Thursday, December 31, 2009

My 2009 Favorites

Holy smokes! 2009 has flown by and I am really looking forward to 2010. Here are some of my most favorite things from this past year.


My favorite photograph:



My favorite girls in tutus: My favorite trip: Salzburg, Austria



My favorite television show:



My favorite coffee place:


Sunday, December 20, 2009

More December Daily Pages

The whole concept of the December Daily album is to have the guts of it assembled before December actually rolls around. This year I failed! I only had days 1-15 completed. As of right now I am behind! I have just finished days 16 & 17 and day 18 is currently in the works. I really like this project but just don't seem to have the scrappin' mojo flowing right now. I need to add journaling to some of the pages still but have pictures for the pages I have completed.



The photo for day 10 was my first attempt at setting up a tripod and using the timer. That was the only way I could get both of my girls to sit still for a photo. Day 11 is the girls sitting in my bed while I am getting ready for the day.

I hope everyone is ready for Christmas! Only 5 days away! This month has flown by. I have been finished with all my shopping for a couple of weeks now but need to wrap up the girls presents. I will head out to the commissary on Tuesday to pick up a few things I will need for breakfast and dinner on Christmas day. Nothing fancy this year since James is deployed. Other than that I am ready to go. I actually can't wait until the holidays are over because that means we are really close to James coming home!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Finally


We have snow! Really it is just barely a dusting of snow but none the less the ground is white. I think there is something magical about December snow. Everything looks better. Christmas lights, trees, roof tops. As I sit here drinking my coffee and typing this it is snowing now and Aubrey looks out the window every so often and tells me there is "nose" outside.

I am really enjoying the magic of the Christmas season with the girls this year. While they certainly don't get the entire idea of it all just yet they greet the lighting of the Christmas tree with lots of clapping and giggles every day. I hope they always get such joy out of the little things.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cookie Time


On Monday night I decided to be brave and let the girls help me make cut out cookies. Aubrey and Lolo both love being in the kitchen with me and this time was no exception. I love this picture because both of my babies are looking and smiling at the camera at the same time. The stars must have been aligned just for me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It Was an Experience!

On Saturday morning all 3 of us got up early and got ready to leave the house. Saturday was the day we were going to meet Santa Claus. I put Aubrey and Lolo in cute little green and brown dresses and pulled Aubrey's hair into a braid. We left home around 9:30 and pulled into the Grafenwohr Px parking lot at 11:00. Santa was arriving at noon so I took my girlies into the Px and picked up a few things. We got in the line at 11:45 and waited for Santa. Right at noon the jolly guy arrived and walked through the line saying hello to all the children. When Santa walked up to say hello to Aubrey she put both hands on her hips and turned away! My sassy little girl. Lolo was not a fan of Santa at that point so I had to pick her up. The line was moving quickly and by 12:10 it was our turn to sit with Santa. First up, Aubrey. She still wanted nothing to do with Santa. I tried to set her in his lap and she stiffened right up and refused. Then I tried to get her to stand next to him and didn't work either. Ok, 1 kid down and no photo with Santa. Up next, Lolo. I picked her up and set her in Santa's lap and my baby was crying the entire time. She wouldn't sit with Santa and wouldn't let go of me. So, 2 kids and not a single picture of them with Santa Claus. For nearly 2 hours after we left Santa just the mere mention of his name caused Lolo to burst out into tears. My poor baby sobbed the entire time she tried to eat her lunch! I don't think we will be going to see Santa anytime soon. Thankfully Lolo is past the tears part when we mention his name.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Week


Time is flying and I have just gotten lazy with my blog and many other things! Yesterday we went to the Nuremberg Christmas Market with my friend Stephanie and we had such a great time. Last year James and I went in the rain and that almost made the day unenjoyable but this year we had a dry but cold day. The girls were so good even though they spent most of the day in their stroller and I had them bundled up in their snow pants and boots. They didn't make a fuss or cry and Lolo even got in a nap after lunch. We went made our way over to the Kindermarkt and the girls rode on the Merry-Go-Round. Aub went first because Lolo was still napping and then they both rode once Lolo woke up. I was able to get a coffee from Starbucks, eat some delicious cookies and some sausage. The girls and I were so tired that we were all asleep early. Tomorrow I am hoping to take the girls to see Santa! I hope the line isn't long and that the girls don't cry when they see him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Please Slow Down


Lorelei has grown so much over the past year, of course that is what babies do, but it seems just like yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. I know all mothers can relate to how fast they grow up. Lolo's hair is finally growing. Mostly just her bangs are growing but she does have a little curl in the back. Finally. At 20 months old. I'll take it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My December Daily 6-9

Did I mention I was slowly getting around to working on this? Slowly. Very Slowly. I just looked at the calendar and realized December 1st is just over a week away. I better get a move on it. My photos are not that great today. My girls were all over me and there is not alot of sunlight this morning.

Since I only want to do one day per page (there is room for adding an extra page if I feel the need to add more photos or journaling for a day) I wanted my spreads to be used with coordinating papers and colors. I like the unity it brings.

For days 6 and 7 I used a sheet of Basic Grey Figgy Pudding paper and green Bazzil cardstock and the red is from Stampin' Up. I pulled out my trusty Fiskars Threading Water border punch. I just love that punch and use it all the time. I have noticed that my page layouts are looking similar and I am ok with that. It makes it easy to get my layouts done and leaves room for adding journaling and photos.

For days 8 & 9 I used patterned paper from Cosmo Crickets Jolly by Golly line and I just love it. The cardstock is from Stampin' Up. The 8 and brackets are vinyl Thickers. I used another stamp from Hampton Arts. I used Versa Mark (my most favorite ink to use) and embossed with a clear but glittery powder. The ribbon is from my stash. For day 9 I used a pattern I lifted from Heidi Sonboul in the November issue of Creating Keepsakes. I was excited to try this and I am very pleased with the results. I used my Slice to cut the 9 for this day and added some pearls from Kaiser Craft to finish it off.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My December Daily 1-5

I have been slowly assembling my December Daily album. I have been using Making Memories Mistletoe collection so far but will be adding other papers into the mix as I progress through the album. Most of the embellisments will be from my stash. I really need to use up some of the stuff I have. I am working with an 8x8 album and decided to try a few different things this year. The album came with a couple of cute felt pages, transparency pages and some page protectors which was part of my decision to order this particular one.

For Day 1 and 2 I used a circle die cut paper. After I cut Day 1 to size I trimmed away what was left of the polka dots and then cut a piece of the argyle paper to fit behind the green scalloped circle.

Day 3 is a felt page with a photo mat and some buttons that are serving as pseudo photo corners.

Day 4 is the back of the felt page. I used a tag that I made at Creating Keepsakes Seattle a few years ago. I added some more cardstock for matting wallet sized prints.



Day 5 I stamped the snowman from Hampton Art onto a piece of cardstock that I cut using my Slice. I took a piece of twine that I had saved off a hang tag from a pair of jeans I purchased for the girls and glued it down in a couple of spots, then I added some staples on each end. I used what was left of the piece of twine and put it on the top of my snowman tag. I attached the tag with foam squares. I think I will print the date directly on my photo. If not I will add a "5" later on.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lone Survivor

I found this little flower growing in my pot of dead pansies. Here it is early November and this flower's "internal clock" is all messed up! I just had to grab my camera and take a picture because it brightened my day. And I love playing with Photoshop.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday James!



Today my wonderful husband is turning 38. I wish we could celebrate together but know that we are thinking of you and we love you!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Catching Up


It has been a while since I have posted a picture of the girls. This is from Halloween and is a true reflection of how mini photo shoots work out for me. I did not get one good picture on Halloween of these two. Either one girl is crawling away or crying. This happens without fail. My hopes for getting a cute photo to send off in our Christmas cards have pretty much disappeared.

I have ordered the papers I wanted to make Christmas cards this year but have yet to start them. I need to get a move on it though. Time is just flying by! I also have the album I will be using for my December Daily album this year. This is an idea that Ali Edwards has started on her blog. The whole idea of the album is that you assemble it before December rolls around so that way you only have to add in your daily photo and journaling as you progress through the month. Take a look at Ali's blog for lots of inspiration! She has set up a Flicker gallery where other talented ladies can post their pages too. I am looking forward to getting my album assembled and adding in our photos each day. I hope this becomes a long standing tradition for my family.

It has been pretty gloomy here lately. A lot of fog and clouds that just linger all day long. I don't mind so much as it reminds of Olympia, WA. I really loved living in the Pacific Northwest. Hands down my most favorite part of the entire United States.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weekend Project


Since Halloween is come and gone I thought I should get to work on some of my holiday decorations and gifts. I instantly fell for this great little Christmas Wishes project that I saw in Paper Crafts Holiday Cards & More Volume 4 (you can purchase it here).

I know the girls are too young to know what a Christmas wish list is but before long they will know all to well about it and I think this is a great way to store their lists when the time comes. The entire project came together in about 90 minutes and that includes the time it took for the paint to dry on the frame. The papers are from My Minds Eye. Please forgive the poor lighting in the picture. I tried waiting for some good morning sunshine but we haven't had any in about a week now.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Free Class!!!


I can't wait to sign up for this class on Monday! This will be my 3rd free class that Jessica has offered and I always learn something new. I hope you check it out. She doesn't list the specific details but I imagine you will need a version of Photoshop. If you don't have Photoshop you can grab a free 30 day trial of the program from here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This is one of my all time favorite pictures! I only tried to dress up my cats one time...Jazz saw what I had subjected Chloe to and hid away in the bedroom. Chloe hasn't been the same since this humiliation.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Tag

The girlies and I were invited to a Halloween party tomorrow night and I will be bringing a bottle of wine for the hostess so I made this cute little tag to hang on the bottle rather than find a wine bottle gift bag.

This took me 20 minutes to make and I am happy with the results. I used an old tag template I have and then traced it onto kraft cardstock and then traced it again onto the pattern paper. I could have cut the tag using my Slice but didn't really want to mess around with it today. Then printed the Trick or Treat onto a piece of white cardstock before I stamped and embossed the spider web. I used a Fiskars border punch and black ribbon from Maya Road. I inked all the edges and adhered the patterned paper to the kraft cardstock. I attached the spider web with foam squares. Finally I punched a hole into the tag so I could add the orange ribbon to hang onto the bottle. Even though the patterned paper is double sided I wanted to be able to write a quick message to the hostess on back which is why I adhered it to a plain cardstock and it really gives the entire piece more stability.

I will probably make a couple of these to have on hand as last minute gifts for different occasions. A bottle of wine is always a nice gift and adding a handmade tag tells the recipient that you took the time to put the gift together.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins Are Done!


I am glad I finally carved our pumpkins this afternoon. I tried to get pictures of the girls with the pumpkins and that did not happen. I am beginning to think I will not get a picture of the two of them together to send out in our Christmas cards as they never want to look at the camera at the same time. I get plenty of crazy photos. Does anyone have any tips?

I totally have pumpkin on the brain right now so I am thinking of making a pumpkin latte tomorrow or maybe even some more pumpkin cookies. We don't have any plans until Saturday so maybe we will make lots of pumpkin recipes over the next couple of days.

The girlies and I were invited to a Halloween party on Saturday with folks from James' unit so it saves me from figuring out what I was going to do with them. I don't really want to take them trick or treating because they are too little but I want to dress them up even though they won't stay in their costumes for long. We will be pulling out their sweet little tutus to wear. I am sure Lolo will keep her tutu on because we get it on her she wears it all day long. Aubrey would rather take it off with a grand show and then toss it on the floor.

We found out last year that Halloween is an American holiday and while the German's are starting to pick up on some of the American traditions the girls and I can not go trick or treating in the neighborhood because they would think we are crazy. Last year we had a couple of German kids come trick or treating but I am not sure if they dressed up or not. We had our carved pumpkins at the end of our driveway and since our town is small they know that Americans live here.

As much as I like the fall holidays I really have Christmas on the running through me right now. I have no idea why but I have been tempted to pop in my Christmas music and put up my tree! My sweet friend Stephanie and I were discussing our holiday cards the other day and flipping through the Paper Crafts Holiday Cards and More issue. I feel so inspired to sit down and make some projects after seeing all the beauitful cards, packaging and decorations in the magazine. I hope to complete a few up next week so I will post pictures as soon as I finish.

One a super positive note we are half way through this deployment!!!! That is super exciting for me. These past few months have really been stinky without James here.

I realized I have been going pretty long between posts and I like blogging so I will attempt to blog more.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cuteness

I picked up these cute cards at the Px a few weeks back and I have been waiting to let the girls decorate them so we can mail them off to all the grandparents. Aub and Lolo just needed to add stickers to make the faces for the pumpkins and ghosts. A very quick and easy project that lasted long enough to keep their attention. I only placed one of the eyes on for each card and the girls did the rest. I think they did a great job!




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Second Template Project

A couple of weeks ago I finished this adorable little project using another Timeless Template from PaperTrey Ink. Now while it may be finished it is still waiting to be mailed out. Baby steps, people. Baby steps! This template has so many uses and this time around it is being made into a recipe card holder. I downloaded the recipe cards from Jessica Sprague and they are cute! I ♥ them. It was a real easy project to put together minus the fact that my sewing machine literaly fell apart as I was adding the stitching! I had several minutes of panicking and managed to reassemble my sewing machine. This is seriously one of my favorite completed projects. Too bad I am giving it away.

The papers are from Jenni Bowlin and I am going to say they are probably my most favorite papers of all time. So beautiful and very versatile.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Day In Review


Yesterday I decided to carry my camera with me so I could take pictures of our day. I woke up at 7:20 (which you can't see on the first picture but I used it because I like how I managed to catch Chloe getting ready to jump up onto the night stand). I then got the girls ready to go and we were off to Grafenwohr to check out a bazaar and have lunch with Stephanie. It snowed a little bit here on Thursday night but it was snowing heavily at Graf. On our way back home we stopped by Katterbach to pick up our mail and I had a box of scrappy goods from Emma's Paperie. The girls both napped on the way home and decided they wanted to stay up all night and that is exactly what Aubrey did. She was still awake when I snapped the last picture at 11:53 p.m.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back to Some Crafty Posts

I have been working on finishing up projects that I have put off for a while. Last year I downloaded a couple of Timeless Templates from the Papertrey Ink website. I knew these were templates I could use over and over but never sat down to complete one of the projects. So last week I pulled out my external hard drive and found the 2 templates I purchased and printed them out onto solid kraft cardstock. From there the options are endless and I love the versatility that comes with these templates which was a big reason I purchased them. I pulled out some October Afternoon patterned paper and set out to decorate my cute little boxes. I even used my Dymo Label Maker which makes me extremely happy. I love that thing!

I decided to make a small mail sorter. Sometimes I just don't have the time to sort through the mail when I get home so now I can put it in one place and go through it all when I have time. When I am cleaning out my purse I can also drop the receipts that need to be shred right into a box and take care of it when I have the time. This project did not take long at all and I love the results. It is a cute way to keep me organized and I need alot of help in that department.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Love This Time of Year


It is raining this morning and I don't mind. It is a good excuse to drink some hot chocolate, grab a warm blanket and read a magazine or book with the girls. I think maybe the girls dislike the rain because they were both extra grumpy this morning. It made me want to put them back into bed and start the day over but since that was not an option I just let them cry for a bit and now they are in a much better mood. Neither one of them is very good at sharing their toys yet so we had a major struggle over a talking piggy bank and them I think Aubrey was upset because Lolo drank some of her milk. It is the little things that really bring on the tears.

This past Thursday I drove to N├╝rnberg to see Stephanie and partake in some Starbucks. I had a dream about Starbucks on Tuesday night and knew that it has been a very long time since I had visited my most favorite coffee company in the entire world. As a matter of fact the last time I had Starbucks was while we were in Munich the first week of June. To compensate for the fact that is has been 4 months since my last frappuccino I drank 2 of them...one when I got there and another on our way out of the altstadt. What can I say? I am a Starbucks junkie. I admit it. A great friend, my beautiful daughters and excellant coffee in a beautiful city are the perfect ingredients for a perfect afternoon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and they turned out to be some of the best cookies I have ever made. Seriously. They are so moist and super easy to make. They actually kind of remind me of the pumpkin muffins that Starbucks offers in the fall so maybe that is why I love these little cookies so much. Here is the recipe in case you feel so inclined to try these yourself.

1/2 cup butter brought to room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the egg, pumpkin and vanilla and mix well. In a small bowl mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and flour together. Gradually add the flour to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a teaspoon drop the mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake for 17 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

The dough is extra thick for these cookies and they do not really spread out as they are cooked which keeps the cookies pretty thick. One more thing...I lined my cookie sheet with parchment paper so the cookies were super easy to remove from the pan.

Aubrey loves these cookies so I have had to keep them up high enough so she can't reach them. This girl thinks cookies and cupcakes are self serve and I end up with half eaten cookies left around the living room.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Attempt

Are you sick of tutu pictures yet? I'm not! I keep hoping to get a "perfect" picture of the girls in their tutus but that has yet to happen. We went on a walk down the road last week and I saw this bench and knew it might make for cute pictures but this is all I could get. I decided I don't mind this because it is a reflection of how things really are for us...each girl does what they want and I am just here to make sure they don't get hurt or hurt each other. They rarely are doing the same thing at the same time and asking them to sit and smile at the camera just will not work. Shouldn't pictures reflect their personalities rather than looked posed and unnatural? So I will keep trying until I can capture a perfect moment where both girls can sit next to each other and smile for me. If it doesn't happen then that is ok because when I look back in 20 years I will smile remembering these candid moments because these are the moments that make up life. I don't think you can get that type of feeling from a studio portrait.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh My!


My dinner was soooo good I thought I would blog about it! I found the recipe here http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/09/grilled-ribeye-steak-with-onion-blue-cheese-sauce/ and it is so dang delicious! A nice tender ribeye steak with a creamy onion and blue cheese sauce that nearly made me cry with delight! This may sound gourmet but took me only 20 minutes to cook. I wilted some fresh spinach to go along with it. I halved the recipe and it made a ton of sauce and was very filling so I still have half the steak left for lunch tomorrow. Now if you are on a diet then this recipe is not for you because it is loaded with butter, heavy cream and cheese which is why I will not be making this every week but will be added to my recipe book for special occasions. This is definitely a dish you could entertain with.

If you get the chance you should really check out The Pioneer Womans blog. She makes me laugh, offers great photography and photo editing tips and I want to make just about every single recipe she posts but I can't afford to gain anymore weight so I just drool into the keyboard as I scroll down the page.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall Is Here

Fall is my most favorite season. The days are the perfect length and the temperatures are generally comfortable. Of course nothing beats the beauty of the leaves as they start changing into wonderful shades of red, yellow and orange. I love the smell of the leaves as they start falling and the crunchy sound they make when you are walking through them. Lets not forget about apples. Apple cider, cold or mulled, rocks my socks off!


Of course another great thing about fall is Halloween! The great candy, fun costumes and cute decorations make me happy. I picked up these little bears for the girls today...yes James more stuff they don't need but it made them so happy. I was kinda on the fence about getting them but Aubrey made that decision easier because when I handed it to her to look at she pulled the Ty hang tag off! No going back after that happens. Besides, Lolo kept kissing the Vampire bear the entire time we were in the store. Who could say no to that? I will pack them up with the Halloween decorations when the time comes. I also picked up a cute black garland with pumpkins in it and wrapped it around the light over the dining room table. That is what the bears are sitting in. I really only took this picture because I like playing with my camera and seeing what kind of pictures I can get when I play with the settings.

Frame is from House of 3. I downloaded 2 frame sets and my blog header from their website over the weekend. They have gorgeous digital elements and I hope they continue to add more. I like photo editing and these frames add the perfect final touch that they sometimes need.




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just Wasting Time

I should be cleaning up because I have a friend coming over on Thursday. I need to get laundry done and put some things away. I need to put my sewing machine and fabric away. Just things that require a few minutes each but add up to a fair amount of work when I have the girls to look after. I can not leave the room without them messing up something I just cleaned up.


Here is yet another card that I have made recently. Making cards for James has certainly taken over most of my craft time and I don't mind. It is forcing me to think of new designs and to use up my large stash of supplies. This card is made using Jenni Bowlin papers and mini Bingo card. The base of the card is Stampin' Up cardstock. The ric rac is from Maya Road and the twine that is wrapped around it came off the hang tag of the girls new jeans. I am glad I saved it and I like the look it gave the card. That would probably be my favorite feature. I used a Fiskars border punch again and then stitched around the edges and across the ribbon with my sewing maching.

I am working on completing an album all about me! I was so excited to start this class but find that it is much harder writing about me or people and things that are important to me. This is something I hope my daughters want to read about when they are older and that has put alot of pressure on me to make sure this book is a true relection of me, right now. So I keep typing away and remain very grateful for the message boards over at Big Picture Scrapbooking that keep me inspired to complete this project.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Try

Everytime I try to take pictures of the girls it is a huge ordeal because they don't like to cooperate with me! They run off, reach for the camera or cry! I am so glad we got a digital SLR camera because I can take many shots very quickly and can usually get at least 1 good photo of each girl.

Frame is from House of 3.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kinder Karnival

Today I took the girls out to post so we could check out the Kinder Karnival that was going on. I am always a little hesitant to do such things on my own because the girls can be a handful but things went well and the girls ended up having fun. The crowd was very small and super easy to get around. There was a couple of bouncy castles, a ball pit, games, face painting, balloons, small merry go round, karaoke and snacks. Aub and Lolo loved the merry go round and the bouncy castle on the second try. The first time I put them in the bouncy castle they both bailed out really quickly but I gave it another try before we left and they loved it! I couldn't Lolo to come out so I had to lean in and pull her out! I am so glad they had a great time because they really needed it. They played hard and were asleep in about 20 minutes once they settled into bed. I wish this was something they could do more often.

Frame is from House of 3.