Sunday, August 28, 2011

Watch out, Marley!

For those of you who don't know, we have a St. Bernard.  His name is Geno and he is almost a year and a half old and weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 lbs.  He's named after Evgeni "Geno" Malkin from the Pittsburgh Penguins for 2 reasons.  One because when we first got him, he couldn't stand up on anything but carpet without his feet sliding out from under him, making it seem like he was trying to walk on ice all the time.  And two because Evgeni Malkin is my hubby's favorite player.

Here is a picture that I took of him recently.  Quite the tough life he has, huh?

Since we have had Geno, he has been quite the terror.  He has dug holes, eaten shoes, multiple Barbies (Monster High Dolls are his favorite), eaten the screen off of our screened in patio, chewed up baseboards, magazines, and some acrylic paints that my husband left out,  and so on and so forth.  Well about 6 months ago we moved into a new home.  A brand-spanking-new-we-built-it home.  Needless to say that after he destroyed so much stuff, we were a bit nervous about how he'd handle the new house.  Much to our surprise, for the most part, he did great.  Didn't chew up anything and seemed perfectly content to just sprawl out in the kitchen and sleep.  Perfect!  Then my husband went TDY for the first time.

And all hell broke loose.  He starting using the house as a bathroom (he had been house trained for months!), pulled things off the kitchen counters and destroyed them, (including a BRAND NEW car charger for my iPhone that was still in the box! He even ate the box!), dumped over the trash can....

Husband came home and he was great again.  This is a pattern that I wasn't real happy with because I was the one being stuck cleaning up all of his massive messes and because my husband travels very frequently with work,  it wasn't going to be letting up anytime soon.  So over the past few months, we've been working hard with him.  Setting very clear boundaries about what is acceptable behavior and what is not.  Low and behold, it was working.  We'd get home from work and Geno would just be sitting there wagging his tail instead of in the midst of mass destruction.  We considered that a small success.   This leads us up to this past week.  Well apparently the training all goes out the window as soon as my husband leaves.   I came home from work one day and a freshly baked cake that I had covered with foil and put up on our bar counter because Geno couldn't reach that, so I thought, was completely gone.  Foil and all.  Gone.  There was a smudge of frosting on the counter but that was it.  He ate it.  Our dog ate foil.  And he didn't even get sick!
The next day, he had a potty accident in the house and once again got up on the high counter and pulled down a package of small ponytail holders and demolished it along with some of the kids school papers that had come home the day before.  Houdini can get up on the bar height counter now and pull stuff off.  And he's exercising it daily.
I think he is starting to give Marley a run for his money.  Does that mean Hollywood is going to come knocking?  Please, please?!

Anyone want a St. Bernard?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hi There

Hello friends!  I am happy to report that Ms. Irene didn't have much of an impact on where I live.  We had only a little bit of rain.  It only lasted about an hour or so and then we were in the clear.  Much more minor than everyone had anticipated.  The schools were closed at 11 a.m. on Friday due to potentially high winds, but we never saw any substantial wind.  The fact that they closed school had me in a little bit of a panic, though- I hurriedly brought all of our patio furniture and stuff that was on our deck into the garage so it wouldn't blow away.  All the effort was for nothing, though.  I suppose it did keep everything from getting wet... So that's something. 

I was doing a little experimenting with color and coming up with some new combinations because I tend to fall back in my tried and true ones.  This card is the result of that. 

Not a color combo that I would usually use, but I think it's pretty fun anyway.

The card base is Fine Linen, topped by some Melon Berry, both are from Papertrey Ink and can be found here.  Other colors used are Smokey Shadow and Aqua Mist also by PTI, and then Stampin Up colors Creamy Caramel and Baja Breeze, both of which I think are discontinued.  I'm not 100% sure because I haven't purchased any stampin' up stuff since I discovered Papertrey.

Stamps: Papertrey Ink:  Sending You, Mat Stack 2, and Mega Mixed Messages
Ink:  Papertrey Ink: Melon Berry, Smokey Shadow.  Stampin Up!: Baja Breeze, Creamy Caramel
Paper:  Papertrey Ink:  Fine Linen, Melon Berry, Smokey Shadow, Aqua Mist..  Stampin' Up!:  White
Other:  Dies: Papertrey Ink.  Rhinestones- Doodlebug Designs

In other news, our 4-legged-friend, Geno, has been nothing but naughty since his Daddy left for his deployment.  I'm only at work for a couple of hours every day, so he really shouldn't be getting into any trouble while I'm away.  But he manages to do just that.  On a daily basis now.  He might need to be shipped off to boot camp or something until daddy gets back!  While the hubby denies that this is his dog...Geno is determined to prove otherwise.  Wish me luck!!

Smash Book Post 1

I finally got around to playing with my Smash Book a little bit this week and want to share my first entry. (I posted about putting together my DIY smash book here. )

The whole purpose of my book is to put things about me. This is because my regular scrapbooks are focused mainly on the kids and our family life, not about  me personally.  I know that I would love to be able to see photos of my mom (or even my grandma) and her thoughts and feelings about things when she was my age.  Unfortunately, because my mom was a single parent, there are VERY few photos of her at all from when we were growing up.  So this book is to give my kids and future generations that very thing.  A glimpse into what makes me me.  My thoughts and feelings.  Lists I keep.  Just me in whatever way shape or form that takes on.

So here is my first one and it is about turning 30.  Of all of the birthdays I have had, turning 30 was by far the hardest on me emotionally, so I thought it appropriate to dedicate a page to it. Here is the main page.  A list of 30 Things about me at 30.  The list is really random.  From how I love mocha frappucinos to my fear of bad weather and how I cry at movies.  Nothing life changing.  Just things about me right now.

I created the list paper, date label, and the circle tag under the date in photoshop.   The photo strip is part of one that was taken with my iphone using the incredibooth app.  I just cut it down because I thought it looked better with 2 as opposed to 4 photos since I have the large photo on the other side.

 This is what the adjoining page looks like.  It's actually the backside of a sheet out of a Making Memories Noteworthy pad.  The back was just blank white, so I used a larger photo to take up a majority of the page and just embellished it using papers and stickers in the same colors as the right side.  The scallop borders are the scraps after die cutting the strips from the first page.  (The zebra print pink paper will eventually have another subject on it, it's not part of this page.)
The pink tab that says Read Me holds an index card with some further thoughts I wrote about being 30 and the reason it was a more emotional birthday for me.

Here it is with the corner of the card peeking out.  It just slides behind the photo.

And that's it. The first entry into my smash book.  I have to say I really loved being able to do a scrapbook page without any rules.  I just kind of threw it together with things laying around on my table top.  The whole thing took me less than 10 minutes since I made the book itself ahead of time, which I love.  Perfect for my crazy schedule right now.

So that's it.  Definitely feeling the love for the smash book craze! Have you tried it?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Deployments and Hurricanes, OH MY!

It's official.  The mister is TDY on a deployment.  Thankfully a *shorter* tour this time than the previous ones since he is going out of cycle.  We had a very busy weekend, so it flew by.  Always happens when you want time to slow down...seems to just do the opposite.  So it was time to go before we knew it.  I'm such a crier anyway, so these kinds of things just really take their toll on me emotionally.  I managed to not cry until he was all packed up and on the bus to take them to the plane. I usually break down much sooner than that!  I'm proud of that small accomplishment that I didn't lose it in front of all the people that were there.  The ride home is a different story.  But we survived saying good-bye and we'll get through the next weeks the same way.

Here we are saying our goodbyes.

a little sweaty, but still smiling...

Lots of kisses before he got on the bus. Had to stock up.

And after he leaves, the tropical storm lingering around has been upgraded to a hurricane and at this point in time keeps getting stronger and seems to be headed our way.
Being a midwestern girl, I have no idea how to board up windows.  I have no desire to go to 8 different grocery stores looking for bottled water.  Yes, I overheard someone at work say they had been to 8 different stores.  I don't even like going to ONE grocery store, let alone 8.  *sigh*...
Here's hoping that this one changes directions like they all have up til now.  But just my luck since the hubby's away, Mother Nature is taking the opportunity to screw with me!

Trying to push it out of my head by snuggling up with my girls on this rainy afternoon and watching Soul Surfer.  Off to do just that. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ode to School Supplies

I absolutely love fall.  I love the cooler (not cold) weather,leaves changing, football, hot cocoa, sweaters, and snuggling up with a blanket and a good book.  Living on the coast, we don't get much of a fall as far as the weather is concerned.  We certainly do not see a massive changing of the leaves or the seemingly overnight switch in the temperature like we did when we lived in the Midwest, one of the things I miss the most.  Here in SC, the summer drags out a bit longer, the warm weather sticking around sometimes into October.  One thing, however, comes around every fall no matter where you live:  Back to school.  

While this year was a struggle for me in some ways, my love for the back to school displays in stores and the excitement of the new school year did not escape me.  I remember when I was little we'd usually have our stuff a few weeks in advance and every night I'd lovingly unpack everything from my backpack, lay it out all around me and linger over each item before tucking it safely back inside.  Making sure my trapper keeper was organized just so before classes began, going through all of my Lisa Frank pencils and erasers to make sure that all of the cutest ones were accounted for.  Some of my fondest memories of childhood are from those precious last weeks of summer before school started.  

Something about new packs of pencils and paper brings about a feeling of a fresh start.  Possibilities.  Even now that I am finished with school and have kids of my own, I still get that rush of anticipation and excitement.  This is a time of year that I set new goals and plan for the year ahead.  I still buy a new planner every year, just as I did when I was in school.  I still pick up a pack (or two) of pencils, markers, pens,colored pencils, and a cute notebook just for me.  When else are these items so inexpensive?  I must take advantage, and doing so puts a happy little bounce in my step. An indulgence for my inner nerd.  It works the same way with the girls.  

Hayley with her stuff.  She proudly chose her Hello Kitty backpack and lunch box and just HAD to have the princess erasers even though they weren't on the list...

Caitlynn was very happy and relieved to see markers and colored pencils on her list for 5th grade.  Last year, they didn't have any type of art supply on the list at all and she was so disappointed.    She loves art like her mother.

She did have an odd list this year, though.  4 packs of yellow 24 count pencils.  How in the world is she going to go through almost 100 pencils in a school year?!  4 packages of paper?   I know they pool all the supplies together and pass out to the students as necessary, but each child bringing in 100 pencils?  It seems a little bit excessive to me.  She also chose her backpack (no lunch box-she refuses to take her lunch and eats school lunches).  I was shocked that she chose black.  Oh how times change.  I miss the days of the Strawberry Shortcake backpack and little bows and ribbons in her hair.  She'll be leaving for college in another blink.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to school

It's been a rough start to the week this week.  Back to school.  Ordinarily this type of thing is more than overdue.  Kids going stir crazy and needing their daily socialization with the youth of America and mom needing a glass (or two...) of wine to unwind after they finally get in bed.  Yeah.  Not so much this year because child started 5th grade, and my baby started kindergarten.  Probably the last baby I'm ever going to have and I struggle daily with that.  My poor little one.  I've become that mom.  The one that wants to keep her youngest child a baby forever.  Well I understand that on a whole different level now because if I could, I totally would.  Seems like only yesterday I was waiting for her to come into the world.  Recently came across her hospital issued t-shirt that they put on her when she was so's tiny.  So thankful that I kept it, that it survived the moves and everything, but at the same time it knocked my emotional teeter-totter completely off balance. Every milestone with her has been a sob fest for me, poor thing.  And my poor sweet husband who sees me laughing and smiling one minute and then turns around and I'm bawling the next.  Bless him for his patience.

To top things off with her going to school, we had to do the whole vaccinations thing and we had a horrible experience with that.  She had her shots and did okay, only cried a little bit.  But then about 15 minutes later she went unconscious.  Thankfully her daddy was still holding her or she could have been seriously hurt, and thankfully I forgot to get a doctor's note to excuse my absence from work and hers from preschool so I had to go back up to the waiting room to get one and we were still in close range to the doctors.  Within seconds they called a code on her, and at least 60 people swarmed us and had her on a stretcher and they were listening to her heart. She looked so small and so pale she was almost translucent.  Very scary.  I was basically a sobbing mess this whole time because no one would tell me what was happening, if they had overdosed her or if she was going to be okay or anything.  They pulled us back into a room and had her hooked up to machines and had her on full oxygen, did an EKG and in the middle of this, which lasted about 10-15 minutes, she came to.  She didn't panic, or cry she just reached out for me.  Broke my heart.  I didn't let her out of my sight for a good 2 weeks after that.  I was so scared she'd just collapse again.  But she hasn't. The doctors called it a vasovagal nerve response.  I had never heard of it, but have done a lot of reading about it and I am pretty certain that I'd be perfectly okay with her never getting another shot ever again.  Such a horrifying experience and thankfully she's fine,( though now has an overwhelming fear of needles) I certainly wouldn't wish it on any other parent!  So starting school just hasn't had a great vibe with me right from the beginning.

We went through with it, though.  She had her first day yesterday and we all made it.  With tears only from me.  She was great.  Said she had a great day and likes her teachers.  What a relief!  But doesn't make me miss her any less when she's away.   Look at the cuteness-

and though I did in large part, leave my eldest out of this particular post...she also started school yesterday- her LAST year in elementary school.  So here's her and her cuteness as well...

Being a mommy is hard!!! But such a joy when you get hugged by these people every day.

So for any other mom sending your little ones off to school for the first time, or for their very last first day, I salute you!  The next post will be a little more upbeat- ode to school supplies! And I DO have some more cards to share too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some creative play

There has been a craft shortage this summer in my house.  Things have just been a little crazy, as life around here tends to be, and I let it fall by the wayside.  A summer as a stay-at-home mom was fantastic, but also gave me a means to sleep in ( YES!), spend lazy days at the beach, take naps, and do lots and lots of photo shoots which in turn lead to lots and lots of editing.  So most of the time I normally have available to me for creative stuff was used up with photography and edits.  This also lead to a build up of cobwebs here on the blog.  Sorry to those that check in on a regular basis.  I suck. I am really going to try to get on a regular posting schedule.  It's a goal of mine for the school year.

 So the other night, the mister decided he wanted to play the wii.  I happily scurried up to my office and rallied up a bunch of supplies and lugged them down to the living room for some creative play.  I whipped up a couple of cards...

This chevron set is one of my favorites this year so far.  I just love chevron.

Stamps:  Papertrey Ink: Background Basics: Chevron, Heart Prints, Mat Stack 2 Collection, and Let Freedom Ring
Paper:  Papertrey Ink: Kraft, Raspberry Fizz       Stampin' Up: Soft Sky, White
Ink:  Stampin' Up: Baja Breeze, Real Red, Chocolate Chip
Misc:  Swiss Dot Cuttlebug Embossing folder; Papertrey Ink Mat Stack 4 Die, Paper Shapers large heart bunch

I'm partial to these colors because they were our wedding colors.  So I use them in projects quite a bit.  (Aside from the fact that I'm already pretty obsessed with Kraft paper...)

Stamps:  Papertrey Ink: Heart Prints and Sending You
Paper:  Stampin Up: Chocolate Chip, Soft Sky, White; Papertrey Ink: Kraft
Ink:  Stampin Up: Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip
Other:  Button-Papertrey Ink, Doily, twine, Cuttlebug Swiss Dot embossing folder, Papertrey Ink Mat Stack 4 Die, Stampin' Up Dimensionals, decorative edge scissors

yes, the sentiment is crooked on this one.  I almost threw it away and started over...but the person this is intended for won't notice so, I didn't waste the time to redo the whole thing! Really love the look of the red on the kraft.

Stamps:  Papertrey Ink:  Heart Prints, Polka Dot Basics
Paper:  Papertrey Ink: Pure Poppy, Kraft, and Fine Linen   Stampin' Up: Chocolate Chip
Ink: Stampin Up: Real Red, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel
Misc:  Papershapers Large and small heart

That's all today, folks!  Not bad for some stolen craft time, I'd say.

Smash Book

I've been living under some sort of rock because I didn't know a thing about Smash Books.  Guess I need to get back in my habit of browsing on a daily basis.  Anyway, I came across them on Pinterest of all places and set out to find one.  But of course the one that I want is sold out everywhere.  Well, what's a girl to do?
So I made my own.  A temporary one of sorts.  For two reasons.  1. to see if I will indeed use this and 2. so I don't buy one that isn't what I want just to have it and it will go untouched when I get the one I really wanted.  I also had a huge bin of scrap paper and little bits of stuff to use to make my own.  So here's a little peek at what it looks like without anything in it.

The cover...or the paper cover.  It's going to have an outer cover around the whole thing eventually, but for now, this is the cover.

And a few of the interior pages.  I used a variety of shapes and sizes for the inside.  Tags, envelopes, transparencies, die cut pages.  Then I added rub-ons, stickers, tabs, and other various embellies to just pretty it up a little bit.  I'll be adding more as I go along.

For a few of the pages, I took inspiration from the eksuccess ones, like the currently...and playlist pages.  Just designed them in photoshop and printed them out and added some embellishments.

As you can's mostly a blank canvas.  I am not very good at scrapbooking stuff about myself, so I think this might be a way for me to do that without any rules.  Just random thoughts, doodles, etc.  As I start to fill it up, I'll post some more peeks.  I'm thinking of making one for C too because she was admiring mine.   Maybe a good place for her to write about her school year and put photos of her friends and such.

Do you have a smash book?  What are you using yours for?

Oh and PS, made some changes on the layout of the blog- wanted to accommodate larger photos and simplify things a little bit.  Change is good, right?