Tuesday, May 31, 2011

School Photos

I always enjoy getting school photos but I never know what to do with them. Herff Jones is the company that takes my kids photos and they recently added the option of just getting them on a cd and you know I'm all over that...one less thing to scan. Cathy Zielske has a great template in the store at Designer Digitals and I thought it would be perfect to summarize the year. I had to go back and do a few years for Ellie but it didn't take much time because of the template. The text is just a very simple question and answer type of format. I don't know if you can see this or not because it might be too little but I also included a sample of Ellie's handwriting on the bottom tag. I gave a brief tutorial on including handwriting back in April...you can certainly check it out. I plan to use this same format every year. I think in years to come it will be fun to look back on all of the changes that took place.

Photograph courtesy of Herff Jones

Digital products are from Designer Digitals.

I'm excited about this format. I just finished Amelia's pages from preschool. I just wanted to share this with you in case you were also struggling with what to do with school photos. As the school year comes to an end, it would be a perfect time to reflect on the year.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Friday, May 27, 2011


One of the things that I love about digital scrapbooking is that I can easily turn my pages into something that can hang on the wall in our home. I have been having some of my favorite layouts printed as standouts from Whitehouse Custom Color. A standout is similar to a canvas but the image is not wrapped around the edge and it doesn't have the texture of a canvas. A standout is significantly cheaper than a canvas and I have been thrilled with the results. I have printed them for myself as well as for gifts. My standouts are usually printed as 20 x 20 and they are 3/4 of an inch thick. The standouts are slowly replacing the framed pictures in our home. My kids love them as well. If I am taking pictures of something Ellie is excited about, she will often say "mom, can you make that into a standout". I think it is hilarious.

Here is a side view of one of my standouts...

This is one of Quinn's which is hanging in his room...

Please excuse the quality of the photo...we have the worst lighting in our house.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

If you are a digital scrapbooker and you haven't done it before, I think you should give it a try. There is so much time and effort that goes into each page....why not put it on the wall so that everybody can enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Project 365 - Week 20

It is hard to believe that I just finished Week 20 of Project 365. I really wish I would have started this project many, many years ago. It would be so fun to go back and look at how we spent our days when Ellie was a baby. I think the thing that I like most about Project 365 is that it takes some pressure off of the rest of my scrapbooking. That might sound funny but it really does. I feel more free to scrapbook the pages that I want because I know that I have record of everything in this album. I just want to remember little details but it might not call for a whole page. I really find this project fits with me. I am continuing to do a photo a day and have my weekly pages. I am also highlighting the special days with their own pages just like you can see below with Amelia's graduation. When I started the project for this year, I was using a combination of black and white photos as well as color on each page. I have decided that I like the all color photo pages the best so I have gone back to tweak a few things. Little by little, I will get there. I hope that if you embarked on this 365 journey with me, that you are enjoying it and have developed a system that works for you. It may seem tedious at times but in the end, I know you will be thrilled that you did it.

All products are from Designer Digitals.

I hope you having an awesome week. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beth Moore

On Friday night and Saturday morning, I had the privilege of seeing Beth Moore speak. For those of you who don't know her, she is an incredible Christian who has written countless bible studies as well as faith building books. The conference was sold out. There were 4300 women there including Jeff's mom and sister. I was so excited to listen to her speak and all I can say is that she was INCREDIBLE. Honestly, I don't know if I have EVER heard a better speaker. She was so inspirational on so many levels. She was funny, she was dynamic and her message certainly hit home. Her message was about "untangling" ourselves and gaining clarity and purpose for our lives. I left feeling so refreshed and so eager to become a better Christian . If you haven't heard her speak or read any of her books, I would highly suggest it. You will certainly enjoy her. Her website can be found here.

Travis Cottrell lead worship and he was fabulous and certainly had everybody rocking.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Preschool Graduation

Well, it is official...Amelia is now a preschool graduate. I can hardly believe how quickly the time has flown by. She has had a wonderful preschool experience and is excited to start kindergarten in the fall. I have mixed feelings...I'm so happy for her but at the same time, it is another reminder that this is all going so quickly. I'm just so thankful that she is going to half day kindergarten next year so we will still have our time together. Quinn and I will be lost when she goes to first grade. Here are some photos from today.

Of course I made the whole crew take some photos...

Even daddy...

GMa and Papa came out and we had dinner at Rush Creek on the patio.

She sprinted back after receiving her diploma...I think she was worried that they might go back and count credits or something...it was precious.

Here she is with one of her best friends...Ariana.

I hope you are having a wonderful day...thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Life is a Gift

I'm so sorry that the blog has been neglected lately. The weather has warmed up and it is beautiful outside. We have been spending every day...all day outside and it has been so awesome. I've been working on a million different projects at home so I've been busy to say the least. Today was just a normal day around here but I kept thinking about how lucky I feel right now in my life...content...happy...and blessed. As always my camera accompanied me throughout the day and here are some things that I am grateful for today...

Chocolate...if you haven't checked out the new Cookies and Cream Hershey Kisses...I would highly suggest them...I had to buy two bags...one to use in the teacher's gifts and one for me...I didn't tell the kids that though. I'm grateful for the teachers and other people that have played such a huge role in the development of my kids. Amelia was writing "thank you's" today.

These are the little treat bags that we made for the teachers. All Designer Digital products of course. You can see that a few Cookie and Cream Hershey Kisses actually made it into the bag.

I'm grateful for the days that I get to spend with my kids. Here is a typical day for Q and I. After we drop Mia off at preschool, we head to our favorite park for the afternoon. He scoots and discovers all types of things that nature provides. I work on my photography. I LOVE this time with him!

Today he found some "wish flowers"...

We always look for turtles and ducks and chipmunks and otters...today we found a family of turtles and we watched them for the longest time...

And then the lilac trees are in full bloom so we have to stop and smell them...love lilacs.

After we picked Mia up from school, we head home. Ellie started walking by herself to and from school this week. She has loved it and I can tell she is so excited about being a big kid. This was the view when she came home from school. I am grateful for the love my kids have for one another.

Tonight after dinner, we went for a bike ride and another walk. We took in some more lilac trees, found some more "wish flowers" and searched for four leaf clovers...Amelia found one and was so excited.

I'm exhausted by the time the kids go to bed but life is pretty darn awesome. I'm so grateful to God for this day and all of the blessings that surround me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quarterly Events at Designer Digials

Four times a year Designer Digitals hosts their Quarterly Sale which is a big deal. The whole store is on sale so it is the perfect time to stock up on supplies. The Quarterly Sale is coming up the weekend of May 20-22. In addition to the sale it is a fun weekend to be at Designer Digitals. There are chats every hour. The chats are such a fun way to connect with others from all around the world, find inspiration and snatch up some freebies. It is a whole lot of fun!

The Chat Schedule was just released and I'm excited (and nervous) to be hosting my first chat. I think I am going to be working on some speed exercises for typing before then. Here is the schedule. The chats are on Saturday, May 21st. All times are Eastern times.

8 AM - Package Inspiration with Andrea
9 AM - Page Kraft Collage with Patricia
10 AM - Talking Type with Cathy Z
11 AM - 30 Minute Masterpieces with Cassie
Noon- Texting with Pattie
1 PM - Embellishing with Kayleigh
2 PM - Sew Good with Tara
3 PM - ITunes with Mel
4 PM - 98 Days of Summer with Elena
5 PM - Ad Challenge with Lynn Weber
6 PM - Scraplift with Lynn
7 PM - Web Inspiration with Katie
8 PM - Color Challenge with Jana
9 PM - Get Lyrical with Wendy
10 PM - My Storybook with Katie
11 PM - Last Call with Katie

I hope you can make it! Have a fantastic day and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

As we celebrate mother's day in the USA, I am once again reminded of what a special role we have as mothers. God knows it is not easy but what a privilege it is. I declared earlier in the week that it was "Be Nice to Your Mother Week" and by Thursday, I was well aware that title didn't fit AT ALL. It was just one of those weeks when everything seemed to be a struggle.

At one point during the week, I received this note with a purple lifesaver glued to the piece of paper.

I think this sums up the week for me although today we had an incredible day. Quinn spent the day with Jeff and had a wonderful time. I took the girls to see the play "Annie" at the children's theater and then we went out to lunch at one of our favorite places Annie's Parlor by my old stomping grounds near the University of Minnesota. We ended the day by playing tennis at the park. I couldn't have asked for a better day. Tomorrow we are looking forward to celebrating with Jeff's side of the family and hoping the weather cooperates.

I want to thank all of the special women in my life (you know who you are) for providing an abundance of love, support and friendship. I have been truly blessed. I want to wish everybody a day filled with love and happiness.

A page I created for mom... All products are from Designer Digitals.

I found this little poem and it touched my heart...

My mother kept a garden, a garden of the heart. She planted all the good things that gave my life its start. She turned me to the sunshine and encouraged me to dream, fostering and nurturing the seeds of self-esteem. And when the winds and rains came she protected me enough, but not too much because she knew I needed to grow strong and tough. Her constant good example always taught me right from wrong. Markers for my pathway that will last a lifetime long. I am my mother's garden. I am her legacy, and I hope today she feels the love reflected back from me.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wiley's Photoshoot

Wiley is our eight year old English Bulldog. He was our first child. When I told Jeff that I wanted to buy a house, he said "if we get a house then I get an English Bulldog"...well we got the house and six weeks later this little bundle of rolls arrived. I think it would be safe to say that Wiley has turned into more my dog than Jeff's dog. We spend our days together running errands and watching the kids. He has been such a great dog (there of course were a few instances in which I couldn't have made this statement).

Twice a month at Designer Digitals, they do a "Creative Team Spotlight" in which members of the community have to create a page to mimic the style of a member of the Creative Team. Sam Ellis is one of the team members. She lives in South Africa and has created numerous pages about her granddog British who is an English Bulldog. It was time for a lift of Sam. I just adore her graphic style. I was so excited to get Wiley involved in this assignment...he wasn't feeling the same but cooperated. I got a crazy idea to dress him like a bride...here is what the photo shoot looked like...

I used the bottom of Ellie's tutu. Here was the first shot...he did great with the eye contact (I had a treat on the lens of my camera) but I didn't have the tutu placed correctly...he looked like Bozo the clown.
I made a few adjustments and went with the profile shot...

Back to the treat on the camera...

You know what is really amazing is that he is holding this pose without drool or bubbles coming out the side of his jowls...that never happens!

He is working it BIG TIME and making his mama VERY happy...

Full-length shot...don't feel too sorry for him because he did score five treats during the shoot.

So here is the page that I created with these photos...

"Always a Bridesmaid"

Possible Reasons Noted...

excessive flatulance

too much drool

lack of motivation


couch potato

unwillingness to share

control issues




weight issues

All products are from Designer Digitals.

If you are thinking that I am crazy...you are exactly right...my time should have been spent cleaning the house but that isn't nearly as much fun.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!