Staycations are the best !!!

Summer is winding down and today it feels like fall has already arrived. Rain all day and temps in the mid 50's....brrrr. All the windows are closed and I was half tempted to get a fire going tonight.

I've been on vacation this past week with Jake & have Monday & Tuesday of next week off as well. Jake goes back to school on Weds and I will sadly go back to work myself. That's going to be a tough adjustment for me after a week & a half off.

No travels for this vacation week & it has been the awesome. We hung out at home & did some cooking together today since it was cold, wet & raw outside. The other days we did something fun each day...hiking, mini golf, a baseball game, a water park etc. A very fun , very relaxing week....and I didn't use my camera all week so I don't have any photos to show for it...but I do have some great memories of a great week with Jake.

Next week we will take a day trip to the ocean to hang out at the beach & play in the arcades as a last hurrah before summer officially ends for us. Its been an odd summer with lots of cool weather and rain...I hate to see it end , but I also love fall. Its such a beautiful time of year and I do look forward to it. I just wish it didn't have to be followed by winter : (

Today I woke with a scratchy throat...and by tonight it has quickly turned into a lot of sneezing & congestion & a sore throat. I'm hoping I can fight it off with the the help of Zicam (which I swear by). I'm heading to bed soon with a big warm blanket and a box of tissues.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Need to lose a few pounds?

My Mom told me about this really cool site where you can use a photo of yourself to see what you might look like if you lose 10 lb, 50 lbs etc. Jake and I had fun seeing what our results looked like. If you want to try it out just go here

When you go there & try it there is also a link to a site where you can try hairstyles on for size to see how they look on you. We had a blast with this one. We were laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.

What could be so funny about hairstyles you say? Well scroll down and you can see Jake as Jessica Simpson. Pretty cute isn't he? lol


A summer stroll (warning...long photo filled post)

Today was a fun day for Jake & I ...and I have no photos to remember it by : ( I'm on vacation for the next week & a half so Jake & I are trying to do some fun things near home this week. Today we went to a water park for the day (which is why I didn't bring my camera), then to Cartland so Jake could take a few spins on the go-carts, then out to dinner so Jake could have scallops. We were near the ocean at the base of Cape Cod so we had to get the scallop lover a seafood dinner before heading home.

I do have some photos to share though if you'd like to take a walk with me. I did this last fall & thought maybe you'd like to join me for a summer stroll as well. Its hot & muggy though (especially after a morning rainstorm) so wear your deodorant ok?

Off we go....no easing into this walk...the first hill starts right there at the end of my driveway (try to keep up ok?lol) Tanner is raring to go per usual. Maybe he'll pull me up the hill....

And the church I love to photograph a little further up the road...
The town hall (in the distance) and library (in the foreground)...both beautiful old buildings don't you think?

Taking a right turn we head uphill again. There is really no avoiding hills in a mountainside town. But I have become used to them & can actually climb them without resting now or without gasping for air.
I walk by this bush every day on this walk and admire these pretty berries. They are turning a really pretty color as summer comes to a close. I have no idea what this plant is but I really like it a lot.
And here is an ingenious roof design on this barn. With all the snow we get here I'd bet this roof has saved a few farmers from getting hit with sliding snow...
I think I have shown this old graveyard before....
But now that Princeton is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year they have put this historical marker here as well telling the history of this area of town. The pound mentioned on this sign is still there in the woods beyond the graveyard. It is a small square stone wall with an old wooden gate. My understanding is that when farmers didn't pay their taxes etc their livestock was impounded there.
And just beyond the graveyard & pound this home is on the market again. It belongs to my dog walker's parents and they have been trying to sell it off & on for a long time. I have always wanted to see it....want to come take a peek with me (no worries about trespassing...no one lives here to catch us)
A long curving driveway that hints at the view beyond the house....
The house is not the most beautiful one I've ever seen...so what does this home have to offer you say? Let me show you.....
The view !!!
So beautiful isn't it?
And a lovely gazebo to sit and enjoy it from...
Continuing on our walk...another example of ingenuity. How do you build a stone wall going down hill? I think this one is very cool...
And here we have another home for sale....this has been empty for as long as I have lived here (3 years). It needs a lot of work but I think it could be a beautiful home if someone restored it.

This cute barn scene....
...is right behind this even cuter front porch. I love how inviting this house looks. Wouldn't you love to sit in those chairs or on that porch swing at the far end & sip an ice cold lemonade?
an interesting self portrait along the way...
And here...the best part....time to stop for a breakfast of melted brie cheese, blueberries & walnuts on a bialy at the new market downt the road from my house. It was so yummy that I ate it all up before even thinking to photograph it.
Love this sign hanging outside...
They even have parking & water for dogs too....
And a country store wouldn't be complete without a community bulliten board...
This house is called "The Snuggery" and is more than 200 years old. Love the mansard roof.

And in their yard they have a really fun use for an old wheelbarrow..
Here we arrive back at the town common where the town hall, library & churh are found. The sky is beautiful isn't it?
Love this old wrought iron fence .....
And here comes Patty & Cooper....we got to know each other as our paths crossed walking our dogs. She is one of the nicest people I have met in town...my son adores her too. In fact he stopped at her house to say hello as we walked tonight & he didn't come home till 30 minutes after me. She is so super nice!!!
And Tanner thinks Cooper is pretty cool too...
A couple more photos of the church before heading on home. I like how these 2 pictures came out.
Thanks for coming along in the heat & humidity with me. Hope you enjoyed the scenery.


for a friend

I had posted a few weeks back about my friend/mechanic losing his daughter in a car accident. He worked on my car recently and seemed in good spirits. He said he has his good days & his bad days but although he acted his usual silly self. when I saw him....joking & teasing....I could see the sadness in his eyes even while there was a smile on his face. I never met his daughter but this man is one of the most genuinely good people I have ever met & my heart hurts for him that he has had to suffer such a tragic loss. If there is anyone less deserving of that heartache it would be him. Although no one deserves to lose a child do they?

I wanted to do something nice for him after a little time had gone by. So I copied a photo of her from the facebook page that was created in her memory and created a framed 12x12 page for him. I'm hoping that this gift will bring him joy and not sadness. I tried to do it in neutral colors so it might look good where ever he chose to hang it.

She was partial to peace signs and at her wake there were hundreds of photos of this beautiful girl on display & in most of them her hands were in the peace sign. So this photo with both hands up and a dazzling smile was the obvious choice to use.

The orange peace sign in the photo below was actually a drink coaster from a restaraunt I ate lunch at recently. I knew as soon as I saw it what I would use it on. It was much brighter so I swiped a brown inkpad over it to tone it down a bit.
The top portion of the text was stamped in brown & then I went over it with a glaze pen. The pattern papers & butterfly die cut are Crate Paper. The center text is American Craft foam Thickers (inked over to match the layout better) And the "forever" letters I think are KI Memories (can't remember)
I hope he likes it.


Observations of an 11 year old

So today I did my second triathlon with my sisters (update & photos to follow soon) and on the ride home my son & I were listening to the radio & got into a discussion about Woodstock (since this weekend is the 40th anniversary of that concert) Jake actually didn't even know what Woodstock was but was very interested in hearing about it. He then informed me that this week was also the anniversary of man walking on the moon. The conversation from there went like this:

Me: I remember when that happened because they had us watch it on TV in school.

Jake : You actually had tv back then?

Me: (smiling) yes we actually had tv back then

Jake : But you didn't have color tv did you?

Me: No I think at that point we just had black & white tv.

Jake: (totally serious & straight faced) That's how you know your really old.

Too funny !!! Out of the mouthes of babes huh?

Will share more about the race soon....it was very fun, very hot & I think we came in 5th place again but all the results were not posted yet last time we checked. Hope you all had a great weekend.


Layouts to share...

Continuing on with my recent obsession with die cut papers I created the next 2 pages. As I said before these are a challenge for me because I struggle with deciding what to do with them & how to use them. I was talking on the video camera on Skype the other night with my daughter in Iraq & was showing her the new papers I had purchased. When I showed her this one from Creative Imaginations (which is actally from a Christmas line they came out with) her response was "ooooh...I'm not too sure about that one Mom" I felt the same way when I bought it....I liked it well enough but I don't do many Christmas pages so this one posed even more of a challenge....how to use it, and how to use it in a non-Christmas layout.

What do you think now Mand? Kind of grows on you doesn't it?

I added couple of strips of Basic Grey paper under the die cut so it didn't look like it was floating in the center of a sheet of cardstock so much. Then added the photo edged with another small piece of basic grey, a chipboard title & accent piece and an epoxy sticker.

And I'm wondering....am I the only scrapper out there who often creates a layout and then realizes I have given no thought as to where to add some journaling in? You can see in the photo below how I solved this problem and it ended up being the perfect place to add some text & a bit of bling. I think my friend Brenda would call this a happy accident : ) I have rarely used die cut papers on their own as the background of the page until this week. I like how they look but when I put them in my scrapbooks I have to make sure they are behind a page that has a complimentary color which is kind of a pain.

I love this next layout though. The colors are happy and cheerful and I adore this photo of my beautiful daughter (taken the same day as the one in the layout above). The title is American Crafts foam Thickers and this die cut paper is from Deja Views.Love it because it had the lines on it perfect for adding journaling directly to the page.
I added some gems as bullets for the journaling and to help finshing framing the photo.
This last one was also a challenge for me as the paper is from the Basic Grey June Bug line that I bought recently.Its an odd collection of papers....bright, busy and none that really appear to match each other. Although that seems to be an upcoming trend in scrapping to use odd mixtures of patterns & colors its really not my thing.
So anyway I had this series of photos of Tanner playing in the snow last winter that I wanted to use but was having a hard time finding a color to use with them since they had an odd blue tone in the snow (need to learn to photgraph snow so it comes out white !) and this busy red plaid from the June Bug collection ended up being a perfect choice I thought. And oddly enough the yellow and black seemed to go well too. So maybe I am following the trends a bit in my own way.
So here's a little quiz for Brenda....what are the first 2 things you notice on this page? I'll give you a hint ...1 is from you (thank you again) and the other is something we both rarely do.


A creative week

Boy, there's nothing like some new fun papers to get your creative juices flowing is there? I have been having so much fun with those die cut and Basic Grey papers I picked up that I finished 3 more pages tonight. Well actually 2 are done and one I need to do some journaling on. Hopefully I can get them photographed & share them tomorrow night.

Hope you are all having a good week.


Layout share

Remember those die cut papers I couldn't keep my hands off while shopping the other day?

Below is a layout I created with one of them. Don't you just love the shape of this background paper? The patterned paper used on the page is also from the same paper line from Collage Press. I believe it was called "Knave of hearts" I loved the colors in this paper grouping...shades of gray, mustard, soft teal (your favorite Brenda), burnt red. I wanted them all but instead chose 3-4 favorites to take home with me.

I usually struggle with how to use these die cut papers...use them whole? cut them up? I love them but they are really a challenge for me. I know it looks as if I placed this gray die cut on a light grey cardstock background but that is actually my deck box that it was sitting on when I took the picture. The dark grey paper is the base...and I was really pleased with this page. Very basic & quick to do...but with the colors of the papers & the black & white photo of Tanner I am loving this page. More pages to share soon hopefully....


If you're ever in Massachusetts....

this is the best scrapbook store ever !!! I only get here once or twice a year because it is more than an hour from my house, but oh how I LOVE this store. They have the best selection of product.

Next weekend my sisters & I are doing another triathlon so today my sister Deb & I went there to do the bike portion of the race (twice) to see how it was. Afterward since I was in the area I decided to stop by my favorite scrapbook store. I spent more than an hour checking out all the cool stuff they had . And my mind must have been focused on die cut papers since that is all I really bought. Now I'm dying to play with them and create some new pages.

But if you are ever in the area definitely check this place out.


Another first....

I guess this a year of firsts for me....

I planted my fisrt veggie garden a couple of months ago and the 2 yards of compost I added to soil is working wonders. The tomatoe plants are as tall as me and the cucumbers are growing insanely fast. This is my first red heirloom tomatoe (not a great photo...it was really a beautiful orange/red) and it was so incredibly delicious on our tacos last night. Yum !!! This variety is called Break o' day and will definitely be one I look for to plant again next year. Soooooo good.

Thats my first jalapeno pepper in there too.

Tanner wasn't quite sure what to make of the cucumbers though....
Am I supposed to chew on the stem?
Or is it a funny shaped new ball for me to play with?
No worries...I washed them well before they turned into this...(thats red pepper in there...not tomatoes)
Which then was put into these (along with the vinegar/sugar/spice mixture)
And became my first batch of refrigerator bread & butter pickles. I even snipped the jalapeno up & added it into the ingredients. Off they went into the frig & I had some with dinner tonight...they were delicious !!! If anyone would like the recipe I'd be happy to share. They were so simple to make.


I'm on a roll....

2 pages completed in one week...its been a while since I've done that. Summer is just too busy for me to find a lot of spare time for scrapbooking. But since I had picked up Basic Grey's new Lemonade line I was itching to play with it. The page below is of a photo that will always be close to my heart.....my first race ever, my first race as a team with my 2 sisters & my Mom there to celebrate with us. The look on my Mom's face in the photo is priceless...she looks like someone just told her the funniest joke.

All the papers on this page are Basic Grey except for the pink cardstock

The chipboard accents are K & Co & Me & my big ideas (oh how I wish they'd change the name of their company...its sooooo long) The blue circle with the pink flower is actaully a Basic Grey sticker backed by cardstock and adhered with pop up glue dots.
Kind of a busy page but I like it anyway. Probably because I love the photo and the new Basic Grey so much.