Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Sunny Friday!

Hi all! We're finally over the sicknesses of the last week! YEAH! I am working on a Layout of the Week post, so hopefully by tonight I'll have it up. I just stopped by Ann's for the VGNO! Head on over & check it out, Mr. Linky appears to be down, so we're doin' it ourselves, just leave a comment and check out everyone's blogs, it's tons o' fun!


We're home for the long weekend getting ready for next weekend's garage sale. YUCK! I hate putting together garage sales, but I do love money! And having tons of Jake's stuff to sell, should at least make us something. Hope it's worth all the work!

Enjoy your long weekend, hope your weather is as nice as here! High 70's, Low 80's....No Rain in Sight! I can't remember the last time we were able to say that in Portland on Memorial Day Weekend...but I do remember a camping trip this weekend a few years back where it POURED (and POURED is probably being nice) for all 3 days! During my breaks from piling stuff in the garage & pricing it, I'll be on my deck or in the hammock, with a drink in my hand!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy VGNO! Don't forget my Button!

Hi everyone, just stopped by Ann's VGNO, get there quick! She's got a link to FREE CHOCOLATE! M & M Mars will send you a free coupon if you're one of the 1st 200,000 to sign up each Friday. MMMMMMM! Thanks Ann!


I promise I'm working on the Layout of the Week RIGHT NOW! I'm late this week, had a pukey (?-spelling, I know you know what I mean though...) little guy for the last few days, so I'm off track!

I'm heading to set up for the school carnival later, it's so sunny here we're setting it up outside. Hopefully all goes well! :)

Please grab one of my new buttons, I made it myself, I can't believe it! (Just copy the code down on the left side under my button and paste it into one of your widgets on your blog's layout page.) I do love it & I'm so proud of myself, not being so computer savvy! If you don't have one, it isn't difficult to do...give it a try!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My 1st Contest Win! Grab My New Button!

I'm very excited to have won my first contest! Thanks to Lola's Victory Garden!

I won some free Avon merchandise & a free ad for a month. I wasn't sure what to do about the ad, since I didn't have a button for my blog. Being a blogger, I asked my blogging friend Ann & found an article on creating your own button on the blog, A Heart for Home. This article was a great help! I used to create my button, with one of my photos. I just played around with the cool editing options and then added decorations. If you don't have a button of your own, you should definitely give it a try!

So if you'd like a new button to display on your blog, look to the left & take mine! :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

How does my garden grow?

With the sun shining (at least a little) here in the Portland area today, I'm inspired to get out & plant those poor little plants that have been sitting in a box in my garage for 2 weeks. OK, I have put them out for some sun when we've been lucky enough to have it. I'm so glad that I haven't put the little guys into my new raised bed Dave built me yet! Last weekend we had a HUGE freak hail storm, complete with 50 mile an hour winds, the hardest rain we've ever seen here...came at us horizontally, right into the back of the house. We even had a puddle INSIDE on the floor next to our French Door. Now I realize we need to work harder at the weatherizing! At least the little plants were hiding in the garage for the deluge!

But now it's time to get them into the ground! I usually plant a couple tomatoes, green beans & some basil. But with the economy the way it is and thinking maybe I can grow some more veggies to save on my grocery bill. And I LOVE how the veggies I grow in my own yard taste! This year I've got a few more tomato plants to plant and some seeds for carrots, radishes, lettuce and others I can't think of right now. I'll let you know how things go!

If you like fresh green beans, here's what I've been doing for about 3 years now. It's the perfect idea for those of you without in the ground garden space or maybe you have just a patio. I plant my green bean seeds (pole beans & not bush beans) in a large planter full of organic soil. Then I put a tomato cage in the planter. When the plants start to grow and can reach the first level of the tomato cage, I wrap them around the wires. Then the plants grow to cover the cage and the beans hang down all around it. It's an easy way to grow green beans. My daughter loves to go out & see if the beans are ready. She loves to pick them & eat them right on the spot!

If you're looking for gardening inspiration, check out Lola's Victory Garden! She's got a great give away going on right now!

Here it is, Friday again!

Wow, I can't believe how quickly time goes by! Even when you've got a grouchy little guy who had shots on Tuesday and is cutting his molars...OUCH! Poor Jake and poor Dad & Mom...he's been waking up at least once a night since Tuesday. I haven't gotten the clove oil yet, it was suggested by a few of my Facebook friends. So far the ibuprofen is working for us. Oh, speaking of the time sucking, obsession we call Facebook....if you're one of the millions who can't seem to stay away from it, please sign up to follow my blog there (and here too of course!)...JulieChats on Networked Blogs

I'm hoping Ann has the Virtual Girls' Night Out going early today! Be sure to check it out! I've got a lot more time tonight to cruise all the blogs, sorry I was working our National Scrapbook Day Crop at the store last Friday and couldn't participate much in the VGNO. See you at Ann's!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Layout of the Week - All Boy / All Girl

For this week's Layout of the Week, I thought I'd share my samples for the kits I put together last Friday. After my crazy morning Friday, I managed to squeeze a couple layout samples into my day. I wanted the layouts to be very simple & quick. I finished these two double page spreads in just under an hour, including running upstairs to get my xyron adhesive create a sticker machine & chatting with Dave when he came home from work. So if you've got all your supplies ready & no family interruptions, you could complete these layouts quicker than I did. I'm planning to use sepia tone photos on these layouts. Using sepia or black & white photos is handy when you're putting together your layouts without knowing which photos you'll be putting on them. I'll probably use a large, possibly square photo on the left side of each layout. Then on the right side, I'm thinking that 4 smaller photos (possibly square also) would look nice arranged closely together.

For those of you in the Portland area, the kits are available at Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio in Beaverton. Check our blog for more information & directions to the store. While there, you can sign up to receive our bi-monthly email newsletter filled with new products, tips & events at the store. The kits are filled with $10 worth of products that you can use to create 2 double page spreads or 4 individual pages for ONLY $5! The printed papers are by My Mind's Eye. The kits include 4 double-sided printed My Mind's Eye papers, 4 coordinating die cuts, 4 pieces of cardstock, 4 ft of coordinating ribbon & 4 buttons.

For my sample layouts, I used the cardstock as my background and cut the printed paper into 1, 2 or 3 inch pieces. I used my QuicKutz die cutting system and its Diesel font & shadow for my title. Using the strips to create the same layout for each double page spread allowed me finish it quickly. I looked at the papers and quickly decided which pattern to cut into each size, I cut the largest pattern into the 3" strips and then cut both the 2" & 1" strips from the other patterned piece (I used one pattern for the 2" pieces and then the pattern from the reverse of that sheet for the 1" strips.)

Give the strip technique a try in your next layout for a quick & easy page.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What a morning...

OK, I didn't mean to leave everyone hanging with my "almost lit the house on fire" comment on Friday. Well, maybe I did, just a little!

Friday morning was just one of those mornings. Jake woke up at 6am, ready to roll. He & I hung out a while and then I took him in the bathroom, closed the closet door, gave him tons of toys & took a quick shower. After my shower, Jake & I went and woke up Delaney. She & Jake watched TV while I dried my hair. It was getting a little late when we headed down for breakfast. Toast was on the menu and everyone was hungry. I popped a couple pieces of bread in the toast, grabbed plates & toppings. Jake is a cinnamon toast guy and Delaney changes her mind a lot. Friday was a Nutella day for her. I try to switch her to peanut butter on school days, it just seems a little healthier, no chocolate.... But being in a hurry, I just said, "Fine."

While Delaney & I discussed toast toppings, Jake sat in his high chair screaming for his breakfast. So when the toast popped up, I grabbed his, buttered it, put the cinnamon sugar on top & cut it into little squares. I smelled something funny and thought maybe the toaster had overheated, so I unplugged it. I ran Jake's toast over to Delaney who was sitting by the screaming little guy, ready to toss him one piece at a time, so we wouldn't have a choking incident in the middle of our rush to get to school on time. Jake quieted down with the first bite of toast in his mouth and I headed back to the toaster to get Delaney's piece.

While at the toaster, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of a big black circle. (Here's a little background info: I have one of those flat top, ceran stoves. It's black and seeing it dirty all the time, even right after cleaning it, drives me crazy. So my solution to this has been to put a nice clean, crisp white towel from Williams-Sonoma on it. This solution has worked perfectly, for almost three years.) Back to my big black circle....I quickly turned & saw that my clean, crisp white towel had a big black circle in it. Suddenly there were glowing orange embers inside the circle. I grabbed the towel, threw it toward the back of the stove, turned off the burner. Then I snatched the towel and ran out to the garage. In the garage, the towel burst into flames, I dropped it and stomped on it. Then I picked it up, took it outside, put it on the back sidewalk and ran water over it with the garden hose. I'm not sure how the burner got turned on, I guess I bumped up against it. The huge dual burner had been turned on high when I got to it. I'm so thankful that I caught the soon to be on fire towel before it burst into flames in my kitchen. At least I made it outside and hosed it down before any damage was done. Problem solved.

Or so it seemed. I headed back in to finish Delaney's toast & the house was full of smoke. Poor Delaney was coughing and asking what was wrong. I explained the near kitchen fire, as I opened all the windows. Finally I finished her toast and she was able to start eating breakfast. Needless to say, we left for school much later than usual! But somehow, Delaney made it to class without a "red slip" (tardy slip).

I could finally relax for a minute and take some deep breaths on my way to get groceries for my Cinco de Mayo enchiladas. It turned out I really needed those deep breaths. I didn't think my morning could get worse until the Starbucks guy told me, "We're all out of coffee!" Seriously, Starbucks is out of coffee?

Then, after filling up my grocery cart & entertaining little Jake all through the store, Safeway could only manage to have one checkout line open with the 8 people & their full carts in line. Leave it to me....I marched down the aisle and asked the two obviously Safeway employees if they worked there. And embarrassed supervisor answered, "Yes," as I explained the customer service faux pas I was stuck in....

Really, was this my morning, yes, doesn't it make everyone want to be one of those "Work At Home Moms"? Stressed out & tired already at 10am, I headed home to deal with my over-tired little guy, car full of groceries, house full of smoke, scrapbook kits to put together, layout samples to create and 2 pans of enchiladas to make. If only I could just sit & watch soap operas & eat bon bons all day! A girl can dream!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Early Cinco de Mayo & VGNO!

Ann's celebrating the Kentucky Derby for tonight's VGNO, but around here, we're celebrating Cinco de Mayo a few days early. Our friends always have a huge party, so put in a good word with the Sun Gods for me, "please let the sun stay in Portland through Saturday night!" Or dry weather, you know what I mean! So my drink of choice is a margarita or a pitcher of them!

Making enchiladas right now and sorting cool scrapbook stuff for our crop tonight at Whimzee's. If you're in the Portland area & are a scrapbooker or papercrafter, stop by the store tonight or tomorrow for some awesome deals! Putting together page kits all over my dining room table right now!

I've got to tell you about almost burning down the house this morning, but that will have to wait until I've got a few minutes, Sunday maybe. And since Jake's screaming in his car seat right now (napping in the car, doors open, in the garage)! Gotta go! Have a great weekend! Remember to check out Ann's party!



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