Welcome. This blog is my little home on the web. It's mostly about my favorite hobby, digital scrapbooking. You might also find some recipes, home decor projects, or parenting woes. But mostly digital scrapbooking.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Last week we embarked on one last quick camping trip for the summer. And we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was a Tuesday when we visited the aquarium, and I was hoping that it wouldn't be very busy. I daydreamed that we'd have the place practically to ourselves. Well, that didn't happen. There were a lot of people, although fewer than when we had previously visited on a weekend. Here are a few pictures.

The sign in the ticket area.

Mediocre picture of the Giant Pacific Octopus.

Another cephalopod, the cuttle fish. We heard from an employee that next spring they will have a cephalopod exhibit. If Miller is still into cephalopods we may need to go back again.

The jellyfish exhibit had a lot of these lighted quotes. I thought they were pretty.

Jellyfish are always fascinating.

But my favorite is always the kelp forest.

Here is Miller admiring the open sea. I actually merged two pictures together on this one.

Here are the two pictures I combined. The bottom picture was free of other people, but I like how is face is turned in the top picture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Favorite Layouts from January 2013

I'm still getting you caught up on a year's worth of scrapping. January 2013 was the Month of Challenges at The Lilypad, a month with a lot of scrapping for me. Here are a few of my favorites.

These were pictures from New Years Day.
Scraplift of Gattaca movie poster; Paper from Oogly Boogly by Kaye Winiecki

This one is about some of the play time Miller spends at home. I was particularly touched by a paper he brought home from kindergarten which said, "Happiness is playing at home." There is a funny story about the right most picture in the layout. It was a sheet of paper that we hung from the ceiling to represent space. Miller has some Imaginext space play toys. I thought that adding a sky would make for a more realistic setting for our play. Well, it was actually kinda awkward and it didn't really enhance our play. But we left the space hanging there for a few days and we took to talking to it.  We'd say, "Hey Space, are you there?" And Space would answer in a deep voice and talk to us.
Month of Challenges 2013 detailed template by zinnias and swallowtails; Project Live, Laugh & Love by Pink
Reptile Designs and Mommyish; They Keep Falling Date Strips freebie by Allison Pennington

This final one was a trip to a local nature area. This was a challenge was to scrap what winter looks like in the place where you live. It was fun to share because where I live in California, winter is just kinda plain looking. The trees have lost their leaves, but we don't get snow.
Billet Doux by One Little Bird; Generations by One Little Bird and Paislee Press
Nostalgia by Paislee Press and creashens; Keepin' It Real Double Templates by Scrapping with Liz

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rice Pudding

I have a favorite rice putting recipe.  It's really simple, and it's made on the stove top with leftover cooked rice. I have made it with leftover rice from our favorite Thai restaurants, but I don't recommend this - it makes for extremely salty rice pudding. I didn't even know that restaurants put salt in their rice.

When I make this, I love to get it cooking on an extra burner while I'm preparing dinner.  That way the pudding can cool while you eat dinner. It is utter perfection when it has cooled to just a slightly-warm mixture.

  • 2 Cups cooked rice
  • 2 Cups milk, separated into 1 1/2 Cup portion and 1/2 Cup portion
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine rice, 1 1/2 Cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy. This takes a while, like 20 minutes. I always walk away and come back several times to stir. Of course, you run the danger of burning the bottom when you do that.  I've never actually burned the bottom, but one time I got what I called "caramelized flakes." The pudding was fine.

Once it is real thick, stir in the rest of the milk, quickly followed by the egg, butter and vanilla.  I believe the purpose of this second portion of milk is to cool the mixture slightly so that the egg can be stirred in completely before it cooks.

Cook for a few minutes more so that it re-thickens a little.  Then pour into a serving dish and let cool.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Favorite Layouts from December 2012

I couldn't just pick two, I couldn't even just pick three. Here are four favorite layouts from December 2012.

My brother and his family came through our town one day, and we all went over to a favorite park.
Big Photo Fun Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Summer Stories and Pocket Stuffers 2 by Valorie Wibbens
These Papers are Super Festive by Allison Pennington; December Bits II by Sabrina Dupre
I Am A Princess by Little Butterfly Wings
This one has pictures from the same outing, but I did a girly page (which was a lot of fun). I just love how it turned out.
3's a Charm Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Diptych, Huntington, and This Much by Paislee Press
Sweet Storytelling free kit by Sahlin Studio

This is a photography page. I love the earth tones of the page.
Optical Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Sweater Weather, Free Falling and Cozy Up by Bella Gypsy
Glitter Sheets by Two Shutter Sisters; Live 365 Funky Basics Cardstock by Gina Marie Huff

Finally, here are pictures from the very last day of the year.  Just out on a little walk. And then had some In-N-Out.
Double Album Templates IV by Scrapping with Liz; Number Essentials 1 by Karly Dudley; Forever Autumn
Paper Pack by Allison Pennington; Foam Stamp Alpha, Fleetwood free kit, Retro Mod Elements, Vintage
  Vogue Elements, and Autumn Sunset Handmade Paper Flowers by Sahlin Studio; This Much (button) by Paislee
Press; Machine Stitching by Julie Bullock

 Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Last year I hung a hummingbird feeder on our porch.  We spotted the very occasional hummingbird. It wasn't too exciting, and I let the feeder hang there, neglected, all year.

A couple weeks ago I happened to see a hummingbird approach the feeder. He saw it was empty and departed. That was my cue to get the thing down, clean it out, and refresh it with new sugar water.  After about a week hanging there, we started to see hummingbirds quite often! And we now have hummingbirds visiting our feeder all through the day.

Of course, I have tried to take pictures of them, mostly from indoors, through a screen and/or dirty window. I didn't get great pictures, and I eventually decided that one problem (besides the dirty window and screen) was that at any part of the day, I was shooting with back light and I would mostly get silhouettes of the bird and the feeder.

So today I ventured out of doors and tried a new angle. I even got my new little tripod out and gripped it to the wall. I played a little with settings ... I noticed the crack in the slats of the wall ... and I got some pictures of a hummingbird.

I have made some observations about hummingbirds through this adventure. They make calls. Mostly they make a clicking type of chirp before they approach the feeder. Whenever I hear this sound, I know I can glance out the window and expect to see a hummingbird. Maybe the sound is to make sure no other hummingbirds object to them taking a drink?

On one particularly busy evening at the feeder I was sitting at my desk, which is just inside the sliding glass door. The door was open and I heard a new sound. It was more like a thrumming sound, lower in pitch and longer than the usual chirp. My curiosity was rewarded as I peered out the door and saw two hummingbirds diving toward and away from each other.  Maybe one was protecting his turf?

I read somewhere that hummingbirds will defend their territory. Thus, a person might want to hang several feeders to accommodate several birds. I'm pretty sure there are at least three different birds visiting my feeder. I've seen birds that I reckon to be smaller and larger.  And on one occasion, when I happened to stand very still on my porch, a pair of small birds came in and took turns at the feeder.

My overall impression is that hummingbirds are very anxious when the feed, constantly looking all around. But I also think their eyesight isn't very good. You can scare a bird away into the tree, but then if you stand still it will come right back and feed.

I'm kinda obsessed with the hummingbirds. I am constantly glancing up to see if one is there. I hope they keep coming for a while and I can practice my photography more.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Favorite Layouts from November 2012

Here are some more favorites from the past year. November was the month I had a guest spot at The Lilypad, and I scrapped a lot that month. It was really hard to choose just two favorites, so I have chosen three.

This one has several pictures of the scientist sporting beards over the years. I like beards.
Big & Bold by Allison Pennington; Keep Calm and Splatter On by Michelle Godin; Tape Ups 2 by Valorie Wibbens

This one has pictures of Miller jumping on the bed, playing a game that we call "clouds."  I fluff up the sheet so that it makes a big fluffy mound and then he jumps into it.  What I especially love here is that it has pictures from when he was about 2 years old next to pictures from when he was five and a half.
Label Templates by Scrapping with Liz; petals no.3 {ziggy zaggy} by zinnias and swallowtails 
Dark Room (papers), Lined Journal Cards, and Retro Mod by Sahlin Studio; Stamped by Kaye Winiecki
The Sketchy Serif by Heather Hess

It is no secret in my family that artichokes are my favorite food in the whole wide world. The scientist often lets me finish his artichoke heart when I make them for dinner. So that alone makes this a special layout. Plus, I just like it.
Olive Tree by Sara Gleason; petals no.3 {ziggy zaggy} by Sara Gleason; Postage Frames by Amy Martin

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Some Recent Scrapbook Pages

Here are some recent layouts.

A trip to our local zoo with cousin.
Double It Up Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Rumpus Kit and Solid Papers by Creashens

Summer swimming lessons.
Double It Up Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Beach Fun SO Collab Kit; Stamped Alpha 3 by mle Card

4th of July activities.
Multi Photo Fun Templates by Scrapping with Liz; Just Add Water by Little Butterfly Wings; Hello Sun by Sahlin
Studio; Sweet Tweet by Kasia Designs; Spring Chase by Kaye Winiecki; Glitter Papers by Two Shutter Sisters
Reflecting by Laurie Ann; Machine Stitching by Julie Bullock; Happy Garden by Gina Marie Huff

Cousin's birthday party.
Eat More Cake, Seeing Clearly Alpha, and I Need Paper Flowers freebie paper pack by Etc. by Danyale
Recyclables 22 by Scrapping with Liz

Marshmallows while camping.
Template Revisited 14 freebie by Scrapping with Liz;
S'more Please papers and elements, Corrugated Alpha, Lemon Squeezy Solid Papers, and Be kit by Creashens

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Favorite Layouts from October 2012

Here are two more favorites, as I catch up on a years worth of scrapping.

Right down the road from us is a milo maze and pumpkin patch during the month of October. In 2011 Miller and I went to the maze with our mom's group. That year the milo grew exceptionally high, and despite the fact that we had the owner of the farm in our group, and she had a map of the field, we got hopelessly lost in the maze and even lost two kids on two separate occasions. So Miller and I were a little bit apprehensive heading into the maze this time around. But it proved to be not as daunting as the last time. We had a great time.

And here is the 2012 Halloween layout. Miller was a jellyfish. I wore my spider skirt. The scientist wore a Misfits t-shirt. By the way, I am a big fan of Halloween candy, and I remember it fondly from my childhood.
Scraplift of Hoodie Time by sucali; Vintage Angles Bonus and Lettered Big by Amy Martin; Outline Word
Art: Halloween by Sahlin Studio; Oogly Boobly by Kaye Winiecki; The Silver Reed Font by Heather Hess
Thanks for stopping by!