Summer Escape {Lakes}

    While my family never had one regular vacation spot where would we trek every year, some of my fondest memories of summer revolve around time spent at various lakes.

    When I was growing up, not only were my best friend, Jenni, and I close, but so were our parents, and thus my family was welcomed at their weekend getaway. Summer memories from my elementary school years are peppered with days spent at their lake house.

    Country Living

    The lake was only an hour's drive from our homes, but, at that age, felt much further. I was always anxious to arrive, and the car ride seemed to last an eternity.

    Country Living

    The house was on a small, private island, and, although it was truly only a short distance from the mainland, it always seemed an adventure to reach. We would load people and belongings into a rowboat and traverse the distance between the shores; each trip, I prayed for the boat to not tip in transit.

    Thayer Allyson Gowdy

    This is not a tale of the exclusive and wealthy, however, but rather of a simple family cottage that welcomed many; the home was shared by their extended family, and I fondly remember afternoons spent playing on the banks of the lake alongside my brother, Jenni, her sister, and their cousins.

    House Beautiful

    The island seemed enormous from a child's perspective, although, surely, like many things remembered from childhood, I imagine I'd be surprised to see it again through an adult's eyes.

    Country Living

    Whatever the true breadth of the land, it was large enough to encompass more than it's fair share of memories including one of the day Jenni and I were given the very grown-up privilege of taking the row boat out to circle the island alone; sadly, our experience came to a crashing halt when, not yet a quarter of the way into our trip, we lost an oar in the water and had to be rescued by our dads.

    Country Living

    Summers during my middle school and high school years included time spent with our extended family on lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin. The lasting images from those trips are of riding over waves, first on an inflatable tube, then later, water skis, and feeling the wind whip across my face as I was pulled behind a boat flying furiously across the water's surface.

    Pia Ulin

    I traded the lakes of the Midwest for those of the South when I was in college. There was a lake 15 minutes from campus, and although it was far from a glamorous retreat, my friends and I loved heading off to its murky waters. The best spots were reached via dirt roads, and it felt like we were world's away as we lay sunning ourselves on the lake's dark sandy shores.

    Country Living

    I moved one state over to attend graduate school, and during that following summer, there were two holiday weekends spent lakeside with my friends from school. An unseasonably chilling drizzle didn't dampen our spirits as we celebrated our friends' engagement over Memorial Day, but it did cut short our time on the water; cruising around the lake in our rented pontoon boat, while lacking the adequate gear to combat the cold rain, wasn't quite as much fun as had planned.

    Our lake trip later that summer, over the 4th of July, proved much kinder, as we were greeted by beautiful, sunny skies and scorching temperatures, perfect for cooling off in the water.

    Hakan Ludwigson

    My memories of time spent on lakes has continued into my adult life too; E's and my house in central Texas is only a 10-minute drive from a lake where we watched a sunrise in the early days of our relationship, and since then, more frequently have viewed sunsets... have I ever mentioned I am a bit of a night owl? The lake also provided a perfect place for walks with our dogs and for an afternoon spent swimming the comfortably warm waters when my youngest brother visited us last summer.

    Krakvik and D'Orazio

    I know we aren't too far from a number lakes here in Houston, and I imagine it will only be a matter of time before we find ourselves making new memories in their now unfamiliar waters. Until then, I will dream of once again jumping into the refreshing water of a lake on a hot and sticky day, something that makes my list of things to love about summer.
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Luscious, THREE INGREDIENT Chocolate Sorbet...Works For Me Wednesday

    When our fearless leader, Kristen of We Are THAT Family, deemed this Works For Me Wednesday "Summer Recipes Edition," I knew just what I would make!
    chocolate sorbet outside
    This Chocolate Sorbet comes from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein (great book). It's so simple and so decadent tasting, I don't know why I don't make it ALL THE TIME!!!
    chocolate sorbet
    3 ingredients...that's it. It's dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free, but more importantly....IT'S GOOD!!!

    chocolate sorbet scoop
    Chocolate Sorbet
    (adapted from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book)

    2 c. water
    1 c. sugar
    1 c. dutch-process cocoa powder

    Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cocoa and continue whisking until the mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes, whisking constantly.

    Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Let cool several minutes on the counter, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Stir the mixture and add to your ice cream machine, following the manufacturer's instructions. Remove and place in a freezer safe container; press plastic wrap down onto the top to prevent freezer-burn. Let harden a few hours. ENJOY! :)

    A few more ice cream recipes to cool you off this summer:
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Magnolia-licious sketch challenge for July

    YAY! It's July! Time for swimming pools, BBQ's, lazy days in the sun, and a new sketch challenge from the Design Team at Magnolia-licious! This month's sketch is by the amazingly talented Jacque Beddingfield! I LOVE this sketch! I just recently got this beautiful Tilda (#341 Blowing Hearts) from Magnolia-licious, and I am in love with her. I just think she is way beyond precious.
    I reversed the sketch cause I wanted Tilda to be facing the sentiment instead of away from it. I got just a wee bit irritated trying to show the true color of the layering cardstock. It's actually a very dark brown that looks awesome with the DP, but no matter what I did with my photo, it looks black.
    I learned how to make these awesome flowers from my design team sister, Cheryl Rowley. She did hers with her scalloped heart Nestabilities. I don't have that set, so I just used the scalloped heart cut from the Doodlecharms cartridge with my Cricut Expression. (looks the same - that's why I didn't buy the nesties) I cut out eight for each flower and distressed the edges with chalk ink, punched a little hole on the bottom of the hearts, and then scrunched them all up. They're a lot of fun to make and I'm sure I'll be making lots of these in the future! Thanks Cheryl!

    All layers are machine stitched, and the layer with Tilda is popped up from the card base. It's not very often that Tilda has ears, so I took full advantage by giving her pink pearl earrings!
    The tag is another fun stamp from Magnolia-licious. I just tacked it down and ran it through my printer for the sentiment. It's double popped off the card. The DP is Basic Grey Bittersweet and the colored cardstock is Bazzill. White cardstock is cryogen white that has just a touch of sparkle to it. LOVE it!!

    And a peek at the inside. That's it for today. So please be sure and visit Magnolia-licious Highlites. The other designers will be posting their cards as they get them done. We would truly love it if you would play along with us! Thanks for stopping by to see me today, and hope to see you back again soon! HUGS!
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Constance & Eniko




    Hot and new at modelwerk: dewi driegen

    Crazy, crazy... looks like the dutch are seriously coming and they intend on staying.. not that we mind of course since we are proud to announce that dewi driegen is from today on represented by modelwerk!

    since dewi got scouted by the age of 13y. she certainly has started young to accumulate all those highly prestigious jobs every model is aiming for. she has shot the chloé campaign and was part of the gucci campaign we all remember so well since the models each had a little child as accessory.

    dewi has shot for french and spanish vogue, harpers bazaar and has done every international show there is.
    to top all this off.... dewi is based in europe!!

    source runway pics:
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Viva Italia!

    One of my favorite customers ( was my sister) ordered these cookies for her father-in-law for Father's Day. He loves his Italian heritage...and when you come from the land of prosciutto, parmesan and amaretto, what's not to love?!?
    italian cookies closer
    We put our heads together trying to come up with "Italian" cookies. What did we came up with? Flags and pizza. :)
    viva italia
    If you have an Italy lover in your life, you might want to consider making these flag cookies. They are really cute and a great cookie if you're just starting with flooding cookies:

    1. Using a #2 tip, outline the flag in white royal icing and divide into 3 sections. Reserve some of this icing for detail.
    2. Thin red, white and green icings with water until they reach the consistency of a thick syrup. Cover with a damp dish towel. Let sit several minutes.
    3. Run a rubber spatula through the icings and transfer to squeeze bottles.
    4. Fill in the sections of the flag, using a toothpick to guide into corners.
    5. Let dry at least one hour.
    6. If desired, switch the tip on the un-thinned white icing to a #1 and write "viva italia" across the flags.
    italian cookies
    Ciao Bella! ;)

    Remember to enter the patriotic pancake pan giveaway!!! The winner will be chosen tomorrow (Tuesday)!
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Devon Aoki

New Bitten By The Bug challenge plus a Blog Hop!!

    Hi everyone! Sure hope you had a wonderful weekend, and that you're ready for the new week! I've got a short week ahead of me since I get Friday off from work. So anywho, it's time for the release of a new challenge from Regina over at Bitten By The Bug. AND, it's time for more fun cause it's another BBTB Blog Hop!!! This week, Regina is asking you to use the Freedom cut fr0m the Graphically Speaking cartridge. Well as soon as I heard what the challenge was, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. So I ran straight to the 4th of July file from The Cutting Cafe'!!!

    The card was made by using my DS software with my Cricut Expression, all of which I got from Hallmark Scrapbook. Both the background paper used for the word Freedom, as well as that adorable Uncle Sam hat, is from a set of 4th of July downloadable stamps from The Cutting Cafe'! AND Regina has a special going on right now, so rush over to The Cutting Cafe' to check it out! If you haven't tried Regina's stamps yet, you are missing out! I easily changed the color of the background stamp with my Printmaster program (thank you so much DeeDee!!!), and also resized them to the exact size I wanted for this card. The hat was colored with my Copic markers. I added some Kaiser rhinestones and a ribbon, and I was done. So now onto the info for the Blog Hop!!

    If you like flowers, bling, and pink, then I think you're going to like this little batch of blog candy. It consists of a clear flower flourish stamp from Stampendous, a few Prima flowers, Some gorgeous sparkly glittered hearts by Melissa Frances, a set of self adhesive pearls by Kaiser, and some cool pink trim. If you'd like a chance to win this, just leave a comment on this post by midnight Friday night, July 3rd. I will pull a winner sometime over the weekend, so be sure to check back to see if you are the lucky winner!
    After you're done here, be sure to hop right on over to Heather's blog and take in all the eye candy she has to offer you! Heather makes the most amazing layouts and cards! She is just a bundle of talent!
    Hope you're having fun on the blog hop! Thanks for stopping by to see me today, and I hope to see you back again soon! HUGS!
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*Patriotic Decor*Blog Hop*Blog Candy*

    Hello happy bloggers! This week we have it all - Patriotic Decor, Blog Hop, and Blog Candy... Everything but fireworks!!!

    If you are following the Bitten by the Bug blog hop you probably arrived here from the amazing Laura's blog (Isn't she fabulous?). The challenge cut at Bitten by the Bug this week is the jumbled word FREEDOM from the Graphically Speaking cartridge. I made this cute door hanger as an added patriotic decoration.

    I cut FREEDOM in navy blue card stock, as well as a selection of stars. I used the Going Places cartridge highway sign in red with added cut outs, and also the shadow of the highway sign in white card stock. After assembling the freedom shield, I added one inch ribbon and additional larger stars.

    One of the treats of the blog hop is blog candy!!! My blog candy is a set of coordinating paper, matching shaped cuts, and matching chipboard punchouts. Just leave a comment below and you will be registered for the random drawing. The winner will be selected on Thursday, July 2.

    To continue on the blog hop, you will now be on your way to Donna's blog. Get ready to have your socks knocked off!!! I cannot believe I am sandwiched here between Laura and Donna.... Such talent on each side... Too bad it doesn't rub off on me!!!

    And finally.... Happy July 4th week USA! For you international bloggers, July 4th is when the United States celebrates our liberation from English rule and the forming of our country. So wave your red, white and blue this week and celebrate with us!!Source URL:
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