Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monika & David, Sittin’ In A Tree…

Our friends Monika & David got married in July in Maui.  We couldn’t go, because we are actually going to Maui later this year.  But just because we missed the wedding doesn’t mean we miss out on the fun of celebrating with them!

I made a handmade wedding card for Monika & David.  Monika likes purple, so I thought I would include some glittery purple paper.

First I used my Martha Stewart 1” scalloped circle punch and punched out a bunch of silver and purple glitter circles.  Then I sewed them onto a piece of vellum paper.

When I was done sewing, I adhered the vellum to my A2 cardstock.

I never waste paper, so I punched out some little 1/4” hearts with the bits of paper left.

And adhered them randomly onto the front of the card.

For the inside of the card, I stamped the shape and sentiment from Papertrey Ink’s Happy Day stamp set onto a piece of white cardstock.

Then I used the coordinating die to cut it out and adhered it to the inside of the card.

For the envelope, I used my gigantic alphanumeric roller stamp, plus the Valentine’s roller stamp from American Crafts.  The envelope was slippery and shimmery, so I used Staz On ink for it.

I wanted to make a garland to go around the gift, so I sewed a garland with the leftover silver and purple punched circles.

Sewing the garland was easy.  Just feed each circle into the machine, allowing a small space in between them.

Here’s the whole package together!

On Sunday 8/25, we met up with Monika & David at URBN in North Park for lunch.  We had never been there before and were excited to try new food.  I actually had a bunch of gifts stored up for Monika, because the last time we saw them, I forgot to bring her Christmas gift.


The food at URBN was really good!  Todd & I shared a tomato & mozzarella salad.

And a pizza, which turned out to be WAY too big.  We had no idea it was going to be so huge.
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I had two smaller pieces, Todd ate a bunch, and still got a lunch out of it for the next day.

I had a bite of these chicken wings that Monika and David got, and it was delicious!  Not heavily breaded, and not saucy.  I like it!

So happy to finally get together with Monika & David to celebrate their new marriage, and to eat good food!
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Digi Dares | Spontaneous Fun + Listgirl Around the Web

This week’s Digi Dare is about what we love the most about our summer.  There is much to love, but to me the best thing about summer is the long daylight hours, which allows for spontaneous fun after work!

Spontaneous Fun
Credits: Carson Park digital kit by One Little Bird; Pencil Brushes 1 by Paula Kesselring; fonts are Populaire, Listgirl Type.

Journaling: The best thing about summer is leaving work and having daylight to go out and have some spontaneous fun. Going to Balboa Park and seeing bike races at the Velodrome; bookstore dates, and meeting friends for wine tasting. Summer daylight rocks!

You can see other examples of this week’s Dare here, and participate by linking your digital layout in the comments section at the Digi Dares site.  There’s prizes every week!

Recently I’ve had a couple of layouts featured at other sites. 

First I was hopping along on the 2peas August Gardener’s Digest Blog Hop when I came upon Jill Sprott’s blog and saw that she had picked one of my layouts as inspiration this month!  I was floored and so honored!

This past Saturday, one of my Project Life spreads was featured on Michelle Bostinello’s Saturday Project Life Blog Hop.  So cool!

Then this morning I was just reading some blogs in Feedly when I happened upon the Creating Keepsake blog and saw one of my layouts there, about summer pages!  How fun!

Have a nice week!  :-)

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Living Large in August

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged a life update post.  I mean to do it more regularly, but I guess I’ve been doing other things besides being on my computer, which is always a good thing!  :-)


On Saturday 8/10 Todd and I went running at the coast.  We didn’t expect it to be so sunny, gorgeous, and blue out there.  Whenever we do this, it makes us feel better about the high cost of living here.   The road we run on has a separate section just for walkers and runners, which makes it pretty safe.  It also has incredible ocean views.



And cool stairs down to the beach.


There are actually two houses that are really boats, on dry land.  One or both are for rent.  Anyone interested??

We ended our run at Moonlight Beach, which is gorgeous and has great facilities with brand-new bathrooms and concession stand.



Afterwards, we shared some carne asada, beans, and guacamole at El Nopalito.  So good!

On Sunday 8/11, Todd and I went to Bernardo Winery for their Sunday “Jazz On The Patio” summer series.  We got to listen to live music and enjoy some wine.  We think it’s really cool that we live so close to a winery!


On Thursday 8/15, we met my Uncle Sol & Auntie Rose (my mom’s brother and his wife) for dinner at Rappongi in La Jolla.  They were in town for a few days and we got to meet up for dinner.

We forgot to take photos of our meal, but finally remembered for dessert.  There was mango sorbet…

And caramel pudding.

I had one bite of each.  Actually was able to stay within my Weight Watchers points that day! 

On Saturday 8/17 we went to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to see some horse racing, for the Del Mar Grill Fest, and to see Weezer in concert.  Overall the experience was sort of a fail, but if we never go out and try stuff, we won’t have winning experiences ever. 

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We had read online that they were having a Del Mar Grill Fest, where different restaurants show up with different grilled/BBQed meats and you pay $10 for 5 tastes. 

The information never said what time the event was.  When we arrived right after 5:15, it was pretty much over.  No BBQ for us except for this little bite.
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The info on the website also said the Weezer concert would start around 6:30, after the last horse race.  We showed up at the stage right around 6:30 and people were just milling about.
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The crowd got bigger and bigger and no Weezer yet.  It was getting uncomfortable to be in such close proximity to such a large crowd, breathing in doobie fumes.  And people fumes.  And yet, no Weezer anywhere in sight.

We finally decided to give up and leave at 7:30.  We paid $6 each to get in, so I wasn’t to worried about writing off the cost.  On the way out, pushing through the crowd, somehow we ran into our friends Pete & Cassandra.  That made the experience better!  We took a couple of photos with them and chatted, then we left.
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It took us about a 20 minute walk to the remote parking lot.  Todd was amused by this horse trailer for some reason.  Even though his shirt is not a horse but a zebra!

Weezer finally started playing around 7:50.  Oh well.  By then we were hungry, so we stopped by Urban Plates on the way home and shared a salad with grilled chicken.

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Even though the experience was disappointing and we didn’t get to see Weezer, I’m glad we were together.  Spending time with my favorite person in the world is never bad!
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Todd went cycling at the coast on Sunday 8/18 while my friends came over to scrapbook.  He took this panoramic photo with his iPhone.  Gorgeous.

After the scrapbooking was over, we decided have a splurge dinner at Pizzeria Bruno.  One thing I learned on Weight Watchers is, you have to decide before you eat out whether that meal is a “regular” meal or a “splurge” meal.  You can’t just decide at the last minute to eat a bunch of stuff and go over your points.  When it’s a “regular” meal, you make healthy and portion-wise choices and stick to your points.  When it’s “splurge”, you get to eat your favorite things that you don’t normally eat too much of.  This way it’s planned and the expectations are set. 

This is the first time I’ve seen pizza since July 1st! 

I had two pieces of this gorgeous Diavola pizza.

We shared a salad.

And a meat plate.

A Todd Shot for you!


It was an awesome meal and well worth the splurge points.  I still stayed under my weekly points and lost 1.2 lbs this week.  Before that my weight had been stagnant for 3 weeks and I haven’t been eating more than I did in July.  Sometimes your body makes adjustments and the weight loss plateaus for some reason.  I’m glad I didn’t get too frustrated and just kept going, knowing eventually I would start losing weight again.  Total weight loss since 7/1 is about 6 lbs now. 

On Tuesday 8/20, Todd and I had our second “Bookstore Date” this year.  We had dinner at home, then we went to Barnes & Noble and shared a chai latte and read some of our favorite magazines.

Oh and I also bought some Piccadilly notebooks that were on sale.  They are just like Moleskines except they cost half as much.  Yea!


Anyone excited for college football to start??




We’ve been cooking at home quite a bit because it’s much easier to control the food ingredients and portion sizes by eating at home.  Plus that way we get leftovers to bring to work for lunch the next day.

This Thai Chicken Barley Risotto is excellent!  It is a semi-splurge home meal because it’s 10 WW points.  Actually I put all the carbs into the calculator, but if you don’t include the veggies (no WW points), maybe it would be less points.
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This Thai Grilled-Beef Salad was oh-so-good.  Only 6 WW points.

And this Crispy Fish with Lemon-Dill Sauce is also only 6 WW points.  We had it with some Brussels sprouts.

And… these are NOT WW-friendly, but they really are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had!  You would really need to save up your weekly points because these are 9 WW points each.  Yep, as much as a meal.  Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies from America’s Test Kitchen.  The key is browning the butter so you get the rich maple-ish taste.  And Ghirardelli chocolate chips.  :)

Todd made these for a couple of coworkers for their birthdays, and people couldn’t stop eating them or talking about them.  One guy at work even told Todd that he should stop computer-programming and just bake!  A couple of people wanted to get a second cookie, but were hand-slapped by the rest of his coworkers who told them that each person only gets one cookie.  They were rationed!  And a few people told Todd they were going to take it back to their desk and eat a little bit of it throughout the day.  Then later they told Todd they were not able to stop eating it in one sitting, they were too good.  If you make these, let me know how you like them!  We have NEVER had anyone who didn’t think it was one of the best if not THE BEST chocolate chip cookies they’ve ever had!



Todd has been at his new job for two months now.  He is enjoying it a lot and making new work friends, working on projects, etc.  His work has many perks. 

He works with scientists and they like to do brainy things.  Like take puzzle-playing breaks.

They have finished a few puzzles, so Todd went and bought a new puzzle to contribute to the group.

They had a BBQ and live music lunch at their amphitheater last week.


And this week, they had Carnitas Snack Shack show up in their cafeteria!  OMG!  Todd had brought a lunch but he totally saved it for the next day when he saw this.


Todd’s Carnitas Snack Shack lunch.

And earlier this summer they had the Gin Blossoms play after work at their amphitheater.  Yes they did.

And they had a dodgeball tournament.

I’m so happy for Todd that he is happy and productive at his new job!

As for me, this summer I celebrated 20 years working at the same company.  While I’ve worked for the same company, I’ve had six different jobs spanning two different locations.  I started out of college in Dayton, Ohio, and then got a transfer to our San Diego R&D Division after 7 years.  I never planned or imagined that I would work for the same company for 20 years.  I still love my job and go to work with a smile everyday.  I’m blessed!  And a couple of weeks ago, a new cafĂ© opened up in my building.  I checked it out and got a latte last week.




This summer I’ve made time to read a few books, which I love to do.  I read “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn on my Kindle.  You can read my review of it here on Goodreads.

I read “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Geen.  Loved it.  A tearjerker for sure, but very good.  My review on Goodreads is here.

Right now I’m in the first 100 pages of “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.  Story is getting good, but violent for a young adult novel.  (Sock monkey bookmark from my sweet friend Tracey.)

And I’m browsing through “A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book” by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess.  Some great photo ideas in there.  I want to try some of the DIY backdrops!

I got the new John Mayer CD “Paradise Valley” this week when it was released. 

I’m not a big fan of John Mayer the person, but I’ve liked his music since 2002.  I have all his CDs.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t like this CD as much.  It was too mellow for me.  And too bluesy.  Not like his old stuff.  Oh well.

This summer Todd and I have been watching the 2nd season of “Perception” on TNT.  We watched it last summer and really liked it.  Season finale is next week!



Obviously I’ve been scrapbooking, as you’ve seen on the blog.  I’ve also been doing Project Life.  I’ve been processing photos using the new PicTapGo HD app on my iPad!  I LOVE it so much. 


It even makes underexposed photos look good.

I love how you can preview the filters and stack them and adjust the strength of each.  And save the combinations you like into recipes.  It’s the best photo-processing tool on my iPhone/iPad!

I’m in love with the Amy Tangerine stitching templates.  I stitched up some journal cards this week.

And I love this really huge alphanumeric roller stamp that I bought from Korea on Etsy.



No life update could be complete without some cute Noodle photos and antics!

Noodle resting in his bed in my craft room, again.
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Noodle on our new dresser in the morning.

Noodle playing in his tissue papers.



And Noodle on a layout.  A sneak peek of my September gallery layout for Write.Click.Scrapbook.


Sorry this post is so long.  Thanks for the patience!  Now I feel great that my life is up to date on the blog!  I took today off work and now I’m going to go read or scrapbook!  Have a great weekend!

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