Monday, February 2, 2009

25 Random Things about Me

This is going around facebook, so I thought I would post mine here too, in hopes to start up my blog again.

1. I have two kid who I love more than life itself. They both amaze me more and more each day.
2. My husband is the greatest thing in the world. I don't know how I would get through major obstacles without him. He helped me through the death of my father, when we were only dating for a couple of months. I knew the day I met him I would marry him.
3. I love to scrapbook. It's my outlet, and I get obsessed about new "toys" for it. I have more paper than I could probably use in my lifetime, but that doesn't stop me.
4. I am one of five kids, I have two brothers and two sisters, whom I love dearly. They are all in NJ.
5. I have PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome, which went undiagnosed for four year, until I saw a specialist. When I saw a specialist, I was pregnant within a few month, the first month of treatment.
6. I dabble in all types of crafts. I got a sewing machine for my birthday two birthdays ago and still have not tried it out. I fear it, even though I do fantastic in all other types of crafts. I really want to learn though.
7. My daughter had brain surgery last year for a Chiari malformation. She is 100% cured now.
8. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful step-daughter. It's a term we rarely use, because of the closeness we share.
9. My son has a language delay called apraxia. It is a motor planning problem, and is being treated by therapy. There is a breakdown from his brain to his mouth, and the words come back jumbled.
10. I love living in Florida. I can't imagine ever moving back to NJ now.
11. I love Disney and being so close to it. It is so convenient to go. My husband's company is affiliated with them and we get to go for free!
12. I sometimes miss the seasons, but would be happy with a dose of each for a week and that's it. Not enough to move back to NJ for.
13. I went to school for early childhood education and am one class away from a degree. It is an internship, and something that I don't want to do until Matthew is in school.
14. I love home decorating. I can do and redo rooms all the time. I would love to repaint the living room/dining room to a deeper green and my bedroom to a brownish light cocoa. Right now it's blue, and I am bored with it.
15. I am obsessive about organizing. I think it is a close second to scrapbooking as my hobby.
16. I was such a pig growing up with my room, and am such a neat freak now. I twitch when I go past my daughter's room at times. ;)
17. I love reading thrillers. Once I start a book, if it is good, I will stay up and read it all night until I finish, which is usually 5 in the morning.
18. My favorite play is Wicked. I could watch that every weekend and never get tired of it. We have seen it twice so far, and will again when it is back in Orlando or Tampa.
19. I love being a mommy. To see my little guy smile and take in everything new around him is the greatest joy. I love teaching him about life.
20. I have a hard time letting him go. I used to cry when leaving him, which in his two and a half years I can count on two hands, but am trying to get better with it.
21. I love reconnecting with people on facebook that I haven't seen in years. It's so nice being in touch with people that meant so much, but the distance separated.
22. Although I am super anal about my house being clean, my car looks like a tornado blew through the inside of it. It is always a mess. Toys everywhere, cups, etc...
23. I am so proud of the person my daughter is becoming. She is such a caring person and has such a strong belief in God, which is such a wonderful thing. It is amazing to see her growing into a young adult and seeing which path she takes
24. The only thing that sucks about living in Florida is being so far away from family.
25. I have a terrible fear of alligators. To the point where I have night terrors about them and wake in a cold sweat. This started when I moved to Florida, and hasn't stopped.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

New Year, New Blog... Hopefully this year I can start it right and follow through with a little snippit a few times a week. I'm not going to do the daily commitment, because it puts too much pressure on me and I throw it all away then, so three times a week is my goal. Today I want to share my craft room with you...
This is my scrapdesk... I have all of my supplies right on hand and easy to reach here.

On the right side is a spice rack with brads, buttons, eyelets and other small metal embellishments. Next to it is my personal printer, which was such a great investment for me. I sort by color... Next are jars with my ribbon. On the side is my binder with my quickutz dies and clear stamps. Below my cuttlebug and pampered chef turner with all my tools in it. Sharp objects had to move higher from little hands. In the colored boxes below I have kits and accessories sorted by theme, winter spring summer fall, Matthew, Taylor, Family.

In the middle is my cricut and sizzix dies in the tower, green and yellow dies. Then of course is my workspace and the pull out tray has my paper cutters.

On the left... Sketches are in the file box and pictures are in the accordian file. the drawers are colored embellishments that don't have themes. Either kits from the store or swaps participated in. The bins hold (each one) wet adhesive, dry adhesive, and stapler type thingies (technical, I know). Below is a scrap bin and file box that has an "in progress", "to be put away" and words and phrases. Under the desk are my xyrons, other clunky equipment and two more theme boxes, vacations and Christmas. Below that is my cardstock, which is held up by a pan rack for the kitchen and smaller cardstock in the blue box.

In the cart I have (from top to bottom) writing instruments (chalk, pens, specialty markers), ink, ink and clear blocks, Coluzzle, paint, tools and other tools.

My closet... I love how organized it is... First across the entire top are other crafts, beading, scrapbooking projects, sewing, candle/soap making etc.

Left top to bottom... shelf (1) sizzlits alphas, cricut cartridges, (2) sizzix alphas, patterned paper by color, (3) accordian file with ideas two pull out kitchen carts with sizzix red dies in one and unmounted stamps in cds in the other (4) foam alpha stamps, and pull out of theme all in one kits, again labeled by the same process in the desk

Right top to bottom... shelf (1) misc crafting supplies that aren't used a lot (bottlecaps, cork, etc), on the go carrier when I want to do crafts in another room. (2) To be put away bin (which includes larger projects, sewing machine (3) Matthew;s crafts, larger pictures and school portraits. (4) ready made cards filed by theme, other crafts.

All of my scrapbooking books. I separated them by theme and put baskets so it didn't look like a book explosion. On the bottom I have magazines, which I have since covered the rack to match the room in red. 8x8 albums that I am starting soon are there. I am doing theme albums for vacations and whatnot in those.

And finally Matthew's side of the room. Right now it is train central (family was in town so we had an air mattress up there) but we do crafts in there. His table is out on the enclosed porch/Florida room now, but it may come back in.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Marvelous Monday

Well, today is supposed to be all about scrapping, but wanted to share our weekend with you first...

We had a blast this weekend. Got to see the shuttle lift off from our house. It was amazing, the entire sky lit up. Saturday we took it easy and basically just relaxed, and yesterday we went to the Bucs game. It was fantastic. Had seats on the 50 yard line, and it was just a great game. Matthew was really good too, which was a big plus. Today we are going to Monkey Joes, which is a big play place around here. First time going, so I'll let you know how it is...

For scrapping today (it's going to be short and sweet), I am going to talk about personal die cutters. I have quite a few of them, and I wouldn't part with any of them... I have (in list of smallest to biggest) a cuttle bug (which is a personal cutter/embosser, etc) and a quickutz. I used to have a sizzix and sidekick, but sold them at a garage sale when I got the cuttlebug, as it is an all in one cutter. I still have all of my quickutz, sizzix, sizzlits and cuttlebug dies though, as they are universal and can be used in the one cutter. From there, electronic cutters... I have a Cricut and Craftrobo. Why both? Because they both offer different things. Cricut is fantastic, you can buy shape and letter cartridges, but I focus mostly on shapes now, since having the craftrobo. I have the designstudio for cricut too, which makes it even more versatile. Craftrobo, is great. There is a learning curve, but well worth it when you get past it. I have 1800 fonts on my computer and can cut each and every one, along with any die cuts that I scan in, any clip art, etc. The list goes on and on. It's hard to pick a favorite between them, because they are all so different, but I truly love them all. Later today I hope to share (since I didn't last week) stuff made with my cutters.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Yuuummmyyy!!! I love baking, and try to take the opportunity to do so at least once a week. I want my kids to grow up with memories of homemade goodies in the house, with that wonderful smell lingering when the get off the bus... because it is just such a wonderful thing. This past week was an angel food cake, with strawberries and whipped cream. So yummy, and light too, which is always a plus.

Taylor calls us "the cookie factory" during the holidays because we make so many for neighbors and friends. Last year I made them for each of Aaron's managers too, so we handed out a tin of cookies to over 25 families. They all love it, and tell us how the look forward it it each year. Usually we do 13-15 types of cookies and some fudge or homemade candy in there too. It's usually a three day affair. Aaron's the dishwasher (whew!), and Taylor and I make the cookies. We've been doing it for years, since she's been about six. Something I will never forget and always will treasure the memories of.

A recipe to share for this week... I got this from an email, and they reminded me of the Ferrero Roche chocolates, which are my favorites...

They are from Nestle, and are called Toasted Almond Truffles... Rated Easy on the difficulty scale... These will definitely be in my Christmas tins this year!

Toasted Almond Truffles

Creamy and sinfully rich, these chocolate candies are coated with a fine layer of almonds. A touch of vanilla adds a warm note to this sweet confection. Estimated Times:Preparation - 20 min Cooking - 5 min Cooling Time - 1 hrs 30 min refrigerating Yields - 24 truffles (2 dozen)

1/2 cup NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1 cup sliced almonds, finely chopped, toasted

Directions:COMBINE evaporated milk and sugar in small, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.STIR in morsels. Stir vigorously until mixture is smooth. Stir in almond extract. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in nuts. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Whoops, a few days behind already!

I think I got too detailed with my first blog post, that I will scale back a bit and take it from there. I am working on a new venture. I went to a local craft fair this weekend, and am going to start my own paper crafts business, and hope to sell at craft fairs and on ebay and etsy. My new website, which is a work in progress is . I will post my regular post in a few minutes, but that's why I'm behind on it all. :) Enjoy and come check me out on my new website!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reflecting on Beginner's Scrapbooking

I've been scrapbooking for the past nine years, and love it. It's my creative outlet and a wonderful way to preserve our memories of past and present. My kids of course are my number one subjects, but I've also worked on a heritage album for my mom for her 75th birthday and a gift baby album for my sister. My next big project is my wedding album and growing up years. I am really excited to be tackling this.

If you want to start scrapbooking, where do you begin? What tools do you need? What are nice extras to have? We will cover these three topics this week and i will share some pages of mine that I've been working on recently.

Basic Supplies:

  • A paper trimmer is ideal (my favorite is Cutterpede), but if not, scissors or a craft knife and ruler can work too

  • An Acid Free Album... Those magnetic albums from the 80s will destroy your photos. The acid eats away at the photos and will deteriorate them in a few years.

  • Cardstock and patterned paper. It is nice to start with a coordinating package that has a variety of carstock and papers. If you want to start smaller and see if this hobby is for you, pick two to three colors of cardstock and one coordinating patterned paper

  • Acid free glue/tape. I prefer tape runner, which you can find at craft stores. They are double sided and make your pages go much faster.

  • Acid free pen for journaling about the event... telling your story

  • Coordinating sticker, embellishments, etc

Some nice extras... paper trimmer is my number one extra, some ink for distressing the edges, ribbon, brads and eyelets, and paper punches... These are all embellishments and are no way necessary, but nice added extras.

Where to Begin?

  1. First thing you need are photos. You don't want to start with something big like your wedding, because your taste will change and adapt over time. Pick a holiday or birthday, or some type of event that you are excited to do. You may have 30 pictures, you may have ten. Weed through those and pick out the best, usually between seven to ten pictures, unless you want to do more pages on that one event.

  2. From these photos you will have a starting point, or a basis to go on for your layout. What is the mood? Who is involved? What do you want to portray from these photos? This can give you a basis of two to three colors that you may want to start with. For example, my son's first birthday was Baby Einstein themed, so I am planning on primary colors for his layout with a nice geometric pattern. I would pick red, yellow and blue

  3. Take a look at your pictures and see what you can "crop" smaller. There may be a lot of wasted space on the photos, or background you don't need, so elminating that allows you to fit more on the page. To make your photos timeless, try not to cut in cutesy shapes such as stars or hearts... Squares and rectangles are ideal. Ideally you can have five full size photos and three smaller square photos on your layout without visual clutter.

  4. After your photos are trimmed, matte your photos that you want to stand out. Choose one to three based on how many you have on your layout, so you can identify what you want highlighted. By matting your photo, just give it a half or quarter inch border around all sides. So if the phot was 4x6, you would have a 4.5x6.5 matte that you can put the photo. For my son's layout, I may choose to matte the picture of him with the cake, one of us as a family and one with gifts.

  5. Arrange your photos on your page the way it makes sense to you. You want it to be visually stimulating, let it lead te eye across the page (which I will speak about more in the weeks ahead).

  6. Make sure you save room on your page for a title, journaling and embellishments. That's what makes it a scrapbook. That way when someone is looking at your page, all of the explanation is right there. A title can be as simple as the event, or a quote (take me out to the ballgame for a baseball game), just let your imagination be your guide. Titles can be made on your computer, be pre-made or with stickers, stamps and stencils.

  7. Journaling will give you a chance to express your feelings on that day. Take it beyond the who, what, where, when why and how, and talk about your feelings... How fast the first year went, and that you can't believe your son is already one... you get the picture

  8. Add some creative touches, some embellishments or stickers that relate to the event, maybe some wrapped presents or party streamers. Try to keep them in groups of three, as that is more visually appealing to the eye.

That's it! Most of all, have fun! Remember, it is a hobby and something that shouldn't feel overwhelming. You may have years of photos and not know where to begin... Start with what is most current and work backwards. Those events are fresh in your mind and what will be a wonderful starting point. Best of luck and let me know if you need any help!

I will be posting my pages later today when my little guy is napping. Happy Scrapping!

Blog Beginnings

I am going to break down techiques and reflections for certain days of the week, Monday through Friday, stay tuned for fun stuff in the weeks ahead! Here's the breakdown...
  • Marvelous Monday: all about scrapbooking
  • Terrific Tuesday: all about cooking
  • Wonderous Wednesday: all about cards/other paper crafts
  • Thrilling Thursday: all about baking
  • Fabulous Friday: all about any other crafts
Of course I will be sharing stuff about my kids and life too, but that will be random as things happen, so I can reflect. Happy reading everyone!
Blogging Take Two...

I started this in 2007 and life got overwhelming, I felt like all I was doing was whining on here, so I stopped... Here I am again, hoping that I can take this up again and turn it into more of a hobby. A little about me...I am a sahm of two wonderful children and wife to the best husband in the world. I love to scrapbook, cooking, cardmaking and doing all types of crafts. I've been scrapping for the past eight years and love it. It's my creative outlet and such a great way to preserve family memories. I am a tactile person and to be able to go into my scrap/craft room and play is such a great thing, although I've been dabbling in digital scrapping lately and love that too. Beyond that I love to read, going to theme parks and just spending time loving on my family. We live near Orlando so we do go to the parks a lot.

THE KIDS: Taylor is my 14 year old daughter. She's my stepdaughter but I couldn't love her more if she was biologically mine. I've been in her life since she was three, and couldn't imagine it without her. We share custody with her mom and live in the same town. We are one of those rare divorced families that get along great. It's what's best for the kids, and makes life a lot easier that way too. She is a freshman in high school and is very active in church, the school chorus and foreign language club.Matthew is my little joy, and is all boy. He is 28 months old, and I have to say, it is incredible watching this little being grow. He is just amazing. He gets into everything and is true to the term ALL BOY. I love it! We stay involved in playgroups, and go to My Gym and Kindermusik for mommy and me classes and go to the YMCA, which he gets time away from Mommy with other little ones while she works out. Matthew is our little miracle. We tried for four years to have a baby before seeing a specialist. Our first round of treatments we were pregnant. I was totally amazed! What a wonderful gift from God.

My wonderful husband... Aaron is the love of my life. I couldn't imagine what it would be like if I didn't meet him. He is my rock, my night in shining armor. We love spending time together and do everything we can to make our kids' lives wonderful. He works for an oil company as the regional manager for the past sixteen years. He is very good at his job, and even though at times it is tedious, he does great. He is very musically inclined, (which is where Taylor gets it from) and loves to play the guitar, write songs, record, play the harmonica and drums. He always puts us first and is such a fantastic father. I couldn't have asked for a better one.

I'm hoping to turn this into an informative blog about life as a stay at home mom, crafter and chef. I love sharing what I learn and learning from others, so I hope you enjoy this!