Monday, July 6, 2015

Precious and Stubborn ~

Hello there!

So last week I came across a great little layout by my friend Tracie. She has a wonderful blog that totally inspired me to sit down and create this fun little layout about my daughter's love for babies.

The pretty pink paper is by Karen Lewis and the camera is by One Little Bird.

The same day I came across Tracie's fabulous layout, I had a precious memory pop up on my TimeHop app. It's as if the stars aligned and there was nothing I could do but sit down and start putting this page together. As I was searching for the pictures in the black hole I call external hard drives, I started thinking about the first week of our summer and decided to create another page to enforce the whole 'baby' theme.

I'm happy with how these pages turned out; simple with the focus on the photos and the story.

Now you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at this sweet girl in these pictures but she is just about the most strong-willed child you will ever meet. I have certainly learned to pick my battles over the years. Just this morning (after a small battle of the wills) I hugged her and told her how much I love her regardless of her stubbornness. Her response..."I get it from both sides." Yes, sweet girl, unfortunately you do.

Just for the record I am not getting paid to use or share any of the products or links. :)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Instagram Photo Book ~ The Perfect Gift

I love giving great gifts. I usually rack my brain trying to come up with the perfect gift for family and friends. For the most part I give good gifts; I desire to give great gifts. For years I have made photo books and calendars for my mom and mother-in-law for Christmas. The one year I didn't make the calendar I heard about it all year. My mom was completely lost for 12 months. It made me realize that she really loves that gift. She will get a calendar every year from now on!

When my kiddos were invited to a birthday party for a friend in my son's 7th grade class, I had just listened to the awesome ScrapGals podcast all about selfies. A few days later while browsing Michael's with my daughter, it hit me! An Instagram selfie album would be the perfect give for a 13 year old girl! I found this little 4x4 Becky Higgins two ring binder at Hobby Lobby (because Michael's didn't have it.)


The album was a huge hit! I'm not sure who was more excited, her receiving the gift or me giving it. The album I'm showing in this blog post is actually the second Instagram album I have made. When I saw how much everyone loved the first one, I decided to make one for my dear friend's daughter 'just because.' After all, sometimes the best gifts are the 'just because' ones. I can't wait to see her face when I hand it to her. :)

The book contains about 40 4x4 photos, no words, no embelishments, just photos. I used most of her photos from the past year, but not all. The cool thing is there is plenty of room to add more photos if she wants.

Let's talk about how I printed the pictures. I print most of my pictures at home using my Canon Pixma MG6320 and thought that would be easiest for this project. After taking screen shots of all the Instagram photos and a few failed attempts at printing directly from my camera roll (you will get 4x4's enlarged onto 4x6 photo paper.)  I tried using the Becky Higgins Project Life app; this would work if you want to print a 4x4 pic with 2, 2x2's on 4x6 photo paper, but that's not what I needed for this project. So...after taking the screen shot, I used the Diptic app and put the photos in the 4x4 template with a little white border. Next, I exported the photo to my camera roll and emailed it to myself. The last step was opening 4 photos at a time into Photoshop onto an 8.5x11 canvas, resizing and printing.

This little book turned out just as fabulous as the first one! Hey, there I am on the right ~ We love getting all the girls together for pedicures!

For the last page I took a screen shot of her Instagram cover page. Neat little capture of how many followers she has and how many she is following. I love her motto ~ It's really okay if you don't like me, not everyone has good taste.

In this day and age printed photos are rare. Our photos are being kept behind screens instead of in our hands where they should be.  So make someone's day (or year) and share some printed photos ~ they will love it, I promise!


Monday, June 1, 2015

It's only been a year and a half ~

How is it possible that it's been a year and a half since I last posted to my blog. I remember the last time I sat down to write...nothing. I had nothing. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure what was blocking me from writing or sharing but something just didn't feel right. I've spent the past hour reading over my old blog posts. I only have one word ~ thankful ~ I am so thankful I took the time to write the stories and post the pictures. You can bet that most, if not all, of those stories would have been long forgotten had they not been documented on this blog. I will admit one of the hurdles I've faced is that my kids are growing up. I'm aware that they might not appreciate me sharing all the funny (or not so funny) things they do on a daily basis. I'm aware that there must be a shift in my writing; a shift from my writing about the things they do to writing about my perspective as a mom. I will still try to get permission to share some things, especially the funny stuff because in the end that's what I really want to remember. I want to look back and be able to laugh at the funny things we say and do around here.

I also want to use my little corner of the web to share more of my memory keeping. Scrapbooking has been a huge part of my life for the past 18 years I just haven't found a way to really share my pages. I was a paper scrapper for 11 years before I switched to digital. Learning how to use Photoshop has been a very slow process and that's been fine. When I learn something new, especially computer related stuff, I have to really soak it in. When I sit down at my computer and learn something new I feel a serious rush of adrenaline ~ it's pretty awesome! It's exciting for me to know that no matter how old I get I will always be excited to learn something new.

I created this page using a Jenn Lindsey template that was in one of The Daily Digi monthly kits. I also used the Happy Day kit by Blagovesta. You can find her over at Scrapbook Graphics. I love her designs!

Oh and not that you would look that closely but we've been in the middle of a little remodel around here for the past forever which would explain why the counter and wall is covered with brown paper and masking tape. I can't wait to share the before and after pics of that little project!

Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Defeated ~

I will warn you...this is a sad story. Not a sad story like someone died or is sick or lost a job or anything like that. Really, in the grand scheme of things this is minor, but this is my reality right now and I'm about ready to give in to defeat.

This is not like me. I'm usually pretty tenacious. I'm usually up for a challenge, but I started getting sick of this challenge about a week ago...

It all started when I put the bottom layer of the Christmas tree up and realized we had several lights out. This is usually not a big deal. My mom is a Christmas tree light pro so I grew up learning how to repair, replace, re-whatever the Christmas lights. So K and I went to checking bulbs. After about an hour, we realized we were in for a giant job. We made a trip to town for a few new strands of lights to replace burned out bulbs. (Did you know it's cheaper to buy a strand of lights to use for replacement bulbs than it is to buy the little packets? Did you also know that not all lights are the same and may not fit your strand, but wait I'm getting ahead of myself.) We also made a little side trip to our favorite sushi restaurant. So thankful my girl loves sushi. :)

We got home (keep in mind we live about 15 miles from the Christmas tree light store) only to realize they were not the right bulbs. So, we took a time out and went and ate steak at a friend's house. First sushi, then steak, I must be doing something right.

Fast forward to the next day when we go to the local craft store (the same day everyone else in creation also decided to go to the craft store) to buy the right lights. We got back home, continued checking and replacing bulbs only to discover that nothing we were doing was helping to solve the problem. So, I took another time out, posted a few somewhat negative status updates and wallowed in self pity.

The next day when the mighty hunters got back from the deer lease I tried my best to explain the problems we were having. Of course my Mr. Fixit goes to work only to realize there is no fixing this problem. Every once in a while even he knows when he's been defeated.

We decided to take the old lights off the tree (the lights that, I'm convinced, were put on by evil elves) and buy new lights for the tree. We really do like our tree. :) 

So the next day I took my eldest to town to see Catching Fire (awesome movie btw) and shop for Christmas tree lights. This was the day my pre-teen son decided to start his frugal lifestyle. We I was trying to decide which lights I liked best while he was crunching the numbers on his phone's calculator. He chose which lights we needed based on price which were NOT the lights I thought we needed. Needless to say, he was convinced his Dad was going to flip when he saw how much I spent on new lights. You have to understand, at this point I was not concerned about cost point, I just wanted a tree with lights that worked!

We got home and I went to work taking the %@*^$ lights off the tree. There may or may not have been tears involved. My son may or may not have thought his mom was loosing her mind.

I finally got the old lights off and the new lights on and even though I really didn't like the new lights I was slightly proud and extremely relieved to have gotten it done. In walked my husband who, after one look at the tree, tells me he doesn't like it and we should just go look for a new tree. To this I said "Good!" because I don't like the lights either! And so what that I just spent two days of my life I will never get back...

Let's skip a few details and talk about today (right this minute to be exact) I just finished putting the cutest little dome LED lights on the tree we've had for 5 years. I love the lights! They are bright and sparkly and perfect, except...are you ready for this? I looked down and noticed a strand on the very bottom is not working. Defeated.

Hopefully my wonderful husband can come in and save the day, the tree and Christmas because I'm ready to pull a Krank and just go on a cruise this year!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Lazy Days of Winter ~

First of all, I know it's not officially winter yet, but there are a few kids, two dogs and 14 pigs around here that would argue with you. We've spent the past two days in the coziness of our home with a fire crackling in the wood burning stove and it's been wonderful. I was thinking about how nice it's been and how lazy we've been and started to wonder where the saying "lazy days of summer" came from. I don't know about you but our summers are packed with fun and very rarely do we sit around being "lazy" but give us a few days of snow on the ground and ice on the roads and we do lazy really well.

This was Jack's first snow and from what I could tell, he loved it. Don't let the sad puppy dog eyes fool you, he looks like this all the time. :)

I'm pretty sure if they could talk they would be complaining about the cold. The one on the right is named Thor (we also have a Hulk and an Ironman.) I found Thor in his pin buried under hay; all you could see was a little of his pig. I woke him up, that 's when he went to discuss the frigid temps with his neighbor, Chester. 

The rest of the day included a snowball fight, being pulled behind the four-wheeler on a disk, frozen fingers, hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Here's a little secret...I can't resist a roasted marshmallow and for the next week I'll be detoxing from all the sugar. 

After supper we played several hands of spoons (the Farmer won them all) and a mean game of Farmopoly. K won  and ended the game with over $3000!


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