Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Confession 11 - 2 Year Anniversary

Hello readers! Today is a hard day to get through, it marks the 2nd year anniversary of my dear friend Sue's passing. I'm confessing about missing her today and everyday. If you take a look at the "About Me" section just to the right, you can see how this blog is dedicated to her.

I'm meeting up with some friends today at one of her favorite dinner spots to remember her. I miss her terribly every day. As I read blogs, craft, arrange parties, invites and just go through life being a mom, wife and friend I think about what Sue would have done. I know she is looking down so happy to see how her legacy is living on in her children with Jeff and her parents help. Love you my angel. 

I discovered this song a couple of weeks ago and it immediately reminded of Sue.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Confession 10 - Monday Inspiration

With a sick kid and a migraine, I'm still managing to get Confession 10 out to you guys! I know, I rock right? I was in San Diego for the weekend and have some killer photos to share, but those will have to wait till tomorrow when I am feeling better now. Today, I'm confessing that I love inspirational quotes and poems! Sometimes, they immerse in the blogsphere at such opportune times, more times than not, they are just meant to be!

I read this one this morning on Becky Higgins blog, here, and had to repost it on my blog. It's so perfect for today. I might even break out my Silhouette and make a sign with it. I'm {{crushing}} that much over it!

This is a poem that was on one of the walls in Mother Teresa's home in Calcutta, India. It seems like they aren't all her original words, but some are. I hope they inspire and {{crush}} you like they did me...

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Confession Nine - Photo Booth in your Pocket

I can't believe I'm on confession nine... Yay for me for keeping this up. It's a chore some days, just finding time to write and then trying to figure out the best topic for the amount of time I have.
Today, I'm confessing about one of the many photo apps I use on my iPhone, IncrediBooth. {{swooning}} Have you been keeping up with the PhotoBooth trend? It's everywhere, from parties, to graduations to weddings. OMG, it's so silly and fun and retro, what's not to like? It's super easy to use and gives you the flexibility of saving just one picture (like here) or in a classic photo strip format (like below). I love getting my creative fix using this app. And I'm totally ON TREND!

Check it out, at 99 Cents... you can't even get a coffee for that price!
You can shoot in all different types of filters and buy more filters right through the app.

Go have fun with this swanky app this weekend!

Yes, you see that right, Baby Bella can touch her tongue to her nose... EWE, pure talent!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Confession Eight - My Favorite Craft Machine

Today I am confessing about my favorite craft machine. It has honestly changed my life and I couldn't imagine living with out it now.  It's the Silhouette Cameo. So what is this machine? Well, it can cut paper, vinyl, fabric, adhesive sticky paper, magnetic paper ... and many other mediums that are constantly being added. This machine is unlike it's popular competitive predecessor, the Cricut.  The main difference between the Cricut and the Silhouette is that the Silhouette connects to your computer using software that comes with the machine instead of cartridges. This is so convenient. Not only are you using a system that let's you "simplify" and keep you from having to buy yet another product to store (the cartridges) but it let's you use fonts and images that you already own. It's a no brainer.

I urge you to check out the Silhouette site and take a peak. 

Take a look at the quick video to see how it works. It's wild to see the Silhouette in action. 

Here are a couple projects I've done. One using vinyl and one using heat transfer iron ons.

So ask me any questions you have about this cutter and I'll promptly answer! It's one of my favorite all time purchases ever! It's up there with my iPad and my Canon DSLR! I know right!

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Confession Seven - Nashville Photo Shoot

Today I'm confessing that I absolutely loved Nashville, TN. Not only did we get to play in downtown Nashville and listen to awesome live music, I got to do a quick photo shoot. I'm just getting back into photography after nearly an 18 year hiatus. 18 years ago, there were no digital cameras, so photo shoots are so different now, with so much flexibility. I love it!

Below is a picture of our friend's home where we stayed while we were visiting, incredible right? You have no idea how ultra cool their house is. We were so blessed to be able to stay there and partake in some great memories.

The pictures to the right were taken in the surrounding areas. I was in heaven... {{swooning}} right?

I hope these pictures inspire you to get out and see some natural beauty in your city.

And these are from downtown Nashville... all taken exclusively from my iPhone. I've used 3 different photo apps. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see which are my favorites. There are so many neat apps now to use. The hubs and I had fun goofing off as you can see. We truly were able to cut loose!
I absolutely loved downtown Nashville, all about country music, boots and good ole southern food and fun!

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Confession Six - I'm an iPhone Lover

I was going to show you more pictures of Nashville today, but a late night and a busy work schedule has impeded on me making things pretty for you, so you will have to wait till Monday, I know you are devastated! Ha!

I'm confessing today that I'm an iPhone lover. I saw this comic and quickly started laughing, this is totally my household because we are a household divided with my hubby as a Droid lover. I love my iPhone! Why you say? Well, I've used both, Droid and the iPhone and I'll have to say that the ease of use and no "crashing" are my two all time favorite reasons. Followed by the breadth of apps available.  It seems like the Droid market is catching up with the amount and types of apps, but there is still a lag! Case in point, one of my favorite photo organizing / printing sites, Shutterfly, only has an iPhone app.

So what do I use my iPhone for you ask?  Here's a list:

  1. Picture taking, editing and coloring
  2. To do list, Orchestra is my all time favorite, you can see my earlier post here
  3. List and note taking, Evernote, check out my earlier post here.
  4. Look up phone numbers, websites and information on the go
  5. Banking, I bank at Chase and can deposit checks from home {{swooning}}
  6. Keeping up on Movies, Stars and rent-able DVDs
  7. Check the Weather
  8. Listen to Music 

Where do you stand, iPhone or Droid or dare I say .... Blackberry? I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

P.S. I'll do another post in the coming weeks of my current favorite apps. So stay tuned and keep coming back!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Confession Five - Music Playlist

Well as promised, I'm confessing about some of my favorite songs right now. I'm still trying to figure out the format for these playlist posts, but for now, they will just be a mixture of all types of songs. In the future, I might label the playlists like party, dance, blogging, kids etc. But for now, it's just my favorite ones, the ones I can't get enough of and put on repeat and listen to like 10 times in a row! Yes, I'm very obsessive like that!

Follow me on Spotify... I use that service exclusively as it is not uncommon to find me downloading 10+ songs in a day and well, my iTunes budget is not that large.

Let me know your thoughts on these bad boys and if you "discovered"  a new artist or new genre you didn't know you liked. PS, if you follow me and see that "Justin Bieber" is in my most played collection, it's because my daughters have access to my account on their iPad and play it like 50 times in a row, really I promise!

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Confession Four - Guru's of Scrapbooking

I'm confessing about scrapbooking {{crushing}} and my favorite all time blogger today! I started scrapbooking back in the late 90's officially, but in my early teens as an old school scrapbooker. I've been at it for awhile. I'm in no means an expert, I just love doing it, I value it and I'm committed to it. My dear friend Sue and I would scrapbook together and scrapbooking, some could say, was the foundation of our friendship. You'll hear more about that later. Today I'd like to confess about my all time favorite "guru" of scrapbooking. I've followed  this super talented lady for years, meeting her over the years at CHA and at other local scrapbooking events. Ok, so who is she... ? Hold on there overachiever.... over the course of January, I'll be showcasing my top three! I encourage you to go to their websites and look around. I'll be featuring many of the things they do on their sites here on mine, so if you get overwhelmed (it's a lot to look at and digest) come back here and check out my ongoing features.

#1 Becky Higgins 

I am passionate about helping others to cultivate a good life and record it.
Why Becky? Well I have met her in person many times and she is very down to earth. I also relate to her the most. Most importantly because of her tagline above that she is so passionate and committed to. She has also started a whole new approach to scrapbooking called Project Life.
Check out this video below ... which takes me to another point! I love her use of still photos AND video through her site and blog. Seeing her very inspirational videos keeps reminding me what a deficit of videos I have of my kids. I need more!

Take a look at her site:

Cultivate a good life and record it. Becky Higgins

Then go and take a look at the 12 Christmas Videos she posted this year. Here's the first one. I guarantee you will laugh, smile, cry and giggle a lot! It's good therapy for the soul.

Convinced yet? Ok, now go to the site and click under "Free Stuff" see all the cool rescources she has on her site! She even posts Holiday Card Templates every year!  You'll also find two very cool custom handwriting fonts (are you a font hoarder like me?).

I'm committed to doing some "Project Life" this year and actually completing some projects! It's a goal worth keeping for my family to show them how much I love and value them.

If you are still unsure how great Becky Higgins is, take a look at this video:

And then for your final assignment, if you are a DIE HARD and want to commit like me, carve out 30 minutes in your day and watch this. If you watch this video, please please post your comments on what you think?  I'm up for the challenge this year to get my "Kid's Stuff" organized once and for all!

Okay, I think that is all for today... phew, I'm tired from all that! It was more than I envisioned, but so inspiring!

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Confession Three - Creative Parenting vs. Invasion of Privacy

Today I'm confessing that I am a parent that loves creative parenting strategies. Especially this one that comes from a mom, Janell Hofmann, from Massachusetts who has her 13 year old son sign an 18 Point Cell Phone Contract for his iPhone.

Here's Janell's Contract from her personal blog post

Dear Gregory
Merry Christmas!  You are now the proud owner of an iPhone.  Hot Damn!  You are a good & responsible 13 year old boy and you deserve this gift.  But with the acceptance of this present comes rules and regulations.  Please read through the following contract.  I hope that you understand it is my job to raise you into a well rounded, healthy young man that can function in the world and coexist with technology, not be ruled by it.  Failure to comply with the following list will result in termination of your iPhone ownership.
 I love you madly & look forward to sharing several million text messages with you in the days to come.
 1. It is my phone.  I bought it.  I pay for it.  I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest?
 2.  I will always know the password.
 3.   If it rings, answer it.  It is a phone.  Say hello, use your manners.  Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”.  Not ever.
 4.  Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30pm every school night & every weekend night at 9:00pm.  It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30am.  If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text.  Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected. 
5.  It does not go to school with you.  Have a conversation with the people you text in person.  It’s a life skill.  *Half days, field trips and after school activities will require special consideration.
6.  If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.  Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money.  It will happen, you should be prepared.
7.  Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being.  Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others.  Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire. 
8.  Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
9.  Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room.  Censor yourself.
10.  No porn.  Search the web for information you would openly share with me.  If you have a question about anything, ask a person – preferably me or your father. 
11.  Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public.  Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being.  You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.
12.  Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts.  Don’t laugh.  Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence.  It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life.  It is always a bad idea.  Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you.  And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear – including a bad reputation.
13.  Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos.  There is no need to document everything.  Live your experiences.  They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
14.  Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision.  It is not alive or an extension of you.  Learn to live without it.  Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO – fear of missing out. 
15.  Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff.  Your generation has access to music like never before in history.  Take advantage of that gift.  Expand your horizons.
16.  Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
17.  Keep your eyes up.  See the world happening around you.  Stare out a window.  Listen to the birds.  Take a walk.  Talk to a stranger.  Wonder without googling. 
18.  You will mess up.  I will take away your phone.  We will sit down and talk about it.  We will start over again.  You & I, we are always learning.  I am on your team.  We are in this together.
It is my hope that you can agree to these terms.  Most of the lessons listed here do not just apply to the iPhone, but to life.  You are growing up in a fast and ever changing world.  It is exciting and enticing. Keep it simple every chance you get.  Trust your powerful mind and giant heart above any machine.  I love you.  I hope you enjoy your awesome new iPhone.  Merry Christmas!

Invasion of privacy? I think not! This kid is only 13 years old! What are your thoughts about this? If you are paying for your child's cell phone, would you institute this type of contract? I'd love to hear your thoughts about this subject. Agree or Disagree? 

What are my thoughts?

Hot Diggity! I'm {{swooning}} right now over this contract and I will be all over doing something like this when my minions grow up old enough to get a cell phone. As the rule stands in our home right now, a cell phone is not needed till the girls drive. I know, this sounds so archaic and old school, but I'm trying to hold out on this one as long as I can!
Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Confession Two - Down Time from being Creative

Can you believe it? I'm on my second post of the year! Yahoo! I'm committed now, I have all my subscribers waiting to see what I write about next.  I'll be working on many creative projects this month, but for today I thought it would be good to show how I decompress from my "creative" day.  I have a hard time shutting off the brain and not thinking of "creative" stuff all day long.  If you are like me, everyday is hectic and planned to the gills with a "To - Do List" that is so long, I think any day now, my iPhone app is going to start charging me. In addition to exercising (I'm currently "off" the wagon) I confess that I do like watching well written TV Series to decompress. I guess you can say I'm sorta  a TV Junkie! It's just a great way to transport myself into another life, world and situation. It let's me really forget about my day and life for a short while and focus on something else.

Here are some of my favorite shows... And yes, I love watching many of these series on Netflix, back to back on my Kindle, iPad, Computer, Roku or Blue-ray... I'm committed you see?

Nashville - ABC What's not to like about country musicians living in Nashville, TN with the glitz and glam. Not to mention the amazing singers! My Nashville Soundtrack is one of my favorites right now (stay tuned to a monthly "playlist" post).

Scandal - ABC Being a Poli Sci Major, this series is riveting for me! It takes me back to my college days when I once contemplated working in Washington DC with a politician. The writing is amazing, keeping your attention from one episode to another. I couldn't watch Season 1 quick enough!

Homeland - Showtime If you are looking for an intense show that keeps you on your toes and wanting more and more this is the show for you. I absolutely love Claire Danes and the rest of the cast. It doesn't hurt that the show is highly political about a Marine who is thought to be "turned" into a terrorist when he is released after 8 years in captivity. A bit of romance and there you go, a fabulous show.

Mad Men - AMC Set in the 1960's, at a fictional advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York City. I love watching this with the hubs, we laugh and get shocked with every episode on what is considered appropriate during the 1960's  in a corporate environment. It's interesting to see the way women were treated back then.  If you are fan of this time period like me, then you will love watching Mad Men. Catch up on past episodes (originally aired in 2007) on Netflix and Amazon.

Of course with the new season of Downton Abbey starting and all the hype, I want to watch this series now! Any of you watch it?

Let me know in the comments what you like watching, I'm sure I could use another series or 2 to watch....  Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!

Friday, January 4, 2013

I'm Back ... First Confession - Reading Blogs

I'm back... ! I know, I know you have heard this before, and yes, it's getting old for me to hear as well. But, what can I say, life happens and throws me completely off track! I was legitimately waiting this time to write as I worked with a couple of designers to help me move my blog into the 2013 deliciousness it needed to be in! So, whatcha think? I'm really digging my new threads. And so yes, it is a New Year's Resolution of mine to keep this blog hopping with all kinds of fun "confessions" this year.

Here's my first "confession" for the year. I saw many posts on my personal Facebook page from friends about good books to read. I help facilitate a book club and I love reading books (I also love buying books, but that is a discussion for another day). I'm just getting back into it this year with about a 10 year hiatus, yes it's been that long (not counting reading Twilight or Fifty Shades, those don't really count do they?).  So what's my confession you say? Well, despite the fact I love reading books, I spend so much time on a computer these days I've come to love obsess about reading blogs. I mean I have to read them to stay relevant writing mine and give homage to other fellow bloggers, right? But I truly love reading blogs! It's short and sweet and I can read the whole article between phone calls during work hours and a tantrum during the witching hours. I was speaking with some old friends the other day, and was dumbfounded to find out that blog reading was new to them. I'm giving you an assignment and lesson today on blog reading. I'm trying to get you hooked and convinced that it's fun and very entertaining. Because of this, I'm pointing you below to my favorite all time satire, funny as "poo" blogs (the use of the word "poo" will make more sense once you read the blogs). But I am giving you a disclaimer **ding ding** many of these blogs have some choice words that may not be part of your vernacular, but if you are game for it, they are the coolest things since iPhone apps (wink, wink)!

BTW, feel free to check out the whole blog, but my link below is pointing you to an outright funny rant, one that wont disappoint!

Moms Who Drink and Swear

Snarky in the Suburbs

Baby Rabies

People I want to Punch in the Throat

Baby Sideburns

Check them out and leave me some comments below, lovin or hatin! I'd love to hear from you! Oh and if you haven't already, like my FB Page, the top right has my FB link!

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you liked my latest confession!