Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Make Me Happy

     Thursday night, as I was falling asleep, I thought of some great scrapbook ideas. However, my sketchbook was not on my bedside table. Nonetheless, I woke up with the need to create. I found a sketch on the Gossamer Blue blog. And, since one day, I hope to subscribe to their monthly kit club, I thought I'd give it a try.

I actually used a kit that I won through Studio Calico to create the layout. And, no, that irony is not lost on me! This was also the first time that I've stamped on a layout. I'm living on the edge these days! :)

For some reason, this layout took me forever to complete, but at the end, it captures the moment that I wanted to remember. My hubby and I very rarely go out to eat together. This particular day, he had off of work so we dropped off the kids and went out for breakfast and then ran errands. It was just fun! And, I love breakfast food to that was an added bonus!

This was my first time using Chic Tags as well. It was the perfect spot for journaling this every day moment that I wanted to remember! Thanks for looking today!

Scrap Happy~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lovin' From the Oven!

     Today is a baking post, not a crafty post! I thought I'd change it up a little bit. I was on a baking kick last week! My oven got a good workout. I love having the freezer stocked with goodies to grab for the kids' lunches. Plus, if it is in the freezer, then I don't eat it. :) I thought I'd share with you, the three recipes that I baked!

     The first item I baked was a recipe that I got online called "Strawberry Banana Bread".
I was unsure how strawberries would bake up in bread. I was worried that they'd get a bit mushy. I think the key to success with this one is to not leave the them in too big of chunks. I sprinkled a little cinnamon and sugar on the top before baking it and as you can see, I got a nice crispy top! The kids loved this one. It doesn't taste very banana-y though. Even my oldest who detests bananas was able to eat this one!
 Strawberry Banana Bread
1/2 c. shortening (or part butter)
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. fresh or whole strawberries, sliced
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 c. chopped pecans
Cream shortening and butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time beating until fluffy. Add vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and slowly add to creamed mixture. Fold strawberries and bananas into batter and add nuts.Pour into loaf pans that have been greased and floured and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (large loaf) or 40 to 50 minutes for 3 small loaf pans. Loaves should be nicely browned. Enjoy!!
     The next thing I baked was Brown Sugar Banana Bread. Again, I found this one online and I even went out and bought very ripe bananas just to make it. It was worth it!

I was interesting in seeing how the brown sugar added to the recipe made a difference. Particularly since I love brown sugar! It gave it a great flavor and again, made it have a nice top crust on it as well. 
Brown Sugar Banana Bread 
4 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. 
 Place the bananas into a large plastic zipper bag, seal the bag, and smoosh the bananas with your fingers until very well mashed. (Note: I have never thought of doing this and I think it is a genius idea!!) Set the bananas aside. Place the brown sugar and butter into a mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut a corner from the plastic bag, and squeeze the mashed bananas into the bowl of brown sugar mixture. With the electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the bananas, egg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and milk until the mixture is well combined. Switch the mixer to low speed, and gradually beat in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and kosher salt just until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. 
Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in the preheated oven until the bread is set and lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean.
     And lastly, I made my favorite blueberry muffin recipe after a friend asked for a good recipe. I had kind of forgotten about it after making it the last time so I was happy to pull it out again and bake a dozen! This one is from an old cookbook that I got 10+ years ago titled Goodness Gracious.
This one is also an award winner at my local county fair. I can't remember if it got a first or second place ribbon. I do remember however, that it is delicious! The batter is very thick for these muffins so if you bake them, be careful to not squish the berries! Or, just hand place each berry in like I do for the fair!
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces yogurt (I use lemon or vanilla)
1/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 400º. Grease twelve muffin cups, or use liners. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, stir together the yogurt, butter, egg, lemon zest and vanilla until blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yogurt mixture. Stir just to combine. Fold in the blueberries.

Spoon batter into cups and sprinkle lightly with a little sugar. Bake 20-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the tin before removing to rack. Makes 12.
     If you decide to bake any of these recipes, please let me know how they turn out! And, if you have any recipes that you'd like to share, please feel free to link it up in the comments below. I LOVE to bake new things. Now, if only I liked to cook as much as I liked to bake...
Until next time!

Scrap (and Bake!) Happy~

Friday, February 22, 2013

A New Look...

     Hello readers! Well, I've made the leap and I've changed up the look of my blog. Out are the pink (which I still love) and the owl (ditto!) and in is a clean, fresh look! I'd be thrilled if you let me know what you think! Leave me a comment below and share your thoughts. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a layout that I did a while back.

This is a different style compared to how I typically scrap, but it is one of my favorites. Some day, I may change out the photo to a single picture. I cut the circle of words on my Silhouette and laid that on top of the orange-ish precut patterned paper I had. I then backed it with a golden swiss dot cardstock. The strips of paper behind the photo are not just scraps but also, papers that either remind me of a different project I've done or that just make me happy! 

I used some Basic Grey fabric shapes/flowers to create some texture as well.

I appreciate you stopping by and looking today! As always, if there is anything that you'd like to see more of, let me know! Also, I've been on a baking spree lately so I think my next post will be pertaining to my sweet tooth with recipes included. Sound good? Until next time...

Scrap Happy~

Friday, February 15, 2013

House of Girls

     In a few short weeks, I get to be an auntie again! My sister is having a baby girl in March. She will be joining my twin nieces who just turned two so it will be a house of girls for sure! I am certain however, that my brother-in-law is up for the challenge! :)
     I love seeing both of my sisters as moms. Years ago, we'd play house and have our "babies" and take care of them, etc. In real life, it isn't always as easy, but I love the fact that both of my sisters are such caring and loving moms. I think we had a good example set for us!

     I created this layout to document my sister's pregnancy when I took some photos of her recently. I also had a photo of the little one on the inside and wanted to add that too. This Lime Twist: Happy Go Lucky collection really set up my title well! I enjoyed going through all of the embellishments and finding the perfect ones for this layout. 

A few sequins, a little bit of sparkle on the journaling card... well as some ruffly details that were inspired from a cute purse I pinned on Pinterest ...

...and my layout was almost done!

I also wanted to add some stitching to the layout and I did that right over the washi tape at the top and at the bottom. I also layered all of the little speech bubbles to give the whole thing a bit of dimension.

     And with that, I declared it complete! I thank you for taking a look today! I hope that you will come back again to see a few more creations. I love to read your comments so feel free to let me know what you think, good, bad or otherwise! Have a lovely weekend!

Scrap Happy~


Sunday, February 10, 2013

No Saturday Mail?

Well, with the post office announcing that they plan to eliminate Saturday first-class mail delivery to business and home addresses starting in August, I thought that perhaps other means of communication may be becoming more necessary ;) 

So, I thought I'd make a card to promote a means of other communication that utilizes both the USPS and the telephone service! Oh, and it may contain the title of a song you may have heard once or twice.

I really love the ease that Doodlebug provides in making cards. When I was at my not-so-local scrapbook store a while back, I picked up a few of these cute cards to use and I was pleased with the results. 

And, while I adore my electronic media of texting, Facebook, Skype, etc. sometimes...nothing beats a good old fashioned phone call from a friend! Until next time...

Scrap Happy~Melissa

Note: The dark winter weather is adversely affecting the color of my photos! Ugh! It really is a true white! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Baby of Mine

I recently created a layout that was featured on the Kiwi Lane Blog that I really just loved. I wanted to blog about it here because I am so happy with how it turned out. The creative process for this layout was one that flowed effortlessly. 

Out for publication

I found this photo of my mom and I in my collection of photos that she gave me recently. When I saw it, it really touched me how sweet this photo is. I can almost feel the love of my mom just looking at the photo. And, although I no longer fit on her lap, I feel her love each and every day. Being to close to my mom means so much to me. She is the first person I call for most things, happy or sad. I simply love spending time with her. We get along great and I've come to treasure her not only as a mom but as a friend! 

When I saw this photo, I realized that I didn't know my birth story. What happened on the day I was born? When did she know it was time? All of those kind of questions. So I asked her to write it down for me so I can learn and preserve that memory. 

Out for publication

When it was time to create the layout I knew exactly what I wanted to use to scrap this memory. Crate Paper's Little Bo Peep collection was one that I fell in love with the moment I saw it. The pretty baby colors were so sweet but each element in the collection really spoke to me as well. The wood veneer shapes were a perfect little add on to this page especially! 

Out for publication

When I was creating the layout, I knew I wanted to use chevrons on the page to draw the eye to the photo. It is so easy to make chevrons with the Kiwi templates so I was able to make many of them and play around to see which way to lay them, etc. I also wanted a title that was sweet and meaningful. This  title is the name of a song from the Disney movie "Dumbo" which my mom loves. Also, I used to sing it to my oldest at bedtime so I knew it would be the right title for me. 

Once I got the layout done, adding the little elements to soften it up was fun. The soft pearls, the shimmery pink ribbon and the pink stitching, all made for a very "baby girl" layout. 

I hope that you enjoyed looking at the layout as much as I enjoyed making it. Some creations are a "work of heart" and for me, this is one of them! Until next time...

Scrap Happy~Melissa

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blog Hop Winner!

     I can't tell you how much fun I had reading all of the comments that you left on my blog this weekend! Participating in the Kiwi Lane Blog Hop was fun enough so reading each comment was icing on the cake! It was interesting to hear how most of you scrapbook (one page or two) as well as the kind things that you had to say about my layout at the blog hop in general. Overall,
Kiwi Lane Fans Rock!

And with that, here is the winning comment number chosen by
And the winner is Cristine! 

    Congratulations Cristine! I will be contacting you to send out your prize of Kiwi Lane Wildflower Templates! Thank you to all who left comments. It means so much to me to have such so many people sharing the love! Be sure to check back again and...
I am so happy to have you join me!
Until next time...

Scrap Happy~Melissa 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Kiwi Lane Blog Hop

Thanks for stopping by today! You should be hopping here from Rebecca's blog. If you get lost along the way, head back to the Kiwi Lane blog and they will get you headed back in the right direction! I am sharing a layout that I made with Kiwi Lane templates which is also a two pager for you two page loving scrappers out there! 

Also remember that a random winner from ONE of the 13 blogs (including the Kiwi Lane blog), will be given a $25 gift certificate to the Kiwi Lane Shop, just for leaving a comment by Sunday, 11:59pm MST! Additionally, I will be having a little give away of my own at the end of this post so be sure to read to the bottom!

Choosing photos for my two pager was not difficult at all! I had the opportunity to head to Salt Lake City this October for the Scrapbook Steals Scrapbook Retreat. Being the "historian" that I am, I have many photos that still need their place on my layouts. Meeting up with old friends and the opportunity to meet some new friends made it easy to document this fun trip. I pulled out my designer templates along with the American Crafts Soho Garden collection and got to work! 

The templates lend themselves well to scrapbook inspiration. I typically grab the templates that look appealing to me that day (some days I have a difficult time narrowing it down:) and then layout and design the pages. I love it when the templates give my page the little something extra that it needed! Additionally, it was really fun to pick and choose the embellishments that were included in the Soho Garden collection, I love it when I have many to choose from! 

I love using the Kiwi Lane Tags for journaling as I did on this layout. Additionally, I feel that the arrow is a great way to draw attention to an element on the page that I want emphasized. I am pleased how the templates give a nice cohesiveness to a two page layout! 

Kiwi Lane Templates used: 
Tags 1 & 3
Clara Lane 1A, 2A, 2B
Accents 1T, 2T, 4T
Sweetheart 1, 2, 4T

Now, how about a little giveaway of my own? I am curious what most of you prefer when you scrapbook...are you a one page scrapper or a two page scrapper? So, if you would like to win these Wildflower Accessory Templates, just do these three things: 
1) answer that question above :) 
2) become a follower (if you aren't already)! 
3) leave a way for me to contact you!

I will be choosing a winner who has done all of the above on Monday morning right around 9am CST so please check back to see if you are the lucky one! Thank you so much for taking a look today and enjoy the hop! 

Scrap Happy~Melissa
Next up...
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