Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Manager's Meeting

Well I had to cancel scrapbook club because of the nasty flu bug, so I still can't post some fun things I've created... Thankfully my Close To My Heart upline hosted a fabulous manager's meeting so I can post something fun.

(Shhhh.....don't tell her about this picture. I'm hoping she's busy with the holiday rush and doesn't come check my blog until I send this to her... and if you're here Bren... Surprise!!! This is what we did when you went to pick up our fabulous lunch!)

First let me say... we are soooo spoiled!!! Bren always goes above and beyond for all of our fun events and this was no exception.

At our place setting we each had one of these fun canvas bags? filled with goodies.
Including this gorgeous watch!
Then we created!!! Here's a recruiting board featuring one of the Good Times paper pack.
And an adorable little journal!

We also created a cute little purse/packet using a sheet protector, but apparently I forgot to take a picture of it. Ooops.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I wanted a clean start...

Ok, so it's that most magical time of year...when everything revolves around food.... and while my eating habits have certainly changed, I have still indulged in a bit more than I'm used to. So this week I recommitted myself. I made some yummy taco soup and I was well on the way to recovery when I got a little help in the form of stomach flu.

Yep, it's been fun around our house. Poor Joshua and I got it at the same time. I think the only thing worse than having stomach flu, is getting it at the same time as your son, so that you feel completely useless. I had to call a friend and ask her to leave a 7-Up delivery on my porch. Thankfully she thought to leave some crackers too.

We're both on the mend now. Actually I think one of us is mending quicker than the other. He just called me on my cell phone (our primary mode of communication through this ordeal) and asked me to take him to Taco Bell for dinner. While it wouldn't be my first choice, at least I don't have to prepare it, cook it, smell it or eat it, so he just might get what he wants....if I can dredge up the energy to drive the car.

So, I guess this falls under the "be careful what you wish for" category. I've got a clean start and I dropped 8 pounds in one day, but it wasn't the most enjoyable experience. Of course cookies and candy and holiday treats have lost their hold on me so maybe I'll be able to re-focus and lose those 8 pounds for real.

Monday, December 10, 2007

This and That

No pictures to post today, but rather than get back in a blogging slump I thought I'd give a little written update of all that I have been working on....

1) Top secret gifts for my friday night scrapbook club. Since I know some of them read the blog, mums the word....but I'm having a terrible time keeping it a secret!

2) Knitting, knitting, knitting... yep I've been working on the log cabin blanket that I started for Rick last year. It's too big to really lug around like I used to and I took a little break from working on it over the summer, but now that it's cold and I'm still on the "I'm not allowed to walk" program, I've been knitting in the car during the chilly mornings when Josh is in seminary.

3) Crochet - My portable, take everywhere project is a soft yellow baby blanket for a friend who loves the color yellow.

4) I've made several layouts for Josh's Europe album, but since the picture party has been postponed, it's no longer on the "hot priority" list. I'm planning to take pictures of the layouts I've finished tonight.

5) Cookie Exchange. Yep, I got suckered into the cookie exchange again this year and no it did not escape me that Laura increased the amount of cookies to 10 dozen!!! I got them done and packaged up and I forgot to take a picture!!! But I won the prize for best displayed cookies, so you'll have to take my word for it that they looked cute in their little packages. :-)

6) Last night we went to the stake Christmas program and it was absolutely beautiful. The choir sounded so professional. They are performing on the temple grounds next Sunday. I might just have to go see them again. Speaking of performances, if you want to experience some good old fashioned Christmas spirit, I highly recommend catching one of the choir performanances at the San Diego Temple. Every night a different choir performs. It's especially fun right now, when it's so chilly. (I'm looking around to see if I can find a schedule, but so far no luck. I know they start at 7pm though)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Delivery Day

Ok my blog reading friends, this is the depths I go to in order to post pictures on my blog... Yesterday I got home and saw 4 beautiful boxes of Close To My Heart bounty on my porch. Did I dive in with a pair of scissors and open the boxes? No, I carried all my stuff into the house, reached into my purse for my camera and.... came up empty handed.

Where is my camera? I spent the next 45 minutes searching for my camera. I have a teeny tiny purse and many electronic gadgets. (palm pilot, phone, camera, ipod) It all barely fits in and sometimes it tips over from the weight and spills everything out... Could my camera have fallen out?

I checked the car.
I looked by the computer.
I looked at the stamp tables.
Finally I moved a few items on the stamp tables.... and I found my blessed camera.

I went outside, took my pictures, discovered I really need to paint the stairs and sweep the carport and then....I opened my boxes!!!!!

I won't lie. I always love a new catalog and my list is always bigger than my budget, but I think this is THE best catalog we have gotten in a long time. So many fun things to choose from. I think my customers will all want to come see me in January!!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dr. Happy Feet

Just a quick plug for a great podiatrist. After a bad experience last week with a podiatrist at my HMO, today I went to be fitted for orthotics. This doctor was nice and cheerful and helpful and hey, she actually listened to my questions and concerns. She actually looked at the shoes I brought in and understood why I didn't like them. Thank goodness I didn't go out and buy the shoes the first doctor told me to to get.

Not only did I get some great, practical advice that fits my situation and my feet, but getting casted for orthotics is quite the pleasant experience! It was like getting a nice warm foot massage. The casting material felt really good. I'm already happier about spending $300 on orthotics.

Good news is that things may not be as bleak as Dr. Doom and Gloom made it sound. Of course, maybe I should thank him. His tales of horror did motivate me to actually go get the orthotics.

So, if you have to see a podiatrist, and you're in San Diego, my vote is for Dr. Forg on 32nd street. I have to go back and see Dr. Gloom and Doom again in a couple of months. Let's hope that visit goes better. If not, I'm thinking I might fill out one of those follow-up questionnaires they always send me.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Monogram Gifts

I've been busy working on gifts for Rick's dispatchers. Gotta keep the ladies that keep him moving happy! A good dispatcher and load planner can make all the difference.

I'm sending a bunch of the nugget boxes I posted a few days ago so that they can share them with the office/dispatch team and then I'm sending Cindy and Patty these great monogram card sets.

The blue set with the snowflakes are for the dispatchers. I had so much fun making theirs, that I whipped up a set for a friend at church. Her birthday is tomorrow.

All products are Close To My Heart. Both sets use the Baroque alphabet and Playful Flourishes. The blue set is Moonstruck paper and ink and I used the snowflakes I posted a couple of days ago for the embellishment on the box. The other set is Garnet ink and paper.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Queen of the Zombies

Ok, so I've been good about posting lots of artwork lately, so now it's time for another crazy story in my life.

I have no idea what started this, but this is the discussion I had with my son yesterday.

J: What is your zombie plan?

Me: My what?

J: Your zombie plan. When the zombie's take over the world, what are you going to do?

Me: Have you heard that they are coming?

J: No, you're just supposed to have a plan.

Me: What's your zombie plan?

J: I'm going to an island in the pacific..... (there was more to the plan, but I'm not sure if it's "secret.")

Me: Well I don't need to go anywhere. I am going to be Queen of the Zombie's. I'll make them do my will.

J: You can't do that. It doesn't work that way. That's against the rules.

Me: You didn't say there were any rules. You asked for my plan and that's what I'm going to do. I will be QUEEN of THE ZOMBIES. I'll put them to work. Wait, wait.. I'll teach them the Thriller dance and have them entertain me.

J: No, they don't have a brain. You can't control them.

Me: Yes, I can. Since they don't have a brain, I can use my brain and influence their actions.

J: No, you are cheating. Fun Sucker!

It went downhill from there. The more indignant he got about me "breaking the rules" the funnier I thought it was.

I just think he's sad because he didn't come up with the idea first. He said I didn't know anything about zombies to which I replied...

"I've done lots of research. I've read a bunch of vampire books and they have zombies in them all the time."

I don't know why he's so upset. If I'm the queen of the zombies, that makes him the prince. Hey, he can teach them a dance to Purple Rain.

Snowflake Ornaments

I had a really hard time getting decent pictures of these so hopefully you can get the idea. I used the CTMH stamp set D1171 New Fallen Snow. Ink colors are moonstruck and crystal blue.

Here are the images stamped and cut out.

After you get them cut out then you can just layer them one on top of the other. To create more dimension, I put pop-dots between each layer. You can use pop-dots or mounting tape. I also added prisma glitter, but you can't see it in the photo.

I have several of these little ornaments in the works. I hope to post a picture of them on a tree soon.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Nugget Boxes

When I first got the Bags, Tags and Boxes cartridge, I was a little disappointed because all of the boxes were so small. I played with it a little, but it just wasn't what I had in mind....until I went through my little advent calendar obsession. Now I'm just sure there are a million little projects I can do with that cartridge. It's way better than cutting paper and working with a template!

Only one little problem.... I think the cricut people made a big boo boo!! I have the baby bug so they might've fixed this with later versions, but my bug cuts in 1/2" increments. That means that when you cut a 3" matchbox and a 3" cover, then don't fit. Grrr.... Cut one of them the next size and it's too big.

Not to be outwitted by a machine, I was determined to find a way to make this work.

Matchbox Nugget Boxes

Cut 3" matchbox2 out of cardstock
Cut 3" matchbox2 with the window out of texture paper for the top.
Cut transparency 1 7/8 by 2 7/8 for window

Here's the important trick:

Score fold and glue bottom first
Then score and fold your top and place it on the bottom before you glue it.
Then glue it while it's on the bottom.
This allows you to adjust it a little bit. No one can tell by looking at the box.

Labels for nuggets are made by stamping on address labels. I used the CTMH O Christmas Tree stamp set.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Advent Calendar

I created this one day when I was supposed to be prepping for my workshop. I have seen a bunch of cute advent calendars on several blogs and I kept thinking I'd like to make one, but I hadn't quite come up with my own unique idea yet...until I started playing with my cricut....

Close To My Heart Everlasting
Cricut Cartridges:
Bags, Tags and Boxes
Christmas Cheer

The boxes are the crayon boxes on the BT&B cartridge set at 3 inches. And here is my paper saving tip. Cut your paper to 3.5 x 12. Cut two crayon boxes. The machine won't let you cut a third box. It says you don't have enough room. So flip your carrier around, feed it the other way and cut one box. Now you can get three boxes on one piece.

The cricut also cuts little "tag openings" on the side of the boxes so that's where I tied the ribbons onto the boxes.

I used the George cartridge to cut all the numbers and the letters for Countdown to.

I used the Christmas Cheer cartridge to cut Christmas.

After I was done I put Liquid Glass on all the lettering and numbers.

Santa's Workshop

My annual "Santa's Workshop" was on Saturday and it was so much fun. It's one of my favorite stamping events of the year. This year we moved it to my rec room to save all the costs of renting a room. We had three consultants (Amy, Gail and Me) and I think we had about 9 different projects. I had ideas for several more and it killed me not to do them all, but realistically it's hard to do so many projects in one day.... so I'm going to run tutorials and pictures all week long on the blog with directions for a few of my projects and I'm going to post some instructions for a couple of projects we didn't do.

First off, here's the recipe for the Pasta Salad I served. It's super easy and it's a great way to get started on all those Turkey leftovers.

Bow-Tie Pasta
Diced Turkey
Dried Cranberries
Vidalia Onion Dressing

That's it. Simple, simple, simple. I love it because it looks festive with the cranberries. I used the Ken's Lite Vidalia Onion Dressing and I cooked my noodles a little bit too long. They weren't mushy, but they stuck together a bit more than they usually do.

I also serve parmesan cheese on the side.

Stay tuned for my Advent Calendar and Cricut tips!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Postcrossing - First Postcards

I received my first postcrossing postcards! I joined postcrossing a few weeks ago. I sent off my first five postcards and now I'm starting to receive postcards from around the world. Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to scrapbook them :-)

If I had more time on my hands, I would love to create a site like postcrossing for hand made cards. Soooo... if anyone is reading that might have the skills... I'm thinking it sounds like a hit!

Here are the first two postcards I received:

And here's a postcard that Josh sent to me from London

Friday, November 16, 2007

Biggest Loser Update

Down 1.2 pounds this week. Woo Hoo. The scale is going in the right direction again. Now if I can just avoid the pecan tarts while I'm baking them this week, life will be good.

We had a great discussion about Thanksgiving at ww last night. It made me think about what I plan to eat. We thought about all the different items available and then wrote down the ones we really wanted to eat. Then we calculated the points for our chosen meal. I found it interesting to contemplate my meal when it wasn't an issue for me. I was much more objective. I really thought about all the different items and which ones I wanted and which ones I could let go of. Right away I realized that I am fine with skipping the gravy. I actually envisioned my meal and thought about the taste and I know that I can let go of the gravy and still enjoy the meal. I also think it will be much easier to control my portion size now that I have an idea of how many points each item has. 2 points for 1 deviled egg (one/half egg) will definately keep me from mindlessly returning for seconds or thirds....

And pecan tarts? Well one piece of pecan pie is 12 points!! My tarts are tastey, but I'm not thinking they are 12 points tastey!!!! That will definately curb my sampling while baking.

Foot Update
I'm going to the podiatrist Monday. Sadly a friend of mine, who is a podiatrist, basically told me that walking AND the elliptical aren't helping. Anyone want to whine with me?

I've officially given up the elliptical and walking....for now.... I'm not ready to give up on exercising so, I went to Yoga last night. I'm fairly sure I used every muscle in my body. I can feel lots of new ones today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Catching Up

I wasn't quite as focused the last couple of weeks. Since Josh was gone and I didn't have to take him to seminary each morning, I tried switching up my routine and resting my foot. It didn't work out so well for me. I gained 2.8 pounds, found out that I really have to workout in the mornings and my foot still hurts.

Good news is that I used the time to get rested, went to the doctor about my foot, picked a new primary care (my doctor moved um like 4 or 5 years ago...ooops), got all my bloodwork done, was pleasantly surprised by my results and am ready to get back in gear.

I love my new doctor and he really didn't do that much. I think he could tell I was a bit hesitant about coming in. He gave me options, but let me make the decisions. Of course I knew he was a good pick as soon as he started asking me if I was "into" computers. He told me I could get my test results online and email him with any questions/concerns. That's definately my kind of doctor! Some of my tests came back just a few hours after I had blood drawn. It was actually kind of cool to see them so fast and then look up what the results meant.

Then today I logged on to America On the Move to start a new walking challenge....

See, I started a challenge a little over 6 weeks ago and I absolutely loved it. I faithfully logged my steps and even finished the virtual trail I chose a few days early, but then... no bells or whistles went off. No trombones played. There was no "congratulations you are amazing." It just switched me to a new trail and said keep walking. It was a bit anti-climactic.

Well, today I logged back in to start a new one because even though it was a little disappointing when I finished, it did keep me on track for six weeks. It accomplished what I wanted it to accomplish.

Well guess what?!? It turns out that after your six weeks have finished, you log your last steps, it asks you a few questions and THEN the bells and whistles go off. LOL It created a pdf certificate that showed how many steps I took, etc.

So here are my 6 week results from America On the Move (

Starting Pace - 5240
Current Pace - 9731
Total Steps - 226,459
Total Miles - 113

113 Miles!!! Woo Hoo!!

I started a new challenge today and it ends on December 26th. How appropriate! I think it will really help me to stay focused through the holidays. Anyone want to join the fun? It really is pretty cool. Go to and sign up. It's free.

You pick the "virtual" trail of your choice and you can change your trail whenever you want. Each day after you log your steps (or minutes of can choose from a list of activities and it will convert it to steps) it will advance you along your virtual trail. Last time I finished up the UK trail. This time I'm doing the Iditarod trail.

Email me if you decide to join the fun. You can enter the email addresses and create "buddies" to encourage each other along.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Baptism Book

I got to attend a wonderful baptism for a family on Sunday. It was such a wonderful experience. Their little boy is the same age Joshua was when Rick joined the church so it brought back tons of memories.

Since the mom is a scrapbooker (actually she owns a scrapbook store), and she was feeling neglected because I haven't given her any stamped gifts..... I had to make sure I came up with something for the baptism.

It wasn't hard to twist my arm to make another board book. I love these little books!!! I have a couple more that I need to take pictures of. Of course I had to snap a quick picture of this one before I sent it off to it's new owner....

I used the Close To My Heart Cocoa Cafe papers, cocoa ribbon and the front has a dimensional element on it. I almost forgot... the font is CTMH Lemonade Stand from the new font cd.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm Spoiled and Ungrateful

Ooops, I feel so bad. Hubby got me the coolest anniversary present that I couldn't wait to share and I totally forgot!

Since I received it two weeks early, I was planning to post about it on THE big day, but then the fires came and I got sidetracked, so let's just take a step back in time.....

October 29th was our 19th anniversary! Wow!!

I didn't think we were really going to do much. We don't usually buy big gifts or anything. I was just excited to have him home. Apparently hubby came up with an idea that he was sooo excited about, he couldn't resist.

Nike Plus - I had vaguely heard about them, but never even considered that I could get one.

See this is the kind of Ipod I have (last years awesome Christmas present that I love, love, love)And you need an Ipod nano... Never fear, Josh, the ebay king is here. They bought me a nano and the Nike Plus. And the ebay store they used added all sorts of cool accessories to the deal.
I can charge my nano at home.
I can charge my nano in the car.
I can even charge it at work.
I think I'm in love!

I haven't been walking quite as much lately because of 1) the fires 2) my feet and 3) crazy hectic schedule. I'm planning to go to the gym and do the elliptical while Josh is in Europe, so I might have to wait until Nov. 13th to really start playing with my whole set-up, but in the meantime.... I can have fun adding stuff to my nano!

Thank you hubby! The best gifts are the ones that you didn't even know you needed!!

Oh and Happy Anniversary!

Biggest Loser Update? sorry I missed my weigh-in. I had to teach a boyscout recharter meeting last night and I had to skip my meeting. I'm pretty sure I haven't lost or gained so there's not much to report anyway....except that suddenly my pants are falling off of me again. I bought new pants a few weeks ago and today they are feeling really loose. In fact my silly pedometer has fallen off, not once, but twice. Both times the battery popped out so it completely reset. Thankfully I had checked it recently and knew approximately how many steps it had on it.

I only have 7 more days of my 6 week walking challenge and I am REALLY close to finishing my virtual trail. ( - fun!) I think I'll have to pick a longer trail next time. I'm pretty sure I would've finished this trail early if it wasn't for the fires and the foot issues.

My little world traveler is in Rome today. I haven't heard from him so I'll just tell you what the itinerary says "Touch down in bella Roma, the Eternal City."

And.... dare I say it??? I'm feeling the papercrafting bug coming back!! It's amazing. Once life settles down, suddenly I can start thinking about crafting again. I can hardly wait to get started!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Photos from last week

I found a couple of photos I took last week when I pulled the airport photo for the last post so I thought I'd go ahead and share them now.

Here's a picture from last Monday. They set up the police command center at the college. The entire parking lot was full of police vehicles. When I got off the freeway to go to work there were three police in front of me and about seven or 8 behind me. I felt like I had snuck into their motorcade.

Unfortunately I had the green light so I had to just click this as I drove by.

This is a picture of all of the smoke in the air on Friday (October 26th). The winds had died down so the smoke just kind of hung there.

It still smells like smoke occasionally. It kind of depends on which way the wind is blowing. Yesterday it smelled just like it does when you get up in the morning when you're camping and you can smell the burnt embers in the firepit from the night before. Today, I didn't notice it as much.

And they are off.....

I woke up bright and early. Ok, so it wasn't bright. In fact it wasn't light at all! It was pitch dark at 3:45 am, but I digress.

We woke up bright and early and headed to....the AIRPORT. Yep, my dear son is on his way to Europe. I am so excited for him. He is probably in Chicago right now, switching planes and going through customs. At least I assume he has to go through customs, but maybe not. I am not the world travler. This is definately a case of doing something for your child that you did not have the opportunity to do for yourself.

For the next twelve days he will be touring Italy, France and England. I told him that I thought it was very accommodating of them to start their trip on the first of the month. Now I can follow along on the itinerary and I don't have to think too hard. Day 1 - November 1st. Day 2 - November 2nd.

So Day 1's itinerary is.... Overnight flight to Italy. Speed across the sky tonight on your flight to Mediterranean Europe.

So far I am doing pretty good. I am not the weepy mom. I think life is an adventure and I want him to enjoy it and live it. That means moms have to let go.

His girlfriend's mom and my step-sister (my niece went too.) were a little weepy. The gf's mom said something about just being worried that it could be the last time she sees her daughter. Me, I just think about things differently. I don't get worked up about it. The reality is that everytime you go somewhere, it could be the last time. All the more reason to make sure your family always knows how much you love them. If something horrible were to happen. I would be comforted to know that he was having the time of his life.

Of course, it's all kind of funny if you think about it. They are all weepy and I would be willing to bet that if something was going to happen. It would happen to MY kid. There's a reason why we purchased all the travel insurance and everyone always makes sure they have a first aid kit when he's around.

Updated to say: I just got a very happy phone call from Chicago. It sounds like they are already having a blast!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Back to the Daily Grind

Well things are slowly getting back to normal around here. The schools re-opened and the college re-opened and I'm back at work. So far it seems like everyone survived the fires and none of my immediate circle lost their homes. What a huge difference from last time. While I am extremely grateful, it is so hard knowing what all the other families are going through. This is just the beginning for them. They have a long hard road ahead of them.

I spent several hours yesterday catching up on homework that was due last week. They shut the campus down and we were all a little pre-occupied so it just got pushed aside. It actually felt good to sit down and do homework. I know, many of you just laughed at that. My son thinks it weird too, but I like doing my homework. Numbers make sense. They are logical. There is a right answer. I love working out the problems and getting the answer. I think it's a sickness.

I've always been a good student, but if you asked me what classes I enjoyed, it was never anything to do with math! In fact I have taken every single English class necessary for my degree and a few extra just for fun. This accounting class is the first "math" type class I have taken in my college career. I avoided it like the plague and yet I have done some kind of accounting at almost every job I've ever had. Now I am wondering what took me so long!! I can whip through these classes so much faster. I don't have to read a novel and interpret things and come up with opinions. All I have to do is learn formulas, learn how to analyze financial statements and write up journal entries. It's logical and predictable. That's a good thing when life is a little crazy.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Little Update

They closed down the college I work at on Monday at 1pm and we don't go back until Monday and all I have accomplished is...I cleaned out the refrigerator. Yep, I'm the lean mean cleaning machine. Ok, so we also went out to a horse camp (evacuation center) and set up some corals, got hubby restocked and loaded so he can have food and supplies on the truck, did a ton of laundry, watched non-stop fire coverage and rested.

Once hubby left I figured I'd do all that deep cleaning that I haven't had time for the last couple of months, unfortunately I'm feeling a little bit under the weather. I'm not sure if it's a little cold or if it's allergies from all the smoke, but it's just kind of slowed me down a little. I'm hoping I'll feel more energetic tomorrow.

I know it's only Thursday, but since I haven't done a Biggest Loser update for a while, I guess I should catch things up.

Two weeks ago I gained two pounds. ooops... But really, you can go back and read my prediction. I knew there was no way I really lost 5 pounds the week before.

Last week I lost 2.8 pounds.

This week I lost 2.8 pounds and I have now lost over 25 pounds. Wowser!!!! I got my cool little magnet to put on my fridge. I'm kind of shocked that I lost so much this week. I definately didn't eat as good as I should have, but I ate small portions and didn't pig out so I guess that kept things moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

All's Well

Just a quick post to say that we are safe and sound. Some maps show that we are in an evacuation zone, but we have not been asked to evacuate and we are still a few miles from the fire.

We are on the south end of the Witch Fire and so far our area has been spared the devastation that we endured in the Cedar Fires.

Today we are volunteering out at the Rodeo grounds and one of the other local evacuation centers for large animals.

The first couple of days we kind of hunkered down, made sure we were ready to go, were on standby with our emergency radio system (HAM radio emergency team) and were glued to the radio and tv to see where the fire was moving to.

We are having a hard time getting info about our end of the fire because it's a less populated area and isn't moving that quickly right now. Last night we drove down to see how far away it was and it's slowly moving closer, but we really think it's going to be fine unless the winds pick up again.

Today it is really smokey and we're starting to suffer from the air pollution. I'm sure part of it is because the fire is closer and part of it is because the winds are slowing down so it's not blowing the smoke away.

Right now I am feeling grateful...hubby was a week late getting home. If he had come home on time he wouldn't have been here with us.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Done with Stamping?

Hubby is home! I have a workshop Saturday, road show practice tonight and tomorrow and the actual road show is Friday night...

So last night I really needed to stamp my swap that's due Saturday and get a few things done, but hubby was home!!!!! I didn't want to stamp so I said....

"I don't feel like stamping. I think I'm done with stamping."

and hubby said....

"I've been waiting years to hear you say that."

Ooops, I hope he didn't get too excited. I don't want him to be disappointed when he realizes I was joking.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Haunted Hotel

What was I thinking?

I was the dedicated chaperone for tonight's festivities.... J and L wanted to go to the haunted hotel and since we needed to eat at some point, I put together a little picnic/preview of their upcoming Europe trip. I went to cost plus at lunch and found items from England, France and Italy. Since all of the foods were kind of small snack type items, we rounded it off with a little pizza.

Then we headed off to the haunted hotel.... downtown San Diego on a Friday night. Not one of the brightest moves we've ever made. It took 40 minutes to find a parking place. We ended up at Horton Plaza. Then we had to go in and get our ticket validated or it would be $2 for every 20 minutes. Ouch!

We walked a couple of blocks to 4th and Market and then we stood in line, and stood in line, and stood in line. It was the worst line I have EVER been in. It took us 3 hours! I was dying. My feet hurt so bad. Even my crocs couldn't help me.

On the drive home I literally had tears going down my face because my feet hurt so bad.

If my son ever doubts how much I love him, someone please remind him about tonight.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

True Confessions

Ok, I'm going to stop apologizing and I'm letting go of the guilt about "no craft" updates on my blog. I love blogging and my life is constantly changing and shifting right now so there is no time for crafting. Once we get done with the road shows and I put Josh on the plane to Europe, I think things will change. Until then I'm just going to post... about whatever comes to mind and sometimes that might be about crafts... I did make something really cute over the weekend. I just need to take a picture!

Ok, so I have a confession to make. I love Crocs. Yep, I should probably have to make that confession in a large crowded room as penance for all my evil croc thoughts over the last year or so.

I swore I would NEVER buy a pair.

I do not need to keep up with the Jones. I do not need to follow a ridiculous fad. They are ugly. And what is up with the croc jewelry? How dumb!!

Yep, I said all of that and more. Even when my customers professed their croc love and told me how comfortable they were, I was not impressed. Nope. I'm not spending $35 on ugly, plastic shoes.

ha ha ha!

I should've known better. I was the girl who loved jellies and had a million pairs. Why didn't I realize that I love plastic shoes?

My dear friend Gail made me buy a pair. I suppose she was just a little tired of hearing me complain about how much my feet hurt. I bought them one week ago tomorrow, at lunch. Since then I've ordered two more pair (cuter styles of course!) and I have been wearing them every single day. Gail now calls me happy feet.

There's an interesting thing that happens when you wear comfortable shoes and you no longer suffer from foot pain. You become less grumpy! Yep, I'm miss happy feet, miss energetic, miss croc lover, miss take your words back.... I have been healed and I love my crocs.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Biggest Loser Friday Week 5

Woo Hoo.... I lost 5 for update number 5. While it was really fun to hear that number, I'm trying to prepare myself for disappointment next week. I knew I lost a few pounds, but I think 5 might be a little bit off...

1) I weighed in several hours earlier because I couldn't go to my normal meeting.
2) I think I weighed in on the magic scale that always seems to give me bonus losses.
3) I only weighed one pound more at ww and I tend to weigh 3 pounds more.

Anyone remember my goal? The one where I wanted to be down a total of 20 pounds by the time hubby got home? Well he'll be home next week and I am down 21.5 pounds!!

I'm hoping to keep the weight loss going so I don't show a gain next week and then I'll have to set a new goal. The goal will depend on how long hubby plans to be out. We have to decide if he's going to come home for Thanksgiving....or before.... I'm thinking it would be fun to have four days off and a hubby at home, so my vote is Thanksgiving.

This week I really concentrated on drinking my water. Post with super cool favorite water thermos coming soon. I also got more exercise by adding in the recumbent bike.

Here are the top six reasons why I still haven't posted any stamping/scrapbooking/crafting...

Monday - Family association meeting
Tuesday - road show practice
Wednesday - road show practice
Thursday - CTMH meeting
Friday - Dinner at church
Saturday - Volunteering at the school's booth at October fest

This week has been crazy, even by my standards. I worked on a little project during one of the road show practices and I have some fun ideas from the meeting last night... I have a stamping date with my buds on Saturday soooooo...... stay tuned.... it may happen yet!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2008

Did you know I have my HAM radio license? Several years ago they needed more HAM radio operators for the emergency team at church. I knew hubby would love it so somehow I got roped into doing it with him. Then Josh thought it was cool so he got his license too. They both got really into it. Me, not so much. I had other things to do.... like stamp.

Well now hubby is on the road. Last time they had a drill, I had plans so Josh did it by himself. This time Josh and I were supposed to do it together, which means Josh would do it all and I would just supervise. That plan disintegrated when the huge storm of September was predicted a couple of weeks ago. The one that was supposed to cause severe flooding. The one that caused the local BSA council to postpone the Mountain Man Rendezvous. Of course it barely rained.

I didn't actually realize it was a problem until 5 days before the mapping drill. Suddenly I made the connection. I was going to have to do the whole thing by myself!
Josh and I loaded everything into the car during the week and took it with us to Road Show practice. He showed me how to set up the ladder and gave me a quick refresher on the radio. I was all set.
I got to the church and unloaded the ladder.

I duct taped the jpole to the ladder, raised it up and zip-tied it to the gate. Ha! And Josh said it would be heavy. Apparently he did not know my hidden strength. (Thank goodness there wasn't much wind.)

Here's my radio and the cable.
I was pretty nervous at first, but I caught on right away. I was ready. I wasn't listed on the exercise. (Gee, I wonder why? I think they had given up on my participation a long time ago. I guess they didn't get the memo about Rick being on the other side of the country though.) They called Rick's call sign. I answered, gave my call sign and explained I was filling in. They heard my call sign. They knew it was me, but apparently they couldn't hear much more. They didn't hear my 10 count.... They said maybe my battery was low, maybe my PL wasn't set right...

PL? What's PL? It should be programmed in.... And that's when it went all downhill....

I finished the first set and wrote everything down. As soon as it was over I was bound and determined to get it right before we moved on to the next repeater. I started pushing buttons on the radio to try and check the settings.

Next thing I know I can't get back to the programmed settings. Finally I call Rick only to find out that he doesn't know how to use Josh's radio well enough to help over the phone. Somehow I manually get to the repeater just in time to hear the guy right before me. Whew....

My turn - and once again, they can't hear me....

So I cried. Yep. I sat there and cried for like 10 seconds. I was so frustrated and I felt completely stupid. Then I pulled myself together and figured the radio out. I got back to the pre-programmed channels and waited, and waited, and waited. Yep, I got back after the drill was over.

I felt like such a dork as I took down the antenna and packed everything back up.
As soon as Josh got home I explained the whole thing again.

My PL was set right.

and the second drill?

Josh said "You can't hit the mara repeater from the building. They've known that for a long time."

Turns out I did everything right... well except for the fact that while I was "lost" in radio land, I ummmm somehow got into program mode and ummmmm adjusted a couple of things. Ooops...

The full fledged emergency drill is in a few weeks. I guess I better get a radio lesson between now and then so I can feel a little more confident.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Biggest Loser Friday - Week 4

Just call me "turtle." I'm losing this weight, but it's very, very slowly. I was down .4 this week. In all honesty, I did not give it 100% effort. I haven't been writing everything down and far more of my points were spent on low nutrition foods. I waited until weigh-in day to start eating more fruits and veggies. Good news is that I was actually craving some fresh food and I didn't spend the week eating candy and ice cream.... oh wait... I did sneak a few m&m bingo markers......

Last night Josh helped me move the recumbent bike from the back of the porch. Poor bike was covered in dust. I'm sure it was feeling very neglected. I've kind of ignored it ever since I discovered the elliptical. My sore feet and my crazy schedule (no time for the gym) have forced me to return to the bike.

I intended to dust it off and bring it back in the house. I figured I'd ride while watching tv. But the weather was so nice last night that I decided to leave it on the porch and ride out there. It was wonderful. I did a quick 15 minutes and when I was done I felt good and I had no new aches and pains. I may be able to start increasing my workouts after all!

And lest you think I only talk to the animals while walking in the morning, I made a new friend while I was out there. A beautiful white cat just had to come see what I was up to. He came up and let me pet him and then proceeded to watch me while I rode. Hmmmm....who sent the spy?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Morning Walk

I tried to go back to sleep this morning. I was in the car. I had my pillow and my blanket and Laura wasn't there. I sat there for about 10 minutes before I decided that I really wasn't that tired. I was just being lazy, so I got out of the car and started walking. I forgot my ipod on the first lap around the parking lot so I got to listen the rooster wake up. Since I firmly believe that I can talk to all animals, whether or not they are within earshot, I kind of mocked him and said "Ha, I was up before you were." Sad thing is I'll probably stay up later than he will too. Lucky Rooster!
The moon has been big and gorgeous the last couple of days.... Today I finally decided to take a quick picture. The picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. I think I waited too long to go get my camera out of the car.
On the other side of the building the sun was coming up and turning the clouds red.
I'm really glad I got out of the car. The air was crisp and cool. The views were beautiful. And I earned 2 activity points :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bingo, Workshop and Playful Petals was a weekend of stamping fun.

Bingo -
The Bingo party turned out so well and we had a great time. I'm seriously thinking about adding more Friday night crops/workshops. It was a fun group with lots of new faces!

(No, Laura's not raising her hand to ask a question...she got Bingo!!)

Workshop -
Saturday I helped Gail with her National Stamping Day workshop. She had stations all set up for make n takes and several consultants participated. It was fun to see her customers that I've known for years and to meet all her new customers. She's got a great group of people that come to her workshops.

Fall Colors and Playful Petals
I did a quick little demo with a variety of stamping/coloring techniques for my demo at the Bingo party and Gail's Workshop. I showed coloring with chalks, coloring with the waterbrush, using our cool markers (which I've falllen in love with all over again!), dry embossing with stamps, and a cute little box/bag.

Since I demo'd it so many times I had quite a few little flowers hanging around. I used up all the leftover pieces and made a ton of 3x3 cards...but then I was on a roll.... so I kept on stamping. I pulled out one of my favorite new sets "Playful Petals" and the gorgeous fall colors... Autumn Terracotta, Honey and Barn Red..... and that did it... now I'm back to "dreaming" about stamping and creating.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Biggest Loser Friday - Week 3

Sorry this update is a day late. The last 48 hours have been busy, busy, busy... but I thought I'd better give a quick little update before too much time passes...

I lost 1.8 pounds this week.
Woo Hoo!

I probably should've lost more, but I struggled a little bit more than usual. It's amazing how much of this journey is "mental." I was kind of frustrated and annoyed with last week and it just kind of slowed me down a bit. I didn't pig out or overeat, but I didn't eat as many good foods and I didn't exercise quite as much.

But that's all behind me and I'm back in the game...mentally and physically... so let's hope for another good loss next week.

Only 3.8 pounds to go to make it to my next mini goal - 20 pounds...

Stay tuned... I've been stamping!! I have stuff to share. For now, I need to go type the church bulletin and get some sleep.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Guess What I Did?

Woo Hoo! I was a stamping fool today! I put together two boards for my Bingo party Friday and I created all of my cards for our stamp of the month swap. (I tried to drop out of the swap for lack of time, but they "needed" me...hahaha)

I am feeling the stamping love again.


So glad to get re-motivated.

Stay tuned for more fun. (I also scanned in a bunch of old cards and put them in my webshots album.)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Biggest Loser Friday - week 2

Ok, so I had no idea how soon my little "biggest loser Friday" posts would bite me in the butt. I really should think things through better before I commit.

I was having a great week! I mean the best week I've had since starting this journey. Some of my clothes are literally starting to fall off of me. It took me a while to figure out why I kept tripping on my pants the other day. Did the hem fall out? Did I wear different shoes? What the heck? Hmmm.... I had to laugh when I finally realized it was because they were too big. How did I not notice that I had several extra inches in the waist band?

And as if that wasn't enough fun, I watched the scale creep down all week long. Every day it was lower and lower. I was looking at a 3 pound weight loss.

I walked into my ww meeting on cloud 9. I was excited to step on that scale...... hahaha.....

Here's my little ww story.

Me: "I forgot to put my new pass in my purse, but here's my old one."
Him: "Well, you'll have to make sure you bring the right one next time."

(Wow, that was a bit harsh. You should've heard his tone!)

Me: "Well when you scan it in, doesn't it tell you I'm up to date?"
Him: "Of course it does."

(Hmm...then what's the problem dude??? You are being a jerk. I forgot my card one time and printed one on the computer. The lady who helped me even printed a little sticker for me to keep in case I ever forget again. She was nice and helpful and courteous.... and this guy is being a jerk....whatever.... I lost like 3 pounds this week. I'm getting a star... this guy can just take his crappy attitude someplace else....)

Him: "well you went up a little again."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Him: "you went up .2"
Me: "Sheesh... I must've ate something crazy today to gain 3 pounds in one day."
Him - blank stare

Then the idiot had the audacity to write on my little book "must show mp" next to the space for next week.

What the heck? What is the deal with the monthly pass. And how dare him say I went up "again." I have NEVER gained before.

Of course I handled it all very maturely. I finished up. I gathered my stuff. I took my name badge off my shirt and I walked out the door. I was pissed!!!!!

I think I was more mad about being treated like a little child than anything else. The stupid weigh-in was just icing on the cake. I figured it was just their dumb scale. Jokes on me though. I really did gain 3 pounds in ONE day. I guess my body decided it was going to hang on to some extra water just in time to screw me up for my weigh in! Sucks to be me.

Even though I was mad. I did not drown myself in cookies or chocolate. I wasn't even tempted. I just ate my normal meal and moved on. I have a week to decide which of the following two options I'd like to follow

1) Stand in line and if he calls me up - refuse to be weighed by him
2) Stand in line and hope to be weighed by him. I should definately have a big loss next week. I almost hope he weighs me and then chastises me for losing too much... ohhhh....then it will be ON.

I stayed within my points all week and here's my workouts...

Friday - Elliptical 30 min.
Saturday - Elliptical 30 min.
Sunday - Rest day
Monday - walk 30 minutes, 10 min. doing squats and stretches
Tuesday - walk 40 min.
Wednesday - walk 40 min, 30 min swim
Thursday - walk 40 min.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Got Shoes?

I'm feeling like a new woman today! I have flat feet. I'm not talking semi-fallen arches. I'm talking flat duck feet. Ever since I was a little kid, I have been jealous of all the cute footprints everyone else left when they got out of the pool. Not only do flat feet leave ugly fat prints on the ground, but they are extremely painful. I cannot tell you how many times my mom told me I sounded like an old lady because I was always complaining about my feet hurting.

We tried everything. I wore Dr. Scholls shoes because they were supposed to exercise your feet. They gave me foot cramps. I can pick up quarters and small objects with my toes (supposed to strengthen your arches). I've worn shoes with high arches and shoes with no arches. I've tried learning to stand in mountain pose when standing in line (does help to some extent.) But really nothing helps.

So when you take flat feet, overweight, add some walking and a day in some really cute little oxfords you get heel pain. That was a couple of months ago. The shoes were comfy. It was the end of the day before I figured out the damage.

Since then I have taken ibuprofen. I've done the stretches. I've tried not to go barefoot. . I have an ice pack in the freezer at work so I can ice my foot under my desk. It kept getting almost better, then it would flare up again. Finally I realized my new running shoes were part of the problem so I went back to my trusty Nikes.

Yesterday I hobbled over to a coworkers desk and she kind of gave me a funny look. I said "You can always tell when I've had a good long walk in the morning because I can't walk the rest of the day."

Then we had a great conversation which ended with me taking possession of a new pair of shoes. These poor shoes were handed around. Someone bought the wrong size, passed them on and then they were passed to me and they fit me perfectly! I was a little leery. The arches were a bit high. If I was shopping I wouldn't have bought them... but let me tell you.... they are absolute heaven!

Who would've thought a girl could be so happy over a pair of shoes?

Now maybe I won't be so tired and sore every night that I'll be able to stamp. Did I say stamp? Hmmmmm.....

Friday, September 07, 2007

Biggest Loser Friday

Now that I decided to do Biggest Loser Fridays, I'm contemplating making up special categories forthe rest of the week too. If posting my weight loss progress each week will keep me accountable, then maybe I should have "show and tell Monday" for all of my completed weekend projects. Hmmm..... Tuesday Tips....Wednesday Whines...haha... just kidding.

Ok, on to Biggest Loser Friday.....

Pounds Lost - 14.6 (dang, I knew I would be close to 15) 1.4 pounds this week

Saturday - 30 min. Elliptical, Steam Room
Sunday - Swimming
Monday - Walk around Lake with Laura
Tuesday - 40 minute walk
Wednesday - 40 minute walk
Thursday - YBB (Yoga Booty Ballet) 15 min. - ran out of time

Last night when I called hubby with my current weight loss he said "well, I'm planning to go for a walk as soon as it gets two degrees cooler." Apparently he's feeling a bit competitive. Bring it on honey! I'm planning to be down 20 pounds by the time you get home.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Biggest Loser - Challenge

I love The Biggest Loser! I won't even apologize for it. (Believe me there are other reality shows that even I can't believe I watch!!) I get so excited to see people challenge themselves and learn what they can do. Watching the show motivates me.

Sooo...since I love Biggest Loser.... and I'm currently on a losing streak... (I'm hoping to reach 15 pounds lost at weigh-in tonight.).... I thought I'd combine my two loves and see if anyone wants to join me.

I'm going to institute - Biggest Loser Fridays here on my blog. Every friday I'll post how the week went, how many days I exercised, my thursday weigh-in results and anything else LOSER oriented. You can join in the fun in the comments section by posting your weekly stats or direct us to a post on your blog.

So come on and let's see... Who is the Biggest LOSER?

So much for dating the posts

Ok so the last post was really from Friday August 31, 2007, even though it says Tuesday September 4, 2007.

I wrote it last week, but had to attach the pictures before I posted it. Blogger has this little place where you can click "post options." I put the right date in. Imagine my surprise when it didn't display it. So much for back-dating some posts to get things caught up. I guess I'll do a quick little update post here.

The weekend was HOT! Not just HOT, but miserable HOT. Have I mentioned that we don't have a/c? Have I mentioned that we usually use a swamp cooler? The only time a swamp cooler doesn't work is when it's too thinks the rain we got on Friday might be a clue as to how humid it was.

I had planned to spend the long holiday weekend cleaning and stamping. My house is a disaster and I need to take control!! Instead of cleaning and stamping, we spent the weekend devising ways to stay cool.

Saturday - We headed to the mall along with the rest of East County and went to the movies. We finally saw the latest Harry Potter movie. I loved it, but I really loved the nice cool movie theater!

Sunday - Church was packed! Even the overflow was full. I guess heat and holidays bring out those who normally would rather stay home :-) I'm not complaining! I love seeing the chapel that full.

After church we went to Candaces and enjoyed the pool and the a/c!! The plan was to stamp, but I just couldn't focus. Even with the a/c on the scrapbook room was a little warm...why not swim instead?

Monday - Ok it's time to focus! I must clean my house!!! After meeting Laura for a walk around the lake at 6:30am, I came home and decided I was going to clean until I just couldn't take it anymore. I got quite a bit done and then hopped in a nice cold shower and then headed off to the a/c at Supercuts for a haircut.

The kids from church had planned to get together, but it started to sound like the plans were going to fall through so we headed to the mall for another movie. As soon as we got there the phone rang and the party was on. I dropped Josh and a couple other boys off at the party and headed back the heat infested house....

I was just a little happy when one of the girls called my cell phone and said I needed to come to the party. Sometimes I just love those girls!!! It's nice to know they enjoy having me around....and there was a/c. :-P

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

Ok, so I missed the big rain "event" last Sunday, but there was no missing the rain today.

I rushed home from work so I could change clothes, pick up Josh and run him over to cross-country practice. I sat down for a few minutes to try and avoid putting on my gym clothes and all of the sudden it started POURING. At first we thought it would be one of those quick cloud bursts, but it kept coming and coming. The wind whipped up and everything was blowing around. It was crazy!

It finally slowed down a bit so we ventured out. Here are some pictures Josh took during the storm and on our way to practice.

You can see the rain coming down in the top of this picture....

African Safari? Nope, this is a picture from our porch. I'm not sure, but I think he took this when the rain slowed down...

And here are the wet roads.....

This is the only one he retouched. I love how he made everything black and white, but kept the color in the flag.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stormy Weather

My dear readers from other parts of the country often laugh at what we call "weather," but since I'm a San Diegan, my description is a little different. Today we had "weather" and I completely missed it. I even heard that we had raindrops falling from the sky!

When I walked out of church I could feel the heavy moisture in the air. I could smell wet pavement. I looked around and I saw a few wet spots. Hey, no fair! It rained and I missed it. Rumor has it that there was a huge downpour. That'll teach me to go to class. I think I should've ditched with all the other people that witnessed the "event."

But all is not lost. Joshua had a fireside to attend tonight so I decided to go for a walk at the nearby lake instead of driving back and forth all night. It was windy and stormy so I got my little weather "fix."

Monday, August 20, 2007


As promised, I really did find my stamp table and actually stamp something. Of course you may notice that I did not say I cleaned my stamp table. I keep hoping that the unbearable heat around here will dissipate and leave me with energy and time to clean. Ha!

So here is the card I created for our Stamp of the Month swap. All products featured are Close To My Heart and the stamp set is the September SOTM.

Today was the first day of school for Josh and for me! Yep, that's right. I'm back in school. I'm testing the waters with an online accounting course. Online means I don't have to be somewhere at a specific time and accounting should mean that it's somewhat easy for me. It looks do-able so far.

And since it was back to school day, it means it was also back to walking! Woo Hoo! I have a new walking partner this year and we definately picked up the pace a bit. I loved my walk and felt awesome when it was done.....of course I've been popping the ibuprofen and icing my foot ever since, but hey it was fun at the time! (I have plantar fasciitis. I've had it before and it eventually went away...but I'm not a patient person and I don't want to "rest." I'm hoping ice, ibuprofen and stretches will do the trick.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Surprise, Surprise!

Still no stamping, scrapbooking, knitting or any crafting to report. We have had something to do every night this week, but tonight's the night. Tonight I will be stamping. I have to. I have a class tomorrow and I'm pretty sure they'll be expecting me to have something to share.

But just because I have not been crafting, does not mean I have nothing to share. I lost 1.6 lbs. Woo Hoo!! When I jumped on the ww scale, I thought I'd either hold steady or show a little gain. I hoped I'd lose 4 ounces (to get my next 5 lb star! It's all about the stars you know.) I think the lady weighing me in had fun surprising me.... because I was seriously shocked! I guess drinking all that water the last few days really did work!
So since I have no stamping to share, here's some weightloss stuff instead.... (I know, I know, you'd rather see stamping!)

Western Bagel's Alternative Onion Bagel - One point of bagel goodness!

Costco Eggs/Egg Beaters - Yummy protein in the morning. I add whatever I have in the house to give them a bit of flavor (mushrooms, red pepper, salt-free spicy seasoning, feta cheese, jalapenos)

Boca Burgers - Yum, yum, yum... I sprinkle some of the spicy seasoning on them and enjoy!

Use two pieces of whole wheat bread, some liquid eggs and a boca burger and you have 5-6 points of a super filling breakfast!!!

Pickles - Yummy dill pickles are the perfect snack!

Frozen Non-Fat Yogurt - Tastes yummy and I don't have to drink milk!

And... I personally have to stay away from all those 100 calorie snacks. Yes, the are good. Yes, they are yummy... but they are still empty calories for me. They don't fill me up. They make me want more junk.

I'd love to hear some of your favorite low-cal ww friendly snacks!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm Back....

Sorry for the long blogging break. We had a little family emergency that kind of sidetracked me and then I went away to girls camp. But I'm back. I've done my laundry. Took a couple of naps and I'm slowly putting my house back in order. Hopefully I'll be stamping and crafting by the end of the week.

Girls camp was amazing! We had a wonderful time. I had so much fun with all of our girls. It's amazing to take girls ages 12-18 with completely different personalities and interests and thow them together for 5 days/nights. You learn how to get along, find common interests and you stretch yourselves farther than you thought possible.

I am so incredibly proud of all of our girls. Each one of them made great progress throughout the week.

But now I'm home and I'm trying to adjust to....

Gaining four pounds while I was gone! What the heck? It doesn't seem physically possible. I did not pig out. I walked up and down the hill so many times that my quad's were sore for the first few days. Dear sweet hubby is positive that it's water weight and it will disappear soon. I hope he's right. I'm feeling a bit skeptical though. I dropped two pounds right away... the other two appear to be hanging on. Soooo not fair!!!!

The heat! It was gorgeous and sunny and comfortable in the mountains. It's hot and muggy here. Makes it hard to get back into working out at home. It's also hard to find time to work out when hubby is here. I just want to play and hang out at home with him. School and seminary start next week, so I'll be back on track with my walking 5 days a week. I guess I can slack off a little this week.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Local Food? Fresh Food?

Woo Hoo! Last night was a happy gym night. I got one of my favorite machines and happily sweated away. Now if only I could remember to take my ipod with me. No gym today. It's youth group at church tonight and we're heading to the beach.

I have been fascinated lately with an interesting blog called No Impact Man. I find myself in the middle of the road on the whole global warming, consumer waste issue. I can see strong arguments on both sides of the issue. I tend to be wary to firmly state my opinions in such a public place because I know that I am willing to learn and grow and what I believe today, might be different tomorrow. With that being said, here are some of the things I have been thinking about and pondering.

I am LDS (aka Mormon). We believe in the Word of Wisdom (WOW), which is a kind of health code. Most people know that we don't drink alcohol, coffee or tea and many think it also includes caffeinated sodas. (I drink diet peps1) What is less well known is that it also says that we should eat meat sparingly and eat foods in season. Having that background, I have found the whole eating locally movement very interesting. I have enjoyed reading about how No Impact Man has been adjusting his lifestyle and I find myself contemplating ways I can incorporate some of the same things in my life.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is healthier to eat less processed foods. I have only been back on ww for about two weeks and I can already feel a difference. I have more energy. I feel stronger and healthier. I still eat some processed foods like frozen meals, but I have also incorporated a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables. Face it, when you're hungry and you have a choice between 5 or 6 little crackers that you can inhale in less than a minute, or an apple... apple wins.

So here are some things I have pondered:

Is it better to pack a lunch in a reusable container which has to be washed, or put veggies in little snack bags?

Is it better to make multiple trips to the grocery store to purchase fresh ingredients or use energy to keep frozen foods frozen?

If I were to use reusable grocery bags, could I actually remember to take them to the grocery store? How many should I buy? Is carrying them around in my car going to annoy me?

And is there some kind of remedial course I could take that would teach me how to keep fruit and veggies longer? What makes celery wilt? Where should I store mushrooms? (love them, but it's a constant battle to use them up before they get slimy? Do the drawers in the fridge that say "low moisture" and "high moisture" really work? Which food goes in which? What if I switched the placement of the drawers at some point in time?

And that's just the surface of all of my questions. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions... but please.... no preaching or critisizing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday Night Gym Woes

So what is the deal with Mondays and the gym? Does everyone go crazy on the weekend and then run to the gym on Mondays to try to undo the damage? Other days are busy, but Mondays are unbearable! I got to the gym at 5:40 and there was not one single treadmill or elliptical available. Not only were they all full, but I was not the only one waiting. I hate the treadmill, but I was desperate enough that I jumped on as soon as one was open....only to find out that I must've avoided the treadmill for a VERY long time. They have all new treadmills and I could not figure it out.

Call it pride, but I did not want anyone to think this was my first time at the gym, so I quickly pushed the quick start button like I knew what I was doing and I started walking. I guess you could call it walking. At one mph it felt more like I was filming a scene in slow motion. Hmmm..maybe this is just the warm-up and it will slowly increase speed. One minute later and I am still going 1 mph. I start pushing buttons. Where is the stinking speed button? The girl on the treadmill next to me seemed fun and she was chatting with the girl next to her so I sucked it up and said "ok, I'm a dork and I never use the treadmill. How do I increase the speed?"

Turns out I'm a good judge of character. She and her friend were both hiliarious and they showed me the BIG GIANT button. I'm not kidding it was HUGE!!!

I lasted 10 minutes on the torture device and went to stand in line for my friend the elliptical. I wish I could say it was a better experience.

Why is it that we have a whole row of brand new treadmills and yet it looks like we also accumulated a bunch of old style ellipticals? I hate the Life Fitness ellipticals and love the Precor ones...guess which one I got.

Let's hope Tuesday works out better!

Monday, July 23, 2007

National Stamping Day and Month!!!

One of the fun announcements at leadership conference was "National Stamping Day and Month." Not only is it a great way to celebrate the love of stamping, but it also means that there will be some great specials from Close To My Heart and I sooooo love a special!

And let's face it, it's about time we had a National Stamping Day!

Close To My Heart did all the legal paperwork and they actually own the rights to National Stamping Day and National Stamping Month. Now all we have to do is plan the party! Too cool!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Leadership Conference - Day One

Woo Hoo! I'm back from another awesome Close To My Heart corporate event! Unlike some of my other "road trips" to convention, or leadership....this one was a much shorter drive. Leadership was at the Kona Kai hotel on Shelter Island in San Diego! I think it took me about 30 minutes to get there.

Even though I live in beautiful San Diego... I work, I'm a mom, I'm busy and I don't get to enjoy our beautiful city enough so I was quite excited to spend a whole weekend down on the coast.

Here's what it looked like when we checked into the hotel and opened our door onto our balcony. That's a cruise ship heading out of port way out there.

It's a good thing I took this picture the first day! Because it was cloudy and overcast the rest of the weekend....May gray, June gloom.. it's supposed to be gone in July!

Here are our East Coast buddies waving from their balcony.....of course they made fun of us when we were fanning ourselves and saying it was "muggy." They have offered to put together a survival kit for us for our trip to Orlando next year, complete with a towel. I think they might be worried that we can't handle it.

Our opening ceremony was under a huge canopy on the lawn, by the pool. I can only imagine what the other hotel guests thought when they saw and HEARD this large group of women (and one man!) gathering and greeting and talking and hugging!

Then it was time to link arms and make our own intertwined "circle." We had way too many to make a true circle....but the effect was the same.

And once you're standing... and you're in a circle... you definately have to do the "wave"

Then we split up into our color groups and headed out to the beach for a warm-up activity.

The rest of day one was too exciting to photograph! (that's my excuse for forgetting to take pictures...welll that and I've never quite succeeded at taking good photos indoors when there is bad lighting)

When we entered the room for the opening ceremony we were greeted with Christmas Music. Of course some were so busy chatting and greeting that it took them a really long time to notice that there was Christmas music and Christmas trees (Hi Chris!) But there was no denying the Christmas theme once Santa's Elves came out. The corporate staff came out dressed like elves and did the most adorable dance! It was hilarious. And if the elves are there..... then surely it must be time for presents from THE woman of the house...Mrs. Claus. And boy was Mrs. Claus generous!!!!!

We got our new catalog, learned about all the fun new products and upcoming campaigns and everyone in the room got a copy of our new book Imagine!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DVR Blues

I'm singing the broken DVR blues. Sunday I hit pause on the dvr and went to go start a load of laundry. When I came back the dvr was rebooting and going through it's software update. When it was done, the recording disk no longer worked. I called the cable company last night and we went through all their diagnostics and they tried to revive it, but sadly, it looks like it's a lost cause.

My schedule is busy this week and I can't meet them until Thursday. Oh the drama!! I have forgotten how to watch tv without pause, rewind, fast forward and record. Josh and I keep picking up the remote and pretending like we're pausing or fast forwarding. It seems like such a waste of time when I have to sit through commercials. And then there's the fact that I rarely sit through them. I usually play a game with myself where I have to go clean during commercials... then I get sidetracked and forget to go back and I miss crucial plot points. Oh woe is me....

What will I do without So you think you can Dance? I'm not sure I even know when it actually starts. I usually just watch it whenever I get home.... And shh... don't tell... but I actually watched an episode of Big Brother and then set the DVR to start taping it...

Oh well... I guess I just might have to get a life and ignore the tv for a while.

There is one silver lining. The new dvr won't be set to tape all of hubby's shows. "Oh, so sorry honey, no discovery channel shows for you. Darn. Shucks."

Bwa ha ha ha haaaaaa (One could think I sabotaged said DVR just so that I could record chick flicks and Oprah instead of Dirty jobs and discovery channel)

Work out girl is back

Oh my poor neglected blog. You can always tell when my focus has shifted... the blog suffers.... and I was on such a roll there for a while.

What has sidetracked me this time?

Hubby was home for a few days. (Who can blame me for that one!)
Rather than drive home, only to have to leave again to pick Josh up from work, I've been hitting the gym! Woo hoo!

And since I started going to the gym, I figured it was time to bite the bullet and join ww again. I say again, but really this is the first time I've actually joined and gone to a meeting. (I joined online once before.) I even stepped on a scale for them. Very scary!

Last night I called hubby on my way home from the gym and said "I'm back! The girl who loves to work out is back in charge!" Up until last night I felt like I could barely get through my workout. My heart rate went up faster. I felt slow and uncomfortable. But the human body is an amazing thing! After one week, my heart rate dropped. I dropped a bunch of water weight and it felt good to work out again. I still have a ways to go, but at least the journey is enjoyable again.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth Love and a mini rant

I'm sure I never really enjoyed the experience when I was growing up, but for some reason whenever the sun is streaming in the windows and I have music playing, I remember Saturday morning cleaning sessions at home. Even now, when I write about it, I can almost smell the pledge and hear Diana Ross, The Carpenters, Judy Collins, Elvis and many more that I can't remember. Mom always loved music and pretty much anything was fair game in our house. Well, except maybe Rock. I think rock was reserved for Dad's car. Dad was the Eagles, Pat Benatar,

I guess that's where I get my eclectic taste. I'll listen to just about anything. I never dismiss an entire genre of music.... so Live Earth was definately my "cup of tea."

This Saturday I turned on Live Earth and the sun was shining in the windows and before I knew it, I was cleaning like a mad woman! I went through boxes of junk and did some major decluttering. It felt so good! I absolutely loved all the different music and bands that came on throughout the day. I absolutely loved the scientist band in Antarctica - Nanutuk. I loved all the different stages featuring recycled materials and all the "green" tips that were shared throughout the day. It was a fun music loving, cleaning house day....

Well except for Melissa Etheridge... she completely annoyed me and her tirade about democracy was completely out of place. This was not about America or American politics and while I don't entirely agree with everything the movement was about... I do feel there are many areas where we can all improve. I learned many useful tips that I will incorporate into my life and felt the "Live Earth Love" and was being succesfully indoctrinated until she came out and spewed her ridiculous comments. Then I started wondering... hmm... if I unplug my charger from the wall when it's not being used....would it even make a dent in all the waste that she and her buddy Al Gore generate? I wonder how much his son wasted on his 105 mph jaunt when he was "wasted."

And... I wonder if she even thought about the fact that if everyone sat around relaxing in the 80's instead of working "too hard" and dreamt about ways to build flying cars... would we have had all the incredible medical advances that saved her life? Me thinks it's probably a good thing all the doctors were working hard instead of sitting around in hemp clothes smoking pot and dreaming about ways to save the environment." I would say maybe it wasn't... but the same advances that saved her life have saved many others too and I wouldn't dream of saying it wasn't worthwhile.

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Perfect 4th

Today was one of those days where you just go "ahhhh...that was a good day."

We got up bright and early and headed to church at 6:30 to set-up for the annual pancake breakfast. Then I headed home for a nap...yea right. I tried, but it never really happened. Instead I dropped Josh of with some friends, went to the grocery store and headed over to Candace's. Candace has a gorgeous back yard and pool and I rarely go out and enjoy it. Usually we're too busy stamping... but I have been craving some sunlight. Every time I go to lunch, I wish I had a reclining lawn chair that I could just put out on the lawn so I could relax and soak up the sun.... Well today, my wish came true!

Instead of stamping, I took a break from everything and I swam and hung out in the jacuzzi and played wii. It was so much fun.... how much fun, you ask?

At one point I came into another room after playing wii and Sheila said "you sounded just like a teenager out there."

Hmmm... I'm going to assume she meant it as a compliment.... We were laughing and carrying on. Last time I played, I was an awesome bowler. This time, I created this incredible hook. Everyone had suggestions about how to cure it. I tried it all and nothing worked. Every once in a while I'd compensate and get a strike or a spare, but when Dalton showed up he said "I didn't think you could only knock down one pin." Thanks Dalton! I feel better now that I know I educated you on how bad someone can bowl.

I left the party around 7:45 and met up with Josh and his friends to watch fireworks. We found the perfect spot this year and we could actually see them going off on the ground. Once they were over we jumped in the car and got out of there fast!! I was home by 10!

A perfect day!!

Here's a picture I took while I was waiting to meet Josh. I got there early, so I pulled out my scriptures and read in the car. It was so beautiful and quiet!!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Empressor Mat Tutorial

I'm working on my samples for my workshop this month and we're using the Empressor Mat, so I thought I'd add a bit of a tutorial here.

Here is the mat and the empressor tool:

The mat has gridlines spaced 1/4 inch apart on one side and 1/2 inch on the other side.

Place your paper on top of the mat and line it up on the appropriate line. Run your tool along the edge of the mat to create and embossed line on your paper. Slide your paper over to the next line you'd like to use and score again.

Once you've mastered the scoring you can experiment with different designs and styles.

Tip: Try scoring one line and then flip the paper over to score the next line. You can create raised frames!
We're headed off to a wedding, but I'll try to post some cards and other empressor samples tonight or tomorrow. Enjoy!