Tuesday, April 29, 2008

American Idol - Top 5

Okay! So it's Neil Diamond week on American Idol and I'm really hoping somebody sings "America" because it's about my favorite song of all time. It's a great song to play at a 4th of July bbq while chowin' down on some hamburgers, potato salad, and lemonade. But I digress...

Jason - Just okay for me

David C. - This man can turn any song into a rock song! I've never heard this song but I liked it.

Brooke - Ohhh dear. I don't know how to say this, but I am so over Brooke. The arrangment was too low for her, and I thought she looked really scared the whole song. Her hair looks great though!

David A. - I like this song with the tempo like David sang it...

I'm just going to have to be honest here. I am so unimpressed with the American Idol contestants at this point in the season. There hasn't really been anyone that I've absolutely loved and wanted to see go all the way - except maybe Michael Johns had he not been cut too soon, and then Carly last week. None of the contestants are wowing me and it is reflected in my blogging. I don't really have much to say about them at this point, so I'm going to sign off for tonight. Maybe next week I'll be more inspired, but for now, my overall feeling is just "eh."

EDITED: DAVID A JUST SANG "AMERICA!" Now I already told you that I love this song, I did sing along and rock out to his performance, but it wasn't all that I hoped it would be. I'm still glad I got to hear the song though!

Flower Pot Wreath

I saw the cutest idea on a blog a couple of months ago - a flower pot wreath! It's basically a grapevine wreath with mini terra cotta pots wired on with floral wire. Isn't it too fun?!

I used an 18-inch grapevine wreath and 1.5, 2, and 3 inch pots. However, the interesting thing is that depending on where you buy the pots, they can be completely different sizes. A 2-inch pot can vary quite significantly from store to store. I bought the ribbon for the bow at Michaels.

This wreath is currently hanging on our back patio. I love looking at it - it makes me happy and ready to plant flowers!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Baby Cards

Happy Monday! When I worked outside the home, I used to loathe Mondays. Now I love them - a fresh week to fill with activities and productivity. I hope this Monday finds you well!

Here are two baby cards that I made last weekend. These are for two of my pregnant friends - one delivering in late May and the other delivering mid-June. The May baby is a boy, but I don't know the gender of the June baby, so I made that card with neutral baby colors.

The squirrel image is from PaperTrey Ink's My Punny Valentine and the "Welcome Little One" sentiment is from the extra set called Year-Round Puns. The paper from both cards is from Nana's Nursery Little Boy mat stack.

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of a wreath I made this weekend along with my live-blogging American Idol thoughts.

Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring Bicycle

April has been a wild and crazy month around here it seems, which is why I haven't posted much this past week. Also, my allergies got really bad on Thursday which means I've been pretty much out of it since then thanks to allergy medicine. Thankfully they've calmed down a bit now and I don't need to take quite as much medicine, so I'm feeling a little more normal today.

Here is a picture of the centerpiece on our kitchen table. I bought this little bicycle at Safeway for $12.99 this past week. Once the summer gets into full swing, I'll probably move it outside to either our front or back patio. I love how fun and free it is - reminds me of a leisurely ride on a weekend afternoon!

I'll be back tomorrow with some baby cards!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

She was robbed!!!

Carly was robbed tonight!! Brooke or Jason SO should have been the one to go. I'm this close to giving up on AI this season. We'll see how I feel on Tuesday...

On the bright side, I really hope Carly gets a record deal and I will definitely be buying her album!

ROBBED! (I'm not bitter, I'm just saying...)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

American Idol - Top 6

Okay Peeps - another Tuesday night has come, which means a solid 2 hours of vegging in front of the TV thanks to American Idol and then Dancing With The Stars results. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

Tonight's theme is the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber which will be awesome for a crazy Broadway fan like me! The contestants have some BIG shoes to fill...

Live! THIS...is American Idol!

Syesha - "One Rock n' Roll Too Many" - I'm not familiar with this song which is surprising to me since I thought I knew most of Webber's song. I liked the performance and I think she sang it really well. She looks great and she's got the animation and attitude that the song deserves. This is the first time I've actually been into one of Syesha's performances, so for me that makes it her best performance so far!

Jason - "Memory" - Surprising song choice, but overall fairly good. Not great for me, and it is hard not to compare it to the original and all the women I've heard sing it throughout the years.

Brooke "You Must Love Me" - Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I just didn't think this was good, especially after the botched beginning. I'm just not feeling good for her at this point...

David A - "Think of Me" - Good advice from Webber about the eyes!!! i cheered when they played that bit. This song was completely different from the original, but I think it worked. Like Syesha, this was the first time I've actually enjoyed a performance by David A, so I applaud him!

Carly - "Jesus Christ, Superstar" - Carly ROCKS!!!! This was awesome with a capitol A! She looks awesome and the song was totally her style. Best performance of the night for me!

David C - "Music of the Night" - Kind of a surprising song choice, but I think he pulled it off. The man can definitely sing!

Should go - I'm afraid time may be up for either Jason or Brooke

Will go - Jason or Brooke

Best of the night - Carly - rock it girl!!! :)

Coupons & Sales Are Your Friends!

It's only Tuesday but I've already been working the deals this week. I spent all of this morning and a little time yesterday on these shopping trips. Check out what I've bought...

Here is the breakdown by store:

King Soopers Deal...
Two Brita pitchers: sale 4.99 each minus 10.00 (2 $5/1 coupons) = (0.02) overage to use on other items
Earned 0.02 for 27.98 worth of merchandise

Rite Aid Deals...
Dawn dish soap: sale price .99 minus .25 coupon = .74
GUM toothbrush 2 pk: sale 2.00 minus .75 MFC = 1.25 or .625 each
Two Ban deodorants: 2/3.49 minus .75 MFC minus .40 MFC = 2.42 or 1.17 each
Hershey bliss dark chocolate candies: sale 2.99 minus 2.99 rebate = FREE
Pure Shine hair styling cream: sale 3.99 minus 3.99 rebate = FREE
Jane mineral powder foundation: sale 5.99 minus 2.00 MFC minus 5.99 rebate = (2.00)
Oral B toothbrush: sale 3.19 minus 3.19 rebate = FREE
Paid 18.87 OOP
Rebates 16.16
Total = 2.71 for 34.32 worth of merchandise

Walmart Deals...
Cascade drying agent: 3.13 minus 3.13 MFC coupon = FREE
2 boxes Kellog's Raisin Bran: 1.88 each minus 1.50/2 MFC = 2.26 or 1.13 each
Post Trail Mix Crunch: 2.98 minus 2.98 MFC = FREE
Total = 2.26 for 9.87 worth of merchandise

Walgreens Deals...
Trip #1
Colgate toothpaste: 2.69 minus .70 WAG coupon minus 1.00 MFC = .99
6 bubble mailers: 9.87 minus 7.87 WAG coupon (3/1.00) = 2.00
4 Aveeno baby products: sale 4.63 each minus 1.00 MFC =17.52
Paid 22.02 OOP
Earned 10.00 RR
Total = 22.02 for 35.72 worth of merchandise plus $10 RR

Trip #2
3 Aveeno baby products: sale 4.63 each minus 6.00 MFC (3 $2/1 coupons) = 7.89
Aveeno lotion 2.5 oz: sale 2.79 minus 2.00 MFC = 2.00
8.89 minus $10 RR from previous trip = (1.11) overage to use on other items
Earned 1.11 for 20.86 worth or merchandise

Grand total: 25.86 for 128.75 worth of merchandise!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Baby shower card

So along with all those baby gifts, I need to make cards for the baby showers. I whipped this one up this afternoon. It's for the same mom I wrote about in the previous post. The squirrel stamp is from PaperTrey Ink, paper is from the DCWV Baby Boy Nursery stack, and the ribbon is from Michaels.

I've made 1 1/2 sets of burp cloths so far this weekend and I'd like to make a couple of "Welcome, Baby" cards too. There are still plenty of crafting hours left...back to my craft room!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's baby shower season

It must be spring because I've got a ton of pregnant friends right now! And with that comes baby showers and baby gifts. I've recently discovered the idea of making burp cloths to give to new moms and I love them! There are so many cute fabrics to make them with that the possibilities are endless. Plus something about matching fabrics in the fabric store feeds my creative soul. So, without further adieu, here is a set of burp cloths that will be going to a friend of mine that I've known since we were 3 years old.

These aren't your typical baby print because she is doing her nursery in a Colorado/outdoors theme (it's a boy). Here's a shot of the cloths unfolded, and the top one is unfolded completely so you can see the whole thing. Basically this is just a glorified cloth diaper...

They are really easy to wrap, too. I just tie a long piece of tulle around them and make a fluffy little bow on top. Then slip them into a gift bag with a little tissue paper on top and you're set. Couldn't be easier!

One set down, a bazillion more to go... :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My new ironing board!

Doesn't that title just reel you in?! LOL! Last weekend I decided that I needed a sewing project that was not baby-related. I've been making a lot of baby gifts for pregnant friends and upcoming showers (posts on these coming soon) and I wanted to make something for me, so I decided on a new cover for my ironing board. A google search produced a link to a lovely tutorial by a lady in England all about how to make your own ironing board cover. On Tuesday I set out to find some fabric for my project and found this lovely red and cream toile. I adore toile!! I would absolutely love to use it in decorating, so here's my first attempt. I suppose an ironing board isn't exactly decorative, unless you sew and iron seams a lot (which I've been doing) and it's easier to just leave the ironing board set up next to your sewing machine than it is to set it up and put it back down every day. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) Red and cream just happens to coordinate with the colors and fabrics in my craft room, so when I do leave it out it will look a little less random.

I love my new ironing board! Think I'll be more eager to iron now? :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

American Idol - Top 7

Another fun-filled week with American Idol! This week's mentor is Mariah Carey...hmmmm...not too sure about this one. I liked Mariah when she first started out and I was oh, 11, but I'm kind of over her at this point. She's a little too sensual and racy for my taste and I haven't bought one of her CDs in years. Oh well, enough about that...let's get to the music!

David A - "When You Believe" - Oh Wow! I love this song - from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. I love the melody, the message, everything; guess I forgot it was a Mariah song. Actually it's been so long since I've heard it that I think I forgot about the song. He did a good job with it, although I do prefer the original.

Carly - "Without You" - Carly is my new favorite since Michael left last week. She looks great tonight! Rockin' performance y'all! I totally disagree with Simon and Randy (I liked the restraint she practiced at the beginning). Note to self: VOTE for Carly tonight!!

Syesha - "Vanishing" - A good performance. Didn't really wow me or anything, but a valiant effort.

Brooke - "Hero" - Well, I like this song fairly well, but I'm not really digging this version. It needed more instrumentation or something. I feel like the song is too powerful to perform it "unplugged." She seemed really nervous too. I also wish she'd stop talking back to the judges. I've heard other express this opinion too - it's judging not a conversation!!

Kristy Lee - "Forever" - She looks awesome tonight! I don't know this song, but I think that she did a great job with it. So far she and Carly have been the girls who've succeeded with the Mariah songs tonight.

David C - "Always Be My Baby" - Not digging this version. Sorry to say that, as I do like this song and I like David. I guess it was just too different for my tastes this evening. That said, I do think he's the strongest male in the competition right now and can definitely sing. I just didn't really dig this performance.

Jason - "I Don't Want To Cry" - It was okay for me. Not great, but certainly not bad either. I do however wish I was at a luau on the beach!

Should go - Brooke

Will go - After the upset last week, I think it could come up and smack Brooke in the face this week. But I think Syesha and Kristy Lee could be vulnerable this week, too.

Best of the Night - Carly (Despite what the judges said. I'm on the phone voting for her right now!)

A delightful time was had by all...

Book group was wonderful last night! I was really pleased with how the food and the whole evening turned out. Book group is so much fun!

The menu was Shrimp Cocktail Dip with crackers, Garden Veggie Pizza Squares, Cherries Jubilee Cheesecake Squares, Strawberry Iced Tea, and Ice Water. The recipes are below for your tasting pleasure.

Shrimp Cocktail Dip
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 lb. cooked shrimp, chopped (2 cups)
3/4 cup Cocktail Sauce
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 green onions, sliced

SPREAD cream cheese onto bottom of shallow bowl or 9-inch pie plate. Toss shrimp with cocktail sauce; spoon over cream cheese.

SPRINKLE with Parmesan cheese and onions.

SERVE with Wheat Thins Snack Crackers.

Garden Veggie Pizza Squares
1 pkg. (8 oz.) ready to bake crescent rolls
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (4 oz.) dry ranch dressing mix
2 carrots, minced
1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 c. finely chopped broccoli
1/2 c. chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out crescent rolls onto large non-stick baking sheet. Stretch/flatten to form rectangular shape on sheet. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

In medium size mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until softened. Mix in 1/2 to the whole package of ranch dressing mix, according to your taste. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and green onions over the top of the crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut into bite-sized squares and serve.

Cherries Jubilee Cheesecake Squares
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist cherry chip cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy cherry frosting
3 eggs

Heat oven to 325°F. In large bowl, beat dry cake mix and butter with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly; reserve 1 cup. In bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan, press remaining crumbly mixture.

In same bowl, beat cream cheese and frosting with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in eggs until blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumbly mixture.

Bake about 45 minutes (about 42 minutes for dark or nonstick pan) or until set; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): In step 1, prebake the crust 10 minutes. In step 3, bake about 50 minutes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I could've told you this...

You Are Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

You should live: By the beach

You should work: At a casual up and coming company

Chocolate Cake and a Great Read

Happy Monday! This weekend the weather was beautiful here and the next two days are supposed to be even nicer - hooray! We had a birthday lunch for my sister-in-law to attend yesterday and I was asked to bring the cake. She LOVES chocolate so I was sure to make something full of chocolate. I had a new cookbook from Pillbury that I hadn't made anything from yet and thought I'd try it out. I found a recipe called Chocolate-Cherry Truffle Cake that sounded delish - and it was! I (and my sis-in-law) highly recommend it!

Chocolate-Cherry Truffle Cake

1 c. chocolate chips
2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk (from 14 oz. can)
1/4 t. almond extract

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix with pudding
1 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 t. almond extract
4 eggs
1 box (3.9 oz) chocolate instant pudding
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries, drained on paper towel, chopped (3/4 cup)

Remaining sweetened condensed milk (from 14 oz. can)
3/4 c. chocolate chips
2 T. corn syrup
1 t. milk, if needed

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees*. Grease 12-cup bundt cake pan with shortening; lightly flour. In medium microwaveable bowl, microwave all filling ingredients on high 25 to 35 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth; set aside.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, 1/2 t. almond extract, the eggs and pudding pudding mix with electric mixer on low speed about 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly. With rubber spatula, fold in chopped cherries. Spoon batter into pan; spread evenly. Carefully spoon filling in ring over batter (do not let filling touch side of pan).

3. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted 1 inch from side comes out clean, top of cake feels firm to the touch, and cake pulls away slightly from side of pan. Cool 15 minutes.

4. Place heatproof serving plate over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Cool cake completely; about 1 hour

5. In 1-qt saucepan, heat all glaze ingredients except milk over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in up to 1 t. milk if necessary for desired glaze consistency. Pour glaze over cake, allowing some to drizzle down sides.

6. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

*High altitude - heat oven to 375 degrees

Tonight my book group is meeting at our house to discuss The Quilter's Homecoming by Jennifer Chiaverini. It's a wonderful book that I loved so very much. I have lots to do today to get ready. I'll post pics and recipes for the food I made tomorrow...till then!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Happenings

Just thought I'd share a few things about my day. First of all, I made a major killing at Walgreens this morning. I used a lot of tips and deals from MoneySavingMom to score some major savings. First thing this morning I took probably an hour (maybe more) and planned my shopping trip, printed coupons, and organized my list so that I would be getting the most for my money. Walgreens had an additional coupon for $5 off a purchase of $20 or more today which made my trip that much more economical. Anyway, thanks to sales and coupons, I bought $59.09 worth of merchandise for $9.23. PLUS, several of the items I bought are free after mail-in rebate, so I'll be getting $11.88 back from Walgreens once I get that sent in. I actually MADE money this morning - sweet! I don't think I'll be doing this kind of shopping every week, but it sure is fun when I can work them out! Here's the photo of what I got...

Second, the sun is out!! It isn't awfully warm and we've had some major wind gusts, but at least the sun is shining. Early next week we're supposed to get into the 70s - now that's more like it! So that I won't be accused of only posting bad weather photos, here is one of the sun steaming in and shining on the tulip on my kitchen table...

Apparently I'm not the only one who missed the sunshine...

She's one happy camper this afternoon and so am I. Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not to sound like I'm whining, but...

...this is what we woke up to this morning. This would be the reason you won't ever hear me declare my love for spring until sometime around late May. Memorial Day maybe. THAT is when it starts to really feel like springtime here.

In mother nature's defense, Tuesday was a pretty nice day. Yesterday it wasn't too bad until about 2:30pm when it started raining (I don't mind the rain so much, but I am done with snow at the point), thundering (yay for thunder!), then drizzling, and finally the moisture turned to snow around 10pm.

I suppose the good thing about cold, wet weather is that I don't feel too badly for spending most of the day crafting. I'm off to get some things accomplished around home and then sew the day away!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

American Idol - Top 8

Tonight's theme is Inspirational Songs. To be honest, I'm needing a little inspiration this evening as my afternoon was hectic as all get out. I'm feeling quite frazzled and am not really ready to park it in front of the TV for a couple of hours. Please forgive me if my thoughts aren't organized...

THIS is American I-dol (totally stole this from Cindy's blog)

Michael Johns - "Dream On" - Okay, I'm a little thrown by the new ascot trend. I mean really, two weeks in a row? I liked it last week, this week not so much. Didn't recognize the song until he got to the chorus - shows how much I listened to Aerosmith in the formative years doesn't it? Now that I know it, I'm totally rockin' out. Didn't love the falsetto stuff at the end, but overall it was a good job by Michael.

Syesha Mercado - "I Believe" - To be totally honest, I wasn't in the room during the performance. I had to run downstairs with the hubby to get some dinner (yes, we eat in front of the TV during AI). But as soon as I walked back into the room and heard the judges talking about Fantasia performing this song, I was like "WHY?" Why does this girl pick the biggest songs she can find. You KNOW she's going to be compared to the originals. I don't know, I just don't get it.

Jason Castro - "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song! A and I were in Maui this past summer and totally listened to this CD while hanging out in our condo, driving around the island, and most notably, driving the road to Hana. Jason rocked this performance and I loved it!!

Kristy Lee Cook - "Anyway" - I liked it! I'm proud of Kristy Lee for summoning all her ambition and bringing it tonight. I do feel like she has a little bit of an arrogant attitude though, which I really only see when she's talking back to the judges after their comments. Not so crazy about that, but overall I enjoy her as a performer.

David Cook - "Innocent" - Unfortunately I totally didn't get him tonight. Not only the white jacket, but the whole performance. I'm a little disappointed.

Carly Smithson - "The Show Must Go On" - Didn't Paris sing this song a couple of seasons ago? I really like this song, but it just didn't seem to work tonight. Carly came off as kind of angry and I didn't see the "inspirational" value of it. Bummer because I do like Carly. I guess this just wasn't her night.

David Archuleta - "Angels" - Nice to see him behind the piano, but for some reason I am kind of over David A. at this point. I think he's a good singer, but he's not my pick for the American Idol.

Brooke White - "You've Got A Friend" - Cute dress! Good song choice, although I would have liked to see her change it up a bit and add some of her own flair. She's a strong performer though and I do enjoy watching her.

Should go - Syesha

Will go - Syesha or Carly (so sad!)

Best of the night - Ummm, kind of a toughie this week. I suppose I'll say Michael Johns, although I didn't think this was his best performance. Last week was still the top for me.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I have always appreciated the sun, but it wasn't until I began staying at home full-time that I really started to love it. I now notice the way it crawls into the crevices of my home's decor and accents whatever it shines upon. I especially love the morning sun, but our house doesn't receive a whole lot of it because the majority of our windows face west. Our front door faces east though, and we have a lovely arch window at the top of the door, which lets in a bit of soft morning sunlight. Just inside the front door is a curio cabinet with some candles, flowers, etc on the top. One of my favorite moments of the day is when I come downstairs and all the windows and blinds are still closed from the night before, yet the sun is streaming in through the arch in our door and highlighting this spot. It always makes me smile.

Unfortunately, today I didn't get to enjoy this little moment because we are experiencing this ...

Oh well, maybe tomorrow...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Stocked up...

I try to do our grocery shopping on a monthly basis. This requires some serious meal planning, a trip to Sam's Club to stock up on the things we use a lot of, a major trip to King Soopers, and then maybe two more trips to Kings during the months to pick up milk, fresh veggies, etc. I love getting things divided up into meal-sized portions and put away in the freezer after my major shopping trips. It makes me happy to see my pile of food all organized and ready to be used during the month! (My exception is frozen veggies - since I use them straight from the freezer, I just pour out what I need at the time.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Focaccia Bread

This isn't my own recipe - it's just out of the book that came with my bread machine, but it is wonderful! I love to make this bread to serve with soup or salads, or use it to make a wonderful Italian sandwich. It also makes a great Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich - you basically make a Caesar salad with chicken and then put it on the bread for a sandwich. Also a great bread option if you're serving an Italian meal. Yummy!!

Focaccia Bread
1 cup water (80 degrees F)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 t. sugar
1 t. salt
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 t. active dry yeast

Layer ingredients in bread machine and use the dough program. After the first rise, add 1 t. dried Italian seasoning. After program is complete, press dough evenly into a greased 9x13 inch pan, using oiled hands. Using your fingertips, make indentations in the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until almost double in size. While the dough is rising, prepare the topping.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 t. salt

In a skillet, heat olive oil. Stir in oregano and garlic, then immediately remove from heat.

Once dough has doubled in size, use fingers to press dimples into dough again. Spoon topping mixture evenly over dough. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Just switched over to the Dancing with the Stars results show, and in my totally humble, totally right opinion, Adam Corolla needs to say goodbye! I cannot stand his "humor" - can you say rude and obnoxious?!

I'm just sayin...

American Idol - Top 9

Here we go again folks... I'm psyched for tonight because I love Dolly Parton - have ever since I was little. I love to hear her speak, watch her perform, and overall I love her sweet country girl demeanor. Yeah for Dolly!!

Let's get to the music!

Brooke White - "Jolene" - I love this song. It was hard to listen to Brooke and not compare it to Dolly's version. Unfortunately it didn't quite measure up to Dolly, but I did enjoy Brooke's performance. I like that she used the guitar. To use Randy's words, overall, it was okay for me.

David Cook - "Little Sparrow" - I'm not super familiar with this song, but I loved David singing it. Great performance - he is consistent and definitely shaping up to be one of the top contenders in this competition.

Ramiele Malubay - "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" - Much better than last week's performance, but not great for me.

Jason Castro - "Travelin' Through" - I really liked this performance! I think he amped it up a bit after being in the bottom three last week and in my opinion it paid off. I completely disagree with Simon's critique, which is actually kind of rare. for me.

Carly Smithson - "Here You Come Again" - Great song! Another intimate, acoustic performance - must be a Dolly thing. I really like Carly and I really liked this performance. I really felt badly for Carly when Simon slammed her wardrobe - regardless of what I think, that's got to be hard to take, especially in front of millions of people. Props to Ryan for putting Simon in his place.

David Archuleta - "Smoky Mountain Memories" - I actually liked it! I'm usually kind of take it or leave it with David's performances, but this one I liked.

Kristy Lee Cook - "Coat of Many Colors" - I've never heard this song, but it almost made me cry. Kristy Lee was in her niche tonight - I liked it a lot!

Syesha Mercado - "I Will Always Love You" - Considering how overplayed this song was in the 90s, it was just okay for me. Hard not to compare it to Whitney and Dolly's versions.

Michael Johns - "It's All Wrong But It's All Right" - Wow - phenomenal performance. And nice ascot. Yep! He's a keeper. Loved it!

Should go - Ramiele or Syesha

Will go - Ramiele or Syesha

Best of the night - Michael Johns, with David Cook taking a close second.

That was fun...let's do it again next week!

It's Bella Time...and an Engagement

Here are a couple of cards I made this past weekend. Last Tuesday evening my brother-in-law proposed to his girlfriend. Of course she accepted so a "congratulations on your engagement" card was in order. This stamp (from the Michaels $1 bin a year or so ago) is my favorite for engagement cards. It's a cute little picture and I don't like to overwhelm the groom-to-be with a frilly bride card. I save the girlie, bride stamps for the bridal shower. The paper is from the DCWV spring 2008 stack and the button is from My Mind's Eye Tres Jolie button collection.

(My apologies that this photo isn't better. We've had cloudy weather and snow for the past 2 days and I couldn't get very good lighting for the picture.)

The next card is a birthday card for a very, very good friend of mine, who is celebrating her birthday today. She is an April Fool's baby! The image is partygirlabella from Stamping Bella. I do love my bellas! The paper is from DCWV summer 2007 stack and I used pink and clear stickles. This card is a CASE from somewhere, but I can't remember where. Sorry if it's yours!

Hope you have a great day and Happy April Fools Day!!