~*~ My sweet blogger friends ~*~

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Back to some kind of normalcy...

So my dear friends, you might (or might not) have noticed my absence and I usually just quickly scan my blogger friends' explanation of long absences, so I'll be quick here just for those who might be curious.  For the past 4-5 months I've been flying back and forth from Arizona to California to empty out my childhood home (after the death of my Mother two years ago) and get it sold.  HUGE job...many tears, backaches, headaches, dilemmas and difficult decisions, but it's done, and sold.   Back to my own life...and my crafting happiness.  I've got some gorgeous Graphic45 paper to play with, a daughter's birthday card to craft this week and lots of scrapbooking to catch up on.  So glad to be back!

Here's just a photo of one room before and after.....from this

to this....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A bit of a different post....My Favorite Brownies

Okay, so a few of you know I've been low carbing for 11 months now and have lost 70 pounds which is pretty amazing being as how I'm now in my 60's and fairly sedentary...well okay, very sedentary.  I have collected a pretty spectacular and delicious bunch of low carb recipes and this particular one is probably my very favorite sugar free, gluten free dessert.  I've tried to track down the creator and the best I can come up with is that it was originally on Suzanne Somers' website.

Because I love you I am going to share.  It is easy, delicious and there are no strange ingredients.  You're welcome!

Favorite Brownie Recipe  
8 oz. cream cheese
5 whole eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tblsp. melted butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. black walnut extract (optional)  I didn't use
1 cup sugar substitute, such as Splenda or Ideal

Place a bowl of hot water on bottom rack of oven. Preheat oven to 325.  Keeps it from cracking.

Soften cream cheese in microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir to eliminate hot spots. Add other ingredients and blend well with wire whisk (I use a mixer on low speed. It mixes better). Pour into well buttered 8" square pan. Place pan on rack above hot water & bake 30-40 min or until fairly firm. (My oven takes a little longer)  I cooked for 35 minutes.  Definitely needs 8x8 pan--someone else tried 8x6 and it didn't cook evenly.

Cool slightly and frost with cool ganache.    Ganache soaks in better if brownies are a bit warm.  Refrigerate until served.

 3 oz. unsweet chocolate  Just baking chocolate.  I used  90% Lindt bar but any baking chocolate will work.
1 cup Splenda - (splenda doesn't mix that well with melted chocolate so I used 16+ drops of EZ-Sweetz) which I believe is why it stayed shiny.  Definitely lower carb too.
1 1/4 cup heavy cream -   I used 1 cup
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt chocolate over simmering water. Add other ingredients--stir til all chocolatey grains are melted. Pour over brownies.

Someone else's note: 

**** I need to clarify that the ganache is really thin. If you like it a thicker more traditional ganache, I would cut the cream way down.....maybe use a couple tablespoons or to desired consistency. I like it thin so soaks into the brownie.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

MME kate & co. (new nummy line), Thickers Rainboots letter stickers & cricut

Dreams are like bubbles...some never get off the ground, but others sail to amazing heights and take us along for the ride.

This is a layout I made to frame and give to my daughter April for Mother's Day.  She is an amazing mother and has demonstrated such strength for little Lily and Rowan since their Daddy's sudden accidental death in October.  We all had a lovely Sunday celebrating...3 hours swimming with the children in the pool and then pizza and sub sandwiches (everyone made their own so Moms didn't have to cook).  Hope you Mothers and Nurturers out there were pampered and celebrated too.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Card

I had some fun squeezing in a Mother's Day card for my sweet Mom-in-law.  This design is inspired by Debby400 who makes about the most incredibly beautiful and creative cards.   She never ceases to amaze as she posts her creations day after day after day.  She must have garnered a monopoly on the muses because it appears she never runs out of new, beautiful ideas.  If you haven't seen her work, please do yourself a favor and check it out here A Scrapjourney.
And now back to my scrapbook projects!
(forgive poor lighting)

Entering for a chance to win some beautiful MME paper at Kiwi Lane Designs

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rowan's Birthday Album....4th birthday

At last!  Grandma has caught up on sweet little Rowan's birthday layouts...at least until August 1st when he turns 5.  Now on to his sister Lily's birthday pages.  I'm hereby resolving never to get this behind again.  I'm actually having fun with these.  I thought I'd be fiending to make cards, but I've found cards can be fitted in between layouts and while making random cards for challenges and so on is fun, at the end of the day, the scrapbooks are what will endure and be treasured.   Here is Rowan's 4th birthday celebration pages.
My Mind's Eye Boy Crazy with a little Echo Park All About a Boy thrown in.
MS train edge punch, SRM stickers, Cricut

Hope you're all having a  great weekend!


Monday, April 29, 2013

More Catching up....I feel so productive!

Christmas Album 2011 spread finished.  Hard one to do because we had hoped my Mom would be celebrating it with us.  Sadly she passed in November, so it was a bit of a bittersweet Christmas.  I actually put some photos of ME in this one (even though I hate photos of myself).  I've lost nearly 70 pounds since these photos were taken so there's a bit of comfort in that.

My little pups cornered a rattlesnake in the backyard yesterday and gave me a fright.  Luckily, they didn't get bitten and the snake made his escape back into the desert.  One of the bonuses of living out in the country.
Can you believe it's almost May?!?  Yayyyy Spring!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Catching Up...

I'm shamefully behind on milestone pages for my grandchildren's albums so I have resolved to catchup!  My sweet handsome little Rowan man will be 5 (can't believe it) in August, so here are his 2nd and 3rd birthday spreads.  Just one more to finish before August for him. Then on to Lily's missing birthdays.

Hope you are all having a lovely Sunday.  The weather is perfect here just north of the Valley of the Sun, there are so many mama quail and their trails of babies everywhere.  The birds are so noisy, I had to turn up the volume on my radio, and the cactus blooms are starting to appear.  I love this time of year.
Hugs to you all,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebrating here

I posted some time ago that I was doing some volunteer work for Arizonans on their Children's Life Book project.  It's a wonderful program where displaced kids who have been in foster care long term are given their very own Life Book (scrapbook) created by a volunteer who researches the child's family and history and chronicles their lives in a positive, nurturing way.  I've been working for months creating two books for a 5 year old little girl and her 3 year old brother, and just completed them.  There will be a presentation party next Wednesday with refreshments and sharing.   These are 12"x12" albums with 33 layouts each and I'm very pleased with the way they've turned out.  Because of privacy issues, I'm not able to share.   Cool thing is that my scrapbook juices are flowing again and I've already completed a double layout for my geneaology album.  Thought I'd share.  Now I've got to catch up on some birthday and Christmas pages that have been neglected far too long.  I've missed sharing and it's frustrating I can't share these Life Book pages with you...but what a good  cause.

That's 4 year old me on the bench  down there.

Oh!  I've also lost 60 pounds since I posted last.  Yay me!