Tuesday, September 28, 2010

October SNL Sneak Peek

Ding Dong, Summer's Gone!
So long ridiculously high temperatures!
Welcome Fall and all your awesomeness!
We welcome you with wide open arms!

And since I've got fall in my mind, please allow me to share a few sneak peeks of some of the layouts we'll be creating at SNL this coming Saturday. The themes this month are: Halloween, Home, You are my Sunshine, Heritage, and Lights Camera Action!

Join Chelsea and me as we walk you through eight 12x12 layouts 
perfect for all your beautiful fall pictures.

Saturday, October 2nd
4-8 PM

Remember, early worm gets the ... spot?
So don't delay!
Stop by or call us at (901) 377-0730 and reserve your spot today!

Can't make it to class?
Don't worry!
You can order a class kit which will contain everything you need 
to create these awesome pages at home.

See you Saturday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I ♥ Handprints

I must admit I am a sucker for anything my children do and/or 
bring home that has either their thumb, hand or footprints on it.

But I especially love their little handprints!
They are SO precious to me.

Isabella made this in 2008, when she was in preschool:
She's used it every year since.
It's her official Thanksgiving placemat.

I made this for Scott for Father's Day in 2008:
It sits on his desk at work.
It is his favorite gift ever!

Isabella gave me this for Mother's Day in 2009:
It has a prime display spot in our dining room.

Every year, I make sure to get their handprints on the day of their actual 
birthday and incorporate it into a scrapbook page:
I think it'll be so cool for them to see how much they grew year after year.

These hang on my kitchen wall:
 I love them SO much. 
Especially since those chunky little 18 months hands and feet
(their individual ones) are a thing of the past.

So it should come as no surprise that when Sam brought his first handprint craft/project from preschool I went  absolutely gaga. He was beaming with pride when he first showed it to me. And he should be proud, it is adorable! It is SO cute in fact, that I decided instead of just putting it in his keepsakes box (yes, they each have their own), I would frame it and put it in his room.

So I grabbed a very old and inexpensive frame I had lying around and spray painted it in black. Then I pulled some paper from my stash and went right to work. This is what the I ended up with:
(Please ignore the yellow line on the title, it's there to cover the name of the preschool he's attending.)

It's currently displayed on top of his dresser.
Isn't is SO cute?! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Déjà vu

Déjà vu is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed 
or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as 
though an event has already happened or has happened in the 
recent past), although the exact circumstances of the previous 
encounter are uncertain.

It's that "I've been here before" feeling we all have at some point.


Sooo,... remember way back when I posted about my concerns over 
Isabella's preschool pictures because of her "Chucky-like" smiles? 
If you need a little refresher, you can check it out here.
Just make sure you enter at your own risk!

Well, it appears I'm experiencing a bit of deja vu, if I may. 
Sam has his school pictures coming up in a couple of weeks. 
Just recently, I asked him how he was going to smile for the nice photographer.

This, dear friends, is what I got:
I've got two words for you: Oy vey!
I hate to inform you that the situation did not improve the more I snapped away.
So, who knows what we'll get when those come back.

In closing:

Isabella looking "Chucky-ish" in 2007

Sam looking "constipated-ish" in 2010:


Saturday, September 25, 2010

I betcha didn't know

I came across this fun little get-to-know you quiz on one of my recently discovered and new favorite blogs, Inside BruCrew Life.

Caution: DO NOT go there hungry,... or while dieting. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to give it a spin and post it on my blog.

(X) Shot a gun (an M16 rifle and an M60 machine gun ~ yeah, Mama don't play!)
( ) Gone on a blind date (no way, I had enough disaster dates with guys I picked for myself!)
(X) Skipped school (My favorite was when my friend and I ran into our school principal right in the midst of out little adventure. BUSTED!)
(X) Watched someone die (I saw someone get shot on the street once ~ CRAZY scary!)
(X) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Alaska (Scott suggested an Alaskan cruise for our honeymoon when we got married in Puerto Rico ~ but that just didn't seem right)
( ) Been to Cuba (just waiting on Fidel to check out, so I can go and check in)
( ) Been to Fiji
( ) Been to Europe (definitely on my To-Do list ~ Tuscany, here we come!)
( ) Been to an Asian Country
( ) Been to Las Vegas (Scott has, but I haven't. Soon, I promise you!)
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been on a cruise ship (I'm trying to convince the hubby that he will NOT get bored on one.)
(X) Served on a jury (Yes, just recently.)
(X) Been lost (Yeah, but not for long because I'm a girl so I stopped and asked for directions)
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country
(X) Gone to Washington, DC (Unfortunately it was when I was much too young to appreciate it)
(X) Swam in the ocean (Hey, what can I say,... I'm an island girl)
(X) Cried yourself to sleep (Those darn boys!)
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Played cowboys/girls and Indians (There wasn't an issue of it not being PC when I was growing up.)
(X) Recently colored with crayons (Almost a daily occurrence around here)
(X) Sang Karaoke (Did I? Almost every Thursday night at the Nitty Gritty during my college years. My go-to song was Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. I rocked it, people. I rocked it!)
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only
(X) Made prank phone calls
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose (One too many times!)
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe (Really? Note to self ~ cross this off my list this coming Christmas. Pucker up, Cakes!)
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles (A favorite around these parts)
( ) Gone ice-skating (I'm pretty terrified of falling and breaking a few much needed bones)
(X) Gone snow skiing (Yep, and fell down the hill taking quite a few skiers with me ~ That was the best. NOT!)
(X) Camped out under the stars (On the beach, at the lake, in the woods, and soon, in our backyard)
(X) Seen something so beautiful that it took your breath away (My first meeting with both of my children)
(X) Are or have been Married (Happily married for a little over 8 1/2 years, right Cakes? Cakes?)
(X) Have Children (two gorgeous and amazing creatures ~ a girl and a boy. They are my heartbeat!)
(X) Have a Pet (2 dogs & 2 cats ~ want one? how about 4?)
( ) Been skinny dipping outdoors
(X) Been fishing (Much too boring for my personality)
(X) Been boating (That's more my speed)
( ) Been water skiing
( ) Been Canoeing (Not interested)
(X) Been hiking (Yep, in Yellowstone and we came across bear poop. Ask me how I know it was left by a BIG bear. I ran back so fast!)
(X) Been horseback riding
( ) Been camping in a trailer/RV
(X) Flown in a small 4-seater airplane (for business ~ so SCARY!)
( ) Flown in a glider
( ) Flown in a helicopter
( ) Been flying in a hot air balloon
( ) Been bungee-jumping (definitely on my NEVER TRY list)
(X) Gone to a drive-in movie
(X) Done something that should have killed you ( A couple things from my stupid teenage years come to mind.)
( ) Done something that you will probably regret for the rest of your life (Nope, I'm just trying to see it all as learning opportunities)

1. Any nickname ? Liz, Lizy, Baby, Lizard and Eloserbeth (thanks, Matt!)
2. Favorite Drink ? Regular Coke, Sweet Tea, Miller Lite, Riesling & Cosmopolitans.
3. Piercing? 1 in each ear ~ I like to live on the edge like that.
4. Tattoos? One, from when I was much younger.
5. How much do you love your job? SAHM ~ hard, demanding, but oh so wonderful!
6. Birthplace: Puerto Rico, Baby!
7. Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere ~ so not picky as long as we get away!
8. Ever Been To Africa? No, but I'm hoping to go on a missions trip some day (and go on a safari)
9. What did you have for dinner last night?A yummy Guacamole Bacon Burger from Red Robin.
10. Ever been on TV? Yes, when I was little I was on a televised kids' game show. I didn't win, so they called me the "almost-winner".
11. Ever steal any traffic signs? Seriously, what for?
12. Ever been in a car accident? Unfortunately, yes!
13. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? We're the proud drivers of a swagger wagon, cause that's how we roll.
14. Favorite number? 2 and 8
15. Favorite color? Red and Purple, and most recently, Orange
16. Favorite TV show? Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance and Glee (the talent on these shows = AMAZING!), America's Next Top Model (nothing says drama like a bunch of hungry skinny model wannabes living under the same roof), The Vampire Diaries and True Blood (because vampires are SO hot right now), The Office (cause I've been there) and most recently Parenthood (because I can't watch a single episode without relating on some level and crying my heart out)
17. Favorite movie? So many ~ Braveheart, Steel Magnolias, Juno, Napoleon Dynamite, and many many more
18. Favorite Holiday? Christmas, hands down!
19. Favorite dessert? Creme brulee
20. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully, continuing to enjoy this blessed life I've been given!

OK, so now that you know so much about me, it's your turn. I'd love to know more about you, so let me know if you play along and post your answers on your blog or on your Facebook page.

Now I leave you with a random photo, just because:
My boys, hard at work.
This makes me smile!

Friday, September 24, 2010


I woke up at 6:00am
Got showered, dressed and ready
Made coffee
Drank my coffee while I typed a letter to the parents who have not sent in their kids' party money (Christie, if you're reading this please know that you were absolutely right,... this room parent thing is for the birds.)
Woke the kids up and got them dressed
Made breakfast
Took Isabella to school
Went to Target with Sam to pick up a few things
Came home to unload groceries
Talked to my cousin Jessica on the phone while I uploaded and ordered the layout pictures for last night's class
Took Sam to school
Came home to type up the class layout directions (Can you say procrastination?)
Went back to Isabella's school to volunteer in the cafeteria during lunch
Came back home
Had a bite to eat
Cleaned the kitchen
Went to Walgreens to pick up the layout pictures
Went home to insert pictures and finalize the class kits
Went to pick Sam up from school
Sat in Isabella's pick-up line for an hour
Answered "Yes, Sam?" all 250 times that Sam called me
Almost fell asleep
Got Isabella
Went home
Prepared snacks for the kids
Went through their backpacks
Put Sam down for a short nap
Did homework with Isabella
Spent 45 minutes on the phone with our health insurance company (Good times!)
Got Sam up from his nap
Kissed the hubby hi and bye
Kissed the kids good night
Went to Eclectica to teach my layout class
Came home
Had dinner
Watched the Vampire Diaries
Went to bed at 10:30pm
Was dead to the world by 10:31pm

Yesterday was a hard day.
I am grateful that today has been much better!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September SNL Layouts

Even as I type this, I'm in total shock over the fact that we're already in the middle of September. Seriously?! Pretty soon it'll be time for Christmas decorations and shopping and parties and all that craziness that comes with my most favorite season. But as much as I love it, my mind is just not quite there yet.

Anyway, we had a great SNL class this past weekend. Our class was SOLD OUT, people! Woo Hoo!
Here are the layouts that I made with some of my favorite ladies in town:

"You are a hoot!" Single
This might just be the favorite layout I've done in quite a while. 
It's simple, but there's something about it that just makes me happy. 
Maybe it's the cork tree branch. 
Or the adorable owl. 
Or the bright colors. 
Or maybe it's the crazy model. 
I don't know. 
But put it all together, and I love it!

"Enjoy every moment" Single
Sweet and soft and pretty.

"Fall is in the air" Double
We made the tree trunk with pieces of cardboard I cut from one of 
Sam's diaper boxes. That was so fun!

Chelsea and I are already hard at work planning our pages for next month's SNL. The themes will be Halloween, Sunshine, Home, Moments in Time, and Lights Camera Action.

And yes, I promise not to slack in the sneak peek department next month.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Cruising Buddies

Oh, who am I kidding? As if I could actually post without words. HA! 
I'll just keep it nice and short! M'kay?
Alrighty then!

So, we spent some time with our dear friends the Tolls this weekend. 
LOVE them! 
They are good people, let me tell ya!

And I love how even though these two haven't spent as much time 
together since school started, they are still the best of friends.

And always manage to have such a great time together. 

His mom and I laugh about all the fun photos we'll have of the 
two of them together for their rehearsal dinner.

Who knows,...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yeah, #2 totally ROCKS!

Isabella had her first soccer game this past weekend. In all honesty I was expecting more of a crazy comedy show than anything else out there, but boy, was I ever wrong. Those kids were so very focused and dedicated and they played their little hearts out on that field. And it was SO much fun to watch them out there!

Warming up before the game:

In the huddle listening to coach talk about their game strategy:

Praying for a safe game:

And then they were off:
On a side note: I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Isabella. She begged me not to sign her up for dance, but to sign her up for soccer instead. I'm not gonna lie, I tried my hardest and darnest to convince her to stay in dance for at least one more year, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. Nope, she only wants to play soccer. So I signed her up ~ and secretly hoped that once she actually played a "real" game, she would realize it is more of a contact sport than she's interested in participating in. Wrong again!

My girl surprised me like never before. Not once was she afraid of getting in the midst of all the action.

Not once was she intimidated by the fact that they were playing against an all-boy team.
Actually, I don't even think she noticed.
And she is fast. Like REALLY fast!

And I'm not saying all of this because she is my girl and I'm constantly bursting with pride over her and pretty much everything she does. I say it because for most of the game, Scott and I kept hearing comments like: "Ooh, that #2 is good!" and "Wow, #2 is fast". And the entire time we sat there, in the front row of course, watching her play and looking at each other and thinking: "Yep, #2 totally ROCKS and she's ours!"

The purple team's parents were the loudest and happiest cheerleaders around that day. Even Sam would stand up, jump and scream: "Go, Ba! Go! Go Go!" and "Go, Poopo, Go!"

Unfortunately, our team did not win our first game. We lost 4 to 3. But they had a lot of fun playing and we had the best time cheering them on!

And yes, as of Spring we will most likely have both children playing soccer. It took everything in this little one not to run onto the field while the game was in full swing.
And as soon as it was game over, he was out there doing his thing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I am...

...currently on the mother of all organizational kicks. Our family calendar, planning meals, decluttering our house,... you name it! I crave simplicity and I'm determined to get there. Between Sam's school, our local library, Goodwill and the garbage truck, we made huge improvements last weekend. So if you see me coming with a big 30 gallon trash bag in hand, you might wanna step aside,... I'm on a mission!

...tired of feeling tired, so I decided to give Weight Watchers yet another go. I hesitated with whether or not to disclose it here, since I've fallen flat on my face with all of my previous attempts, but I do love (and need) the encouragement I get from my friends. Last week was my first weigh-in and I'm happy to announce that I had a 4.8lbs loss. YAY! Not sure what this week will bring since my stress level has been on HIGH pretty much all week. But I'm trying, really hard. Hey Rachel, pretty soon I'll be looking phat,...WITH the ph ;)

...now a part time employee at my LSS, responsible for some of the back office administrative duties. I'm able to do some of it from home and then go in a couple of times a week while the kids are at school. The staff there consists of a bunch of wonderful, creative women who I have known and loved for years. How could I resist being a part of such an awesome team? Besides, it's not like I have anything else going on.

...still teaching scrapbook layout classes in the above mentioned LSS. And it's a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, and I love it. I love my regular students. And I love meeting new people. I love scrapbooking. And I love sharing it with others. And I especially love getting a phone call (like I just did) letting me know that tomorrow's class is SOLD OUT! YAY!

...now also Isabella's class room mom. Yeah, I had no idea what that meant, so I met with her teacher yesterday to discuss it. And I can honestly tell you I am now officially a bit freaked out. It sounds like a lot of work, but apparently there was a shortage of volunteers (read smart people), so I can't exactly back out, not that I would anyway. I'm just going to do my best and make the most of it.

...home today with two sick kiddos. Isabella has strep throat. Sam has strep throat and an ear infection. They are both on antibiotics. And on Claritin for their allergies. They are both quite irritable. And totally getting on each others' nerves. And therefore, crawling all over mine. It's nothing but good times around here, let me tell ya!

... really missing blogging on a more frequent basis, but finding the time to actually sit and type is proving to be quite challenging these days. I haven't even taken a single photo in over a week. Yeah, it's like that!

...officially a soccer mom. For reals, people! Isabella's first soccer game is this coming weekend and she is SO excited. I can't wait to see her in action. I seriously hope I can contain myself on the sidelines. But I'm not making any promises.

...still reading like a mad woman and LOVING my nook. Unfortunately, there isn't as much free time as I'd like these days, but I get my fix while sitting at Isabella's school pick-up line and  right before I fall asleep pass out at night. I'm currently reading Me & Emma and although it is heartbreaking and definitely NOT a lighthearted read (it is a story told from the point of view of a child who falls victim to child abuse), it is quite riveting and compelling.

...in desperate need of some serious pampering. Think manicure/pedicure/full body massage spa package. Oh my, doesn't that sound like heaven?

...NOT supermom or superwoman. Not even close!

...SUPER exhausted and sometimes overwhelmed.

...focused and determined and grateful and trying my hardest.

(artwork by Isabella)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Patio Reveal

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for before and after pictures. I follow quite a few blogs that document projects (big and small) and always show before and after pictures. And it never fails, every single time I see these amazing transformations, I feel inspired to make my own transformations in our home.

Well, I'm so excited to finally share one of those transformations with you guys. Our new patio! YAY! I've looked and looked for a before picture that is a true representation on what we started with, but apparently we didn't deem it worthy of a photograph. And I can honestly say I know exactly why ~ it was UGLY! It basically consisted of a concrete slab with a good size dog kennel. Not very useful AT ALL. The first thing to go was the dog kennel,... and to think that we were so excited to have gain that extra space.

Anyway,  after a few long years of a very blah and way underutilized patio, last year we decided to revitalize it by expanding it's size and re-doing it with brick pavers. We went, picked out our pavers and chose the first week in June to get busy. Little did we know that the first week in June would be the hottest of the year, but we were determined to get it done. We hired Juan, a VERY hardworking man we found through my mom's old church, to work with Scott on prepping the area for the pavers.

I know I went a little arrow crazy here, but I wanted to point out the old slab, how far out we were extending it and Juan, our shy little workhorse.
So once the ground was prepped and leveled, it was time to start laying the pavers. Scott and I worked together on this and all I can say is holy crazy, hard, exhausting work, Batman!
After about 6 days of nothing but hard back-breaking labor, we finally had our brick patio. That alone was a HUGE improvement. And thanks to my wonderful in-laws, we also had a nice gazebo to place our table under and offer some protection from the sun.
Unfortunately, a fierce rain-wind-thunderstorm of the likes of Kansas took out our gazebo, leaving us once again exposed to the elements and rendering the patio blazing hot, sunny, and less-than-enjoyable.

So Scott and I talked about exactly what it was that we envisioned when we re-did the patio last year and immediately started doing some research.

And this, my dear friends, is what we ended up with:
Which by the way, is exactly what we had envisioned once upon a time, not so long ago,... a nice big cedar pergola. We had it stained and wired for lighting and a ceiling fan. I'm so happy to report that we are all totally in love with our new outdoor space and definitely enjoying spending a lot more time outside these days.

And just in case you were wondering, this is what it looks like at night:
Isn't it purty?

OK, so just so that I may have my very own before and after photos, here we go...
ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, here's our patio:
Did I already mention we're in love?

Friday, September 3, 2010


Here's our girl:
in her new purple glasses
with her new short hairstyle
performing her new student duties

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

He's such a big boy

Our Tuesday morning was a bit different around these parts. 
And exciting. 
And a little heartbreaking.
Not only was I busy making breakfast for our family, 
but I was also busy packing lunches. 
Two lunches, to be exact. 
You see, Tuesday was Sam's first day at Mother's Day Out. 
And to say he was thrilled is a huge understatement. 

He's been ready. 
Which he made sure I knew every time we dropped Isabella off at her preschool last year.
By throwing a MAJOR fit when it was time for us to leave.
That was fun,...

Anyway, he's been talking about going to school for months. 
He picked out his very own Toy Story backpack. 
And his very own Shrek lunchbox.
Which burps when you press his belly. 
And Sam LOVES! 
And therefore makes it do so ALL THE TIME.
Which is not at all annoying.

He was the poster child of excitement.
 Which in all honesty put my heart at ease.
I didn't know what my reaction would be when letting go of my little one.
But I've been pleasantly surprised at how well I'm handling it,
if I may say so myself.

Scott was not able to go with us for Sam's first day due to a work conflict, 
but my Mom and I took him.
And although he was SO excited, 
I did see some signs of trepidation creeping through on our way to school.

But he armed himself with a small dose of valor and off he went.
He was ready to take on the world.

He even posed for me inside the school right before arriving at his classroom:
And then we found his assigned classroom. 
And everything went downhill from there.
REALLY quick!
It sounded like a torture chamber inside.
One kid was crying so bad even I thought he was being abused.

And immediately Sam held on to my thigh.
For dear life.
Crying uncontrollably.
Repeating "No, Mama!" over and over and over again.

While I stood there like an idiot wondering what to do.
Should I sweep him up off the floor and make a run for the exit?
But it was too late,....
His teacher was busy prying him from me.
And reassuring me everything would be OK.
"Just walk away mom!", she said.
The nerve!

And although it took everything from me not to linger around the building 
like a crazed stalker.
I did walk away.
And I ran some errands.
And accomplished a whole lot of things.
In a short amount of time.

But I was also the first mom to arrive for pick up.
Eager to hear the report on the day's events.

He did great!
And they love him!
And he ate all of his lunch.
But he did not sleep.
Although he was "more or less" still and quiet during rest time.
But more importantly, he's excited about going back again.
 And this he told me himself.
While enjoying a nice frozen celebratory treat from TCBY.

And all was fine in our world.
And I was able to return to my regular breathing.