Thursday, April 17, 2014

Little Miss Pouty Face

Hi friends. I have a monthly feature on the Gossamer Blue blog called Pattern Play. If you haven't seen it yet, HERE'Sa link to the most recent one on the Gossamer Blue blog. I'll include a link to previous posts at the end of my blog post. 
 For April's edition, I thought I’d show a fun way to mix patterns to create a shape. Let’s take a look…

Look at that face…beautiful wide eyes and then that lip.
I thought it would be fun today to walk step x step through how I created this layout.
  1. I wanted to use a patterned background paper but I knew it had to be an understated patterns. Otherwise it will clash with the other patterns I was planning to add.
  2. I chose to create large “blocks” of patterns and I knew I wanted them larger at the top and tapered down at the bottom. I drew my design and then created a cutting file in Silhouette. You can download the cutting fileHERE. There are three files. One is long and wide, the second is long and skinny and the third is short and wide. Using an odd number, in this case, three sizes of the same shape gives it a great variety and it works nicely.
  3.  I chose to use 4 colors for my cuts – blue, yellow, white/cream and multi. I didn’t necessarily use the same pattern but I stuck to those four colors.
  4. I also chose to use small, medium and large prints. The combination of sizes, color and pattern scale works great to pull it all together while keeping giving it the variety it needs.
  5. After you cut the triangles, cut a 6” circle slightly off center to the bottom left of the page.
  6. Once all the angled rectangles were cut, I moved them around the page in the shape of a circle until I liked their placement.

  1. Add a white/cream lined or grid background paper to the back of the circle.

  1. Once you have the triangles arranged how you like them, adhere them down with just a little glue. You don’t want to add too much, since we’re going to stitch over them.
  2. Stitch 3 circles around the triangles. I used the same color green as my background paper.

  1. To make my photo stand out against the various patterns I used vellum on the bottom layer. I then added bits of white, yellow and the green. The green is from the center circle that I cut out. I popped the photo up using foam dots.

  1. We’re almost done now… Embellish with various elements. I used ephemera, wood veneer, flair, die-cut, resin shapes and chipboard.

I hope I’ve demonstrated that you can combine many patterns on one page as long as you consider using a variety of pattern scales and limit the main colors (that also complement each other) to just 3 – 4 colors.

Gossamer Blue April 2014 Supplies: Main Kit, Main Add-on, Main kit Add-on 2, Life Pages kit, Life Pages Main Add-on, Life Pages Themed Add-on, Bits & Pieces
Thanks for stopping by today! Care to see my other Pattern Play features? See the links below:
March 2014: The Sweet Life
February 2014: Dream a Little Dream
January 2014: Best Day Ever
November 2013: Made with Love
October 2013: #favorite

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Multi-dimension "Love" Card | Step x Step Instruction

Hi friends. I'm just popping in real quick to share a card I made for my love.

To create this, I cut a card base out of white cardstock and folded it in half. I cut a second base just large enough to cover the front.

I punched triangles, using my American Crafts Knock-out 1.5" Triangle punch. I mixed and matched the triangles and adhered them to the second base of the card in alternating directions. This is important if you plan to stitch on your cards.

I left an open strip at the bottom to add a sentiment, which was simply cut from the bottom of the paper, where they usually print the manufacturer and collection name. I also added a small pink strip to accentuate the border.

Then, I stitched two large triangles on the card, following the lines that were created from the smaller triangles.

I popped up more triangles over the stitched ones and added another sentiment.

Lastly, adhere the designed base to the card base and you have a fun little card (and your recipient won't see the stitching on the inside.

Monday, April 14, 2014

You're a Star

My sweet, littlest girl loves to dress up and sing and dance. We knew we needed to get her into dance pronto. That was 2 years ago.  Well, she just absolutely loved it and would come home singing the dance songs. I was excited for the recital and so was she. Back to the songs, coincidentally, I had been singing to her every night. We usually did three songs. Two were selected from traditional nursery rhyme songs - rock-a-my-baby (not rock-a-bye-baby - LOL), twinkle twinkle, hush little baby - and the last was always Just what makes that little old ant. I think that's a rather unique song to sing to your daughter every night but my mom sang it to me and I sang it to my girls and they just loved it.

Imagine my surprise when the dance recital music came home and that was one of the two dance numbers?!?! I was soo giddy. And the teacher was quite surprised that Reese knew the song already. Win - win! The other song was Don't Eat the Daisies, a movie starring Doris Day. I am a big, huge fan of her comedies so I was super excited for that dance number too.  I was worried that Reese would be afraid to perform on stage but that little princess was so confident about it each time we talked about it. I should have known that she'd feel at home on stage.

Here's a layout of her dancing to Don't Eat the Daisies, from last May. It was punch week on the American Crafts blog so that was my initial inspiration.
Supplies: Knock-Outs Punch Star 1.5” (KOP63102), Paper Planes 12x12 Paper (366748) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Bike Ride 12x12 Paper (366751) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, 6x6 Paper Pad (366767) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Enamel Dots (366785) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Wood Buttons (366796) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Thickers Printed Chipboard Letter Stickers (366773) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Printed Chipboard Shapes (366789) – Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer, Thickers Kal Barteski Foam Letter Stickers - Black (366830) – Amy Tangerine Plus One, Thickers Puffy Letter Stickers (53036) – Dear Lizzy

I used a combination of 12x12 papers and the 6x6 paper pad from the Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer collection as well as the Knock-outs 1.5" Star Punch.

To create the large star, I punched a small star and then traced it with a black marker. I then imported that image into Silhouette and traced it to make a cutting file. You can DOWNLOAD IT HERE.


I embellished the stars by adding some wonky stitching, enamel dots, doodling, etc. I couldn't resist that large yellow bow.

I placed the photo to the bottom right portion of the start, offset so that I could put the title and journaling inside the star.

Miss Reese is in year 2 of dance and still loving it. She has her second recital at the end of this month and I just can't wait! I'm sure I'll be posting some of the photos to Instagram if you care to see them before they make it on a layout (since this one took almost a year).

Thanks for stopping by today. Now go on and get crafty!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Our Daily Vittles to help Battle the Bulge Week 1 Menu Planning


Hi there. I am so thrilled to be doing this weekly feature on my blog. I'm excited because it means I am doing what I need to do (food-wise) to shed those LBs, while teaching my kids abut healthy food choices. After I wrote all those words below, and I promise not to do that every week), I stumbled across this new documentary that might have you thinking more and more "am I eating what I really think I am eating or is it loaded with all sorts of sugars and preservatives.


This comes from the movie trailer article in the Huffington Post this week:

Here are some of the sobering facts about the state of health in America revealed in "Fed Up," a new documentary from producers Katie Couric and Laurie David about the country's food industry: (1) "Over 95 percent of all Americans will be overweight or obese in two decades"; (2) "By 2050, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes"; (3) 80 percent of food items sold in America have added sugar.

What are we going to do about that????? Here's a link to the documentary movie trailer to get you thinking even more.



Okay, back to what I wrote earlier.

I'm planning and sharing my family's menu plans with you to help take the guess-work out of what's for dinner tonight. And maybe, just maybe I'll have you eating a bit healthier too, without necessarily sacrificing taste.


I think that's the biggest concern I had was healthy meant it wouldn't taste good. Well, I sure have learned my lesson.  I have spent hours upon hours scouring every skinny food blog, Pinterest, recipe book, inspecting the ingredients lists for non processed, clean, organic foods to find these so I hope you enjoy them. I will continue to do this for my family and share here as long as there is interest.


Oh and before I go any further, I am doing a Cleanse Program during this first 30 days. So you'll see 2 days that aren't planned for, which are good days for leftovers. Between the healthy eating and doing the weekly cleanse I have lost 7.5 pounds in 10 days and not only that, but I feel awesome and I have more energy. If you want details on what cleanse I am doing, just shoot me an email (heather at heatherleopard dot com).


Anyway, here's our weekly dinner menu. We actually didn't start the healthy eating until Tuesday because I wanted to start this off on April 1. Next week will go Sunday through Saturday. I will also include my photos starting next week (this week will include the original source recipe photos).



Daily Vittles: April 1 - 5



Recipes below…

Chicken & Avocado Tacos - my “recipe”, no photos but it was delish!
Calories: 452
  • Leftover Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store
  • Corn torillas instead of flour. Look at the nurtition label and check the carbs. Some have higher carbs than others. Also, look for GMO free ones (genetically modified) and get the purest ones you can.
  • Avocado - 1/2 of a ripe avocado was more than enough for 2 tacos
  • Spring mix salad for the topping
  • Picante Sauce - I chose to go without but it was a bit dry. I may add this next time, or maybe just some lime. Yeah, I’ll save the salsa calories and add lime.
  • Cheese - my family ate the cheese; I did not and I didn't miss it.
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts with side of Basmati Rice
Modified recipe; original recipe can be found on skinnytaste 
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 roll 
Calories: 207 • Weight Watcher Points+: 4 pt 


Ingredients:
  • cooking spray or oil mister
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 4 - 5 cups fresh spinach (subbed for 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and juice squeezed out)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat free ricotta
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  • 8 thin skinless chicken breast cutlets (1.5 lbs total)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds (subbed for whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs)
Modifications include:
  • Ground almonds instead of the breadcrumbs. I simply used ground almonds that I grounded up myself in the food processor.
  • I also chose to leave the ricotta out of my chicken
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a large baking sheet with spray.

Heat the oil a medium sauté pan. Add onions, garlic and scallions and sauté about 1 minute. Add spinach, parsley, dill, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper and cook another minute or until Spinach is wilted. Remove from  heat and mix in the feta and ricotta cheese (I waited to add the ricotta until after I prepared 2 chicken rolls for me; then added it in for the family)

Season chicken lightly with more kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Place about 1/4 cup of spinach mixture in the center of the chicken and roll, then lay the chicken seam side down on a platter or piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Note: this made a lot of leftovers!

Rachel Ray recipe
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 filet 
Calories: not provided; I calculated 312 



Ingredients:


  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 tilapia fillets (about 1 pound total)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish, combine the cheese with the paprika and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and dredge in the cheese mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque in the thickest part, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.

Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Calories: 119 •
Weight Watcher Points+: 3 pts

Ingredients:
  •     1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
  •     1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  •     Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •     2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •     5 garlic cloves, crushed
  •     2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 medium lime)
  •     3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions: visit Cilantro Lime Shrimp on skinnytaste.com

Okay, this was a major hit with most of my family. They had no idea that it wasn’t really rice. To me, it’s more like couscous but that doesn’t matter. I thought it had the perfect amount of lime but my husband said it was too much. Next time, I will let people add their own amount of lime and everyone will be happy. My littlest didn’t care for the rice but she’s extremely picky and everyone else had seconds so this is a HIT

Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 5 • Size: 1 cup  
Calories: 61 • Weight Watchers Points+: 2 pts

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium head (about 24 oz) cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 limes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
Directions: visit Cilantro Lime Cauliflower "Rice" on skinnytaste.com

I hope you enjoy these healthier recipes, which are a mix of Paleo, Gluten Free, Clean recipes. If you are leary of those words, just stick with me and give them a try. I really think you will find that they are oh so tasty and oh so good for your body and mind.

Please let me know if these weekly menus are helpful to you. This is how I’ll judge whether or not to continue sharing them here. Also, if you try these come back and tell me what you think about them.

Check in next Saturday for a new dose of Daily Vittles. Up on the menu is a Picadillo Tacos, Balsamic Pork recipe, Pasta with Chicken sausage, Homemade pizza, Crab cakes…

In the meantime, get FED UP with me and take a stance for your health


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Our Daily Vittles to Battle the Bulge...week by week healthy meal planning



Tell me if this sounds familiar to you...I've chatted with a lot of friends, scrappy and non-scrappy ones, and one thing I hear over and over is that one of the hardest parts of their day starts to hit around 4:30 when they say, "oh no, I have no idea what I'm making for dinner". I know that has been true for me.

Here's what was happening in my house...
  • Sometimes I had something in the fridge and/or pantry that I could throw together but it wasn't always the healthiest choice. At least we weren't eating fast food though, right?
  • Sometimes my fridge was empty and any meat I had was still frozen and I'm so afraid of rapid defrosting and getting the family sick so off we went to a restaurant or fast food. We always spent more money than we needed to and oh, we still had to get back home in time to do homework, baths/showers for the girls, etc. Again, not a very healthy choice usually.
  • Other times, hubby or I would run by the store on our way home and grab a rotisserie chicken, or chicken & apple sausage, or a frozen meal like Bertoli's or PF Changs, frozen steamable veggies, or whatever sounded good. This was a decent choice but who wants to go through this every day.
And then, the Battle of the Bulge started to set in. Da. Da. Daaaaaaaa!

So, we started weekly meal planning, which has been great but, and this is a BIG BUT, it included things like King Ranch Chicken casserole (using chips & canned soups), some creamy Pasta, fried food or meat & potatoes type meals. While these wonderful comfort foods are quite tasty and we enjoyed more meals at home, it did nothing to help me Battle my Bulge. It didn't help that I was eating the leftovers for lunch the next day either. I have no idea how many calories I was consuming but it was way too much.

I started reading about different healthier lifestyles, like Paleo, Clean Eating, etc.  You know what? My very picky kids, who I had to practically beg to eat every night, starting cleaning their plates with little prompting.  Great right?  Who would have thought they'd enjoy the healthier foods more than the comfort foods. But then life got busy and we fell back into our old patterns.

Well, with a 2 week trip to Hawaii coming up in July and just a general desire to eat healthier and teach my kids to eat healthier, I've finally gotten serious. I need to shed those extra pounds and we need to get back to eating healthier.

The point of the story...
So back to the chat I was having with friends about meal planning. Many people said, I just don't have the time to scour all the "skinny" recipe sites, Pinterest, etc. for meals that may or may not taste good in addition to planning our meals for the week.  How about I do that for you?  Since I'm already doing this for my family, I thought I'd share my weekly meal schedule with links to the recipes. I'll also share photos of what my meal looked like, if I can remember to take them and what the family thought of the meal. That means I'll be sharing what I made the previous week with you.

I'll post this on Saturdays so that you can take a look and do your shopping on Sundays.

I also started working out 4 - 5 days/week for at least 45 minutes. I'm taking classes at my local gym and I actually love them. They are fun! Maybe I'll list my workout for the day as well so I will stay accountable.

By the way, I started this last week. I didn't work out (for personal reasons) and I am already down 3.5 pounds. Yay me! The Battle of the Bulge has begun.

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Winner for the Scrapbook Circle Kit Giveaway

Well, Anelsie must have been feeling very lucky yesterday. She actually won my contest and Jenni's. Her kit is already shipping out to her for winning Jenni's giveaway so I am drawing another winner. Congratulations go to.....

Allie Stewart

Allie - please email your address to heather@scrapbookcircle.com and we'll get your kit out to you ASAP.

20% off code at Scrapbook Circle - Whoop, whoop!
Also, I posted the wrong discount code before. I thought it was for 10% off but it's actually 20% off. So....take a stroll through the Scrapbook Circle shop and/or purchase the new April kit, The Bucket List. Just enter discount code Heather20off during checkout for some great savings!

Here's another look at the April kit




Sunday, April 6, 2014

Scrapbook Circle Kit Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Scrapbook Circle "The Bucket List" kit giveaway here and on Instagram.  I'm posting the winner below but here's a reminder of what y'all were playing for...


Okay, since I was pulling entries from here on the blog and on Instagram, I put everyone's name in a hat. Some people had double entries, some did not. I marked whether they came from IG or the blog. The winner is......
Anelsie
Congrats!!! Email your address to heather@scrapbookcircle.com
I'll post the winner on Instragram too so we can track you down and get the kit right out to you!

If you didn't win, but want to buy a kit or other things in the Scrapbook Circle store at a discount, just enter Heather20off at checkout for a 20% discount. As far as I know, the code doesn't expire so keep it handy. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

LOVE this Sweet Face

I was soo excited when I saw the new dies in the American Crafts booth at CHA this year. I dusted off my Big Shot and I've been dabbling with the dies. I got a little crazy with the love die and created this layout.

Can you see them? Layered over each other on the left side of the page? Here's a stepxstep to re-create this layout.

  • Identify a die that you think will look good layered over each other. I think shapes are a little easier. If it's a word, you don't necessarily have to be able to read it but you want to be able to identify many of the letters. 
  • I must have cut about 20 of the words "love" out of black cardstock. You can use colored cardstock, pattern papers, vellum, whatever.
  • Now for the layering...I started at the bottom left and placed the word "love" so that only part of the v and e would show. I also adhered them to that the top of the word "love" was hanging off the page. I then adhered "love" over and over up to the top of the page.
  • For the second row, I used the full word "love". I placed the word so that it slightly covers up the 1st set of words, only the bottom of the word. I did that because I wanted to kind of flip the tops (you can see it in the photo below). Do this over and over the length of the page in however many rows you want.I did 4 rows.

  • Next, when I was cutting the word "love" with the die cut, I set aside one of the negative cuts. I adhered bright pink paper to the back of one of them and then hand cut the outside outline. I placed it over one of the black words.

  • Then I added 2 small strips of paper, the white and grey paper and another small strip of blue to complete the background of the page. And then I splattered some mist here and there.
  • I layered papers around my page, added stickers, a brad and some flowers that I hand cut from a 12x12 sheet of the Plus One collection.
  • The large pink and white "love" was also hand cut from a 12x12 sheet of the Plus One collection.
  • To create the title, I mixed the word phrase Thickers and chipboard Thickers. 
  • The mini hearts were cut using the geo tag die in the die cut kit.
  • The upper right banners were created from scraps and a foam heart from the same word phrase Thickers.



This is one of my favorite pages that I've created lately. It's full of colors and layers and was just so fun to create.  I hope it inspired you to pull out your dies or your CAMEO and get scrapping!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Enjoy Today | It's Beautiful

I gotta shout from the roof tops just how much I LOVE the Simple Stories DIY Boutique collection. The colors are just so bright and fun and it has such a great mix of patterns, from stripes, to polka dots, chevrons, flowers, basics, you name it, it's there. And if you haven't learned yet...I love mixing patterns.

Let me walk you through this layout I created to document a day at the park with my littlest girl.
 


I wanted to pull out the yellow color in the tire swing so I chose to use the yellow and white polka dot paper as my background. And, I knew I wanted to use the floral paper because it matches my daughter's shirt perfectly. Third, I knew I wanted to use all those fabulous sticker, brads and enamel dots in a big way. First, though, I had to create a foundation for them so I stitched a strip of the red paper across the page and then folded the edges up, allowing them to tear here and there.
 

See? See how perfectly that floral paper matched my daughter's shirt. I couldn't have planned it any better. LOL. I added a multi-colored black polka dot frame over a section of vellum to help soften the floral pattern just a bit. I offset the photo to the left of my page. I used foam dots to adhere a couple of sentiment stickers.


 


To create this cluster of embellishments, I knew I needed to use at least 3 different shapes. I chose hearts, flowers and butterflies. I started by placing the largest shapes first and then the medium pieces. I tucked a few under my photo mats and let some hang off the left and right side of the page. Then the little bits filled in the gaps perfectly. If you look closely, you can see that I added 3 yellow sentiment stickers on the yellow paper. I like the subtly of it scattered here and there.

So, that's my layout today. I hope this inspired you to grab all your embellishments packs you've been hoarding and put them to use to create a fun little clustered embellishment page. I think that would make a great weekend project.

Thanks for stopping by today.

DIY Boutique Supplies:
6x6 paper pad | 5122Chipboard | 5128Brads | 5127Yellow Chevron/Dots | 5116Stickers - Boutique | 5141
Enamel Dots - Teal, Red & Yellow | 5129Enamel Dots - Pink, Green & Orange | 5130Stickers - Icons | 5140Stickers - Words | 5142

Thursday, April 3, 2014

She Loves Me in 24 Pieces?!?!

I've been wanting to scrap this story for some time now. I started telling my daughter that I love her to bits & pieces. I always proclaim that I love in her a million, billion, trillion, infinity pieces.  We would have a ton of fun counting up and up and up together, kind of like a contest.  Well one day, she decided that she loved me in 24 pieces and stuck to that. Every day...24 pieces. I'm not quite sure what to think of that but since she was only 4 at the time, I'll consider it super duper adorable.

I have been hoarding the wood veneer overlay from the American Crafts Dear Lizzy Day Dreamer collection but couldn't decide what to use it for. Well, it finally clicked how perfect it would be to document this story.

I chose to back the wood veneer with a soft, subtle pattern. I didn't adhere it together until the last step. I then found papers that I thought would help me tell the story, like this text, and I added some rub-ons, like the flowers above. I stitched directly on the wood, using my sewing machine.

For several of the paper hearts, I simply cut them from a 12x12 sheet in the Day Dreamer and Plus One collections.

Remember how I said I didn't adhere the wood to the background paper? Here's why. I had to draw the others. To do so, I placed the paper under the wood veneer and traced it with my pencil. then, I cut it out about 1/4" inside the line I drew. The pink, scalloped one above and the polka dot one, that I used for my title, are perfect examples.

 Layers, layers, how I love thee. I just can't seem to add a photo to my layouts with layers. I added hand stitching to some of the hearts. I cut the hearts, hand stitched and then adhered them to the wood.

I cut this grey striped paper to use as a journaling spot.I stitched around it and then added my journaling. Last but not least, I stitched through a few of the hearts, right down the center and then popped the sides up with foam dots.

Now I have a sweet layout documenting this cute story. Can I toot my own horn for a sec? I uploaded it to Two Peas the other day and it was selected as the Featured Project. I was super duper excited. Thanks for letting me share the exciting news. Thanks for stopping by.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway in the previous post. You can win a Scrapbook Circle April kit, called The Bucket List. Good luck!
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