Friday, September 28, 2012

Finally Fall has arrived

Now that fall has arrived, I am looking forward to finally
finding that balance between home, work and some
time for myself. This past summer has seemed so hectic,
crazy and without any form of normalcy at all. It seemed 
to not only fly by, but we worked so hard and so much
that when the sun was shining and we could escape from
reality for even just a few hours we were out the door, 
to seek whatever adventure awaited us.

That being said, and don't get me wrong, I enjoyed our
summer adventures, but I am a creature of habit, of
routines and I like order in my life, and I have not had
that these past 3 months, and now I feel that it's time
to return to things that make me whole, keep me sane
and make me feel at peace with myself and with those
around me. And the shorter days, cooler nights,
will help bring some of that back to me. Those nights
with warm hot chocolate, candles aglow and the 
fireplace going will help me regain some inner balance
that I've been lacking these past few months.

For those of you who know me well, you would be
very surprised to see the state of things around my
home right now, there is no order to things,
vacuuming and dusting are just a thought in the
back of my mind and my usually clean and very
organized home just doesn't exist these days.

So this simple leaf, fallen off it's tree, covered in
water droplets, that I took a picture of yesterday, 
helps me focus on what is to come, Fall, my favorite
time of year, and hopefully it will find me back
in balance with myself and my surrounding.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Project Life Review

So, for me, the investment in starting Project Life was my first and foremost concern when I started seeing how much popularity it was gaining and how many people were doing it. Being on a budget, I was concerned that it would cost me too much for the initial start up and to do it on a weekly basis. But when Nov 2011 came around, and I couldn't take the not participating in it any longer, I found that I could get started for less then a $100 investment, and really, one trip to the local scrapbooking store can easily cost that much if you are not careful.

So I ordered my Clementine Core kit from Becky Higgins blog (there is a link to each country of origin to make it easier to get it in with minimal shipping and custom charges). And my purchase consisted of one Album, the core kit, 12 x 12 cardstock and the variety pack of page inserts (and no shipping charges on my purchase of over $85 which was an added bonus.

When it arrived the 2nd week of December, I couldn't wait to the New Year to get here so I could dive into the process and join the thousands already enjoying the simple idea for memory keeping that Becky Higgins had come up with. Simple, easy and no right or wrong way to approach it.

Fast forward 9 months, although currently I am 5 weeks behind in my album, and I would like to share some of the things I've learned about Project Life and myself in 2012, via my Project Life experience.

First off, one album is not enough to hold a whole years worth of Project Life, and I am not a user of thick
or heavy elements, I just use the basics that came with the core kit with extras like stamping, photo collages, and keepsake items like pamphlets, brouchers and maps.Rarely are there more then just the two page spread for the week.

In July I realized just how cramped and overflowing my album was and had to splurge and get another album sent to me, (to save money on shipping, I decided to order next years Cherry Edition, with 2 albums at the same time, so I am now set for 2013 as well). Being currently behind, I decided that I would reorganize my album and start the new album with July and then move forward in the second album from this point forward.

When I first got my Project Life, I went to Becky's website and watched her getting started video, as I was
feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the journaling cards and extra's that came with the core kit. After watching the video, I pretty much followed her advice to a tee, and set up the whole album by weeks, inserting the journaling cards in what I thought would be a good working order for me. And at the beginning of the year and for a few months, this worked really well for me, but as I evolved and learned to trust my instincts with what I wanted to create, I found that I was changing not only the cards out but also changing up the order of the page inserts to suite the photos and stories I wanted to tell for the week. Thus, today, I decided to take what inserts were left for the year, organize them into style, pull out all the cards and just wing it as I have been doing for the past 4 or so months, and I tell you, I almost feel a bit of a weight off my shoulders for just doing that.

 One the left hand side is how I had all the pages organized before following the advice of Becky, and after I pulled out all the cards, I realized I also had favorite inserts I used more then others, and one in particular I just don't care for that much, it being the 6 x6 one. I also realize that certain journaling cards are used more and that there are still so very many left :)

I then sat down and spread all of the cards out and reorganized them into colors (this kit has black, blue, orange and red) and got them nicely put back into the boxes in the core kit. I work so much better when I am completely organized and this will help once I finally get my photos printed out and get back into my weekly process of completing my previous week on the Sunday of the new week. Summer time is so erratic and with no set schedule that it just ran away from me this past month or so. One thing I am looking forward to once fall hits is our normal daily routines.


It was quite the process as I cataloged each color and then individual card to it's own box, and those 6 x 12 inserts in the left hand photo above are used at the end of each month to capture extra photos, usually my favorites from Instagra, or bday cards or bits and pieces of the month on one side and a typed summery of the month on the other. I was good at doing this until May, but then just stopped, so I am going to have to take some time to go back and reflect on those months soon before it's too far gone from my very short memory recall. But all in all, I LOVE this project, and am so thankful the Becky decided that making an easy no fail project for us was worth all of her and her hubby's efforts. Thank you Becky.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jordyn's 19th birthday

So up here in BC, turning 19 is a big deal for all teens...not only is their last year of being a teenager, but it also marks the beginning of being legal for both drinking alcohol and gambling. So leading up to her big day I asked her to send me a text of what things she enjoyed drinking, because we all know no one waits to be 19 to actually start drinking, lol....and this is the list she texted me back.....

The night before her birthday she was staying at her boyfriends place so it allowed me time to get a few things done to surprise her for her big day...using my awesome die cutting machine the cricut, I made this for her door.........

And these for her room....I got flowers because for some reason, you can find 18th and 21st birthday balloons and banners, but nothing for 19, so I decided against balloons altogether and went for this instead.

Then of course, after a trip to the cold beer and wine store I came home to wrap up some gifts to go along
with the one my mom had sent her from Ontario......and no, not all the gifts were alcohol related, but most of them

My mom called her to wish her a happy birthday just before we had dinner, so she took that time to open her gift from Gramma and I took a few photos of it to send my mom afterwards...I love the dream catcher she sent her and it was up on her wall before the days end...

After dinner, her requested dinner was clubhouse sandwiches and mixed salad, which when making for 6 people is a lot of work by the was then onto opening the rest of her gifts and then eating cake....

May all your wishes come true my dear daughter. Love you with all my heart. xoxo

Jordyn's birthday cake

Using the Iphone app called Instaframe, I made a collage
of the stages of making Jordyn's birthday cake for her
19th birthday. I love decorating cakes.

And here's my little secret, I love the decorating process,
I love making something so simple look so elegant, but
I don't like baking cakes from scratch, nor do I have any
success when trying to make icing either. That is why 
Betty Crocker invented easy cake mixes, and then
icing in a jar....see for me, it's the final cake, the
wow factor that makes me happy, and makes the
person receiving it happy as well. It's the making
it as individual as the person its made for, to add
details that will bring a smile to their face that is
well worth the effort of the decorating process.

And well it started the night before with me making
the cake mix (rainbow sprinkle is her favorite) and
dividing it into two round cake tins to bake.

The next day, I spread Smucker's wildberry jam on the
top of the bottom round, then topped with the french
vanilla icing and then smeared it all together, before topping
it with the other round. I then did a layer of icing, but it was
so warm in the house that it was falling off as quickly as I 
was putting it on, and I was getting super frustrated, so into
the fridge it went for 30 minutes for cool down.

In that time, I took all the roses (purchased two 
silk bouquets from the dollar store) and then once
I had seperated the flowers and leaves from the
stems, I took a wet cloth and washed each and
every piece that would be going on the cake, yes
it is an important thing to remember when using non
edible things on a cake, make sure they are clean.

Once the icing had cooled down, I finished spreading it, then
a simple technique I used to dimple it is to just use a butter 
knife and tap up and down, pulling some icing up as you go.
For someone like me with limited cake decorating skills, I find
it less stressful then trying to get that perfect smooth icing finish.

I then just added leaves, and alternating rose colors until I liked
how the cake looked, and since I know roses are one of her
favorite flowers, I knew she would love her cake, and she did.

Happy 19th birthday to my baby girl.
Love you lots xoxo

He loves me

Nothing say I love you then a random stop on the way home
by hubby after running some errands, and then when he comes
back to the truck and is standing by your door holding
a wonderful bouquet of flowers. How awesome is that?

I honestly was thinking he was in a snacky mood and ran
in to get his usual snack of cheese nibs, so while I was
cruising IG waiting in the truck, I had no idea I would
be so happily surprised in a few short minutes :)

When I asked him what they were for, he simply said, because,
you haven't had flowers in a while, and I felt like getting you
some. How sweet is he...and I guess I'll continue to
keep him

Thank you dear hubby for always keeping me guessing
and for always showing me how much you care.

love you back.....xoxo

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Whistler Jeep Adventure

On Saturday Tim and I went on a spontaneous road trip up
to Whistler, and we splurged and went on a wonderful,
off road jeep tour. This was the pamplet that got it all 
happening for us. 

Our chariot awaits!!! Our driver Georgie was 
full of info and we lucked out and didn't have
a full jeep, just another couple so lots of
interior leg room for us all.

Tim had the better side of the Jeep for views, so 
most of my photos are taken out his window.

As we got higher, the snow became more
apparent, and the temperatures dropped enough
that it was nice to feel the blast of heat
coming from the front of the jeep's interior
fans. I'm sure they were turned up as
high as they could go, but with the top
off, you could only stay so warm.

And then we were up about 6000 ft above
sea level and there was still a significant amount
of snow that hadn't melted this summer. Not
sure if you can see it, but there is a pinkish
tinge to the snow top layer, and that
is an algea, cool little tidbit of info.

Once we got to the vantage point for viewing the
sunset, we got out and took pictures and 
realized just how cold it was up there, to the
point that Tim was shivering so much his hands
wouldn't stop shaking to take non blurry photos.

My poor cold hubby, trying his hardest not
to turn into an ice cube...lets just say when
we started out our day we had no idea we
would end up at the top of Blackcomb Mtn
surrounded by snow, so we were not dressed
appropriately at all to say the least.

Our awesome guide/driver insisted that photos
were to be taken with us inside the jeep, so that
is what we did. Oh and doing this made us want
a jeep even more so then before.

This is our wonderful, knowledgable tour guide, 
Georgie, whom I asked to get a photo of, so
she posed as the lazy slacker driver....too funny.

I don't think we could have had a better guide, she told us
stories, was full of historical references, and even told us
about the Native tale of the Hemlock tree, who hangs
his head in shame. We now now about the different
terrain, trees, berries and floral growth of the mtn,
and all the while doing so with a good sense of humor.
At one point she even started calling for the local
bear she had seen a few times earlier, and luckily
he was actually spotted on the side of a grassy
cliff, but it was too dark to take a good photo.

A great couple of photos taken by Georgie of us
by the edge. what an amazing view.

And this was the best of the sunset we could get
since Mother Nature didn't cooperate and the
cloud cover was thick. But the sun did manage
to peek through. I did manage to snap a few nice
shots though, so happy with the whole experience.

On the way back down the we both used
the warm blankets to keep warm. A great
idea to have when you are uptop of a 
snow covered mountain.