Makeshift Sunday Brunch & Premature Closet Mourning

And the countdown begins!!! 3 days until we close on our very first home. Thank God, because I don't think I could take a whole lot more of this anticipation/anxiety. This past weekend was spent packing, packing, packing. The only things left to pack are kitchen dishes/utensils, our clothing and bathroom stuff. We're technically not out of this apartment until the end of the month, so it might be a slow process of actually getting the stuff over there. But Saturday morning I woke up (abnormally so) at 5:30 am and decided to "Get To It!". This will be our third time moving in less than a year. When we moved from Minnesota to Sioux Falls, South Dakota last spring, I was much less organized from the get-go. What took me weeks then took me only a mere couple of hours on Saturday.

When we were done packing, we went.... FURNITURE SHOPPING. Ended up purchasing a patio set on sale for $108 at Shopko, a couch, chair & ottoman for the upstairs living room and a gorgeous sectional for the basement. Yikes.

Sunday, Kris and I went to 9am mass at Holy Spirit. We normally like to go out for brunch on Sundays after church, but after the huge purchase we'd made the day before, we decided to take the more economical route and dine-in for Sunday Brunch. The problem? Very few ingredients. We've been trying to get by on what we've got without doing any more grocery shopping before we move. But with a little innovation and some elbow grease, I was able to whip up a delicious, semi-healthy, 100 % home-made meal.

I share with you:

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Pizza with
Seasoned Breakfast Potatoes

Chicken Sausage Breakfast Pizza:

  • 1 1/4 cups Jiffy baking mix
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 2-3 chicken sausages, casings removed and crumbled (any flavor you like! I used garlic & mozzarella)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped.
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  1. 3 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Combine baking mix, hot water and 1/2 tsp. salt in bowl. Knead with hands until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers (may need to slowly add a bit more baking mix).
  3. Spray a 13 pizza pan with non-stick spray. Press dough onto pan.
  4. Brush dough with olive oil. Poke all over with a fork. Bake for 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, saute onions & sausage in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil until onions are soft. Drain.
  6. Whisk together the eggs, sour cream & ricotta cheese.
  7. Spread the sausage/onion mixture over the crust. Carefully pour the egg/cheese mixture over it.
  8. Sprinkle with pepper, remaining salt and parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Turn the oven up to 425 and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  10. Cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

The breakfast potatoes were so simple that I'm not even going to give you a recipe. I diced up 3 russet potatoes, soaked them in ice water for 10 minutes and double-fried in canola oil until golden brown and crispy. I seasoned them with a mixture of sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and thyme. SOOOOooooo GOOD!

Now, after all that goodness and yumminess, I have to leave you on a sad note.
Our new house, with its 3 bedrooms, beautiful fenced-in backyard and deck, finished basement, 2-car garage............. lacks a walk-in closet. So while I'm counting down quite joyously the days until we move, there's definitely more than a hint of remorse there when I think of what I have to give up:

My "Hollywood" Dressing Room:
WARNING: If you are weirded-out or disturbed by anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive organization, refrain from viewing the following pictures. Parental discretion is adviced.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. Not only do I color-code my closet by section (long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts and tanks), but I also match the hanger color to the shirt color. Don't judge.

The Shoe/Necklace area: I purchased an old pot-holder hanger at a garage sale to use for my necklaces. I'm desperately in need of a second one now!

And, the most important part of my wardrobe: The EARRINGS.
I've used bead organizers from the craft store to organize my earrings for years. The small compartments work perfectly, and they're super cheap.

Welllll... I started a scrapbook spread yesterday that I never finished, so I think I might try to get that done before bed. Or... I might just plop down on the couch, watch the Big Bang Theory and call it a night. Tomorrow we get to go see what the new shingles look like on our roof! I had to work all day so Kris went and picked them out by himself... I told him I trusted him to make the right decision. Hopefully he doesn't prove me wrong!

Here Comes The Bride and Kitty Trouble

Another successful day of scrapbooking in the works today. I'd really like to finish my wedding album before "The Big Move" next week (I can't believe it's coming up so soon!). I'm finished with the pages that cover the ceremony portion of the day, and I'm in the process of phasing into the reception.

I thought today I'd share with you my "Here Comes the Bride" spread.

The embellishments are from Stampin Up!'s "Pretties Kit", shown here:

Some close-ups of each page:

To create the worn, "antiquey" paper look, I tore scraps of tan paper, scrunched them up into a ball and straightened them out SEVERAL TIMES, and lightly brushed some brown stamping ink over the edges and a few other areas too look like water stains.

I don't tend to do a ton of journaling in my scrapbooks, just because when I go back and read them to myself I think they sound kind of cheesy. But I thought that while the memory of our wedding was still pretty fresh in my head (we just got married this past October), I'd write down what I was thinking right before I walked down the aisle.

Now, I have a self-confession to make. It's a little embarassing but I can't help it.
I am CRAZY cat lady.

There, I said it. You all know now.

My husband and I have two adorable, lovable, kissable kittens (well, they're about 1 and a half now, but I still think of them as kittens) and they keep us entertained day in and day out. They are both orange Tabby cats, brother and sister, whom we adopted through the Humane Society last December, and we love them so so so so SOOOOOOOOOO much. However, they are INSANE.

Case in point:

The other day, our female cat, Pippi (the male's name is Cheeto), decided she wanted to sleep in the garbage can in our guest room/craft room. Which would be funny enough on its own. But to make matters worse (or better), the garbage can was FILLED TO THE BRIM with scrapbooking garbage. So what does she do? Tips the whole thing over, takes ALL of the garbage out, and then proceeds to crawl inside and sleep in it.

She's just too darn adorable to get mad at though. :-) I just let her sleep in there the rest of the afternoon.

Wedding Layouts

I thought I would share a few of the layouts I've done for my wedding album. I use a number of different brands of products. My albums themselves are Creative Memories albums, and I use alot of their cutting tools, which I love. Alot of my paper, stickers and embellishments are bought from Hobby Lobby (love, love, LOVE Hobby Lobby!). I've recently been introduced to Stampin Up! products by a coworker of mine, and so far I've been very happy with quality of them. If you have any questions about a specific product or technique I used, just ask!

The Intro Page
With albums I've made in the past, I've often left this page blank and done it very last. I've always felt that the first page, being the first thing that you see when you open the album, is the most important page. It kind of "sets the tone" for the album. If you open a scrapbook and the first page is a dud, what desire do you have the look at the rest of them? With this album, I actually scrapped the intro page first, and I'm quite happy with it! It's simple and elegant, much like our beautiful wedding.

The Details Page
This spread was inpsired by this birthday layout by Crystal Jeffrey Rieger over at Memory Makers magazine. I just love her scrapbooking style and am often inspired by her blog. Please check it out!

I thought the title of this page was really fun! I found a packet of a bunch of fall-themed die cuts at Hobby Lobby that went perfect with our fall-themed wedding. I used thick adhesive stickers to create a 3D look.

The main thing I loved about Crystal's layout was how the photos looked like polaroids. I can't tell if they actually are, or if she just did what I did and backed the photos to make it look like it.

Well, I'm off to watch Michigan State lose to Butler. I don't know about you guys, but my bracket SUCKS.

"Giving them space to draw and color gives them room to be creative." - Jeannie Fraise, interior designer

Every artist needs a studio, right? A couple of months ago I decided that I wanted to get back into scrapbooking, a hobby that I had in high school and hadn't revisited since. I'd been keeping all of my scrapbooking and crafting supplies in under-the-bed storage bins-- every time I considered getting them out to scrapbook, I'd dread the mess that I was going to be left with. So I transformed a section of our guest bedroom into my own personal little "creative space":

The dresser on the left: Top drawer holds scrapbooking mats and papers. Middle drawer has stationary, mailing supplies and specialized printer paper. Bottom drawer holds typical "school supplies": Binders, folders, notebooks, rulers, etc.

Storage container on the right: Top drawer has standard printer paper, 2nd drawer holds cutting supplies, 3rd drawer stamping stuff, 4th drawer bead & jewelry-making supplies, bottom drawer is a menagerie of random craft supplies (everything from random pieces of cardboard to a glue gun.)

I had a bunch of leftover mason jars from my wedding (I'd used them as vases for the bridesmaids bouquets at the reception), and I found that they were perfect for displaying pencils, markers, pens, scissors, etc. in a useful yet asthetically pleasing way. The small three-drawer storage stacker has glues, adhesives and punches in it. My ribbon is housed in an old container for Dove facial wipes, believe it or not. :-)

Although I've come a long way from dragging my supplies out from under the bed and cluttering up the kitchen table, I still find myself wishing for more space... at night when I can't sleep I dream up my new creative space in our new house...

Well, time to scrapbook! I'm working on page 7 of my wedding album. Happy scrapping!

Life is Full of Obstacle Illusions. ~Grant Frazier, author

Growing up, there was one motivational mantra that was ingrained in the minds of my brothers and I from day one. Ok, so maybe it was more of a motivational wisecrack than a mantra. Well, if I'm being entirely honest, it was an infuriating cop-out of an excuse for instilling independence in children that became as cliche as "Because I said so," "Wait and see," or "If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?". (Sorry, mom.)

This banal retort of my mother's was her standardized response whenever one of us asked for something to be done for us. Or rather, us telling her that something needed to be done, in tune with the oh-so-cordial manner of asking for favors by children and teenagers.

"I have no clean clothes, do my laundry!"
"I'm hungry, make me a snack!"
"I want to watch a movie, put one in for me!"

"Do it yourself, Bob!"

(Nevermind the fact that none of us were named Bob.)

So here I am, five years removed from my parents house: a 23-year-old new wife, soon-to-be home owner, two-time cat mommy, part-time marketing manager and full-time obsessive-compulsive organizational freak. (Try to top me in hyphenated titles, I dare you.)

And as shallow as I know it is, I often find myself sucked into the superficial, Keeping-Up-with-the-Joneses mentality that is consumerism. I want a nice house, I want nice furniture, I want to cook nice meals, I want to give nice gifts, I want to wear nice clothing, I want, I want, I want, I WANT!!!!!
Whew, Ok. Deep breath................

Well, I realized that with my part-time hourly salary and my husband's sufficient yet entry-level one, it's going to be quite some time before we can afford that mid-century farm house on the acreage with the wrap-around porch, attached 4-car garage and 250 sq. foot walk-in closet featuring my Coach bag collection. :-)


What's a girl to do? I figure I have two options: A.) Wallow in self-pity, adopt another cat, spend my days watching Golden Girls reruns on Lifetime while eating Ramen noodles and canned tuna and my evenings watching Seinfeld and downing bottles of Blackberry Arbor Mist and smoking Pall Malls (eventually leading to obesity, heart disease, alcoholism, lung cancer and divorce, I'm sure).... or, B.) Do It Myself, Bob.

So while Option A might land me a made-for-TV movie in my honor after I OD on Percocet and my neighbors find me weeks later only after the incessant meowing becomes too loud to handle, I'm gonna go with Option B.

I invite you to join me as I embark on my little journey of self-actualization and, surely, embarassment. I must warn you, my DIY skill set consists mostly of paper crafting, semi-level picture hanging and ready-to-assemble furniture building. I would tell you exactly what this blog will entail for its readers in the future, but I myself am unaware of those details.

And if while reading about my novice ventures, you find yourself thinking "Somebody should tell this girl what she's doing wrong!" Please. I beg of you.

Do it yourself, Bob.

Superfluous Addendum:
During the past year, my mom adopted an addition to the family and named him Bob. Ironically, Bob's a cat, and the only things he can truly do for himself are eat, scratch and poop.
The Real Bob:

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