Monday, December 29, 2014

Feeling excited and rejuvenated blog wise.
I have a list of blog topics that will be ready to go once the Christmas break
is over and the kids are back in school next Monday the 5th.
Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season
and wishing you a very Happy New Year!
See you soon! :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

from our home to yours! :)

Monday, December 15, 2014


Do you ever pin things on Pinterest and then actually use the pins?
I hear people say, "I pin things but never use them." all.the.time.
Lately, instead of collecting them, I really like using my pins. Whether it's for scrapbooking, decorating, or cooking.
I have definitely used sketches and layout ideas from my scrapbook boards.
In fact, this layout which I have shared before...
was created because of a layout I pinned by Jill Sprott. And it was featured on the Paper Issues blog for Fan Feature Friday just this past Friday. So weird still not to be on the DT there, but a good choice for me. Like I said, in an earlier post, I haven't scrapbooked a single layout since October. Just other things going on.

Anyway, I also pinned this...
on my Laundry Room board and guess what color my laundry room is? Yep. I love that color! But alas, no chandelier. Hoping to have some white cabinets and counter space one of these days though.

And this paint color...
we did something similar in our basement. I love the gray and white combo.

Our gray is not quite as dark though.
And yesterday, I made these cupcakes...

(yes, that is my photo and a cupcake I made) from *this pin* off my Sweet Treats board. They turned out pretty well. :)
Mike loves Andes mints and when I found an andes mint cupcake recipe I knew I had to try it for him!

So I am actually not "all talk" when it comes to Pinterest. I do like to use my pins ;)
That said, I have 1,361 pins on my boards as of today. So ok, I may have only used 1% of those pins, but I love that they are there for when I am ready!

Are you a pin user, pin collector, or a little of both? For me, I think it's a little bit of both!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Sorry! Almost forgot to post winners today.
Mike was pretty sick Sunday and a little Monday.
And then today I found out Erin has strep throat, so I have been caring for her.
Keeping my fingers crossed, plus hoping and praying Evan and I miss this round!

Anyway, I have never had this happen with random number generator, but I got number two and one.
So Barb and Carla looks like you are my winners!
Just email me at so I can mail your packages. Probably won't get to  the  post office this week having Erin at home. But I promise it will be before Christmas. ;)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Music and Giveaways!

Can I just tell you how absolutely, totally excited we are about this...
Finally, the tour has been announced! More details *Here*. For this part of the tour, the closest they are getting to us is Chicago. So that is a must for us. Hoping to go one other place as well. :)

In other music news, we went to the Alt J concert last night here in town. Concerts on school nights are a little rough and I definitely felt it this morning. But Alt-J were amazing and I am so glad Mike and I went! We love their music and they are one of those bands that sound just as good if not better live.

Anyway, scrapbook news next! I have two flat rate boxes stuffed full of as much scrapbook product that I can fit inside to give away to blog and facebook friends.
Contents include but are not limited to patterned paper, rub ons, washi tape, alphabets, stickers, a stamp set or two, Project life and journal cards, die cuts and tags.

If you are interested in possibly receiving one of these boxes, just leave a comment here or on my facebook post and I will pick two winners on Monday night (12/8) and announce Tuesday.
See you then!

Monday, December 1, 2014


in the new issue of Jot magazine!
It's been a while since I submitted anything for publication, or even scrapbooked! But when I saw the call for projects for issue 8, I decided to give it a try.
Jot is an on-line scrapbook magazine, so it was as simple as sending an email and a picture of my scrapbook layout. I had actually tried for the gold foil call, but she felt my page would fit better with the Christmas story gallery. I agree!

You can find my layout on page 75 in the magazine *Here*!
It was definitely something to get excited about scrapbook wise. :)

The scrapbook purge is still going on here.
Those bags on the right are going in boxes to sell (Basic Grey, October Afternoon and Scenic Route.) I also have a KI Memories brand box. So those are organized and ready to go as soon as I get some photos.
That green and pink paper storage box is now empty. I am trying to fit all of the patterned paper I want to keep in that two door cabinet behind the boxes. Although it's not just patterned paper in there...
there is also cardstock, vellum, transparencies, and large 12x12 sheets of letter stickers. That is actually an older photo though. There is a lot less cardstock these days.  A lot less cardstock. Most of my cardstock fits in one holder and is mostly neutral colors.

This on the other hand is my staging area of product that I am organizing for a few giveaway boxes. I've temporarily taken over a corner of Erin's room but she is ok with it. She is actually hoping some of the items come her way. I will just say that I have given her a lot already! She has her own small stash of scrap supplies now, and really not a lot of room for more :)
That stack in the back right corner in front of the Frozen bag is going to be saved for functions where I teach such as an upcoming Girl Scout activity in the Spring.
I just need to sort through those three baskets on the left and then start separating things into three boxes. I hope to have the giveaway Friday, so be looking for that!

Making progress though, and feeling a lot better about scrapbooking again! :)

As for the Thanksgiving holiday, it was nice.
Unfortunately, Mike had to go back out of town for work the day after Thanksgiving. :(
Not fun! But his brother and wife were in town and it's the first time we have seen them in two years. So we were able to still have a good weekend despite not having Mike with us.
Mike and I on Thanksgiving night.

Friday night we went to the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Gardens with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Lots of fun!
The kids and I did a little bit of shopping on Saturday in the afternoon, but then took it easy the rest of the night.

On Sunday, we went to brunch with some of Mike's family and then his brother and wife came over to hang out with us a little longer before catching their plane back home. Really great to have them in town!
It was pretty warm yesterday. Near 70 degrees. Then this morning, we woke up to this...
Yep, ice on my windshield. A little crazy. But I was able to get the kids to school just fine.
Thanksgiving is over, December is here and so is winter as far as I'm concerned! :)
Hope you had a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Checking In

I just felt I should post quickly and say thanks to those checking in on us plus give a little update.
We are about 15 -20 minutes south of Ferguson, Missouri by highway.
It is a community right next to where I graduated from college, so I spent a lot of time there.
My grandmother lived right next to Ferguson in Berkley for a long time so we went shopping there a lot.
On Tuesday night, there was a lot of destruction and chaos due to rioting. Cars burned. Businesses looted and burned. Hard for me to understand.

Not too long after what happened with Michael Brown, a young man was shot in our community. He had a gun and shot at the police officer. So there have been protests but mostly peaceful ones.
I believe as a result though of that shooting, on Tuesday, the night the little shopping district in walking distance from our house was targeted with vandalism. Broken windows and looting. No fires thank goodness, but it was bad enough.

I loved our communities response. People came out to help clean up, shop in the stores to show support, and help board windows. And the best, local artists went to work painting all the boarded up windows.
Erin and I went up there for a little bit to get some Bread Company (Panera) for dinner. She was taking it all in for sure. She doesn't understand really only being seven, but we have had some talks about good and not so good choices. How to express ourselves when angry. We talked about Martin Luther King and how most of the protests in our neighborhood were peaceful marches. How a few people make not good choices and that is why we see the broken windows and other damage to property.
Protesting can bring about peaceful change. I truly believe that.
What happened in Ferguson and on Grand has the opposite affect. People are not open to change when they see that type of destruction. It just sadly reinforces misguided beliefs.

When I showed the photos to Evan of the artists, he immediately wanted to go up and help! As it was getting dark, I told him not such a great idea since we had no idea what last night would bring.
Thankfully, nothing happened on Grand except artists working long and hard and community coming together to talk.

We have not had any issues personally in our neighborhood thankfully and we are fine.
I am not sure what is next for St. Louis.
There are many wonderful things about this city we call home.
Ferguson is one small community close by. But it is still a part of our city.
And it's obvious that some changes need to be made.
I support officer Wilson.
I am sad for a family that lost their son as well.
I am learning more about the issues and why change needs to happen.
But I cannot support violence and chaos.
And I do not believe (as the media tried to portray) that Ferguson was a community destroying itself. Many of those people rioting were not from Ferguson.

For those celebrating, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
I know we have a lot to be thankful for and I am counting my blessings every day for sure!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday

1. Feeling a little anxious about the upcoming grand jury announcement regarding Officer Darren Wilson and how it will affect St. Louis and Ferguson which is only about 20 minutes from our home. My grandma's house used to be in Berkley which is right next door to Ferguson and I spent a lot of time in both places while in college.
It also is frustrating hearing all the junk being said in the media.
People are so quick to judge depending on their experiences, beliefs and agendas. Which I suppose is normal. But frankly, hearing people spout off whatever without really knowing the story or finding out facts is getting old.

2. Evan was pretty sick with a bad cold this week so he missed four days of school. That is a lot in junior high as far as school work goes. But despite feeling sick, he managed to get some of the work brought home for him done each day. I felt so bad for him because he was pretty miserable though. Thankfully, my mother in law was able to stay with him on Monday when I had a substitute teaching job. The other three days, I was able to be with him. And so glad he is feeling so much better today!

3. Currently reading this book...

and am liking it. It's a series of older short stories by the author that were published after her death.
It's a quick and easy read and set in Ireland. Three pluses for me right there. :)

4. Some fun photos posted to Facebook this week...
for throwback Thursday (my sister, brother and I November, 1979) Lots of 70's orange here and a Shaun Cassidy tshirt. Definitely dating myself. :)

Some more of my son's amazing artwork. This is The House of Usher for his Literature project.
My daughter trying to brush her naturally curly hair straight. Well at least it's getting her hair brushed. She hates when I comb out her hair at night.

5. Finally, my scrapbook office...
is a ginormous mess again as I clean, purge and organize. And we are talking a major purge. I am putting together several priority mail boxes to giveaway and a few to sell. That will be coming up in the next week or two. I just need to clear some out so I don't feel so overwhelmed!

And so disappointed that U2 had to cancel their week on The Tonight Show due to Bono being injured. Glad he is ok though! But man, I was looking forward to it. Hope they reschedule.

And I hope you have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Journaling in my Summer Pocket Pages Album

So I guess we all used to call this type of scrapbooking "Project Life".
But I heard through many sources that Becky Higgins prefers if those using product other than her Project Life brand, refrain from calling it just that.
I've seen many people refer to it as pocket page scrapbooking so that is what I am going with! :)

I have been working on a 2013 summer version for a while. What is slowing me down a bit here is finally adding the journaling. I could choose to hand write everything which would make it so much faster. But frankly, I like the look of typed print in this album. So I am plugging along adding it after the pages are done.
I am primarily using Simple Stories summer lines and a variety of product lines by October Afternoon thrown in for fun.
And I am using a combination of pre made and home made cards for my journaling.
The one you see above was cut from a piece of 12x12 paper. After adding the text by running it through my printer, I attached a strip of patterned paper at the top, a "time to celebrate sticker, and a die cut inked around the edges and adhered using a pop dot.

Here is an example of some of the pre made cards I am using. Both of the cards with journaling came just like they look except for my text which I created in Microsoft word and added later.
I am doing quite a few simple home made ones as well. This one includes a strip of patterned paper at the top and a small sticker at the bottom.
This card was even simpler. I found this quote on a sheet of stickers by October Afternoon and the colors and saying were perfect for the page.

I am finding that what keeps it quick ironically is simple.
But every once in a while, I like a more embellished card. So I am adding those every few pages are so for a little more visual interest.

Eventually I will finish this album so I can start working on Summer 2014! :)
But I have a scrapbook getaway weekend set up in January, and a 12 hour crop day in February.
So I know I will have some scrapbook time then after the holidays!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Little Help From Pinterest

Man, I love Pinterest! I really do go back to older pins and use them.
This past week I actually tried two pins from my Food board.
Open-Faced Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
This recipe was from the Clean Eating website, and I really liked it. I think Mike did, too, and Evan even admitted he liked the chicken.
I will admit that I changed it from whole grain buns to ciabatta rolls and made them full sandwiches.
I only ate half a sandwich which was plenty for me.
One thing I would change. I was short on time so only marinated for the 30 minutes. It does recommend marinating for a full day if possible. I think that would be even better.

Shredded Beef Tacos
I liked this one, Mike not so much.
Evan didn't try it all. But Erin ate some so that was good.
I probably won't fix it again though since it wasn't a hit with anyone but me. I like a lot of Mexican type food though.

I also pinned this as well
U2 plays the Tonight Show for one week!
Starting next Monday. Cannot wait! They will be the musical guest every night and we are so looking forward to it. :)

Another recent pin
This sketch off the Studio Calico blog.
It's simple and I think my style.
It's the next layout I am going to try even though I am working on my Summer Pocket page album still from 2013.

And this last pin is an older pin, but I have never shared it.

I want a space very similar to this in our bedroom when we finally get around to redoing it. We still have the basement bathroom and a few other things to finish. But someday, right?

Thank you Pinterest! :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween Photos

A few days after the holiday, but better late than never, right?
You may recall me saying on this post that Erin wanted to be a scary clown like the one she saw at Six Flags Fright Fest. So we found a costume on line, added some leggings, a white shirt to go underneath and her boots. Plus, I gave her some fun makeup and she was good to go.

In the background there, you can see a few of the gravestones, the biohazard yellow tape, a drum barrel Mike brought from the job site with the toxic waste symbol he put on it. Mike had glow in the dark "toxic" waste (water) rigged up to run into the barrel. It was pretty cool.

I posted this one on Instagram so I know a few of you have seen it already. Me. The zombie worker victim from the job site. Mike dressed up as well but opted not to have his photo on the blog. :)
I have to say though, he put a lot of effort into this set up and we were all so happy he could be home for Halloween this year!

Another worker victim who didn't make it. Although since he was wearing a gas mask, he didn't become a zombie apparently. Mike and Evan stuffed one of the suits we were wearing with newspaper.

Just another shot of our decorations.
And Evan himself. He was pretty excited about his costume. He also kind of got his idea from Fright Fest at Six Flags. This dude here inspired him...
and I would say, Evan did a pretty good job pulling it all together. He was a little disappointed in the chainsaw Mike and I found for him at Party City because it wasn't a real chainsaw. Not authentic enough I guess. But we thought it best to not hand over a real chainsaw of any size to a twelve year old. Even one without the chain. And Evan was so excited Halloween night, that disappointment was soon gone.

We also hosted a small open house potluck with a few of our good friends and neighbors that live right by us. Here are a few photos of the kids. All who have known each other since they were babies!

I thought the Minecraft costume was super clever :)
Had a lot of fun on Halloween night for sure!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Not feeling a lot like blogging most days.
But I do want to have one post a week at least,
so I thought I would try something for the first time.
A "Currents" post about what I am currently doing.
I've never done an official one I think and I see other bloggers do them all the time.
Especially my friend Tanya.

So here goes...

Wanting to do green smoothies at least once a day, but have only done two this week. Boo.

to be in bed by 11pm most nights. Especially school nights. 

In addition to U2's new album, a big mix of oldies like classic 70's rock and newer stuff from the Arctic Monkeys and Alt J on Spotify. I love Spotify!


I love the Voice! I am loving Gwen Steffani and Pharrell joining as new coaches. And as much as I have never been a huge Taylor Swift fan, I am pretty impressed with her as the guest mentor to all the coaches. She has actually been pretty fun to watch. And Evan is still watching with me which is pretty fun, too. :)


volunteering and subbing at the kid's school when I can. I help teach art every other week in Erin's first grade classroom and we had a blast this past Tuesday. Another parent and I taught a lesson using the book "Swimmy" by Leo Lionni. They learned to do a watercolor wash background with colors of their choosing. And then experimented with tearing and cutting of paper and foam sheets to make their story. Lots of fish, jelly fish, big blue whales (see picture bottom right) and even a red shark with sharp teeth (top left) So much creativity in one room was fun to see! I also get to help with reading and math work.

I've been waiting a long time for this one! I have read all of the other books in the series, and have never loved and been so frustrated by a character in a book as Becky Bloomwood Brandon. But I absolutely can't stop reading them. She is just a train wreck, but with a good heart.

to make homework as fun as possible with the help of refrigerator magnets. Erin actually came up with the idea for her math. I gave her the magnets to use on the table, but she moved it all to the refrigerator.

to do this challenge...
in November instead of October like on the blog. And I don't think I need 31 days since some of the daily tasks don't apply to us. No mud room or newspapers here. And I have actually done a few of the spaces and items already in October without knowing they were on the list.

my summer 2013 Pocket album. I am finally working on it again and making progress. No real photos to share yet, but it's this one...
I have the first three weeks complete and am typing all the journaling right now. Week four is started but not finished. I am really like how it is turning out and think it will be fun for the kids to look back on our summer activities in one album.
forward to Halloween. We have some great, scary plans in the work for the Trick or Treaters who come by our house. Hope to get some good photos that night to share. 

my family with all of my heart. Feeling truly blessed right now. :)

you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

And the winner is...

fun giveaway! How nice of you!! I still have rusty pickle halloween alphas,,,lol. so you arent alone! Thank you for the chance to win!

TeenaBugg 38! Please email me at by next Monday so I can mail out your prize. :)
If I don't hear by then, I will pick a new winner.

I will definitely have a few more giveaways soon!

I meant to post the winner yesterday, but I feel as if I am a record on repeat when I say I have been soooo busy. I had a substitute teaching job in preschool on Tuesday which was a lot of fun. And then I volunteered in Erin's classroom yesterday. Plus, Mike is in town early this week for a training, which is keeping him busy. But it's just super nice to have him home on nights he would typically not be here!
In fact, he wasn't able to come home last weekend. He needed to be on the job site. 
And we couldn't go there because the kids had a big Walkathon for school, Erin's dance classes and soccer game. Just too much to miss.
But it was kind of a bummer because it was our seventeenth wedding anniversary on Saturday.

It turns out we both mailed a card to each other as a surprise.
And then he sent me these as well...
pretty flowers. :)
And here is where I get mushy. ;) 
I am so happy that we have had seventeen years together and I seriously look forward to many, many more. Marriage is not always going to be perfect. It's not supposed to be with all the challenges that can come up. That's real life. But what makes it special is that we are in it together. And there is no one I would rather hang out with! No one I would rather be with. <3 p="">
Ok. Enough of the sappy stuff right? Sorry I am a romantic at heart.
But anyway. On our actual anniversary (which we will celebrate very soon) the kids had a walkathon, and then Erin had dance classes.
That night though we went back out to Six Flags for Fright Fest. Just the three of us.
And we had so much fun despite wishing Mike was there.
Last weekend we ended up in the Sinister clown area and one of the clowns came up behind me and scared me to death. He had these crazy contacts in and the whole thing was just spooky.

Well he found me again, but this time I wasn't scared :) (warning, scary clown ahead)

Creepy though right? Imagine turning around and seeing that clown right behind you staring at you. That's what happened to me last weekend. I was prepared this time though, and Evan snapped that shot of us with my phone.
And I guess I'll be honest here and say that I'm glad it was still daylight. lol

Erin loved this clown so much...
that instead of being Elsa for Halloween, she now wants to dress up like this clown. I found her a clown costume with a big bow for her hair, and I also bought some face make up. We are definitely a unique family when it comes to Halloween. No sweet little Elsa costumes here!

I'm actually looking forward to Halloween this year. Mike is in town and he and Evan have some pretty big plans for decorating the house this year. Let's just say it's a Toxic Zombie theme with scary clowns running around. Our neighbors are going to love us! :)
Just kidding, they really do love us. And we get a ton of trick or treaters now since we are known for our decorations.
Do you love Halloween? Are you big on decorating for the holiday?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Scrapbook Giveaway

As I am going through my scrapbook things, I am sorting it into three piles.
Sell, Giveaway and Keep.
The product I am keeping is stuff I know I will still use for my personal projects or I will use with the kids, school or Erin's Girl Scout Troop.
And there are a few things I know I really should try to sell.
But I also have a nice little giveaway pile.
So I will occasionally be doing some giveaways here on the blog starting today.

This one is an alphabet giveaway. Some are quite a bit older. Rusty Pickle, anyone? :)
 But the Crate Paper acrylic letters in the front are definitely newer. There is a mix of chipboard, stickers and rub-ons here, and I may also throw in a few extra things as well.
So if you are interested just tell me in the comments below.
I will pick the winner next Tuesday, October 21st.
Have a great weekend!