Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pali Lookout Circle Journal Layout (BG Lime Rickey)

I finally finished this layout for a circle journal. I took two stuffed animals sent to me from other members of this cj group and took pics at the Pali Lookout. The assignment is to do an 8 x 8 layout.

I used the new Lime Rickey line by BasicGrey - - SO FUN!!! I used various pp and cut them up to suit my needs for this layout. Here are the two pages.


The one thing on the layout that is not by BasicGrey is the Admit One ticket stamp by Maya Road. I stamped the image on BG Lime Rickey (Rob Roy) and cut it out.



The background pp is the same shade of green -- just looks different in the pic because of the lighting.

Since I didn't use ribbon, brads or buttons on this layout (GASP!!!!), I added tons of Stickles! Unfortunately, the Stickles don't photograph too well, but here is a close-up shot that might give a better picture of the finished product.

Here's a closeup of the rainbow all nicely Stickled!

I absolutely love dimension on my projects. Pop dots are my friend, so I took a few flowers, stickled them to death and added pop dots to raise them. Here's a close-up of one of the flowers just to show how I have it raised.

So glad to be ready to mail this one out next week. The gal that I am mailing this to is putting together an album for her daughter's first birthday party this month and wants to include this layout! Hope she likes it! :)

Off to work on more projects!

Happy Mail

I meant to post last week that I finally got my Sugar Nellie stamps in! WOOT!!! Someone made a card for me using the image above, and I immediately fell in love with Sugar Nellie stamps! I don't know what it is about it. Maybe it's the fact that I love a pair of comfy jeans -- especially wide-legged ones and the Sugar Nellie girls are wearing just that style! It's not just that though, of course. The images are very girly but not overly so. They are adorable! I ordered three and plan to use two of them for a swap. I don't want to post those until I actually have my cards completed for a swap I'm in. Here's the third stamp, though.


So, I'm really close to one of my guy cousins. It's not unusual for us to talk a few times a week, whether it be on MySpace, via text or talking on the phone. Unfortunately, this means he is subjected to my occasional rants (i.e. "bitching").

Our conversation the other day :

Him: Wassup Cuz!?!
Him: Oh, okay
Him: Uh-HUH
Him: Whaaa???? CRAZY!

Repeat cycle 3x.

Him: Well, I'm at work now!
Me: Oh, okay..wait..BITCH BITCH BITCH..and BITCH
Him: Okay, bye! I'll ttyl!
Me: BYE !!!!!

Total # of words I got in during the convo: 3,474
Total # of words he got in during the convo: 30

It's great to have a cousin you can talk to! LOL!!!

Exhausted !!!

BLAHHHH !!! Another week has gone by and I am simply EXHAUSTED !!!! I was at the office super late a few nights this week, so I wasn't really able to get some scrapbooking done. All together now : "AWWWWWWWW............" I know -- poor me! LOL!!! Well, I did at least finish a 2-pg 8 x 8 layout using the Lime Rickey papers by BasicGrey. SO HAPPY to be done with it. I'll post pics this weekend! I had really wanted to work on a bunch of stuff but just did not have the time! Hopefully, I can catch up this weekend.

Just had to share a pic I took with my iPhone of this cute lil doggy soaking in the fountain on a hot afternoon earlier this week. I love the way he's sitting there as if he BELONGS there ... like, "What? You got a problem with me sitting here?" or, "Maybe if I sit REAL still, no one will notice me here IN the fountain!" LMAO!!!

Okay, so I didn't do as much scrapbooking, but I did bake a key lime pie. Mikayla requested that I make one for her. She absolutely loves it. I followed the recipe on the bottle of key lime juice that I got in the Betty Swap.

One 9" graham cracker pie shell
one 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup Nelie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice

Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. I actually baked it much longer than that because my oven is kinda messed up and it usually have to bake things for longer than the recipe calls for. I just kinda eye it. (I know -- I gots skilllzzz...heh heh...). Allow to stand ten minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream and garnish with lime slices. I was lazy and bought some some Reddi-Whip in the can rather than making my own whipped cream.

It's a super easy recipe that yields fantastic results -- if you like key lime pie, that is. I made a pie for an Easter gathering, and everyone just loved it and asked for more. I don't think you can find the juice locally, but you can order online from

Here's a pic of the finished product. Not sure why the consistency turned out the way it did this time, but it still tasted just fine!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy National Scrapbooking Day !!!

Okay, so I'm a little late -- SORRY. I meant to post earlier today but got busy doing the usual weekend stuff. May 2nd was National Scrapbooking Day! Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to indulge in much scrapbooking goodness today.

I slept in -- pretty late, I might add. Last week was a crazy week, and I desperately needed some sleep!!!

Today, Mikayla and I went to the scrapbook store because she wanted to pick up some Prima flowers that she had been eyeing. They were on sale, so she got those along with some glittery ribbon. The only thing I got was a few sheets of BasicGrey pp. I'm trying to watch what I spend because I have a few things I want to get in the next few weeks. While there, we entered a drawing for a gift basket of sb supplies. *crosses fingers* We also got a free kit with supplies to make a card and a Post-It note holder! How nice!

As we were leaving, we ran into the Twilight car yet again! Actually, this was the SECOND time I ran into it this week. I saw it at the post office the other day. I joked with Mikayla that maybe the owner is a scrapbooker and she's always at the post office to mail off swaps! ~LOL~ Gosh, I hope she doesn't think we're stalking her! ~LOL~ Anywho, I took a picture with my iPhone that day to show Mikayla.

This evening, my boss called to tell me that Danny Gans died! He is the Las Vegas headliner known as "The Man of a 1,000 Voices". Cause of death is unknown. I was so sad when I heard the news. I've always wanted to see him perform, but his shows were either sold out or he wasn't perfoming the last few times I was in LV. Now, I will never ever be able to see him perform. So sad... R.I.P. Danny Gans

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday Ramblings

Today was just another one of those Mondays. I started the day off by checking on the forum I help to moderate. It's my friend's fitness forum and, no -- this doesn't mean I'm an expert when it comes to fitness. There was a thread flagged, so I checked in on it and found that we have a new troublemaker. *sigh* The forum never stays quiet for too long.

I did my moderating duties and then talked to my cousin. It's his birthday, so we chatted for a little bit. Actually, we talk anywhere from 2 to 4 times a week on average.

Then, it was off to work. I went through the Starbuck's drive-thru to pick up my usual: a tall Americano. I've been trying to kick the coffee habit for some time, but I always go back! I love my Starbuck's! Well, unfortunately, the guy didn't snap the lid on good and it popped open and made a big mess all over my console! GRRRR !!!! Luckily, I always keep a good supply of napkins in my car -- just in case!

Work was okay. I wasn't really focused today for some reason. I think it was the usual Monday blahs! Later, I was really craving some greens, so I treated myself to a chopped salad. It was more than I wanted to spend, and it really is not the healthiest salad with all that cheese and meat in it, but I NEEDED to eat a salad, and this was the best I could get today. I REALLY need to start prepping a huge salad on Sundays to take to work during the week!

I did get some happy mail today. I received a package of stamps that I had bought off a lady on a scrapbooking site. These are the Studio G stamps that are so popular. I know Ben Franklin sells this line of stamps, but the ones I usually see are the holiday ones. I have not seen the cupcake line there.

Now, aside from strawberries, I have a thing for cupcakes, and I really wanted these -- not like I don't already own enough cupcake stamps, but I got all 3 for $5.50 total, so it wasn't a huge investment. There is one more in the set that I wanted, but the gal selling these did not have that one. I could always get that one off Ebay one day. Anyway, I think they will go great on smaller-sized cards or tags. Sorry for the bad lighting. It's another one of those pics I'm taking at 3 in the morning! You can always click on the picture to see a larger version if you want to see the stamps up close! Aren't they just too cute ???

Speaking of EBay, I purchased an item from a seller on Friday and, after already paying for my purchase, I decided I wanted two more items from her store. I emailed her and asked if she could hold off processing my order until I decided and she agreed.

Well, she sent me a revised invoice today for the other two items, but hellooo.....!!! I wasn't too happy about the shipping charges. In her emails, she quotes a $1 additional charge for each additional item you purchase from her at the time of your first purchase. So, this meant that she was only supposed to charge me an additional $2 for the 2nd and 3rd items I bought from her. She charged me $3.65 for s & h.

I know...I know ... I know ... I'm being so CHANG, but HEY !!! Being overcharged is being overcharged! So, I wrote her back and she apologized and revised the invoice reflecting additional s & h charges of only $2 additional instead of $3.65. So, you see, my Chang self caught the error and saved $1.65. That's a $1.65 that can go towards my $2.09 Americano tomorrow morning! Yee-yahhhhh, boyeeeee !!! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Betty Swap 4 Goodies

I love to bake and cook, so when Marla on 2peas created her Secret Betty swap last year, I had to join in! Since then, there have been a few more Betty Swaps with Betty Swap 4 recently being wrapped up.

I didn't participate in 2 and 3, so I was anxious to participate in Betty Swap 4. The theme of this Betty swap was home state recipes. We had to send a cookbook from our home state, 3 kitchen items, a spring item and the special ingredients needed to make a local recipe. I chose Chocolate Haupia Pie for my state recipe. We were also required to send an item that represents our state.

Above is a picture from Rachel's gallery, which I stole (THANKS, Rachel!!!) because I didn't have time to take a good picture before I mailed it off. Actually, I think I was too anxious to send it!!! ~LOL~

I sent Rachel a can of coconut milk and chocolate for the pie. Since the package was sent right before Easter, I sent a bunny cookie cutter, an Easter egg themed cookie cutter/press set and a bunny cake pan.

Her kitchen is decorated with the colors maroon and olive green; and, she also loves Hello Kitty. So, for the spring item requirement, I sent her the perfect thing: a Hello Kitty wind chime set that was painted maroon! Unfortunately, you can't see it in the picture because it's still in the box!

For my state item, I chose to send some guava jam to my pal along with a chipboard album of the word "ohana". If you're familiar with the movie "Lilo and Stitch", you'll know that ohana means FAMILY. I thought about decorating it for her but then decided to leave it up to her so she could do it in her own fabulous style! Rachel is married with three handsome boys, and I figured she could definitely make use of this album for family pics! I hope she always remembers her swap pal in Hawaii whenever she looks at it.

In the package, I also included a few Hello Kitty items inlcluding a card I made for her. I fell in love with a few of the Hello Kitty Sizzlits dies that just came out recently and was excited to have the opportunity to use one of them to make a card for Rachel. I'll post pics of other cards using the dies in the future!

Now, on to the goodies that Rachel sent me! WOW, where do I even begin? She knows I love things with strawberries on them. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved anything that has a picture of a strawberry on it.

The recipe Rachel selected was Key Lime Pie. I was so happy to see a bottle of authentic key lime juice in my Betty Swap package! I know enough about key lime pies to know that no other lime will do. It's called "Key Lime Pie" for a reason! ~LOL~ She also managed to pack a pie crust in there so well that it arrived uncracked! Also included was a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Other goodies include: two cookbooks, a lime juicer, lime/lemon keeper, measuring cups, an adorable vintage pie plate with a strawberry recipe on it, strawberry pin, vintage towel embroidered with strawberries, fun, bright green cleaning gloves, strawberry scented lip gloss, magnets and a grocery shopping list. My absolute favorite items were the strawberry wooden plaque, strawberry salt and pepper shakers and the strawberry potholder! HOW CUTE are they ?!?!?! She also made me a cute card with strawberry patterned paper. I kept pulling goodie after goodie out of the box. Rachel was a great and fun pal! (THANKS AGAIN, RACHEL !!!)

BTW, I did get a chance to make the pie on Easter and it got RAVE reviews. Even finicky Miss Mikayla fell in love with it and has been bugging me to make more! I'm so glad Rachel sent me a large bottle of the key lime juice! I did take pictures of the pie but, unfortunately, I deleted them by accident! I will be making more pies in the near future and will post the recipe and pics when I do!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Goodies from Coffee Swap Round One !

I finally got around to taking pics of the goodies I received from my coffee swap pal, Jordan. She sent me a box of coffee goodness which included: a coffee mug, cute coffee memo set, coffee mug - shaped timer, coffee notecard set, chocolate truffles from Starbucks (YUM), a coffee and tea cookbooklet from Gooseberry Patch (LOVE Gooseberry Patch), some cute stickers, different teas to sample and some chocolate-covered coffee beans. The beans aren't in the picture because I already ate them...TEE HEE...

There were two more items and, I must say, they were my favorite goodies in the box. Jordan made me this GORGEOUS notebook that was stamped, colored and blinged up for me! She also sent me a set of coffee-themed acrylic stamps that are too cute! I can't wait to make some cards with those! THANKS for being an AWESOME swap pal, Jordan!!!

Oh, My !!! LIME RICKEY !!!!

Oh, my! Have you seen the latest by BasicGrey? Their Lime Rickey line was just released about a week ago and I just had to get my hands on it !!! I know it's a bit FUNKY for some people, but I absolutely love the colors and the playfulness of this line. I already have plans to use it on a few layouts I need to work on.

The pp in this line have names of drinks like Fruit Fizz (see above), Rob Roy, Lemon Drop and Fuzzy Navel. How CUTE is that ?!?!? I absolutely LOVE the Cherry Cola pp and have the perfect project to use it with!

This one here is called Howdy Doody. I don't think that's the name of a drink, but it's a cute name nonetheless! The birds are way too cute also!

This line also includes buttons and brads. I'm still waiting to get my hands on some because they weren't available at the LSS yet! I love the bright, primary colors, and I think this line would go well with either boys, girls, kids or adults! I'll be sure to post my projects using this line. I'm just waiting on my printed pictures to come in!

Show Your Love Swap Items

Here are some boy-themed items I created for my swap pal, Alaina. I have a daughter, so I don't ever scrap boy pages. Also, I'm a real girly-girl, so boy-themed stuff just don't do it for me. Sure, they can be cute and all, but I just don't get as excited about them as I do with girl-themed items.

With this swap, we sent our own cardstock, pp and embellies to the partner assigned to us. That person then created items using all the materials we sent. Alaina sent me some cute stuff from the Making Memories Animal Crackers line along with some other boy-themed embellies.

Despite my uneasiness creating pieces for boy layouts, I found that this was one of my most favorite swaps! I liked that I had to work outside of my comfort zone. I'm always looking to expand myself creatively, and this was one way I was able to do that. I also really enjoyed the challenge of making each piece unique. I made matted photo boxes, inchie-type tags, regular tags, journaling spots, title toppers and embellished circles.

I created about 15 different pieces total. Here are just some of them. I apologize for the bad pics. It was nighttime and I used a flash. For whatever reason, I had chosen not to wait until the next morning to take the pics in better lighting. The one on the top left, with the alien, has white Thickers on it, but the flash washed it out.

In any event, I was really glad when Alaina said she loved everything! This is definitely a swap I would look forward to doing again in the future.

iPhone Love

After many months of hemming and hawing, I finally made the decision to switch over to AT&T and get an iPhone. I was hesitant to leave T-Mobile because of the Five Faves Plan that they offer. It helps in that I don't ever need to worry about Mikayla using up too many minutes.

I thought about jailbreaking an iPhone to use on the T-Mobile network, but with my luck, I'd probably be in that small minority of people who end up bricking their phone somehow. So, I bid adieu to T-Mobile and moved in with AT&T!

I have NO REGRETS. I absolutely HEART my iPhone, and it's one of my most FAVORITE things! I am so impressed with all the things it can do! I love, love, LOVE the endless options the applications provide. Many are free or only 99 cents.

Of course, I LOVE the convenience of accessing the internet from anywhere. Sure, this can be done with other PDA type phones (I used to have a T-Mobile Dash at one time), but the iPhone just BLOWS all other phones out of the water. At least, I think so!

The graphics are clear and vivid. Although the connection isn't as quick as my DSL, I am still very pleased with the online browing experience with the iPhone. I should add here that I'm somewhat of a computer geek. I love surfing the net, and I also love little gadgets!

I did have an mp3 player before, but the music subscription service I was using was kind of a pain in the ass. I am now back with iTunes and I LOVE that my phone doubles as my music player! Now, when I go jogging, I don't have to worry about carrying an mp3 player AND a phone.

I do have a few games on my phone. They include : Bejeweled 2, Bubble Town, Sneezies, Super Market Mania, Tap Tap Revenge 2 and de Blob, to name a few. I'll admit that I actually play some of them when I'm laying in bed, winding down or, when I'm waiting somewhere.

Some of the fun applications I recommend to friends are:

Shazam: hold it up to the radio and it will identify the name and artist of the song

Urbanspoon: finds restaurants in your neighborhood based on preferred cuisine and price range

OneTap Movies: looks up movie listings at your neighborhood movie theater and allows you to see previews

I also have a bunch of fitness apps as well as a Bible app on my iPhone. Basically, my phone is now like a little computer that I can throw in my purse. I love downloading podcasts using my iPhone and listening to them in my car on the way to and from work.

There are other options like downloading movies and audio books, etc... If you have an iTouch, you can do these things too, but I don't need to worry about buying one of those since my iPhone does all of that!!!

If you are thinking about jumping on the iPhone bandwagon, STOP THINKING about it and JUST DO IT !!! You will not regret it !

I really cannot stress how impressed I am with this product. And, no -- I won't work for Apple or AT&T. ~LOL~ In all honesty, if you're not into computers and gadgets, this phone may not be for you. But, if you like the idea of having a phone do many different things for you, then definitely consider this one!

Java Junkie Wall Hanging

Here is a wall hanging I made for my coffee swap pal, Jordan. This wall hanging was inspired by a Maya Road project. I absolutely *heart* Maya Road products!

I used scalloped chipboard and painted with green Making Memories paint. I used BasicGrey pp in blue and green since they are two of Jordan's favorite colors.

I used chipboard letters by Maya Road and covered with Martha Stewart glitter. I'm having a blast playing with glitter these days!

The sheer bird is by Maya Road and happened to match the bird-themed pp by My Mind's Eye that I used on the coffee mug chipboard.

I don't normally like to freehand things (just not my thing as I tend to be anal about things being PERFECT), but I had no choice with the steam from the mug. I added a little bit of Stickles to the steam to jazz it up a tiny bit.

Jordan also likes pink, so I used a pink felt flower on the mug. For some strange reason, it shows up as red in the pictures.

I don't remember who made the rub-on, but I thought it went perfect with the wall hanging since Jordan not only loves coffee, but she also works as a barista at Starbuck's!

Here's a pic that Jordan posted. It shows all of the goodies I sent her minus two other bags of coffee which she and her co-workers already drank! Oh, and she absolutely LOVED her wall hanging! This was an easy and fun project. I can't wait to make others!

Lil Man

Just wanted to share a few pics of my little nephew, David. He's four and smart as a whip. It's definitely different spending time with a little boy after having raised a quiet, mellow girl like Mikayla.

Here's a pic of us at the movie theater. Mikayla took this one with my iPhone.

Here's one Mikayla took with her cell phone. I think this one is HILARIOUS, and it really shows off my nephew's energy and personality!

Here are a few others I took later that day. I have the one above and these being printed up. I can't wait to scrap them. I'm so not used to scrapping boy pages since I have a girl, and it's nice to step outside of the box. I already have my paper picked out. Just waiting on the pics!

Which Team Are You On ??? (More Twilight Mania)

So, Mikayla is a Twilight fanatic. For Easter, she wanted a Twilight t-shirt along with some Twilight candy and pins that Borders was selling. Now, as a Christian, I felt a little weird giving her vampire-related items for a religious holiday, but that's just me. I'm not saying I'm some holy roller or anything like that. I'm definitely not. I'm just ... you know...saying (that it was weird...LOL). I did cave in and get her the items she wanted and wrapped them along with some candy in a cute Easter basket. I just figured ... eh, God will understand that it's just about a movie and not that we're like... worshipping blood-suckers, right???

Anywho, the child is absolutely in love with the movie "Twilight" and the character, Edward Cullen. Mikayla is definitely all for TEAM EDWARD. Don't ever ask her about Jacob because -- GASP!!! -- Jacob is a WEREWOLF, don't cha know?!?!? Therefore, Jacob is the ENEMY!!! *rolls eyes* This means, you must NOT buy the child anything with JACOB (GASPPP!!!) on it unless you want to risk the wrath of a pubescent, lovesick teenager. *SIGH*

A few weeks ago, we were at the post office and, as I drove out of the parking lot, I spotted a black car in front of me decked out with the Twilight logo and several of the famous quotes from the movie!!! Mikayla was so excited and wanted to take pictures with her cell phone, but the car was driving off.

The following week, we were at the post office again and, as luck would have it, the Twilight car was there! I don't remember why, but we didn't take pictures of it. Funny that we ran into it twice, though.

Then, last weekend, we were babysitting my nephew, David. He loves Panda Express, so we went there for lunch. As we walked out, I spotted the Twilight car in the parking lot !!!! The lady who owns it was in the driver's seat talking on her cell phone.

Mikayla really wanted to take some pictures of the car this time and talk to the lady who owns the car. So, I went off to grab a few things from the store across the parking lot while she waited. After waiting for a while, the lady got out of the car to grab some lunch from Panda. She knew Mikayla was waiting to take pictures and, she was kind enough to take the time to talk to her. She was very appreciative of the fact that Mikayla was polite enough to ask before taking pictures.

She explained that she loved the movie so much that she paid someone to add the logo and quotes to her car. She even uses Twilight t-shirts for her seat covers (EDWARD, OF COURSE). As to be expected, she gets a LOT of attention and people are always taking pictures of her car. She asked that Mikayla not take any pictures of her license plate, though. These pics aren't the best because they were taken with Mikayla's cell phone. I just wish we had a picture of the entire vehicle, but hopefully, we'll run into the car again soon!

I know ... I know ... it's been FOREVER !!!

So, it's been a few months since I've blogged (SORRY). Just been busy concentrating on swaps, working out and, wellll....LIFE, in general -- life outside the internet, that is. I do have a bunch of different things to share, and I will have to do that a little at a time! I'll see what I can cover tonight.

Where to begin ... wellll... let's start with this crazy Twilight phenomenon that has swept the nation. Mind you, I'm not a big fan of vampires, but I did find myself thoroughly enjoying the movie. I have yet to read the books, but Mikayla has already read all four in the series and has been bugging me to read them. She is a voracious reader (just like her Mama back in the day), and she read these books in a time span of not more than 3 weeks.

We never did make it to the theater to watch the movie, so I took her and a friend to the DVD release party at Borders back in March. We got there about a half hour early to ensure that we'd be able to grab some good seats -- and some drinks from Starbuck's before the festivities began!

The store began to fill pretty quickly. As expected, the crowd consisted mainly of teens and some women. The crowd was split into two teams for a trivia game.

Mikayla and her friend stood on the side watching. Unfortunately, it really was quite boring and not quite the "party" we had thought it would be. I guess I envision music, decorations and, well ... ya know... PARTYING. Sadly, that was not to be. It was pretty much a yawnful so, eventually, we sauntered off to another part of the store to read some books.

All in all, we were a little disappointed with the DVD release party. After looking at some books, we decided to call it an evening and return home to watch "Twilight" on Pay-Per-View.

Before watching the movie, I had heard a pretty good mix of reviews. Some people REALLY loved the movie. Others criticized the writing and acting. Now, I'm one of those persons that normally is irked with sub-par acting. Maybe I just got sucked into the love story, but I found myself really enjoying this movie! I found myself intrigued by Edward and how cool and mysterious his character was. Okay, the whole diamond skin thing he did was kind of weird, but other than that, Edward was a pretty cool cat!

The only problem with the movie is that it's part 1 of a 4-part (for now) series, and it leaves the watcher itching for more! Oh, well ... looks like I'll be reading all 4 books sometime soon!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MAC & Hello Kitty : A Marriage Made in Heaven

About a week ago, MAC debuted its Hello Kitty line of makeup. I happened to be at Macy's because I desperately needed some new lip gloss. I love MAC lip glosses because they are long-wearing. The one I usually buy is called Lip Glass, and there are two different colors that I tend to favor.

I walked in and asked for some assistance with the new Hello Kitty products. Not only did I want a new lip gloss, but I also wanted some sort of lip care product. My lips can get extremely dry, and the only thing that really helps is Carmex.

The great thing about Carmex is that it's really cheap and easy to find, but I hate that it tastes like medicine! But, I've put up with it because it's the only thing that really works for me.

Since I've tried many different lip care products, I was a bit skeptical to try something new. I've just been disappointed way too many times. The guy at the MAC counter -- yes, it was a GUY -- suggested the MAC Lip Conditioner. There were a few things I liked about it already: 1) It was included in the new Hello Kitty line which meant CUTE Hello Kitty packaging and 2) It smelled like vanilla. I absolutely *heart* lip products that smell good and/or taste good. YUM-O !!!

I took it home and tried it right away. The results ??? Fabulously soft lips! I put some on right before bed and also before leaving the house for work. The product is slightly thick, but I like that because it makes me feel like it's there working and hasn't worn off too quickly. I don't feel that it's too heavy on my lips at all. The sweet scent and taste are added bonuses. I noticed a difference in my lips within a day of using this product.

I would definitely recommend this product and plan to keep using it. In fact, it's a must-have in my purse!!! If you suffer from really dry lips, you may want to check out this product. The cost was around $14, I THINK. If you're a girly-girl like me, you will love having this in your makeup bag.

*** As a final note, I should mention the importance of drinking lots of water as chapped lips can often be a sign of dehydration. So, please keep that in mind as well!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

~ Twitterpated ~

I still have a few scrapbooking swaps to finish this month, so I went to the scrapbook store this weekend to buy a few sheets of paper.

I wandered around the store, not really seeing anything that jumped out at me. I hate when that happens. But then again, I also hate when there are too many things I want to buy!

The shop owner was at the counter unwrapping some paper packs, so I approached her to inquire about some samples of work that were on display, particularly a layout of some dogs. As we chatted, I got a better look at the different papers she was taking out.

I noticed that one of the sheets had pictures of different woodland creatures; and, some of the images were GLOSSY. The paper was absolutely adorable !!!

My partner in one of the swaps loves owls and woodland creatures, so this paper line was perfect to use to create items for her! I could maybe use some of it alter a composition book or maybe, wrap around a container. I could also maybe do some journaling blocks or title blocks...not sure yet.

I bought one each of five of the different papers -- not bad considering I left the store having spent less than ten bucks. Yes, I would have liked it if the papers were less than $1.29 each, but they were just way too adorable to pass up, and I knew I would be able to use them on projects. I haven't decided for sure what I'll make for my partner, but I can't wait to get started! Now, if I can just find the time ...

Birthday Surprise

I have a friend who is a fitness expert. He runs a website that I help to moderate. One of the other mods wanted to get him a thank you plaque for his birthday and have some people from the forum contribute.

One of the exercises our friend likes to do is to use a sledgehammer on a tire. So, my mod friend and another mod came up with the idea to mount a mini sledge hammer on a plaque.

Since he lives in Canada, and I live in the U.S., we figured it would be easier for me to handle the funds and the shipping.

I set out on a mission to find a small sledgehammer. Shouldn't be hard, right? I figured I could just go to any hardware store, and I settled on Lowe's.

Mind you, I know NOTHING about tools and the like. But, it seems logical to me that I would find one in the HAMMER section. So, I saunter over to the hammer section, determined to find a sledgehammer on my own -- me, a WOMAN -- find a sledgehammer BY. MY. SELF.

I stare at the assorted tools and look for a label that says "SLEDGEHAMMER". Don't see one.

WAIT. Here's something. Well, it says "MALLET" though ??? Hmmmmm..... I shoulda paid closer attention to Ross' sledge vid.

I decide to ask for help. I find a worker a few aisles down and tell him I need a small sledgehammer. The guy says, "Sure, I can show you" and promptly walks me over to the very section I had been standing in a few seconds ago. *sigh*

He grabs one off the shelf and holds it up proudly.

Now, THIS is the BEST that money can buy! It's made of hickory. This sucker is SOLID !!!

And, with that ... he grabs the head and it BREAKS OFF.

HIM: Oh, I guess someone broke this one.

ME: much for being SOLID. Do you have something else?

HIM: Looks embarrassed.

ME: You know what...I'll just look around.

I give the display another once over and then leave.

After discussing things with my mod friend, I seek out another hardware store a few days later. There, I find what I need.

We wanted to include a thank you sentiment and an inspirational quote on the plaque. After going back and forth, my friend found one that we agreed on. Here is the finished plaque. I think it turned out really nice, especially with the gold leaf lettering.

Zero to Sixty in Three Seconds

It's been a week since my last post. Things have gone from zero to sixty in three seconds. I got a ton of calls from clients at work, which is a good thing! I put it in a lot of hours working on paperwork and trying to get files ready for submission. I was simply overwhelmed. By the time Friday came, I was EXHAUSTED! That evening, I told Mikayla that I was going to take a ten-minute catnap, but instead, I ended up sleeping for about 4 hours. I just really needed to recharge my batteries!

I am still trying to get caught up at work this week. Hopefully, that will happen in the next day or two. From then on, I plan to do cold calls and work on flyers to drump up more business. Got to make hay while the sun shines!!!

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to play with my camera, and I am worried that I will fall behind with the lessons. But, work must be my priority now as it pays the bills.

I've been perusing a photography forum, and I find myself excited at the thought of experimenting with photography once again. I'm particularly interested in playing with textures. Hopefully, soon ... !!!

I've even been toying with the idea of doing something on the side that involves photography. I'm not exactly sure what yet. I don't think I want to get into shooting weddings. I think I enjoy the pp (post production) part of it more. Hmmm...some sort of graphics designer maybe ??? I don't know. That just seems a little out of character for me in that I never enjoyed ART. Yet, I find myself fascinated by the rules of graphic design -- knowing what makes things look more pleasing to the eye.

Anywho, I hope to get out this weekend and take some pictures. So much for Project 365 (POTD). Well, I knew it was a bit unrealistic for me to think I would take a picture every single day. My goal is to at least take pictures more often -- perhaps weekly. That would make me happy!

I completed the 10-day Navy Seal pushup program. YAYYY !!! No matter how tired I was, I forced myself to do my pushups. Around the 8th day, my right wrist started to ache really bad. It was tolerable, but I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to do my 100 pushups a day.

Thankfully, I was able to finish out the program. I think I need to just be sure to do some stretches in the future. On day 11, my plan was to completely rest my body. However, Mikayla and I were just too curious!

I had to know many pushups I could do at that point. So, with Mikayla's urging, I got on the floor and did FIFTY-ONE pushups without stopping. I was really pleased as I am sure there was no way I would have been able to do that many before I started the program.

Next time, I'll remember to do an assessment of my pushups BEFORE I start the program, though! DOH !! ~LOL~ Would have been nice to have known how much I could do back then.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monday Happenings

I started the day off with a set of fifty pushups and was pleased to find myself getting through the set pretty easily. I think I stopped around 30, paused for about ten seconds and then continued. It felt good to knock out my first set before I even started my day ! I completed my second set this evening, after dinner.

My arms and triceps still hurt today but not as much as they did yesterday. I am finding that my core also aches a bit too, but I take that as a good sign. No pain, no gain, right?

I have decided not to up my pushups to 150 per day because I just really want to play it safe and not push myself too hard. I did actually throw another set of 10 in after the second set of 50 only because I felt I could have done better in the way I executed the pushups. So, I sort of punished myself by making myself do an extra ten!

Today, I tried to get caught up on tons of paperwork, but I feel like I made only a tiny dent in my workload today!!! This evening, T text messaged me and we talked for a short while on Yahoo. To add to my stress, I found out that he is coming home a little earlier than expected!!! OMG !!!!!!!!!!!! I am very anxious and happy, but this puts a little more pressure on me to make sure the house is in order so he can relax when he comes home.

I made a list of all the things I want to take care of before his arrival date. GAHHH!!! Yet ANOTHER list of things to get through, but they are things that I planned to get done eventually. I just feel a little more pressure to get them done NOW!!!

This evening, I tried to take some pictures out in the complex park so I could get a POTD pic and also fiddle with different aperture settings. I ended up frustrated yet again because the shutter was staying open too long. I think it was just too dark already by the time I went outside. I didn't think to adjust my ISO until Mikayla and I came back home and I jumped on the photography board to read up on more info. This may have helped. I'm not sure. I'm going to stick with it and practice more though, because I'm determined to master my camera!

I had Mikayla pose for a few shots, but most of those ended up blurry due to the shutter speed. The camera automatically adjusts shutter speed when you are in AV mode, but you adjust the f-stop (or aperture setting). On top of that, Mikayla was a very unwilling model today, so I gave up on using her soon into the session.

I scanned the park hoping to find some flowers somewhere to take pics of. We have some hibiscus bushes around the complex, but I didn't see any with flowers in bloom. In desperation, I looked up at a tree that was nearby and decided to take a picture of it. I wasn't really thrilled with the picture, but I also wasn't in the mood to go walking around and hunt down the perfect object for my POTD pic. Besides, I realized by looked at other POTD pics that a lot of the photographers take pics of everyday objects. So, I snapped a few shots of the tree.

I realized only after I got home that the pic I liked best was a little blurry. I did like the blue sky and tweaked the brightness and contrast a little. At first, I found the picture to be quite boring, but after I framed it, I felt a lot better about it. It's certainly not a majestic-looking tree or a pretty tree, but I guess it will do for my POTD.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday update

I decided to sign up for an online 12-week photography course. I desperately need a refresher! I think I'm going overboard and taking on too much (AGAIN). I'm participating in the course, a Project 365 photo challenge (POTD project) and a monthly photograph scavenger hunt challenge. Okay, that's THREE different ones. OY!

I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and use week one's lesson to capture a pic that I could use for my POTD. This week's lesson is in aperture/f-stops. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my camera to cooperate, so I have no pictures to post today. I simply got frustrated and abandoned the idea. But, tomorrow is another day, and I at least have an entire week to play with this week's topic!

Also just wanted to report on my pushup activity for today. I did 9 sets total. I cheated and included one set of 20. Each set was pretty easy, and I found myself having to resist the temptation to do more per session just for the sake of cranking them out quicker. I'm a little nervous to see how I handle tomorrow's two sets of 50, but I am also excited that I'm just about halfway through the program!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pushup Report for 01-03-09

Today is day 3 of the program and, so far, so good. My triceps are aching more today and my arms feel a bit weak when I raise them. It's nothing I can't tolerate right now, though.

I did a set of 50 pushups this morning and just did a second set of 50 about an hour ago (it's 9:45 pm). I did have to stop at around a 30-count with both sets, but all in all, I was pleased to see how quickly I was able to get through each set.

Right now, I'm fighting the temptation to up my total daily pushup count to 150 instead of 100. I sometimes get too anxious and can get ahead of myself, and the last thing I want to do is overexert myself, so I need to really think about this before making any changes. Keep in mind that I am doing them with bent knees (girly style). I'll give it another 2 days and, after day 5, if I find that I can manage easily enough, I will do 150 pushups per day for the remainder of the program.

POTD 01~03~09

Today, Mikayla and I went up to the Pali Lookout. It is one of the major tourist attractions here on Oahu, and I wanted to take some pics for a scrapbook swap I'm in. I needed a few pics for some layouts.

It is so incredibly windy there, and that makes it difficult to keep the camera steady when taking pictures. In some areas, it feels like the strong winds are about to pick you up and carry you away!!! The tourists around us were laughing in amazement. Children were screaming with glee. I, on the other hand, was a bit annoyed as I tried to steady the camera while worrying about my t-shirt flapping up in the wind.

I was a little disappointed with the cloudy conditions, but at least it wasn't raining. I had been wanting to get out there for weeks to take the pictures, and I really couldn't hold off any longer. It seemed that everytime I thought the weather was clearing, it would rain again. But, I guess that is winter weather in Hawaii for you!

Here is one of the best shots. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it'll have to do. I did have to brighten the pic a little in PSE, but other than that, I didn't really fiddle much with it (not that I know how anyway...LOL).