Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Layout {My Mind's Eye}

There's something about this colour combo that just screams "SUMMER!" to me. 
Orange & turquoise... the colours of afternoon sunshine, orange popcicles, open water, & clear sky.

The perfect colour combo for a cheery summer layout featuring my son.

  This is one of my favourite layouts of late. And because I used papers from a single line it made co-ordinating the patterns a breeze (like a summer breeze). ;)

I used my Cricut & a couple circle punches to get all the different circle sizes. 

Usually I do my journalling by hand. Mostly because it's faster for me. This time, I was trying to get out of my normal scrapping routine, so I typed up my journalling in plain old Times New Roman 
(way faster than searching for the "perfect" font for what would turn into hours), 
making sure I double spaced the sentences. 
I printed it out onto white cardstock, trimmed it into strips, & adhered to fit in with the circle pattern.

  I also love how the title turned out. I wanted to use these letters that I had in my stash & had kind of forgotten about, but there wasn't room to line them up in a row. I pop-dotted every other letter to make a layered effect. Love it!

Supplies Used:

  • Patterned paper - My Mind's Eye Fine & Dandy line
  • Corrugated letters - Jillibean Soup
  • Small letter stickers - Basic Grey
  • Felt stars - Pebbles
  • Flair Badge - American Crafts
  • White cardstock - Bazzill Basics
  • Font - Times New Roman

What have you been working on lately?

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Dish Soap Challenge. Week Two: The Toilet

Here we are at the second week of my dish soap cleaning experiment. If you missed the first experiment, allow me to explain. 

I'm issuing myself a challenge to start doing my cleaning with dish soap wherever I can. Every week for the next while I'll clean something new with dish soap & see how the results stack up to the results using a more expensive, specialty cleaner. I'll use my home as the guinea pig & let you in on the results.

If you missed week one, you can find it here as well as get a little more in depth explanation.

This week, I set aside my regular toilet cleaner & got out my trusty dish soap. 

After learning my lesson last week, I added only a little bit of dish soap to the toilet bowl & cleaned as usual with my toilet brush.



Verdict: I plan to keep cleaning my toilet this way. Dish soap got the toilet just as clean as a toilet bowl cleaner.

  I know many people are concerned with always having anti-bactirial cleaners. I am not one of those people. :) People have lived for years using simple ingredients to clean their homes. I believe we can continue to do the same without detriment to our health & homes. 

  So, if cleaning your toilet with dish soap freaks you out because you like every germ to be accounted for, dish soap may not be the toilet cleaner for you.

For me, the dish soap experiment is going well & we're 2 for 2!

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Enjoy your day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Day of School Layout

  My crafty times have been pretty few & far between lately. It's been a very busy spring for us & now that the school year is winding down, I'm really starting to look forward to having whole summer days to get some fun projects done. 

  As the last day of school draws nigh, I'm just now scrapbooking photos from the first day of school. :) 

Products used:

  • Red paper - Echo Park
  • Yellow & green cardstock - Die Cuts With A View
  • Blue polka dot paper - Bo Bunny
  • Yellow lined paper, ABC border, & red letter stickers - Sassafras Lass
  • Yellow ruler border - Little Yellow Bicycle 
  • Tag - unknown
  • Small letter stickers - Making Memories
  • Apple sticker - We R Memory Keepers
  • ABC sticker - October Afternoon
  • Ribbon - My Mind's Eye

Has it been a busy spring for you? Are you looking forward to summer as much as I am? 

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Dish Soap Challenge. Week One: The Bathtub

  A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a blog called Squawkfox. Kerry has many tips on saving money & living frugally. One of the things that caught my attention was a list she has of many things you can do that can save you $1,000 per year. One of those things was to stop buying household cleaners. She says she uses a $1 bottle of dish soap to clean everything in her house. This had me seriously intrigued.

~ The Dish Soap Challenge ~

  So, after hearing that, I'm issuing myself a challenge to start doing my cleaning with dish soap wherever I can. Every week for the next while I'll clean something new with dish soap & see how the results stack up to the results using a more expensive, specialty cleaner. I'll use my home as the guinea pig & let you in on the results.

This week's dish soap challenge: My dirty bathtub.

Yes, you can see the dirty ring, right?

I started with the bottle of soap, above, & a scrubby sponge that is safe for porcelain tubs & sinks.

The dirty tub

So, after using a bit too much dish soap, here is our tub after being cleaned with dish soap:


Overall, I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. 
I started out by using too much soap, so there were a lot of bubbles. 

  Verdict: I plan to keep cleaning my tub this way. Dish soap got the tub just as clean as the bathroom cleaner I had been using. I also learned that a little dish soap goes a long way. :)

I hope this little series inspires you to save some money & try doing this too. 

Enjoy your day!

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

Yay, it's almost the long weekend! 

I'll be off for a few days with some good friends to do a bit of shopping in Edmonton. 
It will be a much-enjoyed break from everything that's been going on in our lives.

What are your plans?


One of our family's all-time favourite meals that I cook is Jambalaya. And really, this recipe comes together so quickly & is so tasty, that there is nothing stopping you from making it any night of the week.

Let me introduce you to my Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya.

Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya
makes 6 servings

1 tsp. canola oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

8 oz. kielbasa, cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups mild salsa
1 1/4 cups uncooked rice (I use brown)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
12 oz. uncooked shrimp, tails removed
1/4 chopped, fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables. Cook & stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Add kielbasa & cook for 2 more minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, except shrimp & parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom.

Stir in shrimp & parsley. Cook for 5 minutes more or until shrimp turn pink, are cooked through & rice is tender.


See you again on Wednesday!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

20 Outdoor Spaces & Garden Ideas

How was your Mother's Day weekend? Did you plant your garden? Do some yard clean up? 
We did some yard clean up, gardening, & got out the patio furniture. 

On with spring!

Here are 20 beautiful garden spaces that are inspiring me...

Let's start with some gorgeous yards & container arrangements:




Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cheery Mother's Day Card

Mother's Day is just around the corner... are you prepared or do you still need to rush to the store? 
I'm a little of both, this year. My cards are done, but the gifts have yet to be purchased. 

(Mom, if you're seeing this, you can just pretend to be surprised on Sunday.) :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Chevron Wall Art

  Am I the only one who wants to spruce things up in their home in Spring time? Rearranging furniture, bookshelves, pictures on the walls... Spring is a time of CHANGE. Last week, I showed you my family room & a list of small things I wanted to tackle to spruce it up a bit. Here is my first completed project from that list.

  The art in our family room was feeling kind of tired to me {Yawn}. Definitely time for a change. Something fresh & springy.

  I had these 9 canvases that I got at the dollar store several years ago & I covered them with patterned paper to make my own "art". After changing them a couple of times, I was ready for something new again.


  I started thinking chevron... something in chevron. But what colour? How about a few colours? My idea was born: take the existing canvases, take off the paper & paint a chevron print onto them with craft paint. Three rows of canvases, three different colours. Yellow, grey, & aqua.

  I found a chevron template printable here & got all my supplies together.

 After tracing & cutting two stencils out of cardboard, I started painting. Let me tell you from experience that you should first paint your whole canvas your background colour first. It would have made touch ups go much faster. Alas, hindsight is 20/20. :)

Here is the finished product:

  I also moved them to the other side of the room over the couch. Please forgive the poor photos as there is no natural light in this room.

  The total cost of this artwork was very small. I had the canvases already so there was no cost there. The only thing I had to buy was the yellow & aqua paint - a cost of under $5.

  I love being able to cross things off of my to do list!

Now on to the other projects!

Enjoy your day!

This project was featured on:

What's cooking, love?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Home Tour (Part 7) : The Family Room

  Wow, it's been several months since I shared the next instalment in my Home Tour. It's about time I showed you another room! 

  I must admit to you that the reason I haven't showed you this room is because I'm not in love with some of the furniture. We are hoping to be able to replace some of it soon, but for now it is what it is. 

  So here's the family room as of last week...

  Sorry about the bad lighting. This room is hard to photograph since it's in our basement & there's no natural light.

Here's what this room looked like when we bought the house. 
Pretty much a blank, boring, & somewhat dirty slate.

(And look how little my daughter is! That was almost 5 years ago now...)

  So, as you can see, we ripped up the old, dirty carpet & laid laminate flooring. We painted the walls & trim (No more periwinkle door!) and we updated the lighting.

My Ikea Expedit Bookshelf which I love!

Here are my ideas of how to spruce up the space while we wait for some new furniture:

And because we all enjoy before & after shots...


So, be sure to come back next week for the art project I'm working on for this room.

Here's a little sneak peek:

Haha! Can you guess what it is?? :)

Have a great weekend! See you next week!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Coconut Bounty Bites

Okay, friends, if you like Bounty candy bars, raise your hand...

I see those hands! :) 

Then have I got a treat for you!

They only have 4 ingredients & there is no baking required... so easy!

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