Friday, July 29, 2011

Fitness Friday

Well I did it! I decided to run a 5K in the Fall. I've been trying to run at least 4 times a week.  I did my first 2 mile run a few days ago and it felt great. I don't consider myself a runner. I can run fast, just not far, so this is a big challenge for me. My biggest problem is boredom.  I can walk on my treadmill for an hour with no problem because I can read, but staring at a wall for that long drives me crazy.

I did venture out and ran outside for the first time. I loved it. I actually ran a minute faster than when I'm on the treadmill and I didn't get so bored. The fresh air was wonderful and the peace and quiet so early in the morning was a great mood enhancer for the rest of the day.

Later in the day I came across this nike t-shirt and had to have it. This is going to my mantra when I'm feeling down or telling myself I can not do something. Practice Victory.  The more you practice the better you get.

I'm taking small steps and using the Coach to 5K plan to help me increase my distance.   My next challenge is to up my distance to 2.5 and then 3.2 miles.

This post is linked to Fitness Friday Blog Hop over at Life as I See It.

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Less is More Challenge

I'm really enjoying the Less is More challenges each week.  The challenge this week was to use ribbon or buttons on your creations.  I used the Basic Grey stamp set called cup of tea for all the cards.  The paper and ribbon were just from my stash.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Play Date Cafe Challenge

I  decided to play at the Play Date Cafe for their weekly challenge.

The challenge was to create something using black and white with one color of my choice, but only a splash of the color. So here's my card:

I used the TLC stamp set from CTMH.  The ink was CTMH black and Tim Holtz's Distress Ink in Tattered Rose.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

It's Monday again! Last week I didn't follow my meal plan very well, but that's okay. I never was worried about what we would have for dinner, it's just that it was so hot around here that we didn't have much of an appetite for a big meal. We had a few nights were we would just snack on fresh fruit, some cheese and crackers and cut up veggies. It was perfect during the 104 (114 with heat index) temperatures we were having.

This week it's not suppose to be that hot, but in Michigan you just never know. I did make my plan for the week and I plan on using my crock pot to help keep the heat down in the house.

Monday: Garden Fresh Pasta

Tuesday: Rice Cooker (Crock Pot) mac & cheese with Salad

Wednesday: Clean Eating Tacos

Thursday: Hot Dogs & Alpha Tots with fruit

Friday: Homemade Pizza with Clean Eating Rice Crisper Treats

Saturday: Clean Eating Crock pot Pineapple Chicken

Sunday: Eating Out

If you want more meal plan ideas or want to share your plan go to Organized Junkie.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Once Upon A Sketch Challenge

I decided to try my hand at the Once Upon A Sketch Challenge again this week. I enjoy these challenges for two reasons: 1) Sometimes I have to think outside my comfort zone to work with the Sketch and 2) I actually get a page done.

Here's the sketch:

I used some of the photo strips we took at my husband's cousin's wedding. This is a paper layout, which I haven't done in a long time. I would say I'm 90% digital now, but when I have the photos in hand, I don't see the reason to scan them in my computer to scrapbook them.  I like to use what I have.

The background paper is Brazzill Swiss Dot and the pattern papers are Basic Grey. Butterflies are Amy Butler for K&Company and Bling is from Hero Arts. The rub-ons were in my stash but I didn't have the packaging so I'm not sure who made those.

Clear the Clutter

Something blew up in my laundry room!

Well, not really, but it looked that way.  Every time I walked into that room I would just cringe at the chaos in this room. I would tell myself that I really need to clean and organize the room to help make my laundry days a little less crazy. This discussion with myself went on for weeks and then I had some visitors that made me stop talking and start doing. Ants! Lots of Ants!

We keep our garbage can in this room so I made sure no one missed the can and made a picnic for the ants. There were a few little spots and I cleaned them up. But the ants kept coming. I don't like spraying chemicals all around so I decided to remove everything I could and do a top to bottom cleaning.

I was amazed at what I found. I had two large Sams Club size boxes of ziplock bags, which I didn't know I had.  I also had over 7 bottles of laundry detergent, so I don't think I need any for quite some time. Some items need to be moved into the basement or garage and others just needed to be put away. After washing everything down and putting things were they belong, I now have a clear space on my counter which I haven't seen in months.

I tossed the old brooms, mops and sweeper because I really only need one mop and one broom. I also recycled the piles of plastic bags I would stuff into one of the cabinets, which freed up the cabinet for what it should be used for.

I'm always amazed at how much better I feel when a room is not full of clutter. I have to say thank you to the ants. If it wasn't for their visit I would probably still be grumbling every time I walked into this room.  Even though I'm thankful, I hope they don't come back for a return visit.

This post is linked back to Organized Junkie for the 52 weeks of organizing challenge.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Photo Clutter

I have been a little behind on posting.  With all the summer activities and taking three on-line scrapbooking classes, I've been busy with other issues. Life is full of give and take, so I needed to take the time for my family and classes.  I'm sure you understand.

I'm taking classes over at Big Picture Classes and I had some time today to work on my assignments. I was happy that I could do one layout for two assignments plus a challenge I came across at Scrap the Boy.  Having three boys I think this might become one of my favorite challenge blogs.

The challenge rules this month is to use TAPE on your layout, this can be decorative tape, masking tape, or even think outside of the square and make your own. You also need to use PLAY in your title.  

For my Finding Photo Freedom class our assignment was to make a layout using our catogory files and since I have a catagory labeled Play, I knew this would work great. I was able to gather several photos over a four year period in a matter of seconds because of the Photo Freeedom class.  It's so exciting!!

The third part of this was for my class the Mother LOAD. The assignment was to make a layout and take notes on our process.  My process changes based on the inspiration but in general my process goes this way.

  • Have an idea or get inspired by challenge
  • Get photos
  • Select template or layout photos
  • Select paper
  • Select embellishments or kit to use
  • Add Title and journaling
Most papers and embellishments from Sahlin Studios - Grunge Set
To find out what I've been up to in my other class come back on August 1st for the One Little Word Blog Hop.

This post is being posted at Sandy's Challenge #5.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

It's Monday again so that means it's time to do my meal plan.  This week my kids are at day camp and I've made a long list of things I want/need to get done while they are gone.  I don't want to be spending those precious few hours in the kitchen, so this weeks menu is quick and easy.

Monday: Turkey Burgers (frozen), Baked Beans (can), fruit salad.

Tuesday: Meatballs (frozen) over Egg Noodles, salad.

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Hot Dogs, Alpha Tots, Salad

Friday: Clean Eating Crock Pot Pineapple Chicken (new recipe)

Saturday: Homemade Pizza

Sunday: Leftovers or Sandwiches

For more great meal plans go to Organized Junkie or link up your own meal plan for others to see.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Less is More Challenge

I made this card in record time. I think it took me more time to get a picture and upload it then it did to make it. It's simple, but that's the idea.  The challenge this week at Less Is More was Circles.  More than one circle, lots of white space and simple....Yep that's my card.

I've had these small letter stickers forever in my stash and they were the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the challenge. I was inspired by all the banner products I've been seeing in the paper crafting community. I just drew the line and placed the stickers. Fast, easy, simple! Love it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thank You Harry

Having a "geeky" HP moment at the Midnight showing of Deathly Hallows Part 2

It all started with a simple request from a little girl. To read a book she thought I would like. Who would have known that it would turn into a 10+ year obsession with the life of a little boy named Harry.

I was one of the lucky ones that had to wait for each new book to come out. I got to guess and discuss what was going to happen. I got to live each book with fresh eyes that no movie or person interrupted for me. I loved the waiting and wondering, the ups and downs, the new twist and turns. I LOVE HARRY POTTER!

I still remember when the last book was published. I waited by my door for the mail to be delivered. I pre-order the book on Amazon and it was guaranteed on that Saturday. When it arrived, my husband was away with the boys, so I settled into my favorite reading chair and devoured the book. I only got up when nature called and when dinner was ready. I stayed up all night to finish this wonderful book.

I've never read a book so fast, but I didn't want anyone to ruin it for me. I remember different parts that I cried and others that I laughed. I was amazed by some of the truths that were reveled and sad that it was over.

Me and Hedwig

Last night I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. This was another bittersweet moment. After the books, I had the movies to look forward to, but now that too has come to a close. The evening was so much fun. Waiting in line at 5:00 to watch Part 1 at 9:00 and then Part 2 at 12 Midnight. Seeing the different people dressed up. Talking to people that love Harry just as much as I do. But I have to admit I do love Ron Weasley more.  The movie was wonderful. Of course, there were things left out, but it was a glorious finish to the movie series.

I just love Ron!!
 I'm lucky that I will be able to relive the books again as I read them to my children. I don't know if they will have the same effect on them. They already know the outcome and there is no suspence in waiting for the answers. Will they ever get to live through something so magical as Harry Potter? It's hard to imaging, but there is always hope.

Thank you J.K. Rowling for writing such a magical, entertaining story. You have brought many, many hours of happiness to my life and I will always cherish my memories of the boy that lived.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Less is More Challenge + Once Upon A Sketch

I'm working hard to keep with my goal of doing at least one challenge per week.  Last night I had some time to play and work on the Less is More Challenge.  The challenge was a One Layer challenger with a twist. The twist is that it had to have Something With Legs.  I actually did three cards. The first was horrible and I won't even show that one. 

The first card I stamped the web and spider with Versamark and added black embossing powder.  I drew the line connecting the web and spider. I stamped the words with black ink.

Inkadinkado - Creepy Crawly  CTMH - letter stamps

For this card I masked the circle and used distressing ink to color it in. I stamped the three monsters with black ink and added goggle eyes.  I drew the stitching marks around the circle and stamped the sentiment in black ink.
CTMH - Party Animal Set

I also decided to try my hand at a sketch challenge over at Once Upon A Sketch. I love sketches and templates, so I figured this would be right up my alley.  

I'm really happy how this page came together. I'm going to have to try my hand at the sketch challenge again.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Wedding Trend

I love the new trend that is happening in weddings around here. Photo Booths!! What scrapbooker, memory keeper wouldn't love this idea.  My two younger boys couldn't get enough of going into the booth to make silly faces and get a print out. I had to twist my oldest arm to come in with us at first, but then he started getting into the fun. The best part was that two copies would come out, one for us and one for the bride and groom. Just think about the great album the married couple will have with all these fun, candid shots of their guests. 

I'm sure they might get a little tired of seeing my family, because we have over 10 photo strips. But I have to admit, I was having so much fun!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

This week I'm trying to eat out of our pantry and freezer. I need to clear things out and take stock of what I have and what we need. So here is the menu for this week.

Monday: Clean Eating Tacos

Tuesday: Turkey Burger's with Baked Beans and veggies

Wednesday: Tilapia with Quinoa Pilaf and Salad

Thursday: Pizza Night (Mom will be at the Harry Potter Opening)

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Dinner Out

Sunday: Leftovers

If you want to join in or see other meal plans head over to Organized Junkie.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ten on 10

Welcome back to the second month of Ten on 10.  This month is a quick list for me.

Ten reasons I haven't blogged lately.

1. Trying to get back into our routine after long holiday weekend.
2. Catching up on much needed house work.
3. Ants in the laundry room.  Deep cleaning of laundry room because of the ants.
4. Staying on track with on-line classes (Finding Photo Freedom, Mother LOAD and OLW).
5. In-laws in town.
6. My mom goes back down south next week - spending extra time with her.
7. Weather has been great - playing with kids.
8. Decided to run my first 5K - been running everyday.
9. Went scrapbooking on Friday night.
10. Family wedding on Saturday night.

 I have a lot of material to blog about I just need to find the time to get the photos uploaded and some writing done.  Come back soon to see if I've gotten back on schedule.  Thanks for stopping by.

If you would like to join in stop by Shimelle's blog to play along.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Less is More Challenge

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. I'll be posting about our adventures tomorrow.

This week at Less Is More the challenge was a color challenge. 
Love It! Blue is my favorite color so I knew I would have plenty of blue items to work with, but I had to keep it simple. The first idea that came to my mind would not leave, so I went with it. It's been really hot and humid here so I'm sure that's why I couldn't get water off my mind.

The whole card was made with some scraps I had in my blue section of my scrap box.  The ball is just scraps that I punched with a circle punch and then cut and glued together.  Thanks for stopping by, come back soon!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mother LOAD

I signed up for the Mother LOAD (LayOut A Day) Class at Big Picture Classes.  I've heard so much about these classes but was always a little nervous to jump into such a commitment. I'm still nervous about this class, but part of my goals and OLW is to ignite my creativity. So what better way then jumping in head first!

The first few weeks start off nice and slow.  We had one photo assignment and one layout assignment.  The photo was a picture of our scrap space. My space really needs some organization help, but I know where things are at, so it works.

The layout was about Why I Scrapbook?

Template by Yin Design; Paper & Embellishments by Karen Lewis Designz; My Wonderland Kit

The journaling reads:

I believe everyone needs a creative outlet. I don’t sing or play an instrument. I don’t garden or knit.
I tried my hand at basket weaving and drawing. The weaving drove me crazy and I enjoyed the drawing but did not consider myself to be good enough.

Then I discovered scrapbooking. It was a combination of so many things I liked and wanted to do
creatively. Things like photography, journaling, paper, glue and imagination. It brought back some
of the joys of my childhood; making something from paper and glue. I didn’t realize how much I loved doing those simple tasks.

 Since then it’s grown into something more. Documenting my life and the life of my family. Expanding my views by focusing on the everyday. Sharing ideas and inspiration with others.  Connecting the past with the present. Retelling the times inour lives that shape who we are and who will are becoming.

Yes, it’s time consuming and can get expensive, but it’s my creative outlet. I would rather work on my creativity then spend time watching television.  It’s a choice. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that it brings me joy and peace to create these little pieces of life art.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July & Meal Plan

Flags of Remembrance by cstreet360
Flags of Remembrance, a photo by cstreet360 on Flickr.

I hope you all have a safe and relaxing 4th of July. 

Our new favorite dish from last weeks plan was the Orchard Chicken Salad .  This was a tasty way to use up the extra grilled chicken from the night before.  We are also in love with the Blueberry Syrup. I need to make more of this and can it for those winter months were we eat pancakes every weekend.

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Hot Dogs, Creamy Macaroni Salad, Baked Beans

Tuesday: Chicken & Avocado Quinoa Summer Salad

Wednesday: Clean Eating Tacos

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza (Mom's going out)

Saturday: Dinner Out

Sunday: Spaghetti, Bread & Salad

If you want to join in or see other meal plans head over to Organized Junkie.

Friday, July 1, 2011

OLW Blog Hop

I'm so thankful for this blog hop.  I was so excited about this month's task that Ali gave us, but the time started to slip by. When I noticed that the end of the month was only a week away I could have easily said "oh well, I'll do it next month".  But because of the blog hop I got my supplies out and went to play.

I really don't know why I waited to do this. I had so much fun pulling different products out and just playing.  Here's a shot of my work area during my process.

I had the backgrounds done and was adding the finishing touches. As you can see I used one of my favorite products - Distressing Ink.  I also broke out my paint dabbers and alcohol inks. I've been trying to include a self portrait each month, so I cut a photo of me to include on one of the squares. Some of the cards were not coming together the way I had hoped, but when I said finished I loved the end results.

Sorry about the glare in the photo but I think you can get a good idea of the final product.  Thanks for stopping by this month.  Your next stop is over at Lisa's Blog.

Here's a complete list of all the blog participation.
Julie Ann
Melissa S
Monica B     <---- You are Here
Lisa A