Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Date Night List!

Today I want to talk about date nights! If there is one lesson I have learned with having a husband who travels a lot for work, it is that date nights are a must. But truthfully, I think they are a must for any couple!
(this is my photo and one I plan to use to scrapbook about date nights thanks to this post by Tanya)

A few weeks ago, we went out to dinner and then to the Chocolate Bar afterwards. Just the two of us.
I mean I love my children, but it was so great to be able to talk without interruptions. And just be together.

And we both agree that we need more date nights! It's so good for us.

So I made a list of ideas we can do for date nights. A few came from some of my Paper Issues Design Team friends, too.

1. The Art Museum

(not my photo)
they added a brand new wing last summer that I have yet to see. And the museum is open late on Friday nights. So I hear it is a popular free date night spot for couples. I love the art museum and think it would be fun to have dinner and then just go explore it together.

2. Couples Massage - We both could use a little stress free relaxation time I think. We'll see if Mike goes for this one :)

3. Go to a Blues Hockey game
(also not my photo)
We both love hockey, but it has been a while since we have been to an actual game! I miss it!!

4. A Play or Broadway type show - We have several really great theaters in town. Some big and some small. We haven't been to a play in a while either. But we have seen quite a few together, and I always enjoy it!

5. A Cooking Class - one of my blog / design team friends, Lisa, recommended this and I think it's a fun idea!

6. Photo Walk - this would be more for warmer weather. But someone recommended going to a favorite spot and take photos together.

7. Local planetarium or observatory to star gaze - we did something like this on our anniversary trip in Canada. A local astronomer came with his telescope one night. It was pretty cool!

8. Concerts -
  (my photo taken with my iphone)
we went to Loufest this past summer and saw some great bands. We have been to a zillion U2 concerts together. Vampire Weekend, Radiohead, the Black Keys, Jane's Addiction, Live, Weezer and more. We love music and I really love seeing live shows together! Especially at the smaller venues.

9. And the old standby, Dinner and a Movie - we don't go out to movies as much anymore because we have a pretty nice set up at home. And we all know sometimes that staying home is just easier.

So my question for you. What are your favorite type of date nights? Any ideas I could add to my list? ;)

This post is part of a list-making project called Lists With Friends 2014, an effort to document the year in lists of all types!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Where to Begin?

First of all, I just want to thank everyone for such great and supportive comments on my last post!
And I had a few questions from some of you as well that I will be happy to answer in a bit.

I was floored to see that the little Valentine's Day mini I shared here last post was featured and got over 300 likes on the Paper Issues instagram feed!
It kind of made my day :)

These are the actual tags I used

They have the holes pre-punched, so all I really had to do was stitch. So simple really. The two tag is in there as well as several other really cute ones.

And for Barb - my printer is an HP Photosmart 7510. Now that I have figured out some of the settings, I will say it's a good printer except for wireless issues. And reading other reviews on line, it seems like a common problem unfortunately. I probably would not buy this printer again.

I have gotten zero scrapbooking done since I finished the mini album, but am hoping to get a page or two done this week between cleaning out Erin's closet and other must do's!
I received my February Swag Bag (embellishment kit) from Paper Issues in the mail this weekend.

Erin and I plan on using it to create some Valentine's Day cards for family and friends with it. I am also hoping there is some left over to make a scrapbook layout as well. But Erin was so excited when we opened it, that I have my doubts ;)
Unfortunately, February is sold out already! I heard they went fast. But you can see more info about the kits *Here*. Those on the sub list get their kits for sure. Otherwise, only a few go on sale individually each month. And at $9.99 they are a bargain. With my friends and family discount using code MARYJO you can get another 20% off that or any other purchase any time!

One more thing. I am having the worst time trying to leave comments for those of you with Google +
Sometimes I can comment and sometimes I can't. So know that if you leave a comment here, I am at least reading your blog even if I can't comment! Sorry about that.

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Going with the Flow

Well, changes already being made before the first month of 2014 is over. :)
I had a few revelations over the weekend.
And one thing I know is that besides Focus, another word that I am truly feeling will benefit me this year is Flexibility.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I would like Monday, Wednesday and Friday to be my regular days for blog posts. I think it's going to be more like Monday and Thursdays. In just this short period of time, I see that two days is a better fit for me. I'm not saying I won't throw in an extra day here and there. But I feel that two days is going to be perfect. :) So Mondays and Thursdays it is, with Thursday being my "Lists with Friends" day every other week. Twice a month instead of weekly.
So no list today.

I have also made the decision that I am not going to apply to any more design team calls.
I have never been a fan of the "calls". Too much stress. Too many people trying for very few spots.
I want to put my energy into other things.
So unless a manufacturer personally asks me, it looks like that goal is going to be on hold.
Who knows. Maybe someday I will catch a manufacturer's eye. There are definitely some that don't do calls, but hand pick their team members.
But at this moment, the time is not right.

What I do want to share today is this...

a photo I shared on Instagram. It's a little mini album I am making Mike for Valentine's Day.
We take a lot of selfies of the two of us , and I wanted to do something special with them. So I made a little 5x7 collage
and cut the photos apart so they would fit on the tags. I really do love having a printer that prints photos at home. I finally figured out why my photos were so streaky before. It had to do with my settings. I am looking forward to printing more here.
And just a little peek at the finished project because this is for his eyes only. :)

I can't wait to give it to him!
Erin liked it so much, she wants to make him one, too.
So I need to find a few photos of the two of them (which will be easy) plus some of my leftovers from the project...
I've got plenty of extras. This is my workspace after finishing Mike's album. :) I definitely have some cleaning up to do. But first I will let Erin make her little book!

I am also linking up this little mini over at Paper Issues for the "You Are Just My Type" issue!

If you have any projects that fit the theme, you can link up for a chance to win a $20 gift card to the store. Super easy! Just check out the link *Here*

Thanks for stopping by today.
And have a great weekend! :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Paper Issues: You Are Just My Type!

The new issue is on the Paper Issues blog today!
You Are Just My Type! This challenge can be interpreted using any of the following - Valentine's Day, love, relationships, typewriters, fonts, subway art, typography, etc.

I have so many layouts I could link up for this theme! And I always link a bunch of older pages along with any new I might create. I am actually working on a small little project now for Mike :)
But here are a few of the older pages I am linking up now...
Going with the obvious on this one...Valentine's Day :) Created my own heart stencil and used white mist to create a feeling of flour. 
A layout as much about the changes in our relationship after Erin was born as it is about us taking Evan to his first U2 concert. :) This is also an older layout.

I have a special love for Ireland! Always will.
And this layout about Mike and our anniversary a few years ago. I love, love this memory!
I will stop there, but will have lots more to link as the next two weeks go by.

If you would like to link up for a chance to win a $20 gift card to the store, check out this post *Here*. It has all the details!

Also, I didn't forget to pick a winner last night for my giveaway on *this post*.
Number 7 came up and that was...
Jules (Julie)
Sounds like you are on track and ready to blog! As is evident, I have been struggling but I finally cleaned my scrap area late last night and I feel like that has also given me a clearer path to start blogging again....weird, I know! Can't wait to see what you working on AND those goodies look AWESOME!!! Have a great day!

email me at the link under my profile and give me your address. Hoping to send your package off tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by today :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

My One Little Word List :)

I think it was in 2007 when Ali Edwards started choosing a word to focus on for the year.
You can read her 2014 OLW post *Here*
The past few years I have chosen words off and on.
Last year was Humor. The year before was Breathe. And truthfully, I don't remember the other words I may have chosen. None of them really stuck with me.
Humor was a good one though. I did try to keep it in mind often throughout the year. Especially during trying times when I really needed a sense of humor. :)

And now it is 2014. A new year.
And my word that I am going to try to remember is FOCUS.
This is what I want for myself this year. The ability to focus.
Journaling - My One Little Word for this year is Focus because it is something I seem to lack right now. My mind is completely overwhelmed at times by the myriad of tasks I need to accomplish each day, week and month. If I can try and focus a little more on getting one or two things done instead of multi-tasking so much, things might go just a little smoother around here. And I can focus on what is really important! My family.

Focusing on:
1. My family - Being present and in the moment when I am with them. Not letting my mind race ahead to what I need to get done or could be doing so I can cross something off my to do list
2. Exercise - Trying to exercise at least 5x a week.
3. Eating well - cutting sweets, no fast food, and more water. (doing ok with this one already)
4. One room at a time - going through the house room by room and trying to get it organized, get rid of things we don't need, and make a plan for cohesive decorating
5. A Personal Schedule - Keeping track of and managing my time efficiently. Focus on tasks that need to be done without procrastinating. Stop trying to do to many things at once.
6. Scrapbooking - less time on the computer and more time getting pages done.

2014 is my year to have a little more focus, and a little less "all over the place".
I think I can do it!
Have you picked a word this year?

This post is part of a list-making project called Lists With Friends 2014, an effort to document the year in lists of all types!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lots to Share!

First off, I have a post up today over at Paper Issues where I am featuring a layout that Izzy Anderson linked for our current issue She used a really fun journaling technique, and I definitely pinned that idea!

Next, I just wanted to share my thoughts about what I want to accomplish with my blog in 2014.
A few people have mentioned to me that they like the new design. Thanks to my friend Holly, I decided to make a few changes to freshen it up a bit, and she gave me some good tips and ideas. :)

Mainly my blog is for sharing my scrapbooking with a little bit of personal life thrown in.
But since I am on the design team for Paper Issues, I will of course be promoting them at least once a week.
As you may notice under design teams listed on the right, that it is the only team I am designing for right now. Last fall I decided not to take on another term with the Crafting Ireland design team. And last week, I decided it was also time to say goodbye to Craft Your Nest as well. They are both design teams I really enjoyed being a part of for over a year and a half, but it's just time to move on.

As far as design teams go, I think my main goal right now is to concentrate on applying to a few manufacturer design teams that I really like. We will see where that leads in the next few months.

For now, I am planning on creating new blog posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It may be more some weeks or it may be a little less depending on my work schedule. I have decided that Fridays are going to be my "Lists with Friends" day. You can read more about that project *Here*. I am excited that quite a few blog friends have mentioned joining in with us.
Otherwise, I will be mainly sharing layouts, projects, Paper Issues news, tutorials and a little bit of family life here.

As you can see on my sidebar, I have a favorite links section. I am including Two Peas in a Bucket, because of the free classes and videos they offer. Plus, it was the site that changed scrapbooking for me forever. I have a history there. :)
I am also including Paper Issues because I currently design for and love them! Crafting Ireland, Craft Your Nest, and Scrapbooking From the Inside Out are there because as a former design team member for these sites, I feel I can personally recommend them without hesitation. They are all great resources for scrapbookers!
I have also decided to have a link list for my current favorite manufacturers that I am loving and using the most right now.

And as for my blog rolls...well, I love my blog friends whom I have met through either the Two Peas in a Bucket blog thread or What's On Your Workspace Wednesday. You are all such a great support, and I love "chatting" with you. It's like I told Julie in a message on Facebook - I wish I could get all of my blog friends together for one big scrapbook weekend crop. I think it would be so much fun!

"The people I know" blog roll are some of my favorite people I have gotten to know over the years through scrapbooking that I have met in real life or we were formerly on a design team together and stayed in touch. With the exception of "Photo Mojo" That photography blog belongs to my fabulous brother who does not scrapbook, but I love to check his blog out frequently. :)

I guess what is important is that I am feeling excited about blogging again! And putting this down in writing helps me get a good perspective on why I am blogging. And what I hope to accomplish this year! I am really looking forward to sharing my first page of 2014 with you on Friday.
And I would also like to do a small giveaway to kick off the new year...

I have a few stamp and flair sets from The Paper Bakery kit club, and one great alphabet stamp set from Elle's Studio.  There will also be a wood veneer project life card and a scrapbook mystery paperback book that didn't make it into the photo. If you would like a chance to win just leave a comment on this post. The giveaway is open until Sunday night at 6pm CST.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

CHA 2014 Favorites

The Craft and Hobby show is going on right now and I still haven't done a post about top picks from this seasons new scrap product releases.
I have to admit part of the reason is because there hasn't been as much that has grabbed my attention so far. :-O
In fact, I have been a little disappointed overall.
But then I saw *this post by Tammy*.
It helped me realize that even though I might now necessarily like an entire collection or even part of it, there are quite a few bits and pieces that have caught my eye.
And there are actually several companies that do have my attention because they are standing out among the other manufacturers!
Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

1. Crate Paper
for me they are the one of the companies that I like parts of all their lines. So bonus points for Crate Paper this CHA!
Styleboard by Maggie Holmes has a lot of great pieces to it.  Several people have mentioned that it all looks too much like her previous lines, but I am ok with that. I like continuity between lines. And while I may not like all of the papers, I love that one in the center!

The Oh, Darling line is pretty cute to me and I like a lot of pieces from this one.
And the Boys Rule line is pretty cool. A very retro, vintage 80's vibe. Love the colors, and they had me at mix tapes!

I am typically not a Glitz fan. But as a young child of the 70's, something about these two pieces call to me. Not sure I will get them, and the papers are just way too bold for me. But I like the stickers.

3. Lilybee (Everyday)
I love this ampersand paper. I love the colors! So I may just have to look into buying a few pieces from the Everyday line this time around.

I love so much about this whole line. Quite a few of the papers, the journal cards, label stickers, the chipboard stickers and maybe stamp set.
There are two other lines being released as well. Not too crazy about Pen Pals. Too red, white and blue for me. And while I love the colors in Hello, Sunshine, I am a little tired of the whole "you are my sunshine theme." I have way to much product with that sentiment.
But I seriously like these stickers...
and may have to get them. 

I am a sucker for navy right now. I love navy! And I love the homey feel to this line. It reminds me of my great aunt whom I loved dearly. And I can see my self using this line for lots of older photos :)

They have three new lines out. And all three of them have pretty blues including the navy I am liking right now!

One of the things I love about Fancy Pants is their alphabet sticker sheets! This one from the As You Wish  line has great colors (navy) and word stickers! Plus I know I am going to have to get these great cards...
My favorite...the "You Are my True North". Love it!
Next up is Nautical
We took a trip to Mexico last year which involved lots of beach and boat time. This line is perfect for scrapping those photos! 

And the third line is Be Different.
These label stickers are some of my favorite around! I love the colors, the sentiments and the fonts.
And seriously did I mention the colors? Evan's favorite color is orange, so I have a love of orange and navy together. Perfect!
Fancy Pants is another hit to me!

Oh how I do love their embellishments. Especially the wood veneer. And for CHA, I think their Essentials line is brilliant.
Chipboard shapes in colors including gold and woodgrain...

Tons of enamel dots also including wood grain and gold...
tiny type alphabets...

and of course wood veneer.

And let's just say that Chic Tags is a new favorite of mine ever since I used their School House line for Paper Issues. I really like this travel line. So happy they have added papers to their product lines
And I love these stickers...
from the Cloud 9 line. Chic Tags definitely has my attention!

MME has quite a bit I am liking this time around!

Charmed by Jen Allyson enamel dots in gold!
Follow Your Heart by Rhonna Farrer Journaling cards are so pretty!
Just Splendid by Gennifer Bursett. I pretty much love most of it. And wood enamel dots, oh my!
Plus, these journaling cards from the All Things Chalk line are fabulous!
So MME gets high points from me in an otherwise not so fabulous season of CHA releases.

So there you have it!
My top picks for CHA this season.
I have seen a few lists from other bloggers already.
But would love to know what are your favorites?

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Book List

This is my second list with the "Lists With Friends 2014" project.
And you will probably see quite a few like it this year.
I usually like to share the books I am reading or getting ready to read.
This is my current "to be read" pile from the library.
All except the top book.
I won that from my friend Tammy's blog. :)

1. Gilt Trip - (Laura Childs) This one is from a scrapbook mystery series that I have been following. Although I may have missed one or two. We'll have to see. I really hate reading series out of order.

2. Ruby Red -

This post is part of a list-making project called Lists With Friends 2014, an effort to document the year in lists of all types!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Paper Issues: We're LISTening

I thought it was fun that the new issue at Paper Issues is about "Lists" at the same time I am starting the "Lists With Friends" projects. You can read more about that on This Post.
A few of the design team members have projects featured on the Paper Issues blog, but I am not on this issue. I do plan on linking up some older pages though and creating a new one.
Layouts like this one...
where I used a pre made journal card to list some of my favorite things I loved at 40.
And this one...
which was actually a scraplift of another scrapbooker at the time. Not the idea, but the overall design.
And the last page I will probably link is this one...
a page I did back when I was on the ScrapGal design team. I had to share a technique and I came up with using mists and border stickers to create a large pocket. The actual page is only 8x8 and is in an ongoing album I have for layouts with lists about Mike :)

I think my new layout is going to be about the fact that I have an actual notebook for my lists! And that in addition to my notebook, I also use a dry erase board, calendar and post it notes for more lists.
I am the list Queen in these parts!

So if you would like to join in and have a chance to win a $20 GC to the Paper Issues Store, make sure to link up your "list" projects old or new by January 19th. I will have a blog post on the PI blog next week and hope to feature someone I know :)

Also, if anything in the Paper Issues store catches your eye, don't forget to use my friends and family discount code MARYJO for 20% off your entire purchase.

Looking forward to seeing your projects with lists!