Thursday, December 16, 2010

Have you ever...

I saw this on Marti's blog and it reminded me of something Katherine would've liked!

Bold these if you’ve ever…

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disney World

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon (does half marathon count?)

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (in Vegas!) J

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (I’m counting this with Campfire mints)

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

As most of you know, I LOVE sending (and receiving) mail. One of my favorite parts of the holidays? A mailbox full of beautiful cards and pictures!! We recently received our engagement pictures back ... and one thing I'm looking forward to... sending out photo Christmas cards! (It's the little things in life, right?)

I've been checking out the different cards available, and Shutterfly has a TON of cute Christmas card designs - and they're reasonably priced, too. Up until a few months ago, I stuck to Shutterfly for pictures only. I recently tried their cards and have been delighted with the results! Not only did I receive them promptly, but the quality was professional. I also used Shutterfly for printing up our engagement story in a book ... it turned out wonderful - and now we have our story documented.

Back to Christmas cards: they have 748(!!) different designs - something for everybody. Here are a couple of my favorite designs:
This style would be a cute card to send!

Or this one:

Shutterfly even has story cards - a fun alternative to letters on computer paper. This Top Ten style would be fun, a'la Letterman!

So many options for Christmas cards, then we need to pick out Save the Dates... ;)

If you’re a blogger, and interested in 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow ->

Friday, September 10, 2010


(seen here)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good Fortune

No, this isn't another "I won" post ... but one about an awesome company, Good Fortune.

I first heard about Good Fortune from my friend Steph ... and I'm so glad I did!

They recently sent me some Faucet Soap to try out - wow! I tried the Citronella & Grapefruit scent. It's very refreshing and reminiscent of summer. I feel like I should be camping! But since I don't camp ;) it works well in my shower. The packaging is very cool - it's packaged inside a net bag, which makes the soap exfoliate and easy to use. Plus I hang it on the string after using, which makes it easy to dry. It also came in a waterproof bag to make traveling easy.

I'm the one you want at outdoor functions since the mosquitoes love me! I'll definitely use the Citronella soap next time I'm outside to keep the bugs away.

I'm really impressed with the Good Fortune branding. Their creative and professional brand comes through in both their products and website. That's not it though - they are a green company that also offers products that give back to the community.

I've been so impressed with the faucet soap, I can't wait to check out more Good Fortune products. So many great scents - I think the coconut mineral soak sounds wonderful. It's refreshing (pun intended!) to use products I believe in!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Just thought I'd let you know I WON the contest! That's right ... my bridal party and I will be enjoying a day at the spa - I'm so excited! Thank you for voting, it means so much to me.

I've actually been on a winning streak lately - in the past couple weeks, I've won a Mini Dell Netbook, a Flip HD video camera, and a wedding-themed scrapbooking kit. I also bought lottery tickets, but only won $2. :)

I'm so grateful for winning all these contests ... and continue to enter in hopes of winning some more!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I need your help ... please vote!

I entered a contest on Facebook for a local bridal magazine: telling our engagement story in order to win a spa day for my bridal party. There were only 11 entries, so I think I have a decent chance of winning ... and would LOVE your support!! The contest ends Tuesday.

If you're on Facebook, can you vote here?

Since I know how fun contests are... I will offer $25 cash to one of the people that vote for me (just comment to this post). And if I win, I'll send out two prizes! How's that ... you could get cash, and me & my bridesmaids would get a spa day!

Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Story

Nick and I are down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on a weeklong vacation. We both were looking forward to getting away and enjoying some much-needed relaxation time ... I just truly had no idea what a special trip this would be.

Saturday, May 1st was our one year anniversary of meeting and so we made plans to go to dinner somewhere nice. Nick asked if he could plan where we went, so I happily obliged! The day had been overcast, but we still looked forward to celebrating our anniversary even if the views were less than par. We went to Le Kliff, an open-air restaurant overlooking the ocean 30 minutes away. We had a secluded table all by ourselves – it was super romantic. They offered to move us somewhere where we might not get “mist” (i.e. rain) ... but we figured we’d tough it out. It did sprinkle a bit, but I thought it added to the evening. A mariachi band came over and sang a romantic love song to us ... it really was the perfect setting. The sun set right as our main course was served – and it was incredible. A day of clouds and drizzle parted for an amazing orange and red sunset ... we couldn’t ask for anything more.

Below us was a little trail that you could walk along, with scenic views, and I had asked Nick earlier if we could walk down where there were two grass hearts on a stone step. After dinner, he asked if we could go for a walk. I honestly had no idea what was about to happen - we had decided on no anniversary gifts. Although I did put my hand on his chest and his heart was racing ... I figured he might just be nervous about giving an anniversary speech. :)

We were standing under the moon and stars, as the waves crashed below us; after a short speech, he went down on one knee and asked me if I would be his wife. I kept saying “Oh my God” over and over ... but did say YES! The mariachi band and restaurant had been watching us and gave us a loud cheer as we kissed our engagement. As we walked back up to our table, we passed another couple who was on a different part of the trail – we totally stole their thunder ... because they got engaged in the same place as we did just a couple minutes later! Nick also stopped to ask and make sure I did say yes, since neither of us could remember just exactly what we had said.

My ring is BEAUTIFUL ... Nick did quite a bit of research and the ring is absolutely perfect – an oval solitaire in a white gold Tiffany setting. He asked my Mom, Stepdad and Dad for their blessings the week before – they were the only people who knew, other than the ladies at the bank and his barber. :)

After getting back from dinner, we made a few phone calls to friends and family to let them know the big news. And we bought a day’s worth of internet access so we could spread the news electronically on Facebook. We went down to the beach and celebrated with cocktails and a cigar for Nick ... we can’t stop smiling. It truly was a magical night - everything I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I have finally found my Prince Charming!

We’re super excited about our future – lots of decisions to make, but for now we’re just taking in our engaged life and looking forward to what lies ahead. Thank you all for your blessings and good wishes – it truly means the world to us. We’re a little obnoxious right now (calling each other fiancĂ©e all the time, constant ring gazing, etc.) so it’s probably good we’re on vacation so no one else has to deal with our lovey-doveyness. ;)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Do you know Alice?

Have you heard of I read about Alice on a scrapbooking site several months ago, and it's been fabulous so far!

They sell household products - everything from toilet paper to shampoo to trash bags. You know, the stuff you stop at Target to buy and leave with $100 less in your wallet. Shipping is always free AND quick! They even let you know when coupons are available, and I've found the prices comparable to local stores. As a side note, the branding is very impressive - the package is secure, including tape on any bottle and that may open.

If you register via this link, once you spend $50, you'll receive $10 off your order! You don't have to spend $50 at once - it'll be deducted automatically. I just placed another order this morning.

Happy Alice shopping!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Got Coupons?

I have a confession ... I love couponing. It's a new hobby, but dang is it fun!
Last week, I went to Target, coupons in hand and for $2.22 out of pocket I got:
4 boxes of Frosted Mini-Wheats
1 pack of feminine products
1 bottle of hand soap
All products I use - not bad at all!

Couponing is pretty overwhelming to a newbie - there are tons of sites out there, and since I'm a singleton, I never thought it was for me. (Since I don't need diapers, 12 tubes of toothpaste or 6 gallons of milk!) I'm taking it easy so far, though. I don't buy products I don't need, unless it is something I can donate to charity easily. (In the past, when I participated food drives, I would purchase food just for the cause - now I can donate food I bought for free/cheap!)

My two favorite sites so far are Money Saving Mom and She Saved. I've also found some great deals at Slick Deals (especially around the holidays!)

Let me know if you have any other sites you use, I'd love to bookmark them. Happy (cheap) shopping!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Believe

I saw this recently and thought it was a great message.

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born.
A Death Certificate shows that we died.
Pictures show that we lived!
And read this slowly.

I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
We understand that friends change.

I Believe....
That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe....
That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe....
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe....
That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe...
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs
to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe....
That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe....
That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays
you've celebrated.

I Believe....
That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe....
That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
But, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find
Out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

I Believe....
Two people can look at the exact same
Thing and see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of
Hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give,
When a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I Believe...
That you should send this to people that you believe in, I just did.

'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything they have

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cleaning out my Stash

Local ladies ... are you looking for some discounted crafty goodness? Several of my friends are on design teams (and get lots of extra product!) and we're having a scrapbooking garage sale on Saturday, March 20. There are over ten of us participating, so you're guaranteed to get a wide variety with a bunch of great stuff.

My word this year is simplify - so I'm working on organizing, purging and using my stash! And since the sale isn't held at a LSS, I'll actually get cash and not just store credit (to buy more!!)

Wish me luck with sorting and pricing ... :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pen Pal, anyone?

Did you used to have a pen pal? Wish you still did? (Anyone else remember which teen magazine had the pen pal sign up in the back??)

Reform School is launching an international Pen Pal program and I'm pretty excited to sign up! If you're local to LA, they're even having a 'club' meeting to discuss the program ... if not, no big deal, we'll get our pen pal matches after the meeting on March 15. To sign up, just send an email with the basics: name, address, hobbies, etc.

Yay for more fun mail!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good Grief: Use the Alphabet

A new challenge was posted at Good Grief: to use the alphabet in my layouts.

I took a different alphabet interpretation to both my layouts. I decided to use the alphabet as a springboard, and tell the story of how Kath changed her last name several years ago.

A True Family Name
Journaling: Kath & Grandma went to Sweden in June 1999… the trip changed their lives. After she returned home, Kath decided she needed to honor her Swedish heritage, and her Grandpa. She went from a Waters to a Johanson.

I have always called my Grandma, “Grandma Em”, so this was an easy letter to pick! I wanted to document the story of how she became Grandma Em (despite not being an Emily!), so it worked well for this challenge. This was inspired by a Studio Calico class I took at CKC.

Grandma M
Journaling: Before she was a Mom & Grandma, she earned a degree from UW and worked at a dairy. Story goes that she wore an extra jumpsuit, embroidered with “Em.” She was never Grandma Marion or Finnegan, always Grandma M. And I’m proud I made her a Grandma.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lovely Package Exchange

Do you like getting fun mail? I just signed up for the Lovely Package Exchange over on Oh Hello Friend. What is it? A chance to get a crafty mail partner, send them a gift worth $25-30 (with pretty wrapping!) and receive something fun and pretty in the mail. Signups end on 3/9, with gifts sent during the month of March.

You can see more of the past packages on the Flickr site. Yay for adding a bit of cheer to mailboxes across the world!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Back at It

We've lucked out with the weather the past couple days. The sun's out, and although it's not extremely warm, the dose of Vitamin D seems to put everyone in a good mood. Nick and I spent the afternoon at Green Lake yesterday ... it was beautiful!

It was so nice to be outside, soak up the sun, and get some exercise in. I have some upcoming events I'm now planning for: Puerto Vallarta with Nick in a couple months for our anniversary and The 3 Day in less than 7 months! Anticipating both the beach and walking 60 miles, I'm trying to get my weight and fitness level under control. I know what works: eating better and moving more. It's no secret!

So far, so good. Nick and I walked over 4+ miles yesterday at Green Lake (along with every other Seattleite!) This morning I was up at 4:30 am and headed to the gym ... a great start to the week. :) I also bought new shoes yesterday so I'm ready to walk... my official training walks will be starting soon. I'll keep you posted on how it's going!

Good Grief: Scrap without Photos

The current challenge was posted last week at Good Grief. This was challenge #13 ... hard to believe we've been at this for 6 months already! This challenge was to scrap without photos. I managed to finish both layouts at a retreat a couple weeks ago with some girlfriends ... it's so nice to get some quality crafty time in.

Auntie Bugs

I've been wanting to tell this story for awhile ... this was the perfect opportunity!

Journaling: The story: When I was a toddler, Kath babysat me … I was crying. To try and make me stop, she shrieked about a spider. The giggles started and we went searching for buggies. And she’s been my Auntie Bugs ever since.

Raisin Love

This was just another story I wanted to document and remember.

Journaling: Every week, Grandma would pick me up from Jo Anne’s house on Fridays. Waiting for me in the car was a snack … always raisin, sittin on the dash. I see raisins now and smile, thinking of her.

You can see more here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Circle Journals

Last Fall, I signed up to participate in a circle journal over at SIS. For you non-scrappers, a CJ is where you create a mini-album with a topic, send it throughout a group of people to complete a layout and pass it on. By the time it comes back to you (full circle), the book is complete!

The theme of my book was Favorite Cause- I wanted to know which charities are most important to everyone. So far I've received 3 different circle journals for this group.

And here are the layouts I've completed so far:

A Christmas Tradition
The theme of this one was Favorite Recipe. Journaling: This casserole is a Christmas morning tradition. So good to enjoy once a year. After presents, enjoy with some orange juice, before a holiday nap. Delicious!

So Many Quirks So Little Time
This book's theme is to document our quirks. As you can see, I have too many to pick one! :) Journaling: I admit it ... I'm pretty quirky! Whether it's out of habit or reason, I definitely have my fair share of quirks. Trouble is identifying something that's not an idiosyncrasy! Here are just a couple of my quirks: I always clean my home in the same order, I make my bed every morning, I go to Starbucks almost every day, I look at my bank accounts daily. (and the list goes on!)

And this CJ was about our favorite color. Journaling should be clear, but just in case: My favorite color right now is grey. I like wearing it, scrapping it, decorating with it ... it's my go to color right now. Love it!

It's kind of a fun project - taking on various challenges & subjects, and in the end you have a full album from a variety of scrappers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Earlier this week, I signed up to be an In2Books pen pal!

I'm looking forward to it: I'll be paired up with student (grade 3-5), we'll read the same book, and then write letters about the book. Reading and letters? I'm in! I'll let you know how it goes after we start reading.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Good Grief: Word Association

A new challenge was posted today at Good Grief! This challenge was to use word association - it's fun to see the different takes on the challenge.

My layouts and explanations:

This picture isn’t the best of Katherine, but it was a wonderful moment I wanted to capture. Exactly one year ago, I was on a cruise with Katherine (and some of my family). We were all aware that this would be her last vacation, but tried to enjoy each moment. This picture was on the bus from the airport to the cruise terminal – Katherine was singing, laughing and clapping while talking to a smile child sitting nearby. This was exactly how she was all the time – always connecting with everyone around us. :)


Journaling: Daughter, sister, aunt, partner ... but she was so much more. Funny, loving, giving, focused, generous, forgiving, story-telling, present. But the word that best describes her: joy.

This next layout didn't start the way I had planned, but when I saw this patterned paper, I thought it would be perfect for word association. I made a list of words I thought described my Grandma, and started adding the words to the different shapes. Once it was finished, I realized one important word missing: “missed” so added it to a pop-dotted label to the picture.

She Is...

Journaling: She is... faithful, organized, gentle, sensitive, patient, unselfish, poised, devoted, efficient, endearing, grandmother, hospitable, honest, loyal, helpful, fair, loved, caring, independent, nice, tender, beautiful, sweet, practical, trusting, loving, smart, genuine, mom, dedicated, missed.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Catching Up

After the craziness of the holidays (and a broken pipe - what a mess!) I'm finally able to catch up on my to do list! I have a couple of Good Grief challenges that I'm just getting around to posting:

Resolve to Make a Tradition

Journaling: For Katherine’s birthday, I needed to find a way to honor her … to turn our grief to celebration. I planned a group dinner at Jubilee Women’s Center – nearly a dozen friends & family showed. After a quick speech, we ate our spaghetti dinner and talked to the residents. This cause was perfect … and I know she was there with us.

I resolve

Journaling: To take more pictures just because, to document the little moments, to capture candid shots, and to not worry what others think. I wish I had more pictures of Grandma, but I cherish these ones.

You can also see the layouts here.

Capture a Favorite Place
Right Here

Journaling: My favorite place was anywhere, as long as we were all together. I love our family gatherings, and I know you did too. We'd laugh, cry, play games and tell stories. Some of my best memories were during these occasions. And its not the same without you.

Journaling: You loved being on Maui, with all of us there. We went twice as an entire family. So much fun from synchronized swimming to the daily 5:00 conch shell, it was nice for us to all be together. This picture at Bubba Gumps in Lahaina cracks me up I still smile looking at you in Forrest Gumps shoes. :) I miss those happy times.

I have one and a half of my two layouts done for the next challenge (will be posted on the 1st). It's really nice to be caught up ... I need to do these layouts, not only for my commitment to Good Grief, but it's quite healing and therapeutic for me.