Monday, February 28, 2011

so sad...

that our modem is truly on its last leg. Doug and I have been having quite a time with our computer lately, and after some research - and asking some knowledgable friends - we have determined that is time to let go of our old one and purchase a new one.

Another reason this is so sad, our wireless router is not working with the modem so all my pictures are trapped on my laptop just waiting to be published. Hopefully we will have things running here in a few days - or by the weekend. Can't wait to share all the birthday goodness with you (three birthdays last week and one today - Happy Birthday Owen!). Oh, and the great Suzie will have pictures of DC's airplane birthday party - I so can't wait to share. It turned out so cute. Who knew one could do so much with paper. Until then...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mexican Lasagna

I happened upon a recipe this past week on the back of some shredded Kraft cheese and it wound up being delicious - and very easy. I plan on making a variation of this next go around - just because I think it would also be good. I will mention my substitutions below. While I haven't tried it yet, I don't really think you can go wrong here. What's not to love.

Mexican Lasagna
1 lb ground beef (could subsitute with chicken)
1 package Mexican Blend Cheese (shredded)
3/4 cups TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Medium Salsa (I used what I had on hand)
6 flour tortillas (6 inch)
Taco Seasoning (I honestly think you can omit this and just use salsa)
Can Pinto Beans (I used black beans because we prefer them)

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Brown meat and drain (if I used chicken I would roast it and shredd it). Stir in salsa and taco seasoning. Let simmer for 10 minutes (really not necessary, you can simmer it for less time. There really isn't a lot of liquid).

SPREAD 1/4 of meat mixture into 8-inch square baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with 2 tortillas. Cover with meat mixture again, layer of black beans, layer of cheese and repeat layers ending with cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes and serve. We garnished with sour cream, but some fresh lettuce and tomatoe - or some more salsa would have also been good on top.

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Ahhh, sadly, this is how we have spent way too much of our winter. The last week it has been glorious here in the South - with temps in the 70's. It is just teasing me for the months to come. Thankfully with warmer temps we have been out doors and the t.v. off - oh how I love warmer weather!

But what can I say, my kids do love t.v. and candy, and from time to time they are treated to both at the same time. On this particular day, the light was right and the kids too cute not to capture. They were so engrossed in their program - and lollipops - they didn't even notice I was there. Oh to be young again and to relish in the simplicity of a piece of candy. Would be wonderful if life were just that simple. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nope, Nada... taking a break!

Ah, yes! Scrap It Saturdays. They will be back - March 5th is the plan. With the sickness, travel, and upcoming birthday party something must go. So I will take a little hiatus over the next two weeks, but I will be back to scrappin' soon. I have so many ideas... and scraps to use. :)

I will be back Monday with regular posts so see ya then!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have been perplexed on how to approach this post. My absence on the blog is no mystery to my close friends and family. Last week, during all the sickness, I got a strange phone call from my mother. When I say strange, she had dialed me twice before 8:30 in the morning and left me a message telling me to call her. My first thought, my dear grandmother had gone to be with the Lord. I prepared myself as I dialed her back. I was absolutely shocked when I heard her say, "Alison, your Uncle Bobby had a heart attack this morning and died." I had to ask her to repeat the what she said. I didn't believe my ears. After hearing the news a second time I knew she was telling me the truth.

Ironically, my grandfather, my uncle's father, died 19 years ago almost to the day. It almost seemed surreal. I frantically tried to determine how I could get to Mississippi with sick children - being there for my extended family (my cousins and I were quite close growing up). Through a series of events, my in-laws offered to keep my kids and I made my way to Mississippi Sunday afternoon to help my family burry my uncle.

Death is never an easy thing to face, and seems even harder when it is so sudden. It was difficult to watch my cousins as they laid their father to rest. All of us being around the same age just hit home for me. I mourned with them and for them - knowing that it could have just as easily been me.

My uncle was a good man, a family man, a man who believed and lived out his faith in God. We as a family are thankful because we know we will see him again one day, but the suddenness of his death reminded me that life is all too short.

We burried him Valentine's day - the same day, the same church, and the same graveyard we laid my dear grandfather to rest 19 years prior. It was strange and yet sweet, bringing back raw memories my Papa.

I was amazed by the wealth of family. My Uncle Bobby had five children and my dad, his only brother, had six. All but one of my siblings were in attendance and it moved me that we all felt we MUST be there to support our family.

Death is always a reminder, but my Uncle's death hit home with me so much more. Tomorrow is not promised so I must cherish what I have today, prepare for my family in the case of my absence, and love and forgive, regardless of hurt feelings, differences, or just plain laziness.

His death had me questioning, what legacy will I leave? What will people remember me for? What would they say about my life and character? It makes me realize I have a lot more work to do on my person.

I am back home now, praying for my sweet family as they mourn their tragic loss. If they come to mind, please pray for them as well. I truly believe that mourning begins once the memorial is over. Death doesn't keep life from moving on and sometimes that is the hardest part - living life without the one/s we love.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Scrap It Saturdays: Finished Watermelon

So in all the chaos of the week I was able to snap a few pictures of the final project. I am so glad I got this done last weekend, because it wouldn't have happened otherwise. But seriously, isn't it cute? I was really pleased with the result and can't you tell I just love that green polka dot. I like this so much I think I am going to make one for Charlotte with a pair of ruffle shorts in the same pink gingham. Can't wait.

For those interested, here are the details on how I put it together. I shrunk the pattern to fit the space, cut my material and iron on interfacing. I ironed the interfacing and fabric scraps together and then placed them over the monogram and ironed them on. I chose a small satin stitch going over the top of the pink flesh part first. Then I stitched the both rounded parts of the rind - leaving the top open. Once done with that I completed the two top spaces of the rind - meeting up with the pink satin stitches. With three strands of embroidery thread I hand-stitched the seeds - freehand - and used one single stitch for each one - trying to make them equal in length. And there you have it. Done!

For the pattern, please feel free to see this post and happy scrapping!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Mobile

The kids and I worked on this mobile last weekend. I had a whole plan of things we were going to accomplish for valentines day - like making cookies for our friends, leaving love notes in a mailbox I purchased for the week, and coloring valentines. With our trip out of town and the sickness none of those things happened - which makes me really glad we at least were able to make this fun little piece.

I let the kids pick out what papers they wanted to use and then they colored the paper after I cut it. See the pattern and directions below. Enjoy!

Right click, "save picture as" to your personal folder, select file and print.

Decorative paper

Directions: Print out the pattern. Take your decorative paper and fold in half. Copy or trace the pattern on the folded part. Cut along each line - will make three different hearts. Thread your needle and thread (I doubled the thread) and knot at bottom. Make the thread pretty long. Place the needle through the bottom of the first heart. Wrap around the bottom and then bring the needle through the bottom again, repeat at the top with the same thread. Then start on the second heart, running the needle through the bottom, wrapping around and running through again. You will want to make sure there is some space between each heart. You will repeat this process with the third heart. This will be the top of your mobile. Leaving a long piece of the thread tie off the third heart and you are done. Your mobile is ready to hang. We had three mobiles here to create a fuller look. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Coloring Pages

Just thought I would pop my head in and say hello. Sorry for my abrubt stop in posts. The first of the week I found myself kissing my new niece's little cheeks and cuddling her close as we went to Birmingham for a visit. We arrived back yesterday and I spent the night tending to my Charlotte as she was up sick all night. Doubt I will be posting anything else other than my final Scrap It Saturdays post this weekend.

In the meantime, please enjoy these valentine coloring pages. Just right click,
"save pictures as" to your files and print as many as you like. For personal use only!

Enjoy! And if you think about it say a prayer for my little family and one of protection over my brother's fam. I am going to feel horrible if my little ones get their little ones sick.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sharing the LOVE!

Starting today I am sharing the LOVE. Yes, for the next full week please enjoy 50% off all my printable Valentine Collection. This is pretty huge as I have NEVER offered this great of a discount before. And the wonderful thing is... you can use your printables for years to come. How is that for sharing the LOVE? Just head on over and get what you need. This discount will end Feburary 14th!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Scrap It Saturdays: Watermelon

Click the picture, right click and "save picture as" in your file of choice and print. You are ready to go.

So I have had a very busy week this week, not to mention sick babies - and a sick me on top of it. So... I didn't get my scraps cut out for this project. I didn't want to leave you empty-handed, so I went ahead and put the pattern together (for those of you that want to use it). This one is SO simple. It was actually the very first applique I did for Charlotte and it turned out really cute.

I will be appliquing this sweet little gingham set. If you look closely you will see that the initials on the top do not match our family at all. A sweet friend handed down a ton of beautiful clothes and I never got around to "fixing" this one for use. With consignment sales coming up appliquing can be a great way to get use out of that monogrammed garment that you just have to have (but can't use it because the letters don't match your little one's name) or to get your outfits ready to sell.

I hope you enjoy this pattern and check back next week for my finished project.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome to Our World

I am forgoing Friday's Find today to share the good news that my FIFTH niece was born yesterday at 6:28 p.m. Her name is Leah Catherine (Leah Cate) and she weighed in at 7lbs 11oz and 19.5 inches long.

This picture was too sweet of my little brother (who is eight years younger than I) holding his sweet girl showing her off to big sister Adeline. This brought tears to my eyes. You must understand that our age difference makes me quite nostalgic about Owen being all grown up - job, family, and all. It seems just like yesterday he was pestering the heck out of me and I was chasing him around trying to get him to stop.

We are so thrilled for both Owen and Mary Catherine and can't wait to meet the newest member of the family next week.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hoe Down

All phots (but invitation) courtesy of Split Second Photography

You may remember my friend Amy's Hoe Down party she threw for her son Paxton last year. It was quite the affair with a pretty long guest list - with a lot of fun for adults as well as kids.

I started thinking about how fun that theme was - as you can see most of the kiddos as adults dressed for the affair - so I decided I would put together a Hoe Down Party Package. What do you think? There are so many directions one could take this theme - and the girls wouldn't be left out. Look for more Hoe Down themed goodies in the coming weeks as I put together this ensemble as both a printable and printed collection.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Humble Me

Preface: I wrote this post last week. It is a little more on the personal side, but I hope my being open and honest helps you know that in this game called life, you are not alone!

Yesterday my run became a place of solace for me. I usually jazz up my ipod with catchy, bouncy songs that keep me entertained and focused on pushing through when I start getting tired. Yesterday, I was more interested in the quiet.

The first song that hit my ears was Norah Jones' "Humble Me." This song has been following me over the last month or so. I have always loved it, but the chorus has been a little more personal lately.

As the sun was setting, feeling the chill in the air, hearing the soft pitter pat of my feet, and my breath hard I took solace in this song. It has been a humbling year for me in so many ways. Ways I have mentioned here and in ways that are private to my person and family. Sometimes it is hard to understand why life throws you curves, why God allows things to happen, why we don't get what we want. I am not offering any answers here, except to say that God has been using life to keep me humble.

I don't talk about my faith here as much as I should, and lately it has been a little hard to, but if there is one thing I know, it is that my faith in God is always what seems to get me through.

So... next time you are feeling low or life is throwing you that curve - and you find yourself asking why - just know that it is okay to question, to feel your pain, to feel the humility that it brings. At some point you will be ready to accept the love that God ultimately brings and you will find peace.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

taking the challenge

I was thrilled when I heard from my dear friend, Joy, that she was taking my Scrap It Saturdays challenge. I think she took on quite the undertaking making all three of her kiddos matching giraffe outfits - she made all the pants too. Quite impressive if you ask me. I also loved the embellishments she added. That is the fun thing about these projects - you can make them so uniquely your own.

To get the pattern for the giraffe just click here. To enter the giveaway that closes this Saturday click here.

Happy Scrapping!