Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Puerto Rico Vacation--Awesomeness and the Aftermath

The Best Vacation...

My husband and I hadn't been on a big vacation (just the two of us) in a long while.  So this year, for our 20th Anniversary, to celebrate, we went to Puerto Rico sans kids! 

Why Puerto Rico?  No, I am not from there (haha) and I am not puertorriqueña. But I love old architecture...I would love to visit Spain (but it was twice as much) and I would also love to visit Cuba!  So Puerto Rico was close enough and bonus it is still a US territory, hence, they speak English, take the US Dollar, and no roaming/international CellPhone fees! :)

We had an AMAZING time.  I had so much fun and it was relaxing even though we were on the go most of the time.

5 Photos A Day?

hahaha...so I am posting the 5 photos a day The Life-Changing book says is acceptable--ahahaha...my scrapbook will have more than 5 a day, I promise you that :D  I could write about each day forever, but I will try to keep this a short overview.  

Day 1 (Airport)

My daughter took our photo at the airport--I took a photo of them driving away--wah!  It happened to be my husband birthday and we traveled all day!  He had a drink with breakfast (don't judge, it was noon in Puerto Rican time--haha) and his birthday "cake" was M&M's.  We landed at 11pm and it was 80 degrees and so humid!!

Day 2 (Castillo San Cristobal, Old San Juan)

The first morning in Puerto Rico, after breakfast, I tripped in a hole and fell in the paved streets...I was so lucky not to twist (or worse break) my foot!  Our hotel view was of the parking garage across the street.  It rained that first day (but maybe only once more during our trip--they were in a drought and luckily a hurricane didn't hit us!)  We walked around the first (of two) forts...I thought there was 1 pillar lookout point on the whole island and that it was unique before going to Puerto Rico, but they were everywhere on the two forts we seen and even around town!  We seen this statue only once during our trip and it was at night.

Day 3 (Bacardi, Old San Juan)

The next morning after breakfast, we got on a ferry and headed over to the Bacardi factory for a tour (if you ever go, don't do the tasting--instead do the mixology class).  Later that night we went to the birth place of the Pina Colada--Barrachina.  See that pillar lookout point...that was through town :/

Day 4 (Snorkling)

We were on that beach!!!...it is not just a dreamy photo you see on the internet!  (well you are seeing now on the internet, but I was actually there!)  We seen a stingray and some fish while snorkeling.

Day 5 (Castillo San Felipe El Morro, Condado, Old San Juan)

I ate the best oatmeal (avena) ever!!!  See our iguana friend at the other fort.  There was a truck in the middle of the road in Condado selling donuts!  Yes, I bought one :D  This day we walked 10.5 miles!!

Day 6 (Camuy River Cave, Arecibo Observatory, Anniversary)

The Cave tour was awesome, the Observatory--not so much.  We stopped at a fruit stand on the side of the road and had the most amazing tiny bananas (not plantains).  It was our 20th Anniversary :)

Day 7 (El Yunque Rainforest, Luquillo BeachBio-luminescent Kayak)

We hiked the rainless (there was a drought going on) Rainforest.  Went to the crappy part of a beach...had an expensive pina colada in a pineapple and for the first time kayaked...we were supposed to see the water glow in the bioluminescent bay...but we were disappointed--our tour was too early and they hurried us out so they could do another tour--boo!  It did make me realize, I actually like hiking and I would totally kayak again :)

Day 8 (Sports Museum, Airport)

The last day, we finally walked across the street and had the most amazing coffee (too bad I didn't go there every day)!  Our last drinks on the island.  We went to the saddest Sports Hall of Fame...bye Puerto Rico...hello San Jose!

If it weren't for the humidity, I would totally want to retire there!  I wouldn't mind visiting again to see some of the Southern regions of the island.

And Then We Came Home...

We got home late Friday and on Saturday I woke up 3 hours early (no, problem) and I was ok on Saturday.  Sunday, unfortunately my husband had to travel for business, so after I took him to the airport, I came home and slept a lot...I had little engery, but I was still ok.  Monday, I went back to work and was upbeat and told my travel stories...I was still so excited to have gone.  

Then Monday evening, when I got home, I had no appetite and my stomach wasn't feeling well.  Tuesday at work, I went home early because I just felt off.  By Wednesday, I had lost 7 pounds since Saturday (I had gain 2 pounds on vacation) and I started crying telling my co-worker that I had no appetite (rare for me--both the crying and no appetite) and how I lost so much weight.  Thursday I went to the doctor and she had me do tests for my stomach bug and I started crying again...in.the.doctor's.office!  To top things off, I was taking my son back to college on Friday (on my 42nd birthday, no less!).

Anyway...long story short, I probably had a bit of depression on top of having a stomach bug (the doctor said I might have been crying because I hadn't eaten in days!).  Then I just found out there is a thing called Post-Trip Depression!!!  Crazy right?...or yay...I might not be crazy after all :D

Scrapbooking It... 

I now feel better and have started sorting through my photos and getting all my supplies out to scrapbook our trip.  I will be using the Simple Stories Good Day Sunshine collection :D

Thank you for getting this far and reading my post :)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up--Why it won't work for Me

Last week, I finished the best selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and it sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it could ever work for me.


First of all, this will check off the "A book that was originally written in a different language" item on the 2015 Reading Challenge.  I had planned on reading it for my "non-fiction" item, but this one seemed easier to check off "different language" because I think I will have more options at finding an interesting non-fiction book.  Anyway...onto my review (since it really isn't a spoiler-ish type book).

1.  I checked this out from my library for free, but people buy this book and the point of the book is to get rid of clutter--so wouldn't this book add to your clutter?  She even says if this book doesn't bring you joy to toss it--"Keep only those books that will make you happy just to see them on your shelves, the ones that you really love.  That includes this book, too.  If you don't feel any joy when you hold it in your hand, I would rather discard it."  I'm sure in her mind she says "but only after you give me your money" ha ha!

2.  I live with my husband and two adult(ish) children.  Even if I could let go of stuff, I still have to get the other 3 on board with doing this whole life-changing experience.  One time I was trying to create room in the kitchen cabinets and was scolded by the kids for trying to toss out "souvenir" cups from the Miami Marlins stadium--haha.

3.  In this day and age, most "things" cost a lot of money and it isn't easy just getting rid of some of the stuff she is telling you to get rid of.  I mean some of it does make sense though...I really don't need our cell phone boxes or our computer boxes--maybe someday I will toss those :D

4.  I am a crafter and a lot of my clutter is probably useless, but this is a really hard thing to let go.  I have purged before and I can probably still let go of much of the paper, but this goes back to "things" cost a lot of money.  I'd be better off learning not to buy stuff (and using what I have) than to get rid of it.

5.  The section about photos alone made me want to stop reading--haha.  Yes, I am sure no one really wants to see all my pictures of the food I take, but sometimes it is so pretty not to take a photo.  Plus, I have spent too much money on a camera to not take pretty photos of the scenery!  But not only that, she says if they are in an album...take them all out and go through every single photo and figure out whether it brings you joy or not...um, they are already in an album--why do extra work???  "with this method, you will keep only about five per day of a special trip..." WHAT?!?!?!  My husband and I just got back from Puerto Rico and between the two of us with 2 iPhones and 2 different cameras, we came home with 2,000 photos over the 7 days!  um, I am not keeping only 35 photos of our trip :/

6.  I don't think I will feel comfortable talking to my objects.  She encourages you to tell your clothing, etc. thank you for doing their job.  Also, she says to unpack your purse daily and tell each item thank you--um, I think my family would commit me to a looney bin! 

So even though, this will not completely work for me, I think it can help me think about learning to let go of some things and stop buying others.

Have you read this book?  What are your thoughts?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Reading Challenge Update (again)

I hadn't planned on updating my reading challenge for a while, but then I realized that I have read 12 books this past month!!!  I took a week off, then I went into full "chain-reading" mode!

There were a few books that I read that did not fit into any of the categories of the challenge.

Unfinished Business--cute love story--although I might just use this as a "classic romance".  Changing the meaning of Classic from "old" to "typical"--if that makes sense.

My Life Next Door--I keep picking out these young adult books...this one was a cute love story as well.  I really liked it and can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Four Friends--This one was not a love story.  I've read Robyn Carr before and enjoy her writing.

Now onto the challenge books.

I Don't Know What You Know Me From--"A funny book".  Ok, I like Judy Greer and she is funny in most of her movies, but this book wasn't all that funny.  She is quirky, but I think I literally LOL'd once throughout the book.

The Edge of Normal--"A Mystery or Thriller".  I have always liked mystery novels and this one was a bit creepy.  I liked this author and can't wait to read other books from her.  I actually just picked up the next book in this series from the library :)

Reunion--"A book with one-word title".  This one was ok.  No love story and it is kinda hard to like the main character of the book.

Before I Fall--"A popular author's first book".  This is another young adult book (and I think it is a popular author).  This one is quite sad.  At first you don't feel any compassion for the main character then at the end you are like--WHAT?!?!?! WHY?!?!?!

14th Deadly Sin--"A book your mom loves".  ok, technically, I don't know if she loves this book, but both her and I like to read the Women's Murder Club series.  This one was ok.  I really liked the first few books in the series, but they don't seem to be as good as they first were--but I can't wait for the 15th book to come out! :)

Mother, Mother--"A book that scares you".  I picked up this book based on an Instagram review (I will warn you it might be spoilerish).  The review peaked my interest at once.  The book is not a gory or a horror book per se, but to know there are crazy people actually out there like this is scary!  Also, just like I questioned Gillian Flynn's mind, I am quite afraid of Koren's mind as well.

Come to the Edge--"A Memoir"--ok...not sure why I have a fascination with JFK, Jr. since he was 13 years older than me...but this is my second book about him that I've read.  (A few years ago, I read Fairy Tale Interrupted which was good.)  This book was hard for me to read.  The writer would be in a "moment" then flashback during that moment or flash forward during that moment...if that even makes sense.  I was so confused about the timeline of anything that happened! ha ha.  It was an interesting book though.

Dot Dead: A Silicon Valley Mystery--"A book that takes place in your hometown".  Ok, technically I don't live in the city this takes place in, but I do live in the Silicon Valley and they mention my city a few times during the book.  It was an interesting mystery (remember I love mysteries) and it had a love story (weird love story, but a love story none the less).

Bad Apple--"A book written by an author with your same initials".  Ok, looking for this book, I realized most authors with the initials L.R. write smutty books! ha ha ha.  I wasn't about to read and review that type of book here...luckily, I found Laura Ruby.  This again was a young adult book.  It was quite interesting and sad at the same time.

I know my reviews lack, but I don't really want to give too much away--I hate when I come across a review that kinda has spoilers...like I still wonder if I would have been in the same mind set if I hadn't come across the review of Mother, Mother on Instagram--but then again, I might not have read it if I didn't see the review--haha

Thank you for reading if you got this far!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Planner Update & Challenge

Last year, I blogged about how I got back into using a paper planner.  It has been a slow start getting back into the grove of things...especially since my life isn't very busy :)

The Kate Spade planner was cute (at first--until the dots started rubbing off), but then this past March, I ordered a new planner from Webster's Pages...I love it even better than the Kate Spade one.

All the planners I see on Instagram and Pinterest have the front flap decorated...so I did some decoration--not much though :)  Just a Kate Spade paperclip bow and Amy Tangerine Camera...I don't remember where the camera paper clip came from though.

Another thing I've seen people do is put post-its on their dashboards.  4 of the post-its are from the Target Dollar Spot.  The top one on the right is from Kate Spade.

I haven't decorated the pages inside too much, but one of the challenges Jossie and Liz came up with was to decorate a page in our planners.

The monthly view of August is pretty plain.  All the stickers are from Heidi Swapp.

Since February, my husband and I have been planning a trip to Puerto Rico and I figured I should decorate the dates we are going.

I used page flags from the Target Dollar Spot to cross off the extra challenge we made to ourselves.

Since I am still not sure what order (or what days) we are going to be doing some of the things, I put the things I want to do on the page flags...that way I can move them around.

I used stickers and letters from Amy Tangerine.  The 'together' sticker is from Crate Paper--Maggie Holmes--Confetti line.  The black/white heart washi is from Target (around January/February).

I know my planner isn't as awesome as some of the ones I've seen, but I am going for a more useful way to decorate and not spending hours on end just making my days look pretty, when going to work and reading at home aren't all that exciting--haha! :)

Thank you for looking.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Some Things Old and Some Things New

A few weeks ago, a couple friends and I were drooling over the new Target Spot goodies (thanks to the Instagram enablers--haha), so we went all on scavenger hunts checking the Targets around us looking for these cute supplies (over about a week's time).

After we had rounded up the items we wanted, we met up at Starbucks to trade our goodies with each other--It was so fun!

At our meet-up, we challenged each other to do some memory keeping and use the stuff we just got :)

Our challenges were to:

~Do 1 Project Life (pocket page) layout
~Do 1 (traditional) Scrapbook page
~Decorate our Planners
~Journal/Create in our Fauxdori
~Use the stuff we just got (either on 1 or all 4 of the above)

We gave each other 2 weeks--although, we are so lenient that we will get them done when we get them done--haha.

Since I haven't watched too much tv lately (there is nothing on!) and I gave up reading for a week, I completed 3 of the 4 challenges on the 4th of July weekend.

Here is my traditional scrapbook layout:

I used the gold washi tape from the Target Spot.  I also used washi tape from the Dear Lizzy Fine & Dandy line and some plain lime green and some green polka dot washi that I've had in my stash (I don't remember from where).

The two wood veneers (the pineapple and flamingo) are from the Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss line.  I used Color Shine to color them both.  On the flamingo, I had first sprayed the primrose color shine, but you couldn't really see the outline of the bird, so I went over it with a marker...well then the outline was too dark, so I sprayed a couple more layers of color shine and it worked out ok for my liking (the pack gives you 2 flamingos so if anything I could have started over with the other one).  On the pineapple, I used a paint brush to color the top with Citron Color Shine and Gold Lame Color Shine on the bottom--the gold is just enough without being too much for the layout.

I used a yellow cardstock (just from a Recollections pack I've had forever) as the base and the accent papers were all from old lines.  The Pink with swirls was from Sandylion Barbie line.  The pink plaid is from the DCWV Blossoms & Butterflies 6x6 pack.  The white with yellow polka dots is from the Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic line.  And the yellow plaid is an old KI Memories Summer line.

The photo frame is from Crate Paper.  The journaling block on the left side is from Crate Paper Darling line.  On the bottom left, the journal sticker came from Pebbles--from 2009 and I can't find them online.  The title stickers are from the Amy Tangerine Rise and Shine line.  I also used the Heidi Swapp date stamp and the Amy Tangerine markers throughout.

On the right, I used a journal card from the Project Life Trinkets Value kit and word embellishments ("the little things" and "good times") from the Project Life Notes & Things Value Kit.  The "laugh more" sticker is from Amy Tangerine's Yes, Please line.  The pink  arrow is from Amy Tangerine Rise & Shine and the black arrow is from Heidi Swapp Hello Beautiful Collection.  The yellow with white polka dots is also a very old line from Bo Bunny Shabby Princess line.  And the "Create" epoxy sticker is from White Blossom (I can't find online).

I know most of the supplies I listed are so old and maybe it is pointless to point them all out, but I wanted to show how I used some new stuff with lots of older stuff that I have been hoarding.  I had pulled all my supplies that I wanted to use and tried to do a 15 minute page like Jaime Waters showed was possible in her BPC class, but I totally failed.  It took me about 2 hours to complete this page! ha ha.  That is ok, I wasn't doing it for the race, I enjoyed making this page.

About the page--this past May, I got together with Jossie, Liz, and Theresa on National Scrapbook day...the theme was Pineapples and Flamingos (hence the theme of my page).  We had an awesome fun time and I couldn't wait to use the supplies I've had gotten for the page (the veneers and Dear Lizzy washi) and incorporate them with older supplies.

Thank you for reading all my babbling, if you made it this far--haha :D

I was going to show all the challenges complete on this post, but it got way too long...so I will do separate posts for each :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge Halfway Mark

It is not quite halfway through the year just yet (4 more days--eek!), but I wanted to update my reading challenge list.  I am at 20 of the 52 books (the list has 50 items, but there is a trilogy in there so it bumps it up to 52 books).  I'm a bit behind, but that is ok since I might not check everything off the list.

I have decided that I need a few days of being book free--hence the update 4 days before the midpoint.

In my first post about the Challenge, I had read 9 books in 4 months.  But over the last 2 months, I have read an additional 11...eek!...that is 1.5 books per week...I gotta do some other stuff :)  But I do enjoy it.

Onto my reviews which may contain spoilers if you plan on reading them (or seeing the movie if there is one).

Paper Towns-"A Book that became a Movie"  The "end goal" of this book was horrible!  I was glad the ending didn't turn out like it made you feel like it would, but the book didn't let you understand the reasoning why everything took place.  I know this is very vague, but if someone hasn't read it, I don't want to spoil it too much...although I probably already have by saying it doesn't turn out like you think it will--haha  But I will still see the movie when it comes on cable or Netflix :)

I Was Here-"A book published this year"  This book was kinda depressing.  Having 2 kids in college, it really struck me and made me worry even more!  It was a pretty decent book and had a cute love story at the end.  I am always a sucker for a love story.

Maine-"A book written by someone under 30" This was a cute story about 3 generations.  The book is told from the point of view of 4 women which is interesting because the way one person is portrayed through one person's eyes is portrayed differently through their own eyes.  Although I hated the ending...it left you wondering "did this happen or did this happen?!?!?!"  UGH

Wild-"A book based on a True Story" This book was so boring, but interesting at the same time.  She was very messed up and really unprepared to hike from the Mohave desert to the Oregon/Washington border.  But it did make me want to hike in Oregon to see Crater Lake :D  I love Reese Witherspoon and can't wait to catch the movie on cable.

I'll Meet You There-"A book based entirely on its cover"  This was a twisted sort of love story.  I really like this one.  It's a "getting out here and having a better life"...dealing with PTSD...just tell each other you love each other type of book :)  What was the cover that intrigued me?

Yours For Christmas-"A book you can finish in a day"  This is a book in a series of "Fool's Gold".  I've read a couple of the books from this series--all pretty similar love story.  Typical guy doesn't want to get involved with a woman that has a child but falls in love with her and loves caring for the child :)

In Your Dreams-"A book with a love triangle" I am using this book as a love triangle (not sure if the definition fits, but in my mind it does).  The main female character starts to have feelings for a guy (and vice versa), but the guy's ex-wife comes to town and tries to win him back...he doesn't have feeling for her, but is nice to her (because everyone else isn't) and he is just too nice of a guy.  Very cute love story in the end.  This is actually the 4th book in a series (but a stand alone book).

The DUFF-"A book set in High School"  I did not really care for the main character.  It actually made me sad how she used sex as a a method to cope with her life.  I don't think young girls should have this sort of character to mimic.  The ending was cute though...typical love story...just getting to that point made me cringe.  I've heard the movie is different and of course I will watch it.

Before I Go-"A book that made you cry" I just finished this one and man, Cancer Sucks...I don't think I need to say anything else :(

A Fool's Gold Christmas-"A book set during Christmas"  Another one from the Fool's Gold Series.  Very cute love story of a reluctant girl and a player guy...very cute.  Sometimes I just need the sappiness.

Fresh Off the Boat-"A book based on a tv show" I wanted to read this book because I think the tv show is hilarious. Overall the book was interesting, but his "voice" was too hood/street...almost like he was trying too hard.  Also, his overuse of "son" was annoying.  And for someone that complains quite a bit about being called a Chink, he refers to women as shawty a LOT--both are so degrading in IMO--ok, maybe not quite, but I got the feeling that he really did not respect women at all.  I think I will still watch the tv show because it isn't much like the book or his real life (he even says so).

From this list, it seems like my favorite books are Love Story Romances, but I actually also love Mysteries by James Patterson, John Grisham, etc, but I just haven't gotten around to reading any for this challenge yet.

Well hopefully I can get some crafting done and stop bombarding my blog with book reviews :)

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Silhouette Sunday-High Chair Banner

A few months ago, my brother asked if I could make a high chair banner for his daughter's first birthday...of course, I said yes!!

He had sent me some photos as inspiration and they gave me a bunch of ribbon to make it.  The color scheme was turquoise and pink with white, grey, and black as accent colors.  The theme was cameras (A year in a Flash).

I wasn't sure how I was going to attached the ribbon--I even searching the internet, but I didn't find many tutorials!  So I got some elastic and tied the ribbon on.  (If they want, they can take it off the tray, pull the elastic tighter and have a ribbon tutu--haha.)

Then I used double sided tape to secure the pink satin ribbon to the entire tray.  I also used the double sided tape to attached the ribbon (which is held together by the elastic) to the tray.  This seemed to work fine.  It was completed a couple of weeks prior to the event and it held up throughout the party :)

This is where my silhouette came in, I found a scalloped circle that I already had (I just erased the lines I didn't need) and cut 3 out (I used black as the background because blue or pink would have just gotten lost against the ribbon--I actually had cut blue scallops at first, but didn't like them).  Then I cut pink circles.  I have a ton of fonts and I went through a lot...I finally settled on plain ol' Lucida Handwriting since I like the way the welding of the letters flowed together.

Once I was done with that...I was off to find a cute camera.  I found this one on Miss Kate Cuttables...she has the cutest cuts for so cheap!  (She also has a freebie every day, but you have to download it to the computer where you use your Silhouette because you cannot go and download it again after the day is over and you can't send the file either.)

I was happy with the way it came out.  My daughter was a big help letting me know what didn't look right.  I would also email the mom of the baby to make sure she liked certain colors and ask which type of banner...I could have done squares or triangles...there are a lot of different types.

If you ever think of doing something like this, I will warn you it isn't cheap.  I used a lot of ribbon.  I was given 8 spools of ribbon and it got me 1/2 way around the tray (each cut was about 20 inches so that it would be about 8 inches long).  I am sure I could have just used that and spaced it out a bit more, but I wanted it to be fuller.  So 16 spools of ribbon isn't very cheap--even with a coupon (or two).  Then there is the elastic, the double sided tape, the paper, and cuts (if you don't already have them).

But it was pretty fun to make.

Thank you for reading. :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge-Update

I have been reading way too much lately!  There are so many other things I could (should) be doing, but mostly I get home from work and read until it is time to go to sleep.  I try not to, but sometimes I have to finish the book and I regret it the next morning when I have to get up for work.

So far, I have checked off 17 of the 50 items on the 2015 Reading Challenge list.  I should be at 25 by the end of June, right?  

BUT, I have decided this challenge should be fun for me so I have already crossed off a few items that I will not be completing.  

I decided that I wasn't going to finish some of the items when I tried to read A Tale of Two Cities--this would be "A book I was supposed to read in high school, but didn't" (I honestly do not know how I passed Sophomore English!).  I read the first chapter and I was like what did I just read?!?!  Reading should be enjoyable and this was not enjoyable.

Then, as I was looking for books that fell under "A Classic Romance", I realized I would pass on that too.  Last year, I read Northanger Abbey with my aunt's book club and at the end it was a cute love story, but it took me forever to read...Even though it was in English...I had to sit there and translate everything I was reading...that is not fun!

And since "A book over 100 years" most likely will fall under the same type of books as the two mentioned above, I am thinking about skipping that one too.

Then, I started reading All the Lights We Cannot See (it was on my waitlist at the library before I decided to do this challenge) for "A Pulitzer Prize-winning book"...yawn!  I may not be completing that one either.

So that is another 4 off my list...maybe if I get to December and I am almost done, I will reread To Kill a Mocking Bird for "A Pulitzer Prize" or I will find a "Classic Romance" (it doesn't have to be Jane Austen, right)...we will see.

I will update my list at the end of June...I know this isn't craft related, but I wanted to post my list here :D

Thank you for reading :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Monterey 2013 Album (Amy Tan class--2015)

Last month, my good friend Liz and I drove up to Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley (it just recently closed--boo!) to take an Amy Tan class. It was so much fun! And we got a ton of goodies! (Seriously, the amount of product was totally worth the price of the class!)

We didn't get much done, but it was a blast. Amy is such a great person. I highly recommend taking a class with her if you ever get the chance. 

During National Scrapbook Day (see Jossie's post--we had so much fun!), I actually got a lot of the book complete by just copying Amy's layouts. I worked on completing the album all last week and I finally finished.

There are a lot of pages (47) and I think I figured out how to do a slideshow (ok, it works on a computer, but it won't show the slide show on an iPhone/iPad).

Since I had more photos that didn't fit on the finished pages, I actually added a few more of my own design--whoo hoo! I love Sea Anemones...this one looked like a sunflower :)


I also love Sea Horses! This one looks like a leaf. The paper I used, the numbers really didn't work, so I painted over with lime green and white acrylic paint.

My niece had given me a thank you card for taking her, so I used it in the back and added her picture inside the card.

One of the techniques Amy showed us was with the Fuse tool. Of course I had to buy one! On one of the layouts I did, I added sequins and loved the look.

ok...one last photo from our trip because jellyfish are also one of my favorite!


I really love sea creatures, but I don't like the water! hahaha...my brain freezes and I can't breathe right when trying to swim or use snorkel gear! 

Thank you for letting me share my album!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

I have always loved to read, but there have been times when I didn't have the time to do so.  Now that my kids are grown, I am able to do nothing and just read...some call me obsessive or an addict because when I do start a book, it is so hard for me to stop...I can stay up late reading (but rarely any other time)...sometimes I just have to know how it ends!

The other day, I was thinking about posting the books I have read since the beginning of the year, then I came across this post by a fellow blogger who is doing the PopSugar 2015 Reading Challenge and I was like "hey...I wanna do that!" :)

I am not sure if I will update this often or not, but here is my list so far.

~A book with a number in the title--One Summer.  This one was pretty good.  It actually was kinda hard for me to start because it started off so sad and depressing, but then it got better and became a love story.

~A book by a female author--More Like Her.  This was a book club pick from my aunt's book club and it was good.  It was sad but it kinda had a love story in there.

~A book of short stories--Four.  Recently, I watched the Divergent movie and had to start reading the series.  Four is actually four short stories that can be read (preferably after Divergent) to hear about one of the characters in more detail--the last of the four books is kinda parallel with Divergent but seen from a different point of view.  I really liked this one.  (again a bit of a love story)

~A book set in a different country--A Girl on a Train.  This one I have seen so many people love it...I didn't really love it.  It was ok.  The beginning was so depressing...not a love story--haha

~A book a friend recommended--The Silent Sister.  This was also a book club pick from my aunt's book club.  I really like this one.  Sometimes I figure out the twists and I hate when I do that and this one I kinda knew things that should have been a surprise.  There is a little bit of a love story in this one.

~A trilogy--Divergent/Insurgent/Allegiant.  Ok, technically, I haven't finished this trilogy.  I still need to read the last book, but I really loved the first two...lots of twists in the second book.  And there is a love story component.

~A book by an author you've never read before--The Great Escape.  Late last year, my coworker and I decided to make a 2 person book club--haha!  So we started reading a bunch of books (we read the 3 Gillian Flynn books) and most of the books were kinda sad/depressing.  So at the beginning of the year, she recommended we read some romance novels.  This one was cute.  Then we read 3 more books by the same author and all the books were so similar!  Then we were tired of love stories haha!

So there are my short reviews.  I am on GoodReads.com and I try to keep it up to date if you want to follow me there.  

Some of the books were hard to choose which item to check off.  Like Four could have been "A book with a number in the Title" or "A book with a one-word title".  And A Girl on a Train could have also fallen under "A book you can read in a day"--although most wouldn't read it in a day (I read it in less than 24 hours because I didn't have anything else to do this past weekend--haha!)

I don't know if I will get to finish all these books on the list, but it will be fun to try. 

Thank you for reading if you made it this far :D