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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Delicious Drink Recipe

Looking for a delicious, simple drink to serve at your next party? Look no further! I used this recipe for my daughter's graduation party and it was a smash hit! Everyone loved it.. The great news.. it only has two ingredients..
 
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You will need:
 
2 apple juice concentrate cans
1 bottle Club Soda
 
Use this ratio of 2 cans to 1 bottle until you fill up whatever container you will be using. The container I used above used 8 cans and 4 bottles.. Stir together and serve. You could add ice but I didn't as the juice was nice and cold and tasted great!!

This was posted on one of my other blogs. The photos and all content are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Organizing Digital Photos

Now that Grad Central is closed at my house for at least four more years, and school is officially over for the Summer I am able to chisel away some things that I've had on my to do list for sometime.. One of the biggest things was organizing my digital photos.. I keep getting viruses on my laptop and I'm now worried about losing all my photos that I have stored on here.
Now is the best time to finally get them off and safely stored on CD's and printed and bound into a scrapbook.. I decided to start with the most recent and work my way backwards. This is not for the faint of heart I've been gathering. It's some work but I feel it will be well worth it once it's all done. AND... the best part is I now know how to do this so at the end of June it will be a piece of cake to keep this updated..
So what am I talking about??
Well, I found a really neat system on a Pinterest post awhile back. I'm so sorry that I don't have the original post anymore but if I do find it, I will link back to this one for credit where credit is due! Some of the ideas I've posted were from her blog...
This lovely lady showed me how to take the overwhelming task of sorting all this and making it easy and simple..
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First you get an index card like above..  Make five columns like you see..
First column is for the Months
January 2013
Feb
Mar
and so on
This one is for 2013 pictures so we are only to May but previous years will have all 12 months written out.
Second column says Sam's Upload.
This is for downloading all the pictures you are going to keep onto a place you plan to print them. For me it's Sam's Club. Once you have each month's pictures uploaded you will put a checkmark in the appropriate month/column
The next column says HARDCOPY PRINTED

You will put a check mark in this box for each month once you get your pictures printed
Next column says BACK UP CD

You will put a checkmark in this column for each month you print out a hardcopy cd
The last column says PUT IN ALBUM

Once you have all your prints copied and placed in your album/scrapbook you will check this column off
As you can see above I'm moving along quite nicely with the 2013 pictures. Jan-April are uploaded, printed, backup CD made and now they are ready to be placed in an album. So how do I store the photos I've printed until I'm ready to place in an album??



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 Like this above. Take a piece of cardstock and fold in half. Staple sides to form a pocket. Label the top with month/year and then list what the contents are inside as you can see above that I did for Jan-April 2013
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You can see above how the photos sized 4 x 6 fit nicely in the cardstock pocket

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I then took it a step further and made label covers for all my CD's. I already had a label maker but you can easily buy CD label stickers at Walmart and follow the directions on their website to print them out.. I just wrote the month/year and in the black section, I wrote the basic contents of each CD so when I look at the cover I know what it has on it before I ever put it in the computer for upload..
I absolutely LOVE this and can't wait to get it all done for all the years of photos I have on my computer. The most time consuming has been going through all my photos. I've had to ditch quite a bit because I really don't need 5 photos of the same thing, and deleted blurry photos etc..
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Now that I'm trying to work to get them all on CD's and off my computer, I needed a place to store the photos I've recently got printed. I have a photo storage box and have placed the CD in front of the cardstock pocket with the photos inside in chronological order until I can get to them and place them in albums..
So this is my week's task here at my house.. It feels so good to get organized and can't wait to see them all in albums when I'm all said and done.. I have pictures from 2008 to current on my computer so it's going to be a busy week....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Graduation Water Bottle Labels

I saw a really cool idea on Pinterest to decorate plastic water bottles for your party. I couldn't wait to do this for my daughter's grad party. I went into my Photo Shop program and started making this really great label below and then copied it 4 times to fit onto a regular standard 8 1/2 by 11" printer paper. I printed out enough to cover 60 bottles. Cut them into strips and they fit perfectly around the bottles and adhered them with regular tape.
 
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Here's what they looked like at the party!! Simple and easy to make and made the drinks festive for the occasion..
 
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The bottles I used measured 16 oz and they came in a 30 pack at Walmart..

This was posted on one of my other blogs. The photos and all content are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Graduation Memory Album

I haven't done much scrapbooking in awhile but when I started planning my daughter's graduation back in October I knew I needed to make one for a graduation gift. I decided to put together an album of her school years. A picture for each grade and any extra curricular activities she did for school or important events. It took me a few months to get all the pictures printed, paper purchased and the appropriate embellishments that I wanted to add to the pages.. I love the end result. I plan on making these for both my boys and giving it to them when they graduate high school as well. I do know that I will be purchasing a 12 x 12 album though since I made my daughter's an 8 x 8 and it was REALLY fat by the time I was done with it!! So I will learn from that and make it bigger in the future..

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Cover of album of my daughter in her Senior Photo I took of her.
 
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 A couple pages out of the album- getting baptized back in 2011 and her first Spring Fling prom as a Sophmore
 
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A couple pages of her Senior year..
 
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 Graduation Day has arrived..

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Here is a couple pages showing her yearly school photo....
 
It turned out great and my daughter loved it!!

This was posted on one of my other blogs. The photos and all content are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Graduation Gift Idea- Candy Anyone?

My daughter's high school graduation was last weekend so I am posting some of the ideas I had with her gifts and party decorations. What I'd like to share now is a gift idea I found on Pinterest awhile back. I made her a candy tub gift with a cute saying for her graduation. I took the idea and changed the wording a bit to match what I wanted it to say to her and gave it for a grad gift. She absolutely LOVED it..

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I printed the saying onto thick cardstock and just glued it to the plastic paint tub I purchased at Michaels craft store. Found the candies here in town and added some curly ribbon and VOILA!
 
The saying is: 
 
"Look at you SMARTIE pants! You SKORed high on your GPA and reached the PAYDAY of graduation. Give yourself a RIESEN to TAKE 5 and enjoy this special day! Don't listen to SNICKERS, that you are a DUM DUM, ZERO or NERD, cuz you are one HOT TAMALE in this MILKY WAY, on your way to making a 100 GRAND! This diploma will be a LIFESAVER as you enter the new world of University life. No matter your goals NOW & LATER, you are MENTos to be what God wants you to be. Hope your FAST BREAK of Summer is MOUNDS of fun!
 
Lots of KISSES,
 
Your mom LINdt, Step Dad MR. GOODbar and a couple of GOOBERS for brothers....

This was posted on one of my other blogs. The photos and all content are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Homemade Cupcake Toppers

I am all about making my own things if I can. I couldn't find the perfect cupcake toppers for my daughter's cupcakes so I made them myself. I went into my PhotoShop program and found some clipart I liked. I made them into 1 inch circles with a blue border. This made it the perfect size for my 1 inch paper punch. I made them double sided. One side said #1 graduate and the other side said Class of 2013. I then printed all of these onto white cardstock and punched them all out..
 
I then took five different cardstock colors and equally divided them with the amount of cupcakes I was making for the party. We had 70 total. The colors matched the Spring colors theme we had. Pink, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Yellow
 
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Here above is four that I made in the yellow color. I used a 1 1/4 inch scalloped paper punch to punch out the back. There were two of them per topper. I glued the scalloped paper back to back to the toothpick and then glued the designs. One on one side and the other on the other side..
 
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Here above is what they looked like in the cupcake.. I had the cupcakes in the same colors and just switched them up so they didn't both match..
 
This was posted on one of my other blogs. The reason behind the photos w/ a different name on them. They are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Cupcake Tower

For my daughter's graduation I decided against making a cake and had cupcakes instead.. I didn't want them just sitting on the table for people to grab so I decided to make a cupcake tower. I looked around my house and online to see how I wanted to assemble this tower. I decided to use what I already owned. Cake plates and pedestal columns. 6", 8", 10", 12" and 14' cake plates
 
I purchased a roll of light blue tulle in the wedding aisle of Michaels and found some ready made silver bows in the dollar bin there as well. To cover the cake plates I went down the cake aisle and found a roll of plate foil..
 
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Covered each plate with the foil and secured it on the bottom with lots of tape. I then unraveled the tulle and every so often twisted some thin wire and put a glue dot on that section to adhere it to the foil on the plate. I then added the silver bow on top so you didn't see the glue or wire underneath.. I did that for all 5 plates.
 
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Here's the cupcake tower all set up on display at the grad party. I added a string of white flowers around the base to add depth and a 5 inch cake to the top cake plate. All of these plates held 70 cupcakes along with the 5 inch cake on top..
 
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Here's a close up of the tower showing off the decorated plates with the pedestal columns supporting them up. The pedestal columns are the 5 inch tall ones to give enough room for the cupcake and the cupcake toppers I made for them.
 
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Here is the cake topper I added. All of these items were found at Michaels and Party America.
 
This was posted on one of my other blogs. The reason behind the photos w/ a different name on them. They are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Graduation Party Time..

After many months of planning, organizing, making and setting up.. The time has come. My daughter's graduation party.. With ordering balloons, finding a place to host the event, to making decorations, ordering food, finding accessories and more it's time to celebrate the reason for this event.. My baby graduated high school!! HIP HIP HOORAY!!

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Since my ex husband, his younger daughter Ella (my DD18's little sister) and his parents all came from out of state. Hubby and I decided we didn't want them in our home so I found a room to rent at the old hospital in town. It's now a big office building with a Legion Hall. That's what we used. Here above is the entrance to the room. We set my daughter's grad table that she had at the ceremony at the entrance and I purchased three bouquets of grad balloons as they entered the room

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Here above is the favor table and a place for gifts and cards for the grad.. You may recognize these favors as I showed you how I made them in an earlier post.. Each person attending received one.. It has some candy, grad bubbles and a thank you note on front..
 
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I posted earlier about my table decorations I made.. Here is one of them up close.

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My beautiful cupcake tower that I made displaying the cupcake toppers I made as well..

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Food display.. I decided to order my food through Walmart Deli and then I brought a crockpot to add hotdogs for those who would like them. My wonderful sister cut up all the fruit and veggies since she suggested fresh was better.. I totally agree.. 
 
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You can see the food tables in the background. I used grad tablecloths purchased at the dollar store
 
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Colored tablecloths, the 2013 sign and crepe paper was all purchased from the dollar store. Each table had large 2013 confetti I purchased at Party America along with some Thank You mints scattered..
 

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Here is the room totally decorated. We were running late that day getting everything set up and items needing picked up at the store. Hubby put all the hanging decorations up while I picked up balloons and food. I then came back and put together the tablesets that you see.. I love how it all turned out!
 
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Everybody having a great time at the party!! My brother with two of his kiddos came from Washington to celebrate with us.. And a few of my local friends and their families came as well. We had a blast!
 
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Three of my dear friends and me!!
 
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Ok.. here's where the fun begins.. I wanted to do a photo booth or area where we could take photos.. The room we rented had another smaller room off to the side so this made for the PERFECT photo booth. I purchased two large wooden frames as you can see above. Painted one silver, the other gold..
 
Here my sis and I are posing using the frames.. I also purchased several bright tablecovers from the Dollar Store that matched my daughter's color theme. Hung them up like draped along the back wall as you can see above and below here.. 

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See.. my sis loves me..
 
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Found some sparkly GRAD glasses at the Dollar Store.. Here my daughter is being silly hiding behind one of the tablecovers and I'm holding up a frame..
 

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My dear daughter and I 

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Love this photo.. got to love my sis coming in at the last minute.. PEACE!! 

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One of the best parts of this day outside of my daughter celebrating her graduation was having my brother, me and my sister together!! My big sis grew up in a different home. She's 5 yrs older than me and 3 yrs older than my brother. She is my dad's daughter. She grew up with her step dad and biological mother (my dad's ex) when she was 3.
 
I grew up with my brother as we share both parents together. I knew of my sister when I turned 11 but was unable to contact her until I left my parents home when I was 16. I found my sister shortly after I left my home and I've had her in my life ever since. Well after all these yrs we have never been in the same room together.. All three of us so this was monumental and what a wonderful celebration it was!!!! 

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Memories are being made here!! My siblings all together!! I love them so much!! Sis, brother and me! 

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The kids had a blast taking photos in the booth.. My daughter even used her cap and gown as props.. We took tons of photos and made lots of memories.. I'm so proud of my daughter for all that's she's accomplished and I'm so glad that all her friends and family could be there for her special day!! I loved planning it and giving her these memories.. Congrats my beautiful daughter. You deserved it!! Love You!

This was posted on one of my other blogs. The reason behind the photos w/ a different name on them. They are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heartbeat Away
Abingdon Press (May 1, 2013)
by
S. Dionne Moore


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

S. Dionne Moore started writing in 2006. Her first book, Murder on the Ol’ Bunions, was contracted for publication by Barbour Publishing in 2008. In 2009 she moved on to writing historical romances as an outlet for her passion for history. In 2010 her second cozy mystery, Polly Dent Loses Grip, was a 2010 Carol Award finalist and she was also named a Barbour Publishing 2010 Favorite New Author. In 2011 her first historical romance, Promise of Tomorrow, was nominated a 2011 Carol Award finalist.

Born and raised in Manassas, Virginia, Moore moved to Greencastle, PA in 1993, then to Mercersburg in 2009. Moore enjoys life in the historically rich Cumberland Valley where traffic jams are a thing of the past and there are only two stoplights in the whole town.

For more information, visit her Website at www.sdionnemoore.com.

Follow her on Twitter: @sdionnemoore

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sdionnemoore

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/sdionnemoore

My Thoughts on This Book:
I have come to love the Quilts of Love series and have almost all of them. I was excited about picking this one to read as it's during the revolutionary war time period. The story started off great but I really had a tough time focusing on it. I felt even though the story was only a bit over 200 pages, it felt slow and had a hard time engaging with the characters. I put the book down for a bit and plan to come back to it to finish up the story. I will post my thoughts on the ending if my feelings of the book change..

ABOUT THE BOOK

When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious goodbye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test—but can betrayal be forgiven?


If you would like to read the first chapter of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.


Watch the video:


AHeartbeatAway - Medium from S. Dionne Moore on Vimeo.

I recieved this book free in exchange for an honest review of this book. No other compensation was given.



Saturday, May 25, 2013

In Emergency, Break Glass

I wanted to give my daughter some money for her graduation gift but didn't want to stuff it in a card.. I wanted it to be fun and creative. Not long ago I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I NEEDED to do this.. My daughter flipped over this so much she doesn't want to take the money out of it!! I am so happy to know that this was the best 'card' she could ever receive..
 
It's very simple to make. I found a frame at the Dollar Store, used my Print Shop program to type in
 
in an emergency
 
BREAK GLASS
 
I then found a couple clipart designs and made a blue shadow behind both $20.00 bills
 
You could use any money denomination you would like to use. I chose $40.00 as her gift since I was giving her more than just this..
 
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She has this hanging above her desk in her room.. We'll see how long it takes for her to 'break glass'...

This was posted on one of my other blogs. The photos and all content are my sole property and not for use by any other person without written permission

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Undeniably Yours
Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2013)
by
Becky Wade


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. Her first contemporary Christian romance, My Stubborn Heart, has been named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's RITA Award. Her newest release, Undeniably Yours, is available now.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted--more interested in art than in oil--she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father's empire.

The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.


Bo's determined to resent the woman who's decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them--her wealth, his unworthiness, her family's outrage--and earn the right to love her.

But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their love--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Undeniably Yours, go HERE.