Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas Eve!

Usually in the Palmer house, that means we're heading to MrP's mom's in the evening to do our family supper, but this year, we're driving to Banff this afternoon to spend a couple days with The MrP, my father in law and his wife. Last night, we had supper at my sister in law's house (fantastic supper) then did a little gift exchanging and and by 10:00 I was ready to sleep. I didn't manage to pack for the next couple of days, but I did get a shower in before 11. =)

We're planning on heading out as soon as we're done work and get a few items packed up, so I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas Eve. I hope you all are able to enjoy the time with loved ones and experience the true joy that Christmas brings. 

Oh - and I wanted to share a sweet story with you. My friend Lisa, who's hilarious Christmas tree story you can find here was telling her son not to breathe too hard or run around too much for fear of her Charlie Brown tree(s) falling over. Apparently, he told her not to worry because the moose would save them. She had no clue what he was talking about, but he ran over and grabbed the Christmas card I'd given them...


And the wonder of a three year old's mind really shines through =)



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mojo Returns

What a treat this card was to create! No stress since I'm already late, but I'm planning on dropping it off tonight for my friend who's birthday was on Monday and who's kids have Christmas presents currently sitting in my car.

I used Julee's Mojo 118 Sketch and it came together quite quickly once I chose which DSP I wanted to work with, which ended up being the Ginger Blossom retired paper. I popped up the balloons since that's a favorite stamp set to use for dimension and voila!

Stamps: Verve Circular Sayings, Party Time
Paper: River Rock, Ruby Red, Cameo Coral, Ginger Blossom DSP
Ink: Ruby Red, Cameo Coral
Accessories: CM Circle Punches, River Rock Ribbon

Last night I had a ton of things on my To Do list, which was only increased when I got home and discovered a Purolator package that was to be picked up after 7. When MrP finally got home from the west end (where he'd been bowling with his department for some Christmas festivities, then proceeded to pick up some new golf clubs), I was working on this card. Until I received a little surprise - a new cell phone. Well, a smart phone actually - and LG IQ. We'd checked it out when I left my cell phone in the cab after my company Christmas party, thinking it might be lost forever, but we got it back so I certainly wasn't expecting it. But I'm a nerd to the core and I love it!

So all of the rest of the evening's plans went down the drain when we started playing with it (downloading Facebook Mobile and all the other crap I could think of).

Tonight's our Christmas with MrP's family, so since I was up around 3 this morning, I went to work early so I could leave early and get done everything that I hadn't finished up last night. I'm sure I'll be asleep by 9!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Gift Certificate Holding Christmas Card

Since I didn't manage to get much else done with all the other stuff happening this weekend, here's the card I made for Chelsey's family. Pretty darn simple!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Well I could show you the card I made

for Chelsey's family, but then she'd see it if she still reads this rubbish-filled blog =)
I like to think I'm bringing 'rubbish' to the forefront again. It's such a great word.

It's the Friday before Christmas and we're going shopping for clothes tonight. Yes, we must be officially crazy. We're even venturing over to West Edmonton Mall to use my coupon for a fave clothing store. We're pretty much done with gifts (other than the ones to our home) but we need new clothes in a bad way. I've always bought MrP blue shirts, but with so many, I'd been buying him everything but blue the last couple of years. Now he's got none left. So tonight, our goal is to get him some new shirts.

The problem is I despise shopping. After winning the lottery, the first thing I'd do is hire a personal shopper. And what the heck is with people who like bathing suit shopping? I'd rather gouge my fingers into my eyeballs. Nevertheless, I've had to do a little shopping lately and in spite of my dislike of shopping, it hasn't been truly awful. Expect the worst, hope for the best and don't be disappointed?! =)

Tomorrow, I'm off to deliver presents to less fortunate kids for the third year. Shelly & I always have a great time and really get into the Christmas spirit when delivering for Santa's Anonymous. After deliveries are all attempted (sometimes, we aren't able to deliver the first time around), we go for some lunch (and the non-drivers have a little extra cheer thanks to hot chocolate & Bailey's Irish Cream) and then retry deliveries. Any that can't be made at that time are returned to the warehouse for attempt at a later date or by arranged pickup.

The last two years, it's been the last (or close to) deliveries that really make the day. Seeing the little kids yelling "Is that for me?!!" with a huge smile really brings a tear to my eye. (Yep, I'm a sap - I don't care what you!)

Sunday, MrP & I will resume another four hour shift at the Christmas Bureau donation desk in hopes of raising a few more funds for a nice Christmas meal for those struggling in this economy.

I have every intention of getting some Christmas cards done this weekend in hopes of handing them out next week...and if not, no worries! It's the thought that counts, right?!

If you really want a laugh, head over to my friend Lisa's for her Grinch story! I almost died laughing yesterday at her story, so I told her she HAD to post it on her blog.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PTI! Oh I see stamps in my future... (and some Christmas giftage)

Those enablers, also known as Maureen and Laural, allowed me to place an order along with them when they did their latest Papertrey Ink order and I see a problem. I love their darn stamps! Maureen has really inspired me with all of her fabulous buttons and bling (ironic, I know, since her blog is called BUTTONS & BLING) and I'm now looking for any excuse I can to use them. Welcome Holiday Button Bits! I used Jen's Sketch for You to Try from Dec. 12th and whipped up a quick & easy card that's on it's way to my half sister with a cineplex night out pass.

The next "must have" on my wishlist?! Everyday Button Bits, baby! But wait....what's this?! Blooming Button Bits?! Oh c'mon PTI - have a little pity on my pocketbook. LOL

Speaking of wishlists.....sometimes it really stinks living in Canada when you can't find an item here and the only online stores that have it ship only to the US. Kinda ruins the fun of my awesome gift ideas.

Speaking of gifts....since I can't reach out and gift all of you a little something, I'm doing something in honour of all of you. In your honour, I've donated 50 trees to be planted by the folks over at Oxfam Unwrapped. (image from Oxfam Unwrapped website)

Branch out and plant 50 trees. Trees not only produce life-sustaining crops like avocados and bananas, but they also prevent erosion and provide much-needed shade for other crops. Even better, reforestation and the training women and men receive on forest management provide long-lasting benefits from your gift. These trees help seed income and a greener world.

More information on tree planting:

Planting trees is part of the work of many Oxfam partners in Ethiopia and Cuba – particularly as part of efforts to rehabilitate land and livelihoods in the aftermath of natural disasters like drought and hurricanes. Trees help prevent soil erosion, provide shade and shelter and can be a source of food and income.

For example, in the aftermath of multiple hurricanes that struck Cuba , Oxfam’s partner organizations planted trees to replace valued forest lost in the storms. When you buy trees you are supporting Oxfam's livelihoods programs, helping create a sustainable environment and helping women and men earn a living too.

Merry (early) Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Non-Traditional Christmas

I'm so far behind when it comes to Christmas cards that I'm starting to think I might be in the lead. If only it wasn't just over a week until Christmas! LOL
At any rate, I just got some new stamps and I've been (I can't believe this) too busy to even play. Seriously!

These new Little Loud Christmas Freckle collection stamps from Paperworks Co are fabulous - so cute and colorable (now if only I had time to get my watercoloring skills up...)

I used Mercy's Sketch #51 for a fairly quick & easy, non-traditional winter card. The matching sentiment inside says "Sending you Christmas Wishes".

I'm so sorry I haven't been around the blogs much either - I really will catch up one of these days. Can you believe my work actually expects me to work while I'm there?! HAHA
Hope you're staying warm in these frosty temperatures we've been having.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This is it

The "too sweet to contain all the goodness" post =)

First off, my friend's son

Then we've got a pile 'o ready to exchange treats

Pizza Topping Leftovers

Leftovers from another direction (Chelsey's punch was a hit, too!!)

Let's get to the good stuff...
First up, Chelsey's Saskatoon Berry Mini Tarts
(all treat names made up by yours truly!)

Next we've got
Donna's Divine Cranberry & Pistachio White Chocolate Bark
and Jordana's Chewy Chocolate & Coconut Crave-worthy Cookies

Dori's Delectable Fudge
(the saddest part, to me anyways, was that Dori's diabetic,
so she's not used to a lot of sweets and she couldn't even
stand to eat her fudge as it was too sweet for her!
Thankfully, her husband and I will take care of that for her.
That's what we're here for. We're good that way.)

Palmer's PB Cup Cookies
(in my oh so original ziplocs since I refused to leave my house on the weekend)

Shelly's Rolls o' Love Rolo Cookies
(Shelly & I had the same brilliant storage idea, I see!)

Lisa's Lucious Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brennsi Brittle
(Brenna named it herself - this is the only title I can't claim credit for)
Also, at the top left, Grace's Goodness Gracious Goodies
(amazing what a pretzel, rolo and pecan can do for the tastebuds)
and in the top right, Jocelyn's Leftover Candy Cookies
(which freaking rock - what a wonderful idea to use those mini toblerones, hershey kisses, etc)

Bonnie's Tantalizing Tarts (butter & mincemeat)

Scrumptious Skor Bars by Jennifer
(that's what they tast like to me, anyways....yummerific!)

Gingeroos by Querida
(They're the chewiest, softest ginger cookies,
so MrP was more than happy to eat a hefty serving)

And in this box....
(which wouldn't stay shut - all the goodness popping out,
but making me much less grumpy than my dough follies)

all the deliciousness of...

Mint Nanaimo Bars!
(they even kinda match my teapot!)

What a wonderful bunch of treats. Too much deliciousness for one post....I know!!
Imagine how my thighs feel, being forced to endure all this for breakfast =)

Finally, my humble opinion on Invictus. We got a screening pass for this movie from one of MrP's coworkers who has an 'in' somewhere and since I'm always up for a free movie (and had seen the preview and wanted to see it regardless), we went last night.It's phenomenal. This true story is one that I hope everyone has a chance to see. Based on the book "Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation" by John Carlin, it's about the newly elected Mandela in his racially and economically divided South Africa post apartheid. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon were incredible. Go check it out. Do it Friday! =) 
Photo from

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Smashing Success?

I think so =)

But can I just say one thing before I get into the nitty gritty? My best friend really is the BEST!
Without her, I'm pretty sure my Type A, mild to moderate OCD self would've been a fine mess.

I left work and headed for the gym for a bum-friendly workout, then off to pick up the last of the groceries. I got home, hauled everything in and when I went to put veggies in the fridge, I realized the error of our non-baker ways. Here's a clue for anyone thawing bread dough. Don't tightly wrap your personal sized blobs of dough in plastic wrap and put them into a big Tupperware-like container. Because they will expand. And expand mine did, popping the top off the container and basically mini-exploding throughout it. Some of the dough had to be thrown out from it's exposure to the air, which made it a little crusty. Then I went through and separated. I really should have taken pictures, but my hands were covered in dough from trying to figure out which chubby blob belonged with which bit of dough still in the plastic wrap. If you will, picture this: plastic wrapped cute round of yeast-filled dough meets warmth, pressure builds and all the yeasty goodness is too much to bear for that little plastic wrap, so it pops it's chubby self out the side of the wrap after tearing it's way through with a vengeance. I'm not even doing it justice. I'm telling you, there was dough filling every orifice of that container and I had to scrape it off and try reassembling reasonable sized dough balls.

Anyways, I finally got them rewrapped and had a shower, then started on the other details. Chelsey arrived and she stirred some Epicure Nacho Cheese Dip together and then I really put her to work, cutting mushrooms, green peppers, etc. Thanks to her, I had time to put a face on so I didn't immediately have people running out the door, and we got everything all into serving dishes and ready for action. Everyone was prompt and we had three stations for the pizza prep. Everyone did wonderfully with their dough and thanks to a convection oven, parchment and stoneware, I was able to bake four pizzas at a time. Chelsey made the best punch and once everyone had eaten, we dispersed the goodies onto the table for pick ups. My fave helper even started packing up people's bags for them. Talk about service! Grace won the door prize of a Mary Kay Lotus & Green Tea Gift Set (at least that's what I think it was....I'll have to ask my mom) and everyone had a good time, I think. Nobody complained about the food, but if they had I'd have punched 'em anyways, so it's all good =) People actually ate some of the 'nastys' I'd picked up (baby shrimp, onions, olives), so that made me happy! I took pics but didn't have time to edit (I had to pick up my Scotch drinkers last night & make their late night donair run. It was a late night for me) so I'll try getting those up tonight before we head out to see a screening of Invictus. 

But there is goodies...and the rolo cookies & mint nanaimos made it into my breakfast this morning. LOL!

Hope your Wednesday is going better than mine - I'm bushed and trying to figure out how to sleep at my desk without anyone noticing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I wait for this night every year!

Tonight's the night of the Third Annual Christmas Treat Exchange. I can't wait! Chelsey & I attended our first treat exchange four years ago and it was a bust, but it gave us an idea....why not host our own?! You see, we'd learned some things at our first exchange. We took these lessons and created our own rules, with the primary one being it must be home made. Yes, I'm totally serious. While we'd tediously whipped up our goods and then baked and wrapped them, other in the group had used imposter store bought cookies. But at least those were baked. The real deal breaker was the 'truffles' (no lie, I swear!) that were nothing more than balls of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough placed into mini cupcake wrappers...and 'served' as  rum ball-like treats. Now, some might think "hey, Tanis...I thought you said you loved cookie dough...whatchu complainin' about, foo'?" and to you I say this: Pillsbury has a funny flavor. I don't know if it's something to do with the preservatives or what, but their dough has a tang that is distinguishable from a homemade dough...and it's not the same.

So now, I look forward to our exchange with glee. I've invited 14 wonderful women over for supper (individual pizzas this time around), visiting and of course, an exchange of baked goods. Well, that's not even true, really. There's nothing truly baked about the Cranberry Pistachio White Chocolate Bark that I know is coming, but I will not be denying anyone of it's deliciousness. I know there's shortbread and Rolo cookies on their way. There's Mint Nanaimo bars, pecan tarts, mincemeat tarts and fudge. I'm also praying for a repeat of last year's Mint Thin cookies that are the most gloriously minty bites of heaven. Goodness...I can feel my hips calling for a visit to the gym now. Good thing I can help 'em out - I'll be hitting the gym around noon and taking the afternoon off from work so I can get all the pizza fixings ready, make sure the house is presentable and maybe even relax a little.

MrP has a scotch tasting tonight at Aligra and I'm so happy this is finally happening - I bought it for him about a year ago and after five postponement/cancellations, it's actually happening. So after I do a little tidying up from the treat exchange, I'll be heading to West Edmonton Mall to drive him and two friends home after an evening of drinking. I hope they have fun!

Yesterday was my amazing friend Rose's birthday and I hope it was great (I know she was going for a pedicure at some point and I called in and paid for half of it so I hope they applied that!) I had a wonderful night - miserable horse, but it ended well - we were jumping about 3 feet! That's about the height you actually feel the real wonder of flight on a horse and I just love it!

Anyways, have a wonderful day - I hope to have some pics to share tomorrow, as well as maybe have some crafting time soon...because your winter creations have me INSPIRED!
Oh - and if you want to whip up some really fabulous cookies (now known as Palmer's PB Cup Cookies in our home after four years of glorious baking - just don't really look at the ingredient list for nutritional info), give these a try!

(photo credit: SPAZZ41 on

Monday, December 7, 2009

What a weekend!

I had hoped I'd get a chance to play with my new PTI goodies that arrived on Friday (Thanks Moe & Laural!!) but instead managed to get a whole lot of housework done and a TON of baking done. I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies for my treat exchange on Tuesday, Rum Balls, Pecan Goody Cups and Ginger Snaps as most of my holiday baking. One more recipe and I'm done. Last year I sent a tin of baking to my aunt and she said my uncle really enjoyed it (she doesn't cook or bake without the help of Betty or Duncan), so I'm hoping to get them a package shipped off shortly. I should have taken some pictures, but I didn't manage to sneak them in.

Only time I went out this weekend was for once for an appointment and I managed to get stuck leaving the driveway, so I'm quite anxious to drive to work this morning. Fingers crossed there's no getting stuck anywhere and that the highway is decent driving.

With my lack of mojo of late, I don't even have enough Christmas cards to send this year, so I guess I better get on that!!

Off to work...fingers crossed!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting to be the time for a little Christmas Baking!

I found an adapted version of this Martha recipe on a blog the other day and was incredibly intrigued. Chocolate and caramel!? Oh GLORY! I love caramel, enjoy could I go wrong? The adapted recipe went for vegan ingredients, so I found the original, discovered the simplicity and ran with it! Yay for Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars!

So here's an easy little shortbread crust as it cools down:

Then we mix up the sugar & water until it turns amber (I think this is where I didn't cook long enough because mine's not nearly as glossy as Martha's) meanwhile making sure not to allow sugar crystals to form on the side:

Then I poured the sugar/water/cream/butter mixture on top of the chocolate:

Finally after 10 minutes of cooling, I poured the liquid overtop of the shortbread:

And let it cool to this:

And the final touch, some sea salt (or fleur de sel if you're really swanky - or happen to have it on hand, which I didn't):

I can't even begin to describe how much the salt adds to this chocolate & caramel goodness. If you haven't tried it, you really must! It's delicious AND a wonderful holiday treat for anyone who enjoys some Christmas baking.

Again, check HERE for the full recipe!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Can you believe it?

1. It's almost December
2. Christmas is just around the corner
3. It's my last Scrap N Stamp Guest Design team card
4. I'm posting a card!

LOL! Okay - so I'm exaggerating a little...but I'm pretty embarassed after I totally flaked last Friday on Shellie and completely forgot to submit a card. Yes - I think some time off is much needed. Speaking of time off - I'm off today for a bit of a long weekend. Yahoodles! I'm thinking some time with a good book, review some PW cookbook recipes, tv watching and maybe some baking while I wait for the ol' stove repairman.

You should check out the sketch and give it a try for yourself =) Scrap N Stamp

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An award for being lazy!?!

Well I'm not even sure why my wonderful friend Maureen nominated me since I've pretty much been in absentia the last week, recharging my batteries on the creative level (or at least that's what I keep hoping - until my PTI order arrives!) but I really do appreciate it!

Here are the rules:
Answer the following questions using single word answers. Then pass the award to 5 other people and let them know.

Your cell phone? replaceable
Your hair? undone
Your mother? shopper
Your father? donor
Your favorite food? lasagna
Your dream last night? unsure
Your favorite drink? cider
Your dream/goal? happiness
What room are you in? office
Your hobby? expensive
Your fear? failure
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Chris
Where were you last night? stable
Something that you aren't? unhappy
Muffins? blueberry
Wish list item? vacation
Where did you grow up? didn't
Last thing you did? emailed
What are you wearing? jeans
Your TV? large
Your Pets? Mystycka
Friends? grateful
Your life? blessed
Your mood? mellow
Missing someone? Grandparents
Vehicle? Mazda
Something you're not wearing? mittens
Your favorite store? Bay
Your favorite color? green
When was the last time you laughed? morning
Last time you cried? week
Your best friend? amazing
One place that you go to over and over? gym
Facebook? games
Favorite place to eat? Ox

The 5 super duper bloggers I would like to pass this award to are:


And now, time to adjust my strategy in dealing with The Christmas Light Miser (also known as The Lawn Miser, most commonly known as MrP). That guy is so anti-Christmas lights, it's actually comical. When we moved into our house four years ago, I suggested putting up Christmas lights for the holidays. That was about the time I learned that he thinks it's a waste of money to put up lights that only other people will see.

Now don't get me wrong, the practical side of me says "That makes sense" but the kid in me really wants Christmas lights! I'm sure once I saw what the bill was after a month of additional house-bling, I'd be all for turning them off, but the point is...well I have no point. I just like looking at how people decorate the outside of their homes and think I'd like to decorate ours. I say "I" but really, I wouldn't be getting up on a ladder, so maybe I should just stop whining =)

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Remember this sweetie?

Bigsby the cute?
(okay - I added in the cute part, but he's my favorite kind of mouse....artistic!)

Well he's now available on Karen's Doodles, a new website launched today. Karen (Doodle Queen) is amazingly talented and you'll be sure to find lots of wonderful, whimsical doodles as she continues to add to the site.

The super talented Dawn (Doodle Princess) is managing the Doodle Diva website where you can find a ton of inspiration with Karen's adorable works of art.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Friends...

Well I thought I'd have a project from last night's crafting time with Chelsey, but truthfully, we did more visiting than crafting, which was wonderful. I'm so glad to have such a great friend who lets me vent, listens better than anyone and loves me no matter what. I'm even more blessed that I have a few friends this wonderful...guess I must have done something right =) Honestly, Chels - thank you!

After many weeks of stressing, I've decided to let go of some obligations in hopes of refocusing on my priorities and regaining some enjoyment out of the simple things. The word 'overwhelmed' seems to be in my complaints to MrP a lot lately. I started this blog for a stress release and lately, it's felt more like an obligation than an enjoyment, so I've decided to just post when I feel like it and have something to share and not stress because I don't have a daily post. I don't know how you daily posters do it - maybe you're just better able to keep things in perspective and for that, I give you heaps of credit!

In decluttering 'must do' items from my To Do list, I've also resigned as a Guest Sketch Challenge Designer for Scrap N Stamp, effective December 1st and given my notice to the ladies at Digital-Ink Co. When the joy of crafting has returned, I hope to participate in some challenges, but in a true participant sense (and with a chance, like anyone else, of winning!) I understand if the lack of daily inspiration changes your mind about being a follower, so please don't feel like you have to leave me on your list. I will continue to check out other blogs that inspire me and will post when the mojo blesses me with something worthy =)

Thanks so much for allowing me to vent. I thank you for keeping me inspired with your amazing work!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Viva La Christmas!


Stamps: Verve Ornamental Christmas
Paper: Pink Pirouette, Blue Bajou, Baja Breeze, Christmas DSP
Ink: Blue Bajou
Accessories: Blue Bayou Ribbon, Snow Flurries

The Viva La Verve Sketch last Friday was a fabulous one – and as always, a challenge. I think it was the paper that inspired the rediscovery of these fun felt Snow Flurries, which have been sorely neglected for a year or so, not even used last season that I recall.  I mounted the entire panel on pink pirouette cardstock and pulled it into the main image with the use of some bling.

What do you think? I think I love the Baja & Bajou together….and I adore this darn patterned paper!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sketch it!


Today’s challenge over at the Digital-Ink Co challenge blog is another awesome sketch! I think sketch challenges are my favorite because they’re such a wonderful starting point for so many great cards.

For my card, I used one of Angela from Sewn Together's awesome Morty images. He’s such an adorable moose and can be found in her December Value Pack, which is a wicked deal at 30% off – just $3.50!

So here’s the sketch:


Now check out the rest of the design team’s awesome creations & then head to the Digital-Ink Co to get started on your own.

and our fabulous guest designers,