Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Living Desert

A month ago we made our second crazy trip to Palm Springs. This time we went to visit David's step-mom & our kids' only great-grandmother (Mary). While there, we went to the Living Desert Zoo. It was well over 100 that morning (yes, I said morning), so needless to say we didn't last long! But we had a great time while we were there! We got to feed a baby giraffe, track animal footprints in the concrete, check out some snake skin, and the kids got to (*finally*) ride in the much coveted zoo stroller (that I'm always saying no to because we have our own...except in Palm Springs when the double stroller was too much to deal with!).

I used the some Lime Rickey (Basic Grey) paper I still had laying around for this, plus I sanded down some green Core'dinations cardstock from my May Kit. Sorry for the horrid picture! I usually scan in my layouts. However, my husband just put Windows 7 on our computer & we're still in the process of getting everything back on it. Just my opinion, but if you don't have Vista, and you're thinking of upgrading...don't! Ugh! I don't understand why Microsoft had to make this change. I don't like it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Anniversary to me!

And to David too :)

Nine years ago today we were married at San Jose First Covenant.

Hopefully we look better than the church does now

I wish I had some "real" wedding pictures to share, but I don't. We were married back in 2000, pre-digital everything. Heck, I remember that there were very few digital photographers then. And since cameras have changed dramatically in the last couple of years, I'm so thankful we didn't go digital then!

Anyhow, here's to nine years of marriage, the good, the bad, & the ugly. And here's to many more...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I need to get scrappin'!

All these posts lately & no layouts to show for it (well, no new ones).

Look how little they are! Almost three years time does fly!
So, another favorite from the past:


Do you love Thickers? I don't think my layouts are complete without them. I've always loved letter stickers. Then I started doing my titles on my computer, so I strayed for a while. But I love the flexibility & fun of thickers! Yum!

So I found out thru Two Peas in a Bucket that niecey62 is giving away a BUNCH of thickers on her blog. Woo-hoo! Leave a her a comment here & be entered to win.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trunk or Treat, pt 1

Our church hosts Trunk or Treat every year on the Sunday before Halloween. The past few years it's been in our church parking lot. I thought it was crazy, but hey, any mob when you're the one with toddlers is crazy!

This year they moved it back to the Roseville Speedway. It has been there before, but before we were at Bayside & had kids. Personally, I think it was less chaotic at church. At least in the parking lot people seemed to move in one direction only. Tonight everyone came in both directions, so you had to squeeze in to get anything. Fine if you're an older kid. Not so much when your 3 or 4.

But hey, the kids had a great time! And there was lots of fun music from the KidStuf band. By the time we got to go see them, our kids were pooped! Well, except Abbie...she'd loaded up on her first suckers so she was full of energy! I forgot how sticky babies got on Halloween.

Pt 2 to follow when I get my layout done :)

Black cat baby!

Here's Abbie's super cute costume! Lots of work, but I think worth it. My only regret? Not having a thimble! I've only ever stitched on cross-stitch fabric (where you can see the needle) or on paper (where you pre-punch). If I had had to do much more, I would've gone to my mom's & gotten one. And since this was black, I didn't have to worry about a blood stain :)

Ready for Halloween...

A week early?

Well, our church has Trunk or Treat the Sunday *before* Halloween. Which makes sense, until you're scrambling around trying to finish a costume!

Olivia decided that she wanted to be a witch this year. Whether she's a good witch or naughty witch changes daily, sometimes more often. Heck, sometimes we decide for her ;-)  She & I found a cute purple witch costume at Target. Yay!

And what does every cute little witch need? A black cat of course! So I announced to everyone that Abbie would be Olivia's black cat. Sounds like a great idea, until you realize that they're aren't too many black cat costumes out there that don't look like skunks or panda bears. The last I checked a black cat was supposed to be all black. Or they're just a cat.

No big deal, right? I scoured Etsy for custom costumes to get ideas. I watched auction after auction on Ebay hoping to win a cheap costume. And then I realized it was mid-September and if I wasn't going to buy something I was going to have to make it, and I should get started.

I found some cheap black tulle at Joann's & wrote the directions down from a tutu pattern. I found a black onesie at Target for $3. And picked up some felt to make a black cat face. This was over a month ago. Then on Monday I remembered that this all had to be done by Sunday at 5:30! Whoa!

Fortunately my mom is very close by & very crafty. And she has a sewing machine that works (well, most of the time!). I went over on Tuesday afternoon & we made the cutest black tutu! I tried it on Abbie when we got home & she was so happy. Tonight I made the cat face for the onesie (since she won't wear cat ears & I want people to know she's a black cat & not just a girl in black clothes). That was a LOT more work than I had planned on. I'll have pictures of both tomorrow.

So we'll have a witch, a black cat, and Batman. Brandon was my super easy Halloween costume this year; he wanted to be Batman again & his costume still fit! Yay!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A fun, full-on scraplift

I have nothing to hide here. I found this cute Fancy Pants paper when our local scrapbook store closed in June. I love scrapping summer pages, so I got a bunch, knowing it would get used somehow.

This last week, I figured out how.

I hadn't done anything with all the pictures from my kids' swimming lessons this summer. I wasn't sure if I was going to do a "swimming only" layout, or just include them in my "summer" layout. Then I saw this layout in the Fancy Pants Gallery at Oh my gosh, I had everything...even the pictures :)

So this is what mine looks like:

And the cardstock I used is the Core''s the first time I realized I could sand it (silly that it took this long).  So awesome! I got that funky swirly textured look I wanted with cardstock! And the cool journaling block & accents are leftovers from my Lime Rickey sticker sheet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

girls are so easy...

To keep occupied! I was in the office & Abbie snuck in. I heard a noise, turned, and there she was dumping beads on the floor. So I thought it'd be fun to put them back together. Nope, she wanted to do it all by herself :) One at a time! I think in the 20 minutes she was "playing" I only had to stop her about 4 times so she wouldn't put them in her mouth.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I couldn't leave it at that.

Not my favorite layout, but I love the memories when I see this of my kids singing "Oh Happy Day" over & over & over...well, love the song, but ad nauseum, literally? Anyhow, it makes me happy.

I need a change

I have no idea if anyone actually reads my blog, but I need a place to say this. Somewhere that isn't facebook where everyone CAN read it.

I've been kinda down lately. Not depressed, just down. Like I'm looking at my life & I'm definitely not happy with it. I love my kids, I love being a mom, I love the stresses of everyday life. I even like my job. Maybe you're noticing what I've left out.

Two things: my husband & friends. I don't have any close, personal relationships right now. No real girlfriends to talk to & know that I'm not being judged behind my back. No girlfriends to hang out with & have dessert & talk about TV. I mean, I've got "facebook" friends, and girlfriends from MOPS, but no one I truly feel like I could call up & say, "let's go to the mall or meet for scrapbooking". I feel like most of my friends have best friends or small groups or whatever, and I'm that seventh wheel. Or spare tire (okay, I had to throw a joke in).

As for my husband.  I feel like I don't even have a close personal relationship with him. I feel like I keep trying, and nothing happens. So obviously I'm not trying hard enough. I fully admit that. I'm willing to get help & I need to be the one to initiate that. But right now, at this moment, I feel deeply hurt. The other night he wanted to get frisky & I truly was not in the mood. I think I was walking thru our room when he had gone to bed & I was in the middle of doing laundry. So VERY not in the mood. I said I'd need to get in the mood, and he was going to have to help. He didn't want to be bothered. Thanks. I'm glad to know I'm not worth the effort. I know I need to lose weight.

Anyhow, I hate being Debbie Downer. I need to work on these things. And I need to get my butt into the gym on a regular basis. I will fully admit I'm having a hard time motivating myself. For me, it's hard when my husband comes home at noon every day. I feel like we're just getting going, like all of our morning chores are done & it's time to have fun. And then he comes home. Is it too much to ask for an afternoon a week of just me & the kids at home?


the process

I'll admit it. I'm not the most organized person in the world. However, when it comes to scrapbooking, I do it in a very organized manner. I think it's from my old days as an editor on my high school paper. If only I had more than Page Maker back then!

First I scout magazines, blogs, Green Tangerines, etc, for inspiration.

I found this layout on Becky Higgins' blog a while back. I *love* her layout design & am sad to see her leaving Creating Keepsakes! I wasn't sure what I wanted to use it for, so I kept it in a folder on my desktop.

Then I was in Green Tangerines about a month ago & noticed my friend Brenda had used it too. Hmmm...I liked it! Time to pull it out & use it.

So now I take that layout & start playing with it in Photoshop Elements 6.0. Love that! How did I scrap before PSE? Good question! Another day :)

This is what I end up with. I used to just draw boxes & crop my photos to fit, then set them on my sketch to see what worked. Then I learned about clipping masks. Wow! I can now keep my layouts in a file and simply drag & drop my photos in, no cropping required. I think Jessica Sprague had some tutorials for clipping masks on her website.

Now that my photos are in place, I merge my mask & my photo, then drag & drop to "regular" print sizes & upload to Costco. I even print a 4x6 of my layout. It's great to through in my purse when shopping for supplies. And I like bringing it to crops...less bulky than all my sketch books & notes to remind me of what I'm doing. I can even type notes to myself on it.

Now I just need to get the photos printed & then I'm ready to scrap!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

You can use flowers on a boy page

As I was looking thru my layouts to post my previous one, I came across this:

I loved this shirt of Brandon's, with the all the Tikis on it. Every time I put it on him, I'd sing "In the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room...". It took me until this year (these photos are from 2005) to get rid of it. We're done having kids! But, oh that shirt! I put him out in the daylilies in our backyard. So cute!


My sister-in-law has two horses; her "show" horse (I cannot for the life of me tell you the breed) and her pony. Her pony's name is Jazzie, and as far as my kids are concerned, she's white.

A couple months back, Olivia wanted to know if Auntie Nicole's white horse was a unicorn, because Olivia's white "horse" is a unicorn. I was put on the spot, so I stalled, "Umm, I don't know honey. We'll have to ask her."

Fortunately, Nicole has two kids of her own. And was quick. When Olivia asked if her white horse was a unicorn, she replied, "Yes, but she has to keep her horn hidden so she doesn't poke anyone." Thank you!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Still my favorite

I got this amazing picture of Brandon & Olivia holding hands at Apple Hill two years ago. I love it. It captures them so perfectly. At the time, it was "Sissy & BooBoo". And they were inseparable (still are).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

How to make a girl happy

Olivia loves to sort.

When we moved here last spring (2008), she helped me sort all my brads & buttons into a new container for our new office.

This last week she helped again, by taking them out of that container, & re-sorting the buttons, brads, eyelets, etc, into these cute jars from Ikea.

Kept her occupied for a LONG time :)

And I didn't have to do a thing!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I've been so proud of myself since the moment I made this, a couple years ago. I made the "custom" license plate in photoshop. Grunge edge on a yellow box, with a font I no longer have (thanks to a computer crash a while back).

Brandon *loved* to wear David's Uggs on his hands, & thought it was hysterical that I thought it was so gross! I used to tell him it would make his hands fall off from all the nasty funk in those boots.

On a lighter note...

I'm still into my oldie but goodies kick, mostly because I haven't finished many layouts lately. And those that I have finished have been scanned or photographed yet since we're (well, I'm) in the middle of converting our dining room into our office (pics to come when it's done).

I love how Brandon is so not amused by the leaves on the ground. He hated that I plunked him in the leaves the year before, and still didn't think it was a good idea. If memory serves, he wasn't amused the next year either!

October 17, 1989

Where were you at 5:04pm?

I was in the kitchen, making blondies. My mom & sister were at Mervyns, and my dad was in North Carolina, watching the world series while on an extended business trip.

I had just put a bowl of butter in the oven to melt (for the blondies), and had gone to the cupboard to get some brown sugar.

It was in my hand when it happened....

I remember as soon as the earthquake started, thinking, Oh my God! And that I couldn't get under the table because I was on crutches. I remember grabbing my dog & heading to the doorway of the nook, & tossing the brown sugar into the hallway. And watching the overhead fan swing REALLY HARD back & forth, like it was going to fall from the ceiling. I heard stuff falling & breaking & watched the TV "walk" foward in the entertainment center & somehow not fall out though it had gone off on it's own.

And then it was over.

Twenty years later & the memory is still fresh. Magnitude 7.1. Loma Prieta. I will always remember where I was at 5:04 pm on October 17, 1989.

Friday, October 16, 2009

eye pop!

I just learned how to use & install actions in awesome!

Here's Abbie, SOOC (straight out of the camera):

And here is is with a bit of tweaking:

I adjusted for skin tone & played with the levels. Then ran the eye pop & skin soften actions from CoffeeTeaPhotography.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

blast from the past


This was Olivia in July 2006, when she was about 3 months old. What a cutie! Not a recent layout, but I love it just the same.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Family Vacation at Lake Tahoe

Okay, did you really think I could not post a layout? :)

We went up to Lake Tahoe for a family vacation in July...we had SO much fun!

I used a lot from the May Green Tangerines Kit Club, and some of my own stash from Cosmo Cricket's Snorkel line. Love them!

burn, baby, burn

Right now I'm in the process of burning DVDs of ALL of my photos. ALL of them. I"m about to start disk 6, and I'm sure I'll be up to about 10 before I'm done. Yikes! In my defense, I'm burning the photoshop psd files, as well as the RAW photos, and scrapbook page scans. I've had "back ups" here for years, but it's time that I got a "real" back-up done & over to my parents' house. Just in case.

My general rule of thumb is that I have photo files in two places. On my camera & computer. And if I want to delete them from my memory card, I burn them to a "junk" dvd. One that doesn't necessarily have any edits done, the file names aren't necessarily correct, maybe it contains the bad photos. Whatever. Just in case the computer crashes.

But what if. What if our house is destroyed, or burglarized. I really ought to have a back-up at my parents. A tip I read recently was to make the back up & then test it out on someone elses computer. Because IF you need that back-up, you won't be opening it up on your computer.

The other tip I'd like to share, since many of us are concerned with the archival-ness of the dvd: make a new copy every five years. Then there shouldn't be any stress over what program created the files, how long the disk will last, whether you wrote on it with a sharpie, etc. I figure it's a small investment in making sure our photos are around for a LONG time!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away

Come again some night :)

It took me TWO hours to drive from Natomas (where I work) to Folsom (where I had to go to the eye doctor). TWO hours. And 6" of water. At least the underside of my car is clean. Ugh!

And while I was at work, my kids were at my mom's house, having fun out in the rain. Yup. They're drawn to the rain like moths to a flame.

I'm so glad we went to the pumpkin patch yesterday! They were closed today, and I'm sure tomorrow will be every little boys' dream & every mothers' laundry nightmare.

We had so much fun there yesterday. I can't believe how big my kids are getting! The first time I went, Brandon was 1 1/2 & Olivia was about 5 months old. Now Brandon is 4 1/2 and Abbie is 15 months old!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sweet Childhood Days

I love how my kids play together!

When I was pregnant with Olivia, & flipping out because I was going to have two babies (they're 14 months apart), I was comforted by other moms who told me the first year would be REALLY hard (it was), the second year would be better (it was), and by the third or fourth year it would be a breeze. Why? Because they are best friends!

The Lego Mall

We are so fortunate to have a Lego store nearby, at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento. It's about 20 minutes away. Last Friday, Oct 2, they had a master builder "thing" going on, where kids could come & build bricks to build Yoda (from Star Wars). Needless to say, we had to go! Brandon is as obsessed with "little lego" (as compared to "big" duplo lego) as any self respecting 4 1/2 year old boy can be. So of course we went out to the "Lego Mall" after school so he & Olivia could participate! So much fun!

(The Yoda in the middle is the mock up. We weren't able to make it back on Sunday to see the completed 8' tall Yoda.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Abbie almost walking

Another fun layout using the Green Tangerines May kit. I had fun with the photo, using some new texture techniques from Jessica Sprague. I love her Photoshop classes! Many are self-paced, and all are online. So awesome for a busy mom of three :)

On another note...tomorrow (Monday) is a preschool holiday, & therefore a MOPS holiday. So we'll be heading out to Bishop's Pumpkin Farm! I can't wait!

Broiled Orange Marmalade Salmon

1/2 c orange marmalade
1 T dijon mustard
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t ground ginger
4 6-oz salmon fillets (I use a half salmon sliced into 4+ strips)

Combine marmalade thru ginger. Brush half marmalade onto the salmon steaks, broil for 6 minutes. Brush remaining sauce onto fish & broil an additional 2 minutes. Enjoy!

I served ours with asparagus & fresh linguini tossed with a bit of butter & parmesean. My kids couldn't eat enough!

Take a Picture...

It'll last longer.

Brandon is always posing for me & asking me to take his picture. I wish all it took was a photo to freeze time; I mean, my baby boy will be in kindergarten next year. Kindergarten!

Here's to freezing time by photos.

Today was a good day

1) Made yummy pancakes with cookie cutter molds. More later when I get pics.
2) Watched the kids play in the front with the neighbor kids for over an hour...priceless! And we scored a couple of scooters, two "2-wheelers", and a push trike for Abbie. Score indeed!
3) Yummy apple-pumpkin muffins at my mom's...Darn, David had to bring my dad's pick-up back so I had to drive over too, and have a muffin!
4) Delicious Orange Marmalade Salmon for dinner. Olivia told me it was her favorite dinner! Score again!

What an awesome day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

We love Daddy

My keyboard is being a bit wacky right now...ugh! Put new batteries in it & it's only a bit better.
This layout is from the Green Tangerine's May kit, and is based on a sketch from PageMaps (I don't remember which).
I took these photos on Father's Day in our backyard...hopefully we can get Abbie to look at me next year!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Making Sorbet

This layout is from this last summer, when we went to my mom's house to make some ice cream! Actually, strawberry sorbet. Super easy:

Make ½ recipe for Cuisinart

2 c water
2 c sugar
4 pts. strawberries, sliced (2 pts. ~ 2 lbs. berries)
¼ c fresh lime juice
½ c light corn syrup

Bring sugar and water to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, without stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Cool completely.

Put strawberries and lime juice into food processor and puree. When sugar syrup has cooled completely, add to strawberry puree. (Can be refrigerated overnight now if desired.)

Add corn syrup and stir well. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Sorbet is quite soft after churning but firms up after freezing.

(Sorry for the random lines in my layout; I can never get them to look nice when I scan them.)

Random Act of Kindness

Brandon, Olivia, & I went to Costco on the way home from my sister's house to pick up some pizza for dinner. Instead of Little Caesars. So instead of paying $15 for two pizzas & some breadsticks, we paid $66 for two pizzas, potato soup mix, shrimp cocktail, & the Snow White dvd.

While in line, the woman behind us says to Brandon, "Young man, can you help me move my cart up? It's so heavy." So of course he helped, feeling mighty proud & strong. By this time I was paying so I wasn't paying super attention to Brandon, but did notice he was helping her unload her groceries. I was quite impressed. When I was done paying, I said to Brandon it was time to go. So this woman says, "Brandon, you know how your mommy & daddy get paid for going to work? Well, you need to get paid for your work. Thank you for helping me." And hands him a quarter! Wow!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh, Olivia

She may be my awesome girly girl, but she is one royal *UGH* to get to school! She's been this way forever, screaming at Sunday School & MOPS drop-offs. And now at preschool too. I know she's fine within minutes of me leaving, but it's torture just the same. So, I leave you with my "Ode to Olivia" layout.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I've used this layout before, but when I saw Brenda's Easter

layout using the March Kit of the Month from Green Tangerines, I had to use it again! The papers are all Basic Grey Lemonade, with Bazzill flowers & AC thickers (of course!).

November Creating Keepsakes

I've subscribed to Creating Keepsakes for what seems like forever...probably almost 10 years. And I've been scrapbooking longer than that. Needless to say, I eagerly anticipate my new magazine each month & generally I *devour* it. All the new techniques, layouts to scraplift. You know.

This month, I was so disappointed! I found out a few days ago that Becky Higgins is resigning. I didn't expect that the magazine would start going downhill as soon as she announced her resignation, and heck, this thing went to print before her "official" announcement.

It was like a throwback to one of the orignal magazines, circa 99-00 or something. Basic how-to stuff. Cheezy layouts. Really, CK? I've expected SO MUCH more from you. And to top it off, my favorite sketch article was WAY in the back, not up front as it has been. The computer article wasn't written by Jessica Sprague. And it seemed like all the articles were written by just a few people.

Not good CK. Not good.

I *love* reading magazines & feeling them in my hands. But seriously, if my subscription hadn't been paid for already (thanks mom!), I would not be renewing. Based solely on this issue. That's bad.

Hope it doesn't stay this way....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

{i love you}

A recent layout of Brandon, featuring all BoBunny papers, Making Memories ribbon, and, of course AC thickers (my layouts aren't complete without them!).

He made me this cute jewelry box at Lowe's for Valentines!


so of course I can't access my photos right now! Ugh! Oh well, updates tonight :)

New beginnings...

It's been a LONG time since I've been on here, and that's not something to be proud of. I really need to keep this updated, or what's the point?

I think I wanted this to be too much. My ramblings, photos, scrapbook pages, and life. But that's more than I can handle! Time for a revamp. I think it's fair to keep this just my scrapbooking, stamping (ha! Like I have time for that anymore!), basic stuff like that. And maybe a recipe or a ramble here & there.

Done. Here's to new beginnings....