Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vacationland ~ part 1

***Warning - lots of pictures***

There is something about this bridge...always has been every since I can remember.  The saying in our family is that all your troubles go away when you cross this bridge and really, truely they seem like they do at least for the week.  Once you cross this bridge you are entering

and for us, that means a week of family fun, beaches, bonding and relaxation.  I have wonderful memories of summers in Maine as a child and knew I wanted that for my kids & family.  We found a great place and have been going up there each year since Kelsey was a baby and have built such wonderful memories already.

The kids couldn't wait to get on the beach as soon as we got there. The suitcases were not even out of the car before they were looking for their suits to get on the beach.  After settling in, we spent the late afternoon/evening at the beach...the best time of the day to unwind and relax.

JT actually sat and let me take pictures while Kelsey (my usually cooperative photo subject) preferred to play in the sand.

and search for seashells.  In the 10 years we have been coming here I think we have found 1 starfish, a few snail shells and lots or broken clam shells.  This year though Kelsey hit the jackpot bringing home 7 sand dollars, several beautiful full snail shells (minus the snails), and she kept finding whole clams.  The kids had clam spitting contests with them before they released them back into the water...if I only had internet access to figure out how (or if I could) I would have loved to cook those babies up for dinner.

and when the day at the beach is done...it is very important to pack up your pirate treasure searching shovel and back pack.  This particular back pack came down to the beach filled with early evening snacks for everyone courtesy of JT (and a surprise to all of us...he can be so thoughtful sometimes).  I got a nectarine, Bob a string cheese, and Kelsey and JT both got a sandwich roll.

Monday we spent an overcast afternoon in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit and walked the Marginal Way which is a beautiful mile long coastal cliff walk.  Coming around the corner of the walk we bumped into some very dear friends of ours.  Seems like every year we see someone we know.  The Marginal Way had some beautiful scenic spots (and some gorgeous homes...but that is another post).  I was able to get this shot (typical JT):
just before I got this one:
and surprisingly this one:

After enduring the painful photo shoot (he! he!) The kids went exploring on the rocks and found this cool formation that they were convinced was a leprachaun or mermaid door.  It was pretty cool how the rocks just formed like that....it was just big enough for a kiddo to fit in...I bet it looks really neat when the tide starts to come in and the waves are crashing through it.

That is it for now....back with more later,


Monday, July 26, 2010

one of "those" rooms {makeover monday}

do you have one of "those" rooms? 

a room that could be beautiful? should be beautiful? could serve a purpose? you once loved?

a room that has become an unorganized monstrosity? a free for all? a gathering place for all misplaced or homeless items?  a room that you run to shut the door of real quick when the doorbell rings?

I do, I do!  and I am not ashamed (ok, well, I am, maybe just a little, ok...alot)

In fact most of the rooms in my house are disorganized and cluttered (to me) or just plain not finished (ie., needs some serious cosmetic updates or decorating mojo), but this room...this room is the grandaddy of them all.  It has accumulated everything and anything from what belongs in here to things I have no place for or don't have a home for yet.  It is a transitional room and it drives me nuts.  Fortunately it has a door that I can shut...unfortunately the Air Conditioner for the 1st floor is currently in there so I can't shut the door and...it is my office/craft room so I am in it often (although at the moment I couldn't even find a space to create on).

It used to be beautiful.  I used to be functional.  I used to love this room.  Then life happened.  Paper piled up, school projects came home, other home improvement projects ate up my time, supplies for a quick card or my last blog hop never got put away, the kids needed something...etc., etc. and now this room is a mess!

So...this is what I give you for my first Makeover Monday (technically I already made it over with paint and window treatments but now it needs a good organizational makeover so it works):

Ok, so that gives you a view from the door, looking in.  The desk is just as bad piled with things to file and purge.  And lurking near the closet is even more wayward items.  I showed you the pile of stamps because I have plans for these...oh yes I do!

Ok, embarrasing I know...but I also know I am not alone (I have seen your rooms too...) This is my project for the week.  Purging, filing, organizing, finding homes for items, purging again.  I will share my progress (hopefully completed) next week...then on to the next disaster room.


Sunday, July 25, 2010


We just returned from a week's vacation in Maine...it was so peaceful and wonderfully relaxing and I really wish we could have stayed another week.  Once I get my pics uploaded, I will share all the wonderfulness with you.

For now, I wanted to share with you some changes going on right here at the old blog.  I have been blogging since 2008 and really haven't found my "spot" in the blogging world.  I originally started this blog as a scrapbooking/stamping blog, but just can't find the time to craft as much as I want to so low and behold the blog got put to the side and I didn't post as often as I wanted to.  I thought geez...I have so many other things I could blog about too, and have, on occasion, but for some reason I thought I needed to find one topic and just stick to it (I know I read that somewhere on some blogging tip blog).  Well, you know what?  This is my blog and I enjoy my theraputic (to me) postings to my wonderful 29 followers so I am going to blog about what I want, when I want (sort of).  Afterall, some of my favortie blogs to read are the ones that do just that...a little bit of everything and eventhough I don't know these women, I feel like they are life long friends because I can relate to their rantings as if they were talking about me.

So...if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time (and if you haven't, now you will know) I  suffer from complete disorganization syndrom (CDS)...not really a diagnosed syndrom, but it should be.  My house is a disorganized mess there is stuff everywhere (spilling out into everything I do or touch...trust me), I have too much stuff, I am always late (because I can never find anything), I am always running in a thousand directions, have too much on my plate and my stress level is through the roof.  Everything I just mentioned drives me insane!  I am slowly trying to fix that...one room at a time, one habit at a time...starting with this blog.  I have a plan...an organized, well thought out, plan.  Ok, it is a list (one of my many...but those help me function).  I wrote down everything I want to talk about and assigned a day to each topic...so here is what my new and improved, well thought out, highly organized blog format will look like: 
  • Makeover Monday (organization, room remodels, etc.)
  • Tell it all Tuesday (free for all, whatever I feel like telling you...daily life stuff)
  • Weight Loss Wednesday (my journey, excercise and  healthy recipes)
  • Thrifty Thursday (saving money and getting out of debt...with a vengenance)
  • Friends with Flair Friday (Unity Stamp Co. Style!) (cards, layouts etc with Unity Stamps)
  • Scrappy Saturday (layouts hopefully completed on my dedicated 1 night of scrapping)
  • Simply Sunday (another free for all)
Now of course I am flexible, there may be days I don't post, I haven't scrapped/stamped or don't have anything to say...but I am going to try to stick to the above as best I can.  I figured it would make my love for blogging easier if I knew what I was going to talk about when...that is it (and I love organization and lists...I strive for it {and fail} everyday!)


Thursday, July 15, 2010

CTMH Spotlight on Cupcake Sprinkles

Welcome to this month's CTMH Spotlight blog hop featuring Cupcake Sprinkles.  If you are hopping on over from Wendy, you are headed in the right direction.  If you are starting from here...just keep going...you won't miss a thing.  Your next stop will be listed under my image.

I just knew I needed this stamp set after reading the name...yum!  I love this set because it is so versatile.  It can be used for cards, layouts, decor, gift wrap, etc. etc. and not only for birthdays....the sentiments included with the set make it useful for so many other events...or just to say hello.

I went with the standard because...hey, a girl can't have too many birthday cards in her stash...I love the simplicity and ease of this card...whipped it up in no time flat and I love how it came together. 

I used Card Patterns Sketch #71 for the layout and all CTMH products.  If you are interested in purchasing Cupcake Sprinkles...please contact me, visit my CTMH shopping site or contact your CTMH Consultant today!

Since I am now craving cupcakes (I think I will have to whip up some red velvet ones..mmmm) I will let you hop on over to Karen C to see what yummy goodness she has posted for you today. 

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to let me know you where here!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

one of those days

it has been one of those days that I -

want to (and probably will) eat everything in sight
need to (and probably won't) accomplish a whole bunch of things
want to snarl at everything and everyone
get annoyed at the tiniest things
need to (and so far have managed to) keep my temper under control
need to be left alone
would start drinking now if there was enough wine in this house to make it better (yes, I know that is not a solution...but we have all been there)
wish I could start all over...from the very beginning
have no explanation for...I just feel out of control
don't like myself very much
don't like at all

Saturday, July 10, 2010

where in the world is flat daddy?

If you remember I had mentioned a few months ago that we were the proud hosts of our very own flat daddy while my friend Sarah's husband Damion was overseas in Afghanistan.  if you don't remember, you are forgiven as it has been awhile (March I think) since I had any flat daddy updates.  But, as the summer is in full swing (and Damion is nearing the end of his deployment...yeah!) flat daddy has been quite active with the Oleksak family.

So where in the world is flat daddy?

he joined in on some backyard crazy sprinkler fun

and then joined me under the umbrella with some unsweetened tea and Southern Living magazine (drool)

he ventured to the local spray park to cool off with the kiddos

and he had the privilege of accompanying the kids and I to Eclipse...wonder if he is team Edward or team Jacob (or is he Team Bella with JT) ????

enjoy your day!


Friday, July 9, 2010

how's it rollin' all my friends with flair?

ahhh!  I {heart} Fridays for so many reasons...but Unity's FWF has to be at the top of that list.  Not that I need an excuse to escape into my craft room, but I so look forward to the opportunity to HAVE to escape.  Although to be honest...it is so messy right now that I had to escape from it before I got lost under a pile of stamps, paper and embellishments...when will I ever learn to put things away when I am done with them?  (maybe when the kids do..lol!)

So today I have this fun retro card for you.  I love this little image from the May 2010 KOM...a little happy. But then again, I love pretty much any image in the KOMs...they are so fun! 

I wasn't too sure where I wanted to go with the color scheme on the card.  I was looking for fun & retro...then inspiration jumped right out at me...check out my summer purse!  I had a friend that always joked I stole it from the set of The Dating Game!  how more retro & roller skates is that?

By now you must know the deal...but if not, here it is.  Roll on over to the Unity Blog and check out the list of participants in FWF today!  Be sure to check out everyone's fabulous projects.  One participant is hosting the hidden blinkie...find it and leave a comment on that blog for a chance to win some Unity rubba!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend.  I would love to hear from you before you roll on out of here!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

from dark & dreary to bright & cheery

I have been {very} slowly trying to turn my house into a home I can be proud of.  We have been here for 6 years now (has it really been that long???) and my house is still someone elses.  Sure I have my furniture in the rooms, my touches here and there but for the most part, I haven't really made this house a home.

I don't know why...it isn't like we are moving again...at least until the kid's have grown and we retire.   Maybe it is because I am afraid of color, but that can be changed right?  Or afraid of putting something on the wall, table, floor, etc. because I might not like it, never even thought of returning it (until a friend told me that was how she turned her house into one she loves).  Maybe it is because I don't really know what my style is, although I am slowly fiinding it.

Anywhoo...one of my goals for 2010 was to finish the house.  Now to me that means doing what can be done.  I am certainly not talking major overhauls (which really need to be done in the kitchen, basement and upstairs bath) I am talking cosmetic changes that I can do...paint, pictures, accessories and a little bit of crown molding.  Here it is July and I am in no way close to that goal (I think it was that fear...lack of style thing).  I don't know what has come over me lately (could it be all the fabulous home decorating blogs I have discovered???) but I WANT to get a move on.  Summer is so hard for that now because I don't have any me time to scour stores and work on fun projects...but Fall will be here soon enough and I can start shopping and bargain hunting.  Til then, I will be loaded up on ideas.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the first part of my home's transformation (file it in the DIY kitchen makeover category).  Keep in mind that the master plan is to have the kitchen gutted and redone professionally in 5 years (keeping my finger's crossed).  So I am not talking replacing floors, cabinets, countertops.  I am talking working with what I have and sprucing it all up with paint. 

I started with the cabinets and went from this:

(Please note this pic is in progress...notice the removed doors...and please excuse the mess.)
To this:

I painted the cabinets in 2 tone colors and replaced the hardware.  I also painted the trim of the window above the sink.  The result...I am really beginning to love the kitchen.  The colors actually almost make the ugly mustard yellow tile look pretty...not too much hope for that floor, but it is a slight improvement. 

Next step is the trim and walls!  I will post more pics when I get that done...hopefully shortly.

I will be sharing more as I slowly transform my house into a home.

Thanks for stopping by -


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

oh me, oh my I {heart} these shoes!

I have this thing for shoes...as do most women.  Problem is I don't get the chance to wear funky or fancy shoes often.  Being a SAHM I am mostly in bare feet/socks (so I always have a nice pedicure!) and when I leave the house flip flops or sneakers.  I suppose I could slip on a fabulous pair of heals with my jeans when I go out...and yes, I really would like to, but then there is my wardrobe...that would need to change to accomodate the funky shoes I would love to wear.

As I have mentioned previously I am trying ever so hard to loose weight.  My goal is to have a new, fun, totally me wardrobe by October...I know I can do it, I am busting my behind to get this weight off and I have already warned my husband that he is going to have a problem on his hands once I do get it off 'cuz I am going shopping and filling our "shared" closet with clothes.  Maybe for once, I will have more than he does!  Oh...and once I get that wardrobe the weight will not come back on!

So I came across these super cute shoes (and a few others) that I really must have to go with the super cute wardrobe I will have come October. 

Although at $130 & $148 I really can't justify and will be scouring the mall and internet for something similar and much cheaper. Please let me know if you see anything like this for at least 1/2 the price tag!

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, July 1, 2010

two weeks down & adapting

We have been out of school almost 2 weeks now (minus a day or 2) and things are starting to settle into a semi normal (although slightly chaotic) routine.  After a few days of wondering if I was going to make it through 10 weeks of summer vacation fully intact, I relinquished the desire to hide in a corner and pull my hair out while everyone got out their sillies and crazies and decided to embrace the idea of organized chaos.

Last week I basically let the kids do what they wanted to.  No schedule, no chores, no summertime school work...just relax.  That didn't work, although I am quite sure they felt differently.  I was constantly breaking up fights between my two usually cooperative children.  I was yelling way too much, picking up after them too much and looking at the clock anxiously awaiting bed time so I could drown myself in a glass (or 3 or 4) of wine too much.  Foot down and determined to make this a good summer, I set out on a schedule and some other tricks I had up my sleeve.  With a full weekend agenda, my husband coming home from one trip only to leave for another, and a spur of the moment trip to the beach on Monday, I didn't get as much planned as I wanted to...but at least I got started.

I was able to whip up these cute chore cards.  I saw the idea over on Melissa's blog and knew I had to give it a go.  (She even has them saved on as a Google doc to download...although I couldn't get Word to work correctly so I made my own).

Despite K telling me that we didn't need a picture of the chore cards (as I was taking one) because she hated them and didn't want any extra reminders, they are working very well.  The top card has their name and morning routine (which includes making their bed...which is not a rotating chore, much to their dismay) and then each day I pick 2 or 3 (depending on complexity) chores for them to perform.  These need to be done before any toys come out or plans are made.   The stuff that I usually do (vacuuming, folding towels, etc.) isn't chosen everyday, but I feel it is important for them to learn how to do these things.  I also included a "make dinner with Mom card" and while it is a bonding and teaching experience for them, and not necessarily a chore I am sure they will see it that way at first.  My intention is to cook with them once a week and have them prepare a meal (with limited help) at the end of the summer.

Other than that, besides having the house screen time free starting at 8:00 am (with the exception of 1 hour in the evening) I haven't really set down a concrete schedule.  Starting Tuesday I am re-introducing 45 minutes of "school" work and a structured project or activity as we will have 2 extra friends visiting for a few hours each morning.  I can embrace organized chaos even better when it is at least structured chaos (my plan is also to avoid the ever constant "I am bored, there is nothing to do, I can't believe we can't watch t.v., play wii, be on the computer...etc. etc." ).  Note:  I limit the screen time because #1 I think too much is not good, #2, I cannot stand seeing people zoned out in front of the tv doing nothing (especially when I never get a chance) and #3 my children behave SOOO much better when they don't have the tv going constantly...they play together, use their imaginations, are creative, loving, helpful, polite...geez turning off the screens = magic!

Well, I had a few more things I wanted to get out, but since this post is long enough, I guess I have a few days worth of blogging!

Thanks for stopping by,



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