Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last minute shopping almost done...

Ran by Posh Scraps today to meet the lovely Laura de la Rosa and her sweet husband and ended up staying for a bit. I was so excited to see and her amazing pieces she brought to share, I forgot to get someone to take our picture,. She and I are collaborating on a possible class for Posh! Now that would be such fun! Picked up some of the new Crate paper and hope to have some time to play tomorrow morning. I am as ready for our trip as possible.

This is the layout (photo'd a bit crookedly) I did of Landon wearing a bucket hat like his Papa. I have some pics of Colvin too but I'll pick on er ah scrap him next. You may have seen this one on face book or at ACOT.

Speaking of ACOT, tomorrow the new challenges are revealed so be sure to roam on over and see them all. I'll put mine up on my altered blog.

Tomorrow I need to write out some checks for some upcoming crops and pay a bill in advance of its due date so I am not charged those outrageous late fees. I have my list of things To Do and, believe it or not, it is actually shrinking not growing for a change.

E met with our house sitter yesterday and all systems go there. Now, if the tropical storms swirling in the Atlantic all cooperate!

We're off to baby sit this evening and then help with the boys and some bathroom painting tomorrow. I have the Book Club Gratitude Dinner on Thursday evening and I hope to work in a visit to our favorite happy hour hang out on the river Friday. We'll see what we have time to do.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thinking I should rename this blog...

Babies in Paradise! lol

So, yesterday when Little Mama and the boys came over (Big Daddy was working on the tile in the guest bathroom), we decided it was time for the boys to have their first dip in the pool. First of all, do you know how hard it is to find tiny swim suits under 6 mo size and secondly, doesn't anyone make plastic pants any more for over diapers? Well, until we find one or the other, the extend of the boys as water babies will be limited to a dip or two. Landon loved the water (he is the one I have in arms) and kicked and splashed with his tootsies. Colvin was not as enthusiastic but I am sure he will come around.

The boys are so much more responsive to facial gestures now and are getting quite proficient at sticking out their tongues (a bad Nana trick) and laughed when I made funny faces at them.

E was teaching Landon the finer points of golf as they watched a game on tv together...Landon nodded right off. Golf matches on tv have much the same affect on me! Colvin snuggled with Papa too for some time.

We are doing our first solo babysitting gig Tuesday. Little Mama has back to school night at her elementary school and Big Daddy has class. I am sure we will manage quite well and if all else fails, there is always golf on the tv somewhere.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dinner Club at Bob and Becky's

We have Dinner Club every other month rotating the hostessing among three couples. When it is time for a couple to host, they pick a theme and that couple does the main course. One couple brings appetizers and the other brings dessert. The host couple has the option of inviting a 4th. couple of their choice.

This month Bob and Becky hosted Dinner Club and the theme was southern cooking and oh my did they ever do a marvelous job. The ribs were so tender, the meat fell off the bone, the green beans and corn bread were a perfect accompaniment,

We started off the lanai and then the rains came. The storm did cool off the early evening and we had Gene's prosciutto and melon appetizers along with his guacamole and salsa dip while we watched the lightening display.

We had a wonderful time visiting with Jack and his lovely wife who are neighbors of Bob and Becky's and seeing Justin and Suzie is always a delight. With Bob and Becky as host and hostess, Suzie's mango coconut cake and Bob playing great honky tonk music on his piano for our after dinner entertainment, we had a delightful evening.
Thank you Bob and Becky.

We have a busy week ahead. Today the kids are coming over for some of E's chicken and sides and we get to play with the grand babies. Are you tired of looking at their pictures yet?

I was going to the Gratitude Dinner for Book Club Tues. night but Kristen has back to school night and Chris has school so I've offered to baby sit for the boys. I have to get my hair cut and the color touched up before our trip and oh, yes! Pack!
I still have a couple of things to get before we leave and I want to make sure I have time to go by Posh and see Laura de la Rosa, the Graphics 45 designer who is teaching a class there on Sat. We have Kristen and the Twins coming over Wed. to spend the day and I want to squeeze in one yoga class before Friday as well.

Happy Sunday to you all!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Oh My What a Wonderful Day...

Sing along now...zip a do dah, zip a dah day! lol. The crop last night was such fun and it was so good to see my pal, Jackie. She looks great, is feeling pretty good and boy did we get caught up on life. Missed you Di, Jean and Natalie! It was good to see Elizabeth again and know we'll be back meeting on Wed. for fun an games very soon.

I got three layouts done at the crop and, since they are all three on double sided paper, I'll do related layouts on the back and slide them into a page protector and hopefully get them into an album unlike the 200 or so layouts that I have in boxes right now!

I stayed until about 9 last night and then headed home. It had been a long but lovely day and I was tired.

I woke up this morning to news that I had won the last prize of the night at Posh and that it was up at the store for me. Thanks, Michele. You put together the best prize giveaways.

And I say Laura de la Rosa's mini album that she is teaching next Sat. at Posh. Laura is a designer for Graphic 45 paper company and just oozes talent and creativity. I met her through my friend, Deb White and thank her tons for the intro. Laura and I have been talking ever since and now she is going to be at " a scrapbook store near you" ...well, near me. Her class is so reasonably priced, if you live in the Tampa area, this is going to be one of the DO NOT MISS CLASSES!
Even though we are leaving Sunday, I am going to go visit, buy a kit and Laura has graciously offered to help me with it at a later date since I can't stay for the class. Call Posh to sign up and tell them Jules sent you.

Here are my three layouts I completed last night, a pic of the cute Jillybean holiday paper and stamp I won as a prize and a picture of my friend, Gail and I that Mary, Mom Posh, took of us today.

When I said my day just got better and better...well, getting to visit with my friend Gail was the icing on the cake. We met at Posh (obviously), had lunch up the street and got caught up with each other. Gail lives in Vermont and has relatives in the area. We get to see each other a couple of times a year and this was such a treat.

And tonight, as if that were all not enough, we have Dinner Club at Bob and Becky's. See you all soon.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just another wonderful day in Paradise

Yesterday started off like any other day here in Paradise, coffee on line with a couple of gal pals, the morning post with Early Birds and KnK, blogging and breakfast with my honey and it got steadier more and more fun,.

I got three great email invites, got to talk to two of my gal pals I hadn't had a chance to talk to lately and then this!

Amy Teets over at ACOT had posted that Helmar was doing a drawing and to be sure to mention her name; so I roamed over, signed in and voila, both Amy and I won some great gifts from the adhesive company, They are doing another drawing today so want to pass on the chance to everyone else. So here ya go, Helmar Adhesives.

Than you Helmar and Amy T. and everyone else who helped make yesterday a wonderful day in Paradise...you know who you are!

I'm off to a crop tonight to Posh Scraps and be sure to check out Laura's mini album class offered next Sat. there. Laura designs for Graphic 45 and is a wonder! I'm not sure I'll have time to take her class because we leave the next morning but I am so going to go bye to say Hey to her...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And so it begins

Last January when Jo and Bill were down for a month, we all fantasized about going on a cruise together. E and I were due for a vacation abroad and had been saving for 'something' for the previous six months or more. Within a few short weeks, we had gone from dreaming about this to deciding where we WERE going and Jo set out to get us the best deal possible...and boy! did she. When I tell the story of her negotiations and what we are getting more for the same amount of cash we started out getting, people want her phone number so she can do this for them.

So, we have spent the past two to three months planning our trip via emails and Jo flew in for almost a week so we could finalize the day trips etc. We have been trying not to count down the days but now we can...EIGHT to go.

And now begins the process of packing. I had lost about 30lbs since my last cruise and had gotten rid of all my upper sized clothes so I had to get some new goodies (breaking my heart here). Other than a new set of jammies and some hose, I think I am pretty well set. E too has taken off some pounds and we got him some really nice things to wear too.

And now to sort and pack...

Jo and Bill told us they pack on their dinning room table so we have started to do the same. E asked that I try to limit my shoes which has been the toughest but I am down to a mere six pairs.

I have a couple of DT obligations to fulfill, a book clue gratitude dinner to attend, a crop this Friday at POSH, Dinner Club this Sat. evening at Bob and Becky's, a hair cut and color touch up, and as many Nana days as I can fit in til it is "Leaving on a jet plane" day. Oh, and happy hour with our house sitter to update him on pool, cats and new router code for computer access.

Color me excited!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eleven weeks as of tomorrow...

It is so hard to believe that the boys are almost two months old and looking back, it is easy to see all the changes they have undergone. But, speaking as proud Nana, I think they just get cuter and cuter every day.

Little Mama got a two and a half hour nap today with Colvin while Nana, Papa and Landon hung out, hit a few bottles (Landon and milk not us) and took a nap or two. Landon is going through a phase where he wants body contact at all times but he played in the play pen for about a half hour by himself and slept on our bed for a bit over an hour.

The boys are smiling in response to smiles now and tracking us when we walk toward them and away from them. They are starting to mimic facial expressions so Nana is teaching them to stick out their tongues...lol.

We sent Little Mama home more rested, fed and with food enough for a couple of meals for her and Big Daddy. Hoping to see them again on Sat. I need to store up lots of Nana time so I don't miss those little guys as much when we head to the Med. in a couple of weeks. Meeting with our housesitter next week to update him on the cats/pool (fountain motor burned out), etc.

Hope you've had a great day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Music music music

This may seem a small thing to some but I have just found music by two of my favorite guys that I can load onto my blog...

Jeff Kashawa and Spencer Day.

While we do have surround sound through out the house, I don't have a player here in my workroom. I rely on my blog to provide me with tunes I love and can groove and create to.

I once came across someone who had posted that the songs on most blogs annoyed the hell out of her EXCEPT mine and one other...I sure hope she is still listening that her blog post convinced me that if you don't like the tunes on someone's blog, turn off your speakers!

I love listening to others songs and have "borrowed" some from time to time...my gal pal Becky S has the smokiest songs on her blog and Cathy Nelson has some worthy of putting on my dancing shoes to.

So, without further ado...check out my tunes!

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Official: I've got a crush on Lost & Found papers by MME

I hit the deck scrapping this morning and am now covered head to toes in glitter both from the beautiful papers designed by Jen Allyson for My Mind's Eye but also the glitter I applied to the photo mat and the corner pieces on Ten Weeks layout of the Twins. The "Birds of a Feather" layout was a fun way to remember our group toast to the 'working people' that we traditionally make every day during our yearly stay at the beach.

I used Picasa to change my photos to sepia and then hit the 'warmify' button to give them more depth. I printed them onto canvas paper and added just a tint of color with soft colored pencils. I love the look this gives to photos.

thanks for looking and hope you have a great day...off to do one more layout and then I'm out of the papers...:(

Sunday, August 22, 2010

This house is too quiet

Cathy and Natasha hit the road right after breakfast as they have such a long drive ahead of them...5 hours to Ft. Lauderdale and Noreen headed south as she had uniforms to get ready for this next weeks. And, just to get some noise going in the house, I did laundry! When that did not do the trick, I tried the very best therapy out there, scrapping.

These are some of the new My Mind's Eye glittery, pretty papers from their line, Lost & Found, It is hard to see all the pretty glitter but the second tight shot does give you a general idea, I glittered the flowers, added some bling and inked the alpha letters to match.

It helped to pass the time but after such a fun chatty weekend, this house is still too quiet!

Sat. /Project 365 Girls' Weekend

We started our day with breakfast bread from Publix (the best), bagels, and fruit (compliments of Cathy and Natasha)to fuel us for our outings for the day. Cynthia met us here and graciously offered to drive us on our appointed rounds...thanks tons!

Our first stop of the day was Posh Scraps where we were welcomed by Michele and Louie. Posh has just gotten in tons of new product with tons of lovely glittery papers from My Mind's Eye, Webster's Pages, Graphic 45 and more and more. Cynthia found some pretty Teresa Collins papers for her crown Princess book, I bought some beautiful MME and the others also found fun things. No one left empty handed.

Our next stop was Rainbow's End, the amazing fabric and trim store in Dunedin. Michelle, the owner, always manages to find the more beautiful ribbons, rick rack and other trims. And, yes Pam B, I bought you a bunch of the much coveted hand dyed French ribbons. I'll put them in the mail for you so you will have them when you get home from vacation, I broke down and bought the other tool to do my felting. The Styrofoam I had been using and my overly enthusiastic punching had resulted in broken needles. I also purchased some replacement needles and had Michelle show me how to replace them.

I think everyone found some lovelies to put in their baskets here too,

Then, despite the rain, we forged onward to Dunedin's quaint downtown and shopped the boutiques that line the streets. I found some darling stocking stuffers for three friends' Christmas gifts, Ginni found the cutest water bottle holders for her grandchildren and Natasha bought some beautiful earrings and a bracelet to match,

The big find for Noreen was chocolate bread pudding from the cafe on the corner. Where she puts the food and stays as tiny as she is is beyond me but I'd die for some of her metabolism!

Then it was back home for some lunch. E fixed us a Cassoulet with Bacon, Andouille and Country Ribs that he had been simmering on the stove and then into the over for about five hours while we shopped. Oh, be still my heart.

Ginni had to leave us after lunch to attend the birthday party of her five year old grandchild and she was missed. It was so good to see her again. Poor Becky's roof had a leak in her bedroom and she had to miss our day out to clean and mop up the mess...we love you Becky and you were missed too along with all the other Project 365 gals who were unable to make this weekend.

We toasted to you all with Billinis that E mixed for us. Nothing refreshes like peach nector and sparkling Italian wine. It was a nice pick me. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening playing on our laptops, looking at albums and learning about Close to My Heart Studio J digi scrapping program. Noreen is a rep and we loved looking through her catalogs of course.

We were all so full still from our late lunch that we traded muffalatas for cheese, sausage and crackers and most of us headed for bed around ten if not a bit before, It was a lovely long day filled with shopping and the company of good women.

Kristen stopped by with the Twins and picked Noreen's brain on the trials and tribulations of raising twin boys. Noreen has two who have just turned five and living proof that Kristen and Chris will survive this. lol

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday/Project 365 Girls' Weekend

We started the fun with a glass of wine at my house and then on to Paul's Shrimp House Restaurant here in Tarpon Springs for supper. The group is Cathy, me, Sonya, Becky,Cindy, Ginni, Noreen and Natasha. The food was fantastic. Good choice, Ginni! After supper, we headed to the Sponge Docks for a short stroll and desert at Hella's Bakery,. This place has the prettiest (and tastiest) yummies. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Our last stop of the evening was back home where we stayed up chatting until 2am. For those of you who know me, you are probably doubting this as I am a 9pm gal! But it is true...2am. What a great bunch of gals and what fun.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the next exciting installment of Girls' Gone Wild in Tarpon Springs...lol

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's all about the customer service

The older I get, the more I expect from sales and companies or perhaps it is that I just tolerate less. I give every thing two chances but if I get poor assistance or less then sterling customer service, I find some place new to spend my money.

This being said, I want to tell you about two companies that have gone above and beyond the call of duty in my opinion: Glue Arts (the company that makes Pro Glue Glider) and Webster's Pages (one of my favorite scrapbook companies).

I had a refill that the glue kept coming off of but not in the manner it was intended for my Glue Glider. When I was at CHA, I talked to one of the salesmen who told me to send my old one to the company and I would get a refill ASAP. When he said ASAP, I thought to myself, uh huh, sure, doubting Thomas that I am. Within three days, I had my refill in hand. WOW Now that is good customer service.

And then there is Webster's who went even further. I am one of their biggest fans. Their papers are beautiful, the embellishments lovely beyond compare and they keep coming up with amazing accessories for their products. One of my favorite products is their Storyteller alphas. I buy them whenever I can find them. You get one big alpha and three small ones in great fonts and great colors. I had a problem with one sheet in that the small letters peeled off without the glue attached and I had to use my tiny glue pen to attach them. This had NEVER happened before so I wrote to the company yesterday and got an email response early this morning. My money will be refunded and I'll be getting a small gift for my inconvenience. WOW AGAIN...prompt reply, courteous thank you for drawing this to their attention etc.

So, thank you Glue Arts and Webster's Pages for your great Customer Service!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My ACOT reveal for Aug. Travel Album

I used the amazing Teresa Collin's Travel line of papers and embellishments to make this travel album for a friend of mine who does not scrap. Her husband, her, E and I are heading to the Med. in September and I thought this might make a nice gift for her.

To read the complete article for my reveal that includes a tech for cutting page protectors for inter active elements like pocket pages and photo flips, check it out here


There are two parts to this so be sure to scroll down to the next post here on my blog. And thanks for looking!

ACOT Aug. Reveal Part II