Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thankful Thought No. 2

One of my least favorite things to do is grocery shop, but I am so very thankful for a full fridge and cupboards.

I'm playing along with Ali's new series, Thankful Thoughts. Check out her site for more information.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1| I saw Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand on Oprah last week and they showed scenes from their movie, The Way We Were. It looked like a wonderful love story. I've never seen it, so I rented this past weekend. I was seriously disappointed. That's a love story?! A guy who cheats and lies and leaves his wife and child. Um, no.

2| I helped my sister organize my niece's room. We took everything out and put everything into like piles. She has a lot of little stuff. Where does it all come from? Then my niece decided if she wanted to keep it or not. Then we put everything back. Her room looks great now. I love to organize. It's so satisfying!

3| Sugar Ray Leonard didn't do that well again this week on Dancing with the Stars. I hope my pick isn't the first to go.

4| I won Ella's new eBook, Scrapping Your Everyday on their blog hop last week. Fun, fun! It's jam packed with ideas and inspiration and it's a great price. One idea I really liked was to create a layout about a loved one's personality. I realized I've never done a page like this. It's now on my to do list. Be sure to check out the book!

5| My sister and I enjoyed a delicious lunch and a bit of shopping together on Friday. We decided to brave the Mall of America. A lot of families on spring break, but it wasn't too crazy. No luck in shopping though. I wish we could do that more often.

6| I'm reading I Am The Messenger, by Markus Zusak. It's funny and touching and engrossing. It's hard to put down.

7| I'm seeing Stomp this weekend. Looking forward to a high energy, explosive evening!

8| Parenthood is back tonight. Finally.

9| I love the end of the month. It means a new reveal in the Studio Calico gallery. So much inspiration. I grab a cup of tea and soak up all the talent.

10| In true Minnesota fashion, I can't leave without commenting on the weather. It looks like we might hit the 50s this weekend. Hallelujah!

Have a great Tuesday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Interviews

Over the last few weeks, I interviewed my nieces and nephew. I try to do this once a year. It's a cool way to catch a glimpse of each of them at that moment in time. They all love doing it too. My niece, D, actually asks me to interview her quite frequently. Love.

The questions I asked are slightly different for each interview. One question I only asked my nephew (I interviewed him last) that I really love is "What are three words you would use to describe yourself." I loved his answer. Happy, smart and outstanding. I will definitely have to use this one moving forward.

I used a similar format for each one to keep it easy. One large photo and two smaller photos and journaling printed on cardstock. I used a lot of product from the new Stella Rose collection from My Mind's Eye. Such beautiful, rich patterns and colors.

This last one is my favorite. Love the color combo and the crocheted ribbon.

Happy weekending everyone!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1| I love that my family loves to play games. I'm really into cribbage these days.

2| A few exciting things have been happening lately. I hope to announce one of them on Friday. Stay tuned.

3| I saw The Adjustment Bureau. Fun movie. Emily Blunt and Matt Damon have a nice chemistry. Worth seeing.

4| I visited my brother and his family last weekend. One of the highlights of the trip was an evening out on the town. Dinner at Mangia Roma, a show at the Steppenwolf Theatre and drinks and dessert at The Clutch. The perfect evening. I felt so cosmopolitan.

5| I had my windows open a few days last week. But now snow is in the forecast. Good grief.

6| I'm really wanting to buy spring clothes--like this, and this, and well this too.

7| Kelly Purkey has come out with Sketchbook 3! Sign me up!

8| One of my 33 things to do during my 33 year is to visit three Minnesota cities I've never been to. Currently planning the first trip for May. Yay! Love road trips.

9| Since I was sick last week, I got out of my exercise routine. I've noticed a big difference in my energy level. Must get back at it.

10| My family and I have a competition going for the Dancing with the Stars show. We all picked who we think will be the ultimate winner. I've never seen the show before, but it was really fun to watch. I felt like waltzing around the room. I picked Sugar Ray Leonard and unfortunately, he didn't do very well. We'll see what happens.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thankful Thought No. 1

I love the relationship my Dad and my nephew have. Every time we get together they are inseparable. This last time, they played lots of Go Fish, threw the ball around, constructed a Skee Ball replica out of a shovel, a box, a sled and some twine (creative!) and drew pictures. It's so fun to watch.

I'm playing along with Ali's new series, Thankful Thoughts. Check out her site for more information.

(Sorry, I disappeared all of last week. I caught a nasty head cold that had me down and out.) 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Year In Review Album

For the last few years, I have created a page for each month hitting the highlights of how I spent my time. I used a 12 x 12 album, my own handwriting and each page was unique. I love having these books. I love having a quick snapshot of how I spent my days. I love seeing the entire year together. I love looking back through several different years and seeing how things have changed and stayed the same. Very cool.

This year I decided to do a hybrid approach and a more consistent style to make things simpler. I'm using an 8x8 American Crafts album and am enjoying the smaller size so far. I'm writing up my journaling in a Word document and printing it on cardstock. I love how much more information I can fit on a page. I'm able to include some of the smaller details I wasn't able to include when I used my own handwriting. I'm printing photos using the contact sheet in iPhoto. A really simple way to print smaller photos.


I'll share each month as I finish them. Hopefully, I won't get too behind.

If you're feeling crafty this weekend, check out the online crop at Two Peas. They'll be posting a bunch of challenges with prizes. Always a good time.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Favorite Books List

I love to read. I'm fairly particular about what I read. A book snob, some may say. My sister and mom go to the library and pick books off the shelf that look interesting. For me, I need a recommendation, or I need to have already read something else by the author, or it needs to be a classic.

Today's list is all about books. My top 10 favorite books of fiction.

A small caveat. I didn't think long and hard about this list or do research of books I've read. These are the first ones that came to mind when I thought about what books I loved. I'm sure I could easily come up with a list of 50 or more. Maybe I'll add to the list at a later time. 

Top 10 Favorite Fictional Books (in no particular order)

1| The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
2| Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3| My Antonia by Willa Cather
4| Peace Like A River by Leif Enger
5| The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
6| Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
7| The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
8| East of Eden by John Steinbeck
9| The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
10| Empire Falls by Richard Russo

What are some of your favorite books?

See other lists I've created here

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1) I finally figured out how to change my blog banner. I can't wait to play more and see what else I can come up with. What do you think?

2) My african violet is blooming again. Pretty purple blossoms. Love.

3) I have been seeing Pinterest popping up on various blogs, so I finally took a look. I always copy and paste links of things I like or things that inspire me around the internet and then email it to myself, so I can reference it later. It becomes very cumbersome in my email inbox. This site allows you to create your own bulletin board and "pin" up images you like. Brilliant. You can also follow other peoples favorites. Marta has a number of great boards. Take a look for yourself.  It's on my to do list to get one started.

4) Monday is my least favorite day. In an attempt to get along with it better, I put on the Glee soundtrack and had a little dance party following my workout. A definite mood booster. It's a keeper.

5) This weekend, I was reminded how good humanity is. I underestimate people too often.

6) Ali Edwards released her new Scrapbook on the Road workshop. It's a great value. Only $14. It's full of wonderful ideas for creating a mini travel album. Since I'm not taking a trip anytime soon, I'm pondering creating a book that I can use to document my adventures around the city. More of a staycation mini.

7) I had a chocolate shake for lunch yesterday. So tasty.

8) I want this camera. I have the mini version, but love the idea of a bigger version.

9) Another snow storm is on its way. Seriously?!

10) I'm itching to get crafty. And messy. I think some painting is in my future.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Remembering To Be Grateful

When my niece and I were in Barnes, I spotted this collection of little blank books. I am a sucker for little blank books and the cute little birds on the front were impossible to say no to.

I decided to use one of them for a grateful journal. Each day I take the time to write down what I'm grateful for from that day. I've done this in the past, but it's been awhile. I felt like it was a good time to start doing it again.

I write in it almost every night before I go to asleep. It's a nice way to unwind and let the good (and the bad) from the day spill out. I try to be as specific as I can to that day. I don't list things I'm always grateful for, like the love of my family or having enough food to eat. I try to dig a bit deeper. I try to pay attention to the littler things. They aren't all that amazing or extraordinary. They are actually quite ordinary.

For me, it's just about pausing and reflecting on my day. Life can be so crazy and busy and demanding and this helps me to refocus. Some days, I find it hard to think of anything good and when this happens, I can look back and remember what was good about another day and I work hard to include those moments in the new day.

Here are a couple of the things I'm grateful for from this week.

// Enjoying dinner and conversation with a friend at a new restaurant I've been wanting to try.

// Getting to watch Parenthood. (I think this is one the best shows on TV right now.)

// Sleeping through the night three night in a row.

// Listening to an inspirational video by Ali Edwards for the Yesterday and Today class.

// Doing yoga. Feeling my body and mind strengthening.

// My sister telling me a story of my niece saying I was a really nice person.

What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Road Trip List

I love lists. They are how I organize the world. I make lists for everything. A do list for the day, a grocery list, a list of stuff I want to do before my next birthday and on and on. I sometimes have lists within lists. I love crossing each item off when I'm done. Very satisfying. Sometimes, I'll put something on my list that I've already completed, just so I can cross it off. Yes, I'm that person. I thought it would be fun to share my lists here every once in awhile.

First up, a list of the top 10 places I'd like to visit.

1| South Africa
2| Paris (The French Open)
3| London (Wimbeldon)
4| Melbourne, Australia (The Australian Open)
5| Mykonos, Greece
6| Charleston, South Carolina
7| Savannah, Georgia
8| Portland, Oregon
9| The Grand Canyon
10| Naples, Florida

Where do you want to go?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1) Welcome March! Putting aside how I can't believe it's already March, I'm so looking forward to emerging from this hellish winter and into lovely spring. It's been a bit of a rough year so far, so hoping March is the month where things turn around.

2) Does anyone else listen to Mumford and Sons? I saw talk about them on Facebook and then I heard a song on the radio. I love their lyrics.

3) I watched some of the Oscars, but found most of it quite boring. I enjoyed Anne Hathaway, but James Franco was so stiff, like a statute, never looking at Anne when she was talking to him. Odd. But I'm very happy that The King's Speech won so many awards. Very well deserved. And I admit, I do love looking at what everyone is wearing.

4) I'm looking forward to dinner with a friend tonight at a new restaurant I've been wanting to try. I love this city.

5) Inspired by this mini book and I'm reading a few new blogs, The Rockstar Diaries and The Smitten Kitchen. Love finding new, fun blogs to read.

6) I've been eating tons of blueberries. Yum.

7) Inspiration struck this weekend and I completed four layouts for the Yesterday and Today class. The layouts we're making in this class are really wonderful. Full of meaning. Combining awesome photos with lots of words. I love telling stories this way.

8) I started adding Pilates to my workout routine. My goodness. I can't contort my body in this way. I think I'm going to change to yoga.

9) Reading Driftless by David Rhodes. A character rich book. It's been awhile since I've read a book I can't put down.

10) My to do list is a little out of control this week. Telling myself: One thing at a time.