January 30, 2012

Someone's Cold...

Pardon the flash overload as it was in a poorly lit room with my phone camera.  She burrowed in under this blanket and then popped back out to stare at me. 

And apologies for my silence of late.  The Hubs and I have taken upon ourselves to do a bit of home renovation, and we're in a bit of a time crunch to get it done (before Friday)... so... I've been a tad busy.

I'll be back soon, I promise! 

January 26, 2012

Happy Blue!

I splurged today. 

Goin' to see The Blue Man Group.

An early Valentine's gift.  More for me than The Hubs, but he's coming along.  Even if I have to cuff him to me.

The way they look freaks me out a little.  But I'm excited to see a show I've not ever seen before. 

February 7th.  Can't wait!

Have you been?

January 25, 2012

Scrappy Lust (part 1)

Because I was on my scrapbook diet the last CHA (summer 2011), I really ignored all of the sneak peeks that were popping up.  I even avoided Tim Holtz’s blog during this time!  It was best for all involved (namely, me) that I didn’t see what was coming out, so that I would not be tempted into cheating on the scrapbook diet.  (The real motivator not to cheat was the punishment: dinner for two, paid by me, at my friends’ favorite, most expensive restaurant… that certainly could put a dent in my wallet!)

However, DIET IS OVER!  I almost “forgot” again, about this upcoming CHA, just out of the habit of NOT looking at new product.  But I was recently reminded and decided to wander around the internet and look for some sneaky peeks.  

Here’s what is exciting me the most:

I can't say that I'm head-over-heels in-love with these... but my interest has been piqued enough that I want to see them in person to see if I will fall in love with them:

Okay, I'm not done yet, but this was a good start.  Things I have noticed in my wanderings through the new releases... it seems that bicycles, kites and honeycomb play a big part in designs this year.  And, "mixed media" is much more prevalent as well.   Have you been browsing the sneak peeks and new releases?  Have you noticed any new trends?

January 22, 2012

Growing Strong

Just wanted to share another layout from the Scrapbooking from the Inside Out Individuality kit... this one is somewhat about "finding" myself.  Well, not really finding myself, but... growing into myself.  I suppose you have to learn from the experiences you have when you're younger to become the (hopefully) better, stronger, happier, healthier person of the Now.  I can't say I was a very happy-go-lucky kid.  In fact, as I recall, my father used to tease, "who is that?" when he'd see a photo of me smiling, because I suppose I didn't smile all that much (case in point: the photo top-right). 

I was too busy, back then, trying hard to fade into the shadows, but wishing hard I could step into the limelight.  I'm getting more and more comfortable, nowadays, just being me.

Shadows or limelight, it's all good. 

January 20, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - The End.

Image from Amazon

Okay. I finished the book. I actually finished it last weekend but haven’t had a chance to get back here and post anything about it. I’m going to give it 3 out of 5 stars.

It was good; it had really good-pull-me-in-and-keep-me-turning-the-pages moments. In fact the central two-thirds of the book were like that. The first part of the book , as I said before, just didn’t capture me. The last few pages of the book, well, angered me. They pissed me off, actually. I was disgusted at the end, which felt unresolved. 

Of course I know there are two more books after this one. The book I read had a “sneak peek chapter” of the 2nd book. I glanced at it and realized that the two characters that left me those pissed off and unresolved feelings were also in the 2nd book, so… I will move forward and read it.  Hence the three stars.  If it had been 2.5 stars or less, I would not be going forward.

But if I get to the end of the 3-book series and still feel this way, I’m going to be royally fuming.

Anyway… the book I read was borrowed from a friend. She’s not one to keep books, plus her mother got it for her from Goodwill, thus she has told me to “pass it on”. Typically, if I’m not going to keep a book, I will release it into the wild. I’m fully intending to do just that, but I will send it on to anyone here who is interested. If more than one person requests the book by the end of the weekend, I’ll do a random drawing and pass it on. Otherwise, I’ll release it into the wild.

Next up: Book on CD called “Excuses Begone” by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

January 19, 2012

Surprise Giveaway!

I was excited and surprised when I bounced over to read Scrapbooking from the Inside Out's blog to see that Rachel posted about the upcoming CHA, how our kits are born, and then offered up an awesome giveaway.  Not only that, but you get an opportunity to help the Inside Out team with developing the theme to an upcoming kit.

Would you love to win an Individuality kit?  Then quick...hop like a bunny on over to the Inside Out blog and read how you can be entered into a drawing to win one! 

January 17, 2012

Sharing My Individuality...

This month, over at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out, we are exploring Individuality.  I was very thrilled when I was invited to be guest designer for this month and topic.  My layouts were put up on display today, and I am excited to now be able to share one of them with you!

I am a quote lover.  I encounter one that grabs me and holds on, and I write it down everywhere so that I can be reminded of how powerful it is to me.  One of my more recent favorite quotes is this one, and it fits so well with this month's theme:

I have to admit, this is a struggle for me... this "be yourself" idea.  I am entirely too self-conscious and super-sensitive, so to "protect" myself, I hide.  I'm afraid of criticism and mockery, so I carefully reveal pieces and parts of myself to different people, watching for any indication that might be negative, in which case I will swiftly hide that piece of me that evoked the reaction.

I don't know, but there's something about hitting my 40's that made me get tired of this.  I want to Be Me.  100% authentic me.  And while I would love for everyone I encounter to love this 100% authentic me, I'm beginning to understand and embrace that they don't have to and That's Okay.  I often think of Popeye when I'm contemplating this change... "I yam what I yam..."

(Okay, secret about me, I was a big Popeye cartoon fan and I'm also one of the 5 people who saw Robin Williams as Popeye and I didn't think he sucked!)

This quote grabbed me and, well, it shook me.  It rattled my bones and said... SERIOUSLY, Kai... there is no one out there who is you, so BE you.  There's already a Bob, Sally, and Jimmy-John.  Stop wishing you were more like them and instead, be more like You!

Here's the whole layout:

All supplies from Scrapbooking from the Inside Out's Individuality Kit.
Pardon the absolutely corny photo of me hamming it up.  I find this photo compelling, though, because as I was joking around a little and in essence, showing my true self, it was taken at a time in my life I was at my most miserable, hiding and wishing I was something and someone different.  This photo captures one true authentic flash in a period of time when I was least authentic.

Journaling reads:  I have always hidden pieces of me.  I have felt fragmented, trying to be who others wanted or defined me to be.  The older I get, though, the more the pieces come together.  Finally, I am being, well, ME.  And hey, no one else can!

I'll be back to share with you some peeks of my other layouts... but if you want to see the whole she-bang right now, I invite you to join the community at Inside Out.

January 12, 2012

Book Update: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

As I said in my 10 Things post, I'm trying to read a book a month, and this month's selection is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I was getting a little bummed because the beginning of the book, in my opinion... frankly... sucks.

But I promised myself to get to page 50 before I "gave up" officially.  Besides, people kept telling me that you have to get that far before it grabs you.

Okay, I'm on that bus now only I got grabbed on page 38.  Here's a summary:

Pages 1 - 37:  approximately 19 days - yes, it took me 19 days to read 37 pages.

Pages 38 - 183:  approximately 8 hours (over 2 days).

Excuse me, but I need to get back to my book........


January 10, 2012

10 Things to Achieve in 2012

The moon was beautiful this morning.  Yes, this morning as I pulled out of my driveway, it was low on the horizon, glowing brightly by the sun rising.  It's one of those moons you just wish you had the right camera with the right lens, and the time, to take that photo.  I didn't, of course, but the picture is embedded in my mind.  It made me feel amazing - I love the moon!  It renewed my "fresh, new" feeling of a whole new year of potential!  This picture does the same:

photo credit

 Achieve is my One Little Word... but as a quick way to list out some things I'm aiming to achieve this year, I wanted to add it to Ten Things on the 10th.  So, here goes, ten things I want to achieve in 2012:

1)  I want to read one book a month.  I want to start with the books people have loaned to me (and there are plenty of them) and the move on to my ever growing list of recommendations.  Right now I'm struggling with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  People tell me to get to page 50 and then it will take off.  Well, I think I've been on page 36 for a week!  I will prevail...

2)  I will achieve weight loss and fitness goals.  I haven't outlined them in the detail I want, with the steps leading up to the end-goal, but I am getting there.  I have joined the Cathy Zielske's Move More, Eat Well 2012 and hope that this class, along with my weekly personal trainer meetings combined with my soon-to-be-attended Zumba classes will boost me toward this goal!

3)  I will have a decluttered house.  Hoo-boy, this is a biggie.  I have a gut-wrenching feeling that I will be disappointed in my goal to achieve no clutter, but any progress toward this major end goal will be rewarding!  I listened to a book on CD by Peter Walsh to get me started, then handed it off to The Hubs, who has been traveling with it in his car for far too long.  He hasn't listened to a single word.  Time to get it back and re-listen and get moving on it!

4)  I will journal every day.  I had hoped to say "art journaled" but I'm still in the beginning/beginner phases of this.  A friend, not knowing of this goal, surprised me with a Christmas gift of a "One Line a Day, Five-Year Memory Book".  It's the perfect "little" thing to get me started!  You have about a one-inch space on each day to write a few memories down.  And that's perfect.  It sits by my bedside and is one of the last things I do every day.  I love it!

5)  I will take better care of myself.  Besides the fitness and nutrition, I'm an awful caretaker of myself.  I want to buy clothing that fits and flatters, instead of "it'll do and it's cheap".  I want to cut and style my hair more often than once or twice a year (seriously!), and take better care of my skin and nails (this will be hard). I'm not a girly-girl; I'm not much into pampering myself, but it's time to treat myself right in every way.

6)  I will begin writing, creatively.  I sometimes use this blog for that outlet, but I used to write short stories and poems all the time as a young adult.  I stopped when the criticism (external and internal) became too loud for me to get outside of it.  Time to stop that chatter in my head and do some creative writing exercises.  That, of course, I'll have to research.

7)  I will achieve financial goals.  I will set up a financial plan and adhere to what I plan for myself.  I will work toward some major debt reduction.  And I will work into those goals some "fun" money so that we won't feel deprived and jump off the cliff when we're stressed out about meeting financial obligations per the plan I "enforce".  I will achieve debt reduction... I will.

8)  I will reduce procrastination at work.  I will create lists and do the work and check those lists off!  And you know what?  Since January 2nd, I have been very successful at this.  I've been a list-making fool!

9)  I will finish the classes and the scrapbooking projects I have started.  This includes all the classes I didn't finish in 2011.  One at a time, I will complete them!

10)  But the biggest challenge I see before min 2012?  I will be the truest, most authentic ME I can be.  For a girl who hides a lot, this is a tall order.  But it is something I want most of all.

Thank you for letting me share some of the goals I wish to ACHIEVE in 2012.  Keep me honest and remind me to tell you how I did at the end of the year.  Right now, it's a great new start to a fabulous new year just ripe and overflowing with potential.

The Universe WILL Conspire in My Favor!

"When a person really desires something,
all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream...
Don't give into your fears," said the alchemist,
in a strangely gentle voice.
"If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart."

The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coehlo
published in 1988 in Portugese, translated into English in 1994

January 8, 2012

One Little Word 2012


Thank you Ali Edwards for changing my perspective when it comes to New Year's Resolutions.  One Little Word is the way to go for me.  I love embracing a single word... a word that will shape me, define me, challenge me, lead me, reach for me, push me, pull me and allow me to be ... well, more.

My One Little Word for this year is really a HUGE word for me.  I am not a goal setter.  I don't ever feel like I reach things I wish to reach.  I rarely feel that sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing something through to the end that is meaningful to you. 

This year will be different.  This year, I want to define certain goals, and then break them down into little, achievable parts and THEN, take the most important step to actually doing those little pieces so I will see that measurable progress to reaching the end goal.  I will make defined plans, because (say it with me) "if you fail to plan,  you plan to fail".   I will create checklists and then read them every day and check off the items I have ACHIEVED.

2012 is a brand new year for me and at the end of it, I want to look back and be super proud of all that I ACHIEVED within it. 

I am excited.

I am motivated.

I am ready.

And I will be back soon to share more with you!

January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I just got home from spending an amazing, relaxing, rejuvenating, peaceful, just fantastic week's vacation, part of which was at the beach.  I "find myself" best when near large bodies of water.  It was fabulous.

I'm ready for the fresh start of the New Year!  I've got plans... and I will share them here as time goes on.

How about you?


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