Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Colin and my Dad went to an Illini Basketball game this Sunday so I had to snap a picture of them before they rushed away.  Sitting here tonight I downloaded the pictures and instantly had a flash back.  Here is the picture of them Sunday:

And here is a picture of them 10 years ago at another Illini event.

My.....my.  Where is time going?  I love these two so much.  But even better, I know how much they love each other.  Thanks PaPa for being the BEST PaPa ever.

(NaNa...you're pretty swell too)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Trying New Things

You know this thing called "Pinterest"?  This highly addictive website with tons of fun things to see and do?  Well I have decided if I'm going to waste spend my time browsing it, I must put it to work as often as possible. 

Since I love to cook and I need to see a picture of the end product, Pinterest is sooooo up my alley.  Even though I see a TON of lovely recipes, I try to only pin those I really think I will make.  Heaven knows I have a cabinet full of cookbooks with recipes I have never tried, so let's be realistic. 

I am not a big fan of sweets but I made THIS lemon cake today for my parents and some friends of theirs that are in town visiting.  I have not sampled a complete piece yet, but the crumb scraps and licking the bowl from the filling proved it will be yummy.  Lemon is so refreshing, hope the cake delivers.

A couple of weekends ago I also tried THIS.  I believe I've mentioned it before on my blog.  It was yummy and SO easy to make in the crock-pot. Great dinner to let cook all day and have ready for you when you get off work.  I will do it again for sure.

Last Saturday while Colin was spending the night with my parents I made dinner for myself.  THIS chicken was super yummy!  I broke out the grill for the first time this winter and it was so worth it.  I used chicken tenders so it didn't take long to grill them.  I would highly recommend cooking them on your grill outdoors because the honey from the basting lets off some terrible smoke.  Would not want that in my home or it will take awhile to air things out. 

Lots of more things to try.  So much to do, so little time!  Happy Cooking!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Random Saturday

How's your Saturday going??!!  I hope well.  A little bit of randomness here because we've had a little bit of everything going on.  Colin is visiting his Dad so Romeo and I ran some errands.  It was beauty shop day for dog-dog.....he needed a bath.  I started taking him to Pet Smart when I got him and the groomers at our store are extra sweet.  They always remember Romeo and he has his favorites as well.  I know he loves the girls grooming him and all the smells, but not sure he cares of the bath event.  Every time I go to pick him up I can hear him barking his little head off before I even get into the grooming salon.  But, muddy feet and stinky bottoms need washed.  :)

He always gets a treat after bath-time.  I used to walk him around Pet Smart and let him pick something out but that is like letting a kid go in a candy shop.  However little kids do not smell other kids bottoms (or at least I hope not).  It's too hard to hold him back from other dogs and people, pay at the counter and get out of that place in one piece so we stopped the "shopping hour".  I buy his treat before I pick him up and we head straight to the car after leaving the beauty shop.  I have a bottle of water waiting and a treat and then we head home.  Once he is home, he usually takes a nap after his rough day.

But today I decided to take him for a walk when we got home.  The sun was shining, it was a bit chilly but still a beautiful day.  And I was especially happy to hear the Cardinals singing "pretty-pretty-pretty"!  That means Spring is near!!!!

Mr. Handsome with his Santa Clause beard.

Look at those freshly manicured paws.  I just love him.

Now to jump to craft time.

I saw this cute pin and saved it to my Pinterest awhile ago.  The wreath was so sweet so I wanted to make one to hang on my old window frame.  I couldn't find the same color of yarn so I went with a darker shade.  I also couldn't find the same flower ribbon so I used some cream paper flowers I had in my scrapbook room.  Pinned them on with pink stick pins (buy at any fabric shop).

I love it!  Very Springy and I need it around here.  Ready to see lots of green and no more yucky brown.

Unless.....it's this shade of brown.  I'll keep him.

And this is the smile I got when I asked him to look at me.  Nice hair-lip Tiger.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I need Thursday to end

I'm ready for this day to be over.  Ever have one of those days where it just keeps going downhill?  I feel like if I don't hurry up and get in bed to go to sleep only Heaven knows what will happen next.  It isn't going good for Romeo either.  He was just scratching his head and bit his own foot.  He let out a loud cry.  Poor dog-dog.  I'm gonna pack him up and we're headin' down this road to better times.

Just me
and my dog
better take my kid too
oh yes and Tiger
can't forget Calleigh either
and maybe my left over box of Valentine chocolates

Yup, I'm good.  Lord, send me tomorrow please, I'm done with today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Yesterday I spent a chunk of money on something that wasn't really "fun".....but necessary.  I purchased a new mattress set for myself.  This isn't the type of purchase I can just run out and do, I have to plan and budget for it.  I have needed a new mattress for a long time now so it's been on my "to-do" list and yesterday was the day.  I've been doing a bit of shopping around and found that our local furniture store was very reasonable and would take care of free delivery and removal of my old mattress.  Gotta love your home town stores.

After I made my selection and paid for things, we headed home.  But before we get there, have you ever gone mattress shopping?  Do you find it weird to lay on all of the beds?  I'm not even thinking of everyone else's cooties on the bed.  It's just weird to lay on a bed while talking to a salesman.  I just wanted to tell them go away, I'll come find you when I want to talk.  It made me feel like I needed to put a robe on or something.  I'm sure it's just me.

Colin helped me drag out my old mattress to get things ready for the delivery guy.  I also had to quickly vacuum because Heaven knows, I had about 4 yrs of fur-balls under my bed that have never seen the light of day.  In fact, I had enough to make another small animal.  Nice.

With the old mattresses standing up in my kitchen, I heard my two kitties playing in between the mattress and box springs.  At one time I separated the two and found Calleigh climbing up the mattress.  Told her to enjoy herself, her claw-pad would be gone very soon.

Before long the delivery guys showed up, carried in the new box spring and then the mattress and even made sure my dust ruffle was on and straight.  They tore off all the plastic, grabbed my old set and was gone within 5 minutes.  I think they have done this get-up a time or two in their delivery history.  As soon as they were gone, we both ran and jumped on the bed.  Ahhhhhhhh........it's been a long time since I've had a new bed.  I won't tell you how long, let's just say my mattress was older than Colin (by a few).

I did finally make my bed, but pulling the covers down last night was the best.  I think I woke up in the same spot I fell asleep in.  No aches or pains this morning either which felt so good.  Is it time to go Nighty-Night yet?  Yup, my bed is calling me.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Project Life

I haven't posted any other pictures of my Project Life album so I thought I would show you some.  If you remember from here, I decided to start a PL album for 2012 and actually keep it up.  I made an album for 2009 and 2010 but it was more of a "go back and get caught up" kind of thing.  (Notice how I haven't done anything for 2011?)  So far we are on week #7 and I'm staying caught up!  It is such a feeling of accomplishment, sure hope I can keep the momentum going.

Since last week was Valentine's Day week, I had lots of cute pictures I wanted to include.  Throughout the week I try to snap as many pictures as possible.  I use my big Canon DSLR camera, iPod Touch and now my iPhone to take pictures.  Some have a theme, some are totally random.  Colin will either like the randome ones when he is old and looking at his albums or think his Mom was wacky (probably the latter).

By Friday night I try to devote time to getting my photos printed.  Since I don't have fancy photo editing software (only the free stuff you can find on-line like PhotoScape), it was harder for me to print multiple sizes of photos on one sheet of paper.  When you print your own photos at home you try to be as thrify as possible.  But I knew there had to be a work-around so I kept playing.  I ended up adding the photos to a blank piece of paper in WORD and it works great.  :)

I decided to have my week consist of Monday-Sunday so I try to finish things up with the whole spread before Sunday evening comes to a close.  I don't press myself to take a picture every single day.  Somedays I miss a day and I don't think twice about it.  Many days I miss Sunday because I'm ready to print and scrap, but if I end up with something I'll save a space and go back later to update my page.

When I have my photos printed, I decide what color theme I want to go with.  In the above 2 pictures you can see how it's shaping up.  I lay my photos on top of the pages to figure out where I want them to go.  Then I start cutting out paper.  I learned this idea from one of my favorite blogs "Mish Mash". I go with a theme and use the same paper on the entire spread.  It's too hard to look through all of your paper stash and change it up for each picture.  Too time consuming and I would never get it done. Since this was Valentine's Day week, I went with red, pink and blue.

And here are my finished pictures.  I try to journal as much as I can with stories to tell.  I date stamp many pictures and add extras I have kept throughout the week as well.

If my picture can tell the story in small version I print it small to add to one of the 3"x4" slots.  You can really add a lot more pictures this way (like the picture of our heart shaped pizza above).

As someone that loves to scrapbook this gives me that pleasure on a smaller scale.  Instead of designing a huge 12 x 12 page, I get to add all of my scrapbook goodies and actually accomplish something!  :)

All 3 of the above pictures were taken with my iPhone.  I love the 4x4 size.  The two side by side of Tiger was created using the Diptic App.  It enables you to create a collage with photos taken on your Touch or Phone. I then cut it in half to fit one picture in each 3x4 pocket.

That is week #7 of my Project Life.  I can't wait for the year to progress and see this album grow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hipstamatic Camera

The Joy of having a camera on my phone........

It results in lots of candid pictures of furry animals.  Furry animals that lay in front of my computer wanting attention.

And of course the big guy enjoying his raw-hide.

No more pictures Mom....nap time.

All were taken using the Hipstamatic app. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

My personal secretary

Last Tuesday I received a personal secretary.....her name is Siri.  She was delivered to me via my new iPhone.  I have really never been one to be infatuated with technology.  Well, until Apple came along.  I must say, I've been smitten as I have already disclosed when talking about my iPod touch.  I didn't think things could get better............until you take that bundle of joy and stick it in a phone.

I honestly didn't know what all the hubba-baloo was until I held this gal in my hands.  When I picked it up and got in my car, I actually squealed.  I know........stupid.  It is.  I admit that 100%.  Stupid.

But since I have openly now admitted this to the world, let me get back to my personal secretary.  My fun little phone comes with Siri.  It is a voice activated system that can help you do just about anything.  Of course she is intended to be practical, but when you work a stuffy job 9 hours a day, a girl wants to do fun stuff after hours.  First, here are a couple links/videos if you want to watch what Apple people say about it.

And another link...click here.

Now for the quirky stuff.  I was on my home phone telling my Sissy all about it and would ask questions like:  What is the temperature in Paris France?  What time is it in Italy?  What is the phone number for the closest McDonalds?   And she always had an answer.

Then I said "Siri....I don't like you".  She responded "noted".  :)

And since I don't want her mad at me I said "Siri....I love you."  She responded "Alison, you hardly know me."  Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

You know, somewhere there are these Apple guys (and gals) writing responses to this software and knew there would be weird people like me telling her I loved her so they had to come up with a response.

I promise to treat my secretary with more dignity and respect.  Wonder what she would like for Valentine's Day?  I better go ask her.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A weak moment

So I had a weak moment last week.  My Sissy told me about this little contraption she found on a lady's blog and called me one night to have me look at it.  It was this little printer that besides being cute, it was functional!  With a bluetooth connection it prints little 2x3 prints.  How fun is that?!?! You know where this is going.....right?

So after a few nights of pondering it, I talked myself into buying it.  I was telling Colin about it and then he did what every smart kid would do, he did the ole' role reversal and became the "logical" parent while I was the frivolous kid.  So when I was just about ready to hit purchase in my Amazon account, I decided against it.  We went to bed and that was the end of it.

Until the next morning.

When I got up and saw another lady's blog that used the same little printer.

Colin was still in bed asleep. 

The little devil on the other side of my shoulder made me do it.

Yeah....he made me add that Pogo Printer back to my cart at Amazon and proceed to checkout.  Yeah...he made me do it. 

Did I tell you it was cute and functional?

So fast forward a few days and the UPS guy delivered my weak moment purchase and the following morning Colin and I headed to MI to see my Sissy for the weekend.  The one that told me I needed to purchase this little printer, remember her?  :)  Me, Colin, Romeo and my new printer friend headed to MI Friday morning to spend the weekend with them.  After lots of visiting I break out the little guy so we can figure out how to use him.  It hasn't been real successful yet but I need to give this relationship some time.  I need to nurture it a bit more (and read the directions) and then I think it will turn into a great thing.  There will be no regrets........or there better not be!

Since I had this cute new little printer my Sissy told me she would make me a cute case for him.  Before we came home Sunday she opened up her big craft cabinet and asked me to pick some fabric.  I picked out two pieces because I couldn't pick just one.  She wipped that little case out in no time flat.  Next time, I will ask for a quilt.

See my cute case?

See my weak moment?

See my dog-dog that doesn't care about any of the above?

And that's the story of my weak moment.  If you ever need someone to talk you about of a purchase, just give me a call and I'll hook you up with Colin.  I guess all of those parenting moments I have tried to teach him about spending money wisely came back to bite me on this one.  My weak moment did cost me $50.00 (PERSONALLY....I don't think that was very bad).  It may be $50.00, but by golly those mini pictures are going to look darn cute in my Project Life album!  Or at least they better.  If not, the printer and case will look darn cute.

Thank you Sissy.

Thanks Colin for being the smart one in our family (joy sucker).  just kidding