Friday, December 26, 2008

Presents galore

Two words: Spoiled. Rotten.

What a Christmas we had! Grayson, Sam and Shane all got lots of gifts, but I was the one who really got spoiled this year! I was just like a kid yesterday when I opened my gifts:

* A new iPhone...technically I already had one but it was for Shane's work so I couldn't really personalize it or download the apps I wanted. Now I have one that's mine all mine! Joy!

* Bind-It-All personal binding machine. If you haven't seen this fabulous tool, take a look here. I will be making mega mini-albums starting today! Fun!

* "Sublime Goddess" spa gift certificate. No explanation needed! Bliss!

* External Hard drive with additional server backup. That's back up x three people! OK it's not very romantic or exciting, but very much needed. My precious pics will be safe!

* PJ' flannel goodness!

* Victoria's Secret Assorted creams and potions and lotions. Sexy!

* A whole lo-tta choc-o-lat-a! Delish!

* Gift certificates to shop. Again, no explanation required. Now I just need a babysitter.

WOW! Now, so you don't think that I am overly materialistic, I have to tell you that I just wasn't expecting any of these gifts. I was so focused on getting everyone else's presents purchased and getting the house and food ready that I didn't think about what I wanted. I had thrown out a few ideas when asked, but didn't give it a second thought, so I was very happily surprised!

We had a lovely Christmas breakfast (I made Wifesaver and Schwartzies potatoes - yum!) after opening all the gifts and then got ready for the big feast with all the family over. It was really great to have mom here, and she did so well. She may not have recognized everyone or participated in the conversations, but she enjoyed herself, ate a fair amount and seemed to have a good time.

Today is Boxing Day in Canada, and while many are out shopping the great deals, our tradition is to have a very lazy day, stay in our PJ's, play with all our new toys and eat turkey sandwiches (with cranberry sauce and havarti cheese - trust me - seriously yummy!) It's a very relaxing day after all the Christmas busy-ness.

Tomorrow night we are going to ZooLights at the Calgary Zoo...another tradition we love. I like the fact that we get to enjoy many different things over the holiday SEASON, not just on Christmas day!

Enjoy your holiday!

Happy Scrapping,


Monday, December 22, 2008

Organizing for Christmas and the New Year

I don't know about you, but I am in a mad dash to get everything done! You'd think that being at home full time I would have been organized a long time ago, but it always seems to come down to the wire. We are hosting present opening and breakfast on Christmas morning for my Dad and Shane's mom, and then later on we'll have the family Christmas dinner for about 13. We are bringing mom over from her care facility, but I think we are all a bit apprehensive as to how she will react. It wouldn't be Christmas without her being here, so I am hoping she will enjoy it, eat something and not get too agitated. This will be stressful, but all we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

We started Christmas a little early this year - we had a family dinner at my cousin's house on Friday and Grayson got to open a present. Lucky! We also had a pre-Christmas Christmas dinner at Shane's mom place on Saturday night. It was supposed to be our chance to celebrate Christmas with Shane's brother Darcy who works on the oil rigs in northern Alberta. Because of his schedule he wasn't going to be home on Christmas day, but he ended up working 5 weeks straight and wasn't even able to get home for this weekend! Poor guy. I hope they feed him well on Christmas day! But, we did have a nice evening with my mother-in-law and Darcy's lovely girfriend Maja. Oh, and Grayson go to open ANOTHER present! Great evening. Here's Sammy with Grammy Peggy:
I mentioned in earlier posts that I was taking the Cut the Crazy out of Christmas class at BPS. I love my planner, and even though I am not quite finished getting ready at least I know where all the info is! I also like that it has made me think about the kind of traditions I want my family to enjoy now and remember later.
One tradition from when I was a little girl was counting down the days to Christmas. We have been doing this at home on the calendar, but next year I am making a WAY cuter version of an Advent calendar like Georgana Hall did here. My plan is to order the supplies NOW and put a note on my calendar next October or early November to pull it out and get it done in time for December 1.

Another tradition for me was always getting new Christmas themed pajamas. Here are the boys in their new jammies, but they aren't looking too happy...I guess that's what you get when you try to take a pic of sleepy boys!
We are also plan on attending ZooLights after Christmas at the Calgary Zoo. This is a relatively new tradition which we started at Grayson's first Christmas. I think Sam will enjoy it as well. You can wander around and look at over 1 million lights set up in the shape of animals. Hot chocolate and firepits make is even more fun!
I will be looking forward to adding more traditions as the boys grow up.
There is not much scrapping happening right now...I did a page plan and a digital layout for my weekly website posting, but haven't had time to do much more. If you haven't checked either of my websites lately, you may have missed the info on the "A Year of Memories Workshop". I am SO excited for this one - it is GENIUS! In this two hour workshop, you set up your yearly wall calendar using products from CM's 8x8 "Celebrate" Kit. When you get home, your Mini-Everyday display will be a handy place to note appointments and events for each month, as well as a place to keep photos, tickets or invitations close at hand because of the little magnets and clothespins that come with it. Here is a sample shot of January's calendar, which you can display on a table or hang on a wall.

Cute, right? But here is the genius the end of each month, you change out your calendar page and slip the previous month's page into a 8x8 "Celebration" picfolio album. Then you add a few pics to the facing page using the rest of the products in the Celebration kit, and you have easily documented what happened that month and recorded your memories! Isn't that a great and simple idea? Here is what a January album page might look like:

Brilliant! This will be such an easy and do-able way to "keep up" with a year's worth of info, events and pohotos for your family! And what a treasure you will have at the end of the year - a calendar with notes as to all that you did and photos to boot!

If you are in the Calgary, Alberta area, check out the info for and make plans to attend my workshop scheduled for January 15, 2009. If you are anywhere else in Canada, you can still order the bundle of products from Creative Memories that has everything you need to set up your calendar (but doesn't include the album for slipping pages into later) by clicking here. If you are outside Canada, I would suggest visiting the CM home page and searching for a consultant in your area to order the bundle. Don't miss this - get organized now to capture a year's worth of memories! I am super excited by this!

OK...even though I am excited and want to go downstairs and start scrapping right now, I guess I better start checking off items on my to-do list!

Just in case I don't have a chance to post again before the big day, Merry Christmas! I hope it is full of joy, laughter and love.

Happy Scrapping,


Monday, December 15, 2008

Back at it

I know, I know, I was MIA for a few days. So sorry - chalk it up to Christmas preparations! But I am back and have some exciting, fun and yummy things to share!

First off...I am so excited to have been asked to join the Design Team for Christmas Cards All Year Long! I have been following this site since it's inception and I love what Deanne and her team did this fall. When I saw the Design Team call, I sat on it for a while and debated about entering. I entered at the last minute figuring I would get a "Thanks but no thanks" email, so was I ever thrilled to get a "Welcome to the team" email from Deanne instead! Here is the card I created using elements from Shabby Princess Holiday Magic Kit. (Although it is a digital kit, I printed off some of the elements and then cut and pasted them onto my card.)

This is the first Design Team I have been on, and I will be creating cards for the site from January through March! Make sure to bookmark the site and check back often, or use the link on my sidebar.

Next up...many sites and blogs are giving away free things leading to Christmas. Yesterday I got an email from Big Picture Scrapbooking saying that they are giving away a class called "Glimpses". Of course I immediately signed up! While I was there I saw the schedule for the new year has been posted! They are offering classes from scrappy stars like Wendy Smedley, Ali Edwards, Kolette Hall and Jenni Bowlin among others, but the class I have been waiting for is "Library of Memories" by Stacy Julian. I first came across Stacy's system in her books, and I have implemented some of her strategies, but I am looking forward to taking the three month long class with her and finally get my photo/scrapbooking system working! (The class starts in February) Then today I got another email from BPS with free downloadable and cute Christmas gift tags! Better get over there and sign up so you can get fun emails like this too!

As for our dailly baking of Christmas treats, that got a little behind as well! We haven't actually made our Chinese noodle cookies (as mentioned in Dec 5 blog!!!)yet, but we did make Nanaimo bars. Here are the recipes (sorry no pics) for both:

Nanaimo Bars For those of you who are reading from outside of Canada...these are named for a city on Vancouver Island, BC. Apparently they were a winning entry in a recipe contest, but the modest baker named them after her town as opposed to herself! Whatever the name, these are so yummy! The recipe is a bit involved (not hard though) so when I am in a pinch I use a boxed mix from Robin Hood, but when I have enough time, here is the recipe I use:

Bottom layer-
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp. Cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Melt first 3 ingredients on top of a double boiler. Add egg. Stir constantly until cooked and thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press into square (8x8 or 9x9) pan and refrigerate while you are making the middle layer.

Middle Layer -
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. + 2 Tsp. cream (ie: whipping cream)
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream all ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer -
4 squares 1 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. butter
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave, stirring until completely melted. Cool for a few minutes, then pour over second layer (spreading if needed to cover entire layer). Refrigerate. Cut into bars, squares or triangles. Freezes well.

Chinese Noodle Cookies When I was growing up mom and I made these every Christmas. Another very easy, delicious, chocolately, no-bake treat that freezes well.
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 12 oz. package butterscotch chips
1 10 oz. can Chinese noodles (I use China Lily brand)
1 12 oz. can peanuts
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in large bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth and glossy. Add Chinese noodles and peanuts. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment or wax paper. Let cool until hardened. Makes about 30 cookies.

Now I have to do some updating on my website (watch for this week's page plan a little later on) and get the Christmas cards in the mail. Then there's still wrapping, cleaning, shopping...yikes! Gotta go!

Happy Scrapping!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Shopping Hints for Men and Today's Treat

I saw this Youtube video on Emilie Ahern's Blog today and died laughing. And what a good reminder to all the guys out there with Christmas shopping in full swing. I can relate because my DH is the type to give me a vaccum OR the computer memory...oh wait a minute...he's actually given me both! LOL! Enjoy!

Today's Treat is Peppermint Bark! SOOOOO easy, very tasty, extremely pretty and great to give away for little hostess gifts. It is so easy I am almost embarrassed to post the recipe...are you ready? Get your pens out...

3 bags white chocolate chips
12 peppermint candy canes - crushed/chopped .

*Melt chocolate chips in microwave for about 1.5 to 2 minutes.
*Stir until smooth.
*Spread on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
*Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
*Refrigerate until firm.
*Break into pieces.
*Package up into cellophane bags to give away!

See I told you it was easy!

Tomorrow's treat - Chinese Noodle Cookies

Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Baking and Eating

(Second post today! Wow!)

Well, we started Christmas baking with one of my favorite no-bake treats (and they are easy for Grayson to help with) We are going to be making a few more treats over the next few days so I thought I would share the recipes.

Today's treat...Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares!!!

These are super sweet and super easy to make! I could eat them every day, but I only make them at Christmas! Here's the recipe:

2 packages butterscotch chips (250 grams each)
3/4 cup peanut butter (I use all-natural and it turns out fine)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 cups mini marshmallows (1 250 gram package) (I like to use the multi colored ones instead of plain white)

*Melt chips, peanut butter and butter in a large bowl in the microwave for about 1 and 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir until all the chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool for a few minutes, then gently fold in the marshmallows. Pour mixture into greased 9 x 13 pan. Regrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and freeze if desired.

Of course we had to sample them to make sure they were OK...and they were - YUMMY!

Tomorrow's treat - Peppermint Bark.

We also had another milestone today for Sam...he started eating rice cereal! He is 25 weeks, a big boy and he always seems so interested in what we are eating, so it was time to get him started. I got a great portable high chair that attaches to a kitchen chair (much better than our old freestanding one) and sat Sam in it. I let him play for a while to get used to the chair before feeding him. He was pretty unsure about this, but in the end he ate all of the cereal (all of 1 whole tablespoon!!!) and seemed to like it - at least he didn't spit it out! He even licked the spoon afterwards.

What a boy. What a day.
Happy Scrapping!

Help me pick!

I finished up creating this year's photocard...actually I created 6 of them! You see, several people have asked me if I would design photocards for them for various occasions, so I thought I would create a little side business! I will put the info and some samples for Christmas Photocards up on my website later today, and then will add birthday, wedding, thank you, birth announcements and other styles in the future.

But I would love a little feedback...which of these 6 designs do you like best? I have to choose one for our photocards for this year...I am leaning towards number 6 myself!

All the cards were created using Storybook Creator Plus program by Creative Memories. See info below each photocard for details of digital kits used.

Shabby Princess Holiday Magic Kit

Shabby Princess Holiday Magic Kit

Shabby Princess Holiday Magic Kit

Epson Christmas Project/Digital Kit
Summer Driggs Giving Kit

Summer Driggs Giving Kit
Now, my next goal its to learn how to create my own digital papers and embellishments. Any suggestions on courses to look at?
Happy Scrapping!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

100 things

This list has been floating around a few blogs I read. I saw it on Lain's blog and decided to copy it and see what I have done and what I want to do - sort of like a bucket list ( although I think I could still add to that one!)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Girl Guide)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone's life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

(* A lot of the places are US based...had anyone seen a similar list using Canadian places?)

I have done 54/100 of these how about you????

Happy Scrapping!

PS...I was busy working on the website today...check out the latest additions on the What's New page!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Cards

In my earlier post today I said I was going to work on the photocard that we would send out with our family photo on it. Well...I got sidetracked and decided to play with paper and glue instead of jpegs and pixels and made some "regular" Christmas cards!

In October I took a class at BPS called Giving Well. The instructor was Kolette Hall who is a stamp and product designer for Hampton Art (you probably have some of her designs if you have ever shopped the dollar stamp bin at Michael's!) Besides giving us 14 great gift idea projects during the class, she also provided us with designs to use on tags and cards. I used the card designs today to make these cards:

These are very different cards for me...usually I spend time designing one or two cards and then make several more identical ones. This time I made fourteen different cards using the same materials. Each one was trial and error and I just did whatever I felt looked good with each of the little templates from Kolette. It was fun to not have a plan for a change! In addition to a few pieces of 8.5 x 11 cardstock and 2 sheets of 12 x 12 double sided paper I also used some brads, ribbons and buttons I had in my stash, so this was a very inexpensive project!
I think I'll work on the digital photocards tomorrow!
Happy Scrapping!
OH...I also changed the template on my blog to three columns using instructions and HTML code from this blog. There was lots of good info - check it out!

Christmas Photos

Who knew it would be so hard to get four people outfitted with coordinating clothing for the yearly Christmas card photo shoot? Well, the work paid off and the photos turned out very well! Have a look!

I really like the way they turned out! Now to play with making this year's Chrismtas card, which I will post when I am done!
Happy Scrapping!

Monday, November 17, 2008

30 Days of Holiday Projects

Holiday Alert!!!!

I was just doing some Creative Memories business (creating my holiday newsletter) and I came across an amazing little resource, right on my own CM site - Creative Memories' Design Team is showcasing a project a day throughout November!

I can't believe I am just finding this now...especially when I have been focusing on holiday proejcts for the past little month already! There are all sorts of sorts of fabulous projects already posted, and since it is only November 17, there will be 13 more to come!

Click here to see the 30 Days of Holiday Projects. I will post pics of any projects that I complete, and I would love to know if you try any of them!

Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We're on an organizational roll!

I guess getting my binders organized last week has spurred me on to bigger and better things! I am reading a book on organization by Sunny Schlenger and ideas are "clicking" for me in a few new ways, so I hope to continue getting things done! It feels great! I really have accomplished a lot!

1) On Thursday we FINALLY had our dishwasher and garbeurator installed! When we bought the house we knew there was no dishwasher and I said to Shane that it would have to be the very first thing we did. has taken 18 months and lots of other things were done ahead of it, but it is finally in. I am listening to it's oh-so-quiet hum right now. No more dishpan hands for me. Yay!

2) Sammy's nursery is complete. I had painted the walls a few weeks ago and finally found time to finish up the trim work this week. Shane set up the crib and then I spent some time decorating and putting things away. I used the same layette that I had in Grayson's room - it is a sun, moon and stars theme in soft shades of blue, yellow and green. It is very calming and VERY sweet! I had made an altered wood frame as the challenge this week over at JustCr8 with the intent of giving it as a gift, but it turns out to match Sammy's room perfectly! Here's a pic:
I used this collection of papers from CM, some chipboard embellies from the dollar store, a few buttons and a scrap of ribbon. Easy and inexpensive gift idea...even though this one is staying in Sam's nursery! I guess I have to put more frames on my TO-DO list now!
The best thing of all about Sam's new nursery is that he is actually sleeping in it. The transition from beside/in my bed went quite well. He had naps in his new crib on the first day, then he slept from 8:00 pm until 12:30 am on the first night, until 4:30 am on the second night and then all night last night! Sleep may be returning to our house after all (and that is probably why I actually have enough energy to do some of these projects around the house).

3) I sorted and organized my clothes and moved them into our bedroom closet. (I had been using the extra closet in Sammy's room, so I had to get out!) The problem was that I had four sets of clothes...pre-maternity fall, maternity, pre-maternity spring/summer and the few things I had to buy this summer because nothing fit me. So it took a while to figure out what fit and what was appropriate for the season and for a SAHM. I got rid of a lot by taking it to the Salvation Army, and I always feel good about giving things that I can't use away. Now my clothes that actually fit and work for my lifestyle right now all fit into my half of the closet in our bedroom. It sure makes it a lot easier each morning to get ready for the day.
4) We vacuumed out the newly created storage room in the basement and brought in some of the shelves from the garage. Then I put away a lot of the boxes that have just been hanging around while we did the renos. While I am not finished this task, I am pleased by the space I have freed up and by how accessible the boxes are now that they aren't stacked on the floor.
Alas, I did not work on my scrapspace yet...maybe this week!!!
Happy Scrapping,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Getting Organized

My house has been in a state of CHAOS ("Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome" according to FlyLady!) since we moved in over a year ago. We started renovations on our 40 year old bungalow before we even moved in and we have been at it ever since. Right now I have a missing cabinet in my kitchen where the dishwasher is supposed to be installed in the next couple of weeks and all the dishes that were stored in that cabinet are on the kitchen table. Sam's nursery is 95% complete...we just have to actually set up the crib once we find it in the storage locker we call the garage. Our newly developed basement looks great except for the masses of rubbermaid blue totes that need to be labelled and stored in our storage room...which still needs shelves. goes on and on and on!

I am constantly thinking about storage and organization and how everything will look and function once I am done. I dream of having organized, color coded closets and shelves full of perfectly aligned matching rubbermaid totes with matching Dymo labels. In my scraproom I imagine finding a place for everything so it can be right at my many more layouts I could create! I am working towards that dream, but does anyone ever actually finish organizing? Or is it a constant ongoing project?

But, I am happy to report that I have had sucess on TWO fronts! I have finished creating two organizational planners that will surely help me stay organized in other areas! One is the Christmas Planner I was mentioning that I am making as part of a BPS class called "Cut the Crazy out of Christmas". The other is a Household Notebook inspired by both FlyLady and Organized Home. I put the "guts" of each together over the last couple of days and then because I wanted them to look great sitting on my shelf or counter I stayed up way too late last night and created covers and spines for both using my digital scrapbooking program from CM - Storybook Creator Plus.

Here is the Christmas Planner:

I used a free digital kit from Shabby Princess called Holiday Magic for the artwork and LD Coffee House as the font on this. Because I didn't have a digital copy of the photo I wanted to use, the cover is actually more a hybrid project...I started by making a template, printed that out onto cardstock and then added the printed photo and journaling onto the cardstock.

The inside of the Christmas planner has custom made dividers using artwork from the BPS class, and then I personalized it by stapling on strips of gingham ribbon along with the divider tabs.

And here is my new household notebook! How sweet!

I used the Recipe Book Digital Kit from Creative Memories for this cover, and a font called LD Telegram. I love the vintage feeling they both have! Inside I used ready made pocket dividers which will come in handy for slipping items into.

I created both covers as 12x12 layouts in my Storybook Creator Plus program and then simply trimmed them down to fit inside the outer sleeves of each binder. Because I knew I would be trimming them I kept the majority of focus more towards the centre of each layout. I did the spines as two 3" x 12" strips, printed them both onto one sheet of cardstock and then trimmed them down to fit the side sleeves on each binder.
On the whole I LOVE how they turned out and I think I will really be inspired to use them often!

OK...only 978 more organizational projects to go!

Happy Scrapping!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bye Bye October...Hello Christmas Rush!

It happens every year so I should know by now to expect it, but the day after Halloween seems to mark the pre-Christmas craziness! And I have jumped right in...I am taking 2 Christmas prep classes @ BPS...Giving Well 2008 which is almost over, and Cut the Crazy out of Christmas which has just started. I have lots of fun project ideas under my belt and am now in the process of creating a customized Christmas planner so I am well on my way to getting organized! I know I know...I say every year that this year will be different, this year I will be organized, but I really have a feeling that this year I will make inroads to that goal!

Today I also had a Creative Memories booth at the first of three trade/Christmas shows this month. It was great - I got to meet a lot of other moms that have home based businesses and made a good amount of sales and contacts. A lot of people were really interested in Digital Scrapbooking, Photocards and Storybooks/Photobooks. This is really where my focus has been lately, so it was fun to initiate some digital newbies! And, I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts as well. I met a wonderful lady named Roxanne who sells personalized children's music CD's so I picked up 2 - Elmo singing songs about Grayson and Barney singins songs about Sam! Love them! We had a great chat about online commerce and it really got me thinking about about additions to my business, especially on my personal website. I have a few ideas that I am putting into place and will post when they are up and running.

In the creativity department, I finished up and submitted this layout to the Just Cre8 challenge which was to use a rebus on your LO. Mine uses letters and pictures for the title; "You Love To Read".

"You Love To Read" 12 x 12 LO by Noreen Smith. Paperbilities cardstock, Stampin Up letter strip, unknown patterned paper strip and brads. Century Gothic font.

I cannot believe the talent in this group of contestants and am really enjoying seeing their work. This weeks challenge is to design a LO based on one of three ads posted on the site. It's due Wednesday, so I better get working!

And, I can't resist posting pics of my pumpkins. Literally! Grayson was a pumpkin for Halloween and was oh-so-sweet! Sammy got to wear a Winnie the Pooh outfit, but was pretty unimpressed with the whole deal this year! (Next year I'm sure he will kick _ss!)

Here they are just before all the Halloween festivities began. They are getting to be good friends. Man I love these 2!!!

We went to a local mall for Halloween activities during the afternoon with our good friends Wendy, Amy and Sean and got to make slime and trick or treat with lots of other little ones. Here they are - the Pumpkin, Princess and Pirate!

Then in the evening I took Grayson around to a few neighbours.

Although he has been out Trick or Treating before, this was the first year he was really into it. He kept saying, "Just one more house Mom, just one more!" It was fine weather (17 degrees during the day) so I didn't mind being out walking around. (*I remember Halloweening when I was a kid and it always seemed to be so had to choose a costume that either had lots of layers or could go over your coat so you could keep warm!) Anyway, he had such a good time and what a candy stash he ended up with! He couldn't believe it! It was a really great day!

SO...onto the next holiday! Good luck getting organized...I'll post my planner once it is in the works!

Happy Scrapping


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Happy Mail

There's nothing like getting a little something that makes you happy in your mailbox, eh? I subscribe to Creating Keepsakes and Simple Scrapbooks magazines and they BOTH came today! Happiness x 2! I scanned them both and can't wait to go through each of them with a fine tooth comb! I love the fall and holiday LO's and the special tools issue of SS looks great - lots of recommendations and how-tos. I'll look forward to catching a few moments over the next couple of days to read more.

I just spent the last 45 minutes or so looking at the amazing gallery at JustCre8. I signed up to be part of the 2008 Gre8 Cre8tive Idol challenge. The first challenge was to use a famous advertising slogan so I created and submitted this LO based on the Campbell's Soup slogan:

M'm M'm Good, by Noreen Smith. 12 x 12 Layout. Paperbilities Cardstock, Sassafrass Lass patterned paper, Stampin' Up ink, Creating Keepsakes/Lisa Bearnson chipboard letters, unknown buttons and index card.

The competition is fierce and the work posted is nothing short of inspired! I'm pretty sure mine won't stand up to it! But over the next 5 weeks we will create and share 5 new LO's, so that in and of itself is good! And I do love the photos of Grayson here...he could be a modern Campbell's kid don't you think? OK...I'm biased!!!

Went to visit with mom today and as I looked around her room I realized that there aren't a lot of current photos of us. I need to work on a little album or some framed pieces for her. There is some research out there about the therapuetic effects of scrapbooking for Alzheimers patients and although I know she won't actually scrapbook, she always did love looking at our albums.

And I do need to get caught up on sweet Sammy's baby book. I create calendar pages for each month where I can record milestones and adventures as they happen, so I need to update October's page. We have been so busy doing things that I haven't been able to record them all!

It's so nice to have a little bit of time to devote to scrapping again!

Happy Scrapping!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busy Weekend

What a great weekend we had!

Saturday it was off to Butterfield Acres Farm to go one our first ever PUMPKIN HUNT! Grayson was so excited as I had been talking it up for about a week before we went! It was even more exciting because Sean and Amy were going to be there too. We had afternoon tickets which weren't out first choice as Sean and Grayson do need "rest" time in the afternoons, but as it turned out it was good thing. The temperature had dropped the night before and they actually had some snow on the ground due to the higher elevation of the farm. Thankfully by the time we got there at 1:00 pm it was a little warmer, but Shane needed a touque for his bald head and Grayson decided he wanted his cosy hat as well. Shane took Sam in the Baby Bjorn and we bundled him up with a fleecy jacket, mittens and hat as well as blankets.

So off we went. We boarded a farm wagon pulled by a tractor (a big hit with Grayson!) and headed out to the pumpkin patch. There was literally frost on the pumpkins, but Grayson found one that he liked.. It was almost bigger than he was!

After the actual hunt, we went back to the farm in the wagon and were able to decorate the pumkins in the warm but smelly barn! (Being a city gal sure makes you sensitive to those farm smells!) Here is Grayson and Sean back in the wagon:

After we finished decorating we visited some of the animals - sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens and llamas - that live on the fram year round. Then it was off for a bite to eat. Sam did really well...he didn't complain being hauled around or being cold, and I fed him in the Jeep afterwards and he was happy as could be! It's funny though because you see pictures of folks who live in warmer climates going to pumpkin patches and it looks like our summertime! And although we had fun, I think it would be a little more enjoyable on a nice warm day! But all in all it was a good day and we would like to do it again.

Sunday was a big day for Sammy - his Baptism into the Catholic Church! We had him baptized at St. Luke's church, and Deacon Louis LaPointe performed the baptism itself. My good friend Wendy McDowell is Sam's Godmother and Shane's longtime friend Rob Anders is his Godfather.

Sammy was so good during the ceremony, and actually slept through most of it. Grayson was on his best behaviour as well, and looked so handsome in his dress clothes. We are so proud of both our boys!

Afterwards we had the family over to our palce for a celebratory lunch. My cousin Michelle and I are both only children so she is like a sister to me. She is 8 years younger than me and was still a baby as I was growing up, so we are both happy that her little girl Payton and Sammy will grow up together. Payton is a couple of months older than Sammy, but she is such a petite sweet little girl. Here they are together:

And here they are with the big guy Grayson. I'm sure as they all get older he will keep them in line!

The only downside to the celebration was that mom wasn't with us. I really felt her absence this past month during my birthday and Thanksgiving celebrations. I think this Christmas will be pretty difficult as well. We will have to plan some kind of celebration at the nursing home, although I don't know if she will realize that it is a special day or not. was great weekend and we have some special memoreis from it!

On the scrapping front, I have signed on for a great challenge at Just Cre8 - a great company headed up by Sue Sykes who contributes to Canadian Scrapbooker Magazine. It is a 5 week challenge and it is set up so you don't see anyone's work until each challenge deadline has passed. I will be excited to see what everyone comes up with for this weeks challenge of using a famous advertising slogan as inspiration for your layout.

I am also taking the Giving Well 08 class over at BPS and am getting lots of ideas for holiday gifts and cards. I haven't made anything yet, but I am creating a great resource file of ideas to go back to. I think I am also going to take the Cut the Crazy out of Christmas class (also at BPS)in November from Georgana Hall. Looks like a great way to get inspired and organized in a creative way for the Holidays! Now I have no excuses to be rushing once the Christmas season rolls around!

Happy Scrapping!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Do Not Call!

If you live in Canada you can finally sign up on the National Do Not Call List. Easy to do and I am looking forward to peacful dinnertimes, as this is when we always seem to get telemarketer calls!

We are having a quiet week...

*still not able to post pics, but techy hubbie hasn't had time to figure it out for me. Oh well. (Maybe I need to switch to Typepad???)

*painting Sam's nursery today...he will have to move out of our room at some time!

*Grayson and I will also be doing some Thanksgiving baking - cookies and a pie to take up to Lloydminster for family dinner and some banana chocolate chip muffins for the trip. Yummy! We are going to leave on Friday to make a relaxing weekend out of it. I love really signals full-on Fall and the beginning of the holiday comes Halloween and pumpkin hunts, then we start getting ready for Christmas.

Speaking of holidays, Julie and I are doing two Christmas/Home business in Riverbend on November 1 and one on November 22 in Pineridge. There will be lots of great Christmas shopping opportunitites! Click here for all the info.

And although I really contemplated taking Cathy Zielske'sDesign Your Life class over at BPS, I think I am in more of a Holiday mood and have decided to take a couple of classes that focus on the upcoming Holidays instead: Cut the Crazy out of Christmas, Giving Well and Gratitude Memory Box. I think I will be able to have fun scrapping and making crafty things as well as get ready for the holidays!!! It's all good!

Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving long weekend!

Happy Scrapping!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A birthday present for myself

Some things are serendipitous. I have just finished the Have More Fun class over at BPS with the magical Stacy Julian. She wrapped it up by issuing a challenge to us and to all her blogging friends. Here's what she said:

"You have everything you need right now to be vibrant, happy and fully engaged in the creative process of life. Sometimes you just have to slow down, look around and realize it! Here’s what I want you to do …• Snap ten or twelve photos of your life right now. Or find recent photos that you've already taken.• Compile these photos in one of these super-cute Bazzill Mono-Mini albums• Keep or carry this album with you, tucked in your purse or desk drawer for one full year.• Promise to glance through the album every time you stumble upon it or pull it out. • On October 1st, 2009, create a scrapbook page about your experience." See her post, her album and a list of all her friends who took up the challenge on her blog.

So, with today being my 41st birthday, I thought it would be great idea to create the mini-album to capture my life now and then be able to compare it to what things are like in one year. In fact, I think this might be the beginning of a new tradition...creating a birthday layout or project each year. You could say this would be a birthday present for myself!

So I made my sweet little album to keep in my purse using some cute pink embellies and cardstock. BUT...I have been trying to post the photos and I still can't do it. I think I will have to create a slide show and post it that way. Anyway...I WILL somehow post and share it. (PS I am still trying to post the rest of my "30 Days Hath September" album layouts as well!!!)

As another birthday comes to a close, I think of all the things I am blessed with in my life - Shane, my boys, my extended family, good friends, the basics - home, food and clothing- of course love, laughter and happiness. Those are the best birthday presents of all.

Happy scrapping,


Monday, September 22, 2008

Catching Up

While I have been pretty good at getting my daily pages scrapbooked for my "30 Days Hath September"album for my Have More Fun class, I have been terrible at posting them...both to this blog and to the class gallery! I blame it on breastfeeding! About two weeks ago I decided to try Sam on a bottle so Shane could feed him if I ever had to be away from home. So, I started expressing after I gave him his last feeding of the night (usually around 10:00 pm). By the time I was finished, it was inevitably late and I was exhausted so I was going straight to bed. This USED to be my free quiet time when I would surf and blog and post, so that is why nothing has happened lately!

But tonight I had a little time and thought I would catch up. But when I tried to post the photos of the layouts, I could not for the life of me get them oriented correctly...they would always post on the page sideways. Does anyone have any tips? Once I figure it out I will post, post, post!

Regular photos seem to work fine, so here are a couple of recent ones.
Here's Grayson "testing" a Halloween chocolate lollipop! (Can you believe I'm thinking about Halloween? Yes, the stores are full of it already...G.wants to be a pumpkin.)

100% trouble? 100% cute! Sam is weighing in at 17 lbs at only 14 weeks! Sheesh!

Sammy and I. What a little dear. I had to take this myself holding the camera out in front of us...pretty bad, eh?

Speaking of photos, I was getting really disappointed in the quality of home-printed photos I was getting with our all-in-one printer. So I sweet talked Shane into a new wide format Epson R1400 photo printer!!! YAY!!! I am so excited! Not only will it print out photos that are archival and higher quality than drugstore or big box processing, but I can now print my 12x12 digital scrapbook pages! I can't wait! And, Shane's little perk is that it prints on CD's/DVD's. Hopefully if my photos look better, my pages will look better.

Otherwise, we really seem to be getting into a routine finally. We have been able to get out to the stores and play dates, and life is a little more normal. I have time to get organized and clean the house and even fit in a little scrapbooking. I have been working on my website and have updated my free weekly page plans, which I really enjoy creating. Julie and I had a Creative Memories booth at the Baby Show last weekend and are planning Christmas trade fairs and a couple of all day crops. Things are going well!!! I guess it's true that the first three months with a newborn are a real write off in terms of having a "normal" life, but now that we have passed that milestone I think we are getting BACK to normal, and I like normal!!!
Happy scrapping!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More "30 Days" pages

My 30 Days Hath September Album for my BPS class continues!

I am: 1) feeling proud of myself for keeping up with one layout per day 2) loving how I feel throughout the day - more aware, more present, more engaged with everything that is happening! Even though my days are ordinary and some would say boring, I am noticing little moments of of charm, happiness and clarity in them since I started working on this album. I am getting to know myself again as I contemplate what I am doing and why. I find myself asking myself why I am doing something or why I am feeling the way I am (whoa...that was a very "Austin Powers Spy Who Shagged Me" type of sentence!!!!)

Anyway...loving how quickly the layouts are done and really enjoying doing all the writing - visual journal style!

Here are the September 3 and 4 pages, photographed side by side.

And September 5 and 6:

I have also found that I am working on other layouts while or after I finish these fun little snippets. Getting lots done these days!

PS...I had to swing by Scrapbookers Paradise today...they are having a 4/$1 paper sale until September 20! GO GO GO!!!

Happy Scrapping,