Friday, April 20, 2018

Penguin Hot Cocoa Pocket

The Cutting Cafe Design Team had a "free" week this week, meaning we pick any file from the store to create with. I didn't know which direction to ask, so asked my team members to give me a letter, then a color, and then a number. The letter represented the name of the files I would choose from starting with that letter, the color was to use in my project and the number after having been given a letter, I counted down from the top to pick the file.

So I was given: P, blue, 17...I counted down 17 from all the files starting with P and landed on Penguin Shaped Card. Doesn't seem like the project to create with in April, but oddly enough, it snowed the night before I asked the design team to help me out AND we had a blizzard last week.

I sealed an envelope and then cut it down from the short side to create a pocket for a hot cocoa packet and fun straw. I also hand cut some white cardstock for snow. I'm hoping this is the last of the snow that I see until late this winter.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog tomorrow to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Ribbon Spool Shaped Notepad

This week we have a fun challenge on Cutting Cafe. Regina challenged us all to make a notepad using any file from the Shaped Cards section. The hardest part of this challenge was which file to pick! I had so many ideas from looking through the shaped cards section. The idea was to basically make a front and back of your chosen design and then to cut several sheets of paper or cardstock for the filler.

Well, you know me...always thinking outside of the box. LOL

I decided to use the Ribbon Spool Set for my notepad cover.



Here is how I created it...
I resized the spool to fit to the size of my notepads from the Dollar Tree. The length is 5.25" and the inside spool width is 4". I cut 4 of the base pieces, 2 patterned paper to layer the front and the back (I didn't layer the inside as the notepad will be covering it up), 2 pieces for the middle of the spool and then I cut 2 base pieces for the pockets and cut them down to 3" tall, and 2 layering pieces to fit the inside pocket pieces. I also cut a piece of cardstock 2.5" x 3.25" for the spine. Along the 2.5" side I scored it at 1" and 1.5".


I layered the patterned paper to the front and back and inside "pocket" pieces. To the front only, I added rick rack  (and now I think I'm going to go back and add it to the back) and then typed and printed "sew I don't forget" and adhered that to the front as well.

To the second set of spool bases, I adhered adhesive to the bottom and sides only to create my pocket.

To the spine I adhered double side adhesive to both sides of the 1" ends.


I removed paper from the inside of the spine piece and adhered to the inside pieces.

here is what it looks like when you flip the inside over:

I removed the paper and centered a 24" piece of ribbon:

I forgot to take a picture of the next step: Adhere the front and back decorated spool pieces over the ribbon.

Next, trim off about .5" from the back of 2 paper pads. This keeps the end from sticking to the adhesive on the bottom of the pocket, plus makes the pad fit in better. I learned this trick from my YouTube friend Amber. I got the idea to make this notepad holder from her tutorial HERE.

Now insert the note pads in each pocket

Tie the ribbon ties and you have a cute notepad holder.


Note: there is space in the middle to add a pen, but I didn't have one that matched. I will buy one and add to it later.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog tomorrow to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

BFB Where the Fire Falls



I'm sad to say that this is my last review for Blogging for Books. They are no longer in business. I have enjoyed so many books and found new authors whose work I love through this program and will miss it for sure.

"Where the Fire Falls" by Karen Barnett is set in Yosemite National Park. Artist, Olivia Rutherford is commissioned to paint the park for a travel magazine. She isn't that excited about it, but needs the money to hide a secret. Clark Johnson is her guide with secrets of his own.

The author writes in such a way that you can almost see the park in your mind. The story was very captivating.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

2018 goals check-in March

This month was hard. There were some hard, unexpected things that happened in our family and not much about this month was normal and scheduled. Hopefully we will have a very "boring" month in April. I have been physically and emotionally drained and for April I am hoping to get back on track.

You can read more details about my goals HERE and how I did in January and February

1. 2018 in 2018 Decluttering Challenge...
I have decluttered 1313/2018 items from my home

2. 40 bags in 40 days...this challenge runs from Feb 14 -  March 31, I did 32/40 bags. I am going to continue this challenge throughout the rest of the year.

*total to date: 32/40


3. Create 365 cards...
I created 20 cards this month 
*total to date: 52/365

4. Try 2 new recipes/month...
due to my schedule being off, not only did I not make anything new, but I also wasn't able to follow my monthly meal plan.

*total to date: 8/24


5. Read 25 books...
read 4 new books

total to date: 17/25

6. Put items on Buy/Sell/Trade...still haven't done this

7. Completely decluttering and organizing my creative space. 
slowly working on this as I work on the rest of the house as well

8. Create/Design/Etc 2 pinned items/month that are not food related...
made several of these and these

I made them for a craft show for my cousin and forgot to take pics before I gave them to her. I'll post some pics in a separate blog post if there are any left over and/or I make more

total to date: 6/24

9. Twelve RAK's for the year...if you are unfamiliar with RAK, it stands for Random Acts of Kindness.
*made several mini loaves and a few large loaves of zucchini bread and gave to several people. I forgot to count how many I gave, so just counting this as one.

*sunshine basket for someone

*St. Patrick's Day basket for someone

**total to date: 9/12

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hygge

Today is a fun post for the Cutting Cafe design team. We got to choose a word that we wanted Regina to create for us and then create a project with that word. Since my word of the year is Hygge, I chose that as my file to be created and made it into this frame. We also got to choose 2-3 sentiments and this is one of them. I already had this project in mind, so knew I wanted the definition to be long.


The background paper is a darker navy than actually shown in the photo. The words were cut with copper foiled designs on peach and navy prints.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog today to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

BFB: Martha's Flowers


I received this beautiful hardback book filled with gorgeous photos of flowers and lots of information and tips on growing them. I can't wait to put some of the advice to test this spring and summer.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Book Review: The Heart’s Appeal

The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere is the second book in her London Beginnings series. I have not read book one, but felt that this story could stand on its own. I also have not read any books by Jennifer Delemer and enjoyed this book and her way of writing.

The story is set in London in 1881. Julia Bernay arrives there with the intent to study medicine and become a doctor. This has only recently opened up to women and being strong-minded, Julia is determined to succeed. 

Right away she witnesses an accident involving Michael Stephenson, who has his own goals to achieve, that of being a lawyer. A case he is working on just happens to be a debate over a women's medical school and whether is should continue.

Talk about sparks flying between the two! This was a fun book to read.

**I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.**

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

BFB Lemon's Are a Girl's Best Friend


Lemon's Are a Girl's Best Friend  by Janet Hayward is a fun hardback book filled with lots of recipes that aren't just using lemons, but healthy herbs, vegetables, and fruits.

There are recipes for not only foods, but beauty treatments as well. With each herb, vegetable, and fruit, there is information of the health benefits.

This was a fun book to go through and now I will be making some of the recipes.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 goals check-in February

You can read more details about my goals HERE and how I did in January HERE

1. 2018 in 2018 Decluttering Challenge...
I have decluttered 1190/2018 items from my home

2. 40 bags in 40 days...this challenge runs from Feb 14 -  March 31

so far...4 small bags (grocery bag sized), 15 large (big black bag size), 3 trash (which for us is a feed sack)

*total to date: 15/40


3. Create 365 cards...
I created 10 cards this month 
*total to date: 42/365

4. Try 2 new recipes/month...
Smashed Brussels Sprouts
Cream Cheese and Bacon Chicken Rolls
Sugar Cookie Bars

*total to date: 8/24


5. Read 25 books...
Set Free by George Michael Loughmueller (do not recommend this book)
Going Home by Wanda Brunstetter
Amish Millionaire Series books 1-6 by Wanda Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter
Unmarried by Julie Frankland

total to date: 13/25


6. Put items on Buy/Sell/Trade...still haven't gotten the nerve to do this, BUT my DIL said she would help me. my goal for Mar is to take pics of what i want to sell and write up details about them and then maybe i can actually report for March that this got done.

7. Completely decluttering and organizing my creative space. 
slowly working on this as I work on the rest of the house as well

8. Create/Design/Etc 2 pinned items/month that are not food related...
*printed these and tied to goodie bags for my youth group kids



total to date: 4/24

9. Twelve RAK's for the year...if you are unfamiliar with RAK, it stands for Random Acts of Kindness.
*had 2 friends over for a birthday coffee (one of theirs, not mine) and sent orange rolls home with both of them for them and their family
*made Valentine goodie bags for 16 youth group kids
*took treats in for senior center coffee drinkers

**total to date: 6/12

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Another Yappy Birthday

I'm popping in to share another Yappy Birthday card with you using the Animal Friends Printable Set from Cutting Cafe.

This time I rearranged the sentiment to make it a long one.

Regina is offering Animal Friends Printable Set for only .99 today through Friday. You have to click on the link below to get the special. If it isn't working yet, she doesn't have her post live yet, so check back.

Animal Friends Printable Set

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Yappy Birthday

Regina over at the Cutting Cafe has a new animal digital stamp set; Animal Friends Printable Set and this is our challenge for this week. The set comes with several animals and coordinating sentiment. I chose to make a card using the dog image. I had some dog designer paper that was perfect for this image.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog tomorrow to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

XOXO Pillow

Hello from very cold, wintery, snowy Nebraska! I hope that where ever you are, you are staying warm. Our poor heater has been running non-stop with how cold it is here.

One thing I like to do in the winter time is sew/quilt/embroider/crochet; any kind of hand work. Just seems to be the perfect time to work on these projects.


So the project I am sharing with you for this week's Cutting Cafe challenge is just such a project. One of the fun things for me with svg cutting files is that you can take a design and enlarge/shrink/stretch/scrunch it to fit what you need it to do. You get more for your money this way and you all know I'm about being frugal.

This week the design team is sharing projects with a Valentine/Love theme. I chose Regina's XOXO WORD SHAPED CARD to create this pillow. I enlarged the layered top letters to the size I wanted and cut out one X and one ♥. (the heart is the little tiny one you see in the file as an accent. I just enlarged it to the same size as the X) 

Then I traced them twice on a fusible web and ironed on my selected fabrics. Each letter was then hand-stitched to muslin and then sewed with a border and made into a pillow.

Thank you for stopping by and be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog tomorrow to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Valentine Themed RAK

I recently made some Valentine themed goodies to send to someone. I didn't want to post them on my blog until she had received them, so in case she was reading my blog, it would be a surprise. She has received it, so I can now post what I sent.

First I created a stuffed paper bag. I had made a few of these for the first time at Halloween, had planned to make some Christmas ones, but that didn't happen, so was glad for a chance to make a Valentine one and I'm hoping to get a couple more made.

 a close up of the front...it's hard to tell, but I added glossy accents to the "14", so it is shiny and raised

this card was created with a free digital image
the tag on the left has 6 different washi tapes wrapped around it. The cello bag has some vintage buttons and stamped Valentine tickets. I made the altered clothespin and the "Happy Valentine's Day" poke is for cupcakes and I just used as a decor piece.
Hershey bar cover


Pencil box...instructions can be found HERE

 you've already seen this on my blog, but I mailed this mailbox  filled with pink starbursts

Tea Time Box:
box: Teabag-Scallops Design ID #28912 -www.silhouettedesignstore.com

washi: misc in my stash

“tea time”: Tea Box Holder Template and Cutting File
heart: came from the punch out of a heart border punch. I added Glossy Accents to it
reinforcer: made myself with hole punches


because sprinkles make everything fun 😍 free printable that I resized HERE

hand crocheted dish cloth by me. "just because" from Cutting Cafe
  
chunky notepad from Target $ Spot; tag made from Cutting Cafe's Tea Box Holder

 Raspberry filled Hostess Cupcake

Friday, February 2, 2018

Frugal Friday 2-2-18

**gift cards earned through swagbucks and Bing

**coupon for free chicken sandwich

**steak 1.99/pkg (not lb)

**cube steak .99/pkg

**had a RAK pkg I wanted to send and was able to make almost everything from my stash. I did buy some yarn that was marked down at Walmart to crochet a dishcloth.

the most frugal thing we've done is stay home...mostly due to illness and weather. there was a challenge online to only eat what you have in your pantry for 2 weeks. that was pretty easy to do.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Review: Set Free

Set Free (The Karsten Field Trilogy) by [Loughmueller, George Michael]

This is a hard book review for me. I don't like posting negative reviews, but there was nothing about this book that I liked.

Set Free by George Michael Loughmueller is the first Amish book I have read that I didn't like...at all. I realize this story as well as most of the others I've read are fiction, but this wasn't even realistic in any way.

This is the first book in the Karsten Field Triology. It starts out and moves very fast...Allan Howarth is unhappy with his life (he is not Amish), finds out a former teacher leaves him a cabin in an Amish community...a man that left the Amish, within 3 days moving his family there he is baptized to prove he is serious about being Amish. Told by the Amish that his marriage isn't considered real since he is going to be Amish and his wife wants nothing to do with it and encourage them to divorce. Wife and son leave, daughter stays. Oh and daughter was posing in bikinis for a modeling agency right before they move there and in 3 days decides she wants to be Amish?!! WHAT:????!!!

So he falls in love with school teacher, gets married, has another kid. This story just blew my mind. I didn't like it within the first page or two, but I was contacted by Mr. Loughmueller's publisher asking if I would read it and leave a review, so it's really sad that I have a negative review.

I don't know if it's because I've read so many Amish books, both fiction and non-fiction ...of those that have left the Amish faith as well as currently read a blog of one who left, because I've read about the Amish and what they believe, have talked to one who left the Amish, been  to and lived in the surrounding area of the Amish and even been to one Amish family for a Thanksgiving meal; that made this so unbelievable and no way would any of the things portrayed in this book every happen, or what.

I can't imagine picking up this book knowing very little to nothing about the Amish that it would seem even remotely realistic...as realistic as fiction can be. I would not recommend this book at all.

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 goals check-in January

I thought I would try to do a check in at the end of each month as to how I am doing on my goals for 2018. You can read more in detail of each goal HERE.

1. 2018 in 2018 Decluttering Challenge...
as of today, I have decluttered 915 items from my home

2. 40 bags in 40 days...this challenge doesn't start until Feb, but I have started filling bags

3. Create 365 cards...
so far I have created 32 cards

4. Try 2 new recipes/month...
Egg Nog French Toast
French Toast with Coconut Syrup
Scalloped Potato Roll was not impressed
Cranberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake
Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes the meatloaf was "okay" but not amazing, but I loved making the potatoes and meatloaf at the same time.

5. Read 25 books...
1. Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings
2. Beneath the Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer
3. Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry

6. Put items on Buy/Sell/Trade...still haven't gotten the nerve to do this. my goal for Feb is to take pics of what i want to sell and write up details about them and then maybe i can get up the nerve to do it

7. Completely decluttering and organizing my creative space. 
slowly working on this as I work on the rest of the house as well

8. Create/Design/Etc 2 pinned items/month that are not food related...
i did this, but can't post pics of them until the recipient has received them. :)

9. Twelve RAK's for the year...if you are unfamiliar with RAK, it stands for Random Acts of Kindness. 

1. counting this as one, but made extra cinnamon rolls when I recently had an order for 6 dozen and blessed some family and friends with the extra I made.

2. made cookies and gave to someone just because

3. made a Valentine gift box and mailed (which has the pinned items in it)

so not too bad for a start, now to see what February brings...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

You've Got Mail

I had so much fun creating these mailboxes with Cutting Cafe's Mailbox Template and Cutting File. Goodness it's been fun creating like this again! Wouldn't these be fun to create for a 'Gal'entine party? Have some girlfriends over and create one of these for each of them, filled with yummy chocolates and goodies.


I cut each one twice, once with kraft cardstock and again with the patterned cardstock and just glued the patterned on top of the kraft. It really makes this sturdy now. The patterned was a thin cardstock and I wasn't sure how it would hold up filled with goodies. The main paper is a really pretty vintage looking paper. The hearts have tiny gold foiled polka dots. I think this one is my favorite. I really love how the washi tape banners look on this as well.
The little kraft words on both of the projects is from a Tim Holtz sticker sheet booklet that I've had for a long time. Those little words keep coming in handy.

Which one is your favorite and what would you fill them with? Due to the vintage color, I'm thinking some raspberry, dark chocolate Ghiradelli candies would be good. I think I might even have some aqua tissue paper in my stash that would be perfect for this too.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Frugal Friday 1-19-18

I had some recent good deals lately that I thought I would share:

*First, I got all of this for $3.16! Between coupons, Walmart Savings Catcher refunds, etc, I got a great deal!

* two cans pumpkin (name brand) for 25¢ each at Dollar General, marked down because it was a 'holiday' item

*4 bottles of red jimmies sprinkles for 25¢ each...again they are considered Christmas so marked down. This will be perfect for sugar cookies for Valentine's Day!

*Red wine vinaigrette 50¢....not sure why this was marked down as the date is still good. I like this on spinach salad with almonds and strawberries

*name brand pie crust 30¢...don't know why this was marked down either, but great savings to me.

*lots of various free foods from a friend that moved out of the country and had asked if I would help her pack. This was a HUGE blessing!

*marked down bags of red and pink M & M's at Party City, picked up 4 bags for Valentine's Day

*2-lb bag carrots 88¢

*2 lb bag onions 88¢

*chicken thighs 89¢/lb, this along with the carrots and onions will make a wonderful chicken soup to make during the big snow storm we have coming this weekend.

*beef roast $2.88/lb...beef is soooo expensive here and I rarely by it, maybe once or twice a year. So this will be a really nice treat.

*free Christmas gifts...I ordered some gifts for my DIL for Christmas on Nov 27....never came so the company finally refunded me saying the UPS told them it was lost. Last week it showed up! I emailed the company to let them know so they could re-charge me and they said they couldn't re-charge me and to enjoy the order.

*Walmart, Target, & Amazon gift cards earned through swagbucks and Bing.

*free books in return for my honest review from Blogging for Books, Tyndale House Publishing, and Bethany House

I think that's it....have you found any good deals? I would love to hear about them if you have.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review "Under a Cloudless Sky"


Under a Cloudless Sky by Chris Fabry is a story that sucks you in from the very beginning and you don't want to put it down until the last page. This author is amazing in his writings that keep you captivated to the end and ends in a way that you didn't see coming. Those are the stories I love...when there is no way I could have guessed the ending.

This story combines happenings in two years...1933 and 2004 and intertwines them together until the end. In 1933, it begins to tell about two girls Ruby and Bean who live in a mining town. In 2004 Hollis Beasley is standing up to Coleman Coal and Energy who have been trying to buy his land on the mountain to mine coal.

I can't tell too much of the story without giving it away, but I highly recommend reading this story. I enjoyed it so much that I looked for more stories from Mr. Fabry and saw that I had read another of his books June Bug that I had enjoyed very much. I am definitely going to be searching the library for more of his books.

Goodreads title and author pages

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book

Sunday, January 14, 2018

BFB Beneath a Prairie Moon


Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer is her newest book out this year. Set in the late 1800's in Spiveyville, Kansas; this story is about a group of men who wait for their mail-order brides.

But instead of their brides arriving as they think is going to happen, it's Mrs. Bingham, owner of Bingham's Bevy of  Brides and her assistant Miss Grant who show up. They tell the men they have to go through a series of classes on manners and how to treat a woman before they will be matched up to their prospective brides.

All but two men, the sheriff and hardware store owner have signed up for a bride. After a series of events including a kidnapping, Mrs. Bingham and Miss Grant see how the whole town comes together and changes their initial views of the tough exteriors of the men.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


Cutting Cafe Free Template

Regina is offering a free template for this adorable mini lunch bag that she created with wrapping paper! This is free until January 16, 2018. Head over HERE to see how you can get this for free. It comes with 2 different bag designs, 4 flap designs, 4 different sentiments in 2 different designs, and the tag image!
Mini heart lunch bag

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Menu Planner

I am excited to let you know that I am back on the Cutting Cafe design team! My life took a different direction last year that allowed me to be able to come back on the team.

For our first post of 2018 the design team was challenged to create a project using any file from the Planner section. I am just this year trying out a planner and decided to go with the Weekly Menu Planner that you can find here.

I already plan my menus by the month. Around the end of each month, I create a menu plan for the following month and then watch for sales for ingredients for the meals I have planned. I used to do weekly menus according to the weekly grocery sale ads, but the past year or so, have gone to monthly menus...it's just easier for me and since we live so far from town, I can do a larger grocery haul and then just pick up milk, eggs, etc once a week as needed.

I had a $25 gift certificate to Target and while in the city this week, stopped in and they had all kinds of fun planner accessories in the Dollar Spot. I happened to go to the back where the Christmas items were marked down 90% and they had planner albums there! So I picked up an album for 50¢! I bought some fun stickers, pens, etc to decorate my planner. 

So now with Regina's files, I can print the ones I want to put in my binder and use throughout the year. 

So here is the first week of my menu planner. I don't make breakfast, lunch, dinner, so I deleted those from the file and added some fun washi tape across the top. We eat a lot of leftovers, cereal (DH not me), etc. So I usually have one main meal and then muffins, breads, snacky stuff, etc. I divided the sections into more main dish, sides/veggies, and dessert type.



Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.