Cricut Imagine Launch Party at CHA (rockin it out!!)

I received an invite from Provo Craft to the Cricut Imagine launch party tonight and boy was it a blast!! I've never attended one of their parties, but I've heard about them and can I tell you those Provo Craft kids really know how to throw a fun party. 

First lets talk about the very cool new Cricut Imagine machine. They've partnered with HP to create a machine that will print and cut. It's pretty cool and I can see some great potential with it. I believe it's do out in October. Of course it only prints and cuts out what's on the cartridges you purchase for it, so you're limited. But give Provo Craft time, they'll have a TON of carts to pick for this machine. Personally I'd love to see them partner up with Imaginsice and offer some of those classic icon characters on a cartridge...but that's purely selfish (wink). 

“Cricut Imagine is not only unique to the crafting industry, but to the world of technology. There is not another device that incorporates printing and cutting the way this machine does,” said Jim Thornton, CEO of Provo Craft. “The pairing of print and cut technology could only be done by the leaders in each category—HP and Provo Craft. We’re eager to see what our customers can now do with a simple sheet of white paper and Cricut Imagine print and cut technology.”

Now for the P-A-R-T-Y....first the had a great mix and mingle before hand and had this awesome airbrush artist there doing airbrushed tattoos on anyone that wanted one...couldn't resist. here's me getting my first "tattoo"...sort of!


Next, David Garibaldi performed for us at the party and let me tell you...it was COOL! It's hard to explain though, he was and "artist performer" or "performer artist"...not sure which. But he had a DJ there mixing up the music and then David would dance around a bit and paint this AMAZING pictures to the beat. At first you couldn't tell what they were, but eventually they came to be some very awesome paintings. I especially liked his Einstein painting...he painted it upside down for most of it...which rocked. Here's some badly lit photos, but may you can tell.

Funny thing I realized though, most of the girls (like my friend) thought he was "hot" and really liked him because of that, but all I kept think was..."man I wish my 15 year old son was here, he would think this guy was awesome!" So my take on things is a bit different!! This video wasn't take at our event, but it will give you an idea of how fun great this guy was!!

Here's a link to his website. And thanks Provo Craft for a memorable and fun evening!!

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Business Travel for Mom vs Matt

I've traveled a ton for business over the years and just today headed out to a trade convention in Chicago, Illinois for the next five days.

This reminded me of a argument I would have every trip with a coworker named Matt. I would argue with him that it was so much easier for HIM (aka Matt) to travel then it was for ME (aka mom) to travel! Here's how my argument typically went!

Now Matt only had to pack his own bag.  Of course with the laundered clothing his wife had gotten ready for him. Now for me, I had to do all the laundry...not just mine, but my entire family's laundry. I'm not even sure Matt had to pack his own bag, but as a mom I had to pack my bag and also make sure that my husbands uniforms were clean and outfits were set out for my kids for school (this was when the kids were younger of course). If not, my kids would convince their dad that shorts were perfectly fine in January.

As for food, Matt only needed to make sure he had his company credit card in his pocket and go. Now me, I had to make sure that all groceries were purchased for my hubby and children. Meals were planned out and somewhat prepared in advance, if not, kids would starve because my husband would either forget or claim there was nothing to make. For me, I never seemed to have a company credit card so hopefully I was able to budget the expenses of covering my own food purchases until I could get reimbursed (which didn't ever seem to work out). There were many a business trips that I went with very little money and hoped that someone in management bought my food (boy did I hate traveling poor).

Now Matt's schedule for his business trips was dictated by those planning the trip and often times his free time was unplanned and very little thought given to what his family's schedule would be while he was away. Not for me...I had to make sure that my entire travels were planned out (including Matt's)...but even more importantly, I had to make sure the schedule for my kids was well planned out and documented for my husband to follow. Carpool had to be planned, homework listed and after school arrangements made...and don't get me started on after school activities. Of course it's MUCH easier now that my kids are older and can fend for themselves and even nicer that it's summer.

But those conversations of the travel required for a MOM VS. a MATT were always interesting ones! Not sure Matt ever understood it or cared for that matter.

However, never did anyone appreciate the time working a convention more then me (aka MOM). Even with the occasional calls from home asking how to cook corn on the cob at 7:30pm or telling me someone didn't feel very good (yes, both things happened tonight), my time away is still very appreciated!!  Here's why, 1) I pretty much get complete control over the remote, 2) I do not have to shuttle teenagers anywhere for the next 5 days. 3) I get the bed ALL to myself, 4) Someone else cooks and cleans up my meals for me...this is a huge one. 5) I'm only responsible for me...somewhat! 6) And most importantly I do NOT have to clean up after anyone in my family for the next 5 days...just myself and I love it! I will miss them, but I will also have a lot of fun too!!

But don't get me wrong, I will be very happy to go back home by the end of the week!!

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Pioneer Sacrifice and Personal Suffering

I have mentioned the following story to a few friends that have asked me to send them a copy and I thought I would share it with more of you by posting it on my blog. The story below was written by a dear friend of ours. He shared it with us for the first time when he was asked to speak in church while we were visiting his family in Canada. Still to this day it brings tears to my eyes. I know it's a long post, but if you have the time it's worth reading. Happy Pioneer Day to all our friends & family!! 

"We’ve heard much about the Mormon pioneers of 1847 and their trek across the plains and entrance into the Salt Lake Valley.  Not surprisingly, as the pioneer theme is presented, each goes back in memory to his or her own family line.  There are usually examples to identify and which fit the definition of a pioneer: “one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.”  Some, if not all, made great sacrifices to leave behind comfort and ease and respond to that clarion call of their newly found faith.  The stories of death, suffering and sacrifice along the Mormon trail are legend among church members and the modern-day trek has become a pilgrimage for the thousands of Mormons seeking a connection to their pioneer ancestors.   If you take the time to participate on one of these treks, you will hear the ancestral stories that make the trail come alive.   On a recent visit to Nauvoo, I made my own personal walk down Parley Street to the banks of the Mississippi and gazed across the waters to Iowa thinking of the bone-chilling cold of that bitter winter in February 1846 when the saints would begin their exodus from their beloved Nauvoo and into the unknown mystery of the western frontier.  I took my turn with them and gazed back at the now beautifully restored Nauvoo Temple and thought of the symbol of sacrifice, dedication and obedience its very purpose had served.  Some 5,600 of them had received their endowments and helped establish the restoration of these sacred covenants in this dispensation.  What was missing for me was an ancestral link to this time in history.  I have completed extensive research into my Family History, but all my lines seem to take me deep into a history rooted firmly into Europe with no information even remotely rumored to be LDS.  When I received this assignment, I wanted to add a personal touch and share experiences of my lineage to help explore their sacrifices and personal suffering so that we would better understand the important aspects of the Lord’s plan for us.  I searched my ancestral files again hoping the Lord would slip something into my view that had been previously missed, but I could find nothing.  I had spent the better part of the evening with my research pondering and praying as I went, when a thought occurred in my mind that I actually do have a link.  I immediately made a phone call to a friend living 12 hundred miles away and indeed received confirmation that a link to these early pioneer does exist and he then proceeded to give me the base I needed to begin my research for this assignment.  I could not imagine the history I was about to unfold."

"My research took me back to January 22, 1784 when a young man named James was born in Randolph, NC.  He would live almost 30 years with his parents working the farm until one day he would marry Elizabeth and they would move to the Ohio River.  In 1830 they moved to Missouri, Monroe County.  Here they settled down and on the 10th day of September 1832, they were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder George M. Hinkle, at which place a large branch of the Church was built up and called “Salt River Branch.”   In the fall of 1833, James, his two sons and two sons-in-law joined the company of the Prophet Joseph Smith.  In June 1834, they, along with the Prophet’s company of two hundred brethren, journeyed to the upper part of Missouri in order to redeem “Zion”, and to reinstate a portion of the saints who had been driven from their homes in Jackson County, Missouri.  In the year 1835 they moved to Clay County, Missouri and in the spring of 1837 to Caldwell County where the saints commenced to gather to build a stake of Zion.  James was elected county judge and also President of the southern Firm.  In the spring of 1839 after an extermination order was issued against the Mormons, James and his family would move to Commerce, which was later called Nauvoo, where he was ordained a High Priest, a member of the High Council and was chosen as one of the Prophet’s body guards in the Nauvoo Legion.  He also held several other responsible positions, such as supervisors of streets and helped to build the Nauvoo Temple and assisted in giving endowments.   While they were living in Nauvoo, the Prophet came to James’ wife, who was a seamstress by trade, and told her that he had seen the Angel Moroni with the garments on, and asked her to assist him in cutting out the garments.  They spread unbleached muslin out on the table and he told her how to cut it out.  She had to cut the third pair, however, before he said it was satisfactory.  She told the prophet that there would be sufficient cloth from the knee to the ankle to make a pair of sleeves, but he told her he wanted as few seams as possible and there would be sufficient whole cloth to cut the sleeve without piecing."

"In the year 1842, James was ordained a Seventy and a member of the 4th Quorum of Seventies. In June of 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith, his brother Hyrum, President John Taylor and Willard Richards were taken to the Carthage jail, Hancock County, Illinois.  At the jail the Prophet Joseph handed his sword to James and said, “Take this -- you may need it to defend yourself.”   On the 27th of June the Prophet and Hyrum were murdered in the Carthage jail.  It would be this same James that would move the wounded John Taylor back to his family home and bring the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum back to Nauvoo."

James & Elizabeth
(I'm hoping the child in the photo is a grandchild,
if not that might explain why these two look so unhappy).
"On 29 June 1851, James and Elizabeth would join other saints in forming the Easton Kelsey Company and begin their exodus from Nauvoo to the Promised Land.  100 wagons were in the company when it began its journey from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs).  They originally departed about June 10, but turned back due to Indian trouble.  The Easton Kelsey Company would begin arriving in the Salt Lake Valley from 22 September through the 7 October 1851 -  a much smaller group then had initially set forth 3 months earlier."

"James and Elizabeth would settle in what is now called Spring City, Utah to live out the final days of their lives.  Prior to his death, James would be ordained to the office of Patriarch.  He died just twelve days short of his ninety-second birthday on January 10, 1876.  He had been married to his wife Elizabeth (who died three years later) for more than seventy-two years.  They had reared twelve children of their own and eight orphaned children of their second son.  They had a posterity of four hundred and forty seven, which included twelve children, one hundred and four grandchildren, three hundred and two great grandchildren, and twenty nine great-great grandchildren."

"Now, where do I fit into all of this history?  Well, James and Elizabeth had a son named William Hackley who would become a partriarch after his fathers death.  The next four generations would see Wilson Munroe, Robert Hackley, Robert Clay and Eric Ray join the family as stalwart members of the Church,  the later Robert would become a Patriarch himself.   Then in 1969 a son was born to Eric and Phyllis that would serve a mission in the Canada Toronto Mission for the Church.   His mission would take him to a small city in Ontario and during the spirtual harvesting of a city street and the final door before resting for the day, they tracted into my home where my wife set-up an appointment (and forgot to tell me about it!) for later in the week.  This appointment would lead to the discussions and the eventual baptism of myself, my wife and each of our children and the sealing of our family for eternity."

"It is from the Allred family's rich heritage of dedication, sacrifice and personal suffering that I am here today.   Let me repeat the definition of a pioneer: “one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.”  That would make each of pioneers in our own way.  Some sort of sacrifice is inevitable but necessary as we further the Lords work. We must not lose the spirit of sacrifice demonstrated by the handcart pioneers.  Some of the Lord’s choicest blessings await those who practice this eternal principle through extending themselves in service to God and to their fellowmen. The sacrificing spirit and the happiness that come through service to others can bring peace and joy even amid trials."

"The principle of sacrifice should be taught in every Latter-day Saint home and should be practiced in many simple yet important ways. We can do this by setting an example of reverence that will bring the true spirit of worship into our meetings and by guarding against murmuring and complaining about the challenges of the Sunday worship schedule.  We can contribute a generous fast offering, find joy in supporting missionaries, and pay an honest tithing.  We can accept Church callings and serve with a happy and grateful heart, do temple work regularly, offer family and personal daily prayers, and teach one another each week in well-planned family home evenings.  Both younger members and those who are older can prepare early and make themselves worthy to accept calls to serve as missionaries. We all can be good neighbors and can take care of widows, the poor, and the less fortunate.  We can reach out to others in our service as home and visiting teachers.   Today we are not called to pull handcarts through the snow-swept plains of Wyoming;  however, we are called to live, foster, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is our privilege to invest our means and our time to bless others.  Each one of us must do all we can to preserve our Latter-day Saint way of life.  A vital part of this preservation is a willingness to set aside personal desires and replace them with unselfish sacrifice for others – even those we may never meet in this estate."

For more information about the Allred's, visit Allredfamily.com
Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Favorite Finds that will Make You Laugh!

I've been super busy at work the past week (or two or three) so this will be short and sweet! And there's a bit of a funny and/or mocking theme with today's blog post. Hope something makes you laugh!! 

Funny Disguise Kit Download
Found this on cool website called Design House Digital. This is a free PDF download, just click on the image on this link and you can save and/or print. This made me giggle and giggle and I think we'll actually cut these out and post some pictures on here later. I'd love to know if you post pictures using this fun download too!

Hamm & Potatoes Cake Pops
Bakerella does it again...she posted this rather funny blog post on how she made these darling Toy Story inspired cake pops! I even loved that she called the post "Ham & Potatoes"!!

Handmade Gone Wrong Blog
Had to share this funny link a friend sent me a while back. Although the blog isn't updated too often, it's worth a chuckle! My favorite part is the fact that she put the following tag line in her header: "Some Things Were Made to Be Mocked". Be sure to click back through the older posts...there are some super weird and funny crafts posted on there!!

A Bit of Inspiration
"I believe in pink. I believe laughing is the
best calorie burner. I believe in kissing; kissing a lot. I believe in
being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that
happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another
day, and I believe in miracles."- Audrey Hepburn 

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


The Winner is....

Thanks everyone for the love on my blog yesterday. I'm excited to announce the winner of the Cricut Solutions Cartridge - Home Decor!!

Thanks again ladies!! I'll keep posting more inspiration and giveaways! And thanks for your support of the Imaginisce Blog too!!
Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Apple Cider Cards Featured at Imaginisce & Cricut Giveaway

GIVEAWAY today.....because I'm so excited that my card projects are being featured on the Imaginisce Blog tomorrow. So to celebrate I thought I'd giveaway one of my favorite Cricut Solutions Cartridge - Home Decor!!

Here's a peek of the projects that were featured on the Imaginisce Blog using the new Apple Cider collection. If you'd like to win a goodie box of this collection, be sure to go over to the Imaginisce Blog and leave a comment.  They're giving away goodie boxes every day this week!

Of course, I created the darling birds, titles and scallop borders with my Cricut (Wall Decor & More Cartridge).

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


Favorite Finds: Cards, Apple Brownies & More

Here's some great finds for this week, I hope you enjoy them. Be sure to follow my blog I hope to offer some great giveaways soon. 

Fin-tastic Cards by Nichol Magouirk
Oh how I wish I had the time to learn how to use Copic markers because I already own these fun Snag'em Stamps from Imaginisce. The amazing Nichol Magouirk created these lovely cards with the Splash Dance Snag'em Stamps and copic markers. Don't you just love the googly eyes? Be sure to follow Nichol's blog for more inspiring ideas. 

Apple Brownies
Another great recipe from Gourmet Mom on the Go. They're yummy apple brownies, which I actually made for a family lunch today and received RAVE reviews on. I cooked mine in an 9x13 pan and not a pie pan, but they taste the same no matter the pan. The apples make the cake part very moist and my daughter gave it two thumbs up. Not sure why they're called "brownies" though...nothing brown about these. Everyone especially liked the sugar sprinkles on top with caramel drizzle!! Try them out, they're very simple to make and one I'll be making again! 
Apple Brownies
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 large or 4 small apples, peeled and diced
granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top after baking)
Caramel Ice Cream topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Choose your pan size: either a 9 x 13 pan, two pie pans, or a pie pan and four mini-loaf pans. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and apples. Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.

Flower Earrings
I love these itty bitty flowers earrings by Allora Handmade. She makes the loveliest flowers necklaces and headbands, but these totally caught my eye. I was thinking I'd make me some of these, but knowing my schedule it might be easier to just buy them from her etsy shop! But here's a link on another blog that shows how to make these earrings. 

Butterfly Wall Framed Collage
Don't you just love butterflies? And I love ones made from yummy scrapbook papers too. But what a clever idea to create this beautiful framed piece. You can see more pictures of this on The Idea Door Blog. 

Ruffled Zipper Ballet Flats
I know I've posted about these before, but I found these on Shannon Makes Stuff blog and thought they were cuter and she shows you how she did it step-by-step instructions on how to make these. 

Spray Painted Pillows
Would you believe that these darling pillows were spray painted? The crafty talent behind This Thrify House blog shows you how to create these with canvas fabric, freezer paper and a can of spray paint. Oh the ideas that started flowing through my idea when I saw these are endless...especially when I combine it with the fun designs from Cricut...watch out for a future post on what I create with this inspiring idea! 

Free Twilight T-Shirt Designs
I found this lovely little blog called All Things Thrifty Home Accessories and Decor and after looking through pages of fun projects, I happened upon her many great t-shirt designs she posted on her blog. She even gives them to you in a download that is mirrored so you can print direct to your t-shirt transfer sheets. This is one of her many great designs, but be sure to check out the other designs she created in this post, and this post, this post and this post.  
Sorry I"ve been slow to post these past couple of weeks...so busy with work that I find very little time to focus on my blog, which makes me sad. 

Allred Design, mommy blogger, scrapbook, paper crafts


My Confession that I really, really miss GLEE

My Tuesdays are just not the same since Glee ended for the season. I miss the anticipation of wondering what songs (good & bad) they will add their Glee spin to it. Songs like "Dancing with Myself," "Poker Face" and "Don't Stand So Close to Me" were great when sung by the original singers, but I loved them TONS more when I heard them sung on Glee. They never disappoint at all and it's worth watching (in my opinion). Tuesdays were the day I was so excited to sit down and dedicate my uninterrupted time to watching...now nothing is on and that makes my Tuesdays very sad. 
Although I'm not spending that much on iTunes these days...every Tuesday cost me about $6-7 in downloads during the season (and yes, I own all the songs...best commuting music around)!! 

I had to share a cute video that the very handsome Puck (aka Mark Salling) created about working with the cast of Glee. He's singing in his car on the way to work and he's adorable. I'm sure each actor has a website, but I found Mark's when looking for this video.
I want to be chillin' on Glee with Mark too!! 

Here's a fun wallpaper (not shown) to put on your computer so you won't miss Glee too much while we await it's arrival in the new season! But if you miss the show too much, be sure to check out full episodes on Fox or Hulu.com

By the way, I tried finding when Season 3 will air, but Fox has not announced the date...some speculate that it will not air until 2011 (sniffle and weeping here). But I was reminded that John Stamos will be joining the cast....very curious about that and can he SING?? 

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