Monday, January 26, 2015

Count on me like 1,2,3.....

Good morning lovelies,
Its a new week , and it started out far too early here. Having just one vehicle and motorcycle in winter months can be a bit trying at times, such as mornings like this when hubby needs to be to work by 6:30 A.M. With -25 degree weather often, the best choice is to drive him in and pick him up. No complaints here, but the early mornings can make for a tired mommy. And speaking of winter weather, what better way to clean up said weather than with a few cute little helpers!
We found them these little shovels this year and being new to the snow again, they are quite the eager helpers! One can't complain.
I am so happy to call Mondays around here sketch reveal day for Scrapbook Challenges. I was so happy to asked to be part of this great group. Seeing all the awesome takes on the sketch's each week.
This weeks sketch was super fun with floating hexagons and a great base for your photo.
I altered the layout a bit by using these awesome wood grain numbers from Pretty Little Studio I had squirrelled away for a rainy day! I also chose to play around with  my journaling, adding it to the perimeters of my page!
We were so grateful to have so many great friends for ourselves and the girls in Cali, and they are already greatly missed, so what better ay to remember them than by documenting it. While working on the layout, the Bruno Mars song came on, prompting me to using the lyrics as my journaling around the layout. Of course I had to add all my floating bits, completing the layout!
We would love for you to take a peek over at the website to see all of the other team members take on the sketch and play along with the fun sketch! In order to be eligible for our Monthly Prize drawing all completed layouts must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST February 28, 2015.
             Thanks for peeking in, I hope you all have an amazing start to your new week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hello pretty girls and a new gig!

Good morning Scrappy friends.
I am sharing some fun news today. I was asked to join the Scrapbook Challenges design team. I love working with a more simplistic sketch, I feel it leaves so much more room for great interpretation!
 We were able to jump right in with our first sketch this week. I always buy my scrapbook goodies from My scraps and More, but I  have been finding myself literally drooling over Teresa Collins new Studio Gold line, among others, and ventured out to my local Joanns to grab some just for this layout.

Here is the great sketch (424) we worked with:
I knew right away that I wanted to use this super fun boxed cutfile as my background strip. I pieced some of the Studio Gold papers into each box for just the right look.
I wanted to the strip to stand out, so I included it within my title square cut from a polaroid cutfile. Can you tell I am LOVING my new Cameo!! I also added this amazingly adorable cut bow that I purchased from Ashley Calder's shop a few weeks ago! I just want to add them to everything! To view all of the super fun takes on this sketch, hop on over to the site  HERE , and of course we would love to see you play along. In order to be eligible for our Monthly Prize drawing all completed layouts must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST February 28, 2015.
You can find the entry button in the sidebar of the site and all current challenges listed on the Challenges Tab. Thanks for stopping in today  and letting me share my wonderful news with you!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Winter Cuties

Happy Monday friends!! Its been a old one up here in Western New York, and I quite miss walking around barefoot in my California yard, but seeing the pure joy on these little girls faces from the snowfall makes it a bit more bearable!
I created this layout for the Saturday Scraplift over at My Scraps and More forum. seriously, if you are craving a great place to chat and share this great passion of paper craft of ours, I really recommend this great forum filled with super sweet people, lots of chatter, and great inspiration. I am so glad o have found it. This layout mars my first challenge for the design team. I LOVED this garland wreath cutfile, and thought it would work greatly for this design.
And of course, this super cute American Craft Sticker was just what this page needed. I used it along with the new seredipity line which you can find over at the My Scraps and More store! I hope you are all having a LOVELY start to your week day. For myself, it is set to begin with one of my least favorite things ( laundry) and hopefully end with a few of my favorite things ( playing with paper and eating spaghetti); but never at the same time of course, splattered spaghetti has yet to make its trending around the scrapbook community ;)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

This Is The New Year with a collected few favs.

It no surprise that I am a HUGE Glee fan!!! I think that googling "glee playlist" is my most often used first step in my creating process, followed closely with a Pandora search of choice in close second. I was rocking out to some Glee when this little number came on and I wanted to share its greatness with you in celebration of the passing of another year. While jamming out , I thought I would sneak in a few of my favorite layouts of last year;( although in all actuality, they are all favorites as they marked my first year scrapbooking again after a 2 1/2 year off!) How great it is to be creating again! Thanks for peeking at my top favs!

Its been a great year, and I want you to know that I appreciate and love each and every comment left! It has been lovely connecting with old scrappy friends again, and making some new ones along the way! Here is to the excitement of a whole new year!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Embrace: Owning My Story

I touched on a bit yesterday about my focus word of 2015: Embrace. I conveniently came across this beautiful quote the other day on Pinterest, and knew it was exactly what I should be focusing on for the first month of the new year!
In a month of refocusing and change, what a better start than sharing my personal story. I blog here every month, but in a world of pretty paper, how deeply do we truly share; and how better to move forward, than by owning our past.
Those that follow me know my general story. Girl meets boy in High School, Boy joins the military, Girl follows boy, Boy and Girl bring along a beautiful blessing, and than another, and the next; all while moving all around this beautiful country. This is my fairytale story, but what I have yet to share are the pieces in between, the pieces that make every bit of who I am today; the good, and sadly also the bad. What I wish to share today, is not meant for anything less than to share that we are not alone. We all have our stories, but maybe, just maybe, we share more pieces alike than we know!

I was always a happy child, always singing and dancing around. I had many friends ( most of them boys; just sort of happened that way!), found love in singing ( my mother was a singer in a state known country band), but there was always a piece of me lost. 
I am daughter to my amazing mother, my best friend, but I am also a child of abandonment. I have never known my biological father. I wish I could say that this didn't make me the person I am today, but at such a young age, feeling unwanted can take a big toll on your emotional building. It caused a wall that I built up, afraid to trust easily, but God knew what I needed most by bringing me my now husband early in life.
My mother remarried when I was young, but I would be lying if I said that my step father and I aren't as close as I would wish to be. Dealing with my sadness at a young age, I turned to food ( far too early in life). Here is where my story is hardest to share; I started to do things, a bit odd for young children. Up until a few years ago, it was a joke that my mom would share, that she would find packets of crackers in my underwear drawer. I felt the need to horde food for reasons unknown, and sadly this began a life long cycle of a bad "habit." I had rhyme and reason to my madness at the time, but as the years carried on, my reasoning turned to habit, and soon became a monster all of it's own.

Moving is quite a stressful event for anyone, but add a move as a military family to a women with eating issues, and you have another addition to unhealthy cycles. A typical move for the military family goes quite like so. Active duty member finds he has orders to move; A few months to even a few short weeks before actual move, you find out "where" you are going. Military spouse still has to work, so that leaves you to the packing. Now in all fairness, they do have movers come and pack you up, but if your husband is anything like mine, ( *cough-stubborn-cough*)  he will refuse the movers due to bad past experiences. So you pack up (everything), Clean house to white glove standards, get everything set to move only to find complications( one move we couldn't check out for 22 days after they had come and taken all our belongings to our new home, and this past move we couldn't fit all our belongings, being forced to just give stuff away to neighbors). Than the move occurs, driving for days with family and pets, only to unpack everything while hubby goes straight to work. Can we say , STRESSFUL! I am stressed, so I eat to relax. I have no friends yet, and nowhere to go and get bored and lonely, so I eat. I eat like the Hungry Caterpillar.
On one particular move, it got unmanageable, so I did something I never saw myself do, seeked out a therapist. After a few weeks of meeting, we came to the acknowledgement that I have an eating disorder called compulsive overeating disorder. If you have never heard of this, picture, best you could, an addict. If I think about a food, the craving never goes away. It could be 5 days later and I still NEED that food. It has been a battle, but knowing how to research it has been great help.
Now all food talk aside, lets focus on purpose.
 I was a fresh out of High School , ready to take on the world, girl. I "KNEW" I was going to be a cosmetologist. I graduated 6 months early and started hair school. I liked it well enough, but than, life happened. Now hubby and I were going through a rough time with the distance, so I quickly became a....bum,bum,bum....."beauty school dropout!!" I told myself, I can pick that up anywhere, so I stopped school, and followed now hubby to Florida. And of course, what better way to celebrate than by eloping to the courthouse( yep, that's how our beautiful story began!)
We were 20 years young, married, when the news that baby girl #1 would be on her way. Were we younger than planned, of course, but you know what, 10 years , 3 kids, 2 dogs, 6 straight months apart with multiple 2 week long business trips, and 6 moves later, I wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact I would trade NONE of this for the world.
Does it still hit me hard some days ( like a few weeks ago, happening across my biological father on Facebook), of course, I am a soft hearted human. Do I still struggle with my eating disorder?(everyday, I gained more this move than I wish,and have a lot of work ahead to get healthy from that again); but you know what, it all made me the woman I am today, a woman that I am happy with, a role model to my children that I am proud to be, and the best part is, I am still growing every day!

So this is my story in a nutshell. I would be lying if I didn't tell you how reluctant I was to hit that "publish" button up there in the corner of this page,  and I know that many of you do not wish to be this open on your page, I myself have been walking the thin line telling myself a crafting blog is not the place for deep truths, but than I decided, WHY, why is it not. This is my story to tell, and if I can reach someone, that would be the greatest of all. I would LOVE to see you share your story, to embrace what makes us unique as storytelling crafters, mothers, wives, and women. If you feel inclined to, I would LOVE for you to share a link to your story; and I hope reading this you feel greatness in knowing that you are not alone, and your story is beautiful, no matter what it reveals!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

OLW: Embrace!

Good morning friends!!!
It has been a beautiful, crazy month around here. After 3 long years, we were blessed to be able to visit family for the holidays. Meeting new family members for the first time, getting caught up with life face-to-face, getting to hug my Mama after 3 years; needless to say, our Christmas was easily fulfilled this year!
This past year was filled with great change for our family, as we went through a closing of my home daycare in preparation for a cross country move. We than packed up from West Coast to East Coast. A few short weeks after the move, we were given the hard news that My husbands Nana had passed away. Husband began very long hours at work, leaving me alone with little K day upon day. To go from taking care of 6 children daily, to just one little angel each day can make for long days. How easily one can go crazy with the monotony of the day. Sitting alone with little K asleep one day a few weeks back, I was hit with great inspiration.
Why fill the days with busy work and repetitive playtime, when I can EMBRACE this free time and really use it to grow. I taught myself to crochet.I have always wanted to learn guitar. I would love to fill more hours with books, both novels and informative. I yearn to grow my mind and learn more things.
I have chosen to focus on a new thing to embrace every month, sharing my thoughts and learnings along the way! I would love for you to join me each month in this path of growth!
To begin this "movement" I chose to document my word in a layout.
This marks my first project as a design team member for My Scraps and More, the online store that carries a great variety of product, along with an amazing forum with some of the sweetest members around. I used the new October Afternoon line: Public Library, which I am now, officially in love with!
Did I mention that I got a Cameo for Christmas(woohoo). I created a cut background with my silhouette, and backed the design with Fancy Pants Corrugated paper. I loved the look, and need to retake the photo as the weather has been very dreary and dark here the past year.
How super fun is that scribbled circle! I am so happy to share this all with you, and hope everyone is having a beautiful start to their new year!!