Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taking Back the Control


Oh my wow!! I didn't realize that's it's been over a month since my last post. I am terribly sorry for that. I have no excuses except that I've been sinus sick, my hubs has been sick (off and on), Lor is back at school (after a long break), Eli has began potty learning, and Baby J is STILL inconsistent with his nursing/sleeping schedule. Oh yeah and did I mention that my power supply cord to the laptop ( I need to give it a name) went bad and it was out of commission for a while until Radio Shack lived up to their warranty. (Another post for another time.) It sure does seem that whenever I set out to write more here, my computer in some way shape form and fashion has other plans instead. Anywho, I'm back now AGAIN (w/2 power supply cords-thanks to the hubs) and am ready to get to posting on a more regular basis, as I promised? in my last post.

About a month ago, Chris and I decided that we were going to see how long it would take for the kids to start helping out by doing their part around the house. The only thing that they were REQUIRED to do was keep the floors picked up and clear. WELL....LESSON LEARNED...NEVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN!!! Somewhere along the lines over the last 6 yrs they've began to grow a little lazy...or they really just don't understand the ripple effect of it all. The majority of the problem was us not being organized and having WAY to much stuff for our space. Now that we have baby #3, it's all growing even more and more, and we're being suffocated in however many sq of space our house is. (I'll have to ask the hubs for the exact number.) Honestly, I can't blame them, nor get upset, nor punish them for not obeying or doing anything. They're too overwhelmed b/c they don't know what to do with anything or where anything goes or where to put what or...I'm sure you get the point. After a month of waiting, needless to say the whole situateion has completely gotten out of hand and we can wait no more. May I be excused from the blog while I go and wash the pie off of my face?

So, TODAY is the day that the entire family takes back control of the CHAOS that has decided to move in and stay awhile. It's time to CHAOS out the door. He/She is not a blood or communal relative and he/she is no longer welcome here. (Especially since he/she doesn't contribute financially-only makes the financial situation worse.) What is my game plan of action you say? Well, I'm glad that you asked. Here is my playbook for kicking out CHAOS:

     1. With the help of "Aunt" Marla...(a.k.a. the FlyLady) we will be utilizing the CRISIS CLEAN method to get the home back to a "presentable" place. She only meantions the 3 main areas of the kitchen, living room, & bathrooms. I have expanded on it to include the dining space & hallways of our floorplan.
     2. With the help of "Cousin" Jen @ we will be implementing some organization in every room of the house as we go along decluttering. I just discovered her back on my birthday last week (THE BEST GIFT that I can give to myself AND my family). Her blog is jam-packed with all sorts of awesome "why didn't I think of that before" organizing solutions that she implemented in her own home. Seriously, you have to check it out for yourself & then come back and tell me how much you HEART her blog/ideas after you pick your jaw up off the floor.
     3. I spent several hours (before the power loss) typing up a recurring "schedule of appointments" in Outlook to help me keep track of what I should be doing when at any given minute of the day. I actually set it up for my "ideal" day/week to include step-by-step routines as the end result in sight. However, while I'm doing the CRISIS CLEAN, I'm not going to follow the schedule b/c of having to stop at least every 2 hours to nurse...and when I/we have to eat/go potty. I want to try to get as much done as I can even if it takes more than 1 day to get through the CRISIS CLEAN. I think it will be better doing it this way than just following the schedule first, b/c of that sense of accomplishment & some breathing room. Plus, FlyLady says that without any routines in place, our home will be trashed again in a day, and THAT IS JUST NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN.
     4. I went through my entire house in every nook, cranny, drawer, etc. and made a list of EVERY SINGLE AREA that needed some attention and typed up a to-do/task list also in Outlook. There are over 2, 000 items listed when they're all typed out which I know sounds a lot, but about 5 or 6 different items keep repeating on a recurring basis such as: "Reboot Rainmate", "Reboot Laundry" (until Mt. Kill-Laundry-jaro has been conquered), "Make Something YUMMY!" (take a moment to stop & make a yummy treat to eat w/the kiddos), "Next Meal Out Treat" (cause we're going to need a break to get away from the house every now & then) and "Nap til the Top of the Hour" (cause it's important to get the rest I need -especially while nursing-while doing all of this work blessing my family).

With that all laid out, I will be posting quite a bit w/pics as I go about the day(s) until it's all done to achieve the vision in my head of what I want for our home & family. I will NOT be posting any "before" pics as I'm/we're going through the CRISIS CLEAN though. I will post the "after" pics so you can see what I've done & just how busy this little bee has been when she's not been sitting here at the computer. I will make progressive posts on Facebook as I go along & one BIG blog post at night. If I did a progressive blog post...well...that would be counter-productive b/c I wouldn't be getting anything done and therefore would have no updates to blog about.

So, wish me luck and come along with me as I embark on this adventurous journey. It'll be interesting to see what we can find...

...until later...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

HELLO 2012!!!

I absolutely LOVE this time of year…starting over w/a clean slate to achieve certain personal goals that we set for ourselves. One of the 12 goals that I’ve set for myself this year is to dust off the ole blog & be more regular at posting. Please forgive me for allowing SO MUCH time to lapse since posting last. SO much has been going on since I started this blog a few years ago that sadly it has not fallen where I wanted it to, initially, on my priority list. Well…that all changes now, for NOW is the time to develop new habits & break the old ones that just aren’t working for us…I mean me. I can just hear Dr. Phil now – “How’s that been working out for ya?”  “Well, not so well, Dr. Phil & that’s why I’m here. I’m ready for a change.” So, I’ve set 12 GOALS for myself for this brand new year. (To me resolutions are like pie-crust promises that you make to yourself. They’re too easily broken. Then you get all down and depressed or beat yourself up b/c you fell off the bandwagon. Then you just give up totally and go back to the old way of life only to complain about it again at the end of the year and start a vicious cycle all over again the next New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Think about it. We’ve all been there. Ok, stepping down off the soapbox now.)
Each month I intend, (not plan,) to commit to making those changes (baby stepping my way 15 mins. at a time) by focusing on one goal per month. This month’s goal is to be better & more consistent at blogging and facebook posting. (Yeah, I had to throw facebook on there- just go with it.) Here is the list of my 12 Goals for 2012:

1.       Be better & more consistent at blogging and facebook.

2.       Be a better daughter of the Heavenly Father.

3.       Be better at praying more & delving into HIS word …also known as the ULTIMATE Instruction Manual for Life.

4.       Be a better wife to my husband.

5.       Be a better mother to my children (& the dog.  After all, he’s like a child and a member of the family too-just an OUTSIDE member. J)

6.       Be a better Christian woman.

7.       Completely declutter & organize the house-preparing for sale. Get back to FLYing!

8.       Shed the baby weight once & for all—be healthier.

9.       Be better w/finances & have 50% of our TOTAL debt completely paid OFF by 12.31.12.

10.   Be better at managing my time so I can do what I WANT to do & not just what I HAVE to do such as hobbies, reading, learning new things & whatever else I discover that tickles my fancy.  Anybody seen my scrapbooking supplies????

11.   Be better at thinking of & reaching out to others more, i.e. distant family & friends.

12.   Be THE better ME that I can BE!

Why focus on goal #1 this month instead of goals #2 & #3, which OBVIOUSLY are WAY more important & should come ABOVE all else? Well, in my current state of mind, I’m thinking that seeing it all out there, here in words on the site (b/c I have a tendency to misplace paper) it will help me to not only remember but stay focused. Then again I could just be fooling myself, so we’ll see how it goes. Every year Ali Edwards puts out a challenge to sum up how you would like to describe your life in just one word for what you want for the upcoming year. Can you tell what my word could possibly be for this year?? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with a “B” and ends in “etter”. J

So, there you have it. Not really “resolutions” b/c I won’t be beating myself up nor feeling guilty should I fail at achieving success w/any of them. Those are just some areas of my life that I feel are things that could use some improving in order for me to be a better ME.

Now here part where you play in. Yes, you! You didn’t think I was going to leave you to just read & not participate, now did you? What fun would be in that? What I ask of all of YOU who are reading this is for accountability. (This is where facebook comes in.) I’m asking for your help & prayers in holding me accountable at what I’ve set for myself in order to keep me focused & on track. I intend (there’s that word again) to post any & all updates on FB. Short updates w/few sentences al beit, but updates nonetheless.  If more than 3 days go by without a FB post from me w/a new blog post link—hubs, 3 kiddos & a dog, remember—then PLEASE, by all means, feel free to post on my wall to find out where I’m at, what’s going on, or if I’m still alive in all of the crazy madness of this thing called life.  With YOUR help & prayers, goal #1 should be very EASILY achievable & hopefully auto-pilot habitual.

Will YOU help me to be a BETTER me in 2012???  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

and we're back!!

Alright!! It looks like we're back in business in blog land. I really don't know if there is anyone out there still reading my blog. If you are still with me, THANK YOU SO MUCH and I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. If you're not still with me...well...then...I guess you're not reading this, and I'm sorry to you too!, I bet you're wondering what's been going on. SO MUCH has been going on since the last time I posted. There is so much to tell and share...but unfortunately, it is about 40 minutes past my bedtime and 5am will be here too soon. I will have to come back to catch you up. I'm heading to bed now but will be back later.



is this thing on???

Monday, May 10, 2010

Houston.... only do we have a problem, but we're down. Not quite completely down as in no power, but N-O-T-H-I-N-G is working at the moment on either computer. This is message is being brought to you today from the unfamiliar surroundings of one of our local public libraries, which has also relocated due to rennovations. What in the world is going on down here???

So to update...I still do not have my laptop back. The poor guy that has it has had no time to fix it due to working 3 jobs and preparing to head off to boot camp. Hopefully, it will make it's way back to me very soon. As for the desktop....we've also been virally attacked there as well. Whatever or I should say WHOEVER has gotten through to the desktop, has been able to disable our Norton Anti-Everything program and we have been infected. It's not looking good for that one. We can't get anything to open. It powers up, boots up, and then nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I have tried everything that I know how to do to get it to work and still nothing. DH & I are in talks of possibly just replacing the desktop (seeing as how she is 5-7 yrs old) instead of having her repaired. Not quite sure what we're going to do yet, so in the meantime, looks like I'll be making weekly treks to the library for net access. UGH!!!!

Til I write & you read again....

Friday, March 12, 2010


OK, if the person or persons who decided that advancing our "technology" or the "easier way of life to do things" had informed us ahead of time that it was going to be frustrating as well when it doesn't work the way it was supposed to....would we have so easily and haphazardly jumped on that bandwagon???

Since my last post, so far 2010 has gotten off to a rather rocky start, & not quite as smooth as I had envisioned. DH has since come back and has left yet again. He's due back soon, yet again. I have completed all 4 Wilton Method Cake Decorating Courses. I learned a LOT taking those courses. It was a TON of fun! From the time I started the first class, I have made all sorts of cakes, for class, friends, and now officially customers. There's a young couple at our church that ordered a cake from me for their 1st anniversary at the end of February. I gave them a quote and they happily accepted & paid it. From the feedback I received, they LOVED their cake...flavor, design and all! I have several other possible orders coming up in May, July, August, and then a wedding cake order for October. Yes, that's right! MY FIRST WEDDING CAKE!!! I'm so excited, and nervous, and anxious, and honored to have the opportunity. I'm also getting ready to leave AG in the next few weeks. Some changes have recently taken place and personally staying with AG is going to be more of an inconvenience than a blessing to our lives. It has been really hard trying to hold that job while DH has been at sea and having to juggle different sitters for the kids and the scheduling. I believe that when God closes one door, he opens another. I pray that the door that has opened for me, that God will bless that open door as only He could.

The kids are doing well. Lor has been practicing writing words and trying to spell them...all on her own. We missed the police station field trip from the last post. We had a flat tire on the car and couldn't go. She was so upset, but she eventually got over it. She's going to be working her first "job" soon (probably when DH gets back so he can be here to help us) & will be learning about money. She will be learning not only what the different papers & coins mean, but how to manage & budget it as well. Here lately she seems to think that Mommy & Daddy have lots of money and when we don't have any on us (in pockets or wallets) we just go to the machine in the wall at the bank and get more. So, she's going to learn A LOT. Eli is getting ready to start physical therapy next week. Now this one has been a bit puzzling to me. An order was placed by his pediatrician's office with BCW to have him evaluated for occupational and physical therapy. I guess it was just a part of the process to see if he was elligible for BCW services, due to slight delays (mainly speech). The PT therapist (not quite sure what you'd call her) came out to our home and did an evaluation & observation of him, and recommended him for physical therapy services once a week. When she comes back she's going to provide me the copy of the report she made of her observation and evaluation. So....that's to come.

I am still technology handicapped at the moment with my laptop. DH took it to one of the guys on his boat to check it out and he installed something called SpyBot on it. I don't know what that is. I was told that it was anti-spyware and that the Norton that is currently installed didn't remove everything completely from the virus attack of November 2009. I did receive a new power cord for it and after only working for about 2-3 weeks, it died. So I had to get another one. Now the computer won't even completely boot up. Currently it is with a friend of ours from church and he's looking to see if he could possibly get it back up and running so I can get everything off and backed up, before taking it to a shop or sending it off to get fixed if needed. UGH!!! So, I'm still having to post from the desktop and still not really able to post pics. Oh but when I prepared for several wordless posts.... :)

Gotta run. Eli needs to be changed before trek out in the overcast cloudy watch out more rains a comin' weather today. Errands to run=HALLMARK store (I'm no longer purchasing AG products), post office, W-M, & Cotton Patch. (I'll explain that one later.)
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Aahhh.....finally it's here! 2010!!! 2009 was definitely one of those years that had it's ups & downs, high's & low's, and positives & negatives for our family. We are so glad that it's over now, and so far...2010 looks to be very promising. It's what we make it to be. Seven days into this wonderful new year, and things are still really crazy busy here around our house.

DH is out at the moment. We did get to spend Christmas with him before he had to leave again. It shouldn't be much longer now before he's back for another little while before having to leave again on normal rotation. I have now begun Course 3 of the Wilton Cake Decorating classes. In this course we are working more with fondant icing and our final cake for the course is a 2 tier wedding cake. I'm a little nervous about that one. Not so much the decorating of it, but mostly the transportation of it all. It's not going to be too easy to get it down to Jax & back with it surviving the trip, but I have my fingers crossed. I am also still working AG, and have been working quite a bit since the end of Sept./first of Oct. (The unofficial official start of the busy year-Halloween thru Father's Day.) While DH has been gone, I've been trying to work most of my hours during the day so I can be home with the kiddos at night. Speaking of the kiddos...

L has started back to homeschool. With everything that has been going on the last several months, we decided to take a little break from school and start back in the new year (along with the rest of the county). We just got back the day before yesterday, so right now we're in the process of doing a quick review of what we had covered so far, and I'm just amazed at what she actually took in and remembered, even one of her Bible verses. We have a field trip planned for next week to tour the local police station w/the homeschool group. She's excited about going. She had a good time when we toured a local fire station back in the fall. E has been going to speech therapy for about 2 months now to draw out all of those words that that little sponge of a brain of his has soaked in. His initial evaluation was at the end of October, and he was slightly speech delayed for his age. Since we've began therapy, he is making positive progress and even starting to use 2 word phrases. He told L tonight "bed sissy", meaning that she needed to go to bed. Then he said "night sissy". How sweet is that??

That's just a quick update to let you know what's been going on with us. I would love to hear what's been going on with you. Send me an e-mail or leave me a comment. Unfortunately, I'm not able to post a pic right now. I'm posting this from our desktop. The power cord for my laptop fried. It literally started to break in 2 pieces. I think it may have been caused by the recliner where I usually sit to use it. So, until I can get it replaced, I'm having to use the desktop and it's a little more inconvenient to post pics than with the laptop. Good news is that I actually have a day off tomorrow so I can call about a replacement power cord. I will be sending out a paper pic to the immediate family in the next week or so, but the rest of you will have to wait. I do apologize.

OK, so have a blessed day tomorrow, and try to stay warm wherever you may be. It has definitely been crazy cold here with highs in the 40's and lows in the 20's. That's not a normal thing for even this time of year down here. I'm still waiting to see the snow actually fall from the sky here in southeast GA. There's talk about that it may actually happen sometime in the next 24 hours or so. Carla, if you're reading have a better chance of receiving it than I do according to our local news. They even said that south of Jax has a better chance of getting snow than Jax does. Crazy!!

Going to go get a little shut-eye now...
'til next time~

Friday, August 28, 2009

tracking you now

Ok, I'm still not in bed yet, b/c I just took care of something that has been bugging me for a while. I finally put up a site counter here on the blog. I can now keep track of how many visitors (all of you wonderful people coming here to my little corner of the web world) are stopping by. I've been meaning to do this for a while now...pretty much since I first set up the blog, but just haven't gotten around to it. The count starts now...

busy, busy, busy

hi everyone!

I hope you're all having a great week and are looking forward to a wonderful relaxing weekend. I wish I could say the same. Well, I'm looking forward to the weekend, but it's not going to be to relaxing that is. August has been a busy month for me, so I haven't been able to post as much as I'd liked to. I really shouldn't be posting now either, seeing as how it's almost 3am, but I wanted to stop by to say HI! I actually just stopped working on a simplifying scrapbook organization project that I've begun thanks to an idea and inspiration I got from here. Thanks Robyn! (I've also learned a lot about how to use my Cricut Exp. from the videos on her blog. I just can't wait to get the time to play.)

So, I'm in the process of transferring the storage of my clear stamps to clear CD jewel cases. I just started tonight (last night) and have only transferred 2 complete sets, and it only took me about 5 hours! One set had 44 individual stamp pieces to it, so that was a lot and took the longest. I'm stamping the image with black StazOn ink on the outside of the jewel case and then the stamp goes inside. I know that a few different companies manufacture their stamps that way, so I'm probably a little way behind with the idea. I don't have a whole lot of stamp before I grow my stamp stash any further, I needed to come up with a way to easily store them in as little room as possible and be able to see them to know exactly what I have. (A few times now, I've almost purchased the same set again that I already had, but didn't realize.) I purchased one of those Sterilite CD/DVD storage crates @ W-M the other night to store my stamp CD cases in and it looks like it's going to hold a lot of stamp sets. I'm really excited about it, but it's soooo time consuming. I know that it's going to be worth it in the end though and in the future as I buy up a new set, I'll immediately transfer them. Once I've finished them all, I'll post a pic.

Ok, so I need to jump off of here and try to get a little sleep. To quote one of L's most used phrases lately "I'm not tired!", I still should at least try to get a little sleep before the kids wake up. We have a homeschool group meeting later today, plus I have to make a service call to W-M this evening after DH gets home from work. I'm hoping ***crossing my fingers*** to come back and update you with what's been going on. Lots of stuff! There've been school days, birthdays, and everything else in between.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

to blog or to nap...what is the question?

One thing I'm noticing as I begin to get older is that now, unlike before, when I'm up really late into the wee early hours of the morning on just only one night, it takes practically the rest of the entire week for my body to really feel good and rested up again. Monday evening, I didn't get to work until 8pm instead of 5:30 or 6pm. To make matters worse, I ended up working 6 hours b/c the card dept. was totally trashed and I had 4 boxes to put out that came in earlier that day. By the time I cleaned up my mess, tossed my plastic, paper, and cardboard, and then found a member of management to sign my clipboard (just stating that I had been there), I didn't get home until sometime between 2 & 3 AM! By the time I got something to eat and entered my time on the website, it was around 3:30 AM!! Anyone ever notice how fast and yet still slow time goes by in the wee early morning hours? It's now been 2 days later and I'm really feeling the effects of that lost sleep. I'm fighting the urge to hit the couch for a quick snooze before L gets up from her nap for lunch and we get back to our school day. I desperately want to make a special announcement post and a catch-up of our last week, but I don't think I could do it without dropping my head on the table. I just put E down for his midday nap, and would give anything to get in 1/2 an much for that. L just answered the question....she's up now. After we finish our table work (desk work), we're heading out to the park down by the riverside, plus I have to go by & pay the water bill which is on our way.) We also have Wednesday night service at church this evening. Oh, if I can just make it through the rest of the day, I can go to bed at my normal bedtime. A good thing is that I saved my C-F-A sweet tea from last night. Maybe it'll help. I'm off to make some PB&J's for lunch. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The kids are busy watching Elmo's World on Sesame Street, so I'm taking a quick moment to post. Our first day of homeschool went really well. L says that she likes school so far. But wouldn't you know it that when I want to capture her first day of Pre-K, the camera battery is dead!! Just my luck I guess. I had forgotten to charge it after church Sunday evening. I did manage to snap a pic from our 2nd day of school. I know what you're probably thinking...but no, that didn't happen. She's still very alive and very well. :) In science yesterday, we were studying body parts (head, arms, legs, hands, feet, etc.) and the lesson was to make a puzzle person. I had her to lie down on some banner paper and I traced around her body. Today we're going to cut it apart & make it a puzzle. She already knows her body parts, but it's going to be a good learning tool for E who is still learning his. We're getting ready to start our 3rd day of school in about 4 minutes. Yes, it's actually 3 hours later than scheduled, but that's one of the beauties I'm learning about homeschooling-being able to do it at your own pace and when it's convenient for you. I ended up working 8 hours last night at W-M (from 7:30p-3:30a), so I needed this morning to sleep.

I can hear the closing music for SS, so I need to get E a snack and get started with our day. Seeing as how we're getting a late start today, there may or may not be a nap for L today, and we'll probably school all the way up until it's time to get ready for church this evening. We'll just see how things go. At some point today, I have to go to W-M for a meeting with one of the managers to discuss vendor bin space. That's a whole other story that I'll have to go into later.

Everyone have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

bad blogger again

Ugh!!! I can't believe that I let it happen again!! Is there anyone still out there? I apologize for what seems like abandoning my blog. I haven't really. There were many days and nights when I wanted to write up a post, put up a pic, or just say HI, I'M STILL HERE...but alas, never did b/c I either didn't have a free minute, or was just way too exhausted. Somehow among the course of things over the last year, I have let things in my life spiral a bit out of control. Some good, some not so good, but still blessings. Well NOT ANYMORE! I'm back to regain control of my life and this blog. I've made the first step and wrote myself up a little schedule. L has started homeschool this year, and I had to write up a schedule for her anyhow, so I thought I may as well do one for myself. The bell just rang and according to my schedule, computer time is over and it's time to start the crock-pot. Be back tomorrow with first day of school highlights.
Have a blessed day! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

where in the world is...

no, not Carmen San Diego...not Matt Lauer (sp?)....not even Waldo....but ME?!?! I didn't realize that it has been almost 2 whole months since I last posted and paid the blog a visit. I have been extremely busy with the kids, baby shower planning (for my sister), pageant preparations, and trying to stay caught up on the laundry and housework. To which, I'm losing that battle with every minute. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the USS Alaska decided to "pop" in to say "hi!" and then right back out they went. I promise to come back and get you caught up on what's been going on. It may take a post or two, but I think I owe it to ya. Til then...have a great day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

the Butler Bag

A little over 2 weeks ago as I was perusing updates on my favorite blogs, I ran upon this particular post that sparked my intrigue. It wasn't the product review that the author was originally posting about, but what she mentions at the end of her post about something called a Butler Bag.

I had been searching for months on end to find a replacement purse for the "black-hole" that I was carrying. I'd had it for at least 5 or 6 yrs now, and it was looking worn, and way overfilled. It was only supposed to be a cute little handbag used on Sundays only. Then my previous purse strap broke beyond repair and instead of buying another purse, I started using my little Sunday bag. It all went down hill from there. I had stuffed just about anything I could into that cute little bag, until one day I noticed that it had lost it's shape and was stretched out. My biggest problem was that receipts would accumulate and burry the things that were at the bottom of my purse. (I don't take the time to empty or even go through my purse on a regular basis.) The front pocket began to rip and although I managed to stitch up the tear to buy some more time and use out of the purse, it didn't hold very long. Thus began the search for a new purse. Everything I saw in the stores was either too small, too large, too expensive, to cheaply made, not the right color, another "black-hole" with no organization to it whatsoever, or simply just not my style. After starting to wonder if I was going to be stuck with the "black-hole" for life, I found Aby's post on her blog and what could possibly be the answer to my handbag dilemma.

So I clicked on the Butler Bag link. I watched the interactive demo, and the story of how the bag came to be. I was mesmerized! I was very excited about it until I saw the price of it. Now, I'm not a cheapskate, and I'm very willing to pay money for excellent or high quality as long as it's truly worth it. After a couple of days online reading one rave customer review after another I knew that I needed to try it out. In hopes of getting a good price, especially in this economy, off to e-bay I went in search of a Butler Bag for me. After measuring, re-measuring, comparing the dimensions for the different sized Butler Bags on the website to my "black-hole", and then re-measuring again, I decided on the best one for my needs. I decided to go with the Boutique Classic in Black Licorice. I found one, made my bid, and won the auction. Unfortunately, I did ultimately end up paying only $35 less than what it would've cost straight from the website. If it's truly as high quality as it's priced at, and with the way I hold onto things until they fall apart, I should get at LEAST 10 good years of use out of this handbag. Overall it comes out to be about $10.00 per year, so I thought it was affordable. My Butler came while I was at an FRG meeting.

Today while the kids were napping, I grabbed my new Butler Classic and the "black-hole" and began transferring everything over. Everything fit perfectly inside, and I can zip the bag closed with no trouble at all. My digital camera is a bit snug, but it fits in there! So, after all of that...this is my Butler Bag on the outside...

...and this is the inside...(sorry it's not a very good pic-I'll edit later with a better pic, b/c you've got to see this clearly)

At the top is: a 5x7 notebook & my checkbook, and on the bottom is my 2-yr pocket planner & the kids shot record books. Inside the middle section compartments working counter-clockwise are: my calculator, mini white-out tape, & jump drive with space for my cell phone (currently hooked up on the charger); a highlighter, pocket pack of Kleenex's, a smaller 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 notebook, pen and my wallet; the completely empty compartment to the far right is where my camera goes; lipstick, lip balm, lip gloss & peppermint candy; then some dental floss, and my 2 small samples of bareMinerals makeup & brush until I can order that (next) and get the compact. My keys are in one of the outside pockets on the sides. It's the right size, right color, and so stylish! I love that everything stands upright, I get a birds-eye view of everything inside, and can grab anything at the blink of an eye without having to hunt and dig and dump out my stuff. I love that it's all organized and will save me quite a bit of time standing in line to checkout at the register. The bottom is completely flat, so it will not tip over. I love that it's very well made and real genuine top grain leather. I'm already thinking about my next Butler Bag to use on road trips that will hold a book, magazine, and bottle of water in addition to everything else...the Hybrid: I'm telling you, you've got to check it out for yourself... Butler Bag. Their motto: "Every girl needs a Butler!" Let me know what you think if you get one! Oh, and in case you're wondering about handling my receipt debacle, I've asked Aby what she would suggest, after all she is a professional organizer. In the meantime, I plan to put a ziplock sandwich bag beside the larger notebook to hold all those receipts. I'm not letting those pesky pieces of paper take over my Butler.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

anxiously awaiting...

for the delivery men! I ordered a few things last week online from 3 different sites, and they're ALL scheduled for delivery TODAY!! 2 of the items are coming UPS, and the other is coming FedEx. The strange thing is I'm not sure what I'm really looking forward to receiving the most...the ___________ or the _____________ or the new ___________ to replace a few old ones. Any guesses as to what goes in those blanks??? I'll be back later with pics to fill them in.

EDITED @ 12:21a (the next morning)
Well, it took ALL day, literally, but they finally got here! The FedEx guy came first and with him brought me this: One of my favorite scrap-lebrities is Becky Higgins. I just love her clean and simple style, her sketches, and the way she likes to incorporate as many pictures as possible on a layout or 2-page spread. Long story short-her pages are quick & easy to scraplift. I first purchased this little book of hers at Michael's about 2-3 weeks ago. Along with several other items that I purchased that night-let's just say that I felt a big pang of buyer's remorse and "oh no! I've spent WAY too much money". I'm sure you've been there, done that yourself. Then while surfing around online, I realized that it could get it at a less expensive price. I'm talking over $10.00 difference INCLUDING a shipping charge! The very next day, that adorable little book (and a couple of paper pads) went right back to Michael's. I had already waited this long to get it (it came out a year or 2 ago), another couple of weeks wouldn't hurt me. I also purchased a couple of packs of these:
to go into these: In hopes of simplifying my life a little, I have decided to switch over ALL of my postbound albums to 3-ring. So, inspired by BH, I'm going with these beautys. They are the We R Memory Keepers 12x12 3-ring Faux Classic Leather albums. BH uses these albums also, and raves about them. The yellow one will replace Lor's current baby album and the blue one will replace Little Man's baby album. What I love about this approach is that: 1.) They're not going to be just for baby pages, but the kids main albums starting from pregnancy and I can keep adding and adding to them as they keep growing and growing out of them. 2.) I don't scrapbook chronologically but that's how I have my pages so this is a LOT easier and less time-consuming to shift and shuffle pages around without having to take the whole album apart as with postbound. 3.) These albums are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! You just have to see them for yourself. There's a bookplate label on the spine for easy volumization (is that even a word?) They're just simply gorgeous! 4.) They regularly retail for $30 EACH but you can get them on sale here right now until the end of the month. Mr. UPS man also brought this:
These are some of the elements of the Sweet Baby Sept. '08 KOTM designed by none other than...who else, but the fabulous Becky Higgins. She already knows about it, so I can share without spoiling a surprise...the lucky recipient of this adorable baby kit is my sweet dear lil' sis, who is currently expecting & due in August. My sister and bro-in-law have been married just as long as DH and I have. After many years of trying and suffering the loss of 2 prior back-to-back miscarriages, so far, everything with this pregnancy is going as perfect as can be. Poor sis has had a REAL bad case of morning sickness (nightly), but I'm pretty sure she'll say that it's all worth it compared to what she's been through to get to this point. They both have boys from previous relationships-3 to be exact, so we're all hoping & praying for a girl. Another boy would just be WAY TOO MUCH TESTOSTERONE in that house! My sister also scrapbooks, but with working full-time, going to school part-time, the boys and her husband, she doesn't have a lot of time. She has even way less time than I do. So, as one of what I'm sure to be many baby gifts coming their way from Aunt Missa & Co., I'll be making up the baby's album with the contents of the Sweet Baby kit for her. sister has had to promise me that she will at least schedule one hour a month to keep it updated, b/c I can really use those pages myself seeing as how I'm still way behind on my own kids baby pages. Now that the promise is on here, it'll be easier to keep her "reminded" of it. We won't know if it's pink or blue for about another 5 weeks, but I can't wait to get started on this album. The goal is to give it to her at the shower which I also get to co-plan & co-throw. I've already got a jump start on it, just from taking everything out of the box and prefilling the page protectors. If you've never purchased a kit from CK, and you really should, they make it so very easy to pull pages together quickly. They seperate the pages & elements out for you individually. Simple, easy, love it! That's what I'm all about lately.

Now that my little "Christmas" today is over, everyone enjoy the rest of your week! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

last 3 weeks and V-day

A recap of the last 3 weeks at our house:

One of the most trivial decisions that I've had to make in my life was choosing and purchasing a cake for my own birthday. After all a birthday without cake is just another day. Usually my DH provides (buys or makes) my cake, but this year he wasn't able to seeing as how he's several hundred miles away at the moment. I knew what I wanted as far as the flavor, but wasn't quite sure about size. I didn't want anything that was going to be too big and still around the house for more than a few days. I did want something big enough to last at least through the weekend, and that I could share with the kids and the babysitter. After about 20 minutes of looking at the premade cakes in the W-M bakery, I finally decided on this decadent fudge chocolate layer cake. Not too big, not too small, and completely gone in 3 days. It was soooooo yummy! I took some decorator icing that I had on hand and added the cute little dots of pink myself just to give it a little more color. Little Man gave me a birthday present that I didn't really care to receive nor could I return/exchange. He must've caught something that's been going around, b/c he was so sick that day and for most of the weekend. He couldn't keep anything down and then I pushed so much Pedialyte in him, that it gave him the runs when he was able to start eating again. Disgusting, I know! Sorry!! He seemed to be better by the following Monday, and then my daughter got sick. UGH!!! Then it was his turn again and for almost 2 weeks straight, they seemed to bounce whatever it was back and forth to each other. I didn't think it was ever going to end. Later on they both started feeling better and have been ever since. I thanked the good Lord above that I didn't catch it at the same time or we would've been in big trouble.

Right as they were feeling better so we could get out of the house a bit, the wonderful weather of God greeted us with this one morning along with a cold snap that lasted for a few days. This was the view of my front yard from the front door. It's FROST! It was simply beautiful glistening in the morning sun as it was beginning to melt. The sun rises behind my house, so it's covered by a huge shadow cast off the house. It was bitter cold for a few nights and mornings with temps down in the teens, but it would warm up for a brief period during the day, which also happened to be during naptime, so I let sleeping babes lie.
In the greeting card industry, the 1st most profitable time of the year is none other than Valentine's Day. I had to work a LOT of hours during the week leading up to V-day and over V-day weekend. For those of you who don't know, I work as a vendor for American Greetings (AG) as a part-time merchandiser. One of the stores that I service is our local W-M. Well, I made a not-so-wise decision that Wednesday prior and worked a couple of hours before church service and after church service. Long story short, I ended up losing my babysitter for the following night, and had to take the kids to work with me. I can take them with me b/c it just looks like I'm shopping for cards, when I'm really not. So, we got some food and I let them eat it in the shopping cart while I straightened up cards. By the end of the night they were tired and ready to go. LM is beginning to develop what I call Osaka Syndrome. (Before we had our own kids, we would go out with some friends of ours who had a 1 yr old little boy to Osaka Japanese Steakhouse where they cook your food on the grill in front of you. The chefs do these little tricks and put on a "show" as they're cooking and they light the oil on the hibachi to where the flames from the fire rise up high and you can feel the heat from it. Well, the poor child became terrified of the fire and would cry. Over a few years the more & more we would go there and he knew it, the worse it became and his parents would have to take him out of the room away from the fire for a minute. THEN it got to the point where if he even saw the building from the parking lot, he would get upset and not want to go in at all. That's what I refer to now as the Osaka Syndrome.)
I've had to take them with me several times before, and I really try not to b/c they get bored really fast and I can't get a lot done, which is why I normally have a regular babysitter who we pick up from school and then bring her back to our house. As I said earlier, LM is beginning to develop the Osaka Syndrome when he sees the greeting card section at W-M. He's OK if it's just a brief stop or we keep going on by past the cabinets, but when Mommy stops & starts to straighten and pull cards out from underneath and restocks what needs to be, he starts to fuss and cry and it's not a pretty picture. I did manage to snap this quick shot of what I plan to be the last time that I have to take them along with me to work. We took a couple of blankets to spread out in the bottom of the cart along with our coats, so it was a bit more comfy, and they either sat up or would lie down as they are in the pic. I was just finishing up and we were getting ready to leave b/c as you can see on LM's face, it was definitely past their bedtime. Since then, I now have my babysitter back during the week again, so they shouldn't have to go with me anymore.

With DH not being here, I planned to try to make Valentine's Day special this year. The kids woke up to this.I made heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and we were going to make some sugar cookies with hearts on them, but we didn't get a chance too. I had to work at 2 different stores that day, and with their naptime, it didn't leave us a lot of time to do as much as I'd wanted to. We're still planning to make those cookies today before we leave for church this evening. They each got a new outfit or shirt, and a ton of candy and sweets. I didn't want to get them any little trinkets or toys until we sort & containerize what they already have. My mom, step-dad, & uncle had come down from NC the night before to visit a few days, so I think that made it special for them. My mom gave us all bears that play music &/or move and we went out for dinner later in the evening. Lil' Princess got a cute teddy bear, and LM got a bee bear. Here are the very few pics that I was able to snap.
I didn't get any pics of the kids in their new V-day duds before they got dirty, so once they've been washed, I'll get pics then. LP's outfit was really adorable with flowers on it, with hearts as the petals (scrapbook page inspiration), that said "Daddy Loves Me" and "Mommy Loves Me" on it. LM had a red T-shirt that said "Handsome Little Devil" on it with a pair of jeans. It was a long and exhausting weekend and I'm glad it's over, so I could enjoy a little break. V-day cards are now down and St. Patty's & Easter cards are up, so things have slowed down for me workwise. Monday we're starting a pre-school Bible curriculum to finish out the school year with. I'm changing things up a bit and diverting from the curriculum that we started with at the beginning of the school year, and will start it back up again in August. With the kids being sick, I wasn't able to re-start my "taking a pic a day" right after my birthday. Who really wants to take pics of sick kids or "tossed cookies", so to speak? Amongst all of the cleaning up, grabbing the camera to document that moment of time in our lives was the last thing on my mind. Believe me, if you're a mom, that's one memory you never lose. I'm just going to commit to doing my best to take as many pics as I can for the next year whether it's every day, or every other day. If it happens, great! If it doesn't, oh well.

Sorry for such a long post, but I think I have you all caught up now. I'd love to hear about the last 3 weeks in your lives. Until later...everyone have a blessed day! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

P365 Info Links

To find out more info about Project 365, click here and here. If you're interested in doing your own P365, you'll also find some FREEBIES on BH's blog to download, print and cut out along with some instructions on how to manipulate them in Photoshop (if you have that & are into digital scrappin'). Be sure to check out her post from January 10th. Actually, if you have the time, I encourage reading all of her posts in January so far. There are some great photo taking ideas and some ideas of other items to use instead of the kit that she created. As of this post, there are currently 3 full NEW kits, and a couple of partial kits on eBay up for auction, so if you're feeling lucky and wanna give it a try to get one, then click here.


Project 365

As you all know I am an avid scrapbooker who, like many other scrapbookers out there, just doesn’t have enough time in my life right now to do as much scrapbooking as I’d like to. I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with Project 365. Just in case you’ve been hiding out in a cave-driven there by our current state of affairs-basically it’s Becky Higgins’ new perspective on documenting and preserving her family’s daily life. What you do is take a photo, journal a note, collect a piece of memorabilia, or whatever you want to do, for every day of the week, every month of the year, for an entire year. As you go along you take what you’ve gathered and arrange it in an album or book, and it becomes your family’s documented record of life for that given year. The concept is for EVERYONE to put to use: scrapbookers and non-scrapbookers alike.
I’m very excited about this and have not jumped on the bandwagon yet myself for a reason. I tried to convince myself on New Year’s Day that I was going to take at least one photo every single day from that day on until Dec. 31st. About 4 or 5 days later, I miserably failed to keep up. (Which is why I say every year that I’m NOT going to make any resolutions for that year, b/c I can NEVER keep them up past the first week!) In reading more about Project 365, I realized that I could start at any time of the week, month or year. How cool is that??

2 years ago, I was a lucky winner of a birthday contest that Lisa Bearnson was doing on her blog. One of my prizes (out of the big box of goodies that she sent) was the All About Me album that she had previously sold on QVC that I wasn’t able to afford to purchase at that time.I couldn’t wait to get it all put together and fill it out. 2 years later, I still have yet to put any pics, or journaling in it. At that time I was planning to use it as an album about my life at age 30 (seeing as how turning 30 is a major milestone in a woman’s life). Life on the other hand had other plans for my time. I was pregnant with Little Man and really tired those first 3 months, we had a LOT going on with our house making repairs, replacements, and upgrades, AND to top the year off, my DH made CPO (which put me in early labor & delivery). I never got around to completing that album. Now, when I look at it sitting on top of my album cube knowing it’s STILL empty, I don’t really like the way it makes me feel. I beat myself up inside for not being more organized with my time management over the last 2 years to not have it done. I SHOULD have already had it done by now. IT SHOULD’VE BEEN DONE ALREADY! I could probably try to go back and remember to the best of my ability (after having prego brain) and do it for that year, OR I could just jump right in where I am. (Something I’m learning from FlyLady.) So, here is my Project 365 plan:

Since my birthday is coming up in a few days, for me it’s the start of a brand new year, and technically it is. It’s the start of a new year of another age in my life. I plan to finally use that wonderful album from LB for my Project 365 and call it: “All About Me at 30+2”. I plan to have it stuffed to the max with as many notes, memorabilia, and pics, which by the way I will also start over with taking at least one pic a day as of Day 1-Saturday, the day after my birthday-all the way through January 30th of 2010. I’m very excited to be able to myself another chance to not only put that album to good use, but to also commit myself once again to daily photography & documentation. Most importantly, I’m excited to be able to give myself the wonderful gift of loving myself again by not beating myself up over what should’ve been. 2 years is way too long for an emotional self-beating, and it stops here this weekend!! As far as finding the time to work on my P365, I will also be scheduling it into my day as an important appointment that I must keep with myself, just like all of those other appointments we busy moms flit & flutter to on a daily basis.

I’m also expecting you wonderful people who read this blog to hold me accountable for keeping you updated on how my P365 is going by posting here more frequently than I have been in the past, & sharing some of those pics that will make it into my album. I also encourage you to consider starting your own P365. You can find more details about it this month on Becky Higgins’ blog (see the link on the right under “Friends & Faves”). Becky has also created a fabulous kit just for this specific purpose, as seen above, and unfortunately, it SOLD OUT, but you don’t have to necessarily use that specific kit to do your own. You can find some fabulous tips on Becky’s blog that some of her readers have provided (mostly in the comments section) on how they’ve created their own albums. Again, you can start at ANY time of the month or year, and you don’t even have to be a scrapbooker! We ALL take pictures, and now it’s time to actually do something with them. For those of you who don’t scrapbook, you too can do Project 365! Personally, I feel that it’s very important to leave a part of our legacy to our future generations and this is the absolute PERFECT way to do it.

Have a blessed day! :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I have a confession to make.


I have been absent from here for a reason. A lazy reason, I'm ashamed to say, but a reason. When I first set up this blog with the blogpak that I purchased, I had to get my hands a little dirty in some HTML. Now, if you know NOTHING about HTML, as I do, then it can be a little confusing and frustrating to figure out how to get a webpage to look EXACTLY the way you envisioned it in your head. Well, it was for me at least. I had to change the template, adjust the margins, column widths, and add & remove elements. Finally, after many, many, MANY hours of working on it, I finally got it to look as fabulous as it does! However, there was one small problem....the archives. I can't remember exactly what I'd done, or didn't do, but whenever I would make a new post from month to month, or even within that particular month, the archives section was not automatically updating as it was supposed to. I was having to go back in to my dashboard and MANUALLY update the archives with EVERY SINGLE post. Then after that was done, I had to adjust the collapsed months (the months that had more than 1 post for that month) to get it to just show the number of posts for that month and the name of the month. Needless to say, it was very tedious, time-consuming work that involved more HTML. So, for the past few months, I just didn't post at all. Even though I really wanted to quite a bit amidst the election, all of the holiday preparations, family visits, and starting a new job. I just didn't want to take the time to have to do al of that work. Lazy, yes?

So, today, as I ask for your forgiveness, I'm very excited to say that change has come to this here blog. (Did you think I was going to say America?) I went in on the dashboard (blogger's layout & settings) and added a new blog archives section and now I no longer have to update that manually myself. What does that mean?? That means that I will be blogging on a more regular basis from this day foreward. YAY!!! I noticed that it looks a little "off" because of the line break and "blog archives" title that show up after my tag button that I created that says the same thing, but you know what, if you can live with it, then so can I. It's just a minor detail in the overall appearance, and it's a small thing, and there's just no time in life to sweat the small stuff, right?

So, with that being said, check back on a regular basis for new posts, pics, and whatever else tickles my fancy. I'll be posting later tonight, or tomorrow about something that I'm going to be doing this year that has me very excited. There's actually 2 big things, so I'll share them one at a time. Yes, I will be back later with another post, I really will! I PROMISE!! Check back to see what it is.

Until then....ttfn~

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Week

Hope everyone had a Happy and SAFE Halloween! Our family had a wonderful week. Wednesday we went to the local mobile pumpkin patch and picked out some pumpkins. We chose 2 to carve and 2 really little ones for decoration. Thursday night we carved our pumpkins. It was the first time that DH or myself ever carved pumpkins. We did the basic simple triangular design for the faces of our jack-o-lanterns. There's only one pic, b/c the 2nd jack didn't get finished until the next day and I just haven't been able to get a pic of it or both of them together yet. Friday, I spent all day working on putting our costumes together. We were "Goldilocks and The Three Bears". Quite a bit has been going on since my last post, so I'll be posting updates later this coming week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I bet you thought that I was lost. I bet you thought that I had thrown in the towel on this blogging thing. I bet you thought that ....well, it doesn't really matter what you thought or what you bet....I'm here and I'm back baby! OH! I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted, and for that I sincerely apologize. What has kept me away you're wondering??? Well let's & friends & life. You know-those wonderful blessings from above.

Monday, August 11, 2008

did you know?

...that there is a way that I can reply directly back to you whenever you leave a gracious and wonderful comment? When setting up your Blogger profile, if you check the box that says "show my e-mail address" I will be able to send a reply back to the specific comment that you left directly to your e-mail address. You can choose which e-mail address you wish to use or you can set up one just for blogging, if you haven't already. I found this out while searching around the internet about this whole bloggin' experience and found this information here, who obtained it here who eventually obtained it from here . So, if you haven't already and you would like for me to send you a reply back to your comments (after all, blogging is just another form of communicating a 2-way conversation), then by all means PLEASE CHECK YOUR BOX! "Now we know!" "And knowing is half the battle." GO JOE!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


HERE IT IS! This is the most recent pic of our "Little Gifts from God" (the kids) taken after their church dedication on July 27th. More on that night later.


I had a little technical difficulty in writing this post…a.k.a….I fell asleep with my hands on the keys before completing the post. I was all set to post a pic, but sleep deprivation and the hard fast work we did yesterday just invaded my brain & body and needless to say b&b lost the battle. I woke up this morning all revived and ready to post the pic. Then DH calls from work and needs to come pick up my camera to use for a retirement ceremony b/c the boat camera is MIA at the moment and the ceremony starts in half an hour (from the time he called). ACK! I don’t have the pic transferred to the computer yet! How am I going to get it posted up on the blog if I don’t have the card? I can’t. Sooooo…..unfortunately….and I sincerely apologize for this….you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for a recent pic. Good new is that he expects to come back home for the day after the ceremony, so I can post it then. In the meantime, I would like to keave you with something to tide you over… this pic was taken right after Little Man turned 6 mos. old, back in March while we were visiting family in NC.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


After several days of playing around with PSE 6.0 and configuring html (never want to do that again unless I absolutely have to) and rearranging the layout....HERE IT IS!!! I gave up on trying to design my own elements and purchased this totally adorable blogpak from Shabby Miss Jenn Designs. So tell does it look???

On another note, I know you're all just chomping at the bits and patiently waiting for some pics. Considering what time it is...I promise....I'll whet those appetites and post some pics later today. Really! I PROMISE I WILL!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

getting there....

Check out the changes and additions I've made. I am still working on it and will also be adding some pics real soon, so stay tuned...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Welcome One and All!!

OK!! I finally did it and took the plunge into the interesting and fascinating world of blogging. Why you may wonder? Because of the BLESSINGS of LIFE!! Because of the BUSYNESS of LIFE!! Because of the BEST (and worst) in LIFE!!! Mainly it's to keep all of our family and friends who seem to have forgotten how to use a phone (j/k), and who are so swamped with flooding inboxes with forwards instead of real actual written e-mails (and you know who you are) in the know on the what's-happenings & goings-on in the Garrett household on a pretty regular basis. I'm still learning my way around so bare with me, but come check us out often for updates, photos, and whatever else I decide to post on here.
Until then....