Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shooting Two Ways

We are having a lot of fun with the Photobooth app on my iphone lately...

We also turn the camera around (a button on the screen of the iphone that flips the camera towards you) for self portraits that I edit using Instagram ...

They are often not the most flattering of photographs. The angles are funny, I look tired, we often are dirty and countless other problems....but I DON'T CARE. Doing these silly snapshots is usually the highlight of my day. It gives us a quick break from the craziness to just be big goofballs together. The kids crowd closer and closer to the camera jockey-ing for position. It's hilarious. Really. Maybe one of these days I will video this event.

This is also a great way to get current shots of Evareaux. Typically this two and a half year old is too fast and busy for the camera. But she will do a photo shoot for days once I turn the camera around for her to see. Then I get all kinds of gems like these...

So what if they are not the best quality photos. They are so perfectly her right now...hair a hot mess, Minnie representing, being silly, making faces, giggling and making us giggle right along with her. She's probably not even wearing pants! (this kid is perpetually in a diaper with no pants in sight! :). 

Now I have a way to get some photos that make me smile ear to ear on a regular basis....

and it allows me to get in the mix once and awhile too!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall in Cali

Is it winter yet? These California seasons are a bit confusing (It's 75 degrees today!). My kids wore shorts on Thanksgiving. Round these parts we are enjoying the brief fall. I made this layout recently using Instax photos that I printed out at home and the Studio Calico Handmade kit.

Friday, November 25, 2011


This morning at approx 12:01 am I joined all of the other loons out there in hunt of a good bargain. Hopefully lots of bargains. Enough bargains to make forfeiting much needed sleep worth it. Well let me just say...it was bananas.
This is my, "it was bananas face." :) 
It's also my, "I'm surviving on 2.5 hours of sleep so I am in no mood face."

Target was my first stop.

I was after a particular gaming system. No go. Too crowded. I made one very gallant attempt to work my way towards the heart of the electronics dept. Then I ran screaming, "whyyyyyy meeeeeeee?!" While pulling my hair out. Not really, but I wanted to. After that brief but understandable surge of panic I got elbowed relentlessly into the toy area. I gotta say there were not a whole lot of great "deals" to be had in the way of toys. At least none of the ones I was after. I did manage to pick up one or two items, and only had to wait in line for a few minutes despite the crowd. Go me.

Then it was off to Kohl's. Awesome stuff there. I love that they expand their toy dept. I always get great gifts for my nieces and nephews there. Allllll of the clothes are on sale, AND they give you $15 for every $50 you spend. Next week I will go back and pick up a few more things with that mullah. The only real downside to shopping there is that I do this solo so I don't have someone to wait in line while I shop (which is what all of the smart people do). I end up taking twice as long. This morning I waited for about an hour to make my purchases. But it was worth it in the end because I saved $200.

Next up, the mall.

I took one look at Macy's and hit the road running. But Old Navy and Baby Gap were great. 40-60% off everything I bought.

Look at these cool photos I snapped of the Gap displays!
Now I'm inspired to wrap gifts and scrapbook with yarn! and bright colors!!

The Disney Store (Evareaux is in for an amazing Christmas) had some really great prices plus an extra 20% off store wide until 10am. Score.

I rounded out the morning my stopping by Best Buy (awesome video game and Blue Ray prices), and Toys R Us. Overall I would say that it was a pretty good morning....bargain wise. I found a lot of great deals which made it worth all of the effort. Other than Kohl's I really didn't even have to wait in long lines. In years past I've waited for 45+ minutes at every store I've gone to. I think the fact that some of the stores opened up a midnight or even the day before helped out with the crowds. However, I can't help but feel as if I might have missed out on some amazing finds because I couldn't be everywhere for every opening. I did feel like there weren't as many wonderful toy prices to be had. Maybe they sold out? I don't know. But overall it was a success and I only have a couple of family members left to purchase things for. Considering that I did not have ONE gift before today and I have a HUGE family, that is bananas.

Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure...I did happen to stop by Joann Fabrics (for 60% punches) and Michaels (for 70% holiday ribbon). Merry Christmas to me. :) Those gifts are going to look amazing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So Full of Thanks

Today was awesome sauce. Seriously. We gained a new family member, a baby girl that has yet to be named.  This makes me an aunt for the ninth time. NINETH time! (Yes, Christmas is expensive for this family. That's why I will be out with all of the other nuts on Friday being thankful for big sales.) So exciting. I will have to post a couple of photos after I meet the little critter on Thanksgiving. :)

Also, I was just contacted regarding a very special submission request. Toot toot! I am so thankful for being able to have epic opportunities like this. It feels really amazing.

And you all know that I am thankful for the American Crafts Amy Tangerine prize pack I won awhile back... and all of the cool things I can create using it's contents. Like this layout that is appropriately titled "Full of Thanks"...
Journaling reads: I always tell my kids you can never say "thank you" too many times. I hope people that I meet think of me as someone who is full of thanks, cuz I have a lot to be thankful for.

Tomorrow I will take the time to sit down and write down all of the things I'm thankful for right now. It would be wonderful to make a list each Thanksgiving and compare them from year to year.

I think this one with start out with...
I am thankful that last night Nakiah and Evareaux played catch with a lego for an hour and giggled their fool heads of...and I got it on video. :)
This is gonna be a long list.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Great Stuff

Tis the season to be grateful....and I have a lot to be grateful for. Here's a layout about that...

Journaling reads: A husband who loves me and wants me to be happy//Tickles and giggles and lots of time with family//Healthy, happy children who make me love being a Mom//The ability to do my hobby and chase my dreams//Finally finding a balance between taking care of my family and myself.


Iphones/Instax/Laptops/Nikon/Juicing/Photobooth/Inspiration/ Love of My Life

It's not always perfect, but I certainly do have a lot to be grateful for.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This is one of my favorite things to do.
I love the way it sounds when leaves crunch beneath my feet.
I run from pile to pile with pure glee like a 5 year old on a sugar high.
Seriously. For me nothing compares.
Silly but true.
I'm so glad it's finally this time of year.
It takes us awhile to get a glimpse of this season here in California.
I try to make the most of it while I can.

As soon as these leaves fall I will crunch them too!

So I love to crunch so much that I figured why not make a page about it?
The photos are from my iphone and edited on Instagram (obsessed).

I made the leaves using this tutorial I found via pinterest.

Pretty easy.
For the brown leaves I used a paper bag and then inked the top after they were folded.
The possibilities with these are endless.

Ps. I have recovered from yesterday (aka got some sleep) and am feeling much better. I think maybe crunching leaves while running helped me relieve some stress. And my house is clean! (For the moment anyway.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat.

Sometimes that is all I can do.

I'll admit I have been struggling lately. We are in a big adjustment period as a family and it's been really hard on me. Sometimes it becomes glaringly obvious that I am NOT superwoman....and I can not do it alone. Sometimes I try to anyway and that is when I end up feeling like I do now.

-I am up twice a week at 3am to work, the rest I am up at 5 or 6am.
-Hottie and I have opposite days off so we are like ships passing in the night.
-Nakiah has two sports overlapping seasons right now.
-I have to squeeze physical therapy appointments in on my lunch breaks.
-I fly solo with three kids all weekend long, every weekend.
-My house is a disaster.
-Seriously. I don't know if I conveyed in that last sentence just how messy this place is.
-My tire went flat and it took us 3 days to find the time to fix it.
-My house is really messy.
-I am so stinkin' tired it's not even funny.
-I'm doing a horrible job of making time for friends and family.
-I've already missed runs on the training plan that I usually stick to so diligently.
-Weight loss has gone on the back burner.
-My car is really messy.
-Our place is so small that I don't even know where we will put a Christmas tree.
-My daughter is 2and1/2, shouldn't she be potty trained?
-I'm worried about Aidan's grades, everything counts towards college at this point.
-I am clinging to my sanity.
-When is the last time I cleaned the shower?
-Our dishwasher stopped working properly.
-I stepped in dog poo last weekend and it took me until today to take time to clean it off. Yuck.
-The list goes on and on

Phew! I feel a little better already just getting it all out there into cyber land. It was a rough week. There was not one moment to slow down. We are all entitled to feeling overwhelmed I guess. Especially as mothers and wives. We tend to take on a lot. I'm sure I am not alone in all of this. As women don't you have these moments (or days, or weeks) where you just have a running monologue of tasks, worries, stressors?

Now I am ready to weed out the issues I can't control and tackle the ones that I can. Prioritize. Most of all I am ready to ask for help. This house isn't going to clean itself, and I'm not going to do it alone either! 

Note to self, it's time to...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On That Note

Since we started out the week with a big birthday I have aging on my brain. Why not take this opportunity to show some birthday layouts? (I don't know why not....so here they are)

"Chuck E Bday to You"...
I'll admit that really the only reason I did this layout is so that I had an excuse to use the game tickets I swiped from Nakiah's stash that day.

"2 Tired 2 Celebrate 2"...
This one uses the sew easy tool with the banner tip. Pretty cool, huh?

Evareaux manages to look so sad in her bday pictures...the excitement just wears her out. Maybe one day she will grow out of that problem and I can get some "happy" birthday snapshots for a change.

"Can't Believe I'm 29"...
For this layout I did paper piecing for a chevron effect. For the record, I do NOT think that 29 is old by any stretch of the imagination...shoot, I don't even really think 39 is old. But growing up I remember thinking that at 29 you are a bona-fide grown up...so for me it is just surreal because being a "grown up" didn't keep me from wanting a giant cake and more gifts then I could count. ;)

Journaling says: "It's just one of those ages as a kid I thought was so adult. Next year I'll be in my 30's! But for now I will enjoy what is left of 20.

"A Very Minnie Bday"...
OBSESSED with this aqua trim from Crate Paper. I have purchased more and am officially going into hoarding mode with this. It is ga-ga-gorgeous in person. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old Man River


Today my stepson turned 15.

Where did the time go?!

Now he is an old man....

 Ok, maybe not quite yet...but he will be all too soon.

Here is a layout with pictures from the big 1-4...

While this bday won't be as epic gift wise... (Really, how can we compete with an xbox and giant flat screen?!) I know that it will still be a great because we have reservations for 16 family members for dinner tonight. He is sure to feel loved and celebrated....and he should because he is a really great kid. I am happy to be a part of his journey growing into the man he will become. So far, so good. I can't wait to see where he takes us next!

I love you, Aidan....even if you are an old man. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011


To add to my earlier post...

I am doing the Dear Lizzy Photo Challenge..

Here is mine...
entranced by Aerial

and while she is doing that I am doing this...

and looking at this at the same time....

Happy 11.11.11 people. Enjoy!

Mrs. Bright Side

This week I started training for the Tinkerbell half marathon. It's at the end of January and I have plenty of time to prepare. That is just the way I like it. I also started back to work after being off for a prolonged period of time. So I am back to trying to squeeze running (like everything else that is squeezed in for dear life).

Here is my training schedule....

I use the Hal Higdon training method. That guys book was my go to for all of my races (all two of them so far) including my first ever which was a full marathon (yes, I am really nuts to have run a marathon as my first ever race). Well, I got through those just fine. So I continue to take his training tips and put them to good use.

I will follow this plan diligently as I have before so that I am ready come race day. That way I can sit back and enjoy the experience, and that looks something like this...
 13.1 miles of pure joy and exhilaration. 

But during training it is not all smiles. It's really hard to stick to that plan and get the miles in. When you have a full time job and 3 kids things just come up..especially going into the winter months when colds spread, and it seems to be constantly dark outside. It gets tricky, but I find a way. Even if it means getting up at 4am to run.

Sometimes, like yesterday, I have an interesting experience. So let me tell you what happened. I dropped off Nakiah at basketball practice and had 45 minutes to run. No prob, I thought. I just needed to squeeze in 3 miles. We were in an area I had trained in a bit before. I knew there was a trail that had a 5 mile loop  not too far away. My friend said there is a road near the middle that you can cut back on to make it just over 3 miles. Cool. Done and done. 

Well, here is where I have a confession to make. My name is Elizabeth, and I am directionally challenged. I can't read a map to save my life....especially the map on my iphone. So I missed the cut off by a mile. Time ticked by. I stood there trying to read this map. (The trail I was on didn't even show up on the darned thing!!) This is at 445 pm  and it's getting darker by the minute. At this point I have less than 1/2 hour to get back in time for Nakiah. I am 2.4 miles away, at the very least. Ok, I think, I'll just turn around and go the way I came. 

I got lost again. Big time.

I couldn't see any street signs until I got right up next to them...which was taking more time away from just running toward the courts. Now I have 15 minutes to get to him. I am still at least 2 miles away and have no idea what direction to head to get there. Time to panic.

Long story short I end up calling my husband at work. He tracks me (thank God for iphone tracking) and directs me on the phone as I am running. Imagine me sprinting, huffing, puffing, up hills, down hills, and him saying "at the next light take a left...now stay for five blocks....take a right...."

It was pitch dark. I was running my @$$ off. Seriously. I never knew I could run so fast for so long. I managed to cover 2.5 miles in a matter of 15 minutes. 6.2 total miles in 50 minutes (Usually my long distance pace is around 11 min/mile) I got there just 5 minutes late. Panting like a lunatic, but still, I got there.

I guess these things just happen when you are making you are...

:) So try to look at the bright side. You may not win Mother of the Year because you got lost in the woods and were 5 minutes late picking up your kid who is waiting with his brand new coach on the pitch dark courts wondering where in the heck you could be....but maybe you can run a lot faster than you would have ever dared. Maybe you already are epic...at getting really lost.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Smash It Like you Mean It

In the past I have posted about my love of the Smash phenom....but it occurred to me recently that I have never shown you any of my smash stuff. Why not? I dunno. But I am about to fix that.

Here is a video that KandCompany released to show what the Smash books are all about...

My favorite part of these books (it's quite hard to choose a favorite part because I love everything about them, really) might be the pen/glue stick. It allows me to smash in whatever my little heart desires right then and there. I don't have to hunt down adhesive or wait for the page to come together. I just make it work. (Thank you, Tim Gunn, I will always think of you when I say those 3 words.)

Here is my cover...I kept it really simple cuz I carried this around in my purse or diaper bad and didn't want to add a bunch of stuff that would just get damaged.    
 Inside cover... cloud card that has personal journaling inside...
Inside pages...washi washi washi (You may sense a trend throughout this book. I just happened to receive this gift at about the same time as my obsession with washi began.) Disneyland parking passes.

Bits and pieces from a scavenger race I participated in...
Travel tickets and dreams for more to come...
 On the left is my first check from a scrapbook company! Woot! On the right a wide Instax of me with a layout bound for Scrapbook Trends in Utah. Toot Toot!
Snippets from my trip to St. Louis including an Instagram photo printed out using the Postal Pix app...
 Disneyland 1/2 Marathon stuff...
 Scrap area (maybe when I grow up I will get a whole roooom.) wish list...
 Random Instax and fun typography. Washi....
 Concert stub and freebies...

For me smashing is a combination of keeping a journal and a personal memory book. I like to use it as a place to record my thoughts or feelings, whatever they might be. The little extras like ticket stubs and photos and such are those things that don't fit well into scrapbook layouts but are too treasured to let go of. Smashing is something that I do for me and me alone. Anything goes. I can dress up the pages or keep them super simple. The book doesn't need to have a cohesive theme....color scheme...thought process...it's simply whatever I want on any given day....and sometimes months in between.

So here is a link to the Smash book look book (say that 5x fast). It's a great idea to check it out if your interest for these babies is piqued at all. There are a lot of different options for smashing and all of the extras are really fun to play with as well.

Consider me hooked.

Recently a friend bought me the Pretty Pink Smash Folio (woohoo for Christmas coming early). I can't wait to play with it and have lots of ideas for making the pages more involved then I did with my first one. I mean, with starters like these how can I resist?