Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sweethearts Swap Goodies

Earlier this month I signed up for the Sweethearts Swap. I had the pleasure of being paired up with Ricki over at Art@Home. It was really wonderful getting to know her and her blog. She paints some truly gorgeous pieces. Go check them out HERE. She also hosts My Happy List on Tuesdays, which I have started linking up with, and Literary Fridays. I really have enjoyed going over her previous Literary Friday posts and have a little list of books I need to look for on my next trip to the library or book store. 

Yesterday I received my package from her. (Please ignore the fact that I might need to iron the table cloth.) I then waited till naptime to have a quiet moment to open it and actually enjoy it :o)  

 I was really delighted with all the wonderful goodies she sent me. I don't think I've ever seen such fun goody bars. Both are dark chocolate which happens to be my favorite. The Pink Bubbly has raspberries and the cinna-man has cinnamon.  
I'm waiting till tomorrow night to give one or both a try. Can't wait.

Next up were these wonderful heart stickers and a family themed smash pad. I'm a little behind on my Project Life album, but I'm thinking about jumping ahead to Valentine's week JUST so I can use some of the beautiful hearts.  
 The family pad will be wonderful for a heritage album I am trying to organize. 

These Love Rocks are so cute. 
There are 12 decals to dress up your glasses. Which I totally will be using. Possibly not all on drinking glasses, they would be so pretty for candles or my scrapping too. Love them. 

I was REALLY stunned to find the Project Life Cherry Edition Core Kit in my box. 
I am on my second year of Project Life and haven't gotten a Core Kit...just the protectors and pretty much make do with the supplies that I have. 

I think I've looked at all the beautiful journal cards (which can double as fillers) a dozen times since yesterday. I love the colors and the patterns. I've been thinking pretty hard about going back and doing a 2011 Project Life album....perhaps this is a sign?
Aren't they beautiful? And that's not even half of them!!

Here are all my lovely goodies. 
 Ricki, I cannot thank you enough for your amazing gift. I cannot wait to use all my goodies and I'll be sure to share them as I do. They are all wonderful. I am so glad we got to know each other and I hope we continue to be blog buddies!

Angie and Beth, Thanks for hosting such a spectacular blog swap!! I really had so much fun and cannot wait to do it again!

If you want to see what I sent Ricki, check out her post HERE. And be sure to go check out all the wonderful gifts all the other bloggers involved received! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcome Home Wednesday: Out Back

Our backyard! Photos taken November 2011
(above: back gate)

(above: view of our deck from back gate) 
 (above: our loverly, spacious shed) 

 (above: view of back yard from deck. note: poor, brown cedar...)

 (above: view of yard and little magnolia from left fence. LOVE the magnolia)

 (above: view from rear fence)

(above: view of side patio off dining room)

Out Back To Do List
  • Pray that our beautiful big cedar is still alive - pretty please? Turns out it was NOT a cedar as we were told, but a balding cypress. Yay!
  • Remove dead limbs from magnolia
  • Clear rocks/pebbles from flower bed near rear gate Mostly...from our veggie garden anyway.
  • Plant some veggies in bed by rear gate. We planted tomatoes and jalapeno last year. 
  • Repair loose panels along rear fence
  • Attempt to remove old fencework from rear left corner flower bed What we could anyway.
  • Get soil  and fill holes in beds/yard
  • Clean out rear flower beds completely
  • Repair sprinkler system
  • Clean out gutters (on neighboring house)
  • Install lattice work to cover the underneath of shed and deck
  • Sand and repaint deck
  • Plant drought/butterfly/Texas friendly plants in flower bed (did this last year and we got an awful caterpillar we need to do it again. SIGH)
  • Remove large hooks from rear fence (What the heck are those for anyway?)
  • Get a smaller smoker to replace our insanely huge one. Went with a propane grill instead, cause smoker flames make me nervous with our houses so close together.
  • Have BBQ and Enjoy (lots)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Happy Thoughts

My birthday is next week. So my hubby is taking me to the Funky Finds Spring Fling. 
 It's a fun indie arts and crafts fair. Plus the event is free to the public and is family AND pet-friendly. There is also a flea market next door which is fun for treasure hunting. We go every year, but this is the first year we won't be taking the kiddos. Super excited to go.

Last night my husband brought home a surprise lobster dinner. 
I LOVE lobster...seriously would move to Maine JUST for the lobsters...well and fried clams...but mostly lobsters. So, yeah...surprise lobster dinner, made my night. 

Last weekend my mother and little sister, spent the night at The Magnolia in Dallas and had a little girls weekend.  
our view
I'm kicking myself for getting ZERO pictures of my girls, but hoping my sister did. I did have an amazing time with them though and I'm so happy we got together.
I'm linking up with Art@Home. Come share your happy!!
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Project Life 2013: Week 2

Finally another 2013 layout! STILL working on 2012, but I'm making it my goal this week to at least get all my pictures printed. Then it SHOULD come together fairly quickly. 

Here is week 2:

Page One:
This is the week my mile a day plan started to suffer. I started getting massive pains in my hip...and had to take it easier than I would have liked. My boys gave up on The Irish winning the game against Alabama so we they ALL decided to dress up as Batman instead. Munch discovered that he could make mazes using his ABC blocks and tried to teach his little brother how to do puzzles. I added some of the boys art work from class to the spread too and used the colors they painted with as my guide for the week.

Munch and I got photo booth pictures during our Mother-Son date so I cut up a 8.5 x 11 protector and made a mini insert. I could not for the life of me get the washi tape on straight, but after glaring at it for a while, I decided to live with it.

Page Two:
 We got attacked by crocodiles during our walk! (You can read more about it HERE.) 
Munch and I had a wonderful mother son date and Nox figured out our camera. I know I have mentioned it before, but I just LOVE including my kids photos as well as their artwork in my album. 

I will be linking up with The Mom Creative on Tuesday. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

FAF 2013: Week 8

2013 Starting Weight: 165
Last Weigh In: 160
Current Weight: 159
Lost This Week: 1
Total Lost: 6

Yay!! I'm so happy to be out of the 160's. I was really worried about weigh in this morning, but looking back I actually did fairly well considering, we had a lot of sickness in our house.

John and I had a great day-date on Saturday to FINALLY go see The Hobbit and have a nice child-free meal. When we got back our little man had a fever. 

He spent most of his Sunday curled up on my lap...mostly napping. John took a shift so I could go for a wonderful run....when I got home I didn't even get to stretch before Nox was passed out on my lap again. Poor kid. Munch had a runny nose, but that really seemed to be the worst for him.
Within five minutes of me getting back from my run...
Monday, Nox still wasn't feeling 100%, but the weather was still we decided to get out for some fresh air. I think it helped everyone feel better, even if we were tired at the end. I even got in a good upper body workout in.
Munch needed to take a quick walking break in a tree.
Tuesday, the fevers were gone. YAY!! I still had runny noses and grumps to watch over, but John worked from home so I got in a run! We also ate this:
Purple food!! We made Skinny Taste's Creamy Cauliflower Puree. It's silly how excited I was to eat pretty purple food.

Wednesday...I woke up feeling awful. We had to run an errand, but the rest of my day was pretty much spent on the couch watching Sesame Street.
My view from the couch.
Yesterday, was better. It turned into a wonderful day and it would have been great to get out for a run, but I didn't get the chance. It was a little wet to run after the kiddos went to bed, I like my night runs to be completely dry, really don't like the idea of slipping and hurting myself in the dark...even if I do have my phone and stay on well lit streets. I did 2 miles of Walk Away the Pounds instead.  

Tonight my little sister is picking my mother and I up for a night in the city. I'm really looking forward to some time with my favorite girls. Not sure how my eating will be, but I'm not going to stress about it. It's supposed to be another glorious day on Sunday, so I will be sure to get another long run in then. 

2013 miles as of last week: 73.14
Miles logged this week: 10.62
Total Miles: 83.76

Have a happy and healthy week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Welcome Home Wednesday: Home Front

Not so long ago, I had a dream of starting a second blog, one to write about my home and family...and then I was going to just keep this one for crafts. It wasn't very long before I gave that idea up and moved back to Craft Cherry. I have been thinking lately that it would be nice to move the posts about our home over here, but I didn't want to flood my blog with posts that I wrote last year...or bore anyone that might have already seen those posts....SO Wednesday will be dedicated to my home. Hopefully, this will help me stay on top of some of the projects we need to work on and make me take some pictures of the projects we have completed!

Here is our lovely little home as of November 2011:
 (above: general front of house and yard)

 (above: far right front: notice all that ivy...eek)
 (above: front entry: note pebbled walkway with TEENIE pebbles, also drainspout it hanging on to gutter for dear life.)
(above: view from front door. notice the sad state of flower beds?)

Home Front To Do List:
  • PRIORITY: Clear out insane amount of ivy in flowerbeds (Taken care of by our new lawn guys!!)
  • Clear out dead plants from flower beds
  • Remove awful red wood chips that is at least 10 feet thick.
  • Remove or clean up pebble path in the middle of flower bed directly in front of front door: (in progress.)
  • Clean out rain gutters
  • Repair rain gutters
  • Plant new Texas friendly plants
  • Repair right side of driveway
  • Repair sprinkler system  (turns out it wasn't actually broken in the front.)
  • Put together pretty blue rocking bench for entryway
  • Paint back gate white to match with house. 
  • Take current photos in the Spring. Right now, everything still looks dead and sad. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Scrappy Saturday

Lately, all the scrapping I've been doing has been for Project Life. Last night, I was editing some photos and got the urge to scrap a page. Journaling has never been my strong point and it was nice to create a page that didn't have to have any, because all my journaling going into my Project Life albums. Kinda made it stress free and fun. 

You Are My Happy:
created using: You Are My Happy Collab by Sweet Shoppe Designs and Totally Template MIS: June 2012 by fiddle-dee-dee designs.

Friday, February 15, 2013

FAF 2013: Week 7

Linking up with Angie, go join in!!

2013 Starting Weight: 165
Last Weigh In: 161
Current Weight: 160
Lost This Week: 1
Total Lost: 5

Progress is slow, but for the most part fairly steady, so that makes me super happy. 
We did really well meal planning this week, which always helps. 

Sunday...was completely a cheat day. We went to our favorite local Chinese Buffet (as requested by Munch) to celebrate the Chinese New Year. 

Tuesday was Mardi Gras...which we don't generally celebrate...(even though I dream of going to New Orleans just to watch the festivities) BUT we decided to work it into our meal plan and made our own little twist on Jambalaya. Yep...with couscous of all things. THIS is the recipe we worked with. 
It was AMAZING. Next time I want to add some shrimp.

Valentine's Day we decided on Chicken and Asparagus pasta. It seemed like maybe we used more pasta than was called for and we added a full chicken breast instead of half, plus some garlic and lemon juice. 
We were a little worried because it looked like it was lacking in sauce, but it was wonderful. In fact we are having the left overs for dinner tonight!

Workouts also went really well this week. Saturday, I did a 3.81 mile run with the pup. Sunday, I decided to give my 30 day shred video a try muscles HATED me. Monday, I took a rest day. Tuesday, I did a 2 mile Walk Away the Pounds. Wednesday. 30 day shred again and then yesterday I did the 3 mile walk. My muscles are feeling great. 

2013 miles as of last week: 64.33
Miles logged this week: 8.81
Total Miles: 73.14

The weather should be good for a run this weekend. I really REALLY need to start up with my morning runs again. There is NO excuse for me not to. On the food front, John and I decided that for Lent we would give up fast food. Basically if it has a drive through or is pizza it's off limits.So far so good. 

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Happy Thoughts

Two posts in one day is beyond unusual for me, but my new bloggy buddy over at Art @ Home hosts a link party every Tuesday and I decided it would be fun to join in. Maybe I'll get in gear and start posting my PL posts on Monday! I've actually been meaning to join this party for a while. I love the idea of listing the things that are currently making you happy and then keeping it in mind for the whole week. 

 photo ArtatHomeButton_zps18898da7.jpg

Last week I decided we needed to cut down on TV time. It's become insanely ridiculous; I know that it's having a negative effect on the boys, so I decided to change it. So our first step was to cut out TV watching before lunch. It's working well so far. The house becomes a bigger mess and it's certainly louder, but it's better. There are less fights and more imagination. I love it. I want to start doing a in home preschool type thing on days we don't have our Mommy and Me group, so that we are doing something constructive during our no-TV time. Need to do a little organizing and research, but I'm hopeful that this will be a wonderful thing to start. 

Yesterday, Nox and I both had dentist appointments. It was Nox's first visit and he did really wonderfully. He giggled and laughed during the whole visit and charmed everyone in the office. He left with no cavities and all smiles. I'm so proud of him.
My appointment, terrified me. I HATE going to the dentist...I drove my husband nuts talking about how much I was NOT looking forward to it. I confess, it's been a while and this was a new dentist I was even more nerve racking. BUT, it was a really great experience. Everyone was really wonderful, my dentist even complimented my teeth, which was AWESOME. He also told me there was NO reason that I needed to take my wisdom teeth out. I seriously almost hugged him. Several dentists have told me that I need them out...because that's what you do right? But it's insanely expensive, even with insurance and I always thought it was silly to painfully remove something that was never bothering me in the first place.  
I know, very few people want to read about my teeth, but seriously, I am bouncing off the walls happy.  

Finally, the garbage men, make my happy list. Not because they remove our trash and recycling each week. (Although, I am certainly grateful for that!) It's because of the happiness it brings the boys, mostly, Nox. He squeals with joy every time he hears the trucks and begs to picked up and raced to the front door to watch. It's the highlight of each week. Munch is completely fascinated by the process. I just love that something so simple makes them so happy. It's such a great reminder to enjoy the simple things. 

Project Life: Week 22

Week 22 took me FOREVER. It was a full vacation week and I took well over 1000 photos, so cutting it down to fit in with my Project Life album was an insane task. It made me realize that I also have to get these photos into their own book. Hopefully sooner, rather than later!

week twenty-two:

page one:
 It's so rare that I am able to get a good family photo of us so I thought that would be perfect for the title card. John and Munch found a hermit crab. Wild hermit crabs are the best. They come say hello, maybe hang out for a little while and then go happily back home. No crazy painted shells or plastic cages. Perfect. We celebrated our seven year anniversary in Galveston and took a nice sunset stroll along the beach. Love the shot of John and I that I took under the pier. It actually didn't turn out great, but the boys doing their own thing in the background seemed perfect. 

insert one:
 More beach photos. I enjoyed a sunrise run along the beach, one of my favorite things to do. John found a dime on the beach and we took it as a sign that my late grandmother was joining us for the morning.  Nox chased seagulls and the boys dug a beach bath....which they spent a HUGE chunk of their time in. Somehow that was much more fun than the ocean which was only a few feet away. 

insert two:
Side one, was a nice morning on the beach. This is the first year in a very long time I felt comfortable having my picture taken in a bathing suit. A huge storm rolled in and we ended up driving around exploring the island. I'm SO glad we did, because we chanced upon the Starship Explorer making it's way to the Houston Space Center. We ended the day with pasta made using fresh gulf shrimp and then a trip to Murdochs to watch the boats on the water. 
Side two was our trip to The Strand. It's mostly just shops, but we have fun walking around and there is an over-sized chess to play with. The highlight for me was the ice cream at the candy and ice cream parlor. 

insert three:
 Phew, not sure I've used THREE inserts in a week yet! After our day at The Strand, we spent our evening on the beach. It's really a wonderful time to go. The beach is almost empty and the kids can just run wild and splash in the pools left by low tide. It's such a magical moment. 
Side two was our last day at the beach. We found another hermit crab and said hello. Nox fell asleep in my arms as we strolled down the beach and once we got home everyone was ready for a nap. 

page two:
I took some time in the morning to take one last stroll along the beach. On some vacations you feel that the end has come and you are almost happy to be heading home. We have been to Galveston twice and I have yet to feel that way. My boys are obviously tired and ready for their own beds, but I have this crazy wish to just stay forever. I really love it there. 
We stopped at Kemah on our way home and were lucky enough to decide on a restaurant with outdoor seating and a view of the water. The boys had SO much fun watching the boats go by. 

I am so happy I finally got our vacation recorded. Makes me really want to get a photo book organized with the rest of the photos. 

I'm linking up with The Mom Creative!

The Mom Creative

Friday, February 08, 2013

FAF 2013: Week 6

Linking up with Angie! Come join in!!
2013 Starting Weight: 165
Last Weigh In: 162
Current Weight: 161
Lost This Week: 1
Total Lost: 4

Yay! My goal is 2 pounds a week, but I've been pretty bad about staying in my calorie range during the weekends. :o/ Have to get better at that...or pump up the work outs. Probably going to pump up the work outs, since we are celebrating Chinese New Year on Sunday and then Valentine's on I am a little worried about next week. 

We don't actually have any plans for Valentine's Day. I actually haven't even mentioned it. I'm thinking it might be nice to just stay in and plan a nice meal for after the boys go to bed. Maybe do my weigh in Thursday morning instead of Friday as an extra precaution. Probably cheating a little, but whatever. 

I didn't log many miles this week. I didn't seem to have much time to get out for runs and I needed a little break from my Walk Away the Pounds. Instead I some body weight and cardio videos. I've been sore all week, but it's a great soreness. I feel my body toning and getting stronger and I kind of love it. I did a biggest loser workout, that really kicked my butt, but I may try to add that in once a week...and maybe do a day or two of 30 day shred.

I'm NOT going to stop running. Next week I plan on rolling out of bed early enough to get out. I'm also planning on kicking my husband out of bed so we can trade off who takes the pup. For some reason Kaiser and I do NOT make good work out buddies. He drags, gets distracted and trips me...and then has this weird thing where he will just plain refuse to go down certain streets. It's bizarre. I love walking with him though. 
2013 miles as of last week: 59.02
Miles logged this week: 5.31
Total Miles: 64.33

Have a happy and healthy week!!

Thursday, February 07, 2013

I Just Joined the Sweethearts Swap!

It has been awhile since I joined a blog swap. I don't know why really, I enjoyed it so much the first time. It's a great way to check out new blogs and make a new bloggy buddy.
The Sweethearts Swap is being hosted by Beth and Angie over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps. The idea is to share some Valentine love with your new bloggy buddy during the month of February. It is a blast getting to know someone new and so much fun getting a package of wonderful goodies in the mail. 

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up! Go check it out and join up
I can't wait to see who I'm paired up with! I'm really looking forward to this!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Project Life: Week 21 2012

I spent a good chunk of my weekend organizing my hoard of scrapbook supplies. I have enough to open a few's ridiculous. I'm thinking I may spend some time just making some extra journal/filler cards, so I will have them ready. There will also be a lot of stickers in future posts...because apparently I have a problem.
week twenty-one:

page one:
 Nox got his little paws on Munch's markers. (I used the left overs of a sticker sheet to make the journal card.) The boys "drove" to the beach and were chased by dragons. Munch picked up his toys without being asked. I taught Munch how to take a self portrait.

Munch drew a picture of the beach. The yellow is the sand, the blue is the ocean and all the colors are fish and hermit crabs. I may do a little write up about it to slip on the other side of the insert, as there isn't anything there now.  

page two:
 We left for our family trip to Galveston this weekend. Almost EVER five minutes for the whole six hour trip Munch would point out that we were going to the beach. When we finally got to our rental cottage, Nox ran and gave the owner a great big hug. He was SO happy to finally be there. Sunday we spent the morning playing in the surf and sand. Nox and Munch buried Nox and we ALL took a long nap that afternoon. I adore Galveston.

And finally, one of the reasons I do Project Life at all:
It fills me with so much joy when my boys get excited to look through the album pages. I'm not sure Nox remembers much about the events that happened over the course of last year, but he is SO happy to look through the memories I have collected. LOVE IT.

Linking up with The Mom Creative!
The Mom Creative