Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Effer Dare #175 + 25 Random Things

Effer Dare #179: "This week's challenge is to share a photo. Just a photo. Of something you love."

I chose this photo because it's one of my best friend* and me and we're wearing some of my favorite colors - black and white and bright green and yellow. I'm on a huge yellow kick right now, even though I can't really wear it, except in little doses, like on this dress. :)

I just rediscovered the Effer Dares a couple weeks ago. I worked on them in college, in the summer before I met Trevor. I had been through a rough year, and basically all my friends were gone that summer. The one who was in town was living with my (painfully, freshly) ex-boyfriend. Rough summer, indeed. I remember using some of the Dares to work through the pain that summer. It was incredible therapy.

*Best friend = husband = Trevor. :)

And since I feel the need to make this post a little more substantial, I present...

25 Random Things:

1. In the nearly four months since we moved into our house, we've watched them build four houses to the west and north of ours.
2. No one lives in any of these houses yet, though two are under contract.
3. Every house I have ever lived in, I have been one of the first occupants (obviously, this doesn't include trailers, apartments or dorms--all of which I have residents of when they were older).
4. I've also lived in two brand new apartment buildings.
5. I have travel planned in the next year to two states I've never been to, and I am super excited for both of these quick trips.
6. This year will be the first time since I started teaching that I will be returning to the same school in the fall, even as a substitute.
7. I can't remember the last time I bought a tube of lip stick or lip gloss.
8. I only own two tubes of nail polish -- a blue one and a clear one.
9. I consider myself super fortunate to have a husband who not only doesn't mind that I'm crafty, but actively encourages my craftiness.
10. I sell my extra cards, and my mother-in-law is my best customer.
11. I'm generally shocked by the reaction to my handmade cards. I never expect people to be as excited about them as they turn out to be.
12. I think calves are some of the sweetest creatures.
13. I really, honestly don't mind the Georgia heat nearly as bad as most northerners transplanted to Georgia seem to.
14. None of my closest friends from college will live in the state where we attended college as of December.
15. Also, as of December, there will be a baby that's part of that particular group of friends (Oh no, it definitely won't be mine!).
16. This year is the first time Trevor isn't working on Independence Day -- the airlines don't take the holidays off, so it's all about luck of the draw (and seniority) when it comes to getting a holiday off.
17. That also means it's the first time in our nearly five years together that we'll be in the same state on Independence Day. It's the last holiday we'll have together as a first -- we've been together on Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Valentines and Veterans Day, but never for Independence Day.
18. I can name more notable scrapbookers than I can athletes.
19. I see my amazing friend who lives in Detroit more than I see most of my friends who live around Atlanta.
20. I met most of my favorite people though the most random of coincidences, which has brought me to believe God plays a hand in everything.
21. It's pretty rare for there not to be at least one container of ice cream in our freezer. Usually, there's one for me and one for my husband.
22. I thought I liked chocolate until I met Trevor. Now I realize that I'm only okay with chocolate because his love of chocolate puts everyone else to shame.
23. One of the best things I've ever eaten was dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds from Trader's Joes. OMG. Amazing.
24. I love Starbucks but I hardly ever go there because our only real one is in a horrible location and all the others are just kiosks in Krogers.
25. The first time I went to Lenox Square, I thought I'd found retail heaven. Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Papyrus, Macy's, Hollister, American Eagle, J. Crew, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, PB Kids...Retail Heaven, I tell you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ideas for using the Smash Pad & Pockets

In this month's Studio Calico kit, there was a pair of items I knew I'd have a tough time using as soon as I cracked it open: the Smash pad and the Smash pockets. The pad was a set of 30 journaling tickets, three each of 10 patterns. I'm not sure how to use anything in triplicate, especially something I didn't pick myself. The pockets were a set of 6 eclectic designs that appealed to me, but I've just never had luck using pockets on my pages. I still have the cute KI Pockets from the January SC kit waiting for projects. I'm just not a pocket person, I guess? I mean, I never put anything in the pockets of my clothing, so I guess it would stand to reason I'd never put anything in pockets on my pages.

Once I started going through the Design Team's layouts, though, I started to get some good ideas for using both items. Since I'm stuck in bed, sick, today, I decided to do a long post putting all those ideas together in one spot so 1) you could see them, too, and 2) I could feel like I did something today.

Smash Pad ideas:

1. April Foster trimmed one ticket down to fit in the Smash pockets for her journaling.
2. April also used a piece of the Smash pad as her patterned paper on the same layout.
3. On another layout, April overlapped a Smash pad sheet on top of her photo to house some embellishment.
4. Celine Navarro used the tags for journaling and layering on her Brazil layout.
5. Celine also layered her photo over one of the tags on her Daydreamer layout.
6. Davinie Fiero used one to anchor her title on her Hula Hoop layout.
7. On her "Practice Campout" layout, a tag is layered beneath both the title and the photo.
8. On the "Summer Ready" page, Davinie stitched a tag down behind her small photos at the top of the page, drawing into her background patterned papers.
9. Jen Jockisch trimmed a tag down to just the journaling lines on one of her pages.
10. She also tucked a couple behind die cut pieces in different ways on two different layouts.
11. I can't tell for sure, but I think Kelly Purkey cut up some of her tags into circles for her "Sunday at the Brooklyn Flea" and punched some for her "Year Two" layout.
12. I think Laura Kurz stamped on one of her sheets and trimmed around it for the first layout in her gallery.
13. In her last, some are used as part of the design, some with and some without words added on.
14. Nicole Samuels trimmed the title piece off one of the "Away We Go!" journaling tickets to be the flag on her pinwheel on the cover of a mini book.
15. It appears Stephanie Howell also trimmed down a tag to just the lined area for one of her layouts, too.
16. Vee Jennings used one of the journaling tickets for the home for a small, round photo.



Smash Pocket ideas:

1. April Fostered used it as a home for her journaling spot.
2. Celeine Navarro used it as a home for some embellishments.
3. Sasha Farina layered a pocket behind a pair of photos to house something -- journaling, maybe?
4. Amy Tan isn't on the DT, but she used a pocket to anchor part of her title on a layout -- one I loved so much I will likely be scraplifting soon.
5. The pockets could also go into a card to house a little love note, a gift card, or something else.


Here's hoping these ideas can help you out!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A few random things today...

Today is, I hope, the beginning of a new routine. I'm excited. It seemed to happen by accident, but I'll take it.

This morning, I woke up on my own at 8:30 a.m. I was awake before the construction workers showed up to work on the house next door. I know that has something to do with the NyQuil I had to take at 10:30 last night, but I'll take it. I was showered and dressed by noon after printing this week's e-mealz plan, making the grocery list, and pulling what we had on hand from the pantry (I keep the packaged items for e-mealz in blue baskets in the pantry so I can just grab them quickly). I was back from shopping by 1 p.m. and had lunch soon after. Since lunch, I've worked on editing some photos from the wedding we were at a couple weeks ago. Just 120 photos of the 800+ left to edit!

I had a cool discovery a couple days ago -- my Studio Calico Documentary line Window Seat paper goes well with the June kit. I'm working on the second layout that mixes that paper into the kit. The tiny airplanes look rather similar to the ones Trevor trained in and instructed in while we were at the University of North Dakota, so I've got a weak spot for this paper. I really hope the little airplane stamp is one of the ones SC is resurrecting in their new partnership with Hero Arts.

Okay, now I just need to figure out how to better photography my 12x12 layouts so I can actually share what I just wrote about above. I'm not happy with the results I've gotten so far. :)

And finally, I'm going to share today's grateful list. It's day 3 and I'm loving doing this.

  1. Quiet mornings when I'm up before construction starts on the houses around us
  2. Elle's Studio
  3. E-mealz
  4. Calendars
  5. internet friends
  6. garbage service (Today is garbage day)
  7. air conditioning
  8. Publix (the best grocery store out there)
  9. IKEA
  10. My grandparents (It's my paternal grandparents' 54th wedding anniversary and my maternal grandmother turns 71 next Friday).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3 months until 27

Yep.

I realized it's three months, or 91 days, until my 27th birthday. I'm not sure why, but this one is sort of hitting me. I'm older than both my parents were when I was born. I'm older than my grandmothers were when each had her last child (though granted, my grandmothers had small families for their generation -- just two and three children, respectively). I'm not employed full-time, even though quite a bit of that stems from personal choices. I'm sort of feeling like I'm not where I should be in life. While discussing this with some friends last night, one of them mentioned that when you're searching for direction, feeling down about what you haven't accomplished or don't have, or just in general need focus, you should do a gratitude journal. Just write down what you're grateful for each day, and it leads to a change in perspective.

Starting today, and continuing for the next 91 days, I'll be writing down a list of things I'm grateful for. I'm not going to create constraints or rules for myself. I'm going to write down as many things as I feel like each day, even if it's only one thing. I'm not going to tell myself that I can never repeat anything in the 91 days between now and my birthday. There's only one real rule: I am literally going to write it down, on paper. I won't always share it on my blog, but I'll probably share it on the days when I actually write another blog post...which I hope to be doing more often as our house comes together and I work on some diy decorating projects.

Today's gratitude list:
  1. Trevor
  2. God
  3. my house
  4. flight benefits
  5. pens
  6. paper
  7. animals
  8. friends
  9. Pinterest
  10. Twitter

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Daily Routine

I've basically been a housewife for two years. I say basically because I've been substitute teaching for much of that time. I'm still home more days than I'm at work, though. I struggle with setting up a daily routine for myself. When Trevor is away, I tend to just let myself sleep, waking up around 10:30 a.m. and going to bed somewhere around 1-2 a.m. I've always been a night owl, but it seems a little shameful to have reached my mid-20s and still be like that. I should have left that behind in college, right?

Once I wake up, I go to the fridge, get a Diet Coke, and start up my laptop. I usually spend an hour or so checking my email and Facebook, catching up on Twitter, and reading blogs on my Google Reader. After that, I shower, get ready for the day, and make lunch -- I'm not a breakfast person. In the afternoons, I do more internety stuff and scrapbook or make cards. Pandora or The PaperClipping Roundtable usually play in the background while I do this.

I make dinner somewhere between 5:30-7:30 p.m. After I eat, I usually call our families or friends to talk before the TV shows start -- not that I watch TV, mind you, as we canceled our cable, but our families do have some shows they watch. After that, I might watch something on Hulu Plus or Netflix or do some more artsy stuff. Trevor usually calls between 8-10 p.m. and we talk for 30-60 minutes. After I talk to him, I often get ready for bed and read until I'm tired or watch stuff on the Roku in the our bedroom.

BUT

I'm not happy with this routine. My sleep schedule isn't consistent if I have to go to work, especially if I have to go to an elementary school with a 7:15 a.m. report time. I feel like I spend too much time in my pajamas. I don't consistently clean, but instead tend to go in spurts where I do EVERYTHING over a couple days, and then I don't clean again for a long time because all I can think about is how much work it was when I did it all over a couple days. And I don't make time to exercise. I eat healthier choices than I used to, so I don't feel as bad about that one, but I do feel like I need to be doing more.

What I wish my routine looked like is something where I wake up around 7 in the morning, brew some green tea, check my email and Facebook and such in just under 30 minutes, workout, shower, and run errands before lunch. After lunch, I'd do some household cleaning, scrapbook, make cards, etc. until I make dinner. Then I'd make my phone calls, watch something on Hulu or Netflix until Trevor calls for the evening, get ready for bed, and read until about 11 p.m.

I know there's only one way I can this routine: I have to make myself conform to it. That goes against what I feel about routines, though -- I feel routines need to happen organically. Unfortunately, the organically-happening routine stinks right now. I think I'm going to work towards incorporating one or two new parts of the routine each week for the rest of the summer and try to keep up with these routines on the weekends when school starts (I'll be teaching pretty much daily for the first 12 weeks of school this fall). The biggest challenges are getting myself to do this stuff, and getting Trevor to help me establish the routine on his days off, too. Oh yeah, and then there's the whole matter of taking off on a trip every couple weeks that throws most of my progress out the window every time I try something like this. But other than those three big things, I think I can do this.

The first steps? Setting an alarm at night and doing some daily cleaning. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wedding Wishes for Paul & Maggie


One of my husband's close friends since childhood, Paul was married this weekend. We both love him and his wife, Maggie. They are truly amazing people who will do whatever it takes to help others. Maggie just received her Masters in family counseling the day after their wedding, while Paul received his MD the previous weekend. Instead of the junky or sugary favors you'd get at most weddings, Paul and Maggie chose the most simple, meaningful favors I could imagine: pebbles. However, we weren't supposed to take the pebbles home. They were to be returned to Paul and Maggie via containers labeled with the names of three different charities. For each pebble returned, they donated a dollar to the organizations. Throughout the whole weekend, I was just touched, over and over again, by how fortunate we are to have these two in our lives.

About the card:

I wanted to make a really special card for this couple, so I asked Maggie several months ago what her wedding colors were. When she said "wasabi green" was one of the colors, I thought immediately of the Martha Stewart wasabi ribbon and ink that I've had for awhile. I had also just recently received the Paper Trey Ink stamp set from my friend, Rachel. I stamped it in wasabi, then used the outline stamp in black. I trimmed a 7x10 inch card base and folded it in half to make a 5x7 card. I stamped "wedding wishes" in wasabi ink on the one inch strip I trimmed off the cardstock sheet to make the card base. I trimmed around the car I'd stamped and matted it on a piece of the purple diecut paper. I trimmed a piece of paper from the January Studio Calico kit for the background and rounded the corners. I adhered it to the card, and then adhered my ribbon to the back of the purple scalloped piece before adhering both to the card base. I knotted the ribbon and trimmed the excess. I attached my sentiment, and then used foam squared to pop up the car.
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