Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Favs

Howdy, girls! It's been a few days...And while I haven't posted I have been visiting your blogs and commenting. I just love sharing the comment love, don't you? I mean it is so important, that we as bloggers support one another. I know I have said it before but I feel the need to share it again....

I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read Words of Me Project. I hope I inspire you in some way. Thank you so much for the comments, too. They make my day and I enjoy reading what you have to say!!:)

We had a WONDERFUL visit with Kam and his darling wife Abby. It was too, too short but we crammed a bunch into the day. Visiting, a movie and Cosmic Bowling. We stayed up till 2 A.M.!!

Wednesday and Thursday I spent both days in bed with a HORRIBLE migraine. Anybody get those? Man oh man...it was the worst. So grateful for Zomig and a caring husband.

Let's get to Friday Favs, shall we??

1. After waking up from migraine hell I felt the need to be outside. Decided to plant these...

Ever since I was a little girl I have loved pansies. They are so cute...look at their little faces:)

2. 80's music. I mean, I may have said it before but honestly I LOVE the 80's!!! We have satellite radio and the 80's channel is on  most afternoons. While I clean, blog, fold clothes, create...whatever...it's on! I love everything...

-Culture Club
Michael Jackson
Def Leppard
REM
OMD
Tears for Fears
Simple Minds
Poison
Chicago
DeBarge
Kool and the Gang
Prince
Motely Crue
Van Halen
Fine Young Cannibals
 Cliff Richard
The Go Go's
Belinda Carlisle
....the list goes on and on!!

My 80's music can take a ho-hum job and make it FUN!

3. I spend most of my afternoons alone. I cherish the solitude...

It allows me to reflect on my life. When it's all crazy and chaotic...I love that, too. But when it's just me in the house, working on a project or cleaning...I have time to think. Nine times out of ten I end up, lost in thought, replaying those moments that have meant the most to me. I am inspired by the time with just me.

4. I am loving this Documentary on "Woodstock".



Even though I was just 3 years old during this history making event I have always been fascinated by it...secretly wishing I would have been old enough to go. This documentary I've been watching just blows my mind. There were nearly a half a million people on just over 600 hundred acres of donated farmland. Check out these images...

Did you know there wasn't ONE serious altercation during the entire 3 days?! No fights, no shootings, no police involvement?! Amazing and so wouldn't happen today.


I told my husband I could have so been a hippie-LOL!!:) Anyway, for an interesting documentary...check this one out.

4. My last Friday Fav today is my writing. While I was so sick with my migraine I realized how much I LOVE it. I was in so much pain there was no way I could have sat at my computer and type...but yet, I was so itchy to do just that!! I am thankful for this thing called a Blog. I am thankful for all you talented women bloggers!!

Well, I am off to the chiropractor...part of my migraine is because my back and neck are out. Then packing for a weekend of fun in Kansas City. Em has a soccer tournament!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

We have a winner , girls!!

Okay, so I didn't use a random generator thingy {not big enough for that, yet}. Instead I wrote down all 11 names, put in a pile, closed my eyes and drew the winner...

Letherton!! 

She has the cutest blog...check it out.

Thanks to each of you that left a comment. I appreciate YOU!

I'm taking a computer break today as one of my favorite people on the planet is visiting with his wife from Utah. They are just passing through so we only get to enjoy them for a day and night. I will post pics later in the week!!

Happy Tuesday!!!

And my Word Is...PLUS "Make My Monday"

So, how was your weekend? Ours was so relaxing!! Saturday we got up early and headed to St. Joe for Em's soccer game. Tons of fun but very WET. {ugh}

We made it home around 11:30 am, made a bite to eat then took a nap. Now, I had every intention of just laying down for an hour or so but I ended up sleeping for 2! Thought I'd get up, maybe scrap, organize a closet and get groceries...but ya' know what? We all ended up watching Andrew Zimmer's "Bizarre Foods"!! Em and I did finally get to Wal-Mart and the movie store. We ended up watching "Yes Man" and the new, Oscar winning movie "Crazy Heart" {LOVED it!}. Before we knew it...it was 11 o'clock at night and time for bed. It was a perfect Saturday!!
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Mondays are AWESOME! I get to start fresh for the week AND share another interesting Blog and interview with you. Today's lucky gal is Trish from the super cute, way fun "Me and My Boys". Be and stop by her Blog today...love her easy going style...





Hey, Trish!! Thanks for the interview. I am so excited to get to know you better:) I found you on SITS {i think}. What I loved at first and made me want to read more was your "beachy" theme. Just so laid back...plus it reminded me of home! Tell us about your Blog Beach theme...

I decided on a beach them because we live 45 mins from the beach here in NC and we spent almost every weekend there(and still make it home in time for dinner)  the hubs and I also meet while we were both on vacation in Myrtle Beach...so it just fits who we are and how we became "us"
If you want the entire long story on that just head over to my blog and hit the ABOUT US button at the top....it will really knock your flip flops off!!!


How did you get into the blogging world? Tell us your story.
I was begged by a friend of mine to start one. Most of my family lives out of state so they enjoy the pictures and funny stories Kyle provides me to write about.


You often posts photos of your son...he is very adventurous. Actually it sounds like you all are!! What do you and your family spend the most time doing for fun?
Yes, Kyle keeps me very busy....I guess that explains why we stopped with just one child. Me & My Boys spent most of our time outdoors. They love to fish & hunt and since i am the only female in the house I just tag along. We love being on the water, either the beach or out on our boat. We also live on a creek so our summers totally revolve around the water.




Do you work outside the home?

yep, I stayed home with Kyle until he was 9 months old then I headed back out to the working world and adult conversation(that was before fb and blogging so it was very boring for me) I would love to open my own business some day but have no clue what I would even sell!



I love to hear what inspires other women. Tell us a few of your inspirations.

Kyle is the first thing that comes to mind. I don't want to be remembered as the mom who sat around on her butt all day while the kids grew up in front of the computer and tv(I'm lucky if Kyle sits still long enough to watch a 30 min sitcom!) so I get outside with him everyday. We walk, ride bikes, fish, walk the trails and play ball. He keeps me young.....and thats enough inspriation for me!





Since we're going for a beach theme here...if you were stranded on an island what 5 things would you want with you {excluding family}.

cellphone
ipod
Pina Coloda
a good book
and at leaset SPF 15 sunblock


On that same island...what 3 books would you hope to have with you??

the bible
anything by Nicholas Sparks
and a book that showed me all the poisonious spiders that live were I was stranded
I HATE SPIDERS!
Thanks so much, Trish for taking time out of your day to talk to little ole me. It has been fun chatting with you!

**Be sure and say Hi to Trish today {tomorrow works, too}. And while you're there grab a button for your Blog!!

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Okay, let's get to my WORD from last week. Life has been really, really great!! We are eating healthy, losing weight and living life. Add in all the warm weather we have been getting...lots of happiness going around the Ackman household:)My WORD is...

BRIGHT

1.
animated; lively; cheerful: a bright and happy child; a bird's bright song.
2.
characterized by happiness or gladness: All the world seems bright and gay.
3.
favorable or auspicious: bright prospects for the future. 
I have been thinking a lot about what I'm gonna do with my 52 WORDS from this year. Not sure yet if I'm gonna create a digital book with each Blog entry/Word in it or make something by hand...like a deck of cards or mini album. I'm leaning towards a digital book...never done that before and think it would be cool.

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I will draw the lucky winner of the journaling prize pack tomorrow. Be on the lookout for the winner {it could be YOU!}

Also...if you'd like to be considered for a "Make My Monday" interview...leave a comment below. I visit EVERY blog and if I love it, you could be the next feature!! {and I'm sure I will love it}

And, yes I changed up my blog look again. Just wanted something new in anticipation of my Blog makeover that is coming soon. Talked to Katie the other day and she is busy sketching it out for me. Can't wait to see what she comes up with!! If you are looking for a Blog makeover check out Flibby Pie Designs:)

Happy Monday!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My 100th Post!! It's Friday Favs!!

Happy Friday and Happy 100th post to me!
I never imagined when I began Words of Me Project I'd be 47 followers strong, meeting some of the most inspirational women ever and writing like crazy. Makes me so very HAPPY! I am grateful to each one of you that takes time out of your day to stop by and say "Hi". I appreciate YOU!

To say THANK YOU and to CELEBRATE I have a goodie bag ready to give away.

Lots of journaling stuff here...
A full set of journaling cards from Webster's Designs. These have a beautiful botanical theme. The cutest mini journal{Emma picked out}, a mini chipboard album from Jenni Bowlin Studios, Fancy Pants journaling and quote cards, Chipboard punch-outs from Colorbok and a set of idea cards {the perfect place to write down your layout ideas}.

All you have to do to win is leave a comment below!! And remember...I ALWAYS stop by for a visit!! I love being inspired by you.:)

Now on with my Friday Favs...

1. See what my sweet Emma is up to...

She is running for Student Council President of the Middle School! I am so proud of her and really think she has an excellent chance of winning. Her and her friend Maddie made this pass along cards after school yesterday. Too cute:)

2. My family and I are really enjoying the show "Flash Forward" on ABC. Started watching it last fall and we can't get enough. Catch it Thursdays at 7pm cst.

3. My darling Mom took me to another Dinner Show in Kansas City on Wednesday. The play was a comedy starring John Davidson. I am so grateful we get to do this.

{btw, I could really tell in this photo I have lost weight in my face!!}

4. I am crazy for this!!!

Vanilla tea is my FAVORITE...but since I don't drink tea anymore {just herbal} I haven't had it in 4 years. Imagine how delighted I was to find this in my local grocery store a few weeks ago. It is delicious iced!! Here's what the Celestial Seasonings website has to say about this yummy blend:

“Vanilla lovers, rejoice! We’ve added the creamy, nutty flavor of rich vanilla to Sleepytime’s beloved blend of floral chamomile, cool spearmint and lively lemongrass. With its comforting aroma and perfectly balanced flavor, Sleepytime Vanilla is an exquisitely soothing new way for you to wind down your day.”
— Charlie Baden, Celestial Seasonings Blendmaster Since 1975


Why not try some and while your at it stop by their fun website.

5. Tuesday night is my TV night for sure.The Biggest Loser inspires me to continue on my weight loss journey while I watch American Idol for pure entertainment. This gal is my favorite and I think will win....


Crystal Bowersox. AMAZING!


6. So grateful for my friend Kristin and her sweet daughter Audrey. I look forward to our daily walk and talks. Don't know what I  would do without them!!

And finally...

7. I am sooooo very, very happy I purchased Becky Higgins "Project Life" last January!!

There you have a few of my favorite things this week.

Oh and before I go...here's a layout I created this week. Love it!

It's 12x12. I used a 5x7 photo with lots of fun embellishments. We were on a ride at "Lagoon" in Utah. A favorite memory of mine:)

Sure would love to hear about your Friday favorites AND don't forget to leave a comment to win some really cool journaling products.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just a little something to think about...

Whew! Sorry yesterday's post was a bit of a downer. Normally I am positive and upbeat but there are times when we all need to reflect on how we became the women we are today. And, for me....it is important to have those hard times in my journals and my scrapbooks.

Thank you so much for baring your souls right along with me, girls. Each one of you are amazing and have overcome so much!!! I cried as I read each comment. Bless you.

Today is gonna be a no computer day for me. I need to stay focused on my house as well as catch up on Project Life.

A couple of things...

1. Tomorrow I will be at 100posts!!!! So excited about that! To celebrate look for a GIVE AWAY during my Friday Favs!

2. And speaking of give aways...the week long party begins as soon as my "blog face lift" is complete! Katie is still hard at work {thanks, Katie}

I leave you today with something to think about...

"To believe in magic as a viable way of enhancing our quality of life does require a leap of faith. We must see life in slightly romantic terms; recognize falling in love or growing a flower or even cooking a perfect pie as a demonstration of the magic of balance, of everything coming together in just the right way."  -Titania Hardie

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Word that Defines You

First of all I must tell you how much FUN I had reading through all your favorite movies!! Many of them I have seen and could have so easily been on my list. Others I can't wait to watch! {Angie, can you believe I have yet to see "The Notebook"? My mom keeps telling me about it...and Courtney...you gotta see "Urban Cowboy"! Like I said John is so dreamy and the soundtrack is great! And Peggy!! "The Final Countdown"...that's so funny!! I saw that with my parents waaaaay back when and remember really loving it. Our local dvd rental place has it in their new releases now and I thought about watching it again. It's been YEARS!}

Today is "Wordy Wednesday". Today let's take a look at one word that defined our childhood. Were you Athletic? Dramatic? Optimistic? Were friends and family always commenting on how Sweet you were?
 
Of course we're not going to be able to sum up our entire childhood in one word...there are bound to be many.

 So for this particular challenge I want you to think about an incident that happened in your life that had a major impact on you. Something so big it shaped and molded who you are today.

Remember this doesn't have to be a positive experience. In fact, I would guess that many times for an event to have such an effect on our lives...it was probably not the best of  times.

In my case this couldn't be more accurate. Most of my childhood I was FAT. Please understand that I absolutely, 100% loathe the word FAT. It's got to be one of the most hurtful words in any language. However, because of what happened to me the word FAT must be used.

All through grade school I was overweight. Consequently I was made fun of  a l l.  t h e.  t i m e. For years I struggled with the insensitive and down right mean words that were often spewed at me. Even after becoming an accomplished athlete in my 30's and wearing a size 9 jean I often looked in the mirror, critiquing every body part. I could still hear my classmates taunting me, almost wishing I'd break down and cry in front of them.

A few years ago "Basic Grey" was sponsoring an album contest. I created one {and entered}called "I Never Imagined". The layout I am sharing today was taken from that album.

That's me in 3rd grade. One of the heaviest periods of my childhood. Most of the ridicule I remember happened here. The title of my page is "fat".

The letters are Basic Grey. I inserted another photo here of me. I remember this time in my life so vividly...I was so unhappy. By the way I am 9 years old and in the 3rd grade.


The inspiration for the entire layout came from an incident that is burned in my memory. It was "weigh" day at school and I was dreading it. I didn't care so much if the adults saw what I weighed but from past experience I knew they would call out my number...and they did. L o u d l y . It was 125. Everyone snickered. I about died. It was the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to me. To this day when I see a group of people laughing I cringe thinking they are laughing at me. Sad.

It was so important for me to have this on my layout somewhere. I used a mini file folder from Hobby Lobby.

There is so much journaling on this layout {i had so much to say-vent}. This is underneath my photo and printed out on a transparency. It says...


"Fat Stats"
Leslie Dawn Jackson
Age 9 Third Grade
Weight 125 pounds
I love to eat! One pan of cinnamon rolls with lots of butter, a whole bag of Doritos, one large pizza with a pitcher of pop and potato chips with sour cream and onion dip.
*When I'm not eating I'm thinking about eating

I housed the main part of my journaling in this envelope I altered.

It reads...


"Here I am...in 1976 at the age of nine. I am so fat. It hurts to look at this photo. At the time this photo was taken I was miserable. My whole world was food. My parents fought constantly...Dad drank. Whenever I heard my parents begin to argue I'd grab a bag of chips and a soda then hide in my room soothing myself with food. Food was my friend. When Dad go drunk and it was just Mom and I we'd walk to the Little Store. She'd let me buy anything. Sometimes it was frozen Charlston Chew candy bars, sometimes we'd share a bag of Taco Doritos. On good days she'd buy me a pan of cinnamon rolls and let me eat the whole thing with half a stick of butter. I weighed 125 pounds here. I remember once the nurse weighed me and yelled out my weight. Everyone including the adult volunteers laughed. I wanted to die. I was embarrassed to go to gym class. It's humiliating when no one wants you on their team. I'd just be left, sitting on the bleachers waiting for Mr. Kamp to put me on a team. All the kids would groan and say...Oh, not her. I was scared to walk to my school that was just 2 blocks from my house. Sometimes the kids that made fun of me would try to pick a fight with me. I was afraid they would beat me up.I rode the bus home in fourth grade. I was still so fat. The older kids wouldn't let me sit down.Almost everyday I'd have to stand all the way home and listen to the boys make fun of my butt. I really, never imagined people could be so cold hearted. One time I overheard my Mom's best friend tell her daughter not to eat so much or else she'd end up fat like me. I'm 39 years old and that still hurts. My classmates never got to see the real me. All they saw was a scared, sad, overweight me. Inside I was kind, I was funny, I was thin. Nobody cared. I wanted so desperately to dress like all the girls in my class. Pretty dresses, cool bell bottoms. Instead I  wore Pretty Plus sizes from Ward's. There was nothing cute about them. On days I thought I looked nice, I'd stand tall, smile and think...okay, today I feel good. Today no one will say anything. Those were the worst days. Those days hurt twice as bad when some kid yelled...hey, hey, hey it's FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT ALBERT. My nickname...Fat Albert. I never imagined they would turn my favorite cartoon into such hurtful words. Oh, God how I hate this time in my life."

Thank you for letting me share this with you. I know it's a downer...but creating this page and writing down the journaling was so theraputic for me.

Now, it's your turn. Can you think of one word  from your childhood that had an impact on you? If you want, share it with us. And if not, if it's too painful please take the time to explore your feelings surrounding this time in your life. Create a page, a journal, anything...just get it down. Not only can it help you but it will give insight to future generations of why you do the things you do. Of how you became you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Movies I Can Watch Over & Over & Over...

I don't know about you...but I'm addicted to movies. From drama to comedy, action to horror, cartoons to classics...I adore them all.

Some of my friends {especially my Mom} have hundreds of DVD's and VHS tapes. You would think since we are a family who often watches them we would have more...but the truth is I am cheap and refuse to pay $24.95 for one. $5.00? Yes. Anything above that? It's gotta be something really special!! {like The Blindside}.

Honestly, though...I don't think it would even matter if we had a thousand movies to choose from...something tells me I would keep coming back to these....





1. John Travolta and Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy. This one I have on VHS and have about worn it out. I LOVE this movie and never tire of seeing John in a cowboy Hat...and those jeans:) Dave and I even chose our wedding dance from this soundtrack. It's Anne Murray's "Could I Have this Dance for the Rest of My Life".

2. St. Elmo's Fire. I bought this one on DVD a couple of years ago and have watched it about dozen times since. Many times I just put this one on when I'm writing or scrapping. I know the whole thing by heart and have the soundtrack on cassette!!

3. School of Rock. Jack Black is my hero in this movie. He is zany, cool, sings well and loves the kids. My family and I own VHS and DVD copies of this one! We all have seen it over and over.

4. Speaking of Jack Black...here is our family's all time favorite movie EVER!


Nacho Libre!! This one is on DVD. We are constantly quoting this silly movie:)

5. For a good, old fashioned spooky movie this is the bomb!

Kate Hudson stars and is perfect. For a creepy good time...The Skeleton Key fits the bill.

6. Twister. You know with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt. Hard to believe this one is old enough to have been on VHS...but it is and we own it. We usually pull this one out in the Spring...go figure. I mean we do live in "Tornado Alley"! Several years ago when we went to Universal Studios we got to experience the Twister ride. Pretty sweet.

7. 50 First Dates. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The perfect combination! This one is on DVD.

8. That brings me to another favorite starring those two...Wedding Singer. It's full of like totally awesome 80's tunes, Drew and Adam with a snip at Billy Idol. Found this for 5 bucks on DVD at Wal-Mart.

9. For a great, suspense filled movie I pop in Cellular starring Kim Bassinger. This one is on DVD.
Even though I have seen it at least 6 or 7 times it still keep me on the edge of my seat.

10. Breakfast Club. Need I say more? I don't own this one yet...haven't been able to find it. I would pay more than $5 for this one:)


11. All the Right Moves with Tom Cruise. Anyone else remember this one? This one is on VHS.
12. The Island with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Sci-fi with lots of suspense...this is another family favorite we own on DVD.

13. Uncle Buck starring John Candy and McCauly Culken. The part where he's flipping the pancake still is one of my favorite scenes. This one is on VHS and DVD.

14. Another John Candy favorite is this one...

Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Love the ending...I cry everytime. {Plays my favorite song, too}

15. Some Kind of Wonderful...another John Hughes film from the 80's. They were the best weren't they? I don't own this one {yet} but I do have the soundtrack. My favorite motion picture soundtrack ever.
{i used to want hair like that!!}

16. Christmas with the Kranks starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis. This movie came out several years ago and has become one of my top 5 favorite Holiday movies. Found this one at yard sale last year on DVD for $3!

17. I have saved my favorite, watch all the time movie, for last...

An Officer and a Gentleman. This one came out in the early 80's. I used to have a massive crush on Richard Gere and he is so sexy in this movie! Plus I love all the bootcamp scenes and let's face it...when it comes to endings...this one is the BEST!

What are your favorite movies? Let me know!! I would love to add to my collection:)

Be sure and stop by tomorrow for Wordy Wednesday. We'll be talking about words that defined us when we were younger.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Word, and Interview and an AWARD!! {pass it on}

It's Monday...I don't know about you...but rather than looking down on this day of the week I relish it. It's almost like a rebirth each and every week. My chance to start fresh. Love it.

Lots of crazy fun stuff to share...so sit back, relax and enjoy:)

We'll begin with My Word from last week. I am so energized right now. Eating right, walking, spending time with the family, enjoying sunny days and fitting in plenty of Blog time. Life is just great at the moment.I am full of

VITALITY
–noun,plural-ties.
1.
exuberant physical strength or mental vigor: a person of great vitality.
2.
capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence: the vitality of an institution.
3.
power to live or grow: the vitality of a language.
4.
vital force or principle. 
Awesome word for me.

**Remember I would really enjoy hearing about your word of the week. So if you play along {or are going to start} please let me know!!

Each Monday I feature a Woman Blogger that inspires me and I know will inspire you, too. This week's "Make My Monday" Blogger is Leanne from "Chaos Comes Happiness". Here is that interview.



Leanne, I found your blog randomly one late summer night and felt an instant bond with you. Your personality just leaps out of the screen!! How long have you had your blog and tell us what inspired you to start one....
Before I even begin, I have to say “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” for interviewing me! I have so enjoyed meeting YOU through your blog, Leslie, and when you first approached me for this interview, I think I was in shock. I mean . . . I’m just ME. Leanne. Why would someone want to interview me?  I think I’ve been floating on Cloud 9 since then!!
I started my blog June of 2009. I really knew nothing about blogs or blogging (I still have so much to learn!) One of the first blogs I ever visited was Scrapbook Extraordinaire, Ali Edwards (link: http://www.aliedwards.com/). Ali was, and still is, a huge inspiration to my creative side. After exploring her blog, and then venturing out to other blogs, I thought, “You know. I have thoughts, too. I have stories that I would love to share. I think I can be kind of funny, some times. Hey, I want to start a blog!”  I remember sitting at the computer that very first day and setting up my blogger account. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. But there was one thing I was certain of – my blog was going to be from my heart. And it always has been. I often say that my blog has been sort of a therapy session for me - an opportunity to share my inner thoughts with others, and hear their stories in return. I get inspiration from so many blogs out there. I am in awe of so many. 
Your family takes up most of your blog posts...what else inspires you/do you enjoy writing about?
I love writing stories about the crazy things that happen in my life (like hitting a Starbucks [link: http://fromchaoscomeshappiness.blogspot.com/2009/11/oh-starbucks-im-really-very-sorry.html] or smiling at strangers [link: http://fromchaoscomeshappiness.blogspot.com/2009/08/how-often-do-you-smile.html ), or things that happen throughout my days that makes me laugh and I want to share it with other people (like trying on Spanx: the Anti-Christ [link: http://fromchaoscomeshappiness.blogspot.com/2009/09/spanx-anti-christ.html]). There is nothing more satisfying then having a follower or friend comment that I made them laugh. Life is serious, hard, and exhausting. There is enough happening our lives to keep us all in a state of seriousness (bills, wars, death, etc..) For me, I want to write about things that make me feel good – and I hope, when others read my words, they feel good, too.
You are always so upbeat in your posts. Love that about your blog!! Is this the way you try to see life....the glass half full so to speak? Please share any tips on how we can all be so positive:)
Most definitely! Many, many years ago, back in my high school days, our choir director had us cheer “Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm” before every performance. It has been my mantra ever since. Now, seriously . . . it is not always easy. And I’m not always positive (my husband and family can vouch for that.) I have days when I’m in a rut and feel cranky (I usually blog about them.) But I think it’s most important to accept those days, and realize that those kinds of days WILL PASS – a GREAT day is just around the corner!  Life moves quickly, and life is short. Wouldn’t you rather spend your days being POSITIVE? Doesn’t it feel better to open your home, your hearts, your mind, to those that are here in this world with you? We are all different and have different lives, different experiences. But I think that while we are here, I’d rather life my life being a positive person. I’d rather live laughing. I think that being positive is infectious  . . . and I’d rather pass THAT around than anything else.  I also think that I make a conscious decision to wake up every day and smile. Really.  It’s as easy as that. Smile. It does A LOT!
One of the "fun" aspects" of your blog is I never know what it's gonna look like!! What makes you change it so often? {please keep it up as I truly enjoy it}
I absolutely LOVE changing the look of my blog. At first, I wondered if it was wrong to change the look so often, because I am not building continuity with those who stop for a visit. However, I decided changing the look of my blog is just WHO I AM, and my friends (readers) will accept that! In my heart, I am an artist. I am also a Gemini (that is a dangerous combination). In my life, I regularly change my environment; my hair, the way my furniture is set up, the color of my walls, my style. That resonates to my blog. Some days I feel serious, some days I feel playful. And there are thousands of cool blog layouts and designs out there! I just love to switch things up to go with how I feel at that moment. In scrapbooking, I’m a paper addict! In blogging, I guess I’m a blog background addict!

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Anywhere in the world? Wow . . . that’s a tough one. I’d love to go lay on a beach (any beach will do) with a Pina Colada in my hand. Oh, wait. Maybe that’s not what you were looking for. Right now, I’d have to say I would LOVE to travel through Europe. Italy. England. France. I’ve never been, and I have a strong interest in the Renaissance period (I’m certain I was a Queen in a past life!), so I’d love to explore the art and architecture of that time. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will take myself to Europe for my 40th Birthday (2011.) So, I’ll be there soon.

Top 3 books {right now}
AUGH! I LOVE to read. My problem . . . I do not give myself the time to do it. I recently read a post on someone’s blog about MAKING TIME to do the things that are important to you. And truth be told, I have no one to blame but myself. I completely know that. So, one of the things I am doing for myself, is making time to read. (Did I go off on a random thinking moment there? Sorry, I always do that.) Anyway . . . Top 3 Books . . . RIGHT NOW. . .  
EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert . . . I borrowed it from a dear friend a few months ago, but just started reading it last week. I am LOVING this book and her search of internal peace. 
TAKING FLIGHT: Inspiration and Techniques to give your creative Spirit Wings, by Kelly Rae Roberts. . . . Kelly Rae is a breath of sunshine. I LOVE her blog, I LOVE her artwork, I LOVE her spirit. I have an autographed copy of this one, and I each night I read a little bit of it, as I drift off to a dreamland of creativity. She is beautifully inspiring and brilliant. LOVE this book!
When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life's Sacred Questions, by Sue Monk Kidd. I love the work of this author and have read a number of her fictional books. This one is a closer look at her spiritual journey, and it speaks to me. 
There seems to be a theme to my books, don't you think? Hmmmm . . .  I think I am always searching for that peaceful place - both inwhat I write in my blog, and what I read in the books I choose.  
Anything else you would like to add??
I do just want to thank you one more time for asking me to share some of my thoughts with you. What I am most amazed about in the blog community is the GOOD that is out there. I am forever in awe of the photography, the creativity, the stories and words that are shared by thousands through their blogs day after day. And meeting you has been an absolutely wonderful part of this blog adventure. Thanks, again, Leslie. You are a dear friend! 


Awww, Leanne I feel the same and hope to head to Chicago to meet you one day:) Thanks for an inspiring interview.

*Be sure and stop by Leanne's Blog today. I know you'll become a follower {yes, it is that good!}

Now onto the AWARD. I was given an AWARD by this fabulous girl over at "Creative Attempts". Lacie was a "Make My Monday" blog a few weeks ago. You can read that interview here.

Anyway, wonderful Lacie has bestowed this award to me. I LOVE it!

Lacie, you have made my WEEK! I am so honored!!:) Now here's where the fun begins. I get to give this Happy Award to five of my blog friends that make me HAPPY!! The award goes to...
Jenny, Angie from Treasures, An Artful Life, Nicole from Fitness Freak and Leanne!!! Thanks, girls for always inspire me to live a better life and be a better me. I appreciate each one of you:)

With this award I supposed to share 10 things on my blog that make me happy. Here they are!

1. Long walks outside with family and friends.
2. Fresh strawberries and melon. YUM-O!
3. Movie night with my family. All of us together.
4. Writing on my blog everyday and checking out yours!
5. My dear, sweet puppy, Gizmo. He keeps me company all day long.
6. Soccer games with Em.
7. Love it when Jackson gets home. He comes through the door laughing. Makes me smile.
8. Working on an art project.
9. The sound of birds out my window. I enjoy having our windows open so I can hear them chirping away.
10. My daily Diet Pepsi. I know not good for me...but tastes so good. Love all the bubbly!!

And there you have it!! My Word, an interview and an award. Happy Monday!

**A BIG THanK You to all my readers. I appreciate every comment I receive and I visit everyone!! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Favs, Exciting News {& a layout}

Whoo Hoo!! It's Friday!! I am feeling so VERY Happy right now!!:)

1) "Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are." -Soren Kierkegaard

I couldn't agree more with this quote from Kierkegaard. I have found it in me. For the past 6 years I have tried with very little success to lose the 30 pounds I have slowly put on. From working out like a maniac [and not enjoying it much] to stressing over every little thing I put in my mouth...the weight wouldn't budge. I was convinced I was doomed.  But then, nearly 14 days ago I began HCG. It is a VERY strict diet, consisting of taking drops and eating only 500 calories. People this was hard and honestly wasn't working for me. I was constantly thinking about my next meal, grouchy {and rightfully so} AND I had little energy to do my daily tasks. Plus the scale wasn't moving like I thought it should. So last week I took the bull by the horns and decided to mix it up a bit. I took my old Weight Watchers point counter out, a notebook, calorie counter and began tracking every single thing I put in my mouth. I still take my drops, too. Guess what?!

I have lost NINE pounds!! And the best part? I'm not constantly starving and thinking about food and my clothes are fitting and I just feel HAPPY!!! When I eat well, I feel happy. Period.

2) Wanted to share a layout today...it's actually one of my favorites.

I was inspired to create this layout 2 years after my hysterectomy. I was the heaviest I had been in years, depressed and trying to figure out just where my life was headed...

The journaling was done in list fashion and it says...

"too fat tummy, teeth aren't white enough, hair isn't perfect, no style sense, housework never fully done, grouchy sometimes, I'm not perfect!" 9.13.08

then underneath it says "Do this for you! Love, Me"

I love butterflies...they represent so much don't they? This is a journaling note from Jenni Bowlin with a rub-on. I inked the edges to give it a more shabby look. Love how it turned out.

My title is my favorite part of the layout. The technique I used for the word EMBRACE is my favorite way to do titles [and ya' know i haven't done one this way in ages...must change that} I stamped EMBRACE with foam stamps and paint, let it dry then outlined each letter with a black pen. COOL!

Background paper is from "Webster's Pages". One of the prettiest, most versatile papers on the planet {in my opinion}

3) I have some pretty exciting news!! I visit this blog every new post...love it!! Homegrown Mom.

Last month she was having lots of give-aways...so of course I entered. I checked back a few weeks ago and was surprised to see I had WON!! It was AWESOME!! A COMPLETE blog makeover!! Whoo Hoo I was STOKED! Katie from Flibby Pie will be doing me the honor of making Words of Me Project all me. So excited!

So anyway, I was REALLY happy about that, right? I mean that is a HUGE prize in and of itself. Have you checked on how much it costs to renovate your blog? More than I can afford right now:) Anyhoo...

Yesterday I was checking my old e-mails {i am so bad about checking e-mails}and read one from Homegrown Mom....she was congratulating me on winning her contest, etc. As I read through it, however she was rattling off all these other things I had won. WHAT?! I won MORE?! ME!!!!

I immediately went back to her blog, checked out the prizes and realized I had won this whole big blog package!! Not only did I win the complete makeover but also the e-book "31 days to a Better blog" {fantastic, btw}, a $25 gift certificate to Amazon books {already know what I'm buying...check it out!}"The Artistic Mother" and this one from Elizabeth Kartchner...

{photo from Amazon}

Plus a book from this woman author and blogger..."Braveheart" and a pound of coffee from Jarbee coffee. {gonna give to my mom's friend...i don't drink coffee}

So yeah...I am waaaaay excited!!! I have been thanking Homegrown Mom over and over again for her generosity as well as all her sponsors and Katie from Flibby Pie who is creating my blog to perfection!!

All of this is coming at the perfect time. I am ready to kick it up on here. And my 100th post is coming up and I'm getting so many followers each week {which I appreciate so very much!!!}
Soooo, next week I'm gonna be announcing a HUGE WEEK of giveaways!!! Still hammering out the details so stay tuned:)

4) Beginning Monday I will be participating in Ali Edward's "Week in the Life" I LOVE this project {have done it before}. Read about it here.

5) Here is a few more photos of my life this past week. It is so good. I am blessed:) Here is Dave and the kids on his Birthday last Sunday...

Dave has lost 12 pounds now and Jacks remains at 20!! He is running daily and getting so STRONG!

Here's a photo I snapped a couple of days ago. Dave and I were in the house just watching our kids-get along. It was the BEST!

That's it for me today. I hope you have an incredible weekend filled with family, friends and anything else that makes you SMILE!!

"If this world affords true happiness, it is to be found in a home where love and confidence increase with the years, where the necessities of life come without severe strain, where luxuries enter only after their cost has been carefully considered."  -A. Edward Newton

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Interview with Alexa Lett

 Happy Wednesday!! Have I got a treat for you!! Today I am featuring {as part of my "Make My Monday"} a super, wicked talented lady... Alexa Lett. 

I found Alexa by one of those happy accidents. I was reading another  creative lady's blog  Rebecca Sower {that's another interview!!} and saw Alexa's link there. I clicked on it and was so delighted by what I found. Projects like this...
 Pretty amazing-huh? You know what is really crazy? I don't even sew...yet I am so inspired by her work. It can be adapted to scrapbook pages, journals. so many projects!! My favorite part about her art is how she incorporates words into all her pieces. Right up my alley.

Be and check out her blog "Artsy-Craftsy Merchant" .
But first...check out our interview below. I think you'll look at ways you create in a whole new way:)



What inspires you the most?

Inspiration can be found in the most unique way.  I am one who wants my house clean, meals planned, chores complete, bills paid….etc.  These household responsibilities nag at my brain filling my creative space, so these unfortunate deeds of life are done early in the day, leaving time for art.  When my brain is free of my yucky “to do” list I can enter my studio with wild abandon.  Time not clouded with life is probably my biggest inspiration!

Is there one piece you’ve created that is your favorite?  Tell us about it.

Being a Mom is my top priority.  She is quite a busy little bee leaving me to provide unlimited taxi service, team mom duties and loyal fan.  Often her sport will absorb the whole weekend leaving little time to step into the studio, so I had to learn how to make the studio come to me.  You can often find me sitting on the bleachers with my MMS (Mini Mobile Studio).  I’ve learned to create snippets of artsy stuff, they initially seem unconnected, yet when I get into the studio I think they some how begin to piece together.  The best creative moments happen when all these pieces are spread across the table and slowly they get designated a home.  I can look at a piece of art and associate what sporting event or  tournament it was birthed.  Plus, you would be surprised how many people gravitate to creativity…you can meet many kindred spirits!  Below are a few photos created this year at a volleyball tournament.








Can you share your professional experiences with us?  You have been published before, right and had your work featured on HGTV? 

Having the privilege and opportunity to be featured in national media outlets is…the bomb!  Face it, I can create all day in my studio, but having someone exchange their hard earned currency to make a purchase, hire me for my ideas, or feature my art, is confirmation that what I do is liked by someone other than me…and it sometimes brings in much needed revenue to further my “junking” habit… “baby always needs a new pair of shoes”. I am not at all blinded to the fact my buying market is but a teeny tiny minutia of the public.  What then becomes my task…is finding them.  Television, books and print media become that vehicle to reach liked minded artisans.  Every form of success, know matter what it is, opens the door for new creative adventures. 



Do you have a favorite spot to create?

Not really…creativity just happens for me.  I’m not one to do much premeditation.  It’s when my brain is not worrying about responsibilities that creativity can flourish and my lifestyle does not allow for a lot of seclusion in the studio.  My favorite spot can be found most anywhere.  Sometimes you just have to adapt.  Creativity should never be confined to one spot!

Let’s talk about blogging! When did you start and why?

I have always loved to write.  I stumbled into reading a few blogs by recommendation of friends.  Oddly, I have never been a journaler, but blogging is quite appealing to me.  It started blindly in the latter part of 2007…then it become cathartic…then it was like a drug…had to do it.  I love the interaction between artists and those who appreciate good junk; not to mention the sharing of creativity through photos and online conversation.  Blogging is my favorite new technology!  How did we ever communicate before it?

Any advice on how we as women can live a creative life and have a family?  It is so hard to find that balance so any thoughts would be appreciated!

Juggling family life, jobs, children, self-preservation, and creativity is overwhelming.  There is no defined combination of time and/or effort needed to accomplish all these tasks.  The only person who can define the necessity of each, is you.  Yea…we can all say “I am woman hear me roar!” but, actually being it is very difficult.  Learning to let go of some of the housework….buying some meals instead of making them…and creating a MMS will make life much easier.  Find your balance by trial and error….then remain perfectly clear of this...within 24 hours everything is going to change. 


Anything else you would like to add?

I’m a huge fan of words…love, love quotes!  Below is my mantra as of late.

“Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it!”  -Brock

{All photos are from Alexa!!}

THANK YOU so much Alexa for taking time out of your day to recharge our creativity and inspire us to take our passion anywhere!!!

**Be sure and visit "Arsty-Craftsy Merchant".  Make sure you leave a comment below with a link to your blog so I can come visit you today, too!!! Oh and let Alexa know you're stopping by from Words of Me Project!!:)

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I haven't told you my word from last week...it is...

TRIAL 
the act of trying, testing, or putting to the proof.
3.
test; proof.
4.
an attempt or effort to do something. 
With my new HCG plan I have been put to the test. It has been hard giving up carbs. I am still working on it but have become super frustrated. I will save that for another post {or just read up top my "30 Day Weight Loss Challenge}.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm just an average girl...

Now I am a girl that loves routine.

Like I know that every weekday morning I will get my kids off to school, I come home, walk or shower, have computer time, take a break around 10:30/11:00...maybe do a bit of housework, make a few calls...jump back on computer, have lunch right at NOON while I watch my show {that is a WHOLEother post-LOL}.

After lunch it's time to get off my bum and get laundry sorted {i hate that job}, pick up, scrub bathrooms...whatever house stuff that needs to get done. Sometimes I take this time to get my shopping done or other errands. Other times I head downstairs to scrapbook, work on Project Life or just surround myself with all my creative goodies.


I pick the kids up at 3:00...head to Sonic for our half/price drinks, then home for more housework/chat with the kids and start thinking about supper.

That's my day...most everyday. It rarely changes.

WHY?

Because I like it that way. I never used to see myself as so ordinary...but I am.

I am a creature of habit.

"That man is happiest who lives from day to day and asks no more, garnering the simple goodness of life." -Euripides

Should I be asking more out of my life? It's a question I ask myself at least every week. Afterall I am a very goal-oriented soul...or at least I thought I was. I mean I have ran marathons, completed a triathlon...I have a college degree.

Yet, here I am living very average days...

"One appreciates that daily life is really good when one wakes from a horrible dream, or when one takes the first outing after a sickness. Why not realize it now?" -William Lyon Phelps

I suppose I "do realize it now". I realize that it is these average, ordinary days that make up most of life. It's the sports practices, orthodontic appointments, grocery lists, errands, endless loads of laundry, trying to figure out what's for dinner...then making it, the picking up, the occasional walks with my daughter, soccer games, school plays, movie nights with my family, dressing up to go out once in awhile with my husband...it's all that and more. My average, ordinary life is all MINE.

It's mine. And I LOVE it. I adore it. I look forward to each and every day.

I make my bed with a smile {most days}. I see the positive in sorting socks {okay, that may be pushing it!}.

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return."  -Mary Jean Iron

What about you? How do you see your days? Are you like me...comforted by the routine of it all or are you a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of girl that craves something new each day? I want to hear all about it!!! 

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{my interview is still on it's way for my "Make My Monday" post-she is one BUSY lady!!}

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's coming...

Good morning!!! My wonderful featured Blogger for "Make My Monday" is still working on our interview. That interview and more coming later today!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Favs

I am overjoyed that it's FRIDAY!! My head is reeling with all the possibilities this day brings.

*clean house for weekend while listening to 80's music and sipping a Diet Pepsi {BIG one!}
*check out my blog friends and leave some love
*head over to church tonight for a SCRAPBBOK NIGHT! {yes!}
*watch my favorite soap with lunch
*enjoy the sunshine!!
 [I know that cleaning may sound boring but I actually enjoy getting my home ready for a relaxing weekend!! Call me CRAZY!!]

What sorts of fun things do you
love to do on FRIDAYS?!

It's Friday Favs so let's get to it!

I have lots of photos to share with you today. Each one makes me happy!!

Palm Sunday we spent the day with my Mom. Ate lunch, hung out and just enjoyed one another. Now my Mom ADORES decorating everything. She always puts her special touch on everything she does. Love that about her:) Here is one of my very favorite "touches"...

How stinkin' cute is this?? A happy little chef greeting us in her dining room with our menu for the day. Mom, this is awesome and I appreciate you doing stuff like this!! {now i gotta get  mom to read my blog...}

That same day I snapped this photo....Can you guess what my daughter Em is wearing?

It's my PROM DRESS!! Mom got out my wedding dress, too. What fun we had! Typical 80's Prom dress-huh? Almost "Pretty in Pink" like...
Em decided this would NOT be her choice of dress-LOL!

We had such a harsh winter...lots of snow and frigid temps. YUCK! So as soon as we had the first nice day you can bet we were all outside. Here's what Em did after school one day...

Put on her shorts and headed out to the tramp for a little school work. LOVE IT!

One of our many photo shoots. Do you do these with your children? So fun:)

And I can't post today with sharing this one of my son Jacks. Mr. Debate guy. He is so intense....

This was the only debate he allowed us to watch this season. He gets so nervous when we're in there and it's important he do well for the judges.



One of best decisions I made this week was keeping a notebook and pen with me. There are always so many thoughts running through my mind...many of them could be used for posts! I was getting so frustrated...I would have an idea then *poof* it would be gone. {i swear...i am getting so old-sigh} Having the notebook has allowed me to write down my thoughts immediately...it's GREAT! I have 5 posts I'm working on now. If you don't do this yet...give it a try.

Have you tried Pandora yet? PLEASE stop by TODAY!! Pandora.com    You will L O V E IT!!! I found it when we got our Blackberries. It was free so I thought cool. Pandora is this place where you can create your own radio stations!! You just type in a fave artist or song and Pandora finds similar sounding artists and songs and plays them! You can listen on your cell phone or computer. Em and I use it all day long. It's just cool!!!

Just finished reading this...
 You can read about it here.

Now I'm reading this...



Can't wait to get started!! Read about it here. [book photos from Amazon.com]

One more thing!! Remember Phil Stacey from a few seasons back on American Idol?

He has a new song out and I LOVE it!! Keep it on my Pandora Radio. It's called "Inside Out". Be and listen!!

Ok... that's it for today. Have a WOndDeRfuL weekend! I am so GRATEFUL for all my NEW followers this week!! And love all you comments. They truly make my day!!

Be sure and stop by on Monday for "Make My Monday". My featured Blogger is a very creative lady. Her work has been featured in several magazines and on TV. Drop by that interview and check out her blog.

Peace out!
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