Friday, June 22, 2007

Back again...

My first week of Weight Watchers came and went with a two pound drop. Not bad, but I really was expecting more. However the bachelorette party probably didn't help much...I'm still on track though and hoping for another loss this Tuesday.

It's really difficult because my hormones have been so out of control. First my face is broken out. I've never really had an acne problem before, but this is just out of control. I really don't know how to deal with it. Then I'm exhausted. Twice this week I came home at 5, fell asleep and woke up around 8. Then there's my stomach...just really unsettled. I've also had some cramps...nothing major. Oh and did I mention that I think I've gone crazy? Seriously, I'm on a roller coaster. So I'm assuming "Aunt Flo" is coming, but who's not like it's ever predictable.

I had my book club over this week to discuss "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See. I highly recommend this one. It's all about women and friendships and how the simplest things can be misunderstood. The book is set in China during the 19th century, when a woman's worth was determined by the size of her feet. The smaller they were showed her future in-laws her obedience to her mother and family. Really a beautiful story.

Anyway, keeping with the theme I prepared a somewhat Chinese meal of lettuce wraps. I also prepared a crab Rangoon dip. I'll have to share these recipes next time...they are really easy and very tasty! (However, not very Point conscious.)

Well that's all for now. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New wheels...

Here it is...isn't she pretty?

Unfortunately it looks like its about to no joy riding today...

Weight Watchers is going well. However, it is an adjustment getting back into writing everything I eat down. I've been saving my 35 weekly points for tonight, as I'm going to a friend's bachelorette party. We're going to one of my favorite restaurants...CasaBlanca, where they serve food from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina and many more Latin countries. Of course there will also be should be a good evening.

Well...that's all for now. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Weight Watcher again...

Well today I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting in a long time. It was a must as I am at my top weight ever! :( When I first joined about three years ago I did awesome...I lost about 27 pounds and felt great. However, when I started I wasn't working and it was easy to get to meetings. Then I started working full time again and I failed to make it to meetings...then I started fertility meds and procedures...depression set in and two years's all back. Fortunately, the company I'm working for now has a leader come to our business and give meetings during lunch. (I know...I giggled at that one too!) Not only that, but the company pays some of the fees and it is payroll deducted. Really I have no excuse now.

I'm doing the Flex Plan...the one where you count points. It just works for me because I eat on the go so much. I just have to take care to write everything down. I bought the Starter Kit with the three month journal. Tonight I took all my measurements and I'm going to have Andy take my photo...hopefully after I lose the weight I need...I'll be able to share it! I can't wait until that day though...I need to look hot when driving around in my new convertible...


Yes, that's new (well to me) 2000 Saab convertible! It was my fifth year anniversary gift. It's a gorgeous black and I still can't believe it's mine! A month ago I never would have thought I'd own one...I didn't think I'd even like one, but Andy got one as a rental and it didn't take him long to convince me. Two days later...we owned one...That's just how we work. This isn't our first spur vehicle purchase.

For digi news...Have you seen the new TAD (Tracy Ann designs) girls blog? No? What are you waiting for...tons of inspiration and challenges... You know you love Tracy Ann's get inspired and use it! TADgirls Blog

Well...this was just a quick little post to let you know I'm still alive. I promise to be back soon with car photos and new CT links to some fab new product! the very least...I'll be back next Tuesday with a Weight Watcher update. Who knows maybe a photo...but don't plan on it...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Missed me?...

I wish my blog could update itself.

I know you've been there too. You mean to write something, but time forges forth. Soon so many things have happened and you realize that it will take way too long to catch up.

Yeah...that's where I am.

I got a job! I had accepted a job as a customer service assistant at the company where my husband works as an engineer. I actually started a month ago yesterday and four days into the job I found out I was getting a promotion and raise...not bad, eh? So tomorrow is the first day I officially work as a customer service rep. I love actually working with other people that talk back and don't bark.

Despite my absence online due to my presence IRL, I have been scrapping. The amazing Vera Lim at Scrapbook Bytes and the equally amazing new designer Cindy Irvine at Elemental Scraps asked me to be a guest on their design teams this month. I'll come back and post some of my favorite layouts later, but you can see them by clicking my DST gallery to the right.

Oh ok...this is my latest of my darling niece. Yeah, I've scrapped this photo before, but those eyes...they deserve another layout.

Credits: a variety of items from Cindy Irvine (Elemental Scraps): paper (burned and sponged), ribbon and tag from Dear Little Girl; staples from Somewhat Daisical; flower brushes from Sketchy Flower brushes ("painted" in to fit layout). Word art my own design. Sharp Color Pop action from PhotoBlast. Vintage frame by Andrea Burns.

I just fell in love with those flower brushes. I loved playing with the airbrush in Photoshop to paint them in.

I really forgot I had a blog until Molly pointed it out in a recent entry on her blog. Oops. Anyway she did this blogmeme on her blog and tagged me.

Creative Musings on Books...

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Anything really...I don't discriminate.

Amazon or brick and mortar? I do buy a lot of my books on Amazon...I'm thrifty. But there's nothing better than spending an afternoon in a brick and mortar.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Barnes and Noble, but it's more from lack of good bookstores in my area than anything. I love variety and having almost every available title at my disposal.

Bookmark or dog ear? I dog ear. You can lose a dog ear.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? people really alphabetize anything?

Keep, throw away, or sell? I keep most of them. The rest I pack up and give to Goodwill or the local thrift shop. I buy a lot of books from Goodwill too.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? I went through a tossing stage, but the most recent ones still have them on.

Read with dust jacket or remove it? I use the flap as a dog ear alternative.

Short story or novel? Novels.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? Collections.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? I guess Harry Potter because at least I read HP books.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I stop reading when my eyes do.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"? Both

Buy or Borrow? Both...I think I may actually be the only human to have her library card number AND credit card memorized.

New or used? Both.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? All of the above. I tend to read books in themes...I've been on a historical/biblical fiction kick for awhile.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? I hate cliffhangers.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? I can't sleep unless I get my reading time before falling asleep.

Stand-alone or series? I mostly read stand-alone books now, but used to read tons of series as a child.

Favorite series? My childhood favorite...Little House on the Prairie.

Favorite children's book? I'm out of touch on this one, but my favorite when I was real little was The Panda Bear's Paintbox.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? The Kitchen Boy by Robert least many people I know never heard of it.

Favorite books read last year? Son of a Witch by Gregory McGuire.

Favorite books of all time? Seriously? Molly gave a great review of hers, but I'm just going to list some. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Wicked by Gregory McGuire, The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander, The Red Tent by Anita Diament

Least favorite book you finished last year? If I don't like a book I don't finish it. I used to like Nicholas Sparks, and attempted his last one, but I barely made it through the first chapter.

What are you reading right now? Besides my collection of photography/Photoshop books, I'm about to start The Boleyn Inheritance.

What are you reading next? Whatever my book club decides on next.

Now what about you? If you do this, send me a link in the comments so I can read about you.

Well, that's enough for this evening...We are celebrating the dogs birthdays this week (Dakota's 5 today and Kelvin is 6 on Friday). So hopefully I'll have some photos of them in birthday hats, eating their gravy-covered food and playing with their new toys.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Still lovin' it...

The Wii...seriously, I recommend it. Soooo fun!

I downloaded Super Mario Bros. I'm really a geek...I still remember all, ok most, secret 1-ups, stars, coins, etc. The first time I played it...I really impressed DH. "How do you remember all that stuff?" Who knows...useless trivia...I'm a sponge.

I have done other things besides playing Wii. Last weekend, I went to this incredibly fun shoppe, called Oh What a Dish. Its one of those places you go, pick out a piece of pottery and paint it. Then they glaze it and its ready to pick up in a couple days. I painted a Tea for One set, as DH broke mine. The last couple days have been agony because I wanted to see the finished product so bad. But today was the day and here's my piece of art...functional art...

If you open it... there is another branch with white flowers in the cup. I'm pretty proud of it and of course the photo doesn't do it justice. I painted a planter today for DH's grandma's birthday. I'm really addicted to this now.

I've also done some scrapping. Here are a couple new ones...

Click on the names below to see credits for the layouts. The middle one was based on a question I read in a myspace questionnaire.

And on the fertility note, I have good news, well I think good news. I believe I actually ovulated on my own for the past three months! It's a small development, but a good one as that was a huge problem. So who knows? I may be posting a similar layout soon? Maybe...;)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Guess what I was doing at midnight last night?...

NO! Not that! (where are your minds this fine Sunday)

At around 10:30 last night, Andy came running downstairs.

"Get dressed...we're going."

I had a suspicion this was coming..."I have to go with you."

"Yeah," he replied. "I don't want to stand there alone."

Eyeroll from me (although I was secretly excited). "Fine. But we better get one," I warn.

So in the middle of the night we trek to Wally World to stand in line for an hour to get a Nintendo Wii. They don't let you wait in the electronics department, so instead we got in line in the lawn and garden department (you know, outside the sliding doors?) I'm not one for waiting for anything so I wandered through the books and magazines, arts and crafts, the camera department only to get back and realize I wasted....a mere 15 minutes....45 minutes to go.

Some people came prepared with chairs and Icees. While I was gone, Andy found out he was 14 in line for 15 Wiis. "So we're definately getting one?"

"I guess."

I decide I'm thirsty 10 minutes later and go back into the store, hoping for a couple of Icees. No Icees. I get Dr. Peppers instead...20 minutes to go.

Everyone was just hanging out, talking amounst themselves. At about 5 min before midnight, the manager comes and we walk single file to the electronics department. Andy was in fight mode, just waiting to jump someone cutting in line.

"No cuts!"

"What are you? In third grade?" I ask. "I'm not bailing you out of jail this morning."

We wait in line again. When they brought out the systems, Andy exclaimed (to me) "They're bringing out the magical cart."

"Thanks for waiting until I finished drinking for that."

"No problem," he replied, with that impish look in his eye.

Anyway, at 12:01 a.m. the first Wii was purchased and on down the line. There were plenty and only one person went away without one.

12:38 a.m. "So are you going to bed when we get home," I ask.

"Come on be serious." Sooor-ry.

There was much excitement when we got home. Kelvin and Dakota had no idea, but since shopping bags were involved they were excited too. In fact, as Andy and I are pawing through the box, Kelvin started going through the other bag with an extra game and controllers and pulled out the nunchuck and ran around with it.

We played bowling first. (I got the first strike, BTW.) This thing is AWESOME!!! I never thought I would be excited about video games, but you actually get to move and jump and it's so much fun! Definately worth standing around in Wally World for an hour. The best part...we can connect it to the Internet and get classic Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros.

Well in spite of all the excitement, I did manage to get my first layout done for Toni Berman. I'm in love with her Rebel Rock kit, as well as the Date tickets. Here's Original Rock Star, featuring my nephew:

Credits: Rebel Rock and Date Tickets by Toni Berman (My Digital Muse)

Ok, and I promised to tell you about my new workout. Before I tell you what it is, I just want to let you know that my husband (mid-Wii game, of course) commented that he thought I lost weight and said my butt looked tighter. If that isn't progress I don't know what is?

Yes, as seen for TV, but it really works and its really fun. It says there are 5 complete workouts, but there are really 4, as the first one mostly just teaches you the right positions. There is a guided meditation though that's ok on it. However, if you've done yoga and/or ballet in the past you can skip it and go on to the basic workout.

I bought it from Double Day Book Club, but Target has it on sale on line. If you buy it through Amazon, you don't have to spend the extra $5 in shipping for the "free" squishy ball. I'm not sure if Target has it in's not at any around here anyway. I'm waiting for my squishy ball which according to UPS is still in California. I've just been using one of the dogs larger stuft toys, which they really aren't happy with.

Wow! Two blog posts in a weekend! Ciao!

Friday, January 26, 2007

CT News, a tag and some other things...

{Project 26}

So did you rush to see Tracy Ann's new collection this morning? Project 26 was released today in honor of Australia Day. And it is awesome! You have to download her free catalogue/newsletter (click on her name above) and see all the work she's done. It is filled with inspiring layouts from her creative team...just pure eye candy!

Here are a couple of layouts I did that appear in the catalogue:

Credits: Bondi from Project 26 by Tracy Ann Robinson; pin from Bedazzled by Tracy Ann

Credits: Fremantle from Project 26 by Tracy Ann Robinson; Photo Bend template by Debbie Knorr

Credits: Her Majesty from Project 26 by Tracy Ann Robinson

{New CT News}

I was pleasantly surprised by a PM from Dielle at DST asking me if I'd be interested in a guest CT spot for Toni Berman designs. Coincidently, Toni's MIL was my second grade is that for a small world?

You have to see these awesome new date tickets:

Can't you just picture these on your layouts? I feel bad that I haven't done a layout yet, even though it's all sketched expect it this weekend.


Ange has created these fabulous shadows for your ribbon embellishments...

Don't they look more realistic than the drow shadows in Photoshop?

{Teresa Ferguson}

If you already didn't know, Teresa's layouts are some of the best out there! That's why her templates are so awesome!!! I love using them. In the last week she released her second set of 4x6 templates:

{SBB E-Team}

The fabulous designers on the Scrapbook Bytes E-team created Frosted Friends for January. One of my layouts Chilly Willy is posted below, but here is another one I did...

Look at my little (eh...big) Snow Princess! To make it look like she was stepping out of the frame I layered the frame over her photo then lowered the opacity of the frame. Then I just erased the frame where Dakota showed through. After I finished I upped the opacity back to 100%. That's it!

{A Tag}

Gina tagged me the other day (thanks girl!) So without further ado...

5 Cool Things About Me

  1. I'm obsessed with Broadway musicals, especially Wicked. (Is that cool?) My dream would be to play Elphaba in Wicked. I saw the show twice in Chicago within 6 months...the second time with Ana Gastyer (sp) as Elphaba.
  2. I love learning new computer software. I'm self-taught in Photoshop and am now working my way down the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite.
  3. hmmm...this is hard... I competed in Miss Wisconsin in 1999 (in spirit that Miss America is on Monday night). My talent was singing and I sang "Home" from the Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast. My title was Miss Northeast Wisconsin (however, I was a resident of Michigan)
  4. My husband is half Brazillian. His mom came here with her family when she was 12. We spent New Years there in 2004! So yes, that means I have a latin lover...;)
  5. I used to be deathly afraid of dogs. In fact, it was a black lab who jumped out at me as a baby that instigated this fear. My next notable encounter with a dog was when a cocker spaniel wandered into our yard and proceeded to chase me off our porch. Ironically, I now have a black lab and a cocker spaniel.

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes last weekend! You ladies really made my day.

Well I had meant to talk about so much more (boy am I chatty this evening) but I'll give you girls a break! More this weekend, including my new workout program, which I actually love. Yes, I said love and workout in the same sentence.

Ciao babes!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy Birthday...

to my blog! My blog turns one today and coincidently I turn 29. Yes, I started this blog on my 28th birthday last year.

Last night we went to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant with 20 of our friends then out for martinis after...I'll post pics later. Today we head down to my in-laws for dinner and cake and to see my BIL's girlfriend who has been out of the country for over six months.

With my new camera in hand, I begin the last year of my 20s and celebrate my last birthday. From now on I will celebrate the anniversary of my 29th birthday...right Mom? :D

And to those who read this blog...I thank you for your comments and's to 29!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm in a rut...


I don't know if it's my birthday coming up (Sunday) or the fact that after 6 months out of work and I can't get an interview or my stupid knee...but I feel like shit. Of course, since I'm coming out of a depression my first thought was to banish it away, but hey at least I'm feeling something...even if it is like shit.

Creatively I'm in the biggest rut that I can remember. Nothing is coming to me. In all honestly I really think I'm the most creative when depressed. Ironic, isn't it? For someone who defines herself as a creative person, I feel like I'm losing my mind. I feel like a clumsy child trying to cut a straight line for the first time.

Then I turn 29 on Sunday. Yes, I know that's not old. I've never been one to care about aging. It's just that my 20s are almost over and I still don't know what I want to do with my life...well I do, but it just isn't possible right now. There are no jobs out there for someone with my degree or talents. (not that it matters because my creativity's gone anyway). I would love to be a SAHM or a WAHM, but unless we're counting dogs...the person count for 18 and under in the ives household is 0.

Limbo..that's where I a time where I should know or at least have an idea where I'm headed. At least I always thought I would have it figured out by now.

God my 20s are almost over...most of it was in a depressed haze. wow. Of course, I can't look back it's done. There were plenty of great moments to remember too.

I think I do this before my birthday every year..for the past couple anyway. Maybe it has something to do with the fact it's 2 a.m.

If you're still reading this...thanks for listening...I think I'll try going back to bed now...night.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life, dogs and learning to run...

I'm still working on my running...however, I have hit a left knee. After my Thursday run last week, it started to click as I walked up the stairs. (Pretty picture isn't it? Makes me cringe thinking about it) I also noticed on my run that my left foot was turning inward. *Wonderful* I have a feeling that's the problem with my knee. My friends told me that the right shoes should help me. But yesterday I started using Andy's knee brace, but it was actually more work using it as I felt "uneven." Anyway...I think I need new shoes...I hope that's it though...I'm already registered for the 10K.

So I'm really excited about getting in shape again. Running is great, but I tend to get I ordered Ballet Booty Yoga workout. This is the first time I actually ordered something after seeing an infomercial (but I didn't buy it directly from them). I used to love dancing! My favorite workout was a ballet workout video and I took jazz for years and loved it! I think this will help with the motivation problem. But as I said, I didn't order it from their company...I ordered it off Double Day Book Club where shipping was $2 compared to $13. I'll keep you posted...

Kelvin and Dakota have been driving me up the wall today... Dakota's latest goal of life is to try to convince me that dinner time moves back an hour each day. When I was working I'd feed them when I got home, but now I'm home dinner time has been at 5p.m. For the past month or so, at 4 p.m. like clockwork she jumps on me, cries and just annoys me until I give in (which I do). However, it's getting earlier and earlier, but always on the whole hour. Smart chicky... Of course I'm not going to be pushed around by my I fed them at there!

The job outlook hasn't been good. Companies must not do much hiring at the first of the year, as the listing have even dwindled. I am doing some freelance work though. It would really be nice if I could find a writing job with a publication, though.

Thanks to everyone who commented and encouraged my running! I really need it now that it seem that typical Wisconsin winters seem to be upon us.

I leave you with three new layouts...

Credits: papers, rubons and ribbon from Wisp by Tracy Ann Robinson (Scrapbook Bytes); alpha brushes by Nancie Rowe Janitz and date stamp by Amber Clegg(Scrap ARtist)

Credits: Everything (except brushes) are from Frosted Friends by Scrapbook Bytes E-team (Scrapbook Bytes); paint brushes by Michelle Coleman (Scrap Artist)

Credits: Everything by Teresa Ferguson: Paper, rubons and word art from "Enjoy the Ride" and template from Smarties 2, everything available at Sweet Shoppe Designs.

Ta ta for now...

Thursday, January 4, 2007

I did it!...

I ran a mile!

A whole mile without walking. I'm pretty proud of myself. I just kept going. I'm not sure I'm enjoying it yet, but baby steps here ok? I'm all signed up for the 10k so there's no turning back. Right now I'm alternating running with yoga. I did one of my favorite yoga videos last night for an! I need work. I used to do yoga regularly, but got away from it. My body felt so tight in some of those poses! I have to ease back into it. I'm feeling it this morning...

We've had the most beautiful weather here for the last couple days. Today it will be almost 50 degrees.

Otherwise...not much going on...for some reason my body decided to wake at the abnormally early hour of 5 a.m. So I think a nap will be in order later today. The dogs are still sleeping! I really think it's our mattress. Hopefully flipping it will help...we really don't need to buy a new one.

Have a great Thursday! Remember all new episodes of The Office, Earl and Grey's!!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year...

I hate new year resolutions, but I make them anyway. Of course, like most people, mine is to get healthy and get in shape. However there are two things this year that I think will make me motivated...
  1. I want to lose 20 pounds before we start IVF
  2. Andy and I are going to start training for a 10K that takes place in July.

Yes, you read that

I'm hoping with a goal (and a training partner) I will keep with it. I have several other friends running also so it will be a whole weekend event up in the U.P. of Michigan.

So keep coming back...and watch the process. My first day of training (Saturday) we ran a mile...a half mile straight with no stopping...then the other half walking and running. I've never ran in the winter before so I didn't expect the pain in my chest from the cold air...that really held me back. Today I'll be doing the same thing (by myself this time), but I'll wrap a scarf around my neck...but it's warmer today also so I may not need it.

2006 will not go down in the "greatest" year category, mostly because it flew by and I really think I "slept" through most of it. But now it's 2007 and I'm feeling better...I'm on a new antidepressant (Cymbalta) and its really working for me. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I "should" feel...not like a ghost of myself. And it's's good.

My ghost status was really apparent while I did this layout. The year seemed to flow by, yet when I look back on these seems like so long ago, like in a different lifetime.

Credits: paper, rubon, ribbon, tags from Wintersong by the ScrapArtist artists; pin by Tracy Ann Robinson; paper fold action by Jen Caputo (Digi Shoppe); date stamps by Amber Clegg (ScrapArtist)

Here's to a better, healthier, safer and successful 2007!