When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, "I used everything you gave me, Lord." I am a believer that God created each one of us with a unique talent, therefore, use it well to serve Him.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Little Girl, Ella

She is independent, perfectionist, smart, pretty, good-dresser and very loving kid.  She is growing like weeds and will be turning five this coming February.  Time flies so fast and I couldn't believe how she'd grown up to be this big.  Made me feel sad yesterday while looking at her first baby picture at the hospital where she was born.  Our child is never ours, they are simply lend to us by God and without our notice they will big enough to make decisions for themselves.  I love you always my baby girl, Ella...

You're just having holiday blues Mom!

You be good so Santa will come to your house and bring you presents...

Kobalt Toolbox VS Stanley Toolbox for Cricut

I've been meaning to post this for quite sometime now but keep on forgetting.  Couple weeks ago, we were debating whether to go to Saudi or to Korea for an overseas job.  We've been moving here and there and as a result, I still couldn't get rid of my Cricut Expression box and the box it came in the mail.  Because of that I had the tendency to use it infrequently.  Last couple weeks while being edgy waiting for the final word on the job opportunities, I had the chance to play with my Expression.  Needless to say, I had fun doing it and discovered alot of crafting possibilities.

Going back to my Expression,  I am really starting to get annoyed and tired with it's box.  I didn't spend alot of effort and money to acquire this machine just so it would sit on the box.  So I've looked online trying to find a tote that would definitely fit my needs if we go overseas or something similar.  I have read and found out that alot of crafter's are using Kobalt toolbox, which you can buy at Lowe's for $29.99.  When we got there, I was half-hearted.  Looking at Stanley brand is much deeper, a little longer and the plastic case seemed to be more sturdier.  DH convinced me to buy the Stanley for those reasons and said the color would be perfect for a white and black Craft Room theme that I want.  BTW, we paid $29.99 for the Stanley PacMax toolbox and I'm perfectly happy with that decision. 

I've placed a soft, thick terrycloth towel as a cushion on the bottom.  I was also able to include a few cartridges, which are inside those blue pouches and some accessories. 

Getting there update...

Another delay but we'll definitely get out of this place today, maybe later but we'll sure head down south today.  It was a nice visit last night to my DFIL and DMIL.  We're sad to go but we assured them that we love them and will always think of them.  We also told them that just in case they decided to sell the house, they can come down south and we'll build them a home of their own.  Kids interacted good with their grandparents for the first time.  They both didn't acted when it was time to go, instead they kissed and hugged their grandparents, which seldom happens in the last 4 months.  We will see you soon, Mom and Dad.

Packing is still not totally done but I'm getting there.  After that a little work on tidying this place needs to be done.  Feel bad throwing food again but got no choice.  There's no way I could convince DH to drag those food cross country.  Our Jeep was already set to get shipped.  Then a little running around to get some food for the road and we'll all set to go.  I hope the Pinoy store in Plains is still on business or DH has no choice but to run all the way to Scranton to get some stuff.

Does it look like I'm getting there? Just say yes :-), that would definitely encourage me... 

All clothes were sorted out and packed according to its respective suitcases...

All of us we're in a cranky mood last night.  We retired for bed at 10PM but DH decided to stay late and washed clothes and Jackie's carseat.  Hmm, I'm sure Jackie won't feel bad throwing up in his newly washed carseat.  The joy of parenthood....

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm going to bed...

Tomorrow will be our last day here at the apartment and I'm not yet done with the packing.  We will be doing some last minute running around.  We need to buys some food for the road, need to get some Pinoy food supplies for at least a month, need to run over to Mom and Dad's house and last but not least, we need to buy a bunch of Birch Tree Beer cases that we wanna take with us to the south.  Then, we'll load the trailer and off we go...
Nytnyt for now, I need all the energy for tomorrow's activities.

Really tired...

I'm really tired and its only 930PM.  Only got couple hours sleep last night yet I have to get up early to start filling the boxes that needs to go postal today.  I thought I will be done packing our stuff too but heck, it still looks the same.  Hope this is our last move.  I'm  really getting tired of constantly moving from one house to another.

Last night DH took me to Ollie's to buy some Christmas cards that was on sale. Since Ollie's is like a liquidator store, prices are already discounted and top to it all, the cards are 75%.  Paid almost nothing so I splurge a little and spent $50 for a bunch of large cards that has large envies.  Like most crafter's I'm only after the envies while the cards goes to a lady at SCS.  Diane aka DLS881 at SCS collects and sends cards for the troop.  She was the same lady that I sent tons of Christmas cards last year that we collected from the base exchange dumpsters.

These are all the cards that I bought from Ollie's.

These had gone postal today and will be used by the troops to send to their families back home.

Also, made the last batch of Denise homemade lotion.  DH had dinner with his brother Mark and since Jackie just got over his fever, I decided not to go.  DH brought Joan and Kelly the lotions and a box of Lindth truffle.

Hope Joan and Kelly would like too...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My baby boy Jackie is sick

Baby boy Jackie is sick since Christmas eve.  He's been running a fever and I've been keeping a close eye on him.  If this continues until tomorrow, then I have to get him check immediately.  Yesterday, late afternoon, he was running really high temperature so I gave him a cold shower and he screamed out of his lungs.  He didn't like a bit of it but the old trick still works.  He slept the whole night but still has a slight temperature. I been giving him Tylenol syrup round the clock.  No signs of cold or cough, which is good.  When he woke up this morning, he seemed to be back to his old self - jumping, dancing, playing, cutting-up, watching TV, eating and drinking his dede.  He didn't do any of this yesterday.  There is no way that you can agitate him and his color is back.  Hope he's alot better now.  I don't like the idea that we're gonna be on the road and he's sick.  Or should I say, I don't like anybody in this family to be sicked, plain and simple...

Homemade Lotion

Looking for an inexpensive yet well-appreciated gift, then make a batch of this homemade lotion and the recipient will be highly pleased.  You have the choice to put them in a nice and inexpensive jars or travel containers, which you can both find in any grocery stores.  Thanks to Denise for this absolute no-fuzz homemade lotion.

I used this glass jars that I found in the home section of Walmart.  Each jars cost me $1.97.  I then embellished it with some K & Company patterned cardstock and holiday decorations, which I got at Michaels at $.23/piece.

 I made my DMIL a big jar of it and hopefully, she would like it.

A nice poem came with this homemade lotion that says:
" If you hands are chapped and dry,
Give this homemade lotion a try,
It's creamy goodness does the trick,
To bring you comfort, oh so quick!"

These are smaller Ball jars that you can buy at Target. I made a batch of these smaller jars for some friends and hotel staff.

I bought these plain white bags at Big Lots for $2 and it came with a package of 6.  I adhere some cardstock and patterned paper then embellished it with some 3-D stickers, chipboards and ribbons.  Now it doesn't look plain and dull.  These bags are for my DSIL's.  Hope they would like it too!
This is an absolute gift!

Handmade boxes

A week ago, I'm wondering how I'm gonna get a box that would be good to use for the handmade cards I made for a special and dear friend, Michelle.  While I was reading a forum at SCS, I came across a thread that talks about boxes.  In the discussion, the blogsite of Sharon Johnson No Time For Stamp was highly recommended for any tutorial that people like me needed.
I tried using my newly acquired Fiskars score blade but I wasn't too happy about it.  That time there was big urge to go out and buy MS Score board at Michaels.

I wish I had bought this toy earlier...

The measurement based on how Sharon did in her tutorial.
I used DCWV brown 12X12 cardstock from "Mi Casa" stack.  Then used a scrap paper from American Craft Christmas collection.  Adhere it to GP 110 lb white cardstock.  I used MS Simple Scallop and Icicle edge punches to add a little drama.  Then, embellished the box with grossgrain ribbons and K & Company chipboards. 

  Here's the inside of the box.  The box contains 10sets of 5 X 7 assorted Christmas cards using the same American Craft patterned paper and Whipper Snapper Stamps.  Images were colored using Copic markers, Prismacolor markers and the Korean version - EF markers.

Here's my take for the box.  Thanks to Sharon Johnson for a very easy to follow tutorials.  Now I don't need to spend money for every box that I might need in the future. 

Finally, an OTT Light!

For so long now I've been trying to get an OTT Lights and while we were still in Korea, Joann's Fabric seemed to be the only craft store that sells them.  I decided to wait and not get it until last Thanksgiving, Joann's run a special sale on these lamps.  Unfortunately, their online site crashes and I can't seem to place an order due to unknown problem.  Thanks to FB, my craft supplier Michelle, who is so dear to me told me she'll put up a box for me with OTT lights on it.  She said I don't need to struggle just to get it during sale.  I told her I want 3 because I wanna buy one for my DH.  3 lamps with light bulbs on it came before Christmas.  She really made sure I will get it on time.  Thanks Michelle! 
I am so looking forward to the next house we're gonna have and I can't wait till I can put up my craft room again.  With these lights, I'm sure, I'll be doing alot of crafting!

A gift to a friend - Jerosha

Hey Jerosha dear, here's what's inside the box and some goodies from me.  The big box is for Joseph and hoepfully, he would enjoy it.  Merry Christmas from my family to yours.  Sorry, I couldn't get hold of Babyruth chocolates.  I will still be on a look-out and would put it in your next box if I can find some.

 Have fun and hope to spend many more crafting Christmas with you! 

My Ever Growing Embossing Folders

Boy, all leading die-cut companies are now selling their line of embossing folders. From Sizzix, to Cuttlebug to Quickutz to Spellbinders.  Most of my collection is still tacked away in a storage facilities somewhere in California.  I only brought with me a bunch yet in 4 months time back here in the States, my collection had really gotten big.  I have seen some organizations that my fellow crafter used but none of them had an appeal on me.  Couple days ago, I was walking in the storage aisle at Michaels and I said that Cropper Hopper photo organizer is superb storage for my EF!  Got it at half the price.  I went back there again yesterday for an after Christmas sale only to find out that storage will be on sale today starting December 27.

This is how it looks now with labels on it:

 Now it's much easier to find what I am looking for.  It was arranged according to its brand and labeled according to what they are.  I also made sure to segregate the holiday or theme ones.

Christmas Day

Since we are preparing to leave this temporary living facilities, I have to finish up food on the fridge before leaving next week.  I decided not to buy any holiday feast food and settle instead to what I can come up with what's on the fridge.

Mind you, we are not Italians but I was able to cook up the following dishes:

 1.) Pasta Alfredo with sun-dried tomatoes, brocooli and smoked mini-sausage.
      - small box thin spaghetti
      - 2 bottles Pasta Alfredo sauce with sun-dried tomatoes
      - couple strips of Turkey bacon
      - a bag of fresh broccoli flowerettes (salad section)
      - a bunch of sun-dried tomatoes
      - a half pound of smoked mini-sausage
      - medium size onion
      - 2 gloves garlic
      - Cooked pasta for 5-8minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.  Use the same pasta water to blanch your brocooli.  Run it in a cold water then drain.  Save two or three cups of your boiling pasta water. 
      - In a pan, add half a cup of water and boil the sausages.  Simmer until water evaporates.  Fry the sausages together with your turkey bacon.
      - Once meat brown, add your onion, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. 
      - Add the sauce.  Pour half a cup of your hot pasta water to get all the sauce from the bottle. Sauce will be too thick, so add some of your hot pasta water to make it thinner or until you get the right consistency that you want.  I like using pasta water than milk for less calorie.
      - Turn off the heat, then add your pasta, brocooli and parsley.  Make sure you mix them good so every pasta will be covered with sauce.
      - Serve hot and top it with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

2.) Chicken Florentine
     - 1 bag of frozen skinless and boneless chicken breats (thawed)
     - half a pound of prosciutto ham, sliced thinly
     - a big container of part-skim milk ricotta cheese
     - a half cup grated parmesan cheese
     - a bag of frozen spinach (thawed and squeeze).
     - a pinch of nutmeg
     - salt and pepper
     - 2 eggs or a quarter cup of egg substitute
    - Mix all ingredients then stuff it unto the chicken breast
    - Wrap each stuffed chicken breast with prosciutto ham and place them in a baking dish.
    - Drizzle it with olive oil before baking.
    - Bake them at 375degrees for 45minutes
    - Once cooked, take them out of the oven then cover it with foil to keep its juices.

3.) Red Bell Antipasto
     - Couple red bell pepper cut into strips
     - Prosciutto ham
      - Wrap 3 or 4 strips of red bell pepper with a thinly sliced of prosciutoo ham
      - Placed them in a cookie sheet.
      - Add salt and pepper then drizzle it with olive oil
      - Bake at 400degrees for 15minutes

So if you guys are craving for a comfort of Pasta meal, these three dishes goes well together and you and your family will certainly love it.

We didn't spend anything for Christmas eve dinner yet we had a wonderful time.  After dinner, off we went to Mom and Dad's house.  Finally, met young Eddie and felt kindda awkward.  The kids seemed to interact with their big brother although I know that it made Ed sad seeing the kid.  I know that he would rather hug and kiss the kid and pretend nothing has ever happened.

Mom and Dad gave the kids their gifts and it was almost 2 days now yet the kids are still enjoying each gifts they got.  Normally, they would get tired of  their toys almost immediately.  Ella love her Glowdoodle while Jackie got his Tonka ambulance car.  Love you Mom and Dad!  Thank you for thinking about the kids.


Holiday Splurging

1.) Paper - Paper, paper and more paper.  Why can't I just stop accumulating paper?  Now, that I've been using my Cricut alot, I was using more and more cardstock.  I have tried PTI, Bazzill, DCWV, and Martha Stewart.  I love PTI but they have very little assortment.  The price is a big plus for this brand, they are very affordable.  Bazzill is the perfect one for all sorts of paper crafting especially with Cricut.  DCWV, is the perfect choice for layering cards. I honestly don't like the idea that I can see the white core off pieces that was cut by Cricut.  I also love Martha Stewart but the big set back was the price and it's a little bit hard to coordinate with patterned paper unless of course you'll use the same brand for designer paper.  I am thinking once we get settle, I will buy a bunch of colors of cardstock but still not sure what brand to get.  Price and thickness are the biggest factors.  I found that Ellen Hutson's store sells Memory Box and it has huge collection of cardstock but very pricey, $3.99 for 10pieces.

2.) Tools - It seems like crafter's like me who aside from doing crafting are also into collecting.  It is really kindda hard to keep up with what's new in the market.  It seems like before you can actually save money for buying your wishlist, another batch is already out in the market.  Most of my tool purchases were not bought out of impulsiveness.  I made sure that I read alot of reviews and SCS is the best place to do it.  Although I must admit that I also bought some tools that just doesn't serve its purpose.

This season is actually the best time to acquire things that you really want.  You  take advantage of the season, because most stores are getting rid of their inventories before the year end. 

Yehey, DH let me buy a new Singer 2932 sewing machine.  Been eyeing one since Thanksgiving.  Leigh-Ann of Joann's Fabric made sure I would get my toy before Christmas even if the item didn't fall on an Express Shipping promo offered.

 These toys are after Christmas sales from Michaels.  They were 70% plus if I used a 20% coupon from their newspaper ad.  The large lace craft punch is a regular ticked price but I was able to use my 50% coupon for that.  BTW, Michaels has their MS Valentine release displays already.

I bought these embossing kit for my Slice machine and got it at 40% off at Michaels.

* Finally, I do not have to cut in a 6X6 glass mat that my Slice Machine came with.  I'm wasting more papers using it.  I finally got this 12X12 and what's great about it, I got it from Joann's at 40% off.
* I also got the Tonic Studio - Tim Holtz non-stick serrated scissors, which is considered as one of my best buy this holiday.  I bought Hot Craft Knife for trimming off rubber from rubberstamps couple months ago.  I find it hard to use and considering I have an injured shoulder/arm, it was not fun at all. I prefer using the scissors over this knife.
* Somehow one of my craft box got lost in the mail and lost my Scor-Pal.  I was debating if I will get the MS Scor-board that crafters are raving about or should I try getting score blade for my Fiskar personal paper trimmer.  Bought the blade but didn't get the result I've been hoping for.  That leaves me with the decision to get the MS scor-board.

Here it is!  I went back to Michaels again couple days ago and I found this in the MS aisle, smiling back at me.  Ticketed price was $19.99 which is really great versus the $39.99 Scor-Pal.  When I was in the counter, I realized I didn't have my coupon but the nice cashier said no worries, I got tons of that here.  So I got this toy at 40% off.  This toy is so much easier to use that the other brand. The extra groves, storage, enveloper and size charts are some of its highlights.  This is a 5-star purchase and a must-haves.

Like what I said earlier, the holiday punches are on sale on Joann's and Michaels.  I also got myself an embossing folder kit for Cricut and a Camp Out solution cartridge.  A good buy for people who are having a hard time making masculine card.  This cartridge has an outdoor theme.

Yummy, got these toys at 70% off at one of the local scrapbook store here.  I guess, they are getting ready for the next release.

Also got these Quickutz goodies for 70% off.

These Impressabilities are the first one that was ever release.  Ordered it from my craft supplier Michelle and unfortunately, she couldn't get hold of the new ones.  I already have 2 of these, so I gave the other two to a friend of mine, Jerosha, as a Christmas present.

An after Christmas deal.  I been eyeing these cartridges but failed to get them during pre-Christmas deal.  Locker talk is needed especially if you are making projects that pertains to school.

3.) Stamping suuplies - When is it easy to tell yourself that you have enough rubber and you don't need anymore?  Well, for me its not that easy.  I just love character stamps and some good deals over the holiday season was just hard to pass.  There's one more box coming and it has High Hopes stamps.  I really have to try harder not to buy anything until I make use of these goodies:

These stamps and Spellbinder dies were 40% off at Joann's before Christmas.  I wish I could buy all of the Crafty Secrets stamps but I instead spent it buying it with big tools that was highly needed.

Who doesn't love Anya of The Greeting Farm stamps?  They are so gorgeous.  These are the bunch that I still don't have in my stash.  The ones on the top was their latest release.

For 2 years now, I been wanting to buy the stamp kits of Pink Cat Studio but they are so pricey.  Finally, over the holidays 7kidscollegefund offered this at 30% plus extra 20% with a coupon.  Another good deal!

These MFT goodies were on sale too and I just love the "Pure Innocence" stamp line.  It just it took them awhile before shipping these goodies.  No complaints though...  I can't wait till I can play with these goodies.
These are Inkadinkado, Hero Arts and Hampton Arts rubber stamps that were 40% off.

Finally, I have now the different colors of Memento inkpads and dew drops.  I been wanting these stamps for months now.  Thanks Michelle!
Wish I could have the complete set of Memento markers. Well, I can't have it all, right!? I can always add it to my wishlist, right!?

4.) Embellishments - These were the embellishment that I got as Christmas gift and some I picked at different stores here and there during several trips during the holidays.

5.) Adhesives:  I may need to try more adhesives in the market while my ATG gun is out of service.  Adtech mono-refill may be good but I am using it like crazy.

Hopefully, these will be the last purchases I will do for my crafting for the meantime and should do my best to stay away from buying at least until next holiday.