Two new layouts and some recent photos

I've been feeling the urge to scrapbook again lately and I've done a few new layouts. The first is using a few pictures from my first trip to Chicago. I really wanted to use that background paper - the city with the river running through it reminded me of the city, so I added some vellum to lift the photos up off the background a bit.

I used a mix of old and new embellishments to finish it off.

Chicago Close-up 1
Chicago Close-up 1
And the second layout, one I just did tonight using a cute photo of Adorable-Niece-Eraleigh and Adorable-Nephew-William.


They just got new haircuts - William is looking so grown up with his new 'do!

And a few photos from two weeks ago - Francesca came for a short visit, and then I had an equally short trip out to Chicago to speak at a workshop hosted by one of the vendors I work with.

Lighthouse Point in New Haven:


Stony Creek and the Thimble Islands in Branford:

My hotel room at the W Chicago:


That's it! I have all of my photos printed for August / September Project Life, just haven't gotten around to finishing the pages. I also have some art journal pages and a canvas still to share... hopefully I'll get to that before I head out for my Dyan Reavley classes this weekend :)

Dr. Seuss' Garden, Chicago, and Gelatos

Not that those three things are related... just that they all happened within the last week, so I'm posting about them together to catch up a bit :)

First, last Saturday Patty and I went up to The Inspiration Station in Stafford Springs to take a class called Dr. Seuss' Garden. It was taught by their Zentangle teacher, and we did do some drawing and tangling, but the main purpose was to learn how to use color with Tombow markers. We got several markers with the class, and learned about 18 techniques on how to use them. I had a good time drawing out samples on my notes page and then using my favorites in the project.

Here's my in progress shot from the class:

Dr Seuss' Garden - In Class

After class, we ran over to West Hartford for my first visit to Jerry's Artarama where we happened to catch their Back to School sale. It's been YEARS since I've been to a big art supply store like this (last time was Pearl Art in Virginia like 15 years ago) so this was like walking into my personal version of heaven. Especially since I was greeted with this:

Jerry's Golden Sale
I may have stocked up a bit. But I will say, in the last week, I've used everything that I bought, and found a new favorite paint brush - it's a Silver Ruby Satin #1 Round (I needed that size) and it's fabulous. I have a store credit for next week's Golden Acrylic Grounds demo, so I think I'll get some more since they'll still be on sale.

Then at home, I finished the class project. Fun! I'll have to use these techniques more.

Dr Seuss' Garden - Final Project
Then, mid-week I took a very quick trip out to our new Chicago office for our first America's eCommerce team summit. The new office happens to be in the Willis Tower (old Sears Tower).

Willis TowerAnd the view out toward Lake Michigan from our office:

View from the Office
And the view from where we ate lunch on Wednesday:

Chicago - Lunchtime view
The weather was beautiful, and I really liked the area where I stayed and around the office. I'm hoping to explore more on future visits. Possibly my favorite part of all? This was right around the corner (literally like 50 feet) from my hotel.

Blick - Chicago Loop
I promise, I did not know that was there when I booked the room. I just picked it because it was a half mile from the office and my boss was staying there - convenient and reasonably priced. But I can guarantee you that I'll be staying there again! I got to go into Blicks (again... my own heaven!) and browse after work on Tuesday. It was probably a good thing since I was traveling with just a carry-on, so it limited my ability to buy more paint (like I need any.) But I got a few tubes, a few more brushes, and a very nice set of pastels that were on sale - I've been itching to do more pastel work soon.

Anyway, Chicago was nice. Aside from the 3.5 hour delay from the thunderstorm. We were boarding the plane on time (unusual for O'Hare from what I've heard) and as we were getting on, we were watching lightening flash outside. So we knew we weren't going anywhere for a while. But I read a book and then the captain enabled free DirecTV for everyone... and since Economy Plus was the only option for my return flight, at least I had some leg room while we waited it out! I got home just before 3am, but I made it. At least it wasn't a blizzard (this time!)

Finally, Thursday night was our Mixed Media club at Papercraft Clubhouse. This month we were learning about Faber Castel Gelatos (unfortunately, no ice cream involved, but this was just as good.) We went through several techniques and got to play and try them out. I learned quite a bit which is good, since I have a lot of Gelatos that I don't use like I should!

Mixed Media Night - Gelatos
So that's it... I do have a few new canvases to post, so that will come soon.

And for anyone interested (and local!) I'm actually going to get back into teaching... just a bit. I'll be doing my cardboard journal at Papercraft Clubhouse on October 26th. Watch for more info on that!

28 Days of Love... quick update

So I'm trying not to get a full 14 days behind this time... lol. So I did a few more pages in my album. I also realized that I skipped a layout last week.

IMG_1106 web
There weren't any Bright Ideas class challenges on these pages, so just 28 Days challenges. Left was someone I didn't know 10 years ago (photo and journaling on a tag that pulls out of the pocket) and on the right was something I do every day (I picked "go to work" which I'm sure seems weird, but it's totally true!)

Now for the 4 catch-up pages (I'm still a few behind, but it's better than nothing!)

Days 15-16:

On the left, the prompt was someone I spend time with - I picked my nieces. They're hysterical and so fun. For the Bright Ideas challenge, it was to create texture - I used gold mica paste and modeling paste with a mask to add a little texture to the background, plus used the sketch from the challenge.

The right side was "my favorite color" (turquoise / sapphire / peacock blue) so I used a picture showing how often I use it in my house. The Bright Ideas challenge was around using grids.

Then days 17-18:

The left was "something I listen to" and for the Bright Ideas challenge, I used a mask and the same stamp repeated over and over. I really like the effect - I'll have to do that again! The right side was "I love happy mail" so I used a photo of the stack of boxes that came from UPS after they were able to get back through after the blizzard (3 of those were household items from Amazon. Not really too fun, but after a blizzard it was all exciting!) The Bright Ideas challenge was to use a large photo (on a 4x4 page that wasn't hard) and I used the class sketch.

And meanwhile... it's been a crazy-busy week at work. We've been in scrum training all week. While I've done it before at previous jobs, it's brand new to most everyone else I work with. The trainer we brought in was very good and this was a lot more fun than what I've done before, I also learned a lot - filled in a few holes. We got to play with Legos a lot to practice the sprint process. Eventually, we built an entire Lego Skate Park. It was lots of fun.

Scrum Training Lego Town
Last night we went to BAR in New Haven for a group dinner - yummy salad and pizza and just a fun evening hanging out. Tonight after we finished training, our little team went to this awesome Indian restaurant that's just a few blocks from my house (Darbar). I've wanted to go for a while and I'm glad we did - it was delicious!

I had chicken Korma - medium spice. It was very good...

Darbar - Chicken Korma
Of course, Ryan decided he wanted to go spicy, so he ordered the Chicken Vindaloo Spicy - the server was like, that's very hot. Are you sure? And he was. So I had my camera ready for his first taste...


(I really enjoy that Ryan hams it up for the camera.)

Ryan tries chicken vindaloo part 2
He was so disappointed... he even felt a little jipped... it wasn't that spicy! We all tried it, and I don't think it was any spicier than mine. But we all loved our food and had a good time. It was nice to unwind after 3 straight days of intense training. I'm looking forward to getting back to normal tomorrow :)

December Daily - Day 6

Just popping in with yesterday's album entry. It was a quick one since I got home from my work dinner pretty late - not until 10:30. But we had some good meetings and a good dinner, with great food. It was a new restaurant to me - one in Westbrook called Cafe Routier. For my entry, I just used some pictures from dinner (all of us were taking pictures of the food - it was pretty funny) and I added another page just for journaling - I wanted to include some thoughts about the meetings and how it impacts my work and stuff... and since it's work, I blurred it out :-P

December Daily 2012 Day 6
At dinner, we had a few appetizers for the table... fries... DUCK FAT fries with an aioli dipping sauce (as Andy said - the way fries should be!) and they ordered oysters that I didn't try, and also butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter red wine sauce that was divine. For the main dish I had seared hangar steak that was just wonderful. The sides were good too - spinach and scalloped potatoes with bacon and caramlized onions. Then for dessert they had some seasonal entries on the menu (one of the best dessert menus I've seen in a long time!) and I had the Chocolate Souffle Yule Log with Housemade Peppermint Ice Cream. That was good stuff! I ate more than I'd planned, but it was so good I can't be too sorry right now.

December Daily 2012 Day 6L
Since it was late, the pages are pretty simple. And again... love the Kelly Purkey "Bon Appetite" stamps. Those are going to get a lot of use from me!

December Daily 2012 Day 6R
And even though the words are blurred... a closer look at the rest of the page. Love those date stamps, and I can never get enough washi!

And one more fun thing from last night... Steve happened to be driving so I was checking out the shops we drove by and on our way out of Westbrook I saw a scrapbook store! I made sure I remembered exactly how we got there because I will be going back! It looked fun from the outside, so I'll be sure to check it out sometime soon :)

So much for that.

Yeah, more than two days in a row just wasn't going to happen. lol. Not that I wasn't planning to go for it, but I got derailed. I'll share more on that in a minute, but first... another layout I managed to finish tonight. This is week 34 - my first week at my new job and unpacking the house. Not a lot of photos, but plenty going on!

All of the digital elements are from Design House Digital - there's a big mix of kits here, so you can see all of them linked in my gallery post.

And as for how I got derailed? Well last Wednesday we were going to have a little team meeting - just lunch and work off-site for about 2 hours. But then my boss decided that we needed to go full-on off-site so we took off at lunch to change clothes. We each picked up a few things at the store and met at his house, which happens to be right on the water. It was gorgeous. Craig bar-b-qued some steak tips and asparagus that we had with bread and Irish butter. That was lunch. Ryan and I worked on stuff on the easel while he cooked, but we were all chipping in. We got a lot done and had great food and worked some more. Then Craig cooked up some pork tenderloin and baked potatoes. Then we worked some more and took frequent breaks to pull out our phones and take pictures of the sunset. At one point I got a picture of both of them taking pictures - it was funny. And gorgeous.



Then Craig snapped this one of Ryan and I finishing up for the night.

This doesn't suck.

So after I got home, it was almost 8 and I was pretty done. We'd worked all afternoon and evening, but also had a great time. We all get along really well and just have fun together which is awesome.

Then Thursday night we went out after work to a place that's been on our list for a while - a wine bar down by the water called Ballou's that also has a great menu. I had a cranberry spritzer and we sampled several things from the menu.

(Since it was Thursday, Cassi was in town and another girl from the team joined us as well). I have to say, the bacon mac 'n cheese was pretty tasty, but the real winner of the night was the chicken, bacon, gorgonzola pizza. That stuff rocked. Then Craig, Ryan, Cassi and I headed across the street to a bar we really enjoy - comfy chairs on a screened porch, and my favorite Shirley Temple in town (they don't stint on the grenadine!) We hung out there for a while and Cassi took off, then we stuck around a bit longer before going next door to Lenny's to catch a little football. By the time we called it a night, it was 11. But it was a blast.

Friday, well the whole weekend really. No excuse. lol. I just slept and ran errands and puttered around in the kitchen. I'm still having trouble getting back into the mood to scrapbook. Maybe eventually.

Today we were back at Craig's for another afternoon off-site.

It was high tide when we got there so before it went out, I went down to stick my feet in the water. I couldn't resist and it felt so good! The weather today was stunningly perfect. And we got stuff done!


We got to a good stopping point so we put the bacon mac 'n cheese I had made into the oven to get hot and bubbly and toast the breadcrumbs, and Craig had some killer sausage smoking on the grill. So since the tide had gone back out, Ryan and I went down to the beach and walked down to the end of the quay where we had some fabulous views.

The pictures don't do it justice. We both looked at each other and were like, kind of hard to believe we actually live here, huh? (All three of us are transplants.)

After that we got a bit more work done, but then the food was ready and we were hungry (and it was like 6pm) so we sat down to a killer dinner. The sausage was amazing - there were like 4 kinds (with grilled peppers to go with) and then both guys got super excited over my mac and cheese. Maybe even a little happy dancing. I love cooking for people who love food... it makes it so fun! And all of us definitely appreciate food.

But we finally cleaned up and packed it in so here I am... trying to get myself back on track. I'm only 3 weeks behind! For now. lol.

All moved in!

I've actually been moved in for a week, but things have been kind of busy so I just haven't had time to sit down and blog!

First of all, I love it here. Love it. I love my job, love my house, love the town, love the people. It's one of those times where it's so obvious that this was the right thing in the right place at the right time that it's kind of ridiculous. I'm very happy to be here, and thrilled to be working again. I've actually enjoyed it so much that I've been in the office BEFORE 9AM, And if you know me, you're probably still picking your jaw up off the floor.

My mom and dad have been here this weekend, and we've been having fun playing. I've been showing them around the town and trying out some of the great restaurants here in town. We did some shopping, I got a MUCH needed haircut, and we put some finishing touches on the house.

A few pictures from the last three weeks...

I completely forgot to take pictures of the moving truck after they got here, but it's pretty much the reverse of this:


Then Sunday night after the movers left, I went over to Mindy and Darren's for a little farewell dinner with the Peanuts. It was great to see everyone again one last time before I took off. Not that we won't see each other again at some point!

Monday I took another load of stuff to DI, turned in my equipment at Comcast, got some car snacks and gased up the car, and then Melody came over and saved my bacon by helping me get everything cleaned so I could turn in my apartment keys the next morning. Then that night I went to her house and we had some farewell snacks and fun with her family plus Tim and Dustin.

And then Tuesday morning I was off! I drove by myself with a packed car and my iPod and GPS and I was off. I stopped in Kearney, Nebraska the first night and then just outside of Toledo, Ohio the second night. I got to Branford at about 5pm on Thursday evening and picked up my keys at the real estate agency and then got to the house and unloaded the car. At that point I was just exhausted and set up my air mattress and crashed.

I spent a few days picking up necessities and figuring out where things are, and doing a lot of reading.

The last time I posted were the pictures I took while I was waiting for the movers to get here on Sunday... they ended up coming late because of a morning job that took longer than planned and then bad traffic on 95. Then it took several hours to unload and they didn't finish until about 9pm, so I didn't really get started unpacking that night. And then Monday, I started my new job.

Did I mention I love my new job? I do. I've been there two weeks now and it's been awesome. I have plenty to do, I'm getting looped in and up to speed and all that pretty fast, and the people are just great. Of course, the people are the main reason I turned down my other opportunities and took this one. And I'm excited that it's turning out even better than I had hoped.

I kept unpacking in the evenings after work, and then did a big push last weekend to get pretty close to finished. I did a few last things last Monday and then I was pretty much done!

IMG_0208(I hauled ALL of the boxes and paper down to the basement of the house on Tuesday, and it was quite a job. They won't last in the humidity here so I'm going to have to list them on Craig's List, but at least they're out of the house for now!)

A few of the rooms as I was finishing...

(You see a lot of fans around because the house doesn't have A/C - which it really only needs about 2 months of the year. Next summer I might get a few window units or something. We'll see.)

And of course, the all important scrapbook room!

This room is easily twice the size of my scrap attic, and I can't believe I fit it all in there! Of course, in here I have one entire wall that I can't use because it's full of closets (which hold the stuff from my guest room closet - the guest room here doesn't have one, as well as my coat closet). And I also tried to keep things from covering the windows, so it's more spread out instead of using vertical space. But I love it - the yellow walls and wood floors are awesome. And since the master bedroom didn't have cable hookups, I put the 2nd TV in here so I can watch the Food Network and hockey games while I work - I think this will work great!

So I had Wednesday night where I just relaxed and relished being done with the unpacking. Then Thursday night, we had a work Happy Hour at a place near our office where the eCommerce team headed for some after work drinks and snacks.


I started with straight-up water on the rocks, but eventually switched to virgin frozen peach margharitas which were pretty tasty. We ordered apps (it was Mexican) and then desserts (it was also unhealthy). After a few hours there, a group of us broke off and went to a different bar close to the water (funny enough, it was the singles who stuck it out - everyone else went home to their families). So me, my boss Craig, our analyst Ryan, and Cassi who was down working in the office for a few days (she normally telecommutes from MA) went to the bar where I switched to Shirley Temples. Lots of grenadine... yum! Part of the fun with this group is that I've fallen in with some fellow foodies who also happen to be super fun to hang out with. I'm slowly being shown all the great places to eat with the promise of many more opportunities to sample the local cuisine and entertainment scene. I can't wait!

Friday my boss "made" us all leave early for the holiday weekend, so I went home to get the house picked up and to get some of the moving dust out of the way before my parents came. They got here for dinner and I took them to one of the places I've tried for dinner and we also drove along the water. We did more shopping, eating and sight seeing on Saturday, went to church at my new ward on Sunday, and today we did more shopping to get curtain rods and a few sets of drapes for the house. Because of the way the windows are here (old and slightly slanted plus not being allowed to drill into them) I had to get tension rods for all the windows. And with lots more windows, I needed more drapes. So we hit Target, Ikea and Walmart and got what I needed between those. Then my mom and I busted out the sewing machine and measuring tape and got to work.

We hung everything up first to see what we needed to cut off, then I did the measuring and cutting and mom did the sewing. As she finished hemming, I got them ironed and hung.

And my dad, well he did this:

(can't say I blame him!)

I've now got drapes up in all but two of the rooms - the front two rooms I'm waiting on until the contractor comes to replace the windows this week. Mostly because there's a wasps nest in one of the guest room windows, and I only want to move things once in the scrapbook room. But the other rooms look great! So now it's finally really feeling like home. Still a little weird / new, but it's a lot homier now. I love it and I can't wait to have people over! Next up: wide screen HD TV (WAY overdue... I'm still using the huge 30" Sony I bought in college!) and maybe a BBQ and some patio furniture for my porch. We could do some serious game-day partying here! But we'll see when I get to it... I have time :)

Whew! Well, there's my huge catch-up post. I'm going to try and do a little Project Life catch-up as well. I might not do all 4 weeks individually, but I'll pull something together to cover the last month. It's been crazy, but kind of awesome too. And now, I'm off to finish up a few things and then hit the sack so I can be up bright and early for work in the morning.


Big changes on the horizon!

Well, it's time to let the cat out of the bag about all the lack of detail lately... lol. There are still blurred sections in this week's Project Life layout, but that's just to keep names and personal information private. The rest... well... like I said. Big changes coming!

So. Six weeks ago, I was driving to work in the morning, thinking about how great my job was, how excited I was about what I was working on, how cool the people were, and how I could see myself there for a long time. And about 2pm that same day, the CEO called me into his office to let me know that a recent company acquisition (and another bid for venture capital... unsaid, but let's not kid ourselves) had made mine and a few other positions obsolete. Well that sucked. But whatever. No sense crying over spilled milk, right? I was applying for jobs that very afternoon and had my first interview booked the next day. I knew it was a risk going to a start-up, and I don't regret it for a minute. It was a great experience, and I can honestly say that without it, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go where I'm going next. And next is exciting :)

At this point, you're probably putting 2 and 2 together and thinking of those pictures I posted from a trip to Connecticut last week. And you'd be right! Actually, last week I was in Connecticut and North Carolina. And that leads me to...

Project Life 2012 Week 30-Web
Yup... a 2-pager! I just looked. The last time I had a 2-page layout was week 17. I'm sure I'll have a few more coming in the near future...

Everything I used this week is from Design House Digital, and most is from Gennifer Bursett. A few iPhone photos from the week and a LOT to say, of course! It was a very fast, exhausting, and pretty much awesome week.

I decided to dedicate an entire page to a small sample of my "ephemera" from the trip and what followed. Ticket stubs, business cards from people I interviewed with, the interview schedule for my visit in North Carolina, and a copy of the offer letter I received for my new job in Connecticut. I kid you not... the time from my first interview to the offer letter was exactly a week. I give credit to a great recruiter, but also to things that seem meant to be just falling into place. And I can't wait. So... the next few weeks are going to be CRAZY. I've already booked another trip out to find a place to live... I have appointments to view housing, appointments for moving companies to come give me quotes... and I've been doing a ton of cleaning and organizing to get ready to pack everything up - probably sometime late next week. I'm sure the time is going to go zipping by, but I think I'll make it. As long as I can get the movers lined up and find a place to send them, the rest should fall into place. And then, it's the start of another adventure! I'm looking forward to getting to know the area and meeting new people. But first, gotta do the hard stuff. So if I'm not posting a lot over the next few weeks, you know where I am :)

Posts from my day job

I realize that I don't actually talk a lot about my work here on the blog... mostly because I kind of like to keep work and personal separate, and also so I don't get in trouble. lol. But I had a work "thing" to share today, so I thought I'd share a little bit about what I do.

I started my current job in February after months of persistence by a friend I'd worked with at Ancestry who talked me into coming to join him here. And I'm so glad I did! I won't go into lots of details, but part of what we do is offer online communities for people who are dealing, in some way, with specific health conditions. The communities have message boards, articles and information, and all kinds of great stuff. Part of that great stuff includes pulling together information to share with our communities.

What better way to make health information interesting and relevant all at once than to do an infographic? We're doing more of these, but we just launched this one and it's quite interesting. This is for our community for people dealing with depression. And even if you don't have depression or care for someone who does, it's still an interesting read! Click through to see the whole thing...

From Early Theories to Modern Meds
From Depression Connect


Fun Finds and Goodies

Whew... the last few days got a way from me a bit! It's been fun and busy...

Friday I got to work to find an invite from my boss for a team field trip. Woohoo! We all left the office for a few hours to have lunch and then go exploring at an awesome antique mall. First, we went to Caputo's Italian Market and Deli, which is just a few blocks from our office (when it gets warmer, I'm sure I'll be heading there on walks!) They have a great market with their own cheese cave and a guy that makes their salami! We stopped there for lunch - I had half a prociutto sandwich with a pesto pasta salad which was yummy. While I waited for them to make the sandwiches, I explored the market for a bit and found this amazing honey wine vinegar (locally made) that was so good. The guy at the check-out asked me what I was going to use it for and I told him I might just drink it. He thought I was kidding. The bottle came with a recipe for a vinaigrette that I think I'll try. Lunch was a blast - I got to know a lot of our team better as we went around the table telling random stories. I'm glad I was one of the first ones... mine was boring!

After lunch we headed to Capital City Antique Mall to just wander, shop and be inspired. My boss loves places like this because it's interesting to look at all of these things and think of the design - both the object itself and motifs. It reminded me of my Grandma L. and her love of antiques. I remember antiquing with her a few times when I was a little girl... she would have loved this place. It was really well organized and lots of the booths had really made an effort with the displays - it made it so fun. They were even in the process of setting up a big green themed display in the entry.

I snapped a few pics with my phone as I wandered, and ended up picking up a few random treasures that inspired me enough that I wanted to take them home with me. (And when I say random, I'm not kidding! lol.)

March 2 Work Field Trip

Top left is a display of artisinal chocolate at Caputos, bottom right are the treats I got there, including my vinegar, an amaretti cookie, another fun little pastry, and some fun artisan chocolate I got mainly because the box was so pretty. The others are pictures from the antique market. I was totally in love with all those hat pins... so fun!

Here's what I ended up bringing home with me:

Antique Mall Goodies

The blue glass compote dish and the tea cup are currently in my craft room, holding beautiful things and inspiring me, along with the hat pins that are stuck in my pin cushion. I thought they would be beautiful on a mini album cover, and also as inspiration for making some of my own pins with my jewelry supplies. I wore that bracelet to church today - it's so fun and totally me. And the teapot... I just fell in love with the design. I'm crossing my fingers that it's dishwasher safe because I want to use it! But not until it's clean and sterilized. lol.

Saturday I met my friend Kathy for lunch at a new place - Blue Lemon in Highland. SO good. I had short ribs with polenta (half of which is in my fridge, waiting to be enjoyed all over again.) and I got myself a little shamrock sugar cookie to enjoy later because I'm a sucker for cookies and cute things, and this was both.

Me with Shamrock Cookie

I think the Peanuts might have to hit this place up... so good.

Next up, another post on my crafty endeavors this weekend... working on an online class that I'm just loving.

Last day of work and December Daily: Day 26

Well, today was my last day at my job... I start the new one tomorrow. It was kind of bittersweet - I've really enjoyed working there and have come to really like all of the people I worked with. They had a nice little send-off for me today with treats and a fun card that the graphic designers made and everyone signed. Some of the girls also gave me a really cool hair clip with pretty flowers on it - I've been wearing it since... and Hope, who lived in Peru for 18 months while serving a mission for our church, shares my love for alfajores so she made some! They were yummy... I was even able to bring a few home with me. Eleanor also brought yummy cookies and Chrisi made oreo truffles. It was a total non-diet afternoon. lol.


Vivint Farewell Alfajores


And now on to my December Daily...

I'm getting close to being finished with this project... and getting a lot of photos edited at the same time! I was playing with camera settings while I was home for Christmas (probably not the best idea in retrospect) and as a result, some photos are better than others. But I'm pretty pleased with most of them, and I learned a lot about my camera!

Here's the spread for the 26th. I didn't want to do more than 2 pages, but I had lots of photos so I used a slide sheet that holds 20 small photos on this one. I even had enough room to include some cute little drawings by Eraleigh that I found inside of a present she "helped" wrap.


December Daily Day 26


And the photos from the day:


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Time to head off and get ready for bed... can't be late for the first day on the job!

Fun Sharing...

I just wanted to pop in with a quick video share. This is a recent fun video put together by our video team at work. It's been a treat to work with such a talented group of people! You'd never know we do all this stuff in-house. This was a fun project for the month:


In other news, my plans to finish my December Daily and then finish the Scrap Attic renovation were totally blown by my complete inability to stop part-way through the making of the Reorganization Disaster Area to work on something. I get a tad obsessive about projects like this, to which my lack of sleep this week can attest. I've taken a few pictures that I need to upload - now that I can finally get to my computer again, I'll try and get them up. It's not a pretty site. It looks like a crafting bomb went off in my upstairs... I think it's actually a fire hazard with the way my hallway and landing are barely navigable. lol.

But last night I finally got to the point of starting to move things back in again, although I'm still organizing as I go. I just don't have enough room to completely unload the room and spread things out so stuff like sorting all of the paper and re-arranging furniture is having to happen in a somewhat cramped fashion. But it's happening! The pile of things I'm going to sell or donate is growing exponentially. Pictures coming soon...

December Daily: Day 9 - Candlelight Christmas

Lots of stuff going on today! It was a busy one at work... complete with some super convenient on-site services (like people who change my oil for me in the parking lot!) and also Nutty Guys, who had a big table selling tasty food treats for gifts. They had samples of their chocolate covered Oreos - wicked. I picked up a few things for treat packages. I also downloaded the new Black Keys album today - it pretty much rocks.

After work, I went over to Melody's house to go with them to Candlelight Christmas up at This is the Place Heritage Park. It was freezing, but lots of fun and I got plenty of pictures. But first, today's December Daily entry.

December Daily Day 9 part1

The park is a collection of old pioneer buildings that were all brought together and restored. Very cool. On the left is a holiday card we got in the print shop where they had the plates from England for the first ever mass produced Christmas card. They showed us how they were made, and we were able to take home one of the ones they had printed. They're really cool.

December Daily Day 9 part2

I also included the map of the park with highlights of what was going on in each of the buildings.

December Daily Day 9 part3

Then I put in pictures and a few journaling cards from the day / evening on both sides of the little sectioned page divider.

December Daily Day 9 part4

December Daily Day 9 part6

And the full 2nd spread:

December Daily Day 9 part5

The right side was today's journaling prompt from Shimelle, about traditions. I think this was very similar to last year, but I added some photos as well as talking a bit about how we have the same traditions, but how they've changed as we've grown up and we have a new generation of kids celebrating with us.

December Daily Day 9 part7

Long entry! But fun :)

And here are a few pictures from the Candlelight Christmas visit. First is Melody and I on the little train that circles the village - we rode it up to the top and walked back down through all the buildings, then rode it again in a full loop at the end.

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 1

We went into one of the houses to do some crafts. We made beaded snowflakes, jingle bell things (I might try and work that onto the cover of my December album) and Christmas count-down trees.

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 4

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 5

One of the buildings, beautiful all lit up:

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 3

They had a lovely little live nativity in the stable. They had people dressed up as shepherds and wise men pointing the way and also visiting inside the stable. There were goats, sheep and pigs inside (but they kept it pretty clean so it didn't smell too bad). When we went out, they had horses and cows in the yard. The cattle were even lowing. It was really cool, actually.

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 2

And one of the little buildings in the elf village:

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 7

And Angelina and I pointing out where we had our names on the "nice" list.

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 6
After our last ride on the train, we headed into the visitors center to see Santa. All the kids went to him - Samuel was cute because he wouldn't look at Santa and would try and mumble what everyone would tell him to say - "car" and "choo choo train."It was a beautiful setup, and quite a lovely Santa as well.

Blog - Candlelight Christmas 8

After that, we had to get some hot chocolate, and then it was back home. We were out late, so the kids crashed in the car. And now, I'm ready to crash!

December Daily: Day 6

I can't believe how quickly the month is going... and have I gotten any progress made on Christmas presents since the weekend? of course not! But I'll buckle down and get it done soon... I need to be finished by this weekend, and I have world champion procrastination skills. Meaning, I'll put it off and then get it done. Hopefully without having to stay up so late I get sick - I've done that, don't want to repeat it for the holidays! Besides, we're working on being less stressful and more about the meaning of the holidays this year, right? I think I take that too literally... like, it's less stressful for me to watch TV than to work on my projects. lol.

Anyway, here's today's entry:

December Daily Day 6

I decided to just do holiday-related events today instead of including journaling from Shimelle's daily prompt... I'll hit that one next year.

December Daily Day 6 - left

This one is about something we did at work today. Caroling. Sort of... lol. We're shooting a short video for our online advertising and we needed a choir of carolers to sing in the spot. It was just audio (thank goodness! Not a good hair day.) so we went outside (because carolers sing outside - it's more natural, right?) and did a few very bad renditions of two songs. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Deck the Halls." They had me and two other girls do very high operatic versions, a few people sang it straight, and a few sang very out of tune. It was perfectly horrific. lol. They came back to their editing room and put it with the rough of the video and it's so fun - I'll have to post a link or something when we get it live.

December Daily Day 6 - right

The other side was just a little newspaper insert one of my friends at work brought me today that shows the progress on the Core I-15 construction project as well as what's left. It's been a brutal time commuting through all of that, and we have a year left... not looking forward to it. But it was somewhat cheering to see how much is done and to know that they're still on schedule to finish on time.

Here's a close-up of my carolers on the left page:

December Daily Day 6 - carolers

Pin It

I didn't have any pictures of our caroling at work today... I totally should have taken my phone down and snapped a few, but I didn't. So, I decided to just draw some. These are based on a b/w sketch I found online, but I personalized it a bit. It started as pencil on cold-pressed watercolor paper, then I colored with gouache. Finally I outlined and added detail with fine / extra-fine tipped Sharpies. It felt kind of fun and whimsical. Who says you need pictures! lol. Besides... this way I was able to just draw and paint while I watched The Biggest Loser and then just run up and throw it all together quickly. Multi-tasking... woot!

See you tomorrow!

Weekend catch-up and yearbook pages

The last week or so has been busy! Lots of stuff going on...

We had a few fun things at work last week, and one of them was our End of Summer celebration. We went up Provo Canyon just a bit to South Fork Park where we had a fun dinner outdoors. We had a caterer that does all dutch oven cooking, and great music. One of the professors at BYU (Gesslison, maybe?) came with his family (his daughter and her partner who are 2 time national fiddling champs), and his son (state guitar champion) and his younger daughter. They were really good. The food was delicious, the scenery was wonderful and it was great to hang out and chat. I got a few pictures on my iPad - not great quality, but fun nonetheless.

South fork 9222011d

South fork 9222011c

My co-workers, Brittany and Sara

South fork 9222011b

and moi:

South fork 9222011a

Friday night Laura and Mindy and I got together for a girls' night. We saw "I Don't Know How She Does It" with Sarah Jessica Parker and we all really liked it. Very fun. That was followed by a leisurely dinner where we just sat and chatted... catching up since it's been a few weeks since we hung out.

I met up with Melody on Saturday for the Relief Society broadcast - my stake was having a dinner beforehand so we went and ate and then watched it. I love Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. He's always wonderful, but this seemed especially good.

I've also been hard at work on trying to finish up the class yearbook. I've got to get it done - I've taken way too long already, and I can't justify moving on to other projects until I finish it. I've been sitting on it because one of the last parts to do was HUGE and I just didn't want to tackle it. So I finally did it. I pulled screenshots out of a video and took photos that I had taken, stuff people sent me and a disc of photos from the department to pull it together. This section is going to be like 12 pages in the yearbook, and it was a lot of work to get it done. Now I just need to do graduation and then make last minute edits and get it all uploaded. Here are a few pages from what I've been working on since the last time I shared (there are too many to post, so this is just a sample):

Capstone 3

Capstone 4

  Grad Dinner Title Page

Grad Dinner 1

Grad Dinner 4

Grad Dinner 8

I also recently did pages for all three of the FBEs - I did 5 pages for each trip, including a cover page.

Middle East FBE Title Page

Middle East FBE 2

I used the same format for all of the FBEs. It's not a standard yearbook, but I didn't want it to be too scrapbooky (I didn't always succeed, though), so I kept it pretty simple and tried to be consistent within each section.

And to finish, two more that I did a while ago - these are from our picnic during our 2nd residency week:

Family picnic 1

Family Picnic 2
I've tried to get everyone represented as much as possible, but I've had to work with the material on hand so I wasn't always successful. Hopefully the class likes it. At least I know I'll enjoy my copy, right?

I have been reprimanded.

My family has gone way past hinting that my blog is neglected... lol. Of course, they've been telling me to write something... ANYTHING... for weeks now. And I'm just getting around to it. I'm so responsive. So - quick update while I'm on my lunch break.

First, I know I always say this, but I can't believe it's been a MONTH!!! William is a month old. I've been in my new job for over a month. It's been more than 6 weeks since school ended and graduation is NEXT week! And in the last month, what have I done? Well... I'm settling into my new job which has been great. My stress level is way down, the people are fabulous, and the food is done by the same company that owns Communal and Pizzaria 712, so you know it's awesome (did I mention I get 6 free meals a week?). They have great, healthy options so I can stay on track which is really nice. Here's one of just a few pictures I've taken in the last month - munching a burger at my desk.

Work and burger

I normally eat in the cafeteria with everyone else, but this was a special BBQ day where I came back to my desk rather than eat outside.

I've been doing dinners and movies with friends - met up with Rob, saw Pirates... met up with the gang from school, had Thai food and saw Transformers... then there was the Harry Potter 7.2 weekend where some of the people at work made an awesome batch of butter beer.


I loved HP7.2. I saw the 3D Imax version and I want to see it again, but it will have to wait until I see Captain America and Cowboys and Aliens. I think one or both of those are in the plan for this next weekend. We'll see.

What else... I can't forget that Melody came out to stay with me for a few days while she interviewed for jobs and found a place to live - I'm sooooo excited that they're moving back here - less than 5 minutes from my house too! It's going to be play time :)

I've been reading a lot of books... most of them require no brain power whatsoever, which has been a lovely respite from 2 years of textbooks and case studies. I've been working on the yearbook for our class too - I actually have a few things I can share from that. It's pretty basic stuff, but I guess if you want to get technical it's sort of a digital scrapbook, right? Considering I've done NOTHING else for the last month... not even in my Smashbook, at least this is something (can you believe I haven't even touched the 1500 pictures from my trip? Sigh. I did buy a Groupon for a photobook so I can make sure to get it into some kind of book soon.)

Here are a few layouts for the yearbook:

Class dinner

There's a 2nd page to this that refuses to upload. Moving on! This is from our Creativity and Innovation class.

Vasa 1

A few unforgettable classes from 1st year...

1st Year Classes 3

1st Year Classes 4

And a few pictures (mostly from my phone) from our 2nd residency week last August (I just realized the date is wrong on here... gotta fix that! Thank goodness for digital...).

2nd year residency week 1

Argh... page 2 doesn't want to upload. Some of these must just be too big. Oh Well!

There are also standard yearbook pages with everyone's photos, but I've been subbing out the "official" ones where I can with better pictures. I also included contact info and birthdays (hence the reason I'm not posting any of them) as well as who's on Facebook and/or LinkedIn so we can all keep in touch. I'm also doing pages for all of our classes with pictures of professors and some other fun stuff. I'm still finishing up the last of what I've got and I'll include graduation next week and it will be done! So that's been taking a lot of time as well...

Let's see. What else... cooking - I came up with a new fig recipe after I got giddy over finding brown turkey figs at Costco. I have pictures and a recipe and I might even post them at some point! lol. I made a fig / apple crostata that could be sweet or savory and it was yummy. I made Aarti's eggplant rolls last night with rotisserie chicken and steamed green beans and some cherries straight from a roadside produce stand. I'm going to make a veggie pizza from Cooking Light at some point this week - trying to take advantage of the fabulous produce right now.

So that's all I've got for now. I've got to run to finish lunch and get back to work. Hopefully it won't be a month before I post again ;)

A week in review

I've always wanted to do one of those "Week in the Life" albums that Ali Edwards started but since it's just me and all I do is work, go to school, study and occasionally read and/or scrapbook, it didn't seem like it would be a super interesting album... lol. But this week was a little more eventful so I took to carrying my camera around a lot more than usual.  So here's my week in the life post (aka LONG!)

Monday morning:  the view from my bedroom window when I woke up.  I was not a happy camper.

May 24 Snow

I worked from home... refusing to drive in the snow and the crazy traffic.  By that afternoon it was 60 degrees with no snow in site.  lol.  Just in time to head to meet my study group to finish our big finance project.  I got home from that around 1am which was pretty good, actually.

Wednesday was a super crazy day... we had a big team off-site at my boss' house in Berkley so a bunch of us met up for an early flight to Oakland:

Flight to Oakland

There were about 12 of us total between the locals and the five of us who flew out.  We did team building (partly for my OB/HR project) and then after lunch we had a little baby shower for Melissa.  This was especially fun for the guys on the team, several of whom had never experienced a shower before.

Melissa's Shower 1

So you know how you pass gifts around the room, right?  The guys were a little flummoxed by this tradition.

Melissa's Shower 2

I went back to the airport by my lonesome... everyone else was staying the night but I had to get back for class.  Of course I got through security only to find out my flight had been delayed from 7:40pm until 9:55.  So I picked up a book and went back to check the status - delayed until 11:45pm at this point!  I guess the plane had been grounded in Denver due to tornado conditions or something.  Bleh.  So I landed in SLC at about 2am and made it home just before 3.  Needless to say, I didn't head into work at my usual hour.  But, I just kept clinging to the thought that as soon as class was over I was free!  I took Friday off to give myself a long weekend which leads to...

Friday!  I had gotten crack in my windshield a month after I got my car - the rock hit in the bottom corner on my way to work and when I came out at the end of the day I had a 15 inch crack.  So much for having a chance to fill the chip!  I was trying to out-wait the construction since I was getting hit by rocks regularly, but it was more than 2/3 across the windshield and since I'm taking a big road trip at the end of June, I thought I'd get it done.

Windshield Replacement
I love that they just come to your house!  He also came two hours early so I was able to head over and catch a movie.  I saw Prince of Persia with D-Box seats - I figured I'd give it a try and it was pretty cool!  The seats move and vibrate along with the movie to make it a more intense experience.  It was a bit like those rides at Disneyworld where your seats move with the movie (only not exactly... just the seat, not a ride!)  plus I got a free movie pass for taking a survey afterward.  Sweet!  I'd do it again, that was fun.  The movie was awesome too :)

I also got fun goodies in the mail... a big thanks to Scrapbook Update for this fun blog giveaway!  I can't wait to dig into the Eco-Friendly paints and see how they work.  Great colors, too!

Eco Friendly Paints

Whew!  That brings me to today... I came up to my scrap attic to work on a mini album I started last weekend and ended up getting distracted and making a necklace I've had an idea for for a while.  I'm totally in love with this necklace.  Seriously.

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace

I've wanted to make gemstone flowers for a while and I had these awesome pink quartz teardrops that were perfect.  The clear flowers are glass briolettes with antique brass and pink aluminum findings.  On the bigger flowers, I put vintage pearls and Czech glass seed beads in the center with a big, antique brass filigree flower.  The flowers are wired together and then connected to the strands.  This was the hardest one I've made so far, but it was fun and I absolutely love it... it looks great on too :)

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace - Close-up 1

Pink Quartz Flower Necklace - Close-up 2

Whew!  So with that, this is what my desk looks like, ready for my next project (which is really one I started last week and haven't gotten back to...)

Safari Mini Album - In Progress

Believe it or not, it's been 3 years since Nicole and I went to South Africa, and I still haven't finished the album (okay, that part isn't so hard to believe).  I have tons of pictures from when we went up near Hoedspruit for our safari and I thought I'd do a mini album just for those few days instead of layouts for the main album.  I've got lots of pictures printed out... hopefully I can finish it this weekend, but we'll see.  Lots of other stuff to do.

So that's it for now... off to grab some dinner and a slice of the caramel pie I made today :) (I watched The Waitress last weekend and have been craving pie non-stop ever since.)  It was easy to make so if it's any good I'll post the recipe.


Overheard at the office...

We're sitting at work for our weekly Who Do You Think You Are viewing "party" and the funniest conversation just came up... (keeping in mind that tonight is the big New Moon release night... not that I've pre-ordered from Amazon or anything).

Picture a circle of manly-man software developers sitting in easy chairs watching March Madness and sipping Mountain Dew when out of the blue I hear this conversation:

Lead Developer:  So let's take a quick poll.  Jacob or Edward?  Matt?

Matt:  Uh... Billy?

Lead Developer: Uh, okay.  Preston?

Preston:  uh... Jacob I guess?

Jim:  Are we talking about Lost?

Some moments really make working until 10pm on Fridays worth while.  lol.

Coming up fast...

I was excited to see a commercial for Who Do You Think You Are during the men's gold medal hockey game this weekend... the show starts Friday night!  Even though I didn't work on the show itself (since I don't work for NBC and I'm not a genealogy, I'm still really excited to see it.  For everyone that's worked on this from my office, we're all going to stay late at work on Friday and have dinner brought in to watch the show together.  Should be fun!  Here's a clip from this week's episode:

Mark your calendars and set your DVRs... it looks like it's going to be really cool!

Back in Utah

So I got back late last night from my work trip out to our San Fransisco office.  It was a pretty good week!  We got a lot done and my co-worker Sara and I even had some time to see the sites!

First, I was back at the Hotel Triton again which is a pretty cool place to stay.  I had a funky little room overlooking the entrance to China Town.  Here's a view:

Our first night we were both exhausted so we went to a really nice little Italian place on 2nd Street (Umbria) and had yummy homemade pasta and tiramisu.  Then we just went to our separate hotels and crashed!  Wednesday after work we had a bit more energy and decided to play tourist for the evening.  We went to China Town on our last trip out but Sara had still never been out to the wharf or to Ghiradelli, so that's where we went.  Soup in sourdough bowls at Boudin, of course!  I loved this awesome sourdough crocodile.

Then we wandered around Fisherman's Wharf where we both ended up buying sweatshirts because it was a bit chillier than we'd prepared for.

And then, of course...

After we wandered around the square, went through the store and got our sample Peanut Butter Square and then we went in for some ice cream... as delicious as ever. After that, though, we'd hit our limit for the evening.  It had been a pretty long day and we had an early morning coming up, so we went back to our hotels and crashed.

Yesterday morning I got up early and wandered around China Town with my camera before hitting Starbucks and going to work.

Then at the office my new boss asked if I could arrange to stay the rest of the day instead of leaving with Sara at one, so we changed my plane ticket and we got lots of work done before I headed off for the last flight out... I got home about 1am this morning and I'm bushed!  I've got my tickets to see Harry Potter this weekend, though, and hopefully I'll get back in the scraproom too :)

So what have I been up to?

This... work.  And an addiction.  I try not to post too much about my job lest it somehow get me in trouble, but this is kind of a special exception.  At work these last few months we've had the chance to work on filming the stories of some of our customers and they're being released as commercials today.  My part?  Helping to get the online component set up and it's been keeping me busy!  But these stories are amazing... as many times as I see them I still tear up when I watch them.  Here's one... check it out:

You can go to a page and watch all five stories here. Watching them has made me want to start working on my own family history more and in the last week I've had the thrill of finding a handwritten parish record for a great great grandparent from the 1750s as well as multiple photos of ancestors that lived in the early 1800s.  So that's what I've been doing instead of scrapbooking... spending HOURS on (not counting the hours I spend working on the site as a job) becoming more and more addicted to family history and adding to some of the work that my grandpa passed on to me.  It's like a giant puzzle that I can't walk away from! 

So there you go... I should get back to the layouts this week, though.  I'm starting to get the itch for some scissors and a tape runner!

P.S.  I know some of you are curious about the mystery trip, but I'm still mulling it over... I'll post my next fabulous destination once I decide for sure and put down the deposit. :)

A Trip in a Nutshell

Well, it's been a few days, but I'm back!  I flew in from a work trip to San Francisco at about 1:30 this morning, got a little sleep and went right back to work.  Thank goodness it's almost the weekend!  It was a fairly short trip, but a good one.  Here's a glance at my trip in a nutshell.  The very cool and funky hotel the company put me up at, our SF office on the pier right by the ball park (on opening day no less!) and a few shots of the Chinatown / downtown area close to our hotel when the three of us there on this trip went out for dinner and a little sight-seeing / shopping after work on Tuesday.

Blog - SF at a Glance
One of my friends in the SF office recommended a good place to eat right on the edge of Chinatown... The House of Nanking (bottom right above).  It was a zagat rated hole in the wall, small and jam packed with people.  We squeezed into a table next to two other gentlemen and looked over the menu, each of us calling what we wanted to order so we could all share.  One of them hadn't had any chinese outside of a trip or two to Panda Express and both of them made me realize that I'm a much more adventurous eater than I ever thought I was (although I'd still never be a judge on Iron Chef... lol).  We stretched their comfort zones had some really fabulous food and as we left there was a long line of people waiting to get in.  Good timing!  Wandering through Chinatown was fun, as always.  One of these days I need to just go for a long weekend and hang out and see the sites I haven't been to yet.  Cool city.

So anyway, I'm back for a while (as far as I know, anyway... lol) so hopefully back to the scrapping soon!

Canned Art

So my boss went into labor late Monday night... 2 weeks early!  My co-worker and I are flying solo now and hoping our training sticks :)  So far so good, but it's been super busy.  Speaking of work, one of the things I've been working on for the last week is our team's contribution to a fun project for the community.   Our charitable giving committee came across this website and thought it would be something great for us to do as a company.  So we've been planning, shopping and constructing.  This afternoon we pulled in all of the food that our team has purchased and got to work building our canned food sculptures.  Here's a little peek at the action:

Blog - Canstruction

Can you tell what it is?  Despite careful planning and work, the person who donated and cut the wood we were using to level the top forgot to cut out the half circle that would make it look like a bite out of a sandwich.  Unfortunately, without that I think it looks like a triangle of cans.  lol.  It's supposed to be a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk.  The guys next to us did Delicate Arch.  I hope the symbolism of our sculpture wins it for us, but either way, the food bank will love all the peanut butter :D

After work I stopped at the store to spend our left-over money on extra food to give to the food bank when they come on Friday and then came home and didn't accomplish much else thanks to the arrival of a fresh shipment of books from Amazon.  One day I will darken the door of the library, but I love the immediate satisfaction of having them on hand with no wait-lists and instant ability to re-read too much for me to go there.  Sigh.  So instead of working on any projects I read a book.  Oh well!  I did make some tweaks to a layout I did recently, though.  This one has been bugging me ever since I posted it.  It just needed a little something more and I finally decided what I wanted to do.  So voilĂ !

Layout - Off Road Take 2

It's hard to tell with the bad lighting in the photo, but the scalloped cardstock is yellow.  The added color made all the difference.

Well, I have a company meeting super early tomorrow (do the offices in Europe and Australia really need to be able to call in?  lol) so it's past bed time for me!

Developer humor.

Developer_humor So it's lunch time and I happened to be looking out the window at the end of our row when I saw one of our developers getting out of this car, presumably after parking it in this position.  Of course, this isn't his car.  lol.

This would have been seriously blackmail worthy if Kylene had managed to catch it while he was still in the picture... lol.

I love this place. I'm going to be bummed to miss all the antics when I move to the other building next month :-P

Who has a company Christmas party up a canyon on a snowy December night?

That would be my company.  The good thing was, Kylene, a friend from work, volunteered to drive, so I didn't have to face the snowy roads from behind the wheel.  Of course, once we got going, there was really very little snow to deal with.  On the roads, at least.  But saving myself gas from the trip to Midway and back (about 15 minutes from Park City) was a nice bonus :)

We went to the Zamatt resort in Midway - I'd love to go back up there some day when there's no snow, just to look around and take pictures.  Midway was originally a Swiss settlement, and it's very cool.  The resorts are gorgeous!  Here are a few not so great pictures that I got last night on the way in...



One of the developers I work with has a rock & roll cover band - they were playing in one of the rooms.  Kylene and I went and sat for a set - partly because it was just fun, and partly to be good team players :D  After that, we went in and grabbed dinner, chatted with people at our table that we didn't know (good networking. lol) and then I went in to watch the improv comedy troupe, Quick Wits.  They were hysterical - I wish I could have spent more time in there.  We waited through the 30 minute prize raffle (should VPs be ineligible to win major prizes? 4 of them won... the CEO did too, but he let them draw again on his name).  Then, since the snow wasn't getting any better and Kylene's broken foot was done for the night, we headed back home.

All in all, I'm glad I went.  If nothing else so that I can participate in the merciless mocking that will be perpetrated on Monday on our developer (manly man mountain biker) whose raffle prize was a spa package.  lol.

Candy season is now in full swing.

At least Halloween is over.  That's one down, right? 

So I've mentioned how crazy my office is about Halloween.  This year I gathered photographic proof.  We had a costume contest, an area decorating contest and trick-or-treating for all of the families of employees.  Needless to say, we got very little done.  However I did get SOME work done and managed to stay almost completely away from the candy.  I call that a good day. :D  So... here are a few pictures.

These first two are from the spook alley our developers built on my floor.  They won the prize for Most Likely to Cause Psychological Damage (aka the Scariest).  After passing through the hall of hanging psycho dolls, they had a hall with clips from Poltregeist on a big screen TV.  In the next room, another product manager, Janell, was sitting in the rocking chair crooning "Sally" over and over.  Totally creepy.  Matt grabbed my leg from under the bed in the last room but I found Danny hiding behind the door before he could jump out at me... lol.



Here are a few of the best and most creative costumes I've ever seen!  That's a real person inside the pig on a table.  Amazing.  They both won, of course.  Oh, and that's a real baby inside the lobster costume the chef is holding!


This one is Scott's desk, next to mine.  We brewed home made rootbeer in a witch's kettle.


There were lots of other amazing areas.  I walked around with another lady and went through lots of them and took pictures.  I put them all here.  Scroll to the bottom for the ones from yesterday. :)

Happy Halloween!

This should be an interesting day at work.  Halloween is pretty much our lowest productivity day of the year.  I've been listening to saws, power drills, the distinctive sound of someone undoing a roll of duct tape and the occassional Oingo Boingo on the radio for the last two days.  Our developers are building a spook alley a few rows down.  When asked in our daily stand-up meeting what projects they were working on, the answer was "spook alley."  When someone mentioned that they had a question, the answer was "about the spook alley?"  These guys are awesome.  There are orange lights and spider webs all over the lobbies and lots of people in costume.  I'm wearing the jambiya on a belt that Nicole brought me from Yemen along with a halo and angel wings.  I'm the angel of death. :D The kids come in to trick-or-treat later this afternoon, so we still have to finish hanging ghosts and cutting out skeletons for our little kid friendly setup.  My goal for today?  Keep my hands out of the candy bowl and do something work related.  lol.

So apparently, there's supposed to be an obligatory "it's my birthday" blog post and I slacked.  Yesterday was, in fact, my birthday.  Thank you so much to everyone who called, wrote, sang to me (I think I had a record breaking number of times I was sung to), took me to lunch and brought cake.  It made my day.  When I came into work yesterday the ladies in my row had decorated my cube - it was so sweet!  Then a group from our department took me to lunch.  I chose Shoots - a chinese restaurant just down the street.  So yummy.  Later in the afternoon, they broke out a cake!  I was totally surprised that they had done that for me.


So work was a fun day.  Then I got to go home and open presents!  Thank you to my family for everything that you sent.  I loved all of it!  The new running shoes are especially appreciated.  And I'm sure I'll appreciate them much more after they're broken in and the blisters turn to calluses.  lol.



LOL... now the developers are playing a demented version of "It's a Small World" in their spook alley.  Apparently it includes doll heads with glow in the dark eyes and parts of Poltrageist playing on TVs.  This is going to be a fun day :D.  I'm going to have that song stuck in my head ALL DAY!!!

In Honor of Black Wednesday...

Here's a fun little thing that they cooked up here at work... go online, put in your name, and find out the odds of marrying your significant (not significant? distant crush? imaginary?) other... or, if you have no name to put in, find out who the odds say you should marry.  Kind of fun... we've played for hours over here.

Vegas Wedding Odds

All I can say is, some guy named Everett had better watch out!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is apparently a big deal in my office.  Half of the people here are running around in costume (my devil horns are currently on my desk, but I did bring them).  There's a spook alley with lots of black plastic, a giant inflatable grim reaper (we're talking 8 feet tall) and a thunderstorm soundtrack playing 3 aisles over from me.  I hate to think about the amount of black plastic currently gracing the halls of our buildings here.  It's pretty sweet, actually.  There's a space decorating contest this afternoon.  After the pumpkin carving and costume contests, but before everyone brings in their children to trick-or-treat through the office.  We don't get much work done on Halloween.  Sweet.

So yesterday, I had the sweetest birthday surprise from Steph, Rae and Boo.Flowers.. a BEAUTIFUL flower arrangement with birthday balloons currently sitting on my desk and surrounding me with the scent of lilies.  I love lilies.   See, I usually like to fly under the radar with my birthday at the office.  But the front desk ended up calling my boss to let me know about the delivery, so he was upset that I hadn't mentioned it since he and Sara wanted to take me out to lunch and it was already like 3pm.  Then, carrying it through the halls and elevator to my desk was like an Olympic event.  This thing, including balloons, is about as tall as I am.  So now I have a giant "Happy Birthday" mylar balloon towering over my desk.  All of a sudden everyone comes by and asks, "is today your birthday?"  Sudden flashes of Bill Engvall.  Nope, it's not my birthday, just wanted to send myself some flowers and balloons to see how many people would ask.  Here's your sign.  Anyway, I love it!  Thank you girls!

Last night, as a little celebration, I went over to Mel and Vic's and Dustin joined us as well.  We made pizza, carved a pumpkin, and indulged in a little cake and a classic scary movie, "The Haunting."  The classic ones are usually pretty suspensful for me since they never actually show anything, but I have a very active imagination so I fill in the blanks quite nicely.  Anyway, Angelina and I had a great time carving the pumpkin while the guys were getting the movie.  We decided to personalize it a bit.Cleaning

Empty_2 Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Vic-o-Lantern!Vicolantern  The funny thing is, the more you look at it, the more it looks like Vic!  (Before he shaved his goatee again last weekend.  lol).

After the pumpkin, we had cake, and apparently a little test to see not only what kind of shape you can make with a box of candles (Vic... hey, there are only 24 candles in this box!  Me... well, that's because I'm only 24, silly!), but how many people it takes to light them all.

After examination, it was determined that the shape of the canLighting_candlesdles slightly resembled the Eiffel Tower if you looked at it a certain way, but really looks more like the radiation symbol.  lol.  In any case, I blew out all the candles, so lets see if that wish comes true :D

Thanks everyone for a wonderful birthday!  The rest of the pictures are here.