Paper Pumpkin, Sale-A-Bration, Stampin up, Kit

March Paper Pumpkin! with a Free Stamp Set!

 

https://www.paperpumpkin.com/en-us/sign-up/?demoid=2211286

Are you a subscriber for Paper Pumpkin yet?? If not, I have to ask why not? Let me ask you a question…how much do you spend on greeting cards per year?? Let’s do the math. I send at least 1-2 thank you’s a month, but I send more after my son and daughter’s birthdays. So that is, 2 x 12 = 24, plus about 10 x 2 = 20, that’s already 44 thank you’s. Then I send approximately 22 birthday cards per year, plus 8 Anniversary cards. IF I were to not be a cheapo, which usually I’m not and I do splurge on a semi-fancy card and spend about $5.00 per card, that is a whopping $370.00 a year! Now, you tell me, do you send that many cards? Let’s say you don’t have birthday thank you’s to send, ok, if we take off 20 cards, that’s minus $100, you still might spend $270.00 per year on cards. This is NOT counting cards for holidays! Do you send Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s or Mother’s Day cards? What about Father’s Day, Thinking of You, Get Well’s, etc!? So let’s be real, you might send those, so let’s add back on about 10 cards, not counting Christmas, because if you are like me, you send a pretty photo card. ūüėČ So take the $270.00 and add back $50.00, which comes to a grand total of $320.00. Did you even know you were spending that much on cards? Well, I do not. I spend $240.00 per year on Paper Pumpkin and have MORE than enough cards to send 96 cards per year. So, if I WERE buying 96 cards at $5 a pop, that would be $480! But I’m only spending $240… AND I do not just have 96 cards to show for it! I also have an acrylic block, 12 or more ink spots, 12 mini stamp sets, extra twine or ribbon (always!), dimensionals (pop dots) and glue dots! So worth it! Ready now? Sign up between now and March 10th in order to get the March kit!

Sign Up Here!

So, if my example wasn’t convincing enough, read on to see what you will get in the March kit!

  • The March kit features eight full-sized, mail-able cards
  • Coordinating colors are Basic Black, Bermuda Bay, Daffodil Delight, Flirty Flamingo, and Poppy Parade (these are GORGEOUS COLORS! – See below for examples!!)
  • This kit has an element that is sure to ‚Äúpop‚ÄĚ! (hmmm could it be balloons??)
  • The FREE stamp set is even bigger and better than your typical Paper Pumpkin stamp set and can be used on a variety of crafting projects.

AND….you can SKIP a month at ANYTIME! So, if you think you won’t have the money in your budget, just skip!

I hope you decide to try this kit, you will NOT regret it AND like I said, you can CANCEL at ANY time! ūüôā I will also be posting tutorials AND videos on alternate projects to make HERE, just in case you would like more ideas for your kit!

Sign Up Here!

Here are some of the colors that will be featured in the March kit!

Happy Crafting!

Charlene xoxo

Advertisements
Sale-A-Bration, Sophia, Stampin up

Back with Stampin’ Up! Yessss! – Let’s Get Creative!

Just a little note to say I’m back with Stampin’ Up! Right now is Sale-A-Bration, so I was able to purchase a new Consultant Kit for $99 + tax & FREE SHIPPING , and get $175 worth of products! …Along with the business supplies kit. I was SO excited to open the box, my daughter and I made a little video.

I have some great ideas for cards to be featured on my blog again. I know it’s been a while, but I hope to be back, creating cards and sharing what I love. I still love cooking and Pampered Chef, and still a consultant for that, but I just miss crafting, it is one of my favorite hobbies! Plus I get to share this passion with my sister since she is a demo too, and we get together and make beautiful things!

Here is my unboxing video and stay tuned for my unboxing of the February Paper Pumpkin kit coming up soon!

 

Celebration, Christmas, Cookies, Life, Mom Life, Writing

So, what to do now? At 43…We make Christmas Cookies!

I

I’ve been super ADHD lately. I have never been diagnosed but I am 99.9% sure that I am. Just today, on my way to work, the conversation in my head went something like this… “I really want to start my own business…like the Art store I’ve been thinking about, or wait maybe a coffee shop, the “Insert cute name here” coffee shop. Or, I could do both. Coffee shop by day and art shop by night? Well…that might be a lot of work. Maybe I could just make videos on You Tube. So many success stories out there. I could do crafting, I love making cards and scrapbooks…or cooking! I do love my Pampered Chef and I do have some videos out there already. Ugh, but when do I have time to make those videos? Life with a 4 and 6 year old is busy! Not too mention LOUD. They hardly ever close their cute little mouths. Hmmm maybe I’ll just go back to school and be a teacher. Then I could teach cooking and art and DO IT ALL!! hahahaha”

Do any of you feel that way? My husband always looks at me like I’m crazy. I can’t help it I just want to make something of myself I guess to be important, to matter. It would be nice to hear someone say “we’re proud of you” or “we’re proud of what you’ve done with your life”.

In the meantime I just spend time with my kids as much as I can in between work, and we make sugar cookies. It was worth coloring the icing four different colors, and spending three hours working on cookies and coloring and decorating. It made for some really pretty pictures this Christmas and some great memories. That is what matters to us, building these memories for my children so they can look back and say we had such a fun childhood filled with great Christmas traditions and memories!

Life, Living, Mom Life, Parenting, Writing

Things To Say…

So, I have some things to say. I’ve always been a writer and a talker, but mostly a talker. However, I’ve always loved to write and I’m not sure why I don’t do it more often. Probably because I just don’t have the time. I’m a part-time, working mom, and taking care of a Pre-Schooler and 1st Grader. Ask anyone, they’ll tell you, that’s a handful. At least in my world it is. ūüėČ

A few things have been bothering me. Maybe you can relate to this or at least understand my points of view. I have a couple of pet peeves and I will elaborate on this. This is just my opinion, and like that even matters (haha!), but I love to write about things that others only think about. Especially things that people think but do not say.

So here we go…

Did you ever notice that we are now older but not wiser? We have more money, but we are not richer. We have more conveniences but do we have more time? We have more friends, (ie 365 friends on Facebook) but we are lonely. We have more toys, tools and gadgets and gizmos but are bored out of our minds! These are the “things” that are truly bothering me these days!

I guess to start, I am just feeling my age! I’m 43 and I do feel older, a lot older. But when I really think about it, do I feel wiser? I did get my Associates degree, and a Culinary Diploma, but I really don’t feel any “smarter”. I have friends and associates that continued on with school, obtained their Bachelor’s and now have that “dream job” or that “career they’ve always wanted”. Way to go friend. I feel like I was in that same educational “race” but then tripped on a rock or bump and I have stumbled into a learning abyss, I fell flat on my face and never crossed the finish line. I don’t believe that I’ll be advancing or moving forward because I’m stuck in that comfy rut. In my job that “pays pretty good” and that gives me that schedule that is convenient for my kids and I. But is this what I really want?? Will this “job” fulfill me and have me thinking, this is the best job for me and I’m finally happy! In the end, that is all we really want, to be happy. To feel we have accomplished and succeeded. Are 95% of us feeling this way? Are you looking for motivational Periscope videos too and signing up on Linked In to make connections with people that you will never come close to meeting or being in their “circle”?? Is it just me?

What I mean by we are richer but we have less money, is exactly that. We are making more money than we did 10 years ago, but we don’t really have money. Things are more expensive, there are now daycare costs and other costs we never even dreamed of. We are working moms, paying for daycare costs to help take care of our kids, which would cost us nothing if we were just able to stay home! Part of our pay is going to those costs, along with subscriptions to Ipsy, Sephora and Birchbox, so we can get products to help us look better and feel better about being a tired mother. We are also going broke paying for those uber convenient meals-in-a-box like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron and the like so we can get dinner on the table in 30 minutes because life is crazy and we are exhausted from working all day. The last thing we want to do is meal plan, grocery shop or cook a home cooked meal for God’s sake! Not to mention, we are buying more of those convenience foods like toaster breakfasts, lunch in a bento box, or even just forking out the $3.30 per hot lunch per day for our kiddos. Then we factor in the pizza at least once a week or even twice a week due to sports, extra curricular activities and just being down right tired! What about school pictures – 2 x a year @ at least $25 a pop, plus all of those darn fundraisers for the school? I mean, I’m all for buying some delicious cookie dough (thank you Otis) but darn, I sure as heck didn’t figure $30 into the food budget for that! Or what about the jump-a-thon, dance-a-thon, jog-a-thon or bike-a-thon fundraisers! Did you factor all of that into your budget?? Does your budget allow for all of this or do you somehow just make it work, like I do???¬† Do you see what I mean about not having any money? Because after all this, I am pretty much broke. Well, I have money for the wine and bourbon that we feel we need to have because we are so stressed about money (and kids! haha)…so after buying that, we definitely have no money. (I’m kidding, but you get the idea right???)

We have all these conveniences but do we have more time? We have a microwave that can “nuke” our food in minutes, yet we still spend hours in the kitchen! We spend hours on You Tube and Facebook watching foodie and recipe videos and we still have no idea what to cook for dinner! We have a cell phone where we can order food in minutes, buy tickets, shop for anything anywhere at anytime, check our emails, voicemails, talk to people with the push of a button, order groceries, buy something and have it delivered in 2 hours, look up information and ask Google or Alexa for anything. Yet we are still rushed, pressed for time, stressed about everything we have to get done and have even more to do now than we did 20 years ago. I’m constantly hearing my parents say, “When I was your age, we didn’t have to worry about cell phones or giving our kids tablets or electronic devices!”….Oh my gosh, how in the world did you order a pizza, check the weather,do that book report or get your kids to listen??? The answers were, call it in, watch the nightly news at 10 pm, go to the library and spank them! But these things took time! So, if we are saving SO much time by having a cell phone (ordering online), looking up the weather online or using the internet for that book report, where is all the saved time going?? I figure that would save us about 4 – 5 hours right there! Where did it go? And then there is the hour that we saved by microwaving our dinner. Plus the two hours that we didn’t waste grocery shopping at the physical store, hmmm…that is at least 8 hours! Dang, I could do A LOT with 8 more hours in the day! Even if you cut that in half, that is four freaking hours! Well, I suppose I didn’t get to level 255 in Candy Crush overnight.

I never used to have 365 friends. At least I don’t think I had that many in my “contacts” or “address book” as it was called then. I had maybe 30 or 40? So, now that Facebook helped me find all these people that “I might know”, I seem to be lingering around the 365 mark of “Friends”. Thank you Facebook for also importing them ALL into my contacts on my phone.¬† Did I know I was doing that at the time?? Now I have eight, yes that is 8, Michelle’s in my phone that I’m pretty sure I have no idea who they are but you seem to think they are my “friends”. Well, I may know 1 of them, and we might have been close at one time. (This is an example! One of my best-est friends is a Michelle!) Do you see my point?? So, why is it that I feel lonelier than ever? It could be that I’m a 43-year-old mom with younger aged children and most of the moms my age kids are graduating high school. Or it could be that most ladies my age are settled down in a house and I’m now in an apartment. Or it could be because stupid Facebook said and led me to believe these people would be my friend and they are not! I might hear from about 25 of them on a daily basis, if that! In fact, just recently that number of 365 dwindled to 273 and not one of those 92 people even reached out to say hey, why did you delete me? Hmm, not so much a friend in the end. We use social media so much these days like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Linked In, so why do we feel so disconnected? We are losing our “connections” by putting our face into an electronic device instead of picking up the phone and saying “hey, I miss you, let’s talk”.¬† But…we are saving time by not picking up the phone and having that 2-hour phone call and texting instead…so where did those 2 hours go that we saved?? Well, we spend 1 hour on the phone texting that person, then spent 1 hour playing Farmville? However we also sent 3 emails, made 2 appointments and listened to 4 voicemails. *Sigh*

So nowadays, we have less time, we are busier, more stressed, have less money and feel lonelier. Internet to blame? Social Media? Most people say that social media brings their family closer. Hmm, I have to disagree myself. I’m sure others would disagree as well. They would see that picture of the girl’s night out that they didn’t get invited to and be like “that bxxxx didn’t invite me!”. Hmmm, that¬†has ever happened to me. (RIGHT!)

We have all these cool gadgets from Pampered Chef, Harbor Freight, Best Buy, Fry’s, we have tablets and devices, game systems and toys…oh so many toys, but we are bored. Our kids can’t sit and “play” for five minutes without saying “I don’t have anything to do”…as I look around in the SEA of toys surrounding them. We can’t wait in a line for 3 minutes without pulling out our cell phone and checking our Facebook feed or sending a text. We are constantly looking for that instant gratification or quick fix. We are all a bunch of junkies! That’s it. We are junkies who haven’t much money, we are short on time, without real friends, with too much stuff.

I have recently moved from state to state. I’ve lost touch with some of my friends, well all of them really. I wonder why they don’t call or text even, but then I realize I haven’t called either. It’s been a hard few months transitioning from a home to an apartment. It’s still hard. I have been purging like crazy because like I said above, we have too much “stuff”. It’s all been a learning experience.

I hope to make some new friends here or at least reconnect with some old ones. I don’t have much time because I am a busy working mother, but hey maybe you can come over and I’ll open up a Hello Fresh bag and that bottle of bourbon I was talking about?

I hope you liked my rant and my “deep thoughts”. I do love writing and hope I get to do it again soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desserts, Dinners, Meal Planning, Recipes

Meal Plan Week #2

HEARTY TUSCAN SOUP WITH PARMESAN CROUTONS

ASIAN CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

CHICKEN, BACON & RANCH PIZZA

EASY WEEKNIGHT CHILI (FOR ROCKCROK XL

CREOLE GUMBO WITH CORNBREAD MUFFINS  (5 star recipe!)

CREAMY LEMON-PESTO CHICKEN & LINGUINE

BRUSCHETTA PASTA

And for dessert….

MINI CLASSIC VANILLA BUNDT CAKES

OR

EASY FUDGE BROWNIES

Click HERE for entire grocery list! Hopefully this will save you some time in the kitchen. I am also hoping you will enjoy these healthy, quick meals. Stick around to see Week #3’s meal plan too! xoxo

Happy cooking,

Charlene

 

Dinners, food, Meal Planning, Recipes

Meal Plan Week #1

TOASTED ORZO SKILLET WITH SHRIMP

ROASTED CHICKEN & ASPARAGUS WITH PAN SAUCE

CHEESY SHELLS & ITALIAN SAUSAGE

MOROCCAN WHITE BEAN TURKEY CHILI

ONE POT SAUSAGE & KALE PASTA

BROCCOLI-CHEDDAR CHICKEN NUGGETS

TACO RING

 

Click HERE for entire grocery list! Hopefully this will save you some time. I am hoping you will enjoy these healthy, quick meals. Stick around to see Week #2’s meal plan too!

Happy cooking,

Charlene

Uncategorized

One Pot Sausage & Kale Pasta

This is a consultant exclusive recipe! It’s a 5 star favorite and I wanted to share it with all of you ūüôā Enjoy!

ONE POT SAUSAGE & KALE PASTA1125027-lg

INGREDIENTS

  • 1¬†tbsp (15 mL)¬†canola oil, divided
  • 1¬†lb. (450 g)¬†mild Italian turkey sausage (casings removed)
  • 1¬† ¬†medium onion
  • 2¬† ¬†garlic cloves
  • 4¬†cups (1 L)¬†unsalted chicken stock
  • 1¬†can (14.5 oz)¬†diced tomatoes, undrained (1¬ĺ cups/425 mL)
  • 1¬†can (8 oz/ or 398 mLg)¬†tomato sauce
  • 1/2¬†tbsp (7 mL)¬†red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1¬†lb. (450 g)¬†farfalle pasta
  • 2¬†oz (60 g)¬†fresh Parmesan cheese, plus additional if desired
  • 8¬†cups (2 L)¬†fresh kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces (see cook‚Äôs tips)
  • 4¬†oz (125 g)¬†‚Öď less fat cream cheese (Neufch√Ętel), softened

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat ¬Ĺ tbsp of the oil in the¬†All-Purpose Pot¬†over medium heat for 1‚Äď3 minutes, or until shimmering. Add the sausage. Cook uncovered for 4‚Äď6 minutes or until browned, using the¬†Mix ‚ÄėN Chop¬†to break the sausage into crumbles. Drain and remove from the pot.
  2. Cut the onion into chunks. Chop with the Food Chopper. Add the remaining oil, onion, and garlic pressed with the Garlic Press to the pot; cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, stock, diced tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and pasta to the pot. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Grate the Parmesan with the¬†Microplane¬ģ Adjustable Fine Grater. Stir in the Parmesan, kale, and cream cheese. Cover the pot and simmer for 4‚Äď6 minutes, or until pasta and kale are tender. Serve with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Yield:

  • 8¬† servings of¬†1¬Ĺ¬†cups (375mL)

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 440, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 50 mg, Sodium 650 mg, Carbohydrate 56 g, Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 28 g

Cook’s Tips:

To remove stems from your kale, fold leaves in half with the vein side out. Then trim along the stem from top to bottom.

You may substitute baby spinach for kale.

 

Breakfast/Brunch, Recipes, Uncategorized

Zucchini Deep Dish Pie (Quiche) by Pampered Chef – Modified

Zucchini Deep Dish Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

zucchini pie

Ingredients

    Crust

  • 1¬†package (8 ounces)¬†refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†Dijon mustard
    Filling

  • 4¬†cups¬†thinly sliced zucchini (3-4 small)
  • 1¬†cup¬†coarsely chopped onion
  • 2¬†tablespoons¬†butter or margarine
  • 1¬† ¬†garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†Italian seasoning (I increased this to 1 tsp)
  • 1/2¬† teaspoon¬†salt (I increased this to 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†ground black pepper ( I increased this to 1/2 tsp)
  • 2¬†tablespoons¬†snipped fresh parsley
  • 2¬† ¬†eggs
  • 1/4 cup cream (I added this to mine)
  • 2¬†cups (8 ounces)¬†shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬įF. For crust, unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange evenly in Deep Dish Pie Plate with points toward the center. Using lightly floured Baker’s Roller¬ģ, roll dough over bottom to seal seams. Press dough halfway up sides to form a crust. Spread mustard over bottom of crust.
  2. For filling, slice zucchini using Simple Slicer Set blade to #2. Coarsely chop onion using Food Chopper. Melt butter in (12-in.) Skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir zucchini, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.
  3. Whisk eggs & cream in Classic Batter Bowl. Stir in cheese. Add vegetable mixture; mix well. Pour vegetable mixture over crust, spreading evenly. Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set and crust is golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve.

Side Note: I increased the seasonings and I would say it was just right. You may need to taste your zucchini after it is done sauteing to see if it has enough flavor. I feel like the cream gave it a little bit of richness but not too much.

 

Enjoy!

Uncategorized

Grilled Salmon Salad w/Edamame

IMG_20170823_132759_191

I made this very easy, healthy grilled salmon salad for lunch! It was delicious!

Grilled Salmon Salad w/Edamame

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Couple handfuls of assorted lettuce – I like to use 2 green leafy lettuces and arugula
  • 1/2 small cucumber, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped or sliced
  • 1 small mandarin orange or 1/2 an orange, peeled & segmented
  • 1 4-5 oz portion of salmon, grilled

Mix all ingredients for salad and top with the grilled salmon. I like to sprinkle my salad with olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a little lemon juice, but you can top with any dressing you like for this!

Enjoy!