Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Spring Flower Walk


I like to walk the neighborhood in the spring to admire all of the blooming flowers, shrubs and trees. So pretty!

Here are two cards I made using Taylored Expressions Field Notes. I painted both with Prima watercolors. I think I stamped them first on Bazzill card stock.

This one matched the colors of this old Papertrey Ink patterned paper perfectly.

Such sweet, delicate flowers. Lori Craig really does a fantastic job in her designs with the Field Notes kits.

It was an overcast morning yesterday for my walk, but still pretty as I approached the cottage at the end. 

The sun is shining this morning. I better get out soon!

Blessings, café friends!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Changing With The Change

Menopause is a journey. And it seems like each woman has a different experience, too.

 I thought that menopause was all about mood swings and hot flashes.

 It turns out that both of those were not an issue for me.

I have been experiencing unique symptoms. At first, I was chalking them all up to autoimmune disorders. But after doctor visits and blood work, I am beginning to think that all of these things may just be related to menopause.

I noticed toward the end of last year that I was losing hair. Like, a lot of hair! I could see scalp where I never saw it before. I have thin hair, but I have always had a lot of it. Lately, not so much. My nails were brittle, and my skin looked dull and puffy.

I was also feeling sluggish and puffy, as if my whole body was experiencing inflammation, not just my joints.

And weight gain. Yeah, that stinks. It becomes nearly impossible to lose without severe caloric restrictions.

I started doing a little research and decided to add some supplements to my diet. I am a healthy eater, avoiding the typical American fast food restaurant diet. I do a LOT of shopping and cooking with lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead. I drink a lot of water, avoid sugar, watch my fats and carbs. But I knew I could probably do better.

I began with the Goli gummies. ACV ( with Vitamin B complexes) and Ashwagandha (with Vitamin D complexes). Both of these help support joint health, digestion, and lots of other good stuff. And they taste great, too. Bonus!

About two months ago, I decided to add collagen to my supplement regime, too. I had taken collagen in the past, but it has been a while. I recalled that it helped with hair growth, which was my big concern.

But wow, what I forgot about collagen is that it makes your skin look fantastic!

Here's a photo from Thanksgiving, puffy face and all:

And here's a photo today. Yes, the hair is different, but I also tried to take the photo in the same spot with the same angle.

I can really see and feel the difference. Firm skin, not doughy. And more of a glow. 

As to the hair, the loss has really slowed now and I think I am seeing some improvement. (It's one of the reasons I cut my hair short and in layers...to disguise it!).  

Overall, I would say inflammation has greatly decreased and I feel really healthy. I haven't lost any weight...yet! But I am upping my exercise and restricting those calories. Just a little more vigilant now in the hopes that I can shed a few pounds soon.

Taking care of my health (and my family's health) was one of my priorities for 2021. So far, so good!

Stay well, café friends!


Thursday, April 8, 2021

A Bevy of Beauties


Last week, I showed you a stack of cards I made at stamp camp specifically for the guys. Today, I have a stack of cards I made for the gals!

This stamp and die set from Hero Arts is so dang cute. And if you are lucky, you can snag it on sale at Joann's for less than $8. A steal!

Before stamp camp, I had cut out a bunch of fun mats in white for Mom and I to use on our card fronts. This made it super easy! Also easy? I used a paper pad from Stampin' Up, making it a no-brainer when it came to matching the skirt with the paper panel.

Simple stamping, a little coloring with COPIC markers, a few well placed enamel dots, and a stitched sentiment flag.

Six fun cards done in no time!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Spring Flowers


I just love spring flowers...such a welcome sight after the long winter! I grow a lot of bulbs in my yard: daffodils, hyacinths, grape hyacinth, allium. But the one flower you won't find in my current garden? Tulips.

Why not tulips? Because the deer seem to avoid all the others, but tulips are just too delicious. I've grown some flower leaves and stems, but actual flowering tulip heads? Nope. Those will disappear overnight.

This Heroscapes stamp set from Hero Arts is just lovely! I finally had a chance to play with it at stamp camp.

This set reminds me of our trip to Holland, Michigan for the tulip festival! That should be coming up again this May. Hmmm. Maybe we need to add another weekend trip to our agenda!

Thanks for visiting the café today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Happy, Hoppy, Poppy Easter


Happy Easter! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We had a really lovely Easter this year. The weather could not have been better! Flowers blooming, sun shining, birds singing.

The boys were all here, so we planned a little fun for them on Easter morning...a craft soda and beer hunt! I got this idea from a good friend at stamp camp who also has adult sons, and knew I had to try it, too.

I'm pretty sure the boys thought I was crazy, but I think they had a good time. And Jemma had just as much fun helping them find those bottles and cans!

We dubbed it a Hoppy Poppy Easter Egg Hunt!

After church, we had an Easter Egg Dyeing contest. The winner got a prize...two fresh bottles of sunscreen for the spring/summer season.

Tip: Painter's Tape did not work well, but Band Aids were a great sticky option for egg dyeing!

Ed had a long bike ride, we played a lot of board games, and enjoyed some good meals together.

I made a Lemon Blueberry Bundt cake with cream cheese drizzle. This started out as a lemon pound cake kit from my pantry (and ALDI), but I decided to add the blueberry, bake in a Bundt pan instead, and make a frosting using 1/3 fat cream cheese and the powdered sugar drizzle mix that came with the box. Delicious!

I am so glad I ordered this Nordic Ware Bundt pan from Macy's last year! How have I lived without one for so long? Bundt pans bake cakes much more evenly, and they are so easy to use, especially if you spray the pan with Baker's Secret. 

Going to a bridal shower? Buy the bride-to-be a Bundt cake pan! Need a fun gift for a friend? A Bundt cake pan with a spatula and an oven mitt...and don't forget a can of Baker's Secret!

That's my Easter recap! Hope your day was special, too!

Blessings, café friends!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Number One Done!

I got my first dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine yesterday! My arm was a little sore last night...no biggie.  My Mom got her second dose on Thursday and said she was "sicker than a dog" for 24 hours. I've heard the second round can be tougher, but that usually means it's doing the job.

Michigan has been pretty bad with the vaccine rollout and scheduling. That's probably why our numbers are spiking. We had to drive to Ohio to get ours done, as have many of our friends and neighbors.

Have you gotten vaccinated? 


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Fun, Fast Cards for the Guys

I like to make a variety of cards for all occasions when I go to stamp camp. At the end of day two, I realized that Mom and I had made a lot of floral cards, but we really needed some cards for the guys in our life.

I wanted something fast and fun, easy to assemble.

Die cuts and patterned paper to the rescue!

I've owned this set from My Favorite Things for a while. And then Stampin' Up came out with their own version, which was really cute. So I decided to just purchase the matching patterned papers from SU and pair it with my MFT stamps and dies. 

The bottle cap sentiments add a nice touch. I stuck a few enamel dots on the front to mimic the bubbles.

{Today's Brew: Bubble Over stamps and dies (MFT), SU patterned paper, enamel dots}

Seven cards for my birthday stash!