Saturday, January 30, 2010

still earning free stuff...


I just ordered another set of FREE ink cartridges from Amazon, so I thought I'd re-post the information for anyone else who might be interested in earning FREE stuff without even trying! 

(originally posted 8/3/09)


Do you like free stuff?  I do.  Especially free ink cartridges for my printer.  I get them from  And the last several times I've ordered them, they've been free.  Gotta love that, right?  I could get other stuff for free - but my choice has always been Amazon gift cards.  (you can also get Target gift cards, PayPal cash, clothing items, pretty much anything you could want)  Did I mention it's free?  And super long as you have a computer. 

It's as easy as googling.  Only instead of Google, I use Swag Bucks.  It's a search engine and it's super easy to use.  You simply download a tool bar, and any time you need to find anything online, you use the Swag Bucks search engine, rather than Google (or whatever you use now).  Randomly, you will be awarded points for searching, and when you earn enough points, you can cash the points in for prizes.  It's super easy. 

I've installed it on both of our computers and the points add up SO fast!  It doesn't take any extra effort (once you've installed the tool bar), so you get rewarded for just doing your normal thing.  So...if you're interested in getting free stuff, please follow this LINK and sign up for Swag Bucks!  You can also click on the Swag Bucks image over there --------------> in the middle of the right-hand column (where it says "earn free stuff").  :o)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

you do the math...

1 normal (curious, energetic, brave) 10 year old boy

+ 1 large (cold, heavy, pointy) icicle hanging off a roof   



Yep...lots of tears & plenty of blood. 

Luckily, we were able to treat him at home with a little tylenol, a bag of ice (ironically), and NO stitches.


He's got a nice headache this morning, so he's staying home from school...

but we feel very lucky it wasn't worse!

Monday, January 25, 2010

the weekend...

My weekend started bright and early Saturday morning.  I had a ward leadership meeting at 7:00 am.  It lasted until after noon.  Yikes, I know!  It was a good meeting, but it was definitely too long.  While I was sitting in meetings, Brad was in Salt Lake, picking up parts for his truck - his favorite girl let him down on Friday when she broke...but thanks to my dad, his shop, and a guy that works for my dad, they were able to get her up and running again quickly.  It's a good thing since Brad really needs his girl for work today!  We spent Saturday afternoon doing a few things around the house, grocery shopping, taking Meagan to a friend's birthday party (tubing in Midway), and relaxing.  Then we went out to dinner with some friends (thanks again, mom, for keeping the boys so we could go!).  It was a much needed night out - the food was good, the atmosphere was awesome, the company was fun, the roads were horrible, the fact that we went OUT made it all perfect!  Sunday started early again, with an early-morning-meeting with the Stake YW presidency.  Then church started at 11.  We had ward conference, which doesn't change our meetings a whole lot, except that our Stake leaders were in attendance - and they taught the YW/YM combined lesson, so we didn't have to worry about teaching this week, which was extra nice with all of our meetings!  We have some fun things planned for the youth this year - I'm looking forward to lots of fun, testimony strengthening experiences! :)  In the afternoon, we visited my parents for a while and picked up Brad's truck.  Then we came home just in time to finish our evening with football, food, and good friends!

This weekend also marked the opening of CHA in Anaheim.  Although I'm not there (obviously), there's a part of me longing to be there.  I'd love, just once, to go and see my projects - the ones I pour my heart (and blood, sweat, and tears.....just kidding) into for weeks before the show - in real life, displayed in booths at the show.  Someday, when my kids are older, maybe, I'll be able to go.  Until then, I'll live vicariously through my friends who are in attendance, and all of the lucky attendees blog posts and photo shares.

I can, however, show you a couple of thing I made and then shipped off to be in Sunny (I hope) California right now:



For Making Memories - New Slice Card, called funkadelic!  Aren't these fun fonts?!?



happytrails_layout_detail3 happytrails_layout_detail4

For Making Memories - New Slice Card, called happy trails!


Speaking of the NEED to watch this video to see what's new with the Slice!  Hands free!  How fabulous is that?!?

Making Memories is sharing LOTS of sneak-peeks, videos, and they are doing LOTS of giveaways on their blog again today - so be sure to check it out!

**I just got off the phone with my buddy, Laura.  She's at the show and she was giving me play by play.  She knows I'm super jealous, so she called trying to fill me in and make me feel better about being here in the snow while she was checking out all the good stuff in CA!  Thanks Laura!**

Friday, January 22, 2010

zoom, zoom...

Oh, yeah, I've been zooming alright.  The first day back on the treadmill was great.  The second day I thought I should push myself a  bit I did my morning workout and it went well.  In a moment of stupidity (and desperation to be left alone for a while), I opted for a second workout last night.  It felt great!  Until this morning.  When I woke up this morning, I popped up out of bed and almost immediately fell right down.  Seriously...I feel like someone removed my legs and reattached them while I was sleeping.  ouch!  Once I got up and got moving, they felt okay.  So I decided to go ahead and do a light workout this morning.  As long as I'm moving, I'm fine.  It's when I sit down for more than 3 seconds and then get up again that I want to cry!  Oh well...serves me right for NOT exercising for so long.

In keeping with the "zoom, zoom"'s a fun little layout I made with the new "Joy Ride" line by Cosmo Cricket.


This layout is for CHA, so it's now sitting in California in a trade show booth. 

They are adding little letter stickers to complete my title, so it will read "all natural fuel."  (water...get it??)


I really love the colors and designs in this new line.  (these pics are a bit off because I took them late at night with a flash - but check out this link to see the super cute product)

I have more to share...but right now I think I must zoom zoom to the other room so I can take a nice hot shower to see if I can loosen up these old muscles and joints! :o)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

my sweet pea...

...yep, he's my sweet pea.  And he's my baby.  He turned FOUR (gasp!!) a couple of weeks ago.  I think I finally have him convinced that he'll be my "baby" matter how old he gets.  He doesn't like it much, but I think he'll let me keep calling him baby...because he doesn't want me to be sad. lol.  His favorite color is green too...which makes this layout especially appropriate!

I used the new Garden Variety line by Cosmo Cricket for this layout.




I went kind of crazy with my sewing machine on this one.  It was fun, fun, fun! :o)

Also, did you know that Cosmo Cricket has been sharing page sketches for the last couple of weeks?  I am a huge sketch them!  I was happily surprised to see that Julie used this layout as her sketch inspiration this week!!  If you want to see her sketch, interpreted from my layout, check it out on the Cosmo Cricket blog here.  And if you play along, please be sure to let me know! :o)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

today is the day...

...I get back on the treadmill and start eating like I should.  I'm getting too old to not take better care of myself.  Seriously.  It's gotta happen.  and soon.  :o)


It's also the day I get to share some of the top-secret projects I've been working on the last few weeks.  May I introduce you to Garden Variety by Cosmo Cricket?




I just love all the fun, bright colors in this new line.  The pictures I took here really don't do justice to the product...they were taken in the dark of the night, with a flash...which means they are icky.  But now they are half way to California, so this is all I have to share. 

Here's another little peek:



You know I'm a sucker for polka love love the multi-color dots on that paper - I'm sure we'll be spending many quality hours together, multi-color-polka dot-paper and me. :)

You can see this complete line, as well as the other lines being released this weekend by Cosmo Cricket on their blog HERE.

I have lots more projects to share over the next few days...but right now, the treadmill is calling my I'm off!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

by the letter "L"...

Yes, today's post is brought to you by the letter "L."  Why? are just a few of the things on my to-do List for today:

  • finish one Last Layout for CHA - then ship them all off to Anaheim (haLLeLujah!!!)
  • do Lots of Loads of Laundry
  • return Library books
  • make homemade chicken noodLe soup and roLLs for dinner (I know...that's kind of cheating with the "L" thing)
  • clean and organize the hall Linen closet

Oh...and while I'm at it, I should share this card...'Love is in the Air':

I think it's okay to share it since Cath shared it on her Moxie Fab blog last week.  


(this is the image she shared)


(and this one is mine...just wanted to be sure you could see all four of my cuties!)

ETA:  I've had lots of questions about the products I used on this card.  And I have bad news and good news!  Everything I used on this card is from the 2009 Making Memories "Love Notes" collection.  The bad news is that it is last year's collection and it's already been discontinued, so a lot of it is now unavailable.  The good news is, it's last year's collection and what's available is all on clearance right now - just follow the links below to find the available products! :o)


Metal Charms

Glitter Letter stickers (red & pink)



It is one of the cards I created for a new special issue from Paper Crafts Magazine -


Cath has been sharing lots of sneak peeks of this issue...I can't wait to see it IRL - Looks like LOTS of great stuff in this one!

Better get busy on that List...

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I've almost cleared all of the holiday candy out of our house.  And no, I will absolutely not admit to eating most of it myself.  It needs to be gone.  I'm making the necessary sacrifices to get rid of it all (without wasting it, of course)  All of it.  Oh how I love candy.  love it.  love it.  love it.  (It's kind of like having a teenage crush on the bad just can't help it!)  Oh, and I can't eat just a little.  If I open a package, I feel the innate need to eat it all.  Seriously, sometimes I wonder how I don't weigh as much as a small (or not so small) elephant.  and of course that's not to say I don't need to lose some poundage.  I do.  Soon.  Very soon.  As soon as all of this candy is gone.

And now, for some strange reason, I feel the need to reminisce about my old friend, candy.

I don't remember having candy "at the ready" in our home when I was little, but I still have plenty of childhood candy memories... 

I remember buying a whole box of miniature reeses peanut butter cups with my allowance money.  We were in Park City at Albertsons (or was it called Alpha Beta then??)...we had just been at my dad's shop and we were on our way home when we stopped.  I remember opening the box and there were nice little rows of miniature pb cups.  They weren't individually wrapped.  It was kind of like the nice boxes of chocolates you get from Kara's or See's.  And though I don't remember actually eating them, every time I smell a PB cup now, I remember that day, lol.  And speaking of pb cups...I have to eat all the chocolate off first, then eat the pb.  Anyone else?  Oh, and do you remember the old commercials about peanut butter cups?  The ones where two people, one eating peanut butter and one eating chocolate, would bump into each other and discover a great new taste?!? lol.  I should see if I can find one of those old commercials on You Tube. (ETA: Here's one!  If you have a minute, you should totally visit You Tube and search for these old commercials...but only if you have time to waste, lol.  Funny stuff.)

Speaking of candy commercials...why don't they have the Almond Joy/Mounds commercials anymore?  ...sometimes you feel like a nut (click-click) sometimes you don't...

Easter Candy.  I remember the Easter candy.  Our Easter Bunny made sure everyone got the EXACT same amount of candy in their baskets.  Seriously.  Exact.  She counted the jelly beans.  Every single one.  She was a good Easter bunny.  She also made sure we had Reeses peanut butter eggs every year (the BEST kind of Reese's.  ever.)  I can forgive her for the marshmallow/candy shell/egg thingies. eww.

I remember buying Cadbury Fruit & Nut candy bars at Thrifty's drug store.  They were for my Dad.  He probably got one of those candy bars from me every year for Father's Day and his birthday for a good 4 or 5 years - at least.  I don't even know if he liked them.  He must have.  I hope.

You know what else I remember buying at Thrifty's?  Candy cigarettes.  Now before you go off...I will say that I do not remember ever pretending to actually smoke them.  In fact, it was only recently when I was chatting with someone about this yummy childhood treat when I learned that, apparently, the middle was hollow and if you blew through it candy dust (aka smoke) would come out.  Whatever.  I just loved the flavor...and that powdery texture.  Something about that texture...just thinking about it makes me want to bite a piece of chalk (something else I may or may not have done when I was little).  Can't find those anymore though.  I was so excited one day a year or two ago when I found some candy sticks in the store that looked exactly like the candy cigarettes, minus the pink end, but they weren't even close.  Icky.  Icky.  Icky.

I know my mom's favorite candy bar is a Snickers.  And she loves black licorice.

I remember going to the bowling alley in the summer when I was little.  Mom would give us enough money to buy a treat after we bowled (we actually took lessons there for a few summers).  I honestly don't remember what I chose...but I remember my sister almost always bought a Big Hunk.  Sometimes she would whack it on the table so it would break into a million pieces and sometimes she just tore off little ooey gooey bits and sucked on them until they were gone.

Twizzlers licorice is a road-trip/boating/camping MUST HAVE.  Really, none of these family outings are complete without Twizzlers licorice.  Red AND Chocolate for me, please.

I once dated someone who loved red vines.  I ate enough red vines that summer to last me a lifetime.  I prefer Twizzlers, though an occasional red vine is a nice change...usually in a movie theater...but only if they are soft. (Did you know you can pop hard licorice in a microwave for a couple of seconds to soften it up?  You can also let it sit on your car dash in the sunshine for a while.  And if you're not in a hurry, you can put it in an air tight container with a slice of'll soften up just like brown sugar!)

I remember when atomic fire balls were bigger...and hotter.  We would pop them in our mouths and have contests to see who could keep it in the longest.  They were HOT!  When we couldn't stand it anymore, we'd put them in a cup with some water until the hottest layers dissolved, then we'd eat the rest.

When I was in high school, my friends and I made random Friday night trips to Day's Market where we would buy Sour Patch kids in bulk.  We'd eat them until our mouths were sore...ah, good times.  Oh, and lifesavers.  We'd buy peppermint (I think) lifesavers and then we'd go sparking.  We'd drive to the top of Valley Hills, where it was pitch black, turn off the car, open the lifesavers and chomp on them.  Of course, you have to kind of leave your mouth open when you chomp, because when you do, they SPARK.  They totally spark.  Did you know that?  I'd forgotten all about it until I started taking this fun trip down memory-candy-lane.  I need to take my kids out sparking.  Or just buy lifesavers and spark at the dark...they'd get a kick out of that.

What ever happened to Peanut Butter Twix bars?  I liked them.  They have a different version now, with a chocolate cookie.  Don't care for it.  Why must they mess with perfection??  (and by they I mean the candy bar powers that be.)

I remember someone once telling me that potty training is easy - you just get a jar and fill it full of m&m's and then every time your child uses the potty, they get an m&m.  Um, yeah...not gonna work in my house where candy is a staple, not a treat.  We used other potty training methods, and I'm happy to report that all of my kids successfully use a potty - each and every day, thank goodness!   (And even without candy bribes!)

Today Zach asked me if we had any "sour people."  It took me a few minutes to realize he was asking for sour patch kids.  Nope.  None in our house at the moment. 

Tonight I was holding him on my lap and he asked for a drink of water.  I started getting up to get it and he said, "But only if I can have some molly tolly's, which after a few minutes I translated into "hot tamales".  His request was quite random, since I'm 99% certain he doesn't even LIKE hot tamales...they aren't one of our candy staples, lol.  Anyway, he then insisted that he didn't need water if we didn't have molly tolly's.  I think he just wanted me to snuggle with him a little bit longer. ;)

I remember Josh calling M&M's "yum-yum's."  I also remember being really sad when I realized he had stopped calling them yum-yums.

Brad isn't a big candy eater...thus the need for me to eat most of the candy that enters our home.  yeah, yeah, yeah...I'm usually the one bringing it in the first place.

Now that I think about it, Meagan really isn't a big candy eater - her Halloween candy lasted six months the last time she went trick or treating.  I think her candy of choice is Junior Mints though (a girl after my own heart). 

And Josh really isn't as big on the candy eating either...though I know he enjoys a cookies & cream bar or a kit-kat on occasion. 

Seth and Zach usually prefer bubble gum (bubble TAPE to be precise) when I let them choose a treat. But they like cookies & cream bars too.   

hmmmm...maybe it is just me.  No wonder it's taking so dang long to get rid of all this Christmas candy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

winter blahs...

...that's what I started feeling immediately after we put away our Christmas tree and decorations.  Not that I wasn't happy to get it all put away - I was...and my house seems to have grown quite a bit since we took out the tree.  I love that feeling.  The clean, organized, spacious feeling.  But I started missing the color.  Immediately.  So I decided to add a little pop of color to the sitting room.  Wanna see what I made?  I can't show you here yet, but I can tell you that you can pop over to the American Crafts Blog to see!  But be sure to come back...


Do you want to make one too?

It's super simple! 

Here's what you'll need:

A sheet of THIS paper and a sheet of THIS paper (except I can't find it anywhere you could totally use THIS paper, which is even on SALE right now, btw,  if you run into the same problem)

One embellishment off of THIS Flair card

Several of THESE

One of THESE (and maybe THIS)

An empty 8x10" frame (I bought a few on a really good clearance at Kohls before Christmas)

15 minutes.


That's it.  Seriously.  It was SO quick and easy...and it makes me smile every time I see it.

And just for fun, here's a little peek at what I made with the leftover part of my paper and a few more American Crafts Goodies:


For a full list of products and more pictures of this page, visit the AC Blog! :o)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

one month at a time...

Anytime I talk to someone about what I "do," they almost always say the same thing: "You must be caught up with your scrapbooks!"  Um, no.  Not even close.  Even though I'm always scrapbooking, I'm nowhere close to being caught up.  A lot of the layouts I complete and send off to various companies and I never see them again.  Sometimes I even scrapbook photos of *gasp* strangers!  So even though it's my job and I do a lot of it, I have tons of pictures that have yet to be printed, much less put on a scrapbook page or added to an album. 

There's no way I can scrapbook every single picture that I've taken.  I don't even know that I want to do that...but I want to have some type of record that's somewhat "up to date."  What if something were to happen to me - I have all of these pictures and I totally preach about the importance of journaling...yet I haven't done it as well as I would like.  So I've set a goal to go through my pictures from last year and choose a few from each month to make a layout.  When all is said and done I'll have a little glimpse into our year - on 12 spreads.  Of course I'll do lots of other layouts too, but this way I can have some type of record for an entire year completed.  That makes me giddy - I'm so excited about it!

And, no, I probably won't be doing last year in about starting with May 2009:



My plan is to use 8-10 photos on each spread.  I'm also planning on using mainly 4" x 6" photos.

I'm hoping to have all 12 spreads for 2009 done early this year so I can start 2010 at the end of January...and then hopefully stay on top of it this year.

Anyone want to join me???



White textured cardstock (my favorite)

Black polkadot paper

Striped paper

Grid paper (I cut the tags from this paper)

Chipboard critter

Thickers (I love the size of these fabric letter stickers)


Scalloped ribbon (I love the striped ribbon that comes on this same ribbon card too)

Gingham ribbons (pink and orange)


Pen (my very favorite pen for hand-written journaling - you can also buy a multi-pack with several different tip sizes)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

i'm here...

I've received a handful of "where are you" and "are you okay?" e-mails, so I thought I'd just pop in quickly to say I'm here and I'm okay...and thanks for caring! ;)

A few weeks ago I was sitting at my table working early one morning when I heard a strange noise.  I looked out my window to see two hot air balloons rising just beyond our neighborhood.  My first thought was "'s FREEZING outside - those people must be CRAZY!"  I sat and watched for a moment and then I grabbed my camera.  As I watched them continue to rise high into the sky, steadily increasing the distance between them and me as they ever so slowly floated away into the distance, my thoughts took a different turn..."Wow, I bet it's so PEACEFUL up there!"


I'm not going up in a hot air balloon anytime soon (or ever, probably), but I'm hoping to be able to achieve the peaceful feelings I imagine accompany the passengers in those balloons. 

It's been a crazy couple of weeks - illness, work, church responsibilities, just getting back into an "after-the-holidays" routine, etc.  I've been super busy working on some fun projects for CHA and various other work-related items...can't wait until I can share them with you!  We've also shown our house a few times, but we haven't received any offers yet...hoping that will change soon, but until then, we'll keep plugging along - trying to keep the house as clean and organized as possible so when we get those "we'd like to show your house in 2 hours" phone calls, it won't be too stressful.  It shouldn't be that hard, but with all of my work lately, it's been a challenge.  We've also looked at a few homes we're interested in, but we can't make an offer until we sell this house, so we wait.

Yes, there's plenty to feel anxious and nervous about.  There are never-ending to-do lists.  Appointments.  Deadlines.  Surprise requests.  Illness.  Obligations.  Frustration.  Plenty of that.  I can't (and in reality, I likely wouldn't want) to make much of it disappear.  It's just part of life.  A good life.  Full of good things and opportunities.  My goal is to find and embrace the peace that's waiting in spite of it all.  So I'll continue to hold on to my proverbial hot-air balloon - every chance I get...knowing full well that even hot air balloons have to land sometime, right?!?

Friday, January 01, 2010


My little world is peaceful right now.  The kids are still sleeping - even though it's after 9 am.  That's what happens when they all stay awake to welcome in the New Year.  I was in bed dozing last night, but I heard them squealing with delight as they sat in front of the television and watched the ball drop in New York.  I heard them rushing to the windows to see the fireworks some of the neighbors were setting off (we did ours earlier in the evening - Seth and Zach could barely handle waiting until it was dark...they definitely couldn't wait until midnight!).  Shortly after the squealing commenced, Seth ran into my bedside and whispered LOUDLY - "It's Two Thousand and TEN Mom!  We saw the crystal ball fall and now there are fireworks in our back yard!"  I heard Meagan tell the boys, "shhh...Mom and Dad are tired...shhhh."  And even though I was tired, it was fun to listen to the kids ring in the new year.  And now they are all sleeping. Soundly.  Peacefully.  Probably dreaming of the promises a new year will bring. 

Brad left early this morning to continue his tradition of ice-fishing on New Year's Day.  It's crazy cold.  He is sick.  He really shouldn't be spending the day on a frozen lake.  But it's tradition and who am I to mess with tradition??  I'm grateful he has a good friend to go out and freeze with - he's been freezing with Jacob for the last five New Year's Days now...and I'm sure they'll freeze together many more times.  Crazy guys.


So here I sit at my computer, enjoying the peace, the stillness, the quiet, sipping on my morning diet coke, and planning my day.  It's time for the Christmas tree and decorations to be removed and carefully placed in their packaging until the next holiday season.  The driveway and sidewalks need to be shoveled from yesterday's snow (hopefully before today's snow comes).  I really need to get busy with some birthday shopping - and I am still having a hard time grasping the fact that my baby will be four on Sunday.  I have a handful of work assignments to do before Monday.  I'm still wondering what possessed me to get my hair cut yesterday (way too short) and I'm wishing I had a magic potion to grow it back quickly.  I'm planning on writing some goals and resolutions for this year - and already have a few in mind.  I'm thinking of all the things that happened in 2009...and wondering how it's possible for a whole year to begin and end so quickly.  I am determined not to blink as much this year...because every time I blink another day has come and gone and it's over, never to be relived again.  I'm looking forward to eating leftover Chinese take-out from our New Year's Eve dinner last night.  I just saw Brad's phone sitting on the nightstand - I hate when he forgets his phone.  I worry about the cold and the ice and the roads and need I mention the frozen lake he's standing on top of?  There's a lot going through my head right now...but instead of doing anything about any of it, I'm going to sit here for a few more minutes and enjoy the peace. 

I am hoping 2010 will be a year of peace. 

inner peace. 

outer peace.