Friday, December 31

What's Your Favorite...

or rather WHO is your favorite Scrapper?? Who inspires you? This is our new challenge over at TAAFOMFT. There are so many scrapbook designers who I admire....Jennifer McGuire, Ali Edwards, Jessica Sprague, Jenni Bolwin, Elizabeth Kartchner and list goes one... But I've chosen for this challenge TAAFOMFT design team. These women are amazing!!! Each one has a different way of expressing their love and joy of scrapbooking with each beautiful layout, card or project they create... They inspire me and fill my heart with possibilities They are remarkable women... and I'm blessed to have them in my life.

So now that you know mine... why not pop over to TAAFOMFT and see who inspires our design team.... then play along with us and share who your favorite scrapbooker is...We'd love know know!


Saturday, December 25

Thursday, December 23

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today would have been my dad's 85th birthday. It has been difficult without him.

Tuesday, December 21

Sparkle The Elf...

The other day when I went to get the mail, Rainee received a package from none other than Santa... and inside was a letter from Santa and a little Elf.... named Sparkle. Santa and Mrs. Claus sent him for Rainee to play with and to be his eyes and ears to make sure Rainee was feeding Champ, helping mommy and being good. Sparkle reports back to Santa & Mrs. Claus every evening during the holiday season... because he needs to know how not only Rainee is doing, but also mommy and daddy. So you can imagine, we've all been on our best behavior for a good report to Santa.

In the letter, Santa also told us a little bit about Sparkle... how he likes to play, but that is favorite game of all is Hide & Seek! Santa told us that during the holiday season, Sparkle may hide in a new place every morning but after Christmas, Sparkle will go to sleep until next year!!! So every morning, since Sparkle has been with us, Rainee gets up to see if Sparkle is where she left him... and of course he isn't... so she goes searching the house to find him! She's been having so much fun with him!!!  Although Sparkle loves to hide, we've come to realize... he always seems to leave something showing... usually it's been his hat!!! It's been very fun to see where Sparkle is each morning... and he's been helping us all stay on Santa's Nice List! I sure am glad Santa sent him to give us some holiday fun!!!


Friday, December 17

What We've Been Up To...

Life around here gets so busy at the holiday season... that I don't seem to have time for the things I love doing - things which keep me sane on a daily basis like... talking to my sister... scrapping... blogging... and visiting my favorite blogs... soooooooo please forgive me for the laps in my posts and my comments on your blog... life gets crazy!

Now that all the PTA fund raisers are finished... Rainee's class Christmas projects are finished... her class party will be over today... and all my shopping is finished... I'm hoping to be able to start blogging again and get one post done a day!!! I'm crossing my fingers!!! I have to catch up on my Weekly Gratitude posts.. but it's a good thing I have a journal going on that so I can get those posts done!!!

So as for what's been going on around our hectic home??? I thought I'd share a few things...

Make Christmas Tree Pizza's... This was such fun... Rainee got a blast out of punching the dough and making the tree shape... this was one yummy dinner!

Making Ice Cream Snowmen - This was one of our holiday things to do... Rainee had a blast making this little guy...

Helping daddy with the Christmas lights... well, not really... mostly playing with the ladder as a Santa Sleigh with all her stuffed animals... so cute!!!

Making SnickerDoodles.... a holiday favorite around our house!!!!

Helping with the PTA fund raiser... and loading up the Goodwill Truck.... this was such a great way to make money for the school field trips... happy to say we made $2300.00 in an afternoon... Thank you Goodwill for such a great way to help our school!!!

As a surprise for Rainee... Steve and I decorated Rainee's room with lights, a mini tree and lots of other Christmas things.... it was so fun watching her get excited about her holiday room!

Making the class Christmas gift with the kids in Rainee's class... They had such fun painting and stamping....

Raking leaves and jumping in them... We don't have snow... but our big beautiful tree sheds a lot of leaves... so we're constantly raking them up... and Rainee... well, she's having fun jumping the the pile... weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Playing card games and watching movies on the portable DVD player... when the power was out for servicing... it was a whole day without electricity... no Internet... no cooking... no laundry. Thank goodness the batteries on the DVD player and computer were charged so we could watch movies.... so glad it was only one day!!!

Playing Christmas Charades... Charades is one of our most favorite things to do as a family... Rainee's really good at it...  such fun!!!

More baking... this time... Chai-Kissed ChocoDoodles... yum yum yum!

Well, that is just a few things we've been doing around here - I'll share more later... have a lovely lovely day... happy Friday!


Wednesday, December 15

What's Your Favorite...

2010 Scrapbook Layout, Card or Project?? Is our challenge over at TAAFOMFT. I love looking back on the layouts I've done... I take pleasure in looking at the past year's memories and I'm always awe struck at the changes I see in my daughter and how much she's grown.

For this challenge I've chosen "My Little Bug" as my favorite layout of 2010. It's a favorite for many reasons.... I like how this layout came out... but I also love this photo of Rainee and I love love love  the memory attached to it!!

If you know my daughter at all you know she's a love bug. She at any time during the day is saying "Mommy, I love you!"... or is invariably asking for a hug & kiss... and I love love love it!!! It's one of those childhood things I don't ever ever ever want to stop. But I also know eventually as she grows older I won't hear those words quite as often or receive those hugs & kisses at the drop of a hat... so I'm cherishing every one of them now... I'm holding on them... because they are precious... and I don't ever want to take one of them for granted. So, for many many many reason this layout is more than just my favorite... it is also one of my most favorite things about my daughter I don't want to EVER end.

Okay, so what is your favorite??? What layout, card or project have you done this last year that every time you look at it, it takes your breath away... because of the design or the memories it holds. We'd love to see it!!!! So hop over to TAAFOMFT and share it with us!!! While over there you're going to love love love checking out what the DT has chosen as their favorites for this challenge from all the wonderful works they've done all year. Come on over... we'd can't wait to see your favorite!!


Tuesday, December 7

Advent Calendar... & Where Did The Week Go???...

Golly where did the last week go???? I can't tell you how many times I tried to blog... but between last minute freelance design work, shopping, crafting with Rainee and getting ready for the class craft.... I haven't had a moment extra to blog...

Here is my promised Daily Activity Advent Calendar in one of my Ivory EverydayFrame... I love how it looks in the frame... and it works so great with pulling out each days surprise. For the page protector, I used a regular one and sewed all my squares for each day... then made a little pocket for the day so I could put a little note inside each day. I have to say, I love love love it... and Rainee... she's getting real kick out of what we do each day... it's been a blast! I've enjoyed watching her excitement at the 'surprise' for the day.

I printed out something for all 25 days... plus a few extras... just in case of ill weather... or the days circumstances change. Having those extras has really worked out well... because it rained this last weekend and we weren't able to do what I had planned.

I've had such a blast with it, I've already decided to do more calendars to count down fun things like... counting down to... Valentine's day...  Easter...  the start of school... and of course Rainee's birthday!!! Sooooooo I once again need to say.... thank you thank you thank you Deana... for such an inspiring idea!!! I love it!!! And so does Rainee!!!

Here's my list with some of the things we'll be doing or have done...
  • Visiting Santa and taking pictures with him
    Making a Christmas Tree Pizza and Ice Cream Snowman
  • Making hot chocolate and reading the Christmas Story
  • Putting out the Christmas Decorations... and sharing favorite Christmas stories
  • Making S'mores by the fireplace
  • Christmas Charades
  • An Indoor Picnic
  • Going Ice skating
  • Newport Beach Boat Parade
  • Driving around to see the neighborhood Christmas lights
  • Popping pop corn for a night of Holiday movies
  • A Snow Day in the Mountains - sledding, snowball fights and a snowman
  • Our annual Carriage Ride
  • Baking Christmas cookies... with frosting the works
  • Holiday cookies... for the neighbors and friends
  • Going shopping for our annual New Christmas Ornament
  • Making our Gingerbread House
  • Baking Christmas Pies
  • Hitting all the stores that have free crafts (Michael's, Joann's, Bass Pro, Home Depot and Lowes)
  • Christmas Crafts I've put together for Rainee (this one will happen on multiple days!!)
  • Taking a trip to the Christmas Tree farm - - to play and enjoy a cup of hot apple cider
  • Making hot apple cider and reading the Night before Christmas
  • Going shopping for daddy's gift and having lunch together
  • Having friends over for a Mini Christmas Party
  • Putting light up on the house and all over Rainee's room
  • Family Game Night with lots of special Holiday Treats
  • Going to the Rescue Center to give toys for the needy
  • Wrapping presents and enjoying a holiday treat
  • Making Rainee's teachers gift
  • Going to Disneyland for the Holiday Spectacular
  • Put out cookies and milk for Santa and having a few ourselves
  • Open presents and play play play with all the fun new toys!
That's my list so far... it's been sooooooo fun... I keep coming up with more things to do... and what's so great is having the extras on  hand when a day doesn't go the way it's suppose to. I hope this gives you some inspirations... and some fun ideas to do during the holiday. If you have any other 'to do' ideas, I'd love to know what they are. Until next time I blog... hopefully tomorrow... have a really wonderful day!


Tuesday, November 30

What's Your Favorite...

Celebrity??? What a fun challenge!!! All of us over at TAAFOMFT had such fun with it! I had a great time with this one. I was going to do just mine... but before I stared I thought it would be interesting to find out who my family favs were... I hadn't planned on scrapping all of them... but when I asked each one... they both said the same thing... "I have two... I have a favorite male and a favorite female... and I can't choose between them"... and when I thought about it... I did too! I couldn't decide which of ours I liked more... I loved all our choices... so decided it would be something different to do a layout with all of our favs on it! It will be amusing to look back on and see if our favorites have changed. Mine... probably not... Steve's either... but Rainee... I'm sure hers WILL change... and someday, when she looks back at her choices at 6 years old... she may be shocked!! So... as of today... 2010... my families favorite celebrities are....
Rainee: Joe Jonas & Demi Lavato
Steve: Diane Lane & Clint Eastwood
Mine: Sean Connery & Sandra Bullock

This was a delightful challenge!!! Now it's your turn??? Who is your favorite? Or do you too have more than one? And a must must must is seeing what our design team did with their favorites!!! They are wonderful... as usual!!! Some chose one... others couldn't decide on one... and others... well I think you need to check them out!!!! Go check them out and join us for this fav challenge... we'd love to see what your favorites are... over at TAAFOMFT!!!!


Monday, November 29

Monday List...

I love a good list... and I do them here every once in a while... and today... is one of those days. With the Holidays quickly approaching... I have a few thing I need to get done before Wednesday... the first of December....
  • Get the dates on my December Daily
  • Make sure my extra camera batteries are charged and ready when I need them
  • Go over my list of daily December things to do with Rainee & our family
  • Make and print my advent calendar cards for my calendar
  • Get the Christmas decorations out
  • Grab a holiday coffee at Starbucks
  • Make Rainee's naughty or nice chart
  • Make Rainee's Christmas list page - for family and of course Santa
  • Slow down and enjoy each day

For each day in December, in my new advent calendar (which I'll show you on Wednesday).... I decided to put something to do each day in them, instead of trying to find little tiny things to put in the other advent calendar I have.

I have to give credit where credit is due... and this wonderful idea came from my wonderfully creative friend, Deana. I remembered it from last year and thought it was such a great idea... I wanted to adopt it for our family this year! .... But... But... But... although I have nearly something for every day.... I'm still lacking a few... so I'm putting it out there... if you and your family do something... anything fun... during the holiday season... I'd love to know about it... so maybe I can use it for one of my days.... Can't wait to hear what you come up with.... and have a happy Monday!!!


Friday, November 26

Black Friday Sale....

Your scrapbooking is meaningful... With our EverydayFrames you can enjoy your treasured memories... at home... in the office... anywhere you'd like to share your creative keepsakes! With EverydayFrames you can easily display and change your creativity... change your it with each new season... or now with the holidays here, make an arrangement of your treasured holiday memories.

Check out our frames... Ebony Clean Cut... Ivory Clean Cut... and our newest addition... DecorateIt! With our DecorateIt EverydayFrame you can make it your own... stain it, paint it, create your own look... to match your decor.

Don't miss our 3DAY Black Friday Sale!!! Buy ONE ~ Get ONE 1/2 OFF!!! Or get a gift certificate for someone special... and let them choose their favorite style! EverydayFrames really are the perfect holiday gift for the scrapbooker in your life.


Thursday, November 25

Weekly Gratitude...

Thanksgivings. I am grateful for those who came before me to set out for a new land... for freedom. For those who forged ahead in all degrees... from despair to hope... for what seemed a dream to them... freedom. I am thankful for for this day. Grateful, I am able to spend it with my family... Grateful for the hope this day represents and what it brought to our country. I am grateful for their dream fulfilled... which helps me to forge forward to make my dreams... my hopes... a reality.  I have been blessed by those who came before me and I am blessed to live in this country... and blessed by the freedoms it brings. Thank you for the courage to follow your dream... so that I may have this day... for my freedom... and for my dreams. I am grateful. I am blessed.

Monday, November 22

What's Cooking To{day}...

Yeah, we're all ready to start cooking Thanksgiving dinner... unless something disastrous happens... all the shopping is done! I don't want to have to go shopping again until after Thanksgiving!! Yesterday, Rainee and I went shopping at Trader Joe's for our free-range turkey plus most of our shopping... I love that place!! Then to Stater Bros. where we finished off the rest of our shopping! And our deal of the day was... 10 lbs. of potatoes for .69¢!!! wow!

I am really looking forward to cooking.... I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner! I don't know about you but, we have the traditional dinner... plus we like to add one new thing to the menu. We watched the Throwdown with Bobby Flay and Ree Drummond and I might check out her potatoes recipe.... but Bobby made brussel sprouts with pomegranate molasses... and Steve's decided HE HAS TO HAVE THEM... me??? Yuk! I've never ate a brussel sprout I've liked... so I'm making them just for him. Of course, I will try them, but... I'm not looking forward to it!

One recipe which has become a a tradition in our home is my Cranberry Salsa. It adds a nice little spice to our dinner... I love love love it!! I've found over the years this recipe makes such a big batch... I have enough for Thanksgiving and some Christmas canning. It's made an easy holiday gift for family, friends and neighbor's... plus I like having it around for when I have a craving... it goes great with tortilla chips. It's also a wonderful appetizer using 8 oz. of cream cheese and pour about 1 ½ cups of Cranberry Salsa over cream cheese and serve with your favorite crackers or chips. YUM!

So... to{day} I thought I'd share the recipe with you... adding a little spice to your Thanksgiving dinner... and ya never know it may become a tradition in your home too. Enjoy!!

Cranberry Salsa ~

2 Cans WHOLE Cranberry Sauce (I like Ocean Spray)
1 Large Onion (chopped)
1 Bunch of Cilantro (chopped)
Jalapeno Peppers (3-6peppers) (chopped & seeded) - - I use 3... I like to taste my food
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
Juice of 1 Lime

In a large bowl, place chopped onions, cilantro, jalapenos, WHOLE cranberry sauce, cumin and lime juice. Mix together. Let sit overnight, so all the flavor blend together. I have made it the same day... first thing in the morning and let it sit for 6-8 hours... and it's fine.

I hope you enjoy it!!! Let me know if you use it, I'd love to know what you think... do you love it? or hate it?  Have a terrific Tuesday!!!


Happy Monday...

Good Morning & Happy Monday! Although it was a cold rainy weekend, it was wonderful to warmed ourselves by the fire to get the chill out.... Rainee is so excited for the colder weather so we can have a fire... she's have one every night all year if she could. So, even though is was raining we did have a fun weekend and I'm really looking forward our time together during her Thanksgiving week vacation.

To start her vacation off we did a little crafting at Michael's, on Saturday. They have a fun new craft every weekend now until Christmas... which is going to be so much fun for Rainee. She did a Christmas stocking... and although we don't need another.... it was so great getting out of the house to do something together. I think it's perfect... but once we were home, Rainee's decided it needs some snowflakes plus Mr. Snowman needs a hat... so we'll be finishing it this week.

Today, we're off to do our Thanksgiving shopping. I wanted to do it this weekend, but there was a scheduled outage in our area for upgrades... so I didn't want anything to go bad... so today... we are shopping. Plus I think we're going to try to fit some scrapping projects in. I love doing something fun with Rainee for our Thanksgiving table... so we'll have to see what we come up with...

I also wanted to thanks... Kim ( and Mandie ( they did a blog-candy blog swap and I was one of the winners!!!! I don't usually win anything... so, I'm very excited... and wanted to make sure to say thank you! thank you! thank you! What a wonderful surprise... yeah me!!!

Until tomorrow... I hope you have a happy day...


Friday, November 19

You Look.... Fabulous!!!

I told you a couple of weeks ago I pulled out some old photos of Rainee... that I've still to scrap. Well, here's another one!

When worked full time, there was one thing I was really good at... and that was keeping notes about places we've been, things we've done, memories we shared.... as well as some of Rainee's first's... like this photo... these are her first pair of sunglasses. When I stopped working... I stopped taking as many notes... don't know why... guess I figured I'm home... I'll remember... right! So now, looking back at all those notes... I realized I need start that old habit again... Because there are so many things happening every day.... I can't remember them all and I don't want to look back and say... What was this??? What were we doing??? I'm getting out my note pad... I don't know if I'll catch up but I can start fresh... it's a good habit to keep... anywayyyyyyy here's the latest baby-Rainee photo... scrapped!!! Yeah!

The hat she's wearing was a baby gift... and she wore it everywhere... we loved it... she loved it!!! We use to say... "You look fabulous!"... whenever she wore it... and Rainee would start giggling... it was the cutest thing!! In this photo not only is she's wearing her fabulous hat... but she's also wearing her first pair of sunglasses.... and well... she really does look fabulous giggling away... love this photo!!!

Thanks so sharing going down memory lane with me... I hope you have a happy Friday... and a very wonderful weekend!!! Enjoy!! 


Thursday, November 18

Weekly Gratitude...

Blue Ice. Sounds weird I know, but I am. On Friday, when I got out of bed I twisted my back wrong... but I kept going. After taking Rainee to school, I came home and put the heating pad then Blue Ice on my back... I wanted to take care of this right away... I didn't want it to get any worse or ruin the fun plans I had for the weekend. But neither of those helped... it only continued to get worse... and the only comfortable position for me by then was standing... not moving.... just standing. I thought I could push through it... because I have a high pain tolerance.... but when I started crying, Steve knew it was bad. I didn't know what to do... I couldn't sit... I couldn't move... it was awful!!! I called a friend who just got over doing pretty much the same thing to her back, as Steve went to pick Rainee up from school. My friend told me a few things to do... but to make sure I DID NOT to put heat on it... only use ice... well, I blew that one. She told me to just keep ice on it... basically until it goes away. Which is exactly what I did... all weekend!

All the fun things I had planned for Rainee and I... went by the wayside, because I was stuck in a chair. We didn't do any of the fun things I had planned... no pecan picking... no crafts... no scrapping... no baking... it was very disappointing! Rainee helped me whenever I needed to get up... she prayed for me get better... and what was suppose to be our fun weekend was spent watching lots and lots of movies. When Steve wasn't working, he helped out cooking and he took Rainee to the park several times, so she wasn't complete home bound. It was not the weekend I had planned... it was awful.

By Monday I was able to work at Rainee's school. On Tuesday and Wednesday I was much better, just a little stiffness... and today... as I got out of bed, I finally started feeling like myself again. So today, I am grateful for Blue Ice... and my friend's advice. I'm grateful for the rest... for all the love, care and prayers my family gave me... and I'm grateful to be feeling like myself again. I am grateful.


Wednesday, November 17

Sweet Blessings...

Well I had a great day!!! I put our Little Tikes Bouncer on Craig's List and sold it 2 hours later!!! Yeah! More money for Christmas!!! I was also able to get caught up on my laundry... go to Walmart get what I needed without a ton of people... went grocery shopping for dinner... plus I had a chance to work on my SketchyThursdays layout... yeah... at least I'm not late... I might still have a chance at those Copic Pens! And now... it's time for homework to get done... then I'll start dinner... I love it when a day goes smoothly... don't you??? It makes me a very happy girl!!! Until tomorrow... have a nice evening!!!


Tuesday, November 16

What's Your Favorite...

Fall Color or Colors??? This is our new challenge with a twist over at TAAFOMFT... This time we've all made cards... Thank you cards... we'd love for you to join us in sending your thank you card to some scrapping women in need at this time in their lives. There will be no favorite chosen or prize randomly picked... This time it's the gift of giving.

As for my favorite fall color.... my all time favorite color is Red... any shade of red... but the color changes of fall are so beautiful... and although we don't see a lot of it, where I am in California... I still love this season!! I love seeing photos of tree lined streets... or a park filled with falls colorful beauty... For me a favorite of all the those fall beauties, would have to be... orange... it's everywhere I look and every shade... it's delightful! For me, it makes the season so festive....

Come along with us at TheseAreAFewOfMyFavoriteThings and share your favorite Fall Color card... and hop over to see the wonderful inspirational cards from our design team.


Friday, November 12

One Fine Day....

It is amazing to me how many photos one can take at one time.... like I did at the pumpkin patch.... I've done several layouts and I still have photos I've yet to do something with.... either I take too many photos (which could never happen to a scrapbooker)... or my photography classes are are kicking in and I'm taking a lot better shots!!! Whichever it is... here is another pumpkin patch layout... it really was 'One Fine Day!!'....

What's your weekend plans??? Mine? I'll be working on my December Daily... I just received some of the Christmas stuff I ordered... very exciting!!! Rainee and I baked one of our pumpkins so we can now make our yummy... Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread (from this post).... we're planning on going to the nature park to pick pecans... make crafts at Bass Pro, Lowes, and Michaels... see a movie... go to church... I also need to catch up on my blog commenting I've been slacking on them... because I've been soooooo busy... I need to scrap a layout with the sketch from SketchyThursdays... because I want a chance to win those Copic pens.... plus I'd like to do a couple EverydayVideos... I have a couple fun fall things I want to do. It's  bit of a list... and this only what I can remember right now... hopefully everything will happen... I'll let you know... I hope your weekend is filled with delightful things... enjoy!!!


Thursday, November 11

Weekly Gratitude...

As this day begins I want to thank and honor our Veterans who served our country when we have been at war and when we were at peace... it is because of you we continue to be free. Because of your service I am able to live this life of freedom. Without your service, I know my life and the life of my family would be so different. I am grateful for all you have done in making my freedom possible. I am grateful for your heart to serve our country. So for those who have served and those who are serving now... I Thank YOU for watching over us... We are a great country because of you... and we are truly blessed by your service to our country and our freedom. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you dad for serving our country... I miss you!