Monday, July 30, 2012

Vacation Planning

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of SAVE for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know if I mentioned it on my blog, but we were planning to go to San Antonio earlier this year. Our trip got sidelined when my husband's best friend decided to get married. We ended up heading to his destination wedding in Florida instead. I'm not complaining about it in the least, the wedding was beautiful and we had a wonderful time. I'm also glad that our trip was delayed because I found a fantastic website that's going to save us a bundle when we go next year!

The SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience website offers more than $600 dollars in discounts on top vacation destinations in San Antonio. They offer savings on everything from hotels to animal experiences. If you're going to San Antonio, you don't want to miss this site. I've been working on our itinerary and I'd like to share what I've got so far. Of course I won't be sharing individual dates, but I can definitely share the attractions we'll be visiting. 

I'd like to stay at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio, so I looked on the SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience website and I found that I can get a room from $99-$209 using a coupon code that they offer. That's an amazing price considering the amenities, location, and rooms.


Of course, we can't go to San Antonio without visiting The Alamo! I planned to sign up for a sightseeing tour. Luckily, SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience also offers a $2 off coupon for kids' admission to the Alamo sightseeing tours. Every little bit helps!

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They also offer HUGE discounts at Seaworld! I found a coupon there for $10 off of each admission. That's a savings of $50.00 for our family. I will definitely be printing that coupon for our trip. 

We're also planning to go to the Natural Bridge Caverns. SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience offers coupons for $2.00 off each adult admission and $1.00 off children's admission.

My kids love animals, so we would also HAVE to make a stop at the incredible San Antonio zoo. I found another great coupon for $2.00 off of each admission. That's a total of $10.00 for my family! 

Last but not least, I'd love to go to the Botanical Gardens so I can take some photos of the kids among the beautiful scenery. I found a $1.00 off of each admission coupon on the SAVE – San Antonio Vacation  Experience website.

As you can see, I'm a coupon queen. With a few quick searches on their site, I'm saving a bundle. If you'd like more information about their Limited Time Offers, please visit the links I've provided. You can also hop over to Twitter and follow @SAVEinSA.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Baby, You’re A Firework!

Hi everyone! I'm here to share another project. I used the Scraptastic Club Summer Picnic kit and add on to scrap photos of Miss Jordan from the 4th of July. I used a Katy Perry song as the title because she really is a firework. She's got a smart, sassy, sarcastic personality! (I have NO clue where she got that from.... LOL) She's such a determined little thing too. Ever since she was a baby, doctors have been telling her what she couldn't do... They've never been right yet!


This page was inspired by the layout titled "Baseball" on page 31 in the last issue of Scrapbooks Etc, but as usual I ended up going my own way by changing a lot of the design elements. You all know how much I love using multiple fonts and colors in my titles, and this page is no exception. I used almost all of the different alpha stickers in the kit!


This is a closer view of the journaling. For those of you who don't know, Jordan was a micro preemie and the doctors predicted that she'd be wheelchair bound and nonverbal when she grew up. She decided differently, and she's achieved so much in her life already! She doesn't just walk, she runs. She has a completely wonderful spirit and I'm so lucky to be her Mom!


I hope you all have a very happy, scrappy week!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

10-4 Good Buddy

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my projects and they’re piling up! We stayed home from church this evening because Brandon and I aren’t feeling well, so I figured I could sit here and blog while I rest.

1. My Little Monkey


I had a few scraps left from Basic Grey's Lime Rickey collection so I decided to make a super simple grid layout. I used a sketch from PageMaps by Becky Fleck for inspiration. The journaling spot is from Elle's Studio. It matched the papers perfectly.

Journaling: We found a new park in Abita Springs. Bubs climbed on everything! He kept getting mad at the sand in his shoes! 3-2009

2: Terrific Kid


I used the scraps from my older Scraptastic Club kit that featured Pink Paislee's Old School paper. These photos are from Jordan's Terrific Kid ceremony. She's been picked every year to receive that honor and we are so very proud of her.

I used a PageMaps sketch for inspiration again. I love Becky's sketches!

3. Just Get Up And Dance


I used my Cricut again! I'm on a roll. I scrapped a REALLY old photo here. This was my Senior prom. The title comes from the fact that I don't even know why boys go to the prom. They don't dance. They just sit there and look bored. Anyway, since I called the boy out for not dancing I blurred his face and name. I'm not totally mean!

This page was inspired by a sketch on the Studio Calico blog. A lot of the supplies on this page came from a prize that I won from The Sampler Kit Club.

4: 10-4 Good Buddy


I used the last of that Old School kit from Scraptastic Club to scrap these photos of my Jordan's good friends from school. They were on a field trip together and I chaperoned.

I used a sketch from Got Sketch? by Valerie Salmon for inspiration on this layout. Thanks go to Nancy for the journaling card!

I’ll be back tomorrow with my latest project for Scraptastic Club. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Busy Digital Layout & An Update

Summer has been flying by at my house. We’ve already been out to buy new school uniforms and school supplies because we only have 15 days left before school starts. As hectic as things have been, I’m definitely going to miss the kiddos when they go back. Sure I moan and groan that they’re driving me crazy, but secretly I miss them when they go back to school. I enjoy the quiet, but sometimes it’s just too quiet.

Remember the photo prompt series I’ve been following? I’ve gotten some interesting photos over the last week. I’m not going to share all of them, but you can see the full collection here. This was the prompt for “finger”. I took a photo of Miss Jojo’s hands.


The next day I ended up taking a photo of Jordan again. Not for the prompt, just because I was trying to cheer her up. She got REALLY sick with a kidney infection. I put her on the couch with the new American Girl McKenna movie and she laid there all day long. Poor little bit. She’s feeling a lot better now, but this  photo just breaks my heart.


That night Ronnie brought me flowers, and we ended up giving them to Jordan. She cheered up a little. After all, what girl doesn’t love flowers?


Jordan has been obsessed with being a doctor as long as I can remember. When she was tiny, she declared that she wanted to be a pediatrician and a baseball player. She gave up on baseball, but she’s still going strong on her doctor obsession. My Mom played along by sending her some doctor stuff so she could play. Alexis got roped in as the nurse. Brandon is occasionally the patient, but he gets tired of that quickly. They usually use stuffed animals. I am pretty sure that I’ll be pulling tape off of their stuffed animals for years.


I have a few layouts to share as well. I’ve done a few paper pages, but I’m keeping them a secret because they’re a gift for someone. So you get two digital pages! These weren’t for design team work. They are just because layouts.

1: Crashed


About a week ago, Brandon got bitten by a bunch of ants and I had to give him some Benedryl. He's just like his Momma. I fall fast asleep any time I take it! He just looked so cute when he was asleep that I had to grab my camera.

Photoshop Friday: Create A Background Paper
A Boy's Life Element Pack #1
A Boy's Life Element Pack #2
A Boy's Life Paper Pack #1
A Boy's Life Paper Pack #2
Sew Crafty - messy stitches vol 1

2. Busy, Busy, Busy


Alexis is my oldest daughter, and she is very busy. She's always in motion and I wanted to do a page to document that aspect of her personality. I felt like the arrows on this page gave the design a lot of movement.

So Happy Together Full Collection
Spellbound Element Pack

Other Supplies:
Scrappin' With Liz's Facebook Freebie Template from July 2012

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Picnic Cards

Before I finish this post, I'd like to apologize for missing last Monday's scheduled Scraptastic Club post. Jordan got really sick Sunday night while I was writing the post, and she was so ill on Monday that I forgot to come back and finish it. We found out that she had a severe kidney infection, and it was touch and go for a while if she’d end up in the hospital. She's feeling much better now, and I caught my mistake. So instead of one card, today you get four!

I fell in love with the scenes on the 4x6 cards that were included on some of the Simple Stories papers in the "Summer Picnic" kit and add on. They were already pretty perfect, but I couldn't resist adding a few small touches.

On this card, I used dimensional adhesive to add a blue flower sticker that pops off of the front. I also added some yellow twine and gems from the kit. See? Simple, but still special enough to send out for a friend's birthday!


We all know that Subway art is HUGE right now. Everywhere you turn on Pinterest or Facebook, it's there! I thought the 4x6 subway art card would look great taped to the front of the card. After all, it already says everything on it's own! This card could be used as an invitation to a BBQ.

The card on the right is a wedding/newlywed card. The sentiments from the sticker sheet worked perfectly to dress it up, and the washi helped me add just the right amount of color.


Last but not least, I have a Summer birthday card. I added the cloud sticker, then I layered washi tape and a sticker sentiment on top of it. A few more yellow pearls finished it off perfectly. It's waiting in my drawer for a new home as we speak.


Don't forget to enter the challenges at Scraptastic Club this month! July is already half over and you don't want to miss out on the chance to win an awesome prize.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Card Sketch/Template #1

I have a bit of news to share! A while ago, I was asked to create card sketches for the challenges over at The Sampler blog. The first challenge with my card sketch is up TODAY! They also have an awesome layout sketch by Holly King as well. Trust me, you really should head over there to participate. While you’re there, check out the amazing examples from the design team members too!


I created this card as an example. I used some older paper from my stash. That’s one of the reasons I love making cards. I use a TON of scraps that way.

I’ve also created a matching digital template for hybrid card makers. I used the Retrospect collaboration kit from Design House Digital. (Please don’t try to print the image below. I saved it for the web and it won’t print correctly.)


If you’re a digital scrapbooker, you can download the layered freebie card template that I made in Photoshop Elements.

Once you assemble the digital template, print it out and mat it on a cardstock base to make a quick hybrid card.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

32 in 32 Update: Spaghetti Sauce & A Nonfiction Book

I’ve accomplished two more things on my 32 in 32 list. I completed #5 “Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce” on 7-16-2012. It turned out okay. I let it cook down, and the vegetables were tender. It just wasn’t as good as the usual brand that we buy. The kids ate it, and Ronnie ate it. I ate about half of it and quit. Can you tell that the kids picked the pasta?


Yesterday, I finished #7 “Read A Nonfiction Book”. I don’t really like reading nonfiction books, and that’s why it ended up on my 32 in 32 list. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book and I learned a LOT. I’ve made quite a few changes based on the author’s recommendations! I changed a lot of the products that I buy and some of things I do around the house. I definitely recommend it for anyone who wants to find out more about living organically. (The screen shot is from the Kindle app on my iPhone.)


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Who Wants To Go To Legoland?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Atlantic Luggage for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


Atlantic Luggage is sponsoring an awesome sweepstakes, and you could win a trip to Legoland! The prize is a wonderful two day vacation for 2 adults and 2 children to Legoland in Florida. You'll get a rental car, a hotel room for two nights, a meet and greet with a Lego Master Builder, and a free set of Atlantic Luggage if you win. 

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Did you know that Legoland Florida has a brand new water park that opened in May 2012? It features a wave pool, body slides, and tube slides. They also have a lazy river where you can design and build your own unique LEGO vessel to see if you can sail it down the river. I'm not the best builder, so my boat would probably sink within the first two feet. (I guess that's what I would ask about during my consultation with the master builder!?)

I should mention that the luggage is an amazing prize in itself! Atlantic Luggage is lightweight and affordable. That makes it perfect for families that are always on the go. I love the colors that they offer. They aren't just the standard boring black and brown. Check out that purple suitcase! 

I'm sure that you're wondering where you go to enter?! I won't keep you in suspense any more. Click the link below to enter the sweepstakes.

Atlantic Luggage and Legoland Sweepstakes

Good luck!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dazed & Confused

Today was a day for interesting conversations. Alexis wrote a very interesting essay about why we go to church. “We go to church to find out why Jesus ate that poisoned apple.” Wait. What? She’s mixing up Jesus, Adam & Eve, and Snow White. I had to set her straight. When I did, she decided that it made a lot more sense that way!

Brandon asked me if he could marry Jordan. I told him, “You can’t marry your sister because you are related.” Then he declared that he’d marry me instead. Alexis told him he couldn’t because, “Duh Brandon, she’s already married!” Then he asked, “Well who am I gonna marry then?” I said, “I don’t know.” “You haven’t met her yet.” He said, “Well then she’s a stranger, and I can’t go because I’ll miss you.” You can bet that my heart just melted.

To cap off the confusing evening, Jordan announced that she needed surgery on her pelvic kidney right away so she could get pregnant. (She has a pelvic kidney that’s functioning fine, but she will eventually need surgery if she wants to get pregnant. She overheard the doctor telling me this a while back.) I told her that she didn’t need the surgery right now, but she wouldn’t drop the subject. Ronnie finally told her that maybe she was meant to adopt like we did instead of having surgery. She loved that idea and it changed the subject for a while until…

Alexis announced that she’d recently had a dream that she got pregnant at ten years old, but she didn’t know how. She did remember that I was really, really mad at her. Uh yeah. HELP!?!

Is it any wonder why I turn to crafting to quiet my brain?! I couldn’t sleep last night so I stayed up to scrapbook. When I scrapbook I don’t think about anything else, just where should I put embellishments and what colors should I use. Much safer! Here are a few of my latest projects.

1. Much Too Young

Jordan and I scrapbooked together a few nights ago and this is the page that I made. My Uncle passed away unexpectedly a while back. This is one of the last family photos we had. I've been putting off scrapbooking it because I wasn't ready to journal about our loss. He was an amazing son, a wonderful Dad, and a fantastic uncle! We miss him so much.

I based this page on a PageMaps sketch, and I used an old Scraptastic Club kit to create this layout.

2. Boys (By Jordan!)


This is the page that Miss Jordan made. She used paper that Nancy sent her for her birthday, and she was thrilled that it was “the right color blue”. I’m creating a monster. (A cute, color coordinating scrapbook monster. Ha!)

3. Lucky In Love

I was very lucky to find such a good man to marry. He's always willing to take time to play with the kids, and he's a great Dad.

I wanted to let him know how lucky I feel by scrapping this page.
Based on a sketch by Holly from The Sampler blog.

4. Allergic To Milk


A few months ago, Brandon developed an allergy to milk. We've had to make a bunch of drastic changes to his diet. (And to ours by extension just to be fair!) I wanted to document his allergy since it's such a huge part of his life now. You wouldn't believe how many things have dairy products in them. It's insane!

Photoshop Friday: Make A Photo Strip
Note To Self Full Collection

5. Bummer


The kids and I were really disappointed to find Fort Jackson closed when we visited. There were hours displayed that said it should've been open, but for some reason they weren't. We took a few pictures of what we could see from exterior, and I had to do a page with them.

Loopies Vol.1 - Flutterby
Chasing Rainbows Complete Kit

Other Supplies:
Scrapping With Liz Blog Challenge Template

6. We Never Get Any Sleep!


Journaling: I don't know why they call it a "sleep" over. I certainly never get any during one! June 2011

This layout was inspired by Lynnette Penacho's "Smile Always" page. It was a great way to use a bunch of scraps from an older collection.

Speaking of sleep…. that’s sounding pretty good right now! I hope you all have a good night.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life In The Fast Lane

We have been running around like crazy this Summer, and that means I have an epic photo update to share with y’all. I’ve taken even more photos than “normal” because I’ve been experimenting with my new camera.

We celebrated the Fourth of July at our house by barbequing. We let the kids do sparklers and Ronnie set off a few bigger fireworks. I caught this one of Miss Jordan in the midst of her sparkler smoke.


After the sparklers were finished, I asked the kids to let me take a photo of the three of them together. Jordan wanted to kiss Brandon. Gosh, he looks SO thrilled! He usually tolerates all of the “love” she gives him. Every now and then he’ll get fed up and tell her, “That’s ENOUGH love, Mine!”


Jordan ran through the sprinkler in her new bathing suit. I snapped this photo during the one nanosecond she was still. She is ALWAYS on the go. I didn’t take many photos while the kids were in the sprinkler. I’m still nervous about the new camera if there’s water in the vicinity.


A few days later, Alexis came outside to watch me cut Ronnie’s hair. I cut it every Sunday for him because he can’t stand if it gets too long. While we were out there, I noticed the way the light reflected in her eyes. I had to take a camera break for a quick photo! She’s always been my most willing model.


I drove down to my grandparents’ house a few weekends ago. We weren’t sure until the last minute if we would be going, so I threw everything in a bag and we left Friday around lunch. Ronnie stayed home to watch Daytona. (NASCAR… The man has his priorities!)


We drove past my grandparents’ house so they could finish their nap. I’m 32 years old, and let’s just say I learned the hard way when I was little that you DO NOT DISTURB NAP TIME! We drove down to Fort Jackson because I’d heard that it was open. I used to play there all the time as a little girl, so I was really excited to take my kids there. (Remember: It was #19 on my 32 in 32 Project.)


We got there at 2:30 and there was a sign that said, “Open Monday-Friday until 3:30”. The only problem with that? It was closed! The gates were locked, and we couldn’t get in. We were all really bummed. The kids climbed around on some of the oak tree stumps around the exterior of the fort, and Brandon got bitten by a spider. The fort portion of the trip was definitely a bust. (Brandon’s bite is fine now.)


I did manage to get a photo of the roots of a HUGE oak tree. Pretty, but definitely not worth the 30 minutes of additional drive time.


When we got to my grandma’s house, we unpacked the van right away. Then we all sat on the porch and looked at the new baby goats. Maw Maw had an activity for the kids when we got there. She had them color cans to look like Angry Birds. Once they were done, she gave them a ball to knock the cans down. They were quite entertained!


It rained while we were there, and girls wanted to walk up the side of the levee. We couldn’t see the river because the trees and foliage were so overgrown. Alexis got bored, so I suggested that she jump so I could play with my camera settings. This is what we ended up with… She loved it! 


We took time for a pretty portrait too. She’s sitting on the side of the levee in a bunch of tiny white wildflowers.

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When we got back from walking on the levee, my Uncle drove us to the property next door so we could see this HUGE bee hive. Workers discovered it when they were clearing the land behind my grandparents’ house. I was more than a little nervous that we would end up ticking them off!


Later that evening, I got the World’s Most ROTTEN dog to pose for a quick portrait. She thinks she’s a person, and my grandpa refuses to tell her any different. I’m thinking I’ll get a large print and frame this one for him.


We spent the night down there, and the original plan was to go out on my grandparents’ house boat. Unfortunately, the boat wouldn’t start due to electrical issues. My grandpa was really bummed about it, but we got on the boat anyway so we could see the improvements he’d made since our last visit.

While we were hanging out and exploring, Brandon decided to sit between me and my Mom. He’s got the cutest chubby cheeks, so we couldn’t resist making a “Brandon Sandwich”. Poor kid!


It was a gloomy, grey day. I walked out on the back of the boat to snap a few photos of some shrimp boats that were docked across from my grandpa’s boat. It was eerie to see how calm the water was out there.


Brandon was trying to look innocent. It didn’t last long. He climbed under and over everything on the boat. He kept asking questions about how things worked.


Earlier this week, I brought all three of my kids with me to Target so we could buy school supplies. It was an adventure to say the least! I let them each pick something out of the dollar bins to keep them busy while I shopped. Jordan and Alexis chose cheetah print eye masks. They now look like complete divas when they go to bed. It’s pretty cute!


I’ve been doing a photo prompt series from Fat Mum Slim so I can practice with my new camera. I’m not posting all of the photos here on my blog, but if you’re interested you can see them in my gallery here. This photo of Alexis was from the prompt “letter”. I asked her to make letters out of her body. Our favorite was the letter “x”, she got the biggest kick out of that project!


That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon with some recent scrappy projects to share.

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