Thursday, October 30, 2008

Up to No Good On Mischief Night

I was watching Miss Kelly Ripa today and she mentioned that Oct. 30 is known as Mischief Night. She said growing up in her hometown, the kids would warm up for Halloween by pulling small pranks like tee peeing houses and overturning cars on their local bank's front lawn.

While I've spent the night wrapping treats for my co-workers and putting together my Halloween ensemble, I did have a momentary lapse in judgment. Call it mischief, call it curiosity, but I just couldn't wait any longer. The temptation was just too great.

So I gave into it... and before I knew it, my poor little dog found herself tied, velcroed, and coiffed for the big day. There was only one little problem... Halloween is not until tomorrow!

My sister Laurie bought Lexus this hot pink wig. I thought it would look cute with her Daisy Duke halter top and rhinestone-encrusted jean skirt. Just so you know, I never got the halter top on her!

And just for fun, I tried on her Shrek costume. I can't decide which costume she looks more scared in! Good thing I didn't pull out her Princess Leia ensemble. Those buns would have never stayed on!

So here's to a productive Mischief Night. I can't wait to see what's in store for Halloween!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let's Dish About PC Gourmet!

As a magazine editor, I have the privilege to experience an issue in all of its glorious stages. From concepting it, to the day Brenda (our exceptional editorial assistant) plops the magazine down on my desk, it never gets old. Maybe that's because there's always another one coming down the pipe!

And since we're always trying to make each and every issue better than the last, when it came time to come up with our book idea for the year, we all unanimously said, "Let's do another PC Gourmet!" And so we have! This time it's a 176-page cookbook packed with over 50 scrumptious recipes and 100 complementary projects!

And since I'm all about sharing the love of food, here's an exclusive PC Gourmet recipe and project from our uber talented Paper Crafts Pro Alisa Bangerter:

Cheesy Garlic Drop Biscuits

This is a perfect recipe to pull out if you are short on time because there is no rolling or cutting. The cheese and garlic add extra kick to a plain biscuit, and kids love them. They are the perfect accompaniment to serve with soups or stews, and are great served with a salad.


2 c. flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. butter or margarine
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 c. milk
Chives (optional)


Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry cutter until mixture is fine. Add cheese and mix well. Add milk and stir until just moistened. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Sprinkle top with chopped dried or fresh chives if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for approx. 15 minutes.

And if any of you are feeling crafty, here's Alisa's cute tag that's perfect for All Hallows Eve:

Enjoy Halloween Tag

SUPPLIES: Cardstock: (ivory) Dye ink: (Black) Stewart Superior Corp.; (Summer Sun) Stampin Up! Specialty ink: (Mango Lemonade color wash) Stewart Superior Corp. Color medium: (black chalk) Craf-T Products Accents: (black brads) Making Memories; (chipboard bat, moon) Melissa Frances Fibers: (black striped ribbon) Pebbles Inc. Font: (Black Family) Adhesive: (foam tape) Finished size: 3" x 4 1/2"

1 Make tag from cardstock. 2 Crumple tag and smooth out. Spray edges with color wash; let dry. Apply chalk. 3 Ink chipboard moon; let dry. Chalk edges and adhere. 4 Ink chipboard bat; let dry. Adhere with foam tape. 5 Print sentiment on cardstock; trim and tear edges. Chalk edges and adhere with foam tape. Attach brads. Attach ribbon with brad.

Like what you see? Want to see more paper crafted yumminess? Make sure to visit Paper Crafts' online store where you can purchase your very own copy of PC Gourmet. Did I mention they make great holiday gifts? How easy is that!


P.S. BTW, if you're related to me, there's a good chance Santa is bringing you a copy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Daisy Duke, Here I Come!

Lexus is so excited for Halloween! Since we're just a week away, she wanted me to sneak peek a portion of her costume. Who knew they made hot pink wigs for dogs? Since I know many of you are wondering how it stays on, it has an adjustable elastic strap that fits snugly under her chin.

If you think this is adorable, wait until you see the entire ensemble! Lexus told me she really wanted to go back to her rural Texas roots, so her wish is my command. Make sure you check back with us next Friday for the big reveal! (Think Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard! You know, if Jessica had hot pink hair!)


P.S. Does anyone know if they make toenail polish for dogs? It has to be fast drying!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Name That Editor... Me!

I wrote about my recent promotion a few weeks ago. While I'm settling into my new role quite nicely, there's one thing that's still missing... my title.

Technically it's "editor", but since that doesn't quite encompass all that I do, we've put together a little contest where our readers will decide my new title!

Yes, I "doctored" this little photo. It use to say "Celebrate World Card Making Day"!

To get our readers' creative juices flowing, I suggested a few names like "Web Wonder Woman", "Paper Crafts Cyber Girl", "Gallery Goddess", and my favorite..."Mistress of the Message Boards"!

And although the contest has only been going on for a day, the proposed titles are flooding in! Some standouts are "Super Cyber Specialist", "Cyber Czar", "Web Crafter Extraordinaire", "Digital Diva, and my favorite... "Queen of America"! (We're voting for a president in a couple of weeks. I wonder how hard it would be to add "Kelly Smith, Queen of America" to the ballot.)

And since this is a democratic society, we're accepting all title suggestions until next Monday, Oct. 27. From there, voting begins and my new title will be announced on Election Day, Nov. 4. To join in on the fun and perhaps win some cool prizes, visit Paper Crafts web site.

And check back here on Election Day. Maybe my dreams of becoming "Queen of America" will come true!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alice in Wonderland

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." -Albert Camus

My sister Laurie is a budding photographer. She recently purchased a very expensive camera, enrolled in some photography classes, and started her own professional blog called Life Through A Lens. Last week while she was visiting me in Utah, she contacted a local photographer (Liz Frandsen) whose work she has admired for some time. Her goal was to just observe, but Liz turned the camera on Laurie and literally made her a princess for the day.

"Autumn... the year's last, loveliest smile." -William C. Bryant

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." -Elizabeth Lawrence

Aren't these photos AMAZING?! And what's even more remarkable is the snow is REAL! I thought our fluke snowstorm would totally wreck havoc on their photo shoot, but it actually made the landscape that much more picturesque and poetic.

If you're interested in seeing more pictures from this magical day, Liz's blog is called Life|Elizabeth Taylor Frandsen.


P.S. Laurie, you looked more than awake... you looked ALIVE!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I *Heart* Coca Cola!

There's sort of this running joke at work. Every morning, as soon as I sit down at my desk, I pop open my can of Coke and pour it over chilled ice cubes in my Coca Cola thermos. And as soon as I do it, I hear Brenda say over my cube wall, "Oh, Kelly's here!"

What's even more funny is I have left this thermos in so many places over the years (bathrooms, friends' cars, parking lots), but it always mysteriously finds its way back to me. Some might called it destiny or fate. I call it divine intervention. Coke and I were meant to share this life together. It's as simple as that.

Last weekend I went to the BYU-University of New Mexico football game down in Provo. As a former cougar, I always have mixed feelings about entering "P-Town". Yes, I have a lot of fond college memories, but I also had to routinely sneak REAL Coke onto campus (they only serve caffeine-free), and that required a lot of clever maneuvering, which got really old after four years. I often wonder if it had been readily available to me, would I have drunk less of it? Hmm... Maybe that's where my addiction started - at BYU!

So when my friend and I passed this concession stand on the way to our seats, I just had to snap a picture! I was half tempted to color in the word "free" with a black Sharpie and watch all the Cougars gasp in mortification!

But since it was so cold that day, my usual need for Coke was overruled by my need to stay warm, so I happily sipped on my hot cup of cocoa! (And therefore broke no rules!)

I'm off to go find my lucky Coca-Cola thermos for work tomorrow. Now where did I put it...


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Am I Too Sexy?

Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong from the minute you get out of bed? Like when you stumble to the fridge for an icey cold Coke and you step in a little "present" your fur ball left you during the night. I came across this quote the other day and it totally lifted my spirits. Maybe it can help you too!

And now I have a new appreciation for my dog. She's not trying to be an annoying pet. She's just trying to keep me grounded... because apparently I am TOO SEXY and that has to stop!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

...But Fancy Was My Name!

Last Friday night my friend Alex and I went to the Reba/Kelly Clarkson "2 Worlds 2 Voices" concert! I'm a big Reba fan and since Kelly literally grew up in my neighboring town in Texas, I consider her one of my close personal friends (not to mention she has a kick a** name!).

So when I heard that these two powerhouses we're coming to town, I had no problem shelling out the dough. And it gave me a great excuse to answer this question: "So Kel, why you wearing the cowboy boots today?" "I'm going to Reba!"

My mom gets told a lot that she looks great for her age (we used to get asked if we were sisters!), but Reba is definitely blazing the trail for hotties over 50! I googled her biography and she's actually six months older than my mom! Maybe it's the fiery red hair and spitfire personality that's keeping her young!

My namesake literally blew me away. You've seen her on American Idol. You've heard her on the radio. You probably own all three of her platinum selling Cd's, but nothing compares to hearing this girl belt it live on stage. She reaches down into the very marrow of her bones and pulls out the most amazing, pitch perfect notes. She's so good that I even caught Reba shaking her head in disbelief!

How's that for a picture! Of course the lens on my camera was at its maximum zoom potential!

What was so cool about this concert was the format. It wasn't Kelly on stage for an hour, followed by Reba for an hour. It was the two of them side by side, from the very beginning to the very end. In between their harmonious duets, Kelly would sing backup for Reba, and Reba would return the favor for Kelly. No egos, no set changes, no fireworks or gimmicks. Just two amazing singers doing what they do best - entertain! And yes, they closed the show with "Fancy" which absolutely brought the house down. (And for those of you wondering the opening line to the title above it's: "You know I might have been born just plain white trash... but Fancy was my name!")

And since we were down on the floor (row 25), I had to snap a photo of our VIP wrist bracelets!

Are any of you Reba/Kelly Clarkson fans? If so, what are your favorite songs?

Here's mine:

1. Fancy
2. The Greatest Man I Ever Knew
3. Why Haven't I Heard From You
4. She Thinks His Name Was John
5. Does He Love You?

1. Behind These Hazel Eyes
2. Breakaway
3. Beautiful Disaster
4. The Trouble with Love Is
5. Anytime


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little vs. Lexus: Let the Games Begin!

By now you've all been introduced to Little and Lexus. At one point they were rival sisters, each vying for mom and dad's affection. One had the clear advantage of being the only child for many years and therefore was used to getting her way.

Then the real baby came along and everything changed. Suddenly a puppy dressed in a frilly dress wasn't nearly as cute as a tiny person dressed in a frilly dress. And no matter how hard she tried, Lexus couldn't help but resent this new "creature" who seemed to have mom and dad wrapped around her little slobbery finger.

So that's how Lexus came to live with PK. PK still thinks there's nothing cuter than dressing up small pups. And as much as Lexus hates admitting it, there's just something so right about slipping into a terry cloth robe after a hard day's work of gnawing on bones and listening to that da** Rafiki gripe about how Simba stole his thunder in The Lion King.

So last weekend when Little asked, "Where's my dog?", what was PK supposed to do? Disappoint a two-year-old? Never!

And while the reunion didn't go quite according to plan (Little wanted Lexus to play tea party; Lexus wanted Little to croak on her tea), the two of them "attempted" to play nice.

But Lexus' real friend for the night was Papa! (which is hilarious since Papa really doesn't care for dogs - especially hyper ones who love to give kisses directly on the mouth!)

So despite the ongoing Little/Lexus feud, PK still managed to have fun with Little. (Notice the cute Halloween outfit courtesy of Mimi. It even came with candy corn socks!)

But who needs candy corn socks when you're a stylish toddler with pretty painted toe nails? Too bad cousin Carter wasn't in the mood for pink toe nails. Maybe next time!

And maybe next time Little and Lexus will kiss and make up over a cup of English tea!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

America's Next Top Toddler

This past weekend my cousin's daughter "Little" McCall Dame visited Salt Lake City with her mom, my aunt and uncle, and two cousins. McCall affectionately refers to my aunt (her grandma) as Mimi and my grandma (her great-grandmother) as Gigi.

It's been six months since I've seen this little tot and not only has her vocabulary drastically improved in this time, but she's also developed quite the taste for fashion. (Of course, it helps when your Mimi loves to shop and spoils you rotten!)

After our yummy dinner at Gigi's and a dip in her indoor pool, Little was getting ready for bed, but became quite distracted by the contents of Mimi's overflowing brown bag. Peeking out from the top was something pink and frilly and totally girlie. And since Mimi was in the other room, one little peek wouldn't hurt anyone...

But then Mimi caught us red handed, but instead of being angry with us, she joined in on the fun, and getting ready for bed soon turned into "McCall's Fashion Show".

With her ballerina crown in place, Little twirled and danced to her reflection's delight.

And every ballerina princess needs a magic wand to complete the ensemble.

I couldn't resist snapping this shot! Mimi also brought a miniature tea set with her, so in between twirling in front of the mirror, Little would serve everyone a cup of tea. When you would say "This is the best tea ever!", she would reply, "It's not tea - it's water!" What made the statement even more funny was there was nothing in the tea cups!

Even Papa (my uncle) had fun with the pink boa Little wrapped around his head.

The next outfit was a little jumper that Mimi sewed for Little. The collared shirt had zoo animals on it and clever Mimi even found a tiny stuffed animal lion to sew into the pocket.

And we saved the best for last - The Little Mermaid. McCall's middle name is actually Ariel, so she 100% believes that she is THE Little Mermaid! And of course, out came another wand!

And since modeling can be so exhausting, Little helped herself to a yummy snack to keep her energy going. (This is one fashionista who has more important things to worry about than watching her figure!)

McCall, thanks for the magical evening of fairy ballerinas, tea parties and sparkling mermaids!


P.S. Stay tuned for my next post where Little discovers PK is the one who has HER dog! McCall: "PK, where's MY dog? Can we go see MY dog? I need MY dog!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

And the Winners Are...

Congratulations to Jenn ( and Mandy (!

You are my two WCMD winners and will each receive a copy of Cards, Gifts & More: Paper Crafting 3 Ways!

I will be e-mailing you shortly for your mailing addresses. If you don't receive my e-mail by Monday, October 6, please leave me a comment here and I'll try to track you down.

Thanks to all of you who left your comments and took time to visit the World Card Making Day web site. I hope each of you enjoyed the holiday and did something special to commemorate it.

I spent WCMD doing a little retail therapy. And while I don't have any cards to show for the day, I do have new outfits that will no doubt inspire me to create my next paper crafted masterpiece!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I *Heart* Gingham! (Not!)

My good friend and former co-worker (sniff) Megan Hoeppner totally outed me on her blog. But truth be told, I was going to fess up and come clean. Something this BIG cannot stay locked up. It must be told... It must be revealed... It must be purged!

So what's my little dark secret? Prepare yourself. It's not going to be pretty. It's actually very un-American. Are you ready? I... (deep breath) hate.... gingham. Yep, I said it. I hate gingham. I don't what it is, but there's just something about this pattern that totally makes me want to stick my tongue down my throat and yack all over it. Seriously.

What's even more ironic is gingham seems to be gaining popularity - at least in the paper crafting community. More and more submissions are dripping in bloody gingham. It's on paper, it's on ribbon, it's even on brads. My sweet brads! What has the world come to my friends?!

Well, I'll tell you. It all started with my monthly card group (may you rest in peace). We hadn't met in several months, so when it came for our final card swap, I owed three cards. Three cards x 10. You got it - 30 total. And it didn't help that I literally sat down to create said cards the night before. This is where I fell off the "I hate gingham wagon."

It was approaching 3 a.m. I was down to my last card. I knew I wanted to use this adorable cowgirl stamp. I kept pairing it with different patterned papers, but nothing seemed to click... until I tried it with the dreaded red/white gingham. And while I'm still not sure HOW gingham appeared in my stash, it actually saved my butt, so for that, I'm grateful!

Here's the final gingham masterpiece. While I won't be endorsing it anytime soon, perhaps I can at least keep my lunch down at our next submissions judging meeting.

And here's all three cards. I'm afraid the art direction of Paper Crafts' Stace Hasegawa has rubbed off on me. Plus, I've been looking for an excuse to show off my cake plate!