Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wishful Wednesday


I know.  It’s Saturday…not Wednesday!  But I’m still going to WISH!

The prompt this week on Jamie Ridler’s blog was “What do you wish to enjoy?”

My response?  Summertime. 

This is my third year working in education, so it’s my third summer of being off work for 8 weeks.  While it sounds like a wonderful thing (and for the most part it is), it can also be a little scary financially.  Remember, I have 3 kids in college right now which makes life kind of expensive these days! 

This year though, I am determined to enjoy my summer.  Spend a little more time in the pool.  Spend some time traveling.  Hang out with my kids (IF they come home this summer).   Scrapbook, of course.  Read.  Relax.  Unwind.  Stress LESS.

I can’t wait till summer gets here…

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A little bit of beach dreamin’


beach dreamin

It’s January…in Illinois.  I don’t think I could possibly be more SUNSHINE starved than I am right now.  It’s dull.  It’s gloomy.  It’s cold.  I leave for work every morning in the dark and it’s dark long before I get home in the evening.  My office has two big glass walls but unfortunately they open up the view of the hallway…not the outdoors.  So, yeah.  I’m sunshine deprived. 

But beaches lie in my future so for now I’ll just dream about the sand between my toes and the sound of the waves as they hit the shore.  And before you know it, snowflakes will be a distant memory.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

So Inspired


Milwaukee (1)

To dare
is to lose
one's footing
To not dare
is to lose
~Soren Kierkegaard


Monday, January 17, 2011

It’s time for some fun, girls!

Cheer 1

Apparently I was in the mood this weekend for some girlie stuff. 

Cheer 2

Pinks.  Greens.  Bright and cheery. 

Cheer 5

Definitely needing some relief from this cold and dark winter. 

Girls Night 1

For some reason the colors on this one look a little off in the photos. 

Girls Night 3

The pink looks almost red or coral…but it’s not…it’s bright pink. 

Girls Night 4

I couldn’t wait to throw in some zebra print.

So, that’s a little bit of the scrapping I did over the weekend. 

Did you have some creative time?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random facts about me…

Judy 1965I’m taking a little break this afternoon from scrapbooking and doing a little catching up on my blog reading.  I ran across this post at The Idea Room and thought I’d join in…so, here are some random facts about me….

  • I grew up on a farm with cows, pigs, horses, rabbits, cats and dogs…but I don’t really like animals…with the exception of my dog. Animals kind of creep me out. A trait I think I passed along to my kids…ask Ceara about squirrels!
  • When I watch a movie I’m always thinking about how the scene was shot. I can picture the film crew and all the technicians behind the camera. A curiosity I obviously share with Elliot (my film student son!).
  • I was convinced as a pre-teen that I would grow up to marry Shaun Cassidy. I didn’t!
  • I almost got kicked out of the viewing balcony in the House of Representatives in Springfield, IL. It required 2 warnings!
  • My husband, my 3 children, my step-son, my mom, my mother-in-law and I were all born on a date that is a multiple of 7…..7, 14 & 21!
  • My brother is a prince. Ok, that’s just what my sisters and I call him…and how our mom treats him! My daughters would add that I have followed that tradition.
  • I have a 1850s upright, fully restored piano in my living room…that I can’t play!
  • I can sew, cross stitch, crochet, and paint….but I rarely do any of them anymore.
  • I love playing with HTML code…but once I get started I ignore the rest of the world so I try to limit my indulgence.
  • My answer to the question… “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” …being conceived.
  • Sometimes I even surprise myself with my ulterior motives.
  • I came THISCLOSE bleeding out once after a surgery…and just for the record…blood transfusions are freaky.
  • Every time I look at a Velveeta cheese box I think of the kitten me and my brother buried in one after my dad stepped on it.
  • I have 2 sisters and a brother and we all live within 20 minutes of each other.
  • I listen to audio books in the car every day on my commute to work.
  • I hate reality TV. Just can’t get into it.
  • I’m a baby boomer but got in just before they closed the door!
  • I haven’t seen my real hair color since 1979!
  • I love self-help and motivational books.
  • I have 3 amazing kids.
  • I’ve learned that brain tumors have a way of changing things.
  • Even though I love my girlfriends…sometimes I find that my guy friends are so much easier to deal with!
  • Every time I watch Message in a Bottle I hope Kevin Costner’s character doesn’t die THIS time.
  • I don’t have a favorite color, a favorite song, or favorite movie. It changes constantly. Depends on my mood.
  • I used to drink at least 2-5 cans of Diet Pepsi a day. I gave it up about a year and a half ago and can’t imagine ever going back!
  • I miss water-skiing.
  • I was the student speaker at 2 of my graduations.
  • I don’t like old, black and white movies.
  • I love to learn new things. If I didn’t have 3 kids in college right now I would be working on my master’s degree.
  • I’m happiest when my house is clutter-free…unfortunately my husband doesn’t share that sentiment.
  • I do not like being cold.
  • I have a degree in Business Administration…I minored in Political Science…but am in the process of turning that into a major as well.
  • I’ve watched the entire series of The West Wing about a dozen times. I’m not sure the exact number but I know it’s up there.
  • My dog is named after Toby Zeigler on The West Wing.
  • I change my mind…a lot.
  • I love Hostess Snowballs. Especially when they come in pink!
  • I once owned a brick and mortar gift shop.
  • My friend and I once parked her car in downtown Chicago for an entire day with the window down and our purses in the back seat…and nothing was stolen!
  • I’ve lived in 7 places in my life. All with the same zip code. I would LOVE to move to somewhere that begins with a 2, 3 or 9.
  • Ok….that’s enough! 

Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Where do you go for INSPIRATION?

inspirationWhat inspires you?  Do you look for inspiration in your surroundings, in nature, your loved ones, your co-workers, politicians, great orators, movie stars, writers, on blogs?

Everyday we’re bombarded with information.  It screams at us from TV, radio, billboards, magazines, newspapers and, of course, the internet. So much of it can be negative or can make us feel like we’re not skinny enough, not rich enough, not creative enough, not whatever.

I’m a big believer in filtering out some of that negativity and releasing the feeling that I must “keep up with the Joneses”. I love listening to inspiring or informative audio books during my commute (instead of talk radio).  I watch very little TV (can’t stand the violence).  And I read. While I love, love, love the paper-ness of a good book, I also love reading inspiring blogs. 

So, these are a few places that I go for inspiration and ideas.  Of course, there are others, but I wanted to share some with you that I haven’t shared before….here goes…

Christy Tomlinson

Homegrown Hospitality

I Am Enough

The Daily Love

Rebecca Sower



Raised in Cotton

A Bushel and a Peck


What inspires you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Time to Scrap


Actually the title should read  Time to Scrap?????

I know, we all have the same amount of hours in the day, right?  We hear it all the time.  And yet, I wonder.    I don’t know about you, but I never seem to have enough.

Every day while I’m sitting at work I think about all the projects I’m going to dive into when I get home…

I’m going to start this scrapbook with the new papers I just bought…

or I’m going to finally construct that dream board…

or I’m going to write a new blog post…

or try to catch up reading my long list of “favorite” blogs…

or maybe read a few chapters of one of the books piled on my desk.

But after I’ve thrown in some laundry, cooked a meal, cleaned the kitchen, paid some bills and let the dog out a dozen times, the evening tends to disappear and my energy level goes right along with it.  Maybe it’s just the cold weather (as I sit here writing my feet are wrapped in a heating pad that apparently must have died after 25+ years of service!) or maybe  it’s that I stay up too late and get up WAY too early so I’m tired by the time I complete my evening hour-long commute…or maybe I’m just a little burned out.

I’m trying to stir my creative juices a bit this year.  But even that takes some energy…and tonight it’s just not happening.

How do you find the time/energy to work some creative time into your day/evening?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Valentine’s Day is approaching…

Valentine 1

Just finished up this Valentine paper bag scrapbook.  I LOVE the Karen Foster Design stickers and the papers by Making Memories.   I also used some Tim Holtz papers.  I’ve had a couple pads of his paper for awhile now but this is the first time I’ve used them.  For some odd reason I’ve been rationing them…as if I couldn’t just go out an  buy more.  Do you ever do that?   Get some awesome supplies but then don’t use them because you don’t want to “use them up?”  I tend to do that a lot.  Crazy!   I also found these Jenni Bowlin Valentine mini bingo cards in my stash that I had almost forgotten about.  You can see more photos of this scrapbook in my Etsy shop

Valentine 4

I had planned to get a lot of scrapbooking done this weekend but somehow life kind of got in the way.  It has a tendency to do that lately.  Yesterday it was spending time with Ceara before she headed back to college today (read laundry!) and then today it was a trip to the ER with my mom.  Thankfully it JUST ended up being time consuming and nothing serious.  So it was an opportunity for some quality time (or should I say quantity time) with my sibs.

But, to be honest, those weren’t the only distractions this weekend.  I can’t seem to get my nose out of a book…bookS actually.   I’ve wanted to get the e-book, Flying Lessons by Kelly Rae Roberts, for a long time now and I finally couldn’t wait any longer.  I’ve left the e-book open on my laptop and it seems like every time I walk by I’m drawn to it and have to sit down and read a little more.   I’m not finished with it yet but considering what I’ve read so far…it’s definitely worth the investment (you can click on the icon to learn more).


My wonderful son bought me some other books from my I WANT THIS list for Christmas.  Two books by Patti Digh, Life is a Verb and Creative is a Verb and The Gifts of Imperfection by BrenĂ© Brown.  I, of course, couldn’t decide what to read first so I am reading all of them at once.  Whatever mood hits at the moment!

What distracted you this weekend?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

So Inspired


For a long time it had seemed to me
that life was about to begin - real life. 
But there was always
some obstacle in the way. 
Something to be got through first,
some unfinished business,
time still to be served,
a debt to be paid. 
Then life would begin. 
At last it dawned on me
that these obstacles were my life.

~Fr. Alfred D'Souza

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Silly Little Monkey

Monkey 1

It’s a NEW YEAR…a little monkeying around is allowed….

Monkey 2   Monkey 3

Monkey 4   Monkey 5

Monkey 6Monkey 7

What projects have you been working on this week? 

Leave a link in the comments!  :)


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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome 2011

I’m still trying to get used to the idea of 2011.  It hasn’t completely sunk in yet.  Maybe I just haven’t written the date enough yet…or quite possibly it’s because I still have a little unfinished business with 2010.

So, here we go. 

First…I want to thank all my blog readers (yeah, YOU!) for following along with my sometimes sporadic…and often eclectic posts.  I always think I’m going to write more often but somehow life (or a nasty mood or scrapbooking !!) gets in the way and I don’t post as often as I would like.  So thank you for hanging in there…or checking back to make sure I’m still here!  And, especially THANK YOU for leaving a comment now and then.  It’s nice to know there’s someone out there…and I LOVE to hear your thoughts as well.

Second…a big heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to all my customers from 2010.   Whether you did a little shopping in my Etsy shop or sent me a direct order or picked up a little something from me at a local show…I can’t thank you enough for supporting small businesses in general…and MY small business in particular.  :) 

And, third…My word of the year…from 2010.  For the past few months I’ve been thinking about what I would write for the post about my 2010 word of the year…CHANGE.   And, since I’ve been conflicted about how much to share, I’ve been putting off writing the post.  We’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship this year…me and my word.  I’ve written a few times throughout the year about how CHANGE has come about for me in 2010…especially (and unfortunately) in the form of a few deaths and the loss of our beloved Lucky…but there have also been some good changes.   Like the unexpected disappearance of Elliot’s tumor.  HOORAY!  And the new addition to our familyToby ZZ, Toby (yeah, he has 2 ears…one is apparently laying down in this photo).   There have been changes in the dynamics at work.  Changes as my children continue to gain (and enjoy) their independence.  Changes in health.  Changes in interests.  Changes in priorities.  Changes in attitude.  

As we all know, change is constant.  We’re always changing.  Sometimes growing.  Sometimes staying stagnant as the world around us changes.  Some changes are obvious for everyone to see and some changes are internal where they can only be felt on a very personal and private level. 

When I chose this word a year ago I had some pretty specific changes in mind.  Some BIG changes.  Some high expectations.   Did they all come true?  Nope.  Not even close.  So was this year (or this word of the year) a failure?  I would have to say NO to that as well.

If nothing else, this year has proven to me that sometimes it’s the small changes that can have the biggest impact on my life.  A new way of thinking about things.  Recognizing the effect certain situations have on me.   Noticing how certain people make me feel.  The things that energize me…or drain me.   Paying attention to the things that inspire me. 

This year has also taught me that little changes can add up and are a great way to prepare for the big changes ahead.  So, as I venture into 2011, CHANGE…specifically intentional CHANGE…will still be a part of me. 

Want more information about choosing a word-of-the-year?  Check out these blogs

Christine Kane’s Blog

Ali Edwards – One Little Word

Tonya Leigh

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Monday, January 3, 2011

How I spent my winter break


I WISH!  But…maybe not…because then I would have missed out on…

  • last minute Christmas shopping
  • taking my parents with me to Chicago to retrieve my son
  • playing enough Hand & Foot with my girls to completely wear out two decks of cards!
  • chit-chat with girlfriends at much-over-due-lunches
  • watching chick flicks with my girls
  • too much baking/cooking…eating!   ;)
  • playing dominoes with parents/siblings
  • wrapping a mound of gifts
  • guzzling wine with my sister-in-laws on Christmas Eve
  • spending time with family
  • listening to Elliot’s film analysis…grateful that my tuition dollars are being well spent!!!
  • lunches with my extended family
  • spending time with my great-nieces and nephews (were my kids ever that little?) and their parents, of course!
  • a spontaneous trip with my girls to Milwaukee
  • eating at Rocky Rococos
  • a trip to Chicago with Elliot and Arielle
  • listening to Elliot’s 15 minute review of the restroom @ Hard Rock CafĂ©…and his 30 second review of Wicked…all in the same day
  • shopping at Archiver’s
  • experiencing annoying road closures in downtown Chicago…and STILL finding my way out of the city!
  • watching movies with Elliot
  • family dinners
  • a little bit of scrapbooking
  • a lot of reading
  • playing with Toby (the little fur ball is definitely growing on me, ya know…when he’s not growling at me!)
  • an awesome massage
  • girl-talk with my daughters
  • playing Pounce with Elliot
  • getting back into the exercise routine
  • making plans for the summer
  • some West Wing and Weeds episodes (what a combo, huh?!)
  • some wonderful and thoughtful gifts
  • some quiet time to reflect on 2010 and plan for 2011
  • and…a bunch of other things that I’m sure I’ve forgotten to list

Typically when I have a break from work, I jot down a to-do list and try to cram as many little “jobs” into the time as possible.  This time, I didn’t make a list and didn’t have any huge expectations of what I would like to accomplish.  Basically I decided to just go with the flow….and RELAX for a change.   The down-time felt great.  Probably not as good as laying in a hammock on a tropical island…but hey, maybe next time!



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