Sunday, January 30, 2011

This is Part 3 in my blogs on researching your families genealogy. For the first two blogs, click HERE for the "Genealogy: Where To Started" post and HERE for the "Family Tree Maker" post (or click on the label "genealogy" for all three posts). you've talked to your oldest relatives and bought a software program that can store all the information you are going to be researching. Now what?

Even if you didn't buy Family Tree Maker, I suggest getting a subscription to I'm sure you've seen the "I gotta a leaf" commercials. Click HERE to watch it. also partnered a show with NBC called, "Who Do You Think You Are?" Years ago, I bought Family Tree Maker Version 16 and it came with a 1-year subscription to (a $100 value). From what I can tell, Family Tree Maker 2011 does not include a free subscription. I'm sure Family Tree Maker 2011 has a lot of new exciting features but just be aware that there are older versions out there, some coming with a free subscription and some without. Family Tree Maker (any version) and are a nice research duo because the software has a Web Search that is integrated with In other words, the software works with the website to automatically look for information. also offers a 14-day free trial. Be careful though. All of the free subscription offers require you to enter your credit card information and if you don't cancel the free subscription, you'll be charged automatically for a renewal. Don't let this scare you off though. Even as absentminded as I am, I put a reminder on my calendar and canceled the free subscription before being charged a renewal fee. has so many features that it would probably be most beneficial to go directly to their website to review them all. Click HERE to go there now.

In case you don't want to leave this site, however, here are some of the features I found the most useful:

Census Records
Immigration & Emigration Records
Military Records
Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Family Trees
Court, Land, Wills & Financial Records

There are of course many many more and you can also simply put in a name to "Search All Records". The possibilities are virtually endless.

I'm going to try my best to post more blogs about genealogy. As I mentioned before, I'm no expert. BUT, I did research my families history for many years and would like to pass on the knowledge I gained in what was a slow learning process. I plan on posting what I know about the following topics in the future:

Free Online Websites
Library Sources
Census Records
Cemetery Records
Marriage & Death Records
Family Group Sheets
Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Friday, January 28, 2011

Girl Baby Shower

Although it was over two years ago, I thought I would post some pictures from my sister-in-laws baby shower. This was such a fun party to make things for. I loved the colors (pink and brown) and getting to use butterflies and other little creatures. I also tried to tie in the "clothesline" theme that is so popular now.

The invitation. It was a standard folding card. This is the outside of the card. The information was printed inside.

For diaper cake directions, click HERE.

For an additional watermelon baby carriage design, click HERE.

Scrapbook Layouts

Materials: My Mind's Eye Bohemia Blossom Angel Small Damask/Pink paper, Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip card stock, ColorBox Pigment Ink Petal Point Option Pads - Tuscany, Fiskars Scissors 6 Pack Paper Edgers Designer Series, Cricut "New Arrival" cartridge, Cricut "Opposites Attract" cartridge, Stampin' Up Something To Celebrate stamp set, Creativity Journaling Stamps Stampology Clear Stamps, The Paper Company Clear Stamps - Journaling, Prima flowers, BBSBGG Baby Girl Clothes Line Garland

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pampered Chef Chicken Tortilla Soup

I wanted to share a recipe that I have been making lately. My family loves it and it's so easy. I had it at a Pampered Chef party and just had to get the recipe. I like it because I usually have most of the ingredients on hand and if I don't I substitute.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

4 (6") corn tortillas
1/2 C onion, chopped
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 cans (14.5 oz each) Chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, undrained
4 tsp. fresh cilantro, snipped
2 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 C)
4 thick slices fresh lime (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut tortillas into 1/2" strips using Kitchen Shears. Place on flat Baking Stone. Bake 7-8 minutes or until crisp.

Meanwhile, chop onion using Food Chopper. Cut chicken into 1/2" pieces using 8" Chef's Knife. Heat Generation II 4 Qt Casserole over medium-high heat. Spray with vegetable oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add onion, garlic pressed with Garlic Press, chili powder and cumin. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes and chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Snip cilantro using Kitchen Shears. Divide tortilla strips among 4 bowls. Ladle soup over totillas using Nylon Ladle. Shred cheese over top with Deluxe Cheese Grater. Sprinkle soup with cilantro. Garnish each bowl with lime slice to squeeze juice into soup, if desired.

I use regular mild cheddar cheese, not reduced fat.

Substitutions I use:
Garlic Powder = fresh garlic
Tortilla chips = corn tortillas

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Haunted House Layout

This one is a little different but I was trying to use my creative side. Let me know what you think.

Materials: Imaginisce Bazzill Collection Flowers Bling Blossoms Large - Black Tie, Cricut "Paper Doll Dress Up" cartridge, Cricut "Heritage" cartridge, Bazzill 1-1/2'' Primula Paper Flowers - Black, Prima Mango flowers

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

My nephew, son and daughter in 2007 carving pumpkins for Halloween.

Materials: My Mind's Eye The Spider's Web "Pumpkin Patch" paper, Stampin' Up Autumn Apparitions stamp set, Cricut "Opposites Attract" cartridge

Materials: My Mind's Eye The Spider's Web "Pumpkin Patch" paper, My Mind's Eye The Spider's Web "Cauldron Bubbles" paper, Stampin' Up Autumn Apparitions stamp set, Stampin' Up hodgepodge hardware - Aged Copper, Offray Grosgrain 3/8" Ribbon - Black, Fiskars Squeeze Punch Large Circle (1 1/2")

FREE Learn to Scrapbook Class

One of my favorite websites ( is having a free online class.

Sign up today and get ALL 24-lessons absolutely free. In this online class (delivered via email), you'll learn how to create simple, yet beautiful keepsakes that your family will cherish for generations to come. You'll also learn how to organize your photos, where to find inspiration, how to create a scrapbook and SO MUCH MORE! Get the class details.

This is a great opportunity for anyone that wants to scrap and doesn't know how or has had a tough time getting started.

Click HERE to get started!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Halloween Layouts

Materials: Stampin' Up Early Espresso cardstock, Creative Imaginations JUST BATTY Halloween Bats Polka Dots 12x12 paper, Stampin' Up Spiral Border Punch, Prima Mango flowers, Fiskars Squeeze Punch Large Circle Round n Round, Marvy Uchida Clever Lever Craft Punch Mega Circle Two and One Half Inch, Cricut "Storybook" cartridge

Materials: My Mind's Eye Blackbird Collection Halloween "Neighborhood" paper, Creative Imaginations JUST BATTY Halloween Bats Polka Dots 12x12 paper, Stampin' Up Early Espresso cardstock, Martha Stewart Crafts Scallop 3 Dot Punch Around the Page Punch Set, Stampin' Up Circle Scissor Plus, Hampton Art "Journal It" clear stamps, Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip Craft pad, Stampin' Up Photo Corner Extra-Large Punch

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Halloween Playdate

Materials: My Mind's Eye Blackbird Collection Halloween "Neighborhood" paper, EK Success Nostalgiques 12x12 the Attic Collection paper, My Mind's Eye The Spider's Web "Toil and Trouble" paper, Cricut "Storybook" cartridge, Stampin' Up Photo Corner Extra-Large Punch, Colorbok Alpha Chipboard WhiteGL, Stampin' Up Autumn Apparitions stamp set

Friday, January 21, 2011

Halloween Layout using A Child's Year

All the cutouts for this layout are from the Cricut cartridge "A Child's Year". I just love the silhouette look of the images from this cartridge. I wish I could tell you who makes the paper but I bought it at a garage sale and it didn't have any information printed on it.

Just a reminder: You can click on most of the images in this blog to see them closer.

Materials: Cricut "A Child's Year" cartridge, Signo White Gel Pen, Stampin' Up Photo Corners Extra-Large Punch

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BOO! Halloween Layout

My daughter and nephew on Halloween in 2007. Aren't they scary?

Materials: Creative Imaginations Halloween Collection "Pumpkin Patch" paper, My Mind's Eye Blackbird Collection Halloween "Neighborhood" paper, My Mind's Eye The Spider's Web "Cauldron Bubbles" paper, Creative Imaginations JUST BATTY Halloween Bats Polka Dots 12x12 paper, Imaginisce Bazzill Collection Bling Blossoms Large Black Tie Flowers, Colorbok Stkr Lyrd Gltr Title Boo, Stampin' Up Scallop Edge Border, Cricut "Winter Woodland" cartridge, Stampin' Up Corner Punch Extra-Large punch

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valentine's Day Card

I made this card for my husband last year for Valentine's Day. I tried not to make it too "girly", hence the grey and black. The "love" words are a stamp. To make the heart, I first embossed and stamped the "love" stamp multiple times on the pink paper and then cut out a heart using my Cricut. Then, I cut a slightly larger heart in white. I put a foam dot between the two hearts to make it "pop" out.

Materials: Stampin' Up Basic Grey card stock, Cricut George and Basic Shapes cartridge, Stampin' Up Noteworthy stamp set, Stampin' Up white stampin' emboss powder, Stampin' Up Whisper White Craft Stamp Pad, Marvy Embossing Heat Tool, Stampin' Up Stampin' Dimensionals, Making Memories Plaque - XOXOXO

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stampin' Up Valentine Treats

I made 20 of these for my daughter to give away to her classmates at school. These were made with two different Stampin' Up stamp sets. I own one set and my sister-in-law owns the other. We got together so we could each make 10 of each kind. We added the scallop piece of card stock on the back for added support so they would make it home intact.

Materials: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip card stock, Cricut "Plantin Schoolbook" cartridge, Stampin Up "Sweet Centers" stamp set, Stampin Up "Sweetheart" stamp set, Stampin Up Full Heart Punch, EK Paper Shapers Whale Of A Punch Circle 2" (actually punches a circle about 1 5/8"), Stampin' Up Sweet Treat Cup, Stampin' Up Heart Treat Cup

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Altered Frappuccino Bottle and Card

This was a Valentine's present that I made for my daughter's teacher. The bottle is a Starbucks Frappuccino bottle. I had fun decorating and drinking the contents! I'll fill the Starbucks container with chocolates. The heart and swirl stamps are all Autumn Leaves, although I can't remember from what collection.

Materials: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip card stock, Stampin' Up Pretty in Pink card stock, Stampin' Up Full Heart Extra-Large Punch, Stampin' Up Scallop Trim Border Punch