Round Up August

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What books and/or magazines did I read this month? 

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Lie to Me: Season Two - We missed this the first time around so we've been catching up on series 2 (watched series 1 last month). I love psychology so I am really enjoying this series!
True Blood - LOVE IT! I cannot believe it's ending soon. They are doing another series though, hurrah for season 4!!!
Alice in Wonderland - I enjoyed this movie. It's not the traditional Alice story but a great film in it's own standing. Good effects and well played parts. I really liked the costumes too :)
28 Days Later -This started off with a conversation about the sequel (28 weeks later) and Bob and I got into a conversation about the first movie and Bob not seeing it, so we watched it. He hadn't seen it apparently so we now have the sequel to watch together soon.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Bobs birthday! My husband hit the big 40 this year and although he said he didn't want a gift and wanted it low key (I honored that request) I did splash out with a major gift this year. Bob is notoriously hard to buy gifts for. I mean, what do you get the guy with everything? So rather than things, I instead bought him an experience! He's going on the ultimate racing adventure, riding a Corvette race car around a race track for a whole day. They'll kit him out in the gear and he'll spend the day in his favorite car speeding around  a track. Ultimate 'guy' day! Unfortunately I couldn't get him booked in till October due to work and other vacation time, but I'll be sure to post and update on that in October! Pics to come!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Plantar fasciitis in my left foot still. However I have found the underlying cause - sprint training! It seems the faster I run the more it aggravates my PF so during the last 3 weeks of August I did NO sprint training, and my feet have been a LOT happier!

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Rachels Party. Rachel is Bob's boss and we have an annual pool party at her house (which is awesome). We all take food, there is alcohol and we pretty much stay till late chatting and shooting the breeze with co-workers. Good chance to meet the significant others too!

Jons Game night. One of Bob's work colleagues and friend Jon held a game night. it was touted as just an informal gathering where we could all play board games, have fun and get to know each other better. In all there were 5 couples and we met some new people which is always fun. We took Cranium which we'd never played before and Wow GOOD GAME! Really good if you have couples playing too ;)

If you're never played Cranium before I definitely recommend it. Our game lasted AGES but wow what fun! It's like a multitude of games all mashed into one :) We got the Cranium Wow Adult Game, though none of use was quite sure what made it 'adult'.  It was a tight race to the end between the Cannuk hatted team Lexi, and the Mohican Geek of team Bob (us).

As you can see the player pieces are much more interesting in the WOW edition, definitely worth it for these alone! Eventually though team Bob won out as the Cranium team winners!

After Cranium we played Apples to Apples, which was also new to us, but REALLY fun! This is a really good game to get to know people and how your friends minds work!!!

Another event this month was the PR event for Bobs game launch which I already blogged about, and lots of other dinners out to places we've been to before like Indian restaurants and Souplantation.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I made my own Channa Masala this month. Wasn't completely happy with how it turned out, but still working on perfecting the recipe. We both love Indian food so this is definitely something I'll be working on!

Went to Vegan Plate which is a Thai Vegan restaurant. I', not really that big on Thai food anyways but the food was ok. I keep trying Thai in the hopes I'll find something I really like. I do like their 'chicken' satay but the main courses were kinda blah. If you're in Studio City anytime check it out! After Vegan Plate we decided to treat ourselves to vegan icecream at Kind Kreme, for raw vegan desserts! Again I have to say I wasn't that impressed really. Sampled a few of their icecream style desserts: Mint choc chip - tried this cos it's always a favorite of mine and just didn't get the choc or mint flavor I was expecting, if you like subtle flavor then this one is great; Strawberry/Honey - wow! Should be honey with hint of strawberry, guess I learned the lesson with this one that honey and cold desserts really don't mix well, not a fan; In the end I settled on choc/fudge which was just ok. Overall again not impressed. I'd have preferred the Cherry Choc Chip Soy Dessert from Trader Joes! If you haven't tried this go to a Trader Joes NOW and get some = DELICIOUS!

The following two recipes were from the Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook we bought recently from Amazon. I've been trying to make a point of making some of the recipes so this month we tried the Walnut Mushroom Pate and Herby Scallop potatoes. The Pate was awesome, really enjoyed it. More of a dip than thick like a pate but good all the same! Definitely make this again!! The herby potatoes were a bust :( Too much garlic (and we love garlic). I think if I made these again I'd adjust the herbs and mix them together instead of layering like the book suggested.

New at Trader Joes this month are TJ  own brand Veggie patties. If you are vegetarian I say try them but we weren't impressed at all. Kinda mushed up veggies and pretty tasteless. I actually wonder if Trader Joes got any feedback on these cos they were pretty terrible. Think we'll stick to Gardenburgers for veggie patties.

Another new restaurant we tried was Veggie Life, a Vietnamese restaurant in south El Monte. First time trying Vietnamese and I think I'd definitely try it again. We ordered 3 dishes of food and got LOTS of food, so beware if you do go, you get a LOT of food for your money! Also quite possibly the best Egg Rolls I have ever tasted!!! You can see our main dishes below.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Bobs birthday gift! Cost a pretty penny - but he's worth it!

What were this month’s disappointments?
Can't think of any - YAY!

What were my accomplishments this month?
PiYo training! PiYo is a mix of Pilates and Yoga and as I don't teach either of those class formats I figured PiYo would be a good start. I love the format as it's progressive and can be gentle and yoga like, core intensive with pilates but also strength building. It also has the ability to add in plyometrics too which is interesting in the mind/body environment! Training course passed btw :) And I got myself a couple of cool PiYo shirts, one is straight out the 80's with the scoop neck and baggy style but so nice for working out in! 80's fashions making a comeback again!!!

Anything else noteworthy to record?       
We took a tree out of the front garden! It was just a little thing when we moved into the house back in 2002 but that sucker kept growing! It was eeking out into the driveway so had to be cut back and we just figured, why not cut the sucker down? So we did! Bob wielded the chainsaw whilst I manned the ropes to ease the cut parts in the right direction.

Other than that the only other acheivement in August I can think of is that I ran for 11 continuous miles! Almost at my 1/2 marathon mileage! Speaking of which that is in just 5 weeks!!! Yikes!!!


Music Monday: Meme

Monday, August 30, 2010

I have a rather eclectic taste in music. I know... I know... almost everyone says that, but in my case it really is true. I pretty much love all types of music. My iPod playlist can jump from Musicals, to death metal, pop, dance, a lil' country, hip hop, R & B and more. Seriously! So I figured if I have such varied tastes why not share it once in a while right? You never know blog readers may find a new favorite.

As it's the first week of something like this I thought I'd share the first record I bought. It was a double whammy for me really as I bought two records (yes back in the vinyl days) but this was my favorite.

Blondie - Tide is High

Blog Meme
So I have a little challenge for you fellow bloggers, facebookers & tweeters! Post the first record you ever bought then link back to my blog so we can all check out the tunes!


Scrapbook Sunday: Congrats Card

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thought I'd share some crafty stuff today, namely a card I made a couple of months ago for the June/July edition of Ready Set Create Magazine.

In this issue I just had one card (busy busy with fitness) but I managed ONE and even at that I sent it to Jen late and she graciously found a spot for it. Love Jen, she's so understanding :) Anyways this is my card from this issue.

Close up shot. This card used CTMH papers with Prima embellishments and Boxer stamp. I love the black and white, with the hint of tan (which looks very creme here on the photo) It's a very classic look, good for anniversary's or graduation cards.

More Crafty stuff soon!



Digital Scrapbooking: new products

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Very Vernal is a page kit made with no particular theme. This kit would be great for ANY occasion! The color palette is green, pink and purple with a mix of pastel and bold hues. The kit includes: 6 textured solid papers; 7 patterned papers; Metal look embellishments: brads, photo anchors, circles; staple flower bursts in coordinating colors; ribbons; Scrap for Hire Ok! Available at Di Hickman Designs or my Scrapwow store

Very Vernal Too is a page kit made with no particular theme, it was made as an add-on to my Very Vernal kit but could also stand alone as a page kit. This kit would be great for ANY occasion! The color palette is green, teal and purple with a mix of pastel and bold hues. The kit includes: ribbons. 5 textured solid papers;5 patterned papers; Metal look embellishments: brads, photo anchors, circles; staple flower bursts in coordinating colors; Scrap for Hire Ok! Available at Di Hickman Designs or my Scrapwow store

I also made this freebie, available for a limited time! This 12x12 quick page is made with my Very Vernal Kit. The download includes the flattened PNG file with clear "window" to insert your photograph. Scrap for Hire Ok! Available at Di Hickman Designs or my Scrapwow store

Check out my stores for more digital products at Di Hickman Designs or my Scrapwow


Fashion Friday

Friday, August 27, 2010

So one night last week after we'd had dinner at the mall, we went to Forever 21 to see what they had and to hopefully buy something fun and 'trendy'. What happened was upon us going through the doors it seemed we entered a timewarp back to the 80's, just like in Hot Tub Time Machine! It seemed like EVERYTHING in the store was 80's retro! Now I loved the 80's, heck it was my era, the music was great, but the fashion? Well it wasn't so good the first time around, but now they want to do it again?

Romper suits? These should just be BANNED, they should all be burnt in a huge pile then never mentioned again! They suited NO-ONE in the 80's and they still don't now.The reason the model looks pissed of is cos she know's there is no way in hell this thing is going to look good on her! Fashion disaster!

Hammertime! WTF were they thinking? That's all I have to say about these really! Except maybe: SERIOUSLY???? Hahaha sorry now you have the MC Hammer song in your head huh?

Another fashion disaster! There were a lot of skirts like this and dresses! (Shudder) Yep tell you what, for all of us with hips and butts lets draw MORE attention to our lower width by adding ruffles there! Unless you are a twig this does not look good, hell even if you are a twig this doesn't look good! Save this for bridesmaids dresses, they are meant to look ugly!

There were so many more fashion horrors instore but it seems they are not on their website, I guess they are transitioning to Fall/Winter season clothes. But trust me if you go in right now it's like 80's flashback all over again!

The only look I liked from Forever 21 retro fashion flashback is the punk look. Yep the Olivia Newton John rocker chick look is back at Forever 21. Or the Joan Jett look I guess depending which era you prefer? Which is maybe where all this trend is from due to The Runaways movie being this years music DVD. (good movie aside from poor acting skills again by Kristen Stewart - why do they keep giving her movie rolls?) 

If you want the skin tight vinyl leggings for your rock chick look then Forever 21 has them, only a good look for those with decently skinny legs!

Also with leather look biker style  Jackets to match, I would have bought one of these, but they didn't have one in my size, the small is pretty small!

Coupled together it'd be just like Joan Jett or just like Olivia Newton John in Grease right? You know the scene! The end where she goes rocker chick on John Travolta's ass for "the one that I want" song.

(on a side note: I freakin LOVE this movie! I had the Grease DVD bought for me by the love of my life cos he knows it's one of my favorite movies! If you loved this movie you can get it online now pretty cheap at amazon Definitely worth it!

They have some off the shoulder numbers at F21 but I was disappointed not to see the type in the video above that ONJ wore. I used to have one just like it in the early 80's, you know... when it was first fashionable! Most the off the shoulder stuff now is baggier which may work too, more on that in another post.

So what say you to the 80's retro? Good? Bad? Or ok if selectively chosen?


Thrifty Thursday: goodwill finds

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thrifty Thursdays will be a regular feature as there is nothing much I love more than traipsing round thrift stores for bargains. Recent bargains for August are this black bag and shoes found at Goodwill. The thing I like about Goodwill is pretty much everything is the same price. Shoes are $2.99 Boots are a set price, belts a all a set price, and bags all one price. Makes it super easy to shop, plus no tag marks.

The bag was $2.99 and is just an over the shoulder bag with adjustable strap. The strap doesn't alter much but it could go shorter as a clutch or handbag rather than over the shoulder I guess. More importantly it's non-leather, important for us Vegetarians!

The best bargain though was the shoes! I LOVE these shoes! Super happy I decided to pop into Goodwill this day. They are 1/2 size too big according to the inside print but they fit just perfectly, guess they were sized small. I like the stitching detail (same on bag), the peep toe (good for showing off pedi and nail polish unlike my toes in photo) and I love that they are versatile wearable with skirts/shorts and jeans/pants.

Have you picked up any bargains lately?


On my desk

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So I keep saying I am tidying, reorganizing and purging my craft room, but for some reason it just never seems to get completely finished. Things have gotten worse and worse really since I started back into fitness as I now have some fitness equipment in here and really could do with making room for more. Even though I haven't bought any new craft supplies what I have seems to be growing as it's disorganized. 

Recently I came upon the "on my desk" blog where creative folks share their desks, offices and basically their creative space. I can spend hours looking at other peoples rooms/houses, it's like a peek into another world, or reality TV. Anyway if you like to check out other peoples creative space for idea's on how to tackle your own mess then definitely check out this site, or maybe even submit your own space?

I am hoping I get inspired to clear up my space! It's not quite as bad as the pic below as I tidied up since this was taken back in May, but it is bad. I think some streamlining is in order! Purge and reorganize the create & clean up - repeat

How is your creative space? Organized? or is it a complete mess like mine? Some say that disorganization is a sign of a creative mind, is that you or are you organized with a place for everything and everything in it's place?



New 12x12 Layout Template - School

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

As I mentioned I've had a bit of an extended break, but not just from blogging from digital designing too. But I am back baby! I've been rethinking the whole digital thing and going back to simple basics and what I LOVE to design... that means more templates. I've decided to retire the old templates and just start over with a simpler preview and plan on revamping my stores accordingly.

Here is my newest template 12x12 School Template #1 (8 1/2 x 11 template coming soon!). This template is 12x12 layered PSD template for use in photoshop, elements, PSP. For other programs I have included the full set of PNG files. This template is school themed with "Back To School" title wordart but could be modified for other themes too! The element on the right is customizable for 1st - 12th grades and all grades are included in the download. You can buy this template at my stores for just $1 throughout August!

This template is available in my Di Hickman Designs and Scrapwow Stores! Check out my stores for more great digital products!



New Blog design coming!

Monday, August 23, 2010

So as you are probably all aware my life has taken a change this year and it's left me with a little struggle as to what to do with this blog. Honestly the creative stuff has kinda dropped a little out of my life and I've been wondering what to update the blog with as I tended to try and keep it pretty much scrapbooking/cards etc but I figured that since the blog is just Di Hickman I can pretty much take it with my life in general... so that's what I am gonna do. 

So for the blog future you'll see:

  • some creative stuff - as and when I can share (hopefully gonna get back on track with those posts!)
  • fitness updates - I'll be keeping the majority of this on my fitness blog but will post a recap here. I will post race reviews etc though!
  • book reviews - I love reading! So I'll share books/magazines I've been reading. Maybe movies too!
  • Daily happenings - my life is pretty boring day to day but occasionally out of the ordinary things happen, like the Press Event earlier this month, pool parties, vacations etc. (speaking of vacation in Sept! whoohoo)
  • Thrifting/Shopping - I love shopping but only for thrifted things, being in a thrift store is like a huge jumble sale! Love it! I am trying to get more into non-thrifty shopping too though. Something I have to psych myself up for but I am trying! Also trying to be more girly and do the cosmetics/skincare sharing too.
  • Sewing - repeat after me: must use sewing machine! Must use serger! Must make time for this every month!!!
  • General STUFF - sometimes I just go off into a tangent about stuff, could be news, recent purchases (lots of those lately!), advice, recommendations, and general thoughts and ramblings lol.

Basically more ME and not just creative me :) Ok better get off here and go make some dinner!



Red Carpet ...

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm not sure if I mentioned before but my husband Bob works for Disney. Nope he doesn't dress up as Mickey Mouse at one of the theme parks (though I'd pay to see that!), he's Director of Technology at Disney Internet Media Group. These are the guys behind Toontown, Pixie Hollow and now World of Cars Online

World of Cars Online is the game Bob has been working on since his transfer to Disney and it's finally launched! It's an online game for kids, with mini games, social media type stuff and plain fun kids entertainment. To celebrate the launch last week was the official PR press launch and we got to go. Bob was there for the whole event but I just attended "after hours" - ie: when the celebs weren't there! lol! Yep there was the red carpet and the whole shabang :) Plus incase you didn't know it's based on the Disney Movie Cars

The event was at Bob's Big Boy Drive In, and the whole back drive-in cafe parking area got converted into Flo's V8 cafe which is from Cars the movie incase you didn't know. 

Yes there was security there too, and you can see the red carpet photo backboard on the left in the above pic. That's where the celebs stop for the press photographers.
Some celebrities were still in attendance when I got there though!! Naturally Lightening McQueen took time out from his schedule to attend the official game launch and he was more than happy to pose with Bob :)

We also got pics with Matar and Sally. Film crews were still around filming pieces for TV (mostly Disney channel stuff) so not a lot of partying going on. Friends took this pic of us at the launch.

For the fashion conscious peeps I wore Levi Jeans with a black tank and a brown check LEI shirt (walmart $10) with brown boots and bag. Most expensive thing was underwear, lol, everything besides the underwear and shirt was thrifted! Hair was a total mess though, really need to get it styled.

Earlier in the day the whole team was present and wardrobe coordinated in a group shot to celebrate the launch! Go Team! Bob is back and to the right under the "cars" banner. Disney is such a TEAM focused company, so fun!

As the event was at a Drive in cafe they provided free drinks/food all night :) I had a veggie cheese burger which was delicious! And with official Cars Online napkin eh!

Plus Bob's Big Boys do the BEST shakes! So yummy! And so free for us!!! Yep I had one of those babies, strawberry for me please :) Yep we snagged the cup too - washed out it's now a little memorabilia of the night sitting in Bobs office :)

The biggest deal of the event is I drove down to Bobs work on my own, and didn't get lost (thank you GPS). His office is in North Hollywood and so busy traffic wise. Having driven down once though I'd do it again. Especially for more free food/drinks!

Enough excitement for one post! You can see more pics on my facebook page! And remember if you have kids check out World of Card Online!!!!

Read more... Dimension & Texture

Monday, August 16, 2010

My article for the July issue of magazine was all about ways to add dimension and texture to a layout. On the layout below I used Foil paper, embossed stickers, dimensional stickers, clear stickers, rhinestones, and glitter to add depth and texture. Ordinarily I wouldn't use so many different types of medium on one layout but as these were from the same manufacturer I think they worked well together :)

Supplies: Adhesive: Adhesive Roller, Adhesive Foam Squares (3L), Glue Dots; Cardstock: Die Cuts with a View; Computer Software: Corel Paint Shop Pro; Paper: Me and my Big Ideas; Stickers: Me and my Big Ideas; Tools: Computer, corner rounder

More soon!

Read more... Traditional goes Digital

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New month at which means new article from me which this month has a focus on Traditional scrapbooking manufacturers heading into the digital scrapbooking world. For a while now traditional manufacturers have been employing digital designers to design their paper lines but now it seems that these companies are heading into the digital arena! My article and layout for this month features digital items from Basic Grey

I love templates and Basic Grey are not only selling digital papers, kits etc but also layered templates! So check them out for all things digi! I loved working with the Phoebe kit and the "simple things" template.

I'll be taking a little break from for Sept/Oct  (vacation! Wheeee!) but hope to be back with more projects for them soon! Including recaps of June/July as I don't think I posted them on my blog! Meanwhile check out for more info and for their new Audio/Video option for the articles!

More soon!

Disclaimer: Basic Grey provided me with free product for this article, due to me being staff member at But honestly I really think that ANY paper manufacturer has to be stupid not to jump on the digital product 'bandwagon'. Afterall their designs are done, and in digital format, just open a store and sell it! Basic Grey's digital products were outstanding, and the store process was quick just like any other digital store!


Round Up July - and Oh Yeah I am ALIVE!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Well I didn't mean to take an extended break! Guess life happened eh? Got busy with fitness job and life and all that stuff, including new running training plan. But I am back baby, and with a July Round up:

What books and/or magazines did I read this month? 
Mostly fitness related stuff. I read a couple of running books (can't remember titles) but mostly fitness magazine, fitness RX, Self and AFAA mag.

Fitness Rx For Women

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
We don't watch a heck of a lot of TV but True Blood is back on TV which makes me very happy! I LOVE the Charlaine Harris books and the HBO adaptation is pretty good. 

True Blood: The Complete First Season (HBO Series)   Lie to Me: Season One   Profiler - Season 2

Also started watching "Lie to me" series 1, which I am loving! I like psychology so this is right up my street! One of my favorite series from the past was "profiler" anyone remember that?

Movie wise, had a run of blah movies none of which springs to mind. We did watch "hot tub time machine" which I recommend purely for the soundtrack! Love the 80's!!! Also watched "the runaways" which reminded me why I hate Kristen Stewart. Seriously girl CANNOT act! Also watched "old dogs", no brainer kinda movie, typical hollywood crap these days!

Hot Tub Time Machine   The Runaways   Old Dogs (Single Disc Widescreen)

What special days did I celebrate and how?
Only thing that springs to mind is 4th July. We had a special 4th July Spin class at the gym and I taught the last 30 minutes of the extended class. Super fun!

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Urgh, plantar fasciitis in my left foot. Initially in both feet but now seems to be just the left. I've tried some things to combat it and hopefully these work, you can read more on that on my Health & Fitness blog.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?

Mostly the usual - eating out :) I like eating out and we did plenty in July. New Thai place (details below), souplantation (always a favorite with me), and Indian. I love food :)

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
New to me restaurant was Lotus Vegan which was delicious! It's all vegetarian and their wraps are soooo good! And their fake chicken is AWESOME! Not usually a huge fan of fake meats, but this chicken is really great!

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

Bought some new running shoes due to foot issues described above. The running store did a full analysis of my feet and recommended these, along with three others for my running gait and foot issues, tried these Brooks on and they just felt soooo right! I think you KNOW when you have the right shoes on!

So far so good, they have helped my plantar fasciitis, it hasn't gone completely but I can at least run and walk now!

Full review of these shoes soon on my health & Fitness blog

What were this month’s disappointments?
Can't think of any! :)

What were my accomplishments this month?
I ran a 10k race and didn't die! Whoohoo! Won't go into deep detail but I finished the 10k (6.2 miles) in 54:41 and cane 4th in my age group which isn't too bad considering this is just my 3rd race! I also got a medal to go along with the always too big T-shirt! Full details on my health & fitness blog

Anything else noteworthy to record?       
Registered for my first 1/2 marathon (in October incase anyone is interested). Also signed all my paperwork for Golds Gym to teach classes :) Not got a regular class yet but I am on the list, so a foot in the door I hope!

More soon, including a creative post tomorrow!