Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog Hop Mini Prize winner! Becky! If you email me at, Becky, I will get your prize out to you :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Extra Layouts :)

Just wanted to share a few layouts I made recently that are technically design team assignments. But I did make this first layout with product from the Scrapgal store :)
I loved that KI Memories line and the title "Sweet Summer" kept popping into my head. And then I thought of these photos from the first few weeks after Erin was born! Those days when I just surrendered to new babyness and just relaxed and enjoyed being with her. Getting to know her. While Mike was off at work and Evan at school.

And this one was for pure fun! It's going in my All About Me album along with all kinds of layouts ranging from child birth to my favorite shoes to favorite places. I've put a lot of random layouts in there, but each one I think has a story that tells a little bit about who I am in different phases of my life. And it wasn't an intentional AAM album. It started off as an album to put those 8 1/2 layouts that didn't really have a home :)

If you would still like to participate in the Scrapgal blog hop (see post below) there is still time! And I have a little giveaway for one lucky reader :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Scrapgal Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Scrapgal Blog Hop! If you are following the hop, you should be here from Michelle's
blog. If you want to start at the beginning, the Scrapgal blog is here!
My name is Mary Jo and today each design team member is going to have a challenge for you!

My last package came with this fabulous sheet of die-cut journal cards by Echo Park! I used one card on two of my layouts, but then had a ton of cards left over. In fact, I have a whole bucket of leftover journal cards from previous die-sheets sitting on my counter.
So I decided to use them to create a mini-album...

about a family brunch tradition we have every summer.

It was really simple to put together. A photo on one side, and journaling on the other. With a few stickers to embellish it here and there!

It came together really quickly and now we have a little reminder sitting in the mini-album basket in our living room :)

My challenge to you today, is to use multiple journal cards on a project!
It doesn't have to be a mini-album. Just a layout will do. Or any type of scrap project. But there has to be more than one!

Starting today! Friday Aug 26th, You will have 3 days to create *one* project that includes
  each challenge from each Scrap Gal DT member on this blog hop! 

Post your projects to the ScrapGal Facebook page for a chance to win...

this prize pack! Plus you have to more chances to win if you
1. Become a follower at the ScrapGal blog
2. Like ScrapGal on Facebook!

And just for leaving a comment on my blog today and becoming a follower, I will send one of you this little prize pack. Two of my favorite products in the scrap world!

Here's the blog hop roll in case you lose your way :)
Guest Designer Kimmie
Scrap Gal's Face Book Page!

Thanks for stopping by, and looking forward to seeing everyone's projects! :)
*ETA - I will announce a winner for my little prize pack on Wednesday :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of School

Evan's first day of school was on Tuesday.

I can't believe he is in fourth grade now!

And is happy to have his cousin starting Kindergarten at the same school :) Erin jumped in the shot as I was quickly trying to get any kind of photos before they ran off. But I wanted to do it on the school playground because...

that is where we took his first day of Kindergarten photos a few years ago with daddy. Such a big difference! And that little baby is four now :) I feel a scrapbook page coming on :)

And speaking of scrapbooking, we are having a blog hop tomorrow for Scrapgal. If you love scrapbook challenges or just a chance to win prizes, I hope you will join in :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Published! :)

This layout was published in the October 2011 issue of This magazine on page 46! Scrapbooks Etc... is one of my favorite scrap magazines and I will always be grateful that they gave me my first opportunity to have one of my layouts appear in a scrapbook magazine :)

And Polly Maly also sent me an email with a cute little button for my blog that you see over there on the top right :)
It really is a good issue. I flipped through it tonight when I received my layout back with a complimentary issue of the magazine. I plan to give it to my mom since I am already a subscriber. So my actual issue should be here any day :)
I may just have to frame it ;)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where Did It Go?

Summer I mean! Seriously went by way to fast. And as much as I wanted it to be a relaxed summer, we were still pretty busy. Some highlights were...

our annual Mother's Day/Father's Day brunch with the grandparents. We take a family photo up there every year. And we love having special time with our parents to celebrate. We usually go at some point in the summer around Father's day.

A trip to Chicago to visit with cousins and see fun places like the Lego Discovery Center. Evan loved the miniature Chicago landscape.

Ummm...a surprise 40th birthday party thrown by my wonderful husband Mike! I had to get a picture with a few of my favorite women in the world. My mom, sister-in-law Regina, and good friend Suzy were gone by this point otherwise they would have been in this photo!! I just don't know what I would do sometimes without such a great group of women in my life. And yes, there were men there. Spouses and my father. :)

Saw U2 not once, but twice in July. Being this close to the stage was such a great feeling!

And so glad Evan was able to go with us! And so thankful to my parents who brought him down later in the day so he didn't have to sit in line with us! I was so hesitant at first about letting him go. Especially with the whole general admission, standing part. But he handled it beautifully!
And let's just say it was hot. Excessively hot! But that is not sweat on my shirt though. Just water from a little sprayer fan :) I look pretty wilted in this photo but at that point I didn't care. Just to excited!!

Had lots and lots of play dates with friends and cousins!

A special project by Evan going on this summer. Building a mini-city inspired by the one we say in Chicago. Those blocks are glued together with wood glue. A few lego structures in there. And miscellaneous bits and pieces from around the house. I think we have an architect in the making.

This girl! My niece who had a few sleepovers with us this summer. And each time she left, we really missed her. Such a sweetheart!!

As you saw in the post below, someone celebrated her fourth birthday! Lots of celebrating this year with two parties. One for family and one for school friends!

And posted this one just because. Love it!

As for blogging, I will be taking a week break here until the kids start school. I know it's been a little hit or miss this summer. Only two or three times a week. And not as much even here in August. I just want to relax and enjoy this last week of no school with them :) Then I am looking forward to getting back to a more structured routine. I think we are ready :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

And Then She Was Four!

A little over a week ago, Erin turned four. We celebrated with family on her actual birthday.

Which was really nice. Just a simple party at home. With lots of cousins, grandparents, a few aunts and an uncle, and her godmother.
But what she really wanted, was a birthday party with friends at the "puppet show". A friend from school had her party there several months ago. And it was all Erin talked about for the longest time.

So last Saturday we invited a group of school and play group friends to the local puppet theater. An amazing place really that does really great parties :) It's been around since I was a little girl. I remember going there for field trips with the girl scout troop. And then later taking preschool students there on field trips. And now my little girl wanted a party there.
Evan really loved the hand puppets! And he put on a little show for Erin while we waited for guests to arrive.

These puppets are created by the owners. And I have to admit that I remember a few of them from when I was younger. They have really stood the test of time.

This bear one creeped me out a little at first. But looking back at the photos, he kind of won me over :)

Doug working his magic on stage. And let me just say, Doug is a riot! He has worked with some amazing artists and talent. And he really has a lot of stories to tell!

The birthday girl was given the choice of posing and holding one of the puppets. She chose the little girl mouse.

She really had a great time!

Even Evan had to admit it was fun. Although at first he thought it was going to be babyish. I caught him laughing and smiling a few times.

We had a Strawberry Shortcake cake, but Doug had a special surprise for Erin. A "Charlie the puppet" cupcake just for Erin.

It seriously was not my first choice as a venue for a birthday party. But I have to say, she had a blast and so did everyone else. Even the adults were saying how much fun it was. I would definitely recommend it to anyone :)
And Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

* Flower Girl *

I have a post up today on the
Scrapgal blog.
The design team is going to be doing a new feature in the upcoming months called "Product Showcase." Last month we had the clothespins which I used on this project. For August, we were challenged to use the crocheted trim and flower you see on my layout. The flower is misted to match the sash on Erin's dress :)

Now I know every mom thinks her "flower girl" is the cutest ever. But this is a layout for my daughter from my heart! I want her to know how much she is loved. Whether it is me telling her a zillion times a day. Or through a scrapbook page she can look back on someday :)
And that is why I love to scrapbook these little moments. In the photo above we were waiting in the hotel lobby for Mike and Evan to come down from our room. And I decided to snap a few shots of her! This was one of my favorites because it is just so her :)

August challenges have gone up at Scrapgal as well. You can find them on the Monthly Contests board. Projects linked up by August 31st, will be eligible for a grand prize :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Design Team Projects for Scrapgal!

I can't believe August is here already!! Where is the summer going?
For Scrapgal this month, I chose to work with two fun summer lines from the store! Echo Park's Sweet Summertime
and a little bit of KI Memorie's Juicy Summer!
I don't typically go for cutesy styles, but I loved the bright fun colors of the Echo Park line. And I had received some fun stickers from Doodlebug's Mother Nature collection as an extra embellishment to work with because I loved the sunshine font you will see that I used on my next layout. This Watercolor layout started out with some misting of yellow and turquoise on the top and bottom corners. And then everything came together pretty quickly!

My next layout is my monthly challenge for the Scrapgal boards. I have the photo challenge this month. And my challenge is to add text to a photo. Whether it be a title or journaling. Digitally or with alphabet stickers, rub-on's or stamps :) You can find all the challenges here on the Monthly Challenges board.

My last project is a card using a mix of all three of the lines :) Plus some Cosmo Cricket mini alphabet stickers. I used a journal die-cut as the base for the rest of the design.

I will have a few extra projects to share this month as well. My Scrapgal blog post will go up on August 3rd. And we are having a blog hop on August 26th! Hope you can join us for that :)
Hope you are staying cool where you are? We are trying! :-)