me. Since then, Christie has opened a wonderful new website called Paper Pretties . She will be doing a Card in a Box kit that is FANTASTIC! I'm starting to venture out of my little Stampin'Up! world just a bit(even though you KNOW I think their products are simply the BEST!!!). I will use these stamps for my own personal use . I'm making a bunch of these for Preston's teacher for Valentine's Day tomorrow. The only thing that is "contraband" on this card is the stamped image itself. All the cardstock, inks, and accessories are from Stampin'Up! I used the notecards and envelopes pack that Stampin'Up! sells......they are WONDERFUL for this type of thing!

Ryan's Valentines


Well..........this is what I did last night! I made 15 of these tags for Ryan's class tomorrow. He has a couple of kids in his class that have food allergies and such, so he's giving out a bananas that I'll put in a cello bag with a couple of Hershey kisses. I'll have to do that part tonight.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Monkey Valentine


Have you ever woken up with an idea about a card/ project? That happened to me this morning! I awoke at 6:30 with an idea for Ryan's valentine's and I couldn't get back to sleep, so I had to come down to my stamp room and make this tag. I kinda had an idea of what I wanted, but it hadn't come full circle yet- until this morning. I had ordered a 2-line personalized stamp from Stampin'Up last week because I knew I was gonna use this monkey set. When they're all finished, I'll take a picture of the final project, but since I'm using real bananas, I cant put them together until the last minute. I had some of these large white shipping tags I had purchased a couple of years ago (and was hoarding............*wink*). I stamped the Linen background onto the tag using Creamy Caramel ink. Then I stamped the hearts, in Ruby Red ink, from the Monkey Business stamp set over top. I sponged the edges of the tag in caramel also. I stamped the monkey onto a white scrap, using Basic Brown ink, and punched it out using my Mega Giga scalloped circle punch. I sponged the edges of the circle using Ruby Red, and sponged all around the monkey image using caramel ink (it was too stark in contrast with the tag). I stamped the bananas onto a white scrap by inking with summer sun, then rolling the edges (Rock-n-Roll technique) in Creamy Caramel ink and added it to the monkey image using Dimensionals. I also popped up the scalloped circle using Dimensionals. I tore the bottom of the tag (just cause it was a bit too long), and stamped my personalized greeting across the bottom. I removed the string that was through the top hole of the tag and added the grosgrain instead.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Recipe of the Day


So, I have to share this one! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Wegmans? Well, I do! I shop there every week, and I actually cover my Menu Magazine with clear contact paper so it doesn't get ruined! Today I made the chili recipe that was in their sale paper last week. It's fabulous! And I'm not a chili lover, but I have to admit, this on is
G-O-O-D!!
Here's how you make it :


1 Tbsp vegetable oil

3 lbs 90% Lean Ground Beef

Salt to taste

2 pkgs (8 oz each) Food You Feel Good About Cleaned & Cut Chopped Onions

1 pkg (8 oz each) Food You Feel Good About Diced Green Peppers and Onions

3 cloves Food You Feel Good About Peeled Garlic, minced

4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

7 Tbsp (about 2 oz) chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp oregano

1 can (15.5 oz) Wegmans Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15.5 oz) Italian Classics Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

2 btls (12 oz each) Wegmans Chili Sauce

1 bottle (12 oz) beer or 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth

Heat vegetable oil on MEDIUM-HIGH; brown ground beef, 8-10 min. Add salt to taste.
Add chopped onions, green peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring, 3-5 min.
Add Worcestershire sauce; cook 3 min.
Reduce heat to MEDIUM; stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano; cook 5 min.
Reduce heat to LOW; add kidney beans, cannellini beans, chili sauce, beer (or broth); simmer for 30 min, stirring occasionally.
Option: Garnish with cheddar cheese.


It smells great in the house this afternoon! I was planning on making it for the Super Bowl, but Joe had to work a double so I probably won't even watch it.That's okay, though, cause I have some stamping I'd like to do.

I'll leave you with a picture from last weekend...........this is what I was doing a week ago today...........boy, do I wish I was back in Florida! it's freezing here this weekend!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Sweet Stuff


Last night I went to our monthly downline meeting. Instead of doing our "regular" meeting stuff, we did a shoebox share. It was SO MUCH FUN! What a great group of talented women I have the privilege of knowing! Here's what my upline, Gail, did for her share. It has a heart-shaped taffy inside. These are made out of the Pocket Notes. How cute is that?! The lollipop is embossed with red EP and we doodled the edge using the fine tip of the real red marker. I would LOVE to make these for the boys' classes for Valentine's Day, but it would give me the sweats to watch their friends rip into them without a care, ya know? Maybe we'll make them for the teachers........they always appreciate them.