Friday, March 19, 2010

happy {happy} birthday

So, how are y'all doin'?  I know I've been really quiet, but most of you have too. ;)  Hope everyone's okay and just enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather...when it's available!  It was sunny and so beautiful this week --in the upper 60s even!-- perfect weather for spring break here...but then it started snowing last night and we ended up with three inches of new snow today. ;(  The blessing here is that the storm was slated to dump between 7-14", so we really got off easy.  And even though it's pretty, I think most people are more than ready for SPRING!  I know I am!!

Well, as you can see, my mojo's still MIA {my best excuse for not posting much this past month}, but since it's my youngest son's birthday tomorrow, I had to make him a card.  And so I did.  Nothing fancy and certainly not my best work, but it'll suffice for a 12-YO boy. lol

I used Card Patterns' Sketch 55 as the jumping off point.  Great sketch, but I think I need to take another run at it to do it justice.  Hopefully soon.  {I'm ashamed to say I'm still working on my veeerrrrry belated birthday thank yous --I'm sooooo sorry, ladies--...but I am still working on them, so that's a good thing, right?  Not a whole lot left to make, so that's even better!}


And a funny story to go with this one: 

Before my hubby was leaving to take our son to youth group the night I was going to make his card, I pulled my hubby aside and asked him to run an errand for me after youth group was over because I was going to be making his card and needed as much time as I could have.  He agreed, took my very detailed shopping list {because he'd be calling me 18 times if I didn't have it detailed enough -lol}, and off they went.  I was a happy camper...er, I mean stamper...and all was right with the world.

Fast forward now to about 15 minutes after the youth group meeting ended:

My sweet and ever-so-thoughtful hubby calls to say he was about 5 minutes from home and wanted to know if it was okay for them to come home now.  I panicked a little because I wasn't anywhere near done with the card {as you all know how S-L-O-W I am when I stamp, never mind when I'm having to wing it because my mojo up and left me to struggle}...and because I have to work at the kitchen table {NO privacy}...and because that meant that he was gonna be back waaaayyy earlier than I expected {like a good 45 minutes earlier!}.  I asked him if he'd forgotten to go to the store, to which he proudly replied, "No.  To save time, I went before I picked him up."  ROFLOL!!!   Of course it wasn't all that funny at the moment.  Men...gotta love 'em.  ;P

Anyway, I hope to be a bit more frequent with my posting here, and for those of you who still stop by, I thank you.  ;) 

Now I'm off to watch a movie with my sweet {and sometimes forgetful} hubby.  And then I hope that at least one of us remembers to go out to his truck {brrrrrr!!!!...it'll definitely be him -lol} and get the birthday balloon that, as tradition would have it, is meant to be staring our birthday boy in the face when he wakes up in the morning.  {We're both tired today, so wish us luck. -lol}   

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, whatever you're doing. ;)

As always, thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy Boosters {just doin' my part -lol!}:

Cardstock:  Olive, White Daisy (CTMH)

Patterned Paper:  Birthday Lemon Dots, Birthday Polka Dots, Birthday Sprinkles, Aqua Dot-Os (Carolee's Creations)

Stamps:  Candlelight (CTMH), Scratched Grid Backgrounder (Cornish Heritage Farms)

Ink:  Cranberry, Buttercup, Goldrush, Olive (CTMH)

Other:  Prismacolor pencils (Sanford), odorless mineral spirits (Mona Lisa), blending stumps (Alvin), Cranberry grosgrain, paper piercer (CTMH), mat pack (SU!), button (Autumn Leaves), embroidery floss (DMC), Scattered Straw Distress Stickles (Ranger), sewing machine, thread, foam mounting tape

Sunday, March 14, 2010

doesn't get {much} better

than this DELICIOUS cheesecake...so I thought I'd share it with you all!  ;)

Believe it or not, I found this recipe in the Feb/Mar 2010 edition of Healthy Cooking magazine.  Kinda ironic, I thought.  It apparently was given a makeover and so reduced the calories per serving a bit.  Honestly, I'd have never noticed...it's that good!  I pretty much followed the recipe as it was printed, but will just share how I made it to make it easier {for me}:

Makeover Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

Crust:
1 pkg (of the 3 in a box) graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
3/4 c. creamy peanut butter

Filling:
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 c. reduced-fat sour cream
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (12 oz.?) jar hot fudge topping, divided {I used Smucker's}
6 Reese's peanut butter cups, cut into small wedges

1.  In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter.  Press desired amount (approximately 1 cup or so) onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.  Eat the remainder.  ;)

2.  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  In a small pan, heat peanut butter until softened.  Spread over crust to within 1 inch of edges.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour one cup of filling into a bowl; set aside.  Pour remaining filling over peanut butter layer.

4.  In a small pan, heat 1/4 cup hot fudge topping until thin; fold into reserved cream cheese mixture.  Carefully pour over filling; cut through with a knife to swirl.

5.  Return springform pan to baking sheet.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.

6.  In a small pan, heat remaining fudge topping until warmed; spread over cheesecake.  Garnish with peanut butter cups {in my opinion, they're not necessary...you're only adding extra calories...but it definitely makes a much prettier presentation if you use them}.  Refrigerate overnight.  ENJOY! ;D

I haven't used a microwave in over four years now, so I had to wash a few more pans than they called for, and I also used all organic ingredients {except for the hot fudge topping and p.b. cups}, no doubt making it MUCH healthier for you than their version. lol  So if you do the same, go ahead -- feel free to indulge in a piece...or two...or three.  I dare you to stop at just one!  I sure couldn't.  ;)

With that said, my strong recommendation is that you only make this when you're going to be sharing it.  Having any of it leftover is really NOT such a good idea...unless of course you're wanting to gain a few extra pounds that week.  {And I'll bet you all know exactly what I'm talking about.  lol}

One other tip for ya:  Look for an 8-pack of the peanut butter cups in the candy aisle.  I found several different sizes/arrangements of packages of Reese's p.b. cups throughout that aisle, as well as an individual pack at the check-out counter...ALL were priced significantly higher than the 8-pack ($1). 

And while you're drooling, I thought I'd go ahead and share a recipe card I made quite awhile ago {since I didn't think to get a picture of the cheesecake before we devoured it} --this is a really fun dessert to make for/with kids:

I hope you're all enjoying your weekend, and I'm hoping to actually do more than just stare at my supplies this afternoon.  Maybe my mojo will take pity on me and join me for a card or two. ?? Here's hopin'.... 

Thanks so much for coming by to visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon...and I really hope I have something NEW to share with you {but if not, I've still got quite a few cards in the archives -lol}! ;)   Until then, many blessings to you!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

lotsa {eye} candy

Since my mojo seems to have gone on an {UNauthorized!} indefinite and rather untimely vacation **boo hoo hoo**, I thought I'd just pop in real quick and share some cards of others I thought you might enjoy...they sure make me smile to look at them anyway.   ;)

First up is a Valentine RAK from my sweet bloggin' friend Barb.  I figured it was still within a month of Valentine's Day {just barely} so it would be okay to post it, especially since there are so many bloggers out there posting Christmas cards...although it's so cute I'd post it anyway, regardless of the date.  ;) 

I thought the card was sweet enough, but she also included the cute little decorative tubes filled with festive M&Ms...AND those darling handmade paper flowers!  Thank you soooo much, Barb!  ;D

And these next cards are some of my favorites of the many wonderful ones my mom has made.  I apologize in advance if some of the photos are a little fuzzy --she usually shares them with me by sending scans, so some aren't quite as sharp for some reason. 

To "kick" off this little parade of sorts, here's a darling cowboy boot card:

This one actually has Stickles on the 'lake,' but it's not too visible here:

With a little creative ingeniousness, she made this for one of my little nieces when she'd rambunctiously pounced on and promptly fallen off a couch and broken her arm:

Here are some sweet {and glittery} birthday cards:


A couple really great 'guy' cards for ya:


I love the femininity of this one...made for my precious older daughter, Monica:


And check out this beauty, paying close attention to the GORGEOUS butterfly --you can't see it here but the wings are folded up a bit, adding some great dimension:


And my family was blessed to be the lucky recipients of these last three beautiful cards: 


Thanks so much for indulging me...and if you feel so inclined, I'm sure my mom would appreciate any encouragement you care to leave her in the comment section {and just so ya know, she will be as surprised to see these posted here as you probably were --Hi, Mom! ;D}. 

I had planned to include the recipe for the DELICIOUS cheesecake recipe I mentioned in my last post, but I think I'll come back tomorrow and share it with you then.  You really don't want to miss out on that one...it's a definite keeper!

Oh!  And don't forget to set your clocks AHEAD tonight or you may be late for church in the morning!  ;)  {It's my least favorite night of the year...my favorite being when we get to FALL back and nab that elusive extra hour of sleep!}

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon.  In the meantime, I'm {not so}patiently waiting for my mojo to get bored of being on vacation and return home to me.  Until then, many blessings to you!