Sunday, February 9, 2014

Journals for Project Valentine

OOPS! I did it AGAIN!

This marks the second year in a row that I've missed the donation deadline for...

Check them out at

Project Valentine is a great organization that also believes in sharing for the love of sharing. Ever year on Valentine's Day, they deliver care packages to people of all ages who are undergoing chemotherapy in hospitals across the Denver Metro area. Just a token to let them know that they have supporters from all across the world that are thinking of them and praying that God will lay his healing hands on them. 

Before I started working, I would try to make at least one item a month for Project Valentine. Last year I also missed the deadline. Perhaps because I am fearful that my little offering isn't good enough to gift. Crocheting is very therapeutic for me. It forces me to let go of my OCD tendencies because in crochet you have to let the stitch come naturally instead of forcefully. It has been a growing experience for me and based on requests I am getting from friends and co-workers, I know I've improved. But am I good enough to gift it? I hope the recipient loves it. I really do.

This year I vowed to get it together and to the Assembly Team on time. I was so happy to find that I hadn't missed the deadline Friday night. Late Saturday morning I went about getting my tags ready. I made these tags last year to put on my donations. 

I decided to change it a bit by spelling out LOVE and replacing ALL of my letter "O"s with hearts. I thought I saved it, but when I went to pull it from my flash drive, it wasn't there. First sad face. I knew I didn't have time to fix it again, so I went about printing out the old tag and handwriting a little note to each recipient. And oh, what a good idea it would be to date it with 2014 and write an inspirational quote to help them through their battle against cancer. Then hole punch it and string it through the gifts with yarn. Unfortunately, when I was done, I had a half hour - enough time to drive down to Assembly just in time to see them packing it all up and leaving.  Second sad face. I guess I need to add to the collection for next year. Again.

My favorite stuffed crochet animal to make is one in the round. So cute. And fun too. 

I also had a really fun time making these journals.  I found spiral notebooks for like a quarter each and decided have fun with them using scrapbook paper and ribbons. Simply unwind the spiral, cover using your favorite scrapbook paper with Mod Podge, hole punch it (that is the worst part of it), rewind the spiral and voila!

I remember making "Slam Books" when I was in elementary school. I suppose they were supposed to be like the "Burn Book" from Mean Girls, but what we made in elementary school was not mean at all.

Come to think of it, I think that may have been my first attempt at scrapbooking (sans pictures) because my Slam Books were more like the following, albeit handwritten.  You would ask one question on each page and pass it around for people to answer (mostly anonymously because EVERY Slam Book had a page that asked "The person I love is...")  For these journals, I tried to think of fun things a pre-to-teen could do in front of their journals to make it special.  I took my time changing the fonts with all the wonderful free fonts out there from more people who share for the love of sharing.  I tried my hardest, but truthfully I started this project way too late, and ended up making only three of them. In my defense, there was a lot of hole punching that had to be done, and my hand hurt. In fact, I think this was the reason I missed the deadline last year... Yes. I procrastinate. But not at work. Just for pleasure. LOL.

Sorry for the crooked scan... Used the "auto-feed" feature... 

I had hoped to give the chemo recipient something to take their minds off of the side effects of chemo, give them something to smile about, and give them a reason to continue to be brave and hopeful. Anyone can make a journal and have a great time with it. If I had better handwriting, I would have used the existing lined pages and handwritten these things in a variety of colors. That would have saved some my hands from some hole-punchin'.  Next, I will make pens wrapped in pretty scrapbook paper and micro-bead them to go with the journals. In the meantime, if you have other ideas of pages to add to these journals, I would love to hear them! Share with me! For the love. 

xo ~
Rolly <3

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

with a Pecan Streusel Crumble

I am a local team kinda gal and I stand by our Broncos, but I really am not much of a football fan. I prefer the smooth gliding, fast-paced, sexiness that is HOCKEY (Go Avs!). But like I say, I stand by our Broncos and hope that they come away victorious today (so sorry to my Seahawk friends).


As we are hosting the Superbowl Party this year, I started prepping for it last night to get ahead of the game. Lot's of yummy food to be had. I posted my Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins with Pecan Crumb topping on my Facebook page and since I was asked to post the recipe, I decided "Hey! BLOG Opportunity!"  And yes, I realize that I'm having a bit of a blog identity crisis.  Papercrafting? Crocheting?  Cooking?  Baking?  Still all for the love of sharing so let's go with that. 

Can't forget the ORANGE CRUSH!

So here it is... This is a combination of two recipes that I found. I am Mile High Altitude, and I'm not sure how adjustments are made for you sea-level folks. These are Nom-Nom-Nom to die for.  I do not believe in making margerine-for-butter substitutes, and I always have heavy whipping cream in the house for my coffee. Please, no substituting milk here either.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (with Pecan Crumble)

      Ingredients:                                                             Pecan Crumble
      2-3 ripe bananas                                                      3 T flour
      4 T butter, softened                                                 3 T brown sugar
      2 eggs                                                                      pinch of salt                                3/4 - 1 C brown sugar (Not packed)                     ½ tsp cinnamon
      4T heavy whipping cream                                      2 T butter, room temp, cut
      1-1/3 C flour                                                           1-2 oz. pkg chopped pecans
      ¾ tsp salt
      ½ tsp baking soda
      ¼ tsp baking powder
      ½ tsp cinnamon
      1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.   Preheat oven to 350.
2.   Put liners in muffin pan.
3.   In large bowl, mash bananas.
4.   Add softened butter, eggs, sugar (I found that 1 Cup made them 
      pretty sweet but the consensus of eaters was "it is just right"), and
      4T of heavy whipping cream, and mix well.
5.   Combine all the dry ingredients into another bowl. Gradually sift 
      the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing well.
6.   Mix in chocolate chips.
7.   Fill muffin liners about ¾ full.
8.   Prepare the crumble by combining all the ingredients until it 
      looks crumbly!
9.   Top each muffin with a generous amount of crumble.
10. Bake 22 minutes. Toothpick test it but mine were perfect at 22 
11. Cool completely and Nom-Nom-Nom.

Crumb topping adds a nice texture.

Who doesn't love the melty gooeyness that is the chocolate chip?

So I realize I'm having a blog identity crisis, but my blog is for the love of sharing, so there you have it. Enjoy!