Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Vacation from Blogging

Not because I am feeling stressed in any way :) And I really mean that.
This is my year to just enjoy Christmas and not worry about the to do's.
I am done with Christmas shopping. So that's a huge chunk out of the way.
But the blog doesn't fit in with what I want to do right now.
And how I want to enjoy the holidays. The last Christmas before Erin starts Kindergarten :-O
So I will be back after the holidays ready for the new year!
Hope you have a good one! :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - Christmas Style

1. Christmas Shopping for the kids is pretty much almost done!

2. Of course, Christmas shopping for Mike isn't. He's a hard one to buy for any time of year! And with a birthday in December as well as Christmas, it is doubly hard :) But I actually think I have the perfect surprise for his birthday this week. Can't wait to give it to him! I'll let you know if he was truly surprised :)

3. Feeling in the Christmas spirit the last few days. Decided it's so worth it for the kids to look at it from their perspective and not of a mommy "who must get things done!" It's making all the difference. Right now at least ;)

4. Thankful for shopping carts that hold your stuff for days on end :)

5. Thankful for neighbors who make unique, fun Christmas music CD's as their Christmas cards for all of us!

6. Love that Eric Carle has a new children's book out and it looks wonderful!
 Erin and a cousin are getting this one for Christmas :)

7. And speaking of Christmas books for children, Mike and I have decided that this one...

is our all time favorite!!! It is absolutely adorable and has a great message at the end for families. But not obnoxiously so!

8. Decided against doing a December Daily album which was hard because I have seen so many amazing ones so far! But am going to do a December recap instead using...

this line by October Afternoon. Love the vintage feel! And that little record die-cut is getting a whole layout all by itself! Also using this journal...
by Studio Calico!

9. Making a scrapbook album for my mother-in-law for Christmas. It is about a trip she took with her mom and dad to Ireland back in the 50's to visit!! So many amazing photos and stories she has to tell. She is the reason I wanted to go visit this place when Mike and I went there in 2009...
 Kylemore abbey. Anyway, I am pretty excited to help her and just hope I can do it justice!

10. I want this ornament!

As someone who grew up on Fisher Price toys, I think it is absolutely adorable :)
What is on your Christmas wish list?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Pajamas

Posting on my blog two days in a row doesn't happen very often, but...
it is my turn to post on the ScrapGal blog today. This is the layout I featured as part of my post titled Scrapping the Same but Different :)
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Sketch Challenge at ScrapGal

As unbelievable as it may seem, it is now December, and it's my turn to post the sketch challenge at ScrapGal this month. 
I worked backwards by creating my layout first. I had a particular topic in mind that I wanted to scrap this month and knew the exact photos I wanted to use as well. I think this is a story that I will have to keep hidden in a personal album so that Erin or my future grandchildren won't stumble across it by accident. I'm also debating about hiding the story, but am not quite sure how I want to do that yet.
For this layout I used American Crafts foil thickers, letter stickers by Basic Grey and...

 the "I Believe" paper and accessories kit from My Mind's Eye and...

So for now, here is the sketch...
Pretty simple :) If you would like to participate in the challenge, you can post a link to your finished layout in my thread on the "monthly contests" board by December 31st. Would love to see your interpretation of the sketch!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Well, this little boy...

finally knows the secret about Santa.

He was only a few months old in this photo. Six and a half months actually and now he is nine years old. :) I can't say it comes as any great surprise. And I am pretty sure he has suspected for at least a year or two, but didn't want to admit it. I will say, talking with him about it was a little sad and hard for me. But I had found this, The truth about Santa, on Pinterest and it gave me a little more to add to what I wanted to say to him.

So as of now, he is pretty excited about being on "team Santa" for his little sister Erin and all the friends and cousins who still don't know the secret. And he has promised not to spill the beans for them!
Hopefully it won't be to hard for him to keep the secret :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scrapping For Fun!

Many scrapbookers will tell you that they have enough product in their personal inventory to scrap for a long time without ever making another purchase. Well, except for your basics like adhesive maybe.
And we talk about using up our "stash". The older product that sits and sits waiting to finally be pulled out and used to make the perfect layout :)
But lately I have been setting myself a goal. And that is to use my newer product! Instead of buying something and letting it become stash, I am challenging myself to use it and not "hoard" it! I loved the Rocket Age line by October Afternoon because of it's retro feel and cute design.
So when I came across this photo that was going in my already scrapped photos box, I was inspired to create something for my "All About Me" album. The layouts that tell my stories and feelings I want to remember! And Borders is one of those places that I will remember, but my grandchildren will never know!
This layout also expresses a little of the sadness I feel at how many places that have ceased to exist in my lifetime already. And what might possibly be next. And I wonder about the places I may never see, but my children and grandchildren will one day frequent.
It's interesting how quickly things can change :)

Going to be taking a little bit of a blog break until after Thanksgiving here. Mike is taking the week off and won't be traveling. It will be great to have him home and I know we will want to spend as much time with him as possible! See you after the holiday! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Basic Grey Cards

I don't make cards to often. For the occasional birthday or Christmas for the teachers. I also did a card swap with a group of scrap friends a few years ago that was a lot of fun. Otherwise, I just haven't been creating cards, even though few years ago, I read Stacey Julian's book Big Picture Scrapbooking . And one of the things she recommended doing after creating a layout, was to use the scraps and make a card.. Which I think is a brilliant idea!
So I decided to do just that with my the leftovers from my November design team product. I had some great scraps left and created not one but two cards :) I have already used the "hi" card to send to my sister-in-law. The "you are so sweet!" card is going to be a thank you for a friend.
I miss the process of snail mail in this age of electronic communication and am happy to be sending some out.
Do you still send cards or letters through the mail? 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Laundry Room Sign

Each of the little houses we decorated for the blog hop came with a different shaped chipboard mini-album. Mine reminded me a little of a picket fence. And with the Maya Road laundry chipboard I had received, I pictured a clothesline hanging in a backyard. :) So I began assembling a sign to hang in my laundry room.
The first step was to attach each piece to a piece of leftover chipboard backing that had come in my package to keep my patterned paper from bending. I actually didn't end up using every piece from the mini-album. It comes with six but that felt to long to me. Five seemed just right!
I then cut around the sign to remove the excess chipboard.
I covered it in Basic Grey Nook and Pantry Beaters paper because I like the blue sky color.
Here is a better look at the blue color in the paper, because it didn't look right in the other photo.

After covering each piece of chipboard in a different piece of patterned paper from the Basic Grey Nook and Pantry line, I began assembling my sign. Lots of fun to put together and it became a family project!
My four year old daughter wanted to play along :) Here is her version of a sign "just like mommy's"!
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments section. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

* Blog Hop Winner!"

According to, the winner is #16!

Christa said...
What cute projects!
Please email me at so I can send you your prize! Thanks for joining in, everyone :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recipe Book

Each of the ScrapGal Design Team members were asked to create something for our "Home For the Holidays" crop this past weekend. The line I had chosen to work with from the store was Basic Grey's Nook and Pantry line which is basically a food theme. This led me to thinking about how my friends and I are always wanting to exchange recipes. Which then led me to thinking about recipe books as Christmas gifts!
Simple, easy to put together recipe books that is :) Because if you know me, the easier and quicker these days, the better! And this recipe book was nice and simple by scrapbook standards. Using two pieces of thin chipboard, I created covers for my book. The most time consuming part of this project was hand cutting the cupcakes from the BG patterned paper :) You could always use chipboard or rub-on's or stickers!
Here is a shot of the front and back cover. More patterned paper covering the page.
That fun polka dot paper is covering the inside of the front cover and the back cover!

And the recipe cards I used are from a line called Kitschy Kitchen by Melissa Frances. There are a lot of cards in the pack in different colors and patterns as you can see. I split the package in half to make two albums.
Today I see now that the recipe cards are no longer in the store. The chipboard set I used for the Queen of the Kitchen circle on the cover is, but not the recipe card pack.
I have seen tons of recipe card packs for $1 at places like Michael's and Target in the dollar section. Or it would be super easy to design a cute little set your self on the computer or use a site like free printable recipe cards
That way you could make as many cards as you wanted.
As for me, I plan on sharing my albums with friends this Christmas using a few of our family's favorite recipes :)

*And I will announce a blog hop winner tomorrow :)*

Friday, November 4, 2011

ScrapGal Blog Hop and "Home for the Holidays" Crop!

Welcome to Scrap Gal's Home for the Holidays blog hop! You have until midnight Sunday, November 6th to complete the hop! We also have an online crop going on in the forum, so please join us at ScrapGal for lots of fun and inspiring challenges! We are giving away lots of prizes and would love to see you there!
By visiting all of the design team members blogs and leaving a comment, you are also entered to win prizes :)

Each design team member was given a Maya Road chipboard house to decorate. There are three different types and I received the town home!
I used the Basic Grey Nook and Pantry line to decorate mine since I will be keeping it in the kitchen. I am going to store matches in it away from prying little eyes and hands up on a windowsill. I am forever searching for matches and it will be nice to have them in one place.

Here is the back of the house. I used the teapot paper with a touch of pink to mix in with all the green I used. And some Heidi Swapp tape on the edges of the roof. Also as you can see in the top photo, each house comes with a chipboard mini album. I put mine to use making a sign for our soon to be finished newly remodeled laundry room.
The album kind of reminded me of the wooden boards in a picket fence. So I attached them together (a tutorial will be in a future blog post soon.) and sanded the edges. The patterned paper and alphabet stickers are Basic Grey Nook and Pantry. I also used buttons and bird stickers by October Afternoon, twine by Doodlebug, and a scallop punch by Fiskars :)
This project is actually my monthly challenge for November. You can see all those challenges as well as the crop challenges on the boards. Monthly challenges can be found on the Monthly Contest board.

And now on to the Blog Hop!
Please visit the following blogs on your way. The other members did some really cute things with their houses :)
Guest Designer Nicolle

For leaving a comment today, I will enter you to win a small prize pack including two of my favorite brands - October Afternoon and Cosmo Cricket.
Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you at the crop!! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I have a post today on the ScrapGal blog talking about this layout I created for the month of November. You can see it here! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Trunk or Treat Win by a Landslide :)

Mike went really big this year and decided to recreate a little bit of Hogwarts castle :) Erin was Hermione, Mike was Dumbledore, I was Professor McGonagall and my friend Elise was Bellatrix.
Mike made the sign, too. Do you recognize the October Afternoon letter stickers from the Campfire line :)
So I did contribute a little besides dressing up. Oh and the stained glass window made using scraps of cardstock.
It was so much fun passing out candy to the kids!
 And receiving our trophy for receiving the most votes :)
 Later that night, after a potluck dinner with neighbors that we hosted, Strawberry Shortcake a.k.a Erin went trick or treating with me, cousin Ethan, Aunt Janel and several neighbors and friends!

Evan opted to stay home with dad and pass out candy. He wanted to help scare the trick or treaters :) Really a fun Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Busy Weekend and a Busy Halloween :)

So it all started on Friday :) My husband called me in the morning because he had just been given two tickets to game seven of the World Series! Of course I said yes and luckily our neighbors could babysit for us. I gave them money for a pizza dinner and bought Cardinals cupcakes at a local bakery so they could all celebrate, too :)
And the Cardinals won! It was such an amazing feeling to see them win the World Series. And such craziness afterwards. But not in a riot sort of way. Just lots of happy fans everywhere! We didn't get home until 1am, so needless to say we were very tired the next day.
Between a baby shower and a fun backyard movie night at another neighbor's house on Saturday. Plus lots of prep on Sunday for Trunk or Treat at Evan's school and the party we are hosting before trick or treating tomorrow, well it's been a busy weekend.

I can't wait to get photos of what Mike is working on for Trunk or Treat! Several parents at Evan's school (us included) bring Halloween decorated cars up to the school parking lot so the children can go out for an hour and trick or treat in the parking lot from car to car.
We are doing a Harry Potter theme this year. And at this moment Mike is assembling a giant version of a portion of Hogwart's castle. He also has a sign he made pointing to Hogsmeade or Hogwart's it's pretty cool.
He is dressing as Dumbledore, I am McGonagall, Erin is Hermione and a friend who helped us with costumes is going to be Bellatrix.
It should be a lot of fun and we should have some great photos.
Mike really goes all out. Two years ago he turned his black truck into a giant tie fighter from Star Wars. He dressed as Darth Vader and Erin was Yoda. Plus with the Star Wars Imperial theme music blaring from the radio, it was perfect!
So as you can see, the Hogwarts castle is going to be pretty great!

As for scrapbooking, I will have some new projects to share for the month of November from Scrap Gal on Tuesday. And this upcoming weekend, we have a blog hop on Friday and a "Home for the Holidays" crop as well.
But tomorrow - Halloween, am just going to enjoy and get lots of photos!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Challenge

Stephanie Howell has started a monthly blogging challenge that I think I'm going to try today.
In her own words, "it's a pretty simple challenge. blog your heart. HONESTLY. it can be silly, funny, serious, short or long...whatever you want it to be. as long as it is authentic"

Here goes :)

1. In September I started my healthy living goals. September was drink more water and no soda. Success! October, not so much. My goal was to work on sleep. Namely getting to bed by 11pm every night that Mike is gone. No staying up til 12:30 or 1am because I am exhausted and really don't feel that great the next day. I would say that I started strong, but have really just had a tough time lately. I'm like a little kid who tells mommy, "I don't want to go to bed." It's hard for me to let go and just let myself sleep. It feels like wasting time when I could be getting things done. And with Mike gone, there really is very little "free" time. I feel like I am going, going, going non-stop! I am going to make this my goal again in November though and really make the effort because I know more sleep = a happier, healthier me :)

2. Found out that Mike will most likely get the job in Joplin. What does that mean for us? Well, no longer working in Canada and a little closer to home. But still 5 hours away. So pretty likely the same type of work schedule. Home on weekends, gone Sunday night through Friday night most weeks. I keep telling everyone I am fine. It's ok. It's a job in this economy. The kids are doing great. Well, except to my real friends. The ones who love me no matter what :) But it's hard. This Joplin job is three years long. When it is completed, Erin will be seven years old and Evan will be 12. That is a long time for him to have to be gone so much. I know it's hard for him and he feels like he misses out on so much. But we are both grateful for weekends home and the occasional extra day or two to be around during the week :) Plus computer cameras to talk every night and phone cameras so I can send him daily updates. Like when Erin had her surgery! And I know we will be ok. We really have a great support network. Friends and family who are there for us and really, truly care! I will always and forever be grateful for them and can't do enough in return! When they say it takes a village to raise our children, they aren't kidding! And we belong to a great "village" :) So that always helps me in the end!

3. A lesson I have learned about family and friendship - true friends and people who love you will accept you flaws and all. They will not judge you and find you lacking because you can't give them every single thing they want. They understand that everyone is human. We are not perfect. And this is something I take into every single relationship I have and I think it makes my current friendships stronger because there are no expectations. Just friendship and support.

4. As far as healthy goals, exercise is going well. In the past six weeks, I have only missed three days of exercise. And one of those was due to Erin's surgery. The other two days, I just wasn't feeling well. And I know that will happen. But in the past, I might have let myself slip into going a few more days without exercise and that just hasn't happened...yet (lol). But I think I am on the right track this time. The days I missed exercise, I felt completely sluggish and out of sorts. The days I do exercise, I feel my mood lifted and healthier. So it is a great incentive! Adding pilates and strength training to the mix has helped a lot as well! So I am walking/jogging or doing turbo jam five days a week. And then the other two days are a combo of pilates, weight training and yoga. Although I do try to get a little bit of yoga in every day. Even if it's just me doing a short yoga routine after cardio. Yoga just really relaxes me :)

So now I am off to exercise because I know it will make me feel better! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

7 Gypsies "BOO at the Zoo" Mini :)

For the product showcase at Scrap Gal this month, we received
this little 7 Gypsies Matchbook mini album and...
a 7 Gypsies rubber band. Usually pretty useful for holding close those mini's that have a bunch of embellishments :) But the challenge for us was that it was to big for the matchbook mini. So we had to find a different way to use it. I have to admit I was a little stumped.
I knew that for the mini, I wanted to create a tiny album with some of our Boo at the Zoo photos with friends from a previous year. So I had fun making this little photo collage in Picasa! The pictures were pretty small and worked perfectly in the mini :)
I used all Little Yellow Bicycle for this one. The cover uses patterned paper, fabric borders and fabric oval embellishment which I inked around the edges.
On the inside, I covered the pages with patterned paper, my tiny photos and tiny alpha stickers my Making Memories. These are the front side of my pages...

and these are the back. I made an attempt to use my rubber band to stamp on a few of the pages, but I didn't really like the effect. It was a little to hard to manipulate. So I think I will just stick to using it to hold my super embellished mini's together!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On My Mind Tonight...

Missing Mike. It's been harder than I expected to have him working on this project in Canada. I mean it's only four months right? And he worked the last job for 3 1/2 years! But that was only an hour and a half away. So much easier for him to come home if needed. And more often. Not just weekends. It gives me the most amazing respect for single parents who do it 24/7.

Hockey Hall of Fame photo taken from our trip we took to see him in August :) Anyway, as a result, I am just not sleeping good at night. A little better this month since it is my "healthy living" goal. But still having some nights where I just can't get to sleep. And tonight Evan is having trouble sleeping. Why you may ask? Well apparently the librarian read a really spooky book at school today. You know the old myths and legends about the murderer with the hook that when the couple drive off they find the hook on the door when they get home. And one about a spider laying eggs in someone's cheek, and a spooky guy who crashed his carriage and then his ghost tries to give people rides. Only he starts haunting elevators that crash. I know it was keeping Evan up tonight. Not quite sure it was the best choice of book to read to the students. 
A friend of mine from grade school took this photo tonight at the World Series. Cardinals are winning right now! Hope they can hold on :) 

And for fun right now my favorite alphabet stickers for scrapbooking are...

this type from Sassafras Lass. Especially in the gray. I just stocked up on a bunch of different colors, but really love the gray!
And these by October Afternoon. Their Mini Market alphas. They are both right up there for me with American Crafts Thickers alphabets right now :)

What's on your mind right now?