Back to Work

Well, you can really tell that I’m on the mend, not scrapbooking as much, and back to work by my blog silence.

I opted to not do the Ali Edwards week in the life because I was too busy trying to adjust to my first week back to work, fitting in physio, and prepping for Inspiration Unlimited in Vegas. The concept of needing to document and photograph all of that was just extra work I couldn’t deal with.

Then I was off for 10 AMAZING days in Las Vegas – some touristing, some relaxing, some crafting, some reconnecting with friends, some sickness too unfortunately 😦

Now, in the waning hours of my vacation I’m slowly easing my way back into real life. Jet lag and sickness really took away a lot of my first days back home. I got one layout done on Friday and finished assembling some Inspiration Unlimited projects. I tried to put away my Inspiration Unlimited loot and realized I was out of clips for my clip it up and in need of better washi tape storage. Saturday brought a trip to Michael’s and thankfully all scrapbook storage was 40% off! Score! Until I got it all home and realized I had more washi tape than I bought dispensers for. Not score. Guess I’ll be going back for more during the week. I’m very finicky about my craft space and when it gets chaotic it gets very hard to work and create for me. I also very much need my supplies front and centre because out of sight is very much out of mind for me – and thus the stash grows easily.

That being said, I hope to get back on the blog bandwagon this week and get some photos and tales of my Las Vegas adventures posted. I’m also cropping this weekend so I should get more of the projects done and I can post and share those as well. It was an absolutely fantastic trip and an incredible event. I’m already crazy excited for next year! It’s only 360 days away!!

Day In The Life

Later this week I’ll be joining Ali Edwards in her Day In The Life for July. It’s on Wednesday the 31st if you are wanting to play along with Ali (and I!). It’s a non-physio day for me and I’ll be using it as a bit of a tool to remember what has dominated my summer so far (the fankle), and hopefully find something positive to reflect on and remember.

Looking ahead – Ali has also scheduled her Week In The Life this year for September 9-15th. I had the pleasure of doing one of these albums with Ali at CKU Nashville in August of 2007. It was a really ambitious project, and I often wondered if my day to day life was worthy of a full week and full album of documentation. Now that years have passed, I’ve really enjoyed looking back at that week, and what my week was like at the time and it will be fun to have a similar week 6 years later. Adding to the fun, that week ends when I travel to Las Vegas for Inspiration Unlimited 2013 – so it will be fun to be documenting the early days of that trip! 🙂

I’d love to know if any of you will be playing along with Ali and I on our Day and Week in the Life!

New Challenge!

Hey everyone. I hope you’re all enjoying a great mid-summer weekend!

I spent my Friday scrapping (as evidenced by the posts). Saturday was super busy running errands. It’s kind of my current reality as I’m still not allowed to drive, so Steve drives me around on Saturdays to get things done. It’s usually a pretty welcome escape from my home/physio/home/physio/scrapbook/bake routine. Yesterday though was a bit too much, and resulted with me at home and fankle on ice and a Tylenol 3 to take the edge off the pain. I felt like it was a colossal setback. This morning I woke up feeling infinitely better! We had our fabulous routine Sunday mimosa brunch, pulled pork is cooking away in the crockpot and I’m back up in my scraproom tackling some other layout challenges while watching the first Sex And The City Movie on my laptop. Nice easy Sunday! Just what the doctor ordered (I’m not a doctor).

I’ve mentioned that I’ve gathered quite the stash of crafty stuff over my years of scrapping, and it’s becoming a bit overwhelming. In fact, I probably haven’t done any significant scrapbook shopping in easily a year. Enter Use Your Stuff. They definitely draw up some amazing challenges and I’ve wanted to play along for a while. The best part is, they’re helping me to embrace and use the old that I once loved/had to have/couldn’t part with/will definitely use at some point/saving for a special project/etc. Stop me if you’ve done any of this before. They have 2 active challenges at the moment so I started on the one that is expiring first: #93 – Ad Challenge. An ad is used as a leaping off point to inspire future creations.

Here is the ad:

And here is my subsequent all stash creation:

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Patterned paper is all oldschool Stampin’ UP! from the days when we use to have a hostess club that I *had* to have, flower is old Heidi Swapp for Advantus, there’s an epoxy cleary sticker in there from I have no idea what because I tossed the packaging long ago, the tag is 7gypsies, the flair is American Crafts circal 2010, the cardstock lettering (done in Bazzill of course!) is a Kerri Bradford cutfile for the Silhouette, ribbon is from my ribbon stash bin.

The pictures were all taken on one of my last days at Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson LV at the end of Inspiration Unlimited last September. It was the perfect way to end the whirlwind trip lounging by their amazing pool – starting with breakfast and on into the afternoon. For me, the ad inspired thoughts of escape – fun – relaxation. So these were the pictures I chose to work with it – a fun event, a great escape, and some much needed relaxation! Thank you to the great crew over at Use Your Stuff for this fun and inspiring challenge. I look forward to playing along with many more!

And in the spirit of scrapbooking stash, I know many of my friends can relate to this video. I sure did!

Have a great week everybody!

Hobbled Housewife In The Kitchen

It’s not all cut and paste all up in here since I’ve been home & hurting.

I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. So, I’ve decided to share the recipes for 3 of the favs in this house.

I’d been craving something that used to be in regular rotation for dinner, turkey manicotti. I first tried this when my girlfriend made it and brought it to a crop for dinner and it was fantastic. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and so I’m sharing with the blogosphere. This isn’t an overly exact science so you’re going to have to go with the “look test” in the process.

TURKEY MANICOTTI

1 pk ground turkey (I think it’s a pound, but don’t quote me on that, my store only sells one size pack of ground tukey)
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 pack oven ready manicotti (can use cannelloni as it seems to be easier to find, just narrower)
1 can half fat cream of mushroom soup
1 tub fat free cottage cheese
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can milk
1/4 tsp Epicure curry dip mix
shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 385F. In large skillet brown the turkey with the onions and garlic. Drain as needed. Add mushroom soup, milk and curry. Stir well. Stuff manicotti with the meat mixture. I usually lay out my cannelloni in my Pampered Chef 13″x9″ rectangular baker then fill the shells while they’re in the baker. Pour cottage cheese over stuffed pasta in baker. Pour tomato sauce over cottage cheese. Top with shredded mozzarella to cover. Bake uncovered at 385F for 50 minutes.

In full disclosure I just realized I completely forgot to add tomato sauce to this one but it was still fantastico. It had also been so long since I had it last that I didn’t realize or notice the missing sauce. Oops! Guess I’ll have to make it again the right way.

Dinner needed dessert. So I turned to Pinterest and found a recipe for Amish Cinnamon Loaf. WOW. Once again Pinterest doesn’t let me down. It was incredibly easy and delicious and made the house smell sooooooooo good!

Here’s the link for where the recipe came from: http://www.redflycreations.com/2012/10/the-amazing-amish-cinnamon-bread.html

And as a direct cut and paste from her blog..

CINNAMON BREAD
(makes 2 loaves)
Batter:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs.  Add milk, flour, and baking soda.  Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan).  Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping.  Swirl with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min.  or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.
Last but not least I baked some cookies. I wanted something baked to bring to the crop this weekend – and I was craving chocolate and toffee. Elaine requested cookies. So handy google led me to this recipe.. http://www.saltandserenity.com/2009/06/skor-bar-cookies/

I was a touch skeptical because the recipe was seemingly lacking liquid and a binding agent (aka milk and eggs), but there were so many favourable comments it was totally worth giving it a try.

SKOR BAR COOKIES

4 Skor Bars coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a 10 x 15 inch cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3.  Beat in vanilla and salt.  Add flour, Skor Bars and chocolate chunks. Mix briefly until just combined.

4.  Dump dough into prepared pan.

5. Press dough evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

Personally – these are amazing on so many levels BUT.. they’re very sweet and I don’t think you could reduce the amount of sugar safely because of the lack of liquid and binding agents that I mentioned earlier. So – you only need a little bit (win!) to satisfy the sweet tooth. That being said, I may need to make it again with less sugar in the name of research…

Reasons to Rehab

I’m 2 1/2 weeks post injury and I gotta tell you, it’s been really hard. I’m not sure what’s hurting more at this point, my psyche or my ankle. My funk is very much back. I’m hoping that returning to some semblance of normal life will help, but I’m admittedly terrified it wont.

I started physio on Thursday. It’s only one visit, but I really liked the therapist and felt he was very thorough, very understanding of my challenges and limitations and needs for returning to work, and returning to real life. He gave me a bunch of exercises to do at home to help restore strength, mobility, stability and function. That being said, my fears were realized and at the end of the day I was in tremendous pain again. I know it’s a means to an end, but it’s so hard. And the return of such strong pain frustrated the heck out of my psyche.

So – I’m sitting down and writing a list, of reasons to rehab, so that every pain in this process will be so worth it when I can:

  1. Be independent again – most notably, drive (tho the gas savings has been fab!)
  2. Return to yoga (my psyche needs it but my body is so not ready for it yet – and a partial class would do more harm to my fragile psyche)
  3. Learn to make canned peaches with my dear friend in August as planned
  4. Enjoy my “me” days again – that involve driving, walking, nourishing my soul
  5. Tear up the strip in Vegas in September (and Grand Canyon, Fremont St, etc.) I just finalized all my bookings yesterday and I’m VERY excited to return and do some of the things I didn’t get to last year, and repeat some of the things I loved.
  6. Maybe tackle some of the things on the list I wanted to try this summer (standup paddleboarding), and try new things (trampoline fun!) on the urging of my physio (ok ok, he recommended the mini-trampoline, but I think it would be fun to go big and go to one of those bounce zones!)
  7. Yank the weeds from my garden so I can see the flowers hidden below (That may just be a great metaphor for life at times)
  8. Pedicure!! Oh my I so need one but the thought of any sort of massage to the foot right now is terrifying!!

Those 8 reasons are a fantastic start. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to learn how to walk again (yes, really).

A Setback

The last week of June had me thinking ahead to the next months of summer. I had a blank slate and tons of ideas and plans. I wanted  needed to get back to yoga. I was stressed beyond belief, not sleeping, in tears at work, looking at a calendar and my time bank wondering when would be a good time to take a lil breather. I wanted to take some stand up paddleboarding lessons with the thought of if I liked it I’d give stand up paddleboard yoga a try, and possibly even buy my own board next summer.

Life had other ideas for me.

So.. There's this. I need a better reason to put my feet... on Twitpic

The kind, young, attractive ER Resident delivered the news: “avulsion fracture of….” I have no idea what specific bone because I honestly tuned out the rest of his words. I know what avulsion means and that just grossed me out to no end. Wikipedia explains it if you’re really that curious.

I’ve been home on rest, not driving (as per family doctor and ortho because it’s my clutch foot), about to start physio that I know is going to hurt.. And yes, moping that all my summer plans are on hold until I’m healed. I’m doing my best to be a good patient because I need to be healed and good to go for long walks on the strip in Vegas in September! Call it my “dangling carrot” if you will!

And because I gotta be me..
Yes, das boot did just get a little cuter..  on Twitpic
I had to cute-ify the boot 🙂 Boring grey just wasn’t for me.

I’m not going to lie, one of my first thoughts after diagnosis was that I just got a pass out of having to mow my damn hill for the next little bit, and license to hire a lawn service guilt free… 😉

I’m on the mend, my pain is easing and almost gone, it’s time for me to leave the pity party of what I won’t be able to do this summer.

May Mash-Up!

May brought a mixed bag of events.

It started out on a fabulous note! Everything came together perfectly that I was able to get to High Park again when the trees were in peak bloom on a gorgeous sunny day! I had an amazing afternoon enjoying the blooms from a blanket on the hill, snapping several pictures, enjoying the sun, sipping a delicious cider. There was just enough of a gentle breeze to make the petals fall so delicately like snow in the air. Simply magical. It was a great escape from reality, if only for a few hours. I went mid-week and it was super busy, I can only imagine what the weekends are like. I’m thankful that I won’t find out! One of these years I’ll make it to Japan or DC for some larger cherry blossom festivals, but for now, I’m thankful I can view them locally.
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Unfortunately, a little over a week later brought an unfortunate event. I was involved in a wee accident when someone decided to change lanes into my poor car. Thankfully it was at a relatively low speed, and the damage in the beginning appeared minimal, and neither of us were badly hurt. I had a few lingering muscle aches and pains and bruises that went away after about a week. I’m also super thankful for an amazing insurance company who handled it all so well. I know, not often people say good things about an insurance company but CUMIS was top notch.
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My poor barely 1 year old baby Jetta. The damage came in at $3200. Oy.
I may be skipping ahead, but I’m happy to report that my Jetta is back from the car hospital after spending 2 weeks there, and we are very happily reunited and she is fully healed.
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A week after the accident, I was cottage bound to spend a weekend with family. It was good to connect, reconnect and wish my dear cousin well as she enters a new and exciting phase in her life.
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I got to see a really pretty full moon over the water while I was there. Also, while I was there I revealed to mom I had a blog. I figured it was time to come out of the blogging closet to her. So, Hi Mom!