Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

It's that time of year again. How did 2010 fly by so quickly? Maybe it's because I'm older. Maybe it's the kids. But nonetheless, another year has gone by and the kids are growing faster by the minute. My darling DeAnne of Precious Moments Photography hooked me up with Santa pictures this year. For the first time, we got all of the kids on Santa's lap. Actually, DeAnne got them on Santa's lap. It was truly a Christmas miracle. Vincent is now officially 'too old' for Santa. I, of course, will never be too old for Santa.
With Scrap Diva officially closed, I am off to explore new worlds. If all goes well, I will be assisting DeAnne with the studio in 2011 and I can't wait. While I love the scrapbooking, I truly love the creativity of photography. I love taking tons of pictures and uploading them to see the results. I can't get enough of it.

And moments like this make my heart sing. Having the flexibility of being a stay-at-home mom is a luxury I am very fortunate to have. Thank you my darling Jim!!!

So what's new in the world of Tab? Well, Vincent is officially an adult. 18 years old!! I can't believe I have an 18 year old. I also can't believe how quick it went by. And not only that, he just completed high school a whole 6 months EARLY!! Can I get a woot woot?!!!

So to celebrate his birthday, Britt and I took him on the grand tour of San Francisco, his favorite place. We went to AT&T Park (of course) and went to the Giant's store. Got some cool stuff for him. Then to Lucca's for an early lunch.

Can I just say, there is nothing better than a prosciutto, hot coppa and monterey jack cheese sandwich on a soft roll. And it MUST be from Lucca's. It is the most amazing delicatessen I have ever been to. Love it.

Next, we drove to the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy said sandwiches and watch this lovely surfer catch some waves. We also took a trip down Lombard Street, went to Ghiradelli Square and then headed back to Concord where we went to the batting cages what Vincent used to go to when he played baseball. All in all, it was a fabulous day and we all had fun. I am so proud of my boy and I feel so blessed to have him. He is an amazing young man and I adore him beyond measure. I am a very lucky mom to have such a great kid. I mean, adult.

Well here's to another fabulous year for my little family. We may not be rich in money but we are rich in love and blessings. If I don't get back here before the end of the year, have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a very very happy new year. May the coming year be a happy and prosperous one for you and yours.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Marital Bliss

Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of watching this beautiful young lady get married. I have known Nicole for about ten years. Her mom is my best friend, Nancie. When I met Nicole, she was just out of high school. She is truly an amazing young woman. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, the is a beautiful person on the inside. And her new husband, Cory is lucky to have her. What was amazing about their wedding is it was so wonderful to see two people so sure about their decision to spend the rest of their lives together. They were both literally glowing at the aspect of becoming husband and wife. The best part of the wedding was when Nicole was asked if she would take Cory as her husband, she enthusiastically said, I DO!! Everyone laughed and she said, I'm excited!' That warmed my heart so much to know that she has found someone she truly loves. I wish them both a long and happy life. And I am grateful to have been a part of their celebration.

So last week I had a shoot up at Chabot Space & Science Center for the new Bill Nye the Science Guy Exhibit. It was an amazing exhibit and lots of interactive stuff for kids to get excited about 'going green'. Lots of information about using renewable energy, recycling and whatnot. The cool part is, I got the meet the man himself.

Bill was really cool and funny and it was a lot of fun seeing everything they have there. Jim came and was my assistant for the first time. Our first time working together!!! All went well and it was beautiful up there as always. If you haven't had a chance to go up there, do so. It is a really cool center and the view up there is amazing.

Halloween was a blast. We went trick or treating with DeAnne and her family in their new neighborhood. Vince, of course, is now too old to go so he stayed home to watch the WORLD CHAMPION GIANTS. (It had to be said) We had a ton of fun walking around and checking out everyone's costumes and all of the decorated houses. The kids got a TON of candy and a good time was had by all. Even the adults!! Jamie was a Giant's Fan (he refused to wear a hat), Gavin was Venom Spiderman and Kieran was a vampire. DeAnne and I reminisced about the days of homemade costumes and staying out until the last light went out. Our kids were wiped by 8 and we were like, WHAT?? Let's keep going!!! Ah, I miss the old days.

Last but not least, we are preparing to bid adieu to Scrap Diva. My home away from home. DeAnne has decided to devote her time to the studio full-time and spend more time with her family. It's a good thing because she is so good at the photography and that really is where her passion lies. I am very excited for her too. I have spent many an hour there laughing with her and Brittany and all of the wonderful people I have met through her. I was truly blessed to have met DeAnne and she is an amazing person. I wish you all the luck in the world my friend!!! I love ya!!

That's it for now. Off to bed and the start of a new week tomorrow. Baking, school, photo editing and much more!!! I love it!! Have a wonderful week!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Cryptic huh? So what do those numbers mean? Well the first is this: 11 years. 4015 days. 96,360 hours. You get the idea. That's how long I've been married to this man. My lobster. Why lobster? Friends moment: Phoebe explaining that lobsters stay with the same mate for life. Well it took me 2 husbands and quite a few broken hearts to find my lobster. I'm his butter. Get it? Haha! Anyway, through the ups and downs, ins and outs, joys and sorrows, we managed to hang in there and have a better marriage now than I ever thought we would. Now don't get me wrong. This man drives me NUTS. And I don't mean in like a mad passionate way. I mean, he makes me INSANE. But he also balances me out. When I am stressed he knows how to calm me down. When I need a hug, he sees that. He is the bread to my butter and the breath to my life. This darling Irish boy. And I adore him. So that being said, happy 11th anniversary my adorable McFly.

Now on to the 43. Well I'm sure you can guess. I turned 43 this year. I must be getting old because I actually forgot it was my birthday this month. Sad I know. So I look in the mirror and I see this girl (Yes I still see a girl) and think, I look tired, I look out of shape. But I don't look 43. Do I? And while I stand there picking my 43 year old ass apart I stop. And I think, hey dammit, this 43 year old body has been through A LOT! I've been married 3 times. This lovely body has given birth to not one but TWO sets of twins and 3 single births. 6 Boys and one girl. This body has ran, bungee jumped twice, suffered many spills on my dirt bike with my brother (ah the life of a tomboy), been hit by a line drive by the biggest 10 year old girl I've ever seen. This heart has been broken more times than I care to count. I've survived on little or no sleep and managed to function. This body kept me going when my diet was crappy and I got little or no exercise. And I realize at 43, that maybe I need to give myself a break. I look damn good considering. And hey, I'm still alive and kicking. Still got some get up and go in me. I'm funny as hell, I have a wonderful family, great friends that fill my life with joy and laughter. All in all, 43 is OK. Plus if I can still give my 17 year old son a piggy back ride, I think I'm doing great.
Anyway, enough about me. We were very happy to have my brother return safely from overseas and even happier that he was able to come home again for a longer visit. As always, he looked fantastic and we were able to spend some great family time together. We all had a great cooking lesson from my step-mother Licia on how to make papusas from her native Guatemala. Yummy!!

Vincent got a lesson on self-defense courtesy of my brother. And the kids got a kick out of seeing Uncle Beto take their big brother down. And some great family pictures. I can't believe how much my dad and brother look alike. I am so proud of all that my brother has accomplished and what an amazing guy he has turned out to be. I also had to opportunity to introduce him to a group of ladies at Scrap Diva who regularly organize care packages shipped to soldiers overseas. I couldn't be prouder to introduce this man as my younger brother who now towers over me.School is back in and we are enjoying our first break of the year. Yes, we have one of those wacky school districts where we get breaks every couple of months. But I love having some time off with these boys. It has been unbearably hot and we are all anxious for Autumn to arrive. 105 in the end of September? Seriously? UGH!
Looking forward to a productive weekend. Pictures, sewing, crafting. Anything to keep my hands busy and the creative juices flowing. It's been too long since I took my camera out and I need to hit the city again soon. Maybe Chinatown, maybe North Beach. But I am headed over the bridge to some hopefully cooler weather. Wish me luck! Have a great weekend!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Good Lordy I am lagging!! But there's a good reason. Really. Well, Summer flew by. Since we live in a school district with a year round schedule we get a shorter Summer. But wow, this year's went quick. Before I knew it I was buying school clothes and supplies. With this new year, all my little men go to school around the same time and I actually have more time to get stuff done while they're gone. It's was amazing to walk into the house that first day and realize I had no kids for not 1, not 2 but 6 whole hours!!! What's a girl to do???
Well, of course, there's crafting. Did some of that. Also getting this photography thing going. I was very fortunate to have gotten a few jobs shooting up at the Chabot Space & Science Center. I had never been there before and my wonderful friend Sharon hooked me up. It is just beautiful up there. Who knew the Oakland hills were so beautiful? Not me. So along with my lovely assistant, Brittany, we made a few trips up there to take some pictures. It was so much fun and I am thrilled to finally be getting this off the ground.

I also have become completely obsessed with baking. It's seriously ridiculous. Jim was like, isn't the photography enough? Sadly, no. My most favorite thing to bake are cupcakes. I am on a quest for the perfect cupcake recipe. Now I thought I was good. I even learned how to use a piping bag and I have to say I was pretty impressed with myself. See?

Yummy French vanilla cake with Swiss buttercream frosting topped with fresh blackberries. Amazing. Then I finally got a chance to try a Cupkate. Ever heard of her? She is amazing. First off, she buys this used mail truck, converts it into a roach coach and sells cupcakes out of it. She goes to several locations in the Berkeley area and sells a variety of cupcakes everyday. Her name is Kate, hence the name CupKates. ANYWAY, I have been hearing about her for months. So Vincent, Britt & I were in the area about a month ago when she was by Scrapbook Territory and I had to try one. Ok, two. First, here's her cupkates. Cute right. Very simple, straight forward cupcakes. Flavors? Oh my, there was Creme Brulee, Key Lime Pie, double vanilla, double chocolate, smores, red velvet, lemon raspberry, and salted caramel. Drooling yet?

I mean look at them. So I got the double vanilla and a salted caramel and Vincent got the smores and the double chocolate. Can I just say they were like HEAVEN. I mean, seriously the best thing I have ever tasted in my entire life. I can't even describe how incredibly moist the cake was. And the frosting was like chocolate mousse. Just so delicious. I was shamed. My cupcakes were no longer so fabulous. I was just a mom who bakes cupcakes. Not cupkates. But fear not, I did not let this get me down. At least not for too long.

So I came home, jumped on the wonderful world wide web and began the furious search for the perfect cupcake. I printed a ton of recipes and today tackled one. Guiness cupcakes. I admit, I was aprehensive about pouring my beloved Guiness into a mixing bowl. For those of you who have drank Guiness, you know how incredibly bitter the Irish Stout is. It is definitely an aquired taste. And not in the least bit cupcake like. But throw in some Ghiradelli cocoa, some sugar, eggs and make a yummy chocolate ganache. I have to say they weren't half bad. Jim insisted he got a buzz eating them. I wish. Now they weren't even slightly moist. But they were very dense and I loved them. But I will keep plugging away. When I find the perfect recipe, watch out.
OK, that was my long cupcake story. I have also mastered the perfect lemon bar. I had never had lemon bars before but had heard everyone rave about them. So I found a recipe in one of the lovely Paula Deen recipe books I had and made them. They are so delicious!!
On one final note, I have to say I am incredibly grateful for my lovely husband of over 10 years. I have been begging him from day one to make me a large work table for my crafting. Nagging him is actually more like it. Well it took 10 years but he finally made my table and I am so giddy I can't stop looking at it. I haven't taken a picture yet but I will. I look forward to creating some great things on this table. He thinks I'm nuts because I just walk by it and giggle because I am so happy. So Jim, you are truly the best. You're my lobster and I adore you.
Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


It's official. I'm chubby. Oh, who am I kidding? I've been chubby. But when I hit the dreaded scale yesterday and saw that I had surpassed the 2oo (yes, that's 200 POUNDS), I realized something had to be done. Now I admit, I am one of those people that thinks if I eat once a day, I won't gain weight. AND I also have a husband who has told me for YEARS that if I eat 5 small meals instead of one big fat pigfest of a meal I will lose weight. With that in mind, I am doing a MAJOR shift in my diet. And excercise. Apparently chasing kids all day and running them back and forth to school is not considered excercise. Or I have the slowest metabolism in the world because it just ain't cutting it anymore. So I decided the best way I can push myself to lose this chubbiness is to tell you, my meager audience, my progress. My thinking is, if I have to share my piggishness with you I will be less likely to pork down on that last cupcake because I don't want it to go to waste. I figure, if Cathy Zielske can show her progress, why can't I? Heck, she even has before pictures is shorts and a tank top. It's late and I look like hell so I won't subject your poor eyes to that. But I will divulge: as of today, I weigh 221. I need to lost like 70lbs. I don't want to look anorexic, mind you. Just thinner. So there it is. Me in all my 221lb. glory. I am bound and determined. So if you see me stuffing a donut in my mouth, smack that damn thing out of my chubby little hand (is that an oxymoron?). I promise, I won't hit back. OK, I'm off to catch some z's. Tomorrow is a new day and my butt is losing some weight. Wish me luck!!

Friday, June 04, 2010


Yes, it is my favorite time of year. When the clothes get smaller, the weather gets warmer and I get to barbeque to my heart's content. Kids wrapped up school yesterday so today was our first official 'lazy' day. So I now have a first grader, a third grader, a fifth grader and a high school senior. And while I did cry that my last baby finished kindergarten, I look forward to the longer days so I can actually get some stuff done. This running around at all hours dropping kids off and picking them up is exhausting. I actually have to set my alarm so I don't forget to pick anyone up. But this is what I live for. Taking care of these boys and doing the best I can to ensure they are educated and safe. As I listen to Kieran yell, 'You suck Jamie.' Ahhhh, parenthood.

Last week DeAnne and I took our brood out to San Francisco for a little day trip. The best thing is it was on a Friday so there were less tourists and more parking spaces.

First stop:
Treasure Island.

Not the hotbed of activity and when we stopped at the convenience store there it was pretty scary. But the view of the city was amazing.
Next stop:
Lombard Street

DeAnne, Britt, Vincent and I have taken SEVERAL trips to the city and everytime we go to Lombard Street it is packed and the line to go down is a mile long. The key: go on a weekday! We sailed right through to the delight of dear Britt.

Then it was on to the Palace of Fine Arts:

It was just breathtaking here. Unfortunately, the Palace part is closed for construction but we walked around the lake and got some great pictures. It was a gorgeous day and the weather turned out to be perfect.

We also walked by the Expolratorium and did you know that the first Wednesday of every month is FREE? Go check it out.Then we went to the beach at Crissy Fields. My first time there and it was beautiful. There were dogs running in the water, a few guys windsailing which was really cool to watch. I had no idea how fast they went. And the kids had a blast digging in the sand. It was incredibly relaxing and I am now determined to go running out there.

After hanging at the beach we went on to Ghiradelli Square. We walked through Kara's Cupcakes and surprisingly, did not purchase any. Then had lunch at Lori's Diner. Now, I have been to Lori's a bunch of times and have always loved it but this time, I was sooooo disappointed. First of all, it cost a freakin' arm and a leg there. Yeah, I know. It's a tourist area. Bu $9 for an OK burger?? And no kid's menu? Then the service was horrible!! Let me just say, we will not be going to Lori's again.

After the Square, we took a little walk down towards Fisherman's Wharf until the kid's looked like they were about to drop. Then we headed back to our cars. This was the amazing view we were treated with on the way back:

So after a long day of sight seeing, we pile into our respective cars and just as we start the engines, all these bicyclists start flying by. Me, not being a city girl, assume it's a tour group. But oh no baby. It was:


What the?????????



Now I am all for people expressing themselves. But what does Critical Mass have to do with you riding your naked freaky ass down San Francisco streets? And why oh why were my children subjected to this? Try explaining to an elementary school child why that big ugly man is riding his bike down the street NAKED. Not fun. Now if they were Calvin Klein underwear models, well that's an entirely different story. And I would have gotten many more pictures. But alas, they were not Calvin models. Just old men with their junk flopping around. Gross.

As you can see, it was an eventful day. So much fun, so many different things we saw. That is why I adore the city. You can do so many things in one day. LOVE me some San Francisco. Next trip: hopefully Santa Cruz. Enjoy the beginning of these Summer Days!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Heavenly Honeysuckle

I love the smell of honeysuckle. Ever since I was little I have loved it. I think it was the first flower my mom showed me and I remember taking in the scent and just loving it. So I was pleasantly surprised when we moved to Brentwood and during the first days of Spring it sprouted up everywhere. The best is the main road we drive down in our neighborhood is lined on both sides with the stuff. I roll down all the windows in the car and drive down the road, the scent filling my car and taking me back to my childhood. Isn't it amazing how a smell can bring back so many memories?

I have been on a real creative kick lately. I swear, my brain was stagnant for so long and now I am having so much fun making stuff again. This lovely thing is a pincushion I made from a video tutorial on DIYDish.Com. Every week they post a new project and show you step by step how to create it. Soooo cool. So I added my own little touches, flowers, the Eiffel Tower and Voila! A work of art

I also love working with canvas. I have a really hard time with them but once I am finished, I love the end result. I made this one using Kaiser Craft paint, Glimmer Mist, this fabulous glittered paper from Die Cuts with a View and a little bling. Perfect for the pictures I took last Summer of the boys on China Beach in San Francisco.

Only a little over a week left of school and we are so excited. Can't wait to start traveling and taking the kids out. Going to hit the beach, do some cherry picking in the orchards out here, and just spend time as a family. My Vincent will be 18 in November so this will be our last Summer with him still being 'a kid'. I am savoring it.

Also took a quick field trip with Gavin to the Children's Museum in Stockton. It was a great little place for the kids to play. Gavin decided he needed a moustache for this trip so I obliged him.

He is such a sassy little guy. I swear, he is going to be an actor when he grows up. He is such the little performer and is not the least bit shy when it comes to dancing and singing in front of strangers.
Well, gotta catch some z's. Long week ahead of me and gotta get these boys to bed. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Allergies Suck

Those of you who suffer from this seasonal malady know what I mean. It's awful. Doesn't help that I live across the street from this HUMONGOUS FIELD and at the end of my street are orchards teeming with pollen. So I suffer along with my sweet little 5 year old who doesn't understand why his eyes are swollen and he looks like a bug. Poor kid.
But the McIntyre's are trucking along. Last few weeks of school and looking forward to taking a few short trips with the boys and my mom. My mom is dying to go to Santa Cruz and ride the Round-Up. She is by far the coolest mom EVER. Unlike her friends that are her age, she still loves to get up and go, always looking for an adventure. Guess who inherited that trait? Also going to try to make it up to Yosemite. Shame on me, I have never been and am looking forward to showing my boys this wonderful part of California. The best part of this Summer is my brother will finally be home from overseas. It is hell knowing he's out there and we are relieved that his time there is almost complete. YAY!!!

So what's up in my world? Went to SF with DeAnne and the Brit's a few weeks ago. I love going on a weekday because it's such a different feel than on the weekends when the tourists are all over like ants. Plus we went off the beaten path into the Marina District and walked around and it was so cool. We found a lovely little Irish pub, which I forgot to get the name of. Anyway, tons of old pictures around from the 40's and 50's. So being me, I wandered around looking and lo and behold I found this little gem:

Oh yeah baby. That's the boys. From left to right: Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and the one and only, Mickey Mantle. My 2 favorite players are Roger and the Mick. Seen the movie *61? It's all about the year Maris and the Mick were trying to beat Babe Ruth's home run record. FANTASTIC movie. Especially if you're a baseball fan. Even better if you're a Yankees fan. I wanted to rip this picture off the wall but I settled for taking a picture. Needless to say, this is getting blown up and placed in a very prominent place on my wall. Where Jim and Vinnie can't reach it. Damn Yankee haters.

I have been a creating fool lately. I was in a funk for so long and then this weekend I pounded out like 5 projects. Shocked myself. I haven't taken pics yet but I will.

Very excited that the local Farmer's Market has opened for the season. They have the best stuff and the kids love walking around and picking the fruit. Going to try to take them to a U-Pick farm this weekend. I'll be the one wearing the Michael Jackson mask wheezing. No offense. Jim told me to wear a bandana over my face and I was like, ok so I'll look like a bank robber? Men.

Life is great and I am looking forward to lots of fun activities. More trips to the city and hopefully checking out new places in California. So bust out that camera, start taking some pictures and enjoy this lovely weather. It's gonna be a beautiful Summer!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

What a fine St. Paddy's Day we had in the McIntyre house!! Plenty of corned beef and cabbage, green was worn by almost all (Vinnie boycotted claiming Italians don't celebrate. What's up with that??) and aside from my forgetting to pick up the Guinness, it was a lovely evening.

I have been a baking fool for the last couple of weeks. I found a great recipe for these WONDERFUL treats called Cake Balls. Sounds kinda nasty, huh? Well, they are DE LISH US!!! Now I have to admit, my first batch was definitely NOT pretty but they tasted amazing. And aside from being messy, they were simple to make. OK, I bet you're dying to know how right? Bake a sheet cake using whatever flavor you want. Just follow the directions on the box and bake that puppy. Then let it cool. Now if you have a house full of boys, HIDE THE CAKE! Mine dug into the first one before I could even get it cooled and I had to start all over. UGH!! So let the cake cool and then crumble up the cake. You might want to do this with your bare hands because it is much easier. You want to crumble it until it is literally a bowl full of cake crumbs. Then add a 16 oz. can of your favorite frosting and mix it all together. Roll mixture into golf ball sized balls (redundunt much?) and place on a cookie sheet. You can use a cookie dough scooper but I found it much easier to just use my hands. Once the sheet is full, place it in the refrigerator for a few hours until they are firm. You can speed up the process by placing them in the freezer for an hour which I did. Yes, I'm impatient. You want the balls to be pretty firm for this next part. (get your mind out of the gutter!) Melt one package of white chocolate or milk chocolate bark following instructions on the package. Once melted, remove balls from freezer and dip them one at a time in the melted chocolate and then place them on waxed paper. It is much easier for this process if the chocolate is very well melted. The chocolate hardens quickly so you may want to melt only a small amount at a time. Once the chocolate hardens you can dig in!! Here's a picture of what they should look like when you become a pro at this:

Obviously, these aren't mine. Mine looked like crap but tasted WONDERFUL!!! OK, so run your butt in that kitchen and make some balls!!!

On a sober note, it is once again that time of year when I have to give my little speech about the tragedy which is SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I know it isn't a happy subject but I feel the responsibility to keep people informed.

For those of you who don't know, my Vinnie had a twin brother named Giancarlo. We lost Gino when he was 4 months old to SIDS on March 14th, 1993. At the time, it wasn't really discussed and other than a handout that was given to me along with a ton of other handouts when I left the hospital, I never really thought about it. In the 17 years since we lost Gino, the rate of SIDS deaths has dropped dramatically but unfortunately, they do still occur. The year after Gino passed away, the SIDS Alliance (Now First Candle) started the Back To Sleep Campaign encouraging parents to place their infants on their backs to sleep. This greatly reduced the incidents of SIDS deaths. So what else can you do to prevent SIDS?
  • Of course, ALWAYS place your baby to sleep on his back. Side and tummy positions are NOT SAFE.
  • Use a crib that meets current safety standards. The mattress should be firm and fit snuggly in the crib. Cover the mattress with ONLY a tight-fitting crib sheet. Portable cribs and play yard style cribs are also good choices.
  • Do not put anything soft, loose or fluffy in your baby's sleep space. This includes pillows, blankets, comforters, soft or pillow-like bumpers, stuffed animals and other soft items.
  • Use a sleep sack or other type of sleeper instead of blankets to keep your baby warm and safe.
  • Never place your baby to sleep on top of any soft surface. This includes adult beds, waterbeds, pillows, cushions, comforters or sheepskins.
  • Do not use wedges or positioners to prop your baby up or keep him on his back.

  • Make sure your baby doesn't get too warm during sleep. Use light sleep clothing and keep room temperature at what would be comfortable for a lightly-clothed adult.

  • Offer your baby a pacifier every time you place her down to sleep. If you are breastfeeding, wait until nursing is well established before using a pacifier (usually around 1 month)

  • Do not smoke while you are pregnant! Do not allow anyone to smoke around your baby after he is born!

  • Educate everyone who cares for your baby about these safe sleep rules!!

If you or someone you know has lost a child to SIDS, there are support groups that are wonderful in helping you get through this awful tragedy. For more information, visit FirstCandle.ORG or Call 1-800-221-7437

Alright, have a wonderful week! Enjoy this beautiful Sprin weather and hug your kids! They need it and so do you!!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

March Already?

Wow! Time is sure flying by! And I am in my creative mode! I have been on a roll the last couple of weeks and even took pictures of my projects. Yay me! The lovely lady above (or wherever she ends up when I finish this) is, of course, the one and only Marilyn. When we went to CHA I had the pleasure of watching Suze Weinberg create some fabulous things using melted beeswax and perfect pearls. So darn pretty and I am obsessed now. I've made about 6 now but I am trying to branch out and move on. The other one is a vintage pin-up girl. I am loving the old pin-ups.

So at CHA I took the Donna Downey canvas album class and I actually finished most of it. A miracle since I am famous for starting projects and never finishing them. The end result was so amazing. At least to me! But that's what counts right?

This is the first time I've actaully scrapbooked on a canvas and it was a lot easier than I expected. Same concept but a different medium. And I felt so artistic working on this!

I used Lumiere paint, Glimmer Mist, Distress Ink and the Donna Downey Iron-ons. I love the way the album turned out. If you haven't seen Donna's other new products, check out her site, DonnaDowney.Com, and see all of the awesome things she has. I was also able to use rub-ons on the canvas. Sooooo cool!

So my next goal is to create one project from the fabulous Donna's Yes! It's a Scrapbook! Series Fabric Scrapbooking. This book is so amazing and has some really great projects in it. The cool thing about it is she gives you step-by-step directions on how to complete each project, supplies you'll need, dimensions and pictures. Can you tell I worship the Donna? Uh, just a little.

And she's not the only fabulously creative lady I admire. Another fantastic talent that I just know is about to become famous in the scrapbook world is my friend, Daniela Costa of TheArtLifeShop.Com. She has some beautiful stuff in her shop and also teaches classes at local scrapbook stores. AND she is also teaching at Donna's Inspired Artist Workshop in North Carolina. I am so excited for her!! So head over to her shop, take a peek at her goodies and if you have a chance, take one of her classes. She is an amazing lady and I am honored to call her my friend.

OK, that's it for now. Last note, get out there and try something new. Whether it is some new crafty technique or something out of your 'box'. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish!!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Cha Cha Cha

I had the amazingly good fortune to travel to Anaheim for the Craft & Hobby Assoc. Trade Show with these wonderful ladies. The wonderful and superbly talented Daniela Costa of The Art Life, my favorite lady Nancie and my new friend Lora. It was a whirlwind 4 days of so much crafty goodness we couldn't take it all in. But you can bet we tried!!!

We started of the trip with a great dinner at Buca di Bepo to celebrate Lora's birthday. Dinner was amazing and the birthday cake was to die for. So good and pretty you know I took a picture of it:
It tasted as good as it looked. Gotta love a cake that looks like an Italian flag.
Following morning we headed to our first day of the show. Unlike the Bay Area, the weather in Los Angeles was gorgeous. Blue skies and sun made the trip even better. And there were
so many awesome things to take in at the show. Tons of new product, cool ideas and scrapbook celebrities.

We got to meet the very talentd Teresa Collins. And Elizabeth Kartchner who created the Dear Lizzy line for American Crafts. Soooo stinkin' cute and she was super nice.

And got to take a class with my most favorite designer in the whole world, the ultra fabulous, Donna Downey. This was the first time I got to take a class with her and I was so excited. She was really sweet and very down to earth. What a great class!!

I also got the chance to see my friends, Frank & Jim and their adorable twins. We had lunch at Ralph Brown's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney and it was delish. So good to see them and the kids are so darn cute!

But after 4 days, I was dying to get home. Missin' my men. And I was so grateful to come home to this:

And I was back where I belong. With my brood. Vinnie was at his dad's so he wasn't there for the pic. But I was so happy when I came home after driving 9 (yes N I N E) hours at 12:30AM to find all of my boys up and waiting for me. It is so nice to be missed. Even my Vinnie who is too cool to tell his mom he likes her told me it wasn't the same without me here. Maybe I should go away more often?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy 2010!!!!

Has 2009 gone already? How is that possible? Time is just going by entirely too fast. With that being said, life is a whirlwind as always. We moved Christmas weekend into a new house. Apparently my illnesses coincide with us moving. Last time it was pneumonia this time it was a horrible horrible flu that would not go away. Needless to say, this made our move miserable. But Jim and Vinnie were troopers and picked up the slack while I slept for hours on end. And here we are in a lovely new home with a larger backyard which equals happier children and pets. They are having a blast running in the backyard. And they don't even mind the cold. Remember when you were a kid and it could be 40 below but you still wanted to go outside to play? Yeah, that's them. Me, I'm nice and warm in the house unpacking. One thing that you realize when you move is how much crap you have accumulated. I mean seriously, do I really need that many craft supplies? I could easily scrapbook for the next 3 years and not have to buy a thing with the amount of stuff I have. Jim was like, really? I mean do you REALLY need all of this crap? Of course, my answer was yes. But I am purging. I am going through all of my stuff and letting go. UGH! I hate it when Jim is right. Lucky for me, it isn't that often.

We are looking forward to 2010 being a better year. Just to get us all on track and for life to be good. We have so much to be grateful for and my goal is to see all of my blessings and not concentrate on my burdens. My kids are healthy, my husband is a gem I wouldn't trade for anything in the world and I have a wonderful family that supports me.

So, have you seen Julie & Julia? Fabulous-o. I am a cooking fool since I saw that (thank you Nancie for hooking me up). It has renewed my passion for cooking and the family is happy to have some new stuff added to our menu. If you haven't seen it, check it out. But be warned, you will be starving through the whole movie.

Heading to Los Angeles for the Craft & Hobby Show in a couple of weeks. Driving down with my favorite traveling companion, Miss Nancie Fancy Pants. Looking forward to 5 hours of 70's music and some much need gal time. Meeting Daniela and some other gals down there to pimp Daniela's new store. So excited for her. She is so talented and I am hoping this works out well for her.

And last but not least, a sad good-bye to Remember When.... in Pleasant Hill. This was the first scrapbook store I'd ever been to 14 years ago and I am very sad to see it close. While this hobby is not a dying fad, it is hard with this economy for these brick and mortar stores to compete with the low prices on the web. We do still have 2 fabulous stores in our area, Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley and Scrap Diva in Brentwood. Support your local scrapbook stores!!! We don't want to lose them to this economy.

Have a blessed 2010!!!!