Memorial Day Musings

Did the tradition of Memorial Day skip a generation?

When I was growing up my mother use to send us off with my grandma and grandpa to visit and decorate the graves of family members that have past on. We traveled from what seemed like one end of the state to the other.

Why my mom wasn't with us, I have no idea.
And why in the world we thought it would be fun to go with my grandparents.
Or maybe I really didn't have a choice. I don't think it would be fun.

But my kids have never experienced the Memorial days of my childhood. The view it as just another great reason why they do not have to go to school and sit around driving me a little crazy.

In fact my that same mother who has decided not to pass on this grandparent-grandchild tradition has been cool enough to invite me to spend my Memorial Day going to see the yummy Jake Gyllenhaal in the Prince of Persia and go to lunch. Beats decorating graves I suppose.

Plus my cute Gram (still a very young 88 year old) once told me,
"Don't bring me flowers after I'm dead if you didn't bring them to me while I'm alive!"

So it looks like my mom will be getting some flowers today on this Memorial Day.

Really quick thought, I would like to say THANK YOU to all those men and women who have served in our Armed Forces and given their lives for our freedom. How blessed we are to live in this beautiful country and how thankful I am for those that serve...that have served. Thank you!



i AM a Mommy Blogger

I'm trying to embrace the fact that I "am" a Mommy Blogger! I've avoided admitting it for some time because I never felt I was truly part of that community. I work outside the home full-time, I have two teenage children and don't write about stinky butts and breast feeding. In fact, I very seldom write about anything personal...which I am hoping to change. However, I'm still first, and foremost a MOM and I BLOG, so I must be a Mommy Blogger! Please bare with me as I try to "find my voice" here on my blog. I've avoided getting personal for so long, focusing on crafty things I do and like around the web. But I quickly learned that wasn't fulfilling and certainly not fun to do. I actually started thinking this was something I had to do to maintain my job...it went from something person to a "job" of sorts. So I'm ready to GET REAL and put myself, my thoughts, my heart out there for my friends around the world to see. So watch out people.

Why did I even start a blog was a question I asked myself several times over the past few days. You see I attended the Casual Bloggers Conference in Sandy, Utah this past few days and it was AMAZING!! But the overwhelming message we continued to hear from many of our speakers was "be true to yourself". People won't enjoy reading your blog if they don't know "who" you are...find your voice, share it! One girl, that spoke in a Niche Blogging panel, April Meeker had me in stitches every time she spoke....in fact, she should have taught a class on her own. Seriously after hearing her talk, I wanted to know "her" and so I hunted down her blog and we became the best of friends (not really, but one day)...but I feel like I know her better because of her blog. She said one of my favorite things the entire conference. She explained that you should be "writing to your ideal reader" and for her that meant her ideal reader was "her". So I thought about that a lot since yesterday and really I guess my ideal reader would be...
  • A Mom
  • Married to a man that only does exactly what you ask him (when he feels like it of course)
  • Works Outside of the Home (or really...we all work whether we leave the home or not)
  • Has already lived through the baby phase, but it's been so long they don't remember it and don't talk about it a ton
  • Loves her family, but also loves the occasional break from them too!
  • Has Teenagers (or is curious what to expect when their cute little ones become one)
  • Smart, but doesn't feel like it very often. 
  • Driven to try and do anything, at the sacrifice of sanity and sleep.
  • Wishes they had more money (to shop of course)
  • Loves to be creative in every realm of her life
  • Doesn't appear to be organized, but can find whatever she needs under all the piles
  • Her friends both online and off matter a ton to her
  • Belief in God is threaded through everything she does (by default)
  • Loves to be inspired by good movies, good stories and good people. 
  • Wishes they had more time
  • Cries about anything that touches her heart and spirit
  • Enjoys technology, but only in the sense it makes her life easier and connects her to her friends!
  • Cannot wait for the next adventure, phase or whatever you call it in her life
So I suppose I'm with April, my ideal reader would be ME too! And I'm okay calling myself a Mommy Blogger, so I hope you enjoy the change and I'd love to hear what you think by leaving me a comment. 



Favorite Finds for Week 20 of 2010

This is going to be short...I'm headed off to a Bloggers Conference and very excited to learn how I can be a better blogger ;)

Cupcake "cupcake" Toppers

I actually thought that these were plastic cupcake toppers until I went to Confessions of a Cookbook Queen blog and saw that she made them from mini reese's peanut butter cups. She shows you how on her blog, so go check it out. This is one I'll be recreating for sure...love it!

Faux Jewelry T-Shirt Tutorial
How fun are these cute shirts...actually the center two are ONSIES...cute huh?? These look complicated thanks to Get Your Craft On blog. She shows you how simple it is to create this same look on any t-shirt (any size). Be sure to read the post before this one too, she explains the product she used to make the faux necklace.

Colorful Inspiration
This darling gift set created by Debbie over at Thinking Inking is amazing! The darling ribbon flower are what made me contact her and ask her if I could share this idea with you all...but her stamping creations are wonderful too. If you want to be inspired, then you should visit/follow her blog! Please check out her blog post to see how she pulled this set together!

Rainbow Cupcakes
So it's been raining (and snowing) around hear lately and I've seen a lot of rainbows in the past couple of weeks and wanted to share some colorful "rainbow" inspired ideas. I loved this idea and I knew my daughter would too...we're very anxious to try these out. Check out the instructions over at Skip to My Lou website.
Rainbow Cake
Here's another "rainbow" inspired idea! Now unlike the cupcakes I think this cake will definitely take you a little more time, but won't you wow whomever you make this for. Check out the video(s) over at Whisk Kid and watch how easy she makes it looks!

Favorite Finds for Week 19 of 2010

Mini Rootbeer Float Cupcakes
I loved this idea from Gourmet Mom on the Go's website...and she used shot glasses for them, but also suggested votive holders too. Wouldn't this be a darling idea for a party?? Check out her step-by-step directions and photos.
Teacher Appreciation Gifts
Luckily I have jr. high kids and we don't have to worry too much about this anymore. But I do have some friends that have been asking me for ideas. Here's a couple super easy gift ideas that you can even include you kids in making them!

Build a Custom Frame
I'm a huge fan of Saw Dust and Paper Scraps blog since she's a woman after my own hear...one who owns more power equipment then her husband and doesn't wait around for her man to build her something. These cute frame she created look simple enough and I've seen them in high end home decor stores for a lot more money then she spent!
Felt Dahlia Corsage
You have to take a moment and go check out how Megan from Not Martha created these amazing felt flowers. Talk about patience and amazing talent!!
Proclamation Overlay Tutorial (Photoshop)
I loved this idea over at Sew Dang Cute blog and figured many of you would love it as well. If you don't have Photoshop, then you should find a friend (not me...LOL) that can do this for you. Wouldn't it be the perfect wedding gift??

Tia's Rolled Flowers
Love this layout and love the rolled flowers even more. Tia Bennett was featured on the CK Blog and shows how to make these easy flowers out of paper and fabric. I also love that crafters are back to using their glue guns more for crafting...much faster and easier to use!!

Towel Beach Bag
What would a Favorite Finds Week be without a sewing project!! What a fun idea that was posted over at the Idea Room's blog. Super each and my daughter is already bugging me to help her make a few!

Tatter Flower Die Cut Flower
This card for sure caught my eye and I had to know how the designer, Debbie Olson created this beautiful card and flower. So after a little blog hopping I found a great tutorial on the CLASSroom blog.


Owl Love this Paper Piecing

The other day I was doing a little blog hopping and came across a darling website called Squigglefly.com. Here's what he looked like (if you want the

It's a great site that offers digital stamps for cards....so I started looking around and came across a darling digi owl stamp. I knew from that moment that I needed to own it and play with it and this is what I created. I'm working up to making a card...but so far I've only piece him together. My favorite part are the black rhinestone gems that I put on using my new i-rock tool.


Favorite Finds for the 18th Week of 2010

I have found some really great things to share this week, I hope you enjoy reading them. I'm hoping to post some projects I've been working on over the weekend...but no promises.

My Dream Craft Room
I had to share one of my newest friend Jana Eubank's craft space with everyone...you see if I were to die this would be my heaven!! Jana is an amazing designer and I have been stalking her ever since I happened upon some darling layouts she created. Thankful she doesn't think I'm completely crazy and we've had the opportunity to work on some projects together. Seriously you should follow her blog...she rocks. Now if you want to see more pictures of this beautiful space, click through to her blog!! Maybe one day Jana will let me visit heaven for a bit (wink)!

Baked Chicken Egg Roll Recipe
My husband loves egg rolls but I don't like making them...that is until I found this recipe. I loved that they're baked and only 2 pts for those of you counting points. Since I have so much listed on my blog this time I'm not going to post the recipe...but you can click over to LaaLosh's Health Food website and print it off from there. By the way, this is a wonderful website for good eats!

No Sew Fabric Flower Tutorial
The key here is the fact that this darling flower is a "no sew" project...love no sew and love how darling this is on her shoes. Check out the Bird Crafts blog to find out how she created these!

Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial
What a fun idea to die cut "tissue paper"...loved this tutorial I found over at Split Coast Stampers website.

Malted Milk Ball Cupcakes
Here's a fun recipe that I plan on trying this weekend...what do you think? I found it on a cute blog called Cakes & Kids.

1 box of yellow cake mix
4 tablespoons of Ovaltine malt powder
2 cups of malted milk balls, such as Whoppers, finely chopped
24 whole malted milk balls

Make the yellow cake mix up according to the directions on the box. Then thoroughly stir in the malt powder and 1 cup of the chopped malted milk balls. Put into your cupcake liners and bake according to the directions on the cake box until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Beat the remaining chopped malted milk balls into your chosen frosting (a vanilla buttercream will work well here). Once cool, frost your cupcakes and then top each one with a whole malted milk ball.

Alien Sewing Project
I'm always on the look out for cute projects that are simple enough my daughter would enjoy sewing them on her own and these jumped out at me today when I was doing a little blog hopping!! The Lemon Squeezy blog shows you how to create them from start to finish...so cute!

Homemade Edible Play Dough
I thought this was fun and wished I'd know about this stuff when my kids were little...personally I hate peanut butter but my kids like it. I thought I'd share this blog post and recipe with you!

French Necklace Tutorial
You know these flowers are my obsession and anything this yummy had to be shared on my blog. This darling gal from France...living in Utah blogged about this on her blog and what a cute blog it is!!


Mothers of Angels

First, Happy Mothers Day to all the amazing women in my life that are such great examples of the mother I would hope to be. I know it's a struggle, but we are all very blessed to enjoy this adventure in one way or another.

Second, today on the Imaginisce blog I had the opportunity to write about a wonderful group in St. George, Utah that finds love and support through scrapbooking. Please take a moment to learn about this amazing group of ladies, including my dear friend Marcie. And yes, it will bring tears to your eyes...but we all need a good cry today (don't we)? If you are interested in donating your unwanted/unused scrapbook supplies to Mothers of Angels, please feel free to drop them by my house and I will see that they get to the MOA group. Thank you!
And by the way...."My MOM is cooler, more amazing and more beautiful then YOUR MOM!" Sorry couldn't resist, LOL!


Birds, Bling and a few Cute Cards

I had so much fun at my scrapbook retreat last night and was so excited to get as much done as I did...but most of all I liked some of the cards I created. I've been feeling like I was in a slump a bit, so these made me super happy and I wanted to share. Forgive me a bit...I got to play around with the new i-rock gem setting tool and gems from Imaginisce (a lot of my projects ended up with more bling then probably needed...but they ROCK!).

Birdie Card
I finished creating a couple of layouts with this collection and couldn't resist making a quick card with my scraps.
Birdie Card Supplies: Papers and Die Cut Sticker - My Mind's Eye Quite Contrary Collection; Buttons - unknown

Sabrina Chic Card

After an unplanned trip to the Making Memories warehouse sale I came home with the entire "Sabrina Collection." I'd never seen it before in a store and couldn't resist. But even better then that I knew it would end up being the perfect collection to try out the new i-rock tool on (check out all the cute pink bling).
Sabrina Card Supply List: Gems - Imaginisce i-rock Collection & Tool; Paper flowers, rub-on, ribbon, notepad paper - Making Memories Sabrina Collection; Cardstock - Core'dinations Cardstock

Utterly Happy Card
Here's another card I whipped up with the Sabrina supplies. But what you should really be impressed by is that I was able to heat set the tiny black rhinestones to the top of the METAL flower brads!! How cool is that??? I would suggest sanding the surface just a bit to make sure the adhesive has something to grab onto.

...see tiny black rhinestones adhered to the metal flower brads.Sabrina Card Supply List: Gems - Imaginisce i-rock Collection & Tool; Paper flowers, rub-on, ribbon, notepad paper - Making Memories Sabrina Collection

Now the question is...."Will I ever give these cards away?"


Favorite Finds for the 17th Week of 2010

I found some great things to share with you this week and I'm even thrilled that the post will hit before the weekend!! I had to get my butt in gear so I could run away from home to a 24 hour scrapbook retreat...very excited about that. And just a quick warning, I was in a bit of a chatty mood with this post. Enjoy!

Playroom Storage on Steroids
This chick is my IDOL. I have always felt quite capable of mastering the art of carpentry. I've dabbled a little in it with the help of my best friend and we're proud to say that we own more power tools then our husbands...but when I saw this storage room wall I flipped!! How amazing is this?? Sandra has this fun blog called Sawdust and Paper Scraps (love the name). She actually shows us how she created this amazing storage wall (ignore the part about it taking 5 weeks) and I think she ROCKS! I of course plan on putting these new found directions to the test in my craft room...no toy storage needed for me (well scrapbook toys are okay). And please don't forget to leave a comment on her blog if you like this as much as I do!
Easy Mother's Day Tulle Necklace
This is a super easy project if you need a quick idea for Mother's Day...I'm hoping to convince my daughter to make one for me and her grandmother's to wear to church Sunday. Over at Bird Crafts she shows you how simple this really is!

Plantable Seeded Paper Flowers

I've shown everyone how to make these simple spiral paper flowers, but I LOVED the idea to make these into "seeded" paper flowers. Over on the How Does She? website she shows you how to apply seeds to the paper so when they I really like that she made these from brown paper bags and she shows you an example made from a paper towel. What a cute mother's day gift idea!
Too Cute Tutu Tutorial (say that six times)
I see these darling little tutu's at all the boutiques and know that they can't be that hard to make. I really don't have any reason to make one, but I thought I'd share with my friends out there that have cute little girls (or dogs) that might need a tutu in their future.
Lovely Little Website
I don't remember how I came upon this lovely little bridal website for a store in New York, but I just loved how they designed the site. And for some reason I found myself shopping through the wedding dresses....nothing like I see at the weddings around here in Utah. Funny too considering I haven't worn a wedding dress for over 18 years and don't plan on wearing one anytime soon (or ever)...and my daughter is only 13 so no hurry there either. Oh, if you want to see some lovely bridal photos then be sure to check out their blog!
Twilight Scrappers
I loved this posted that offered up a tutorial on using the Yudu machine from Provo Craft to make your own "glitter" shirts. But even better then the tutorial was the actual project...Twilight inspired! Inside the heart it reads, "Edward Will You Scrap With Me". Personally I would rather have Edward breathe on my neck or give me a ride through the mountains...scrapbooking with him never actually crossed my mind. Check out the tutorial.

Bakerella's Pudding Cups
I have to admit these didn't excite me too much when I imagined filling them with "pudding", but then I started thinking about filling them with ice cream or even fresh fruit...then I thought these "chocolate bowls" were a delightful idea. If you've never snooped around Bakerella's website, you should...but don't do it when you're hungry!!

Mother's Day Message
"My New Life Video tells about Stephanie Nielson, survivor of a near-fatal plane crash. She shares her story of a beautiful life centered on faith in Jesus Christ and love of family. She is also very well known for her blog, NieNie. But on a personal note, I watched this video on my bosses computer while sitting at my desk, as we watched quietly my eyes filled with tears at how Stephanie explained her physical and emotional challenges each day and how she viewed her body, but most importantly her view of motherhood. What an amazing example of faith and perseverance she is to her children and I could only hope that I could even be a portion of that to my own children. Happy Mother's Day to all the women who continue to be daily examples to me of mothers!


No Nominations Here...

Tonight I can't sleep and I feel this need to share, vent or reflect. I use to turn to my journal when I was feeling this way, but I can't seem to figure out where I last left it...so my blog will have to do. There are times in my life when I wish I could replay a specific reaction or thing I said to one of my children. I'm so fearful that with that one event I may have impacted my child in such a negative way that it will form the adult they will become. Sometimes those "errors in judgement" are small and other times are big. Sometimes I'm pretty sure my kids would have labeled my error in judgement as one of those times, but I think often times I'm probably much harder on myself then I probably should be.

Case in point....tonight my daughter was invited to attend the Jr. High Awards Night. Only those kids that were going to be awarded for good grades, citizenship or teacher nominations for department awards. Emma figured her award would be for her grades and she was correct...there was her name under the "High Honors" category. Here's the proof too...
Now doesn't she rock!! The greatest part about my daughter is I don't have to push her, nag her or even bug her about keeping up. She does it all on her own. She also continues to excel at her piano (star student there) and she learned how to play flute this year and already participated in her first band concert!

Okay back to that "moment"...the time when my parenting skills would need to re-evaluated and I would forever question if I should have done something different. So during the awards presentations, Emma is obviously a bit nervous about whether or not they'll have her come up to the front to receive her certificate or not. They finally get to the part in the night when your butt hurts and you're wishing they would hurry and the principal announces that they're going to have all students with the last names that begin with A-C go the curtained area of the gym and they'll be lined up. They'll then be announced and more or less presented to the audience where they'll walk forward to shake the administration's hands and then receive their certificate. I think my daughter figured out at that point that she would be announced FOURTH. All of a sudden she giggled and told me and my husband that she "did not want to go up there." We kindly prodded her and encouraged her to hurry and go get in line and then she looked a bit panicked and continued to say how she didn't want to. HERE'S THE MOMENT....my husband and I started to get a little upset and the kind, loving prodding became more intense and turned into us trying to "order" her to get her butt up there. We're not so good at the tough love though and she's a stubborn girl. Pretty soon the panic in her eyes turned to tears and frustration...I think my eyes also filled with tears and I'm sure it was obvious how "disappointed" I was (and my husband)...she could tell and the whole night went south. We all sat there upset, not wanting to be there and the awards night continued on with all three of us mad for one reason or another. Luckily the length of the presentations gave us all time to calm down.

My husband and I tried to be loving and kind...it was tough and my daughter wasn't looking encouraged or maybe not even loved. Yes we tried to console her and tell her better luck next time, but then we continued to say things that just made her more upset. Forced hugs are still hugs, but she just wanted to be left alone. What could I have done differently? What did I miss when she was younger that makes it so hard for her to get up in front of everyone...sometimes? I think more then anything I wish I could have taken back the moment when she "knew her parents were disappointed in her." It was suppose to be a night celebrating her accomplishments and showing her how PROUD we were of her and it didn't end up that way at all. So no "mother of the year" award for me today!


Favorite Finds for the 16th Week of 2010

i-rock Gem Setter Tool NSD Giveaway
This great tools is going to be hitting stores the end of May. I've had the opportunity to play with it and once you start blinging out projects, you can't stop!! If you'd like to win one, Imaginisce is giving away 5 of these tools before stores get them. All you have to do is sign-up for the newsletter emails, just click her to register! They'll pick winners on Wed, May 5th.
Cards with "Purse"nality!!
Years ago I made the cutest purse card, but the embellishment that represented the purse is no longer available. I've wanted to remake that card, but wasn't sure how to come up with the perfect purse...until I found this on Little Birdie Secrets blog...and she shows you how to make them too!

Lovely Charm Bracelets
I came across this darling Zuleykha's Shop on Etsy and was so amazed by her beautiful work. She makes these beautiful charm bracelets with polymer clay. If she wasn't in the UK I would have ordered one for me and one for my mom for Mother's Day!

Edible Crayons...no lie!!
The first time I saw these posted on a blog I was so mystified why any mother would want to encourage their children to EAT CRAYONS. How many times did we tell our kids "don't eat the crayons!" But I have to admit this is a super cute idea and even my teenage daughter would get a kick out of making these with me. The Gourmet Mom website shows you how to make these fun edible crayons, you'll be surprised to find out what they're made of!!
Napkin Wreath
Way cool idea don't you think?? Not sure how long this would hold up, but I think it's a cute idea for special events...and how fun to coordinate with your table decor too. Found this on that same cute These Creative Juices blog.

Crab Rangoon & Peach Sauce
Oh how I love a yummy rangoon (filled wontons). My person favorites are the salmon rangoon at Tsunami Japanese Sushi restaraunt in Salt Lake. But I don't get to go there too often, so I was excited to find this yummy recipe. We're making them this Sunday, join me and give it a try. The recipe is found on Gourmet Mom's website (one of my new favorites)!!
Quick & Easy Mother's Day Frame
If you're all like me, you haven't found the perfect Mother's Day gift yet or you've spaced it all together. I thought this was a cute idea and super fast to throw together in time for Mother's day. Check out These Creative Juices blog for more details.

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