December Daily - Finished!

Whew! For a while there I wasn't sure I was going to finish this thing... I had about a week there where I just didn't want to pick it up again. But I just decided to not worry about it and finally I came back around.

So. Here are the pages for the 24th:

December Daily 2012 Day 24a
December Daily 2012 Day 24b
I saw a larger sized diecut like this online - it was by Ormolu, I think. I knew I had a globe shape in my Silhouette library, so with a little ingenuity, I knew I could make something similar. Of course, I had to increase the difficulty level by making it smaller, cutting it from POW glitter paper, and using a super thin font (Raleway.) But it worked!

December Daily 2012 Day 24d
I just used gel medium to adhere... I kind of like the semi-opaque look it gives the transparency, so I deliberatly covered the whole thing. I saved the Silhouette file so I can use it again.

And Christmas day... I went ahead and did 4 pages with 2 inserts.

December Daily 2012 Day 25a

December Daily 2012 Day 25b

I decided to just do 3 pages of photo collages... I got in 18 photos, and they kind of tell the story.

The first was Christmas morning at Nicole and Brian's seeing what Santa had brought.

December Daily 2012 Day 25c
The rest are at my parents' house.

December Daily 2012 Day 25d

December Daily 2012 Day 25e

December Daily 2012 Day 25f

December Daily 2012 Day 25g

December Daily 2012 Day 25h

At the back, I included an envelope with a few bits and pieces from the rest of my stay, but I decided to end on the 25th. At some point I may do a layout or two of some of the other things we did... we'll see.

December Daily 2012 Finished Album
As for the December Daily, I liked the 4x6 size, but I like doing a bigger album much better. I stick too many extra things into my album, so I like having a larger surface area and not having to try and get creative with my inserts. But I do think this one came out pretty cool... full of memories!

Yay! Now I can get back to finishing last year's Project Life and starting this year's. My Studio Calico project life kit (and my other SC kits) came today, and I'm excited to dig into them :)

December Daily Catch-up part 1 & some sewing!

Hello January! I can't believe how fast the time has flown. I've been back in town a week but there's just been too much going on and I haven't had a chance to sit down and catch up.

I did these pages last weekend after I got back from Virginia, but never posted them. Oops!

December 22-23...

December Daily 2012 Day 22a
December Daily 2012 Day 22b
I have to say, the trip home is so nice now! I can catch at 10am flight down to Dulles... which means I don't have to leave before 7am to get to Hartford, but I'm in DC in time to have lunch with my family and spend the rest of the day. It makes it so much easier! So I got my bags and met Mom, Dad, and Grandpa out at the pick-up door and we headed to Wegman's for lunch and to do our Christmas grocery shopping. Then mom and I just ran errands all day... and stopped for manicures :) It was great to be with them, but I hadn't slept a lot the previous week, especially the night before so I was so exhausted I begged out of going to a movie and went up to bed at 8:30. lol. But it was fun to be down and see everyone and get settled in a bit.

The 23rd...

December Daily 2012 Day 23a
This is actually the journaling for the 22nd - the next day is on the back. I also saved the program from church - there was a beautiful music program in Sacrament meeting - it was quite a treat... there are some really talented musicians in the ward.

December Daily 2012 Day 23b
After church, we got out Dad's new Cuisinart Griller and since they'd given me one for Christmas 2 years ago, I showed them how to use it and we made paninis for lunch. Then as we were cleaning up, I asked Mom if she thought anyone was going to come over that afternoon and, I kid you not, 10 seconds later the garage door opened and in walked Rick, Erin and the kids. They weren't planning to come until Monday, but got too excited and came up a day early. It was great to see them! We had to rush to wrap a few presents before they saw, but then we were able to play and chat for the rest of the evening. Then I packed up and headed over to stay at Nicole & Brian's until after Christmas.

So that's those two days... still working on catching up!

In the meantime, I pulled out my sewing machine. That's twice in 4 months! A record, I'm sure.

First, I got 3 handmade pillow cases I'd ordered from an Etsy Seller in New Delhi that I needed to make pillow forms for. I pulled out some fabric I already had and made those, but needed more polyfill stuffing. So New Year's Day, I went over to JoAnn to pick that up, and thought while I was there I'd look for material to make the curtain I'd been meaning to make for my back door (which is the main entrance to my house.) I had been planning to do something with sheers, but found this instead:

Curtain Supplies
It's kind of a taupe linen embroidered with turquoise flowers. It was so perfect... and the fabric was made so either side could face out - perfect for going in a window where people will see the back when they come to the door.

I thought about just doing it plain, but thought I'd take a quick trip through the trimming aisle to see if there was anything that would work, and I found this fun pom-pom trim that matched almost perfectly. It's a tad funky, but it works for me. And I found thread that was almost perfect as well - you can barely see it.

So I got home and finished my pillow forms, then set to work on curtains - measure and cut, then sew. And, I'm proud to say, that for the first time EVER, I filled and threaded the bobbin without getting out the machine instructions. It's a miracle!

And here's what I made:

New Back Door Curtain
I decided to gather them in the middle - I had some wire and glass beads that I'd bought a while ago planning to do this exact thing for my bedroom curtains in Utah. Since that didn't happen, I decided to use it for this and it worked great! I can still take it off to just let it hang.

New Back Door Curtain Close-up
Then I made the one for the window in my main staircase.

Stair Window Curtain
That one couldn't have come out more perfect so I'm really pleased. I smile when I see them both... it's just the little things :)

And a view of my couch with all my colorful new pillows on it - definitely no longer beige and boring!

Couch Cushions
The big one in the back is from Target (there are 2 - one on the other end). The long one with the blue Suzani pattern and the square sequined one are Pier 1. The other 3 are the ones I got from India. The red was just what it needed, and the other one ties in the green from my Target pillows. I have them more spread out now... I keep messing with it :) But all the color and pattern makes me really happy.

That's it for now! Off to make dinner and then hopefully get more caught up on my December Daily so I can start working on finishing last year's Project Life mini album and starting this year. Lots to do!

The Mayans were wrong.

I'm not exactly surprised, but it did make a great title for today's December Daily spread!

December Daily 2012 Day 21a
Just vinyl Thickers adhered to chipboard, then some Doodlebug letter stickers. I painted over all of it in gold and sprinkled on some gold glitter while the paint was still wet. (I had originally planned to do this page for the 12th, then decided to do the 21st instead and add the thing about the Mayans so I had to switch things. You can kind of see where I fudged it, but it doesn't bother me :)

December Daily 2012 Day 21b
And a little journaling card insert followed by a few pictures from the day.

December Daily 2012 Day 21c

December Daily 2012 Day 21d
After work, Cassi, Steve, and I headed to New Haven to have dinner at Prime 16. I've wanted to go try it for a while, and it didn't disappoint! We had an order of fried pickles with chipotle dipping sauce that we shared, then I got the Half Bacon Burger on a pretzel roll... the beef was stuffed with applewood smoked bacon, then topped with more bacon along with cheddar, pickles, and tomatoes, with a garlic aioli on the side and the roll was amazing. It came with truffle parmesan fries. Holy moly. It was like one of the best, if not THE best burger I've ever had. I couldn't talk for the first few bites. I just had to savor. And if that wasn't enough, Cassi was in the mood for cheesecake after we saw it on the menu, and I saw they had bread pudding which I love (peanut butter and jelly this week!) so we got those and all of us had a few bites of each, then boxed up the leftovers. (And now two burgers in two days... I've met my burger quota for the next little while for sure!)

It was a great night... we had a lot of fun, really enjoyed the food, and we were glad to have a little holiday get together before we went our separate ways until after the New Year.

So with that, I'm just doing some last minute stuff to be ready to go spend time with my family. I'm going to put my December Daily and blogging and everything on hold for the next week or so while we celebrate. I can't wait to see everyone!

Merry Christmas!

4 months

Yesterday was the 4 month anniversary on the job. Normally I don't keep track like this, but I'm kind of anxious to hit 5 months and surpass the time on my last job. lol.

Busy day... celebrating, lots of projects, working hard to get some stuff out the door before the break... by the end of the day I was just exhausted. I'm super ready to have a little time off to relax. And fortunately, that time isn't far off!

I included a few pictures from the day - all food - not really a surprise. It was Jenn's birthday so we went to lunch and had cupcakes, and Christine brought in little Christmas gifts for everyone (she's so thoughtful!)

December Daily 2012 Day 20a

December Daily 2012 Day 20b
I included the cute card from Christine's gift basket...

December Daily 2012 Day 20c
And a little Doodlebug envelope that I decorated to hold some typed journaling for the day.

December Daily 2012 Day 20d
And in the back you can see the gold insert I originally did for the 11th. I decided to move it since I wanted to use the back of it for the 21st.

The book is getting full! Good thing it's almost Christmas :)

December Daily 2012 Day 20 - getting full

Check one more off my Christmas list

The number one thing I wanted to do this season was to go over to the town green to see the lights and the tree they planted there. I happened to see the truck with the tree strapped to it driving into the center of town last month and I was so excited! They had a tree lighting ceremony and a parade that went right past my house while I was home for Thanksgiving. Since I missed that, I didn't want to miss going to walk around the center of town and take pictures of the lights.

Fortunately, thanks to my handy dandy nerd list, I remembered to do it! (I'm not kidding. I almost forgot... that's why I need that list!)

Last night after work I went home and dropped of my laptop, changed my shoes, grabbed my camera, and walked two blocks to the town center. (I'm not kidding... it's literally two blocks!) It's just so picturesque that I can't quite get over it!

All the street lights are decorated...

And then the town green with the huge tree (and menorah) with the churches and town hall lined up along the back.

Branford Town Green Christmas Tree 2012(The big glowing blob is the menorah.)

It was quiet, still... so peaceful and beautiful. And I managed to kind of get the bokeh effects I was going for! And a sliver of the moon, hanging just over top of the tree.

Branford Christmas Tree and Moon
Looks like my lens has a slightly funny shape - I almost get hearts instead of circles when I do the bokeh. I think it's pretty cool looking.

Then as I headed back toward my house, the bells of the church rang out the hour behind me... I just love that. Because I'm so close, when it's quiet I can hear them inside the house and I stop to listen every time. I've always loved bells and I'm so thrilled to live where I can hear them regularly.

About a block from my house is a great little cafe that we go to for lunch sometimes... I've never been outside of work, but since I don't want to cook or buy groceries before taking off for the holidays, I stopped to get something off their very excellent salad bar (and maybe a slice of peanut butter pie. Don't judge. It was delicious.) Then walked the last block back home. As I walked I just thought how totally cool it is to be in this location... it's perfect for me. It's not so big and busy that it makes my introverted self want to head for the hills, but I can just walk into town to go to the store or grab food or go to the library... hang out and read a book in the town green... whatever. I'm not quite over the novelty of it yet.

When I got home, I had left on the lights of my tree so I could see them as I came up the steps to go inside. It just made me happy. So I cuddled up on the couch with my dinner and a movie and enjoyed the rest of a lovely evening. And it wasn't even a Hallmark Christmas movie! (it was a Lifetime Christmas movie. lol.)

So anyway... that's the story and photos from last night's December Daily entry.

December Daily 2012 Day 19a
The way the lights are in my house, I have a terrible time avoiding the glare... especially on the right side where I used a transparency to back the frame insert - the photo isn't attached - it's in a sleeve behind the frame page.

December Daily 2012 Day 19b
December Daily 2012 Day 19c
I made the frame just using the rectangle and offset tools in the Silhouette software and then I typed the words (Pacifico font) and welded them to the frame and cut it out of American Crafts POW paper. I love that stuff!

Now I just need to do about a week's worth of work in two days and get everything ready for me to go home for the holidays. Plenty to keep me busy, that's for sure!

December Daily Day 18

I'm going to admit something kind of nerdy.

I have a list.

It's a list of things that I want to do this holiday season and I check them off... the list in and of itself isn't too nerdy - lots of people have them. It's that without the list, I would just sit in front of the tv watching Hallmark movies every night if I didn't have it.

So one thing on my list was to make an attempt at doing some bokeh effects with my camera and the tree lights.


I thought about cutting out a shape and attaching it to my lens filter to get heart shaped bokeh, but given my success rate with Christmas experimentation so far this year, I decided to cut my losses with this semi-successful photo. Even without the full bokeh effect it still looks pretty good.

So, that's my photo for yesterday's entry.

December Daily 2012 Day 18a
I love those gold doilies.

December Daily 2012 Day 18b

And then lots more journaling about... you guessed it! Work!

December Daily 2012 Day 18c
And then I got a few Christmas cards yesterday. The one from Brent and his family was awesome, but wouldn't fit in my book, so rather than ruin it with creative folding / hole punching, I decided to leave it out for now. I might tuck it in the back later.

But... the Christmas card from the Marriott School came too and it fits - Chad sent me one, along with a nice little note. I was excited... they don't send them to just anyone (unless you have connections!) and they're quite coveted as they're known among the other business schools for being extremely creative. They have to one-up themselves every year. This year was awesome, as always!

December Daily 2012 Day 18d

That's it for now... another crazy-busy day at work ahead... (naturally!)

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire?

Eh. Not so much. But it wasn't my fault!

So here's the deal. I've always wanted to try roasted chestnuts. We sing about them every year... and last year when I was in Istanbul they sold them in carts everywhere in Taksim Square and I swore I was going to stop and get some. And I didn't. So then, I decided that since I hadn't gotten them, I'd get some and make them for Christmas last December. And I didn't.

But they're nuts. They keep, right? So I put them in the fridge (I figured that, like most nuts, if you put them in the fridge they don't go rancid. Shelled nuts, at least.)

They stayed there until August when I hauled them across the country and put them in the fridge here.

Last night I pulled them out... I'd picked up instructions on roasting chestnuts at Wegmans last month. I patiently cut X's into the flat side of every one. I laid them in a single layer on the sheet. I put them in the oven at the right temp and set the timer.

They smelled amazing.

I was so excited! I took them out, they looked like they were supposed to. Curled open at the X, piping hot and smelling wonderful.

I let them cool enough to peel, opened one and took out the kernal and tried to take a bite.

Rock. hard.

I tried another one. And another. And another. I think I tried to peel five before I admitted defeat.

Note to self: fresh chestnuts seem to be required. doh. (maybe that's why I had to literally saw the Xs into the nuts? It did seem like it should be easier.)

But I tried!

Roasted Chestnut Fail
Next year. Sigh.

On to my documentation of the day...

December Daily 2012 Days 16-17
I used one of the cut files by Marcy Penner from the Studio Calico 25 Days class to make a little envelope - you can't see well, but it has a little "open" arrow / word cut into the front, and I lined the inside with some heavy vellum screenprinted with gold stars (Kelly Purkey). This holds the shipping receipt for the box I sent to Melody and also the list of presents for everyone on my list... the back has a receipt from Two Peas with a fun little message.

December Daily 2012 Day 17
And then, a photo of my failed chesnut roasting experience.

December Daily 2012 Day 17a

December Daily 2012 Day 17b
Live and learn, right?

At least it makes a good story!

December Daily Day 16

Quick update... yesterday was pretty quiet. I had pictures of the little treat bags I made up with the Candy Corn Chex Mix, along with a photo of me wrapping presents on the floor of my craft room.

December Daily 2012 Day 16I figured the pictures were pretty self explanatory and it would be a nice change to NOT have a ton of journaling... so I just used that cute Kelly Purkey stamp with the 4 food groups from Elf - candy canes checked for the Chex mix, of course!

That's it! Now it's time to go get ready for what I'm sure is going to be a crazy busy week trying to get stuff done before the holiday. But busy makes the time pass more quickly, right?

My new aqua lamp and tasty Christmas treats

Another quick drop-in post. I'm exhausted and fighting a cold (most of being up so late last night was me sick), so I'm going to try and make it a take-it-easy and go-to-bed-early kind of night.

My recap of yesterday... mostly around my expensive impulse trip to Pier 1 (across the street from the grocery store - this could be dangerous) and the totally fabulous lamp I got. Among other things.

December Daily 2012 Day 15a
You know all those Pier 1 commercials about "find what speaks to you?" They're pretty hysterical... good marketing. And apparently also totally true! A lot of stuff spoke to me yesterday, but this lamp kind of jumped up and down and screamed too.

December Daily 2012 Day 15b
It wasn't cheap... I called my mom and I was like, I have a dilemma. I've been looking for a good floor lamp for a while and I found the perfect one, but it's expensive. And when I told her how much it was, she just said, "that's not that bad." She totally enabled me (maybe that's why I called her? lol.) So I bought it. And I LOVE it. The outside of the lampshade is cream, but the inside is aqua to match the glass on the stand. And when you turn it on, it glows blue. Even the light right around the lamp is aqua. It's awesome.

December Daily 2012 Day 15c
When I was looking for an insert to write my journaling on, I pulled out this letterpress card from the Kelly Purkey December Daily kit. "Bright" because it was about a lamp. Get it? lol. I couldn't resist.

December Daily 2012 Day 15dAnd I included a few more pictures - some pillows I got (the one in the back with the green circles came last week from, a few ornaments - new and some old ones I just love, and then the Candy Cane Chex Mix I made to take to my Laurels at church today.

December Daily 2012 Day 15e
So that's my entry.

And here's a close-up of the Lamp of Aqua Awesomeness:

And the chex mix:

The recipe is on my Pinterest board for stuff I've made... I added pretzels too. It's delicious and seriously addictive.

In fact, I think I'll go have some while I bask in the aqua glow of my lovely lamp.

December Daily Day 14

Super quick update since it's way too late for me to still be up... lol.

December Daily 2012 Days 13-14
Yesterday's entry is one that I've wanted / planned to do at some point during the month. It worked out great for this day since there wasn't anything else that I wanted to put in the book.

December Daily 2012 Day 14a
This year the Christmas season has been really different for me than usual. I wanted to get down some thoughts about that - how things are different, how I'm feeling about it, all that stuff. Definitely an important part of this year for me.

December Daily 2012 Day 14b
I got a set of stamps in the mail on Friday and inside the envelope they were packaged in this great little bag. So since it was just sitting on my desk, I grabbed it to use to hold the journaling. Worked perfectly!

That's it... off to bed at last!

December Daily Day 13

Yesterday evening I took a much needed break to just relax, turn off the phone and email, and enjoy a little time doing holiday things. I really haven't done a lot of that so far this year and I've missed it. So I pulled out my favorite holiday movie - Miracle on 34th Street, and just settled in with my favorite blanket and my Christmas tree lights. It was exactly what I needed!

December Daily 2012 Day 13Just a simple page to go along with trying to cut back on the crazy yesterday. And a photo from lunch at La Cuisine with Steve, Cassi, and Jenn (that was a yummy brisket sandwich! It had blue cheese, caramlized onions and a horseradish cream sauce - I ate part for lunch and part for dinner. Not to mention they had the most sinfully delicious peanut butter sandwich cookies!) And that's all! No inserts, no long journaling... I guess the journal needed a bit of a break too :)


I wish I could say I did something special at 12:12pm... I kind of missed it with all the stuff going on at work and getting my lunch. But honestly, I've never been someone who remembered that kind of thing. It's definitely cool, though... so I made a little cutout for last night's entry.

December Daily 2012 Day 12a
I included a little envelope with some super cute packaging from some Kelly Purkey stamps that came in the mail yesterday (I love happy mail!) I also did my journaling on a tag and tucked it away in there.

December Daily 2012 Day 12b

And a few pictures from the day, including one from making cookies with the girls at Young Women's.

December Daily 2012 Day 12c
That's all for today! Hopefully the busy / crazy at work will start to settle down as we head into the weekend. I really need a good rest!

Let your heart be light!

That was kind of the theme of my journal entry for yesterday... partly as a reminder and partly because I was feeling pretty good about things. It was another entry all about work... that seems to be happening quite a bit! It's amazing how different this December is as I look back at last year's album. This year is definitely more Project Life than seasonal activities and extremely work focused so far...

Anyway... here are the pages for the 11th:

December Daily 2012 Day 11a
I ended up going out for a working lunch with a co-worker today at a Japanese restaurant near the office - I included a take-out menu and the wrapper from my chopsticks (it had a cool design... lol.)

December Daily 2012 Day 11b
I made the envelope out of patterned vellum with my Cameo, reinforced the edge with washi and added the stamped "lunch" and those fun puffy star stickers.

December Daily 2012 Day 11c
A picture of my lunch on the backside (beef yaki soba), and then I added that card to hold my journaling. Since it's work again, I wanted to keep it hidden and I also had a lot to write so this gave me more space. I used a Papertrey Ink stamp behind the sentiment and added Liquid Pearls and rhinestones.

December Daily 2012 Day 11d
I also took one of the chipboard pages and used some gesso, paint and modeling paste with a Studio Calico star template and added some snowflakes. It's just decorative - and for me to have a little fun playing :)

That's it! I already know what's going to go on the back of that chipboard for 12-12-12 :)

Day 10 already!

I can't believe how fast this month is flying by. It seems like it just started yesterday! Speaking of yesterday, that's another day that was crazy busy and went so fast I almost missed it. lol. Work has been picking up again lately, which is good. I've got a ton on my plate right now - the way I like it :) So there wasn't a whole lot going on yesterday, but I had a fun Christmas card from my grandma when I got home last night, so I had to include that... along with a picture of the delicious treats Kami dropped off (so sweet!)

December Daily 2012 Day 10a
I used one of the transparent pages and another Silhouette diecut from the Studio Calico 25 Days class cut out of American Crafts POW paper (so awesome. I need more of that stuff!)

The back side...

December Daily 2012 Day 10b
And it was hard to figure out a good way to do this, but I managed to get my grandma's Christmas card in here.

December Daily 2012 Day 10
That's all she wrote! Now I've got to finish getting ready and get into the office for my first meeting. Later!

December Daily Day 9

Just playing a little catch-up - I was too tired last night to work on my entry after I got home from Young Women in Excellence - all I wanted to do was lay on the couch in front of my tree and watch my Food Network shows... lol. So that's what I did. It was lovely.

But tonight, I got caught up - here's yesterday's entry.

December Daily 2012 Days 8-9
I included a copy of the music for the song the YW leaders sang last night... I haven't sung or even heard it for years! But it was fun.

December Daily 2012 Day 9
And a few pictures from the day. I couldn't get a picture of this without the glare to save my life, and naturally I had attached the embellishments to the outside of the page protector. Oh well...

December Daily 2012 Day 9bA necklace I worked on with the beads I bought in NYC last weekend... the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I made to take last night... A cute text message and a picture of Next Iron Chef in front of the Christmas tree.

December Daily 2012 Days 9-10
And finally, I added a journaling card to the right (and you can see the part I've finished for today sticking out... but that's for tomorrow's post!)

And that's it! I've got an early meeting tomorrow morning and I should have been in bed already so I'm off!

Braving the crowds

Yesterday I needed to run some errands down in the Milford area... I knew it was a Saturday in December in a major shopping area, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and deal with the crazy, you know? And it was crazy! There was an accident on 95 on my way there, and then when I got off, the traffic on the Post Road was horrible. I went to Costco first (always a scary prospect!) and actually had no trouble finding parking. I got through pretty fast, the checkout was good, but it was the line of cars trying to get back onto the road through a short light with heavy traffic that sucked. But it was okay. From there, I hit The Loft (coupons! and a sale!) and then went to Trader Joe's on my way back out. I don't think I've ever been in one, but I was tired of missing out on the Candy Cane Jo Jos every year! I definitely picked up plenty of treats to try over the next few weeks. Yummy!

So, today's December Daily entry was about getting out and shopping, and the well earned relaxation when I got home later in the evening.

December Daily 2012 Day 8

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the red leaves and then used some Liquid Pearls to add a little more color and dimension. I really like how that came out.

December Daily 2012 Day 8L
I think these were my two favorite finds of the day:

Trader Joes JoJo Assortment
(These suckers are delicous and definitely decadent!)

Trader Joes Greek Yogurt Dip
And this dip... oh yeah. Next time I go I'm picking up several. It's a Greek yogurt dip made with feta and za-atar spice (which is thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds - I have a bottle so I can add more!) and I had it with some fresh bread from Costco. So good! One of my new favorite things.

So that's it for now. I've got to finish preparing my Young Women's lesson for today... about the value of getting an education. Should be a good one!

Gotta love Studio Calico day...

I look forward to getting my Studio Calico goodies every month. And this week was a long one, so when I got home to find my SC box sitting on the porch (along with a little box of Black Friday goodies from 2 Peas in a Bucket), I was excited. Opening all the little bags was almost like Christmas came a few weeks early!

December Studio Calico Goodies
The stamps on top are KI Memories - they were store extras this month and the designs are so cool! I think they're going to be awesome in Project Life, which is why I grabbed them.

And then today's December Daily / Project Life entry - including my SC goodies, of course!

December Daily 2012 Day 7R
A picture of my tree before I left for work - it just made me happy. And then most of the journaling was about work again - it's been pretty busy the last few days...

December Daily 2012 Day 7L

And the side-by-side view...

December Daily 2012 Day 7
So that's yesterday. I was so tired last night that I just crashed in front of the tree, way too comfortable on my awesome new couch. Speaking of... did I ever post that here? I don't think I did! I put it on Instagram and a few peeks have shown up in pictures of the decorations, but that's it.

I finally ordered myself a new couch. I've had an old one that my parents gave me like 8 years ago that was old and falling apart when I got it! I never really felt the need to replace it until I moved here. I found the perfect one... and it fits in the living room like it was made to go there (although getting it back out someday will be interesting... they had to bring it in through the window because it didn't fit through the door. I'd say I could take it out the same way, but the windows are getting replaced in the spring! I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, huh?)

So here's the couch:

I've got some colorful pillows on order to jazz up all that beige. Hopefully it will look as good as it does in my head!

And finally, I realized I have very few pictures of me lately, so I took a little selfie in front of my tree last night :)

December 7 Self Portrait
That's it! Now I'm off to brave the stores in Milford... I have some errands to run and just two little things to pick up in order to finish my Christmas shopping completely. Wish me luck!

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 :)

Early Resolutions

Within the last week or so, I've been thinking a lot about some things I want to do in my career - I have the perfect opportunity in my current job to do them, so I wanted to make some changes to take advantage of that. In the same vein, I found a few books that seemed like they would be inspiring so I ordered them - they came the other day. The first one, "Poke the Box" by Seth Godin, I read during my lunch today. Short, a very quick read, and pretty awesome. It's all about starting something - not being afraid to fail... innovating. All good stuff.

I realize that it isn't super Christmassy - especially with the orange book cover. But I wanted to include it in my album, so I worked it in :)

December Daily 2012 Day 5
I grabbed the orange vellum envelope from my bowl of goodies from recent Studio Calico kits. The "5" I cut on my Cameo - I pulled up a circle frame and then typed the 5 and welded them and cut. The journaling is a little personal, and a bit longer than would fit in that spot... hence the envelope. I think it still fits in nicely even though it's not super seasonal.

December Daily 2012 Days 4-5
I tried to carry over a few elements from the previous page so they'd work together. I like it :)

Hopefully tonight I'll have time to work on my entry... I have a working dinner that will go a little late but it should be a great meeting / opportunity (and hopefully good food!) I'm kind of looking forward to it!

National Cookie Day!

How did I not know this existed before this year? It was yesterday, and I first heard about it on the radio (I think) when I was getting up yesterday morning. Of course, I knew it had to be celebrated (duh! Cookies!) and I was pretty excited when Ryan brought me a delicious cookie when he came back from lunch at La Cuisine.

As delightful as that was, I felt that in order to truly pay homage to the day, I needed to actually bake some cookies. So I looked for a recipe and decided to try a red velvet cookie recipe I had pinned a little while ago. I modified it a bit since I didn't have any regular chocolate chips - I went with Andes peppermint pieces to make them a little more yummy / seasonal.

They were delicious.

And that's the subject of yesterday's December Daily entry.

December Daily 2012 Day 4

(I knew those food / eating themed stamps from Kelly Purkey were going to come in handy. Love them!)

And now I need to ignore the siren call of the rest of those suckers and take them to work so I don't cave and scarf the lot. Mmm. (Good thing it's a cookie day and not a whole week or month!)

Decorations are... finally... up!

This year I had a really hard time getting decorations out. I'm usually super gung-ho and they're done before Thanksgiving weekend is over. Of course, this year I was in Virginia so that wasn't going to happen, but even once I got home, I just couldn't get into the mood to do it. But I finally started doing just bits and pieces to get everything pulled out and started. I finished the tree at the end of last week, and last night I did the rest of it. I'm so glad I decided to push myself to get it done... I love having it all out!

So today's December Daily (12/3) entry is all about getting the decorations finished. I wrote quite a bit more about having such a hard time doing it this year since that's so unusual for me.

December Daily 2012 Days 2-3
I added a little Doodlebug folder card to the back of the day 2 journaling so I could get all the writing down... I liked using a folder since I could sort of hide the journaling and keep to one pocket for the day's entry.

December Daily 2012 Day 3a
I added the little arrow brad to kind of point down inside the folder to show that's where the journaling was for that day. And I love those blue letter stickers from the SC kit.

December Daily 2012 Day 3bA little peek at the journaling - it's on both sides of the inside of the folder.

December Daily 2012 Day 3c
I added a fun card from my Kelly Purkey December Daily kit on the back of the folder, along with a stamp from the SC kit, some veneers, glitter tape and a vellum diecut arrow (pointing at the photos of the halls which were decked.)

December Daily 2012 Day 3d(The veneer trees are actually covering a little lazy stamping booboo ;)

December Daily 2012 Day 3e
And just a few pictures from around the house. The "Good Cheer" circle is a printable from the SC class.

So that's the entry... and here are bigger photos of the house.

The staircase... I left off all the icicle lights. I don't really have a lot of outlets, and there's no place near here to plug anything in. So I just wrapped the banisters and added my cute little Christmas bears. Someday I'll be too old for those. And I'm okay with no lights... saves on the power bill, and in this old house it seems like it fits to keep things a little plainer.

A look at part of the sitting room / parlor (technically it's a formal dining room, but since I don't use it for that, I'm opting for a more pretentious name). Again, pulled the lights out of the garland and just added my scholar santa and my creche.


Looking into the living room from the sitting room... you can see my wreath on the back door (which is my main door - I never use the front door.)

My little homemade advent and my nutcrackers in the kitchen. I have peppermint patties in the pockets :)

Looking back into the living room with the garland (the only one I kept lit) and stocking hung under the TV.

Over the dining room table... I put the big fairy in the tree this year. I also found some little tiny Command Hooks so I could hang these without putting holes in the ceiling (no-no in my lease!)

Last but not least, table centerpiece. I left off some of what I usually do, but added a few of the birds that usually go on my mini trees. Normally I do 4 small trees, but this year I didn't do any of them. There wasn't really a good place for them so I just skipped it. We'll see if I add them back next year.

So there you go! So far 3 days in a row, and finished (if scaled down) Christmas decorations.

P.S. - fun little surprise today! I was reading my day 3 prompt for Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class, and one of my layouts from last year is featured as a sample in the handout! That was pretty cool :)

December Daily - Day 2

Just popping in on my lunch to post the pages from yesterday... I managed to get them done last night. Probably the only time all month I'll be ahead of the game!

December Daily 2012 Day 2
I included a paper we filled out in our group Young Women's lesson at church yesterday... about the gifts we've received and gifts we want to give. For me, it was a reflection on all the things I'm grateful for, so that's what I focused on.

December Daily 2012 Day 2a
December Daily 2012 Day 2b
I backed the paper with a scrap of Crate Paper from my scrap bin, then added Thickers a veneer and journaling card from my kits (the journaling card is from Kelly Purkey) and then a few bits of stuff from my stash that I added to my December Daily supplies. 

Tonight's goal: grocery shopping, and finish getting the Christmas decorations out!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Sorry I've been a little MIA lately... I got called on it tonight by my dad. Oops! But things have been a little busy, as usual! I'll come back at some point and post a few photos from Thanksgiving with my family down in Virginia, but in the meantime, it's time to start posting about my favorite time of the year. The Christmas season!

This year again, I'm doing a December Daily. For a while I wasn't sure if I would, even though I'd ordered some kit stuff and signed up for the class at Studio Calico. But the mojo I started to get back working on my Project Life mini album is holding, so here I am!

Starting out, here's my cover. I went a little crazy, and it's a contrast with the inside, which will be much simpler. But I love it, and the mix of styles is totally *me.*

December Daily 2012 Cover
I was really inspired by the style of art journaling by Finnabair and used some of that as I made the cover. And some of it is just typical of me. I used the 4x6 album from the Studio Calico kit, gessoed the cover, and then went to town with a stencil (Crafter's Workshop) and some modeling paste to get the stars. Then I used several layers of mist, copper paint, mod podge, more paint, and liquid pearls. I also plastered some doilies in there and built up a few layers.

December Daily 2012 Cover Close-ups
And some Prima jewels, nestled in amongst the liquid pearls. This project reminded me yet again how much I love doing this type of thing!

Then, the title page. I kept it very plain and simple, using one of the Silhouette cut files (by Ali Edwards) from the Studio Calico 25 Days class.

December Daily 2012 Title Page

And then my entry for yesterday, 12/1:

December Daily 2012 Day 1
(I love the smaller size of the album, but it's a little hard to photograph!)

Yesterday I took an early train down to NYC and met Angela at Grand Central for our Day of Fun! We walked and talked and laughed and caught up. We went first to Bryant Park where we wandered through the stalls set up for the season, then watched the skaters and admired the gorgeous tree while we waited in line for macarons. I got pistachio and Angela got red velvet - we each sampled each others'. They were delicious! Then we walked to the Fashion District to go bead shopping. I've never seen so many bead shops, let alone 3 in a row!

December Daily 2012 Day 1a

I got the stuff to make a few necklaces, which means for the first time in well over a year, I should be posting some new jewelry!

After that, we took the Subway to her house in Queens, picked up the car and then her friend Christy, and headed to Brooklyn for some shopping. We went into some really cute boutiques, and also the Brooklyn Art Library, home of the Sketchbook Project! I signed up for this year months ago and with all the crazy I haven't started. But going in and seeing it made me excited to try getting mine done and submitted by the deadline.

December Daily 2012 Day 1b
Then we went to the real purpose of the trip - the Etsy Holiday Cavalcade. They had a bunch of Etsy sellers and some artisinal food people, and we had a great time wandering and seeing all their fun crafts. We did some Christmas shopping (and some ME shopping - a GORGEOUS necklace from AdornmentsNYC) and sampled a bit of food. There was an artisinal chocolatier who had Moroccan spiced chocolate - dark chocolate with cumin and coriander. It was weird as a dessert, but would make a fabulous sauce!

I collected cards and other fun things throughout the day and put them all in one of the glassine envelopes my kit supplies came in. Just some cardstock and washi to turn it into a page in the book, and held closed with a fun sticker I got from the Etsy table.

December Daily 2012 Day 1c
Stamping and journaling on the back of the bag...

December Daily 2012 Day 1d
I found those awesome puffy star stickers in a little boutique we stopped in. I knew they'd be perfect for this album.

December Daily 2012 Day 1e

On the way out of the craft fair, we stopped into Mast Brothers Chocolate, since it was right next to Angela's car. We walked in the door and about fell over from the awesomeness of the smell in there. They make all their chocolate on site - you can sit and watch them do it, along with the people hand wrapping each bar. I think that was possibly the best thing I've ever smelled in my life. It was divine. We wandered, and then of course got in line at their little counter of goodies for some cookies and bonbons made with their dark chocolate. (I'm not normally a dark chocolate person, but yum.)

Then we dropped off Christy and went back to Angela's house in Queens. Since we'd barely eaten all day (I didn't eat at the chocolate place), we went to a New Orleans style restaurant called Sugar Freak, where we had hushpuppies and I tried my first ever chicken and waffles. It had a bananas foster sauce and was really delicious.

Then that was it... I took the subway back to Grand Central, got some really delicious hot chocolate from Ciao Bella, and then took the train back to New Haven. Quick trip in and out, but so much fun! I can't wait to go back again to do more exploring.

Here are the pictures from yesterday's entry:

Blog - Day in New York
And now that I'm doing my December Daily, I should be popping in to update much more often! That's the plan, anyway!

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!

December Daily: Days 24-25

Now that I've got my scrap attic back, I wasted no time getting back to work. I absolutely love working in here now! I was able to pull together the next two days in my December Daily pretty quickly (with lots of breaks for blog reading, Pinterest, and the NHL All Star weekend, of course) and I had a lot of fun doing things I probably wouldn't have in the old room, and doing little happy dances over how easy it was to get to everything.

So, here's Christmas Eve:

December Daily Day 24

And Christmas day:

December Daily Day 25

And since I haven't posted any Christmas pictures since I got home, here are the ones I used in these spreads (click on any of the thumbnails to see it big at the bottom) 

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And now, time for a little dinner and my Sunday night Food Network shows!

Catching Up... December Daily Day 23

I managed to get one step closer to being caught up... I didn't have a lot of time tonight, but I did get one more day done in my December Daily. I added a few pictures from my camera, a few instax shots, Rick and Erin's Christmas card and bits and pieces that I saved from receipts and stuff from shopping.

December Daily Day 23

This book is getting too thick for the rings! Good thing I'm almost done :)

December Daily: Day 18

*Note - I have no idea why Typepad published this at the top... I was just putting in the non-blurred photos. Usually it just updates. Weird. Maybe because I'm a beta tester? Anyway... just ignore and scroll down for the *real* new post.


Today, as I wrote in my entry below, was the day I had circled on my mental calendar as the day I needed to get through before the stress would go away. Most everything on my list is now checked off (or it will be, once I go down and move the whites to the dryer... lol) and I just need to get through a few days of work, pack my suitcase, and make it out of bed for a 5am shuttle. I can't wait!

Since Shimelle's prompt for today was about Christmas dinner and we haven't 100% decided what it's going to be this year (we've started doing a different type of international cuisine each year. We've done French and Italian... this year we might do Irish - a tip of the hat to my upcoming trip to Ireland.) So I once again just included details of the day. The biggest one? I sang in church today. My voice teacher would be so proud... when we finished my lessons in August I promised I'd do it, and I did! I sang a duet with a lady in my ward - we did an arrangement of What Child is This? that was really quite beautiful. The arrangement, that is... I think I did okay. I sang the right words and hit the right notes, and for me, that was big. lol.

 December Daily Day 18 a

 I included my music and the program that listed our musical number.

 December Daily Day 18 b

I had an "if I get around to it" thing to make which I got around to making this weekend, so it will be showing up under the tree. I made calendars with pictures of the kids for everyone - the parents get calendars of their own kids, and the grandparents get calendars with both. They turned out really cute. I used a digital template from Paislee Press for the pages and covers, printed them in 5x7 at Costco and bound them with my bind-it-all. I also made a little cardstock stand so they can be put on desks.


 I made this journaling page a 6x8 so I could attach it to the sheet music and see the music behind it. I like the effect. Because of that, the page itself is pretty simple.

December Daily Day 18 journaling

And a little pocket page where I put a printed copy of an email I got today from a guy I met in Peru. Not really Christmas related, but a pleasant surprise and a fun email that I want to remember.

December Daily Day 18 c

k. Time to take care of that laundry and get to bed before midnight for once!

Catching Up... December Daily Days 21-22

I can't believe the new year is already a week old! It's a good thing keeping up with blogging wasn't a resolution. lol. But I'm back in Utah, unpacked and back in the swing of daily life and trying to catch up with a few things.

Before I left Virginia, Erin mentioned that she was looking forward to seeing the rest of my December Daily... sometime by the end of February. I think that was a challenge. So, tonight I caught up on days 21-22.

Day 21 - getting packed up and ready to head home for Christmas.

December Daily Day 21

I even managed to take a picture while I was packing!

Day 22: My flight back home and then a few photos from meeting the family at Bertucci's for dinner that night.

December Daily Day 22

The Bertucci's pictures are in a little American Crafts 4x6 page protector that's stapled to the larger one.

Blog - Bertucci's 12-22-11

Bertucci's has such delicious rolls... hot from the oven. Yum. Eraleigh was cute - she was a little shy seeing me again at first, but that ended quickly. She was absolutely in love with her Frosty t-shirt - I saw that quite a few times while I was home!

More on the Christmas holidays coming soon...

In the meantime, I'm back into my healthy eating and exercising. Isn't that what everyone does at the beginning of a new year? I had forgotten how much I love bringing home bags of fresh produce and how delicious a strawberry can be when you're really hungry. Since I'm back home and am going to be here for quite a while, it was time to stock up the fridge again and I've been snacking on berries and roasting veggies like a mad woman. So good.

Today, I did a little cooking after braving the snow to go to the grocery store (admittedly, the snow wasn't that bad. It's the kind I actually like - big, fluffy flakes that coat the trees and houses but not the roads!) I made a risotto-style dish that's half arborio rice and half bulgur wheat. It ends up being a little healthier and more filling that way. Then I packed it with fresh winter veggies, some spices and some fresh handmade chicken sausage from the butcher.

Blog - Kale, Squash and Chicken Sausage Risotto

I made it just like regular risotto - onions and garlic sauteed in 2 tbsp olive oil and then added the grains (1/2 cup each). I had cut and sauteed a big bunch of kale and about 1cup brussels sprouts beforehand (using 0 cal olive oil spray) as well as cooking up the chicken sausage (about 3/4 pound). After I added 1/2 C alchohol-free white wine (fewer calories) and starting to add the warm chicken broth (1 box), I threw in about 1 1/2 C of butternut squash, a few bay leaves and some ground thyme (seasoning with kosher salt and fresh pepper all the way through). Toward the end of the cooking I put in the greens and about 2oz of grated parmesan (the cabbage flavor takes over if you put it in too early). Before serving, I drizzled just a touch of agave nectar and sprinkled a bit more parmesan. The recipe serves 6 and it's only 8 points-plus on Weight Watchers... pretty good for a risotto! I meant to add tomatoes too since they go so well with kale... I'll probably slice up some camparis when I do the leftovers.

And, while I was at the store, they had gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and also some fresh, homemade mozarella (made earlier today) so I decided to get them along with fresh basil to make some caprese.

Blog - Heirloom Tomato Caprese

I just think heirlooms are so beautiful - I'd love to grow tons of them. Maybe if I ever have a garden.

Well, we have 9am church tomorrow and I'm teaching Sunday School, so I'm off. Later!

December Daily: Day 20

It's getting so close! I'm super excited. And even more so, because today I found out that the one package I was super worried wasn't going to be delivered in time is scheduled to come tomorrow. That's such a huge load off! And, since it was another pretty non-eventful day holiday wise, I used that as my "surprise" for Shimelle's prompt. A happy surprise :)

December Daily Day 20 a edited

Of course, I described the gift in detail so I had to blur some more, of course.

December Daily Day 20 b

I've been taking all of my Prima flowers out of their packages and sorting by color, which is how I found my Christmas ones. So I had to use them! (And note to self. Soooo many flowers. I never need to buy another scrapbook supply ever again. Ever.)

December Daily Day 20 c edited

I'm attempting to upload some pictures of Peru to Costco to see if I can print them before I head home... but their photo selector is so slow! And I'm tired. I might have to give up for now... we'll see.

December Daily: Day 19 - Letter to Santa

Today, there wasn't much holiday related that went on... work, traffic from an accident on the way home, and a hockey game (which Colorado actually won!). I also managed to finish the first 8 chapters of the Steve Jobs autobiography before our team meeting tomorrow morning - we're reading it for work. It's pretty interesting!

Anyway, given that it was a pretty unremarkable day, I just did Shimelle's prompt for a letter to Santa - from me!

December Daily Day 19 a

The background is a digital element that I printed and then adhered the envelope on top. I used the same image repeated at 20% transparency on the letter itself to jazz it up a bit.

December Daily Day 19 b edited

I really liked this prompt... it was good for me to do, especially since my wish list doesn't have anything to do with toys... not even for my kitchen or scrap room!

December Daily Day 19 c

Part of our artistic challenge for this prompt was to us an image of Santa, so I pulled out some old Creative Imaginations rubons for the outside of the envelope.

I really liked having a non-extraordinary day. I look forward to another one tomorrow :) The countdown is on in earnest now!

December Daily: Day 17

Whew... all caught up! I haven't decided if I'm going to take the stuff to keep up while I'm at home, but hopefully I can keep up until I leave.

December Daily Day 17 a

Today was busy, but fun. I got to sleep in! I needed it... too many late nights and I get sick so I needed to catch up a bit on sleep. I got up at 11 and did some cardio (much needed after last night's dinner) and then went over to the church to do a rehearsal for the duet I'm singing in Sacrament meeting tomorrow. We're doing "What Child is This?" and I think it's going to be beautiful... as long as I still have a voice in the morning! I'm up too late again, but hopefully I can make up for it. I can't sleep too late since I just found out I'm teaching Sunday School, but I think I'll have time.

December Daily Day 17 b

After rehearsal, I braved Costco. I parked on the street right away rather than trying to go into the parking lot, and I was able to walk right in, pick up my photos and even grab a churro and still get back out in about 5 minutes. Sweet! More errands and picking up around the house - the stuff that all gets behind during a busy week.

December Daily Day 17 c

And fun mail today... a super cute Christmas card from Francesca and Gianluca. And I LOVE the stickers Francesca! They're so cute.

This evening, Melody dropped off the kids so she and Vic could do a family thing. For me, it was the perfect excuse to make little gingerbread houses from my Christmas Village Nordicware pan without then having lots of little cakes sitting around begging to be eaten. I whipped up the batter and baked them while the kids watched Tangled, then we cleared off the coffee table and got to work with decorating.

December Daily Day 17 d

We had a lot of fun. Samuel just jumped up and down and squealed with delight, mumbling what he wanted me to help him with on his house. Angelina was serious, working on getting it just right, and Logan was intent on getting as much candy as humanly possible onto his little cake house. In the end, we had great houses and they were all proud... worried about having them left behind when their parents came to pick them up. Mostly though, Logan just wanted to eat his. He figured I had my camera out and mom and dad could just see pictures of the house rather than seeing it in person. lol.

And after they left? I got all caught up on my December journal. Whew.

And for you Melody... some pictures of the evening for you to save for your journal :)











k... that's it for now. Until tomorrow!