Ben makes world-famous fresh salsa. Seriously...it's so good, and now all of you know about it and this is the world-wide-web. There you have it. World Famous.
Pico De Gallo Salsa:
Ooh...better go get a glass of water, my mouth is burning from the hotness already! Can't you just taste it?
Sorry, I cannot divulge recipe secrets....we might need to start a salsa business one day and if we gave you our recipe, no one would need to buy it from us (sorry, from Ben, not me...I'm just the taste tester and food photographer)!
Have a great day!
- You'll have to watch it upside-down...sorry. I'd love a setup where I could do an over-the-shoulder view, but my attempts at it didn't go well.
- I didn’t have the two small pieces of patterned paper that go on the inner two pages in my kit. Missed those somehow. But, if you have those, that’s what they’re for. Just ink ‘em and stick ‘em down!
- The inner pages are made from cardstock that I had in my stash. These also were not included in the kits that were passed out at the Event. There are two pieces and they should each be cut to 8 ½” x 4 ½”.
- There’s no sound on my video because I don’t feel right about adding music that I don’t have the publishing rights to. So, stick a CD in your computer and blast it if you need background music while you watch.
- The video is shown in 4X speed…the entire project takes about 15 minutes to create, but you can watch it in fast-forward in only 4 minutes. Ahh the magic of technology.
- I did not design the mini-book...a designer from 7Gypsies is the genious behind the design. So I can't take credit for any cute-ness! :)
I just bought four photos from Elizabeth Bailey (our official Scrap Etc. photographer) that totally define my weekend and show me working my booty off...although amazingly, I look pretty happy doing it!
Thursday I was assigned a registration table, so Paige and I registered all the last names starting with Q through Z. That's Paige in the background....and it looks like she's working harder than me at that moment. Throughout the day I got very good at saying the following:
"You are in group 'A' and this is your schedule for the weekend in the back of your lanyard. You're an early bird, so you'll be taking the Creative Cafe class on Friday night. This is your ticket. Be sure to bring it with you to the class. Your Q & A session with the teachers is tonight after our opening ceremonies, which begins at 6:00 in Tennessee C. Here is your bag and shirt. I think you're all set!"
Then Friday and Saturday, I could be found walking up and down the aisles of our classroom with Group A. I'm just glad to see that i'm smiling in this pictgure, and I don't look as exhausted as I probably was. Well, the photo was taken during our second class on Friday, so that was when I had more energy! We helped everyone make sure they had all the pieces for their kits, picked up trash, and answered questions during each class.
And then there was Saturday night at the SNL (Saturday Night Layouts) fiasco. This huddle photo was taken as I was frantically trying to gather together 15 people to pass out the individual pieces of the 7Gypsies mini-book project that I was supposed to teach. The smile on my face is because we had just made the decision that we would pass it out, and I would show the project, but I did not have to go through creating it step-by-step...there just wasn't time. Which was okay with me! I probably would have completely made a mess of the whole thing. Maybe I'll do a video for my blog about how to make it...and that will make up for not getting to do it in person for everyone.
Can i just say once again that I LOVE these ladies? Everyone worked so hard, and no matter how much we complained to each other about how tired we were and how hungry, and how dilirious, it never stopped us from going the extra mile to help one of the attendees with anything they needed. Three cheers for the volunteers!
All of Elizabeth's photos were fantastic, and I'm proud to say she was my roomie for the weekend and she definitely worked harder than I did, since she was helping in classes, taking photos, and working the register at the store. Whew!
The full gallery of Elizabeth's pictures, available for purchase ($1.99 per image) can be seen here: E Bailey Photography Scrap Etc. Gallery
- How to make a paper accordion flower (thank you Jenni).
- That a class will go on, even if everyone's rub-ons are faulty.
- No matter what it is, food tastes fantastic when you are starving.
- I can function on only 4 hours of sleep...but it's a little foggy!
- The next time I take a creative class, I want to be the "rebel" and make the project my own...those turned out the coolest!
- I like being in charge of people and organizing activities.
- Tennis shoes are much smarter when you'll be standing and walking for 17 hours a day.
- Microphones aren't as scary as I thought they were.
- Trying to give 600 people instructions at one time in one large room is VERY difficult...note to next year's planners---give handout instructions for the layoust on SNL night and let everyone work at their own pace. Then they can socialize as much as they want.
- 1 hour and 15 minutes for lunch and dinner is too short when you have also get ready for the next class.
- I want to learn sign language--for real. We had two deaf ladies and two interpreters in Group A and I loved watching them "talk".
- Amanda Hudson is a great singer.
- I still love Gretchen McElveen's crisp scrapbooking style. So "me"...okay not me, but what I want my style to be. :)
- Wilna is adorable. Her accent and teaching style kept us laughing and on our toes.
- Jenni Bowlin and her family really impressed me. Love her down-to-earth attitude, she's so talented, and was just a joy to be around.
- Vanessa Hudson is remarkably talented, so creative, and still manages to be over-the-top organized--and she always looks great.
- I'm proud to have played a part in introducing Monique to scrapbooking (through Scrapjazz) which eventually led to her store, then the events.
- Heidi Swapp did not dissapoint and brought us plenty of pink, bling and fun.
- Angelia was one of the sweetest women I've met...and I'm so glad I finally got to meet her after enjoying her layouts in magazines since I first started scrapbooking years and years ago.
- Bonds are always created during stressful situations...I loved getting to know the other Scrap Etc. girls...and it was my main reason for helping out with the Event--to spend time with all of them. I really enjoyed our Thursday night pow-wow at the Irish pub. :)
- The little bird on the t-shirts, bags & aprons were so cute...even if they weren't as "round" as they should have been...it's okay Jennifer...no one noticed that the t-shirt folks stretched your image!
- Sometimes, you just have to make a decision and go with it. It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
- Scrapbooking vendors are so generous with their products and time.
- I shared a room with a former "Kelly Taylor"! (only you 90210 fans will be excited about that).
- A $6 McDonald's lunch seems like pennies after a weekend of eating at the Opryland Hotel. A muffin for $4? Really? That must be some muffin. I'll stick to my granola bars.
- Scrapbooking is fun...it still is.
- The amount of money people are willing to spend on products for their craft is unbelievable.
- I love my Scrapjazz girls! It was great to see Ashley, Trish, and Amanda!
- I'm tired of butterflies.
- Phoebe (from Friends) is right. There is no selfless act. No matter how many times I went out of my way to help someone, no matter how exhausted I was, it felt so good when I was able to make something "right" for a person. I hope I was able to make everyone's experience as great as it could be.
Today*, my husband Ben launched a new web site called WingZingers.com. Wing Zingers is a very cool website dedicated to finding quippy political t-shirts from both ends of the political spectrum. Rather than selling shirts, WingZingers.com collects the best-of-the-best from a selection of various online t-shirt stores so you can shop and compare the design options and "zingers". You can even Teebate the shirts by voting for your favorites. With the upcoming election, this site is bound to draw interests from all sorts of "parties".
So, pass it on! Tell your friends. Post about it on your blog. And heck, buy a shirt if you want to--it's hard to resist when you find your favorite zinger....
* - We have a tendency to piggy-back holidays and big events in our family. My birthday is April Fool's Day, Ben's birthday often falls on Thanksgiving, my dad's is Christmas Eve, my mom's birthday is over Spring Break, etc. We even launched Scrapjazz.com on my birthday in 2002 (and incidentally, it made every birthday while we owned it kind of cheated in my opinion). But, I digress. With this obvious pattern we've established, I'm not at all surprised that Ben chose to launch his new website, WingZingers.com, on what else, but Tax Day!
papers, mail, bills, receipts, etc. The "STACKS"
- The 2-minute rule (If it can be taken care of in less than two minutes, do it immediately)
- Have appropriate disposal bins handy where you read your mail (trash, recycle, shred)
- Use a by-date separator to know when to pay certain bills
- Have an "inbox" and go through it daily (or weekly)
- Keep a long-term (this month/year) and short-term (today/this week) to-do list
- Categorize your to-dos. A work-related to-do, a home related to-do, a kid-related to-do, etc.
- Make a next-action list (Ben got this from the book Getting Things Done. It has a fantastic system that we use occasionally...not religiously)
- Each kid gets a bin and they're allowed to put as many of whatever toys they want to have in the bin, but the lid MUST close. All other toys are stored in bins in the basement/garage/etc. Every month or so you give them the option to go "shopping" for a new round of toys. (Alison gets total credit for this idea--which btw my MOPS group thought this was genious!)
- Buckets with photo labels of the contents.
- Toy "check out" and "return" policy from shelves. Can only have 3 items checked out at once before they need to be put away. (I don't actually know anyone who does this, but it might be an interesting experiment to see if kids are willing to go along with it...)
- Boxes, folders or bins divided by school year. Label with child's name, year, teacher's name.
- Portfolio divided by year
- Hang recent creations from clips on a curtain rod to create your own kid's art gallery
- Go back 2-3 years later when you aren't so emotionally attached to *every* art piece and quiz and purge, keeping the best and most special.
- A place for everything and everything in its place.
- If it can be done quickly, do it immediately.
- Clean out your closets/desk/etc. every 6 months. If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it, you probably don't need it.
- Put things away every night before you go to bed.