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Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Year's Top 10

Morning everyone!

I was blog hopping this morning and visited the blog of my sweet friend Sarah.  Met Sarah years ago when we were both teaching up at a Scrapbook store in Noblesville, IN.  Miss her!  Anyway, Sarah posted her top ten of the year and I thought I would do the same.  Love looking back at the layouts I have created and the memories they bring back. There are a few that I really love that I can't share right now but I promise to post those as soon as I can. Hope you enjoy this look back too.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Back Home

Happy Tuesday everyone!

We headed home to Wisconsin to visit my parents for Christmas this year. There were so many things to get ready and pack in the car.  
  • Piles and Piles and Piles of Presents-check
  • Suitcases-check
  • Enough car stuff to keep the girls busy for 5 weeks-check
  • Camera-check
  • Memory Card for Camera-NO!!!

I could have cried.  I had it in my camera but had to take some photos of my projects and forgot my card in the computer.  Luckily my brilliant 12 year old decided to bring her camera.  A few of the photos are kind of grainy but so glad to have them.  

We got to spend Friday night with some of our closest college friends and their boys.  We always have such a great time with both of them and we need to make sure that we don't let so much time pass before seeing them again.  I realized while we were together how much I have missed both of them.  Their twin boys are absolutely the best kids.  It has been several years since I saw them and they are just as sweet as the last time we saw them.  

Dinner ended and we weren't ready to say good-bye.  We asked one of the waitresses for a suggestion on a place we could take the kids in Fond Du Lac and she suggested a bowling alley just down the road.  Perfect!

L loved how slippery the bowling alley was in her bowling shoes so she proceeded to spin and spin and spin around the bowling alley.  It looked like so much fun, Jim decided to give it a try.  LOL

Christmas Eve has always meant getting together with my dad's side of the family.  Since we have such a big family they have started getting together in a hall close to many of my uncles and aunts.  Santa made an appearance early in the evening.

He even had gifts for some of the cousins including moi.  He told me I had to smile for the pictures so everyone would have blackmail photos. haha.  I figured I would post it first. LOL

Now today I get to put everything away and get some laundry done but first I have a layout to share with you.  Did this layout before we left last week.  Believe it or not, this was a Christmas gift for my girls from their grandparents last year.  They got certificates to take a hot air balloon ride this last summer.Cool huh?  

I used some of the great Trendsetter papers from Webster's Pages for this layout and the cool hot air balloon was a Webster's Pages digi element.   Love being able to just print and use those any time I want!

I downloaded some goodies from Pink Paislee as well.  The Snow Day kit was WAY too adorable to pass up.  I created my new blog header using the kit and can't wait to create some projects with it in the next couple of weeks!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Have a safe and happy New Years!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time to Breathe

Happy Monday everyone!

Ahhh...that is the sound of me exhaled. LOL  I finally feel like I can finally breathe.  This last week has been a busy one for K (which also means her mama).  Several months ago, she decided to try out for the school play. The play was High School Musical and she has always loved that movie and the music.  She didn't want a big part, just one of the ensemble parts.  And so, she has been practicing after school several days a week for the last couple of months to play the part of one of the "skater dudes".  Both sets of grandparents were able to come see her.  (sorry for the bad photos, we were 40 minutes early and still had to sit quite a ways back). 

 K has been taking piano lessons since September and had her first piano recital on Thursday night. (more bad lighting. Sorry.)

On top of this, she had finals this week.  Three of the tests were on Friday and three more today.  So far she has done well.  I am hoping today goes as well as Friday.  She seemed very confident this morning as I dropped her off.

Keeping with giving you ideas for fast and easy Christmas gift wrap ideas, I have one more to share with you today.

We had a gorgeous photo inspiration at Emma's this week.  I am a sucker for pink red and white together.  :)

Here are my projects I made based on this wonderful photo. You can find the supplies here.

Have you tried these Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Squares?  Oh man, they are heavenly!!!

I will probably not have a chance to post again before Christmas so I want to wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas.  I hope you get to spend time with those that you love.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another busy weekend done

You know, there is a part of me that is so ready for Christmas just so I can relax.  The other side of me is screaming "There is still SO MUCH to do!"

So we hosted a bunch of goofy 5th graders for L's party this weekend.  They were definitely a funny group with A LOT of energy! LOL So when I asked them if I could get their picture, this is what I got. (their thinking pose)

They definitely enjoyed the hot cocoa bar.  We went through A LOT of whip cream.  :)

I have another quick and easy gift wrap idea to share with you today.  I don't know about you, but this time year I get so busy that it is hard to find time to get crafty. These cute little boxes took me only minutes to create which is a definite plus.  As a middle schooler K has 8 teachers that she wants to give gifts to and that can add up to lots of money.  So I found these cute little boxes of Stover's chocolates at Target. I then set out to make them a bit more special. I started by wrapping each one in kraft colored paper.  I then wrapped them in either gold or red ribbon and embellished them with goodies from Creative Charms.

 I used one of the gorgeous red velvet poppies for this gift and a few berries I picked up last year at Hobby Lobby for cheap right after Christmas.

 After tying a bow on this one I simply attached a Vintage Metal Frame to it. Easy Peasy (as my girls would say)

More clearance berries and a Christmas Twinkle Sticker on this one.

Hope I was able to give you some gift wrap ideas today.  Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I can't tell you how much it means to me!  Have a wonderful week!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Sounds of Christmas

Because my children were not busy enough, they have both decided that they want to learn an instrument.  K has started piano and will have a recital next week.  L started playing flute through school and they had their band concert last night.  The great news is that the flute players sit in the front row so I could actually get some pictures! Ha!

Two of L's closest friends are also in band so we had to make sure that we got some pictures with them also. I really enjoy L's friends, this one is such a sweetie!  

And when these two are together they make me laugh so hard I am crying.  Their flute wars show they created one afternoon (when they were supposed to be practicing) had me rolling on the floor!

As promised, I have another gift bag idea.  This one is super simple and easy to put together.  The great thing about these kind of gift bags, is that they take little time but add a bit of extra care to the gift you are giving.  

Kraft gift bag
Season's Greetings paper by Echo Park
Lost & Found Christmas tags
Red Polka Dot paper

Have a great weekend everyone!  Check back on Monday for another gift wrap idea.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What a Fun Weekend

Morning everyone!

What a great weekend!  Although it was quite busy, (3 soccer games, 1 gymnastics meet and a Christmas party) it was a lot of fun.  It was L's first meet of the season and she did great.  She got 6th place on her beam routine and 8th on vault.  So very happy she has found a gym that she loves. K had 3 soccer games this weekend, one on Friday night and 2 on Sunday.  I am so amazed at how her game has improved over the last year.  Travel soccer games are so much fun to watch too. Man, they are fast paced!

As for K's party, it was a hit.  What a great group of girls!  I tried to stay close enough to hear what was going on but out of their way (got lots of laundry folded in the laundry room which is conveniently located close to the kitchen LOL) I was so impressed with their conversations. Definitely goofy but all completely positive. Not once did I feel the need to step in and redirect them.  They were loud and silly and quite adorable.

I have a ton of gift boxes, bags and wraps to show you over the next couple of weeks.  The first one is a box I created for Emma's Paperie.

This box was super quick and easy to make. It is the perfect size for cupcakes or Christmas cookies.   I started with one of these boxes. I covered each side with turquoise pattern paper and cut a few strips of  red pattern paper to put around the window.  I added white cardstock at the bottom for snow and added some glitter for sparkle.  Then simply used these stickers to embellish it.

Have a fabulous week everyone!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Party on

Happy Friday everyone!

We have been busy working on getting ready for a Christmas party each of the girls are going to have for their friends.  It has been a bit of added stress during a busy time but I admit that it was my idea.  We did this a few years ago when we lived in Carmel.  I would really like to get to know the girls' friends better and this is the perfect way.  K is quite busy with soccer practices several nights a week, play practice and piano so she really doesn't have a lot of time to have friends over.   I have actually MET all of the girls that are going to be coming to the party (many of them at church-LOVE THAT) but it has been in passing with most of them.  So K's party is tomorrow and L's is next Saturday.  I know her friends a little bit better but it will still be fun to see them in this environment.  You learn a lot about girls when they are in a group, that is for sure!

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the ideas I found with all of you.  The girls and I made small gifts for each of their friends that will be here.  I found this recipe for creating your own lip gloss.  We used the first recipe but tried the last one.  Because it is mostly petroleum jelly, we felt it was too slimy. We actually cut the petroleum jelly back to 1/2 tsp. in the recipe.  You can find the paraffin wax and coconut oil at the grocery store. I found some small containers at Amazon and then we added labels to the top.  

We are also making necklaces out of decorative stones I spray painted white. The girls are then going to paint them to look like peppermint candies. We are going to wrap them and then attach them to a black cord necklace.  I will take a picture as soon as I can.  My sample turned out looking pretty cute.  Then we are going to have a hot cocoa bar (add your own cinnamon candies, marshmallows, sprinkles, etc) while they do a small gift exchange. We end the party with the movie Elf or a game if they want instead.

My sweet friend Audrey is the master of holiday decorating and always shares pictures of her home all decorated for the holidays (and I am not talking JUST Christmas!)  She suggested I take some pictures so I thought I would share a couple with you. Our mantle decked out for the holidays.  I would really love something more Christmas-y  to replace my Greek map during the holidays. Mmmm...may need that to my list. :)

And then there is my table in the entry. That bowl of pine cones provides a wonderful cinnamon smell as you walk into our house.

Of course I can't leave without sharing a project.  If you are not too swamped with Christmas preparations, we would love for you to join us for the newest challenge over at Challenge Me Happy!  You could win a great prize from Artfull Crafts.  Make sure to stop by and check out the awesome color combination Annelie gave us for this challenge and the wonderful layouts by all the other designers.  I have to say I am absolutely thrilled about how this photo of K and my mom turned out.  We were at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago waiting to get into one of the programs when I snapped this photo.  The lighting was terrible and the resulting photo was not great.  There was this awful yellow glow over them.  But thanks to my amazing Adobe Photoshop program I was able to really fix it up.  So here is my layout for the challenge.

Have a wonderful week and thank you so much for stopping by!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Happy Monday everyone!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I am thankful that everyone was able to make it over to our house even though the flu bug hit.  My sweet nieces were not feeling 100% but we enjoyed the time with them anyway.  Hoping everyone here can stay healthy.  

It is amazing how Thanksgiving seems to instantly get us in the mood for Christmas.  The Christmas tunes are playing on the radio, I have been getting decorations out and I have been messing with my blog a bit to update the theme.  I do like the background but I am not happy with the header.  Will have to play with that a bit more.  The other thing I have been playing with this morning is not really Christmas related but lots of fun anyway.  I may be one of the last to update my browser but I am finally getting up to date.  DH loaded Google Chrome onto my computer and I discovered Pixlr-o-matic.  This is going to be bad news! LOL  I took some pictures of L on the trampoline a couple of weeks ago and here is one I played with this morning.  I can't wait to scrap these. :)


Speaking of scrapping, I have been doing a lot more layouts lately.  This layout was so much fun to create. K got a cell phone this summer for her birthday.  She had been wanting one but is such a great kid she didn't beg.  I really do love this about my girls.  We have tried to really instill an attitude of gratitude in both of them, to realize that we are so incredibly blessed and have so much.  I love that they do not beg for a whole lot, but it does make finding gifts for them hard.  I don't mind though. :)   It has been a while since I have had a chance to play with my Sizzix.  I used the Purse, Shoe, Phone set to create the cell phone on the layout. 

Check back in a few days, there will be a new challenge posted at Challenge Me Happy and a new Creative Charms kit for December as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I am really thankful for all of you!  Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Beautiful Fall

Happy 3 days before Thanksgiving! LOL  We have been busy getting ready for the holidays. Everything is sparkly clean and now I just need to get the grocery shopping done. 

There has been talk about a really harsh winter but I have to say, it has been a gorgeous fall.  I took the girls out a few weeks ago to get our yearly fall pictures.  There are so many times I try to get pictures of the girls and get those corny, glazed over smiles (I am working on that!) LOL but there have been times lately when they get spontaneous and ask me to take pictures of poses they come up with. Yes,  some of those poses are quite cheesy, but once in a while you get a good one. I loved this photo of my oldest DD as soon as I saw it loaded on my computer.   

I decided the journaling needed to be about changes.  I have seen such big changes in K and I have to admit, I really like having a middle schooler.  Yes, maybe there are a few mood swings but I also love the conversations we can now have.    

You can find a full supply list here

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I am truly thankful for all of you.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Challenge Me Happy #11

Happy Tuesday everyone!

It time for a brand new challenge over at the Challenge Me Happy blog and Annelie has found another very cool photo as this week's inspiration. This is the inspiration photo.  Pretty cool huh?

So many ideas floated through my head as soon as I saw this photo but then I found these photos. This is what I came up with for the challenge.  (please excuse the slightly warped look.  It is all straight IRL)

Look how young K looks in that picture!  Anyway, I loved the size and texture of the word LOVE and went from there for my inspiration.  I created the Lego blocks by cutting a rectangle out of cardstock and then punching circles out of the same cardstock.  I layered 4 circles on each connector to give it dimension.

We would love to have you join us for this week's challenge.  You have until November 29th to create a project based on the photo and link it up on the Challenge Me Happy blog. You could win an awesome kit from Molly's Scrapbooking!  Good luck! Can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We have winners!

Morning everyone!

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by for the Blog Hop. As promised, here are the winners for my blog.  Everyone that posted this weekend was entered to win and those who chose to follow me got a second chance at the drawing. 

The first name drawn and winner of the distressed gift box is...


Winner #2 is Scrappygail!

Winner #3 is Patti Ross!

And the final winner is Renae!

Congratulations ladies!!! Please send e-mail me your addresses and will get your prizes out to you!

There is a new Deal and Kit for the month of November that I wanted to share with you. 

·        Christmas Twinkle Stickers – 10 Pieces
·        Christmas Vintage Metal Frames – 6 Pieces
·        Red Fuzzy Daisy Medley – 2 Pieces
·        Green Braided Daisy Medley – 4 Pieces
·        Red Braided Daisy Medley – 4 Pieces
·        Forest Green Vintage Poppies – 8 Pieces
·        Red Vintage Poppies – 8 Pieces
Everything for Only $14.99 (Regular $24.43)

·        Red & Green Vintage Jewels – 12 Pieces
·        Holiday Gradient Gem Stickers – 76 Pieces
·        18” Red Vintage Velvet Ribbon
·        18” Green Wide Fancy Polka Dot Ribbon
·        18” Red Wide Fancy Polka Dot Ribbon
·        Green Gradient Gem Brads– 12 Pieces
·        Red Gradient Gem Brads – 12 Pieces
·        Red Vintage Gem Brads – 9 Pieces
·        Red Pure Blossoms – 14 Pieces
Everything for Only $6.99 (Regular $20.42)

Today is also the reveal over at Challenge Me Happy.  This week's challenge was ANYTHING GOES.  Make sure you stop by and check out how to participate in this awesome challenge.  So here is my layout for the challenge. 

The envelopes hold a letter to my girls.  They really are the best and I think sometimes in the rush that is life I don't tell them this enough. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  Have a wonderful week!!!