Archive for » January, 2012 «

Tape it pretty


I went to Paper Tales yesterday. It’s a local scrapbook shop. They have some really great stuff there. I had an AmEx gift card that I hadn’t used yet, so I decided to use some of it there. I found some adorable decorative tape on the clearance table (that would be the tapes on the right side of the pic, minus the very bottom one, which I already had).

One thing I love about their shop is they are in our new neighborhood, so I can go any time and just drop in for a few minutes – without having to plan a trip or waste gas. They are very welcoming and friendly. And they have classes just about every week.

In fact, I am thinking about taking one of these classes next week. Specifically, the one about Grace Notes. I got to look at the sample yesterday (but forgot to snap a pic) and it is adorable. There are pics on their site, if you want to see how cute it is. I had thought about that one or the calendar book, but decided I liked the Grace Notes book better. I could use a gratitude journal for sure.

In the past I have bought pre-made journals. And I still have a ton of them, as they’re great for note taking (especially work stuff) and “just” writing to get stuff out of my head (like in The Artist’s Way). But when I want to doodle or do some art to go along with my writing, I am finding that I love making my own books. Even if some of the pages are pre-made (like some scrapbooking papers), there’s something about putting together your own book:

 remains mash-up journal

It’s addicting. Especially if you get involved in any of Mary Ann Moss’ online courses. You’ll never look back.

Pretty soon I’ll have a whole stack of my own books to add to the massive stash of pre-bought books I already have. Or maybe I’ll just have to sell some of those. They make great gifts, right?!

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Looking back on 2011

Here I am again — I finally remembered to do my review post for 2011. Once again I’m just copying my questions from last year. This retrospective was originally inspired by Linda at Sundry Mourning.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? I got paid to be a community manager. I’ve done online community management for, oh, well over 10 years. All that experience got me a job doing it for a paycheck. W00t! And I went to NYC for business (and had to leave the baby for more than 24 hours for the first time). And we took the family along on a biz trip to San Francisco where we made a mini vacation out of it.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Nope.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My friend Mandy. But I didn’t get to see the baby yet. Soon!

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, fortunately.

5. What countries did you visit? Absolutely none, except in my mind. (same as last year!)

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011? A house. (That hasn’t changed.)

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? My kids’ birthdays are the only thing I can think of. And maybe the day I got laid off.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Surviving unemployment and using my network to find another job, I guess. That and keeping my sanity. Mostly. And managing to move our household while my husband was ill and mostly unable to help.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not having a backup plan in place and getting bills paid off as quickly as possible in case something like a layoff happened – which struck just a month after we moved and more than doubled our rent. Hope to do better this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Just my back went out after lugging all of those boxes down 2 flights of stairs. And then back up some stairs into our new place.

11. What was the best thing you bought? I got a laptop really cheap for work stuff and it has worked quite well. Oh, and I got an iPad2 while I was still employed. And an iPhone. But the jury’s still out on whether I like my iPhone better than my old Droid.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My oldest son. He has worked SO HARD on his speech and has made tremendous progress the last several months.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Celebrities. Politicians. The usual.

14. Where did most of your money go? Paying off debt… and too slowly at that.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Moving out of the old place. I hated that apartment. The parking was horrendous and we got harassed all the time. Our new place isn’t perfect, but we have a garage (to ourselves), dishwasher, and laundry. SO MUCH BETTER.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011? The Dog Days are Over by Florence & the Machine. Because it was everywhere.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? happier, mostly.

– thinner or fatter? slightly thinner.

– richer or poorer? maybe a tiny bit richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Taken time to go do fun things with my son during the day.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Working my tail off for little return.

20. How did you spend Christmas? We were with family, as always. We weren’t sure we were going to get to go because of the layoff. But things came through at the last minute to make it possible.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011? Yes, more & more with my family.

22. What was your favorite TV program? I think it’s still Castle. But Grimm is giving it a run for the money.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No, still hating on the same person for, oh, about 8 years now. Some things don’t change.

24. What was the best book you read? I didn’t get to read a whole lot, as usual. I think it was this year, though, that I finally read the Hunger Games trilogy. I enjoyed it.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Adele, I guess. And Florence & the Machine. (Yeah, so I’m a little late to things. I don’t get out much.)

26. What did you want and get by year’s end? I got some time off. Like a month and a half. Not exactly what I wanted, but I was very fortunate to get another job with an awesome company.

27. What did you want and not get by year’s end? Out of debt.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I think I saw one film: The last Harry Potter.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I went to dinner by myself (yes, on purpose). 38.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being able to buy a house. (Do I sound like a broken record yet?)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011? Comfy & lazy.

32. What kept you sane? Hubby giving me time to get out of the house & do things by myself. Like go have a leisurely cup of coffee. Or browse the bookstore. Or go do some of my art journaling.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Nathan Fillion from Castle. Love the show & his character.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? I can’t stand politics. Truly.

35. Who did you miss? My mom – I wish we lived closer. And several out of state friends.

36. Who was the best new person you met? I met a lot of cool people through the local moms on FB and Twitter. They are pretty awesome.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011. Put money away while you have it. Because you never know when you won’t. A layoff isn’t the end of the world, even though it sure seems like it at first (during panic mode). And never underestimate the power of networking. Or kindness from the most unlikely of places.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. …I can’t think of anything right now. Didn’t listen to a whole lot of new music, either. The radio station I listen to plays older stuff.

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Those dog days are over

I danced around in the kitchen to Florence & the Machine this morning as I fixed breakfast for me and the boys. For some reason, her music reminds me of my younger, carefree days. The boys just kindof looked at me for a bit, but grinned as I grabbed each of them in turn & danced around.

Those are the types of memories I want them to have. Dancing in the kitchen with mom on a random Monday.

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