Friday, November 29, 2013

Free Project Life Digital Starter Kit & 30% off Sale!

Happy Thanksgiving to all you, my dear blog friends - both near and far!  We are home from a long day visiting with family.  I jumped online to see if I'd gotten any good deals emailed to my inbox during the day and saw that this AWESOME Free Project Life Starter Pack over at Digital Project Life!  This weekend, you can get the Cherry Core Kit and two of the most commonly used Page Templates for FREE!!!

This is a great way to see if you'd like doing Project Life digitally and to play around with the products.  It's super fabulous that they also give you two page templates in it as well.   Most of the time I am happy using Design A in my book so that is one you can get a lot of use out of.  If you are at all curious about Project Life I highly recommend you download this and give it a try!

For those of already addicted to Project Life, there is a site wide 30% off sale and that is HUGE!  Normally new releases are 20% off the first week but 30% isn't seen very often!  It's time to stock up on any kits you might have missed!  I especially like their Mini Kits, with Merry & Bright being one of my favorites and the big selection of Theme Kits, of which I probably already own most.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Project Life 2013: August 4-10

Hi Project Lifer's!  I'd like to start by wishing all of you in the US like me, an early very Happy Thanksgiving! 

I was planning to share several weeks of PL spreads in this post and catch up a bit on sharing.  But then I thought that since this week so many of us are bound to be busy getting ready for turkey day it might be better to save that for next time.  When we'll have a little bit more time to visit each other.  So instead I have one of the very few summer weeks that's all in one spread + one insert.

This side is all about my daughter's week in vacation bible school at our church.  The company that produces the program they ran provided some media online, like a nice title image for the theme and a downloadable overview PDF.  I included both and added some details to the title image to make it into a title card for this half. 

The photos are all from the last day, when the kids performed.  The photos aren't fantastic, I wasn't in a good spot to get good ones of my kiddo.  Then on top of that, I blurred out all the other kids and the leaders for privacy when posting.  But you get an idea of what's going on.  The journaling card is WRMK from Target and I added the die cut letters.

It was super handy to have a place to stick a copy of the sheriff's badge stickers they wore with some washi tape and the bookmark each kid got, that went right into the insert along with the overview.  Otherwise, that stuff totally would've become junk!

I fit the rest of the week on the right side and used mainly cards from the Honey core kit with a month card from Echo Park.  The left side is all camera phone images, and while Becky Higgins mentioned on her CreativeLive class that iPhones take phenomenal photos, mine are sometimes a little off.  I think I need to practice more to get all I can out of it.  In optimal conditions it does just fine but in low light I don't really love them.

The other side has all pictures from our town's annual summer shindig.  I used some cute Simple Stories alphas but had to blur out the name of our town because my husband is ultra cautious about things like that.  I used one of the overlays from HSN on the picture of the three of them.  I love those overlays, it adds just the perfect little touch but was at risk of hording them.  I'm so glad they were released at Digital Project Life so I can add them to my photos preprocessing. 

Did any of you catch Becky's 3 day Project Life class at creativeLive?  What did you think?  I enjoyed having it on in the background as I worked on my own PL album.  I got a lot done so it certainly motivated me!  I thought the third day has the best content and was the most interesting to me because the first two days were more of an introduction or covered aspects I feel pretty confident about knowing what works best for me. 

At times, it was a little bit too much of an infomercial to me; I wish she would've said supplies instead of product all the time.  Yes I know it's product but that made it feel too much like a sales pitch, whereas I think otherwise it would have seemed more like a life coach type class.  She did a very good job discussing why documenting is important in general and how easy PL can be.  While I wouldn't pay the $99 on air price or the $149 current price it was fun to watch and I kind of went through withdrawal when I no longer could have it on while I worked. 

I think her being on might provide a lot of exposure for them as many PL'ers are interested in the topics they have classes for.  A digital scrapbooking class is coming up, that I've already registered for and it looks like they've had some fantastic photography classes in the past and skill classes for using programs like Photoshop that look like they were pretty good.  I will be watching their catalog of classes closely and hoping they offer some more interesting classes.  I also liked the host and hostess a lot, they were lively!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sports Illustrated Kids: Special Subscription Deals!

Disclosure: Our blog is participating in a sponsored blog ambassador program from Sports Illustrated Kids. As a part of this program, we have received paid compensation and a year subscription for placement of digital advertisements and specific postings related to SI Kids.

This week many of us will be getting ready for two big annual events, turkey day on Thursday AND Black Friday sales the next day.  While I can't help you make the big family meal, I CAN help make getting started on your holiday gift giving easier!

Sports Illustrated Kids has a fantastic holiday subscription rate!  Now when you purchase an entire year of SI Kids in print and on tablet for $19.95, you can send another gift of 12 issues (1 year) for only $5!  That's two gifts for under $25 or just over $12 each!

Sports Illustrated Kids has won highest honors from the Association of Educational Publishers, as well as the Parents’ Choice Award and is the perfect stocking stuffer because:
  • It promotes reading to children who are reluctant readers
  • Each issue is full of exciting stories, photos and games- the perfect distraction for holiday travel
  • It is delivered straight to your door
  • No gift wrapping required
  • It’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year through
I think it's also the perfect gift to give for Christmas because I'm sure all the great action photos, easy-to-read stories about star athletes, and helpful instructional tips from the pros will help inspire the recipient to stay active during the cold winter months.  The humor, comics, and activities will also help entertain and inform.  Each issue also comes with a double sided fold out poster and nine sports cards for an extra treat.


Friday, November 22, 2013

30 Days of Thankful: Week 3

Hello!  I can't believe we're already onto our third week of  30 Days of Thankful month long project!  I you haven't caught Week 1 and Week 2, this is a project I am joining in with through Cathy Zielske and using her 6X4 templates, as well as linking to her latest Gratitude Friday.
I used to have a monthly scrapbook date at Archiver's with friend Jill, that I met through our sorority's alumnae group.  Any other Kappa Delta's out there?  She moved with her husband to Boston and we've been missing our time together.  We finally tried out using Skype to video chat and scrapbook together.  It worked out great and now we plan to restart our monthly dedicated scrapbook time!
My husband and I got two kitties the year we moved to Santa Fe, NM and they've now been part of our family for eight years.  Both are quite loveable, but one is a lap cat and I can't tell you how handy it is when you have a kiddo who wants to love on and hold that kitty and the kitty actually likes it!
Last year our town had a tornado come through and it did a lot of damage to the neighborhood just across the street from ours.  That was truly a close call!  Even though our home was unaffected, my daughter has vivid memories of it and loud bad storms scare her.  The conditions were right for one again but there weren't any in our area, thank goodness!  Now that I can get over being thankful for that, I am also thankful that we didn't have to deal with the inconvenience of a power outage.  Several of our friends did loose for a day or more.
My daughter has always been very snugly and loves hugs and holding my hand.  My toddler, not so much.  But within the last month or so he has really taken to wanting to sit on my lap for stories, playing, and watching his preschool videos.  My heart melts when he pulls my arms around him and when he calls me for his goodnight.
There are definitely days when having to plan and coordinate Daisy and now Brownie meetings for my daughter's Girl Scout troop is something I'd really like to give up!  But once we are at meetings I am always reminded how wonderful this time really is.  Not only do I get a special activity with my daughter but I also am enthused and reinvigorated by the girls seeing how they create and interpret our badge activities.
My son started speech therapy last spring and has really taken off this fall.  He met all his first round of goals and has doubled his vocabulary since September and now has 100 words.  Our speech therapist has been a wonderful resource for us too, she has lots of suggestions for how to work with him that have been very helpful. 

Day 21 will be a picture of my friends at a Mom's Night Out.  I just haven't taken it yet at the time of writing this post.  Headed out the door any minute!  Grateful for friendship, aren't we all :)

See you next week!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Amy Tangerine Projects Blog Hop: Mini Tag Book

Hi Scrappy Friends!  One thing I always love is bringing home some new scrappy goodness and some of favorites to tear open and get to playing with are by Amy Tangerine.  I belong to an Amy Tangerine fan group on Facebook and today a few of us getting together to show off our projects made with her lines from American Crafts.  Here are the other ladies' links:


My project is a cute little tag book with a ribbon closure, all about the first time we took our two year old son to one of Michigan's Great Lakes for a day at the beach.  This is very much a summer tradition for many families in Michigan, including ours.  Since it was his first time at the "big" beach, as opposed to the smaller inland lakes across the state, it was a special memory and certainly deserved it's very own mini book.

The dimensions are around 3 inches wide by 6 inches tall when closed.  I learned the technique for making these from Donna Downey's book Creative Albums so I can't provide a tutorial but it's simple so you can probably figure it out from the pictures.  But if you can't and have any questions let me know and I will try to clarify.

The front and back covers were made by covering chipboard and then layering the photo and elements on top.  I disassembled the "Let's Go On An Adventure" sticker to remove the foam tape because I like to keep small projects like this as flat as possible.  I've just found they hold up better when they aren't so bulky since they won't be in a photo sleeve to help protect them from wear and tear.  Plus then they are easier to store.

You open up the mini book and there are four pockets, each with a hand cut tag inside.

Pocket 1:
  • I punched a small circle out of the same paper I lined the book with to reinforce the hole.
  • I love those mini puffy stickers!
  • Wouldn't it have been nice if my husband had managed to put on a smile?  Oh well, at least our kiddo is cute!

This is the back of the first tag.  The orange lined "paper" I journaled on is actually part of the sticker packaging.  Waste not, want not!  In hindsight It might have been better to journal with the grey pen but it's more readable in person.

Pocket 2:
  •  I love using lined paper to journal on, pretty and functional! 

On one side of Tag 2, I have a photo of my son with his age and on the back is one of his sister with her age.

Pocket 3:
  • I made sure I trimmed my orange paper so the "paint" marks on the paper would be included on the piece I used.  So fun and a great place to "ground" the circle sticker.
  • Aren't those itty bitty hearts adorable?
  • The photo (not shown in this post) on the other side of the tag shown above, isn't the best but I wanted to include that we used a new sun tent and that he ate big boy sandwich.
  • I had to use the ribbon and skip the hole because I didn't want to place a hole right in the middle of the little guys forehead.

 Pocket 4:
  • Love seeing the sand on his fingers, so glad he was willing to get all dirty.
  • The half circle I journaled on is leftover from being punched out of the second pocket.
  • On the other side of this tag, which I forgot to photograph, I used some black "washi", which is really the strip of paper at the top of a 12X12 piece of paper trimmed to mimic washi.

On the back I left the camera paper as is, because seriously it's super cute as is, don't you think?  I added a picture too wide to fit on a tag or the inside on the back two middle panels.  And yes, I am totally wearing a bathing suit under that towel!  Whenever I look at it, I think it might look like if I dropped it I'd be flashing all the beach goers.  Note to self take pictures in beach cover up from now on!

There you go, that's my mini tag book, a one night quick project.  I have made several of these over the years but always given them away as gifts before.  I am really glad I finally made one for us to enjoy and love how it turned out!  Thank you for visiting and I hope you go check out what the other ladies have made.  Here again is a list of the participants.


A Note of the Supplies:

The book uses papers and embellishments from a couple of Amy's lines.  All the patterned papers, stickers, and pens are from her.  The supplies that are not are the washi tape (various companies), ribbon (unknown), one little striped scrap on the cover, 2 sun shaped brads, and twine, but the twine is still by American Crafts.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Holiday DVD Giveaway! Featuring Mike the Knight, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Snowman and The Snowdog

This is a sponsored post.  Complimentary products were provided for review.  The experiences and opinions are both personal, unbiased, and completely my own. No other compensation was provided.

I have an awesome holiday themed giveaway package of DVDs from NCircle Entertainment, that features some of our favorite preschool characters and shows!  I love that NCircle Entertainment believes in "Entertainment that Educates", so I know each one will be a quality program for my little guy and your kiddos to enjoy. 

This prize package includes three brand new seasonally themed DVDs from Mike the Knight and Yo Gabba Gabba (both airing on Nick Jr.) as well as The Snowman and The Snowdog, the charming sequel to the Christmas classic, The Snowman, based on author Raymond Briggs’ iconic children's book.   There's a free Mike the Knight Saves Christmas coloring page that everyone can enjoy, yay!

Let's learn a little bit more about each of the DVDs in this package with a retail value of over $35!

Mike the Knight: Mike's Christmas Surprise!

Mike’s Christmas Surprise! is packed with five stories (including a bonus episode), interactive games, a music video, and more! When a special visitor surprises Mike for Christmas, excitement fills the air. The royal family decides to play a game, but Evie’s magic causes Christmas chaos. Will everything be back to normal in time for the Christmas feast

Here is an adorable Mike the Knight Saves Christmas Coloring Page, that goes along with the new DVD, for your little fan to enjoy!  Use the link above to download the free PDF from the sponsor. 

Yo Gabba Gabba: A Very Awesome Christmas Special

Two stories are contained on this festive new DVD releasing for the holidays. In “A Very Awesome Christmas Special,” it's a Christmas celebration when DJ Lance places a gingerbread house into Gabba Land! The Gabba gang makes new friends with neighbors, and everyone is excited to exchange gifts – but what can they possibly get for Santa Claus? In the story titled "Christmas,” the Gabba gang learns that even though much of Christmas is about receiving, there’s a lot of joy in giving to others.

The Snowman and the Snowdog

When a young boy and his mother move into a new house, the boy discovers a secret box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shriveled tangerine - it's a snowman-making kit! Later that day, when it starts to snow, the boy builds a Snowman and, with the spare snow left over, a Snowdog. That night, the Snowman and Snowdog come to life and take him on a wonderful adventure. As dawn breaks they fly home, but before the boy returns to bed a magical surprise awaits him!

I am really excited to see these brand new DVDs!  As I mentioned previously, Mike the Knight is already a favorite show at our house, Yo Gabba Gabba we've been fans of since our now seven year old was little, and I remember watching The Snowman with my little brother years ago.  I'm really curious to see this new story featuring the classic character. 

Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project Life 2012: July 28 - August 3

I'm dreadfully behind in sharing my 2012 Project Life pages!  I was sick the first week in October and feel like I'm still playing catch up in all areas of my life.  The good news, Project Life-wise for me is that I'm getting really close to being current in my actual album and almost have through October done.  November has been pretty easy for me to stay on top of because I'm also doing 30 Days of Thankful
Back at the end of July, we had just had a few weeks of birthday extravaganza, with a quick trip (share here and here) and a family party for both of our July birthdays, which I have yet to share.  This spread is for the week following all that craziness and was a little more laid back, but most of our summers are pretty busy. 

The little guy's birthday was actually on the 29th but since we'd just had the big party we didn't do too much on his actual day other than take both kids to Barnes and Noble where we got them a cafe treat.  We also had a play date and met up with friends in from TX.  There is a little bit about it at the bottom right but I also did a full page spread in our PL album immediately following this one.
There was one insert this week, that I planned for and made sure I took enough pictures to fill.  I wanted to make sure I did something special that featured the little guy during his birthday week.
This is the backside of the insert.  It has some MAMBI cards in it.
I embellished the empty area of this photo with a fun wood word bubble.
The second half of this spread is about our 13th wedding anniversary dinner, done a little early, at the beginning of the month.  I didn't feel like lugging around my big camera so the pictures from the meal are all from my cell phone and at first I didn't really have enough to fill a whole half page.
But I decided to add some WRMK cards to fill it out.  Normally, my pages are filled with photos and words, without much room for filler cards so it was kind of fun to play around with this one.  I added some black AC Thickers on top with our initials.
This die cut tag is Dear Lizzie, on top of a WRMK chevron card with some washi on both sides to fill it in.  I added a ticket stub from our oh so romantic movie and a Dear Lizzie die cut.
At the bottom of the spread I added a filler card that I tried adding fancy writing to, that I don't like, but am going to keep anyway, and in the other pocket is the simple card I made for Brad.

Sharing this post at The Mom Creative.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Baby Boy Scrapbook Pages: Thanksgiving

It's been awhile since I shared an update to my son's first year's Baby Boy Scrapbook Pages, and since we're well into November I thought the pages from his first Thanksgiving were a good place to pick up at.  I used pocket pages and Simple Stories' Harvest Lane collection to quickly scrapbook these memories.  I was able to get all of these pages done in one sitting, which is much faster than it would've been if I scrapped them traditionally.
This first page is about the apple hat my mom knitted and that both kids have worn.  It's so cute!  Journaling has been added to the empty card, photographed before finished so I wouldn't have to edit out details to share on the blog.
This is the spread about Thanksgiving.  Family photos on the left and some of the little guy on the opposite.
We normally take family photos and while they are great to document changes and the kids growth over the years there isn't always much to write about them.  That's one reason why I love using divided pocket pages and cute inserts so I can include them without having to do too much to make them look pretty.
I did a little bit more embellishing on this half of the spread, and included a closer look at the cute onesie he wore.  All I added was the title and turkey stickers.  He is with one of his Great Aunts, his Grandma, and me along the bottom.
My Dad's birthday happens to always be really close to Thanksgiving so unfortunately for him, his birthday is often combined with turkey day.  After most of the family when home we had cake and presents for him.

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