Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Decor

 I'm having so much fun creating my Halloween Decor this year! Last year we were staying at my parents in our transition to Austin so, I was able to create a little bit but not nearly as much as this year.  Altaira gave me a set of papers and chipboard to fuel my SPOOKY banner inspiration this Halloween! Thanks lady!!
Thanks also to Miss Margie Romney for the inspiration of the Junque Bows. Lots of fabulous scraps of paper, ribbons, etc. adorning all of the fun decor goodies. There's decoupage galore and I'm not even done yet ...
I've been busy dyeing ginormous coffee filters that Altaira and I got last year for an event and I'll have my project completed within the next few days. I hope your inspired and that your Halloween is shaping up to be fun! Savannah has decided that she wants to be a pirate this year so, we're rocking a family theme and we're gonna dress Jameson up as a parrot. Haha! Wish me luck on bringing the theme together. Have a great one!
Life is delightful, Amy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Butterfly Cards

Well, I'm almost done making and mailing out all of my Thank You cards. I wanted to post some of the different designs that I made. Since I was making a bunch at once, I made sure to keep with a theme with pretty simplicity. Butterflies! I'm hooked on my new Stampin Up Butterfly Punch and Apothecary Accents Framelits used on most of these cards. I hope you're inspired! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

90th Birthday Celebration

My Grandma turned 90 a few weeks ago and we celebrated with a party at Perico's with close family and friends. My Grandma is such a lovely woman, she's got a quick wit and
(as my mother would say) is as sharp as a tack!
I was in charge of putting together a display of photos for the party. My Grandma had them stored in her skate case that she's had since she was a teenager! It's so amazing to see these photos and I was SUPER EMOTIONAL!! I cried everytime I sat down to work on the project. My Grandpa passed just over a year ago and looking at these photos and how young they were and all of the things they've seen together - Wow!! I'm tearing up now.
The story of how they met is one that I love - They met at the skating rink and how is was back then was when the organ player stopped playing during the skate, you changed partners so you got to meet everyone in the rink. Well, I guess they made a connection because they made a beautiful life together and were still so in love when he passed. He used to call to her 'You sweet thing'. 
She still has that skate case and keeps her special memories in it.
A couple of the photos had writing on the back. One was to my Grandpa, I assume when they first met, 'Best of luck, your skating pal, Esther.' I wonder if that went with him when he went to war. Where have these photos traveled? What rooms have they been put up in to be remembered?
90 years is a long time. Seeing her through her life allowed me not to just see her as 'Grandma' but as a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister. This lady has moxie! I adore her and I'm so happy that we live closer so that my kiddos can get to know their Great Grandmother.  
My Mom, Grandma and Aunt Beverly
The display table

I made her a name banner too!

The photos were backed on beautiful papers and hung on curtain
clips and hung inside a jewelry frame from hooks.

Of course she needed a crown - It was her Birthday for goodness sake!
A pretty paper pennant garland to embellish the frame
AND a pennant garland for the cake to tie it all together. I LOVE a theme!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Glitter Gathering - Austin and San Antonio

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - Not Really!!

It's like 100 humid degrees outside in Austin Texas but, I'm inside listening to The Drifters sing White Christmas so, life is good. I'm getting in the holiday spirit by prepping cardstock and ribbon for a Glitter Gathering. I usually start in June but, with having a new baby in the house, I wasn't ready. I'm finally feeling back to myself and getting in the groove of teaching classes again - YAY!! If you don't know what a Glitter Gathering is well then, you are missing out sister!! We make Christmas cards and little gifts, a few each month, so by the time the holidays are here it's not so daunting to have a homemade Christmas.

For the first Gathering we'll make 8 cards (2 each of 4 designs) and 2 small gifts. I'll provide all of the supplies and some light refreshments.You'll learn some fun techniques with dry embossing, heat embossing and sponging. It's always bunches of fun!! I've got pics of the cards here but, you'll have to check back to see sneak peeks within the next few days for the little gifts.

Here are the details for the class:
Date: Sunday, September 2nd
Time: 2:00 - 5: 00 PM
Cost: $25.00 Per Person
Location: South Austin Texas
Please email me ASAP if you'd like to sign up. I have space and supplies for 10 people.

** I'm also working on finalizing dates for a class in San Antonio within the next few weeks! **

I'm looking forward to crafting with y'all!!

Cutsie Ornament Card

Vintage Ornament Card - This one is heat embossed with Metallic Platinum.
This photo doesn't do it justice, it's beautiful!

Reindeer Card

Snowman Card

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cooking Basic: Pork Tenderloin


Pork Tenderloin makes it onto our menu in some form or another just about every week. My sister in law made tenderloin for us this way once and I have been  Following this recipe I can make BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Green Chile Pork Enchiladas, Shredded Pork Tacos, or just about any other shredded pork recipe.


You will need a pork tenderloin, a jar of El Pato Jalapeno Salsa, a few dashes of cumin and your Crock-Pot. Toss everything in on high heat (or low if you are going to work) and that's it. When it's done, shred with 2 forks and you are ready to make whatever you'd like. It's that simple.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Ever After in Your Eyes

Welcome to the world baby Jameson!!

Amy welcomed lil Mr. Jameson into the world this past Saturday, June the 16th. 
He weighed 8 lbs 6 oz. and He.Is. Perfect! 

I used to sing this lullaby to Roreigh when she was just a tiny little. Amy, sing it to Jameson for me. 
Love you honey! Can't wait to meet your precious little prince!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Indulgence - Aromatherapy and a GIVEAWAY

After a great conversation the other day with a sweet friend, I realized that I needed to have a little Aromatherapeutic indulgence. It's been awhile since I got the Essential Oils, Sugar and Salts out and whipped up a batch of something lovely. Thank you Cynthia for reminding me that I had something else to share. I used to make Handmade Bath Blends on a weekly basis when I had my shop years ago but with a kiddo (my 4 year old princess) and one on the way (due in like 4 days!!) things er, indulgences get tossed aside. So, here's a recipe for some Summertime (body) Indulgence...
Slough off dead skin with a Sugar Scrub! Scrubs are easy to make and fabulous to give as gifts. I keep a little jar in the shower and a bowl of it next to the kitchen sink so after I scrub, everything just washes down the drain. Enjoy!
2 cups brown sugar
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 - 1 cup Apricot Kernel Oil or Coconut Oil - I don't want my sugar floating in oil, more of a wet sand texture.
Essential Oils of your choice (see combination suggestions below)

Mix together ingredients and package in a mason jar, or plastic jar for the shower. Scoop out @ a Tablespoon and mix with a little water - scrub, scrub, scrub. Your hands, feet, body will feel slickery. (that's the technical term for Mmmm....)

My summer faves for Essential Oil are:

Super Invigorating!
Peppermint - 15 drops
Rosemary - 12-15 drops

Happiness in a scent. :)
Lavender - 20 drops
Lemon or Lime - 12-15 drops

One of my favorites.
Dalmatian Sage - 20 drops
Sweet Orange - 15 drops
Grapefruit - 12 drops
Lime to your liking - 5-8 drops
{{ I must give an Aromatherapists warning here: DO NOT use Citrus Oils on your skin in the morning before going out into the sun all day. Citrus Essential Oils will react on your skin with the sun. No Bueno!! But, you should enjoy this if you plan on relaxing or being indoors and you'll LOVE how soft and yummy smelling you are.}} Also, the floor of your shower or tub may be slippery - be careful when exiting.

I've made a batch of Bath Salts for little gifts recently and thought it would be perfect to do a GIVEAWAY!! Love a little Blog Candy!!

So, for the first 3 people that email me at: (with the subject line as:Bath Salts) I'll mail out a sweet little bag of Bath Salts to you.**
**As previously noted, I'll be going into labor any day so, if it takes a little longer than expected to get your salts - that's why! :) I'll get them to you though! Make sure you include your full name, address and what scent combo from above you'd prefer. I'll whip it up just for you sista!
Smooches, Amy

Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're taking a trip

                                                        image courtesy: L'affiche Moderne

Payton is about to start kindergarten in the fall but first I need something to keep her occupied this summer. We are going to visit all of the continents and do some fun activities, all from the comfort of home.

As soon as we get back from California, we will be jumping right in and spending a week on each continent. 

Our tentative schedule is:
                                  week of June 25th - Africa with stops in Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania & Madagascar
                                  week of July 2nd - North America with stops in The U.S. Costa Rica & Mexico
                                  week of July 9th - Europe with stops in Germany, Italy, the UK & the Netherlands
                                  week of July 16th - South America with stops in Brazil, Argentina & Paraguay
                                  week of July 23rd - Australia with a stop in New Zealand
                                  week of July 30th - Asia with stops in India, Japan & Russia

I made Payton a passport using printables I found online. I used this cover (printed only page 1 at 85%) and paired it with these pages for the inside (printed full size, trimmed and cut in half, then folded down the middle. Staple all of the layers together.)

I found a paper mache suitcase measuring 8 1/2" x 11 1/2" at Hobby Lobby (about $7 with your 40% off coupon) and found some vintage travel posters online. Payton will be modge podge-ing the posters to the suitcase after I trim them down. 

Each Friday I will post the stops for the following week with the craft, recipe, movie, coloring sheet, etc. that we will be using. Feel free to deviate from our plan to fit your "travels" into your summer schedule. I hope you will all leave comments and links to your personal blogs if you are participating. Also, please don't forget to "LIKE" WestsideABQFamily on Facebook. I'll be posting over there about this and other activities we will be doing and I'd hate for anyone to miss out on some summery goodness.  

We are going all around the world this summer! Not literally, unfortunately, but close.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Twist on Margie's Enchiladas

A few weeks ago Ms. Margie Romney-Aslett posted her recipe for Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas - YUM! But when I saw the recipe, I already had a pork tenderloin in the crock pot. So what's a girl to do but improvise!

1 large can of Cream of Chicken Soup - I used a small can cheddar cheese soup
1 large can of Green Chili Enchilada Sauce - same
1 large container of Sour Cream, {24 oz} - I used a small container
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, or a Mexican Mix - same
1 large can of diced green chili's - same
1 large can of sliced black olives. - same
1 cup salsa - I used homemade but only because I made a huge batch a few days prior
1 large onion diced. - same
4-6 cooked chicken breasts. {cubed} - Pulled Pork from the crock pot
roll in flour tortillas
put the extra sauce on top add another cup of grated cheese on top.
cover with Tin Foil and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chicken Rollatini via Skinny Taste

From Gina over at SkinnyTaste. If you don't have this woman on your blogroll you are seriously missing out!

Go visit Gina's blog for the recipe. Blogging rules must be abided ;)

Altaira's Lasagna

Everyone has their fave lasagna recipe. This one is my own recipe. I combined a few different things I like from various lasagnas I have had over the years.

1# ground beef
28oz. can Hunt's crushed tomatoes
half red onion, finely chopped
4 gloves garlic
1 jar Ragu Mama's Special spaghetti sauce
3 scallions, finely chopped
8oz. light sour cream
8oz. cream cheese
small container Ricotta cheese
small bag shredded Mozzarella
9 lasagna noodles - cooked per package directions

1. Preheat oven to 350* Start a pot of water to boiling, cook noodles per package directions.
2. In a large skillet, combine ground beef, onion and garlic. Saute until beef is browned, scraping up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add can crushed tomatoes and jar of sauce. Stir to combine and continue cooking over low heat until you are ready to layer everything.
3. Combine scallions, sour cream, cream cheese, and ricotta in a bowl.
4. Spray a 9x13 with nonstick spray. Add a small amount of the sauce and move it around to cover the bottom. Layer noodles, cheese mixture, mozzarella, and sauce. Repeat until the ingredients are used up. Tent with foil and cook 25-30 minutes until bubbling. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese and let it rest before serving.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Making lists

Every Friday morning I sit at our table and decide what we are gonna be eating for the week. Now, for anyone that has ever met my husband, you know that he will not go meatless. Bob is a meat and potatoes kinda guy. I'm not that kinda girl. Meat isn't a big issue for me. I can live with or without it. Bob won't and can't - he is very lean.

At the first of each month Mom and I do a great big Costco meat run. Everything gets divvied up and frozen. So when I sit down to make a list, I know that we always have chicken breast, ground beef and steak on hand. When I make the list I try not to overdo it on one type of meat. If I plan to use any other type of meat, I pick it up from the market that week.

Disclaimer: I am not a couponer. I don't base my meals by what is on sale. I buy what I know my family will eat. Because to me, no matter how on sale something might be, if we won't eat it there is no point in buying it.

Typically, I use a piece of printer paper and divide it into thirds lengthwise - one column each for the meals, produce and everything else. I do this so that I don't forget what I'm supposed to be making with everything. Vegetables are purchased from Smith's - because I like their produce better than the stuff at Wal-mart and because I pick up a gift card to Lowe's every week to get the gas discount. Everything else is typically from Wal-mart (I save $2 a can just on our coffee! How can the price of coffee differ so much from one store to the next?!)

So here is what my lists look like. I included pictures from 2 weeks in a row so you can see the rollover of meals. When I scan future lists, I will omit the items on my list that are just for our family, so that you can print them out and have room to add your own items.
       Meals                                       Wal-mart                                       Smith's

    Meals                                          Smith's                                       Wal-mart

Also of importance, I think, would be that I don't cook with any specialty pots or pans except one. I own a Deep Covered Baker from the Pampered Chef - I love it. It is the pot that comes to the rescue when you forgot to pull something out for dinner. It is like a crock-pot on steroids. Don't get me wrong, I love my Crock-Pot, but sometimes you kinda sorta forget all about dinner and that's where the Covered Baker comes in. You can throw frozen meats in there and it will cook just the same as thawed.

When you see our menus, they are good for 7 days. I plan for 6 meals because I know that somewhere during the week there will be leftovers. No meal is assigned a specific day to keep things flexible. I try to plan a few easy meals for days that I really do not feel like cooking. And if I don't wind up making a meal because there are extra leftovers of something else, I roll that meal to the next week's list since I already have the ingredients for it. Every family has different pantry items but ours are typically for spaghetti, bean burritos and King Ranch casserole - easy meals.

Every grocery list has staples.
Mine are :
                From Wal-mart: milk, cereal, eggs, lunch meat, tortillas, crushed tomatoes, rice,
                and El Pato Jalapeno Salsa                  
                From Smith's: raisins, bananas, apples, onion, bell pepper, garlic, zucchini, squash, and pork
                tenderloin (I get mine from Smith's because they tend to be a bit smaller and separately wrapped)

You can make just about any dish with onion, bell pepper and garlic on hand - just sayin'.

So there you have it. I hope that by making the process a little easier you will all start stepping out of the dinner rut and start trying new things! I will do a rash of recipe posts over the next few days so that you will know how to make everything. And so, as Ms.Paula Deen would say "Best Dishes to ya'll"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Card Making Fool!

I've been a card making fool lately! With Savvy's Birthday Thank you cards and Jameson's Baby Shower Thank you cards and well overdue swaps to mail out, It's been a little crazy. 
I'm happy to say that they're all made and now just need to be written and mailed.
I'm loving the effect of stamping and dry embossing over it to make it look almost like fabric.
The technique has been around for awhile, but it's always nice to revisit and revamp on techniques that may have gotten put in the back of the card box.
If you're new to the technique, I'll have a photo tutorial later this week on it. :)

 3 cards, same technique, can you tell that I'm loving it! :)

Savannah's Birthday theme was Up, Up and Away, hence the hot air balloon. The invitation looked similar to the Thank you note, lots of pink and yellow, chevron and polka dots and of course Ms. Rhonna Farrer's Spring Circus Digi Printables. I had cute goodies made for my girls party, but it rained and the party was at the park, so the photo op had to take a backseat. One of these days I'll get up to hanging everything in some trees and making the most of the fabulously decorated handmade hot air balloons and decor.

Sweet and Simple Happy Birthday

This is a different color combo but, I tried it and I ended up liking it. That's what crafting is all about right? Trying new things and seeing what works.

I made a Birthday Card like this and wanted to keep a sample of the design for myself. Love it!

Time for Tea!! I'm loving my new Framelits dies!! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


When Payton was about a year old, I caught an episode of Martha Stewart showcasing Etsy. Etsy was brand new back then. People were becoming increasingly disgruntled with Ebay and creatives needed a dedicated marketplace. The rest, as they say, is history.

On that episode, Emily Martin of The Black Apple, was sharing her famous Black Apple Dolls. sooo cute!


I didn't sew back then, well let me correct that - I knew how to sew thank you Grandma Donna but didn't have a sewing machine. So when the pattern was released on Martha's website, I saved it - for a very long time!

Fast forward to 2010 and my first attempt - with matching dress of course.


Lilly - the doll- is still around. A little dirty and her arm is coming out of the seam, but loved, very loved. Payton went through a phase of taking her everywhere. The matching dress was a favorite all that summer, and eventually got a long sleeve t-shirt and leggings added so she could still wear it through the winter - because she needed to wear the "Lilly dress."

This past winter, I busted out the pattern again. And made about 20 dolls for friends and family. I still have some piles of cut fabrics. I love these dolls because they take very little fabric and are quick to whip up. I have some sketches of alterations I'd like to make to the pattern: different dress options, a way to attach hair accessories, cute shoes, stockings. Someday I'll revisit this pattern - probly this holiday season. There are a new batch of little girls that are going to need lovies.