Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Well, I'm about to take off to go pick up DH from work and then we're heading north for about a week. We'll be staying with my parents and my in-laws and spending a few days in Jasper. I will try to update if I have some time during the week.
I'm feeling a little bit better about the holidays - looking forward to hanging out with my family and spending some time alone with my husband in the mountains! Thanks for all your encouragement - it means the world to me!
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday. Take some time to reflect on the reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

a reminder

I'm so glad I stumbled upon this quote just now. The perfect reminder for me right now.

When you arise in the morning,
think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive -
to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.

- Marcus Aurelius -

Holiday Blues

Well, it's happening again. It seems that every holiday I get the 'blues', whether it's my birthday, Christmas, Easter, whatever, I always get down around the holidays. I'm not sure why but it happens. I thought I was doing good this year. I was enjoying wrapping and shopping and having fun but WHAM! this morning, it hit me hard. So now I'm at the point where, I don't want to go. I would rather stay home. What's the point? We spent too much money. It's so stressful. All we do is run from place to place and I don't enjoy that, etc., etc. Every year since we got married, I tell DH that I want to go away, just the 2 of us, somewhere warm and nice and just avoid it all! Maybe someday that will happen.

This year my sister and her husband are spending Christmas in Thailand. They are in Taiwan for the year teaching English and weren't able to come home so they went to Thailand with some friends. Now THAT is what I would like to do! I'm gonna miss her so much this Christmas. It's going to be so weird this year without them. Plus my other sister is working over the holidays (she's a nurse) and my brother is heading to the Dominican for a wedding on the 27th so he will only be there for the 23rd and 24th. And now I'm feeling bad for my parents that no one will be there on the 25th. ACK!

And there is still so much to do before we leave on Friday. Running around, wrapping presents, finishing making presents, packing, laundry, cleaning, visiting, etc. I can feel the panic setting in.

Any one else ever feel this way?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Look, it's ME!

I did this layout for the LSS I teach at! All of the staff at the store are doing up an All About Me layout for the store so here's mine!

I punched the 2 rows of holes in the blue paper using my anywhere eyelet hole punch and added a bunch of Scrapworks and KI flower rub-ons to the MM frame.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Slow Cooker Lasagna

This recipe has become one of my favorites. It is SO easy and delicious! I just thought I'd share. Since I can't eat flour, I use rice lasagna noodles.

Slow Cooker Lasagna

8 lasagne noodles, broken into bite-size pieces
3 L boiling water
2 tsp. cooking oil (optional)
2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 x 14oz canned tomatoes, with juice, broken up
5 1/2 oz. tomato paste
1 cup creamed cottage cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dried whole oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried sweet basil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Cook lasagna noodle pieces in boiling water, cooking oil and salt in large pot for 14-16 minutes until tender but firm. Drain

Scramble-fry ground beef in non-stick frying pan until browned. Drain well. Turn into 3 1/2 quart (3.5L) slow cooker.

Add remaining 12 ingredients. Stir well. Add lasagna noodle pieces. Stir. Cover. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours. Makes 10 cups.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My dear friend

I have been very blessed in my life with some wonderful friends, especially since we moved to Calgary 6 years ago. So I thought I'd share a little bit about one of my friends, Alanna. We've known each other for about 3 years, I think. We work together, actually, she got me the AMAZING job I told you about in the last post. She is such an amazing person. My life has changed because of this girl. She is so much fun. I can be a pretty serious person. I struggle with being optimistic and grateful for things in my life. I'm pretty good at being a pessimist. Since I started working with Alanna though, I am starting to see the world in a different light. I laugh A LOT more than I used to. I have FUN at work, so much fun some days that I kinda feel bad, like it's not okay to laugh that much at work or something. She gets me to do things I would never, ever do on my own.

This photo was taken on Wednesday. Our small group from our church was having a potluck. The couple hosting the potluck sent out an invitation and *jokingly* said we had to dress formal. So Alanna asks me if I want to dress up with her. Seriously, I would NEVER have done this on my own. I'm way too concerned about what others think and fitting in, etc., etc. But Alanna loves to have a good time and joke around and stuff so she convinced me to dress up with her. She wore her high school grad dress and I wore my bridesmaid dress from my sister's wedding. It was AWESOME! We made people laugh really hard and it was actually quite fun to get dressed up. I think I can count on one hand how many times a year I get dressed up like that! (btw, the black velvet cape is mine. My grandma made capes for me and my sister for my sister's wedding a few years ago. She got married on December 21st so we wore the capes to keep warm!)
Alanna is really good at her job. She is a guide for the company I work for. I was lucky enough to go on some trips with her this summer and I was seriously in awe at the talent this girl has and how she is EXACTLY where she should be - doing what she loves and is SO good at. I admire her for that. She is so good with people. She is generous and funny and kind. She has a big heart and cares deeply about others. She is confident and beautiful. She is creative (this girl makes INCREDIBLE jewelry). She inspires me. LOVE this girl!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My job.

I want to tell you a little bit about my job. I work for the Company of Adventurers. We run a whole bunch of different outdoor programs. I LOVE my job. I know what you're wondering, "do you get to go out on all trips?" Well, no. I actually run the office. It is such a fantastic job. My boss is awesome. His wife is amazing. I work with a very close friend of mine. It is such a great place to be. I feel so blessed to be there and am so thankful that God gave me this job. BTW, if you go to our website, click on About Us and you can see a photo of me! ;) And yes, I do laugh a lot!!!!

Today was my last day for a while. We close our office for Christmas and this year we happen to get 3 weeks off. I am so excited. I am going to sleep in tomorrow. I can' wait to sleep in!!!!

I also got my Christmas present today. Guess what my boss gave me?!?! THIS! I was SHOCKED and TOTALLY THRILLED!!!!!! What a cool gift! Not only did I get that but I got a very, very nice bonus. I was *almost* speechless. Their generosity blows me away. They are incredible people. I am so blessed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Finally, I figured out...

something I'm good at! WASTING time! Oh man, seriously, this is my gift. I can waste time like no one else, I swear. Sheesh, drives me crazy. And the more I get on my plate, the more overwhelmed I become and the more time I waste which results in me stressing and worrying more, sleeping less, being less creative because I'm so tired and therefore less productive. HELP! How in the world do I get over this?!?!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

And the last pages!

Thanks so much for looking!!!!!

And some more...

Here are some more pages! Apparently I can't add them all at once. If you click on the image, you can see it a bit larger.

I created the pockets on this page using old Daisy D's frames. I sewed transparency onto the front and then sewed the frame onto the page.

There are 3 pockets on this page, if you look closely!

The finished wine journal

So this year I got this BRILLIANT idea to create a wine & dine journal for my MIL for Christmas! Why? I'm not really sure as it was a bit of a stressful project but alas, it is finished and I'm happy with how it turned out. So happy in fact, I want to keep it for myself! LOL!

Here's a little background on why I decided to create this for her. My MIL is an AMAZING cook and hostess. She makes delicious food, loves to entertain and always has her house decorated beautifully. A few months ago, we were just chatting about journals and writing and stuff and she mentioned that she would love to start writing down the different meals she makes and what she puts in them, who is there, the date, etc. I thought that sounded like a great idea - especially since she rarely uses a recipe to make a meal. Fast forward a few months... I get the November kit for Scraptivity and the technique is mini-books. I seriously started to rack my brain as to what I was going to create - talk about stress! But thankfully, after chatting with my friend, Mary, I came up with the idea of doing a wine journal for my MIL. (THANKS MARY - like I said earlier, constantly inspiring me.) So that's what I did. And I just finished it today so I thought I'd share the book with you! I apologize if it's confusing or boring. I just have to share with someone. I stitched the photos I took of each page - flaps, pockets and all - so that it would be less confusing and less photos to share. I created enough pages for 10 meals so each page has a place for her the write the date, menu, wine and guests. I also included a quote on each page and some type of pocket so that she can include photos, lists, cards, etc. - anything she has saved from the meal or wants to remember.

I created the pockets on this page by gluing 3 envelopes to together. The fold into a little accordian when closed.

More Notepads

I made a few more notepads today and wanted to share. I love making them as they are so quick and easy to do!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Christmas presents and other things

First off, I want to say a HUGE congratulations to my good friend, Mary! Her amazing layout placed second in the Scenic Route Contest earlier this week. I met Mary through Scraptivity and she has become a very close friend of mine. She is an amazing scrapbooker - constantly inspiring me - I wish I had half the creative genius she does! She has encouraged me countless times and makes me laugh out loud all the time! She is such a gem - I'm so glad we met and have become such good friends! I know there are great things in store for her!!!! Love ya, girl!

I also want to say congrats to another fellow design team member, Melissa Chapman, for placing in the layout category for the same contest as well!!! It is so awesome to work with such incredibly talented ladies - I feel so privileged and sometimes a little out of place.

Second I want to thank my friend Tammy for giving me the code for adding links to my blog posts. This woman is a computer genius!!!! She is so helpful and kind - always answering my silly questions and doing so for many, many others too! We've never met in real life but I hope we get to some day soon. THANKS for all your help, Tammy!!!!!

And I also wanted to show you some of the gifts I made for Christmas this year. These are for some of the ladies in my life. Super quick and easy to make! I hope they like them! I'm also doing a little make 'n' take of these at Bliss next Friday afternoon. Isn't that Donna Downey incredible?!?!

Oh and speaking of Donna Downey, I heard a rumour that she is coming to EDMONTON in April!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I am so excited!!!! I am TOTALLY going to that convention. These things rarely come to Canada and especially not Alberta!!!! Woohoo! If you want any details about this, send me an email!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mmmmm... so good!

I'm sipping a chai latte right now from one of my favorite coffee shops, the Bean Scene, which just happens to be really close to where I work! They serve Satwa chai and it is SOOOO good. It's not as sweet as Oregon chai and that's why I love it so much. I try not to indulge too often but when I do, it's such a treat. It's been so cold the last few weeks that I haven't ventured out much more than I have to so it's been a few weeks since I was able to enjoy one of these but the temperature is rising so I thought I would treat myself. It's already -5C here - quite a difference from yesterday and it should be even warmer tomorrow. Who knows, I might just head out for a slurpee tomorrow! LOL!

I woke up to a wonderful surprise this morning. Inside the bag I take to work every day my wonderful DH had popped the new Diana Krall Christmas CD YAY! I saw this CD online on Monday and mentioned to him that I thought it would be a great one to have, one that I would really enjoy. Well, little did I know he would go out and get it for me the next day. Not that I should be surprised because that is totally the kind of guy he is. SO SWEET!!!!!!!!

And since I'm telling you how sweet he is, he's going to take me to Jasper during the Christmas holidays. I admit, sometimes I can be a bit of a scrooge around Christmas because I feel like all we do is run around from this family to that family and back again a million times and then suddenly our holidays are over and we haven't spent any time together just the 2 of us. So a few weeks ago I was (just slightly) complaining about this and he suggested taking me to Jasper for a couple days between family events. I am SO excited! And he's doing the planning so I just have to bring the snowshoes. I can't wait!

Just thought I'd include a layout celebrating my DH that I did a couple weeks ago!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Why I love where I live...

Okay, so when I woke up this morning, it was a whopping -24C!!!!!!! If you know me, you know I DO not like to be cold and that's mostly because I'm pretty much ALWAYS cold. The temperature has been hovering around that mark for the past couple weeks and as much as I can, I've been staying inside. So you're probably wondering, what in the world does this have to do with loving where you live, if you hate cold, Heather?!

Well, I love it here because of the CHINOOKS!!!!!!!! YAY! Apparently one is coming this week and it's supposed to be up to +4C on Thursday and +9C on Friday!!!!! I can't wait (just in case you couldn't tell by all the exclamation marks I'm using)!!!!

But for now, I'm meeting a friend for a run tonight. I'm sure we'll freeze while we're out but thankfully I can have a nice HOT shower when I get home.

Monday, December 05, 2005

So, here's my first project

I did this for a class I taught at my LSS, Scrapbooker's Bliss. The cutie pie in the photos is our friends' little guy, Garrett, although I can take credit for taking the photos! ;) Isn't he sweet?!

So the class was to promote Scrapworks and since they are my FAVORITE company, I was thrilled to get to teach this class.

Testing, testing...

Hello?!?!?! Is anyone out there?! Well, I suppose I'm going to start blogging, albeit VERY reluctantly! I just like to READ other people's blogs. However, I guess I want a space to share some of my work and I'm choosing this space to do it. We'll see if anyone ever reads it! LOL!