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.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Is Scrapbooking dead?

....that question really struck me last week as I watched this interesting news bit which Studio 5 from Salt Lake City, Utah interviewed three prominent figures in the Scrapbooking industry. I find it very troubling that the question even comes up. I guess some people do think that scrapbooking is dead because more and more people are turning into technology and digital ways of preserving their memories. But I think Stacy Julian said it best with "are you done telling your stories?" If your answer to that question is yes then I guess to you scrapbooking IS dead but for me....it's never going to die cause I'm not done telling my stories yet! To watch the whole bit, click here.
Since this post is not complete without any photos, I've decided to share a bit of my scrapbooking journey with two layouts spanning over 6 years....
Hoppy Easter circa 2006
Proudly Homegrown circa 2012

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Till next time,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Breaking their little hearts

You know that time when you have believed something all of your life only to be told by your parents that it has all been a lie?
I'm picturing one of my children saying that to someone in the future as they talk about the day that their parents broke their little hearts when mom and dad finally fessed up and gave them the sad news that Santa is not real!
I know, it's harsh but bear with me as I tell you how it all went down... (oh the pictures are from last year. I just added them to make this post less sad)
Ok so last Monday as a Family Home Evening activity, we all wrote our letters to Santa. My kids have loved this tradition and this year's activity didn't seem any different from the past ones. After all the letters were written, we had each one read out loud what they had wished for. Oh before I continue, we also make our kids write down the most important gift they want as the first thing on their list, that way if Santa can't get everything on their list, at least he got the most important one.
Anyways, Marcus wanted a 3DS and a game to come with it. Maddie also wrote a 3DS in her list but it was the last one on her letter. So that night, after the kids had gone to bed, I went online and started checking the prices of the things on their list. We have not had a very good year financially and so the budget was very tight.
After some research I have found that the coveted 3DS was not in the budget. Stress started creeping in. How can we make this a good Christmas for the kids and not put ourselves into debt? Having the kids believe that Santa gives them the things on their list would be hard to get around with. They would be crushed if, on Christmas day, they discovered that Santa gave them something else, something that was not on the top of their list.
So I consulted with hubby and we came to the conclusion that we needed to come out clean and let the kids know that mom and dad are Santa.
All through out Thanksgiving day, as we passed by the stores all they talked about was their gifts and what Santa will bring them. Finally on the drive to the movie theater, we told them the hard news. They were shocked and of course confused and sad.
The funny thing was as Marcus was processing this news he said..."So that's why Caleb's (his friend) parents told him that Santa was not real. I just thought that they said that to him because he was on the naughty list!"
I'm telling you that kid is hilarious sometimes.  

So now that the kids are in on the secret, we told them to not tell anyone, especially their friends. We told them to keep this our secret. We shall see if they can keep this info to themselves.

After our little talk, Maddie would come up to me once in a while during the rest of the week and ask me quesions like...
"if you were Santa, who was eating the cookies and drinking the milk that we put out for Santa?"
"If you were Santa, howcome you got me the wrong size of shoes last year?" (that girl's feet grew fast that by the time Christmas came, the shoes I got her was too small)
"If you are Santa, does this mean we don't have to write our lists?"

and many more. You can tell that this bit of info really threw the kids' world in a spin.

Finally Maddie said to me that she still wants to believe in Santa. That poor girl can't let it go. I said she may do so but know that she's not getting the $180 gift this year cause mama can't afford it.

Oh the things we put our kids through for the sake of Holiday traditions!

Till next time,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

December Daily Mini

I have to say that I've been envious of all the people that have been consistent with their "december daily" albums. There's a part of me that wishes I had more time to get into this project. One of the things that I've found that sets me back with trying out this special way of documenting the Christmas season is that I'm too picky about the album and products that I use. So to overcome this challenge, I've decided that this year I will make a premade album with hopes that since most of the creative work is already done, I can focus on putting the pictures and stories in the book during the season. Here's what would hopefully be my first every December Daily album...

and here's a peek of the inside....

I used some papers from Doodlebug Design Inc. The album is also from Doodlebug Design Inc. and I gathered all of my Christmas themed embellishments in my stash to complete the project. Bright, fun colors are my comfort zone and so that's the scheme that I used in this project.

So now that the mini is done...the next test is to actually use it! Wish me luck.

What have you found to be the best way to keep up with the December Daily album? have a schedule to work on it everyday? once a week? Print pictures daily? write on it everyday? I would love your thoughts because as you can see...I'm a virgin when it comes to these kinds of projects. :)

Till next time,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Recap

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving break. Ours was great and might I add, a new adventure. This was our first year that we decided to spend the whole day on our own. Without family and friends. Not that we were trying to be anti social but we wanted to try some new things and maybe start up some new traditions.
So here's how our day went...
We had a slow start to our morning, sleeping in and having a big breakfast. I had to finish some homework so we didn't really start getting our "thanksgiving" activities going till close to noon.
Since we had a heavy breakfast and wanted to save our leftover calories for the day for our Thanksgiving meal, we headed out and went on a bike ride instead of having lunch. We tried the Santa Fe Trail which we've never tried before. It was ok and the views were pretty, although I would have to say that I am much happier on a paved trail. Bumps along the road makes me feel uneasy, especially for the kids.

After our bike ride, we headed to Cracker Barrell. They were having a Thanksgiving dinner special and we took advantage of it. It was an hour wait to get seated so to pass the time, we browsed through their country store. Marcus found this checker board in one of the aisles and we had an impromptu game.

After our window shopping we spent the rest of the time waiting outside sitting in the store's many rocking chairs.

and finally they called our name and we got seated. The one hour wait gave us enough time to think about our choices so when the waitress came, we already knew which side dishes we were going to have with our traditional turkey/ham dinner. I chose to have sweet potatoes and turnip greens with mine. Mitch chose turnip greens and mashed potatoes. Marcus got mashed pototaes with his and Maddie got pineapple.

Our meal came with dessert and so I tried their Pumpkin Streusel pie. Mitch and Maddie chose the same thing and Marcus opted for the traditional Pumpkin pie.
After our wonderful meal, which we had plenty of leftovers of to take home, we headed out and tried another new thing....

We watched a movie. The movie Brave (Disney movie) was playing at the cheap theater and we caught the afternoon showing. It was really cute and the kids enjoyed it.

After our movie, we did a little bit of shopping hitting Michael's craft store first and then braved the 8pm Black Friday madness at Walmart. Here's a little glimpse of the madness...a parking lot full of cars and people everywhere. They had some WII games that the kids were wishing for for Christmas and as usual Walmart had the best prices in town. We got our games, paid for it and bolted out of there. This was my first year to ever be in a Walmart store during the crazy 'black Friday' shopping and I have to say....it's C-R-A-Z-Y!

It was truly a packed day full of new memories and adventures. This year's events will definitely go down in history as a first and I hope that some of the things we did will become new traditions.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Big Holiday Sale in my Etsy Store

Hi friends. For those that visited my blog and found this post without words.... so sorry. Was late in finishing up my post and totally forgot that I've scheduled it already. ooopppsss!
Anyways, since it's "cyber Monday" today, I thought I'd start off the week with big sale in my Etsy store. So if you have been eyeing that certain handmade item, this week is the best time to purchase it. Everything in the store is 40% off (just type in HOLIDAYSALE 2012 in the coupon code) plus I'm giving free shipping on all orders $50 or more (type in FREESHIPAT50 in the coupon code)

Thank you for all your support and I hope you have a wonderful week.

Till next time,

Monday, November 19, 2012

Quotes to inspire

Hello friends. This week I'm taking a short vacay again from blogging. Kids have the whole week off from school, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and unfortunately I have 22 chapters that I need to read and study for school (the last one bums me out tremendously) so blogging will have to take a back step.
But before I leave, let me share with you some of my latest favortie quotes. One of my most filled boards in my Pinterest is my Words/Quotes board. If you wanna see more of the inspiring words I've saved in there for future inspiration, you may click here.

I picked this one last since we are in the month of remembering gratitude and all that we are thankful for....

so that's it for me this week.

I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the turkey and stay safe shopping on Black Friday. :)

Till next time,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Ideas

It's Friday....woohooo!
We are days away from Thanksgiving and my kiddos start their Thanksgiving break next week. So I went to my Pinterest boards to find inspirations on how my family can dress up our home for the Holidays and I found some great ideas that I thought I might share with my blog friends...
(and as always, direct links can be found by clicking on the titles)
I love subway art and by printing them at places like Costco, they can be a very inexpensive way to bring the holiday theme to any home.

If we were hosting a Thanksgiving shindig this year, I would definitely have my kiddos help me to make something like this.

Oh but wait, this one is super cute!!! BTW, all accents are made out of paper. So cool!

 I really like this one and I think if you do this ahead of time and have everyone at the table talk about what they wrote, it can be a great conversation starter.

this is super cute and extra sweet, don't you think?

and finally, if none of the above caught your eye, how about creating your own treats and decorations with the help of these printables. So many to choose from!

So that's it for me today. If you ever want to see more of what I'm pinning these days at Pinterest, you can always click at the red "pinterest" bar on the right side of this blog.

Happy weekend.

Till next time,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A new part of our routine

My kids L-O-V-E books. We go to the library once a week and the kids fill up their library bags with new titles every time. Lately it's been hard for us to read together other than our scriptures. With both parents working hard with school and work, it's hard to carve the time to read to the kids. Since school started, I've just been overseeing their reading time.
Anyways, a couple of weeks back, Maddie was requesting some 'storytime'. I used to do this with them when they were little, right after they had put their jammies on. So Mitch said that if they are willing to give up 30 minutes before bedtime for reading, we will schedule it then (they usally spend this infront of the TV to unwind). At first, Maddie was the only one interested but later on Marcus got into the new routine as well. Mitch and I would switch off with who's reading to the kids since some nights I have church activities or school to attend to.
This particular night, I came home from a young woman activity and I found my family doing this....

They were reading Marcus' latest "Captain Underpants" book (which by the way I have to say is pretty hilarious) and all was very enthralled with the story.

I love our new routine and the discoveries the whole family is getting with reading books together. This definitely enhanes our lives and as you can see, even in our busy schedules we try our best to carve the time to bring stories to life with our children.

Thanks for stopping by.

Till next time,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take Twele- November edition

Hi friends.
Sorry this post is a little bit late. My home was screaming to be dusted and vacuumed today.
Anyways, so we are on the 2nd to the last month of the year and I have to say that I've enjoyed doing the Take Twelve photo challenge from Ella Publishing. It really helped me capture the month in a non-stressful, little moments style and I will cherish these small glimpses in our life captured in photos for years to come.
So without anymore babble from me, here's how my November 12th looked like...

1. I didn't pull out my camera till lunch time so my documentation started with my lunch. Leftover Spiced pumpkin soup with shredded chicken from yesterday.
2. I visited a good friend this morning and she let me take some of her yummy homemade cinnamon rolls home for me and Mitch to share. It was de-li-cious!!!
3. The cold weather has arrived in my neck of the woods and so today was a "scarf" kind of day.
4. I worked on getting some CD orders for clients ready and packaged.
5. Felt so good to be crossing off things on my to-do list today.
6. Made some time to read from the good book. :)
7. Had a few moments to spare before dinnertime (this was a delightful surprise) and so I practiced some tunes on the Piano.
8. With my "don't stress yourself out" new attitude, we are having leftovers tonight! I love cooking for the family but sometimes, eating something the second time around is as good as the first time. :)
9. Although we had leftovers for dinner, I had planned a yummy dessert *wink*
10. For Family Home Evening, we reviewed our plan/exits in our home in case of an emergency so that Marcus can check off a few things in his scout book. We were hitting two birds with one stone.
11. A glimpse of my scrap table tonight. I love having a scrapbook room in the basement where I can make a mess and just shut the door so no one can see how crazy disastrous it looks in it!
12. My guilty pleasure after the kids have gone to bed. I catch up on my favorite shows while scrapping the night away.

So there you have it. Another glimpse of my life...right now....documented!

What about you? What's your favorite way to document your life at this very moment?

Till next time,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Palmer Park Hike 2012

Our church time changed a few weeks ago from 11am to 1pm so it's really hard for us to do anything "outdoors" during Sunday. But before we had changed into this new time slot, we were able to squeeze in one more excursion. It's been over a year since we had hiked the hills of Palmer Park. We love how this park is right smack in the middle of the city but once you are in the park, it's hard to tell unless you come up to the top of the ridges and rocks and see the great views of the buildings surrounding the area.
As you all know, pictures are very important for me but I have to admit that on our way to the park, I was not in the mood to be the shutterbug so I handed my husband the camera and for the first half, he was the photographer. This was a nice break and I was very grateful for him for letting me be infront of the camera for a change. Here are some pictures of our hike...

and after about 45 minutes of hiking, we stopped and had a snack. Mitch handed me the camera at this time too so for the last half of our trip I was the one taking pictures...

snacks of champions!

When we got done with our hiking, we explored a little more by driving around the area and found this great overlook spot. See that mountain range infront of Mitch, in the distance? The highest point of that is Pikes Peak. Great views in this spot, I love it!

So that's our last Sunday excursion for now. Hopefully next year we will change our church time back to mornings and we can spend the afternoon enjoying mother nature again.

Happy Tuesday.

Till next time,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cards for the season

Hello friends. Can you believe that we are only days away from Thanksgiving? Still can't believe how fast time flies these days.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share a couple of Fall themed cards....
Happy Fall
I used my Cricut and my Spellbinder's die cut machine to create thsi card. Cricut was used for the layered pumpkin accents and the Spellbinder for the shape frame that the pumpkin is on.

I also used some My Little Shoebox letter stickers to spell out my sentiment. I used the fall colors here (purple, orange, brown and green) to emphasize the season.
Give Thanks Card
With this one, I used the Cricut die cut machine to create the layered frames for the flowers and sentiment stickers. I added a ribbon to create more dimension and texture in the card.

I love adding my frames and other die cut shapes with foam adhesive to make them stand out better against the background.
Sidenote: It's the 12th of the month today and so don't forget to do your "take twelve" photos today.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!
Till next time,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween Party

The day before Halloween, our ward (church congregation) had our annual Fall Festival. Here are some photos from that fun night...
I scored the kids' costumes at a local outlet store for....are you ready?....$6 each! Yes that was definitely a deal. Maddie was Mulan and Marcus was Darth Vader. We were very happy with their costume and the fact that I didn't have to slave sewing their outfits makes this mama extra happy.
They had this cool photo-op board just outside the church building.
We started the night with games and activities for the kids then everyone had some wonderful dinner of chili, mac and cheese and brownies. There was a contest for chili and brownies so it was an extra special delight to get to taste all sorts of varieties for those two dishes.
After that the kids had a quick Costume parade around the cultural hall and I tried to get the kids photos but as you can see I was not fast enough for them...

After that they started the "trunk or treat" at the parking lot of the building. Here's "mr. Earl" giving out candies to the kiddos.
and here's "darth vader-vampire" enjoying his walk around the parking lot and collecting all sorts of candies..

My favorite highlight of the night was winning the "hottest chili" award! Going into the contest, I knew that my chili recipe won't win the "overall best" but with some asian chilis that I had saved from last year's backyard garden I knew I had a chance to win the "hottest" category. Super excited for our win and I'm definitely going to grow more of those Thailand chiles so I can have a chance again next year. *wink*

So you wanna know who I took to the party? Meet Mr. Earl! He's the alter-ego of my loving husband. Isn't he just so handsome?
Mitch has worn the teeth and hair before but I have to say, it never gets old!

and I decided to be a "cowgirl". We weren't coordinated this year as far as costumes so I just went with an easy get-up. What do you think? Oh I had white boots too, just didn't show up in this photo.

So that was our party.I hope yours was super fun too.

Till next time,