Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More Hurricane Layouts

I will most likely do a layout on the hurricane (as I will also be doing for the earthquake that happened last week), but for now, I'm working on my June vacation album. Here are pages 2 and 3 of when we were in Plymouth. The papers and letters are Sassafrass Lass. Again, apologies for the poor color quality. These papers are really very vibrant in real life.

On the second page, I have a pull tag behind the pictures. If you pull it, then you'll pull out a page from the Plymouth visitor's guide with info on the Plymouth Rock. (Might be the real rock, probably not.)

And then here's a fun card I made with the scraps. Love that little monster guy.

I'm pre-posting these b/c I don't know what's going to happen with power outages and whatnot, so I'm not sure what the post-hurricane effects are like when this posts. Hopefully we'll all be getting back to normal. Stay safe everybody!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Scrapbooking

No, not a whirlwind of scrapbooking. Hurricane Irene. Because our weekend has been spent just sitting at home preparing for the worst (wind, rain, damage?), I've got a lot of time to scrapbook. Here's a layout I finished up this weekend. It's based on the layout "Play Ball" by Jill Cornell. I liked this paper with the little menu thing at the bottom because this layout is all about cheap food I've eaten this summer.

The journaling reads: During the summer, we have half-day Fridays. We get out at 1:30 but my bus isn't until 3:00 so I have plenty of time to try new lunch places. 

I've only had two half-day Fridays where I stuck around for lunch. And both of those days were cheap pizza days. I got the special at 2 Bros. Pizza - 2 slices and a soda for $2.75. Not bad. And then I had a coupon for a free pizza slice with the purchase of a Big Gulp at 7-11. Again, not bad. I like cheap food! What about you?

I'm finally getting to my June vacation pictures. Here is the first page of that album. My mom and I went to Cape Cod and stopped in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the drive there. This is the Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that brought over the Pilgrims. This is based on sketch 134 at The Scrappiest. The colors on this look much better in real life, but I'm dealing with not great weather and lighting conditions and when I tried to brighten the picture with photo editing software, it just looked worse. So believe me when I say, the colors on this really are nice.

And then if you scroll down, you'll see that I was able to make two cards with my scraps. Go me! That's something that I need to do from now on. I think it would really help get rid of my scrap stash.

Anyway, good times with hurricanes and tropical storms. I hope my fellow East Coasters are staying safe this weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

10 Questions

1. When do you feel happiest? 
When I'm being productive. Even if that means just getting caught up on laundry and watching Mad Men while I fold it.

2. How do you take care of yourself? 
I try to exercise when I can. I take a multi-vitamin. I try to get enough sleep at night and usually end up catching up on sleep on the bus ride to and from work (and I'm STILL tired). 

3. Are you internally (by yourself) or externally (by others) motivated? 
When I see a show like Hoarders, that motivates me to want to keep our house clean. 

4. What do you do for fun? 
Read. Scrapbook. Watch TV and movies. Travel. Sleep.

5. What intimidates you? 
Large groups of children.

6. What is something you're proud of? 
My mad cooking skills

7. Finish this sentence. I never _____________  
I never buy clothes without a gift card or coupon.

8. Favorite vacation spot:
Anywhere that is not here.

9. Today is a (rate from 1 - 10) 

10. Finish this sentence. If you knew me really well you'd know _____________.
You'd know that I don't text because I don't have a data plan.

Your turn!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Journal to your heart's content

Journaling on scrapbook layouts tends to be difficult for some people. They don't know what to write. They don't know how much to write. They don't know where to write. They don't like their handwriting.

If you're having issues with journaling, whether it's on a regular page or a more personal layout for your Book of Me, then maybe you want to read this really great journaling tutorial at the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out blog. I bookmarked this a few months ago and really wanted to share it with you all.

First, there are some questions you can ask yourself before you start to journal that will help you decide what kind of journaling you want, how you want to do it, and where you want to put it. (Hidden journaling, don't forget, is always an option if you're journaling something personal that you aren't ready for others to read.)

Then there are five steps to take to getting the journaling just right. You don't immediately put the journaling down on your page. Practice first on a piece of notebook paper and edit it until you get it just the way you want it.

This is a really great journaling tutorial/advice blog. Do you guys have any advice to add?

Monday, August 22, 2011

A challenge and one for me

Yesterday when I wasn't cleaning and giving furniture to our neighbors, I actually had time to scrap! I put on some Mad Men (finished season 2) and Tangled (cute!) and got busy. The first layout is for the 8.18 Sketchy Thursdays sketch challenge. These are pictures from Memorial Day weekend when my husband and I planned on painting our bedroom. The only problem was the wallpaper border. And that took three days to get off. Needless to say, the fourth and final day of our four-day weekend was not spent painting, but giving our sore muscles a break. I thought the rub-on "The Story So Far..." fit nicely as a title. Most of the papers are Bo Bunny. I cut the little circles out of some Bo Bunny patterned paper.

This next layout is for my Book of Me. A few months ago, I was on the Scrapbooking From the Inside Out blog and someone posed the question/topic of repeating a mantra or something in your head. I saved the blog comment I made and turned it into a layout: "I am CONSTANTLY "in my own head," if you will. I rehash conversations or make up how I think a conversation will go. I go through mental lists or talk myself into or out of something. I daydream A LOT. I don't have one phrase that I repeat over and over. (There's too much else going on in there for just one thing to get put on repeat!) I think that is why I am so quiet - I'm thinking to myself instead of saying it out loud to other people. In school, I didn't answer many questions because I was too busy thinking about how I would answer instead of just raising my hand and saying something. I think A LOT." 

I printed out the journaling, which is something I never do, and it was a huge pain because a) My computer won't connect to the printer so I had to email it to myself and open it on my husband's computer to print, b) I didn't leave enough space between the lines so when I cut it all out, I had very thin strips of journaling and c) I only have glue adhesive and not the easy-to-cut adhesive squares, so I used ribbon glue instead because it is thin, which worked, but was still kind of messy. All in all, I like the way both layouts turned out. Woo hoo!

I desperately need to go out and get more 12 x 12 scrapbook albums. I keep wasting Michael's coupons. I have a whole stack of layouts that need to be put away, but I just never can get over to Michael's.

Have you guys been up to anything crafty?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Soda Stream

A few weeks ago, I received a Soda Stream soda maker to review. At first I was skeptical because I've seen stuff like this before and never believed the soda could taste like the real thing. But I brought it home and gave it a whirl and... it tastes just like real soda! It's also kind of addicting.

Here's how it works without getting too technical:
1. You carbonate the water in the special liter bottle using the carbonator.
2. You pour flavoring into the carbonated water. There are TONS of soda flavors - lemon-lime, cola, root beer, cranberry-raspberry.
3. Give the bottle a shake.
4. Drink up!

It's super easy to use and best of all, none of the flavors are made with high-fructose corn syrup AND none of the diet flavors are made with that nasty (and migraine triggering) chemical aspartame. Yay! I can drink diet soda again! Right now I'm enjoying diet cranberry-raspberry soda. Yum!

You can buy Soda Stream machines and soda mixes at the Soda Stream website or Bed, Bath & Beyond (among several other stores). They are a bit pricey. On the Soda Stream website the Genesis machine, which is what I got, starts at $99.95 for just the machine, the 1-liter carbonating bottle and the carbonator. Bottles of the soda mix make up to 12 liters of soda (or the equivalent of 33 cans) and run anywhere from $4.99 to $9.99. You can also buy more carbonating bottles if you want to have different flavors handy. A twin-pack of carbonating bottles costs $19.99 at the Soda Stream website. (You can probably get most of this stuff on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Kohl's, which also sells the soda mix. And we all know that everyday is sale day at Kohl's.)

But the cost is worth it and you'll actually save money in the long-run. You do have to replace the carbonator after making about 60 liters. Most Bed, Bath & Beyond stores let you bring in your old carbonation unit and exchange it (for a fee - it appeared to be $14.99 at a BB&B in NY) for a new one. Or you can do the buying and exchanging at the Soda Stream website, which has different exchange/reorder options and costs a bit more than at BB&B. To exchange a carbonator and get a spare one, it's $44.99 on the Soda Stream website. (None of the Kohl's near me do the exchanges.)

This is definitely something I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own (so thanks to the PR folks for getting a hold of me) because it is rather expensive to start out. But maybe you could ask for it for a Christmas gift or a birthday gift or a wedding gift (or you could gift it to someone for one of those occasions). It's a lot of fun, it's easy to do, and there are a range of delicious soda flavors to choose from. Like I said, I'm kind of addicted to it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Would You Buy This for Your Daughter?

Allow me to get on my soapbox for a minute here. I just read a blog on The Huffington Post titled "Would you buy this for your daughter?" The author was in the Juniors' section of Target and noticed that all of the bras geared toward teenage girls were push-up bras. Why do teenage girls need to be two cups larger?, the author asked. And then she makes a point that I have been making (inside my head) for years:

In a nation where we're dealing with sky-high teenage pregnancy rates, where we claim to be trying to get girls to have more positive body image and value themselves based on intellect and achievement rather than looks, are these garments sending the right message? ...

America, you're sending girls a mixed message. On one hand you're saying to have positive body image and love who we are, on the other we're being marketed makeup and clothing that obviously turns us into someone different. 

How can we tell our teenagers not to have sex or that you don't need to show it all off in order for people to like you when the only message our teenagers are getting from movies, books, TV shows, magazines, clothing stores, and advertisements is SEX?

Grrr to society.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stamps - Where to put them?

No pictures to share with you. I did some scrapbooking... last week... and just never took pictures of the pages. That meant that I didn't even get one uploaded for a challenge. Darn it! I've just been kind of busy lately, which is also the excuse for lack of posts. What can I say? It's summer. I'm doing stuff.

Anyway, because the bedroom is painted (see previous post), we can move on to our (my) next paint project - the office/scrap room. This means that I need to start thinking about some organizational items for all my scrap supplies. I already know that I want to buy some peg board (where does one buy peg board?) to hang my spools of ribbon. But stamps are causing me the most annoyance. Right now, my clear stamps are hanging out in a plastic bag. Probably not the best place to put them because they tend to stick together making it hard to find what I want. So I'm putting this out to all of you scrappers - how do you organize your clear stamps? I'd love to hear your ideas on this one. I figure if my stamps were better organized, I might actually use them more.

I would also use stamps more if they were self-cleaning. Does anyone else loathe cleaning off the stamps once you're done or is it just my lazy self?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Final Step!

Thanks to my parents, the bedroom is finally painted!!!

We also have white blinds now on the windows, but I don't have a good picture of that. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Freezing!

Whenever fruit goes on sale 2/$5 or buy one get one free, my husband buys it. Therefore, we now have blueberries and strawberries hanging out in our freezer just waiting to be made into smoothies. We froze them for a variety of reasons: to make them last longer, to act as "ice" in the smoothies b/c our Magic Bullet Blender doesn't chop up regular ice cubes very well.

I know that we're nearing the end of summer (can you believe it's August already?) but it's still smoothie season. (Is it ever NOT smoothie season?) So here's what you gotta do if you're planning on freezing your berries. Localfoods.com was an informative website that helped me out. I remembered an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown where he placed blueberries on a baking sheet to freeze them, and I wanted to double check that my memory served me correctly. I was right - or Alton Brown was right. Rinse the berries under cold water, remove any stems, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. (Make sure the baking sheet fits in your freezer.) After a couple hours, when the berries are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer bag. I did the same thing with strawberries, although you have to cut those up first.

This also works with other berries, and you can use them in smoothies or even in baking. So tell me, what's your favorite type of smoothie?