Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, hello 2010.

I can't believe this year has blown by.  In fact, I can't believe a decade has gone by.  Seems like just yesterday we were worried about Y2K.  Remember that paranoia?  

I'm stealing this idea from some fabulous bloggers - my favorite 10 projects from this year. 

Ok this last one will not upload.  So, here is the link from Two Peas.  Probably the quickest mini I've made. 
Maybe if I have my act together tomorrow, I can post my favorite photos from 2009.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And just like that...

Christmas has come and gone.

From Christmas Eve:

Christmas morning:


Hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ok, it's crunch time.

I have no idea why I do this to myself every year, but I've got a dozen things to do on my list, and not enough hours to do them in.  I just finished cooking 12 quarts, yes, 12 quarts, of pasta sauce.  It's currently cooling on my stove.  I need treat bags for daycare, two mini-albums to complete, a few gifts to wrap and one to buy (thanks ALOT Kohl'!).  I'm getting up early tomorrow to hit the stores and get the ricotta for the lasagna we are making tomorrow.  I have a plan for the food prepping.  That's the easy part. It's everything else I need to squeeze in.  Right now I'm debating between going to bed and getting up earlier tomorrow, or staying up and trying to get moving on a project or two.  I'm leaning toward bed.  I need a four-hour lunch hour tomorrow.  Not sure work would agree with me though.

On a happy note this is my new favorite picture of Ava.  I did not take the photo (John's brother did).  And I am now coveting his camera (a Nikon D90)... *sigh*

I cropped it down and had it printed (minus the lovely Ariel tattoo) for my wall.  Her eyes are so BLUE it still amazes me.  Although not as much as her blond hair amazes me (which is getting darker :( this winter, but still definitely a blond).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Daily - 12/20

Less than a week until Christmas.  I'd be lying through my teeth if I said I wasn't getting a bit stressed and time crunched.  Luckily, Papa Frank took the girls last night for a sleepover and John and I got all the wrapping done, except for a few small items. 

I had the chicklets help make cookies today.  I think Ava was more facinated with playing with the flour on the table then making cookies.  These will be the photos for today's December Daily page. (Which I finally got all the pages in until the 25th.)

Friday, we had an impromptu photo shoot on Friday night.  Still trying to get better at pictures with the flash.  Or at least, better at editing them, since I'm stuck with the camera I have.  I need to figure out how to correct skin tones when using flash.

Finished up some projects for tomorrow.  Cards for my coworkers are completed and a wine box for my supervisor.   I don't alter too many items (never know what to do with them afterwards) but this was easy.  Love this OA paper from last year.

And with that, I'm off to pack all those bags for work tomorrow.  Its our Christmas party and I need to get a list together so I don't forget anything!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I'm taking a quick break from wrapping.  I forgot how L-O-N-G it takes.  Yeesh.  Ok, I won't lie.  I'm procrastinating going back to wrapping gifts.  Unfortunately, dinner will be hard to eat with the table covered in paper and tape. 

I'll be back later with some Dec Daily pictures and a recap from Alexa's Winter Program at school.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December Daily, December 13 photos

We headed out to Great Lakes Crossing today for some Secret Santa shopping.  Before we left, the girls put on some reindeer ears.  Alexa loves them.  Ava, eh, not so much. 

At the mall, Bass Pro Shops (the Secret Santa store we needed) had indoor ice fishing.  Alexa gave it a whirl with the help of Joe.  She caught her fish pretty quickly.  We opted for "catch and release." 

I've finally been printing out some pictures for my album.  (One drawback to my laptop, no wireless printing in the house.)  Hopefully I can get some pages done tonight.

Friday, December 11, 2009

December Daily 11

The end of the work week. Almost. One more day tomorrow at another clinic. But, from today here are the chicklets:

We painted their little toes:
And our tree, I took this the other night. It will go in my December Daily, on another date.

I should have some scrappy stuff to share soon. The Apron Strings Kit goes live on the 12th.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More fun with Photoshop (elements)!

I have downloaded a bunch of actions and filters and have been playing around with editing my pictures. I have a ton to learn, but I love this Butterscotch action from Coffeeshop. And, its free.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Daily 12/6

We finally went to Build-a-Bear and used the gift cards from last Christmas. All I can say is THANK GOD for the gift cards. That store is a total rip off.

The girls are proud owners of two pink unicorn's: Sweetheart (Alexa's) and Pinky (Ava's).

If anyone can tell me how to remove the yellowish color cast from a picture (indoors, used flash), please let me know! Ugh, I have a few pics I just can't get the color right.

And why do my pictures on the blog look distorted? Something's off after editing them. hmmm.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Daily 12/5

We'll, this may not make it in before the stroke of midnight, but you get what I mean!
Fun with cousins!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December Daily 12/3

I didn't take any pictures of yesterday's activities, but I'm going to journal about my favorite guilty holiday pleasure (Peppermint Mocha's from Starbucks - which I do have a picture of!)

Today, I decided to to try and take pictures of the girls under the tree for a Christmas card. We'll call it "Attempt 1." *Note to self, check Ava's face before taking pictures, she's messy.

"Attempt 1" lasted about 7 minutes before Ava had enough. Next time: bribery with chocolate.

I also tried another Coffeeshop action "eye bright" on Ava's photo. There was a difference from the original to the editted photo, but I'm not sure it's totally right yet. Still learning.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fun with Photoshop

I have so much to learn, but can't wait to try this out on more photos.

Spot color: I've always wanted to do know how to do this.

And it was easier than I thought!

Now I just need to add my photos to this computer.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Daily 2009

Inspired by Ali Edwards, I'm attempting a "December Daily" album again this year. If you are playing along this season, I'd love to see your projects! Here are today's photos:

The girls were able to get outside and burn some energy off before dinner, and before it got dark. It looks like snow (!!) is coming soon so were trying to take advantage of the outdoors before having to bundle them up completely.

Once I get a chance in the daylight, I'll take some pictures of my album. It's a work in progress, but the base is complete.
I'm off to figure out this new laptop and to work on my projects for the December Apron Strings Kit. If you'd like to see a sneak peak, there are a couple of my layouts up on the Apron Strings web site. The kit will go live on the 12th.
P.S. - All month ASD is celebrating 25 Days of Sketches on the blog. If you are looking for inspiration and some prizes, check it out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I love and hate new technology at the same time.

Love having a new laptop.
Hate transferring files. (I haven't yet begun to transfer the 10,000 plus photos I have.)

Love wifi.

Hate not being able to print yet.

LOVE new software. (photoshop elements 8.0)
Original photo:

Edited photo - used a Coffeeshop Action - creamy chocolate.

Hate not knowing what to do with it! I finally figured out the photoshop actions...thanks to Dani for some help! I'm going to finally go through all the Jessica Sprague tutorials I have saved. And I think I need a book or two.
Now I can finally go to sleep!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nothing beats a good ol' fashioned pajamma day.

Yep, wore PJ's all day today. A much needed break to do really...just about nothing serious. Anyone venture out into the shopping craziness? We saw the tents set up at Best Buy yesterday at 3 PM. I can't imagine sitting outside for 15+ HOURS just to get a cheap tv/computer/blu ray... not that die hard! This year, I stayed in on Black Friday. I did head out yesterday for a couple of quick stops at Meijer and Kmart, but nothing caught my fancy for Black Friday shopping. I was hoping to do some online shopping, but Kohls website has been down all day.

Instead of shopping, I did do some scrapping. Working on my December ASD kit. So far I've completed 4 single page layouts with the Lily Bee papers and 1 two-page spread with the Fancy Pants papers. Maybe tomorrow I can get a sneak peek up...we'll see if the sun is shining or not over here so I can get some good photos.

On the homefront we took the plunge for some new family room furniture. Much overdue. Totally changed the look of the room, so we (I) need to redecorate the very blank back wall. I'm thinking a piece of wall art and a bunch of black framed B/W pictures... I'll have to get a picture up.

If anyone is scoping around online...I'm in the market for a new laptop. I'm looking for 4GB of RAM and at least 320 GB hard drive, Pentium Core 2 processor...if you see a deal, let me know! Our computer is 6 (!!) years old, it's time for an upgrade.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who Doesn't Love a Happy Mail Day?

There is something about getting a package(s) in the mail that is just FUN. Yesterday, I received my November kit from ASD and my DT kit for December. Nothing like a box of scrapbook supplies to get you out of a funk. I'm working with the "Bigger" kit for December and if you love Fancy Pants or Lily Bee, you are in luck. Both are in the kit for next month. In fact, I've already finshed my two-page sketch layout, all I need is the journaling.

Also, sitting on my front porch waiting to be opened was a box from Amazon. Who doesn't like a package with a smile on it? I ordered some Early Reader books for Alexa. She's really making progress reading and is enjoying books as well. I picked up four books to slowly introduce over the next few weeks. Santa may have to bring some books from the next reading level!

December is almost here, anyone doing a "December Daily" this year? Last year I spent too much time making the album and pages and ended up too far behind to catch up. I'm trying again, this time, I have my album picked out and the pages already set. Hopefully that will make it easier to journal and/or add pictures. It's mainly chipboard (an older Prima album), and some die cut chipboard pages that I painted and used some Glimmer Mist to add a subtle sheen. I have Basic Grey Wassail papers and die cuts to add to the pages as I go. Once I take some pictures, I'll load them up.

Monday, November 9, 2009

At Last, I'm back.

After a much too long break from blogging, I'm back. Life got a little crazy last month. I got sick, work got insanely busy (and still is), then Halloween came around and work got busier. For at least 2 weeks I didn't even touch my scrap supplies. By the end on the evening (when I usually scrapbook) I was exhausted.

I don't have a big update, hopefully, I can get back to regular blogging now that our outdoor activities are winding down.

But, on a happy note, tomorrow is my anniversary. 8 years. :) Happy Anniversary babe!

Ah, back when I was young and thin, my how time flies!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Right Now...

This girl:

1 - is loving school. Learning to read and loving it, becoming very independent.

2 - is loving making art. I don't know if it's a fad, but she has to draw and/or color every day right now.

3 - is waiting for her first tooth to fall out. Don't tell her, but I really don't think ANY of them are loose yet.

4 - is growing taller. Clothes are starting to not fit again. Must have hit a growth spurt. We went to the mall today.

5 - is kind, thoughtful, observant and a good big sister. She makes us proud.

This girl:

1 - is making leaps and bounds with her speech. Alexa being in school has forced Ava to talk for herself. A very good thing.

2 - is totally into art as well. Has to draw, color and/or cut things out daily.

3 - has the best facial expressions. She can tell you a story and even if you don't know what she's saying her face says it all.

4 - is still a lefty. No doubt, this girl is going to be a southpaw.

5 - is a sweet, slightly stubborn, kind and caring little princess.

LOVE them dearly!

P.S. -stole this idea from another person's blog! Love this idea. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Candy Winner!

Just a quick post for now, but I counted up all the posts and challenges and wrote out a bunch of little slips with names (somewhere around 30!) and the winner is.....


Congratulations and great job on the challenges. I'm going to need your address to ship out your kit and RAK. Rebecca email me at:

I'll be back later!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I have a cold. And my layouts from the ASD blog challenges.

Ok, first things first. Yes, I am going to whine for a paragraph. Hang with me.

My main job is to teach others about H1N1 right now. It's all we do at work, it's all-encompassing. You would think those genetically related to me would heed my "cover your coughs and sneezes and please throw your tissues away and wash your hands" message, right? Hmm, not so much. My oldest has graciously shared her cold with me. Fab-u-lous. Hand washing only goes so far, especially when your darlings have a knack for coughing all over you as you buckle the cherubs in their car seats. *sigh* A nice chesty cough and a voice that sounds like I drank whiskey daily and smoked unfiltered cigarettes for the last 50 years. Yes, I am that hot right now. And just in time for my first day off since Labor Day. Awesome.

So, after that little rant, I did get several layouts created this weekend, including a few for the ASD Crop-tober fest. Apparently, I need more light in my house. These photos aren't the finest.

For the Embellishement challenge (I used glitter, chipboard, - I just love those Maya Road cupcakes - ribbon and a rhinestone):

For the Naked chipboard challenge (this layout is so "un-Maria," it's messy, non-linear, and for the love, I painted on my paper):

I did finish the 2-page sketch challenge, but it is way too dark to get a picture. Perhaps tomorrow morning. It was linear and clean...all things "me" when it comes to scrapbooking.

While I was down at my crafting area, I ended up creating a few other layouts:

This one might be my favorite. New Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses here. And a tiny bit of new Pink Paislee. And my newest fad - a grid.

Alright, off to bed I go, back to work tomorrow. I'm hoping my voice clears a bit, I do have a presentation at noon. (On H1N1, of course!) Even better, tomorrow night, I also have a doubleheaders. Starting at 8:30 PM. Should be a balmy 45 degrees by then.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apron Strings Designs Crop-tober fest and Blog Candy Time!

Want a chance to win a kit from Apron Strings Design and a bonus RAK from me? Simply leave a comment on this thread by11:59 PM Tuesday, October 13. I have this kit to giveaway:

Right now on the ASD Blog "Crop-tober Fest" is going on. Lot's of challenges and the chance to get a bunch of pages done and maybe win a cookie jar treat as well. So, for bonus entries to win this kit and the RAK, everytime you finish a challenge, leave a comment here with the challenge you completed. There is no limit on entries for this giveaway. So head over to the blog, work on some challenges and get to posting those pages you've completed!

Easy enough right? Leave a comment here for a chance to win, and for bonus entries into the drawing finish a challenge (or two, or three...) and let me know as well. I'll draw a winner Wednesday morning. (P.S. if you load your work up on the ASD Yahoo group, that's fine, just let me know.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pictures from the Orchard

A couple weeks ago (yes, I'm behind) we took a trip to Westview Orchards. It was actually a very warm fall day. Cider, donuts, ice cream, apples, more donuts... there were play areas, a bounce pad, a huge slide and a tractor ride.

This picture cracks me up:

The girls had a blast, their favorite part was probably feeding the animals. I loved how the animals poked their heads through the fence when taking pictures. There were donkeys, sheep, ponies, ducks and pigs. Well, hello there Dolly... too cute!

I take that back. The baby animals were the CUTEST EVER!

The weather has turned cold here, pretty soon we'll be out picking pumpkins for painting and carving. I'm looking forward to getting my October ASD kit with some fabulous fall papers. I should go work out, but I think I'll grab a blanket and curl up with a magazine instead!

Ava in the wave pool

Ava in the wave pool

A perfect landing!

A perfect landing!