Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Citrus Twist Kit: August

Hey! Two times in one month... I might as well be a rockstar! Blogging like a boss, that's me. Dropping in super quick today to show most of my Citrus Twist August projects with you. I used the Main Scrapbook Kit and the Embellishment Kit. I've been working for CTK for a year now and I have to say these particular kits were actually my favorite to date. Here's what I made:

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Well, hello there, stranger

How is it that over a month has gone by since I blogged? And it had been quite some time before that as well... well, I guess I know how it happened. I've been busy sun up to sun down for the past 6 weeks (other than my vacation in the middle there. although, that was mostly busy as well.). In my last post I wrote about that old cliche that time flies... well I tell you what, it is super sonic speed lately. School starts for the kids next week and I am just sitting here like, what? How did that happen? (but also, yay! a break from the kids!) -haha, just keeping it real, ya'll.

I don't flatter myself in thinking that any of you really miss when I'm not around here.. I'm sure it's no biggie one way or the other.. but for the past several years this blog has been a bit of a bench marker for my life. I've certainly posted most of my scrapbook endeavors on here (the original intent of the blog).. but I've also done a good bit of putting myself out there and writing about the goings ons of my life and mental state. It's a good routine to be in, sharing with the interwebs what is up in my little world. It's weird to feel the absence of that, and I miss it. 

So maybe I will make more time for this in the future.. or maybe I won't be able to swing that... but either way I thought while I have a brief moment I would check in and say, "Hey guys! I'm alive! I'm well! I'm doing stuff! SOO much stuff!"

There are a lot of things I want to write about in there near future on this here 'ole little blog... and I will put them here mostly to serve as a reminder for myself: thoughts on having a high schooler again. updates on my personal business. feelings about all that I took on this summer and how I am feeling about this newer, busier version of me. my "why." roller derby. sumer coming to an end. mental state of mind.

And there is also scrappy stuff I want to cover: Pink Paislee assignments, Citrus Twist Kit Club projects, MONTHS of Project Life. How I've dropped the ball completely on the Me Series and why I should start up again. So hopefully I will see you soon I'll be back soon to post. Maybe I can figure out how to make this somewhat of a priority again. Hope you all had a great summer!

Sunday, July 3, 2016


What. A. Whirlwind. it's been lately. Starting this new business out of my house. Keeping up with design team commitments. Wrangling my kids. Trying to keep the house in order. Hosting Hottie's Dad during a visit. I'm telling you, this summer is already flying by. I want to say, these are all great things. It's great to have the problem of being "too busy" when balancing life, really. It means my life is full and thriving. I'm embracing it as much as I can and collapsing into a ball of what-the-heck-just-happened when I need to.

On the 27th we celebrated my 34th birthday. Usually I take a lot of time to reflect on the year around this time. Where I've gone, what I still want to achieve. etc. But ain't nobody got time for that! --well, at least not me! Still. As I take a moment to blog today I can recognize that I have this unmistakable feeling that I am on the cusp of something great. Maybe it's a break through on finally loving myself. Maybe it's fulfillment from becoming a successful business lady. Maybe I just feel like I have somewhat of a handle on the kids being home 24/7 (sometimes). Or maybe I can just look around and see that life is pretty dang good when I think about it. I can't really ask for more.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Citrus Twist Kit Club: June Layouts

HI! Hello! I haven't shared my Citrus Twist Kit Club June Scrapbook and Embellishment Kit projects yet! I made lots of stuff, as usual. I have to tell you too, the CTK exclusive stuff rocked my world this month! Here is a look at the kit..

This one using the Main Kit only...

These other ones using both the Main and Embellishment kits..

a little hand lettering on this baby...

This one is my favorite. The Citrus Twist paper reminds me of one of those old Sassafras papers I used to love so much. Just gorgeous...

Ok! So those are all of the pages I made with the June Kits. Sometime this week I will share a quick little mini-album I made using the tags and elements as well. Good stuff.. especially for those last minute Fathers Day gifts...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Elles Studio Guest Designer

More cool news! I was a guest designer over on the Elle's Studio blog with their latest kit (found here) and the new Little Moments collection. These products are so rad that I made double what they asked of me. (and since then have used up the last of the products on 3 different Project Life spreads. I'll show you soon). Since they've all been posted at Elle's Studio I can finally share with you here. (although, how did I not share sneaks sooner?! silly me.) Anyway here they are...

obsessed with the white on white title and the triangles sewn into more triangles..

these photos of Dez. Oh, my heart. Sometimes he's a real turd. And then sometimes... aww.

All stitched up. The only thing I'd change on this page is I would stitch the entire sheet full of half hearts. It looks SO cool in person to see those thick threads taking up the space.

 I seriously die for the enamel glasses. (I mean, I don't actually die for them... but, you know.)

How great are all of those little bits and pieces?! I've always been a big Elle's Studio fan, but I think I need to check out the kits more regularly. Such good stuff! So glad I was asked to guest design. What a fun opportunity. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Guys! SUPER exciting news!! I have been asked to join the Pink Paislee Design Team. This is another pinch me- I can't believe this is happening- holy crap am I even good enough to do this?- moment.  Sometimes it seems unreal that I've had this many dream like opportunities. I am so grateful for each and every one.

Here is my first project for the blog (3 more to come this month!) using the new Outfitters Collection. 

Be sure to hop over to the Pink Paislee blog often to catch my other creations.. and to see what the other Design Team members are up to (bowing down. I am not worthy.) I'm SO EXCITED I could finally share the good news!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thank You, Thank You, THANK you

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my last blog post. It means a lot to have your support. It's incredible to me how many women feel the same way I do. It's sad (because I know the struggle first hand) but comforting to know I'm not alone. It's also really heart warming to hear you say that you appreciate my honesty and ability to share the deep parts of me. Honestly, it took me about 3 months to get the courage to actually draft that post and then almost one more to actually hit the "publish" button. But I'm so glad I did. It feels like part of the healing process, in a weird way.

Anyway, thanks again. I love you all. I wanted to share this super awesome book I recently read (and will very soon re-read so it all sinks in) because it has helped with my self love quest as well... It's pretty rad and really delivers what's promised. 

I'm trying to put into action some of the things I read. Gotta do that work! One day I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone by practicing my calligraphy and repeating the love statements at the end of each chapter. (totally winning!)

I might frame it and put it somewhere that I will see it often... every little bit helps.. Sometimes I feel like loving myself is hidden inside of this gigantic glacier and I am chip-chip-chipping away, clinging on to the side for dear life. Bravely trying to conquer this treacherous mountain. I will get there. I can do hard things. One day I will chip and an avalanche will fall and I will be that much closer to freeing myself. Until then, thank you for your support. I love feeling like this is a safe place to talk about my journey and keep it really real. I'll be back with something that's more fun really soon! ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Holy Personal, Batman: Weight Addition

Hi there.

Ok. So I haven't posted a real life post in quite awhile.

This usually happens when I've been stewing about something I want to write but don't quite have the balls to yet. Well, I think I found them.. my balls, that is. So before I lose them again I want to let you in on a big part of my life.. and me as a person.. something very few know about. It's what really goes on in my mind.

I don't like my body. Like, at all.
In fact, I really kinda hate my body, if I'm being real.
I think I'm gross.
I'm embarrassed.
I hate photos of myself.
I don't even like to look in the mirror.
It rules life in a lot of ways, this disgust. It's sad.

Now, I'm not saying this because I want you to be all... oh but you look great, or you're pretty, or any of that stuff. I'm not fishing for compliments. and I don't mean to make anyone out there feel bad about themselves because of what I'm saying about me... I'm only sharing because I think maybe there are people out there that feel the same way about themselves. Maybe they are tormented by the same demons and it would help them to not feel alone. (and also, to be accountable for how I'm treating myself.)

I don't want you to think that because I judge myself harshly or think my own body is yuck that I think that about people around me. I have honestly never seen someone and thought any of the horribly negative things about them that play on a loop in my head about myself. I can appreciate curves on other women. I can value them without regard of their size. (as it should be.) I can see their beauty.. judge them only by their character. When it comes to other humans, weight, size, etc.. it's not even on my radar. I have no problem with others. My problem is with me. I'm only cruel and judgmental to myself. I've always been this way.

So here's the real deal:
I have an addiction to sugar that is like, for reals, ridiculous.
I eat way too much fast food.
I consume mostly junk throughout most days.
I am fat.

There really is no surprise that I'm overweight. It's not a mystery. I eat terribly (most of the time) and don't burn enough calories to make up for those poor decisions (yes, even with roller derby). I go through phases where I am focused and dedicated to making better choices and I value how that makes my body and mind feel.. and then I fall into a bag of donuts. I tell myself I'll start again Monday and then gorge and when Monday rolls around.. well, you can guess what happens.

I've spent almost a third of my life now chasing a certain goal weight. Reaching it, feeling amazing and fit... and almost worthy.. and then I self sabotage and gain it back. Over and over and over this happens. You could set your calendar to my chins. I am the queen of yoyo-ing, (not the fun thing on a string kind) and I hate myself for it. I'm disappointed. I'm embarrassed. I don't have control.

Why can't I just get it together already? I am a grown ass woman that knows what it takes to be fit and strong and healthy.... what the heck is wrong with me?! More importantly, why does it make such a difference to me?

Why is my emotional well being so tied into my size?
What does it have to do with my self worth?
If I don't take weight into consideration with others why is it so crucial when it comes to me?

If I'm being really real with myself I can admit that I have deep rooted emotional problems that relate to me being overweight. Things that have manifested from my past and push me to self sabotage every time I get anywhere near weight goals. It's just one of those things that in my damaged brain I think.. when I reach this goal then life will be like this... I will feel like this... I will like myself... I will be my happiest...  If I lose the weight I'll be fine. right? problem solved?


I've been there. I've lost all the weight. Nothing changes. My body is healthier but my brain is still sick... so I'm not capable of maintaining the self care. I look in the mirror and see a worthless person (and I will admit have a case of body dysmorphia.)

I think somewhere deep down I think I am not worthy of being happy.. of feeling good when I look in the mirror... of being healthy and taking good care of myself. So the cycle starts over and I feel like a big loser for going off track and gaining and loathing and gaining and loathing and losing and still loathing that I gained in the first place. Big, small, fat, fit, I still hate my body.

Like, what even? Is this what I'm doing with my life?

Avoiding the mirror?
Tugging at my clothes?
Waiting to buy something nice for myself because I'm not the size I hope to be some day?

I am so done.

I am DONE letting this consume me. I am done self shaming and hating what I see in my reflection. (I realize this is not a switch I can flip and just magically like me.. but still, I am making a focused effort to change it.) (although I realize most of this will actually have to happen on the therapists couch)

I want to accept myself. Fully, completely, for exactly who I am in this very moment. Irrelevant of the number on the scale. I want to appreciate what my body is capable of (because it can do some pretty incredible things).

So here is my first attempt at swapping my thinking. . I, Elizabeth Gardner, am, on this here random day in May, stating that I want to love my body.  (that was hard to type. I'm not gonna lie. but I will get better. and it's the first time I've ever written something nice like that so here's to many more..)

I am beautiful and worthy at any size.
on any day.
on every day.

All those negative thoughts about myself are bull. They are not true. They have no more power.
I am enough, just as I am, right now, in this very moment. Size 16 or size 6. Chin or chins.

I'm done with this crap where I see a photo like this of myself and think... ewww. look at how fat my face is. or toss it away because of the double chin.

I want to think.. look how happy I am. Oh that night was so fun, look at that awesome shot of Hottie and I.

I want to see this and think... yes! GET it, girl. You are living your dream out there!
Instead of what I originally thought.. which was holy crap is my stomach really that big? and look at my neck! ew! delete, delete, delete.

NO! Don't delete. Celebrate. I want to force myself to see the beautiful things.. not the flaws. This is my call to action (to myself, really, but hey, why not join me, people?!) I am DONE fat shaming myself. I'm changing my focus to what my body can do in it's current state. How strong and capable I am. How beautiful.. not because of what is happening on the outside.. but because of how I feel and conduct myself on the in. How I love myself, every inch of me. (oh boy. another tough statement that I desperately want to believe.)

This year is all about self love (wrote about that here if you're curious). It doesn't start with weight loss, like I originally thought.. it starts and ends with love... unconditional, all encompassing self love. It's long overdue. The time is now. Thank you for reading and not judging. I appreciate you all.