You say Driveway. We say Chalkboard.

It's all about perspective, I suppose. Our black-topped (that's southern speak for asphalt) driveway became a giant chalk board today.

Dusty fun!


Martha Martha Martha

I don’t have time to blog today but I’m going to anyway. There’s been a great deal of discussion lately about Martha Stewart’s entrée into the world of scrapbooking and as you probably guess, I have some thoughts on the matter.

Let me just say {up front} that I spent some time as a Martha-fan many years ago, as a new, young bride and then I got over it. Under the encouragement of Martha’s constant pursuit of perfection—the perfect home, the perfect holiday, the perfect linen closet, the perfect meal, the perfect garden, the perfect table, the perfect trip to a junque store—it all became somewhat of an obsession and later, a constant source of bitter disappointment. I had to wake up and notice that life is never perfect. Try as I might, it’s just not like the pages of a magazine. Why is that not OK?

Some peas reported that at the last trade show (Winter CHA in January) that Martha Stewart’s entrée into scrapbooking was being supported and produced by EK Success. EK, of course, was going to offer Martha’s line to their own *Elite stores* first, but then apparently had the rug pulled out from under them when Martha decided—at the last minute-- to go exclusively to Michaels for the first 6 month. In several different places, I’ve seen Martha’s entrée referred to as stating that she will “raise scrapbooking to a new level”.

I can’t help it. I’m not impressed and I resent the implication that scrapbooking needs Martha Stewart to “raise it to a new level”. Scrapbooking is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are plenty of successful people building scrapbook companies of all kinds from the ground up successfully from a place of passion. I’m a big believer in doing what you love entrepreneurially, and scrapbooking is filled to the brim of family businesses built on pure inspiration and passion.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t get the impression that Martha Stewart is getting into scrapbooking because it’s something she’s driven by. I think it’s more accurate to say that she stood back and watched while this market built itself into a booming industry and now, she’s decided that since it’s likely to be a profitable adventure, maybe it’s time for her to make an entrance and “raise it to a new level”.

Not happening.

I hope scrapbook stores have the gumption to ignore EK’s push and continue to stick with real scrapbooking companies.


My Husband loves Karen, the Aussie chick.

My husband is not a gadget guy. Well, at least he didn't used to be. I think that may be changing.
<<---This is Karen. Karen speaks with an Austrailian accent and tells him where to go and how to get there. LOL! And boy, does he listen.
J likes Karen.
We all do, in fact. Karen, the voice of the GPS, is really cool. And quite the smart cookie, if I do say so myself. And she doesn't get all bent out of shape if one makes a wrong turn or fails to follow her directions. Karen never says rude things like "Are we lost?" or "Are we there yet?" She is calm and polite. She knows where every scrapbook store and Starbucks in the state is. And how long it will take us to get there. See. Told you. Bright girl, that Karen.
Wanna hear something sweet? Home is permanently programmed into Karen's memory. No matter where he is, he can press the HOME button and Karen can send him directly on his way home. I know it's sappy...but I like that.


Back to Reality

Resistance is futile. Slowly but surely, real life is creeping back upon me. I've fought it, but I'm slowly losing.

I know because:
There are no chocolates on my freshly made bed. Heck. My bed is not even freshly made. Wonder who I should speak to about that? :)

A warm breakfast of bacon and eggs, and pancakes isn't waiting when I wake.
No one puts my linen dinner napkin across my well-dressed lap for me. (Actually, I don't even own any linen napkins...)
No one brings me Diet Coke every time I blink.
There are no clean towels hanging in my bathroom. No warmed robe either.
No view of the Gulf from my bed.
My neighbors in the next room are loud and rowdy and they get up way too early.
There is no spa within walking-distance of my front door.
There's no shopping for jewelry and art two decks down.
There's no adult conversation about religion and politics and work and family and sports at dinner. (We do well to get the tv turned off sometimes.)
There's almost no sand in my shoes.
There's no wind in my hair. (Did you know sea spray is good for your hair?)
There's no need for sunglasses.
My feet are back to being cold.
My honey is working.
My children actually expect me to make them three meals a day and snack and do the laundry...
I suppose it's nice to be home.
(Since I have no choice.)
It's also nice to know we are going back in 2008.
Scrapbook craziness has hit hard. The pressure is on. I have about 40 (forty) 12x12 scrapbook pages to complete before the first regional meeting on March 8. It has to be FedEd'ed on March 6. In the next 11 days, I have to:
go thru about 600 photos,
edit and upload about 150 of them,
compile all the written comments and thoughts from other people,
do the pages, journaling, and
then scan them all.
And then I have to entrust all my work to the hands of a Fed Ex carrier. That is perhaps the most difficult step of all. I seriously considered flying it out to the office myself. Certain people in my house thought that was a nutty idea.
And, to top it off, we are birthday party-ing tomorrow. My children had the good fortune of having the their birthdays fall within 2.5 weeks of each other, and since they share many of the same friends, we are having one giant party, with several of our family friends, so it will be fun for everyone! It's a source of extreme pleasure for me that my boys like each other and get along well. I'm proud of that.
Back to the cruise. In short, it was a grand trip. I loved last year but this year was fabulous. One quick observation--everyone knows that successful salesmen (or rather salespeople) are a unique breed. Well, you can double the unique-quotient when the same salesmen are working for a cause they truly deeply passionately believe in.
In meeting the spouses of the top, all-star salesmen (and a few women) in this company, I noticed that in almost every case, the relationships are made up of the one spouse being the big personality and the other being the leveling, calming factor. Of course, that's the way it is with us (honey and me). That was no surprise--I've known that since we started dating. But I've never noticed it so distinctly in a large group of people as I did with our group on the cruise. Just one of those interesting dynamics I think about when I have time to think.
Happy Friday!!


It was very good.

And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1)


Is that sand beneath my feet?

Well, no, not quite yet...but by tomorrow, we'll be on our way. Valentines in Miami, then Key West and Cozumel.
Salty air...
Blazing sun...
Azure waves...
Marshmallow clouds...
Sugary sands...
Waspy breezes...
Much to do.
what did you do today he asked
of value you mean
well i got up
i got dressed and did the laundry
i made my bed
and i was a pretty good mom i said
then it was a good day he said
and i agreed



So 2Peas hosted this contest right...*Why I Scrapbook*. There were two winners chosen for $100 gift certificates--one for overall and one for journaling.
(insert the giddy with delight jumping up and down emoticon right here)


Do you love Thickers?

So ya'll know I'm scrapbooking on the cheap lately, right?. Well, necessity being the mother of invention and brilliant peas knowing and sharing everything...I have an alternative (read super cheap) idea for those fancy shmancy American Crafts "Thickers". That's right...die cut letters from Fun Foam. If American Crafts can do it, why can't I do it with my trusty little QK? One sheet of thin black fun foam from M's is a whopping 79 cents. Lovely dimensional bold letters made from QK fonts...very very cheap. Pennies. And cool too.
I'm thinking maybe a bright blue for a water page or some foamy fish for last summer's backyard pool pictures.

I did learn something that you might also find useful. If you are planning to use the Xyron Sticker Maker X to apply the adhesive to the foam letters, you will want to do so before pressing the letters. Apply the adhesive to a long strip of foam, then cut the letters. The Xyron adhesive doesn't stick all that well and getting it out from the crevaces of the letters without removing it all from the back of the letters is a hassle-and-a-half and borders on mission impossible. Avoid the gummy mess. :)
Happy Cheap Tuesday!


We have Snow! And Ryegrass!

Yep. Finally.

We have snow.

About 2-3 inches.

Of beautiful fun snow.

Grey's first consequential snow.

His commentary: "Oh Daddy. It's cold."


In other news, because of the weather, Joal's home today so he painted the kitchen! Some of you know just how much I have hated the UT Orange kitchen I've been living with since we moved in and that's it been in transition for a few months now. Joal's really good about keeping projects short from start to finish, but he can only do this stuff on the weekends, so it does take a while for the big projects. It started with the removal of the ugly bird tiles (sorry Connie), tons of re-rocking, mudding and then 2 complete coats of primer to cover the atrocious orange. Even the white of the primer was refreshing when compared to orange.

I had a really hard time selecting a color but it finally came down to Behr's Ryegrass. It's a springy soft green. Makes me think of daffodil stalks. Pale but not seafoam. Bright but not lime. Actually, if you have a Bazzill swatchbook or the Bazzill "Place We Love--Goldengate" collection, it's quite similar to Thyme. LOL!

It's wonderful. It's amazing what a new paint color can do for a room! When the painter's tape comes down and the moulding has all been replaced, I'll take some pictures.

Ryegrass rocks!

Magnetic Thoughts

It's a truly simple thing that makes my heart want to jump out of my chest. These are Greyson's magnets on my refrigerator door. They are letters and numbers, sorted by color. Of his own choosing, he prefers them sorted by color. Organized and aligned to the best of his ability, no matter how long it takes him.
He organizes things.
He chooses to sort things.
Given that sorting and organizing anything is such a chore to Julian and never something he chooses to do without much prompting--whether it be magnets, M&Ms, or even thoughts, it's a task that I am so happy to see Grey conquering with such ease.
People say parents shouldn't compare their children to each other and I understand that premise to a certain extent, but having never had a child who progressed at the expected pace, I can't help but look at these indicative emerging skills and have cause for a hope I've never had before. It's an odd feeling. It hurts and it feels great all at the same time. It's like laughing and crying at the same time. Confusing as heck...
Happy Friday.
Pray for snow.
Both the flakes we saw today melted before touching down.


Trivial Amusement of Croutons

Heathy-er eating and cooking is a constant challenge for me. I've made some pretty serious lifestyle adjustments in this area over the past three years and I feel like I'm finally to a place where I'veacheived a happy-ish medium. Not too indulgent but not completely cardboard and leafy things either. Balance. Gotta find the balance.

Everyone knows Paula Deen (Paula's Home Cooking on Food TV) is the queen of *un*healthy cooking. The woman is known for her indulgent use of butter and her southern fried ways but yesterday's show on Comfort foods surely must have taken heart-clog to a new level. Her recipe for Croutons includes frying them. Frying. in. Oil.

I must confess I had no idea that croutons were/could be fried. I've actually made them before (although I usually just buy a small box) and the recipe I used instructed one to baked them. Being brushed with butter is bad enough but deep frying. My heart is constricting at just the thought.

Fried French Bread...oh my. With Parmesan For the record, I'm sure they are positively delicious (we are talking about French Bread and could you go wrong?) but would it really be that much better than baking?

I'm thinking not. At least that's what I'm telling myself. :)

No snow yet. Dang it. Looks like in order to have some snow in these parts we're going to have to buy it off ebay.

Happy Thursday.