Newton’s Nook Pet Sympathy Card


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My dear friend Linda’s kitty passed away. I know Linda was very fond of her kitty, and I felt so sad for her.  I made a fall themed card to send her my sympathies.

I had looked for quite a while to find a stamp set for the loss of a pet.  I never seemed able to find the right one.  Then this set came along!  Furr-ever Friends is the perfect (or purr-fect) set to make pet sympathy cards, and the best part is that there is a matching die set (Furr-ever Friends Die Set).  Check them out!

I was super excited to find out that Newton’s Nook is in Wisconsin. I love supporting local small businesses, and this is a great one. I am quickly finding that they have great stuff, they have fast shipping, and great customer service.


I have said before that sympathy cards should not be flashy, and this is pretty colorful for a sympathy card. I really like how it turned out though!

As it turns out, Newton’s Nook is having an Inky Paws Challenge over on their blog, so I will be entering this card.

Products Used:
Stamp Set: Furr-ever Friends by Newton’s Nook
Card Stock: Papertrey Ink white, Stampin’ Up! More Mustard
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Kaleidocolor Ink Pad – Pumpkin Patch
Other: Scallop circle punch, Stampin’ Up! 2 3/8 scallop circle punch

Thank you for stopping by!  Please stop on over at Newton’s Nook and take a look around!


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month



Hello everyone!

Just a  quick reminder for the ladies that follow my blog to be sure to get your mammogram if you have not this year yet.  Breast cancer can be beat if caught early.  Please talk to your health care provider.  With most insurances, a mammogram is a preventative item, so it is usually paid in full. It is so worth it to get checked.

I had a mammogram and ultrasound in March due to some irregularities.  I was supposed to have a follow up here in October, but my insurance will only cover one mammogram per year. I will hopefully follow up in January when I yet again get new insurance.  I hope and pray ’til then that nothing has changed.

Please take care of yourself!


Baked Eggplant Parmesan



I have had this dish at one of our local favorite Italian restaurants, and I have been wanting to try to make it at home.  I found a great deal at the farmers market recently – three eggplants for $1!  I figured it wasn’t going to get any cheaper than that for a test run on a recipe, so I bought them!

I like this recipe because the eggplant is baked and not fried.  Healthier is better right?!

One of the reasons I have held off on making this dish is because of the salting of the eggplant before you cook with it. I was worried I would do it wrong.  It is so easy!  Please allow yourself some time if you are going to make this recipe so that you can cut and salt your eggplant for a while before cooking.  I let mine sit for 45 minutes before rinsing.  I cut the eggplant, salted it, let it sit, and then rinsed it under cold water.

I have to say, I was not feeling anywhere near 100% when I made this, and I didn’t have the fresh basil.  I still thought it tasted great, and Tim seemed to enjoy it as well.

I think because I used smaller sized eggplants, I may have baked it a bit too long as it was kind of mushy.  However, it still had excellent flavor.  I served it over some penne pasta.

This recipe came from Gimme Some at

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning (I use Savory Spices blend, and we love it!)
2 eggs
cooking spray (I did not use this.)
1 25 ounce jar tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce.)
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (I used shredded.)
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped or julienned fresh basil
(I also picked up a small 8 ounce can of tomato sauce to pour into the bottom of the pan.)

OPTIONAL (But recommended) first step: If you have time and want to remove some of the bitterness from the eggplant, sprinkle each round with a bit of salt. Place the rounds in a colander in the sink to drain, or place them on a few paper towels (my choice) for about 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt water, then proceed with the recipe.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. (I had smaller eggplant, and it all fit on one baking sheet.)

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the Panko bread crumbs, Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Dip an eggplant round on both sides in the whisked egg mixture then immediately dip it in the bread crumb mixture until the eggplant is completely covered, then set on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining eggplant rounds. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the bread crumbs are toasted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of an 11 x 8 inch baking dish (This is where I just poured that small can of tomato sauce in and spread it evenly.). Place half of the eggplant in a mostly even layer along the bottom of the baking dish. Spread an additional 1 cup of tomato sauce over the eggplant. Then sprinkle with one cup mozzarella cheese followed by 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, followed by 1/4 cup of the fresh basil. Repeat with another layer of the remaining eggplant, then tomato sauce, then mozzarella, then Parmesan.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn slightly golden around the edges, and the sauce is bubbly. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining basil. Serve immediately.


The Italian Herbs we love can be found here:

Vertical Greetings Thank You Card


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This day got away from me, and I almost missed posting here!

I made a bunch of thank you cards recently, and I have used almost all of them already. It is wonderful to need to send thank you cards! 

This card uses retired Stampin’ Up! In Colors. I love this set of In Colors and use them frequently. 

Vertical Greetings has been retired for some time, but I think it is a fun set! 🙂

Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Set: Vertical Greetings
Card Stock: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding and Strawberry Slush
Ink: Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding and Strawberry Slush markers
Other: Groovy Guava ribbon, Elegant Butterfly punch

Non SU!: Papertrey white card stock, Cuttlebug embossing folder

Thank you for stopping by. 

When Did It All Become About ME?

In reflecting on all that has been going on in the world lately, I have seen some people posting on social media about how we need to pay more attention to the people involved in whatever incident has happened, and it got me thinking.

I have also read that a lot of the people that commit these terrible acts have “mental issues”.  Is this getting missed because people cannot afford health insurance? Is that really the issue?   Were they on meds, and now they are not because they cannot afford to go to the doc to get updated prescriptions or simply cannot afford the meds?  Have they actually been diagnosed with something?

How can we know which people NEED to be looked at or monitored for these conditions?  We cannot just stereotype in today’s society. That causes another set of issues!

What I do think needs to start happening though is that we need to stop being so all about ME.  We need to pay attention to others when they talk to us. We need to help if others need help. We need to figure out a way to know when people need help but cannot or will not ask for it.

I’m not saying to be the nosy neighbor or coworker, but to just look for clues.  Pay attention to what’s going on around you.  If you see something that isn’t right, report it to the police.

I am just grabbing at random thoughts here, but something needs to happen.  Something needs to change. Our country seems on the fast track to hell.

I don’t know when we turned from wanting to be there and help others to being self centered.  I don’t know how we get back to truly caring about others and not just what they can do for us. Life is NOT all about ME.


Slow Cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs


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We had two packages of short ribs from the partial cow we purchased. I figured we would probably just make them with some BBQ sauce and call it good.  That is, until I went out to Pinterest to see what kind of recipes were out there.  These Asian short ribs have a good sesame flavor to them, so if you like that, you will enjoy this recipe.

Now, I know sesame oil is a bit pricey, but most recipes only call for 1 Tablespoon, so it does last a while. I find it to be worth the lil splurge.

I used about 1 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes as that is all I had, and we thought it was plenty spicy for us.

I served this with egg noodles, and I thought it was great.  The meat fell right off the bones, so I ended up using a slotted spoon to get the meat out of the slow cooker.

I don’t think I had 5 – 6 pounds of ribs, but I used what I had. It filled up my slow cooker nicely.  I still used the ingredients as listed even though I wasn’t sure how much ribs I had.  I hope that makes sense.

This recipe comes from Butter Your Biscuit’s blog at

I did not thicken the sauce at the end, but next time I definitely will!


Slow Cooker Asian Beef Short Ribs

5-6 pounds beef short ribs
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger (I used what I had on my spice shelf.)
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 Tablespoon hot chili oil or red pepper flakes
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Hot cooked rice or egg noodles
green onions sliced
sesame seeds

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, then coat in 3 Tablespoons of corn starch (I used all 4 Tablespoons in a gallon Ziploc bag like you would for a shake n bake.). Set aside.
In a heavy skillet or pot, heat to medium high. Add oil, brown the short ribs on both sides. Place in slow cooker.
in a small bowl whisk the soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Pour over ribs in slow cooker.
Cook on high for four hours or low for six-eight hours.

Serve with hot rice or egg noodles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

If you prefer a thicker sauce, before serving remove about 2 cups of the sauce and pour into a saucepan. Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened.


Polished Stone Inspired by Nature


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Today is my Mom’s birthday. Her favorite color is  yellow. Tim and I ordered flowers for her, and the florist did a great job of using mostly yellow flowers.

I also used yellow when I did her birthday card.  My Daffodil Delight in my opinion still comes out looking a little darker than it maybe should, but I still like how the card turned out.

Stampin’ Up! brought back Glossy card stock for us! YAY!!! It is nice to be able to just order it from SU! and not have to make a certain dollar amount purchase on Amazon before I could  add the Ranger brand glossy card stock to my order.  Anyways!

Polished Stone is the technique used on the butterfly. You will see more cards in the near future from me using this technique. I just love how it looks!  What is the technique you ask?  You will need a cotton ball, rubbing alcohol and reinkers.  Put the rubbing alcohol on your cotton ball and then dot some reinker on there.  I highly recommend using complimenting colors.  If you get them too close, you may get a very muddy color, so spread your reinker dots out just a bit.  Then you go ahead and dab that all over your piece of glossy card stock.  I like to let it dry overnight, but most say you don’t have to do that. It does seem to dry a little faster than I remember, but I prefer to just wait.  Then go ahead and punch out what you need, use it as a background piece or stamp on it.  I have seen people use black outline stamps over this technique, and it looks pretty neat.

The flower image was done by using my markers to color on the stamp, huffing on it to reactivate the ink, and then stamping.  It is such a great way to get different colors on your images!


Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Sets: Inspired By Nature and Teeny Tiny Wishes
Card Stock: Daffodil Delight, glossy
Ink: Daffodil Delight and Pumpkin Pie reinkers for the butterfly, Daffodil Delight and Old Olive markers for the flower image, Daffodil Delight ink pad for the sentiment
Other: Butterfly Thinlits, dimensional to adhere the butterfly

Non SU! Product:
Papertrey Ink white card stock
Scallop Lace corner punch by All Night Media

Thank you for stopping by!

Get Those Fall Decorations From a Local Farmer


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It’s that time of year again!  Time to get those Halloween and/or fall decorations up and about if you haven’t already.

We like to go with a fall theme, and even though our landlords tell us we can only have them out for 30 days, we push the deadline to take it down.  We prefer to leave it up for all of October and November taking it down the day after Thanksgiving and feeding our local critters the pumpkins. Shhh….don’t tell our landlord that we do that. 🙂

We like to put up scarecrows, corn stalks, pumpkins, and mums.  The mums I try to get at the farmers market if I can.  Corn stalks and pumpkins come from my dear farming friend and Stampin’ Up! demonstrator Barb. How lucky are we that she lives nearby and has a HUGE supply of fun fall decorations for us to pick from!

I would like to encourage you to not buy your decorations from the Big Box stores.  Support your local farmers.  Buy your pumpkins at the local pumpkin farm or road side stand.  They work so hard to raise their crops, and your support really is beneficial.

Buy local, decorate awesome, and most of all, enjoy fall!

Garlic Beef Noodle Bowls


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This turned out to be an easy and yummy recipe that is definitely in the Make Again pile.  I did not have skirt steak in the freezer, but I did have sirloin steak.  My friend Chef Mark said that was a fine replacement, just be sure to cut it thin and against the grain. I did that, and it was very good. YAY!

I stopped at the store with Tim, and he picked up some lo mein noodles to use with this recipe. Worked out great!  I did not use fresh ginger, but I did substitute ground ginger that I found on our spice shelf.

This recipe comes from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts at

Garlic Beef Noodle Bowls
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound skirt steak, cut into thin strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
8 ounces noodles (udon, lo mein, linguine, etc)
2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Cook noodles according to package instructions.
In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside
Heat oil over high heat in a large skillet. Once hot, add beef strips. Cook for 2-3 minutes until beef is browned.
Add garlic and giner to the pan and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. (Smells so good!)
Add soy sauce mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until sauce slightly thickens.
Add cooked noodles to the pan, stir to ooat.
Sprinkle green onions and sesame seeds over the pan to serve.

Thank You Blocks


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I had a fun time recently picking out stamp sets I have not used in a while to make a set of Thank You cards for a friend of mine. 

If I remember correctly, this is one of the first stamp sets I purchased. It is fun and easy to work with. 

I figured since I was using a retired stamp set I would go with some colors that have been retired for a while now as well. 

Stampin’ Up! Product:
Stamp Set: Thank You Blocks
Card Stock & Ink: Brilliant Blue, Glorious Green, Lovely Lavendar, Pink Passion
Other: Bright Pink organza ribbon, jewels

Non SU!:
Neenah 110lb white card stock

Thank you for stopping by!