Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break!

The kids are off from school all next week for Spring Break.
So I think I will take that time off from blogging and enjoy a mini computer break, too :)
Lots of fun things planned to keep us busy!
Hope you enjoy the Easter Holidays if you celebrate, and I will see you Monday after next!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Remember :)

As promised, a layout with the new Amy Tangerine "Yes, Please" line :)
I loved view masters when I was a kid, and so glad to find one for Evan & Erin! A cool toy from my childhood that my kids thought was just as cool. Evan always said he felt like he was in the actual scene.

I started out with this paper for my base...
and then built on it from there! I liked the watercolor flowers that reminded me of the flowers on Erin's shirt. I also added lots of layering with paper and paper strips, a wood veneer embellishment and card, word and phrase stickers matted with one on pop dots for a little more dimension, and some of my favorite Thickers!

I am a sucker for toys and other product from my youth. I even have a board on Pinterest dedicated 
to items from my childhood.
You can see a link to the actual board *Here*! 
Lots of good memories there thanks to Pinterest and now a new Facebook page called 80's Kids Rule!
Because I am definitely a child of the 80's. 
I can't believe all of the things I have forgotten, but all I needed was a little push :)

This is one of the main reason why I love scrapbooking. To capture those fun memories for my kids!
I have a few design team assignments to work on in the next week or so. 
But then after that, I am going to be doing a page for Evan using these Instagram Photos...

 And I plan on using my new Paper Bakery kit to do it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What's Going On?

Around here?
Lots of this...
Photo from yesterday morning after Mike shoveled and cleaned off my car. :)

and the backyard! Haven't checked how many official inches fell back there, but we went outside to play after lunch.
No school here yesterday, so we spent part of the morning playing...
"Guess Who". They teamed up on me. And I love that she is always trying to mimic him, although he doesn't love it. :)

The view from my scrap porch windows was also snow covered :)
So I pulled out this...
to work on for a little while. A sketch, some instagram photos and the new Amy Tangerine "Yes, Please" line was perfect. And after I get a few photos, I will share the completed layout on Thursday :)

And this came yesterday as well...
The Paper Bakery's March kit. Going to give them a try :) I love that little piece of flair that comes with it!

What's going on where you are?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Last of the Florida Pages (for now)

First I want to start off by sharing a photo...
Erin lost her first tooth on Monday! That is her tooth necklace she received from her teacher to hold her tooth until she got home. She was so, so proud and excited.And I guess you can tell from the photo that Evan was pretty excited for her as well. :)

I only have a few pages left to share from my Florida trip album. The other two posts with pages can be found Here and Here!
And then you will just have to wait until I finish some more :)
These are from the start of Day 2.
Some photos from breakfast the next morning. Before we sat down, Evan wanted to head back down to the little lake for a bit though.

Then some photos for the boat ride over to the parks.
Page eighteen from the crop. This is as far as I got :)
I am happy with how it is turning out though and can't wait to work on a few more pages from Day two.

Also want to share that I have an alphabet giveaway on the Craft Your Nest blog *Here!*
If you are interested, head on over to check it out! Because if you are already a follower of the blog or member of the Facebook group you are eligible and just need to leave a comment :)
But we are still looking for some new scrap friends to join us!
Plus, Dawn has another giveaway on the Craft Your Nest blog as well.
A Scarlet Lime kit and some Unity Stamps. For that one all you have to do is leave a comment on her post *Here!*. That's it!

I will be back next week. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

100 Days of Real Food

Had a great St. Patrick's Day! Nothing too exciting of course, but Mike did make Grasshopper cupcakes with Erin to celebrate. And I made "green" pancakes :) Just a few dots of food coloring, so they weren't very green. (lol) The rest were blueberry pancakes. Also not very green, but yummy!

Speaking of food coloring and dyes, I just had to share this today! I cannot remember how I found out about this blog. It may have been through Cathy Zielske.

Anyway, I follow her blog which you can find at 100 Days of Real Food, and liked her Facebook page which you can find *Here*.
She is just one of the reasons that I started paying more attention to what we are eating. I mean several years ago I did start looking at labels more frequently and made a switch from eating more whole grains instead of just white flour.
But this is taking it to a whole new level for me!
I have been completely intimidated by "Clean Eating" and moving away from what I know and the foods I have grown up with.
But 2013 is my year for "Healthy Living" and I feel I am ready to learn just a little more.

I have been contemplating taking the "ten day pledge". I know I am not ready for the 100 day pledge. That may be something to try this summer. Like my mini monthly health goals, ten days feels doable. As opposed to 100 days which is a little over three months. Doable, but a little more intimidating for me. I am finding that with small baby steps, I am more successful.

What is really giving me the push is this post from the other day -Kraft petition update
I went ahead and signed the petition when I saw it on Facebook. I mean who wouldn't want yellow food dyes taken out of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Especially since Kraft produces macaroni and cheese for other countries that do not allow dyes in foods. And since food dyes have no beneficial, nutritional value.
But apparently some people are opposed and even offended that anyone would try to change it. Not sure I follow that, but I know I need baby steps and am resistant to change at time, too. So I am definitely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, reading that petition update post got me thinking once again about completely eliminating food dyes from our diet. So as I was grocery shopping yesterday, I starting looking at cereal labels starting with some of our favorites. My son loves Life cereal. And I could have sworn I had looked at the label before, but there it was...

INGREDIENTS:  Life Cereal (Whole Grain Oat Flour, Sugar, Corn Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Rice Flour, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Disodium Phosphate, Reduced Iron, Niacinamide*, Zinc Oxide, BHT (A Preservative), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Thiamin Mononitrate*, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride*, Riboflavin*, Folic Acid*.) ALLERGENS:  Wheat, Gluten

Really?!!! Why is it even necessary in that cereal?! Ugh!
Now a few years ago I personally switched to cereals like Kashi. But my kids will eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted mini wheats, with the occasional Pops or Lucky Charms for a snack treat.
None of those Kellogg's or General Mills cereals had nutritional labels that appealed to me.
It was so disheartening.
But then I noticed a new brand at our grocery store.
There were four types. One looked like Mini Frosted wheats, but without all of the crap in it. Only four ingredients! And no BHT to preserve it. I figured what the heck and brought it home for a taste test. The kids loved it! And to my surprise, it tasted just like the Kellogg's version.
Here is a link to their company site - Mom's Best Cereals

Hopefully the "Lucky Charms" version is a hit as well :)

So anyway, I don't always agree 100% with everything I read on the 100 Days of Real Food blog. And frankly, sometimes when I see the lunches she packs for her kids in the cute little containers, I feel like crap mom. But then I realize, it is not a competition. And if I can make just a few little changes at a time to improve our health, it is worth it!

Off my soapbox now. And I promise to return to our regularly scheduled program of scrapbooking on the next post. :)
Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A little early :)
I want to share a layout that was recently featured on Crafting Ireland's blog.
You can see a tutorial with the start of the original layout and how I changed the misted mask background to droplets *Here!*
I seriously had to start over with a new piece of cardstock, but was definitely happier with the end result.

I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy the holiday! :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Florida Album continued...

Still on Day One here :)
A double page spread for when we arrived at Universal Studios

A little bit of a closer view of the page on the left. I just started layering and distressing the deges of papers to mat my photos. Seems to be a theme through this album.
Decided to do another two page spread and but needed to do a separate story about the ray gun.

Evan loved his Space Ray gun that Mike bribed him with to get him to go the "Men in Black" ride. That gun went with him everywhere defending us!

That is such a huge memory from the trip! I couldn't go on ANY of the rides at Universal. Being pregnant and at amusement parks is not a good combination. And Evan was a little hesitant to go on most rides at Universal. But once Mike got him on "Men in Black" Evan was a little more willing. I added the receipts to the little pocket because of the additional journaling. We ended up buying TWO guns. A little orange camouflage hand gun at Islands of Adventure in Jurassic Park, so they could play guns together. It's a boy thing I guess. (lol)
Then that night we ended up at Nascar Sports Grill on the CityWalk for dinner. I am not a huge Nascar fan, but Evan was at the time :) And the food there was really, really good.
Absolutely LOVE the two photos on the left and they just had to end up in the album. I have to say we are not huge gun fans here, but during this period we did let Evan have a few toy guns.
And one more slightly closer view of a single page. This is where the Basic Grey Wander line really started coming into play.
So far in the album I used some really old papers from my stash. We are talking like ten years old! But also am using the Wander line by Basic Grey, Everyday Eclectic by Echo Park, Rocket Age by October Afternoon and a little bit of the Love, Elsie and Studio Calico Abroad. Instead of trying to use just one line or company, I decided to mix it up depending on the photos and theme.
I also plan on using some Ready, Set Go by Amy Tangerine, and a few lines by Simple Stories, Crate Paper and a ton more by October Afternoon.
Really excited to work some more on this album!
I will have a few more pages to share on Friday. :)

I am also announcing the winner of the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out Respect kit on the Craft Your Nest blog as well today!
See you Friday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

February Has Come and Gone so...

I am reviewing the "healthy living in 2013" goals I made for the month.
You can see my February goals and how January went on this post Here. :)

In January, I gave up fast food, and as of today still have not had any as we are heading towards the halfway point in March!  Just no desire to eat it.

For February, I was trying to exercise more regularly and get more sleep. The goal was five days a week for exercise and in bed by 11pm on school nights.
Definitely an improvement, but not perfect. I have had two or three nights where I was up until 12:30, but a huge change from being up that late several nights a week! And most nights in February I was in bed before 11 or 11:30. Even some by 10! :)

I was able to exercise in February 14 out of 28 days, so about 3-4 times a week. I will take it! With snow days and sick kids, it was a struggle to fit it in some days. And truthfully, I am learning that I need to make exercise a priority. I do better when I exercise first thing in the morning. I feel so much better on the days I exercise, and I think some days it just boils down to choice. How do I want to choose to spend my time. :)

My new goal for March is going to be a little difficult, although sleep wasn't a piece of cake for me either.
I am going to drink more water each day!
Seriously, I go through phases. And I was in a "drink soda" phase with Dr. Pepper being my drink of choice. So bad for me in so many ways because I just can't tolerate caffeine. I really can't at that level. But I am going to make water my main drink with the occasional juice. And I will start by once again not buying any soda to have in the house except for the few cans of ginger ale I like to have on hand and Mike's Coke. Thankfully, I do not like coke. But I love Dr. Pepper!

I briefly thought these Dr. Pepper jelly beans would be a fun solution, but they have caffeine in them. Can you believe it?! So no, they will not be my substitute.
And truthfully, except for the one bottle of Dr. Pepper I had at the crop on March 2nd, I have not had one single soda so far this month! I still crave it occasionally, but am able to just say NO!

I like the way I am building on the monthly goals. So in addition to my March goal, I am going to continue avoiding fast food, try to get in bed before midnight each night (preferably by 11pm) and exercise four days a week. If I hit five or six days, I will consider it a bonus! I think those are all manageable goals. And when this year is up, these blog posts are going to make a great mini album to track my journey I think. :)

And also just wanted to share that I was lucky enough on Sunday to meet another on-line scrapbook friend!
I know Shalini from our days back at a favorite on line store called Croppers Cottage before it closed. In fact, we were pregnant at the same time with my daughter and her youngest. Thanks to blogs and Facebook we have stayed in touch though.
They were in town this past weekend, and we managed to meet up at the Botanical Gardens for a much too brief amount of time. But I am so glad we did! It is so nice to actually meet in person. She is such a wonderful woman and I am forever being inspired by her blog.
I feel so lucky to live in this day and age that allows us to connect with people we many never have met. :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Florida Album

I really did accomplish a lot at the crop I went to last weekend.
I was finally able to work on an album for our trip to Florida way back in 2007!
I've had the photos and the album for years. I just needed to set aside a good chunk of time to get started.

I know in my last post I said I completed 18 pages, but I did kind of have a basic formula to work with. And using pocket pages helped speed things up as well.
I will say this - the album is turning out completely different than my original plans and design ideas.
Since this album is going to have a lot of pages, I am only going to share a few pages at a time so the posts do not get overwhelming.

My title page. This actually does stay close to the original plan design wise - a photo, title and journaling block with just a bit of embellishing. But I was thinking at first I would be using all black cardstock as my base for my pages. Nope! Looks like it is going to be kraft and white cardstock.
The photo is from when we first arrived in our hotel room. Loved our hotel and room!

The plane ride page includes our plane ticket envelope and the boarding passes still inside. I also included an envelope from our hotel that contains the receipt and plastic card key.

Had to share a photo of the view from our room :) And let me just say, the Love, Elsie line by KI Memories I used on this page, well those stickers and letters don't stick worth a darn anymore. I had to use extra adhesive on a lot of it :p So if you have been hoarding any of the Love, Elsie lines, I would check out the quality of the adhesive.

This is where I started using the pocket pages. That camera stamp from Amy Tangerine's Ready, Set, Go line by American Crafts is going to appear several times throughout the album :)

Here is a closer view of the layout on the left. Another huge change to the album is the use of handwritten journaling. I was originally going to type it all out. But while at the crop, I decided that I didn't want to save it for home. I wanted to go home with completed pages. And once I started handwriting, I realized I liked it better!

Another two page spread, following a basic theme of pocket page and full page.
I have to say that this is one of my favorite pages so far. I loved the photo and decided to use  the Everyday Eclectic line by Echo Park. The little pocket holds a receipt and I couldn't resist adding the block of buildings cut from a piece of Basic Grey Wander paper to represent the "city" portion.
The receipt is kind of important to me because the first thing we bought was a pair of sunglasses for Mike at a cart there on the CityWalk. I can't remember if he had lost his or just forgot them. But you can't be in Florida without sunglasses. And Mike was such a trooper letting Evan help him pick out a pair. You know they weren't going to be what he typically would buy with Evan calling the shots. :)

So there you have it! The first seven pages.
I will share a few more next week!
Also, planning on a "healthy living in 2013" post so you can see how that is going and share my goal for March!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Giveaway over at Craft Your Nest

Just wanted to share that the Craft Your Nest blog is having a ton of giveaways in the month of March. Starting with this kit by Scrapbooking From the Inside Out!
If you are interested in a chance to win, just pop over to the CYN blog *Here*!
The giveaway is going until Tuesday night at midnight central time :)

I was actually able to go to a scrapbook crop this past weekend. The plans were made back in the fall. But let me tell you, I almost cancelled after Mike had his accident. Since I was supposed to leave on Friday after lunch, I was going to miss him completely since he wasn't coming in town until later that afternoon. Thankfully, a good friend talked me out of not going because I had a lot of fun!
And the kids had a blast with him this weekend! It's good to have some time alone with dad once in awhile. And for me to get away!

Here is a little peek at one of my workspace and one of my layouts. I completed 18 layouts this weekend for our 2007 family trip to Florida! That is a lot for me at once. And those 18 pages are just the title page and first day :-O I think I need to streamline a bit. I was just having so much fun creating that I got carried away :)
Really had a good time with my friend Becky and some new friends as well.
"What's Up with That?!" was a familiar saying between all of us over the weekend. From that regular skit on Saturday Night Live. We were cracking ourselves up. And at 1am, which was the latest I was able to stay up, were definitely a little loopy.
I would definitely recommend a weekend crop with friends if you can find the time.
And I am planning on sharing more pages from the album over the next few weeks. I promise not to hit you with all of them in one post! :)

Hope you have a great day! And don't forget to check out that giveaway. It's a great kit by a great company! :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Crafting Ireland Issue 16

is out! You can read it on-line *Here*
I have an framed Washi Easter Egg home decor piece on page 33 with a tutorial.

Here is the finished product.
I found that cute little shadowbox frame at Target. It was exactly what I was looking for!
There are so many great projects in this issue and the 2013 design team introduction.
I will also have a layout featured on their blog sometime before the next issue comes out. I will be sure to share when it does.

I also just wanted to thank you for the kind comments on my blog post last Friday.Your kindness, support and prayers were greatly appreciated this weekend!

I will be back on Wednesday with a fun giveaway!