Scrappin’ Saturday

Anyone that knows me, knows my first love is paper, stamp and inks. However, my love of digital scrapping is a very close second!  I started digi-scrapping in 2004 back when it was just becoming popular.  Between moving, a divorce, adjusting to being a single mother in a TINY house with very little space for my paper crafting hobby, digital scrapping was a natural fit for me to keep up my memory keeping and to keep little fingers out of my stash.  When Sadie was born it was necessary as a lot of my tools are dangerous for a toddler and sometimes it was just quicker to get the memories scrapped without dragging a lot of stuff out.  Now that I have a very large, dedicated craft room and no little ones to destroy it, I am able to paper craft AND digital scrapbook to my little heart’s content.

I am very excited to say that for September and October, I was asked to be guest designer for TWO of my very favorite digital designers and am so excited to show you some of their fantastic designs!  LJS Designs from Sweet Shoppe Designs (my very favorite digi store – and one of the longest running in the business) and Dandelion Dust Designs from Gingerscraps!   Each Saturday for the next 2 months I will be showcasing my layouts and their NEW releases to these 2 stores. Both stores have new releases on Friday and are on sale for that weekend only!

I was so excited when I saw my first kit assignment for LJS Designs as this kit was PERFECT for the gorgeous pictures I took earlier this year from our trip to Denton, NC when we got sidetrack by signs to the Pisgah Covered Bridge.  I’ve never seen a covered bridge and was so excited!  My wonderful husband drove about 30 miles out of the way to find it for me and I’m so glad he did!

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http://www.sweetshoppedesigns.com/sweetshoppe/product.php?productid=40297&cat=1047&page=2

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Gingerscraps is having an awesome sale and birthday party this weekend with a gorgeous free with purchase kit that I’ve already had to pick up! Gingerscraps Store

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Here is store link to Dandelion Dust Designs

Make sure to check back next Saturday as I will have layouts from both of the designers posted.

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Weight Watchers Meal Prep and Progress Update

I started meal prepping and Weight Watchers online on March 22, 2018 and I’m proud to say it’s paying off!  I have officially lost 47 pounds the last 5 months – almost HALF WAY TO MY GOAL of losing 100 pounds!  My husband, kids and parents have been so supportive and encouraging and so have my friends and other family!  I’ve also had a TON of requests of how I’m doing it and what I’m eating so I thought since I had Labor Day weekend off and knew I would be getting some meal prep done I would take some pics of my process so I could just direct people here when I get questions.

Weight Watchers has really been the only program I’ve ever attempted that just worked for me.  I’ve stopped and  started an embarrassing amount of times and it always comes down to the aggravation of tracking.  The new WW Freestyle program offers over 200  ZERO point foods and the most awesome app for tracking that has really made it easy for me to track FAITHFULLY for the last five months.  I pay $19.95/month but since I meal prep and only eat out on the weekends now, I’m saving a ton of money that makes paying for the app worth it.

I try to do a serious meal prep session at least once a month or every three weeks which I have found is also KEY to me sticking with it.  I am a creature of habit and generally eat the same thing all week and wing it, but stay within my points on Saturday and Sunday.  Having access to a kitchen at work makes it easier to stay consistent and to bring meals to work.

I meal prepped 25 lunches today which include 8 chicken fajita bowls (MY FAV lunch), 8 baked chicken and veggies, and 9 chicken taco soup. It took a grand total of 1 1/2 hours and that included clean up.  I hear the excuse about “no time” so much and honestly I felt that way too, however losing so much weight has given me so much more energy that I MAKE the time to do this every month.  The link to the meal prep containers I use is HERE

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I also use some 8 oz and 16 oz containers that I got from Fred’s Food Club about 2 years ago (50 in each size and lids for about $10 total).  They are pretty sturdy and have lasted awhile, I just have to throw out lids occasionally as they crack or break. The lids were bought separately and fit both sizes of containers.

MEAL ONE – CHICKEN FAJITA BOWL

I made 8 Chicken Fajita Bowls that are  only 1 point and that is for the wrap that I use –  Joseph’s pita wraps and they are SO good! I go ahead and set out 8 meal prep containers and fill as soon as the chicken comes out of the oven.

  1. Take 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (salt/pepper) and bake until done. I chopped this up after baking . Each container gets 4 oz of chicken. You can add whatever seasoning you like to the chicken, sometimes I use chili lime, or fajita mix.

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2. Wash and drain 2 cans of black beans. Each meal prep container gets 1/3 cup of beans

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3.  Next I take 2 frozen bags of Baja frozen corn and divide evenly between the 8 containers (about 1/2 cup). I don’t cook it because it heats up nicely when I microwave the bowl at work.

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4. I buy these tiny containers from the dollar tree and fill with salsa (about 3 heaping tablespoons and add right in the container also.

 

5. I take 1 wrap and fold and add to a ziplock bag and place right on top of the food in the container to finish it off.  The only cooking involved in this prep is baking the chicken.

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MEAL TWO – BAKED CHICKEN AND ROASTED VEGGIES

This is just a simple, go-to for me as LOVE vegetables and this is a zero point meal also!  I made 8 meals. Sometimes I add 1/3 cup of brown rice to this prep for 2 points, but I’m trying to cut back some carbs for a few weeks.

  1. Bake 4 large, boneless, skinless chicken breasts until done using whatever seasoning you like.  I like to use Mrs. Dash’s seasonings for my chicken but just went with salt/pepper this time

2. While chicken is baking, add 1 large bag of California blend veggies and 1 bag of brussels sprouts to large baking sheet and add just a dash of extra virgin olive oil and salt/pepper, I baked @ 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. I did cover with foil while baking.

Assembled chicken and veggies prep:

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MEAL THREE – 0 POINT CHICKEN TACO SOUP

This is literally the easiest (and TASTY) soup that I eat and both the girls like it too.  I use my Instant Pot but it can also be made in the crockpot.

  1. Add 3 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts into the IP along with a cup of water and pressure cook on high for 15-20 minutes.  Release pressure and shred chicken right in the Instant Pot.  Add the following ingredients to the IP right on top of the chicken:

2 cans, drained and rinsed black beans

1 small can diced tomatoes

1 package frozen baja corn (OR 1 to 2 cans of corn)

1/2 package frozen sliced onions/peppers

1 large jar of Salsa ( I use the 38 oz jar from Dollar General)

1 package of taco or fajita seasoning mix.

Mix and add water until you get the consistency of soup that you like. Place IP lid back onto pot and pressure cook on high for another 10 minutes.

This recipe made 9 – 16 oz bowls of soup!

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SO easy and now I have lunch for work for the next month!

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SNACKS (and Salads)

I also wanted to show how I plan ahead with fruit and snack prepping also AND sometimes I add a small fresh salad to eat with my soup.  I LOVE the big bags of mixed fruit from Walmart/Sams. They are unsweetened and zero points.  Sadie also likes them and I make these for me and her both as I meal prep for her also. She takes her lunch to school and I’m trying to instill good habits into her also.

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I use the 8 oz containers and got 13 out of the mixed fruit bag and 9 out of the cherry berry blend! These 2 bags are $20 total together which is not bad for 22 servings of fruit that doesn’t go bad! I just leave them in the freezer and pull out the night before and add to our lunch boxes.  I eat 2 fruits a day, one of these containers and 1 fresh piece of fruit – usually an apple or banana.

Other snacks that I pack include hard boiled eggs, sliced ham with a laughing cow cheese wedge.  I eat about 5 pounds of raw carrots a week LOL, sometimes I dip the carrots in plain hummus that I pack in the tiny containers that I got from the dollar tree.  I also am a big fan of the Starkist tuna packed in water pouches.

Sunday afternoons I also make 5 to 6 salad jars to grab for lunch or to eat along with supper!  I add a small container of fat free Italian Dressing right inside the jar (in those cute little dollar tree containers) as I don’t like for my lettuce to sit in the dressing all week.

BREAKFAST

I eat this breakfast every day with the exception of Sunday Morning when we go to the Truck Stop before church (western omelet – NO Cheese and 1/2 cup grits) and 1 day a week I eat a jar of overnight oats! This is my favorite HIGH protein breakfast and keeps me full until 10:30 ish and is low to no points depending on what I add to it. I call it my Jar Omelet. I make it every night and add to my bag.  I use 2-3 eggs, 1 slice of ham, about 1/2 cup of sliced onions/peppers.  It is zero points unless you add 2 slices of ham (makes it 1 point) and if you want cheese you can add a Laughing Cow Cheese light wedge for 1 point.  Mix up ingredients and to cook simply cook for 1 minute in the microwave, stir, cook for another minute, stir and then if still not done, cook for about 30 more seconds.  Be very careful though as the jar gets HOT!!! You can also do this in a large coffee mug with a handle.  Just dump the jar of ingredients into the mug. So quick, so easy and very filling!  I also have to have a large cup of coffee with 4 tbsp. of sugar free Coffee Mate French Vanilla creamer (2 points) and 2 small packets of stevia to sweetened.  My breakfast is usually only 2 points because of the coffee!

 

 

Eating this way during the day usually leaves me anywhere from 12-16 points for supper and honestly I eat whatever we cook for that night.  I just measure carefully and if there is an especially high point (FRIED) meat that Doug and the girls want, I will pull out some baked chicken or a salad and eat that instead.  If we don’t cook or it’s a free for all, I will simply pull out one my prepped meals.  Thanks for sticking with me to the end of this post, I know it was long and picture heavy but I’ve had so many requests for what I am doing, I felt this was an easy way of getting the info out.

 

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Is It Fall Yet?

Not quite, but we are close!  Here in sunny NC we get the shortest fall but I make the most of it.  Pumpkin spice is everywhere and boots!  I took a short break from creating to go to the beach (scrapbook layouts are coming) and to recharge from the stress of the creative team tryout for FSJ.  I didn’t make it but I made the first cut and got a very sweet email from Ms. Kim Kesti, creative director that I was “in the top finalist pile and that I would be a strong contender in next year’s audition.”  I was so disappointed but I can’t imagine having to choose between all the talent that auditioned.  I was asked to join in as a guest on one of the monthly blog hops that FSJ has this year so watch for that.  I’m very excited and it will be a ton of exposure for my blog and projects.

I created this sweet little card using an Oatmeal Cookie 8.5″x5.5″ card base with the front embossed using the new Cozy Knit embossing folder from the Holiday Trends catty.  The paper strips are cut from The Good Life Prints (5.5′ x 1.5″ and 5″x 1.5″) .  On a circle diecut from Whip Cream cardstock, the sentiment is stamped from the uber adorable Thankful Friends stamp set.  The gorgeous leaves are die cut from the Pretty Leaves die set which can be purchased with hostess dollars when you host a party of $150 or more!

Today is the LAST day for the awesome 20% off media sale so hurry and order while you can.  All orders over $35 will receive in the mail from me, 2 precut card kits with color printed intructions for 2 sweet projects!

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Lots and lots of excitement for September is coming!  The Bloom Box for September is just amazing!  I love floral stamps and cards, but I am so glad that Fun Stampers Journey strives to make monthly card kits that have awesome (usable) themes.  This month’s music themed kit is just awesome and BRIGHT!

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I am also totally excited and plan to stock up and round out my color collection because inks and cardstock are 20% off for September!!

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I hope you have a blessed day!

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Notecard Set and a Special Promotion!

I have a card share that I am excited to show this week and hope you like them! I love to have generic cards of all “styles” in my stash that I can add a stamped greeting on the outside or write a simple note for no reason.  I’m still not done playing with the Gorgeous Peach Blossom stamp set and created these simple but beautiful cards that only take about 10 minutes each to create. They are easy to finish in assembly style stamp sessions!  My card base is Oatmeal Cookie cardstock cut to 8.5″x5.5″ and scored down the middle.  Using Whip Cream Ink, I stamped the flower onto the base in random patterns and  LET IT DRY (very important step LOL).  Next I stamped over the white image using the following colors:  Cranberry Bliss, Blue Lagoon and Summer Days.  I also die cut white circles and stamped the flower and cut a slightly larger circle in the same cardstock color I stamped with.  Tie the twine, adhere your flower using foam tape and you are done!

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I hope you are taking advantage of the 20% off media sale this month, it ends on August 31, 2018 so hurry if you haven’t ordered yet!  Fun Stampers Journey also just announced another HUGE promotion that I can’t wait to take advantage of myself!  I have been wanting the rolling tote bag and now it’s available ON SALE and to customers! It’s only been available to coaches up to this point. So if you’ve been wanting a NICE tote or rolling tote, NOW is the time to get it!

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ANDDDDDDD  You could be one of 12 lucky winners who has their bag shipped with one of the prize packs listed below!!  I will be Facebook Living my reveal when I get my bag and want you to video yourself opening yours to see if you are a winner also!! Can’t wait to see who wins these awesome prizes.

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I really hope you are having a great summer and hope you have a blessed day!

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Amazing Girls Scrapbook Page

My beautiful daughters are truly amazing!  My oldest, Brooke is in college and so driven to finish and pursue the career she is dreaming of and my youngest Sadie is so smart and sassy. I’m just incredibly proud of the young ladies that they are growing up to be and can’t wait to see what wonderful opportunities that each of their futures hold.  I love this picture of them and wanted a gorgeous scrapbook page to add to our memory albums.

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The base of this 12×12 page is from the Colorful Prints patterned paper layered with black licorice cardstock cut to 11.5″x11.5″.  The whip cream layer is random stamped with a bloom from the Peach Blossom set using Sweet Berry, Summer Days and Tangerine Fusion inks.

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The photo is matted with Tangerine Fusion cardstock and another print from the Colorful Journeys pattern paper.  The sentiment is stamped using the You Are ATS (I LOVE this ATS!) with white embossing powder and heated onto black licorice cardstock.  The cute flowers are die cut using the Colorful Blooms die set and also the Bold Blooms die which is available as a host exclusive with a $150/order.  I cut the blooms from the Colorful Journeys pattern paper.  The leaves are stamped with Limeade Splash ink on limeade splash card stock and fussy cut. The center of the flowers are from the Holiday Sparkles in the Holiday Trends catalog.

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I really hope you enjoy my scrapbook page and have provided my very first ever sketch for you to use and recreate this page if you like!

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Hoping you have a blessed day!

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Peach Blossoms and PanPastels

Happy Saturday! It’s so hot here in North Carolina that I decided it was time to play (finally) with my FSJ PanPastels and create this gorgeous Thank you card.  I’ve also been wanting to stamp with the Peach Blossom  stamp set that I just got. This week on the FSJ Facebook page, the video Try day Friday was all about Panpastels.  I only have a few of the colors but will be ordering the Rich Sorbet palate soon because now I’m hooked. I don’t know why I’ve been so scared of them but they are absolutely delicious to work with.

The back ground on this card was created by taking whip cream cardstock piece sized 3.5″ x 4.75″ and stamping the blossom with FSJ Clear Pigment Ink. Using the wedge from the Journey Soft Tools pick up color from the Raspberry Berry panpastel and lightly add color in a circular motion right over top of the pigment ink onto the background.  The sticky ink will pick up more of the color to create this GORGEOUS, soft design.

Using clear pigment ink, stamp the blossom onto a scrap piece of whip cream cardstock and the Thank You Sentiment from Peony Blooms stamp set onto a strip of whip cream cardstock sized 5/8″ x 5.25″. Add Rose Gold Embossing powder and heat using a heat tool for a beautiful shiny flower and sentiment.

Other cardstock measurements are as follows:  card base in Raspberry Berry CS 8.5″x5.5″ scored and folded in half with a top fold.  Pattern Paper from the Good Life prints cut to 5.25″x 4″. You also need a Raspberry Berry CS strip cut 1″ x 5.25″ to layer under your sentiment strip.  All layers are adhered using white liner tape except the bloom is popped up on foam tape.

I hope you enjoy this card and hope you will give the Panpastels a try!  If you don’t have them yet the palate sets (not individual pans) are on sale for 20% for the whole month of August!! There is a ton of other mixed media products on sale also so you really need to check it out.  You can visit my online store HERE

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Hoping you have a blessed day!

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Mini Album Tutorial using One Sheet of Cardstock

Hey crafty friends! I hope you are having the best summer and staying cool!  I am ready for the fall and winter and all the beautiful times with family coming up.  We tend to be so busy during the spring and summer  with work and other obligations that we don’t get to relax and enjoy our family as much. The beautiful new Holiday Trends Mini debuted on August 1 (linked up on my side bar to the right) and I’m gearing up for Christmas crafting already.  I am working on Christmas mini albums to give with my presents to Grandparents and decided these darling one sheet minis are the perfect size to show off the babies!

This Christmas mini is created using the pattern paper from Fun Stampers Journey called Cozy Prints and used 2 of the new stamp sets to create the cover: Stay Cozy and Most Wonderful.

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Each panel is 3.5″x4.5″ and will accommodate 3″x4″ photos and journal cards.

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There are 12 photo sized spaces (including the front and back cover) and also 6 smaller flaps for journaling or other embellishments.

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You can wrap ribbon around the outside of these albums to keep them shut if you’d like by running the ribbon under the cardstock on the middle panels of the album.

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I also needed a mini album to showcase birthday pictures of my adorable twin niece and nephew who turned 2 this March and they had the cutest party!  In this digital age, printing pictures is becoming  rare and I really wanted my parents to have a little memory book to show off those grandbabies! I’ve created a slide show with step by step instructions for you to recreate this adorable little mini, just click on the first photo to start!  (also directions are listed below for convenience).

  1. Cut whip cream cardstock to 12″x11.75″
  2. Using the Journey Score Board, score the 11.75″ side at 3.75″ and 4″ and also at 7.75″ and 8 “ for total of 4 score lines on that side. Score the 12″ side at 5″ and 10”
  3. With the 11.75″ side facing up, cut the score lines up to the 5″ and 10″ lines on the double score lines to create 3 flaps from the bottom and 3 small flaps from the top.
  4. Round Corners if desired and cut pattern paper as follows: 12 pieces @ 3.5″ x 4.5″ and 6 pieces @ 1.75″x3.5″
  5. Round 2 corners on each side the paper and glue patterned paper to panels.
  6. Die cut note pocket die from pattern paper and fold on score lines.
  7. Using blue liquid color and gel press on white cardstock for background for greeting.
  8. Lighten up blue with whip cream paint.
  9. While paint is wet drop sequins along edge, let dry and then stamp greeting on whip cream cardstock and either die cut or fussy cut and adhere using foam squares.
  10. Stamp out candles using Summer Days and Rich Coral Ink. Fussy cut candles. Slip greeting card into note pocket card die and stagger on front of mini album. Using Journey Black Twine, create a circle of twine and adhere down using candles on foam squares.  Add pumpkin patch ribbon tied into bow. Add pictures and journaling to album and enjoy!

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I hope you enjoy both of these fantastic little mini albums and hope you are inspired to create some of your own! Make sure to link me up in the comments if you do, I love seeing other projects.

A few August promotion reminders!!!  Make sure to visit my FSJ store for all kinds of mixed media products that are 20% off this month. I love the FSJ stencils and paints and plan to stock up on those this month along with some pan pastels which are new to me but I can’t WAIT to play with!

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As always make sure to check out this month’s GORGEOUS Bloom Box called Backyard Blooms, you can purchase just the one month or you can subscribe for six months for savings (plus a free catalog from me!) Contact me for details or click the Bloom Box link in the menu bar up top!

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As always, I hope you have a blessed day.  Links to products used are below.

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