March 26, 2009

Things to share...

These are the projects I created using the March Scrap Within Reach kit and their Afternoon Tea collection. These papers (and the kit) are seriously gorgeous and I had so much fun working with them!!! Thank you to SWR for this wonderful opportunity!














Magistical Memories is having a25% off sale...check it out here!

The latest mixer is up at Mix It Up!
I was definitely inspired by this week's sketch! I just loved the straight clean lines and simple style. I opted to adjust the placement of the title and embellishments to better suit my photos while still maintaining the balance they provide. As for the color scheme, I chose to only use 4 of the colors and added white for more contrast. Here is my take on it:

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Notice anything new?
What do you think?

Hope you all have a great week!

Smiles,
Juliana

March 19, 2009

As you can see I have been making some changes to my blog!
I hope you like them, but any feedback you may have will be greatly appreciated so feel free leave me some!
I hope to have a new banner very soon and to share more about the "title" of my blog with you!
I am also thinking about doing a little RAK!!!
What do you think of that idea? ;)

I also wanted to share a couple projects I did recently with some Magistical Memories chipboard. This first one is my take on the 365 challenge. I am doing a LO for each month and they will be somewhat similar to this one with photos and journaling about the events of the month!

I used a really fun crackle technique for altering the chipboard.
For more info on how I did it you can go to the MM blog...HERE!



And if you can guess what "text" I used for my "January" let me know!
A hint might be in one of my previous posts!!!

I also wanted to share the LO I did for the monthly contest "Irish Eyes Are Smiling".
I just love being outdoors with the sun shining, hiking through the woods and spending time with my family! I feel like this LO captures all of these. I had fun with this one too by mixing something old (the Basic Grey) with something new (the new Magistical Memories Art Deco stems).




Here's the scoop on the contest...
"What makes your eyes light up? That is our theme for the March contest. Document either in a layout, mini album or altered project what makes you (or someone else) smile. Whether it's green beer or the arrival of spring, as long as it brings smiles that qualifies. And even if you aren't Irish, we hope you participate! As usual, one piece of chipboard must be used on your project and include something green. The contest will run from March 1 through March 31. Upload into the contest gallery and you could be the winner of an awesome chipboard prize!!"

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all are having a great week!

March 12, 2009

Answer me this...Where is Spring?

I just saw this on my friend Leigh's blog and thought it would be fun to play along...

Two Names you go by
1. Juliana
2. Babygirl

Two things you are wearing right now
1. T-shirt
2. Nike workout pants

Two of your favorite things to do
1. Scrapbook
2. Read

Two things you want very badly at the moment
1. Spring
2. a Dr. Pepper!

Two favorite pets you have/had
1. M'Hardt...my first pet (a big black lab)when I was a little girl!
2. Luscious & Speedo ...2 cats I had for a couple years but had to get rid of when I moved to St. Louis. I couldn't afford the rent plus the extra payments for having 2 cats!

Two things you did last night
1. ordered pizza for dinner
2. played online way too much!

Two things you have eaten today
1. Mexican Pizza from TB
2. Shredded wheat

Two people you last talked to
1. my DH
2. all my co-workers

Two Places You have been in the past year
1. St. Louis
2. some small town in Kentucky where we got our new horse. (not sure the name of it)

(I need to get out more often!!!!)

Two favorite beverages
1. Dr. Pepper
2. Sweet tea

I also got tagged by my buddy Julie, but I am kindly going to bow out of passing the tag on. But I will play along this much...here is my 6th photo in my 6th file. If you want to play along please feel free to do so! Finding this photo reminds me of a LO that I have been wanting to do with this photo!


I wanted to share some scrappy goodness with you all! I was asked to be a guest designer for Scrap Within Reach this month! If you have not seen their products and amazing kits you have got to check them out. Here is a peak of the kit that I am currently playing with. And will be sharing a fun little project with you very soon!


Mix It Up just posted their next mixer! I really had a blast playing along with this one! We are also doing something a little new for each mixer starting this week. From now on each week besides just sharing our layout each of the MIU designers will also be sharing how we were inspired by the inspiration piece and or the sketch. I think this will add a fun little insight into everyone's creative take on the mixer. It still amazes me how everyone who plays along is inspired to create something totally unique from the next person! Here's mine...



Oh, I almost forgot! I could NOT resist this fun little toy! I just got one of these from ACOT in the mail yesterday!!!
I can't wait to play with it! I have been practicing making corners with it and I am looking forward to using it on a LO soon!


By the way, if you haven't noticed, I can't wait for spring to return! It's a tad cold here right now!!!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a great week!

SmileS!
Juliana

March 9, 2009

Total *eclipse* of my heart...

I just finished reading "Eclipse" and it got me to thinking about reading. I have never been much of a reader as an adult. I read a lot when I was younger, but I think as I got older I had so much reading that I "had to do" that I lost interest in reading for fun. I feel like I have just recently rediscovered the fun side of reading, and I am truly enjoying it! I am not a fast reader by any means. I struggle with plots that are complicated. And sometimes I have to read the sames lines over and over again until I "get it"! But I am still loving it! I love getting lost in the characters and their lives. I am anxiously awaiting the 4th book "Breaking Dawn" but I am a little hesitant to get to the end of these books. I know how I want them to end, but I am not convinced that that will happen! I want a happy ending! KWIM????

SmileS!

March 5, 2009

A new me!!!


I got a new haircut yesterday and I will admit that I am feeling a bit sassy! It was a huge change but it is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time! I was able to have 10 inches cut off and I will be donating it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths. I choose them because they tend to do wigs for adult women and 10 inches is a good length for their wigs. I just can't handle having my hair much longer than what it was and it takes at least 12 inches to get a wig long enough that a little girl will want it. So that's why I chose Beautiful Lengths. It is such a great cause, and it really makes me feel good about what I am doing. I am also proud to have been able to do this twice now with the last time being about 2 years ago. I have no idea if I will be able to do it again in the future or not...I guess we'll see!

Scrappy things to share...


more is posted on the Magistical Memories blog.

I did not make the MLS early DT call, but several amazingly talented ladies that I know did! Congrats to all of you!!! And all though I am dissappointed, I have not given up and will be trying out again!!!

I also have another recipe to share...Chicken Tikka Masala. It is straight from Cook's Illustrated 2007 cook book.
Last night I fixed Chicken Tikka Masala and Vegetable Curry (recipe to come in another post) for dinner in celebration of my Dad's birthday. Yes, we celebrate a tad early, but we wanted to surprise him with his gift (a new training halter for his horse) which he totally loved!
This recipe is absolutely amazing and as close to anything I have had in any Indian restaurant I have been to. Not that that means much, but truth be told I really do miss India's Rasoi in St. Louis!
Without further ado here it is... (why didn't I take photos????)

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

SERVES 4 TO 6


This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you presser, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala. The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.


Chicken Tikka

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon table salt

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger


Masala Sauce

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 ¼ cups)

2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon table salt

2/3 cup heavy cream

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in a small bowel. Sprinkle both side of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic and ginger; set aside.

  1. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

  1. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10-18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

  1. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.


SMILES!!!!
Juliana