Everyone has a story to tell, here's mine sprinkled with some creative projects along the way.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back again.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday Hoopla

Holiday Hooplah on the Coconut ScrapShop MB starts today (and runs through the 6th)!!! Don't miss out! There will be a different challenge posted everyday! Each challenge MUST be completed by Midnight Pacific time in order to qualify. The DT will vote on each challenge and keep a running tally of the scores! There will be fun prizes, and during the semi-finals (our top three) there will be one more challenge to determine the winner! That lucky gal will be the GDT for January!! So, are ya ready????!!!!!!! Come join us!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

so inspired...

One thing that I love about blogs is that inspirations abound and it's all FREE; One thing that I LOVE about blog side bars is that you can keep your favorites all in one place and that they're one click away when you're not doing anything or when you wanna ignore all the chaos around you and dive into some great inspirations.

Today was one of those days for me. I know I have a lot of stuff to do but I can't help but go through all my favorite blogs in my side bar (it on the left if you wanna check them out too) Most of them are of course scrappin blogs but I'm sure everyone can get a little something out of papercrafts.

Here's just some of my faves today......

I got this link for a cute advent calendar from the Crafty Crow blog. I found out about the crafty crow blog from my friend Tiffannie. She and I share the same love for cute crafts, especially ones that you can share with your kids.

She just always amazes me with her cards. I just love, love, love her creations. Love the layerings, the product choices and overall designs. If I can only have an ounce of her talent, I would be in heaven.

Another amazing scrapper. Right now I'm really impressed at designers that can put a lot of stuff on a page without making it too crazy busy and she's one of those that can pull it off so gracefully.

and finally got this list from Kathy Thompson's blog and thought I'd play along.....

Food for Thought!

Have you seen this list? It's making the blog rounds. I thought I'd play along. You 'bold' whatever you have done so far on the list. If you play along too I'd love to see your answers so let me know!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band ....at school
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland /world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris........someday!
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.......one of the things that really brought so much joy to me, till stinking gofers spoiled it!

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train..... coming home to cali from Oregon.
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.........one of the things in my bucket list
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.....tried Spanish, knows some but not enough to converse
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke....one of my favorites
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt......on a road trip to yellowstone with family in 2006
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....does home movies count???
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.....more of ate them than sold them.
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....thank goodness!!!
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....school newspaper count???
85. Read the entire Bible....doing this right now
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
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 .....yup when I was soooo into Sweet Valley High School books.

So there, hope you got some inspiration from my faves and please share me yours. I'm always on a hunt for some great inspirations.

Have a great day,

Monday, November 24, 2008

a week in "my shoes" Part 2

ok so I've really slacked on sharing my "week" in pictures and words. I have been busy, lazy and just not inspired. But I did get it done. So here's the rest.....

Maddie and I had these for lunch. I know her plate seemed so bare compared to mine but she really eats a little and I'd rather that she finishes what's on her plate than put too much on there and just be a waste. She's my little cheese lover and this is pretty much what she eats everyday. I made myself a tune sandwich and treated myself with some cream cheese and chutney dip with crackers. Yum!

After picking up Marcus from school, we went to the library. I love the Cerritos Library, lots of great videos, books and cd's to borrow. The kids get to play on the computer at the library too.

I didn't have to work tonight so I was able to experiment a little in the kitchen and made this for dinner. Recipe is here.

I also had dishwashing duties tonight.

Brought Marcus to school and then Maddie and I went to our Mommy and me preschool class. She learned all about the Pilgrims and Indians today. Went home a little earlier than normal cause she started crying during snack time. After we got home, I asked her what was the matter and she said that one of her classmates laughed at her. I'm not sure about it, I didn't see it happen, but it sure did made her feel very sad. She still talks about the girl and what she "allegedly" did up to this day.

Here's a scene at my house after homework's done and I'm trying to get everything set before I have to leave for work.
Kids watching the library videos we got from yesterday. Today's video was Harry and the Purple Crayon.

While I'm making dinner and getting lunches for the next day all prepped. Today's dinner was foil pack taco chicken. Good stuff.

Today I stayed home and finished up a batch of Christmas cards that was ordered by my Aunt.

Here's my little sweetie pie helping me while I packed up the cards. Notice the "Belle" dress? Yes that's my little princess. There's no day that she doesn't wear her Princess dresses.


Today was a fun day. Spent the whole day here.

Every November, Knott's Berry Farm gives military people both active and retired a chance to get in the park for free. They can also bring another one for free and pay $15 for up to 6 people. It's definitely a great deal for us.

We went with some ex military friends like the Squires family and Ken Castro and his wife. I didn't realize that my camera had only one bar for the battery so I didn't get that much pictures. It didn't even lasted us till noon. I was sad about it but oh well. Here's my family waiting by the front gate of the park.

Mitch and Marcus really does have the "adventure" blood in them. This spinning roller coaster didn't even phased him. He said this was his favorite ride. He rode it twice with daddy.

Here's me and Maddie getting all excited with this kiddie ride. Yup that's me now, just going on on the little, not exciting rides.

I thought this picture was so cute. That's Adelyn Squires in the middle. The kids had lots of fun with the Squires' kids.

Today we went to church. It was our Stake conference and it didn't start till 10 am so I got an extra hour of sleep. Woohoo!

We were doing good with the time and even had a chance to get some photos again that might be used for our Christmas cards

but when we were backing out of our drive way, Mitch accidentally hit a car packed on the street. There was no damage in our car but we sure made a pretty big dent on the other car. We didn't know who's car was it so he had to knock on our neighbor's doors to find out. After two neighbors we still didn't find the owner of the car and we were soooo late for church so we just left a note and headed out. This incident bummed Mitch all day!

After church we went to my parent's house for some great Filipino food and watched Batman and Hellboy 2 on video.

Then at night we went back to the Stake center to attend a recognition activity for the Primary. Marcus got a certificate of participation for reading the Book of Mormon. We didn't finish the actual book but did finish all the BOM story book. We'll plan reading the Book of Mormon again next year and hopefully he'll finish that one before the next recognition night.

So that's it for me. My week has had it's share of events. I can't wait to make a mini album out of this experience.

Have a great day,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a week in "my shoes"

One of the people that I admire "creatively" presented a great challenge a few weeks ago about documenting a week in your life. Now I was really into it, thinking about it endlessly, finding so many opportunities to bust my camera out and play along but at that time I decided not to make my "crazy" life even crazier. But this week seems to be promising so this week I vow to play along. With hands up, I'm promising to document this week in "my shoes"........

I worked a 12 am-4 am shift today. Yes you read it right, midnight through the early am. The people at work knows that I don't work on Sunday's so they made sure I work right when Monday starts. Groovy huh! Anyways I got all prepared for it, going to bed at 6:30pm the night before and sneaking in another two hours when I got back before I started another day. I was fine and thankfully a bottle of this was within my reach to give me my needed "pick me upper".

Today I tackled chores. I've been reading a great book (more about this later) and it said that my house doesn't need to be immaculate all the time. Now my house was never immaculate but I did let a week slide without doing chores so I needed to catch up and get my furnitures dust free and toilet sparkling clean. *smile* Here's a pic of my laundry. Fun stuff, huh?!

Because I worked that morning they didn't schedule me for the night. Woohoo. Got to do family home evening with the family and got to watch Heroes when it was actually on. Then hit the hay at 10 pm cause I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Today was another good day. Maddie's preschool class had a field trip at the Santa Ana Zoo. I took the kids there early this year already so I opted to stay home instead. Got my packages for the gratitude challenge raks all packed up and mailed today.

I was able to work out and got caught up watching my America's Next top model episodes. Thank goodness for Youtube. I'm so addicted. Now I'm a multi-tasker, through and through so here's what my computer desk looked like while I was getting caught up with ANTM.

Tonight I worked and got to finish my book, finally! It's due at the library tomorrow.

So this is the book I've been learning a lot from. I think it's a great book. Most of the things she suggest a mom should do/have to get a balanced life, I am already doing but there are a few things that she made me realized like....1. I need to let go of the desire to have it all, all at once. It's just impossible. So now I'm taking it all in and know that I CAN have it all, not just all AT ONCE!!! 2. It's ok if my house is messy some of the times, as long as there is food on the table, kids are cleaned up and floor is "walkable", everything is going to be fine! and 3. I need to have a life too, I'm not just a mother (although that's my main role). I need to give me some personal goals cause if I cling to my kids all the time and do everything for them they won't learn.

Yup good stuff!!!


And today I did this again.

So loving this song. Seriously, I haven't busted a move since college but this one just makes me happy and "dancy". To my sisters, we seriously need to get together and do a choreographed dance again. I have some routines already in my head. *smile and a wink*

So that's what I have so far. I promise, I will continue to strap my camera with me like an extra limb and take photos of what I do, where I go and why I wear my shoes like I do.

Have a great day,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I guess I don't have my email in the side bar. I really though I did. Oh well for those that needs to get a hold of me (especially my rak winners) please email me at - graceelainetolman@yahoo.com

Sorry and thank you,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coconut Scrapshop November kit...

Jen of Coconut Scrapshop always scours (sp?) the scrapbooking world for the latest and greatest and this month's kit is no exception. She was able to get some of these really cool and newly released papers from Autumn Leaves, designed by the great Rhonna Farrer called Urban Junque. They have some really awesome artwork in it and most of them have foiled parts. Totally, jaw- dropping type of cool, you have to see it to believe it!

But the fun never stops there, this kit also included some coordinating bazzill cardstocks, velvet ricrac, flowers, felt bird and handmade journaling blocks and my fave alpha stickers- Thickers from American Crafts!

So here's what I did with the kit.......

Our Eggs

The papers were really hard to cut apart cause of the beauty of them all, but with some hesitation I cut some squares of four of the patterned papers and used them on this page.

I added more dimension to my title by putting one of the "g" on top of the other letters.

I made my own diamond stamp background by putting some of my old felt square letters on top of each other (I used four) and used that as my foam stamp. I was very proud of myself for being ingenius and getting some use of my old stuff.

Bring in the color

I love that Jen picked just the right color cardstocks to match with the pattern papers. It took out some stress for me.

I actually used the Carolee's Creations letter stickers that came in the September CCS kit as part of my title here. I thought the colors of the stickers were the perfect one to use to emphasize my title and story.

I added some corrugated cardboard as my eggs. I hand drew then, cut it out and painted them different colors then adhered them with foam adhesive.

Bec. the layout is all about bringing colors to the plain white eggs, I also brought some color to the plain white thickers with pen markers. It was a fast and easy way to get the job done. Again I added more texture to the title by adhering some over the other letters and another with foam adhesive.

Easter Rolls

This layout was about the Easter rolls I made for Easter breakfast and what this new tradition means and how it will hopefully change the meaning of this holiday to my children. Basically the rolls (a recipe I got from my friend Becky) symbolizes the tomb where Jesus laid on Sunday morning. The roll looks the same outside but when you open it up, it's hollow. Empty just like the tomb and the roll being a sweet bread also symbolizes the sweetness of His ultimate gift to us.

I also added a MM Noteworthy page for my journaling, American crafts rubons as part of my title, brads from my stash and stickles. I felt that they just finished off the page very well.

Bec. the story is very much about the Pure love of Christ, I made my own clear flower embellishments with scotch tape. I just put five together, put a little flower over it and secured them with a brad.

Stickles also made the patterns on the background paper come alive.

Thinking of You Card

Here I used the pattern paper and the fun felt bird in the kit. Added from my stash was the sentiment sticker, cardstock and lace cardstock.

Princess Memories minibook

I made this mini album of my daughter's Princess themed birthday bash from a CD Case that I got on clearance at Walmart for a buck! When I got the case, I also got some cute princess chipboard shapes in the same clearance bin. I love that eventhough I bought the case and chipboards a while back, they matched perfectly with the papers in the kit.

Bec. it's a CD case, I made my inside pages circles too.

Thank you for looking and check out the kit here.

Have a great day,

Gratitude challenge- rak winners announced

so first off, this is a challenge that unfortunately I haven't finished myself but will definitely check off soon!
also I wanna say thank you, salamat, gracias, merci and arigato to everybody that participated in my little challenge. I hope you got something out of the exercises that will change the way you look at life and the beauty of gratefulness.
so onto the rak winners......

Exercise #1

Blogger honugurl16 said...

What a great post. I have to say, that I think my kids are pretty good about showing gratitude. This Halloween, for example, they brought home a ton of candy from school. My son, a first grader, actually said, "Mom, we don't have to go trick-or-treating tonight. We have enough candy." We ended up taking them to the mall to trick-or-treat, and after trick-or-treating on only the top floor, they called it a night. They said they didn't need anymore candy and they were grateful for what they had.

We talk about gratitude a lot in our family. My husband always thanks me for cooking, and as a result, the kids do. It's become a habit for them to thank me for cooking. And they do it earnestly, not because it's expected. I think that this is truly because of good modeling on my husband's part. It always feels good to be appreciated.

November 5, 2008 10:08 PM

Exercise #2

Blogger hannie said...

I read ur post yesterday and told myself I must give this a try on my two boys, but that also means on myself as setting a role model for them. Thought it would be easy but it turns out that it was so hard, I guess I'm not really a good role model to them sometimes :D

November 3, 2008 5:41 PM

Exercise #3

Blogger jennmom2000 said...

We do this every night (well almost every) after the dinner blessing on the food as we start to eat. Its great and my kids love sharing what they are thankful for that day. I try to remind them that they can include these things in their prayers.

November 5, 2008 2:55 PM

Exercise #4

Blogger jennmom2000 said...

I am writing thank yous to my primary teachers for all their hard work in the program. Ours was last week and they really did a lot for it.

November 12, 2008 11:41 PM

Exercise #5

Blogger Leisha said...

How cute I need to go back and do the first few. I have decided to do the twelve days before Thankgiving and do things for me family each day. This year we are actually going to stay home, it will be nice. I hope that you are enjoying your holidays! And great job on all of the work that you and others did with proposition 8!

November 12, 2008 8:55 PM

Please email me your mailing addresses so I can send your goodies before thanksgiving (which is next week, aaaahhh!)

Congrats to all,

Friday, November 14, 2008

new stock in....

Please check out my etsy store for some great deals and new finds. I slashed my old inventory in half....yes some fun "grace-worthy" items are now 50% off!!! and I also listed new things that might just be the thing you need for your holiday papercrafting.

Click on my etsy banner/picture on the left side of this blog.

thank you for looking,

Gratitude challenge

Hi all,
just letting all of you Gratitude challenge participants that I'll be closing the challenge and picking the raks by tomorrow (November 15) so make sure you've done the exercises and post your comments on their respective posts so you can get a chance to win the fun rak stuff.
Oh and remember exercise #5 is a big one so I just need "commitments" to what you'll be doing and hopefully you'll be able to get it done soon.

Catch you guys later,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Camping trip recalled......

hay, finally a post about something other than the gratitude challenge or papercrafty items! I know that's what my family's probably thinking. Sorry and I know it's been long overdue, so without any further comments, here's what we did last weekend.......

We went to our annual camping trip at the Mojave desert. Every year around this time we go to a place called "hole in the wall". It's called that bec. when that area was filled with volcanoes, the volcanic dust caused clouds of smoke that hardened into beautiful mountain like structures and bec. it had gas vapors in it, when the dust clouds hardened these pockets of gas popped therefore causing "holes in the wall". Very cool place.

The weather was very nice out there. The sky was blue, not too hot nor cold although the wind by the end of the trip made it a little bit chilly. But no worries we were all bundled up.

We left Friday morning. I took a picture of the two laundry baskets full of camping food and the back of our expedition. I thought it was sooooo funny that we were packing such an amount of stuff for a 3 day trip. But we wanted all the comforts of home so it was all worth it.

Here's the look of our camping spot and all the beauty that surrounded it. I took the picture high on top of one of the hills. Yep we hiked and walked all around. Great way to get the exercise in there.

That night the kids wanted us to read books to them (cause that's what we do at home) but since we didn't have books Mitch just started telling them the stories. He definitely know how to get the kids' attention. He told the "three bears and Goldilocks" plus "three pigs" stories.

Mitchell's brother Paul came along and on Saturday him and Mitch went out to hunt for quail birds and rabbits. Paul got a bird and Mitch got the rabbit.

While they were hunting, the kids and I hiked around and then chilled at the campsite. Here's Maddie looking pretty in pigtails. Oh and I just noticed the lovely "dirty" hands she has there.

Here's Marcus "chillin"

And I got Marcus to take this pic of me and Maddie. He's become quite the photographer.

The following morning we were awaken by some really hard winds. I thought our tent was going to be swept by the wind, while we were in it! Needless to say we did our best to quickly get out of there. When we got in our car, the car's temp was registering this.....

definitely brrrrrr!!!! Then when we drove to the place to throw our trash away, we saw this......

very cool! The wind seemed to have followed us all the way to Barstow where we had some breakfast. I took a picture of the trees getting a beating from the wind.

So that's our trip. I really enjoyed it for so many reasons...... being with my family; being "PRESENT" at the moment and not worrying about work, scrapbook deadlines or computer; having some chill time; sleeping for a long period of time (it seemed like the time passed by so slowly in Hole in the wall cause the kids and I were in bed by 8pm plus I took a nap); hiking and seeing the beauty of the nature just makes me happy and of course roasting marshmallows are always a plus.

Catch you guys later,