Altering my family chili recipe for our vegetarian lifestyle


Come celebrate Blogtoberfest with me all month!

As today is World Vegetarian Day, the kickoff to Vegetarian Awareness Month, I created a layout to celebrate one of my family’s favorite meat-centric recipes that I have changed to accommodate our vegetarian diet.

When I made my mom’s chili for my college friend, Jim, he loved it and dubbed it “Daquili” (for my maiden name, Daquila). I’ve made it ever since—very often in the colder months. But when we took on a vegetarian diet a few years ago I couldn’t give up on my chili. So I’ve recreated it without meat, and now we call it Daquili v. 2!

Celebrate Blogtoberfest with me all month!

This October I celebrate four years of scrapbook blogging! And that makes me feel like having a little party, so I’m hosting Blogtoberfest. Sorry, you’ll have to supply your own beer and brats, but I’ll bring the paper-crafting inspiration:

  • sketches
  • tutorials
  • product reviews
  • free cut files
  • a giveaway: I’ll reveal the details a little later

“Roll out the paper.
We’ll have a barrel of fun!”

I do hope you’ll join me often this month and help me celebrate the good things that scrapbooking brings to our lives.

Our shared graduation party


What a big day high school graduation is in the life of a teenager...and his/her parents!

My younger brother and I went to school together. And by that I mean that we started first grade on the same day in 1973 and graduated high school on the same day in 1985. In fact, we started and graduated college on the same days as well, but that’s a story for another day. We essentially attended school as twins, even though we’re 13.5 months apart in age (because Phil started a year early).

So of course we celebrated our graduation party together. Mom and Dad put together a lovely fête in our Willoughby, Ohio, back yard and invited our friends and relatives. The top photo is of Dad, me, Mom and Phil. The bottom photo includes our grandparents on Mom’s side (seated), our Uncle Earl and Aunt Mary Lou, our Nana on Dad’s side and our Aunt Rose.

Product/technique notes

I created this layout to participate in the Scrap & Play challenge #9. The patterned papers are from a K&Co Amy Bulter pad and the journaling card, stickers and washi tape are from My Mind’s Eye’s “Now & Then: Dorothy” collection. I cut the title on my Silhouette, and the border punches are by Martha Stewart and Fiskars.

I heart dandelions


I consider myself quite good at turning a frown upside down, such as by liking the existence of weeds in my yard!

Seriously? It sounds weird, I know. But I really have always liked dandelions. Of course if stems from childhood. Instead of having the adult reaction of annoyance at seeing them in my yard, I think of being a kid and feel an impulse to run over, pluck them and blow their fuzzies off!

But there’s more than that. Dandelions are rather cool, really versatile plants. The University of Maryland Medical Center website says:

While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a pesky weed, it’s chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.

Product/technique notes

The papers I used for this page all come from different companies. From the background up: Bella Blvd, Little Yellow Bicycle, Studio Calico and BasicGrey. The washi tape is WRMK, the 3×4 card is Simple Stories and the stars stamp is Shimelle Laine for Two Peas in a Bucket. I designed and cut the title with the Silhouette Cameo.

Greenfield Village


I did a little reading about Greenfield Village while I was creating this layout, and it made me want to go back as an adult!

I’m so grateful that Mom and Dad always put in such effort to plan fun and educational summer vacations for us, like this one in August 1978 that included a day at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. In the left photo Phil and I are posing with a statue of President James A. Garfield, and in the right photo we’re being dramatic in a gazebo that was used for musical performances.

Product/technique notes

I used the following sketch from Creative Scrappers’ Birthday Bash and papers from the My Mind’s Eye “Miss Caroline” collection. I created the title on the Silhouette and added a bit of Studio G washi tape and a Martha Stewart butterfly punch.
Creative Scrappers sketch I used

My first Easter


Uncle Joe is showing off his new great-niece on Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967.

My mom lived with her Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Joe while she attended school at Geneva College in their home town of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. This is the same town where my father grew up and then also attended Geneva. So once they had married and moved away from Pennsylvania, my parents always looked forward to going back to Beaver Falls for holidays.

Easter Sunday was on March 26 in 1967, so I was just four months old. After going to morning mass, my parents took me around to the relatives for little visits. These photos are with Aunt Mary Lou, Uncle Joe and two of their three sons (Tom and Dick), and the photo shoot took place in their front yard.

These photos are very special to me because I’m pretty sure they’re the only ones I have of my Uncle Joe. He always made me feel so special when we visited their house, and I loved him dearly. But we lost him quite young because his heart couldn’t hold out long enough for the transplant he awaited. He was only 51 when he passed away.

I tend to wait and wait to work with photos that are special to me. I keep thinking that I have to get better at scrapping before I tackle the really important ones. But when will I be good enough at this craft to properly honor the special photos? The answer, I’ve realized, is both never and right now. So I just did it. I memorialized the occasion and the people whom I love and miss. And that’s good enough for me.

Product/technique notes

The colors in BasicGrey’s “Serenade” collection worked so well with my vintage photos.