Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! We have had a busy day so far...I participated in Austin's class ( my last day as parent instead of teacher!) I start on Monday officially and I am very excited. I still need to get my actual crafts planned out, but I'm feeling pretty confident!

It turned out to be such a nice day today that we are sneaking out to the boat to go for a quick sail this afternoon before getting ready for trick-or-treating! I was torn between riding my bike and sailing, but the entire family will enjoy sailing more! I am hopeful the weather will be nice through the weekend and i can sneak in some riding! I am so glad it isn't going to be freezing for trick-or-treating tonight! I am such a kid and can't wait to dig through the buckets at the end ... Halloween is definately one of my more favorite holidays.

2 lucky family members are hopefully receiving these cards in the mail today if they haven't already!


Soup and more soup

We went from 70-80 degree afternoons to highs of 45-50 overnight a few weeks ago...The last few weeks it has held steady and the kids have coughs, doug and i have runny / stuffy noses and i've noticed that lack of energy in your body that comes when it is time for drastic weather changes. This year I have had a hard time adjusting, I think my allergies have been a bit worse than usual and my joints ache a little more than last year!

I always try to be optimistic about winter and secretly enjoy it a bit...I tend to be someone who needs to 'hibernate' in the winter. After a long and busy summer I usually feel exhausted and socially drained and need to recharge my batteries so to speak. I look forward to relaxing and watching a few tv shows, having more time to spend in my home studio sewing and crafting, and at our house we usually do more comfort cooking in the winter. I start pulling out recipes for meatloaf / chili / chicken and noodles / lots of homemade appetizers and dips / and a lot of crock-pot recipes. I am so excited because i have 2 new soup recipes to try this year! I must say 2 out of 4 of us is pretty picky...so I think I may only be able to get away with 1 of these recipes for the whole family. It is also done in the crock-pot so I am anxious to try it (so easy!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 (1.25 oz) package taco seasoning
1 (16oz) can chili beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12 oz) can / bottle beer
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes w/ green chilies (undrained)
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded cheddar (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)
1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours. (on low heat)
2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop (such a funny word!) of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

We have a busy, cold weekend ahead with trick-or-treating tomorrow night and then the fall work party at the sailing club on Saturday 'winterizing' the boats / docks so I plan on making the Chicken Tortilla soup this weekend and having something good to warm up with. The second soup recipe is for a delicious sounding Pumpkin, Mushroom soup that I think would be to die for....but I'll have to sneak it by my family....I may have that one all to myself! I have a weekly playdate and we do homemade soups and bread for lunch each week during the winter - so i may try it out there too! These 2 recipes are compliments of my sister/law Jenn.
Tonight is our fall party at school so we will be dressing up for that! These pictures are from our Pirates Ball party last weekend at the club. Austin wore his pirate costume from last year and we had fun drawing his face (I told doug he looked like keith richards after a long night!) but we found a batman costume for tonight and tomorrow night. Tyler was Austin's old bumblebee costume (this is a perk of having same sex children!) and this picture is a classic example of where you can find this child anytime he isn't getting his way!
If you have a great soup recipe that I can add to my list to try, please post a comment and leave it...I would love to try something new!!


new me, part II

family: the reason why we all make sacrifices...

i have been cleansing my soul the last few weeks and have wanted to share some of my thoughts as i do this.

i can't explain how hard it was to have something so prominent in your life for 4 long years to just be completely out of your life one day. as i was riding my bike with tyler in the trailer last week i spent 2 hours in the fresh, cool air reflecting on the last 4 years of life. this is what came to mind: way back before i was married, before i had my own children i taught a class to children of divorce on how to manage their grieving process relating to the divorce. we taught that the first stage of grief was denial -and once you got through denial you moved on to anger - after anger was acceptance and renewal. you also never knew how long each stage would last before you got to the next and most importantly was that none of these stages was your fault, it was natural.

while thinking about this process i realized that i had been grieving the selling of my company. it started with the denial, just plain ignoring the fact that i was doing it. then a long period of anger or grouchiness that i had done it....probably related to the fact that i felt a bit of failure for not being able to manage and balance a huge company and my family at the same time. i think i'm somewhere in between anger and acceptance right now...a little lost in what to do with my creative energies and all of my free time. let me also mention that throughout this whole process i have never regretted selling the company - it has just been a very hard process. i knew deep in my heart that it wasn't good for me anymore or my family, everyone was suffering.

one of my favorite artists and bloggers, elsie, has been working on an interesting post that i can't wait to read once she posts it. She is going to talk openly and candidly about having a career as an artist. I can't wait to see her take on it and while always thinking of myself as more an entrepreneur {probably due to my business degree and background, versus schooling in design or art} than an artist. But, she is going to talk about having a career as an artist or creator versus having a 'normal' job....so i think i fall into the category of artist, creator, designer - whatever you choose to call having a job where you never quite know where your next paycheck is coming from!

having said this i have also been contemplating how something so innocent becomes so huge and then what happens when it isn't really fun anymore. i read this post by melody ross, founder of chatterbox {a pioneer in the scrapbooking industry} and couldn't have related more. it all of a sudden made so much sense...you have an experience, come full circle, just to realize you have reached the beginning. a scary thought i must say, but it had some really deep meaning. i had gone through the last 4 years of really hard work mentally and physically demanding. an experience that has taught me so much about myself, including my faults as well as my talents, shown me boundaries in personal and professional life. most of all giving me the confidance to know that i can do anything i set my mind to and that i tend to be an overachiever when i want something and can see the 'vision'. the flip side of this is how does something that started on the kitchen table for some extra fun money slowly creep into your life and become something of a disease that takes over your family and personality? so here we are at the beginning - cleansing the soul - a fresh start - repairing the damage and deciding which road to take.


new shop

i can't wait to introduce my new etsy shop! you can find it by clicking here. I was going to wait to share the news until i had the store stocked with fun stuff, but wanted to go ahead and start playing with the design and uploading items. My hope is to design a few of my own quilts and post finished quilts and cut kits. As well as some handmade scrapbook / card items and kits. So, go ahead and get yourself familiar and check back often.

It has been raining all morning and is so dark in the house - i think this week has been our first reality check that winter really is coming. My body is trying to adjust...the runny nose, dull headache {this could also be directly related to the fact that I'm out of coffee} and lack of energy. The cold weather has thrown off my exercise routine since I bike outside with the kids in the trailer...yuck!

I have some Christmas cards to finish making today and then I'm hoping to finish up some scrapbook pages I have been working on. We have a busy weekend with dinner at my brothers house tonight and then the last sailing regatta of the year this weekend with a fun costume party Saturday night. Have a great weekend!



if you know us you know we are a huge sailing family...i will say that my husband is probably the most passionate about it with austin in a close second. i also love the water and most of the sailboats we've owned have had there own quaint uniqueness that i've been so fond of. i am very passionate too, but doug is competitive by nature so wins as the expert in our family. i win at being most passionate about running and crafting / creating : )

one of our 'many' boats along the way - this one was for racing...

one of our favorite blogs to read every morning over coffee is this one. This 16 year old kid is named Zac Sunderland and he left marina del ray, california on june 14th in a 36 foot sailboat in attempt to be the youngest male to sail {solo} around the world. wow. remember when you were 16? did you have a dream like this - and not only a dream - but the ambition to follow through with it? I am remembering when i was 16 and my dream was to learn to fly a private size plane, and unfortunately it didn't happen....this pales in comparison to sailing around the world. i just wanted to learn to fly - not solo around the world! if you have a minute check out his blog, even if you aren't an avid sailor, or know nothing about it, but appreciate ambition you will get something from this. it is so refreshing to see how many people are backing zac financially and spiritually hoping he succeeds.

doug coached soccer this fall for austin's team and really enjoyed it...i knew he'd be good from the beginning being so athletic, but i think he was a little skeptical of trying to teach 5 year old boys the strategy of soccer while just trying to hold their attention for an hour. their last game was last saturday and then were an exceptional team...doug was so proud of them and i was so proud that he was such a good teacher and didn't make it competitve, but just taught them how to play and love the sport. he has a new project for this fall / winter and is so excited. he has been wanting to create some sort of junior sailing program to grow the sport among young people...and not the sport of racing but the love of sailing. it looks like it is going to happen and i'm so proud that he is involved and helping renew the sport....more on this soon!

i'm working on a few creative projects and hope to share them soon!


31 goals

i have been wanting to share this scrapbook page i did about a month ago. i got the idea from a couple different places about setting goals...i've seen people do 1, 2, 5, and 10 year goals or goals at each birthday - so i decided to think about 31 things i wanted to accomplish in my 31st year. not an easy task i must say...i tried to find balance between personal goals, goals for my family, goals for my marriage and general goals. I took about 3-4 days just to think about and ponder the 31 things i wanted to include. I wanted the page to be simple with the focus on the goals - i am also really into using white pages as backgrounds right now and keep alot of 'white' space. I used paint underneath the goals and around the edges of the pictures. i also punched photo corners out of hambly transparencies and kept a rather bright theme!

I do need desperate help in figuring out how to post my scrapbook pages in the cleanest way. i don't have a 12 X 12 scanner nor do i have photoshop - so i'm limited in those ways...i just took a photo of this one so we'll see how well the picture turns out. also if anyone know what i need to do when i upload it so you can click on it and make it larger let me know!!!!

i challenge you (even if you don't scrapbook) to sit down and make a list of goals for the next 12 months...it is a good exercise in where you are at this point and what is important to focus on in the next year...then it serves as a great reminder and memory down the road!


Another soccer season ends...

Today was our last fall soccer game, a bit bittersweet i suppose. I'm ready to have our weekends back without any commitments, allowing us to travel if we want to. But, Austin made the best play today and it was SO fun to watch. you know how finally the last game of the season the underdog finally seems to get it? That is sort of his case. Doug coached this season and we were lucky to have 2 really - really good boys on our team. One was super fast and the other was great at getting the ball in the goal, so we scored a lot and the boys really improved on passing the ball as the season progressed.
Here's the deal, Austin isn't the fastest player so he kind of missed out on getting the ball very often because the two really good/fast players always had control. Today the ball ended up right in front of him with no one around and he (very controlled) took the ball down the field right to the line and then passed it right to the 'goal kicker' and he kicked it right in. It was awesome and he was so excited and doug and i were so proud! So...that is when you hate for the season to be over - but we got our pictures and trophies and kids loved it!


laugh away!

okay this made my day - take 6 minutes to watch, laugh and smile!


her name is suzi blu and she is quite funny!

Thursday hello!

I can't wait to share the news with all of you about my new job starting November 3rd! I was offered the position of Twigs teacher for my son's preschool class. I will be teaching the 4-5 year old class that we call twigs. Austin goes to a cooperative preschool where the parents run the school. They are in charge of everything from hiring teachers to raising funds for the school, etc. The greatest part is that once or twice a month as a parent you participate in class with your child, hands-on learning what they do and being a part of the process.

Austin started here when he was 2 years old, so this is our 4th year and it was a great way to 'ease' into the process of him being in school and away from home for a few hours. I have always loved knowing how class works and what they are learning about. They start as Seedlings, then become sprouts and graduate as Twigs. I have a lot of creative ideas for class and can't wait to start working on my plans!

more later!


yummy fall recipe

I wanted to share this really yummy fall recipe - whether you love sweet potatoes or not this is really good!

*twice-baked sweet potatoes*
2 large sweet potatoes
2 oz (1/4 of 8 oz. package) cream cheese
2 T. milk
1 T. brown sugar (i did a little extra!)
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup pecan pieces

heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil lined baking pan. bake 30 to 35 min. or until tender.

scoop out centers of potatoes into bowl (or mixer) leaving 1/4 inch-thick shells. Add cream cheese, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potatoes; mash until blended.

spoon potato mixture into shells ; top with nuts. bake 8 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

these were awesome and tyler loved them!!

Think Christmas time!

I did a workshop last week and we did a christmas card so i thought I would share. I have since made a couple other versions using an older stamp set! This card was mulit-dimensional and we got the idea from http://www.beate.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/ - she has a great website and gallery with tons of ideas!

I used the Season of Joy stamp set from the Stampin Up! catalog and the Ski Slope designer paper from the holiday mini.

the cards at the bottom are done with paper from last years catalog that i had leftover and an older stamp set! I embossed the green santa and then colored the other one with ink and an aqua painter!