Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch and more.

This time for Thanksgiving I planned ahead and brought a box of scrapbooking stuff with me to my parent's house.  Just plunked it in my suitcase and surrounded it with clothes.  Luckily, Avinash did most of the work of putting up the tree this year so all I really had to do was make a few snowflakes and had plenty of time leftover to scrap  I am worked through a stack of fall photos and my Studio Calico Sock Hop kit mostly. 

I love the poodle skirt stamps from the kits and stamped it onto some dear Lizzy chipboard.  I am without most of my fancy tools but still wanted to do something a little unique so I fussy cut the washi-tape-like Crate paper  to layer underneath. 

 Sometimes I don't like to stick embellishments on randomly, but notice the feathers in her headband.  See? It all works.  I used dark grey with gold chipboard thickers for the title.  I have been using a lot of gold lately.  I think it will carry through the holidays for sure. 

 I love these dear Lizzy tags.  I had to put a brad in the middle.  I added a woodgrain vellum banner up and down the page to balance all the horizontal elements.

I tried to layer on this page. Lots of patterned paper, more dear Lizzy chipboard and a big red shipping tag for journaling.  I think that may be my favorite part.

The stamp is from Kelly Purkey and I absolutely love it.  I brought a set of AC stamp markers with me because they were more compact.  The ink isn't super even, but I still like the way it turned out.

Even though Avi is not in focus, I had to scrap this picture.  How good is it??  Taken by my awesome friend Viji (or maybe her husband).  Seriously, I died.  I scrapped this one during a video chat #twittercrop session with Smitha and Anandi.  Anyone is welcome to join and we usually tweet about it before hand (though it does not get planned too far in advance these days).  Don't be shy about joining in!
The pink stripe paper just said pirate to me.  I tucked some fussy cut Amy Tangerine paper around the page.  And I used dear Lizzy die cuts for the journaling too.  And, another grey and gold title.  I love this page, but I think I may stick a few doilies on it as well when I get home.  We'll see how it goes.

This is the second page I did this week, but it feels seriously ... flat.   Still a work in progress.  I think maybe a border or some stitching?  I'll let you know how it goes. 

linked up at Purple Mailbox.  Getting in just under the wire for November I think.  Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday

I love to shop around and order a few cards here and there whenever the deals pop up.  

The Treat Card Club Packs are already up to more than 40% off, so this is a killer deal. It takes the cost of one card down to as low as $1.39 (for 18 cards). 

For Cyber Monday, if you use the code CYBERTREAT, you can save 30% on already discounted card packs at Treat.

You can literally do all of your holiday greeting cards with Treat, and make each one of them completely personalized!

Here are the Cyber Monday Prices:

18 Card Pack: $1.39/card, 60% Off Regular Card Price
12 Card Pack: $1.57/card, 55% Off Regular Card Price
6 Card Pack: $1.74/card, 50% Off Regular Card Price

I also ordered a set of cards from Tiny Prints.  I love this design and am so excited to see the real thing.

Tiny Prints is offering 30% off everything on their site. Custom holiday cards, Christmas cards, holiday party invitations, custom photo name it, it's on sale for two days, today, Monday November 26 and tomorrow, Tuesday November 27.

Just use the promo code CB12 when you checkout to get this great deal.  I know that everyone loves the rounded corners on these cards, but I am a cheapskate and get the square corners and just chomp them at home with a punch.  Easy peasy.  I do the same thing for project life cards (when the mood strikes).  

{Disclosure affiliate links used.}

Project Life - Sparkle

Another week of this project.  I was caught up when I did these pages, but I'm behind in my posting.  This was the week we celebrated Diwali.  And, the week I had an outrageous flu while Ryan was out of town.  I was thinking of making one whole spread that said SICK, but I had more than enough photos anyway.  I felt bad that I didn't get the Diwali lights up earlier, but I am way prepared for Christmas now at least.  I forgot to write about Avinash's request to see the Hanuman story.  So cute that he thought of that all on his own.

 The whole spread.

 I love this picture of the Diwali decorations I made.  I blew it up to 6x8 and put in two pockets.  Some random pictures of Avinash and Nandini who sat down to pose will I was photographing some projects.  Avi's last soccer game. A picture from Karva Chauth and a family shot on our way to a Diwali Party. I put some pink washi and alphabet stickers over this yellow dot paper. I love to put titles on everything.  It is so simple and adds a lot of color I think.  Also using more accent cuts from this Crate paper.  Love just cutting up a sheet for cards and journaling spots. 

I used a lot of dear Lizzy stickers and dear Lizzy die cuts on these pages. The gold glitter thickers are a favorite and made another appearance.

How perfect are these corn thickers for the bottom left picture?  The freshly roasted corn was that good by the way.  Avinash said he liked it more than the fireworks.  Also, Nandini posing for pictures again.  A few stickers and a core kit card.

Love this chipboard from Crate (40% off). Too cute to hoard (almost).  So easy to add a few enamel dots here and there for depth.  
I clipped a Elle's Studio journaling card to add to our fireworks picture.  It's a bit hazy because of the dark and being printed at home, but it works. 

Another dear Lizzy die cut with a little Elle's Studio tidbit

Let me know if you have any questions. Linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kit I am using is the Clementine kit, with multi-pack page protectors, and grid journaling cards. Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too!

Don't forget, today is the last day of the big sale at Two Peas.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our Thanksgiving (+ a few great deals today)

Is it just me or has this week gone by really fast? We had two different family dinners on Thursday so I didn't have to cook a thing. We put up the tree in the morning instead which was a lot of fun.  Avinash had such a good time decorating.  Nandini mostly wanted to taste the ornaments I think.

Watching these cousins play together is probably my favorite part.   Avinash serenaded everyone with his "Mister Turkey" when someone brought out the karaoke machine.  Sung at a very loud volume with lots of confidence, he is no wallflower for sure.  Nandini was a little more tentative about leaving my side, but she ran after the kids after she got a hand over the mouth kiss from Lily.  Love.

We started shopping and collecting kicks {my referral link} on Thursday night.  There were a ton at Target, Best Buy and the mall. We got kicks on both Friday at midnight and again during the day.  I think I was more excited about earning a free $25 gift card than anything else even though I still think it is a bit crazy to start sales on Thursday night.

There are more great offers online today that I thought I would share with you. If you have an a amex you can register the card at for a $25 statement credit if you shop at a registered small business today.  I used my credit at Studio Calico.  The promotion is only good today.  Use the Studio Calico coupon code projectlife5off for an extra $5 off there (good until 11/25).
{I'm not affiliated with Studio Calico or Amex, just thought it was a great offer to share with you.}

There are still a lot of great card deals out there too. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Shopkick: Get free Target giftcards, free Starbucks and have even more fun shopping at Target

Shopkick is an awesome free app (for Android or iPhone) that lets you earn points when you walk into a store that earn you free gift cards.  It has tons of black friday deals on there and bonus kicks this week.  I have been using this app for over a month and have already earned $20 in Target Gift Cards.  I even convinced my husband to download it so we earn double points whenever we shop together.

And, it has added a lot of fun to our Friday nights.  Let's face it, when we don't know what to do in the evenings more often than not we end up at Target.   The shopkick app also has this really cool feature where you scan different products to earn more kicks (points).  I supppose you could just look for these items while you browsed the store normally.  Of course, we decided to turn it into a scavenger hunt instead.  We each get a cart and take one kid, then race around the store looking for stuff.  The kids love it almost as much as we do.  I'm proud to say that I am totally winning in overall number of kicks at this point too, ha.  This is a total win-win situation for me, because my husband is always eager to go to Target with me now too!

 Here are my tips to earn free gift cards fast:
  • Open the app when you walk into Target, Old Navy, Best Buy, Macys, American Eagle
    • shopkicks for walk ins are the highest I've seen so far, this is a great week to sign up and start using
    • (this has sometimes worked for us standing outside a store after it is closed too)
  • check the store for coupons once you enter too, I usually can get a buy one get one free drink at the Target Starbucks
  • Scan products for kicks at Target, CVS, Walgreens, Best Buy ... also makes a great scavenger hunt
  • Link your credit card for kicks with purchases at Old Navy, Toys R Us, Gap, Barnes&Nobles, Disney Store
    • kicks are usually given for each $50 or $75 spent, so break up larger Christmas purchases into separate transactions to get the most kicks
  • Scan the look books in the app for bonus kicks and to unlock more kicks when you walk into a store (I did this tonight for all the look books and got over 100 kicks easily)
  • Check the bonus board for combinations of scanned items that get you extra kicks when all three things are scanned
  • Invite friends to join for a referral bonus in matching kicks
  • Check out the Black Friday deals there to plan your shopping strategy
  • Sign up with my invitation link and get a new user bonus of 50 to 100 kicks!

Project Life - Boo! Eek! Yikes!

I am still catching up a bit, so here is my halloween week spread.  I had a lot of fun pictures to include this week.  And, lots of fun orange Halloween-themed cards and stickers to add as well. 

Unfortunately I only have this one picture as well.  The rest were eaten up by my memory card and the album itself is back in Texas (where I am not right now).  I will have to upload the rest later, but figured I might as well try to stay on track.  In addition to the core kit I used lots of Elle's Studio Spooky Tales and October Afternoon's Witch Hazel, both of which are 30% now at 2peas. 

[ETA: I'm back! Here is the rest]

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week!  I will be back shortly to share my favorite app for Black Friday ;) 

Let me know if you have any questions. Linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kit I am using is the Clementine kit, with multi-pack page protectors, and grid journaling cards. Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too!

Friday, November 16, 2012

My favorite pasta sauce.

It has been a while since I shared a new recipe on here. Honestly I haven't been in the mood to cook that much. I find it hard to get new ideas. I make a lot of roasted vegetables, like cauliflower or Brussel sprouts, which we all love. My other go to is pasta. I love this recipe because it has so much more flavor than regular tomato sauce.

1/2 pound dry thin spaghetti pasta OR any other pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion OR 2 to 3 shallots
Scant 3/4 tsp salt, divided 1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper OR 1 dried red chili, minced
Fresh black pepper to taste
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup vodka
1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1carrot and 2 zucchinis roughly julienned
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
Shaved or grated parmesan cheese, to garnish
Additional fresh basil leaves (optional)

Boil a large pot of salted water. Brown onions slowly, over medium heat. Add the salt, pepper, chilis and garlic when they are nearly done. Add the vodka and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and let simmer for fifteen minutes. Turn down heat, stir in cream, basil and vegetables. Let cook for two minutes before adding in cooked pasta. Garnish with fresh parmesan and basil.

**I love this recipe and make it all the time now. I changed the original to make the sauce a little thicker in tomatoes, remove the step of pureeing the sauce and added more vegetables.  I just julienne them to mimic the noodles but do it by hand so they don't get too skinny. I add the vegetables just a minute before adding the pasta so that they don't get soggy. When I am feeling particularly adventurous I only boil the pasta half way and cook it in the sauce itself. I have made this many times without the alcohol. It is still good but lacks a certain depth. I have also used vermouth in place of vodka and love that too.**

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Project Life - Together

Happy to be sharing another week of Project Life on the blog today.  I focused on our trip to the pumpkin patch this week, plus a few random pictures on the patio and at the zoo.

The full spread. Lots of orange here. 

Printed out my pictures at home again this week so I was able to remember to add some white text here and there.  I found this foam fox kit on sale at Target.  As soon as Avinash saw them he tore them to shreds and I had to do ressurect one for my spread. I also cut a few journaling cards from this Crate Paper
The pick of the patch sticker was also pretty perfect for this week.  I just added a stripe of mesh washi along the bottom because the edges printed out a bit fuzzy.
I love the die cuts from 5th&Frolic.

A few core kit cards.  Layered with 5th&Frolic stickers.

More random animals on this side.  Sometimes I feel the need to add a wooden deer even if it has nothing to do with the photo.   I also cut up a page from an OA mini book set.
I added a few thankful penants to our family picture.  Plus, they helped cover random people standing in the background. 

 Two Elle's Studio Tidbits stapled together in a pocket I left empty otherwise. 

I had this whisker's bag lying around and figured I better use it this week before it's too late.   Chipboard and sticker from 5th&Frolic. 

Let me know if you have any questions. Linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kit I am using is the Clementine kit, with multi-pack page protectors, and grid journaling cards. Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A little Diwali Decorating

 We are slowly recovering around here from an attack of the non-cold-weather flu.  I finally mustered some strength today to put up some Diwali decorations.

 A few string lights.  These mini marquee letters I made following a tutorial I found on Oh Happy Day (seriously, why have I never seen this sight before? Every single project is gorgeous). Some square candles from Ikea. 

 They look great at night too.

 We are going to the Temple this weekend to see some fireworks and spending time with friends.  Wishing all who celebrate a very Happy Diwali and New Year!!

linked up herehere and here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tiny Prints Freebie!

I always love these free Tiny Cards promotions. Usually they offer one card for each holiday. I got free Father's Day, Halloween and Diwali cards from them last year. I always get photo cards and display them on our mantle. (I've gotten a bit lazy about framing new pictures so at least somewhere in the house our current pictures are up.)

I love this deal because it is for TEN free cards!  Score.  Shipping is not included but should come out to around 5.99.  I love a lot of holiday cards they have, like the bokeh lights, confetti, and chalkboard designs.  But I checked and the promo seems to work on Diwali cards too.  They probably won't arrive in time for the actual holiday, but I'm sure my parents and friends will be thrilled to get a photo card from anyway.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Project Life - Disney World!

 Getting caught up and back on track.  Had so much fun putting this week together, even though it meant looking through and sorting over 1000 photos.  We went to Disney from Thursday to Monday, but I put it all together in one week.  I have enough documentation of the 'everyday' things already.  It was also a lot easier to just focus on one thing. I printed out my photos at home, which made things a lot easier too.  Usually I print out at least 30 pictures and choose from those.  This week I printed out 6 4x6s and a page of smaller photos in a collage.  I used almost every picture printed out and had fewer decisions to make.

 The overall spread.  Very little memorabilia in here even though I collected a ton.

 I used lots of new Midway and 5th&Frolic on here.

 We got Avinash his own camera at the Ritz going out of business sale.  It isn't the best, but he loved taking pictures with it.  Nandini was more than a little jealous.

 These letter stickers are still one of my all time favorites.  Perfect for this trip and Avi's favorite rollercoaster. 

Avinash got to do Jedi training while we were there.  He was the smallest kid there, but he really held his own against Darth Vader.  The journaling card is from Acorn Avenue.

 I still have trouble getting Avinash to pose for pictures, but for whatever reason he is always ready to sit down for a picture in front of the pumpkins by the entrance.  Nandini also loved the carousel so much, and I even got a picture of her smiling for once!

 Love the die cuts from the Midway banners.  Perfect for a picture from the Dumbo ride.  Avinash used to love it and I think he still does but not as much as the roller coasters which is kind of sad. 

I tried to hit the highlights of our trip in my journaling, I used the enamel dots to make bullet points of our favorites.  I love this picture of Nandini on Main Street in front of the castle.  We were just wasting time waiting for the sorcery cards and I decided to sit and take her picture. 

Let me know if you have any questions. Linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kit I am using is the Clementine kit, with multi-pack page protectors, and grid journaling cards. Thank you so much to everyone in this wonderful community. I love all the feedback and looking at everything people do each week. It definitely keeps me motivated. Also, please include a link to your projects below so we can check them out too!

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