Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Treasure

I love Halloween. And I have as many Halloween decorations as I do Christmas Decorations. I've had this department 56 village for about 5 years now. It only took me a year or two to collect. Last year it didn't get put out. But the year before my sister-in-law took some pictures for me to scrapbook (I'll get around to that someday...).

I built this little village onto a base Brian made for me. So now each year I don't have to take it down, I just throw a blanket over it & store it in the garage. In case you're wondering, in favourite piece is the pumkin water tower. Miles likes the train & Molly loves the carousel.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Ready.

Candy? Check. Costumes? Check. That's really all you need but I tend to go a little overboard on Halloween. I love it. It's my 9th favourite holiday of the year (Do you really want to see that list?).
This year all that we had left to do on Halloween Eve was carve pumpkins. Last year I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I hadn't bought (more) candy. I hadn't decorated. I wasn't ready. I was also working full time...
This year the list was all checked off, so while the boys carved pumpkins, I tied one on. My apron on, that is.
I bought some fun cupcake toppers at winners ($3!) a while ago just in case I was organized enough to make cupcakes. And the cute spatula is from a year ago, when I was working at Williams Sonoma. Running around like a chicken....
 30 minutes later...
 Also watched an old Halloween favourite which I ordered online. I had ordered it for Miles, I remembered loving it as a child. Um. THANK goodness I watched it before allowing him to. It is SO not for 3 year-olds. Even watching it tonight gave me the creeps (that book with the moving eye!). So I'll stash it away until Miles is 20. Anyway, Happy Halloween everyone. Hope you enjoy your Halloween as much as I will enjoy my little Monkey & Little Red Riding Hood tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Falling short...

It's October 20th and I am beginning to realise that I won't meet the only goal I set for myself in 2011. The ONLY resolution I made. To read 24 books this year.
When I was making this goal, I was excited because I thought it was reasonable. In the past my resolutions have been nearly impossible to maintain. No sugar (phfa! That one last a day.) Lose 20lbs (Not impossible, just improbable). So I made a resolution that would be easy to keep in 2011. In 2010 I read about 20 books. Without trying. Without a goal to motivate me. As of today I have read 10 books in 2011. Putting me on track...if my goal were 50% less.

I could meet my goal. I really could. I could line up all the John Grishams and Sophie Kinsella books I could find. I could even read the Twilight series (not that there's anything wrong with that). But I want to read for the love of reading...and not to reach a goal.
So book #11 for me is Payback. And it was hard to get into at first but I am loving it. Let me share something with you that I thought was a little thought provoking.
All human technologies are extensions of the humans body and the human mind. Thus eyeglasses and telescopes and the images of television and film and painting are extension of the eye, the radio and telephone of the voice, the cane and crutch of the leg, and so on. Writing and written numbers are - among other things - extensions of the memory.

Makes you think, non? Anyway, just wanted to share that, but then became very aware of my unmet goal. It feels like in order to be successful in New Years Resolutions I will have to make mine 1. To Breathe. 2. To Love and 3. To Eat. Voila!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Soup Week Confession

Yesterday was day 2 of Soup Week. Which doesn't mean anything more than the title would suggest. Yesteday, I made soup. This time of year, when things are cooling off (quickly), I find myself wanting hot soup for lunch. So it was time to stock the freezer. Sunday I made my favourite Red Pepper & Tomatoe soup. Yesterday I made Chorizo and Sweet Potato. It took me 3 hours (clean-up included). And herein lies my confession: I like to cook more than I like to scrapbook (gasp!).

10oz of beautiful Chorizo Sausage. I wiki'ed Chorizo to find out a little bit more about it (we eat it often). FYI: It's a Spanish-style pork sausage seasoned with paprika.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to throw my rub-ons out the window (Except the Heidi Swapp ones. They suck.) But cooking seems to be the way I prefer to spend my time lately. And given three hours, I chose to make a soup rather than a layout. And I had fun (until it came time to do the dishes).
Today I will make Cauliflower Cheddar Soup (I know, right???) and when I am done, I will proudly add my individually portioned containers to my freezer, with the same pride in which I add a completed layout to my album.

Carrots, celery, onions and a sweet potato waiting to be peeled, sliced and diced. Oh! And if Brian happens to ask, I would like a new peeler for Christmas.
I guess as far as hobbies go, I never considered cooking. If you had asked me my hobbies I would have answered "Scrapbooking, skiing and reading." But I spend more time cooking than all three of those activities combined. And if you were to judge the talent I possess (on a scale of 1-10) for each of those activities you might give me the following scores: Scrapbooking - 5, Skiing - 4, Reading - 7. But I have been told often that I am a 'good cook' (although that might just be a courtesy). I would give myself an 8 (that's generous).

Cooking my ingredients. I didn't realise just how good the house smelled until I left to take out the garbage.
And now that I have given my 'hobby' it's fair consideration, I can justify spending time (and even money?) on it. I will be heading to the Library today to see what the 'Cooking' section looks like. I own many cookbooks, but I can honestly say I have never checked out the 'Cooking' section of the library looking to build a basic cooking foundation. Does it even exist?
Even when I managed Williams-Sonoma I didn't think of cooking as a hobby (and that's their credo!). I though you were either a Chef, trying to be a Chef or a consumer (which I considered myself to be)... I never thought you could comfortably (and confidently) call yourself a Cook if you just dabbled. I didn't think you could list Cooking as a past time if you didn't own a $300 knife or wear a white hat. Why not?

Ready for the processor. I don't have an emulsifier to I ladle everything into my food processor. Tedious, but I am grateful for even that.
I will no longer be embarrassed to say I spent the day (or week) making soups (it sounds like such a waste of time). But instead I will say it with the same tone in which I would brag about spending a weekend scrapbooking. So what if I start making dinner at 4pm some days because I 'feel like it'? And I won't pretend to bitch & complain about 'not knowing what to make for dinner' because I actually like that part of my day.

Layout #261

I have become my own worst nightmare... a scrapbooker that needs a crutch. What I mean is, I seem to be unable to scrapbook without the help of the person sitting next to me. And I should know better (nothing annoys me more than when I get nothing done because I spend all my time looking at someone elses projects). But knowing I was being bad didn't stop me from asking my neighbour to cull my photos (which she is great at), borrow paper & Thickers (which she did so graciously) AND THEN help me with my layout (the 4 photos on the right were her idea). So thanks neighbor...for being my crutch when I was feeling uninspired... I won't happen again (I am 33% confident).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Layout #260

Hard Workin' Boy by Haley Ross
My little guy is growing up so fast... I couldn't get over how big he looks in these pictures.
Materials: Patterned Paper: Girls Paperie & Websters Pages; Alphabet Stickers: Basic Grey & October Afternoon; Brads: Making Memories; Other: Tool Charms and Drywall Mesh.

Layout #259

Get Wet
The best thing about having kids is getting to use all the bright colored paper. (Ok, there are other better things. LOTS better. But this is good too.). I love Echo Park. It is making scrapbook so easy.
Materials: Patterned Paper & Stickers: Echo Park and Pebbles Inc.

Layout #258

Miles loved looking at this page when I brought it home from scrapbooking this weekend. He was pretty pumped about the cookie he was eating in the picture. Too funny.
Materials: Patterned Paper and Stickers: October Afternoon; Alphabet Stickers: Bella Blvd; Pen: EK Success Zig Writer.

Layout #257

Get In Gear by Haley Ross
I have to laugh at the extent I will go to sometimes... I could have just bought striped paper rather than cutting up all these strips. Anyway, it turned out, Christmas paper & all (as Jen so sweetly informed me, I was using two different lines..)
Materials: Patterned Paper: Basic Grey; Alphabet Stickers: Making Memories; Gears: Tim Holtz; Charm: Pebbles Inc; Cardstock: Basil Basics.

Layout #256

Sister In A Box
Materials: Patterned Paper: Die Cuts With A View; Stickers: Making Memories; Ribbon: May Arts.

Layout #255

Spokane by Haley Ross
I think I impressed a fellow scrapbooker by scrapbooking pictures from the previous weekend. It gives the illusion that I am "all caught up". But I am far from... 
Materials: Patterned Paper: Crate Paper; Die-Cuts: My Minds Eye; Chipboard: Scenic Route; Stickers: October Afternoon; Alphabet Stickers: Rusty Pickle & Karen Foster.