Sunday, February 24, 2013

Not An Excuse, Just The Facts

I have been here a lot less than I would have liked.  Life is a bit crazy right now, and unfortunately I don't see a break in the very near future.  It isn't all bad though....let me explain.  I found a new place for Zach and I to  live.  It is within my budget and more importantly right in the school district where we were hoping to be.  I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have this piece of the puzzle solved without worrying whether or not we could get him a transfer...Hallelujah!

The new place is a duplex.  Our portion is on the corner, so we have a little yard in the front and side.  Best part about it, the landlord maintains it!!!!  There are only two bedrooms so that means no scraproom...I am REALLY sad about this, but I am going to do my best to create a little scrap corner with a little desk and hopefully some storage...yes, Ikea Expedit I am talking to you!  There is a TWO CAR GARAGE!!!!  Can't tell you how excited I am about that detail.  I rent a garage where I am now, and it is nice to be able to protect my car from the weather, but it is detached so it is across the lot from our place.

The packing has begun, but with that being said in a small apartment it doesn't take much for the place to look out of control.  Trust me, it is approaching that point and FAST!  If you don't believe me, take a look...

Boxes and messes everywhere!
Blank walls are appearing everywhere....I HATE blank walls
A virtually empty bookshelf, more boxes..complete with a Jack photo bomb!
 As of Friday, I will have two rent payments.  The new landlord would only hold the duplex until March 1st and my lease is not up until April 28th.  There were not a lot of places in this zip code that were in my budget and nice and after talking with my mom we decided to jump on the duplex....too good to pass up!  The huge plus side to this is that I can take my time to move.  I am hoping by the end of next weekend that everything that I have packed so far will be over at the new place.  By the time I am ready for the movers to get the big stuff, I am hoping that the majority of the stuff will already be over there.  So like I said, for the next eight weeks my weekends are going to be filled with packing and trips back and forth across town.

I also almost forgot to mention that as of March 8th, I will be the only support person in my department at work.  HOLY MOLY!!!!  Definitely some OT potential, but also pretty crazy "I am going to lose my mind" potential.  It is just the start to our busy season and it runs through June.  I am going to do my best to keep my chin up and keep a good attitude, but honestly - I am kind of freaking out.  There is a lot on my plate!

On a crafty note...I was determined to get my Chicago scrapbook done before I had to pack my scrap stuff up and with the exception of not knowing what to put in that little pocket on the front cover - I AM DONE!!!  One down and three to go for 2013.  Here is a peek at the cover page...

I know I have shared quite a bit of the album already, but I am hoping to take pictures of the whole thing and get it posted sometime this coming week.  I hope that you all will bare with me as I may be absent more than I am here in the next couple of months.  However, the only part of my scrapping stuff that is not going into a box is....DRUMROLL, PLEASE.....Project Life.  I have a sneaky suspicion that it may FINALLY make it's debut.  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Been 2 Years & In Focus Friday: February 2013

Happy Friday!  I don't know about you guys, but I am so ready for the weekend.  Since last year I completely forgot this date, I thought that this time around, I should at least make is my Two Year Blogiversary!!!  I cannot believe that two years have passed since I bit the bullet and decided to give this blogging thing a try.  I am not, nor will I probably ever be a super consistent blogger.....I have great weeks and some not so great weeks.  But do I love it.....most definitely and more than that I love the connections that I have made.  I feel so blessed to have "met" some of the most amazing women!  Thank you to each and every one of you that take time out of you day to stop by and visit and/or truly means the world to me!

With less than a week to go in February, it is time for:


Kaeley is a proud new aunt and I am gathering, the official hospital photographer.  I am sure that it is wonderful to have a great photographer in the family!  In case you are in need if a Friday newborn fix, you have come to the right place.  Kaeley did a great job of capturing some special moments of Easton's birth day. 

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." - Anonymous

Blessings.  Babies are complete blessings.  I had the pleasure this week of spending time with my family at a local hospital, awaiting the arrival of the newest little man.  My sister-in-law, and best friend, has been waiting for this day for a long time.  I couldn't have been more thrilled to be able to be there to support her.

My nieces were all excited to meet their new cousin - well the oldest and youngest ones were at least!  Taryn, the middle child, wasn't too interested in the new baby.  They did just about as good as could be expected while waiting.

Little Mr. made his appearance just before 6 o'clock - a healthy 8 lb 4 oz baby boy!

Hospital rooms are quite a challenge to get good pictures - especially at night.  This one had fairly decent light, but it was still work.  I can't begin to explain how excited I was to photograph his first hours . . . including his first bath!

Unfortunately, his daddy didn't make it to the hospital before he arrived, but he was there before too long.

I cannot wait to share more pictures of my newest love - and get lots of snuggles in (when Nana isn't hogging him!).

Yep, the photographer snuck one in of herself!

"A baby is God's opinion that life should go on" - Carl Sandburg

Thank you, Kaeley for sharing your sweet little nephew....boys really are the best! : )

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories: February 2013

It's that time again......Third Thursday Scrapbook Stories with Katie!  Just like someone else I know, Katie is about to be up to her ears in moving boxes.  Whereas I will just be going across town, Katie and her fiance AJ are making a huge move from Chicago to Baton Rouge, LA.  What an adventure!  I am thrilled that she is going to be closer to Texas....still a long drive, but much better.  Katie and I WILL meet eventually...I just know it!  She hasn't had much time to scrap lately, but she did go back through some of her completed albums and shared some of her favorite much fun is that!!!!


Hi everyone!

I can't believe that it is already the end of the month! I feel like I say that every month...lately time is just flying by!

Recently, Julie mentioned matting photos in layouts. Which lead to a discussion about how we both used to, but we don't anymore (or at least, not as often!)

And it got me thinking about how my style has changed over the years.

Most of my "old" scrapbooks are still home in New York. But I did have ones from 2008-2012 here in Chicago. Of course, I pulled them all out and went for a little trip down memory lane!

I pulled 4 layouts. One from each of the books I have here in Chicago to share with you guys today!

This layout is from 2008 (when I was still in!) My family went to visit Acadia National Park in Maine. I was so proud of myself for using the map of the park on the page!

This 2010 layout was actually the first one I ever shared on my blog! I loved the patterned paper and how it looked like a mish mash of other patterned papers. At this point, I was super uncomfortable mixing patterns myself. I usually just used patterned paper as a base, then put my pictures on top.

Ah! More patterned paper. This time, I combined it all myself. This layout is from 2011. I love that I started journaling more.

I know you guys have seen this one already, but it is my favorite 2012 layout. The patterns, the washi tape. All of the photos! I just love it!

After looking at all of these, I realized I love patterned paper and lots of pictures on my layouts. I'm also really glad that I've started journaling more, I wish I had journaled on my old pages more, it would have been fun to read what I may have written!

Do you ever go back through your old layouts? How has your style evolved, and what has stayed the same?

I hope you enjoyed seeing Katie's layouts....I know that I did.  I love how everyone has their own distinct style.  Katie and I's styles are similar in that we don't go overboard on embellishments and we love to use lots of pictures on our pages.  That is probably what drew me to Katie's layouts in the first place.  Great minds DO think alike!  In between packing boxes this weekend, I hope to put the finishing touches on my Chicago scrapbook and possibly get the whole thing posted  next week.  We will see how that goes...I have a few simple embellishments on a couple of pages as well as the cover page and that is it!

Monday, February 18, 2013

25 Things You Just Have To Know About Me....or not

I was tagged by fellow blogger Brianne from Briantics.  I "met" Brianne when I was co-hosting the Sunday Snaps link up.  A newborn photo of one of her sons was featured one week.  

The purpose is just to share some random facts about yourself and then tag other bloggers so that they can get in on the action.  So here goes....probably more than you ever wanted to know.....

1. Where were you born? Ft. Thomas, KY.....a perfect little town.  Somedays, I wish that I still lived there, but honestly, I am a Texas girl at heart!

2. Were you named after someone? No, but I have a sneaky suspicion that my middle name has everything to do with the holidays - NOEL....two days after Christmas.

3. If you have children, how many do you have? I have a son.  I can't remember  life without him.  He is twelve going on twenty five, but he keeps me on my toes and we laugh....a lot!

4. How many pets do I have? 2 cats - Jack, who makes me question my love of cats on a daily basis, and sweet Jessi who thanks to Jack probably wishes my parents had left her as an outdoor roaming stray (due to Jack's endless full body slams)

5. What was your worst injury? When I was just a baby my leg was broken and in a little cast.  My leg got caught in a chair and when my dad went to pick me up it broke.  I was already crying prior to it happening so they didn't realize it until about two or three days later when I was crawling with one leg in the air....What the What???

6. Do I have a special talent? Sadly.....I don't think that I do.

7. What's your favorite thing to bake?  Ummmm....when God was handing out the baking (and coking for the matter) gifts, I slept through my alarm. 

8. What's your favorite fastfood? Bean burritos from Taco Bueno with lots of jalapenos

9. Would I bungee jump? Maybe, if I was jumping with someone else and they forced us off the platform...not sure I could make myself do it alone.  I feel the same way about skydiving.  Something tells me that once I did it, I would absolutely love it though.

10. What is the first thing you notice about people? For lack of a better description I would have to say their "vibe".  Are they warm and inviting or do they come off as cold and standoffish.  It is true what they never have a second chance to make a first impression.   

11. When was the last time I cried? got me.  I cried watching The Biggest Loser last week.  And honestly, that happens most weeks.

12. Any current worries? I have been consumed with finding a new place to live in the district where I want my son to go to junior high and high school....GULP!

13. Name three drinks you drink regularly. Water, Diet Coke (shame on me), wine

14. What is your favorite book? Same Kind of Different As Me (seriously moved me) and Bloom by Kelle Hampton 

15. Would you like to be a pirate? I would have to say no

16. What are your favorite smells? Candles - white chocolate, cinnamon, Sensual Amber from Bath & Body Works, Perfume - Allure, Flower Bomb and Candy

17. Why do you blog? It started out as kind of an online journal and has now transformed into a place to showcase my scrapbooking.  I have also been so blessed to meet many amazing women!

18. What song do you want played at your funeral? Well, considering A Beautiful Day by U2 is my all time favorite song - hence the name of my blog, that one is a must.  I guess really not very funeral worthy, but it would make anybody that really knew me smile. 

19. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? I over analyze EVERYTHING.  It is a horrible trait and I would do most anything to turn off that part of my brain.  It not only drives me crazy, but those close to me as well.

20. What is your favorite hobby? Hands down scrapbooking.  I just started getting into it about 6 years ago, but now I can honestly say that I am hooked.  My son is twelve so that will kind of give you some idea of just how far behind I am.

21. What do you look for in a friend? Someone that is genuine and compassionate.  Is willing to listen but also real enough to tell me when I am full of sh#t as well.

22. Name something you have done you never thought you would do.  Have tattoos.  I have wanted them for a really long time but never thought I would do it.  Got my first one at 37...have three now and would love to get more.

23. What are your favorite things to do? Spend time with my son...I know that soon he is not going to want to have anything to do with his mom - he IS practically a teenager.  Scrapbooking and hanging out with friends.

24. Any pet peeves? I hate it when people wait until the last minute to get over when the freeway is backed up - it is like they think that for some reason where they are trying to get to is so much more important than everyone else that is stuck in the same traffic.  It burns me up and yes, road rage happens.  Luckily, I am not packing  I also hate it when people smack when they eat.  There are no words to describe the things that run through my head when I am around that.

25. What's the last thing that made you laugh? My son....I don't know exactly what it was but he has a wicked little sense of humor and makes me laugh on a daily basis.  I adore that about him!

And there you have it.......25 random tidbits of info about moi'!  Thank you, Brianne for tagging me!

In return, I am tagging these fabulous ladies.  Stop by their won't be disappointed!

Katie from Katie Stories

Kaeley from My Mind's Lens

Megan from The House of Martinez

Heather from Our Life In A Click

Becky from Fourth House on the Right

Mary Jo from Scrapbook Treehouse

Tracy from Tracy's Treasures

Cyn from The Racy Redhead

Sarah from Love Sarah K

Nicole from Three 31

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

More Chicago Layouts

As far as scrapping goes, I had a pretty productive weekend.  I completed four double page layouts...all on Sunday.  Other than a couple of finishing touches on a few pages, I only have two pages to complete.  I am pretty excited as my goal for the year is to complete four albums, or one every three months.  I am very aware that the potential move in the next couple of months is likely to throw me off track, so being a bit ahead of schedule feels really good!

The day before we were heading home from this trip - which happened to be St. Patrick's Day, we decided to do a "bar crawl".  Once I was done feeling yucky from the heat - bar three to be exact - I was ready to join in on the fun.  We had a great time and with the exception of a couple of questionable drink choices  it was a day/evening to remember!  I think that I have enjoyed doing these pages the most, but the whole book  has had me reliving the trip and bringing back such great memories and isn't that what scrapbooking is all about?

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I had these all cropped and up close like the first one, but apparently Photobucket had other ideas....sorry!  I really am trying to do better with the layout pics.  I probably won't be posting WOYWW tomorrow....the desk is pretty boring right now since everything was packed from my crop day at my friend's Sunday, but we will see.  Hopefully the next time you see Chicago layouts, it will be the book in it's entirety!  I did not mat near as many pictures as I normally do in this book.  For you scrappers out you mat the photos in your layouts or not?  Inquiring minds want to know.  The pictures for my next book - 245 to be exact, are sorted and the paper pad that I have been dying to work with, K& Company Que Sera Sera is purchased - bring it on!  Hope you are having a great week!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snail Mail.....ROCKS!

If the truth be told, I don't remember when I signed up to exchange snail mail with fellow blogger Jennifer from Busy Being Jennifer.   But was so excited when I opened my mailbox one day and found  among the junk mail a real live letter, hand written in a super cute card!

It is so rare any more to actually receive something like this.  With all the hustle and bustle that everyone is contending with in their daily life, it is hard to make yourself sit down and hand write a note to someone...and don't even get me started on coming up with the stamp and actually getting it to the post office.  But once you carve out the time, it is so worth it!

Jennifer started the Texans Who Blog Facebook page that I am a member of and she was the first blogger that I met IRL.  She is a sweetheart and so willing to help out her fellow bloggers.  She has walked me through many a freak out session when I couldn't figure out how to make something work.  Anyway, I am so grateful to her for starting the FB page.  Because of her, I have managed to meet so many lovely ladies from the blogging community!

Jennifer and I'
First DFW Blogger meet up that I co-hosted with Sarah and Taylor
Sorry, I digress.  Since there was no set time schedule on the snail mail it was kind of one of those things to expect when you least expect it,  and that just added to the fun.  The other thing I really love about this is it enables you to get to know a fellow blogger without spending a lot of moola.  I can only speak for myself, but I would love to participate in swaps all the time, but let's face can get rather spendy!!!!  

Would any of you like to exchange snail mail?  If so, leave me a note in the comments.

I am so excited to be crafting all day on Sunday with  a dear friend.  Hopefully, fun stuff to share next week. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I will make this short and sweet today.....not much has changed since last week.  The invitations are done and delivered and have been replaced by my favorite orange photo envelope.....SHUTTERFLY, and also some from CVS.  I have been getting some great print deals online, so in addition to the pictures that I desperately needed like yesterday (hello, four weeks worth of Project Life), I also finished printing pics for my next scrapbook and for a bunch of other pages that I want to document Project Life style from last year.

Do you have a crafty work area that you would like to share?  Make sure to click over and visit Julia at Stamping Ground.  But will be hooked!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Weekend Recap or....A Whole Lotta Random

I rarely do this kind of post, but we had a lot going on this weekend.  As I mentioned last week, I was hired to address some wedding invitations and they were due yesterday.  After spending some quality time with Zach, I sat down and got to writing.  I was on a roll and didn't stop until I got to the end.  I delivered them Saturday afternoon...TWO DAYS ahead of schedule.  If you know anything about me, that is unheard of!  My customer seemed pleased and summer camp is that much closer to be paid off.  SCORE!!!!

First type of envelopes
Second type with inner envelopes
All ready to deliver
I am moving in three months...possibly less, and am determined to not move a bunch of stuff that I no longer need or want.  That translates into a major organize and purge.The focus of the project for this weekend was closets and dressers.  There are no words to describe the former state of my was a disgrace!  With that being said, I had every intention of taking a before picture and knew that once I was finished I would have the courage to share, as the result would be quite epic.  MAJOR FAIL!  I was three quarters into the project before I remembered about the before photo.  The after will not be near as impressive now, but here is a glimpse anyway.

Sorry about that larger than life view of my brassiere
Much to my surprise...there really was a floor under all that mess!!!
All that remains are those two top shelves and those will be organized/condensed before the big move.  The result was 2.5 boxes of clothes, shoes and purses to donate so far - mine and Zachary's closets and his dresser.  I still have my dresser to go.  A charity will be picking up all of my stuff Saturday morning, so I will be getting everything else boxed up by then.

Since the move date is still very much up in the air, I thought it would be a good idea to get a jump on boxing up some things that I don't necessarily need on a regular basis, so in addition to all the purging that was accomplished, I got about six moving boxes packed as well.  It is going to be a little crazy, living with all the boxes that are sure to be accumulating in the coming weeks, but it will be all worth it  when I am not pulling my hair out because there is so much to still do at the end.  I am doing my best to keep it as orderly as possible.  Once the donation stuff has been removed, that will free up a lot of currently packed space.

To the left is all the donation items....including that crazy heavy television, as well as a 99% packed book shelf
all that remains is my jar of shells from Sanibel Island.....can't bare to pack them away just yet

Packed boxes complete with cat photo bombs
I am sure that some of you are wondering....why isn't she driving the clothing donations down herself?  Is she seriously lazy....making those people come and pick it up!?!?  Well the answer is addition to the boxes of clothing etc, there is also this huge relic of a TV (see above pic).  I kid you not, it weighs hundreds of pounds.  Besides the inconvenience of it's ridiculous weight it still has a fairly good picture and there is really nothing wrong with it.  I figure if there is someone out there without one, it could be   Which brings me around to my television situation.  I have not had cable for well over two years.  I got so sick of paying those ridiculous cable bills and so I gave it up.  I replaced it with Netflix and more recently Hulu Plus. I had no local channels.  For my birthday this year I got an awesome 40" TV that weighs about 30 pounds give or take.....HEAVEN!!!!!  Although I still don't have cable, with the help of an HD  cable and an antennae, I now have normal television once again and a pretty fabulous picture.

The point of that whole rambling paragraph was that to top off the crazy busy weekend, Zach and I got to watch the Super Bowl in the comfort of our own home.  I had really forgotten how much I enjoyed watching a good football game and I think that me screaming at the television pretty much freaked my child out.  I live in Texas but am not a Cowboy fan at all....blasphemy, I know!  I  was really impressed with Colin K.... the quarterback for the SF next season I will be cheering for the 49ers, win or lose.  Talk about blasphemy - a North Texas (pure Cowboy country)gal cheering on the 49ers.  Pure greatness!

Z and I being silly watching the game
Screen shot after the game
And finally,  I am not going to go into all the gory details but my son has gotten his electronics taken away until at least Friday and to say that he doesn't know what to do with himself is the understatement of the century.  Well apparently, 12 year old boys can bust out a Pinterest type project with the best of em.  Check it out....this is on his bedroom wall and actually pretty large.  Made totally out of Post-It Notes.

Post-It Notes does Mario
If you made it to the end of this crazy long, all over the place post, thank you for sticking with me!  I will be back tomorrow with my 5th, What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.  It has quickly become my favorite link ups EVA!!!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

First Mondays With Megan: February 2013 Edition

Where in the world did January go????  Megan and her hubby are taking some much needed R & R in the form of a week long Caribbean cruise, but before she left she shared this super cute and what appears to be fairly simple Valentine DIY that she stumbled upon.



DIY: Valentine's Fortune Cookies

In honor of Valentine's Day next week, I thought it was only fitting to create some "heart-y"crafts that are quick and easy with these paper fortune cookies. I found this great tutorial from Design. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.


  • Valentine-esque patterned paper

  • Glue

  • Various messages printed on white paper
Download the pattern which includes 4 patterned circles and 10 quotations, but you could also easily use your own patterned paper and create your own personalized sentiments.


For a complete package, pick up a Chinese take-out box container from your local craft or paper store and fill with your fortune cookies and a favorite treat.

Thank you so much, Megan, for finding and sharing this fun Valentine project.  The perfect little something for those of us that are getting a late start this year!


I had a crazy busy weekend, so I hope you will stop by tomorrow so I can fill you in on all the details.  Have a wonderful day!