It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas……

and we are just one day after Thanksgiving!  But, as with most other parts of our life, we must plan ahead in order to be on time.  And nothing is more true than getting ready for Christmas.

In August I had a little Holiday Happenings workshop and we made four really cute Christmas projects using Stampin’ Up! paper, ribbon, die cuts, ink – all the good stuff.  And we made a gorgeous Fall Wreath (will be on another post). First up, a set of four 4”X4” ceramic coasters using Candlelight Christmas Designer Series Paper and fabric.  So very easy and inexpensive, but such a cute and useful gift.

Coasters   2

Coaster supplies:  4”X4” ceramic tiles from big box store $.16 each- Hello!; Candlelight Christmas Designer Series Paper and coordinating fabric; Ornament Keepsakes Framelits, Scallop Oval Punch and Medium Oval Punch, Sentiment from retired stamp set, Gold Glimmer Paper, Linen Thread, Clear Acrylic spray; Real Red ink, Gumball Green, Whisper White and Real Red Cardstock, Big Shot.

Next, a Christmas Blessings Journal.  We covered a composition book with Be of Good Cheer Designer Series Paper, embellished with Silver Glimmer Paper Snowflakes and even embellished a pen to match.  Easy peasy and Oh, so useful.   A journal of blessings for the entire year.  I know that mine will be full.  God blesses me with his grace every minute of every day.

Journal Blessings Journal Supplies: Composition book from big box store; Be of Good Cheer Designer Series Paper, First Edition Specialty Designer Series Paper; More Merry Messages Stamp Set; Gumball Green, Cherry Cobbler , Whisper White cardstock; Silver Glimmer Paper; Early Espresso Stamp Pad; Snow Flurry Bigz Die, Large Basic Pearl, Tasteful Trims Die, Big Shot.

Another very quick and easy project – a set of four cute, cute, cute notecards.  They measure 4”X4” (loving that size today) with matching envelopes.  I completely copied (very legal in Stampin’ Up! world) the terrific creation by uber-demonstrator Mary Fish.  You just can’t improve on perfection, I say.  Don’t you agree?

Card Set

Scentsational Scents Supplies: Scentasational Season, Sweet Essentials, Tiny Tags and Fabulous Phrases Stamp Sets; Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Daffodil Delight Cardstock; Regals Paper Pack; Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler, Pacific Point Stamp Pads; Holiday Collection Framelit Dies; Gold and Cherry Cobbler brads; Real Red button; Basic Rhinestone; Tiny Tag Punch; Cherry Cobbler Baker’s Twine, Big Shot.

And finally, the prettiest Christmas Tree in the house!  It is a Rolled Christmas Tree using Be Of Good Cheer Designer Series Paper, assorted buttons and cardstock embellishment- a project to exercise your creativity!  And, again, not my original idea- got this one from Pinterest.  I could just kiss the folks that started that site….Anyway, easy peasy again.  Here are very quick instructions: Cut 17 strips of DSP 2” wide and starting at 5-1/2 long (your bottom strip), decrease length of each strip by 1/4  with the last strip being 1-1/2 long X 2” wide.  (i.e. 5-1/2, 5-1/4, 5, 4-3/4….) Then apply Sticky Strip to one long end, wrap around a dowel and glue making a tube. Add another piece of Sticky Strip to the seam.  Glue your handcut and embossed trunk to the bottom center and start building your tree.  Adhere with more sticky strip.  Embellish as you wish and Voila!  Gorgeous!!!

Rolled Christmas Tree

Rolled Christmas Tree supplies:  8”X10” white canvas from big box store (2 for $4- love it!); Gumball Green Core’dinations Paper, Cherry Cobbler Cardstock; Be of Good Cheer Designer Series Paper; Silver Glimmer Paper; Simply Scored (for rosettes); Various buttons; Woodgrain Embossing Folder; Various circle punches; Wooden Dowel, Sticky Strip.

Whew- this could be my longest post ever- but I hope you enjoyed.  We had a wonderful day making these cute projects.  In fact, I have made several more of each for Christmas gifts this year.  What fun!

Blessings,

Diane

Got Juice?–Wrap Up–The Good and the not-so-Good

Figs Olives and Poms

In Deuteronomy 8:8, The Israelites are promised:

“a good land…, a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.”

God was giving us a peek at healthy living.  Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians to exercise “self-control.”  And I feel that this applies to our overall lifestyle, including our daily diet, as well as to our behaviors.

And, I know you have been waiting for this post for two weeks and I apologize.  Life got in the way. So here’s my recap.  It’s a little long, so stay with me for just a little longer.

Better late than never, here is a wrap-up post about my 6 day juice fast/detox plan created for me by Tiffany Finney withPour Me Some Juice.  If you haven’t visited her blog or Facebook page, take a minute to take a look.  You will really learn a lot and get some great recipes.  And, if you are from the Jackson area, I highly recommend getting a vegetarian meal or two a week prepared by Tiffany and Amy – freshness and goodness.  Can you say yummy?  Check out Wholey Chow for the menu.  They will be teaching classes on Raw Food Prep in November at UT-Jackson.  Check it out.

Now to the detox wrap up.  First and foremost, at the end of the period I felt better and had more energy than I have had in 10 years!  And now that I have introduced “healthy” eating into my daily lifestyle, I continue to have energy and feel great.  I can also immediately tell the difference in how I feel when I “cheat” and eat foods that are good in taste, but not so good for your body. I feel sluggish, tired, too full- just a little miserable.  But, that will happen from time to time, because even though I am slowly changing my eating habits and daily diet, I will “backslide” and that’s OK.  As long as I don’t continue the slide as I have in the past.

I can tell a difference in my skin.  My face kinda glows (to me anyway) when I am eating and drinking healthy.  And, BTW, I don’t think I have mentioned how important it is to drink, drink, drink water.  I try to drink close to a gallon a day.  So good for your skin.water salad

After a couple of days, I wasn’t hungry at all and felt satisfied and without the urge to snack all the time.  The juice, smoothies, soups and salads were very filling.

I slept like a sweet baby.  As opposed to a newborn- they usually wake up all during the night and I often did that.  No, on detox I fell asleep quickly and slept sounding.  Didn’t wake at all during the night.  And felt absolutely great when my feet hit the floor in the morning.  I was tired when I went to bed because I was bustling around all day getting stuff done- because of all that energy.  Love it!  Got that craft room cleaned out (watch for a future post about a HUGE sale on my gently used products- Cheap).

My weight went down about 5 pounds during detox week.  Now, I had read that a lot of the weight loss during detox is water loss and that you will gain it back when you start eating normally again.  So wrong in my case, because, I did not start eating “normally” after the detox.  That was the whole point- changing my eating – changing my daily diet to include healthy foods. I did gain back 1 pound, but it is gone now.  Total weight loss since I started with Tiffany – 9.5 pounds.  My wardrobe just got bigger!  Now, I need to get moving to go along with the diet change to help get the pounds off.

All systems go!  I did drink a lot of liquid and ate very little food that needed to be digested.  Tiffany uses a powerful juicer that removes the fiber from the fruits and veggies, so digestion got week rest.  I was a little concerned that that would have an effective on my systems, but everything worked and worked well.  Here are photos of our juicers.JuicersMine on the left, Tif’s on the right.  Mine is about a thousand years old and I still love it.  It has been a staple on my countertop for a long, long time.  It takes a lot of work to make my juice- so glad to have Tiffany around to do it for me.  She is also the master encourager and kept all of us on track during the detox- and continues now that I am on a daily juice plan.  I just love her.

I did miss my coffee.  I was good and cut out coffee and had a cup of hot green tea each morning.  I was a little drowsy in the early evenings the first couple of nights.  But that went away.  However, I never acquired a taste for the hot tea.  I finally found a lemon and Stevia combination that was fairly tasty, but I am a Southern gal and we just don’t drink our tea hot!!

Thanks so much for hanging with me for this long email.  And for sticking with me during the detox.  I hope you stay tuned.  Next I will be posting about what I am doing now.  For instance, today my cupboard is pretty bare (grocery time), so for lunch I had lettuce wraps with homemade roasted red pepper hummus, a couple of medjool figs, some almonds and a few cranberry raisins- plus a few bites of avocado.  And it was tasty and filling – more importantly: I Feel Great!

‘Til next time……

Blessings,

Diane

Got Juice?–Day 6–Final Day

Well, this was my final day of my juice detox/cleanse and I have to say it has been the easiest of all.  Not hungry at all, enjoyed my apple, carrot and ginger juice, my big ole salad for lunch and tonight I made delicious Raw Lettuce Wraps, again compliments of a recipe from my juice gal, Tiffany Finney, owner of Pour Me Some Juice.  It was actually dinner for my husband also and he really liked it too.  We have enough leftover for lunch tomorrow.  I know you want the recipe, so here it is:

 

Lettuce Wraps

 Lettuce Wraps

  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 beet, shredded
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • kernels from one ear raw organic corn
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp raw agave nectar
  • 6-8 large romaine lettuce leaves

Prep: In a large bowl, mash the avocado.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.  Spread 2-3 tablespoons onto lettuce leaves and wrap.

I changed it up just a little- and used only 1/4 onion and 2 garlic cloves, but added a second tomato.  I didn’t get all the seeds out of the jalapeno and it was a tad spicy, but it only lasted a minute (and a whole sippy cup of water!)  I also added sea salt and a little oil and vinegar. 

I will do one more post tomorrow about my juice week- sort of as a wrap up, so please come back one more day.

Blessings,

Diane

12 Weeks ‘Til Christmas

I just about didn’t make it, but I am jumping on the bandwagon and will be blogging each week as we countdown to that glorious celebration of Christ’s birth.  And, it will motivate me to get back to blogging about my favorite hobby of all time – stamping!  And, in particular, stamping with Stampin’ Up! products.  I am so glad that my friend Lisa introduced me to the work of papercrafts.  It has been a wonderful journey and now that I am retired- I can stamp all day long!  What could be better than that?

Anyway, each will I will post a card or two as we countdown the weeks to Christmas.  And, what type card will I start with?  Christmas, you say?  Nope, gonna be a Halloween card and a sister friend card.  These were my “swaps” at the Stampin’ Up! Regional Meeting in Chattanooga last weekend.  I made about 40 and traded for some gorgeous cards.  One or two of them just might show up on here.

Teapot

 

Witch

I was very pleased with how they turned out.  I made rolled roses at night when I was watching TV.  Pretty easy, but I did go through a ton of glue dots!  I used the emboss resist technique on the image.  I embossed it in black, then sponged three different colors to create the background.  The embossing powder “resisted” the ink, thus a pretty background.  I used Rich Razzelberry, Lucky Limeade and More Mustard for the sponging.  This really cute Halloween set, Toxic Treats, is in our Holiday Catalog.  I ran the black layer through the Delicate Designs Textured Impressions Embossing Folder using my Big Shot.  Spooks, Witches and Goblins are one of the images in this set- I just stamped then cut them apart.  I did some sponging on all of the Crumb Cake pieces.  Peaking out at the bottom of the images is a stamp from the Fine Feathers set.  I liked the whimsy it presented.  The pretty shape that everything sits on is one of our newer offerings from the Apothecary Accents Framelits. I love. Just a couple of embellishments- lace ribbon, Crumb Cake seam binding, a First Edition flower, Basic Rhinestones and Pearls finished it well.

I will be back next week with more as we countdown to Christmas.  Thank you for tuning in…

Blessings,

Diane

Got Juice?–Day 5

Today I feel like I could do this forever!  Not really, but it has been a very easy day.  I have not been hungry at all.  I had delicious pure carrot juice for breakfast and my afternoon snack.  I fancied up my picture just a little hoping it would inspire the Vols to whip Georgia.  Apparently they did not get the message.UT Juice2

For lunch I had Corn Chowder made from a recipe from Wholey Chow.  Tiffany and her friend and fellow raw food guru, Amy Koerner create yummy healthy meals and since they both are detoxing this week, I’ve followed their menu carefully.  I was a tad hesitant because it would not be heated, except what the blender does while mixing.  But, friends, it was very, very good.  In fact, at the grocery today I bought a couple of ears of corn so I can make it again next week.  Very simple and quick recipe.  Try it- I think you will like it and it is good, good for you.  Maybe I loved it so much because it has the perfect food in it – avocado!

Raw Corn Chowder

  • 5 cups or corn or 5 ears of corn
  • 2-1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/8 cup alpha sprouts (if available)
  • Salt, curry, garlic powder to taste

Put 4 1/2 c of corn and the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and slightly warmed by the blender. Add seasons and adjust them to your taste. Pour into bowls and garnish with remaining corn.

Tonight I made a Raspberry and Watermelon smoothie for supper.  Another of Tiffany’s recipes and easy peasy to put together.  Baby spinach, celery, raspberries, watermelon and a banana. Isn’t it pretty?  All that green goodness.  It was really tasty and filling.  Raspberry Watermelon smoothieBut we had a mini disaster – I filled the blender with all the goodies and cranked it up and it just whirred and whirred without a spin in sight.  I reposition the bowl, poked the stuff down into the blades and…same thing.  My initial thought was that I had broken my blender, but thought I would try one more thing.  So I pulled out the food processor attachment (it’s a Cuisinart combo machine) and transferred it the stuff, then gave it a push.  Voila- worked like a charm.  I guess the blender bowl just wasn’t seated properly, because when I ran it with soapy water it worked fine.  Live and learn.  My motto for all of my life.

One more day to go and I am proud of myself.  I am feeling great and I do believe I look healthier.  The first of the detox I occasionally thought about what “real” meal I would want first after this was over.  Well, today at the grocery I bought lots and lots of organic fruits, veggies and nuts and fish and chicken.  I want to continue to feel good like I do today. I think I may be on the road to something big and life-changing.  I sure hope so.

Cards next…I promise!

Blessings,

Diane

Got Juice?–Day 4

To quote the Fresh Beat Band, “It was a Great Day.”  Fresh Beat is Bella’s favorite show and we actually enjoy it too.  Anyway, Day 4 has been the best yet!  I was able to get my hot green tea just right this morning and really enjoyed it.  I thought today’s juice was going to be a challenge.  It had apple, beets, kale and ginger.  The kale and beets didn’t sound very appetizing, but, it wasn’t bad at all.  In fact, quite tasty.  Tomorrow is pure carrot juice.  I love carrots, but don’t think I have ever actually drank carrot juice.  Well, we will just have to see how it goes.  Check out the color of today’s juice:

photo 2

See how Tiffany labels our juice?  I pick up three days supply at a time on Tuesday and Thursday and she labels with our name and the day.  I love that it is in a Mason jar.  I love, love anything in a Mason jar, but that is a tale for another day.

I had lots of energy today and almost finished cleaning an purging in my craft room.  I already have five big boxes of almost new stamping and scrapbooking supplies that will be in our garage sale next week.  Lots of Stampin’ Up! stamp sets- for cheap!  Gonna have a little pre-sale for my crafting ladies and whatever is left I will take to my mother-in-law’s nursing home. 

But, I digress.  The detox/cleanse gives your colon and digestive system a break.  Then your body can work on getting rid of the nasty stuff instead of expending energy digesting all our food.  Is that where my energy comes from?  I don’t know, but I love it.  Another super benefit I have discovered- I sleep like a dream!  And it is really a restful sleep.  I hope to change to a partial raw food menu after the cleanse.  I will still drink my juice each day, but really focus on healthy eating.  Tiffany says 4-5 small healthy meals a day is ideal.  You don’t get hungry and are satisfied with yummy fruits and raw veggies.  She has some wonderful recipes I will be trying out.

Speaking of recipes- here is the recipe for the energy boosting Raw Green Smoothie that I had on day 2 (compliments of Tiffany Finney at Pour Me Some Juice).

cropped-pour-me-some-juice-blog-header

  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 3-4 leaves of kale
  • a mint
  • 1 banana (I slice my bananas into chunks and freeze- makes the smoothie super cold)
  • 1/2 apple
  • 6 strawberries (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of cut pineapple (frozen)
  • 1/2 avocado (to me- the perfect food)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsps raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds or mill
  • mangoes – frozen

That’s it- takes about a minute to put it all in a blender, then blend for a minute.  Very, very tasty.

I had a half-banana as a little snack mid-morning, then a salad for lunch.  It was so pretty.  Romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, celery, fresh blueberries, a few almond slivers, flax seeds, 1/2 avocado and a couple of chopped medjool dates.  I dressed it with a lemon vinaigrette.  It tasted as good as it looks!

photo 5

So, to recap the last four days.  I have had a lot of juice, lettuce, raw veggies, and a couple of smoothies.  No caffeine, dairy, no processed foods or sugar (except what is in the fruit).  Two more days to go.  Thanks for staying with me.

(I promised to show you a couple of cards, but I just ran out of room on this post.  Check back in a few for a countdown to Christmas!)

Blessings,

Diane

Got Juice–Day 3

Today was a great day!  I had a lot of energy and didn’t get as hungry as yesterday.  My juice today was made with apple, orange, grapefruit and lemon.  Very citrusy I must say.  But quite tasty.  I treated myself at lunch to a big ole salad at Jason’s Deli.  They have all the good stuff to put in it and I cheated just a tad and had the nuts, raisins, almonds, seeds mixture they have.  Just kind of spooned it all over.  Oil and vinegar dressing.  Filled me right up. 

fruit in blender

 

 

Tonight, I made a super good almond milk smoothie from Tiffany’s super good almond milk.  Bananas, strawberries, blueberries and mangoes- all frozen.  Yummy!

And, look how pretty it is!

Blueberry smoothie

 

 

I picked up my juice for the last three days after lunch today.  Two are orangey and one is beety looking.  I will show you a pix tomorrow.  I need to finish this post so we can watch the series premiere of Person of Interest.  Posting a couple of cute cards tomorrow too….stay tuned.

 

So, before I go, thought I would leave you with a new picture of Sweet Isabella.  Ain’t she something?

Bella tutu 2

‘Til next time,

Blessings,

Diane