Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spicy Molasses Cookies ...or how my ADD is getting really out of hand.

Just a while back (read: a year ago), I told a friend of ours that I was itching to try Pioneer Woman's Spicy Molasses Cookie recipe.  However, the recipe called for Cardamom.  Not having any Cardamom on hand, I skipped to the spice aisle of my friendly neighborhood Raley's.  Cardamom, it seems, costs a pretty penny! 

 I mentioned this to the friend, and she happily declared that she HAD some Cardamom already and kept it on hand for her father in-law's tea (oooh la la!).  This friend works with my husband, so the next day, she brought a bit of Cardamom to work in a little baggie.  My husband is not what you'd call a rememberer of things, so the Cardamom sat on his desk for a bit, then it lived in his truck for a while. 

 Finally, it made its way to me.  Being the fickle gal that I am (read: ADD), I had pretty much forgotten about making any spice cookies (spice cookies?  what cookies?  where?).  Also, I'd have to trek back to the store to get molasses and heavens--it was all the way over THERRRRRE.  Anyhow, one year and approximately 364 harassing "Got cookies?" emails later ( I was 363), I've managed to produce said cookies.  They're nummy.  If you like Cardamom.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Look out, we're getting handy up in here!

This summer, using wonderful plans from Knock-Off Wood, we made a daybed for the girls' playroom.  Adrian did the building and I did the painting and finishing.  We liked it so much that we decided to move it into the girls' bedroom and make another one for Rachel.
  We LOVE the fact that you can store toys and clothes underneath, and it also takes up less room, lengthwise. 

Also, the adorable wooden letters above their beds are courtesy of Kelli Ferguson at Dwelling

Friday, November 26, 2010

Playing with Photoshop

It's high time I started honing my photo editing skills. I have a lovely copy of Photoshop and I've yet to scratch the surface of what one can do with a photo. Trying to enhance your subject without making them look "unreal" isn't the easiest task!

Charlotte, SOOC (straight out of camera)

After running an action or two...

Another version
I've been lurking on several photo action sites, drooling over actions and before and after samples.  However, if I was just willing to devote the time to learning the ins and outs of Photoshop, I wouldn't need to buy them from someone else!  

Having said that--go check out these wonderful freebies!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I ended up making on Shutterfly...

Voila!  Here's this year's Christmas card, courtesy of Shutterfly.  Fellow bloggers, if you haven't seen this deal yet, you're missing out!

We've been stuck in the house with icky ear infections and colds, but we snuck outside for a bit yesterday for a quick little photo session:

and you know we had to have some fun with Sabrina's wreath!

Monday, November 22, 2010

On my wish list this year... one of these babies.

It connects to your computer, and allows you to make countless wonderful things!  From the Silhouette site:

What Can the Silhouette Make?

The creative possibilities are endless with the Silhouette.  To view projects created by other Silhouette owners, visit the official Silhouette Flickr Group. 

The good news?

One of my VERY FAVORITE sites, TATERTOTS AND JELLO, is giving one of these away!  Go HERE for details.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Christmas Wreath!

Awhile back, we gave Sabrina and Wayne Charlotte's old bed frame and mattresses so that her little Michael could have a big-guy bed.  Every the gracious recipient, Sabrina asked what she could do for us.  Knowing how crafty and talented Sabrina can be, and seeing the ribbon tree that she made for her mom last year, I knew exactly what I wanted ...a ribbon wreath! So we met up at Michaels, Sabrina helped me pick out the ribbon, and then she cranked out this beauty with her own two little (glue-burned) hands!  It's perfect!  Thanks Sabrina!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An long-overdue outing.

My best friend Jen lives in Sacramento, and try as we might, we just don't get our girls together as often as we should.  And grown-up girls only outings?  Fuggetaboutit!  They rarely happen.  Well, we managed to get our acts together last Sunday and met halfway at the Modesto Build-a Bear and BJ's brewpub for lunch. 

This sweet gal had a terrible coughing fit after inhaling some of the stuffing from the machine.  Build-a-Bear is a hazardous job!  It made me think of old cotton mills.  Give those folks some masks!

Giving our new friends a bath.

Classic Rachel pose.  Everyone's spotted owl needs some basic black heels, don't you agree?

Little Katherine just has the best smile!

I wish this wasn't blurry.  Love the looks on their faces.

We had a great time and look forward to getting together again soon! 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shutterfly! For, well...shutterflies!

'Tis the season to start thinking about which Christmas cards you'll choose to both delight your family and beat them to the punch--After December 1st??? PLEASE!  I plan on having mine stamped, addressed, and in good ol' snail mail by November 30th! (Disclaimer:  This statement does not constitute a binding contract, so you should therefore be neither surprised nor chagrined should your card come late, or not at all!)

All kidding aside, I'm here for the first time in months to share my love of Shutterfly.  I've used other Christmas card sites in the past, and have even tried my hand at making my own cards, but I keep coming back to their amazing designs. 

Here are a couple of my favorite Christmas designs:
(Tousle-haired blonde boys are optional--I'm sure you'd much rather include your own family.)

If you're in the Happy Holidays camp, fret not!  There are cards just for you!

 C'mon!!  Adorbs.

For those of you saying to yourselves, "Sure Sal.  YOU can do this, but I don't know what I'm doing!"  Shutterfly has a very EASY photo uploader and even easier interface for creating your projects.

Here's our card from a couple of years back. I loved the simplicity of the design, but it was very hard to choose.  (Side note:  my hair isn't quite that poofy now)

We also made a Year in Review book for the grandmas.  My favorite gift idea, and I plan on making more!

Cards aren't the only thing you can create on Shutterfly.  You can also create wonderful books (my favorite), stationery, calendars, and many more gifts!  It's one-stop shopping.  I can tell you, from experience, that the shipping is fast and the quality can't be beat.  Head on over to Shutterfly and see what you can cook up!

Here's what I've got cooking: