Monday, November 29, 2010

Feeling Thankful....

Awww....you guys! I've been getting some serious love in my comments lately and I'm feeling super thankful for my amazing readers-you guys are awesome! I am truly appreciative of each and every one of you that decide to stop by!
Three of you (Sharla, Mary Pat and Emily) gave me this fun award-Thanks ladies!!!:
Now, this award does come with some rules and I have to pay it forward:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this
2. Share 8 things about yourself
3. Pay it forward to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their awards

Share 8 things about myself
1. I drink a can of ice cold Coke every single morning. I can't function without it.
2. I went to a French-English Bi-lingual Elementary School for 5 years. I can still read quite a bit of French but sadly can't speak very much of it anymore.
3. I have four sons, including a set of identical twins.
4. I am addicted to all reality shows involving parents of multiples-Raising Sextuplets, Jon & Kate, Quintuplet Surprise, Etc. See #3. I think it's because I can relate to the madness that is life with more than one.
5. I secretly love to shovel snow. Seriously, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment when I am done. We don't really start getting serious snow until January here in southern Ohio and I can't wait!
6. My favorite flowers are daisies.
7. I desperately want to start running every day but I usually get distracted by a show on TV or a layout I want to work on.
8. I would wear flip flops every day of my life if I could but, alas, I work in the business world {and um... live in southern Ohio where it snows} so I can't.

Now I have to pay it forward.  Here are 8 people that I have found recently {that aren't in my list of links over there on the left} and I love to read their blogs. I feel sort of silly contacting some of them since they have HUNDREDS of followers. So I just invite you to check them out. I enjoy reading their posts and seeing their layouts and hope you do too.
1. Over the Rainbow-Keshet Starr
2. the hufford house-Jenni Hufford
3. kelli crowe
4. Me And You + Two-Mary Jo Johnston
5. Creativity By Crystal
6. Designs by Diana
7. Celebrate We Will
8. it is what it is-Beth Proudfoot

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shutterfly for Christmas

I think I've mentioned before how much I love Christmastime. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is giving and receiving Christmas cards and photo albums.
I love seeing how our friends and families have grown and changed over the years. Our family has been sending photo cards or cards with photos inserted for the past 9-10 years. I love sharing photos of our little family. For some of our extended family and friends this is the only time they see how our children have grown.
I love Shutterfly for so many reasons. I take a lot of pictures-a lot! {Like 400 a month-I know!} For a long time I used Kodak Gallery for my photo printing but I wasn't totally thrilled with the process or quality. Last year I tried Shutterfly. I got my pictures much faster than I had in the past and the quality was much better. Plus they have cool features like printing the date the photo was taken on the back of the card. That's a big deal for me-especially when I order in large batches-it makes organizing my photos soooo much easier. Now Shutterfly has the Express Uploader tool. It's a program that is on your computer desktop that lets you upload pictures to Shutterfly with just a few clicks of your mouse. So cool.
I use Shutterfly a lot at Christmas time. It's a hectic time of year for us, so I don't have a lot of time. But I want to give thoughtful presents-things people will treasure for years to come. Thank goodness for the photo book.
I've made a number of photo books with Shutterfly. Each and every one of them have turned out great. Photo books are quick and easy to do and make excellent gifts. Each year I make my mother in law a photo book of the boys.  I usually do an 8x8 hardcover album-she loves them! You can go here to try it for yourself. If you are at your child's school a lot and are able to take pictures of the students, this would make a great teacher gift, too.
My plan this weekend is to work on Christmas cards. All of our cards have photos in them. I hand make some {for close family and friends} but everyone else gets a photo card. You'd think it would be a super quick and easy thing but Shutterfly has over 800 designs! Oh my. Of course once I decide it will be easy....but I have a tough time deciding. More choice is better than no choice though.
This was last year's card-which I loved! Love the blues and the cream. But I want to do something totally different this year.
I love cards that have non-traditional Christmas colors. There are so many choices-I found this card and this card and so many more. But I think I am leaning towards this card. Love that I can put individual pictures of the boys and write a little note. And how much fun is that font!
This is my Shutterfly weekend-I'll be finishing up the photo albums and getting the Christmas cards ready to order. {I'm going to try to sneak in some time to scrapbook, too!}

Friday, November 19, 2010

Are You on a Scrapbook Budget?

Who isn't these days? But there are still things that I need {okay, want}. Well, just look at my "Things I Love" posts. :)
So what's a girl to do? How about earn some easy money doing things I'd be doing anyway?
I have a $25 craft budget each month. I can either carry the balance over and save up for something I want or make money outside our household budget. I can almost never carry money over month to month, so looking for money outside our budget is something I've gotten really good at.

Here a few reputable ways I do that:

-Swagbucks. Oh, how I love swagbucks. You earn points for doing web searches, answering polls, etc. I earn about 15 a day. Every month or so I turn them in for Amazon gift cards.
Search & Win
Earlier this year I bought a Cuttlebug with my cards. I have about $60 worth saved right now; not sure what I'll do with those. For more information on Swagbucks, go here.

 -Online surveys. After a lot of trial and error, I know which companies are worth signing up for and which aren't. I am a member of two panels. Both are great and send surveys pretty frequently. I've made about $50 every 3 months with each panel. Plus I've got to try cookies, crackers, diapers, toilet paper and more before it hits the market. I love being able to give my opinion about products to help make them better.
The first is Opinion Outpost.  They pay you in checks, Amazon gift cards, or Citibank gift cards.
The second is Mindfield Online. They pay you in checks.

-MyPoints. This one sends you emails every day or so and when you click on them you earn points. You can redeem your points for gift cards. I used my points to get gift cards for my children's teachers for Christmas this year. I have an email account set up just for My Points-that why my every day inbox doesn't get too full.

-Cash in on your old supplies. That adorable Crop in Style binder you just had to have but is sitting unloved and unused in your closet? Put it up for sell on Ebay, Craigslist, or a For Sale area of your favorite scrapbook message board. I love selling stuff on Two Peas in a Bucket. It's a great way to get rid of the clutter and earn a few dollars at the same time. If your local scrapbook store has a yard sale, consider  joining in. You'll usually get a store credit to spend on all the new stuff that catches your eye.

Have any questions? Please feel free to leave me a comment or email me. :)
This weekend I'll be doing a post about my favorite photo processing website-Shutterfly! Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things I Love Thursday...

Just a few quick ones this week...
-The new Over the Rainbow collection by KI Memories. Perfect for a year in review album! Love the paper and love the puffy stickers. They are all on my wish list on Amazon (hint, hint, family members reading this blog)
-I've decided I want a mini sewing machine just for paper crafts. I have a regular size sewing machine that I have used a few times {she and I have a love/hate relationship} but I want something small that I can put in the craft room. I've heard great things about the Janome Sew Mini. But I can't find it anywhere. I found a Michley Lil' Sew machine that looks really similar-but I'm not sure if they are the same thing. Who knew it would be this hard to find a little sewing machine.
-I saw this collection at JoAnn Fabric on my lunch break this week. Woodhaven by Colorbok-just love it. It would be great for spring photos. I want to use it for the album of our Michigan trip that I have been putting off forever. Hmmnnnn...might just have to use that 50% off coupon.

Have a great Thursday!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Things I Love Thursday

It's sketch week over at Alison Davis' blog! I love Ali's sketch and I have at least two of her sketch books on my Christmas wish list.

Love this idea of framing a "Gratitude" poster and having the kids talk about what they are thankful for. I might put a little twist on this idea and do this at Thanksgiving with the whole extended family-how fun would that be?

Speaking of Thanksgiving-Beth Proudfoot has some seriously adorable downloads for Thanksgiving favor tags. The boys have a Thanksgiving fest at school soon and these will definitely come in handy! If you aren't following Beth, you totally should.She has super cute downloads nearly every week.

Non-scrapbook related:
-The weather in Ohio this week has been AMAZING! Sunny and 70's in November? Yup, I'll take it!
-Football season is over for my boys! {Hello life, it's nice to have you back for awhile.}
-I am coveting this bag something awful. I don't need a new bag but man, do I WANT this one:

It's also on my Christmas/Birthday wish list!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby Layla's Mini Album

I can finally post pictures of the mini album that I've been working on. My husband's best friend and his wife welcomed their first child a couple of weeks ago. Chuck asked that I make a scrapbook for Layla as a gift. I was a little nervous about it-I always get a little nervous giving "homemade gifts".
Fortunately, Layla's mom & dad seemed to like it. :)


I used the Making Memories Animal Crackers album kit. I realized about halfway through that the album kit did not include nearly enough paper. And no one carries it anymore. Anywhere.



So I found some papers that matched pretty close in my stash (Basic Grey, DCWV, Becky Higgin's baby kit) and worked with what I had.



I have another friend that is expecting a little girl. Wish I had more Animal Crackers to work with but she'll probably get something done with the super cute October Afternoon paper I picked up at Archivers recently. {Note to self-get started on that!}

Been a little lazy blogging lately, had a whole house full of sickies. The stomach virus going around seemed to stagger itself by two days through each of my four boys. Sigh. I even had one sick at Trunk or Treat.
So glad things are getting back to normal and I can start crafting again!