Thursday, December 31, 2009

Feeling Resolute

I confess, I'm the worst at keeping resolutions. In fact, I really suck at making and keeping goals or having any real kind of plan. Maybe it's because there so many areas of my life where consistency and maintenance are necessary, that when it comes down to losing a few pounds or putting money away for a rainy day ... I just can't do it. I make decisions based on emotion and end up all over the place.

So when my dear hubby asked what my New Year's resolutions were going to be this year, I had to laugh. I had already determined, in order to avoid utter failure ... again, that my only goals would be to do more of the things that I should and less of the things that I shouldn't. I was all set! Success would be mine at last. But nooooooo .... I was put in my place at church last Sunday and left feeling like a complete loser because I was more than happy to set the bar that low.

So, what was I supposed to do now? I know, I know, resolutions are good. Goals help us to have direction and purpose. How could I make a resolution general enough that I would succeed, but focused enough to require real, targeted effort? After squeezing into my jeans yesterday morning and grumbling again about the never-ending battle of the bulge (which I've determined I'm officially losing) I figured it out.

My generally specific New Year's resolution for 2010 ....
TO STRENGTHEN MY CORE.Initially, I was daydreaming about being able to slide into a sleek pair of skinny jeans every morning ... but then decided that in all aspects of my life, I'd really like to strengthen what lies at the center of me.

Religion - study more about the things I believe
Family - make us a stronger, happier unit
Home - clear out the clutter and get back to basics
The 'bod' - lose the gut, flab, jiggly thighs and arms (ick)
Finances - pay off my only existing credit card and build up my savings account
Business - revamp my Etsy business and really get it off the ground

Are you getting the picture? I'm hoping that for 2010, as I make daily decisions about what things will take up my time, what things I will purchase, what things I put my energy into, what things I put into my body ... I will remember what is really important to me and make the choice that will strengthen my core. I want to be more free, more focused, more grateful. I want to be stronger and more healthy. I want to be more secure in who I am and what I'm doing.

What will your resolutions be?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All Together Again

Monday night was a hoot. We finally got all the kidlets back under the same roof and got to listen to all the silly stories from their trips. After dinner, we opened a family gift from Grandma. What surprise did she have in store for us? Pictionary Man! Haha! If you haven't played this game yet ... you're definitely missing out.We just about ran to the table with it, popped in the batteries, skimmed over the rules, reminded everyone to be good sports and jumped right in. You actually draw on Pictionary Man or either of the two props using a dry erase pen. So, if you get the word 'cheerleader' you can draw a cheerleader's uniform on Mr. Man and make the round prop a pom pom. We went through words like puppeteer, mascot, lingerie, John Lennon, Marie Antoinette and Titanic. It was a riot and we were all having some good old fashioned fun. Then our son needed to know what a proctologist was for his turn. Ha! Nice. Our youngest passed on jockstrap and I about wet my pants when I pulled Bosom Buddies for my last turn. Good times. Good times!My sweet Hubby set scones out to rise for our 'Christmas morning' breakfast and we sent the little angels off to bed. It was nice not having to wait up for Santa this year. We all got some much needed rest and were up by seven to tear into the presents. Stockings first, as always, and then we cycled through the kids so we can all see what everyone got. Izzy even got some great new chew toys. It's so good to have everyone together again. I love Christmas!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snow Dog

Izzy loves to race around in the snow. She leaps around the yard trying to land in our fresh footsteps, then she'll poke her head deep into the mounds of snow looking for buried treasure (her poop). Aside from the poo hunt, it's super cute. By the time she's ready to come in the house her whole face is covered with snow. Adorable.In the meantime, the rest of us are freezing our tushies off; it's barely 20 degrees out there. I sure wish I had a built-in fur coat to keep me toasty.

On a Christmas note ... we have 2 kidlets back against all odds, and 3 more are on the road now coming in from Colorado. We're in countdown mode now.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Still Looking a Lot Like Christmas

Not one present opened. Not one. Our tree is doing a fine job guarding the pile of gifts and the 'critter fence' helps to keep Izzy out of them. It still looks like Christmas morning here, everything bright and festive, but I can't help but feel a little sad. I miss my babies. I can't wait to watch them open their goodies and see the surprise light up their eyes. I miss that. But only two more nights and a wake up, as hubby would count it.Everyone should be back sometime tomorrow. Two are flying in from California; they're coming Standby on JetBlue, thanks to my flight benefits. And three are driving back from Colorado. They'll share all their new Christmas stories with us and we'll throw in a good holiday movie and have hot cocoa together. Then, the Tuesday 'wake up' is our Christmas morning. Can't wait.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas the Day After Christmas ....

And all through the house, was playing free music ... OH YEAH! I got 50 free songs today by a stroke of pure luck. Go get yours while the downloads are still available. The first 20 are from a sampler from iTunes made in collaboration with Starbucks, which allows users to download 20 songs for free. To download your free iTunes Starbucks Sampler go here. The offer expires 1/31/10. Just follow the directions and they'll drop right into your iTunes library.Once that finishes, click the blue box that says More Free on iTunes and you can still download the iTunes Fall 2009 Sampler ... 20 more songs! This will expire 12/31/09. The Holiday Sampler is no longer available, but there are a few other singles up for grabs on the iTunes Store homepage as well.

After you're finished snagging your new music there ... head on over to SPIN to download the 10 sons on their 2010 A Look Ahead album.Merry Christmas to me! Merry Christmas to you! Enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

Wherever you are and whoever you're with, have a wonderful Christmas!
This is a time of remembrance and love.

Remember Him.

Love each other.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fantastic Santa Incentive!

If you haven't been to the Portable North Pole yet, it's time you did my friend. This is the most realistic, personalized, Santa-knows-who-you-are video I've ever seen. You can make your video for a child, teen or adult. For the older kids you can even say if their naughty or nice. You can see the video I set up for my daughter here. It's a riot! How great for little kids too, to see that Santa is out there and knows personal things about them. This actor fits the part perfectly too. The costume, voice ... you name it. They really nailed it. Go make one for someone you care about now: hubby, mother, boyfriend, daughter, cousin, lots of choices here.

The Sock Partay!

Holy hoopla, this has been a busy couple of weeks. Just about every extra minute was spent either making gifts, or shuttling kids out to get their shopping done. And now ... we are kid-free. Weird. We flip holidays with the other parents so this is our 'off' year for Christmas. It's quiet. Weird. But before the children abandoned us we were able to squeeze in some good holiday memories.

Sunday night we went to check out Christmas Utah (aka the Clark Griswold of SLC). It was a riot as always. I can't imagine how long it must take to get all of those lights set up, not to mention choreographing the music and light show to go with it. The kids love it though and it really is amazing to watch the lights dance.Monday was the infamous "Sock Party" at hubby's folks' house. This is always the Monday before Christmas and the whole family comes for dinner, presents and sock stuffing. It's such a fun tradition for everyone. It's a chance for us to all get together and visit and give everyone a little something in their stocking. After dinner we set a big PVC frame over the dining room table and all the families hang their stockings up. Then we get to go around and put little goodies in them. At the end of the shindig, the families scoop up their socks and take them home to check out the loot. The kids are so cute about it. This is one tradition I will definitely carry on with our own family down the road.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gift Tags Galore!

So apparently my patience level has bottomed out since we're just nine days from Christmas. Instead of going to buy new ink for my printers, I threw a few more designs together and just emailed the file in to Office Max for them to print. They turned out great! The nice bright colors make all the difference. Of course, the photo really doesn't do them justice, these gray days are horrible for lighting.But this time, I've included the file for you. You can download all the tags here. Just print them on white cardstock so they're nice and sturdy. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gift Tags for All

I promise I'm trying my best to keep the projects coming ... it's just been hard to find blocks of time that are 'mine'. I seem to get blindsided by the kids' schedules constantly, then there's dinner and dishes and trying to squeeze in any kind of quality time with hubby. Anywho! I've managed to grab onto a small window tonight and thought I'd finally make these since they've been on my to-do list for way too long.

I started by opening a business card template in my Pages program. I split the card in half with the page rulers and set up a simple graphic image and a text box. I grouped everything together and duplicated it to each space. Quick and easy.Then I made another with a word cloud from Wordle.
Print. Cut. Stack. Clip.

With me so far?

Now, we're going to use either white glue (Elmer's) or padding compound, if you have it. Brush on a generous coat and leave it to dry for about half an hour. Use a heavy-duty hole punch to punch through the stack. If you don't have one that is strong enough, then punch them before you glue them together.There are 20 tags in each nifty pad. These are so great to have on hand with your gift wrapping supplies. My next batch will need to wait until I get more ink for our printer, running a bit low these days.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

10 out of Tenn Show

Oh my, we had so much fun at the show last night! All of the artists were truly amazing and it was great to see them all sing back up for each other and rotate through the different instruments. The playlist included Trent Dabbs, Andrew Belle, Erin McCarley, Tyler James, KS Rhoads, Andy Davis, Jeremy Lister, Katie Herzig, Butterfly Boucher and Matthew Perryman Jones, not to mention Will Sayles, who played drums for the whole set. There were no other backup musicians. These singer/songwriters literally took turns playing all the backup parts for each other. AMAZING! I can't wait until they come back through town.It was great to see Katie Herzig in person, since I've just recently discovered her through Noisetrade, but I have to say that it was Butterfly Boucher who really rocked the show. Now I want to write music too (and play bass and cut my hair really short). ;) Dang, too bad I have no talent in the music realm at all. I can hardly even carry a tune these days. For my own consoling on this note, I took it upon myself to come home with all 11 CD's they were selling at the show! Now, I should mention they gave us a killer deal so it was hard to resist in the first place. And hey! Now I have loads of great music to keep me company while I wait for them to come back to SLC. Yay me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Photojojo Shop-o-rama

Ooh ... these items are all on my wish list this year! I have loved the projects posted in the Photojojo Newsletter, but visiting their store is a whole new kind of medicine for me. Just look at these great finds!The Fuji Instax Instant Camera, the new polaroid phenom, at just $90.The Bad-Ass Bowler Camera Bag is as sexy as a camera bag gets for only $50.The uber cool Monsterpod that sticks to over 1.000 surfaces and is the ultimate other-worldy tripod for your point and shoot.And then, of course, there's the infamous Photojojo book, chalk full of DIY photo project goodness and ringing in at $22. Yay! Where to start? I'll talk one of each please.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Catching Up

It's here, the holiday rush. Hustling and bustling around town has only been semi-productive so far. I have little gifts taken care of and that's about it. I've hit most of the holiday boutiques in the area and have taken advantage of every $10 gift card Kohl's has sent my way. At this point I'll take just about any discount I can get my hands on!

I'm just glad that before things really got crazy, I was able have a wonderfully calming morning in Heber at the letterpress class. Eva and Kirk were fantastic and the small class size kept everything nice and cozy. They explained a some of the history of printing, showed us the mechanics of their lovely press and went through the process from start to finish and then we were off! My dear friend Wanja (the coolest girl on the block) and I went first. We took turns printing and inspecting each other's cards. It took a few tries to finesse it, but we got the hang of it and the rest was cake! I felt so industrial. ;)After that, Kirk was kind enough to cut them for us on their heavy-duty-yes-this-can-cut-all-your-fingers-off machine. Whew! We spent the rest of the time cutting envelope liners to pretty up the presentation.Talk about a great way to spend the day! Now I have small buds of a dream forming to get my father-in-law's printing press cleaned up and working again. Ooh ... definite project potential there.

Puppy Update: I am officially a dog person, or at least an Izzy person. I can't believe how much I love this little ball of fluff. She's naps while I'm working and is my buddy when the kidlets are at school. She hasn't asked talked back or asked me to buy her anything yet. She's perfect! :D