Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blast From the Past: Sanibel Island Scrapbook

I have been dying to share something scrappy.  Unfortunately, A) much to my dismay, I haven't been scrapping much and B) one of the projects that I have been wanting to share hasn't been photographed yet.  

I could just say that I have been incredibly lazy, but that wouldn't exactly be the truth.  If you have been following me on Instagram, you know that I am all up in the middle of the Beachbody: 21 Day Fix.  I am not going to high-jack my crafty post with fitness, I will save that for another time, but I am truly hooked!

Back to scrapping!  I searched the archives and I don't believe that I have ever shared this album.  It is is my very first true scrapbook.  My parents took Zach and I to Sanibel Island, FL for three vacations since 2006.  I can honestly say that this is one of my happy places.  Sanibel is so very laid back and not over run with touristy stuff.  The city has passed an ordinance that there can be no building over two no high rise condos!!  The beaches are beautiful and don't even get me started on shelling there....Sanibel is known for the "Sanibel stoop".  Shells that I have collected from our trips are some of my most treasured souvenirs.  My mom also vacationed there as a young girl, so to me that makes it even more special.  

Even though this is my first, it is still one of my favorites.  It was a Christmas gift to my parents, so I have to look at it when I am there....but I do secretly wish it stayed with me! : )

Just in case anyone was wondering.  The book is from K & Company and all paper and embellishments are from the Alix line from Anna Griffin.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

snap.scrap.share. Thursdays w/ Katie Stories: May 2014

This month, snap.scrap.share. snuck right up on us.  Katie and I came to the conclusion that it must be because May started with a Thursday.  Luckily for me, Katie was on top of it - as usual.  Even though yesterday was her birthday, she still managed to get her post to me in plenty of time....that my friends is dedication!

Katie Stories

I am really excited for Katie's post today.  I doubt that many of you are like me, but the extent of what I can do myself on my blog stretches to actually typing a post and adding some pictures...anything more advanced than that, and I am calling for help!  With this easy to follow tutorial on watermarks, I can add another task to my "Yes, I can" list.  As a side note, Katie walked me through this months ago, but I am so glad to now have it all down in writing because I am fairly certain that I would struggle to conquer watermarks again without it!


Happy Thursday!

Last month, I was not in a very crafty mood. And this month, I haven't been very much either. There's been a lot going on, and I just haven't had as much time to get into my scrap room. I'm hoping once I finish grading everything for the end of the year, I'll have more free time.

So, with nothing crafty going on around here, I was trying to think of something else important and fun that I could share. And recently, I changed a few things around on my blog, including my watermark. I love being able to change it so easily to match whatever is going on on my blog at the moment.

And that's how I ended up with this watermarking tutorial, so you can create your own personal watermark!

Step 1 | Getting started
Go to and click on collage {blue arrow}. You won't actually be making one, so you can just collage with their pictures {yellow arrow}.

Step 2 |  Create a transparent background

Click on the pallet {red arrow}, then transparent background {purple arrow}. This is your transparent canvas now. Go to edit {blue arrow} to start making your watermark.

Step 3 | Create your watermark.

I usually just type for my watermarks {orange arrow}. Now is also the time to crop your canvas to fit your watermark {pink arrow}. When its ready, click on save {purple arrow}.

Step 4 | Save it

Make sure you save as a png to preserve the transparent background! After you save it, it will bring you back to your edit screen. I usually like to save a white version of my watermark too (just change the color of the font) because sometimes white works best with your photos, sometimes black does!

Step 5 | Open your picture

Open the picture you want to watermark {green arrow}, click on the pretty butterfly {purple arrow} and choose your own {pink arrow}. Open up your watermark (from wherever you saved it).

Step 6 |  Watermark it

Drag your watermark to wherever you want it {orange arrow}. I like to put it at 50% fade so it blends in {blue arrow}. Now share your picture wherever you want!

Do you like to create your own blog updates - headers, watermarks, buttons? What is your favorite way to make them?


Thank you so much, Katie!  I feel quite sure that this tutorial will help others like me that have computer fright as far as their blogs go...OK, maybe that is only me?!?!?  If you are new to snap.scrap.share. and would like to see Katie's crafty goodness - Project Life, scrapbooking and crafts, not to mention yummy recipes, be sure to visit her blog Katie Stories.  Thanks for stopping by today! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Baby, Get Your SHINE On

I figured that is was probably time for me to share where I have been lately (other than here, because we all know that I have been majorly MIA).  Get comfy, cause this may be a long one.  Also you have been may learn way more about me than you ever cared to know.  For more of my life than not, I have been a "fat girl".  For those of you in my shoes, please don't take offense at my choice of terms.  There have been times when I have more than embraced my curves...and to hell with anyone that didn't like them.  But if I can be truly honest here, there is always that little voice in the back of mind reminding me that my weight isn't healthy and there is better and stronger version of me dying to "SHINE" through (we will talk more about SHINE later).

If I am going to tell the whole story then I should also include that in 2005 shortly before I separated from my now ex-husband, I lost a whopping 70 pounds in just over 5 months.  I did it right - I was in the gym 5-6 days a week and I was eating like a champ.  I was also working out with a trainer 3 days a week.  When I hit the 70 lb mark, I was on top of the world.  I felt stronger than I had in years and I had confidence again.  Fast forward about 6 months and my life pretty much blew up....things were turned upside down and the pounds slowly started to creep back.  In short I ended up gaining back all but about 10 pounds of what I had worked so hard to lose.

I have an unhealthy relationship with food....bottom line.  And sadly there is very seldom gray area for me.  I am either totally in beast mode or totally out of control.  I am an emotional eater...I eat when I am upset, I eat when I think I am bored (which in my crazy life should be never) I eat to short, I love to eat and frequently, it has been all the wrong things.

Sometime around the beginning of the year some of the ladies at my office started a 90 day weight loss challenge and I jumped on the wagon.  One thing I do know about myself 100%....I can't jump start myself to tackle something as huge as my weight loss based on someone else's time frame no matter how much I try to convince myself otherwise.  I did not get my mind right until about a week before the final weigh in.....welcome to the party sister....yes, I am talking to myself.  In my defense, I joined a gym in February.  Of course it wasn't scheduled to open until the first week of March...which actually became the middle of March....grrrrr!!!  As I was not so patiently waiting for the gym to be completed, I reached out to be dear friend Megan and asked her about her SIL's fitness program and how I might get in touch with her.  

Being the horrible procrastinator that I am, I didn't contact her right away...I let things simmer.  I finally spoke with her, got signed up and have been going strong ever since...going on 10 weeks now. Heather Martinez is the master mind behind Camp Miss Fit....a women only fitness camp.  I can honestly say that Heather is helping me change my life...she is truly amazing.  One of the many things that I love about her is that she knows first hand what it is like to be overweight.  At her heaviest she was 326 lbs.  She has lost 175 lbs and kept it off for 8+ years.  In my mind that makes her totally relatable.  She has been there, she knows what I, and the rest of the ladies are going through and obstacles we face on a daily basis.  And we talk about it all...the good, the bad, the ugly.  She addresses it all and helps us with solutions every step of the way.  She only asks that we come to class and give it our all.  She is always positive and motivating...each and every class.  She makes me want to be a better version of myself and most importantly she believes in all of us and what each one of us is capable of...not just today but in the future.  In my eyes, the support and motivation is priceless.  If you happen to be in the Arlington/Mansfield area and are interested in giving Camp Miss Fit a try contact me or Heather on her Facebook page here for more information. She has both morning and evening classes during the week as well as Saturday morning.

I guess I got a little carried away...sorry!  In addition to Camp Miss Fit  three days a week, I am also at the gym 2-3 days a week for strength training and cardio.  I want to be totally honest, my progress has been slow and it has been beyond frustrating....I still have a really long way to go and I still struggle with food on a pretty much daily basis.  But it IS getting easier.  I have not had a Diet Coke or any other soft drink for that matter for 10 weeks now.  It is getting easier to make better = healthier choices.  I still slip, but instead of letting it completely derail me I get back up, dust myself off and get right back on the wagon.  I am human after all.  As of last Saturday I have lost just over 15 lbs and 10.5".  
Heather and I after a Saturday morning class
I feel like I am working really hard and my natural instinct is to beat myself up that things are not progressing as quickly as they were when I did this eight years ago, but let's face it - I am no Spring chicken...I am well into in my 40's.  My metabolism is is going to take extra effort to get where I want to be.  Where is that exactly, you may ask....well I am not sure.  I am taking this whole thing in baby steps....trying to celebrate each little hurdle I conquer.  But honestly at this point I am not sure what the ultimate goal is....I just know that I am striving to get there - to that better, healthier version of me.

Finally, since I learned a couple years ago about the One Little Word craze I have been intrigued,  In 2013 I chose Document.  This was directly related to my scrapbooking and getting more pictures out of storage and into completed albums.  I did not do as well as I wanted, but I did make a small dent.  I digress...for 2014, I silently chose my word.  I didn't shout it from the rooftops or even announce it anywhere.  My One Little Word for 2014 is SHINE and I know that announcing it 4+ months into the year is pretty chicken sh#t, but let's be honest.  I was scared to put it out there and risk publicly letting myself down once again, announcing that I wanted/needed time to take care of myself which in turn I hope is going to not only make me a better me, but a better and stronger mom to my amazing son.  I deserve that and Heaven knows he deserves it.  So yes, 2014 is my year to SHINE...I am taking the time to invest in me (and yes, that means being away from my son more than I would like), but the end result promises to be worth each and every precious minute I spend on my quest to SHINE.

I warned you this was going to take awhile.  If you made it to the end, thank you so much for sticking with it.  I wanted to let everyone know what was taking up so much of my time recently.  Although my little slice of the blog world is not going to be primarily focused on my weight loss journey, I do hope to check in every few weeks with an update on how things are going.  Thank you so much for stopping by!