Category: i recommend

most frequently used

Today, I thought I would share a few of my ‘most frequently used’ products for scrapbooking, aka:papercrafting.

First up, my Sharpie Poster Paint Pen (extra-fine point, water-based, opaque paint marker).  This is a fabulous pen for writing on photos or cardstock.  I just googled my pen and apparently there is an entire Sharpie world that I was unaware of!  Check out their amazing website for all things Sharpie.  I have always loved Sharpie markers of all shapes and sizes, colors and tips…but this new knowledge of available products could be quite costly : )  Sharpie products can be found in many stores or online…I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby (in the paint/pen department–not in scrapbooking).

Next up, Thickers.  Need I say more?  My love for Thickers grows (as does my collection of them).  I am proud of myself for finally using them on a regular basis instead of hoarding them in my Thicker drawer (as seen in the picture).   Thanks to Project Life, I am finding myself using them more and more.  Thickers, by American Crafts, come in just about any color, font, texture and size.  They’re addicting & I love them!

Just added to my scrapbooking supplies is my Epson Artisan 730 printer.  Yes, I consider this scrapbooking supplies.  It is amazing!  I can print pictures directly from my iphone wirelessly.  Love it. Love it. Love it.

And finally, my Zutter Round-it-All corner punch.  This is the best corner rounder I have ever used.  The price is a bit higher, but so worth it.  They describe it as heavy-duty and I would agree!  It cuts through everything!  I use it all of the time.

So there you have it.  Products I would definitely recommend.  No, I’m not an expert–just an ordinary girl that likes to scrapbook.


that’s how I see it

Ok. Well, don’t let the picture scare you.  It’s not the best. 



I’m 40. 

I  have never needed glasses. 

And now,

I do. 

But only for reading. 

Ouch.  It is a big adjustment. 


So, what am I reading? 

I received this devotional for my birthday.  I loved Women of the Bible, so when I saw this book by the same author, I couldn’t wait to get started! 
My husband received this cookbook/CD combo to review for his Christian music website.  So, lucky me, he handed it over!  The new Point of Grace Cookbook, you can pre-order it here.  I have a list of yummy recipes that I will be trying out in the next few weeks…along with their new album, which you can pre-order here
I just started “What Your Son Isn’t Telling You”.  As a mom, with only a sister, having a son, has been an eye-opener to the differences between the two sexes.  So, I saw this book advertised last week and went out and bought it.  After only reading one chapter, I am anxious to finish the book.  I think it will be very informational. 
For fun, I have been reading many different fictional mystery series. 

Currently, I am reading book 2 from the Candy Shop Mystery books.  I usually read Christian fiction, but came across The Coffeehouse Mystery series and decided to give them a try.  (Of course, the whole coffee-theme is what sucked me in.)  I loved them!   

After the coffee themed series, I discovered MANY MANY themes, such as scrapbooking series, knitting series, tea series, hair salon series.  All mysteries.  So far, what I’ve read, I’ve liked.  Also, depending on their theme, either contain coffee brewing tips, recipes, scrapbooking ideas etc.   (Side note: they do contain a few *choice words* here and there) 

What’s on your bookshelf? 

exercise is good (day 21)

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! 

Something else that I have learned over my 40 years….exercise is good

It’s not something that I enjoy doing. 

It’s not something that I look forward to. 

but, I know that I will feel better once I’ve exercised. 

I try to remember that it’s good for me….especially the older I get…yikes…can’t believe those are words that I have to say or think. 

Keep my heart healthy.  My bones strong. 




Depending on the week/month/mood, I have different exercise routines that I enjoy.  Currently I am enjoying Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home…it’s on the Exercise On Demand channel.  I can walk 3 miles (in 45 minutes) without leaving my bedroom!  Surprising, huh? 

What’s your favorite exercise routine/type?  Pilates?  Treadmill?  Spinning? Tae-bo? 

He’s waiting for you… (day 24)

24 till 40 Draw near to God, He is waiting for you! 

You would think by now, I would continue to remember this, but I don’t. 

I live it for a while, 

and then I get busy and continue on with my life 

forgetting what I’ve learned. 

But God is patient with me. 

He is there.  Waiting for me. 

Waiting for me to have time for Him again. 

I’m talking about spending time with God.  Devotions.  Quiet time in prayer. 

Psalm 46:10a “Be still, and know that I am God.” 

Reading His word.  Devoting time to & for Him. 

James 4:8a reads, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” 

As an adult, a period of time that I remember being close to God, is when I was spending time with Him.  Daily.  And one of my favorite ways is to journal about my walk with Him.  My prayers to Him. 

I am a paper person.  I love to write.  I love to make lists.  I need to be able to see things on paper.  I need to be able to hold it in my hands.  See my concerns, my joys, my struggles all written down,

but then more importantly,

I need it written down, so that I can look back and see where God was in the midst of it all.  To document His work in my life.  To see how He answered my prayers. 

So that I don’t forget. 

A few years ago, my son & husband had their tonsils out on the same day.  Now, as stressful and exhausting as that month of recuperating was for them (&me), I remember it as a time that my walk with God was sweet.  I read His word.  Studied it.  Had time with Him.  I can look back at my prayer journal and see the answered prayer.  See the struggles and worries, yet, I knew God was with me (us). 

I have been a Christian since I was a child.  I am saved by grace.  Jesus took on my sins and died for me.  Even more importantly, He rose again.  He waits for me in heaven.  Because He died, I can live for eternity with Him. 

You can live for eternity with Him too! 

Simply recognize that you are a sinner.  Confess to Him your sin and your need to have Him in your heart (life).  Tell Him that you want to live for Him.  Acknowledge that He died on the cross for YOUR sins and that He rose again.  Ask Him to guide you and direct you. 

He will! 

If you would like more information about how to have a personal relationship with Christ, contact me! 

You may also read here for more information. 

Revelation 3: 20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” 

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Romans 10:9  “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

my chocolate chip cookie recipe

(Wednesday evening) I was baking some cookies for a Christmas party that is today. 

I didn’t have any holiday M&M’s, so I went with my no-fail chocolate chip cookie recipe. 

I love these cookies!! 

Here’s the recipe:

Chewy Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from an online recipe)


  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour OR 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( I use the all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened (I usually don’t use real butter, however this time I doubled the recipe and used half real butter and half margarine sticks)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (ok, this is where I go crazy… the more chocolate the better is my theory, so I usually use at least 2 cups of semi-sweet chips PLUS 2 cups of either M&M’s or chocolate chunks, or mini-chips or mint chips…whatever chocolate chips I have on hand)


  1. Preheat oven to 375′.
  2. Combine all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder & baking soda in medium bowl.
  3. Combine butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat until creamy.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat until well mixed.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in morsels.
  6. I use the Pampered Chef large scoop to place dough on Pampered Chef Baking Stone, a few inches apart….(my PC stones have never failed me….my cookies never burn…although, you can use an ungreased cookie sheet if you want!)
  7. Bake for 16 minutes on a stone.  Remove from oven and leave them on the stone for 5 minutes, before moving them to the cooling rack.  Cookies will look lgolden brown on the outside and ooey gooey in the middle.  Cookies will continue to bake slightly when left on the stone.  (If you are using a sheet, 10-14 minutes are recommended or until golden brown and cooling for 2 minutes before moving to rack.)

Yield: 1 batch using large scoop = approx 35 cookies

*My recipe is peanut-free.  *Make sure to check your chocolate chip ingredients if this is a concern for you. 

Do you enjoy holiday baking?  I do.  Chilly weather makes me want to bake.  Maybe I should move my treadmill into the kitchen so that as I am eating my cookies I can walk off the calories instantly! lol


Holiday Planner 2009

time for holiday planning! 

last year, i posted a tutorial for making a simple holiday planner

in years past, i have always preferred altering a notebook. 

this year, i chose to start from scratch.  simply using supplies that i already have on hand. 

for this year’s planner, i used:

  • chipboard mats for my front & back covers and as a divider between Thanksgiving & Christmas
  • bind-it-all, using the red binding
  • bind-it-all corner punch for rounding the corners (love this punch! it can cut through chipboard)
  • cricut expression, using the “beyond birthdays” cartridge
  • “marshmallow mist”
  • ribbon
  • self-adhesive metal closures
  • adhesives (glue, double-sided tape, sticker maker)
  • scrapbook paper (i used scraps of Christmas paper from last year’s projects)
  • Christmas cards that i cut apart
  • notebook paper (i actually cut pages from my past planners that were blank & resized them)
  • stickers (file tabs)
  • Sharpie poster paint pen (white) (love this pen)
  • Sharpie pen (red)
  • envelopes (old white ones i had on hand and craft paper ones for scrapbooking)
  • flower embellishments that i made using paper, flower punch, brads, and misting spray
  • Christmas themed diecuts

in other years, i have added lots of ribbon and dimensional embellishments, but because i like to keep this in my purse, i have learned that the more simple it is, the better it will “survive” the holidays. 

using 1 sheet of red textured cardstock, i sat down with my new cricut cartridge, “beyond birthdays”, and simply cut out as many items that i thought i could use.  i used most of them. 

then, (because i love the marshmallow mist), i simply sprayed them slightly, just to add a little shimmer. 

after that, using my bind-it-all, i punched all of the papers that i had gathered.  (chipboard covers, notebook papers, cards, envelopes etc.) i rounded the 2 corners of the covers.  then bound it all together. 
in my stash, i found these self-adhesive metal closures.  i removed the original black thread, and simply wound red ribbon around them instead. 
then i simply decorated it. 

my planner is divided up into the following sections:

  • Thanksgiving meal planning
  • Christmas cards (this is a new addition to my holiday planner.  not sure how i will list all of the names, i may print out the list and adhere it to the planner.)
  • Christmas Get-togethers (pages for each party/menu/shopping lists etc)
  • Make or Bake (this is for items that i hope to make/bake for friends & neighbors)
  • Sharing Christ’s Love @ Christmas (each year, we choose a way for our family to help those less fortunate)
  • Christmas Shopping Lists (friends/family)
  • Gift List of those items bought
  • Thank You Cards (i think it’s important to send thank you cards.  i’ve tried to teach that to my son.  whether it’s birthday gifts or Christmas or someone has just gone out of their way to be kind, we try to always send thank yous.  i’m not saying we don’t forget or overlook someone sometimes, but it’s always our goal.)  this section is new to my Holiday Planner.  i usually just jot down names on my to-do list, but i thought it would be nice to have it all in the planner.
  • Receipt Envelopes  (occasionally the envelopes over-flow and will need another location at home, but i try to keep most of them in my planner.)

so, that’s my Holiday Planner 2009. 

in the hustle & bustle of the holidays, this is how i try to stay organized!! 

let the shopping begin! 


…just swinging & reading…

wow.  i can’t believe that july is ending.  where has this summer gone? 

it certainly has been an odd summer. 

the weather has been ‘un-summerlike’… 

haven’t spent much time in our pool… 

my tan, what is that?  usually enjoying a nice dark tan by this point… 

summer days with nick, soon-to-be freshman in HS, means different summer activities… 

it’s just been an odd summer. 

one thing that hasn’t changed–my swing.  i love it.  i love spending evenings sitting, swinging & reading. 

of course, chewy is always close by. 

this summer i have been totally nose-deep in The Coffehouse Mysteries… 

oh my gosh.  they are sooooo good!  i usually read only Christian fiction, but i had recently stumbled across these on and thought i would give one a try.  INSTANTLY HOOKED!  this series is fabulous!!!!  of course, im sure that my love of all things coffee has something to do with it!  these books even include coffee recipes and tips.  {love them!} 

OH MY GOSH.  just googled it and found an entire website about this series!!!!! 

if you are looking for a good ‘read’, check them out!!!