Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

I am in need of a little bit of an attitude adjustment.  I had another difficult morning getting Misfit 1 out the door this morning for school and left the house in a very grumpy mood.  This is one of my early days at work, so I have to leave basically right after she does and it does not set a great tone for the day.  Ended up being very snappy with the hubby before I left and had very little patience left for the youngest.  So...yeah.  Feeling kind of lousy this morning and thought that maybe I should dedicate my Thursday morning post to things that I am thankful for.

So here's my list for today:

I'm thankful...
  •  for the fact that I have a daughter to fight with in the morning and that she's healthy enough to give me such a hard time.  
  • for my understanding husband who lets me be a grouch and doesn't take it personally.  God bless him, because when I'm grumpy, I'm GRUMPY.
  •  to have a job to come to.  I complain because it's still dark out when I get here, and because as of late it hasn't been very busy {hence the work-time blogging}, but I am so happy to have a job.
  • for netflix.  I have a new DVD that should be waiting for me when I get home.  I love that.  (It's the little things, right?)
  • for exercise.  I am getting back into a routine, and as much as I dread it when I start I really love to exercise.  I love how I feel afterward and I definitely love knowing that I'm doing good things for my body and setting a good example for the rest of my family.
  • for blog-hopping.  So much inspiration to be had on the good old world wide web.  

  • for my Crazy for Caramel Shine Sensation lip gloss by Maybelline.  Love. This. Stuff.  Goes on sheer, smells like frosting.  And doesn't taste gross.  Only way to make it better is if it didn't rub off when I smooch the hubby!
  • for days when my boss buys us lunch just because.  Like today.  Awesome!
  • for good friends.  Ones to vent to, cry with, laugh with...I love each and every one of 'em.  And miss the ones that are far away but still so thankful for their presence in my life.
  • for the creative outlet of my design work.  I don't do anything creative for my day job so having that outlet is super important and I'm thankful for the opportunity to do it, and for the support!
So there you have it.  10 things I'm thankful for today.  And I feel so much better now!  Thanks for wading through all that.  Looking for eye candy?  Check the previous post with some new card designs!

New card designs

Hey guys,  sorry for my lack of posting and thank you for your patience!  I have temporarily solved my technical difficulty problem and will soon be ordering the more permanent fix, but I am back up and running and have been very b-u-s-y.  
A fellow member of my mom's group has started a business and asked me to design some cards for her.  These are some of the designs I put together for her, not including the one that she actually chose to use :-) I'll share that one later after I get her permission to post her company info on the blog-o.  So these are kind of generic looking but can be customized with any information and I can change colors and all that fun stuff.

I love the damask patterns that seem to be everywhere right now.  Very elegant looking, in my had to use a little of that here...and she asked that I do some in pink for her, which is right up my alley because I love love love pink!

A little floral...

Some fun swirls.

This one is another of my faves. 

And because her company is for kids' items, I did this one which is a little more playful. 

I had a lot of fun working on this project for her.  As soon as I get the go ahead I will give you her info because she has some SUPER CUTE stuff!!  So which is your favorite? I'd love to hear your opinions!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Technical Difficulties

Wouldn't ya know it?  I have all kinds of fun projects floating around in my head and my desktop computer decided to bite the big one last night.  It really wasn't her fault.  We had a big storm last night, first one in quite a while and a power surge and apparently her surge protector didn't do its job.  She went peacefully in her sleep.  We will miss her...she's been with me for quite a long while!
Not to worry, I'm headed to good old Best Buy today to buy some new software and stuff so that I can just use the laptop (needed to do it anyway bc the desk top was a dinosaur), but will be on a  teeny tiny hiatus until I get that done!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Address Labels

It must be the nerd in me that just loves when things are all coordinated.  Could also be that I'm slightly OCD about certain things...this being one of them- I like all of my stationery to match.  I like making address labels and sending out cards (though I haven't been doing such a good job of it lately) and I think it makes such a huge difference when everything goes together.  Whipped up these address labels to match the two holiday card designs already posted.

And the next one...

Really busy weekend, so far!  Took the kids to "Trunk or Treat" that my Mom's group put on.  The girls got to have a trial run with their costumes and get a little candy and I got to socialize with some mama friends.  Always a good time!  Now me and the hubs have some hockey to watch so this is a quick post.
 What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Way to start the day

My kids are a daily test of my patience.  I decided that this must be some sort of evil plot against me to find out how much they can do before mom goes completely crazy.  Every morning I get up between 5 & 5:30 am.  I shouldn't say every morning...but M-F mornings, I do.  Saturday and Sunday it's more like 8:30-9. this is typically the morning in my house. 

alarm goes off.  I hit snooze a couple times and then drag myself out of bed.
I let the dog outside, start or change out the laundry, and straighten up a bit.
Around 6 I wake up Misfit #1.  No. Let me rephrase.  I attempt to wake her up.  My first attempts usually result in her yanking her blankets up over her head and growling at me.
This in turn usually wakes up my youngest, who is 4 and terribly grumpy when she does not get her beauty sleep.  Just like her mama.  But she refuses to let us close her bedroom door at night so the noise from her big sister's room as she's protesting her morning wake up call across the hall, wakes her up.  She comes stomping out of her bed (she has a bunk bed with stairs) with her bed-head and popeye-esque one eye open one eye closed grouch face and says "I was SLEEPING!", grumbles a bit and then goes and forcefully plants herself on the couch.  Meanwhile, I'm on attempt number 2-6 to get the diva out of her bed. The dog is standing at the back door barking to come in, and my 4 year old is whining about turning on cartoons.

Back to Misfit #1.

  It's a daily struggle with her.  The morning routine.  Every morning I end up in a bad mood.  Even though we do the same thing every day, she fights it. She has to leave the house at 6:30 or she will miss the bus.  I have tried getting her up earlier, putting her in bed earlier in the evening.  Nothing works.  Every day after the fight to even get her out of the bed,I still have to tell her to get dressed (thank goodness we pick out her outfit the night before), brush hair, brush teeth, take medicine, put on shoes, and so on and so forth.  It's a little much for me.  She's 9 and a half.  She should have this under control. Right?!

But then today...this is where it gets funny.  I go and let the dog in and go back to Misfit 1's room and he follows me.  What does he do?  In all the poetic justice in this world, he jumps on her bed and lands right on top of her, turns a circle, and sits down.  On her head. 
And I immediately get all hysterical laughing because, come on now..that's funny!!  She obviously disagreed with me on the hilarity of the situation... 
Might not be the most humane way of getting her out of bed.  It worked, though. She was up. And somehow managed to get out the door on time.

On the design another holiday card going. I'm still sort of messing with it a bit because it doesn't feel like it's complete...what do you all think?  I will post some tags that I came up with tomorrow...along with a freebie! :-)
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wow...more than a week already?!

I can't believe it has been over a week since I last posted.  I've been that crazy busy.  Sorry for the long absence and thanks so much for checking back in!

Some bullets from the last week...just some random things floating around in my head right now.
  • Misfit # 1 had 3 soccer games; lost 1, won 2- almost scored a goal at one of them...came thisclose. 
  • Visit to the pumpkin patch
  • Cooked a meal for a friend that just had a BEAUTIFUL baby to snuggle her in all of her tiny perfectness...oh how I miss having a newborn baby around the house!
  • Provided snack for a soccer game.  Good gracious.  Note to self...don't procrastinate this next time.  Early morning runs to Walmart for ziploc baggies  and extra gatorade because I didn't give my helpful hubby a head count really aren't that fun.
  • House hunting-the bane of my existence.
  • gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous weather in my neck of the woods
  • our smoke detectors went off for a full 15 minutes this morning because we broke down and turned the heat on.  And then proceeded to turn it right back off after we finally got the stupid things to stop beeping. 
  • Started working on some new holiday is one of them. 
This is the picture we used in ours last year...obviously I need to take some new ones for the new designs.  But this works for now.  More of these to come... along with some gift tags, wish lists, and other fun stuff to help you stay sane {and organized} during the crazy holiday season.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mom Cards

There are a lot of things about being a mom that you have to just learn over time.  One of those being no matter how many times you told yourself that you'd never use your own saliva to clean your child's face, you will inevitably do it.  Just like I did.  Earlier tonight. When my daughter's face was covered in spaghetti sauce and I didn't notice until we were exiting the car at a soccer game.  Better to use that than have her looking like she hasn't bathed in a few days, right?  I usually keep wipes in the car, but again, like most things...they are never around when you actually need one.  Still grosses me out a bit.  But yeah, I do it.  Go ahead cringe.  I do.  But then I move on because, hey, my kid no longer has sauce on her face.

Anyway, enough about that.  My point is, there are just things you figure out along the way.  This is another one of those things.  When you're a mom, sometimes meeting new people and making new friends is hard.  It takes guts to walk up to a stranger at a playground or something and strike up a conversation.  I've done it and it definitely isn't an easy thing to pull a conversation out of thin air.  On the rare occasion that I've had this happen successfully, I've had to scribble down either my or the other mom & child's info on the back of a receipt or some other scrap of paper that was down in the depths of the abyss that is my purse.  Or I used to.  Then I got smart and made some cute cards to keep in my purse for situations like this.  Nope, I'm not a rocket scientist, but believe me this is a life saver!!  I use them for parent-teacher meetings, church, sports practices, and yeah, when I have a lovely chat with a mom at the park who has a kid the same age as mine.  I also belong to a rather large Mom's group in my area and they work great for that too.  I have several designs for these in the works.  Here is one of the more recent ones:

Obviously, this is the front of the card.  It can be done in any color you want.  This turquoise-y color just so happens to be one of my absolute favorites.  

And the back. 

I know people have all sorts of cards these days and sometimes they get kind of lost in the shuffle.  I like having my cards stand out and to keep them simple but memorable so when someone is looking for it, it's relatively easy to spot in a pile.

If you're not a mom, they can be used as just cards with your info on it.  Maybe you're in a book club or a bible study or any number of other activities where it would be helpful to exchange information with other people.  This would come in handy, right?  And it has much less information than a standard business card because well, some people that seem nice, just plain aren't.  And I don't want those people calling me at work.  Or showing up at my house.  Ya know?  If all you want to have on it is an email address, you can do that.  Completely customizable and color-choice friendly.

So what do you think?  Would you hand something like this out to your contacts?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An Art Journal

Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a small nerd crush on journaling.  I've kept a journal for as long as I can remember and started scrapbooking back in 3rd or 4th grade in a wire bound construction paper notebook that I received from a friend for a birthday present.  I like to think that I've evolved quite a bit since then.  Recently, though, I haven't made a lot of time for scrapbooking or drawing or even just my normal therapeutic journaling.  Sometimes even just putting my day into words seems a bit daunting, especially right now when things are sort of stressful.  Oddly enough, these are the days when I really need to get those thoughts down on paper and out of my head so I can rest.  My point is easily demonstrated by the fact that its currently 11:20 pm here and I'm on the computer typing this post instead of sleeping when I need to wake up at 5:30. 

My solution to this problem is an art journal.  This is sort of the best of all of my favorite things to do.  I've kept one before, and really enjoyed it, but it sort of fell by the wayside when other things came up and took priority.  Art journals can be used for pretty much whatever you want.  Writing, drawing, photos, just random bits of life from that day.  A  book that is a bit more flexible with a much smaller work area, which translates into taking up less time.   Right now I'm picturing random quotes and small tidbits about the day and drawings or even paintings to flex my creative muscles even if I only have 5-10 minutes to spare.

Here's what she looks like:
 Horrible photography...sorry.  It's late. :-) And my flowers on the front there are a little smooshed...maybe I'll have to post some more pics tomorrow!
and the inside. 

Super excited to start filling it up and start burning off my excess of creative energy!  And I can add to the paper part in the middle or take it out and replace it with a new one because I made the whole thing.  Not too shabby for a random decision that I made at 9:00 tonight to break out the sewing machine and just get it made tonight. 

Did you do anything creative and/or crafty today?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apple Dews

Are you ready for something seriously delicious? This is a must-try recipe.  Trust me.  You will love it.  I was unbelievably skeptical when I was first introduced to this recipe, but they are sinfully good.  Warning-they are very sweet and not extremely diet friendly! 

Ok, here we go...

You will need:
 Baking pan (I used 2)
2 pkgs crescent rolls
2 granny smith apples ( I know there are 3 in the picture...sorry)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick margarine melted
12 oz. Mt. Dew
 Peel and slice the apples.  You will need 16 total slices from the two apples.  I use my handy-dandy apple corer/slicer for the cutting part and then peel  them by hand, but you can do it however you want to.

 Wrap each slice of apple in a crescent roll and put them in the pan.  Don't crowd them.  (that's why I used 2 pans)

 Mix melted margarine, sugar, and cinnamon together until they are smooth.

 Pour mixture over the apple crescents.
 Then pour the can of Mt. Dew over the top of them.  I know this sounds weird and just plain gross, but trust me on this...
 Then bake at 30 min. or until golden brown and eat 'em up.  The misfits absolutely go nuts over these.  They taste kind of like apple pie...with 1/3 of the effort.  We like to eat them while they are warm.

And just in case you are interested in an easy way to print out the recipe, here is the recipe card:
Happy baking!! If you make them, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hello October

Hello October.  So nice to see you.  Hello 60 degree mornings and 70 degree days in the sunshine.  I have missed you. When you live in South Carolina, there isn't much of a Fall...which is quite sad because it's my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love everything about it.  The crisp weather, pulling out the sweaters/hoodies, the changing leaves (which also are in short supply here), apples & pumpkins, hayrides, trick-or-treating,  hot apple cider or hot cocoa, lounging around in warm, comfy pj's for a better part of the day when it's gray outside, baking lots of yummy treats with my little misfits, and finally being able to comfortably exercise outdoors.  The hubby and I went on a 10 mile bike ride on Friday and it was glorious.  10 miles and I wasn't even sweaty!  It was cool and breezy and sunny.  Perfect day for a bike ride.  We have resolved to both get in better shape and that was our first joint effort.  Wish I could do it every day.  It's back to the elliptical tonight.  Not nearly as much fun.

So now that fall is here, I am kicking it into high gear with holiday preparations.  This is my first Work-In-Progress.

 It's an Advent Calendar.  I still have a bit of work to do, but the majority of the sewing is finished.  I love how this turned out. I had this grand idea of doing this last year but just did not have the time to get it done so it was first on my list for my holiday prep this year.  We used to have one when I was a kid and it was one of those traditions that I looked forward to every year.  I still have to add the part to hang it and I am going to print and laminate bible verses/stories to put in the pockets.  Can't wait to use it with the kids.

Here's a close up of the detail.  If there is interest, I can post a how-to or tutorial on how you can make one yourself. 

Coming up tomorrow-a recipe for a favorite fall treat!


Friday, October 1, 2010

The first soccer game

Today's post takes us back to the soccer field.  Caitlynn, aka Misfit #1, had her very first soccer game last weekend.  And this mommy had her first sporting event experience for her own kids.  Very. Interesting.  I vaguely remember going to sporting events for my nephews when we still lived back in Indiana and were able to go.  I must've been dazed through the whole thing because there are some things I missed.

1.  When the coach says to be there 30 minutes early, he really means 45 minutes because we got there 35 minutes early and the kids were already warming up.  Cait says "I'm the last one here! Mo-oooooooom!".  I say "Sorry.  I didn't hear 45 when he said 30."

2.  People can be very rude.  And very annoying.  We brought lawn chairs and were quick to find spots in the shade quickly after the game before ours ended and people started leaving.  From our game, we were probably some of the first 5-6 people to sit down.  Right when the game started, this person proceeded to bring a chair to sit sort of next to where we were sitting. They give a polite nod before seeting up the chair. Okay cool.  I'm social.  I can dig that.  I'm good at sharing and our spot is shady as opposed to the other 99% of the available area to sit.  But instead of sitting in said chair, the person stands up.  Right in front of me.  So I turn to my husband and he says "Seriously?" Like they didn't see us sitting there, right?  So I move.  Into the sun, so I can see.  And the person moves.  So I move back.  And get this.  She. comes. BACK.  To stand right in front of me.  I was afraid I was going to have to cause a scene because I could not see my child playing and this person was just standing there.  Talking.  Not watching the game.  So I swallowed my annoyance and asked as nicely as I could for her to please sit down.  She acted like she didn't see us sitting there. 

3.  There is apparently a ritual after the games where the parents from both teams go out into the field and make a bridge for the kids to run under.  This was not in any of the literature that we were given.  We didn't know.  And another parent literally yelled at us because we didn't run out on to the field immediately after the game was over.  Wow.  Really?  So I hurried onto the field and my dear husband stood his ground on the sidelines.  Wish I could be more like that when people yell at me.  But it was for the kids afterall.

4.  The parents get really wrapped up in the score. It's intense.  But after the game, I asked Cait if she had fun and she said "well yeah, Mom." I say how great it is that her team won 3-0 and her eyes get like saucers and she's all "We did?"  All the craziness from the over-competitive parents on the sidelines and the kids in the game didn't even know the score.  Love that.  So glad that for them it's all about the fun of the game.

Lessons learned.  Next game is tomorrow and I will be a bit more prepared.  Except that it's picture day tomorrow so I'm sure that comes with it's own set of rules.  Maybe by next season I'll know what I'm doing.  

This face, though...makes it all worthwhile.  She looks so happy.  And exhausted.  But mostly happy.  More tales from the field most likely to come.