Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dream House

I decided to try the second sketch created for The Paper Bakery by Juliana Michaels.
Such a fun sketch with those cool doilies :)
Here is my interpretation...
I used instagram photos like I did for the last Paper Bakery sketch which you can see *Here*. And I find it funny that with the first sketch the topic was my son's favorite toys - Legos. Now for this sketch, I scrapped one of my daughter's favorite toys :) Didn't even do that on purpose!

The whole "Barbie Dream House" thing really took us by surprise. I didn't even think she even knew Dream Houses existed. But she saw it in Target, where I took the first photo for her daddy to see, and she knew exactly what it was. After shopping around and realizing that the Barbie Malibu Dream House was over $50 cheaper on sale and pretty much the same thing, I kind of talked her into wanting that one in a roundabout way of course. :) So that is what she found under the Christmas tree from Santa, and she has been so happy with it!

Would you like to see what my workspace looked like earlier today while working on this layout?
I am working on my 2007 Florida Trip album again, so that is taking up all of my counter space. But I really wanted to get the sketch layout done, so ended up working on my floor! :) It actually wasn't too bad down there. And it's all still there on the floor. I am doing a big scrapbook room clean up today for sure!
Also on the list, cleaning out my car! After the winter we had and all of the rain lately, it's in need of a good wash inside and out.

What do you have going on for your Tuesday?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tunes I Love

Still using up my March kit from Paper Bakery for this layout. Proud of myself that I have created three layouts using this kit so far. I rarely got that many done with one kit when I was a member of the Studio Calico kit club. Those kits just kind of piled up :)
Also am able to link them up for the Paper Issues challenges as well which is a bonus!

I just have to do a layout about my current faves in music once or twice a year :) I always have different songs on rotation, but always some U2 of course!
Right now it's Grouplove, Tame Impala, Alabama Shakes, Silversun Pickups and the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack. I have a top five list of at least one song from each album that is a fave as well in the little bag there on the right.
To see past music layouts, you can look *Here* and *Here*.

How do you scrapbook music you love?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mexico Trip Part 2

In this post, I shared photos from the first day of our trip to Hualtuco, Mexico.
Today I have photos from the private boat tour of the bays we took a few days after we arrived. I would say it was one of the highlights of the trip for many reasons! :)
We started off in Santa Cruz.

I had never seen a cruise ship in person before. They are really, really big (lol)
Heading out into the open water of the Pacific ocean. This trip was the first time I had ever seen the Pacific coast.
Our guide Roberto was amazing! Here he is helping Erin get a better look.
No where to hide out here! :)

So hard to see from the photo, but those are dolphins out there. We saw so many dolphins on our trip, but Mike and Evan got a better view on their second trip. Mike even captured a video on his phone cabin of the dolphins right by the boat!
Of course, Mike and Evan had to do a little fishing.

Evan reeling in his first fish!

which he was able to hold :)
Mike was able to hold one of his own that he caught, too.

Erin just watched. She didn't want anything to do with fishing. About this time she was getting sleepy and I was getting pretty sea sick.
So we stopped at the first bay where Mike, Evan, and Roberto went snorkeling. Erin and I lay on the beach and took a little nap. I felt much better for the rest of the boat ride thankfully. Just needed a break!
In the next bay, I was able to go snorkeling and it was amazing! I am not a fish person, but I loved it down there. I really didn't mind getting close to the fish at all. And Roberto would dive down and bring up starfish and puffer fish for us to touch. It was really cool!
I loved this bay - Maguey. I think it was one of my favorites next to the private little bay where Erin and I napped. And our hotel bay of course!
Evan spent most of the boat ride right up front almost the whole time where he could see everything. Even the stingrays!
And towards the end, Erin was so worn out she needed another nap! We were on the boat ride for a good four or five hours, so I wasn't surprised she was tired. But it's been ages since she napped.

If you are ever in Mexico and have the chance to go on one of the boat tours, do it! Such an amazing experience! :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Paper Issues Design Team!!

So excited to announce that I have made the Paper Issues design team! The full list of design team members is *Here!!* It is definitely a fun site and store that I have been visiting for a little while. And now I get to be a part of the team officially on May 1st  :)

And their new issue went up yesterday as well. It is sponsored by Elle's Studio. And you can see the new issue and blog hop *Here*."
Come on by and link up any layout using Elle's Studio products or the following themes Serendipity, Chance, Fate, Luck, Destiny, Karma, and Coincidence. Plus you can have a chance to win an Elle's Studio prize pack.

Here is a layout I created using a mix of  Elle's Studio You & Me and the Day to Day lines along with some other goodies by Studio Calico, Glitz, American Crafts, October Afternoon and Chatterbox. Remember those thin letter stickers by Chatterbox! I have been hoarding them! :)
I kind of went outside the box a little for this one using a fun wonky circles mask by studio calico and my white stamp ink by Brillance. Love that ink pad!
So grateful for technology! Evan needed help with his math homework, and sadly I had no idea how to do it. Even though Mike was out of town, he was able to work with Evan using Facetime on the ipad. Evan showed him the problem and they worked together on a solution by video. So cool and helpful!

And I am so grateful to have made this team! Looking forward to the next six months :)
And if you use code MARYJO, you will receive 20% off your purchase at the *SHOP* :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Was Going to Post More Photos From my Mexico Trip Today...

But I have been thinking a lot about what happened in Boston.
Back in December I wrote *This* post after the shootings in Newtown.
And I am seeing that quote going around Facebook again after the explosions at the Boston Marathon.
I am still at a loss for words as to why these things happen. But I find myself looking for the helpers.
And as I said before, it gives me hope.
My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy. And for people everywhere who once again have lost a little bit of faith and innocence.
A Facebook friend of mine's daughter was at the Boston marathon this year. She loves the Boston Marathon. And now it is forever changed for her. :(
I hate that evil and hatred and the need to hurt can steal so much from others.
And this is the time to turn our backs on evil and hatred and not let it have power over us.
So I am going to choose to look for the good and the love.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Sketch and a Layout!

Recently, The Paper Bakery kit club had a sketch on their blog I wanted to give a try.
So I grabbed the March kit, and created this...

Still inspired by the "Instalove" Issue Challenge at Paper Issues, I decided to use two Instagram photos I took when Evan and I decided to finally just sort all of his extra Legos by color! I love the chalkboard paper by Elle's Studio for my background. And my white uniball pen worked really well for my journaling!
I did change a few little things on the sketch, but for the most part kept the paper and photo base similar.

We had a busy weekend! I finished this layout, plus both of my Creating Ireland magazine assignments. So lots of scrapbooking accompished.
On top of that, Mike and I went to the Auction event for the kid's school.
We were able to get one photo of the two of us...
My friend Jenny took the photo.
We really had a lot of fun. And it was packed! I think the school did pretty well that night.
Sunday the whole family went to Busch Stadium to see the Cardinals play against the Brewers. Mike had tickets through work. It was a great game until we left in the 8th inning. Had to get back home because Mike was leaving that night. Apparently, the Cardinals gave up the lead at that point. Bummer! But it was a fun game to watch while we were there.

How was your weekend? Did you get any time to scrapbook?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Healthy Living 2013 Check in!

 *ETA* Well in the year since turning off word verification, I haven't had to deal with spam except the occasional piece that showed up in my comment moderation section.
But I have noticed the last few days that it is slipping into my comments here again. I have had three spam comments already just this morning. So I am going to temporarily turn on word verification for a little while. Sorry. I am not a big fan of it, but find spam more annoying. Thanks!

So far I have focused on cutting out fast food, exercising and getting more sleep, and drinking more water and giving up soda. Those were my goals for January, February and March.

Fast Food - since January 1st, I have eaten fast food twice. Once a salad at McDonald's when we went out with friends and a roast beef sandwich from Arby's when I was running errands all day two days before our trip to Mexico. In hindsight, I probably should have just packed a lunch that day knowing it was going to be hard to get home for lunch. Keeping that in mind for the future ;)

Exercise and sleep - trying to exercise at least 4-5 days per week with a mix of yoga, pilates, jogging, walking and a new series called TurboFire which is challenging and pushing me off a plateau. Plus, on our trip I think I burned 50 zillion calories with all of the swimming, snorkeling and walking we did :)
Sleep is ok. I am getting to bed before midnight 99% of the time. Whereas before on nights Mike was gone, it was often 12:30 or 1am. Just not good. Especially on school nights! It is helping, but my body is telling me that I still need to try and make it by 11pm. Not 11:30 or 11:45.
But I know it's not going to be perfect. I am just trying to make progress.

Soda - I have not had one single Dr. Pepper since March 1st! Success! A little hard at first, and still crave it every once in a while. But I had the opportunity to get one yesterday and I turned it down and chose water instead! Now to watch the juice.

So I am feeling successful. And the eight pounds I have dropped and kept off since starting this journey is proof that I am somehow on the right track.

I have decided that for the month of April I am not setting a new goal. I am just going to focus on trying to make more progress with my current goals. Avoid fast food, exercise 4-5 days per week, try and make it to be so I can get 7-8 hours of sleep, and no soda. More water!

Then in May I have a huge goal in mind. It's going to be a tough one. But if I can give up Dr. Pepper, I think I can handle it :)

Thanks for following along with me. Blogging about my goals is really helping keep me accountable!
I promise to be back with more scrap related posts next week!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Huatulco, Mexico 2013

There is no way I could possibly share all the photos and stories from our recent trip to Mexico at once. It would be way too long of a post.
So today I am just going to share a few photos from our first day down there, and then do one post a week this month to fit in a few more days or activities.
It was a four hour flight and the plane was pretty empty. Only forty passengers total. So we were able to take up the whole six seats in our row. Mike and Evan sat across from Erin and I. Evan listened to his ipod when he wasn't looking out the window. Mike finished a movie or talked with Evan. Erin and I read books, did puzzles and watched a little tv.

This is our first resort, because the one we stayed in the rest of the week was full that first night.
It was a pretty empty beach for the most part which was nice. One thing about Huatulco is that many people there spoke Spanish and little to no English. It was fun seeing Evan and Erin learning to interact or try to use the Spanish they are learning at school to communicate with other kids and families. The second morning on the beach, Evan played for quite along time with a boy who spoke only Spanish.
We thought the ocean seemed a bit rough that first night. The waves and current were pretty strong. It wasn't until the next morning we noticed the red flag which means no swimming. Of course there were quite a few people in the water anyway. Thankfully at the other resort, the flag was yellow and not red.

A view from my chair before I went to hang with the kids.
She wore a life jacket any time we were near the water. Evan went to a great swimming camp last year that helped him become a more confident swimmer. Especially in deep water.
Mike and I joked about those condos for sale up on the hill being our summer home :)
Her first time by the ocean ever!
And a favorite activity...running from the waves.
Evan liked the sand better, until we went on the boat ride for fishing and snorkeling ;)

That bucket was actually full of seashells the next day instead.
And now that I am going through and editing photos, I am looking forward to sharing more. Especially from the boat ride, the other resort and downtown.
Plus, these are just the photos from my little point and shoot camera. Mike took a ton on his iphone that are great. He is putting them on a flash drive for me this week.
It's funny that we brought the big DSLR camera, but I think only took it out once.
Anyway, I will share some more photos next Wednesday.

Also hoping you will check out a post I have up at Craft Your Nest today talking about Instagram and a fun little site called Paper Issues. You can see my CYN post *Here!*

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Home Sweet Home!

Ok, on my last post I mentioned taking some time off from the computer and blogging for the kids Spring Break. And the main last minute reason was this...

We were in Huatulco, (pronounced Wah-tool-co) Mexico! Like I said, it was pretty last minute because Mike found a good deal on the internet and we just wanted to get out of town. It's been almost three years since we had a real family vacation.
Had a great time! This was the beach of the resort we stayed at the first night. But you can see up on the right a little, the resort we stayed in for the remainder of our trip. It was full the night we arrived.
It was so beautiful there and hot. Unlike here with the cold and snow.
And more authentic then places like Cancun. A lot of local residents love the resort we stayed at.

And I tried something new this time around. Snorkeling! Loved it :)
What I don't love about Mexico, is that I get sick every.single.time.
Well the three times I have been there.
Thursday was a little rough. But I managed to recover.
Unfortunately, Evan was a little under the weather Saturday night and yesterday.
Just one of the drawbacks.
But since he said it was the best family vacation ever, I think that makes up for any illness.

So this week may be a little less scrapbook and a little more personal since I am working on a few design team assignments for the next issue of Crafting Ireland magazine. Although I may have a peek or two for you of those projects :) Plus a post for Craft Your Nest on Wednesday. So OK, a little scrapbooking.

Otherwise, I will probably share a few more Mexico photos and do a Healthy Living in 2013 goals post.

Anyway, as much as I love to travel, it always feels good to be home safe and sound :)
Lots of organizing and readjusting going on here.
And grateful for a husband who did all of the laundry ;)