Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Woman of Grace- Art Journal Page

This art journal project was inspired by a quote I found on a blog post over at the Right Brain Planner. Check her out! Lots of good stuff about loving yourself, being creative, following your heart...sigh...

" A woman of grace knows that her strength comes from her journey. Thus, she journeys- even when she is weak". ~Teresa Jennings Robinson

Just so perfect for me and where I am in life right now, struggling with health issues and every day with its ups, downs, and unknowns. Yes, I am weak. Tired. Frustrated. 
But I journey.

leftover pink computer paper
stamps- Unity, Verve, Prima
rub-ons- Fancy Pants Designs
vintage book
pieces from old magazines
Elmer's glue stick
Sharpie markers
Staz on Black ink
Worn Lipstick Distress Ink
Pink Bubblegum Glimmer Mist
photo mat from an old collage frame
office tag

I just LOVE collage, don't you?
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Baby Sarah- a Layout

Just a simple layout of my sweet niece. A birth picture and one of her at one year.

Using the current sketch from Sketchy Thursdays.
I traded the circles for rectangles and chose to put the photos over the grid instead of incorporating them into the 6-part design.

Paper- My Mind's Eye, Fancy Pants Deisgns
Flowers- Prima
Ink- Staz on Timber Brown
Alphas- Scenic Route
Adhesive- Helmar Adhesive Runner and 450 Quick Dry

All products can be found at Scrap-Tastic.
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Planning Week 35

Menu planning is a great organizational tool and really helps beats the "What's for dinner?" rush. 
I find it almost essential to my daily quest towards CALM.
This week I don't have a full list, as I will be out of town for a couple of days.
Join us at "I'm an Organizing Junkie" for Menu Plan Monday!

Monday- (breakfast for dinner day)
  • Breakfast Burritos with Fritos (This is a really basic recipe- I omit the ham, and add browned ground sausage, as well as chopped onions and green peppers. You can change it up as desired, but the Fritos really make a difference)
  • Hashbrowns
  • Lasagna, frozen (from Gordon Food Service)
  • Garlic Bread
  • Fritos Texas Meatloaf (using the remaining chips from Monday) **NEW RECIPE**
  • Veggie mix- broccoli, carrots and cauliflower
  • Fresh tomato slices
Fast Food :( Hubs and I will be traveling out of town for my consultation at the Cleveland Clinic.


  • Tuna-stuffed Tomatoes **NEW RECIPE- see below**
  • Corn on the Cob
  • BBQ Pork Chops
  • Crescent rolls
  • Mashed potatoes   
Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes
4 large tomatoes
2 5oz. cans solid white tuna, drained
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. capers, roughly chopped
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. With a sharp knife, slice a very thin piece off the bottom and 1/4 inch off the top of each tomato. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Roughly chop pulp and tomato bottoms and place in large bowl.
2. Add the tuna, celery, capers, oil, vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper, toss to combine. Fold in the parsley.
3. Spoon the tuna mixture into the tomatoes.

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    Project 365: Week 34

    Sunday- working hard on writing her play, based on the game Candy Land

    Monday- my sister came over and set up a temporary craft area for my in the kitchen, since it's not easy for me to get upstairs to my craft room right now!

    Tuesday- vines growing on my porch. Haven't decided if I should leave them or now.

    Wednesday- Dusting day for my youngest!

    Thursday- Gorgeous skies today!

    Friday- Got some cute scrapping ideas while walking around Michael's with a friend tonight.

    Saturday- Painting "Peanuts" magnets. Occupied them for almost an hour- a good buy at $1 from Michael's!

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    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Friday Faves 8/26/11

    As I am sitting at home on medical leave, I have had lots of web surfing time on my hands! 
    Here are some of my faves from this week...

    200 Pounds of Pride in a Bikini- Just how it sounds This girl has spunk!

    Cute scrapbook title idea using transparencies and hand stitching.

    It's almost favorite time of year to use my Crockpot! Check out "Crock Pot Girls" on Facebook for some great recipes!

    Great tips for meal planning and prep. I meal plan every week! I really like her idea about saving weekly menus for future use.

    My crafty friend Janet made this cute little summer mini album.

    One more food link... here is the recipe I used this week for homemade croutons. Super easy and yummy.

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    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Lily's Dance Recital- A Layout

    My beautiful niece, all dressed up for her dance recital this past Spring. 

    Love the texture and dimension on these brads!

    paper- Little Yellow Bicycle, Chatterbox
    transparency- Hambly
    die cut- My Mind's Eye
    brads- Chatterbox and Creative Charms
    alpha rub-ons- Prima

    All supplies can be found at Scrap-tastic!
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    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Project 365: Week 33

    My week in pictures.
    When I wasn't in the hospital, lying on the couch, or just too out of it, this is what happened...
    I should have taken some food photos- many nice family members and co-workers brought us delicious meals during my first week of sick time at home. It was very helpful and appreciated. As it was, I captured...
    First day of school
    Trip to downtown Cincinnati to see our attorney
    Dinner and visiting at my Dad's


    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Taking Time

    It's been a week and a half since my doctor said, "no driving, no work". At that time he optimistically guessed at August 22nd (this coming Monday) as my return-to-work date. Just guessing. I knew in my heart that I wouldn't be ready. Really! I don't even start my new immuno-suppressive therapy until Tuesday! How was I supposed to recover in that amount of time?

    So yesterday I calculated how much paid time off I have left, and called my boss. I told her, "Let's try for September 26th". I sighed; she sighed. I love my job and hate feeling like I'm leaving people high and dry, or like I'm abandoning the families I work with. I know it's not life or death, but I'm good at what I do and I provide a valuable service. (I work with kids with disabilities). After we hung up, I felt defeated and guilty.

    But today I am feeling relief. I know I am not capable or working right now. I am dizzy, often nauseous, shaky, in pain, weak, and sometimes brain-fogged to the point of not being able to follow a conversation. With this longer time frame, my employer can make plans to change services for my kiddos. With this longer time frame, my meds will (hopefully) have time to start working and I can make the trip to Cleveland Clinic.

    Taking time was the right decision. Even so, there is still ambiguity. There is a chance this new medicine won't work. We've already tried three different drugs in as many months. The chances are equally good that I could snap out of this flare within two weeks, or my condition will worsen and I may never work again. That's a big question mark, I know. But the question marks are part and parcel of having a rare, complicated, fluctuating disease.

    For now, I need to use my time to relax, heal my body, and calm my mind. Taking time is good.

    The Face of Prednisone- It Ain't Pretty
    My Spoonie Mantra

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Book Review: The Swan Thieves

    The Swan ThievesThe Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    A beautiful contrast between two painters: the madness of one in the modern day and the mystery surrounding one in the 1800's.

    Kostova blends art, history, psychology and love story seamlessly in this tender and gripping novel. Robert, the disturbed painter, is seen through the eyes of two women who had tried to love him. The life of Beatrice, the 19th century artist, is discovered through private correspondence between her and her forbidden lover. Their stories are tied together by Andrew, the psychologist who finds himself wrapped up in Beatrice's mystery in order to help his patient, Robert.

    Past and present, first-person narrative and antique letters: woven together, the characters are real and sympathetic, their stories ring true, and the reader finds herself frightened, angered, thrilled, hopeless, and uplifted, all at the right moments.

    View all my reviews

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    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    The title makes it sound like a mystery novel, and it kind of begins like one. What you really get instead is a sweet, honest story told from the point of view of a boy with high-functioning autism. The reader gets a peek inside his orderly mind, and learns how and why things stress him out. He conquers the sadness of a murdered dog, a lie about his mother, and a terrifying solo trip to London. His obviously messy home life is NOT so obvious to him- I think a companion novel told from the parents' point of view would be an incredible addition to this boy's story.

    View all my reviews

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    The Face of Prednisone- It Ain't Pretty

    When you have a chronic illness, sometimes the treatments are as bad as the disease itself. Take, for instance, my love/hate relationship with Prednisone, a steroid. When my autoimmune disease, Relapsing Polychondritis, flares up, one of the main drugs to treat the inflammation is Prednisone. In high doses. Side effects include hunger, night sweats, irritability (think roid rage), facial hair, weight gain, bloated abdomen and upper back/neck, elevated glucose levels, and moon face.

    Ahh, moon face. People see your face first. And when it is puffed up on steroids, the change can be shocking.

    This is what I looked like two months ago:

    And now, after weeks of 60mg a day oral steroids and 3 1200mg IV infusions:

    Like I said, shocking. People who haven't seen me in awhile stare. Sometimes they ask if I am pregnant. I had a verbal 2 1/2 year old client tell me I was getting fat. Sigh.

    I know this will pass, but it's still a bitter pill to swallow. Be kind to moon faces!

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    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    Project 365: Week 31

    Pretty boring week around here. Way too much time driving around for work and at the doctor's office/pharmacy.

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    The Bay- A Layout

    Our local amusement park has a fun water area that is a favorite summer hangout.

    Paper: My Mind's Eye, Chatterbox, Bella Blvd.
    Brads- My Mind's Eye
    Fiskar's scissors
    Alpha- Chatterbox
    black Sharpie

    Most supplies can be found at Scrap-tastic.

    Sketch: Sketchy Thursdays (Feb 24)

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