Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saying goodbye to one chapter & HELLO to a new chapter…

The time has come for me to write a blog post about letting go of and closing Nikki Sivils, Scrapbooker LLC down permanently.  This has been an extremely difficult and heart wrenching step for me but I also know that this needs to happen, it’s just hard to say or type the words.  I’ve done everything to close the company down except make the formal announcement.  I was waiting for the right time and that’s today, the last day of 2013.  I want to go into 2014 fresh, with no baggage holding me back from starting a new chapter and new career.  (Which, by the way, I don’t know what that will be just yet, but I’m working on it.)

I want to thank all the wonderful “fans” and supporters of my company.  You all have been so inspiring, supportive and wonderful!! I can never thank you enough and yet “thank you” doesn’t seem to be enough.  I want to thank everyone that worked with me, my husband, Dan, my leading lady, Lanie, my graphic bee, Heather, my everyday helpers and extra pair of hands, Catlin, Nick and Marla, my online social and constant contact gal, Mollie, Andrew who taught me the value of good selling and managed my sales reps, all my sales reps across the country (especially Pat my awesome FL rep) and last but certainly not least all my design team girls! You all helped grow the business beyond my greatest expectations. Thank you!

Please know that, yes, I’ve been sad and torn up about this decision for some time now but I’ve worked hard to get to this moment of excitement about my new future.  Stay tuned for more blog posts about my “doghouse” adventures, all that is going on in my life and what the future has in store for me.  

I can’t wait to see what this New Year, 2014, will bring!!!

Happy New Year and I wish the very best for all of you and hope the New Year will bring you much happiness!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Brun-uusto Cheese & a Layout

This is going to be a real fast blog post but I had to see and or tell everyone about this great cheese! 
Dan and I were at our little locally own market, Mama Jeans, and saw this cheese and thought we would try it. I searched online about how to cook it and saw that most people grill Brun-uusto cheese and some cook it on a stove top. Since my grill someone is still lost in the move, I decided to go the stove top way. I put a little bit of olive oil in a pan and seared it on both sides then reduced the heat until the cheese started oozing out the sides! 
I cut up some french bread, dapped olive oil on the bread then sprinkled some dried basil on the bread and backed it until crisp. We then enjoyed this little treat as an afternoon snack. Give it a try and you'll surely fall in-love with it too!!

I crated this layout just about a week before we moved, I was about to pull my hear out and thought that if I could relax myself for a bit with a little creativity then I would surely be ready to take on more packing! But then I sat down in front of all my stuff and thought I don't even know where to begin so I went to Pinterest, found an adorable layout and went to work on my own! 
I scrap-lifed and I'm so happy I did!! 
Please go HERE to see the layout I scrap-lifted, Corrie is so talented and I love her work and I'm sure you will too!!
This is my dad and I. I've so cherished this picture!

That's it folks!
Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Farming, a Goat and a Sweet Family

I realize that most of my blog post are about scrapbooking, my business, my nieces and nephews and of course my dogs! Rarely do I mention, except in passing that I have siblings whom have made me an aunt about 9 times. They're all very exceptional in their own way and I have a close relationship with all 6 of them. I'm the oldest and feel like the mother of most of them, so I brag a lot to my friends about all of them. Today I wanted to REALLY brag on my brother, DJ, the middle child. Dj's 9 years younger than I, has always been very sweet and a little shy at times, but alway danced to the beat of his own drums (which I love).  I can not express how very proud I am of him, he's stepped out of our fast pace world and created a perfect little farm for himself and his family. We weren't raised on a farm an no one in our family is a farmer but this was his dream, one acre and animal at a time he's creating a farm. I can actually say he's a farmer. 
Dj has a terrific wife, Tanya, and 2 kids, Alex and Jacob.  As well as a herd of cattle, goats, and a new horse. This is one very hard working family and I can't imagine what it takes to run a farm, have a wife working full time (in the city-about 30 mins away) and 2 kids but they do it and they do it very well! 
I'm proud of DJ for doing and creating his hearts desire, and I'm sure I have no clue of all the heartaches along the way but I love him for all that he has done and is doing. 
Here are some pictures of this beautiful family on their farm...
Jacob and his goat!
 Look at both of their eyes in this picture. They are both like "hey, who are you" and "hey, who are you"!! Love it! 

This is DJ on his horse "Sissy". 
I love that name, because that's what he has called me his entire life. Isn't she beautiful!!
This is his wife, Tanya, who is a sweetheart and I can't tell you how happy I am that she's my sister in law! I'm proud to call her a sister!!
DJ decide to build a barn, a very huge barn, this past winter and this is the result. But here's the kicker, he and my dad have done this all by themselves!! Yep, you heard me right... just the 2 of them have built this magnificent barn. I'm not sure where I'd even start, and he built this! Talented man!!
One of great pieces in this barn are the windows that will go in it, they were in my grandma's old house. He thought looking out of them everyday would remind him of our grandparents. 
How sweet is that! 
I love this evening picture of his barn.
I wish I had a picture of Alex on the Farm but I don't so until I do...
 this is sweet Alex on the first day of school. 
I love you DJ...
I hope you know and will never forget that I'm so very proud of you!

Have a great rest of the week! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

All moved in and some Fried Tacos too!!

I've had some crazy moving-days before in my life but this one will go down in history as the worse one every! For so, so many reasons, but thats an entire other blog post! 
I wanted to share some pictures of my new home, pretend you don't see the boxes and clutter.
I'm making progress, most the rooms are done or coming along. We downsized by over 50% of space, which I love, and we will be empty nesters in under a year now so we needed a smaller home.
 We've been here a couple of weeks now, my only regrets is that I didn't do this 6 years ago when we moved in our other home!! I can't tell you or express enough that the 3 of us living all on one level in under 2,000 square feet is glorious!! We could actually take away a few 100 feet off each side of the house and still be fine. Henry comes in our room more and since he's just down the hall, we cross paths all the time. He's not upstairs and us down, we are all together, which makes me a bit sad that the last 6 yrs we spent in a huge home all lost and not having the closeness we should have. That's my one big regret, so if you are a family thinking you need a big house with more space just remember that the space is nice but the distances from your kids... not so much! Just my two cents worth of info. 
Here is my front entryway!
It's so bright, with huge windows!
As you can see the pups love it too! They've never had an all glass
door before so its a whole new world for them! Especial Bella, because
she's so small she can't see out the windows so this is great for her!!

Our bedroom, I bought new bedding and floor rug from Target,
and I love the new colors! (again ignore the boxes)!!
This is a wood burning fireplace in our bedroom, which will be so cozy this winter! 
We've not had a fireplace in the bedroom before, makes me excited for winter now!
These next 2 pictures are taken from the front door when you
walk into our home. You walk into a living room,
and if you head straight, thru the little doorway you go into the kitchen.
If you turn right you have a hallway to the bedrooms and this
sweet little built-in china cabinet, that I love!
It holds my grandparents china perfectly! 
That's all the pictures I have have for now, more to come once I get
a bit more organized... one day soon hopefully!

As most of you know, I love to cook and if you follow me on Facebook you see all my
cooking creations, the good, the bad and the ugly! I've had a chance to "break-in" my new kitchen
and trying to getting use to no gas stove anymore, and it isn't as bad as I thought, actually not bad at all!  Now the less counter space is a bit more trying as well as no center island but its doable, we get spoiled in these huge kitchens. This house was built in 1947, with all the same character and charm from the 40's, that's what I fell in-love with, but with that comes no counter space. Then I remember that families were raised here and those women made it work, so lord knows I can too!  
Here are a couple of my favorites cooked just last week...
My Gmas's Fried Tacos!!
These are the best!! 
I try to pre-chop everything before I get started so that I don't run out 
of time when it comes to putting them all together! 

One tip my g-ma shared with me is not to by the leanest meat b/c a little fat in taco makes the 
flavor pop, so I buy about 80% lean. Also along with the taco seasoning, add one small can of tomato sauce to the meat and seasoning, yes, tomato sauce will rock a taco like you won't believe, makes it moist and juicy! 
I use to shred all my cheeses b/c I think it taste better and fresher if grated right before 
used on a taco, but if short on time I buy a bag of cheese... it is a lot easier!!
My secret sauce...
Its a local, VERY nontraditional mexican restaurant here in Springfield, but its 
also a local favorite, you'll hate it if you weren't raised on it! They have a sweet sauce that
 you poor over your tacos right before you eat them that is killer!! 
Sorry, you can only get it here in Springfield but you can order it on their website, I think! 
With homemade guacamole on top of the deep fried taco makes it
mouth watering!! I'll always think of my g-ma when making these!!
Well, you can't "break-in" a kitchen without homemade chocolate chip cookies, right!!

Hope you enjoyed todays post and that I didn't make you too hungry! 
Have a great day!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Winner is...

The winner for my "packing/moving" giveaway is...
(Please email me your address for the pack of paper.)

Blogger hla2425 said...
Congrats on the new house:)

We moved about 2 years ago and what a job.... but we did downsize a bit -- not my craft room but elsewhere.

Make sure you know where all your chargers are:)
Thanks for all the tips, I'm actually using several of them right now while I am packing! As I'm packing I'm realizing that I have too much furniture for my new house, since we are downsizing, so if you are from Springfield, MO  and in need of a queen size mattress set, and queen size bed as well as some nice chairs and table please check out my FB page .Here is the link: Nikki Sivils  
I have a few pictures of my new house and wanted to share them with you.

Love my front porch! 
The backyard is pretty big and has a nice place for a fire pit which will 
be fun this fall to have family and friends over!

Hope you are having a great weekend!
Back to packing!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Packing 101... a GIVEAWAY too!

I know what you are thinking, packing, really, its not rocket science! And you would
be right, its not but I'm a super crazy, organizing, make an outline, for a big event kind of gal!
I was showing my mom, sister and telling my massage therapist, about my packing an all
three said you should blog about it! Now, they all could have wanted me to blog about it to show everyone my craziness or what if, maybe one tip helped someone else then it would be worth it! Right!
Then I thought I'll host a nice giveaway because if I could learn one thing
that might save me a bit more time then that would be even better! 
Lets get started!! 
Yep... it sold, so now its packing time!!
We close the end of the month and move into our new home just a couple of days before we close on this house. Because I'm so high strung and LOVE to organize I decided to sit down
 and start a list of how long I thought each room would take to pack, then
counted the days until the move and came up with a packing schedule. 
I know, its crazy but this is how I have to work and also it makes sense to me, 
this way I'm not packing all day and night for 4 days straight until I move.
 I can enjoy the process, well, as much as you can enjoy packing! 
This is my schedule, leaving certain rooms that are large and have more items 
in them for more days. Week 1, went great, I stayed on schedule and was able to
work my "real" job a bit and enjoy life too. I would suggest this method to
anyone that has to juggle several things at once, it will make your life easier. I promise.  
Before I started packing last week I got one of my old crates and 
made a supply box so that all my things are together in one place and I can just
pick up that box be on my way to the next room. 
What's in my old wooded crate, you ask?
Well, a super duty tape gun, I have several because of my business, when in the business of shipping they are a must but you can get cheaper tape guns at office supply stores.
 I have Zip Lock bags, for the little things that need to be packed but have several pieces to them, example: throw the cords to electronics into the bags then tape the bag to the the machine it belongs too, now nothing is lost during the move. I also collect all the nails for picture frames hung on the wall too so they are all together in one spot. You won't believe how much you'll use these little bags, more than you think! 
A tape measure, I pre-measure larger pieces of furniture then with masking take write the measurements of that piece and tape it on the furniture. This is so when you are moving it in and the movers or you don't think it will fit well you have the measurements written down on the furniture so now you just have to measure where in the new place it might go. It will just save a little extra time on moving day. 
Next, I have small post-its and pens for notes you need to leave or a reminder to get something at the store later that day, so you don't forget scribble it down and then you can keep packing too. It will be amazing what your mind comes up with and remembers and forgets all at one time during packing. 
Masking and duct tape are for labeling things, scissors (a must have too) and the good ole' Sharpie! A must have is a good black Sharpie!! 
A trash bag, for all the crap you find that needs to be thrown away and newspaper too for packing breakables. 
Lastly a barstool, you heard me right, a barstool. This is so you don't injury your back or like me, who has a really bad back already, I don't further damage it. I put the box I'm packing on the barstool or a regular table chair, that way I'm not bending over at the waist killing my back. My barstool and chair are a necessity!  
My next tip: label your boxes with the room in your new home it will belong too. On moving day label each room in the new house; so that each box will go to the correct room, then save an area in your home or garage that the "IDK" (I don't know) boxes will go.
I did this my last move and even the movers told me that they wish everyone did this as its so nice to have labels on the box to match the room it goes too. I have labels for master bedroom, bedroom #1 and bedroom #2, also if a room is painted, say its a pink room in the new house, then label it pink bedroom instead of #1 or #2, this makes it even easier for the guys that are moving you.  Also, and this takes a bit more time but if you've scheduled yourself enough time this shouldn't be an issue, under the label of the room the box will go too, put a general description of what is in that box. That way on moving day you can find your toothbrush, heating pad and PJs then fall into bed! No really this is a great tip I got from a friend that was moving and its true, you will need that one thing, once you’ve moved in, and have no clue where is it so instead of ripping open every box you have that's packed you can simple read the contents and move on to the next, plus it should be in the correct room so that makes it even easier! 
More on labels: I also put the room, that box belongs in, on all four side of the box. This way if a box doesn't get in the correct room (and several will) and you are searching for it, you see it… “hall bathroom box” in the middle of all the boxes that are stacked up to the ceiling in your living room, you don't have to pull out to see if its the "missing" box because it is labeled on all four sides! You will pat yourself on the back for this simple tip once your are in the new house, exhausted and can't find that damn muscle cream for all those sore places from the move!!  

I would, and do have, several plastic tubs labeled:
-clothes donations 
and another one labeled
-garage sale
These go from room to room with me too. This makes the move 
easier, that way you are clearing out the old and don't have to do this at the
new place, it will be done and you'll be happy you did it before the move.
That's all the tips I have! 
What tip(s) do you have for me?
Would you like to win a pack of scrapbook paper? 
If so leave me a comment or packing tip about moving and I'll draw a random winner Saturday the 17th, you'll need to check back to see if your the winner then email me your shipping address and I'll send you a box of scrapbook paper and goodies!!  

I can't have a blog post without a couple of dog pictures...
Bella asleep on my my heating pad, she loves that heating pad! 
My big boy, Nico, waiting for me to come to bed! 

Have a great day!

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