Friday, December 30, 2011

checking things off the list-2011 scrapping

In an effort to get in my hands, things that I have completed, I am now in the process of uploading my Week In the Life project from July. I think this rounds out at 18 pages. I was waiting for a Shutterfly deal but instead chose to upload at Costco and print the 8x8 size for $1.49 each. I already have an album to house the pages. That is good enough, and better, it will be done!As a reminder, here is one of those pages.
To see more, refer to this and this.

Revisiting this project and loving the simplicity and the structure, gets me excited to approach all of 2012 in a similar fashion. Pin It

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

digi scrapping

Over the past few days I have produced two new pages!

And yesterday I uploaded 17 pages from 2011 to be printed. Do these 19 layouts accurately tell the story of an entire year? No. Do they give a glimpse into our lives? Yes. Is 19 a whole heck of a lot more than 0. YES!

I hope to grab a few photos from stories that I want to be sure are included in my books and memories and complete an additional handful of pages. For 2012, I plan to return to doing a monthly summary layout and if I am lucky and inspired, throw in a few others for good measure. I did this in 2009 and 2010 and love the result.

I am a firm believer that there is no right or wrong way to do this thing. I just know for me, whatever I do manage to complete and record, I thoroughly love looking back on. And more than girls love it too.

All products used above are from CatScrap Designs.  For 2012, I plan to rely heavily on Ju Kneipp's My Project 365 products.

Swoon worthy, right?!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Joy Bauer's Food Cures

This post is long overdue as I received a copy of Food Cures months ago!

Over a year ago, I embraced the Joy Bauer slim down plan which was being promoted by Family Circle. Sadly, I did not stick to the routine but while I did, I loved it and saw results. With January approaching, it is a good time to revisit what has worked for me and get motivated to get moving and eat better.

Because I was familiar with Joy's ideas, this book was a natural. I find the information to be no nonsense and educational with facts such as these:

Did you know:

Pistachios help lower cholesterol
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory that can that may help relieve arthritis pain

The book is broken down into useful parts, that address different areas that can be affected by the foods you eat. Topics include skin, hair, vision, memory, weight loss, mood and migraine headaches.

With a new year approaching and mental and physical health topping many of our lists for 2012, Food Cures makes an excellent resource. The book has been recently revised and updated making it even more comprehensive and relevant.

Is improving your overall health on your 2012 resolution list? It is on mine and I wish us all success!

***this book was provided to me at no charge by the publisher but the review and opinions are my own.

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Friday, December 23, 2011


It's late but here goes...

Last Saturday was Cookie Day.

One of our handmade gifts: Grinch Pills.

Tony the elf

Super beautiful girl

Delivering gifts to a local pet shelter

An early gift for Dave

Two girls heading out to sing carols

Have a great weekend. For more InstaFriday fun, visit Life Rearranged.

- Posted using BlogPress from iPhone
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Monday, December 19, 2011

december craftiness

Many of the projects that have been in the works awhile are now being completed and given to the proper recipents.
Olivia made "grinch pills" for her three main teachers. This was a great project for a 10 year old. Once I described it, she did it all herself. You can fine the original Grinch Pills blog post here. It also links to the attached tag. This is the original:

These doughnut treats were a Pinterest find. It took me NO time AT ALL to do this. I used cello bags and then made the faces with Sharpie markers. It seriously does not get much easier than this!

And finally, 4 of the 6 "just add snow" snowman kits have been delivered. I must boast and tell you, I am quite proud that I produced these hats. Sewing circles is typically way beyond my comfort zone but the directions were spot on. I am also proud to say that beyond buying black felt by the yard, a bit of orange felt for noses and black rocks at the Dollar Store for faces, I used all materials that I had on hand. Go me! This idea was spotted originally on Pinterest too.

I know my posting and sharing has been sporadic but I am pleased with the number of homemade/handmade gifts I was able to churn out this year and those that include my girls are that much more fun and special. Hopefully in a day or two, I will share the 20+ dog toys that Olivia has made for delivery to the SPCA. She refuses to let me off the hook so I hope to produce 20 more catnip pillows to take along too. Well 20+ because we have a few kitties on our Christmas list who need treats too!
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Sunday, December 11, 2011


Although we had plenty to do by many people's standards, for me this was a fairly low key weekend with fewer than usual commitments. Because of that, I got some projects checked off my to do list.

Desk calendars for my family. Check.

Christmas printable printed and framed. Check.
Yarn wrapped letters. Check. (Helpful hint: paint the letters/numbers to match the yarn. With so many curves, you cannot fully cover the wood.)
The picture and numbers will go on my new console table which I hope arrives this week.

I also completed 6 Snowman kits. I will share those this week.

Still on my list: more catnip pillows and braided fleece dog toys. The girls will help with these and we want to deliver them to a shelter before Christmas.

Tony and his huge mess...I mean snow angel.

Olivia's fabulous gingerbread house that she created at a birthday party today. It is a masterpiece. She raved forever about how great this party was.

Lots on tap for the week. Only 12 more days!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone Pin It

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Snowman Kits

Just bits and pieces of gifts I am making for a few friends. I promise to share when it all comes together and I manage to delightfully package them.

Carrot noses

A row of hats and a few scarves

A close up.

Thank you to Pinterest for the inspiration and hat tutorial. Click on my Pinterest button on the right, visit my "to celebrate Christmas" board and find full details there.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Insta Friday: life in review via cell phone photos




My friend Amy is having a baby!

Our Elf on the Shelf appears

Couch shopping

How we found Tony the Elf today

Join others for Insta Friday at Life Rearranged.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

December: Ideas for Giving

As I said on the post before, giving really feels good! I am determined to do some nice, unexpected things during this holiday season. I hope to include my girls in many of them. I (we) have a few ideas so far:

+ deliver a gift card to our neighbors who unselfishly maintain our neighborhood sign and decorate it for each season

+ tomorrow I am meeting a small group to plan a classroom party and I am treating them to Starbucks (yeah!)

+ more pet presents...additional catnip pillows and hopefully some braided dog toys...maybe even fleece pet beds/pillows

like these:
+ I found a brand new pair of snow pants and matching winter coat that I bought at a deep discount last year for Shelby, however, I just bought her that same thing about one month ago. I am on the look out for a deserving size 7/8 little girl who needs this.

+ make a delivery (or mail) the few things I have for the Ronald McDonald House

+ send more notes and thank yous via the US Postal Service

PLEASE share your additional, practical, ideas.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

our good deed: Petsmart delivery

Olivia has been collecting money for a long time to donate to an animal shelter and one day last week we started talking about actually getting that money in the right hands.
Out of that discussion came the idea to begin small, so we talked about making some catnip pillows and taking them to our local Petsmart where they have cats available for adoption. Friday night, I created fabric pillows and yesterday she filled them with stuffing and catnip and I sewed them shut.

Today, both girls and me went to Petsmart in Milford. When we told the 3-4 staff members at the cash registers what we were there to do, they all were excited and so surprised we had come with a donation like this.

Funny, there were only 3 cats there today but that means they are being readily adopted, which is good. The Petsmart staff allowed the girls behind the cages to give each cat it's gift. And we left the remaining 5 catnip pillows behind for new tenants :)

It did not take long for the cats to go WILD! They were batting them around and rolling around like crazy. It was an instant mood lifter...for the cats and for us.

This was the perfect reminder that it's the little things that often mean the most. It inspired us to make more of these little treats and perhaps deliver a larger number to a bigger shelter. Along with some handmade dog toys or beds too.

In addition, we are making a short list of other small things we can do that brighten another being's day. We are so blessed and it's nice to pay it forward. As the guy at Petsmart said: I beleive in Karma.Me too. Me too.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Family Outing: Entertainment Junction

Not only was this a fun time because we all committed to being in the same place at the same time, but it was a great opportunity to break out the iPhone fisheye lens again!!

This was at breakfast/lunch beforehand. I am wowing them with my new lens :) But look, it fit everyone in with ease...

Here are 4 people who top my list: My mom, Jim, Tyler and Shelby.

This is a cool one of the train display. This area had tiny replicas of Cincinnati as it would have been in the past. There was a yellow trolley circling in there too. My sister said: Oh look, Mr. Rogers. Tell me YOU know who Mr. Rogers is because most of the people around us did not. Hmmph.

Farther down, there was an observation deck so this shot is taken from above. The detail is unbelievable in the displays. They provide scavenger hunt type sheets which really made it fun for Olivia and some of the big people. Shelby...not so into that.

But about 2/3 of the way through, she took over the camera (not a fan of the Fisheye, she chucked that immediately!). She took but it kept her interest and she captured much of the detail. Doesn't this one above look realistic?

The requisite family picture :)

 Along with the requisite group photo :) It was a great way to spend a Sunday. All of us give Entertrainment Junction 2 thumbs up. And oh yea, we scored a super Groupon on Friday that saved us tons on admission.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fisheye Lens for the iPhone camera

I think you have to be a pretty big photography geek to even consider buying add on lenses for your phone's camera.

This is me, raising my hand as a card carrying member of the geek squad.

A fisheye lens for a DSLR is a big investment, one I have not been wiling to make as just a "mom with camera"/hobbyist. But I have always LOVED the rounded look of the fisheye lens.

For a very small investment, I got one for my iPhone from PhotoJojo which could not be a cooler place. Even my invoice is clever. So, the quality is not that great...but the effect is spot on. I love it. And I highly recommend it. Wanna know how the lens attaches? A super strong magnet. Like I said, just an all around cool gadget.

 (image from photojojo)

And a few more shots from yesterday:

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