" Frozen Fairytale: March 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mother's Day Countdown Week 7

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Finding your perfect Venue

For me and my husband the perfect venue can be the first one you visit. Unfortunately for a lot of couples the options are so endless that it can be a little overwhelming. 

When I was preparing to visit venues I did my research online. Most venues have extensive information about their facilities online and researching your favorite venues online will cut down your physical searching time for sure. 

There are many types of brides out there, but for me I am the "over-organized" bride. I had documents and paperwork for even the smallest thing. I thought, you can only do this once so do it right! The more I researched the venues, and watched wedding shows online, the more I realized that some of my questions haven't been answered. And boy did I have questions!
SO, I prepared myself two venue checklist documents. 
I'm going to share these documents with you in hopes that they may help you to ease your questions for the venues, and possibly give you questions you didn't even think were necessary to ask! I'm also going to explain more in detail, why I decided to create these files for myself, and how they helped me to create my wedding. 

I created two versions of each file in case one doesn't work. (I have the old 2002 Microsoft Word, so I don't know if that matters)

Free Downloadable Wedding Venue Checklist

Venue Checklist #1 (word doc)
Venue Checklist #1 (PDF adobe reader)

Venue Checklist #2 (word doc)
Venue Checklist #2 (PDF adobe reader)
These documents are for personal use only. All rights to these documents are property of Sandra Carpenter, any unauthorized posting of these documents is illegal. Link back to this site if you wish to blog about this post or the free checklists.

If anyone uses these documents to go "venue shopping" please leave a comment or link your blog post about your experiences with these checklists. I'd love to hear about it. 

Elaborate explanation of the venue checklists:

The first checklist deals with what's included in the venue and what you'll need to supply yourself.

It's surprising how different each venue, and package within a venue is when it comes to what's included. Some venues had packages that included a bride & groom suite, centerpieces, chair covers, candles, floral arrangements and even a D.J. For someone like me, these extra inclusions can be very helpful in completing your wedding dream. Knowing the items or services that are not provided can also help you plan further in what you will need to purchase yourself. For example, in our venue there was no dance floor when I arrived for the viewing. After asking about it, they told me it was included and that it was a snap together floor that is only put out when there is a wedding. 

The second checklist deals with the handling of one specific venue in more detail. 

When I realized how many extra fees were to be included after you buy a package or even just a hall I was stunned. I wanted to make sure I knew where and what every single penny was going to and what it covered. For example, the damage and deposit fee. A deposit on a venue is mandatory and also one of the scariest deposits you can make. I asked the venue, "If you go up in flames before my wedding, and you are burnt to the ground what happens?" Can you believe that I wouldn't get my deposit back? Furthermore I would be out of a venue entirely. Of course, that was the very worst of 'what if's' and they did give me information on insurance from a different source. I was going to be my own D.J. But did you know there are still fees you need to pay for that? 

I wanted to have a lot of little extras in my wedding, but many venues have restrictions on many items! All the indoor venues in my city refused to allow confetti, silly string or rice. 
So the second checklist handles the little items that need to be addressed. 

These checklists are just guidelines on areas I found to be important to me. If you plan on using them, go over them before arriving so you know which items apply to your venue. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Lean Ground Beef

I enjoy experimenting with recipes and ingredients, so I thought I would make some baked macaroni and cheese with ground beef my way, since I had all the ingredients I needed at home already. Reading from a recipe doesn't always satisfy my inner creativity. Unfortunately I had no garlic or garlic salt. Garlic spoils too quickly in my house, but I would've added an immense amount were I to have it. My husband and I enjoyed my experiment, but if you are someone who does not like the taste of "real" tomatoes, I suggest substituting the can of diced tomatoes for a can of spaghetti sauce. 


  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 boxes of Kraft Dinner (I put the seasoning aside for a different day)
  • 1 can of corn (341ml) 
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (796ml)
  • 200g of Monterey Jack cheese (this is what we had in the house, if I had more I would've put more...lol)
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • bread crumbs (optional)

Add caption
Step 1: Brown the meat on medium heat and boil your water.
Step 2: While you are browning and boiling, chop your onions.
Step 3: Grate your cheese and put your noodles in the boiling water. Then cook them according to package. (normally 8 minutes)
Step 4: Turn off the heat, then drain your meat. Set aside. Drain noodles and set aside. 
Step 5: Place butter and onions in pot. Brown them. Once browned add tomatoes (don't drain), corn (drain), ground beef and all spices. 
Step 6: While your meat mixture is cooking, layer half the macaroni on bottom of tray. 
Step 7: After meat mixture has cooked for 5-8 minutes spread half evenly onto the macaroni.
Step 8: Layer cheese then thin layer of bread crumbs. 
Step 9: Repeat layering once more. (Macaroni, meat mixture, cheese and bread crumbs.) 
Then place in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

And done! I enjoyed mine with some "Italiano blend seasoning" my husband enjoyed his with ketchup (EW).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bunny in my backyard

This afternoon my wild bunny friend came to pay me a visit. 

It was only this past year that I have moved here, and the animal life here was vastly different. I was previously living in a more busier part of town on the top twelfth floor apartment building next to the airport. The only animals that would ever pay me any notice up there were pigeons that would always fly away even if you were bringing them food. 
A favorite past time of mine is sitting by a lake or in a park and feeding ducks, squirrels, chipmunks, and even seagulls. I haven't been duck feeding at my favorite park in about a year. I used to take my expired bread products and stale crackers to feed the animals. 
When I decided to move after the wedding, we tried to find a slightly bigger place. The only thing nice and in our price range at the time was 20 minutes away. This part of town is still in development, but I'm really liking how much quieter it is. I haven't seen a single pigeon. I do however have a bird feeder, and get to see chickadees and other birds that I don't know the correct names of. 
Bird in the Backyard, summer 2012. Collecting nesting items for the nest beside our place.

Birds aren't the only difference. We now have bunnies. I tried planting a garden, but I think I planted it too late in the summer for anything to actually grow. It was either that or I just don't have the green thumb. However the bunnies never seemed to steal any of the tomatoes or strawberries. 
Early in winter I was making a lot of chicken pot pies, (My husbands favorite) and I ended up having a lot of carrots left over. Now this may gross out some people, but I still have them in my fridge. I save the bag for the bunnies. It's weird, I would've thought the carrots would be mushy by now, but they are still very hard, just a little dried out. Whenever I see the bunnies pass by, I run into my kitchen grab the carrots and throw them a couple. Bunnies are just so cute to watch nibbling on food, the sounds they make are adorable. 

Bunny in the yard, flash camera, march 2012

Bunny eating a carrot, flash camera, march 2012

The view from my backyard.

The land in my backyard and just a bit out is undeveloped. That's where they live, make their homes and have their babies. Sadly, in the next year to 3 years the city will be tearing down the landscape, and ripping up the trees to make more stores and buildings. I just hope I won't lose my wild bunnies. 

Movie Reviews

I am a huge movie buff. Movies make my day whether it’s a terrifying horror movie, or a laugh out loud comedy. I’m personally not too fond of action, mainly because to me most action movies leave out the most important part… THE STORY. Any movie that causes me to have an emotional connection, whether it’s crying at Titanic, laughing at Jim Carrey or jumping at a Velociraptor is going to make me like, love and possibly watch it again. I have a collection of 200-300 blue rays and DVD’s that I watch at home continuously. One of my favorite past-times is watching a movie while crafting. I can see the movie in my head without needing the screen to watch it, but I guess that means I've just watched the movies I have too many times. What’s your favorite movie to watch continuously?

Here’s some recent movies I've watched and my thoughts and reviews on them.

Oz the Great and Powerful:

This movie was very visually pleasing. I watched it in 3D but I believe even without the 3D effects the beauty of the movie would surely not be missed. Although the acting at times was less than brilliant, (and really who couldn't guess that with the cast) it was made up with the intelligent story line. It was a very predictable movie, but oddly enough that did nothing to ruin it either. I must say I was highly hesitant to even go to the film. As a young girl, I would watch The Wizard of Oz at least twice a week, and now as an adult at least 8 times a year. So I was hesitant that they would ruin the story line or soil the good name of the movie. I was wonderfully mistaken, as the movie kept my attention to the very end. I feel the movie felt very much like Disney’s Alice in Wonderland 2010 version. The movie was darker and scarier than I would've expected which only made it better.

This movie was a 10 for me! I will be purchasing it.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Let me begin by saying LOTR is a favourite trilogy of mine.

I saw this in 3D but felt there really was no reason to pay the extra fee. It was action packed, but lacked a good amount of story. I realize this is just the first of 3 movies; however I am going to find it hard to motivate myself to go see the next one. The only scene I thought was gripping enough to keep me interested was the scene with Gollum. This was not a favorite of mine, and will probably not be watched again. Hopefully the next part will be more to my liking. This movie barely got a 5 from me.

Wreck-It Ralph:

I LOVE video games. However you definitely don’t need to be a video game fan to enjoy this movie. (But if you are you may just love it more) I watched this film in 3D, and yes it is better in 3D, but I believe the color will be stimulating enough to those who don’t get the chance to see it in 3D. The story was brilliant, made me laugh, made me cry, made me hungry, and made me want to craft everything I saw! LOL. Beautiful movie for kids and adults alike! I will be purchasing this movie and re-watching it several times! This movie is a 10!

Identity Thief:

This movie was ho-hum for me. But it did get my emotional currents flowing. I admit I yelled at the screen numerous times and laughed once or twice. It’s definitely a feel-good comedy (although I wanted to punch things a lot?!?) but the story was very predictable. Definitely worth a watch on a rainy day. I give this a 7.


What a waste of time this movie was. Seeing as I like Sissey Spacek and the trailer looked awesome, I didn't hesitate to watch this movie. How wrong I was. I'm going to blame the actors on one hand, because they just royally sucked… but I know most of the blame must be laid on the writer and director… but mainly the writer. The story was not well explained at all, but I believe all the characters were ... to put it nicely “country folk” from at least 30-40 years ago! However they never state the time period in the movie so I can’t be sure. If indeed the writer was intending it to be made for this century he was sadly mistaken. The amount of womanizing in this movie is ridiculous, as well as the actual women taking this abuse from men. The movie had 15 minutes left when the story actually started. I was just very disappointed with the acting, the story and the whole movie. This movie was highly unrealistic and dumb. I give this a 1!

Dark Skies:

I love Alien movies. Especially when they are done right. My top favorite is “The Fourth Kind” but others like “Alien”, “Aliens”, “Alien 3”, “Alien: resurrection”, “Galaxy Quest” Ok.. ok.. I just LOVE Sigourney Weaver! LOL. “Futurama”, “The Neighbors”, “The Mist”, “The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”, “Fire in the Sky” and many many more are all in my favorite list. Don’t get me wrong many have been done horribly wrong, focusing way too much on only the action or just having a bad story line in general. I’m not a fan of Keri Russell so I was skeptical in going to see the film. Although I was only jolted from my seat once the chills in this movie made it worth it. It’s sad that they placed most of the good parts directly in the trailer itself, ruining half the movie… but most trailers do that. This movie made me scared to walk around my house alone. So it did me proud. J I give this one a 9!


Here’s an action packed film done right! Just the right amount of action, with the right amount of sexy hunk. The story was compelling. I usually hate time based movies as most are done stupidly without using logic. I enjoyed sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen. Very thought provoking. I give this one an 8!


I sometimes enjoy watching documentaries. This documentary was very emotional for me, as an animal lover. If you are not in the mood to watch anything sad don’t watch this. If you are also an animal lover, environmentalist, or enjoy movies that bring out emotion and tears, this is the movie for you. I love movies that touch me, and make me cry. This movie educates as well as follows people struggling to change their ways. It’s truly beautiful. I give this a 10!

Django Unchained:

This isn't a movie I would normally watch. There is far too much action for my taste. However the amount of actors in it really piqued my interest, well that and it was on the Oscars “to watch” list. The acting was great in it. The movie bored me most of the time, and was far too long for the story itself. The ending was self indulgent and predictable. But, it did win 2 Oscars. So I do recommend seeing it to get your own opinion as “action” films are not my forte. I give the movie a 6.

Upside Down:

I enjoyed this film. It was visually pleasing to the eye and the story was compelling. It was a bit predictable, but of course it is a love story. I found the movie highly unique and the only criticism I would say is that my neck hurts from continuously twisting to view the movie in both directions. I give this beautiful movie an 8.

Cold Souls:

A not so new movie I recently watched on Netflix. I watched it out of boredom and because I love Paul Giamatti. It was interestingly weird. It wasn't fascinating, but not dull enough to turn off. I don’t know if I would recommend watching it as I think the audience for this movie would be thin. If you ever want a weird, odd movie to watch with little logic and lots of weird acting, then this is it. I give this movie a 6.

The Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn – Part 2:

My husband hated this movie, and found it hard to continue to watch it all the way through. We normally agree so I find it weird that I kind of enjoyed it. Maybe it’s the writer Stephenie Meyer, or just a secret indulgent. I love the concept of vampires. No movie has ever done it better in my eyes than “Interview with the Vampire” I do enjoy “True Blood” although I have many problems with it. This movie does not hold a candle to these mentioned, but it’s still a watcher! I watched the other movies in the series, so I can’t go without watching the last one. It held my attention, even though the acting was horrible and the story was a bit iffy. I give it a 6.


This is a cute little movie, obviously better in 3D. I wouldn't recommend it for children under 8 or 9, or for devout Catholics. The movie has a lot of dead people, with body parts crawling everywhere and a lot of witch hating/loving. I personally enjoyed it as a cute rainy day film. The movie was predictable and a feel-good comedy. I give it a 7.

House at the End of the Street:

Interesting horror movie. It wasn't horrible, kept my attention, and wasn't very predictable. I probably wouldn't watch it again, but for a one time watch this isn't too bad. I give it a 6.


Trailer was awesome. LOL. My skin was crawling with chills up until about the last 15 minutes of the movie. Why do they have to ruin a perfectly good movie right at the end? The kids were creepy in the movie, almost enough to deter me entirely from having any. But the ending was illogical and done wrong. Very disappointed. I give this movie a 4!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Jar Lid Shadowboxes

If you are anything like me you keep every jar that you go through. I must have at least 45-75 jars and lids in a huge cupboard. It's hard to find things to do with them, art wise that would actually be useful to me or that I would enjoy making. All the mason jar crafts I've seen just don't attract my attention. However, I thought of a great craft to do with the jar lids that were accumulating. 

I've always been fascinated with shadowboxes. I really have no idea why, I guess the dept of an item is interesting? I really enjoy 3D movies, maybe that has something to do with it. Anyways, here's a shadowbox you can make with polymer. Use it as a wall hanging art, pendant, magnet, brooch or just as a nice piece of art. 

What you need:

  • Any size clean jar lid. (I put mine through the dishwasher.) (The smaller the lid the more work it is to create your art)
  • Polymer clay
  • Bake and Bond Polymer clay glue. (Sculpey is my choice)

Your clean jar lid, dry and ready to be made into art.

Roll out your base color of whatever design you decide you'll be making. Place your lid on top of it and cut around the lid. (Doesn't have to be perfect)

Since polymer clay doesn't stick to metal on it's own, using this bake and bond Sculpey glue will keep your art in it's proper place. Put a thin layer on your lid. 

Lightly place the clay sheet on top of the lid. Using careful pressure begin pushing the middle of the clay down softly and continue to push from the middle to the edges. (Don't push too hard or you'll lose the shape you created)

What I like to do next is create the main focus piece. In this case it was a wolf. (This is not necessary, if you want to wait till the end it doesn't matter, I make it first to judge the size that I'll need to make everything else.)

Make a foundation pop out. In this case it's grass so I rolled out the clay and cut around the lid again. Then I began to roll pieces of grass. 

To do this I just rolled a long piece of polymer and kept cutting it with a toothpick and placing it on the clay in the appropriate places. (this was tedious)

When I felt there was enough grass I placed my wolf. This way I was able to place grass around it's feet as well to make it look like it was standing in the grass. 

Finished piece. The background is supposed to be the moon, and clouds with a bird/bat flying. And the wolf is howling at the moon. 

I wasn't happy with my creation of the wolf... (it's hard to do animals for me.) I decided to make this a magnet. I hot glued magnets onto the back of my art.  

Finished piece as a magnet on my fridge. 

Here's some more I've made:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Burberry Inspiration

I have Burberry perfume. It's quite a strong smell but also so distinctive and beautiful. I was looking through some of my materials the other day and realized I had ribbon that resembled Burberry a lot. So... I made some products from the inspiration. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wedding Jewelry and Bouquets

A really fun part of the wedding is choosing the wedding jewelry and accessories.Will your bridesmaids be matching, or are you choosing jewelry based on their personalities? Will the jewelry you wear represent you?

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