Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Leftover Sticker Rolls

Ask for leftover sticker rolls at your nearest Scrapbook store. I've done this craft every year, since our kids were little...
Cover the sticker roll with white paper, then wrap in gauze or cheesecloth.  Add googlie eyes, and insert a cup so the candy doesn't fall out.
They're easy and fun, and the kids LOVE THEM! 
Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Showing off My United Way Wares

Each year, my company has a United Way drive in October.  There are always so many fun activites, raffles, lunches, bake-offs, and of course auctions!  My division has had an online auction for the last 10 years and one of the ways I participate is by donating crafty goods to this auction each year.  After wishing that I had been more organized for the last several years, I got organized this year and had listed over 20 lots of crafty goods for auction on the first day.  Here are some of the stuff I put up for auction that ends today actually!

Various alteration projects I have made over the  last year for various design teams...  



and lots of cards... here are a couple of them...


The auction ends today at noon, I estimate all of my stuff will fetch around $120 for United Way!!  I hope I make that goal! :) 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

December Daily Update

Just an update:  The email with the photos/details of the 2011 December Daily will go out TODAY!  So for those of you who have received yours, you will be able to get started!  I will also be shipping a bunch of them out today, so if you ordered in the past few days, be on the lookout for your shipping notice.  The kit is no longer available to purchase to the public, as it is SOLD OUT.  If you are attending the Bertram Inn next weekend, there are 4 left to purchase that weekend.  I will not be making more of these this year, but if there are any leftovers, they will be made available to the public here on Monday, November 7th, along with the rest of the Bertram Inn leftovers.

THANK YOU for another great year and sell out!  I look forward to sharing mine when December rolls around!
Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Last weekend, we celebrated a certain daughter's birthday. She requested taking a few friends to see a movie ("Footloose") and then pizza afterwards...
I couldn't find a better way to spend the day.  It was delightful.  The laughter, the giggles, the window shopping...
Afterwards, we stopped off for pizza.  If you're a local, be sure to check out Sweet Basil's in Westlake.  The slices are as big as my head.  Truly delicious.

As a little surprise, I stole my friend Karen's idea and packed purple gumballs into jars found at the Dollar Store.  A little surprise for Jami and her guests.  The tags were made off my Cricut.
I can't believe she's twelve.  So grateful for her and this group of girls who are fun, loud, and full of fashion advice for anyone willing to listen.  :)
Happy Birthday, James.  We love you to bits!  xo

Enjoy your day! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Godfather's Cinnamon Streusel Dessert Pizza

I made this as an after-school treat for the kids yesterday.  They ate is so quickly, I never got to photograph mine (so I stole this photo from the website that had the recipe.)  It's THAT good.  And perfect for this season.  Thinking I may make it for the weekend, too.  You can find the recipe here.
Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet the Pooch.

A few weeks back, while doing photos in the park, the lady I was photographing asked if I knew of anyone looking for a dog. Jessica is a nurse at a nursing home/assisted living facility, and she relayed a story about a dog that needed a home.  Turns out, there was a couple there who were admitted at the ripe old age of 88. But the assisted living facility didn't allow pets. So when the elderly couple moved in, their grandson Ben agreed to take the dog until they found a home for him. Ben, being the wonderful grandson that he is, lived in Michigan three hours away. He would drive down on the weekends with the dog when he visited his grandparents. He did this for months without complaint. Ben and the dog had grown quite attached, in fact. But when Ben got his dream job in Manhattan--and it required that he travel a lot--he knew that something had to give before he relocated.
I have to be honest here.  I'm not a huge dog lover.  There are dogs in our lives whom I have loved, no doubt.  We had a dog growing up and when he died at the age of 17, I cried for days.  I don't know why--but I always thought that people who went completely gaga over their pets seemed genuine--I just didn't relate.  I didn't "get it."  Not that they weren't fun to play with--but the dressing up, taking them everywhere, attaching human emotions to it--it just seemed foreign to me.
Our daughter is the neighborhood pet-sitter.  We have taken in dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, etc. in our home often.  We have watched animals for short time periods, and the kids have loved the experience.  They'd always ask, "When can we have a dog?"  We put them off a lot.  Mainly because my husband's idea of an ideal dog was vastly different from my idea of an ideal family dog.  And there was no middle ground here.  In fact, I can say that in the 25 years I've known him that this is the ONE THING on which neither of us would budge.  We're talking two years, people.  Line in the sand.  His ideal dog = big and playful and young (puppy), preferably not white and male.  My ideal dog = small/medium and cuddly and not a puppy, in any color.  Of course, female.

I don't know why, but that day in the park, speaking to Jessica--I knew that was going to be our dog.  That story was so beautiful.  Some of the details with what happened to the elderly couple touched me and their sense of devotion really moved me.  When I called and asked questions, the series of events that took place that led him to us--it was nothing short of a little miracle.  Serendipitous, really.  He was meant to be here with us.

Last weekend, Ben moved to NYC.  He stopped by to say goodbye and to check on things before heading out to visit his grandparents with the moving truck in tow.  I promised to take the dog up to visit his grandparents at the assisted living facility.  I look forward to visiting with them again.  Both elderly grandparents made me and the kids promise to love and care for him before they hugged us and gave us their precious pooch.  Our oldest son nearly cried he was so happy.  I'm glad they got to see the joy on their faces, although I'm sure it had to be hard on them.

The dog's name with his original owners and Ben was Spunky.  Honestly--he doesn't live up to his name.  He is calm and gentle and 8 years old.  The hubs renamed him Cooper.  Our youngest son calls him Fred.  Our daughter and I refer to him as Poochie or Baby.  He doesn't listen to any of these.  But he does respond to commands and hand signals, thankfully.  Poor thing.  Must be so confusing.  The humans in this household are wacky, for sure.

In these few short weeks, it feels like it is honestly the best decision we've made in forever.  We are like giddy parents all over again, with a newborn dog.  Unsure of what to do, watching every move he makes, showering him with attention and affection.  Everyone here has witnessed the other evolve into pet owners in this family, and it has been both touching and comical and wonderful just the same.  He goes everywhere with us.  We bought him a Halloween costume.  We've introduced him to other dog friends in the hood on walks.  We've turned into crazy pet owners that can't get enough of him.  And that includes my husband!  (He's such a softie at heart--I knew he'd be fine with whatever dog we ended up with...) 

Welcome to our family Spunky Cooper Fred Poochie Baby.  You are home, and we're so glad you're here.  :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

M & M Toppers

My friend Jen made these this week to spoil my kids. Are they not the cutest? She made a few hundred. No kidding. Gotta love a teacher!

She used her Silhouette die cut machine, and added the most adorable googlie eyes.

For this batch, she glittered the paper!

Thanks for sharing, Miss Jen.  We love you!
And because I know you'll want to know, here is the link to the M&M bags that she used for the treats.  The size is 1x8 1.6 Mil.  Order a ton!  :)
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin Sitings

I have been siting me some fun, gorgeous, and just plain simple pumpkins here and there. If you spend anytime online exploring one blog to another, I am sure you have found a few of your favorites too. But, I bet you have not come across a pumkalope? Or a pumkamelon? Or a cantakin? now have you? The cute little green thing in my photo all dolled up with a blessing tag is just one of those. Somehow our cantalopes crossed with our pumpkins and know the rest.

But I I just wanted to share a few of my favorite 'normal' pumpkins from around the web.

budget wise home
How pretty is this decoupaged fall leaf pumpkin? It is so very pretty. Simple. Very doable. Gorgeous for a table center piece. Now if only I could find me some white pumpkins.

pretty prowler
 Talk about a stud of a pumpkin. These bling-ed out orbs are fun! How simple is this? The addition of the black pedestal cake plates for show is a nice touch too.

ken rashs outdoor furniture

 Stylish pumpkin decor does not have to be complicated. If you are like me you have a plethora of ribbon, trim or even lace hoarded stashed away waiting for that perfect embellishment. A little hot glue, a fabulous pattern, and tada! pretty little pumpkins.

wedding party center pieces
Fall wedding? Bejeweled white pumpkins, large and small. Perfect!

country living
O.K...the latent graphic designer in me LOVES this text book be-decked squash. stunning. eye-catching. genius.

Hope you had fun exploring these fall decorating ideas. One can easily get lost in all the creative energy out there as you follow link to link discovering these ideas. Hoping a few find their way into your autumn.

wip siggy

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photo Shoot Updates

I've been more than blessed to have been asked to do a number of senior photo shoots and family photo shoots this season. Today, I wanted to share a few of my favorite pictures from some of my fall sessions...

Special thanks to those who took a chance on me as a photographer.  It truly has been a pleasure.  I look forward to a full day on Sunday in the park, photographing 14 families!!

For those of you who are always looking for inspiration, check out my Pinterest "Photos I Love" board hereThis article in particular I found to be most interesting this week. 

And for those of you who live nearby and would like to make an appointment, please shoot me an email!  I am booked through October, but I have lots of creative ideas mulling around in my head for the holiday season.  :)  Stay tuned for more of those...

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I decided to take a photography class this semester. I wanted to learn more about my camera, improve my photography skills, and be inspired. So far I've been all of the above.

(Days with my father)

This photographer and story, really struck a cord with me, listening to him as he shared his method and seeing his photographic journal about his fathers illness moved me and motivated me in ways I didn't know possible, as a scrapbooker, a photographer and a child of an ailing parent.

This photographic journey with his father is sure to bring you to tears...

He calls himself Mr. Toledano. He's humorous, cute and such a great photographer!

Here are some links to a couple of his videos. (language disclaimer)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bertram Inn Update

I've been a busy gal.  Preparing for the Fall Retreat at the Bertram Inn is always hectic. (Only 17 Days to go!) But for some reason, this year has been crazy...
I hit up B. A. Sweetie's last week in preparation for the big event.  What a fun place!  If you're ever in northeast Ohio, be sure to check it out.

Had a few questions about the Bertram's Class Listings.  I don't make them public, simply because I reserve classes for the attendants first.  Anything I do have leftover will be made available to the public here first, I promise.  Sometimes classes and kits sell out there, so instead of "teasing" you, I just put up what is for grabs afterwards.  Each of the classes/kits will come with an email, listing all the important info needed and PHOTOS, just like in the past.  They will go up for sale on Monday, November 7th, right here!

Have a great day!  Can't wait to see you all there!  :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cute Stuff I Found This Weekend...

I found this adorable idea over at Babble.  I know you folks with an i-Top will be all over this adorable embellishment!

For those of you who are trying to capture the unique family photo for the annual Christmas Card, check out this article on creative posing.  Lots of cute suggestions!

Found this awesome gray metallic purse this weekend.  Love the fact that it is large enough to hold my camera and extra lens with room to spare.  Even my daughter gave it a thumbs up.
Ate the MOST delish pancakes at IHOP yesterday with my folks.  Pumpkin pancakes.  Of course I googled the recipe.  I plan on trying it out soon.  You can too--here is the link.
I finally bit the bullet and used up the gift cards I'd been saving for a year and bought myself this awesome Stainless-Steel Pouring Stock Pot.  It is big and sturdy and perfect for my holiday cooking needs.  I'd been coveting it forever, and I took advantage of a sale.  An investment, for sure.  But also something I'll use several times a week, too.  Can't wait to put it to use!

What about you?  Any great "finds" this weekend?  Do share!

Enjoy your day!