Wednesday, June 25

McKinney ranked 14th in Best Places to live!

Our city was ranked 14th as one of the best places to live in the United States. Read the article from Fortune Magazine here.

With one of the oldest authentic downtowns in Texas, McKinney is unlike most of Dallas newly developed suburbs. But with new facilities and businesses finding their way to the city (established in 1848), McKinney and its residents are managing fantastic growth.

The once-abandoned Historic Collin-County Courthouse was recently transformed into the McKinney Performing Arts Center, and Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson established Texas first athletic training and sports science center here.
McKinney also offers excellent schools and plenty of green space, including a 289-acre outdoor preserve and nature museum and PGA Tour – owned and – operated golf course.

Friday, June 20

A Neat Stamp Store

On our way back from San Antonio, I convinced DH to take a little detour into Salado. I remember visiting Salado as a child but I had not been there in well over 30 years. As we were driving around looking for a place to have lunch, we stumbled across a.... stamp store, Stamp Salado.
Stamp Salado is a darling little store. I could have easily spent ALOT of time and $$ there but DH gave me 20 minutes so I quickly looked around, made my selections and left (vowing to go back the next time we drive south). This store is definitely worth the stop if you are into stamps and paper crafting. Visit thier website and get on their mailing list.

Wednesday, June 18

Trip to San Antonio

San Antonio is the halfway point between Dallas (where we live) & Mission (where I am from). This past weekend, we met my parents there. We had a wonderful time at the River Walk. After our boat tour, we walked over to La Villita. La Villita was San Antonio's first neighborhood, it's now a wonderful collection of art galleries, craft shops, clothing stores, restaurants and an outdoor theater. We arrived just in time to watch the Fiesta Noche Del Rio which is a show at an outdoor theater featuring dances from Mexico, Spain, Texas & Argentina.

The entire show is sponsored by the Alamo Kiwanis Club which donates all of the proceeds to children's charities. The show is recognized as the longest regularly-playing outdoor musical production in the US. Kiwanis has sponsored this show as a fundraiser since 1958. Needless to say the show was spectacular, the few pictures I took don't even do it justice. I highly recommend checking out their website for some wonderful videos and music .

Here are my dinky snapshots:

It's hard to appreciate the uniqueness of the theater in this picture. The stage is actually across the river from where the audience sits.

Here's a close up picture of one of the dancers.

Thanks for stopping by. For more information about visiting San Antonio, go to this website.

Thursday, June 12

Card for a friend...

Here's a simple and elegant card I made using my favorite stamp from the All Holidays stamp set. I love this stamp. I used the Cuttlebug to emboss the flowers on the vanilla card stock and then colored them with the blender pen.
Regal Rose, Certainly Celery and Very Vanilla card stocks, sheer ribbon.

Scrapbook Layouts

About six weeks ago I was able to go on a scrapbooking retreat with some girlfriends and downline. It was absolutely terrific. I glued myself to my chair and worked feverishly the whole time I was there....about 52 hours! In the end I completed about 70 pages, which made me very happy.

I've been scrapping since I was a teenager. I gave it up when I was single and climbing the corporate ladder but once I became engaged my girlfriend Kristi urged me to get back into it. I hestitated because I know myself, in a short period of time I went bananas with supplies and by the time we got married I had a room full of stuff. Two years later, after Micaela was a year old, I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator... so you can only imagine the crowdedness of my craft room today--

In the coming weeks, I will share pictures of some of my layouts. I don't follow any particular rules when I scrap, I mix what I like together and just go with it. Some of my paper is from the dollar store, some is from expensive scrapbook boutiques. Remember, I have a room full of supplies and I am desperately trying to use everything up. Sometimes I stamp, sometimes I use stickers, I sew often. I tend to use alot of ribbon and vintage fabric accessories that I took from my Mom's sewing room. Really, more than anything I just try to capture everyday moments as best I can. I like embellishments but not too many. I try to journal alot, not just about the picture or the event but even boring details too. Overall, my goal is to get the page done and move on to the next set of pictures because I am so far behind.

If your not a scrapper but you are a Mom think about starting a book for your child, they will be thankful for it when they get older....

Here are some of my layouts. These are all 12x12, which are pretty difficult to photograph, forgive the poor quality of the pictures.

Did you know....

Did you know that it will take 1000 years for anything Styrofoam to decompose? I just recently learned that. I've always felt weird about putting stuff that was technically reuseable or recyclable in the trash. Styrofoam peanuts was one of those items. When we got married four years ago, I bagged up all the peanuts we received with our shipped gifts and took them to a local Mail Boxes Etc for reuse. The store clerk looked at me a little oddly but gladly took them! Recently while doing some research at for the city, I found that every single packing/shipping store in our area will take them for reuse, now it's common practice! So, next time you receive anything with those pesky peanuts, instead of putting them in the trash, take them to your local packing store for recycling! Ok, off my soap box and back to stampin' & cookin'!

By the way, the Plastic Loose Fill Council's Peanut Hotline (800-828-2214) will direct you to businesses willing to accept used peanuts for their own packaging needs. The collection sites are typically small packaging or gift shops that welcome the free packing material.

Wednesday, June 11

Pure & Simple

Sometimes I am all about pure and simple cards; you know just a couple of layers and straight stamping. This is one of those cards. The Live Your Dream stamp set featured in the Occassions Mini is perfect for this type of card. I just love the quote and these flowers!

Card stock is Ruby Red, Choc. Chip and Very Vanilla.

I am back...

Sorry for being a bad blogger, between the new job, having out of town parents & inlaws in for a total of 17 days, a scrapbooking retreat, Mother's Day demos for KA, Micaela's birthday, DH's oral surgery and a complete overhaul of my stamp room, it's just been a little NUTS!

To say my new job is keeping me busy would be an understatement! I am loving it but it is really testing my time management skills. Before I used to stay up late stamping, working on my blog and tinkering in my stamp room, now.... I have to go to sleep at a decent hour because I 'have to' get up in the morning.

I've had a few readers ask how my new job is going. Well, it is going well. I am loving what I am doing but I have found working for city government is VERY different than corporate America.

Great Brisket Recipe

I wanted to share a new discovery for cooking brisket, Woody's Cookin' Sauce. You can find this at your local grocery store. The jar is in the BBQ sauce section and it's about $5 a jar.

My friend Kristi's mother has used this sauce for years. I have always used a cousin's marinade recipe that called for 15 different ingredients, well this is so much easier and the taste is just as delicious.
We've used this for our last two cookouts and it's been great. I highly recommend this. Here's the recipe from their website. I was shocked to find this is not a Texas Product.

Teacher Gifts

These are the gifts I made for Micaela's teachers at her preschool. Micaela attends a Spanish immersion preschool, so the card is in Spanish.

The schoolhouse is from a retired SU set called Golden Rule Days, I am not sure when it retired but the date on the box was 1999. When I saw this set (on ebay), I just had to have it for the school house, it is practically identical to the school logo. The Muchas Gracias is a stamp I got a long time ago, not sure where.

The box holds 7 nugget chocolates and I spelled out GRACIAS on the chocolates using Avery labels. The Golden Rule Days stamp set included small images of notebook paper, a pencil, school bus and a school days sentiment. I stamped the notebook paper, pencil and schoolhouse all over the box with Ballet Blue ink for a tone on tone effect. I made seven of these sets for the teachers and the staff at her school. Her actual teachers got a little extra, a red & khaki canvas tote bag.

On the inside I printed a little wallet size picture of Micaela and an little note from us. The teachers loved them!

Father's Day Card....

Here's an easy Father's Day card. This was inspired by some on Nancy Riley's blog. I really love the simplicity of this card. The black and kraft colors look very Texan to me.

I used Basic Black, Kraft and Chocolate Chip card stock. The star paper is retired from the Outlaw collection last year. The Father's Day block is stamped in Black Craft Ink and embossed with clear powder.