Spellbinders October Card Kit of the Month

So I announced last week that FSJ and Spellbinders are merging companies and that FSJ would no longer be a direct sales company but will be retail and how extremely HAPPY this news makes me!  I love Spellbinders dies and have been a member of the Small Die of the Month Club for a little while now.  I’ve been eyeing the Card Kit of the Month and this month’s kit was so wonderful I took the plunge and joined (there is no obligation with any of the clubs, you can unsub at ANY time!)  I issued a challenge to myself to USE every bit of this kit just to see how far it would stretch and boy I haven’t crafted this much in awhile.  I made 10 cards, 1 12×12 scrapbook page and 3 pocket pages and I STILL haven’t used all the product and haven’t used the die set yet but I’m planning to in the next few days.  I hope you enjoy all the projects I’ve made and I hope it inspires you to get this kit and create also.  The only “outside” products I used were some ink for the stamps, 1 piece of 12×12 cardstock for the large layout, and I used all the foam dots included so I used some out of my stash.  Even with 10 cards, I still have about half of the 8.5×11 cardstock left and 3 of the white notecards, about half of the precut dies and well over half of the paper pad.  I’m not a fan of the epoxy stickers so I’m not sure I’ll use those. It’s not the quality of this kits’, I just don’t like them from any company.

I did alot of stamping on the background of this 12×12 layout using Catherine Pooler Inks in the colors Juniper Mist and Green Tea. I really love the varity of premade diecuts in this kit, they were beautiful and I used alot of the word strip stickers on this layout and my pocket pages too.

 

I love this card! It is a Z Fold card and was the first project I made from the kit!

This simple, beautiful card uses only patterned paper, a strip of the copper paper and a 3d sticker

This little card uses all but one of the house diecuts that was in the kit, I don’t need alot of housewarming or moving cards but I thought this would be a cute one for my stash!

Those flamingos made me laugh!  My daughter also loved this card and took it to give to one of her friends that’s been having a rough time.

One of my favorite pictures of my Mama and Daddy!

I did some background stamping on this card using Catherine Pooler inks Eucalyptus, Green Tea and Daydream

One one the simplest cards I made but one of my favorites! I love that floral background paper.

My sweet stepson and his beautiful bride!  The group photo is with her parents and sister (the maid of honor), my stepson’s mother and stepfather, me and my husband and his cousin who was the best man.

Lots of layering, dies and stickers on this gorgeous card!

I love all the blues in this pack!

If you like this kit and want one for yourself just click the link in my sidebar to Spellbinder’s Online Store and check it out for yourself!  I have the Small Die Set that I will be featuring in the next week.  Hoping you have a blessed (and crafty) day!

 

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Stamp of Approval Christmas Card #1

So now that I’m not restricted in showcasing other products, I can’t wait to share some of the pretty awesome projects that I’ve been working on lately. I’ve got 2 Halloween Minis with some pretty old products in my stash (my stash has been growing since 1997 LOL), that are just darling! I’ve been purging for 2 months and actually held onto more that I thought I would because it’s just hard to part with something I love and I ONLY buy products that I love! So I hope you enjoy my projects and the inspiration even if it’s with products that can’t be purchased anymore.

I bought the latest Stamp of Approval box from Catherine Pooler called Home for the Holidays. As of today, October 9, 2018 they are still showing in stock but if you want it you better hurry because they sell out quickly and it’s the only chance to get it as a kit (with an awesome download with ALOT of cards and instructions to make them using only the products in the kit).  I LOVE the different stamp sets this time and can’t wait to show you some of the christmas cookie cards that I’ve made.

This card was made on my  lunch break the day after I got my box and I was in a hurry to ink up some stamps!  I love the non-traditional color scheme and that reindeer border stamp is just the cutest! Inks used are from Stampin Up!

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BUY IT HERE

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I hope you enjoy my card today and I hope you have a blessed day!

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Fall Mini Album and BIG NEWS

I’m such a huge fan of fall but we just don’t get it here in NC. Maybe a fleeting moment of cool in the air, some turning of leaves and then it fades right into winter.  I still celebrate it though, my office is decked out with leaves and pumpkins, even a wreath on my office door and I went full on pumpkin dress yesterday!

I still manage to always take some cute fall pictures and we almost always go to some sort of pumpkin patch with the kids each year and I can’t WAIT to get some pumpkin pictures with my grandson.  I made this adorable mini album for just that occasion!  Using retired FSJ paper because I just love it and am going to use every last piece of that ombre leaf paper LOL.  The adorable little squirrel was stamped onto shrink paper, fussy cut and hole punched before shrinking to make the cutest little charm!  I circle die cut the sentiment and layered with these adorable DIY Hoops in the Holiday Mini Trends catalog.  The die cut leaf is from a host exclusive and the wood leaf is a Bloom Benefit.

I used a one sheet mini video that I showcased earlier this year from this video tutorial 

Now I’ve been dying to have the time to blog about the NEW and exciting changes coming to FSJ!  As of 11/1/2018 Fun Stampers Journey will no longer be a direct sales company!  SPELLBINDERS and FSJ will be co-partners in bringing wonderful products (INCLUDING FSJ Internationally) to the retail market!  What this means is a wider variety of products that I get to showcase for YOU. I will no longer be bound to only create with FSJ products (which are WONDERFUL) but can be a bit limiting in my creative projects that I can share with you.  It also means any products you purchase from  links from my blog from Spellbinders or FSJ, I can earn affiliate commissions. This is NO extra cost to you as a consumer and also means better shipping for you on FSJ and Spellbinders products!  Shipping is only $5 domestically on orders up to $75 and any orders over $75 is FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING!   I am completely over the moon with these changes and already have some Spellbinders products on it’s way to start creating and sharing with you!  In my sidebar is a Store link you can click on to take you to the Spellbinders store and start shopping NOW! If you haven’t seen their monthly clubs yet, you NEED to check it out. I’m a member of the Small Die of the month and also just joined to Card Club of the month and I can’t wait to share some of the cute things I have planned.

 

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I’m also really excited to start back using my very large collection of inks from other companies that I LOVE LOL.

I hope you have a blessed day!

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Hurricane Update

Hello my crafty friends!! I am so sorry for the long absence but I’ve been in full hurricane prep and aftermath mode. For those of you that don’t know, I live in eastern NC in Wayne County and we were struck by Hurricane Florence earlier this month.  Thank God that neither mine or my immediate family were struck with any major damage or loss. We did go without power for a few days but generators are a wonderful thing and none of us lost any food out of freezers or refrigerators.  The main reason I’ve been missing in action is that I am a Food and Nutrition caseworker with our county DSS and the amount of people who have truly lost EVERYTHING is staggering.  We as county employees, man the shelters which were open during and after the storm and we have also been keying a ton of replacement benefits applications.  Our county is also starting with DSNAP Disaster Food Stamp applications today which will mean overtime (and alot of stress).  I will be off this weekend and plan to do some crafting and going to the Wayne County Fair but will be back SOON with some more great projects, tutorials and some HUGE FSJ news that I am beyond excited about and I think you will be too!  The only thing I will spill is a that vastly expanded product selection is coming that I am COMPLETELY stoked about!!!

I will try to post some projects this weekend on my Instagram and will try to get a blog post up but until then, I hope you are BLESSED!

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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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