Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Project LIFE 11/21-11/28


First of all, on this final day of November & Nablopomo, I tried. I blogged all but two days. Oh well. I could’ve posted something late last night, but what was the point? Besides, I had a report for work to finish and I wanted to get my project life photos finished up for today.

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Drawing in their “journals” (aka, $1 notebooks I picked up at Joann’s).


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Olivia & the “mask” she cut out. No school & a sick mom means bored kids…so they’ve been doing “art” all week. At least they can kind of entertain themselves!

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“Look mommy, I picked one of your roses for you!”

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I was too sick to go to work (I do in-home speech therapy for toddlers), so my sister convinced me to drag the kids to the park in 40-degree weather for our Christmas card photo shoot. I couldn’t breathe, and my kids were shivering. But I got our photo, and my sister’s, and my parents’. And some cute outtakes like this one of the kids with my sister’s dog.

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We spent Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house in Oakdale. My aunt got my grandma’s piano when she passed away. I have so many memories of “playing” the piano for everyone at the holidays (and any other time we got together), that I had to take this picture of Abbie.

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Wine tasting in Amador with Kathy & mom. Our faves? Villa Toscano (duh!) and Driven. We picked up two cases there!

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Girls Night In. We made appetizers, watched “Enchanted”, painted the girls’ finger & toe nails, and made brownies. Plans & photo by Olivia.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

oh well…

I missed a day. My goal this month was to post every single day. And with only four posting days to go, I missed one. As Brandon’s kindergarten teacher says, “Oh well. I messed up.”

We had “girls’ night in” (since it was rainy & cold & we didn’t want to go out) at my sister’s with my mom & my girls. Lots of yummy appetizers, including homemade coconut shrimp and good wine (for the grown ups!). We watched Enchanted and painted the girls’ fingers & toes. We had a great time! Olivia (my four year old) planned the entire evening. Needless to say, when I got home I knew I hadn’t posted yet, but I was ready for bed & completely forgot.

So I leave you today with the recipe for coconut shrimp, better (& healthier) than any restaurants!

Coconut Shrimp

SHRIMP: 28 large shrimp (~1 ½#)

1/3 c corn starch

3/4 t salt

1/2-3/4 t ground red pepper

3/4 c flaked sweetened coconut

3/4 c panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400°.

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Rinse in cold water; drain on paper towels until dry.

Combine cornstarch, salt and red pepper in shallow dish; stir with a wisk. Place egg whites in a medium bowl and beat with mixer at med-high until frothy. Place coconut & panko in a shallow dish & mix.

Dredge shrimp in cornstarch, dip in egg, dredge in coconut/panko mix. Place on baking sheet coated with Pam. Lightly coat shrimp with Pam. Bake at 400°, 20 minutes or until done, turning after 10 minutes.

MARMALADE SAUCE: 1/2 c orange marmalade

2 t stone-ground mustard

1 t horseradish

Dash salt

Mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to come together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

flashback friday…always and forever

First, let me apologize for the horrid scan! I just have no desire to pull the page out & photograph it right now :)

21. Always & Forever

This layout is from my Alpha Phi “re-do” album. My big sis made me an album when I pledged, and my lil sis made me another when I went alum. And then I got into scrapbooking so I re-did it all in 2002-ish.

These pictures were taken the night of my candle passing, the Monday after Thanksgiving thirteen years ago (wow!).

For you non-Greek readers, sororities have a candle passing for girls who’ve been engaged, pinned, or given a promise ring. At least that’s how it was done at SJSU in the mid 90’s. I was given my boyfriend’s pin. He was a Kappa Sigma & it was a BIG deal (at the time). Alex & I dated for two years. I was immature, called it off, gave him his pin back (damn! silly girl!), and then met my now-husband.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We have been blessed beyond measure.

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(photo taken Thanksgiving 2009)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

joy to the world



I had fun making this card using a sketch on Allison Davis’ blog. Everything is from my December Green Tangerines’ kit (2009), except the JOY stickers, which are from an earlier kit. I cut the snowflakes from a die-cut sheet from KI Memories.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Project LIFE, 11/14–11/20

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The view as we pull out of our neighborhood. So gorgeous in the fall.

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Making coasters at MOPS.

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Brandon’s Thanksgiving feast at school. Pictured here with his girlfriend Kylie.

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My Thankful letters. I love having this chest in the entryway that I can decorate with words.

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Playdoh, need I say more?

Monday, November 22, 2010

kindergarten celebration

Last week Brandon’s kindergarten class had their Thanksgiving feast. It was so much fun to see all the kids dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians (when I told him Native Americans I was corrected).


This is the layout I created for that day. I used a sketch from Allison Davis’ blog (SG Publishing/Allison Davis Creative Team call). You can see the sketch here.

I still had a bunch of paper & journaling sprouts from Jillibean Soup’s Pasta Fagioli line sitting around, and they are the perfect colors for fall. I love how the accents pick up the colors of the tree and the vests & headbands on the kids.


I cut the camera out of a sheet of patterned paper, and used a few journaling sprouts here in place of the hearts in the sketch.


The photo op tag is another sprout; I love using sprouts as little tags peeking out from behind the photo. The border was all handstitched with three strands of DMC embroidery floss.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

december daily foundation


I mentioned a couple of days ago that I was prepping my digital December daily pages.

This is what I’ve done so far:


I downloaded Ali Edwards’ digital overlays (which includes the foundations for the right handed pages) as well as the layered templates for the left hand side. While in Photoshop Elements, I added white paper to the bottom of all the right pages. I can type my journaling on it (or handwrite on it after it’s been printed) or add in a patterned paper if I don’t have anything write that day. The patterned paper for my background is Jack Frost from Basic Grey’s digital Dasher collection (at 40% opacity). I’ll add in the other digital elements I picked up after I add the photos.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


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Last Christmas I made my first set of letters for around the house. A couple months ago I made “spooky” letters for Halloween. And I made “thankful” letters for November.

I love how easy these are to make! Paper Mache letters from Joann’s (they’re $2.99 each), Mod Podge, and Basic Grey Pyrus paper.

Friday, November 19, 2010

flashback friday...fall 2007

Our little monkeys playing in the leaves.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

december daily

As if I didn’t have too much to do already, I decided that I’m going to make a December Daily album this year with Ali Edwards. She inspired me to document our week in the life this last April (which reminds me, I need to finish & photograph that album already!), and she’s inspired me again. Yeah, maybe I bit off more than I could chew, but…I know that I will be wanting to do it when I read her blog posts every day, so I might as well join in.

I started off by picking up a few bits & pieces to do an album similar to hers. Then she released a digital version…hello! Perfect! I can totally take the photos everyday, and I’m at the computer every evening editing them, so plunking them into templates made sense for me.

I’m getting started now by getting each page set up: papers added, date added, etc. Simple things. I decided to preselect my template for each day randomly; I work better knowing I need x-number of photos per day. I’m going to add in all the embellishments afterwards. I could totally do it ahead of time, but I’d rather pick the extras AFTER I know what the photos are.

So, no picture today. But head over to her blog & check it out. Be inspired.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

finally fall

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Shot as I was pulling out of our neighborhood on my way to pick up Brandon from school. I love the colors on the trees where we live.

(I hate that the neighborhood insists on hiring gardeners with gas powered blowers to get rid of all the beautiful leaves on the ground!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

project LIFE 11/7–11/13

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It was raining, so all three kids wanted to go jump on the trampoline. Okay. Then they found the bucket, still full of water from Halloween (bobbing for apples). And of course they had to get in…a week later & I think their rainboots are still wet inside!

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Sick day. Both Brandon & Olivia stayed home from school today. We snuggled on the couch & made some chicken soup for lunch.

(missing 11/9, I’ll probably take a picture of the toys in my car that I tote around for work)

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I caught Abbie “eating” breakfast on the floor this morning.

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Our new holiday tradition: going thru all the toy ads & cutting out pictures of toys to make a wish-book. Fun afternoon activity! And this year Brandon & Olivia could cut the pictures out all by themselves :)

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Abbie has now decided that she wants to wear two pigtails (with hairbows) everyday. Cute, but I think the bows are bigger than the piggies!

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We had Brandon’s soccer team party today. He was so excited to get his team trophy!

Monday, November 15, 2010



…for family close by

…for great friends in our neighborhood

…for “margarita friday” with those same great friends

…for neighborhood pals for our kids

…for three healthy, happy children

…for jobs

…for great schools & teachers for our children

…for a fantastic, thriving church

…for a supportive husband

…for blessings beyond measure

Sunday, November 14, 2010



Today our soccer team won it’s second game, and Brandon scored two goals! Yes! Finally the kids are getting the hang of it, and we’ve only got one game left. Oh well. At least it got us all pumped up for our team party!

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The trophy is Brandon’s. I made three cards like this one for the coaches. I scraplifted the design from a layout Raimi did at Green Tangerines. The strip on the side was cut from a 12x12 sheet of paper, and I cut out extra soccer ball halves & popped them up. The stars were both cut from the same sheet of Jillibean Soup paper (double sided).

And for you locals, the trophy is from Classic Impressions on Folsom-Auburn in the Gold’s Gym shopping center. They did our baseball trophies last year, and I was very happy with them. It’s a family-run business, and they are truly the nicest people there. And they have a play area for  your two and four year olds when they come with you to place your order.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

25 things about me

1. I always said I wanted to take five years off of work, and pop my kids out boom boom boom. Little did I know how well God was listening, because that’s pretty much what happened!
2. I could eat sushi every night, and before kids we ate it twice a week (it seemed).
3. I love to scrapbook.
4. I hate cleaning the house.
5. I love selling my kids' old clothes on ebay.
6. I make the best lemon merinque pie.
7. I hated being pregnant the first two times, and my third pregnancy was AMAZING! I'd love to be pregnant again :)
8. I have a serious sweet tooth.
9. My favorite ice cream is Chocolate & Peanut Butter from Baskin-Robbins. Perfect bittersweet chocolate with salty peanut butter.
10. I love cooking with my kids.
11. I was the editor of my high school newspaper.
12. I've had toe-nail polish on as long as I can remember. As in, I barely remember what my naked toes look like!
13. I've had three scheduled c-sections...I've never felt a contraction.
14. I can't stand open closet doors.
15. I was in a sorority in college.
16. I learned to drive a car on a stick shift.
17. I can't use dirty bathrooms. When I was pregnant & super sick I made David help me find a clean one so I could throw up.
18. I love that my sister & my parents live so close to us now.
19. I've worn contact lenses since I was 16.
20. I love going to church.
21. I love cranking up the radio in my car super loud, rolling down the windows, and singing along. I probably look like a crazy lady in my minivan, but I don’t care. 
22. I love baseball! When's the season start already?
23. I love my friends from MOPS!
24. I’ve dislocated my knee three times: in 8th grade, 9th grade, & in college. The first two times weren’t too bad. The last time I had to have my boyfriend drive me everywhere for two months because I couldn’t drive. To say it sucked is putting it mildly..
25. I'm still in denial that I'm getting older...and I’ve actually convinced my four year old that I’m only 21.

Friday, November 12, 2010

flashback friday...autumn 2003

Here is that maple tree I mentioned last Friday. Beautiful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

pretty piggies


After nearly 28 months of waiting, I bring you:

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Yes, those are pigtails!

Abbie wants her hair done like her sister. However, unlike her sister, Abbie doesn’t have very much hair. I think Olivia was born with more hair than Abbie has now!

P.S.: Abbie picked out the ginormous hairbows she’s wearing here. After I took this picture, I convinced her that smaller bows would stay in better :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ABCs of me


I first answered these in April 2009 on Facebook. And now I’m answering them again on my blog, because I can Smile

A - Age: 34

B - Bed size: Cal King

C - Chore you hate: cleaning the bathrooms

D - Dog's names: Toby

E - Essential start your day item: caffeine!

F - Favorite color: turquoise

G - Gold or Silver: Silver

H - Height: 5'9"

I - Instruments you play: flute in jr high

J - Job title: wife, mommy, speech therapist

K - Kid(s): Brandon 5, Olivia 4, Abbie 2

L - Living arrangements: house

M - Mom's name: Carol

N - Nicknames: Mom

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: none!

P - Pet Peeve: When I get accused of being the grammar police by my husband…don’t marry a speech therapist if you don’t want your speech corrected

Q - Quote from a movie: “I gave her my heart & she gave me a pen.”

R - Right or left handed: right

S - Siblings: 1 sister

T - Time you wake up: 6am

U- Underwear: yes

V - Vegetable you dislike: beets

W - Ways/Reasons you run late: 3 kids

X - X-rays you've had: my knee

Y - Yummy food you make: everything :)

Z - Zoo favorite: anything that isn't sleeping :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Project LIFE, 10/31–11/6

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Happy Halloween! The kids went trick-or-treating with our neighbors this year. It was our first Halloween that we trick-or-treated in our neighborhood & didn’t go to Trunk or Treat at church.

* For this photo, I used PW Vintage Action for PSE. I wanted something “spooky” for our Halloween photo. You can download a full set of actions FREE here.

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Today we packed our Operation Christmas Child boxes at MOPS. We’ve done this for four years now, and I can’t imagine not doing it. If you’re interested in checking it, click here.

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I swear it’s not my opinion of the candidates! The poll workers gave my kids a ton of the “I voted” stickers which they decorated me with while I was voting (to the amusement of the workers!). And when I was done they put the rest on themselves.

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Picnic lunch (of McDonalds!) in Mama & Papa’s backyard.

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Shopping at Costco, with all three kids. Yes, I’m a little bit crazy!

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We let the girls sleep together in Abbie’s crib tonight. It lasted about a half hour before Olivia decided that she really wanted to go to sleep even though Abbie still wanted to play.

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The Crocodiles’ first win! And Brandon almost score two goals! It was so great to see him out there actually trying today.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I had so much fun with this layout for Project 12!

I won a bunch of Jillibean Soup paper in August, and I’ve been looking forward to using it for a while. For this layout I used a ton of goodies from the Atomic Soup collection.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

rub a dub dub

three kids in a tub


Saturday, November 6, 2010


National Blog Posting Month.

One post per day, every day. I did it last year, so let’s see if I can do it again.

I now am using Windows Live Writer, and though I’m still trying to figure it out, I think I like it MUCH better than blogger, which means I stand a good chance of posting every day.

So have a great Saturday…see you again tomorrow!

Friday, November 5, 2010

flashback friday...Toby at one year

And now he's nine!

I love this picture of him, and I miss our front yard of leaves. We had this HUGE maple tree in our front yard in Folsom that would dump millions of beautiful leaves on our lawn. Oh, it was gorgeous!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Brenda invited everyone to her house in Oakdale over Labor Day weekend to celebrate Michael’s birthday. It was great to see everyone on such a fun day. Brandon & Olivia spent the entire day in the pool & had to be forced to get out of the pool to eat! They finally got out when it was time to go home because they were too cold. Abbie, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure about getting in and was perfectly content to sit on the edge dangling her feet in the water. She finally got in with Brenda…but was fully dressed!


I used another Alison Davis sketch (vol 6) for this layout. The papers are all American Crafts Heat Wave. I bought a bunch from that line over the summer & I’ve used it on quite a few layouts! Love the versatility!


The “flower” is some kind of starfishy-like thing. They’re glittery & part of the Heat Wave line. I used a brad from my stash (Lime Rickey from Basic Grey).


The scalloped border is actually circles I punched cut in half. The sketch calls for a 1.5” circle punch so there’s an even number of scallops. I have 10 circle punches, but none are 1.5”. Oh well, what can you do? I ended up using a 1.75” punch which still gave me an even number of scallops (except on the left hand page where I’ve got a half showing). I was so happy!


The letter stickers were bought at the same time as the paper. They’re a yellow vinyl Thicker & I’ve used them a lot.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

just kick it


I had so much fun with this layout! I’ve been snapping pictures at most of Brandon’s soccer games, so I had a TON to choose from. I was able to narrow it down some, then picked a sketch from Alison Davis’ sketchbook #6. Then I narrowed down my photos a bit more until I was happy with my layout (I do a lot in Photoshop Elements before I print anything).


The sketch I used had a lot of stars in it, which worked perfectly with this American Crafts paper I still had (& wanted to use). I drew some stars in Photoshop & printed them on the backs of the patterned paper I wanted to use. Then I inked the edges & adhered them to the page. I popped up some, and used the cool “buttons” in place of others.


I had already used some of this collection on another layout, but I had saved the soccer ball, knowing Brandon was going to play soccer.