Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shopping with E-Mealz

On Sunday, my youngest daughter and I went shopping at Walmart with our E-Mealz list in hand which I must say is awfully convenient. We altered it a bit because this week is yet another busy week and we will only be eating from the plan three times during the week if we are lucky. I already had some meat thawed out for dinner for the weekend, but we didn't use it because we had people over Sat for a steak and crab feed and then on Sunday we had leftovers. Who wouldn't love leftovers from a crab boil and grilled steaks instead of ground venison?

Anyway, we headed to our local Walmart Sunday afternoon after my daughter cleaned her dad's office. We had to get a few things other than the things on our short list so I don't know what the final total was on the food end of the bill. Plus, I found a few things I didn't need in the scrapbooking aisle. They had some adhesive on clearance and who doesn't need adhesive, right? The cool thing I bought though was a Fiskar's craft knife. I needed a new x-acto knife, but hadn't purchased one yet. I got the one above for $3! I've always wanted this knife, but couldn't justify it. Now I own it and I am very excited to use it. So much for saving money with my E-Mealz plan.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

School's Out for the Summer so Let's Live

School is out for me. Yay! My youngest daughter still has a month to go, but my older daughters are out too. In fact, my middle daughter is on her way home from San Francisco. She drove down with a college friend and is flying back tonight so she can start her summer job tomorrow. My oldest daughter graduated from Whitworth University a week ago, flew to Oregon for training and starts her new job tomorrow. It has been a crazy month, but now I am back and hopefully I will have some time to craft.

Trying to create a little more time in our lives this summer and hoping to take a little stress out of my life, I bought a membership to a cool meal planning resource that I learned about from Becky Higgins and Stacy Julian. It is called E-Mealz. They have several meal plans to choose from including a portion control plan that figures in Weight Watcher's points. You can even choose which stores from which you wish to shop. I chose the Walmart plan for right now. E-mealz is even recommended by Dave Ramsey. It is pretty inexpensive. It was $15 for 3 months. In my opinion that is very affordable plus our weekly dinner bill is suppose to be around $75 a week if I am feeding a family of 6. Hopefully mine will be a little lower since I typically feed around 4 people or less and I have a freezer full of meat so I shouldn't have to buy much. The best part, it should also free up some money for scrapbook, crafting and decorating! Yay!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Photos Create Memories

Wow, it has been a few weeks since I posted. I was on spring break so my blog was as well. It was a wonderful spring break this year although I should just call it a break since it didn't feel too much like spring to me.

My trip started off on a sad note, but got better and better. My cousin died of a brain tumor on my birthday so I went to Pendleton, Oregon with my Mom and Dad. He was only a few years older than I am so it was rather difficult to face. It was also rather quick between his diagnosis and our loss. It was great to see family though. Unfortunately it reminded me that we see way too little of one another. It also reminded me of the importance of photos and the emotion photos evoke in us. When we lose someone all we have left is memories and one of the ways we can preserve those memories is through photographs. My older cousin and I were talking about our grandfather and what we remembered about our grandfather who died when I was ten and he was about fourteen. One of the things we remembered was a rare Christmas we spent together as a family at our grandparent's home. As we talked about it, the one thing we both remember clearly is a photo that was taken of our grandfather in his chair with a package on his lap. I don't know that we really remember the Christmas although we both knew that it was rare and important so much as we remember it because of the photo. The photo sparks the memories. It just goes to show how important photos are to our memories. What is also odd about the funeral is that I didn't cry when I found out my cousin had died. I didn't cry when I saw my uncle. I didn't even cry when my cousin's daughter played "Amazing Grace" which always gets me. I totally lost control of my emotions when they played the photo slide show. I looked up and saw the cousin I remember; a photo of him when he was probably between ten and twelve sporting his impish grin. That is when I lost control and cried and missed him.

Rest in peace Gregory Mabbott. You will be missed.

The message today: Take more photos!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When disaster strikes, go shopping

So this past week, I have been doing a little retail therapy to replace the paper I lost during my art studio flood. I've spent a little bit too much money on paper I plan to use, but may just become my stash. Fortunately, there have been a few sales at my local JoAnn's as well as Michael's which I have to rely on because we don't have a LSS here on the north side of town anymore. In fact, I think there is only one place left in this big city of ours. We really have to rely on chains and big box stores for supplies or drive to the valley which is about a half hour away. I miss getting all of the new and latest and greatest and settling for what the chains have in stock. My old LSS owner used to go to CHA and buy the coolest paper. That store was truly current. I could order online, but there is just something about browsing and touching paper that is just so exciting to me. Even though I had to settle for chain choices this week, I was able to find a few cute things that I didn't have in my currently inventory. Here is one of my favorite pieces I bought from Cloud 9 Designs. This is Cinnamon Stick, but I also bought Chocolate Mint. Both so cute! Glad I got it because it looks like it is unavailable online. Maybe there is an up side to a chain store with old stock.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What did you buy with your Michael's coupon?

A little more retail therapy here! Last weekend, I went to Michael's with my coupon in hand to buy something. What? I was clueless but I had a coupon that I just thought I had to use. After all, it was my birthday so I deserved a little gift right? Not that I needed anything mind you, but I wanted something new. Well, I wandered the store. Up and down the aisles. I wanted a Martha Stewart scoring board, but my coupon said no Martha Stewart products. I thought, hmmm what big ticket item could I buy. After all, it is my birthday on the 11th. I deserve something fun! Of course, no Cricut items included. So I headed to the cutter aisle thinking I might enjoy a new cutter for the cabin. Sure enough, I found this cool cutter that I wanted. Just then I looked up and saw that it was already 40% off. So I took it off the hook and handed my coupon to the lady next to me. Thing is, I like it so much that I may have to go back for another because I want this one for home. I love the pre-marked measurements. The only drawback it that it doesn't fit in my 12x12 plastic boxes which I use for hauling projects. Maybe I will just save my money.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cute St Patty's Day Idea from Obsessed with Scrapbooking

I saw this cute St Patrick's Day card at Obsessed with Scrapbooking using the Heirloom Imagine Cartridge and Give a Hoot from ProvoCraft. I find the cutest things on that blog. It just makes my brain start swimming. One of my favorite parts of this card is that the inside has, "Have a Sham-rockin' Day" in it. Too Cute!

I don't have an Imagine nor do I have Give a Hoot, but I do have a Cricut and a Gypsy with 20 or so carts which made me think about how I would do this card using my Cricut, my Gypsy and patterned paper. I have even gone so far as starting the LO on my Gypsy on my way up to the mountain.

Cute Cute! Maybe I will even get a couple of these done for my daughters who are going to college before St. Patty's Day 2011. Or, not since for me the designing is often more fun that the actual creating part and my Art Studio is still buried. Stay tuned and find out if my design gets off my Gypsy and onto my Cricut!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Standing in line

Saturday was a day of early morning fun. My oldest daughter and I got up, grabbed some coffee at Starbucks and headed downtown to get in line for Wicked tickets along with somewhere around 400 other Spokanites. Tickets went on sale at 7am at the box office and then online at 10am. We wanted to make sure we got some decent seats in our price range so we braved the morning and the cold to get our five tickets.

After that we wanted to run to Auntie's Bookstore, an amazing bookstore in downtown but it wasn't open yet so we ran over to Atticus for a cup of soy chai. Atticus is a coffee and tea shop here
that also has some of the coolest gifts and books. A guy I went to high school with owns it along with his wife who was also one of my daughter's teachers. It was there I found this amazing hanger
for which I am now saving so I can hang it in my art studio. I cannot wait to buy it. It will be perfect to hang over my washing machine where I can attach snapshots and postcards. I won't be able to get it for about a month or so. I hope they still have it! (Sorry about the photo quality. I used my Droid and I had chai in my hands)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Too Many Photos

I just had to pick out my photos out for my i.Scrap class. I am supposed to pick out nine photos from last year to go with my i.prompts. Wow did I take too many photos last year! I love to take pictures and I am always worried that I may miss that one great shot so I take about three of everything. I think when I am done here, I need to go through my photos and do a spring cleaning as I'm backing them all up to my external hard drive. I did finally get down to nine. Here are a couple of my favorites pictures of the year. I have uploaded all of them to Walgreens so I can pick them up tomorrow and then get started on the rest of my assignment. I am probably about a day behind, but it won't take long to catch up. One thing I do know is that based on all of my photos, 2010 was one amazing year! By the way you can still sign up for this fun class at BPC.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another fun crafter to follow!

Here is another great lady that loves to craft. You should take the time to get to know her by following her blog. I first met Missy when I somewhat randomly became her roommate at the SLC Cricut Swarm. We had the best time! She is a warm, funny and creative person who I would bunk with anytime. Missie is also full of great ideas she wants to share with you. Hop on over to her blog, Created by Missie at http://createdbymissie.blogspot.com/ She has so many creative projects to share with you!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Well, I did it! I dove in and just signed up for the i.Scrap mini album project with Stacy Julian on Big Picture Classes. Stacy is the co-founder of Big Picture Classes (BPC) and was the editor of Simple Scrapbooks, one of my favorite publications although it is no longer in print. To top it off with a big red cherry, she lives right here in the same town I do! I am so excited! I think it is just what I need to get a little motivated to scrapbook right now. I need to create. I feel a need to create. This will get me off the couch so to say. Plus, it is online so I don't have to leave my snowy driveway except to go to work and pay for said scrapbooking classes and paper addiction.

I love this project album because it is about "I" statements. We have to come up with nine photos and "I" statements to go with those photos. What I like most about the project is that it focuses on me and allows me to tell my own story which I said in an earlier post is so important. No one else can tell people who you are or who you were or if they do, I know they will get it wrong. It also allows me to go through a years worth of photos and figure out which ones I really love. It is almost like scrapbooking my year in one little album. I haven't come up with my photos yet and I haven't gotten my i.Statements figured out, but you better bet that I will be thinking about it all day when I should be doing other things. Bonus: I get to go do a little retail therapy after the loss of my paper in the laundry room flood. I am soooo excited about this project. Did I mention that already?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When Disaster Strikes...

It really started when we had a horrible snowstorm last Thursday. Schools were closed and many offices in town were closed. My university was the only institution of higher education open so I had to go to work although we were delayed an hour and a half. I dug my car and later my Expedition out of a total of three snow drifts in order to get out of my driveway but I made it to work on-time and picked up a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks on the way. What was drifting snow quickly turned into subzero temperatures.

My washer and dryer are currently located in my Art Studio so it isn't always that warm out there as it is in another building next to our house. It was actually our woodshed that my husband rebuilt for me. The washer often freezes up during very low temperatures if we don't use it regularly so I did three loads of laundry Thursday to try to keep the water from freezing, but by Friday morning we were frozen and all I could do was wait for my husband to thaw it out. Seriously, I could have done it, but it makes a good excuse not to do laundry. Plus I had to work and get my daughter to the mountain. He had been out of town all week and wasn't going to be home until Saturday and our youngest had a commitment to coach for the ski race team on Saturday so we headed to the cabin.

My husband came home Saturday night and early Sunday morning he got to work on the water and some carpet cleaning. He thawed the pipes, started a load of laundry and when back to cleaning. He went back out to change the clothes and found the place flooded with five or so gallons of water. He'd forgotten to put the drain hose back in place.

I came home thinking that I might make some cards. I didn't feel well, but I was in a bit of a crafty mood. He told me that I should probably go out and see what the damage was to my scrapbooking paper before I got too excited. Sure enough, I had been stupid enough to leave some paper out on the floor when my daughter and I were getting ready to go to the cabin. We were going through paper to take some up there. Well, the damage included about half of my paper. I was able to salvage some of it as in many cases it hadn't reached the whole 12 x 12 piece of paper. I took out my trusty giant Fiskars paper cutter from Costco and began cutting the wet pieces away from the dry parts often leaving me with a 12x6 piece of paper. Unfortunately, a lot of my ski and winter paper was a total loss, but I was able to keep some of my Stampin' Up cardstock. Well, lesson learned. Put your stuff away. Isn't that what I tell the kids. Things don't get ruined if you put them away. Had I taken the time to put my paper back in the cabinet, it would still be here and I would have had some time to make cards on Sunday. Crafting will have to wait for another weekend.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hooray for Other Bloggers!

Hey all! I just want to give a shout-out to a great lady named Liza who I met when I went to a Provocraft Swarm in Salt Lake City last Oct. My sister and I met her and even hung out with her in her room when we hanging out with some of the members of the Cricut Circle of which I'm not, but they let me hang out with them anyway. Liza's blog, Hoo's Crafty is a lot of fun to follow if you like paper crafting. Liza is full of great ideas and crafty projects to share. Take some time to get to know her by reading her blog at http://hooscrafty.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No time for Crafting

Well, it is ski season at our house which means my week is too full to do much. My daughter used to ski race, but last year at 14, she retired. I thought that was the end of the weekend rush especially when she said, "I gave that team the best nine years of my life." Well, I was wrong because this year she said she wanted to give back and help with the ski team. Now she volunteers as a ski coach for 5-7 year olds. So now every weekend we head to the mountain where she volunteers for the team she "gave the best nine years" of her life? Why does this matter? I still don't have time to craft in the winter. In fact, my week pretty much consists of this: Head to the mountain for the weekend, ski, get home cook, sleep, go to work, come home, cook, correct papers, do my lesson plans, watch TV while doing school work, do laundry or something domestic that allows us to survive, sleep. This goes on Monday through Friday to just go skiing again. Did you notice that cleaning wasn't even on the list. Basically during ski season, we eat and are lucky to have clean clothes. So I basically get my craft fix at night by reading blogs and drooling. It's somewhat like someone who is on a diet who watches The Food Network or reads cookbooks. Which I do when I am dieting. Thank goodness for Google Reader so I can at least organize the blogs I like to read and for my Droid which allows me to read them on the go and for Verizon for letting me read them on the way up to the ski hill.

Why am I telling you all of this? It's because I'm going to highlight some fun projects from other blogs once in a while until I can unbury the building I call my Art Studio, which doubles as my laundry room right now and is covered in ski gear! Watch for some fun things ahead!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Project 12 Questions

As promised, here is a list of the questions I used for my version of "Project 12." If you missed what I'm talking about, check out my previous post. This is so easy anyone can do it and the best part...your journaling is once a month and in the cloud so you can do it from anywhere you have internet including a smartphone! Follow me to see how I complete my project! Only one more month to go!

March ??, 2011
The best thing about today:
My favorite TV show right now:
My favorite song right now:
The last movie I watched:
The last book I finished:
The last blog I read or podcast I listened to:
Major accomplishment:
Something I am looking forward to:
Something I am dreading:
Most fun/exciting thing I have done this month:
Someplace I went/shopped/visited:
The nicest thing that has been done for me lately:
What I ate for dinner last night:
Someone I'm thinking about today:
The last person I spoke to on the phone:
The last person I texted with:
Something new I have learned or tried:
One thing I love about my life right now:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Google Docs for a 12 Months Worth of Journaling Project Made Easy

I am almost at the end of a year of a project I may actually complete since I haven't been very good at the Project 365 thing. It just somehow seems like a lot of pressure to take photos and download them and upload them and then write about them every single day. Then there is the question of what to take do I take a photo of today. I somehow miss some step along the way and it is usually the take the photo part. Seriously, our life isn't very exciting and even the boring photos became redundant. Just how many photos do you want to look at outside my window at work?

As a family historian and scrapbooker, I do feel that it is really important that we tell our own story and chronicle our lives. Frankly, no one else can do it and no one else will try until we are dead and then as we all know, they WILL tell it wrong. So last April, one month after my birthday and several failed attempts at Project 365, I decided to do something I could keep up with instead of something that was fun, but created a lot of pressure for me.

I guess you can call it Project 12. I took a series of questions, typed them into Google Docs and saved them. Then I copied and pasted them 12 times following a month so what I had was April and then the questions and then May and then the same questions and so on. Then around the middle of each month, I would go into the document and answer the questions. I tried to do it close to the 15th of each month, but sometimes I did it around the 20th. I didn't want any pressure. I also knew that I would have at least one photo of myself and/or my life each month because I am always snapping photos, but it always comes in spirts. Again, this was not difficult and I didn't feel pressure to keep up. Now I am almost at the end because today I completed my second to the last entry. Only one more month to go! Yay me! I may actually finish a project! Keep a look out here at my blog or better yet, follow me as I will give you my questions in a later post.