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walking the plank...

Tuesday, June 30

i love holidays. i love them because of the traditions associated with them. i love them because of the "getting together" with friends/family. and i especially love them because they are "themed". yes...sadly and selfishly in a sense, i love holidays for the mere fact that i can be inspired to get creative because there's a focus...a "theme".  give me a theme and i'll run with it. and if there's not a theme, i'll make one up and then happily dash away with it. (sometimes with such excitement and exuberance that i find myself floating in a sea of creativity - because i've gone off the deep know...blindly walked the plank. but i'm happy floating's the other people in the water that can sometimes be choked by all the debris surrounding them). wow. where did that come from?  i like it. "walking the plank into the sea of creativity"...very catchy. i can see a t-shirt and lots of print work with that plastered all over the place. it's a keeper.

so...with that said...4th of july weekend is fast approaching. there are bbq's to attend to, fireworks to be mesmerized by and....there are lots of fun 4th ideas circulating around my brain. check out the houseof3 blog for some super fun & super easy ideas. i'm sooo going to do a couple of those. happy creating...& grab a floaty & some goggles...come on...dive in with me.

*how did i manage to find a "walk the plank" image associated with food/chocolate? craziness.

a little bummed & psyched...

Monday, June 29

a little bummed that i missed out on elizabeth kartchner's shades of summer "extravaganza"...rats.

it sounds like such a fun thing to do. should i start my own? thinking.....

but i'm psyched about jessica sprague's upcoming FREE photoshop tutorial thingy!
you should sign up!

and i'm also pumped from rhonna's earlier post about rules for getting out of a "creative rut". i love her sooo much - feels like we are sisters. (apparently she's one of those spirits that makes everyone feel that way).  i MUST carve out some time for me and just DO - do the things that make me happy. despite the path of disarray it may leave behind. i want to play with one of those yudu things like you wouldn't believe. the creative possibilities are endless. 

n. e.  hoots...must get going...gotta squeeze in something "creative" about you?  super happy monday to you all.

it's a "full...full summer"

Saturday, June 27

love this song by bananarama - i remembered it when i came up with the title of my post today...obviously replacing "cruel summer" with "full summer"...and i just had to add it to my playlist for all of us to enjoy - together.
there's nooooo sleeping-in over the summer in this house! too much to do. too much to get done. it's been full of "busy"...lots of busy-ness:
girl's camp for clara
dentist appts
vehicle repair "waits"
ortho scheduling (uh - oh)
oral surgeon scheduling (ouch)
girls working to earn $ for upcoming trip to nauvoo, palmyra & missouri w/g&g kirkland
swim team for em
side work for mom & rick 
catch-up with old friends (shannon & diane) & looking forward to catching up with natalie - whom i ran into @ the grocery store...
lots of driving around
and did i mention lots of driving around?
i'm okay with it. keeps my brain functioning at a level i find stimulating. (probably too much for some people). the only thing i wish for is more time to do what "i" want to do. "create".  i did make this adorable father's day card for j...
materials used: crate paper, heidi's edge distresser & little miss ella's hand. simple. the colors of the paper are much more "muted" than what the scan shows. i was just too lazy to make any adjustments. (listen people...i have determined that i've been going on 4 hours of sleep every night - on average - for the past 7 months...and then little miss ella decided to make things crazy last night and have me feed her three times...along with getting up an additional 2 times because of her stirring around. how am i functioning? i have not a clue!)
moving on with all things creative....
and then i also sent away for two shutterfly 4x4 albums. one for j & one for grandpa schnapp - both for father's day. didn't do any "fancy schmancy" stuff to the albums because i'm all too familiar with "men"-tality in relation to creative/crafty goods. it's not understood and therefore cannot truly be appreciated. (if you know what i mean). i just filled up each 4x4 page with full-size pics. & then i paid extra for the leather "wallet-type" thing to make them feel more "manly" vs. carrying around a canvas covered mini-album. simple. 
i usually never post on saturdays but i'm squeezing in a quick "hello" before we get going on our day. it's another "driving around" day - errands to run. hope you all have had a wonderful week. i'll leave you with some of things i'm coveting right now:
and this wall hanging - a collection of plates bolted super fun. the picture doesn't do it justice for what it's like in "real life" - 
good saturday to you all! xxooxxo

back on track

Friday, June 19

that's right...i'm "back on track".  and this actually applies to a whole host of things in my life. let's go down the list:

ella - she's back on track for normal naps and only getting up "once" each night now. for about a week she was suddenly getting up twice a night...grrrr....    and surprise! surprise! i heard her talking this morning and went to get her out of her crib and little miss fancy pants had rolled herself over from her back to her stomach and was completely content at trying to figure out how to get from one end of the crib to the other. (that was a first - not the rolling but rather the fact that she had mustered up a "rollover" in the crib, first thing upon waking). 

kitchen - i was living out of ice coolers for 4 days while awaiting a new fridge. for some reason, our original fridge suddenly stopped freezing/cooling any items located in the upper portion of the unit. long story short and two fridge deliveries later i am happy to announce i am officially "back-on-track" with a fully functioning kitchen. (i was surprised at how "unmotivated" i became for dinner-making when i was having to store food in multiple was just so "inconvenient").  the new fridge? well, it's something different than i've ever used & i'm loving it.

eating - remember my "no corn, wheat or sugar for 21 days"? well i was doing soooo awesome. seriously. and then stress kicked in this week & i completely bombed for the past 3 days. ugh! but alas, my friends. i'm so motivated by the results i started to see within such a short amount of time - i'm back on track. as of this moment. today. june 19th! you heard me!  i won't tell you how much i weigh, but i'll be more than glad to tell you the # of pounds i shed at the end of my little stint of deprivation. and actually - i must say i'm not necessarily doing this for "weight loss". (although it's a wonderful side benefit). it's more of a "cleanse" because this will actually help to curb my "carb cravings" that i tend to get in a rut over.  it's all about feeling good physically, which in turn spills over into feeling good mentally and thus emotional feel-good follows right behind.  they are all linked to one another you know...  

soooo....i'm starting the weekend off right. i'm checking in with all of you. i'm ready for father's day festivities including cookie-baking for grandpa angelotti as well as a father's day brkfst & dinner and i'm full-focused on achieving my healthy eating goals for the next 21 days. (new target date set for....drumroll....july 10th). oh!! one more thing. i got my haircut on wednesday. i got some shorter bangs (remember the forehead thing) and went a little more blonde - otherwise - still the "same ole". (and guess what my hair stylist told me regarding big foreheads...he said, "didn't you know? having a big forehead is the sign of true beauty."  & folks, that's what i pay robie the "big bucks" ya robie! *wink* 

have a wonderful weekend and make sure you shower the men in your life with lots of father's day love and appreciation!  here's a favorite picture of mine of j & ella...such a sweet image depicting a "father's love"...don't you think?

seven months

Tuesday, June 16

miss ella scarlet turned seven months on the 14th. so here's some cute pics to celebrate! i just adore the one with her reaching for the camera - it's soooo completely the epitome of what she's doing at 7 months...reaching & grabbing for everything. (and she's super quick). happy tuesday..,

as promised...veggie lasagna

Friday, June 12

crossing off one more item on my "to do" list from earlier this week: here's a delicious, healthy version of lasagna. i just added it to "my little recipe box". enjoy!

favorite flickrs

these are some of my recent favorite images from flickr. i put the name of the flickr "user" so you can do a search for all of their posts, if you like. there are so many wonderful "ttvf" & texture images that people are so graciously willing to share. in fact, the border surrounding the 4 images above came from flickr user: kittykatfish.  i've been playing around with some...

and here's how the look was achieved - i used an overlay from "playingwithbrushes" @ flickr

again - here's the overlay i used 
(another one from "playingwithbrushes")
to get the above results...

here's one of my little em...using the frame provided by kittykatfish @ flickr

soooo many talented people who are willing to share their overlays and textures on flickr. sooo fun to play around with them. happy friday! have a wonderful weekend my peeps...

oh!! one more thing...stumped for a father's day gift idea...check out hof3 for this father's day cute!

get your "photoshop" groove on....

Thursday, June 11

anyone interested in some free photoshop lessons...go here for more details...i LOVE this girl!

bath time...

here are some quick pics from ella's "bath time" last night. the lighting was horrible, (this is where the 50mm comes in handy), so i played around with ps & added a border from hof3 and a vintage-style overlay from nicole v.

box of tissues

better bring a box of tissues for this one....

dessert anyone?

Wednesday, June 10

i am so inspired by amy atlas. she's phenomenal. check out this video and then go see her site to learn more about her story (the law career she left for the business she started). you won't believe her brilliantly designed dessert tables & the collaboration of people that help bring it all together.  dessert anyone?

Amy Atlas on Martha Stewart: Art of Cakes II from Amy Atlas on Vimeo.

blog "to-do" list

okay - lots to catch you up on...i may not get to everything today...but it's coming.

first & foremost...(drumroll please...) - i survived my 21-day road trip without chocolate. there was a bump in the road on day 20...remember the cookie-making project? but other than that...i accomplished my goal and i feel pretty darn good about myself right now.  (and i DID treat myself to some dove chocolates...the savory peanut butter & chocolate version that hit stores not too long ago. they are delish...but i didn't even eat the entire bag. honestly, i wasn't as excited to eat them as i thought i would be. whoa!!?? moving on...and moving forward, i've decided to up the ante and push myself a little further. another 21-day road trip...this time incorporating "no corn (including cornstarch & corn syrup), no wheat  & no sugar".  yes, i've done this before and it's quite challenging but the rewards were quite significant: (more energy, better digestion, weight loss). i began the journey on begins the countdown to june 29th. i can soooo do this. (but trust me...these 3 ingredients are in EVERYTHING - it's quite challenging people. try looking at the labels on things - you'll be amazed at the junk in food - even the so-called "healthy" food). 

next up...must share this SUPER easy recipe with you: spinach fettucine w/artichokes & sun-dried tomatoes.  (for MY portion, i substituted brown rice penne...remember, no wheat for me). 

for some creative MUST go check out the "summer diy series" from rhonna farrer.  lots of fun summer projects going on over there...

update on my 3 girls...

finished 7th grade receiving 6 awards.
1. top gpa in life science
2. top gpa in mathematics
3. all a's in language arts
4. all a's in world history
5. all a's in science
6. all a's in math

received a much shinier french horn from the band director, for use during her last year of middle school. this was a BIG deal to clara since she'd been toting around a pretty hideous-looking one for the past 2 years. 

will be attending girl's camp next week

finished 4th grade by being inducted into the "order of the dolphins" at round lake elementary. this is a big deal because only students with A/B honor roll are invited to be part of this "elite" group. if she continues to keep good grades, she'll be attending an overnight stay at sea world next year with the other "order of the dolphin" members. (they get to choose whether to sleep inside the aquariums with dolphins, penguins, sharks, etc.). 

has been invited to be a "shore patrol" member (safety patrol) as a 5th grader for round lake. again, selection is based not only on academic achievement but also on good character.

is 6 months old and is officially rolling over from back-to-stomach. 

she laughs outloud.

she has extended her morning nap for the past 3 days...from 9a.m. to 12:15p.m.  WHAT?! i don't know what to do with myself...

okay...that's progress...

i'll catch up on the rest later...have a super wednesday. (and "no", i haven't forgotten about "window shopping wednesdays")

150+ cookies later...

Friday, June 5

that's right...150 cookies later and we are officially done with end-of-school-year teacher/school gifts. i've been up to my eyeballs in cookie dough, ribbons, tulle, parties, desserts...chaos. and i love every minute of it. yesterday i was up by 6a.m. - out of the house by 8:20a.m. and in em's classroom until 12:45. i then headed to p/u clara from middle school, (early release day) & then was back at em's class to finish up the luau party. last night i finished up all of the baking...(150 cookies doesn't include the ones being consumed by my lovely family as i was taking them out of the'em). then...this morning i did the "final touches" and prepped for afternoon delivery of the goods. wanna see?

let's back-track a minute. i must share with you one of my all-time favorite things to do. i make my own "decorative trays". remember's all about presentation. start with a recycled piece of cardboard. (i happen to save the little cardboard inserts i get in the packaging from ordering my photos online - they are the perfect size and they conveniently have rounded corners). next, grab your stash of 12x12 scrapbooking paper that's been sitting for years...not being used. (i'm referring to myself...i have lots of paper and this is a great way to use it up - not fast enough...but i feel pretty "green" when i do this project). cut the paper to match the size of the cardboard you've decided to use and adhere paper....voila! you've instantly got a beautiful tray that serves 2 purposes: #1: it's beautiful and GREAT for presentation. #2: it's more stressing about getting your serving dishes back. (side note: this particular paper has glitter embellishments on it so i decided to wrap saran over the top of the paper to prevent glitter sneaking onto any of the cookies. i used packing tape on the bottom side of the cardboard tray to secure the saran).  beautiful, isn't it...& so fun!

next, load up your tray with baked goods. in this case i'm using cookies. i decided to stack them this time but i have also scattered them on the tray - whichever works best for you. mmmm...yummy.

i then wrapped the cookies with saran and embellished with tulle & ribbons that corresponded with the paper. i then made a gift tag using the same paper as a backing & rounded the corners to match the rounded corners of the tray! too cute! this one was for the office staff & administration at em's elementary school:

but here's the version i did for clara's middle school using a different color scheme....

and then there were individual packages to put together for clara's 5 teachers, em's 2 teachers & both of the girls' bus drivers:

everything together looked soooo deliciously magical...

i soooo love doing things like this. everyone that works in the field of education definitely deserve some "props"! i'm grateful for the positive influence they've all had on both of my daughters...thus far. happy summer! let the games begin!!

want the cookie recipe?  click here

just a little note...

Wednesday, June 3 are some homemade note cards i printed for ema's teacher - ms. foster. i made two different versions and printed 10 of each. i also included enough envelopes if she needs them. who doesn't love personalized stationery??!! i know i do. thanks to rhonna and house of 3 for the graphics...this made it so easy!

look at that hair!

Tuesday, June 2

look at that hair! i caught this of ella the other day. i was feeding her while she was watching baby einstein...i loved how the light really showed off her "crazy" hair that's coming in. love this picture...look at those lashes! she's so amazing!

clara's 13th b/day pics (part II)

and so here are some more pics from clara's 13th b/day celebration.
the day started off with a pedicure for clara and then us going to garden gate tea room for lunch. (garden gate is something i've been doing with both of the girls on their birthday every year. it's just me and the birthday girl that get to attend - so it's nice having that one-on-one lunch together). the pedicure is something new i started this year. i figure they are old enough and now have something extra "girly" to look forward to. garden gate is such a quaint little tea room. we always order the "rosemary herb crusted chicken pie" - totally delish - the best i've ever eaten. (i want to recreate this recipe soooo badly). but anyway, all of their dishes are scrumptious. the tea room is an old house that's been turned into a tea room and i just adore old houses anyway. the decor consists of lots of creamy whites, hardwood floors, shabby chic feel, floral patterns throughout and the waitresses/servers are always dressed in some sort of long flowing skirt in a neutral palette. they've got soft music playing in the background and it's such the girly place to eat. (they even have hats you can wear for fun - if you choose).

anyway - after lunch, i picked up clara's friend, emily and then we picked up cousin kalie. both were invited to come along for clara's "makeover". i feel like clara is at the age where we can start to incorporate makeup of some sort so i sought out the "professionals" so clara could hear it from someone other than her mom. the initial place we went - "ulta" - was not that great of an experience. first of all, we ended up waiting about 45 min before the girl ever showed up to do the makeover (which the waiting turned out to be okay because the girls got to "play" in the store...hence the photo collage below...

and THEN - even after expressing our desire to keep things natural for clara, the ulta chick applied makeup on clara EXACTLY like what the girl, herself, was wearing. so....once the girl finished and walked away for a minute, we gently "skipped town" and walked through the mall straight to the clinique counter. (i was hoping they'd remedy the situation and thankfully...they did)....see below:

enjoy the pics - enjoy your tuesday.
lots going on this week - school parties, teacher gifts, etc.

clara's 13th b/day pics (part I)

Monday, June 1

we celebrated clara's 13th birthday on saturday. it was a day filled with lots of "girl-time". first on the list...
and then our annual birthday lunch @

more pics to come...this is the first of two posts...
hope everyone had a spectacular weekend...
psst...only 5 days until my 21-day "road trip" ends...i've done wonderful!

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