Friday, June 26, 2009

New Digi-Scrap Releases...

Creations by Rachael released a beautiful new kit today at Pretty Scrappy. The kit is called [Tropical Paradise] and it is seriously jam-packed with tons of realistic tropical elements and flowers...I honestly had a hard time putting this one down, as I'm sure you will too!

Holly of Pixie Perfect Designs also released a new kit today called [Sweet Cherry Pie]'s filled with delicious papers in combos of brown, red, green, and blue. I mean, seriously - chocolate and cherries - how can you go wrong?!

Julie Marie Designs contributed to a Collab Grab Bag at Inspiration-Lane. While her portion won't be revealed until July 1st, I can tell you the bold and bright colors and funky patterns are perfect for scrapping those hot summer layouts!
And here are a couple of random ones...because time allowed (or I couldn't sleep) and I still have a LOT of pictures left to scrap...
Using [My Litte Artist] from Creations by Rachael at Pretty Scrappy
Using [Paradise Island] by Valorie Brown at Funky Playground Designs

Today We Learned...

They say you learn something new every day....well, today the girls and I learned that little pond-dwelling turtles like to eat fish. At the risk of sounding like a complete moron, I honestly had no idea that turtles ate fish...I always figured they were herbivores who fed off the moss and plants in whatever body of water they call home.

I had a followup appointment on my thyroid today, and the patient exam room we were in overlooked a large pond by our apartment (the doctor's office is literally across the street from where we live). We've taken plenty of walks to the pond, but I had never seen any turtles before - just fish and ducks and birds. Well, as we looked out the windows from the doctor's office, we saw a white thing floating in the distance. I just figured it was a piece of trash, and didn't give it a second thought, but the girls got all excited and said "look mama...look!! Baby turtles eating in the water!!" After a few minutes, the floating white mass came closer to our edge of the lake and lo and behold - it turned out to NOT be a piece of trash, but rather a dead, rotting fish floating belly up in the pond. Underneath the fish were two turtles - one large, one small - nibbling away to their cold-hearts content. The girls got a kick out of watching the turtles (which made waiting in the doctor's office that much easier), but I was so surprised to watch them eat fish!! The nurses were also surprised to see the turtles and kept coming in to watch the feeding frenzy - apparently they had never seen them in the pond, either.

Such a small thing to have learned today, and some of you probably already knew this. That being said, it definitely made me think twice about wading into a pond or lake without water shoes on...after all, I wouldn't want some little turtle mistaking my toes for a tasty fish!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day celebrates all types of dads - fathers, grandpas, brothers, uncles, great-grandfathers, fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law, and husbands. Every one is special and unique, and they all deserve to know how much we love and appreciate all they do, or have done, for us.

I am very grateful to have such wonderful examples of "fathers" in my life. To all those men who fall into any of tie-tles (get it...TIE-tle...hehe...corny, I know) above, thank you for your influence, support, understanding, and love.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shoe Your Personality...

I was able to attend my ward's RS Enrichment Activity this past Thursday, which was themed "Shoe Your Personality." All of those in attendance were encouraged to bring a shoe that represented them. In addition to a delicious potluck dinner and 3 fun mini-classes, we had the [not-so-fun] privilege of getting to stand in front of everyone and explain why that shoe was symbolic of us.
It was very interesting to see the different types of shoe each woman brought, but even more interesting to hear how that shoe represented her as an individual. Some brought their running shoes, others their dance shoes, some their boots, others their sparkly/blingy/very fashion-y shoes. These are the shoes I chose to represent me: my dirty, old, well-worn flip-flop sandals.

The first (and most obvious) reason I chose these is because of their universal symbolism: flips flops = the beach. I am a Cali girl, and even though I grew up inland about 45 minutes from the beach, the time I spent living in Oceanside converted me into true beach bum. I [LOVE] the ocean...I love the peace and serenity and clarity it provides. I love the waves, the sand, the palm trees, the hibiscus, the piers, the people, the fish, the sea gulls, the dolphins....everything. I can't explain it; I can't fully describe the change I experience when I'm near the ocean because I don't entirely understand it myself. All I can say is, I LOVE the beach. Period.

On a more personal level, I chose these sandals because they most closely represent how I view myself. The sandals are simple, plain, and straight forward - dare I even say, a little frumpy. There's nothing fancy about them - no sparkles, no frills - so they don't stand out in a crowd. Appearances aside, the shoes are comfortable and supportive. They have been through a lot, walked a lot of miles, but they still have a good amount of sole remaining. The flip-flops are low-maintenance and go with pretty much anything. I consider myself pretty simple and straight-forward - I tell it like it is, without adding fluff. I prefer to stay back in a crowd - I'm not the most outgoing person, and I certainly don't feel comfortable being the center of attention (which is why I wasn't exactly thrilled about having to get up in front of everyone to explain "my shoe"). I've been through a lot; I've had my fair share of trials, but I know I still have a lot left to learn and experience. Although I still have my moments of stress and anxiety, I try to go along with the flow and just take things one day at a time. I realize I may not be the fanciest, or most popular, or most social type of shoe, but I am who I am and I'm okay with that.

So, now that I have opened my "sole" in this post (haha...pun intended), I'm curious what shoe best represents you and your personality?

What Do You Do...

When your 3 year-old has the attitude of a teenager? Seriously, she does...I'm not exaggerating. We were in Wal-mart this afternoon and AK decided she needed to use the potty. Simple enough, right? Wrong. AK decided she did not want me to be in the bathroom with her...never mind the fact that I was over by the doorway and where near her stall. That apparently wasn't far enough away from her, which was reason enough (in her mind) to throw a ridiculous tantrum - the likes of which I have never seen before from a 3 1/2 year old. There were at least 3 ladies who came in and then left the bathroom at some point during AK's tantrum, one of them commenting that now is the time to start disciplining my children. Really? You think? Just how much disciplining does she think I can do to a child who has locked herself into a bathroom stall?! It took all of my energy and will to stand there trying to calm AK down without breaking down and crying myself.

Honestly, I have not yet fully adjusted to the whole toddler stage...I am NOT yet ready to deal with the angst of adolescence.

Friday, June 19, 2009

For the Love of Friday...

Things I'm loving as of today...
Cute, festive animal kickboards for the girls...$5 each at Wal-mart (they call them their tiny surfboards and carry them around everywhere...I mean EVERYWHERE!!)

Cool, cloudy days that are making this AZ summer pretty far

Whole grain wheat bagels with light strawberry shmear...a quick and easy snack

Fresh berries and summer fruit, mixed into a delicious summer cocktail concoction...YUMMY!!

The hours of entertainment that can be derived from a collection of crayons..the girls are taking after my own creative heart!

A Lil' Bit Rock...A Whole Lotta Fun!

Holly, the very talented designer of Pixie Perfect Designs, has released a fabulous new kit today exclusively at Enchanted Studio Scraps. The kit is called [A Lil' Bit Rock] and is filled with all sorts of funky/grungy/rockin' scrappable goodness. Since it's a new release, you can get 30% off...and, as if that weren't enough incentive, Holly has an adorable freebie add-on at the Pixie Perfect Designs Blog.

I don't have any "guitar" or "rockstar" pictures of the girls, but here are two LO's I created with this kit...I tried to grungify some regular photos by tweaking the contrast/brightness settings.

And, since Friday seems to be the day I get the most blogging done, I figure I'll go ahead and post my scrap LO's from the past week. I've contemplated moving my scrapbook LO's to a separate blog, just so that way I could keep my hobby separate from our family life. However, I ultimately decided against it because I'm afraid if I did, my posting on the family blog would become even less frequent. So....sorry you all have to be subjected to my digiscrap addiction, but it really is a goody type of therapy for me.

Using [Safari Stampede] collab and add-on from Creations by Rachael and LateNight Scraps... this kit is seriously perfect for scrapping all those zoo pics!

Created for a scraplift challenge at Funky Playground Designs

Created for a font challenge at Funky Playground Designs
The challenge font is called Benny Blanco, and I have to tell's now one of my favorites (notice, it's also used on my [Lil Bit Rock] LO's). If you like it, you can snag it here for free.

Created just because I was feeling a little bit grungy...and, because I was missing Doug a lil' bit... between school, work, jiu jitsu...basically [LIFE], it seems like we never get to see each other.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Admitting Defeat...

Okay girls...I give up. I give in. I am waving the white flag. I surrender. I fully realize that today is just one of "those" days....a day where reasoning is pointless, mediation is inconsequential, logic is ignored, and any attempt whatsoever to try and regain even the smallest amount of control as the mother of the house is futile. I am powerless. I am insignificant. I am tired of going around in circles in a fruitless effort to convince the two of you to get along.

I am seriously considering putting ear plugs in and just letting the two of you duke it out for the rest of the day. Ear plugs....yes, that is a very tempting idea indeed!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

For the Love of Friday...

I haven't done this for the past few weeks, but there are a few things I'm loving right now in particular...

1. The uncharacteristically cool weather we've been experiencing in AZ for the past far, it's been a relatively mild June (knock on wood...I really hope this continues for a while longer)

2. Fun-filled splash parks scattered throughout Chandler and the surrounding area...a fun alternative to swimming in the pool every day
Making new friends everywhere they go...
3. Dollar art supplies in the Dollar Deal area at Target (we're talking water colors, finger paints, paper rolls, brushes,'s the perfect time to stock up!!)

4. Afternoon trips to the zoo with the girls...even if the trips are only for an hour or two
They wanted to climb on the stone frog, but the stone was too hot, so the girls settled for sitting on his feet...AK's on the left (holding her "spy-the-scope"), Roo's being goofy on the right
AK's favorite of the day were the flamingos

Roo got a kick out of watching the camels

5. Having Doug home for a relaxed evening of $5 pizza and movies...we're pretty laid back, but that's how I like it!