Tuesday, May 31, 2011

10 on Tuesday...

1. Tyler left today for boot camp. I do know that he arrived safely in SC already. And I cannot wait to see him in August.

2. I made this today because he is on my mind and in my heart
3. I am so glad this is the final week of school.

4. I love promoting CatScrap by writing on their blog and updating Facebook and Twitter.

5. Catscrap has good sales on Tuesday and Wednesday :)

6. It is so hot and humid here that it feels like August. This does not make me want to go to soccer practice.

7. At least our pool is open and in working order.

8. Hoping my Olivia does not have swimmer's ear already. Headed to the doc at 3:30p.

9. Planning on BLT sandwiches for dinner.

10. Headed to the dollar store to get paper doilies (hope to find some like this) for bag toppers for all my teachers' gifts. I will share photos later in the week. Pin It

Monday, May 30, 2011


Shelby + Tyler
Tomorrow this guy will be gone. Off to boot camp and to serve in the Army. I will take any of your best wishes, or prayers if that is more your thing.
Olivia + Tyler

It's hard saying goodbye. I know, I know he is doing a good thing but it will not make me miss him any less.

Good luck Mr. T. Be smart and be safe. Pin It

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day

(click photo for source)
This is always an emotional weekend for me. I have talked about it a bit before on this blog here, here and here but 11 years ago I had three little babies. Three babies that arrived far too soon and therefore only survived a few days. Max, Mallory and McKenzie. My babies. Early on, if I even heard one of those names it would unsettle me but time does have a way of healing. As does mothering two pieces of perfection named Olivia and Shelby. I guess you never know why, and I did question many things in those early days, weeks and months. But I did survive and I did not give up on being a mother, thank goodness. Well actually, thank God.

So I am tender. My emotions are right there. Combine that with the fact that my nephew is leaving for Army Boot Camp on Tuesday and I am a mess :) I wonder about the timing of things. Why is it that Tyler is leaving so near Memorial Day? I have thought a few times of declaring it unfair. But really it is a great thing. He is determined and proud and although it is very hard for me to accept that he may ever face danger, I am proud too. And the next 17 weeks or so are in reality only a blip on the radar screen. I have to remember that. Time has a way of moving swiftly when you need it to and also working magic.

Memorial Day.
Memories: recalling old ones and making new ones.
I will put one foot in front of the other and do just that this weekend. Pin It

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tonight's Dinner-Tomato Walnut Tilapia

I did not get a chance to share a meal plan on Monday but this was on my list to make and we had it tonight.
Tomato Walnut TilapiaI left out the walnuts in the topping because my husband doesn't like cooked nuts but this still turned out crazy good. This is my first time ever baking a completely plain fish filet from scratch. I bought a bag of frozen, individually portioned, tilapia filets at Kroger and this worked out perfectly. I made four and was glad I did because I had no trouble eating two myself!

In other cooking news, during a bad storm last night, we lost power for 6-7 hours. As of this morning, my microwave turns on and sounds like it is working but nothing heats. So far we have not found anything else to be out of order but in less than 12 hours, I realize how often I used the microwave! Tonight's dinner was dramatically changed since I could not cook my baked potatoes (quickly enough, we did not get home from soccer until 6:15), or heat my corn or the girls' chicken nuggets in that fashion. Or melt my butter for the fish topping. And on and on. Looks like we will be buying a new one and I know it will not be inexpensive as ours is built in above the stove. Of course, compared to the devastation in Joplin, MO this pales in comparison. Heck, it does not even register a blip.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ballard Designs Knock Off Bulletin Board

Slowly, after painting the walls in every room on our lower level, we are returning to some semblance of order. One key was getting our kitchen shelf back in place and functional.
Good news:

I love it's new grey and yellow paint job. Bad news? The paint will not adhere solidly despite everything we have tried. So...this may only be a temporary solution.
Moving on, today I knocked off the Ballard Designs Sisal Message board. Their price $139+.

Granted, their version is larger BUT

I made this using a 16x20 frame I already had and a rug from Target.

The rug was $12.99 and actually big enough to make 2 boards. I simply placed the cardboard backing from the frame on the rug to use as a cutting template. I placed it inside the frame, minus the glass and voila:

I got this. Start to finish, it only took about 15 minutes.

What do you think? I need a few more straight pins for fasteners and I hope to make a few decorative push pins as well.

My project is linked with others here:

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone Pin It

Friday, May 20, 2011

I believe...in blogging

I have met {virtually, via the internet} more friends then I can count. The WWW is full of women with great ideas, passions, products and stories and they are succeeding professionally through blogging. Many of these independent business owners do marketing, social media and branding better than some of the biggest and most well known companies. And guess what? These BIG companies have noticed and are harnessing these female bloggers reach through promotions like these:

House of Smiths - new appliances and a trip to NYC
Gussy Sews - Singer sewing machine giveaways
Kayla Aimee - Home Goods shopping adventure

These are big ones, but daily I see promotions for photo albums, cereal samples and much more. And those are more than great too. Last week, I received two boxes of Quaker Oats cereal in the mail, along with coupons, and in exchange I have tweeted about the cereal {and I am writing about it here}. Kudos to Quaker Oats. And an even bigger pat on the back to the Clever Girls Collective for making this promotion, and many more, happen. {click on the button in my sidebar to learn more about the extraordinarily clever, Clever Girls}

I guess this is my ode to the internet. A thank you for all the opportunities it has brought to me and my family. And also an "atta boy" to all the ladies making a living in this unconventional but very real way. I am proud to say I am a blogger and pleased to be in such good company. Pin It

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

scrapbooking: telling our story

Lately, I have been moved to begin making scrapbook pages again and telling our story. I credit some of the motivation to my new role at CatScrap Designs. It's lovely to have access to such great product :)

Thanks to the motivation of a Groupon expiring on May 18, this gem is on it's way to me.
Our 2010 Family Album. You can view mine and many other masterpieces HERE. The past two years, I have taken this approach: to write a monthly summary and add in other pages as I wanted. I primarily used the same scrapbooking products throughout each album and it really did simplify the design and I love both albums. {view 2009 album here}
But...this year I am going back to scrapping individual pages with whatever products I want to use at that moment. I have not decided if i will set a deadline and print them in an album or add pages into the existing books I have (family, Shelby, Olivia, Sisters) or just put individual pages into a designated 2011 album at some point. It doesn't matter to me right now...I just want to keep scrapbooking and I will organize them later.

So happy and lucky to have a sweet family and memories to document. Pin It

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Meal Plan - May 16

Monday: Dave's Birthday -Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Veggies and Brownies with Icing
Tuesday: School Restaurant Fundraiser at Shooters
Wednesday: Frozen Pizza and Salad
Thursday: um, such a crazy night that this will be a drive thru evening for sure!
Friday: 5:30 soccer game. I'd love to say we will come home and grill out by sadly, this will likely be dinner out again.

I kinda hate when I have a schedule like this one, that nearly dictates dinner on the run. I am glad we are eating at home tonight instead of going out to celebrate the birthday because it is looking like the only decent, home cooked meal of the week. Sigh. You just gotta roll with it, right?

To visit women with much more on the ball than me, go HERE! Pin It

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More weekending

Olivia's class pet, China, came for the weekend.

Shelby's crazy snaggletooth finally fell out on Friday.

No tooth fairy visit though because she has not placed it under her pillow yet?!

I am looking forward to discussing a great business opportunity tomorrow. Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

weekend: in progress

Many, many soccers games to make up after the wettest April in the history of the world. (Ok, that's what it felt like). In fact it rained before Friday night's 7:30p make up game and for most of today's afternoon match. I caught a few good pics in the overcast weather before having to pack up my camera. And can I say, it feels good to look at crisper images NOT from the iPhone. And no, the one above is not in focus but I love my girl in action...in the red tie dye socks :) I am feeling a big need to get the Rebel out of cobwebs, attach the 50mm lens and start capturing the world around me again.

Tomorrow, my nephew makes his First Communion. A card and check will accompany this sign I made.

It is a 5x7 which I had printed at WalMart and placed in a wooden frame. I saw something similar on Etsy via Pinterest. Are you on Pinterest? Love.It.
Script-y font: BP Script. Love.It.Too.
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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The cutest carrot...

...in the patch. Oh my. This was the cutest play EVER. How can you go wrong though with 1st graders and costumes that are veggies, flowers, animals and weeds?! Shelby was the carrot. I know, I am the master of the obvious. She has been excited about this for weeks. Not only did she know her lines and the songs she participated in, but I think she knew every word of the entire play.

Posted by Picasa
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Appreciation Gift

I have so many to thank in the coming weeks as my kids' activities wind down for the year. Today, Shelby gave these picture frames made into dry erase boards, to her Brownie leaders. After taking this photo, I attached a dry erase marker to the picture frame using velcro. A Starbucks gift card accompanied them. Shelby wrote their names which you can see in the photo below.
I used digital scrapbook supplies from CatScrap to design the 8x10 insert. I printed the 8x10 at Costco, put it in a Walmart frame and done!

I was totally inspired by this idea:found HERE. Pin It

Monday, May 9, 2011

meal plan monday

Sunday: We had meals at both parents for Mother's Day. I brought strawberry shortcake using my neighbor's method of splitting a grands biscuit in half (peeling the layers apart so it is still round) and tossing that in cinnamon and sugar before baking. This makes the tastiest little shortcake. I covered my cut strawberries in sugar and let them rest on the counter most of the day and they make the best and sweetest juice on their own (just like my Mom does!). Add whip cream and done.
Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: Chicken Stir Fry, Rice and extra veggies. Nuggets for the girls.
Wednesday: Cheesy Mostaccioli. I will leave some cooked spaghetti on the side for the girls to have with butter and parmesan. Garlic Bread, Carrots with Dip.
Thursday: busy night so the girls and I will get take out or pizza
Friday: something on the grill if the weather cooperates!

For more meal plans, visit this blog. Pin It

Saturday, May 7, 2011

iNSD-{inter}National Scrapbooking Day

If you are a digi scrapper, the internet is full of good things today! Start here:Click the image above to visit the CatScrap shop. I am in the process of downloading some very cute things right now...

I have run errands and grocery shopped all morning and now I have to face the inevitable task of sanding and repainting my kitchen shelf.
The shelf is the hub of our kitchen. Three hooks on one side hold book bags, jackets and lunchboxes. It holds all of my cookbooks and many other things. Oh, and shoes are in 3 bins on the bottom shelf.{please excuse photo resolution while i tinker with my blog settings}
The kitchen painting was completed on Tuesday. Without the shelf in place, all of life's daily essentials remain scattered throughout other rooms in my house. I'd like to simplify and do without but the last 4 days have taught me, I need that additional space. I will just need to be more creative in how I use the shelf which means seeking out baskets and boxes to hide some of the crap.

So, I think the shelf is going to be the same warm yellow as my newly painted kitchen walls: Blonde by Sherwin Williams. I am toying with grey on the inside and on the shelves and yellow on the exterior but I have a feeling my patience will not ultimately allow that to happen. Pin It

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The painting is complete

Between preparing the house for the painters to come and now trying to put the rooms back together, blogging fell off the radar. Add in a ton of teacher appreciation week activities and you have me running in circles in search of a nap!
So a quick remote update is what you get for now but I have so many home decor ideas swirling around that pictures and projects will soon follow.

My newly painted, upstairs hall.

Fun gift idea from eighteen25.

Friday night wallpaper removal. Good riddance!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

my heart

I have a very sad heart. A father of one of Shelby's classmates died on Tuesday night. We just returned from the visitation and seeing his two young children broke my heart. I surely do not understand. They had a photo montage playing on two TV screens and Dave noted that this man's birthday was exactly 10 days before his and they were born in the very same year. It is impossible not to feel the weight of that.

Pictures, scrapbook pages, telling my story... they always feel right and worthwhile to me but never more than at an occasion like this. I can imagine this family is grateful for every one of their photos and stories that have been recorded.
I am so thankful for the many memories I have been able to capture and record. I am thankful for the girls and people playing the starring roles in my life.I am grateful for technology (cameras, smartphones, computers, photoshop, digital scrapbooking) and my ability to own and use those resources.

Today, there are plenty of other things needing my attention in our home but today, I made the above two layouts. And my time was well spent.

Layouts and product credits can be found ::HERE::

If you are the praying kind, we currently have SO MANY in our circle of friends and family facing struggles. If you can offer up a prayer, I'd appreciate it :) Pin It