Monday, December 31, 2012

Twelve in 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, I just wanted to share my top twelve favorite layouts that I created this year :)
1. That photo is one of my all time favorites!
2. Me embracing turning 40 :)
3. Documenting Erin calling dandelions "my wishes". And finally getting the Instagram app on my camera!
4. Documenting the music I love right now! We went to some amazing concerts in 2012. Radiohead, Jane's Addiction and the Black Keys!
5. A favorite all time memory! In the general admission line all day to see U2 and being so close. So hot that day! Facebook status about it on s little tag behind my photo with a mini clothespin to pull it out.
6. Showing how technology has changed so much! And what a difference it makes being able to talk to Mike at night on Skype while he is away. How good it is for all of us!
7. A quote and friends I love :)

8. Brings back such memories!
9. One of my favorite hobbies.

10. Fun with friends and doors :)
11. Becoming more comfortable scrapbooking me! Sharing photos of me and not being overly critical of myself. Thanks to Scrapbooking From the Inside Out. Such a great design team to help me grow as a scrapbooker. In fact, several of these layouts were a result of kits by Rachel :)
12. Another huge change in my life. Having both of my babies in school full time. Although they have had so many sick days and days off this year, I have still had at least one home with me one day a week ;)

So there you have it!
Are you doing a recap of your favorite layouts from this past year?
Would love to see it if you are!
Happy New Year!!! See you in 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Wishes

All she wanted for Christmas...
was a Barbie "dream house". So that is what she found under the tree from Santa. He didn't bring a lot of gifts this year because it was a big one!

And all he wanted for Christmas this year...
was the Lego Monster Fighters Haunted Mansion. We told him it was impossible to find. And it was! For awhile. But then got it back in stock in time and we thought why not. He thought it wasn't happening, so he was truly surprised :)

and very happy! He had a great time putting it together in only two days!!
But the best was this hug when she opened the present he got for her. A little Lego "friends" set.
It truly was a Merry Christmas :)

On another note, I have a post up on the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out blog. It is my last "exclusive content" post as a design team member. You can see the post here! I am sharing some tips for hand cutting embellishments from the patterned paper in this month's kit.

I have a busy day ahead. We are celebrating Christmas with Mike's side of the family tonight. It is actually kind of fun waiting a few days after the actual holiday to get together. It kind of stretches out the Christmas fun :)
I will be back Monday with a New Year's Eve post!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to share our Christmas card from this year.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New year! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's Ok

My last layout as a design team member for SFTIO. For now :)
Wow. I really struggled with this one at first. Which is kind of ironic given the title :) I knew I wanted to use the photo and the idea of a letter to myself. I look at photos like this and think to myself "what was she thinking". LOL
So here it is. And let's just say for some reason that red really photographed bright. It's more of a deeper red in real life.
Lots of inking edges, handcutting and pop dots for this layout :)

Note to Much Younger Self:
Life is going to have it's ups and downs.
You are going to make some good and not so good choices.
What I want to tell you is that it will be ok.
Life is such a wonderful journey. 
The path you have taken is working out just fine.
Maybe a few things could have been done differently along the way,
but it's ok to let go of that.
Ultimately you are in a really good place with really good people.
And life is just as it should be.

Here is a close up...
I am going to take a week or so off until after Christmas. Lots of fun plans between the last few days of school, parties, concerts and more. But I also just want to relax and enjoy the holidays with my family. Hope you have a wonderful, peaceful week!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One Life

I haven't been able to stop thinking about the tragic shooting that occurred in Newtown last Friday. My heart is so heavy for all of those families who lost loved ones. For everyone involved.
It just seems so hard to understand how something like this could happen.

I came across this photo on Facebook along with the following quote.

 "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." -- Mister Rogers

And I tell myself that what matters is remembering there are more good people in the world than not. There are people who love and care. People who will stand up for what is right and protect those who cannot protect themselves. And while it may seem that light has been dimmed for a bit, we need to hold onto the thought that we should not give in to the darkness. Because that is what the darkness wants. For us to turn our back on the light.

I was listening to "One" by U2 last night and the lyrics hit home with me again. And I thought of this layout I had created.

"One life with each other. Sisters, Brothers. One life but we're not the same. We have to carry each other. Carry each other"

And this is a time to carry each other. Lift each other up and hold tight to the goodness. God bless!

Friday, December 14, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are going out to all in Newtown, CT tonight.
Those poor babies and their poor families.
So much pain and sorrow. So much tragedy.
All I can think is my daughter is in kindergarten.
And I picture her in that classroom.
And it makes my heart break to think of those children.
I know I will be holding mine extra close this weekend.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Watch Out!

I know I have been sharing a lot of serious pages lately, so today I wanted to share an older more light-hearted one.  It is one of my favorite simple pages that I did. I'm not sure if I have ever shared it on the blog. But if I have, it has been a while. :)
I used all Basic Grey Wander except for the green alphabet Thickers by American Crafts. This was a day when we were enjoying the weather in the backyard, but my daughter was being a little bit of a stinker.

Erin, you may look all cute and innocent as you drive your little, red, cozy coupe car. But I knew what you were really thinking. After all, you had just been in a time out on the back porch steps for knocking over Evan's Lego rocket not once, but twice! There is a mischievous little glint in your eye in this photo as you slowly maneuvered the car toward Evan and his rocket. At least until you heard me say in my serious mom voice, "Don't even think about it, Miss Erin." You looked at me and then turned your car around and went the other way. Oh, yes, I definitely knew what you were thinking. Thankfully, your brother had no clue, and was even nice enough to let you play with the smaller rocket for a little while afterwards. You just love to tease your big brother sometimes though!"

No, I will never forget that day in the backyard. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012


Here is my third layout this month using the Release kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out.
I found the quote on-line and it went perfectly with the idea I had for this layout!

"Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they fully understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in it's own time." - Sarah Paddison

Definitely a life lesson for me. I had to let go of a relationship that was pretty toxic. And unfortunately it is a "family" member, but that doesn't mean that I have to stay in a relationship that is more negative than positive.

This quote has meant a lot to me. In fact, it was very eye opening. Because of this quote, I have truly been able to forgive and remove myself from a relationship with a person I once thought of as a friend. Someone I thought I could trust. Someone who surprised me with things said and done to my family.
And I realize that the only person I can change and be responsible for is myself. It's ok to forgive and let her go.
Because in the end, I am a happier person without all the negativity and need for control.
In the end, I have been blessed with women in my life that helped me see the true meaning of friendship.

If you hadn't already guessed, that person was in the other half of my torn photo. And the good thing is by learning to forgive and let go, I have no expectations from that person. And it truly is freeing :)
Forgiveness is a wonderful thing!

This layout was also featured on the Creating Keepsakes editor blog along with layouts from the other design team members, and a fabulous post by Rachel. You can see it here. If you leave a comment on the post, you also have a chance to win the December kit! So make sure to go by and leave a comment! :)

So on Friday, I posted that I had a busy weekend ahead of me with getting ready for a 40th birthday party for my husband. And let's just say that I had to put my mantra from this layout, to test! What a challenging weekend! Erin became pretty sick in the middle of the night on Friday. Fever and really bad cough. So after taking her to the doctor, she was diagnosed with croup! Let's just say I felt so bad for her, and was ready to cancel the party. But a truly wonderful friend offered to babysit Erin at my mother-in-law's so the party could carry on. By then Erin was actually feeling better. And she enjoyed special one on one time with my friend. I hated having her go away, but it really was a great party and celebration for Mike. Lots of friends and family. Lots of fun!

And I didn't get one single photo with my camera! I was too busy running around hosting. Making sure everything was just right. But my brother, a brilliant photographer, took lots and lots of photos and has promised me some. So hopefully in the not too distant future, I will be ready to share.

And thankfully Erin really is much better today. I was expecting her to be so much sicker, but she is not coughing as much. So things really did work out in the end! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

I was going to blog today, but will be back to post Monday instead.
Between not having power today for several hours due to an electrician working on our basement remodel, and the 40th party I am planning for my husband tomorrow, I am going to be super busy!
Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In the End :)

For my second page created using the December "Release" kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out,
I decided to use my new daily life mantra as inspiration, "It all works out in the end." Which became my title.

I decided to go with my favorite type of page, clean and simple, because I had so much I wanted to say. And I also wanted the photo to really stand out. Going to Ireland was such an amazing trip at the perfect time in my life.

As I get older, I seem to get a little wiser. So many life lessons that can only be learned through experience have helped me make better choices. When I was younger, my stress level was so high all the time. Or at least it felt that way. And it really affected my health. But in the last year, I think I have learned on of the most important life lessons of all. Something that has made a huge difference in my life. "It all works out in the end!"
Somehow, some way, it usually does. When I look back, all of those little things that I have stressed over in the past generally have worked out in some way. Maybe not always in the way I wanted it to originally. But in a way that let's me know not to worry about the small stuff. There is enough big stuff to deal with from time to time. It's just not worth freaking out over the little things.

This photo was taken in Ireland in front of Kylemore Abbey. You can't tell because of my sunglasses, but I was actually crying. Here I was in a place that I had only seen photos about. Photos my mother-in-law shared with me from her trips to Ireland. Due to a longer than planned excursion to Croagh Patrick, I was convinced we were going to miss visiting the Abbey that day. And I was just a little upset. But when we arrived, it turned out they had summer hours. And even if it had been closed, I still could have taken a photo like this no matter what. So in the end, we made it there! And it all worked out in the end. Don't sweat the small stuff! :)

And for the record, those were tears of happiness at that point when Mike took my photo. I was just feeling so blessed and lucky. And understanding finally that it's ok to let go and just relax. To release all of those anxious feeling and truly feel calmness and acceptance whatever the outcome may be :)

Monday, December 3, 2012


A new month is here along with a new kit at My last as a design team member for now.
And this is my first layout I wanted to share this month. The December theme is "release". This is a photo I took on the first day of school using my phone camera. I actually almost missed this moment because it caught me off guard. The big fifth grader holding his little sister's hand on the first day of Kindergarten. Let me tell you, my heart melted. And then I remembered to quickly grab my phone to get the shot. :)

It was the first day of school for both of you. And the first day of Kindergarten for Erin.
Since the weather was nice, we decided to walk to school. Suddenly I noticed you were holding her hand.
What a sweet moment for me to capture!
Because you are both growing so quickly. And as hard as it is, I know I have to let go just a little bit. I have to let you grow up and away.

For the kraft butterflies, I colored them with Tim Holtz Tarnished Brass Distress Stain (found in the kit), Studio Calico mist in gold, and Heidi Swapp Color Shine mist in silver. Messy but fun :)

Here is a photo of kit. Lots of fun Ready, Set, Go by Amy Tangerine, Crate Paper Acorn Avenue, and Cosmo Cricket Jolly Days. With a little Basic Grey, Maya Road, Prima, Studio Calico, Jillibean Soup and American Crafts thrown in. :)

Now in non-scrap related news, I have to say that everyone in our house is excited about this...
(not my photo)
St. Louis is getting it's very own Lego store. Finally! Lots of smiles and happiness today when we found out :)
Definitely something to look forward to this May. Which just happens to be Evan's birthday month. The timing couldn't be more perfect!
I see a Lego mini album in the near future :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SFTIO sneak peeks

The December kit from Scrapbooking From the Inside Out will be revealed this Saturday. I can't believe it is almost December!
So I have a few peeks at three of the layouts I completed using the new kit.
You can also see some additional peeks by other team members here.
I just have to say that I really enjoyed doing these three layouts, despite the top one was a bit of a tough topic. Being on the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out design team has really stretched me in terms of my journaling. And that is something that I really wanted to work on. In the past six months, I have really found myself truly thinking about what I want to say. And I have told stories, I never thought I would get around to telling.
And that is why deciding not to stay on the team for the next term was a truly hard decision. I debated for several days and even almost changed my mind a few times. :) I have enjoyed working with everyone involved and will miss the team! But this just feels like the right choice at this time.

When I started out trying to *break in to the publishing and design team world*, it wasn't easy. There are a lot of amazing and talented scrapbookers all trying to do the same thing.
So I set a few goals for myself. The first was having one of my layouts published in a magazine. Happy to say that is a goal I have accomplished a few times.
As far as design teams, I wanted to try and experience a different variety of teams. Such as a local scrapbook store (For Keep's Sake), an on-line store (Scrapgal), a challenge blog (Craft Your Nest) and a kit club (SFTIO). The bonus was an on-line magazine (Crafting Ireland). Each team has been such a blessing. And I have met and stayed in touch with so many of the women from these teams.

My final goal is to try and make a manufacturer team. This is going to be my scrapbooking focus for the next year. Although I won't just try out for a manufacturer just to be on a manufacturer team. I am only going to submit for teams that I really love their product or think I would be a good fit.

In addition to possibly getting back into teaching by subbing which is really exciting for me!
So I am looking forward to 2013 and meeting a few more goals.

I guess we will see. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Peek or Two

That was a nice little blog break :)
And Thanksgiving went pretty well, too.
We were super, super busy with family time,
and got zip done on the closet project.
But now I am back to routine and the kids have a full week of school.

I do want to share peeks at the two projects I just finished creating for
Crafting Ireland magazine's upcoming issue coming out on January 1st.
So you will see these after the New Year. And while that may seem far off, I know it will be here way too quickly! I mean we have less than a month until Christmas and I haven't even started thinking about that!

I did finally buy us some new bedding today. I mean we have had the same Pottery Barn quilt for ages and ages. I love that quilt, but it is looking pretty ragged. So with the sale at Crate & Barrel, we invested in this one...
The colors are perfect for our room. There is a pretty maroon color in there which we are going to get a blanket for under the duvet to add a pop of color. Plus the green goes perfectly with our wall color.
I with our windows looking out onto the park across the street, it is going to be a nice relaxing addition to our bedroom.

Well, keeping this short today. I will be back on Thursday with either a layout (I am hoping) or my Scrapbooking From the Inside Out kit peeks. Not sure which yet :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Sharing my final layout for the month using the November Mindfulness kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out
I actually did use only product from the kit which contained mostly aqua, white, orange and peach colors. It's amazing what one little navy blue ink pad can do to change things up. Especially to the Pink Paislee resistable paper that is matting my journal block and the aqua chipboard letters by American Crafts. :)

Once again, I was inspired by the quote die cut from the Teresa Collins "Tell Your Story Line"

That second one from the bottom. I had not originally intended on doing a page like this. But when the kit came and I saw those quotes, I thought of these photos. The Memorial site was definitely a place to be mindful and present.

Words cannot begin to describe how moving the Sept.11th Memorial at the Art Museum in 2011 was to us.
When we arrived, just seeing the number of flags (one for each life lost) was overwhelming.
The only sound was a quiet flapping of the flags as a breeze blew around us. All of the visitors walked among the flags reading the labels on the poles with the names of the victims.
I think for the first time, Evan really understood what happened that day. And I felt a sadness for the families of those who lost loved ones because of such hatred. 

As for my closet organization project which I talked about on this post, I have definitely made progress. Did not make my Sunday deadline, but getting pretty sick on Thursday set me back. I was pretty much out for the whole day.
But you can see here that my huge pile in Erin's room is a lot smaller.
(and getting some cute baskets for Erin's toy shelf is next on the list!)
So smaller pile, lots of things thrown out or recycled, and...

I know it still looks a bit messy inside, but I am on the verge of getting everything into it's spot! I organized my photos about two years ago, but they needed some help again. So I feel like I am in a good spot as far as photo boxes go!

So almost there! I knew it was going to be a huge project and take a lot of time. Which is why I procrastinated for so long!

As for blogging, I have a post going up over at Craft Your Nest tomorrow for Thanksgiving. Otherwise, I am taking off until next week for the holidays.
If you celebrate Thanksgiving here in the States...Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am sharing another layout created using the November Mindfulness kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out.
I have been struggling a little bit lately. Trying to figure out who I am besides being a wife and mom. And I know that it may not be huge or life changing, but I want to go back to teaching preschool eventually.
The day to day things I do are important. But sometimes I feel I want to do more.
And as Evan and Erin get older, there is going to come a time when I will need something more.
I love being a stay at home mom. It's not always easy or gets the respect it deserves. But it is a job I embrace and am grateful for every day!
I am enjoying this time with my kids, but I have to look to the future just a little. And I know that teaching is where I will want to be.
But for now, I am a wife and mom who loves to stay home and spend time with family and friends. A woman who understands what is most important for our family.
But also a woman who has dreams for the future.

I was inspired to create this layout by two of the little die cut quote cards from Teresa Collin's "Tell Your Story" line that came with the kit.

"In this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love"
                                                                                    - Mother Theresa -
"It is NEVER too late to be what you might have been."
                                                                                    - George Elliot -
The rest of the frames forming the border down the left side were cut from a piece of patterned paper from that same line.

This layout is also featured on the Creating Keepsakes blog along with layouts by the other design team members and a chance to win the November kit
You can see the post and leave a comment HERE.

Also, Scrapbooking From the Inside Out is having a design team call. The deadline is November 28th and you can see all the details here!

Now that the basement remodel is moving along at a fast pace, I was inspired by fellow blogger Tracy who is "defunkifying" her house one step at a time. It was this post here that convinced me it was time to finally clean out the messiest area in our house. The closet in Erin's room. It has been a holding place for tons of junk as you can see...
This is just a portion of what was stuffed in that closet. And now it's in Erin's room waiting to be sorted, tossed or kept.
This is still in there. Cabinet on top holds scrap stuff and drawers below hold scrap stuff in top drawer and bills and paperwork in the bottom drawer.
And then there is this. Sorting through all of the cd's and Dvd's for keepers and giveaways. Plus packing up all of the CD's that have already been downloaded to itunes. Found a few gems in there I had forgotten about and can't wait to listen to again!
And lastly, this side. It's a nice sized closet. Especially with all the shelves Mike put in. But you can imagine how crammed it was with stuff from that first picture. Now I can actually walk in it. And the goal is to clear at least half for Erin's stuff, so I have a lot of purging to do!

If I get it done by Sunday, I will be happy.
Because I am also working on this project with Evan at the same time.
Project Lego sort by color...

We are getting there slowly but surely. The boy has a lot of Legos. And I do mean a lot!
That first photo is only about 1/4 of what he has.

So as you can see, I am one busy girl with all of my sorting and organizing :)
I'll be back next week with my last SFTIO layout for the month.
Have a great weekend!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Issue 14 for Crafting Ireland Magazine...

is out!

And I have a layout with a small step by step tutorial starting on page 12 :)
Here is a link to the magazine Issue 14!

They are also having a design team call which you can see on pages 4-5. The deadline for the call is January 14th. So if you are looking for a fun design team that only asks for two projects every six weeks, this is a good magazine to work for. Timi and Nicole really have a fantastic thing going here :)

Here is my two page winter layout being featured in the magazine. I go into a little more detail in the article. With all of the devastation and destruction I have seen caused by Hurricane Sandy, it makes the power outage from this ice storm in 2006 seem not so bad. Kind of puts things in perspective for me.
One of the things I love about designing for Crafting Ireland is that I am able to use product I have on hand to create my projects. So everything on this layout, with the exception of the gray striped washi tape at the bottom, has been in my scrapbook stash for a while! Love using all of that up :)

Tomorrow I will have a post up at Craft Your Nest and will be back here Thursday with another layout to share!