Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Journal Prompt 31 Dec 2019 ~ Household Help

Today's Writing Prompt: Household Help

Regardless of where you live (in your own home, a condo, with your parents, etc.) Which household tasks do you choose to pay someone else to perform, either directly or indirectly? Mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, painting the walls, cleaning the toilets? Which ones would you pay someone to do if money were no object?

Image result for housekeeper

I still try and do everything around here by myself even though my dear hubby has more than once encouraged me to hire help.  I'm kind of a private person * (I hear you all laughing at that) and I just don't like the idea of someone poking around my house.  On the other hand, I would love someone to come in and do all the heavy and bending over stuff like scrubbing floors and washing walls and baseboards.  Maybe one day . . .

* On the private person note . . . some people like that I tend to overshare, some think I'm crazy for oversharing . . . the reality is that I have total control over what I share and you all would be surprised how much I don't share . . . LOL.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

It took a long time to finish reading this book.  I read the first two parts . . . Italy and India . . . but had to return the book to the library before I finished it.  

Then the movie came out and I went to see it.  I really enjoyed the movie.  Of course, I am a fan of Julia Roberts to start with.  The movie was good but really couldn't do justice to the book.  I noticed a couple of places where an event happened that was difficult to understand.

Having read the third part of the book, I finally did understand.  I "sort of" wish I hadn't read the last section.  It seemed so rushed in comparison to the first two sections.  Even so, I still enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it so much in fact that I put a hold on the sequel . . .

Journal Prompt 30 Dec 2019 ~ Broken Heart

Today's Writing Prompt: Broken Heart

Write about a broken heart.

Image result for broken heart

Thank goodness the heart is resilient because somehow if you give it enough time and care it will heal, perhaps not the same as before the break . . . sometimes it is even stronger . . . 

You can't live for as many years as I have and not learn this one key fact.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Movie Review: Nine Lives (2005)

Nine Lives.  Captivating.  Emotional.  Very different.  Those are the words I have come up with to describe this film. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea but I liked it.

The movie is actually a series of vignettes about turning points in various women's lives.  Some of these lives have a connection, albeit tenuous at best, but most do not.  They are just a study of pivotal moments.  The filming is quite interesting.  Each vignette is continuously filmed rather than a series of scenes.  And when the story ends, that's it.

The cast is totally all-star:


Saturday, December 28, 2019

Scrapbooking ~ where do I begin?

Design Strategies for Scrapbookers

Paperback, 47 Pages 

Price: $15.28
Prints in 3-5 business days
Do you ever sit and stare at your scapbooking supplies and wonder where to begin? Do you believe your friends are more creative than you are? Do all of your scrapbooking layouts look the same? Are you in a scrapbooking rut? In my many years of scrapbooking I have learned a few things that will make all the difference to you. So take a deep breath, relax and go to page 1 of Design Strategies for Scrapbookers.

Also available in black & white for $7.68 or large print for $9.01.

Sketch Challenge 28 Dec 2019 ~ 4 photos 1 page layout

Friday, December 27, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompt 27 Dec 2019 ~ Nicknames

Today's Prompt:  Nicknames

Image result for nicknames

Nicknames people have called you that did not offend you.

My favourite nickname is Pam which is derived from the initials of my real name.  I don't really like my real name.

Try the Nickname Generator https://www.name-generator.org.uk/nickname/

Antic Anne

Alliterative Nicknames

Artistic Anne
Artful Anne
Autodidactic Anne
Anne the Admirer
Anne the Artistique
Anne the Achiever
Antic Anne
Anne the Alter Ego
Prankish Phyllis
Adventurous Anne
Artsy Anne
Amusing Anne
Playful Phyllis
Annoying Anne
Anne the Addict
Adorable Anne

Descriptive Nicknames

Phyllis the Commercial Art
Curatorial Phyllis
Conceptual Phyllis
Phyllis the Body Of Work
Phyllis the Creator
Constructive Phyllis
Experiential Phyllis
Creative Phyllis
Phyllis the Collaborative
Edgy Phyllis
Phyllis the Cherry
Phyllis the Boyish
Campy Phyllis
Childlike Phyllis
Charming Phyllis
Phyllis the Fool
Cockamamie Phyllis
Phyllis the Cocky
Cheesy Phyllis
Phyllis the Droll
Phyllis the Backslapper
Phyllis the Cerebrotonic
Phyllis the Charmer
Equanimous Phyllis
Introvert Phyllis
Laidback Phyllis
Introversive Phyllis
Phyllis the Braggart
Introvertive Phyllis
Phyllis the Casanova

Ironic Nicknames

Uncreative Phyllis

Rhyming Nicknames

Phyllis the Amaryllis
Matthews the Mathews
Agilis Phyllis
Scan Anne
Phyllis the Bacillus
Anne the Man
Ban Anne
Deadpan Anne
Anne the Plan
Tan Anne
Can Anne

Initial-Based Nicknames


Computer Generator Slang


Known to Partner As

Creative Baby
Goofy Chip
Introvert Muffin
Phyllis Bear

The Bob Suffix


Thursday, December 26, 2019

Journal Prompt 26 Dec 2019 ~ Needed

Today's Writing Prompt: Needed

Image result for needed

When was the last time you felt needed?

I am very lucky that my family live close together and we help each other whenever we can.  I feel needed most of the time.  Better still, I feel wanted.

A Taste of Canada ~ Shreddies

Image result for shreddies

Made proudly in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Shreddies is a Canadian tradition that has been passed down through generations.

The 100% whole grain squares that we know today as Shreddies were actually introduced in 1939, but some people may be surprised to know that they weren’t originally called “Shreddies”. In fact, the cereal Canadians have come to love was originally called “Cubs” and only changed to “Shreddies” in 1941. Amid growing popularity, the Niagara Falls plant initiated a building expansion to allow for a second Shreddies production line in 1977. Today, Shreddies is available in Original, Banana Bread, and Honey flavour varieties.

I love Shreddies.  They are great served with cold milk . . . but even better served withhot milk especially this time of year.

Online Pyjama Party Crop Coming SOON!!!

I almost can't believe it but it has been 15 years since we hosted our very first online crop in 2005!

I hope you can join us New Year's Day at 11 am EST for fun and adventures in scrapbooking.  There will be all kinds of challenges to make the day fly by. There may even be a prize or two. Can you think of a more perfect way to start 2020 than by scrapbooking?

Join us on Facebook.

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Rice

from "Frozen Assets Lite & Easy" by Deborah Taylor-Hough

2-1/2 cups canned fat-free chicken broth
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice, uncooked
1 cup onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 (6-oz) jar sliced mushrooms, undrained
1 tsp pountry seasonings

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring broth to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well and return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover tightly and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and rice is tender. Cool. Place into labeled freezer bags; freeze.

To serve, thaw. Place into large skillt; heat over medium heat until heated through.

Per Serving: 301.9 calories; 1.7 g fat; 30.2 g protein; 43.3 g carbohydrates; 53 mg cholesterol.

Quick and easy and tastes delicious.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Journal Prompt 25 Dec 2019 ~ Personality

Think about yourself as a child. What personality traits that you have now were already apparent as a child?

Image result for child personality

As a child I was very shy.  My younger sister always made the first move towards friending someone new in the neighbourhood or school.  Once I was comfortable with a new person, I would lose my shyness.  

I am still like that today but I try to be the person who holds out her hand and says "Hi, I'm . . . "  Sometimes I can't make myself do that but most of the time I can now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Journal Prompt 24 Dec 2019 ~ Stairs

Tanka Tuesday: Stairs

It's time for the next installment of Tanka Tuesday!

Tanka is a form of poetry similar to haiku. It's short, and the lines don't need to rhyme. The just must have a set number of syllables: 5/7/5/7/7.

Today's tanka prompt is: stairs.

Image result for stairs

I love the look of
stairs wood tile cement whatever
Leading to someplace
new different familiar old
and beautiful to look at

Monday, December 23, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompt 23 Dec 2019 ~ Personality

Journal Prompt:  Personality

Image result for gorilla

What animal species best represents your personality?

I had no idea how to answer this question so I went to https://animalinyou.com/.  According to them I am a gorilla.  Here's why . . . https://animalinyou.com/animals/gorilla/?891=4222323122

Trials of Artemis by Sue London


I generally read classic fiction and nonfiction but every once in a while I pick up some light reading. 

I would definitely put Trials of Artemis in the column of very light reading.  I think London has a great idea for a story but it is in need of a good editor.  Both main characters speak in the first person which leaves little tension in the story line.  There are definitely historical inaccuracies.  And the characters need better development.

BUT . . . 

What I am describing is for a serious novel. 

Trials of Artemis is definitely not serious which makes it an excellent light read.  I love the whole story of the inception of the Haberdashers, a boys club formed by three young ladies who know that boys have more fun than girls.  Now that is a story I would like to read.  And it would allow the author to develop the characters more before turning them into adults.

SO . . . 

Read this book with your feet up and a lovely cup of tea on a cold winter's night . . . its okay not to read great literature all the time . . . a guilty pleasure.

And if you enjoy it, there are several more books in the series.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Movie Review: Phoebe in Wonderland (2008)

I am so glad I can find interesting movies like this one online.  I'm still reading 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Leonard Maltin and have to say that Maltin picked another winner.  This is the type of movie I love to watch.  It has a great story and it is told well.

9-year-old Phoebe is very tough and combative, especially with her sister and classmates.  When Phoebe is cast in the role of Alice in the school play by the new drama teacher, she begins to control and channel her imagination into the play.  Phoebe's problems are not over though.  Her focus is easily broken, leaving her fragile and unable to control her quirks again.

There are several lovely subplots in the movie to give it some depth.  The acting is quite superb.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Great ideas for great scrapbooking layouts

Scrapbooking with Sketches #4

Paperback, 200 Pages 

Scrapbooking with Sketches #4
Price: $20.00
Prints in 3-5 business days
Sometimes those piles of photos and scrapbooking supplies can become overwhelming, actually making it harder for you to be creative. It is okay to let go of creative, labour intensive layouts and make some layouts that are crisp, clean, and simple. Simple layouts allow your journaling and photos to take centre stage on your pages. Let the ideas in Scrapbooking with Sketches #4 help.

Sketch Challenge 21 Dec 2019 ~ 7 photos 1 page layout

Friday, December 20, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompt 20 Dec 2019 ~ Destinations

Today's Prompt:  Vacation destinations

Image result for iceland

What locations would you fly to for your next vacation if money were no object?

This one is easy.  I would like to go to Iceland or the United Kingdom.  Iceland for its mystery, landscape, and northern lights.  United Kingdom for the history and genealogy.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potatoes

Quantity : 2 servings
Preparation : 10 min Cooking : 20 min
330 calories/serving

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1,5 cm pieces 360 g
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pork tenderloin, cut into 2 cm slices 300 g
1 pinch salt [optional] 0.2 g
ground pepper to taste [optional]
1/2 tbsp canola oil 8 mL
1 tsp butter, unsalted 5 g
1 pinch cayenne pepper 0.2 g
3/4 tsp dried oregano 0.4 g
1/3 cup grapefruit juice 85 mL (I used orange juice)
1/3 cup water 85 mL
4 tsp pine nuts [optional] 10 g
4 tsp fresh mint, chopped 4 g

Before you start
Put a serving dish in the oven at the lowest setting to keep the meat warm while the sweet potatoes cook.

Prepare the vegetables: Cut the sweet potatoes into pieces, about 1,5 cm. Mince the garlic.
Cut each tenderloin crosswise into 2 cm thick slices. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the pork slices then sauté until golden-coloured, about 4 min per side. Take them out of the pan and set aside on a plate, keeping them warm in the oven.
Add the garlic and cayenne pepper to the pan, then cook 1 min with stirring. Add the sweet potatoes and oregano, then sauté 2 min with stirring. Pour in the grapefruit juice and water, then bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12 min.
Put the pork slices back into the pan then heat them through, 2-3 min. Sprinkle with pine nuts (optional) and chopped mint, then serve.


A Taste of Canada ~ Milk in a Bag

Call me silly but I don't understand people getting bent out of shape about milk in a bag.  Makes sense to me . . . LOL.

Journal Prompt 19 Dec 2019 ~ Culture

Today's Writing Prompt: Culture

How has the culture and community you grew up in influenced the adult you are today?

We ran a bottle drive during March Break (probably 1973?) and donated the proceeds to the MS Society through the local Fire Department.  It quickly became a huge project involving my Mom having to take the week off work, several tanks of gas, and only limited access to the bathtub since all the labels had to be soaked off.  Back row Judy Hagen, Sherry Baxter, Bruce Ideson, me, and a fireman.  Front row Barry Ideson, Peter Matthews, Lori Matthews

I grew up in a small city in a working class neighbourhood.  I think that my community influenced me to be down-to-earth and community-minded in regard to local politics, volunteering, and family.

I've always been interested in local history and politics, earning an honours degree from Western University (aka University of Western Ontario) in Political Science.  I've been an active volunteer since I was a child doing Ronald McDonald MS Carnivals and bottle drives.  

As a adult I became more involved in the politics of volunteering, serving in various capacities on our local REACT team, chairing Volunteer Elgin and even serving as Vice-President and International Director of REACT International.  

Now I just dabble in volunteering . . . and spend most of my time looking after my family while I let them think they are looking after me . . . LOL.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Ladies Night Journal Prompts 18 Dec 2019 ~ Hairstyles

Today's Prompt:  Appalling Hairstyles

What hairstyle trends have you ever found to be appalling?

The first four photos are regrettable.  I did like #5 and #6.  And yes I did fix the stickers . . . after I took the photo.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Journal Prompt 17 Dec 2019 ~ Float

Today's Prompt:  Floats

Image result for parade

Who doesn't love a parade?

I used to love parades but they just aren't the same as they were when I was a kid.  The marching bands and dancing troupes, baton twirlers and Shrine clowns in their little cars made parades so exciting.  The thrill of snagging treats thrown from the floats is also gone.  Safety concerns, you know.  

I do still enjoy them, especially Christmas parades.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Book Review ~ The Testaments by Margaret Atwood


The Testaments was released in September and I've just finished reading it.  It nicely ties up a lot of questions remaining after The Handmaid's Tale.  It also tells the story of the downfall of Gilead.  And the story of Offred, including her real name.

If you are a lover of Margaret Atwood, you really want to read this book.

If you are a non-fan, which I just can't understand, read it anyway for closure.

Journal Prompt 16 Dec 2019 ~ Cut-throat

Today's Writing Prompt: Cut-throat

Have you ever played a simple board game and it turned everyone into cut-throat die-hards?

We were at my older son's home for a family evening.  My younger son and my three grandsons decided to play Risk, a favourite game which I haven't played in years and years.  The boys were scheming and making deals with each other.  I said, "This isn't a game . . . THIS IS WAR!!!!!"  LOL!  I didn't win.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Movie Review: The Pledge (2001)

The Pledge, directed by Sean Penn, is another pick from 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen by Leonard Maltin.  I think Maltin has a bit of a dark side because all the suggested movies I've seen so far have had a really dark side to them.

The Pledge is no different.  It is the story of retiring detective Jerry Black, played by the amazing Jack Nicholson, who decides to check out one more murder--the brutal murder of a little girl.  When the detective meets the parents they make him promise to find the killer.  Shortly after a suspect is picked up but commits suicide.  Black doesn't believe the dead suspect is the killer and can't let go of the case.  When several similar unsolved cases come to light, he begins digging deeper into the crimes.

Time goes by and life goes on.  Black buys an old gas station near where the murders had occurred and builds a new life.  He meets a young waitress with a little girl and they become a family.  You will just begin to think that the murders are forgotten and then events bring them back into the foreground.  The detective just can't let go.  When each lead doesn't pan out, the murders go to the background of the movie again.  The movie takes its time in revealing clues and between clues we get to enjoy the peace and quiet and beauty of the locale and we get to meet some great characters, played by some well-known actors like Helen Mirren and Sam Shepherd.

The ending is very surprising.  I was expecting a great guns-blazin' finish but that's not what happens.  What we learn is that there are no easy answers.

This movie is not for everyone but if you enjoy a good mystery-drama I think you are going to like it.  Jack Nicholson is awesome.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Art Journaling Beginner Toolkit

Originally posted here https://pageflutter.com/beginners-toolkit-art-journaling/  Check out Page Flutter blog for more great ideas.

The Beginner’s Toolkit for Art Journaling

Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter
Today’s post is an extra special treat! You may have noticed I’ve been taking an interest in art journaling recently. I’m already a raving fan of this style of journaling, but I’m also a Newbie with a capital “N”. Sooooo, I enlisted the help of a very talented lady to show us the ropes. Over to you, Torrie!
Hi there! I’m Torrie of Fox + Hazel, and I am super excited to be sharing my love of art journaling with you. It can seem overwhelming to know where to start when it comes time to put paint to paper, and I get that! I was there once, too, when creating “art” seemed so out of reach for me. Now I can’t imagine my life without art journaling (just look at my Instagram feed – that’s pretty much all I share!) Today I want to show you that you really don’t need a bunch of fancy art supplies to get started in an art journal. Everything on this list is affordable and really easy to get.
Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter


Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter


You’re going to need a place to put all your awesome work–this is called art “journaling” after all! There are no rules and you can use whatever you want. If you’d like to start using more wet mediums, like watercolors and acrylics, you will want thicker pages that can stand up to paint. I recommend a sketchbook with mixed media paper in. I’ve also used Moleskine Cahiers for journaling, and they work awesome for more collage/drawing type journaling. Just glue every other page together to strengthen the pages and to prevent any bleeding.
Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter


A cheap set of watercolor paints from your local craft store will be just fine to begin with! Watercolors are super versatile and are an easy way to get color on to your journal pages. The water brush is also really handy because it has water inside the handle, so you can travel and paint anywhere with your watercolors! Art journaling is a great way to document travels and adventures too, and a travel paintbrush makes it that much easier to do.
First things first: you're going to need a journal!


Okay, so these are the only two really ~artsy~ supplies I think are a must have. Both can be found at Michaels, so they are still easy to get!
Matte medium works as an adhesive and is the best for collages. It doesn’t wrinkle your paper and you can seal different mediums underneath it. Think about Modge Podge – it’s used in the same manner.
Gesso (pronounced jess-o) is used in about a million ways, but it’s main purpose is to prime your page to receive paint. It’s a thick and very pigmented white acrylic paint. It’s perfect for prepping pages so none of your paints seep through the paper, and it is the world’s best white out for covering up mistakes! You can use it as a base layer, to cover up parts of your work, mix it with other paints to lighten them, even as an adhesive.I use gesso in every single page I make and I consider it an absolute must have for art journaling.


Acrylic paints come in a million different colors, hues, sizes, viscosity , brands, etc. The selection can be overwhelming. I’ve found that buying just 2-3 tubes of your favourite colors that compliment one another is the best way to start. If you chose colors that “go” well, it makes it really easy to put paint on a page and have it look great right off the bat. I really like the Liquitex Basics line because it’s affordable and great quality for the price!
Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter


You’re going to need some pens to add in your journaling and details to your pages. It’s best to get a black pen that is waterproof so it doesn’t smudge when paint comes into contact with it. I really enjoy Micron pens, as well as Tombow Fudenosuke pens. My other must have item is a white gel pen. A little bit of white can go a long way in creating constrast on your page and making details really stand out. I love love love the Uni-Ball Signo Broad pen, but you can also get white gel pens by Sakura Gelly Roll as well.
Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter


One of the easiest ways to start art journaling is by starting with collage. You don’t need to be a master illustrator or painter to create a killer art journal page because there are literally thousands of awesome photos in magazines to use. I collect fashion magazines, National Geographic’s, photography magazines, special interest ones – you name it! Browse through some old magainzes for images that catch your eye and cut them out to use in your pages. You can usually get this material for FREE because who doesn’t have old magazines in there house? You? Um, I’m just gonna pretend I don’t have 3 years worth of cooking magazines hiding in my shelves. Then cut them up for my art journal!

Art Journaling Beginners Guide - Fox + Hazel for Page Flutter
With just a few supplies you can start to create some really wonderful art in your journal! It’s a versaile hobby that you can have a ton of fun with and express your artsy side with. So now that we have supplies figured out, you might be going “But where do I start!?” Don’t worry – I got you!
If you’re stuck on what to even start making on your pages, some prompts can really help get the creative juices flowing. Here are some prompts for you to help spark some ideas.


  1. Try to re-create your last dream you remember.
  2. What does happiness feel like? Warm? Shiny? Interpret it into an abstract image and use colors that reflect that feeling.
  3. Create a pattern that covers your entire page.
  4. Cut out images from a magazine and draw over them with a pen. Add to faces, create new shapes, change the picture completely!
  5. Who is your #1 supporter? Mine is my husband. Create a page all about that cheerleader in your life.
  6. Use a pen to scribble all over your page. Now paint in the negatives spaces a la 90’s kids computer art making (like this – you remember it, don’t you!?)
  7. Paint shapes on your page. Now use a pen to turn them into people, animals, objects, whatever!
  8. When was the last time you did something brave? Use colors you associate with brave and create a page honoring that time you were awesome!
  9. Cut out words from magazines to create a ransom letter or short story.
  10. Get in touch with your inner 5-year-old and do some finger painting!
If you want to see more art journaling goodies, you can see it all over on Fox + Hazel! I have a really easy step-by-step art journaling tutorial, some unconventional supplies to try and a whole series of tiny art journals I did! I can’t wait to see what you come up with as you venture into art journaling.