Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lasts, firsts and looking forward....

I can't believe that in less than 7 hours it will be 2009! Unbelievable how time flies. As I look back over the year, I only have one regret...that I don't remember half of it and I didn't enjoy the little things...the everyday things that memories are built on. (Ok, so maybe there are a few more things that I regret, but I really am not going to sweat the small stuff here.) See, I am a sentimental type of person and those little memories are the ones that mean the most to me. So, this morning...jug (yes jug) of coffee in hand I started to think. Not about what I forgot (that is absolutely no use) but of how I can move forward without forgetting again. This brainstorming session led to my goals for 2009. I won't actually call them resolutions, because lets face it...does anyone actually keep those? These are my "List of Things to Accomplish and Focus on for 2009". The list is long but many of them are related to each other and in the end, if all are accomplished the one true goal of being a happier person will be achieved. So, to keep myself goes (in absolutely no particular order):

  • Loose (and keep off) the weight (this is the year!)
  • Finish the house (decorating and updating that is)
  • Get organized
  • Keep a clean(er) house (one I can relax in & be proud of)
  • Enjoy everyday, record the memories & take pleasure in the little things
  • Focus on family
  • Get rid of the clutter (ok, that goes with cleaning & organizing...but trust me, it needs its own bullet)
  • Credit cards are for emergencies...CASH only!
  • Be a better mom & wife
  • Pay down some debt (long term...debt free by 2011)
  • Breathe...don't yell!
  • Complete 100 layouts in 2009
  • Be happy with me
  • Let it go....RELAX!
  • Project 365 (1 picture a day)
  • Work CTMH smarter...not harder (this refers to personal business goals I have set for myself)
So, there you have the looking forward. I am committed to these 16 items and will post my progress regularly (should make for some interesting reading material...). This also relates to the firsts. This is actually the first time that I sat down and thought of what I could do to make my life better, happier and be in control. The first time I took ownership and took a step to stop the out of control whirlwind I am constantly walking into. Now, I need to take action.

So now, to leave you with the "last"....

The last snowfall of 2009. This is a picture of the Kissing Ball my mom graciously hung on my front porch just before my parents went south for the winter. I had to take a picture of it covered in snow as it looked so pretty. I have always wanted one, but could never justify spending the thank you mom. I look at it often (see it is the little things).

This is a picture of my backyard looking from the kitchen. I wish it came out a bit clearer, but it was snowing like the dickens and the back door is blocked from all the snow on the deck. It just looks so peaceful and serene with the snow. Funny that I see it that way as I don't like the snow...see that list is already taking its toll (enjoy everyday)....

I wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year. Enjoy the little things in life, they are afterall what makes it so special....

Until 2009 -

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A little bit of this, a little bit of that and time to refocus....

It has been just over a month since I last posted (bad blogger....) so I thought I should do a little catch up, and a little tweaking of what I post and how. First, I must admit that the main reason I started my blog was to showcase cards and projects for my Close To My Heart business. As I started blogging, and everything and anything got in the way of my creative escapes, I have realized that I want more out of my blog. I have now decided to focus on pretty much everything. For those of you who happen upon my little corner for some creative inspiration - do not fear, it will be here from time to time, but I will also be focusing on family, me, random thoughts, daily stuff and pretty much anything I feel like focusing on for that entry. I do hope that you will continue to check me out and maybe, just maybe, someday I will have a group of followers who actually are intrigued by my life, thoughts and ramblings (a girl can dream....can't she?)

So for those of you who are family, friends, and just the curious stranger (because you are welcome to) the next several posts will be about what I (and my family) have been up to over the past month. When I get scrappy or just crafty again, I will be sure to fill you in.

Have to finish up the shopping now though, so until tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Look what I have been up to...

I started creating again - yeah! I have been working like a mad woman lately creating cards for a craft and vendor fair we are holding at my kids school tomorrow night. Not only will I be selling my cards and other wares, but....I am organizing the event also and I had another one last night as well. Needless to say everything else in my life has suffered, but after this weekend the pace should slow down - just in time for the holiday season to kick in. I am, however, making a pledge to myself (and my family) right now to slow down and enjoy December and focus on the true meaning of the holiday season. Since I have been promising something crafty - here are a few cards I made this week.

This first card uses the great little elf from Close To My Heart's Merry Pursuits stamp set. He seems to get himself into a few predicaments.

Recipe: All products CTMH; Merry Pursuits Stamp Set, Creative Basics Holiday Collection, Designer Ribbon Rounds Holiday Collection, Cranberry CS, Ponderosa Pine CS, White Daisy CS; Markers~ Cranberry, Olive, Black; Red Sparkles (retired)

The second card I lifted and unfortuneatly when I went to give credited to the creator, I noticed all I had was first name and last initial - no blog name for you to go check out the rest of her work. So, Jess B gets the credited for the original concept, it was so cute I couldn't resist. I changed it up just a bit by using the cocoa ribbon and stamping the sentiment at the bottom (the inside says... A Merry Little Christmas).

Recipe: All Products CTMH; Creative Basics Holiday Collection; Cocoa Ribbon; Red Sparkle (retired); Chocolate Ink; Journaling Pens; White Daisy CS, Ponderosa Pine CS, Cranberry CS; Sentiment Stamp - unkn. this was an old CTMH wood mounted set that is long retired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Check out this great Blog Candy....

Ok, so I was checking out the posts on Paper Popsicles and Marcee told us all about some Blog Candy over on Alecia's blog. First, check out her blog, she does beautiful work, but then you need to check out the blog candy she is giving away. Here is a pic of it....

All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog to be entered. So since I have nothing else here today...go check out Alecia now!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am still here...

Just a short post to let you all know I am still here. Life has, as usual, been super busy and I have had no time to post let alone create. The next few days are set aside for just that and I hope to have some stuff posted soon. I need to back off from the craziness that my life has become and focus more on me, my family and being creative for the fun of it, not because I have to. With that being said, I need to go find my mojo and bring it back home with me...stay tuned, more to come soon.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Welcome Home SSGT Ellis!

Woohoo! Just wanted to make a quick entry to say:



Damion, thank you so much for your service. I am so glad you are safely home with Sarah and the boys.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall is in the air

Today truely felt like the first day of Fall. This is my favorite time of year. I love the crispness in the air, the change in weather, the crunch of the leaves, the beauty of the trees. This is nature at its best. It was quite chilly walking to the bus stop this morning, but I relished every moment, it is so peaceful. I love just admiring the beauty of the season, clutching a cup of hot tea in my favorite mug, wrapped in a soft cozy sweater.

I also love this time of year because the pictures I take scream for Autumn colors. I am so drawn to the Autumn pallete and tend to use it often in my albums. I held a workshop on Friday night for a group of wonderful women. They wanted to learn more about the My Acrylix Stamps. We did this great layout (inspired by a layout in an old CTMH Idea Book) using CTMH stamps in different ways, showing how versatile they really are. I love how this came out and am happy to say that I can add a layout from 2007 to my album. All supplies are CTMH and I will post the products at the end of this entry.
One thing you will notice if you know my scrapbooking style at all is that I hand wrote the journaling. I NEVER do that. I always journal on the computer and add it to my pages. I have heard so many times from so many people that you should include your handwriting, but I just don't like how it looks. Why then, did I do it now? Well glad you asked. Kelsey has been telling me for a couple weeks now of and on how much she loves my handwriting (not sure why, but...) so I figured I should start including it. I am not too sure I like what I journaled, but I can always change it later I guess. So I ask, how do you journal, handwritten or computer? Long narratives or short blurbs? Let me know. Since this picture (and the ones on the right hand side of the layout) really tell the story, I think I might replace the journaling with a poem about leaves....any suggestions?

Products used (all products CTMH): Stripe B&T from Abundance Level 2 Paper Pack, Bamboo CS, Bamboo Ink, Autumn Terracota CS, Autumn Terracota Ink, Cocoa CS, Garden Green CS, Natural Hemp, Autumn Terracota Brad, Nature's Vein Stamp Set, Goldrush Ink, Barn Red Ink, Cranberry Ink, Playful Caps and Playful Lowercase stamp sets (alphas), Fall Leaves (Retired)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So behind but starting to catch up....

I am so far behind on my scrapbooking that it is not funny anymore. I just sat down last week to scrap these great pictures of my kids playing on the toys at my sister's house, but can you believe they are from 2004? Ugh! I am currently working on my daughter's first haircut (um...she is 8!). I do have more current things done, but I am ALL OVER the place and have 10 uncompleted albums going. Oh to be organized in this aspect of my life too.....

Anyway, thought I would share my recent projects. I love how these came out. The paper brought out the color in the pics perfectly. I wanted to keep it on the simple side because I had so many pics on the left hand page. All products are CTMH with the exception of the title letters, I printed those out on black cardstock and hand cut them (yep, I don't have any fancy machines....yet!) and the black leather frame.

I love how the distressing came out on this page, as I am a huge fan of it lately, especially with warmer colors. This also shows how cool the white core of the paper looks when you score it and then rough up the raised edges with sandpaper. The Cranberry CS is roughed up with the edge distresser and then inked with Chocolate ink - and how cute is that little photo hanger? The faux stitching is done using the Simple Stitches stamp set.

Products used (All products CTMH unless noted): Stamps ~ Simple Stitches; Ink ~ Chocolate, Black; CS ~ Chocolate, Black, Cranberry; Embellishments ~ Photo hangers (pewter), Hinges (pewter), brads (pewter), black ribbon, Leather Photo Frame (Making Memories), Edge Distresser, Scoring Tool.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Who wants free stuff?

Well everyone right? Alright so I am not the one giving it away, but maybe next time..... So go check out Stacey's blog for a chance to win some fabulous girly goodies. She is picking a lucky winner on Friday so don't wait. Also, check out Paper Popsicles (love these girls!) and all the great tutorials that Stacey has on the message boards.

Speaking of fun stuff and giveaways, don't forget that tomorrow is Hip Hop Thursday over at Unity Stamp Company. Join in on the fun for inspiration and giveaways at the end of the hopping. Come back tomorrow and start here for the fun! I never considered myself a product snob, because I do love all scrapbooking and stamping products (well most), but then I looked at my stash and realized that most of it is CTMH. Now, that could be alot of reasons:
  1. I'm lazy, and having the Idea Book in front of me all the time makes it easier to pick the stuff out and order it. Plus, CTMH has the coordinating work done for you.
  2. I get a discount as a consultant and that is always nice. Plus, I usually spend the majority of my commission on toys for me (now that really does have to stop).
  3. Until I entered the blogging world, I never really ventured outside of my comfort zone with, I am so inspired and can't wait to get time to scrap, stamp and play!

So, the snobbiness aside, I fell in love with Unity's Little Monsters set and can't wait until it arrives....I have so many awesome projects in mind (think googly eyes and spooky stuff!)

Speaking of playing, I have been scrapbooking! Finally. It has been too long. I had to get back into a schedule...and I am pretty proud of how organized I have become. My house is clean (well, presentable and there are no cobwebs), mornings run smoothly, dinner is usually on the table at a decent hour and the kids are in bed by 8:30. There are still a few kinks I need to work out, but overall, life is running pretty smoothly. Enter the scrapbooking. I have set aside Fridays as my time and Saturday & Sundays when I can get it in (but always Saturday night if I am home) and then every other Monday (can you tell I am a schedule freak?). This is my time and I don't feel guilty taking it. Besides my previous distractions (laundry, dishes, dirty floors, etc) have their time and are already YAY! I can PLAY!

Pics of my recent pages will be posted soon (wow 2 posts in one week), until then, I have to go do what I am supposed to be doing right now. Don't forget to check out Stacey's blog for goodies, mark your calendar for Hip Hop Thursday tomorrow, and when you get a chance check out all the creative inspiration going on at the blogs listed to the right! These ladies are amazing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A little bit crafty

Ok, so I really wanted to spend the whole afternoon scrapbooking because I am so behind and looking at everyone else's blogs, I really need to get crafty. I sometimes have a hard time breaking out and really going with my creative flow - but today, I was prepared to JUST DO IT!

Then, I remembered that I had to make a card for my Grandmother's 90th birthday. So I put the layouts aside and started on the card. I am a SLOW card maker (and scrapbooker too!) I try things a hundred times and second guess myself, but usually am happy with the results.

This card was inspired by one I saw in a SU! Idea Book. All products are CTMH with the exception of the flowered patterend paper which is Chatterbox. The flower is from the Just Blooms Big Pinks - I love those things! I added extra bling by sticking a clear sparkle on top of the brad - after all, 90 years old deserves a little bling.

My parents are taking her to Mohegan Sun Casino tomorrow to throw money away, so I decided that instead of just sticking money in a card, I would make her a one of a kind "Mohegan Money" I bet she will be the fanciest one in the place.

Some more pizzazz! I was really happy with how the Dimensional Element came out. I inked it in Twilight ink and then covered it with glitter. All products are CTMH with exception of the patterned paper, this was a scrap so I have no clue where it is from.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And they're off....

My sweet prince and princess started school today. Kelsey started 3rd grade and JT is entering 1st. I am not too sure how excited they were though. Kelsey, who loves school didn't seem all that enthused this morning, although I think she was a bit nervous. They go to a small school with 2 classes per grade. She has been with pretty much the same kids since Kindergarten and this year, they mixed up the classes so she doesn't know all of the kids as well. JT was more excited than she was but I think being a big first grader is a big deal to him.

As for me, I was ready. The last 3 weeks have been tough. Ever since the solid 2 weeks of rain we had everyone has been off. They have been fighting, I have not gotten anything done, the rush of going back to school and getting ready plus the strain on the budget because they need new clothes, new shoes, etc. etc. really took a toll on me and frankly I need a breather and a schedule. Amen for the schedule!

Speaking of schedules, I was bound and determined that this year there would be NO YELLING in the morning - NONE. It would be operation Get Ready For School and it would go off smoothly, without a hitch. Well, that almost happened.

I spent last night making schedules and posted them outside their doors. That started the first complaints. Kelsey wanted one upstairs and down or to switch the order of the tasks so that she could brush her teeth before breakfast and not have to come back up stairs. JT couldn't do all of those "chores" and there was no playtime listed so we had a minor melt down at 7:00 am. I held firm, no yelling (well, just a slight raise in the voice). But we made it, out the door with time to spare and pretty smooth for the first day.

Here are some pics to enjoy...I have to go get ready to get the kiddos off the bus.


Oh - and tomorrow, I have some creative time built into the cleaning time, so I can't wait to start posting something fun!

Picture number 15 (I think), sun was in the eyes, bugs were flying, she was too close to him, etc.

And they're off.....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Who ever said Golf was boring?

Ok, so I probably have once or twice. I really have never minded playing it because I have only ever played tournaments, and well, those are just fun ( read....drunken fun). What I am talking about is watching golf on tv. It has always been part of my television viewing, my parents are both golfers, my grandpa was a golfer, my husband is a golfer and now both of my children are getting into the sport (although they still won't watch it on tv) ~ so it has been on the tv and I just went about my business, not really paying attention to it. That was until a few years ago when I discovered Sergio Garcia. Now, I believe he is the answer to many a woman's question to her husband "Do we have to watch golf again?"......YES!!!!! Oh my does he make this game intersting.

Funny thing is, my husband has been told he looks like Sergio on many occasions, even before we knew who Sergio was and by total strangers. There are many similarities, especially the profile, but only when Sergio has a hat on. So that takes a bit of the guilt of gawking at this beautiful man, with my husband in the room, away....Sergio is just a dreamy version of my husband...but anyhoo....

So I am sure he is good, he won the Players earlier this year and came in second yesterday in the Barclays during a sudden death playoff (can you tell I am paying attention?). He could have won too if it hadn't been for that stupid bird that caught his ball and carried it over to the trees and dropped it near the hazard...yes I firmly believe that he can do no wrong and this is really what happened....And he has made nearly $4 million in 2008 alone.

But I don't actually watch the game for his talent - I watch for him (kind of like I don't actually watch football unless Howie Long is at the Sports Desk). I can say however that as long as he is playing I could never say golf is boring....that little Spanish hottie has finally made me find the true love for the game....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Can I get 3 1/2 seconds....please?

Today seemed like it would be a slow day and I desperately wanted to get some housework done, a little scrapbooking...or at least prep for a crop on Friday night...and update the blog. Well, I managed to pick up the living room, no scrapbooking or prepping and well, it is 11:09 PM EST and I am updating now. Forgive any run on sentences or misspellings...I am tired.

I really wonder if children have radar and know when you are busy doing something. They can be sitting playing or watching tv all morning long and the minute I get up to do laundry, pick up, or use the bathroom for that matter, they need me - right then and right now. Needless to say, I was needed ALL DAY long today. I was frazzled and needed to go for a run and then have a drink (the stiff kind....). Well wouldn't you know, by the time DH came home, dinner was made and cleaned up from, it was dark - and I won't run in the dark because I am so afraid that I will be eaten by a bear...they are hungry ya know. I couldn't have that drink either because of the silly trail mix I had to have last night. I follow Weight Watchers (27 lbs down and counting - toot my own horn here), so it is Tuesday and I only have 6 bonus points left for the week - the trail mix happened to be 11 1/2 points....but worth every stinking one! So in order to have a beer or one of my new yummy frozen concoctions I had to run to earn activity points. Well, that didn't happen, so I hopped on the computer instead, while the rest of the family watched a cartoon. Low and behold, not 5 minutes later, I hear shrieks from upstairs. JT was having a breakdown because only Mommy could brush his teeth, not Daddy, just, there goes my first 3 1/2 seconds of "me" time all day. I love to feel needed, really I do, but everyone needs a bit of time to themselves (at least I think this is true), and I don't take that time often (guilt, laziness - not too sure...) and now I think I dug myself a great big ol' hole.

On another note - Friday I am attempting to take some of that "me" time and scrap at the Scrapbookers' Crop Room. I can't wait - it has been sooo long since I actually went out to scrap. I am trying to prep my projects so I don't bring my whole room, have pics ready, and actually get something done, and not sit there for 6 hours staring at the wall (it has been known to happen). So this weekend I hope to post something creative.

In the meantime, here is a pic of the four of us (my step daughter stayed home to work) on vacation in Maine a few weeks ago and one of Bob (my DH) with the kids - I just love this pic, he is such a great Dad!

Ta! Ta! - I am going to bed, in search of 3 1/2 seconds of me time.....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here I am....

Ok so I officially got sucked in! I can't believe I am here, and still not too sure why, but what the heck - right? Not like I have the time to add one more thing to my list, but that is typical of most of us anyway. I really liked the idea of starting a blog as a way to showcase my personal scrapbooking pages, pictures of my family and to keep in touch with those I don't see often (well, at least they can see what we are doing in our lives). Plus, being a SAHM (which for me is the best job in the world), adult conversations are rare, so everything I want to say all day can be said here so I don't bombard the DH when he comes home. I like to talk and I really think he turns the volume up on the tv for a reason - come on, he isn't a woman, so he probably doesn't REALLY care about everything that I have to say. I also think the tv execs plan sporting events, the news and the Simpsons to be on a particular times so men DON'T have to listen to their wives.....but that is JM2C on that subject.

So stay tuned to stay updated. I hope to post pics real soon and actually hope to have an interesting enough thought to post, but hey - that's my life - thanks for stopping by.


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