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?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fourteen Years...

of marriage and counting today!
A recent photo of the two of us from our family trip to the pumpkin patch :)
I know I shared this layout back in April, but the title pretty much sums up how I feel about him :)
Happy Anniversary, Mike!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Two More Scrapgal Projects

Why is it always so hard to get back to routine and catch up after a trip, no matter how small?! But here I am. Back to normal :) And glad to be back with the kids! So I am going to share my last two official projects for the month of October for Scrapgal.
The first is a layout. I find myself making more 8 1/2x11 layouts lately just for fun or personal to me topics! And this one was just for fun! All of the product is Little Yellow Bicycle from their Frightful line. Except for the Martha Stewart candy wrapper embellishment, the Making Memories letter stickers and the American Crafts Thickers.

And I don't typically make cards, but have decided to try to get in the habit again of making cards with my scraps after working on layouts. These two are definitely using my scraps. Especially those cool fabric border strips. I love those!
So there you have it for the month of October. I did three layouts and two cards in all. Plus a little matchbook mini that will be coming up in the next few weeks. But I'm not supposed to share that yet! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Canada - The Anniversary Edition!

Technically, our anniversary isn't until October the 18th. Fourteen years :) But in Canada, this Monday was their Thanksgiving holiday. So Mike thought it would be a great idea for us to celebrate this past weekend instead since he had an extra day off work. Since he's been working on this project in Canada, I will admit it has been tough. We miss seeing him every night and are grateful for computer cameras :) I felt a little guilty about leaving the kids for two days to go up to see him. And he felt guilty about not coming home for the weekend. But we decided that this was something we both needed. Some time with each other!

So I caught a flight to Canada on Saturday morning. The first time I have EVER flown alone :)
He was waiting for me at the airport with a big smile. And then we got in the car and started driving. I caught on pretty quickly that something was up and we weren't just going back to his apartment to spend the weekend when the GPS said our destination was a little over two hours away.
What a beautiful drive! And we had beautiful weather all weekend!
And what a surprise to end up here at a resort on the lake in Muskoka, Canada!
The view was amazing! And there was so much to do and great food at the restaurants! We went to dinner the first night and then were able to go a one hour presentation on the night sky. It was so amazing to look through that giant telescope and see Jupiter, four of it's moons and the actual moon itself. We were at the perfect spot. The next day I took a yoga class while Mike went biking. Then we hiked, went kayaking and just relaxed! I really felt so relaxed and peaceful all day.

And here is a lake view of the resort from our kayak! Sunday we hiked some more and then it was time to head back to the Toronto airport. It was such a great weekend. One I will never forget! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Today is My Day...

to post on the Scrapgal blog. I did a little post on the benefits of scraplifting.

This is the page I created using mostly the Little Yellow Bicycle Frightful line, alphabet letters by American Crafts and the kraft journal spot is by Making Memories.

Erin loves to swing so much! Ever since she was a tiny, little girl :) She can definitely pump her legs now, but still likes to be pushed every now and then. And the higher, the better! I used to joke and tell her she was going to end up on the moon :)
I didn't want to do just Halloween themed layouts this month despite having Halloween product. And when I was flipping through my October photos and saw this older one, my title jumped into my head. Along with that chipboard moon. Then I remembered a tutorial I read in one of the magazines about cutting striped paper diagonally and everything kind of fell into place from there thanks to Sara Winnick :)

How often do you "scraplift" layouts?

Monday, October 3, 2011

You & Me

I was actually able to complete one of the challenge's this weekend at the Scrapgal Fall Fun crop :) This layout was for Steffanie's 6x6 patterned paper pad challenge. You could only use patterned paper 6x6 or smaller. I was also inspired by Marcie's September photo challenge to scrap using only one photo 3x4 or smaller.
This photo is of me and my dad. And all the product is October Afternoon's new Sidewalks line!

I am really, really lucky when it comes to dads! I know that :) And I have a lot of good memories from my childhood because of him. So I just wanted to share that for him and Evan and Erin as well!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Can you believe it is October already?!! But it's time for me to start sharing my October design team projects from Scrapgal. I've decided to change things up a bit by sharing my projects throughout the month instead of all on the first.
My first project this month is my monthly challenge. I have the technique/product challenge this month. I worked mostly with the Little Yellow Bicycle Frightful Collection this month so most of my projects have a Halloween/Fall theme. But not all :) I love the look of tape on layouts and washi tape seems to be a big trend right now! I didn't have any on hand. But I did have these...
Fabric borders :) I decided to cut them apart and use them like tape as you can see on my layout above. So my challenge to you is - Use tape on your project!  Whether it's actual washi, masking, or fabrips.
And I also used older photos from seven years ago! So for a bonus challenge, try using older photos :)
In my last post, I mentioned my goal of giving up soda and drinking more water for my monthly "healthier living" goal.

 For October, I am going to focus on sleep! I am terrible at getting to bed at a decent hour when Mike is out of town. And with this project he is working on in Canada and only being able to come home on weekends, you can imagine how much sleep I am losing out on. But I know that I feel better when I get a good night's rest. I am less cranky and have more energy. And I don't get as run down. I almost fight myself to go to bed though. So my goal for October, is to be in bed by 11pm every night that I am home. 11pm may not sound early to a lot of people, but for someone who is staying up until 12:30 or 1am, it will make a big difference. And it's all in baby steps, right? Which is what I intended when I started my monthly goal series :)
So soda - a success! Sleep will hopefully be as well!
And don't forget! The Fall Fun Crop is going on at Scrapgal right now. Each of our Guest Design Team members posted a challenge on the crop board. And I have one started right now - Steffanie's 6x6 patterned paper pad challenge :)
Have a great weekend!