fried maters & lemon spaghetti

Bert and I made dinner together tonight and boy was it yummy! We share the cooking responsibilities in our house as we both enjoy making and trying new entrees. Today we joined forces: Bert made a delicious lemon spaghetti recipe and I made some "fried green maters". Bert tried the lemon spaghetti recipe from food network's Giada De Laurentiis cookbook Everyday Italian. This is a keeper! We found some green tomatoes at the Mesa community farmer's market yesterday so, I just had to try them. I've never made them before and after browsing some recipes online I found you can cook them a few different ways. Some say cornmeal, some just flour, some with breadcrumbs. I choose to make them like fried eggplant (my fav!). I dipped the sliced tomatoes into flour, egg and breadcrumbs, then fried them up. The verdict? Yum! After I got over the fact that they were tomatoes and not eggplant, I really enjoyed them. What a great new fried treat (not that I really need a new fried treat)!


fountain hills great fair

Bert, Craig & I visited our friends Carla & Mark of Black Mountain Jewelry Company at the Fountain Hills Great Fair last weekend. It is a three day art fair held in February and features 480+ artisans and attracts 200,000+ visitors. In addition to the art fair, the annual Hot Air Balloon Rally launches from Fountain Park on Sunday morning. I really wish we could have taken the boys to see this. They would have loved it. But, lift off was at 8am and we didn't wake up until 7:30 making it impossible to get there in time. When you have kids the last thing you want to do it wake them up in the morning before it's time!

Black Mountain Jewelry debuted their new Peace & Love jewelry lines at the show. I fell in love with the sweet and simple peace sign charm above. They had a few other variations but, the simplicity of this one made it my favorite. I have been wearing it since Saturday!

In addition to being at the fair this month, Carla Vaughn-Mead wrote a featured article in Soft Flex Company's Spotlight On ... section online. Her article Do you want to turn your jewelry hobby into a Full-Time business? Three important steps to take is really well written and offers a ton of suggestions and resources. Take a look - it's well worth the read!


eco-friendly beading wire

We at Soft Flex Company are thrilled to present the world's first eco-friendly beading wire! Go Green! Go Extreme! The new Soft Flex® Extreme™ Flex Wire is free of heavy metals and can be recycled. We love this planet and want to leave it a better place for our children and future generations of beaders. There has been a lot of buzz about our new wire lines and we are so very thankful for the support. Soft Flex® Company supports reducing, reusing and recycling. Learn more about Soft Flex Company's green practices. We are delighted to lead wire manufacturers to think and rethink how they can go "green" and are happy to be the leader in a cause that matters so much.

final wedding invitation design

Here is the final wedding invitation design for Kelly & Joe! All shipped out and arriving in guests homes shortly! Wedding invitations are your guests' introduction to the unique ambiance of your special day. I can create customized wedding invitations you are sure to treasure. Kelly and Joe's invitation package is printed on beautiful Eco-Friendly 100% recycled paper that consists of 30% post-consumer waste, this nice cool white has an eggshell finish. The black envelope and enclosure card are also made from recycled paper with at least 30% post-consumer waste. Email me for invitation pricing and to get started!


design: software image package

Out of the blue one day I received a call about some freelance design work. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I received the lead due to a recommendation from a previous client. It was nice to know my client was pleased with my abilities enough to recommend me. It's great to stretch your creativity and work on new designs with new clients. Extra time can be tough to fit in to our daily lives sometimes but, for me it is definitely welcomed.

This particular design job called for a logo, icons and a software image package.


happy weekend

Our happy weekend began with Bert's birthday
~Happy Birthday Baby!~

Friday the 13th was Bert's birthday. He woke up to Ethan & I singing "Happy Birthday" and Hudson yelling for Ethan & I to stop singing. Once the song was done Ethan replied "That means it's my birthday next! April 7." Hahaha. Whoa - slow down kiddo let's celebrate dad's birthday first! Bert also awoke with a little gift of strep throat from yours truly ~ sorry!!!

We made a good day of it anyway. I got the kids off to daycare, then we spent the morning relaxing. After some antibiotics, we went shopping for Bert's birthday gift and to see a movie. Bert choose a SimpleTech [re]drive external hard drive, an energy-efficient, resource-conscious external hard drive made with renewable, naturally grown bamboo and recyclable aluminum for his gift and is pretty stoked about it! After shopping we headed to the movies to see Slumdog Millionaire. I didn't know much about the film - other then it was good. Well it was great, we loved it. It was entertaining and powerful.

After the movies, Bert's mom came by for dinner (cheese pizza from our favorite friday night take-out Red, White & Brew ~ yum!) and and an oreo blizzard cake from Dairy Queen (double yum!). Ethan said "This is sooo good. Who made this cake?" The kids love them some birthday cake (and me too)!

Our happy weekend continued with Valentine's day
~ such brotherly love!~

The kids got a jump start on Valentine's day at daycare. Friends exchanged Valentine's cards and treats. They thought this fun candy filled holiday was almost as cool as Halloween. On saturday morning I took Ethan & Hudson to a kids sweet Valentine's day party. The kids played, exchanged more valentines and enjoyed some yummy red snacks ... red apples, strawberry yogurt, fruit punch. The rest of the day the boys and I spent at home cleaning, coloring, playing the wii and having a good time while dad was off golfing with Craig, Steve and Steve's father.

After golf, Bert returned home with a beautiful bouquet of roses and daffodils (my favorite!). The red and yellow looks gorgeous together. Thank you sweetheart!

Ethan said the cutest thing when Bert walked in "aww mom, he really likes you!" How awesome is that.?! He followed it up with "dad, you must have gotten mommy mad." Hahaha! I don't usually get flowers from Bert when we disagree so, I'm not sure where he got that idea.

I created this "why i love you" card for my valentine. I saw this idea on a blog I read called small notebook. I really enjoyed expressing all the ways I love you, Bert.

Ethan has been on point with his quotes this weekend. Let me leave with just one more. Bert got a bit burnt on his head while golfing saturday. He had forgotten his hat and being it was a cool day, he didn't realize he was getting red. But boy did he. When Bert asked Ethan if his head was red Ethan replied: "yeah your head is red! that wouldn't happen to me because I have hair." Gosh - he is too much right now! Babe, I love you and your head just as you are. You are sexy!!!


best bead show - tucson, az

Bert and I drove down to Tucson on Friday to visit our Soft Flex Company co-workers at the Best Bead Show. This show features over 100 artisan booths and it a wonderful place to "ooo and ahhh" over the beautiful beads, beading supplies and glass works for sale. Here you see Bert & I posing for a picture with the lovely JoAnn in the Soft Flex Company booth. We had a great time seeing everyone and enjoyed seeing first hand how our new Trios color wire sets and Eco friendly Extreme 24k gold beading wire were packaged and displayed. It looked great!

I purchased this gorgeous strand of Black and White Agate Slabs & Chips from Soft Flex Company to design with. I have no idea what to do with them yet.

I also purchased 2 bookmark findings from another booth and made birthday gifts for my aunt and my grandmother.

After a nice visit at the show, Bert and I headed to Tucson's downtown area for a little walking, browsing and some major people watching. I have to say that Tucson scores some big points in the people watching category - which is one of my favorite pastimes!

We had lunch at Brooklyn Pizza Company which is where we have lunch every time we visit Tucson. The pizza is delicious, sold by the slice and it is authentic new york style. They even hand toss the pies in front of you! We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Brooklyn Pizza Company has gone solar! The new panels generate 24,500 kWh of electricity per year. Way cool.

We stopped by the Casbah Teahouse and I picked up some loose tea: organic green chai, organic peppermint and a tea sifter for brewing. We also browsed a few stores, one was a thrift store which was organized by theme (hippie, western, renaissance, ect) which was really a neat way to showcase all the vintage clothes.

It was a really nice day. On the drive back we stopped at Dairy Queen and Bert & I shared a choco cherry love blizzard (his favorite and only available around valentine's day) and we shared some quality time during the drive. Both Bert & I just love road trips!


fresh squeezed oj

I have been feeling under the weather this week with a very sore throat so, this morning I decided to boost my vitamin C intake with a little fresh squeezed orange juice. yum!

We received this juicer as a hand me down from Bert's grandparents awhile back. I love having the ability to make fresh juice when inspiration strikes. It usually takes about 3 medium oranges to yield a 6 oz. glass of OJ. Since my oranges were small and I wanted 2 glasses I juiced up 9 this morning! Orange juice can be made as a beverage straight from the orange without adding any other ingredients. Today, I made straight up orange juice but I also love making the combo of orange and apples with a splash of carrot juice.

Wow! 9 small oranges and this is all I got! But, it really packs a punch. A small glass of this potent acidic fresh squeezed orange juice should make a very hostile environment for my sore throat bacteria. Ka-pow!

On another note, I just noticed the HGTV dream home giveaway is in Sonoma! I can't beleive I didn't realize this until just now. It's over in a few weeks and this location is to-die-for IMO. Not only is it gorgeous and only an hour from from my favorite city, San Fransisco but, it is also where the company Bert & I work for is located. Winning this one would be so-sweet. I'll be entering daily from today forward - wish me luck!!!


soft flex's secret is out!

I work for Soft Flex Company, a beading wire manufacturer and jewelry supply company. We have been hyping our new product launch for the past few weeks. We unveiled our new items at the CHA show in California last week and at the Best Bead Show in Arizona this week. Today, we let the secret out on our website and the items are finally online for purchase! With the new product launch I also re-designed our homepage as seen above.

We have introduced 9 new color wire sets called Soft Flex Wire Trios. Along with the color wire sets we introduced 10 new Soft Flex beading wire colors. You can now find the largest color assortment of beading wire with 34 color variations at Soft Flex company!

We have introduced the world's first "green", eco friendly beading wire, called Extreme Flex Wire available now in 24K gold. Sterling silver & champagne will be coming soon. This product is not a steel product. Heavy metals are not used in the process and therefore this product is far better on the environment in its manufacturing process.

We have also recently introduced our economy beading wire line for craft and hobbyists called Econoflex wire available in 8 color options.

We'll be launching tons of new free project ideas using the Trios, Extreme Flex and Econoflex wire in February. If you don't know how to use color, we'll show you!

See what my creative friends are busy doing this week:

Sara Hardin (AKA SoftFlexGirl) loves the new colors in Soft Flex Wire! The Trios are SO COOL!

Jamie Hogsett made new earrings!