Monday, April 30, 2012

Sketch/Template #16

Hi everyone! I’m here on the very last day of April to share my newest sketch and digital template. You’ll find the sketch below. If you would like to save the sketch to your computer for later use, please right click on the image and then click on “save as” to download it.

HL_Sketch_Template 16

The sketch was based on this page that I made with the Scraptastic Club Great Adventures kit and add on. I thought the wood grained paper worked really well with the tree bark in the photo.


I asked my friend Nancy if she would have time to help out with an extra example page. As always, she came through! I really love her layout. The stitching is wonderful and I love how she used a vine instead of the tree in the sketch. Just beautiful!


Please click the link below to download the free layered digital template that I created in Photoshop Elements.

P.S. I’m looking for a few girls to help create example pages for my sketches. I’m not able to compensate in any form at this time, but you would get the sketches and templates at least a week early and a link on my blog. Please email me at miraclesmommadesigns(AT)hotmail(DOT)com if you’re interested in participating. I would need you to commit to at least one month. (Two sketches.) Thanks!

Wood Grain Thank you

Sunday, April 29, 2012

32 in 32 (Mother’s Restaurant)

#23 on my 32 in 32 list was to eat at a new restaurant. Ronnie used to work in Downtown New Orleans, and he has absolutely RAVED about Mother’s Restaurant for years. It was even featured on the Man Vs. Food New Orleans episode. (We’ve been to every place on that episode now!)

On April 19th, we had a field trip to chaperone Jordan’s class at the Aquarium of the Americas, and as soon as the buses left we made our way to Mother’s.

Do you know the first sign of an amazing restaurant? A line of at least 20 people waiting to get in the place to order. It was HOT outside too! I even asked Ronnie if he was sure it was going to be worth waiting that long. He adamantly said that it would be more than worth the wait.

We ordered two po’boys so we could share. I ordered the debris po’boy recommended by the Man Vs. Food show. (Debris is the the roast beef that falls into the gravy while baking in the oven.) I asked that my sandwich be dressed and that means that they added fresh shredded cabbage, pickles, mayo, Creole and yellow mustard. “Dressed” means different things at different restaurants. At another local place, dressed means adding tomatoes, mayonnaise, and iceberg lettuce. (That’s what I was expecting.) Mother’s was the first place I’d ever had cabbage on a sandwich. It was surprisingly good! Definitely more crispy and flavorful than iceberg lettuce. I didn’t like the mustard much. I’m not a huge mustard fan but the debris po’boy was still really, really good. It even came with gravy to dip the sandwich in. Yummy!

The debris po’boy was good, but the shrimp po’boy was even better. The shrimp were HUGE, perfectly seasoned, and hot. It also had cabbage, but it was dressed with mayo instead of mustard. That definitely made me happy! The verdict: Seriously, if you’re ever in the New Orleans area. Mother’s is TOTALLY worth the wait. I’m craving another po’boy right this minute!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. My new freebie template will be available to download on the 30th, so stick around!

Wood Grain Thank you

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Up The Levee With A Basket

I am running really behind on sharing photos and stories that I had planned to post here on my blog. I apologize in advance for this hugely epic post!

This photo was taken the day before Easter at my grandmother’s house in Port Sulphur. The kids were climbing the levee to hunt for Easter eggs. My cousin and brother hid the eggs so well that the kids had a hard time finding them at first. Thankfully, they managed to find every one of them eventually.

We had an extra visitor at Easter. This teeny, tiny sparrow. My Aunt found him after he fell out of a tree and she’s spent hours feeding him and snuggling him. His name is Zazu just like the bird from The Lion King.

The kids were just fascinated with him. They each had a turn holding the bird. Jordan was very nervous about it, but Alexis was really happy and she sat still so she didn’t drop Zazu. Brandon only held him for a second before he lost interest.

We spent Easter Sunday at home. The kids woke up really early to examine the loot that the Easter Bunny brought them. They were all still half asleep in this photo. They’re growing up so quickly. I can remember when they were smaller than the baskets. Sigh.

We also held a small Easter egg hunt in our backyard. Of course, we had a quick photo shoot of the kiddos in their Easter finery once they were done hunting. This is the best shot I managed to get. It’s really hard to get all three of them to look at the camera AND smile at the same time!

Brandon’s been doing really well in tee ball. This photo is from his second to last game. He even caught a ball and got an out during this game. It’s so neat to see how far he has come during the season.

Last week Ronnie came home with some “just because” flowers for me. “Just because” flowers are the very best kind because they let you know that someone’s been really thinking about you. They’re different than flowers that they HAVE to order for special occasions. I loved the colors and foliage in this bouquet.


On the 19th, Ronnie and I chaperoned Jordan’s field trip to the Aquarium Of The Americas in New Orleans. We had to wait a long time for the buses to get there because they got lost. We took advantage of the cool, sunny weather by sitting on a bench near the Mississippi River.

We also got to look at some of the ships that were in New Orleans for Navy Week. They had quite a few sailing ships lining the river front and they were gorgeous. I especially loved the pennants and banners hanging from the lines. So pretty! (I’m sure that wasn’t their intention.)

We found Nemo while we were in the aquarium. I managed to get a few decent shots during this trip even though the kids that were assigned to us kept running around and leaving when they weren’t supposed to run off. It was really frustrating!

You know what else was frustrating? Jordan was devastated by the fact that our group contained a little boy who bullies her at school. She cried on and off through the field trip. Ronnie and I kept trying to cheer her up, but she wasn’t having any of it until we gave her cheese crackers to eat in front of the shark tank.

Last night was Brandon’s last tee ball game for the season. Brandon’s team did a great job and I am so proud of my little man. He’s already planning to play NEXT season! He was so thrilled with his little trophy and he loves the tee shirt he got for playing.

This is the last shot of the full team. Brandon is on the left hand side, kneeling behind another little boy. I’m really hoping he gets the same coaches next year because they did an amazing job. I can’t say enough about how well organized the Covington Recreational District was either. Brandon had a wonderful experience!

Wood Grain Thank you

Oh Happy Day!

I managed to get a whopping 3 layouts and 4 cards out of the Scraptastic Club Grand Adventures kit and add on this month. I've already shared most of my projects but I still have two left!

This card was super simple to put together. I cut a few squares and rounded the corners. Then I stamped a sentiment and fussy cut it out. I added a Prima e-line flower from my stash by attaching it with a brad from the add on. I also used two rub ons and a bit of bling to finish the card.

I was going for a kitschy country look on the next card. I tried to make it appear quilted by layering the border strips. I also drew faux stitching to add to the look. I added a flower from my stash and I used a big brad to pull all of the colors together. I used another stamped sentiment and I adhered a punched heart to add a little more interest.

Wood Grain Thank you

Monday, April 23, 2012

Boys Will Be Boys

I’ve been trying to get back into scrapping by doing a challenge or two here and there. I found a great sketch that Holly did at The Sampler and I used it to participate in a challenge. I interpreted her sketch differently so I could use an 8x10 photo of my grandfather and Brandon.

1: Boys Will Be Boys

Boys Will Be Boys Heather Landry

We went out fishing on his house boat last Summer and each of the kids got a turn to drive. Brandon was really thrilled with getting to drive.

Supplies: Crate Paper Toy Box Paper, Ribbon, Chipboard, Stickers, and Buttons. Karen Foster’s Mechanic Collection Screw Brads.

2: The Great Outdoors


I loved Jessica's Instagram themed layout for the past Photoshop Friday. I am always looking for ways to scrap the photos I take with my iPhone! This set of photos was taken after my run a few days ago. I walked back slowly and stopped when I saw good photo ops.

Echo Park Hybrid's Great Outdoors Mini Theme
Jessica Sprague's Photoshop Friday Turn A Corner With A Title
This & That Charming Full Collection
mixed bag tape strips
FRESH PICKED - Summer Borders

3. Enjoy Life


We went on a field trip with Jordan this past week to the aquarium. (I’ll do a separate post on that later!) I got two photos that I really loved, so I decided to scrap them right away with the template from Jessica Sprague's Photoshop Friday episode from this week.

Photoshop Friday Spice Up Your Journaling
Nantucket Paper Pack
Nantucket Trading Cards
Kraft Capers Paper Pack
Printed Tickets Stars & Stats

***The next two pages are Reader’s Pages. They are both by Nicole Wise. She used my hexagon sketch to create this amazing page! I really love all of the different words she used to describe her son. Such a bright, colorful layout.

Colby Words

She also used Sketch 6 to create this darling page that features an adorable paper pieced kite. I really love the long loopy tail that she added to her kite. The photo are super cute too! Thank you for sending me your pages Nicole. I was really happy to feature them.

Flying High

Wood Grain Thank you

Saturday, April 21, 2012

32 in 32 (The Eggplant Update)

I wasted no time working on my 32 in 32 list. On the 11th, I went out and bought my first eggplant. I had to ask the guy at the veggie stand to show me how to know if it was ripe. In case you’re wondering, “The eggplant should feel squishy and it should spring back when you touch it.” “It should also feel heavy in your hand, and it’s preferable to pick an eggplant that still has the root cap in place.”

I asked all of my friends for recipes and advice on cooking eggplant. I was told to salt and soak my eggplant to get rid of the bitter taste. I made sure to do that. Several friends recommended recipes but a lot of them were fried. I don’t like fried food much, so I went on a search for an appealing recipe online. I found this one

I followed all of the recipe instructions and this is a photo of the finished eggplant. I must say that I found the smell and feel of the eggplant unappealing while I was preparing it. I tried to keep an open mind, and when it was finished cooking I served it and took a photo.


I think this recipe was too spicy for my taste. That’s saying a lot because I LIKE spicy food. I liked the slight bit of crispiness, but when I bit into the eggplant it was too mushy and rather slimy. I also really, really didn’t like the seeds. I’m proud of myself for trying eggplant, but I don’t think it’ll make it’s way into my regular veggie rotation.

P.S. The kids didn’t like it either. Ronnie wouldn’t even try it. He said it looked gross.

Wood Grain Thank you

She Loves Clowning Around

Hi everyone! I've been scrapping up a storm with the amazing Great Adventures kit and I have another project to share! I was really excited when I saw how well the colors of the kit matched these photos because I have been wanting to scrap them for a while.

Jordan absolutely adored her Jojo costume from the Jojo's Circus TV show. She wore it for several years on Halloween and she also would randomly ask to wear it around the house. It was the cutest thing and it's definitely a memory I want to keep.

I got my mojo flowing by searching the web for some inspiration. I was really happy to find a sketch by Diana Fisher that inspired this page.

I wanted my layout to have a playful, circus-like feel. I used a bunch of different letters to create a whimsical title, and I added Stickles to the Doodlebug letters. The first word of the title is matted on a sticker from the book that came in the kit.


I also wanted the rub on banner to be a bit longer, so I rubbed it on cream cardstock before cutting it apart. I stretched it by adding the ribbon and brad piece from the add on. I added more Stickles to the banner and the ribbon. The rub ons went on so smoothly! I have had issues with rub ons in the past but these were fantastic.


Don't forget to enter the April Scraptastic Club blog challenges!

Wood Grain Thank you

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sketch & Template #15

I have a new sketch and template to share today! If you would like to save the sketch to your computer for inspiration, please right click on the image and then click “save as”.


The sketch was based on this layout that I created earlier this month with the Scraptastic Club April kit called “Great Adventures”.

HL_Template_Sketch 15

I also sent the sketch to my good friend Nancy and she made this beautiful page. I love the color combination that she used and the lace is beautiful! I really like how she used the yellow patterned paper as a background. So pretty!

the hunt

You can download the template here: 

Wood Grain Thank you

Monday, April 16, 2012

You’re So Sweet

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. I got a lot of projects done and of course, I’m here to share them.

1: Wish You Were Here

I loved the sticker on the card below so much that I decided to design the entire card around it. I layered the sticker on patterned paper and cut it out with scalloped scissors. I used pop dots to give it some dimension, and I stamped with a banner stamp from the Scraptastic Club add on. I added a tiny bit of bling to the rub on to complete this card.


2: You’re So Sweet

The next card is really simple, but I love how it turned out. I wanted to use more of the brads from the Great Adventures Add On so I hand cut three hearts and used the brads to anchor the hearts. Once I attached them, I pulled the sides of the hearts up to make the card more dimensional. I stamped a sentiment to finish the card.

Don't forget that using your scraps to make cards is a frugal and handy way to keep cards on hand for special occasions!

3. Treasured Gold


A quickie "just because" layout. I saw my older Cosmo Cricket Salt Air collection and had an urge to use it. Then I remembered Sharon's awesome take on the Adele song for this weeks' Scrapping The Music blog challenge. I got the title from Adele's song called Rolling In The Deep. The lyric is: "Turn my sorrow into treasured gold." I just used the last two words.

The design of this page was inspired by a sketch that Jenny Evans created for Boys Rule Scrapbook Kits.

4. Lovely Little You


I used a recent Photoshop Friday lesson and template to create this layout. I unearthed a really old photo to use on this page. I thought hand tinting on the photo would work really well with Jodie Lee's new vintage kit.

Photoshop Friday Selective Recoloring
Jodie Lee's Home Sewn Paper Pack
Jodie Lee's Home Sewn Embellishments

*Come back tomorrow to pick up my next free template and sketch!

Wood Grain Thank you

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Don’t Forget The Sunscreen

My birthday was yesterday. I turned 32 years old! Ronnie took the day off and I went to the doctor because I haven’t been feeling well. I have an ear and sinus infection. Yay me! I couldn’t just go home and veg on my birthday so we decided to go bowling.


We had a really great time and it brought back memories. Ronnie and I used to go bowling before we had kids. It’s been a while. I didn’t do too badly. In fact, I even beat Ronnie in one game.


I fit right in with the older crowd that bowls on Tuesday mornings. When we finished bowling, we went out to lunch, and we went to the gym together.

Later that evening, the kids helped Ronnie make a fabulous cake that was iced with blue icing. It tasted blue! They were thrilled to add the sprinkles.


I've been working out at the gym lately, so I completely forgot to apply sunscreen before I went out to run today. So now I’m sniffly and burnt! We have a very cool rail to trail system in our town. All of the old train tracks have been converted into a running, biking trail. I've always been a little leery of running there, but I recently found out that the trace has several monitors to make sure that the runners are safe.


I decided to run my Couch to 5k session there today. I ran/walked the 30 minutes one way and it took me even longer to walk back. (I took my time and enjoyed the scenery.)


That takes care of goal #6 on my 32 in 32. "Go for a run on the Tammany Trace." I also walked across the street to pick up some fresh produce. I bought my first eggplant and I'm getting ready to cook it so I can knock off #29.

What is my 32 in 32? Oh well… I’m glad you asked! This year I plan to do 32 things in my 32nd year. They are all things that I’ve never done, or that I haven’t done in a long time. I was inspired by Cindy’s 40 in 40! Here’s my list…

1. Get published in a scrapbook magazine.

2. Accomplish 1,000 minutes of exercise in one month.

3. Try spaghetti squash.

4. Paint an accent wall in the living room.

5. Make homemade spaghetti sauce.

6. Go for a run on the Tammany Trace. 4-11-2012

7. Read a non-fiction book.

8. Build a raised garden for herbs/vegetables.

9. Set up and accomplish a family photo shoot.

10. Finish the entire couch to 5k program.

11. Attend a NASCAR race.

12. Try five new recipes from the Spark People cookbook.

13. Spend the day on the beach at Lake Pontchartrain.

14. Get my eyebrows waxed. (Don’t cry!)

15. Sew another American Girl doll outfit.

16. Try quilling.

17. Volunteer at the animal shelter.

18. Cook some couscous.

19. Take the kids to Fort Jackson.

20. Run/walk a 5k.

21. Lose another 20 pounds.

22. Spend an entire day without logging on to the internet.

23. Eat at one new restaurant.

24. Buy an outfit that includes pink as a prominent color. (AND wear it!)

25. Get a fishing license and a fishing pole.

26. Attend another build and grow clinic with the kids.

27. Visit a plantation home.

28. Go fishing alone and enjoy the peace.

29. Make a recipe that involves using eggplant.

30. Wear a pair of completely unreasonable heels out to dinner.

31. Take the kids to the zoo.

32. Join a bigger, better gym.

*Well… wish me luck. I’m definitely going to need it! I’ll be back soon with an update on the eggplant and some Easter photos.

Wood Grain Thank you