Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Over the top Birthday Parties

I love a party as much as the next girl, but what my recent experience was just over the top . One of the main reasons for my New York visit last week was to attend my youngest Niece's 1st birthday party. Jim and I usually head out east over the Memorial Day week but this year we pulled in our trip so that we could be there for the party.

My brother and SIL always have great parties for their kids. My SIL comes from a really big family and they all do this. While she would never admit it....it is all about out-doing the last party. Each party has a theme and they usually go all out. The theme for this last party was a Barnyard Party. Very cute.

My SIL made a bunch of the decorations herself. Once again all very cute, but that was not the end. I can understand the need to rent tables and chairs. With the 60+ guests of course we would need somewhere to sit. I can even understand the food bill as we all certainly enjoyed the baby back ribs, chicken, stuffed mushrooms, and Heineken. I will even give in and admit how cute the real bales of hey (purchased from a farm 20 miles away) were.....but that is my limit.

When I heard squeaking and squawking coming from near the food area I though birds were trying to get into the food. But no, that was just the sound from the baby chicks and ducklings that were purchased to enhance the barnyard theme. OK, a little over the top. Then about 1/2 way through the party I here this odd sound - clip-clop-clip-clop- coming from outside the front gate. After seeing the ducklings I should have guessed.....they hired a pony. Oh but not just one, of course with the number of kids they certainly needed two ponies. Can you believe this ponies....in urban New Jersey (just outside of Manhattan).

So long gone are the days of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, and soda....and here are the days of baby back ribs, chicken, stuffed mushrooms, and Heineken while taking pony rides in your back yard.

After seeing this party I can't imagine what next year will bring! From now on I think I am going to stick to my regular memorial day week visit.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Check this out....

I know it probably doesn't look like much, but I am so happy. After visiting 3 different Kinkos I finally got one to try binding the chipboard for me. They had no trouble with it, and it turned out perfect.

Ever since the first Becky Higgins book I sketch all of my layouts. My scraproom is full with a million little post-it notes with layout sketches. I have more sketches than I will probably ever scrap, but I still keep sketching. In my quest to orgainze I decided to make myself a sketch book, but really wanted one with the squares already drawn. Since I could not find one on the market I decided to make my own. The book contains 50 pages the have 4 squares printed on each side. So the book is just over 1/4" thick and can hold 400 sketches.

I wanted to keep the cover flat so that I could use it like a spiral notebook and flip the cover over the back and still have it lay flat. I made this plain simple one first to make sure that I could get it bound. I plan to make another one with a more detailed (but still flat) cover.

My next task it to start tranferring my million post-it's into sketchbooks like these. Sometimes it's the little things that can make you happy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm home and unpacked!!!

I am back from a week of visiting family and friends in New York. All in all it was a great trip. We got back early enough that I was able to finish unpacking, do 3 loads of laundry, open the mail, and even got a little scrapping in tonight.

One of the mail items waiting for me was issue 15 of the SBM (Scrapbook Magazine). In this issue they included samples of the new Blonde Moments paper. OMG, this stuff is just amazing. I LOVE it. Another package I got contained my pre-ordered sassafras acrylic stamps. So I played with both my new goodies using a photo I snapped of my niece this past week.

More about my trip to follow....but now it's time to go watch AI and catch up on the apprentice.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend Happenings

Another fantastic weekend at home. Now that we are in the new house Jim and I are spending more and more time at home. We are just so happy we made the move. The weather has been beautiful and we are making the most our patio.

On Saturday we had to do some errands in the morning but were home by ~2:00pm. Spent a few hours outside watering the lawn and flowers. Then we just relaxed, enjoyed each others company, and talked about the remaining house upgrades that we will do over the next year or so. For dinner we cooked out on the grill and had some yummy yummy NY strips. After dinner I was able to get a little scrapping in and then started gathering materials for my Sunday project.

On Sunday I slept in a bit and then called my mom. Had to do a little work work before starting the fun part of the day. After a little more yardwork, a quick shower, and a very light lunch I got a bit more scapping in. I started work on my very first altered coin folder (for a new assignment). OMG, I am so happy with how it turned out. I immediately orderd more of them. Dinner was another night on the grill. This time we had yummy yummy kabobs - probably my favorite summer time meal. After dinner I just finished up my coin folder, and then watched the west wing finale (I am so sad to see this show go) and the first part of the Grey's Anatomy season finale (I am so glad this show will be coming back).

Tonight after work Jim and I will be packing for New York. We are taking the red eye flight after work tomorrow but there will not be enough time to pack after work. The bad news is that the weather has been icky and rainy back east and all the cool summer cloths I picked out to wear may need to be replaced with warmer duds. I am still hoping for the weather to turn around before Wed.

Christmas at the Neal's

OMG, I love these kids so much I can't stop looking at this page. I finally got my hands of the Rhonna Farrer doodling stamps and just LOVE them.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Caterina

Today is my youngest niece's 1st birthday. My brother took these pictures a few weeks ago and I just got them yesterday and decided to whip out a quick layout tonight. I just can't believe that she is one already. My very best friend from grade school also has a DD celebrating her 1st birthday today (I am so excited to see both little girls next week when I am back in New York). And Wendy's precious DD turned 4 today. So it is a great day.

On top of all the special birthdays today I got a little mini-toot. I know I said I would not submit to paperART again, but I'm a sucker and I did. I needed to make a couple cards this weekend and decided to submit them. Since I am going to be giving them away next week and PaperART accepts electronic submissions I went ahead and sent them in. They picked up one of them today....best part is that I will actually be compensated for this one.

In other news, Jim and I are getting ready for our trip to NY. We leave next Tuesday and return a week later. We are both really looking forward to the time off work and I can't wait to see my family. We have an event packed week planned.

Tomorrow is Friday and we have nothing major planned for the weekend. I know we will enjoy the great weather and I should be able to get some scrapping in.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy...

I'm talking layouts here. I love the busy look layouts. My DH was away on business today, so I had several hours to myself tonight. I used all the time to work on this one layout. I took this shot of my dad and niece last August.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

I know I have scrapped this picture before but I was never really happy with that page. Since I don't have very many pictures of my mom as a child I decided to scrap this project again. My mom's birthday was last week and thought it would be nice to post a layout for her. Happy Birthday MOM!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Pig Tails

I know this is not the best picture but I just had to scrap it. My little niece is a girls girl...she was so excited when her mom (my SIL) put her hair in pig tails. She hammed it up for the camera. I am so excited to see her and her brother and sister when I am back in New York for a visit in 2 weeks.