Friday, October 17, 2014

Scrapbook Giveaway

As I am going through my scrapbook things, I am sorting it into three piles.
Sell, Giveaway and Keep.
The product I am keeping is stuff I know I will still use for my personal projects or I will use with the kids, school or Erin's Girl Scout Troop.
And there are a few things I know I really should try to sell.
But I also have a nice little giveaway pile.
So I will occasionally be doing some giveaways here on the blog starting today.

This one is an alphabet giveaway. Some are quite a bit older. Rusty Pickle, anyone? :)
 But the Crate Paper acrylic letters in the front are definitely newer. There is a mix of chipboard, stickers and rub-ons here, and I may also throw in a few extra things as well.
So if you are interested just tell me in the comments below.
I will pick the winner next Tuesday, October 21st.
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ten on Tuesday

I haven't done one of these posts in awhile.
But just wanting to share a bunch of random things today, so it works.

1. Had a great weekend! We went to Fright Fest at Six Flags amusement park and had so much fun.
Mike and I, the kids, my parents and my niece all went together which was great because it gave Mike and I a chance to go on the Batman and Mr. Freeze roller coasters while Evan and Erin hung out with my parents watching some of the shows. Mike and I usually don't get to ride together if it's just the two of us and the kids, so we were pretty excited. And my niece Madi joined us because she loves roller coasters. I absolutely adore her!

2. Lots of shopping for fall and winter clothes is done. That's always good to have out of the way.

3. Still drinking green smoothies a few times a week for a meal or two. I am having fun making up my own combinations now. :)

Have had some sad and what could have been scary events in our neighborhood recently. A shooting that has led to protesting. Fortunately it's been mostly peaceful and makes me proud of the people in our community.

5. Received a note from a student last Wednesday when I was volunteering in Erin's first grade classroom.
I was helping the students with reading and he made this for me. :)

6. Pinned *this recipe* off Pinterest today
and I think it looks like something I can get everyone in the family to eat! Going to try it next week.

7. Also pinned *this*...
There are so many yummy sounding cupcakes there that I just had to pin it. I know it's not spring but who cares, right? :)


Hands down my favorite show right now! Evan and I are actually watching it together. Although it takes us a few nights to get through both episodes per week. We watch for a little while after Erin goes to bed since his bedtime is later. It's fun sharing a show with him that we can watch and talk about.

9. Almost done cleaning up my scrapbook space. I should have it done tomorrow, and then I plan to work on my Summer album from last year.

I love this print by Ashley G on Etsy. I love the sentiment. I love the font and colors. I may just get it.

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What, What?!

Two new layouts to share in one week?
That hasn't happened in a while. :)
As I mentioned on my last post, I was going to try out the sketch on the Paper Issues blog from their new monthly sketch feature.
Here is the sketch...
and here is my page...
I converted the sketch for an 8 1/2x11 size page. I really liked this sketch because it was simple and has that grid like style which you know I love. :)
Product used includes mostly the Crate Paper Oh Darling line, letter stickers by Jillibean Soup and American Crafts, washi tape by October Afternoon and a few wood veneer pieces.
It was a quick page to put together as well. It took probably 30 minutes not counting the time to type the journaling.

So I will be linking this page up *here* on the PI Sketchy Saturday blog post! Love that I made it in time, too. There have been many a challenge where I just miss the deadline!

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Me (A Scraplift)

I completed a scrapbook layout last week right before we left for the weekend to drive down to Joplin. This page is basically a scraplift of a layout that Jill Sprott had posted in the Studio Calico gallery a while back. I had pinned it to Pinterest because I loved that little cloud paper she used and just the overall feel of the page.
You can see her page *Here*
And this is my take...
I really, really am happy with this page for a few reasons.
First of all, every once in a while I like to do a page about myself because I think it is fun to look back on these types of pages and see what was going on in my life at the time.
Also, I would love if my mom had done something similar. My kids may or may not someday appreciate these types of pages.
And lastly, I have all this great inspiration pinned on Pinterest and I really want to focus on finally using some of those ideas. Whether it's a direct scraplift or something I am just inspired by, I think it will be a good boost to getting more pages done.

It would be great if I could promise a Pinterest Monday or something like that. But I'm sure you know by now that I wouldn't stick to it :) But I think you will see more "Pinspiration" posts in the future for sure.

As for the weekend, we had a great time in Joplin with Mike.
The kids and I left pretty soon after they got out of school on Friday pretty much and didn't get there until around 8:30. Then on Saturday Mike had to go to the job site early, but we met him there for lunch.
After lunch we went back and hung out for a bit, but then Erin started getting bored. So I took her back to the apartment while Evan stayed and had a great time getting a private tour
He couldn't wait to tell me all about it when he got back!
While we waited for the boys, Erin and I played Uno
colored together, and went down to the playground.
That night we went out to dinner and then decided to go to one of the local Haunted Houses despite being tired. And we were glad we did.
We chose this one, Wolfman's House of Screams, and ended up having a lot of fun.
The kids were a little unsure at first after hearing some screams and chainsaw noises. So one of the men who works there told us about the "Be Easy" tour where he leads us through with a flashlight and says "be easy" before entering each part. Then the ghouls know to back off. And it was great. Still spooky but not terrifying. And the cast were pretty cool with the kids.
I would definitely recommend it if you are in the area.

All Evan wanted to do on Sunday morning was go fishing, and Mike agreed to take him. Erin and I were going to hang out again, but she decided she wanted to go, too. So Mike brought both kids while I stayed behind to go for a run and pack up our stuff to head home after lunch.
So it was a really great weekend, but now it's back to school and routine again.
And maybe a little time to scrapbook today and make a layout using *this sketch* by Jen Chapin
over at Paper Issues. They have a link up for sketches once a month now, too, which I love.
I have a feeling even though I am not on the design team anymore I will still be participating there. It is just a great site where I have always felt comfortable.
Have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sew Cute at Paper Issues

Whoa, it's October. When did that happen?!
Even though I decided to leave the design team over there at Paper Issues, I still plan on linking up projects to their challenges when I can.
The theme right now is "You're Sew Cute, You Keep Me in Stitches." Here are a few older projects that I am going to try and link up.
Definitely an older page. I can't even remember when I made it, but I know I still had a Studio Calico kit subscription at the time and I stopped subbing in 2010. This definitely makes me think of sewing. Anything with fashion does.
Another older page from my Studio Calico subbing days. I can't remember if I have ever linked this page up before or shared it here. Something tells me I have, but anyway it fits the theme with the hand stitched butterfly trail and little stitches on butterflies and heart button.

Button with stitching on this page. But I think I may have linked this one up before as well.
I know I shared this page about the "favorite things" trade I did with some of my on-line friends. The fabric heart and twine qualify this page. :)
And this project has buttons. Plus it's one of my favorites :)

So just a few pages for the new link up which goes on from now until Oct. 12th.
I am currently working on a page but it doesn't quite fit the challenge.
Hoping to find a little time after that page to work on a new project using one of my sewing templates.
We'll see! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The U2 list

Well, now that U2's new album Songs of Innocence has been out for a bit and I have listened to it several times, and I am finally ready to share my thoughts.
Anyone who knows me and reads my blog, probably knows that I have been a huge U2 fan for a very long time (1987 cough, cough).
I went to my first U2 concert (Joshua Tree tour) in 1988. I've seen them play in several cities here in the states and Dublin, Ireland.
(Croke Park - Dublin Ireland)
When the new album showed up for free on itunes a lot of friends and family were calling, texting and emailing me to let me know. I knew, but I appreciated that people know how much I love this band and they didn't want me to miss out.
I thought it was interesting that several people also told me "well, of course you love their new album. You love U2."
Well, not necessarily. Yes, I love U2, but I am not blind to their faults. And I don't just love all their music because they are my favorite band in the world. In fact, there is at least one song on each album I skip on a regular basis.
That said, I do love the new album although it took me several listens to get on board.
Like I said in this post Here, I was a little underwhelmed at first. But my standards and expectations for U2 are a little high. Higher than most. Although, I am finding that this may be true of all bands I currently love and eagerly await new music. Alt-J's new album took a couple of listens for me to fall in love as well.

As for U2, the concept behind the new album is brilliant in my opinion. The songs basically cover their youth and how they came to be. And what better way for an album to open then with a tribute to the Ramones (another favorite band of mine) who really inspired U2 to become what they are today.
Here is a list on some of my thoughts about the release and U2 in general right now:

1. The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) - I really do like this song. I think it's a great opener as far as a timeline for the album. Does it have the punch of other opening songs like No Line on the Horizon, Beautiful Day, Vertigo or Zoo Station. No not really. But it's good enough.

2. My two favorite songs on the album are absolutely "Every Breaking Wave" and "This is Where You Can Reach Me Now". The latter being Erin's favorite song. My daughter who has always been very vocal about her "non-love" of all things U2 now has a favorite U2 song. And when it comes on, she runs from wherever she is and starts dancing! Well, played U2. You finally won her over. ;)

3. There is some amazing guitar work done on this album by The Edge. Some of my favorite ever.

4. Iris (Hold Me Close) has the ability to make me tear up. It's a song written about Bono's mom who died when he was only 14. At the end he sings about some of the few memories he has of her. Memories that make me think of my relationship with my son. Yeah, it's a good one.

5. A lot of people were aggravated that the album appeared on their itunes account for free. I can understand it. I do. But seriously, it was free. And just delete it.

6. Not everyone likes U2. In fact, I have met quite a few people who are vehement about their hate for U2 and like to share that with me. That's ok as well. It doesn't change the fact that this band has meant a lot to me. I've connected with people over our mutual love of U2. Mike and I danced to a U2 song at our wedding. I had the courage to get on a plane, fly over the ocean, leaving my kids for a week (all not easy) to see them live in concert in Ireland. That was a huge, wonderful experience for me, and I am glad Mike and I went despite the obstacles. It's a memory we will never, ever forget.

7. Bono and I don't always see eye to eye on his lyrics. In fact, there are a few songs where I have thought, wth is he talking about. Songs on the new album where this occurs... "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight" and "Raised by Wolves". But there are parts of the songs I really like despite the less than stellar lyrics. Another song that I felt this way about was "Get On Your Boots" from No Line on the Horizon.

8. This is a band that is constantly changing. Each album is a complete surprise and that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. I know there are fans that complain about how much they miss the "old" U2. And while I am the first to admit that change is not always something I am psyched about, I don't mind it in my music. This band has been around for over 35 years. Of course there is going to be change. Sorry, but Bono just would not be able to pull off his Achtung Baby days or even the War days on a live stage. People change and grow and mature. Priorities change. Stories they want to share change. It is true of musicians as it is true of any artist. Even scrapbookers. :)

9. And last but not least, the tour cannot come soon enough for me! I hope they come to St. Louis, but if not I know we will go see them anywhere they are close by. And maybe one other not so close location :)
Evan is just as excited as us about the tour, so he will definitely be joining us for at least one show.
Loved having him with us in St. Louis for that show back in 2011. I always tell him he is so absolutely spoiled when it comes to U2. I was 40 years old...
before I was able to be this close to the band for most of the show.
and this picture of The Edge where he was looking right at Evan and smiling at him is priceless to me!
Yep, Evan is a pretty lucky kid :)
And I feel pretty lucky and blessed to share my love of this band with my husband and son. To have been places I might never have visited to see them play. And to have been inspired by their lyrics to create scrapbook layouts.
As long as they keep the music coming (and yes, there is a rumored second release coming soon...Songs of Experience), I am happy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Let It Go

Sometimes you just know the time is right to let something go and move on.
Today I have a post up here on the Paper Issues blog. It is my last post as a design team member today, so it's a little bittersweet
I have been on the design team since April 2013, so about a year and a half. And it has been so much fun getting to know all of the girls! I have also created quite a few pages as a result of my time with Paper Issues, some of which you can see in the above collage.

But lately I have felt less and less like having scrapbooking be anything but a hobby I enjoy. As much as I have loved being on design teams, it's not really something that fits my life right now. I have  been enjoying substitute teaching and it has helped me realize that maybe it's time to focus more on getting back into teaching again. Not full time of course with Mike traveling. I just don't want to add that element of stress to our lives right now. But getting a few sub days here and there and going back to school for my Master's degree are high on my list right now.

The same is true about exercise and healthy living. It's interesting to me that time I used to spend blogging, checking the scrapbook galleries and message boards and just scrapbooking is being filled with exercise and looking for healthy, clean eating recipes. I think I have just reached a point in my life where I have different needs and I am trying to find a balance between family, health, "career", and hobbies.

I will say this. Being on design teams definitely helped me grow and develop my style as a scrapbooker. And I learned so much more about computers and photography as well.
I had set several goals for scrapbooking that I wanted to accomplish.
I wanted to be on a design team for my local scrapbook store, an on-line store and a kit club which I did through For Keeps Sake, Scrapgal, Paper Issues and Scrapbooking From the Inside Out.
And the bonus was being on the Crafting Ireland on-line magazine team. I never even dreamed of being on a team for a magazine, but thought why not when I saw the call. I was on their first ever design team and it was so incredible that they asked me!
Another goal was to have my work published in a scrapbook magazine at least once...thank you Scrapbooks Etc. magazine for making that dream come true several times. :)

And then I started thinking it would be fun to be on a manufacturer team. But after being asked to work with product for one company only for a few assignments, I realized that I am not the type of person who can use 80% of one company's product on a page. It stressed me out a bit to be limited like that.  So I am letting that goal go because I know it is not a good fit for me.

Ultimately, I am letting design teams go.
After ten years of design team work, I am done for now.
Most likely for good.
And I am so grateful for the several opportunities I have had because I have truly met some awesome women along the way!
But it's time for something new.
I will still be scrapbooking and I will still post here to the blog.
It will probably be a mix of things, but I will definitely still share projects.
I am also grateful for the new Facebook group Paper Issues started, Paper Issues {Friends and Fans}
so I don't have to go cold turkey from chatting with my PI friends.

Letting go feels pretty good.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Healthy Me!

So a few weeks ago a friend of mine told me about a green smoothie cleanse she was doing and how she was feeling so much better since she had started it.
It's this book by J.J. Smith. She let me check out her copy of the book which is actually a quick read and I realized that the smoothies looked pretty normal. Nothing crazy or hard to find in them, so I decided it couldn't hurt to try.
I am really at a point in my life where I just want to feel healthy on a regular basis. I exercise but don't always eat well or get enough sleep and it's catching up with me.

So last Monday I started the modified version which is a green smoothie for breakfast, lunch and a healthy dinner with a few snacks throughout the day. For snacks you can have hard boiled eggs and crunchy fruits and veggies with a non sugar peanut butter. No dairy, carbs, red meat, sugary treats, alcohol or juices.
(this was my day six smoothie)
And the smoothies are pretty good! No lie. :) Today on day eight, my smoothie was spinach and spring greens, banana, mango, pineapple, and mixed berries. You can also throw ground flax seed in there or protein powder. Some days I do the flax seed and some days I forget (lol).
I won't say all the smoothies are great. On day 3, I remember telling Mike it tasted a little earthy. Wasn't my favorite.

But since I started eight days ago, my sinuses have been so much better. No sinus headaches at all. I am sleeping better at night and haven't had any processed sugar. No chocolate either! Shocker I know, but I am surviving just fine. I didn't think I could.

After the ten days, you are supposed to ease back into eating more whole foods. So still two smoothies and more choices for meals. I can see myself doing one or two smoothies a day for a while though. Maybe breakfast and dinner with a meal for lunch and small snacks. I thought I would feel super hungry and I did the first and second day. But really after day three, not so much.
And it feels good not to crave sugar. It doesn't mean I'll never have it again I'm sure, but I can walk past the hershey kiss bowl and feel no desire for one. And soda. Done!

I've been pinning a ton of clean eating recipes on my food board on Pinterest as well, because I would like to move away from eating any types of processed and unhealthy foods as much as possible. Hopefully this is the jumpstart I needed and another step to a healthier me!

And for blogging, I am hoping to start posting again a little more frequently, but honestly I will probably only still be reading blogs one or two days a week. Morning time after the kids went to school used to be my blog reading time, but now it's set aside for exercise or subbing. And I am usually too tired these days after the kids go to bed. But I will definitely make time at least once a week because I really miss it!
Happy Monday!