Yay for first hybrids!
I have some tutorials on my blog you may want to check out!
Just doing a straight print and cut is the best way to start out, then as you do more try separating the layers before you print, cutting them out separately and gluing them back together - you'll be surprised at how much difference the additional layers will make! Then when you start adding 3D elements, watch out! lol
I do my printing at home. Card stock works, but it does soak up more ink which can tend to make your colors a little dull. I prefer Epson Double Sided Matte Presentation paper. It’s about the same weight as card stock but has a beautiful finish. I have a project I printed on both types of paper and need to post the pictures - the color difference is incredible!
Office supply stores can print on card stock for you too though! Should be about $1 a page.
Nikkiecole, unfortunately there's no way to make it work with Cricut - they have blocked everything except for their own cartridge files. There were big lawsuits filed by ProvoCraft...
I love answering questions and bringing people over to the sticky side ;)